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´╗┐Title: Heroes and Hunters of the West - Comprising Sketches and Adventures of Boone, Kenton, Brady, Logan, Whetzel, Fleehart, Hughes, Johnson, &c.
Author: Frost, John, 1800-1859
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 "Heroes and Hunters of the West - Comprising Sketches and Adventures of Boone, Kenton, Brady, Logan, Whetzel, Fleehart, Hughes, Johnson, &c." ***

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

[Illustration: THE WOUNDED PIONEER.]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853,


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania.


Daniel Boone.                                              11
Simon Kenton.                                              19
George Rogers Clarke.                                      24
Benjamin Logan.                                            32
Samuel Brady.                                              38
Lewis Whetzel.                                             45
Caffree, M'Clure, and Davis.                               58
Charles Johnston.                                          66
Joseph Logston.                                            74
Jesse Hughes.                                              81
Siege of Fort Henry.                                       87
Simon Girty.                                              103
Joshua Fleehart.                                          118
Indian Fight on the Little Muskingum.                     129
Escape of Return J. Meigs.                                137
Estill's Defeat.                                          144
A Pioneer Mother.                                         154
The Squatter's Wife and Daughter.                         167
Captain William Hubbell.                                  173
Murder of Cornstalk and his Son.                          185
The Massacre of Chicago.                                  189
The Two Friends.                                          211
Desertion of a young White Man, from a party of Indians.  219
Morgan's Triumph.                                         229
Massacre of Wyoming.                                      233
Heroic Women of the West.                                 243
Indian Strategem Foiled.                                  250
Blackbird.                                                265
A Desperate Adventure.                                    268
Adventure of Two Scouts.                                  276
A Young Hero of the West.                                 299


To the lovers of thrilling adventure, the title of this work would alone
be its strongest recommendation. The exploits of the Heroes of the West,
need but a simple narration to give them an irresistible charm. They
display the bolder and rougher features of human nature in their noblest
light, softened and directed by virtues that have appeared in the really
heroic deeds of every age, and form pages in the history of this country
destined to be read and admired when much that is now deemed more
important is forgotten.

It is true, that, with the lights of this age, we regard many of the deeds
of our western pioneer as aggressive, barbarous, and unworthy of civilized
men. But there is no truly noble heart that will not swell in admiration
of the devotion and disinterestedness of Benjamin Logan, the self-reliant
energy of Boone and Whetzel, and the steady firmness and consummate
military skill of George Rogers Clarke. The people of this country need
records of the lives of such men, and we have attempted to present these
in an attractive form.

[Illustration: CAPTURE OF BOONE.]



In all notices of border life, the name of Daniel Boone appears first--as
the hero and the father of the west. In him were united those qualities
which make the accomplished frontiersman--daring, activity, and
circumspection, while he was fitted beyond most of his contemporary
borderers to lead and command.

Daniel Boone was born either in Virginia or Pennsylvania, and at an early
age settled in North Carolina, upon the banks of the Yadkin. In 1767,
James Findley, the first white man who ever visited Kentucky, returned to
the settlements of North Carolina, and gave such a glowing account of that
wilderness, that Boone determined to venture into it, on a hunting
expedition. Accordingly, in 1769, accompanied by Findley and four others,
he commenced his journey. Kentucky was found to be all that the first
adventurer had represented, and the hunters had fine sport. The country
was uninhabited, but, during certain seasons, parties of the northern and
southern Indians visited it upon hunting expeditions. These parties
frequently engaged in fierce conflicts, and hence the beautiful region was
known as the "dark and bloody ground."

[Illustration: BATTLE OF BLUE LICKS.]

On the 22d of December, 1769, Boone and one of his companions, named John
Stuart, left their encampment on the Red river, and boldly followed a
buffalo path far into the forest. While roving carelessly from canebrake
to canebrake, they were suddenly alarmed by the appearance of a party of
Indians, who, springing from their place of concealment, rushed upon them
with a swiftness which rendered escape impossible. The hunters were
seized, disarmed, and made prisoners. Under these terrible circumstances,
Boone's presence of mind was admirable. He saw that there was no chance of
immediate escape; but he encouraged his companion and constrained himself
to follow the Indians in all their movements, with so constrained an air,
that their vigilance began to relax.

[Illustration: DANIEL BOONE.]

On the seventh evening of the captivity of the hunter, the party encamped
in a thick cane-break, and having built a large fire lay down to rest.
About midnight, Boone, who had not closed his eyes, ascertained from the
deep breathing of all around him, that the whole party, including Stuart,
was in a deep sleep. Gently extricating himself from the savages who lay
around him, he awoke Stuart, informed him of his determination to escape,
and exhorted him to follow without noise. Stuart obeyed with quickness and
silence. Rapidly moving through the forest, guided by the light of the
stars and the barks of the trees, the hunters reached their former camp
the next day, but found it plundered and deserted, with nothing remaining
to show the fate of their companions. Soon afterwards, Stuart was shot and
scalped, and Boone and his brother who had come into the wilderness from
North Carolina, were left alone in the forest. Nay, for several months,
Daniel had not a single companion, for his brother returned to North
Carolina for ammunition. The hardy hunter was exposed to the greatest
dangers, but he contrived to escape them all. In 1771, Boone and his
brother returned to North Carolina, and Daniel, having sold what property
he could not take with him, determined to take his family to Kentucky, and
make a settlement. He was joined by others at "Powel's Valley," and
commenced the journey, at the head of a considerable party of pioneers.
Being attacked by the Indians, the adventurers were compelled to return,
and it was not until 1774, that the indomitable Boone succeeded in
conveying his family to the banks of the Kentucky, and founding
Boonesborough. In the meantime, James Harrod had settled at the station
called Harrodsburgh. Other stations were founded by Bryant and
Logan--daring pioneers; but Boonesborough was the chief object of Indian
hostility, and was exposed to almost incessant attack, from its foundation
until after the bloody battle of Blue Licks. During this time, Daniel
Boone was regarded as the chief support and counsellor of the settlers,
and in all emergencies, his wisdom and valor was of the greatest service.
He met with many adventures, and made some hair-breadth escapes, but
survived all his perils and hardships and lived to a green old age,
enjoying the respect and confidence of a large and happy community, which
his indomitable spirit had been chiefly instrumental in founding. He never
lost his love of the woods and the chase, and within a few weeks of his
death might have been seen, rifle in hand, eager in the pursuit of game.

[Illustration: SIMON KENTON.]

[Illustration: LOGAN.]


Simon Kenton was born in Fauquier county, Virginia, on the 15th of May,
1755. His parents were poor, and until the age of sixteen his days seem to
have been passed in the laborious drudgery of a farm. When he was about
sixteen, an unfortunate occurrence threw him upon his own resources. A
robust young farmer, named Leitchman, and he were rival suitors for the
hand of a young coquette, and she being unable to decide between them,
they took the matter into their own hands and fought a regular pitched
battle at a solitary spot in the forest. After a severe struggle, Kenton
triumphed, and left his antagonist upon the ground, apparently in the
agonies of death. Without returning for a suit of clothing, the young
conqueror fled westward, assumed the name of Butler, joined a party of
daring hunters, and visited Kentucky, (1773.) In the wilderness he became
an accomplished and successful hunter and spy, but suffered many

In 1774, the Indian war, occasioned by the murder of the family of the
chief, Logan, broke out, and Kenton entered the service of the Virginians
as a spy, in which capacity he acted throughout the campaign, ending with
the battle of Point Pleasant. He then explored the country on both sides
of the Ohio, and hunted in company with a few other, in various parts of
Kentucky. When Boonesborough was attacked by a large body of Indians,
Simon took an active part in the defence, and in several of Boone's
expeditions, our hero served as a spy, winning a high reputation.

In the latter part of 1777, Kenton, having crossed the Ohio, on a
horse-catching expedition, was overtaken and made captive by the Indians.
Then commenced a series of tortures to which the annals of Indian warfare,
so deeply tinged with horrors, afford few parallels. Having kicked and
cuffed him, the savages tied him to a pole, in a very painful position,
where they kept him till the next morning, then tied him on a wild colt
and drove it swiftly through the woods to Chilicothe. Here he was tortured
in various ways. The savages then carried him to Pickaway, where it was
intended to burn him at the stake, but from this awful death, he was saved
through the influence of the renegade, Simon Girty, who had been his early
friend. Still, Kenton was carried about from village to village, and
tortured many times. At length, he was taken to Detroit, an English post,
where he was well-treated; and he recovered from his numerous wounds. In
the summer of 1778, he succeeded in effecting his escape, and, after a
long march, reached Kentucky.

[Illustration: SIMON GIRTY.]

Kenton was engaged in all the Indian expeditions up to Wayne's decisive
campaign, in 1794, and was very serviceable as a spy. Few borderers had
passed through so many hardships, and won so bright a reputation. He lived
to a very old age, and saw the country, in which he had fought and
suffered, formed into the busy and populous state of Ohio. In his latter
days, he was very poor, and, but for the kindness of some distinguished
friends, would have wanted for the necessaries of life.


In natural genius for military command, few men of the west have equalled
George Rogers Clarke. The conception and execution of the famous
expedition against Kaskaskia and Vincennes displayed many of those
qualities for which the best generals of the world have been eulogized,
and would have done honor to a Clive.

Clarke was born in Albermarle county, Virginia, in September, 1753. Like
Washington, he engaged, at an early age, in the business of land
surveying, and was fond of several branches of mathematics. On the
breaking out of Dunmore's war, Clarke took command of a company, and
fought bravely at the battle of Point Pleasant, being engaged in the only
active operation of the right wing of the Virginians against the Indians.
Peace was concluded soon after, by Lord Dunmore, and Clarke, whose gallant
bearing had been noticed, was offered a commission in the royal service.
But this he refused, as he apprehended that his native country would soon
be at war with Great Britain.


Early in 1775, Clarke visited Kentucky as the favorite scene of adventure,
and penetrated to Harrodsburgh. His talents were immediately appreciated
by the Kentuckians, and he was placed in command of all the irregular
troops in that wild region. In 1776, the young commander exerted himself
with extraordinary ability to secure a political organization and the
means of defence to Kentucky, and was so successful as to win the title of
the founder of the commonwealth.[A]

In partisan service against the Indians, Clarke was active and efficient;
but his bold and comprehensive mind looked to checking savage inroads at
their sources. He saw at a glance, that the red men were stimulated to
outrages by the British garrisons of Detroit, Vincennes and Kaskaskia, and
was satisfied that to put an end to them, those posts must be captured.
Having sent two spies to reconnoitre Kaskaskia and Vincennes, and gained
considerable intelligence of the situation of the enemy, the enterprising
commander sought aid from the government of Virginia to enable him to
carry out his designs. After some delay, money, supplies, and a few
companies of troops were obtained. Clarke then proceeded to Corn Island,
opposite the present city of Louisville. Here the objects of the
expedition were disclosed. Some of the men murmured, and others attempted
to desert; but the energy of Colonel Clarke secured obedience and even

The little band soon commenced its march through a wild and difficult
country, and on the 4th of July, 1778, reached a spot within a few miles
of the town of Kaskaskia. Clarke made his arrangements for a surprise with
great skill and soon after dark, the town was captured without shedding a
drop of blood. The inhabitants were at first terror-stricken and expected
to be massacred, but they were soon convinced of their mistake by the
bearing and representations of the Virginia commander. Cahokia was
captured shortly afterwards, without difficulty.

Clarke's situation was now extremely critical, and he duly appreciated the
fact. Vincennes was still in front, so garrisoned, that it seemed madness
to attempt its capture by direct attack. But a bold offensive movement
could alone render the conquests which had been made, permanent and
advantageous. A French priest, named Gibault, secured the favor of the
inhabitants of Vincennes for the American interest, and the Indians of the
neighborhood were conciliated by the able management of Colonel Clarke,
who knew how to win the favor of the men better than any other borderer;
but on the 29th of January, 1779, intelligence was received at Kaskaskia,
where Clarke was then posted, that Governor Hamilton had taken possession
of Vincennes, and meditated the re-capture of the other posts, preparatory
to assailing the whole frontier, as far as Fort Pitt.


Clarke determined to act upon the offensive immediately, as his only
salvation. Mounting a galley with two four-pounders and four swivels, and
manning it with forty-six men, he dispatched it up the Wabash, to the
White River, and on the 7th of February, 1779, marched from Kaskaskia at
the head of only one hundred and seventy men, over the drowned lands of
the Wabash, against the British post. The march of Arnold by way of the
Kennebec to Canada can alone be placed as a parallel with this difficult
expedition. The indomitable spirit of Clarke sustained the band through
the most incredible fatigues. On the 28th the expedition approached the
town, still undiscovered. The American commander then issued a
proclamation, intended to produce an impression that his force was large
and confident of success, and invested the fort. So vigorously was the
siege prosecuted that the garrison was reduced to straits, and Governor
Hamilton compelled to capitulate. (24th of February, 1779.) This was a
brilliant achievement and reflected the highest honor upon Colonel Clarke
and his gallant band. Detroit was now in full view, and Clarke was
confident he could capture it if he had but five hundred men; but he could
not obtain that number, till the chances of success were annihilated, and
thus his glorious expedition terminated. The object of the enterprise,
however, which was the checking of Indian depredations, was accomplished.
Clarke afterwards engaged in other military enterprises and held high
civil offices in Kentucky; but at the capture of Vincennes his fame
reached its greatest brilliancy, and posterity will not willingly let it


  [A]  Butler.


The real heroic spirit, which delights in braving the greatest dangers in
the cause of humanity, was embodied in Benjamin Logan, one of the first
settlers in Kentucky. This distinguished borderer was born in Augusta
county, Virginia. At an early age he displayed the noble impulses of his
heart; for upon the death of his father, when the laws of Virginia allowed
him, as the eldest son, the whole property of the intestate, he sold the
farm and distributed the money among his brothers and sisters, reserving a
portion for his mother. At the age of twenty-one, Logan removed to the
banks of the Holston, where he purchased a farm, and married. He served in
Dunmore's war. In 1775, he removed to Kentucky, and soon became
distinguished among the hardy frontiersmen for firmness, prudence, and
humanity. In the following year he returned for his family, and brought
them to a small settlement called Logan's Fort, not far from


On the morning of the 20th of May, 1777, the women were milking the cows
at the gate of the little fort, and some of the garrison attending them,
when a party of Indians appeared and fired at them. One man was shot dead,
and two more wounded, one of them mortally. The whole party instantly ran
into the fort, and closed the gate. The enemy quickly showed themselves at
the edge of the canebrake, within rifle-shot of the gate, and seemed
numerous and determined. A spectacle was now presented to the garrison
which awakened interest and compassion. A man, named Harrison, had been
severely wounded, and still lay near the spot where he had fallen. The
poor fellow strove to crawl towards the fort, and succeeded in reaching a
cluster of bushes, which, however, were too thin to shelter his person
from the enemy. His wife and children in the fort were in deep distress at
his situation. The case was one to try the hearts of men. The numbers of
the garrison were so small, that it was thought folly to sacrifice any
more lives in striving to save one seemingly far spent. Logan endeavored
to persuade some of the men to accompany him in a sally; but the danger
was so appalling that only one man, John Martin, could be induced to make
the attempt. The gate was opened, and the two sallied forth, Logan leading
the way. They had advanced about five steps, when Harrison made a vigorous
attempt to rise, and Martin, supposing him able to help himself, sprang
back within the gate. Harrison fell at full-length upon the grass. Logan
paused a moment after the retreat of Martin, then sprang forward to the
spot where Harrison lay, seized the wounded man in his arms, and in spite
of a tremendous shower of balls poured from every side, reached the fort
without receiving a scratch, though the gate and picketing near him were
riddled and his clothes pierced in several places.

Soon afterwards, the heroic Logan again performed an act of self-devotion.
The fort was vigorously assailed, and although the little garrison made a
brave defence, their destruction seemed imminent, on account of the
scarcity of ammunition. Holston was the nearest point where supplies could
be obtained. But who would brave so many dangers in the attempt to procure
it? No one but Logan. After encouraging his men to hope for his speedy
return, he crawled through the Indian encampment on a dark night,
proceeded by by-paths, which no white man had then trodden, reached
Holston, obtained a supply of powder and lead, returned by the same almost
inaccessible paths, and got safe within the walls of the fort. The
garrison was inspired with fresh courage, and in a few days, the
appearance of Colonel Bowman, with a body of troops, compelled the savages
to retire.

Logan led several expeditions into the Indian country, and won a high
renown as one of the boldest and most successful of Kentucky's heroes.
When the Indian depredations were, in a great measure, checked, he devoted
himself to civil affairs, and exerted considerable influence upon the
politics of the country. Throughout his career, he was beloved and
respected as a fearless, honest, and intelligent man.


Captain Samuel Brady was the Daniel Boone of Western Pennsylvania. As
brave as a lion, as swift as a deer, and as cautious as a panther, he gave
the Indians reason to tremble at the mention of his name. As the captain
of the rangers he was the favorite of General Brodhead, the commander of
the Pennsylvania forces, and regarded by the frontier inhabitants as their
eye and arm.

The father and brother of Captain Brady being killed by the Indians, it is
said that our hero vowed to revenge their murder, and never be at peace
with the Indians of any tribe. Many instances of such dreadful vows, made
in moments of bitter anguish, occur in the history of our border, and,
when we consider the circumstances, we can scarcely wonder at the number,
though, as Christians, we should condemn such bloody resolutions.

[Illustration: GENERAL BRODHEAD.]

Many of Brady's exploits are upon record; and they are entitled to our
admiration for their singular daring and ingenuity. One of the most
remarkable is known in border history as Brady's Leap. The energetic
Brodhead, by an expedition into the Indian country, had delivered such
destructive blows that the savages were quieted for a time. The general
kept spies out, however, for the purpose of guarding against sudden
attacks on the settlements. One of the scouting parties, under the command
of Captain Brady, had the French creek country assigned as their field of
duty. The captain reached the waters of Slippery Rock, without seeing any
signs of Indians. Here, however, he came on a trail, in the evening, which
he followed till dark, without overtaking the enemy. The next morning the
pursuit was renewed, and Brady overtook the Indians while they were at
their morning meal. Unfortunately, another party of savages was in his
rear, and when he fired upon those in front, he was in turn fired upon
from behind. He was now between two fires, and greatly outnumbered. Two of
his men fell, his tomahawk was shot from his side, and the enemy shouted
for the expected triumph. There was no chance of successful defence in the
position of the rangers, and they were compelled to break and flee.

Brady ran towards the creek. The Indians pursued, certain of making him
captive, on account of the direction he had taken. To increase their
speed, they threw away their guns, and pressed forward with raised
tomahawk. Brady saw his only chance of escape, which was to leap the
creek, afterwards ascertained to be twenty-two feet wide and twenty deep.
Determined never to fall alive into the hands of the Indians, he made a
mighty effort, sprang across the abyss of waters and stood rifle in hand
upon the opposite bank. As quick as lightning, he proceeded to load his
rifle. A large Indian, who had been foremost in pursuit, came to the
opposite bank, and after magnanimously doing justice to the captain by
exclaiming "Blady make good jump!" made a rapid retreat.

Brady next went to the place appointed as a rendezvous for his party, and
finding there three of his men, commenced his homeward march, about half
defeated. Three Indians had been killed while at their breakfast. The
savages did not return that season, to do any injury to the whites, and
early in the fall, moved off to join the British, who had to keep them
during the winter, their corn having been destroyed by General Brodhead.
Brady survived all his perils and hardships and lived to see the Indians
completely humbled before those whites on whom they had committed so many



The Whetzel family is remembered in the west for the courage, resolution,
and skill in border warfare displayed by four of its members. Their names
were Martin, Lewis, Jacob, and John. Of these, Lewis won the highest
renown, and it is doubtful whether Boone, Brady, or Kenton equaled him in
boldness of enterprise.

In the hottest part of the Indian war, old Mr. Whetzel, who was a German,
built his cabin some distance from the fort at Wheeling. One day, during
the absence of the two oldest sons, Martin and John, a numerous party of
Indians surrounded the house, killed, tomahawked and scalped old Mr.
Whetzel, his wife, and the small children, and carried off Lewis, who was
then about thirteen years old, and Jacob who was about eleven. Before the
young captives had been carried far, Lewis contrived their escape. When
these two boys grew to be men, they took a solemn oath never to make peace
with the Indians as long as they had strength to wield a tomahawk or sight
to draw a bead, and they kept their oath.

The appearance of Lewis Whetzel was enough to strike terror into common
men. He was about five feet ten inches high, having broad shoulders, a
full breast, muscular limbs, a dark skin, somewhat pitted by the small
pox, hair which, when combed out, reached to the calves of his legs, and
black eyes, whose excited and vindictive glance would curdle the blood. He
excelled in all exercises of strength and activity, could load his rifle
while running with almost the swiftness of a deer, and was so habituated
to constant action, that an imprisonment of three days, as ordered by
General Harmar, was nearly fatal to him. He had the most thorough
self-reliance as his long, solitary and perilous expeditions into the
Indian country prove.

[Illustration: INDIAN CHIEF.]

In the year of 1782, Lewis Whetzel went with Thomas Mills, who had been in
the campaign, to get a horse, which he had left near the place where St.
Clairsville now stands. At the Indian Spring, two miles above St.
Clairsville, on the Wheeling road, they were met by about forty Indians,
who were in pursuit of the stragglers from the campaign. The Indians and
the white men discovered each other about the same time. Lewis fired
first, and killed an Indian; the fire from the Indians wounded Mr. Mills,
and he was soon overtaken and killed. Four of the Indians then singled
out, dropped their guns, and pursued Whetzel. Whetzel loaded his rifle as
he ran. After running about half a mile, one of the Indians having got
within eight or ten steps of him, Whetzel wheeled round and shot him down,
ran on, and loaded as before. After going about three-quarters of a mile
further, a second Indian came so close to him, that when he turned to
fire, the Indian caught the muzzle of his gun, and as he expressed it, he
and the Indian had a severe wring for it; he succeeded, however, in
bringing the gun to the Indian's breast, and killed him on the spot. By
this time, he, as well as the Indians, were pretty well tired; the pursuit
was continued by the remaining two Indians. Whetzel, as before, loaded his
gun, and stopped several times during the chase. When he did so the
Indians treed themselves. After going something more than a mile, Whetzel
took advantage of a little open piece of ground, over which the Indians
were passing, a short distance behind him, to make a sudden stop for the
purpose of shooting the foremost, who got behind a little sapling, which
was too small to cover his body. Whetzel shot, and broke his thigh; the
wound, in the issue, proved fatal. The last of the Indians then gave a
little yell, and said, "No catch dat man--gun always loaded," and gave up
the chase; glad, no doubt, to get off with his life.

Another of this daring warrior's exploits is worthy of a place beside the
most remarkable achievements of individual valor. In the year 1787, a
party of Indians crossed the Ohio, killed a family, and scalped with
impunity. This murder spread great alarm through the sparse settlements
and revenge was not only resolved upon, but a handsome reward was offered
for scalps. Major McMahan, who often led the borderers in their hardy
expeditions, soon raised a company of twenty men, among whom was Lewis
Whetzel. They crossed the Ohio and pursued the Indian trail until they
came to the Muskingum river. There the spies discovered a large party of
Indians encamped. Major McMahan fell back a short distance, and held a
conference when a hasty retreat was resolved upon as the most prudent
course, Lewis Whetzel refused to take part in the council, or join in the
retreat. He said he came out to hunt Indians; they were now found and he
would either lose his own scalp or take that of a "red skin." All
arguments were thrown away upon this iron-willed man; he never submitted
to the advice or control of others. His friends were compelled to leave
him a solitary being surrounded by vigilant enemies.


As soon as the major's party had retired beyond the reach of danger,
Whetzel shouldered his rifle, and marched off into a different part of the
country, hoping that fortune would place a lone Indian in his way. He
prowled through the woods like a panther, eager for prey, until the next
evening, when he discovered a smoke curling up among the bushes. Creeping
softly to the fire, he found two blankets and a small copper kettle, and
concluded that it was the camp of two Indians. He concealed himself in the
thick brush, in such a position that he could see the motions of the
enemy. About sunset the two Indians came in, cooked and ate their supper,
and then sat by the fire engaged in conversation. About nine o'clock one
of them arose, shouldered his rifle, took a chunk of fire in his hand, and
left the camp, doubtless in search of a deer-lick. The absence of this
Indian was a source of vexation and disappointment to Whetzel, who had
been so sure of his prey. He waited until near break of day, and still the
expected one did not return. The concealed warrior could delay no longer.
He walked cautiously to the camp, found his victim asleep, and drawing a
knife buried it in the red man's heart. He then secured the scalp, and set
off for home, where he arrived only one day after his companions. For the
scalp, he claimed and received the reward.

Here is another of Lewis Whetzel's remarkable exploits. Returning home
from a hunt, north of the Ohio, he was walking along in that reckless
manner, which is a consequence of fatigue, when his quick eye suddenly
caught sight of an Indian in the act of raising his gun to fire. Both
sprung like lightning to the woodman's forts, large trees, and there they
stood for an hour, each afraid of the other. This quiet mode of warfare
did not suit the restless Whetzel, and he set his invention to work to
terminate it. Placing his bear-skin cap on the end of his ramrod, he
protruded it slightly and cautiously as if he was putting his head to
reconnoitre, and yet was hesitating in the venture. The simple savage was
completely deceived. As soon as he saw the cap, he fired and it fell.
Whetzel then sprang forward to the astonished red man, and with a shot
from the unerring rifle brought him to the ground quite dead. The
triumphant ranger then pursued his march homeward.

But it was in a deliberate attack upon a party of four Indians that our
hero displayed the climax of daring and resolution. While on a fall hunt,
on the Muskingum, he came upon a camp of four savages, and with but little
hesitation resolved to attempt their destruction. He concealed himself
till midnight, and then stole cautiously upon the sleepers. As quick as
thought, he cleft the skull of one of them. A second met the same fate,
and as a third attempted to rise, confused by the horrid yells, which
Whetzel gave with his blows, the tomahawk stretched him in death. The
fourth Indian darted into the darkness of the wood and escaped, although
Whetzel pursued him for some distance. Returning to camp, the ranger
scalped his victims and then left for home. When asked on his return,
"What luck?" he replied, "Not much. I treed four Indians, and one got
away." Where shall we look for deeds of equal daring and hardihood?
Martin, Jacob, and John Whetzel were bold warriors; and in the course of
the Indian war, they secured many scalps; but they never obtained the
reputation possessed by their brother, Lewis. All must condemn cruelty
wherever displayed, but it is equally our duty to render just admiration
to courage, daring, and indomitable energy, qualities in which the Whetzel
brothers have rarely if ever been excelled.


General Clark, the companion of Lewis in the celebrated tour across the
Rocky Mountains, having heard much of Lewis Whetzel, in Kentucky,
determined to secure his services for the exploring expedition. After
considerable hesitation, Whetzel consented to go, and accompanied the
party during the first three months' travel, but then declined going any
further, and returned home. Shortly after this, he left again on a
flat-boat, and never returned. He visited a relation, named Sikes, living
about twenty miles in the interior, from Natchez, and there made his home,
until the summer of 1808, when he died, leaving a fame for valor and skill
in border warfare, which will not be allowed to perish.


About 1784, horse-stealing was as common as hunting to the whites and
Indians of the west. Thefts and reprisals were almost constantly made.
Some southern Indians having stolen horses from Lincoln county, Kentucky,
three young men, named Caffree, M'Clure, and Davis, set out in pursuit of
them. Coming in sight of an Indian town, near the Tennessee river, they
met three red men. The two parties made signs of peace, shook hands, and
agreed to travel together. Both were suspicious, however, and at length,
from various indications, the whites became satisfied of the treacherous
intentions of the Indians, and resolved to anticipate then. Caffree being
a very powerful man, proposed that he himself should seize one Indian,
while Davis and M'Clure should shoot the other two. Caffree sprang boldly
upon the nearest Indian, grasped his throat firmly, hurled him to the
ground, and drawing a cord from his pocket attempted to tie him. At the
same instant, Davis and M'Clure attempted to perform their respective
parts. M'Clure killed his man, but Davis's gun missed fire. All three, _i.
e._ the two white men, and the Indian at whom Davis had flashed,
immediately took trees, and prepared for a skirmish, while Caffree
remained upon the ground with the captured Indian--both exposed to the
fire of the others. In a few seconds, the savage at whom Davis had
flashed, shot Caffree as he lay upon the ground and gave him a mortal
wound--and was instantly shot in turn by M'Clure who had reloaded his gun.
Caffree becoming very weak, called upon Davis to come and assist him in
tying the Indian, and directly afterwards expired. As Davis was running up
to the assistance of his friend--the Indian released himself, killed his
captor, sprung to his feet, and seizing Caffree's rifle, presented it
menacingly at Davis, whose gun was not in order for service, and who ran
off into the forest, closely pursued by the Indian. M'Clure hastily
reloaded his gun and taking the rifle which Davis had dropped, followed
them for some distance into the forest, making all signals which had been
concerted between them in case of separation. All, however, was vain--he
saw nothing more of Davis, nor could he ever afterwards learn his fate. As
he never returned to Kentucky, however, he probably perished.

[Illustration: A SOUTHERN INDIAN.]

M'Clure, finding himself alone in the enemy's country, and surrounded by
dead bodies, thought it prudent to abandon the object of the expedition
and return to Kentucky. He accordingly retraced his steps, still bearing
Davis' rifle in addition to his own. He had scarcely marched a mile,
before he saw advancing from the opposite direction, an Indian warrior,
riding a horse with a bell around its neck, and accompanied by a boy on
foot. Dropping one of the rifles, which might have created suspicion,
M'Clure advanced with an air of confidence, extending his hand and making
other signs of peace. The opposite party appeared frankly to receive his
overtures, and dismounting, seated himself upon a log, and drawing out his
pipe, gave a few puffs himself, and then handed it to M'Clure. In a few
minutes another bell was heard, at the distance of half a mile, and a
second party of Indians appeared upon horseback. The Indian with M'Clure
now coolly informed him by signs that when the horseman arrived, he
(M'Clure) was to be bound and carried off as a prisoner with his feet tied
under the horse's belly. In order to explain it more fully, the Indian got
astride of the log, and locked his legs together underneath it. M'Clure,
internally thanking the fellow for his excess of candor, determined to
disappoint him, and while his enemy was busily engaged in riding the log,
and mimicking the actions of a prisoner, he very quietly blew his brains
out, and ran off into the woods. The Indian boy instantly mounted the
belled horse, and rode off in an opposite direction. M'Clure was fiercely
pursued by several small Indian dogs, that frequently ran between his legs
and threw him down. After falling five or six times, his eyes became full
of dust and he was totally blind. Despairing of escape, he doggedly lay
upon his face, expecting every instant to feel the edge of the tomahawk.
To his astonishment, however, no enemy appeared, and even the Indian dogs
after tugging at him for a few minutes, and completely stripping him of
his breeches, left him to continue his journey unmolested. Finding every
thing quiet, in a few moments he arose, and taking up his gun continued
his march to Kentucky.



In March, 1790 a boat, containing four men and two women, passing down the
Ohio, was induced by some renegade whites to approach the shore, near the
mouth of the Sciota, and then attacked by a large party of Indians. A Mr.
John May and one of the women were shot dead, and the others then
surrendered. The chief of the band was an old warrior, named Chickatommo,
and under his command were a number of renowned red men. When the
prisoners were distributed, a young man named Charles Johnson, was given
to a young Shawnee chief who is represented to have been a noble
character. His name was Messhawa, and he had just reached the age of
manhood. His person was tall and seemingly rather fitted for action than
strength. His bearing was stately, and his countenance expressive of a
noble disposition. He possessed great influence among those of his own
tribe, which he exerted on the side of humanity. On the march, Messhawa
repeatedly saved Johnson from the tortures which the other savages
delighted to inflict, and the young captive saw some displays of generous
exertion on the part of the chief which are worthy of a place in border

[Illustration: MESSHAWA.]

The warriors painted themselves in the most frightful colors, and
performed a war dance, with the usual accompaniments. A stake, painted in
alternate stripes of black and vermilion, was fixed in the ground, and the
dancers moved in rapid but measured evolutions around it. They recounted,
with great energy, the wrongs they had received from the whites.--Their
lands had been taken from them--their corn cut up--their villages
burnt--their friends slaughtered--every injury which they had received was
dwelt upon, until their passions had become inflamed beyond control.
Suddenly, Chickatommo darted from the circle of dancers, and with eyes
flashing fire, ran up to the spot where Johnston was sitting, calmly
contemplating the spectacle before him. When within reach he struck him a
furious blow with his fist, and was preparing to repeat it, when Johnston
seized him by the arms, and hastily demanded the cause of such unprovoked
violence. Chickatommo, grinding his teeth with rage, shouted "Sit down,
sit down!" Johnston obeyed, and the Indian, perceiving the two children
within ten steps of him, snatched up a tomahawk, and advanced upon them
with a quick step, and a determined look. The terrified little creatures
instantly arose from the log on which they were sitting, and fled into the
woods, uttering the most piercing screams, while their pursuer rapidly
gained upon them with uplifted tomahawk. The girl, being the youngest, was
soon overtaken, and would have been tomahawked, had not Messhawa bounded
like a deer to her relief. He arrived barely in time to arrest the
uplifted tomahawk of Chickatommo, after which, he seized him by the collar
and hurled him violently backward to the distance of several paces.
Snatching up the child in his arms, he then ran after the brother,
intending to secure him likewise from the fury of his companion, but the
boy, misconstruing his intention, continued his flight with such rapidity,
and doubled several times with such address, that the chase was prolonged
to the distance of several hundred yards. At length Messhawa succeeded in
taking him. The boy, thinking himself lost, uttered a wild cry, which was
echoed by his sister, but both were instantly calmed. Messhawa took them
in his arms, spoke to them kindly, and soon convinced them that they had
nothing to fear from him. He quickly reappeared, leading them gently by
the hand, and soothing them in the Indian language, until they both clung
to him closely for protection.

No other incident disturbed the progress of the ceremonies, nor did
Chickatommo appear to resent the violent interference of Messhawa.

[Illustration: CHICKATOMMO.]

After undergoing many hardships, Johnston was taken to Sandusky, where he
was ransomed by a French trader. Messhawa took leave of his young captive
with many expressions of esteem and friendship. This noble chief was in
the battle of the Fallen Timber and afterwards became a devoted follower
of the great Tecumseh--thus proving that while he was as humane as a
civilized man, he was patriotic and high-spirited enough to resent the
wrongs of his people. He was killed at the battle of the Thames, where the
power of the Shawnees was for ever crushed.


Big Joe Logston was a noted character in the early history of the west. He
was born and reared among the Alleghany mountains, near the source of the
north branch of the Potomac, some twenty or thirty miles from any
settlement. He was tall, muscular, excelled in all the athletic sports of
the border, and was a first-rate shot. Soon after Joe arrived at years of
discretion, his parents died, and he went out to the wilds of Kentucky.
There, Indian incursions compelled him to take refuge in a fort. This pent
up life was not at all to Joe's taste. He soon became very restless, and
every day insisted on going out with others to hunt up cattle. At length
no one would accompany him, and he resolved to go out alone. He rode the
greater part of the day without finding any cattle, and then concluded to
return to the fort. As he was riding along, eating some grapes, with which
he had filled his hat, he heard the reports of the two rifles; one ball
passed through the paps of his breast, which were very prominent, and the
other struck the horse behind the saddle, causing the beast to sink in its


Joe was on his feet in an instant and might have taken to his heels with
the chances of escape greatly in his favor. But to him flight was never
agreeable. The moment the guns were fired, an Indian sprang forward with
an uplifted tomahawk; but as Joe raised his rifle, the savage jumped
behind two saplings, and kept springing from one to the other to cover his
body. The other Indian was soon discovered behind a tree loading his gun.
When in the act of pushing down his bullet, he exposed his hips and Joe
fired a load into him. The first Indian then sprang forward and threw his
tomahawk at the head of the white warrior, who dodged it. Joe then clubbed
his gun and made at the savage, thinking to knock him down. In striking,
he missed, and the gun now reduced to the naked barrel, flew out of his
hands. The two men then sprang at each other with no other weapons than
those of nature. A desperate scuffle ensued. Joe could throw the Indian
down, but could not hold him there. At length, however, by repeated heavy
blows, he succeeded in keeping him down, and tried to choke him with the
left hand while he kept the right free for contingencies. Directly, Joe
saw the savage trying to draw a knife from its sheath, and waiting till it
was about half way out, he grasped it quickly and sank it up to the handle
in the breast of his foe, who groaned and expired.

Springing to his feet, Joe saw the Indian he had crippled, propped against
a log, trying to raise his gun to fire, but falling forward, every time he
made the attempt. The borderer, having enough of fighting for one day, and
not caring to be killed by a crippled Indian, made for the fort, where he
arrived about nightfall. He was blood and dirt from crown to toe, and
without horse, hat, or gun.

The next morning a party went to Joe's battle-ground. On looking round,
they found a trail, as if something had been dragged away, and at a little
distance they came upon the big Indian, covered up with leaves. About a
hundred yards farther, they found the Indian Joe had crippled, lying on
his back, with his own knife sticking up to the hilt in his body, just
below the breast bone, evidently to show that he had killed himself. Some
years after this fight, Big Joe Logston lost his life in a contest with a
gang of outlaws. He was one of those characters who were necessary to the
settlement of the west, but who would not have been highly esteemed in
civilized society.

[Illustration: INDIAN IN AMBUSH]


Jesse Hughes was born and reared in Clarksburgh, Harrison county,
Virginia, on the head-waters of the Monongahela. He was a light-built,
active man, and from his constant practice became one of the best hunters
and Indian fighters on the frontier. Having a perfect knowledge of all the
artifices of the Indians, he was quick to devise expedients to frustrate
them. Of this, the following exploit is an illustration. At a time of
great danger from Indian incursions, when the citizens in the neighborhood
where in a fort at Clarksburgh, Hughes one morning observed a lad very
hurriedly engaged in fixing his gun.

"Jim," said he, "what are you doing that for?"

"I am going to shoot a turkey that I hear gobbling on the hill side,"
replied Jim.

"I hear no turkey," said Hughes.

"Listen," said Jim. "There, didn't you hear it? Listen again!"

"Well," said Hughes, after hearing it repeated, "I'll go and kill it."

"No you won't. It's my turkey. I heard it first," said Jim.

"Well," said Hughes, "but you know I am the best marksman; and besides, I
don't want the turkey, you may have it."

The lad then agreed that Hughes should go and kill it for him. Hughes went
out of the fort on the side that was farthest from the supposed turkey,
and running along the river, went up a ravine and came in on the rear,
where, as he expected, he saw an Indian, sitting on a chestnut stump,
surrounded by sprouts, gobbling and watching to see if any one would come
from the fort to kill the turkey. Hughes crept up and shot him dead. The
successful ranger then took off the scalp, and went into the fort, where
Jim was waiting for the prize.

"There, now," said Jim, "you have let the turkey go. I would have killed
it if I had gone."

"No," said Hughes, "I didn't let it go," and he threw down the scalp.
"There, take your turkey, Jim; I don't want it."

The lad nearly fainted, as he thought of the death he had so narrowly
escaped, owing to the keen perception and good management of Mr. Hughes.

The sagacity of our border hero was fully proved upon another occasion.
About 1790, the Indians visited Clarksburgh, in the night, and contrived
to steal a few horses, with which they made a hasty retreat. About
daylight the next morning, a party of twenty-five or thirty men, among
whom was Jesse Hughes, started in pursuit. They found a trail just outside
of the settlement, and from the signs, supposed that the marauding party
consisted of eight or ten Indians. A council was held to determine how the
pursuit should be continued. Mr. Hughes was opposed to following the
trail. He said he could pilot the party to the spot where the Indians
would cross the Ohio, by a nearer way than the enemy could go, and thus
render success certain. But the captain of the party insisted on following
the trail. Mr. Hughes then pointed out the dangers of such a course.
Suddenly, the captain, with unreasonable obstinacy, called aloud to those
who were brave to follow him and let the cowards go home. Hughes knew the
captain's remark was intended for him, but smothered his indignation and
went on with the party.

They had not pursued very far when the trail went down a drain, where the
ridge on one side was very steep, with a ledge of rocks for a considerable
distance. On the top of the cliff, two Indians lay in ambush, and when the
company got opposite to them, they made a noise, which caused the whites
to stop; that instant two of the company were mortally wounded, and before
the rangers could get round to the top of the cliff, the Indians made
their escape with ease. This was as Hughes had predicted. All then agreed
that the plan rejected by the captain was the best, and urged Hughes to
lead them to the Ohio river. This he consented to do, though fearful that
the Indians would cross before he could reach the point. Leaving some of
the company to take care of the wounded men, the party started, and
arrived at the Ohio the next day, about an hour after the Indians had
crossed. The water was yet muddy in the horses' trails, and the rafts that
the red men had used were floating down the opposite shore. The company
was now unanimous for returning home. Hughes said he wanted to find out
who the cowards were. He said that if any of them would go with him, he
would cross the river, and scalp some of the Indians. Not one could be
found to accompany the daring ranger, who thus had full satisfaction for
the captain's insult. He said he would go by himself, and take a scalp, or
leave his own with the savages. The company started for home, and Hughes
went up the river three or four miles, then made a raft, crossed the
river, and camped for the night. The next day, he found the Indian trail,
pursued it very cautiously, and about ten miles from the Ohio, came upon
the camp. There was but one Indian in it; the rest were all out hunting.
The red man was seated, singing, and playing on some bones, made into a
rude musical instrument, when Hughes crept up and shot him. The ranger
then took the scalp, and hastened home in triumph, to tell his adventures
to his less daring companions.

[Illustration: FORT HENRY.]


The siege of Fort Henry, at the mouth of Wheeling creek, in the year 1777,
is one of the most memorable events in Indian warfare--remarkable for the
indomitable bravery displayed by the garrison in general, and for some
thrilling attendant incidents. The fort stood immediately on the left bank
of the Ohio river, about a quarter of a mile above Wheeling creek, and at
much less distance from an eminence which rises abruptly from the bottom
land. The space inclosed was about three quarters of an acre. In shape the
fort was a parallelogram, having a block-house at each corner with lines
of pickets eight feet high between. Within the inclosures was a
store-house, barrack-rooms, garrison-well, and a number of cabins for the
use of families. The principal entrance was a gateway on the eastern side
of the fort. Much of the adjacent land was cleared and cultivated, and
near the base of the hill stood some twenty-five or thirty cabins, which
form the rude beginning of the present city of Wheeling. The fort is said
to have been planned by General George Rogers Clarke; and was constructed
by Ebenezer Zane and John Caldwell. When first erected, it was called Fort
Fincastle but the name was afterwards changed in compliment to Patrick
Henry the renowned orator and patriotic governor of Virginia.

At the time of the commencement of the siege, the garrison of Fort Henry
numbered only forty-two men, some of whom were enfeebled by age while
others were mere boys. All, however, were excellent marksmen, and most of
them, skilled in border warfare. Colonel David Shepherd, was a brave and
resolute officer in whom the borderers had full confidence. The
store-house was well-supplied with small arms, particularly muskets, but
sadly deficient in ammunition.

In the early part of September, 1777, it was ascertained that a large
Indian army was concentrating on the Sandusky river, under the command of
the bold, active, and skilful renegade, Simon Girty. Colonel Shepherd had
many trusty and efficient scouts on the watch; but Girty deceived them all
and actually brought his whole force of between four and five hundred
Indians before Fort Henry before his real object was discovered.

[Illustration: PATRICK HENRY.]

On the 26th, an alarm being given all the inhabitants in the vicinity
repaired to the fort for safety. At break of day, on the 27th, Colonel
Shepherd, wishing to dispatch an express to the nearest settlements for
aid, sent a white man and a negro to bring in some horses. While these men
were passing through the cornfield south of the fort, they encountered a
party of six Indians, one of whom raised his gun and brought the white man
to the ground. The negro fled and reached the fort without receiving any
injury. As soon as he related his story, Colonel Shepherd dispatched
Captain Mason, with fourteen men, to dislodge the Indians from the
cornfield. Mason marched almost to the creek without finding any Indians,
and was about to return, when he was furiously assailed in front, flank
and rear by the whole of Girty's army. Of course, the little band was
thrown into confusion, but the brave captain rallied his men, and taking
the lead, hewed a passage through the savage host. In the struggle, more
than half of the party were slain, and the gallant Mason severely wounded.
An Indian fired at the captain at the distance of five paces and wounded,
but did not disable him. Turning about, he hurled his gun, felled the
savage to the earth, and then succeeded in hiding himself in a pile of
fallen timbers, where he was compelled to remain to the end of the siege.
Only two of his men survived the fight, and they owed their safety to the
heaps of logs and brush which abounded in the cornfield.

As soon as the perilous situation of Captain Mason became known at the
fort, Captain Ogle was sent out with twelve men, to cover his retreat.
This party fell into an ambuscade and two-thirds of the number were slain
upon the spot. Captain Ogle found a place of concealment, where he was
obliged to remain until the end of the siege. Sergeant Jacob Ogle, though
mortally wounded, managed to escape, with two soldiers into the woods.

The Indian army now advanced to the assault, with terrific yells. A few
shots from the garrison, however, compelled them to halt. Girty then
changed the order of attack. Parties of Indians were placed in such of the
village-houses as commanded a view of the block-houses. A strong party
occupied the yard of Ebenezer Zane, about fifty yards from the fort, using
a paling fence as a cover, while the main force was posted under cover on
the edge of a cornfield to act as occasion might require.

Girty then appeared at the window of a cabin, with a white flag in his
hand, and demanded the surrender of the fort in the name of his Britanic
majesty. At this time, the garrison numbered only twelve men and two boys.
Yet the gallant Colonel Shepherd promptly replied to the summons, that the
fort should never be surrendered to the renegade. Girty renewed his
proposition, but before he could finish his harangue, a thoughtless youth
fired at the speaker and brought the conference to an abrupt termination.
Girty disappeared, and in about fifteen minutes, the Indians opened a
heavy fire upon the fort, and continued it without much intermission for
the space of six hours. The fire of the little garrison, however, was much
more destructive than that of the assailants. About one o'clock, the
Indians ceased firing and fell back against the base of the hill.

[Illustration: THE ALARM AT FORT HENRY.]

The colonel resolved to take advantage of the intermission to send for a
keg of powder, which was known to be in the house of Ebenezer Zane, about
sixty yards from the fort. Several young men promptly volunteered for this
dangerous service; but Shepherd could only spare one, and the young men
could not determine who that should be. At this critical moment, a young
lady, sister of Ebenezer Zane, came forward, and asked that she might be
permitted to execute the service; and so earnestly did she argue for the
proposition, that permission was reluctantly granted. The gate was opened,
and the heroic girl passed out. The opening of the gate arrested the
attention of several Indians who were straggling through the village, but
they permitted Miss Zane to pass without molestation. When she reappeared
with the powder in her arms, the Indians, suspecting the character of her
burden, fired a volley at her, but she reached the fort in safety. Let the
name of Elizabeth Zane be remembered among the heroic of her sex.

About half-past two o'clock, the savages again advanced and renewed their
fire. An impetuous attack was made upon the south side of the fort, but
the garrison poured upon the assailants a destructive fire from the two
lower block-houses. At the same time, a party of eighteen or twenty
Indians, armed with rails and billets of wood, rushed out of Zane's yard
and made an attempt to force open the gate of the fort. Five or six of the
number were shot down, and then the attempt was abandoned. The Indians
then opened a fire upon the fort from all sides, except that next the
river, which afforded no shelter to besiegers. On the north and east the
battle raged fiercely. As night came on the fire of the enemy slackened.
Soon after dark, a party of savages advanced within sixty yards of the
fort, bringing a hollow maple log which they had loaded to the muzzle and
intended to use it as a cannon. The match was applied and the wooden piece
bursted, killing or wounding several of those who stood near it. The
disappointed party then dispersed.

Late in the evening, Francis Duke, son-in-law of Colonel Shepherd,
arriving from the Forks of Wheeling, was shot down before he could reach
the fort. About four o'clock next morning, Colonel Swearingen, with
fourteen men, arrived from Cross Creek, and was fortunate enough to fight
his way into the fort without losing a single man.

This reinforcement was cheering to the wearied garrison. More relief was
at hand. About daybreak, Major Samuel M'Culloch, with forty mounted men
from Short Creek, arrived. The gate was thrown open, and the men, though
closely beset by the enemy, entered the fort. But Major M'Culloch was not
so fortunate. The Indians crowded round and separated him from the party.
After several ineffectual attempts to force his way to the gate, he turned
and galloped off in the direction of Wheeling Hill.


When he was hemmed in by the Indians before the fort, they might have
taken his life without difficulty, but they had weighty reasons for
desiring to take him alive. From the very commencement of the war, his
reputation as an Indian hunter was as great as that of any white man on
the north-western border. He had participated in so many rencontres that
almost every warrior possessed a knowledge of his person. Among the
Indians his name was a word of terror; they cherished against him feelings
of the most phrenzied hatred, and there was not a Mingo or Wyandotte chief
before Fort Henry who would not have given the lives of twenty of his
warriors to secure to himself the living body of Major M'Culloch. When,
therefore, the man whom they had long marked out as the first object of
their vengeance, appeared in their midst, they made almost superhuman
efforts to acquire possession of his person. The fleetness of M'Culloch's
well-trained steed was scarcely greater than that of his enemies, who,
with flying strides, moved on in pursuit. At length the hunter reached the
top of the hill, and, turning to the left, darted along the ridge with the
intention of making the best of his way to Shor' creek. A ride of a few
hundred yards in that direction brought him suddenly in contact with a
party of Indians who were returning to their camp from a marauding
excursion to Mason's Bottom, on the eastern side of the hill. This party
being too formidable in numbers to encounter single-handed, the major
turned his horse about and rode over his own track, in the hope of
discovering some other avenue to escape. A few paces only of his
countermarch had been made, when he found himself confronted by his
original pursuers, who had, by this time, gained the top of the ridge, and
a third party was discovered pressing up the hill directly on his right.
He was now completely hemmed in on three sides, and the fourth was almost
a perpendicular precipice of one hundred and fifty feet descent, with
Wheeling creek at its base. The imminence of his danger allowed him but
little time to reflect upon his situation. In an instant he decided upon
his course. Supporting his rifle in his left hand and carefully adjusting
his reins with the other, he urged his horse to the brink of the bluff,
and then made the leap which decided his fate. In the next moment the
noble steed, still bearing his intrepid rider in safety, was at the foot
of the precipice. M'Culloch immediately dashed across the creek, and was
soon beyond reach of the Indians.

After the escape of the major, the Indians concentrated at the foot of the
hill, and soon after set fire to all the houses and fences outside of the
fort, and killed about three hundred cattle. They then raised the siege
and retired.

The whole loss sustained by the whites during this remarkable siege, was
twenty-six men killed and four or five wounded. The loss of the enemy was
from sixty to one hundred men. As they removed their dead, exact
information on the subject could not be obtained.

The gallant Colonel Shepherd deserved the thanks of the frontier settlers
for his conduct on this occasion, and Governor Henry appointed him county
lieutenant as a token of his esteem. A number of females, who were in the
fort, undismayed by the dreadful strife, employed themselves in running
bullets and performing various little services; and thus excited much
enthusiasm among the men. Perhaps, a more heroic band was never gathered
together in garrison than that which defended Fort Henry, and it would be
unjust to mention any one as particularly distinguished. We have named the
commander only because of his position.



During the long warfare maintained between the pioneers of the west and
the Indians, the latter were greatly assisted by some renegade white men.
Of these, Simon Girty was the most noted and influential. He led several
important expeditions against the settlements of Virginia and Kentucky,
displayed much courage, energy, and conduct, and was the object of bitter
hatred on the frontier. Recent investigations into the stirring events of
his career have shown that however bad he might have been, much injustice
has been done his memory by border historians.

Simon Girty was born and reared in Western Pennsylvania, near the Virginia
line. His parents are said to have been very dissipated, and this,
perhaps, had some influence in disgusting him with life in the
settlements. Becoming skilled in woodcraft, he served with young Simon
Kenton, as a scout upon the frontiers. He joined the Virginia army in
Dunmore's wars, and, it is said, showed considerable ambition to become
distinguished as a soldier. He was disappointed, and so far from gaining
promotion, was, for a trifling offence, publicly disgraced, it is said,
through the influence of Colonel Gibson. The proud spirit of Girty could
not brook such a blow. With a burning thirst for revenge, he fled from the
settlements, and took refuge among the Wyandottes.

The talents of the renegade were of the kind and of the degree to secure
influence among the red men. He excelled the majority of them in council
and field, and neither forgave a foe, nor forgot a friend. He was
successful in many expeditions after plunder and scalps, and spared none
because they were of his own race. He was cruel as many of the borderers
were cruel. Becoming an Indian, he had an Indian's hatred of the whites.
The borderers seldom showed a red man mercy, and they could not expect any
better treatment in return.

The exertions of Girty to save his friend, Simon Kenton, from a horrible
death, have been noticed in another place. That he did not make such
exertions more frequently on the side of humanity is scarcely a matter of
wonder--inasmuch as he could not have done so consistently with a due
regard to his own safety. After he had become a renegade, the borderers
would not permit a return; and as he was forced to reside among the
Indians, he was right in securing their favor. Besides saving Kenton, he
posted his brother, James Girty, upon the banks of the Ohio, to warn
passengers in boats not to be lured to the shore by the arts of the
Indians, or of the white men in their service. This was a pure act of
humanity. The conduct of Girty on another memorable occasion, the burning
of Colonel William Crawford, was more suspicious.


In the early part of the year 1782, the incursions of the Indians became
so harassing and destructive to the inhabitants of Western Pennsylvania,
that an expedition against the Wyandotte towns was concerted, and the
command given to Colonel Crawford. On the 22d of May, the army, consisting
of four hundred and fifty men, commenced its march, and proceeded due west
as far as the Moravian towns, where some of the volunteers deserted. The
main body, however, marched on, with unabated spirit. The Indians,
discovering the advance of the invaders gathered a considerable force, and
took up a strong position, determined to fight. Crawford moved forward in
order of battle, and on the afternoon of the 6th of June, encountered the
enemy. The conflict continued fiercely until night, when the Indians drew
off, and Crawford's men slept on the field. In the morning, the battle was
renewed, but at a greater distance, and, during the day, neither party
suffered much. The delay, however, was fatal to Crawford; for the Indians
received large reinforcements. As soon as it was dark, a council of war
was held, and it was resolved to retreat as rapidly as possible. By nine
o'clock, all the necessary arrangements had been made, and the retreat
began in good order. After an advance of about a hundred yards, a firing
was heard in the rear, and the troops, seized with a panic, broke and fled
in confusion, each man trying to save himself. The Indians came on rapidly
in pursuit and plied the tomahawk and scalping-knife without mercy.
Colonel Crawford and Dr. Knight were captured, at a distance from the main
body--which was soon dispersed in every direction.

On the morning of the 10th of June, Crawford, Knight, and nine other
prisoners, were conducted to the old town of Sandusky. The main body of
the Indians halted within eight miles of the village; but as Colonel
Crawford expressed great anxiety to speak with Simon Girty, who was then
at Sandusky, he was permitted to go under the care of the Indians. On the
morning of the 11th of June, the colonel was brought back from Sandusky on
purpose to march into town with the other prisoners. To Knight's inquiry
as to whether he had seen Girty, he replied in the affirmative, and added,
that the renegade had promised to use his influence for the safety of the
prisoners, though as the Indians were much exasperated by the recent
outrages of the whites at Guadenhutten upon the unresisting Moravian red
men, he was fearful that all pleading would be in vain.

Soon afterwards, Captain Pipe, the great chief of the Delawares, appeared.
This distinguished warrior had a prepossessing appearance and bland
manners, and his language to the prisoners was kind. His purposes,
however, were bloody and revengeful. With his own hands he painted every
prisoner black! As they were conducted towards the town, the captives
observed the bodies of four of their friends, tomahawked and scalped. This
was regarded as a sad presage. In a short time, they overtook the five
prisoners who remained alive. They were seated on the ground, and
surrounded by a crowd of Indian squaws and boys, who taunted and menaced
them. Crawford and Knight were compelled to sit down apart from the rest,
and immediately afterwards the doctor was given to a Shawnee warrior, to
be conducted to their town. The boys and squaws then fell upon the other
prisoners, and tomahawked them in a moment. Crawford was then driven
towards the village, Girty accompanying the party on horseback.

Presently, a large fire was seen, around which were more than thirty
warriors, and about double that number of boys and squaws. As soon as the
colonel arrived, he was stripped naked, and compelled to sit on the
ground. The squaws and boys then fell upon him, and beat him severely with
their fists and sticks. In a few minutes, a large stake was fixed in the
ground, and piles of hickory poles were spread around it.

Colonel Crawford's hands were then tied behind his back; a strong rope was
produced, one end of which was fastened to the ligature between his
wrists, and the other tied to the bottom of the stake. The rope was long
enough to permit him to walk round the stake several times and then
return. Fire was then applied to the hickory poles, which lay in piles at
the distance of six or seven yards from the stake.

The colonel observing these terrible preparations, called to Girty, who
sat on horseback, at the distance of a few yards from the fire, and asked
if the Indians were going to burn him. Girty replied in the affirmative.
The colonel heard the intelligence with firmness, merely observing that he
would bear it with fortitude. When the hickory poles had been burnt
asunder in the middle, Captain Pipe arose and addressed the crowd, in a
tone of great energy, and with animated gestures, pointing frequently to
the colonel, who regarded him with an appearance of unruffled composure.
As soon as he had ended, a loud whoop burst from the assembled throng, and
they all rushed at once upon the unfortunate Crawford. For several
seconds, the crowd was so great around him, that Knight could not see what
they were doing; but in a short time, they had dispersed sufficiently to
give him a view of the colonel.

His ears had been cut off, and the blood was streaming down each side of
his face. A terrible scene of torture now commenced. The warriors shot
charges of powder into his naked body, commencing with the calves of his
legs, and continuing to his neck. The boys snatched the burning hickory
poles and applied them to his flesh. As fast as he ran around the stake,
to avoid one party of tormentors, he was promptly met at every turn by
others, with burning poles, red hot irons, and rifles loaded with powder
only; so that in a few minutes nearly one hundred charges of powder had
been shot into his body, which had become black and blistered in a
dreadful manner. The squaws would take up a quantity of coals and hot
ashes, and throw them upon his body, so that in a few minutes he had
nothing but fire to walk upon.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN PIPE.]

In the extremity of his agony, the unhappy colonel called aloud upon
Girty, in tones which rang through Knight's brain with maddening effect:
"Girty! Girty!! shoot me through the heart!! Quick! quick!! Do not refuse

"Don't you see I have no gun, colonel!!" replied the renegade, bursting
into a loud laugh, and then turning to an Indian beside him, he uttered
some brutal jests upon the naked and miserable appearance of the prisoner.
While this awful scene was being acted, Girty rode up to the spot where
Dr. Knight stood, and told him that he had now had a foretaste of what was
in reserve for him at the Shawnee towns. He swore that he need not expect
to escape death, but should suffer it in all the extremity of torture.

Knight, whose mind was deeply agitated at the sight of the fearful scene
before him, took no notice of Girty, but preserved an impenetrable
silence. Girty, after contemplating the colonel's sufferings for a few
moments, turned again to Knight, and indulged in a bitter invective
against a certain Colonel Gibson, from whom, he said, he had received deep
injury; and dwelt upon the delight with which he would see him undergo
such tortures as those which Crawford was then suffering. He observed, in
a taunting tone, that most of the prisoners had said, that the white
people would not injure him, if the chance of war was to throw him into
their power; but that for his own part, he should be loath to try the
experiment. "I think, (added he with a laugh,) that they would roast me
alive, with more pleasure than those red fellows are now broiling the
colonel! What is your opinion, doctor? Do you think they would be glad to
see me?" Still Knight made no answer, and in a few minutes Girty rejoined
the Indians.

The terrible scene had now lasted more than two hours, and Crawford had
become much exhausted. He walked slowly around the stake, spoke in a low
tone, and earnestly besought God to look with compassion upon him, and
pardon his sins. His nerves had lost much of their sensibility, and he no
longer shrunk from the firebrands with which they incessantly touched him.
At length he sunk in a fainting fit upon his face, and lay motionless.
Instantly an Indian sprung upon his back, knelt lightly upon one knee,
made a circular incision with his knife upon the crown of his head, and
clapping the knife between his teeth, tore the scalp off with both hands.
Scarcely had this been done, when a withered hag approached with a board
full of burning embers, and poured them upon the crown of his head, now
laid bare to the bone. The colonel groaned deeply, arose, and again walked
slowly around the stake! But why continue a description so horrible?
Nature at length could endure no more, and at a late hour in the night, he
was released by death from the hands of his tormentors.[B]

Whether Girty really took pleasure in the torture of Colonel Crawford, or
was forced by circumstances to seem to enjoy it is a question which
historians have generally been in too much haste to determine. It is well
known that at the time of Crawford's expedition the Indians were very much
exasperated by the cold-blooded slaughter of the Moravian red men at
Guadenhutten--an atrocity without a parallel in border warfare, and to
have seemed merciful to the whites for a single moment would have been
fatal to Girty. Indeed, it is said, that, when he spoke of ransoming the
colonel, Captain Pipe threatened him with death at the stake. Let justice
be rendered even to the worst of criminals.

Dr. Knight, made bold or desperate by the torture he had witnessed,
effected his escape from the Shawnee warrior to whose care he was
committed, and after much suffering, reached the settlements. From him the
greater portion of the account of Crawford's death is derived, and
corrected by the statements of Indians present on the occasion. Simon
Girty never forsook the Indians among whom he had made his home; but his
influence gradually diminished. Some accounts say that he perished in the
battle of the Thames; while others assert that he lived to extreme old age
in Canada, where his descendants are now highly respected citizens.


  [B]  M'Clurg.


Extraordinary strength and activity, with the most daring courage and a
thorough knowledge of life in the woods, won for Joshua Fleehart a high
reputation among the first settler's of Western Virginia and Ohio. When
the Ohio Company founded its settlement at Marietta, in April, 1778,
Fleehart was employed as a scout and a hunter. In this service he had no
superior north of the Ohio. At periods of the greatest danger, when the
Indians were known to be much incensed against the whites, he would start
from the settlement with no companion but his dog, and ranging within
about twenty miles of an Indian town, would build his cabin and trap and
hunt during nearly the whole season. On one occasion this reckless
contempt of danger almost cost the hunter his life.

[Illustration: JOSHUA FLEEHART.]

Having became tired of the sameness of garrison life, and panting for that
freedom among the woods and hills to which he had always been accustomed,
late in the fall of 1795, he took his canoe, rifle, traps, and blanket,
with no one to accompany him, leaving even his faithful dog in the
garrison with his family. As he was going into a dangerous neighborhood,
he was fearful lest the voice of his dog might betray him. With a daring
and intrepidity which few men possess, he pushed his canoe up the Sciota
river a distance of fifteen or twenty miles, into the Indian country,
amidst their best hunting-grounds for the bear and the beaver, where no
white man had dared to venture. These two were the main object of his
pursuit, and the hills of Brush creek were said to abound in bear, and the
small streams that fell into the Sciota were well suited to the haunts of
the beaver.

The spot chosen for his winter's residence was within twenty-five or
thirty miles of the Indian town of Chillicothe, but as they seldom go far
to hunt in the winter, he had little to fear from their interruption. For
ten or twelve weeks he trapped and hunted in this solitary region
unmolested; luxuriating on the roasted tails of the beaver, and drinking
the oil of the bear, an article of diet which is considered by the
children of the forest as giving health to the body, with strength and
activity to the limbs. His success had equalled his most sanguine
expectations, and the winter passed away so quietly and so pleasantly,
that he was hardly aware of its progress. About the middle of February, he
began to make up the peltry he had captured into packages, and to load his
canoe with the proceeds of his winter's hunt, which for safety had been
secreted in the willows, a few miles below the little bark hut in which he
had lived. The day before that which he had fixed on for his departure, as
he was returning to his camp, just at evening, Fleehart's acute ear caught
the report of a rifle in the direction of the Indian towns, but at so
remote a distance, that none but a backwoodsman could have distinguished
the sound. This hastened his preparations for decamping. Nevertheless he
slept quietly, but rose the following morning before the dawn; cooked and
ate his last meal in the little hut to which he had become quite


The sun had just risen, while he was sitting on the trunk of a fallen
tree, examining the priming and lock of his gun, casually casting a look
up the river bank, he saw an Indian slowly approaching with his eyes
intently fixed on the ground, carefully inspecting the track of his
moccasins, left in the soft earth as he returned to his hut the evening
before. He instantly cocked his gun, stepped behind a tree, and waited
till the Indian came within the sure range of his shot. He then fired and
the Indian fell. Rushing from the cover on his prostrate foe, he was about
to apply the scalping knife; but seeing the shining silver broaches, and
broad bands on his arms, he fell to cutting them loose, and tucking them
into the bosom of his hunting shirt. While busily occupied in securing the
spoils, the sharp crack of a rifle and the passage of the ball through the
bullet pouch at his side, caused him to look up, when he saw three Indians
within a hundred yards of him. They being too numerous for him to
encounter, he seized his rifle and took to flight. The other two, as he
ran, fired at him without effect. The chase was continued for several
miles by two of the Indians, who were the swiftest runners. He often
stopped and "treed," hoping to get a shot and kill or disable one of them,
and then overcome the other at his leisure. His pursuers also "treed," and
by flanking to the right and left, forced him to uncover or stand the
chance of a shot.

He finally concluded to leave the level grounds, on which the contest had
thus far been held, and take to the high hills which lie back of the
bottoms. His strong, muscular limbs here gave him the advantage, as he
could ascend the steep hill sides more rapidly than his pursuers. The
Indians, seeing they could not overtake him, as a last effort stopped and
fired. One of the balls cut away the handle of his hunting-knife, jerking
it so violently against his side, that for a moment he thought he was
wounded. He immediately returned the fire, and, with a yell of vexation,
they gave up the chase.

Fleehart made a circuit among the hills, and just at dark came in to the
river, near where the canoe lay hid. Springing lightly on board, he
paddled down stream. Being greatly fatigued with the efforts of the day,
he lay down in the canoe, and when he awoke in the morning the boat was
just entering the Ohio river. Crossing over to the southern shore, he, in
a few days, pushed his canoe up to Farmer's Castle, without further
adventure, where he showed the rich packages of peltry, as the proceeds of
his winter's hunt, and displayed the brilliant silver ornaments, as
trophies of his victory, to the envy and admiration of his less venturous


  [C]  Hildreth's Pioneer History.

[Illustration: A MOUNTED RANGER.]


In the latter part of September, 1789, an alarm being given that Indians
had been seen in the Campus Martius, on the Ohio, a party consisting of
five or six rangers, ten volunteer citizens, and twelve regular soldiers
was collected for pursuit.

The men went up in canoes to the mouth of Duck creek, where they left
their water craft. The more experienced rangers soon fell upon the trail,
which they traced across the wide bottoms on to the Little Muskingum. At a
point about half a mile below where Conner's mill now stands, the Indians
forded the creek. In a hollow, between the hills, about a mile east of the
creek, they discovered the smoke of their camp fire. The rangers now
divided the volunteers into two flanking parties, with one of the spies at
the head of each, and three of their number to act in front. By the time
the flankers had come in range of the camp, the Indians discovered their
pursuers, by the noise of the soldiers who lagged behind, and were not so
cautious in their movement. They instantly fled up the run on which they
were encamped. Two of their number leaving the main body, ascended the
point of a hill, with a ravine on the right and left of it.

[Illustration: AN INDIAN BRAVE.]

The rangers now began to fire, while the Indians, each one taking his
tree, returned the shot. One of the two Indians on the spur of the ridge
was wounded through the hips, by one of the spies on the right, who pushed
on manfully to gain the flanks of the enemy. The men in front came on more
slowly, and as they began to ascend the point of the ridge, Ned Henderson,
who was posted on high ground, cried out "Kerr! Kerr! there is an Indian
behind that white oak, and he will kill some of you." Kerr instantly
sprung behind a large tree, and Peter Anderson, who was near him, behind a
hickory, too small to cover more than half his body, while John Wiser
jumped down into the ravine. At that instant the Indian fired at Anderson,
and as John looked over the edge of the bank to learn the effect of the
shot, he saw Peter wiping the dust of the hickory bark out of his eyes.
The ball grazed the tree, just opposite his nose, and glancing off did him
no serious harm, but filling his eyes with the dust, and cutting his nose
with the splinters. At the same time Henderson, with others, fired at the
Indian, and he fell with several balls through his body. The brave fellow
who was killed lost his life in a noble effort to aid his friend, who had
been wounded through the hips, and could not spring up on to the little
bench, or break in the ridge, where he was standing.

While occupied in this labor of love, the rangers on his flanks had so far
advanced, that the shelter of the friendly tree could no longer secure him
from their shots, as it had done while his enemies were more in front of
him. The wounded Indian escaped for the present, although it is probable
he died soon after. The other five Indians, there being seven in the
party, seeing that their enemies outnumbered them so greatly, after firing
a few times, made a circuit to the right and came up in the rear of the
soldiers, who were occupying themselves with the contents of the kettle of
hog meat and potatoes, which the Indians in their hurry had left boiling
over the fire. The first notice they had of their danger was the report of
their rifles. It made a huge uproar among the musketeers, who taking to
flight, ran in great alarm for protection to the rangers. As it happened
the Indians were too far off to do much harm, and no one was injured but
one poor fellow, who was shot through the seat of his trowsers, just
grazing the skin. He tumbled into the brook by the side of the camp,
screaming at the top of his voice, "I am kill'd, I am kill'd," greatly to
the amusement of the rangers, who were soon at his side, and dragging him
out of the water, searched in vain for the mortal wound. The dead Indian
was scalped, and his rifle and blanket taken as the legitimate plunder of
a conquered foe. The other five retreated out of reach of the rangers,
after their feat of frightening the soldiers. They returned to the
garrison, well pleased that none of their men were killed, but much vexed
with the soldiers, whose indiscretion had prevented their destroying the
whole of the Indians, had they encircled them as first arranged by the
leaders of the party. It served as a warning to the Indians not to
approach too near the Yankee garrison, as their rangers were brave men,
whose eyes and ears were always open.[D]


  [D]  Hildreth's Pioneer History.

[Illustration: THE DEFIANCE.]


During the continuance of the Indian wars, from 1790 to 1795, it was
customary for the inmates of all the garrisons to cultivate considerable
fields of Indian corn and other vegetables near the walls of their
defences. Although hazardous in the extreme, it was preferable to
starvation. For a part of that time no provisions could be obtained from
the older settlements above, on the Monongahela and Ohio; sometimes from a
scarcity amongst themselves, and always at great hazard from Indians, who
watched the river for the capture of boats. Another reason was the want of
money; many of the settlers having expended a large share of their funds
in the journey on, and for the purchase of lands, while others had not a
single dollar; so that necessity compelled them to plant their fields. The
war having commenced so soon after their arrival, and at a time when not
expected, as a formal treaty was made with them at Marietta, in January,
1789, which by the way was only a piece of Indian diplomacy, they never
intended to abide by it longer than suited their convenience, and no
stores being laid up for a siege, they were taken entirely unprepared. So
desperate were their circumstances at one period, that serious thoughts of
abandoning the country were entertained by many of the leading men. Under
these circumstances R. J. Meigs, then a young lawyer, was forced to lay
aside the gown, and assume the use of both the sword and plough. It is
true that but little ploughing was done, as much of the corn was then
raised by planting the virgin soil with a hoe, amongst the stumps and logs
of the clearing, after burning off the brush and light stuff. In this way
large crops were invariably produced; so that nearly all the implements
needed were the axe and the hoe. It so happened that Mr. Meigs, whose
residence was in Campus Martius, the garrison on the east side of the
Muskingum river, had planted a field of corn on the west side of that
stream in the vicinity of Fort Harmar. To reach this field the river was
to be crossed near his residence in a canoe, and the space between the
landing and his crop, a distance of about half a mile, to be passed by an
obscure path through a thick wood.

[Illustration: AN INDIAN WARRIOR.]

Early in June, 1792, Mr. Meigs, having completed the labor of the day a
little before night, set out on his return home in company with Joseph
Symonds and a colored boy, which he had brought with him as a servant from
Connecticut. Immediately on leaving the field they entered the forest
through which they had to pass before reaching the canoe. Symonds and the
boy were unarmed; Mr. Meigs carried a small shot-gun, which he had taken
with him for the purpose of shooting a turkey, which at that day abounded
to an extent that would hardly be credited at this time. Flocks of several
hundred were not uncommon, and of a size and fatness that would excite the
admiration of an epicure of any period of the world, even of Apicius
himself. Meeting, however, with no turkies, he had discharged his gun at a
large snake which crossed his path. They had now arrived within a few rods
of the landing, when two Indians, who had been for some time watching
their movements and heard the discharge of the gun, sprang into the path
behind them, fired and shot Symonds through the shoulder. He being an
excellent swimmer, rushed down the bank and into the Muskingum river;
where, turning on his back, he was enabled to support himself on the
surface until he floated down near Fort Harmar, where he was taken up by a
canoe. His wound, although a dangerous one, was healed, and he was alive
twenty years afterwards. The black boy followed Symonds into the river as
far as he could wade, but being no swimmer, was unable to get out of reach
of the Indian who pursued them, and was seized and dragged on shore. The
Indian who had captured him was desirous of making him a prisoner, which
he so obstinately refused, and made so much resistance that he finally
tomahawked and scalped him near the edge of the water. To this alternative
he was in a manner compelled, rather than lose both prisoner and scalp, as
the rangers and men at Campus Martius had commenced firing at him from the
opposite shore. The first shot was fired by a spirited black man in the
service of Commodore Abraham Whipple, who was employed near the river at
the time.

From some accident, it appears that only one of the Indians was armed with
a rifle, while the other had a tomahawk and knife. After Symonds was shot,
Mr. Meigs immediately faced about in order to retreat to Fort Harmar. The
savage armed with the rifle, had placed himself in the path, intending to
cut off his escape, but had no time to reload before his intended victim
clubbed his gun and rushed upon his antagonist. As he passed, Mr. Meigs
aimed a blow at his head, which the Indian returned with his rifle. From
the rapidity of the movement, neither of them were seriously injured,
although it staggered both considerably, yet neither fell to the ground.
Instantly recovering from the shock, he pursued his course to the fort
with the Indian close at his heels. Mr. Meigs was in the vigor of early
manhood, and had, by frequent practice in the race, become a very swift
runner. His foeman was also very fleet, and amongst the most active of
their warriors, as none but such were sent into the settlements on
marauding excursions. The race continued for sixty or eighty rods with
little advantage on either side, when Mr. Meigs gradually increased his
distance ahead, and leaping across a deep run that traversed the path, the
Indian stopped on the brink, threw his tomahawk, and gave up the pursuit
with one of those fierce yells which rage and disappointment both served
to sharpen. It was distinctly heard at both the forts. About sixteen years
since, an Indian tomahawk was ploughed up near this spot, and was most
probably the one thrown at Mr. Meigs; as the rescue and pursuit from Fort
Harmar was so immediate upon hearing the alarm, that he had no time to
recover it. With the scalp of the poor black boy, the Indians ascended the
abrupt side of the hill which overlooked the garrison, and shouting
defiance to their foes, escaped in the forest.

The excitement was very great at the garrison, and taught the inmates a
useful lesson; that of being better armed and more on their guard when
they went out on agricultural pursuits. Had Mr. Meigs tried any other
expedient than that of facing his enemy and rushing instantly upon him, he
must have lost his life, as the Indian was well aware of his gun being
unloaded. On his right was the river, on his left a very high hill; beyond
him the pathless forest, and between him and the fort his Indian foe. To
his sudden and unexpected attack, to his dauntless and intrepid manner,
and to his activity, he undoubtedly owed his life.


One of the most remarkable pioneer fights, in the early history of the
west, was that waged by Captain James Estill, and seventeen of his
associates, on the 22d of March, 1782, with a party of Wyandotte Indians,
twenty-five in number. Seventy-one years almost have elapsed since; yet
one of the actors in that sanguinary struggle, Rev. Joseph Proctor, of
Estill county, Kentucky, survived to the 2d of December, 1844, dying in
the full enjoyment of his faculties at the age of ninety. His wife, the
partner of his early privations and toils, and nearly as old as himself,
deceased six months previously.

On the 19th of March 1782, Indian rafts, without any one on them, were
seen floating down the Kentucky river, past Boonesborough. Intelligence of
this fact was immediately dispatched by Colonel Logan to Captain Estill,
at his station fifteen miles from Boonesborough, and near the present site
of Richmond, Kentucky, together with a force of fifteen men, who were
directed to march from Lincoln county to Estill's assistance, instructing
Captain Estill, if the Indians had not appeared there, to scour the
country with a reconnoitring party, as it could not be known at what point
the attack would be made.


Estill lost not a moment in collecting a force to go in search of the
savages, not doubting, from his knowledge of the Indian character, that
they designed an immediate blow at his or some of the neighboring
stations. From his own and the nearest stations, he raised twenty-five
men. Whilst Estill and his men were on this excursion, the Indians
suddenly appeared around his station at the dawn of day, on the 20th of
March, killed and scalped Miss Innes, and took Munk, a slave of Captain
Estill, captive. The Indians immediately and hastily retreated, in
consequence of a highly exaggerated account which Munk gave them of the
strength of the station, and number of fighting men in it. No sooner had
the Indians commenced their retreat, than the women in the fort (the men
being all absent except one on the sick list,) dispatched two boys, the
late General Samuel South and Peter Hacket, to take the trail of Captain
Estill and his men, and, overtaking them, give information of what had
occurred at the fort. The boys succeeded in coming up with Captain Estill
early on the morning of the 21st, between the mouths of Drowning creek and
Red river. After a short search, Captain Estill's party struck the trail
of the retreating Indians. It was resolved at once to make pursuit, and no
time was lost in doing so. Five men of the party, however, who had
families in the fort, feeling uneasy for their safety, and unwilling to
trust their defence to the few who remained there, returned to the fort,
leaving Captain Estill's party thirty-five in number. These pressed the
pursuit of the retreating Indians, as rapidly as possible, but night
coming on they encamped near the Little Mountain, at present the site of
Mount Sterling.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN ESTILL.]

Early next morning they put forward, being obliged to leave ten of the men
behind, whose horses were too jaded to travel further. They had not
proceeded far until they discovered by fresh tracks of the Indians, that
they were not far distant. They then marched in four lines until about an
hour before sunset, when they discovered six of the savages helping
themselves to rations from the body of a buffalo which they had killed.
The company was ordered to dismount. With the usual impetuosity of
Kentuckians, some of the party fired without regarding orders, and the
Indians fled. One of the party, a Mr. David Cook, who acted as ensign,
exceedingly ardent and active, had proceeded in advance of the company,
and seeing an Indian halt, raised his gun and fired. At the same moment
another Indian crossed on the opposite side, and they were both leveled
with the same shot. This occurring in view of the whole company, inspired
them all with a high degree of confidence. In the meantime, the main body
of Indians had heard the alarm and returned, and the two hostile parties
exactly matched in point of numbers, having twenty-five on each side, and
were now face to face. The ground was highly favorable to the Indian mode
of warfare; but Captain Estill and his men, without a moment's hesitation,
boldly and fearlessly commenced an attack upon them, and the latter as
boldly and fearlessly (for they were picked warriors) engaged in the
bloody combat. It is, however, disgraceful to relate, that, at the very
onset of the action, Lieutenant Miller, of Captain Estill's party, with
six men under his command, "ingloriously fled" from the field, thereby
placing in jeopardy the whole of their comrades, and causing the death of
many brave soldiers. Hence, Estill's party numbered eighteen, and the
Wyandottes twenty-five.

The flank becoming thus unprotected, Captain Estill directed Cook with
three men to occupy Miller's station, and repel the attack in that quarter
to which this base act of cowardice exposed the whole party. The ensign
with his party were taking the position assigned, when one of them
discovered an Indian and shot him, and the three retreated to a little
eminence whence they thought greater execution could be effected with less
danger to themselves, but Cook continued to advance without noticing the
absence of his party until he had discharged his gun with effect, when he
immediately retreated, but after running some distance to a large tree,
for the purpose of shelter in firing, he unfortunately got entangled in
the tops of fallen timber, and halting for a moment, received a ball which
struck him just below the shoulder blade, and came out below his collar
bone. In the meantime, on the main field of battle, at the distance of
fifty yards, the fight raged with great fury, lasting one hour and
three-quarters. On either side wounds and death were inflicted, neither
party advancing or retreating. "Every man to his man, and every man to his
tree." Captain Estill at this period was covered with blood from a wound
received early in the action; nine of his brave companions lay dead upon
the field; and four others were so disabled by their wounds, as to be
unable to continue the fight. Captain Estill's fighting men were now
reduced to four. Among this number was Joseph Proctor.

Captain Estill, the brave leader of this Spartan band, was now brought
into a personal conflict with a powerful and active Wyandotte warrior. The
conflict was for a time fierce and desperate, and keenly and anxiously
watched by Proctor, with his finger on the trigger of his unerring rifle.
Such, however, was the struggle between these fierce and powerful
warriors, that Proctor could not shoot without greatly endangering the
safety of his captain. Estill had had his arm broken the preceding summer
in an engagement with the Indians; and, in the conflict with the warrior
on this occasion, that arm gave way, and in an instant his savage foe
buried his knife in Captain Estill's breast; but in the very same moment,
the brave Proctor sent a ball from his rifle to the Wyandotte's heart. The
survivors then drew off as by mutual consent.--Thus ended this memorable
battle. It wanted nothing but the circumstance of numbers to make it the
most memorable in ancient or modern times. The loss of the Indians, in
killed and wounded, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers after the
shameful retreat of Miller, was even greater than that of Captain Estill.

It was afterwards ascertained by prisoners who were recaptured from the
Wyandotte, that seventeen of the Indians had been killed, and two severely
wounded. This battle was fought on the same day, with the disastrous
battle of the Blue Licks, March 22d, 1782.

There is a tradition derived from the Wyandotte towns, after the peace,
that but one of the warriors engaged in this battle ever returned to his
nation. It is certain that the chief who led on the Wyandottes with so
much desperation, fell in the action. Throughout this bloody engagement
the coolness and bravery of Proctor were unsurpassed. But his conduct
after the battle has always, with those acquainted with it, elicited the
warmest commendation. He brought off the field of battle, and most of the
way to the station, a distance of forty miles, on his back, his badly
wounded friend, the late brave Colonel William Irvine, so long and so
favorably known in Kentucky.


The mothers of the west deserve as wide a fame as their fearless husbands
and brothers. In no situation were courage and resolution so much required
in women as in the western wilderness, during the Indian wars, and even
the celebrated heroines of European history seem to us ordinary in

In the fall of 1779, Samuel Daviess, who resided in Bedford county,
Virginia, moved with his family to Kentucky, and lived for a time, at
Whitley's station, in Lincoln. After residing for some time in the
station, he removed for a time to a place called Gilmer's Lick, some six
or seven miles distant from said station, where he built a cabin, cleared
some land, which he put in corn next season, not apprehending any danger
from the Indians, although he was considered a frontier settler. But this
imaginary state of security did not last long; for one morning in August,
1782, having stepped a few paces from his door, he was suddenly surprised
by an Indian appearing between him and the door, with tomahawk uplifted,
almost within striking distance. In this unexpected condition, and being
entirely unarmed, his first thought was, that by running round the house,
he could enter the door in safety, but to his surprise, in attempting to
effect this object, as he approached the door he found the house full of
Indians. Being closely pursued by the Indian first mentioned, he made his
way into the cornfield, where he concealed himself with much difficulty,
until the pursuing Indian had returned to the house.

[Illustration: SCALPING.]

Unable as he was to render any relief to his family, there being five
Indians, he ran with the utmost speed to the station of his brother, a
distance of five miles. As he approached the station, his undressed
condition told the tale of his distresses, before he was able to tell it
himself. Almost breathless, and with a faltering voice, he could only say,
his wife and children were in the hands of the Indians. Scarcely was the
communication made when he obtained a spare gun, and the five men in the
station, well armed, followed him to his residence. When they arrived at
the house, the Indians, as well as the family were found to be gone, and
no evidence appeared that any of the family had been killed. A search was
made to find the direction the Indians had taken; but owing to the dryness
of the ground, and the adroit manner in which they had departed, no
discovery could be made. In this study and perplexity, the party being all
good woodsmen, took that direction in pursuit of the Indians, which they
thought it most probable they would take. After going a few miles, their
attention was arrested by the howling of a dog, which afterwards turned
out to be a house-dog that had followed the family, and which the Indians
had undertaken to kill, so as to avoid detection, which might happen from
his occasionally barking. In attempting to kill the dog, he was only
wounded, which produced the howling that was heard. The noise thus heard,
satisfied them that they were near the Indians, and enabled them to rush
forward with the utmost impetuosity. Two of the Indians being in the rear
as spies, discovering the approach of the party, ran forward to where the
Indians were with the family--one of them knocked down the oldest boy,
about eleven years old, and while in the act of scalping him, was fired
at, but without effect. Mrs. Daviess, seeing the agitation and alarm of
the Indians, saved herself and sucking child, by jumping into a sink hole.
The Indians did not stand to make fight, but fled in the most precipitate
manner. In that way the family was rescued by nine o'clock in the morning,
without the loss of a single life, and without any injury but that above
mentioned. So soon as the boy had risen on his feet, the first words he
spoke were, "Curse that Indian, he has got my scalp!" After the family had
been rescued, Mrs. Daviess gave the following account of how the Indians
had acted.


A few minutes after her husband had opened the door and stepped out of the
house, four Indians rushed in, whilst the fifth, as she afterwards
learned, was in pursuit of her husband. Herself and children were in bed
when the Indians entered the house. One of the Indians immediately made
signs, by which she understood him to inquire how far it was to the next
house. With an unusual presence of mind, knowing how important it would be
to make the distance as far as possible, she raised both her hands, first
counting the fingers of one hand, then of the other--making a distance of
eight miles. The Indian then signed to her that she must rise; she
immediately got up, and as soon as she could dress herself, commenced
showing the Indians one article of clothing after another, which pleased
them very much; and in that way, delayed them at the house nearly two
hours. In the meantime, the Indian who had been in pursuit of her husband,
returned with his hands stained with poke berries, which he held up, and
with some violent gestures, and waving of his tomahawk, attempted to
induce the belief, that the stain on his hands was the blood of her
husband, and that he had killed him. She was enabled at once to discover
the deception, and instead of producing any alarm on her part, she was
satisfied that her husband had escaped uninjured.

After the savages had plundered the house of everything that they could
conveniently carry off with them, they started, taking Mrs. Daviess and
her children--seven in number, as prisoners along with them. Some of the
children were too young to travel as fast as the Indians wished, and
discovering, as she believed, their intention to kill such of them as
could not conveniently travel, she made the two oldest boys carry them on
their backs. The Indians, in starting from the house, were very careful to
leave no signs of the direction which they had taken, not even permitting
the children to break a twig or weed, as they passed along. They had not
gone far, before an Indian drew a knife and cut off a few inches of Mrs.
Daviess' dress, so that she would not be interrupted in travelling.

Mrs. Daviess was a woman of cool, deliberate courage, and accustomed to
handle the gun so that she could shoot well, as many of the women were in
the habit of doing in those days. She had contemplated, as a last resort,
that if not rescued in the course of the day, when night came and the
Indians had fallen asleep, she would rescue herself and children by
killing as many of the Indians as she could--thinking that in a night
attack as many of them as remained, would most probably run off. Such an
attempt would now seem a species of madness; but to those who were
acquainted with Mrs. Daviess, little doubt was entertained, that if the
attempt had been made, it would have proved successful.

The boy who had been scalped, was greatly disfigured, as the hair never
after grew upon that part of the head. He often wished for an opportunity
to avenge himself upon the Indians for the injury he had received.
Unfortunately for himself, ten years afterwards, the Indians came to the
neighborhood of his father and stole a number of horses.

Himself and a party of men went in pursuit of them, and after following
them for some days, the Indians finding that they were likely to be
overtaken, placed themselves in ambush, and when their pursuers came up,
killed young Daviess and one other man; so that he ultimately fell into
their hands when about twenty-one years old.

The next year after the father died; his death being caused, as it was
supposed, by the extraordinary efforts he made to release his family from
the Indians.

We cannot close this account, without noticing an act of courage displayed
by Mrs. Daviess, calculated to exhibit her character in its true point of

Kentucky, in its early days, like most new countries, was occasionally
troubled with men of abandoned character, who lived by stealing the
property of others, and after committing their depredations, retired to
their hiding places, thereby eluding the operation of the law. One of
these marauders, a man of desperate character, who had committed extensive
thefts from Mr. Daviess, as well as from his neighbors, was pursued by
Daviess and a party whose property he had taken, in order to bring him to
justice. While the party were in pursuit, the suspected individual, not
knowing any one was pursuing him, came to the house of Daviess, armed with
his gun and tomahawk--no person being at home but Mrs. Daviess and her
children. After he had stepped in the house, Mrs. Daviess asked him if he
would drink something--and having set a bottle of whiskey upon the table,
requested him to help himself. The fellow not suspecting any danger, set
his gun up by the door, and while drinking, Mrs. Daviess picked up his
gun, and placing herself in the door, had the gun cocked and levelled upon
him by the time he turned around, and in a peremptory manner, ordered him
to take a seat, or she would shoot him. Struck with terror and alarm, he
asked what he had done. She told him, he had stolen her husband's
property, and that she intended to take care of him herself. In that
condition, she held him a prisoner, until the party of men returned and
took him into their possession.

[Illustration: THE SQUATTER'S WIFE.]


On the Illinois river, near two hundred miles from its junction with the
Mississippi, there lived in 1812, an old pioneer, known in those days as
"Old Parker the squatter." His family consisted of a wife and three
children, the oldest a boy of nineteen, a girl of seventeen, and the
youngest a boy of fourteen. At the time of which we write, Parker and his
oldest boy had gone in company with three Indians on a hunt, expecting to
be absent some five or six days.--The third day after the departure, one
of the Indians returned to Parker's house, came in and sat himself down by
the fire, lit his pipe and commenced smoking in silence. Mrs. Parker
thought nothing of this, as it was no uncommon thing for one or sometimes
more of a party of Indians to return abruptly from a hunt, at some sign
they might consider ominous of bad luck, and in such instances were not
very communicative. But at last the Indian broke silence with "ugh, old
Parker die." This exclamation immediately drew Mrs. Parker's attention,
who directly enquired of the Indian, what's the matter with Parker? The
Indian responded Parker sick, tree fell on him, you go, he die. Mrs.
Parker then asked the Indian if Parker had sent for her, and where he was?
The replies of the Indian somewhat aroused her suspicions. She, however,
came to the conclusion to send her son with the Indian to see what was the
matter. The boy and Indian started. That night passed, and the next day
too, and neither the boy or Indian returned. This confirmed Mrs. Parker in
her opinion that there was foul play on the part of the Indians. So she
and her daughter went to work and barricaded the door and windows in the
best way they could. The youngest boy's rifle was the only one left, he
not having taken it with him when he went to hunt after his father. The
old lady took the rifle, the daughter the axe, and thus armed they
determined to watch through the night; and defend themselves if necessary.
They had not long to wait after night fall, for shortly after that some
one commenced knocking at the door, crying out "Mother! mother!" but Mrs.
Parker thought the voice was not exactly like that of her son--in order to
ascertain the fact, she said "Jake, where are the Indians?" The reply
which was "um gone," satisfied her on that point. She then said, as if
speaking to her son, "Put your ear to the latch-hole of the door I want to
tell you something before I open the door." The head was placed at the
latch-hole, and the old lady fired through the same spot and killed an
Indian. She stepped back from the door instantly, and it was well she did
so, for quicker than I have penned the last two words two rifle bullets
came crashing through the door. The old lady then said to her daughter,
"Thank God there are but two, I must have killed the one at the door--they
must be the three who went on the hunt with your father. If we can only
kill or cripple another of them, we will be safe; now we must both be
still after they fire again, and they will then break the door down, and I
may be able to shoot another one; but if I miss them when getting in, you
must use the axe."--The daughter equally courageous with her mother
assured her she would. Soon after this conversation two more rifle bullets
came crashing through the window. A death-like stillness ensued for about
five minutes, when two more balls in quick succession were fired through
the door, then followed a tremendous punching with a log, the door gave
way, and with a fiendish yell an Indian was about to spring in, when the
unerring rifle fired by the old lady stretched his lifeless body across
the thresh-hold of the door. The remaining, or more properly the surviving
Indian fired at random and ran, doing no injury. "Now" said the old
heroine to her undaunted daughter "we must leave." Accordingly with the
rifle and the axe, they went to the river, took the canoe, and without a
mouthful of provision except one wild duck and two black birds which the
mother shot, and which were eaten raw, did these two courageous hearts in
six days arrive among the old French settlers at St. Louis. A party of
about a dozen men crossed over into Illinois--and after an unsuccessful
search returned without finding either Parker or his boys. They were never
found. There are yet some of the old settlers in the neighborhood of
Peoria who still point out the spot where "old Parker the squatter"



In the year 1791, when the Indians were very troublesome on the banks of
the Ohio, Captain William Hubbell, Mr. Daniel Light, Mr. William Plascut,
Mrs. Plascut and eight children embarked in a flat-bottomed boat to
proceed down the Ohio.

On their progress down the river, and soon after passing Pittsburgh, they
saw evident traces of Indians along the banks, and there is every reason
to believe that a boat which they overtook, and which, through
carelessness, was suffered to run aground on an island, became a prey to
these merciless savages. Though Captain Hubbell and his party stopped some
time for it in a lower part of the river, it did not arrive, and has never
to their knowledge been heard of since. Before they reached the mouth of
the Great Kenhawa, they had by several successive additions, increased
their number to twenty, consisting of nine men, three women, and eight
children. The men, besides those mentioned above, were one John Stoner, an
Irishman and a Dutchman, whose names are not recollected, Messrs. Ray and
Tucker, and a Mr. Kilpatrick, whose two daughters also were of the party.
Information received at Galliopolis confirmed the expectation, which
appearance previously raised, of a serious conflict with a large body of
Indians; and as Captain Hubbell had been regularly appointed commander of
the boat, every possible preparation was made for a formidable and
successful resistance of the anticipated attack. The nine men were divided
into three watches for the night, which were alternately to continue
awake, and be on the look out for two hours at a time. The arms on board,
which consisted principally of old muskets, much out of order, were
collected, loaded, and put in the best possible condition for service.
About sunset on that day, the 23d of March, 1792, the party overtook a
fleet of six boats descending the river in company, and intended to
continue with them, but as their passengers seemed to be more disposed to
dancing than fighting, and as soon after dark, notwithstanding the
remonstrances of Captain Hubbell, they commenced fiddling and dancing
instead of preparing their arms, and taking the necessary rest preparatory
to battle, it was wisely considered more hazardous to be in such company,
than to be alone. It was therefore determined to proceed rapidly forward
by the aid of the oars, and leave those thoughtless fellow-travellers
behind. One of the boats, however, belonging to the fleet, commanded by a
Captain Greathouse, adopted the same plan, and for a while kept up with
Captain Hubbell, but all its crew at length falling asleep, that boat also
ceased to be propelled by the oars, and Captain Hubbell and his party
proceeded steadily forward alone. Early in the night a canoe was dimly
seen floating down the river, in which were probably Indians
reconnoitering, and other evident indications were observed of the
neighborhood and hostile intentions of a formidable party of savages.

It was now agreed, that should the attack, as was probable, be deferred
till morning, every man should be up before the dawn, in order to make as
great a show as possible of numbers and of strength; and that, whenever
the action should take place, the women and children should lie down on
the cabin floor, and be protected as well as they could by the trunks and
other baggage, which might be placed around them. In this perilous
situation they continued during the night, and the captain, who had not
slept more than one hour since he left Pittsburgh, was too deeply
impressed with the imminent danger which surrounded him to obtain any rest
at that time.

[Illustration: A SIOUX CHIEF.]

Just as daylight began to appear in the east, and before the men were up
and at their posts, agreeably to arrangement, a voice at some distance
below them, in a plaintive tone, repeatedly solicited them to come on
shore, as there were some white persons who wished to obtain a passage in
their boat. This the captain very naturally and correctly concluded to be
an Indian artifice, and its only effect was to rouse the men, and place
every one on his guard. The voice of entreaty was soon changed into the
language of indignation and insult, and the sound of distant paddles
announced the approach of the savage foe. At length three Indian canoes
were seen through the mist of the morning rapidly advancing. With the
utmost coolness the captain and his companions prepared to receive them.
The chairs, tables, and other incumbrances were thrown into the river, in
order to clear the deck for action. Every man took his position, and was
ordered not to fire till the savages had approached so near, that, (to use
the words of Captain Hubbell,) "the flash from the guns might singe their
eye-brows;" and a special caution was given, that the men should fire
successively, so that there might be no interval. On the arrival of the
canoes, they were found to contain about twenty-five or thirty Indians
each. As soon as they had approached within the reach of musket-shot, a
general fire was given from one of them, which wounded Mr. Tucker through
the hip so severely that his leg hung only by the flesh, and shot Mr.
Light just below his ribs. The three canoes placed themselves at the bow,
stern, and on the right side of the boat, so that they had an opportunity
of raking in every direction. The fire now commenced from the boat, and
had a powerful effect in checking the confidence and fury of the Indians.
The captain after firing his own gun, took up that of one of the wounded
men, raised it to his shoulder, and was about to discharge it, when a ball
came and took away the lock; he coolly turned round, seized a brand of
fire from the kettle which served for a caboose, and applying it to the
pan, discharged the piece with effect. A very regular and constant fire
was now kept up on both sides. The captain was just in the act of raising
his gun a third time, when a ball passed through his right arm, and for a
moment disabled him. Scarcely had he recovered from the shock, and
re-acquired the use of his hand, which had been suddenly drawn up by the
wound, when he observed the Indians in one of the canoes just about to
board the boat in its bow, where the horses were placed belonging to the
party. So near had they approached, that some of them had actually seized
with their hands the side of the boat. Severely wounded as he was, he
caught up a pair of horsemen's pistols and rushed forward to repel the
attempt at boarding. On his approach the Indians fell back, and he
discharged a pistol with effect at the foremost man. After firing the
second pistol, he found himself without arms, and was compelled to
retreat; but stepping back on a pile of small wood which had been prepared
for burning in the kettle, the thought struck him, that it might be made
use of in repelling the foe, and he continued for some time to strike them
with it so forcibly and actively, that they were unable to enter the boat,
and at length he wounded one of them so severely that with a yell they
suddenly gave way. All the canoes then discontinued the contest, and
directed their course to Captain Greathouse's boat, which was in sight.
Here a striking contrast was exhibited to the firmness and intrepidity
which had been displayed. Instead of resisting the attack, the people on
board of this boat retired to the cabin in dismay. The Indians entered it
without opposition, and rowed it to the shore, where they killed the
captain and a lad of about fourteen years of age. The women they placed in
the centre of their canoes, and manning them with fresh hands, again
pursued Captain Hubbell and party. A melancholy alternative now presented
itself to these brave but almost desponding men, either to fall a prey to
the savages themselves, or to run the risk of shooting the women, who had
been placed in the canoes in the hope of deriving protection from their
presence. But "self preservation is the first law of nature," and the
captain very justly remarked, there would not be much humanity in
preserving their lives at such a sacrifice, merely that they might become
victims of savage cruelty at some subsequent period.

There were now but four men left on board of Captain Hubbell's boat,
capable of defending it, and the captain himself was severely wounded in
two places. The second attack, however, was resisted with almost
incredible firmness and vigor. Whenever the Indians would rise to fire,
their opponents would frequently give them the first shot, which in almost
every instance would prove fatal. Notwithstanding the disparity of
numbers, and the exhausted condition of the defenders of the boat, the
Indians at length appeared to despair of success, and the canoes
successively retired to the shore. Just as the last one was departing,
Captain Hubbell called to the Indian, who was standing in the stern, and
on his turning round, discharged his piece at him. When the smoke, which
for a moment obstructed the vision, was dissipated, he was seen lying on
his back, and appeared to be severely, perhaps mortally wounded.

Unfortunately the boat now drifted near to the shore, where the Indians
were collected, and a large concourse, probably between four and five
hundred, were seen rushing down on the bank. Ray and Plascut, the only
men remaining unhurt, were placed at the oars, and as the boat was not
more than twenty yards from the shore, it was deemed prudent for all to
lie down in as safe a position as possible, and attempt to push
forward with the utmost practicable rapidity. While they continued in
this situation, nine balls were shot into one oar, and ten into the
other, without wounding the rowers, who were hidden from view, and
protected by the side of the boat and the blankets in its stern. During
this dreadful exposure to the fire of the savages, which continued about
twenty minutes, Mr. Kilpatrick observed a particular Indian, whom he
thought a favorable mark for his rifle, and, notwithstanding the solemn
warning of Captain Hubbell, rose to shoot him, he immediately received
a ball in his mouth, which passed out at the back part of his head, and
was almost at the same moment shot through the heart. He fell among the
horses that about the same time were killed, and presented to his
afflicted daughters and fellow-travellers, who were witnesses of the
awful occurrence, a spectacle of horror which we need not further
attempt to describe.

The boat was now providentially and suddenly carried out into the middle
of the stream, and taken by the current beyond the reach of the enemy's
balls. Our little band reduced as they were in numbers, wounded,
afflicted, and almost exhausted by fatigue, were still unsubdued in
spirit, and being assembled in all their strength, men, women, and
children, with an appearance of triumph gave three hearty cheers, calling
to the Indians to come on again, if they were fond of the sport.

Thus ended this awful conflict, in which out of nine men, two only escaped
unhurt. Tucker and Kilpatrick were killed on the spot, Stoner was mortally
wounded, and died on his arrival at Limestone, and all the rest, excepting
Ray and Plascut were severely wounded. The women and children were all
uninjured, excepting a little son of Mr. Plascut, who, after the battle
was over, came to the captain, and with great coolness requested him to
take a ball out of his head. On examination, it appeared that a bullet
which had passed through the side of the boat, had penetrated the forehead
of this little hero, and remained under the skin. The captain took it out,
and the youth, observing "that is not all," raised his arm, and exhibited
a piece of bone at the point of his elbow, which had been shot off, and
hung only by the skin. His mother exclaimed, "why did you not tell me of
this?" "Because," he coolly replied, "the captain directed us to be silent
during the action, and I thought you would be likely to make a noise if I
told you."

The boat made the best of its way down the river, and reached Limestone
that night. From that time forth no boat was assailed by Indians on the

[Illustration: CORNSTALK.]


Cornstalk, the commander of the Indians in the battle of Point Pleasant,
was possessed of a noble heart as well as a genius for war and
negotiation. He was ever anxious to maintain an honorable place with the
whites and they returned his friendly inclination by putting him to

A Captain Arbuckle commanded the garrison of the fort, erected at Point
Pleasant, after the battle fought by General Lewis with the Indians at
that place, in October, 1774. In the succeeding year, when the
revolutionary war had commenced, the agents of Great Britain exerted
themselves to excite the Indians to hostility against the United States.
The mass of Shawnees entertained a strong animosity against the Americans.
But, two of their chiefs, Cornstalk and Redhawk, not participating in that
animosity visited the garrison at the Point, where Arbuckle continued to
command. Cornstalk represented his unwillingness to take a part in the
war, on the British side: but stated, that his nation, except himself and
his tribe, were determined on war with us, and he supposed, that he and
his people would be compelled to go with the stream. On this intimation,
Arbuckle resolved to detain the two chiefs, and a third Shawnees, who came
with them to the fort, as hostages, under the expectation of preventing
thereby any hostile efforts of the nation. On the day before these
unfortunate Indians fell victims to the fury of the garrison, Elenipsico,
the son of Cornstalk, repaired to Point Pleasant for the purpose of
visiting his father, and on the next day, two men belonging to the
garrison, whose names were Hamilton and Gillmore, crossed the Kenhawa,
intending to hunt in the woods beyond it.--On their return from hunting,
some Indians who had come to view the position at the Point, concealed
themselves in the weeds near the mouth of the Kenhawa, and killed Gillmore
while endeavoring to pass them. Colonel Stewart and Captain Arbuckle were
standing on the opposite bank of the river, at that time and were
surprised that a gun had been fired so near the fort, in violation of
orders which had been issued inhibiting such an act. Hamilton ran down the
bank, and cried out that Gillmore was killed. Captain Hall commanded the
company to which Gillmore belonged. His men leaped into a canoe, and
hastened to the relief of Hamilton. They brought the body of Gillmore
weltering in blood, and the head scalped, across the river. The canoe had
scarcely reached the shore, when Hall's men cried out "Let us kill the
Indians in the fort." Captain Hall placed himself in front of his
soldiers, and they ascended the river's bank, pale with rage, and carrying
their loaded fire locks in their hands. Colonel Stewart and Captain
Arbuckle exerted themselves in vain, to dissuade these men, exasperated to
madness by the spectacle of Gillmore's corpse, from the cruel deed which
they contemplated. They cocked their guns, threatening those gentlemen
with instant death, if they did not desist, and rushed into the fort.

The interpreter's wife, who had been a captive among the Indians, and felt
an affection for them, ran to their cabin and informed them that Hall's
soldiers were advancing with the intention of taking their lives, because
they believed that the Indians who killed Gillmore, had come with
Cornstalk's son the preceding day. This the young man solemnly denied, and
averred that he knew nothing of them. His father, perceiving that
Elenipsico was in great agitation, encouraged him and advised him not to
fear. "If the great Spirit," said he, "has sent you here to be killed, you
ought to die like a man!" As the soldiers approached the door, Cornstalk
rose to meet them, and received seven or eight balls which instantly
terminated his existence. His son was shot dead in the seat which he
occupied. The Red Hawk made an attempt to climb the chimney, but fell by
the fire of some of Hall's men. The other Indian, says Colonel Stewart,
"was shamefully mangled, and I grieved to see him so long dying."

This atrocious deed so exasperated the Shawnees that they immediately took
up arms upon the side of the British, expressing their resolution to spare
no American who should fall into their hands, and never to lay down arms
while there was the remotest chance of successful hostility. Many a family
in Virginia and Kentucky had reason to lament the slaughter of the noble
Cornstalk and his son.


On the site of the present city of Chicago, a fort was erected in 1803.
Feeling secure under this protection, several families built cabins and
began to cultivate the ground in the vicinity. The large and powerful
tribe of Pottawatomies occupied the neighboring country. When the war of
1812 broke out, the fort at Chicago was garrisoned by about fifty men,
under the command of Captain Heald, and as it was so remote from the other
American posts, General Hull determined that it should be abandoned. The
following account of the subsequent disastrous events is abridged from
Brown's History of Illinois.

On the 7th of August, 1812, in the afternoon, Winnemeg, or Catfish, a
friendly Indian of the Pottawatomie tribe, arrived at Chicago, and brought
dispatches from General Hull, containing the first, and, at that time, the
only intelligence of the declaration of war. General Hull's letter
announced the capture of Mackinaw, and directed Captain Heald "to evacuate
the fort at Chicago, if practicable, and, in that event, to distribute all
the United States property contained in the fort, and the United States
factory or agency, among the Indians in the neighborhood and repair to
Fort Wayne." Winnemeg having delivered his dispatches to Captain Heald,
and stated that he was acquainted with the purport of the communication he
had brought, urged upon Captain Heald the policy of remaining in the fort,
being supplied, as they were, with ammunition and provisions for a
considerable time. In case, however, Captain Heald thought proper to
evacuate the place, he urged upon him the propriety of doing so
immediately, before the Pottawatomies (through whose country they must
pass, and who were as yet ignorant of the object of his mission) could
collect a force sufficient to oppose them. This advice though given in
great earnestness, was not sufficiently regarded by Captain Heald; who
observed, that he should evacuate the fort, but having received orders to
distribute the public property among the Indians, he did not feel
justified in leaving it until he had collected the Pottawatomies in its
vicinity, and made an equitable distribution among them. Winnemeg then
suggested the expediency of marching out and leaving every thing standing;
"while the Indians," said he, "are dividing the spoils, the troops will be
able to retreat without molestation." This advice was also unheeded, and
an order for evacuating the fort was read next morning on parade. Captain
Heald, in issuing it, had neglected to consult his junior officers, as it
would have been natural for him to do in such an emergency, and as he
probably would have done had there not been some coolness between him and
Ensign Ronan.


The lieutenant and ensign, after the promulgation of this order, waited on
Captain Heald to learn his intentions; and being apprized; for the first
time, of the course he intended to pursue, they remonstrated against it.
Heald, however, deemed it advisable to assemble the Indians and distribute
the public property among them, and ask of them an escort thither, with
the promise of a considerable sum of money to be paid on their safe
arrival; adding, that he had perfect confidence in the friendly
professions of the Indians, from whom, as well as from the soldiers, the
capture of Mackinaw had studiously been concealed. From this time forward,
the junior officers stood aloof from their commander, and, considering his
project as little short of madness, conversed as little upon the subject
as possible. Dissatisfaction, however, soon filled the camp; the soldiers
began to murmur, and insubordination assumed a threatening aspect.

The savages, in the mean time became more and more troublesome; entered
the fort occasionally, in defiance of the sentinels, and even made their
way without ceremony into the quarters of its commanding officer. On one
occasion an Indian, taking up a rifle fired it in the parlor of Captain
Heald; some were of opinion that this was intended as the signal for an
attack. The old chiefs at this time passed back and forth among the
assembled groups, apparently agitated; and the squaws seemed much excited,
as though some terrible calamity was impending. No further manifestations,
however, of ill-feeling were exhibited, and the day passed without
bloodshed. So infatuated at this time was Captain Heald, that he supposed
he had wrought a favorable impression upon the savages, and that the
little garrison could now march forth in safety.

The Indians from the adjacent villages having at length arrived, a council
was held on the 12th of August. It was attended, however, only by Captain
Heald on the part of the military; the other officers refused to attend,
having previously learned that a massacre was intended. This fact was
communicated to Captain Heald; he insisted, however, on their going, and
they resolutely persisted in their refusal. When Captain Heald left the
fort, they repaired to the block-house, which overlooked the ground where
the council was in session, and opening the portholes, pointed their
cannon in its direction. This circumstance and their absence, it is
supposed, saved the whites from massacre.


Captain Heald informed the Indians in council, that he would next day
distribute among them all the goods in the United States factory, together
with the ammunition and provisions with which the garrison was supplied;
and desired of them an escort to Fort Wayne, promising them a reward on
their arrival thither, in addition to the presents they were about to
receive. The savages assented, with professions of friendship, to all he
proposed, and promised all he required.

The council was no sooner dismissed, than several observing the tone of
feeling which prevailed, and anticipating from it no good to the garrison,
waited on Captain Heald in order to open his eyes, if possible, to their
condition. The impolicy of furnishing the Indians with arms and ammunition
to be used against themselves, struck Captain Heald with so much force,
that he resolved, without consulting his officers, to destroy all not
required for immediate use.

On August 13th, the goods in the factory store were distributed among the
Indians, who had collected near the fort; and in the evening the
ammunition, and also the liquor, belonging to the garrison, were carried,
the former into the sally-port and thrown into the well, and the latter
through the south gate, as silently as possible, to the river bank, where
the heads of the barrels were knocked in, and their contents discharged
into the stream. The Indians, however, suspecting the game, approached as
near as possible and witnessed the whole scene. The spare muskets were
broken up and thrown into the well, together with bags of shot, flints,
and gun-screws, and other things; all, however, of but little value.

On the 14th, the despondency of the garrison was for a while dispelled by
the arrival of Captain Wells and fifteen friendly Miamies. Having heard at
Fort Wayne of the error to evacuate Chicago, and knowing the hostile
intentions of the Pottawatomies, he hastened thither in order to save, if
possible, the little garrison from its doom. Having, on his arrival,
learned that the ammunition had been destroyed, and the provisions
distributed among the Indians, he saw there was no alternative.
Preparations were therefore made for marching on the morrow.

In the afternoon a second council was held with the Indians, at which they
expressed their resentment at the destruction of the ammunition and liquor
in the severest terms. Notwithstanding the precautions which had been
observed, the knocking in of the heads of the whisky-barrels had been
heard by the Indians, and the river next morning tasted, as some of them
expressed it, "like strong grog." Murmurs and threats were everywhere
heard; and nothing, apparently, was wanting but an opportunity for some
public manifestation of their resentment.

The morning of the 15th dawned as usual; the sun rose with uncommon
splendor, and Lake Michigan "was a sheet of burnished gold." Early in the
day a message was received in the American camp from To-pee-na-bee, a
chief of the St. Joseph's band, informing them that mischief was brewing
among the Pottawatomies, who had promised them protection.

[Illustration: TO-PEE-NA-BEE.]

About nine o'clock, the troops left the fort with martial music, and in
military array. Captain Wells, at the head of the Miamies, led the van,
his face blackened after the manner of the Indians. The garrison, with
loaded arms, followed, and the wagons with the baggage, the women and
children, the sick and the lame, closed the rear. The Pottawatomies, about
five hundred in number, who had promised to escort them in safety to Fort
Wayne leaving a little space, afterward followed. The party in advance
took the beach road. They had no sooner arrived at the sand-hills which
separate the prairie from the beach, about a mile and a half from the
fort, when the Pottawatomies, instead of continuing in rear of the
Americans, left the beach and took to the prairie; the sand-hills of
course intervened, and presented a barrier between the Pottawatomies and
the American and Miami line of march. This divergence had scarcely been
effected, when Captain Wells, who, with the Miamies was considerably in
advance, rode back and exclaimed, "They are about to attack us; form
instantly and charge upon them." The word had scarcely been uttered,
before a volley of musketry from behind the sand-hills was poured in upon
them. The troops were brought immediately into a line and charged upon the
bank. One man, a veteran of seventy, fell as they ascended. The battle at
once became general. The Miamies fled in the outset; their chief rode up
to the Pottawatomies, charged them with duplicity, and, brandishing his
tomahawk, said, "he would be the first to head a party of Americans, and
return to punish them for their treachery." He then turned his horse and
galloped off in pursuit of his companions, who were then scouring across
the prairie, and nothing was seen or heard of them more.

The American troops behaved gallantly; though few in number, they sold
their lives as dearly as possible. They felt, however, as if their time
had come, and sought to forget all that was dear on earth.

While the battle was raging, the surgeon, Doctor Voorhes, who was badly
wounded, and whose horse had been shot from under him, approaching Mrs.
Helm, the wife of Lieutenant Helm, (who was in the action, participating
in all its vicissitudes,) observed, "Do you think," said he, "they will
take our lives? I am badly wounded, but I think not mortally. Perhaps we
can purchase safety by offering a large reward. Do you think," continued
he, "there is any chance?"

"Doctor Voorhes," replied Mrs. Helm, "let us not waste the few moments
which yet remain in idle or ill-founded hopes. Our fate is inevitable; we
must soon appear at the bar of God; let us make such preparations as are
yet in our power."

"Oh," said he, "I cannot die; I am unfit to die! If I had a short time to
prepare! Death! oh, how awful!"

At this moment, Ensign Ronan was fighting at a little distance with a tall
and portly Indian; the former, mortally wounded, was nearly down, and
struggling desperately upon one knee. Mrs. Helm, pointing her finger, and
directing the attention of Doctor Voorhes thither, observed, "Look," said
she, "at that young man; he dies like a soldier."

"Yes," said Doctor Voorhes, "but he has no terrors of the future; he is an

[Illustration: THE MASSACRE.]

A young savage immediately raised his tomahawk to strike Mrs. Helm. She
sprang instantly aside, and the blow intended for her head fell upon her
shoulder; she thereupon seized him around his neck, and while exerting all
her efforts to get possession of his scalping-knife, was seized by another
Indian and dragged forcibly from his grasp. The latter bore her,
struggling and resisting, toward the lake. Notwithstanding, however, the
rapidity with which she was hurried along, she recognized, as she passed,
the remains of the unfortunate surgeon stretched lifeless on the prairie.
She was plunged immediately into the water and held there, notwithstanding
her resistance, with a forcible hand. She shortly, however, perceived that
the intention of her captor was not to drown her, as he held her in a
position to keep her head above the water. Thus reassured, she looked at
him attentively, and, in spite of his disguise, recognized the "white
man's friend." It was Black Partridge.

When the firing had ceased, her preserver bore her from the water and
conducted her up the sand-bank. It was a beautiful day in August. The
heat, however, of the sun was oppressive; and, walking through the sand,
exposed to its burning rays, in her drenched condition--weary, and
exhausted by efforts beyond her strength--anxious beyond measure to learn
the fate of her friends, and alarmed for her own, her situation was one of

The troops having fought with desperation till two-thirds of their number
were slain, the remainder twenty-seven in all, borne down by an
overwhelming force, and exhausted by efforts hitherto unequalled, at
length surrendered. They stipulated, however, for their own safety and for
the safety of their remaining women and children. The wounded prisoners,
however, in the hurry of the moment, were unfortunately omitted, or rather
not particularly mentioned and were therefore regarded by the Indians as
having been excluded.

One of the soldiers' wives, having frequently been told that prisoners
taken by the Indians were subjected to tortures worse than death, had from
the first expressed a resolution never to be taken; and when a party of
savages approached to make her their prisoner, she fought with
desperation; and, though assured of kind treatment and protection, refused
to surrender, and was literally cut in pieces and her mangled remains left
on the field.

After the surrender, one of the baggage wagons, containing twelve
children, was assailed by a single savage and the whole number were
massacred. All, without distinction of age or sex, fell at once beneath
his murderous tomahawk.

Captain Wells, who had as yet escaped unharmed, saw from a distance the
whole of this murderous scene; and being apprized of the stipulation, and
seeing it thus violated, exclaimed aloud, so as to be heard by the
Pottawatomies around him, whose prisoner he then was, "If this be your
game, I will kill too!" and turning his horse's head, instantly started
for the Pottawatomie camp, where the squaws and Indian children had been
left ere the battle began. He had no sooner started, than several Indians
followed in his rear and discharged their rifles at him as he galloped
across the prairie. He laid himself flat on the neck of his horse, and was
apparently out of their reach, when the ball of one of his pursuers took
effect, killing his horse and wounding him severely. He was again a
prisoner; as the savages came up, Winnemeg and Wa-ban-see, two of their
number, and both his friends, used all their endeavors in order to save
him; they had disengaged him already from his horse, and were supporting
him along, when Pee-so-tum, a Pottawatomie Indian, drawing his
scalping-knife, stabbed him in the back, and thus inflicted a mortal
wound. After struggling for a moment he fell, and breathed his last in the
arms of his friends, a victim for those he had sought to save--a sacrifice
to his own rash intentions.


The battle having ended, and the prisoners being secured, the latter were
conducted to the Pottawatomie camp near the fort. Here the wife of
Wau-bee-nee-mah, an Illinois chief, perceiving the exhausted condition of
Mrs. Helm, took a kettle, and dipping up some water from the stream which
flowed sluggishly by them, threw into it some maple sugar, and, stirring
it up with her hand, gave her to drink. "It was," says Mrs. Helm, "the
most delicious draught I had ever taken, and her kindness of manner, amid
so much atrocity, touched my heart." Her attention, however, was soon
directed to other objects. The fort, after the troops had marched out,
became a scene of plunder. The cattle were shot down as they ran at large,
and lay dead, or were dying around her. It called up afresh a remark of
Ensign Ronan's, made before; "Such," said he, "is to be our fate--to be
shot down like brutes."

The wounded prisoners, we have already remarked, were not included in the
stipulation made on the battle-field, as the _Indians understood it_. On
reaching, therefore, the Pottawatomie camp, a scene followed which beggars
description. A wounded soldier, lying on the ground, was violently
assaulted by an old squaw, infuriated by the loss of friends or excited by
the murderous scenes around her--who, seizing a pitchfork, attacked the
wretched victim, now helpless, and exposed to the burning rays of the sun,
his wounds already aggravated by its heat, and he writhing in torture.
During the succeeding night, five other wounded prisoners were

Those unwounded remained in the wigwams of their captors. The work of
plunder being now completed, the fort next day was set on fire. A fair and
equal distribution of all the finery belonging to the garrison had
apparently been made, and shawls and ribands and feathers were scattered
about the camp in great profusion.

After suffering many hardships, Mrs. Helm, Mrs. Heald, and the surviving
male prisoners were ransomed and sent back to their friends. A few of
them, however, were not set at liberty until after the battle of the


In August, 1786, Mr. Francis Downing, then a lad, was living in a fort,
where subsequently some iron works were erected by Mr. Jacob Myers, which
are now known by the name of Slate Creek works. About the 16th, a young
man belonging to the fort, called upon Downing, and requested his
assistance in hunting for a horse which had strayed away on the preceding
evening. Downing readily complied, and the two friends traversed the woods
in every direction, until at length, towards evening, they found
themselves in a wild valley, at a distance of six or seven miles from the
fort. Here Downing became alarmed and repeatedly assured his elder
companion, (whose name was Yates,) that he heard sticks cracking behind
them, and was confident that Indians were dogging them. Yates, being an
experienced hunter, and from habit grown indifferent to the dangers of the
woods, diverted himself freely at the expense of his young companion,
often inquiring, at what price he rated his scalp, and offering to ensure
it for sixpence. Downing, however, was not so easily satisfied. He
observed, that in whatever direction they turned, the same ominous sounds
continued to haunt them, and as Yates still treated his fears with the
most perfect indifference, he determined to take his measures upon his own
responsibility. Gradually slackening his pace, he permitted Yates to
advance twenty or thirty steps in front of him, and immediately after
descending a gentle hill, he suddenly sprung aside and hid himself in a
thick cluster of whortleberry bushes. Yates, who at that time was
performing some woodland ditty to the full extent of his lungs, was too
much pleased with his own voice, to attend either to Downing or the
Indians, and was quickly out of sight. Scarcely had he disappeared, when
Downing, to his unspeakable terror, beheld two savages put aside the
stalks of a canebrake, and looked out cautiously in the direction which
Yates had taken. Fearful that they had seen him step aside, he determined
to fire upon them, and trust to his heels for safety, but so unsteady was
his hand, that in raising his gun to his shoulder, she went off before he
had taken aim. He lost no time in following her example, and after having
run fifty yards, he met Yates, who, alarmed at the report, was hastily
retracing his steps. It was not necessary to inquire what was the matter.
The enemy were in full view, pressing forward with great rapidity, and
"devil take the hindmost," was the order of the day. Yates would not
outstrip Downing, but ran by his side, although in so doing, he risked
both of their lives. The Indians were well acquainted with the country,
and soon took a path that diverged from the one which the whites followed,
at one point and rejoined it at another, bearing the same relation to it
that the string does to the bow. The two paths were at no point distant
from each other more than one hundred yards, so that Yates and Downing
could easily see the enemy gaining rapidly upon them. They reached the
point of re-union first, however, and quickly came to a deep gully which
it was necessary to recross, or retrace their steps. Yates cleared it
without difficulty, but Downing being, much exhausted, fell short, falling
with his breast against the opposite brink, rebounded with violence, and
fell at full length on the bottom. The Indians crossed the ditch a few
yards below him, and, eager for the capture of Yates, continued the
pursuit, without appearing to notice Downing. The latter who at first had
given himself up for lost, quickly recovered his strength, and began to
walk slowly along the ditch, fearing to leave it lest the enemy should see
him. As he advanced, however, the ditch became more shallow, until at
length it ceased to protect him at all. Looking around cautiously, he saw
one of the Indians returning apparently in quest of him. Unfortunately, he
had neglected to reload his gun, while in the ditch, and as the Indian
instantly advanced upon him, he had no resource but flight. Throwing away
his gun, which was now useless, he plied his legs manfully, in ascending a
long ridge which stretched before him, but the Indian gained upon him so
rapidly, that he lost all hope of escape. Coming at length to a large
poplar which had been blown up by the roots, he ran along the body of the
tree upon one side while the Indian followed it upon the other, doubtless
expecting to intercept him at the root. It happened that a large she bear
was sucking her cubs in a bed which she had made at the root of the tree,
and as the Indian reached that point, she instantly sprung upon him, and a
prodigious uproar took place. The Indian yelled, and stabbed with his
knife, the bear growled and saluted him with one of her most endearing
"hugs;"--while Downing, fervently wishing her success, ran off through the
woods, without waiting to see the event of the struggle. Downing reached
the fort in safety, and found Yates reposing after a hot chase, having
eluded his pursuers, and gained the fort two hours before him. On the next
morning, they collected a party and returned to the poplar tree, but no
traces either of the Indian or bear were to be found. They both probably
escaped with their lives, although not without injury.




In the year 1787, the following incident occurred in Bourbon county
Kentucky. One morning, about sun rise, a young man of wild and savage
appearance, suddenly arose from a cluster of bushes in front of a cabin,
and hailed the house in a barbarous dialect, which seemed neither exactly
Indian nor English, but a collection of shreds and patches from which the
graces of both were carefully excluded. His skin had evidently once been
white--although now grievously tanned by constant exposure to the weather.
His dress in every respect was that of an Indian, as were his gestures,
tones and equipments, and his age could not be supposed to exceed twenty
years. He talked volubly, but uncouthly, placed his hand upon his breast,
gestured vehemently, and seemed very earnestly bent upon communicating
something. He was invited to enter the cabin, and the neighbors quickly
collected around him. He appeared involuntarily to shrink from contact
with them--his eyes rolled rapidly around with a distrustful expression
from one to the other, and his whole manner was that of a wild animal,
just caught, and shrinking from the touch of its captors.--As several
present understood the Indian tongue, they at length gathered the
following circumstances as accurately as they could be translated, out of
a language which seemed to be an "omnium gatherum" of all that was
mongrel, uncouth and barbarous. He said that he had been taken by the
Indians, when a child, but could neither recollect his name, nor the
country of his birth.--That he had been adopted by an Indian warrior, who
brought him up with his other sons, without making the slightest
difference between them, and that under his father's roof, he had lived
happily until within the last month. A few weeks before that time, his
father, accompanied by himself and a younger brother, had hunted for some
time upon the waters of the Miami, about forty miles from the spot where
Cincinnati now stands, and after all their meat, skins, &c., had been
properly secured, the old man determined to gratify his children by taking
them upon a war expedition to Kentucky. They accordingly built a bark
canoe, in which they crossed the Ohio, near the mouth of Licking, and
having buried it, so as to secure it from the action of the sun, they
advanced into the country and encamped at the distance of fifteen miles
from the river. Here their father was alarmed by hearing an owl cry in a
peculiar tone, which he declared boded death or captivity to themselves,
if they continued their expedition--and announced his intention of
returning without delay to the river. Both of his sons vehemently opposed
this resolution, and at length prevailed upon the old man to disregard the
owl's warning, and conduct them, as he had promised, against the frontiers
of Kentucky. The party then composed themselves to sleep, but were quickly
awakened by the father, who had again been warned in a dream that death
awaited them in Kentucky, and again besought his children to release him
from his promise and lose no time in returning home. Again they prevailed
upon him to disregard the warning, and persevere in the march. He
consented to gratify them, but declared he would not remain a moment
longer in the camp which they now occupied, and accordingly they left it
immediately, and marched on through the night, directing their course
towards Bourbon county. In the evening they approached a house, that which
he hailed and in which he was now speaking. Suddenly the desire of
rejoining his people occupied his mind so strongly as to exclude every
other idea, and seizing the first favorable opportunity, he had concealed
himself in the bushes, and neglected to reply to all the signals which had
been concerted for the purpose of collecting their party when scattered.
This account appeared so extraordinary, and the young man's appearance was
so wild and suspicious, that many of the neighbors suspected him of
treachery, and thought that he should be arrested as a spy. Others opposed
this resolution and gave full credit to his narrative. In order to satisfy
themselves, however, they insisted upon his immediately conducting them to
the spot where the canoe had been buried. To this the young man objected
most vehemently, declaring that although he had deserted his father and
brother, yet he would not betray them. These feelings were too delicate to
meet with much sympathy from the rude borderers who surrounded him, and he
was given to understand that nothing short of conducting them to the point
of embarkation, would be accepted as an evidence of his sincerity.--With
obvious reluctance he at length complied. From twenty to thirty men were
quickly assembled, mounted upon good horses, and under the guidance of the
deserter, they moved rapidly towards the mouth of Licking. On the road the
young man informed them that he would first conduct them to the spot,
where they had encamped when the scream of the owl alarmed his father, and
where an iron kettle had been concealed in a hollow tree. He was probably
induced to do this from the hope of delaying the pursuit so long as to
afford his friends an opportunity of crossing the river in safety. But if
such was his intention, no measure could have been more unfortunate.

[Illustration: THE SURPRISE.]

The whites approached the encampment in deep silence, and quickly
perceived two Indians, an old man and a boy, seated by the fire and busily
engaged in cooking some venison.--The deserter became much agitated at the
sight of them, and so earnestly implored his countrymen not to kill them,
that it was agreed to surround the encampment, and endeavor to secure them
as prisoners. This was accordingly attempted, but so desperate was the
resistance of the Indians, and so determined were their efforts to escape,
that the whites were compelled to fire upon them, and the old man fell
mortally wounded, while the boy, by an incredible display of address and
activity, was enabled to escape. The deserter beheld his father fall, and
throwing himself from his horse, he ran up to the spot where the old man
lay bleeding, but still sensible, and falling upon his body, besought his
forgiveness for being the unwilling cause of his death, and wept bitterly.
His father evidently recognized him, and gave him his hand, but almost
instantly afterwards expired. The white men now called upon him to conduct
them at a gallop to the spot where the canoe was buried, expecting to
reach it before the Indian boy and intercept him. The deserter in vain
implored them to compassionate his feelings. He urged that he had already
sufficiently demonstrated the truth of his former assertions, at the
expense of his father's life, and earnestly entreated them to permit his
younger brother to escape. His companions, however, were inexorable.
Nothing but the blood of the young Indian would satisfy them, and the
deserter was again compelled to act in the capacity of a guide.

Within two hours they reached the designated spot. The canoe was still
there, and no track could be seen upon the sand, so that it was evident
that their victim had not yet arrived. Hastily dismounting, they tied
their horses and concealed themselves within close rifle shot of the
canoe. Within ten minutes after their arrival the Indian appeared in
sight, walking swiftly towards them. He went straight to the spot where
the canoe had been buried, and was in the act of digging it up, when he
received a dozen balls through his body, and leaping high into the air
fell dead upon the sand. He was scalped and buried where he fell, without
having seen his brother, and probably without having known the treachery
by which he and his father had lost their lives. The deserter remained but
a short time in Bourbon, and never regained his tranquillity of mind. He
shortly afterwards disappeared, but whether to seek his relations in
Virginia or Pennsylvania, or whether disgusted by the ferocity of the
whites, he returned to the Indians, has never yet been known. He was never
heard of afterwards.

[Illustration: MORGAN AND THE INDIAN.]


In 1779, a Mr. Morgan, of Prickett's Fort, West Virginia, was surprised in
the woods by two Indians, who immediately gave chase. Being old and
somewhat infirm, he faltered in the race, and was obliged to take refuge
behind a tree; the Indians did the same, but one of them exposing his
body, was shot by Morgan, and, after falling, stabbed himself. Morgan
again fled; but his surviving antagonist gained rapidly upon him, and at
length raised his gun to fire. Morgan adroitly stepped aside, and the ball
passed him. Then each rushed to closer combat.

Morgan, while striking with his gun, received the Indian's tomahawk, which
cut off a finger, and knocked the gun from his grasp. Being an expert
wrestler, he closed, and threw his antagonist; but he was speedily
overturned, when the Indian, uttering the customary yell of triumph, began
feeling for his knife. Its hilt was entangled in a woman's apron, which
the savage had tied round his waist; and this apparent trivial
circumstance saved the prostrate hunter. During the search, Morgan had
seized his antagonist's fingers with his teeth, a position in which he
used all becoming exertions to keep them. Meanwhile he assisted in the
search for the knife. The Indian at length seized it, but so far towards
the blade, that Morgan caught hold of the upper portion of the handle, and
drew it through his adversary's hand, inflicting a deep wound. Both sprang
erect, Morgan still holding on to the Indian's fingers, and having his
body within his grasp. He had therefore all the advantage, and while his
foe was struggling to disengage himself, he plunged the knife to the hilt
in his body. The daring hunter returned to the fort in triumph.

[Illustration: VIEW OF WYOMING.]



The following account of the battle and massacre is taken from an
interesting history of Wyoming, written by Isaac Chapman, Esq., late of
Wilkesbarre. Judge Chapman lived upon the spot, and could hardly fail to
have collected ample materials, and to give a correct narrative of the
events which transpired there during the Revolutionary war. The
inhabitants had collected in Forty Fort--the principal fort in the valley.
The number of men was three hundred and sixty-eight.

On the morning of the 3d of July, 1778, the officers of the garrison of
Forty Fort held a council to determine on the propriety of marching from
the fort, and attacking the enemy wherever found. The debates in this
council of war are said to have been conducted with much warmth and
animation. The ultimate determination was one on which depended the lives
of the garrison and safety of the settlement. On one side it was contended
that their enemies were daily increasing in numbers; that they would
plunder the settlement of all kinds of property, and would accumulate the
means of carrying on the war, while they themselves would become weaker;
that the harvest would soon be ripe, and would be gathered or destroyed by
their enemies, and all their means of sustenance during the succeeding
winter would fail; that probably all their messengers were killed, and as
there had been more than sufficient time, and no assistance arrived, they
would probably receive none, and consequently now was the proper time to
make an attack.

On the other side it was argued, that probably some or all the messengers
may have arrived at head-quarters, but that the absence of the
commander-in-chief may have produced delay; that one or two weeks more may
bring the desired assistance, and that to attack the enemy, superior as
they were in number, out of the limits of their own fort, would produce
almost certain destruction to the settlements and themselves, and
captivity, and slavery, perhaps torture, to their wives and children.


While these debates were progressing, five men belonging to Wyoming, but
who at that time held commissions in the continental army, arrived at the
fort; they had received information that a force from Niagara had marched
to destroy the settlements on the Susquehanna, and being unable to bring
with them any reinforcement, they resigned their appointments, and
hastened immediately to the protection of their families. They had heard
nothing of the messengers, neither could they give any certain information
as to the probability of relief.

The prospect of receiving assistance became now extremely uncertain. The
advocates for the attack prevailed in the council, and at dawn of day, on
the morning of the 3d of July, the garrison left the fort, and began their
march up the river, under the command of Colonel Zebulon Butler. Having
proceeded about two miles, the troops halted for the purpose of detaching
a reconnoitering party, to ascertain the situation of the enemy.

The scout found the enemy in possession of Fort Wintermoot, and occupying
huts immediately around it, carousing in supposed security; but on their
return to the advancing column, they met two strolling Indians, by whom
they were fired upon, and upon whom they immediately returned the fire
without effect. The settlers hastened their march for the attack, but the
Indians had given the alarm, and the advancing troops found the enemy
already formed in order of battle a small distance from their fort, with
their right flank covered by a swamp, and their left resting upon the bank
of a river. The settlers immediately displayed their column and formed in
corresponding order, but as the enemy was much superior in numbers, their
line was much more extensive. Pine woods and bushes covered the
battle-ground, in consequence of which, the movements of the troops could
not be so quickly discovered, nor so well ascertained. Colonel Zebulon
Butler had command of the right, and was opposed by Colonel John Butler at
the head of the British troops on the left, Colonel Nathan Denison
commanded the left, opposed by Brant at the head of his Indians on the
enemy's right. The battle commenced at about forty rods distant, and
continued about fifteen minutes through the woods and brush without much
execution. At this time, Brant with his Indians having penetrated the
swamp, turned the left flank of the settler's line, and with a terrible
war-whoop and savage yell, made a desperate charge upon the troops
composing that wing, which fell very fast, and were immediately cut to
pieces with the tomahawk. Colonel Denison having ascertained that the
savages were gaining the rear of the left, gave orders for that wing _to
fall back_. At the same time, Colonel John Butler, finding that the line
of settlers did not extend so far towards the river as his own, doubled
that end of his line which was protected by a thick growth of brushwood,
and having brought a party of his British regulars to act in column upon
that wing, threw Colonel Zebulon Butler's into some confusion. The orders
of Colonel Denison for his troops to fall back, having been understood by
many to mean a retreat, the troops began to retire in much disorder. The
savages considered this a flight, and commencing a most hideous yell,
rushed forward with their rifles and tomahawks, and cut the retiring line
to pieces. In this situation it was found impossible to rally and form the
troops, and the rout became general throughout the line.

The settlers fled in every direction, and were instantly followed by the
savages, who killed or took prisoners whoever came within their reach.
Some succeeded in reaching the river, and escaped by swimming across;
others fled to the mountains, and the savages, too much occupied with
plunder, gave up the pursuit.

When the first intelligence was received in the village of Wilkesbarre
that the battle was lost, the women fled with their children to the
mountains on their way to the settlements on the Delaware, where many of
them at length arrived after suffering extreme hardships. Many of the men
who escaped the battle, together with their women and children, who were
unable to travel on foot, took refuge in Wyoming fort, and on the
following day (July 4th,) Butler and Brant, at the head of their combined
forces, appeared before the fort, and demanded its surrender. The garrison
being without any efficient means of defence, surrendered the fort on
articles of capitulation, by which the settlers, upon giving up their
fortifications, prisoners, and military stores, were to remain in the
country unmolested, provided they did not again take up arms.

In this battle about three hundred of the settlers were killed or missing,
from a great part of whom no intelligence was ever afterward received.

The conditions of the capitulation were entirely disregarded by the
British and savage forces, and after the fort was delivered up, all kinds
of barbarities were committed by them. The village of Wilkesbarre,
consisting of twenty-three houses, was burnt; men and their wives were
separated from each other, and carried into captivity: their property was
plundered, and the settlement laid waste. The remainder of the inhabitants
were driven from the valley, and compelled to proceed on foot sixty miles
through the great swamp, almost without food or clothing. A number
perished in the journey, principally women and children; some died of
their wounds; others wandered from the path in search of food, and were
lost, and those who survived called the wilderness through which they had
passed, "the shades of death!" a name which it has since retained.

[Illustration: THE BLOCK-HOUSE.]


The following incidents are taken from a letter addressed by Captain
Nathaniel Hart, of Woodford county, Kentucky, to Governor Morehead:

DEAR SIR.--Connected with your address delivered at the celebration of the
first settlement of Kentucky, at Boonesborough, the circumstances
attending the escape and defence of Mrs. Woods, about the year 1784-5,
near the Crab Orchard, in Lincoln county, may not be without interest. I
have a distinct recollection of them. Mr. Woods, her husband, was absent
from home, and early in the morning, being a short distance from her
cabin, she discovered several Indians advancing towards it. She reached it
before all but one, who was so far ahead of the others, that before she
could close and fasten the door, he entered. Instantly he was seized by a
lame negro man of the family, and after a short scuffle, they both
fell--the negro underneath. But he held the Indian so fast, that he was
unable to use either his scalping knife or tomahawk, when he called upon
his young mistress to take the axe from under the bed, and dispatch him by
a blow upon the head. She immediately attempted it: but the first attempt
was a failure She repeated the blow and killed him. The other Indians were
at the door endeavoring to force it open with their tomahawks. The negro
rose, and proposed to Mrs. Woods to let in another, and they would soon
dispose of the whole of them in the same way. The cabin was but a short
distance from a station, the occupants of which, having discovered the
perilous situation of the family, fired on the Indians, and killed
another, when the remainder made their escape.


This incident is not more extaordinary than one that happened, in the
fall or winter of 1781-2, to some families belonging to our own fort
at the White Oak Spring. My father settled this fort in 1779. It was
situated about a mile above Boonesborough and in the same bottom of the
river. It was composed principally of families from York county,
Pennsylvania--orderly, respectable people, and the men good soldiers. But
they were unaccustomed to Indian warfare, and the consequence was,
that of some ten or twelve men, all were killed but two or three. During
this period, Peter Duree, the elder, the principal man of the connection,
determined to settle a new fort between Estill's station and the mouth of
Muddy Creek, directly on the trace between the Cherokee and Shawnese
towns. Having erected a cabin, his son-in-law, John Bullock and his
family, and his son Peter Duree, his wife and two children, removed to
it, taking a pair of hand mill stones with them. They remained for two or
three days shut up in their cabin, but their corn meal being exhausted,
they were compelled to venture out to cut a hollow tree in order to
adjust their hand mill. They were attacked by Indians--Bullock, after
running a short distance, fell. Duree reached the cabin, and threw himself
upon the bed. Mrs. Bullock ran to the door to ascertain the fate of her
husband--received a shot in the breast, and fell across the door sill.
Mrs. Duree, not knowing whether her husband had been shot or had
fainted, caught her by the feet, pulled her into the house and barred
the door. She grasped a rifle and told her husband, she would help him to
fight. He replied that he had been wounded and was dying. She then
presented the gun through several port holes in quick succession--then
calmly sat by her husband and closed his eyes in death. You would
conclude that the scene ought to end here--but after waiting several
hours, and seeing nothing more of the Indians, she sallied out in
desperation to make her way to the White Oak Spring, with her infant in
her arms, and a son, three or four years of age, following her. Afraid to
pursue the trace, she entered the woods, and after running till she
was nearly exhausted she came at length to the trace. She determined
to follow it at all hazards, and having advanced a few miles further,
she met the elder Mr. Duree, with his wife, and youngest son, with
their baggage, on their way to the new station. The melancholy tidings
induced them, of course, to return. They led their horses into an
adjoining canebrake, unloaded them, and regained the White Oak Spring
fort before daylight.

It is impossible at this day to make a just impression of the sufferings
of the pioneers about the period spoken of. The White Oak Spring fort in
1782, with perhaps one hundred souls in it, was reduced in August to three
fighting white men--and I can say with truth, that for two or three weeks,
my mother's family never unclothed themselves to sleep, nor were all of
them, within the time, at their meals together, nor was any household
business attempted. Food was prepared, and placed where those who chose
could eat. It was the period when Bryant's station was besieged and for
many days before and after that gloomy event, we were in constant
expectation of being made prisoners. We made application to Colonel Logan
for a guard, and obtained one, but not until the danger was measurably
over. It then consisted of two men only. Colonel Logan did everything in
his power, as county lieutenant, to sustain the different forts--but it
was not a very easy matter to order a married man from a fort where his
family was to defend some other--when his own was in imminent danger.

I went with my mother in January, 1783, to Logan's station, to prove my
father's will. He had fallen in the preceding July. Twenty armed men were
of the party. Twenty-three widows were in attendance upon the court, to
obtain letters of administration on the estates of their husbands, who had
been killed during the past year. My mother went to Colonel Logan's, who
received and treated her like a sister.

[Illustration: GENERAL ST. CLAIR.]


The Chippewas are a numerous people inhabiting the country north of Lake
Superior, and about the source of the Mississippi. They are divided into
several tribes, and are distinguished by the number of blue or black lines
tattooed on their cheeks and foreheads.

Travellers have always described them as "the most peaceable tribe of
Indians known in North America." They are not remarkable for their
activity as hunters, and this no doubt is owing to the ease with which
they can procure both game and fish.

[Illustration: THE SENTINEL.]

In their pursuit of deer, they sometimes drive them into the small lakes,
and then spear them from their canoes; or shoot them with the bow and
arrow, after having driven them into inclosures constructed for the
purpose. Snares made of deer sinews, too, are frequently used for catching
large and small game: and as these occupations are not beyond the strength
of the old men and boys, they take a share in these toils, which among
most of the tribes are left exclusively to the squaws.

In person the Chippewas are not remarkable; they are generally robust,
their complexion swarthy, their features broad, and their hair straight
and black, which is the case in most of the Indian tribes. But they have
not that piercing eye, which so generally animates the Indian

The aspect of the women is more agreeable than that of the men; they wear
their hair of a great length, and pay much attention to its arrangement,
greasing it with considerable taste.

They appear to be more attentive to the comforts of dress, and less
anxious about its exterior than of their red brethren. Deer and fawn
skins, dressed with the hair on, so skilfully that they are perfectly
supple, compose their shirt or coat, which is girt round the waist with a
belt, and reaches half way down the thigh. Their moccasins and leggins are
generally sewn together, and the latter meet the belt to which they are
fastened. A ruff or tippet surrounds the neck, and the skin of the deer's
head is formed into a curious sort of cap.

A robe of several deer skins sewn together is throw over the whole; this
dress is sometimes worn single, but in winter it is always made double,
the hair forming both the lining and the outside.

Thus attired, a Chippewa will lay himself down on the snow and repose in
comfort; and if in his wanderings across the numerous lakes with which his
country abounds, he should fall short of provisions, he has only to cut a
hole in the ice, when he seldom fails of taking a blackfish, or a bass,
which he broils over his little wood fire with as much skill as a French

At the time of the French and Indian wars, the American army was encamped
on the Plains of Chippewa. Colonel St. Clair, the commander, was a brave
and meritorious officer, but his bravery sometimes amounted to rashness,
and his enemies have accused him of indiscretion. In the present instance
perhaps he may have merited the accusation, for the plain on which he had
encamped was bordered by a dense forest, from which the Indian scouts
could easily pick off his sentinels without in the least exposing
themselves to danger.


Five nights had passed, and every night the sentinel, who stood at a
lonely out-post in the vicinity of the forest, had been shot; and these
repeated disasters struck such dread among the remaining soldiers, that no
one would come forward to offer to take the post, and the commander,
knowing it was only throwing men's lives away, let it stand for a few
nights unoccupied.

At length, a rifleman of the Virginian corps, volunteered his services for
this dangerous duty; he laughed at the fears of his companions, and told
them he meant to return safe and drink his commander's health in the
morning. The guard marched up soon after, and he shouldered his rifle and
fell. He arrived at the place which had been so fatal to his comrades, and
bidding his fellow soldiers "good night," assumed the duties of his post.
The night was dark, thick clouds overspread the firmament, and hardly a
star could be seen by the sentinel as he paced his lonely walk. All was
silent except the gradually retreating footsteps of the guard; he marched
onwards, then stopped and listened till he thought he heard the joyful
sound of "All's well"--then all was still, and he sat down on a fallen
tree and began to muse. Presently a low rustling among the bushes caught
his ear; he gazed intently towards the spot whence the sound seemed to
proceed, but he could see nothing save the impenetrable gloom of the
forest. The sound grew nearer, and a well-known grunt informed him of the
approach of a bear. The animal passed the soldier slowly, and then quietly
sought the thicket to the left. At this moment the moon shone out bright
through the parting clouds, and the wary soldier perceived the ornamented
moccasin of a savage on what an instant before he believed to be a bear!
He could have shot him in a moment, but he knew not how many other animals
might be at hand; he therefore refrained, and having perfect knowledge of
Indian subtilty, he quickly took off his hat and coat, hung them on a
branch of a fallen tree, grasped his rifle, and silently crept towards the
thicket. He had barely reached it, when an arrow, whizzing past his head,
told him of the danger he had so narrowly escaped.

He looked carefully round him, and on a little spot of cleared land he
counted twelve Indians, some sitting, some lying full length on the
thickly strewn leaves of the forest. Believing that they had already shot
the sentinel, and little thinking there was any one within hearing, they
were quite off their guard, and conversed aloud about their plans for the

It appeared that a council of twelve chiefs was now held, in which they
gravely deliberated on the most effectual means of annoying the enemy. It
was decided that the next evening forty of their warriors should be in
readiness at the hour when the sentinel should be left by his comrades,
and that when they had retired a few paces, an arrow should silence him
for ever, and they would then rush on and massacre the guard.

This being concluded, they rose, and drawing the numerous folds of their
ample robes closer round them, they marched off in Indian file through the
gloomy forest, seeking some more distant spot, where the smoke of their
nightly fire would not be observed by the white men.

The sentinel rose from his hiding-place and returned to his post, and
taking down his hat, found that an arrow had passed clean through it. He
then wrapt himself in his watch-coat, and returned immediately to the
camp; and without any delay demanded to speak to the commander, saying
that he had something important to communicate.

[Illustration: GENERAL MORGAN.]

He was admitted, and when he had told all that he had seen and heard, the
Colonel bestowed on him the commission of lieutenant of the Virginia
corps, which had been made vacant by the death of one of his comrades a
few nights back, and ordered him to be ready with a picket guard, to march
an hour earlier than usual to the fatal out-post, there to place a hat and
coat on the branches, and then lie in ambush for the intruders.

The following evening, according to the orders given by Colonel St. Clair,
a detachment of forty riflemen, with Lieutenant Morgan at their head,
marched from the camp at half past seven in the evening towards the
appointed spot, and having arranged the hat and coat so as to have the
appearance of a soldier standing on guard, they stole silently away and
hid themselves among the bushes.

Here they lay for almost an hour before any signs of approaching Indians
were heard. The night was cold and still, and the rising moon shone forth
in all her beauty. The men were becoming impatient of their uncomfortable
situation, for their clothes were not so well adapted to a bed of snow as
the deer-skin robes of the hardy Chippewas.

"Silence!" whispered Lieutenant Morgan--"I hear the rustling of the

Presently a bear of the same description as had been seen the night
before, passed near the ambush; it crept to the edge of the
plain--reconnoitred--saw the sentinel at his post--retired towards the
forest a few paces, and then, suddenly rising on his feet, let fly an
arrow which brought the sham sentinel to the ground. So impatient were the
Virginians to avenge the death of their comrades that they could scarcely
wait till the lieutenant gave the word of command to fire--then they rose
in a body, and before the Chippewas had time to draw their arrows or seize
their tomahawks, more than half their number lay dead upon the plain. The
rest fled to the forest, but the riflemen fired again, and killed or
wounded several more of the enemy. They then returned in triumph to relate
their exploits in the camp.

Ten chiefs fell that night, and their fall was, undoubtedly, one principal
cause of the French and Indian wars with the English.

Lieutenant Morgan rose to be a captain, and at the termination of the war
returned home, and lived on his own farm till the breaking out of the
American war. And then, at the head of a corps of Virginia rifleman,
appeared our hero, the brave and gallant Colonel Morgan, better known by
the title of general, which he soon acquired by his courage and ability.

[Illustration: BLACKBIRD.]


Among the first tribes of the Great Oregon Territory, which established
friendly intercourse with the United States traders, were the Omahas. The
boast of these Indians was a chief named Blackbird, who was a steadfast
friend of the white men and the terror of the neighboring hostile tribes.
Such were his skill, courage, and success in war, that friends and foes
regarded him as enchanted. He delighted in trials of strength or agility,
in which he always came off victorious. In addition to these qualities, he
possessed a secret which rendered him more than human in the eyes of his
barbarous followers. This was an acquaintance with the properties of
arsenic, which he had obtained from a white trader. Whenever he was
displeased with an Indian, he prophesied his death before a certain day,
and the sure accomplishment of the prophecy rendered Blackbird an object
of terror and reverence.

On one occasion, the Poncas made an incursion into Blackbird's territory,
and carried away a number of women and horses. He immediately collected
his warriors and pursued them. The Poncas sheltered themselves behind a
rude embankment, but their persevering enemy, gaining a good position,
poured upon them a well-directed fire, which did fearful execution. The
Ponca chief dispatched a herald, with the calumet, but he was immediately
shot; a second herald experienced the same treatment. The chieftain's
daughter, a young maiden of much personal beauty, then appeared before the
stern foe, dressed with exquisite taste, and bearing the calumet.
Blackbird's heart softened, he accepted the sacred emblem, and concluded a
peace with his enemy. The pledge given and received was the beautiful
Ponca maiden, as wife to the fierce chieftain of Omaha.

For the first time the heart of Blackbird felt the genial influence of
love. He loved the young creature who had saved her tribe, with all the
ardor of untutored nature. But he was still a savage, and sometimes
ungovernable bursts of rage would transport him beyond all bounds of
affection or decency. In one of these, his beloved wife unwittingly
offended him. He instantly drew his knife and laid her dead with a single
blow. The dreadful deed calmed him in a moment. For a little while he
looked at the beautiful corpse in stupid grief, and then, with his head
wrapped in his robe, he sat down beside it. He ate no food, spake no word
for three days. The remonstrances of his people were received with
silence, and no one dared to uncover his face. At length one of them
brought in a small child, and placed the foot of the unhappy warrior on
its neck. Blackbird was moved by the significant appeal and throwing aside
his robe, he arose and delivered an oration.

The Omaha tribe were greatly thinned by small-pox, and to this loathsome
disease their great chieftain fell a victim. His dying request was bold
and fanciful. Near the source of the Missouri is a high solitary rock,
round which the river winds in a nearly circular direction, and which
commands a view of the adjacent country for many miles around. There
Blackbird had often sat to watch for the canoes of the white traders, and
there it was his dying request to be buried. He was to be mounted upon his
horse, completely armed, so as to overlook his lands, and watch for the
coming boat of the white men. His orders were obeyed; and on that same
high promontory, over the tomb of the Indian warrior was raised his
national banner, capped with the scalps which he had taken in battle. Of
course the Indians regard the rock with superstitious reverence, and have
their own stories of the scenes which occasionally take place on and
around it.


While encamped on the 24th of April, at a spring near the Spanish Trail,
we were surprised by the sudden appearance amongst us of two Mexicans; a
man and a boy. The name of the man was Andreas Fuentas, and that of the
boy, a handsome lad of eleven years old, Pablo Hernandez. With a cavalcade
of about thirty horses, they had come out from Puebla de los Angelos, near
the Pacific; had lost half their animals, stolen by the Indians, and now
sought my camp for aid. Carson and Godey, two of my men, volunteered to
pursue them, with the Mexican; and, well mounted, the three set off on the
trail. In the evening, Fuentas returned, his horse having failed; but
Carson and Godey had continued the pursuit.

[Illustration: KIT. CARSON.]

In the afternoon of the next day, a war-whoop was heard, such as Indians
make when returning from a victorious enterprise; and soon Carson and
Godey appeared driving before them a band of horses, recognised by Fuentas
to be a part of those they had lost. Two bloody scalps, dangling from the
end of Godey's gun, announced that they had overtaken the Indians as well
as the horses. They had continued the pursuit alone after Fuentas left
them, and towards nightfall entered the mountains into which the trail
led. After sunset, the moon gave light until late in the night, when it
entered a narrow defile, and was difficult to follow. Here they lay from
midnight till morning. At daylight they resumed the pursuit, and at
sunrise discovered the horses; and immediately dismounting and tying up
their own, they crept cautiously to a rising ground which intervened, from
the crest of which they perceived the encampment of four lodges close by.
They proceeded quietly, and got within thirty or forty yards of their
object, when a movement among the horses discovered them to the Indians.
Giving the war shout, they instantly charged into the camp, regardless of
the numbers which the four lodges might contain. The Indians received them
with a flight of arrows, shot from their long bows, one of which passed
through Godey's shirt collar, barely missing the neck. Our men fired their
rifles upon a steady aim, and rushed in. Two Indians were stretched upon
the ground, fatally pierced with bullets; the rest fled, except a lad, who
was captured. The scalps of the fallen were instantly stripped off, but in
the process, one of them, who had two balls through his body, sprung to
his feet, the blood streaming from his skinned head, and uttered a hideous
howl. The frightful spectacle appalled the stout hearts of our men; but
they did what humanity required, and quickly terminated the agony of the
gory savage. They were now masters of the camp, which was a pretty little
recess in the mountain, with a fine spring, and apparently safe from all
invasion. Great preparation had been made for feasting a large party, for
it was a very proper place for a rendezvous, and for the celebration of
such orgies as robbers of the desert would delight in. Several of the
horses had been killed, skinned, and cut up--for the Indians living in the
mountains, and only coming into the plains to rob and murder, make no
other use of horses than to eat them. Large earthen vessels were on the
fire, boiling and stewing the horse beef, and several baskets containing
fifty or sixty pair of moccasins, indicated the presence or expectation of
a large party. They released the boy who had given strong evidence of the
stoicism, or something else of the savage character, by commencing his
breakfast upon a horse's head as soon as he found he was not to be killed,
but only tied as a prisoner.

[Illustration: AN INDIAN CAMP.]

Their object accomplished, our men gathered up all the surviving horses,
fifteen in number, returned upon their trail, and rejoined us at our camp
in the afternoon of the same day. They had rode about one hundred miles in
the pursuit and return, and all in about thirty hours. The time, place,
object and numbers considered, this expedition of Carson and Godey may be
considered among the boldest and most disinterested which the annals of
western adventure, so full of daring deeds, can present. Two men in a
savage wilderness, pursue day and night an unknown body of Indians into
the defiles of an unknown mountain--attack them on sight without counting
numbers--and defeat them in an instant--and for what?--to punish the
robbers of the desert, and revenge the wrongs of Mexicans whom they did
not know. I repeat it was Carson and Godey who did this--the former an
American, born, in Booneslick county, Missouri; the latter a Frenchman,
born in St. Louis--and both trained to western enterprise from early


As early as the year 1790, the block-house and stockade, above the mouth
of the Hockhocking river, was a frontier post for the hardy pioneer of
that portion of the state from the Hockhocking to the Sciota, and from the
Ohio river to the northern lakes. Then nature wore her undisturbed livery
of dark and thick forests, interspersed with green and flowery prairies.
Then the axe of the woodman had not been heard in the wilderness, nor the
plough of the husbandmen marred the beauty of the green prairies. Among
the rich and luxuriant valleys, that of the Hockhocking was pre-eminent
for nature's richest gifts--and the portico of it whereon Lancaster now
stands, was marked as the most luxuriant and picturesque, and became the
seat of an Indian village, at a period so early, that the "memory of man
runneth not parallel thereto." On the green sward of the prairie was held
many a rude gambol of the Indians; and here, too, was many an assemblage
of the warriors of one of the most powerful tribes, taking counsel for a
"war-path," upon some weak or defenceless post.

[Illustration: THE BLOCK-HOUSE.]

Upon one of these stirring occasions, intelligence reached the little
garrison above the mouth of the Hockhocking, that the Indians were
gathering in force somewhere up the valley, for the purpose of striking a
terrible and fatal blow on one of the few and scattered defences of the
whites. A council was held by the garrison, and scouts were sent up the
Hockhocking, in order to ascertain the strength of the foe, and the
probable point of attack. In the month of October, and on one of the
balmiest days of our Indian summer, two men could have been seen emerging
out of the thick plumb and hazel bushes skirting the prairie, and
stealthily climbing the eastern declivity of that most remarkable
promontory, now known as Mount Pleasant, whose western summit gives a
commanding view to the eye of what is doing on the prairie. This eminence
was gained by our two adventurers and hardy scouts, and from this point
they carefully observed the movements taking place on the prairie. Every
day brought an accession of warriors to those already assembled, and every
day the scouts witnessed from their eyrie, the horse-racing, leaping,
running and throwing the deadly tomahawk by the warriors. The old sachems
looking on with indifference--the squaws, for the most part, engaged in
their usual drudgeries, and the papooses manifesting all the noisy and
wayward joy of childhood. The arrival of any new party of savages was
hailed by the terrible war-whoop, which striking the mural face of Mount
Pleasant, was driven back into the various indentations of the surrounding
hills, producing reverberation on reverberation, and echo on echo, till it
seemed as if ten thousand fiends were gathered in their orgies. Such yells
might well strike terror into the bosoms of those unaccustomed to them. To
our scouts these were but martial music strains which waked their
watchfulness, and strung their iron frames. From their early youth had
they been always on the frontier, and therefore well practised in all the
subtlety, craft, and cunning, as well as knowing the ferocity and
bloodthirsty perseverance of the savage. They were therefore not likely to
be circumvented by the cunning of their foes; and without a desperate
struggle, would not fall victims to the scalping-knife.

On several occasions, small parties of warriors left the prairies and
ascended the Mount; at which times the scouts would hide in the fissures
of the rocks, or lying by the side of some long prostrate tree, cover
themselves with the sear and yellow leaf, and again leave their hiding
places when their uninvited visitors had disappeared.

[Illustration: A SHAWANESE WARRIOR.]

For food they depended on jerked venison, and cold corn bread, with which
their knapsacks had been well stored. Fire they dared not kindle, and the
report of one of their rifles would bring upon them the entire force of
the Indians. For drink they depended on some rain water, which still stood
in excavations of the rocks, but in a few days this store was exhausted,
and M'Clelland and White must abandon their enterprise or find a new
supply. To accomplish this most hazardous affair, M'Clelland being the
elder, resolved to make the attempt--with his trusty rifle in his grasp,
and two canteens strung across his shoulders, he cautiously descended to
the prairie, and skirting the hills on the north as much as possible
within the hazel thickets, he struck a course for the Hockhocking river.
He reached its margin, and turning an abrupt point of a hill, he found a
beautiful fountain of limpid water, now known as the Cold Spring, within a
few feet of the river. He filled his canteens and returned in safety to
his watchful companion. It was now determined to have a fresh supply of
water every day, and this duty was to be performed alternately.

On one of these occasions, after White had filled his canteens, he sat a
few moments, watching the limpid element, as it came gurgling out of the
bosom of the earth--the light sound of footsteps caught his practised ear,
and upon turning round, he saw two squaws within a few feet of him; these
upon turning the jet of the hill had thus suddenly came upon him. The
elder squaw gave one of those far-reaching whoops peculiar to the Indians.
White at once comprehended his perilous situation--for if the alarm should
reach the camp, he and his companion must inevitably perish.
Self-preservation impelled him to inflict a noiseless death upon the
squaws, and in such a manner as to leave no trace behind. Ever rapid in
thought, and prompt in action, he sprang upon his victims with a rapidity
and power of a panther, and grasping the throat of each, with one bound he
sprang into the river, and rapidly thrust the head of the elder woman
under the water, and making stronger efforts to submerge the younger, who,
however, powerfully resisted. During the short struggle, the younger
female addressed him in his own language, though almost in inarticulate
sounds. Releasing his hold, she informed him, that, ten years before, she
had been made a prisoner, on Grave Creek flats, and that the Indians, in
her presence, butchered her mother and two sisters; and that an only
brother had been captured with her, who succeeded on the second night in
making his escape; but what had become of him she knew not.

During the narrative, White, unobserved by the girl, had let go his grasp
on the elder squaw, whose body soon floated where it would not, probably
soon be found. He now directed the girl hastily to follow him, and with
his usual energy and speed, pushed for the Mount. They had scarcely gone
two hundred yards from the spring, before the alarm cry was heard some
quarter of a mile down the stream. It was supposed that some warriors
returning from a hunt, struck the Hockhocking just as the body of the
drowned squaw floated past. White and the girl succeeded in reaching the
Mount, where M'Clelland had been no indifferent spectator to the sudden
commotion among the Indians, as the prairie warriors were seen to strike
off in every direction, and before White and the girl had arrived, a party
of some twenty warriors had already gained the eastern acclivity of the
Mount, and were cautiously ascending, carefully keeping under cover. Soon
the two scouts saw the swarthy faces of the foe, as they glided from tree
to tree, and rock to rock, until the whole base of the Mount was
surrounded, and all hopes of escape were cut off.

[Illustration: A SHAWANESE CHIEF.]

In this peril nothing was left, other than to sell their lives as dearly
as possible; this they resolved to do, and advised the girl to escape to
the Indians, and tell them she had been a captive to the scouts.

She said, "No! Death, and that in presence of my people, is to me a
thousand times sweeter than captivity--furnish me with a rifle, and I will
show you that I can fight as well as die. This spot I leave not! here my
bones shall lie bleaching with yours! and should either of you escape, you
will carry the tidings of my death to my remaining relatives."

Remonstrance proved fruitless; the two scouts matured their plans for a
vigorous defence--opposing craft to craft, expedient to expedient, and an
unerring fire of the deadly rifle. The attack now commenced in front,
where, from the narrow backbone of the Mount, the savages had to advance
in single file, but where they could avail themselves of the rock and
trees. In advancing the warrior must be momentarily exposed, and two bare
inches of his swarthy form was target enough for the unerring rifle of the
scouts. After bravely maintaining the fight in front, and keeping the
enemy in check, they discovered a new danger threatening them. The wary
foe now made every preparation to attack them in flank, which could be
most successfully and fatally done by reaching an insulated rock lying in
one of the ravines on the southern hill side. This rock once gained by the
Indians, they could bring the scouts under point blank shot of the rifle;
and without the possibility of escape.

Our brave scouts saw the hopelessness of their situation, which nothing
could avert but brave companions and an unerring shot--them they had not.
But the brave never despair. With this certain fate resting upon them,
they had continued as calm, and as calculating, and as unwearied as the
strongest desire of vengeance on a treacherous foe could produce. Soon
M'Clelland saw a tall and swarthy figure preparing to spring from a cover
so near the fatal rock, that a single bound must reach it, and all hope be
destroyed. He felt that all depended on one advantageous shot, although
but one inch of the warrior's body was exposed, and that at a distance of
one hundred yards--he resolved to risk all--coolly he raised his rifle to
his eyes, carefully shading the sight with his hand, he drew a bead so
sure, that he felt conscious it would do--he touched the hair trigger with
his finger--the hammer came down, but in place of striking fire, it
crushed his flint into a hundred fragments! Although he felt that the
savage must reach the fatal rock before he could adjust another flint, he
proceeded to the task with the utmost composure, casting many a furtive
glance towards the fearful point. Suddenly he saw the warrior stretching
every muscle for the leap--and with the agility of a deer he made the
spring--instead of reaching the rock he sprung ten feet in the air, and
giving one terrific yell he fell upon the earth, and his dark corpse
rolled fifty feet down the hill. He had evidently received a death shot
from some unknown hand. A hundred voices from below re-echoed the terrible
shout, and it was evident that they had lost a favorite warrior, as well
as been foiled for a time in their most important movement. A very few
moments proved that the advantage so mysteriously gained would be of short
duration; for already the scouts caught a momentary glimpse of a swarthy
warrior, cautiously advancing towards the cover so recently occupied by a
fellow companion. Now, too, the attack in front was resumed with increased
fury, so as to require the incessant fire of both scouts, to prevent the
Indians from gaining the eminence--and in a short time M'Clelland saw the
wary warrior turning a somerset, his corpse rolled down towards his
companion: again a mysterious agent had interposed in their behalf. This
second sacrifice cast dismay into the ranks of the assailants; and just as
the sun was disappearing behind the western hills, the foe withdrew a
short distance, for the purpose of devising new modes of attack. The
respite came most seasonably to the scouts, who had bravely kept their
position, and boldly maintained the unequal fight from the middle of the

[Illustration: THE SCOUT.]

Now, for the first time, was the girl missing, and the scouts supposed
through terror she had escaped to her former captors, or that she had been
killed during the fight. They were not long left to doubt, for in a few
moments the girl was seen emerging from behind a rock and coming to them
with a rifle in her hand.

During the heat of the fight she saw a warrior fall, who had advanced some
fifty yards before the main body in front. She at once resolved to possess
herself of his rifle, and crouching in undergrowth she crept to the spot,
and succeeded in her enterprise, being all the time exposed to the cross
fire of the defenders and assailants--her practised eye had early noticed
the fatal rock, and hers was the mysterious hand by which the two warriors
had fallen--the last being the most wary, untiring, and bloodthirsty brave
of the Shawnese tribe. He it was, who ten years previous had scalped the
family of the girl, and been her captor.

In the west, dark clouds were now gathering, and in an hour the whole
heavens were shrouded in them; this darkness greatly embarrassed the
scouts in their contemplated night retreat, for they might readily lose
their way, or accidentally fall on the enemy--this being highly probable,
if not inevitable. An hour's consultation decided their plans, and it was
agreed that the girl, from her intimate knowledge of their localities,
should lead the advance a few steps. Another advantage might be gained by
this arrangement, for in case they should fall in with some out-post, the
girl's knowledge of the Indian tongue, would, perhaps, enable her to
deceive the sentinel: and so the sequel proved, for scarcely had they
descended one hundred feet, when a low "whist" from the girl, warned them
of present danger.


The scouts sunk silently to the earth, where, by previous agreement, they
were to remain till another signal was given them by the girl,--whose
absence for more than a quarter of an hour now began to excite the most
serious apprehensions. At length, she again appeared, and told them that
she had succeeded in removing two sentinels who were directly in their
route to a point some hundred feet distant. The descent was noiselessly
resumed--the level gained, and the scouts followed their intrepid pioneer
for half a mile in the most profound silence, when the barking of a small
dog, within a few feet, apprised them of a new danger. The almost
simultaneous click of the scouts' rifles was heard by the girl, who
rapidly approached them, and stated that they were now in the midst of the
Indian wigwams, and their lives depended on the most profound silence, and
implicitly following her footsteps. A moment afterwards, the girl was
accosted by a squaw, from an opening in the wigwam. She replied in the
Indian language, and without stopping pressed forward.

In a short time she stopped and assured the scouts that the village was
cleared and that they were now in safety. She knew that every pass leading
out of the prairie was safely guarded by Indians, and at once resolved to
adopt the bold adventure of passing through the very centre of their
village as the least hazardous. The result proved the correctness of her

They now kept a course for the Ohio, being guided by the Hockhocking
river--and after three days' march and suffering, the party arrived at the
block-house in safety.

Their escape from the Indians, prevented the contemplated attack; and the
rescued girl proved to be the sister of the intrepid Neil Washburn,
celebrated in Indian warfare as the renowned scout to Captain Kenton's
bloody Kentuckians.



To show of what material the boys were made, in the great heroic age of
the west, we give the following, which we find in a recent communication
from Major Nye, of Ohio. The scene of adventure was within the present
limits of Wood county, Virginia.

I have heard from Mr. Guthrie and others, that at Bellville a man had a
son, quite a youth, say twelve or fourteen years of age, who had been used
to firing his father's gun, as most boys did in those days. He heard, he
supposed, turkeys on or near the bank of the Ohio, opposite that place,
and asked his father to let him take his gun and kill one. His father
knowing that the Indians often decoyed people by such noises, refused,
saying it was probably an Indian. When he had gone to work, the boy took
the gun and paddled his canoe over the river, but had the precaution to
land some distance from where he had heard the turkey all the morning,
probably from fear of scaring the game, and perhaps a little afraid of
Indians. The banks were steep, and the boy cautiously advanced to where he
could see without being seen. Watching awhile for his game, he happened to
see an Indian cautiously looking over a log, to notice where the boy had
landed. The lad fixed his gun at rest, watching the place where he had
seen the Indian's head, and when it appeared again, fired, and the Indian
disappeared. The boy dropped the gun and ran for his canoe, which he
paddled over the river as soon as possible. When he reached home, he said,
"Mother, I have killed an Indian!" and the mother replied, "No, you have
not." "Yes, I have," said the boy. The father coming in, he made the same
report to him, and received the same reply; but he constantly affirmed it
was even so; and, as the gun was left, a party took the boy over the river
to find it, and show the place where he shot the Indian, and behold, his
words were found verified. The ball had entered the head, where the boy
had affirmed he shot, between the eye and ear.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Heroes and Hunters of the West - Comprising Sketches and Adventures of Boone, Kenton, Brady, Logan, Whetzel, Fleehart, Hughes, Johnson, &c." ***

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