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Title: Indian Creek Massacre and Captivity of Hall Girls
Author: Scanlan, Charles Martin
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.

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  of the
  As Captives in Illinois and Wisconsin


  Author of
  “Scanlan’s Rules of Order,” “The Law of Church and Grave,”
  “Law of Hotels” Etc.


  421 Matthews Building
  Milwaukee, Wis.

  COPYRIGHT, 1915.


No one is satisfied with an incomplete story. The very meagre and
inconsistent accounts of the adventures of Sylvia and Rachel Hall
(familiarly known as the “Hall girls”) heretofore published, merely
excited one’s curiosity to know the whole story. The ladies’ statements
that have been published, gave only an outline of the facts as far
as they knew them personally. To obtain all the facts, required
much investigation of books and a great deal of correspondence with
historical societies, editors of newspapers and the War and the
Interior Department of the United States. Also, the writer has had
personal interviews with relatives of the Misses Hall, and has traveled
over the ground and examined all the evidence that now appears from
the location of the little cottage on Indian Creek to Galena where the
girls took a boat for St. Louis.

Mrs. A. Miranda Dunavan, a daughter of Mrs. Rachel Hall Munson (the
younger captive), gave me the family history of her mother; and Miss
Sylvia E. Horn of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Mr. C. L. Horn of Mackinaw,
Illinois. grand-children of Mrs. Sylvia Hall Horn (the elder captive),
contributed the history of the Horn family. Thus every fact in the
following pages is stated upon the best evidence.

To gather all the traditions that still linger along the course over
which the Indians traveled with their captives, the writer enlisted the
services of his nieces, Miss Gertrude Scanlan of Fennimore, Wisconsin,
and Miss Marian Scanlan of Prairie du Chien, whose grandfathers
were pioneers in the lead regions. However, no fact has been stated
on tradition without the clues being verified by land records or
government documents.

Of course every lady wants to know how the girls looked. Unfortunately,
there is no picture of either of them prior to middle life. Mrs.
Dunavan lent to me a very rare daguerreotype picture of her mother,
Mrs. Munson, taken at the age of about forty-two years, and a
photograph of her aunt, Mrs. Sylvia Hall Horn, taken when she was
over sixty years of age. Also, I borrowed from Mrs. Dunavan a tintype
picture of herself when she was sixteen, which is said to be a very
good likeness of her aunt Sylvia at the time that she was taken
captive. These pictures are reproduced herein. The tradition of the
neighborhood is that the girls were unusually handsome in both figure
and face and of captivating kind dispositions. They were born in
Kentucky and carried with them to Illinois the southern culture which
has won for the ladies of the South considerable fame in story and song.

    “She was bred in old Kentucky,
    Where the meadow grass grows blue,
    There’s the sunshine of the country,
    In her face and manner too.”--Braisted.

  Milwaukee, Wis.
  July 15, 1915.




  Preface,                               3
  I. Description of the Country,         9
  II. Indian Davis Troubles,            13
  III. The Davis Settlement,            23
  IV. The Massacre,                     31
  V. The Captivity,                     38
  VI. To the Rescue,                    48
  VII. Military Movements,              51
  VIII. Reward Offered,                 54
  IX. The Captive Girls,                59
  X. Ransomed,                          66
  XI. Royally Welcomed,                 81
  XII. Homeward Bound,                  90
  XIII. Romance and History,            95
  XIV. Shabona,                        106
  XV. Comee and Toquamee,              111



In its natural condition, perhaps no more attractive country ever laid
before the eyes of man than that in which occurred the incidents of the
following narrative. On the south it is bordered by the Illinois river,
with its historical events beginning with the old Kaskaskia Mission
established by Father Marquette in 1673 amidst the most beautiful
scenery in the whole state of Illinois, which is now included in
Starved Rock State Park.

What memories cluster around old Kaskaskia! As the first capital of
Illinois, it was visited by Gen. La Fayette and Presidents Jackson,
Lincoln, Taylor and Harrison; by Jefferson Davis, Gen. Albert Sidney
Johnson, and by nearly every other man who was prominent in United
States history prior to 1837, when Springfield became the state capital.

On the east for more than one hundred miles the Fox river, with its
source in a beautiful lake near Waukesha, Wisconsin, flows south into
the Illinois at Ottawa. Westward the great prairie stretches off to and
beyond the Rock river which has eroded a narrow valley through that
otherwise flat plain. Besides Rock river the only important streams
that lay in the course of travel of the Hall girls as prisoners, were
the Sycamore (South Kishwaukee) and the Kishwaukee in Illinois, and
Turtle Creek, the Bark River and the Oconomowoc in Wisconsin.

We are told by geologists that during the quaternary age of the world,
a great ice-berg, moving down from the north, crushed all the trees
and vegetation in its path, leveled most of the hills and filled most
of the valleys as far south as the Ohio River. When that body of ice
melted it formed lakes in the depressions which were not filled with
till. Drumlins, eskers and kames, here and there, remain to indicate
either the resistance of the prior formation or that quantities of
earth filled the uneven under surface of the ice at the time of its

By the action of the atmosphere, rains and dew, as centuries rolled
on, vegetation sprang up all over that great plain, and springs to
supply the greatest necessity of living things, broke forth and flowed
in streams that united into rivers as they rolled on to the sea. Along
the streams were forests of trees--including many species of the oak,
ash, sycamore, elm, sugar maple, locust, hickory, walnut, butternut,
linden, cherry, buckeye, blackberry and many other familiar varieties.
Also, here and there stood groves that escaped the terrible prairie
fires that almost every year swept over that vast plain.

[Illustration: A PRAIRIE FIRE--MC KENNEY.]

Game of many kinds, from the monstrous buffalo and timid deer down
to the rabbit, the turkey, the prairie chicken, and the quail, was

Last, and by no means least, was the beautiful flora of that country
which was known as “The Paradise of the West.”[1] A traveler who saw
it in its natural condition, describes it as follows: “Above all
countries, this is the land of flowers. In the season, every prairie is
an immense flower garden. In the early stages of spring flowers, the
prevalent tint is peach bluish; the next is a deeper red; then succeeds
the yellow; and to the latest period of autumn the prairies exhibit a
brilliant golden, scarlet and blue carpet, mingled with the green and
brown ripened grass.”[2]

    “Sweet waves the sea of summer flowers
    Around our wayside cot so coy,
    Where Eileen sings away the hours
    That light my task in Illinois.”--McGee.

[1] 6 Wis. Hist. Col., 421; 10 Wis. Hist. Col., 246-7.

[2] “Western Portraiture,” Colton, 221.



When the first white man settled in Illinois, the Mascoutin Indians
occupied the lands between the Illinois River and the waterway formed
by the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers from Green Bay to Prairie du Chien.
Later the Sacs, the Foxes, and the Pottawatamies, occupied the
territory and had many villages. There were no national boundary lines.
A prominent route of travel was the Kishwaukee Trail from Watseca in
Eastern Illinois up the Kankakee to where it flows into the Illinois,
and thence in a northwesterly direction to the mouth of the Kishwaukee
on Rock River, about six miles below Rockford. Dixon was the great
center of trails. The principal one was from Kaskaskia by way of Dixon
to Galena, Illinois. Numerous other trails connected prominent points
and various Indian villages.

In 1804 a treaty was made with the Sacs and Foxes at St. Louis, of
which the principal provision were as follows:

“Article 1. The United States receive the united Sac and Fox tribes
into their friendship and protection and the said tribes agree to
consider themselves under the protection of the United States, and no
other power whatsoever.

“Article 2. The General boundary line between the land of the United
States and the said Indian tribes shall be as follows, to-wit:
Beginning at a point on the Missouri River opposite to the mouth of the
Gasconde River; thence, in a direct course so as to strike the River
Jeffreon to the Mississippi; thence, up the Mississippi to the mouth
of the Ouisconsing [Wisconsin] River, and up the same to a point which
shall be 36 miles in a direct line from the mouth of the said river,
thence, by a direct line to the point where the Fox River (a branch of
the Illinois) leaves the small lake called Sakaegan; thence, down the
Fox River to the Illinois River, and down the same to the Mississippi.
And the said tribes, for and in consideration of the friendship and
protection of the United States, which is now extended to them, of
the goods (to the value of two thousand two hundred and thirty-four
dollars and fifty cents) which are now delivered, and of the annuity
hereinafter stipulated to be paid, do hereby cede and relinquish
forever, to the United States, all the lands included within the above
described boundary.

“Article 3. In consideration of the cession and relinquishment of
land made in the preceding article, the United States will deliver to
the said tribes, at the town of St. Louis, or some other convenient
place on the Mississippi, yearly and every year, goods suited to the
circumstances of the Indians of the value of one thousand dollars (six
hundred of which are intended for the Sacs and four hundred for the
Foxes), reckoning that value at the first cost of the goods in the
City or place in the United States, where they shall be procured. And
if the said tribes shall hereafter at an annual delivery of the goods
aforesaid, desire that a part of their annuity should be furnished
in domestic animals, implements of husbandry, and other utensils,
convenient for them, or in compensation to useful artificers, who may
reside with or near them, and be employed for their benefit, the same
shall, at the subsequent annual delivery, be furnished accordingly.

“Article 4. The United States will never interrupt the said tribes in
the possession of the lands, which they rightfully claim, but will,
on the contrary, protect them in the quiet enjoyment of the same
against their own citizens and against all other white persons, who may
intrude upon them. And the said tribes do hereby engage that they will
never sell their lands, or any part thereof, to any sovereign power
but the United States, nor to the citizens or subjects of any other
sovereign power, nor to the citizens of the United States.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Article 7. As long as the lands which are now ceded to the United
States remain their [U. S.] property, the Indians belonging to the said
tribes shall enjoy the privileges of living and hunting upon them.”[3]

[3] “Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties”, 174.

The Chippewas, the Winnebagos, and the Pottawatamies, made claim to
the same territory. Even the Foxes and Sacs claimed that the young
chiefs who signed the treaty, were made drunk, and while in that
condition agreed to the treaty.[4] Also, the Indians maintained that
the United States would not allow them to hunt upon the “wild” lands,
notwithstanding Art. 7 of the treaty and that the title thereto was
still in the government. Therefore, the Indians refused to ratify the
treaty, and the idea that they were grievously wronged became a fixed
notion in the minds of the old chiefs, which led to the Red Bird War
of 1827, and the still greater Black Hawk War in 1832.[5]

[4] Black Hawk’s Autobiography, Le Claire, Ch. 3. 12 “The Republic”,
Irelan, 68.

[5] 3 Smith’s “History of Wisconsin” (1854), 115 et seq.; “Waubun,”
Kinzie, 381.

[Illustration: BLACK HAWK AS A WARRIOR.]

Black Hawk had fought with the English in the War of 1812, and by
reason of the defeat of the English, including his own, he retained
his natural desire for revenge against the Americans. He was born at
Rock Island, and had as strong love for his native place as was ever
retained by any white man. When Illinois became a state in 1818, Black
Hawk with all his people was ordered to move across the Mississippi
into Iowa, which he reluctantly obeyed. However, he was never satisfied
with his new location, and in 1832 he again crossed the Mississippi
with four hundred warriors and all their squaws and children and
squatted on his former possessions at Rock Island. He was ordered back
to Iowa, but refused to go until he learned that troops were being sent
against him. With all his people he retired north along Rock River,
followed by the Illinois militia, and when he reached a point about
twenty-five miles south of Rockford, he halted and held a council
of war with chiefs of the Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes, where he
delivered the following speech:

“I was born at the Sac Village, and here I spent my childhood, youth
and manhood. I liked to look on this place with its surroundings of
big rivers, shady groves and green prairies. Here are the graves of my
father and some of my children. Here I expected to live and die and lay
my bones beside those near and dear to me; but now in my old age I have
been driven from my home, and dare not look again upon this loved spot.”

The old chief choked with grief and tears flowed down his cheeks.
Covering his face in his blanket, he remained silent for a few moments.
Then wiping away his tears, he continued:

“Before many moons you, too, will be compelled to leave your homes.
The haunts of your youth, your villages, your corn fields, and your
hunting grounds, will be in the possession of the whites, and by them
the graves of your fathers will be plowed up, while your people will be
retreating towards the setting sun to find new homes beyond the Father
of Waters. We have been as brothers; we fought side by side in the
British war; we hunted together and slept under the same blanket; we
have met at councils and at religious feasts; our people are alike and
our interests are the same.”[6]

[6] Memories of Shaubena, 98.

On the 14th day of May, 1832, the militia under Major Stillman arrived
within eight miles of the camp of Black Hawk who sent three Indians
under a flag of truce to negotiate a treaty with the whites. The wily
chief also sent five other Indians to a point where they could watch
the unarmed braves carrying the white flag. Stillman’s men refusing to
recognize the white flag set upon the Indians, killed one and captured
the others, and then set off after the other five who held their guns
crosswise over their heads as a sign of friendship. The whites killed
two of the five and chased the others into Black Hawk’s camp. Then the
Indians set upon Stillman’s army, cut it to pieces, and chased the
scattered remnants for many miles. The place of that battle is known as
“Stillman’s Run.”[7] The disgrace of the entire affair has been a dark
blot upon the white man’s bravery and his manner of dealing with the
Indians. Up to this time the Indians had committed no crime nor act of
war against the whites.[8]

[7] “Life of Albert Sidney Johnston,” Johnston, 35.

[8] 12 Wis. Hist. Col., 230; “History of Indiana,” Esarey, 323; “The
Black Hawk War,” 129-144.


Immediately after the engagement Black Hawk called another council of
his braves, at which it was determined to fight to the last and to
send out small bands of Indians to the various white settlements to
destroy them. Among the great warriors present at that council was the
celebrated Chief Shabona (Shab-eh-ney)[9] who fought beside Tecumseh
at his down-fall at the battle of the Thames. Shabona pleaded with the
Indian chiefs to give up the war and to return to Iowa, and when they
refused to do so, he, his son Pypagee, and his nephew Pyps, mounted
ponies and rode to the various white settlements and notified the
people of the danger of the Indians. The first horse with which Shabona
started, dropped dead under him; but he obtained another horse from a
farmer and rode day and night until he had warned the whites at all the

    “Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
    Sees God in the clouds, or hears Him in the wind.”


[9] 7 Wis. Hist. Col., 323, 415; “The Black Hawk War,” Stevens, 160.



The father of our heroines, William Hall, who was born in Georgia,
migrated to Kentucky where he married Mary J. Wilburs, and in 1825
emigrated to Mackinaw, about fifteen miles south of Peoria, Illinois,
where he opened a farm. Shortly afterwards he moved to the lead mines
near Galena where he staid three years, and then returned to Lamoille,
Bureau County, Illinois. In the spring of 1832 he sold out his mining
claim and settled upon a homestead about two miles east of the farm of
William Davis. Prior to that time his oldest daughter, Temperance, had
been married to Peter Cartwright, but the other members of his family,
consisting of his wife, three daughters--Sylvia, aged 19, Rachel,
aged 17, and Elizabeth, aged 8 years, and two boys, were living with
him. Some time prior to the massacre, two Indians named Co-mee and
To-qua-mee, who had been frequent visitors at the Hall home and treated
kindly by Mr. Hall’s daughters, endeavored, after the custom of the
Indians, to purchase Sylvia and Rachel from their father.[10]

[10] “The Black Hawk War,” Stevens, 149.


The Halls were noted for their hospitality. Judge Edwin Jerome of
Detroit relates that he was the guest of the family one night in April

[11] 1 “Michigan Pioneers”, Jerome, 49.

William Pettigrew, also from Kentucky, who had just migrated to the
Davis Settlement and had not yet established a home for himself, with
his wife and two children, was temporarily stopping at the home of Mr.
Davis at the time of the massacre.

In 1830, John H. Henderson emigrated from Tennessee to Indian Creek
and settled on a homestead adjoining the land of Davis on the south.
Subsequently the Hendersons became prominent politicians, both in
Illinois and Iowa.

In the spring of 1830, William Davis, a Kentuckian, and a blacksmith by
trade, settled on a land claim on Big Indian Creek, twelve miles north
of Ottawa, in the northern part of La Salle County, Illinois. He was
the first white settler at that place.

Agriculture and marriage have always been the great necessities to
found permanent civilization. To establish a settlement in the great
west, at that time, a blacksmith shop and a mill were the next two
great necessities, and around those the early settlers broke up the
wild prairie and on the upturned sod sowed buckwheat, turnips and
sod-corn, which within three months produced their first food from the
soil for themselves and their stock. To “break” the tough prairie sod
required a sharp plowshare and colter, which had to be resharpened
frequently. Without the blacksmith the prairie could hardly be
cultivated. The big ox-teams of the neighbors, with which they had
moved into the country, pulled the plow. Next, with the crop produced,
the grist mill to grind the grain was a great necessity. The Indians
and some of the early settlers with hammers and stones pulverized corn
and wheat enough to supply their absolute wants from day to day, but
the whites, who had been accustomed to corn-meal and wheat-flour bread,
were not satisfied with the mashed product. Therefore, Davis, who
supplied both of those great necessities, was a prominent man in the
Davis Settlement.

The mill-site was where the Sauk trail from Black Hawk’s Village at the
mouth of the Rock River crossed Big Indian Creek and continued thence
east to Canada, where the whole tribe of Sacs went every year to get
their annuities from the English Government.[12] Just above the ford
the creek meandered through a flat-bottomed gulch that was about two
hundred feet wide with precipitous banks about fifteen feet high. At
this point the stream flowed southeasterly and was fringed along its
course with woods that grew dense, and here and there expanded into
groves, but at other places there were openings where the prairie
fires annually destroyed the undergrowth and left standing only the
monarchs of the forest. The north bank of the gulch had an incline of
about forty-five degrees to the level of the prairie. On that bank in
a sparsely timbered opening from which the prairie stretched off to
the cardinal points of the compass, William Davis located his home and
erected his cabin. About that cabin there were trees that produced
fruit, fuel and lumber, among whose branches were singing birds of
great variety, including the Cardinal, the Dickcissel, the Carolina
Wren, the Thrush and the Robin. By May the bank was covered with a
carpet of thick, waving grass, diversified with ever-changing colored
flowers, until the cruel frost of Fall destroyed them. It was an
idyllic spot. No doubt Davis hoped that some day the Davis Settlement
would become Davis City, and that his generations would revel in
mansions that would replace the cottage on the bank of that new Jordan,
where he, like King David, in his old age might kneel among his people
to pray.

[12] Blanchard’s History of Illinois, 122, and Historical Map.


However, the hopes and aspirations of the Davis family were soon to be
blasted. Davis was a powerful man and his Kentucky blood fairly boiled
with resentment at any offense, particularly one given by an Indian,
upon whom he looked as an inferior. With his gun and bowie knife Davis
would fight a dozen Indians--aye, a score. It seemed as though he could
play with them in the air as an athlete plays with Indian clubs.

About one hundred and fifty feet south of his cottage, Davis erected
a blacksmith shop and a mill. To obtain water power for his mill it
became necessary for Davis to put a dam across the stream. Six miles
farther up Indian Creek there was an Indian village, and as the fish
naturally went up the stream every spring, there was good fishing at
the village for the Indians. The dam prevented the fish from going up,
and the Indians protested against this invasion of their rights. Davis,
however, insisted on his rights to build and maintain the dam, and bad
feelings were engendered.

One day in April, 1832, Davis discovered an Indian tearing an outlet in
the dam, and with a hickory stick he beat the Indian unmercifully.[13]
Had he killed the Indian it might have ended the affair; but to whip
an Indian with a stick as you would whip a dog, was an insult that
incurred the resentment of the whole Indian village, and instilled in
the Indian a rankling desire for revenge. The incident, however, was
settled by Chief Shabona with the assistance of another Indian chief
named Waubansee, who advised the Indians not to resort to forceful
reparation and to do their fishing below the dam. The Indians followed
Shabona’s advice for some time, but after a while Davis noticed that
they ceased to go below the dam to fish, and being quite familiar with
the Indian character, he took it as an intimation of their anger, and
he prepared for hostilities.

[13] Black Hawk’s Autobiography, Le Claire, Ch. XII.

[Illustration: CHIEF SHABONA.]



The year 1831 was known to early settlers in Illinois as “The Dry
Year.” There was little rain and there were long spells of great heat,
so that vegetation was parched and the crop a failure. The season of
1832 was just the opposite.[14] During the first half of the month
of May there were numerous heavy thunder storms with intervals of
hot weather that made the grass and flowers grow very rapidly, but
delayed the farmers in their planting. Also, the several Indian scares
interrupted the settlers in their regular work in the fields.

[14] “Historic Illinois,” Parish, 258.

As already stated, immediately after the breaking up of the Indian
council after the defeat of Stillman, Shabona rode in post haste to
the Davis Settlement and warned the people of the danger of an Indian
massacre. The whites loaded on their wagons such articles as could be
readily handled, and drove to Ottawa, the nearest fort, where there was
a garrison of soldiers.

The Indians did not make the expected raid, and slowly the settlers
returned to their homesteads. During this retreat some of the people
tantalized Davis for running away from the Indians, and his reply was
that he would never do so again.

On Monday morning, May 21st, Shabona again rode to the Davis Settlement
and warned the whites that there was immediate danger of a massacre. At
this time it happened that Davis was at Ottawa on some business when
Shabona called. However, his family and the neighbors hastily loaded
their furniture and other movable articles on wagons, and hurriedly
drove off to Ottawa. They had almost reached the fort when they met
Davis, who ordered his own family to return, and urged the return of
his immediate neighbors, inviting them all to go to his place where
they would be perfectly safe. The Halls, Hendersons and Pettigrews,
with two farm hands named Henry George and Robert Norris, reluctantly
returned with Davis, and arrived at his cottage about noon.

After dinner John W. Henderson, Alexander Davis and a younger son of
William Davis, Edward and Greenbury Hall, and Allen Howard, went to
a field about one hundred rods south of the Davis cottage, to plant
corn. In the middle of the afternoon William Hall, John W. Hall,
Robert Norris, Henry George and William Davis, Jr., who were working
on the mill-dam, gathered into the blacksmith shop where Davis was
repairing his gun, to get a drink from a pail of water which had been
brought from a nearby spring. All the loaded guns and the ammunition
were in the dwelling house, where Pettigrew, with his baby in his
arms, was chatting with the ladies who were sewing by the open door.
The afternoon was very hot and was not inspiring to great exertion.
The furniture which had been loaded to drive to Ottawa, was still on
the wagons that stood in the yard. The perfume of the blooming flowers
filled the air which was rich in its freshness after the many days of
rain and lightning. All nature seemed to instill in the little Davis
Settlement a feeling of safety or at least to relieve them from alarm
during the daytime. With the coming darkness, no doubt, they would have
all gathered into the little cottage and some of the men would have
stood guard with their guns to watch for Indians.

About four o’clock a party of sixty to seventy Indians suddenly leaped
over the garden fence, filled the yard, and part of them rushed towards
the house. Mr. Pettigrew leaped forward to close the door, but was
instantly shot dead. Through the open door the Indians rushed with
spears, and hatchets, and guns, filling the little cottage. There was
no place to hide and no chance for the whites to escape. In her despair
Mrs. Pettigrew threw her arms around Rachel Hall and was killed by a
shot so close to Rachel as to blacken her face with the powder. Rachel
jumped upon the bed, which only placed her in view of more Indians and
increased the danger of being shot.

The piteous screams of the women and children were terrifying. The
Indians stuck them with spears and hacked them with tomahawks without
feeling or mercy, and as they fell each victim’s scalp was cut off with
a big knife.

An Indian grabbed Pettigrew’s baby by the legs, rushed out doors, swung
the child over his head, and dashed its brains out against a stump in
the yard. There, also, an Indian on each side held the youngest Davis
boy by his hands, the little lad standing pale and silent, and a third
Indian shot him dead. As his limp body fell, an Indian scalped him.

In a few moments all the whites in the house excepting Sylvia and
Rachel Hall, namely: Mrs. Wm. Hall, aged forty-five years, her
daughter Elizabeth, aged eight years, Wm. Pettigrew, his wife and two
children, and Mrs. Wm. Davis and her five children, were killed.

The sudden appearance of the Indians bewildered the men who were in the
blacksmith shop, as they were cut off from their guns and ammunition.
Young Davis slipped behind the shop and thence escaped down the creek.
The others rushed towards the house and were met by a volley of shots.
William Hall, whose breast was pierced by two bullets, with a prayer
on his lips, fell dead at his son John’s feet. Davis called out to
John Hall to “Take care!” and then tried to escape to the woods.
Notwithstanding his prowess and that he made a desperate fight for his
life by using his unloaded gun as a club, he was in a short time so
overcome by Indian warriors with their spears and tomahawks that with
innumerable wounds he sank dead in his yard. John Hall was so paralyzed
by the awful carnage, that for a moment he did not move from where
his father lay. He watched the Indians reloading their guns, then as
a man awakening from a night-mare he jumped down the high bank and a
volley of bullets passed over his head. By hugging closely to the bank
next the Indians, he scrambled hastily down the stream and then ran as
he never ran before, thus escaping. Norris and George slid down the
bank and attempted to cross the creek, but a volley of bullets from
the Indians killed one of them as he was climbing the bank, his body
falling back into the creek, and the other fell on the green sward

John W. Henderson, two sons of Wm. Davis and two sons of Wm. Hall, who
were at work in the cornfield when the Indians made the attack upon the
Davis cottage, comprehending the situation, hastily fled to Ottawa.
They had sped only about two miles when John W. Hall overtook them. By
reason of his scudding from death in the great heat and his excited
condition, John’s account of the massacre was incoherently told with
uncontrolled emotions of grief and rage. Believing that the Indians
were pursuing, he did not check his speed, but urged the others to
extra efforts until they reached the fort.

Sylvia and Rachel Hall were each seized by two Indians who dragged them
out of the cottage to the yard where the final acts of the massacre
were taking place.

In their fiendish desire for revenge for Stillman’s treachery and to
terrify the whites, the Indians cut out the hearts of some of the
slain and otherwise mutilated their bodies. Of all the whites none but
Rachel and Sylvia Hall remained alive to witness the closing act of the
horrible tragedy. As they saw scattered in the yard the bodies of their
murdered parents, their sister, and their neighbors--sixteen in all,
the girls were stupefied with horror. The wonder is that the shock did
not kill both of them.

The massacre has been described so often, and is so sickening in its
particulars, that we drop the curtain on the tragic scene.[15]

[15] 3 Smith’s “History of Wisconsin”, 187; “History of La Salle
County,” Baldwin, 95; “The Black Hawk War,” Stevens, 150; “Memories
of Shabona,” Matson, 145-155; _Ottawa Journal_, Aug. 30, 1906; 12
Transactions Ill. State Hist. Soc., 332; Ford’s History of Illinois,



A person never knows what he would do under conditions and
circumstances never before experienced: a mother who would flee from a
cow, would, to protect her child, fight a tiger without thought of her
own safety; a timid deer that would flee from a baby, when its nature
is changed by a serious wound will fight a hunter to death; a soldier’s
nature becomes so changed in battle that he obeys orders like an
automaton and in his efforts to kill men exerts himself until the sweat
rolls down his face as it would down the face of a harvest hand mowing

Sylvia and Rachel Hall, who in the peace of their home would faint at
the sight of blood, had their nature so changed during the slaughter
and mutilation of their dear relatives and friends that they viewed
the scene with horror that almost paralyzed them and put them in a
psychological condition of mental aberration.

The spell of lethargy was rudely broken when the girls were dragged off
as captives, first to the creek, and, after Rachel had been pulled half
way across the stream, then back again to the yard. There two Indians,
each seizing one of Sylvia’s hands, and two others taking Rachel in a
similar manner, hustled the girls northward along the easterly side
of the creek. The girls were soon in unknown lands through which they
were tugged on, and on, not knowing whither nor to what fate. Did they
cry? Of course they did; strong men would have wept under similar
circumstances. Did they pray? Yes; but their prayers were not like the
Pharisee’s: they prayed with an intense feeling from the bottom of
their hearts and with all the power of their souls. Were their prayers
answered? Were they? Read on, read on!

After being hustled and half dragged about a mile and a half, they
came to where a number of horses were tied in the edge of a grove.
Here they met friends: horses belonging to their father and their
neighbors. The horses pricked up their ears, looked at the girls and
whinnied--returning the girls’ recognition. If the girls could have
mounted two of these friendly animals that were bred in Kentucky they
might have ridden to freedom; but it was not so to be.

The Indians put each girl on a pony furnished with an Indian saddle
and led by a warrior. Thus they traveled on, keeping due north. After
the sun had set the additional terror of darkness was enveloping them.
Occasionally a night-hawk would break the awful silence by swooping
down from his great height with his accustomed “Boo-oo-oo,” and a
whippoor-will would add his monotonous whistle from a decayed log
in the adjacent woods. Otherwise, it was as solemn a procession as
ever moved to the grave, and only for the crack of his whip and an
occasional “ugh” from an Indian there was little to attract attention
until they passed a large grove on their left. The girls had heard of
Shabona’s Grove. Was this that historical sylvan place? Would Shabona
come to their relief? He had saved them and their friends before, and
if it had not been for the obstinacy of Davis they would not have been
in their awful predicament. But the chief, worn out and tired from
his long wild ride of the night before and asleep in his tent, was
unconscious of the passing of that strange and unusual procession.

Hour after hour passed as the girls rode along weary and heart-sick on
that dark night, with nothing but the stars to light their way, and
not a ray of hope in their hearts. The head waters of Indian creek
and of the Somonauk had been passed and the source of the Sycamore
was reached just as the moon was rising, 51 minutes after twelve
o’clock.[16] Here the first stop was made and the girls were allowed
to rest on some blankets on which they sat together, not daring to
lie down to sleep. The Indians holding their ponies by the bridles,
danced a little, but nothing was said that would indicate their intent,
either as to the place of destination or what they intended to do with
their captives. As the girls could not speak the Indian language or
understand it, there was little medium of communication between them
and the Indians. Their feelings of sorrow for their murdered relatives
mixed with the uncertainty of their own fate, and their disheveled hair
and soiled cheeks through which their tears washed courses, made them
objects of woeful misery. Oh! if the girls could only wash their faces,
which were stained with powder and the blood of their dear friends,
or even in their sorrow comb each other’s hair as they had often done
at their father’s cottage, it would have refreshed them, and, to some
extent, relieved their distress.

[16] Washington Observatory Record; “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” 1832.

About half-past three o’clock in the morning of May 22nd, the girls
were replaced on the ponies, the Indians remounted, and once more the
train proceeded in its former order, with Indians before, on the sides,
and in the rear of the girls. They passed groves, here and there, and
hour after hour, with tiresome monotony, they moved along.

After the sun had lapped the dew, it grew very warm and Rachel became
weary almost to collapse. She thought that if she could walk for
a little while it would give her relief, notwithstanding her weak
condition from fasting and worry. She did not know the language of
the Indians, but necessity finds a way: she made signs of distress
and indicated that she wanted to walk. The Indians understood her and
assisted her from her pony. This little act of gallantry gave her the
first indication of their human sympathy and inspired her with some
confidence in their honor.

Limp and staggering, she managed to keep pace with the procession. When
they reached the Kishwaukee there was no hesitation and all plunged
into the stream. Rachel, who had not been replaced on her pony, was
forced to wade across through water three feet deep.

It was now about two o’clock in the afternoon and a stop was made about
twenty-five miles easterly from Stillman’s Run, on the west of a large
grove, to allow the ponies to graze on the bank of the river. Here
they remained for about two hours. The Indians scalded some beans and
roasted some acorns, of which they ate heartily and offered portions to
the girls, who tried to eat so as not to offend the Indians.

After the Indians had finished their lunch they busied themselves
in stretching on little hoops the scalps that they had taken in the
massacre at Indian Creek. The girls immediately recognized the scalps
of some of their friends, particularly the scalp of their mother. The
sight caused Sylvia to faint. Limp and unconscious she lay beside her
sister, who by the incident was again put into her former psychic
condition, being oblivious to everything about her excepting her
sister’s care. The subconscious thought that she had to protect Sylvia
inspired her with superhuman strength as well as the fighting spirit of
a lioness. If Sylvia should die! what then? If she should be unable to
travel, would the Indians kill her? What torture of mind Rachel must
have suffered!

About four o’clock Sylvia regained her consciousness, to the great
relief of Rachel who recovered her normal condition of mind. By this
time the Indians had gathered their horses, and replacing the girls on
the ponies that they had been riding, all moved forward leisurely.

Shortly after starting a detachment of the Indians was sent out to
scout to the westward, and after being gone some time they returned
apparently excited, and immediately the procession assumed a
double-quick, during which the Indian guards in the rear held their
spears poised, as though they expected an attack. After traveling in
that manner for about five miles, the Indians resumed their composure
and slackened their speed to a walking pace.

Had the Indians seen some of Gen. Whiteside’s scouts? Had they learned
that a detachment of Illinois Militia, of which Abraham Lincoln was a
member, was moving towards them up the Kishwaukee?[17] Or, were the
Indians pursued by the friends of the girls?

[17] XII Wis. Hist. Col., 241, 242; “The Black Hawk War.” 146.

If the whites should attack the Indians, Sylvia and Rachel feared that
they would share the fate of their relatives and friends at the Davis
Settlement. Therefore, when the excitement of the Indians subsided, a
feeling of relief from danger of immediate death calmed the girls.

The extra exertion during the scare caused the pony that Sylvia was
riding to give out, and it was abandoned. Sylvia was then placed
behind an Indian on a fine horse belonging to Mr. Henderson, which,
like the girls, had been taken captive at Indian Creek. Thus they
traveled, on and on, until about nine o’clock in the evening when they
arrived at Black Hawk’s Grove on the east side of the present city
of Janesville, Wisconsin, where the whole of Black Hawk’s tribe was
encamped.[18] During twenty-eight hours the girls had traveled about
eighty miles from the place of their capture, and were worn out almost
beyond description. No one can fully comprehend their condition without
reflecting upon that extremely long ride on horseback, without food
or drink, mourning their dead, and tortured with the worry over their
future fate.

[18] Hist. of Rock Co., by Gurnsey & Willard, 19; 14 Wis. Hist. Col.,
129; 6 Wis. Hist. Col., 422.

On their arrival at Black Hawk’s Grove there was great rejoicing at the
Indian camp. Several squaws hurried to the girls, assisted them off
their horses, and conducted them to the center of the camp where they
had prepared a comfortable place in the form of beds of animal skins
and blankets. Also, the squaws brought in wooden bowls, parched corn,
meal and maple-sugar mixed, which they invited the girls to eat. More
through fear than appetite, the girls partook of the food, although it
was disgusting to them.

The squaws requested the girls to throw on the fire particles of food
and some tobacco which they handed them. The girls complied with the
request of their dusky hosts, although they did not know for what
purpose it was required. As a matter of fact, it was a common practice
among the Indian tribes to make the offering of food and tobacco
to their gods in case of escape from death or as thanks for some
extraordinary good fortune.[19]

[19] 2 “Indian Tribes of U. S.”, Drake, 68, 72; 6 Schoolcraft’s,
“History of Indian Tribes of the U. S.”, 83, 88.

The squaws requested Sylvia and Rachel to lie down on separate beds,
and then a squaw lay on each side of each of the girls, so that there
was no chance for escape. Thus abed, they had a night of confused,
disordered sleep, in which visions of their friends and the scenes of
the massacre haunted them almost continually. The squaws endeavored to
soothe the girls, but they could not take the place of that mother who
in their childish nightmares would say to them: “My dears, say a prayer
and try to sleep.”

      “But God is sweet.
        My mother told me so,
      When I knelt at her feet
        Long--so long--ago;
    She clasped my hands in hers.
      Ah! me, that memory stirs
      My soul’s profoundest deep--
      No wonder that I weep.
    She clasped my hands and smiled,
    Ah! then I was a child--
      I knew no harm--
      My mother’s arm
    Was flung around me; and I felt
    That when I knelt
      To listen to my mother’s prayer,
      God was with mother there.
      Yea! “God is sweet!”
        She told me so;
        She never told me wrong;
      And through my years of woe
      Her whispers soft, and sad, and low,
        And sweet as Angel’s song,
      Have floated like a dream.”--Fr. Ryan.



When John W. Hall arrived at Ottawa he did not know that his sisters
had been taken prisoners, but he supposed that they had been massacred
with the rest of the people at the Davis cottage. His first impulse was
revenge, and he rushed wildly about, urging men to arm and go with him
to the scene of the massacre. The spirit of adventure was rampant among
the people at the time, and John soon found himself at the head of a
considerable number of mounted men armed with all kinds of guns, who
followed him like a mob, from Ottawa to the Davis Settlement.

On their way out they met some of the men who were defeated at
Stillman’s Run, returning to Ottawa. John endeavored to have these men
accompany him to the Davis Settlement, but they had enough of Indian
adventure, and instead of assisting John, discouraged the men with him
from engaging in a fight with the Indians.

When John’s squadron arrived at the Davis cottage there was presented
an awful sight--thirteen murdered and mutilated bodies in and about
the cottage, some hung on shambles like butchered pigs, just as they
were left by the Indians. On the creek below the cottage were found the
bodies of Norris and George where they fell from the bullets of the
Indians. The absence of his sisters Rachel and Sylvia from among the
dead, presented to John a new quandary. A careful search was made about
the premises but no traces of the girls could be found.

After having seen the awful deaths of their fellow-whites, the men who
accompanied John had their desire for adventure changed to a feeling
of fear, which they tried to hide under the excuse that it would be
impossible to proceed after the Indians without rations and tents.

The situation was a trying one for John. In vain did he appeal to the
men to help him rescue his sisters. Not one would volunteer to go with
him, and after burying all the dead in one grave in front of the little
cottage, John and his squadron hastily returned to Ottawa.

In hopes of rescuing his sisters, John again recruited a force and
obtained the necessaries to follow up the Indians. Early on the second
day after the massacre, with about forty men and two days’ rations,
without any commissary, John led his little army to the Davis
Settlement and along the Indian trail until he lost it on the great
prairie. He concluded that the Indians had taken the “Kishwaukee Trail”
to where the Kishwaukee flows into the Rock River, and he followed
that route until he arrived at his objective point without attaining
his chief aim. Disappointed in not even getting any information of
his sisters and in not finding further track of the Indians, and his
rations having run out, John was again obliged to return with his
troops to Ottawa for a fresh supply, when once more he started on a
fruitless search for his sisters.

[Illustration: COL. HENRY GRATIOT.]



When a remnant of Stillman’s men returned to Dixon after an exciting
ride of twenty-four miles from Stillman’s Run, they reported that they
had been attacked by thousands of Indians and that all the rest of the
army had been massacred. The exaggerated report set a few of the men
who had not been with Stillman, keen to fight; but it instilled into
most of them a sense of home-sickness, and many of them requested to be
excused from duty. Gen. Taylor immediately reported the situation to
Gen. Atkinson, at Ottawa, and the latter ordered Generals Whiteside and
Harney, who were in command of some United States regulars, to pursue
the Indians.

When the troops arrived at Stillman’s Run they found the bodies of
thirteen soldiers and most of the deserted commissary which had
included a barrel of whiskey that Black Hawk emptied on the ground.
Black Hawk destroyed the wagons and everything else that could not be
carried away, excepting a few boats that belonged to the Indians which
were left on the river bank.

As a matter of fact Black Hawk had only forty warriors with him at the
time of the attack on him by Stillman’s men, while Stillman had about
three hundred men. At the time of the attack many of Stillman’s men
were under the influence of liquor and most of them in such a state
of insubordination that they paid no attention to the orders of their
officers. Thus they rushed into the camp of Black Hawk, and, as each
was acting independently, it was but a short time until the Indians by
their shots and yells had the militia scared crazy and on the run.[20]

[20] The Black Hawk War, Stevens, 133, 137.

On May 22nd, in accordance with Gen. Anderson’s order, Gen. Whiteside
took up and followed the Indian trail for thirty-six miles along the
Kishwaukee and the Sycamore; but when the high prairie was reached, the
Indians scattered so in all directions that the troops were unable to
track them further, and the army proceeded to the Fox River and down
that stream to Ottawa, where it arrived on May 27th.

On the day that the girls passed a few miles to the east, the United
States troops found on the Sycamore, articles belonging to the Indians
who committed the massacre at Davis Settlement, among which were three
scalps. Perhaps it was fortunate for the girls that Gen. Whiteside
had not discovered and attacked the Indians, because under such
circumstances the Indians might have murdered them.

Among the troops under Gen. Whiteside was the company in which Captain
Abraham Lincoln, subsequently the great president of the United States,
served. Probably the girls had not yet heard of him, who, if he had
known of their predicament, might have ended their captivity on that

During the march up the Sycamore, an old Pottawatomie Indian came
into camp, tired and hungry, with a letter of safe conduct, signed by
Gen. Lewis Cass. Some of the men declared the letter was a forgery,
and that the Indian was a spy and should be put to death. When the
soldiers threatened the poor fellow, Capt. Lincoln stepped forward and
said that he would shoot any man who would assault the Indian.[21] It
can be readily seen how a man of Lincoln’s bravery and superior mental
resources, might have freed the girls without injury to them.

[21] The Black Hawk War, 285.



The day after the massacre messengers carried the news in all
directions to the various settlements in Illinois, southern Wisconsin,
northern Indiana and western Michigan. At every settlement block-houses
or stockades were built and the whites prepared to defend themselves
against attacks of the Indians. At Galena the people assembled on
May 28th and passed resolutions (among other things) deploring the
captivity of the Hall girls and declaring their obligations to obtain
the release of the captives. In Michigan along the lake shore, there
was great excitement, intensified by frequent rumors that the Indians
were coming.[22]

[22] Michigan newspapers, 1832.

Gen. Atkinson who was then at Ottawa offered the Indians a reward of
$2,000 in horses, goods or money, for the safe delivery of the girls,
as it was feared that if force were used the Indians would murder
the girls. In Wisconsin, Col. Dodge who had command at Blue Mounds
Fort (25 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin), immediately recruited an
army and made plans to get the girls. Lieutenant Edward Beouchard at
Blue Mounds and Henry Gratiot of Gratiot’s Grove (15 miles northeast
of Galena), who were friends of the Indians with whom they had great
influence, engaged in the search for the girls.

Gratiot went to Turtle Village (now Beloit, Wisconsin), where there
was a tribe of Winnebagoes with whom he had been on friendly terms and
who were supposed to be friends of the whites. However, the Indians
took him prisoner and he almost sacrificed his life in his endeavor
to obtain the release of the Hall girls. He succeeded, however, in
making his message known to the Indians, and arousing among them a
strong incentive to obtain the reward. While he was held as a prisoner,
an Indian chief to whom Gratiot had often given presents and shown
kindness, came to him and offered his services to aid in Gratiot’s
escape. Also Col. Gratiot was the government agent who paid the
Winnebagoes their annual allowance from the United States government,
which, no doubt, had some influence. The Indian took the Colonel to his
tent, and late in the night silently conducted him to the river and
gave him a canoe in which he paddled to safety. On his return home,
Gratiot reported that the captive girls were somewhere near the head of
Rock River in southern Wisconsin. He had gleaned that much information
from conversations among the Indians whose language he understood.

Not knowing that Col. Gratiot had visited Turtle Village, Gen. Anderson
sent by messenger to Blue Mounds, the following letter:

  “Headquarters Right Wing West. Dept.,
  Dixon’s Ferry, 27th May, 1832.


“In the attack of the Sac Indians on the settlements on a branch of Fox
River the 22nd inst., fifteen men, women, and children, were killed,
and two young women were taken prisoners. This heart-rending occurrence
should not only call forth our sympathies, but urge us to relieve the

“You will therefore proceed to the Turtle Village or send someone of
confidence and prevail on the head chiefs and braves of the Winnebagoes
there to go over to the hostile Sacs and endeavor to ransom the
prisoners. Offer the Winnebagoes a large reward to effect the object:
$500 or $1000 for each.

“I expected to have heard from you before this.

  Very respectfully your obt. sevt.,
  Brig. Gen., U. S. Army.”

  “Henry Gratiot, Esq.,
  Indian Agent.”

When the dispatch reached the Mounds on May 28, Col. Gratiot who
had already visited Turtle Village had not returned, and Lieutenant
Beouchard who was then in command of the Port, opened the dispatch and
forwarded it to the Colonel. Also, Beouchard sent the substance of
the dispatch to Col. Dodge, who was then at Port Union, Col. Dodge’s
residence, near Dodgeville. Then Lieutenant Beouchard mounted his
horse and rode to a Winnebago encampment which was situated northeast
of Blue Mounds where Chief Wau-kon-kah was the head Indian. Beouchard
requested the chief to go to White Crow, Whirling Thunder and Spotted
Arm and inform them of the captivity of the Hall girls, and the reward
that had been offered for their release, instructing the Indians to
get the girls at any risk: by purchase, if possible; but by force, if
necessary. He assured the Indians that they would receive the reward
in case of success. The Indians promised to make the attempt.

May 28th, Col. Gratiot wrote a letter to Governor Porter, of Michigan,
telling of the Indian Creek Massacre and the captivity of the Hall
girls, and, among other things, said: “Compelled by our feelings and
relying on the justice of our country, we did not hesitate to promise
a few of my trusty Winnebagoes a reward if they would bring us those
ladies unhurt. We promised them the highest reward that could be
offered.” Therefore, it is evident that Gratiot had offered a reward
for the release of the girls before he received Gen. Anderson’s

On the day that Col. Gratiot returned from Turtle Village, he received
Gen. Anderson’s letter. On the same day he received further information
that the Winnebagoes had success in their endeavors to ransom the
unfortunate girls, and he immediately started for Blue Mounds, where he
arrived on June 2nd.



In Chapter V we left the girls as prisoners at Black Hawk’s Grove,
Janesville, Wisconsin. Notwithstanding their night of disturbed sleep
and great need for rest, the girls were awakened at daylight by the
noise of the Indians around the tent.

Soon after the girls arose the squaws brought them their breakfast
which consisted of dried sliced meat, coffee and porridge made of corn
pounded and water, that was served in wooden bowls with wooden spoons.
The little rest that the girls got through the night, revived them and
gave them some appetite, so that they were able to eat part of the
food, although they did not relish it.

Breakfast being finished, the Indians cleared off a piece of ground
about ninety feet in circumference and erected in the center a pole
about twenty-five feet high, around which they set up fifteen spears,
on the points of which were placed the scalps of the murdered friends
of the girls. To the horror of the girls, they recognized the scalps of
their father, mother and Mrs. Pettigrew. Upon three separate spears
the Indians placed three human hearts, which added greatly to the
horror of the girls. Was one of the hearts their mother’s?

The Indians jabbered among themselves for awhile and then the squaws
painted one side of the face of each of the girls red and the other
side black. Then the girls were laid with their faces downward on
blankets near the center, just leaving room for the Indians to pass
between them and the pole. When these preliminaries were completed, the
warriors, grasping in their hands their spears, which they occasionally
struck into the ground, and yelling all the while as Indians only
can, danced around the girls. Every moment while this was going on,
the girls expected to be thrust through with the spears; but they had
become so harrassed with dread of torture, that they almost wished to
have death end their troubles. However, not one of the spears touched
the girls, and outside of keeping them in terror, they were in nowise

After the warriors had continued their dance for about half an hour,
two old squaws (one of whom was the wife of Black Hawk) led the girls
away to a wigwam where they washed off the paint as well as they could
by scrubbing them unmercifully. The squaws had adopted the girls, and,
as the children of chiefs, they were not required to work.

The Indians having finished their dance, struck their tents, and,
after a good deal of bustle and confusion, the whole camp started in
a northerly direction. When they reached a point beyond the grove,
it seemed to the girls that the whole earth was alive with Indians.
Probably not less than 4,000 warriors, squaws, and children constituted
that army.

Tired and sore from their former long ride and greatly exhausted by
their constant fears, it was an extraordinary ordeal for the girls
to plunge still farther into the wilderness. During traveling hours
the girls were separated and each was placed in charge of two squaws.
Whenever the army halted the girls were brought together, but always
kept under the surveillance of the four squaws.

Their march from Black Hawk’s Grove was very slow and over a broad
prairie. Shortly before sundown the Indians pitched their tents at
Cold Spring, about three miles southeast of Ft. Atkinson, near “Burnt
Village,” the camp of Little Priest.[23]

[23] Hist. of Jefferson Co., 327.

As soon as the tents were erected everybody partook of some food,
most of the Indians without any utensils, but the girls were supplied
with the usual dishes: wooden plates, bowls and spoons. At this place
maple-sugar seemed to be abundant and the girls were furnished all of
it that they could eat. Also, the squaws seemed to appreciate the fact
that the girls were suffering from exposure, and took great pains to
make their quarters as comfortable as possible.

During their long tramp through the brush, the light working dresses
that the girls had on at the time that they were captured had become
badly torn, and the squaws brought Rachel a red and white calico dress
with ruffles around the bottom, and Sylvia, a blue calico. The Indians
requested the girls to throw away their shoes and put on moccasins,
against which the latter strongly protested and refused to take off
their shoes. No violence to take away their shoes was used, and the
girls continued to wear them. An Indian threw away Rachel’s comb and
she immediately went after it and kept it so that it could not be
snatched away again without using force, to which the Indians did not

As night set in the Indians retired and each of the girls had to sleep
between two squaws, which they were compelled to do thereafter up to
the time that they were turned over to the Winnebagoes.

Day after day the Indians changed the location of their camp, probably
to evade the whites if they should pursue them. From Cold Spring
by circuitous routes, through the beautiful lake country around
Oconomowoc, they moved northward until they reached the rolling hills
near Horicon Lake where they pitched their camp not far from the
rapids, and southeast of the Indian village of Big Fox.[24]

[24] V. Wis. Hist. Col., 260; Black Hawk’s Autobiography, 106, 110,
160; “Waubun,” 320; Hist. of Dodge Co., by Hubbell, 67.

The girls had now traveled about 150 miles north from their home. It
was the eighth day of their captivity, and to them the time was so
long that every minute seemed almost a day; and since they last sat at
dinner in the little cottage of William Davis at Indian Creek, although
very vivid in their minds, seemed an age. Also, the unknown places at
which they had camped being in such various directions from each other,
the girls had no idea how far they had gone from Black Hawk’s Grove
(Janesville). Everywhere they traveled Indian camps were numerous,
because as soon as spring had opened the Indians divided into small
camps to make maple sugar. Were the girls to put an estimate upon the
number of Indians in that unknown region, it certainly would have
reached high up into the thousands.

At every camp the dance around the pole with all its hideous
surroundings, accompanied by the Indian yells and war-whoops, the
rattling of gourds, and waving of weapons, was repeated.

Among the tribes east of the Mississippi River it was an honor
principle that their female captives should not be tortured nor their
chastity violated; but if white men were taken captives they were
reduced to slavery and obliged to wait upon the white women after they
had been adopted by the Indians.[25] Notwithstanding this unwritten
law, these dances with the scalps on the spears harrassed the girls and
caused them to sob and weep bitterly.

[25] 1, “Handbook of American Indians,” 203.

One morning after many repetitions of the dance around the pole, the
program was varied by a party of warriors coming to the lodge where the
girls were in the custody of the squaws, placing in their hands small
red flags, and then the Indians with their captives marched around
the encampment, stopping at each wigwam and waving their flags at the
doors, accompanied by some recitation of a chief and the rattling of
gourds, all of which was not understood by the girls and they were
unable to comprehend the significance of what they were doing. As a
matter of fact the performance was a religious ceremony in which the
gourds took the place of bells used by several Christian denominations
during their religious ceremonies.

[Illustration: COL. HENRY DODGE.]



On the morning of the ninth day of their captivity, some warriors took
Sylvia off about forty rods to where a number of chiefs seemed to be
holding a council. One of the Indians told Sylvia that she must go
with an old chief who was pointed out to her, namely, White Crow, a
chief of the Winnebagoes, who was about fifty years of age, tall, slim,
with a hawk nose, and as much of sinister look as a man who had only
one eye could have, for one of his eyes had been put out in a brawl.
He was addicted to drink, gambling, fighting, and other disreputable
practices.[26] Under any circumstances Sylvia might have protested
against going with him; but when he informed her that Rachel must stay
behind, Sylvia declared that she would not go without her sister.
White Crow, who was a fine and fluent orator, and spokesman of his
band on all occasions, made a long, loud speech in which he exhibited
considerable excitement, but was listened to with great interest by the
other warriors. After he had finished, Chief Whirling Thunder arose,
walked over to where Rachel was and brought her to where the council
was being held. The situation was painfully interesting to the girls,
because they had some intimation that it was all about their fate.

[26] X. Wis. Hist. Col., 253.

After some conversation among the chiefs they shook hands and the
captives were surrendered to White Crow, who must now get the girls to
Blue Mounds Fort to obtain the $2,000 reward. The Port was about eighty
miles to the southwest in a bee line. By the nearest trail through the
Madison lake region, it was about ninety-three miles; and by way of
Portage and thence on the Military Road to the Blue Mounds Fort, it was
about one hundred and seven miles. The Sacs and Foxes were along the
former route, which meant great danger, and the Military Road was the
best in that country. Therefore, White Crow chose the latter route.
The horses were brought, riding switches were cut and White Crow and
Whirling Thunder with their captives seemed ready to go. The squaws
with whom the girls had been staying were very much grieved at parting
with them, tears rolling down their cheeks, and the girls who now
reciprocated the affection of the squaws, preferred to stay with them
rather than to go with the warriors; but the chief’s stern orders had
to be obeyed.

At this trying moment of the girls, a young warrior suddenly stepped up
to Rachel and with a large knife cut a lock of hair from over her right
ear and another from the back of her head. At the same time he muttered
to White Crow, in the Indian language, something which the girls
afterwards learned, was that he would have Rachel back in three or four
days. His example was followed by another Indian who stepped up to
Sylvia and without leave or a word of explanation, cut a lock of hair
from the front of her head and placed it in his hunting-pouch. Sometime
afterward a number of Indians made an attack on Kellogg’s Grove colony
(near Dodgeville, Wis.) and one of them who was shot by a miner named
Casey had around his neck a lock of braided hair which was subsequently
identified as that taken from the head of Rachel Hall.

It might not be amiss, here, to state that among some of the Indian
tribes the cutting of the hair had a mystical meaning closely allied
to the life of a person, and was usually attended with religious
rites. The first clipping of a child’s hair was retained for religious
purposes. A scalp had a double meaning: it indicated an act of
supernatural power that had decreed the death of the man, and it served
as tangible proof of the warrior’s prowess over his enemies.[27]

[27] 1, “Handbook of Am. Indians,” 524.


While the Indians were taking locks of hair from the girls, White Crow,
Whirling Thunder, and a few more Indians, had mounted their horses, and
with their captives on ponies, all rode off at a gallop, keeping up
a rapid speed during the rest of the day and far into the night, the
Indians looking back frequently.

No doubt White Crow feared that the Sacs might regret that they let the
girls go, and would try to recapture them. It was about forty-seven
miles to Portage, and until that place was reached the danger was
great. The girls appreciated the danger; otherwise, they would have
dropped off their ponies from sheer exhaustion. A ride of forty-seven
miles on wabbly ponies!

Finally, they arrived on the bank of the Wisconsin River near the mouth
of Duck Creek (just below Portage, Wis.) where was located a village of
Chief Dekorah.[28]

[28] XIII. Wis. Hist. Co., 448; III. ib. 286; Waubun, Kinzie, 103.

At this place the Indians prepared a bed upon a low scaffold, which was
furnished with abundant blankets and furs, where the girls lay until
daylight. The sun had not yet arisen when a party of Sac warriors, some
of whom were dressed in the clothing of white men, came into camp. They
wanted to talk to the girls, but Whirling Thunder told the girls not to
listen to them and to keep away from them. Then a long conversation of
loud angry words was kept up between the Indians for some time, when
the Sacs mounted their horses and rode away.

It was ascertained later that one of the Indians who helped to capture
the girls at Indian Creek was on a hunting trip when the captives were
turned over to the Winnebagoes and on his return finding the prisoners
gone and not having received his portion of the ransom, he started off
with a number of warriors with the determination to recapture the girls
or kill them. No doubt that if the Sacs had overtaken the Winnebagoes
with their captives before they had reached the Winnebago camp, they
would have fought for the girls, which would either have ended in the
death of the girls or their being again carried off into captivity.
Such was the Indian custom.[29] What an almost miraculous escape the
girls had!

[29] 2, Handbook of American Indians, 203.

Immediately after the Sacs left, a hastened breakfast was prepared. No
doubt White Crow feared an attack if he should keep the girls at that
place or if he should continue his journey along the Military Road.
Whatever caused him to change his course, he arranged to take the girls
down the Wisconsin River[30] and to send the horses around over the
hills, on the west side of the river, to the next camping place.

[30] Memories of Shaubena, 160.

Breakfast was eaten as hastily as it had been prepared and then the
girls were placed in canoes and with a convoy of about one hundred
Indians, were paddled off. At first the girls feared that their little
barks would tip, but soon they found their canoes were in expert and
safe hands and that the new manner of travel was far superior to
horse-back riding. It was restful and gave them a fine opportunity for
observation, which under favorable circumstances would drive an artist
into ecstasy. The majestic bluffs with wooded slopes and craggy crests,
lined the river for many miles, stretching off to the west around
Devil’s Lake. It was ideal scenery and connected with many a romantic
Indian tale.

The spring freshets from the melting snows and heavy rains, had swollen
the river so that it spread considerably over its banks, reaching in
places from the foot of one bluff to the foot of another. Down this
murky water the Indians paddled their canoes, hour after hour, over a
distance of about thirty miles, and landed on the west bank, where they
camped for the night.

In speaking of this canoe ride the girls say: “The name of the river
we never knew, neither can we tell whether we traveled up or down the
stream.” The name of the river was learned from Shabona. It is not
strange that the girls could not tell which way the river flowed. The
writer has often been on that river during freshets, and the way the
water flows back and forth, dotted with eddies, would easily confuse a

Early the next morning White Crow went around to the wigwams with a
gourd in each hand, and stopping at the door of each wigwam he would
shake the gourds violently and talk as if he were lecturing.

Having finished this religious service, he left the camp and did not
return again until sundown. Probably, he crossed the river and went
to his own village at the west end of Mendota Lake to get information
concerning the ransom offered for the captives. He was a sly chief,
and if he did not have considerable confidence in the success of his
undertaking, instead of taking the girls across to Blue Mounds he might
have them run further down the river and there hold them longer in

The thirty-first day of May had arrived and for the second night
the Indians camped on the west side of the Wisconsin River. Before
retiring, White Crow for the first time spoke to the girls in the
English language. He inquired whether their father, mother, or any
sister or brother, was alive, to which the girls replied that all had
been killed on the day of their captivity. White Crow appeared sad,
shook his head, and after hesitating a moment, said he would take
the girls home in the morning. He asked the girls if they thought
the whites would hang him if he took them to the fort, to which they
replied that on the contrary the people at the fort would give him
money and presents for his trouble.

The conversation with White Crow roused the hopes of the girls
considerably, but a lingering doubt as to the truth of his words kept
revolving in their minds throughout the night.



The next morning the chiefs accompanied by about forty warriors put the
girls in canoes and swam their horses across the river alongside of the
canoes, landing above the mouth of Black Earth Creek. The horses were
mounted in haste, but as most of the warriors had to travel on foot and
were impeded by marshes and underbrush on the flat bottom, the progress
was slow. The girls watched the sun with eagerness in their endeavor
to tell which way they were traveling and were assured thereby that
they were again going southward, although only in a circuitous course.
Hour after hour passed away, the girls all the while expecting to
catch sight of the fort. Finally, as the sun was sinking off over the
Wisconsin River, the Indians once more camped for the night on the bank
of a creek.

There were two or three Indian families camped at this place, and on
seeing the girls they expressed great joy. In a short time the squaws
had prepared a supper consisting of pickled pork, potatoes, coffee and
bread for the girls, White Crow and Whirling Thunder, the rest of
the Indians dining apart from them. The meal was the best cooked and
the spread the cleanest that had been placed before the girls, and it
tempted their appetite so that they made a very fair meal, after which
they felt sleepy and were glad when they could lie down to rest. In a
short time most of the Indians had retired, excepting White Crow, who
seated himself close to the girls, where he smoked a pipe all night.
This was the first time that a warrior had kept guard over them, and
the inference of the girls was that the old chief feared an attack of
the Sacs who had visited their camp at Portage. The girls thought that
perhaps the Indian chief who had been rebuffed at that place might
have gone after recruits, and that at any moment the Indians might
swoop down upon them. Now, when they were almost within grasp of their
freedom, it racked the minds of the girls to think that there was a
possibility of being slaughtered or again carried into captivity. In
this condition of mind the girls passed the night.

The camp was astir at sunrise and for the last time White Crow went
around performing his religious service by rattling his gourds and
addressing the Indians. After breakfast the girls were again mounted
on their ponies and all moved forward over higher ground, and before
ten o’clock they had reached the Military Road from Fort Winnebago, by
way of Blue Mounds, to Prairie du Chien. The sight of the wagon tracks
was the first sign of civilization that the girls had observed since
their captivity and increased their confidence in the probability of
their early release. Also, the road was much better than any they had
traveled since their capture. It led through groves and oak openings,
along the high ridge that is unbroken to the Mississippi River.
Inspirations of hope were necessary to revive the girls’ spirits and
enable them to complete the remainder of their long journey, as they
were exhausted to the verge of collapse. Hope is a great stimulant, and
it was on this that the girls were now subsisting.

    “Auspicious Hope! in thy sweet garden grow
    Wreaths for each toil, a charm for every woe.”

About two o’clock in the afternoon the Indians halted for lunch and
to let their horses feed. The principal food was duck eggs, nearly
hatched, that the Indians ate with relish, but which the girls rejected
with disgust. After lunch they had not traveled far until they caught
sight of Blue Mounds Fort in the distance. White Crow took a white
handkerchief that Rachel had tied on her head, which he fastened on
a pole for a flag of truce, and rode in advance of the Indians and
their captives. In a short time Lieutenant Edward Beouchard, who was
commander at the fort, met them and addressed the Indians in their own
language. The warriors now formed a circle into which Beouchard rode
and he and the Indians talked at considerable length. According to
Beouchard’s subsequent statement the Indians were unwilling to give
up the girls until they were assured by Col. Gratiot that the $2,000
reward would be paid. Beouchard having assured the girls that they
would be well treated by the Indians until his return, went back to the
fort and soon returned with Col. Henry Gratiot, the Indian agent, and
a company of soldiers in which Edward and Reason Hall, uncles of the
captives, were serving as privates.

Col. Gratiot assured the Indians that the reward for the rescue of the
girls would be paid. Also, he invited the Indians to be his guests at
the fort, and that he would prepare a big feast for them. The Indians
being very hungry the feast appealed very strongly to them. Finally,
the chiefs agreed to place the girls in the custody of Col. Gratiot
until the reward would be paid, the Indians retaining the right to the
return of the captives if the government failed to pay.

The calico dresses which the girls had received from the Indians, had
become torn by riding through brake, briars and brush, and with their
soiled faces and disheveled hair, made them objects of pity.[31] In a
sense, the girls bearing their crosses, had followed their Master up
Calvary to its summit, where He granted their prayer by setting them

[31] 3, Smith’s Hist. of Wis., 214, 225.



Following close behind the soldiers that went out with Col. Gratiot
to meet the Indians with the girls, were the ladies of the Fort,
including the wives of the commanding officers, and although the
Indians had delivered the girls into the custody of Col. Gratiot, the
ladies immediately took charge of them, and after kissing and hugging
them affectionately, conducted them to the Fort, where the girls were
furnished with new clothes and the best meal that the place could
produce. After dining the girls became sleepy and retired to rest,
feeling perfectly secure.

    “Sleep! to the homeless thou are home;
    The friendless find in thee a friend;
    And well is, wheresoe’er he roam,
    Who meets thee at his journey’s end.”

A messenger who had been dispatched for Col. Dodge, met him on his
way to the Mounds in company with Capt. Bion Gratiot, a brother of
Col. Henry Gratiot. On his arrival Col. Dodge immediately assumed
general command of the place. He invited the Indian chiefs, White
Crow, Whirling Thunder and Spotted Arm, into the Fort, and fed them
sumptuously. Ebenezer Brigham who lived at the east end of the Mounds
contributed a big fat steer for the feast. After the feast, lodgings
for the Indians were prepared, beds for the chiefs having been provided
in one of the cottages. Having everything comfortably arranged, the
Colonel retired and was soon fast asleep.

About an hour after Col. Dodge had gone to bed, Capt. Gratiot came
rushing to his cabin in an excited manner, calling to him to rouse up
and prepare for action immediately. He informed the Colonel that the
Indian chiefs whom the Colonel had placed in the cottage, had gone
out to some brush near by and apparently were inciting the Indians to
make an attack upon the Fort. White Crow had come to the Captain and
after telling him that the whites were a soft-shelled breed and no good
to fight (referring to Stillman’s defeat), he closed by advising the
Captain to tell his brother, Col. Gratiot, the Indians’ friend, to go
home and not stay at the fort. Also, Capt. Gratiot had observed the men
whetting their knives, tomahawks and spears, and it was learned that
two of the warriors had been sent to the Winnebago camp early in the
evening, probably to obtain more Indians to attack the Fort.

Col. Dodge, after listening attentively to the story of Capt. Gratiot,
replied: “Do not be alarmed, sir; I will see that no harm befalls you.”

Col. Dodge then called the officer of the guard and an interpreter
and with six other men went out to where the Indians were and took
into custody White Crow and five of the other principal chiefs, and
marched them into a cabin inside the palisade to secure obedience
to his command. Then after directing the proper officer to place a
strong guard around the cabin and double the guard around the whole
encampment, the Colonel lay down with the Indians. To carry out the
Colonel’s orders took all the men at the Fort, so that virtually the
whole force was under arms during the night.[32] Once more the girls’
lives were in jeopardy.

[32] X. Wis. Hist. Col., 186.

The night passed without another incident and when the sun arose over
the great plains to the east, the girls were up and relished a good
breakfast with their friends that awaited them. Col. Dodge was out
before the girls and he told the Indians that they must all go to
Morrison’s Grove, a place where the road to Galena branches off the
Military Road to Prairie du Chien, about fifteen miles west of Blue
Mounds. The Indians--White Crow particularly--protested against going,
stating that their feet were sore from their long march in bringing
the Hall girls to the Mounds, and that they had shown such great
magnanimity in risking their lives to ransom the prisoners that they
should receive their reward and be allowed to return home. Col. Dodge
frankly told them that he believed that they were in sympathy with
Black Hawk and that he should be obliged to treat them as suspects. In
vain did White Crow use his eloquence in protesting his friendship for
the whites, and after all was in readiness the Indians and soldiers
accompanied by the Hall girls started on their march to Morrison’s
Grove, where they arrived before noon. Here George Medary kept a hotel
in a large house built by the Morrison brothers of hewn logs, adjoining
a cultivated field, one of the first in the state.[33]

[33] XIII. Wis. Hist. Col., 341; “Waubun,” 111.

The ladies looked after the comfort of the girls, whom they welcomed
with much exhibition of joy and affection, and Col. Dodge, after having
the Indians well fed, ordered the chiefs to line them up until he could
talk to them.

First Col. Dodge explained the alarming situation surrounding the white
settlers, and the information that he had that the Winnebagoes were
hesitating to join Black Hawk, and warned them of their destruction if
they should take part in the war against the whites. Next Col. Gratiot
spoke to the Indians in their own tongue, in a kindly manner, and after
he had finished White Crow made the following speech: “Fathers, when
you sent a request to me to go and to ransom those two white women, we
called on all of our people who were around us and they gave all of
their wampum, trinkets and corn, and we the chiefs gave ten horses.
The Little Priest, I, and two others, went to the Sauks to buy the
prisoners. We soon succeeded in buying one, but for a time could not
succeed in buying the other. After we had bought one, we demanded the
other. They said, ‘No, we will not give her up. We have lost too much
blood. We will keep her.’

“We told them: ‘If you don’t give her up, we will raise the tomahawk
and take her.’ I had a horse which you, father (Gratiot), gave me. It
was the last horse that I had. I told them that I would give them that
horse to obtain the prisoner. At sundown they gave me the girls and
I gave them the horse. The Little Priest took one of the girls and I
took the other and put them on horses. A Sauk came, as we were about
to start, and attempted to cut off the hair of one of the girls. I
caught his hand and prevented him, but allowed him afterwards to cut a
small lock. These white sisters were very much affected and my young
daughter cried to see these white sisters so distressed. Our women
bought clothes from the Sauks and gave them. These sisters will tell
you that we made them sleep together, and the daughter of the Little
Priest slept on one side of them and my daughter on the other side. We
were mortified that we could not use them better. Our blankets are worn
out and we could do no better. I tried to please and comfort them, but
they were not accustomed to our mode of living and could not eat.

“Here are our two sisters, we bring them here to take their hands and
give them into your hands. We have saved their lives, for the Sauks
intended to kill them.

“And now, fathers, all that we have to ask of you is that you will not
put us or our children in the same situation that these white sisters
were. We have brought them to you to prove to you that we are the
friends of the Americans.”[34]

[34] Report of Col. Gratiot in U. S. files.

After listening to White Crow, Col. Dodge informed him that he would
hold as hostages for the good conduct of the Winnebago Indians, their
chiefs Spotted Arm, Whirling Thunder and Little Priest, to which the
wiley chief made little objection, as he was trying to obtain as much
goods as possible in final settlement of the reward, which was paid
mostly in trinkets, blankets and horses.

Having been well fed and supplied with shawls and blankets of brilliant
colors, childlike, the Indians were now anxious to go home.

White Crow, with a showing of much regret, bade good-bye to Sylvia
and Rachel Hall. He went over the incidents of their rescue, and, to
prove his friendship for the girls, offered to give each of them a Sac
squaw as a servant for life. The girls thanked him, but said that they
did not want any human being to be taken away from her people as they
had been from theirs. The girls then bade adieu to all the Indians,
towards whom their hearts had changed, and for whom they now felt
considerable friendship. The eloquence of White Crow made an impression
on the young women, as he spoke in a sympathetic tone unexpected kind
words that touched their hearts.

After resting at Morrison’s during the afternoon and night, early the
next morning the soldiers with their Indian hostages and the girls,
proceeded along the Galena road to Fort Defiance, which was located
five miles southeast of Mineral Point. Here again the girls were well
cared for by the wives of the officers, and the most sumptuous meal
that could be prepared was set before them, and their short stay made
as pleasant as possible.[35]

[35] X. Wis. Hist., Col., 340.

After dinner, with the convoy of soldiers and the Indian hostages,
the girls again moved on to Gratiot’s Grove, about a mile south of
Shullsburg, and fourteen miles northeast of Galena. At this place there
was a village of twenty families, with a hotel and a garrison of United
States soldiers.[36] The leading lady of the place was Capt. Gratiot’s
wife, a French woman of excellent education, whose mother had been
lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie Antoinette. Mrs. Gratiot, who was noted
for her hospitality, took charge of the girls and entertained them
lavishly at her home.[37]

[36] X. Wis. Hist. Col., 256.

[37] X. Wis. Hist. Col., 186, 246.

Gratiot’s Grove, which became renowned as the most beautiful spot in
the northwest, is described by Mrs. Gratiot as follows: “Never in my
wanderings had I beheld a prettier place; the beautiful rolling hills
extending to Blue Mounds, a distance of thirty miles, the magnificent
grove, as yet untouched by the falling axe, formed the graceful frame
for the lovely landscape.”[38] Theodore Rudolph, a Swiss traveler who
was at Gratiot’s Grove in the spring of 1832, describing the place
says: “The vast prairie, as far as the eye could reach, was clothed
with a carpet of richest green, interspersed with gorgeous wild
flowers, of brilliant hues of red, blue, and yellow, in fact every
color of the rainbow--reminding one of the garden of Eden, as our
youthful fancies never failed to paint it for us.”[39]

[38] X. Wis. Hist. Col., 286.

[39] XV. Wis. Hist. Col., 345.



      “Oh! sweet is the longed-for haven of rest!
    And dear are the loved ones we oft have caressed!
      And fair are the home scenes that gladden the view--
    The far-wooded hills stretching up to the blue,
      The lake’s limpid splendor, the circling shore,
    The fell and the forest, the mead and the moor,
      Are clustered with mem’ries and, though we may roam,
    Their charm ever guides us and whispers of home!”

        --Anna C. Scanlan.

The thought of returning to their home filled the girls’ hearts with
such joy as was possible under their circumstances. When they arose on
the morning of their departure from Gratiot’s Grove, everything was
inspiring. Never before had the birds sung more sweetly nor had the
flowers looked more beautiful. The whole village was astir early, and
probably there was not one of the inhabitants who failed to appear to
bid the girls good-bye.

Capt. Gratiot’s wife made the girls some nice presents and had so
endeared herself to them that although they had known her but a very
short time, they left her with tears, and in tears.

Finally, all being ready, with a convoy of soldiers the girls continued
their journey to White Oak Springs (10 miles northeast of Galena),
near which they formerly lived and where they had many friends. It was
then a mining village of considerable size, but not so charming as
Gratiot’s Grove. There was a fort with soldiers at the place, and all
was in readiness to receive the girls. As some of their relatives lived
near the place, going there seemed to them like going home.

One of the first surprises that the girls had, was to meet their
brother John who they thought had been murdered at Indian Creek. He had
been mustered into the militia and was stationed at Galena, but was
granted indefinite absence to go to meet his sisters and accompany them

At White Oak Springs they received a letter from their former pastor,
Rev. R. Horn, who had a mission on the Illinois River where Robert
Scott, an uncle of the girls, lived. The letter was full of kindness
and invited the girls to come to the Horn residence and make it their
home. From that time on, all arrangements were made to that end.

On the night of June sixteenth, great excitement was caused by a
messenger riding into the town and announcing that the battle of the
Peckatonica (18 miles northeast) had been fought, that all the Indians
that participated in it had been killed, and that many of the whites
had fallen. The shocking particulars, which were loathing to the girls,
were told and retold. They had seen human blood spilled and they knew
what such a sight meant, so it simply renewed their horror.

The girls remained at White Oak Springs two weeks, during which their
lady friends made considerable clothing for them so that they had a
well-supplied wardrobe, considering the time and the border country.
The men were not backward in the good work and presents of goods were
given by the store-keepers and a small purse raised to help to smooth
their way.

Also, old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships were formed
from which it was hard to break away when it came time to leave. From
gruff old miners up to the army officer in his shoulder-straps, the
village folk gathered around the young ladies to wish them God-speed.

The girls shook hands with everybody and thanked them, individually and
collectively, for their great kindness. In the last written statement
signed by Rachel Hall Munson and Sylvia Hall Horn, they say: “We are
very sorry we cannot recollect the names of those kind friends, that
they might appear upon record as a testimony of their kindness to us
in our destitute condition. May the blessings of our Father in heaven,
rest upon them all!”

From White Oak Springs the girls went on to Galena, where they stopped
with an old acquaintance named Bell and were supplied with rations by
the United States’ army officers who considered the girls their guests.

They had not been there many days before the steamboat “Winnebago”
called for a load of lead to take to St. Louis. The girls with their
brother John and their uncle Edward Hall took passage down the
Mississippi to St. Louis where they arrived June 30, and were received
by Gov. Clark who took them to his home and entertained them as his

[40] Letter of Governor Clark to Secretary of War, June 30, 1832; “Life
of A. S. Johnston,” Johnston, 23.

Unfortunately, at that time the cholera was in the city and meetings
of people, public demonstrations, and entertainments, were restricted.
While the girls did not feel like attending entertainments or going in
society, the people of St. Louis were anxious to entertain them.

A purse of $470.00 was collected, and, at the request of the girls,
was put into the hands of Mr. Horn for investment. Other small sums of
money were given to the girls to pay their incidental expenses, and
articles for their comfort were presented to them.

The girls were anxious to go home, and in company with their brother
John and Uncle Edward they boarded the steamer “Carolina” for
Beardstown, Ill., from where they were taken to the home of their uncle
Robert Scott, close to Mr. Horn’s. Here they remained until Fall, when
they went to the home of their brother John who had recently married
and settled on a homestead in Bureau County, about twenty miles west of
the Davis Settlement.



At a little country store down in Indiana where the settlers usually
gathered to read the weekly newspaper, William Munson, a young man
who was born in New York, first heard of the Hall girls and their
wonderful adventure. He was in the west seeking his fortune, and, being
an admirer of the brave and full of youthful fire, he remarked to the
people that he would some day marry one of those girls. His nearest
friends did not take him seriously, and the matter as a passing joke
was soon forgotten. However, with him it became a fixed idea, and in
the spring of 1833 he went to Illinois and took up a land claim in the
neighborhood where John W. Hall lived.

Every good woman is not satisfied until she has a home of her own. This
natural longing was particularly strong in the minds of the Hall girls,
whose home had been destroyed.

[Illustration: WILLIAM MUNSON.]

There is no record of how William Munson first met Rachel Hall, but
our information shows that their courtship was short; for in March,
1833, they were united in marriage, and shortly afterwards they settled
down on the land claim entered by her father, about a mile and a half
east of the scene of the massacre. They were thrifty and got along
splendidly, becoming one of the foremost families of La Salle County.
Besides the rich abundance of worldly goods, they were blessed with
a large family of whom four died in their infancy. As there was no
cemetery, the little ones were buried in the garden. Of the other
children who grew up to manhood and womanhood, several became very
prominent and their generations became numerous. Their four daughters
were married as follows: Irena, to Dr. George Vance, who moved to
California; A. Miranda, to Samuel Dunavan, who settled on a farm just
north of the Munson homestead, where she still lives; Fidelia, to
George Shaver, and Phoebe M., to John F. Reed, of Ottawa. Mr. Reed’s
daughter Fannie was married to James H. Eckles who was Comptroller
of the Currency under Cleveland; and Mr. Reed’s daughter Winnie is
married to Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, of Chicago. Mrs. Munson
left three sons: William, Louis and Elliot, and through them several


Edward Vance, a grand-son of Mrs. Munson, is a well-known lawyer in
South Dakota, and Douglas Dunavan is a prominent lawyer at Ottawa,
Illinois. We shall not attempt to give sketches of the various
descendants of Mrs. Munson, as it would expand too much the limits of
this volume.

The shock of the massacre and subsequent captivity impaired the
splendid constitution of Mrs. Munson, who thereafter suffered from
nervousness; but through the earlier part of her life, she manifested
unusual vigor. As Mrs. Munson passed middle life she failed rapidly,
and on May 1, 1870, she closed her earthly career and was laid to rest
in the garden beside her infant children who had gone before her, and
when Mr. Munson died he was interred beside his faithful wife. Their
graves are about one and one-half miles east of Shabona Park, on the
original Hall homestead.


Incidentally, we noted the fact that for a short spell the Hall girls
made their home at the residence of Rev. Robert Horn. He had a young
son, William S., who was studying for the ministry, and as both
belonged to the same church (Methodist) and were born in Kentucky,
we cannot say that the unexpected happened. He was one year younger
than Sylvia. The love story of these young people would gratify any
novel writer. When Sylvia left with her sister to make her home with
her brother John, she and Mr. Horn looked upon each other with great
affection. The marriage of Rachel emphasized the yearnings of Sylvia
for her own home, and May 5, 1833, she was married to Mr. Horn and
settled in Cass County, Illinois. There were born to Mr. and Mrs. Horn,
eleven children. Mr. Horn’s vocation called him from one place to
another. Having served in the ministry in Illinois, he first went to
Missouri, thence to Peru, Nebraska, next to a parish near Lincoln, and
finally settled down at Auburn, Nemaha County, Nebraska, where he died
May 8, 1888, leaving him surviving, his widow, Mrs. Sylvia Hall Horn,
and several children and grand-children.

Mr. Horn became an elder of the M. E. Episcopal church, and held
several high church offices. Elder Horn was noted for his intense
religious zeal, and, figuratively speaking, he died in the harness of
exhaustion and old age. He was buried in Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Peru,

After the death of Elder Horn, Mrs. Sylvia Hall Horn made her home with
her son, Thomas S. Horn, in Auburn, Nebraska, where she died January
11, 1899, aged 85 years, 10 months and 16 days. Mrs. Horn was buried
beside her husband with whom she had happily lived for 55 years. She
left surviving her a host of descendants.


In the fall of 1867, John W. Hall, Mrs. Munson, and her husband, made
a visit to Elder Horn’s, Auburn, Nebraska, during which Mr. Hall and
his sisters narrated the incidents of the massacre and captivity, which
were reduced to writing by the Elder and published. The manuscripts
are now in the custody of Mrs. Eckels of Chicago. In his statement Mr.
Hall says: “After thirty-five years of toil have passed over my head
since the memorable occasion, my memory is in some things rather dim.”
Mrs. Munson and Mrs. Horn close their recital as follows: “Thus we have
given the circumstances of our captivity and the rescue as nearly as we
can recollect at this date, September 7, 1867.” The former published
statements of the ladies substantially agree with this last one. All
their statements and public interviews have been freely used and
completely worked into this narrative.[41]

[41] 3 Smith’s “History of Wisconsin” (1854), 187; “The Black Hawk War”
(Stevens), 150.

In 1833 the state of Illinois donated to Mrs. Munson and Mrs. Horn,
160 acres of land that the United States had given to the state towards
the construction of the canal between Chicago and Ottawa. At that time
the land was not valuable, and netted but a small sum to the ladies.
Now that land is within the city of Joliet and is worth considerable


1, Mrs. Dunavan (daughter); 3, Mrs. Hum, 4, Mrs. Watts and 8, Mrs.
Rogers (grand-daughters); 5, Howard and 6, Gladys Hum and 7, Baby Watts
(great-grandchildren); 2, Samuel Dunavan (son-in-law).]

It has been asserted--and published in books, that Congress voted gifts
of money to the girls; but in answer to an inquiry made at the United
States Treasury, the author was informed that no such appropriation
has ever been made, and Mrs. Dunavan says that she never knew of her
mother’s receiving any money from the government.

In 1877 Mr. Munson erected a very handsome monument on the spot where
his wife’s parents and the others who died with them were buried. It is
a graceful shaft.

In 1905, through the efforts of friends of the persons who were
massacred at Indian Creek on May 21st, 1832, the Illinois legislature
appropriated the sum of five thousand dollars to place a monument at
the grave where the victims were buried.[42] On August 29, 1906, the
new monument was dedicated with much ceremony, music and orations.
Among the speakers were the venerable Hon. John W. Henderson and
his brother, Gen. T. J. Henderson, who were boys at the time that
the massacre occurred, the former being one of the persons who were
planting corn south of the Davis cottage on that day, and who with John
W. Hall escaped to Ottawa.

[42] Laws of Illinois, 1905, p. 42.

A full account of the dedication will be found in the newspapers and in
the records of the Illinois Historical Society.[43]

[43] “Ottawa Journal,” August 30, 1906; “Bureau County Republican,”
August 30, 1906; XII., “Transactions of the Illinois State Historical
Society,” p. 339.



[44] This chief’s name is spelled in many different ways, to-wit:
“Sha-bom-ri,” in Smith’s History of Wisconsin; “Shah-bee-nay,” by Mrs.
Kinzie in Wau-Bun; “Shaubena,” by Matson; “Shau-be-nee,” by Kingston;
“Chab-on-eh,” “Shab-eh-ney,” “Shabonee,” and “Shaubena,” in the
Appleton’s Encyclopedia of American Biographies, and on his tombstone
his name is spelled “Shabona”. In Illinois, places named after him are
spelled Shabbona and Shabonier, the latter being the French spelling.
As Mr. Smith, Mrs. Kinzie, Mr. Matson, and Mr. Kingston, knew Shabona
well, the weight of evidence seems to be in favor of spelling his name
Shaubena, which is in accordance with the spelling of Indian words.
The second _b_ is not heard in the usual pronounciation of “Shabbona”
(Shab‘-eh-ney), and it causes strangers to mispronounce the name. Even
the word “Sac”, is usually pronounced Sauk, and is generally spelled
Sauk. Very many Indian names have the diphthong _au_ as shown by names
of rivers and places. Consequently, it would seem that the first
syllable should be spelled S-h-a-u-b.

The story of the Hall girls’ adventures would not be properly finished
without some further mention of Chief Shabona. Probably no other Indian
in the West knew more white people, individually, than he knew; also,
he was known at sight to more white people than was any other chief
of his time. His name was so familiar among the whites, that its mere
mention was a safe passport to any home of the settlers. Shabona
was well aware of that fact and he always introduced himself as “Mr.

Baldwin says that Shabona was born in Canada; but Matson asserts
that he was born on the Kankakee in Will County, Illinois; and the
“Handbook of American Indians” gives Maumee River, Illinois, as his
birthplace. This contention of many countries as the place of Shabona’s
birth, proves the greatness of the man. Argos, Rhodes, Smyrna, Chios,
Colophon, and several other cities, claim to be the birthplace of
Homer; and Scotland, England, Wales, and Brittany, of St. Patrick.
Authors agree that Shabona was born in 1775 and dwelt at Shabona’s
Grove for fifty years. He was a grand-nephew of Pontiac and his father
who was an Ottawa chief, fought under Pontiac. Shabona was six feet
tall, erect, and weighed over two hundred pounds.

During the wars of 1812, 1827 and 1832, Shabona rendered great services
to the white people by saving the lives of many of them who were taken
captives by the Indians, and by protecting the home of John Kinzie and
his friends during the Chicago massacre. However, with his tribe he
joined in the border war against the whites and fought beside Tecumseh
when he fell at the battle of the Thames. That was the last time that
Shabona raised a hand against the white people.

When Col. Richard M. Johnson, who commanded the American army at the
Thames became vice-president of the United States, Shabona made a visit
to him at Washington. The vice-president gave Shabona a heavy gold
ring, which he wore until his death and at his request it was buried
with him.

On account of Shabona’s great services to the white people, the state
of Illinois gave him two and one-half sections of land at the site
of his Paw-Paw Village. In 1837 the last of Shabona’s tribe having
been moved to a Kansas reservation, he followed them with his family
consisting of twenty-seven persons, including his son Pypagee and
nephew Pyps who were soon thereafter slain by the Sacs for the parts
that they played in notifying the whites to flee to Ottawa, before
the massacre at Indian Creek. Shabona was warned that the Sacs were
scheming to assassinate him, because of his efforts to save the whites,
and in 1855 he returned to Illinois.

Before Shabona left Illinois for Kansas, he placed his lands in the
hands of an agent named Norton to collect the rents, pay the taxes
and to look after them generally. Unconscionable settlers squatted on
Shabona’s lands and filed in the government land office, affidavits
that Shabona had abandoned the lands, and on that proof and some
technicalities the lands were again sold as public lands, and on
Shabona’s return he found his domain in the possession of the squatters
who claimed to be the owners. Shabona could not help feeling that he
had been cheated by the whites, after all he had done for them, and the
old man sat on a log near where his village had formerly stood and wept

    “And man, whose heaven-erected face
    The smiles of love adorn,
    Man’s inhumanity to man
    Makes countless thousands mourn!”

Shortly after his return, as Shabona was cutting a few poles to erect a
tent on the margin of the grove that bore his name, a settler attacked
him and forcibly drove him off the land, and shamefully abused the
old man. Then for some time homeless, he wandered about from place to
place, the few remaining whites whom he had befriended, always giving
him a warm welcome. The old warrior’s plight aroused the dormant
gratitude of a few whites who raised a fund with which they bought for
him at Seneca, on Mazon Creek, near the Illinois River, twenty acres
of land which they cultivated and erected a dwelling-house thereon.
Because of his natural desire to live out-doors, Shabona lived in a
tent nearby and used the cottage for storage purposes. Through the
efforts of his friends, the government granted him a pension of two
hundred dollars a year, on which he subsisted until he died in 1859, at
the age of eighty-four years, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, at
Morris, Illinois.[45]

[45] 7, Wis. Hist. Col., 415-421; History of La Salle County, Baldwin,

When Shabona was dying, he said: “I want no monument erected to my
memory; my life has been mark enough for me.” However, his friends
erected at his grave a granite boulder five feet long by three
feet high, which bears only this simple inscription: “Shabona,

[46] “Evergreen Cemetery” (printed pamphlet), p. 4.

The state of Illinois purchased a part of the Davis’ homestead,
including the place of the massacre and mill-dam, and named it
“Shabbona Park.”



Some of our readers may ask, Was anyone prosecuted for the massacre
at Indian Creek? Oh, yes! Co-mee and To-qua-mee who had tried to buy
Rachel and Sylvia Hall from their father, as related in Chapter III.,
were, in the spring of 1833, at Ottawa, Illinois, indicted by a grand
jury, and a warrant issued and placed in the hands of Sheriff George
E. Walker who had been an Indian trader and spoke the Pottawatomie
language, to make the arrests. The Indians had gone to Iowa with Black
Hawk and had become members of his tribe.

Alone, Sheriff Walker went to the Sac reservation and placed the
Indians under arrest. The two Indians made no resistance, but
unshackled accompanied the sheriff to Ottawa. They were allowed to go
on a bond signed by themselves, Shabona, and several other Indians,
upon their promises upon their honor to return for trial.

When the time for the trial arrived the Indians were on hand, although
they had told their friends that they expected to be executed. Many
of the friends of the people who had been massacred, armed and
threatening to shoot the prisoners, if they should be liberated,
attended the trial. There was no jail in Ottawa at the time, so the
trial was held under a great tree on the bank of the Illinois. All
through the trial the sheriff with a posse of armed men, guarded the

Mrs. Munson and Mrs. Horn, the principal witnesses, could not
positively identify either of the Indians, and as the Indians had
voluntarily stood their trial when they might have escaped, the jury
acquitted them. When the trial was over the Indians’ friends gave them
a banquet at Buffalo Rock (six miles down the Illinois), to which the
sheriff and several other prominent men of the time were invited. A
fat deer and choice game were parts of the menu, and a great red-white
pow-wow was a part of the celebration.

It is said that subsequently when To-qua-mee and Co-mee were drinking
with their friends, they admitted that they were present at the
massacre, and that they took part in it only because they were angered
at Davis for building the dam across Indian Creek. Also, they stated
that it was through their influence that the lives of the Hall girls
were spared, which was an express condition upon which they insisted
before they would take part in the massacre. However, Black Hawk in his
autobiography states that it was the Sac Indians who saved the lives of
the girls; and White Crow in his speech at Morrison’s, said that the
Sacs intended to kill the girls and that the Winnebagoes saved their

[47] XI. Transactions of Illinois Historical Society, 1906, p. 313;
Memories of Shabona, 165-168; Black Hawk’s Autobiography, 111; Ante, p.



  Adoption of Captives by chiefs, 61

  Agriculture and civilization, 25

  Atkinson, Gen. at Ottawa, 51
    letter to Col. Gratiot, 56
    offers reward, 54

  Auburn, where Elder Horn died, 100


  Battle of “Stillman’s Run”, 20
    The Pecatonica, 92

  Beloit, Turtle village, 55

  Beouchard, Lieut. Edward, 55
    meeting captives, 79

  Big Fox, camp near, 63

  Black Earth Creek, camp on, 76

  Black Hawk War, 17

  Black Hawk, born at Rock Island, 18
    council of, 18
    fought with English, 1812, 18
    grief of, 19
    love of country, 18
    ordered to move to Iowa, 18
    return to Illinois, 18
    speech of, 18
    second council of, 20

  Black Hawk’s Grove, arrival at, 45

  Black Hawk “Lookout”, camp near, 75

  Black Hawk, picture of as a warrior, 17
    picture of as civilian, 21

  Black Hawk’s village, 26

  Blacksmith, important settler, 25

  Blockhouses, building of, 54

  Brigham, Ebenezer, Indian feast, 82

  Buckwheat as first crop, 25

  Buffalo, herds of, 12

  “Burnt City”, near Ft. Atkinson, Wis., 61


  Camp on Wisconsin river, 74
    Black Hawk’s Grove, 45, 59
    Black Hawk’s “Lookout”, camp near, 75
    Cold Spring, 61
    Horicon Lake, 63
    Portage, camp near, 70

  Canada, Indian voyages to, 26

  Canoes, where girls entered, 68

  Captives, Indians kill when attacked, 71

  Captivity of Hall girls, 38

  “Carolina”, St. Louis to Beardstown, 94

  Chickens, prairie, 12

  Chippewas, Indians, 16

  Cholera at St. Louis, 93

  Civilization, marriage and agriculture, 25

  Clark, Gov., of Missouri, 93

  Clothes, Indians furnish Hall girls, 62

  Cold Spring, camping at, 61

  Comb, Rachel’s thrown away, 62

  Co-mee, tried to buy wife, 23
    arrest of for murder, 111
    acquittal, 112
    alleged confession of murder, 113

  Country, description of, 9


  Dam across Indian Creek, 29
    Indians object to, 29
    Indian tears outlet through, 29

  Dancing of Indians, 41, 59, 64

  Davis City, dream of, 28

  Davis, Jefferson, 9

  Davis Settlement, 23

  Davis, Alex., escape of, 32

  Davis, William, sketch of, 25
    children of murdered, 35
    murdered by Indians, 35
    powerful and brave, 28
    whipped Indian with stick, 29

  Davis, Wm., Jr., escape of, 35

  Dedication of State Monument, 105

  Deer, herds of, 12

  Description of country, 9

  Dixon, center of trails, 13

  Dodge, Col., raises troops, 54
    address to Indians, 85
    command at Blue Mounds, 81
    takes hostages, 87

  Drunkenness in Militia, 52

  “Dry Year”, the, 31

  Dunavan, Mrs. A. Miranda, 6, 97, 103
    information given by, 6

  Dunavan, Samuel, married Miss Munson, 97
    picture of, 103


  Eckles, Hon. James II., U. S. Treasurer, 98

  Eckles, Winnie, married to Judge Landis, 98

  English government pensioned Sacs, 26

  Evidence, best, 6


  Family history, Munson, 6, 95

  Family history, Horn, 6, 100

  Fire, a prairie, 11

  Flag of Truce, 20, 79

  Flowers, many beautiful, 12, 27
    great growth of, 31

  Forests, trees of, 10

  Fort Defiance, rest at, 78

  Fort Winnebago, Portage, 78

  Fox Indians, 13

  Fox river, description of, 9


  Galena, meeting of people, 54

  Game, abundance of, 12

  Geology of country, 10

  George, Henry, at work on dam, 32
    shot by Indians, 36

  Gratiot, Capt. Bion, and Indians, 81
    wife of, cultured, 89, 90

  Gratiot, Col. Henry, Indians’ friend, 55
    address to Indians, 84

  Gratiot’s Grove, description of, 89


  Hair, ceremony of clipping, 68, 70
    cutting locks from captives, 68
    scalp, double meaning of, 70

  Hall girls, as captives, 41-47, 59-65
    adopted by chiefs, 61
    and neighbors’ horses, 39
    at Black Earth Creek, 76, 77
    at Black Hawk’s Grove, 45
    at Blue Mounds, 79-83
    at Cold Spring, 61
    at Fort Defiance, 88
    at Galena, 93
    at Gratiot’s Grove, 88-90
    at Horicon, Lake, 66-67
    at Kishwaukee river, 42-44
    at Morrison’s, 84-88
    at Portage, 70
    at St. Louis, 93
    at White Oak Springs, 90-92
    description of, 7, 8
    dresses given by squaws, 62
    food of captives, 43, 46, 62, 72, 76, 78
    guests of Gov. Clark, 93
    Indians wanted as wives, 23
    kept apart in traveling, 61
    letter from Rev. Horn, 91
    painted by squaws, 60
    popular appellation of, 6
    prayers of, 39
    presents to, 92, 102, 104
    purse collected for, 94
    Rachel exhausted, 42, 98
    religious offerings, 46
    sleeping between squaws, 46
    tiresome traveling, 42, 70, 78
    weeping of, 39, 90
    wept parting squaws, 79

  Hall, Edward, in militia, 79

  Hall, Elizabeth, killed by Indians, 23, 35

  Hall, Greenbury, escape of, 32, 36

  Hall, John W., escape of, 35, 36
    buries massacred whites, 49
    meets sisters, 91
    recruits squadron, 48
    searches for sisters, 49, 50
    statement of, 102
    visits sisters in Nebraska, 102

  Hall, Reason, in Militia, 79

  Hall, Rachel, one of the “Hall girls”, ages of, 23, 98
    death of, 98
    exhausted, 42, 98
    family of, 96, 98
    marriage of, 95
    picture of, 97
    state land gift, 102
    tomb of, 99
    wading Kishwaukee, 42

  Hall, Sylvia, one of the “Hall girls”, ages of, 23, 100
    death of, 100
    fainted at sight of scalp, 43
    family of, 100
    marriage of, 100
    pictures of, 24, 101
    state land gift to, 102

  Hall, William, sketch of, 23
    family of, 23
    hospitality, noted, 24
    shot by Indians, 35

  Hall, Mrs. Wm., massacred, 34-35

  Harney, Gen., U. S. officer, 51

  Harrison, president, 9

  Hearts, human on spears, 60

  Henderson, Hon. John W., escape of, 32, 35
    memorial oration of, 105

  Henderson, John H., settler, 25

  Henderson, Gen. T. J., oration, 105

  Home, longing for, 99, 101

  Horicon Lake, 63

  Horn, Mr. C. L., grandson of Elder, 6

  Horn, Miss Sylvia E., grandchild of Elder, 6

  Horn, Thomas S., son of Elder, 100

  Horn, Elder W. S., sketch of, 99, 101
    marries Sylvia Hall, 100
    picture of, 101

  Horses stolen from settlers, 39

  Howard, Allen, escape of, 32, 35


  Illinois river, 4, 13

  Indian troubles, 13
    bands attack settlers, 21
    land claims, 13
    marriage custom, 23
    scare, 31
    whipped by Davis, 29

  Indians: Foxes, Sacs, etc., 13
    attack Davis cottage, 33
    attempt to get girls, 69
    carry away Hall girls, 39
    conspiracy suspected, 81
    parting from Hall girls, 88
    refusal to ratify treaty, 16
    taken to Morrison’s, 84
    trial of for murder, 112
    wrongs of, 16


  Jackson, President Andrew, 9

  Jerome, Judge Edwin, guest of Halls, 24

  Johnson, Gen. Albert Sydney, 9

  Johnson, Col. R. M., and Shabona, 108


  Kaskaskia, mission and capital, 9

  Kishwaukee river, 10

  Kishwaukee Trail, 13


  La Fayette, Gen., at Kaskaskia, 9

  Land, Indian claims to, 13
    donated to Hall girls, 104

  Landis, Judge K. M., married Winnie Eckles, 98

  Lands, treaty as to, 13

  Lincoln, Capt. Abraham, 44
    anecdote of, 53
    President, at Kaskaskia, 9

  Little Priest, Indian chief, 61
    as hostage, 87


  Maple sugar, abundance, 62, 64

  Marquette, Father, 9

  Marriage and civilization, 25
    Indian wife purchase, 23

  Massacre, the Indian Creek, 31

  Medary, George, Hotel of, 84

  Michigan, excitement in, 54

  Mill, necessity in settlement, 25

  Miller, important settler, 25

  Military movements, 51

  Military Road, course of, 67, 78

  Militia, drunk, 52

  Monument erected by Munson, 4, 103, 104

  Monument erected by state, 104

  Monuments on site of massacre, 4, 103

  Munson, Rachel, three generations of, 103
    burial place of, 98
    given land, 103

  Munson, William, sketch of, 95
    family of, 96, 97, 98
    picture of, 96


  Neighbors, helping each other, 25

  Norris, Robert, at work on dam, 33
    shot by Indians, 36


  Oconomowoc river, 10
    lakes around, 63

  Ox-teams for breaking prairie, 25


  Paw Paw, Shabona’s village, 108

  Pecatonica, battle of, 92

  Pensions from England, 26

  Peru, home of Elder Horn, 100

  Pettigrew, Wm., sketch of, 24
    baby killed by Indian, 34
    killed by Indians, 34
    Mrs., shot in cottage, 34

  Picture of a prairie fire, 11
    Black Hawk as civilian, 21
    Black Hawk as warrior, 17
    Chief Shabona, 30
    Monuments, 4, 27, 99, 103
    Mrs. Dunavan, Mrs. Hum, Mrs. Watts, Howard Hum, Gladys Hum, Samuel
      Dunavan, 103
    Mrs. Rachel Hall Munson and son Elliott, 97
    Mrs. W. S. Horn and the Elder, 101
    none of Misses Hall, 7
    Shabona Park, 37
    where girls entered canoes, 69
    William Munson, after middle life, 96
    Wisconsin river, 75
    tombs of Rachel and her husband, 99

  Portage, where girls took canoes, 69

  Pottawatomie Indians, 13, 16, 53

  Prairie breaking, 25

  Purse for Hall girls, 94

  Pursuit of Indians, 44

  Pypagee, Shabona’s son, friend of settlers, 22, 108

  Pyps, Shabona’s nephew, friend of settlers, 22, 108


  Quails, plentiful, 12


  Rabbits, abundant, 12

  Rachel’s comb, taken by Indian, 62

  Rachel ransomed, 67

  Ransom from Sacs, 66

  Ratification, refusal of Indians, 16

  Red Bird war, 17

  Red Flag promenade, 65

  Reed, John, marries Phoebe Munson, 98

  Reed, Fannie, married to Mr. Eckles, 98

  Religion, Indian offering, 46

  Religious ceremony, 65, 73

  Reward offered, 54
    payment in goods, 89

  Rivers, formation of, 10

  Road, safest to Blue Mounds, 68

  Rock river, 9
    rapids passed by captives, 63

  Romance and history, 95

  Royally welcomed, 79


  Sacs claim land, 16
    follow girls to Portage, 71
    danger expected, 77

  Sauk Trail, 26

  Scalp, double meaning of, 70

  Scalping victims, 34

  Scanlan, Miss Marian, contributor, 7

  Scanlan, Miss Gertrude, contributor, 7

  Scott, uncle of Hall girls, 91

  Settlement, Davis, 23

  Settlers attacked by Indians, 21
    rush to Ottawa, 31
    return to Davis settlement, 32

  Shabona, sketch of, 106
    abuse of by squatters, 109
    cheated out of his lands, 109
    Col. Johnson’s gift ring to, 108
    grave of, 40
    home on Mazon creek, 110
    notifies whites, 22, 31
    Park, 27, 110
    Paw Paw Village of, 108
    picture of, 30
    removal to Kansas, 108
    second notice to settlers, 32
    tomb of, 110

  Shaver, Delia, married to William Munson, Jr., 98

  Shaver, George, married Fidelia Munson, 97

  Sod corn, first crop, 25

  Somonauk, passing headwaters, 40

  Spotted Arm, chief, 57
    as hostage, 87

  Springfield, state capital, 1837, 9

  Starved Rock State Park, 9

  Stillman, Major, defeat of, “Stillman’s Run”, 20

  “Stillman’s Run”, rout at, 20, 48, 51, 52
    militia undisciplined, 20, 51
    pursuing Indians, 20, 51
    truce flag abused, 20

  Stockades, building of, 54

  Storms, rains, 31

  St. Louis, girls ship for, 93

  Sycamore river, 10

  Sycamore at rising of moon, 41

  Sylvia Hall, one of the “Hall girls”, 6
    first ransomed, 66


  Taylor Gen., report to Atkinson, 51

  Tecumseh, Chief, 22

  To-qua-mee, arrest for murder, 111
    acquitted of murder, 112
    alleged confession of murder, 113
    Indian marriage, 23

  Torture, not women captives, 64

  Traditions proved, 7

  Treaty of 1804, 13
    Articles, 13-16

  Turkeys on prairies, 12

  Turnips, first crop, 25

  Turtle Creek, 10

  Turtle Village, 55


  Vance, Ed., lawyer in Dakota, 98

  Vance, Dr. G., marries Irma Munson, 97


  Walker, Sheriff, fearless, 111

  Waterway, Green Bay to Prairie du Chien, 13

  Watts, Mrs., picture of, 103

  Waubansee, friend of the whites, 30

  Whirling Thunder, promises assistance, 57

  White Crow, promises assistance, 57
    character and appearance, 66
    makes speech to girls, 87
    speech at Morrison’s, 57
    speaks English to captives, 74

  White Oak Springs, description of, 91, 92

  Whiteside with Harney, 51
    finds white scalps, 50

  Winnebago Indians, 16

  “Winnebago”, steamboat for St. Louis, 93

  Wisconsin river scenery, 73

  Woods, description, 26

[Transcriber’s Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.