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Title: Life of Joseph Brant—Thayandanegea (Vol. II) - Including the Border Wars of the American Revolution
Author: Stone, William L. (William Leete)
Language: English
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[ILLUSTRATION: Cover]



[Illustration: Frontispiece: Jos. Brant--Thayendanegea]



{Transcriber's Note: Quotation marks have been standardized to modern
usage. Footnotes have been placed to immediately follow the paragraphs
referencing them.}



                              Life
                               of

                           JOSEPH BRANT,
                          (THAYENDANEGEA)

                          INCLUDING THE
                BORDER WARS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,
                                AND
             SKETCHES OF THE INDIAN CAMPAIGNS OF GENERALS
                    HARMAR, ST. CLAIR, AND WAYNE.
                                AND
             OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE INDIAN RELATIONS
                 OF THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN,
                             FROM THE
               PEACE OF 1783 TO THE INDIAN PEACE OF 1795.


                        BY WILLIAM L. STONE.


                          IN TWO VOLUMES.
                              VOL. II.


                           ALBANY, N.Y.:
                    J. MUNSELL, 78 STATE STREET.
                               1865.



                           LIBRARY OF THE
                   LELAND STANFORD JR. UNIVERSITY.



                          CONTENTS.

                          * * * * *


                         CHAPTER I.


 Sullivan's campaign into the Seneca country--Different characteristics
  among the Indian Nations--Mistakes upon the subject--Progress of
  civilization among the Six Nations--Plan of the campaign--The command
  offered to General Gates--His conduct--Clinton's preparations at
  Canajoharie--Transportation of boats and stores across to Otsego
  Lake--Arrest and execution of Newberry--Attempts to engage the
  Oneidas--The Indians alarmed by an address from Gen. Haldimand--The
  address--Intelligence from the enemy--Arrival of Oneida deputies at
  Clinton's head-quarters--Their speech--Designs of the enemy--Letter of
  Gen. Clinton to his brother--Remarkable escape of Elerson from an Indian
  scout--Brave defence of his house by Mr. Shankland--Descent of the
  Susquehanna--Dilatory proceedings of Sullivan--Junction of the
  forces--Movement from Tioga to Newton--Battle of the
  Chemung--Destruction of the crops--Advance to Catharine's town--Message
  to the Oneidas--Destruction of Catharine's town--Evidences of
  civilization--Destruction of Kendaia and Kanadaseaga--March upon
  Kanandaigua--Its destruction--Honeoye destroyed--Melancholy story of
  the Oneida brothers--Kanaghsaws destroyed--Horrible fate of Lieutenant
  Boyd--Contrast between the conduct of Brant and Butler in the case of
  Boyd--Indians in council resolve to fight no more--Sullivan advances to
  Genesee--Beauty of the country--Conduct of Rod Jacket--Origin of Brant's
  hostility to him--Sullivan sets out on his return--Destruction of the
  Cayuga towns--Return of the army to Tioga--Strange directions to Colonel
  Gansevoort respecting the Mohawks of the lower castle--Their
  capture--Correspondence--Their release--Close of Sullivan's
  campaign--His resignation--Colonel Brodhead's expedition against the
  Senecas on the Allegheny--Huron and Shawanese chiefs meet him at Fort
  Pitt--Their speeches--Severe Indian battle on the Ohio--Closing
  incidents of the year.
                                                             Page 1

                          CHAPTER II.


 Progress of the war in the South--Fall of Charleston--Brilliant
  achievements--Rigorous winter of 1780--Destruction of the Oneida Castle
  and villages--Third marriage of Brant--Irruption into
  Harpersfield--Captivity of Captain Harper, Freegift Patchin, and
  others--Conduct of Brant--Consultation whether to put the prisoners to
  death--Sagacity and firmness of Harper--Marched off for
  Niagara--Remarkable adventures by the way--Murder of an old man--Cure
  of the fever and ague--A thrilling scene--Sufferings for food--Justice
  and impartiality of Brant--Approach to Niagara--The ordeal--Humane
  device of Brant to save his prisoners from the trial--Arrival at
  Niagara--Farther irruptions of the Indians--Shawangunk--
  Saugerties--Captivity of Captain Snyder and his son--Arrival at
  Niagara--Examination--Guy Johnson, Butler and Brant--Prisoners sent to
  Montreal--The Mohawk Valley--Bravery of Solomon Woodruff--Irruption to
  Little Falls--Burning of Ellis's Mills--Incidents on the Ohio--Bold
  exploit of McConnel--Attack of Colonel Bird, with his Indians, upon the
  Licking Settlement--Colonel Clarke takes vengeance upon the Shawanese.

                                                                      53

                          CHAPTER III.

 Night invasion of Johnstown, by Sir John Johnson, with an army of Indians
  and loyalists--The Visschers--The route of Sir John--Arrest of the
  Sammons family--Destruction of their property--March along the
  river--Burning of buildings, and murders of aged people--Destruction of
  Caughnawaga--Return to Johnson Hall--Proceedings there--Thomas Sammons
  escapes--Sir John moves off--Sampson Sammons applies for his
  liberty--His speech--The object of the expedition--Recovery of the
  Baronet's plate--A faithful slave--Character of the expedition--Sir
  John returns to Montreal--Jacob and Frederick Sammons carried into
  captivity--Imprisoned at Chamblee--Conspiracy to escape--Prisoners
  refuse to join them--The brothers escape alone--The pursuit--
  Separation--Journey, adventures and sufferings of Jacob Sammons--Arrives
  at Schenectady--The narrative returns to Frederick--Perils of his
  escape--Prosperous commencement of his journey--Dreadful sickness--His
  recapture--Confined in irons at Chamblee--Removed to an Island--Projects
  an escape--Plot discovered--Ironed again--Second plan of
  escape--Perilous leap into the St Lawrence--Swimming the Rapids--Other
  surprising adventures, by flood and field--Crossing the woods to
  Schenectady--Remarkable fulfillment of a dream--Direct history of the
  Mohawk country resumed--Destruction of Canajoharie by the
  Indians--Conduct of Brant--Case of doubtful courage.

                                                                 Page 72

                          CHAPTER IV.


 General progress of the War--Design against New-York--Glance at the
  Southern Campaigns--Treason of Arnold--Execution of Andre--Indian
  deputation to Count de Rochambeau, in Rhode Island--Invasion of the
  Schoharie-kill and the Mohawk Valleys, by Sir John Johnson, Brant, and
  the Corn-planter--Surprise of the upper fort--The middle fort
  invested--Conduct of Murphy in firing upon a flag--Singular prosecution
  of the siege--Murphy's contumacy--The flags fired upon thrice--Sir John
  proceeds to the lower fort--After a brief halt, advances again to the
  Mohawk, destroying every thing in his way--Murder of the
  inhabitants--The Vroomans--Heroism of a woman--Sir John arrives at Fort
  Hunter--Ravages the Mohawk Valley--Battle of Stone Arabia and death of
  Colonel Brown--His character--Remarkable anecdote of General Arnold--Sir
  John proceeds to Klock's Field--Is pursued by Van Rensselaer, though
  with unaccountable delay--Battle of Klock's Field--Flight of the
  Indians--Strange retreat of Van Rensselaer--Affairs of the
  night--Secret flight of the Greens and Rangers--The pursuit--General
  Van Rensselaer prematurely relinquishes it--Capture of Captain Vrooman
  and his company, by Brant, in the neighborhood of Oneida--Touching
  incident at Fort Hunter--Singular story respecting the
  Corn-planter--Major Carleton's expedition against Forts Anne and
  George--Correspondence on the subject of prisoners--Affairs at
  Niagara--Setting in of Winter.

                                                                    98

                          CHAPTER V.

 Gloomy opening of the year--Distresses of the army--Revolt of the
  Pennsylvania line--Negotiations--Revolt of the New Jersey
  troops--Arnold's expedition to Virginia--Progress of the war at the
  South--Distresses at the North--Active movements of Brant in the Mohawk
  country--Meditated attack upon the Oneidas--Letter of Colonel
  Claus--Destitution of the country--Letter of General
  Schuyler--Destruction of Fort Schuyler by fire and flood--Suspicions of
  design--General Clinton's correspondence respecting that
  catastrophe--Hostile indications in the North--Indications of extensive
  treachery--Arrest of the disaffected at Ballston and its
  vicinity--Bearing of Washington in adversity--Colonel Willett appointed
  to the command of the Mohawk District--Slender means at his
  disposal--Burning of Currie-town--Battle of Durlagh--Defeat of the
  Indians--Death of Captain McKean--Irruption into Palatine--Willett's
  letter to Washington--Willett's influence upon the broken
  militia--Battle near the German Flats--Death of Solomon Woodworth--Story
  of John Christian Shell--Invasion of Ulster County by Indians and Tories
  under Captain Cauldwell--Another case of individual bravery--Incidents on
  the Kentucky border.

                                                                    137

                          CHAPTER VI.

 Increase of disaffection in the North--Seizures of prominent citizens by
  bands of loyalists from Canada--Captivity of John J. Bleecker--Plot
  against General  Gansevoort--Daring attempt upon General Schuyler in the
  city of Albany, by John Waltermeyer--Intrepidity of Margaret
  Schuyler--Arrest of loyalists at the Beaver Dams--Mysterious movements
  of the enemy on Lake Champlain--Controversy with the New-Hampshire
  Grants--Sketch of its origin--Outrages of the Vermont
  insurgents--Declaration of Independence by the Grants--Interposition of
  Congress--Its authority disregarded--Progress of the
  controversy--Difficult situation of General Gansevourt--Suspected
  intercourse of the Vermontese with the enemy--Letter of Governor
  Clinton--Invasion of the Mohawk country by Major Ross--Warrens-bush
  ravaged--March of the enemy to Johnstown--Followed by Willett with the
  levies and militia--Battle of Johnstown--Ross defeated--Pursued by
  Willett, and routed at Jerseyfield--Death of Walter N. Butler--General
  progress of the war--Arnold in Virginia--Returns to the North, and
  destroys Groton and New London--Siege of Yorktown and capture of
  Cornwallis--Affairs of the North--Meditated treachery of
  Vermont--Message of Governor Clinton--British open a correspondence with
  the Vermont insurgents--Mission of Ira Allen to Canada--Separate
  armistice with Vermont--Stipulations for erecting Vermont into a royal
  colony--Correspondence with the enemy during the Summer--Negotiations
  renewed at Skenesborough--St. Leger ascends the lake with a strong
  force--An awkward occurrence for the Vermontese--Excitement at the seat
  of Government of the Grants--Throwing dust in the eyes of the
  people--News of the surrender of Cornwallis--Its effect in
  Vermont--Causes the nasty return of St. Leger to Canada--Insurrection
  in the north-eastern towns of New-York, in connexion with the
  Vermontese--Troubles of General Gansevoort--Unable to quell the
  insurgents--Cherokee Indians--Close of the year.

                                                                    178

                          CHAPTER VII.

 Character of Joseph Bettys--His exploits--Capture and execution--Progress
  of the war--Gradual cessation of hostilities--Dwindling down to mere
  affairs of outposts and scouting parties--Commissioners appointed to
  negotiate a treaty of peace--Indian battles on the Kentucky
  frontier--Defeat of Colonel Boon--Destruction of the Shawanese
  towns--The Moravians on the Muskingum--Their removal to Sandusky by the
  Wyandots--Return to secure their crops--Invasion of their towns by
  Colonel Williamson--Treachery of Williamson and his men to the
  Indians--Horrible massacre--Invasion of the Sandusky country by Crawford
  and Williamson--Defeat of their army--Colonel Crawford
  captured--Sentenced to die by torture--His interview with the sachem
  Wingemund--His execution--Close of the year--Doubts as to a treaty of
  peace--Colonel Willett's attempt to surprise Oswego--The news of
  peace--Sufferings of Tryon County--Return of its population--End of the
  wars of the Mohawk.

                                                                      210

                          CHAPTER VIII.

 The Treaty of Peace--Neglect of her Indian allies by Great
  Britain--Brant's negotiations with General Haldimand for a new
  territory--The Senecas invite the Mohawks to settle in the Genesee
  Valley--Declined--The Grand River country granted to the Mohawks by Sir
  Frederick Haldimand--Indian policy of the United States--Views of
  Washington and General Schuyler--Treaty with the Six Nations at Fort
  Stanwix--Corn-planter and Red Jacket take opposite sides--Peace with the
  Six Nations--Dissatisfaction of the Indians--Of Thayendanegea in
  particular--Letter of Brant to Colonel Monroe--Relinquishes his design
  of going then to England--Returns to Grand River--Differences of opinion
  wither John Johnson--Brant sails for England in the Autumn of 1785--His
  arrival--Glimpses of his ulterior designs--His distinguished
  reception--Enters upon the business of his mission--Letter to Lord
  Sidney--Speech of Brant to Lord Sidney--Letter of Lord Sidney in
  reply--Question of half-pay--Brant's Letter to Sir Evan Nepean--His
  associations with the great--Keen sarcasm upon a nobleman--Striking
  incident at a grand masquerade--Brant's attention to the moral wants of
  his people--His return to Canada.
                                                                      237

                          CHAPTER IX.

 Difficulties between Great Britain and the United States after the
  Treaty--Refusal of the former to surrender the western posts--Mission of
  Baron Steuben to Canada--Indications of fresh Indian
  hostilities---Movements of Captain Brant--Grand Indian Council at the
  Huron Village--Address to the United States--Letter of the Secretary at
  War, General Knox, to Captain Brent--Letter of Sir John Johnson to
  Brant--Letter of Major Matthews to Brant, disclosing the views of Lord
  Dorchester respecting the retention of the western posts--Message from
  the Hurons to the Five Nations, proposing another grand
  Council--Preparations of General St. Clair for negotiating with the
  Indians--Brant begins to distrust them all--Letter of Brant to Patrick
  Langan, Sir John Johnson's Secretary-Letter of Brant to Sir John
  Johnson--Great Council at Miamis--Letter of Captain Brant to Patrick
  Langan--St. Clair's negotiations at Fort Harmar--The policy of dividing
  to conquer--Letter of Captain Brant to Major Matthews--Jealousies of
  Brant among the Indians--Council against him at Montreal--Letter to him
  from Major Matthews--Letter of Brant in reply--Letter to Colonel
  McDonnell--Suspected plot against the English at Detroit, and Brant and
  his Mohawks, by the Hurons, Chippewas, and Pottawatamies--Letter to
  Brant from Sir John Johnson--Brant turns his attention to the
  cultivation of letters--Endeavors to obtain a stated Missionary--Resumes
  the preparation of Religious books--Letter from President Willard--John
  Norton--Land difficulties among the Indians in the state of
  New-York--Letter from Governor Clinton to Brant.
                                                                      262

                          CHAPTER X.

 Continued troubles with the Indians--English emissaries in
  Kentucky--Mission of Antoine Gamelin--Preparations for war--Campaign of
  General Harmar--Successive defeats of Colonel Hardin--Conduct of the
  militia--Retreat of Harmar--Indian deputation to Lord Dorchester--Letter
  of Sir John Johnson--Colonel Gordon--Letter of Brant to Colonel
  McKee--Pacific views of Lord Dorchester--Renewed efforts of the United
  States to bring the Indians to peace--Interposition of
  Corn-planter--Mission of Corn-planter and Colonel Proctor--British
  officers wish a mediation--Letter of Colonel Gordon--Colonel Pickering
  holds an Indian Council at the Chemung--Red Jacket's course--Brant
  interferes--Indian Councils at Buffalo--Influence of Colonel John Butler
  and Brant--Mission of Colonel Proctor and Corn-planter
  frustrated--Important position of Brant--Correspondence between the
  Secretary of War and Governor Clinton--Colonel Pickering's Council with
  the Indians at Painted Post--Mission of Hendrick, the Stock-bridge
  chief--Renewal of hostilities--Campaign of General St. Clair--His
  defeat--Thayendanegea among the Indian captains--The panic that
  followed--Clamor against St. Clair--His resignation--Wayne appointed
  his successor--Refusal of Colonel Willett to embark in an Indian war.

                                                                      291

                          CHAPTER XI.

 Preparations for an Indian Consultation at Philadelphia--Captain Brant
  invited to attend--His objections--Letter of the Rev. Mr. Kirkland to
  Captain Brant--Letter of the Secretary of War to the same--Letter of
  Colonel Gordon to the same--Letter of Captain Brant to the Secretary of
  War--The Secretary of War to Captain Brant--Attempts from Montreal to
  prevent Brant from going to Philadelphia--His journey--Feelings against
  him in the Mohawk Valley--His arrival at New-York and
  Philadelphia--Liberal offers made him--Letter to the Count de Puisy--The
  offers rejected--Undertakes a Mission of Peace to the Miamis--Returns to
  New-York--Pursued by a German from the German Flats bent on taking his
  life--Discovered in New-York--Brant returns to Niagara--Murder of
  Colonel Harden and Major Trueman--Letters of Brant to the Secretary at
  War--Feelings of the Western Nations--Correspondence between Brant and
  McKee--Great Indian Council at the Au Glaize--Sickness of Captain
  Brant--Hostilities deferred until Spring, and a treaty with the United
  States ordered--Return of the Delegates of the Six Nations--Address to
  President Washington--Separate organization of Upper Canada--Arrival of
  Governor Simcoe--Letter to Brant from the Duke of
  Northumberland--Preparations for the Great Council of 1783--Fresh
  dissatisfaction of the Indians--Private Councils--They send their
  ultimatum in anticipation--The American Commissioners depart for the
  Indian country--Their arrival at Niagara--Friendly conduct of Governor
  Simcoe--Celebration of the King's Birth-day--The Commissioners start for
  the West--Their progress interrupted--Conduct of General Wayne--Brant
  suddenly returns from the West with a Deputation--Council held at Fort
  Erie--Commissioners return to Niagara--Council there--Speech of Captain
  Brant--Reply of the Commissioners--Speech of Cat's-Eyes--Rejoinder of
  Brant--Arrival of the Seven Nations--Brant proceeds to the Miami
  Rapids--Followed by the Commissioners--Arrival at the Detroit
  River--Their progress interrupted--Unexpected turn of
  affairs--Explanations with Deputies from the Great Council--Long Debates
  in the Indian Council--Brant speaks strongly for peace--Governor Simcoe
  declines advising the Indians--The negotiations suddenly terminated by
  the Indians--Their address--And sine qua non.

                                                                      318

                          CHAPTER XII.

 Suspected duplicity of the British authorities--Conduct of Simon
  Girty--Disclosures upon the subject by Captain Brant--Council at
  Buffalo, and Indian report of the doings of the Great Congress--Speech
  of Captain Brant respecting the Miami council--Mission of General
  Chapin to Philadelphia, with the speech--Answer unsatisfactory to the
  Indians--Red Jacket--Indian council--Speech of Captain Brant in reply to
  the answer of the United States--Troubles thickening between the United
  States and Great Britain--Inflammatory speech of Lord
  Dorchester--Question of its authenticity settled--Conduct of Governor
  Simcoe--Indignation of President Washington--His letter to Mr.
  Jay--Speech of Captain Brant against holding a council at Venango--The
  design frustrated--Affairs farther in the West--Singular message from
  the distant Indians under the Spanish and French influence--Their
  speech--Operations of General Wayne--Encroachments of Pennsylvania upon
  the Indian lands--Indian council upon the subject--Address to General
  Washington--Important letter of Brant to Colonel Smith--Pennsylvania
  relinquishes Presque Isle--Defeat of Major McMahon near Fort
  Recovery--Indians repulsed in their attack upon the fort--Letter to
  Brant giving an account of the battle--Advance of Wayne to the Au
  Glaize and Miamis of the Lakes--Little Turtle apprised of his movements
  and strength by a deserter--The Chief determines to give battle--Wayne
  makes one more effort for peace--Failure of the attempt--Advance of
  Wayne to the Rapids--Position of the Indians--Battle and defeat of the
  Indians--Little Turtle opposed to the hazard of a battle--Opposed by
  Blue-Jacket and overruled--Tart correspondence between Wayne and Major
  Campbell--Destruction of Indian property by fire, and burning of Colonel
  McKee's establishment--Disappointment of the Indians that Major Campbell
  did not assist them--Letter of Governor Simcoe to Brant--Aggression at
  Sodus Bay--Simcoe and Brant repair to the West--Interfere to prevent a
  peace--Indian council--The hostiles negotiate with Wayne--Simcoe's
  address to the Wyandots--Division in their counsels--Brant retires
  displeased--Letter of apology from the Chiefs--The distant Indians
  become weary of the war.

                                                                 Page 357

                          CHAPTER XIII.

 Thayendanegea in civil life--His activity--His efforts to accelerate the
  civilization of his people--Difficulties respecting the title to his
  lands--Successive Councils and Speeches--Governor Simcoe leaves the
  province--Captain Claus appointed to the Indian Agency--President
  Russell--Brant's Speeches asserting the absolute Independence and
  Nationality of his people--Letter to Sir John Johnson--Correspondence
  with Lord Dorchester--The Count de Puisy--Letter of Brant to Thomas
  Morris--Sharp correspondence with Sir John Johnson--The St. Regis and
  Caughnawaga Indians, and the State of New-York involved in the land
  controversy--Brant's difficulties with the Caughnawagas--Letter to
  Thomas Morris--Brant's visit to the Caughnawagas--Council--Satisfactory
  explanations--Fresh difficulties at home--Norton's Mission to
  England--Plots against the character of Brant--Alienation of some of his
  friends--Conspiracy to depose him--Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother
  active in the plot--Character of Red Jacket--Brant deposed by an illegal
  Council--Letter to the Duke of Northumberland--A legal Council
  convoked--Brant meets his accusers, and defends himself--Another
  Council--Speech of Brant--Acquitted of all charges against him--Council
  after the return of Norton from England--Proceedings of Red Jacket's
  Council nullified--Brant re-instated--Letter to the Duke of
  Northumberland--Letter of the Duke in reply--Last letter of Brant to the
  Duke.

                                                                      396

                          CHAPTER XIV.

 Exertions of Thayendanegea for the moral and social improvement of his
  people--His religions views--Efforts for the religious instruction of
  his people--Letter to Sir John Johnson upon the subject of obtaining a
  resident clergyman--Farther correspondence--Interview of Brant with the
  Bishop--Disappointment--Letter to the Chief Justice--Appeal of Brant to
  the Lord Bishop, but without success--Application to the American
  church--Letter to Colonel Burr--Succeeds in obtaining the ordination of
  Mr. Phelps--Estimate of Brant's character by the clergy--Letter of Rev.
  Dr. Mason--Rev. Elkanah Holmes--Letter of Brant to the Rev. Dr.
  Miller--Ardent spirits--Efforts of Brant to prevent their
  introduction--Letter to Sir John Johnson--Interposition of the
  women--Address of Brant in reply--Indian games and pastimes--National
  game of Cricket--Great game at Grand River, between the Senecas and
  Mohawks--Judge Woodruff's visit to Brant's residence--Description of his
  person--Indian funerals--Respect for the dead--Estimate of women--Their
  influence--Funeral speech of Seneca-George--Death of Mrs. Claus--Speech
  of condolence by Captain Brant--Captain Claus in reply--Brant's visit to
  New-York, Philadelphia, and Hartford, in 1797--Attentions to him in
  Philadelphia--Dinner party of Colonel Burr--Talleyrand and other
  distinguished guests--Letter of introduction from Colonel Burr to his
  daughter--Dinner party in his honor by Miss Theodosia--His manners
  described by Dr. Miller and by General Porter--Designs upon his life in
  the Mohawk country--The late John Wells--Striking incident in
  Albany--Anecdotes--Brant and General Gansevoort--Brant and Colonel Van
  Courtlandt--Reasons of Brant for taking up arms for the King--His
  reasonings in defence of the Indian mode of warfare.

                                                                 Page 430

                          CHAPTER XV.

 Domestic relations of Brant--Account of his family--Bad character of his
  eldest son--His death by the hand of his father--Condolence of the
  Chiefs--Grief of the father at the event--Anxiety for the education of
  his sons--Proposed memorial to the Duke of Portland--Letter of Brant to
  Colonel Smith--Correspondence with the Wheelock Family--Letter from
  Brant to James Wheelock--Two of his sons sent to Dartmouth--Various
  letters from and to the Wheelocks--Correspondence upon other
  subjects--Reply to the questions, whether the Indians have
  beards--Letter from Bishop Peters--Views or Brant on imprisonment for
  debt--Tumuli--Opinion of Brant touching their origin--Indian tradition
  of white settlements cut off in a single night--Investigations of Samuel
  Woodruff--Brant's inquiries in Paris--The discoveries of the
  Northmen--Review of the life and character of Brant--His death.

                                                                      463

                          CHAPTER XVI.

 Account of the family of Brant subsequent to his death--Catharine
  Brant--The line of descent among the Mohawks--John Brant, the youngest
  son, appointed to the Chieftainship--The war of 1812--General Van
  Rensselaer on the Niagara frontier--Preparations for a descent upon
  Queenston Heights--First attempt frustrated--Arrangement for a second
  movement--Arrival of Lieutenant-colonel Scott on the lines--His efforts
  to accompany the expedition--Landing of Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer
  and his party--Intrepidity of the attack--Van Rensselaer and others
  grievously wounded--Captain Wool carries the Heights--Advance of General
  Brock--His defeat and fall--Arrival of Lieutenant-colonel Scott upon the
  Heights--Attack of the Indians--General Sheaffe advances from Niagara
  with reinforcements--Battle--The Americans driven down the
  Heights--Attempts of Scott to capitulate--His flag-bearers shot
  down--Determines to bear a flag himself--A young Indian leaps upon him
  like a tiger--His rescue--Interview with General
  Sheaffe--Capitulation--March to Niagara--Remarkable interview between
  Scott and two Indians at Niagara, the younger of whom was John
  Brant--Base poltroonry of the militia--Battle of the Beaver-dams--Close
  of young Brant's military life--Removes to the Brant House with his
  sister--Account of the family by Lieutenant Hall--Visit of the British
  Consul to the Brant House--Controversy of John Brant with Archdeacon
  Strachan--He visits England respecting the ancient land-title
  controversy--Succeeds with the ministers--Disappointed by the Colonial
  Government--Correspondence with Campbell respecting the memory of his
  father--Attention to the moral wants of his people--Correspondence
  respecting the Mohawk schools--Presentation of a silver cup--His
  election to the Provincial Parliament--Seat contested--Death by
  cholera--His character--Farther notices of the family--Description of
  his sister, and of his successor--Death of Catharine Brant--Conclusion.

                                                                   500



                            Life
                             of
                 JOSEPH BRANT--THAYENDANEGEA, &c.

                          * * * * *


                           CHAPTER I.

 Sullivan's campaign into the Seneca country--Different characteristics
  among the Indian Nations--Mistakes upon the subject--Progress of
  civilization among the Six Nations--Plan of the campaign--The command
  offered to General Gates--His conduct--Clinton's preparations at
  Canajoharie--Transportation of boats and stores across to Otsego
  Lake--Arrest and execution of Newberry--Attempts to engage the
  Oneidas--The Indians alarmed by an address from Gen. Haldimand--The
  address--Intelligence from the enemy--Arrival of Oneida deputies at
  Clinton's head-quarters--Their speech--Designs of the enemy--Letter of
  Gen. Clinton to his brother--Remarkable escape of Elerson from an Indian
  scout-Brave defence of his house by Mr. Shankland--Descent of the
  Susquehanna--Dilatory proceedings of Sullivan--Junction of the
  forces--Movement from Tioga to Newtown--Battle of the
  Chemung--Destruction of the crops--Advance to Catharine's town--Message
  to the Oneidas--Destruction of Catharine's town--Evidences of
  civilization--Destruction of Kendaia and Kanadaseaga--March upon
  Kanandaigua--Its destruction--Honeoye destroyed--Melancholy story of the
  Oneida brothers--Kanaghsawa destroyed--Horrible fate of Lieutenant
  Boyd--Contrast between the conduct of Brant and Butler in the case of
  Boyd--Indians in council resolve to fight no more--Sullivan advances to
  Genesee--Beauty of the country--Conduct of Red Jacket--Origin of Brant's
  hostility to him--Sullivan sets out on his return--Destruction of the
  Cayuga towns--Return of the army to Tioga--Strange directions to Colonel
  Gansevoort respecting the Mohawks of the lower castle--Their
  capture--Correspondence--Their release--Close of Sullivan's
  campaign--His resignation--Colonel Brodhead's expedition against the
  Senecas on the Allegheny--Huron and Shawanese chiefs meet him at Fort
  Pitt--Their speeches--Severe Indian battle on the Ohio--Closing
  incidents of the year.

The policy of waging a more decisive war against the Indians, and the
loyalists associated with them in their barbarous irruptions upon the
frontier settlements, has been adverted to more than once already. General
Washington had long entertained the opinion that the mere establishment of
a chain of military posts along the Western and North-western frontiers
would not answer the purpose; and that the only method of affording
efficient protection to the inhabitants of those borders, would be to
carry the war into the heart of the enemy's country. By a resolution of
the 25th of February, Congress had directed the Commander-in-chief to take
the most effectual means for protecting the inhabitants, and chastising the
Indians for their continued depredations; and it was now his determination
to put the resolve in execution, by carrying the war directly into the
most populous country of the Six Nations; to cut off their settlements,
destroy their crops, and inflict upon them every other mischief which time
and circumstances would permit. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of Washington of March 4, to Governor Clinton, and also from
 the same to General Gates of March 6, 1779.


Those who have been accustomed to contemplate the whole race of North
American aboriginals as essentially alike, viewing them all as the same
roving, restless, houseless race of hunters and fishermen, without a local
habitation, and with scarce a name, have widely misunderstood the Indian
character, and must know but little of its varieties. They have, indeed,
many traits and characteristics in common; but in other respects the moody
Englishman is not more unlike his mercurial neighbor on the other side of
the channel, than is the Mohawk unlike the Sioux. It is the remark of a
popular writer of the day, [FN-1] that "those who are familiar with the
reserved and haughty bearing of the forest tribes, cannot fail, when an
opportunity of comparison is afforded, to be struck with the social air
and excitable disposition which mark their prairie brethren, and so
decidedly distinguish the '_gens du large_' from _les gens des feuilles,_'
as the voyageurs term the different races. The Pawnees, following the
buffalo in his migrations, and having always plenty of animal food to
subsist upon, are a much better fed and larger race than those who find
a precarious subsistence in the forest chase. While the woodland tribes,
who, though not so plump in form, are of a more wiry and perhaps muscular
make, have again a decided advantage in figure and gait over the '_gens du
lac,_' or fishing and trapping tribes of the North-west, that pass most
of their time in canoes. This difference in character and physical
appearance between the different Indian races, or rather between those
tribes who have such different methods of gaining a livelihood, has never
been sufficiently attended to by modern authors, though it did not escape
the early French writers on this country. And yet, if habit have any
effect in forming the temper and character of a rude people, it must of
course follow, that the savage who lives in eternal sunshine upon
flowery plains, and hunts on horseback with a troop of tribesmen around
him, must be a different being from the solitary deer-stalker, who wanders
through the dim forest, depending upon his single arm for a subsistence
for his wife and children." But the higher state of social organization
among the Six Nations greatly increased the difference. They had many
towns and villages giving evidence of permanence. They were organized into
communities, whose social and political institutions, simple as they were,
were still as distinct and well-defined as those of the American
confederacy. They had now acquired some of the arts, and were enjoying
many of the comforts, of civilized life. Not content with small patches
of cleared lands for the raising of a few vegetables, they possessed
cultivated fields, and orchards of great productiveness, at the West.
Especially was this the fact with regard to the Cayugas and Senecas. The
Mohawks having been driven from their own rich lands, the extensive
domains of the two westernmost tribes of the confederacy formed the
granary of the whole. And in consequence of the superior social and
political organization just referred to, and the Spartan-like character
incident to the forest life, the Six Nations, though not the most
numerous, were beyond a doubt the most formidable, of the tribes then in
arms in behalf of the Crown. [FN-2] It was justly considered, therefore,
that the only way to strike them effectively, would be to destroy their
homes and the growing products of their farms; and thus, by cutting off
their means of supply, drive them from their own country deeper into the
interior, and perhaps throw them altogether upon their British allies for
subsistence. It was likewise the design to extend the operations of the
expedition as far as Niagara, if possible--that post, of all others in the
occupation of the enemy, enabling his officers to maintain an extensive
influence over his savage allies. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Charles F. Hoffman, Esq.

 [FN-2] "The Six Nations were a peculiar and extraordinary people,
 contra-distinguished from the mass of Indian nations by great attainments
 in polity, in negotiation, in eloquence, and in war."--_Discourse of
 De Wilt Clinton before the New-York Hist. Society--_1811.

 [FN-3] Since these sheets were in the hands of the printer, the author
 has discovered an official manuscript account of a grand Indian council
 held at Niagara, in September, 1776, by Colonel John Butler, and
 Lieutenants Matthews, Burnit, and Kinnesley, and Ensign Butler, with the
 Hurons, Chippewas, Ottawas, Pottawatamies, Missiasagas, Senecas, Cayugas,
 Onondagas, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Mohawks, Delawares, Nanticokes,
 Squaneghiges{?}, and Conagreves{?}--in presence of Lieut. Colonel John
 Caldwell, then in command at Niagara. It appears that only one Oneida
 sachem was present and one Tuscarora. They {illegible} an address which
 was unanimously signed{?} by the chiefs attending the Congress declaring
 their intention to embark in the war, and abide the result of the contest
 of the King with his people. They also made a strong appeal to the
 Oneidas and the Tuscaroras, "to quit the {illegible}, and be strong and
 determined to fulfill their engagements to the King." They also exhorted
 the Mohawks to be strong, and assured them "that they all their western
 brethren, would fly to their assistance at the first cal,"
 &c.--_Manuscripts of Gen Gansevoort._

 {Transcriber's Note: The above footnote, [FN-3], from the word
 "Delawares" forward, the following paragraph, and its footnote are on a
 page that did not scan well. It is nearly illegible. The transcription
 presented here is a best guess.}

The plan of this campaign was well devised and matured{?}. It was to be
commenced by a combined movement of two divisions--the one from
Pennsylvania {transiting?} the valley of the Susquehanna to the
intersection of the Tioga river under General Sullivan, who was invested
with the command in chief; and the other from the north under General
James Clinton, which was to descend the Susquehanna from its principal
source, and after forming a junction with Sullivan, the whole to proceed,
by the course of the Chemung river, into the fertile country of the
Senecas and Cayugas. The expedition was intended as the principal campaign
of the year; since the relative military strength and situation of the
two contending powers rendered it impossible that any other offensive
operations could be carried on by the Americans at the same time. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] It was the original purpose of General Washington to invest General
 Gates with the command of this expedition, and the appointment was
 tendered to that officer by letter, on the 6th of March. Gates declined
 it, in a manner not very agreeable to the Commander-in-chief. The latter,
 in writing subsequently to the President of Congress upon the subject,
 in the course of sundry explanations, not unmingled with strictures upon
 the conduct of Gates, wrote as follows:--"The plan of operations for
 the campaign being determined, a commanding officer was to be appointed
 for the Indian expedition. This command, according to all present
 appearances, will probably be of the second, if not of the first,
 importance for the campaign. The officer conducting it has a flattering
 prospect of acquiring more credit than can be expected by any other this
 year; and he has the best reason to hope for success. General Lee, from
 his situation, was out of the question; General Schuyler, (who, by the
 way, would hare been most agreeable to me,) was so uncertain of
 continuing in the army, that I could not appoint him; General Putnam I
 need not mention. I therefore made the offer of it, for the appointment
 could no longer be delayed, to General Gates, who was next in seniority,
 though, perhaps, I might have avoided it, if I had been so disposed, from
 his being in a command by the special appointment of Congress. My letter
 to him on the occasion I believe you will think was conceived in very
 candid and polite terms, and that it merited a different answer from the
 one given to it"--_Letter of Washington to the President of Congress,
 April_ 14th, 1779. The answer of Gates referred to by the
 Commander-in-chief; was in the following words:--"Last night I had the
 honor of your Excellency's Letter. The man who undertakes the Indian
 service, should enjoy youth and strength; requisites I do not possess.
 It therefore grieves me that your Excellency should offer me the only
 command to which I am entirely unequal. In obedience to your command, I
 have forwarded your letter to General Sullivan," &c--_Sparks's Life and
 Correspondence of Washington._


On the 2d of June, General Clinton received his instructions from
Sullivan, to proceed forthwith in the measures of co-operation according
to the plan of the campaign already indicated, viz: the descent of the
Susquehanna by the northern forces to unite with the main division at
Tioga. Preparations for the enterprise, however, were already in a state
of great forwardness, since General Washington had been in free
communication with Governor Clinton upon the subject; and the latter, with
the General his brother, had been actively engaged in anticipation of the
order. [FN] Accordingly, batteaux had already been provided at
Schenectady, which, after ascending the Mohawk to Canajoharie, were thence
to be transported over land to the head of Otsego Lake at Springfield,
while at the same time a large quantity of provisions had been thrown into
Fort Schuyler in case of emergency. After making all his arrangements, and
ordering the different corps which were to compose his command, to
concentrate at Canajoharie, General Clinton arrived at that post on the
16th of June, where he found himself at the head of fifteen hundred
troops.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] General James Clinton was at that time in command of the Northern
 department. The troops assigned for this campaign were, the brigades of
 Generals Clinton, Maxwell, Poor, and Hand, to which last brigade were
 assigned, in addition, all the detached corps of Continental troops on
 the Susquehanna. The independent companies of the State of Pennsylvania
 were likewise ordered upon the expedition together with Colonel Van
 Courtlandt's regiment, Butler's, Alden's, and the rifle corps. Colonel
 Gansevoort's regiment formed a part of Clinton's brigade. The brigade
 had already been ordered by the Commander-in-chief himself to rendezvous
 at Canajoharie, subject to the orders of Sullivan, either to form a
 junction with the main body by the way of Otsego, or to proceed up the
 Mohawk and co-operate as circumstances might best permit.--_Letter of
 instructions from the Commander-in-chief to General Sullivan._


The portage from the Mohawk river at Canajoharie to the head of Otsego
Lake is about twenty miles. On the 17th, General Clinton commenced the
transportation of his boats and stores across the country--the region
being hilly, and the roads excessively bad. Two hundred boats were found
to be necessary, and four horses were required for the draught of each
boat. The troops were disposed by regiments along the route, both for
safety, and to assist at difficult points of ascent. But, notwithstanding
these obstacles, and the magnitude of the enterprise, General Clinton was
enabled to announce to his immediate superior, by letter on the 26th, that
one hundred and seventy-three of the boats had already reached the head of
the lake; that thirty more were on their way; and that the residue, making
up the complement of two hundred and twenty, would be forwarded thither
immediately on their arrival from Schenectady. The provisions and stores
for a three months' campaign had likewise been already transported across
the carrying-place; so that the expedition was nearly in readiness to
commence its final movement. [FN-1] In a letter to General Schuyler
announcing the same intelligence, the General spoke particularly of the
alacrity and spirit with which the inhabitants of the country had rallied
to his assistance. He likewise bestowed high praise upon Colonel Willett,
acting as a volunteer, for his timely and energetic assistance in
forwarding the arrangements. In performing this labor, no other
interruption took place than what arose from the arrest of two spies,
formerly inhabitants of the county, one of whom was named Hare, a
lieutenant in the British service, and the other a Tory sergeant named
Newberry,--the same wretch whose name has already occurred as a brutal
murderer at Cherry Valley. They had left the Seneca country with sixty
warriors of that tribe, to be divided into three parties, one of which was
to fall upon Cherry Valley again, the other upon Schoharie, and the third
to be employed in lurking about Fort Schuyler. They were tried by a
court-martial, convicted, and "hanged pursuant to the sentence of the
court, and to the entire satisfaction of all the inhabitants of the
county." [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] General Washington was greatly displeased at the amount of stores
 and baggage by which Clinton was encumbered, apprehending "the worst
 consequences" from the obstacles his stores would interpose to the
 rapidity of his march, and also from the publicity which would as a
 consequence be given to his movements. Although he had left it optional
 with Sullivan to direct Clinton to join him by the route of the
 Susquehanna, yet the Commander-in-chief evidently preferred that the
 more northern route should be taken. He wrote to Sullivan upon the
 subject with more sharpness than he was wont to do--[_See Letter of
 Washington to Sullivan, July_ 1, 1779.] The event, however, aided by the
 sagacity of Clinton in the adoption of a measure presently to be noted,
 proved that he took the right direction.

 [FN-2] Letter from General Clinton to General Schuyler. In General
 Schuyler's answer to this letter, he says, speaking of the execution of
 Hare--"In executing Hare, you have rid the State of the greatest villain
 in it. I hope his abettors in the country will meet with a similar
 exaltation."--_Gov. Clinton's Manuscripts._


It was the desire of General Sullivan that Clinton should employ in his
division as large a number of the Oneida warriors as could be induced to
engage in the service. The latter officer was opposed to this arrangement;
but at the importunities of Sullivan, the Rev. Mr. Kirkland, their
missionary, who was now a chaplain in the army, had been summoned to
Albany for consultation. From thence Mr. Kirkland was despatched to
Pennsylvania directly to join Sullivan's division, while to Mr. Deane,
the interpreter connected with the Indian commission at Fort Schuyler,
was confided the charge of negotiating with the Oneida chiefs upon the
subject. At first all went smoothly with the Indians. The Oneidas
volunteered for the expedition, almost to a man; while those of the
Onondagas who adhered to the cause of the Americans, were equally desirous
of proving their fidelity by their deeds. Under these circumstances
Clinton wrote to Sullivan on the 26th, that on the following Saturday, Mr.
Deane, with the Indian warriors, would join him at the head of the lake.
A sudden revolution, however, was wrought in their determination by an
address to the Oneidas from General Haldimand, received at Fort Schuyler
on the 22d. This document was transmitted to them in their own language;
and its tenor was so alarming, as to induce them suddenly to change their
purpose--judging, very correctly, from the threats of Haldimand, that
their presence was necessary at home for the defence of their own castles.
Still, Mr. Deane wrote that an arrangement was on foot, by which he hoped
yet to obtain the co-operation of a considerable number of the Oneida
warriors. The basis of this arrangement was, that in the event of an
invasion of their country by the Indians, whom the Canadian commander had
threatened to let loose upon them, the garrison at Fort Schuyler should
not only assist them, but receive their women and children into the fort
for protection.

General Haldimand's address was written in the Iroquois language, of which
the following translation was made by Mr. Deane, and enclosed to General
Clinton:--

 "_A translation of his Excellency Gen. Haldimand's speech
  to the Oneida Indians in the Rebel Interest, as delivered
  to them in the Iroquois language._" [FN]

                          * * * * *

  [FN] Copied by the author from the MS. among the papers of General
  Clinton.


"Brothers: Be very attentive to what I, Ashanegown, the Great King of
England's representative in Canada, am going to say. By this string of
wampum I shake you by the hand to rouse you that you may seriously reflect
upon my words.

                                                 "_A string of wampum._

"Brothers: It is now about four years ago since the Bostonians began to
rise, and rebel against their Father, the King of England, since which
time you have taken a different part from the rest of the Five Nations,
your confederates, and have likewise deserted the King's cause, through
the deceitful machinations and snares of the rebels, who intimidated you
with their numerous armies, by which means you became bewildered, and
forgot all of your engagements with, and former care, and favor from the
Great King of England, your Father. You also soon forgot the frequent bad
usage, and continual encroachments of the Americans upon the Indian lands
throughout the Continent. I say, therefore, that at the breaking out of
these troubles you firmly declared to observe a strict neutrality in the
dispute, and made your declaration known to Sir Guy Carleton, my
predecessor, who much approved of it, provided you were in earnest. I have
hitherto strictly observed and examined your conduct, and find that you
did not adhere to your assertion, although I could trace no reason on the
side of government as well as the Indians, why you should act so
treacherous and double a part; by which means, we, not mistrusting your
fidelity, have had many losses among the King's subjects, and the Five
Nations your friends and connexions; and finding you besides, proud and
haughty on the occasion, as if you gloried in your perfidy, doubtless in
sure confidence as if your friends, the rebels, were getting the better
at last; and captivated with that pleasing opinion of yours, you have
presumed twice, during the course of last winter, to send impertinent and
daring messages to the Five Nations, as if you meant to pick a quarrel
with them. In consequence of this your daring and insolent behavior, I
must insist upon, by this belt of wampum, that you declare yourselves
immediately on the receipt of this my speech and message, whether you mean
to persist in this your daring and insulting course, and still intend to
act as you have hitherto done, treacherously under the cloak of
neutrality, or whether you will accept of this my last offer of
re-uniting, and reconciling yourselves with your own tribes, the Five
Nations. Do not imagine that the King has hitherto treated the rebels and
their adherents with so much mildness and indulgence, out of any
apprehensions of their strength, or getting the better! No, by no means.
For you will find that in case you slight or disregard this my last offer
of peace, I shall soon convince you that I have such a number of Indian
allies to let loose upon you, as will instantly convince you of your folly
when too late, as I have hardly been able to restrain them from falling
upon you for some time past. I must therefore once more repeat to you that
this is my last and final message to you; and that you do not hesitate,
or put off giving me your direct and decisive declaration of peace or war,
that in case of the latter, (knowing that there are still some of your
nation who are friends to the King and the Five Nations,) I may give them
timely warning to separate themselves from you.

"Brothers: Let me lastly convince you of the deceit and dissimulation of
your rebel brethren, General Schuyler, Parson Kirkland, and others; have
they not told you, in the beginning of the rebellion, that they wanted not
your assistance, and to have your blood spilt; and you likewise declared
that you would not join them, but remain neuter? Have either of you stuck
to your word? No! you basely broke it, and seemed from the beginning to be
of mutual hostile sentiments against the King and his allies, and soon
after manifested it by your actions. What confirms me in this opinion, and
proves your deceitful and treacherous dispositions, is your behavior
during the course of the last war, when you likewise acted a double part
in clandestinely joining and carrying intelligence to the French in this
country; which I myself am a witness to, and also was told of it by your
friend, the late Sir William Johnson, who, notwithstanding your base
behavior, upon promising that you would be true and faithful for the
future, forgave you, and received you into favor again, advising you to
be more prudent and honest in time to come; and frequently after that
loaded you with the King's bounty and favor. But he was no sooner dead
than you ungratefully forgot his good advice and benedictions; and in
opposition to his family and Indian friends, and every thing that is
sacred, adopted the cause of rebels, and enemies to your King, your late
patron Sir William Johnson, and your own confederacy and connexions. These
are facts, Brothers, that unless you are lost to every sense of feeling,
cannot but recall in you a most hearty repentance and deep remorse for
your past file actions.

                                                    "_The belt._

                                                  "Fred. Haldimand."

On the 30th of June, Clinton wrote to Sullivan that his arrangements were
complete--that all his stores and munitions of every description were at
the lake, with two hundred and ten batteaux--and every thing in readiness
for embarkation the moment his orders to that effect should be received.
On the 1st of July he proceeded to the lake himself, and the expedition
moved from its head to the Southern extremity--there to await the orders
of his superior. While lying at this place, a letter was received from
General Schuyler, announcing the return from Canada of a spy, who had been
despatched thither for information. He brought word, that on the 18th of
June four hundred and fifty regular troops, one hundred Tories, and thirty
Indians, had been sent forward from Montreal to reinforce the Indians
against whom this expedition was preparing; and that they were to be
joined by half of Sir John Johnson's regiment, together with a portion of
the garrison at Niagara. From this intelligence it was evident that the
Indian country was not to be taken without a struggle.

On the 5th Mr. Deane arrived, at the head of thirty-five Oneida warriors.
The object of their visit was in person to apologize for the absence of
their brethren from the expedition, and to make those explanations, in
regard to their own altered situation, already communicated by Mr. Deane
by letter, together with the address of General Haldimand, which had
caused their alarm. A conference took place with General Clinton on the
same day, at which the Oneidas delivered their message in the following
speech:--

"Brother: We suppose you imagine we have come here in order to attend you
upon your expedition, but we are sorry to inform you that our situation is
such as will not admit of it.

"Brother: From intelligence which we may depend upon, we have reason to
believe that the Six Nations mean to embrace the opportunity of our
absence in order to destroy our castles; these accounts we have by spies
from among them, and we know that a considerable body of them are now
collected at Cayuga for that purpose, waiting in expectation of our
warriors leaving the castle to join you.

"Brother: It was our intention to have joined you upon your intended
route, and hope you will not think hard of it that we do not; but such is
our present danger, that in case we leave our castle it must be cut off,
as a large party of the enemy are waiting for that purpose.

"Brother: This is a time of danger with us. Our brethren, the Americans,
have always promised us assistance for our protection whenever we stand
in need of it; we therefore request that, agreeable to these promises, we
may have some troops sent to our assistance in this time of great danger.
Should you send a body of troops to our assistance and protection, and the
enemy attack us, and we should have the fortune to beat them, we will
with those troops pursue them, and join you down in their country; or if
they should not make an attack upon our castle in a short time, we will
march through their castles until we join you."

                                                         _A belt._

To which General Clinton made the following reply:--

"Brethren: Our present expedition is intended to chastise those nations
who have broken their faith with us, and joined our enemies. The force we
have is quite sufficient for that purpose. Our route is planned in the
great council of this country. It is not my desire that the whole of your
warriors should leave their castles. I have given a general invitation to
our Brethren the Oneidas, the Tuscaroras, and such Onondagas as may have
entered into friendship with us. In order to give all our Indian friends
an equal chance of evidencing their spirit and determination to partake
of our fortune, I am entirely satisfied that such only should join me as
think proper. It is not for want of warriors that I have given you this
invitation, but that every warrior who is a friend to these United States
may have an equal opportunity of punishing the enemies of our country.

"As your situation is such as causes you to suppose your castle in danger
of being destroyed by your enemies in case of your absence, I by no means
desire that more of your warriors should leave your castles than your
council think proper to permit.

"As yet I am fully persuaded that all our enemies of the Six Nations will
find too much to do at home, to suffer any of their warriors to go abroad
to do mischief. If you should be satisfied after a little while that your
castles are out of danger, and the whole or any part of your warriors
think proper to come to us, I shall be glad to see you; and in the
meantime perhaps you may be as serviceable where you are, as if you were
with us.

"I shall immediately give orders to the officers commanding at Fort
Schuyler to send some troops to your castle, and write to Colonel Van
Schaick, who commands in my absence, to afford you every assistance in
his power, as I am not authorized to order any of the troops now with me
on any other command, being directed by our Great Chief and Warrior to
proceed with the whole of these troops on the present route."

In the course of the interview, the sachems informed General Clinton that
a party of about three hundred Indians, with a few Tories, had marched
from Cayuga ten days before, for the purpose of hanging upon his
outskirts and harassing his march to Tioga. Still it was supposed not to
be their intention to do any serious fighting, until the invading forces
should have advanced a considerable distance up the Tioga or Chemung
river. Indeed, it was evidently the purpose of the enemy to make no
stand, until the forces of Sullivan and Clinton should arrive in the
neighborhood of the works of defence which the Indians and Tories had
been constructing, even before the battle of Wyoming, on the banks of the
Chemung.

In consequence of the requisition of the warriors, in their speech,
General Clinton issued an order to the commanding officer at Fort
Schuyler to detach a command of thirty or forty men to the Oneida fort,
to be recalled as circumstances might require. With this understanding,
and the assurances in the General's answer to their speech, the ten
principal warriors, specially charged with the explanations, took their
departure the same evening for their own castle--leaving the remaining
twenty-five to accompany the expedition. [FN] General Clinton was
impatient of delay, as appears by a letter addressed to his brother of
the next day, from which the following is an extract:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] All but two of these, however, and those of the meaner sort,
 deserted the expedition before they arrived at Tioga.


                   "General to Governor Clinton.

                                          "_Camp on the south end of  }
                                        Otsego Lake, July_ 6th, 1779, }

   "Dear Brother,

"I have the pleasure to inform you that I am now at this place, with two
hundred and eight boats, with all the stores, provisions, and baggage of
the army; and I am well convinced that such a quantity of each hath never
before been transported over so bad a road in so short a time and with
less accidents, and that I am now in the most readiness to move down the
Susquehanna, whenever I receive General Sullivan's orders for that
purpose. I have thrown a dam across the outlet, which I conceive will be
of infinite importance, as it has raised the lake at least two feet, by
which the boats may be taken down with less danger than otherwise,
although, from the intricate winding of the channel, I expect to meet
some difficulties on the way. It is uncertain when I shall leave this
place.

"I received a letter from General Sullivan yesterday, dated at Wyoming
July 1st, in which he informs me that he was anxiously waiting the
arrival of his stores from Sunbury--that he expected them daily--that it
was determined in council that that army should proceed almost as far as
Tioga previous to my leaving the lake, as by that means he might make a
diversion in my favor, and facilitate my movements down the river. This
I imagine to be in consequence of a letter which he probably has received
from General Washington, and one I received from him dated the first
instant, in which his Excellency expresses his surprise at my taking so
much stores with me, when it was determined that all the supplies of the
army should come up with General Sullivan, and that nothing more should
be brought with me than was absolutely necessary for the troops until
the junction was formed at Tioga. However, as it was General Sullivan's
orders to bring what provision I could, and as his Excellency added in
his letter to me that it was not his intention to contravene any orders
I may receive from General Sullivan, I ordered the whole to be forwarded
to this place; which I have happily effected, and of which I do not
repent, as I believe I shall fall short of many articles. . . . The
troops are in good health and high spirits, and every thing seems to
promise a most favorable and successful campaign." . . .

No attempts were made by the enemy to molest General Clinton while thus
detained at Otsego Lake. Still, his proceedings were not left entirely
without observation, and there were two individual affrays happening in
his vicinity, which deserve special mention. The name of David Elerson,
one of the bold spirits associated with Murphy in Morgan's rifle corps,
has already occurred in a former chapter. The detachment to which he
belonged had been ordered from Schoharie to join his expedition. While
lying at the head of the lake, Elerson rambled off to an old clearing,
at the distance of a mile or more from camp to gather pulse for dinner.
Having filled his knapsack, while adjusting it in order to return to
camp, he was startled at the rustling of the tall and coarse herbage
around him, and in the same instant beheld some ten or a dozen Indians,
who had crept upon him so cautiously as to be just on the point of
springing to grasp him. Their object was clearly rather to make him a
prisoner than to kill him, since he might easily have been shot down
unperceived. Perhaps they wanted him for an _auto-da-fe,_ perhaps to
obtain information. Seizing his rifle, which was standing by his side,
Elerson sprang forward to escape. A shower of tomahawks hurtled through
the air after him; but as he had plunged into a thicket of tall weeds
and bushes, he was only struck on one of his hands, his middle finger
being nearly severed. A brisk chase was immediately commenced. Scaling
an old brush-wood fence, Elerson darted into the woods, and the Indians
after him. He was as fleet as a stag, and perceiving that they were not
likely soon to overtake, the pursuers discharged their rifles after him,
but luckily without effect. The chase was thus continued from eleven till
three o'clock--Elerson using every device and stratagem to elude or
deceive the Indians, but they holding him close. At length, having gained
a moment to breathe, an Indian started up in his front. Drawing up his
rifle to clear the passage in that direction, the whiz of a bullet
fleshing his side, and the crack of a rifle, from another point, taught
him that delays were particularly dangerous at that spot. The Indian in
front, however, had disappeared on his presenting his rifle, and Elerson
again darted forward. His wounded side bled a little, though not enough
to weaken him. Having crossed a ridge, he paused a moment in the valley
beyond, to slake his thirst--his mouth being parched, and himself almost
fainting. On rising from the brook, the head of one of his pursuers
peeped over the crest of the hill. He raised his rifle, but such was his
exhaustion that he could not hold it steady. A minute more, and he would
have been in the power of the savage. Raising his rifle again, and
steadying it by the side of a tree, he brought the savage tumbling
headlong down the hill. In the next moment his trusty rifle was re-loaded
and primed, and in the next the whole group of his pursuers came rushing
over the ridge. He again supposed his minutes were numbered; but being
partly sheltered by the trunk of a huge hemlock, they saw not him, but
only the body of their fallen comrade yet quivering in the agonies of
death. Drawing in a circle about the body of their companion, they raised
the death wail; and as they paused, Elerson made another effort to fly.
Before they resumed the pursuit, he had succeeded in burying himself in
a dark thicket of hemlocks, where he found the hollow trunk of a tree,
into which he crept. Here he lay ensconced two full days, without food
or dressings for his wound. On the third day he backed out of "the
loop-hole of his retreat," but knew not which way to proceed--not
discerning the points of the compass. In the course of two or three
miles, however, he came to a clearing, and found himself at
Cobleskill--having, during his recent chase, run over hill and dale, bog,
brook, and fen, upward of twenty-five miles.

At about the same time, and probably by the same party of Indians, the
premises of a Mr. Shankland, lying in their track, situated in the
outskirts of Cherry Valley, were assaulted. Residing at the distance of
two or three miles from the village, his house had escaped the common
destruction the proceeding Autumn. But he had nevertheless removed his
family to the valley of the Mohawk for safety, and had returned to his
domicile accompanied only by his son. [FN-1] They were awakened just
before dawn by the assailants, who were endeavoring to cut away the door
with their hatchets. Taking down his two guns, Mr. Shankland directed his
son to load them, while he successively fired to the best advantage. But
not being able to see the enemy, he determined upon a sortie. Having a
spear, or espontoon, in the house, he armed himself therewith, and
carefully unbarring the door, rushed forth upon the besiegers, who fled
back at his sudden apparition. One of the Indians whom he was specially
pursuing, tumbled over a log, and as Mr. Shankland struck at him, his
spear entered the wood, and parted from the shaft. Wrenching the blade
from the log, he darted back into the house, barred the door, and again
commenced firing upon the assailants. They had been so much surprised by
his rushing out upon them, that they neither fired a shot, nor hurled a
tomahawk, until he had returned to his castle, and barred the sally-port.
During that part of the affray, his son, becoming somewhat frightened,
escaped from the house, and ran for the woods. He was pursued, overtaken,
and made captive. The father, however, continued the fight--the Indians
firing through the casements at random, and he returning the shots as
well as he could. At one time he thought of sallying forth again, and
selling his life to the best advantage; but by thus doing, he very
rightly judged that he should at once involve the life of his son. The
Indians, growing wearied of fighting at such disadvantage, at last
attempted to make sure of their victim by applying the torch, and the
house was speedily in flames, but it so happened that between the rear
of the house and the forest, a field of hemp interposed--into which Mr.
Shankland contrived to throw himself from the house, unperceived by the
Indians. Concealed from observation by the hemp, he succeeded in reaching
the woods, and making good his retreat to the Mohawk. Meantime the
Indians remained by the house until it was consumed, together, as they
supposed, with the garrison. They then raised a shout of victory, and
departed [FN-2]--several of their number having been wounded by the
courageous proprietor.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The late Thomas Shankland, Esq. of Cooperstown.

 [FN-2] Campbell's Annals.


Greatly to his vexation, as appears from his letters. General Clinton was
detained at Otsego, by the tardy movements of his commander below, during
the whole month of July and the first week in August--until, indeed, his
troops became impatient to a degree. [FN] But the General was not idle
in respect to every arrangement that might add to their security or
contribute to their success. In the letter to his brother, last quoted,
he disclosed one capital stroke of generalship, which not only contributed
largely to his successful descent of the river, but was of great service
in other respects. The damming of the lake, and the accumulation, by this
means, of a vast reservoir of water, by rendering more certain and
expeditious the navigation of the river, was an exceedingly happy thought
And when at length orders were received for his embarkation on the 9th
of August, his flotilla was not only borne triumphantly along upon the
pile of the impatient waters accumulated for the occasion, but the
swelling of the torrent beyond its banks caused wide and unexpected
destruction to the growing crops of the Indians on their plantations at
Oghkwaga and its vicinity. They were, moreover, greatly affrighted at the
sudden and unexpected rise of the waters in the dryest season of the
year, especially as there had been no rains--attributing the event to the
interposition of the "Great Spirit," who thus showed that he was angry
with them. The whole expedition was indeed calculated to impress them
with terror--as it might have done a more enlightened and less
superstitious people. The country was wild and totally uninhabited,
excepting by scattered families of the Indians, and here and there by
some few of the more adventurous white settlers, in the neighborhood of
Unadilla. The sudden swelling of the river, therefore, bearing upon its
surge a flotilla of more than two hundred vessels, through a region of
primitive forests, and upon a stream that had never before wafted upon
its bosom any craft of greater burthen than a bark canoe, was a spectacle
which might well appall the untutored inhabitants of the regions thus
invaded.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] By a letter from the Commander-in-chief to General Sullivan, it
 appears that in the organisation of the expedition the latter had been
 compelled to encounter greater difficulties than had been anticipated.
 He wan disappointed in regard to the Pennsylvania independent
 companies--to supply which deficiency, Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Pauling
 was directed to march across from Warwasing, and join Clinton at
 Oghkwaga. Governor Clinton himself had intended to lead this regiment,
 but General Washington, believing that the influence of his presence
 was needed elsewhere, induced him to relinquish that design. The delays
 of Sullivan, therefore, may not nave arisen from any fault of his own.
 Still, the inactivity of General Clinton at Otsego Lake, and of
 Sullivan at Wyoming, was no more irksome to the former than to Brant
 himself. This active warrior had probably led in person the three
 hundred Indians spoken of by the Oneidas as having gone forth to hang
 upon the flanks of General Clinton, and annoy his troops by skirmishes
 during the march. Becoming weary, however, of waiting for a foe whose
 movements were apparently so tardy, Brant determined on making the
 irruption into Minisink, of which a history has been given in the last
 preceding chapter.


During these energetic proceedings of Clinton, it has been seen that
Sullivan was very dilatory in his movements, and his conduct in the early
part of the campaign gave particular dissatisfaction to Congress. His
requisitions for supplies were enormous, and several of his specifications
of articles, such as eggs, tongues, and other luxuries, were considered
so unsoldier-like as to create disgust. However, having completed his
arrangements, he left Wyoming on the 31st of July, and ascended the
Susquehanna to Tioga, with an expedition far more formidable as to
numbers, and not less imposing in other respects, than was the descending
division under General Clinton--though he had not the advantage of riding
upon so majestic a flood. Sullivan reached Tioga on the 11th of August,
and on the following day pushed out a detachment twelve miles toward
Chemung, which was attacked by a body of Indians--losing, during the
brush, seven men killed and wounded. The detachment returned to Tioga on
the 13th, after having burnt one of the Indian towns.

General Clinton with his division, having been joined at Oghkwaga by a
detachment of Colonel Pauling's levies from Warwasing, arrived at Tioga
and formed a junction with Sullivan on the 22d of August. The entire
command amounted now to five thousand, consisting of the brigades of
Generals Clinton, Hand, Maxwell, and Poor, together with Proctor's
artillery and a corps of riflemen. So long had the expedition been in
progress, that it was well understood the Indians and Tories were not
unprepared to receive them; and in moving up the Tioga and the Chemung
rivers, the utmost degree of caution was observed to guard against
surprise. A strong advanced guard of light infantry preceded the main
body, which was well protected by large flanking parties. In this way
they slowly proceeded in the direction of the works of the enemy, upon
the Chemung at Newtown. On the 28th, an Indian settlement was destroyed,
together with fields of corn, and other Indian products yet
unharvested. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The instructions of the Commander-in-chief were peremptory, that
 Sullivan was not even to listen to propositions of peace until after he
 should have "very thoroughly completed the destruction of their
 settlements."



[Illustration: Order of Battle-Order of March]



The Indians, determined to risk a general action in defence of their
country, had selected their ground with judgment, about a mile in advance
of Newtown. [FN-1] Their force was estimated by General Sullivan at
fifteen hundred, including five companies of British troops and rangers,
estimated at two hundred men. The enemy, however, only allowed their
force to consist of five hundred and fifty Indians, and two hundred and
fifty whites--in all, eight hundred. [FN-2] Brant commanded the Indians,
and the regular troops and rangers were led by Colonel John Butler,
associated with whom were Colonels Sir John and Guy Johnson, Major Walter
N. Butler, and Captain McDonald. [FN-3] The enemy had constructed a
breast-work of half a mile in length, so covered by a bend of the river
as to expose only the front and one of the flanks to attack; and even
that flank was rendered difficult of approach by resting upon a steep
ridge, "nearly parallel to the general course of the river, terminating
somewhat below the breast-work. Farther yet to the left was still another
ridge, running in the same direction, and leading to the rear of the
American army. The ground was covered with pine, interspersed with low
shrub oaks, many of which for the purpose of concealing their works, had
been cut and brought from a distance, and stuck down in their front,
exhibiting the appearance of untransplanted shrubbery. The road, after
crossing a deep brook at the foot of the hill, turned to the right, and
ran nearly parallel to the breast-work, so as to expose the whole flank
of the army to their fire should it advance without discovering their
position." [FN-4] Detachments of the enemy, communicating with each other,
were stationed on both hills, for the purpose of falling upon Sullivan's
right and rear the moment the action should commence.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The site of the present town of Elmira.

 [FN-2] Gordon.

 [FN-3] It is not quite certain whether both the Johnsons were engaged in
 this action. Sir John was there, and the author has somewhere seen the
 name of Guy Johnson as having likewise been in the battle of the Chemung.

 [FN-4] Marshall.


The enemy's position was discovered by Major Parr, commanding the advance
guard, at about 11 o'clock in the morning of the 29th of August General
Hand immediately formed the light infantry in a wood, at the distance of
about four hundred yards from the breast-work, and waited until the main
body of the army arrived on the ground. A skirmishing was, however, kept up
by both sides--the Indians sallying out of their works by small parties,
firing, and suddenly retreating--making the woods at the same time to
resound with their war-whoops, piercing the air from point to point as
though the tangled forest were alive with their grim-visaged warriors.
Correctly judging that the hill upon his right was occupied by the
savages, General Sullivan ordered Poor's brigade to wheel off, and
endeavor to gain their left flank, and, if possible, to surround them,
while the artillery and main body of the Americans attacked them in
front. [FN-1] The order was promptly executed; but as Poor climbed the
ascent, the battle became animated, and the possession of the hill was
bravely contested. In front the enemy stood a hot cannonade for more than
two hours. [FN-2] Both Tories and Indians were entitled to the credit of
fighting manfully. Every rock, and tree, and bush, shielded its man, from
behind which the winged messengers of death were thickly sent, but with
so little effect as to excite astonishment. The Indians yielded ground
only inch by inch; and in their retreat darted from tree to tree with the
agility of the panther, often contesting each new position to the point
of the bayonet--a thing very unusual even with militiamen, and still more
rare among the undisciplined warriors of the woods. Thayendanegea was the
animating spirit of the savages. Always in the thickest of the fight, he
used every effort to stimulate his warriors, in the hope of leading them
to victory. Until the artillery began to play, the whoops and yells of
the savages, mingled with the rattling of musketry, had well-nigh
obtained the mastery of sound. But their whoops were measurably drowned
by the thunder of the cannon. This cannonade "was elegant," to adopt the
phraseology of Sullivan himself in writing to a friend, and gave the
Indians a great panic. Still, the battle was contested in front for a
length of time with undiminished spirit But the severity of fighting was
on the flank just described. As Poor gallantly approached the point which
completely uncovered the enemy's rear, Brant, who had been the first to
penetrate the design of the American commander, attempted once more to
rally his forces, and with the assistance of a battalion of the rangers
make a stand. But it was in vain, although he exerted himself to the
utmost for that purpose--flying from point to point, seeming to be
everywhere present, and using every means in his power to re-animate the
flagging spirits, and re-invigorate the arms of his followers. Having
ascended the steep, and gained his object without faltering, the enemy's
flank was turned by Poor; and the fortunes of the day decided. Perceiving
such to be the fact, and that there was danger of being surrounded, the
retreat-halloo was raised, and the enemy, savages and white men,
precipitately abandoned their works, crossed the river, and fled with the
utmost precipitation--the Indians leaving their packs and a number of
their tomahawks and scalping-knives behind them. The battle was long, and
on the side of the enemy bloody. [FN-3] Eleven of their dead were found
upon the field--an unusual circumstance with the Indians, who invariably
exert themselves to the utmost to prevent the bodies of their slain from
falling into the hands of their foes. But being pushed at the point of
the bayonet, they had not time to bear them away. They were pursued two
miles, their trail affording indubitable proof that a portion of their
dead and wounded had been carried off. Two canoes were found covered with
blood, and the bodies of fourteen Indian warriors were discovered
partially buried among the leaves. Eight scalps were taken by the
Americans during the chase. [FN-4] Considering the duration of the
battle, and the obstinacy with which it was maintained, the loss of the
Americans was small almost to a miracle. Only five or six men were
killed, and between forty and fifty wounded. Among the American officers
wounded were Major Titcomb, Captain Clayes, and Lieutenant Collis--the
latter mortally. All the houses of the contiguous Indian town were burnt,
and the corn-fields destroyed. [FN-5]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter from General Sullivan to a gentleman in Batten.

 [FN-2] Idem. Vide Remembrancer, vol. vii.

 [FN-3] Mr. John Salmon, late of Livingston County, (N. Y.) who was a
 member of a detachment of the rifle corps in this expedition, in a
 letter written for Mary Jemison's Narrative, speaks of a second stand
 made by the Indians at a place above Newtown called the Narrows--"Where,"
 he says, "they were attacked by our men, who killed them in great
 numbers, so that the sides of the rocks next the river appeared as
 though blood had been poured on them by pailfuls. The Indians threw
 their dead into the river, and escaped the best way they could." No
 other account makes mention of any such incident, unless, indeed, Mr.
 Salmon refers to the killing of the eight warriors whose scalps were
 taken during the flight, according to one of Sullivan's letters to a
 gentleman in Boston, which may be found in Almon's Remembrancer, and
 which is the authority for this statement in the text. The MS. journal
 of Capt. Fowler, in the author's possession, commences only the day
 after the battle.

 [FN-4] "On the next morning [after Sullivan's arrival at Catharine's
 town,] an old woman of the Cayuga nation was found in the woods, who
 informed us that on the night after the battle of Newtown, the enemy
 having fled the whole time, arrived there in great confusion early the
 next day; that she heard the warriors tell their women that they were
 conquered, and must fly; that they had a great many killed, and vast
 numbers wounded. She likewise heard the lamentations of many at the
 loss of their connexions. In addition, she assured us that some other
 warriors had met Butler at that place, and desired him to return and
 fight again. But to this request they could obtain no satisfactory
 answer; for, as they observed, 'Butler's mouth was closed.' The
 warriors, who had been in the action, were equally averse to the
 proposal."--_Sullivan's Official Account._

 [FN-5] The strength of the enemy's force at Newtown was never
 ascertained with any degree of certainty; although, as heretofore stated
 in the text, it was the opinion of Sullivan, and also of his general
 officers, that it must have exceeded fifteen hundred. Still, the two
 prisoners taken estimated them only at eight hundred. They admitted,
 however, that, in addition to the five companies of rangers engaged in
 the action, all the warriors of the Senecas, and six other nations of
 Indians, were engaged. In order to determine the amount of their force
 with as much accuracy as could be attained, General Sullivan examined
 their breast-work, the extent of which was more than half a mile. The
 lines were flanked in every part by bastions in front, and a
 dwelling-house also, in front of the works, had been converted into a
 block-house and manned. The breast-work appeared to have been fully
 manned, though, as Sullivan supposed, by only a single rank. Some part
 of the works being low, the enemy were compelled to dig holes in the
 ground to cover themselves in part. A very thin scattering line,
 designed, as was supposed, for communicating signals, was continued from
 those works to that part of the mountain ascended by General Poor, where
 a large body had been stationed, as heretofore stated, for the purpose
 of falling upon the flank of the Americans. The distance from the
 breast-work to that point was at least one mile and a half. From thence
 to the hill on the American right was another scattering line of about
 one mile, and on the hill a breast-work, with a strong party, destined,
 as it was supposed, to fall upon the American rear. But this design was
 frustrated by the movements of Clinton, as already mentioned.--_Vide
 Sullivan's Official Report._


The Americans encamped that night on the field of battle, and on the
following day, the wounded, together with the heavy artillery, and
wagons, and all such portions of the baggage as would not be required,
and could not well be transported in the farther prosecution of the
flying campaign now to be performed, were sent back to Tioga. Only four
brass three-pounders and a small howitzer were retained; and the whole
army was at once placed upon short allowance,--the soldiers submitting
cheerfully to the requisition, the moment the necessity of the measure
was explained to them in a speech by their commander. These and other
dispositions having been made, the army moved forward on the 31st, in the
direction of Catharine's town, situated near the head of Seneca Lake, and
the residence of the celebrated Catharine Montour. On their way thither,
Sullivan destroyed a small settlement of eight houses, and a town called
Knawaholee, of about twenty houses, situated on a peninsula at the
conflux of the Tioga and Cayuga branches. Several cornfields were
destroyed at this place, and a number of others, also very large, about
six miles up the Tioga, by Colonel Dayton and the rifle corps, who were
detached thither upon that service.

The Indians and Tories acted unwisely in retreating so far as they did
from the battle of Newtown, since the march of Sullivan thence to
Catharine's town was of the most difficult and fatiguing description.
They were compelled to traverse several narrow and dangerous defiles with
steep hills upon either side, the passage of which might have been
rendered exceedingly annoying to their invaders by a vigilant enemy. The
route lay along the streams; and such was the sinuous course of one of
them, almost swelling to the size of a river, that they were obliged to
ford it several times--the men up to their middles in water. Worse than
all, they were compelled to thread their way through a deep-tangled
hemlock swamp. The night came on exceedingly dark, and the sufferings of
the troops were great. General Sullivan was advised not to enter the
swamp until the next day, but he rejected the counsel, and obstinately
pushed forward. So fatigued, however, was the army, that General Clinton,
whose division brought up the rear, was obliged to pass the night in the
swamp without pack or baggage. Neither Brant nor the Butlers displayed
their wonted sagacity on this occasion, or the Americans might have been
mads to suffer severely for their rashness in penetrating such a thicket
at such an hour. The excuse of the Indians, who were roasting corn not
many miles distant, was, that the way was so bad, and the night so dark,
they did not dream of Sullivan's advancing under such circumstances.

Disappointed by the Oneidas, upon whose assistance General Sullivan had
counted as guides and runners through the Indian country, but only four
of whom had continued with the expedition, the General despatched one of
these from Catharine's town to the castle of that nation, with an address,
calling upon all who were friendly to the Americans, to prove the
sincerity of their professions by joining his forces immediately. The
messenger, Oneigat, was also instructed to give his nation an account of
the battle at Newtown. He did not, however, rejoin the expedition until
near its close. He then reported that on his arrival at the Oneida
castle, a council was convened, and that his people were delighted with
the news of which he was the bearer. Obedient, moreover, to the summons
which he had borne thither, seventy of their warriors had set out with
him to join the army, and thirty more were to follow the next day. But
on that day, near the Onondaga village, they met their brother, Conowaga,
from the army, who informed them that the General had already advanced
as far as Kanasadagea, and had men enough--only wanting a few good guides.
In consequence of this information, the Oneida warriors had turned
back--transmitting, however, by him, an address to the General,
interceding in behalf of a clan of the Cayugas, who, they declared, had
always been friendly to the United States. As an evidence of this fact,
they referred to the cases of several prisoners, who, as it was alleged,
had been surrendered by them to General Schuyler. The Oneidas, therefore,
besought General Sullivan not to destroy the fields of these friendly
Cayugas, who, if deprived of their corn, would fall upon them for support,
and they already had a heavy burden upon their hands in the persons of
the destitute Onondagas. General Sullivan immediately sent a speech in
reply, commending the Oneidas for their fidelity to the United States,
but expressing his surprise at their interposing a word in behalf of any
portion of the Cayugas, whose whole course had been marked, not only by
duplicity, but by positive hostility. He therefore distinctly informed
the Oneidas that the Cayugas should be chastised. Nor did he fail to
execute his purpose, as will in due time appear. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] See Sullivan's address, and the message of the Oneidas in reply,
 Almon's Remembrancer, for 1780, Part I.


The brigade of General Clinton rejoined the main army on the 2d of
September, and the whole encamped at Catharine's town, which was entirely
destroyed on the following day, together with the corn-fields and
orchards. The houses, thirty in number, were burnt. The work of
destruction, marking that extraordinary campaign, was now begun in
earnest It was considered necessary by the Commander-in-chief, or his
orders would not have been so peremptory upon the subject, nor his
satisfaction so great after its accomplishment. [FN-1] Still, at this
distance of time, when the mind glances back not only to the number of
towns destroyed, and fields laid waste, but to the war of extermination
waged against the very orchards, it is difficult to suppress feelings of
regret--much less to bestow a word of commendation. It has been asserted
that some of the officers, among whom were General Hand and Colonel
Durbin, objected to this wanton destruction of the fruit-trees, as
discreditable to American soldiers; but the Indians had been long and
cruelly provoking the Americans by the ferocity of their attacks upon the
border settlements, and it had been judged expedient to let the arm of
vengeance fall heavily upon them. "The Indians," said Sullivan, "shall
see that there is malice enough in our hearts to destroy every thing that
contributes to their support;" [FN-2] and well did he fulfill the threat.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] See letter of Washington to Colonel John Laurens, Sept. 28, 1779;
 to the President of Congress, Oct 9; and to the Marquis de Lafayette,
 October 20, of the some year--_Sparks, Vol. vi._

 [FN-2] Gordon.


The comparative state of civilization to which the Six Nations had
arrived, has been glanced at in the opening of the present chapter. Still
it is apprehended that but few of the present generation are thoroughly
aware of the advances which the Indians, in the wide and beautiful
country of the Cayugas and Senecas, had made in the march of civilization.
They had several towns, and many large villages, laid out with a
considerable degree of regularity. They had framed houses, some of them
well finished, having chimneys, and painted. They had broad and
productive fields; and in addition to an abundance of apples, were in the
enjoyment of the pear, and the still more delicious peach. But after the
battle of Newtown, terror led the van of the invader, whose approach was
heralded by watchmen stationed upon every height, and desolation followed
weeping in his train. The Indians everywhere fled as Sullivan advanced,
and the whole country was swept as with the besom of destruction. On the
4th, as the army advanced, they destroyed a small scattering settlement
of eight houses; and two days afterward reached the more considerable
town of Kendaia, containing about twenty houses neatly built, and well
finished. These were reduced to ashes, and the army spent nearly a day
in destroying the fields of corn and the fruit-trees. Of these there were
great abundance, and many of them appeared to be very ancient. While thus
engaged, the army was joined by one of the inhabitants of Wyoming, a
captive who had escaped from the Indians. He informed them that all had
been terror among tho Indians since the battle of Newtown, and that
Kendaia had been deserted two days before in the greatest confusion. He
likewise stated various reasons for believing that the enemy had suffered
greatly in that battle--that he had heard some of the Indian women
lamenting the loss of their connexions, and that Brant had taken most of
the wounded up the Tioga river in water craft, which had been previously
made ready in case of defeat. It was farther believed that the King of
Kanadaseagea had been killed at Newtown. He had been seen on his way
thither, and had not returned. From the description given of his dress
and person, moreover, it was believed by General Sullivan that he had
seen his body among the slain.

On the 7th of September, Sullivan crossed the outlet of the Seneca Lake,
and moved in three divisions upon the town of Kanadaseagea--the Seneca
capital--containing about sixty houses, with gardens, and numerous
orchards of apple and peach trees. It was Sullivan's object to surround
the town, and take it by surprise. But, although Butler had endeavored
to induce the Indians to make a stand at that place, his importunities
were of no avail. They said it was of no use to contend with such an army;
and their capital was consequently abandoned, as the other towns had been,
before the Americans could reach it. A detachment of four hundred men
was sent down on the west side of the lake, to destroy Gotheseunquean,
[FN-1] and the plantations in the neighborhood; while at the same time a
number of volunteers, under Colonel Harper, made a forced march in the
direction of the Cayuga Lake, and destroyed Schoyere. Meantime the
residue of the army was employed, on the 8th, in the destruction of the
town, together with the fruit-trees, and fields of corn and beans. [FN-2]
Here, as elsewhere, the work of destruction was thorough and complete.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Thus spelled by General Sullivan, whose official account is in
 part the basis of this narrative. Captain Theodosius Fowler, in his
 diary, writes it Karhauguash.

 [FN-2] Journal of Capt. Fowler.


In leaving their town, the Indians had fled with such precipitancy that
a young white male child, about seven or eight years old, was left
behind, asleep. It was taken in charge by an officer, who, from ill
health, was not on duty. In retiring from the campaign, for the same
cause, he took the child with him, and nothing more of its history is
known. This flight of the Indians was universal; and of all commanders,
Sullivan seems to have been least successful in finding the enemy of whom
he was in search, save only when the enemy wished to be found. Upon this
feature of the present campaign it has been remarked, that although the
bravery of this officer was unimpeachable, yet he was altogether
unacquainted with the science of Indian warfare, and was sure to use the
best means to keep the savages at such a distance, that they could not be
brought unwillingly to an engagement. For instance, he persisted in the
practice of having cannon fired from his camp, mornings and evenings,
forgetting what every one else perceived, that the Indians were thus
notified of his position and the rapidity of his marches--thus being
enabled daily to retreat from his approach exactly in time. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of John Salmon, in the Appendix of Mary Jemison's Life.


From this point a detachment of sixty men, with the lame and sick, was
sent back to Tioga. The main army then moved forward upon Kanandaigua, at
which place it arrived in two days. Here they "found twenty-three very
elegant houses, mostly framed, and in general large," [FN] together with
very extensive fields of corn--all of which were destroyed. From
Kanandaigua they proceeded to the small town of Honeoye, consisting of
ten houses, which were immediately burnt to the ground. A post was
established at Honeoye, to maintain which a strong garrison was left,
with the heavy stores and one field-piece. With this precautionary
measure the army prepared to advance upon the yet more considerable town
of Genesee--the great capital of the western tribes of the
confederacy--containing their stores, and their broadest cultivated
fields.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] General Sullivan's official account.


Hearing of Sullivan's continued advance, and of his purpose to strike
their towns upon the Genesee, the Indians once more began to think of
giving battle. A council of their towns was convened, the result of which
was a determination to intercept the invaders, and strike another blow
in defence of their homes. They felt that if unopposed, the destruction
of their towns would be inevitable, and their fate could be no worse
should they meet and fight the conqueror--whatever might be the result.
Their first precaution was to place their women and children in a place
of security, in the woods at a distance from their town; so that, in the
event of being themselves defeated, the non-combatants would have an
opportunity to escape. Having made their preparations, the warriors took
the field again--selecting for their battle-ground a position between
Honeoye Creek and the head of Connissius Lake. [FN] Placing themselves
in ambush, they awaited the approach of Sullivan's forces. They rose,
however, upon the advance-guard of the Americans, and after a brisk
skirmish, the latter fell back upon the main body--of which the Indians
did not await the arrival. The only fruit of this attack, on behalf of
the Indians, was the capture of two Indian prisoners of the Oneida tribe.
Of itself, this incident was insignificant; but a transaction grew out
of it of thrilling interest, and strongly illustrative of Indian
character. One of the Indians thus taken, was General Sullivan's guide,
and had, moreover, been very active in the contest, rendering the
Americans frequent and important services. On that account he was a
prisoner of consequence. But there was another feature in the case not
altogether unworthy of note. This faithful Indian had an elder brother
engaged with the enemy, who, at the beginning of the war, had exerted
all his power to persuade the younger into the British service also, but
without success. At the close of this skirmish the brothers met for the
first time since their separation, when they had respectively chosen to
travel different war-paths; the younger a prisoner to the elder. The
latter had no sooner recognized his brother after the _melée_, than his
eyes kindled with that fierce and peculiar lustre which lights up the
burning eyes of a savage when meditating vengeance. Approaching him
haughtily, he spoke as follows:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] At or near a place now called Henderon's Flatta, Vide Life of Mary
 Jemison and letter of John Salmon.


"Brother! You have merited death! The hatchet or the war-club shall
finish your career! When I begged of you to follow me in the fortunes of
war, you were deaf to my cries: you spurned my entreaties!

"Brother! You have merited death, and shall have your deserts! When the
rebels raised their hatchets to fight their good master, you sharpened
your knife, you brightened your rifle, and led on our foes to the fields
of our fathers!

"Brother! You have merited death, and shall die by our hands! When those
rebels had driven us from the fields of our fathers to seek out new
houses, it was you who could dare to step forth as their pilot, and
conduct them even to the doors of our wigwams, to butcher our children
and put us to death! No crime can be greater! But though you have merited
death, and shall die on this spot, my hands shall not be stained with the
blood of a brother!--_Who will strike?_"

A pause of but a moment ensued. The bright hatchet of Little Beard, the
sachem of the village, flashed in the air like the lightning, and the
young Oneida chief was dead at his feet. [FN] The other captive, who was
also an Oneida sachem, was then informed by Little Beard that he was
warring only against the whites, and that his life should be spared;
adding, farther, that at a suitable time he should be restored to liberty.
Distrusting the good faith of the chief, however, the captive watched an
opportunity for escape, and very shortly afterward accomplished his
purpose--but in a manner which produced another tragic catastrophe, as
will presently appear.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This was truly a shocking transaction, but not _so_ shocking as
 that of the horrible fratricide before recorded at Wyoming, nor so
 shocking as the attempt of the brother of Colonel Frey at Oriskany. The
 Indian had far the most humanity, and far the highest sense of honor and
 duty.


From Honeoye, General Sullivan advanced in two days upon a town
containing twenty-five houses, called Kanaghsaws. There were large
corn-fields to be destroyed here also, and a bridge to be constructed
over an unfordable creek intervening between Kanaghsaws and Little
Beard's town, lying next in the route to Genesee--so called from the name
of a celebrated chief then residing there. While delayed by these
obstacles, Lieutenant Boyd, of the rifle corps, was detached with
twenty-six men to reconnoiter that chieftain's town, where also was a
castle. Having performed that duty, and in doing so killed and scalped
two Indians [FN-1] in the otherwise deserted village, he had commenced
his return to the main division. It so happened that Boyd was passing at
no great distance from the party of Indians having the Oneida prisoner in
charge. The latter was guarded by two Indians, between whom he was walking
arm in arm, when, at a favorable moment, he suddenly broke from their
grasp, and fled at the top of his speed in the direction of Sullivan's
army. The Indians, in goodly numbers, turned out in pursuit, and while
running, fell in with the party of Lieutenant Boyd. [FN-2] By this time
the Indians in pursuit after the fugitive numbered several hundred, under
the immediate command of Joseph Brant, who seems suddenly to have made
his appearance for the occasion. [FN-3] Indeed, according to one
authority, Brant was not concerned with the pursuit, but had previously
secreted himself in a deep ravine, with a large party of his Indians and
Butler's rangers, for the express purpose of cutting off Boyd's retreat.
[FN-4] Discovering his situation, and in fact surrounded by fearful odds,
Boyd saw, of course, that his only chance of escape was to strike at some
given point, and cut his way through the ranks of the enemy. It was a
bold measure; but there was no alternative, and he made three successive
attempts to accomplish his purpose. In the first, several of the enemy
fell, without the loss of a single man on his own part. But he was
repulsed. The Indians stood their ground nobly; and in the second and
third attempts upon their line by Boyd, his whole party fell except
himself and eight others. In the next moment several of these were
killed, while a few succeeded in flight--among whom was the bold
Virginian, Murphy. Boyd was himself taken prisoner, and one other man
named Parker. The Lieutenant immediately solicited an interview with
Thayendanegea, and making himself known as a Freemason, was assured by
the chief of protection. [FN-5] One of the party under Lieutenant Boyd was
a brave Oneida warrior, named Honyerry, who served him as a guide. This
faithful Indian had served long with the Americans, and, as the reader has
already seen, was particularly distinguished in the battle of Oriskany,
where so many of the Mohawk and Seneca warriors fell. On the present
occasion, moreover, he acquitted himself with signal courage. Being an
excellent marksman, his rifle did great execution. The Indians knew him,
and as they closed in upon the little band, poor Honyerry was literally
hacked to pieces. [FN-6] It was a dear victory, however, to the enemy.
The firing was so close before the brave party was destroyed, that the
powder of the enemy's muskets was driven into their flesh. The enemy had
no covert, while Boyd's party was, for a portion of the time at least,
possessed of a very advantageous one. The enemy were, moreover, so long
employed in removing their dead, that the approach of General Hand's
brigade obliged them to leave one of the number among the dead riflemen;
together with a wagon load of packs, blankets, hats, and provisions,
which they had thrown off to enable them to act with more agility in the
field. [FN-7]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Captain Fowler's Journal. One of these Indians was shot and
 scalped by Murphy, whose name has already occurred in connexion with the
 Schoharie wars.

 [FN-2] Life of Mary Jemison.

 [FN-3] Captain Fowler and John Salmon both state the number of Indians
 engaged in this affair at upward of five hundred.

 [FN-4] John Salmon's letter.

 [FN-5] Idem.

 [FN-6] Captain Fowler's Journal.

 [FN-7] Sullivan's Official Account.


From the battle-field Brant conducted Lieutenant Boyd and his fellow
captive to Little Beard's town, where they found Colonel Butler with a
detachment of the rangers. While under the supervision of Brant, the
Lieutenant was well treated and safe from danger. But the chief being
called away in the discharge of his multifarious duties, Boyd was left
with Butler, who soon afterward began to examine him by questions as to
the situation, numbers, and intentions of General Sullivan and his troops.
He, of course, declined answering all improper questions; whereat Butler
threatened that if he did not give him full and explicit information, he
would deliver him up to the tender mercies of the Indians. Relying
confidently upon the assurances of the generous Mohawk chieftain, Boyd
still refused, and Butler fulfilled his bloody threat--delivering him over
to Little Beard and his clan, the most ferocious of the Seneca tribe.
[FN-1] The gallant fellow was immediately put to death by torture; and
in the execution there was a refinement of cruelty, of which it is not
known that a parallel instance occurred during the whole war. Having been
denuded, Boyd was tied to a sapling, where the Indians first practised
upon the steadiness of his nerves by hurling their tomahawks apparently
at his head, but so as to strike the trunk of the sapling as near to his
head as possible without hitting it--groups of Indians, in the meantime,
brandishing their knives, and dancing around him with the most frantic
demonstrations of joy. His nails were pulled out, his nose cut off, and
one of his eyes plucked out His tongue was also cut out, and he was
stabbed in various places. [FN-2] After amusing themselves sufficiently
in this way, a small incision was made in his abdomen, and the end of one
of his intestines taken out and fastened to the tree. The victim was then
unbound, and driven round the tree by brute force, until his intestines
had all been literally drawn from his body and wound round its trunk. His
sufferings were then terminated by striking his head from his body. It
was then raised upon a pole in triumph. Parker, the other captive, was
likewise beheaded, but not otherwise tortured. After the conclusion of
this tragedy, the Indians held a brief council to determine whether to
offer any farther resistance to General Sullivan, or to yield their
country to his ravages without opposition. They finally came to the
decision that they were not sufficiently powerful to oppose the invaders
with success, and thereupon decided to leave their possessions, for the
preservation of their lives and those of their families. The women and
children were thereupon sent away in the direction of Niagara, while the
warriors remained in the forests about Little Beard's town, to watch the
motions of the Americans. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter of Salmon. There is some reason to doubt which of the
 Butlers was the actor in this instance--the father, Colonel John, or the
 more severe Captain, his son.

 [FN-2] Sullivan's Official Account.

 [FN-3] Life of Mary Jemison. According to Colonel Butler's statement,
 after his examination Boyd was sent forward with a guard to Niagara; but,
 while passing through Genesee village, an old Indian rushed out and
 tomahawked him. But Salmon says he was put to death by the most cruel
 tortures, and so says the official report of General Sullivan. Mary
 Jemison, who was with the Indians gives the details from which the
 present account is drawn. It is to be hoped, however, that Colonel Butler
 was not accessory to the cruelty; and in justice to his memory, it must
 be admitted that it was not a transaction characteristic of him.


As soon as the main division had heard of the situation of Boyd, they
moved forward--arriving, however, only in season to bury the bodies of
the slain. [FN-1] This tragic occurrence took place on the 13th of
September. On the same day Sullivan moved forward to a place called
Gathtsegwarohare, where the enemy, both Indians and rangers, were
apparently disposed to make a stand. The troops were immediately brought
into order of battle, and General Clinton's brigade commenced a movement
with a view of outflanking and gaining the enemy's rear. But discovering
the movement, the enemy retreated with precipitation. Sullivan encamped on
the ground--the men sleeping on their arms, in the expectation of an
attack. But the enemy did not disturb their repose; and on the 14th the
army continued its advance, and crossed the Genesee river. Arriving at
Little Beard's town, [FN-2] they found the mutilated bodies of Boyd and
Parker, which were buried on the bank of Beard's Creek, under a clump of
wild plum trees. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] They were buried at a place now called Groveland, where the grave
 was very recently to be seen.

 [FN-2] The place is now called Leicester.

 [FN-3] On the road now running from Moscow to Genesee.


The valley of the Genesee, for its beauty and fertility, was beheld by the
army of Sullivan with astonishment and delight. Though an Indian country,
and peopled only by the wild men of the woods, its rich intervales
presented the appearance of long cultivation, and were then smiling with
their harvests of ripening corn. Indeed, the Indians themselves professed
not to know when or by whom the lands upon that stream were first brought
into cultivation. Nearly half a century before, Mary Jemison had observed
a quantity of human bones washed down from one of the banks of the river,
which the Indians held were not the remains of their own people, but of a
different race of men who had once possessed that country. The Indians,
they contended, had never buried their dead in such a situation. Be all
this, however, as it may, instead of a howling wilderness, Sullivan and
his troops found the Genesee flats, and many other districts of the
country, resembling much more the orchards, and farms, and gardens of
civilized life. But all was now doomed to speedy devastation. The Genesee
castle was destroyed. The troops scoured the whole region round about,
and burnt and destroyed every thing that came in their way. Little Beard
himself had officiated as master of ceremonies at the torturing of Boyd;
and his town was now burnt to the ground, and large quantities of corn,
which his people had laid up in store, were destroyed by being burnt or
thrown into the river. "The town of Genesee contained one hundred and
twenty-eight houses, mostly large and very elegant. It was beautifully
situated, almost encircled with a clear flat, extending a number of miles;
over which extensive fields of corn were waving, together with every kind
of vegetable that could be conceived." [FN-1] But the entire army was
immediately engaged in destroying it, and the axe and the torch soon
transformed the whole of that beautiful region from the character of a
garden to a scene of drear and sickening desolation. Forty Indian towns,
the largest containing one hundred and twenty-eight houses, were
destroyed. [FN-2] Corn, gathered and ungathered, to the amount of one
hundred and sixty thousand bushels, shared the same fate; their
fruit-trees were cut down; and the Indians were hunted like wild beasts,
till neither house, nor fruit-tree, nor field of corn, nor inhabitant,
remained in the whole country. The gardens were enriched with great
quantities of useful vegetables, of different kinds. The size of the
corn-fields, as well as the high degree of cultivation in which they
were kept, excited wonder; and the ears of corn were so remarkably large,
that many of them measured twenty-two inches in length. So numerous were
the fruit-trees, that in one orchard they cut down fifteen hundred. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Sullivan's Account.

 [FN-2] It has already been seen that this wide-spread destruction was the
 result of the express instructions of General Washington. It was in
 reference to this fact, that, when addressing President Washington at an
 Indian council held in Philadelphia, in 1792, Cornplanter commenced his
 speech in the following strain:--"Father: The voice of the Seneca nation
 speaks to you, the Great Counselor, in whose heart the wise men of all
 the Thirteen Fires have placed their wisdom. It may be very small in
 your ears, and we therefore entreat you to hearken with attention: for
 we are about to speak to you of things which to us are very great. When
 your army entered the country of the Six Nations, we called you the
 Town Destroyer; and to this day, when that name is heard, our women look
 behind them and turn pale, and our children cling close to the necks of
 their mothers. Our counselors and warriors are men, and cannot be afraid;
 but their hearts are grieved with the fears of our women and children,
 and desire that it maybe buried so deep as to be heard no more."

 [FN-3] Ramsay. See, also, History of the British Empire, 2
 volumes--anonymous. While Sullivan was at Genesee, a female captive from
 Wyoming was re-taken. She gave a deplorable account of the terror and
 confusion of the Indians. The women, she said, were constantly begging
 the warriors to sue for peace; and one of the Indians, she stated, had
 attempted to shoot Colonel Johnson for the falsehoods by which he had
 deceived and ruined them. She overheard Butler tell Johnson that after
 the battle of Newtown it was impossible to keep the Indians together,
 and that he thought they would soon be in a miserable situation, as all
 their crops would be destroyed, and they could not be supplied at
 Niagara.


It is in connexion with this campaign that the name of the celebrated
Seneca orator, _Sagayewatha,_ or _Red Jacket,_ first occurs in history,
or rather, will now for the first time thus occur, since it has never yet
been mentioned at so early a date by any previous writer. It is well
known by all who are acquainted with Indian history, that Brant and Red
Jacket were irreconcilable enemies. The origin of this enmity has never
yet been known to the public, and it has by some been imputed to the
jealousy entertained by Brant of the growing reputation of his younger
and more eloquent rival. But such is not the fact Brant ever acknowledged
the great intellectual powers of Red Jacket, but always maintained that
he was not only destitute of principle, but an arrant coward. In support
of these opinions, he asserted that Red Jacket had given him much trouble
and embarrassment during this campaign of General Sullivan, and was in
fact the principal cause of the disgrace and disasters of the Indians. In
relating a history of the expedition to a distinguished American
gentleman, [FN] Brant stated that after the battle of Newtown, Red Jacket
was in the habit of holding private councils with the young warriors, and
some of the more timid sachems, the object of which was to persuade them
to sue for peace, upon any--even ignominious terms; and that at one time
he had so far succeeded as to induce them to send privately, and without
the knowledge of the principal war chiefs, a runner into General
Sullivan's camp, to make known to him the spirit of dissatisfaction and
division that prevailed among the Indians, and to invite him to send a
flag of truce with certain propositions calculated to increase their
divisions and produce a dishonorable peace. Brant, who was privately
informed of all these proceedings, but feared the consequences of
disclosing and attempting to suppress them by forcible means, despatched,
secretly also, two confidential warriors to way-lay the flag when on its
route from the American to the Indian camp, and to put the bearer of it
to death, and then return secretly with his despatches. This was
accomplished as he directed, and all attempts at farther negotiations
thereby prevented. It was certainly a bold measure; and how far Brant's
conduct therein is susceptible of justification, or even palliation,
will depend on a variety of minute circumstances which it is now too
late to ascertain.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The late Secretary of War, General Peter B. Porter.


Having completed the objects contemplated by the expedition to the point
at which he had arrived, General Sullivan re-crossed the Genesee with his
army on the 16th of September, and set out an his return. Why he did not
follow up his success and strike at the enemy's citadel at Niagara, which
at that time was in no situation for formidable resistance, is a question
difficult of solution. Unquestionably, in the organization of the
expedition, the conquest  of Niagara, the head-quarters of the foe of all
descriptions, and the seat of British influence and power among the
Indians, was one of the principal objects in view. But perhaps the forces
of the American General had become too much weakened by sickness and
fatigue, (they had not lost a hundred men in battle,) to allow of a
farther advance. Certain it is, that the most important feature of the
enterprise was not undertaken; and it will be seen in the sequel, that
but small ultimate advantage resulted from the campaign. Stimulated by a
yet keener thirst for revenge, clouds of savages were afterward again and
again seen to sweep through the valley of the Mohawk with the scalping
knife and the torch. The excuse offered by Sullivan himself was, the want
of provisions; but this deficiency might have been most abundantly
supplied from the ample stores of the Indians, which were either burnt
or thrown into the river.

The return of the army was along the same track by which it had advanced.
On the 20th, having re-crossed the outlet of Seneca Lake, Colonel Zebulon
Butler was detached with the rifle corps and five hundred men, to pass
round the foot of Cayuga Lake, and lay waste the Indian towns on its
eastern shore; while on the next day, Lieutenant Colonel Dearborn, with
two hundred men, was detached to perform the same service along the
south-western shore. The main army pursued the most direct route to the
Chemung and Tioga. On the 26th Colonel Dearborn's detachment returned,
and on the 28th they were rejoined by Colonel Butler, who had burnt three
towns of the Cayugas, including their capital. [FN] Dearborn had burnt
six towns in his route, destroying at the same time large quantities of
corn. On the same day Colonels Van Courtlandt and Dayton were detached
upon a similar service, for the destruction of large fields of corn
growing upon the banks of the Tioga and its tributaries.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Oneidas, it will be recollected, had been interceding in behalf
 of the Cayugas, or at least a portion of them. Upon this point General
 Sullivan wrote in his official report as follows:--"I trust the steps I
 have taken in respect to the Cayugas will prove satisfactory. And here
 I beg leave to mention, that on searching the houses of these pretended
 neutral Cayugas, a number of scalps were found, which appeared to have
 been lately taken, which Colonel Butler showed to the Oneidas, who said
 that they were then convinced of the justice of the steps I had taken."


On the 30th of September the army reached its original point of
concentration at Tioga, where, it will be recollected, a fort had been
thrown up, and left in charge of a small garrison. This work was destroyed
on the 3d of October. The army then resumed its return march, and passing
through Wyoming, arrived at Easton on the 15th. The distance thence to the
Genesee castle was two hundred and eighty miles. With the exception of the
action at Newtown, the achievements of the army in battle were not great.
But it had scoured a broad extent of country, and laid more towns in ashes
than had ever been destroyed on the continent before. The red men were
driven from their beautiful country--their habitations left in ruins,
their fields laid waste, their orchards uprooted, and their altars and
the tombs of their fathers overthrown.

There was, however, an episode to this campaign, if such a phrase may be
allowed in military history, which, unexplained as it has been, appears
like a very strange movement on the part of General Sullivan. It has been
seen in the earlier portion of the present work, that when the great body
of the Mohawks retired to Canada with the Johnsons, preparatory to taking
up the hatchet against the Americans, the clan at the lower castle
declined accompanying them. Thus far, moreover, during the whole progress
of the war, they had preserved a strict neutrality. They had neither
molested their white neighbors, nor been molested themselves; but were
living quietly, cultivating their grounds in the midst of the best
settled portion of Tryon County, or following the chase at their
pleasure--and on terms of perfect amity and good-will with their white
neighbors. By some means or other, however, General Sullivan had imbibed
a distrust of these people, and on the 20th of September, while at the
foot of Seneca Lake, he detached Colonel Gansevoort, with a corps of one
hundred men, to Fort Schuyler From thence his orders were peremptory that
he should proceed forthwith down the Mohawk to the said lower Indian
castle, make all the Indians captives if possible, destroy their castle,
and then proceed immediately with the said prisoners to head-quarters--the
order explicitly forbidding that any of the prisoners so taken should be
left at Albany; and the Colonel was at the same time enjoined, amidst all
these measures of hostility, to show the Indians, so to be dispossessed
and carried away by violence, "such necessary marks of civility and
attention as might engage a continuance of their friendship, and give
evidence of our pacific disposition toward them!" This was truly a
surprising order, and, as the event proved, as uncalled for and unjust
as it was incomprehensible. As Colonel Gansevoort's official report of
his proceedings under this order will present the best view of the whole
transaction, it is inserted entire:--

               "Colonel Gansevoort to General Sullivan.

                                   "_Albany, October_ 8, 1779.

   "Sir,

"Agreeably to my orders, I proceeded by the shortest route to the lower
Mohawk castle, passing through the Tuscarora and Oneida castles (towns),
where every mark of hospitality and friendship was shown the party. I had
the pleasure to find that not the least damage nor insult was offered any
of the inhabitants. On the 25th I arrived at Fort Schuyler, where,
refreshing my party, I proceeded down the river, and on the 29th
effectually surprised the lower Mohawk castle, making prisoners of every
Indian inhabitant They then occupied but four houses. I was preparing,
agreeable to my orders, to destroy them, but was interrupted by the
inhabitants of the frontiers, who have been lately driven from their
settlements by the savages, praying that they might have liberty to enter
into the Mohawks' houses, until they could procure other habitations; and
well knowing those persons to have lately lost their all, humanity
tempted me in this particular to act in some degree contrary to orders,
although I could not but be confident of your approbation; especially
when you are informed that this castle is in the heart of our settlements,
and abounding with every necessary; so that it is remarked that these
Indians live much better than most of the Mohawk river farmers. Their
houses were very well furnished with all necessary household utensils,
great plenty of grain, several horses, cows, and wagons; of all which I
have an inventory, leaving them in the care of Major Newkirk, of that
place, who distributed the refugees in the several houses. Such being the
situation, I did not allow the party to plunder at all.

"The prisoners arrived at Albany on the 2d instant, and were closely
secured in the fort. Yesterday, the 7th, I received a letter from General
Schuyler, (of which I enclose a copy,) respecting the prisoners, desiring
that the sending the prisoners down might be postponed until an express
shall arrive from General Washington. Agreeably to this request, a
sergeant and twelve men are detained to keep charge of the prisoners until
his pleasure is known.

"It is with the greatest regret I mention my indisposition being so great
as to hinder my taking charge of the party to headquarters. I have been
several days confined, and my surgeon informs me that my complaint is
bilious fever. Captain Sytez takes command of the detachment, and will
proceed with all expedition to head-quarters with the baggage of the
several regiments, where I hope shortly to join the army. I remain, &c.,
&c."

It seems that General Schuyler, then at the head of the Northern
Commission of the Indian Department, having heard of the harsh measure
adopted in regard to the lower castle Mohawks, had interposed in their
behalf. The following is the letter referred to by Colonel Gansevoort, a
copy of which was enclosed to General Sullivan:--

                  "General Schuyler to Colonel Gansevoort.

                                           "_Albany October_ 7, 1779.

 "Dear Sir,

"Having perused Gen. Sullivan's orders to you respecting the Indians of
the lower Mohawk castle and their property, I conceive they are founded
on misinformation given to that gentlemen; these Indians have peaceably
remained there under the sanction of the public faith repeatedly given
them by the commissioners of Indian affairs, on condition of peaceable
demeanor; this contract they have not violated to our knowledge. It is
therefore incumbent on us, as servants of the public, to keep the public
faith inviolate; and we therefore entreat you to postpone the sending the
Indians from hence until the pleasure of his Excellency, Gen. Washington,
can be obtained, and a letter is already despatched to him on the
occasion, and in which we have mentioned this application to you. I am,
dear Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

                                      "Ph. Schuyler,
                            _President of the Board of Commissioners
                                of Indian affairs, N. Department._"

Copies of these letters were at the same time enclosed to the
Commander-in-chief by Colonel Gansevoort, and the result was a speedy
release of the poor Indians, with directions from General Washington that
the Commissioners should "lay them under such obligations for their
future good behavior as they should think necessary." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. letter of Washington to Colonel Gansevoort. In justice to
 General Sullivan respecting this crusade against the little neighborhood
 of friendly Mohawks, it should be stated that he acted under
 misinformation. In his official report, written from Tioga, September 30,
 he said:--"I directed Colonel Gansevoort to destroy the lower Mohawk
 castle in his route, and capture the inhabitants, consisting of only six
 or seven families, who were constantly employed in giving intelligence
 to the enemy, and in supporting their scouting parties when making
 incursions on our frontiers. When the Mohawks joined the enemy, those
 few families were undoubtedly left to answer those purposes, and keep
 possession of their lands."


Thus ended the memorable campaign of General Sullivan against the country
of the Six Nations; and, however harshly that officer may have been spoken
of by others, it is certain, from the letters of the Commander-in-chief,
that his conduct was viewed in that quarter with the most decided
approbation. The officers of the several corps engaged in the expedition
held separate meetings, and testified the warmest regard in his behalf,
and their approbation of the manner in which he had conducted the
campaign. On the 14th of October Congress passed a resolution of thanks
to General Washington for directing this expedition, and to "General
Sullivan and the brave officers and soldiers under his command for its
effectual execution." But at the very time of the adoption of the
resolution, it was evident that it was carried by a reluctant vote.
Sullivan had made such high demands for military stores, and had so freely
complained of the government for inattention to those demands, as to give
much offence to some members of Congress and to the Board of War. [FN] He,
in consequence, resigned his commission on the 9th of November, under the
convenient pretext of ill health. The resignation was accepted by
Congress on the 30th of that month--accompanied, however, by a vote of
thanks for past services.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Allen's Biographical Dictionary.


But there was yet another expedition against the Indians, devised and
executed in conjunction, or rather simultaneously, with that of General
Sullivan. This movement took place under the direction of Colonel Daniel
Brodhead, then commanding at Fort Pitt, and was originally designed by the
Commander-in-chief, after accomplishing the destruction of the Mingo,
Munsey, and a portion of the Seneca Indians settled on the Allegheny
river, for co-operation with that of Sullivan, by a junction at
Niagara--a point, as it happened, unattained by either. Preparatory to
this campaign, Washington had written to Colonel Brodhead, on the 22d of
March, directing him to throw forward detachments of troops, the first to
take post at Kittaning, and the second at Venango, and to build stockade
forts at both places--observing the greatest possible secrecy in regard
to ulterior operations. [FN-1] From various unforeseen difficulties, the
project of a direct co-operation with Sullivan was abandoned on the 21st
of April, and Colonel Brodhead was directed to make the necessary
reconnaissances for a movement against Detroit, should such an expedition
be deemed advisable. [FN-2] The result, however, was an independent
campaign against the tribes or clans of Indians last above mentioned,
inhabiting the head waters of the Allegheny river, French Creek, and other
tributaries of the Ohio. Colonel Brodhead left Pittsburgh on the 11th of
August, at the head of six hundred rank and file, including volunteers and
militia, with provisions for one month. The first Indian town designed to
be attacked was Cannowago. On their way thither, four days after their
departure from Fort Pitt, Colonel Brodhead's advanced guard met a party of
between thirty and forty Indian warriors descending the Allegheny in
canoes. The Indians landed to give battle; but were defeated after a sharp
brush, and put to flight, leaving five warriors dead, and evident marks
that others had been carried off wounded. On arriving at Cannowago, the
troops were mortified to find that the town had been deserted for eighteen
months. Proceeding onward, however, they successively entered several
towns, which were abandoned by the Indians on their approach. They were
all destroyed, together with the adjacent corn-fields. At the upper Seneca
town, called Yoghroonwago, they found a painted image, or war-post,
clothed in dog-skin. There were several towns in the vicinity of this
place, containing, in all, one hundred and thirty houses, some of which
were large enough to accommodate three or four families each. These were
all destroyed, together with their fields of corn, so extensive that the
troops were occupied three days in accomplishing the object. The old towns
of Buckloons and Maghinquechahocking, consisting of thirty-five large
houses, were likewise burnt. The Indians had fled so precipitately as to
leave some packages of skins and other booty, to the value of three
thousand dollars--all of which was taken. Fields of corn were destroyed
at least to the extent of five hundred acres. From the number of new
houses building, and the extent of lands preparing for cultivation, it was
conjectured that it was the intention of the whole Seneca and Munsey
nation to plant themselves down in those settlements. [FN-3] The distance
traversed by Colonel Brodhead, going and returning, was four hundred
miles, and not a man was lost during the expedition.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter from Washington to Colonel Brodhead, March 22, 1779--Vide
 Sparks's Life and Correspondence, vol. vi.

 [FN-2] Letter from the same to the same, April 21, 1779.

 [FN-3] Official account of Colonel Brodhead. Upon this expedition, in
 connexion with that of Sullivan, the historian, Ramsay, remarks--"In this
 manner the savage part of the war was carried on. Waste, and sometimes
 cruelty, were inflicted and retorted, with infinite variety of scenes of
 horror and disgust. The selfish passions of human nature, unrestrained
 by social ties, broke over all bounds of decency or humanity."


The thanks of Congress were likewise voted to General Washington for
devising, and to Colonel Brodhead for executing, this expedition. It has
already been remarked, that as but few of the enemy were slain in these
expeditions, the only immediate effect, beyond the destruction of
provisions and property, was to exasperate the Indians. A more remote
effect was to throw the whole body of the hostiles of the Six Nations
back upon their British employers, for their entire support the following
winter. Another consequence was, that from the want and distress of the
Indians during that winter, a mortal disease was superinduced among them,
which swept great numbers into eternity.

Still another effect of these sweeping invasions of the Indian country,
was, at least for the time being, to terrify some of the tribes yet more
remote. On Colonel Brodhead's return to Fort Pitt, September 14th, he
found the chiefs of the Delawares, the principal chiefs of the Wyandots
or Hurons, and the King of the Maquichee branch of the Shawanese, awaiting
his arrival. Three days afterward the Colonel held a council with these
forest dignitaries, on which occasion _Doonyontat,_ the Wyandot chief,
delivered the following speech:--

"Brother Maghingive Keeshuch, [FN] listen to me!"

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Indian name conferred upon Colonel Brodhead.


Brother: It grieves me to see you with the tears in your eyes. I know it
is the fault of the English.

"Brother: I wipe away all those tears, and smooth down your hair, which
the English, and the folly of my young men, have ruffled.

"Now, my Brother, I have wiped away all the stains from your clothes, and
smoothed them where my young men had ruffled them, so that you may now
put on your hat, and sit with that ease and composure which you would
desire.

                                          "_Four strings of white wampum._

"Brother: Listen to the Huron chiefs.

"Brother: I see you all bloody by the English and my young men. I now
wipe away all those stains, and make you clean.

"Brother: I see your heart twisted, and neck and throat turned to the one
side, with the grief and vexation which my young men have caused; all
which disagreeable sensations I now remove, and restore you to your former
tranquility, so that now you may breathe with ease, and enjoy the benefit
of your food and nourishment.

"Brother: Your ears appear to be stopped, so that you cannot listen to
your Brothers when they talk of friendship. That deafness I now remove,
and all stoppage from your ears, that you may listen to the friendly
speeches of your Brothers, and that they may sink deep into your heart.

                                        "_Seven strings of white wampum._

"Brother: Listen to me. When I look around me, I see the bones of our
nephews lie scattered and unburied.

"Brother: I gather up the bones of all our young men on both sides, who
have fallen in this dispute, without any distinction of party.

"Brother: I have now gathered up the bones of our relations on both sides,
and will bury them in a large deep grave, and smooth it over so that
there shall not be the least sign of bones, or any thing to raise any
grief or anger in any of our minds hereafter.

"Brother: I have now buried the bones of all our relations very deep. You
very well know that there are some of your flesh and blood in our hands
prisoners: I assure you that you shall see them all safe and well.

                                       "_Eight strings of white wampum._

"Brother: I now look up to where our Maker is, and think there is some
darkness still over our heads, so that God can hardly see us, on account
of the evil doings of the King over the great waters. All these thick
clouds, which have arisen on account of that bad King, I now entirely
remove, that God may look and see us in our treaty of friendship, and be
a witness to the truth and sincerity of our intentions.

                                       "_Four strings of white wampum._

"Brother: As God puts all our hearts right, I now give thanks to God
Almighty, to the chief men of the Americans, to my old father the King of
France, and to you, Brother, that we can now talk together on friendly
terms, and speak our sentiments without interruption.

                               "_Four strings of black and white wampum._

"Brother: You knew me before you saw me, and that I had not drawn away my
hand from yours, as I sent you word last year by Captain White Eyes.

"Brother: I look up to Heaven, and call God Almighty to witness to the
truth of what I say, and that it really comes from my heart.

"Brother: I now tell you that I have forever thrown off my father the
English, and will never give him any assistance; and there are some amongst
all the nations that think the same things that I do, and I wish that they
would all think so.

"Brother: I cannot answer for all the nations, as I don't know all their
thoughts, and will speak only what I am sure of.

"Brother: Listen to me. I love all the nations, and hate none, and when I
return home they shall all hear what you say  and what is done between us.

"Brother: I have just now told you that I loved all the nations, and I see
you raising up the hatchet against my younger Brother, the Shawanese. [FN]
I beg of you to stop a little while, as he has never yet heard me; and
when he has heard me, if he does not choose to think as we do, I will tell
you of it immediately."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Colonel Clarke, the captor of Hamilton, was at that time preparing
 to invade the principal Shawanese towns--a purpose which he executed
 some time afterward.--_Author._


"Brother: I intend to speak roughly to my younger brother, and tell him
not to listen to the English, but throw them off, and listen to me, and
then he may live as I do.

"Brother: I thank you for leaving the fortress at Tuscarawas, and am
convinced by that that you have taken pity on us, and want to make us your
friends.

"Brother: I now take a firmer hold of your hand than before, and beg that
you will take pity upon the other nations who are my friends; and if any
of them should incline to take hold of your hand, I request that you
would comply, and receive them into friendship.

                                       "_A black belt of eleven rows._

"Brother: Listen. I tell you to be cautious, as I think you intend to
strike the man near to where I sit, not to go the nighest way to where he
is, lest you frighten the owners of the lands who are living through the
country between this and that place." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Referring to the projected movement of Colonel Brodhead against
 Detroit--a purpose never executed.


"Brother: You now listen to me, and one favor I beg of you is, that when
you drive away your enemies, you will allow me to continue in possession
of my property, which, if you grant, will rejoice me.

"Brother: I would advise you, when you strike the man near where I sit,
to go by water, as it will be the easiest and best way.

"Brother: If you intend to strike, one way is to go up the Allegheny, and
by Presq' Isle; another way is to go down this river and up the Wabash.

"Brother: The reason why I mentioned the road up the river is, that there
will be no danger of your being discovered until you are close upon them,
but on the road down the river you will be spied.

"Brother: Now I have told you the way by Presq' Isle, and that it is the
boundary between us and your enemies; if you go by the Wabash, your
friends will not be surprised.

"Brother: You must not think that what I have said is only my own
thoughts, but the opinion of all the Huron chiefs, and I speak in behalf
of them all. If you grant what favors I have asked of you, all our friends
and relations will be thankful and glad as far as they can hear all round.

"Brother: The reason why I have pointed out these two roads is, that when
we hear you are in one of them, we will know your intentions without
farther notice; and the Huron chiefs desired me particularly to mention
it, that they may meet you in your walk, and tell you what they have done,
who are your enemies, and who are your friends, and I, in their name,
request a pair of colors to show that we have joined in friendship.

                                   "_Fourteen strings of black wampum._

"Brother: The chiefs desired me to tell you that they sent Montour before
to tell you their intention, and they leave him to go with you, that when
you meet your Brothers, you may consult together, and understand one
another by his means."

On the 19th Colonel Brodhead addressed the Huron chief in reply, after
the Indian form. He told him, distinctly, that fair words were no longer
to be taken, unless their sincerity was attested by their deeds. In
regard to the roads to Detroit, he said he should select whichever he
pleased. As for the Shawanese, the Colonel told the chief that he had
sent them a fair speech, which they had thrown into the fire, and he
should not now recall Colonel Clarke. And in regard to the people of the
chief himself, the Colonel demanded, as the basis of peace, that they
should stipulate to restore all American prisoners in their hands; to
kill, scalp, and take, as many of the English and their allies as they
had killed and taken of the Americans; and on every occasion to join the
Americans against their enemies. The Wyandots assented to the terms, and
hostages were required for the faithful performance of their agreement.

The Delawares were at that time at peace with the United States, and a
small body of their warriors had accompanied Colonel Brodhead on the
expedition from which he had just returned. The business having been
closed with the Huron chiefs the Delawares interposed in behalf of the
Maquichee clan of the Shawanese. These Indians were now apparently very
humble; but, apprehensive that they might not perhaps manage their own
case very well, the Delawares had kept them back from the council, and
undertaken their cause themselves. _Kelleleman,_ a Delaware chief,
informed Colonel Brodhead that on arriving there, their grand-children
[FN] had addressed them thus:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] In Indian parlance the Delawares were styled the "Grandfathers" of
 the Shawanese; and hence the use, in these proceedings, of the terms
 reciprocally of "Grand-children" and "Grandfathers."


"Grandfathers: We are humble, and are now come unto you. Now I am come to
you, I take my hands and wipe your eyes, that you may clearly see the
light, and that these are your grand-children who now appear before you,
and likewise remove every obstruction from your eyes, that you may hear
and understand me. I also compose your heart, that you may be disposed to
pity your poor grand-children, as your ancient chiefs used to pity their
grand-children, the Maquichees, when they were poor or humble before them.
Now, my grandfathers, I tell you to pity your grand-children, the
Maquichees, and whatever you direct them to do, will be done. Now you have
heard your grand-children speak, and you will judge what to say to your
brother, Maghingive Keeshuch:

                                        "_Two strings of white wampum._

"Now, grandfathers, here is a little tobacco to fill your pipes, that you
may consider and pity your grand-children the Maquichees."

Kelleleman farther reported to Colonel Brodhead, that after the foregoing
speech, _Keeshmattsee,_ a Maquichee chief, rose and said to the
Delawares:--

"Grandfathers: I now take my chief and counselor, Nimwha, and set him down
on the ground before you, that he may assist you in considering the
distressed situation of your grand-children."

Another Delaware chief, named _Killbush,_ then addressed Colonel Brodhead
thus:--

"Brother Maghingive Keeshuch: Listen to me. You always told me that when
any nations came to treat of peace, I should first speak to them, and tell
you my sentiments of them; which I am now come to do in regard to my
grand-children, the Maquichees.

"I told them I was much obliged to them for clearing my eyes, my ears,
and composing my heart, and that it was time, for many bad things enter
into my ears."

Then turning to the Maquichees, Killbush continued his speech:--

"I remember you told me to pity you, and it is true I have pitied you,
my grand-children, the Shawanese.

"Now I tell you, my grand-children, it is very well you put me in mind of
my wise ancestors, who, out of pity, took you up and placed you before
them.

"My grand-children: The Maquichees, it is true, you have done no harm,
but I see some stains of blood upon you, which the mischief and folly of
some of your young men have occasioned. Now, my grand-children, I will
advise you how to be cleansed from your bloody stains; deliver to our
brother Maghingive Keeshuch all his flesh and blood which are prisoners
in your hands, and the horses you have stolen from the Americans. My
grand-children, when you have done this, you will then be clean; your
flesh and heart will be the same as mine, and I can again take you up and
set you down before me, as our wise chiefs formerly did.

"Now, my grand-children, I tell you that for several years past you have
been fraught with lies, which I am tired of hearing, and in future you
must tell me nothing but the truth.

"Now listen to me, my grand-children; you see how dreadful the day looks,
and how thick the clouds appear; don't imagine this day to be like that
on which you first came to your grandfathers. I tell you that I have
finished the chain of friendship. The thirteen United States and I are
one. I have already assisted my brother in taking the flesh of the
English and the Mingoes. You told me just now, that whatever I told you,
you would do; now I offer you the flesh of the English and Mingoes to
eat, and that is the only method I know of by which your lives may be
preserved, and you allowed to live in peace," (delivering them a
string of wampum and two scalps.) They received the string and scalps,
and said they were glad to know this; and, as they had before said,
whatever their grandfathers told them, they would do, so they told them
again on receiving the scalps. They said, "now, grandfathers, I am very
glad to hear what you have said; I have got in my hand what you say will
save my life," and immediately sang his war-song. The speaker, having
danced, delivered the scalps to the king, who likewise rose and sang the
war-song, and said; "Now, my grandfathers, although you have often sent
good speeches to the other tribes of the Shawanese nation, yet they would
not receive them, but still took up the tomahawk to strike your brothers.
I will now go and deliver them what I now have in my hands, which I
suppose they will receive."

These proceedings were closed by the following speech from one of the
Delawares to Colonel Brodhead:--

"Brother: We now let you know the result of our council respecting the
Maquichees.

"Brother: Listen. This is the way I have considered the matter, and if I
am mistaken I am very sorry for it Brother, let us both consider of it. I
thought when I looked in his eyes that he was sincere.

"Brother: I think the Maquichees are honest In former times they were the
best of the Shawanese nation. I think we may take them by the hand; and
you know you told me that any nation I took by the hand, you would also
receive."

The conference appears to have been satisfactory to Colonel Brodhead. But
if the Maquichee clan of the Shawanese preserved their fidelity, the main
body of the nation became none the less unfriendly by their means. And
although Colonel Brodhead had admonished them that he would not
countermand the orders to Colonel Clarke to strike them, it so happened
that the first and severest blow was struck by the Shawanese themselves.
It was but a short time after the closing of the council at Fort Pitt,
that a detachment of seventy men from the Kentucky district of Virginia,
under the command of Major Rodgers, was surprised while ascending the
Ohio, and nearly exterminated. The Kentuckians were drawn ashore by a
stratagem. At first a few Indians only appeared, standing upon a sand-bar
near the mouth of the Licking river, while a canoe, with three other
Indians, was paddling toward them as though to receive them on board.
Rodgers immediately put in to the Kentucky shore, and having made fast
his boats, went in pursuit. Only five or six Indians had been seen, and
Rodgers, presuming that the whole party would not probably exceed fifteen
or twenty at farthest, felt perfectly sure of an easy victory--having
seventy men, well armed and provided. Proceeding cautiously toward the
point where he supposed he should surround the enemy, and having adjusted
his movements with that design, at the very moment when he was preparing
to rush forward and secure them, he found himself with his whole force in
the midst of an ambuscade! The Indians rose in a cloud of hundreds on all
sides of him, and pouring in a close and deadly fire upon the Americans,
rushed upon the survivors tomahawk in hand. Major Rodgers, and forty-five
of his men were killed almost instantly. The residue ran for the boats,
but the guard of only five men who had been left in charge, had sought
security by putting off in one of them, while the Indians had already
anticipated the fugitives by taking possession of the others. The
possibility of retreat being thus cut off, the brave fellows now turned
furiously upon the enemy; and as night was approaching, after a sharp
fight for some time, a small number, aided by the darkness, succeeded in
effecting their escape to Harrodsburgh.

Among the wounded in this sharp and bloody encounter, who escaped both
death and captivity, were Captain Robert Benham, and another man, whose
cases, together, form a novel and romantic adventure. Benham was shot
through both hips, and the bones being shattered, he instantly fell.
Still, aided by the darkness, he succeeded in crawling among the thick
branches of a fallen tree, where he lay without molestation through the
night and during the following day, while the Indians, who had returned
for that purpose, were stripping the slain. He continued to lie close in
the place of his retreat until the second day, when, becoming hungry, and
observing a raccoon descending a tree, he managed to shoot it--hoping to
be able to strike a fire, and cook the animal. The crack of the rifle was
followed by a human cry, which at first startled the Captain; but the cry
being repeated, several times, the voice of a Kentuckian was at length
recognized; the call was returned; and the parties were soon together.
The man proved to be one of his comrades, who had lost both of his arms
in the battle. Never before did misery find more welcome company. One of
the parties could use his feet, and the other his hands. Benham, by
tearing up his own and his companion's shirts, dressed the wounds of both.
He could load his rifle and fire with readiness, and was thus enabled to
kill such game as approached, while his companion could roll the game
along upon the ground with his feet, and in the same manner collect wood
enough together to cook their meals. When thirsty, Benham could place his
hat in the teeth of his companion, who went to the Licking, and wading in
until he could stoop down and fill it, returned with a hat-full of water.
When the stock of squirrels, and other small game in their immediate
neighborhood, was exhausted, the man on his legs would roam away, and
drive up a flock of wild turkeys, then abundant in those parts, until
they came within the range of Benham's rifle. Thus they lived, helps meet
for each other, during the period of six weeks, when they discovered a
boat upon the Ohio, which took them off. Both recovered thoroughly from
their wounds. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Captain Benham afterward served with bravery in the Indian wars of
 1789-94, sharing the disaster of St. Clair and the victory of Wayne. At
 the close of the Revolution, he purchased the land whereon he was
 wounded at the time of Rodgers's defeat, built a house there, and there
 lived and died.


No other events of moment occurred in the region professedly embraced in
the present history, during the residue of the year 1779; and the progress
of the war in other parts of the Union had been marked with but few
signal actions. The active operations of this year between the British
forces proper and the Americans, had commenced in the south, to the
command of which section of the country General Lincoln had been assigned
at the close of 1778. The first occurrence was the surprise and defeat,
on the 3d of March, of General Ash, commanding a body of fifteen hundred
North Carolina militia, stationed at the confluence of Briar Creek, on the
Savannah river, by the British General Provost. There were about sixty
regular troops under General Ash, who fought well. But the militia, as
usual, threw away their arms and fled, with the exception of about three
hundred, who were either killed or taken. In May, General Provost
invested Charleston, but raised the siege on the approach of Lincoln upon
his rear. He at first retired to the island, but soon withdrew to
Savannah, where he was in turn besieged by Lincoln in October, on the
land side, and by the French fleet under the Count D'Estaing by water.
Repulsed in an injudicious assault, after much brave fighting by both
Americans and French, the fleet of the latter left the continent, and the
siege was raised--the militia flying to their homes, and General Lincoln
retiring to Charleston. In this assault, among other proud spirits, fell
the brave Polish Count Pulaski--who had signalized himself in his own
country by carrying off King Stanislaus from his capital, assisted by only
a party of associate Catholic conspirators. The only relief to this
disastrous affair, was the capture, by Colonel John White of Georgia, and
Captain Elholm, with four other men, of a British detachment of one
hundred men, forty sailors, and five armed vessels, at Ogechee, by a very
ingenious and efficacious stratagem. Kindling a large number of fires,
after the manner of an encampment, they summoned the British commander,
Captain French, to surrender, or they would cut his flotilla to pieces.
Supposing, by the lines of fires, that there was a greatly superior force
against them, the enemy surrendered at discretion.

In the middle and northern sections of the Union, the contest during the
Summer had assumed the character rather of a predatory warfare than of
regular campaigns. Sir George Collier and General Matthews made a
plundering expedition on the coast of Virginia, and after sacking Norfolk
and parts adjacent, returned to New-York with their booty. In July a
combined expedition by land and water was directed, under Sir George and
Governor Tryon, against Connecticut. New-Haven was taken and sacked.
Several houses in East Haven were burnt. Fairfield, Green's Farms, and
Norwalk, were likewise taken, plundered, and laid in ashes. The Americans,
consisting chiefly of militia, under General Lovell, made an attempt upon
a British post at Penobscot, which was commenced gallantly. But the
arrival of Sir George Collier's fleet, with reinforcements, obliged the
General to abandon the enterprise. These untoward events, however, were
relieved by Major Lee's surprise and capture of the British fort at
Paulus Hook, and by the still more brilliant affair of the capture of
Stony Point by General Wayne.



                           CHAPTER II.


 Progress of the war in the South--Fall of Charleston--Brilliant
  achievements--Rigorous winter of 1780--Destruction of the Oneida Castle
  and villages--Third marriage of Brant--Irruption into
  Harpersfield--Captivity of Captain Harper, Freegift Patchin, and
  others--Conduct of Brant--Consultation whether to put the prisoners to
  death---Sagacity and firmness of Harper--Marched off for
  Niagara--Remarkable adventures by the way--Murder of an old man--Cure
  of the fever and ague--A thrilling scene--Sufferings for food--Justice
  and impartiality of Brant--Approach to Niagara--The ordeal--Humane
  device of Brant to save his Prisoners from the trial--Arrival at
  Niagara--Farther irruptions of the Indians--Shawangunk--Saugerties--
  Captivity of Captain Snyder and his son--Arrival at
  Niagara--Examination--Guy Johnson, Butler and Brant--Prisoners sent to
  Montreal--The Mohawk Valley--Bravery of Solomon Woodruff--Irruption to
  Little Falls--Burning of Ellis's Mills--Incidents on the Ohio--Bold
  exploit of McConnel--Attack of Colonel Bird, with his Indians, upon the
  Licking Settlement--Colonel Clarke takes vengeance upon the Shawanese.

The succeeding year opened inauspiciously to the American arms. No sooner
had Sir Henry Clinton heard of the departure of Count D'Estaing from the
Southern coast with the French fleet, than he prepared for a formidable
descent upon South Carolina. Charleston was the first and most prominent
object of attack. The expedition destined upon this service left New-York
about the close of January, and in due season the troops effected their
landing about thirty miles from Charleston. The object of the enemy could
not be mistaken, and General Lincoln made every exertion for the defence
of the important post entrusted to his command, by increasing his forces
and strengthening his works. Before the middle of April the town was
invested by sea and land, and Lincoln was summoned to surrender--which
summons with modest firmness he declined to obey. Clinton having succeeded
in all his preliminary operations--Tarleton having cut up Colonel White's
cavalry on the Santee, and Fort Moultrie having surrendered to the Royal
Navy--the garrison, finding itself without reasonable hope of relief,
proposed terms of capitulation, which were rejected by the British
commander. Hostilities were meantime prosecuted with great energy, and
after a tremendous cannonade and bombardment, lasting from the 6th to the
11th of May, General Lincoln was forced into a capitulation. His garrison
consisted, all told, of about five thousand men--of whom no more than two
thousand were continental troops. The loss was heavy--including upward of
four hundred pieces of cannon.

Having accomplished this object, Sir Henry divided his forces into three
columns, dispatching them in as many directions, with a view of
overrunning the whole Southern states. Clinton, himself, returned to
New-York; and then commenced that remarkable course of partizan warfare
in the South, which called forth so much of high and chivalrous daring
in Marion, Sumpter, and their associates in arms, and which was attended
with so many brilliant exploits. There are no more vivid and thrilling
pages in American history than the records of those partizan operations,
the incidents of which amounted to little in themselves, separately
considered; but in the general results they were of infinite importance
to the cause of the republic--since the invaders were, in fact, weakened
by every victory, while defeat did not discourage the Americans, who were
gaining both moral and physical strength by the protraction of the
struggle. But these distant glances are incidental--the North being the
main field of research.

The devastation of their country by General Sullivan--the destruction of
their houses, as well as their means of subsistence--had driven the
Indians back upon Niagara for the winter of 1779-80--the usual
winter-quarters of Brant, Guy Johnson, and the Butlers--father and son.
As had been anticipated by the American Commander-in-chief, the Indians
suffered greatly by destitution and consequent sickness during that
winter, which was one of unexampled rigor in North America. [FN-1] But
neither the inclemency of the weather, nor the wants of the Indians at
Niagara, prevented them from fulfilling the threat of Sir Frederick
Haldimand against the Oneidas. Their villages and castle were invaded by
the hostile Indians, aided by a detachment of British troops, or more
probably by a corps of Butler's rangers, and entirely destroyed--their
castle, their church, and their dwellings being alike laid in ashes;
while the Oneidas themselves were driven down upon the white settlements
for protection and support. They were subsequently planted in the
neighborhood of Schenectady, where they were supported by the government
of the United States until the close of the war. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The harbor of New-York was not merely choked with ice for a time
 during the Winter of 1779-80, but so thoroughly frozen that cannon were
 wheeled over to the city on the ice from Staten Island.

 [FN-2] There is difficulty in ascertaining the exact time of Brant's
 invasion of the Oneida towns. Although an important event in the border
 ware, the author has not been able to obtain dates or particulars. The
 fact is well known; and President Kirkland, (son of the Oneida
 Missionary,) has spoken of the incident several times in his
 communications to the Massachusetts Historical Society--published in
 their valuable collections. In one of those communications, Dr. Kirkland
 remarks that this dispersion of the Oneidas, and the devastation of
 their country, were greatly detrimental to their nation. When the war
 came on, they had attained to some degree of regularity, industry, and
 prosperity. But, driven from their homes, reduced to want, dependence,
 and abject poverty, their habits became more intemperate and idle than
 ever, and they never recovered from their depression.


Aside from the destruction of the Oneida country, it is believed that no
important object was undertaken by Thayendanegea until the opening of
Spring. It may be noted, however, incidentally, as an illustration of the
character of the Mohawk chief, that during this winter he was married to
his third wife, at the fort of Niagara, under circumstances somewhat
peculiar. Among the prisoners taken to that post from Cherry Valley, was
a Miss Moore, who, being detained in captivity with Mrs. Campbell and
others, was courted and married by an officer of the garrison.
Thayendanegea was present at the wedding; and although he had for some
time previous been living with his wife, bound only by the ties of an
Indian marriage, he nevertheless embraced the opportunity of having the
English marriage ceremony performed, which was accordingly done by
Colonel Butler, acting as one of the King's commission of the peace for
Tryon County.

But the chief was seldom inactive. The month of April found him on the
war-path, at the head of a small party of Indians and Tories, whom he
led against the settlement of Harpersfield, which was taken by surprise
and destroyed. In consequence of their exposed situation, most of the
inhabitants had left the settlement, so that there were but few persons
killed, and only nineteen taken prisoners. Proceeding from Harpersfield,
it was Brant's design to make an attack upon the upper fort of Schoharie,
should he deem it prudent to encounter the risk, after duly
reconnoitering the situation of the fort and ascertaining its means of
defence. The execution of this part of his project was prevented by an
unexpected occurrence. Harpersfield was probably destroyed on the 5th or
6th of April. It happened that nearly at the same time, Colonel Vrooman,
who was yet in command of Old Schoharie, had sent out a scout of fourteen
militia-minute-men, with directions to pass over to the head waters of
the Charlotte river, and keep an eye upon the movements of certain
suspected persons living in the valley of that stream. It being the
proper season for making maple sugar, the minute-men were likewise
directed to remain in the woods and manufacture a quantity of that
article, of which the garrison were greatly in want. On the 2d of April,
this party, the commander of which was Captain Alexander Harper,
commenced their labors in the "sugar-bush," at the distance of about
thirty miles from Schoharie. They were occupied in the discharge of this
part of their duty, very cheerfully and with good success, for several
days, entirely unapprehensive of danger; more especially as a new fall
of snow, to the depth of three feet, would prevent, they supposed, the
moving of any considerable body of the enemy, while in fact they were not
aware of the existence of an armed foe short of Niagara. But their
operations were most unexpectedly interrupted. It seems that Brant, in
wending his way from Harpersfield toward Schoharie, fell suddenly upon
Harper and his party on the 7th of April, at about two o'clock in the
afternoon, and immediately surrounded them--his force consisting of
forty-three Indian warriors and seven Tories. So silent and cautious had
been the approach of the enemy, that the first admonition Harper received
of their presence, was the death of three of his little band, [FN] who
were struck down while engaged in their work. The leader was instantly
discovered in the person of the Mohawk chief, who rushed up to Captain
Harper, tomahawk in hand, and observed--"Harper, I am sorry to find you
here!" "Why are you sorry, Captain Brant?" replied the other. "Because,"
rejoined the chief, "I must kill you, although we were school-mates in
our youth,"--at the same time raising his hatchet, and suiting the action
to the word. Suddenly his arm fell, and with a piercing scrutiny, looking
Harper full in the face, he inquired--"Are there any regular troops at
the forts in Schoharie." Harper caught the idea in an instant. To answer
truly, and admit that there were none, as was the fact, would but hasten
Brant and his warriors forward to fall upon the settlements at once, and
their destruction would have been swift and sure. He therefore informed
him that a reinforcement of three hundred Continental troops had arrived
to garrison the forts only two or three days before. This information
appeared very much to disconcert the chieftain. He prevented the farther
shedding of blood, and held a consultation with his subordinate chiefs.
Night coming on, Harper and his ten surviving companions were shut up in
a pen of logs, and guarded by the Tories, under the charge of _their_
leader, a cruel fellow named Becraft, and of bloody notoriety in that war.
Controversy ran high among the Indians during the night--the question
being, whether the prisoners should be put to death or carried to
Niagara. They were bound hand and foot, but were so near the Indian
council as to hear much of what was said, and Harper knew enough of the
Indian tongue to comprehend the general import of their debates. The
Indians were for putting them to death; and Becraft frequently tantalized
the prisoners, by telling them, with abusive tones and epithets, that
"they would be in hell before morning." Brant's authority, however, was
exerted effectually to prevent the massacre.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The late General Freegift Patchin, of Schoharie, was one of
 Harper's party, as also were his brother, Isaac Patchin, Ezra Thorp,
 Lt. Henry Thorp, and Major Henry. It is from Priest's Narrative of the
 captivity of General Patchin, that the author obtained the facts of this
 transaction.


On the following morning Harper was brought before the Indians for
examination. The Chief commenced by saying, that they were suspicious he
had not told them the truth. Harper, however, had great coolness and
presence of mind; and although Brant was eying him like a basilisk, he
repeated his former statements without the improper movement of a muscle,
or betraying the least distrustful sign or symptom. Being satisfied,
therefore, of the truth of his story, Brant determined to retrace his
steps to Niagara. This he did with great reluctance--admitting to Captain
Harper that the real object of his expedition was to fall upon Schoharie,
which place, as they had been informed, was almost entirely undefended.
He had promised to lead his warriors to spoils and victory, and they were
angry at being thus cut short of their expectations. Under these
circumstances of chagrin and disappointment, it had only been with great
difficulty that he could restrain his followers from putting them to
death. Brant then said to Captain Harper, that he and his companions
should be spared, on condition of accompanying him as prisoners of war to
Niagara.

Their march was forthwith commenced, and was full of pain, peril, and
adventure. The prisoners were heavily laden with the booty taken from
Harpersfield, and well guarded. Their direction was first down the
Delaware, where they stopped at a mill to obtain provisions. The miller
was a Tory, and both himself and daughters counseled Brant to put his
prisoners to death. On the following day they met another loyalist, who
was well acquainted with Brant, and with Captain Harper and his party.
He assured the former that Harper had deceived him, and that there were
no troops at Schoharie. The Captain was, therefore, brought to another
scrutiny; but he succeeded so well in maintaining the appearance of
sincerity and truth, as again to avert the upraised and glittering
tomahawk. On the same day an aged man, named Brown, was accidentally
fallen in with and taken prisoner, with two youthful grandsons; the day
following, being unable to travel with sufficient speed, and sinking
under the weight of the burden imposed upon him, the old man was put out
of the way with the hatchet. The victim was dragging behind, and when he
saw preparations making for his doom, he took an affectionate farewell
of his little grandsons, and the Indians moved on, leaving one of their
number, with his face painted black--the mark of an executioner--behind
with him. In a few moments afterward, the Indian came up, with the old
man's scalp dangling from between the ramrod and muzzle of his gun.

Having descended the Delaware a sufficient distance, they crossed over to
Oghkwaga, where they constructed floats, and sailed down the Susquehanna
to the confluence of the Chemung, at which place their land-traveling
again commenced. Being heavily encumbered with luggage, and withal
tightly pinioned, the prisoners must have sunk by the way, at the rate
the Indians traveled, and would probably have been tomahawked but for the
indisposition of Brant, who, providentially for the prisoners, was
attacked with fever and ague--so that every alternate day he was unable
to travel. These interruptions gave them time to rest and recruit. Brant
wrought his own cure by a truly Indian remedy. Watching upon the southern
side of a hill, where serpents usually crawl forth in the Spring to bask
in the sunbeams, he caught a rattlesnake, which was immediately made into
soup, of which he ate. A speedy cure was the consequence.

But a new trial awaited the prisoners soon after they reached the
Chemung. During his march from Niagara on this expedition, Brant had
detached eleven of his warriors to fall once more upon the Minisink
settlement for prisoners. This detachment, as it subsequently appeared,
had succeeded in taking captive five athletic men, whom they secured and
brought with them as far as Tioga Point. The Indians sleep very soundly,
and the five prisoners had resolved at the first opportunity to make their
escape. While encamped at this place during the night, one of the
Minisink men succeeded in extricating his hands from the binding cords,
and with the utmost caution unloosed his four companions. The Indians
were locked in the arms of deep sleep around them. Silently, without
causing a leaf to rustle, they each snatched a tomahawk from the girdles
of their unconscious enemies, and in a moment nine of them were quivering
in the agonies of death. The two others were awakened, and springing upon
their feet, attempted to escape. One of them was struck with a hatchet
between the shoulders, but the other fled. The prisoners immediately made
good their own retreat, and the only Indian who escaped unhurt, returned
to take care of his wounded companion. As Brant and his warriors
approached this point of their journey, some of his Indians having raised
a whoop, it was instantly returned by a single voice with the _death
yell!_ Startled at this unexpected signal, Brant's warriors rushed
forward to ascertain the cause. But they were not long in doubt. The lone
warrior met them, and soon related to his brethren the melancholy fate
of his companions. The effect upon the warriors, who gathered in a group
to hear the recital, was inexpressibly fearful. Rage, and a desire of
revenge, seemed to kindle every bosom, and light every eye as with
burning coals. They gathered round the prisoners in a circle, and began
to make unequivocal preparations for hacking them to pieces. Harper and
his men of course gave themselves up for lost, not doubting that their
doom was fixed and irreversible. But at this moment deliverance came from
an unexpected quarter. While their knives were unsheathing, and their
hatchets glittering, as they were flourished in the sunbeams, the only
survivor of the murdered party rushed into the circle and interposed in
their favor. With a wave of the hand as of a warrior entitled to be
heard--for he was himself a chief--silence was restored, and the prisoners
were surprised by the utterance of an earnest appeal in their behalf. It
has already been observed that Captain Harper knew enough of the Indian
language to understand its purport, though unfortunately not enough to
preserve its eloquence. In substance, however, the Chief appealed to his
brother warriors in favor of the prisoners, upon the ground that it was
not they who had murdered their brothers; and to take the lives of the
innocent would not be right in the eyes of the Great Spirit. His appeal
was effective. The passions of the incensed warriors were hushed, their
eyes no longer shot forth the burning glances of revenge, and their
gesticulations ceased to menace immediate and bloody vengeance.

True, it so happened that the Chief who had thus thrown himself
spontaneously between them and death, knew all the prisoners--he having
resided in the Schoharie canton of the Mohawks before the war. He
doubtless felt a deeper interest in their behalf on that account. Still,
it was a noble action, worthy of the proudest era of chivalry, and in the
palmy days of Greece and Rome, would have ensured him almost "an
apotheosis and rites divine." The interposition of Pocahontas, in favor
or Captain Smith, before the rude court of Powhattan, was perhaps more
romantic; but when the motive which prompted the generous action of the
princess is considered, the transaction now under review exhibits the
most of genuine benevolence. Pocahontas was moved by the tender
passion--the Mohawk sachem by the feelings of magnanimity, and the
eternal principles of justice. It is matter of regret that the name of
this high-souled warrior is lost, as, alas! have been too many that
might have served to relieve the dark and vengeful portraitures of Indian
character, which it has so well pleased the white man to draw! The
prisoners themselves were so impressed with the manner of their signal
deliverance, that they justly attributed it to a direct interposition of
the providence of God.

The march was now resumed toward Niagara, along the route traveled by
Sullivan's expedition the preceding year. Their sufferings were great
for want of provisions--neither warriors nor prisoners having any thing
more than a handful of corn each for dinner. A luxury, however, awaited
them, in the remains of a horse which had been left by Sullivan's
expedition to perish from the severity of the winter. The wolves had
eaten all the flesh from the poor animal's bones, excepting upon the
under side. When the carcass was turned over, a quantity of the flesh yet
remained, which was equally distributed among the whole party, and
devoured. On reaching the Genessee river, they met a party of Indians
preparing to plant corn. These laborers had a fine horse, which Brant
directed to be instantly killed, dressed, and divided among his famishing
company. They had neither bread nor salt; but Brant instructed the
prisoners to use the white ashes of the wood they were burning as a
substitute for the latter ingredient, and it was found to answer an
excellent purpose. The meal was partaken of, and relished as the rarest
delicacy they had ever eaten. In regard to provisions, it must be
mentioned to the credit of Captain Brant, that he was careful to enforce
an equal distribution of all they had among his own warriors and the
prisoners. All fared exactly alike.

On his arrival at the Genessee river, and in anticipation of his own
departure with his prisoners for Niagara, Brant sent forward a messenger
to that post, bearing information of his approach, with the measure of
his success and the number of his prisoners. But it was not merely for
the purpose of conveying this intelligence that he dispatched his _avant
courier._ He had another object in view, as will appear in the sequel, the
conception and execution of which add a link to the chain of testimony
establishing the humanity and benevolence of his disposition. Four days
more of travel brought the party to within a few miles of the fort; and
the Tories now took special delight in impressing upon the prisoners the
perils and the sufferings they must endure, in the fearful ordeal they
would have to pass, on approaching the two Indian encampments in front
of the fort. This ordeal was nothing less than running the gauntlet, as
it is called in Indian warfare--a doom supposed to be inevitable to every
prisoner; and one which, by direct means, even Thayendanegea himself had
not sufficient power to prevent.

The running of the gauntlet, or rather compelling their prisoners to run
it, on the return of a war-party to their camp or village, is a general
custom among the American aboriginals--a preliminary that must precede
their ultimate fate, either of death or mercy. It is not always severe,
however, nor even generally so, unless in respect to prisoners who have
excited the particular animosity of the Indians; and it is often rather
a scene of amusement than punishment. Much depends on the courage and
presence of mind of the prisoner undergoing the ordeal. On entering the
village or camp, he is shown a painted post at the distance of some
thirty or forty yards, and directed to run to, and catch hold of it as
quickly as possible. His path to the post lies between two parallel lines
of people--men, women, and children,--armed with hatchets, knives, sticks,
and other offensive weapons; and as he passes along, each is at liberty
to strike him as severely and as frequently as he can. Should he be so
unfortunate as to stumble, or fall in the way, he may stand a chance to
lose his life--especially if any one in the ranks happens to have a
personal wrong to avenge. But the moment he reaches the goal he is safe,
until final judgment has been pronounced upon his case. When a prisoner
displays great firmness and courage, starting upon the race with force
and agility, he will probably escape without much injury; and sometimes,
when his bearing excites the admiration of the savages, entirely unharmed.
But woe to the coward whose cheeks blanch, and whose nerves are untrue!
The slightest manifestation of fear will deprive him of mercy, and
probably of his life. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Heckewelder. "In the month of April, 1782, when I was myself a
 prisoner, at Lower Sandusky, waiting for an opportunity to proceed to
 Detroit, I witnessed a scene of this description which fully exemplified
 what I have above stated. Three American prisoners were one day brought
 in by fourteen warriors from the garrison of Fort McIntosh. As soon as
 they had crossed the Sandusky river, to which the village lay adjacent,
 they were told by the Captain of the party to run as hard as they could
 to a painted post which was shown to them. The youngest of them, without
 a moment's hesitation, immediately started for it, and reached it
 fortunately without receiving a single blow; the second hesitated for a
 moment, but recollecting himself, he also ran as fast as he could, and
 likewise reached the post unhurt. But the third, frightened at seeing so
 many men, women, and children, with weapons in their hands ready to
 strike him, kept begging the Captain to spare his life, saying he was a
 mason, and would build him a large stone house, or do any work for him
 that he should please. 'Run for your life,' cried the Chief to him, 'and
 don't talk now of building houses!' But the poor fellow still insisted,
 begging and praying to the Captain; who, at last, finding his
 exhortations vain, and fearing the consequences, turned his back upon
 him, and would not hear him any longer. Our mason now began to run, but
 received many a hard blow, one of which nearly brought him to the ground,
 which, if he had fallen, would at once have decided his fate. He,
 however, reached the goal, not without being badly bruised, and he was,
 besides, bitterly reproached and scoffed at all round as a vile coward;
 while the others were hailed as brave men, and received tokens of
 universal approbation"--_Idem._


Such was the scene which Harper and his fellow-prisoners now had in near
prospect. They of course well knew the usages of Indian warfare, and must
expect to submit. Nor was the chance of escape from injury very cheering,
enfeebled and worn down as they were by their journey and its privations.
Miserable comforters, therefore, were their Tory guards, who were
tantalising them in anticipation, by describing this approaching
preliminary cruelty. But on emerging from the woods, and approaching the
first Indian encampment, what was the surprise of the prisoners, and the
chagrin of their conductors, at finding the Indian warriors absent from
the encampment, and their place supplied by a regiment of British
soldiers! There were only a few Indian boys and some old women in the
camp; and these offered no violence to the prisoners, excepting one of
the squaws, who struck young Patchin over the head with an instrument
which caused the blood to flow freely. But the second encampment, lying
nearest the fort, and usually occupied by the fiercest and most savage of
the Indian warriors, was yet to be passed. On arriving at this, also, the
Indians were gone, and another regiment of troops were on parade, formed
in two parallel lines, to protect the prisoners. Thus the Mohawk chief
led his prisoners directly through the dreaded encampments, and brought
them safely into the fort. Patchin, however, received another severe blow
in this camp, and a young Indian menaced him with his tomahawk. But as he
raised his arm, a soldier snatched the weapon from his hand, and threw it
into the river.

The solution of this unexpected deliverance from the gauntlet-race was
this:--Miss Jane Moore, the Cherry Valley prisoner whose marriage to an
officer of the Niagara garrison has already been mentioned, was the niece
of Captain Harper--a fact well known to Brant. Harper, however, knew
nothing of her marriage, or in fact of her being at Niagara, and the
chief had kept the secret to himself. On his arrival at the Genessee
river, his anxious desire was to save his prisoners from the cruel
ordeal-trial, and he despatched the runner, as before mentioned, with a
message to Jane Moore's husband, whose name was Powell, advising him of
the fact, and proposing an artifice, by which to save his wife's uncle,
and his associates, from the accustomed ceremony. For this purpose, by
concert with Brant, Powell had managed to have the Indian warriors
enticed away to the Nine Mile Landing, for a frolic, the means of holding
which were supplied from the public stores. Meantime, for the protection
of the approaching prisoners from the violence of the straggling Indians
who remained behind, Powell caused the two encampments to be occupied in
the manner just described. It was a generous act on the part of Brant,
well conceived and handsomely carried through. The prisoners all had
cause of gratitude; and in the meeting with his niece in the garrison,
Captain Harper found a source of pleasure altogether unexpected.

The prisoners, nevertheless, were doomed to a long captivity. From
Niagara they were transferred to Montreal, thence to a prison in
Chamblee, and thence to Quebec. They were afterward sent down to Halifax,
and only restored to their country and homes after the peace of 1783.
Their sufferings, during the three intervening years, were exceedingly
severe, particularly in the prison at Chamblee, which is represented as
having been foul and loathsome to a degree. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] In the early part of this narrative of Harper's and Patchin's
 captivity, the name of Becraft, a Tory, occurs as one of their captors.
 His conduct toward the prisoners was particularly brutal throughout. On
 one occasion, when he and his Tory associates were enumerating their
 exploits, Becraft boasted of having assisted in massacring the family
 of a Mr. Vrooman, in Schoharie. The family, he said, were all soon
 despatched, except a boy of fourteen years old, who ran from the house.
 Becraft pursued and overtook him at a fence which he was attempting to
 climb. He there deliberately cut his throat, took his scalp, and hung
 his body across the fence! After the peace, he had the hardihood to
 return to Schoharie. But no sooner was it known, than a party of several
 indignant citizens, among whom were the prisoners who heard him make the
 confession here given, assembled and seized him. They stripped him naked,
 bound him to a tree, and ten of them, with hickory whips, gave him a
 tremendous castigation. They plied the whips with full vigor, and at
 intervals paused, and informed him for what particular misdeeds they
 were to inflict the next ten scorpion lashes, and so on. Having punished
 him thus, they dismissed him with a charge never to show himself in that
 county again. He never did.

 Another of these Tories, who were guarding Harper and his party during
 the same night of their journey, made a yet more horrible confession
 than that of Becraft. His name was Barney Cane. He boasted of having
 killed, upon Diamond Island, (Lake George,) one Major Hopkins. A party of
 pleasure, as he stated, had been visiting the island on a little sailing
 excursion, and having lingered longer upon that beautiful spot than they
 were conscious of, as night drew on, concluded to encamp for the
 night--it being already too late to return to the fort. "From the shore
 where we lay hid," said Cane, "it was easy to watch their motions; and
 perceiving their defenceless situation, as soon as it was dark we set
 off for the island, where we found them asleep by their fire, and
 discharged our guns among them. Several were killed, among whom was one
 woman, who had a sucking child, which was not hurt. This we put to the
 breast of its dead mother, and so we left it. But Major Hopkins was only
 wounded, his thigh bone being broken; he started from his sleep to a
 rising posture, when I struck him," said Barney Cane, "with the butt of
 my gun, on the side of his head; he fell over, but caught on one hand;
 I then knocked him the other way, when he caught with the other hand, a
 third blow, and I laid him dead. These were all scalped except the
 infant. In the morning, a party from the fort went and brought away the
 dead, together with one they found alive, although he was scalped, and
 the babe, which was hanging and sobbing at the bosom of its lifeless
 mother."--_Gen. Patchin's Narrative._


The Indians were likewise early busy in other directions. Some scattering
settlements, situated between Wyoming and the older establishments, were
fallen upon by them, and a number of persons killed, several houses
burned, and eight prisoners carried away.

But the Dutch border settlements along the base of the Kaatsbergs, or
Catskill mountains, from Albany down to Orange county, were again severe
sufferers during this period of the revolutionary war. Many of the
inhabitants were friendly to the royal cause, and numbers of them had
joined the royal standard. Some of these served as leaders and guides to
the Indians, in parties for prisoners, scalps, and plunder. This petty
mode of warfare was reduced to such a system, that those engaged in it
were supplied with small magazines of provisions, concealed in the earth
and among clefts of rocks at suitable distances from the western sides of
the Kaatsbergs, over to the Delaware, and thence down to the point whence
they were wont to cross with their prisoners and booty to the Susquehanna,
and thence again by the usual track, along the Chemung and Genessee rivers
to Niagara. The sacking of Minisink, and the incursions into Warwasing,
in the preceding year, have already been chronicled. But there were
several irruptions into the Dutch settlements farther north, along the
western borders of Ulster County, in the Spring of 1780, some of which
were marked by peculiar features of atrocity, or of wild adventure. Among
these was an attack, by a small party of Indians and Tories, upon the
families of Thomas and Johannes Jansen, wealthy freeholders in a beautiful
but secluded portion of the town of Shawangunk. One of these gentlemen
was a colonel of militia. Both had erected substantial stone-houses, and
were living in affluence. Their mansions were plundered by Indians and
Tories, who were known to them; several of their neighbors and their
Negroes were made prisoners; and among those who were slain, under
circumstances of painful interest, were a Miss Mack and her father,
residing somewhat remote in one of the mountain gorges; and also a young
lady on a visit at Shawangunk, from the city of New-York. From
considerations of acquaintanceship with the Jansens, however, the females
of their families were not injured, although their houses were plundered
and their barns laid in ashes. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] An elaborated narrative of this tragic visitation was published
 fifteen or twenty years ago by Charles G. De Witt, Esq.


The same savage party, or rather a party composed in part of the same
band of Tories and Indians who had committed the outrages just related,
fell upon a settlement in the town of Saugerties, in May of the same
year--making prisoners of Captain Jeremiah Snyder and Isaac Snyder his
son. After plundering his house of provisions and money, they marched the
Captain and his son over the mountains to the Delaware, and thence to
Niagara, by the same route traversed by Thayendanegea and his warriors
in conducting Harper and his fellow captives to that post. The adventures
of these prisoners during their rough and wearisome journey were but the
counterpart of those endured a month before by Captain Harper and his
company, excepting that their captors, being acquaintances, rendered
their sufferings less severe. Their supplies of food, though coarse, were
sufficient. They were pinioned at night, and the Indians lay upon the
cords by which they were fastened to saplings, or other fixtures of
security. They met several parties of Indians and Tories after crossing
the Susquehanna, and on one occasion fell in with a beautiful white woman,
married to an Indian. By all these they were treated kindly. While
traversing the valley of the Genessee, their principal Indian conductor,
named Runnip, pointed them to a couple of mounds by the way-side. "There
lie your brothers," said he to Captain Snyder, in Dutch. "These mounds
are the graves of a scout of thirty-six men, belonging to Sullivan's army,
which had been intercepted and killed by the Indians." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Indian referred to the company of Lieut. Boyd.


On their arrival at Niagara, the prisoners were less fortunate than Harper
and his companions had been, since they were compelled to run the gauntlet
between long lines of the savages--a ceremony which they looked upon with
great dread, particularly on account of their debilitated condition and
the soreness of their feet. But in this operation they were favored by
their captors, who interposed to prevent injury. In his narrative, Captain
Snyder described fort Niagara at that time as a structure of considerable
magnitude and great strength, enclosing an area of from six to eight
acres. Within the enclosure was a handsome dwelling-house, for the
residence of the Superintendent of the Indians. It was then occupied by
Colonel Guy Johnson, before whom the Captain and his son were brought for
examination. Colonel Butler, with his rangers, lay upon the opposite, or
northern side of the river. At a given signal, the Colonel, with two of
his subalterns, crossed over to attend the examination. Indeed, the
principal object for the capture of Captain Snyder seems to have been to
obtain information. Their examination was stern and searching, but the
examiners were unable to elicit enough of news to compensate for the
trouble of their taking.

Captain Snyder described Guy Johnson as being a short, pursy man, about
forty years of age, of stern countenance and haughty demeanor--dressed
in a British uniform, powdered locks, and a cocked hat. His voice was
harsh, and his tongue bore evidence of his Irish extraction. While in
the guard-house, the prisoners were visited by Brant, of whom Captain
Snyder says--"He was a likely fellow, of a fierce aspect--tall and rather
spare--well spoken, and apparently about thirty (forty) years of age. He
wore moccasins, elegantly trimmed with beads--leggings and breech-cloth
of superfine blue--short green coat, with two silver epaulets--and a
small, laced, round hat. By his side hung an elegant silver-mounted
cutlass, and his blanket of blue cloth, purposely dropped in the chair
on which he sat, to display his epaulets, was gorgeously decorated with
a border of red." He asked many questions, and among others, from whence
they came. On being answered AEsopus, he replied--"That is my fighting
ground." In the course of the conversation, Brant said to the younger
Snyder--"You are young, and you I pity; but for that old villain there,"
pointing at the father, "I have no pity." Captain Snyder was of course
not very favorably impressed toward the Mohawk chief, and has recorded
his dislike.

The Snyders found many acquaintances at the head-quarters of the Indians
and loyalists, some of whom were prisoners like themselves, and others in
the ranks of the enemy. From Niagara, the two prisoners were transported
by water, first to Carleton Island in the St. Lawrence, and thence, at a
subsequent period, to Montreal. At the latter place they were employed at
labor, and regularly paid their wages, which enabled them to purchase
various little comforts to meliorate their condition. Indeed, they were
so fortunate as to fall into the hands of humane people at every stage
of their captivity, and their lot was far less severe than that of most
of their countrymen in the like situation. At the end of two years,
having been transferred from Montreal to an island some distance higher
up the St. Lawrence, both father and son, with several other prisoners,
succeeded in effecting their escape. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Captain Snyder lived until the year 1827, and his narrative, taken
 from his own lips, was written by Charles H. De Witt, Esq.


The Mohawk Valley proper, during the Winter of 1780, had enjoyed a period
of comparative repose--interrupted only by the common alarms incident to
an unprotected border, at all times liable to invasion, and the people,
as a consequence, feeling continually more or less insecure. Still, there
was not a single demonstration of the enemy in the lower part of the
country, during the cold season, worthy of note. Among the prisoners
taken by the Tories who two years before had returned from Canada after
their families, and who had most unaccountably been suffered to depart
unmolested, was a very brave fellow by the name of Solomon Woodworth. He
was entrusted to a party of Indians, acting in concert with the Tories
on their arrival at the Sacondaga, from whom he effected his escape on
the following day. These Indians, it appears, mortified at his successful
flight, had resolved either upon his recapture or his destruction.
Woodworth, in the Winter or Spring of 1780, was occupying, alone, a
block-house situated about eight miles north of Johnstown. While thus
solitary, his castle was attacked in the dead of night, by a small party
of Indians, who set fire to it. Regardless of danger, however, he ran
out amidst a shower of bullets, extinguished the fire, and retreated
within the walls again, before the Indians, who had withdrawn some
distance from the blockhouse, could re-approach sufficiently near to
seize him. As the night was not very dark, Woodworth saw a group of the
savages through the port-holes, upon whom he fired, not without
effect--one of their number, as it subsequently appeared, being severely
wounded. This disaster caused the Indians to retire. But Woodworth was
not satisfied. Collecting half a dozen kindred spirits, the next morning
he gave chase to the intruders, and after following their trail three
days, overtook them--they having halted to dress the wound of their
companion. The pursuers came so suddenly upon them, as to succeed in
despatching the whole number without allowing them time to offer
resistance. The little band returned to Johnstown in triumph; and their
leader was immediately commissioned a lieutenant in a regiment of nine
months men--in which service he had again an opportunity of showing his
prowess, as will be seen hereafter. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Information from the Rev. John I. Shew, of Northampton, N. Y.,
 residing near the place where the block-house stood.


It was at about the same time that a party of Tories and Indians made a
descent upon the small settlement at the Little Falls of the Mohawk, for
the purpose of destroying the mills erected at that place by Alexander
Ellis. This gentleman was a Scotch merchant, who, under the favor of Sir
William Johnson, had obtained a patent of the wild mountain gorge through
which the Mohawk leaps from the upper into the lower section of the
valley. He had himself returned to his own country; but his mills were
particularly important to the inhabitants, and also to the garrisons of
Forts Dayton and Herkimer--more especially since the burning of the mills
at the German Flats by Thayendanegea two years before. Hence the present
expedition for their destruction, which was easily accomplished--the
enemy having stolen upon the settlement unawares, and the flouring mill
being garrisoned by not more than a dozen men. Only a few shots were
exchanged, and but one man was killed--Daniel Petrie. As the Indians
entered the mill, the occupants endeavored to escape as fast as they
could--some leaping from the windows, and others endeavoring to conceal
themselves below. It was night, and two of the number, Cox and Skinner,
succeeded in ensconcing themselves in the race-way, beneath the
water-wheel--Skinner having previously made fight hand to hand, and been
wounded by a cut from a tomahawk. Two of their companions, Christian
Edick and Frederick Getman, leaped into the race-way above the mill, and
endeavored to conceal themselves by keeping as much under water as
possible. But the application of the torch to the mills soon revealed the
aquatic retreat, and they were taken. Not so with Cox and Skinner, who
survived the storm of battle, and the mingled elements of fire and water;
the showers of coals and burning brands being at once extinguished as
they fell around them, while the water-wheel served as an effectual
protection against the falling timbers. The enemy retired after
accomplishing their object, carrying away five or six prisoners. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Conversations of the author with John Frank, Esq., of German Flats.


A few incidents of the more distant border operations of the opening
season will close the present chapter. The Shawanese and their immediate
allies continued to be exceedingly troublesome along the Ohio. Among the
single captives taken by them, by stratagem, early in the Spring, was a
man named Alexander McConnel, of the Kentucky settlers. He found his
captors, five in number, to be pleasant tempered and social, and he
succeeded in winning their confidence, by degrees, until they essentially
relaxed the rigors of his confinement at night. His determination was of
course to escape. At length his fastenings were so slight, that while
they were asleep he succeeded in the entire extrication of his limbs.
Still he dared not to fly, lest escape from so many pursuers should be
impracticable, and his life, should he be re-taken, would surely be
required in payment for the rash attempt. To strike them successively
with one of their own tomahawks would be impossible. His next plan was
cautiously to remove three of their loaded rifles to a place of
concealment, which should, nevertheless, be convenient for his own
purpose. Then placing the other two at rest upon a log, the muzzle of one
aimed at the  head of one Indian, and the other at the heart of a second,
with both hands he discharged the rifles together, by which process two
of his enemies were killed outright. As the three others sprang up in
amazement, McConnel ran to the rifles which he had concealed. The work
was all but of a moment. Seizing another rifle, and bringing it in range
of two of the three remaining savages, both fell with the discharge, one
dead and the other wounded. The fifth took to his heels, with a yell of
horror which made the forest ring. Selecting the rifle which he liked
best, the subtle hunter pursued his way back at his pleasure.

On the 23d of June, Colonel Bird, at the head of five hundred Indians and
Canadians, or American refugees, with six pieces of light artillery, fell
upon the Kentucky settlement at the forks of the Licking river. Taken by
surprise, the inhabitants seem to have made little, if any, resistance.
Only one man was killed outright, and two women. All the others were
taken prisoners, the settlement plundered, and the inhabitants marched
off, bending beneath the weight of their own property for the benefit of
the spoiler. Those who sank under their burdens by the way, were
tomahawked. This outrage was promptly and severely avenged by Colonel
Clarke, commanding at the falls of the Ohio, who immediately led his
regiment into the heart of the Shawanese country--laying their principal
town on the Great Miami in ashes, and taking seventy scalps, with the
loss of only seventeen of his own men. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon. The British account of Colonel
 Bird's expedition, as published in New-York, stated that he destroyed
 several small forts, and made a number of prisoners. "Most of the
 inhabitants of these new settlements," it was added, "from the
 extraordinary mild treatment of the Colonel, accompanied him, preferring
 to settle in the countries under the King to those of the Congress.
 Several of them have gone to Detroit, Niagara, &c."--_Vide Almon's
 Remembrancer, Part II._ 1780, _page_ 347.



                          CHAPTER III.



 Night invasion of Johnstown, by Sir John Johnson, with an army of Indians
  and loyalists--The Visschers--The route of Sir John--Arrest of the
  Sammons family--Destruction of their property--March along the
  river--Burning of buildings, and murders of aged people--Destruction of
  Caughnawaga--Return to Johnson Hall--Proceedings there--Thomas Sammons
  escapes--Sir John moves off--Sampson Sammons applies for his
  liberty--His speech--The object of the expedition--Recovery of the
  Baronet's plate--A faithful slave--Character of the expedition--Sir
  John returns to Montreal--Jacob and Frederick Sammons carried into
  captivity--Imprisoned at Chamblee--Conspiracy to escape--Prisoners
  refuse to join them--The brothers escape alone--The pursuit--
  Separation--Journey, adventures and sufferings of Jacob
  Sammons--Arrives at Schenectady--The narrative returns to
  Frederick--Perils of his escape--Prosperous commencement of his
  journey--Dreadful sickness--His recapture--Confined in irons at
  Chamblee--Removed to an Island--Projects an escape--Plot
  discovered--Ironed again--Second plan of escape--Perilous leap into the
  St. Lawrence--Swimming the Rapids--Other surprising adventures, by
  flood and field--Crossing the woods to Schenectady--Remarkable
  fulfillment of a dream--Direct history of the Mohawk country
  resumed--Destruction of Canajoharie by the Indiana--Conduct of
  Brant--Case of doubtful courage.


Although the struggle had now been maintained more than five years, still
the people of the lower section of the Mohawk Valley, severely as they
had experienced the calamities of the war, had not yet by any means
received the full measure of their suffering. Harassed by perpetual
alarms, and oppressively frequent calls to the field--their numbers
reduced by death and desertion, and by removals from a country so full of
troubles--their situation was far from being enviable. Though unconscious
of immediate danger from a formidable invasion, they were nevertheless in
more peril than at any former period, from their diminished ability of
self-protection. Hitherto, with the exception of small forays upon the
outskirts, the lower valley, containing by far the largest amount of
population, had not been traversed by an invading enemy. But it was their
lot, in the course of the present season, repeatedly to experience the
tender mercies of an exasperated enemy, armed with knife, and tomahawk
and brand, and to see their fairest villages laid waste, their fields
desolated, and their dwellings reduced to ashes.

The first blow was as sudden as it was unexpected--especially from the
quarter whence it came. On Sunday the twenty-first of May, at dead of
night, Sir John Johnson entered the north part of Johnstown at the head
of five hundred men, composed of some British troops, a detachment of his
own regiment of Royal Greens, and about two hundred Indians and Tories. Sir
John had penetrated the country by way of Lake Champlain to Crown Point,
and thence through the woods to the Sacondaga river; and so entirely
unawares had he stolen upon the sleeping inhabitants, that he arrived in
the heart of the country undiscovered, except by the resident loyalists,
who were probably in the secret. Before he reached the old Baronial Hall
at Johnstown--the home of his youth, and for the recovery of which he
made every exertion that courage and enterprise could put forth--Sir John
divided his forces into two detachments, leading one in person, in the
first instance, directly to the Hall, and thence through the village of
Johnstown; while the other was sent through a more eastern settlement,
to strike the Mohawk river at or below Tripe's Hill, from whence it was
directed to sweep up the river through the ancient Dutch village of
Caughnawaga, [FN-1] to the Cayadutta Creek--at which place a junction was
to be formed with Sir John himself. This disposition of his forces was
made at the still hour of midnight--at a time when the inhabitants were
not only buried in slumber, but wholly unsuspicious of approaching danger.
What officer was in command of the eastern division is not known, but it
was one of the most stealthy and murderous expeditions--murderous in its
character, though but few were killed--and the most disgraceful, too, that
marked the progress of the war in that region. During the night-march of
this division, and before reaching the river, they attacked the
dwelling-house of Mr. Lodowick Putnam, who, together with his son, was
killed and scalped. The next house assailed was that of a Mr. Stevens,
which was burnt, and its owner killed. Arriving at Tripe's Hill, they
murdered three men, by the names of Hansen, Platts, and Aldridge. Hansen,
who was a captain of militia, was killed by an Indian to whom he had
formerly shown great kindness, and who had in return expressed much
gratitude. The houses of all, it is believed, were plundered before the
application of the torch. Proceeding toward Caughnawaga, about day-light
they arrived at the house of Colonel Visscher--occupied at the time by
himself, his mother, and his two brothers. It was immediately assaulted.
Alarmed at the sounds without, the Colonel instantly surmised the cause,
and being armed, determined, with his brothers, to defend the house to
the last. They fought bravely for a time, but the odds were so fearfully
against them, that the house was soon carried by storm. The three brothers
were instantly stricken down and scalped, and the torch applied to the
house. Having thus completed their work, the enemy proceeded on their way
up the river. Fortunately, however, the Colonel himself was only wounded.
On recovering from the shock of the hatchet, he saw the house enveloped
in flames above and around him, and his two brothers dead by his side.
But, grievously wounded as he was, he succeeded in removing their mangled
bodies from the house before the burning timbers fell in. His own wounds
were dressed, and he lived many years afterward. Mrs. Visscher, the
venerable mother of the Colonel, was likewise severely wounded by being
knocked on the head by an Indian; but she also survived. The slaughter
along the Mohawk, to the village of Caughnawaga, would have been greater,
but for the alertness of Major Van Vrank, who contrived to elude the
enemy, and by running ahead, gave the alarm, and enabled many people to
fly as it were in _puris naturalibus_ across the river. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] More anciently still, the residence of the Caughnawaga clan of the
 Mohawk Indians, who at so early day moved into Canada, and established
 themselves on the St. Lawrence above the Lachine rapids.

 [FN-2] The Visschers were important men among the Whigs of Tryon county.
 There were four brothers of them at the commencement of the war, vis.
 Frederick, (the Colonel,) John, William Brower, and Harmanus. William B.
 died of scarlet fever in the Winter of 1776. A very bitter hostility
 existed against this family among the loyalists, having its origin in
 an unpleasant altercation between Colonel Visscher and Sir John Johnson,
 in the Autumn of 1775. The circumstances of this affair, as recently
 communicated to the author by the venerable Judge De Graff, of
 Schenectady, a near connection of the family, were substantially
 these;--In the year 1775, the Colonial Congress, having full confidence
 both in his principles and discretion, appointed Frederick Visscher a
 Colonel in the militia, furnishing him at the same time, commissions in
 blank to complete the organisation of hie regiment. One of the
 commissions of captain thus confided to his disposal, he conferred on
 his brother John. In the Autumn of that year the Colonel directed his
 regiment to parade for review on an elevated plain near the ancient inn
 of Peggy Wymples, in Caughnawaga. It happened that while the regiment
 was on parade, Sir John Johnson, with his lady, drove along the river
 road. On descrying the regiment under arms, he ordered his coachman to
 drive up the hill to the parade ground. He than demanded of the first
 person to whom he had an opportunity to speak, who had called the
 assemblage together, and for what purpose? The reply was, that Colonel
 Visscher had ordered his regiment to parade for review. The Baronet
 thereupon stepped up to the Colonel, and repeated the question. The
 Colonel of course gave a similar reply. Sir John then ordered the
 regiment to disperse, but the Colonel directed them to keep their
 ranks--whereupon the Baronet, who was armed with a sword-cane, raised
 his weapon to inflict a blow upon Visscher, but the latter grasped the
 cane, and in the scuffle the sword was drawn--Visscher retaining the
 scabbard. Sir John threatened to run him through the body, and the
 Colonel told him if he chose to make the attempt he might act his
 pleasure. Sir John then asked for the scabbard of his blade, which was
 restored to him. Stepping up to his carriage, he directed Lady Johnson
 to rise that he might take his pistols from the box. Her ladyship
 remonstrated with him, but to no purpose, and having obtained his
 pistols, the Baronet again demanded that the regiment should be
 dismissed, for they were rebels. If not, he declared in a tempest of
 passion that he would blow the Colonel through. "Use your pleasure," was
 again the reply of Visscher. At this moment, a young Irishman, in the
 domestic service of the Colonel, who was in the ranks, exclaimed--"By
 J--s, if ye offer to lift hand or finger against my master, I will blow
 you through." The Baronet now saw that an unpleasant spirit was kindling
 against himself, whereupon he returned to his carriage, and drove away
 in great wrath.


Meantime Sir John proceeded with his division through the village of
Johnstown, stopping before it was yet light at what was once his own hall,
where he made two prisoners. There was a small stockade, or picket fort,
in the village, which, under favor of darkness and sleeping sentinels,
was passed silently and unobserved. Directing his course for the
confluence of the Cayadutta with the Mohawk, Sir John arrived at the
residence of Sampson Sammons, whose name, with those of two of his sons,
has appeared in the earlier portion of the present work. There was a
third son, Thomas, a youth of eighteen. They all inherited the stanch
Whig principles of their father, and the whole family had rendered the
State efficient service in the course of the war. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Sampson Sammons was of German extraction, a native of Ulster County,
 whence he had emigrated to Tryon County a few years before the war. In
 the first stages of the war he was a member of the Committee of Safety.
 In 1777, a corps of Exempts was organised under Colonel Jelles Fonda;
 Fonda himself acting as Captain. Of this company, Sampson Sammons was
 the Lieutenant. In 1779 the corps was re-organised and enlarged. On the
 muster-roll of this year, Sammons was entered an an Ensign.


The particulars of the attack upon the family of Mr. Sammons are of
sufficient interest to warrant the giving them somewhat in detail. Mr.
Sammons, the elder, was well known to Sir John, between whom and himself
very friendly relations had existed; and in the early stage of the war,
the former had exerted himself with some degree of success to protect the
Baronet from the violence of the people. Soon after passing Johnstown,
Sir John detached those of the Indians yet remaining with him in other
directions, being desirous of making captives of Sammons and his sons,
but wishing, at the same time, to do them no personal injury. On arriving
in the neighborhood of the house, Sir John halted his division, and
directed a small detachment to move with the utmost stillness and caution,
and fall upon the house by surprise--observing that Sammons had some
stout sons, well armed, and unless they were very careful, there would be
trouble. The eldest of Mr. Sammons' sons was then the lessee of the
Johnson farm at the hall, which had been sold by the Committee of
Sequestrations, and which he was then cultivating; and Thomas, the
youngest, had risen at an unwonted hour, in order to feed his horses, and
go over to the hall to work with his brother. On coming down stairs,
however, and stepping out of doors half-dressed, to take an observation
of the weather--it being yet dark, though day was just breaking--the
thought occurred to him, that should any straggling Indians be prowling
about, he would stand but a poor chance if fallen upon alone. While
standing thus in doubt whether to proceed or wait for more light, he was
startled by a noise of heavy steps behind, and, as he turned, by the
glitter of steel passing before his eyes. At the same instant a hand was
laid upon his shoulder, with the words--"You are my prisoner!" In such
perfect stillness had the enemy approached, that not the sound of a
footstep was heard, until the moment when the younger Sammons was thus
arrested, and the house immediately surrounded. One of the officers, with
several soldiers, instantly entered the house, and ordered the family to
get up, and surrender themselves as prisoners. Jacob and Frederick, who
were in bed in the second story, sprang upon their feet immediately, and
seized their arms. The officer, who was a Tory named Sutherland, and
acquainted with the family, hearing the clatter of arms, called to them
by name, and promised quarter on condition of their surrender. Jacob
inquired whether there were Indians with them; adding, that if there were,
he and his brother would not be taken alive. On being assured to the
contrary, the brothers descended the stain and surrendered. The old
gentleman was also taken. While the soldiers were busied in plundering
the premises, the morning advanced, and Sir John Johnson came up with the
remainder of the division. The females were not taken as prisoners, but the
father and sons were directed to make ready to march immediately. Thomas
here remarked to the soldier who yet stood sentinel over him, that he
could not travel to Canada without his clothes, and especially without
his shoes, which he had not yet put on--requesting liberty to repair to
his chamber for his raiment. The sentinel sulkily refused permission; but
Thomas persisted that he must obtain his shoes at least, and was stepping
toward the door, when the barbarian made a plunge at his back with his
bayonet, which had proved fatal but for the quick eyes and the heroism of
a sister standing by, who, as she saw the thrust at her brother, sprang
forward, and seizing the weapon, threw herself across its barrel, and by
falling, brought it to the ground. The soldier struggled to disengage his
arms, and accomplish his purpose. At the same instant an officer stepped
forward, and demanded what was the matter. The girl informed him of the
attempt upon her brother, whereupon he rebuked the soldier by the
exclamation--"You d--d rascal, would you murder the boy?" Immediate
permission was then given him to procure whatever articles he wanted. The
work of plunder having been completed, Sir John, with his troops and
prisoners, proceeded onward in the direction of the river--about three
miles distant.

For the purpose of punishing the old gentleman for his whiggish activity,
some of the officers caused him to be tied to a Negro, who was likewise a
prisoner; but the moment Sir John discovered the indignity, he
countermanded the order. The hands of the young men were all closely
pinioned, and they, with their father, were compelled to march between
files of soldiers, and behold the cruel desolation of their neighborhood.
Their course thence was direct to the river, at Caughnawaga, at which
place they met the other division of Indians and rangers, who, among
others, had murdered and scalped Mr. Douw Fonda, a citizen of great age
and respectability. The whole army now set their faces westward,
traversing the Mohawk Valley several miles, burning every building not
owned by a loyalist, killing sheep and black cattle, and taking all the
horses that could be found for their own use. Returning again to
Caughnawaga, the torch was applied to every building excepting the church;
a number of prisoners were made, and several persons killed. Nine aged
men were slain in the course of this march, of whom four were upward of
eighty. From Caughnawaga, Sir John retraced his steps to Johnstown,
passing the premises of Mr. Sammons, where the work of destruction was
completed by applying the brand to all the buildings, leaving the females
of the family houseless, and taking away the seven horses which were in
the stables.

On the arrival of Sir John back to the homestead in the afternoon, he
halted upon the adjacent grounds for several hours--establishing his own
quarters in the hall of his father. The prisoners were collected into an
open field, strongly guarded, but not in a confined space; and while
reposing thus the Tory families of the town came in large numbers to see
their friends and relatives, who for the most part constituted the white
troops of the invading army. Thomas Sammons, during the whole morning,
had affected to be exceedingly lame of one foot; and while loitering
about the Hall he attracted the attention of the widowed lady of Captain
Hare, one of the British officers who had fallen in the battle of
Oriskany. Mrs. Hare, since the death of her husband, had occupied an
apartment of the Hall; and she now exerted herself successfully with Sir
John for the release of several of her personal friends among the
captives; and on going into the field to select them, she adroitly
smuggled young Sammons into the group, and led him away in safety.

It has already been mentioned that there was a small guard occupying the
little fort in the village, which had been avoided by Sir John in his
morning march. Toward night the militia of the surrounding country were
observed to be clustering in the village, and Sir John thought it
advisable to resume his march. He had collected a number of prisoners,
and much booty, besides recruiting his ranks by a considerable number of
loyalists, and obtaining possession of some eighteen or twenty of his
Negro slaves, left behind at the time of his flight in the Spring of 1776.
While they were halting, on the next day, the elder Sammons applied to
Sir John for an interview, which was granted in presence of his principal
officers. On inquiring what he wanted, Mr. Sammons replied that he wished
to be released. The Baronet hesitated; but the old man pressed his suit,
and reminded Sir John of former scenes, and of the efforts of friendship
which he himself had made in his behalf. "See what you have done, Sir
John," said the veteran Whig; "You have taken myself and my sons
prisoners, burnt my dwelling to ashes, and left the helpless members of
my family with no covering but the heavens above, and no prospect but
desolation around them. Did we treat you in this manner when you were in
the power of the Tryon County Committee? Do you remember when we were
consulted by General Schuyler, and you agreed to surrender your arms? Do
you not remember that you then agreed to remain neutral, and that upon
that condition General Schuyler left you at liberty on your parole? Those
conditions you violated. You went off to Canada; enrolled yourself in the
service of the King; raised a regiment of the disaffected, who abandoned
their country with you; and you have now returned to wage a cruel war
against us, by burning our dwellings and robbing us of our property. I
was your friend in the Committee of Safety, and exerted myself to save
your person from injury. And how am I requited? Your Indians have
murdered and scalped old Mr. Fonda at the age of eighty years; a man who,
I have heard your father say, was like a father to him when he settled in
Johnstown and Kingsborough. You cannot succeed, Sir John, in such a
warfare, and you will never enjoy your property more!"

The Baronet made no reply; but the appeal was effectual, and the old
gentleman was set at liberty. He then requested the restoration of a pair
of horses. Sir John replied that this should also be done, if the horses
were not in the possession of the Indians, from whom he could not safely
take them. On making the inquiry, a span of his horses were found and
restored to him. A Tory officer, named Doxstadter, was seen by Mr. Sammons
to be in possession of one of his horses, but he would not relinquish it,
pretending that he was merely entrusted with the animal by an Indian.
[FN-1] The two sons, Jacob and Frederick, were carried into captivity,
and suffered a protracted and severe imprisonment, interesting accounts
of which will presently be given. Several of the aged prisoners, besides
Mr. Sammons, were permitted to return, one of whom, Captain Abraham
Veeder, was exchanged for lieutenant Singleton, who had been taken at
Fort Schuyler by Colonel Willett, and was then in Canada on his
parole. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] After the war was over, Doxstadter returned from Canada upon some
 business, was arrested in an action at law by Mr. Sammons, and made to
 pay the value of the horse.

 [FN-2] The present narrative of this irruption has been prepared almost
 entirely from the manuscripts and conversations with Major Thomas
 Sammons, the lad who was taken prisoner--after a diligent comparison of
 his statement with other authorities. The author has also the written
 narratives of Jacob and Frederick Sammons, before him, together with an
 account written by the Rev. John I. Shew. Major Thomas Sammons is yet,
 (February, 1838) well and hearty. He has formerly, for several years
 represented Montgomery (late Tryon county) in Congress.


The immediate object of this irruption by Sir John Johnson, was to
procure his plate, which had been buried at the time of his flight in
1776, and not recovered with the iron chest. This treasure was not indeed
buried with the chest, but in the cellar, and the place of deposit was
confided to a faithful slave. While Sir John was in the hall, in the
afternoon, the slave, assisted by four soldiers, disinterred the silver,
which filled two barrels, brought it to the Baronet, and laid it down at
his feet. [FN-1] It was then distributed among about forty soldiers, who
placed it in their knapsacks--a quarter-master taking an account of the
names of the soldiers, and the articles confided to each--by whom it was
to be carried to Montreal. The irruption, however, was one of the most
indefensible aggressions upon an unarmed and slumbering people, which
stain the annals of the British arms. As the commanding officer, Sir John
is himself to be held responsible in a general sense. How far he was
directly and specially responsible for the midnight murders committed by
the barbarians, is a question which may, perhaps, bear a somewhat
different shade. Still, from the success which attended the expedition,
and the unaccountable inaction of the people against him, it is
sufficiently obvious that he might have recovered his plate without
lighting up his path by the conflagration of his neighbors' houses, or
without staining his skirts with innocent blood. [FN-2] But the most
remarkable circumstances attending this expedition are, that the
inhabitants were so completely taken by surprise, and that Sir John was
so entirely unopposed in his advance on the morning of the 22d, and
altogether unmolested on his retreat. The inhabitants, who had so often
proved themselves brave, appear to have been not only surprised, but
panic-stricken. True, as has already been incidentally stated, before Sir
John commenced his return march, the militia had begun to gather at the
village, a mile distant from the hall. They were led by Colonel John
Harper, who was beyond doubt a very brave man. With him was also Colonel
Volkert Veeder. But they were not strong enough to engage the enemy; and
when Thomas Sammons arrived among them after his release, this opinion
was confirmed by his report that the forces of Sir John exceeded seven
hundred men. Colonels Harper and Veeder thereupon marched back to the
river, and the invaders retired unmolested, [FN-3] save by Captain Putnam
and four men, who hung upon their rear, and observed their course to the
distance of twenty-five miles.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] This faithful domestic had lived long with Sir William Johnson,
 who was so much attached to him, that he caused him to be baptized by his
 own name, William. When the estate was placed in the hands of {illegible
 word} by the Committee, William was sold, and Sammons was the purchaser.
 He lived with him until retaken by Sir John, but never gave the least
 hint either as to the burial of the iron chest, or the plate, although
 both had been hidden in the earth by him.

 [FN-2] It is quite probable that Sir John's private papers, or
 correspondence, if they have been preserved, might place this and other
 dark transactions in a more favorable light. The author has exerted
 himself in vain to discover any such papers. They are believed to have
 been scattered, on the Baronet's decease at Montreal, some half a dozen
 years since.

 [FN-3] MS of Major Thomas Sammons.


Governor Clinton was at Kingston at the time of the Invasion. Hastening
to Albany on the first rumor of the intelligence, he collected such
militia and other forces as he could obtain, and moved to Lake George
with a view to intercept Sir John. It was supposed that the course of the
enemy might possibly lie in the direction of Oswegatchie, and for the
purpose of striking him upon such a march, Colonel Van Schaick, with
eight hundred men, followed him by the way of Johnstown. Descending Lake
George to Ticonderoga, the Governor was joined by a body of militia from
the New Hampshire grants. But all was of no use; the invaders
escaped--taking to their batteaux, probably, at Crown Point, whence they
proceeded down the lake to St John's. The captives were thence transferred
to the fortress of Chamblee.

The prisoners at this fortress numbered about forty. On the day after
their arrival Jacob Sammons, having taken an accurate survey of the
garrison and the facilities of escape, conceived the project of inducing
his fellow-prisoners to rise upon the guards and obtain their freedom.
The garrison was weak in number, and the sentinels less vigilant than is
usual among good soldiers. The prison doors were opened once a day, when
the prisoners were visited by the proper officer, with four or five
soldiers. Sammons had observed where the arms of the guards were stacked
in the yard, and his plan was, that some of the prisoners should arrest
and disarm the visiting guard on the opening of their door, while the
residue were to rush forth, seize the arms, and fight their way out. The
proposition was acceded to by his brother Frederick, and one other man
named Van Sluyck, but was considered too daring by the great body of the
prisoners to be undertaken. It was therefore abandoned, and the brothers
sought afterward only for a chance of escaping by themselves. Within
three days the desired opportunity occurred, viz. on the 13th of June.
The prisoners were supplied with an allowance of spruce beer, for which
two of their number were detached daily, to bring the cask from the
brew-house, under a guard of five men, with fixed bayonets. Having reason
to suppose that the arms of the guards, though charged, were not primed,
the brothers so contrived matters as to be taken together to the brewery
on the day mentioned, with an understanding that at a given point they
were to dart from the guard and run for their lives--believing that the
confusion of the moment, and the consequent delay of priming their muskets
by the guards, would enable them to escape beyond the ordinary range of
musket shot. The project was boldly executed. At the concerted moment,
the brothers sprang from their conductors, and stretched across the plain
with great fleetness. The alarm was given, and the whole garrison was
soon after them in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for Jacob, he fell into a
ditch and sprained his ankle. Perceiving the accident, Frederick turned
to his assistance; but the other generously admonished him to secure his
own flight if possible, and leave him to the chances of war. Recovering
from his fall, and regardless of the accident, Jacob sprang forward again
with as much expedition as possible, but finding that his lameness
impeded his progress, he plunged into a thick clump of shrubs and trees,
and was fortunate enough to hide himself between two logs before the
pursuers came up. Twenty or thirty shots had previously been fired upon
them, but without effect. In consequence of the smoke of their fire,
probably, the guards had not observed Jacob when he threw himself into
the thicket, and supposing that, like his brother, he had passed round it,
they followed on, until they were fairly distanced by Frederick, of whom
they lost sight and trace. They returned in about half an hour, halting
by the bushes in which the other fugitive was sheltered, and so near that
he could distinctly hear their conversation. The officer in command was
Captain Steele. On calling his men together, some were swearing, and
others laughing at the race, and the speed of the "long-legged Dutchmen,"
as they called the flying prisoners. The pursuit being abandoned, the
guards returned to the fort.

The brothers had agreed, in case of separation, to meet at a certain spot
at 10 o'clock that night. Of course Jacob lay ensconced in the bushes
until night had dropped her sable curtains, and until he supposed the
hour had arrived, when he sallied forth, according to the antecedent
understanding. But time did not move as rapidly on that evening as he
supposed. He waited upon the spot designated, and called aloud for
Frederick, until he despaired of meeting him, and prudence forbade his
remaining any longer. It subsequently appeared that he was too early on
the ground, and that Frederick made good his appointment.

Following the bank of the Sorel, Jacob passed Fort St. John's soon after
day-break on the morning of the 14th. His purpose was to swim the river
at that place, and pursue his course homeward through the wilderness on
the eastern shore of Lake Champlain; but just as he was preparing to
enter the water, he descried a boat approaching from below, filled with
officers and soldiers of the enemy. They were already within twenty rods.
Concealing himself again in the woods, he resumed his journey after their
departure, but had not proceeded more than two or three miles before he
came upon a party of several hundred men engaged in getting out timber
for the public works at the fort. To avoid these he was obliged to
describe a wide circuit, in the course of which, at about 12 o'clock, he
came to a small clearing. Within the enclosure was a house, and in the
field were a man and boy engaged in hoeing potatoes. They were at that
moment called to dinner, and supposing them to be French, who he had
heard were rather friendly to the American cause than other-wise--incited,
also, by hunger and fatigue--he made bold to present himself trusting
that he might be invited to partake of their hospitality. But, instead of
a friend, he found an enemy. On making known his character, he was
roughly received. "It is by such villains as you are," replied the
forester, "that I was obliged to fly from Lake Champlain." The rebels,
he added, had robbed him of all he possessed, and he would now deliver
his self-invited guest to the guard, which, he said, was not more than a
quarter of a mile distant. Sammons promptly answered him that "that was
more than he could do." The refugee then said he would go for the guard
himself; to which Summons replied that he might act as he pleased, but
that all the men in Canada should not make him again a prisoner.

The man thereupon returned with his son to the potato field, and resumed
his work; while his more compassionate wife gave him a bowl of bread and
milk, which he ate sitting on the threshold of the door, to guard against
surprise. While in the house, he saw a musket, powder-horn and
bullet-pouch hanging against the wall, of which he determined, if
possible, to possess himself, that he might be able to procure food
during the long and solitary march before him. On retiring, therefore,
he traveled only far enough into the woods for concealment--returning to
the woodman's house in the evening, for the purpose of obtaining the
musket and ammunition. But he was again beset by imminent peril. Very
soon after he entered the house, the sound of approaching voices was
heard, and he took to the rude chamber for security, where he lay flat
upon the irregular floor, and looking through the interstices, saw eleven
soldiers enter, who, it soon appeared, came for milk. His situation was
now exceedingly critical. The churlish proprietor might inform against
him, or a single movement betray him. But neither circumstance occurred.
The unwelcome visitors departed in due time, and the family all retired
to bed, excepting the wife, who, as Jacob descended from the chamber,
refreshed him with another bowl of bread and milk. The good woman now
earnestly entreated her guest to surrender himself, and join the ranks
of the King, assuring him that his Majesty must certainly conquer in the
end, in which case the rebels would lose all their property, and many
of them be hanged into the bargain. But to such a proposition he of
course would not listen. Finding all her efforts to convert a Whig into
a Tory fruitless, she then told him, that if he would secrete himself two
days longer in the woods, she would furnish him with some provisions, for
a supply of which her husband was going to the fort the next day, and she
would likewise endeavor to provide him with a pair of shoes. Disinclined
to linger so long in the country of the enemy, and in the neighborhood of
a British post, however, he took his departure forthwith. But such had
been the kindness of the good woman, that he had it not in his heart to
seize upon her husband's arms, and he left this wild scene of rustic
hospitality without supplies, or the means of procuring them. Arriving
once more at the water's edge at the lower end of Lake Champlain, he came
upon a hut, within which, on cautiously approaching it for reconnaissance,
he discovered a party of soldiers all soundly asleep. Their canoe was
moored by the shore, into which he sprang, and paddled himself up the
lake under the most encouraging prospect of a speedy and comparatively
easy voyage to its head, whence his return home would be unattended with
either difficulty or danger. But his pleasing anticipations were
extinguished on the night following, as he approached the Isle au Noix,
where he descried a fortification, and the glitter of bayonets bristling
in the air as the moonbeams played upon the burnished arms of the
sentinels, who were pacing their tedious rounds. The lake being very
narrow at this point, and perceiving that both sides were fortified, he
thought the attempt to shoot his canoe through between them rather too
hazardous an experiment. His only course, therefore, was to run ashore,
and resume his travels on foot. Nor, on landing, was his case in any
respect enviable. Without shoes, without food, and without the means of
obtaining either--a long journey before him through a deep and trackless
wilderness--it may well be imagined that his mind was not cheered by the
most agreeable anticipations. But without pausing to indulge unnecessarily
his "thick-coming fancies," he commenced his solitary journey, directing
his course along the eastern lake shore toward Albany. During the first
four days of his progress he subsisted entirely upon the bark of the
birch--chewing the twigs as he went On the fourth day, while resting by
a brook, he heard a rippling of the water caused by the fish as they were
stemming its current. He succeeded in catching a few of these, but having
no means of striking a fire, after devouring one of them raw, the others
were thrown away.

His feet were by this time cruelly cut, bruised, and torn by thorns,
briars, and stones; and while he could scarcely proceed by reason of
their soreness, hunger and fatigue united to retard his cheerless march.
On the fifth day his miseries were augmented by the hungry swarms of
mosquitoes, which settled upon him in clouds while traversing a swamp.
On the same day he fell upon the nest of a black duck--the duck sitting
quietly upon her eggs until he came up and caught her. The bird was no
sooner deprived of her life and her feathers, than he devoured the whole,
including the head and feet The eggs were nine in number, which Sammons
took with him; but on opening one, he found a little half-made duckling,
already alive. Against such food his stomach revolted, and he was obliged
to throw the eggs away.

On the tenth day he came to a small lake. His feet ware now in such a
horrible state, that he could scarcely crawl along. Finding a mitigation
of pain by bathing them in water, he plunged his feet into the lake, and
lay down upon its margin. For a time it seemed as though he could never
rise upon his feet again. Worn down by hunger and fatigue--bruised in
body and wounded in spirit--in a lone wilderness, with no eye to pity,
and no human arm to protect--he felt as though he must remain in that
spot until it should please God in his goodness to quench the dim spark
of life that remained. Still, he was comforted in some measure by the
thought that he was in the hands of a Being without whose knowledge not
a sparrow fells to the ground.

Refreshed, at length, though to a trifling degree, he resumed his weary
way, when, on raising his right leg over the trunk of a fallen tree, he
was bitten in the calf by a rattlesnake! Quick as a flash, with his
pocket-knife, he made an incision in his leg, removing the wounded flesh
to a greater depth than the fangs of the serpent had penetrated. His next
business was to kill the venomous reptile, and dress it for eating; thus
appropriating the enemy that had sought to take his life, to its
prolongation. His first meal was made from the heart and fat of the
serpent. Feeling somewhat strengthened by the repast, and finding,
moreover, that he could not travel farther in his present condition, he
determined to remain where he was for a few days, and by repose, and
feeding upon the body of the snake, recruit his strength. Discovering,
also, a dry fungus upon the trunk of a maple tree, he succeeded in
striking a fire, by which his comforts were essentially increased. Still
he was obliged to creep upon his hands and knees to gather fuel, and on
the third day he was yet in such a state of exhaustion as to be utterly
unable to proceed. Supposing that death was inevitable and very near, he
crawled to the foot of a tree, upon the bark of which he commenced
inscribing his name--in the expectation that he should leave his bones
there, and in the hope, that, in some way, by the aid of the inscription,
his family might ultimately be apprised of his fate. While engaged in
this sad work, a cloud of painful thoughts crowded upon his mind; the
tears involuntarily stole down his cheeks, and before he had completed
the melancholy task, he fell asleep.

On the fourth day of his residence at this place, he began to gain
strength, and as a part of the serpent yet remained, he determined upon
another effort to resume his journey. But he could not do so without
devising some substitute for shoes. For this purpose he cut up his hat
and waistcoat, binding them upon his feet--and thus he hobbled along. On
the following night, while lying in the woods, he became strongly
impressed with a belief that he was not far distant from a human
habitation. He had seen no indications of proximity to the abode of man;
but he was, nevertheless, so confident of the fact, that he wept for joy.
Buoyed up and strengthened by this impression, he resumed his journey on
the following morning; and in the afternoon, it being the 28th of June,
he reached a house in the town of Pittsford, in the New Hampshire
Grants--now forming the State of Vermont. He remained there for several
days, both to recruit his health, and, if possible, to gain intelligence
of his brother. But no tidings came; and as he knew Frederick to be a
capital woodsman, he of course concluded that sickness, death, or
re-capture, must have interrupted his journey. Procuring a conveyance at
Pittsford, Jacob traveled to Albany, and thence to Schenectady, where he
had the happiness of finding his wife and family. [FN]

                          * * * * *

  [FN] MS. narrative of Jacob Sammons. He died about the year 1810.


Not less interesting, nor marked by fewer vicissitudes, were the
adventures of Frederick Sammons. The flight from the fort at Chamblee was
made just before sunset, which accounts for the chase having been
abandoned so soon. On entering the edge of the woods, Frederick
encountered a party of Indians returning to the fort from fatigue duty.
Perceiving that he was a fugitive, they fired, and called out--"We have
got him!" In this opinion, however, they were mistaken; for, although he
had run close upon before perceiving them, yet, being like Asahel of old
swift of foot, by turning a short corner and increasing his speed, in ten
minutes he was entirely clear of the party. He then sat down to rest, the
blood gushing from his nose in consequence of the extent to which his
physical powers had been taxed. At the time appointed he also had
repaired to the point which, at his separation from Jacob, had been
agreed upon as the place of meeting. The moon shone brightly, and he
called loud and often for his brother--so loud, indeed, that the guard
was turned out in consequence. His anxiety was very great for his
brother's safety; but, in ignorance of _his_ situation, he was obliged to
attend to his own. He determined, however, to approach the fort--as near
to it, at least, as he could venture--and in the event of meeting any one,
disguise his own character by inquiring whether the rebels had been taken.
But a flash from the sentinel's musket, the report, and the noise of a
second pursuit, compelled him to change the direction of his march, and
proceed again with all possible speed. It had been determined by the
brothers to cross the Sorel, and return on the east side of the river and
lake; but there was a misunderstanding between them as to the point of
crossing the river--whether above or below the fort. Hence their failure
of meeting. Frederick repaired to what he supposed to be the designated
place of crossing, below the fort, where he lingered for his brother until
near morning. At length, having found a boat, he crossed over to the
eastern shore, and landed just at the cock-crowing. He proceeded directly
to the barn where he supposed chanticleer had raised his voice, but found
not a fowl on the premises. The sheep looked too poor by the dim twilight
to serve his purpose of food, but a bullock presenting a more favorable
appearance, Frederick succeeded in cutting the unsuspecting animal's
throat, and severing one of the hind-quarters from the carcase, he
shouldered and marched off with it directly into the forest. Having
proceeded to a safe and convenient distance, he stopped to dress his beef,
cutting off what he supposed would be sufficient for the journey, and
forming a knapsack from the skin, by the aid of bark peeled from the
moose-wood.

Resuming his journey, he arrived at the house of a French family within
the distance of five or six miles. Here he made bold to enter, for the
purpose of procuring bread and salt, and in the hope also of obtaining a
gun and ammunition. But he could neither obtain provisions, nor make the
people understand a word he uttered. He found means, however, to prepare
some tinder, with which he re-entered the woods, and hastened forward in
a southern direction, until be ascertained, by the firing of the evening
guns, that he had passed St. John's. Halting for the night, he struck a
light; and having kindled a fire, occupied himself until morning in
drying and smoking his beef, cutting it into slices for that purpose. His
knapsack of raw hide was cured by the same process. Thus prepared, he
proceeded onward without interruption or adventure until the third day,
when he killed a fawn and secured the venison. He crossed the Winooski,
or Onion river, on the next day; and having discovered a man's name carved
upon a tree, together with the distance from the lake, (Champlain) eight
miles, he bent his course for its shores, where he found a canoe with
paddles. There was now a prospect of lessening the fatigue of his journey;
but his canoe had scarce begun to dance upon the waters ere it parted
asunder, and he was compelled to hasten ashore and continue his march by
land.

At the close of the seventh day, and when, as he supposed, he was within
two days' travel of a settlement, he kindled his fire, and lay down to
rest in fine health and spirits. But ere the dawn of day, he awoke with
racking pains, which proved to be an attack of pleurisy. A drenching rain
came on, continuing three days; during which time he lay helpless, in
dreadful agony, without fire, or shelter, or sustenance of any kind. On
the fourth day, his pain having abated, he attempted to eat a morsel, but
his provisions had become too offensive to be swallowed. His thirst being
intense, he fortunately discovered a pond of water near by, to which he
crawled. It was a stagnant pool, swarming with frogs--another providential
circumstance, inasmuch as the latter served him for food. Too weak,
however to strike a light, he was compelled to devour them raw, and
without dressing of any kind. Unable to proceed, he lay in this wretched
condition fourteen days. Supposing that he should die there, he succeeded
in hanging his hat upon a pole, with a few papers, in order that, if
discovered, his fate might be known. He was lying upon a high bluff, in
full view of the lake, and at no great distance therefrom. The hat, thus
elevated, served as a signal, which saved his life. A vessel sailing past,
descried the hat, and sent a boat ashore to ascertain the cause. The
boatmen discovered the body of a man, yet living, but senseless and
speechless, and transferred him to the vessel. By the aid of medical
attendance he was slowly restored to his reason, and having informed the
Captain who he was, had the rather uncomfortable satisfaction of learning
that he was on board of an enemy's ship, and at that moment lying at
Crown Point. Here he remained sixteen days, in the course of which time
he had the gratification to hear, from a party of Tories coming from the
settlements, that his brother Jacob had arrived safe at Schenectady and
joined his family. He was also apprised of Jacob's sufferings, and of the
bite of the serpent, which took place near Otter Creek, close by the
place where he had himself been so long sick. The brothers were therefore
near together at the time of the greatest peril and endurance of both.

Frederick's recovery was very slow. Before he was able to walk, he was
taken to St John's, and thence, partly on a wheelbarrow and partly in a
calash, carried back to his old quarters at Chamblee--experiencing much
rough usage by the way. On arriving at the fortress, the guards saluted
him by the title of "Captain Lightfoot," and there was great joy at his
re-capture. It was now about the 1st of August. As soon as his health was
sufficiently recovered to bear it, he was heavily ironed, and kept in
close confinement at that place, until October, 1781--fourteen months,
without once beholding the light of the sun. Between St. Johns and
Chamblee he had been met by a British officer with whom he was acquainted,
and by whom he was informed that severe treatment would be his portion.
Compassionating his situation, however, the officer slipped a guinea and
a couple of dollars into his hands, and they moved on.

No other prisoners were in irons at Chamblee, and all but Sammons were
taken upon the parade ground twice a week for the benefit of fresh air.
The irons were so heavy and so tight, as to wear into the flesh of his
legs; and so incensed was Captain Steele, the officer of the 32d regiment,
yet commanding the garrison at Chamblee, at the escape of his prisoner,
that he would not allow the surgeon to remove the irons to dress the
wounds, of which they were the cause, until a peremptory order was
procured for that purpose from General St. Leger, who was then at St.
John's. The humanity of the surgeon prompted this application of his own
accord. Even then, however, Steele would only allow the leg-bolts to be
knocked off--still keeping on the hand-cuffs. The dressing of his legs
was a severe operation. The iron had eaten to the bone, and the gangrened
flesh was of course to be removed. One of the legs ultimately healed up,
but the other has never been entirely well to this day. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] April, 1837--fifty six years ago! Frederick Sammons is yet living,
 and otherwise well; and was chosen one of the electors of President and
 Vice-President of the United States in November 1836.


In the month of November, 1781, the prisoners were transferred from
Chamblee to an island in the St. Lawrence, called at that time Prison
Island--situated in the rapids some distance above Montreal. Sammons was
compelled to travel in his hand-cuffs, but the other prisoners were not
thus encumbered. There were about two hundred prisoners on the island, all
of whom were very closely guarded. In the Spring of 1782, Sammons
organised a conspiracy with nine of his fellow prisoners, to make their
escape, by seizing a provision boat, and had well-nigh effected their
object. Being discovered, however, their purpose was defeated, and
Sammons, as the ringleader, once more placed in irons. But at the end of
five weeks the irons were removed, and he was allowed to return to his
hut.

Impatient of such protracted captivity, Frederick was still bent on
escaping, for which purpose he induced a fellow-prisoner, by the name of
McMullen, to join him in the daring exploit of seeking an opportunity to
plunge into the river, and taking their chance of swimming to the shore.
A favorable moment for attempting the bold adventure was afforded on the
17th of August. The prisoners having, to the number of fifty, been allowed
to walk to the foot of the island, but around the whole of which a chain
of sentinels was extended, Sammons and McMullen, without having conferred
with any one else, watching an opportunity when the nearest sentinel
turned his back upon them, quietly glided down beneath a shelving rock,
and plunged into the stream--each holding up and waving a hand in token of
farewell to their fellow-prisoners, as the surge swept them rapidly down
the stream. The sentinel was distant about six rods when they threw
themselves into the river, and did not discover their escape until they
were beyond the reach of any molestation he could offer them.
Three-quarters of a mile below the island, the rapids were such as to
heave the river into swells too large for boats to encounter. This was a
frightful part of their voyage. Both, however, were expert swimmers, and
by diving as they approached each successive surge, both succeeded in
making the perilous passage--the distance of this rapid being about one
hundred and fifty rods. As they plunged successively into these rapids,
they had little expectation of meeting each other again in this world.
But a protecting Providence ordered it otherwise, and they emerged from
the frightful billows quite near together. "I am glad to see you," said
Sammons to his friend; "I feared we should not meet again." "We have had
a merry ride of it," replied the other; "but we could not have stood it
much longer."

The adventurous fellows attempted to land about two miles below the
island, but the current was so violent as to baffle their purpose, and
they were driven two miles farther, where they happily succeeded in
reaching the land, at a place on the north side of the St. Lawrence,
called by the Canadians "The Devil's Point." A cluster of houses stood
near the river, into some of which it was necessary the fugitives should
go to procure provisions. They had preserved each a knife and tinder-box
in their waistcoat pockets, and one of the first objects, after arming
themselves with substantial clubs, was to procure a supply of tinder.
This was effected by boldly entering a house and rummaging an old lady's
work-basket The good woman, frightened at the appearance of the visitors,
ran out and alarmed the village--the inhabitants of which were French.
In the meantime they searched the house for provisions, fire-arms, and
ammunition, but found none of the latter, and only a single loaf of bread.
They also plundered the house of a blanket, blanket-coat, and a few other
articles of clothing. By this time the people began to collect in such
numbers, that a precipitate, retreat was deemed advisable. McMullen,
being seized by two Canadians, was only released from their grasp by the
well-directed blows of Frederick's club. They both then commenced running
for the woods, when Sammons, encumbered with his luggage, unluckily fell,
and the loaf rolled away from him. The peasants now rushed upon them, and
their only course was to give battle, which they prepared to do in
earnest; whereupon, seeing their resolution, the pursuers retreated almost
as rapidly as they had advanced. This demonstration gave the fugitives
time to collect and arrange their plunder, and commence their travels
anew. Taking to the woods, they found a resting-place, where they halted
until night-fall. They then sallied forth once more in search of
provisions, with which it was necessary to provide themselves before
crossing to the south side of the river, where, at that day, there were
no settlements. The cattle fled at their approach; but they at length
came upon a calf in a farm-yard, which they captured, and appropriating
to their own use and behoof a canoe moored in the river, they embarked
with their prize, to cross over to the southern shore. But alas! when in
the middle of the stream their paddle broke, and they were in a measure
left to the mercy of the flood, which was hurrying them onward, as they
very well knew, toward the rapids or falls of the Cedars. There was an
island above the rapids, from the brink of which a tree had fallen into
the river. Fortunately the canoe was swept by the current into the
branches of this tree-top, among which it became entangled. While
struggling in this predicament, the canoe was upset. Being near shore,
however, the navigators got to land without losing the calf. Striking a
fire, they now dressed their veal, and on the following morning, by
towing their canoe along shore round to the south edge of the island,
succeeded in crossing to their own side of the river. They then plunged
directly into the unbroken forest, extending from the St. Lawrence to the
Sacondaga, and after a journey of twelve days of excessive hardship,
emerged from the woods within six miles of the point for which, without
chart or compass, Sammons had laid his course. Their provisions lasted
but a few days, and their only subsequent food consisted of roots and
herbs. The whole journey was made almost in a state of nudity--both being
destitute of pantaloons. Having worn out their hats upon their feet, the
last three days they were compelled to travel bare-footed. Long before
their journey was ended, therefore, their feet wore dreadfully lacerated
and swollen. On arriving at Schenectady the inhabitants were alarmed at
their wild and savage appearance--half naked, with lengthened beards and
matted hair. The people at length gathered round them with strange
curiosity; but when they made themselves known, a lady named Ellis rushed
through the crowd to grasp the hand of Frederick, and was so much
affected at his altered appearance that she fainted and fell. The welcome
fugitives were forthwith supplied with whatever of food and raiment was
necessary; and young Sammons learned that his father and family had
removed back to Marbletown, in the county of Ulster, whence he had
previously emigrated to Johnstown.

A singular but well-attested occurrence closes this interesting personal
narrative. The family of the elder Sammons had long given up Frederick as
lost. On the morning after his arrival at Schenectady, he despatched a
letter to his father, by the hand of an officer on his way to
Philadelphia, who left it at the house of a Mr. Levi De Witt, five miles
distant from the residence of the old gentleman. The same night on which
the letter was thus left, Jacob dreamed that his brother Frederick was
living, and that there was a letter from him at De Witt's announcing the
joyful tidings. The dream was repeated twice, and the contents of the
letter were so strongly impressed upon his mind, that he repeated what he
believed was the very language, on the ensuing morning--insisting that
such a letter was at the place mentioned. The family, his father in
particular, laughed at him for his credulity. Strong, however, in the
belief that there was such a communication, he repaired to the place
designated, and asked for the letter. Mr. De Witt looked for it, but
replied there was none. Jacob requested a more thorough search, and
behold the letter was found behind a barrel, where it had fallen. Jacob
then requested Mr. De Witt to open the letter, and examine while he
recited its contents. He did so, and the dreamer repeated it word for
word! [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The facts contained in this account of the captivity of Frederick
 Sammons, nave been drawn from the narrative written by himself
 immediately after his return. In regard to the dream, which I have
 thought of sufficient interest to record in the text, Major Thomas
 Sammons, who was at home at the time, has repeatedly assured me of the
 fact, in conversations; and Mr. De Witt, when living, always confirmed
 the circumstances related as occurring at his house. Jacob Sammons
 himself says at the conclusion--"I write this to satisfy that class of
 people who say there is nothing revealed by dreams."--_Author._


Returning from these digressions, the chain of historical events to be
recorded will be resumed in their order. Sir John Johnson having made good
his retreat, as heretofore described, no other transaction of consequence
occurred in the Mohawk Valley until the 2d of August, when the dreaded
Thayendanegea was again among the settlements on the river. Colonel
Gansevoort had been directed by General Clinton, on the 6th of June, to
repair to Fort Plank, with his regiment, to take charge of a quantity of
stores destined to Fort Schuyler. In his instructions to that officer,
General Clinton referred to the alarming situation of the Mohawk country,
and enjoined the most vigilant watchfulness against surprise. The
stores were of course to be transported in batteaux, carefully guarded
the whole distance. Aware of the movement of these stores, Brant had
caused the valley to be filled with rumors of his intention to capture
them, and even to take Fort Schuyler itself. In order to prevent either
occurrence, the militia of the county were sent forward to strengthen the
convoy, and repair to the defence of the Fort. Having thus diverted the
public attention, and caused the militia to be drawn from the lower
section of the valley, the wily Mohawk passed round in their rear, and
on the day above mentioned, made a sudden descent upon Canajoharie and
its adjacent settlements. [FN-1] There were several small stockades among
the different neighborhoods invaded, but the principal work of defence,
then called Fort Plank, and subsequently Fort Plain, was situated upon an
elevated plain overlooking the valley, near the site of the village yet
retaining the latter name of the fortress. [FN-2] A small garrison had
been left in this fort, but not of sufficient strength to warrant a field
engagement with the forces of Brant, while the latter, being unprovided
with artillery, had no design of assaulting the fort.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Annals of Tryon County.

 [FN-2] For a drawing of Fort Plank, or Fort Plain, and a more particular
 description, see Appendix, No. I. To a modern engineer, its form must
 present a singular spectacle as a military structure. The drawing has
 been preserved, as a specimen of the forts and block-houses of that
 frontier during the war of the Revolution.


On the first approach of Brant in Canajoharie, a few miles eastwardly of
the fort, the alarm was given by a woman, who fired a cannon for that
purpose. But as the able-bodied men were absent, as already stated, the
chief met with no immediate opposition, and before the militia could be
rallied from Schenectady and Albany, he had ample time to effect the
object of the enterprise. The settlements on the south side of the river,
for several miles, were entirely laid waste. All the movable property that
could be taken off was secured as plunder; but no outrages were committed
upon the defenceless women and children, other than carrying them into
captivity--a circumstance that has been attributed to the absence of the
Tories in this expedition, and also to the fact that there was no divided
command--Brant being himself the sole leader. Be that as it may, the
Mohawk chief is entitled to the benefit of this instance of humanity, in
forming a final judgment of his character.

But the strength of the main fort did not deter the chief from leading
his warriors directly into its vicinity, where the church, distant about
a quarter of a mile, and the parsonage, together with several other
buildings, were burnt. Sixteen of the inhabitants were killed, between
fifty and sixty persons, mostly women and children, were taken prisoners,
fifty-three dwelling-houses, and as many barns were burnt, together with
a gristmill, two small forts, and a handsome church. Upward of three
hundred black cattle and horses were killed or driven away, the arms of
the people, their working-tools and implements of husbandry destroyed,
and the growing crops swept from the fields. [FN-1] Indeed, the fairest
district of the valley was in a single day rendered a scene of wailing
and desolation; and the ravages enacted in the Indian country by General
Sullivan the preceding year, were in part most unexpectedly re-enacted by
the Indian chieftain himself in the heart of the country of his
invaders. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. letter of Colonel Clyde to Governor George Clinton.

 [FN-2] A detachment from this expedition was sent by Brant, at the same
 time, against the settlement on the Norman's Kill, in the very
 neighborhood of Albany, when they succeeded in burning twenty
 houses.--_Macauly._


The first admonition of the invasion in the neighborhood of Johnstown,
fifteen miles from Canajoharie, was by the ascending columns of smoke
from the burning buildings. The people were employed harvesting in the
fields, but they turned out immediately, and joining Colonel Wemple, who
advanced from below with the Schenectady and Albany militia, proceeded to
the scene of conflagration. But their movements were not sufficiently
expeditious to arrest the destroyer or to intercept his retreat. Indeed,
it is intimated, by good authority, that although the Colonel's forces
were superior to those of Brant, the former was, nevertheless, by no
means anxious to arrive in the immediate vicinity of the Indians too
soon. [FN-1] The Colonel lodged his men that night in the fort. The next
morning, while the troops, regular and irregular, were on parade, some
buildings were discovered on fire at a distance, which had escaped the
flames the day before. The attention of Colonel Wemple being directed to
the fact, he remarked, that if any volunteers were disposed to go in
pursuit, they might Major Bantlin, with a few of the Tryon County militia,
who had arrived that morning, immediately turned out. "We hastened to the
place as soon as we could. The enemy discovered us and ran off. It was a
small party sent out by Brant We pursued them, but they reached their
main body before we came up. We succeeded, however, in rescuing a little
girl, whom they had taken and painted." [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Major Thomas Sammons, who was in the wheat-field when the smoke
 was seen, and who immediately repaired to the scene of action.

 [FN-2] MSS. of Major Sammons.


The forts destroyed by Brant at Canajoharie, were built by the people
themselves, but had not yet been garrisoned. The inhabitants had
complained bitterly that they were thus compelled to leave their own
firesides unprotected, to assist the Government in re-opening the
communication with Fort Schuyler. But being assured that their town could
be in no danger, they submitted to the order, and their militia marched
to the upper section of the valley. The result was deplorable enough;
while the success of his stratagem added another plume to the crest of
"the Great Captain of the Six Nations." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] According to the British account of this irruption, as published in
 New-York on the 6th of September, Sir John Johnson was in the expedition
 with Captain Brant. But this could hardly have been the fact, and all
 other authorities be silent upon the subject. The same account claimed
 that in the Canajoharie settlements 67 houses and 48 barns were burnt;
 17 persons killed, and 53 taken prisoners. At the same time, it was
 stated that in one of the Schoharie settlements 87 houses were burnt;
 7 persons killed; and 31 taken prisoners. At Norman's Kill, 30 houses
 burnt. Total, 140 houses and barns burnt; 84 people killed; and 73 made
 prisoners.--_Almon's Remembrancer, Part II._--1780.



                          CHAPTER IV.



 General progress of the War--Design against New-York--Glance at the
  Southern Campaigns--Treason of Arnold--Execution of Andre--Indian
  deputation to Count de Rochambeau, in Rhode Island--Invasion of the
  Schoharie-kill and the Mohawk Valleys, by Sir John Johnson, Brant, and
  the Corn-Planter--Surprise of the upper fort--The middle fort
  invested--Conduct of Murphy in firing upon a flag--Singular prosecution
  of the siege--Murphy's contumacy--The flags fired upon thrice--Sir John
  proceeds to the lower fort--After a brief halt, advances again to the
  Mohawk, destroying every thing in his way--Murder of the
  inhabitants--The Vroomans--Heroism of a woman--Sir John arrives at Fort
  Hunter--Ravages the Mohawk Valley--Battle of Stone Arabia and death of
  Colonel Brown--His character--Remarkable anecdote of General Arnold--Sir
  John proceeds to Klock's Field--Is pursued by Van Rensselaer, though
  with unaccountable delay--Battle of Klock's Field--Flight of the
  Indians--Strange retreat of Van Rensselaer--Affairs of the night--Secret
  flight of the Greens and Rangers--The pursuit--General Van Rensselaer
  prematurely relinquishes it--Capture of Captain Vrooman and his
  company, by Brant, in the neighborhood of Oneida--Touching incident at
  Fort Hunter--Singular story respecting the Corn-Planter--Major
  Carleton's expedition against Forts Anne and George--Correspondence on
  the subject of prisoners--Affairs at Niagara--Seating in of Winter.


The active operations of the war, during the open months of the present
year, with the exception of the successive invasions of the Mohawk Valley
by Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant at the head of the loyalists and
Indians, were chiefly confined to the Southern states. True, indeed, in
anticipation of the arrival of another French fleet, with an army under
the Count de Rochambeau, for the land service, an attack had been
meditated by the Commander-in-chief upon New-York, and various preliminary
measures were adopted for that object. But, in order to cover the real
design, an attempt was made, after the return of the Marquis de Lafayette
from France, in the Spring, to divert the attention of the British
Commander by inducing a belief that Canada was again to be invaded by a
combined movement of the Americans and their allies. For this purpose,
proclamations, addressed to the Canadian people, were prepared, one of
which was written in French, and signed by Lafayette. These proclamations
were printed with great secrecy, but at the same time for the express
purpose of allowing copies of them to fall into the hands of the enemy,
to mislead Sir Henry Clinton. The printing was confided by Washington to
General Arnold; and as the stratagem was unsuccessful, subsequent events
induced a belief that the treasonable practices of that officer had then
already commenced. The letter from Washington to Arnold, respecting the
printing of those proclamations, was dated June 4th. It was afterward
satisfactorily ascertained, that "for several months previously Arnold
had endeavored to recommend himself to the enemy, by sending intelligence
concerning the movements and plans of the American army." [FN] Various
untoward circumstances concurred in frustrating the design of the
intended combined movement upon New-York. In the first place, although
Congress had made large promises to France, of efficient co-operation, in
the event of assistance from that quarter, yet the backwardness of many
of the States in furnishing their respective quotas of men, and the
continued deficiency of supplies, were serious discouragements to the
Commander-in-chief, and he almost began to despair of the undertaking
before the arrival of his allies. In the second place, the fleet of the
Chevalier Ternay, with the army of the Count de Rochambeau, did not
arrive so early by several weeks as was intended. In the third place, Sir
Henry Clinton having returned to New-York from the south, instead of
entering the harbor of New-York direct, the French admiral was
constrained to put into the harbor of Rhode Island, where the army was
landed; and before dispositions could be made for a combined movement
thence upon New-York, the British Admiral Graves arrived off Rhode Island
with a superior force, so that the Chevalier Ternay was blockaded. The
result of all these occurrences was a relinquishment, for the time, of the
enterprise against New-York; and the French and American armies were
doomed to comparative inactivity at the north the whole season.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Sparks's Life and Correspondence of Washington, vol. vii. Vide
 several letters from Washington to Lafayette, Arnold, and others, during
 the month of May, 1780.


Not so, however, at the south. After the fall of Charleston, in the
Spring, the British troops, under those able and active officers,
Cornwallis, Tarleton, Lord Rawdon, and others, almost entirely over-ran
the Southern States. Tarleton's first achievement was the cutting up of
Colonel Buford, with about four hundred men, at the Waxhaws. In South
Carolina all ideas of farther resistance seemed to be abandoned, until
Sumpter returned, and revived their spirits by proving at Williamson's
plantation that the invaders were not invincible. But in July, after
General Gates had assumed the command in the Southern Department, to which
the brave Baron De Kalb had opened the way, the severe disaster at Camden,
where the militia ran away, as usual, at the beginning of the battle,
rendered all again gloomy as before. [FN] The Baron De Kalb fell in this
action, covered with wounds. Close upon the heels of this defeat, followed
the surprise and all but annihilation of Sumpter's forces, by Tarleton, at
the Wateree. But the splendid affair at King's Mountain, on the 7th of
October, in which Ferguson, with a body of twelve or fifteen hundred
loyalists, and about one hundred British regulars, was defeated and taken
by Campbell, Shelby, and Cleaveland, at the head of the hardy mountaineers
of Virginia and North Carolina, with the re-appearance of Sumpter in the
field at the head of a body of volunteers--defeating Major Wemys at Broad
River, on the 12th of November, and repulsing Tarleton himself at
Black-stocks near the Tiger river, on the 20th,--contributed not a little
to revive the spirits of the Americans in that quarter. At the north, the
only considerable movement by the enemy was the expedition of the Hessian
General Knyphausen into New Jersey, during which he burnt thirteen houses
and the church at Connecticut Farms, and fifty houses at Springfield.
Fighting a battle at that place without achieving a victory, he returned
to Elizabethtown, and thence back to New-York.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] From the time of his leaving the command at Providence in the
 beginning of the preceding winter, General Gates had been residing at
 his own home in Virginia. He was unanimously appointed by Congress, on
 the 13th of June, to take command in the southern department.--_Sparks._


But the great event of the Summer at the north, was the capture of the
British Adjutant General, Major Andre, in the character of a spy, and the
consequent detection of the treason of General Arnold. The annals of war
furnish not a more flagrant instance of treachery than that Arnold was a
brave man, who had shared largely in the confidence of Washington during
the earlier years of the war; and although events had subsequently
occurred which must seriously have shaken the faith of the
Commander-in-chief in his private virtue and integrity, still he could
not have entertained the slightest suspicion of his patriotism, or his
integrity to the country; ignorant, probably, of the fact which will
appear a few pages ahead, that even that _had_ been questioned, during the
Canadian campaign of 1776. But, aside from Arnold's thirst for military
fame, which certainly cannot be denied to him, his ruling passion was
avarice. During his residence in Philadelphia, with the command of which
he was invested after its evacuation by the British troops in 1778, he
had lived in a style of splendor altogether beyond his means. Embarking
largely in privateering and other speculations, he had suffered heavy
losses; and to supply an exchequer which had been exhausted by an almost
boundless prodigality, he had resorted to acts of oppression and base
dishonor. Another device to obtain the means of indulging his
extravagance, was the exhibition of accounts against the public, so
enormous as to demand an investigation by a Board of Commissioners. Many
of these accounts being disallowed by the Commissioners, Arnold appealed
to Congress. A committee of re-examination was appointed; the report of
which was, that the Board of Commissioners had already allowed too much.
He was shortly afterward brought to answer for his peculations, and other
malpractices, before a General Court-martial; and he only escaped being
cashiered, by the death of one witness and the unaccountable absence of
another. Still, his conduct was pronounced highly reprehensible by the
Court, for which he was subjected to a reprimand from the
Commander-in-chief. The impression, however, was strong, and very general,
that he ought to have been dismissed from the army. Stung to the quick at
these censures of the Congress, the Court, and of his commander--hating
that commander now, if he had not done so before, fur the high-souled
honor of his sentiments, and the exalted virtue and moral purity of his
life--hating him the more bitterly because of his own fall--and stimulated
to the foul purpose, like the Thane of Cawdor, by his wife, who was a
traitress before him [FN-1]--Arnold had almost consummated his
long-meditated treachery, [FN-2] when the arrest of the unfortunate Andre
saved not only the citadel of the army, but probably the cause of the
country itself.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] It is well known that, on the detection of Arnold's treason and
 his flight, Mrs. Arnold was apparently deeply affected--tearing her hair,
 and seeming almost frantic. So great was her agony, that the feelings of
 Washington, Hamilton, and other officers, were greatly excited in her
 behalf. The author has long been aware, through the confidential friends
 of the late Colonel Burr, that Mrs. Arnold was only _acting a part_ when
 she exhibited her distress. She was the daughter of Chief Justice
 Shippen, of Pennsylvania, and had been married to Arnold at Philadelphia
 in 1779. She had corresponded with Major Andre, during the Summer, under
 a pretext of obtaining supplies of millinery, &c. Her habits were
 extravagant, and had doubtless contributed to involve her husband more
 deeply in pecuniary difficulties. Having obtained from General Washington
 a passport, and permission to join her husband in New-York, Mrs. Arnold
 stopped on the way At the house of Mrs. Provost, at Paramus, the lady of
 a British officer, and afterward the wife of Colonel Burr, where she
 stayed one night. Here the frantic scenes of West Point were re-enacted
 while there were strangers present; but as soon as they were alone, she
 became Tranquilized, and assured Mrs. Provost that she was heartily sick
 of the theatrics she was playing. She stated that she had corresponded
 with the British commander--that she was disgusted with the American
 cause, and those who had the management of it; and that, through great
 precaution and unceasing perseverance, she had ultimately brought the
 General into the arrangement to surrender West Point to the British,
 &c., &c. For farther particulars upon the subject, see Davis's Life of
 Burr, pp. 219, 220. In his letter in her behalf to General Washington,
 Arnold of course entirely exculpated his wife. The public vengeance, he
 said, "ought alone to fall on me. She is as good and as innocent as an
 angel, and is incapable of doing wrong."

 [FN-2] Eighteen months before the consummation of his treason, General
 Arnold commenced writing to Sir Henry Clinton anonymously, and from time
 to time communicated to him important intelligence.--_Sparks._


With a seeming desire of active service, Arnold had urged forward his
trial, that, as he protested, he might be enabled the earlier to take the
field. But in pursuance, no doubt, of his understanding with Sir Henry
Clinton, his great anxiety was to obtain the command of West Point. With
this view he wrote to General Schuyler, who was then in camp, as one of
a Committee of Congress; and it is supposed that he likewise corresponded
with Robert R. Livingston upon the subject. At all events, Mr. Livingston
applied to General Washington for that station in behalf of Arnold. The
application was successful, though not immediately. On the first of
August Arnold was assigned to the command of the left wing of the army.
Complaining, however, that his wounds were yet too painful to allow him
to act with efficiency in the field, on the 3d of the same month he was
directed to repair to West Point, and take the command of the post. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of Washington to General Arnold, August 3,1790. See, also,
 note of Sparks to the same, and other antecedent letters.


It would be foreign to the main design of the present work, to
recapitulate the history of this memorable instance of the blackest
treachery. Suffice it to say, that, after his arrest, the conduct of
Andre was characterised by candor, manliness, and honor. He was tried by
a board of officers, and convicted on his own frank confessions, without
the testimony of a single witness. His main object, after he saw his
destiny was inevitable, was to relieve himself from the reproach of
having been guilty of any act of personal dishonor; and to show that in
fact he had bean compelled to assume the disguise in which he was taken,
by Arnold himself. And when he had expiated his error by his life, the
feeling was almost universal, that the iron hand of the law-martial had
fallen upon the wrong individual. For, although, in regard to Andre
himself it was doubtless right, under the circumstances of the case, that
justice should be inexorable; yet humanity cannot but weep over the hard
fate of the victim, while it marvels that an inscrutable Providence did
not so order events as to bring Arnold to the gibbet on which the
youthful stranger so nobly died. "Never, perhaps, did a man suffer death
with more justice, or deserve it less," was the remark of a gallant
soldier who was in attendance upon him during his imprisonment; and the
account of his character, written by that officer, and his demeanor
during the trying scenes intervening between his arrest and execution,
cannot be read without exciting emotions of high admiration and profound
regret. [FN] Happy, however, was his fate, compared with that of the
arch-traitor, whose moral leprosy, like the plague-spot, caused him to be
shunned through life by all honorable men--an object of loathing and
scorn, to fill--unregretted by anyone--a dishonorable grave!

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The document referred to is a letter published in the Pennsylvania
 Gazette of October 25th, 1790, written, as was supposed, by Alexander
 Hamilton, at that time an Aid-de-camp to the Commander-in-chief. There
 is, either in the library or the picture gallery of Yale College,
 New-Haven, a likeness of Major Andre, sketched upon paper, by himself,
 but a short time before his execution.


Resuming, again, the Indian relations of the North, the first occurrence
to be noted is a visit made by several of the Oneida, Tuscarora, and
Caughnawaga Indians to the French army in Rhode Island. The Caughnawaga
Indians, residing at the Lachine rapids near Montreal, had been altogether
in the interest of France down to the time of the conquest of Canada by
the British and Provincial arms; and it was supposed that the ancient
attachment of other branches of the Six Nations to the French had not
been entirely lost. It was also recollected, that "when M. de Vaudreuil
surrendered Canada to the English, he gave to the Indians, as tokens of
recognizance, a golden crucifix and a watch; and it was supposed that a
renewal of the impressions, which had been in some degree preserved among
them by these emblems of friendship, might have the effect to detach
them from the influence of the English, and strengthen their union with
the Americans and French." [FN-1] That the British officers were
apprehensive that an influence adverse to the cause of the King might be
awakened among the Indians by the alliance of the French with the
Americans, was rendered highly probable, from the pains taken by the
former to impress them with a belief that no such alliance had been
formed. [FN-2] Hence it was judged expedient by General Schuyler, who was
then at Albany, that a delegation of the Indians should be sent to Rhode
Island, where conviction of the fact might be wrought upon their senses
by the substantial evidence of the fleet and army. [FN-3] Thirteen Oneidas
and Tuscaroras, and five Caughnawagas, were accordingly despatched to
Rhode Island, under the conduct of Mr. Deane the Interpreter. They
arrived at Newport on the 29th of August, and were received with
distinguished marks of attention by the French commanders. "Entertainments
and military shows were prepared for them, and they expressed much
satisfaction at what they saw and heard. Suitable presents were
distributed among them; and to the chiefs were given medals representing
the coronation of the French King. When they went away, a written address
was delivered to them, or rather a kind of proclamation, signed by Count
Rochambeau, copies of which were to be distributed among the friendly
Indians." It was in the following words:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] sparks.

 [FN-2] Letter from Washington to Count de Rochambeau.

 [FN-3] Idem.


"The King of France, your father, has not forgotten his children. As a
token of remembrance, I have presented gifts to your deputies in his name.
He learned with concern, that many nations, deceived by the English, who
were his enemies, had attacked and lifted up the hatchet against his good
and faithful allies, the United States. He has desired me to tell you,
that he is a firm and faithful friend to all the friends of America, and
a decided enemy to all its foes. He hopes that all his children, whom he
loves sincerely, will take part with their father in this war against the
English."

The Caughnawagas being more conversant with the French than, with the
English language, the address was written in both languages, and signed
and sealed in due form. [FN] It is doubtful, however, whether either good
or ill came from the movement. The Oneidas and Tuscaroras were already
sufficiently true in their alliance with the Americans. The Caughnawagas
had made friendly advances to the Americans before, which resulted in
nothing. And as for the other and greater divisions of the Six Nations,
their hostility, it will soon be perceived, was not abated.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Note in the Life and Correspondence of Washington by Sparks, and
 also a letter from the Count de Rochambeau, cited by him.


But even yet the desire of vengeance, on the part of the savages, had not
been satisfied. Smarting from the devastations of Sullivan's expedition,
neither the irruption of Sir John Johnson to Johnstown and Caughnawaga,
nor the invasion and destruction of Canajoharie by Thayendanegea, was
deemed by them a sufficient retaliatory visitation. Another and yet more
extensive expedition, both as to the numbers to be engaged, and the
object to be accomplished, was therefore planned and carried into
execution, under the auspices of Sir John Johnson, Joseph Brant, and the
famous Seneca warrior, the _Corn-Planter._ [FN-1] This latter chief was a
half-breed, his father being a white man, living in the Mohawk country,
named John O'Bail. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] This is the first time that the name of this chief, afterward
 celebrated in our Indian annals, occurs in the history of the revolution,
 although he was in the field with his tribe against General Sullivan.
 There is some doubt as to the orthography of his parental name. It has
 been written Abeel, O'Beal, and O'Bail. The latter is the name according
 to Mary Jemison. He was, for a considerable period, the rival of the
 eloquent Keeper-Awake, Red Jacket, by whom his influence was ultimately
 destroyed and himself supplanted.

 [FN-2] Mary Jemison.


The Indian portion of this expedition was chiefly collected at Tioga
Point, whence they ascended the Susquehanna to Unadilla, where a junction
was formed with Sir John Johnson, whose forces consisted, besides Mohawks,
of three companies of his own regiment of Greens; one company of German
Yagers; a detachment of two hundred men from Butler's rangers; [FN-1] and
one company of British regulars, under the immediate command of Captain
Richard Duncan, the son of an opulent gentleman residing, previous to the
war, in the neighborhood of Schenectady. [FN-2] The troops of Sir John
were collected at Lachine, near Montreal, whence they ascended the St.
Lawrence to Lake Ontario and Oswego. From this point they crossed the
country to the Susquehanna, where they were joined by the Indians and
Tories from Tioga. Sir John had with him two small mortars, and a brass
three-pounder, called a grasshopper, from the circumstance of its being
mounted upon iron legs instead of wheels. These pieces of ordnance were
transported through the woods upon pack-horses. Every soldier, and every
Indian, was provided with eighty rounds of cartridges. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MSS. of Major Thomas Sammons.

 [FN-2] Giles F. Yates, Esq.

 [FN-3] Major Sammons.


The Indians never breathed more fiercely for vengeance than at this time,
and they went forth upon the war-path with a determination that nothing
should impede their march or prevent their depredations. [FN] Their
numbers have been variously estimated at from eight hundred to fifteen
hundred and fifty--all descriptions of troops included. The latter
estimate is probably the nearest to the truth, judging from the results
of the campaign.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Mary Jemison, who seems to have been present at the gathering.


Their course was by their old route, along the Charlotte river,
(sometimes called the eastern branch of the Susquehanna,) to its source,
and thence across to the head of the Schoharie-kill, for the purpose of
making thorough work in the destruction of the continuous chain of
settlements through that beautiful valley to its junction with the Mohawk.
The enemy had designed to keep the movement a profound secret, until
proclaimed by his actual presence. Two of the Oneidas, in their service,
having deserted, frustrated that design by giving information of their
approach to the settlements. [FN] Whether from weariness of continual
alarms, or from ignorance or doubt as to the quarter where the blow was
to be struck, or from criminal negligence, cannot be told; but it is
certain that the surprise was as complete as the success of the campaign
was discreditable to those who did not prevent it.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of General Haldimand to Lord George Germaine.


The plan of Sir John and Captain Brant was to enter the valley by night,
pass, if possible, the upper fort unobserved, and then, by silently
destroying the intervening settlements, attack the middle fort, at
Middleburgh, early in the morning. This fort was garrisoned by about one
hundred and fifty state troops, called three months men, exclusive of
some fifty militia-men--the whole under the command of Major Woolsey,
[FN-1] who, from all accounts, appears to have been an inefficient
officer, and by some writers has been represented as the most miserable
of poltroons. [FN-2] The design of passing the upper fort unperceived,
was in part successful; nor was the enemy's approach to the middle
fortress discovered until just at break of day, on the morning of the
16th of October, when a sentinel, named Philip Graft, standing upon the
parapet of a mud wall, discovered a fire kindling in some buildings not
more than a quarter of a mile distant. Calling to the sergeant of the
guard, he communicated the discovery through him to the commanding
officer. The drums at once beat to arms, and Major Woolsey requested
forty volunteers to sally forth and discover the cause of the alarm.
Every man on duty promptly responded to the invitation, and the
complement was thereupon counted off from the right, and sent out in
charge of Lieutenant Spencer. The little band proceeded with alacrity in
the direction of the burning buildings, until they suddenly encountered
the enemy's advance. Three shots were exchanged, when Spencer retreated,
and brought his detachment back into the fort without the loss of a
man. [FN-3] At this moment the concerted signal of three guns from the
upper fort came rolling down the gorge of the mountains, from which it
was evident that the enemy had passed that fortress without molesting it.
A proper degree of vigilance, however, ought certainly to have enabled
the sentinels of that garrison to observe the advance of the invading
army, instead of merely catching a glimpse of its rear. The moment the
enemy had thus been discovered, front and rear, concealment of his
approach being no longer possible, the torch was indiscriminately applied
to such houses and barns as came in his way. The season had been
bountiful, the rich alluvial bottoms of the Schoharie-kill producing an
unusually abundant harvest that year. The barns were therefore well
stored with the earlier grains, while the fields were yet heavily
burdened with the autumnal crops. But the husbandmen in the neighborhood,
or those lodging for greater security in the little apology for a
fortress, looked abroad at sunrise to behold the produce of their
industry in flames.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. statement of Philip Graft, in the author's possession.

 [FN-2] "Woolsey's presence of mind forsook him in the hour of danger. He
 concealed himself at first with the women and children in the house, and
 when driven out by the ridicule of his new associates, he crawled round
 the intrenchments on his hands and knees, amid the jeers and bravos of
 the militia, who felt their courage revive as their laughter was excited
 by the cowardice of their major."--_Campbell's Annals._

 [FN-3] MS. statement of Philip Graft.


Soon after sunrise the main forces of the enemy had arrived, and the fort
was completely invested. A column of troops, with the pieces of light
artillery heretofore mentioned, passed round the north-east side of the
fort, and planted their guns upon an eminence commanding the American
works. An officer with a flag was now despatched toward the garrison, and
from the moment he was seen, an order was given to cease firing. All was
silent until he had approached to within the distance of fair rifle shot,
when the reader's old acquaintance, Murphy, recently of Morgan's rifle
corps, but now making war on his own responsibility, expressed a
determination to shoot down the officer by whom the flag was borne. He
was instantly ordered by the officers of the regular troops to forbear.
But the militia irregulars encouraged him to persist in his mutinous
determination. He did so; but for once his rifle was untrue, and the
flag-officer immediately faced about and retired to his own ranks.

Sir John thereupon opened his artillery upon the fort, while the Indians
and rangers kept up a brisk fire of musketry--both without much effect.
The enemy's field-pieces were probably of too small caliber for the
distance, and the shells were thrown with so little skill, for the most
part, as either to fall short, or fly over the works, or to explode in
the air. Two shells, however, fell upon the roof of the house within the
fort, one of which was precipitated down into a room occupied by two sick
women. It sank into a feather bed, and exploded--but without inflicting
farther injury. Fire was communicated to the roof of the building by the
other shell, and was extinguished with a single pail of water carried up
and applied by Philip Graft. Unfortunately the garrison was unable to
return the fire with spirit, for the want of powder. The regular troops
had only a few rounds each, and the militia were but little better
provided in that respect. Messengers had been despatched to Albany on the
preceding day for ammunition, and also far reinforcements; but neither had
yet been received, so that the fort was but ill prepared for protracted
or efficient resistance. But of this destitution the enemy was of course
ignorant; and the shooting at his flag-officer may have been, and probably
was, construed by Sir John as evidence of a determination to make no
terms. Expecting a desperate resistance, therefore, the Baronet may, from
that circumstance, have proceeded with the greater caution.

It was indeed a singular siege. The enemy, spreading over the whole of
the little plain, were now occupied in feeble attacks upon the fort, and
now dispersing in small detachments, to plunder another farm-house and
burn another corn-stack. There was one large barn, situated near the fort,
and around which stood a circle of stacks of wheat. These the enemy
attempted several times to fire, but Lieut. Spencer sallied forth with
his little band of forty, and so gallantly protected the property, that
the enemy reluctantly abandoned his design upon that point. Spencer was
fired upon briskly in this sortie, but lost only one of his men.

In the course of the forenoon, another flag was despatched toward the
fort by Sir John, which Murphy again determined to shoot down the moment
the officer came within range of his trusty rifle. Major Woolsey and the
officers interposed, but the militia again rallied round Murphy; and
although one of the officers drew his sword, and threatened to run the
offender through if he persisted, yet the rifleman coolly replied that he
had no confidence in the commanding officer, who he believed intended to
surrender the fort; that, if taken, he knew well what his own fate would
be, and he would not be taken alive. As the flag approached, therefore,
he fired again, but happily without effect; and the flag officer once
more returned to the head-quarters of Sir John. [FN-1] When the officers
of the regular troops remonstrated against such a barbarous violation of
the usages of honorable war, the militia soldiers replied that they were
dealing with a foe who paid no regard to such usages; and, however
strictly they might observe the rules of war and of etiquette themselves,
the besiegers would be the last men to exhibit a corresponding course of
conduct in the event of their success. The wailings of plundered and
murdered families without the fort, and the columns of smoke and flame
then ascending to the heavens, afforded ample testimony of the truth of
their position. "The savages, and their companions, the Tories, still
more savage than they, had shown no respect to age, sex, or condition;
and it was not without force that the question was repeated, are we bound
to exercise a forbearance totally unreciprocated by the enemy? Besides,"
it was added, "let us show that we will neither take nor give quarters;
and the enemy, discovering our desperation, will most likely withdraw."
[FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Statement of Philip Graft.

 [FN-2] The Sexagenary.


The desultory battle was again renewed--small parties of the garrison
occasionally watching opportunities to sally forth and do what mischief
they could to the enemy, retreating within the gates again when likely to
be borne down by superior numbers. Sir John, perceiving at length that
neither shot nor shells made any impression upon the garrison, formed his
disciplined troops under shelter of a small building more immediately in
the neighborhood of the fort, and prepared for an attempt to carry it by
assault. A flag again approached, and Murphy, brought up his rifle to
fire upon it the third time. He was admonished, as before, to desist, and
an effort was made to arrest him. But he was a universal favorite, and
the soldiers would not allow the procedure. A white flag was then ordered
to be raised from the fort, but Murphy threatened instant death to any
one who obeyed the direction; and as the enemy's flag continued to
approach, he was again preparing his piece, when an officer once more
interposed. Captain Reghtmeyer, of the militia, standing by the side of
Murphy, gave him the order to fire. The continental officer made a
demonstration toward Reghtmeyer, by attempting to draw his sword; but
immediately desisted as the latter clubbed his fusee, and gave an
impressive motion with its breech, of an import not to be misunderstood;
whereupon the Major stepped back, and there the matter ended. [FN-1] The
officer bearing the flag, having been thus a third time repulsed, Sir
John convened a council of war, and after a brief consultation, abandoned
the siege, and proceeded on his Vandal march down the valley. The reason
of this hasty change of purpose has never been known. Some have asserted
that a pretended loyalist gave the Baronet an exaggerated account of the
strength of the garrison and its means of resistance. [FN-2] Others have
said that rumors of approaching reinforcements induced him to hasten
forward, lest his projected march of desolation should be interrupted.
But it is likely that the repeated violations of the flag had created an
impression that such an indomitable garrison might not prudently be
engaged steel to steel and hand to hand, by assailants not to be relied
upon with much confidence in such emergencies.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] {illegible word--Idem.?}

 [FN-2] Campbell.


The march of the invaders was rapid in the direction of Fort Hunter, at
the confluence of the Schoharie-kill with the Mohawk river, in the course
of which they destroyed the buildings and produce of every agricultural
description. [FN-1] On arriving in the vicinity of the Lower Fort at Old
Schoharie, Sir John divided his forces--the regulars continuing down on
the bank of the creek to the left of the fort, while the Indians skirted
the meadows half a mile distant on the right. Having thus gained the
north side of the fort, they made a stand for a brief space of time, and
a few shots were interchanged. Some sharp-shooters having been stationed
in the tower of the church, the enemy brought one of their field-pieces
to bear upon it. A single shot only struck, which lodged in the cornice,
and a discharge of grape from the fort drove the invaders back, [FN-2]
whereupon their march was resumed and continued to Fort Hunter; at which
place they arrived in the night without interruption. In their course the
whole valley was laid in ruins. The houses and barns were burnt, the
horses and cattle killed or taken; and those of the inhabitants who were
not safely within the walls of their little fortifications, were either
killed or carried into captivity. Not a building, known by the Indians
and Tories to belong to a Whig, was saved. Sir John had ordered his forces
to spare the church at the upper Fort, but his mandate was disobeyed, and
the structure was laid in ashes. The houses of the loyalists were passed
unmolested; but, exasperated by the destruction of their own habitations,
the Whigs soon caused these to be numbered in the common lot. [FN-3] Thus
was the whole Valley of the Schoharie-kill made desolate.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The destruction of grain was so great as to threaten the most
 alarming consequences, in respect to the forming of magazines for the
 public service at the North. But for that event, the settlement of
 Schoharie, alone, would have delivered eighty thousand bushels of
 grain.--_Letter of Washington to the President of Congress, Nov._ 7,
 1780.

 [FN-2] Campbell's Annals.

 [FN-3] The Indians spared one house, from the consideration that it had
 formerly been occupied at one of their treaties.


The loss of the Americans at the forts was very trifling. Only two were
killed, and one wounded, at the middle Fort, and none at the lower. But
of the unprotected inhabitants, numbers--according to some accounts, one
hundred--were killed. There were some individual occurrences during the
day, moreover, which are worthy of being specially noted. It happened
early in the morning, that John Vrooman and two of his neighbors were upon
a scout in the woods, about eight miles from the fort, when they
discovered an Indian. Vrooman fired, and the Indian fell. At the same
instant another Indian was discovered through the bushes, who was also
brought down by one of Vrooman's companions. A third savage was now seen;
but as Vrooman's third companion hesitated about firing, Vrooman himself
snatched his rifle from him, and brought that warrior also to the ground.
At the same instant--for it was all the work of a moment--up rose from
the ground a group of Indians and Tories, who set upon them with a
terrible yell. Vrooman and his companions fled in different directions at
the top of their speed, and succeeded, by reason of their wind and bottom,
and their zigzag flights, in making their escape. It was noon when the
former reached his own home,--only to behold his house in flames. His wife
and her mother were made captives by an Indian named Seth Hendrick, who
had formerly resided in Schoharie; but they were released and sent back
on the following day, by Captain Brant, together with a letter, written
upon birch bark, explaining his reasons for allowing their return. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Sexagenary. The Vroomans were an extensive family in the
 Schoharie settlements, and were severe sufferers. In the last preceding
 chapter but one, the boastings of Becraft, who bad murdered one entire
 family of that name, have been noted. During the present expedition, the
 following persons, among others, were murdered, viz:--Tunis Vrooman, his
 wife and son; while at the same time Ephraim Vrooman and his two sons,
 Bartholomew and James, John Vrooman, Martin Vrooman, Bartholomew Vrooman,
 Jun., Simon Vrooman, his wife and his son Jacob, were taken prisoners and
 carried to Canada.--_Giles F. Yates._


One of the farmers, on that day, while engaged with his boys in unloading
a wagon of grain at the barn, hearing a shriek, looked about, and saw a
party of Indians and Tories between himself and the house. "The enemy, my
boys!" said the father, and sprang from the wagon, but in attempting to
leap the fence, a rifle ball brought him dead upon the spot. The shriek
had proceeded from his wife, who, in coming from the garden, had
discovered the savages, and screamed to give the alarm. She was struck
down by a tomahawk. Her little son, five years old, who had been playing
about the wagon, ran up to his mother, in an agony of grief, as she lay
weltering in blood, and was knocked on the head, and left dead by the
side of his parent The two other boys were carried away into Canada, and
did not return until after the war. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Sexagenary. "Ephraim Vrooman himself was carried away by Seth
 Hendrick, who treated him with much kindness by the way. There were two
 or three other Indians in the immediate party with Seth. These, before
 they arrived at their place of destination, grew tired of their prisoner,
 and proposed to despatch him. Mr. Vrooman overheard the conversation,
 which was conducted in a whisper, and repeated it to Hendrick. Hendrick
 assured him, in the most positive manner, that 'not a hair of his head
 should be touched' and gave his companions a severe reprimand for their
 ungenerous conspiracy. After the termination of the revolutionary
 contest, Hendrick paid Mr. Vrooman a visit, and apologised for his
 conduct during the war, in the strong metaphorical language of his
 nation. The tomahawk, said he, is used only in war; in time of peace it
 is buried--it cuts down the sturdy oak as well as the tender vine; but I
 (laying his hand on Mr. V's shoulder,) I saved the oak."--_Giles F.
 Yates._


The family of Ephraim Vrooman was also particularly unfortunate. He was
at work in the field when he first discovered a straggling party of the
enemy approaching. He started at full speed for his house, in order to
obtain his arms, and sell his life as dearly as possible. But in climbing
a fence he was seized, and taken prisoner. His wife, in endeavoring to
escape by flight, was shot dead before his eyes. As she fell, her little
daughter, aged eleven years, ran up, and cast herself down by the side of
her dying parent, as clinging to her for protection, when an Indian came
up, and added to the agony of the father and the crimes of the day, by
crushing her head with a stone. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Sexagenary.


There was an aged man in the middle Fort, who performed a bold exploit.
He was the owner of a mill about two miles distant, at which his son had
passed the night. Knowing that some one or more of the enemy's plundering
parties would assuredly visit the mill, at the instant Lieutenant
Spencer's party encountered Sir John's advance guard in the morning, the
old man sallied out and hastened to the rescue of his son. Mounting each
a horse to return to the fort, they found it already invested by the
enemy on their arrival. Nothing daunted, however, they passed within a
hundred yards of the enemy at full speed, dashed up to the rear of the
Fort, and were received in safety. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Sexagenary.


There was another incident transpiring at the fort, which stands in happy
contrast with the conduct of the commanding major. The females within the
fortress are said to have displayed a degree of heroism worthy of
commendation and of all praise. Being well provided with arms, they were
determined to use them in case of an attempt to carry the works by storm.
One of them, an interesting young woman, whose name yet lives in story
among her own mountains, perceiving, as she thought, symptoms of fear in
a soldier who had been ordered to a well without the works, and within
range of the enemy's fire, for water, snatched the bucket from his hands,
and ran forth for it herself. Without changing color, or giving the
slightest evidence of fear, she drew and brought bucket after bucket to
the thirsty soldiers, and providentially escaped without injury. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Idem.


Sir John remained in the neighborhood of Fort Hunter on the 17th,
continuing the work of destruction in every possible direction. On the
evening of that day Captain Duncan crossed the river with three companies
of the Greens and some Indians. On the morning of the 18th, all that had
been left standing of Caughnawaga at the time of the irruption of Sir
John in the preceding Spring, and all that had been rebuilt, was
ruthlessly destroyed by fire. A simultaneous and most desolating march up
the river was then commenced by Sir John and the main body of his forces
on the south side of the river, and by Captain Duncan's division on the
north. As at Schoharie, the march of both was one of entire devastation.
Rapine and plunder were the order of the day, and both shores of the
Mohawk were lighted up by the conflagration of every thing combustible;
while the panic-stricken inhabitants only escaped slaughter or captivity
by flight--they knew not whither. [FN-1] Conspicuous among the sufferers
was Major Jelles Fonda, a faithful and confidential officer under the
father of Sir John; but who, having turned his back upon the royal cause,
was singled out as a special and signal mark of vengeance. His mansion at
"The Nose," in the town of Palatine, was destroyed, together with property
to the amount of sixty thousand dollars. The Major was himself absent.
[FN-2] His wife escaped under the curtain of a thick fog, and made her
way on foot, twenty-six miles, to Schenectady. [FN-3] Sir John encamped
with his forces on the night of the 18th nearly opposite, or rather above
the Nose. On the following morning, he crossed the river to the north
side, at Keder's Rifts. The greater part of the motley army continued its
progress directly up the river, laying waste the country as before. A
detachment of one hundred and fifty men was, however, dispatched from
Keder's Rifts against the small stockade called Fort Paris, in Stone
Arabia, some two or three miles back from the river, north of Palatine.
But, after marching about two miles, the main body also wheeled off to
the right, to assist in attacking the fort. The work of devastation was
continued also in this direction, as at other places.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MSS. of Major Thomas Sammons.

 [FN-2] In the State Senate, the legislature being then in Session at
 Poughkeepsie.

  [FN-3] Antiquarian Researches, by Giles F. Yates.


The small fort just mentioned was at this time in command of Colonel
Brown, with a garrison of one hundred and thirty men. An unfortunate
occurrence induced him to leave his defences, and resulted in his
discomfiture and fall. The circumstances were these:--the moment tidings
that Sir John had broken into the settlements of the Schoharie reached
Albany, General Robert Van Rensselaer, of Claverack, at the head of the
Claverack, Albany, and Schenectady militia, pushed on by forced marches
to encounter him, accompanied by Governor Clinton. Having arrived at
Caughnawaga on the 18th, and having likewise ascertained that Fort Paris
was to be assaulted on the morning of the 19th, Van Rensselaer dispatched
orders to Colonel Brown to march out and check the advance of the enemy,
while at the same time he would be ready to fall upon his rear. Brown,
faithful to the hour designated, sallied forth, and gave Sir John battle
near the site of a former work, called Fort Keyser. But General Van
Rensselaer's advance had been impeded, so that no diversion was created
in Brown's favor; and his forces were too feeble to withstand the enemy,
or even to check his progress. Colonel Brown fell gallantly at the head of
his little division, of which from forty to forty-five were also slain.
The remainder of his troops sought safety in flight.

Colonel Brown, who fell on this occasion, was a soldier of great courage
and high moral worth. He was early in the service, and was engaged in the
memorable and ultimately disastrous campaign in Canada. While the
American army was at Sorel, he detected, or believed he detected, a
design on the part of General Arnold then to play the traitor. Arnold was
about making a mysterious night movement of the flotilla of light vessels
belonging to the Americans, then with the army in the St. Lawrence, which
Colonel Easton, suspecting all was not right, prevented--but not until he
had ordered two or three pieces of ordnance to bear upon the vessels,
threatening to fire upon them if they proceeded. The conviction upon the
minds of Easton and Brown was, that it was the purpose of Arnold to run
off with the flotilla, and sell out to Sir Guy Carleton.

After the close of the Canadian campaign, during the winter of 1776-77,
while Arnold and many of the officers were quartered in Albany, some
difficulty occurred between Brown and the former, which resulted in
ill-feeling between them. Arnold was at the head of a mess of sixteen or
eighteen officers, among whom was Colonel Morgan Lewis. Colonel Brown,
having weak eyes, and being obliged to live abstemiously, occupied
quarters affording greater retirement. In consequence of the
misunderstanding referred to, Colonel Brown published a hand-bill,
attacking Arnold with great severity; rehearsing the suspicious
circumstances that had occurred at Sorel; and upbraiding him for sacking
the city of Montreal while he was in the occupancy of that place. The
handbill concluded with these remarkable words:--"Money is this man's God,
and to get enough of it, he would sacrifice his country."

Such a publication could not but produce a great sensation among the
officers. It was received at Arnold's quarters while the mess were at
dinner, and read aloud at the table--the accused himself sitting at the
head. Arnold, of course, was greatly excited, and applied a variety of
epithets, coarse and harsh, to Colonel Brown, pronouncing him a scoundrel,
and declaring that he would kick him wheresoever and whensoever he should
meet him. One of the officers present remarked to the General, that
Colonel Brown was his friend; and that, as the remarks just applied to
him had been so publicly made, he presumed there could be no objection to
his repeating them to that officer. Arnold replied, certainly not; adding,
that he should feel himself obliged to any officer who would inform
Colonel Brown of what had been said. The officer replied that he should
do so before he slept.

Under these circumstances no time was lost in making the communication to
Colonel Brown. Colonel Lewis himself called upon Brown in the course of
the evening, and the matter was the principal topic of conversation. The
Colonel was a mild and amiable man, and he made no remark of particular
harshness or bitterness, in respect to Arnold; but, toward the close of
the interview, he observed--"Well, Lewis, I wish you would invite me to
dine with your mess tomorrow." "With all my heart," was the reply; "will
you come?" Brown said he would, and they parted. The next day, near the
time of serving dinner, Colonel Brown arrived, and was ushered in. The
table was spread in a long room, at one end of which the door opened
directly opposite to the fireplace at the other. Arnold was at the moment
standing with his back to the fire, so that, as Brown opened the door,
they at once encountered each other face to face. It was a moment of
breathless interest for the result. Brown walked calmly in, and turning
to avoid the table, passed round with a deliberate step, and advancing up
close to Arnold, stopped, and looked him directly in the eye. After the
pause of a moment, he observed: "I understand, Sir, that you have said
that you would kick me; I now present myself to give you an opportunity
to put your threat into execution!" Another brief pause ensued. Arnold
opened not his lips. Brown then said to him--"Sir, you are a dirty
scoundrel." Arnold was still silent as the sphinx. Whereupon Brown turned
upon his heel with dignity, apologised to the gentlemen present for his
intrusion, and immediately left the room.

This was certainly an extraordinary scene, and more extraordinary still
is the fact, that the particulars have never been communicated in any way
to the public. Arnold certainly did not lack personal bravery; and the
unbroken silence preserved by him on the occasion, can only be accounted
for upon the supposition that he feared to provoke inquiry upon the
subject, while at the same time he could throw himself upon his
well-attested courage and his rank, as excuses for not stooping to a
controversy with a subordinate officer. But it must still be considered
as one of the most extraordinary personal interviews to be found among
the memorabilia of military men. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The particulars of this interesting story were derived by the
 author from the lips of General Lewis himself.


In the year following, during the campaign of Burgoyne, owing to the
intrigues of Arnold, Brown was left without any command. But he was too
much of a patriot to remain idle in such a moment of his country's peril.
He raised a corps of volunteers on his own account, and performed one of
the most daring exploits of the whole war. While Burgoyne was yet in the
full career of victory, Brown dashed into his rear, and proceeding down
to the north end of Lake George, fell upon a small post, which he carried
without opposition. The surprise was complete. He also took possession of
Mount Defiance, Mount Hope, the landing-place, and about two hundred
batteaux. With the loss of only three killed and five wounded, Colonel
Brown liberated one hundred American prisoners, and captured two hundred
and ninety-three of the enemy. He made an attempt on Mount Independence
and Ticonderoga; but, too weak for the investment of those works, he
returned through Lake George to Diamond Island, containing the enemy's
_depot_ of provisions. He attacked the works upon this island, but being
repulsed, burnt the vessels he had captured, and returned to his former
station. This brilliant affair by Colonel Brown took place at the time
when Arnold had the ear of General Gates; and the consequence was, that
in giving an account of the expedition, Gates carefully avoided even
naming the gallant officer who had planned and achieved it. It was an
instance of neglect for which that officer ought forever to have been
ashamed. Colonel Brown was a gentleman of education, bred to the bar, and
greatly respected by those who enjoyed the pleasure of his acquaintance.
But to return.

After the fall of Colonel Brown, and the defeat of his troops, Sir John
dispersed his forces in small bands, to the distance of five or six miles
in all directions, to pillage and destroy. Late in the afternoon he
reunited his troops, and leaving Stone Arabia a desert, marched back to
the river road, east of Caroga Creek. The detachment of Captain Duncan
having come up, Sir John again moved toward the west. There was a small
defence not far from the mouth of the creek, called Fox's Fort. Avoiding
this work by diverging from the road to the margin of the river on the
left, Sir John continued his course three miles farther, to a place
called Klock's Field, where, from the fatigue of his troops, and the
over-burthens of provisions and plunder with which they were laden, it
became necessary to halt.

General Van Rensselaer was now close in pursuit of Sir John, with a strong
force. Indeed, he ought to have overtaken him in the early part of the
day, since he had encamped the night before on the south side of the
river, at Van Eps's, nearly opposite Caughnawaga, while Sir John himself
was encamped opposite the Nose, only two or three miles farther up the
river. Sir John's troops, moreover, were exhausted by forced marches,
active service, and heavy knapsacks, while those of Van Rensselaer were
fresh in the field. On the morning of the same day, while continuing his
march on the south side of the river, Van Rensselaer was joined by Captain
McKean, with some eighty volunteers, together with a strong body of Oneida
warriors, led by their principal chief, Louis Atayataronghta, who, as
stated in a former chapter, had been commissioned a lieutenant colonel by
Congress. With these additions, the command of General Van Rensselaer
numbered about fifteen hundred--a force in every way superior to that of
the enemy.

Sir John had stationed a guard of forty men at the ford, to dispute its
passage. On approaching this point, General Van Rensselaer halted, and
did not again advance until the guard, of the enemy had been withdrawn.
Continuing his march still upon the South side of the river, while the
enemy was actively engaged in the work of death and destruction on the
North, Van Rensselaer arrived opposite the battle-ground where Brown had
fallen, before the firing had ceased, and while the savage war-whoop was
yet resounding. This was at 11 o'clock in the morning, and the Americans,
came to a halt, about three miles below Caroga Creek, still on the south
side. While there, some of the fugitives from Colonel Brown's regiment
came running down, and jumping into the river, forded it without
difficulty. As they came to the south bank, the General inquired whence
they came. One of them, a militia officer named Van Allen, replied that
they had escaped from Brown's battle. "How has it gone?" "Colonel Brown
is killed, with many of his men. Are you not going there?" "I am not
acquainted with the fording place," said the General. He was answered
that there was no difficulty in the case. The General then inquired of
Van Allen if he would return as a pilot, and the reply was promptly in
the affirmative. Hereupon Captain McKean and the Oneida chief led their
respective commands through the river to the north side, expecting the
main army immediately to follow. At this moment Colonel Dubois, of the
State levies, rode up to the General, who immediately mounted his horse,
and instead of crossing the river, accompanied the Colonel to Fort Plain,
some distance above, to dinner as it was understood. Meantime the baggage
wagons were driven into the river, to serve in part as a bridge for the
main body of Van Rensselaer's forces, and they commenced crossing the
stream in single files. The passage in this way was not effected until
four o'clock in the afternoon, at which time the General returned and
joined them, just as the last man had crossed over. Governor Clinton
remained at the fort. As the General arrived at the water's edge, Colonel
Louis, as the Oneida chieftain was called, shook his sword at him, and
denounced him as a Tory. Arrived on the north side, Colonel William
Harper took the liberty of remonstrating with the General at what he
conceived to be a great and unnecessary delay, attended with a needless
loss of life and property, on the part of the inhabitants who had been
suffered thus long to remain unprotected. From that moment Van
Rensselaer moved with due expedition. The troops were set in motion, and
marched in regular order, in three divisions, with the exception of the
Oneida warriors and the volunteers under McKean, who regulated their own
movements as they pleased--showing no disposition, however, to lag behind.
The advance was led by Colonel Morgan Lewis.

Anticipating that he should be compelled to receive an attack, Sir John
had made his dispositions accordingly. His regular troops, Butler's
rangers, and the Tories less regularly organized, were posted on a small
alluvial plain, partly encompassed by a sweeping bend of the river. A
slight breast-work had been hastily thrown across the neck of the little
peninsula thus formed, for the protection of his troops, and the Indians,
under Thayendanegea, were secreted among the thick shrub oaks covering the
table-land of a few feet elevation, yet farther north. A detachment of
German Yagers supported the Indians. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] These Yagers were a sort of rifle corps--using short rifles.


It was near the close of the day when Van Rensselaer arrived, and the
battle was immediately commenced in the open field. Two of the advancing
divisions of State troops, forming the left, were directed against the
regular forces of Sir John on the flats, commencing their firing from a
great distance with small arms only--the field-pieces not having been
taken across the river. Colonel Dubois commanded the extreme right, which
was so far extended that he had no enemies to encounter. Next to him were
McKean's volunteers and the Oneida Indians, whose duty it was to attack
Thayendanegea's Indians and the Yagers. These were supported by a small
corps of infantry, commanded by Colonel Morgan Lewis. The American left
was commanded by Colonel Cuyler of Albany. Sir John's right was formed of
a company of regular troops. His own regiment of Greens composed the
centre, its left resting upon the ambuscaded Indians. The latter first
sounded the war-whoop, which was promptly answered by the Oneidas. Both
parties eagerly rushed forward, and the attack, for the instant, was
mutually impetuous. Dubois, though too far extended, brought his regiment
speedily to the support of McKean's volunteers, who were following up the
attack of the Oneidas. The hostile Indians manifested a disposition to
stand for a few moments; but Dubois had no sooner charged closely upon
them, than they fled with precipitation to the fording place near the
upper Indian Castle, about two miles above--crossing the road in their
flight, and throwing themselves in the rear of the Greens as a cover. The
Mohawk chief was wounded in the heel, but not so badly as to prevent his
escape.

The enemy's regular troops and rangers, however, fought with spirit,
although Sir John himself was reported by some to have fled with the
Indians. [FN] On the flight of the Indians, Major Van Benschoten, of
Dubois's regiment, hastened to the General for permission to pursue the
flying enemy. It was just twilight; and the indications were not to be
mistaken, that the best portion of the enemy's forces were in confusion,
and on the point of being conquered. The disappointment was therefore
great, when, instead of allowing a pursuit of the Indians, or charging
upon the feeble breast-work on the flats, and thus finishing the battle,
General Van Rensselaer ordered his forces to retire for the night. His
object was to obtain a better position for a bivouac, and to renew and
complete the battle in the morning--for which purpose he fell back nearly
three miles, to Fox's Fort. His troops were not only disappointed, but
highly incensed at this order, believing that the contest might have been
victoriously ended in a very few minutes. Indeed, the brave Colonel Louis,
of the Oneidas, together with Colonel Clyde and Captain McKean, refused
to retreat, but sheltered themselves in the adjacent buildings--hanging
upon the enemy's lines several hours, and making some prisoners. In the
course of the evening Clyde, with a handful of Schoharie militia,
succeeded in capturing one of the enemy's field-pieces. The Americans were
still more chagrined on learning from one of the prisoners that the troops
of Sir John were on the point of capitulating at the very moment of Van
Rensselaer's order to retreat. And from the fact that the river was alike
too rapid and too deep, where it curved round the battle-field, to admit
of an escape in that direction, no doubt can be entertained that the
enemy had been entirely within their power. But it was now too late. The
golden opportunity had been lost. On the morrow's dawn there was no enemy
in the field to encounter. Under cover of darkness the Royal Greens and
Butler's Rangers had followed the example of the Indians, and made good
their escape.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Major Thomas Sammons, from whose manuscripts the author has chiefly
 drawn the facts of this portion of the narrative--i. e. after the arrival
 of Gen. Van Rensselaer at Van Eps's--is positive in his declarations,
 that the British Commander was among the first to flee. Other accounts
 speak differently. Major Sammons was in the battle, among the volunteers
 of McKean.


Louis with his warriors, and McKean with his volunteers, crossed the river
early in the morning, in pursuit. General Von Rensselaer also arrived on
the battle-ground between 8 and 9 o'clock, for the purpose of completing
the work of the preceding day. While he was crossing the river and
preparing to follow on, some of McKean's volunteers, who were waiting for
the main army, in strolling about, came upon a little block-house, in
which they found nine of the enemy who had been made prisoners during the
night; One of the party making the discovery was Thomas Sammons, and among
the prisoners was a Tory who had been his near neighbor in Johnstown. On
being asked how they came there, this man, whose name was Peter Cass,
replied--"Why, I am ashamed to tell. Last night, after the battle, we
crossed the river. It was dark. We heard the word, 'lay u down your arms.'
Some of us did so. We were taken, nine of us, and marched into this little
fort by seven militia-men. We formed the rear of three hundred of
Johnson's Greens, who were running promiscuously through and over one
another. I thought General Van Rensselaer's whole army was upon us. Why
did you not take us prisoners yesterday, after Sir John ran off with the
Indians and left us? We wanted to surrender."

When Sir John fled from the field with the Indians and Yagers, he
doubtless supposed all was lost. He laid his course direct for the
Onondaga lake, where his boats had been concealed, pursuing the main road,
and making only a slight deviation to the south of the German Flats, to
avoid the forts at that place. His Greens and Rangers followed closely
upon his heels, and overtook him at Oneida. Van Rensselaer pressed forward
in pursuit, with all his forces, as far as Fort Herkimer, where he was
overtaken by Governor Clinton, who did not, however, interfere with the
command. Louis and McKean were now pushed forward in advance, with orders
to overtake the fugitive army if possible, and engage them--Van Rensselaer
promising to continue his march with all possible rapidity, and be at
hand to support them in the event of an engagement. On the next morning
the advance struck the trail of Sir John, and took one of his Indians
prisoner. Halting for a short time, Colonel Dubois came up, and urged them
forward, repeating the assurances of the General's near approach and sure
support. The march of the advance was then resumed, but they had not
proceeded far before they came upon the enemy's deserted encampment--the
fires yet burning. The Oneida chief now shook his head, and refused to
proceed another step until General Van Rensselaer should make his
appearance. There was accordingly a halt for some time, during which a
Doctor Allen arrived from the main army, informing the officers that the
pursuit had already been abandoned by the General, who was four miles
distant on his return-march!

The expedition was of course at an end. But fortune had yet another favor
in store for Sir John Johnson--to be won without the bloodshed that had
attended his desolating course through the Mohawk Valley. Having
ascertained where Sir John's boats were concealed, General Van Rensselaer
had despatched an express to Fort Schuyler, ordering Captain Vrooman, with
a strong detachment, to hasten forward in advance of the enemy, and
destroy them. Vrooman lost no time in attempting the execution of his
orders; but one of his men falling sick, or feigning himself to be so, at
Oneida, was left behind. Sir John soon afterward came up; and being
informed by the treacherous invalid of Vrooman's movement, Brant and his
Indians, with a detachment of Butler's rangers, were hastened forward in
pursuit They came suddenly upon Vrooman and his troops while they were
engaged at dinner, and every man was captured without firing a gun. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Major Sammons; also statement of John More, yet living, who was one
 of Sir John's soldiers. According to the official returns of Sir John
 Johnson, this affair of the capture of Captain Vrooman and his
 detachment took place on the 23d of October, at a place called
 Canaghsioraga. Two captains and one lieutenant were taken, together with
 eight non-commissioned officers and forty-five privates. Three privates
 and one lieutenant were killed.


The last obstacle to his escape having thus been removed, Sir John reached
Oswego without farther molestation. By this third and most formidable
irruption into the Mohawk country during the season, Sir John had
completed its entire destruction above Schenectady--the principal
settlement above the Little Falls having been sacked and burnt two years
before. General Van Rensselaer has always been censured for his conduct
in this expedition. Indeed his behavior was most extraordinary throughout.
On the night before the battle of Klock's Field, Sir John was not more
than six miles in advance--having left Van Eps's just before dark, where
Van Rensselaer arrived and encamped early in the evening; and it was
obvious to all that no extraordinary share of energy was required to
bring the enemy to an engagement, even before the encounter with Colonel
Brown. Major Sammons, at the close of his account of the expedition,
remarks with emphasis--"When my father's buildings were burnt, and my
brothers taken prisoners, the pain I felt was not as great as at the
conduct of General Robert Van Rensselaer." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] "With regard to the battle on Klock's Farm, and the facts stated in
 those papers, I would say that I joined with Captain McKean as a
 volunteer, and met Gen. Van Rensselaer on the south side of the river,
 opposite Caughnawaga, early in the morning; and of my own knowledge I
 know moat of the facts to be as they are stated. I staid with the
 volunteers after the battle, and held the conversation with the prisoners
 found in the little block-house the next morning, as stated. I was with
 Capt. Kean when he had orders to advance and overtake Sir John, and a
 short time after saw Dr. Allen, who came to inform us that Van Rensselaer
 was re-turning. With regard to the route of Sir John, I received my
 account from those of his own party who are now living, and men of
 undoubted veracity."--_Note of Major Sammons_--1836.


But Sir John's escape, after all, was rather a flight than a retreat; and
had it not been for the capture of Vrooman's detachment--a most unexpected
conquest--the visible trophies of his expedition would have been few and
dearly purchased. Indubitable evidences were discovered by the pursuers,
that he was reduced to a most uncomfortable situation; and from the
Baronet's own letter to General Haldimand, it appears that there were many
missing, who it was hoped would find their way to Oswego or Niagara.
General Haldimand wrote to his government that Sir John "had destroyed the
settlements of Schoharie and Stone Arabia, and laid waste a great extent
of country, which was most true." It was added:--"He had several
engagements with the enemy, in which he came off victorious. In one of
them, near Stone Arabia, he killed a Colonel Brown, a notorious and
active rebel, with about one hundred officers and men. I cannot finish
without expressing to your Lordship the perfect satisfaction which I have,
from the zeal, spirit, and activity with which Sir John Johnson has
conducted this arduous enterprise." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of Sir Frederick Haldimand to Lord George Germaine, New
 Annual Register 1781.


While General Van Rensselaer was pushing forward in pursuit of Sir John
Johnson, an incident occurred at Fort Hunter, which speaks volumes in
favor of the character of Joseph Brant. The plundered and distressed
inhabitants of the Schoharie settlements, the day after the enemy had
departed from Fort Hunter, crowded about the fort, each his tale of loss
or grief to relate. Among them was a woman, whose husband and several
other members of the family were missing. She was in an agony of grief,
rendered more poignant by the loss of her infant, which had been snatched
from the cradle. Early the next morning, while the officers at Van
Rensselaer's head-quarters were at breakfast, a young Indian warrior came
bounding into the room like a stag, bearing an infant in his arms, and
also a letter from Brant, addressed "to the commanding officer of the
rebel army." General Van Rensselaer not being present at the moment, the
letter was opened by one of his suite, and read substantially as
follows:--

"Sir: I send you by one of my runners, the child which he will deliver,
that you may know that whatever others may do, _I_ do not make war upon
women and children. I am sorry to say that I have those engaged with me
in the service, who are more savage than the savages themselves."

Among those thus referred to, he proceeded to name several of the leading
Tories, including the two Butlers, and others whose names are not
recollected. [FN-1] It was very speedily ascertained that the infant was
none other than that of the disconsolate mother of whom mention has just
been made. Her sensations on again clasping her infant to her bosom need
not be described; nor could they be. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The bitter hostility of the Tories of the Mohawk country toward
 their former neighbors, was at times exhibited in acts of such fiend-like
 ferocity as to defy explanation and stagger belief. In a former chapter
 the case of an infant murdered in its cradle by a Tory, after the refusal
 of an Indian to kill it, has been stated. There was another like instance
 in the neighborhood of the Little Falls, marked, if possible, by still
 greater brutality. An Indian having refused to kill an infant as it lay
 smiling in the cradle, the more savage loyalist, rebuking the compassion
 of the red man, thrust it through with his bayonet as a fisherman would
 spear a salmon, and held it writhing in its agonies in triumph above his
 head. A gentleman of the Bar, late of Little Falls, has assured the
 author, that to his knowledge the wretch who committed that diabolical
 act had the effrontery a few years since to present himself as a
 candidate for a pension, under one of the acts of Congress for rewarding
 the surviving soldiers of the revolution. The fact just related was
 fortunately elicited before his papers were completed, and the result
 need not be stated.

 [FN-2] The author has received the account of this interesting occurrence
 from General Morgan Lewis, who was present at the time, a spectator of
 all the particulars.


There was yet another adventure connected with this expedition, which was
alike interesting and amusing. The Senecas, it has already been stated,
were led by the Corn-Planter, whose father, as it has also been stated,
was a white man named O'Bail. According to Mary Jemison, the residence of
the Corn-Planter's father was in the vicinity of Fort Plank, and, of
course, not far from the battle-ground of Klock's Field. He had formerly
been in the habit of traveling back and forth from Albany through the
Seneca country, to Niagara, as a trader. Becoming enamored of a pretty
squaw among the Senecas, in process of time the Corn-Planter became one
of the living evidences of his affection. Whether the father was aware
that a chief of so much eminence was his own son, history does not tell;
but the son was ignorant neither of his parentage, nor of the residence
of his sire; and being now in his close vicinity, he took a novel method
of bringing about an acquaintance with him. Repairing with a detachment
of his warriors to his father's house, he made the old man a prisoner,
and marched him off. Having proceeded ten or twelve miles, the chief
stepped up before his sire, and addressed him in the following terms:--

"My name is John O'Bail, commonly called Corn-Planter. I am your son! You
are my father! You are now my prisoner, and subject to the customs of
Indian warfare. But you shall not be harmed. You need not fear. I am a
warrior! Many are the scalps which I have taken! Many prisoners I have
tortured to death! I am your son! I am a warrior! I was anxious to see
you, and to greet you in friendship. I went to your cabin, and took you
by force; but your life shall be spared. Indians love their friends and
their kindred, and treat them with kindness. If now you choose to follow
the fortunes, of your yellow son, and to live with our people, I will
cherish your old age with plenty of venison, and you shall live easy. But
if it is your choice to return to your fields, and live with your white
children, I will send a party of my trusty young men to conduct you back
in safety. I respect you, my father. You have been friendly to Indians;
they are your friends." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Life of Mary Jemison. In a letter written by Corn-Planter to the
 Governor of Pennsylvania, in 1822, complaining of an attempt made by the
 officers of that State to impose taxes upon him and the Senecas residing
 on the Allegheny, he began as follows:--"When I was a child, I played
 with the butterfly, the grasshopper, and the frogs. As I grew up, I began
 to pay some attention, and play with the Indian boys in the neighborhood,
 and they took notice of my skin being a different color from theirs, and
 spoke about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that
 my father was a resident of Albany. I ate still my victuals out of a
 bark dish: I grew up to be a young man, and married me a wife, but I had
 no kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived, and went to see him,
 and found he was a white man, and spoke the English language. He gave
 me victuals while I was at his house, but when I started to return home,
 he gave me no provision to eat on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor
 gun, neither did he tell me that the United States were about to rebel
 against the government of England," &c., &c. By this statement it appears
 that he must have seen his father several years before the Mohawk
 campaign. This may very well have been, and yet the anecdote related by
 Mary Jemison be true also. In every instance in which the author has had
 an opportunity of testing the correctness of her statements by other
 authorities, they have proved to be remarkably correct. Corn-Planter lived
 to a great age, having deceased within the last eight or ten years. He
 was an able man--distinguished in subsequent negotiations. He was
 eloquent, and a great advocate for Temperance. He made a very effective
 and characteristic speech upon that subject in 1822. "The Great Spirit
 first made the world, and next the flying animals, and found all things
 good and prosperous. He is immortal and everlasting. After finishing the
 flying animals, he came down on earth, and there stood. Then he made
 different kinds of trees, and woods of all sorts, and people of every
 kind. He made the Spring, and other seasons, and the weather suitable
 for planting. These he did make. But stills to make whiskey to give to
 Indians, he did not make. . . . The Great Spirit told us there were
 three things for people to attend to. First, we ought to take care of
 our wives and children. Secondly, the white people ought to attend to
 their farms and cattle. Thirdly, the Great Spirit has given the bears
 and deers to the Indians. . . . The Great Spirit has ordered me to quit
 drinking. He wishes me to inform the people that they should quit
 drinking intoxicating drink." In the course of the same speech, he gave
 evidence that he was not overmuch pleased with the admixture of his own
 blood. . . . "The different kinds the Great Spirit made separate, and not
 to mix with and disturb each other. But the white people have broken this
 command, by mixing their color with the Indians. The Indians have done
 better by not doing so."


The old gentleman, however, had sown his wild oats. His days of romance
were over. Preferring, therefore, the produce of his own fields, the
company of his white children, and the comforts of his own house, to the
venison, the freedom, and the forests of the western wilds, he chose to
return. His son, fulfilling his word, bowed to the election, and giving
his father in charge to a suitable escort, he was enabled to reach his own
dwelling in safety. The proud Seneca and his warriors moved off to their
own wilds.

Simultaneously with the movements of Sir John Johnson through the
Schoharie and Mohawk country, the enemy had been actively engaged against
the settlements at the North of Albany, between the Hudson and Lake
Champlain, and likewise against some of the upper settlements on the
Connecticut river. In order to create a diversion in favor of Sir John,
Major Carleton came up the lake from St. John's, with a fleet of eight
large vessels and twenty-six flat-bottomed boats, containing upward of
one thousand men, regular troops, loyalists and Indians. Fort George and
Fort Anne were both taken by surprise, and their garrisons, which were
not large, were surrendered prisoners of war. [FN-1] The party directed
against the upper settlements of the Connecticut river, was commanded by
Major Haughton of the 53d regiment, and consisted almost entirely of
Indians, of whom there were two hundred. This marauding incursion was
likewise successful. In addition to the booty taken, thirty-two of the
inhabitants were carried away prisoners. Several of the militia, who
turned out in pursuit of Major Haughton, were killed. In regard to Major
Carleton's expedition, sad tales of cruelty were reported. One of these
was a relation, by a deserter named Van Deusen, of a horrible case of
torture inflicted upon a soldier of Colonel Warner's regiment, taken by
Carleton in the action near Fort George. Van Deusen was a deserter from
the American army to the enemy; but having stolen back into his own
country, was apprehended and executed. Colonel Gansevoort, however, then
in command at the North, wrote to Major Carleton upon the subject on the
2d of November, stating the particulars of the story. Carleton repelled
the charge in the most positive and earnest manner, as will presently
appear. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Forts Anne and George were taken by Major Carleton on the 10th and
 11th of October. In his official report, Major Carleton stated his own
 loss, on both occasions, at four officers and twenty-three privates
 killed. The number of prisoners taken is stated at two captains, two
 lieutenants, and one hundred and fourteen privates.

 [FN-2] Speaking of Carleton's expedition, Sir Frederick Haldimand, in a
 letter to Lord George Germaine, observes:--"The reports assiduously
 published on all occasions by the enemy, of cruelties committed by the
 Indians, are notoriously false, and propagated merely to exasperate the
 ignorant and deluded people. In this late instance Major Carleton informs
 me, they behaved with the greatest moderation, and did not strip, or in
 any respect ill use, their prisoners." Sir John Johnson had less control
 over _his_ Indians at Schoharie.


The correspondence between Gansevoort and Carleton, however, was not
confined to this particular transaction. Indeed, that was altogether an
incidental affair, and the correspondence with Carleton himself was also
incidental, being part only of a more extended negotiation with other and
higher officers of the British army in Canada, the object of which was the
settlement of a cartel for an extensive exchange of prisoners at the
North. The story will be best told by the introduction of a portion of the
correspondence itself, while at the same time several other points will
receive satisfactory illustration.

                 "General Powell to Colonel Van Schaick.

                                        "_St. John's, Sept._ 22_d,_ 1780.

  "Sir,

"Agreeable to the promise made in my letter of the 15th of last March, I
send by your returning flag of truce, Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Moore, and their
families, together with Matthew Cannon, and five others, made prisoners by
the Indians on the Mohawk river, whose advanced time of life and earnest
solicitations to return to their families, have induced General Haldimand
to grant them that permission; [FN] as also Mr. Williams of Detroit, who
desires to go to his relatives; and Mary and Betsey Lewis, who beg to go
to their father near Albany. His Excellency is sorry that the breach of
faith on the part of the colonists, in the cartel of the Cedars, has put
it out of his power to enter upon an exchange of prisoners, and,
notwithstanding their repeated attempts to escape, many throughout the
province are enlarged upon their parole. They have all a plentiful
allowance of wholesome provisions, and those whom it is thought necessary
to keep in confinement, are accommodated in the most comfortable manner
circumstances will admit off. They have, besides, received money to the
amount of the within accounts; and if this last indulgence is to be
continued, it is but reasonable it should be remitted in coin; to which
I am to desire your attention, as very heavy bills are every day presented
from our troops who are prisoners in the colonies."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The prisoners above-mentioned, it will be recollected, were taken
 at Cherry Valley in 1778. See Mrs. Campbell's Narrative, sketched in
 Vol. I.


"The attention which has been shown to Mrs. Campbell, and those in her
unfortunate circumstances, as well as the good treatment of the prisoners,
which it is hoped they will have the candor to acknowledge, is referred to
for comparison, to those by whose orders or permission His Majesty's
subjects have experienced execution, the horrors of a dungeon, loaded with
irons, and the miseries of want.

"The families specified in the enclosed list have been long in
expectation, and many of them promised permission, to join their husbands
and relatives in this province; it is therefore requested they may be
sent to your advanced post on the Skenesborough communication, and a flag
of truce shall be sent from hence, in the course of three weeks, in order
to receive them.

                      "I am, Sir,
                         Your most obedient,
                              Humble servant,
                               H. Watson Powell,
                                 _Brigadier General_

  "_To Colonel Van Schaick._"


            "Colonel Gansevoort to General Powell.

                                    "_Saratoga, Nov._ 2_d,_ 1780.

  "Sir,

"Your letter of 22d September last, directed to Colonel Van Schaick, it
becomes my duty to answer, as commanding this department until the arrival
of General McDougall, who is daily expected. [FN] The prisoners whom you
noticed, I am informed, have taken the route to Albany, through
Bennington."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This reference to the expected arrival of General McDougall was not
 exactly true, and was made as a _ruse de guerre_ to mislead the British
 General as to the strength of the Northern Department. The truth was,
 that Colonel Gansevoort was so weak in point of troops, that he was
 apprehensive of a second visitation from St. John's should Powell and
 Carleton obtain information of his actual means of resistance. Hence he
 threw in the name of McDougall, in order to create an impression at St.
 Johns that there was at least a General's command of troops at Saratoga.
 Colonel Gansevoort wrote to General Washington upon the subject, and gave
 this explanation for the deception he had practised in his letter to
 General Powell. There was, indeed, good cause for apprehension at that
 time. After Carleton had captured forts George and Anne, and returned
 down the lakes to St John's, he had suddenly returned with
 reinforcements. The leaders in Vermont were also at the same time
 holding a correspondence with the British Commanders in Canada, of which
 semi-treasonable conduct Ethan Allen himself was at the head, as will
 appear hereafter. General Schuyler had obtained some knowledge upon the
 subject, which he lost no time in communicating to the
 Commander-in-chief. The consequence was, the ordering of several
 regiments to the North, and the appointment of General James Clinton to
 the command of the Department at Albany.--_Washington's Letters--Sparks._


"The families specified in your list, whom I believe to be all in the
vicinity of this place, were to have been sent to the British shipping
in Lake Champlain in the beginning of last month. Major Carleton's
incursion prevented their being forwarded then, and as all the batteaux
in Lake George were carried off by that gentleman, it may have been
impracticable to send them on since, if even it had been proper, while he
remained at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. I have written Major Carleton,
and requested him to send batteaux to Fort Anne or Fort George, if he can,
for their conveyance. As soon as I am advised of his determination, the
necessary measures will be taken. The accounts of cash advanced to the
prisoners in Canada, I shall do myself the honor to transmit to his
Excellency, General Washington."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The following is the list referred to, as enclosed by General
 Powell, viz:--"Names of the different families belonging to the following
 men of the 84th Regt. residing at Saratoga: John McDonell's family;
 Donald McGrewer's family; Duncan McDonell's family; John McIntosh's
 ditto; Duncan McDonell's ditto; Donald McDonald's ditto; Kenneth
 McDonell's ditto; John McDonell's father and mother."


"It affords me great satisfaction to learn that the British have at length
found it prudent to follow the generous example exhibited to them by the
Americans, in the mild treatment with which the prisoners in the power of
the latter have been invariably indulged during the war.

"It is, however, a justice due to General Carleton and his successors to
declare that, from all accounts, the prisoners immediately in their power
have been treated with much leniency.

"But you, Sir, suppose that British subjects in our possession have
experienced executions, the horrors of a dungeon, loaded with irons, and
the miseries of want. It is true some spies have been executed, and
amongst these Major Andre, Adjutant General of the British army under the
command of Sir Henry Clinton. And even his death, although justice
required it, and the laws of nations authorised it, was and is lamented
by us with a feeling of generosity which does honor to human nature. None
have experienced the horrors of a dungeon, or been loaded with irons,
excepting a few on whom it was thought proper to retaliate for the many,
the very many, indeed, of ours, whom British cruelty and inhumanity could
suffer to perish for want in dungeons and prison-ships, loaded with irons
and with insults. If you are ignorant of these facts, I can excuse your
observations. If not, give me leave to tell you they are unworthy the
gentleman and the officer, and evince a degree of disingenuousness
unbecoming either.

"If General Haldimand considers the governing powers or these States to
have been guilty of a breach of faith with regard to the cartel of the
Cedars, he ought to apply to them in regard to that matter. Barely to
mention it to a subordinate officer, was indelicate and improper. But as
you have ventured to accuse, I will venture to deny the justice of the
charge; and, as far as my memory of that transaction serves, I think I
can do it with propriety." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The maxim of Colonel Gansevoort was, "his country, right or wrong."
 He would have found it a difficult undertaking, however, to justify the
 course adopted by Congress touching the cartel agreed upon by General
 Arnold at the Cedars. Indeed, the violation of the stipulations made on
 that occasion, had created difficulties in regard to exchanges of
 prisoners during the whole war. It wan frequently a source of
 embarrassment, and even of mortification, to General Washington, during
 the course of nearly the whole war.


"The newspapers announce that a general exchange of prisoners is settled
 below. Whether it extends to Canada, is not specified.

                           "I am, Sir,
                             Your most obedient,
                                Humble servant,
                                  Peter Gansevoort,
                                   _Col._3_d N. Y. Reg't._

 "_To Brigadier General Powell._"


                     "Colonel Gansevoort to Major Carleton.

                                         "_Saratoga, Nov._ 26, 1780

 "Sir,

"This will be delivered you by Major Rosecrantz, of my regiment, who,
together with the persons named in my pass of this day's date, goes as a
flag to carry the letters he is charged with, and to return with your
answer.

"General Powell's letter of the 22d September last, Captain Monsell's of
the 19th, and your's of the 24th ultimo, were delivered me about noon
to-day.

"I have left the letter for General Powell under flying seal for your
perusal, that you may learn my determination respecting the families he
requested to have sent. Should you conclude to send batteaux for them,
they must come as far as Fort Anne, as the roads to Skenesborough are
impassable for carriages, or to the farther end of Lake George, which
would be much easier for the women and children. Their number amounts to
nearly three hundred; and I believe ten batteaux will be necessary to
carry them all at once. You will please to give directions to the officer
whom you may send with your flag, to pass his receipt for the number of
men, women, and children which shall be delivered. Pray advise me on what
day you think the batteaux will arrive at the place you may intend to
send them, that I may so arrange matters as to cause the least delay.

"A certain James Van Deusen, who deserted from our service to you, and
who, since you were on this side the lake, has stolen back into the
country, has been apprehended, and will suffer death as a deserter. He
confesses that after the rencontre near Fort George, with some of Colonel
Warner's men and your party, in which one of our Indians was killed, your
Indians, in cool blood, scalped one of Warner's men alive, tormented him
a considerable time, and afterward cut his throat--and all this in your
presence. Your character, Sir, suffers greatly on this account. It has
hitherto been marked by conduct the reverse of this sad catastrophe; and
men of honor are unwilling to believe Van Deusen. I wish you to explain
yourself to me on the subject.

                        "I am, Sir,
                            Your most obedient and
                               Humble servant,
                                Peter Gansevoort,
                                 _Col._ 3d _N. Y. Reg't._

    "_Major Carleton_"


               "Major Carleton to Colonel Gansevoort.

                                           "_Mile Bay, Nov._ 6_th._ 1780.

  "Sir,

"By your flag I have this moment received your letter of the 2d instant,
with one directed to Brigadier General Powell. Respecting the families
intended to be sent in, I answer to both. Being entirely ignorant of the
purport of Brigadier Powell's letter to you on the subject, and having no
instructions from General Haldimand respecting that business, I can only
say that such persons as are specified in the Brigadier's list will be
received, provided the number of boats mentioned in my postscript can
contain them. Should there be room to spare, the names contained in the
enclosed list, or as many of them as can be taken on board, will be
received. My boats shall be at Skenesborough on the 9th, where they shall
remain till the 14th at night, and then return to me, as I could not take
upon me the risk of their being frozen up there.

"I should have expected Captain Chapman would hare given a flat
contradiction to James Van Deusen's confession. No prisoner was scalped,
or tortured alive. I saved the lives of several of the prisoners, who
were neither stripped nor insulted in the smallest degree after the
affair was over. I heard of one man being killed after he was taken
during the firing, owing to a dispute between the two Indians, of
different villages, who had taken him. He was either a Negro or a
Stockbridge Indian I believe, and he would not suffer himself to be
conducted to the British guard by a loyalist officer. The attention of
the officer was necessarily directed to the care of his own men; and
after the action I heard of the man being killed.

                     "I am, Sir,
                        Your most obedient, and
                           Most humble servant,
                             Chr. Carleton,
                              _Major_ 29_th Reg't._

  "_Colonel Gansevoort._

"P. S. There being no idea of this business, the shipping went down some
days ago. I find it will not be in my power to furnish more than five
boats. Could not the boat I gave to carry up the last families, be sent
down with these?" [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] These letters are contained among the Gansevoort papers, and have
 been copied from the originals by the author. The same papers, together
 with a letter from General Haldimand to Lord George Germaine, are
 likewise the author's authorities for the brief sketch of the expeditions
 of Carleton and Major Haughton.


No farther outrages were committed on the northern and western frontiers
during that Autumn. The next information received of Brant and his
associates, was brought to Fort Schuyler by a family of Oneidas who had
been released from Niagara. They arrived at the Fort on the 6th of
December. Colonel Weisenfeldts, then in command, caused the head Indian
of the party, whose name was Jacob Reed, to be examined; and the whole
examination was transmitted, as taken down by question and answer, to
General Clinton. From this statement it appeared that Joseph Brant,
Colonel Butler, and Colonel Guy Johnson, were then in their old
winter-quarters at Niagara. Of the Oneida warriors only thirty-seven had
been persuaded to join the royal cause; one of whom had been killed, and
five others had returned with Reed. The forces at Niagara at this time
were stated to be sixty British regulars, commanded by a captain; four
hundred loyalists commanded by Colonel Butler, and twelve hundred Indians
(including women and children,) commanded by Brant and Guy Johnson. One
of the objects of the late expedition to the Mohawk was stated by Reed to
be the destruction of Schenectady; but as they had not penetrated so far,
Brant and Johnson were meditating another campaign. The prisoners taken
from Stone Arabia, after reaching Niagara, had been shipped for Buck
Island in the river St. Lawrence; but from the long absence of the vessel,
and the fragments of a wreck, drums, furniture, &c., which had been
washed ashore, it was believed that she had been lost, and that all on
board had perished. Reed farther stated, that as soon as the snow was
hard, Brant, with five or six hundred warriors, was coming to the Oneida
country, in order to keep within a convenient distance for sending scouts
down the Mohawk. One of their objects was to be at all times prepared for
cutting off the supplies proceeding for the garrison of Fort Schuyler.
The Indians at Niagara, according to Reed's account, were well provided
with every thing they could desire. [FN-1] But it was far otherwise with
Fort Schuyler at this time. The letters of General Schuyler were full of
complaints, not only of the difficulty of procuring provisions, but also
of forwarding them to the outposts. In one of his letters, written at
that period, he said there was not flour enough in Fort Schuyler to
suffice for a single day's consumption. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] General Clinton's Manuscripts.

 [FN-2] MSS. of General Schuyler.


Thus ended the Indian campaigns of the North for the year 1780. There
were, indeed, other petty occurrences on the outskirts, alarms, and now
and then a few shots exchanged with a straggling Indian or Tory scout.
But no other occurrence of importance within the range of the present
history, marked the winter then closely advancing. And never did winter
spread his mantle over a scene of greater desolation than lay beneath it
in the Valley of the Mohawk.



                          CHAPTER V.



 Gloomy opening of the year--Distresses of the army--Revolt of the
  Pennsylvania line--Negotiations--Revolt of the New Jersey
  troops--Arnold's expedition to Virginia--Progress of the war at the
  South--Distresses at the North--Active movements of Brant in the Mohawk
  country--Meditated attack upon the Oneidas--Letter of Colonel
  Claus--Destitution of the country--Letter of General
  Schuyler--Destruction of Fort Schuyler by fire and flood--Suspicions of
  design--General Clinton's correspondence respecting that
  catastrophe--Hostile indications in the North--Indications of extensive
  treachery--Arrest of the disaffected at Ballston and its
  vicinity--Bearing of Washington in adversity--Colonel Willett appointed
  to the command of the Mohawk District--Slender means at his
  disposal--Burning of Currie-town--Battle of Durlagh--Defeat of the
  Indians--Death of Captain McKean--Irruption into Palatine--Willett's
  letter to Washington--Willett's influence upon the broken
  militia--Battle near the German Flats--Death of Solomon
  Woodworth--Story of John Christian Shell--Invasion of Ulster County by
  Indians and Tories under Captain Cauldwell--Another case of individual
  bravery--Incidents on the Kentucky border.


The sun of the new year was veiled by a cloud of deeper gloom than had
previously darkened the prospects of the American arms at any period of the
contest. The whole army, in all its divisions, at the North and in the
South, was suffering severely both for clothing and provisions. Indeed,
the accumulated sufferings and privations of "the army constitute a large
and interesting portion of the history of the war of American
independence. At the date now under review, Winter, without much lessening
the toils of the soldiers, was adding to their sufferings. They were
perpetually on the point of starving, were often entirely without food,
were exposed without proper clothing to the rigors of the season, and had,
moreover, now served almost twelve months without pay." [FN] Such was the
general fact. The Pennsylvania troops had still farther grievances of
which to complain. They had been enlisted in ambiguous terms--to "serve
three years, or during the war." At the expiration of the stipulated
period, "three years," the soldier claimed his discharge, while the
officers insisted upon holding him to the other condition of the contract.
The consequence was great dissatisfaction, increased, of course, by the
much higher bounties subsequently paid for enlistments.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Marshall's Life of Washington.


The Pennsylvania line, consisting of six regiments, was cantoned at
Morristown, under the immediate command of Brigadier General Wayne. So
long had they been brooding over their wrongs, so intense had become
their sufferings, and so discouraging were the prospects of remedy or
redress, that the discontents which, down to the last day of the
preceding year, had only been nurtured, broke out into open mutiny on the
evening of the next. The spirit of insubordination was from the first so
decided, and the evidences of revolt were so general, as at once to
jeopard the cause. An effort was made to quell the mutiny, in the course
of which several of the turbulent soldiers were wounded, as also were
some of the officers, who were endeavoring to repress the disorder. One
of the officers, Captain Billings, was killed. But the cause of the
revolt was too deeply seated, and the disaffection too extensive, to be
easily overcome. Even Wayne himself, the favorite of the Pennsylvanians,
was without power. Drawing a pistol and threatening one of the most
turbulent of the revolters; a bayonet was presented at his own bosom.
[FN-1] In a word, the authority of the commissioned officers was at an
end. The non-commissioned officers were generally engaged in the mutiny,
and one of their number being appointed Commander-in-chief, they moved off
in the direction of Philadelphia, with their arms and six pieces of
artillery--deaf to the arguments, the entreaties, and the utmost efforts
of their officers to change their purposes. [FN-2] As a last resort, Wayne
and his officers attempted to divide them, but without effect. Those who
at first appeared reluctant, were soon persuaded to unite with their
comrades, to march upon Philadelphia and demand a redress of their wrongs
at the doors of Congress.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Marshall.

 [FN-2] Letter of Washington to President Weare of New Hampshire. This
 was a letter urging upon the government of New Hampshire to make some
 exertion to relieve the distresses of the army. A circular was sent to
 all the New England States to the same effect, and confided to General
 Knox, as a special agent to enforce the appeal. To President Weare, the
 Commander-in-chief said, plainly:--"I give it decidedly as my opinion,
 that it is in vain to think an army can be kept together much longer
 under such a variety of sufferings as ours has experienced; and that
 unless some immediate and spirited measures are adopted to furnish at
 least three months' pay to the troops in money, which will be of some
 value to them, and at tho same time provide ways and means to clothe and
 feed them better than they have been, the worst that can befall us may
 be expected." The Legislatures of Massachusetts and New Hampshire nobly
 responded to the call, and immediately voted a gratuity of twenty-four
 dollars in hard money to each of the non-commissioned officers and
 soldiers belonging to those States, who were engaged to serve daring the
 war.--_Sparks._


The number of the revolters was about thirteen hundred--a loss that would
have been severe of itself. But the most unpleasant apprehensions arose
from the danger, not only that the spirit of insubordination might spread
to other corps of the army, but that the mutineers might fall away in a
body to the enemy, who would, of course, lose not a moment in availing
himself of such a diversion in his favor. Coercive measures having failed
to bring the revolters back to the path of duty, Wayne, with his principal
officers, determined to follow close upon their rear and after the first
transports of their passion should subside, try what virtue might be found
in the arts of persuasion. The General overtook them at night in the
neighborhood of Middlebrook, but being advised in their present temper
not to venture among them, he invited a deputation of one sergeant from
each regiment to meet him in consultation. The deliberations were
amicable, and the General suggested a mode of obtaining redress of their
grievances, which satisfied the delegates, who, on retiring, promised to
exert their influence in bringing the men back to duty. But the attempt
was ineffectual; and on the day following the mutineers marched to
Princeton--the few who were well disposed and willing to separate from the
mutineers, continuing with the majority at the request of their officers,
in the hope that their exertions might "moderate the violence of their
leaders, and check the contagion of their example."

The crisis was most critical. The Commander-in-chief, on receiving the
first advices of the revolt, was disposed to repair at once to the camp
of the mutineers; but on advisement and reflection, this course was
relinquished. The complaints of the Pennsylvania line, in regard to
destitution of provisions and clothing, were common to the whole army,
and it was doubtful how far the contagion of disaffection might already
have spread. Nor could the Commander-in-chief, whose head-quarters were
at New Windsor, venture upon a visit to the mutineers, without taking
with him a sufficient force to compel obedience to his commands should the
exertion of force become necessary. But a sufficient body of troops for
such an object could not be spared without leaving the fortresses in the
Highlands too weak to resist an attack from Sir Henry Clinton, who would
be sure to strike upon those important works at the first favorable
moment. The river being free from ice, Sir Henry would possess every
facility for such a movement the instant the back of Washington should be
turned upon the North. Under all the circumstances of the case, therefore,
the Commander-in-chief remained at his post, neglecting, however, no
measure of justice within his power to heal the discontents, or of
precaution to prevent their farther extension.

Meantime the mutineers remained several days at Princeton, refusing to
proceed to the Delaware and cross into Pennsylvania, while Sir Henry
Clinton made every disposition to avail himself of the revolt, and lost
not a moment in despatching emissaries to their camp, with tempting offers
to induce them to join the armies of the King. But, mutineers as they
were, they nevertheless spurned the proposition; and retaining the
emissaries in custody, handed the communications, of which they were the
bearers, over to General Wayne. Though in rebellion against their
officers, the soldiers were nevertheless indignant at the idea of turning
their arms, as Arnold had done, against their own country; and those about
them who were well disposed, availed themselves of the occasion, with much
address, to impress upon their minds the magnitude of the insult conveyed
in propositions made to them in the character of traitors. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Five days after their arrival among the mutineers, viz. on the 11th
 of January, Sir Henry's emissaries were tried by a court-martial, and
 executed.


News of the revolt had no sooner reached Philadelphia, than a committee
was appointed by Congress, consisting of General Sullivan, [FN-1] and two
other gentlemen, in conjunction with President Reed on behalf of the
Council of Pennsylvania, to meet the revolters, and attempt to bring them
back to reason. The demands of the mutineers were exorbitant, but were in
the end acceded to with some unimportant modifications. They then moved
forward to Trenton, and in the end, although better things were
anticipated from the stipulations agreed upon, the Pennsylvania line was
almost entirely disbanded. A voluntary performance, by Congress, of much
less than was yielded by the committee, would have averted the evil, and
saved the division. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Very soon after he left the army, at the close of the Seneca
 campaign, General Sullivan was     elected to Congress, of which body he
 was an efficient and patriotic member. Afterward, in the years 1786,
 1787, and 1788, he was President of New Hampshire, in which situation, by
 his vigorous exertions, he quelled the spirit of the insurrection which
 exhibited itself at the time of the trouble with Shays in Massachusetts.
 In 1789 he was appointed a District Judge. He died in 1795, aged 54.

 [FN-2] Although the Pennsylvania line was thus dissolved, the evil was
 surmounted much sooner than had been anticipated. Before the close of
 January, Wayne wrote to Washington that the disbanded soldiers were "as
 impatient of liberty as they had bean of service, and that they were as
 importunate to be re-enlisted as they had been to be discharged." A
 _reclaimed_ and formidable line was the result in the Spring.


The success of the Pennsylvania mutineers induced the New Jersey line,
then stationed at Pompton, to follow the bad example; and on the night of
the 20th of January a large portion of the brigade rose in arms. Their
claims were precisely the same as those which had been yielded to the
Pennsylvanians. By this time, however, the Commander-in-chief had
satisfied himself that he could rely upon the eastern troops; and,
chagrined as he had been by the result of the Pennsylvania revolt, he
determined, not only that nothing more should be yielded to the spirit of
insubordination, but that such an example should be made as would operate
as a check to the like proceedings in future. A strong detachment of
troops was accordingly led against the insurgents by General Howe, with
instructions to make no terms whatsoever while they continued in a state
of resistance. General Howe was farther instructed to seize a few of the
ringleaders, and execute them on the spot. The orders were promptly
complied with, and the insurrection was crushed at a blow. The mutinous
brigade returned to its duty; and such vigorous measures were taken by the
States to supply the wants of the army, as effectually checked the
progress of discontent. [FN] But it was only by the strong process of
impressment that those supplies could be wrung from the people, whose
discontents, though less immediately alarming, were, nevertheless, as
great as had been those of the army.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Sir Henry Clinton endeavored to avail himself of this New Jersey
 insurrection, in like manner as he had attempted to tamper with the
 Pennsylvanians. But his emissary, who was in the American interest,
 delivered his papers to the first American officer with whom he met.


The first active demonstration of Sir Henry Clinton, on the opening of
the new year, was the expedition against Virginia, under the conduct of
General Arnold. The arch-traitor had, in fact, sailed from New-York
toward the close of December, but he did not enter the Capes of Virginia
until the beginning of January--landing at Westover on the 6th. He marched
to Richmond, and after some trifling skirmishes on the way, destroyed the
stores at that place, and also at Westham; whereupon he retired to
Norfolk. This was a mere predatory expedition, attended by no important
result. Farther south, events were continually occurring of greater
moment. General Greene having been assigned to the command of that
department, after the signal discomfiture of Gates, affairs soon wore a
brighter aspect. The loss of the battle of Camden, a few months before,
was balanced, and, in its moral effect, more than balanced, by the
decisive victory over Tarleton, achieved by General Morgan at the Cowpens
on the 17th of January. And although Greene was defeated at Guilford on
the 15th of March, yet the victory was too dearly won by Earl Cornwallis
to render it a just occasion of triumph. So likewise in the repulse of
Greene by Lord Rawdon at Camden, owing to the misconduct of the militia,
the British commander was nevertheless so roughly handled that, although
he received a reinforcement in the course of the following night, he
deemed it expedient to destroy the town, and retire farther down the
Santee. But these apparent disadvantages were amply compensated by the
masterly manoeuvres of Greene, and the brilliant succession of victories
over the smaller works and detachments of the enemy. In these latter
affairs, Forts Watkinson, Orangeburgh, Motte, Silver Bluff, Granby, and
Cornwallis were successively taken, and the enemy was compelled to
evacuate other forts. Lord Rawdon was likewise obliged to fall back upon
Charleston, while Cornwallis was pursuing a doubtful march into Virginia.
The great disadvantage labored under by General Greene, was the necessity
of depending in a great measure upon the militia--not having regular
troops sufficient to cope with the veterans from Europe. But, though not
always victorious in battle, he was invariably so in the results. And his
masterly movements proved him far in advance of any of his antagonists,
in all the requisites of an able commander.

But while events thus propitious to the American arms were occurring at
the South, the aspect of affairs, as has already been seen, was sadly
discouraging at the North. In addition to the destitution of the main
army, causing the insurrections in the Pennsylvania and New-Jersey lines,
so wretchedly supplied were the small garrisons from Albany northward and
westward, both in respect to food and clothing, that it was only with the
utmost difficulty that the officers could keep the soldiers upon duty.
Ravaged as the whole Mohawk country had been the preceding Summer and
Autumn, no supplies could be drawn from the diminished and impoverished
inhabitants remaining in those settlements; while it was equally difficult
to procure supplies, either at Albany or below, or eastwardly beyond that
city. It is painful to read the private correspondence of General
Schuyler, and Governor and General Clinton upon this subject. Orders for
impressing provisions were freely issued, particularly against the
disaffected portion of the people, who had greatly increased in numbers
in that section of the country; but some of the supplies thus taken were
returned, from the knowledge of General Schuyler that they had nothing
more for their own support. Meantime, emboldened by his successes the
preceding year, the enemy hung around the skirts of the settlements,
approaching almost beneath the very guns of the forts, cutting off all
communication with them, unless by means of strong escorts, so that it
was difficult and often impossible even to throw such scanty supplies
into the garrisons as could be obtained.

The Oneidas having been driven from their country the preceding year, even
the slight barrier against irruptions from the more western tribes, who
were all hostile, into the Mohawk country, afforded by that slender
people, was gone. On the 15th of January, the scouts of Thayendanegea
appeared openly in the German Flats, and attacked some of the inhabitants.
During the months of February and March, Brant was hovering about the
Mohawk, ready to spring upon every load of supplies destined for Forts
Plain, Dayton, and Schuyler, not too strongly guarded, and cutting off
every straggling soldier or inhabitant so unfortunate as to fall within
his grasp.

On the 6th of March, Major Nicholas Fish wrote to General Clinton, from
Schenectady, informing him that a party of fifteen of Colonel Van
Cortlandt's regiment, at Fort Schuyler, had fallen into the hands of
Brant's Indians; and on the 2d of April, in moving to the neighborhood
of that fort, to cut off another escort of supplies, the same lynx-eyed
chieftain made prisoners of another detachment from that garrison of
sixteen men. The difficulty of transporting the provisions, however, the
unbeaten snow lying to a great depth, had so greatly retarded the progress
of the scouts, that the intrepid warrior was disappointed in this portion
of the spoils, having, as it subsequently appeared, attempted to strike
too soon.

But the hunted Oneidas, notwithstanding the neutrality of the greater part
of them, were not altogether safe in their new position near Schenectady.
It seems to have chafed both Brant and his employers, that a single tribe
of Indians had been detached from their influence or service; and their
destruction was again seriously meditated, with the sanction of Sir
Frederick Haldimand, as will more fully appear by the annexed letter from
Colonel Daniel Claus, the brother-in-law of Sir John Johnson, to Captain
Brant.


                     "Colonel Claus to Captain Brant.

                                        "_Montreal,_ 3_d March,_ 1781.

  "Dear Joseph,

"Captain John Odeserundiye, about a month ago, showed me a letter he
received from you, with a proposal to him about the Oneidas, telling me
he had answered you that he would join you with his party about the 20th
of this month, desiring me at the same time to keep it a secret from the
Mohawk Indians and others, for fear of being made public; he then asked
me where the Oneidas now lived, which then I could not tell him; but since
that I was informed that the rebels had posted themselves at a place
called Palmerstown, about twelve or fifteen miles west of Saraghtoga, of
which I acquainted His Excellency General Haldimand, together with your
intentions and plan; whereupon I received His Excellency's answer
enjoining the utmost secrecy to me, and which I hereby give you in the
words of his letter, by Captain Mathews his secretary, and is the occasion
of this express.

"His Excellency, General Haldimand, commands me to acquaint you that
Captain Brant's intention meets highly with his approbation, and wishes
to assist it; which might be done from this place in the following manner,
but the General desires you will keep it inviolably secret. He has for
some time intended sending a party of about sixty chosen loyalists, under
the command of Major Jessup, toward Fort Edward; this party might join
Joseph against Palmerstown could he ascertain the time and place, which
might be nearly done by calculating the time his express would take to
come from Carleton Island--his march from thence, and Major Jessup's from
Point au Fez, alias Nikadiyooni. If Joseph wishes to have this assistance,
he must confer with Major Ross, who will send off an active express;
otherwise, if Joseph should prefer aid from that quarter, Major Ross and
Captain Robertson are directed to afford it; and, indeed, the delays and
uncertainty of the parties joining punctually, incline the General to
think it more eligible.

"Should you upon this adopt the General's offer and opinion, and proceed
from Carleton Island to Palmerstown, which place I am sure several of
Major Ross's men and others at the island are well acquainted with, I
wish you the aid of Providence with all the success imaginable; in which
case it will be one of tho most essential services you have rendered your
king this war, and cannot but by him be noticed and rewarded; your return
by Canada will be the shortest and most eligible, and we shall be very
happy to see you here. As I received the General's letter this afternoon
only, I could not speak with Odeserundiye, but have wrote to him by
express to let you know the precise time he intends meeting you. Mrs.
Claus and all friends are well here, and salute you heartily; also your
sister and daughters; the others here are well, and desire their love and
duty. I hope she received the things safe which I sent lately by Anna.
Adieu. God bless and prosper you.

                                "Yours most sincerely,
                                     Dan'l. Claus.

  "_Captain Brant._

"P. S. The great advantage of setting out from Carleton Island, is the
route, which is so unexpected a one, that there is hardly any doubt but
you will surprise them, which is a great point gained. Whereas, were you
to set out from Canada, there are so many friends, both whites and
Indians, to the rebel cause, that you could not well get to the place
undiscovered, which would not do so well.

                                                       "D. C."


Happily, from some cause now unknown, this project, so well devised, and
apparently so near its maturity, was never executed. The narrative is
therefore resumed.

So great, and so universal, was the distress for provisions, already
adverted to, that, on the 29th of March, General Clinton wrote to the
Governor, "I am hourly under apprehensions that the remaining different
posts occupied for the defence of the frontiers of this State, will be
abandoned, and the country left open to the ravages of the enemy." Such
continued suffering of course produced disaffection in this department
also; and the greatest possible prudence was required, on the part of the
officers, to prevent desertions of whole bodies. So critical was their
situation, that in a letter to the Governor, of May 3d, General Clinton
mentions the fact, that a small scout, commanded by a corporal, in the
neighborhood of Port George, having captured a party of the enemy, "with
a packet, had been bribed to release them for a guinea each and two silk
handkerchiefs." Still worse than this was the fact that the General was
afraid to proceed openly to punish the delinquency. On the 5th General
Clinton again wrote to the Governor--"From the present appearance, I am
convinced that the troops will abandon the frontier. It is absurd to
suppose they can or will exist under the present circumstances. However,
let what will be the consequences, I have nothing to reproach myself with.
I have repeatedly called for assistance from every quarter, but could
obtain none." On the 8th of May, General Schuyler, writing from Saratoga,
said--"I wrote you this morning, since which, finding the troops
exceedingly uneasy, Colonel Van Vechten and I turned out each one of the
best cattle we had; the meat proved better than was expected, but the
soldiers still continue troublesome; they have hung part of it on a pole
with a red flag above a white one, and some of them hold very alarming
a conversation. I dread the consequences, as they can so easily a join
the enemy. If a body of nine-months men were here, it a would probably
deter the others from going off to the northward, [the enemy meaning] if
they should have such an intention."

Great blame was imputed to Congress; and likewise to the State
governments, for allowing the commissariat to come to such a deplorable
pass. The resources of the country were known to be abundant for the
comfortable sustenance of a much larger army than was at that time in the
field; but the efficient action of Congress was fettered by its want of
power. The States, jealous of their own sovereignty, had withholden from
the central government powers which were essential to the vigorous
prosecution of the war, while it was but seldom that they could be
brought into a simultaneous and harmonious exertion of those powers
themselves. Hence the frequent and keen distresses of the army, and the
complicated embarrassments under which the officers were compelled to
struggle during the whole war. Still, the blame did not rest wholly with
the States. There were jealousies, and heart-burnings, and intrigues, in
the Congresses of that day, as in later times; and their conduct was
often the subject of bitter complaint in the letters of the
Commander-in-chief. The following letter from General Schuyler bears hard
upon the officers of the federal government, while at the same time it
depicts the extreme destitution of the country at the north, at the
period under consideration:--


                  "General Schuyler to General Clinton.

                                        "_Saratoga, May_ 13_th,_ 1781.

  "Dear Sir,

"Your favor of the 8th instant, Captain Vernon delivered me last evening.
The distress occasioned by the want of provisions in every quarter is
truly alarming, but was the natural consequence of such a system as was
adopted for supplying the army. It is probable, if we should be able to
continue the war ten years longer, that our rulers will learn to conduct
it with propriety and economy; at present they are certainly ignoramuses.
Not a barrel of meat or fish is to be had in this quarter if an equal
weight of silver was to be offered for it, and as there is not above a
quarter of the flour or wheat sufficient for the use of the inhabitants,
it would be needless to appoint persons here to impress those articles.
I therefore return the blank warrants.

"It is probable that some flour may be obtained in the neighborhood of
Schaghticoke, and _I am certain_ that a very considerable quantity of
both wheat and flour is lodged in Albany. Major Lush could employ his
assistant at the former place, and he might impress all at the latter
_without much trouble._ A small collection of meat has been made at
Stillwater for the troops here, but that is already expended. If there
is any beef at Richmond, or Barrington, I think it would be well to send
a party of nine-months men under an active spirited officer, to impress
a number of wagons at Kinderhook and Claverack, and to attend them to the
former places, and back again to the respective landings of the latter on
Hudson's river. If an opportunity offers, pray send me some paper, as
this is my last sheet. Captain Arson is not yet returned from Jessup's.

                       "I am, dear Sir,
                         Yours sincerely, &c., &c.
                            Ph. Schuyler.

    "_Gen. Clinton._"


It was, indeed, a trying situation for brave and patriotic officers to
find themselves in command of troops, driven, by destitution, to the very
point of going over to the enemy almost in a body. But another
disheartening occurrence was at hand. The works of Fort Schuyler, having
become much out of repair, sustained great injury by the swelling of the
waters in the early part of May. A council of officers was convened by
Lt. Colonel Cochran, then in command, on the 12th of that month, to
inquire and report what should be done in the premises. The council
represented that more than two-thirds of the works had been broken down
by the flood, and that the residue would be in the same condition in a
very few days; that the only remaining strength of the fort was to be
found in the outside pickets on the glacis; and that the strength of the
garrison was altogether inadequate to attempt to rebuild or repair the
works, for which purpose five or six hundred men, with an engineer,
artificers, &c., would be indispensably necessary.

But even if the works were not altogether indefensible on the 12th, they
were rendered so on the following day, when all that had been spared by
the deluge was destroyed by fire. Intelligence of this disaster was
received by General Clinton at Albany, on the 16th, in a letter from
Colonel Cochran. The following is an extract from General Clinton's reply
to that officer, from which it appears a strong suspicion was entertained
that the conflagration was the work of design--a suspicion that was never
removed:--"I have just received your favors of the 13th and 14th instants,
with the disagreeable intelligence contained in them. I cannot find words
to express my surprise at the unexpected accident, or how a fire should
break out at noon-day, in a garrison where the troops could not possibly
be absent, after a most violent and incessant rain of several days, and
be permitted to do so much damage. I am sorry to say that the several
circumstances which accompanied this melancholy affair, afford plausible
ground for suspicion that it was not the effect of mere accident. I hope,
when it comes to be examined in a closer point of view, such lights may
be thrown upon it as will remove the suspicion, for which there appears
too much reason. I have written to his Excellency on the subject, and
requested his farther orders, which I expect in a few days; in the
meantime I would request that you keep possession of the works, and
endeavor to shelter the troops in the best manner possible."

In his letter to the Governor, enclosing the dispatches of Colonel
Cochran, General Clinton suggested the expediency, under the circumstances
of the case, of abandoning the post altogether, and falling back upon
Fort Herkimer. On the following day he again wrote to his brother,
renewing and re-enforcing this suggestion:--


                  "General Clinton to the Governor.

                                           "_Albany, May_ 17_th,_ 1781.

  "Dear Sir,

"Since my last to you of yesterday, another letter, by express, has been
received from Fort Schuyler. Copies of the contents I enclose for your
information, under cover, which I wish you to seal and forward to the
Commander-in-chief. I informed you yesterday of the general prevailing
opinion among the better part of the people in this quarter respecting
Fort Schuyler. The recent loss of the barracks, and the ruinous situation
of the works, have confirmed them in the propriety and even necessity of
removing it to the German Flats near Fort Herkimer, where they are
disposed to afford every assistance in their power to build a formidable
work, confident that it will be able to afford more protection, not only
in that particular quarter, but also to the whole western frontier in
general. I must confess that I have long since been of this opinion. I
have not mentioned this circumstance to the General, [Washington,] as I
conceive it will come better from yourself, as you are acquainted with
every particular circumstance respecting it, and the numberless
difficulties which we shall labor under in putting it in any considerable
state of defence. As I have directed the troops to remain in possession
of the works until I shall receive instructions from head-quarters, I wish
that you might have it in your power to have a conference with the
General on the subject, and transmit to me the result of it without delay.

                        "I am, Sir, &c.
                            Jas. Clinton.

   "_Governor Clinton._"


This suggestion was adopted, and the post so long considered the key to
the Mohawk Valley was abandoned. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] After the war the fort was rebuilt, and the ancient name of Fort
 Stanwix restored. The works were repaired and substantially strengthened
 as being an important post, during the administration of the elder
 Adams.


In addition to this disheartening state of affairs at the westward of
Albany, intelligence was received that another storm was about breaking
upon the northern frontier. In a letter from General Schuyler to General
Clinton, from Saratoga, May 18th, after speaking of the "chagrin" he felt
at the destruction of the fort, Schuyler proceeds:--

"Last evening Major McCracken of White Creek came here, and delivered me
a copy of a paper which had been found there, in the same hand-writing as
one that was put in the same place last year, announcing the approach of
Major Carleton with the troops under his command. This contains in
substance--'That the writer had received a letter from a friend in Canada,
to give him notice of the danger which threatened these parts; that 1500
men were gone to Ticonderoga, from whence they were to proceed to Fort
Edward and White Creek; that they are to be down in this month, and from
what he could learn, they were to desolate the country.' The Major thinks
he knows the channel through which this intelligence is conveyed, and
that it may be depended upon;--as it in some degree corroborates that
given by Harris, and the person I had sent to Crown Point, it ought not
to be slighted. Please to communicate it to the Governor and General
Washington.

"Fourteen of the nine months men have already deserted, two of whom are
apprehended. There are now at this post only thirty-nine of them. As the
Continental troops here are without shoes it is impossible to keep out the
necessary scouts. Cannot a parcel of shoes be obtained at Albany, and
sent up to them? It will be of importance to give the earliest
intelligence if the party discovered by Colonel Lewis should appear on the
Mohawk river, that we may with the troops here, and what militia we may
be able to collect, try to intercept them."

In a postscript to a letter of the 21st, General Schuyler
observed:--"Since the above I have been informed _from very good
authority,_ that the enemy's morning and evening guns at Ticonderoga have
been distinctly heard near Fort Anne for three or four days past" And on
the 24th the General wrote more confidently still of the enemy's approach.
"Captain Gray is returned. He has not been near enough to determine the
enemy's force, but sufficiently so to discover, by the fires, that they
are numerous. Is it not strange, and subject of suspicion, that the
Vermonters should not afford us any intelligence of the enemy's approach,
as they must certainly know of his arrival at Crown Point and
Ticonderoga?" [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This ambiguous conduct of Vermont was the consequence of the quarrel
 between the settlers of the grants from New Hampshire, which were within
 the chartered limits, and the government of New-York. Colonel Allen, not
 long before, had been in Albany upon the business of the settlers, and
 had come away dissatisfied--having uttered a threat on his departure. He
 was at this time, as General Schuyler was informed, at the Isle Au
 Noix--sick--as was pretended.


This was alarming intelligence, more especially when taken in connexion
with the reports simultaneously coming in from the west, of an expedition
meditated against Pittsburgh, to be led by Sir John Johnson and Colonel
Connelly; while other reports were rife, at the same time, of more
extensive combinations among the hostile Indians than had previously
marked the war. But even this was not all--nor by any means the worst of
the case. Treachery was at work, and from the temper of great numbers of
the people, the carriage of the disaffected, and the intelligence received
by means of spies and intercepted despatches, there was just cause to
apprehend that, should the enemy again invade the country, either from the
north or the west, his standard would be joined by much larger numbers of
the people than would have rallied beneath it at any former period. The
poison was actively at work even in Albany. On the 24th of May, General
Schuyler announced to General Clinton the return of a confidential agent
from the north, "where he met with five of the enemy, whose confidence he
so far obtained as to be entrusted with letters written on the spot to
persons at Albany, whose names I forbear to mention," (says Schuyler,) "for
fear of accidents. They contained nothing material, except the arrival of
the enemy in force at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, with this expression
in one,--'We shall make rare work with the rebels.'" But other, and more
"material" despatches were soon afterward intercepted, from the tenor of
which the conclusion was irresistible, not only that a powerful invasion
was about taking place from the north, but that very extensive
arrangements had been made in Albany, and the towns adjacent, for the
reception of the invaders, whose standard the disaffected were to join,
and whose wants they were to supply. Among the papers thus intercepted,
was the following letter, supposed to have been addressed to General
Haldimand:--

                                      "_Albany,_ 9_th May,_ 1781.

"Your Excellency may learn from this that when I received your
instructions, &c., I was obliged at that time to put myself into a place
of security, as there were heavy charges laid against me. I thank God I
have baffled that storm. Your commands are observed to the letter, part
of them faithfully executed, the particulars of which I hope in a short
time to have the honor to acquaint you verbally. Now is the season to
strike a blow on this place, when multitudes will join, provided a
considerable force comes down. The sooner the attempt is made the better.
Let it be rapid and intrepid, carefully avoiding to sour the inhabitants'
tempers by savage cruelties on their defenceless families. If a few
handbills, intimating pardon, protection, &c., &c. were sent down, and
distributed about this part of the country, they would effect wonders;
and should your Excellency think proper to send an army against this den
of persecutors, notice ought to be given ten days before, by some careful
and intelligent person, to a certain Mr. McPherson in Ball's Town, who
will immediately convey the intention to the well-affected of New
Scotland, Norman's Kill, Hillbarack's, Neskayuna, &c., all in the vicinity
of Albany. The plan is already fixed, and should a formidable force
appear, I make no doubt provisions and other succors will immediately
take place. A few lines of comfort, in print, from your Excellency to
those people, would make them the more eager in prosecuting their designs;
and if the Vermonters lie still, as I have some hopes they will, there is
no fear of success. No troops are yet raised. There is a flag from this
place shortly to be sent; perhaps I may go with it; I expected before this
time I would 'be removed from my present situation,' &c.

"25th May. N. B. This I expected should reach you before now, but had no
opportunity. Excuse haste." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This document has been discovered by the author among the papers of
 General Clinton. It is endorsed as follows:--"A copy of a letter in
 Doctor Smyth's handwriting, supposed to General Haldimand. Intercepted
 27th of May, 1781." The author has not been able to ascertain who Doctor
 Smith was, farther than that he hat been informed at Albany, that he was
 a brother to Smith the historian of New-York, afterward Chief Justice of
 New Brunswick. Some time afterward Governor Clinton transmitted a
 special message to the legislature, then sitting at Poughkeepsie,
 containing important information respecting the designs of the
 Vermonters, by which it appears that Dr. Smith was actively engaged in
 fomenting disaffection in that quarter, and had held interviews with
 Ethan Allen upon the subject in Albany, &c. Smith is spoken of in that
 message as having been appointed a Commissioner by the British officers
 to treat with the Vermonters.


Accompanying this letter were several pages of memoranda, in the same
hand-writing, giving particular information upon every point which the
enemy could desire. The deplorable situation of Albany, and the whole
Mohawk country, was described; the temper of the people in the towns
around Albany and elsewhere set forth; the strength of the main army in
the Highlands given with all necessary accuracy; and the mission of Ethan
Allen to Albany, and the probable defection of Vermont, announced. Indeed,
the character of these communications showed but too plainly that treason
was deeply and extensively at work, and that the enemy was, beyond doubt,
correctly advised of the true situation of the country. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] See Appendix, No. II.


Under all these circumstances of internal and external danger--with but
slender garrisons at the points of greatest exposure, and those so
miserably provided that the soldiers were deserting by dozens, showing
dispositions not equivocal of going over to the enemy--without provisions
or the means of procuring them, and scarcely knowing whom to trust among
their own people, lest the disaffection should prove to be even more
extensive than recent disclosures had taught the officers to suppose,--the
Spring of 1781 may well be counted as the darkest period of the
revolution. Had it not been for the gleams of light shooting up from the
south, all indeed would have been sullen blackness, if not despair. But
the truth of the homely adage, that the darkest hour is always just before
day, received a glorious illustration before the close of the year.
"Accustomed to contemplate all public events which might grow out of the
situation of the United States, and to prepare for them while at a
distance, the American chief was not depressed by this state of affairs.
With a mind happily tempered by nature and improved by experience, those
fortunate events which had occasionally brightened the prospects of his
country, never relaxed his exertions or lessened his precautions; nor
could the most disastrous state of things drive him to despair." [FN]
Fortunately, in the Clintons and their associate officers at the north,
the American Commander had subordinates possessing in no small degree the
same great characteristics. Every possible precaution against lurking
treason within, was taken, and every practicable means of preparation
means of preparation and defence against invasion from abroad, was
adopted.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Marshall.


Anticipating, from the presence of the enemy at Ticonderoga, that Tryon
county might again be attacked from that direction by the way of the
Sacondaga, Captain John Carlisle was despatched into the settlements of
New Galway, Peasley, and Ballston, accompanied by Captain Oothout and a
small party of Indians, to make prisoners of certain persons suspected of
disaffection to the American cause, and to remove all the families from
those towns to the south side of the Mohawk river. About sixty families
were thus removed, and all the suspected persons arrested. The Captain,
in his report of the expedition, gave a deplorable account of the poverty
of the people. He could scarcely procure subsistence for his party during
his mission. On arriving at Ballston, however, he drew more liberally upon
the stores of the disaffected, and then arrested them. But their
disposition, Captain Oothout was glad to inform the Commissioners, was
such as to "prevent his setting fire to their houses agreeably to the
letter of his orders." [FN] Happily these measures of precaution, and the
other preparations, were for that time unnecessary--the enemy, if he was
in actual force at Crown Point or Ticonderoga, not then venturing another
invasion from that quarter.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Manuscripts of Gen. Clinton. Indeed, the materials for this whole
 section of the northern history of the Spring of 1781, have principally
 been drawn from the Clinton papers, so often referred to.


But the Mohawk Valley was continually harassed by the Indians and
Tories--even to the very precincts of the stockades and other small
fortifications. The spirit of the people had in a great measure been
crushed, and the militia broken down, during the repeated invasions of the
preceding year. The Rev. Daniel Gros, [FN] writing to General Clinton from
Canajoharie, upon the importance of having at least a small detachment of
regular troops at Fort Rensselaer, observed--"It would serve to bring
spirit, order, and regularity into our militia, where authority and
subordination have vanished. If it should last a little longer, the
shadow of it will dwindle away; and perhaps the best men in the state will
be useless spectators of all the havoc the enemy is meditating against the
country. The militia appears to me to be a body without a soul. Drafts
from the neighboring counties, even of the levies under their own
commanders, will not abate the fatal symptoms, but rather serve to
produce a monster with as many heads as there are detachments." Having no
other defenders than such as are here described, with the exception of a
few scattered companies, or rather skeletons of companies, at the
different posts extending along the Valley, the prospect of the opening
Summer was indeed gloomy--more especially when men's thoughts reverted to
the sufferings of the past. Nor were the inhabitants encouraged to expect
any considerable reinforcements from head-quarters, since the
Commander-in-chief, in concert with the Count de Rochambeau, was again
evidently preparing for some enterprise of higher moment than the defence
of those remote settlements against any force that could be brought down
upon them from the north.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Afterward a Professor in Columbia College, and author of a work on
 Moral Philosophy.


Still, there was one officer whose name, among the people of that
district, was a tower of strength. That man was Colonel Marinus Willett;
who, at the consolidation of the five New-York regiments into two--an
event happening at about the same time--was induced by the strong
solicitation of Governor Clinton to take the command of all the militia
levies and State troops that might be raised for the protection of the
country. It was only with great reluctance that Colonel Willett was
persuaded to leave the main army, and enter upon this difficult and
hazardous service. But the appeal of Governor Clinton was so strong, and
enforced with so much earnestness, that he could not resist it. The
Governor urged the high confidence reposed in him by the people of Tryon
county--and reminded him of the cruelties of the Indians and
Tories--speaking of the latter with great emphasis, as "cruel monsters
worse than savages;" [FN-1] and Colonel Willett, feeling a hearty
good-will to chastise such an enemy--the Tories especially--repaired to
the north, and assumed the command. He arrived at Fort Rensselaer
(Canajoharie), where he established his head-quarters, toward the close
of June. The country he was to defend embraced all the settlements west
of the county of Albany, including Catskill and the Hudson river. A
fortnight after his arrival he ascertained that the following skeleton
detachments composed the full complement of the forces under his command:
one hundred and thirty levies, including officers, and Captain Moody's
artillery, numbering twenty men, at the German Flats; at Schoharie he
stationed a guard of twenty men; at Catskill about the same number, and
about thirty men at Ballston. Exclusive of these diminutive fragments of
corps, stationed at great distances apart, the levies of the county
amounted to no more than ninety-six men. In a letter to Governor Clinton,
making known the paucity of his numbers, Colonel Willett added:--"I
confess myself not a little disappointed in having such a trifling force
for such extensive business as I have on my hands; and also that nothing
is done to enable me to avail myself of the militia. The prospect of a
suffering country hurts me. Upon my own account I am not uneasy. Every
thing I can do, shall be done; and more cannot be looked for. If it is,
the reflection that I have done my a duty, must fix my own tranquility."
[FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Willett's Narrative.

 [FN-2] Idem.


Depressed, however, as were the people, and inefficient as, from the
preceding descriptions, the militia must have become, these circumstances
were, no doubt, in a great degree attributable to the want of officers in
whom the people could repose confidence. Colonel Willett had very soon
an opportunity to make trial of their spirit, and he found them "a people
who, having experienced no inconsiderable portion of British barbarism,
were become keen for revenge and properly determined." [FN-1] The occasion
was the following:--On the 30th of June, several columns of smoke were
discovered by the garrison of Fort Rensselaer, ascending as from a village
on fire, in the direction of Currietown, lying eleven miles down the
river, near the estuary of the Schoharie-kill. Having previously sent
forth a scout of thirty men, commanded by Captain Gross, to patrol the
country south as far as a settlement called Durlagh, [FN-2] an express
was despatched to overtake that officer, with information of the probable
presence of the enemy below, and with instructions, if possible, to fall
upon his trail. Meantime Captain McKean was ordered to Currietown, with
sixteen levies only, but with instructions to collect as many of the
militia in his way as possible. Such was the celerity of McKean's
movements, that he arrived at Currietown so soon after it had been ravaged
and deserted by the enemy, as to enable him to assist in quenching the
fires of some of the yet unconsumed buildings. Colonel Willett was himself
actively employed during the day in collecting the militia, while, through
the vigilance of Captain Gross, not only the trail of the Indians was
discovered, but the place of their encampment. Having reason to suppose
they would occupy the same encampment that night, and being joined before
evening by the detachments of Gross and McKean, the Colonel determined,
with these forces, and such few militia-men as he had been able to
collect, to march directly for the encampment, and, if possible, take them
by surprise before morning--perhaps while asleep. This encampment was in
a thick cedar swamp, five or six miles to the north-east of Cherry Valley,
and of course to reach it by a march through the woods, during an
exceedingly dark night, and without any better road than a bridle-path,
was no small undertaking. It had been ascertained that the Indians
numbered between two and three hundred, commanded by a Tory named John
Doxstader, in connexion with an Indian chief named Quackyack. Colonel
Willett's strength, levies and militia included, did not exceed one
hundred and fifty rank and file. The plan of falling upon the enemy while
asleep did not exactly succeed, in consequence of the difficulties of the
march--occasioned by the darkness, the thickness of the woods, and, worse
than all, the losing of his way by the guide. It was therefore nearly
six o'clock in the morning when they arrived in the vicinity of the
encampment; and, instead of falling upon the enemy by surprise, they
found him occupying a more favorable situation, and awaiting their
reception. Immediate dispositions were made to engage the enemy, with a
view to which a stratagem was laid to draw him from the advantageous
situation which he had chosen. For this purpose, before the Indians had
become fully aware of Willett's near approach, Jacob Sammons, now a
lieutenant in the New-York levies, was detached with ten resolute men, to
steal as near to them as possible, give them one well-directed fire, and
retreat. The ruse succeeded. Sammons and his men turned their backs on the
first yell of the Indians, and the latter sprang forward in pursuit.
[FN-3] They were soon met by Colonel Willett in person, advancing at the
head of his main division, which consisted of one hundred men, while
Captain McKean was left with fifty more as a reserve, to act as occasion
might require, on the right. The enemy did not wait an attack, however,
but, with great appearance of determination, advanced with their wonted
shouts and yells, and began the fire. The onset of the Indians was
furious; but they were received with firmness, and in turn the Americans
advanced upon them with loud huzzas, and such manifestations of spirit as
soon caused them to give way. Simultaneously with their attack upon the
main body in front, the Indians had made an equally desperate rush upon
the right wing, which might have been attended with disaster, but for the
destructive fire poured in upon them by the reserve of McKean. The
Indians, thus driven back, now betook themselves to their old game of
firing from behind the trees; but Willett's men understood that mode of
fighting as well as themselves. They did not, however, practise it long.
Willett pressed forward waving his hat and cheering his men--calling out
that he could catch in his hat all the balls that the enemy might send;
and in the same breath exclaiming, "the day is ours, my boys!" These
inspiriting demonstrations being followed up by a timely and efficient
use of the bayonet, the whole body of the enemy was put to flight in half
an hour after the commencement of the action. They retreated upon their
old path down the Susquehanna, and were pursued to a considerable
distance. Their camp was, of course, taken, and the plunder they had
gathered recaptured. The loss of the Indians was severe--nearly forty of
their dead being left on the field. Colonel Willett's loss was five
killed, and nine wounded and missing. Among the wounded was the brave
Captain McKean, fatally. He received two balls early in the engagement,
but kept at his post until it was over, and the rout of the enemy
complete. [FN-4]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter of Colonel Willett to General Washington.

 [FN-2] Sometimes spelt Turlock. Now the town of Sharon, Schoharie
 County.

 [FN-3] MS. narrative of Jacob Sammons.

 [FN-4] Willett's Narrative--Campbell.


There was one very painful circumstance attending this battle. In their
excursion to Currietown, the day before, Doxstader and his Indians had
made nine prisoners, among whom were Jacob and Frederick Diefendorff,
Jacob Myers and a son, a black boy, and four others. The moment the
battle commenced, the prisoners, who were bound to standing trees for
security, were tomahawked and scalped by their captors, and left as dead.
The bodies of these unfortunate men were buried by Colonel Willett's
troops. Fortunately, however, the graves were superficial, and the
covering slight--a circumstance which enabled Jacob Diefendorff, who,
though stunned and apparently dead, was yet alive, to disentomb himself.
A detachment of militia, under Colonel Veeder, having repaired to the
field of action after Willett had returned to Fort Rensselaer, discovered
the supposed deceased on the outside of his own grave; and he has lived
to furnish the author of the present work with an account of his own
burial and resurrection. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Statements of Jacob Diefendorff and Jacob Sammons, in the author's
 possession.


Captain McKean died, greatly lamented, a few days after the detachment
had returned to the fort, as will be seen by the annexed letter, addressed
by Colonel Willett to the commanding officer at Albany:--


                  "Colonel Willett to General Clinton.

"Sir:--I have just sent some of the wounded levies to Schenectady, there
being no surgeon here. Doctor Petrie, the surgeon of the levies, is at
German Flats, where he has several sick and wounded to attend; and the
intercourse between here and there is too dangerous to allow traveling
without a guard; I could wish, therefore, to have a surgeon from the
hospital posted in this quarter.

"This place does not afford a gill of rum to bathe a single wound. The two
barrels designed for this quarter a few days ago, met with a regular
regiment passing down the country, who very irregularly took away from
the person that had them in charge those two barrels of rum. I need not
mention to you, Sir, that the severe duty and large portion of fatigue
that falls to the lot of the troops in this quarter, make rum an article
of importance here, and that I should be glad to see some in the County
of Tryon.

"This morning Captain McKean died of the wound he received yesterday. In
him we have lost an excellent officer. I feel his loss, and must regret
it." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Clinton papers.


Shortly after the irruption of Doxstader, there was another descent of
Indians and Tories upon Palatine, which was an event of more singularity
than importance. A son of Colonel Jacob Klock, with several of his Tory
friends, went off to Canada. He returned in about four weeks with a band
of Indians and Tories to fall upon the settlement, and encamped for one
night in the vicinity of his own neighborhood. During the night, one of
the number, Philip Helmer, having discovered that a part of their object
was to plunder and murder the family of his relative, John Bellinger,
determined to save that family. Taking a young Indian with him, therefore,
under the pretext of reconnoitering the settlement, he proceeded so near
to some of the houses, that the Indian, becoming suspicious, ran back to
his comrades. Helmer's object was to surrender himself, and cause the
Indian to be taken prisoner; and he accordingly delivered himself up to
Judge Nellis. Expresses were immediately sent to Fort Plain and Stone
Arabia for assistance; and the enemy, finding themselves betrayed, took
to the woods. Lieutenant Sammons, with twenty-five men, was ordered by
Colonel Willett to go in pursuit; and so rapid were they of foot, as to
arrive at the enemy's encampment before his fires had gone out. William
Feeter, with six other volunteers, was sent forward to keep his trail.
In about two miles after entering the woods, most luckily they discovered
a number of the Indians lying flat upon the ground. The latter no sooner
discerned Feeter's approach, than they rose and fired; but one of their
number having fallen grievously wounded by the return fire of Feeler's
party, while they were stooping down to re-load, they sprang to their
feet and fled--Tories and all--leaving their provisions, knapsacks, and
some of their muskets. They ran down a steep hill, and were measurably
shielded from Feeter's fire by the thickness of the shrubbery and trees.
One of them gave himself up as a prisoner; three more were wounded, and
died on their way to Canada. The poor Indian first wounded, was put to
death by Helmer, who ran up and despatched him while he was begging for
quarter! [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Narrative of Colonel William Feeter, in the author's possession,
 and also of Jacob Sammons. Colonel Feeter is yet living, (1837.)


Colonel Willett took early occasion to make the Commander-in-chief
acquainted with the deplorable situation to which this fine region of
country had been reduced by the repeated visitations of the enemy. In his
letter to General Washington upon the subject, he describes the beauty,
the productiveness, and the natural advantages of the country with a
glowing pen. From this communication it appears, that at the commencement
of the war, the number of enrolled militia in Tryon county amounted to
not less than two thousand five hundred; but at the date of the letter,
(July 6, 1781,) the number of inhabitants liable to pay taxes, or to be
assessed to raise men for the public service, was estimated at no more
than twelve hundred; while the number liable to bear arms did not exceed
eight hundred. To account for so large a reduction of the population, it
was estimated that one-third had been killed or made prisoners; one-third
had gone over to the enemy; and one-third, for the time being, had
abandoned the country. The situation of those that remained, the Colonel
described as so distressing as to provoke sympathy from even the most
unfeeling heart. Those who could afford the expense, or perform the labor,
had erected block-houses on their own farms, for the protection of their
families. Each neighborhood had been compelled to erect a fortification
for itself within which their families resided for safety--from ten to
fifty families crowding together in a fort. Of these works there were
twenty-four between Schenectady and Fort Schuyler. At the time of writing
this letter--or rather memoir, for the communication was extended through
several sheets--Colonel Willett stated that the whole number of men then
under his command, exclusive of the militia, did not exceed two hundred
and fifty. But he, nevertheless, kept up a good heart, and in the course
of his anticipations of bringing about a better state of things,
added--"Nor shall I exceed my hopes, if, in the course of less than
twelve months, I shall be able to convince the enemy that they are not
without vulnerable quarters in these parts." The following quotation will
illustrate alike the wisdom, the activity, and the skill of the
dispositions made by Willett, for the purpose not only of bringing order
out of confusion, but of displaying his strength before an invisible foe,
lurking stealthily about in every place of concealment, on all sides and
every hand. After stating that he had fixed his head-quarters at
Canajoharie, on account of its central position, he proceeds:--"My
intention is to manage business so as to have an opportunity of
acquainting myself, as well as possible, with every officer and soldier
I may have in charge. In order the better to do this, I propose, as far
as I can make it any way convenient, to guard the different posts by
detachments, to be relieved as the nature of the case will admit. And as
the relieved troops will always return to Fort Rensselaer, where my
quarters will be, I shall have an opportunity of seeing them all in turn.
Having troops constantly marching backward and forward through the
country, and frequently changing their route, will answer several
purposes, such as will easily be perceived by you, sir, without
mentioning them. This is not the only way by which I expect to become
particularly acquainted with the troops and their situation. I intend
occasionally to visit every part of the country, as well to rectify such
mistakes as are common among the kind of troops I have at present in
charge, as to enable me to observe the condition of the militia, upon
whose aid I shall be under the necessity of placing considerable
reliance."

The effect of Colonel Willett's presence and example was very soon
perceptible. The people reposed the most unlimited confidence in him; and
so rapidly did he infuse something of his own fire and energy into the
bosoms even of the dispirited and broken militia, that they presently
appeared like a different race of men. An illustration of this fact
occurred one night early in July. The Colonel was informed, at the hour
of one o'clock in the morning, of the presence of fifty or sixty Indians
and Tories in the neighborhood, at only about six miles distance. Having
barely troops enough in the fort to guard it, he sent immediately for a
Captain of the militia, and in one hour's time that officer was in search
of the enemy at the head of seventy men. It is not often that much good
results from the employment of militia. Few officers can do any thing with
them. Most commanders nothing. But Willett was an exception in those days,
as General Jackson has been since. Willett, like Jackson, possessed the
faculty, by looking into the eyes of his men, of transfusing his own
native fire into their bosoms in spite of themselves.

Fortunately, however, less trouble was experienced from the enemy during
the Summer, in the lower section of the Mohawk Valley, than had been
anticipated. The summary and severe chastisement inflicted upon Doxstader
and his party had a powerful effect upon that irritating branch of the
enemy's service; and for more than three months afterward the inhabitants
were only troubled occasionally, and then merely by small flying parties
of the enemy, who accomplished nothing worthy of record.

But in the upper section of the Valley, the German Flats, it was
otherwise, and several spirited affairs occurred in that neighborhood,
attended by great bravery, though not by important consequences. The name
of Solomon Woodworth has twice or thrice occurred in the preceding pages;
once, as having been taken a prisoner and making his escape, and again as
alone defending a block-house north of Johnstown, and repulsing the enemy
from his fortress. In the year 1781 he was commissioned a captain, for
the purpose of raising a company of rangers to traverse the wooded country
north of Fort Dayton and the German Flats. He succeeded in enlisting a
company of forty brave and kindred spirits; at the head of whom, well
armed and provided, he marched from Fort Dayton, striking in the direction
of the Royal Grant, [FN-1] for purposes of observation. After a few hours'
march, one of Woodworth's men, being a short distance in advance,
discovered an Indian, evidently in ambuscade, upon whom he immediately
fired. Instantly the forest resounded with the war-whoop, and Woodworth
with his little band was surrounded by double his own number. A furious
and bloody engagement followed, in which the Rangers and Indians fought
hand to hand with great desperation; and, for the numbers engaged, there
was cruel slaughter. A fiercer engagement, probably, did not occur during
the war. Woodworth fell dead. The savages were the victors; and of the
rangers, only fifteen escaped to tell the melancholy fate of their
comrades. Several were taken captive, and subsequently exchanged. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] A large tract of land, so called from the fact that it was a
 grant from the King, under his own sign manual, to Sir William Johnson.

 [FN-2] Manuscripts of the Rev. John I. Shaw.


Another affair, as an individual exploit, was as remarkable for its
coolness and bravery, as for the singular incident occurring in the
course of the battle, or rather siege, by which the leader of the enemy
was made to supply ammunition to be used against his own troops. There
was, and is to this day, a wealthy German settlement about four miles
north of the village of Herkimer, called Shell's Bush. Among those of the
settlers who had built block-houses of their own, was John Christian
Shell. His stockade was large and substantial, and well calculated for
defence. The first story had no windows, but small loop-holes, through
which the inmates could fire upon any persons venturing to assail them.
The second story projected two or three feet over the first, so
constructed that the garrison could either fire upon those who approached
too near, or cast down missiles upon their heads. Shell had a family of
six sons, the youngest two of whom were twins and but eight years old. In
the afternoon of the 6th of August, Donald McDonald, one of the Scotch
refugees who fled from Johnstown, made an attack upon Shell's Bush at the
head of a band of sixty-six Indians and Tories, among the latter of whom
were two celebrated traitors, named Empie and Kassellman. [FN-1] Most of
the inhabitants of Shell's Bush, however, had taken refuge in Fort
Dayton--four miles distant; but John Christian Shell, being a sturdy
believer in the doctrine that every man's house is his castle, refused to
quit his own domicile. He and his sons were at work in the field when
McDonald and his party made their appearance; and the children were
unfortunately separated so widely from their father, as to fall into the
hands of the enemy. Shell and his other boys succeeded in reaching their
castle, and barricading the ponderous door. And then commenced the battle.
The besieged were well armed, and all behaved with admirable bravery; but
none more bravely than Shell's wife, who loaded the pieces as her husband
and sons discharged them. The battle commenced at two o'clock, and
continued until dark. Several attempts were made by McDonald to set fire
to the castle, but without success; and his forces were repeatedly driven
back by the galling fire they received. McDonald at length procured a
crow-bar and attempted to force the door; but while thus engaged he
received a shot in the leg from Shell's blunderbuss, which put him _hors
du combat._ None of his men being sufficiently near at the moment to
rescue him, Shell, quick as lightning, opened the door, and drew him
within the walls a prisoner. The misfortune of Shell and his garrison was,
that their ammunition began to run low; but McDonald was very amply
provided, and to save his own life, he surrendered his cartridges to the
garrison to fire upon his comrades. Several of the enemy having been
killed and others wounded, they now drew off for a respite. Shell and his
troops, moreover, needed a little breathing time; and feeling assured
that, so long as he had the commanding officer of the besiegers in his
possession, the enemy would hardly attempt to burn the citadel, he ceased
firing. He then went up stairs, and sang the hymn which was a favorite of
Luther during the perils and afflictions of the Great Reformer in his
controversies with the Pope. [FN-2] While thus engaged, the enemy likewise
ceased firing. But they soon afterward rallied again to the fight, and
made a desperate effort to carry the fortress by assault. Rushing up to
the walls, five of them thrust the muzzles of their guns through the
loop-holes, but had no sooner done so, than Mrs. Shell, seizing an axe,
by quick and well-directed blows ruined every musket thus thrust through
the walls, by bending the barrels! A few more well-directed shots by Shell
and his sons once more drove the assailants back. Shell thereupon ran up
to the second story, just in the twilight, and calling out to his wife
with a loud voice, informed her that Captain Small was approaching from
Fort Dayton with succors. In yet louder notes he then exclaimed--"Captain
Small, march your company round upon this side of the house. Captain
Getman, you had better wheel your men off to the left, and come up upon
that side." There were, of course, no troops approaching; but the
directions of Shell were given, with such precision, and such apparent
earnestness and sincerity, that the stratagem succeeded, and the enemy
immediately fled to the woods, taking away the twin-lads as prisoners.
[FN-3] Setting the best provisions they had before their reluctant guest,
Shell and his family lost no time in repairing to Fort Dayton, which they
reached in safety--leaving McDonald in the quiet possession of the castle
he had been striving to capture in vain. Some two or three of McDonald's
Indians lingered about the premises to ascertain the fate of their leader;
and finding that Shell and his family had evacuated the post ventured in
to visit him. Not being able to remove him, however, on taking themselves
off, they charged their wounded leader to inform Shell, that if he would
be kind to him, (McDonald,) they would take good care of his (Shell's)
captive boys. McDonald was the next day removed to the fort by Captain
Small, where his leg was amputated; but the blood could not be stanched,
and he died in a few hours. [FN-4] The lads were carried into Canada. The
loss of the enemy on the ground was eleven killed and six wounded. The
boys, who were rescued after the war, reported that they took twelve of
their wounded away with them, nine of whom died before they arrived in
Canada. [FN-5]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. notes of Lauren Ford.

 [FN-2] A literal translation of this hymn has been furnished the author
 by Professor Bokum of Harvard University, which will be found in No.
 III. of the Appendix.

 [FN-3] One of Shell's neighbors lay in ambush during the battle, and
 heard Shell's directions to Small and Getman.

 [FN-4] McDonald wore a silver-mounted tomahawk, which was taken from him
 by Shell. It was marked by thirty scalp-notches, showing that few Indiana
 could have been more industrious than himself in gathering that
 description of military trophies.

 [FN-5] Among the slain was a white man, who had two thumbs on one hand.
 One of Shell's sons is yet living in Canada, being a member of the
 Dunkard's Society, in the neighborhood of Toronto.


At a subsequent day, Shell; being at work in the field with his two sons
at no great distance from the fort, was fired upon by a party of Indians
concealed in the standing wheat, and severely wounded. He called to his
sons not to allow the Indians to scalp him; and neither of the brave boys
would retreat until a guard came from the fort to their relief. But in
the discharge of this filial duty, one of them was killed and the other
wounded. John Christian Shell himself died of his wound, in the fort. His
deeds were commemorated in one of the most rude and prosaic of ballads.
But his memory is yet green in the remembrance of the German population
of Herkimer. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This account of John Christian Shell's exploit has been drawn
 chiefly from the MS. statement of the venerable Col. William Feeter, yet
 living in that town, (Feb. 1838,) and from the ballad mentioned in the
 text, which contains a patriotic and particular recitation of the facts.
 This use of contemporaneous ballads as authority for facts is well
 sustained by precedent. Thierry makes bold use of English Norman ballads
 for his history of the Norman Conquest; and Prescott, in his late
 invaluable history of the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella, has done the
 like with the ancient Castilian romance and Moorish ballad.


The policy of the enemy at the north, during the whole season, was to
divide their own forces into small detachments, and harass the border
settlements at as many different points as possible--thus distracting the
attention of the people, and by allowing them neither a sense of security
nor repose, rendering them disgusted with the protracted struggle. The
most formidable movement of the Indians and Tories during the Summer
months, was the descent of Captain Cauldwell, from Niagara, upon the
border of Ulster County, at the head of about four hundred Indians and
Tories. The first intelligence of this irruption was received in Albany
by General Gansevoort, [FN] by letter, as follows:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] In the re-organization of the army, at the close of the year 1780,
 Colonel Gansevoort was left out of service in the line, by seniority in
 rank of other officers. Being a brigadier general of the militia,
 however, stationed at Albany, his services were in continual requisition,
 since, in the absence of regular troops, his brigade was the chief
 dependence of the northern section of the State. His activity in the
 State service was incessant, and his correspondence with the Governor and
 the general officers of the regular array at the north, heavier than at
 any former period. See Appendix, No. IV.


               "Governor Clinton to General Gansevoort.

                               "_Poughkeepsie, August_ 14, 1781

  "Sir,

"Last Sunday, a body of the enemy, to the amount of about three hundred
Indians and ninety Tories, appeared on the frontiers of Ulster County.
They took a small scout Colonel Pauling had sent out, and from them it is
supposed obtained information of the disposition of the levies in that
quarter, whom they passed by, and were first discovered at the settlement
of Warwasing. From the last accounts they had retired; but how far, is not
known. The militia have been collected and marched to oppose or pursue
them, as circumstances may render expedient. From their force, it is not
probable they will leave the country without attempting farther mischief
in that or some other quarter. I conceive it necessary, therefore, to give
you this information that you may take proper steps with your militia in
case this party should take their route toward the frontier of your
county; and I would particularly recommend that a part of your brigade be
immediately marched to Schoharie, for the protection of that settlement
until this party shall entirely have gone off. The account of the enemy's
strength is from one Vrooman, who deserted them; which is confirmed from
their appearance to a small party of levies, who saw them paraded at a
house they attacked, and which the party defended. By a more particular
account received this morning, (and which was the first that demanded
credit,) they have burnt and destroyed about a dozen houses, with their
barns, &c., among which are those of John G. Hardenburgh, Esq. They killed
only one of the inhabitants, the rest having made a timely escape from
their houses. The levies stationed there were by no means sufficient to
turn out and oppose them; but those who were in the house defended
themselves with spirit against the assaults of the enemy, by which means
several of them are said to have fallen, and many houses were saved.

                              "I am, with great esteem,
                                 Sir, your most obd't serv't,
                                          Geo. Clinton.

  "_Brig. Gen. Gansevoort._" [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Colonel Vrooman, at Schoharie, having heard of the invasion of
 Ulster County by Cauldwell, wrote a pressing letter to General
 Gansevoort, for assistance, on the same day that the Governor wrote from
 Poughkeepsie. Colonel Henry Van Rensselaer was forthwith ordered to
 Schoharie with his regiment, and Colonel Wemple was directed to send a
 detachment of his regiment thither, from Schenectady, together with as
 many of the Oneida Indians as he could engage. Fortunately, their
 services were not required in action.


Captain Cauldwell was an officer in Butler's rangers. Who was the Indian
leader on the occasion, is not known. Their route from Niagara had been
by way of the Chemung, and thence, after crossing the Susquehanna, by the
Lackawaxen to the Delaware. The stockade forts at the north of the
Lackawaxen, and at Neversink, had been passed unobserved. Luckily,
however, for the inhabitants, shortly before Cauldwell reached the
settlements, a scouting party had descried his advance, and, eluding the
enemy's pursuit, had succeeded in communicating the alarm to the people,
who at once fled with their most valuable effects to the picket forts
erected for exactly such emergencies.

It was just at the first blush of morning that Cauldwell passed the small
fortress on the frontier of Warwasing. Being fired upon by the sentinel,
the report alarmed Captain Hardenburgh, who, with a guard of nine men,
was stationed at a point about three miles distant from the fort.
Proceeding immediately in the direction of the sound, Hardenburgh and his
little band met the enemy on his way, directing their course toward the
adjoining settlement of Mombackus--now called Rochester. Nothing daunted,
the Captain gave the enemy battle; but being closely pressed, he soon
discovered that his retreat had been cut off by a party of Indians, who
had gained his rear. In this dilemma, it being yet not quite light,
Hardenburgh with his party took refuge in a small stone house nearby,
owned by a Mr. Kettle, which had probably not been observed by the enemy.
Here they found six militia-men more--making sixteen in all, and being
well armed, they gave the invaders a warm reception. The latter advanced
several times to carry the house by assault, but as some of their number
were each time doomed to fall, they as often gave way, and in the end
relinquished the undertaking--leaving thirteen dead upon the field. In
marching forward two miles to Hardenburgh's house, the enemy fell in with
Kettle, the owner of the premises where they had been so roughly handled.
He, poor fellow, was killed and scalped. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. statement of Captain Valentine Davis, in the author's
 possession.


Captain Henry Pauling, with a detachment of the regiment of State levies
commanded by Colonel Albert Pauling, was stationed at a point about six
miles distant from the scene of the action just described. He hastened
forward, but arrived too late to have a brush with the enemy, and only in
season to capture one straggling prisoner who was lingering for fruit in
an apple orchard. [FN-1] Finding his reception rather warm, and perceiving
indications of farther and more powerful opposition to his advance,
Cauldwell was already in full retreat. Nor did he commence retracing his
steps a moment too soon for his own safety. The news of his advance having
reached the west bank of the Hudson, where Colonel Pauling, of the State
levies, and Colonel John Cantine, with a body of militia, were stationed,
those officers marched immediately to the relief of the invaded
settlements. They arrived at the outskirts in time to catch a glimpse of
the enemy's rear, and to relieve some of the inhabitants, among whom were
a man and his wife, who had conducted themselves with distinguished
bravery. His house was constructed of unhewn logs, in the woods, and in
advance of all others. On the appearance of the foe, he fled to his castle
with his wife, and securing it in the best manner he could, gave battle
to a party of the Indians who laid siege to his fortress. Being well
armed, he defended himself with so much spirit, that they recoiled with
loss. Finding, after several attempts, that they could not force an
entrance, the Indians collected a heap of combustibles, and set fire to
the premises. Retiring a short distance to see the result, the man watched
his opportunity, and rushing out with a couple of buckets, he procured
water, which was close at hand, and extinguished the fire. The Indians,
of course, ran down upon him; but not being quick enough of foot to
prevent his gaining the door, hurled their tomahawks at his head--happily
without effect. He entered his castle, made fast his sally-port, and
re-commenced his defence. Just at this moment Colonel Pauling with his
troops appeared in sight, whereupon the Indians raised the siege and
departed. Colonel Pauling was absent in pursuit seven days, but did not
overtake them. The enemy suffered severely. They lost a goodly number of
their men; took only two prisoners and but little plunder; and were so
near starvation, that they were compelled to devour their dogs before
they reached their head-quarters. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. of Major Thomas Sammons, who was at this time serving in the
 corps of Captain Pauling. The prisoner taken from the enemy was
 recognized as an old neighbor of his father's at Johnstown, who had
 served in the company of which Jacob Sammons was the lieutenant.

 [FN-2] Major Sammons.


The Shawanese and other western Indians seem to have remained
comparatively quiet during the Spring and Summer of 1781. The Kentucky
settlements were for the most part unmolested, save by a feeble attack
upon McAfee's station near Harrodsburgh. The assailants, however, were
but a straggling party of Indians, who hung about the stockade, and were
ultimately punished severely for their temerity. Two of them were killed
by an equal number of the McAfees, whom, having left the fort for some
purpose, the Indians attempted to cut off on their return. The Indians
then commenced an attack upon the fort, but a party of cavalry arriving
suddenly from Harrodsburgh, the garrison sallied forth, and the savages
were quickly dispersed, with a loss of six killed outright, and several
others, whom they bore away, wounded. A few days afterward, Bryant's
station, which was yet more exposed, was visited by the Indians. Bryant,
who was a brother-in-law of Colonel Boon, having arranged a large hunting
party of twenty men, left his fort on an expedition down the Elk-horn.
Having divided his company in order to sweep a broader extent of country
for game, by reason of a fog, and other untoward circumstances, they
failed of uniting at the points designated. Meantime the Indians were
hanging about both divisions, and by stratagem succeeded in defeating
both. In one of their skirmishes Bryant was mortally wounded, and another
man severely. It was reported that the hunters, taken by surprise, were
deficient in firmness, when Bryant fell. On the following day they
encountered the Indians again, and defeated them.



                          CHAPTER VI.



 Increase of disaffection in the North--Seizures of prominent citizens by
  bands of loyalists from Canada--Captivity of John J. Bleecker--Plot
  against General Gansevoort--Daring attempt upon General Schuyler in the
  city of Albany, by John Waltermeyer--Intrepidity of Margaret
  Schuyler--Arrest of loyalists at the Beaver Dams--Mysterious movements
  of the enemy on Lake Champlain--Controversy with the New-Hampshire
  Grants--Sketch of its origin--Outrages of the Vermont
  insurgents--Declaration of Independence by the Grants--Interposition of
  Congress--Its authority disregarded--Progress of the
  controversy---Difficult situation of General Gansevoort--Suspected
  intercourse of the Vermontese with the enemy--Letter of Governor
  Clinton--Invasion of the Mohawk country by Major Ross--Warrens-bush
  ravaged--March of the enemy to Johnstown--Followed by Willett with the
  levies and militia--Battle of Johnstown--Ross defeated--Pursued by
  Willett, and routed at Jersey field--Death of Walter N. Butler--General
  progress of the war--Arnold in Virginia--Returns to the North, and
  destroys Groton and New London--Siege of Yorktown and capture of
  Cornwallis--Affairs of the North--Meditated treachery of
  Vermont--Message of Governor Clinton--British open a correspondence with
  the Vermont insurgents--Mission of Ira Allen to Canada--Separate
  armistice with Vermont--Stipulations for erecting Vermont into a royal
  colony--Correspondence with the enemy during the Summer--Negotiations
  renewed at Skenesborough--St. Leger ascends the lake with a strong
  force--An awkward occurrence for the Vermontese--Excitement at the seat
  of Government of the Grants--Throwing dust in the eyes of the
  people--News of the surrender of Cornwallis--Its effect in
  Vermont--Causes the nasty return of St. Leger to Canada--Insurrection
  in the north-eastern towns of New-York, in connexion with the
  Vermontese--Troubles of General Gansevoort--Unable to quell the
  insurgents--Cherokee Indians--Close of the year.


Emboldened by the feeble state of the country, and by the increased
numbers of the disaffected in the neighborhood of Albany, especially at
the north of that city, in consequence of the equivocal indications in
Vermont, the scouting parties of the enemy were exceedingly active and
audacious in their incursions. Their chief object was to seize the
persons of the most conspicuous and influential inhabitants, for transfer
into Canada as prisoners. Among the notable leaders in this species of
warfare were two bold partisans, named Joseph Bettys and John Waltermeyer.
The daring misdeeds of Bettys, if collected, would of themselves furnish
materials for a small volume. Waltermeyer was perhaps equally daring, but
less savage in his disposition. In the month of April, a party of fifteen
or sixteen of the enemy broke in upon the town of Coxsackie and the
contiguous settlements, carrying off several prisoners; among whom were
David Abeel and his son, residing a few miles south of Catskill.

At the north of Albany several active citizens were seized and carried
away in the course of the season; among whom was Mr. John J. Bleecker, of
Tomhanic, whose family had been broken up on the approach of Burgoyne,
four years previous. After the surrender of Burgoyne, Mr. Bleecker
returned to his sylvan plantation, where he had lived in tranquility until
the month of August of the present year; at which time he was surprised
in the field, while assisting his laborers in the wheat harvest, and
carried away with two of his men. The enemy having stolen upon him in
silence, and seized him without permitting an alarm, Mrs. Bleecker was
ignorant of the occurrences. But, her husband not returning, as he was
wont, on the approach of night, her suspicions were awakened that all was
not right. When she sent to the field, he was not there, nor could trace
of him or his laborers be found. But as such sudden disappearances were
not unusual, his fate was not difficult of conjecture. The neighborhood
was alarmed, and search for him made, but in vain. Mrs. Bleecker,
overwhelmed with grief, gave him up as lost, and once more set her face
for Albany. Fortunately, however, the captors of her husband fell in with
a party of militia-men from Bennington, who rescued the prisoners; and Mr.
Bleecker had the happiness to rejoin his wife after six days' absence.
[FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The joy experienced by Mrs. Bleecker on again beholding her husband,
 so far overcame her as to bring on a fit of sickness, so severe as nearly
 to prove fatal. Indeed, the events of 1777, particularly the loss of her
 daughter, made so deep an impression upon her mind, that she never
 recovered her happiness. Hence the pensive character of her writings.
 She died at Tomhanic in 1783, at the early age of 31.


An attempt was also made, during the same season, to seize the person of
General Gansevoort. Although, as has already been stated, General
Gansevoort was no longer in the regular service, yet, as an experienced
officer, and the commander of the militia in that part of the state, his
services and his counsels were in continual requisition; nor was there a
more active officer in the service, regular or irregular, or one more
burdened with duties. It was therefore an object with the enemy to remove
him from his post if possible. A scheme was therefore devised to seize him
at one of the ferries which he was about to cross; the execution of which
was entrusted to a hostile partisan named Tanckrey. By some means,
however, Colonel Henry Van Rensselaer, at Half Moon, obtained information
of the project, and lost no time in admonishing the General of his danger
by letter. Having also heard of the rendezvous of Tanckrey and his gang,
Van Rensselaer despatched a detachment of troops under Major Schermerhorn,
for their apprehension. They were found at the house of a Mr. Douglass;
but before Schermerhorn's troops had surrounded the house, their approach
was discovered, and they were fired upon by the marauders; all of whom,
with a single exception, succeeded in getting off through the rear of the
house. Two of Schermerhorn's militia were wounded. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. Letter of Col. Henry Van Rensselaer to General Gansevoort.


But the boldest enterprise of the kind was the projected abduction of
General Schuyler from his residence in Albany, or rather in the suburbs of
that city, in the month of August. Schuyler was not at that time in the
army, having exchanged the military for the civil service of his country
two years before. [FN-1] Still, his military exertions were almost as
great, and his counsels were as frequently sought and as highly valued,
as though he were yet in command of the department. Added to which, he
had been specially charged by the Commander-in-chief with the prosecution
of all practicable measures for intercepting the communications of the
enemy. [FN-2] Aside from this circumstance, the acquisition of a person
of his consideration as a prisoner, would have been an important object
to Sir Frederick Haldimand, the British Commander in Canada. A desperate
effort was therefore resolved upon for his capture. For this purpose John
Waltermeyer, the bold and reckless Tory partisan already mentioned, was
despatched to the neighborhood of Albany, at the head of a gang of Tories,
Canadians, and Indians. He had, as it subsequently appeared, been lurking
about the precincts of Albany for eight or ten days, sheltered by the
thick growth of low pines and shrub-oaks, which yet spread over much of
the common lands appertaining to that city; and some dark intimations had
been conveyed to General Schuyler that his person was in danger. These
premonitions, it is believed, came first from a Dutch rustic who had
fallen into the hands of Waltermeyer, and been examined as to the means
of defence and the localities of the General's house, and who had been
released only after taking an oath of secrecy. A similar caution had also
been conveyed to him by a loyalist to whom the intention of Waltermeyer
was known, but who was General Schuyler's personal friend. Of course the
General and his family were continually on the _qui vive,_ since the
frequency with which leading citizens had been decoyed into ambush and
taken, or snatched away by sudden violence, afforded ample cause for the
exercise of all possible vigilance and caution. In addition, moreover, to
his own household proper, the General had a guard of six men; three of
whom were on duty by day, and three by night.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] "It was not until the Autumn of 1778 that the conduct of General
 Schuyler, in the campaign of 1777, was submitted to the investigation of
 a court-martial. He was acquitted of every charge with the highest honor,
 and the sentence was confirmed by Congress. He shortly afterward, upon
 his earnest and repeated solicitations, had leave to retire from the
 army, and devoted the remainder of his life to the service of his country
 in its political councils. He had previously been in Congress, and on his
 return to that body, after the termination of his military life, his
 talents, experience, and energy, were put in immediate requisition; and
 in November, 1779, he was appointed to confer with General Washington on
 the state of the southern department. In 1781 he was in the Senate of
 this state; and wherever he was placed, and whatever might be the
 business before him, he gave the utmost activity to measures, and left
 upon them the impression of his prudence and sagacity."_Chancellor Kent._

 [FN-2] Letter from Washington to General Schuyler, May 14, 1781.


It was in the evening of a sultry day in August, that the General was
sitting with his family, after supper, in the front hall of his house,
all the doors being open, when a servant entered to say that a stranger
waited to speak with him at the back gate. Such an unusual request at
once excited suspicion. The evening was so exceedingly warm that the
servants had dispersed. The three sentinels who had been relieved for the
night, were asleep in the cellar; and the three who should have been on
duty, were refreshing themselves at full length on the grass-plot in the
garden. Instead, however, of responding to the invitation to meet the
stranger at the back gate, the doors of the house were instantly closed
and fastened. The General ran to his bed-chamber for his arms; and having
hastily collected his family in an upper apartment, and discovered from
the windows that the house was surrounded by armed men, a pistol was
discharged for the purpose of alarming the neglectful guards, and
perchance the people of the city. At the same moment Mrs. Schuyler
perceived that her infant child had been left in their bustle, in the
cradle, below two flights of stairs. In an agony of apprehension she was
flying to its rescue, but the General would not permit her to leave the
apartment. The third daughter, Margaret, [FN-1] instantly rushed forth,
and descending to the nursery, which was upon the ground floor, snatched
the child from the cradle, where it was yet lying unmolested. As she was
leaving the room to return, a tomahawk was hurled at her by an unseen
hand, but with no other effect than slightly to injure her dress. On
ascending a private stairway, she was met by Waltermeyer himself, who
exclaimed--"Wench! where is your master?" She replied, with great
presence of mind--"Gone to alarm the town." The villains had not, indeed,
entered the house unopposed, for, on hearing the noise when they were
breaking in the doors, the three men in the cellar sprang up, and without
stopping to dress, rushed up stairs to the back hall, where their arms
had been left standing for convenience if wanted, and into which the
assailants were forcing their way. Most unluckily, however, the arms of
the guards were not at hand. Mrs. Church, [FN-2] who had lately returned
from Boston, perceiving that her little son [FN-3] was playing with the
muskets, and not entertaining the slightest suspicion that they would be
wanted, had caused them to be removed a few hours before the attack,
without informing the guard of the circumstance. The brave fellows had
therefore no other means of resistance, after the yielding of the doors,
than by dealing blows as soundly as they could with their fists, and also
by embarrassing the progress of the enemy otherwise as they might, while
the General was collecting his family aloft.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Afterward the first lady of the present venerable and excellent
 General Stephen Van Rensselaer.

 [FN-2] Another daughter of General Schuyler, married to John B. Church,
 Esq., an English gentleman, contractor for the French army in America,
 and afterward a member of Parliament. He died in 1818. [The venerable
 widow of Alexander Hamilton is also a daughter of General Schuyler.]

 [FN-3] The present Captain Philip Church, of Allegheny county, (N. Y.)


But to return: Miss Margaret had no sooner informed Waltermeyer that her
father had gone abroad for reinforcements, than the traitor recalled his
followers from the dining-room--where it appeared they were at the moment
engaged in bagging the plate, from which work of plunder he had in vain
urged them to desist, that they might perform the more important object
of their mission--for consultation. Just at that moment, the General threw
up a window, and with great presence of mind called out--"Come on, my
brave fellows, surround the house and secure the villains who are
plundering." [FN-1] The stratagem succeeded, and the party made a
precipitate retreat, carrying with them the three men who had vainly, and
without arms, opposed their entrance, [FN-2] one of whom had been wounded
in defending the passage, while Waltermeyer himself was slightly wounded
by one of the shots of Schuyler from the window. Thus, providentially,
was the third conspiracy against the person of General Schuyler defeated.
[FN-3] The alarm was heard in the city, for the General had fired several
shots during the affray; but before any of the citizens arrived at the
scene of action, the enemy had fled.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter of Schuyler to General Washington, Aug. 1781.

 [FN-2] The names of the guard were, John Tubbs, John Corlies, and Hans
 (John) Ward. They were carried to Canada, and when exchanged, the General
 gave them each a farm in Saratoga County. Ward is still, or was very
 lately, living, (Dec 1837.)

 [FN-3] The particulars of this interesting adventure have been chiefly
 derived by the author from Mrs. Cochran, of Oswego, the infant who was
 rescued from the cradle by her sister Margaret.


From Albany, Waltermeyer directed his course to Ballston, where he arrived
at about day-break on the next morning. Taking General Gordon, of that
place, a prisoner from his bed, the Tory leader pursued his journey back
to Canada--having failed in the principal object of his expedition.

It may well be imagined that the situation of a people dwelling in such
perpetual insecurity, was exceedingly unpleasant. Nor were they in dread
only of a most subtle and wary foe from without. The disaffected were more
numerous than ever among themselves, and the inhabitants scarcely knew who
among their own neighbors could be trusted. Early in September it was
represented to General Gansevoort that the disaffected had not only become
formidable in numbers in the western and south western parts of the County
of Albany, but were harboring and administering comfort to parties of the
enemy sent from Canada, for the farther prosecution of the species of
warfare already described in the present chapter--adding to the seizure
of those men who were most active in the cause of their country, the
destruction of their dwellings, and the murder of their women and
children. [FN] Under these circumstances, Colonel Philip P. Schuyler;
with a strong detachment of militia from Gansevoort's brigade, was
despatched into the settlements designated, particularly to the Beaver
Dams, where the family of Captain Deitz had been so cruelly murdered in
1777, with orders to arrest the disaffected, and bring them to Albany,
together with their families and effects. The orders of General Gansevoort
were issued on the 9th of September. On the 16th, Colonel Schuyler
reported that he had executed his commission. From seventy to a hundred
families "of the most notoriously disaffected," were arrested and brought
into the city, where they were placed under a more vigilant surveillance
than could be exercised over them in their own township.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. order of General Gansevoort.


But while these summary proceedings were rendering the country about
Albany more secure in its internal relations, the inhabitants at the
north were for several months kept in a state of ceaseless inquietude and
alarm, by the movements of the enemy on Lake Champlain. General Heath was
at that time invested with the command of the Northern Department, his
head-quarters being in the Highlands. At Saratoga General Stark was in
command, and Lord Stirling was also at the north. But as the
Commander-in-chief had drawn the main army to Virginia, there were but
few regular troops at the disposal of those officers. The consequence was,
that with every alarm from Lake Champlain, (and the mysterious movements
of the enemy rendered those alarms most inconveniently frequent,) General
Stark was making pressing applications to General Gansevoort for
assistance. The conduct of the enemy in the lake was indeed passing
strange. It was ascertained that he had more than once ascended the lake
from St. John's, with a force sufficiently strong, in the then exposed
situation of the northern frontier, to make a formidable inroad upon the
settlements; and the inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants, then
arrogating to themselves the character of citizens of the _State_ of
Vermont--not being in the secrets of their leaders--were as frequently
alarmed as were those of the settlements _admitted_ by the Vermontese to
belong to New-York. Still the enemy attempted nothing beyond landing at
Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and making a few occasional and inexplicable
manoeuvres with his flotilla upon the lake. These questionable movements
were no less annoying than perplexing to the American generals. That a
descent upon some point was intended, there seemed little reason to doubt.
It was most likely to come from the north; but whenever the fleet was
withdrawn down the lake, the idea prevailed that the movements there were
intended to create a diversion, while the actual blow might be anticipated
from the west. In support of the latter opinion was positive information,
of a party of returning prisoners from Montreal, on the 19th of September,
of the movements of between two and three hundred of Sir John Johnson's
regiment, who were evidently preparing for an expedition in some
direction. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MSS. and correspondence of General Gansevoort.


There was yet another source of distraction to the state authorities,
civil and military, threatening nothing short of hostilities between
New-York and the occupants of the New Hampshire Grants. A brief sketch of
the cause and progress of the difficulties here referred to, though
apparently foreign to the main subject of the present work, is
nevertheless deemed essential to a just understanding of the situation of
affairs in the Northern Department. Those who are versed in the early
history of New-York and Vermont, cannot be ignorant of the fact, that for
many years anterior to the war of the Revolution, a controversy had
existed between the Governors of New Hampshire and New-York respecting
the jurisdiction of the territory now constituting the State of Vermont.
This controversy was begun in 1749, and continued fifteen years; during
which period the Governor of New Hampshire was in the practice of making
grants of lands and townships in the disputed territory. In 1764 the
question was carried up to the King in council, and a decision rendered
in favor of New-York, confirming her claim to the territory north of
Massachusetts, as far east as the Connecticut river. Under this decision,
the Colonial Government of New-York unwisely gave the Order in Council a
construction of _retrospective_ operation, involving the question of
title. The grants from the Governor of New Hampshire were declared void,
and the settlers were upon this ground called on either to surrender their
charters, or to re-purchase their lands from New-York. This demand they
resisted, and with this resistance the controversy was renewed in another
form, and continued with great vehemence, and with but little
interruption, for many years. [FN-1] About the year 1770 the celebrated
Ethan Allen became conspicuous as a leader of "the Green Mountain Boys"
in these proceedings. A military organization was adopted, and the
mandates of the courts of New-York were disregarded, and its officers and
ministers of justice openly set at defiance. When the sheriff of Albany
appeared with his _posse comitatus,_ the Green Mountain Boys opposed
force to force, and drove them back. Lord Dunmore was then at the head of
the colonial government of New-York, and exerted himself actively to
maintain its territorial claim. An act of outlawry against Allen and
several of his most prominent associates was passed, and a reward of
fifty pounds offered for Allen's head. Lord Dunmore issued a proclamation,
commanding the sheriff of Albany county to apprehend the offenders, and
commit them to safe custody, that they might be brought to condign
punishment; [FN-2] but the friends of Allen were too numerous, resolute,
and faithful, to allow of his arrest, or in any manner to suffer his
personal safety to be compromised. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Slade's Vermont State papers, Introduction, p. 17.

 [FN-2] Sparks's Life of Ethan Allen.

 [FN-3] President Allen's Biographical Dictionary.


Governor Tryon, who succeeded Lord Dunmore, endeavored, both by force and
by conciliation, to pacify the people of the Grants, and bring them back
to their fealty to New-York. But in vain. Within the boundaries of the
disputed territory, the laws of New-York were inoperative. It was to no
purpose that civil suits, brought by the New-York grantees, were decided
in their favor; process could not be executed; the settlers who had
purchased farms under the New-York grantees, were forcibly driven away;
surveyors were arrested, tried under the _Lynch code,_ and banished under
the penalty of death should they ever again be caught within the bounds
of the interdicted territory; [FN-1] and those who presumed to hold
commissions of the peace under the authority of New-York, were tried by
the same courts, and inhumanly chastised with rods on their naked backs,
to the extent of two hundred stripes. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Sparks--Life of Allen.

 [FN-2] By way of indicating their feelings toward the New-Yorkers, there
 was an inn at Bennington, called the "_Green Mountain Tavern,_" the sign
 of which was the skin of a catamount stuffed, and raised on a post
 twenty-five feet from the ground, with its head turned toward New-York,
 giving defiance to all intruders from that quarter. It was at this tavern
 that that powerful and inexorable though ideal personage, _Judge Lynch,_
 was wont to hold his courts before he took up his abode at the South.
 Sometimes the delinquents, who were so unfortunate as to be obliged to
 answer in his court for the crime of purchasing lands of the real owners,
 or for acknowledging the government to which by law they belonged, were
 punished by being suspended by cords in a chair, beneath the catamount,
 for two hours. This was a lenient punishment. The more common one, was
 the application of the "_beech seal_" to the naked back--or, in other
 words, a flagellation with beechen rods.


Such was the posture of affairs between New-York and the people of the
New Hampshire Grants, at the commencement of the Revolution. But the
battle of Lexington produced a shock which, for the time being, arrested
the prosecution of the controversy. New-York was called to nerve her arm
for a higher and nobler conflict, in the early stages of which she was
gallantly assisted by the recusant settlers of the Grants. Ethan Allen
himself struck the first blow at the north, by the capture of Ticonderoga;
and his martial companion in resisting the authorities of New-York,
Colonel Seth Warner, rendered efficient service at the battle of
Bennington. Still, the Vermontese did not forget, while New-York was
exerting her energies elsewhere, to prosecute their own designs for an
entire alienation from New-York, and a separate state organization. [FN-1]
To this end all the energies of the chief men of the Grants were directed;
and the result was, that the Declaration of Independence of the British
crown, by Congress, on the behalf of the twelve United Colonies, of July
4th, 1776, was followed by a convention of the people of the disputed
territory; which convention, on the 15th of January, 1777, declared the
New Hampshire Grants to be a free and independent State, [FN-2] and
forwarded a memorial to Congress, praying for admission into the
Confederation.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Blade's Vermont State Papers--a valuable work.

 [FN-2] Idem.


Indignant at this procedure, the state of New-York sought the
interposition of Congress. The justice of the claim of New-York was fully
recognised by that body; and the memorial from the Grants was dismissed,
by a resolution "that the independent government attempted to be
established by the people of Vermont, could derive no countenance or
justification from any act or resolution of Congress." But the people of
the Grants persisted in their determination to assert and maintain their
independence. Nothing daunted, therefore, by the adverse action of
Congress, they proceeded to form a constitution and to organise a State
Government; the machinery of which was fully set in motion in the
following year, 1778.

The Legislature of New-York still attempted to assert its right of
jurisdiction, but made liberal proffers of compromise in regard to titles
of lands--offering to recognise and confirm all the titles which had
previously been in dispute. A proclamation to this effect, conceived in
the most liberal spirit, was issued by Governor Clinton, in February,
1778; avowing, however, in regard to the contumacious, "the rightful
supremacy of New-York over their persons and property, as disaffected
subjects." [FN-1] But, like every preceding effort, either of force or
conciliation, the present was of no avail. Ethan Allen issued a
counter-proclamation to the people of the Grants, and the work of their
own independent organization proceeded without serious interruption.
[FN-2] They were the more encouraged to persevere in this course, from
an impression that, although Congress could not then sanction proceedings
in regard to New-York that were clearly illegal; the New England members,
and some of the Southern also, would, nevertheless, not be very deep
mourners at their success. Roger Sherman maintained that Congress had no
right to decide the controversy, and was supposed to countenance the
proceedings of which New-York complained. Elbridge Gerry held that
Vermont was _extra-provincial,_ and had a perfect right to her
independence. [FN-3] But so thought not New-York and Governor Clinton;
and the organization of a state government revived the heart-burnings that
had subsided, and re-enkindled the fires of discord which had been
inactive during the first three or four years of the war. The causes of
irritation became daily more frequent and exasperating, until, during the
Summer and Autumn of the present year, the parties were again on the verge
of open hostilities. The people of the Grants, as they had grown in
strength, had increased in their arrogance, until they had extended their
claims to the Hudson river; and it was no diminution of the perplexities
of New-York, that strong indications appeared in several of the northern
towns, to which the people of the Grants had previously interposed not
even the shadow of a claim, of a disposition to go over to Vermont.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Slades's Vermont State Papers.

 [FN-2] Respecting this manifesto, John Jay wrote to Governor
 Morris--"Ethan Allen has commenced author and orator. A philippic of his
 against  New-York is handed about. There is quaintness, impudence, and art
 in it."

 [FN-3] Life of Governor Morris.


Meantime Governor Clinton, inflexibly determined to preserve the disputed
jurisdiction, was exerting himself to the utmost for that object; and in
order, apparently, to bring the question to a test, several persons were
arrested in the course of the Summer of 1781, within the territory of the
Grants, under the pretext of some military delinquency. This procedure
was the signal for another tempest. Governor Chittenden wrote to officers
of New-York, demanding the release of the prisoners taken from the
Grants--asserting their determination to maintain the government they had
"set up," [FN-1] and threatening that, in the event of an invasion of the
territory of New-York by the common enemy, unless those prisoners were
given up, they would render no assistance to New-York. This letter also
contained an admonition, "that power was not limited only to New-York."
[FN-2] Nor was this all. While the country was threatened by invasion
both from the north and the west, the spirit of the Vermont insurgents
began to spread among the militia in the northern towns east of the
Hudson, belonging to General Gansevoort's own brigade. Thus, on the one
hand, General Stark was calling upon him for assistance against the enemy
apparently approaching from Lake Champlain, at the same time that Governor
Clinton was directing him to quell the spirit of insubordination along the
line of the New Hampshire Grants; and both of these duties were to be
discharged, with a knowledge that a portion of his own command was
infected with the insurgent spirit. Added to all which was, the necessity
of watching, as with an eagle's eye, the conduct of the swarms of
loyalists within the bosom of Albany and in the towns adjacent; while for
his greater comfort, he was privately informed that the Green Mountain
Boys were maturing a plot for his abduction. Meantime the government of
the Grants had effected an organization of their own militia, and
disclosures had been made to the government of New-York, imputing to the
leading men of the Grants a design, in the event of a certain contingency,
of throwing the weight of their own forces into the scale of the Crown.
The following letter may be considered important in this connexion:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. Letter from Thomas Chittenden to Captain Van Rensselaer,
 among the Gansevoort papers.

 [FN-2] This dark and rather awkward saying was full of meaning, as will
 appear in a subsequent portion of the present chapter.


           "Governor Clinton to General Gansevoort.

                                   "_Poughkeepsie, Oct._ 18, 1781.

  "Dear Sir,

"Your letter of the 15th instant was delivered to me on the evening of the
16th. I have delayed answering it, in hopes that the Legislature would
ere this have formed a quorum, and that I might have availed myself of
their advice on the subject to which it relates; but as this is not yet
the case, and it is uncertain when I shall be enabled to lay the matter
before them, I conceive it might be improper longer to defer expressing
my own sentiments to you on this subject.

"The different unwarrantable attempts, during the Summer, of the people
on the Grants to establish their usurped jurisdiction, even beyond their
former claim, and the repetition of it (alluded to in your letter,) in
direct opposition to a resolution of Congress injurious to this State and
favorable to their project of independence, and at a time when the common
enemy are advancing, can only be accounted for by what other parts of
their conduct have given us too much reason to suspect--disaffection to
the common cause. On my part, I have hitherto shown a disposition to evade
entering into any altercation with them, that might, in its most remote
consequence, give encouragement to the enemy, and expose the frontier
settlements to their ravages; and from these considerations alone I have
submitted to insults which otherwise would not have been borne with; and
I could have wished to have continued this kind of conduct until the
approaching season would have secured us against the incursions of the
common enemy. But as from the accounts contained in Colonel Van
Rensselaer's letter, it would appear that the militia embodying under Mr.
Chittenden's orders are for the service of the enemy, and that their first
object was to make you a prisoner, it would be unjustifiable to suffer
them to proceed. It is therefore my desire that you maintain your
authority throughout every part of your brigade, and for this purpose,
that you carry the laws of the State into execution against those who
shall presume to disobey your lawful orders. I would only observe that
these sentiments are founded on an idea that the accounts given by Col.
Van Rensselaer in his letter may be relied on; it being still my earnest
desire, for the reasons above explained, not to do any thing that will
bring matters to extremities, at least before the close of the campaign,
if it can consistently be avoided.

"In my last, I should have mentioned to you that it was not in my power
to send you a supply of ammunition; but, as I had reason to believe you
were gone to Saratoga, I conceived it improper to say any thing on the
subject lest my letter might miscarry. You may recollect that of the whole
supply ordered by General Washington, last Spring, for the use of the
militia, five hundred pounds is all that has been received in the state
magazine, which you will easily conceive to be far short of what was
necessary for the other exposed parts of the state. With respect to
provisions, it is equally out of my power to furnish you with any, but
what the state agent, who is now with you, may be able to procure.

               "I am, with great respect and esteem,
                     Dear Sir,
                      Your most obed't serv't,
                         Geo. Clinton.

  "_Brig. Gen. Gansevoort._"


But the controversy with the people of the Grants was suddenly
interrupted, just at this juncture, though for a short period only, by the
most formidable invasion of the Mohawk Valley which had taken place during
the present year. Indeed, it was the last irruption of the enemy into that
section of the country, of any importance, during the struggle of the
revolution.

It has been seen, from the commencement of the contest, that the Johnsons,
and those loyalists from Tryon County most intimate in their alliance
with them, appeared to be stimulated by some peculiar and ever-active
principle of hostility against the former seat of the Baronet, and the
district of country by which it was environed. Another expedition against
Johnstown was therefore secretly planned in the Summer of 1781, and
executed with such silent celerity, that on the 24th of October "the
Philistines" were actually "upon" the settlements before their approach
was suspected. This expedition was organized at Buck's Island, in the
river St. Lawrence, a few miles below the foot of Lake Ontario, and
consisted of four companies of the second battalion of Sir John Johnson's
regiment of Royal Greens, Colonel Butler's rangers, under the direction
of Major Butler, his son, and two hundred Indians--numbering in all about
one thousand men, under the command of Major Ross. [FN-1] Proceeding from
Buck's Island to Oswego, and thence through the Oneida Lake, they struck
off through the south-eastern forests from that point, and traversed the
woods with such secrecy as to break in upon Warrensbush, [FN-2] near the
junction of the Schoharie-kill with the Mohawk river, as suddenly as
though they had sprung up from the earth like the warriors from the
dragon's teeth of Cadmus, full grown, and all in arms, in a single night.
This was on the 24th of October. [FN-3] Warrensbush was about twenty miles
east from Fort Rensselaer, the head-quarters of Colonel Willett; so that
Ross and Butler had ample time for the work of havoc and devastation on
the south side of the river, and to cross over to the north side, before
the former could rally his forces and dispute their farther progress. Not
a moment was lost by Colonel Willett, on hearing the news, in making such
dispositions to repel the unexpected invaders, as were within his limited
means. With such forces as were in the garrison, together with such
additional recruits from the militia as could be collected in the
neighborhood, Willett marched for Fort Hunter on the same
evening--simultaneously despatching orders for the militia and levies in
contiguous posts and settlements, to follow and join him with all possible
expedition. By marching all night, the Colonel reached Fort Hunter early
in the following morning, where he learned that the enemy were already in
the occupation of Johnstown. The depth of the river was such that floats
were necessary in crossing it, and although Willett had but four hundred
and sixteen men all told--only half the enemy's number, exclusive of the
Indians--yet it was afternoon before the crossing was effected. Boss and
Butler had crossed the river some distance below Tripe's Hill the
preceding day, and moved thence directly upon Johnstown--killing and
taking the people prisoners, and destroying buildings, and cattle, and
whatsoever came in their way. Soon after ascending the hill just
mentioned, the enemy came upon a small scouting party commanded by
Lieutenant Saulkill, who was on horseback. He was fired upon by the
enemy's advance, and fell dead to the ground. His men sought safety in
flight, and succeeded. [FN-4] This was early in the morning of the 25th.
The advance of the enemy being slow, they did not arrive at the village
of Johnstown until past 12 o'clock at noon. Even then, the main body of
their forces, avoiding the town, marched round to the west, halting upon
the grounds of the Baronial hall. The enemy's baggage wagons, however,
passed through the village, and their conductors were fired upon from the
old jail--then serving the purpose of a fortress. One man only was wounded
by this consumption of ammunition.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Such is the estimate of the manuscript accounts which have been
 furnished to the author. It is, however, too high, unless Major Butler
 carried an erroneous statement in his pocket. According to a memorandum
 found in his pocket-book, after his fall, the force of Major Ross wan
 made up as follows:--Eighth regiment, twenty-five; thirty-fourth ditto,
 one hundred; eighty-fourth ditto, Highlanders, thirty-six; Sir John's,
 one hundred and twenty; Lake's Independents, forty, Butler's rangers,
 one hundred and fifty; Yagers, twelve; Indians, one hundred and
 thirty.--Total six hundred and seventy.--_Vide Letter of Colonel Willett
 to Lord Stirling. Almon's Remembrancer._

 [FN-2] A settlement planted by Sir Peter Warren, the uncle of Sir William
 Johnson--and the first place of residence of the latter gentleman after
 his arrival in America.

 [FN-3] Campbell states that this invasion was in August. Major Sammons
 dates it the 22d of that month. Colonel Willett gives the date of Oct.
 24--which was obviously correct, since the second part of the battle was
 fought in a snow-storm.

 [FN-4] In one of the manuscript accounts of this battle, the fruit of my
 researches in the Mohawk Valley, it is stated that Saulkill was not
 connected with the scout, but was passing at the moment on his way to
 Albany.


Having effected the passage of the river, Colonel Willett pushed on in
pursuit with all possible expedition. But deeming it unwise, where the
disparity of their respective forces was so great, to hazard an attack
in front with his whole force, the position of the enemy was no sooner
ascertained with certainty, than Major Rowley, of Massachusetts, was
detached with a small body of the Tryon County militia, and about sixty
levies from his own state, for the purpose, by a circuitous march, of
out-flanking the enemy, and falling upon his rear--thus attacking in front
and rear at the same time. These, and other necessary dispositions having
been adjusted, Willett advanced upon the enemy at the head of his column.
Entering an open field adjoining to that occupied by the enemy, Willett
displayed his right into line, and pressed Major Ross so closely as to
compel him to retire into the fringe of a neighboring wood. Here a
skirmishing was kept up while the remainder of the Americans were
advancing briskly in two columns, to bear a part. The battle became
spirited and general; and although the only field-piece belonging to the
Americans was taken, it was speedily re-taken, and for a time the action
proceeded with a promise of victory. But just at the crisis, the militia
of Willett were seized with one of those causeless and unaccountable
panics, which on most occasions render that description of troops worse
than useless in battle, and without any cause the whole of the right wing
turned about and fled. [FN] The field-piece was abandoned and the
ammunition wagon blown up. The former, of course, fell into the hands of
the enemy. Colonel Willett did his utmost to rally his men, but to no
purpose. They ran in the utmost confusion to the stone church in the
village. Here, having induced them to make a halt, the Colonel commenced
bringing them again into such order as best he might But the defeat would
still have been complete, had it not been for the precautionary
disposition previously made of Major Rowley. Most fortunately, as it
happened, that officer emerged from the woods, and arrived upon the field,
just in time to fall upon the enemy's rear in the very moment of their
exultation at their easy victory. Rowley pressed the attack with great
vigor and intrepidity, while the enemy were engaged in making prisoners
of the stragglers, and the Indians were scalping those who fell into
their hands. The fight was now maintained with equal obstinacy and
irregularity for a considerable time. Major Rowley was early wounded by
a shot through the ankle, and carried from the field; and the enemy were
engaged in different bodies, sometimes in small parties separated nearly
a mile from each other. In some of these contests the advantage was on
the side of the enemy, and in others the Americans were the temporary
victors. The battle continued after this fashion until near sunset, when,
finding such to be the fact, and that Rowley's detachment alone was
holding the enemy at bay, Willett was enabled to collect a respectable
force, with which he returned to the field, and again mingled in the
fight The battle was severely contested until dark, when the enemy,
pressed upon all sides, retreated in discomfiture to the woods--nor
stopped short of a mountain top, six miles distant. Among the officers
who signalised themselves on this occasion, in addition to the two
leaders, Willett and Rowley, was the brave Captain Gardenier, who fought
with such desperation at the battle of Oriskany, and was so severely
wounded in the death-struggle with one of the McDonalds. After the enemy
had retired, Colonel Willett procured lights, and caused the wounded of
the enemy, as well as his own, to be collected, and their wounds carefully
dressed. The loss of the Americans was about forty. The enemy lost about
the same number killed, and some fifty prisoners. The Tryon County
militia, under Major Rowley, behaved nobly.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of Colonel Willett to Lord Stirling.


Knowing the direction from which Ross and Butler had approached, and that
their batteaux had been left at the Oneida Lake, Colonel Willett lost not
a moment in making arrangements to cut off their means of retreat by the
destruction of their boats, while he likewise determined, if possible, to
throw himself info their front. Having been apprised by some of Ross's
prisoners, who had made their escape in the night, that it was his
intention to strike at the frontiers of Stone Arabia, in order to obtain
a supply of provisions, Willett marched to that place on the following
morning, and encamped there that day and night, pushing forward a
detachment of troops, with instructions to proceed by forced marches to
the Oneida Lake and destroy the boats. Ascertaining, on the morning of the
27th, that Ross had avoided Stone Arabia by striking deeper into the
wilderness, Willett hastened forward to the German Flats, where he had
the mortification, on the 28th, to learn that the party ordered to the
lake had returned without performing their duty. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Willett's Letter to Lord Stirling.


While at Stone Arabia, a scouting party had been sent upon the enemy's
trail by Willett, to ascertain whether he had laid his course in the
anticipated direction, or whether he might not have inclined farther to
the north, with a view of returning directly through the wilderness to
Buck's Island. The scouts having satisfied themselves that the latter
course would be taken by Ross, hastily returned; and the result of their
observation was communicated to Willett by express. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This scouting party was composed of Captain John Little, William
 Laird, and Jacob Shew.


Immediately on the receipt of this intelligence, Willett determined, if
possible, to strike another blow. Having been joined by about sixty
warriors of the Oneida tribe, together with some additional levies and
militia-men, the Colonel selected about four hundred of his choicest
troops, and furnishing them with provisions for five days, on the 29th
struck off to the northward, along the course of the West Canada Creek.
They marched the whole of that day through a driving snow-storm, halting
at night in a thick wood on the Royal Grant Supposing it probable that the
enemy could not be far distant Jacob Sammons was detached with two Oneida
Indians to advance yet farther into the wilderness, and, under cover of
the darkness, make such discoveries as might be in their power. "It was
with much reluctance," says Sammons in his narrative, "that I undertook
this business." They had not proceeded far before the Indians discovered
the prints of footsteps. Having knelt down and scrutinised them closely,
they pronounced them fresh, and refused any longer to advance. Taking
Sammons by the arm, they entreated him to return; but he declined, and
they separated. The intrepid scout soon descried fires kindling amid the
deep forest-gloom, toward which he cautiously approached until he was
enabled to take a survey of the enemy's camp. Having obtained all
necessary information, and narrowly escaped detection withal, he returned
to the camp of the Americans. Willett had kept his troops under arms
awaiting the return of Sammons; but learning from the latter that the
enemy were well provided with bayonets, of which his own men were
deficient, a night attack upon the camp was judged imprudent, and he
bivouacked his forces on the spot. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Narrative of Jacob Sammons.


Willett lost no time in advancing on the following morning, with a view
of bringing the enemy to an engagement. But the latter had been as early
on foot as himself, so that it was not until one o'clock in the afternoon
that the Americans came up with a small party of the enemy's rear,
consisting of about forty men, together with a few Indians, who had been
detached from his main body for the purpose of obtaining provisions. A
smart brush ensued, during which some of the enemy were killed, others
were taken prisoners, while the residue fled. Among the prisoners was a
Tory lieutenant named John Rykeman. Pursuing on the enemy's trail, the
Americans came up with his main body in a place called Jerseyfield, on the
north side of the Canada Creek. A running fight ensued, but the enemy made
a very feeble resistance--exhibiting symptoms of terror, and attempting to
retreat at a dog-trot by Indian files. Late in the afternoon, as they
crossed the Creek to the west or south-western side, Butler attempted to
rally his forces and make a stand. A brisk engagement ensued, the parties
being on opposite sides of the Creek; during which about twenty of the
enemy fell. Among them was their bold and enterprising but cruel leader,
Walter N. Butler. He was brought down by the rifle of an Oneida Indian,
who, happening to recognize him as he was looking at the battle from
behind a tree, took deliberate aim, and shot him through his hat and the
upper part of his head. Butler fell, and his troops fled in the utmost
confusion. The warrior, who made the successful shot, sprang first across
the Creek in the general rush, and running directly up to Butler,
discovered that he was not dead, but sorely wounded. He was in a sitting
posture near the tree, and writhing in great agony. The Indian advanced,
and while Butler looked him full in the face, shot him again through the
eye, and immediately took his scalp. The Oneidas no sooner saw the
bleeding trophy, than they set up the scalp-yell, and stripping the body,
left it lying upon the face, and pressed forward in pursuit of the
fugitive host. On coming to the guard, where Rykeman and the other
prisoners were confined, the Indian attempted to flout the unhappy
prisoner by slapping the scalp of his late commander in his face; but the
lieutenant avoided the blow. The pursuit was closely followed up; but
darkness and fatigue compelled the Colonel to relinquish it until morning.
The enemy, however, continued their flight throughout the night. [FN-1]
And, truly, never were men reduced to a condition more deplorable. The
weather was cold, and they had yet a dreary and pathless wilderness of
eighty miles to traverse, without food, and without even blankets--having
been compelled to cast them away to facilitate their escape. [FN-2] But,
scattered and broken as they were, and having the start of one night, it
was judged inexpedient to give longer pursuit; especially as Willett's
own troops were supplied with provisions for but two days more. The
victory was, moreover, already complete. The Colonel therefore wheeled
about, and led his little army back in triumph to Fort Dayton. The loss of
the Americans in the pursuit was only one man. That of the enemy was
never known. In the language of Colonel Willett's official despatches,
"the fields of Johnstown, the brooks and rivers, the hills and mountains,
the deep and gloomy marshes through which they had to pass, these only
could tell; and, perhaps, the officers who detached them on the
expedition."

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] "Strange as it may appear, it is nevertheless true, that,
 notwithstanding the enemy had been four days in the wilderness, with only
 half a pound of horse-flesh per man per day, yet in this famished
 situation they trotted thirty miles before they stopped. Many of them,
 indeed, fell a sacrifice to such treatment."--_Col. Willett's Letter to
 Lord Stirling._

 [FN-2] "In this situation I left the unfortunate Major Rom; unfortunate
 I call him, for he was surely so in taking charge of such a fine
 detachment of men to execute so dirty and trifling a piece of business
 as he was sent on, at such immense hazard and exquisite toil. . . . We
 left them in a situation, perhaps, more suited to their demerit than a
 musket, a ball, a tomahawk, or captivity."--_Col. Willett's Letter to Lord
 Stirling._


In re-passing the battle-ground, the body of Butler was discovered as it
had been left; and there, without sepulture, it was suffered to
remain. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Various statements of the circumstances attending the death of
 Walter N. Butler have been published. Marshall, in his Life of
 Washington, states it thus--"In the party at Canada Creek, was Major
 Walter Butler, the person who perpetrated the massacre at Cherry Valley.
 His entreaties for quarter were disregarded; and he fell a victim of that
 vengeance which his own savage temper had directed against himself."
 According to Colonel Willett's account, he was shot dead at once, having
 no time to implore for mercy. President Dwight, in his travels, given an
 account corresponding with the following by Campbell:--"He was pursued by
 a small party of Oneida Indians; when he arrived at West Canada Creek,
 about fifteen miles above Herkimer, he swam his horse across the stream,
 and then turning round, defied his pursuers, who were on the opposite
 side. An Oneida immediately discharged his rifle and wounded him, and he
 fell. Throwing down his rifle and his blanket, the Indian plunged into
 the Creek and swam across; as soon as he had gained the opposite bank,
 he raised his tomahawk, and with a yell, sprang like a tiger upon his
 fallen foe. Butler supplicated, though in vain, for mercy; the Oneida,
 with his uplifted axe, shouted, in his broken English,--'Sherry Valley!
 remember Sherry Valley!' and then buried it in his brains." It is
 apprehended that neither of these statements is exactly correct. The
 account in the text has been drawn by the author from the manuscript
 statements of Philip Graft, who was a spectator of the transaction, then
 attached to the company of Captain Peter Van Rensselaer, who was stationed
 at Fort Herkimer, and was engaged in this expedition. The statement of
 Jacob Simmons corresponds with that of Graft, though less circumstantial.


So perished Walter N. Butler, one of the greatest scourges, as he was one
of the most fearless men, of his native county. No other event of the
whole war created so much joy in the Mohawk Valley as the news of his
decease. He is represented to have been of a morose temperament,
possessing strong passions, and of a vindictive disposition. He was
disliked, as has already more than once appeared, by Joseph Brant, who
included him among those whom he considered greater savages than the
savages themselves. It is quite probable, however, that Walter Butler may
have possessed other and better qualities, his friends being judges, than
have been awarded to him by his enemies. It has been asserted, that after
the massacre of Cherry Valley General Haldimand refused to see him. But
this fact may well be questioned, inasmuch as Haldimand not only approved
but encouraged the despatching of a similar expedition against the
scarcely offending Oneidas, who had removed, and were living peaceably in
the neighborhood of Schenectady.

This expedition of Ross and Butler closed the active warlike operations at
the north for that year; but while the events traced in the few preceding
pages were in progress, others were occurring in a different quarter of
the country, both in themselves and in their results of far greater
moment. In the bird's-eye glance taken of the progress of the war in other
parts of the confederacy during the first quarter of the year, Arnold was
left at Portsmouth, contiguous to Norfolk. He afterward made various
movements of the character heretofore described; visiting Richmond again,
and committing outrages there and elsewhere. On the death of the British
Major General Phillips, the traitor succeeded to the command of the King's
troops in Virginia, and maintained himself there against the Baron
Steuben, and afterward against the Marquis de Lafayette, [FN-1] until Lord
Cornwallis, having traversed North Carolina, and entered Virginia, formed
a junction with him, and assumed the command; sending Arnold from his
presence to Portsmouth as soon as possible. After his return to New-York,
Arnold led another piratical expedition, early in September, against New
London and Groton. The former town was burnt, and Fort Griswold, on the
opposite side of the river, having been carried by assault, was the scene
of a bloody massacre; the brave Ledyard, who commanded, being thrust
through with his own sword. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] On succeeding to the command of Phillips, Arnold addressed a
 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette; but the latter informed the officer
 who bore it, that he would not receive a letter from the traitor. Indeed,
 Arnold was despised by the officers in the British service; and how could
 it be otherwise? Even Sir Henry Clinton had no confidence in him: and in
 detaching him to the south, had taken special care to send Colonel
 Dundas and Colonel Simcoe, two experienced officers, with him, with
 instructions to Arnold to consult them in regard to every measure and
 every operation he might desire to undertake.

 [FN-2] "It has been said, that Arnold, while New London was in flames,
 stood in the belfry of a steeple and witnessed the conflagration; thus,
 like Nero, delighted with the ruin he had caused, the distresses he had
 inflicted, the blood of his slaughtered countrymen, the agonies of the
 expiring patriot, the widow's tears, and the orphan's cries. And, what
 adds to the enormity, is, that he stood almost in sight of the spot
 where he drew his first breath."--_Sparks._


Meantime, the American Commander-in-chief was meditating a blow, which,
if successful, could not but have an important, and perhaps a decisive,
bearing upon the great question of his country's final emancipation. While
the Marquis de Lafayette was circumventing and perplexing Cornwallis in
Virginia, Washington was preparing for an attempt upon the citadel of the
British power in the United States--New-York. This design, as has been
formerly stated, had been projected the season before, immediately after
the arrival of the Count de Rochambeau with the French army of alliance,
in Rhode Island. But so many difficulties arose, and so many supervening
obstacles were to be overcome, that, in obedience to stern necessity, the
project was for that year abandoned. With the opening of the Spring of the
present year it was revived, and after the respective commanders had held
another personal consultation, the French army moved from Rhode Island
across the country to the Hudson. But other obstacles arose, which
compelled an entire change in the plan of the campaign. Fortunately,
however, the British commander in New-York was not quick to discover the
change, and the demonstration served to divert his attention from the
right object until it became too late to repair his error. The combined
French and American forces, by an unsuspected but effectual basis of
operations, had been tending as upon a central point toward Virginia,
until, before he was aware of serious danger, Earl Cornwallis found
himself shut up in Yorktown. The event was fatal to him and to the cause
of his master. The post was completely invested by the 30th of September.
On the 9th of October the French and Americans opened their batteries.
And on the 19th, his two advanced redoubts having been carried by storm
a few days before, despairing of receiving the promised succors from Sir
Henry Clinton, and having, moreover, failed in a well-concerted attempt
to evacuate the fortress by night, Lord Cornwallis, submitting to
necessity, absolute and inevitable, surrendered by capitulation. The loss
of the enemy during the siege was five hundred and fifty-two, killed,
wounded, and missing; and the number of prisoners taken, exclusive of the
seamen, who were surrendered to the Count de Grasse, was seven thousand
and seventy-three, of of whom five thousand nine hundred and fifty were
rank and file.

It would have been perfectly natural, and in fact no more than even-handed
justice, had the recent massacre at Fort Griswold been avenged on this
occasion. But, happily, it was otherwise ordered; and the triumph was
rendered still more memorable by the fact, that not a drop of blood was
shed save in action. "Incapable," said Colonel Hamilton, (who led the
advance of the Americans in the assault,) "of imitating examples of
barbarity, and forgetting recent provocation, the soldiers spared every
man that ceased to resist." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Colonel Alexander Hamilton's report--Marshall.


The joy at this surrender of a second army was as great as universal. The
thanks of Congress were voted to the Commander-in-chief, to the Count de
Rochambeau, and the Count de Grasse, and to the other principal officers
of the different corps, and the men under them. It was also resolved by
Congress to erect a marble column at Yorktown, with designs emblematic of
the alliance of France and the United States--to be inscribed with a
narrative of the event thus commemorated. But, like all other monumental
structures by Congress, it yet exists only on paper.

The Commander-in-chief availed himself of the occasion to pardon and set
at liberty all military offenders under arrest. Ever ready and forward to
acknowledge the interposition of the hand of Providence in the direction
of human events, this truly great commander closed his orders in reference
to this event, in the following impressive manner: "Divine service shall
be performed to-morrow in the different brigades and divisions. The
Commander-in-chief recommends that all the troops not upon duty, do
assist at it with a serious deportment, and that sensibility of heart,
which the recollection of the surprising and particular interposition of
Divine Providence in our favor claims."

Recurring, again, to the progress of events at the North, the enigmatical
conduct of the British commander in Canada, and the mysterious movements
of his forces upon Lake Champlain, remain to be explained. On the 9th of
November, General Heath, commanding the department, issued the following
general order; a copy of which has been preserved among General
Gansevoort's papers:--

         "_Head-Quarters, Continental Village, Nov._ 9, 1781.

"The General has the pleasure of acquainting this army, that the enemy
have been completely disappointed in their designs on the northern
frontiers of this State, in consequence of the measures adopted to
receive them in the vicinity of the lakes, in which the General is much
indebted to Major General Lord Stirling, Brigadier General Stark, and the
other officers and soldiers, both of the regular troops and the militia,
who, with great zeal and alertness, pressed to meet the enemy. That part
of their force which was coming by way of the lakes has not dared to land
on this side of them.

"Major Ross, who had advanced from the westward as far as Johnstown, with
a body of between six and seven hundred regular troops, Rangers, Yagers,
and Indians, was met by Colonel Willett, defeated, and pursued into the
wilderness, where many of them probably must perish; the number of the
enemy killed is not known. Major Butler, who has frequently distressed
the frontiers, is among the slain. A number of prisoners, chiefly British,
have been taken and sent in.

"The General presents his thanks to Colonel Willett, whose address,
gallantry, and persevering activity exhibited on this occasion, do him
the highest honor; and while the conduct of the officers and soldiers in
general, who were with Colonel Willett, deserves high commendation, the
General expresses a particular approbation of the behavior of Major
Rowley, and the brave levies and militia under his immediate command,
who, at a critical moment, not only did honor to themselves, but rendered
a most essential service to their country.

                  "Transcript from general orders:
                           Thos. Fred. Jackson,
                                   _Aid-de-camp._"

General Heath, and many others, doubtless supposed that the anticipated
invasion had been averted by the dispositions of Lord Stirling, and
Generals Stark and Gansevoort, as set forth in the first paragraph of
these general orders; but the facts of the case, without detracting an
iota from the distinguished merits of those officers, will inevitably
lead to a different conclusion.

A summary view of the controversy between New-York and the people of the
New Hampshire Grants, has already been given--in addition to which several
incidental allusions have been made to the equivocal movements and
intentions of Ethan Allen. Reference was also made, by way of a note in
the preceding chapter, to a special message from Governor Clinton to the
Legislature of New-York, communicating important information respecting
the designs of Allen and his associates, which had been derived from two
prisoners who had escaped from Canada in the Autumn of the present
year--John Edgar and David Abeel. The substance of the statements of these
men was, that several of the leading men of the New Hampshire Grants were
forming an alliance with the King's officers in Canada. Among these
leaders were Ethan and Ira Allen, and the two Fays. A man named Sherwood,
and Doctor Smith of Albany, whose name has already been mentioned, were
the agents of the negotiation on the part of Great Britain, and their
consultations were sometimes held at Castleton, on the Grants, and
sometimes in Canada. According to the statement of Edgar, it was
understood that the Grants were to furnish the King with a force of two
thousand men. Mr. Abeel's information was, that fifteen hundred was the
number of men to be furnished, under the command of Ethan Allen. Mr. Abeel
also stated that Ethan Allen was then in Canada upon that business, and
that he had seen Major Fay at the Isle au Noix, on board of one of the
King's vessels; and that he, Fay, had exchanged upward of thirty Hessians,
who had deserted from Burgoyne's army, delivering them up to the British
authorities. The statements of Edgar and Abeel, the latter of whom had
been taken a prisoner at Catskill the preceding Spring, were given under
the sanction of an oath; and although they were not fellow-prisoners, and
had derived their information from different sources; and although
escaping at different times, under dissimilar circumstances, and by routes
widely apart, yet there was a strong coincidence between them. A third
account submitted to the Legislature by the Governor was somewhat
different, and more particular as to the terms of the proposed
arrangement. In this paper it was stated, first, that the territory
claimed by the Vermontese should be formed into a distinct colony or
government. Secondly, that the form of government should be similar to
that of Connecticut, save that the nomination of the Governor should be
vested in the crown. Thirdly, that they should be allowed to remain
neutral, unless the war should be carried within their own territory.
Fourthly, they were to raise two battalions, to be in the pay of the
crown, but to be called into service only for the defence of the Colony.
Fifthly, they were to be allowed a free trade with Canada. General
Haldimand had not deemed himself at liberty to decide definitively upon
propositions of so much importance, and had accordingly transmitted them
to England for the royal consideration. An answer was then expected. Such
was the purport of the intelligence; and such was the weight of the
testimony, that the Governor did not hesitate to assert that they "proved
a treasonable and dangerous intercourse and connexion between the leaders
of the revolt in the north-eastern part of the State, and the common
enemy." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] These and other documents may be found in Almon's Remembrancer,
 Vol. ix.--for 1732.


The fact is, according to the admissions, and the documents published by
the Vermont historians themselves, [FN-1] that the people of Vermont,
though doubtless for the most part attached to the cause of their country,
nevertheless looked upon New-York "as a more detested enemy" than Great
Britain; [FN-2] and the officers of the latter were not slow in their
efforts to avail themselves of the schism. Accordingly, Colonel Beverley
Robinson sought to open a correspondence with Ethan Allen as early as
March, 1780. The first letter was handed to Allen in Arlington, but was
not answered. A second letter from Robinson was received by Allen in
February, 1781, which, with the first, he enclosed to Congress in March,
accompanied by a letter plainly asserting the right of Vermont to agree to
a cessation of hostilities with Great Britain, provided its claims, as a
State, were still to be rejected by Congress. It does not appear, however,
that the threat had any effect upon that body.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Slade's State Papers.

 [FN-2] Idem.


In the months of April and May following, the Governor and Council of
Vermont commissioned Colonel Ira Allen, a brother of Ethan, to proceed to
the Isle au Noix, to settle a cartel with the British in Canada, and also,
if possible, to negotiate an armistice in favor of Vermont. The
arrangements for this negotiation were conducted with the most profound
secrecy; only eight persons being cognizant of the procedure. [FN-1]
Colonel Allen, accompanied by one subaltern, [FN-2] two sergeants, and
sixteen privates, departed upon his mission on the first of May; and
having arrived at the Isle au Noix, entered at once upon his
business--negotiating with Major Dundas, the commander of that post, only
on the subject of an exchange of prisoners, but more privately with
Captain Sherwood and George Smith, Esq. on the subject of an armistice.
The stay of Allen at the island was protracted for a considerable time,
and the conferences with the two commissioners, Sherwood and Smith, on the
subject of the political relations of Vermont, were frequent, but
perfectly confidential; Allen carefully avoiding to write any thing, to
guard against accidents. But from the beginning, it seems to have been
perfectly understood by both parties that they were treating "for an
armistice, and to concert measures to establish Vermont as a colony under
the crown of Great Britain." [FN-3] In the course of the consultations,
Allen freely declared "that such was the extreme hatred of Vermont to the
state of New-York, that rather than yield to it, they would see Congress
subjected to the British government, provided Vermont could be a distinct
colony under the crown on safe and honorable terms." He added, "that the
people of Vermont were not disposed any longer to assist in establishing
a government in America which might subject them and their posterity to
New-York, whose government was more detested than any other in the known
world." [FN-4] These were encouraging representations in the ears of his
Majesty's officers; and, after a negotiation of seventeen days, the cartel
was arranged, and an armistice verbally agreed upon, by virtue of which
hostilities were to cease between the British forces and the people under
the jurisdiction of Vermont, until after the next session of the
Legislature of Vermont, and even longer, if prospects were satisfactory
to the Commander-in-chief in Canada. Moreover, as Vermont had then
extended her claims of territory to the Hudson river, all that portion of
New-York lying east of the river, and north of the western termination of
the north line of Massachusetts, was included in the armistice. It was
also stipulated that, during the armistice, the leaders in Vermont were
to prepare the people by degrees for a change of government, and that the
British officers were to have free communication through the territory of
the new State--as it claimed to be. [FN-5]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Thomas Chittenden, Moses Robinson, Samuel Safford, Ethan Allen,
 Ira Allen, Timothy Brownson, John Fassett, and Joseph Fay.

 [FN-2] Lieutenant Simeon Lyman.

 [FN-3] Political History of Vermont, published by Ira Allen in London,
 in 1798.

 [FN-4] Allen's Political History of Vermont.

 [FN-5] Idem.


But, notwithstanding the veil of secrecy drawn over the proceedings, dark
suspicions got afloat that all was not right. The sincere Whigs among the
people of the Grants became alarmed, and were apprehensive that they might
be sold ere yet they were aware of it. When the Legislature met, the
people whose jealousies had been awakened, flocked to the place of
meeting to ascertain whether all was well; and it was only by much
dissimulation on the part of those in the secret, that the friends of the
Union were pacified. There were also other spectators present, from
different States, who felt an equal interest to ascertain whether the
great cause of the nation was not in danger of being compromised. The
result was, that the agents succeeded in throwing dust into the eyes of
the people; and so adroit was their management, that the Allens held
communication with the enemy during the whole Summer without detection.
On more than one occasion, British guards, of several men, came to the
very precincts of Arlington, delivering and receiving packages in the
twilight.

In September the negotiations were renewed, the commissioners of both
parties meeting secretly at Skenesborough, within the territory of
New-York, and farther progress was made in the terms of the arrangement,
by which Vermont was in due time to throw herself "into the arms of her
legitimate sovereign." Sir Frederick Haldimand, however, was becoming
impatient of longer delay; and a strenuous effort was made for an
immediate and open declaration on the part of Vermont. To this proposition
the Vermont commissioners, Ira Allen, Joseph Fay, and a third person,
whose name is not given, pleaded that there had not yet been time to
prepare the people for so great a change, and that they should require the
repose of the approaching Winter for that object. It was at length
stipulated, however, that inasmuch as the royal authority had been
received by Sir Frederick Haldimand for that purpose, an army might
ascend the lake, with proclamations offering to confirm Vermont as a
colony under the crown, upon the principles and conditions heretofore
indicated, on the return of the people to their allegiance; the
commissioners interposing a request, that the General commanding the
expedition would endeavor to ascertain the temper of the people before
the proclamation should be actually distributed.

The Legislature of the Grants assembled at Charlestown in October.
Meantime General St. Leger, agreeably to the arrangement with Allen and
Fay, ascended the lake to Ticonderoga with a strong force, where he
rested. In order to save appearances, the Vermontese had stationed a
military force on the opposite shore, under the command of General Enos,
to whom was necessarily confided the secret. But on neither side would it
answer to entrust that secret to the subordinates. _They_ must, of course,
regard each other as enemies in good faith; and the fact that they did so
consider themselves, was productive of an affair which placed the
Vermontese in a peculiarly awkward predicament The circumstances were
these: In order to preserve at least the mimicry of war, scouts and
patrols were occasionally sent out by both parties. Unluckily one of these
Vermont patrols happened one day to encounter a similar party from the
army of St. Leger. Shots were exchanged with hearty goodwill; the Vermont
sergeant fell, and his men retreated. The body was decently interred by
order of General St. Leger, who sent his clothes to General Enos,
accompanied by an open letter apologizing for the occurrence, and
expressing his regret at the result.

It was hardly probable that an unsealed letter would pass through many
hands, and its contents remain unknown to all save the person to whom it
was addressed. Such, certainly, was not the fact in regard to the letter
in question. Its contents transpired; and great was the surprise at the
civility of General St. Leger in sending back the sergeant's clothes, and
deploring his death. A messenger was despatched by General Enos to
Governor Chittenden at Charlestown, who, not being in the secrets of his
employers, failed not, with honest simplicity, to proclaim the
circumstances of the sergeant's death, and the extraordinary message of
General St. Leger. The consequence was excitement among the people
assembled at Charlestown, attended with a kindling feeling of distrust.
"Why should General St Leger send back the clothes?" "Why regret the
death of an enemy?" were questions more easily asked by the people, than
capable of being safely and ingenuously answered by their leaders. The
consequence was, a popular clamor unpleasant to the ears of the initiated.
Major Runnels confronted Colonel Ira Allen, and demanded to know why St.
Leger was sorry for the death of the sergeant? Allen's answer was evasive
and unsatisfactory. The Major repeated the question, and Allen replied
that he had better go to St. Leger at the head of his regiment, and
demand the reason, for his sorrow, in person. A sharp altercation ensued,
which had the effect, for a short time, of diverting the attention of the
people from the dispatches which they had been clamoring to have read.
These were precious moments for the Governor and the negotiators with the
enemy. The Board of War was convened, the members of which were all in the
secret, and a set of pretended letters were hastily prepared from such
portions of General Enos's dispatches as would serve the purpose in hand,
which were read publicly to the Legislature and the people; and which had
the effect of allaying the excitement and hushing suspicion into silence.

Meantime a rumor of the capture of Cornwallis and his army at Yorktown was
wafted along upon the southern breeze; the effect of which was such upon
the people, as to induce Allen and Fay to write to the British
commissioners with St Leger, that it would be imprudent at that particular
conjuncture for him to promulgate the royal proclamation, and urging delay
to a more auspicious moment The messenger with these despatches had not
been longer than an hour at the head-quarters of St. Leger at Ticonderoga,
before the rumor respecting Cornwallis was confirmed by an express. The
effect was prodigious. All ideas or farther operations in that quarter
were instantly abandoned; and before evening of the same day, St. Leger's
troops and stores were re-embarked, and with a fair wind he made sail
immediately, back to St. John's.

From this narrative of facts, as disclosed in London many years afterward
by Colonel Ira Allen himself, it will be seen at once that General Heath
was in error, when, in his general orders of November 9th, he attributed
the inaction of General St. Leger, and his ultimate retreat, to the
preparations of Lord Stirling, and Generals Stark and Gansevoort, for his
reception. The digression which has been judged necessary to elucidate
this portion of the operations in the north, during the Summer and Autumn
of 1781, may by some readers be thought wide of the leading design of the
present work. Still, it is believed that to a majority of the public, the
facts detailed in this connexion will be new, as they must be curious in
the estimation of all. They are at the same time held to be essential to
a just appreciation of the difficulties with which the military officers
in the Northern Department, and the Government of the State of New-York,
were obliged to contend during the period under consideration. Strong
light is also reflected by them upon that portion of the history of the
war itself with which they are interblended. Every close reader of
American history is aware that there was a correspondence, of some
description, between the leaders of the people occupying the New Hampshire
Grants and the common enemy, during the later years of the Revolutionary
war. But neither the precise character, nor the extent, of that
correspondence, has been generally understood; while it has, for obvious
reasons, been the desire of those most directly concerned in those
matters, to represent the whole as a game of dissembling with an enemy
who had attempted to tamper with the patriotic sons of the Green
Mountains. [F-1] Be this as it may, it is in the secret proceedings of the
Vermont conspirators, that the key is found to the mysterious movements
of the enemy on Lake Champlain, which had so greatly harassed the American
commanders at the north during that Autumn. It was known that St. Leger
was upon the lake in great force; and having landed at Ticonderoga, to all
human calculation an invasion was intended, which the country was then
ill prepared to resist. At times he was apparently balancing upon what
point to move. With the means of striking, he did not strike; and his
dilatoriness, and apparent indecision, were alike inexplicable. The
effect was to keep the northern part of the state in constant alarm, and
to harass the militia by frequent calls to the field, against an enemy
hovering upon the shore of the lake, always, apparently, just ready to
make a descent, and yet idling away the season without farther
demonstration. Much greater quietness might have been enjoyed by the
people of New-York, so far as the common enemy was concerned, had it been
known that his hands were fettered by an armistice with a contiguous
territory, claiming to be an American state, and professing at the same
time to be at open war with the self-same enemy with whom the government
of the said territory was at that moment in secret alliance. [FN-2] When
to this singularly embarrassing position, those other difficulties which
have been passed in review are added, such as an exhausted and ravaged
country; an unfed, unclothed, unpaid and deserting army; [FN-3] extensive
disaffection among the people immediately at home; continual irruptions of
hostile partisan bands in every quarter; mobs of insurgents setting the
laws at defiance in one direction; the militia regiments in the district
thus lawless, more than half disposed to join the disorganizers; with an
actual and somewhat formidable invasion from the west; it must be
conceived that both civil and military authorities were laboring under a
complication of evils, requiring for their control all that prudence and
energy, discretion, perseverance and courage, combined, could accomplish.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Sparks, adopting the views of earlier writers, has noticed the
 case in this favorable aspect in his late sketch of the Life of Ethan
 Allen. The author certainly agrees with Mr. Sparks in the opinion that
 "there was never any serious intention on the part of the Vermontese to
 listen to the British proposals." But with great deference, after a full
 examination of the case, the same cannot be said of the _leaders_ of the
 Vermontese. _They_ had determined that New-York should be dismembered;
 and if they could not force themselves into the confederation as a State,
 they were willing to fall back into the arms of Great Britain as a
 Colony. But it is very certain, from the conduct of the people of the
 Grants when they heard of St. Leger's regrets at the killing of the
 sergeant, that they were prepared for no such arrangement.

 [FN-2] Of course General Heath was not aware of the proceedings of the
 Vermontese when he issued his general orders above cited, nor was the
 Government of New-York acquainted with them. Although, from the necessity
 of the case, a considerable number of the Vermont leaders must have been
 in the secret, it was nevertheless exceedingly well kept. It was not
 until the month of March of the following year, (1782,) that Governor
 Clinton communicated the affidavits of Edgar and Abeel to the
 Legislature, the substance of which has been embodied in the preceding
 narrative. Those affidavits explained the threats murmured by Ethan
 Allen, when in Albany the Spring before. They also explained the threat
 contained in a letter from Governor Chittenden, referred to in a
 preceding page, while they strengthened the suspicions that had for
 months been entertained by General Schuyler and Governor Clinton. But it
 was not until years had elapsed that the whole truth came out.

 [FN-3] "From the post of Saratoga to that of Dobbs's Ferry inclusive, I
 believe there it not at this moment one day's supply of meat for the army
 on hand. Supplies, particularly of beef cattle, must be speedily and
 regularly provided, or our posts cannot be maintained, nor the army kept
 in the field much longer."--_Letter of Washington to President Weere of
 New Hampshire._


With the discomfiture and retreat of Major Ross on the one hand, and the
return of St. Leger to St. John's on the other, all active operations
ceased with the enemy at the north. But the difficulties of the state
Government with the New Hampshire Grants were on the increase; and the
controversy ran so high, that by the 1st of December an insurrection broke
out in the regiments of Colonel John Van Rensselaer and Colonel Henry K.
Van Rensselaer, in the north-eastern towns of the State; while the
regiment of Colonel Peter Yates--also belonging to the brigade of General
Gansevoort--was in a condition not much better. These disturbances arose
in Schaghticoke, Hoosic, and a place called St. Coych, and parts adjacent,
belonging then to the county of Albany; but being on the east side of the
Hudson, north of the parallel of the northern line of Massachusetts, the
Government of the New Hampshire Grants had extended its aegis over that
section of country, claiming jurisdiction, as heretofore stated, to the
Hudson river. General Gansevoort was apprised of the insurrection on the
5th. He immediately directed Colonels Yates and Henry K. Van Rensselaer,
whose regiments, at that time, were the least affected with the insurgent
spirit, to collect such troops as they could, and repair to St. Coych, to
the assistance of Colonel John Van Rensselaer. An express being dispatched
to the Governor, at Poughkeepsie, with the unwelcome information, and a
request for directions what course to pursue in the emergency, the return
of the messenger brought very explicit orders from the indomitable chief
magistrate:--"I perfectly approve of your conduct," said the Governor;
"and have only to add, that should the force already detached prove
insufficient to quell the insurrection, you will make such addition to it
as to render it effectual. I have transmitted to General Robert Van
Rensselaer the information, and have directed him, in case it should be
necessary, on your application, to give assistance from his brigade."
[FN-1] Although the fact had not been stated in the dispatches forwarded
to Governor Clinton, that the movement was beyond doubt sympathetic with,
or instigated from, the Grants, yet the Governor was at no loss at once to
attribute it to the "usurped government of that pretended State;" [FN-2]
and it was his resolute determination to oppose force to force, and, in
regard to the Grants themselves, to repel force by force.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. letter of Governor Clinton to General Gansevoort, Dec 11,
 1781.

 [FN-2] Idem.


Gansevoort did not receive his instructions from the Governor until the
15th. Meantime Colonels Yates and Henry Van Rensselaer had made no
progress in quelling the insurrection; the insurgents, on the other hand,
being on the increase, and having thrown up a block-house for defence. On
the 16th General Gansevoort took the field himself, repairing in the first
instance to the head-quarters of General Stark at Saratoga, in order to
obtain a detachment of troops and a field-piece. But the troops of Stark
were too naked to move from their quarters; and it was thought improper
for him to interfere without an order from General Heath. [FN-1]
Gansevoort then crossed over to the east side of the river, in order to
place himself at the head of such militia as he could muster in
Schaghticoke and Hoosic; but was soon met by Colonel Yates, in full
retreat from the house of Colonel John Van Rensselaer. He had been able
to raise but eighty men to put down the insurgents of John Van
Rensselaer's regiment; and on arriving at St. Coych, he discovered a force
of five hundred men advancing from the Grants to the assistance of the
rebels. Gansevoort retired five miles farther, in order to find
comfortable quarters for his men, and then attempted, but without success,
to open a correspondence with the leader of the insurgents. Calls had been
made upon four regiments, viz. those of Colonels Yates, and Henry K. Van
Rensselaer, as heretofore stated, and upon Colonel Van Vechten and Major
Taylor. But from the whole no greater force than eighty men could be
raised. Of Colonel Van Vechten's regiment, only himself, a few officers,
and one private could be brought into the field. Under these discouraging
circumstances, the General was compelled to relinquish the expedition, and
the insurgents remained the victors, to the no small terror of those of
the inhabitants who were well-disposed, inasmuch as they were apprehensive
of being taken prisoners and carried away, as had been the case with
others, should they refuse taking the oath of allegiance to the government
of Vermont. [FN-2] Thus terminated the military events of the north, of
all descriptions, for the year 1781.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] In his official report upon the subject, Gansevoort rather
 distrusted whether Stark assigned the true reason for withholding his
 aid on this occasion. Governor Chittenden, of the Grants, having just
 addressed him a letter requesting him not to interfere with hie troops.

 [FN-2] The materials for this rapid sketch of the insurrection of Dec.
 1781, at the north-east of Albany, have been drawn from the Gansevoort
 papers, which are broken and imperfect. The controversy with Vermont was
 continued, with greater or less force, and in different ways, for several
 years. But a calm and powerful letter from General Washington to Governor
 Chittenden, written early in January, 1782, had great influence in
 causing the government of the Grants to relinquish the territory of
 New-York, twenty miles broad, upon the eastern side of the Hudson, upon
 which they had seized. The leaders who had entered upon the
 correspondence with the enemy in Canada, continued an interchange of
 communications during several months of the following year; but the
 course of things soon stripped that strange negotiation of its danger,
 and rendered it of no importance. Meantime, although Governor Clinton was
 fully determined to subdue the refractory spirits of the Green Mountains,
 the latter continued to gain strength and friends, and as their local
 government became settled, it was for the most part wisely and
 efficiently administered. Time and again the question was brought before
 Congress, where nobody cared to act upon it definitively. Hamilton, Jay,
 and Governeur Morris, all seemed to think it the part of wisdom to allow
 the secession and independence of Vermont. Things remained in an
 unsettled state, however, until after the adoption of the federal
 constitution by New-York in 1788, after which the controversy was
 amicably adjusted; Vermont agreeing to pay thirty thousand dollars as a
 full indemnification to persons in New-York holding titles to lands
 within its boundaries.


There yet remain a few occurrences, connected with the Indian operations
of the year, to be noted before closing the present chapter. It was in
the Spring of this year that what was called the Coshocton campaign of
Colonel Brodhead was performed, and was attended by circumstances that
cannot be recalled with other than painful emotions. [FN-1] It had at
different times been the purpose of the Commander-in-chief that Colonel
Brodhead should penetrate through the Ohio territory to Detroit; but that
design was never accomplished. The expedition now under review was led by
Brodhead against the villages of the unfriendly Delaware Indians at the
forks of the Muskingum. In passing through the settlement of the
Moravian Indians at Salem, under the religious care of the Rev. Mr.
Heckewelder, some of Brodhead's men manifested a hostile disposition
toward those inoffensive noncombatants; but their hostile feelings were
repressed by Brodhead, whose exertions were seconded by Colonel Shepherd,
of Wheeling. The towns against which the Americans were proceeding were
under the control of Captain Pipe, who had espoused the cause of the crown
at the instigation of McKee, Elliott, and Girty. On approaching Coshocton,
Brodhead's forces were divided into three divisions; and so secret and
rapid was their march, that the villages on the eastern bank of the river
were fallen upon, and all the Indians who were at home taken, without
firing a gun. [FN-2] The immediate object of this visitation was to
punish, as it was alleged, the Indians of those towns for some recent
cruelties of unwonted atrocity. They had made a late incursion upon the
frontiers of Virginia, in the course of which a considerable number of
prisoners were taken; but, having been disappointed in the measure of
their success, in a moment of rage they bound all the adult male captives
to trees, and put them to death by torture, amidst the tears and
lamentations of their families. [FN-3] It was now Colonel Brodhead's
design to inflict summary vengeance for those murders. He had with him a
friendly Delaware chief, named _Pekillon,_ who pointed out sixteen of the
captive warriors, upon whom he charged the murders in question. A council
of war was convened in the evening, which decided that those sixteen
warriors should be put to death. They were therefore bound, and despatched
with tomahawk and spear, and scalped. [FN-4]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Doddridge, in his Indian Wars, dates the expedition referred to
 in 1790. Drake, who follows Heckewelder, states that it occurred in 1781.

 [FN-2] Doddridge.

 [FN-3] Drake.

 [FN-4] Doddridge.


A heavy rain had swollen the river, so that Colonel Brodhead could not
cross over to the villages upon the opposite side. On the following
morning an Indian presented himself upon the other side, and called for
an interview with the "Great Captain," meaning the commander of the
expedition. Colonel Brodhead presented himself, and inquired what he
wanted. "I want peace," was the reply. "Send over some of your chiefs,"
said the Colonel. "Maybe you kill," rejoined the Indian. "They shall not
be killed," was the answer. A fine-looking sachem thereupon crossed the
river, and while engaged in conversation with Colonel Brodhead, a white
savage, named Wetzel, stole treacherously behind the unsuspecting warrior,
and struck him dead to the earth. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Doddridge.


Some ten or twelve prisoners were taken from another village farther up
the river; and Brodhead commenced his return on the same day, committing
the prisoners to a guard of militia. They had not proceeded far, however,
before the barbarian guards began to butcher their captives; and all,
save a few women and children, were presently despatched in cold blood.
[FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Idem.


Glancing yet farther south, the Cherokee Indians having again become
troublesome, and made an incursion into South Carolina, massacring some
of the inhabitants and burning their houses, General Pickens proceeded
into their own country, and inflicted upon them severe and summary
chastisement. In the space of fourteen days, at the head of less than
four hundred men, he killed upward of forty of the Indians, and destroyed
thirteen towns. His troops were mounted men, who charged rapidly upon the
Indians, cutting them down with their sabres with great effect. Unused to
this mode of warfare, they sued immediately for peace.

The fall of Cornwallis was, in fact, the last important act of that great
drama--The American Revolution. Although the British were yet in
considerable force in New-York, and were likewise in the occupancy of
various posts in the southern states, still the season for active
operations was past; and after the loss of the army of Cornwallis, they
were not in sufficient force in the north to resist the troops that could
now be directed against them. The campaigning of the year 1781, and in
fact of the war of the Revolution, were therefore at an end. Still, there
were other belligerent incidents occurring for months afterward, the
record of which will require another chapter.



                          CHAPTER VII.



 Character of Joseph Bettys--His exploits--Capture and execution--Progress
  of the war--Gradual cessation of hostilities--Dwindling down to mere
  affairs of outposts and scouting parties--Commissioners appointed to
  negotiate a treaty of peace--Indian battles on the Kentucky
  frontier--Defeat of Colonel Boon--Destruction of the Shawanese
  towns--The Moravians on the Muskingum--Their removal to Sandusky by the
  Wyandots--Return to secure their crops--Invasion of their towns by
  Colonel Williamson--Treachery of Williamson and his men to the
  Indians--Horrible massacre--Invasion of the Sandusky country by
  Crawford and Williamson--Defeat of their army--Colonel Crawford
  captured--Sentenced to die by torture--His interview with the sachem
  Wingemond--His execution--Close of the year--Doubts as to a treaty of
  peace--Colonel Willett's attempt to surprise Oswego--The news of
  peace--Sufferings of Tryon County--Return of its population--End of the
  wars of the Mohawk.


Among the minor, but yet not unimportant events of the border war at the
north and west of Albany, was the capture, some time in the Winter of
1781--'82, of the celebrated loyalist marauder, Joseph Bettys, whose name
has occurred in connexion with that of John Waltermeyer in the preceding
chapter. Bettys, or "Joe Bettys" as he was commonly called, was a man of
uncommon shrewdness and intelligence. Bold, athletic, and of untiring
activity; revengeful and cruel in his disposition; inflexible in his
purposes; his bosom cold as the marble to the impulses of humanity; he
ranged the border settlements like a chafed tiger snuffing every tainted
breeze for blood, until his name had become as terrific to the borderers,
as were those of Kidd and Pierre le Grande upon the ocean in the
preceding century. At the commencement of the war, Bettys was an
inhabitant of Ballston. He early took the field in the cause of the
republic, and a sergeant's warrant was conferred upon him in Colonel
Wynkoop's regiment. But he had a proud, independent spirit, that could
ill brook the severity of military discipline; and for some act of
contumacy, he was reduced to the ranks. Still, knowing well his determined
character and unflinching courage, and unwilling that his country should
lose his services, the same gentleman [FN] who had obtained his first
warrant, procured him another, and a transfer to the fleet under the
command of General Arnold on Lake Champlain, in the Summer of 1776.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The late Colonel Ball, of Balston.


In the severe naval engagement fought on that lake between Arnold and
Sir Guy Carleton, on the 11th of October of that year, Bettys exhibited
great bravery, and was of signal service during the battle, which lasted
four hours. He fought until every commissioned officer on board his
vessel was either killed or wounded. Assuming the command then himself,
he continued the fight with such reckless and desperate intrepidity, that
General Waterbury, Arnold's second in command, perceiving that his vessel
was about to sink, was obliged to order Bettys and the survivors of his
crew on board his own vessel. Having thus observed his good conduct,
General Waterbury stationed him by his side on the quarter-deck, and gave
orders through him, until his own vessel in turn became entirely
crippled--the crew mostly killed--the General himself wounded--and only
two others, exclusive of Bettys, left in fighting condition--when his
colors were struck to the enemy. General Waterbury afterward spoke in the
most exalted terms of the high courage of Bettys, adding, that the
shrewdness of his management showed that his conduct was not inferior to
his courage.

While a prisoner in Canada, the arts of the enemy subverted his
principles. He was seduced from the service of his country, and entered
that of the enemy with the rank of ensign--proving himself an enemy
equally subtle and formidable. From his intimate knowledge of the country
and his artful address, he was frequently employed, sometimes as a
messenger, at others as a spy, and at others, again, in the double
capacity of both. During one of his missions of this nature, he was
captured, tried, and condemned to the gallows. But the entreaties of his
aged parents, and the solicitations of influential Whigs, induced General
Washington, on a promise of reformation, to grant him a pardon. Yet if
honor, generosity, and gratitude, had ever been qualities of his soul,
they had taken their departure.

Losing no time in rejoining the ranks of the enemy, he became alike
reckless of character and the dictates of humanity; and instead of
suitably requiting the kindness which had successfully interposed to save
him from an ignominious death, he became the greatest scourge of his
former friends and neighborhood. Ballston, in particular, had long reason
to deplore the ill-judged leniency. He returned, and recruited soldiers
for the King in the midst of the settlements; he captured and carried off
the most zealous and efficient Whigs, and subjected them to the severest
sufferings; and those against whom he bore the strongest hate, lost their
dwellings by fire or their lives by murder. No fatigue weakened his
resolution--no distance was an obstacle to his purpose--and no danger
appalled his courage. No one of the borderers felt secure. Sometimes in
the darkness of the night he fell upon them by stealth; and at others,
even at mid-day, he was seen prowling about, as if scorning disguise, and
unconscious of danger. Indeed, he boldly proclaimed himself a
desperado--carrying his life in his hand--equally careless of it as he
said he should be of the lives of others were any again to attempt his
arrest. His liberty, he declared, would only be yielded with his life;
and whoever should attempt to take him, might rest assured that their
heart's blood would in the same moment be drunk by the earth. His threats
were well understood to be no unmeaning words; and, what added to the
apprehension of the people, was the well-known fact, that he had always
at his beck, openly or in concealment, according to the nature of the
purpose immediately in hand, a band of refugees partaking of his own
desperate character.

His adventures while engaged in this species of warfare were many and
hazardous. Nor did he always confine his operations to the
border-settlements, since he at one time entered the precincts of Albany,
and made a similar attempt to that of Waltermeyer to abduct General
Schuyler from the mansion of the Patroon, where he was then lodged. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This account of Joe Bettys has been written from a Fourth-of-July
 speech delivered by the late Colonel Ball some ten or twelve years ago.
 Among the prisoners made by Bettys and Waltermeyer from Ballston, in the
 Spring of 1781, were the following persons, viz: Samuel Nash, Joseph
 Chord, Uri Tracy, Ephraim Tracy, Samuel Patchin, Epenetus White, John
 Fulmer, and two men named Bontas, who were brothers. They were all taken
 to Canada, and roughly used.


It must not be supposed, however, that all hearts quailed before Joe
Bettys. Far from it; and many were the ineffectual attempts made for his
arrest before the measures undertaken for that purpose were again crowned
with success. But in the course of the Winter now under consideration his
wonted vigilance was at fault. A suspicious stranger having been observed
in the neighborhood of Ballston, upon snow-shoes, and well-armed, three
men of that town, named Cory, Perkins, and Fulmer, little doubting as to
the identity of the man, immediately armed themselves and went in pursuit.
He was traced by a circuitous track to the house of a well-known loyalist,
which was fortunately approached with so much circumspection as to enable
the scouts to reach the door unobserved. Breaking the barrier by a sudden
effort, they sprang in upon the black and doubly-dyed traitor, and seized
him before he had opportunity of resistance. He was seated at dinner when
they entered, his pistols lying upon the table, and his rifle resting upon
his arm. He made an attempt to discharge the latter; but forgetting to
remove the deer-skin cover of the lock, did not succeed. Powerful and
muscular as he was, the three were an over-match for him, and he was
immediately so securely pinioned as to render resistance useless and
escape morally impossible.

Apparently resigning himself to his fate, Bettys now requested permission
to smoke, which was readily granted. While taking the tobacco from his
box, and making the usual preparations, he was observed by Cory adroitly
to cast something into the fire. It was instantly snatched from thence
with a handful of coals, and proved to be a small leaden box, about the
eighth of an inch in thickness, and containing a paper in cipher, which
the captors could not read; but it was subsequently ascertained to be a
despatch addressed to the British commander in New-York. It also contained
an order for thirty guineas, provided the despatch should be safely
delivered. Bettys pleaded hard for permission to burn the paper, and
offered a hundred guineas for the privilege. But they refused his gold,
and all his proffered bribes for the means of escape, with the most
unyielding firmness. He then exclaimed--"I am a dead man!" It was even
so. He was taken to Albany, where he was tried, convicted, and executed
as a spy and traitor.

If the conduct of the three captors of Major Andre was patriotic, that of
the three captors of Joe Bettys was both patriotic and brave. Andre was
a gentleman, and without the means of defence; Bettys was formidably
armed, and known to be a desperado. The capture of Andre was by accident;
that of Bettys, by enterprise and design. The taking of the former was
without danger; that of the latter a feat of imminent peril. Andre was
a more important man, by rank and station, than Bettys; but not more
dangerous. Both tempted their captors by gold, and both were foiled. [FN]
The captors of Andre were richly rewarded, and the achievement has been
emblazoned in history, and commemorated by monumental granite. The captors
of Bettys have, until now, never been known to history; and their only
visible reward was the rifle and pistols of their terrible captive. With
such partial hand are the honors and rewards of this world bestowed!

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Colonel Ball.


As already remarked, the substantial fighting of the war was ended by the
surrender of Cornwallis. It is true, there were affairs of outposts
occurring afterward, and some partial fighting took place at the south
early in the season of 1782, between General Wayne and sundry small
British posts, after General Greene had detached the former into Georgia.
The most serious of these affairs was a smart brush with a party of Creek
Indians, near Savannah, on which occasion the British garrison sallied
out to their assistance, but were repulsed. For the most part, however,
the year 1782 was rather a period of armed neutrality than of active war.
The news of the catastrophe at Yorktown at once and materially
strengthened the opposition to the farther prosecution of the contest in
the House of Commons, by which a resolution was soon afterward passed,
declaring "That the House would consider as enemies to his Majesty and
the country, all who should advise or attempt the farther prosecution of
offensive war on the Continent of North America." Sir Henry Clinton was
superseded in the chief command by Sir Guy Carleton, who was specially
instructed to use his endeavors to effect an accommodation with America.
Commissioners for the negotiation of a treaty of peace were soon
afterward appointed, viz: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and
Henry Laurens on the part of the United States, and Mr. Fitzherbert and
Mr. Oswald on that of Great Britain. On the 30th of November these
commissioners had agreed on provisional articles of peace, as the basis
of a treaty by which the Independence of the United States was
acknowledged in its fullest extent.

As the surrender of Earl Cornwallis was the last important military event
between the main armies, so was the disastrous expedition of Majors Ross
and Butler the last attempt of any magnitude upon the Valley of the
Mohawk. True, indeed, that beautiful region of country had been so utterly
laid waste, that there was little more of evil to be accomplished. But
the chastisement of Major Ross, equally severe and unexpected, had
discouraged the enemy from making any farther attempt in that quarter.
Not, however, that the Indians were entirely quiet. On the contrary, they
hung around the borders of the settlements in small parties, sometimes
causing serious alarms, and at others great trouble and fatigue, and
likewise inflicting considerable injury. On one occasion a party of
thirty-five Indians crossed over from Oswegatchie to Palatine. Falling in
with a scouting party, consisting of Jacob Timmerman and five others, the
Indians fired upon them. Timmerman was wounded, and with one of his
comrades taken prisoner. Two of the party were killed, and the other two
succeeded in making their escape. The prisoners were taken to Oswegatchie,
and thence down to Montreal, where they were confined until the peace.
In consequence of exposures of this description, a vigilant watchfulness
was necessary at all points; and Colonel Willett, who retained the
command, was exactly the officer for the station. He had frequent occasion
to despatch considerable bodies of troops against the straggling parties
of Indians and Tories; but their lightness of foot, and dexterity in
threading the mazes of the forests, generally, if not always, enabled them
to escape. So that no important event transpired in that section of
country during the year.

But while there was so little active warfare on the frontiers of New-York
during the Summer of 1782, the Indians of the remoter west were more
active along the Kentucky frontier than in the preceding year. In May they
ravished, killed, and scalped a woman and her two daughters near Ashton's
station. [FN] The Indians perpetrating this outrage were pursued by
Captain Ashton, at the head of a band of twenty-five men. Being overtaken,
a battle ensued, in which the Indians were victorious. The Captain was
killed, together with eight of his men, and four others were mortally
wounded. In the month of August another Kentucky settlement, called Hoy's
Station, was visited by the Indians, by whom two lads were carried into
captivity. This band was also pursued by Captain Holder, with a party of
seventeen men, who, coming up with the Indians, were likewise defeated
with a loss of seven killed and two wounded. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon. There is strong reason to doubt
 whether the Indians abused the persons of the women. If true, it was the
 only instance of the kind that is believed to have occurred during the
 war. It is a proud characteristic of the Indians, that they never
 violate the chastity of their female prisoners.


On the 15th of August, the post at Briant's station, five miles from
Lexington, was invested by a far more considerable party of the enemy,
numbering five hundred Indians and Canadians. After killing all the cattle
in the neighborhood, they assaulted the post on the third day but were
repulsed with a loss of about eighty killed and numbers wounded;--how
many, was not known. They were pursued on their retreat by Colonels Todd,
Trigg, and Boon, and Major Harland, at the head of one hundred and
seventy-six men, well armed and provided. The Indians drew the pursuers
into an unfavorable position on the 19th, when a severe battle ensued,
in which the Kentuckians were beaten with the loss of seventy-six men;
among whom were Colonels Todd and Trigg, Major Harland, and a son of
Colonel Boon. The battle lasted only fifteen minutes. The retreat from the
field was yet more disastrous than the battle itself. It was fought on the
banks of the main fork of the Licking river, at the great bend,
forty-three miles from Lexington. The Kentuckians were pursued across the
river, some on horseback and others on foot. Some were killed in the
river, and others while ascending the cliffs beyond. The arrival of the
fugitives at Lexington with the melancholy tidings, occasioned a scene of
weeping and deep lamentation, since a large portion of the male population
had fallen. Being reinforced a few days afterward, Colonel Boon returned
to bury the dead, which he represents as an affair of a most painful
description. So mangled and disfigured were the bodies, that their
identity could not be ascertained. The Colonel was afterward informed that
when the Indians discovered their own loss to have been four more than
that of the Kentuckians, four of the seven prisoners they had taken were
handed over to their young men to be put to death by torture.

On hearing of this disastrous affair, General Clark, who was at the Falls
of the Ohio, directed a pursuit of the Indians to their own towns of Old
and New Chilicothe, Peccaway, and Wills Town. Colonel Boon seems to have
led this expedition, although the fact is not expressly stated in his
narrative. Failing in an attempt to fall upon the Indians by surprise, the
Colonel took possession of their deserted towns, which were burnt with
fire. Seven prisoners and fifteen scalps were taken by the Kentuckians,
whose own loss was but four men; two of whom were killed by accident, not
by Indians. With these incidents closed the Indian war of the Revolution
on the Kentucky border.

But there yet remains a tale of murderous character to be recorded, which,
in its black and inexcusable atrocity, transcends any and every Indian
massacre which marked that protracted and unnatural contest It is a tale
of blood, too, in which the white men--not the Indians--are to be branded
as the savages.

On the banks of the Muskingum resided several communities of Indians, who
had embraced the peaceable tenets of the Moravians. They were of the
Delaware nation, and had removed to the Muskingum from Friedenshutten on
the Big Beaver, and from Wyalusing and Sheshequon on the Susquehanna, in
the year 1772. Notwithstanding the annoyance experienced by them in
consequence of the Cresap war, in 1774, their settlements, which were
named Schoenbrunn, Salem, and Gnadenhuetten, rose rapidly in importance,
and in a short time numbered upward of four hundred people. Among their
converts was the celebrated Delaware chief _Glickhickan,_ famous alike
for his bravery on the war-path, his wisdom in council, and his eloquence
in debate. Their location, being a kind of half-way station between the
white settlements and the hostile Indians of the lakes, was unpleasant
after the war of the Revolution came on, and subjected them to
difficulties alternately arising from the suspicions of both or all of
the belligerent parties, against whose evil intentions toward them they
were occasionally admonished. Still, their labors, their schools, and
their religions exercises were conducted and practised as usual.

Their spiritual guides, at the period now under discussion, were, Michael
Jung, David Zeisberger, and John Heckewelder, known in later times as the
Indian Historian. These people looked upon war with abhorrence;
maintaining that "the Great Being did not make men to destroy men, but to
love and assist each other." They had endeavored to dissuade some of
their own race from taking any part in the contest, and had likewise given
occasional information to the white settlements when threatened with
Indian invasions.

The hostile Indians frequently hovered around their settlements, and
sometimes threatened their destruction, under the pretext that their
neutrality was equivocal, and that they were secretly in alliance with the
Americans, to whom they were in the practice of giving timely notice of
the hostile advances of the Indians in the service of the King. [FN] In
1777 they were visited by the noted Huron chief, _Half King,_ at the head
of two hundred of his warriors, on his way to attack some of the frontier
settlements of Virginia. Half King at first menaced the Moravian
non-combatants; but Glickhickan appeased his ire by a timely supply of
refreshments, and diverted him from his purpose by an opportune speech,
declaring their religious sentiments and praising their missionaries.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Doddridge.


The British authorities at Detroit were by no means friendly to these
Moravian towns; early in the year 1781 they applied to the Great Council
of the Six Nations, assembled at Niagara, to remove them out of the
country. A message was accordingly sent by the Iroquois to the Ottawas and
Chippewas to this effect: "We herewith make you a present of the Christian
Indians to make soup of;" a figurative Indian expression equivalent to
saying--"We deliver these people to you to be killed." But neither the
Ottawas nor Chippewas would receive the message, which was returned with
the laconic reply--"We have no cause for doing this." The same message was
next sent to the Wyandots, but they at that time were equally indisposed
to make war upon their inoffensive brethren. [FN] But in the Autumn of
the same year, under the influence of McKee and Elliott, who had now
become captains in the ranks of the crown connected with the Indian
service at Detroit, and by reason of the more immediate persuasions of
Simon Girty, the bloodthirsty refugee associate of McKee and Elliott, who
was living among the Wyandots, over whom he had acquired great influence,
the poor Moravians, with their pious and self-denying ministers, were
forcibly removed, or rather compelled, by the hostile Indians, at the
instigation of those men, to remove to Sandusky. The leaders of the
Wyandots compelling this emigration, were Girty, Half King, and the
celebrated Captain Pipe. The sachem-convert, Glickhickan, was also carried
to Sandusky; and a young female relation of his, by her courage and
generosity, had well-nigh cost him his life. Apprehending that evil would
befall her friends, she stole a fine horse belonging to Captain Pipe, and
rode to Pittsburgh, to give the alarm in regard to the captive
missionaries and their congregations. In revenge for this courageous
action, Glickhickan was seized by a party of the Wyandot, or Huron
warriors, who raised the death-song, and would have put him to death but
for the interference of the Half King in his favor. Glickhickan was
subsequently examined by his captors, and his innocence of all
participation in the mission of the heroic squaw fully made to appear.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Heckewelder.


It was at a great sacrifice of property and comfort that these Indians
were torn thus from their homes. They had more than two hundred heads of
black cattle, and upward of four hundred swine, of which they were
deprived, together with large stores of corn, and three hundred acres more
just ripening for the harvest. They arrived at Sandusky on the 11th of
October--a distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles from their homes.
They were treated with great harshness on their march, especially by
Girty, who, in the course of the Winter subsequent to their removal,
caused their missionaries to be arrested by order of the commandant at
Detroit, to which place they were transferred. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] These good men, after many trials and vexations, were ultimately
 released, and Half King charged all the blame upon Girty, whose iniquity
 in the premises the Indian prince indignantly exposed and denounced. The
 British Government also censured the conduct of its officers in regard
 to the proceedings, especially the harsh treatment of the missionaries.


While the meek and pious missionaries, amid the tears and other
manifestations of grief of their people, were preparing for the journey
to Detroit, intelligence of a most painful character was received. Being
pressed by hunger at Sandusky, a considerable number of the Moravian
Indians, with some of their families, had been allowed to return to their
former habitations on the Muskingum, to secure their corn, and such other
provisions as they could find, and forward the same from time to time to
their suffering brethren. Unhappily, while this peaceable party were thus
engaged at Salem and Gnadenhuetten, the weather being favorable for the
operations of scalping parties, a few hostile Indians of Sandusky had made
a descent upon the Pennsylvania frontier, and murdered the family of Mr.
William Wallace, consisting of his wife and five or six children. A man
named John Carpenter was taken prisoner at the same time.

Enraged at these outrages, a band of between one and two hundred men, from
the settlements of the Monongahela, turned out in quest of the marauders,
thirsting for vengeance, under the command of Colonel David Williamson.
Each man provided himself with arms, ammunition, and provisions, and the
greater number were mounted. They bent their course directly for the
settlements of Salem and Gnadenhuetten, arriving within a mile of the
latter place at the close of the second day's march. Colonel Gibson,
commanding at Pittsburgh, having heard of Williamson's expedition,
despatched messengers to apprise the Indians of the circumstance, but they
arrived too late.

It was on the morning of the 7th of March that Williamson and his gang
reached the settlement of Gnadenhuetten, the very day on which the
Indians, having accomplished their labors, were bundling up their luggage
for retracing their steps to Sandusky. Some of their number, however, were
yet in the fields gathering corn, as were many others in the town of
Salem, at no great distance thence. The party of Williamson divided
themselves into three detachments, so disposed as to approach the
settlements from as many different points at once. The Indians had indeed
been apprised of Williamson's approach by four Delaware Indians on the
day before; but, conscious of their own innocence, and least of all
anticipating harm from the Americans, they continued in their pacific
occupations without suspicion of danger.

When within a short distance of the settlement, though yet in the woods,
the advance guard of one of Williamson's divisions met a young Indian
half-blood, named Joseph Shabosh, whom they murdered in the most cruel and
wanton manner. The youth was catching horses, when he was shot at and
wounded so badly that he could not escape. He then informed them who he
was; stated that his father was a white man and a Christian; and begged
for his life. But they regarded not his entreaties. His arm had been
broken by the first shot. He was killed by a second, tomahawked and
scalped, and cut into pieces with the hatchets of his murderers. Another
Indian youth, a brother-in-law of young Shabosh, who was engaged in
binding corn, about one hundred and fifty yards from the town, saw the
white men approaching. Knowing some of them, however, and supposing them
to be friends, he addressed them as such. But he was soon undeceived. He
saw them shoot one of his Indian brethren who was crossing the river in
a canoe, and immediately ran away in affright. Unfortunately, in his panic
he ran from the village instead of toward it, so that no alarm was given
until the Americans had quite proceeded into the heart of the town.

Many of the Indians were scattered over the fields at work, and were
hailed by Williamson's men representing themselves as "friends and
brothers, who had come purposely from Fort Pitt to relieve them from the
distress brought upon them by the enemy, on account of their being friends
to the American people." The Indians, not doubting their sincerity, gave
credence to their professions, and walking up to them, thanked them for
their kindness. Their treacherous visitors next persuaded them to cease
work and go into the village; as it was their purpose to take them to
Fort Pitt, in order to their greater security from the Wyandots, where
they would be abundantly supplied with all they might want. Delighted with
such an unexpected friendly visitation, the Indians mingled with the
strangers with the utmost cordiality, walking and conversing with them
like old acquaintances. They delivered up their arms, and began with all
alacrity to prepare food for their refreshment. Meantime a messenger was
despatched to Salem, "to inform the brethren and sisters there of what had
taken place at Gnadenhuetten; the messenger giving it as his opinion that
perhaps God had ordained it so, that they should not perish upon the
barrens of Sandusky, and that those people were sent to relieve them."

Pleased with the communication, and yet unwilling to act precipitately,
the party at Salem deputed two of their number to confer with their
brethren and the white men at Gnadenhuetten. Communications were
interchanged, which were mutually satisfactory. The dissembling of
Williamson and his men was so complete as to win the entire confidence of
the simple-minded people; and at the solicitation of the party at
Gnadenhuetten, those at Salem came over and joined their insidious
visitors, for the purpose of removing to the white settlements, where, as
they were farther assured, all their wants would be supplied by the
Moravian brethren at Bethlehem. A party of Williamson's men were detached
to Salem to assist in bringing all the Indians and their effects to
Gnadenhuetten; and, still farther to win upon the easy confidence of
their victims, this precious collection of assassins made zealous
professions of piety, and discoursed to the Indians, and among each other,
upon religious subjects. On leaving Salem, the white men applied the
torch to the houses and church of the village, under the pretext of
depriving the hostile Indians of their benefit.

Having, like their brethren at Gnadenhuetten, delivered up all their arms,
their axes, hatchets, and working-tools, under the stipulation that they
were all to be returned to them at Pittsburgh, the party from Salem set
out with light hearts to enjoy the white man's kind protection. But on
approaching the other village, their apprehensions were awakened, by marks
in the sand, as though an Indian had recently been weltering there in his
blood. They, nevertheless, proceeded to the village to join their
brethren; but on their arrival thither a sad change came over their
waking dream of happiness. Instead of being treated as Christian friends
and brothers, they were at once roughly designated as warriors and
prisoners; and already, previous to their arrival, had their brethren,
sisters, and children at Gnadenhuetten, been seized and confined for the
purpose of being put to death. The party from Salem were now completely
within the toils of their enemies. They could neither fight nor fly.
Besides that their religious creed forbade them to do the one, they had
no weapons of defence, and they were surrounded by armed men, who would
not suffer them to escape.

As a pretext for this usage, Williamson and his men now charged them with
having stolen their horses, and all their working tools and
furniture--charges not only untrue, but known to be so by their accusers.
A more humble, devout, and exemplary community of Christians, probably,
was not at that day to be found in the new world. Under the untiring
instructions of their missionaries, they had been taught the dress and
practices of civilized life. They were tillers of the soil, and had become
so well acquainted with the usages of society, and were so well furnished
with the necessaries and some of the luxuries of life, that they could set
a comfortable table and a cup of coffee before a stranger. All the animals
and articles charged upon them as having been stolen, were their own
private property, honestly acquired. But their protestations of innocence,
and their entreaties, alike were vain. Their betrayers were bent upon
shedding their blood.

Still, the officers were unwilling to take upon themselves the exclusive
responsibility of putting them to death, and the solemn farce of a council
was held upon the subject. By this tribunal it was determined that the
question of life or death should be decided by a vote of the whole
detachment. The men were thereupon paraded, and Williamson put the
question, "whether the Moravian Indians should be taken prisoners to
Pittsburgh, or put to death?" requesting all in favor of saving their
lives to advance in front of the line. Only sixteen or eighteen of the
whole number were by this process found to be inclined to mercy, and the
poor trembling prisoners were immediately admonished that they must
prepare to die.

Some, indeed, there were among the blood-thirsty gang eager to commence
the work of death _instanter_; but as the victims united in begging a
short delay for their devotions, the request was granted. "Then, asking
pardon for whatever offence they had given or grief they had occasioned
to each other, the Indians kneeled down, offering prayers to God their
Saviour--and kissing one another under a flood of tears, fully resigned
to his will, they sang praises unto Him, in the joyful hope that they
would soon be relieved from all pains, and join their Redeemer in
everlasting bliss. During the time of their devotions, the murderers were
consulting on the manner in which they would put them to death." Some
were for setting fire to the houses, and dispatching them as by an _auto
da fe_; others were for killing them outright, and bearing their scalps
as trophies back to their homes; while those who had opposed the execution
yet protested against "the deep damnation of their taking off," and
withdrew. Impatient of delay, the blood-thirsty wretches interrupted the
last hymn they could sing in this world, and demanded if they were not
ready for death. They were answered in the affirmative--the victims
adding: "That they had commended their immortal souls to God, who had
given them the assurance in their hearts that he would receive their
souls." Then seizing a mallet from a cooper's shop, one of the ruffians
commenced the work of murder by knocking the Indians on the head. Having
killed fourteen successively in this manner, he desisted, and handing the
weapon over to another, remarked--"Go on in the same way; I think I have
done pretty well!" Those who had opposed the murder stood at a distance,
wringing their hands, and calling God to witness "that they were innocent
of the lives of these harmless Christian Indians."

The first victim in the other slaughter-house--for such both in which the
Indians were confined became--was an aged Indian woman named Judith, a
widow, of great piety. In a few minutes the work of death was completed.
Ninety Indians, Christians and unarmed--unoffending in every respect--were
murdered in cold blood. Among them were old men and matrons, young men and
maidens, and infants at their mothers' breasts. Sixty-two of the number
were grown persons, one third of whom were women, and the remaining
thirty-four were children. Five of the slain were assistant teachers, two
of whom had been exemplary members of the pious Brainard's congregation
in New Jersey. The convert chief Isaac Glickhickan, was also among the
slain. Only two of the captives escaped this shocking massacre. They were
both young. One of them eluded the murderers by creeping unobserved into
a cellar, from whence he stole into the woods; and the other having been
knocked down and scalped, feigned death, and escaped after the murderers
left the place. This they did not do, however, until they supposed all
were dead. On completing the work, they retired for a short distance to
recruit their strength; but, as though resolved that not a living soul
should have the remotest chance of escape, they returned to take another
look at the dead; and observing a youth, scalped and bloody, supporting
himself with his hands upon the floor in order to rise, the monsters
dispatched him with their hatchets! As night drew on, they set fire to the
buildings, and thereupon departed for their own homes, singing and yelling
with demoniac joy at the victory they had achieved. According to the
accounts of the American newspapers of that day, this massacre was a very
commendable transaction; it was represented that the attack of Williamson
was made upon a body of warriors, who had been collecting a large quantity
of provisions in the Muskingum, for supplying their own warriors and other
hostile savages. It was stated, as the cause of their destruction having
been so complete, that they were surprised and attacked in their cabins
at night; and it was exultingly added, that "about eighty horses fell
into the hands of the victors, which they loaded with the plunder, the
greatest part furs and skins--and returned to the Ohio without the loss
of a man!" [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Pennsylvania Gazette, April 17,1782. The author will add, in this
 place, that the preceding account of this unparalleled case of wholesale
 murder has been chiefly prepared from the accurate and laborious
 Heckewelder, together with extracts from Doddridge's Notes on the Indian
 Wars, and Loekiel, as quoted in Drake's Book of the Indians.


If through the whole extent of the voluminous records of savage wars in
America, a deed of darker treachery, or of deeper atrocity, than this
massacre of the Moravian Indians, is to be found, it has thus far escaped
the research of the author of the present work. The uncivilized and
unchristianized savages themselves were amazed at the enormity of the
bloody deed. But the construction they put upon the transaction, as a
providential occurrence, was curious and striking. They said they had
envied the condition of their relations, the believing Indians, and could
not bear to look upon their happy and peaceful lives in contrast with
their own lives of privation and war. Hence they had endeavored to take
them from their own tranquil homes, and draw them back, into heathenism,
that they might be reduced again to a level with themselves. But the
Great Spirit would not suffer it to be so, and had taken them to himself.
[FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Heckewelder--Nar. Moravian Missions.


After this massacre, the Indians at Sandusky--not only those who were
Christians, but the Wyandots, and others who were hostile, watched the
movements of the whites along the Ohio with ceaseless vigilance. Two
months having expired after the destruction of the Moravians, another
expedition was organized to go against the Wyandots and other Indian
tribes in the Sandusky country. The number of men volunteering for the
campaign, was four hundred and eighty. They were mustered at the old
Mingo towns on the western bank of the Ohio. An election was held for the
office of Commander-in-chief of the expedition--Colonels Williamson and
William Crawford being the candidates. The choice devolved upon the
latter, who was an unwilling candidate, and accepted the post with
reluctance. The same men who had murdered the Moravians, composed the
present army in part, and the march was commenced with a determination
that not the life of an Indian, friend or foe, should be spared. The
expedition had been organized with great secrecy, as it was supposed; and
as the men were mounted, the intention was by a rapid march to fall upon
the Wyandot towns by surprise. Arriving, however, at the Moravian towns
where the murders had been committed, three Indians were discovered by
Crawford, who fled at a pace too rapid to be overtaken. The pursuit of
them was disorderly, and from the conduct of his men on that occasion,
their commander lost confidence in them, and from that moment entertained
a presentiment of defeat. So far from the advance of Crawford being a
secret, it ultimately appeared that the Indians had been narrowly watching
his progress at every step. They saw the gathering at the Mingo towns, and
counted their numbers. They had also been apprised of the resolve that
"no quarter was in any instance to be given." [FN] It was to be expected,
then, that at some point they would be prepared for Crawford's reception.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Doddridge.


Crawford and Williamson had intended first to strike upon the Moravian
town on the Sandusky; but on arriving at that place, they discovered that
the Indians had seasonably withdrawn so that the brave Williamson had no
non-combatants to vanquish. The town was, in fact, covered with tall
grass, the Indians having removed to the Scioto some time before. Crawford
and Williamson then directed their course for several towns of the hostile
Indians--by whom they were unexpectedly drawn into an engagement upon an
open prairie, the Indian warriors themselves being concealed by the
shrubbery upon its margin. Night came on before the battle was terminated;
and the Indians, expecting a reinforcement from the Shawanese before
morning, made their dispositions for surrounding the Americans at
daylight. But when morning came, the white man was not there. The
Americans, indeed, had not acquitted themselves like soldiers during the
engagement of the preceding afternoon, and they availed themselves of the
darkness to escape--greatly to the mortification of the Indians and their
daring leader, Captain Pipe. They had encamped upon the prairie; and so
silent was their flight, that some of them, not aware of the retreat, were
found by the Indians in the morning still sleeping amid the tall
prairie-grass, where they had laid themselves down.

An active pursuit of the fugitives took place, and many straggling
parties were overtaken and cut to pieces. Upward of a hundred were thus
either killed outright or taken. Among the latter were Colonel William
Crawford, his son, and Doctor McKnight. The former of these gentlemen
had rendered himself particularly offensive to the Indians by his
successful campaigns against them, so that his capture was a triumph. It
was still more unfortunate for him that he was taken while serving with
such a commander as Williamson--against whom, for his cruel treachery at
Gnadenhuetten, the savages were cherishing the bitterest feelings of
revenge. Crawford, however, had not been engaged in that shameful affair,
but being found among the same men who had murdered their friends and
relations in March, the Indians could not draw the distinction. They had
anxiously sought for Williamson, but on being informed that he was among
the first to escape, they called out "revenge! revenge!" on whomsoever
they had in their power.

Crawford would probably have made good his retreat but that he lingered
behind in anxiety for his son, whom he supposed yet to be in the rear.
After wandering two days in the woods with Dr. McKnight, both were taken
by a party of Delawares, and conducted to the Old Wyandot town. Here
Captain Pipe, with his own hands, painted the prisoners black, a certain
premonition of the doom that awaited them. From thence they were taken to
the New Wyandot town, passing on the way the mangled remains of a number
of their fellow-captives. At the new town, the place appointed for the
execution of Crawford, they found the noted Simon Girty. It had been
decided that Crawford should die by the most aggravated torture, to atone
in some degree for the murders by Williamson and his men at Gnadenhuetten.
After he was bound to the fatal post, the surviving Christian Indians were
called upon to come forth and take vengeance on the prisoner; but they had
withdrawn, and their savage relations stepped forward in their stead.
Before the work of torture was commenced, Captain Pipe addressed the
Indians at some length, and in the most earnest manner, at the close of
which they all joined in a hideous yell, and prepared for the work in
hand. The fire was kindled, when it occurred to poor Crawford, that among
the sachems he had a particular friend, named Wingemund. "Where is my
friend Wingemund?" he asked, "I wish to see him." It is true that this
chief had been the warm friend of Colonel Crawford, by whom he had been
entertained at his own house. Under these circumstances Crawford indulged,
a faint degree of hope, that if he could see the chief, his life might yet
be saved. Wingemund was not far distant, having, in fact, retired from the
place of execution, that he might not behold what he could not prevent. He
was sent for, however, and an interesting and even affecting conversation
ensued between himself and the prisoner. This conversation was commenced
by Crawford, who asked the chief if he knew him. He replied that he
believed he did, and asked--"Are you not Colonel Crawford?" "I am,"
replied the Colonel; and the conversation was thus continued--the chief
discovering much agitation and embarrassment, and
ejaculating--"So!--Yes!--Indeed!"

"_Colonel Crawford._ Do you not recollect the friendship that always
existed between us, and that we were always glad to see each other?

"_Sachem._ Yes, I remember all this; and that we have often drunk
together, and that you have been kind to me.

"_Col. C._ Then I hope the same friendship still continues.

"_Sachem._ It would, of course, were you where you ought to be, and not
here.

"_Col. C._ And why not here? I hope you would not desert a friend in time
of need; now is the time for you to exert yourself in my behalf, as I
should do for you were you in my place.

"_Sachem._ Colonel Crawford, you have placed yourself in a situation which
puts it out of my power, and that of others of your friends, to do any
thing for you.

"_Col. C._ How so, Captain Wingemund?

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

"_Col. C._ But, I assure you, Wingemund, that had I been with him at the
time, this would not have happened. Not I alone, but all your friends, and
all good men, reprobate acts of this kind.

"_Sachem._ That may be, yet these friends, these good men, did not prevent
him from going out again to kill the remainder of those inoffensive yet
foolish Moravian Indians. I say _foolish,_ because they believed the
whites in preference to us. We had often told them that they would one day
be so treated by those people who called themselves their friends. We told
them there was no faith to be placed in what the white men said; that
their fair promises were only intended to allure, that they might the more
easily kill us, as they have done many Indians before they killed those
Moravians.

"_Col. C._ I am sorry to hear you speak thus. As to Williamson's going out
again, when it was known that he was determined on it, I went out with him
to prevent him from committing fresh murders.

"_Sachem._ This the Indians would not believe, were I to tell them so.

"_Col. C._ And why would they not believe it?

"_Sachem._ Because it would have been out of your power to prevent his
doing what he pleased.

"_Col. C._ Out of my power? Have any Moravian Indians been, killed or hurt
since we came out?

"_Sachem._ None. But you went first to their town, and finding it empty
and deserted, you turned on the path toward us. If you had been in search
of warriors only, you would not have gone thither. Our spies watched you
closely. They saw you while you were embodying yourselves on the other
side of the Ohio. They saw you cross that river; they saw where you
encamped at night; they saw you turn off from the path to the deserted
Moravian town; they knew you were going out of your way; your steps were
constantly watched; and you were suffered quietly to proceed until you
reached the spot where you were attacked.

"_Col. C._ (With emotion.) What do they intend to do with me?

"_Sachem._ I tell you with grief. As Williamson, with his whole cowardly
host, ran off in the night at the whistling of our warriors' balls, being
satisfied that now he had no Moravians to deal with, but men who could
fight, and with such he did not wish to have any thing to do; I say, as he
has escaped, and they have taken you, they will take revenge on you in his
stead.

"_Col. C._ And is there no possibility of preventing this? Can you devise
no way to get me off? You shall, my friend, be well rewarded, if you are
instrumental in saving my life.

"_Sachem._ Had Williamson been taken with you, I and some friends, by
making use of what you have told me, might, perhaps, have succeeded in
saving you; but as the matter now stands, no man would dare to interfere
in your behalf. The King of England himself were he to come to this spot
with all his wealth and treasure, could not effect this purpose. The blood
of the innocent Moravians, more than half of them women and children,
cruelly and wantonly murdered, calls aloud for _revenge._ The relatives of
the slain, who are among us, cry out and stand ready for _revenge._ The
Shawanese, our grand-children, have asked for your fellow-prisoner; on him
they will take _revenge._ All the nations connected with us cry out,
_revenge! revenge!_ The Moravians, whom you went to destroy, having fled
instead of avenging their brethren, the offence has become national, and
the nation itself is bound to take _revenge._

"_Col. C._ My fate is then fixed, and I must prepare to meet death in its
worst form.

"_Sachem._ Yes, Colonel. I am sorry for it, but I cannot do any thing for
you. Had you attended to the Indian principle, that good and evil cannot
dwell together in the same heart, so a good man ought not to go into evil
company, you would not have been in this lamentable situation. You see
now, when it is too late, after Williamson has deserted you, what a bad
man he must be. Nothing now remains for you but to meet your fate like a
brave man. Farewell, Colonel Crawford! They are coming. I will retire to
a solitary spot." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Heckewelder's Indian Nations.


On turning away from his friend, whom it was not in his power to assist,
it is said the old Sachem was affected to tears, and could never
afterward speak of the incident without deep emotion. The moment the chief
had left the Colonel, a number of the executioners rushed upon him, and
commenced the work of torture, which was in progress three hours before
the victim fell upon his face and expired with a groan. During the
proceedings against him, he was continually and bitterly upbraided for the
conduct of the white men at Gnadenhuetten. If not himself a participator
in that atrocious affair, they reproached him for having now come against
them with the worst kind of murderers--such as even Indians had not among
them. "Indians," said they, "kill their enemies, but not their friends.
When once they have stretched forth their hand, and given that endearing
name, they do not kill. But how was it with the believing Indians on the
Muskingum? You professed friendship for them. You hailed and welcomed them
as such. You protested they should receive no harm from you. And what did
you afterward to them? They neither ran from you, nor fired a single shot
on your approach. And yet you called them warriors, knowing they were not
such! Did you ever hear warriors pray to God, and sing praises to him, as
they did? Could not the shrieks and cries of the innocent little children
excite you to pity, and to save their lives? No! you did not! You would
have the Indians believe you are Christians, because you have the Great
Book among you, and yet you are murderers in your hearts! Never would the
unbelieving Indians have done what you did, although the Great Spirit has
not put his Book into their hands as into yours! The Great Spirit taught
you to read all that he wanted you to do, and what he forbade that you
should do. These Indians believed all that they were told was in that
Book, and believing, strove to act accordingly. We knew you better than
they did. We often warned them to beware of you and your pretended
friendship; but they would not believe us. They believed nothing but good
of you, and for this they paid with their lives." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Heckewelder's Narrative of the Moravian Missions. "There was farther
 a circumstance much against this unfortunate man, which enraged the
 Indians to a high degree. It was reported that the Indian spies sent to
 watch their movements, on examining a camp which Crawford and Williamson
 had left, west of the Ohio, had found on trees peeled for the purpose,
 the words, written with coal and other mineral substances--'_No quarters
 to be given to an Indian, whether man, woman, or child._' When the
 Indians find inscriptions on trees or other substances, they are in the
 habit of making exact copies of them, which they preserve until they find
 some one to read or interpret them. Such was the fact in the present
 case, and the inscription was sufficient to enrage them."--_Idem._


It was, indeed, most unhappy for Colonel Crawford, that he had been
captured in such company; but never were reproaches more righteously
heaped upon the heads of the guilty than on this occasion. Never was the
scorpion lash of satire more justly inflicted--could but the really guilty
have been there to feel its withering rebuke. The son of Colonel Crawford,
himself doomed to the same fate, was present with Dr. Knight, {_sic_} and
obliged to behold the torture, and listen to the agonising ejaculations of
his parent, without being able to render assistance or offer a word of
consolation. [FN] The sufferings of the son followed close upon those of
the father; but with Dr. Knight it was otherwise. He was reserved for
sacrifice by the Shawanese, and while on his way thither contrived to
escape, and, after twenty-one days of hardship and hunger in the
wilderness, succeeded in gaining Fort McIntosh.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Withren's Chronicles, quoted by Drake in his Book of the Indians.
 Dr. Ramsay says it was Colonel Crawford's son-in-law who was present, and
 subsequently underwent the same fate.


The defeat of Colonel Boon at the Blue Licks in August, the massacre of
the Moravian Indians, and the fate of Crawford and his expedition, are the
last tales of blood connected with the American Revolution. It is true
that in September following, a large body of Indians laid siege to the
fort at Wheeling, but the siege was raised without farther bloodshed than
the death of one man in the fort and of three or four without. A barn was
burnt at Rice's fort, which was also invested, but not seriously, and the
Indians withdrew to their own wilds. Should the details of the last few
pages be considered rather too ample for the general plan of the present
work, it must be remembered that the awarding of justice to the Indian
character also entered largely into its design. The transaction on the
Muskingum forms one of the darkest pages in the records of civilized war;
unsurpassed, certainly, if not unparalleled, in the history, written or
unwritten, of the whole aboriginal race. The victims were not only
innocent and harmless, but, obedient to the precepts of their religion,
offered no resistance to their hypocritical murderers, and poured out
their blood like water--crimson libations in sacrifice to the white man's
rapacity and hate. Nor can the Indians be censured for the fate of
Crawford.

With the exception of the Indian details in the present chapter, the year
1782 passed away without furnishing any military operations of moment,
under the immediate direction of the respective Commanders-in-chief. Sir
Guy Carleton had probably been restrained from offensive war by
instructions conforming to the pacific vote of the House of Commons, cited
in the early part of the present chapter; while the condition of the
American army, had Washington been otherwise disposed, disabled him from
making any attempt on the posts in possession of the British. Generals
Greene and Wayne had reconquered the south; and Sir Guy Carleton had
directed the officers of his Majesty in the north to send out no more
Indian expeditions and to recall those already on foot. Still,
notwithstanding all these conciliatory indications, there remained a
possibility that the conflict was not yet ended. A change of ministers in
England might produce a change of policy. In view of this uncertainty, the
Commander-in-chief relaxed none of his efforts during the year to
preserve the discipline of the army, and keep the country in an attitude
of defence. In pursuance of this policy, in the month of January, 1783,
news of the signing of a treaty of peace not having yet been received,
the Commander-in-chief conceived the project of surprising and obtaining
possession of the important fortress of Oswego. It was the occupation of
this post which gave the British such ready facilities for intriguing with
the Six Nations on the one hand, and for pouring their motley battalions
down upon the American settlements; and the Commander-in-chief judged
wisely, that in the event of another campaign the possession of that
fortress would be of the first consequence to the Americans, being then
one of the most formidable military defences on the Continent.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Marshall.


Having determined to attempt its capture by surprise, the execution of the
project was confided to Colonel Willett. With the utmost secrecy
therefore, as to destination, the troops of his command were suddenly
assembled at Fort Herkimer on the eighth of February. Commencing their
march immediately, on the night of the 9th they crossed the Oneida lake,
and arrived at Oswego Falls, a few miles only from the fortress, by two
o'clock P. M. on the following day. With the small force under his
command, and without the means of prosecuting a siege, it was of course
necessary to carry the works by escalade if at all. Halting, therefore, at
the Falls, the necessary ladders were constructed and the march was
resumed. At 10 o'clock in the evening they were within four miles of the
fort. After which, having marched about two hours, and not coming in sight
of the point of destination, an investigation of the cause was undertaken,
when, to the astonishment and mortification of the Commander, and to the
vexation of the whole corps, it was ascertained that, by diverging from
the river, their guide, a young Oneida Indian, had lost his way. The
situation was, indeed, awkward and perplexing. They had been at one time
nearly within speaking distance of the works, and the shout of victory was
almost raised in anticipation, when suddenly they discovered that they
were lost in a deep forest, in the depth of winter, and amid mountains of
snow. It was too late to prosecute the enterprise any farther that night.
They could not remain in the vicinity of the fortress over the ensuing
day without being discovered. And the instructions of the
Commander-in-chief were peremptory, that if they failed in surprising the
fort, the attempt would be unwarrantable. The only alternative, therefore,
was to relinquish the enterprise, and reluctantly retrace their steps. It
was a sad mistake of the poor Indian, but not an error of design. The
march had been one of great severity and fatigue. The guide had led them
into a swamp, and while they were standing still, after discovering
themselves to be lost, so cold was the weather, that the feet of some of
the men froze into the mire. The return march was even more painful still,
because of the lameness of some and the varied sufferings of others. One
man was frozen to death. But all happened well in the end, for on Colonel
Willett's return to Fort Rensselaer, and thence to Albany, he arrived at
the ancient Dutch capital just in season to hear the welcome news of peace
proclaimed by the Town Clerk at the City Hall, and to mingle his
rejoicings with those of the inhabitants.

An agreement for the cessation of hostilities between the United States
and Great Britain was signed by the respective commissioners of the two
powers on the 20th of January, upon the basis of the articles stipulated
in Paris on the 30th of the preceding November. And on the 24th of March,
a letter was received from the Marquis de Lafayette, announcing a general
peace. On the 11th of April Congress issued its proclamation, declaring
the cessation of arms by sea and land.

In regard to the failure of Colonel Willett's last expedition, no possible
censure was imputable to him. In reply to the Colonel's official account
of the affair, General Washington wrote a characteristic letter,
approving of his conduct, and consoling him for his disappointment.
"Unfortunate as the circumstance is," said the Commander-in-chief, "I am
happy in the persuasion that no imputation or reflection can justly reach
your character; and that you are enabled to derive much consolation from
the animated zeal, fortitude, and activity of the officers and soldiers
who accompanied you. The failure, it seems, must be attributed to some of
those unaccountable events which are not within the control of human
means, and which, though they often occur in military life, yet require,
not only the fortitude of the soldier, but the calm reflection of the
philosopher to bear. I cannot omit expressing to you the high sense I
entertain of your persevering exertions and zeal on this expedition; and
beg you to accept my warm thanks on the occasion; and that you will be
pleased to communicate my gratitude to the officers and men who acted
under your command, for the share they had in that service."

Thus ends the history of the border wars of the American Revolution--the
principal theatres of which were in the districts north and west of
Albany. The vale of the Mohawk, including its intersecting valley of the
Schoharie-kill, was among the most thickly populated and wealthy
agricultural districts of the country at the commencement of the war. The
productiveness of its soil, and the riches of its people, rendered it
ever an inviting object of plunder to the enemy--especially to the
savages, and the swarms of refugees who had fled from the country, and
were sharing a precarious livelihood among the Indian wigwams and in the
wilds of Canada. Its geographical position, moreover, rendered it the
most easily assailable of any well-peopled section of the whole Union;
while at the same time the larger armies of the enemy were employed
elsewhere, and of course required the greatest portion of the physical
strength of the country elsewhere to oppose them. The consequence of
these, and other circumstances that might be enumerated, was, that no
other section or district of country in the United States, of the like
extent, suffered in any comparable degree as much from the war of the
Revolution as did that of the Mohawk. It was the most frequently invaded
and overrun; and that, too, by an enemy far more barbarous than the native
barbarians of the forest. Month after month, for seven long years, were
its towns and villages, its humbler settlements and isolated habitations,
fallen upon by an untiring and relentless enemy, until, at the close of
the contest, the appearance of the whole district was that of wide-spread,
heart-sickening, and universal desolation. In no other section of the
confederacy were so many campaigns performed, so many battles fought, so
many dwellings burnt, or so many murders committed. And those who were
left at the return of peace, were literally a people "scattered and
peeled." It was the computation, two years before the close of the war,
that one third of the population had gone over to the enemy, and that one
third had been driven from the country, or slain in battle and by private
assassination. And yet, among the inhabitants of the other remaining
third, in June, 1783, it was stated, at a public meeting held at Fort
Plain, that there were three hundred widows and two thousand orphan
children. But with the news of peace the dispersed population began to
return to the sites of their former homes. [FN] Their houses were rebuilt,
and their farms once more brought into cultivation; while different and
not less enterprising occupants, deriving their titles from the state,
took possession of the confiscated lands of those who had adhered to the
cause of the crown. The spirit of industry and enterprise, so
characteristic of the American people, was not long in imparting a new
aspect to the scene; and Tryon County, exchanging her name for that of the
patriot Montgomery, soon smiled through her tears.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Along with the returning patriots, as Satan was wont in the olden
 time occasionally to present himself in better company, some of the
 Tories began to steal back into the country they had forsaken, and
 assisted to drench in tears of blood. But the Whig population would not
 endure their presence. The preceding narrative of events has shown that
 the Tryon County loyalists, who had taken arms in company with the
 Indians, were far more revengeful and bloody than were the Indians
 themselves. It is no marvel, therefore, that a feeling of peculiar
 bitterness against them existed in the bosoms of those who had suffered
 so keenly at their hands. These feelings were embodied and declared at
 two public meetings held in different sections of Tryon County, in June,
 1783; for which, see Appendix, No. V.


Other scenes and other wars will afford materials for the remaining
chapters of the present volumes, as connected with the subsequent life
and career of Joseph Brant--Thayendanegea.



                          CHAPTER VIII.



 The Treaty of Peace--Neglect of her Indian allies by Great
  Britain--Brant's negotiations with General Haldimand for a new
  territory--The Senecas invite the Mohawks to settle in the Genesee
  Valley--Declined--The Grand River country granted to the Mohawks by Sir
  Frederick Haldimand--Indian policy of the United States--Views of
  Washington and General Schuyler--Treaty with the Six Nations at Fort
  Stanwix--Corn-planter and Red Jacket take opposite aides--Peace with the
  Six Nations--Dissatisfaction of the Indians--Of Thayendanegea in
  particular--Letter of Brant to Colonel Monroe--Relinquishes his design
  of going then to England--Returns to Grand River--Differences of
  opinion with Sir John Johnson--Brant sails for England in the Autumn of
  1785--His arrival--Glimpses of his ulterior designs--His distinguished
  reception--Enters upon the business of his mission--Letter to Lord
  Sidney--Speech of Brant to Lord Sidney--Letter of Lord Sidney in
  reply--Question of half-pay--Brant's Letter to Sir Evan Nepean--His
  associations with the great--Keen sarcasm upon a nobleman--Striking
  incident at a grand masquerade--Brant's attention to the moral wants of
  his people--His return to Canada.


The treaty of November, 1782, restoring peace between the United States
and Great Britain, and recognising the unconditional independence of the
former, was such as to gratify every reasonable wish of the American
people. In regard to questions of boundary and the fisheries, it was,
indeed, more liberal than their allies, France and Spain, desired.
Professedly, France had drawn the sword in behalf of the United States;
but the negotiations for peace presented the singular fact, that but for
the diplomacy of the former, the treaty of peace would have been sooner
completed. The negotiation was a work of intricacy, requiring skill,
penetration, judgment, and great firmness on the part of the American
commissioners--qualities which their success proved them to possess in an
eminent degree. But, although the American treaty was first definitively
concluded, less than two months elapsed before preliminary articles of
peace were agreed upon and signed between Great Britain, France, and
Spain; France having the satisfaction of seeing her great rival
dismembered of the fairest portion of her American possessions, as she
herself had been by that very power twenty years before.

In the treaty with the United States, however, Great Britain had made no
stipulation in behalf of her Indian allies. Notwithstanding the alacrity
with which the aboriginals, especially the Mohawks, had entered the
service of the crown--notwithstanding their constancy, their valor, the
readiness with which they had spilt their blood, and the distinguished
services of their Great Captain, Thayendanegea, the loyal red man was not
even named in the treaty; while "the ancient country of the Six Nations,
the residence of their ancestors from the time far beyond their earliest
traditions, was included within the boundary granted to the Americans."
[FN-1] What with the descent of Colonel Van Schaick upon the Onondagas,
and the expedition of General Sullivan into their territory farther west,
their whole country had been ravaged with fire and sword; and the Mohawks,
in particular, had sacrificed the entire of their own rich and beautiful
country. It appears, however, that when the Mohawks first abandoned their
native valley to embark in his Majesty's service, Sir Guy Carleton had
given a pledge, that as soon as the war was at an end they should be
restored, at the expense of the government, to the condition they were in
before the contest began. In April, 1779, General Haldimand, then Captain
General and Commander-in-chief in Canada, ratified the promise of his
predecessor, pledging himself, under hand and seal, as far as in him lay,
to its faithful execution "as soon as that happy time should come." [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] MS. memorial of the Six Nations, presented to Lord Camden by
 Teyoninhokarawen, commonly called John Norton.

 [FN-2] MS. order of General Haldimand, among the Brant papers.


At the close of the war the Mohawks were temporarily residing on the
American side of the Niagara river, in the vicinity of the old
landing-place above the fort. The Senecas, who had been in closer alliance
with the Mohawks during the war than any other of the Six Nations, and who
had themselves been chiefly induced by the former to take up the hatchet
against the United States, offered them a tract of land in the valley of
the Genesee. But, as Captain Brant long afterward said in one of his
speeches, the Mohawks were determined "to sink or swim" with the English;
and besides, they did not wish to reside within the boundaries of the
United States. The generous offer of the Senecas was therefore declined,
and the Mohawk Chief proceeded to Montreal to confer with the
Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Sir John Johnson, and from
thence to Quebec, to claim from General Haldimand, the Commander-in-chief,
the fulfillment of his pledge. The General received the warrior with great
kindness, and evinced every disposition to fulfill the pledge in the most
honorable manner. The tract upon which the chief had fixed his attention
was situated upon the Bay de Quinte, on the north side of the St.
Lawrence, or rather of Lake Ontario; and at his request General Haldimand
agreed that it should be purchased and conveyed to the Mohawks.

On the return of Thayendanegea to Niagara, the Senecas were disappointed
at the arrangement, and pained at the idea that their friends were to be
located at so wide a distance from them. They were apprehensive that their
troubles with the United States were not yet at an end; and were,
therefore, exceedingly desirous that the Mohawks should reside so near as
to assist them in arms if necessary, or afford them an asylum should they
be obliged to flee from the oppression of the United States. Under these
circumstances Captain Brant convened a council of his people, and it was
resolved that he should make a second visit to Quebec, and, under the
peculiar circumstances of the case, request another and more convenient
territory. The country upon the Ouise, or Grand River, flowing into Lake
Erie some forty miles above the Falls of Niagara, was indicated to
General Haldimand as a location every way convenient, not only for
maintaining a ready intercourse with the residue of the Six Nations, but
also as affording facilities for corresponding with the nations and tribes
of the upper lakes. His Excellency approved of the suggestion, and
promptly ordered a second purchase to be made in conformity with the
request. On inquiring the extent of the territory expected by the Mohawks,
the Captain replied, "Six miles on each side of the river, from the mouth
to its source." With assurances that the grant should be formally secured
in fee, in due season, the chief returned once more to Niagara, and
shortly afterward entered into possession of the lands allotted for the
new home of his people. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This narrative of facts is derived from a long speech of Captain
 Brant, made in council, to Gov. Simcoe, in 1795, a copy of which is
 preserved among the Brant papers.


In the Autumn of 1784, having learned that General Haldimand was about
returning to England, the vigilant chief repaired to Quebec a third time
upon this business, in order to make sure of the title deed. The result of
this visit was a formal grant by Sir Frederick Haldimand, in the name of
the crown, of a tract of land "upon the banks of the river Ouise, commonly
called Grand River, running into Lake Erie, of six miles breadth from each
side of the river, beginning at Lake Erie, and extending in that
proportion to the head of said river; which the Mohawks, and others of the
Six Nations who had either lost their possessions in the war, or wished to
retire from them to the British, with their posterity, were to enjoy
forever." [FN-1] The course of the river Ouise is about one hundred miles,
so that the grant embraced a territory of that extent in length by twelve
miles in width. "This tract, though much smaller than that which they had
been obliged to forsake within the United States, amply satisfied these
loyal Indians, who preferred living under the protection of His Britannic
Majesty, (ready to fight under his standard again, if occasion should
require,) to a more extensive country." [FN-2] The district of country
thus granted, is said to be alike beautiful and fertile. The Grand River
rises in the interior of the country toward Lake Huron, and winds its way
to Lake Erie through a long and picturesque course. It is navigable for
small vessels many miles upward, and for large boats a much greater
distance still. The land along its whole course is uncommonly productive.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Copy of the Grant, among the Brant papers.

 [FN-2] Norton's Memorial to Lord Camden.


The policy to be observed by the United States toward the Indians residing
within their borders, was a question of grave and weighty importance, and
early arrested the consideration of American statesmen. Very soon after
the English came into possession of the Colony of New-York, the Six
Nations relinquished their own primitive right of absolute sovereignty,
and placed themselves and their lands under the protection of the
government of New-York, [FN-1] reserving to themselves a kind of qualified
sovereignty. The immediate object of this act, on the part of the Indians,
was to secure the alliance of the English in their wars with the French,
and the Huron and Algonquin Indians in Canada. [FN-2] Subsequently, during
the Colonial administration, the Indians were considered as separate but
dependent nations. [FN-3] Aside from this circumstance, however, by the
treaty of peace the sovereignty of all the Indian countries within the
prescribed limits granted to the United States by Great Britain, became
vested in the former, to the same extent, of course, as it had been
exercised by Great Britain. With that sovereignty, moreover, the exclusive
right of preemption to all the Indian lands lying within the territory of
the United States also became vested in them--subject to the possessory
right only of the natives. [FN-4] These rights had been acquired by
England by discovery, which, under the practice of the European nations,
was held to be equivalent to conquest; and although the natives were
admitted to possess a just and legal claim, as the original occupants of
the soil, to retain and use it according to their own discretion, still
they were not allowed to dispose of the soil at their own will, except to
the government claiming the right of preemption. [FN-5] Such was the
practice of Spain, France, Holland, and England; and as early as 1782,
Mr. Jay, then the American Minister at the Court of Madrid, in his
correspondence with the Count d'Aranda, asserted the adoption of the same
principle on the part of the United States. [FN-6] But while the right of
sovereignty, as it had been exercised by England, passed over to the
United States by virtue of the treaty, under the complicated system of the
confederacy, the preemptive right to the soil became vested in the
respective States within whose boundaries or grants they were
situated--the States themselves being so many sovereign powers in all
matters of national import which had not been specially conceded to the
Government of the Union under the Articles of Confederation.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Kent's Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 399.

 [FN-2] Colden's Canada.

 [FN-3] Kent's Commentaries.

 [FN-4] Kent's Commentaries, vol. i. p. 257.

 [FN-5] Idem, vol. iii. p. 379.

 [FN-6] Life and Writings of John Jay.


The treatment of the Six Nations by the Dutch Colonial Government had been
kind and liberal. So, also, had it been under the Colonial Government of
England--the Indians, in no instance, being dispossessed of a rood of
ground, except by purchase. Immediately on the conclusion of the war,
however, England having made no stipulation in behalf of the Indians, a
disposition was manifested by the Legislature of New-York to expel the
Six Nations from all the country within the bounds of that state, which
had not been ceded by them previous to the war. [FN] This disposition,
which seems, likewise, to have been entertained to some extent in other
states, was viewed with great concern by Generals Washington and Schuyler,
who united in the opinion that such a line of policy would be alike
injudicious, inhuman, and unjust. General Schuyler addressed a memorial
to Congress upon the subject in July. Coinciding entirely in the
sentiments of Schuyler, Washington followed up that communication by a
long letter to James Duane, then in Congress, in September. The views of
these gentlemen were, that the most liberal and humane policy should be
adopted in respect to the Indians. True, they had taken up the hatchet in
favor of the crown, and by a rigid construction of the laws of conquest,
they might be dispossessed of their lands, and driven, with their allies,
north beyond the lakes. But General Washington strongly urged, that while
the Indians should be informed of the strict right of the United States
to deal thus severely with them, and compel them to share the same evil
fortune with those whom they had chosen for their allies, nevertheless,
looking upon them as a people who had been deluded into the service of the
crown, they should be allowed honorable terms of peace, and to retain the
possession of lands and hunting grounds, to be designated by treaty,
within the boundaries of which they should not be molested. It was the
desire of Washington, that with regard to these children of the forest, a
veil should be drawn over the past, and that they should be taught that
their true interest and safety must henceforward depend upon the
cultivation of amicable relations with the United States. In regard to the
Six Nations, he thought the course which the Legislature of New-York
seemed desirous of pursuing would involve the country in another Indian
war, since the Indians would never surrender their whole territory without
another struggle; while he justly held that all the territory that was
actually wanted by the people of the United States might be obtained by
negotiation and compromise. As a general principle, moreover, it was held
that, in all time to come, it would be much cheaper to obtain cessions of
land from the Indians, from time to time, as they should be required for
the extension of settlements, by purchase, than to acquire them by
conquest--to say nothing of the sufferings, the evils, and the guilt of
war. Upon this whole subject of Indian policy there was an entire
coincidence of opinion between Washington and Schuyler. Most happily it
prevailed, and the subsequent cession by the states of their Indian lands
to the general government, facilitated the benevolent action of the latter
under that system; the wisdom of which, irrespective of its justice and
humanity, has become every year more apparent since.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of Washington to James Duane, Sept 7, 1783.


It was while the Mohawk chief was occupied in making his final
arrangements with the Canadian Commander-in-chief, as has been seen a few
pages back, that the sachems and warriors of the Six Nations were holding
a treaty with the United States at Fort Stanwix. At this negotiation, the
Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Oneidas, Cayugas, Tuscaroras, and
Seneca-Abeal [FN-1] nations were represented. The Commissioners on the
part of the United States were Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur
Lee. The records of this treaty, containing the speeches interchanged on
the occasion, seem not to have been preserved, as has been usual in
diplomatic matters with the Indians. Nothing appears upon the subject
among the Indian state-papers at the seat of Government, save the naked
result of the council, in the form of a very brief treaty, signed by the
nations represented instead of the several chiefs. It is known, however,
that among the leading chiefs who took an active part in the negotiations,
were the Corn-planter and Red Jacket; and enough is to be gathered from
the records of subsequent transactions with the Indians, to afford a
general idea of the course of these proceedings. Beyond doubt the
representatives of the Six Nations at that council were opposed to a
separate negotiation with the United States. Their desire was, that no
definitive treaty of peace and boundaries should be concluded, unless the
whole ground was covered at once; and, as a consequence, they strenuously
urged that the Hurons, Ottawas, Shawanese, Chippewas, Delawares,
Pottawattamies, the Wabash Confederates, and the Cherokees, should be
represented, in order that the whole question of boundaries, on all the
Indian borders, might be determined. [FN-2] But the Commissioners on the
part of the United States would listen to no such delay. The Six Nations,
as such, had taken up the hatchet in favor of the crown, and it was
determined to punish them by a dismemberment of their territory. Red
Jacket, a somewhat younger chief than the Corn-planter, was opposed to a
burial of the hatchet, and spoke with great eloquence and vehemence in
favor of a continuance of the war by the Indians on their own account.
"His speech was a masterpiece, and every warrior who heard him was carried
away with his eloquence." [FN-3] The Corn-planter was a wiser man than his
junior associate. He saw the folly of a war to be waged by the Indians
single-handed against the United States, and he exerted himself with all
his power in favor of peace. He saw that the only alternative of his
people was the relinquishment of a portion of their territory by
compromise, or the loss of the whole by force. His efforts were in the end
successful, and on the 22d of October a treaty was signed, by which the
United States gave peace to the Mohawks, Senecas, Onondagas, and
Cayugas--the four hostile nations of the confederacy--and received them
under their protection on condition that all the prisoners, white and
black, in the possession of the said nations, should be delivered up; the
Oneidas and Tuscaroras were secured in the possession of the lands then
in their occupation; the Six Nations at the same time relinquishing all
claims to the country west of a line beginning at the mouth of the
Oyonwayea Creek, flowing into Lake Ontario four miles east of Niagara;
thence southerly, but preserving a line four miles east of the carrying
path, to the mouth of the Tehoseroron, or Buffalo Creek; thence to the
north boundary of Pennsylvania; thence west to the end of that boundary;
and thence south along the Pennsylvania line, to the river Ohio. All the
Six Nations were to be secured in the possession of the lands they were
then occupying; and six hostages were to be delivered to the United
States, to remain in their possession until all the prisoners, whose
liberation was stipulated, should be surrendered by the Indians. [FN-4]
There was likewise a stipulation that the Indians should deliver up
certain persons of their own people, who were considered very great
offenders, to be tried by the civil laws of the United States. Two
persons were surrendered under this stipulation; but the Indians afterward
complained, that, instead of being tried according to law, they were
wrested from the hands of the magistrate by some of the lowest of the
white people, and immediately put to death. [FN-5]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The clan of the Senecas residing with the Corn-planter on the
 Allegheny.

 [FN-2] Speech of the united Indian nations at a confederate council,
 holden at the month of the Detroit River, November and December, 1786.

 [FN-3] Drake, who translates from Levasseur's Lafayette in America. The
 Marquis de Lafayette was present at the treaty, and, when visited by Red
 Jacket at Buffalo, during his tour through the United States in
 1824-25, the General was reminded by the venerable chief of the
 circumstance of their former meeting at Fort Stanwix. This is the
 earliest account given of the eloquence of the man of the woods who
 afterward became so renowned for his oratory.

 [FN-4] Vide the treaty itself, American State Papers, Indian Affairs,
 vol. i. Originally the Five Nations claimed "all the land not sold to the
 English, from the mouth of Sorel River, on the south side of Lakes Erie
 and Ontario, on both sides of the Ohio until it falls into the
 Mississippi; and on the north side of those lakes, that whole territory
 between the Ottawa river and Lake Huron, and even beyond the straights
 between that and Lake Erie."--_Smith's History._

 [FN-5] Speech of Big Tree, Corn-planter, and Half-Town, to President
 Washington, in 1790.


The result of this negotiation gave great dissatisfaction to the Indians
generally; and the crafty Red Jacket afterward availed himself of the
advantages of his position, in stealing the hearts of the Senecas from the
Corn-planter to himself. The Mohawk chief, Thayendanegea, was likewise
highly displeased with the conditions of the treaty, the more so,
doubtless, from the circumstance that Captain Aaron Hill, a subordinate
chief of the Mohawk nation, was detained as one of the hostages under the
treaty. When he heard of the proceedings, the old chief was at Quebec. He
had completed his business with Sir Frederick Haldimand, and was on the
point of embarking for England, to adjust the claims of his nation upon
the crown for their sacrifices during the war. The design of going abroad
was immediately relinquished for that season, and Captain Brant hastened
back to his own country, to look after the welfare of his own people at
home. He arrived at Cataraqui on the 27th of November, and two days
afterward addressed a long letter to Colonel James Monroe, [FN] in which,
after expressing a wish that the letter may find the Colonel in health,
and thanking him for some recent personal civilities, he says--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Whether the Colonel Monroe, to whom this letter was addressed, was
 the late President of the United States, the author has not ascertained;
 and if so, it does not appear how he was connected with the Fort Stanwix
 treaty.


"I was at Quebec, getting ready to set off from thence for England (you
know my business there perfectly well.) About the same time I received an
account that our chief, Capt Aaron Hill, [FN] was detained, and kept as a
prisoner at Fort Stanwix by the commissioners of Congress, and understood
that he was to be kept until all the American prisoners returned to their
own places, from the different nations of Indians, who are still remaining
amongst them. When I received, this disagreeable news, I immediately
declined going any farther from there. It did alarm me very much of
hearing this, because it was me that encouraged that chief to come and
attend that meeting at Fort Stanwix."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This chief was connected with the family of Thayendanegea. Aaron
 Henry Hill married one of his daughters, and is spoken of by Captain
 Brant, fifteen years afterward, in his correspondence with Thomas Morris,
 Esq.


"I never did expect that it should be the cause of detaining chiefs in the
matter; for I thought the affair was too far gone to happen any such
things. The Congress have past their words to us that they wish to be
friends with all the Indians; and we likewise did the same to them.
However, suppose the commissioners of Congress did find it necessary for
them to detain some of the chiefs, I should have thought they could
reasonably have excused our chief, and let him gone, and kept other right
persons, who ought to be detained, because we are clear from keeping
prisoners since peace. As soon as the word came, peace, we let all our
prisoners go, except one or two children which could not help themselves.
Captain Aaron Hill had no conveniences to take with him when he went to
Fort Stanwix. We also all along advised the other tribes of Indians, since
peace, that the prisoners should go to their homes; and have during the
war always favored the prisoners, especially women and children; and
likewise did push the matter forward since, to promote peace, and to renew
the friendship with you again as we formerly had, in honestly manner. We
mean to go through with it and be done with it, that every body should
mind their own business and be happy. This is our customs and manners of
the Mohocks, whenever engaged any thing. They are all-ways active and
true;--no double faces at war, or any other business. All this makes me
think the commissioners should consider this, and our chief should [have]
gone home, for we have been a generous enemy to you during the war, and
very active in forwarding the matters of settling peace with you all last
Summer. I believe the commissioners must have some spite against the
Mohocks of using them so, through the advice of Priest Kertland and the
Oneidas, and he did likewise even to the Senekas, who were our friends. He
tried all he could that they should themselves be against the Mohocks; all
this I am well informed. Sir, these low-live tricks (it is very odd to me
why it should be so,) confuses me very much. I believe we shall be at
last prevented of becoming good friends with you. If it should be the
case, the fault shall not be ours, which I hope you will find so. It would
relieve me many points if you would be so kind as to answer me this
letter, as far as you will understand my English, and please to explain
me at once of your sentiments concerning this kind of complaint of mine,
let it be what it will, because whatever must be done its no help for it,
it must be so. If I could see you, and talk with you, I could explain
myself better than a letter half English half Indian. You remember I told
you that I should be happy to be present if any council-fire of yours
should be held in the Spring; I mean about the Indian affairs; and I
wanted to see you in New Jersies if I had time. But, my dear sir, I begin
to be backward about going there, since my chief is detained. Perhaps I
should be served the same, and be kept from my different sweethearts,
which would be too hard for me. It is the very thing which will deprive
me from having the pleasure to see you, and attending your council in the
Spring--except the affairs change in different footing. But believe me
this, let the affairs turn out what it will, I should be always very happy
to see you. I shall winter here, myself and family; early in the Spring I
shall leave this, and go to my new country at Grand River.

                   "I am your well-wisher,
                        And humble servant,
                                  JOS. BRANT, or
                                     Thayendanegea. [FN]

  "_To Col. James Monroe._"

                          * * * * *

  [FN] The MS. of this letter, preserved among the papers of Capt. Brant,
  is probably the first rough draft. It was evidently written in great
  haste, and the author has made a very few corrections where the errors
  seemed clearly to be the effect of carelessness. Otherwise, it stands
  as it was written. Captain Brant improved in his English composition
  very much and very rapidly in after years.


What effect was produced by this letter, or how just were the complaints
set forth therein, is not known; but the probability is, that the
difficulty in regard to the detention of Hill was satisfactorily adjusted.
In any event, Captain Brant accomplished his purpose of visiting England
at the close of the year following, (1785.) Before his embarkation,
however, he seems to have formed a plan somewhat analogous to that
entertained, and in part accomplished, twenty years before, by
Pontiac--that of combining all the great north-western Indian nations into
a single grand confederacy, of which he was to be chief. In furtherance of
this design, he visited the country of the upper lakes, and held councils
with the nations. It is not known whether, like Pontiac, he meditated war
upon the United States, unless in the event of being attacked. Still, he
could not but look upon hostilities, in the event of the formation of his
confederacy, as more than probable. Ostensibly, his visit to England was
undertaken for the purpose of adjusting the claims of the loyal Mohawks
upon the crown, for indemnification of their losses and sacrifices in the
contest from which they had recently emerged. And such, probably, was the
sole design of the visit, when originally projected, the preceding year.
But the dissatisfaction existing in regard to the treaty of Fort Stanwix,
and other indications among the Indians, had probably increased the
objects of his mission. At all events, it soon appeared that, coupled with
the special business of the Indian claims, was the design of sounding the
British government, touching the degree of countenance or the amount of
assistance which he might expect from that quarter, in the event of a
general Indian war against the United States.

Sir John Johnson, who visited England immediately after the war, had
returned to Canada during the Summer of 1785. He seems likewise to have
been charged with the claims of the Mohawks, but accomplished nothing to
their satisfaction. Still, he was opposed to the mission of Captain Brant,
and wrote on the 6th of November, strongly dissuading him from undertaking
the voyage. Sir John thought the claims in question might be adjusted to
mutual satisfaction before the lapse of another year; and he hinted to his
friend that his own interest required his attention at home. "I need not,
I am sure," said the Baronet, "endeavor by many words, to point out to you
the critical situation of your own affairs; I mean those of your
confederacy; and how much the aid of every man of weight and influence
among you is wanting at present, to guard against the designs of your
enemies, who, by calling meetings at this time in every quarter, mean to
spare no pains to divide and separate your interests, thereby to lessen
your consequence and strength, and to answer their designs upon your
country and liberty." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. Letter of Sir John Johnson, among the Brant papers.


But the chief was not to be diverted from his purpose. Embarking
immediately, and having a short passage, he was received by the nobility
and gentry with great consideration and respect. His arrival at Salisbury
was thus noted in a letter from that place, dated December 12, 1785, and
published in London. "Monday last, Colonel Joseph Brant, the celebrated
King of the Mohawks, arrived in this city from America, and after dining
with Colonel De Peister, at the head-quarters here, proceeded immediately
on his journey to London. This extraordinary personage is said to have
presided at the late grand Congress of confederate chiefs of the Indian
nations in America, and to be by them appointed to the conduct and chief
command in the war which they now meditate against the United States of
America. He took his departure for England immediately as that assembly
broke up; and it is conjectured that his embassy to the British Court is
of great importance. This country owes much to the services of Colonel
Brant during the late war in America. He was educated at Philadelphia; is
a very shrewd, intelligent person, possesses great courage and abilities
as a warrior, and is inviolably attached to the British nation."

What particular Indian council is referred to in the preceding quotation,
is unknown. Most likely it was connected with the ambitious project of
Thayendanegea already indicated; and it is, moreover, very likely that the
discontents of the north-western Indians, chiefly in relation to questions
of boundary, which ultimately produced the war of 1789-'95--may, even thus
early, have been at work in the bosoms of the Indians. Undoubtedly, if
such a council was held, "the Great Captain of the Six Nations" was
present. Certain it is, that while prosecuting the just claims of the
Mohawks at the British Court, he did not fail, with great adroitness,
though indirectly, to present the other subject to the consideration of
Lord Sidney, then Secretary for the Colonies. Indeed, it appears from a
passage in the letter of Sir John Johnson, already quoted, that that
gentleman had previously been sounding the government on the same
question. "With regard to the assistance required or expected in case of
war," said the Baronet in the letter referred to, "I think I explained
that to you also, and shall more fully when I see you."

The reception of the distinguished Mohawk in the British capital was all
that the proudest forest king, not unacquainted with civilized life, could
have desired. In the course of the war he had formed many acquaintances
with the officers of the army, upon whom he must have made a highly
favorable impression, since all who met him in London recognised him with
great cordiality. Some of these he had met in the salons of Quebec, as
well as been associated with them in the field. His visits to the Canadian
capital had been frequent during and subsequent to the war. On one of
these occasions the Baroness Riedesel met him at the provincial court,
which gave her occasion to speak of him thus in her memoirs:--"I saw at
that time the famous Indian chief, Captain Brant. His manners are
polished; he expressed himself with fluency, and was much esteemed by
General Haldimand. I dined once with him at the General's. In his dress he
showed off to advantage the half military and half savage costume. His
countenance was manly and intelligent, and his disposition very mild."
[FN-1] Aside, therefore, from the novelty of gazing upon an Indian prince
in the British capital, his education and associations, his rank as a
warrior, and his bravery, were so many substantial reasons why he should
be received with kindness and courtesy. Sir Guy Carleton, afterward Lord
Dorchester, who was then on the point of embarking for America to relieve
Sir Frederick Haldimand in the government of the Canadas, was well
acquainted with the Chief. Earl Moira, afterward Marquis of Hastings, who
had served in America as Lord Rawdon, had formed a strong attachment to
Captain Brant, and gave him his picture set in gold. [FN-2] The late
General Sir Charles Stuart, fourth son of the Earl of Bute, who, while
serving in America, had often slept under the same tent with him, had the
warmest regard for him, [FN-3] and cordially recognised him as his friend
in London. With the late Duke of Northumberland, then Lord Percy, he had
likewise formed an acquaintance in America, which ripened into a lasting
attachment, and was maintained by a correspondence, continued at intervals
until his death. With the Earl of Warwick, and others of the nobility and
gentry, he had become acquainted during his first visit, ten years before.
His acquaintance was also sought by many of the distinguished statesmen
and scholars of the time; among whom were the Bishop of London, Charles
Fox, James Boswell, and many others. He sat for his picture for Lord
Percy, as he had done for the Earl of Warwick and Boswell when first in
England; and Fox presented him with a silver snuff-box, bearing his
initials. [FN-4] With the King and royal family he was a great
favorite--not the less so on the part of his Majesty, for having proudly
refused to kiss his hand on his presentation. The dusky Chief, however,
in declining that ceremony, with equal gallantry and address remarked that
he would gladly kiss the hand of the Queen. George the Third was a man of
too much sterling sense not to appreciate the feelings of his brother
chief, and he loved his queen too well not to be gratified with the
turning of a compliment in her Majesty's favor, in a manner that would
have done no discredit to the most accomplished cavalier of the Court of
Elizabeth--Sir Walter Raleigh.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letters and memoirs of the Baroness de Riedesel.

 [FN-2] Now in possession of the lady of Colonel William J. Kerr, the
 daughter of Thayendanegea.

 [FN-3] Letter of Thomas Campbell to the late John Brant, or Ahyonwaeghs,
 the son of Thayendanegea; of whom more hereafter.

 [FN-4] Still in the possession of Mrs. Kerr.


Equally well did he stand in the graces of the Prince of Wales, [FN] who
took great delight in his company; sometimes inviting him in his rambles
to places "very queer for a prince to go to," as the old chief was wont to
remark in after-life. He was also, it is believed, an occasional guest at
the table of the Prince, among that splendid circle of wits, orators, and
scholars, who so frequently clustered around the festive board of the
accomplished and luxurious heir apparent. It has been asserted, likewise,
that these associations, and the freedom with which the leading Whigs were
accustomed to speak of the King, had an unhappy effect upon the mind of
the warrior, by lessening his reverence for the regal office, if not for
his Majesty's person.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] His late Majesty George IV.


But, amidst all the attractions of the metropolis, and the hospitalities
in which he was called to participate, the Chief did not neglect the
special object, or _objects,_ of his mission. He had left his nation
suffering from their losses of property and other sacrifices, by which,
as well as their arms, they had proved their loyalty, or rather their good
faith to the King as allies, during the late war, and his first object was
to obtain relief. The claims of his people had previously been presented
to the consideration of his Majesty's Government, as already staled, by
Sir John Johnson; but, apparently receiving no attention, on the 4th of
January, 1786, Captain Brant addressed the following letter to Lord
Sidney, his Majesty's Secretary for the Colonial Department:--

                  Captain Brant to Lord Sidney.

  "My Lord,

"The claims of the Mohawks for their losses having been delivered by Sir
John Johnson, His Majesty's Superintendent General for Indian affairs, to
General Haldimand, and by him laid before your Lordship, who cannot but be
well informed that their sufferings, losses, and being drove from that
country which their forefathers long enjoyed, and left them the peaceable
possession of, is in consequence of their faithful attachment to the King,
and the zeal they manifested in supporting the cause of His country
against the rebellious subjects in America.

"From the promises made by the Governor and Commander-in-chief of Canada,
that their losses should be made good, and that soon, when I left them, I
was desired to put His Majesty's ministers in mind of their long and
sincere friendship for the English nation, in whose cause their ancestors
and they have so often fought and so freely bled,--of their late happy
settlements, before the rebellion, and their present situation,--and to
request their claims might be attended to, and that orders may be given
for what they are to receive to be paid as soon as possible, in order to
enable them to go on with the settlement they are now making; in some
measure stock their farms, and get such articles and materials as all
settlements in new countries require, and which it is out of their power
to do before they are paid for their losses.

"On my mentioning these matters, since my arrival in England, I am
informed orders are given that this shall be done; which will give great
relief and satisfaction to those faithful Indians, who will have spirit to
go on, and their hearts be filled with gratitude for the King, their
father's, great kindness, which I pray leave, in their behalf, to
acknowledge, and to thank your Lordship for your friendship.

                           "JOSEPH BRANT, _Captain,_ or
                                   Thayendanegea.

  "_London,_ 4_th January,_ 1786."


On the same day Captain Brant was honored by an interview with the
Secretary, on which occasion he addressed his Lordship in the following
speech, a copy of which was delivered in writing.--

               Speech of Captain Brant to Lord Sidney.

  "My Lord,

"I am happy at the honor of being before your Lordship, and having an
opportunity of delivering the following speech to you, in behalf of the
Five United Nations of Indians, and their confederates in North America.

"The cause of my coming to England being of the most serious consequence
to the whole Indian Confederacy, I intreat your Lordship patiently to hear
and listen to what I am going to say.

"We hope it is a truth well known in this country, what a faithful part we
took in their behalf in the late dispute with the Americans; and though we
have been told peace has long since been concluded between you and them,
it is not finally settled with us, which causes great uneasiness through
all the Indian nations.

"When we heard peace was made between his Majesty and the Americans, we
made application to General Haldimand at Quebec, to know our situation,
delivering him a speech at the same time, which we requested might be sent
to the King--a copy of which I now deliver to your Lordship.

"Having in that speech, in as few words as possible, pointed out what
friendship we had shown to the English from the earliest time of their
arrival in America, and being conscious of the active part our forefathers
and we had taken in their favor in every dispute they have had with their
enemies, we were struck with astonishment at hearing we were forgot in the
treaty. Notwithstanding the manner we were told this, we could not believe
it possible such firm friends and allies could be so neglected by a nation
remarkable for its honor and glory, whom we had served with so much zeal
and fidelity. For this reason we applied to the King's Commander-in-chief,
in Canada in a friendly and private way, wishing not to let those people
in rebellion know the concern and trouble we were under. From the time of
delivering that speech, near three years, we have had no answer, and
remain in a state of great suspense and uneasiness of mind. This is well
known to the officers who commanded at the upper posts in America, as is
also our zeal for His Majesty's service during the war.

"Our trouble and distress is greatly increased by many things the
Americans have said, to whom we have avoided giving any direct answers, or
entering into any engagements with, before we have an answer. On the
arrival of Sir John Johnson, our Superintendent-General, in Canada, we
hoped to have received it; in full expectation of which, several of our
first and principal chiefs came down the country to meet him and hear it,
and were very much mortified and sorry at being disappointed. It was then
resolved that I should come to England, and I hope the necessity we are
under of getting this answer will plead my excuse for the trouble I give
your Lordship.

"It is, my Lord, the earnest desire of the Five United Nations, and the
whole Indian Confederacy, that I may have an answer to that speech; and
from our present situation, as well as that of the American States, who
have surveyed and laid out great part of the lands in our country, on our
side of the boundary line fixed at Fort Stanwix in 1765, the last time we
granted any territory to the King, (at which time some of the governors
attended in person, and where they did not, commissioners, vested with
full powers, appeared on their behalf; so that we had all the reason to
hope that the transaction was binding with respect to all parties,) but
through their encroaching disposition, we have found they pay little
regard to engagements, and are therefore apprehensive of immediate
serious consequences. This we shall avoid to the utmost of our power, as
dearly as we love our lands. But should it, contrary to our wishes,
happen, we desire to know whether we are to be considered as His Majesty's
faithful allies, and have that support and countenance such as old and
true friends expect.

"I beg liberty to tell your Lordship, that your answer to these matters
will be the means of relieving all our nations from that very troublesome
and uneasy suspense they now labor under, and this they all hope for on
my return.

                       "JOS. BRANT, _Captain,_ or
                              Thayendanegea.

  "_London,_ 4_th Jan._ 1786.
   _The Right Hon. Lord Sidney._"


The forest chief was not an unsuccessful envoy, as will appear by the
subjoined communication from Lord Sidney--so far at least as relates to
the indemnification claimed by the Mohawks and their allies of the Six
Nations:--

                  Lord Sidney to Captain Brant.

                                   "_Whitehall,_ 6th _April,_ 1786.

  "Sir,

"The King has had under his royal consideration the two letters which you
delivered to me on the 4th of January last, in the presence of Colonel
Johnson and other officers of the Indian Department; the first of them
representing the claims of the Mohawks for losses sustained by them and
other tribes of Indians, from the depredations committed on their lands by
the Americans during the late war; and the second, expressing the desire
of the confederacy to be informed what assistance they might expect from
this country in case they should be engaged in disputes with the Americans
relative to their lands, situated within the territory to which His
Majesty has relinquished his sovereignty.

"Were the right of individuals to compensation for losses sustained by the
depredations of an enemy to be admitted, no country, however opulent it
might be, could support itself under such a burthen, especially when the
contest happens to have taken an unfavorable turn. His Majesty, upon this
ground, conceives that, consistently with every principle of justice, he
might withhold his royal concurrence to the liquidation of those demands;
but His Majesty, in consideration of the zealous and hearty exertions of
his Indian allies in the support of his cause, and as a proof of his most
friendly disposition toward them, has been graciously pleased to consent
that the losses already certified by his Superintendent-General shall be
made good; that a favorable attention shall be shown to the claims of
others, who have pursued the same system of conduct; and that Sir Guy
Carleton, his Governor General of his American dominions, shall take
measures for carrying his royal commands into execution immediately after
his arrival at Quebec.

"This liberal conduct on the part of His Majesty, he trusts, will not
leave a doubt upon the minds of his Indian allies that he shall at all
times be ready to attend to their future welfare; and that he shall be
anxious, upon every occasion wherein their happiness may be concerned, to
give them such farther testimonies of his royal favor and countenance, as
can, consistently with a due regard to the national faith, and the honor
and dignity of his crown, be afforded to them.

"His Majesty recommends to his Indian allies to continue united in their
councils, and that their measures may be conducted with temper and
moderation; from which, added to a peaceable demeanor on their part, they
must experience many essential benefits, and be most likely to secure to
themselves the possession of those rights and privileges which their
ancestors have heretofore enjoyed.

              "I have the honor to be,
                 With great truth and regard,
                           Sir,
               Your most obedient humble servant,
                                      Sidney.

  "_To Captain Joseph Brant,
                  Thayendanegea._"


It appears, that during his negotiations with the ministers, conversations
had been held touching his claim to half-pay; but from the loss of papers,
it is difficult to arrive at the precise circumstances of the case.
Captain Brant held His Majesty's commission during the war as a Captain.
But it was probably a special commission, not in the regular line of the
army, and consequently there may have been doubts as to his title to
half-pay on the reduction which followed the war. No matter, however, for
the exact circumstances of the case, such doubts were entertained, and
were the occasion of the following magnanimous letter from the chief to
one of his Majesty's under Secretaries, a copy of which was preserved
among the private papers of the warrior:--

           Captain Brant to Sir Evan Nepean. (No Date.)

  "Sir:--

"Since I had the pleasure of seeing you last, I have been thinking a great
deal about the half-pay, or pension, which you and I have talked about.

"I am really sorry that I ever mentioned such a thing to you. It was
really owing to promises made to me by certain persons several times
during the late war, that I should always be supported by the government,
at war or peace. At that time I never asked any body to make me such a
promise. It was of their own free will.

"When I joined the English at the beginning of the war, it was purely on
account of my forefathers' engagements with the King. I always looked upon
these engagements, or covenants, between the King and the Indian Nations,
as a sacred thing. Therefore I was not to be frighted by the threats of
the rebels at that time. I assure you I had no other view in it. And this
was my real case from the beginning.

"However, after this, the English gave me pay and a commission from the
Commander-in-chief, which I gladly received as a mark of attention, though
I never asked for it; and I believe my trouble and risques was of equal
value to the marks of attention I received; I am sure not too much in the
eyes of the Indians, or I should not have accepted them, as I should be
sorry to raise jealousies. My meaning for mentioning those things to you,
is because I saw there was some difficulty on your part how to act on this
head relative to half-pay or pension;--and when it does not seem clear,
I should be sorry to accept it. Therefore I beg of you will say no more
about it;--for was I to get it when there were doubts about the propriety
of it, I should not be happy. For which reason I think it is best to go
without it.

"I am now, Sir, to beg you will return my best thanks to Government for
what they [have] done for me, and am, Sir,

             "Your most obedient,
                   Humble servant,
                         Joseph Brant.

  "_To Sir Evan Nepean, Under Secretary, at Home._"


There are a frankness and manliness of tone and spirit in this letter,
which will illustrate a striking feature in the character of the writer,
and are worthy of high approbation. It is the only paper of any
consequence connected with the Captain's mission to England, in addition
to those already cited, that remains.

The chieftain's visit must have been most agreeable, since, in addition to
the success which crowned his labors in regard to the claims of the
Indians, no pains were spared to render his residence in London one of
uninterrupted gratification. He was caressed by the noble and the great,
and was alike welcome at court or at the banquets of the heir
apparent--who, with all his faults, was "the first gentleman in the
realm;"--a fine classical scholar himself, and a lover of genius and
intellect---of letters and men of letters--of sparkling wit, as well as
wine. Among his most frequent guests were Fox, Burke, and Sheridan, and
others of that splendid galaxy of eloquence and intellect--the master
spirits of the opposition in the House of Commons--who were at that time
basking in the sunshine of the Prince's favor, and living in the hope of
more substantial things to come. Though deficient in his literary
acquisitions, Brant, with great strength of mind and shrewdness of
observation, had, moreover, sufficient taste and cultivation to appreciate
society, even of this elevated and intellectual character. The natural
reserve of the Indian temperament he could assume or throw off at
pleasure, and with a keen sense of the ludicrous, he could himself use
the weapons of humor and sarcasm with a good share of skill and dexterity.

Several anecdotes have been preserved in well-authenticated tradition,
illustrative of these traits of character. One of these is the
following:--Among the gentlemen of rank with whom Brant was acquainted,
was a nobleman of whom it was scandalously reported that his place was
purchased by the illicit favors bestowed upon another by his beautiful
wife. On one occasion his Lordship undertook to rally the forest chief
upon the subjects of the wild and rude manners and customs of the Indians,
to which they pertinaciously adhered notwithstanding all the attempts made
to improve them by the arts of civilization. Some of their absurd
practices, of which the English, as his Lordship remarked, thought very
strange, were particularised. Brant listened very patiently until it
became his turn to speak, when he replied that there were customs in
England, also, of which the Indians thought very strange. "And pray what
are they?" inquired his Lordship. "Why," answered the chief, "the Indians
have heard that it is a practice in England for men who are born chiefs to
sell the virtue of their squaws for place, and for money to buy their
venison!" The Mohawk occupied a position which enabled him to say what he
pleased with impunity. But in the present instance the rebuke was doubly
withering,--from the gravity and assumed simplicity with which it was
uttered, and the certainty that the titled gentleman could not mistake the
direction of the arrow, while he could neither parry nor avoid, nor appear
to notice it.

During his stay in London, a grand fancy ball, or masquerade, was got up
with great splendor, and numerously attended by the nobility and gentry.
Captain Brant, at the instance of Earl Moira, was also present, richly
dressed in the costume of his nation, wearing no mask, but painting one
half of his face. His plumes nodded as proudly in his cap as though the
blood of a hundred Percies coursed through his veins, and his tomahawk
glittered in his girdle like burnished silver. There was, likewise, in the
gay and gallant throng a stately Turkish _diplomat_ of rank, accompanied
by two houris, whose attention was particularly attracted by the grotesque
appearance of the chieftain's singular, and, as he supposed, fantastic
attire. The pageant was brilliant as the imagination could desire; but
among the whole motley throng of pilgrims and warriors, hermits and
shepherds, knights, damsels, and gipsies, there was, to the eye of the
Mussulman, no character so picturesque and striking as that of the Mohawk;
which, being natural, appeared to be the best made up. He scrutinised the
chief very closely, and mistaking his _rouge et noir_ complexion for a
painted visor, the Turk took the liberty of attempting to handle his nose.
Brant had, of course, watched the workings of his observation, and felt
in the humor of a little sport. No sooner, therefore, had Hassan touched
his facial point of honor, under the mistaken idea that it was of no
better material than the parchment nose of the Strasburgh trumpeter, than
the Chieftain made the hall resound with the appalling war-whoop, and at
the same instant the tomahawk leaped from his girdle, and flashed around
the astounded Mussulman's head as though his good master, the Sultan, in a
minute more, would be relieved from any future trouble in the matter of
taking it off. Such a piercing and frightful cry had never before rung
through that _salon_ of fashion; and breaking suddenly, and with startling
wildness, upon the ears of the merry throng, its effect was prodigious.
The Turk himself trembled with terror, while the female masquers--the
gentle shepherdesses, and fortune-telling crones, Turks, Jews and gipsies,
bear-leaders and their bears, Falstaffs, friars, and fortune-tellers,
Sultans, nurses and Columbines, shrieked, screamed and scudded away as
though the Mohawks had broken into the festive hall in a body. The matter,
however, was soon explained; and the incident was accounted as happy in
the end as it was adroitly enacted by the good-humored Mohawk. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This incident was somewhat differently related by the British
 Magazine, which represented that the weapon was raised by Brant in sober
 earnest; he having taken the freedom of the Turk for a real indignity.
 But such was clearly not the fact. His friends never so understood it.


But neither the pleasures of society, nor the follies of the Prince of
Wales, nor the special business of his mission, nor the views of political
ambition which he was cherishing, made him forgetful of the moral wants of
his people. Notwithstanding the ceaseless activity of his life, he had
found time to translate the Gospel of Mark into the Mohawk language; and
as most of the Indian Prayer and Psalm Books previously in use had been
either lost or destroyed during the war, the opportunity of his visit was
chosen by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,
to bring out a new and superior edition of that work, under Brant's own
supervision, and including the Gospel of Mark as translated by him. This
was the first of the Gospels ever translated entire into the Mohawk
language. The book was elegantly printed in large octavo, under the
immediate patronage of the King. It was printed in alternate pages of
English and Mohawk; and the volume contained the psalms and occasional
prayers before published, together with the services of communion,
baptism, matrimony, and the burial of the dead. It was embellished with a
number of scriptural engravings, elegant for the state of the arts at that
day; the frontispiece representing the interior of a chapel, with
portraits of the King and Queen, a bishop standing at either hand, and
groups of Indians receiving the sacred books from both their Majesties.
[FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] A handsome copy of this valuable book, in morocco gilt, has been
 loaned to the author by Mrs. Kerr. It belonged to the widow of the old
 chief, and contains the record of his death.


It is not known at what time of the year 1786 Captain Brant turned his
back upon the gay metropolis of England, to bury himself once more in the
deep forests toward the setting sun. It must, however, have been soon
after receiving Lord Sidney's dispatch of April 6th, since, among the
papers of the chief, there is a letter addressed to him after his return,
by Major Matthews, who was attached to the military family of Sir Guy
Carleton, dated at Montreal, July 24, 1786. Early in the month of December
following he will also be found attending an Indian Council far in the
country of the Great Lakes.



                          CHAPTER IX.



 Difficulties between Great Britain and the United States after the
  Treaty--Refusal of the former to surrender the western posts--Mission of
  Baron Steuben to Canada--Indications of fresh Indian
  hostilities--Movements of Captain Brant--Grand Indian Council at the
  Huron Village--Address to the United States--Letter of the Secretary at
  War, General Knox, to Captain Brant--Letter of Sir John Johnson to
  Brant--Letter of Major Matthews to Brant, disclosing the views of Lord
  Dorchester respecting the retention of the western posts--Message from
  the Hurons to the Five Nations, proposing another grand
  Council--Preparations of General St. Clair for negotiating with the
  Indians--Brant begins to distrust them all--Letter of Brant to Patrick
  Langan, Sir John Johnson's Secretary--Letter of Brant to Sir John
  Johnson--Great Council at Miamis--Letter of Captain Brant to Patrick
  Langan--St. Clair's negotiations at Fort Harmar--The policy of dividing
  to conquer--letter of Captain Brant to Major Matthews--Jealousies of
  Brant among the Indians--Council against him at Montreal--Letter to him
  from Major Matthews--Letter of Brant in reply--Letter to Colonel
  McDonnell--Suspected plot against the English at Detroit, and Brant and
  his Mohawks, by the Hurons, Chippewas, and Pottawattamies--Letter to
  Brant from Sir John Johnson--Brant turns his attention to the
  cultivation of letters--Endeavors to obtain a stated
  Missionary--Resumes the preparation of Religious books--Letter from
  President Willard--John Norton--Land difficulties among the Indians in
  the state of New-York--Letter from Governor Clinton to Brant.


Unhappily the treaty of peace did not bring the United States and Great
Britain immediately to so good an understanding with each other as could
have been desired. Several important questions remained for subsequent
arrangement. The treaty proposed a general restoration of confiscated
property to all such loyalists as had not actually borne arms in the
service of the King. The American Congress passed a resolution
recommending the fulfillment of this clause of the treaty by the several
states; but it was not considered binding, and South Carolina alone
approached to a compliance therewith. There was, likewise, an explicit
provision in the treaty, respecting the payment of debts due by Americans
to British subjects, not resting upon a recommendation only; the
fulfillment of which was sadly neglected. Indeed, the states in which
those debts chiefly lay, showed but too plainly an indisposition to aid
in carrying the stipulation into effect. On the other hand, the Negroes
belonging to American citizens who were in the possession and service of
the officers of the British army, were not restored; and, contrary to all
expectation, Great Britain refused to surrender the military posts upon
the American side of the great lakes. The surrender of those posts was
expected with the utmost conscience, as one of the most immediate
consequences of the ratification of the treaty. To this end, Congress
instructed the Commander-in-chief to make all the necessary arrangements
to receive and occupy the posts in the Summer of 1783; and in July of that
season, the Baron Steuben was despatched by General Washington on a
mission to Sir Frederick Haldimand at Quebec, to concert the necessary
dispositions, and proceed along the frontiers as far as Detroit, to
examine the different posts, and report in regard to their condition, and
how many and which of them it would be expedient for the United States
permanently to occupy. [FN-1] The Baron met General Haldimand at Sorel, on
his way to visit the country of the lakes himself. But on making known his
business, the British commander informed him that he had received no
instructions for the evacuation of the posts, or for any other objects
than a cessation of hostilities, with which he had complied. He did not
consider himself at liberty to enter, into any negotiations with the Baron
upon the subject, and even refused him the necessary passports for
visiting Niagara and Detroit. [FN-2] In addition to this, under the
pretext that the government of the United States had not sufficient power
to enforce the observance of a commercial treaty, Great Britain refused to
join in the negotiation of such an instrument. [FN-3] Thus situated--the
government and people of each nation complaining of the other--crimination
and recrimination ensued, until the public feeling became irritated almost
to exasperation.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter of Washington to General Haldimand, July 12, 1783. Also,
 Instructions of the same to Baron Steuben.

 [FN-2] Sparks.

 [FN-3] The fact was but too true. After the common danger of the war had
 ceased to bind the States together, the articles of the Confederation
 were but a rope of sand. The government was, indeed, but a rickety
 concern until the formation of the Constitution of 1787.


The Indians, in the mean time, brooding over the real or fancied wrongs
they had sustained at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, and irritated at the
onward current of the white population pressing in their own direction,
were becoming restiff; particularly the more distant tribes at the
south-west; and their movements indicated any thing but pacific
intentions. Indeed, along some portions of the western frontier,
particularly on the Ohio river, it could scarcely be said that they had
been at peace. Both in 1785 and in 1786, acts of individual hostility were
not unfrequent on the banks of the Ohio and on the Kentucky border; and
in both of those years larger parties had repeatedly attacked the crews of
boats descending the river. It was likewise certain that two years only
had elapsed after the close of the war before a hostile combination of
the great north-western nations was supposed to have been formed; and
documentary proof has been adduced in the preceding pages that a powerful
and influential messenger, in the person of Captain Brant, had been
instructed by those nations to ascertain prospectively the measure of
assistance they might, in the event of hostilities, expect to receive from
Great Britain. It is true that Lord Sidney, in his reply to the message of
Thayendanegea, had avoided committing himself either way upon this point.
But the message of the Mohawk chief; and the reply of the minister, were
alike unknown to the public at that day. Still, it was to the detention of
the posts on the lakes that the hostile temper manifested by the Indians,
and their frequent outrages on the frontier, were ascribed; with more
justice, as will hereafter appear, than Great Britain would be willing to
allow.

The conduct of Captain Brant, moreover, when illustrated by his private
correspondence as well as his public actions, will presently appear very
mysterious, if not equivocal. By retiring with his own nation into Canada,
the Mohawks had not withdrawn from the Confederacy of the Six Nations,
nor had Thayendanegea relinquished his official rank as the principal or
superior chief of the whole, though five of them remained within the
United States. The differences which thus early sprang up between the
United States and the Indians, arose upon a question of boundary; the
latter maintaining that the Ohio river was not to be crossed by the
people of the former. Captain Brant espoused the cause of the Indians at
large upon this question, and had early and strenuously exerted himself to
compass a grand confederation of all the north-western tribes and nations,
of which, it is believed, he intended to be the head. The incipient steps
to the formation of such a confederacy, the reader has already seen, had
been taken in 1785, previous to his departure for England. On his return
in the following year, his efforts for that object were renewed. [FN] In
December, 1786, a grand confederate council of the Indians north west of
the Ohio, including the Six Nations, was held at Huron Village, near the
mouth of the Detroit River. This council was attended by the Six Nations,
and the Hurons, Ottawas, Twitchtwees, [Miamis,] Shawanese, Chippewas,
Cherokees, Delawares, Pottawattamies, and the Wabash Confederates. On the
18th of that month, an address to the Congress of the United States was
agreed upon, the tone of which was pacific--provided the United States
made no encroachments upon their lands beyond the Ohio. After a
declaration of their surprise that they were not included in the treaty of
peace, they observed that they had nevertheless received a message from
the King, advising them to remain quiet. They had likewise received two
very agreeable messages from the thirteen States, from the tenor of which
they had anticipated a period of repose. But while they were devising the
best measures to secure this result and form a lasting
reconciliation--while they had "the best thoughts in their minds, mischief
had happened." Still, they were anxious to prevent farther trouble, as a
principal means of which they recommended that no treaties should be
formed by the United States with separate Indian tribes or nations; but
that all treaties for lands should be negotiated openly and above board,
in the most public manner, and by the united voice of the Confederacy.
They attributed the "mischief and confusion" that had arisen, to the fact
that the United States would have every thing their own way--that they
would "kindle the council-fires wherever they thought proper, without
consulting the Indians." At the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784, they had
urged a different policy; and they believed that, had the course then
recommended, of treating only in a general conference of the nations, been
pursued, all would have continued peace and concord between them.
Notwithstanding the mischiefs that had happened, the council professed
their strong desire of peace. "This," they said, "is the determination of
all the chiefs of the Confederacy, now assembled, notwithstanding that
several Indian chiefs were killed in our villages, even when in council,
and when absolutely engaged in promoting peace with you, the thirteen
United States." In order to ensure this desirable result, they proposed a
grand confederate council, to be holden at some half-way place in the
ensuing spring--recommending to the United States, in the meantime to
prevent their surveyors and other people from crossing to the Indian side
of the Ohio. This important address concluded in the following
words:--"Brothers: It shall not be our faults, if the plans which we have
suggested to you should not be carried into execution. In that case the
event will be very precarious, and if fresh ruptures ensue, we hope to be
able to exculpate ourselves, and shall most assuredly, with our united
force, be obliged to defend those rights and privileges which have been
transmitted to us by our ancestors; and if we should be thereby reduced to
misfortunes, the world will pity us when they think of the amicable
proposals we now make to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood. These
are our thoughts and firm resolves, and we earnestly desire that you would
transmit to us, as soon as possible, your answer, be it what it may."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of General Knox, Secretary of War--11th May, 1786.


This address, the ultimatum antecedent to the general war that afterward
arose, was not signed by individual chiefs, but by the nation, the name of
the nation being written, and the bird or animal adopted as the national
emblem rudely marked upon the paper. Thayendanegea was present and active
at this council, as will appear by the annexed letter, found among his
papers, from the American Secretary of War, General Knox:--

                 "General Knox to Captain Brant.

                                        "_War Office, July_ 23_d_, 1787.

  "Sir:--

"On the 17th instant, and not before, I received the favor of your letter,
dated 'Huron Town, Dec. 18th, 1786,' enclosing the original speech by the
several nations of Indians met at the same time and place, to the United
States in Congress assembled.

"It appears from the information of General Butler, the Superintendent,
that the Shawanese neglected to forward the above despatches at the time
it was expected they would; and it appears by a letter from Captain Pipe,
of the Delawares, and the Half-King of the Wyandots, dated at Sandusky the
3d of June, that they forwarded the despatches finally to Fort Pitt--at
which place, and at the same time also, your messengers arrived with your
letters to General Butler, dated Buffalo Creek, the 16th of May, 1787,
enclosing a copy, or translation, of the speech of the chiefs, transmitted
by Captain Pipe and the Half-King of the Wyandots.

"I mention these circumstances, to convince you that the result of your
council, at the Huron village, in December, has been a long time in
traveling to this city.

"On the receipt of your papers, they were submitted to Congress, who have
taken the same, into consideration, and will soon come to some decision
thereon, which will be communicated to the Superintendent, in order to be
transmitted to you.

                        "I have the honor to be,
                               Sir,
                           Your most obedient,
                              Humble servant,
                                     H. Knox.

  "Colonel Joseph Brant,
       _One of the Chiefs of the Mohawk Nation._"

Neither the preceding letter, nor that in reply to which it was written,
has been preserved in the archives of the American Department of War. The
signature of "_The Five Nations,_" however, stood at the head of the list,
and from the rank and superior intelligence of Thayendanegea, there can be
little doubt that the address to the Government of the United States was
dictated, if not written, by him. That it was in entire accordance with
his views, appears most fully by the following letter from Sir John
Johnson. This letter is worthy of preservation, as affording the first
authentic evidence of the equivocal attitude Great Britain was assuming
in regard to the Indian relations of the United States.

                "Sir John Johnson to Captain Brant.

                                    "_Quebec, March_ 22d, 1787.

  "Dear Sir,

"I have received your letter of the 14th of February. I am happy to find
things turned out as you wished at your several meetings in the Indian
country near Detroit, and I hope it may have the effect you wish in
preventing the Americans from incroaching on your lands. Your conduct, I
hope, for your own sake, will always be such as to justify the good
opinion that has been entertained of you by your friends the English, and
such as will merit the continuance of their friendship. I hope in all your
decisions you will conduct yourselves with prudence and moderation, having
always an eye to the friendship that has so long subsisted between you and
the King's subjects, upon whom alone you can and ought to depend. You have
no reason to fear any breach of promise on the part of the King. Is he not
every year giving fresh proofs of his friendship? What greater could you
expect than is now about to be performed, by giving an ample compensation
for your losses, which is yet withheld from us, his subjects? Do not
suffer bad men or evil advisers to lead you astray; every thing that is
reasonable and consistent with the friendship that ought to be preserved
between us, will be done for you all. Do not suffer an idea to hold a
place in your mind, that it will be for your interests to sit still and
see the Americans attempt the posts. [FN-1] It is for your sakes chiefly,
if not entirely, that we hold them. If you become indifferent about them,
they may perhaps be given up; what security would you then have? You would
be left at the mercy of a people whose blood calls aloud for revenge;
whereas, by supporting them, you encourage us to hold them, and encourage
the new settlements, already considerable, and every day increasing by
numbers coming in, who find they can't live in the States. Many thousands
are preparing to come in. This increase of his Majesty's subjects will
serve as a protection for you, should the subjects of the States, by
endeavoring to make farther encroachments on you, disturb your quiet.
At present I think there is little to apprehend from any but the Southern
States; those to the eastward are already opposed to each other in arms,
[FN-2] and have shed blood, and the disorder seems to be spreading
throughout. Men of character are coming in here to see if no assistance
will be given them; and the people of New England, who were the most
violent at the commencement of the war, are now the most desirous of
returning under the British government, should Great Britain incline to
receive them, which many think they would not."

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Oswegatchie, Oswego, Niagara, Detroit and Mackinaw--withheld from
 the United States, as heretofore stated in tho text.

 [FN-2] This allusion refers to the memorable insurrection of Captain
 Shays, in Massachusetts.


"Remember me in the most friendly manner to Mrs. Brant, all your family,
and to all my brothers in your settlement, and tell them to be patient,
and that they will find that all that has been promised them, coming
within my knowledge, will be per-formed. I hope to see you in the course
of the summer; in the mean time, I remain with truth,

                    "Dear Sir,
                       Your friend and
                           Humble servant,
                               John Johnson." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Copied from the original, among the Brant papers.


The object of this communication will be seen at a glance. It is
unfortunate, that the letter of Thayendanegea, giving the private history
of the great Amphictyonic council of the Indians, has not been discovered.
Still, enough can be learned from the scattered correspondence that
remains, to show that Great Britain was by no means an indifferent
observer of the storm gathering in the north-west. It is also evident that
the officers of the crown in Canada were rejoicing in the insurrection of
Captain Shays in Massachusetts; which, though at one moment of threatening
importance, had been crushed but a few days before the Baronet's letter
was written, of which result he had not then been apprised. That
insurrection was a consequence, in the main, of the weakness of the
government of the confederacy. Fortunately, however, instead of working
farther detriment to the republic, its influence was not inconsiderable
in binding the states more firmly together, by means of the Constitution,
which arose from the ruins of the old Articles of Confederation in the
course of the same year. There is another feature in the letter of Sir
John deserving to be noted. It discloses the fact, that already, even so
early as the year 1787, had the British authorities imbibed the absurd
notion that the people of New England, who had been first in raising the
standard of revolt, wearied with their freedom, were seeking a
dismemberment of the Union, that they might throw themselves back into the
arms of their former sovereign. Nor was this idea eradicated until after
the failure of a miserable intrigue, under the Canadian administration of
Sir James H. Craig, with a worthless fellow named John Henry, in 1810.

Great Britain not only continued to retain possession of the north-western
posts, but added to their strength. Upon this subject, and the policy by
which she was governed in regard to it, the following letter reflects
additional light. It was addressed to Captain Brant by Major Matthews,
whose name has already occurred as an officer in the suite of Sir Guy
Carleton--who had now become Lord Dorchester. Matthews had been assigned
to the command of Detroit, and was on his way thither when the letter was
written:--

                 "Major Matthews to Captain Brant.

                                   "_Niagara,_ 29_th May,_ 1787.

  "My Dear Friend,

"A few days before I left Quebec, I had the pleasure to receive your
letter of the 3d April, and was happy at the prospect I had of so soon
answering it in person, and once more shaking hands together upon our old
ground. On my arrival yesterday, I was much disappointed to hear that you
had left this place, and gone by a route which, for the present, prevents
our meeting; for though there is nothing I wish more than to pay you a
visit in your settlement, and to have a conversation with you, the
despatch which I am under the necessity of making to Detroit, renders it
impossible. I therefore sit down to thank you for the information in your
last, and to renew our old agreement of communicating freely to each other
whatsoever we may know or think is for the mutual advantage and well-being
of that cause, which has always been common, and which, I am persuaded, is
equally dear to us both; and being better informed of what relates to the
situation of affairs in this quarter than when I last wrote to you, I
shall begin by informing you of what his Excellency, Lord Dorchester,
desired I would, should I chance to fall in with you. His Lordship wishes
you should be acquainted that, when he arrived at Quebec last fall, it was
too late to forward any thing more than a few provisions necessary for the
posts and Indians, a part of which even could not proceed on account of
the ice; but that he did not forget the presents intended for the Indians;
and had, as soon as the communication opened, ordered them to be sent up
from Montreal. At the same time his Lordship was sorry to learn, that
while the Indians were soliciting his assistance in their preparations for
war, some of the Six Nations had sent deputies to Albany to treat with
the Americans, who, it is said, have made a treaty with them, granting
permission to make roads for the purpose of coming to Niagara; but that,
notwithstanding these things, the Indians should have their presents, as
they are marks of the King's approbation of their former conduct. In
future his Lordship wishes them to act as is best for their interest; he
cannot begin a war with the Americans, because some of their people
encroach and make depredations upon parts of the Indian country; but they
must see it is his Lordship's intention to defend the posts; and that
while these are preserved, the Indians must find great security therefrom,
and consequently the Americans greater difficulty in taking possession of
their lands; but should they once become masters of the posts, they will
surround the Indians, and accomplish their purpose with little trouble.
From a consideration of all which, it therefore remains with the Indians
to decide what is most for their own interest, and to let his Lordship
know their determination, that he may take his measures accordingly; but,
whatever their resolution is, it should be taken as by one and the same
people, by which means they will be respected and become strong; but if
they divide, and act one part against the other, they will become weak,
and help to destroy each other. This, my dear Joseph, is the substance of
what his Lordship desired me to tell you, and I request you will give his
sentiments that mature consideration which their justice, generosity, and
desire to promote the welfare and happiness of the Indians, must appear to
all the world to merit.

"In your letter to me, you seem apprehensive that the English are not very
anxious about the defence of the posts. You will soon be satisfied that
they have nothing more at heart, provided that it continues to be the
wish of the Indians, and that they remain firm in doing _their_ part of
the business, by preventing the Americans from coming into their country,
and consequently from marching to the posts. On the other hand, if the
Indians think it more for their interest that the Americans should have
possession of the posts, and be established in their country, they ought
to declare it, that the English need no longer be put to the vast and
unnecessary expense and inconvenience of keeping posts, the chief object
of which is to protect their Indian allies, and the loyalists who have
suffered with them. It is well-known that no encroachments ever have or
ever will be made by the English upon the lands or property of the Indians
in consequence of their possessing the posts, how far that will be the
case if ever the Americans get into them, may very easily be imagined,
from their hostile perseverance, even without that advantage, in driving
the Indians off their lands and taking possession of them.

"In regard to myself, I have to acquaint you, that in consequence of the
reports which reached Quebec from the upper country respecting the
intentions of the Americans against the posts, Lord Dorchester has been
pleased to permit me to take the command of Detroit, which is garrisoned
by the regiment I am in, and has ordered that another regiment be sent up
for the protection of the posts in general, two companies of which, under
the command of your acquaintance, Captain Malcolm, arrived with me in the
Seneca, and I am to take two companies of the 53d from hence, to reinforce
Detroit; so that I think we shall have but little to apprehend from any
thing in the power of the Americans to attempt. I confess to you I have
no idea they have any serious intention of the kind, the few troops they
can muster not being sufficient to support their government; they are,
besides, in rebellion, and cutting each others throats. A people in this
situation are but ill able to march considerable armies with artillery and
the necessary stores, (which they must have to be successful,) through a
distant and difficult country.

"Inclosed I send you a letter from Sir John Johnson. It will probably
inform you that the presents mentioned by Lord Dorchester are sent up;
they crossed the lake in the ship with me, and are stored here, waiting
the arrival of Sir John for the distribution of them.

"On your way to the Southern Council, I shall hope for the satisfaction of
seeing you at Detroit; in the meantime I remain, with very sincere regard,

               "My dear friend,
                    Your faithful and obedient servant,
                                 R. Matthews.

"If Mrs. Brant is with you, I beg you will recommend me in the kindest
manner to her."

There can be no misunderstanding touching the purport of this letter. Lord
Dorchester would no more commit himself on the question of a direct
participation, in the event of actual declared hostilities between the
Indian Confederacy and the Americans, than Lord Sidney had done. Captain,
now Major Matthews, was anxious to confer with Captain Brant "for the
mutual advantage and well-being of _that cause,_ which had always been
common, and equally dear," &c. His Lordship wished the Indians to act as
was best for their own interest--"he could not _begin_ a war with the
Americans," but "they must see that it was his Lordship's intention to
defend the posts; and while these were preserved, the Indians must find
great security therefrom, and the Americans greater difficulty in taking
possession of their lands," &c. Indeed, the whole tenor of the letter was
to promote a feeling of hostility in the bosoms of the Indians against the
United States, with a mutual understanding that the British government was
maintaining the posts for the benefit of the Indians; while the Indian
hostilities, should they ensue, would serve to check or prevent the
Americans from obtaining possession of them.

There are neither printed nor written records, from which any additional
information can be drawn respecting the conduct and movements of Captain
Brant during the residue of the year 1787. The delay in the transmission
of his despatches to the government of the United States, as mentioned in
the letter of General Knox, had of course disappointed the Indians in
their expectation of an early reply from Congress. In consequence of this
delay, another grand council was determined upon by the western Indians,
of which, among the papers of Captain Brant, is the following notification
to his nation:--

           "Message from the Hurons of Detroit to the Five Nations.

                                                 "_January_ 2l_st,_ 1788.

  "Brethren,

"Nothing yet has reached us in answer to the messages sent to the
Americans on the breaking up of our General Council, nor is it now
probable we shall hear from them before our next meeting takes place; a
circumstance that ought to expedite us in our business. The nations this
way have adhered hitherto to the engagements entered into before we
parted, at least as far as has come to our knowledge; and we intend
immediately to call them to this council-fire, which shall be uncovered at
the time appointed; that without farther delay some decisive measures may
be finally fixed upon for our future interest, which must govern hereafter
the conduct of all the nations in our alliance; and this we intend to be
the last council for the purpose; therefore it is needless for us to urge
farther the indispensable necessity of all nations being present at the
conclusion of affairs tending so much to their own future welfare and
happiness. And we do in a particular manner desire you, the Five Nations,
to be strong and punctual in your promise of being with us early and in
time; and that not only the warriors, but the chiefs of your several
nations attend on this occasion. We shall therefore endeavor to have as
many of the western and southern Indians as possible collected.

                                            "_Strings of Wampum._"

Accompanying this address to the Five Nations, was another of similar
import, (save only that it expressed the dissatisfaction of the Hurons at
the proceedings of the former grand council,) directed to the other tribes
of Canadian Indians, and summoning them to appear at the great
council-fire of the Confederacy in the Spring.

It will appear by the three letters next successively to be introduced,
that Captain Brant was preparing in March to attend the proposed council,
and that, having attended the said council, his views became more pacific.
He had, however, begun to distrust all the nations of his own confederacy,
excepting only the Mohawks--and probably not without reason. The Congress
of the United States; in the Autumn of the preceding year, had given
instructions to Major General St. Clair, then Governor of the
North-western territory, to inquire particularly into the temper of the
Indians, and if he found it still hostile, to endeavor to hold as general
a treaty with them as he could convene; and although the purchase of the
Indian right to the soil was not to be considered a primary object, yet
he was instructed if possible to extinguish their title as far westward
as the Mississippi river. It will be seen presently, that Brant had, even
thus early, reason to suppose, that in a war with the United States the
majority of the Five Nations would not be found in arms. The gentleman to
whom two of these letters were addressed, was Patrick Langan, Esq. private
secretary to Sir John Johnson:--

                "Captain Brant to Lieutenant Langan. [FN]

                              "_Grand River, March_ 20_th,_ 1788.

  "Dear Sir,

"I hope you have enjoyed your health since I had the pleasure to see you
last. We have had no particular news here from the southward, only they
are preparing to have another great Council in that country early in the
Spring, and I am obliged to attend myself there. As for the Five Nations,
most of them have sold themselves to the Devil--I mean to the Yankeys.
Whatever they do after this, it must be for the Yankeys--not for the
Indians or the English. We mean to speak to them once more. We must, in
the first place, get the Mohawks away from the Bay of Quinte. As soon as
we can get them here, we shall begin to argue to the Five Nations, and
will show our example of getting together ourselves; also, we shall know
who is for the Yankeys and who is not. I forgot to mention to Sir John I
wanted very much to have the papers here. I mean the list of our losses
and claims, and our names. I should be much obliged to you if you would
be so kind as to send me those papers, or the copies of them, as there are
some disputes here concerning those lists. I should be exceeding happy if
you could get me a quarter of a pound of sewing thread, of silk, of
different colors, and send me the account and the money I owed you before.
Also, I wish you could get me a pipe tomahawk. Please to get the best, if
you can.

                            "Sir, I remain
                              Your most obedient, humble servant,
                                     Joseph Brant."

   "_To Lieutenant Langan._"

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Copied from the original by the author.


There is no farther information of Brant or his movements until the
closing week of August, at which time he was in the neighborhood of
Detroit, preparing to mingle in the deliberations of the great council
spoken of in the preceding letter. The following is a copy of a letter
found among his papers, written at this time:

                   "Captain Brant to Sir John Johnson.

                     "_Huron Village, mouth of the Detroit._  }
                                         _28th August, 1788._ }

  "Sir,

"I am happy to inform you of our having arrived at Detroit the 10th inst.
The party with Capt. David who went by water, and those with myself who
went by land, being so lucky as to arrive the same inst. And wishing to
lose as little time as possible, the next day we met the principal men of
the Hurons, Chippewas, Ottawas, and Pottawattamies. As they had lost three
of their Chiefs, we went through our ancient custom of condoling with
them, by giving about 10,000 wampum, as we could not proceed with our
public business till such time as that ceremony was over; when, upon
examining into the business we came about, I plainly foresaw numberless
difficulties, owing to the people here not being so unanimous as the
situation of affairs requires. The Wyandots do not wish to attend at the
place that was last Fall agreed upon, but wish to have the Council at this
place; but that we strenuously opposed, and have got them to consent to
meet at the Miamis; their reason is, I believe, that they would wish to
have a private and separate meeting with the Americans to settle matters
for themselves. On the other hand, the Twightwees or Miamis are quite the
reverse,--wishing by no means to fall in with the Hurons in their way of
thinking, but would wish to be at open war with the Americans. Thus are
matters here situated. However, I have some reason to think that if we can
get them at the appointed place of rendezvous, we will be able to point
out to them their error, and get them again to adopt the measures that the
whole of us agreed upon, and cause that unanimity to subsist among us,
which is so requisite in our situation, and without which we cannot expect
the business will terminate so much to our satisfaction as it otherwise
would. In case that they should be headstrong, and not wish to fall in
with our plan of operation, I shall scarcely know how to act upon it, but
shall take every necessary precaution to prevent the minds of those who
unanimous being any ways inflamed by those nations in opposition and
wavering. Still I hope to have the pleasure of writing to you a more
favorable account after we have had a meeting. Capt McKee has given us
every assistance that he could towards forwarding our business, and I
expect will attend the Council at the Miamis, which I sincerely hope will
now be soon. Upon leaving Niagara, I found from the multiplicity of
business which we should have, that it would be highly requisite to have
a man with us who understood the English language, and capable of
transacting business, for which purpose we have thought proper to appoint
Ralph Clement, and will make him some allowance out of the money we are
to receive next summer for the lands sold the Americans. In the meantime
I have to request you will be so kind as to allow him something towards
defraying his necessary expenses out of the Indian store at Niagara. Upon
application made to Col. Butler, he did not think proper to advance him
any thing without he should have your order for it. As to the news from
the Southern Indians and American Commissioners, we have some accounts,
but must refer you to Capt McKee, who writes you by this vessel, for the
particulars. This is the fourth letter I have written you since I had the
pleasure of seeing you last.

                    "Your most obedient servant,
                                       Joseph Brant.

  "_Sir John Johnson._"

From the nomadic habits of the Indians, and the long distances most of
their nations were obliged to travel, the gathering of their great council
was a work of time. Thus it will be seen that six weeks more elapsed,
before the kindling of the council-fire, and how much longer it is
impossible to tell, from the brokenness of the correspondence of the
chief, who was probably the only writer among them. On the 7th of October
the Captain wrote as follows:--

             "Captain Brant to Lieutenant Langan.

                     "_Miamis River,_ 7_th October,_ 1788.

  "Dear Sir,

"The business I have been obliged to attend to since I had the pleasure
of seeing you, had so much taken up my attention, and kept me so busily
employed, that I have scarcely had time to write any of my friends. And,
indeed, nothing worth communicating has occurred, or otherwise I should
have strained a point to have dropt you a line, as my intention always was
to correspond with you, who, I am certain, would at any time spare a
moment to acknowledge the receipt. I have done myself the pleasure of
writing four letters to Sir John, who, I hope, has received them, [FN] as
I would wish to give him every information affecting our proceedings.
Probably his time is too busily employed to attend to them, and that it
would be more agreeable to him if I corresponded with you on public
business. I should be happy to hear from time to time whether my conduct
met with his approbation, as I would not wish to act in any manner that
he would not approve; he being at the head of the department, is the one
we look to for advice."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] One only of these has been discovered--that of the 25th of August,
 on the preceding page. The author has made many efforts to obtain the
 papers of Sir John Johnson, where these letters, probably, may yet be
 found--but without success. They are either scattered and lost, or have
 been taken to England.


"Upon my arrival at Detroit I found the nations there. All had forgot our
last Fall's agreements, and were averse to attend the council at this
place. However, we talked over matters with them, and convinced them of
the necessity there was for our being unanimous, and determining the
business that has been so long in agitation, and after some time, I
prevailed, and have got them all here. After waiting at this place, for
near five weeks, the arrival of the Shawanese, Miamis, Onias, and the rest
of the nations westward of this, are at last arrived; so that I am in
hopes in a few days to be able to give you the particulars of our meeting.
I have still my doubts whether we will all join or not, some being no ways
inclined for peaceable methods. The Hurons, Chippewas, Ottawas,
Pottawattamies, and Delawares, will join with us in trying lenient steps,
and having a boundary line fixed; and, rather than enter headlong into a
destructive war, will give up a small part of their country. On the other
hand, the Shawanese, Miamis, and Kickapoos, who are now so much addicted
to horse-stealing that it will be a difficult task to break them of it,
as that kind of business is their best harvest, will of course declare for
war, and not giving up any of their country, which, I am afraid, will be
the means of our separating. They are, I believe, determined not to attend
the treaty with the Americans. Still I hope for the best. As the major
part of the nations are of our opinions, the rest may be brought to, as
nothing shall be wanting on my part to convince them of their error. I
sincerely hope our business may terminate to our general interest and
satisfaction. We have not as yet entered upon public matters, as the
Shawanese have a great feast, which will take up a couple of days, after,
which we will have a general meeting, and then we will be certain of each
other's opinions. Till then, I am, with compliments to Sir John and Mrs.
Claus,

                    "Your most obed't friend,
                         And very humble serv't,
                                        Jos. Brant.

  "_P. Langan._"

The tone of the three immediately preceding letters, is more pacific than
might have been anticipated. Indeed, they seem to indicate a change in the
intentions of the writer, which it will be found somewhat difficult to
reconcile with portions of his subsequent conduct. He is in these
letters--particularly the last addressed to Lieutenant Langan, though
intended more especially for the information of Sir John Johnson--the
friend of peace--perhaps being compelled to assume that attitude by the
force of circumstances--having reason to anticipate the
success--temporary, as it proved--which was to crown the Indian diplomacy
of General St Clair. In his first letter to Langan, Brant had declared
that "the Six Nations had sold themselves to the devil," or, in other
words, "to the Yankees," which in his opinion was equivalent thereto--and
the result was shortly afterward such as to sustain his sagacity.

No records of the proceedings of the grand council so long assembling in
the Autumn of 1788, have been discovered, although it appears by a letter
from Captain Brant to his friend Matthews, who had returned once more to
Quebec, written in March, 1789, that all the proceedings and speeches had
been forwarded--by Captain McKee probably--to Lord Dorchester. The
presumption is, that the council came to no harmonious conclusion,
inasmuch as a treaty was shortly afterward held with the Americans at Fort
Harmar, which was attended by only a part of the Indians, while its
proceedings were subsequently disavowed by other and the larger portions
of the nations.

Be these things, however, as they may, on the 2d of May following,
(1789, [FN-1]) General St. Clair wrote to President Washington from
New-York, announcing that on the 9th of the preceding month of January,
he had concluded two separate treaties with the Indians assembled in
council at Fort Harmar; the first with the sachems and warriors of the
Five Nations, the Mohawks excepted--and the second with the sachems and
warriors of the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, Pottawattamie and
Sac Nations. The reason of these separate negotiations, as explained by
General St. Clair, Was found in the Roman maxim--"_Divide et impera._"
"A jealousy," says the General, "subsisted between them, which I was not
willing to lessen by appearing to consider them as one people. They do not
so consider themselves; and I am persuaded their general confederacy is
entirely broken. Indeed, it would not be very difficult, if circumstances
required it, to set them at deadly variance." [FN-2] This Machiavellian
policy of dividing to conquer--of poising nations, tribes, and factions
against each other, that all may the more easily be crushed at will--is
an ancient mode of war, and has been practised by every government having
the opportunity. Its morality, however, cannot be defended--more
especially in regard to the simple children of the American forests,
against whom it has been prosecuted with the greatest success. Still,
there was an approximation to justice, in a pecuniary point of view,
toward the Indians, in these negotiations of General St Clair, which had
not been previously countenanced by Congress. From the date of the peace
with England, to the reception of the address of October, 1786, from the
Grand Council at Huron Village, Congress had acted upon the principle that
the treaty with Great Britain invested them with the fee of all the
Indian lands within the boundaries of the United States. The address of
the Indian Council, of December, 1786, written, as has been assumed, by
Captain Brant, asserted a contrary principle--viz: that the Indians were
the only rightful proprietors of the soil. And this principle was acceded
to in the instructions of Congress to General St. Clair, of October, 1787,
and July, 1788. [FN-3] However greatly the Indians may have been defrauded
since that date, such has at least been the basis of all subsequent
negotiations with them for lands.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Erroneously dated, May 2d, 1788, in the State Papers as will be
 seen by the dates of the treaties, and by the Report of the Secretary of
 War, July 7, 1789.

 [FN-2] St. Clair's letter, Am. State Papers, Vol. IV. p. 10.

 [FN-3] Vide State Papers, Vol IV. p. 9; and report of the Secretary of
 War, July 15, 1789--same vol. p. 13.


Although the Mohawks were not parties to the treaty of Fort Harmar, yet it
appears that they, at least their chief, Thayendanegea, must have been
present at its negotiation. This fact is disclosed in a passage in his
letter to Major Matthews, already referred to: "You'll hear by this
opportunity the result of our jaunt to the southward, as Captain McKee
has sent down all the proceedings of our councils with the American
Commissioners, speeches, and answers. Our proceedings have been such as I
hope will be approved of. I must farther mention that much may yet be
done, if we meet with necessary assistance, as business cannot be carried
on in the upper country to advantage without the attendance of the Five
Nations, which they cannot do without being more amply supplied than
heretofore with ammunition, provisions, &c. I have ever been forward in
pointing out what I thought would tend to the good of our service, and
which has ever been attended to, notwithstanding that my friends below
seem to credit these reports. Still, my attachment to government is such,
that personal injury will not have sufficient weight to make me swerve
from the duty I owe my King." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter from Joseph Brant to Capt. Matthews, March 8,1789, among the
 Brant papers. Writing to Governor Clinton respecting the conduct of
 Captain Brant touching St. Clair's proceedings at Fort Harmar, President
 Washington said--"Captain Brant has not been candid in his account of
 General St. Clair, nor done justice in his representation of matters at
 Muskingum. It is notorious that he need all the art and influence of
 which he was possessed to prevent any treaty being held; and that,
 except in a small degree, General St. Clair aimed at no more land by the
 treaty of Muskingum than had been ceded by the preceding
 treaties."_Letter from President Washington to Governor Clinton,
 Dec. 1, 1790._


There is an allusion, in the closing sentences of this quotation, to
certain "private griefs" of the writer, requiring an explanation. Captain
Brant was no more exempt than other men from the ill-will and evil
machinations of the envious and jealous. "Great honors are great burdens"
as well among the red men as the white; and it was the fate of the noble
Mohawk to encounter his full share of trials of this description.
Difficulties had already sprung up in the administration of his affairs,
not only with the Provincial Government, in regard to the nature of the
title which the Mohawks were to receive of the lands granted them on the
Ouise or Grand River, but also between the chief and some of the Indians
themselves; not Mohawks, but stragglers from other tribes of the Iroquois
Confederacy. During the protracted absence of the Captain to the councils
of the preceding year, in the country of the great lakes, it appears that
a council of disaffected Indians had been held at Montreal; the object of
which was to denounce the conduct of Brant, but in what respects does not
exactly appear. Strong complaints were preferred against him, however, at
that council, "not only in the name of the Five Nations, but by some of
his relations and intimate friends," under circumstances, and with an air
so imposing, as to give serious alarm to his friends at the castle of St.
Lewis.

On the 3d of January, 1789, Major Matthews addressed a long letter to his
Mohawk friend, on the subject of that council, and the charges then and
there preferred against him. This letter was written by Matthews with the
knowledge and approbation of a distinguished personage, who, although his
name is not given, must have been Lord Dorchester. Major Matthews did not
specify the charges made against his friend, and they can only be vaguely
surmised from the following extract: "The circumstances which have been
alleged against you, you have no doubt been minutely informed of. It is
therefore unnecessary, and would be painful to me, to recapitulate them.
Your friend [FN] wishes you to reflect seriously upon the fatal
consequences that must attend a misunderstanding and disunion of your
nation, and of those Indians who might make the settlement upon the Grand
River a happy retreat for themselves and their posterity, by a cordial and
friendly union. How materially the contrary must weaken their interest,
and yours in particular, in the great scale of the Indian Confederacy; and
how heavy the blame must fall upon whoever shall be considered the
promoter of so great a calamity. He therefore recommends to you, as the
safest and surest road to consequence and fame, to effect, without loss of
time, a perfect reconciliation with your friends and fellow-settlers;
convincing them, by your mildness and generosity, and still more by a
strict attention to justice, that you are worthy of their confidence;
exert all your powers in establishing perfect union and friendship among
your own nation, and you will convince those at a distance that you are
capable and worthy of cementing a general union for good purposes."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Lord Dorchester doubtless, meaning.


"Having thus far given you the sentiments of a hearty well-wisher, I
cannot conclude without adding from myself, in the language and with the
heart of an old and sincere friend, that I feel more sensibly than I can
find words to express, for the critical situation in which every person
who was present at the Council must consider you to stand with your
nation. For my own part I could scarce believe my own eyes and ears, when
I saw and heard our old friends, whose hands and hearts have been so long
joined together in one common cause, pour out complaints against you; and
they did it at the same time with such reluctance and concern, that it was
the more affecting. It is impossible that men who were born, brought up,
who have so oft fought by each others' sides, and bled together, can
seriously disagree. The whole must be a misunderstanding, and must be
explained with reconciliation. It is noble and generous to acknowledge an
error, and mutually to forgive injuries; and, my dear Joseph, listen to
mine, and to the voice of your friends, who wish your happiness by seeing
you so firmly re-united with your own flesh and blood as to resist any
power on earth that would separate you from them." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Extracted from the original letter of Capt. Matthews, among the
 Brant papers.


It is from the reply of Captain Brant to this communication, that the
brief reference to the proceedings of the western councils has been
quoted. In regard to the proceedings at Montreal to which his attention
had been so earnestly invited by his correspondent, the answer of Captain
Brant was full and frank, manifesting on his own part, a feeling of
dignified and conscious rectitude. The charges themselves were not
specified by the chief in his defence, but the inference deduced from his
language is, that his integrity had been impeached in regard to their
lands, and his loyalty questioned to the King; and farther, that he had
been censured for introducing a few white settlers upon the Indian
lands--his object in so doing, being to benefit the Indians by the better
examples of the whites in husbandry, and also by the introduction of some
of the mechanic arts among them. He regrets that his enemies, few in
number, as he says, had availed themselves of his absence to assail his
character, at a moment, too, when in a distant country he was exerting
all his energies for the benefit of his people; and regrets still more
that his friends in Montreal had listened to the charges for a moment,
until after he could have a hearing. If he had erred at all, he maintained
that it could only have been in the warmth of his ardour in promoting the
substantial interests of his nation. In the course of his letter, he
pointed with modest exultation to the proceedings of a full Council of the
Five Nations, held at Niagara, in presence of the agent and the commanding
officer, subsequent to the denunciation at Montreal, by which his conduct
had been approved. Should the proceedings of this council be insufficient
to remove "the censure thrown upon him by a seditious and discontented
few, and make the complainants appear in their proper light," the Captain
suggested that he should make application to the agents at Detroit and
Niagara for certificates of his conduct during the war and since the
peace; and thus provided, he would repair to head-quarters with all the
principal men, both sachems and warriors, [FN] of all the nations settled
in that country, and let them speak freely. After which, he hoped to stand
better with "the great men below" than he had reason to suppose he did at
that time.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] "Both Sachems and warriors." "A Sachem is considered a civil
 magistrate, who takes precedence of all war-chiefs in time of peace, and
 is hereditary. Not so the war-chiefs. They, as by all the rest of the
 world, are made by the voice of the nation for their gallantry in the
 field. In time of war, the war-chiefs take the commend, and direct all
 the movements,--what is called in civilized life,--martial law."
 _Letters to the editor from Colonel William J. Kerr._ The distinction is
 scarcely ever observed in writing of Indian affairs, since sachems,
 warriors, chiefs, are most usually written indiscriminately, as it
 happens.


With the conclusion of the treaties of January, 1789, by General St.
Clair, the purpose of forming a grand Indian Confederacy, to include the
Five Nations, which should be lasting, was defeated, at least for that
time; and although peace had not been restored to the south-western
settlements on the Ohio, yet the name of Captain Brant does not again
appear in connexion with the affairs of the western Indians during the
residue of the year 1789 and the two succeeding years. It appears,
however, by the copy of a letter found among his papers, addressed by him
to Colonel McDonnell, in September, that the Shawanese had then just sent
an embassy, "inviting the Five Nations very strongly to a grand council
of the different nations, to be held at the Wyandot Town, near Detroit,
for the purpose of renewing and strengthening the Confederacy." "We left
it," the letter continues, "entirely to the Buffalo Creek people to
determine how to act, because they are in general backward and dilatory;
but for our parts, we can always be ready at the shortest notice. I,
however, think, myself, that it cannot take place until next Spring, since
by this time the young men have begun to scatter in the woods for hunting;
and it would be necessary to have them present to hear what is agreed upon
by the chiefs; and by that means whatever may be agreed on will more
firmly effect and unite the different nations. The larger number present
from the different nations the better." Whether the proposed council was
held, or whether, if held, Captain Brant participated in its
deliberations, is not known.

But while Thayendanegea had successfully vindicated himself from the
aspersions of the disaffected of his own people, as has been seen, and
while he was pondering upon the invitation of the Shawanese to attempt the
assembling of another great council in the west, he was admonished of the
rumored existence of a plot against the English garrison at Detroit, and
also against himself and his own people in their new location, concerted
by his recent _quasi_ confederates, the Hurons, Pottawattamies, and
Chippewas. The inauspicious rumor was communicated to him in writing by
Sir John Johnson.

                  "Sir John Johnson to Captain Brant.

                                         "_Montreal,_ 4_th Nov._ 1789.

  "Dear Joseph,

"I do not think I should be justifiable in not acquainting you (though
perhaps you may have heard the report,) that an account has been received
at Detroit, upon the oath of one the party concerned, that the Hurons,
Pottawattamies, and Chippewas are concerned in a plot to cut off the
garrison at Detroit, and your settlement, this Winter, or as soon as the
navigation of the lakes is shut up. Though this information wants farther
confirmation, and I give very little credit to it, I think you had better
be on your guard, and try to find out the real situation, designs, and
disposition of those nations, by sending some trusty, unsuspected persons
among them. I should imagine that you had some friends among the Hurons
that you could rely upon to give you all the information you want, and
that some trusty Messissagoes might be got to go among the other nations
to watch their motions; any recompense for these services will be readily
granted, if you think them necessary, upon producing this letter to Lieut.
Col. Butler, or Mr. McKee.

"I have your letter to Langan of the 23d of September. As to the business
of Aaron and Isaac, so much has been said on that already, and, in fact,
it is so trifling, that nothing farther is necessary to be said in answer
to that part of your letter; but I must acknowledge that I am a little
hurt at the other queries you put to him, as they are the offspring of an
ungenerous suspicion, and ill-founded doubts of the conduct and sincerity
of your best and only friends. Rest assured that we know nothing of the
intentions of government to relinquish or give up the posts; so far from
any appearance of it, I am well informed that the post of Niagara is put,
or putting, into the best state of defence the nature of the works will
admit of, as I believe all the others are likewise; and I am confident no
such step will ever be taken without some previous notice given to all
interested. As to the department I have the honor to superintend, I have
no reason to think any change or alteration will take place in it, that
can in any manner affect the interests of the Indians.

"You wish to know our news. All we have that can be interesting to you is,
that one of the most wonderful revolutions has happened in France that
ever was known in so short a time. The people have been made, by the more
enlightened part of the nation, to view their situation in its proper
light, and to throw off the yoke of bondage, slavery, and oppression,
under which they have for ages groaned, and have compelled their grand
monarch to yield to a Constitution similar, in most respects, to the happy
one under which we live. They have abolished all their monks and
nunneries, and have made such changes as are wonderful to relate. With my
best regards to Mrs. Brant, &c. and to all at the village, I remain, as
ever,

                        "Your friend and faithful servant,
                                   John Johnson." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Respecting the rumor which elicited this letter, there is no farther
 information. Indeed, the letter of Sir John itself has been inserted in
 the text, more for the purpose of disclosing the liberal spirit in which
 the Baronet hailed the beginning of the French Revolution, (as all the
 civilized world did at first,) as the dawn of liberty in France, than
 for any other purpose.


Relieved, temporarily at least, from the cares and labors of diplomacy
among the nations of the more distant lakes, Brant was enabled, early in
the year 1789, to direct his attention more closely to other matters of
business; not forgetting the pursuits of literature, so far as under the
disadvantages of his situation he was enabled to attend to its
cultivation. He was ever anxious for the moral and intellectual
improvement of his people; and as a primary means of such improvement, he
now earnestly sought for the settlement of a resident clergyman among
them. Visiting Montreal for that purpose, he wrote to Sir John Johnson,
who was absent (probably at Quebec) at the time, and through him appealed
to Lord Dorchester to procure the removal of the Rev. Mr. Stuart from
Kingston to the neighborhood of Grand River. Many of the Indians, he said,
wished to be near a church where there should be a proper minister; and
nowhere, as he thought, could one be found who would suit their
dispositions so well, and exert such a desirable influence over the morals
of the young people, as Mr. Stuart, who had been a missionary among them
in the Valley of the Mohawk. "This good thing," he said in his letter to
Sir John, "I know must be done by his Lordship, and through your kind
interposition; which, be assured, I would not mention, if I was not very
well a convinced of the good that would arise from it." [FN] He wrote
other pressing letters to the same purport; but the transfer of Mr. Stuart
was not effected.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. letters among the Brant papers.


He is believed at about the same time to have resumed the labor of
translating devotional books into the Mohawk language. In addition to the
work published in England in 1786, as already mentioned, he translated the
entire liturgy, and also a primer; a copy of each of which works was
presented to Harvard University. The donation was acknowledged by a vote
of thanks, which was enclosed in the following letter from the President
of that institution:--

                  "President Willard to Captain Brant.

                                 "_Cambridge, July_ 20th, 1789.

  "Sir,

"I have the pleasure of enclosing you a vote of thanks of the Corporation
of the University in this place, for your present of books to the library,
which were received but a little while before the date of the vote. [FN]
To the vote of thanks from the whole corporate body for this acceptable
present, give me leave, Sir, as head of the University, to add my thanks
in particular.

"I am pleased to hear, from the Rev. Mr. Kirkland, that you are writing a
history of the natives of this country. I hope, when you have finished it
in your own language, you will give us a translation in English, as I
doubt not we shall have many curious and important things contained in it,
respecting the various Indian nations, that we are now unacquainted with.

"Mr. Kirkland is so obliging as to take charge of this letter, and I doubt
not will convey it to you as soon as possible,

               "I am, Sir,
                  With sentiments of great esteem,
                       Your very humble servant,
                             Joseph Willard.

  "_Colonel Joseph Brant._"

                          * * * * *

 [FN] See Appendix, No. VI.


The historical work mentioned in the preceding letter, it is believed,
was never commenced, although it had been projected, or rather, Captain
Brant had designed writing a history of the Six Nations. But he had,
probably, too many demands upon his time, and cares upon his mind, to
allow of the execution of his plan. The work of translating the New
Testament was continued by Captain Brant's friend and fellow-chief, John
Norton, alias Teyoninhokaraven, which was his Indian name. This chief
translated the Gospel of John, which was printed by the British and
Foreign Bible Society; and he intended to proceed with the Gospels of
Matthew and Luke, but probably the work was not completed. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Norton's name will appear frequently hereafter. He was a half-breed,
 his father being an Indian, and his mother a Scotch woman. He received a
 classical education at an English school. Next to Thayendanegea,
 Teyoninhokaraven was the moat distinguished of the modern Mohawks. His
 observations were said to be acute, and his language in conversation
 strong and elegant. He was well versed in ancient and modern history, and
 particularly well informed in geography. On every subject connected with
 his own country and people his knowledge was minute. In his person he was
tall and muscular, with a large and expressive eye.


But, aside from the cultivation of letters, Captain Brant had ample
employment, for both mind and body, in regulating his domestic Indian
relations. The planting of his own nation upon their new territory at
Grand River, and the exertions necessary to bring them into order, and
persuade them to substitute the pursuits of husbandry for the chase, were
labors of no small moment. The grant of land on the Grand River was
doubtless intended solely for the Mohawks, who had been dispossessed of
their own native valley; but other Indians of the Six Nations intruded
upon them, even some of those who had borne arms against the crown and
the Mohawks. Jealousies and heart-burnings were the consequence, which
occasionally called for the interposition of the chief, sometimes to the
injury of his popularity, as has already appeared.

Nor was his attention alone required to regulate the affairs of the
Indians on the British side of the line. Difficulties sprang up as early
as 1789 among the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, in consequence
of the intrusion of the whites upon their lands, and the unlawful
purchases effected by some of them, from Indians not authorized to sell.
All the weight of these troubles seemed to fall upon the shoulders of
Captain Brant, between whom and Governor George Clinton an active
correspondence took place upon the subject, in 1789 and the following
year. The Governor made every possible effort to cause justice to be done
to the Indians; for which purpose, several councils were held at Fort
Stanwix, and at least one special interview was held between the Governor
and the chief in relation to it. The result was an amicable arrangement.
In his letters, Governor Clinton treated the Indian chieftain not only
with marked respect, but with evident personal kindness and regard. The
following letter will serve as a specimen of this correspondence on the
part of that distinguished man:--

                "Governor Clinton to Captain Brant.

                                "_New-York,_ 1_st September,_ 1790.

  "Sir,

"I was favored with your letter of the 21st of July yesterday, and am
happy to hear of your health and safe arrival at your place of residence.

"A rumor of a Spanish war also prevails among us. It is certain, that both
that and the British nation are equipping powerful naval armaments; the
ostensible object of which is the settlement of a dispute which has taken
place between them, with respect to their possessions on the north-west
part of this Continent, and the right of fishery in that quarter. It is,
however, probable that all this political bustle may terminate in
negotiation, by one conceding and the other accepting of what neither have
any well-founded pretensions to, farther than mere discovery and the
displaying of a national flag by the permission of the hospitable and
unsuspecting natives.

"The gentlemen who are appointed commissioners of Indian affairs, and whom
you saw with me at Fort Stanwix, chiefly reside in the country, and are
now so dispersed that it is not practicable to confer with them. I
perfectly recollect the conversation which passed between you and me
relative to the land you was to have had from Doctor Benton, and I
communicated the import of it at the time, to the commissioners; and you
will remember I afterward informed you that, however strong their
dispositions were to serve you, yet they could not consent to any thing
that would give the least sanction or countenance to any part of Benton's
transactions, as they considered them not only contrary to law, but
committed by him in open defiance of the authority of the State. They
expressed, at the same time, sentiments of the warmest friendship for you;
and I considered the present which they directed me to make you, as the
only way they had in their power to evince the sincerity of their
professions.

"I shall be happy to see you here next Summer, and will endeavor to make
your visit agreeable to you. Colonel Varick and your brother, the sachem,
are the only two of the gentlemen who were at Fort Stanwix, now in town.
They request you to accept of their best respects. I will not fail to
communicate your expectations to Mr. L'Hommedieu, that he may stand
prepared to discharge the tribute.

                    "I am
                       Your most obed't servant,
                               Geo. Clinton.

  "_Captain Joseph Brant._"



                          CHAPTER X.



 Continued troubles with the Indians--English emissaries in
  Kentucky--Mission of Antoine Gamelin--Preparations for war--Campaign of
  General Harmar--Successive defeats of Colonel Hardin--Conduct of the
  militia--Retreat of Harmar--Indian deputation to Lord Dorchester--Letter
  of Sir John Johnson--Colonel Gordon--Letter of Brant to Colonel
  McKee--Pacific views of Lord Dorchester--Renewed efforts of the United
  States to bring the Indians to peace--Interposition of
  Corn-planter--Mission of Corn-planter and Colonel Proctor--British
  officers wish a mediation--Letter of Colonel Gordon--Colonel Pickering
  holds an Indian Council at the Chemung--Red Jacket's course--Brant
  interferes--Indian Councils at Buffalo--Influence of Colonel John Butler
  and Brant--Mission of Colonel Proctor and Corn-planter
  frustrated--Important position of Brant--Correspondence between the
  Secretary of War and Governor Clinton--Colonel Pickering's Council with
  the Indians at Painted Post--Mission of Hendrick, the Stockbridge
  chief--Renewal of hostilities--Campaign of General St. Clair---His
  defeat--Thayendanegea among the Indian captains--The panic that
  followed--Clamor against St. Clair--His resignation--Wayne appointed his
  successor--Refusal of Colonel Willett to embark in an Indian war.


Notwithstanding the treaties of peace concluded by General St. Clair with
all the Six Nations, the Mohawks excepted, and with several of the great
north-western tribes, the tranquility of the frontier settlements, now
extending four hundred miles along the Ohio, had not been secured. The
Shawanese, Miamis, and Wabash Indians [FN-1] still kept up a bloody war,
ravaging the settlements of Kentucky, and the territory now known as Ohio,
and causing serious apprehensions in the frontier settlements of Virginia.
The President had made every possible effort to conciliate the Indians by
just and pacific overtures, but in vain. [FN-2] Even the Indians with whom
one of the treaties had been formed, could not all of them be restrained
from the warpath. There was, moreover, another angry cloud lowering in the
western sky. The governments of the United States and Spain were at issue
on the question of the navigation of the Mississippi, respecting which
strong solicitude was felt by the people of the west--especially of
Kentucky. Not satisfied with fomenting discontents among the Indians at
the north, the English government, availing itself of the Spanish
question, and hoping, should the mouth of the Mississippi be ultimately
closed against the commerce of the United States, that disaffection might
ensue in the west, was believed to have despatched secret agents into
Kentucky, with propositions to test the fidelity of the people to the
Union. Among these emissaries was Lieutenant Colonel Connolly, of Detroit,
a loyalist formerly of Fort Pitt, who had espoused the cause of the crown
in the Revolution. He held several confidential conferences with some of
the most influential citizens of Kentucky, and attempted to seduce them
into a project for making a descent upon New Orleans, seizing the city,
and securing the navigation of the Mississippi by force, as a necessary
consequence. Information of these secret proceedings was transmitted to
the President, who, looking upon the intrigue as an attempt to divide the
Union, was prompt in concerting measures to detect any farther
machinations of the kind. [FN-3] What progress was made in sowing the
seeds of disaffection, or whether any, does not appear.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Such were the statements of the accounts of that day. In the early
 part of the present year, however, Captain McKee, the active (British)
 Indian Agent at Detroit, wrote to Captain Brant--"The Indians of the
 Miamis, I understand, have been more quiet than usual this year, few
 hostilities having been committed, and those by that nation alone." In
 the same letter Captain McKee stated that a quarrel had arisen between
 the Miamis and Delawares respecting the lands occupied by the latter,
 who were so much offended as to be preparing to retire across to the
 Spanish side of the Mississippi. The Captain added:--"Their withdrawing
 themselves at this time will be extremely detrimental, not only to the
 Indian confederacy, but to the country in general, as it will draw a
 number of others after them who do not consider the consequences." McKee
 invoked Captain Brant to send the disaffected Delawares a speech, to
 prevent their separation. But if this request was complied with, it
 failed of the desired effect. The Indians in question carried their
 design of a removal into execution.

 [FN-2] "The basis of our proceedings with the Indian nations has been,
 and shall be, _justice_, during the period in which I have any thing to
 do with the administration of this government"--_Letter of President
 Washington to the Marquis de Lafayette, Aug._ 1790.

 [FN-3] Sparks's Life and Correspondence of Washington, vol. ix. pages
 473, '76. Letter of President Washington to Mr. Innes, and Notes. These
 attempts upon the fidelity of Kentucky were made in 1788 and 1789. In the
 following year, in the prospect of a war between Great Britain and Spain,
 apprehensions of trouble between the United States and the former arose
 from the same quarters, but upon a very different question. From certain
 circumstances which came to the knowledge of the President, it was
 believed that Lord Dorchester, in the event of a war with Spain, had it
 in contemplation to send an expedition from Detroit for the invasion of
 Louisiana. This could not be done without marching an army across the
 whole breadth of the territory of the United States. On the 25th of
 August, President Washington communicated his apprehensions to the
 members of his cabinet, the Vice-President, and the Chief Justice, (Jay,)
 requiring their opinions in writing upon the course proper to be pursued
 by the Government of the United States in such an emergency.


In the Spring of 1790, Antoine Gamelin, an experienced Indian merchant,
was despatched to visit all the principal tribes of the west, as a
messenger of peace, with a view of ascertaining the general temper of the
Indians. Among the tribes who had entered into the treaty, he found the
old chiefs and warriors generally well disposed, and by no means hostile.
But with these exceptions, the war feeling was almost universal. Of the
spirit that prevailed, an idea may be formed from the following notes of
Gamelin, of his interview with the Ouiatanons and Kickapoos:--"After my
speech, one of the head chiefs got up and told me: 'You, Gamelin, my
friend and son-in-law, we are pleased to see in our village, and to hear
by your mouth the good words of the Great Chief. We thought to receive a
few words from the French people, [traders,] but I see the contrary. None
but the Big Knife is sending speeches to us. You know that we can
terminate nothing without the consent of our elder brethren, the Miamis.
I invite you to proceed to their village, and to speak to them. There is
one thing in your speech I do not like. I will not tell of it. Even was I
drunk, I would not perceive it; but our elder brethren will certainly take
notice of it in your speech. You invite us to stop our young men. It is
impossible to do it, being constantly encouraged by the British.'" Another
chief said: "The Americans are very flattering in their speeches; many
times our nation went to their rendezvous. I was once there myself. Some
of our chiefs died on the route, and we always came back all naked; and
you, Gamelin, you came with a speech, but with empty hands." Another chief
said: "Know ye that the village of Ouiatanon is the sepulchre of our
ancestors. The chief of America invites us to go to him, if we are for
peace; he has not his leg broke, being able to go as far as the Illinois.
He might come here himself, and we should be glad to see him in our
village. We confess that we accepted the axe, but it was by the reproach
that we continually receive from the English and other nations, which
received the axe first, calling us women; at the same time they invite our
young men to war. As to the old people, they are wishing for peace." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Gamelin's Journal, Am. State Papers, Vol IV. p. 93.


All the endeavors of the President to give security to the parties by
peaceful arrangements having proved unavailing, vigorous offensive
measures were determined upon, and an expedition against the hostile
tribes was entrusted to General Harmar, a veteran of the revolution. His
force consisted of fourteen hundred and fifty men, three hundred and
twenty of whom were regular troops, and the residue levies of the
Pennsylvania and Kentucky militia. The object was to bring the Indians to
an engagement, if possible; if not, in any event to destroy their
settlements on the waters of the Scioto and Wabash. [FN-1] The expedition
left Fort Washington on the 30th of September, 1790. The Indians at first
abandoned their principal town, after applying the torch to it, but
rallied subsequently upon a detachment of two hundred and ten men,
commanded by Colonel Harden, thirty of whom were regulars, and gave
battle. At the first fire Harden's militia all ran away. The regulars
maintained their ground for a time, and fought bravely until but seven of
their number were able to escape. On the next day Col. Harden, at the head
of three hundred and sixty men, sixty of whom were regulars, undertook to
retrieve their disgrace. They were met by the Indians, and a bloody
conflict ensued near the junction of the St. Joseph and St. Mary rivers.
The militia, for a miracle, fought bravely on this occasion. Overpowered
by numbers, however, they were defeated, with the loss of several gallant
officers, and one hundred and eighty-three men--seventy-five of whom were
regulars. Among the former were Majors Fontaine and Wyllys, and Lieutenant
Frothingham. Ten militia officers were also among the slain. The Indians
lost about one hundred and twenty warriors. The battle was severely
fought, and ended in the flight of the Americans. General Harmar thereupon
returned to Fort Washington and claimed the victory--with what propriety
has never been ascertained. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Holmes--Marshall.

 [FN-2] A letter to Captain Brant, written from Detroit, gave a still more
 disastrous account of this affair than was admitted by the American
 authorities. The following is an extract:--"I have to inform you that
 there have been two engagements about the Miami towns, between the
 Americans and the Indians, in which, it is said, the former had about
 five hundred men killed, and that the rest have retreated. The loss was
 only fifteen or twenty on the side of the Indians. The Shawanese, Miamis,
 and Pottawattamies were, I understand, the principal tribes who were
 engaged; but I do not learn that any of the nations have refused their
 alliance or assistance, and it is confidently reported that they are now
 marching against the frontiers on the Ohio. As Mr. McKee writes to the
 chiefs at the Grand River, he will be able to state circumstances more
 particularly than I can. The gentlemen of the garrison beg their
 compliments."---MS. _Letter of John Smith to Captain Brant._


Flushed and emboldened by their success, the depredations of the Indians
became more frequent, and the condition of the frontier was more
deplorable than it had been previous to this ill-fated expedition. [FN-1]
Nor were their aggressions confined to the settlements along the Ohio and
the Kentucky border. Two of the Seneca Indians having been murdered by the
whites, that nation, with others among the warriors of the Six Nations,
were becoming more hostile; and the consequence was, that early in the
Spring of 1791, the Pennsylvania settlements along the Allegheny river,
above Pittsburgh, experienced repeated and fearful visitations of Indian
retribution. Several stations of the settlers were entirely broken up. The
murders of women and children were frequent, and were often attended with
circumstances of undiminished inhumanity, while many people were carried
into captivity. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] "It appears, from the most indubitable testimony, that from 1783,
 when peace was made, to October, 1790, when the United States commenced
 offensive operations against them, on the Ohio and the frontiers, the
 Indians killed and wounded, and took prisoners, about fifteen hundred
 men, women, and children; besides taking away two thousand horses and a
large quantity of other property"--_Narrative and Sufferings of Massy
 Harbison._

 [FN-2] Idem.


News of the disastrous victory of General Harmar having reached the seat
of government, a regiment was added to tho permanent military
establishment, and the President was authorised to raise a body of two
thousand men for six months, to appoint a major and a brigadier general
to continue in command so long as he should think their services
necessary. [FN-1] No time was lost in calling this augmented force into
the field, and Major General Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the territory
north west of the Ohio, was appointed Commander-in-chief, and charged with
the conduct of the meditated expedition; the immediate objects of which
were to destroy the Indian villages on the Miamis, to expel the Indians
from that country, and to connect it with the Ohio by a chain of posts
which would prevent their return during the war. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Marshall's life of Washington.

 [FN-2] Holmes's Annals.


It appears that on the repulse of Harmar, the confederated nations of the
Chippewas, Pottawattamies, Hurons, Shawanese, Delawares, Ottawas, Tustans,
and Six Nations--after a consultation at the foot of the Miami Rapids with
Capt. McKee,--deputed a representation of chiefs and warriors to visit
Lord Dorchester at Quebec, for the purpose of consultation, and also to
ascertain whether any, and if any, what, assistance might be expected from
the British or provincial government. Lord Dorchester's views were
doubtless at that time pacific, as also were those of Captain
Brant--provided always that the United States would establish the Ohio as
the boundary, and relinquish all claims of jurisdiction beyond that river.
On the 22d of February, 1791, Sir John Johnson addressed a letter to
Captain Brant, from Montreal, enclosing a copy of a letter from Lord
Dorchester to himself and another copy of the same to Captain McKee, the
purport of which can only be inferred from the letter of the Baronet. It
is accordingly inserted:--

            "Sir John Johnson to Captain Brant. (Private.)

                                    "_Montreal,_ 22_d Feb'y,_ 1791.

  "Dear Joseph,

"As I think the Six Nations much interested in the business proposed by
the inclosed copy of a letter from Lord Dorchester, (another copy of which
I transmit to Mr. McKee,) I could not think of withholding it from you,
that you may take such steps, in concert with Mr. McKee and the western
nations, as you may judge most conducive to their interest and honor. As
you certainly are all free and independent, I think you will have a right
to insist upon disposing of whatever lands you judge fit to reserve for
the General Confederacy, in whatever manner, and to whomsoever you please.
The idea of the States claiming a jurisdiction up to the line of
separation settled between Great Britain and them, must arise from a
supposition that the Indians, at some time or other, allowed that power
to our Provinces for the better government of their subjects. Whether or
not that is the case, I know not, nor can I at present find out; but
certain I am that without such a cession of power on the part of the
Indians, no just right or claim to such a power can be supported beyond
the line of 1768, and to the western line of the land ceded or sold by the
Indians to the States since the war. This is certainly a nice point, and
may not be proper to insist upon too positively; but in justice I believe
it is as I have stated. When the Indians allowed the English and French to
build forts for the protection and support of their subjects and trade,
they no doubt had a right to a certain jurisdiction or command round those
places, but I never believe it extended farther, or that the Indians meant
it should. Upon the whole, you understand your own rights better than I
do. I shall therefore say no more than to recommend coolness and a manly
firmness in whatever you may determine on. As I mean this letter as
entirely private, I shall acquaint you that I believe this measure has
been thought of by Lord Dorchester, in consequence of my writing to him
on receiving the account of the expedition carried on last Fall by the
Americans against the Miamis, at which time I took the liberty of saying
that the Americans had no claim to any part of the country beyond the
line established in 1768, at Fort Stanwix, between the Indians and the
Governors and agents of all the Provinces interested, and including the
sales made since the war; and that I therefore thought, as we could not
afford them assistance in arms, we should at least afford them our
mediation to bring about a peace between them and the States, on terms
just and honorable, or something to that purpose. You may converse with,
or write freely to Mr. McKee upon the subjects of this letter, but let it
be as from yourself--perhaps I may say something similar to him if time
will permit. I have wrote Lord Dorchester that an answer might be had to
his inquiries by some time the beginning of May, but I fear not; a great
deal will depend on you, however, in forwarding the packet to Mr. McKee,
which let me intreat you to lose no time in doing. My best wishes attend
you all, and believe me as ever sincerely yours,

                                                "John Johnson.

   "_Captain Brant._"

Colonel Gordon, commanding the British post at Niagara, was also at that
time and afterward, a friend of peace. On the 4th of March he addressed a
letter to Captain Brant, from which the following is an extract:--"I hope
you will embrace the present opportunity of the meeting of the chiefs of
the Five Nations in your neighborhood, to use your endeavors to heal the
wounds between the Indians and Americans. I dare say the States wish to
make peace on terms which will secure to the Indians their present
possessions in the Miami country, provided the young men are restrained
from committing depredations in future." The temper of the chief himself,
at this period, can best be determined by the following extracts from a
letter addressed by himself to Captain McKee, three days after the letter
from Colonel Gordon was written, and probably immediately on its
receipt:--

                "Captain Brant to Captain McKee. (Extracts.)

                            "_Grand River, March_ 7, 1791."

                          * * * * *

"I have received two letters from the States, from gentlemen who have been
lately in Philadelphia; by which it appears the Americans secretly wish to
accommodate the matter--which I should by all means advise, if it could be
effected upon honorable and liberal terms, and a peace become general."

                          * * * * *

"I am happy to see in Sir John's last letter to me, that he has suggested
to his Lordship the necessity of their interference in bringing about a
peace between the Indians and the United States; by which it appears he
has an idea of recommending the line settled in 1768 [qu? 1765] between
the Indians and government, as the northern and western boundary of the
States in that quarter. I expect to hear more from him in the Spring on
that subject, as I have pressed him hard to give me his sentiments on the
utility of my interference in the present dispute."

Lord Dorchester's speech in reply to the deputation already mentioned, was
of a similar tenor to the preceding letter of Sir John Johnson. His
Lordship informed them that he should be glad to be instrumental in
restoring peace. He informed them that the line marked out in the treaty
of peace with the United States, implied no more than that beyond that
line the King their father would not extend his interference; and that the
King had only retained possession of the posts until such time as all the
differences between him and the United States should be settled. In regard
to the questions of the deputation, whether it was true that, in making
peace with the States, the King had given away their lands, his Lordship
assured them that such was not the fact, inasmuch as the King never had
any right to their lands, other than to such as had been fairly ceded by
themselves, with their own free consent, by public convention and sale.
On this point, his Lordship likewise referred to the treaty with Sir
William Johnson, at Fort Stanwix, in 1766. In conclusion, he assured the
deputation, that although the Indians had their friendship and good-will,
the Provincial Government had no power to embark in a war with the United
States, and could only defend themselves if attacked. He also informed
them that the command of the province was about to devolve upon General
Clarke; and that Prince Edward, [FN-1] who had just arrived with a chosen
band of warriors, would be the second in command. His Lordship himself was
on the eve of embarking for England, where it would afford him great
pleasure to hear that peace had been established between the Indians and
United States upon a just and solid foundation. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The late Duke of Kent, father of the present young Queen of
 England.

 [FN-2] Journal of Major General Lincoln, which will be more particularly
 referred to hereafter.


This speech afforded but small encouragement to the Indians, and most
likely but ill corresponded with the expectations that had been raised by
McKee, and other subordinate officers in the British Indian Department at
the remote posts--of whom several, like McKee, were refugee Americans,
indulging bitter hatred toward the country which they had deserted in the
hour of its peril. Indeed, there is no reason to distrust the manly and
honorable conduct of Lord Dorchester during the greater part of this
singular border contest, the progress of which was marked by so many
vicissitudes of feeling and action on the part of many of the Provincial
authorities. And besides, the attitude of the two nations was at that
moment less seemingly belligerent than it shortly afterward became.

During these side negotiations in Canada, and while the preparations for
another campaign by the American government, as already mentioned, were
in progress, no relaxations of efforts to prevent the farther effusion of
blood were allowed to take place. Captain O'Bail, or the Corn-planter as
he was usually called, the principal chief of the Senecas, being in
Philadelphia in the month of December, after the defeat of General Harmar,
was induced not only to use his influence to prevent the warriors of the
Six Nations from taking a part in the contest, but also to undertake a
mission with other friendly Indians to the country of the Miamis, to
persuade them to peace, also, if possible. In March following, the
Corn-planter, with whom Colonel Proctor, an active officer in the
(American) Indian Department had been associated, set out upon the
mission. Meantime, measures were adopted to draw the Indians of the Six
Nations to a general conference at a distance from the theatre of war, in
order, not only to prevent their joining the war, but, if necessary, to
obtain some of their young warriors for the service against the Miamis and
the other hostile tribes. This attempt to create a diversion of the Six
Nations, however, was looked upon with displeasure by the Provincial
authorities in Canada, as will be seen by the annexed letter from Colonel
Gordon to Captain Brant. It also appears from this letter, that these
Provincials were ambitious of being appealed to by the government of the
United States as mediators in the controversy. Nor was this an individual
conceit of Colonel Gordon, inasmuch as Sir John Johnson had hinted the
same thing, as was evident from his letter, after consultation with Lord
Dorchester. It will farther appear by the address of the letter, that the
ever-vigilant Brant was already once more in the country of the Miamis,
although but a very few days previous he had been assisting at a private
council at Buffalo. His movements in all these matters, as in the war of
the Revolution, seem to have been as rapid as the light.

                  "Colonel Gordon to Captain Brant.

                                      "_Niagara, June_ 11_th,_ 1791.

  "Dear Sir,

"I was glad to find by your letter, from the foot of the Rapids, to
Colonel Butler, that you was in good health; and I very sincerely hope the
business you are engaged in, will be attended with success.

"From the inconsistent proceedings of the Americans, I am perfectly at a
loss to understand their full intentions. Whilst they are assembling
councils at different quarters with the avowed purpose of bringing about
a peace, the Six Nations have received a speech from General St. Clair,
dated at Pittsburgh, 23d April, inviting them to take up the hatchet
against their brothers the western nations.

"Can any thing be more inconsistent? or can they possibly believe the
Indians are to be duped by such shallow artifices? This is far from being
the case; the Indians at Buffalo Creek saw the business in its proper
light, and treated the invitation with the contempt it deserved. It must
strike you very forcibly, that in all the proceedings of the different
Commissioners from the American States, they have cautiously avoided
applying for our interference, as a measure they affect to think perfectly
unnecessary; wishing to impress the Indians with ideas of their own
consequence, and of the little influence, they would willingly believe,
we are possessed of. This, my good friend, is not the way to proceed. Had
they, before matters were pushed to extremity, requested the assistance of
the British Government to bring about a peace on equitable terms, I am
convinced the measure would have been fully accomplished long before this
time.

"I would, however, willingly hope they will yet see the propriety of
adopting this mode of proceeding; and that peace, an object so much to be
desired, will at length be permanently settled.

"I am the more sanguine in the attainment of my wishes, by your being on
the spot, and that you will call forth the exertion of your influence and
abilities on the occasion. Let me hear from time to time how matters are
going forward, and with my wishes for your health, believe me

                               "Your friend,
                                    A. Gordon.

  "_Captain Brant._"

The Council of the Six Nations, always excepting the Mohawks, was
successfully held by Colonel Timothy Pickering, in the Chemung country,
in the month of June. But the Corn-planter and Colonel Proctor met with
insurmountable difficulties in the prosecution of their mission. The
special object of that mission, after traversing the country of the Six
Nations, and exerting such wholesome influence upon them as might be in
their power, was to charter a vessel at Buffalo Creek, and proceed to
Sandusky, and if possible induce the Miamis to meet General St. Clair in
council on the Ohio. They were every where well received on the route from
Allegheny to Buffalo Creek, at which place a grand Council was called in
honor of their arrival, and attended by Red Jacket and other chiefs.
After having been welcomed by a speech from Red Jacket, Colonel Proctor
opened to them the message from General Washington, the great chief of the
Thirteen Fires. Red Jacket replied, that many persons had previously at
different times been among them, professing to come by the authority of
the Thirteen Fires, but of the truth of which declarations they were not
always convinced. In the course of the conversation, it was ascertained
that at a private council held at that place one week before, at which
Captain Brant and Colonel Butler, of the British Indian department, were
present, these officers had uttered the same doubts now started by Red
Jacket. Brant had advised the Indians to pay no attention to Proctor and
O'Bail, of whose approach and purpose he was aware, and to render them no
assistance in their projected visit to Sandusky, assuring them it should
do no good; but that Colonel Proctor, and all who would accompany him to
the country of the Miamis, would be put to death. They also ascertained,
that while holding the said private council, in anticipation of their
visit, Captain Brant had received secret instructions from
"head-quarters," [FN] to repair to Grand River, and from thence to
Detroit. It was believed by a French trader who gave the information, and
also by Captain Powell of the British service, who confirmed it, that the
Mohawk chief had been sent to the Indians hostile to the United States,
with instructions of _some_ kind; and the Indians at Buffalo Creek had
been charged by Brant to conclude upon nothing with Proctor and O'Bail
before his return.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The words used in Col. Proctor's narrative; but whether he meant the
 British or Indian head-quarters, the author cannot say. Probably the
 former.


Colonel Proctor and O'Bail continued at Buffalo from the 27th of April to
the 22d or 23d of May. The Indians collected in large numbers, and many
councils were held. On the 8th of May, the Fish-carrier, one of the
principal Cayuga chiefs, and the right hand man of Captain Brant, declared
in a speech that O'Bail had taken a course that was not approved by
them--that more than one half of the Indians there, _were not for peace,_
[FN-1] and that Captain Brant had been sent to the council-fire of the
Miamis. "We must, therefore," he added, "see his face, for we can't
determine until we know what they are about. So we beg you to grant our
request, to keep your mind easy; for we, who do this business, look on
you, and hold ourselves to be slaves in making of peace. Now, we all say
you must look for Captain Brant's coming, to hear the words that come from
his mouth, for then we can say to you, what towns will be for peace; and
this is all that we have to say to you for this time." [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Proctor's Journal

 [FN-2] American State papers--Indian Department.


An effort was made by Red Jacket to induce Proctor and O'Bail to go down
to the British fortress at Niagara to hold a consultation with Colonel
Butler; but Colonel Proctor declined the adoption of any such course. The
Indians thereupon despatched a messenger for Colonel Butler to meet them
at Buffalo Creek, which he accordingly did--but previously called a
separate council at Fort Erie. He afterward had an interview with Proctor,
and endeavored to dissuade him from visiting the country of the hostile
Indians,--proposing that the negotiations for a peace should be left to
Captain Brant and McKee, who, Colonel Butler thought, could best manage
the business. Of course a proposition going to clothe British subjects
with power to negotiate for the government of the United States, was
promptly rejected.

One of the leading objects of Colonel Proctor in meeting the Six Nations
at Buffalo, was to induce as many of their sachems and warriors as he
could, to accompany the Corn-planter and himself to the Miamis country,
to aid, by their influence, in bringing the hostile Indians into a more
pacific temper; but from the whole cast of the deliberations, it was
perfectly evident that the majority of the leading chiefs were under the
direct influence of the British officers, who, it was obvious, had now
suddenly become less pacific than they had very recently been. Colonel
Proctor met with but little success in persuading a portion of the
warriors to accompany him to the Miamis; and on applying to Colonel
Gordon, commanding at Niagara, for permission to charter a British
schooner on Lake Erie, to transport himself and such Indians as might
feel disposed to accompany himself and Corn-planter to Sandusky, the
request was peremptorily refused. The expedition was thus abruptly
terminated, and Colonel Proctor returned to Fort Washington.

Before leaving Buffalo, however, according to an entry in his journal,
Colonel Proctor seems to have been apprised of the fact, which will
subsequently appear, that Captain Brant had not gone to the Miamis as a
messenger, or an observer merely, but that he had actually gone to join
them with his warriors:--

"_May_ 21st. Being in private conversation this evening with Captain
O'Bail, and sitting between him and the New-Arrow sachem, I hinted to
Captain O'Bail that if he would go and join General St. Clair with
thirty-five or forty of his warriors, as well equipped as he could make
them, purely to counterbalance the force that Brant had taken with him to
the unfriendly Indians, I would use endeavors with the Secretary of War
to procure him a commission that should yield to him and his people a
handsome stipend. He replied, that the Senecas had received a stroke from
the bad Indians, by taking two prisoners, a woman and a boy, from Conyatt;
and that, should the hatchet be struck into the head of any of his people
hereafter, he would then inform me what he would undertake to do."

The natural import of this entry in Proctor's journal is, that Captain
Brant had at that time actually joined the Miamis in hostile array against
the United States. It is possible, however, that such was not _at that
time_ the fact; and it is certain that General Knox, the Secretary of War,
after the return of Colonel Proctor to Philadelphia, did not so construe
it. In writing to Colonel Pickering respecting the council which he was
then preparing to hold at the Painted Post on the 13th of June, the
Secretary speaks of Brant's journey to the western Indians as having
probably been undertaken for pacific purposes, under the direction of the
British officers, who were using him with a view to a peace, of which they
intended to claim the merit at some future time. And this construction
would comport with the idea of a British intervention, as heretofore
suggested by Colonel Gordon and Sir John Johnson.

But it is, nevertheless, a curious fact, which speaks largely of the
talents and address of Brant, and the high importance which was attached
to his influence; that if the British authorities were then thus using his
services, the American government was at the same time seeking his
assistance for the same object. Colonel Pickering was instructed to treat
him with "great kindness" if he could be persuaded to attend the council
at the Painted Post; and on the 12th of April, the Secretary of War
addressed a latter to Governor Clinton, from which the following is an
extract:

"Aware of your Excellency's influence over Captain Joseph Brant, I have
conceived the idea that you might induce him, by proper arrangements, to
undertake to conciliate the western Indians to pacific measures, and bring
them to hold a general treaty. This measure would be abundantly more
compatible with the feelings and interest of the United States than to
extirpate the Indians, which seems to be the inevitable consequence of a
war of long continuance with them. You are entirely able to estimate
Brant's talents, and the degree of confidence that might be placed in him
on such an occasion. Perhaps Colonel Willett, of whose talents in managing
the minds of men I have a high opinion, might accept of an agency on this
occasion, as it might respect Brant. If your Excellency should entertain
the opinion strongly that Brant might be employed with good effect, I
earnestly request that you would take the necessary measures for the
purpose, according to your own judgment."

Other topics were embraced in the Secretary's letter, to all of which
Governor Clinton replied on the 27th of April. The following extract
relates to the subject of this biography:--

"I have communicated to Colonel Willett your confidence in his talents and
desire for the interposition of his influence with Brant, but have it not
in my power to inform you of his explicit answer. . . . I had, in June
last, appointed an interview with Brant, contemplating the danger you
appear to apprehend from his address and his influence with several of the
Indian nations, (which, I am persuaded, is very considerable,) and from
different letters I have since received from him, I have reason to hope he
will give me the opportunity of a personal conference with him at this
place, (New York,) the beginning of the ensuing summer, if the proposed
convention, to which I will not venture to say he may not be opposed,
should not prevent it. But the good understanding between us, and the
friendly and familiar intercourse I have successfully endeavored to
preserve, will, I doubt not, predominate over any transient disgust that
the measures of the Union may have heretofore excited in his mind, and
enable me to procure an interview with him at any time and place not
particularly inconvenient. To accomplish this, however, with certainty,
it may require the personal application of some one expressly delegated,
and in whom he will confide."

Captain Brant has been charged with great vanity, and with attaching undue
importance to his position and influence. But how few are the men, Indians
or whites, who would not have stood in danger of being somewhat inflated,
on finding two such nations as Great Britain and the United States,
apparently out-bidding each other for his services and friendship? Still,
he was looked upon with no inconsiderable distrust by the American
Secretary of War. In his letter of reply to Governor Clinton, dated May
11th, the Secretary, after speaking of the hostility of Brant to the
Corn-planter, refers to the former design of the Mohawk chief to place
himself at the head of the great Indian confederacy, so often spoken of,
north-west of the Ohio, the Six Nations included; and cites a letter which
he had just received from the Rev. Mr. Kirkland, the Indian missionary,
intimating that he had not yet abandoned that project. Indeed, Brant
himself had then just written to Mr. Kirkland that he should yet like to
compass that measure, should he find it practicable. The United States
could not, of course, be favorable to the formation of any confederacy, by
which the whole of the then vast body of Indians might be moved by a
single impulse; and with a view of diverting him from such a purpose, and
of securing his friendship to the United States, Governor Clinton was
requested, if possible, to effect the interview of which he had spoken,
with Captain Brant. Authority was also given the Governor to enter into
any pecuniary engagements which he should judge necessary, to make sure of
his attachment to the United States.

It has already been observed that the council held with the Six Nations by
Colonel Pickering, at the Painted Post, in June, had been to a great
extent successful. Although the chiefs at Buffalo were for the most part
under the influence of the British officers in Upper Canada, and of course
not very friendly to the United States at that time, yet the warriors in
general were more amicably disposed. The women, moreover, were anxious for
peace, and addressed Colonel Proctor upon the subject. Before that officer
left Buffalo, the Indians began to draw off to meet Colonel Pickering, and
the council with him was well attended--serving, if no other good purpose,
to divert the attention of the Indians, and by the distribution of
presents to keep the young warriors from indulging their favorite
propensity, by stealing away and joining the Miamis. Colonel Pickering had
also induced Captain Hendrick Aupamut, the justly celebrated chief of the
Muhheconnuck, [FN] to undertake the mission to the Miamis, which Colonel
Proctor and Corn-planter had been prevented from performing. Captain
Brant, it was also reported to the War Department, about the 1st of
August, had returned to Niagara from the Miami town, accompanied by some
of the western chiefs. The Indians at Pickering's treaty had asserted
that, after all that had transpired, Brant's designs were still pacific;
and since Lord Dorchester, as already stated, had expressed himself
favorable to a pacification of the Indian tribes, and Sir John Johnson was
about to assemble the Six Nations again at Buffalo, strong hopes were
entertained by the American government, that the border difficulties would
soon be adjusted without the necessity of another appeal to arms.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Stockbridge Indians, who had removed from Massachusetts to the
 Oneida country in 1785.


But, notwithstanding these favorable indications, the preparations for
another offensive campaign were not relaxed. And it was well that they
were not. The movements of Brant, beyond doubt the most influential
warrior of his race, were yet mysterious, and his designs too cautiously
veiled to be penetrated. The unlimited power with which the President had
been clothed, the preceding year, to call mounted militia into the field,
had been exercised by General Washington as far as was deemed necessary,
and two expeditions had been conducted against the villages on the
Wabash,--the first led by General Scott, in May, and the second by General
Wilkinson.. These desultory excursions, however, were unattended by any
beneficial results. A few warriors had been killed, and a small number of
old men, women, and children captured. But such results were not
calculated to make any serious impression upon the savages, or to have any
particular influence on the war. It was likewise well known that the
Indians had received from the British posts large supplies of provisions
and ammunition, immediately after the defeat of General Harmar the
preceding Autumn. This fact, it is true, was disclaimed by Lord
Dorchester, but it was nevertheless certain; and it was also certain that,
in addition to the unfriendly influence of the British officers on the
frontiers the English and French traders, scattered among the Indian
towns, were constantly inciting them to acts of hostility.

Under these circumstances, all the efforts of the United States to bring
the hostile Indians to a friendly council having failed, the conquest of
the Miami country and the expulsion of the Indians became necessary. The
most vigorous measures within the power of the Executive had failed in
raising the troops and bringing them into the field until the month of
September. On the 7th of that month General St. Clair moved from Fort
Washington, north, toward the Miamis--establishing, on his way, two
intermediate posts, at the distance of more than forty miles from each
other, as places whence to draw supplies should the army be in need, or
upon which to fall back in the event of disaster. At the farthest of these
posts, called Fort Jefferson, reinforcements of militia, to the number of
three hundred and sixty, were received--augmenting the army to about two
thousand men. With this force St. Clair moved forward, but the necessity
of opening a road through the forests rendered his progress slow. The
Indians hung in small scattered parties upon the flanks, and by the
skirmishing that took place, were somewhat annoying. Added to these
vexations, the militia began to desert; and as the army approximated more
nearly to the enemy's country, sixty of them went off in a body. It was
likewise reported to be the determination of those "brave defenders of
their country's soil" to fall upon the supplies in the rear; to prevent
which act of moral treason, it was judged necessary to detach Major
Hamtramck in pursuit.

After these reductions, the effective force of St. Clair that remained did
not exceed fourteen hundred men--including both regulars and militia.
Moving forward with these, the right wing commanded by General Butler and
the left by Lieutenant Colonel Darke, both, like the Commander-in-chief,
veterans of Revolutionary merit, on the 3d of November they had approached
within about fifteen miles of the Miamis villages. The army encamped for
the night on the margin of a creek, the militia crossing in advance, to
encamp on the other side. Here a few Indians were discovered; but these
fleeing with precipitation, the army bivouacked for the night--the
situation, and the dispositions both for defence and to guard against
surprise, being of the most judicious character.

This position had been selected with a view of throwing up a slight
defence, and awaiting the return of Major Hamtramck with the first
regiment. Both designs were anticipated and circumvented by the Indians.
About half an hour before sunrise on the morning of the 4th, just after
the soldiers were dismissed from parade, the militia, who were about a
quarter of a mile in front, were briskly attacked by the Indians. Like
most militiamen, their first impulse was to run--and that impulse was
obeyed in the greatest terror and wildest confusion. Rushing through the
main encampment, with the enemy close upon their heels, no small degree of
confusion was created there also. The lines had been formed at the firing
of the first gun; but the panic-stricken militia broke through, and thus
opened the way for the enemy--an advantage which was not lost upon him.
The officers endeavored to restore order in vain, although, for a time,
the divisions of Butler and Darke, which had encamped about seventy yards
apart, were kept in position. But the Indians charged upon them with great
intrepidity--bearing down upon the centre of both divisions in great
numbers. The artillery of the Americans was of little or no service, as
the Indians fought in their usual mode, lying upon the ground and firing
from behind the trees--springing from tree to tree with incredible
swiftness, and rarely presenting an available mark to the eye even of the
rifleman. Having, in the impetuosity of their pursuit of the fugitive
militia, gained the rear of St. Clair, they poured a destructive fire upon
the artillerists from every direction--mowing them down by scores, and
with a daring seldom practised by the Indians, leaping forward, and
completing the work of death at the very guns. General St. Clair was
himself sick, having been severely indisposed for several weeks. He
assumed his post, however, and though extremely feeble, delivered his
orders in the trying emergency with judgment and self-possession. But he
was laboring under the disadvantage of commanding militia upon whom there
was no reliance, and having few, if any, but raw recruits among his
regulars. These, too, had been hastily enlisted, and but little time for
drill or discipline had been allowed. Hence, though brave, and commanded
by officers of the highest qualities, they fought at great disadvantage.
General Butler fell early in the action, mortally wounded, and was soon
afterward killed outright, under circumstances of deep atrocity. Among the
Indian warriors were considerable numbers of Canadians, refugees from the
United States and half-breeds--young men born of Indian mothers in the
remote Canadian settlements. [FN] These motley allies of the savages were
even more savage than their principals. Among them was the noted and
infamous Simon Girty, whose name has occurred in a former part of the
present work. After the action, Girty, who knew General Butler, found him
upon the field, writhing from the agony of his wounds. Butler spoke to
him, and requested him to end his misery. The traitor refused to do this,
but turning to one of the Indian warriors, told him the wounded man was a
high officer; whereupon the savage planted his tomahawk in his head, and
thus terminated his sufferings. His scalp was instantly torn from his
crown, his heart taken out, and divided into as many pieces as there were
tribes engaged in the battle.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] "A great many young Canadians, and, in particular, many that were
 born of Indian women, fought on the aide of the Indians in this action;
 a circumstance which confirmed the people of the States in the opinion
 they had previously formed, that the Indians were encouraged and abetted
 in their attacks upon them by the British. I can safely affirm, however,
 from having conversed with many of these young men who fought against St.
 Clair, that it was with the utmost secrecy they left their homes to join
 the Indians, fearful lest the government should censure their
 conduct."--_Wald's Travels in Canada._


The Indians had never fought with such fury before. The forest resounded
with their yells, and they rushed upon the troops, under their favorite
shelter of trees, until they had partially gained possession of the camp,
artillery and all. Ascertaining that the fire of their troops produced no
perceptible effect upon the Indians, recourse was had to the bayonet.
Colonel Darke made an impetuous charge at the head of the left wing, and
drove the enemy back about four hundred yards, with some loss. But not
having a sufficient number of riflemen to maintain his advantage, he gave
over the pursuit--being instantly pursued in turn under a deadly fire. The
same gallant officer was subsequently ordered to make a second charge,
which he performed with equal bravery--clearing for the moment that
portion of the camp to which his attention was directed. But the Americans
were now completely surrounded; and while he was driving the Indians in
one direction, clouds of them were seen to fall, "with a courage of men
whose trade is war," upon another point--keeping up a most destructive
fire from every quarter. The use of the bayonet was always attended with
temporary success, but each charge was also attended by severe loss,
especially of officers; nor in a single instance were the Americans able
to retain the advantage thus severely gained. Finally, a large proportion
of the best and bravest officers having fallen, nearly all that had been
preserved of order disappeared. The men huddled together in groups, and
were shot down without resistance. Having done all, under the
circumstances, that a brave man could do, and finding that the day was
lost past recovery, General St. Clair directed Colonel Darke, with the
second regiment, to charge a body of Indians who had gained the road in
the rear, and thus open a door of retreat. The order was promptly and
successfully executed, and a disorderly flight ensued. The victorious
Indians followed up their advantage to the distance of only four miles,
when, leaving the pursuit, they directed their attention to the plunder,
and ceased fighting to revel in "the spoils of the vanquished." The
fugitives continued their flight thirty miles, to Fort Jefferson. Here
they met Major Hamtrack with the first regiment; but it was not deemed
advisable to make a stand, and the remains of the army fell back to Fort
Washington, as Harmar had done the year before. The retreat was indeed
most disorderly and cowardly. "The camp and the artillery," says General
St. Clair in his narrative of the campaign, "were abandoned; but that was
unavoidable, for not a horse was left to draw it off, had it otherwise
been practicable. But the most disgraceful part of the business is, that
the greatest part of the men threw away their arms and accoutrements, even
after the pursuit had ceased. I found the road strewed with them for many
miles, but was not able to remedy it; for, having had all my horses
killed, and being mounted upon one that could not be pricked out of a
walk, I could not get forward myself, and the orders I sent forward,
either to halt the front, or prevent the men parting with their arms, were
unattended to."

This was one of the severest battles ever fought with the Indians--the
latter being unaided by any other description of force, excepting the wild
half-breed Canadians already mentioned. The loss of the Americans, in
proportion to the number engaged; was very severe. Thirty-eight
commissioned officers were killed on the field, and four hundred and
ninety-three non-commissioned officers and privates killed and missing.
Twenty-one commissioned officers were wounded, several of whom mortally,
and two hundred and forty-two non-commissioned officers and privates were
also wounded. General Butler, who fell early in the action, was a brave
man; and with many other excellent officers who fell, "had participated
in all the toils, the dangers, and the glory, of that long conflict which
terminated in the independence of their country." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Marshall's Life of Washington. For a ballad giving an account of
 this disastrous battle, see Appendix, No. VII.


The loss of the Indians, was about one hundred and fifty killed and a
considerable number wounded. Their immediate booty was all the camp
equipage and baggage, six or eight field-pieces, and four hundred horses.
As the contest was one for land, the Indians, in their mutilations of the
dead, practised a bitter sarcasm upon the rapacity of the white men, by
filling their mouths with the soil they had marched forth to conquer. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Two years afterward, when the battle-ground was re-occupied by the
 army of Wayne, its appearance was most melancholy. Within the space of
 about three hundred and fifty yards square were found five hundred skull
 bones, the most of which were collected and buried. For about five miles
 in the direction of the retreat of the army, the woods were strewn with
 skeletons and muskets. Two brass field-pieces were found in a creek not
 far distant.--_Drake's Book of the Indians._


General St. Clair imputed no blame to his officers. On the contrary, he
awarded them the highest praise for their good conduct; and of those who
were slain, he remarked,--"It is a circumstance that will alleviate the
misfortune in some measure, that all of them fell most gallantly doing
their duty." From the fact of his being attacked at all points as it were
at the same moment, it was the General's opinion that he had been
overwhelmed by numbers. But from subsequent investigation it appeared that
the Indian warriors counted only from a thousand to fifteen hundred. But
they fought with great desperation. Their leader, according to the
received opinion, was _Meshecunnaqua,_ or, the _Little Turtle,_ a
distinguished chief of the Miamis. He was also the leader of the Indians
against General Harmar the year before. It is believed, however, that
though nominally the commander-in-chief of the Indians on this occasion,
he was greatly indebted both to the counsels and the prowess of another
and an older chief. One hundred and fifty of the Mohawk warriors were
engaged in this battle; and General St. Clair probably died in ignorance
of the fact, that one of the master-spirits against whom he contended, and
by whom he was so signally defeated, was none other than Joseph
Brant--Thayendaneqea. [FN] How it happened that this distinguished chief,
from whom so much had been expected as a peace maker, thus suddenly and
efficiently threw himself into a position of active hostility, unless he
thought he saw an opening for reviving his project of a great
north-western Confederacy, is a mystery which he is believed to have
carried in his own bosom to the grave.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This interesting fact has been derived by the author from
 Thayendanegea's family. He has in vain sought for it in print. It is the
 circumstance of Brant's having been engaged in this battle, that prompted
 the author to give so full a narrative of the event, and the incidents
 attending it, in this place. It would seem that the government of the
 United States was sadly at fault as to the numbers and tribes of the
 Indians who fought this battle; and when, in the month of January, 1798,
 Captain Peter Pond and William Steedman were sent into the Indian country
 as messengers, it was a part of their instructions to obtain information
 upon these points.--Vide Indian State papers, vol. iv. p. 227.


The news of the decisive defeat of General St. Clair spread a gloom over
the whole country--deepened by the mourning for the many noble spirits who
had fallen. The panic that prevailed along the whole north-western border,
extending from the confines of New-York to the estuary of the Ohio, was
great beyond description. The inhabitants feared that the Indians,
emboldened by success, and with greatly augmented numbers, would pour
down upon them in clouds, and lay waste all the frontier settlements with
the torch and the tomahawk, even if some modern Alaric of the forest did
not lead his barbarians to the gates of Rome. Nor were these apprehensions
by any means groundless. During the twelve months that followed the rout
of St. Clair, the depredations of the savages became more furious and
ferocious than ever before; and some of the most tragical scenes recorded
in history took place on the extended line of the frontiers. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Thatcher's Lives of the Indian Chiefs--Little Turtle. As an example,
 the author cites a well-authenticated case, occurring in what was then
 perhaps the moat populous section of the west. The proprietor of a
 dwelling-house in Kentucky, whose name was Merrill, being alarmed by the
 barking of his dog, on going to the door received a fire from an
 assailing party of Indians, which broke his right leg and arm. They
 attempted to enter the house, but were anticipated in their movement by
 Mrs. Merrill and her daughter, who closed the door so firmly as to keep
 them at bay. They next began to cut their way through the door, and
 succeeded in breaking an aperture, through which one of the warriors
 attempted to enter. The lady, however, was prepared for the event, and
 as he thrust his head within, she struck it open with an axe, and
 instantly drew his body into the house. His companions, not knowing the
 catastrophe, but supposing that he had worked his way through
 successfully, attempted one after another, to follow. But Mrs. Merrill
 dealt a fatal blow upon every head that pushed itself through, until
 five warriors lay dead at her feet. By this time the party without had
 discovered the fate of their more forward companions, and thought they
 would effect an entrance by a safer process--a descent of the chimney.
 The contents of a feather-bed were instantly emptied upon the fire,
 creating a smoke so dense and pungent, as to bring two more warriors
 headlong down upon the hearth in a state of half-suffocation. The moment
 was critical, as the mother and daughter were guarding the door. The
 husband, however, by the assistance of his little son, though sorely
 maimed, managed to rid himself of those two unwelcome visitors by a
 billet of wood. Meantime the wife repelled another assault at the
 door--severely wounding another Indian; whereupon the assailants
 relinquished the siege. For another highly interesting narrative of
 border sufferings in the Spring of 1792, see Appendix, No. VIII.


There was another cause of disquietude. It was feared that, flushed with
this defeat of a second expedition, even the five of the Six Nations who
had concluded treaties with the United States, but of whose ultimate
fidelity many grains of distrust had been entertained, would now grasp
their hatchets, and rush to the ranks of the Miamis and their western
allies. The most earnest appeals to the government for protection were
therefore sent forward by the inhabitants of the border towns, to which a
deaf ear could not be turned.

The popular clamor against St. Clair, in consequence of his disastrous
defeat, was loud and deep. With the great mass of the people, it is
success only that constitutes the general, and St. Clair had been
unfortunate. The surrender of Ticonderoga in 1777, was an event which had
occasioned great disappointment and dissatisfaction at the time, and the
recollection was revived, in connection with this signal reverse. But in
neither instance did the fault lie at the door of the commanding General,
Ticonderoga was evacuated because indefensible, and the battle lost by the
cowardice of the militia. Fully conscious, himself, that no blame was
justly attributable to him, General St. Clair applied to the President
for an investigation by a court of inquiry. The request was denied, only
for the reason that there were not officers enough in the service, of the
requisite rank, to form a legal court for that purpose. [FN-1] Aware of
the prejudices excited against him in the public mind, the unfortunate
General spontaneously announced his intention of resigning his commission,
suggesting, however, that he should prefer retaining it until his conduct
could be investigated in some way; but as the military establishment at
that time allowed only one Major General, and as the service required the
speedy designation of a successor, this request was also denied, though
with reluctance, by the President. [FN-2] Complaints, it is true, were
poured into the ears of the President against him. Among others, General
John Armstrong, the hero of Kittaning, and an experienced Indian fighter
in Pennsylvania, addressed a letter to the President, censuring the
generalship of St. Clair. [FN-3] It is believed, however, that the veteran
Governor of the North-western Territory continued in the full enjoyment of
the President's confidence to the last.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter of President Washington to General St. Clair, March 28,
 1792.

 [FN-2] Letter of the President to General St. Clair, April 4, 1792.

 [FN-3] Sparks's Life and Correspondence of Washington, Vol. X, p. 223.


The appointment of a successor to St. Clair as Commander-in-chief of the
army, was a source of no little perplexity to the President. His own
inclinations were in favor of Governor Henry Lee of Virginia; but it was
apprehended that difficulties would arise in procuring the services of
officers who had been his seniors in the army of the Revolution, as
subordinates under him. There appear to have been several candidates,
among whom were Generals Morgan and Scott, and Colonel Darke, who had
served under St. Clair during the last campaign. Ultimately the
appointment was conferred upon General Anthony Wayne. The selection was
most unpopular in Virginia; but the result demonstrated its wisdom. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Governor Lee wrote to President Washington on the 15th of June,
 respecting the selection of a successor of General St. Clair at large,
 and on the subject of Wayne's appointment in particular, he said:--"You
 cannot be a stranger to the extreme disgust which the late appointment
 to the command of the army excited among all orders in this state." To
 this letter the President replied at length. The following paragraph
 contains the answer to the remark of Governor Lee given above:--"How far
 the appointment of General Wayne is a popular or an unpopular measure,
 is not for me to decide. It was not the determination of the moment, nor
 was it the effect of partiality or of influence; for no application (if
 that in any instance could have warped my judgment) was ever made in his
 behalf from anyone who could have thrown the weight of a feather into his
 scale; but because, under a full view of all circumstances, he appeared
 most eligible. To a person of your observation and intelligence it is
 unnecessary to remark, that an appointment, which may be unpopular in one
 place and with one set of men, may not be so in another place or with
 another set of men, and _vice verse;_ and that to attempt to please
 every body is the sure way to please nobody; because the attempt would be
 as idle as the exertion would be impracticable. General Wayne has many
 good points as an officer, and it is to be hoped that time, reflection,
 good advice, and, above all, a due sense of the importance of the trust
 which is committed to him, will correct his foibles or cast a shade over
 them."


Rufus Putnam, a son of the veteran of Bunker Hill, who had served with
credit in the war of the Revolution, and who had settled in the
North-western Territory soon after the close of that contest, was
appointed a brigadier-general, to serve with Wayne. This appointment was
tendered to Colonel Willett of New-York, but declined by that gentleman
upon the ground of conscientious scruples with regard to fighting the
Indians. "It has been uniformly my opinion," said the Colonel in a letter
to the President, "that the United States ought to avoid an Indian war. I
have generally conceived this to be our wisest policy. The reasons alleged
in support of the present Indian war have never brought conviction to my
mind. From my knowledge and experience of these people, I am clear that it
is not a difficult thing to preserve peace with them. That there are bad
men among them, and that these will at times do acts which deserve
punishment, is very clear. But I hold, that to go to war is not the proper
way to punish them. Most of the Indians that I have had any knowledge of,
are conceited and vain. By feeding their vanity, you gain their good
opinion; and this in time procures their esteem and affection. By
conciliating their good-will, you will render them susceptible of almost
any impression. They are credulous, yet suspicious. They think a great
deal; and have in general good notions of right and wrong. They frequently
exhibit proofs of grateful minds; yet they are very revengeful. And though
they are not free from chicanery and intrigue, yet if their vanity is
properly humored, and they are dealt justly by, it is no difficult matter
to come to reasonable terms with them. The intercourse I have had with
these people, the treatment I have myself received from them, and which I
have known others to receive, make me an advocate for them. To fight with
them, would be the last thing I should desire. And yet, Sir, I declare,
from the experience I have had, I do not conceive it difficult to beat
them when brought to action. When in small parties they scatter
themselves along a frontier, they have always been found exceedingly
troublesome and dangerous. This kind of warfare is their forte; and in it
they are found to be truly tremendous. But when they attempt anything in
large bodies, I have found, notwithstanding their great dexterity in the
wilderness, and the advantage they usually derive from the admirable
position they take, that they are easily beat. In marching through woods,
where troops are exposed to attacks from Indians, particular attention
should be paid not only to the mode and line of march, but also to extend
small parties and single men far on the flanks in front and in rear. But
whenever a serious attack is made, which is usually furious, an
instantaneous charge, with huzzaing sufficiently loud to drown the noise
the Indians make, will never fail to repel them. And this stroke repeated
and pursued, will, I am well convinced, terminate in victory. And yet
victory even over Indians is generally paid for; but defeats are terrible.
The honour, however, of fighting and beating Indians, is what I do not
aspire after. If in any way I could be instrumental in effecting and
maintaining peace with them, it would be a source of great gratification."



                          CHAPTER XI.



 Preparations for an Indian Consultation at Philadelphia--Captain Brant
 invited to attend---His objections--Letter of the Rev. Mr. Kirkland to
 Captain Brant--Letter of the Secretary of War to the same--Letter of
 Colonel Gordon to the same--Letter of Captain Brant to the Secretary of
 War--The Secretary of War to Captain Brant--Attempts from Montreal to
 prevent Brant from going to Philadelphia--His journey--Feelings against
 him in the Mohawk Valley--His arrival at New-York and
 Philadelphia--Liberal offers made him--Letter to the Count de Puisy--The
 offers rejected--Undertakes a Mission of Peace to the Miamis--Returns to
 New-York--Pursued by a German from the German Flats bent on taking his
 life--Discovered in New-York--Brant returns to Niagara--Murder of Colonel
 Harden and Major Trueman--Letters of Brant to the Secretary at
 War--Feelings of the Western Nations--Correspondence between Brant and
 McKee--Great Indian Council at the Au Glaize--Sickness of Captain
 Brant--Hostilities deferred until Spring and a treaty with the United
 States ordered--Return of the Delegates of the Six Nations--Address to
 President Washington--Separate organization of Upper Canada--Arrival of
 Governor Simcoe--Letter to Brant from the Duke of
 Northumberland--Preparations for the Great Council of 1783--Fresh
 dissatisfaction of the Indians--Private Councils--They send their
 ultimatum in anticipation--The American Commissioners depart for the
 Indian country--Their arrival at Niagara--Friendly conduct of Governor
 Simcoe--Celebration of the King's Birthday--The Commissioners start for
 the West--Their progress interrupted--Conduct of General Wayne--Brant
 suddenly returns from the West with a Deputation--Council held at Fort
 Erie--Commissioners return to Niagara--Council there--Speech of Captain
 Brant--Reply of the Commissioners--Speech of Cat's-Eyes--Rejoinder of
 Brant--Arrival of the Seven Nations--Brant proceeds to the Miami
 Rapids--Followed by the Commissioners--Arrival at the Detroit
 River--Their progress interrupted--Unexpected turn of
 affairs--Explanations with Deputies from the Great Council--Long Debates
 in the Indian Council--Brant speaks strongly for peace--Governor Simcoe
 declines advising the Indians--The negotiations suddenly terminated by
 the Indians--Their address--And sine qua non.


At the treaty with the Six Nations, except the Mohawks, holden by Colonel
Pickering at the Painted Post, [FN] in the preceding month of June, an
arrangement was made with certain of their chiefs to visit Philadelphia,
then the seat of government of the United States, during the session of
Congress to ensue in the winter of 1791--92. The motive for this
invitation was threefold. First, if possible, to attach them more
cordially to the interests of the United States. Secondly, to consult as
to the best methods of extending to them the advantages and blessings of
civilization. Thirdly, to impress them with just opinions as to the
physical and moral strength of the country, that they might see with their
own eyes how futile must be every warlike effort of the Indians against
the United States. The improvement of the moral and social condition of
the Indians was an object dear to the heart of the President, and he lost
no opportunity, on all proper occasions, of impressing upon their minds
the desire of the United States to become the protectors, friends, and
ministers of good to all the sons of the forest peaceably disposed. From
the great influence of Captain Brant, not only with the Six Nations, but
over all the Indian nations, it was deemed an important point to persuade
him to attend the anticipated Council at Philadelphia. Great efforts were
accordingly made for the attainment of that object.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] From the earliest knowledge the white men have possessed of the
 country of western New-York, the Painted Post has been noted as a
 geographical landmark. When first traversed by the white men, a large
 oaken post stood at the spot, which has retained the name to this day.
 It was painted in the Indian manner, and was guarded as a monument by the
 Indians, who renewed it as often as it gave evidence of going to decay.
 Tradition says it was a monument of great antiquity, marking the spot of
 a great and bloody battle, according to some statements. According to
 others, it was erected to perpetuate the memory of some great war-chief.


The first invitation was given by Colonel Pickering by letter.
Apprehending, however, that a mere invitation would not be a sufficient
inducement for the veteran chief to undertake the journey, the Secretary
of War, on the 20th of December, wrote to the Rev. Mr. Kirkland, the
well-known Indian missionary, requesting him to repair from Oneida to
Genesee, to meet the chiefs of the Six Nations who were going to
Philadelphia, and conduct them thither. Arriving at that place, Mr.
Kirkland was instructed to write to Captain Brant in his own name, and
dispatch messengers, assuring him of his welcome reception by the
government of the United States, and pledging himself for his personal
safety. These steps were promptly taken by Mr. Kirkland, to whom Captain
Brant wrote a reply, declining the invitation--for what reasons, as this
letter seems not to have been preserved, can only be inferred from the
subsequent correspondence of the Secretary of War and Mr. Kirkland. By a
 letter from the former, it appears that the chief thought the invitation
not sufficiently formal. By a letter from Mr. Kirkland, also addressed to
the chief himself it would seem that the latter was apprehensive that,
should he undertake the journey, the American government would expect him
to travel like the common herds of Indians who frequently, as now, were
in the habit of visiting the capital of the Republic,--and who are
usually led through the country in a drove by a single conductor. Such,
however, was not the intention of the government, as will more fully
appear by the following correspondence:--

              "Rev. Mr. Kirkland to Captain Brant. (Extract.)

                                      "_Genesee, February_ 17, 1792."

                          * * * * *

"My dear and worthy friend, it is not in my power, at this instant, even
to attempt such a reply to your letter by Dr. Allen as it justly merits.
Suffice it to say, it was not in my idea that you should be crowded into
the company of all the old chiefs, and dragged along promiscuously with
them through the proposed tour to Philadelphia. No, Sir; the respect I
have for your character and happiness would have spurned at the thought.
Dr. Allen was apprised of this, and directed to acquaint you with my
instructions relative to the same. You need, Sir, be under no
apprehensions of any neglect, or want of proper attention on my part, in
the proposed tour, or of a cordial reception upon your arrival at the seat
of government. Pardon me, if I say you will have occasion much more to
fear the opposite extreme. There are so many matters of importance
relative to the Indians upon which I have a desire to converse with you,
that I cannot willingly relinquish the idea of a personal interview.

"Believe me, my dear friend, that your honor and happiness, as well as the
cause of humanity, have a share of my affection and concern. It is very
possible I may be partial in your favor by reason of your rescuing my life
at the beginning of the late war, which instance I can never forget, and
have thousands of times mentioned to your praise. I cannot but flatter
myself from the sensibility of soul you possess, that you will so adjust
your domestic affairs as to honor me with a short visit in this vicinity
next Spring, should I return here at that season; and should you, upon
mature deliberation, conclude to come down sooner, General Chapin and Dr.
Allen will be ready to wait on you wherever you please to go. Excuse the
abruptness with which I close, being much crowded--wishing you every form
of happiness, believe me to be, in great truth and esteem,

                "Dear Sir, your affectionate friend
                        And very humble serv't.
                                   S. Kirkland.

   "_Col J. Brant._

"P. S. Please remember me respectfully to Dr. Kerr and his lady. I am
exceedingly sorry for the detention of my former letter, which deprived
me of the happiness of a personal interview. I hope this will be delivered
by the bearer's own hand, your friend, Captain Hendrick."

Nearly at the same time that Mr. Kirkland was thus endeavoring to persuade
the chief to comply with the request of the government in this matter, the
Secretary of War addressed directly to him a letter as full, courteous,
and formal, as the most fastidious diplomatist could have desired:--

               "The Secretary of War to Captain Brant.

                            "_Philadelphia, February_ 20_th,_ 1792.

  "Sir,

"Colonel Pickering, who had some communications with the Senecas and
others of the Six Nations, during the last two years, was duly authorised
to invite you to visit this city, in order to consult you upon the best
means of civilizing and advancing the happiness of the Indians. Some
information has been recently received from Mr. Kirkland, intimating your
disposition to perform the visit, but declining to do it upon the former
invitation, as not being sufficiently explicit.

"I now repeat to you this invitation, accompanied with a wish that you
would repair to this city, being the seat of the American government; and
I _can_ assure you that the President of the United States will be highly
gratified by receiving and conversing with a chief of such eminence as
you are, on a subject so interesting and important to the human race.

"This invitation is given to you from the fairest motives. The President
of the United States is conscious of the purest disposition to promote,
generally, the welfare of the Indians; and he flatters himself that
proper occasions only are wanting to impress them with the truth of this
assertion. He considers your mind more enlightened than theirs, and he
hopes that your heart is filled with a true desire to serve the essential
interests of your countrymen. The United States, much against the
inclination of the government, are engaged in hostilities with some of the
western Indians. We, on our parts, have entered into it with reluctance,
and consider it as a war of necessity; and not, as is supposed, and
industriously propagated, by many, for the purpose of accumulating more
land than has been ceded by the treaty with the Indians, since the peace
with Great Britain. We are desirous of bringing it to a conclusion, not
from any apprehension as to a favorable result, because, by a comparison
of forces and resources, however troublesome a perseverance therein may be
to us, it must be utter destruction to the hostile Indians. We are
desirous, for the sake of humanity, of avoiding such a catastrophe.

"This is the main business which will be mentioned to you on the part of
the United States; and it is an object worthy of the best cultivated head
and heart. If you should enter into this view, Mr. Kirkland has directions
to concert with you the most satisfactory mode of your performing the
journey. The nature of the case will show the necessity of your coming
without delay, if you incline to accept the invitation.

                              "I am, Sir,
                                     H. Knox.

  "_To Capt. Joseph Brant._"

This letter was enclosed by General Knox to Mr. Kirkland, who was assured
that the "presence of Captain Brant in Philadelphia was considered of
great importance." Mr. Kirkland was accordingly enjoined "to spare no
pains in endeavoring to induce him to come," and "to arrange with him the
most satisfactory mode of traveling--to make it as flattering to him as
might be, and to accompany him." Mr. Kirkland despatched the letter of the
Secretary immediately to Colonel Gordon, at Niagara, by the hand of Dr.
Allen, with a request that it might be transmitted by the Colonel to its
place of destination--Grand River. But Mr. Kirkland's messenger disclosed
to Colonel Gordon the contents of the package, thereby enabling that
officer to exert an immediate influence upon the mind of the chief, if he
chose to do so. The result was, that, accompanying the Secretary's letter,
Captain Brant received the following communication:--

                     "Colonel Gordon to Captain Brant.

                                   "_Niagara,_ 20_th March,_ 1792.

  "My Dear Friend,

"The packet which I now send you was brought here by a Doctor Allen, from
Canadasago. I do not know the contents, farther, than the bearer tells me
it is a letter from the Secretary at War of the United States, inviting
you to Philadelphia on business of consequence.

"Your own good sense will best dictate the answer you ought to give.

"Should it have a reference to the bringing about a peace with the
Western Indians, I cannot conceive that Philadelphia is the place where a
conference of so much moment ought to be held; as it is evident none of
the Western Indians, whose dearest interests are concerned in the event,
can be present; and if any steps are taken by the Six Nations without
their concurrence, it is much to be feared it will give rise to
jealousies, which may be attended with disagreeable consequences
hereafter.

"If the United States have at length seriously determined to do justice
to, and make peace with, the Western Indians, a general council should be
convened in some convenient situation, where deputies from all the nations
concerned, as well as commissioners on the part of Great Britain and
America, can be assembled. The views of all parties would then be clearly
defined; an accurate boundary ascertained; past acts of hostility be
buried in oblivion; and such measures adopted as would tend to establish
permanent peace and friendship on a solid and equitable basis.

"In the many conversations we have had on this subject, we have generally
agreed, that from the line of conduct the United States have hitherto
pursued, it did not appear that they had this object seriously in view;
and I am sorry to observe, from the mode of proceeding on the present
occasion, there is too much reason to suspect they have not yet seen their
error.

"In almost every transaction they have had with the Six Nations during the
course of the last two years, there has appeared a duplicity and
inconsistency, on which it is impossible to put a liberal construction.

"The Six Nations, in the present critical situation of affairs with their
western brethren, ought to be exceedingly cautious how they involve
themselves either one way or another. Great Britain is at peace with the
United States, and it is therefore anxiously wished that her friends, the
Indians in general, should be so likewise; every advice which has been
given to them had that object in view; and I still hope the period is at
no great distance, when this desirable event will be accomplished on
equitable terms, and to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.

"I have thus, my dear friend, been induced to give you my private opinion
on the present occasion, and I am fully persuaded you will pursue a line
of conduct that will deserve the approbation of your brethren and friends.

"Accept my sincere good wishes, and believe me, with much regard, your
friend,

                                "A. Gordon.

"P. S. I understand some of the Senecas from Buffalo Creek are gone to
Philadelphia on Colonel Pickering's former invitation, which, I am told,
causes much uneasiness in the village.

                                         "A.G.

  "_Captain Joseph Brant, Grand River._"

This was certainly an artful communication. His Majesty's commander at
Niagara was desirous that peace should be restored between the Indians and
the United States, but takes care not to omit the oft-repeated
insinuations of injustice and bad faith on the part of the latter toward
the former. In one word, notwithstanding his pacific protestations,
Colonel Gordon was desirous of peace only through the agency of British
intervention, and his present purpose was, to prevent the influential
chief of the Mohawks from visiting the seat of the American government.
Notwithstanding the Colonel's letter, however, the chief addressed the
following conditional acceptance of the invitation to the Secretary of
War:--

                    "Captain Brant to General Knox.

                                          "_Nassau, March_ 27_th,_ 1792.

  "Sir:--

"Yours of the 25th of February I have the pleasure of acknowledging the
receipt of, and entertain the highest sense of the honor done me by the
invitation and flattering compliment contained therein. It is a visit I
have long been desirous of making, and the time now seems not to be far
distant when that desire will be accomplished. Visiting you as an
individual, would be by no means tending to the accomplishing any good
end, as those meetings must show that have hitherto been held with people
not deputized by the nation in general to transact business. I should
therefore wish to visit you, vested with some power that will enable me
to speak with certainty as to what I may assert, and not assert what I, at
the same time, must well know would be by no means approved of. This has
been too much the case of late years, and in my opinion is principally
the cause of the present disturbances. An explanation of grievances it is
absolutely necessary should be made, and that to the head of the United
States, from whom I entertain not the smallest doubt but justice will be
given where due. To accomplish such desirable ends as civilization and
peace-making, no exertions on my part shall be wanting; and though
circumstances render it impossible for me to do myself the honor of
accepting the invitation at present, as I cannot say whether the western
nations would approve of it, I shall nevertheless despatch messengers
immediately to the Miamis, with your invitation, to have the opinion of
the people there, who, I have no great reason to suppose otherwise than
that they'll approve of my going, and very possibly invest me with such
powers as will give energy to what I may do.

"My messengers, I suppose, will return here in about thirty days, until
when, I shall remain at home. If visiting you after that would not be too
late to answer the good end intended, I shall endeavor to accomplish my
wished-for journey--at least if I may hear from you in answer to this,
ere that period.

                            "I am, Sir,
                              With esteem,
                                 Yours, &c.
                                   Joseph Brant.

  "_The Secretary of War._"

Immediately on the receipt of this letter at the War Department, General
Israel Chapin, of Genesee, was appointed a Deputy Indian Agent by the
President, with instructions to transmit the following communication to
Captain Brant, and make all needful preparations for his journey:--

                   "The Secretary of War to Captain Brant

                                             "_April_ 23d, 1792.

  "Sir: I have received your letter of the 27th of March, postponing your
visit to this city until a period of thirty days after that date.

"I regret exceedingly the existence of any circumstance which suspended
your visit. But as the dispositions of the President of the United States
remain the same, as to the objects mentioned in my former letter, I can
with great truth assure you that your visit at the time you have proposed,
will be cordially received.

"General Chapin, who is appointed an agent of the Five Nations, will
either accompany you to this city, or he will obtain some other person for
that purpose, as shall be agreed upon between you and him,

                                   "I am, &c. &c.
                                                H. Knox

  "_To Captain Joseph Brant._"

Pending this correspondence, however, the proposed conference with a
deputation of the Six Nations, referred to in the postscript of Colonel
Gordon's letter, took place in Philadelphia. It was begun on the 13th of
March, and protracted until near the close of April. Fifty sachems were
present, and the visit resulted to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
In addition to arrangements upon other subjects, the delegations agreed to
perform a pacific mission to the hostile Indians, and endeavor to persuade
them to peace. But such were their dilatory movements, that they did not
depart from Buffalo for the Miamis until the middle of September. At the
head of this embassage was that fast friend of the United States, the
Corn-planter.

In regard to the mission of Captain Brant, in addition to the dissuasions
of Colonel Gordon, strenuous efforts were made by the official friends of
the chief at Montreal, to prevent his visit to the federal capital. On the
1st of May he was addressed by Mr. Joseph Chew, an officer under Sir John
Johnson, expressing much satisfaction at the refusal of the first
invitation by Captain Brant, and advising the chief of the preparations
the Americans were making for another Indian campaign. The following
passage occurs in this letter:--"I see they expect to have an army of
about five thousand men, besides three troops of horse. By the
advertisements for supplies of provisions, &c., it seems this army will
not be able to move before the last of July. What attempts Wilkinson and
Hamtrack may make with the militia, is uncertain. _Our friends ought to
be on their guard._ I long to know, what they think in England of the
victory gained over St. Clair's army." [FN-1] On the 23d of May, Brant
advised Mr. Chew that he had accepted the invitation; [FN-2] and on the
19th of June, the latter gentleman replied--expressing his regrets that
several of his letters to the Chief had not been received prior to his
taking that resolution. Mr. Chew, who doubtless expressed the views of Sir
John Johnson and the Executive government of the province, thought the
Captain should not have accepted such an invitation without previously
knowing the wishes of the King, in regard to the means of bringing about
a peace between the Americans and the Indians. In the same letter he also
announces to "his namesake," as he calls the Captain, that a Mr. Hammond
was on his way to the Indian country, charged with an offer of his
Majesty's-mediation. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Original letters among the Brant papers.

 [FN-2] Idem.

 [FN-3] Idem.


The necessary arrangements having been adjusted, the journey was commenced
early in June. General Chapin not being able to accompany the Chief to the
seat of government, he was attended by the General's son, and by Doctor
Allen, and two body servants of his own--all mounted. Their route from
Niagara to Albany was taken through the Mohawk Valley. At Palatine, by
previous invitation, the Captain visited Major James Cochran, who had then
recently established himself in that place. But the feelings of the
inhabitants had become so embittered against him during the war of the
Revolution, and such threats were uttered by some of the Germans, of a
determination to take his life, that it was deemed prudent for him
privately to leave the inn, where his friend Major Cochran was then at
lodgings, and sleep at the house of Mrs. Peter Schuyler in the
neighborhood, where he would be-less likely to be assailed. He did so,
and the next morning pursued his journey. [FN] With this exception, he was
well received at every point of his journey. His arrival in New-York was
thus announced in the newspapers:--"On Monday last arrived in this city,
from his settlement on Grand River, on a visit to some of his friends in
this quarter, Captain Joseph Brant of the British army, the famous Mohawk
chief who so eminently distinguished himself during the late war as the
military leader of the Six Nations. We are informed that he intends to
visit the city of Philadelphia, and pay his respects to the President of
the United States."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter of Major Cochran to the author.


He arrived in Philadelphia on the 20th of June, where he was announced in
terms very similar to the above, and received by the Government with
marked attention. But few memorials of this visit have been preserved. The
President announced his arrival in respectful terms, on the 21st of June,
in a letter addressed to Gouverneur Morris; and he speaks of the
circumstance again in a subsequent letter, but makes no allusion to the
result of his interviews with him. No doubt, strong efforts were made, not
only to engage his active interposition with the Indians to bring about a
peace, but likewise to win him over permanently to the interests of the
United States. In a letter subsequently addressed by Captain Brant to the
Count de Puisy, [FN] in regard to his difficulties with the British
government touching the title to the Grand River territory, while pleading
the claims of his Indians to the favorable consideration of the Crown, and
repelling certain charges of selfishness which had been bruited respecting
himself, the following passage occurs on the subject of the proposals made
to him by the American Executive:--"I am sorry to find that my
perseverance in endeavoring to obtain our rights, has caused unjust
surmises to be formed of my intentions, notwithstanding the many evident
proofs I have shown of my integrity and steady attachment to the British
interest. Had I not been actuated by motives of honor, and preferred the
interests of his Majesty, and the credit of my nation, to my own private
welfare, there were several allurements of gain offered me by the
Government of the United States when I was at Philadelphia, during the
time the Shawanese and other tribes maintained a war against them. I was
offered a thousand guineas down, and to have the half-pay and pension I
receive from Great Britain doubled, merely on condition that I would use
my endeavors to bring about a peace. But this I rejected. I considered it
might be detrimental to the British interests, as also to the advantage
and credit of the Indian nations, until the Americans should make the
necessary concessions. Afterward I was offered the preemption right to
land to the amount of twenty thousand pounds currency of the United
States, and fifteen hundred dollars per annum. This I considered as
inconsistent with the principles of honor to receive, as by accepting of
any of these offers, they might expect me to act contrary to his Majesty's
interest and the honor of our nations; and from the repeated assurances of
his Majesty's representatives, I had full confidence his bounty would
never fail."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Count de Puisy was one of the French nobles driven into exile by
 the revolution of 1789. He subsequently held a commission as Lieutenant
 General in the British service, and commanded a detachment of the
 emigrants in the Quiberon expedition. Receiving a grant of land in Canada
 from the British crown, as did several of the exiles, the Count came
 over, and resided for a time near Niagara. During this period he formed
 an intimate acquaintance with Captain Brant, who corresponded with him
 after his return to England. The Count resided somewhere in the
 neighborhood of London until his death, which happened many years
 afterward.


But notwithstanding his refusal of these propositions, the result of the
interview seems at the time to have been mutual satisfaction. The true
causes of the war with the western Indians were explained to him; and
great pains were taken by the President and Secretary of War to impress
upon his mind the sincere desire of the United States to cultivate the
most amicable relations with the sons of the forest, of any and every
tribe. In the end, the Chief was induced to undertake a mission of peace
to the Miamis, for which purpose he was furnished with ample instructions
by the Secretary of War. Most emphatically was he enjoined to undeceive
the Indians in regard to their apprehensions that the United States were
seeking to wrest from them farther portions of their lands. On this point
the Government solemnly disclaimed the design of taking a foot more than
had been ceded in the treaty of Muskingum in 1789. The Chief left
Philadelphia about the 1st of July, on which occasion the Secretary of War
wrote to General Chapin, among other things, as follows:--"Captain Brant's
visit will, I flatter myself, be productive of great satisfaction to
himself, by being made acquainted with the humane views of the President
of the United States." To Governor Clinton the Secretary likewise wrote
as follows:--"Captain Brant appears to be a judicious and sensible man. I
flatter myself his journey will be satisfactory to himself and beneficial
to the United States."

The Chief returned by the same route, lingering a few days in New-York,
where he was visited by some of the most distinguished gentlemen in the
city. It has been mentioned, a few pages back, that Brant was apprehensive
of some attempt upon his life in the Mohawk Valley. Indeed, he had been
informed that it would be unsafe for him to traverse that section of
country, lest some real or fancied wrong, connected with the war of the
Revolution, should be avenged by assassination. Nor were these
apprehensions groundless; for while resting in New-York, he ascertained
that he had not only been pursued from the German Flats, but that the
pursuer was then in the city watching for an opportunity to effect his
purpose. The name of this pursuer was Dygert. Several members of his
father's family had fallen in the battle of Oriskany, fifteen years
before, and this man had deliberately determined to put the leader of the
Indian warriors to death in revenge. Brant's lodgings were in Broadway,
[FN-1] where he was visited, among others, by Colonel Willett and Colonel
Morgan Lewis, both of whom he had met in the field of battle in years gone
by. While in conversation with these gentlemen, he mentioned the
circumstance of Dygert's pursuit, and expressed some apprehensions at the
result, should he be attacked unawares. Before his remarks were concluded,
glancing his quick eye to the window, he exclaimed, "there is Dygert now!"
True enough, the fellow was then standing in the street, watching the
motions of his intended victim. Colonel Willett immediately descended into
the street, and entered into a conversation with Dygert, charging his real
business upon him, which he did not deny. "Do you know," asked Willett,
"that if you kill that savage, you will be hanged?" "Who," replied the
ignorant German, "would hang me for killing an Indian?" "You will see,"
rejoined the Colonel; "if you execute your purpose, you a may depend upon
it you will be hanged up immediately." This was presenting the case in a
new aspect to Dygert, who, until that moment, seemed to suppose that he
could kill an Indian with as much propriety in a time of peace as in
war--in the streets of New-York as well as in legal battle in the woods.
After deliberating a few moments, he replied to Colonel Willett that if
such was the law, he would give it up and return home. [FN-2] He did so,
and the Mohawk chief shortly afterward reached Niagara in safety.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] The old wooden building where the City Hotel now stands.

 [FN-2] These particulars have recently been communicated to the author in
 a conversation with the venerable Governor, then Colonel Lewis, and
 confirmed by a letter from Major Cochran, with whom Brant conversed on
 the subject. Indeed the hostility of the Mohawk-Germans toward all
 Indians, after the close of the war, was deep and universal. The author
 well remembers a pensioner living in the neighborhood of the village of
 Herkimer, named Hartmann, who, some years after the war, deliberately
 killed an Indian at the German Flats, moved only by his revolutionary
 thirst for vengeance. Hartmann, it is true, had been grievously hacked
 and wounded by the Indians, so that he was disabled from labor for life.
 He was a very ignorant man, and thought it no harm to kill an Indian at
 any time. Happening one day, in after years, to fall in with a son of the
 forest, he persuaded the savage to let him examine his rifle. The moment
 he obtained the weapon, he dropped slowly behind, and shot his confiding
 companion. He was arrested and carried to Johnstown for trial, but the
 investigation was so managed as to produce an acquittal. The excuse of
 Hartmann for the commission of the deed, was, that he saw the Indian's
 tobacco-pouch, which was, as he said, made of the skin of a child's hand.
 It was, probably, a leather glove which the Indian had found.


Independently of the proposed mediation of Captain Brant, the Government
of the United States, in its great solicitude to prevent the effusion of
blood, had employed a large number of messengers of peace, among whom, in
addition to the fifty chiefs of the Six Nations already mentioned, were
the Rev. Mr. Heckewelder, General Rufus Putnam, Colonel Hardin, Major
Trueman, and a man named Freeman. The celebrated Hendrick, chief of the
Stockbridge Indians, was also employed upon the same service. It is
possible that Captain Brant was not well pleased at the appointment of so
large a number of pacificators--very naturally preferring the honor of
being the sole agent of terminating the war. It would have been no
inconsiderable subject of boasting, to be enabled to say "Alone I did it!"
Hence, we may reasonably infer, the tone of the annexed letter, addressed
to the Secretary of War by Captain Brant on his arrival at Niagara--a
fitting occasion for writing it having been furnished by the murder of
Major Trueman. [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Three of the messengers of peace above mentioned, Messrs. Trueman,
 Freeman, and Hardin, were murdered by the Indians during that season.
 Formerly no nations on earth were wont to respect the sacred character of
 "the man of peace" more than the Indians. But they had now become
 treacherous even to them. They pleaded, however, the example of the
 whites, who, they alleged, paid no attention to treaties with the
 Indians, but treated them as a contemptible race, and had killed several
 of their own messengers of peace, some of whom were chiefs.--Vide
 Heckewelder's History of Indian Nations, chapter xxi. President
 Washington, who was then at Mount Vernon, announced the death of Hardin
 and Trueman, together with "the harbingers of their mission," in a letter
 to Mr. Jefferson, Secretary of State, on the 23d of August. Everything
 then looked hostile at the west; added to which were rising difficulties
 with the Cherokees, occasioned, as was supposed, by the intrigues of
 Spain. "If Spain is really intriguing with the Southern Indians," said
 the President, "I shall entertain strong suspicions that there is a very
 clear understanding in all this business between the Courts of London and
 Madrid; and that it is calculated to check, as far as they can, the rapid
 increase, extension, and consequence of this country; for there cannot be
 a doubt of the wishes of the former, if we may judge from the conduct of
 its officers, to preclude any _eclaircissement_ of ours with the Western
 Indians, and to embarrass our negotiations with them, any more than there
 is of their traders and some others, who are subject to their government,
 aiding and abetting them in acts of hostility."--_Letter of Washington to
 Jefferson, August_ 23_d,_ 1792.


                  "Captain Brant to the Secretary of War.

                                          "_Niagara,_ 26_th July,_ 1792.

  "Sir,

"Since my arrival here, I am sorry to have to say that intelligence
respecting Major Trueman's being killed by an Indian boy, who met with him
a hunting, has arrived. This will induce you to recollect what passed
between us relative to messages being sent. The route by Presque Isle I
again recommend as the most eligible; from thence keeping along the lake
to the Miamis, at which place the chiefs are aptest to be met with; and
when once there, they are safe. Sending such number of messengers rather
makes the Indians suspicious of your intentions, and by any other route
they are much more liable to meet with hunters. There are now great
numbers of Indians collected, and, from all their councils, seem
determined upon a new boundary line. In short, they are all sensible that
what has hitherto been done, (which I fully explained to you,) was unfair;
and I am of opinion peace will not easily be established without your
relinquishing part of your claim. The purchases were all made from men who
had no right to sell, and who are now to be thanked for the present
difficulties." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The writer here refers to the treaty of Fort Harmer, which the great
 majority of the Indians always maintained was unauthorized by their
 people, and therefore of no binding force upon them.


"The Senecas and Seven Nations of Canada are now waiting at Fort Erie for
a passage for Detroit, on their way to the Miamis. I shall be able to go
up by the next trip of the vessel. My intention and wish is still for the
accomplishing of peace. 'Tis a business will require time; things too
rashly or hastily agreed upon, seldom have the effect of those seriously
and coolly reflected on; knowing the foundation to be just, and the
benefits that will arise therefrom, affords a greater space for forwarding
the business.

"After leaving your place until my arrival here, I had a tedious journey.
The fatigue is done away by the recollection of the politeness and
attention showed me by your officers of government, for which I cannot but
return my warmest thanks, and request you to communicate the same. If any
return should be in my power to make, I shall think myself particularly
happy.

                      "And am, Sir,
                           Yours, &c.
                              Jos. Brant.

  "_The Secretary of War._"

Apprehensive, from the opposition of his friends to his Philadelphia
mission, that evil reports might have been circulated concerning him, and
distrust of his fidelity engendered among the upper nations, on the 29th
of July the Captain wrote to his friend McKee, at Detroit, making
inquiries as to that and various other points, and also with a view of
ascertaining whether his presence would be acceptable at the then
approaching council at the Miamis. In reply, Colonel McKee assured him
that, "whatever bad birds had been flying about," the opinions of the
western Indians respecting him were unchanged, and that they were anxious
for his presence among them, to aid in their consultations for the general
welfare. In regard to the murder of the American messengers, Colonel McKee
said they were killed by a banditti, and the circumstance was
regretted,--"although the Indians considered that the messengers had been
sent more with a view to gain time, and lull the confederacy into a fatal
security, than to effect a peace, since they have proposed no other terms
than what the nations rejected at first; and you must be perfectly
sensible," (added Colonel McK.) "that after two successful general
engagements, in which a great deal of blood has been spilt, the Indians
will not quietly give up by negotiation what they have been contending for
with their lives since the commencement of these troubles." Captain Brant
having expressed an opinion that the hostile nations would not be likely
to move again until the effect of farther negotiation should be known,
McKee replied, that the Indians did not look upon "the hostile
preparations" of the Americans, "such as forming posts and magazines in
the heart of their country, as indicating much sincerity on their part;
nor do they [the Indians] think that such establishments would tend to
conciliate or convince them that the Americans wish for peace on any
reasonable terms, or on the terms proposed by the confederacy the
beginning of last year. A great council is soon to be held at the Au
Glaize--the chiefs not judging it proper to move lower down at present, on
account of the American force collecting at Fort Jefferson." In regard to
the treaty of Muskingum, (Fort Harmar,) Colonel McKee said--"Daintate,
the Chief who conducted that business, is dead; but he always declared
that he, and all the chiefs who were with him there, were imposed
upon--imagining that what they signed was a treaty of amity, and not a
cession of country; and were not undeceived until they had been some time
returned to their respective villages, and had their papers explained to
them. Some messengers are arrived at the Glaize from the westward of the
Mississippi, announcing that large bodies of their nations are collected,
and will shortly be here to give their assistance to the general
confederacy; so that, in all probability, more nations will soon be
assembled here than at any former period." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Correspondence among the Brant papers.


The letter from which the preceding extracts have been made, was dated
from the "Foot of the Miami Rapids, September 4th, 1792." The council of
which it speaks, was held at the An Glaize, on the Miami of Lake Erie, in
the course of the Autumn. A fit of sickness, however, prevented the
attendance of Thayendanegea. The Corn-planter, and forty-eight of the
chiefs of the Six Nations, residing within the boundaries of the United
States, repaired thither, together with about thirty chiefs and warriors
of the Mohawks, and other Canada Indians. But they were not well received,
in their character of peace-makers, by the hostiles, who were sturdily
bent upon continuing the war. The council was numerously attended on the
part of the western tribes; the Shawanese were the only speakers in favor
of war, and Red Jacket from the Senecas was alone the orator in
opposition, or in behalf of the friendly Indians. The Shawanese taunted
the Six Nations with having first induced them to form a great
confederacy, a few years before, and of having come to the council now
"with the voice of the United States folded under their arm." [FN] There
were indications of an angry passage between the two parties in the
earlier stages of the council; but after mutual explanations, harmony was
restored. The result was, that the hostile Indians finally agreed to
suspend belligerent operations for the winter, and to meet the United
States in council at the Rapids of the Miami in the following Spring. The
basis of the proposed armistice, however, was, that the United States
should withdraw their troops from the western side of the Ohio. Nor did
they hold out any prospect of treating in the Spring, upon any other
principle than that of making the Ohio the boundary, and receiving payment
for their improvements on the south-eastern side of that river. They
insisted that the United States should allow them all the lands they
possessed in Sir William Johnson's time, and that upon no other terms
would they agree to a treaty of peace. The council was dissolved about the
10th or 12th of October; and Captain Brant did not arrive at the Au Glaize
until after it had broken up. It was a very large council. There were
representatives in attendance from the Gora nations, whom it had taken a
whole season to travel thither. There were also present, besides the Six
Nations and the north-western tribes, twenty-seven nations from beyond the
Canadian territory.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Alluding to the belt by which they were to speak.


On the return of the friendly Indians to Buffalo, a grand council was
called, at which the Indian agents of the Five Nations were present, and
also Colonel Butler, and a number of other gentlemen from Niagara. At this
council, the proceedings and speeches at the Au Glaize were rehearsed, and
in conclusion of their mission, the Six Nations transmitted the following
speech to the President of the United States; from which it will appear
that, though friendly to them, the Six Nations, after all, were yet more
friendly to the Miamis, and their claim of the Ohio for a boundary:--

           "Speech from the Six Nations to the President.

"You sent us on to the westward, with a message of peace to the hostile
Indians.

"We proceeded accordingly to your directions, and was protected, going and
coming, by the Great Spirit.

"We give thanks to the Great Spirit, that we have all returned safe to our
seats.

"While we was at the westward, we exerted ourselves to bring about peace.
The fatigues we underwent are not small. Now, it is our desire for your
people on the Ohio to lay down their arms, or otherwise it is all in vain
what we have done.

"Now, if you wish for peace, you must make every exertion, and proceed
through this path we have directed for you. If peace does not take place,
the fault must arise from your people.

"We now desire you, Brothers, to send forward agents, who are men of
honesty, not proud land-jobbers, but men who love and desire peace. Also,
we desire they may be accompanied by some friend, or Quaker, to attend the
council.

"Wish you to exert yourself to forward the message to the western Indians
as soon as possible; and we are taken by the hand, and have agreed, next
Spring, to attend the council at the Rapids of Miami, when we shall hear
all that takes place there."

Notwithstanding the stipulations of the Shawanese and Miamis to call in
their warriors, and commit no farther hostilities until the grand council
should be held in the following Spring, the armistice was not very rigidly
observed, and skirmishes were frequent along the border. On the 6th of
November, Major Adair, commanding a detachment of Kentucky volunteers, was
attacked by a large body of Indians in the neighborhood of Fort St. Clair.
The battle was sharp and severe, and the Indians were rather checked than
defeated. General Wilkinson, who was in command of the fort, could render
no assistance, from the strictness of his orders to act only on the
defensive. He bestowed high praise on the good conduct of Major Adair, as
the latter did upon his officers and men.

It was at about this period that a change was made in the Canadian
government, which, from the character and dispositions of the new officers
introduced upon the stage of action, may not have been without its
influence in the progress of Indian affairs. During the visit of Lord
Dorchester to England of 1791, '93, what had previously been the entire
province of Canada was divided, and an upper province with a lieutenancy
created. Colonel J. G. Simcoe was the first Lieutenant Governor assigned
to the newly organized territory--an able and active officer, who, in the
progress of events, though very friendly at first to the United States,
was not long disposed to manifest any particular good-will for them,
farther than courtesy to public officers and the discharge of
indispensable duties required. He arrived at Quebec in the Spring of 1792,
but was detained in the lower province several months, while waiting for
other officers from England, whose presence and assistance were necessary
to the organization of the new government. Colonel Simcoe established his
head-quarters at Niagara, which was temporarily constituted the seat of
government. He was the bearer of a letter of introduction from the Duke of
Northumberland to the Mohawk Chief, Thayendanegea. The Duke, who had
served in the Revolutionary war as Lord Percy, had been adopted by the
Mohawks as a warrior of their nation, under the Indian name, conferred by
Brant himself, of _Thorighwegeri,_ or _The Evergreen Brake._ The name
involves the very pretty conceit that a titled house never dies. Like the
leaves of this peculiar species of the brake, the old leaf only falls as
it is pushed from the stem by the new; or rather, when the old leaf falls,
the young is in fresh and full existence. The following is the letter,
which the character of the parties and the circumstances of the case
render worthy of preservation:--

              "The Duke of Northumberland to Captain Brant

                              "_Northumberland House, Sept._ 3d, 1791

  "My Dear Joseph,

"Colonel Simcoe, who is going out Governor of Upper Canada, is kind enough
to promise to deliver this to you, with a brace of pistols, which I
desire you will keep for my sake. I must particularly recommend the
Colonel to you and the nation. He is a most intimate friend of mine, and
is possessed of every good quality which can recommend him to your
friendship. He is brave, humane, sensible, and honest. You may safely rely
upon whatever he says, for he will not deceive you. He loves and honors
the Indians, whose noble sentiments so perfectly correspond with his own.
He wishes to live upon the best terms with them, and, as Governor, will
have it in his power to be of much service to them. In short, he is worthy
to be a Mohawk. Love him at first for my sake, and you will soon come to
love him for his own.

"I was very glad to hear that you had received the rifle safe which I sent
you, and hope it has proved useful to you. I preserve with great care your
picture, which is hung up in the Duchess's own room.

"Continue to me your friendship and esteem, and believe me ever to be,
with the greatest truth,

                 "Your affectionate
                     Friend and Brother,
                          Northumberland,
                                  _Thorighwegeri._

  "Captain Joseph Brant,
                   _Thayendanegea._"

Thus strongly and affectionately introduced, by the head of the British
peerage to the head chief of a nation, a close intimacy was formed between
Governor Simcoe and Captain Brant, as will more clearly be disclosed in
the progress of these pages. The regular chain of history will now be
resumed.

On the 19th of February, 1793, pursuant to the arrangement made by the
Indians at the Au Glaize in the preceding Autumn, General Benjamin
Lincoln, Beverley Randolph, and Colonel Timothy Pickering, were
commissioned by the President, to attend the great council at the Miamis,
to be held in the course of the ensuing Spring.

Meantime the Indians of the confederate nations, dissatisfied with what
they considered the evasive reply which had been received from the
President to the address on their behalf, transmitted by the Six Nations,
held another council at the Glaize in February, at which a very explicit
address upon the Subject was framed, and transmitted to the Six Nations.
They were apprehensive that the Six Nations had either not understood
them, or, that in communicating with the Executive of the United States
they had not made themselves understood. Reminding the Six Nations that
when in council they had understood them to be of one mind with themselves
touching the boundary question, they now repeated that they would listen
to no propositions from the United States, save upon the basis of the Ohio
for a boundary and the removal of the American forts from the Indian
territory. This was the irrevocable determination of the confederates, and
they deemed it right and proper that the government of the United States
should be fully apprised of the fact before the commissioners should set
out upon their journey. They likewise advised the Six Nations, in this
address, of their determination to hold a private council at the Miami
Rapids before they would proceed to meet the American commissioners at
Sandusky, that they might adjust their own opinions, so as to be of one
mind, and speak one language in the public council. It was their farther
determination, before they would consent to meet the Commissioners at all,
to ascertain whether the Commissioners had been clothed with authority to
meet them upon the terms thus preliminarily prescribed. This letter, or
message, was concluded thus:--"Brothers: We desire you therefore, to be
strong, and rise immediately to meet us at the Miami Rapids, where we want
the advice and assistance of our elder brethren in the great work which we
are about. The western nations are all prepared and in daily expectation
of the arrival of our brothers, the Creeks, Cherokees, and other southern
nations, who are on their legs to join us, agreeably to their promise.
And we desire you will put the Seven Nations of Canada in  mind of their
promise last Fall, to be early on their legs to join us, and that you will
bring them in your band. [_Four double strings of black and white Wampum_]
A postscript enjoined that the United States should send no messengers
into their country, except through the Five Nations." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Original document from among the Brant papers.


The communication was dated February 27th. On the same day the
Commissioners left Philadelphia for Buffalo Creek, accompanied, as the
Indians had requested, by several members of the society of Friends--so
strongly had the nations become attached to the disciples of the
beneficent Penn. [FN] Colonel Pickering and Mr. Randolph proceeded
directly across the country, while General Lincoln took the route via
Albany, to superintend the forwarding of supplies. General Wayne, now in
command of the North-western army, had been instructed in the meantime to
issue a proclamation, informing the people of the frontiers of the
proposed treaty, and prohibiting all offensive movements on the part of
these people until the result of the council should be known.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The names of the Quaker gentlemen who went upon this benevolent
 errand were, John Parish, William Savory, and John Elliott, of
 Philadelphia; Jacob Findlay, of Chester County; and Joseph Moore and
 William Hartshorn, of New-Jersey. It may be noted as a singular fact,
 that while the Quakers solicited the appointment on this pacific mission
 at the hands of the President, the Indians, at about the same time, and
 evidently without consultation or arrangement, requested of some of the
 American agents, that some Quaker might be appointed on the Commission to
 treat with them.


Messrs. Randolph and Pickering arrived at the Queenston landing, (Niagara
river,) on the 17th of May. Governor Simcoe, who was at home, had no
sooner heard of their arrival in his vicinity, than he sent invitations
insisting that they should consider themselves his guests during their
stay at that place. He treated them with great hospitality, and at their
request readily despatched a vessel to Oswego, to receive General Lincoln
and the stores for the expedition. The latter gentleman did not reach
Niagara until the 25th.

On their arrival at that place, the Commissioners were informed that
Captain Brant, with a body of Mohawks, had set off for the west about the
5th of May. There was a preliminary council to be held at the Miami
Rapids, which it was the purpose of that Chief to attend. The United
States had fixed the 1st of June for the time of meeting; but Colonel
McKee had written to Niagara, stating that that period would be quite too
early, since the Indians were ever slow in such proceedings, and withal
would not then probably have returned from their hunting. The Indians,
however, were collecting at the Au Glaize, and Colonel McKee advised
Governor Simcoe that the conference with the American Commissioners would
probably be held at Sandusky. In the meantime it was proposed that the
Commissioners should remain at Niagara until all things were ready for the
conference.

Such being the position of affairs, the commissioners were detained with
Governor Simcoe--occasionally visiting some of the Indian towns in that
region--until near the middle of July. Every hospitable attention was
bestowed upon them by the Governor, who spared no pains to render their
sojourn with him agreeable. On the 4th of June, the King's birth-day was
celebrated, on which occasion the Governor gave a _fete_, ending with a
ball in the evening, which was attended by "about twenty well-dressed and
handsome ladies, and about three times that number of gentlemen. They
danced from 7 o'clock until 11 when supper was announced, and served in
very pretty taste. The music and dancing were good, and every thing was
conducted with propriety. What excited the best feelings of the heart,
was the ease and affection with which the ladies met each other, although
there were a number present whose mothers sprang from the aborigines of
the country. They appeared as well dressed as the company in general, and
intermixed with them in a manner which evinced at once the dignity of
their own minds and the good sense of others. These ladies possessed great
ingenuity and industry, and have great merit; for the education they have
received is owing principally to their own industry, as their father, Sir
William Johnson, was dead, and the mother retained the manners and dress
of her tribe." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Private Journal of General Lincoln--Massachusetts Historical
 Collections. This incident has been preserved in the text by the author,
 as a curiosity; it being the first gala of a representative of royalty
 in the western woods.


Thus far the deportment of Governor Simcoe was conciliatory, and in all
respects indicative of any thing rather than a hostile spirit. Reports
having reached the ears of the Commissioners, that the Governor had
qualified the expressions of his desire that the Indians might determine
upon a peace with the United States, by advising them that they should not
relinquish any of their lands to obtain it, those gentlemen addressed him
a note upon the subject. The imputation was promptly and satisfactorily
disclaimed; and at the request of the Commissioners, several British
officers were detailed to accompany them to the council. Colonel Butler,
the British Indian Superintendent of that station, [FN] had already
departed with a large number of the Six Nations residing at the Buffalo
Creek, to attend with Captain Brant the preliminary council at Miami.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The British commander at Wyoming.


Advices from Colonel McKee, at Detroit, having communicated the fact that
all was ready on the part of the Indians, and urged them forthwith to
repair to Sandusky and meet them, the Commissioners took their departure
from Niagara on the 26th of June. Reports had been bruited about, however,
that, should the council break up without making peace, it was the
determination of the hostile Indians to fall upon the Commissioners and
sacrifice them. In consequence of this intimation they were furnished with
a letter from the Governor, expressed in the strongest terms, enjoining
the officers in the Indian Department at the west to take care that they
should be neither injured nor insulted by the savages; adding, "that an
injury to them I would greatly affect him, the Commander-in-chief, the
British nation, and even the King himself." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] General Lincoln's Journal.


The Commissioners were detained by contrary winds at Fort Erie, at which
point they were to embark, until the 5th of July. Here another serious
interruption to their progress took place. The extreme jealousy of the
Indians naturally prompted them to magnify every thing bearing a hostile
appearance; and they had been watching with much suspicion, during the
whole season, the movements of General Wayne, who was then occupying the
country about Fort Washington. It was understood that he was not to
advance beyond that position pending the negotiations. But the Indians
were nevertheless suspicious lest he should avail himself of the absence
of their chiefs and warriors at the council, and fall upon their towns.
Governor Simcoe had called the attention of the Commissioners to this
subject, and they, in turn, had urged the consideration, through the
Secretary of War, upon General Wayne. But, notwithstanding every
precaution that could be adopted, the Indians at the preliminary council
became alarmed; and, greatly to the surprise of the Commissioners, while
waiting to embark at Fort Erie, on the 5th of July a vessel arrived from
Miami, having on board Captain Brant, Colonel Butler, and a deputation of
about fifty Indians from the north-western tribes, attending the council,
with instructions to have a conference with the American Commissioners in
the presence of Governor Simcoe. The object of their visit was twofold;
first, they were desirous of being enabled "to possess their minds in
peace in regard to the movements of General Wayne with the army; secondly,
they were desirous of obtaining information whether the Commissioners were
empowered to establish a new boundary line, or rather to stipulate that
the American settlers should fall back upon the Ohio--since the great
majority of the Indians had uniformly disclaimed the boundary specified in
the treaty of Fort Harmar. An immediate interview between the deputation
and the Commissioners was arranged, at the request of the former, at which
a Shawanese chief, called Cat's-Eyes, addressed them as follows:--

"Brothers: We are sent by the nations of Indians assembled at the Rapids
of Miami, to meet the Commissioners of the United States. We are glad to
see you here. It is the will of the great chiefs of those nations that our
Father, the Governor of this province, should be present, and hear what we
have to say to you, and what you have to say to us.

"Brothers: Do not make yourselves uneasy that we did net meet you at the
time you proposed, at Sandusky. The reasons thereof will be mentioned at
another time.

                              "_Four strings of black and white wampum._"

To which the Commissioners replied:--

"Brothers: The Commissioners are glad to see you. We will confer with you
in presence of your Father, the Governor of this province, at any time and
place which shall be convenient to you and him.

                                         "_Returned the four strings._"

The parties then separated; but the Indian deputation, after a brief
consultation, requested another interview, and proposed that the meeting
with Governor Simcoe should be at his own house at Niagara. To this
arrangement the Commissioners assented, and agreed to return thither on
the following day. Accordingly, on the 7th of July, a conference was held
at the council-house at Niagara. The Governor and the Indians having
arrived at the council-chamber a few minutes in advance of the
Commissioners, Captain Brant addressed the former thus:--

"Brother: It being agreed at the Rapids that we should come and meet the
Commissioners in our Father's presence, we return our thanks to the Great
Spirit for seeing your Excellency well this day. Our intention and
business is peaceable, and our inclination is to do what is right and
just. We are all of one mind, and wished your Excellency to be present.

                                              "_A belt of wampum._"

His Excellency replied:--

"Brothers: I am happy to see you so well. The Commissioners have expressed
a wish to meet you in my presence, and I shall be happy to hear what they
have to say.

                                              "_Belt returned._"

The Commissioners having arrived, the conference commenced, in the
presence not only of the Governor, but also of a large number of the civil
and military officers of that station. The proceedings were opened on the
part of the Western deputation by Captain Brant, who rose, with a belt
and string of wampum, and said:--

"Brothers: We have met to-day our brothers, the Bostonians and English. We
are glad to have the meeting, and think it by the appointment of the Great
Spirit.

"Brothers of the United States: We told you the other day, at Fort Erie,
that at another time we would inform you why we had not assembled at the
time and place appointed for holding the treaty with you. Now we inform
you, that it is because there is so much the appearance of war in that
quarter.

"Brothers: We have given the reason for our not meeting you, and now
request an explanation of these warlike appearances.

"Brothers: The people you see here are sent to represent the Indian
nations who own the lands north of the Ohio as their common property, and
who are all of one mind--one heart.

"Brothers: We have come to speak to you for two reasons: one, because your
warriors, being in our neighborhood, have prevented our meeting at the
appointed place; the other, to know if you are properly authorized to run
and establish a new boundary line between the lands of the United States
and the lands of the Indian nations. We are still desirous of meeting you
at the appointed place.

"Brothers: We wish you to deliberate well on this business. We have spoken
our sentiments in sincerity--considering ourselves in the presence of the
Great Spirit, from whom, in times of danger, we expect assistance." [_With
this speech a belt of twelve rows, and thirty strings of wampum, in five
bunches, were presented._]

The Commissioners answered:--

"Brothers: We have attended to what you have said. We will take it into
our serious consideration, and give you an answer to-morrow. We will
inform you when we are ready."

Captain Brant rejoined:--

"Brothers: We thank you for what you have said. You say that you will
answer our speech to-morrow. We now cover up the council-fire."

On the next day the Commissioners replied at length, in the Indian form of
speech. In regard to the warlike indications of which the deputation
complained, the Commissioners assured them that they might "possess their
minds in peace;" and stated to them the orders that had been transmitted
to General Wayne, and the other precautionary measures adopted by the
Great Chief, General Washington, to prevent any act of hostility during
the negotiations. On the subject of the second query of the Indians, the
Commissioners replied explicitly, that they had authority to run and
establish a new boundary. This question, they were aware, was to be the
great subject of discussion at the council, and they hoped that the result
would be satisfactory to both parties. But, in saying this, they reminded
the Indians, that in almost all disputes and quarrels there was wrong upon
both sides, and consequently that in the approaching council both parties
must be prepared to make some concessions. The Commissioners requested
information as to the names of the nations, and the number of the chiefs
assembled at the Rapids of the Miami; and in conclusion re-assured the
chiefs of the groundlessness of their apprehensions respecting the
movements of General Wayne, and explained to them that they might place
themselves perfectly at rest upon this point; promising, moreover,
immediately to send a messenger on horseback "to the Great Chief of the
United States, to desire him to renew and strongly repeat his orders to
his head-warrior, not only to abstain from all hostilities against the
Indians, but to remain quiet at his posts until the event of the treaty
should be known." Having returned the Belt, Cat's-Eyes, the Shawanese
leader, replied:--

"Brothers, the Bostonians, attend! We have heard your words. Our fathers,
the English people, have also heard them. We thank God that you have been
preserved in peace, and that we bring our pipes together. The people of
all the different nations here salute you. They rejoice to hear your
words. It gives us great satisfaction that our fathers, the English, have
also heard them. We shall for the present take up our pipes and retire to
our encampments, where we shall deliberately consider your speech, and
return you an answer tomorrow."

The conference was re-opened on the 9th, when Captain Brant arose, with
the belt and strings in his hands which had been presented by the
Commissioners on the preceding day, and addressing himself to the English
and Americans, said:--

"Brothers: We are glad the Great Spirit has preserved us in peace to meet
together this day.

"Brothers of the United States: Yesterday you made an answer to the
message delivered by us, from the great council at the Miami, in the two
particulars we had stated to you.

"Brothers: You may depend on it that we fully understand your speech. We
shall take with us your belt and strings, and repeat it to the chiefs at
the great council at Miami."

[_Laying down the belt and strings, the Captain took up a white belt, and
proceeded:_]

"Brothers: We have something farther to say, though not much. We are
small, compared with our great chiefs at Miami; but, though small, we have
something to say. We think, brothers, from your speech, that there is a
prospect of our coming together. We, who are the nations at the westward,
are of one mind; and if we agree with you, as there is a prospect that we
shall, it will be binding and lasting.

"Brothers: Our prospects are the fairer, because all our minds are one.
You have not spoken to us before unitedly. Formerly, because you did not
speak to us unitedly, what was done was not binding. Now you have an
opportunity to speak to us together; and we now take you by the hand to
lead you to the place appointed for the meeting.

"Brothers: One thing more we have to say. Yesterday you expressed a wish
to be informed of the names of the nations and number of chiefs assembled
at the Miami. But as they were daily coming in, we cannot give you exact
information. You will see for yourselves in a few days. When we left it,
the following nations were there, viz: Five Nations, Wyandots, Shawanese,
Delawares, Munsees, Miamis, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawattamies, Mingoes,
Cherokees, Nantikokes. The principal men of all these nations were there.

                                      "_A white belt of seven rows._"

The Commissioners then replied:--

"Brothers: Our ears have been open to your speech. It Is agreeable to us.
We are ready to proceed with you to Sandusky, where, under the direction
of the Great Spirit, we hope that we shall soon establish a peace on terms
equally interesting and agreeable to all parties."

While these deliberations were in progress, a deputation from the Seven
Nations of Canada arrived at Niagara, to the number of two hundred and
eighty. The proceedings were terminated with a confident expectation on
all hands that the result of the mission would be a pacific arrangement.
With the public dispatches transmitted to the Secretary of War from this
place, however, General Lincoln addressed a private letter to that
officer, advising him that if the reports in circulation were in any
degree true, General Wayne must have violated the clearest principles of
a _truce,_ and expressing great solicitude for the result--less, however,
on account of the personal safety of the Commissioners, whose lives would
be thereby jeoparded, than for the apprehensions felt for the honor of the
country. Captain Brant had given information as to the movements of Wayne,
of the certainty of which there could be but little doubt; and those
movements caused the Commissioners as much uneasiness as they did the
Indians; being moreover viewed by the British officers at Niagara as
unfair and unwarrantable.

Captain Brant and the Indian deputation proceeded on their return to
Miami, in advance of the Commissioners, the latter embarking from Fort
Erie on the 14th. On the 21st they arrived at the mouth of the Detroit
river, where they were obliged to land--the British authorities at Detroit
forbidding their approach farther toward the place of meeting. They were,
however, hospitably entertained at the landing-place by Captain Elliot,
Colonel McKee's assistant in the Indian Department. The latter officer was
in attendance upon the council at the Rapids, to whom the Commissioners
lost no time in addressing a note, apprising him of their arrival, and of
their design to remain there until the Indians should be ready to remove
the council to Sandusky. They also requested the good offices of Colonel
McKee in expediting the proceedings of the Indians. This dispatch was
borne by Captain Elliot himself, who returned on the 29th, bringing an
answer from the Colonel, and attended by a deputation of upward of twenty
Indians from the different nations in council. An audience of these
Indians was had on the day following, at which a Wyandot Chief, whose name
in English was _Carry-one-about,_ opened their business with the following
unexpected address:--

"Brothers, listen! We are glad to see you here in peace, and thank the
Great Spirit that has preserved us to meet again.

"Brothers: We were sent to speak with you some time ago at Niagara. Some
chiefs are now here who were then present.

"Brothers: We did not explain ourselves to each other, and we did not
rightly understand each other.

"Brothers: We desire that we may rightly understand each other. We have
thought it best that what we had to say should be put into writing, and
here is the meaning of our hearts."

Saying which, the Wyandot chief put a paper into the hands of the
Commissioners, which read as follows:--

            "To the Commissioners of the United States.

"Brothers: The Deputies we sent you did not fully explain our meaning. We
have therefore sent others to meet you once more, that you may fully
understand the great question we have to ask you, and to which we expect
an explicit answer in writing.

"Brothers: You are sent here by the United States in order to make peace
with us, the Confederate Indians.

"Brothers: You know very well that the boundary-line, which was run by the
white people and us, at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, was the river Ohio.

"Brothers: If you seriously design to make a firm and lasting peace, you
will immediately remove all your people from our side of that river.

"Brothers: We therefore ask you, Are you fully authorised by the United
States to continue and fix firmly on the Ohio river as the boundary-line
between your people and ours?

"Done in General Council, at the foot of the Miami Rapids, 27th July,
1793. In behalf of ourselves and the whole Confederacy, and agreed to in
full council."

This missive was signed by the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanese, Miamis,
Mingoes, Pottawattamies, Ottawas, Connoys, Chippewas, and Munsees; but not
by the Six Nations. The Commissioners replied to them at great length in
the afternoon. They began, after the Indian custom, by repeating their
speech and then gave a succinct statement of the conferences at Niagara,
and the perfect understanding then had, that some concessions would be
necessary on both sides, and of which they were to speak face to face.
They had already been detained sixty days beyond the time appointed for
the meeting, and were desirous of proceeding to business in council
without farther delay. The Commissioners next recited briefly the history
of all the treaties that had been formed with the north-western Indians,
from the treaty of Fort Stanwix, held before the Revolution, to that which
was commenced at the falls of the Muskingum, by General St. Clair, and
completed at Fort Harmar. At this treaty the Six Nations renewed their
treaty of Fort Stanwix, of 1784, and the Wyandots and Delawares renewed
and confirmed the treaty of Fort McIntosh. There were also parties to this
treaty from the Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawattamies and Sacs. Under these
treaties the United States had acquired the territory, now claimed by the
Indians, north of the Ohio, and on the faith of these, settlements had
been formed, that could not now be removed; and hence the Commissioners
replied explicitly to the first question, that the Ohio could not be
designated as the boundary. After attempting to explain the impossibility
of uprooting the settlements beyond the Ohio, and the great expenses
incurred by the people in forming them, they spoke again of the promised
"mutual concessions," and proposed, as the basis of negotiation, that the
Indians should relinquish all the lands ceded by the treaty of Fort
Harmar, and also a small tract of land at the Rapids of the Ohio, claimed
by General Clark; in return for which they proposed to give the Indians
"such a large sum in money or goods as was never given at one time for any
quantity of Indian lands since the white people set their foot on this
island." They likewise proposed a large annuity in addition to the amount
to be paid in hand. Originally, under the treaty of peace with England,
the American Commissioners had claimed the right to the soil of all the
lands south of the great lakes; but this claim, the Commissioners said
they thought, was wrong; and as a farther concession, if the lands already
specified were relinquished by the Indians, the United States would
relinquish all but the right of preemption to the vast tracts that
remained. In conclusion, the Commissioners said:--

"Brothers: We have now opened our hearts to you. We are happy in having
an opportunity of doing it, though we should have been more happy to have
done it in full council of your nations. We expect soon to have this
satisfaction, and that your next deputation will take us by the hand, and
lead us to the treaty. When we meet and converse with each other freely,
we may more easily remove any difficulties which may come in the way.

                   "_A white belt with thirteen stripes of black wampum._"

The speech having been interpreted fully to the deputation, the council
was adjourned until the next day, when, having reassembled, the Wyandot
chief rose, and replied as follows:--

"Brothers: We are all brothers you see here now. Brothers, it is now three
years since you have desired to speak with us. We heard you yesterday, and
understand well, perfectly well. We have a few words to say to you.

"Brothers: You mentioned the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Beaver Creek, and
other places. Those treaties were not complete. There were but few chiefs
who treated with you. You have not bought our lands; they belong to us.
You tried to draw off some of us.

"Brothers: Many years ago we all know that the Ohio was made the boundary;
it was settled by Sir William Johnson. This side is ours; we look upon it
as our property.

"Brothers: You mention General Washington. He and you know you have houses
and people on our lands. You say you cannot, move them off; and we cannot
give up our lands.

"Brothers: We are sorry that we cannot come to an agreement. The line has
been fixed long ago.

"Brothers: We do not say much. There has been much mischief on both sides.
We came here upon peace, and thought you did the same. We wish you to
remain here for an answer from us. We have your speech in our breasts, and
shall consult our head warriors."

From the 1st to the 14th of August the Commissioners were detained at the
place of their first landing, in the daily expectation of receiving an
invitation to join the council at the Rapids. They had information from
thence several times, and on the 8th were informed that all the nations
were disposed for peace, excepting the Shawanese, Wyandots, Miamis, and
Delawares. The Six Nations, and the Seven Nations of Canada, exerted
themselves strongly to bring about a pacification. It was understood,
however, that the debates had been long and animated. Captain Brant and
the Corn-planter were unwearied in their efforts to accomplish this
desirable object, and both spoke much in council. The discussions being
thus protracted, the former availed himself of the time to endeavor to
enlist the direct interposition of Governor Simcoe to bring the Indians
into a more pacific temper. For that purpose the Captain dispatched
messengers to York, at which place [FN-1] the Upper Canadian Government
was about being established, with letters to the Governor, informing him
of the intractable disposition of the Indians, and soliciting his
influence to induce them to compromise the boundary question. Governor
Simcoe wrote back on the 8th of August, declining any interference. His
Excellency declared in this letter, that, as his correspondent (Brant)
well knew, he had always, both in private conversation and in public
messages, endeavored to impress a disposition and temper upon the Indians,
that might lead to the blessing of peace. Still, he thought the Indians
were the best judges as to the terms upon which a treaty of peace should
be negotiated; and at their request he had directed the Indian Agents to
attend their councils, and explain to them any circumstances which they
might not clearly understand. There was another circumstance which
Governor Simcoe thought would render it improper for him to interfere,
which will be best understood by quoting his own words from the
letter:--"Since the Government of the United States have shown a
disinclination to concur with the Indian nations in requesting of his
Majesty permission for me to attend at Sandusky as mediator, it would be
highly improper and unseasonable in me to give any opinion relative to the
proposed boundaries, with which I am not sufficiently acquainted, and
which question I have studiously avoided entering into, as I am well aware
of the jealousies entertained by some of the subjects of the United
States, of the interference of the British Government which has a natural
and decided interest in the welfare of the Indian nations, and in the
establishment of peace and permanent tranquility. In this situation I am
sure you will excuse me from giving to you any advice, which, from my
absence from the spot, cannot possibly arise from that perfect view and
knowledge which so important a subject necessarily demands." [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Now Toronto, the capital of Upper Canada.

 [FN-2] From the original letter among the Brant papers.


This letter contains the only authority extant for the fact that Governor
Simcoe himself had been proposed as the mediator, and rejected, and he may
have been piqued thereat. Still, although he cautiously abstained from the
remotest interference, there was nothing in this communication calculated
to defeat a pacific determination of the council. The Commissioners were
yet anxiously awaiting the result at the mouth of the Detroit River. On
the 11th of August they were informed that the debates were still running
high in council; that the chiefs of the Six Nations had spoken twice, and
were about to speak a third time. Indeed, so desirous were they now of
effecting a pacific arrangement, that Thayendanegea was determined to
transcend the ordinary rules of an Indian council, and speak a fourth
time, should it become necessary. [FN] It was added, that nearly half the
four tribes, who were persisting for war, had been won over; and hence,
when the messengers left the council, they even anticipated that runners
with pacific news would overtake them. Having waited, however, until the
14th, and receiving no farther news, the Commissioners proposed to repair
to the council in person--but were prevented by the British authorities,
who would not suffer them to move in that direction, unless by special
invitation from the council. Impatient of longer delay, their next measure
was to send a speech to the council, with a request to Captain Brant to
bring it before them, urging upon them the necessity of a speedy
determination of the question of peace or war, one way or the other. The
conclusion of this address was thus:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] What a pity that at such an Indian Congress, where the great
 warriors and rulers of so many nations were assembled to discuss subjects
 at once the most {illegible word--"exciting"?} and of the deepest
 moment to them, a bench of stenographers could not have been  present!
 What bursts of thrilling eloquence--the unsophisticated{?} language of
 nature--gathering all its metaphors fresh and glowing from her own rich
 store-house--the flowers, the forests, and the woods{?}--the sun, the
 stars, and the blue sky--the winds, the earthquake, and the storm--must
 there have been poured forth but to die away upon the ears that heard
 them.


"Brothers: We have waited fourteen days, and no answer has arrived.

"Brothers: It is time to bring the business to a conclusion. The summer
has almost passed away, and we do not yet even know whether we are to have
a treaty.

"Brothers: You know that we came to treat with you of peace. We again tell
you, that we earnestly desire to make peace; and in the terms of peace we
are disposed to do you ample justice. But if no treaty is to be held, if
peace is not to be obtained, we desire immediately to know it, that we may
go home."

But all the anticipations of a pacific adjustment of the difficulties
proved fallacious. Two days after this address had been dispatched to the
care of Captain Brant and the Corn-planter, the Commissioners received a
long address from the council, in writing, in answer to their own speech
of July 31st, which put an end to the negotiation. It was addressed,

               "To the Commissioners of the United States.

"Brothers: We have received your speech of the 31st of last month, and it
has been interpreted to all the different nations. We have been long in
sending you an answer, because of the great importance of the subject. But
we now answer it fully, having given it all the consideration in our
power."

In their address the council entered upon an extended review of the
negotiations heretofore referred to, and the circumstances under which the
treaties of Fort McIntosh and Fort Harmar were made. They contended that
these treaties had not been properly obtained, and were not binding upon
the Indians, inasmuch as but few of their chiefs and warriors had been
present at the councils, and those few were not empowered to cede away any
of their lands. Of this fact they said they had apprised General St. Clair
before the treaties were made, and admonished him not to proceed. But he
persisted in holding councils in which their nations were not consulted,
and in receiving cessions of an immense country, in which the few who,
under constraint, had signed the treaty, were no more interested than as
a mere branch of the General Confederacy, and had no authority to make any
grant whatever. In reply to the remarks of the Commissioners respecting
the impracticability of breaking up the settlements on the disputed
territory, and their offers of large sums of money for a confirmation of
the grant under the treaty of Fort Harmar, the speech of the Council was
ingenious and forcible. Indeed, the residue of this document is worth
transcribing entire:--

"Brothers: Money to us is of no value, and to most of us unknown; and as
no consideration whatever can induce us to sell our lands, on which we get
sustenance for our women and children, we hope we may be allowed to point
out a mode by which your settlers may be easily removed, and peace thereby
obtained.

"Brothers: We know that these settlers are poor, or they never would have
ventured to live in a country which has been in continual trouble ever
since they crossed the Ohio. Divide, therefore, this large sum of money
which you have offered to us among these people; give to each also a
proportion of what you say you would give us annually, over and above this
large sum of money; and we are persuaded they would most readily accept of
it in lieu of the lands you sold to them. If you add, also, the great sums
you must expend in raising and paying armies with a view to force us to
yield you our country, you will certainly have more than sufficient for
the purposes of repaying these settlers for all their labor and
improvements.

"Brothers: You have talked to us about concessions. It appears strange
that you expect any from us, who have only been defending our just rights
against your invasions. We want peace. Restore to us our country, and we
shall be enemies no longer.

"Brothers: You make one concession to us by offering to us your money, and
another by having agreed to do us justice, after having long and
injuriously withheld it; we mean, in the acknowledgment you have now made
that the King of England never did, nor ever had a right to give you our
country by the treaty of peace. And you want to make this act of common
justice a great part of your concession, and seem to expect, that because
you have at last acknowledged our independence, we should for such a favor
surrender to you our country.

"Brothers: You have also talked a great deal about preemption, and your
exclusive right to purchase the Indian lands, as ceded to you by the King
at the treaty of peace.

"Brothers: We never made any agreement with the King, nor with any other
nation, that we would give to either the exclusive right to purchase our
lands; and we declare to you, that we consider ourselves free to make any
bargain or cession of lands whenever and to whomsoever we please. If the
white people, as you say, made a treaty that none of them but the King
should purchase of us, and he has given that right to the United States,
it is an affair which concerns you and him, and not us. We have never
parted with such a power.

"Brothers: At our general council held at the Glaize last Fall, we agreed
to meet Commissioners from the United States, for the purpose of restoring
peace, provided they consented to acknowledge and confirm our boundary
line to be the Ohio; and we determined not to meet you until you gave us
satisfaction on that point. That is the reason we have never met.

"Brothers: We desire you to consider that our only demand is the peaceable
possession of a small part of our once great country. Look back and view
the lands from whence we have been driven to this spot. We can retreat no
farther, because the country behind hardly affords food for its present
inhabitants; and we have therefore resolved to leave our bones in this
small space, to which we are now consigned.

"Brothers: We shall be persuaded that you mean to do us justice, if you
agree that the Ohio shall remain the boundary line between us. If you will
not consent thereto, our meeting will be altogether unnecessary. This is
the great point, which we hoped would have been explained before you left
your houses; as our message last Autumn was principally directed to obtain
that information.

"Done in General Council at the foot of the Miami Rapids, on the 13th day
of August, 1793."

This address was signed by the Wyandots, the Seven Nations of Canada, the
Delawares, Shawanese, Miamis, Ottawas, Chippeways, Senecas (of the
Glaize), Pottawattamies, Connoys, Munsees, Nantikokes, Mohegans,
Missisaguas, Creeks, and Cherokees--the name of each nation being written,
and its emblem or escutcheon rudely pictured opposite the name. [FN] The
Six Nations did not sign it. Indeed, it is believed that Captain Brant and
the Six Nations "_held fast together_" in their efforts to make peace, to
the last; and that the character of the final answer of the council was
not communicated to them previous to its being sent off. On the contrary,
they were told that it was a proposition to meet the Commissioners on the
Miami instead of Sandusky, about five miles below their then place of
sitting; and so well assured were they of the fact, that they proposed
removing thither the day after the runners were dispatched from the
council-fire.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Thus, according to the original communication in the author's
 possession:--

 Wyandots,                A Bear.     Senecas of the Glaize,   A Turtle.
 Seven Nations of Canada  A Turtle.   Pottawattamies,          A Fish.
 Delawares,               A Turtle.   Connoys,                 A Turkey.
 Shawanese,                           Munsees,
 Miamis,                  A Turtle.   Nantikokes,              A Turtle.
 Ottawas,                 A Fish.     Mohegans                {A Turtle.
 Chippeways,              A Crane.                            {A Turkey.


Nothing could be more explicit than this ultimatum of the Indians. Their
_sine qua non_ was the Ohio for the boundary. To this proposition the
Commissioners could never assent, and they accordingly wrote to the chiefs
and warriors of the council at the Rapids, that "the negotiation was at
an end." So imperfect are the records of Indian history, preserved, as
they are, for the most part, only in the tablets of the brain, the memory
being aided by belts and other emblems--that it is a difficult matter to
determine the precise merits of the controversy sought to be terminated at
this council. Being the weaker party, belonging to a doomed race, the law
of the strongest was of course left to decide it in the end, and the
Indians were driven beyond the Mississippi. But an impartial survey of the
case, at the distance of only forty years, presents strong reasons for
believing that the Indians were the party aggrieved. Certainly, it would
form an exception in the history of their dealings with the white man, if
they were not; while it is very evident that they themselves solemnly
believed they were the injured party. And, thus believing, nothing could
have been more patriotic than the attitude assumed in their address, or
more noble than the declarations and sentiments it contained.



                          CHAPTER XII.



 Suspected duplicity of the British authorities--Conduct of Simon
  Girty--Disclosures upon the subject by Captain Brant--Council at
  Buffalo, and Indian report of the doings of the Great Congress--Speech
  of Captain Brant respecting the Miami council--Mission of General Chapin
  to Philadelphia, with the speech--Answer unsatisfactory to the
  Indians--Red Jacket--Indian council--Speech of Captain Brant in reply to
  the answer of the United States--Troubles thickening between the United
  States and Great Britain--Inflammatory speech of Lord
  Dorchester--Question of its authenticity settled--Conduct of Governor
  Simcoe--Indignation of President Washington--His letter to Mr.
  Jay--Speech of Captain Brant against holding a council at Venango--The
  design frustrated--Affairs farther in the West--Singular message from
  the distant Indians under the Spanish and French influence--Their
  speech--Operations of General Wayne--Encroachments of Pennsylvania upon
  the Indian lands--Indian council upon the subject--Address to General
  Washington--Important letter of Brant to Colonel Smith--Pennsylvania
  relinquishes Presque Isle--Defeat of Major McMarion near Fort
  Recovery--Indians repulsed in their attack upon the fort--Letter to
  Brant giving an account of the battle--Advance of Wayne to the Au Glaize
  and Miamis of the Lakes--Little Turtle apprised of his movements and
  strength by a deserter--The Chief determines to give battle--Wayne makes
  one more effort for peace--Failure of the attempt--Advance of Wayne to
  the Rapids--Position of the Indians--Battle and defeat of the
  Indians--Little Turtle opposed to the hazard of a battle--Opposed by
  Blue-Jacket and overruled--Tart correspondence between Wayne and Major
  Campbell--Destruction of Indian property by fire, and burning of Colonel
  McKee's establishment--Disappointment of the Indians that Major Campbell
  did not assist them--Letter of Governor Simcoe to Brant--Aggression at
  Sodus Bay--Simcoe and Brant repair to the West--Interfere to prevent a
  peace--Indian council--The hostiles negotiate with Wayne--Simcoe's
  address to the Wyandots--Division in their counsels--Brant retires
  displeased--Letter of apology from the Chiefs--The distant Indians
  become weary of the war.


The return of the Commissioners to the eastern extremity of Lake Erie was
immediate; from whence both the government of the United States and
General Wayne were apprised of the failure of the negotiation, for which
such long and anxious preparation had been made. It has been charged that,
notwithstanding the apparent friendship of Governor Simcoe and his little
court at Niagara, and their seeming desire of peace, this unpropitious
result was measurably, if not entirely, produced by the influence of the
British officers in attendance upon the Indian councils--Colonel McKee,
Captain Elliot, and the notorious Simon Girty. The Rev. Mr. Heckewelder,
at the request of General Knox, accompanied the Commissioners, and was
present at the delivery of the last message from the council, refusing an
interview, which, as delivered, both in matter and manner was exceedingly
insolent. Elliot and Girty were both present when this message was
delivered, the latter of whom supported his insolence by a quill, or long
feather run through the cartilage of his nose cross-wise. He was the
interpreter of the message; and Mr. Heckewelder states that he officiously
added a sentence not transmitted from the council. Two Delaware chiefs,
visiting the Commissioners from the council, while at Detroit River, on
being questioned by Mr. Heckewelder why the Commissioners were not allowed
to proceed to their quarters at the Rapids, replied:--"All we can say is,
that we wish for peace; but we cannot speak farther, our mouths being
stopped up when we left the council!" In other words, they had been
forbidden to disclose any of its secrets.[FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Heckewelder's Narrative of the Moravian Missions.


These circumstances, from the pen of such a witness, furnish strong
presumptive testimony of duplicity on the part of the Canadian
administration. But there is yet other evidence of the fact, so strong as
to be indisputable. It is that of Captain Brant himself, who, of all
others, participated most largely in the deliberations of those councils.
In one of the speeches delivered by him in the course of his land
difficulties with the Canadian government, some time subsequent to the
war, the following passage occurs:--"For several years" (after the peace
of 1783,) "we were engaged in getting a confederacy formed, [FN-1] and the
unanimity occasioned by these endeavors among our western brethren,
enabled them to defeat two American armies. The war continued without our
brothers, the English, giving any assistance, excepting a little
ammunition; and they seeming to desire that a peace might be concluded,
we tried to bring it about at a time that the United States desired it
very much, so that they sent Commissioners from among their first people,
to endeavor to make peace with the hostile Indians. We assembled also for
that purpose at the Miami River in the Summer of 1793, intending to act
as mediators in bringing about an honorable peace; and if that could not
be obtained, we resolved to join with our western brethren in trying the
fortune of war. But to our surprise, when on the point of entering upon
a treaty with the Commissioners, we found that it was opposed by those
acting under the British government, and hopes of farther assistance were
given to our western brethren, to encourage them to insist on the Ohio as
a boundary between them and the United States." [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] In another portion of the same speech, Captain Brant stated that
 General Haldimand exhorted them to the formation of that union with the
 different nations.

 [FN-2] Quoted from the manuscript copy of the speech, contained among the
 Brant papers, in the hand-writing of the Chief himself.


The deputation from the Six Nations and the Seven Nations of Canada, (the
Caughnawagas,) having returned from the Miami, a council was convened at
the village of the Onondagas residing at Buffalo Creek, to hear their
report--intended not only for their own people, but for the information of
the British and American Superintendents, Colonel Butler and General
Chapin. The council-fire was kindled on the 8th of October. The procedure,
it will be seen, was characteristic and striking. The belts, pictures, and
emblems used by the several nations represented in the Grand Council at
the Miami Rapids, were forwarded to the Six Nations by the hands of their
deputies, and after the council had been regularly opened, these were
produced, and the speeches with which their delivery had been accompanied,
were repeated, in the form of a report, with incidental explanations. By
this process, though tedious, the proceedings of the Grand Congress were
probably reported to the Buffalo council, with as much accuracy as though
they had been written out in form by a committee of the more civilized
"Congress of the Thirteen Fires."

All things being ready, the proceedings were commenced by Clear-Sky, a
chief of the Onondagas, who spoke as follows:--

"Brothers: We thank the Great Spirit for our happy meeting, that he has
preserved us through all difficulties, dangers, and sickness, and given us
an opportunity of meeting together at this place."

The ceremony of condolence for the loss of friends since the last council,
having been regularly performed and reciprocated by all the tribes
present, and also by the Superintendents, the business of the council was
resumed by the Farmer's Brother, who delivered the speech of the
Shawanese, Delawares, and Twithuays, as follows:--

"Brothers: Colonel Butler and General Chapin, we wish you to attend the
Shawanese and other nations of Indians. We thank the Six Nations for their
attention. We were glad to see them at the Great Council-fire which had
been kindled some time at the Rapids of the Miami." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] In order to understand the report, the reader must bear in mind that
 the speech of each belt is delivered by the bearer of it, as though he
 were in fact a delegate from the nation whose report he is making.


"Brothers: You are acquainted with the friendship that once subsisted
between you and our fathers, and the reason that the present fire is
kindled, is to renew that friendship.

"Brothers: We mentioned this to you last Fall at a council at the Glaize,
and we now repeat it to put you in mind of that friendship which once
subsisted between you and our wise forefathers."

[A belt of white wampum was here presented, made in a circular form,
representing their place of meeting, as in the centre, and crossed by four
stripes of black wampum, representing all their confederates, East, West,
North, and South.]

"Brothers: The ancient confederacy which subsisted between us and the Five
Nations, [FN] was, that if any of the Five Nations were in distress, we
would take them to us; we now see that you are in distress; that you are
surrounded by water, and have not any land to stand upon; that a large
white beast stands with open mouth on the other side, ready to destroy
you. We have dry land for you to stand on; and we now take you by the
hand, and invite you to come, and bring your beds, and sit down with us."

                         [_Belt of seven rows of black and white wampum._]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] In answer to a question by the Seven Nations of Canada, how long
 this confederacy had existed between the Shawanese, &c. the reply was,
 "_three lives._"


The warriors here joined with the Chiefs, and repeated the ancient
agreement, recommended a union of all the different nations, and asked
them to follow what was recommended by the chiefs. Puck-on-che-luh, head
warrior of the Delawares, [FN] then spoke:--

                          * * * * *

 [FN] After the defeat of St. Clair, on which occasion the Delawares
 fought bravely, the Mohawks, who had formerly declared the Delawares to
 be women, or, in other words, degraded them from the rank of warriors,
 reversed the sentence of disgrace, and wiped out the stigma, by formally
 declaring the Delawares no longer women, but MEN.


"Brothers: I call you my uncles, and all the other Indians my
grand-children. Them I have already united and bound together, and I now
bind you all together with this string."

                                      [_A large bunch of black wampum._]

The Sachems of the Delawares then spoke:--

"Brothers: You have heard the speech of the chief warriors. We join with
them, and are glad to hear they have bound all their grand-children
together, and that they have spoken with great respect to their uncles,
and recommended to them to be of one mind."

                                       [_A large bunch of black wampum._]

The Wyandots then spoke:--

"Brothers: You came to us one hundred and fifty years ago, when we lived
above Detroit, with a speech from the Six Nations, assembled at their
council-fire at Onondaga Hill, and recommended to us to be friends, and
advised us not to listen to any bad report, or any thing that would
disturb our minds.

"Brothers: Listen to a few words more we have to say to you. We hear the
Virginians are near us; we shall not go to meet them; but if they should
come among us, we do not know what will be the consequence."

[The Wyandots spoke with a very large belt of wampum, with three pictures
upon it, one in the middle, and one at each end, representing the
Americans at one end, the Six Nations in the middle, and themselves at the
other end, and expressed their sorrow that the Americans were gone before
they had had an opportunity of speaking to them.]

The Chippewas and twenty-six other nations, their confederates, then
spoke:--

"Brothers: We are sorry that the business for which the council-fire at
the Rapids of the Miami was kindled has not been completed as we could
wish. We were desired by the different nations which we represent, to
attend the council, and use our efforts to bring about a general peace,
and unite all nations."

The Chippewas, Ottawas, and Pottawattamies, deputies from twenty-seven
nations, inhabiting along the lakes, and above Michilimackinack, then
spoke:--

"Brothers: We are sorry that we have attended all Summer at the
council-fire, and have not done any business as we expected.

"Brothers: We are now united with you, the Six Nations, and ask you to
return to your seats, and let the United States know our determination,
and return with an answer to us by the middle of winter, and not stop, as
some nations may confuse you and make your minds bad."

To which the Six Nations replied:--

"Brothers: We thank you, and as soon as we get to our seats we will
kindle our council-fire, and call Canadasago, an agent, appointed by the
United States to meet with us, and through him will have our determination
communicated to Congress."

The Six Nations then, addressing General Chapin and Colonel Butler,
said:--

"Brothers: We have now made known to you our proceedings at the late
proposed treaty at the Rapids of the Miami, and have informed you of the
proposed line between the Indians and the United States, which if
accepted, we shall assist the white people to make peace."

Captain Brant and the Mohawks were not present at the council on the 8th,
a circumstance regretted by the deputation in making their report. The
Farmer's Brother remarked that Captain Brant would be able to give fuller
explanations than they had done of the proceedings at Miami, and the
determination at which the nations there assembled had arrived. The Mohawk
having arrived on the 9th, the council-fire was again raked open, when
Captain Brant thus addressed Colonel Butler the British, and General
Chapin the American Superintendent:--

"Brothers: You, the King, our father, and you, our brother, the United
States, attend to what we have to say. We will now explain to you the
material point upon which we have requested your attendance at this
council, and which has not been fully explained. We wish to act openly,
that the world may judge of our proceedings.

"Brothers: It is unnecessary to repeat what passed at the great council at
the Miami Rapids, as we know that you are already acquainted therewith.
We shall therefore point out the cause of our parting from the meeting in
the manner we did.

"Brothers: When the first deputation from the confederate Indians met the
Commissioners of the United States at Niagara, every thing seemed to
promise a friendly termination of the treaty; but before their return to
the council-fire at the Rapids of the Miami, messengers from the Creek
nation arrived there, and brought authentic information of the white
people having encroached upon that part of the confederacy.

"This intelligence at once gave a change to the face of our proceedings,
and, probably, was the sole cause of the abrupt termination of the
negotiations for peace. Thus you see that claims upon our lands always
have been, and still continue to be, the cause of war.

"Brothers: About five years ago we agreed upon a line of demarcation with
the United States, which you know to be the Muskingum; and,
notwithstanding the various accidents that have since occurred, we will
still adhere to that boundary.

"Brothers: We think the United States will agree to this line, which will
show the sincerity and justice they always profess for the Indians; should
they agree to this, we sincerely hope that peace will still take place,
and we think that the weight of our branch of the confederacy will be able
to accomplish peace upon the reasonable line we have just mentioned, and
we shall be exceeding sorry to find that this proposal should not be
generally accepted by the confederacy. If it is rejected, we must be
involved in difficulties in our own country.

"Brothers: We will now proceed to explain the line upon which we hope
peace will be made. We know that the lands along the Ohio are claimed by
the Indians, but we propose to give up such part of these lands as are
actually settled and improved, which settlements are to be circumscribed
by a line drawn around them, and no farther claims are to be admitted
beyond such line. The remainder of the boundary to be explained by General
Chapin, for which purpose it is the general wish of the Six Nations that
General Chapin, himself, will proceed with the speech to Congress."

                                   [_A belt of black and white wampum._]

Agreeably to this request, General Chapin proceeded to the seat of
government, to submit their speech to the President, and make the
necessary explanations. The Secretary of War replied on the 24th of
December, reiterating the desire of the United States to cultivate
relations of friendship with the Indians, evading a decision upon the
boundary recommended by Captain Brant, and proposing another Indian
Council in the spring, to be held at Venango. But in the event of the
Indians, hostile or otherwise, agreeing to meet in such council, they
were distinctly told that the army would not in the mean time be
restrained from hostile operations, as had been the case the preceding
season. Farther to secure the good-will of the Six Nations, however, a
supply of warm winter clothing was sent to them, with the letter from the
Secretary containing the President's decision, which was delivered, and
well received at a council holden at Buffalo Creek on the 7th of February,
1794. This council had been convened expressly to receive the answer to
the proposals of Captain Brant; and the same having been read, it was soon
perceived to be less acceptable to the Indians than they had anticipated.
Red Jacket, after a long pause, replied to General Chapin:--

"Brothers (of the United States:) We have heard the speech that has been
delivered to us with great attention, and shall now remove the
council-fire to our castle, to take it into private consideration."

Two days afterward, the council was re-opened, when Red Jacket spoke:--

"Brothers: We have taken your speech into consideration, and our eldest
brother, Captain Brant, is to relate the result of our meeting in private
council yesterday."

Captain Brant then spoke as follows, with nine strings of white and black
wampum:--

"Brothers: I now address to you, General Chapin of the United States, and
to you, Major Littlehales [FN] in behalf of the King, and thank the Great
Spirit for bringing us again together in council, as what we are a going
to relate we wish the world to know."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Private Secretary of Governor Simcoe attending the council in
 his absence.


"Brothers: You have both heard the message we delivered to our brothers of
the United States, last Fall, relative to a boundary line; and we expected
a positive answer from you, brothers of the United States, whether you
would accept of it or not.

"Brothers: When we delivered the message to you last Fall for the United
States, we had first taken it into serious consideration; we spoke the
language of our hearts, and the Great Spirit knew our minds; all the Six
Nations were of tho same opinion, and we are well assured that, had the
United States accepted our proposed boundary line, peace would certainly
have taken place.

"Brothers: The speech you have brought us, has given us great uneasiness;
we are greatly at a loss how to act; we expected a direct answer to our
proposals of a boundary line; now we are much distressed that you have
brought us but half an answer; the kindling a council-fire at a distant
place is what we are not prepared to give a reply to.

"Brothers: Provided the United States had accepted our proposed boundary
line, we should have sent immediately to our Western brethren, who know
our sentiments, and we should have attended your council and confirmed it.

"Brothers: Make your minds easy; but, in consequence of the importance of
your speech, we must have time to deliberate very seriously upon it; we
cannot give you an immediate answer; we must have a general council of all
the Chiefs; only a few are now present, and we should all be together. The
reason of so much counseling at different times has proceeded from so
small a number of our sachems and chiefs being assembled, and this has
been the principal cause of the present trouble.

"Brothers: You, General Chapin, live near us; we have two months and a
half to consider of your speech, and by that time we will give you a final
answer. We pray the Great Spirit that these difficulties may terminate to
the happiness of both parties.

"Brothers: You requested an answer as soon as was convenient, but in such
very weighty business, it is impossible to give one immediately. With
regard to provision, there is plenty in your country; and if we should
agree to meet you, you need not be particular about what we shall consume,
for we shall not expect any thing but provision.

"Brothers: We now conclude, and we pray the Great Spirit to protect you
safe home, and we desire you will bear it continually on your minds, that
you will soon receive an answer."

             [_The nine strings of wampum, delivered to General Chapin._]

Notwithstanding the postponement of a definitive answer, on the part of
the Indians, to the proposition for the assembling of another council at
Venango, it was the opinion of General Chapin, at the close of these
proceedings, that they would yet accede to it. Circumstances, however,
arose during the intervening period, which materially changed the aspect
of the border relations of the United States, and the tone and temper of
the Six Nations. The protracted and sanguinary wars between England and
the French Republic had then commenced, as also had the invasions of the
rights of neutrals by those powers, so frequent and so aggravated during
that furious contest. In order to cut off the supplies of bread stuffs
from France, Great Britain had resorted to the strong and questionable
measure of stopping all vessels loaded in whole or in part with corn,
flour, or meal, bound to any port in France, and sending them in to the
most convenient ports, where their cargoes were to be purchased for his
Majesty's service, at a fair value, after making a due allowance for
freight, &c. The British government labored to justify this measure by
citations from some modern writers upon national law, but it was
nevertheless esteemed a violation of neutral rights, and produced much
feeling among the American people, and strong remonstrances from the
government The assumption set up by Great Britain, of the right of
impressing seamen, British subjects, from neutral vessels, by the
exercise of which it was asserted that many American seamen had been
seized, and carried forcibly into foreign service, was now producing
farther and still greater irritation. Added to all which were the
incendiary machinations of Citizen Genet to undermine the administration
of Washington, alienate from his government the affections of the people,
and involve the United States in a war with Great Britain. Party spirit
was already running high, and from the blind zeal with which the
anti-federalists had espoused the cause of revolutionary France, as
against England, very serious apprehensions wore entertained that another
war between the latter power and the United States would be the result.

One of the consequences of the apparent probability of such an event, was
a manifest change of temper on the part of the British officers in the
Canadas, and at the posts yet in British occupancy along the north-western
frontier of the United States. That during the whole controversy between
the Indians and the United States, from 1786 to the defeat of St. Clair,
the former had been countenanced and encouraged by English agents, and
repeatedly incited to actual hostilities by the traders, there was no
doubt. Latterly, however, a better state of feeling had been manifested.
Lord Dorchester, previous to a visit to England at the close of the year
1791, had sent a speech to the Indians, of a complexion rather pacific;
and it has been seen, that in the Summer of the preceding year, (1793,)
Governor Simcoe had displayed a better feeling than had previously been
evinced by the officers of that nation, since the close of the
Revolutionary contest. But the difficulties between the two nations,
already referred to, now daily becoming more serious, and threatening, at
no distant day, a resort to the _ultima ratio regum,_ had wrought a
decided change in the views of the Canadian authorities respecting an
Indian pacification. In the event of a war, the Indians would again be
found valuable auxiliaries to the arms of his Majesty, for the annoyance
they would inflict upon the United States, if not by reason of any
important victories they might gain. Hence, instead of promoting a
pacification, the efforts of the Canadian government were obviously
exerted to prevent it. _Meshecunnaqua,_ or the _Little Turtle,_ had made a
visit to the province of Lower Canada, after the victory over St. Clair,
for the purpose of engaging all the Indian forces he could, in that
quarter, in the farther prosecution of the war. Lord Dorchester had now
returned from England, and was waited upon by the Indians of the Seven
Nations of Canada, as a deputation from all the Indians at the Grand Miami
council of the preceding Autumn. Their object was to ask advice, or
procure countenance or assistance, in regard to the boundary for which
they had been so long contending. His Lordship answered the deputation on
the 10th of February, in language, respecting the United States, far from
conciliatory or pacific. After referring to the proceedings of a council
with the Indians, held at Quebec, previous to his departure for Europe,
two years before, and the expression in his speech on that occasion, of a
hope that he should hear in England of a satisfactory adjustment of their
difficulties with the United States, his Lordship proceeded:--

"Children: I was in expectation of hearing from the people of the United
States what was required by them; I hoped that I should have been able to
bring you together, and make you friends.

"Children: I have waited long, and listened with great attention, but I
have not heard one word from them.

"Children: I flattered myself with the hope that the line proposed in the
year eighty-three, to separate us from the United States, _which was
immediately broken by themselves as soon as the peace was signed,_ would
have been mended, or a new one drawn, in an amicable manner. Here, also,
I have been disappointed.

"Children: Since my return, I find no appearance of a line remains; and
from the maimer in which the people of the United States rush on, and act,
and talk, on this side; and from what I learn of their conduct toward the
sea, I shall not be surprised if we are at war with them in the course of
the present year; and if so, a line must then be drawn by the warriors.

"Children: You talk of selling your lands to the State of New-York. [FN]
I have told you that there is no line between them and us. I shall
acknowledge no lands to be theirs which have been encroached on by them
since the year 1783. They then broke the peace, and as they kept it not
on their part, it doth not bind on ours."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The Caughnawaga Indians, residing near Montreal, were about this
 time in treaty with Governor George Clinton for the sale of some of their
 lands lying within the boundaries of the state of New-York. The late
 Egbert Benson was a Commissioner on the part of the State.


"Children: They then destroyed their right of preemption. Therefore all
their approaches toward us since that time, and all the purchases made by
them, I consider as an infringement on the King's rights. And when a line
is drawn between us, be it in peace or war, they must lose all their
improvements and houses on our side of it. Those people must all be gone
who do not obtain leave to become the King's subjects. What belongs to the
Indians will, of course, be secured and confirmed to them.

"Children: What farther can I say to you? You are witnesses that on our
parts we have acted in the most peaceable manner, and borne the language
and conduct of the people of the United Stales with patience. But I
believe our patience is almost exhausted." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The authenticity of this speech of Lord Dorchester is denied by
 Chief Justice Marshall, and Mr. Sparks, in his Life and Correspondence of
 Washington, notes that denial without dissent. Hence it hat been received
 as spurious, and Lord Dorchester, with his Government, has escaped the
 responsibility of having uttered such an unwarrantable document. The
 first copy was forwarded to President Washington by Governor Clinton, who
 did not doubt its genuineness. Neither did the President; since, in his
 letter to Governor Clinton acknowledging its receipt, he scales his
 reasons at large for dissenting from the opinions of those who were
 proclaiming it to be spurious. On the contrary, he declared that he
 entertained "not a doubt of its authenticity." Equally strong was he in
 the opinion, that in making such a speech Lord Dorchester had spoken the
 sentiments of the British Cabinet, according to his instructions. [_See
 Letter of President Washington to Governor Clinton, March_ 31, 1794.] On
 the 20th of May the attention of the British Minister, Mr. Hammond, was
 called to the subject by the Secretary of State, Edmund Randolph, who
 remonstrated strongly, not only against the speech, but against the
 conduct of Governor Simcoe, who was then engaged in measures of a hostile
 character. Mr. Hammond replied on the 22d of May rather tartly; and, what
 renders the denial of the speech by Marshall and Sparks the more
 singular, is the fact that the British Minister said in that letter,--"I
 am willing to admit the authenticity of the speech." [_See T. B. Wait &
 Sons' Edition of American State Papers,_ Vol. I. pages 449--453.] But if
 doubt has existed before, as to the genuine character of that document,
 it shall no longer exist. I have myself transcribed the preceding
 extracts from a certified manuscript copy, discovered among the papers of
 Joseph Brant in my possession.--_Author._


There could be no doubt as to the effect of such an address upon the
warlike tribes of the upper lakes, chafed, as they were, by what they
really believed to be wrongs, and by the presence of a hostile army in the
heart of their own country--buoyed up in their spirits, moreover, by the
complete success which had crowned their arms in the two preceding
campaigns. But the Governor General did not here cease his exertions to
keep the Indians, the Six Nations not excepted, on the _qui vive_ of the
war feeling. Soon after the close of the council at Buffalo in the same
month, his Lordship transmitted an inflammatory speech to those tribes,
which was interpreted to them by Colonel Butler, and produced an obvious
and decided change in their feelings toward the United States. Large
presents were likewise sent up from Quebec, and distributed among them,
and the British officers in the Indian Department took pains, on all
occasions, to represent to them that a war between the two nations was
inevitable. [FN] Such was doubtless their opinion, for with the arrival of
Lord Dorchester's speech, early in April, Governor Simcoe repaired
overland to Detroit, and with a strong detachment of troops proceeded to
the foot of the Miami Rapids, and commenced the erection of a fortress at
that place. This movement caused fresh irritation among the American
people, since the retention of the old posts had been a continual source
of dissatisfaction, although the non-fulfillment of a portion of the
treaty of peace by the United States still furnished the pretext for such
occupancy. But the movement of Governor Simcoe into the Miami country, and
the erection of a fortress there--the territory being clearly within the
boundaries of the United States--awakened yet stronger feelings of
indignation in the bosom of the President. Mr. Jay was at that time the
American minister near the Court of St. James, and the President gave vent
to his feelings in a private letter to that functionary, in the most
decided terms of reprobation. "Can that government," asked the President
in the letter to Mr. Jay, "or will it attempt, after this official act of
one of their Governors, to hold out ideas of friendly intentions toward
the United States, and suffer such conduct to pass with impunity? This may
be considered as the most open and daring act of the British agents in
America, though it is not the most hostile or cruel; for there does not
remain a doubt in the mind of any well-informed person in this country,
not shut against conviction, that all the difficulties we encounter with
the Indians--their hostilities, the murders of helpless women and innocent
children along our frontiers--result from the conduct of the agents of
Great Britain in this country. In vain is it, then, for its administration
in Britain to disavow having given orders which will warrant such conduct,
whilst their agents go unpunished; whilst we have a thousand corroborating
circumstances, and indeed almost as many evidences, some of which cannot
be brought forward, to know that they are seducing from our alliance, and
endeavoring to remove over the line, tribes that have hitherto been kept
in peace and friendship with us at a heavy expense, and who have no causes
of complaint, except pretended ones of their creating; whilst they keep in
a state of irritation the tribes who are hostile to us, and are
instigating those who know little of us or we of them, to unite in the
war against us; and whilst it is an undeniable fact that they are
furnishing the whole with arms, ammunition, clothing, and even provisions,
to carry on the war; I might go farther, and if they are not much belied,
add men also in disguise."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Letter from General Israel Chapin to the Secretary of War, April 29,
 1794. _See Indian State Papers_--p. 480.


It was under these altered circumstances that General Chapin met the Six
Nations again in council on the 21st of April, to receive their reply to
the communication from the Secretary of War, General Knox, proposing the
holding of another treaty at Venango, as heretofore mentioned. The
proceedings were opened by the Onondaga chief, Clear Sky, who addressed
the Superintendents as follows:--

"General Chapin: We are happy to see that you are arrived safe at our
council-fire, and that you have been preserved by the Great Spirit in good
health.

"Colonel Butler: We are also very happy to see you at our council-fire,
as representing the King."

Captain Brant thereupon rose, and addressed the two Superintendents as
follows:--

"Brothers: You of the United States listen to what we are going to say to
you; you, likewise, the King.

"Brothers: We are very happy to see you, Colonel Butler and General
Chapin, sitting side by side, with the intent of hearing what we have to
say. We wish to do no business but what is open and above-board."

Then addressing himself exclusively to General Chapin, he proceeded:--

"Brother: You, of the United States, make your mind easy, on account of
the long time your President's speech has been under our consideration;
when we received it, we told you it was a business of importance, and
required time to be considered of.

"Brother: The answer you have brought us is not according to what we
expected, which was the reason of our long delay; the business would have
been done with expedition, had the United States agreed to our proposal.
We would then have collected our associates, and repaired to Venango, the
place you proposed for meeting us.

"Brother: It is not now in our power to accept your invitation; provided
we were to go, you would conduct the business as you might think proper;
this has been the case at all the treaties held, from time to time, by
your Commissioners.

"Brother: At the first treaty after the conclusion of the war between you
and Great Britain, at Fort Stanwix, your Commissioners conducted the
business as it to them seemed best; they pointed out a line of division,
and then confirmed it; after this they held out that our country was ceded
to them by the King; this confused the Chiefs who attended there, and
prevented them from making any reply to the contrary; still holding out,
if we did not consent to it, that their warriors were at their back, and
that we could get no farther protection from Great Britain. This has ever
been held out to us by the Commissioners from Congress; at all the
treaties held with us since the peace, at Fort McIntosh, at Rocky River,
and every other meeting held, the idea was still the same.

"Brother: This has been the case from time to time. Peace has not taken
place, because you have held up these ideas, owing to which much mischief
has been done to the southward.

"Brother: We, the Six Nations, have been exerting ourselves to keep peace
since the conclusion of the war; we think it would be best for both
parties; we advised the confederate nations to request a meeting, about
half way between us and the United States, in order that such steps might
be taken as would bring about a peace; this request was there proposed by
us, and refused by Governor St. Clair, one of your Commissioners. The
Wyandots, a few Delawares, and some others, met the Commissioners, though
not authorized, and confirmed the lines of what was not their property,
but common to all nations.

"Brother: This idea we all entertained at our council at Lower Sandusky,
held for the purpose of forming our confederacy, and to adopt measures
that would be for the general welfare of our Indian nations, or people of
our color; owing to these steps taken by us, the United States held out,
that when we went to the westward to transact our private business, that
we went with the intention of taking an active part in the troubles
subsisting between them and our western brethren; this never has been the
case. We have ever wished for the friendship of the United States.

"Brother: We think you must be folly convinced, from our perseverance last
summer, as your Commissioners saw, that we were anxious for a peace
between you. The exertions that we, the Six Nations, have made toward the
accomplishing this desirable end, is the cause of the western nations
being somewhat dubious as to our sincerity. After we knew their doubts,
we still persevered; and, last Fall, we pointed out methods to be taken,
and sent them, by you to Congress; this we certainly expected would have
proved satisfactory to the United States; in that case we should have more
than ever exerted ourselves, in order that the offers we made should be
confirmed by our confederacy, and by them strictly to be adhered to.

"Brother: Our proposals have not met with the success from Congress that
we expected; this still leaves us in a similar situation to what we were
in when we first entered on the business.

"Brother: You must recollect the number of chiefs who have, at divers
times, waited on Congress; they have pointed out the means to be taken,
and held out the same language, uniformly, at one time as another; that
was, if you would withdraw your claim to the boundary line and lands
within the line, as offered by us; had this been done, peace would have
taken place, and, unless this still be done, we see no other method of
accomplishing it.

"Brother: We have borne every thing patiently for this long time past; we
have done every thing we could consistently do with the welfare of our
nations in general, notwithstanding the many advantages that have been
taken of us by individuals making purchases of us, the Six Nations, whose
fraudulent conduct towards us Congress never has taken notice of, nor in
any wise seen us rectified, nor made our minds easy. This is the case to
the present day; our patience is now entirely worn out; you see the
difficulties we labor under, so that we cannot, at present, rise from our
seats and attend your council at Venango agreeable to your invitation. The
boundary line we pointed out we think is a just one, although the United
States claim lands west of that line; the trifle that has been paid by the
United States can be no object in comparison to what a peace would be.

"Brother: We are of the same opinion with the people of the United States;
you consider yourselves as independent people; we, as the original
inhabitants of this country and sovereigns of the soil, look upon
ourselves as equally independent, and free as any other nations. This
country was given to us by the Great Spirit above; we wish to enjoy it,
and have our passage along the lake within the line we have pointed out.

"Brother: The great exertions we have made, for this number of years, to
accomplish a peace, have not been able to obtain it; our patience, as we
have already observed, is exhausted, and we are discouraged from
persevering any longer. We therefore throw ourselves under the protection
of the Great Spirit above, who, we hope, will order all things for the
best. We have told you our patience is worn out; but not so far but that
we wish for peace, and, whenever we hear that pleasing sound, we shall pay
attention to it."

 [_The belt and speech sent by General Knox were then returned to General
  Chapin._]

Thus was extinguished the hope of a council of pacification at Venango;
and not only that, but the altered temper of the Six Nations seemed to
threaten an augmentation of the hostile Indian power at the west, by the
desertion to their cause of the whole of the Iroquois Confederacy, under
a leader whose prowess and wisdom had both often been tested. In the mean
time all the accounts from the west concurred in the fact, that the
distant tribes were gathering for a renewal of the conflict--encouraged as
they were by promises of strong assistance from the English. The traders
and the "mixed multitude" constituting the refugees and parti-colored
inhabitants of Detroit, were doubtless active in promoting these
hostilities, and very probably made promises to the credulous Chiefs as
coming from Governor Simcoe, of which he himself was ignorant. Two
Pottawattamies were taken prisoners on the 5th of June by the troops of
General Wayne, who made a variety of disclosures upon this subject. They
represented, and intelligence to that effect was dispatched to the
interior tribes by their Chiefs, that Governor Simcoe was to march to
their assistance with fifteen hundred men. He was giving them clothing and
all necessary supplies, and "all the speeches received from him were red
as blood. All the wampum and feathers were painted red; the war-pipes and
hatchets were red; and even the tobacco was painted red." Several
Shawanese prisoners, however, were soon afterward captured, who were less
confident of English assistance. They said "they could not depend upon the
British for effectual support; that they were always setting the Indians
on like dogs after game, pressing them to go to war and kill the
Americans, but did not help them."

Another influence was brought to bear upon the Indians of the west at this
conjuncture, from a most unexpected quarter. It was the arrival at the
Miamis Rapids, early in May, of a messenger from the Spanish settlements
on the Mississippi, charged with a spirited war-speech to the confederacy.
This messenger was conducted to the Miamis by a deputation from the
Delawares, who had emigrated beyond the Mississippi four years previous.
He admonished the confederates of the gathering of the "Big-Knives,"
meaning the troops of the United States, and offered assistance from the
Spanish and French settlements in the south-west, who, he said, were
preparing to come to their help.

"Children!" said the Spaniard, "you see me on my feet, grasping the
tomahawk to strike them. We will strike together. I do not desire you to
go before me, in the front, but to follow me.

"Children: I present you with a war-pipe, which has been sent in all our
names to the Musquakies, and all those nations who live towards the
setting sun, to get upon their feet and take hold of our tomahawk; and as
soon as they smoked it, they sent it back with a promise to get
immediately on their feet, and join us, and strike this enemy.

"Children: You hear what these distant nations have said to us, so that we
have nothing farther to do but put our designs into immediate execution,
and to forward this pipe to the three warlike nations who have so long
been struggling for their country, and who now sit at the Glaize. Tell
them to smoke this pipe, and forward it to all the lake Indians and then
northern brethren. Then nothing will be wanting to complete our general
union from the rising to the setting of the sun, and all nations will be
ready to add strength to the blow we are going to make." [FN]

                                             [_Delivered a war-pipe._]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] MS. among the Brant papen.


The Spaniard farther assured them that the Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws and
Chickasaws, had also charged him with a message, assuring them that their
hearts were with the Confederacy, and that eleven nations of the southern
Indians were then on their feet, with the hatchet in their hand, ready to
strike their common enemy.

The Chiefs to whom these messages from the west and south were delivered
at the Rapids, immediately convened a council, composed of the Wyandots,
Ottawas, Chippewas, Mingoes, Munseys, and Nantikokes, before whom the
intelligence was repeated. They were then addressed as follows:--

"Brothers: You have now heard the speeches brought to our council at the
Glaize a few days ago from the Spaniards; and as soon as they heard them,
and smoked the pipe, their hearts were glad, and they determined to step
forward and put into execution the advice sent to them. They desire you to
forward the pipe, as has been recommended, to all our northern brethren;
not doubting but as soon as you have smoked it, you will follow their
example, and they will hourly expect you to join them, as it will not be
many days before the nearness of our enemies will give us an opportunity
of striking them."

                                         [_Delivered the pipe._]

_Egouchouoy_ answered for all the nations present:--

"Brothers: I am happy at the good news you have told us, and we will
immediately go and collect all our people, and be with you as soon as
possible." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] The reader must bear in mind that these speeches and proceedings of
 the Indian Councils, exclusively such, were written down by the British
 agents and officers among the Indians, who attended to assist them. The
 author finds many of them among the papers of Captain Brant--some from
 the Upper Lake tribes in French. The account of this Spanish writer, his
 message, and the consequent address to the Lake tribes, the author has
 found among these papers, signed by Colonel McKee as _Deputy Agent of
 Indian Affairs,_ and the copy certified by Thomas Talbot. Several
 paragraphs of both addresses have been omitted, as not material to the
 history. See Appendix, No. IX.


There is mystery attached to this mission of the Spaniard, concerning
which no farther information has been obtained. The Indians of the
Confederacy were greatly encouraged by the assurances of assistance, and
it will soon appear that some tribes came to their help from a very great
distance. The employment of a Spanish Envoy, however, was a remarkable
circumstance, and serves to strengthen the suspicions entertained by
Washington two years before, that, even at that early day, the possessors
of the estuary of the Mississippi, and of the vast Spanish territories
above, had already become alarmed lest what has happened respecting that
territory, would happen, unless the power of the United States should be
crippled. But the promised Spanish and French assistance from that
direction did not arrive, nor were the Confederates aided in their
subsequent operations by the Creeks, Cherokees, and Chickasaws, as
promised.

The United States were not inactive during these hostile movements and
preparations among the Indians. General Wayne, or _Sukach-gook_ as he was
called by the Indians, [FN] was making the most vigorous preparations for
opening the campaign with decision. Among other measures, it was
determined, while he was approaching the Miami towns with a force
sufficient, as it was hoped, to end the war at a blow, to occupy a station
at Presque Isle, and fortify it. This movement not only gave great
uneasiness to the confederates, but, in connexion with another, of a
different description, adopted by the State of Pennsylvania, had well-nigh
driven the whole of the more ancient alliance of the Six Nations at once
into hostilities against the United States under their old leader
Thayendanegea. Pennsylvania, it seems, claimed a district of country on
the south shore of Lake Erie, including Presque Isle, under color of a
purchase from the Corn-planter--which purchase the Six Nations, to whom
the territory in question had belonged, held to be invalid. Regardless of
the objections and remonstrances of the Indians, thus claiming
proprietorship, the Corn-planter having, as they contended, sold it
without authority, Pennsylvania was now planting settlers upon this
territory and erecting an establishment at Presque Isle; at which
aggression, as they esteemed it, Captain Brant and his nations were
greatly incensed. A council was thereupon held, to take that and other
subjects into consideration, at Buffalo, the sittings of which were
commenced on the 24th of June. General Chapin was in attendance, at the
urgent solicitation of the Indians, and Captain O'Bail (the Corn-planter)
was the speaker. He complained first of the absence of several of their
warriors, who were believed to have been killed by the Americans. One of
their chiefs, Big Tree, he said, had some months before gone to the camp
of the Americans in the most friendly manner, and had been put to death;
while another of their warriors had been killed at Venango "while sitting
easy and peaceable on his seat." He next entered upon the subject of the
Pennsylvania encroachments, of which he complained bitterly, insisting
that the sale alleged to have been made by himself was not in any manner
obligatory upon the Indians. The erection of the fort at Presque Isle was
likewise a theme of complaint. The determination of the council was to
send a delegation of their Chiefs into the disputed territory, to request
a removal of the intruders; and General Chapin was solicited to accompany
the deputation. He did so, but the mission was executed to no good
purpose.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Sukach-gook is the Delaware name for black snake, which they called
 General Wayne by, saying that he possessed all the art and cunning of
 that reptile; which was known to be the greatest destroyer of the small
 birds and animals of the snake tribe.--_Heckewelder._


On the return of the delegation to Buffalo Creek, another council was held
to receive the report. This convention was on the 4th of July. The report,
being unfavorable, of course gave no satisfaction, and the Indians
immediately manifested a still greater degree of alienation from the
United States. The general boundary question was revived during the
discussions, and an address from the council to the President, spoken by
O'Bail, was written down, and transmitted by General Chapin. In this
address the Indians re-asserted their determination to insist upon the
Ohio and Muskingum boundary. The following is an extract:--

"General Washington, attend! What gives us room for the making of so many
speeches, is, because you relate all the former deceptions that have been
used.

"General Washington: I depend upon you to gratify our request, and that
will make my mind easy. Sometimes I hear that I am going to flee from my
seat, for the injuries I have done. These reflections make me so unhappy,
that I am almost tempted to die with the Six Nations.

"Brother: We are determined now, as we were before, that the line shall
remain. We have fully considered on the boundary we have marked out. We
know all that we have received from time to time, and we think if you
establish this line, it will make us about even.

"Brother: If you do not comply with our request, we shall determine on
something else, as we are a free people.

"Brother: We are determined to be a free people. You know, General
Washington, that we, the Six Nations, have always been able to defend
ourselves, and we are still determined to maintain our freedom.

"Brother: You must not suspect that any other nation corrupts our minds.
The only thing that can corrupt our minds, is not to grant our request.

"Brother: If this favor is not granted, I wish that my son may be sent
back with the answer, and tell me which side he means to join. If he
wishes to join that side, he is at liberty."

Although the name of Brant does not often occur in the proceedings of the
councils touching the movement of Pennsylvania upon Sandusky, yet he was
by no means a passive spectator of passing events. There were no hours of
idleness in his life, and when not engaged in the field, or in attendance
upon councils, or upon foreign missions, his mind was occupied in the work
of improving the minds and morals, and adding to the comforts, of his own
people. In the Spring of the present year he was engaged in the erection
of a council-house for his nation at Grand River. But the Sandusky affair
called him again to the field; and while others were deliberating in
council, and attempting to negotiate, the Chief was preparing to contest
the disputed title by arms--directly aided, as will be seen from the
following letter, by the Executive of Upper Canada:--

        "Captain Brant to Colonel Smith--('for Governor Simcoe.' [FN])"

                          * * * * *

 [FN] So filed in Brant's own hand, on the copy preserved among his
 papers.


                                    "_Grand River,_ 19_th July,_ 1794.

"Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 16th instant,
enclosing the extracts his Excellency has been pleased to favor me with,
for which I have to request you would have the goodness to thank his
Excellency for me.

"I am much concerned to find that the Lake Indians think their belts
completed. [FN-1] I foresaw the event, [FN-2] for which reason it has ever
been my opinion that they should avoid coming to any considerable
engagement, because it is a custom among the Indians, that after having
struck a good blow, and having taken prisoners and scalps, they return
home. Nevertheless I hope they will not go."

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Captain Brant had just received a letter from Detroit, dated on
 the 5th of July, one paragraph of which explains the signification of
 this expression: "The Mackinaw and Lake Indians, having _completed the
 belts_ they carried, with scalps and prisoners, seem resolved on going
 home again. The return of these people will considerably weaken the
 defence expected from the collected sections of two thousand Indians."

 [FN-2] Referring, doubtless, to an engagement between Little Turtle and
 Major McMahon, which will be more particularly noted a page or two
 onward.


"In regard to the Presque Isle business, should we not get an answer at
the time limited, it is our business to push those fellows hard, and
therefore it is my intention to form my camp at Pointe Appineau; and I
would esteem it a favor if his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor would
lend me four or five batteaux. Should it so turn out, and should those
fellows not go off, and O'Bail continue in the same opinion, an expedition
against those Yankees must of consequence take place.

"His Excellency has been so good as to furnish us with a cwt. of powder,
and ball in proportion, which is now at Fort Erie; but in the event of an
attack upon Le Boeuf people, I could wish, if consistent, that his
Excellency would order a like quantity in addition to be at Fort Erie, in
order to be in readiness: likewise I would hope for a little assistance
in provisions.

"I would request that his Excellency would favor me with an answer by the
bearer, Seth. I would also trouble his Excellency in regard to those
people who went with him to Detroit. They were promised to be handsomely
rewarded, which as yet has not been done; and as they now expect to go
upon service, they are rather impatient; and if it was convenient that
they could be satisfied, either by borrowing goods, or otherwise, as his
Excellency would think fit, I would be extremely happy.

"I understand some new regiments are raising, or to be raised. In that
case I would consider myself much favored should some of my relations,
young men, have an equal chance of being provided for.

"A few days ago I sent seven men to Cadaragara, to remind O'Bail that he
should watch any movement of those people [FN] very narrowly; and that he
should be ready to march immediately after the expiration of the time,
should they, not then evacuate that place."

                          * * * * *

  [FN] The settlers at Presque Isle.


The insertion of this letter at length is deemed important, showing, as it
does, and that, too, beyond the power of contradiction, that the Indians
were supplied purposely, with their munitions of war, by the officers of
the British crown. The fact was denied by Great Britain, or at least it
was argued, that if the Indians drew their supplies from the Canadians,
they were furnished by individuals, as such, over whose actions in the
premises the government had no control. Independently of these
circumstances, moreover, the detention of the boats, and the erection by
Governor Sinclair of a new fortification, heretofore spoken of, on the
Miamis of the Lakes, fifty miles South of Detroit, afforded strong
evidence of a design on the part of Great Britain, to avail herself of the
non-execution of that article in the treaty of peace stipulating for the
payment of debts, for the purpose of establishing a new boundary line, by
which the great lakes should be entirely comprehended in Upper Canada. An
animated correspondence took place on the whole subject, between the
American Secretary of State and Mr. Hammond, the diplomatic representative
of Great Britain, in which a considerable degree of mutual irritation was
displayed, and in which each supported the charges against the nation of
the other much better than he defended his own. [FN] Had the Secretary of
State been in possession of the preceding letter from the Mohawk Chief, he
would not have argued upon uncertainties--at least so far as a supply of
powder and ball to the Indians by the Governor of Upper Canada would have
sustained his case. In any event, the charge is now brought home with
sufficient distinctness to put the question at rest. Captain Brant,
however, found no occasion for a farther requisition upon his Excellency
for ammunition at that time. The interposition of the President deterred
Pennsylvania from the farther prosecution of her designs upon Presque
Isle, and the projected expedition of the Six Nations was accordingly
relinquished.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Marshall.


The desultory contest with the Indians, so long protracted, and at times
so bloody, was now approaching its termination. On the 30th of June a
sharp action took place under the walls of Fort Recovery--a fortress which
had been thrown up by General Wayne on the battle-ground of St. Clair's
defeat. The primary object of the Indians, who were the assailants, was
the capture of a large number of pack-horses, recently arrived at that
fort with provisions, which were returning to Fort Grenville, guarded by
a company of cavalry under Captain Gibson, and a detachment of ninety
riflemen, the whole under the command of Major McMahon. Taken by surprise,
and finding the Indians in great force, the Americans sought speedy refuge
within the walls of the fort. The Indians were led by the distinguished
Miami Chief, Little Turtle. Pressing close upon the garrison, with an
evident design to carry it, the moment McMahon's troops had regained the
fortress a fire was opened upon the assailants, which drove them back with
great slaughter. They rallied again, however, and maintained the
engagement through the day, but keeping at a more respectful distance. The
night, which was thick and foggy, was employed by them in removing their
dead by torch-light. On the next day the assault was renewed; but the
Indians were ultimately compelled to retreat, with loss and
disappointment, from the field of their former triumph. Both in advance
and retreat, in this expedition, the Indians marched with perfect order.
Their encampments were square and regular, and they moved upon the fort
in seventeen columns, at wide distances apart. Many white men were in
their ranks, supposed to be the inhabitants and militia of Detroit.
Officers in British uniform were likewise so near the scene of action as
to be distinctly discerned. Several valuable officers of Major McMahon's
corps fell at the first onset, among whom was the gallant Major himself.
The total loss of the Americans was twenty-two killed and thirty wounded.
The Indians suffered very severely. In their retreat it was ascertained
that a large number of pack-horses were literally loaded with their slain.
Such, at least, were the facts in regard to this affair, as derived from
the most ample and apparently authentic accounts of the Americans. Nor did
the Indian accounts differ from the American as widely as is often the
case between opposite statements of antagonist parties. As an evidence of
which, and to show how accurately and promptly Captain Brant was advised
of the progress and events of the war, the following extract is given from
his correspondence:--

              "Extract from a Letter to Captain Brant.

                                     "_Detroit, July_ 5, 1794.

"An attack was made on the 30th of June by the Indians, on three hundred
pack-horses returning to Fort Grenville, from whence they came the day
before with provisions. All of these, with the pack-horsemen, were either
taken or killed close by Fort Recovery, together with thirty bullocks.
Captain Gibson, the officer commanding, on perceiving the attack made on
his horses, ordered a troop of dragoons, or light-horse, to charge the
Indians, and at the same time he drew up his garrison in front of the
fort, as if with a design to sustain his cavalry. But they were all beaten
back in a few minutes, and pursued to the gate of the fort, with the loss
of about fifty men and upward of twenty-five horses. The loss of the
Indians commenced from this period; for they kept up a useless attack upon
the fort, while the troops within were firing at them through loop-holes.
Seventeen were killed, and as many wounded.

"The _Mountain Leader_ was killed two days before the action, by a
scouting party of the Hurons. He was the chief of the Chickasaws. Wells,
(a scout from Wayne's army,) was killed in the engagement; and May is
reported to be so by one of three prisoners who were taken, together with
two more Chickasaws. Captain Gibson and two other officers are also among
the killed.

"My information states that these prisoners report there are sixty
Chickasaws with their army, twenty of whom are at Fort Recovery and forty
at Fort Grenville. They also say that the horses which are now taken and
killed, were the only means General Wayne had of transporting
provisions--that he was to commence his campaign about the middle of next
month--waiting for an augmentation of his force of three thousand militia
from Kentucky--and that he is to build a fort at the Glaize, and proceed
from thence to Detroit.

"The Chiefs of several nations are now in council at the Glaize, adopting
measures to re-unite their force if possible."

Taught by the unfortunate experience of Harmar and St. Clair, General Wayne
moved not but with the utmost caution, and all the preparation which a
prudent forecast required. He had not therefore advanced beyond Fort
Recovery until sufficient strength had been concentrated, and such other
dispositions made as would enable him not only to strike a decisive blow,
but retain possession of the country he might conquer. The delays incident
to these preparations carried the active prosecution of the campaign into
midsummer. The richest and most extensive towns of the hostile Indians
lay about the confluence of the Au Glaize and the Miamis of the Lakes. At
this place General Wayne arrived on the 8th of August, where some works of
defence were thrown up for the protection of the magazines. It was thirty
miles thence to the Rapids, where, as has been already seen, Governor
Simcoe had recently erected a strong fortress, fifty miles within the
stipulated and understood boundary, as between the British possessions and
those of the United States. At this latter place, in the immediate
neighborhood of the fort, the Indian forces were collected to the number
of nearly two thousand. The Continental legion under General Wayne was of
about equal strength, exclusive of eleven hundred mounted Kentuckians
under General Scott. Here the Black Snake had intended to surprise the
neighboring villages of the enemy; and the more effectually to ensure the
success of his _coup de main,_ he had not only advanced thus far by an
obscure and very difficult route, but taken pains to clear out two roads
from Greenville in that direction, in order to attract and divert the
attention of the Indians while he marched upon neither. But his
generalship proved of no avail. The Little Turtle was too wary a leader to
be taken by surprise--to say nothing of the desertion of a villain named
Newman, an officer in the Quarter-master General's department, who gave
the Indians warning of Wayne's advance. Little Turtle thereupon retired to
the Rapids; and having been apprized by the deserter of the strength of
the Americans, determined to give battle, and made dispositions for that
object.

Having learned on the 12th, from Indian prisoners who were brought in, the
position of the enemy, in close proximity to the British garrison at the
Rapids, and being yet desirous of bringing the Indians to terms, if
possible, without the farther effusion of blood, the American commander
despatched another messenger of peace. The name of the envoy selected for
the occasion was Miller--a man who had been so long a captive among the
Indians as to have acquired their language. He was exceedingly reluctant
to undertake the hazardous enterprise. But being strongly urged upon the
service, with an assurance from the General that eight of the Indian
warriors, who were prisoners, should be held as pledges of his safety, he
at last assented--taking two of the prisoners, a warrior and a squaw,
along with him. He was received in a very hostile mood, and his life
threatened. But addressing them in their own language, displaying a flag,
and explaining the object of his visit, the menacing blow was suspended,
and he was placed in confinement while the Chiefs deliberated in council
upon the letter from the General, of which he was the bearer. Assuring
them that every prisoner in the American camp would be put to death unless
he should be sent back in safety before the 16th, he was liberated on the
preceding day--with a message to Wayne, that if he waited where he was
ten days, they would then treat with him, but if he advanced at an earlier
day they would fight. Impatient of delay, however, Wayne had taken up his
line of march on the 15th--the day of Miller's release. The message which
he met did not check his advance, and the General arrived in the vicinity
of the Rapids on the 18th. The 19th was occupied in reconnoitering the
positions of the enemy, and throwing up a slight fortification for the
protection of the stores, which was appropriately named Fort Deposite.

The enemy had taken post behind a thick wood, rendered almost inaccessible
by a dense growth of under-brush and fallen timber, marking the track of
a tornado, and almost under the guns of the fort that had been erected by
Simcoe. Their left was secured by the rocky bank of the river. The
Americans advanced for the attack early on the morning of the 20th. At
about ten o'clock, having proceeded nearly five miles, the advance guard,
commanded by Major Price, received so brisk a fire from the enemy, who
were secreted in the woods and the tall grass, as to compel it to fall
back. The ground was most happily chosen by the enemy for their mode of
warfare, so obstructed and difficult of access as to render it almost
impossible for the cavalry to act. Immediately on the attack upon the
corps of Major Price, the legion was formed in two lines and moved rapidly
forward. The thick forest and old broken wood already described, extended
to the left of the army several miles--the right resting on the river. The
Indians were formed in three lines within supporting distance of each
other, and extending for about two miles at right angles with the river.
The American commander soon discovered, from the weight of his fire, and
the extent of his lines, that it was the design of the enemy to turn his
left flank. The second line was thereupon ordered to advance in support
of the first, while, by a circuitous route, Scott was directed with his
Kentuckians to turn the enemy's right. In concert with this movement, the
front line ordered by General Wayne to charge with trailed arms, and
rouse the Indians from their covert at the point of the bayonet. Having
started them up, the Americans were directed to fire, and charge them so
closely as to allow no time for re-loading. The open ground by the river
permitted the movements of cavalry, with which the right flank of the
enemy was gained and turned. Indeed, such were the promptness of movement
on the part of the Americans, and the impetuosity of the charge of the
first line of infantry, that the Indians, together with the Detroit
militia and volunteers, were driven from all their coverts in so brief a
space of time that the mounted men, though making every possible exertion
to press forward, were many of them unable to gain their proper positions
to participate in the action. In the course of an hour, the enemy,
notwithstanding all the embarrassments of the ground already enumerated,
were driven more than two miles, by a force of less than half their
numbers actually engaged. The victory was complete and decisive, both
Indians and their allies, composed of the "mixed multitude" already more
than once referred to, abandoning themselves to flight in terror and
dismay,--leaving the field of battle in the quiet possession of the
Americans. The commanding General stated in his official report of the
action, that "it was terminated under the influence of the guns of the
British garrison,"--the pursuit having continued until they were within
reach of those guns. The loss of the Americans in killed and wounded,
including officers, was one hundred and seven. Among the slain was
Captain Campbell, commanding the cavalry, who fell in the first charge.
[FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] It was in this memorable action that Captain Solomon (now General
 Van Rensselaer) of Albany, an officer of dragoons, received a wound in
 the commencement of the battle, by being shot through the lungs. General
 Wilkinson, who was also in the battle, states, in his Memoirs, that Van
 Rensselaer kept his horse, and continued fighting until the blood spurted
 from his month and nostrils. General Van Rensselaer was afterward
 dreadfully wounded in half a dozen places, at the daring assault upon
 Queenston Heights in 1812. He yet lives, and, after having served the
 State of New-York several years as Adjutant General, and been repeatedly
 elected to Congress, has for the last fifteen years held the office of
 Post-master in Albany.


The loss of the Indians is not known. It must, however, have been very
severe. Seven Nations were engaged in the action, viz: the Miamis,
Wyandots, the Pottawattamies, Delawares, Shawanese, Chippewas, Ottawas,
and a portion of the Senecas. All the Chiefs of the Wyandots engaged in
the battle, being nine in number, were killed. [FN-1] Great slaughter was
made by the legionary cavalry in the pursuit, so many of the savages being
cut down with the sabre, that the title of "_Long Knives,_" years before
given to the Americans, was brought again into general use among the
Indians. [FN-2] It was believed by many that the Indians would not have
incurred this signal disaster had the advice of the _Little Turtle_ been
heeded. He was opposed to the policy of a general engagement at that time,
and it has even been asserted that he was rather inclined to peace. During
the night preceding the engagement, the Chiefs of the several tribes were
in council, and a proposition was submitted to make a night attack upon
the Americans in their encampment. The proposal was overruled, and a
general engagement on the following morning was determined upon. _Little
Turtle_ alone was opposed to the plan, while _Blue Jacket,_ a Shawanese
warrior of high character and influence, strenuously supported the course
adopted by the council. Colonel McKee was in the council, and is believed
to have urged the Indians to fight. _Little Turtle_ was inspired with a
presentiment that they could not successfully encounter the Black Snake.
"We have beaten the enemy," said the Turtle, "twice, under separate
commanders. We cannot expect the same good fortune always to attend us.
The Americans are now led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and the
day are alike to him; and during all the time that he has been marching
upon our villages, notwithstanding the watchfulness of our young men, we
have never been able to surprise him. Think well of it. There is something
whispers me it would be prudent to listen to his offers of peace." For
holding language like this, he was reproached by some of the Chiefs with
cowardice, and that ended the conference. Stung to the quick by an
imputation which he was conscious he had never merited, he would have laid
the reviler dead at his feet; but his was not the bravery of an assassin.
Suppressing his resentment, he took part in the battle, and performed his
duty with his wonted bravery. The event proved that he had not formed an
erroneous estimate of the character of Wayne; and that his rival, _Blue
Jacket,_ though equally brave, was less of a prophet than himself. [FN-3]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Drake's Book of the Indians.

 [FN-2] Thatcher's Lives of the Indian Chiefs.

 [FN-3] Schoolcraft's Travels. Thatcher. Drake.


Excepting the militia and refugees gathered about Detroit, the British or
Canadian authorities took no part in the battle; but the direction in
which ran their sympathies could not be mistaken, from the tone of a
somewhat tart correspondence occurring after the battle, between General
Wayne and Major Campbell, commanding the British garrison. On the day
after the engagement, Major Campbell addressed a note to General Wayne,
expressing his surprise at the appearance of an American force at a point
almost within reach of his guns, and asking in what light he was to view
such near approaches to the garrison which he had the honor to command.
General Wayne, without questioning the propriety of the interrogatory,
replied, that even were the Major entitled to an answer, "the most full
and satisfactory one was announced the day before from the muzzles of his
small arms, in an action with a horde of savages in the vicinity of the
fort, and which terminated gloriously to the American arms." But, added
the General, "had it continued until the Indians were driven under the
influence of the fort and guns mentioned, they would not have much impeded
the progress of the victorious army under my command, as no such post was
established at the commencement of the present war between the Indians and
the United States." Major Campbell rejoined, complaining that men, with
arms in their hands, were approaching within pistol shot of his works,
where his Majesty's flag was flying, and threatened hostilities should
such insults to that flag be continued. Upon the receipt of this letter,
General Wayne caused the fort to be closely reconnoitered in every
direction. It was found to be a strong and regular work, with two bastions
upon the near and most accessible face of it, mounting eight pieces of
artillery upon that side and four upon the front facing the river. This
duty having been discharged, General Wayne addressed a letter to the
British commander, disclaiming, of course as Major Campbell had previously
done any desire to resort to harsh measures; but denouncing the erection
of that fortress as the harshest act of aggression toward the United
States, and requiring him to desist from any farther act of hostility, and
to retire with his troops to the nearest British post occupied by British
troops at the peace of 1783. To this requisition, Major Campbell answered
that he should not abandon the post at the summons of any power whatever,
unless in compliance with orders from those under whom he served. He
likewise again warned the American commander, not to approach within the
reach of his guns without expecting the consequences that would attend it.

The only notice taken of this last letter was, by immediately setting fire
to, and destroying every thing within view of the fort, and even under the
muzzles of his Britannic Majesty's guns. But no attempt was made by Major
Campbell to carry his threat into execution. Among the property thus
destroyed were barns and fields of corn, above and below the fort,
together with "the barns, stores, and property of Colonel McKee, the
British Indian Agent and principal stimulator of the war between the
United States and the savages." [FN-1] The American army lay three days
before the fort, when it returned to the Grand Glaize, arriving at that
place on the 28th of August. A vast destruction of Indian property took
place during this expedition. The Miamis and Grand Glaize ran through the
heart of the country of the hostile Indians. "The very extensive and
highly cultivated fields and gardens showed the work of many hands. The
margins of those beautiful rivers the Miamis of the lakes, and the Au
Glaize," wrote General Wayne, "appeared like one continued village for
many miles; nor have I ever before beheld such immense fields of corn in
any part of America, from Canada to Florida." [FN-2] All were laid waste
for twenty miles on each side of the river, and forts erected to prevent
the return of the Indians.

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter of General Wayne. State Papers, Vol. IV.

 [FN-2] Letter of General Wayne to the Secretary of War.


There is reason to believe that the Indians were grievously disappointed
in the conduct of Major Campbell during the action. Among the papers of
Captain Brant, is the copy of a letter addressed by him to Sir John
Johnson, in April, 1799, wherein the Baronet is reminded of various wrongs
alleged to have been suffered by the Indians, at the hands even of his
Majesty's government. The following remarkable passage in this letter
induces a belief that the Indians expected that, in the event of defeat,
the garrison would come to their succor, or, at least, that the gates of
the fortress would be thrown open to them as a place of refuge on their
retreat:--"In the first place," wrote the Mohawk Chief to Sir John, "the
Indians were engaged in a war to assist the English--then left in the
lurch at the peace, to fight alone until they could make peace for
themselves. After repeatedly defeating the armies of the United States,
so that they sent Commissioners to endeavor to get peace, the Indians were
so advised as prevented them from listening to any terms, and hopes were
given to them of assistance. A fort was even built in their country, under
pretence of giving refuge in case of necessity; but when that time came,
the gates were shut against them as enemies. They were doubly injured by
this, because they relied on it for support, and were deceived. Was it not
for this reliance of mutual support, their conduct would have been
different. I imagine that your own knowledge of these things, and
judgment, will point out to you the necessity of putting the line of
conduct with the Indians on a more honorable footing, and come as nigh as
possible to what it was in the time of your father."

Considering the distance, and the difficulties of traveling at that time,
intelligence of the disaster which had befallen his Indian friends was
very rapidly conveyed to Governor Simcoe at Niagara, and by him
communicated to Captain Brant in the following letter:--

                 "Governor Simcoe to Captain Brant.

                                    "_Navy Hall,_ 28_th August,_ 1794.

 "Dear Sir,

"I understand that the Indians and Wayne had an action on the 20th near
McCormack's; that the Indians, who amounted to nine hundred, retreated
with the loss of some principal chiefs of the Hurons, Ottawas, and
Shawanese; a deserter reports that the Americans lost an hundred men.

"The Wyandots, and a friend [FN] of your's, most gallantly covered the
retreat."

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Although the fact does not appear, yet it is believed that a goodly
 number of the Mohawk warriors were in the battle against Wayne, and Brant
 was likewise to have been in the field with them. Several years
 afterward, Brant stated these facts in a conversation with the venerable
 Jacob Snell, Esq. yet living (1837) in Palatine. The Chief stated to Mr.
 Snell that he obtained the ammunition used by the Indians, himself, at
 Quebec, and that he should have led his Mohawks in person but was
 detained by sickness.


"The Indians having retreated to the Miami Bay, Major Campbell was
summoned to deliver the post, which of course he refused, and reports that
he considered it tenable against Wayne's force.

"The Indians having placed their women and children in safety, have again
moved forward to an advantageous position, I imagine Swan Creek, where
they wait for reinforcements, and I hope will recover their spirits.

"All the militia on the La Branche are gone to Detroit.

"I shall proceed in the first vessel, and am, in great haste, your
faithful humble servant,

                                         "J. G. Simcoe,

   "_To Captain Brant._"

The difficulties between Great Britain and the United States not having
yet been adjusted, and a war between the two nations continuing still a
probable event, it suited not the Canadian authorities to allow the
Indians to conclude a peace, notwithstanding their signal overthrow. The
north-western posts, moreover, within the territory not only of the far
west, but within the boundaries of the State of New-York, were obstinately
retained, while an attempt was made to grasp additional territory on the
south side of Lake Ontario. It was during the Summer of this year, that
Captain Williamson commenced a settlement on the Great Sodus Bay, about
forty miles from Oswego; and in this same month of August, Governor Simcoe
despatched Lieut. Sheaff to that place, to demand by what authority such
an establishment was forming, and that it should be immediately
relinquished. [FN] General Simcoe himself, pursuant to the intimation in
his letter to Brant, hastened to the west, as also did the Chief, attended
by one hundred and fifty of his warriors--evidently for the purpose of
continuing in the exercise of an unfriendly influence upon the minds of
the Indians against the United States. The Governor was at the fort near
the battle-field, on the 30th of September, as also were Captain Brant
and Colonel McKee. The Indians had already made some advances to General
Wayne toward a negotiation for peace; but their attention was diverted by
Simcoe and Brant, who invited a council, of the hostile nations to
assemble at the mouth of the Detroit river on the 10th of October. This
invitation was accepted, as also was an invitation from General Wayne,
who was met by a few of their Chiefs; so that the wily savages were in
face sitting in two councils at once, balancing chances, and preparing to
make peace only in the event of finding little farther encouragement to
fight.

                          * * * * *

 [FN] Marshall. Captain Williamson being absent from Sodus at the time of
 Lieut. Sheaff's visit, that officer left a written declaration of which
 the following is a copy:--"I am commanded to declare that, during the
 inexecution of the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United
 States, and until the existing difficulties respecting it shall be
 mutually and finally adjusted, the taking possession of any part of the
 Indian territory, either for the purposes of war or sovereignty, is held
 to be a direct violation of his Britannic Majesty's rights, as they
 unquestionably existed before the treaty, and has an immediate tendency
 to interrupt, and in its progress to destroy, that good understanding
 which has hitherto subsisted between his Britannic Majesty and the United
 States of America. I therefore require you to desist from any such
 aggression."


At the council on the 10th of October, the Wyandot Chiefs addressed
Governor Simcoe as follows:--

"Father: We request of you to give your sentiments candidly; we have been
these many years in wars and troubles; you have, from time to time,
promised us your assistance. When is your promise to be fulfilled?"

                        "Their Father's Answer.

"Children: Your question is very difficult to be answered. I will relate
an ancient history, perhaps before any of you here were born. When I first
came into this country, I found it in the possession of your fathers, the
French. We soon became enemies of each other. In time, the Great Spirit
above gave the conquest in my favor. In those days the United States were
my subjects. We lived in this state for many years after. At last the
Americans began to act independently, which caused a rupture between us.
The contest lasted for a while. At last we made peace. From that period
they have been encroaching upon your lands. I looked on as a
spectator--never would say a word; they have even named the rivers that
empty themselves into the Ohio.

"Children: I am still of the opinion that the Ohio is your right and
title. I have given orders to the commandant of Fort Miami to fire on the
Americans whenever they make their appearance again. I will go down to
Quebec, and lay your grievances before the great man. From thence they
will be forwarded to the King, your father. Next Spring you will know the
result of every thing, what you and I will do."

The particulars of this council, and the labors of Governor Simcoe and
Captain Brant in otherwise tampering with the Indians, transpired through
some prisoners taken by General Wayne, and also through the means of a
confidential deputation of the Wyandots of Sandusky, who were disposed to
peace. According to their statements, Governor Simcoe advised them not to
listen to any terms of pacification, which did not secure to them their
long-contested boundary. He moreover proposed to them to convey all their
lands west of that river to the King, in trust, that a pretext might be
furnished for a direct interposition of his Majesty's arms in their
behalf. In furtherance of this object, he advised them to obtain a
cessation of hostilities until the Spring following; when a great council
of all the warriors and tribes should take place, which might call upon
the British for assistance. The English would at that time be prepared to
attack the Americans from every quarter, and would drive them back across
the Ohio, and compel the restoration to the Indians of their lands.

Captain Brant's counsel was to the same effect. He told them to keep a
good heart and be strong; to do as their father advised; that he would
return home at present with his warriors, and come again in the Spring
with a stronger force. They would then have the whole Summer before them
for operations, and the Americans would not be able to stand before them.
He had always been successful, and with the force they would then be able
to bring into the field, he would ensure them a victory. He told them,
however, that he could not attack the Americans at that time, as it could
do no good, but would bring them out against the Indians with more troops
in the Winter. He therefore advised the Chiefs to amuse the Americans with
a prospect of peace until the Spring, when the Indians might be able to
fall upon and vanquish them unexpectedly.

There was considerable division of opinion in the council; the Wyandots
being inclined to peace, and also portions of the other tribes. But large
presents were given, and the counsels of Brant and Governor Simcoe
prevailed--the Indians returning to their temporary homes, consisting of
huts and tents in the neighborhood of the fort at the Rapids. Captain
Brant, however, left these councils under high displeasure toward the
Chiefs of the three principal tribes, in consequence of some neglect which
he construed into an insult. What was the precise nature of the
circumstances, his papers do not disclose. But among those papers, is a
letter from seven of the Chiefs of those tribes, couched in terms of
humble apology. The following passages are cited from this letter:--

"The Chiefs of the three nations are very sorry, and in great trouble,
that Colonel Brant was obliged to leave them so precipitately; that it was
their intention to be in the greatest friendship with him, and that they
intended to hold council with him immediately after that with the Governor
was finished.

"They sincerely hope Colonel Brant will take their apology for not waiting
upon him when his messenger arrived with his pipe. They own themselves
much in fault, but are willing by their future services to convince him
that they esteem and honor him.

"In token of friendship they send Colonel Brant their Union Belt of
wampum, as a pledge that they now will, and their children in future
generations will, be in peace and unity with him and the Six Nations, and
wish a correspondence to commence immediately by express between them, on
the most friendly terms.

"They have heard with grief that Colonel Brant departed hence with a heavy
heart and full of sorrow for their negligence and misbehavior, and
therefore send him an additional string of wampum to enlighten his heart,
and renew friendship with him." [FN]

                          * * * * *

 [FN] This letter, or "speech" as it was called, was signed as
 follows--the names being written in full by a gentleman named William
 Bailey, who subscribes the paper as a witness, and each Chief drawing his
 own mark rudely with the pen:--Aqushua, the mark of a _Fox;_ Sowosat--a
 _Beaver;_ Quagerwon--a _Crane;_ Cucherwaskiseegua--a _Hatchet;_
 Bouemawcutus--a _Wolf;_ Gowsowainse--a _Turtle;_ Clappum--an
 _Arrow-head._


Such was the posture of Indian affairs at the close of the year 1794; and
the prospect then was, certainly, that another campaign of active
hostilities must ensue. But it was otherwise ordered. The Indians
themselves were growing weary of the contest, and becoming more and more
convinced that they could not contend successfully against the Americans,
of whose leader, General Wayne, they stood in great fear. Before the close
of the season, it was ascertained that the warriors from a distance were
re-crossing the Mississippi, declaring that it was useless to attempt
longer to fight. In March, the difficulties between the United States and
Great Britain were adjusted by the treaty of Mr. Jay, which, despite the
influence of France and the fierce clamors of the democratic opposition,
General Washington had the sagacity and firmness to ratify; so that the
Indians were deprived of even the expectation of farther assistance from
the accustomed quarter. The restlessness of the Six Nations, the Mohawks
excepted, had been quieted by the victory of Wayne; so that no farther
support could be anticipated from that direction. The result of all these
circumstances was, that by the treaty of Greenville, concluded with the
hostile Indians by General Wayne, on the 3d of August, 1795, the long,
expensive, and destructive war, which had for so many years desolated that
frontier, was terminated in a manner perfectly satisfactory to the United
States. In the language of Captain Brant in one of his speeches delivered
long afterward, "the Indians, convinced by those in the Miami fort, and
other circumstances, that they were mistaken in their expectations of any
assistance from Great Britain, did not longer oppose the Americans with
their wonted unanimity. The consequence was, that General Wayne, by the
peaceable language he held to them, induced them to hold a treaty at his
own head-quarters, in which he concluded a peace entirely on his own
terms." With this event closed the military career of Joseph
Brant--Thayendanegea.



                          CHAPTER XIII.



 Thayendanegea in civil life--His activity--His efforts to accelerate the
  civilization of his people--Difficulties respecting the title to his
  lands--Successive Councils and Speeches--Governor Simcoe leaves the
  province--Captain Claus appointed to the Indian Agency--President
  Russell--Brant's Speeches asserting the absolute Independence and
  Nationality of his people--Letter to Sir John Johnson--Correspondence
  with Lord Dorchester--The Count de Puisy--Letter of Brant to Thomas
  Morris--Sharp correspondence with Sir John Johnson--The St. Regis and
  Caughnawaga Indians, and the State of New-York involved in the land
  controversy--Brant's difficulties with the Caughnawagas--Letter to
  Thomas Morris--Brant's visit to the Caughnawagas--Council--Satisfactory
  explanations--Fresh difficulties at home--Norton's Mission to
  England--Plots against the character of Brant--Alienation of some of his
  friends--Conspiracy to depose him--Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother
  active in the plot--Character of Red Jacket--Brant deposed by an illegal
  Council--Letter to the Duke of Northumberland--A legal Council
  convoked--Brant meets his accusers, and defends himself--Another
  Council--Speech of Brant--Acquitted of all charges against him--Council
  after the return of Norton from England--Proceedings of Red Jacket's
  Council nullified--Brant re-instated--Letter to the Duke of
  Northumberland--Letter of the Duke in reply--Last letter of Brant to the
  Duke.


The termination of Brant's military life brought not therewith a state of
inactivity. The proverbial indolence of his race in regard to all matters
excepting the war-path and the chase, was not a characteristic of him. On
the contrary, the history of man scarcely supplies a parallel instance of
such active, unremitting, and unwearied public service, as well in the
council as in the field, as was performed by this celebrated man, from the
day when he first fleshed his youthful tomahawk at Lake George, until his
death more than half a century afterward. The war of the American
Revolution being ended, it has already been seen that he early thereafter
directed his attention to the improvement of the moral and social
condition of his nation. Nor did he lose sight of this object during the
years of his active interposition in the complicated affairs of the
western nations with the United States.

Mention has been made in a former chapter of the difficulties in which,
subsequent to the Revolution, the Six Nations were involved, respecting
their lands in the State of New-York, the adjustment of which repeatedly
demanded the attention of Captain Brant. There were, likewise, similar
difficulties to be adjusted with the purchasers of the Connecticut
reservation in Ohio, respecting which formal negotiations were held. Nor
did these constitute all his troubles. But a few years had elapsed after
the grant of the Grand River country had been obtained, before
difficulties sprang up between the Indians and the Provincial Government,
in regard to the nature of the title by which the former were to hold
their new possessions. The Chief and his people supposed that the
territory allotted to them had been conveyed in fee by a perfect title.
But in this supposition they were disappointed. There is scarcely a finer
or more inviting section of country in North America than the peninsula
formed by Lake Ontario on the east, Lake Erie on the south, and Lake Huron
on the west--through the heart of which flows the Grand River. The
Indians, therefore, had not long been in the occupancy of their new
country, before the white settlers began to plant themselves down in their
neighborhood. To a man of Brant's sagacity, it was at once obvious that
in such an attractive region of country the approach of the white man
would soon circumscribe the hunting-grounds of his people, within the
narrow boundaries of their own designated territory. He also saw, and
without regret, that the effect would be to drive his people from the
hunter to the agricultural state; in which case, while his territory was
too small for the former, it would be far larger than would be necessary
for the latter condition of life. As a compensation for the loss of his
game, therefore, he conceived the idea of making sales of portions of his
lands, for the creation of an immediate fund for the benefit of the
nation, and of leasing other portions in such manner as to ensure a
perpetual revenue. There was no selfish design in this project, farther
than may be found in the fact, that his own fortunes were identified with
those of his people. However covetous Captain Brant may have been of honor
and power, he was neither covetous nor mercenary in regard to property.
In one of his speeches he declared, with all solemnity, that he had never
appropriated a dollar of money, or its value in other property, belonging
to his nation, to his own use. Nor had he ever charged his nation a dollar
for his services, or even for his personal expenses, in all the journeys
he had performed upon their business. All his personal wants, under all
circumstances, had been supplied from his own private funds.

There was another consideration connected with his desire to make sales
and leases of lands to white settlers. He was anxious to promote the
civilization of his people; and in his first negotiations with General
Haldimand, after the close of the war, he made provision for the erection
of a church and school-house; and it is an interesting fact, that the
first temple erected for the worship of the true God in Upper Canada, was
built by the Chief of a people recently pagan; and the first bell which
summoned the people to the house of prayer in that province on the
Christian Sabbath, was carried thither by him. In the furtherance of his
plans of civilization, the Chief knew very well that an increasing
contiguous white population would be the means of introducing such of the
common arts and employments of life, as would materially contribute to the
comfort and happiness of his people, while at the same time their
progress in civilization would be greatly accelerated.

But he had no sooner commenced disposing of some small portions of land,
than the colonial government raised objections. It was alleged that his
title was imperfect--that a preemptive right to the soil had been retained
by the government; and, as a consequence, that the Indians had no right to
sell a rood of ground, since it was their's no longer than they themselves
should occupy it. The question proved a fruitful source of disagreement
between the parties, and of perpetual vexation to the old Chief until the
day of his death. Council after council was holden upon the subject, and
conference after conference; while quires of manuscript speeches and
arguments, in Brant's own hand, yet remain to attest the sleepless
vigilance with which he watched over the interests of his people, and the
zeal and ability with which he asserted and vindicated their rights.

Even his friend Governor Simcoe was among the most strenuous opponents of
the claim of the Indians to the fee of the soil, and in one instance
attempted to curtail their grant by directing the land board to run a line
due west from the head of Lake Ontario, which would have stripped the
Mohawks of the fairest half of their possessions. On examining the grant
from General Haldimand, however, the Governor desisted from this purpose;
but still was determined that the Indians should neither lease nor sell
any portion of their grant, nor make any manner of use of it, excepting
such portions as they should cultivate with their own hands. By these
proceedings, the situation of the Indians was rendered truly
uncomfortable. Reduced to a narrow strip of land of only twelve miles in
breadth, their hunting was of course seriously affected; while their skill
in agriculture was so imperfect, that some other resources were
indispensable to their sustenance.

In order to define more clearly and explicitly the rights of the Indians,
two other deeds were successively framed and presented for their
acceptance--both of which were promptly rejected, as being less favorable
than their original grant. Finally, in 1795, Governor Simcoe visited Grand
River with his councilors, for the purpose of ascertaining, as he said,
the real wishes and condition of the Indians. A Council was holden, and
the Chief delivered an elaborate speech, containing the whole history of
the grant, the circumstances under which it had been made, and the
difficulties they had been called to encounter. Among other objections, it
seems to have been alleged by the Provincial authorities, as a pretext for
dealing hardly by the Indians, that the government had been deceived in
regard to the location and value of the territory. General Haldimand had
supposed that the territory in question lay a long distance from Niagara,
and would not be approached by a white population for an age to come.
These assertions were sternly denied by Brant, who declared that the
Commander-in-chief, at the time of making the grant, was thoroughly
acquainted with the situation, its peculiar advantages, and its value.

This conference with Governor Simcoe resulted in nothing more than a
promise that the speech of Thayendanegea should be forwarded to Lord
Dorchester. Governor Simcoe left the province soon afterward, and a change
was made in the administration of the Indian department, by the
appointment of Captain Claus to the Indian agency at Niagara. It appears
that before his departure, the Governor had confirmed such sales as had
been previously made by the Indians; but difficulties arose on making the
surveys, which once more placed everything afloat. The consequence was,
that another hearing took place before Mr. Claus at Niagara, in October,
1796, at which, in another written speech, the Chief gave a historical
argument of his case. From portions of this speech, it appears that Upper
Canada had already become infested with unprincipled land-jobbers, who
were the especial dislike of the Chief. "I cannot help remarking," said
he, "that it appears to me that certain characters here, who stood behind
the counter during the last war, and whom we knew nothing about, are now
dictating to your great men concerning our lands. I should wish to know
what property these officious persons left behind them in their own
country, or whether, through their loyalty, they ever lost any! I doubt it
much. But 'tis well known that scarcely a man amongst us but what
sacrificed more or less property by leaving our homes. I again repeat,
that if these officious persons have made the smallest sacrifice of
property then I think they may in some measure be allowed to interfere,
although it may be well known that personal interest prompts them to it,
not the public good."

This speech, the Chief declared, should be his final effort to obtain
justice from the "great men below"--the provincial government meaning. If
not successful there, he declared his purpose of proceeding to England,
and bringing his case in person before the King. But this resolution was
contingent, and was not kept. On the departure of Governor Simcoe, the
Executive government of the colony devolved upon the Hon. Peter Russell,
President of the Executive Council of the province. For the more
convenient administration of the Indian affairs of the province, Mr.
Russell was clothed with all the powers upon that subject previously
exercised by the General-in-chief at Quebec, acting under the advice of
the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, Sir John Johnson. Captain
Brant lost no time in bringing the subject of his land title before Mr.
Russell, and he speedily succeeded in part. The sales already made were
confirmed, and the old Chief wrote to his friend and correspondent,
Thomas Morris, Esq., then a resident of Canandaigua, that their
difficulties respecting lands were nearly removed, and he had reason to
believe that henceforth their affairs would go on to their satisfaction.
[FN] The basis of the arrangement sanctioned by the acting Governor, was,
that the lands then sold, or intended to be sold, by the Indians, should
be surrendered to the government, which, upon the good faith of the
agreement, was to issue grants to the persons nominated as purchasers by
the agent transacting the land business of the nation. Captain Brant was
acting in that capacity. The lands were of course to be mortgaged as
security for the payment of the principal and interest of the purchase
money. It was, moreover, the duty of the Agent to appoint three trustees,
to receive the payments in trust for the Indians, and to foreclose the
mortgages in cases of default--the lands to revert to the Indians. Captain
Brant fulfilled his part of the agreement to the letter; but the
government failed altogether to comply with its own corresponding duty.
Some of the purchasers had paid their interest for several years, but
could not obtain their titles; others died, and the heirs were in the like
predicament, and the whole business became involved more than ever in
difficulty. Added to all which, as the Indians themselves improved in
their agricultural labors, the system of possessing all things in common
operated unequally, and interposed great embarrassments to individual
industry. But so long as the government refused to the Indians the
privilege of disposing of the fee of the soil, the nation could not convey
any portion of its own domain to its own people. [FN-2]

                          * * * * *

 [FN-1] Letter to Thomas Morris, Esq, July 30, 1797. [Mr. Morris has
 furnished the author with a package of letters from Capt. Brant, written
 between the years 1796 and 1801, which, though chiefly upon private
 business, have nevertheless been found of use in the present work.]

 [FN-2] Memorial of John Norton to the Marquis of Caurden.


There were other difficulties in the business, which it would be tedious
to enumerate, the result of all which was, that the arrangement was in
fact a nullity. Not only so, but the Mohawks felt themselves to be an
independent nation, and they, or perhaps more correctly speaking, their
proud and indomitable Chief, could ill brook submission to such a species
of guardianship. The "satisfaction" arising from the arrangement under the
auspices of President Russell, was consequently of but short continuance,
and the Captain was compelled to fight his land battles over again. Many
were the councils and conferences which succeeded, in all of which Brant
was the principal speaker and defender of the rights of his people to the
fee of their lands. The design of the British government was to hold the
Indians in a state of pupilage, according to the practice of the United
States; and consequently to allow them merely the occupancy of lands of
which