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Title: Pioneers of the Old Southwest: a chronicle of the dark and bloody ground
Author: Skinner, Constance Lindsay
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Pioneers of the Old Southwest

By Constance Lindsay Skinner

A Chronicle of the Dark and Bloody Ground

Volume 18 of the
Chronicles of America Series
Allen Johnson, Editor
Assistant Editors
Gerhard R. Lomer
Charles W. Jefferys

Textbook Edition

New Haven: Yale University Press
Toronto: Glasgow, Brook & Co.
London: Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press

Copyright, 1919
by Yale University Press


This narrative is founded largely on original sources--on the writings
and journals of pioneers and contemporary observers, such as Doddridge
and Adair, and on the public documents of the period as printed in the
Colonial Records and in the American Archives. But the author is,
nevertheless, greatly indebted to the researches of other writers, whose
works are cited in the Bibliographical Note. The author's thanks are
due, also, to Dr. Archibald Henderson, of the University of North
Carolina, for his kindness in reading the proofs of this book for
comparison with his own extended collection of unpublished manuscripts
relating to the period.

C. L. S.

April, 1919.

Pioneers of the Old Southwest 
Chapter         Chapter Title                Page
        Preface                               vii
   I.   The Tread Of Pioneers                   1
  II.   Folkways                               31
 III.   The Trader                             52
  IV.   The Passing Of The French Peril        75
   V.   Boone, The Wanderer                    90
  VI.   The Fight For Kentucky                104
 VII.   The Dark And Bloody Ground            129
VIII.   Tennessee                             157
  IX.   King's Mountain                       195
   X.   Sevier, The Statemaker                226
  XI.   Boone's Last Days                     272
        Bibliographical Note                  287
        Index                                 293



The Tread Of Pioneers

The Ulster Presbyterians, or "Scotch-Irish," to whom history has
ascribed the dominant rôle among the pioneer folk of the Old Southwest,
began their migrations to America in the latter years of the seventeenth
century. It is not known with certainty precisely when or where the
first immigrants of their race arrived in this country, but soon after
1680 they were to be found in several of the colonies. It was not long,
indeed, before they were entering in numbers at the port of Philadelphia
and were making Pennsylvania the chief center of their activities in the
New World. By 1726 they had established settlements in several counties
behind Philadelphia. Ten years later they had begun their great trek
southward through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and on to the Yadkin
Valley of North Carolina. There they met others of their own race--bold
men like themselves, hungry after land--who were coming in through
Charleston and pushing their way up the rivers from the seacoast to the
"Back Country," in search of homes.

These Ulstermen did not come to the New World as novices in the shaping
of society; they had already made history. Their ostensible object in
America was to obtain land, but, like most external aims, it was
secondary to a deeper purpose. What had sent the Ulstermen to America
was a passion for a whole freedom. They were lusty men, shrewd and
courageous, zealous to the death for an ideal and withal so practical to
the moment in business that it soon came to be commonly reported of them
that "they kept the Sabbath and everything else they could lay their
hands on," though it is but fair to them to add that this phrase is
current wherever Scots dwell. They had contested in Parliament and with
arms for their own form of worship and for their civil rights. They were
already frontiersmen, trained in the hardihood and craft of border
warfare through years of guerrilla fighting with the Irish Celts. They
had pitted and proved their strength against a wilderness; they had
reclaimed the North of Ireland from desolation. For the time, many of
them were educated men; under the regulations of the Presbyterian Church
every child was taught to read at an early age, since no person could be
admitted to the privileges of the Church who did not both understand and
approve the Presbyterian constitution and discipline. They were brought
up on the Bible and on the writings of their famous pastors, one of
whom, as early as 1650, had given utterance to the democratic doctrine
that "men are called to the magistracy by the suffrage of the people
whom they govern, and for men to assume unto themselves power is mere
tyranny and unjust usurpation." In subscribing to this doctrine and in
resisting to the hilt all efforts of successive English kings to
interfere in the election of their pastors, the Scots of Ulster had
already declared for democracy.

It was shortly after James VI of Scotland became James I of England and
while the English were founding Jamestown that the Scots had first
occupied Ulster; but the true origin of the Ulster Plantation lies
further back, in the reign of Henry VIII, in the days of the English
Reformation. In Henry's Irish realm the Reformation, though proclaimed
by royal authority, had never been accomplished; and Henry's more famous
daughter, Elizabeth, had conceived the plan, later to be carried out by
James, of planting colonies of Protestants in Ireland to promote loyalty
in that rebellious land. Six counties, comprising half a million acres,
formed the Ulster Plantation. The great majority of the colonists sent
thither by James were Scotch Lowlanders, but among them were many
English and a smaller number of Highlanders. These three peoples from
the island of Britain brought forth, through intermarriage, the Ulster

The reign of Charles I had inaugurated for the Ulstermen an era of
persecution. Charles practically suppressed the Presbyterian religion in
Ireland. His son, Charles II, struck at Ireland in 1666 through its
cattle trade, by prohibiting the exportation of beef to England and
Scotland. The Navigation Acts, excluding Ireland from direct trade with
the colonies, ruined Irish commerce, while Corporation Acts and Test
Acts requiring conformity with the practices of the Church of England
bore heavily on the Ulster Presbyterians.

It was largely by refugees from religious persecution that America in
the beginning was colonized. But religious persecution was only one of
the influences which shaped the course and formed the character of the
Ulster Scots. In Ulster, whither they had originally been transplanted
by James to found a loyal province in the midst of the King's enemies,
they had done their work too well and had waxed too powerful for the
comfort of later monarchs. The first attacks upon them struck at their
religion; but the subsequent legislative acts which successively ruined
the woolen trade, barred nonconformists from public office, stifled
Irish commerce, pronounced non-Episcopal marriages irregular, and
instituted heavy taxation and high rentals for the land their fathers
had made productive--these were blows dealt chiefly for the political
and commercial ends of favored classes in England.

These attacks, aimed through his religious conscience at the sources of
his livelihood, made the Ulster Scot perforce what he was--a zealot as a
citizen and a zealot as a merchant no less than as a Presbyterian.
Thanks to his persecutors, he made a religion of everything he undertook
and regarded his civil rights as divine rights. Thus out of persecution
emerged a type of man who was high-principled and narrow, strong and
violent, as tenacious of his own rights as he was blind often to the
rights of others, acquisitive yet self-sacrificing, but most of all
fearless, confident of his own power, determined to have and to hold.

Twenty thousand Ulstermen, it is estimated, left Ireland for America in
the first three decades of the eighteenth century. More than six
thousand of them are known to have entered Pennsylvania in 1729 alone,
and twenty years later they numbered one-quarter of that colony's
population. During the five years preceding the Revolutionary War more
than thirty thousand Ulstermen crossed the ocean and arrived in America
just in time and in just the right frame of mind to return King George's
compliment in kind, by helping to deprive him of his American estates, a
domain very much larger than the acres of Ulster. They fully justified
the fears of the good bishop who wrote Lord Dartmouth, Secretary for the
Colonies, that he trembled for the peace of the King's overseas realm,
since these thousands of "phanatical and hungry Republicans" had sailed
for America.

The Ulstermen who entered by Charleston were known to the inhabitants of
the tidewater regions as the "Scotch-Irish." Those who came from the
north, lured southward by the offer of cheap lands, were called the
"Pennsylvania Irish." Both were, however, of the same race--a race twice
expatriated, first from Scotland and then from Ireland, and stripped of
all that it had won throughout more than a century of persecution. To
these exiles the Back Country of North Carolina, with its cheap and even
free tracts lying far from the seat of government, must have seemed not
only the Land of Promise but the Land of Last Chance. Here they must
strike their roots into the sod with such interlocking strength that no
cataclysm of tyranny should ever dislodge them--or they must accept the
fate dealt out to them by their former persecutors and become a tribe of
nomads and serfs. But to these Ulster immigrants such a choice was no
choice at all. They knew themselves strong men, who had made the most of
opportunity despite almost superhuman obstacles. The drumming of their
feet along the banks of the Shenandoah, or up the rivers from
Charleston, and on through the broad sweep of the Yadkin Valley, was a
conquering people's challenge to the Wilderness which lay sleeping like
an unready sentinel at the gates of their Future.

It is maintained still by many, however often disputed, that the
Ulstermen were the first to declare for American Independence, as in the
Old Country they were the first to demand the separation of Church and
State. A Declaration of Independence is said to have been drawn up and
signed in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on May 20, 1775. ¹ However
that may be, it is certain that these Mecklenburg Protestants had
received special schooling in the doctrine of independence. They had in
their midst for eight years (1758-66) the Reverend Alexander Craighead,
a Presbyterian minister who, for his "republican doctrines" expressed in
a pamphlet, had been disowned by the Pennsylvania Synod acting on the
Governor's protest, and so persecuted in Virginia that he had at last
fled to the North Carolina Back Country. There, during the remaining
years of his life, as the sole preacher and teacher in the settlements
between the Yadkin and the Catawba rivers he found willing soil in which
to sow the seeds of Liberty.

¹ See Hoyt, The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; and American
Archives, Fourth Series. vol. II, p. 855.

There was another branch of the Scottish race which helped to people the
Back Country. The Highlanders, whose loyalty to their oath made them
fight on the King's side in the Revolutionary War, have been somewhat
overlooked in history. Tradition, handed down among the transplanted
clans--who, for the most part, spoke only Gaelic for a generation and
wrote nothing--and latterly recorded by one or two of their descendants,
supplies us with all we are now able to learn of the early coming of the
Gaels to Carolina. It would seem that their first immigration to America
in small bands took place after the suppression of the Jacobite rising
in 1715--when Highlanders fled in numbers also to France--for by 1729
there was a settlement of them on the Cape Fear River. We know, too,
that in 1748 it was charged against Gabriel Johnston, Governor of North
Carolina from 1734 to 1752, that he had shown no joy over the King's
"glorious victory of Culloden" and that "he had appointed one William
McGregor, who had been in the Rebellion in the year 1715 a Justice of
the Peace during the last Rebellion [1745] and was not himself without
suspicion of disaffection to His Majesty's Government." It is indeed
possible that Gabriel Johnston, formerly a professor at St. Andrew's
University, had himself not always been a stranger to the kilt. He
induced large numbers of Highlanders to come to America and probably
influenced the second George to moderate his treatment of the vanquished
Gaels in the Old Country and permit their emigration to the New World.

In contrast with the Ulstermen, whose secular ideals were dictated by
the forms of their Church, these Scots adhered still to the tribal or
clan system, although they, too, in the majority, were Presbyterians,
with a minority of Roman Catholics and Episcopalians. In the Scotch
Highlands they had occupied small holdings on the land under the sway of
their chief, or Head of the Clan, to whom they were bound by blood and
fealty but to whom they paid no rentals. The position of the Head of the
Clan was hereditary, but no heir was bold enough to step forward into
that position until he had performed some deed of worth. They were
principally herders, their chief stock being the famous small black
cattle of the Highlands. Their wars with each other were cattle raids.
Only in war, however, did the Gael lay hands on his neighbor's goods.
There were no highwaymen and housebreakers in the Highlands. No Highland
mansion, cot, or barn was ever locked. Theft and the breaking of an
oath, sins against man's honor, were held in such abhorrence that no one
guilty of them could remain among his clansmen in the beloved glens.
These Highlanders were a race of tall, robust men, who lived simply and
frugally and slept on the heath among their flocks in all weathers, with
no other covering from rain and snow than their plaidies. It is reported
of the Laird of Keppoch, who was leading his clan to war in winter time,
that his men were divided as to the propriety of following him further
because he rolled a snowball to rest his head upon when he lay down.
"Now we despair of victory," they said, "since our leader has become so
effeminate he cannot sleep without a pillow!" ¹

¹ MacLean, An Historical Account of the Settlement of Scotch Highlanders
in America.

The "King's glorious victory of Culloden" was followed by a policy of
extermination carried on by the orders and under the personal direction
of the Duke of Cumberland. When King George at last restrained his son
from his orgy of blood, he offered the Gaels their lives and exile to
America on condition of their taking the full oath of allegiance. The
majority accepted his terms, for not only were their lives forfeit but
their crops and cattle had been destroyed and the holdings on which
their ancestors had lived for many centuries taken from them. The
descriptions of the scenes attending their leave-taking of the hills and
glens they loved with such passionate fervor are among the most pathetic
in history. Strong men who had met the ravage of a brutal sword without
weakening abandoned themselves to the agony of sorrow. They kissed the
walls of their houses. They flung themselves on the ground and embraced
the sod upon which they had walked in freedom. They called their broken
farewells to the peaks and lochs of the land they were never again to
see; and, as they turned their backs and filed down through the passes,
their pipers played the dirge for the dead.

Such was the character, such the deep feeling, of the race which entered
North Carolina from the coast and pushed up into the wilderness about
the headwaters of Cape Fear River. Tradition indicates that these
hillsmen sought the interior because the grass and pea vine which
overgrew the inner country stretching towards the mountains provided
excellent fodder for the cattle which some of the chiefs are said to
have brought with them. These Gaelic herders, perhaps in negligible
numbers, were in the Yadkin Valley before 1730, possibly even ten years
earlier. In 1739 Neil MacNeill of Kintyre brought over a shipload of
Gaels to rejoin his kinsman, Hector MacNeill, called Bluff Hector from
his residence near the bluffs at Cross Creek, now Fayetteville. Some of
these immigrants went on to the Yadkin, we are told, to unite with
others of their clan who had been for some time in that district. The
exact time of the first Highlander on the Yadkin cannot be ascertained,
as there were no court records and the offices of the land companies
were not then open for the sale of these remote regions. But by 1753
there were not less than four thousand Gaels in Cumberland County, where
they occupied the chief magisterial posts; and they were already
spreading over the lands now comprised within Moore, Anson, Richmond,
Robeson, Bladen, and Sampson counties. In these counties Gaelic was as
commonly heard as English.

In the years immediately preceding the Revolution and even in 1776
itself they came in increasing numbers. They knew nothing of the
smoldering fire just about to break into flames in the country of their
choice, but the Royal Governor, Josiah Martin, knew that Highland arms
would soon be needed by His Majesty. He knew something of Highland
honor, too; for he would not let the Gaels proceed after their landing
until they had bound themselves by oath to support the Government of
King George. So it was that the unfortunate Highlanders found
themselves, according to their strict code of honor, forced to wield
arms against the very Americans who had received and befriended
them--and for the crowned brother of a prince whose name is execrated to
this day in Highland song and story!

They were led by Allan MacDonald of Kingsborough; and tradition gives us
a stirring picture of Allan's wife--the famous Flora MacDonald, who in
Scotland had protected the Young Pretender in his flight--making an
impassioned address in Gaelic to the Highland soldiers and urging them
on to die for honor's sake. When this Highland force was conquered by
the Americans, the large majority willingly bound themselves not to
fight further against the American cause and were set at liberty. Many
of them felt that, by offering their lives to the swords of the
Americans, they had canceled their obligation to King George and were
now free to draw their swords again and, this time, in accordance with
their sympathies; so they went over to the American side and fought
gallantly for independence.

Although the brave glory of this pioneer age shines so brightly on the
Lion Rampant of Caledonia, not to Scots alone does that whole glory
belong. The second largest racial stream which flowed into the Back
Country of Virginia and North Carolina was German. Most of these Germans
went down from Pennsylvania and were generally called "Pennsylvania
Dutch," an incorrect rendering of Pennsylvänische Deutsche. The upper
Shenandoah Valley was settled almost entirely by Germans. They were
members of the Lutheran, German Reformed, and Moravian churches. The
cause which sent vast numbers of this sturdy people across the ocean,
during the first years of the eighteenth century, was religious
persecution. By statute and by sword the Roman Catholic powers of
Austria sought to wipe out the Salzburg Lutherans and the Moravian
followers of John Huss. In that region of the Rhine country known in
those days as the German Palatinate, now a part of Bavaria, Protestants
were being massacred by the troops of Louis of France, then engaged in
the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13) and in the zealous effort to
extirpate heretics from the soil of Europe. In 1708, by proclamation,
Good Queen Anne offered protection to the persecuted Palatines and
invited them to her dominions. Twelve thousand of them went to England,
where they were warmly received by the English. But it was no slight
task to settle twelve thousand immigrants of an alien speech in England
and enable them to become independent and self-supporting. A better
solution of their problem lay in the Western World. The Germans needed
homes and the Queen's overseas dominions needed colonists. They were
settled at first along the Hudson, and eventually many of them took up
lands in the fertile valley of the Mohawk.

For fifty years or more German and Austrian Protestants poured into
America. In Pennsylvania their influx averaged about fifteen hundred a
year, and that colony became the distributing center for the German race
in America. By 1727, Adam Müller and his little company had established
the first white settlement in the Valley of Virginia. In 1732 Joist
Heydt went south from York, Pennsylvania, and settled on the Opequan
Creek at or near the site of the present city of Winchester.

The life of Count Zinzendorf, called "the Apostle," one of the leaders
of the Moravian immigrants, glows like a star out of those dark and
troublous times. Of high birth and gentle nurture, he forsook whatever
of ease his station promised him and fitted himself for evangelical
work. In 1741 he visited the Wyoming Valley to bring his religion to the
Delawares and Shawanoes. He was not of those picturesque Captains of the
Lord who bore their muskets on their shoulders when they went forth to
preach. Armored only with the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the spirit, his feet "shod with the preparation of the
gospel of peace," he went out into the country of these bloodthirsty
tribes and told them that he had come to them in their darkness to teach
the love of the Christ which lighteth the world. The Indians received
him suspiciously. One day while he sat in his tent writing, some
Delawares drew near to slay him and were about to strike when they saw
two deadly snakes crawl in from the opposite side of the tent, move
directly towards the Apostle, and pass harmlessly over his body.
Thereafter they regarded him as under spiritual protection. Indeed so
widespread was his good fame among the tribes that for some years all
Moravian settlements along the borders were unmolested. Painted savages
passed through on their way to war with enemy bands or to raid the
border, but for the sake of one consecrated spirit, whom they had seen
death avoid, they spared the lives and goods of his fellow believers.
When Zinzendorf departed a year later, his mantle fell on David
Zeisberger, who lived the love he taught for over fifty years and
converted many savages. Zeisberger was taken before the Governor and
army heads at Philadelphia, who had only too good reason to be
suspicious of priestly counsels in the tents of Shem: but he was able to
impress white men no less than simple savages with the nobility of the
doctrine he had learned from the Apostle.

In 1751 the Moravian Brotherhood purchased one hundred thousand acres in
North Carolina from Lord Granville. Bishop Spangenburg was commissioned
to survey this large acreage, which was situated in the present county
of Forsyth east of the Yadkin, and which is historically listed as the
Wachovia Tract. In 1753, twelve Brethren left the Moravian settlements
of Bethlehem and Nazareth, in Pennsylvania, and journeyed southward to
begin the founding of a colony on their new land. Brother Adam Grube,
one of the twelve, kept a diary of the events of this expedition. ¹

¹ This diary is printed in full in Travels in the American Colonies
edited by N. D. Mereness.

Honor to whom honor is due. We have paid it, in some measure, to the
primitive Gaels of the Highlands for their warrior strength and their
fealty, and to the enlightened Scots of Ulster for their enterprise and
for their sacrifice unto blood that free conscience and just laws might
promote the progress and safeguard the intercourse of their kind. Now
let us take up for a moment Brother Grube's Journal even as we welcome,
perhaps the more gratefully, the mild light of evening after the
flooding sun, or as our hearts, when too strongly stirred by the deeds
of men, turn for rest to the serene faith and the naïve speech of little

The twelve, we learn, were under the leadership of one of their number,
Brother Gottlob. Their earliest alarms on the march were not caused, as
we might expect, by anticipations of the painted Cherokee, but by
encounters with the strenuous "Irish." One of these came and laid
himself to sleep beside the Brethren's camp fire on their first night
out, after they had sung their evening hymn and eleven had stretched
themselves on the earth for slumber, while Brother Gottlob, their
leader, hanging his hammock between two trees, ascended--not only in
spirit--a little higher than his charges, and "rested well in it."
Though the alarming Irishman did not disturb them, the Brethren's doubts
of that race continued, for Brother Grube wrote on the 14th of October:
"About four in the morning we set up our tent, going four miles beyond
Carl Isles [Carlisle, seventeen miles southwest of Harrisburg] so as not
to be too near the Irish Presbyterians. After breakfast the Brethren
shaved and then we rested under our tent.... People who were staying at
the Tavern came to see what kind of folk we were.... Br Gottlob held the
evening service and then we lay down around our cheerful fire, and Br
Gottlob in his hammock." Two other jottings give us a racial
kaleidoscope of the settlers and wayfarers of that time. On one day the
Brethren bought "some hay from a Swiss," later "some kraut from a German
which tasted very good to us"; and presently "an Englishman came by and
drank a cup of tea with us and was very grateful for it." Frequently the
little band paused while some of the Brethren went off to the farms
along the route to help "cut hay." These kindly acts were usually repaid
with gifts of food or produce.

One day while on the march they halted at a tavern and farm in
Shenandoah Valley kept by a man whose name Brother Grube wrote down as
"Severe." Since we know that Brother Grube's spelling of names other
than German requires editing, we venture to hazard a guess that the name
he attempted to set down as it sounded to him was Sevier. And we wonder
if, in his brief sojourn, he saw a lad of eight years, slim, tall, and
blond, with daring and mischievous blue eyes, and a certain curve of the
lips that threatened havoc in the hearts of both sexes when he should be
a man and reach out with swift hands and reckless will for his desires.
If he saw this lad, he beheld John Sevier, later to become one of the
most picturesque and beloved heroes of the Old Southwest.

Hardships abounded on the Brethren's journey, but faith and the
Christian's joy, which no man taketh from him, met and surmounted them.
"Three and a half miles beyond, the road forked.... We took the right
hand road but found no water for ten miles. It grew late and we had to
drive five miles into the night to find a stoppingplace." Two of the
Brethren went ahead "to seek out the road" through the darkened
wilderness. There were rough hills in the way; and, the horses being
exhausted, "Brethren had to help push." But, in due season, "Br
Nathanael held evening prayer and then we slept in the care of Jesus,"
with Brother Gottlob as usual in his hammock. Three days later the
record runs: "Toward evening we saw Jeams River, the road to it ran down
so very steep a hill that we fastened a small tree to the back of our
wagon, locked the wheels, and the Brethren held back by the tree with
all their might." Even then the wagon went down so fast that most of the
Brethren lost their footing and rolled and tumbled pell-mell. But Faith
makes little of such mishaps: "No harm was done and we thanked the Lord
that he had so graciously protected us, for it looked dangerous and we
thought at times that it could not possibly be done without accident but
we got down safely... we were all very tired and sleepy and let the
angels be our guard during the night." Rains fell in torrents, making
streams almost impassable and drenching the little band to the skin. The
hammock was empty one night, for they had to spend the dark hours
trench-digging about their tent to keep it from being washed away. Two
days later (the 10th of November) the weather cleared and "we spent most
of the day drying our blankets and mending and darning our stockings."
They also bought supplies from settlers who, as Brother Grube observed
without irony,

are glad we have to remain here so long and that it means money for
them. In the afternoon we held a little Lovefeast and rested our souls
in the loving sacrifice of Jesus, wishing for beloved Brethren in
Bethlehem and that they and we might live ever close to Him....
Nov. 16. We rose early to ford the river. The bank was so steep that we
hung a tree behind the wagon, fastening it in such a way that we could
quickly release it when the wagon reached the water. The current was
very swift and the lead horses were carried down a bit with it. The
water just missed running into the wagon but we came safely to the other
bank, which however we could not climb but had to take half the things
out of the wagon, tie ropes to the axle on which we could pull, help our
horses which were quite stiff, and so we brought our ark again to dry

On the evening of the 17th of November the twelve arrived safely on
their land on the "Etkin" (Yadkin), having been six weeks on the march.
They found with joy that, as ever, the Lord had provided for them. This
time the gift was a deserted cabin, "large enough that we could all lie
down around the walls. We at once made preparation for a little
Lovefeast and rejoiced heartily with one another."

In the deserted log cabin, which, to their faith, seemed as one of those
mansions "not built with hands" and descended miraculously from the
heavens, they held their Lovefeast, while wolves padded and howled about
the walls; and in that Pentacostal hour the tongue of fire descended
upon Brother Gottlob, so that he made a new song unto the Lord. Who
shall venture to say it is not better worth preserving than many a

   We hold arrival Lovefeast here
      In Carolina land,
   A company of Brethren true,
      A little Pilgrim-Band,
   Called by the Lord to be of those
      Who through the whole world go,
   To bear Him witness everywhere
      And nought but Jesus know.

Then, we are told, the Brethren lay down to rest and "Br Gottlob hung
his hammock above our heads"--as was most fitting on this of all nights;
for is not the Poet's place always just a little nearer to the stars?

The pioneers did not always travel in groups. There were families who
set off alone. One of these now claims our attention, for there was a
lad in this family whose name and deeds were to sound like a ballad of
romance from out the dusty pages of history. This family's name was

Neither Scots nor Germans can claim Daniel Boone; he was in blood a
blend of English and Welsh; in character wholly English. His grandfather
George Boone was born in 1666 in the hamlet of Stoak, near Exeter in
Devonshire. George Boone was a weaver by trade and a Quaker by religion.
In England in his time the Quakers were oppressed, and George Boone
therefore sought information of William Penn, his coreligionist,
regarding the colony which Penn had established in America. In 1712 he
sent his three elder children, George, Sarah, and Squire, to spy out the
land. Sarah and Squire remained in Pennsylvania, while their brother
returned to England with glowing reports. On August 17, 1717, George
Boone, his wife, and the rest of his children journeyed to Bristol and
sailed for Philadelphia, arriving there on the 10th of October. The
Boones went first to Abingdon, the Quaker farmers' community. Later they
moved to the northwestern frontier hamlet of North Wales, a Welsh
community which, a few years previously, had turned Quaker. Sarah Boone
married a German named Jacob Stover, who had settled in Oley Township,
Berks County. In 1718 George Boone took up four hundred acres in Oley,
or, to be exact, in the subdivision later called Exeter, and there he
lived in his log cabin until 1744, when he died at the age of
seventy-eight. He left eight children, fifty-two grandchildren, and ten
great-grandchildren, seventy descendants in all--English, German, Welsh,
and Scotch-Irish blended into one family of Americans. ¹

¹ R. G. Thwaites, Daniel Boone, p. 5.

Among the Welsh Quakers was a family of Morgans. In 1720 Squire Boone
married Sarah Morgan. Ten years later he obtained 250 acres in Oley on
Owatin Creek, eight miles southeast of the present city of Reading; and
here, in 1734, Daniel Boone was born, the fourth son and sixth child of
Squire and Sarah Morgan Boone. Daniel Boone therefore was a son of the
frontier. In his childhood he became familiar with hunters and with
Indians, for even the red men came often in friendly fashion to his
grandfather's house. Squire Boone enlarged his farm by thrift. He
continued at his trade of weaving and kept five or six looms going,
making homespun cloth for the market and his neighbors.

Daniel's father owned grazing grounds several miles north of the
homestead and each season he sent his stock to the range. Sarah Boone
and her little Daniel drove the cows. From early spring till late
autumn, mother and son lived in a rustic cabin alone on the frontier. A
rude dairy house stood over a cool spring, and here Sarah Boone made her
butter and cheese. Daniel, aged ten at this time, watched the herds; at
sunset he drove them to the cabin for milking, and locked them in the
cowpens at night.

He was not allowed firearms at that age, so he shaped for himself a
weapon that served him well. This was a slender smoothly shaved sapling
with a small bunch of gnarled roots at one end. So expert was he in the
launching of this primitive spear that he easily brought down birds and
small game. When he reached his twelfth year, his father bought him a
rifle; and he soon became a crack shot. A year later we find him setting
off on the autumn hunt--after driving the cattle in for the winter--with
all the keenness and courage of a man twice his thirteen years. His
rifle enabled him to return with meat for the family and skins to be
traded in Philadelphia. When he was fourteen his brother Sam married
Sarah Day, an intelligent young Quakeress who took a special interest in
her young brother-in-law and taught him "the rudiments of three R's."

The Boones were prosperous and happy in Oley and it may be wondered why
they left their farms and their looms, both of which were profitable,
and set their faces towards the Unknown. It is recorded that, though the
Boones were Quakers, they were of a high mettle and were not
infrequently dealt with by the Meeting. Two of Squire Boone's children
married "worldlings"--non-Quakers--and were in consequence "disowned" by
the Society. In defiance of his sect, which strove to make him sever all
connection with his unruly offspring, Squire Boone refused to shut his
doors on the son and the daughter who had scandalized local Quakerdom.
The Society of Friends thereupon expelled him. This occurred apparently
during the winter of 1748-49. In the spring of 1750 we see the whole
Boone family (save two sons) with their wives and children, their
household goods and their stock, on the great highway, bound for a land
where the hot heart and the belligerent spirit shall not be held amiss.

Southward through the Shenandoah goes the Boone caravan. The women and
children usually sit in the wagons. The men march ahead or alongside,
keeping a keen eye open for Indian or other enemy in the wild, their
rifles under arm or over the shoulder. Squire Boone, who has done with
Quakerdom and is leading all that he holds dear out to larger horizons,
is ahead of the line, as we picture him, ready to meet first whatever
danger may assail his tribe. He is a strong wiry man of rather small
stature, with ruddy complexion, red hair, and gray eyes. Somewhere in
the line, together, we think, are the mother and son who have herded
cattle and companioned each other through long months in the cabin on
the frontier. We do not think of this woman as riding in the wagon,
though she may have done so, but prefer to picture her, with her tall
robust body, her black hair, and her black eyes--with the s udden Welsh
snap in them--walking as sturdily as any of her sons.

If Daniel be beside her, what does she see when she looks at him? A lad
well set up but not overtall for his sixteen years, perhaps--for
"eye-witnesses" differ in their estimates of Daniel Boone's height--or
possibly taller than he looks, because his figure has the forest
hunter's natural slant forward and the droop of the neck of one who must
watch his path sometimes in order to tread silently. It is Squire
Boone's blood which shows in his ruddy face--which would be fair but for
its tan--and in the English cut of feature, the straw-colored eyebrows,
and the blue eyes. But his Welsh mother's legacy is seen in the black
hair that hangs long and loose in the hunter's fashion to his shoulders.
We can think of Daniel Boone only as exhilarated by this plunge into the
Wild. He sees ahead--the days of his great explorations and warfare, the
discovery of Kentucky? Not at all. This is a boy of sixteen in love with
his rifle. He looks ahead to vistas of forest filled with deer and to
skies clouded with flocks of wild turkeys. In that dream there is
happiness enough for Daniel Boone. Indeed, for himself, even in later
life, he asked little, if any more. He trudges on blithely, whistling.



These migrations into the inland valleys of the Old South mark the first
great westward thrust of the American frontier. Thus the beginnings of
the westward movement disclose to us a feature characteristic also of
the later migrations which flung the frontier over the Appalachians,
across the Mississippi, and finally to the shores of the Pacific. The
pioneers, instead of moving westward by slow degrees, subduing the
wilderness as they went, overleaped great spaces and planted themselves
beyond, out of contact with the life they had left behind. Thus
separated by hundreds of miles of intervening wilderness from the more
civilized communities, the conquerors of the first American "West,"
prototypes of the conquerors of succeeding "Wests," inevitably struck
out their own ways of life and developed their own customs. It would be
difficult, indeed, to find anywhere a more remarkable contrast in
contemporary folkways than that presented by the two great community
groups of the South--the inland or piedmont settlements, called the Back
Country, and the lowland towns and plantations along the seaboard.

The older society of the seaboard towns, as events were soon to prove,
was not less independent in its ideals than the frontier society of the
Back Country; but it was aristocratic in tone and feeling. Its leaders
were the landed gentry--men of elegance, and not far behind their
European contemporaries in the culture of the day. They were rich,
without effort, both from their plantations, where black slaves and
indentured servants labored, and from their coastwise and overseas
trade. Their battles with forest and red man were long past. They had
leisure for diversions such as the chase, the breeding and racing of
thoroughbred horses, the dance, high play with dice and card,
cockfighting, the gallantry of love, and the skill of the rapier. Law
and politics drew their soberer minds.

Very different were the conditions which confronted the pioneers in the
first American "West." There every jewel of promise was ringed round
with hostility. The cheap land the pioneer had purchased at a nominal
price, or the free land he had taken by "tomahawk claim"--that is by
cutting his name into the bark of a deadened tree, usually beside a
spring--supported a forest of tall trunks and interlacing leafage. The
long grass and weeds which covered the ground in a wealth of natural
pasturage harbored the poisonous copperhead and the rattlesnake and,
being shaded by the overhead foliage, they held the heavy dews and bred
swarms of mosquitoes, gnats, and big flies which tortured both men and
cattle. To protect the cattle and horses from the attacks of these pests
the settlers were obliged to build large "smudges"--fires of green
timber--against the wind. The animals soon learned to back up into the
dense smoke and to move from one grazing spot to another as the wind
changed. But useful as were the green timber fires that rolled their
smoke on the wind to save the stock, they were at the same time a menace
to the pioneer, for they proclaimed to roving bands of Cherokees that a
further encroachment on their territory had been made by their most
hated enemies--the men who felled the hunter's forest. Many an outpost
pioneer who had made the long hard journey by sea and land from the old
world of persecution to this new country of freedom, dropped from the
red man's shot ere he had hewn the threshold of his home, leaving his
wife and children to the unrecorded mercy of his slayer.

Those more fortunate pioneers who settled in groups won the first heat
in the battle with the wilderness through massed effort under wariness.
They made their clearings in the forest, built their cabins and
stockades, and planted their cornfields, while lookouts kept watch and
rifles were stacked within easy reach. Every special task, such as a
"raising," as cabin building was called, was undertaken by the community
chiefly because the Indian danger necessitated swift building and made
group action imperative. But the stanch heart is ever the glad heart.
Nothing in this frontier history impresses us more than the joy of the
pioneer at his labors. His determined optimism turned danger's dictation
into an occasion for jollity. On the appointed day for the "raising,"
the neighbors would come, riding or afoot, to the newcomer's
holding--the men with their rifles and axes, the women with their pots
and kettles. Every child toddled along, too, helping to carry the wooden
dishes and spoons. These free givers of labor had something of the
Oriental's notion of the sacred ratification of friendship by a feast.

The usual dimensions of a cabin were sixteen by twenty feet. The timber
for the building, having been already cut, lay at hand--logs of hickory,
oak, young pine, walnut, or persimmon. To make the foundations, the men
seized four of the thickest logs, laid them in place, and notched and
grooved and hammered them into as close a clinch as if they had grown
so. The wood must grip by its own substance alone to hold up the
pioneer's dwelling, for there was not an iron nail to be had in the
whole of the Back Country. Logs laid upon the foundation logs and
notched into each other at the four corners formed the walls; and, when
these stood at seven feet, the builders laid parallel timbers and
puncheons to make both flooring and ceiling. The ridgepole of the roof
was supported by two crotched trees and the roofing was made of logs and
wooden slabs. The crevices of the walls were packed close with red clay
and moss. Lastly, spaces for a door and windows were cut out. The door
was made thick and heavy to withstand the Indian's rush. And the
windowpanes? They were of paper treated with hog's fat or bear's grease.

When the sun stood overhead, the women would give the welcome call of
"Dinner!" Their morning had not been less busy than the men's. They had
baked corn cakes on hot stones, roasted bear or pork, or broiled venison
steaks; and--above all and first of all--they had concocted the great
"stew pie" without which a raising could hardly take place. This was a
disputatious mixture of deer, hog, and bear--animals which, in life,
would surely have companioned each other as ill! It was made in
sufficient quantity to last over for supper when the day's labor was
done. At supper the men took their ease on the ground, but with their
rifles always in reach. If the cabin just raised by their efforts stood
in the Yadkin, within sight of the great mountains the pioneers were one
day to cross, perhaps a sudden bird note warning from the lookout,
hidden in the brush, would bring the builders with a leap to their feet.
It might be only a hunting band of friendly Catawbas that passed, or a
lone Cherokee who knew that this was not his hour. If the latter, we
can, in imagination, see him look once at the new house on his hunting
pasture, slacken rein for a moment in front of the group of families,
lift his hand in sign of peace, and silently go his way hillward. As he
vanishes into the shadows, the crimson sun, sinking into the unknown
wilderness beyond the mountains, pours its last glow on the roof of the
cabin and on the group near its walls. With unfelt fingers, subtly, it
puts the red touch of the West in the faces of the men--who have just
declared, through the building of a cabin, that here is Journey's End
and their abiding place.

There were community holidays among these pioneers as well as labor
days, especially in the fruit season; and there were flower-picking
excursions in the warm spring days. Early in April the service berry
bush gleamed starrily along the watercourses, its hardy white blooms
defying winter's lingering look. This bush--or tree, indeed, since it is
not afraid to rear its slender trunk as high as cherry or crab
apple--might well be considered emblematic of the frontier spirit in
those regions where the white silence covers the earth for several
months and shuts the lonely homesteader in upon himself. From the
pioneer time of the Old Southwest to the last frontier of the Far North
today, the service berry is cherished alike by white men and Indians;
and the red men have woven about it some of their prettiest legends.
When June had ripened the tree's blue-black berries, the Back Country
folk went out in parties to gather them. Though the service berry was a
food staple on the frontier and its gathering a matter of household
economy, the folk made their berry-picking jaunt a gala occasion. The
women and children with pots and baskets--the young girls vying with
each other, under the eyes of the youths, as to who could strip boughs
the fastest--plucked gayly while the men, rifles in hand, kept guard.
For these happy summer days were also the red man's scalping days and,
at any moment, the chatter of the picnickers might be interrupted by the
chilling war whoop. When that sound was heard, the berry pickers raced
for the fort. The wild fruits--strawberries, service berries, cherries,
plums, crab apples--were, however, too necessary a part of the pioneer's
meager diet to be left unplucked out of fear of an Indian attack.
Another day would see the same group out again. The children would keep
closer to their mothers, no doubt; and the laughter of the young girls
would be more subdued, even if their coquetry lacked nothing of its
former effectiveness. Early marriages were the rule in the Back Country
and betrothals were frequently plighted at these berry pickings.

As we consider the descriptions of the frontiersman left for us by
travelers of his own day, we are not more interested in his battles with
wilderness and Indian than in the visible effects of both wilderness and
Indian upon him. His countenance and bearing still show the European,
but the European greatly altered by savage contact. The red peril,
indeed, influenced every side of frontier life. The bands of women and
children at the harvestings, the log rollings, and the house raisings,
were not there merely to lighten the men's work by their laughter and
love-making. It was not safe for them to remain in the cabins, for, to
the Indian, the cabin thus boldly thrust upon his immemorial hunting
grounds was only a secondary evil; the greater evil was the white man's
family, bespeaking the increase of the dreaded palefaces. The Indian
peril trained the pioneers to alertness, shaped them as warriors and
hunters, suggested the fashion of their dress, knit their families into
clans and the clans into a tribe wherein all were of one spirit in the
protection of each and all and a unit of hate against their common

Too often the fields which the pioneer planted with corn were harvested
by the Indian with fire. The hardest privations suffered by farmers and
stock were due to the settlers having to flee to the forts, leaving to
Indian devastation the crops on which their sustenance mainly depended.
Sometimes, fortunately, the warning came in time for the frontiersman to
collect his goods and chattels in his wagon and to round up his live
stock and drive them safely into the common fortified enclosure. At
others, the tap of the "express"--as the herald of Indian danger was
called--at night on the windowpane and the low word whispered hastily,
ere the "express" ran on to the next abode, meant that the Indians had
surprised the outlying cabins of the settlement.

The forts were built as centrally as possible in the scattered
settlements. They consisted of cabins, blockhouses, and stockades. A
range of cabins often formed one side of a fort. The walls on the
outside were ten or twelve feet high with roofs sloping inward. The
blockhouses built at the angles of the fort projected two feet or so
beyond the outer walls of the cabins and stockades, and were fitted with
portholes for the watchers and the marksmen. The entrance to the fort
was a large folding gate of thick slabs. It was always on the side
nearest the spring. The whole structure of the fort was bullet-proof and
was erected without an iron nail or spike. In the border wars these
forts withstood all attacks. The savages, having proved that they could
not storm them, generally laid siege and waited for thirst to compel a
sortie. But the crafty besieger was as often outwitted by the equally
cunning defender. Some daring soul, with silent feet and perhaps with
naked body painted in Indian fashion, would drop from the wall under
cover of the night, pass among the foemen to the spring, and return to
the fort with water.

Into the pioneer's phrase-making the Indian influence penetrated so that
he named seasons for his foe. So thoroughly has the term "Indian
Summer," now to us redolent of charm, become disassociated from its
origins that it gives us a shock to be reminded that to these Back
Country folk the balmy days following on the cold snap meant the season
when the red men would come back for a last murderous raid on the
settlements before winter should seal up the land. The "Powwowing Days"
were the mellow days in the latter part of February, when the red men in
council made their medicine and learned of their redder gods whether or
no they should take the warpath when the sap pulsed the trees into leaf.
Even the children at their play acknowledged the red-skinned
schoolmaster, for their chief games were a training in his woodcraft and
in the use of his weapons. Tomahawk-throwing was a favorite sport
because of its gruesome practical purposes. The boys must learn to gauge
the tomahawk's revolutions by the distance of the throw so as to bury
the blade in its objective. Swift running and high jumping through the
brush and fallen timber were sports that taught agility in escape. The
boys learned to shoot accurately the long rifles of their time, with a
log or a forked stick for a rest, and a moss pad under the barrel to
keep it from jerking and spoiling the aim. They wrestled with each
other, mastered the tricks of throwing an opponent, and learned the
scalp hold instead of the toe hold. It was part of their education to
imitate the noises of every bird and beast of the forest. So they
learned to lure the turkey within range, or by the bleat of a fawn to
bring her dam to the rifle. A well-simulated wolf's howl would call
forth a response and so inform the lone hunter of the vicinity of the
pack. This forest speech was not only the language of diplomacy in the
hunting season; it was the borderer's secret code in war. Stray Indians
put themselves in touch again with the band by turkey calls in the
daytime and by owl or wolf notes at night. The frontiersmen used the
same means to trick the Indian band into betraying the place of its
ambuscade, or to lure the strays, unwitting, within reach of the knife.

In that age, before the forests had given place to farms and cities and
when the sun had but slight acquaintance with the sod, the summers were
cool and the winters long and cold in the Back Country. Sometimes in
September severe frosts destroyed the corn. The first light powdering
called "hunting snows" fell in October, and then the men of the Back
Country set out on the chase. Their object was meat--buffalo, deer, elk,
bear--for the winter larder, and skins to send out in the spring by
pack-horses to the coast in trade for iron, steel, and salt. The
rainfall in North Carolina was much heavier than in Virginia and, from
autumn into early winter, the Yadkin forests were sheeted with rain; but
wet weather, so far from deterring the hunter, aided him to the kill. In
blowing rain, he knew he would find the deer herding in the sheltered
places on the hillsides. In windless rain, he knew that his quarry
ranged the open woods and the high places. The fair play of the pioneer
held it a great disgrace to kill a deer in winter when the heavy frost
had crusted the deep snow. On the crust men and wolves could travel with
ease, but the deer's sharp hoofs pierced through and made him
defenseless. Wolves and dogs destroyed great quantities of deer caught
in this way; and men who shot deer under these conditions were
considered no huntsmen. There was, indeed, a practical side to this
chivalry of the chase, for meat and pelt were both poor at this season;
but the true hunter also obeyed the finer tenet of his code, for he
would go to the rescue of deer caught in the crusts--and he killed many
a wolf sliding over the ice to an easy meal.

The community moral code of the frontier was brief and rigorous. What it
lacked of the "whereas" and "inasmuch" of legal ink it made up in sound
hickory. In fact, when we review the activities of this solid yet
elastic wood in the moral, social, and economic phases of Back Country
life, we are moved to wonder if the pioneers would have been the same
race of men had they been nurtured beneath a less strenuous and
adaptable vegetation! The hickory gave the frontiersman wood for all
implements and furnishings where the demand was equally for lightness,
strength, and elasticity. It provided his straight logs for building,
his block mortars--hollowed by fire and stone--for corn-grinding, his
solid plain furniture, his axles, rifle butts, ax handles, and so forth.
It supplied his magic wand for the searching out of iniquity in the
junior members of his household, and his most cogent argument, as a
citizen, in convincing the slothful, the blasphemous, or the dishonest
adult whose errors disturbed communal harmony. Its nuts fed his hogs.
Before he raised stock, the unripe hickory nuts, crushed for their white
liquid, supplied him with butter for his corn bread and helped out his
store of bear's fat. Both the name and the knowledge of the uses of this
tree came to the earliest pioneers through contact with the red man,
whose hunting bow and fishing spear and the hobbles for his horses were
fashioned of the "pohickory" tree. The Indian women first made pohickory
butter, and the wise old men of the Cherokee towns, so we are told,
first applied the pohickory rod to the vanity of youth!

A glance at the interior of a log cabin in the Back Country of Virginia
or North Carolina would show, in primitive design, what is, perhaps,
after all the perfect home--a place where the personal life and the work
life are united and where nothing futile finds space. Every object in
the cabin was practical and had been made by hand on the spot to answer
a need. Besides the chairs hewn from hickory blocks, there were others
made of slabs set on three legs. A large slab or two with four legs
served as a movable table; the permanent table was built against the
wall, its outer edge held up by two sticks. The low bed was built into
the wall in the same way and softened for slumber by a mattress of pine
needles, chaff, or dried moss. In the best light from the greased paper
windowpanes stood the spinning wheel and loom, on which the housewife
made cloth for the family's garments. Over the fireplace or beside the
doorway, and suspended usually on stags' antlers, hung the firearms and
the yellow powderhorns, the latter often carved in Indian fashion with
scenes of the hunt or war. On a shelf or on pegs were the wooden spoons,
plates, bowls, and noggins. Also near the fireplace, which was made of
large flat stones with a mud-plastered log chimney, stood the grinding
block for making hominy. If it were an evening in early spring, the men
of the household would be tanning and dressing deerskins to be sent out
with the trade caravan, while the women sewed, made moccasins or mended
them, in the light of pine knots or candles of bear's grease. The larger
children might be weaving cradles for the babies, Indian fashion, out of
hickory twigs; and there would surely be a sound of whetting steel, for
scalping knives and tomahawks must be kept keen-tempered now that the
days have come when the red gods whisper their chant of war through the
young leafage.

The Back Country folk, as they came from several countries, generally
settled in national groups, each preserving its own speech and its own
religion, each approaching frontier life through its own native
temperament. And the frontier met each and all alike, with the same need
and the same menace, and molded them after one general pattern. If the
cabin stood in a typical Virginian settlement where the folk were of
English stock, it may be that the dulcimer and some old love song of the
homeland enlivened the work--or perhaps chairs were pushed back and
young people danced the country dances of the homeland and the Virginia
Reel, for these Virginian English were merry folk, and their religion
did not frown upon the dance. In a cabin on the Shenandoah or the upper
Yadkin the German tongue clicked away over the evening dish of kraut or
sounded more sedately in a Lutheran hymn; while from some herder's hut
on the lower Yadkin the wild note of the bagpipes or of the ancient
four-stringed harp mingled with the Gaelic speech.

Among the homes in the Shenandoah where old England's ways prevailed,
none was gayer than the tavern kept by the man whom the good Moravian
Brother called "Severe." There perhaps the feasting celebrated the
nuptials of John Sevier, who was barely past his seventeenth birthday
when he took to himself a wife. Or perhaps the dancing, in moccasined
feet on the puncheon flooring, was a ceremonial to usher into Back
Country life the new municipality John had just organized, for John at
nineteen had taken his earliest step towards his larger career, which we
shall follow later on, as the architect of the first little governments
beyond the mountains.

In the Boone home on the Yadkin, we may guess that the talk was solely
of the hunt, unless young Daniel had already become possessed of his
first compass and was studying its ways. On such an evening, while the
red afterglow lingered, he might be mending a passing trader's firearms
by the fires of the primitive forge his father had set up near the
trading path running from Hillsborough to the Catawba towns. It was said
by the local nimrods that none could doctor a sick rifle better than
young Daniel Boone, already the master huntsman of them all. And perhaps
some trader's tale, told when the caravan halted for the night, kindled
the youth's first desire to penetrate the mountain-guarded wilderness,
for the tales of these Romanies of commerce were as the very badge of
their free-masonry, and entry money at the doors of strangers.

Out on the border's edge, heedless of the shadow of the mountains
looming between the newly built cabin and that western land where they
and their kind were to write the fame of the Ulster Scot in a shining
script that time cannot dull, there might sit a group of stern-faced
men, all deep in discussion of some point of spiritual doctrine or of
the temporal rights of men. Yet, in every cabin, whatever the national
differences, the setting was the same. The spirit of the frontier was
modeling out of old clay a new Adam to answer the needs of a new earth.

It would be far less than just to leave the Back Country folk without
further reference to the devoted labors of their clergy. In the earliest
days the settlers were cut off from their church systems; the pious had
to maintain their piety unaided, except in the rare cases where a pastor
accompanied a group of settlers of his denomination into the wilds. One
of the first ministers who fared into the Back Country to remind the
Ulster Presbyterians of their spiritual duties was the Reverend Hugh
McAden of Philadelphia. He made long itineraries under the greatest
hardships, in constant danger from Indians and wild beasts, carrying the
counsel of godliness to the far scattered flock. Among the Highland
settlements the Reverend James Campbell for thirty years traveled about,
preaching each Sunday at some gathering point a sermon in both English
and Gaelic. A little later, in the Yadkin Valley, after Craighead's day
there arose a small school of Presbyterian ministers whose zeal and
fearlessness in the cause of religion and of just government had an
influence on the frontiersmen that can hardly be overestimated.

But, in the beginning, the pioneer encountered the savagery of border
life, grappled with it, and reacted to it without guidance from other
mentor than his own instincts. His need was still the primal threefold
need--family, sustenance, and safe sleep when the day's work was done.
We who look back with thoughtful eyes upon the frontiersman--all links
of contact with his racial past severed, at grips with destruction in
the contenting of his needs--see something more, something larger, than
he saw in the log cabin raised by his hands, its structure held together
solely by his close grooving and fitting of its own strength. Though the
walls he built for himself have gone with his own dust back to the
earth, the symbol he erected for us stands.


The Trader

The trader was the first pathfinder. His caravans began the change of
purpose that was to come to the Indian warrior's route, turning it
slowly into the beaten track of communication and commerce. The
settlers, the rangers, the surveyors, went westward over the trails
which he had blazed for them years before. Their enduring works are
commemorated in the cities and farms which today lie along every ancient
border line; but of their forerunner's hazardous Indian trade nothing
remains. Let us therefore pay a moment's homage here to the trader, who
first--to borrow a phrase from Indian speech--made white for peace the
red trails of war.

He was the first cattleman of the Old Southwest. Fifty years before John
Findlay, ¹ one of this class of pioneers, led Daniel Boone through
Cumberland Gap, the trader's bands of horses roamed the western slopes
of the Appalachian Mountains and his cattle grazed among the deer on the
green banks of the old Cherokee (Tennessee) River. He was the pioneer
settler beyond the high hills; for he built, in the center of the Indian
towns, the first white man's cabin--with its larger annex, the trading
house--and dwelt there during the greater part of the year. He was
America's first magnate of international commerce. His furs--for which
he paid in guns, knives, ammunition, vermilion paint, mirrors, and
cloth--lined kings' mantles, and hatted the Lords of Trade as they
strode to their council chamber in London to discuss his business and to
pass those regulations which might have seriously hampered him but for
his resourcefulness in circumventing them!

¹ The name is spelled in various ways: Findlay, Finlay, Findley.

He was the first frontier warrior, for he either fought off or fell
before small parties of hostile Indians who, in the interest of the
Spanish or French, raided his pack-horse caravans on the march. Often,
too, side by side with the red brothers of his adoption, he fought in
the intertribal wars. His was the first educative and civilizing
influence in the Indian towns. He endeavored to cure the Indians of
their favorite midsummer madness, war, by inducing them to raise stock
and poultry and improve their corn, squash, and pea gardens. It is not
necessary to impute to him philanthropic motives. He was a practical man
and he saw that war hurt his trade: it endangered his summer caravans
and hampered the autumn hunt for deerskins.

In the earliest days of the eighteenth century, when the colonists of
Virginia and the Carolinas were only a handful, it was the trader who
defeated each successive attempt of French and Spanish agents to weld
the tribes into a confederacy for the annihilation of the English
settlements. The English trader did his share to prevent what is now the
United States from becoming a part of a Latin empire and to save it for
a race having the Anglo-Saxon ideal and speaking the English tongue.

The colonial records of the period contain items which, taken singly,
make small impression on the casual reader but which, listed together,
throw a strong light on the past and bring that mercenary figure, the
trader, into so bold a relief that the design verges on the heroic. If
we wonder, for instance, why the Scotch Highlanders who settled in the
wilds at the headwaters of the Cape Fear River, about 1729, and were
later followed by Welsh and Huguenots, met with no opposition from the
Indians, the mystery is solved when we discover, almost by accident, a
few printed lines which record that, in 1700, the hostile natives on the
Cape Fear were subdued to the English and brought into friendly alliance
with them by Colonel William Bull, a trader. We read further and learn
that the Spaniards in Florida had long endeavored to unite the tribes in
Spanish and French territory against the English and that the influence
of traders prevented the consummation. The Spaniards, in 1702, had
prepared to invade English territory with nine hundred Indians. The plot
was discovered by Creek Indians and disclosed to their friends, the
traders, who immediately gathered together five hundred warriors,
marched swiftly to meet the invaders, and utterly routed them. Again,
when the Indians, incited by the Spanish at St. Augustine, rose against
the English in 1715, and the Yamasi Massacre occurred in South Carolina,
it was due to the traders that some of the settlements at least were not
wholly unprepared to defend themselves.

The early English trader was generally an intelligent man; sometimes
educated, nearly always fearless and resourceful. He knew the one sure
basis on which men of alien blood and far separated stages of moral and
intellectual development can meet in understanding--namely, the truth of
the spoken word. He recognized honor as the bond of trade and the warp
and woof of human intercourse. The uncorrupted savage also had his plain
interpretation of the true word in the mouths of men, and a name for it.
He called it the "Old Beloved Speech"; and he gave his confidence to the
man who spoke this speech even in the close barter for furs.

We shall find it worth while to refer to the map of America as it was in
the early days of the colonial fur trade, about the beginning of the
eighteenth century. A narrow strip of loosely strung English settlements
stretched from the north border of New England to the Florida line.
North Florida was Spanish territory. On the far distant southwestern
borders of the English colonies were the southern possessions of France.
The French sphere of influence extended up the Mississippi, and thence
by way of rivers and the Great Lakes to its base in Canada on the
borders of New England and New York. In South Carolina dwelt the Yamasi
tribe of about three thousand warriors, their chief towns only sixty or
eighty miles distant from the Spanish town of St. Augustine. On the
west, about the same distance northeast of New Orleans, in what is now
Alabama and Georgia, lay the Creek nation. There French garrisons held
Mobile and Fort Alabama. The Creeks at this time numbered over four
thousand warriors. The lands of the Choctaws, a tribe of even larger
fighting strength, began two hundred miles north of New Orleans and
extended along the Mississippi. A hundred and sixty miles northeast of
the Choctaw towns were the Chickasaws, the bravest and most successful
warriors of all the tribes south of the Iroquois. The Cherokees, in part
seated within the Carolinas, on the upper courses of the Savannah River,
mustered over six thousand men at arms. East of them were the Catawba
towns. North of them were the Shawanoes and Delawares, in easy
communication with the tribes of Canada. Still farther north, along the
Mohawk and other rivers joining with the Hudson and Lake Ontario stood
the "long houses" of the fiercest and most warlike of all the savages,
the Iroquois or Six Nations.

The Indians along the English borders outnumbered the colonists perhaps
ten to one. If the Spanish and the French had succeeded in the
conspiracy to unite on their side all the tribes, a red billow of
tomahawk wielders would have engulfed and extinguished the English
settlements. The French, it is true, made allies of the Shawanoes, the
Delawares, the Choctaws, and a strong faction of the Creeks; and they
finally won over the Cherokees after courting them for more than twenty
years. But the Creeks in part, the powerful Chickasaws, and the Iroquois
Confederacy, or Six Nations, remained loyal to the English. In both
North and South it was the influence of the traders that kept these red
tribes on the English side. The Iroquois were held loyal by Sir William
Johnson and his deputy, George Croghan, the "King of Traders." The
Chickasaws followed their "best-beloved" trader, James Adair; and among
the Creeks another trader, Lachlan McGillivray, wielded a potent

Lachlan McGillivray was a Highlander. He landed in Charleston in 1735 at
the age of sixteen and presently joined a trader's caravan as pack-horse
boy. A few years later he married a woman of the Creeks. On many
occasions he defeated French and Spanish plots with the Creeks for the
extermination of the colonists in Georgia and South Carolina. His action
in the final war with the French (1760), when the Indian terror was
raging, is typical. News came that four thousand Creek warriors,
reinforced by French Choctaws, were about to fall on the southern
settlements. At the risk of their lives, McGillivray and another trader
named Galphin hurried from Charleston to their trading house on the
Georgia frontier. Thither they invited several hundred Creek warriors,
feasted and housed them for several days, and finally won them from
their purpose. McGillivray had a brilliant son, Alexander, who about
this time became a chief in his mother's nation--perhaps on this very
occasion, as it was an Indian custom, in making a brotherhood pact, to
send a son to dwell in the brother's house. We shall meet that son again
as the Chief of the Creeks and the terrible scourge of Georgia and
Tennessee in the dark days of the Revolutionary War.

The bold deeds of the early traders, if all were to be told, would
require a book as long as the huge volume written by James Adair, the
"English Chickasaw." Adair was an Englishman who entered the Indian
trade in 1785 and launched upon the long and dangerous trail from
Charleston to the upper towns of the Cherokees, situated in the present
Monroe County, Tennessee. Thus he was one of the earliest pioneers of
the Old Southwest; and he was Tennessee's first author. "I am well
acquainted," he says, "with near two thousand miles of the American
continent"--a statement which gives one some idea of an early trader's
enterprise, hardihood, and peril. Adair's "two thousand miles" were
twisting Indian trails and paths he slashed out for himself through
uninhabited wilds, for when not engaged in trade, hunting, literature,
or war, it pleased him to make solitary trips of exploration. These seem
to have led him chiefly northward through the Appalachians, of which he
must have been one of the first white explorers.

A many-sided man was James Adair--cultured, for his style suffers not by
comparison with other writers of his day, no stranger to Latin and
Greek, and not ignorant of Hebrew, which he studied to assist him in
setting forth his ethnological theory that the American Indians were the
descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Before we dismiss his
theory with a smile, let us remember that he had not at his disposal the
data now available which reveal points of likeness in custom, language
formation, and symbolism among almost all primitive peoples. The
formidable title-page of his book in itself suggests an author keenly
observant, accurate as to detail, and possessed of a versatile and
substantial mind. Most of the pages were written in the towns of the
Chickasaws, with whom he lived "as a friend and brother," but from whose
"natural jealousy" and "prying disposition" he was obliged to conceal
his papers. "Never," he assures us, "was a literary work begun and
carried on with more disadvantages!"

Despite these disabilities the author wrote a book of absorbing
interest. His intimate sympathetic pictures of Indian life as it was
before the tribes had been conquered are richly valuable to the lover of
native lore and to the student of the history of white settlement. The
author believes, as he must, in the supremacy of his own race, but he
nevertheless presents the Indians' side of the argument as no man could
who had not made himself one of them. He thereby adds interest to those
fierce struggles which took place along the border; for he shows us the
red warrior not as a mere brute with a tomahawk but as a human creature
with an ideal of his own, albeit an ideal that must give place to a
better. Even in view of the red man's hideous methods of battle and
inhuman treatment of captives, we cannot ponder unmoved Adair's
description of his preparations for war--the fasting, the abstention
from all family intercourse, and the purification rites and prayers for
three days in the house set apart, while the women, who might not come
close to their men in this fateful hour, stood throughout the night till
dawn chanting before the door. Another poetic touch the author gives us,
from the Cherokee--or Cheerake as he spells it--explaining that the
root, chee-ra, means fire. A Cherokee never extinguished fire save on
the occasion of a death, when he thrust a burning torch into the water
and said, Neetah intahah--"the days appointed him were finished." The
warrior slain in battle was held to have been balanced by death and it
was said of him that "he was weighed on the path and made light." Adair
writes that the Cherokees, until corrupted by French agents and by the
later class of traders who poured rum among them like water, were
honest, industrious, and friendly. They were ready to meet the white man
with their customary phrase of good will: "I shall firmly shake hands
with your speech." He was intimately associated with this tribe from
1735 to 1744, when he diverted his activities to the Chickasaws.

It was from the Cherokees' chief town, Great Telliko, in the
Appalachians, that Adair explored the mountains. He describes the pass
through the chain which was used by the Indians and which, from his
outline of it, was probably the Cumberland Gap. He relates many
incidents of the struggle with the French--manifestations even in this
remote wilderness of the vast conflict that was being waged for the New
World by two imperial nations of the Old.

Adair undertook, at the solicitation of Governor Glen of South Carolina,
the dangerous task of opening up trade with the Choctaws, a tribe
mustering upwards of five thousand warriors who were wholly in the
French interest. Their country lay in what is now the State of
Mississippi along the great river, some seven hundred miles west and
southwest of Charleston. After passing the friendly Creek towns the
trail led on for 150 miles through what was practically the enemy's
country. Adair, owing to what he likes to term his "usual good fortune,"
reached the Choctaw country safely and by his adroitness and substantial
presents won the friendship of the influential chief, Red Shoe, whom he
found in a receptive mood, owing to a French agent's breach of
hospitality involving Red Shoe's favorite wife. Adair thus created a
large pro-English faction among the Choctaws, and his success seriously
impaired French prestige with all the southwestern tribes. Several times
French Choctaws bribed to murder him, waylaid Adair on the trail--twice
when he was alone--only to be baffled by the imperturbable
self-possession and alert wit which never failed him in emergencies.

Winning a Choctaw trade cost Adair, besides attacks on his life, £2200,
for which he was never reimbursed, notwithstanding Governor Glen's
agreement with him. And, on his return to Charleston, while the Governor
was detaining him "on one pretext or another," he found that a new
expedition, which the Governor was favoring for reasons of his own, had
set out to capture his Chickasaw trade and gather in "the expected great
crop of deerskins and beaver... before I could possibly return to the
Chikkasah Country." Nothing daunted, however, the hardy trader set out

In the severity of winter, frost, snow, hail and heavy rains succeed
each other in these climes, so that I partly rode and partly swam to the
Chikkasah country; for not expecting to stay long below [in Charleston]
I took no leathern canoe. Many of the broad, deep creeks... had now
overflowed their banks, ran at a rapid rate and were unpassable to any
but desperate people:... the rivers and swamps were dreadful by rafts of
timber driving down the former and the great fallen trees floating in
the latter.... Being forced to wade deep through cane swamps or woody
thickets, it proved very troublesome to keep my firearms dry on which,
as a second means, my life depended.

Nevertheless Adair defeated the Governor's attempt to steal his trade,
and later on published the whole story in the Charleston press and sent
in a statement of his claims to the Assembly, with frank observations on
His Excellency himself. We gather that his bold disregard of High
Personages set all Charleston in an uproar!

Adair is tantalizingly modest about his own deeds. He devotes pages to
prove that an Indian rite agrees with the Book of Leviticus but only a
paragraph to an exploit of courage and endurance such as that ride and
swim for the Indian trade. We have to read between the lines to find the
man; but he well repays the search. Briefly, incidentally, he mentions
that on one trip he was captured by the French, who were so,

well acquainted with the great damages I had done to them and feared
others I might occasion, as to confine me a close prisoner... in the
Alebahma garrison. They were fully resolved to have sent me down to
Mobile or New Orleans as a capital criminal to be hanged... but I
doubted not of being able to extricate myself some way or other. They
appointed double centries over me for some days before I was to be sent
down in the French King's large boat. They were strongly charged against
laying down their weapons or suffering any hostile thing to be in the
place where I was kept, as they deemed me capable of any mischief....
About an hour before we were to set off by water I escaped from them by
land.... I took through the middle of the low land covered with briers
at full speed. I heard the French clattering on horseback along the
path... and the howling savages pursuing..., but my usual good fortune
enabled me to leave them far enough behind....

One feels that a few of the pages given up to Leviticus might well have
been devoted to a detailed account of this escape from "double centries"
and a fortified garrison, and the plunge through the tangled wilds, by a
man without gun or knife or supplies, and who for days dared not show
himself upon the trail.

There is too much of "my usual good fortune" in Adair's narrative; such
luck as his argues for extraordinary resources in the man. Sometimes we
discover only through one phrase on a page that he must himself have
been the hero of an event he relates in the third person. This seems to
be the case in the affair of Priber, which was the worst of those
"damages" Adair did to the French. Priber was "a gentleman of curious
and speculative temper" sent by the French in 1736 to Great Telliko to
win the Cherokees to their interest. At this time Adair was trading with
the Cherokees. He relates that Priber,

more effectually to answer the design of his commission... ate, drank,
slept, danced, dressed, and painted himself with the Indians, so that it
was not easy to distinguish him from the natives,--he married also with
them, and being endued with a strong understanding and retentive memory
he soon learned their dialect, and by gradual advances impressed them
with a very ill opinion of the English, representing them as fraudulent,
avaritious and encroaching people; he at the same time inflated the
artless savages with a prodigious high opinion of their own importance
in the American scale of power.... Having thus infected them... he
easily formed them into a nominal republican government--crowned their
old Archi-magus emperor after a pleasing new savage form, and invented a
variety of high-sounding titles for all the members of his imperial
majesty's red court.

Priber cemented the Cherokee empire "by slow but sure degrees to the
very great danger of our southern colonies." His position was that of
Secretary of State and as such, with a studiedly provocative arrogance,
he carried on correspondence with the British authorities. The colonial
Government seems, on this occasion, to have listened to the traders and
to have realized that Priber was a danger, for soldiers were sent to
take him prisoner. The Cherokees, however, had so firmly "shaked hands"
with their Secretary's admired discourse that they threatened to take
the warpath if their beloved man were annoyed, and the soldiers went
home without him--to the great hurt of English prestige. The Cherokee
empire had now endured for five years and was about to rise "into a far
greater state of puissance by the acquisition of the Muskohge, Chocktaw
and the Western Mississippi Indians," when fortunately for the history
of British colonization in America, "an accident befell the Secretary."

It is in connection with this "accident" that the reader suspects the
modest but resourceful Adair of conniving with Fate. Since the military
had failed and the Government dared not again employ force, other means
must be found; the trader provided them. The Secretary with his Cherokee
bodyguard journeyed south on his mission to the Creeks. Secure, as he
supposed, he lodged overnight in an Indian town. But there a company of
English traders took him into custody, along with his bundle of
manuscripts presumably intended for the French commandant at Fort
Alabama, and handed him over to the Governor of Georgia, who imprisoned
him and kept him out of mischief till he died.

As a Briton, Adair contributed to Priber's fate; and as such he approves
it. As a scholar with philosophical and ethnological leanings, however,
he deplores it, and hopes that Priber's valuable manuscripts may "escape
the despoiling hands of military power." Priber had spent his leisure in
compiling a Cherokee dictionary; Adair's occupation, while domiciled in
his winter house in Great Telliko, was the writing of his Indian
Appendix to the Pentateuch. As became brothers in science, they had
exchanged notes, so we gather from Adair's references to conversations
and correspondence. Adair's difficulties as an author, however, had been
increased by a treacherous lapse from professional etiquette on the part
of the Secretary: "He told them [the Indians] that in the very same
manner as he was their great Secretary, I was the devil's clerk, or an
accursed one who marked on paper the bad speech of the evil ones of
darkness." On his own part Adair admits that his object in this
correspondence was to trap the Secretary into something more serious
than literary errata. That is, he admits it by implication; he says the
Secretary "feared" it. During the years of their duel, Adair apparently
knew that the scholarly compiler of the Cherokee dictionary was secretly
inciting members of this particular Lost Tribe to tomahawk the
discoverer of their biblical origin; and Priber, it would seem, knew
that he knew!

Adair shows, inferentially, that land encroachment was not the sole
cause of those Indian wars with which we shall deal in a later chapter.
The earliest causes were the instigations of the French and the rewards
which they offered for English scalps. But equally provocative of Indian
rancor were the acts of sometimes merely stupid, sometimes dishonest,
officials; the worst of these, Adair considered, was the cheapening of
the trade through the granting of general licenses.

Formerly each trader had a license for two [Indian] towns.... At my
first setting out among them, a number of traders... journeyed through
our various nations in different companies and were generally men of
worth; of course they would have a living price for their goods, which
they carried on horseback to the remote Indian countries at very great
expences.... [The Indians] were kept under proper restraint, were easy
in their minds and peaceable on account of the plain, honest lessons
daily inculcated on them... but according to the present unwise plan,
two and even three Arablike peddlars sculk about in one of those
villages... who are generally the dregs and offs-courings of our
climes... by inebriating the Indians with their nominally prohibited and
poisoning spirits, they purchase the necessaries of life at four and
five hundred per cent cheaper than the orderly traders.... Instead of
showing good examples of moral conduct, beside the other part of life,
they instruct the unknowing and imitating savages in many diabolical
lessons of obscenity and blasphemy.

In these statements, contemporary records bear him out. There is no
sadder reading than the many pleas addressed by the Indian chiefs to
various officials to stop the importation of liquor into their country,
alleging the debauchment of their young men and warning the white man,
with whom they desired to be friends, that in an Indian drink and blood
lust quickly combined.

Adair's book was published in London in 1775. He wrote it to be read by
Englishmen as well as Americans; and some of his reflections on liberty,
justice, and Anglo-Saxon unity would not sound unworthily today. His
sympathies were with "the principles of our Magna Charta Americana"; but
he thought the threatened division of the English-speaking peoples the
greatest evil that could befall civilization. His voluminous work
discloses a man not only of wide mental outlook but a practical man with
a sense of commercial values. Yet, instead of making a career for 
himself among his own caste, he made his home for over thirty years in
the Chickasaw towns; and it is plain that, with the exception of some of
his older brother traders, he preferred the Chickasaw to any other

The complete explanation of such men as Adair we need not expect to find
stated anywhere--not even in and between the lines of his book. The
conventionalist would seek it in moral obliquity; the radical, in a
temperament that is irked by the superficialities that comprise so large
a part of conventional standards. The reason for his being what he was
is almost the only thing Adair did not analyze in his book. Perhaps, to
him, it was self evident. We may let it be so to us, and see it most
clearly presented in a picture composed from some of his brief sketches:
A land of grass and green shade inset with bright waters, where deer and
domestic cattle herded together along the banks; a circling group of
houses, their white-clayed walls sparkling under the sun's rays, and,
within and without, the movement of "a friendly and sagacious people,"
who "kindly treated and watchfully guarded" their white brother in peace
and war, and who conversed daily with him in the Old Beloved Speech
learned first of Nature. "Like towers in cities beyond the common size
of those of the Indians" rose the winter and summer houses and the huge
trading house which the tribe had built for their best beloved friend in
the town's center, because there he would be safest from attack. On the
rafters hung the smoked and barbecued delicacies taken in the hunt and
prepared for him by his red servants, who were also his comrades at home
and on the dangerous trail. "Beloved old women" kept an eye on his small
sons, put to drowse on panther skins so that they might grow up brave
warriors. Nothing was there of artifice or pretense, only "the needful
things to make a reasonable life happy." All was as primitive, naive,
and contented as the woman whose outline is given once in a few strokes,
proudly and gayly penciled: "I have the pleasure of writing this by the
side of a Chikkasah female, as great a princess as ever lived among the
ancient Peruvians or Mexicans, and she bids me be sure not to mark the
paper wrong after the manner of most of the traders; otherwise it will
spoil the making good bread or homony!"

His final chapter is the last news of James Adair, type of the earliest
trader. Did his bold attacks on corrupt officials and rum peddlers--made
publicly before Assemblies and in print--raise for him a dense cloud of
enmity that dropped oblivion on his memory? Perhaps. But, in truth, his
own book is all the history of him we need. It is the record of a man.
He lived a full life and served his day; and it matters not that a mist
envelops the place where unafraid he met the Last Enemy, was "weighed on
the path and made light."


The Passing Of The French Peril

The great pile of the Appalachian peaks was not the only barrier which
held back the settler with his plough and his rifle from following the
trader's tinkling caravans into the valleys beyond. Over the hills the
French were lords of the land. The frontiersman had already felt their
enmity through the torch and tomahawk of their savage allies. By his own
strength alone he could not cope with the power entrenched beyond the
hills; so he halted. But that power, by its unachievable desire to be
overlord of two hemispheres, was itself to precipitate events which
would open the westward road.

The recurring hour in the cycle of history, when the issue of Autocracy
against Democracy cleaves the world, struck for the men of the
eighteenth century as the second half of that century dawned. In our own
day, happily, that issue has been perceived by the rank and file of the
people. In those darker days, as France and England grappled in that
conflict of systems which culminated in the Seven Years' War, the
fundamental principles at stake were clear to only a handful of thinking

But abstractions, whether clear or obscure, do not cause ambassadors to
demand their passports. The declaration of war awaits the overt act.
Behold, then, how great a matter is kindled by a little fire! The casus
belli between France and England in the Seven Years' War--the war which
humbled France in Europe and lost her India and Canada--had to do with a
small log fort built by a few Virginians in 1754 at the Forks of the
Ohio River and wrested from them in the same year by a company of
Frenchmen from Canada.

The French claimed the valley of the Ohio as their territory; the
English claimed it as theirs. The dispute was of long standing. The
French claim was based on discovery; the English claim, on the
sea-to-sea charters of Virginia and other colonies and on treaties with
the Six Nations. The French refused to admit the right of the Six
Nations to dispose of the territory. The English were inclined to
maintain the validity of their treaties with the Indians. Especially was
Virginia so inclined, for a large share of the Ohio lay within her
chartered domain.

The quarrel had entered its acute phase in 1749, when both the rival
claimants took action to assert their sovereignty. The Governor of
Canada sent an envoy, Céloron de Blainville, with soldiers, to take
formal possession of the Ohio for the King of France. In the same year
the English organized in Virginia the Ohio Company for the colonization
of the same country; and summoned Christopher Gist, explorer, trader,
and guide, from his home on the Yadkin and dispatched him to survey the

Then appeared on the scene that extraordinary man, Robert Dinwiddie,
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, erstwhile citizen of Glasgow. His
correspondence from Virginia during his seven years' tenure of office
(1751-58) depicts the man with a vividness surpassing paint. He was as
honest as the day--as honest as he was fearless and fussy. But he had no
patience; he wanted things done and done at once, and his way was the
way to do them. People who did not think as he thought didn't think at
all. On this drastic premise he went to work. There was of course
continuous friction between him and the House of Burgesses. Dinwiddie
had all a Scot's native talent for sarcasm. His letters, his addresses,
perhaps in particular his addresses to the House, bristled with
satirical thrusts at his opponents. If he had spelled out in full all
the words he was so eager to write, he would have been obliged to lessen
his output; so he used a shorthand system of his own, peculiar enough to
be remarkable even though abbreviations were the rule in that day. Even
the dignity of Kings he sacrificed to speed, and we find "His Majesty"
abbreviated to "H M'y"; yet a smaller luminary known as "His Honor"
fares better, losing only the last letter--"His Hono." "Ho." stands for
"house" and "yt" for "that," "what," "it," and "anything else," as
convenient. Many of his letters wind up with "I am ve'y much fatig'd."
We know that he must have been!

It was a formidable task that confronted Dinwiddie--to possess and
defend the Ohio. Christopher Gist returned in 1751, having surveyed the
valley for the Ohio Company as far as the Scioto and Miami rivers, and
in the following year the survey was ratified by the Indians. The
Company's men were busy blazing trails through the territory and
building fortified posts. But the French dominated the territory. They
had built and occupied with troops Fort Le Bœuf on French Creek, a
stream flowing into the Allegheny. We may imagine Dinwiddie's rage at
this violation of British soil by French soldiers and how he must have
sputtered to the young George Washington, when he summoned that officer
and made him the bearer of a letter to the French commander at Fort Le
Bœuf, to demand that French troops be at once withdrawn from the Ohio.

Washington made the journey to Fort Le Bœuf in December, 1753, but the
mission of course proved fruitless. Dinwiddie then wrote to London
urging that a force be sent over to help the colonies maintain their
rights and, under orders from the Crown, suggested by himself, he wrote
to the governors of all the other colonies to join with Virginia in
raising troops to settle the ownership of the disputed territory. From
Governor Dobbs of North Carolina he received an immediate response. By
means of logic, sarcasm, and the entire force of his prerogatives,
Dinwiddie secured from his own balking Assembly £10,000 with which to
raise troops. From Maryland he obtained nothing. There were three
prominent Marylanders in the Ohio Company, but--or because of this--the
Maryland Assembly voted down the measure for a military appropriation.
On June 18, 1754, Dinwiddie wrote, with unusually full spelling for him:

I am perswaded had His Majesty's Com'ds to the other Colonies been duely
obey'd, and the necessary Assistance given by them, the Fr. wou'd have
long ago have been oblig'd entirely to have evacuated their usurp'd
Possession of the King's Lands, instead of w'ch they are daily becoming
more formidable, whilst every Gov't except No. Caro. has amus'd me with
Expectations that have proved fruitless, and at length refuse to give
any Supply, unless in such a manner as must render it ineffectual.

This saddened mood with its deliberate penmanship did not last long.
Presently Dinwiddie was making a Round Robin of himself in another
series of letters to Governors, Councilors, and Assemblymen, frantically
beseeching them for "H. M'y's hono." and their own, and, if not, for
"post'r'ty," to rise against the cruel French whose Indians were
harrying the borders again and "Basely, like Virmin, stealing and
carrying off the helpless infant"--as nice a simile, by the way, as any
Sheridan ever put into the mouth of Mrs. Malaprop.

Dinwiddie saw his desires thwarted on every hand by the selfish spirit
of localism and jealousy which was more rife in America in those days
than it is today. Though the phrase "capitalistic war" had not yet been
coined, the great issues of English civilization on this continent were
befogged, for the majority in the colonies, by the trivial fact that the
shareholders in the Ohio Company stood to win by a vigorous prosecution
of the war and to lose if it were not prosecuted at all. The irascible
Governor, however, proceeded with such men and means as he could obtain.

And now in the summer of 1754 came the "overt act" which precipitated
the inevitable war. The key to the valley of the Ohio was the tongue of
land at the Forks, where the Allegheny and the Monongahela join their
waters in the Beautiful River. This site--today Pittsburgh--if occupied
and held by either nation would give that nation the command of the
Ohio. Occupied it was for a brief hour by a small party of Virginians,
under Captain William Trent; but no sooner had they erected on the spot
a crude fort than the French descended upon them. What happened then all
the world knows: how the French built on the captured site their great
Fort Duquesne; how George Washington with an armed force, sent by
Dinwiddie to recapture the place, encountered French and Indians at
Great Meadows and built Fort Necessity, which he was compelled to
surrender; how in the next year (1755) General Braddock arrived from
across the sea and set out to take Fort Duquesne, only to meet on the
way the disaster called "Braddock's Defeat"; and how, before another
year had passed, the Seven Years' War was raging in Europe, and England
was allied with the enemies of France.

From the midst of the debacle of Braddock's defeat rises the figure of
the young Washington. Twenty-three he was then, tall and spare and
hardbodied from a life spent largely in the open. When Braddock fell,
this Washington appeared. Reckless of the enemy's bullets, which spanged
about him and pierced his clothes, he dashed up and down the lines in an
effort to rally the panic-stricken redcoats. He was too late to save the
day, but not to save a remnant of the army and bring out his own
Virginians in good order. Whether among the stay-at-homes and voters of
credits there were some who would have ascribed Washington's conduct on
that day to the fact that his brothers were large shareholders in the
Ohio Company and that Fort Duquesne was their personal property or
"private interest," history does not say. We may suppose so.

North Carolina, the one colony which had not "amus'd" the Governor of
Virginia "with Expectations that proved fruitless," had voted £12,000
for the war and had raised two companies of troops. One of these, under
Edward Brice Dobbs, son of Governor Dobbs, marched with Braddock; and in
that company as wagoner went Daniel Boone, then in his twenty-second
year. Of Boone's part in Braddock's campaign nothing more is recorded
save that on the march he made friends with John Findlay, the trader,
his future guide into Kentucky; and that, on the day of the defeat, when
his wagons were surrounded, he escaped by slashing the harness, leaping
on the back of one of his horses, and dashing into the forest.

Meanwhile the southern tribes along the border were comparatively quiet.
That they well knew a colossal struggle between the two white races was
pending and were predisposed to ally themselves with the stronger is not
to be doubted. French influence had long been sifting through the
formidable Cherokee nation, which still, however, held true in the main
to its treaties with the English. It was the policy of the Governors of
Virginia and North Carolina to induce the Cherokees to enter strongly
into the war as allies of the English. Their efforts came to nothing
chiefly because of the purely local and suicidal Indian policy of
Governor Glen of South Carolina. There had been some dispute between
Glen and Dinwiddie as to the right of Virginia to trade with the
Cherokees; and Glen had sent to the tribes letters calculated to sow
distrust of all other aspirants for Indian favor, even promising that
certain settlers in the Back Country of North Carolina should be removed
and their holdings restored to the Indians. These letters caused great
indignation in North Carolina, when they came to light, and had the
worst possible effect upon Indian relations. The Indians now inclined
their ear to the French who, though fewer than the English, were at
least united in purpose.

Governor Glen took this inauspicious moment to hold high festival with
the Cherokees. It was the last year of his administration and apparently
he hoped to win promotion to some higher post by showing his
achievements for the fur trade and in the matter of new land acquired.
He plied the Cherokees with drink and induced them to make formal
submission and to cede all their lands to the Crown. When the chiefs
recovered their sobriety, they were filled with rage at what had been
done, and they remembered how the French had told them that the English
intended to make slaves of all the Indians and to steal their lands. The
situation was complicated by another incident. Several Cherokee warriors
returning from the Ohio, whither they had gone to fight for the British,
were slain by frontiersmen. The tribe, in accordance with existing
agreements, applied to Virginia for redress--but received none.

There was thus plenty of powder for an explosion. Governor Lyttleton,
Glen's successor, at last flung the torch into the magazine. He seized,
as hostages, a number of friendly chiefs who were coming to Charleston
to offer tokens of good will and forced them to march under guard on a
military tour which the Governor was making (1759) with intent to
overawe the savages. When this expedition reached Prince George, on the
upper waters of the Savannah, the Indian hostages were confined within
the fort; and the Governor, satisfied with the result of his maneuver
departed south for Charleston. Then followed a tragedy. Some Indian
friends of the imprisoned chiefs attacked the fort, and the commander, a
popular young officer, was treacherously killed during a parley. The
infuriated frontiersmen within the fort fell upon the hostages and slew
them all--twenty-six chiefs--and the Indian war was on.

If all were to be told of the struggle which followed in the Back
Country, the story could not be contained in this book. Many brave and
resourceful men went out against the savages. We can afford only a
passing glance at one of them. Hugh Waddell of North Carolina was the
most brilliant of all the frontier fighters in that war. He was a young
Ulsterman from County Down, a born soldier, with a special genius for
fighting Indians, although he did not grow up on the border, for he
arrived in North Carolina in 1753, at the age of nineteen. He was
appointed by Governor Dobbs to command the second company which North
Carolina had raised for the war, a force of 450 rangers to protect the
border counties; and he presently became the most conspicuous military
figure in the colony. As to his personality, we have only a few meager
details, with a portrait that suggests plainly enough those qualities of
boldness and craft which characterized his tactics. Governor Dobbs
appears to have had a special love towards Hugh, whose family he had
known in Ireland, for an undercurrent of almost fatherly pride is to be
found in the old Governor's reports to the Assembly concerning Waddell's

The terror raged for nearly three years. Cabins and fields were burned,
and women and children were slaughtered or dragged away captives. Not
only did immigration cease but many hardy settlers fled from the
country. At length, after horrors indescribable and great toll of life,
the Cherokees gave up the struggle. Their towns were invaded and laid
waste by imperial and colonial troops, and they could do nothing but
make peace. In 1761 they signed a treaty with the English to hold "while
rivers flow and grasses grow and sun and moon endure."

In the previous year (1760) the imperial war had run its course in
America. New France lay prostrate, and the English were supreme not only
on the Ohio but on the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. Louisbourg,
Quebec, Montreal, Oswego, Niagara, Duquesne, Detroit--all were in
English hands.

Hugh Waddell and his rangers, besides serving with distinction in the
Indian war, had taken part in the capture of Fort Duquesne. This feat
had been accomplished in 1758 by an expedition under General Forbes. The
troops made a terrible march over a new route, cutting a road as they
went. It was November when they approached their objective. The wastes
of snow and their diminished supplies caused such depression among the
men that the officers called a halt to discuss whether or not to proceed
toward Fort Duquesne, where they believed the French to be concentrated
in force. Extravagant sums in guineas were named as suitable reward for
any man who would stalk and catch a French Indian and learn from him the
real conditions inside the fort. The honor, if not the guineas, fell to
John Rogers, one of Waddell's rangers. From the Indian it was learned
that the French had already gone, leaving behind only a few of their
number. As the English drew near, they found that the garrison had blown
up the magazine, set fire to the fort, and made off.

Thus, while New France was already tottering, but nearly two years
before the final capitulation at Montreal, the English again became
masters of the Ohio Company's land--masters of the Forks of the Ohio.
This time they were there to stay. Where the walls of Fort Duquesne had
crumbled in the fire Fort Pitt was to rise, proudly bearing the name of
England's Great Commoner who had directed English arms to victory on
three continents.

With France expelled and the Indians deprived of their white allies, the
westward path lay open to the pioneers, even though the red man himself
would rise again and again in vain endeavor to bar the way. So a new era
begins, the era of exploration for definite purpose, the era of
commonwealth building. In entering on it, we part with the earliest
pioneer--the trader, who first opened the road for both the lone home
seeker and the great land company. He dwindles now to the mere barterer
and so--save for a few chance glimpses--slips out of sight, for his
brave days as Imperial Scout are done.


Boone, The Wanderer

What thoughts filled Daniel Boone's mind as he was returning from
Braddock's disastrous campaign in 1755 we may only conjecture. Perhaps
he was planning a career of soldiering, for in later years he was to
distinguish himself as a frontier commander in both defense and attack.
Or it may be that his heart was full of the wondrous tales told him by
the trader, John Findlay, of that Hunter's Canaan, Kentucky, where
buffalo and deer roamed in thousands. Perhaps he meant to set out ere
long in search of the great adventure of his dreams, despite the
terrible dangers of trail making across the zones of war into the

However that may be, Boone straightway followed neither of these
possible plans on his return to the Yadkin but halted for a different
adventure. There, a rifle shot's distance from his threshold, was
offered him the oldest and sweetest of all hazards to the daring. He was
twenty-two, strong and comely and a whole man; and therefore he was in
no mind to refuse what life held out to him in the person of Rebecca
Bryan. Rebecca was the daughter of Joseph Bryan, who had come to the
Yadkin from Pennsylvania some time before the Boones; and she was in her
seventeenth year.

Writers of an earlier and more sentimental period than ours have
endeavored to supply, from the saccharine stores of their fancy, the
romantic episodes connected with Boone's wooing which history has
omitted to record. Hence the tale that the young hunter, walking abroad
in the spring gloaming, saw Mistress Rebecca's large dark eyes shining
in the dusk of the forest, mistook them for a deer's eyes and shot--his
aim on this occasion fortunately being bad! But if Boone's rifle was
missing its mark at ten paces, Cupid's dart was speeding home. So runs
the story concocted a hundred years later by some gentle scribe ignorant
alike of game seasons, the habits of hunters, and the way of a man with
a maid in a primitive world.

Daniel and Rebecca were married in the spring of 1756. Squire Boone, in
his capacity as justice of the peace, tied the knot; and in a smallcabin 
built upon his spacious lands the young couple set up housekeeping. Here
Daniel's first two sons were born. In the third year of his marriage,
when the second child was a babe in arms, Daniel removed with his wife
and their young and precious family to Culpeper County in eastern
Virginia, for the border was going through its darkest days of the
French and Indian War. During the next two or three years we find him in
Virginia engaged as a wagoner, hauling tobacco in season; but back on
the border with his rifle, after the harvest, aiding in defense against
the Indians. In 1759 he purchased from his father a lot on Sugar Tree
Creek, a tributary of Dutchman's Creek (Davie County, North Carolina)
and built thereon a cabin for himself. The date when he brought his wife
and children to live in their new abode on the border is not recorded.
It was probably some time after the close of the Indian War. Of Boone
himself during these years we have but scant information. We hear of him
again in Virginia and also as a member of the pack-horse caravan which
brought into the Back Country the various necessaries for the settlers.
We know, too, that in the fall of 1760 he was on a lone hunting trip in
the mountains west of the Yadkin; for until a few years ago there might
be seen, still standing on the banks of Boone's Creek (a small tributary
of the Watauga) in eastern Tennessee, a tree bearing the legend, "D Boon
cilled A BAR on this tree 1760." Boone was always fond of carving his
exploits on trees, and his wanderings have been traced largely by his
arboreal publications. In the next year (1761) he went with Waddell's
rangers when they marched with the army to the final subjugation of the

That Boone and his family were back on the border in the new cabin
shortly after the end of the war, we gather from the fact that in 1764
he took his little son James, aged seven, on one of his long hunting
excursions. From this time dates the intimate comradeship of father and
son through all the perils of the wilderness, a comradeship to come to
its tragic end ten years later when, as we shall see, the
seventeen-year-old lad fell under the red man's tomahawk as his father
was leading the first settlers towards Kentucky. In the cold nights of
the open camp, as Daniel and James lay under the frosty stars, the
father kept the boy warm snuggled to his breast under the broad flap of
his hunting shirt. Sometimes the two were away from home for months
together, and Daniel declared little James to be as good a woodsman as
his father.

Meanwhile fascinating accounts of the new land of Florida, ceded to
Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, had leaked into the Back
Country; and in the winter of 1765 Boone set off southward on horseback
with seven companions. Colonel James Grant, with whose army Boone had
fought in 1761, had been appointed Governor of the new colony and was
offering generous inducements to settlers. The party traveled along the
borders of South Carolina and Georgia. No doubt they made the greater
part of their way over the old Traders' Trace, the "whitened" warpath;
and they suffered severe hardships. Game became scarcer as they
proceeded. Once they were nigh to perishing of starvation and were saved
from that fate only through chance meeting with a band of Indians who,
seeing their plight, made camp and shared their food with
them--according to the Indian code in time of peace.

Boone's party explored Florida from St. Augustine to Pensacola, and
Daniel became sufficiently enamored of the tropical south to purchase
there land and a house. His wife, however, was unwilling to go to
Florida, and she was not long in convincing the hunter that he would
soon tire of a gameless country. A gameless country! Perhaps this was
the very thought which turned the wanderer's desires again towards the
land of Kentucky. ¹ The silencing of the enemy's whisper in the Cherokee
camps had opened the border forests once more to the nomadic rifleman.
Boone was not alone in the desire to seek out what lay beyond. His
brother-in-law, John Stewart, and a nephew by marriage, Benjamin
Cutbirth, or Cutbird, with two other young men, John Baker and James
Ward, in 1766 crossed the Appalachian Mountains, probably by stumbling
upon the Indian trail winding from base to summit and from peak to base
again over this part of the great hill barrier. They eventually reached
the Mississippi River and, having taken a good quantity of peltry on the
way, they launched upon the stream and came in time to New Orleans,
where they made a satisfactory trade of their furs.

¹ Kentucky, from Ken-ta-ke, an Iroquois word meaning "the place of old
fields." Adair calls the territory "the old fields." The Indians
apparently used the word "old," as we do, in a sense of endearment and
possession as well as relative to age.

Boone was fired anew by descriptions of this successful feat, in which
two of his kinsmen had participated. He could no longer be held back. He
must find the magic door that led through the vast mountain wall into
Kentucky--Kentucky, with its green prairies where the buffalo and deer
were as "ten thousand thousand cattle feeding" in the wilds, and where
the balmy air vibrated with the music of innumerable wings.

Accordingly, in the autumn of 1767, Boone began his quest of the
delectable country in the company of his friend, William Hill, who had
been with him in Florida. Autumn was the season of departure on all
forest excursions, because by that time the summer crops had been
gathered in and the day of the deer had come. By hunting, the explorers
must feed themselves on their travels and with deerskins and furs they
must on their return recompense those who had supplied their outfit.
Boone, the incessant but not always lucky wanderer, was in these years
ever in debt for an outfit.

Boone and Hill made their way over the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies
and crossed the Holston and Clinch rivers. Then they came upon the west
fork of the Big Sandy and, believing that it would lead them to the
Ohio, they continued for at least a hundred miles to the westward. Here
they found a buffalo trace, one of the many beaten out by the herds in
their passage to the salt springs, and they followed it into what is now
Floyd County in eastern Kentucky. But this was not the prairie land
described by Findlay; it was rough and hilly and so overgrown with
laurel as to be almost impenetrable. They therefore wended their way
back towards the river, doubtless erected the usual hunter's camp of
skins or blankets and branches, and spent the winter in hunting and
trapping. Spring found them returning to their homes on the Yadkin with
a fair winter's haul.

Such urgent desire as Boone's, however, was not to be defeated. The next
year brought him his great opportunity. John Findlay came to the Yadkin
with a horse pack of needles and linen and peddler's wares to tempt the
slim purses of the Back Country folk. The two erstwhile comrades in arms
were overjoyed to encounter each other again, and Findlay spent the
winter of 1768-69 in Boone's cabin. While the snow lay deep outside and
good-smelling logs crackled on the hearth, they planned an expedition
into Kentucky through the Gap where Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky
touch one another, which Findlay felt confident he could find. Findlay
had learned of this route from cross-mountain traders in 1753, when he
had descended the Ohio to the site of Louisville, whence he had gone
with some Shawanoes as a prisoner to their town of Es-kip-pa-ki-thi-ki
or Blue Licks. ¹

¹ Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, vol. II, pp. 215-16.

On the first day of May, 1769, Boone and Findlay, accompanied by John
Stewart and three other venturesome spirits, Joseph Holden, James
Mooney, and William Cooley, took horse for the fabled land. Passing
through the Cumberland Gap, they built their first camp in Kentucky on
the Red Lick fork of Station Camp Creek.

This camp was their base of operations. From it, usually in couples, we
infer, the explorers branched out to hunt and to take their observations
of the country. Here also they prepared the deer and buffalo meat for
the winter, dried or smoked the geese they shot in superabundance, made
the tallow and oil needed to keep their weapons in trim, their leather
soft, and their kits waterproof. Their first ill luck befell them in
December when Boone and Stewart were captured by a band of Shawanoes who
were returning from their autumn hunt on Green River. The Indians
compelled the two white men to show them the location of their camp,
took possession of all it contained in skins and furs and also helped
themselves to the horses. They left the explorers with just enough meat
and ammunition to provide for their journey homeward, and told them to
depart and not to intrude again on the red men's hunting grounds. Having
given this pointed warning, the Shawanoes rode on northward towards
their towns beyond the Ohio. On foot, swiftly and craftily, Boone and
his brother-in-law trailed the band for two days. They came upon the
camp in dead of night, recaptured their horses, and fled. But this was a
game in which the Indians themselves excelled, and at this date the
Shawanoes had an advantage over Boone in their thorough knowledge of the
territory; so that within forty-eight hours the white men were once more
prisoners. After they had amused themselves by making Boone caper about
with a horse bell on his neck, while they jeered at him in broken
English, "Steal horse, eh?" the Shawanoes turned north again, this time
taking the two unfortunate hunters with them. Boone and Stewart escaped,
one day on the march, by a plunge into the thick tall canebrake. Though
the Indians did not attempt to follow them through the mazes of the
cane, the situation of the two hunters, without weapons or food, was
serious enough. When they found Station Camp deserted and realized that
their four companions had given them up for dead or lost and had set off
on the trail for home, even such intrepid souls as theirs may have felt
fear. They raced on in pursuit and fortunately fell in not only with
their party but with Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, and Alexander
Neely, who had brought in fresh supplies of rifles, ammunition, flour,
and horses.

After this lucky encounter the group separated. Findlay was ill, and
Holden, Mooney, and Cooley had had their fill of Kentucky; but Squire,
Neely, Stewart, and Daniel were ready for more adventures. Daniel, too,
felt under the positive necessity of putting in another year at hunting
and trapping in order to discharge his debts and provide for his family.
Near the mouth of Red River the new party built their station camp.
Here, in idle hours, Neely read aloud from a copy of Gulliver's Travels
to entertain the hunters while they dressed their deerskins or tinkered
their weapons. In honor of the "Lorbrulgrud" of the book, though with a
pronunciation all their own, they christened the nearest creek; and as
"Lulbegrud Creek" it is still known.

Before the end of the winter the two Boones were alone in the
wilderness. Their brother-in-law, Stewart, had disappeared; and Neely,
discouraged by this tragic event, had returned to the Yadkin. In May,
Squire Boone fared forth, taking with him the season's catch of beaver,
otter, and deerskins to exchange in the North Carolinian trading houses
for more supplies; and Daniel was left solitary in Kentucky.

Now followed those lonely explorations which gave Daniel Boone his
special fame above all Kentucky's pioneers. He was by no means the first
white man to enter Kentucky; and when he did enter, it was as one of a
party, under another man's guidance--if we except his former
disappointing journey into the laurel thickets of Floyd County. But
these others, barring Stewart, who fell there, turned back when they met
with loss and hardship and measured the certain risks against the
possible gains. Boone, the man of imagination, turned to wild earth as
to his kin. His genius lay in the sense of oneness he felt with his
wilderness environment. An instinct he had which these other men, as
courageous perhaps as he, did not possess.

Never in all the times when he was alone in the woods and had no other
man's safety or counsel to consider, did he suffer ill fortune. The
nearest approach to trouble that befell him when alone occurred one day
during this summer when some Indians emerged from their green shelter
and found him, off guard for the moment, standing on a cliff gazing with
rapture over the vast rolling stretches of Kentucky. He was apparently
cut off from escape, for the savages were on three sides, advancing
without haste to take him, meanwhile greeting him with mock amity. Over
the cliff leaped Boone and into the outspread arms of a friendly maple,
whose top bloomed green about sixty feet below the cliff's rim, and left
his would-be captors on the height above, grunting their amazement.

During this summer Boone journeyed through the valleys of the Kentucky
and the Licking. He followed the buffalo traces to the two Blue Licks
and saw the enormous herds licking up the salt earth, a darkly ruddy
moving mass of beasts whose numbers could not be counted. For many miles
he wound along the Ohio, as far as the Falls. He also found the Big Bone
Lick with its mammoth fossils.

In July, 1770, Daniel returned to the Red River camp and there met
Squire Boone with another pack of supplies. The two brothers continued
their hunting and exploration together for some months, chiefly in
Jessamine County, where two caves still bear Boone's name. In that
winter they even braved the Green River ground, whence had come the
hunting Shawanoes who had taken Daniel's first fruits a year before. In
the same year (1770) there had come into Kentucky from the Yadkin
another party of hunters, called, from their lengthy sojourn in the
twilight zone, the Long Hunters. One of these, Gasper Mansker,
afterwards related how the Long Hunters were startled one day by hearing
sounds such as no buffalo or turkey ever made, and how Mansker himself
stole silently under cover of the trees towards the place whence the
strange noises came, and descried Daniel Boone prone on his back with a
deerskin under him, his famous tall black hat beside him and his mouth
opened wide in joyous but apparently none too tuneful song. This
incident gives a true character touch. It is not recorded of any of the
men who turned back that they sang alone in the wilderness.

In March, 1771, the two Boones started homeward, their horses bearing
the rich harvest of furs and deerskins which was to clear Daniel of debt
and to insure the comfort of the family he had not seen for two years.
But again evil fortune met them, this time in the very gates--for in the
Cumberland Gap they were suddenly surrounded by Indians who took
everything from them, leaving them neither guns nor horses.


The Fight For Kentucky

When Boone returned home he found the Back Country of North Carolina in
the throes of the Regulation Movement. This movement, which had arisen
first from the colonists' need to police their settlements, had more
recently assumed a political character. The Regulators were now in
conflict with the authorities, because the frontier folk were suffering
through excessive taxes, extortionate fees, dishonest land titles, and
the corruption of the courts. In May, 1771, the conflict lost its
quasi-civil nature. The Regulators resorted to arms and were defeated by
the forces under Governor Tryon in the Battle of the Alamance.

The Regulation Movement, which we shall follow in more detail further
on, was a culmination of those causes of unrest which turned men
westward. To escape from oppression and to acquire land beyond the
bounds of tyranny became the earnest desire of independent spirits
throughout the Back Country. But there was another and more potent
reason why the country east of the mountains no longer contented Boone.
Hunting and trapping were Boone's chief means of livelihood. In those
days, deerskins sold for a dollar a skin to the traders at the Forks or
in Hillsborough; beaver at about two dollars and a half, and otter at
from three to five dollars. A pack-horse could carry a load of one
hundred dressed deerskins, and, as currency was scarce, a hundred
dollars was wealth. Game was fast disappearing from the Yadkin. To Boone
above all men, then, Kentucky beckoned. When he returned in the spring
of 1771 from his explorations, it was with the resolve to take his
family at once into the great game country and to persuade some of his
friends to join in this hazard of new fortunes.

The perils of such a venture, only conjectural to us at this distance,
he knew well; but in him there was nothing that shrank from danger,
though he did not court it after the rash manner of many of his
compeers. Neither reckless nor riotous, Boone was never found among
those who opposed violence to authority, even unjust authority; nor was
he ever guilty of the savagery which characterized much of the
retaliatory warfare of that period when frenzied white men bettered the
red man's instruction. In him, courage was illumined with tenderness and
made equable by self-control. Yet, though he was no fiery zealot like
the Ulstermen who were to follow him along the path he had made and who
loved and revered him perhaps because he was so different from
themselves, Boone nevertheless had his own religion. It was a simple
faith best summed up perhaps by himself in his old age when he said that
he had been only an instrument in the hand of God to open the wilderness
to settlement.

Two years passed before Boone could muster a company of colonists for
the dangerous and delectable land. The dishonesty practiced by Lord
Granville's agents in the matter of deeds had made it difficult for
Daniel and his friends to dispose of their acreage. When at last in the
spring of 1773 the Wanderer was prepared to depart, he was again
delayed; this time by the arrival of a little son to whom was given the
name of John. By September, however, even this latest addition to the
party was ready for travel; and that month saw the Boones with a small
caravan of families journeying towards Powell's Valley, whence the
Warrior's Path took its way through Cumberland Gap. At this point on the
march they were to be joined by William Russell, a famous pioneer, from
the Clinch River, with his family and a few neighbors, and by some of
Rebecca Boone's kinsmen, the Bryans, from the lower Yadkin, with a
company of forty men.

Of Rebecca Boone history tells us too little--only that she was born a
Bryan, was of low stature and dark eyed, that she bore her husband ten
children, and lived beside him to old age. Except on his hunts and
explorations, she went with him from one cabined home to another, always
deeper into the wilds. There are no portraits of her. We can see her
only as a shadowy figure moving along the wilderness trails beside the
man who accepted his destiny of God to be a way-shower for those of
lesser faith.

He tires not forever on his leagues of march
Because her feet are set to his footprints,
And the gleam of her bare hand slants across his shoulder.

Boone halted his company on Walden Mountain over Powell's Valley to
await the Bryan contingent and dispatched two young men under the
leadership of his son James, then in his seventeenth year, to notify
Russell of the party's arrival. As the boys were returning with
Russell's son, also a stripling, two of his slaves, and some white
laborers, they missed the path and went into camp for the night. When
dawn broke, disclosing the sleepers, a small war band of Shawanoes, who
had been spying on Boone and his party, fell upon them and slaughtered
them. Only one of Russell's slaves and a laborer escaped. The tragedy
seems augmented by the fact that the point where the boys lost the trail
and made their night quarters was hardly three miles from the main
camp--to which an hour later came the two survivors with their gloomy
tidings. Terror now took hold of the little band of emigrants, and there
were loud outcries for turning back. The Bryans, who had arrived
meanwhile, also advised retreat, saying that the "signs" about the scene
of blood indicated an Indian uprising. Daniel carried the scalped body
of his son, the boy-comrade of his happy hunts, to the camp and buried
it there at the beginning of the trail. His voice alone urged that they
go on.

Fortunately indeed, as events turned out, Boone was overruled, and the
expedition was abandoned. The Bryan party and the others from North
Carolina went back to the Yadkin. Boone himself with his family
accompanied Russell to the Clinch settlement, where he erected a
temporary cabin on the farm of one of the settlers, and then set out
alone on the chase to earn provision for his wife and children through
the winter.

Those who prophesied an Indian war were not mistaken. When the snowy
hunting season had passed and the "Powwowing Days" were come, the Indian
war drum rattled in the medicine house from the borders of Pennsylvania
to those of Carolina. The causes of the strife for which the red men
were making ready must be briefly noted to help us form a just opinion
of the deeds that followed. Early writers have usually represented the
frontiersmen as saints in buckskin and the Indians as fiends without the
shadow of a claim on either the land or humanity. Many later writers
have merely reversed the shield. The truth is that the Indians and the
borderers reacted upon each other to the hurt of both. Paradoxically,
they grew like enough to hate one another with a savage hatred--and both
wanted the land.

Land! Land! was the slogan of all sorts and conditions of men. Tidewater
officials held solemn powwows with the chiefs, gave wampum strings, and
forthwith incorporated. ¹ Chiefs blessed their white brothers who had
"forever brightened the chain of friendship," departed home, and
proceeded to brighten the blades of their tomahawks and to await, not
long, the opportunity to use them on casual hunters who carried in their
kits the compass, the "land-stealer." Usually the surveying hunter was a
borderer; and on him the tomahawk descended with an accelerated gusto.
Private citizens also formed land companies and sent out surveyors,
regardless of treaties. Bold frontiersmen went into No Man's Land and
staked out their claims. In the very year when disaster turned the Boone
party back, James Harrod had entered Kentucky from Pennsylvania and had
marked the site of a settlement.

¹ The activities of the great land companies are described in Alvord's
exhaustive work, The Mississippi Valley in British Politics.

Ten years earlier (1763), the King had issued the famous and much
misunderstood Proclamation restricting his "loving subjects" from the
lands west of the mountains. The colonists interpreted this document as
a tyrannous curtailment of their liberties for the benefit of the fur
trade. We know now that the portion of this Proclamation relating to
western settlement was a wise provision designed to protect the settlers
on the frontier by allaying the suspicions of the Indians, who viewed
with apprehension the triumphal occupation of that vast territory from
Canada to the Gulf of Mexico by the colonizing English. By seeking to
compel all land purchase to be made through the Crown, it was designed
likewise to protect the Indians from "whisky purchase," and to make
impossible the transfer of their lands except with consent of the Indian
Council, or full quota of headmen, whose joint action alone conveyed
what the tribes considered to be legal title. Sales made according to
this form, Sir William Johnson declared to the Lords of Trade, he had
never known to be repudiated by the Indians. This paragraph of the
Proclamation was in substance an embodiment of Johnson's suggestions to
the Lords of Trade. Its purpose was square dealing and pacification; and
shrewd men such as Washington recognized that it was not intended as a
final check to expansion. "A temporary expedient to quiet the minds of
the Indians," Washington called it, and then himself went out along the
Great Kanawha and into Kentucky, surveying land.

It will be asked what had become of the Ohio Company of Virginia and
that fort at the Forks of the Ohio, once a bone of contention between
France and England. Fort Pitt, as it was now called, had fallen foul of
another dispute, this time between Virginia and Pennsylvania. Virginia
claimed that the far western corner of her boundary ascended just far
enough north to take in Fort Pitt. Pennsylvania asserted that it did
nothing of the sort. The Ohio Company had meanwhile been merged into the
Walpole Company. George Croghan, at Fort Pitt, was the Company's agent
and as such was accused by Pennsylvania of favoring from ulterior
motives the claims of Virginia. Hotheads in both colonies asseverated
that the Indians were secretly being stirred up in connection with the
boundary disputes. If it does not very clearly appear how an Indian
rising would have settled the ownership of Fort Pitt, it is evident
enough where the interests of Virginia and Pennsylvania clashed.
Virginia wanted land for settlement and speculation; Pennsylvania wanted
the Indians left in possession for the benefit of the fur trade. So far
from stirring up the Indians, as his enemies declared, Croghan was as
usual giving away all his substance to keep them quiet. ¹ Indeed, during
this summer of 1774, eleven hundred Indians were encamped about Fort
Pitt visiting him.

¹ The suspicion that Croghan and Lord Dunmore, the Governor of Virginia,
were instigating the war appears to have arisen out of the conduct of
Dr. John Connolly, Dunmore's agent and Croghan's nephew. Croghan had
induced the Shawanoes to bring under escort to Fort Pitt certain English
traders resident in the Indian towns. The escort was fired on by
militiamen under command of Connolly, who also issued a proclamation
declaring a state of war to exist. Connolly, however, probably acted on
his own initiative. He was interested in land on his own behalf and was
by no means the only man at that time who was ready to commit outrages
on Indians in order to obtain it. As Croghan lamented, there was "too
great a spirit in the frontier people for killing Indians."

Two hundred thousand acres in the West--Kentucky and West Virginia--had
been promised to the colonial officers and soldiers who fought in the
Seven Years' War. But after making the Proclamation the British
Government had delayed issuing the patents. Washington interested
himself in trying to secure them; and Lord Dunmore, who also had caught
the "land-fever," ² prodded the British authorities but won only rebuke
for his inconvenient activities. Insistent, however, Dunmore sent out
parties of surveyors to fix the bounds of the soldiers' claims. James
Harrod, Captain Thomas Bullitt, Hancock Taylor, and three McAfee
brothers entered Kentucky, by the Ohio, under Dunmore's orders. John
Floyd went in by the Kanawha as Washington's agent. A bird's-eye view of
that period would disclose to us very few indeed of His Majesty's loving
subjects who were paying any attention to his proclamation. Early in
1774, Harrod began the building of cabins and a fort, and planted corn
on the site of Harrodsburg. Thus to him and not to Boone fell the honor
of founding the first permanent white settlement in Kentucky.

² See Alvord, The Mississippi Valley in British Politics, vol. II, pp.

When summer came, its thick verdure proffering ambuscade, the air hung
tense along the border. Traders had sent in word that Shawanoes,
Delawares, Mingos, Wyandots, and Cherokees were refusing all other
exchange than rifles, ammunition, knives, and hatchets. White men were
shot down in their fields from ambush. Dead Indians lay among their own
young corn, their scalp locks taken. There were men of both races who
wanted war and meant to have it--and with it the land.

Lord Dunmore, the Governor, resolved that, if war were inevitable, it
should be fought out in the Indian country. With this intent, he wrote
to Colonel Andrew Lewis of Botetourt County, Commander of the Southwest
Militia, instructing him to raise a respectable body of troops and "join
me either at the mouth of the Great Kanawha or Wheeling, or such other
part of the Ohio as may be most convenient for you to meet me." The
Governor himself with a force of twelve hundred proceeded to Fort Pitt,
where Croghan, as we have seen, was extending his hospitality to eleven
hundred warriors from the disaffected tribes.

On receipt of the Governor's letter, Andrew Lewis sent out expresses to
his brother Colonel Charles Lewis, County Lieutenant of Augusta, and to
Colonel William Preston, County Lieutenant of Fincastle, to raise men
and bring them with all speed to the rendezvous at Camp Union
(Lewisburg) on the Big Levels of the Greenbrier (West Virginia). Andrew
Lewis summoned these officers to an expedition for "reducing our
inveterate enemies to reason." Preston called for volunteers to take
advantage of "the opportunity we have so long wished for... this useless
People may now at last be Oblidged to abandon their country." These men
were among not only the bravest but the best of their time; but this was
their view of the Indian and his alleged rights. To eliminate this
"useless people," inveterate enemies of the white race, was, as they saw
it, a political necessity and a religious duty. And we today who profit
by their deeds dare not condemn them.

Fervor less solemn was aroused in other quarters by Dunmore's call to
arms. At Wheeling, some eighty or ninety young adventurers, in charge of
Captain Michael Cresap of Maryland, were waiting for the freshets to
sweep them down the Ohio into Kentucky. When the news reached them, they
greeted it with the wild monotone chant and the ceremonies preliminary
to Indian warfare. They planted the war pole, stripped and painted
themselves, and starting the war dance called on Cresap to be their
"white leader." The captain, however, declined; but in that wild
circling line was one who was a white leader indeed. He was a
sandy-haired boy of twenty--one of the bold race of English Virginians,
rugged and of fiery countenance, with blue eyes intense of glance and
deep set under a high brow that, while modeled for power, seemed
threatened in its promise by the too sensitive chiseling of his lips.
With every nerve straining for the fray, with thudding of feet and
crooning of the blood song, he wheeled with those other mad spirits
round the war pole till the set of sun closed the rites. "That evening
two scalps were brought into camp," so a letter of his reads. Does the
bold savage color of this picture affright us? Would we veil it? Then we
should lose something of the true lineaments of George Rogers Clark,
who, within four short years, was to lead a tiny army of tattered and
starving backwoodsmen, ashamed to quail where he never flinched, through
barrens and icy floods to the conquest of Illinois for the United

Though Cresap had rejected the rôle of "white leader," he did not escape
the touch of infamy. "Cresap's War" was the name the Indians gave to the
bloody encounters between small parties of whites and Indians, which
followed on that war dance and scalping, during the summer months. One
of these encounters must be detailed here because history has assigned
it as the immediate cause of Dunmore's War.

Greathouse, Sapperton, and King, three traders who had a post on Yellow
Creek, a tributary of the Ohio fifty miles below Pittsburgh, invited
several Indians from across the stream to come and drink with them and
their friends. Among the Indians were two or three men of importance in
the Mingo tribe. There were also some women, one of whom was the Indian
wife of Colonel John Gibson, an educated man who had distinguished
himself as a soldier with Forbes in 1758. That the Indians came in amity
and apprehended no treachery was proved by the presence of the women.
Gibson's wife carried her half-caste baby in her shawl. The disreputable
traders plied their guests with drink to the point of intoxication and
then murdered them. King shot the first man and, when he fell, cut his
throat, saying that he had served many a deer in that fashion. Gibson's
Indian wife fled and was shot down in the clearing. A man followed to
dispatch her and her baby. She held the child up to him pleading, with
her last breath, that he would spare it because it was not Indian but
"one of yours." The mother dead, the child was later sent to Gibson.
Twelve Indians in all were killed.

Meanwhile Croghan had persuaded the Iroquois to peace. With the help of
David Zeisberger, the Moravian missionary, and White Eyes, a Delaware
chief, he and Dunmore had won over the Delaware warriors. In the
Cherokee councils, Oconostota demanded that the treaty of peace signed
in 1761 be kept. The Shawanoes, however, led by Cornstalk, were
implacable; and they had as allies the Ottawas and Mingos, who had
entered the council with them.

A famous chief of the day and one of great influence over the Indians,
and also among the white officials who dealt with Indian affairs, was
Tach-nech-dor-us, or Branching Oak of the Forest, a Mingo who had taken
the name of Logan out of compliment to James Logan of Pennsylvania.
Chief Logan had recently met with so much reproach from his red brothers
for his loyalty to the whites that he had departed from the Mingo town
at Yellow Creek. But, learning that his tribe had determined to assist
the Shawanoes and had already taken some white scalps, he repaired to
the place where the Mingos were holding their war council to exert his
powers for peace. There, in presence of the warriors, after swaying them
from their purpose by those oratorical gifts which gave him his
influence and his renown, he took the war hatchet that had already
killed, and buried it in proof that vengeance was appeased. Upon this
scene there entered a Mingo from Yellow Creek with the news of the
murders committed there by the three traders. The Indian whose throat
had been slit as King had served deer was Logan's brother. Another man
slain was his kinsman. The woman with the baby was his sister. Logan
tore up from the earth the bloody tomahawk and, raising it above his
head, swore that he would not rest till he had taken ten white lives to
pay for each one of his kin. Again the Mingo warriors declared for war
and this time were not dissuaded. But Logan did not join this red army.
He went out alone to wreak his vengeance, slaying and scalping.

Meanwhile Dunmore prepared to push the war with the utmost vigor. His
first concern was to recall the surveying parties from Kentucky, and for
so hazardous an errand he needed the services of a man whose endurance,
speed, and woodcraft were equal to those of any Indian scout afoot.
Through Colonel Preston, his orders were conveyed to Daniel Boone, for
Boone's fame had now spread from the border to the tidewater regions. It
was stated that "Boone would lose no time," and "if they are alive, it
is indisputable but Boone must find them."

So Boone set out in company with Michael Stoner, another expert
woodsman. His general instructions were to go down the Kentucky River to
Preston's Salt Lick and across country to the Falls of the Ohio, and
thence home by Gaspar's Lick on the Cumberland River. Indian war parties
were moving under cover across "the Dark and Bloody Ground" to surround
the various groups of surveyors still at large and to exterminate them.
Boone made his journey successfully. He found John Floyd, who was
surveying for Washington; he sped up to where Harrod and his band were
building cabins and sent them out, just in time as it happened; he
reached all the outposts of Thomas Bullitt's party, only one of whom
fell a victim to the foe; ¹ and, undetected by the Indians, he brought
himself and Stoner home in safety, after covering eight hundred miles in
sixty-one days.

¹ Hancock Taylor, who delayed in getting out of the country and was cut

Harrod and his homesteaders immediately enlisted in the army. How eager
Boone was to go with the forces under Lewis is seen in the official
correspondence relative to Dunmore's War. Floyd wanted Boone's help in
raising a company: "Captain Bledsoe says that Boone has more [influence]
than any man now disengaged; and you know what Boone has done for me...
for which reason I love the man." Even the border, it would seem, had
its species of pacifists who were willing to let others take risks for
them, for men hung back from recruiting, and desertions were the order
of the day. Major Arthur Campbell hit upon a solution of the
difficulties in West Fincastle. He was convinced that Boone could raise
a company and hold the men loyal. And Boone did.

For some reason, however, Daniel's desire to march with the army was
denied. Perhaps it was because just such a man as he--and, indeed, there
was no other--was needed to guard the settlement. Presently he was put
in command of Moore's Fort in Clinch Valley, and his "diligence"
received official approbation. A little later the inhabitants of the
valley sent out a petition to have Boone made a "captain" and given
supreme command of the lower forts. The settlers demanded Boone's
promotion for their own security.

The land it is good, it is just to our mind,
Each will have his part if his Lordship be kind,
The Ohio once ours, we'll live at our ease,
With a bottle and glass to drink when we please.

So sang the army poet, thus giving voice, as bards should ever do, to
the theme nearest the hearts of his hearers--in this case, Land!
Presumably his ditty was composed on the eve of the march from
Lewisburg, for it is found in a soldier's diary.

On the evening of October 9, 1774, Andrew Lewis with his force of eleven
hundred frontiersmen was encamped on Point Pleasant at the junction of
the Great Kanawha with the Ohio. Dunmore in the meantime had led his
forces into Ohio and had erected Fort Gower at the mouth of the
Hockhocking River, where he waited for word from Andrew Lewis. ¹

¹ It has been customary to ascribe to Lord Dunmore motives of treachery
in failing to make connections with Lewis; but no real evidence has been
advanced to support any of the charges made against him by local
historians. The charges were, as Theodore Roosevelt says, "an
afterthought." Dunmore was a King's man in the Revolution; and yet in
March, 1775, the Convention of the Colony of Virginia, assembled in
opposition to the royal party, resolved: "The most cordial thanks of the
people of this colony are a tribute justly due to our worthy Governor,
Lord Dunmore, for his truly noble, wise, and spirited conduct which at
once evinces his Excellency's attention to the true interests of this
colony, and a zeal in the executive department which no dangers can
divert, or difficulties hinder, from achieving the most important
services to the people who have the happiness to live under his
administration." (See American Archives, Fourth Series, vol. II, p.
170.) Similar resolutions were passed by his officers on the march home
from Ohio; at the same time, the officers passed resolutions in sympathy
with the American cause. Yet it was Andrew Lewis who later drove Dunmore
from Virginia. Well might Dunmore exclaim, "That it should ever come to

The movements of the two armies were being observed by scouts from the
force of red warriors gathered in Ohio under the great leader of the
Shawanoes. Cornstalk purposed to isolate the two armies of his enemy and
to crush them in turn before they could come together. His first move
was to launch an attack on Lewis at Point Pleasant. In the dark of
night, Cornstalk's Indians crossed the Ohio on rafts, intending to
surprise the white man's camp at dawn. They would have succeeded but for
the chance that three or four of the frontiersmen, who had risen before
daybreak to hunt, came upon the Indians creeping towards the camp. Shots
were exchanged. An Indian and a white man dropped. The firing roused the
camp. Three hundred men in two lines under Charles Lewis and William
Fleming sallied forth expecting to engage the vanguard of the enemy but
encountered almost the whole force of from eight hundred to a thousand
Indians before the rest of the army could come into action. Both
officers were wounded, Charles Lewis fatally. The battle, which
continued from dawn until an hour before sunset, was the bloodiest in
Virginia's long series of Indian wars. The frontiersmen fought as such
men ever fought--with the daring, bravery, swiftness of attack, and
skill in taking cover which were the tactics of their day, even as at a
later time many of these same men fought at King's Mountain and in
Illinois the battles that did so much to turn the tide in the
Revolution. ²

² With Andrew Lewis on this day were Isaac Shelby and William Campbell,
the victorious leaders at King's Mountain, James Robertson, the "father
of Tennessee," Valentine Sevier, Daniel Morgan, hero of the Cowpens,
Major Arthur Campbell, Benjamin Logan, Anthony Bledsoe, and Simon
Kenton. With Dunmore's force were Adam Stephen, who distinguished
himself at the Brandywine, George Rogers Clark, John Stuart, already
noted through the Cherokee wars, and John Montgomery, later one of
Clark's four captains in Illinois. The two last mentioned were
Highlanders. Clark's Illinois force was largely recruited from the
troops who fought at Point Pleasant.

Colonel Preston wrote to Patrick Henry that the enemy behaved with
"inconceivable bravery," the head men walking about in the time of
action exhorting their men to "lie close, shoot well, be strong, and
fight." The Shawanoes ran up to the muzzles of the English guns,
disputing every foot of ground. Both sides knew well what they were
fighting for--the rich land held in a semicircle by the Beautiful River.

Shortly before sundown the Indians, mistaking a flank movement by
Shelby's contingent for the arrival of reinforcements, retreated across
the Ohio. Many of their most noted warriors had fallen and among them
the Shawano chief, Puck-e-shin-wa, father of a famous son, Tecumseh. ¹
Yet they were unwilling to accept defeat. When they heard that Dunmore
was now marching overland to cut them off from their towns, their fury
blazed anew. "Shall we first kill all our women and children and then
fight till we ourselves are slain?" Cornstalk, in irony, demanded of
them; "No? Then I will go and make peace."

¹ Thwaites, Documentary History of Dunmore's War.

By the treaty compacted between the chiefs and Lord Dunmore, the Indians
gave up all claim to the lands south of the Ohio, even for hunting, and
agreed to allow boats to pass unmolested. In this treaty the Mingos
refused to join, and a detachment of Dunmore's troops made a punitive
expedition to their towns. Some discord arose between Dunmore and
Lewis's frontier forces because, since the Shawanoes had made peace, the
Governor would not allow the frontiersmen to destroy the Shawano towns.

Of all the chiefs, Logan alone still held aloof. Major Gibson undertook
to fetch him, but Logan refused to come to the treaty grounds. He sent
by Gibson the short speech which has lived as an example of the best
Indian oratory:

I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry
and he gave him not meat: if ever he came cold and naked and he clothed
him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan
remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for
the whites that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, "Logan is
the friend of the white men." I had even thought to have lived with you
but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in
cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even
sparing my women and children. There remains not a drop of my blood in
the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have
sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance: for my
country I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought
that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on
his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one. ¹

¹ Some writers have questioned the authenticity of Logan's speech,
inclining to think that Gibson himself composed it, partly because of
the biblical suggestion in the first few lines. That Gibson gave
biblical phraseology to these lines is apparent, though, as Adair points
out there are many examples of similitude in Indian and biblical
expression. But the thought is Indian and relates to the first article
of the Indian's creed, namely, to share his food with the needy. "There
remains not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature" is a
truly Indian lament. Evidently the final four lines of the speech are
the most literally translated, for they have the form and the primitive
rhythmic beat which a student of Indian poetry quickly recognizes. The
authenticity of the speech, as well as the innocence of Cresap, whom
Logan mistakenly accused, was vouched for by George Rogers Clark in a
letter to Dr. Samuel Brown dated June 17, 1798. See Jefferson papers,
Series 5, quoted by English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the
River Ohio, vol. II. p. 1029.

By rivers and trails, in large and small companies, started home the
army that had won the land. The West Fincastle troops, from the lower
settlements of the Clinch and Holston valleys, were to return by the
Kentucky River, while those from the upper valley would take the shorter
way up Sandy Creek. To keep them in provisions during the journey it was
ordered that hunters be sent out along these routes to kill and barbecue
meat and place it on scaffolds at appropriate spots.

The way home by the Kentucky was a long road for weary and wounded men
with hunger gnawing under their belts. We know who swung out along the
trail to provide for that little band, "dressed in deerskins colored
black, and his hair plaited and bobbed up." It was Daniel Boone--now, by
popular demand, Captain Boone--just "discharged from Service," since the
valley forts needed him no longer. Once more only a hunter, he went his
way over Walden Mountain--past his son's grave marking the place where
he had been turned back--to serve the men who had opened the gates.


The Dark And Bloody Ground

With the coming of spring Daniel Boone's desire, so long cherished and
deferred, to make a way for his neighbors through the wilderness was to
be fulfilled at last. But ere his ax could slash the thickets from the
homeseekers' path, more than two hundred settlers had entered Kentucky
by the northern waterways. Eighty or more of these settled at
Harrodsburg, where Harrod was laying out his town on a generous plan,
with "in-lots" of half an acre and "out-lots" of larger size. Among
those associated with Harrod was George Rogers Clark, who had surveyed
claims for himself during the year before the war.

While over two hundred colonists were picking out home sites wherever
their pleasure or prudence dictated, a gigantic land promotion
scheme--involving the very tracts where they were sowing their first
corn--was being set afoot in North Carolina by a body of men who figure
in the early history of Kentucky as the Transylvania Company. The leader
of this organization was Judge Richard Henderson. ¹ Judge Henderson
dreamed a big dream. His castle in the air had imperial proportions. He
resolved, in short, to purchase from the Cherokee Indians the larger
part of Kentucky and to establish there a colony after the manner and
the economic form of the English Lords Proprietors, whose day in America
was so nearly done. Though in the light of history the plan loses none
of its dramatic features, it shows the practical defects that must
surely have prevented its realization. Like many another Cæsar hungering
for empire and staking all to win it, the prospective lord of Kentucky,
as we shall see, had left the human equation out of his calculations.

¹ Richard Henderson (1734-1785) was the son of the High Sheriff of
Granville County. At first an assistant to his father, he studied law
and soon achieved a reputation by the brilliance of his mind and the
magnetism of his personality. As presiding Judge at Hillsborough he had
come into conflict with the violent element among the Regulators, who
had driven him from the court and burned his house and barns. For some
time prior to his elevation to the bench, he had been engaged in land
speculations. One of Boone's biographers suggests that Boone may have
been secretly acting as Henderson's agent during his first lonely
explorations of Kentucky. However this may be, it does not appear that
Boone and his Yadkin neighbors were acting with Henderson when in
September, 1773, they made their first attempt to enter Kentucky as

Richard Henderson had known Daniel Boone on the Yadkin; and it was
Boone's detailed reports of the marvelous richness and beauty of
Kentucky which had inspired him to formulate his gigantic scheme and had
enabled him also to win to his support several men of prominence in the
Back Country. To sound the Cherokees regarding the purchase and to
arrange, if possible, for a conference, Henderson dispatched Boone to
the Indian towns in the early days of 1775.

Since we have just learned that Dunmore's War compelled the Shawanoes
and their allies to relinquish their right to Kentucky, that, both
before and after that event, government surveyors were in the territory
surveying for the soldiers' claims, and that private individuals had
already laid out town sites and staked holdings, it may be asked what
right of ownership the Cherokees possessed in Kentucky, that Henderson
desired to purchase it of them. The Indian title to Kentucky seems to
have been hardly less vague to the red men than it was to the whites.
Several of the nations had laid claim to the territory. As late as 1753,
it will be remembered, the Shawanoes had occupied a town at Blue Licks,
for John Findlay had been taken there by some of them. But, before
Findlay guided Boone through the Gap in 1769, the Shawanoes had been
driven out by the Iroquois, who claimed suzerainty over them as well as
over the Cherokees. In 1768, the Iroquois had ceded Kentucky to the
British Crown by the treaty of Fort Stanwix; whereupon the Cherokees had
protested so vociferously that the Crown's Indian agent, to quiet them,
had signed a collateral agreement with them. Though claimed by many,
Kentucky was by common consent not inhabited by any of the tribes. It
was the great Middle Ground where the Indians hunted. It was the
Warriors' Path over which they rode from north and south to slaughter
and where many of their fiercest encounters took place. However shadowy
the title which Henderson purposed to buy, there was one all-sufficing
reason why he must come to terms with the Cherokees: their northernmost
towns in Tennessee lay only fifty or sixty miles below Cumberland Gap
and hence commanded the route over which he must lead colonists into his
empire beyond the hills.

The conference took place early in March, 1775, at the Sycamore Shoals
of the Watauga River. Twelve hundred Indians, led by their "town
chiefs"--among whom were the old warrior and the old statesman of their
nation, Oconostota and Attakullakulla--came to the treaty grounds and
were received by Henderson and his associates and several hundred white
men who were eager for a chance to settle on new lands. Though Boone was
now on his way into Kentucky for the Transylvania Company, other border
leaders of renown or with their fame still to win were present, and
among them James Robertson, of serious mien, and that blond gay knight
in buckskin, John Sevier.

It is a dramatic picture we evolve for ourselves from the meager
narratives of this event--a mass of painted Indians moving through the
sycamores by the bright water, to come presently into a tense, immobile
semicircle before the large group of armed frontiersmen seated or
standing about Richard Henderson, the man with the imperial dream, the
ready speaker whose flashing eyes and glowing oratory won the hearts of
all who came under their sway. What though the Cherokee title be a
flimsy one at best and the price offered for it a bagatelle! The spirit
of Forward March! is there in that great canvas framed by forest and
sky. The somber note that tones its lustrous color, as by a sweep of the
brush, is the figure of the Chickamaugan chief, Dragging Canoe, warrior
and seer and hater of white men, who urges his tribesmen against the
sale and, when they will not hearken, springs from their midst into the
clear space before Henderson and his band of pioneers and, pointing with
uplifted arm, warns them that a dark cloud hangs over the land the white
man covets which to the red man has long been a bloody ground. ¹

¹ This utterance of Dragging Canoe's is generally supposed to be the
origin of the descriptive phrase applied to Kentucky--"the Dark and
Bloody Ground." See Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, vol. I, p.229.

The purchase, finally consummated, included the country lying between
the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers--almost all the present State of
Kentucky, with the adjacent land watered by the Cumberland River and its
tributaries, except certain lands previously leased by the Indians to
the Watauga Colony. The tract comprised about twenty million acres and
extended into Tennessee.

Daniel Boone's work was to cut out a road for the wagons of the
Transylvania Company's colonists to pass over. This was to be done by
slashing away the briers and underbrush hedging the narrow Warriors'
Path that made a direct northward line from Cumberland Gap to the Ohio
bank, opposite the mouth of the Scioto River. Just prior to the
conference Boone and "thirty guns" had set forth from the Holston to
prepare the road and to build a fort on whatever site he should select.

By April, Henderson and his first group of tenants were on the trail. In
Powell's Valley they came up with a party of Virginians Kentucky bound,
led by Benjamin Logan; and the two bands joined together for the march.
They had not gone far when they heard disquieting news. After leaving
Martin's Station, at the gates of his new domain, Henderson received a
letter from Boone telling of an attack by Indians, in which two of his
men had been killed, but "we stood on the ground and guarded our baggage
till the day and lost nothing." ¹ These tidings, indicating that despite
treaties and sales, the savages were again on the warpath, might well
alarm Henderson's colonists. While they halted, some indecisive, others
frankly for retreat, there appeared a company of men making all haste
out of Kentucky because of Indian unrest. Six of these Henderson
persuaded to turn again and go in with him; but this addition hardly
offset the loss of those members of his party who thought it too
perilous to proceed. Henderson's own courage did not falter. He had
staked his all on this stupendous venture and for him it was forward to
wealth and glory or retreat into poverty and eclipse. Boone, in the
heart of the danger, was making the same stand. "If we give way to them
[the Indians] now," he wrote, "it will ever be the case."

¹ Bogart, Daniel Boone and the Hunters of Kentucky, p. 121.

Signs of discord other than Indian opposition met Henderson as he
resolutely pushed on. His conversations with some of the fugitives from
Kentucky disclosed the first indications of the storm that was to blow
away the empire he was going in to found. He told them that the claims
they had staked in Kentucky would not hold good with the Transylvania
Company. Whereupon James McAfee, who was leading a group of returning
men, stated his opinion that the Transylvania Company's claim would not
hold good with Virginia. After the parley, three of McAfee's brothers
turned back and went with Henderson's party, but whether with intent to
join his colony or to make good their own claims is not apparent.
Benjamin Logan continued amicably with Henderson on the march but did
not recognize him as Lord Proprietor of Kentucky. He left the
Transylvania caravan shortly after entering the territory, branched off
in the direction of Harrodsburg, and founded St. Asaph's Station, in the
present Lincoln County, independently of Henderson though the site lay
within Henderson's purchase.

Notwithstanding delays and apprehensions, Henderson and his colonists
finally reached Boone's Fort, which Daniel and his "thirty
guns"--lacking two since the Indian encounter--had erected at the mouth
of Otter Creek.

An attractive buoyancy of temperament is revealed in Henderson's
description in his journal of a giant elm with tall straight trunk and
even foliage that shaded a space of one hundred feet. Instantly he chose
this "divine elm" as the council chamber of Transylvania. Under its
leafage he read the constitution of the new colony. It would be too
great a stretch of fancy to call it a democratic document, for it was
not that, except in deft phrases. Power was certainly declared to be
vested in the people; but the substance of power remained in the hands
of the Proprietors.

Terms for land grants were generous enough in the beginning, although
Henderson made the fatal mistake of demanding quitrents--one of the
causes of dissatisfaction which had led to the Regulators' rising in
North Carolina. In September he augmented this error by more than
doubling the price of land, adding a fee of eight shillings for
surveying, and reserving to the Proprietors one-half of all gold,
silver, lead, and sulphur found on the land. No land near sulphur
springs or showing evidences of metals was to be granted to settlers.
Moreover, at the Company's store the prices charged for lead were said
to be too high--lead being necessary for hunting, and hunting being the
only means of procuring food--while the wages of labor, as fixed by the
Company, were too low. These terms bore too heavily on poor men who were
risking their lives in the colony.

Hence newcomers passed by Boonesborough, as the Transylvania settlement
was presently called, and went elsewhere. They settled on Henderson's
land but refused his terms. They joined in their sympathies with James
Harrod, who, having established Harrodsburg in the previous year at the
invitation of Virginia, was not in the humor to acknowledge Henderson's
claim or to pay him tribute. All were willing to combine with the
Transylvania Company for defense, and to enforce law they would unite in
bonds of brotherhood in Kentucky, even as they had been one with each
other on the earlier frontier now left behind them. But they would call
no man master; they had done with feudalism. That Henderson should not
have foreseen this, especially after the upheaval in North Carolina,
proves him, in spite of all his brilliant gifts, to have been a man out
of touch with the spirit of the time.

The war of the Revolution broke forth and the Indians descended upon the
Kentucky stations. Defense was the one problem in all minds, and defense
required powder and lead in plenty. The Transylvania Company was not
able to provide the means of defense against the hordes of savages whom
Henry Hamilton, the British Governor at Detroit, was sending to make war
on the frontiers. Practical men like Harrod and George Rogers
Clark--who, if not a practical man in his own interests, was a most
practical soldier--saw that unification of interests within the
territory with the backing of either Virginia or Congress was necessary.
Clark personally would have preferred to see the settlers combine as a
freemen's state. It was plain that they would not combine and stake
their lives as a unit to hold Kentucky for the benefit of the
Transylvania Company, whose authority some of the most prominent men in
the territory had refused to recognize. The Proprietary of Transylvania
could continue to exist only to the danger of every life in Kentucky.

While the Proprietors sent a delegate to the Continental Congress to win
official recognition for Transylvania, eighty-four men at Harrodsburg
drew up a petition addressed to Virginia stating their doubts of the
legality of Henderson's title and requesting Virginia to assert her
authority according to the stipulations of her charter. That defense was
the primary and essential motive of the Harrodsburg Remonstrance seems
plain, for when George Rogers Clark set off on foot with one companion
to lay the document before the Virginian authorities, he also went to
plead for a load of powder. In his account of that hazardous journey, as
a matter of fact, he makes scant reference to Transylvania, except to
say that the greed of the Proprietors would soon bring the colony to its
end, but shows that his mind was seldom off the powder. It is a detail
of history that the Continental Congress refused to seat the delegate
from Transylvania. Henderson himself went to Virginia to make the fight
for his land before the Assembly. ¹

¹ In 1778 Virginia disallowed Henderson's title but granted him two
hundred thousand acres between the Green and Kentucky rivers for his
trouble and expense in opening up the country.

The magnetic center of Boonesborough's life was the lovable and
unassuming Daniel Boone. Soon after the building of the fort Daniel had
brought in his wife and family. He used often to state with a mild pride
that his wife and daughters were the first white women to stand on the
banks of the Kentucky River. That pride had not been unmixed with
anxiety; his daughter Jemima and two daughters of his friend, Richard
Galloway, while boating on the river had been captured by Shawanoes and
carried off. Boone, accompanied by the girls' lovers and by John Floyd
(eager to repay his debt of life-saving to Boone) had pursued them,
tracing the way the captors had taken by broken twigs and scraps of
dress goods which one of the girls had contrived to leave in their path,
had come on the Indians unawares, killed them, and recovered the three
girls unhurt.

In the summer of 1776, Virginia took official note of "Captain Boone of
Boonesborough," for she sent him a small supply of powder. The men of
the little colony, which had begun so pretentiously with its
constitution and assembly, were now obliged to put all other plans aside
and to concentrate on the question of food and defense. There was a
dangerous scarcity of powder and lead. The nearest points at which these
necessaries could be procured were the Watauga and Holston River
settlements, which were themselves none too well stocked. Harrod and
Logan, some time in 1777, reached the Watauga fort with three or four
pack-horses and filled their packs from Sevier's store; but, as they
neared home, they were detected by red scouts and Logan was badly
wounded before he and Harrod were able to drive their precious load
safely through the gates at Harrodsburg. In the autumn of 1777, Clark,
with a boatload of ammunition, reached Maysville on the Ohio, having
successfully run the gauntlet between banks in possession of the foe. He
had wrested the powder and lead from the Virginia Council by threats to
the effect that if Virginia was so willing to lose Kentucky--for of
course "a country not worth defending is not worth claiming"--he and his
fellows were quite ready to take Kentucky for themselves and to hold it
with their swords against all comers, Virginia included. By even such
cogent reasoning had he convinced the Council--which had tried to hedge
by expressing doubts that Virginia would receive the Kentucky settlers
as "citizens of the State"--that it would be cheaper to give him the

Because so many settlers had fled and the others had come closer
together for their common good, Harrodsburg and Boonesborough were now
the only occupied posts in Kentucky. Other settlements, once thriving,
were abandoned; and, under the terror, the Wild reclaimed them. In
April, 1777, Boonesborough underwent its first siege. Boone, leading a
sortie, was shot and he fell with a shattered ankle. An Indian rushed
upon him and was swinging the tomahawk over him when Simon Kenton, giant
frontiersman and hero of many daring deeds, rushed forward, shot the
Indian, threw Boone across his back, and fought his way desperately to
safety. It was some months ere Boone was his nimble self again. But
though he could not "stand up to the guns," he directed all operations
from his cabin.

The next year Boone was ready for new ventures growing from the
settlers' needs. Salt was necessary to preserve meat through the summer.
Accordingly Boone and twenty-seven men went up to the Blue Licks in
February, 1778, to replenish their supply by the simple process of
boiling the salt water of the Licks till the saline particles adhered to
the kettles. Boone was returning alone, with a pack-horse load of salt
and game, when a blinding snowstorm overtook him and hid from view four
stealthy Shawanoes on his trail. He was seized and carried to a camp of
120 warriors led by the French Canadian, Dequindre, and James and George
Girty, two white renegades. Among the Indians were some of those who had
captured him on his first exploring trip through Kentucky and whom he
had twice given the slip. Their hilarity was unbounded. Boone quickly
learned that this band was on its way to surprise Boonesborough. It was
a season when Indian attacks were not expected; nearly threescore of the
men were at the salt spring and, to make matters worse, the walls of the
new fort where the settlers and their families had gathered were as yet
completed on only three sides. Boonesborough was, in short, well-nigh
defenseless. To turn the Indians from their purpose, Boone conceived the
desperate scheme of offering to lead them to the salt makers' camp with
the assurance that he and his companions were willing to join the tribe.
He understood Indians well enough to feel sure that once possessed of
nearly thirty prisoners, the Shawanoes would not trouble further about
Boonesborough but would hasten to make a triumphal entry into their own
towns. That some, perhaps all, of the white men would assuredly die, he
knew well; but it was the only way to save the women and children in
Boonesborough. In spite of Dequindre and the Girtys, who were leading a
military expedition for the reduction of a fort, the Shawanoes fell in
with the suggestion. When they had taken their prisoners, the more
bloodthirsty warriors in the band wanted to tomahawk them all on the
spot. By his diplomatic discourse, however, Boone dissuaded them, for
the time being at least, and the whole company set off for the towns on
the Little Miami.

The weather became severe, very little game crossed their route, and for
days they subsisted on slippery elm bark. The lovers of blood did not
hold back their scalping knives and several of the prisoners perished;
but Black Fish, the chief then of most power in Shawanoe councils,
adopted Boone as his son, and gave him the name of Sheltowee, or Big
Turtle. Though watched zealously to prevent escape, Big Turtle was
treated with every consideration and honor; and, as we would say today,
he played the game. He entered into the Indian life with apparent zest,
took part in hunts and sports and the races and shooting matches in
which the Indians delighted, but he was always careful not to outrun or
outshoot his opponents. Black Fish took him to Detroit when some of the
tribe escorted the remainder of the prisoners to the British post. There
he met Governor Hamilton and, in the hope of obtaining his liberty, he
led that dignitary to believe that he and the other people of
Boonesborough were eager to move to Detroit and take refuge under the
British flag. ¹ It is said that Boone always carried in a wallet round
his neck the King's commission given him in Dunmore's War; and that he
exhibited it to Hamilton to bear out his story. Hamilton sought to
ransom him from the Indians, but Black Fish would not surrender his new
son. The Governor gave Boone a pony, with saddle and trappings, and
other presents, including trinkets to be used in procuring his needs and
possibly his liberty from the Shawanoes.

¹ So well did Boone play his part that he aroused suspicion even in
those who knew him best. After his return to Boonesborough his old
friend, Calloway, formally accused him of treachery on two counts: that
Boone had betrayed the salt makers to the Indians and had planned to
betray Boonesborough to the British. Boone was tried and acquitted. His
simple explanation of his acts satisfied the court-martial and made him
a greater hero than ever among the frontier folk.

Black Fish then took his son home to Chillicothe. Here Boone found
Delawares and Mingos assembling with the main body of the Shawanoe
warriors. The war belt was being carried through the Ohio country. Again
Boonesborough and Harrodsburg were to be the first settlements attacked.
To escape and give warning was now the one purpose that obsessed Boone.
He redoubled his efforts to throw the Indians off their guard. He sang
and whistled blithely about the camp at the mouth of the Scioto River,
whither he had accompanied his Indian father to help in the salt
boiling. In short, he seemed so very happy that one day Black Fish took
his eye off him for a few moments to watch the passing of a flock of
turkeys. Big Turtle passed with the flock, leaving no trace. To his
lamenting parent it must have seemed as though he had vanished into the
air. Daniel crossed the Ohio and ran the 160 miles to Boonesborough in
four days, during which time he had only one meal, from a buffalo he
shot at the Blue Licks. When he reached the fort after an absence of
nearly five months, he found that his wife had given him up for dead and
had returned to the Yadkin.

Boone now began with all speed to direct preparations to withstand a
siege. Owing to the Indian's leisurely system of councils and ceremonies
before taking the warpath, it was not until the first week in September
that Black Fish's painted warriors, with some Frenchmen under Dequindre,
appeared before Boonesborough. Nine days the siege lasted and was the
longest in border history. Dequindre, seeing that the fort might not be
taken, resorted to trickery. He requested Boone and a few of his men to
come out for a parley, saying that his orders from Hamilton were to
protect the lives of the Americans as far as possible. Boone's friend,
Calloway, urged against acceptance of the apparently benign proposal
which was made, so Dequindre averred, for "bienfaisance et humanité."
But the words were the words of a white man, and Boone hearkened to
them. With eight of the garrison he went out to the parley. After a long
talk in which good will was expressed on both sides, it was suggested by
Black Fish that they all shake hands and, as there were so many more
Indians than white men, two Indians should, of course, shake hands with
one white man, each grasping one of his hands. The moment that their
hands gripped, the trick was clear, for the Indians exerted their
strength to drag off the white men. Desperate scuffling ensued in which
the whites with difficulty freed themselves and ran for the fort.
Calloway had prepared for emergencies. The pursuing Indians were met
with a deadly fire. After a defeated attempt to mine the fort the enemy

The successful defense of Boonesborough was an achievement of national
importance, for had Boonesborough fallen, Harrodsburg alone could not
have stood. The Indians under the British would have overrun Kentucky;
and George Rogers Clark--whose base for his Illinois operations was the
Kentucky forts--could not have made the campaigns which wrested the
Northwest from the control of Great Britain.

Again Virginia took official note of Captain Boone when in 1779 the
Legislature established Boonesborough "a town for the reception of
traders" and appointed Boone himself one of the trustees to attend to
the sale and registration of lots. An odd office that was for Daniel,
who never learned to attend to the registration of his own; he declined
it. His name appears again, however, a little later when Virginia made
the whole of Kentucky one of her counties with the following officers:
Colonel David Robinson, County Lieutenant; George Rogers Clark, Anthony
Bledsoe, and John Bowman, Majors; Daniel Boone, James Harrod, Benjamin
Logan, and John Todd, Captains.

Boonesborough's successful resistance caused land speculators as well as
prospective settlers to take heart of grace. Parties made their way to
Boonesborough, Harrodsburg, and even to the Falls of the Ohio, where
Clark's fort and blockhouses now stood. In the summer of 1779 Clark had
erected on the Kentucky side of the river a large fort which became the
nucleus of the town of Louisville. Here, while he was eating his heart
out with impatience for money and men to enable him to march to the
attack of Detroit, as he had planned, he amused himself by drawing up
plans for a city. He laid out private sections and public parks and
contemplated the bringing in of families only to inhabit his city, for,
oddly enough, he who never married was going to make short shift of mere
bachelors in his City Beautiful. Between pen scratches, no doubt, he
looked out frequently upon the river to descry if possible a boatload of
ammunition or the banners of the troops he had been promised.

When neither appeared, he gave up the idea of Detroit and set about
erecting defenses on the southern border, for the Choctaws and
Cherokees, united under a white leader named Colbert, were threatening
Kentucky by way of the Mississippi. He built in 1780 Fort Jefferson in
what is now Ballard County, and had barely completed the new post and
garrisoned it with about thirty men when it was besieged by Colbert and
his savages. The Indians, assaulting by night, were lured into a
position directly before a cannon which poured lead into a mass of them.
The remainder fled in terror from the vicinity of the fort; but Colbert
succeeded in rallying them and was returning to the attack when he
suddenly encountered Clark with a company of men and was forced to
abandon his enterprise.

Clark knew that the Ohio Indians would come down on the settlements
again during the summer and that to meet their onslaughts every man in
Kentucky would be required. He learned that there was a new influx of
land seekers over the Wilderness Road and that speculators were doing a
thriving business in Harrodsburg; so, leaving his company to protect
Fort Jefferson, he took two men with him and started across the wilds on
foot for Harrodsburg. To evade the notice of the Indian bands which were
moving about the country the three stripped and painted themselves as
warriors and donned the feathered headdress. So successful was their
disguise that they were fired on by a party of surveyors near the
outskirts of Harrodsburg.

The records do not state what were the sensations of certain speculators
in a land office in Harrodsburg when a blue-eyed savage in a war bonnet
sprang through the doorway and, with uplifted weapon, declared the
office closed; but we get a hint of the power of Clark's personality and
of his genius for dominating men from the terse report that he
"enrolled" the speculators. He was informed that another party of men,
more nervous than these, was now on its way out of Kentucky. In haste he
dispatched a dozen frontiersmen to cut the party off at Crab Orchard and
take away the gun of every man who refused to turn back and do his bit
for Kentucky. To Clark a man was a gun, and he meant that every gun
should do its duty.

The leaders and pioneers of the Dark and Bloody Ground were now
warriors, all under Clark's command, while for two years longer the Red
Terror ranged Kentucky, falling with savage force now here, now there.
In the first battle of 1780, at the Blue Licks, Daniel's brother, Edward
Boone, was killed and scalped. Later on in the war his second son,
Israel, suffered a like fate. The toll of life among the settlers was
heavy. Many of the best-known border leaders were slain. Food and powder
often ran short. Corn might be planted, but whether it would be
harvested or not the planters never knew; and the hunter's rifle shot,
necessary though it was, proved only too often an invitation to the
lurking foe. But sometimes, through all the dangers of forest and trail,
Daniel Boone slipped away silently to Harrodsburg to confer with Clark;
or Clark himself, in the Indian guise that suited the wild man in him
not ill, made his way to and from the garrisons which looked to him for

Twice Clark gathered together the "guns" of Kentucky and, marching north
into the enemy's country, swept down upon the Indian towns of Piqua and
Chillicothe and razed them. In 1782, in the second of these enterprises,
his cousin, Joseph Rogers, who had been taken prisoner and adopted by
the Indians and then wore Indian garb, was shot down by one of Clark's
men. On this expedition Boone and Harrod are said to have accompanied

The ever present terror and horror of those days, especially of the two
years preceding this expedition, are vividly suggested by the quaint
remark of an old woman who had lived through them, as recorded for us by
a traveler. The most beautiful sight she had seen in Kentucky, she said,
was a young man dying a natural death in his bed. Dead but unmarred by
hatchet or scalping knife, he was so rare and comely a picture that the
women of the post sat up all night looking at him.

But, we ask, what golden emoluments were showered by a grateful country
on the men who thus held the land through those years of want and war,
and saved an empire for the Union? What practical recognition was there
of these brave and unselfish men who daily risked their lives and faced
the stealth and cruelty lurking in the wilderness ways? There is meager
eloquence in the records. Here, for instance, is a letter from George
Rogers Clark to the Governor of Virginia, dated May 27, 1783:

Sir. Nothing but necessity could induce me to make the following request
to Your Excellency, which is to grant me a small sum of money on
account; as I can assure you, Sir, that I am exceedingly distressed for
the want of necessary clothing etc and don't know any channel through
which I could procure any except of the Executive. The State I believe
will fall considerably in my debt. Any supplies which Your Excellency
favors me with might be deducted out of my accounts. ¹

¹ Calendar of Virginia State Papers, vol. III, p. 487.

Clark had spent all his own substance and all else he could beg,
borrow--or appropriate--in the conquest of Illinois and the defense of
Kentucky. His only reward from Virginia was a grant of land from which
he realized nothing, and dismissal from her service when she needed him
no longer.

All that Clark had asked for himself was a commission in the Continental
Army. This was denied him, as it appears now, not through his own
errors, which had not at that time taken hold on him, but through the
influence of powerful enemies. It is said that both Spain and England,
seeing a great soldier without service for his sword, made him offers,
which he refused. As long as any acreage remained to him on which to
raise money, he continued to pay the debts he had contracted to finance
his expeditions, and in this course he had the assistance of his
youngest brother, William, to whom he assigned his Indiana grant.

His health impaired by hardship and exposure and his heart broken by his
country's indifference, Clark sank into alcoholic excesses. In his
sixtieth year, just six years before his death, and when he was a
helpless paralytic, he was granted a pension of four hundred dollars.
There is a ring of bitter irony in the words with which he accepted the
sword sent him by Virginia in his crippled old age: "When Virginia
needed a sword I gave her one." He died near Louisville on February 13,

Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792. But even before Kentucky
became a State her affairs, particularly as to land, were arranged, let
us say, on a practical business basis. Then it was discovered that
Daniel Boone had no legal claim to any foot of ground in Kentucky.
Daniel owned nothing but the clothes he wore; and for those--as well as
for much powder, lead, food, and such trifles--he was heavily in debt.

So, in 1788, Daniel Boone put the list of his debts in his wallet,
gathered his wife and his younger sons about him, and, shouldering his
hunter's rifle, once more turned towards the wilds. The country of the
Great Kanawha in West Virginia was still a wilderness, and a hunter and
trapper might, in some years, earn enough to pay his debts. For others,
now, the paths he had hewn and made safe; for Boone once more the
wilderness road.



Indian law, tradition, and even superstition had shaped the conditions
which the pioneers faced when they crossed the mountains. This savage
inheritance had decreed that Kentucky should be a dark and bloody
ground, fostering no life but that of four-footed beasts, its fertile
sod never to stir with the green push of the corn. And so the white men
who went into Kentucky to build and to plant went as warriors go, and
for every cabin they erected they battled as warriors to hold a fort. In
the first years they planted little corn and reaped less, for it may be
said that their rifles were never out of their hands. We have seen how
stations were built and abandoned until but two stood. Untiring
vigilance and ceaseless warfare were the price paid by the first
Kentuckians ere they turned the Indian's place of desolation and death
into a land productive and a living habitation.

Herein lies the difference, slight apparently, yet significant, between
the first Kentucky and the first Tennessee ¹ colonies. Within the memory
of the Indians only one tribe had ever attempted to make their home in
Kentucky--a tribe of the fighting Shawanoes--and they had been terribly
chastised for their temerity. But Tennessee was the home of the
Cherokees, and at Chickasaw Bluffs (Memphis) began the southward trail
to the principal towns of the Chickasaws. By the red man's fiat, then,
human life might abide in Tennessee, though not in Kentucky, and it
followed that in seasons of peace the frontiersmen might settle in
Tennessee. So it was that as early as 1757, before the great Cherokee
war, a company of Virginians under Andrew Lewis had, on an invitation
from the Indians, erected Fort Loudon near Great Telliko, the Cherokees'
principal town, and that, after the treaty of peace in 1761, Waddell and
his rangers of North Carolina had erected a fort on the Holston.

¹ Tennessee. The name, Ten-as-se, appears on Adair's map as one of the
old Cherokee towns. Apparently neither the meaning nor the reason why
the colonists called both state and river by this name has been handed
down to us.

Though Fort Loudon had fallen tragically during the war, and though
Waddell's fort had been abandoned, neither was without influence in the
colonization of Tennessee, for some of the men who built these forts
drifted back a year or two later and set up the first cabins on the
Holston. These earliest settlements, thin and scattered, did not
survive; but in 1768 the same settlers or others of their
kind--discharged militiamen from Back Country regiments--once more made
homes on the Holston. They were joined by a few families from near the
present Raleigh, North Carolina, who had despaired of seeing justice
done to the tenants on the mismanaged estates of Lord Granville. About
the same time there was erected the first cabin on the Watauga River, as
is generally believed, by a man of the name of William Bean (or Been),
hunter and frontier soldier from Pittsylvania County, Virginia. This
man, who had hunted on the Watauga with Daniel Boone in 1760, chose as
the site of his dwelling the place of the old hunting camp near the
mouth of Boone's Creek. He soon began to have neighbors.

Meanwhile the Regulation Movement stirred the Back Country of both the
Carolinas. In 1768, the year in which William Bean built his cabin on
the bank of the Watauga, five hundred armed Regulators in North
Carolina, aroused by irregularities in the conduct of public office,
gathered to assert their displeasure, but dispersed peaceably on receipt
of word from Governor Tryon that he had ordered the prosecution of any
officer found guilty of extortion. Edmund Fanning, the most hated of
Lord Granville's agents, though convicted, escaped punishment. Enraged
at this miscarriage of justice, the Regulators began a system of
terrorization by taking possession of the court, presided over by
Richard Henderson. The judge himself was obliged to slip out by a back
way to avoid personal injury. The Regulators burned his house and
stable. They meted out mob treatment likewise to William Hooper, later
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Two elements, with antithetical aims, had been at work in the
Regulation; and the unfortunate failure of justice in the case of
Fanning had given the corrupt element its opportunity to seize control.
In the petitions addressed to Governor Tryon by the leaders of the
movement in its earlier stages the aims of liberty-loving thinkers are
traceable. It is worthy of note that they included in their demands
articles which are now constitutional. They desired that "suffrage be
given by ticket and ballot"; that the mode of taxation be altered, and
each person be taxed in proportion to the profits arising from his
estate; that judges and clerks be given salaries instead of perquisites
and fees. They likewise petitioned for repeal of the act prohibiting
dissenting ministers from celebrating the rites of matrimony. The
establishment of these reforms, the petitioners of the Regulation
concluded, would "conciliate" their minds to "every just measure of
government, and would make the laws what the Constitution ever designed
they should be, their protection and not their bane." Herein clearly
enough we can discern the thought and the phraseology of the Ulster

But a change took place in both leaders and methods. During the
Regulators' career of violence they were under the sway of an agitator
named Hermon Husband. This demagogue was reported to have been expelled
from the Quaker Society for cause; it is on record that he was expelled
from the North Carolina Assembly because a vicious anonymous letter was
traced to him. He deserted his dupes just before the shots cracked at
Alamance Creek and fled from the colony. He was afterwards apprehended
in Pennsylvania for complicity in the Whisky Insurrection.

Four of the leading Presbyterian ministers of the Back Country issued a
letter in condemnation of the Regulators. One of these ministers was the
famous David Caldwell, son-in-law of the Reverend Alexander Craighead,
and a man who knew the difference between liberty and license and who
proved himself the bravest of patriots in the War of Independence. The
records of the time contain sworn testimony against the Regulators by
Waightstill Avery, a signer of the Mecklenburg Resolves, who later
presided honorably over courts in the western circuit of Tennessee; and
there is evidence indicating Jacobite and French intrigue. That Governor
Tryon recognized a hidden hand at work seems clearly revealed in his
proclamation addressed to those "whose understandings have been run away
with and whose passions have been led in captivity by some evil
designing men who, actuated by cowardice and a sense of that Publick
Justice which is due to their Crimes, have obscured themselves from
Publick view." What the Assembly thought of the Regulators was expressed
in 1770 in a drastic bill which so shocked the authorities in England
that instructions were sent forbidding any Governor to approve such a
bill in future, declaring it "a disgrace to the British Statute Books."

On May 16, 1771, some two thousand Regulators were precipitated by
Husband into the Battle of Alamance, which took place in a district
settled largely by a rough and ignorant type of Germans, many of whom
Husband had lured to swell his mob. Opposed to him were eleven hundred
of Governor Tryon's troops, officered by such patriots as Griffith
Rutherford, Hugh Waddell, and Francis Nash. During an hour's engagement
about twenty Regulators were killed, while the Governor's troops had
nine killed and sixty-one wounded. Six of the leaders were hanged. The
rest took the oath of allegiance which Tryon administered.

It has been said about the Regulators that they were not cast down by
their defeat at Alamance but "like the mammoth, they shook the bolt from
their brow and crossed the mountains," but such flowery phrases do not
seem to have been inspired by facts. Nor do the records show that
"fifteen hundred Regulators" arrived at Watauga in 1771, as has also
been stated. Nor are the names of the leaders of the Regulation to be
found in the list of signatures affixed to the one "state paper" of
Watauga which was preserved and written into historic annals. Nor yet do
those names appear on the roster of the Watauga and Holston men who, in
1774, fought with Shelby under Andrew Lewis in the Battle of Point
Pleasant. The Boones and the Bryans, the Robertsons, the Seviers, the
Shelbys, the men who opened up the West and shaped the destiny of its
inhabitants, were genuine freemen, with a sense of law and order as
inseparable from liberty. They would follow a Washington but not a
Hermon Husband.

James Hunter, whose signature leads on all Regulation manifestoes just
prior to the Battle of Alamance, was a sycophant of Husband, to whom he
addressed fulsome letters; and in the real battle for democracy--the War
of Independence--he was a Tory. The Colonial Records show that those
who, "like the mammoth," shook from them the ethical restraints which
make man superior to the giant beast, and who later bolted into the
mountains, contributed chiefly the lawlessness that harassed the new
settlements. They were the banditti and, in 1776, the Tories of the
western hills; they pillaged the homes of the men who were fighting for
the democratic ideal.

It was not the Regulation Movement which turned westward the makers of
the Old Southwest, but the free and enterprising spirit of the age. It
was emphatically an age of doers; and if men who felt the constructive
urge in them might not lay hold on conditions where they were and
reshape them, then they must go forward seeking that environment which
would give their genius its opportunity.

Of such adventurous spirits was James Robertson, a Virginian born of
Ulster Scot parentage, and a resident of (the present) Wake County,
North Carolina, since his boyhood. Robertson was twenty-eight years old
when, in 1770, he rode over the hills to Watauga. We can imagine him as
he was then, for the portrait taken much later in life shows the type of
face that does not change. It is a high type combining the best
qualities of his race. Intelligence, strength of purpose, fortitude, and
moral power are there; they impress us at the first glance. At
twenty-eight he must have been a serious young man, little given to
laughter; indeed, spontaneity is perhaps the only good trait we miss in
studying his face. He was a thinker who had not yet found his purpose--a
thinker in leash, for at this time James Robertson could neither read
nor write.

At Watauga, Robertson lived for a while in the cabin of a man named
Honeycut. He chose land for himself and, in accordance with the custom
of the time, sealed his right to it by planting corn. He remained to
harvest his first crop and then set off to gather his family and some of
his friends together and escort them to the new country. But on the way
he missed the trail and wandered for a fortnight in the mountains. The
heavy rains ruined his powder so that he could not hunt; for food he had
only berries and nuts. At one place, where steep bluffs opposed him, he
was obliged to abandon his horse and scale the mountain side on foot. He
was in extremity when he chanced upon two huntsmen who gave him food and
set him on the trail. If this experience proves his lack of the hunter's
instinct and the woodsman's resourcefulness which Boone possessed, it
proves also his special qualities of perseverance and endurance which
were to reach their zenith in his successful struggle to colonize and
hold western Tennessee. He returned to Watauga in the following spring
(1771) with his family and a small group of colonists. Robertson's wife
was an educated woman and under her instruction he now began to study.

Next year a young Virginian from the Shenandoah Valley rode on down
Holston Valley on a hunting and exploring trip and loitered at Watauga.
Here he found not only a new settlement but an independent government in
the making; and forthwith he determined to have a part in both. This
young Virginian had already shown the inclination of a political
colonist, for in the Shenandoah Valley he had, at the age of nineteen,
laid out the town of New Market (which exists to this day) and had
directed its municipal affairs and invited and fostered its clergy. This
young Virginian--born on September 23, 1745, and so in 1772 twenty-seven
years of age--was John Sevier, that John Sevier whose monument now
towers from its site in Knoxville to testify of both the wild and the
great deeds of old Tennessee's beloved knight. Like Robertson, Sevier
hastened home and removed his whole family, including his wife and
children, his parents and his brothers and sisters, to this new haven of
freedom at Watauga.

The friendship formed between Robertson and Sevier in these first years
of their work together was never broken, yet two more opposite types
could hardly have been brought together. Robertson was a man of humble
origin, unlettered, not a dour Scot but a solemn one. Sevier was
cavalier as well as frontiersman. On his father's side he was of the
patrician family of Xavier in France. His progenitors, having become
Huguenots, had taken refuge in England, where the name Xavier was
finally changed to Sevier. John Sevier's mother was an Englishwoman.
Some years before his birth his parents had emigrated to the Shenandoah
Valley. Thus it happened that John Sevier, who mingled good English
blood with the blue blood of old France, was born an American and grew
up a frontier hunter and soldier. He stood about five feet nine from his
moccasins to his crown of light brown hair. He was well-proportioned and
as graceful of body as he was hard-muscled and swift. His chin was firm,
his nose of a Roman cast, his mouth well-shaped, its slightly full lips
slanting in a smile that would not be repressed. Under the high, finely
modeled brow, small keen dark blue eyes sparkled with health, with
intelligence, and with the man's joy in life.

John Sevier indeed cannot be listed as a type; he was individual. There
is no other character like him in border annals. He was cavalier and
prince in his leadership of men; he had their homage. Yet he knew how to
be comrade and brother to the lowliest. He won and held the confidence
and friendship of the serious-minded Robertson no less than the idolatry
of the wildest spirits on the frontier throughout the forty-three years
of the spectacular career which began for him on the day he brought his
tribe to Watauga. In his time he wore the governor's purple; and a
portrait painted of him shows how well this descendant of the noble
Xaviers could fit himself to the dignity and formal habiliments of
state; Yet in the fringed deerskin of frontier garb, he was fleeter on
the warpath than the Indians who fled before him; and he could outride
and outshoot--and, it is said, outswear--the best and the worst of the
men who followed him. Perhaps the lurking smile on John Sevier's face
was a flicker of mirth that there should be found any man, red or white,
with temerity enough to try conclusions with him. None ever did,

The historians of Tennessee state that the Wataugans formed their
government in 1772 and that Sevier was one of its five commissioners.
Yet, as Sevier did not settle in Tennessee before 1773, it is possible
that the Watauga Association was not formed until then. Unhappily the
written constitution of the little commonwealth was not preserved; but
it is known that, following the Ulsterman's ideal, manhood suffrage and
religious independence were two of its provisions. The commissioners
enlisted a militia and they recorded deeds for land, issued marriage
licenses, and tried offenders against the law. They believed themselves
to be within the boundaries of Virginia and therefore adopted the laws
of that State for their guidance. They had numerous offenders to deal
with, for men fleeing from debt or from the consequence of crime sought
the new settlements just across the mountains as a safe and adjacent
harbor. The attempt of these men to pursue their lawlessness in Watauga
was one reason why the Wataugans organized a government.

When the line was run between Virginia and North Carolina beyond
the mountains, Watauga was discovered to be south of Virginia's limits
and hence on Indian lands. This was in conflict with the King's
Proclamation, and Alexander Cameron, British agent to the Cherokees,
accordingly ordered the encroaching settlers to depart. The Indians,
however, desired them to remain. But since it was illegal to purchase
Indian lands, Robertson negotiated a lease for ten years. In 1775, when
Henderson made his purchase from the Cherokees, at Sycamore Shoals on
the Watauga, Robertson and Sevier, who were present at the sale with
other Watauga commissioners, followed Henderson's example and bought
outright the lands they desired to include in Watauga's domain. In 1776
they petitioned North Carolina for "annexation." As they were already
within North Carolina's bounds, it was recognition rather than
annexation which they sought. This petition, which is the only Wataugan
document to survive, is undated but marked as received in August, 1776.
It is in Sevier's handwriting and its style suggests that it was
composed by him, for in its manner of expression it has much in common
with many later papers from his pen. That Wataugans were a law-loving
community and had formed their government for the purpose of making law
respected is reiterated throughout the document. As showing the quality
of these first western statemakers, two paragraphs are quoted:

Finding ourselves on the frontiers, and being apprehensive that for want
of proper legislature we might become a shelter for such as endeavored
to defraud their creditors; considering also the necessity of recording
deeds, wills, and doing other public business; we, by consent of the
people, formed a court for the purposes above mentioned, taking, by
desire of our constituents, the Virginia laws for our guide, so near as
the situation of affairs would permit. This was intended for ourselves,
and was done by consent of every individual.

The petition goes on to state that, among their measures for upholding
law, the Wataugans had enlisted "a company of fine riflemen" and put
them under command of "Captain James Robertson."

We... thought proper to station them on our frontiers in defense of the
common cause, at the expense and risque of our own private fortunes,
till farther public orders, which we flatter ourselves will give no
offense.... We pray your mature and deliberate consideration in our
behalf, that you may annex us to your Province (whether as county,
district, or other division) in such manner as may enable us to share in
the glorious cause of Liberty: enforce our laws under authority and in
every respect become the best members of society; and for ourselves and
our constituents we hope we may venture to assure you that we shall
adhere strictly to your determinations, and that nothing will be lacking
or anything neglected that may add weight (in the civil or military
establishments) to the glorious cause in which we are now struggling, or
contribute to the welfare of our own or ages yet to come.

One hundred and thirteen names are signed to the document. In the
following year (1777) North Carolina erected her overhill territory into
Washington County. The Governor appointed justices of the peace and
militia officers who in the following year organized the new county and
its courts. And so Watauga's independent government, begun in the spirit
of true liberty, came as lawfully to its end.

But for nearly three years before their political status was thus
determined, the Wataugans were sharing "in the glorious cause of
Liberty" by defending their settlements against Indian attacks. While
the majority of the young Cherokee warriors were among their enemies,
their chief battles were fought with those from the Chickamaugan towns
on the Tennessee River, under the leadership of Dragging Canoe. The
Chickamaugans embraced the more vicious and bloodthirsty Cherokees, with
a mixture of Creeks and bad whites, who, driven from every law-abiding
community, had cast in their lot with this tribe. The exact number of
white thieves and murderers who had found harbor in the Indian towns
during a score or more of years is not known; but the letters of the
Indian agents, preserved in the records, would indicate that there were
a good many of them. They were fit allies for Dragging Canoe; their
hatred of those from whom their own degeneracy had separated them was
not less than his.

In July, 1776, John Sevier wrote to the Virginia Committee as follows:

Dear Gentlemen: Isaac Thomas, William Falling, Jaret Williams and one
more have this moment come in by making their escape from the Indians
and say six hundred Indians and whites were to start for this fort and
intend to drive the country up to New River before they return.

Thus was heralded the beginning of a savage warfare which kept the
borderers engaged for years.

It has been a tradition of the chroniclers that Isaac Thomas received a
timely warning from Nancy Ward, a half-caste Cherokee prophetess who
often showed her good will towards the whites; and that the Indians were
roused to battle by Alexander Cameron and John Stuart, the British
agents or superintendents among the overhill tribes. There was a letter
bearing Cameron's name stating that fifteen hundred savages from the
Cherokee and Creek nations were to join with British troops landed at
Pensacola in an expedition against the southern frontier colonies. This
letter was brought to Watauga at dead of night by a masked man who
slipped it through a window and rode away. Apparently John Sevier did
not believe the military information contained in the mysterious
missive, for he communicated nothing of it to the Virginia Committee. In
recent years the facts have come to light. This mysterious letter and
others of a similar tenor bearing forged signatures are cited in a
report by the British Agent, John Stuart, to his Government. It appears
that such inflammatory missives had been industriously scattered through
the back settlements of both Carolinas. There are also letters from
Stuart to Lord Dartmouth, dated a year earlier, urging that something be
done immediately to counteract rumors set afloat that the British were
endeavoring to instigate both the Indians and the negroes to attack the

Now it is, of course, an established fact that both the British and the
American armies used Indians in the War of Independence, even as both
together had used them against the French and the Spanish and their
allied Indians. It was inevitable that the Indians should participate in
any severe conflict between the whites. They were a numerous and a
warlike people and, from their point of view, they had more at stake
than the alien whites who were contesting for control of the red man's
continent. Both British and Americans have been blamed for "half-hearted
attempts to keep the Indians neutral." The truth is that each side
strove to enlist the Indians--to be used, if needed later, as warriors.
Massacre was no part of this policy, though it may have been
countenanced by individual officers in both camps. But it is obvious
that, once the Indians took the warpath, they were to be restrained by
no power and, no matter under whose nominal command, they would carry on
warfare by their own methods. ¹

¹ "There is little doubt that either side, British or Americans, stood
ready to enlist the Indians. Already before Boston the Americans had had
the help of the Stockbridge tribe. Washington found the service
committed to the practise when he arrived at Cambridge early in July.
Dunmore had taken the initiative in securing such allies, at least is
purpose; but the insurgent Virginians had had of late more direct
contact with the tribes and were now striving to secure them but with
little success." The Westward Movement, by Justin Winsor, p. 87.
General Ethan Allen of Vermont, as his letters show, sent emissaries
into Canada in an endeavor to enlist the French Canadians and the
Canadian Indians against the British in Canada. See American Archives,
Fourth Series, vol. II, p. 714. The British General Gage wrote to Lord
Dartmouth from Boston, June 12, 1775: "We need not be tender of calling
on the Savages as the rebels have shown us the example, by bringing as
many Indians down against us as they could collect." American Archives,
Fourth Series, vol. ii, p. 967.
In a letter to Lord Germain, dated August 23, 1776, John Stuart wrote:
"Although Mr. Cameron was in constant danger of assassination and the
Indians were threatened with invasion should they dare to protect him,
yet he still found means to prevent their falling on the settlement."
See North Carolina Colonial Records, vol. X, pp. 608 and 763. Proof that
the British agents had succeeded in keeping the Cherokee neutral till
the summer of 1776 is found in the instructions, dated the 7th of July,
to Major Winston from President Rutledge of South Carolina, regarding
the Cherokees, that they must be forced to give up the British agents
and "instead of remaining in a State of Neutrality with respect to
British Forces they must take part with us against them." See North
Carolina Colonial Records, vol. X, p. 658.

Whatever may have been the case elsewhere, the attacks on the Watauga
and Holston settlements were not instigated by British agents. It was
not Nancy Ward but Henry Stuart, John Stuart's deputy, who sent Isaac
Thomas to warn the settlers. In their efforts to keep the friendship of
the red men, the British and the Americans were providing them with
powder and lead. The Indians had run short of ammunition and, since
hunting was their only means of livelihood, they must shoot or starve.
South Carolina sent the Cherokees a large supply of powder and lead
which was captured en route by Tories. About the same time Henry Stuart
set out from Pensacola with another consignment from the British. His
report to Lord Germain of his arrival in the Chickamaugan towns and of
what took place there just prior to the raids on the Tennessee
settlements is one of the most illuminating as well as one of the most
dramatic papers in the collected records of that time. ¹

¹ North Carolina Colonial Records, vol. X, pp. 763-785.

Stuart's first act was secretly to send out Thomas, the trader, to warn
the settlers of their peril, for a small war party of braves was even
then concluding the preliminary war ceremonies. The reason for this
Indian alarm and projected excursion was the fact that the settlers had
built one fort at least on the Indian lands. Stuart finally persuaded
the Indians to remain at peace until he could write to the settlers
stating the grievances and asking for negotiations. The letters were to
be carried by Thomas on his return.

But no sooner was Thomas on his way again with the letters than there
arrived a deputation of warriors from the Northern tribes--from "the
Confederate nations, the Mohawks, Ottawas, Nantucas, Shawanoes and
Delawares"--fourteen men in all, who entered the council hall of the Old
Beloved Town of Chota with their faces painted black and the war belt
carried before them. They said that they had been seventy days on their
journey. Everywhere along their way they had seen houses and forts
springing up like weeds across the green sod of their hunting lands.
Where once were great herds of deer and buffalo, they had watched
thousands of men at arms preparing for war. So many now were the white
warriors and their women and children that the red men had been obliged
to travel a great way on the other side of the Ohio and to make a detour
of nearly three hundred miles to avoid being seen. Even on this outlying
route they had crossed the fresh tracks of a great body of people with
horses and cattle going still further towards the setting sun. But their
cries were not to be in vain; for "their fathers, the French" had heard
them and had promised to aid them if they would now strike as one for
their lands.

After this preamble the deputy of the Mohawks rose. He said that some
American people had made war on one of their towns and had seized the
son of their Great Beloved Man, Sir William Johnson, imprisoned him, and
put him to a cruel death; this crime demanded a great vengeance and they
would not cease until they had taken it. One after another the fourteen
delegates rose and made their "talks" and presented their wampum strings
to Dragging Canoe. The last to speak was a chief of the Shawanoes. He
also declared that "their fathers, the French," who had been so long
dead, were "alive again," that they had supplied them plentifully with
arms and ammunition and had promised to assist them in driving out the
Americans and in reclaiming their country. Now all the Northern tribes
were joined in one for this great purpose; and they themselves were on
their way to all the Southern tribes and had resolved that, if any tribe
refused to join, they would fall upon and extirpate that tribe, after
having overcome the whites. At the conclusion of his oration the
Shawanoe presented the war belt--nine feet of six-inch wide purple
wampum spattered with vermilion--to Dragging Canoe, who held it extended
between his two hands, in silence, and waited. Presently rose a headman
whose wife had been a member of Sir William Johnson's household. He laid
his hand on the belt and sang the war song. One by one, then, chiefs and
warriors rose, laid hold of the great belt and chanted the war song.
Only the older men, made wise by many defeats, sat still in their
places, mute and dejected. "After that day every young fellow's face in
the overhills towns appeared blackened and nothing was now talked of but

Stuart reports that "all the white men" in the tribe also laid hands on
the belt. Dragging Canoe then demanded that Cameron and Stuart come
forward and take hold of the war belt--"which we refused." Despite the
offense their refusal gave--and it would seem a dangerous time to give
such offense--Cameron delivered a "strong talk" for peace, warning the
Cherokees of what must surely be the end of the rashness they
contemplated. Stuart informed the chief that if the Indians persisted in
attacking the settlements with out waiting for answers to his letters,
he would not remain with them any longer or bring them any more
ammunition. He went to his house and made ready to leave on the
following day. Early the next morning Dragging Canoe appeared at his
door and told him that the Indians were now very angry about the letters
he had written, which could only have put the settlers on their guard;
and that if any white man attempted to leave the nation "they had
determined to follow him but not to bring him back." Dragging Canoe had
painted his face black to carry this message. Thomas now returned with
an answer from "the West Fincastle men," which was so unsatisfactory to
the tribe that war ceremonies were immediately begun. Stuart and Cameron
could no longer influence the Indians. "All that could now be done was
to give them strict charge not to pass the Boundary Line, not to injure
any of the King's faithful subjects, not to Kill any women and
children"; and to threaten to "stop all ammunition" if they did not obey
these orders.

The major part of the Watauga militia went out to meet the Indians and
defeated a large advance force at Long Island Flats on the Holston. The
Watauga fort, where many of the settlers had taken refuge, contained
forty fighting men under Robertson and Sevier. As Indians usually
retreated and waited for a while after a defeat, those within the fort
took it for granted that no immediate attack was to be expected; and the
women went out at daybreak into the fields to milk the cows. Suddenly
the war whoop shrilled from the edge of the clearing. Red warriors
leaped from the green skirting of the forest. The women ran for the
fort. Quickly the heavy gates swung to and the dropped bar secured them.
Only then did the watchmen discover that one woman had been shut out.
She was a young woman nearing her twenties and, if legend has reported
her truly, "Bonnie Kate Sherrill" was a beauty. Through a porthole
Sevier saw her running towards the shut gates, dodging and darting, her
brown hair blowing from the wind of her race for life--and offering far
too rich a prize to the yelling fiends who dashed after her. Sevier
coolly shot the foremost of her pursuers, then sprang upon the wall,
caught up Bonnie Kate, and tossed her inside to safety. And legend says
further that when, after Sevier's brief widowerhood, she became his
wife, four years later, Bonnie Kate was wont to say that she would be
willing to run another such race any day to have another such

There were no casualties within the fort and, after three hours, the foe
withdrew, leaving several of their warriors slain.

In the excursions against the Indians which followed this opening of
hostilities Sevier won his first fame as an "Indian fighter"--the fame
later crystallized in the phrase "thirty-five battles, thirty-five
victories." His method was to take a very small company of the hardiest
and swiftest horsemen--men who could keep their seat and endurance, and
horses that could keep their feet and their speed, on any steep of the
mountains no matter how tangled and rough the going might be--swoop down
upon war camp, or town, and go through it with rifle and hatchet and
fire, then dash homeward at the same pace before the enemy had begun to
consider whether to follow him or not. In all his "thirty-five battles"
it is said he lost not more than fifty men.

The Cherokees made peace in 1777, after about a year of almost
continuous warfare, the treaty being concluded on their side by the old
chiefs who had never countenanced the war. Dragging Canoe refused to
take part, but he was rendered innocuous for the time being by the
destruction of several of the Chickamaugan villages. James Robertson now
went to Chota as Indian agent for North Carolina. So fast was population
growing, owing to the opening of a wagon road into Burke County, North
Carolina, that Washington County was divided. John Sevier became Colonel
of Washington and Isaac Shelby Colonel of the newly erected Sullivan
County. Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee, was laid out as the
county seat of Washington; and in the same year (1778) Sevier moved to
the bank of the Nolichucky River, so-called after the Indian name of
this dashing sparkling stream, meaning rapid or precipitous. Thus the
nickname given John Sevier by his devotees had a dual application. He
was well called Nolichucky Jack.

When Virginia annulled Richard Henderson's immense purchase but allowed
him a large tract on the Cumberland, she by no means discouraged that
intrepid pioneer. Henderson's tenure of Kentucky had been brief, but not
unprofitable in experience. He had learned that colonies must be treated
with less commercial pressure and with more regard to individual
liberty, if they were to be held loyal either to a King beyond the water
or to an uncrowned leader nearer at hand. He had been making his plans
for colonization of that portion of the Transylvania purchase which lay
within the bounds of North Carolina along the Cumberland and choosing
his men to lay the foundations of his projected settlement in what was
then a wholly uninhabited country; and he had decided on generous terms,
such as ten dollars a thousand acres for land, the certificate of
purchase to entitle the holder to further proceedings in the land office
without extra fees.

To head an enterprise of such danger and hardship Henderson required a
man of more than mere courage; a man of resource, of stability, of
proven powers, one whom other men would follow and obey with confidence.
So it was that James Robertson was chosen to lead the first white
settlers into middle Tennessee. He set out in February, 1779,
accompanied by his brother, Mark Robertson, several other white men, and
a negro, to select a site for settlement and to plant corn. Meanwhile
another small party led by Gaspar Mansker had arrived. As the boundary
line between Virginia and North Carolina had not been run to this point,
Robertson believed that the site he had chosen lay within Virginia and
was in the disposal of General Clark. To protect the settlers,
therefore, he journeyed into the Illinois country to purchase cabin
rights from Clark, but there he was evidently convinced that the site on
the Cumberland would be found to lie within North Carolina. He returned
to Watauga to lead a party of settlers into the new territory, towards
which they set out in October. After crossing the mountain chain through
Cumberland Gap, the party followed Boone's road--the Warriors' Path--for
some distance and then made their own trail southwestward through the
wilderness to the bluffs on the Cumberland, where they built cabins to
house them against one of the coldest winters ever experienced in that
county. So were laid the first foundations of the present city of
Nashville, at first named Nashborough by Robertson. ¹ On the way,
Robertson had fallen in with a party of men and families bound for
Kentucky and had persuaded them to accompany his little band to the
Cumberland. Robertson's own wife and children, as well as the families
of his party, had been left to follow in the second expedition, which
was to be made by water under the command of Captain John Donelson.

¹ In honor of General Francis Nash, of North Carolina, who was mortally
wounded at Germantown, 1777.

The little fleet of boats containing the settlers, their families, and
all their household goods, was to start from Fort Patrick Henry, near
Long Island in the Holston River, to float down into the Tennessee and
along the 652 miles of that widely wandering stream to the Ohio, and
then to proceed up the Ohio to the mouth of the Cumberland and up the
Cumberland until Robertson's station should appear--a journey, as it
turned out, of some nine hundred miles through unknown country and on
waters at any rate for the greater part never before navigated by white

Journal of a voyage, intended by God's permission, in the good boat
Adventure is the title of the log book in which Captain Donelson entered
the events of the four months' journey. Only a few pages endured to be
put into print: but those few tell a tale of hazard and courage that
seems complete. Could a lengthier narrative, even if enriched with
literary art and fancy, bring before us more vividly than do the simple
entries of Donelson's log the spirit of the men and the women who won
the West? If so little personal detail is recorded of the pioneer men of
that day that we must deduce what they were from what they did, what do
we know of their unfailing comrades, the pioneer women? Only that they
were there and that they shared in every test of courage and endurance,
save the march of troops and the hunt. Donelson's Journal therefore has
a special value, because in its terse account of Mrs. Jennings and Mrs.
Peyton it depicts unforgettably the quality of pioneer womanhood. ¹

¹ This Journal is printed in Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee.

December 22nd, 1779. Took our departure from the fort and fell down the
river to the mouth of Reedy Creek where we were stopped by the fall of
water and most excessive hard frost.

Perhaps part of the Journal was lost, or perhaps the "excessive hard
frost" of that severe winter, when it is said even droves of wild game
perished, prevented the boats from going on, for the next entry is dated
the 27th of February. On this date the Adventure and two other boats
grounded and lay on the shoals all that afternoon and the succeeding
night "in much distress."

March 2nd. Rain about half the day.... Mr. Henry's boat being driven on
the point of an island by the force of the current was sunk, the whole
cargo much damaged and the crew's lives much endangered, which
occasioned the whole fleet to put on shore and go to their
Monday 6th. Got under way before sunrise; the morning proving very
foggy, many of the fleet were much bogged--about 10 o'clock lay by for
them; when collected, proceeded down. Camped on the north shore, where
Captain Hutching's negro man died, being much frosted in his feet and
legs, of which he died.
Tuesday, 7th. Got under way very early; the day proving very windy, a S.
S. W., and the river being wide occasioned a high sea, insomuch that
some of the smaller crafts were in danger; therefore came to at the
uppermost Chiccamauga town, which was then evacuated, where we lay by
that afternoon and camped that night. The wife of Ephraim Peyton was
here delivered of a child. Mr. Peyton has gone through by land with
Captain Robertson.
Wednesday 8th... proceed down to an Indian village which was
inhabited... they insisted on us to come ashore, called us brothers, and
showed other signs of friendship.... And here we must regret the
unfortunate death of young Mr. Payne, on board Captain Blakemore's boat,
who was mortally wounded by reason of the boat running too near the
northern shore opposite the town, where some of the enemy lay concealed;
and the more tragical misfortune of poor Stuart, his family and friends,
to the number of twenty-eight persons. This man had embarked with us for
the Western country, but his family being diseased with the small pox,
it was agreed upon between him and the company that he should keep at
some distance in the rear, for fear of the infection spreading, and he
was warned each night when the encampment should take place by the sound
of a horn.... The Indians having now collected to a considerable number,
observing his helpless situation singled off from the rest of the fleet,
intercepted him and killed and took prisoners the whole crew...; their
cries were distinctly heard....

After describing a running fight with Indians stationed on the bluffs on
both shores where the river narrowed to half its width and boiled
through a canyon, the entry for the day concludes: "Jennings's boat is

Friday 10th. This morning about 4 o'clock we were surprised by the cries
of "help poor Jennings" at some distance in the rear. He had discovered
us by our fires and came up in the most wretched condition. He states
that as soon as the Indians discovered his situation [his boat had run
on a rock] they turned their whole attention to him and kept up a most
galling fire at his boat. He ordered his wife, a son nearly grown, a
young man who accompanies them and his negro man and woman, to throw all
his goods into the river to lighten their boat for the purpose of
getting her off; himself returning their fire as well as he could, being
a good soldier and an excellent marksman. But before they had
accomplished their object, his son, the young man and the negro, jumped
out of the boat and left.... Mrs. Jennings, however, and the negro
woman, succeeded in unloading the boat, but chiefly by the exertions of
Mrs. Jennings who got out of the boat and shoved her off, but was near
falling a victim to her own intrepidity on account of the boat starting
so suddenly as soon as loosened from the rock. Upon examination he
appears to have made a wonderful escape for his boat is pierced in
numberless places with bullets. It is to be remarked that Mrs. Peyton,
who was the night before delivered of an infant, which was unfortunately
killed upon the hurry and confusion consequent upon such a disaster,
assisted them, being frequently exposed to wet and cold.... Their
clothes were very much cut with bullets, especially Mrs. Jennings's.

Of the three men who deserted, while the women stood by under fire, the
negro was drowned and Jennings's son and the other young man were
captured by the Chickamaugans. The latter was burned at the stake. Young
Jennings was to have shared the same fate; but a trader in the village,
learning that the boy was known to John Sevier, ransomed him by a large
payment of goods, as a return for an act of kindness Sevier had once
done to him.

Sunday 12th.... After running until about 10 o'clock came in sight of
the Muscle Shoals. Halted on the northern shore at the appearance of the
shoals, in order to search for the signs Captain James Robertson was to
make for us at that place... that it was practicable for us to go across
by land... we can find none--from which we conclude that it would not be
prudent to make the attempt and are determined, knowing ourselves in
such imminent danger, to pursue our journey down the river.... When we
approached them [the Shoals] they had a dreadful appearance.... The
water being high made a terrible roaring, which could be heard at some
distance, among the driftwood heaped frightfully upon the points of the
islands, the current running in every possible direction. Here we did
not know how soon we should be dashed to pieces and all our troubles
ended at once. Our boats frequently dragged on the bottom and appeared
constantly in danger of striking. They warped as much as in a rough sea.
But by the hand of Providence we are now preserved from this danger
also. I know not the length of this wonderful shoal; it had been
represented to me to be twenty-five or thirty miles. If so, we must have
descended very rapidly, as indeed we did, for we passed it in about
three hours.

On the twentieth the little fleet arrived at the mouth of the Tennessee
and the voyagers landed on the bank of the Ohio.

Our situation here is truly disagreeable. The river is very high and the
current rapid, our boats not constructed for the purpose of stemming a
rapid stream, our provisions exhausted, the crews almost worn down with
hunger and fatigue, and know not what distance we have to go or what
time it will take us to our place of destination. The scene is rendered
still more melancholy as several boats will not attempt to ascend the
rapid current. Some intend to descend the Mississippi to Natchez; others
are bound for the Illinois--among the rest my son-in-law and daughter.
We now part, perhaps to meet no more, for I am determined to pursue my
course, happen what will.
Tuesday 21st. Set out and on this day labored very hard and got but
little way.... Passed the two following days as the former, suffering
much from hunger and fatigue.
Friday 24th. About three o'clock came to the mouth of a river which I
thought was the Cumberland. Some of the company declared it could not
be--it was so much smaller than was expected.... We determined however
to make the trial, pushed up some distance and encamped for the night.
Saturday 25th. Today we are much encouraged; the river grows wider;...
we are now convinced it is the Cumberland....
Sunday 26th... procured some buffalo meat; though poor it was palatable.
Friday 31st... met with Colonel Richard Henderson, who is running the
line between Virginia and North Carolina. At this meeting we were much
rejoiced. He gave us every information we wished, and further informed
us that he had purchased a quantity of corn in Kentucky, to be shipped
at the Falls of Ohio for the use of the Cumberland settlement. We are
now without bread and are compelled to hunt the buffalo to preserve
Monday, April 24th. This day we arrived at our journey's end at the Big
Salt Lick, where we have the pleasure of finding Captain Robertson and
his company. It is a source of satisfaction to us to be enabled to
restore to him and others their families and friends, who were entrusted
to our care, and who, sometime since, perhaps, despaired of ever meeting

Past the camps of the Chickamaugans--who were retreating farther and
farther down the twisting flood, seeking a last standing ground in the
giant caves by the Tennessee--these white voyagers had steered their
pirogues. Near Robertson's station, where they landed after having
traversed the triangle of the three great rivers which enclose the
larger part of western Tennessee, stood a crumbling trading house
marking the defeat of a Frenchman who had, one time, sailed in from the
Ohio to establish an outpost of his nation there. At a little distance
were the ruins of a rude fort cast up by the Cherokees in the days when
the redoubtable Chickasaws had driven them from the pleasant shores of
the western waters. Under the towering forest growth lay vast burial
mounds and the sunken foundations of walled towns, telling of a departed
race which had once flashed its rude paddles and had its dream of
permanence along the courses of these great waterways. Now another tribe
had come to dream that dream anew. Already its primitive keels had
traced the opening lines of its history on the face of the immemorial


King's Mountain

About the time when James Robertson went from Watauga to fling out the
frontier line three hundred miles farther westward, the British took
Savannah. In 1780 they took Charleston and Augusta, and overran Georgia.
Augusta was the point where the old trading path forked north and west,
and it was the key to the Back Country and the overhill domain. In
Georgia and the Back Country of South Carolina there were many Tories
ready to rally to the King's standard whenever a King's officer should
carry it through their midst. A large number of these Tories were
Scotch, chiefly from the Highlands. In fact, as we have seen, Scotch
blood predominated among the racial streams in the Back Country from
Georgia to Pennsylvania. Now, to insure a triumphant march northward for
Cornwallis and his royal troops, these sons of Scotland must be gathered
together, the loyal encouraged and those of rebellious tendencies
converted, and they must be drilled and turned to account. This task, if
it were to be accomplished successfully, must be entrusted to an officer
with positive qualifications, one who would command respect, whose
personal address would attract men and disarm opposition, and especially
one who could go as a Scot among his own clan. Cornwallis found his man
in Major Patrick Ferguson.

Ferguson was a Highlander, a son of Lord Pitfour of Aberdeen, and
thirty-six years of age. He was of short stature for a Highlander--about
five feet eight--lean and dark, with straight black hair. He had a
serious unhandsome countenance which, at casual glance, might not arrest
attention; but when he spoke he became magnetic, by reason of the
intelligence and innate force that gleamed in his eyes and the
convincing sincerity of his manner. He was admired and respected by his
brother officers and by the commanders under whom he had served, and he
was loved by his men.

He had seen his first service in the Seven Years' War, having joined the
British army in Flanders at the age of fifteen; and he had early
distinguished himself for courage and coolness. In 1768, as a captain of
infantry, he quelled an insurrection of the natives on the island of St.
Vincent in the West Indies. Later, at Woolwich, he took up the
scientific study of his profession of arms. He not only became a crack
shot, but he invented a new type of rifle which he could load at the
breach without ramrod and so quickly as to fire seven times in a minute.
Generals and statesmen attended his exhibitions of shooting; and even
the King rode over at the head of his guards to watch Ferguson rapidly
loading and firing.

In America under Cornwallis, Ferguson had the reputation of being the
best shot in the army; and it was soon said that, in his quickness at
loading and firing, he excelled the most expert American frontiersman.
Eyewitnesses have left their testimony that, seeing a bird alight on a
bough or rail, he would drop his bridle rein, draw his pistol, toss it
in the air, catch and aim it as it fell, and shoot the bird's head off.
He was given command of a corps of picked riflemen; and in the Battle of
the Brandywine in 1777 he rendered services which won acclaim from the
whole army. For the honor of that day's service to his King, Ferguson
paid what from him, with his passion for the rifle, must have been the
dearest price that could have been demanded. His right arm was
shattered, and for the remaining three years of his short life it hung
useless at his side. Yet he took up swordplay and attained a remarkable
degree of skill as a left-handed swordsman.

Such was Ferguson, the soldier. What of the man? For he has been
pictured as a wolf and a fiend and a coward by early chroniclers, who
evidently felt that they were adding to the virtue of those who fought
in defense of liberty by representing all their foes as personally
odious. We can read his quality of manhood in a few lines of the letter
he sent to his kinsman, the noted Dr. Adam Ferguson, about an incident
that occurred at Chads Ford. As he was lying with his men in the woods,
in front of Knyphausen's army, so he relates, he saw two American
officers ride out. He describes their dress minutely. One was in hussar
uniform. The other was in a dark green and blue uniform with a high
cocked hat and was mounted on a bay horse:

I ordered three good shots to steal near to and fire at them; but the
idea disgusting me, I recalled the order. The hussar in retiring made a
circuit, but the other passed within a hundred yards of us, upon which I
advanced from the wood towards him. Upon my calling he stopped; but
after looking at me he proceeded. I again drew his attention and made
signs to him to stop, levelling my piece at him; but he slowly cantered
away. As I was within that distance, at which, in the quickest firing, I
could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him before he was out
of my reach, I had only to determine. But it was not pleasant to fire at
the back of an unoffending individual who was acquitting himself very
coolly of his duty--so I let him alone. The day after, I had been
telling this story to some wounded officers, who lay in the same room
with me, when one of the surgeons who had been dressing the wounded
rebel officers came in and told us that they had been informing him that
General Washington was all the morning with the light troops, and only
attended by a French officer in hussar dress, he himself dressed and
mounted in every point as above described. I am not sorry that I did not
know at the time who it was. ¹

¹ Doubt that the officer in question was Washington was expressed by
James Fenimore Cooper. Cooper stated that Major De Lancey his
father-in-law, was binding Ferguson's arm at the time when the two
officers were seen and Ferguson recalled the order to fire, and that De
Lancey said he believed the officer was Count Pulaski. But, as Ferguson,
according to his own account, "leveled his piece" at the officer, his
arm evidently was not wounded until later in the day. The probability is
that Ferguson's version, written in a private letter to his relative, is
correct as to the facts, whatever may be conjectured as to the identity
of the officer. See Draper's King's Mountain and its Heroes, pp. 52-54.

Ferguson had his code towards the foe's women also. On one occasion when
he was assisting in an action carried out by Hessians and Dragoons, he
learned that some American women had been shamefully maltreated. He went
in a white fury to the colonel in command, and demanded that the men who
had so disgraced their uniforms instantly be put to death.

In rallying the loyalists of the Back Country of Georgia and the
Carolinas, Ferguson was very successful. He was presently in command of
a thousand or more men, including small detachments of loyalists from
New York and New Jersey, under American-born officers such as De Peyster
and Allaire. There were good honest men among the loyalists and there
were also rough and vicious men out for spoils--which was true as well
of the Whigs or Patriots from the same counties. Among the rough element
were Tory banditti from the overmountain region. It is to be gathered
from Ferguson's records that he did not think any too highly of some of
his new recruits, but he set to work with all energy to make them

The American Patriots hastily prepared to oppose him. Colonel Charles
McDowell of Burke County, North Carolina, with a small force of militia
was just south of the line at a point on the Broad River when he heard
that Ferguson was sweeping on northward. In haste he sent a call for
help across the mountains to Sevier and Shelby. Sevier had his hands
full at Watauga, but he dispatched two hundred of his troops; and Isaac
Shelby, with a similar force from Sullivan County crossed the mountains
to McDowell's assistance. These "overmountain men" or "backwater men,"
as they were called east of the hills, were trained in Sevier's method
of Indian warfare--the secret approach through the dark, the swift dash,
and the swifter flight. "Fight strong and run away fast" was the Indian
motto, as their women had often been heard to call it after the red men
as they ran yelling to fall on the whites. The frontiersmen had adapted
the motto to fit their case, as they had also made their own the Indian
tactics of ambuscade and surprise attacks at dawn. To sleep, or ride if
needs must, by night, and to fight by day and make off, was to them a
reasonable soldier's life.

But Ferguson was a night marauder. The terror of his name, which grew
among the Whigs of the Back Country until the wildest legends about his
ferocity were current, was due chiefly to a habit he had of pouncing on
his foes in the middle of the night and pulling them out of bed to give
fight or die. It was generally both fight and die, for these dark
adventures of his were particularly successful. Ferguson knew no
neutrals or conscientious objectors; any man who would not carry arms
for the King was a traitor, and his life and goods were forfeit. A
report of his reads: "The attack being made at night, no quarter could
be given." Hence his wolfish fame. "Werewolf" would have been a fit name
for him for, though he was a wolf at night, in the daylight he was a man
and, as we have seen, a chivalrous one.

In the guerrilla fighting that went on for a brief time between the
overmountain men and various detachments of Ferguson's forces, sometimes
one side, sometimes the other, won the heat. But the field remained
open. Neither side could claim the mastery. In a minor engagement fought
at Musgrove's Mill on the Enoree, Shelby's command came off victor and
was about to pursue the enemy towards Ninety-Six when a messenger from
McDowell galloped madly into camp with word of General Gates's crushing
defeat at Camden. This was a warning for Shelby's guerrillas to flee as
birds to their mountains, or Ferguson would cut them off from the north
and wedge them in between his own force and the victorious Cornwallis.
McDowell's men, also on the run for safety, joined them. For forty-eight
hours without food or rest they rode a race with Ferguson, who kept hard
on their trail until they disappeared into the mystery of the winding
mountain paths they alone knew.

Ferguson reached the gap where they had swerved into the towering hills
only half an hour after their horses' hoofs had pounded across it. Here
he turned back. His troops were exhausted from the all-night ride and,
in any case, there were not enough of them to enable him to cross the
mountains and give the Watauga men battle on their own ground with a
fair promise of victory. So keeping east of the hills but still close to
them, Ferguson turned into Burke County, North Carolina. He sat him down
in Gilbert Town (present Lincolnton, Lincoln County) at the foot of the
Blue Ridge and indited a letter to the "Back Water Men," telling them
that if they did not lay down their arms and return to their rightful
allegiance, he would come over their hills and raze their settlements
and hang their leaders. He paroled a kinsman of Shelby's, whom he had
taken prisoner in the chase, and sent him home with the letter. Then he
set about his usual business of gathering up Tories and making soldiers
of them, and of hunting down rebels.

One of the "rebels" was a certain Captain Lytle. When Ferguson drew up
at Lytle's door, Lytle had already made his escape; but Mrs. Lytle was
there. She was a very handsome woman and she had dressed herself in her
best to receive Ferguson, who was reported a gallant as well as a wolf.
After a few spirited passages between the lady in the doorway and the
officer on the white horse before it, the latter advised Mrs. Lytle to
use her influence to bring her husband back to his duty. She became
grave then and answered that her husband would never turn traitor to his
country Ferguson frowned at the word "traitor," but presently he said:
"Madam, I admire you as the handsomest woman I have seen in North
Carolina. I even half way admire your zeal in a bad cause. But take my
word for it, the rebellion has had its day and is now virtually put
down. Give my regards to Captain Lytle and tell him to come in. He will
not be asked to compromise his honor. His verbal pledge not again to
take up arms against the King is all that will be asked of him." ¹

¹ Draper, King's Mountain and its Heroes, pp. 151-53.

This was another phase of the character of the one-armed Highlander
whose final challenge to the back water men was now being considered in
every log cabin beyond the hills. A man who would not shoot an enemy in
the back, who was ready to put the same faith in another soldier's honor
which he knew was due to his own, yet in battle a wolfish fighter who
leaped through the dark to give no quarter and to take none--he was fit
challenger to those other mountaineers who also had a chivalry of their
own, albeit they too were wolves of war.

When Shelby on the Holston received Ferguson's pungent letter, he flung
himself on his horse and rode posthaste to Watauga to consult with
Sevier. He found the bank of the Nolichucky teeming with merrymakers.
Nolichucky Jack was giving an immense barbecue and a horse race. Without
letting the festival crowd have an inkling of the serious nature of
Shelby's errand, the two men drew apart to confer. It is said to have
been Sevier's idea that they should muster the forces of the western
country and go in search of Ferguson ere the latter should be able to
get sufficient reinforcements to cross the mountains. Sevier, like
Ferguson, always preferred to seek his foe, knowing well the advantage
of the offensive. Messengers were sent to Colonel William Campbell of
the Virginia settlements on the Clinch, asking his aid. Campbell at
first refused, thinking it better to fortify the positions they held and
let Ferguson come and put the mountains between himself and Cornwallis.
On receipt of a second message, however, he concurred. The call to arms
was heard up and down the valleys, and the frontiersmen poured into
Watauga. The overhill men were augmented by McDowell's troops from Burke
County, who had dashed over the mountains a few weeks before in their
escape from Ferguson.

At daybreak on the 26th of September they mustered at the Sycamore
Shoals on the Watauga, over a thousand strong. It was a different
picture they made from that other great gathering at the same spot when
Henderson had made his purchase in money of the Dark and Bloody Ground,
and Sevier and Robertson had bought for the Wataugans this strip of
Tennessee. There were no Indians in this picture. Dragging Canoe, who
had uttered his bloody prophecy, had by these very men been driven far
south into the caves of the Tennessee River. But the Indian prophecy
still hung over them, and in this day with a heavier menace. Not with
money, now, were they to seal their purchase of the free land by the
western waters. There had been no women in that other picture, only the
white men who were going forward to open the way and the red men who
were retreating. But in this picture there were women--wives and
children, mothers, sisters, and sweethearts. All the women of the
settlement were there at this daybreak muster to cheer on their way the
men who were going out to battle that they might keep the way of liberty
open not for men only but for women and children also. And the battle to
which the men were now going forth must be fought against Back Country
men of their own stripe under a leader who, in other circumstances,
might well have been one of themselves--a primitive spirit of hardy
mountain stock, who, having once taken his stand, would not barter and
would not retreat.

"With the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" cried their pastor, the
Reverend Samuel Doak, with upraised hands, as the mountaineers swung
into their saddles. And it is said that all the women took up his words
and cried again and again, "With the sword of the Lord and of our
Gideons!" To the shouts of their women, as bugles on the wind of dawn,
the buckskin-shirted army dashed out upon the mountain trail.

The warriors' equipment included rifles and ammunition, tomahawks,
knives, shot pouches, a knapsack, and a blanket for each man. Their
uniforms were leggings, breeches, and long loose shirts of gayly fringed
deerskin, or of the linsey-woolsey spun by their women. Their hunting
shirts were bound in at the waist by bright-colored linsey sashes tied
behind in a bow. They wore moccasins for footgear, and on their heads
high fur or deerskin caps trimmed with colored bands of raveled cloth.
Around their necks hung their powder-horns ornamented with their own
rude carvings.

On the first day they drove along with them a number of beeves but,
finding that the cattle impeded the march, they left them behind on the
mountain side. Their provisions thereafter were wild game and the small
supply each man carried of mixed corn meal and maple sugar. For drink,
they had the hill streams.

They passed upward between Roan and Yellow mountains to the top of the
range. Here, on the bald summit, where the loose snow lay to their
ankles, they halted for drill and rifle practice. When Sevier called up
his men, he discovered that two were missing. He suspected at once that
they had slipped away to carry warning to Ferguson, for Watauga was
known to be infested with Tories. Two problems now confronted the
mountaineers. They must increase the speed of their march, so that
Ferguson should not have time to get reinforcements from Cornwallis; and
they must make that extra speed by another trail than they had intended
taking so that they themselves could not be intercepted before they had
picked up the Back Country militia under Colonels Cleveland, Hampbright,
Chronicle, and Williams, who were moving to join them. We are not told
who took the lead when they left the known trail, but we may suppose it
was Sevier and his Wataugans, for the making of new warpaths and wild
riding were two of the things which distinguished Nolichucky Jack's
leadership. Down the steep side of the mountain, finding their way as
they plunged, went the overhill men. They crossed the Blue Ridge at
Gillespie's Gap and pushed on to Quaker Meadows, where Colonel Cleveland
with 350 men swung into their column. Along their route, the Back
Country Patriots with their rifles came out from the little hamlets and
the farms and joined them.

They now had an army of perhaps fifteen hundred men but no commanding
officer. Thus far, on the march, the four colonels had conferred
together and agreed as to procedure; or, in reality, the influence of
Sevier and Shelby, who had planned the enterprise and who seem always to
have acted in unison, had swayed the others. It would be, however,
manifestly improper to go into battle without a real general. Something
must be done. McDowell volunteered to carry a letter explaining their
need to General Gates, who had escaped with some of his staff into North
Carolina and was not far off. It then occurred to Sevier and Shelby,
evidently for the first time, that Gates, on receiving such a request,
might well ask why the Governor of North Carolina, as the military head
of the State, had not provided a commander. The truth is that Sevier and
Shelby had been so busy drumming up the militia and planning their
campaign that they had found no time to consult the Governor. Moreover,
the means whereby the expedition had been financed might not have
appealed to the chief executive. After finding it impossible to raise
sufficient funds on his personal credit, Sevier had appropriated the
entry money in the government land office to the business in hand--with
the good will of the entry taker, who was a patriotic man, although, as
he had pointed out, he could not, officially, hand over the money.
Things being as they were, no doubt Nolichucky Jack felt that an
interview with the Governor had better be deferred until after the
capture of Ferguson. Hence the tenor of this communication to General

As we have at this time called out our militia without any orders from
the Executive of our different States and with the view of expelling the
Enemy out of this part of the Country, we think such a body of men
worthy of your attention and would request you to send a General Officer
immediately to take the command.... All our Troops being Militia and but
little acquainted with discipline, we could wish him to be a Gentleman
of address, and able to keep up a proper discipline without disgusting
*the soldiery.

For some unknown reason--unless it might be the wording of this
letter!--no officer was sent in reply. Shelby then suggested that, since
all the officers but Campbell were North Carolinians and, therefore, no
one of them could be promoted without arousing the jealousy of the
others, Campbell, as the only Virginian, was the appropriate choice. The
sweet reasonableness of selecting a commander from such a motive
appealed to all, and Campbell became a general in fact if not in name!
Shelby's principal aim, however, had been to get rid of McDowell, who,
as their senior, would naturally expect to command and whom he
considered "too far advanced in life and too inactive" for such an
enterprise. At this time McDowell must have been nearly thirty-nine; and
Shelby, who was just thirty, wisely refused to risk the campaign under a
general who was in his dotage!

News of the frontiersmen's approach, with their augmented force, now
numbering between sixteen and eighteen hundred, had reached Ferguson by
the two Tories who had deserted from Sevier's troops. Ferguson thereupon
had made all haste out of Gilbert Town and was marching southward to get
in touch with Cornwallis. His force was much reduced, as some of his men
were in pursuit of Elijah Clarke towards Augusta and a number of his
other Tories were on furlough. As he passed through the Back Country he
posted a notice calling on the loyalists to join him. If the
overmountain men felt that they were out on a wolf hunt, Ferguson's
proclamation shows what the wolf thought of his hunters.

To the Inhabitants of North Carolina.

Gentlemen: Unless you wish to be eat up by an innundation of barbarians,
who have begun by murdering an unarmed son before the aged father, and
afterwards lopped off his arms, and who by their shocking cruelties and
irregularities give the best proof of their cowardice and want of
discipline: I say if you wish to be pinioned, robbed and murdered, and
see your wives and daughters in four days, abused by the dregs of
mankind--in short if you wish to deserve to live and bear the name of
men, grasp your arms in a moment and run to camp.
The Back Water men have crossed the mountains: McDowell, Hampton,
Shelby, and Cleveland are at their head, so that you know what you have
to depend upon. If you choose to be degraded forever and ever by a set
of mongrels, say so at once, and let your women turn their backs upon
you, and look out for real men to protect them.

Pat. Ferguson, Major 71st Regiment. ¹

¹ Draper, King's Mountain and its Heroes, p. 204.

Ferguson's force has been estimated at about eleven hundred men, but it
is likely that this estimate does not take the absentees into
consideration. In the diary of Lieutenant Allaire, one of his officers,
the number is given as only eight hundred. Because of the state of his
army, chroniclers have found Ferguson's movements, after leaving Gilbert
Town, difficult to explain. It has been pointed out that he could easily
have escaped, for he had plenty of time, and Charlotte, Cornwallis's
headquarters, was only sixty miles distant. We have seen something of
Ferguson's quality, however, and we may simply take it that he did not
want to escape. He had been planning to cross the high hills--to him,
the Highlander, no barrier but a challenge--to fight these men. Now that
they had taken the initiative he would not show them his back. He craved
the battle. So he sent out runners to the main army and rode on along
the eastern base of the mountains, seeking a favorable site to go into
camp and wait for Cornwallis's aid. On the 6th of October he reached the
southern end of the King's Mountain ridge, in South Carolina, about half
a mile south of the northern boundary. Here a rocky, semi-isolated spur
juts out from the ridge, its summit--a table-land about six hundred
yards long and one hundred and twenty wide at its northern end--rising
not more than sixty feet above the surrounding country. On the summit
Ferguson pitched his camp.

The hill was a natural fortress, its sides forested, its bald top
protected by rocks and bowlders. All the approaches led through dense
forest. An enemy force, passing through the immediate, wooded territory,
might easily fail to discover a small army nesting sixty feet above the
shrouding leafage. Word was evidently brought to Ferguson here, telling
him the now augmented number of his foe, for he dispatched another
emissary to Cornwallis with a letter stating the number of his own
troops and urging full and immediate assistance.

Meanwhile the frontiersmen had halted at the Cowpens. There they feasted
royally off roasted cattle and corn belonging to the loyalist who owned
the Cowpens. It is said that they mowed his fifty acres of corn in an
hour. And here one of their spies, in the assumed rôle of a Tory,
learned Ferguson's plans, his approximate force, his route, and his
system of communication with Cornwallis. The officers now held council
and determined to take a detachment of the hardiest and fleetest
horsemen and sweep down on the enemy before aid could reach him. About
nine o'clock that evening, according to Shelby's report, 910 mounted men
set off at full speed, leaving the main body of horse and foot to follow
after at their best pace.

Rain poured down on them all that night as they rode. At daybreak they
crossed the Broad at Cherokee Ford and dashed on in the drenching rain
all the forenoon. They kept their firearms and powder dry by wrapping
them in their knapsacks, blankets, and hunting shirts. The downpour had
so churned up the soil that many of the horses mired, but they were
pulled out and whipped forward again. The wild horsemen made no halt for
food or rest. Within two miles of King's Mountain they captured
Ferguson's messenger with the letter that told of his desperate
situation. They asked this man how they should know Ferguson. He told
them that Ferguson was in full uniform but wore a checkered shirt or
dust cloak over it. This was not the only messenger of Ferguson's who
failed to carry through. The men he had sent out previously had been
followed and, to escape capture or death, they had been obliged to lie
in hiding, so that they did not reach Cornwallis until the day of the

At three o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th of October, the
overmountain men were in the forest at the base of the hill. The rain
had ceased and the sun was shining. They dismounted and tethered their
steaming horses. Orders were given that every man was to "throw the
priming out of his pan, pick his touchhole, prime anew, examine bullets
and see that everything was in readiness for battle." The plan of battle
agreed on was to surround the hill, hold the enemy on the top and,
themselves screened by the trees, keep pouring in their fire. There was
a good chance that most of the answering fire would go over their heads.

As Shelby's men crossed a gap in the woods, the outposts on the hill
discovered their presence and sounded the alarm. Ferguson sprang to
horse, blowing his silver whistle to call his men to attack. His
riflemen poured fire into Shelby's contingent, but meanwhile the
frontiersmen on the other sides were creeping up, and presently a circle
of fire burst upon the hill. With fixed bayonets, some of Ferguson's men
charged down the face of the slope, against the advancing foe, only to
be shot in the back as they charged. Still time and time again they
charged; the overhill men reeled and retreated; but always their
comrades took toll with their rifles; Ferguson's men, preparing for a
mounted charge, were shot even as they swung to their saddles. Ferguson,
with his customary indifference to danger, rode up and down in front of
his line blowing his whistle to encourage his men. "Huzza, brave boys!
The day is our own!" Thus he was heard to shout above the triumphant war
whoops of the circling foe, surging higher and higher about the hill.

But there were others in his band who knew the fight was lost. The
overmountain men saw two white handkerchiefs, affixed to bayonets,
raised above the rocks; and then they saw Ferguson dash by and slash
them down with his sword. Two horses were shot under Ferguson in the
latter part of the action; but he mounted a third and rode again into
the thick of the fray.

Suddenly the cry spread among the attacking troops that the British
officer, Tarleton, had come to Ferguson's rescue; and the mountaineers
began to give way. But it was only the galloping horses of their own
comrades; Tarleton had not come. Nolichucky Jack spurred out in front of
his men and rode along the line. Fired by his courage they sounded the
war whoop again and renewed the attack with fury.

"These are the same yelling devils that were at Musgrove's Mill," said
Captain De Peyster to Ferguson.

Now Shelby and Sevier, leading his Wataugans, had reached the summit.
The firing circle pressed in. The buckskin-shirted warriors leaped the
rocky barriers, swinging their tomahawks and long knives. Again the
white handkerchiefs fluttered. Ferguson saw that the morale of his
troops was shattered.

"Surrender," De Peyster, his second in command, begged of him.

"Surrender to those damned banditti? Never!"

Ferguson turned his horse's head downhill and charged into the
Wataugans, hacking right and left with his sword till it was broken at
the hilt. A dozen rifles were leveled at him. An iron muzzle pushed at
his breast, but the powder flashed in the pan. He swerved and struck at
the rifleman with his broken hilt. But the other guns aimed at him
spoke; and Ferguson's body jerked from the saddle pierced by eight
bullets. Men seized the bridle of the frenzied horse, plunging on with
his dead master dragging from the stirrup.

The battle had lasted less than an hour. After Ferguson fell, De Peyster
advanced with a white flag and surrendered his sword to Campbell. Other
white flags waved along the hilltop. But the killing did not yet cease.
It is said that many of the mountaineers did not know the significance
of the white flag. Sevier's sixteen-year-old son, having heard that his
father had fallen, kept on furiously loading and firing until presently
he saw Sevier ride in among the troops and command them to stop shooting
men who had surrendered and thrown down their arms.

The victors made a bonfire of the enemy's baggage wagons and supplies.
Then they killed some of his beeves and cooked them; they had had
neither food nor sleep for eighteen hours. They dug shallow trenches for
the dead and scattered the loose earth over them. Ferguson's body,
stripped of its uniform and boots and wrapped in a beef hide, was thrown
into one of these ditches by the men detailed to the burial work, while
the officers divided his personal effects among themselves.

The triumphant army turned homeward as the dusk descended. The uninjured
prisoners and the wounded who were able to walk were marched off
carrying their empty firearms. The badly wounded were left lying where
they had fallen.

At Bickerstaff's Old Fields in Rutherford County the frontiersmen
halted; and here they selected thirty of their prisoners to be hanged.
They swung them aloft, by torchlight, three at a time, until nine had
gone to their last account. Then Sevier interposed; and, with Shelby's
added authority, saved the other twenty-one. Among those who thus
weighted the gallows tree were some of the Tory brigands from Watauga;
but not all the victims were of this character. Some of the troops would
have wreaked vengeance on the two Tories from Sevier's command who had
betrayed their army plans to Ferguson; but Sevier claimed them as under
his jurisdiction and refused consent. Nolichucky Jack dealt humanely by
his foes. To the coarse and brutish Cleveland, now astride of Ferguson's
horse and wearing his sash, and to the three hundred who followed him,
may no doubt be laid the worst excesses of the battle's afterpiece.

Victors and vanquished drove on in the dark, close to the great flank of
hills. From where King's Mountain, strewn with dead and dying, reared
its black shape like some rudely hewn tomb of a primordial age when
titans strove together, perhaps to the ears of the marching men came
faintly through the night's stillness the howl of a wolf and the
answering chorus of the pack. For the wolves came down to King's
Mountain from all the surrounding hills, following the scent of blood,
and made their lair where the Werewolf had fallen. The scene of the
mountaineers' victory, which marked the turn of the tide for the
Revolution, became for years the chief resort of wolf hunters from both
the Carolinas.

The importance of the overmountain men's victory lay in what it achieved
for the cause of Independence. King's Mountain was the prelude to
Cornwallis's defeat. It heartened the Southern Patriots, until then cast
down by Gates's disaster. To the British the death of Ferguson was an
irreparable loss because of its depressing effect on the Back Country
Tories. King's Mountain, indeed, broke the Tory spirit. Seven days after
the battle General Nathanael Greene succeeded to the command of the
Southern Patriot army which Gates had led to defeat. Greene's genius met
the rising tide of the Patriots' courage and hope and took it at the
flood. His strategy, in dividing his army and thereby compelling the
division of Cornwallis's force, led to Daniel Morgan's victory at the
Cowpens, in the Back Country of South Carolina, on January 17,
1781--another frontiersmen's triumph. Though the British won the next
engagement between Greene and Cornwallis--the battle of Guilford Court
House in the North Carolina Back Country, on the 15th of March--Greene
made them pay so dearly for their victory that Tarleton called it "the
pledge of ultimate defeat"; and, three days later, Cornwallis was
retreating towards Wilmington. In a sense, then, King's Mountain was the
pivot of the war's revolving stage, which swung the British from their
succession of victories towards the surrender at Yorktown.

Shelby, Campbell, and Cleveland escorted the prisoners to Virginia.
Sevier, with his men, rode home to Watauga. When the prisoners had been
delivered to the authorities in Virginia, the Holston men also turned
homeward through the hills. Their route lay down through the Clinch and
Holston valleys to the settlement at the base of the mountains. Sevier
and his Wataugans had gone by Gillespie's Gap, over the pathway that
hung like a narrow ribbon about the breast of Roan Mountain, lifting its
crest in dignified isolation sixty-three hundred feet above the levels.
The "Unakas" was the name the Cherokees had given to those white men who
first invaded their hills; and the Unakas is the name that white men at
last gave to the mountain.

Great companies of men were to come over the mountain paths on their way
to the Mississippi country and beyond; and with them, as we know, were
to go many of these mountain men, to pass away with their customs in the
transformations that come with progress. But there were others who clung
to these hills. They were of several stocks--English, Scotch,
Highlanders, Ulstermen, who mingled by marriage and sometimes took their
mates from among the handsome maids of the Cherokees. They spread from
the Unakas of Tennessee into the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky; and
they have remained to this day what they were then, a primitive folk of
strong and fiery men and brave women living as their forefathers of
Watauga and Holston lived. In the log cabins in those mountains today
are heard the same ballads, sung still to the dulcimer, that entertained
the earliest settlers. The women still turn the old-fashioned spinning
wheels. The code of the men is still the code learned perhaps from the
Gaels--the code of the oath and the feud and the open door to the
stranger. Or were these, the ethical tenets of almost all uncorrupted
primitive tribes, transmitted from the Indian strain and association?
Their young people marry at boy and girl ages, as the pioneers did, and
their wedding festivities are the same as those which made rejoicing at
the first marriage in Watauga. Their common speech today contains words
that have been obsolete in England for a hundred years.

Thrice have the mountain men come down again from their fastnesses to
war for America since the day of King's Mountain and thrice they have
acquitted themselves so that their deeds are noted in history. A
souvenir of their part in the War of 1812 at the Battle of the Thames is
kept in one of the favorite names for mountain girls--"Lake Erie." In
the Civil War many volunteers from the free, non-slaveholding mountain
regions of Kentucky and Tennessee joined the Union Army, and it is said
that they exceeded all others in stature and physical development. And
in our own day their sons again came down from the mountains to carry
the torch of Liberty overseas, and to show the white stars in their flag
side by side with the ancient cross in the flag of England against which
their forefathers fought.


Sevier, The Statemaker

After King's Mountain, Sevier reached home just in time to fend off a
Cherokee attack on Watauga. Again warning had come to the settlements
that the Indians were about to descend upon them. Sevier set out at once
to meet the red invaders. Learning from his scouts that the Indians were
near he went into ambush with his troops disposed in the figure of a
half-moon, the favorite Indian formation. He then sent out a small body
of men to fire on the Indians and make a scampering retreat, to lure the
enemy on. The maneuver was so well planned and the ground so well chosen
that the Indian war party would probably have been annihilated but for
the delay of an officer at one horn of the half-moon in bringing his
troops into play. Through the gap thus made the Indians escaped, with a
loss of seventeen of their number. The delinquent officer was Jonathan
Tipton, younger brother of Colonel John Tipton, of whom we shall hear
later. It is possible that from this event dates the Tiptons' feud with
Sevier, which supplies one of the breeziest pages in the story of early

Not content with putting the marauders to flight, Sevier pressed on
after them, burned several of the upper towns, and took prisoner a
number of women and children, thus putting the red warriors to the depth
of shame, for the Indians never deserted their women in battle. The
chiefs at once sued for peace. But they had made peace often before.
Sevier drove down upon the Hiwassee towns, meanwhile proclaiming that
those among the tribe who were friendly might send their families to the
white settlement, where they would be fed and cared for until a sound
peace should be assured. He also threatened to continue to make war
until his enemies were wiped out, their town sites a heap of blackened
ruins, and their whole country in possession of the whites, unless they
bound themselves to an enduring peace.

Having compelled the submission of the Otari and Hiwassee towns, yet
finding that depredations still continued, Sevier determined to invade
the group of towns hidden in the mountain fastnesses near the headwaters
of the Little Tennessee where, deeming themselves inaccessible except by
their own trail, the Cherokees freely plotted mischief and sent out
raiding parties. These hill towns lay in the high gorges of the Great
Smoky Mountains, 150 miles distant. No one in Watauga had ever been in
them except Thomas, the trader, who, however, had reached them from the
eastern side of the mountains. With no knowledge of the Indians' path
and without a guide, yet nothing daunted, Sevier, late in the summer of
1781 headed his force into the mountains. So steep were some of the
slopes they scaled that the men were obliged to dismount and help their
horses up. Unexpectedly to themselves perhaps, as well as to the
Indians, they descended one morning on a group of villages and destroyed
them. Before the fleeing savages could rally, the mountaineers had
plunged up the steeps again. Sevier then turned southward into Georgia
and inflicted a severe castigation on the tribes along the Coosa River.

When, after thirty days of warfare and mad riding, Sevier arrived at his
Bonnie Kate's door on the Nolichucky, he found a messenger from General
Greene calling on him for immediate assistance to cut off Cornwallis
from his expected retreat through North Carolina. Again he set out, and
with two hundred men crossed the mountains and made all speed to
Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County, where he learned that Cornwallis had
surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Under Greene's orders he
turned south to the Santee to assist a fellow scion of the Huguenots,
General Francis Marion, in the pursuit of Stuart's Britishers. Having
driven Stuart into Charleston, Sevier and his active Wataugans returned
home, now perhaps looking forward to a rest, which they had surely
earned. Once more, however, they were hailed with alarming news.
Dragging Canoe had come to life again and was emerging from the caves of
the Tennessee with a substantial force of Chickamaugan warriors. Again
the Wataugans, augmented by a detachment from Sullivan County, galloped
forth, met the red warriors, chastised them heavily, put them to rout,
burned their dwellings and provender, and drove them back into their
hiding places. For some time after this, the Indians dipped not into the
black paint pots of war but were content to streak their humbled
countenances with the vermilion of beauty and innocence.

It should be chronicled that Sevier, assisted possibly by other
Wataugans, eventually returned to the State of North Carolina the money
which he had forcibly borrowed to finance the King's Mountain
expedition; and that neither he nor Shelby received any pay for their
services, nor asked it. Before Shelby left the Holston in 1782 and moved
to Kentucky, of which State he was to become the first Governor, the
Assembly of North Carolina passed a resolution of gratitude to the
overmountain men in general, and to Sevier and Shelby in particular, for
their "very generous and patriotic services" with which the "General
Assembly of this State are feelingly impressed." The resolution
concluded by urging the recipients of the Assembly's acknowledgments to
"continue" in their noble course. In view of what followed, this
resolution is interesting!

For some time the overhill pioneers had been growing dissatisfied with
the treatment they were receiving from the State, which on the plea of
poverty had refused to establish a Superior Court for them and to
appoint a prosecutor. As a result, crime was on the increase, and the
law-abiding were deprived of the proper legal means to check the
lawless. In 1784 when the western soldiers' claims began to reach the
Assembly, there to be scrutinized by unkindly eyes, the dissatisfaction
increased. The breasts of the mountain men--the men who had made that
spectacular ride to bring Ferguson to his end--were kindled with hot
indignation when they heard that they had been publicly assailed as
grasping persons who seized on every pretense to "fabricate demands
against the Government." Nor were those fiery breasts cooled by further
plaints to the effect that the "industry and property" of those east of
the hills were "becoming the funds appropriated to discharge the debts"
of the Westerners. They might with justice have asked what the industry
and property of the Easterners were worth on that day when the overhill
men drilled in the snows on the high peak of Yellow Mountain and looked
down on Burke County overrun by Ferguson's Tories, and beyond, to
Charlotte, where lay Cornwallis.

The North Carolina Assembly did not confine itself to impolite remarks.
It proceeded to get rid of what it deemed western rapacity by ceding the
whole overmountain territory to the United States, with the proviso that
Congress must accept the gift within twelve months. And after passing
the Cession Act, North Carolina closed the land office in the undesired
domain and nullified all entries made after May 25, 1784. The Cession
Act also enabled the State to evade its obligations to the Cherokees in
the matter of an expensive consignment of goods to pay for new lands.

This clever stroke of the Assembly's brought about immediate
consequences in the region beyond the hills. The Cherokees, who knew
nothing about the Assembly's system of political economy but who found
their own provokingly upset by the non-arrival of the promised goods,
began again to darken the mixture in their paint pots; and they dug up
the war hatchet, never indeed so deeply patted down under the dust that
it could not be unearthed by a stub of the toe. Needless to say, it was
not the thrifty and distant Easterners who felt their anger, but the
nearby settlements.

As for the white overhill dwellers, the last straw had been laid on
their backs; and it felt like a hickory log. No sooner had the Assembly
adjourned than the men of Washington, Sullivan, and Greene counties,
which comprised the settled portion of what is now east Tennessee,
elected delegates to convene for the purpose of discussing the formation
of a new State. They could assert that they were not acting illegally,
for in her first constitution North Carolina had made provision for a
State beyond the mountains. And necessity compelled them to take steps
for their protection. Some of them, and Sevier was of the number,
doubted if Congress would accept the costly gift; and the majority
realized that during the twelve months which were allowed for the
decision they would have no protection from either North Carolina or
Congress and would not be able to command their own resources.

In August, 1784, the delegates met at Jonesborough and passed
preliminary resolutions, and then adjourned to meet later in the year.
The news was soon disseminated through North Carolina and the Assembly
convened in October and hastily repealed the Cession Act, voted to
establish the District of Washington out of the four counties, and sent
word of the altered policy to Sevier, with a commission for himself as
Brigadier General. From the steps of the improvised convention hall,
before which the delegates had gathered, Sevier read the Assembly's
message and advised his neighbors to proceed no further, since North
Carolina had of her own accord redressed all their grievances. But for
once Nolichucky Jack's followers refused to follow. The adventure too
greatly appealed. Obliged to choose between North Carolina and his own
people, Sevier's hesitation was short. The State of Frankland, or Land
of the Free, was formed; and Nolichucky Jack was elevated to the office
of Governor--with a yearly salary of two hundred mink skins.

Perhaps John Tipton had hoped to head the new State, for he had been one
of its prime movers and was a delegate to this convention. But when the
man whom he hated--apparently for no reason except that other men loved
him--assented to the people's will and was appointed to the highest post
within their gift, Tipton withdrew, disavowing all connection with
Frankland and affirming his loyalty to North Carolina. From this time
on, the feud was an open one.

That brief and now forgotten State, Frankland, the Land of the Free,
which bequeathed its name as an appellation for America, was founded as
Watauga had been founded--to meet the practical needs and aspirations of
its people. It will be remembered that one of the things written by
Sevier into the only Watauga document extant was that they desired to
become "in every way the best members of society." Frankland's aims, as
recorded, included the intent to "improve agriculture, perfect
manufacturing, encourage literature and every thing truly laudable."

The constitution of Frankland, agreed to on the 14th of November, 1785,
appeals to us today rather by its spirit than by its practical
provisions. "This State shall be called the Commonwealth of Frankland
and shall be governed by a General Assembly of the representatives of
the freemen of the same, a Governor and Council, and proper courts of
justice.... The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a single
House of Representatives of the freemen of the commonwealth of
Frankland. The House of Representatives of the freemen of the State
shall consist of persons most noted for wisdom and virtue."

In these exalted desires of the primitive men who held by their rifles
and hatchets the land by the western waters, we see the influence of the
Reverend Samuel Doak, their pastor, who founded the first church and the
first school beyond the great hills. Early in the life of Watauga he had
come thither from Princeton, a zealous and broadminded young man, and a
sturdy one, too, for he came on foot driving before him a mule laden
with books. Legend credits another minister, the Reverend Samuel
Houston, with suggesting the name of Frankland, after he had opened the
Convention with prayer. It is not surprising to learn that this
glorified constitution was presently put aside in favor of one modeled
on that of North Carolina.

Sevier persuaded the more radical members of the community to abandon
their extreme views and to adopt the laws of North Carolina. However
lawless his acts as Governor of a bolting colony may appear, Sevier was
essentially a constructive force. His purposes were right, and small
motives are not discernible in his record. He might reasonably urge that
the Franklanders had only followed the example of North Carolina and the
other American States in seceding from the parent body, and for similar
causes, for the State's system of taxation had long borne heavily on the
overhill men.

The whole transmontane populace welcomed Frankland with enthusiasm.
Major Arthur Campbell, of the Virginian settlements, on the Holston, was
eager to join. Sevier and his Assembly took the necessary steps to
receive the overhill Virginians, provided that the transfer of
allegiance could be made with Virginia's consent. Meanwhile he replied
in a dignified manner to the pained and menacing expostulations of North
Carolina's Governor. North Carolina was bidden to remember the epithets
her assemblymen had hurled at the Westerners, which they themselves had
by no means forgotten. And was it any wonder that they now doubted the
love the parent State professed to feel for them? As for the puerile
threat of blood, had their quality really so soon become obliterated
from the memory of North Carolina? At this sort of writing, Sevier, who
always pulsed hot with emotion and who had a pretty knack in turning a
phrase, was more than a match for the Governor of North Carolina, whose
prerogatives he had usurped.

The overmountain men no longer needed to complain bitterly of the lack
of legal machinery to keep them "the best members of society." They now
had courts to spare. Frankland had its courts, its judges, its
legislative body, its land office--in fact, a full governmental
equipment. North Carolina also performed all the natural functions of
political organism, within the western territory. Sevier appointed one
David Campbell a judge. Campbell held court in Jonesborough. Ten miles
away, in Buffalo, Colonel John Tipton presided for North Carolina. It
happened frequently that officers and attendants of the rival law courts
met, as they pursued their duties, and whenever they met they fought.
The post of sheriff--or sheriffs, for of course there were two--was
filled by the biggest and heaviest man and the hardest hitter in the
ranks of the warring factions. A favorite game was raiding each other's
courts and carrying off the records. Frankland sent William Cocke, later
the first senator from Tennessee, to Congress with a memorial, asking
Congress to accept the territory North Carolina had offered and to
receive it into the Union as a separate State. Congress ignored the
plea. It began to appear that North Carolina would be victor in the end;
and so there were defections among the Franklanders. Sevier wrote to
Benjamin Franklin asking his aid in establishing the status of
Frankland; and, with a graceful flourish of his ready pen, changed the
new State's name to Franklin by way of reinforcing his arguments. But
the old philosopher, more expert than Sevier in diplomatic calligraphy,
only acknowledged the compliment and advised the State of Franklin to
make peace with North Carolina.

Sevier then appealed for aid and recognition to the Governor of Georgia,
who had previously appointed him Brigadier General of militia. But the
Governor of Georgia also avoided giving the recognition requested,
though he earnestly besought Sevier to come down and settle the Creeks
for him. There were others who sent pleas to Sevier, the warrior, to
save them from the savages. One of the writers who addressed him did not
fear to say "Your Excellency," nor to accord Nolichucky Jack the whole
dignity of the purple in appealing to him as the only man possessing the
will and the power to prevent the isolated settlements on the Cumberland
from being wiped out. That writer was his old friend, James Robertson.

In 1787, while Sevier was on the frontier of Greene County, defending it
from Indians, the legal forces of North Carolina swooped down on his
estate and took possession of his negroes. It was Tipton who represented
the law; and Tipton carried off the Governor's slaves to his own estate.
When Nolichucky Jack came home and found that his enemy had stripped
him, he was in a towering rage. With a body of his troops and one small
cannon, he marched to Tipton's house and besieged it, threatening a
bombardment. He did not, however, fire into the dwelling, though he
placed some shots about it and in the extreme corners. This opéra bouffe
siege endured for several days, until Tipton was reinforced by some of
his own clique. Then Tipton sallied forth and attacked the besiegers,
who hastily scattered rather than engage in a sanguinary fight with
their neighbors. Tipton captured Sevier's two elder sons and was only
strained from hanging them on being informed that two of his own sons
were at that moment in Sevier's hands.

In March, 1788, the State of Franklin went into eclipse. Sevier was
overthrown by the authorities of North Carolina. Most of the officials
who had served under him were soothed by being reappointed to their old
positions. Tipton's star was now in the ascendant, for his enemy was to
be made the vicarious sacrifice for the sins of all whom he had "led
astray." Presently David Campbell, still graciously permitted to preside
over the Superior Court, received from the Governor of North Carolina
the following letter:

Sir: It has been represented to the Executive that John Sevier, who
style's himself Captain-General of the State of Franklin, has been
guilty of high treason in levying troops to oppose the laws and
government of the State.... You will issue your warrant to apprehend the
said John Sevier, and in case he cannot be sufficiently secured for
trial in the District of Washington, order him to be committed to the
public gaol.

The judge's authority was to be exercised after he had examined the
"affidavits of credible persons." Campbell's judicial opinion seems to
have been that any affidavit against "the said John Sevier" could not be
made by a "credible person." He refused to issue the warrant. Tipton's
friend, Spencer, who had been North Carolina's judge of the Superior
Court in the West and who was sharing that honor now with Campbell,
issued the warrant and sent Tipton to make the arrest.

Sevier was at the Widow Brown's inn with some of his men when Tipton at
last came up with him. It was early morning. Tipton and his posse were
about to enter when the portly and dauntless widow, surmising their
errand, drew her chair into the doorway, plumped herself down in it, and
refused to budge for all the writs in North Carolina. Tipton blustered
and the widow rocked. The altercation awakened Sevier. He dressed
hurriedly and came down. As soon as he presented himself on the porch,
Tipton thrust his pistol against his body, evidently with intent to fire
if Sevier made signs of resistance. Sevier's furious followers were not
disposed to let him be taken without a fight, but he admonished them to
respect the law, and requested that they would inform Bonnie Kate of his
predicament. Then, debonair as ever, with perhaps a tinge of contempt at
the corners of his mouth, he held out his wrists for the manacles which
Tipton insisted on fastening upon them.

It was not likely that any jail in the western country could hold
Nolichucky Jack overnight. Tipton feared a riot; and it was decided to
send the prisoner for incarceration and trial to Morgantown in North
Carolina, just over the hills.

Tipton did not accompany the guards he sent with Sevier. It was stated
and commonly believed that he had given instructions of which the
honorable men among his friends were ignorant. When the party entered
the mountains, two of the guards were to lag behind with the prisoner,
till the others were out of sight on the twisting trail. Then one of the
two was to kill Sevier and assert that he had done it because Sevier had
attempted to escape. It fell out almost as planned, except that the
other guard warned Sevier of the fate in store for him and gave him a
chance to flee. In plunging down the mountain, Sevier's horse was
entangled in a thicket. The would-be murderer overtook him and fired;
but here again fate had interposed for her favorite. The ball had
dropped out of the assassin's pistol. So Sevier reached Morgantown in
safety and was deposited in care of the sheriff, who was doubtless
cautioned to take a good look at the prisoner and know him for a
dangerous and a daring man.

There is a story to the effect that, when Sevier was arraigned in the
courthouse at Morgantown and presently dashed through the door and away
on a racer that had been brought up by some of his friends, among those
who witnessed the proceedings was a young Ulster Scot named Andrew
Jackson; and that on this occasion these two men, later to become foes,
first saw each other. Jackson may have been in Morgantown at the time,
though this is disputed; but the rest of the tale is pure legend
invented by some one whose love of the spectacular led him far from the
facts. The facts are less theatrical but much more dramatic. Sevier was
not arraigned at all, for no court was sitting in Morgantown at the
time. ¹ The sheriff to whom he was delivered did not need to look twice
at him to know him for a daring man. He had served with him at King's
Mountain. He struck off his handcuffs and set him at liberty at once.
Perhaps he also notified General Charles McDowell at his home in Quaker
Meadows of the presence of a distinguished guest in Burke County, for
McDowell and his brother Joseph, another officer of militia, quickly
appeared and went on Sevier's bond. Nolichucky Jack was presently
holding a court of his own in the tavern, with North Carolina's men at
arms--as many as were within call--drinking his health. So his sons and
a company of his Wataugans found him, when they rode into Morgantown to
give evidence in his behalf--with their rifles. Since none now disputed
the way with him, Sevier turned homeward with his cavalcade, McDowell
and his men accompanying him as far as the pass in the hills.

¹ Statement by John Sevier, Junior, in the Draper MSS., quoted by
Turner, Life of General John Sevier, p. 182.

No further attempt was made to try John Sevier for treason, either west
or east of the mountains. In November, however, the Assembly passed the
Pardon Act, and thereby granted absolution to every one who had been
associated with the State of Franklin, except John Sevier. In a clause
said to have been introduced by Tipton, now a senator, or suggested by
him, John Sevier was debarred forever from "the enjoyment of any office
of profit or honor or trust in the State of North Carolina."

The overhill men in Greene County took due note of the Assembly's fiat
and at the next election sent Sevier to the North Carolina Senate.
Nolichucky Jack, whose demeanor was never so decorous as when the
ill-considered actions of those in authority had made him appear to have
circumvented the law, considerately waited outside until the House had
lifted the ban--which it did perforce and by a large majority, despite
Tipton's opposition--and then took his seat on the senatorial bench
beside his enemy. The records show that he was reinstated as Brigadier
General of the Western Counties and also appointed at the head of the
Committee on Indian Affairs.

Not only in the region about Watauga did the pioneers of Tennessee
endure the throes of danger and strife during these years. The little
settlements on the Cumberland, which were scattered over a short
distance of about twenty-five or thirty miles and had a frontier line of
two hundred miles, were terribly afflicted. Their nearest white
neighbors among the Kentucky settlers were one hundred and fifty miles
away; and through the cruelest years these could render no aid--could
not, indeed, hold their own stations. The Kentuckians, as we have seen,
were bottled up in Harrodsburg and Boonesborough; and, while the
northern Indians led by Girty and Dequindre darkened the Bloody Ground
anew, the Cumberlanders were making a desperate stand against the
Chickasaws and the Creeks. So terrible was their situation that panic
took hold on them, and they would have fled but for the influence of
Robertson. He may have put the question to them in the biblical words,
"Whither shall I flee?" For they were surrounded, and those who did
attempt to escape were "weighed on the path and made light." Robertson
knew that their only chance of survival was to stand their ground. The
greater risks he was willing to take in person, for it was he who made
trips to Boonesborough and Harrodsburg for a share of the powder and
lead which John Sevier was sending into Kentucky from time to time. In
the stress of conflict Robertson bore his full share of grief, for his
two elder sons and his brother fell. He himself was often near to death.
One day he was cut off in the fields and was shot in the foot as he ran,
yet he managed to reach shelter. There is a story that, in an attack
during one of his absences, the Indians forced the outer gate of the
fort and Mrs. Robertson went out of her cabin, firing, and let loose a
band of the savage dogs which the settlers kept for their protection,
and so drove out the invaders.

The Chickasaws were loyal to the treaty they had made with the British
in the early days of James Adair's association with them. They were
friends to England's friends and foes to her foes. While they resented
the new settlements made on land they considered theirs, they signed a
peace with Robertson at the conclusion of the War of Independence. They
kept their word with him as they had kept it with the British.
Furthermore, their chief, Opimingo or the Mountain Leader, gave
Robertson his assistance against the Creeks and the Choctaws and, in so
far as he understood its workings, informed him of the new Spanish and
French conspiracy, which we now come to consider. So once again the
Chickasaws were servants of destiny to the English-speaking race, for
again they drove the wedge of their honor into an Indian solidarity
welded with European gold.

Since it was generally believed at that date that the tribes were
instigated to war by the British and supplied by them with their
ammunition, savage inroads were expected to cease with the signing of
peace. But Indian warfare not only continued; it increased. In the last
two years of the Revolution, when the British were driven from the Back
Country of the Carolinas and could no longer reach the tribes with
consignments of firearms and powder, it should have been evident that
the Indians had other sources of supply and other allies, for they
lacked nothing which could aid them in their efforts to exterminate the
settlers of Tennessee.

Neither France nor Spain wished to see an English-speaking republic
based on ideals of democracy successfully established in America. Though
in the Revolutionary War, France was a close ally of the Americans and
Spain something more than a nominal one, the secret diplomacy of the
courts of the Bourbon cousins ill matched with their open professions.
Both cousins hated England. The American colonies, smarting under
injustice, had offered a field for their revenge. But hatred of England
was not the only reason why activities had been set afoot to increase
the discord which should finally separate the colonies from Great
Britain and leave the destiny of the colonies to be decided by the House
of Bourbon. Spain saw in the Americans, with their English modes of
thought, a menace to her authority in her own colonies on both the
northern and southern continents. This menace would not be stilled but
augmented if the colonies should be established as a republic. Such an
example might be too readily followed. Though France had, by a secret
treaty in 1762, made over to Spain the province of Louisiana, she was
not unmindful of the Bourbon motto, "He who attacks the Crown of one
attacks the other." And she saw her chance to deal a crippling blow at
England's prestige and commerce.

In 1764, the French Minister, Choiseul, had sent a secret agent, named
Pontleroy, to America to assist in making trouble and to watch for any
signs that might be turned to the advantage of les duex couronnes.
Evidently Pontleroy's reports were encouraging for, in 1768, Johann
Kalb--the same Kalb who fell at Camden in 1780--arrived in Philadelphia
to enlarge the good work. He was not only, like several of the foreign
officers in the War of Independence, a spy for his Government, but he
was also the special emissary of one Comte de Broglie who, after the
colonies had broken with the mother country, was to put himself at the
head of American affairs. This Broglie had been for years one of Louis
XV's chief agents in subterranean diplomacy, and it is not to be
supposed that he was going to attempt the stupendous task of controlling
America's destiny without substantial backing. Spain had been advised
meanwhile to rule her new Louisiana territory with great liberality--in
fact, to let it shine as a republic before the yearning eyes of the
oppressed Americans, so that the English colonists would arise and cast
off their fetters. Once the colonies had freed themselves from England's
protecting arm, it would be a simple matter for the Bourbons to gather
them in like so many little lost chicks from a rainy yard. The
intrigants of autocratic systems have never been able to understand that
the urge of the spirit of independence in men is not primarily to break
shackles but to stand alone and that the breaking of bonds is incidental
to the true demonstration of freedom. The Bourbons and their agents were
no more nor less blind to the great principle stirring the hearts of men
in their day than were the Prussianized hosts over a hundred years later
who, having themselves no acquaintance with the law of liberty, could
not foresee that half a world would rise in arms to maintain that law.

When the War of Independence had ended, the French Minister, Vergennes,
and the Spanish Minister, Floridablanca, secretly worked in unison to
prevent England's recognition of the new republic; and Floridablanca in
1782 even offered to assist England if she would make further efforts to
subdue her "rebel subjects." Both Latin powers had their own axes to
grind, and America was to tend the grindstone. France looked for
recovery of her old prestige in Europe and expected to supersede England
in commerce. She would do this, in the beginning, chiefly through
control of America and of America's commerce. Vergennes therefore sought
not only to dictate the final terms of peace but also to say what the
American commissioners should and should not demand. Of the latter
gentlemen he said that they possessed caractères peu maniables! In
writing to Luzerne, the French Ambassador in Philadelphia, on October
14, 1782, Vergennes said: "it behooves us to leave them [the American
commissioners] to their illusions, to do everything that can make them
fancy that we share them, and undertake only to defeat any attempts to
which those illusions might carry them if our coöperation is required."
Among these "illusions" were America's desires in regard to the
fisheries and to the western territory. Concerning the West, Vergennes
had written to Luzerne, as early as July 18, 1780: "At the moment when
the revolution broke out, the limits of the Thirteen States did not
reach the River [Mississippi] and it would be absurd for them to claim
the rights of England, a power whose rule they had abjured." By the
secret treaty with Spain, furthermore, France had agreed to continue the
war until Gibraltar should be taken, and--if the British should be
driven from Newfoundland--to share the fisheries only with Spain, and to
support Spain in demanding that the Thirteen States renounce all
territory west of the Alleghanies. The American States must by no means
achieve a genuine independence but must feel the need of sureties,
allies, and protection. ¹

¹ See John Jay, On the Peace Negotiations of 1782-1783 as Illustrated by
the Secret Correspondence of France and England, New York, 1888.

So intent was Vergennes on these aims that he sent a secret emissary to
England to further them there. This act of his perhaps gave the first
inkling to the English statesmen ² that American and French desires were
not identical and hastened England's recognition of American
independence and her agreement to American demands in regard to the
western territory. When, to his amazement, Vergennes learned that
England had acceded to all America's demands, he said that England had
"bought the peace" rather than made it. The policy of Vergennes in
regard to America was not unjustly pronounced by a later French
statesman "a vile speculation"

² "Your Lordship was well founded in your suspicion that the granting of
independence to America as a previous measure is a point which the
French have by no means at heart and perhaps are entirely averse from."
Letter from Fitzherbert to Grantham, September 3, 1782.

Through England's unexpected action, then, the Bourbon cousins had
forever lost their opportunity to dominate the young but spent and
war-weakened Republic, or to use America as a catspaw to snatch English
commerce for France. It was plain, too, that any frank move of the sort
would range the English alongside of their American kinsmen. Since
American Independence was an accomplished fact and therefore could no
longer be prevented, the present object of the Bourbon cousins was to
restrict it. The Appalachian Mountains should be the western limits of
the new nation. Therefore the settlements in Kentucky and Tennessee must
be broken up, or the settlers must be induced to secede from the Union
and raise the Spanish banner. The latter alternative was held to be
preferable. To bring it about the same methods were to be continued
which had been used prior to and during the war--namely, the use of
agents provocateurs to corrupt the ignorant and incite the lawless, the
instigation of Indian massacres to daunt the brave, and the distribution
of gold to buy the avaricious.

As her final and supreme means of coercion, Spain refused to America the
right of navigation on the Mississippi and so deprived the Westerners of
a market for their produce. The Northern States, having no immediate use
for the Mississippi, were willing to placate Spain by acknowledging her
monopoly of the great waterway. But Virginia and North Carolina were
determined that America should not, by congressional enactment,
surrender her "natural right"; and they cited the proposed legislation
as their reason for refusing to ratify the Constitution. "The act which
abandons it [the right of navigation] is an act of separation between
the eastern and western country," Jefferson realized at last. "An act of
separation"--that point had long been very clear to the Latin sachems of
the Mississippi Valley!

Bounded as they were on one side by the precipitous mountains and on the
other by the southward flow of the Mississippi and its tributary, the
Ohio, the trappers and growers of corn in Kentucky and western Tennessee
regarded New Orleans as their logical market, as the wide waters were
their natural route. If market and route were to be closed to them,
their commercial advancement was something less than a dream.

In 1785, Don Estevan Miró, a gentleman of artful and winning address,
became Governor of Louisiana and fountainhead of the propaganda. He
wrote benign and brotherly epistles to James Robertson of the Cumberland
and to His Excellency of Franklin, suggesting that to be of service to
them was his dearest aim in life; and at the same time he kept the
southern Indians continually on the warpath. When Robertson wrote to him
of the Creek and Cherokee depredations, with a hint that the Spanish
might have some responsibility in the matter, Miró replied by offering
the Cumberlander a safe home on Spanish territory with freedom of
religion and no taxes. He disclaimed stirring up the Indians. He had, in
fact, advised Mr. McGillivray, chief of the Creeks, to make peace. He
would try again what he could do with Mr. McGillivray. As to the
Cherokees, they resided in a very distant territory and he was not
acquainted with them; he might have added that he did not need to be:
his friend McGillivray was the potent personality among the Southern

In Alexander McGillivray, Miró found a weapon fashioned to his hand. If
the Creek chieftain's figure might stand as the symbol of treachery, it
is none the less one of the most picturesque and pathetic in our early
annals. McGillivray, it will be remembered, was the son of Adair's
friend Lachlan McGillivray, the trader, and a Creek woman whose sire had
been a French officer. A brilliant and beautiful youth, he had given his
father a pride in him which is generally denied to the fathers of sons
with Indian blood in them. The Highland trader had spared nothing in his
son's education and had placed him, after his school days, in the
business office of the large trading establishment of which he himself
was a member. At about the age of seventeen Alexander had become a
chieftain in his mother's nation; and doubtless it is he who appears
shortly afterwards in the Colonial Records as the White Leader whose
influence is seen to have been at work for friendship between the
colonists and the tribes. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Lachlan
McGillivray, like many of the old traders who had served British
interests so long and so faithfully, held to the British cause. Georgia
confiscated all his property and Lachlan fled to Scotland. For this, his
son hated the people of Georgia with a perfect hatred. He remembered how
often his father's courage alone had stood between those same people and
the warlike Creeks. He could recall the few days in 1760 when Lachlan
and his fellow trader, Galphin, at the risk of their lives had braved
the Creek warriors--already painted for war and on the march--and so had
saved the settlements of the Back Country from extermination. He looked
upon the men of Georgia as an Indian regards those who forget either a
blood gift or a blood vengeance. And he embraced the whole American
nation in his hatred for their sakes.

In 1776 Alexander McGillivray was in his early thirties--the exact date
of his birth is uncertain. ¹ He had, we are told, the tall, sturdy, but
spare physique of the Gael, with a countenance of Indian color though
not of Indian cast. His overhanging brows made more striking his very
large and luminous dark eyes. He bore himself with great dignity; his
voice was soft, his manner gentle. He might have been supposed to be
some Latin courtier but for the barbaric display of his dress and his
ornaments. He possessed extraordinary personal magnetism, and his power
extended beyond the Creek nation to the Choctaws and Chickasaws and the
Southern Cherokees. He had long been wooed by the Louisiana authorities,
but there is no evidence that he had made alliance with them prior to
the Revolution.

¹ Probably about 1741 or 1742. Some writers give 1739 and others 1746.
His father landed in Charleston, Pickett (History of Alabama) says, in
1735, and was then only sixteen.

Early in the war he joined the British, received a colonel's commission,
and led his formidable Creeks against the people of Georgia. When the
British were driven from the Back Countries, McGillivray, in his British
uniform, went on with the war. When the British made peace, McGillivray
exchanged his British uniform for a Spanish one and went on with the
war. In later days, when he had forced Congress to pay him for his
father's confiscated property and had made peace, he wore the uniform of
an American Brigadier General; but he did not keep the peace, never
having intended to keep it. It was not until he had seen the Spanish
plots collapse and had realized that the Americans were to dominate the
land, that the White Leader ceased from war and urged the youths of his
tribe to adopt American civilization.

Spent from hate and wasted with dissipation, he retired at last to the
spot where Lachlan had set up his first Creek home. Here he lived his
few remaining days in a house which he built on the site of the old
ruined cabin about which still stood the little grove of apple trees his
father had planted. He died at the age of fifty of a fever contracted
while he was on a business errand in Pensacola. Among those who visited
him in his last years, one has left this description of him:
"Dissipation has sapped a constitution originally delicate and feeble.
He possesses an atticism of diction aided by a liberal education, a
great fund of wit and humor meliorated by a perfect good nature and
politeness." Set beside that kindly picture this rough etching by James
Robertson: "The biggest devil among them [the Spaniards] is the half
Spaniard, half Frenchman, half Scotchman and altogether Creek scoundrel,

How indefatigably McGillivray did his work we know from the bloody
annals of the years which followed the British-American peace, when the
men of the Cumberland and of Franklin were on the defensive continually.
How cleverly Miró played his personal rôle we discover in the letters
addressed to him by Sevier and Robertson. These letters show that, as
far as words go at any rate, the founders of Tennessee were willing to
negotiate with Spain. In a letter dated September 12, 1788, Sevier
offered himself and his tottering State of Franklin to the Spanish King.
This offer may have been made to gain a respite, or it may have been
genuine. The situation in the Tennessee settlements was truly desperate,
for neither North Carolina nor Congress apparently cared in the least
what befell them or how soon. North Carolina indeed was in an anomalous
position, as she had not yet ratified the Federal Constitution. If
Franklin went out of existence and the territory which it included
became again part of North Carolina, Sevier knew that a large part of
the newly settled country would, under North Carolina's treaties, revert
to the Indians. That meant ruin to large numbers of those who had put
their faith in his star, or else it meant renewed conflict either with
the Indians or with the parent State. The probabilities aria that Sevier
hoped to play the Spaniards against the Easterners who, even while
denying the Westerners' contention that the mountains were a "natural"
barrier between them, were making of them a barrier of indifference. It
would seem so, because, although this was the very aim of all Miró's
activities so that, had he been assured of the sincerity of the offer,
he must have grasped at it, yet nothing definite was done. And Sevier
was presently informing Shelby, now in Kentucky, that there was a
Spanish plot afoot to seize the western country.

Miró had other agents besides McGillivray--who, by the way, was costing
Spain, for his own services and those of four tribes aggregating over
six thousand warriors, a sum of fifty-five thousand dollars a year.
McGillivray did very well as superintendent of massacres; but the
Spaniard required a different type of man, an American who enjoyed his
country's trust, to bring the larger plan to fruition. Miró found that
man in General James Wilkinson, lately of the Continental Army and now a
resident of Kentucky, which territory Wilkinson undertook to deliver to
Spain, for a price. In 1787 Wilkinson secretly took the oath of
allegiance to Spain and is listed in the files of the Spanish secret
service, appropriately, as "Number Thirteen." He was indeed the
thirteenth at table, the Judas at the feast. Somewhat under middle
height, Wilkinson was handsome, graceful, and remarkably magnetic. Of a
good, if rather impoverished, Maryland family, he was well educated and
widely read for the times. With a brilliant and versatile
intellectuality and ready gifts as a speaker, he swayed men easily. He
was a bold soldier and was endowed with physical courage, though when
engaged in personal contests he seldom exerted it--preferring the red
tongue of slander or the hired assassin's shot from behind cover. His
record fails to disclose one commendable trait. He was inordinately
avaricious, but love of money was not his whole motive force: he had a
spirit so jealous and malignant that he hated to the death another man's
good. He seemed to divine instantly wherein other men were weak and to
understand the speediest and best means of suborning them to his own
interests--or of destroying them.

Wilkinson was able to lure a number of Kentuckians into the separatist
movement. George Rogers Clark seriously disturbed the arch plotter by
seizing a Spanish trader's store wherewith to pay his soldiers, whom
Virginia had omitted to recompense. This act aroused the suspicions of
the Spanish, either as to Number Thirteen's perfect loyalty or as to his
ability to deliver the western country. In 1786, when Clark led two
thousand men against the Ohio Indians in his last and his only
unsuccessful campaign, Wilkinson had already settled himself near the
Falls (Louisville) and had looked about for mischief which he might do
for profit. Whether his influence had anything to do with what amounted
virtually to a mutiny among Clark's forces is not ascertainable; but,
for a disinterested onlooker, he was overswift to spread the news of
Clark's debacle and to declare gleefully that Clark's sun of military
glory had now forever set. It is also known that he later served other
generals treacherously in Indian expeditions and that he intrigued with
Mad Anthony Wayne's Kentucky troops against their commander.

Spain did not wish to see the Indians crushed; and Wilkinson himself
both hated and feared any other officer's prestige. How long he had been
in foreign pay we can only conjecture, for, several years before he
transplanted his activities to Kentucky, he had been one of a cabal
against Washington. Not only his ambitions but his nature must
inevitably have brought him to the death-battle with George Rogers
Clark. As a military leader, Clark had genius, and soldiering was his
passion. In nature, he was open, frank, and bold to make foes if he
scorned a man's way as ignoble or dishonest. Wilkinson suavely set about
scheming for Clark's ruin. His communication or memorial to the Virginia
Assembly--signed by himself and a number of his friends--villifying
Clark, ended Clark's chances for the commission in the Continental Army
which he craved. It was Wilkinson who made public an incriminating
letter which had Clark's signature attached and which Clark said he had
never seen. It is to be supposed that Number Thirteen was responsible
also for the malevolent anonymous letter accusing Clark of drunkenness
and scheming which, so strangely, found its way into the Calendar of
State Papers of Virginia. ¹ As a result, Clark was censured by Virginia.
Thereupon he petitioned for a Court of Inquiry, but this was not
granted. Wilkinson had to get rid of Clark; for if Clark, with his
military gifts and his power over men, had been elevated to a position
of command under the smile of the Government, there would have been
small opportunity for James Wilkinson to lead the Kentuckians and to
gather in Spanish gold. So the machinations of one of the vilest
traitors who ever sold his country were employed to bring about the
stultification and hence the downfall of a great servant.

¹ See Thomas M. Greene's The Spanish Conspiracy, p. 72, footnote. It is
possible that Wilkinson's intrigues provide data for a new biography of
Clark which may recast in some measure the accepted view of Clark at
this period.

Wilkinson's chief aids were the Irishmen, O'Fallon, Nolan, and Powers.
Through Nolan, he also vended Spanish secrets. He sold, indeed, whatever
and whomever he could get his price for. So clever was he that he
escaped detection, though he was obliged to remove some suspicions. He
succeeded Wayne as commander of the regular army in 1796. He was one of
the commissioners to receive Louisiana when the Purchase was arranged in
1803. He was still on the Spanish pay roll at that time. Wilkinson's
true record came to light only when the Spanish archives were opened to

There were British agents also in the Old Southwest, for the
dissatisfaction of the Western men inspired in Englishmen the hope of
recovering the Mississippi Basin. Lord Dorchester, Governor of Canada,
wrote to the British Government that he had been approached by important
Westerners; but he received advice from England to move slowly. For
complicity in the British schemes, William Blount, who was first
territorial Governor of Tennessee and later a senator from that State,
was expelled from the Senate.

Surely there was never a more elaborate network of plots that came to
nothing! The concession to Americans in 1796 of the right of navigation
on the Mississippi brought an end to the scheming.

In the same year Tennessee was admitted to the Union, and John Sevier
was elected Governor. Sevier's popularity was undiminished, though there
were at this time some sixty thousand souls in Tennessee, many of whom
were late comers who had not known him in his heyday. His old power to
win men to him must have been as strong as ever, for it is recorded that
he had only to enter a political meeting--no matter whose--for the crowd
to cheer him and shout for him to "give them a talk."

This adulation of Sevier still annoyed a few men who had ambitions of
their own. Among these was Andrew Jackson, who had come to Jonesborough
in 1788, just after the collapse of the State of Franklin. He was
twenty-one at that time, and he is said to have entered Jonesborough
riding a fine racer and leading another, with a pack of hunting dogs
baying or nosing along after him. A court record dated May 12, 1788,
avers that "Andrew Jackson, Esq. came into Court and produced a licence
as an Attorney With A Certificate sufficiently Attested of his Taking
the Oath Necessary to said office and Was admitted to Practiss as an
Attorney in the County Courts." Jackson made no history in old Watauga
during that year. Next year he moved to Nashville, and one year later,
when the Superior Court was established (1790), he became prosecuting

The feud between Jackson and Sevier began about the time that Tennessee
entered the Union. Jackson, then twenty-nine, was defeated for the post
of Major General of the Militia through the influence which Sevier
exercised against him, and it seems that Jackson never forgave this
opposition to his ambitions. By the close of Sevier's third term,
however, in 1802, when Archibald Roane became Governor, the post of
Major General was again vacant. Both Sevier and Jackson offered
themselves for it, and Jackson was elected by the deciding vote of the
Governor, the military vote having resulted in a tie. A strong current
of influence had now set in against Sevier and involved charges against
his honor. His old enemy Tipton was still active. The basis of the
charges was a file of papers from the entry-taker's office which a
friend of Tipton's had laid before the Governor, with an affidavit to
the effect that the papers were fraudulent. Both the Governor and
Jackson believed the charges. When we consider what system or lack of
system of land laws and land entries obtained in Watauga and such
primitive communities--when a patch of corn sealed a right and claims
were made by notching trees with tomahawks--we may imagine that a file
from the land office might appear easily enough to smirch a landholder's
integrity. The scandal was, of course, used in an attempt to ruin
Sevier's candidacy for a fourth term as Governor and to make certain
Roane's reëlection. To this end Jackson bent all his energies but
without success. Nolichucky Jack was elected, for the fourth time, as
Governor of Tennessee.

Not long after his inauguration, Sevier met Jackson in Knoxville, where
Jackson was holding court. The charges against Sevier were then being
made the subject of legislative investigation instituted by Tipton, and
Jackson had published a letter in the Knoxville Gazette supporting them.
At the sight of Jackson, Sevier flew into a rage, and a fiery
altercation ensued. The two men were only restrained from leaping on
each other by the intervention of friends. The next day Jackson sent
Sevier a challenge which Sevier accepted, but with the stipulation that
the duel take place outside the State. Jackson insisted on fighting in
Knoxville, where the insult had been offered. Sevier refused. "I have
some respect," he wrote, "for the laws of the State over which I have
the honor to preside, although you, a judge, appear to have none." No
duel followed; but, after some further billets-doux, Jackson published
Sevier as "a base coward and poltroon. He will basely insult but has not
the courage to repair the wound." Again they met, by accident, and
Jackson rushed upon Sevier with his cane. Sevier dismounted and drew his
pistol but made no move to fire. Jackson, thereupon, also drew his
weapon. Once more friends interfered. It is presumable that neither
really desired the duel. By killing Nolichucky Jack, Jackson would have
ended his own career in Tennessee--if Sevier's tribe of sons had not, by
a swifter means, ended it for him. At this date Jackson was thirty-six.
Sevier was fifty-eight; and he had seventeen children.

The charges against Sevier, though pressed with all the force that his
enemies could bring to bear, came to nothing. He remained the Governor
of Tennessee for another six years--the three terms in eight years
allowed by the constitution. In 1811 he was sent to Congress for the
second time, as he had represented the Territory there twenty years
earlier. He was returned again in 1813. At the conclusion of his term in
1815 he went into the Creek country as commissioner to determine the
Creek boundaries, and here, far from his Bonnie Kate and his tribe, he
died of fever at the age of seventy. His body was buried with full
military honors at Tuckabatchee, one of the Creek towns. In 1889,
Sevier's remains were removed to Knoxville and a high marble spire was
raised above them.

His Indian enemies forgave the chastisement he had inflicted on them and
honored him. In times of peace they would come to him frequently for
advice. And in his latter days, the chiefs would make state visits to
his home on the Nolichucky River. "John Sevier is a good man"--so
declared the Cherokee, Old Tassel, making himself the spokesman of

Sevier had survived his old friend, co-founder with him of Watauga, by
one year. James Robertson had died in 1814 at the age of seventy-two,
among the Chickasaws, and his body, like that of his fellow pioneer, was
buried in an Indian town and lay there until 1825, when it was removed
to Nashville.

What of the red tribes who had fought these great pioneers for the wide
land of the Old Southwest and who in the end had received their dust and
treasured it with honor in the little soil remaining to them? Always the
new boundary lines drew closer in, and the red men's foothold narrowed
before the pushing tread of the whites. The day came soon when there was
no longer room for them in the land of their fathers. But far off across
the great river there was a land the white men did not covet yet.
Thither at last the tribes--Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and
Creek--took their way. With wives and children, maids and youths, the
old and the young, with all their goods, their cattle and horses, in the
company of a regiment of American troops, they--like the white men who
had superseded them--turned westward. In their faces also was the red
color of the west, but not newly there. From the beginning of their
race, Destiny had painted them with the hue of the brief hour of the
dying sun.


Boone's Last Days

One spring day in 1799, there might have been observed a great stir
through the valley of the Kanawha. With the dawn, men were ahorse, and
women, too. Wagons crowded with human freight wheeled over the rough
country, and boats, large and small, were afloat on the streams which
pour into the Great Kanawha and at length mingle with the Ohio at Point
Pleasant, where the battle was fought which opened the gates of

Some of the travelers poured into the little settlement at the junction
of the Elk and the Kanawha, where Charleston now lies. Others, who had
been later in starting or had come from a greater distance, gathered
along the banks of the Kanawha. At last shouts from those stationed
farthest up the stream echoed down the valley and told the rest that
what they had come out to see was at hand.

Several pirogues drifted into view on the river, now brightening in the
sunshine. In the vessels were men and their families; bales and bundles
and pieces of household furnishings, heaped to the gunwale; a few cattle
and horses standing patiently. But it was for one man above all that the
eager eyes of the settlers were watching, and him they saw clearly as
his boat swung by--a tall figure, erect and powerful, his keen friendly
blue eyes undimmed and his ruddy face unlined by time, though sixty-five
winters had frosted his black hair.

For a decade these settlers had known Daniel Boone, as storekeeper, as
surveyor, as guide and soldier. They had eaten of the game he killed and
lavishly distributed. And they too--like the folk of Clinch Valley in
the year of Dunmore's War--had petitioned Virginia to bestow military
rank upon their protector. "Lieutenant Colonel" had been his title among
them, by their demand. Once indeed he had represented them in the
Virginia Assembly and, for that purpose, trudged to Richmond with rifle
and hunting dog. Not interested in the Legislature's proceedings, he
left early in the session and tramped home again.

But not even the esteem of friends and neighbors could hold the great
hunter when the deer had fled. So Daniel Boone was now on his way
westward to Missouri, to a new land of fabled herds and wide spaces,
where the hunter's gun might speak its one word with authority and where
the soul of a silent and fearless man might find its true abode in
Nature's solitude. Waving his last farewells, he floated past the little
groups--till their shouts of good will were long silenced, and his fleet
swung out upon the Ohio.

As Boone sailed on down the Beautiful River which forms the northern
boundary of Kentucky, old friends and newcomers who had only heard his
fame rode from far and near to greet and godspeed him on his way.
Sometimes he paused for a day with them. Once at least--this was in
Cincinnati where he was taking on supplies--some one asked him why, at
his age, he was leaving the settled country to dare the frontier once

"Too crowded," he answered; "I want more elbow-room!"

Boone settled at the Femme Osage Creek on the Missouri River,
twenty-five miles above St. Charles, where the Missouri flows into the
Mississippi. There were four other Kentucky families at La Charette, as
the French inhabitants called the post, but these were the only
Americans. The Spanish authorities granted Boone 840 acres of land, and
here Daniel built the last cabin home he was to erect for himself and
his Rebecca.

The region pleased him immensely. The governmental system, for instance,
was wholly to his mind. Taxes were infinitesimal. There were no
elections, assemblies, or the like. A single magistrate, or Syndic,
decided all disputes and made the few regulations and enforced them.
There were no land speculators, no dry-mouthed sons of the commercial
Tantalus, athirst for profits. Boone used to say that his first years in
Missouri were the happiest of his life, with the exception of his first
long hunt in Kentucky.

In 1800 he was appointed Syndic of the district of Femme Osage, which
office he filled for four years, until Louisiana became American
territory. He was held in high esteem as a magistrate because of his
just and wise treatment of his flock, who brought him all their small
bickerings to settle. He had no use for legal procedure, would not
listen to any nice subtleties, saying that he did not care anything at
all about the evidence, what he wanted was the truth. His favorite
penalty for offenders was the hickory rod "well laid on." Often he
decided that both parties in a suit were equally to blame and chastised
them both alike. When in March, 1804, the American Commissioner received
Louisiana for the United States, Delassus, Lieutenant Governor of Upper
Louisiana, reporting on the various officials in the territory, wrote of
the Femme Osage Syndic: "Mr. Boone, a respectable old man, just and
impartial, he has already, since I appointed him, offered his
resignation owing to his infirmities. Believing I know his probity, I
have induced him to remain, in view of my confidence in him, for the
public good." ¹

¹ Thwaites, Daniel Boone. To this and other biographies of Boone, cited
in the Bibliographical Note at the end of this volume, the author is
indebted for the material contained in this chapter.

Daniel, no doubt supposing that a Syndic's rights were inviolable, had
neglected to apply to the Governor at New Orleans for a ratification of
his grant. He was therefore dispossessed. Not until 1810, and after he
had enlisted the Kentucky Legislature in his behalf, did he succeed in
inducing Congress to restore his land. The Kentucky Legislature's
resolution was adopted because of "the many eminent services rendered by
Colonel Boone in exploring and settling the western country, from which
great advantages have resulted not only to the State but to the country
in general, and that from circumstances over which he had no control he
is now reduced to poverty; not having so far as appears an acre of land
out of the vast territory he has been a great instrument in peopling."
Daniel was seventy-six then; so it was late in the day for him to have
his first experience of justice in the matter of land. Perhaps it
pleased him, however, to hear that, in confirming his grant, Congress
had designated him as "the man who has opened the way for millions of
his fellow-men."

The "infirmities" which had caused the good Syndic to seek relief from
political cares must have been purely magisterial. The hunter could have
been very little affected by them, for as soon as he was freed from his
duties Boone took up again the silent challenge of the forest. Usually
one or two of his sons or his son-in-law, Flanders Calloway, accompanied
him, but sometimes his only companions were an old Indian and his
hunting dog. On one of his hunting trips he explored a part of Kansas;
and in 1814, when he was eighty, he hunted big game in the Yellowstone
where again his heart rejoiced over great herds as in the days of his
first lone wanderings in the Blue Grass country. At last, with the
proceeds of these expeditions he was able to pay the debts he had left
behind in Kentucky thirty years before. The story runs that Daniel had
only fifty cents remaining when all the claims had been settled, but so
contented was he to be able to look an honest man in the face that he
was in no disposition to murmur over his poverty.

When after a long and happy life his wife died in 1813, Boone lived with
one or other of his sons ¹ and sometimes with Flanders Calloway. Nathan
Boone, with whom Daniel chiefly made his home, built what is said to
have been the first stone house in Missouri. Evidently the old pioneer
disapproved of stone houses and of the "luxuries" in furnishings which
were then becoming possible to the new generation, for one of his
biographers speaks of visiting him in a log addition to his son's house;
and when Chester Harding, the painter, visited him in 1819 for the
purpose of doing his portrait, he found Boone dwelling in a small log
cabin in Nathan's yard. When Harding entered, Boone was broiling a
venison steak on the end of his ramrod. During the sitting, one day,
Harding asked Boone if he had ever been lost in the woods when on his
long hunts in the wilderness.

¹ Boone's son Nathan won distinction in the War of 1812 and entered the
regular army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Daniel Morgan
Boone is said to have been the first settler in Kansas (1827). One of
Daniel's grandsons, bearing the name of Albert Gallatin Boone, was a
pioneer of Colorado and was to the forefront in Rocky Mountain
exploration. Another grandson was the scout, Kit Carson, who led Frémont
to California.

"No, I never got lost," Boone replied reflectively, "but I was
bewildered once for three days." Though now having reached the age of
eighty-five, Daniel was intensely interested in California and was
enthusiastic to make the journey thither next spring and so to flee once
more from the civilization which had crept westward along his path. The
resolute opposition of his sons, however, prevented the attempt.

A few men who sought out Boone in his old age have left us brief
accounts of their impressions. Among these was Audubon. "The stature and
general appearance of this wanderer of the western forests," the
naturalist wrote, "approached the gigantic. His chest was broad, and
prominent; his muscular powers displayed themselves in every limb; his
countenance gave indication of his great courage, enterprise and
perseverance; and, when he spoke, the very motion of his lips brought
the impression that whatever he uttered could not be otherwise than
strictly true."

Audubon spent a night under Boone's roof. He related afterwards that the
old hunter, having removed his hunting shirt, spread his blankets on the
floor and lay down there to sleep, saying that he found it more
comfortable than a bed. A striking sketch of Boone is contained in a few
lines penned by one of his earliest biographers: "He had what
phrenologists would have considered a model head--with a forehead
peculiarly high, noble and bold, thin compressed lips, a mild clear blue
eye, a large and prominent chin and a general expression of countenance
in which fearlessness and courage sat enthroned and which told the
beholder at a glance what he had been and was formed to be." In
criticizing the various portraits of Daniel, the same writer says: "They
want the high port and noble daring of his countenance.... Never was old
age more green, or gray hairs more graceful. His high, calm, bold
forehead seemed converted by years into iron."

Although we are indebted to these and other early chroniclers for many
details of Boone's life, there was one event which none of his
biographers has related; yet we know that it must have taken place. Even
the bare indication of it is found only in the narrative of the
adventures of two other explorers.

It was in the winter of 1803 that these two men came to Boone's
Settlement, as La Charette was now generally called. They had planned to
make their winter camp there, for in the spring, when the Missouri rose
to the flood, they and their company of frontiersmen were to take their
way up that uncharted stream and over plains and mountains in quest of
the Pacific Ocean. They were refused permission by the Spanish
authorities to camp at Boone's Settlement; so they lay through the
winter some forty miles distant on the Illinois side of the Mississippi,
across from the mouth of the Missouri. Since the records are silent, we
are free to picture as we choose their coming to the settlement during
the winter and again in the spring, for we know that they came.

We can imagine, for instance, the stir they made in La Charette on some
sparkling day when the frost bit and the crusty snow sent up a dancing
haze of diamond points. We can see the friendly French habitants staring
after the two young leaders and their men--all mere boys, though they
were also husky, seasoned frontiersmen--with their bronzed faces of
English cast, as in their gayly fringed deerskins they swaggered through
the hamlet to pay their respects to the Syndic. We may think of that
dignitary as smoking his pipe before his fireplace, perhaps; or making
out, in his fantastic spelling, a record of his primitive court--for
instance, that he had on that day given Pierre a dozen hickory thwacks,
"well laid on," for starting a brawl with Antoine, and had bestowed the
same upon Antoine for continuing the brawl with Pierre. A knock at the
door would bring the amiable invitation to enter, and the two young men
would step across his threshold, while their followers crowded about the
open door and hailed the old pathfinder.

One of the two leaders--the dark slender man with a subtle touch of the
dreamer in his resolute face--was a stranger; but the other, with the
more practical mien and the shock of hair that gave him the name of Red
Head among the tribes, Boone had known as a lad in Kentucky. To Daniel
and this young visitor the encounter would be a simple meeting of
friends, heightened in pleasure and interest somewhat, naturally, by the
adventure in prospect. But to us there is something vast in the thought
of Daniel Boone, on his last frontier, grasping the hands of William
Clark and Meriwether Lewis.

As for the rough and hearty mob at the door, Daniel must have known not
a few of them well; though they had been children in the days when he
and William Clark's brother strove for Kentucky. It seems fitting that
the soldiers with this expedition should have come from the garrison at
Kaskaskia; since the taking of that fort in 1778 by George Rogers Clark
had opened the western way from the boundaries of Kentucky to the
Mississippi. And among the young Kentuckians enlisted by William Clark
were sons of the sturdy fighters of still an earlier border line, Clinch
and Holston Valley men who had adventured under another Lewis at Point
Pleasant. Daniel would recognize in these--such as Charles Floyd--the
young kinsmen of his old-time comrades whom he had preserved from
starvation in the Kentucky wilderness by the kill from his rifle as they
made their long march home after Dunmore's War.

In May, Lewis and Clark's pirogues ascended the Missouri and the leaders
and men of the expedition spent another day in La Charette. Once again,
at least, Daniel was to watch the westward departure of pioneers. In
1811, when the Astorians passed, one of their number pointed to the
immobile figure of "an old man on the bank, who, he said, was Daniel

Sometimes the aged pioneer's mind cast forward to his last journey, for
which his advancing years were preparing him. He wrote on the subject to
a sister, in 1816, revealing in a few simple lines that the faith
whereby he had crossed, if not more literally removed, mountains was a
fixed star, and that he looked ahead fearlessly to the dark trail he
must tread by its single gleam. Autumn was tinting the forest and the
tang he loved was in the air when the great hunter passed. The date of
Boone's death is given as September 26, 1820. He was in his eighty-sixth
year. Unburdened by the pangs of disease he went out serenely, by the
gentle marches of sleep, into the new country.

The convention for drafting the constitution of Missouri, in session at
St. Louis, adjourned for the day, and for twenty days thereafter the
members wore crape on their arms as a further mark of respect for the
great pioneer. Daniel was laid by Rebecca's side, on the bank of Teugue
Creek, about a mile from the Missouri River. In 1845, the Missouri
legislators hearkened to oft-repeated pleas from Kentucky and
surrendered the remains of the pioneer couple. Their bones lie now in
Frankfort, the capital of the once Dark and Bloody Ground, and in 1880 a
monument was raised over them.

To us it seems rather that Kentucky itself is Boone's monument; even as
those other great corn States, Illinois and Indiana, are Clark's. There,
these two servants unafraid, who sacrificed without measure in the
wintry winds of man's ingratitude, are each year memorialized anew; when
the earth in summer--the season when the red man slaughtered--lifts up
the full grain in the ear, the life-giving corn; and when autumn smiles
in golden peace over the stubble fields, where the reaping and binding
machines have hummed a nation's harvest song.

Bibliographical Note

The Races And Their Migration

C. A. Hanna, The Scotch-Irish, 2 vols. New York, 1902. A very full if
somewhat over-enthusiastic study.

H. J. Ford, The Scotch-Irish in America. Princeton, 1915. Excellent.

A. G. Spangenberg, Extracts from his Journal of travels in North
Carolina, 1752. Publication of the Southern History Association. Vol. I,

A. B. Faust, The German Element in the United States, 2 vols. (1909).

J. P. MacLean, An Historical Account of the Settlements of Scotch
Highlanders in America (1900).

S. H. Cobb, The Story of the Palatines (1897).

N. D. Mereness (editor), Travels in the American Colonies. New York,
1916. This collection contains the diary of the Moravian Brethren cited
in the first chapter of the present volume.

Life In The Back Country

Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the Settlements and Indian Wars of the
Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, from 1763 to 1783. Albany,
1876. An intimate description of the daily life of the early settlers in
the Back Country by one of themselves.

J. F. D. Smyth, Tour in the United States of America, 2 vols. London,
1784. Minute descriptions of the Back Country and interesting pictures
of the life of the settlers; biased as to political views by Royalist

William H. Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, New York, 1846. See Foote
also for history of the first Presbyterian ministers in the Back
Country. As to political history, inaccurate.

Early History And Exploration

J. S. Bassett (editor), The Writings of Colonel William Byrd of
Westover. New York, 1901. A contemporary record of early Virginia.

Thomas Walker, Journal of an Exploration in the Spring of the Year 1750.
Boston, 1888. The record of his travels by the discoverer of Cumberland

William M. Darlington (editor), Christopher Gist's Journals. Pittsburgh,
1893. Contains Gist's account of his surveys for the Ohio Company, 1750.

C. A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, 2 vols. New York, 1911. An exhaustive
work of research, with full accounts of Croghan and Findlay. See also
Croghan's and Johnson's correspondence in vol. VII, New York Colonial

James Adair, The History of the American Indians, etc. London, 1775. The
personal record of a trader who was one of the earliest explorers of the
Alleghanies and of the Mississippi region east of the river; a
many-sided work, intensely interesting.

C. W. Alvord, The Genesis of the Proclamation of 1763. Reprinted from
Canadian Archives Report, 1906. A new and authoritative interpretation.
In this connection see also the correspondence between Sir William
Johnson and the Lords of Trade in vol. VII of New York Colonial Records.

Justin Winsor, The Mississippi Basin. The Struggle in America between
England and France. Cambridge, 1895. Presents the results of exhaustive
research and the coördination of facts by an historian of broad
intellect and vision.

Colonial and State Records of North Carolina. 30 vols. The chief
fountain source of the early history of North Carolina and Tennessee.

W. H. Hoyt, The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. New York, 1907.
This book presents the view generally adopted by historians, that the
alleged Declaration of May 20, 1775, is spurious.

Justin Winsor (editor), Narrative and Critical History of America. 8
vols. (1884-1889). Also The Westward Movement. Cambridge, 1897. Both
works of incalculable value to the student.

C. W. Alvord, The Mississippi Valley in British Politics. 2 vols.
Cleveland, 1917. A profound work of great value to students.


R. G. Thwaites and L. P. Kellogg (editors), Documentary History of
Dunmore's War, 1774. Compiled from the Draper Manuscripts in the library
of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Madison, 1905. A collection of
interesting and valuable documents with a suggestive introduction.

R. G. Thwaites, Daniel Boone. New York, 1902. A short and accurate
narrative of Boone's life and adventures compiled from the Draper
Manuscripts and from earlier printed biographies.

John P. Hale, Daniel Boone, Some Facts and Incidents not Hitherto
Published. A pamphlet giving an account of Boone in West Virginia.
Printed at Wheeling, West Virginia. Undated.

Timothy Flint, The First White Man of the West or the Life and Exploits
of Colonel Dan'l Boone. Cincinnati, 1854. Valuable only as regards
Boone's later years.

John S. C. Abbott, Daniel Boone, the Pioneer of Kentucky. New York,
1872. Fairly accurate throughout.

J. M. Peck, Daniel Boone (in Sparks, Library of American Biography.
Boston, 1847).

William Henry Bogart. Daniel Boone and the Hunters of Kentucky. New
York, 1856.

William Hayden English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River
Ohio, 1778-1783, and Life of General George Rogers Clark, 2 vols.
Indianapolis, 1896. An accurate and valuable work for which the author
has made painstaking research among printed and unprinted documents.
Contains Clark's own account of his campaigns, letters he wrote on
public and personal matters, and also letters from contemporaries in
defense of his reputation.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, 4 vols. New York,
1889-1896. A vigorous and spirited narrative.


J. G. M. Ramsey, The Annals of Tennessee. Charleston, 1853. John
Haywood, The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee.
Nashville, 1891. (Reprint from 1828.) These works, with the North
Carolina Colonial Records, are the source books of early Tennessee. In
statistics, such as numbers of Indians and other foes defeated by
Tennessee heroes, not reliable. Incorrect as to causes of Indian wars
during the Revolution. On this subject see letters and reports by John
and Henry Stuart in North Carolina Colonial Records, vol. X; and letters
by General Gage and letters and proclamation by General Ethan Allen in
American Archives, Fourth Series, vol. II, and by President Rutledge of
South Carolina in North Carolina Colonial Records, vol. X. See also
Justin Winsor, The Westward Movement.

J. Allison, Dropped Stitches in Tennessee History. Nashville, 1897.
Contains interesting matter relative to Andrew Jackson in his younger
days as well as about other striking figures of the time.

F. M. Turner, The Life of General John Sevier. New York, 1910. A fairly
accurate narrative of events in which Sevier participated, compiled from
the Draper Manuscripts.

A. W. Putnam, History of Middle Tennessee, or Life and Times of General
James Robertson. Nashville, 1859. A rambling lengthy narrative
containing some interesting material and much that is unreliable. Its
worst fault is distortion through sentimentality, and indulgence in the
habit of putting the author's rodomontades into the mouths of Robertson
and other characters.

J. S. Bassett, Regulators of North Carolina, in Report of the American
Historical Association, 1894.

L. C. Draper, King's Mountain and its Heroes. Cincinnati, 1881. The
source book on this event. Contains interesting biographical material
about the men engaged in the battle.

French And Spanish Intrigues

Henry Doniol, Histoire de la participation de la France á
l'établissement des États-Unis d'Amérique, 5 vols. Paris, 1886-1892. A
complete exposition of the French and Spanish policy towards America
during the Revolutionary Period.

Manuel Serrano y Sanz, El brigadier Jaime Wilkinson y sus tratos con
España para la independencia del Kentucky, años 1787 á 1797. Madrid,
1915. A Spanish view of Wilkinson's intrigues with Spain, based on
letters and reports in the Spanish Archives.

Thomas Marshall Green, The Spanish Conspiracy. Cincinnati, 1891. A good
local account, from American sources. The best material on this subject
is found in Justin Winsor's The Westward Movement and Narrative and
Critical History because there viewed against a broad historical
background. See Winsor also for the Latin intrigues in Tennessee. For
material on Alexander McGillivray see the American Archives and the
Colonial Records of Georgia.

Edward S. Corwin, French Policy and the American Alliance of 1778.
Princeton, 1916. Deals chiefly with the commercial aspects of French
policy and should be read in conjunction with Winsor, Jay, and
Fitzmaurice's Life of William, Earl of Shelburne. 3 vols. London, 1875.

John Jay, On the Peace Negotiations of 1782-83 as Illustrated by the
Secret Correspondence of France and England. New York, 1888. A paper
read before the American Historical Association, May 23, 1887.



Abingdon (Penn.), Boone family at, 25.
Adair, James, pioneer trader, 59-74, 158 (note).
Alabama, Creek nation in, 57, 68.
Alamance, Battle of the, 104.
Allaire, Lieutenant, officer under Ferguson, 200, 213.
Allen, General Ethan, tries to enlist Indian aid in Canada, 176 (note).
Alvord, C. W., The Mississippi Valley in British Politics, cited, 110
(note), 113 (note).
American Archives, cited, 8 (note), 123 (note), 176 (note).
Anne, Queen, invites Palatines to England, 15.
"Apostle, The," Count Zinzendorf, Moravian leader, 16-17.
Attakullakulla, Cherokee statesman, 188.
Audubon, J. J., and Boone, 279-280.
Avery, Waightstill, 162.


Baker, John, companion to Boone, 95.
Bean (or Been), William, erects first cabin on Watauga River, 159.
Beautiful River, 125, 274.
Big Bone Lick, Boone finds, 102.
Big Turtle, name given Boone by Indians, 145.
Black Fish, Shawanoe chief, 145, 146, 147, 148.
Bledsoe, Captain Anthony, 121, 125 (note), 149.
Blount, William, Governor of Tennessee, 265.
Blue Licks (Ky.), 97, 102, 143; battle at, 152.
Bluff Hector, nickname for Hector MacNeill, 12.
Bogart, W. H., Daniel Boone and the Hunters of Kentucky, cited, 135
Boone, Albert Gallatin, grandson of Daniel, 278 (note).
Boone, Daniel, nationality, 24-25; family, 24-26, 27-28; born (1734),
26; early life, 26-27; journey to North Carolina, 29-30; home on the
Yadkin, 48; Findlay and, 52-53, 83, 90, 97, 98, 100, 131-132; in
Braddock's campaign, 83; marriage, 90-91; in Virginia, 92; removes to
North Carolina, 92; carving on tree, 93; with Waddell's rangers, 93;
travels to Florida, 94; first expedition into Kentucky, 95-97; second
Kentucky expedition, 97-103; lonely explorations, 101-102; personal
characteristics, 105-106; removes family to Powell's Valley, 106-109;
part in Dunmore's war, 120-122, 128; and Henderson's venture, 129, 130
(note), 131, 133, 134-136; at Boonesborough, 140-141, 143, 147-149;
captured by Indians, 144-147; adopted by Indian chief, 145; and
Hamilton, 145-146; goes to West Virginia, 156; last days, 273 et seq..
Boone, Daniel Morgan, son of Daniel, 278 (note).
Boone, Edward, brother of Daniel, 152.
Boone, George, grandfather of Daniel, 24-25.
Boone, George, Jr., uncle of Daniel, 25.
Boone, Israel, second son of Daniel, 152.
Boone, James, eldest son of Daniel, 93, 107-108.
Boone, Jemima, daughter of Daniel, 141.
Boone, John, son of Daniel, 106.
Boone, Nathan, son of Daniel, 278.
Boone, Rebecca, wife of Daniel, 91, 107, 278.
Boone, Sam, brother of Daniel, 27.
Boone, Sarah, daughter of George, 25.
Boone, Sarah Morgan, mother of Daniel, 26, 28-29.
Boone, Squire, brother of Daniel, 100, 102.
Boone, Squire, father of Daniel, 25, 91; marriage, 26; expelled from
Society of Friends, 28; leaves Pennsylvania, 28-29.
Boone's Fort, 137.
Boone's Settlement (La Charette), 280-281; see also La Charette.
Boonesborough, Transylvania settlement, 138, 142, 245; Boone in,
140-141, 143, 148-149; Indian attacks on, 146-148; Robertson goes to,
Bowman, John, 149.
"Braddock's Defeat," 82.
Branching Oak of the Forest (Tach-nech-dor-us), Indian chief, 119.
Brandywine, Battle of, Ferguson in, 197.
Broglie, Comte de, French agent in America, 249.
Brown, Widow, at whose inn Sevier is arrested, 241.
Brown, Dr. Samuel, Clark's letter to, 127 (note).
Bryan, Joseph, father of Rebecca Boone, 91.
Bryan, Rebecca, marries Daniel Boone, 91; see also Boone, Rebecca.
Bryan party on expedition to Kentucky, 107, 108.
Buffalo (Tenn.), Court at, 257.
Bull, Colonel William, pioneer trader, 55.
Bullitt, Captain Thomas, 113, 121.


Caldwell, David, Presbyterian minister, 162.
Calloway, Flanders, son-in-law of Daniel Boone, 277, 278.
Calloway, Richard, daughters captured by Indians, 141; accuses Boone of
treachery, 146 (note).
Cameron, Alexander, British agent to Cherokees, 170, 174, 176 (note).
Camp Union (Lewisburg), rendezvous for expedition in Dunmore's War, 115.
Campbell, Major Arthur, 121-122, 125 (note), 236.
Campbell, David, judge in Tennessee, 237, 240.
Campbell, Rev. James, 50.
Campbell, Colond William, at battle of Point Pleasant, 124 (note); and
King's Mountain, 205, 211, 219, 222.
Carolinas, Cherokees in, 57; Regulation Movement in, 159-164; see also
North Carolina, South Carolina.
Carson, Kit, grandson of Daniel Boone, 278 (note).
Catawba Indians, 56, 57.
Céloron de Blainville, 77.
Chads Ford, Ferguson's account of incident at, 198-199.
Charleston (S. C), Scotch-Irish in, 6.
Cherokee Indians, in the Yadkin, 36; location and number, 57; and Adair,
58-74; customs, 62; and French, 66-68; Priber compiles dictionary, 69;
in French and Indian Wars, 83-87; Indian policy of South Carolina,
84-86; treaty with English (1761), 87, 118; trouble in Kentucky, 114;
Henderson purchases land from, 130-133; in Tennessee, 158, 228, 255;
South Carolina sends ammunition to, 177; peace made (1777), 183; attack
Watauga, 226-227, 228; North Carolina and, 232; McGillivray and, 257;
forced westward, 271.
Chickamaugan Indians, 173.
Chickasaw Indians, location, 57; Adair and, 58, 59, 62, 72-73, 246; in
Tennessee, 158; McGillivray and, 257; forced westward, 271.
Chillicothe, Indian town, 146, 153.
Choctaw Indians, location, 57; and French, 58; Adair and, 63;
McGillivray and, 257; forced westward, 271.
Choiseul, Étienne François, Duc de, French Minister, 249.
Chota, deputation of Indians at, 178; Robertson as Indian agent at, 183.
Chronicle, Colonel, 209.
Civil War, part of mountaineers in, 224.
Clark, G. R., 283, 285; in "Cresap's War," 116-117; with Dunmore's
forces, 125 (note); and Chief Logan, 127 (note); at Harrodsburg, 129,
139, 151-152; and Harrodsburg Remonstrance, 140; brings ammunition from
Virginia, 142; made a major, 149; founds Louisville, 150; builds Fort
Jefferson, 150; war on Indians, 153, 262; letter to Governor of
Virginia, 154; later life, 155; death (1818), 155; and Wilkinson,
262-264; personal characteristics, 263.
Clark, William, brother of G. R., 155; Lewis and, 282.
Clark, Elijah, 212.
Cleveland, Colonel, at King's Mountain, 209, 220, 222.
Cocke, William, 238.
Colbert, white leader of Indians, 150-151.
Connolly, Dr. John, Dunmore's agent, 113 (note).
Cooley, William, accompanies Boone to Kentucky, 98, 100.
Cooper, J. F., on Ferguson's story of Washington, 199 (note).
Cornstalk, Shawanoe chief, 118, 123-124, 126.
Cornwallis, Edward, 195, 196, 202, 213, 214, 222, 228, 229.
Corporation Acts, 4.
Cowpens, frontiersmen at, 215; Morgan's victory at, 222.
Craighead, Rev. Alexander, Presbyterian minister, 8, 162.
Creek Indians, disclose Spanish plot, 55; location, 57; and McGillivray,
58-59, 255-256; forced westward, 271.
Cresap, Captain Michael, of Maryland, 116, 117, 127.
"Cresap's War," 117.
Croghan, George, "King of Traders," 58, 112-113, 115, 118.
Cross Creek (Fayetteville), MacNeill at, 12.
Culloden, victory of, 9, 11.
Cumberland, Duke of, directs extermination of Gaels, 11.
Cumberland Gap, Findlay leads Boone through, 52-53; Boone robbed in,
Cutbirth (or Cutbird), Benjamin, nephew of Daniel Boone, 95.


Dartmouth, Lord, Secretary for the Colonies, letters to, 6, 175, 176
Day, Sarah, marries Sam Boone, 27.
De Lancey, Major, father-in-law of J. F. Cooper, 199 (note).
De Peyster, Captain, officer under Ferguson, 200, 218, 219.
Delassus, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana, 276.
Delaware Indians, 178; location, 57; and French, 58; and Dunmore's War,
114, 118.
Dequindre, French Canadian leader of Indian band, 143, 147-148.
Detroit, in hands of English, 87; Boone at, 145-146.
Dinwiddie, Robert, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 77-80, 81.
Doak, Rev. Samuel, 207, 235.
Dobbs, Arthur, Governor of North Carolina, 79, 86.
Dobbs, E. D., son of Governor, 83.
Donelson, Captain John, 186; Journal, 187-193.
Dorchester, Lord, Governor of Canada, 265.
Dragging Canoe, Chickamaugan chief, 133-134, 173, 179, 180, 181, 183,
206, 229.
Draper, L. C., King's Mountain and its Heroes, cited, 199 (note), 204
(note), 213 (note).
Dunmore, Lord, Governor of Virginia, 112 (note), 113, 114-116, 118, 120,
123, 125, 126, 176 (note).
Dunmore's War, 114 et seq.
Duquesne, Fort, 81, 82, 87, 88.


English, W. H., Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio,
cited, 127 (note).


Falling, William, 173.
Fanning, Edmund, agent of Lord Granville, 160.
Femme Osage Creek, Boone settles at, 274-275.
Femme Osage Syndic, 275-277.
Ferguson, Dr. Adam, letter to, 196.
Ferguson, Major Patrick, as a soldier, 196-198; as a man, 198-200;
commands loyalists in Back Country, 200-206, 211; at King's Mountain,
212-220; death, 219-220, 221.
Findlay, John, pioneer trader, and Daniel Boone, 52, 83, 90, 97, 98,
100, 131-132; in Braddock's campaign, 83; captured by Shawanoes, 97,
Fitzherbert, letter quoted, 252 (note).
Fleming, William, 124.
Florida, Spanish and Indians in, 55, 56; Boone explores, 94.
Floridablanca, Spanish Minister, 250.
Floyd, John, Washington's agent, 113-114; and Boone, 121, 141.
Forbes, General, expedition in 1759, 87.
France, Highlanders flee to, 9; and Indians, 53, 54, 58, 178-179;
possessions in America, 56, 57; Adair's account of struggles with
French, 63; Priber sent by, 66-70; French and Indian Wars, 750 et seq.;
attitude toward American independence, 248-253.
Frankfort (Ky.), Daniel Boone's grave in, 284.
Frankland, State of, 234-238; see also Franklin, State of.
Franklin, Benjamin, 238.
Franklin, State of, 238, 240, 259, 260, 266; see also Frankland, State
Frémont, J. C, 278 (note).
French and Indian Wars, 75 et seq.
Friends, Society of, expel Squire Boone, 28.
Furniture of the pioneers, 45-46.


Gaels, see Highlanders.
Gage, General Thomas, quoted, 176 (note).
Galphin, pioneer trader, 59, 256.
Gates, General, 202, 210, 221.
Gazette, Knoxville, Jackson's letter in, 268.
Georgia, Creek nation in, 57; Tories in, 195; and State of Franklin,
238; and McGillivray, 256-257, 258.
Germain, Lord, and Stuart, 176 (note), 177.
German Palatinate, persecution of Protestants in, 15.
German Reformed Church, 15.
Germans, in Virginia and North Carolina, 14-15; as immigrants, 16.
Gibson, Major, 126.
Gibson, Colonel John, 117-118.
Girty, George, 143.
Girty, James, 143.
Gist, Christopher, 77, 78.
Glen, Governor of South Carolina, 63, 64; Indian policy, 84.
Gottlob, Brother, Moravian leader, 19, 21, 23, 24.
Gower, Fort, 123.
Grant, Colonel James, 94.
Grantham, Lord, letter to, 252 (note).
Granville, Lord, Proprietor in North Carolina, Moravians purchase land
from, 18; agents oppress people, 104, 159.
Great Meadows, Washington at, 81.
Great Telliko, Cherokee town, 62, 66, 69, 158.
Great War, part of mountaineers in, 224-225.
Greathouse, trader, 117.
Greene, General Nathanael, 221-222.
Greene, T. M., The Spanish Conspiracy, cited, 264 (note).
Grube, Adam, Moravian Brother, 18; Journal, 19-24.
Guilford Court House, battle of, 222.


Hamilton, Henry, British Governor at Detroit, 139, 145-146.
Hampbright, Colonel, 209.
Hanna, C. A., The Wilderness Trail, cited, 97 (note).
Harding, Chester, and Boone, 278-279.
Harrod, James, 139; establishes first settlement in Kentucky, 110, 114,
121, 129; as surveyor, 113; and Henderson, 138; goes to Watauga for
supplies, 141-142; made a Captain, 149; accompanies Clark, 153.
Harrodsburg, 136, 142, 149, 153, 245, 246; founded, 114, 129;
Remonstrance, 140, 151; Indian attacks on, 146.
Henderson, Judge Richard, leader of Transylvania Company, 130-140, 160,
184-185; Donelson's party meets, 193.
Henry, Patrick, Preston writes to, 125.
Heydt, Joist, 16.
Highlanders, in Revolutionary War, 8, 13-14; in North Carolina, 9; clan
system, 10; characteristics, 10-12; and Indians, 54-55; see also
Hill, William, 96.
Holden, Joseph, 98, 100.
Holston River settlement, 141, 158, 159, 168, 176.
Honeycut, pioneer at Watauga, 165.
Hooper, William, 160.
Houston, Rev. Samuel, 235.
Hoyt, W. H., The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, cited, 8
Huguenots in America, 54.
Hunter, James, 164.
Husband, Hermon, 161, 163, 164.


Illinois, Clark's troops, 124, 125 (note), 283; Robertson journeys to,
185; and Clark, 285.
"Indian Summer," origin of term, 41.
Indiana and Clark, 285.
Indians, relation to white men in West, 38-48; use of hickory, 45; and
the traders, 52 et seq.; and French, 53, 54, 58, 178-179; and Spanish,
53, 54, 55, 255; Boone and, 101-102; 103; Dunmore's War, 114 et seq.;
"Cresap's War." 117; treachery toward, 117-118 purchase of land from,
131-134; trouble in Kentucky, 135-136, 139, 143, 152-153; see also names
of tribes.
Ireland, Scotch-Irish from, 6; see also Ulster Plantation.
Iroquois Indians, location, 57; loyalty to English, 58; Croghan and,
118; cede Kentucky to British, 132; see also Six Nations.


Jackson, Andrew, 243, 266.
Jay, John, On the Peace Negotiations of 1782-1788 as illustrated by the
Secret Correspondence of France and England, cited, 252 (note).
Jefferson, Thomas, and navigation of Mississippi River, 254.
Jefferson, Fort, 150, 151.
Jennings, Mrs., Donelson's account of, 188, 190, 191.
Johnson, Sir William, and Iroquois Indians, 58, 179; and sale of Indian
land, 111.
Johnston, Gabriel, Governor of North Carolina, 9.
Jonesborough (Tenn.), county seat of Washington, 184; delegates meet to
form State, 233; court at, 237; Andrew Jackson at, 266.


Kalb, Johann, French agent in America, 249.
Kansas, Daniel Boone in, 277.
Kenton, Simon, 125 (note), 143.
Kentucky, meaning of name, 95 (note); Boone's first expedition to,
95-97; expedition of Boone and Findlay into, 97-103; settlement and
Indian troubles, 104-156; admitted as State (1792), 156; and Mississippi
River, 254; as Boone's monument, 284; bibliography, 289-290.
Keppoch, Laird of, legend concerning, 11.
King, trader, 117, 118.
King's Mountain, Battle of, 214-221.
Knoxville (Tenn.), Sevier and Jackson in, 268; Sevier buried in,


La Charette (Mo.), Boone at, 274-275, 281; see also Boone's Settlement.
Le Bœuf, Fort, 79.
Lewis, Colonel Andrew, 114-115, 122-123, 124 (note), 158.
Lewis, Colonel Charles, 115, 124.
Lewis, Meriwether, 282, 283.
Logan, Mingo chief Tach-nech-dor-us, 119, 120, 126-127.
Logan, Benjamin, 125 (note), 135, 136, 141-142, 149.
Long Hunters, 103.
Loudon, Fort, 158.
Louisbourg in hands of English, 87.
Louisville, Findlay reaches site of, 97; Clark founds, 150; Wilkinson
at, 262.
Lulbegrud Creek, 100.
Lutheran Church, 15.
Luzerne, French Ambassador at Philadelphia, 251.
Lytle, Captain, 203-204.
Lytle, Mrs., and Ferguson, 204.
Lyttleton, Governor of South Carolina, 85.


McAden, Rev. Hugh, of Philadelphia, 50.
McAfee, James, 136.
McAfee brothers, 113, 136.
McDowell, Colonel Charles, 200-201, 202, 206, 210, 211-212, 213, 243.
McDowell, Joseph, 243.
McGillivray, Alexander, Creek chief, 59, 255-261.
McGillivray, Lachlan, father of Alexander, 58-59, 256, 257.
McGregor, William, 9.
Macdonald, Allan, of Kingsborough, 14.
MacDonald, Flora, 14.
MacLean, J. P., An Historical Account of the Settlement of Scotch
Highlanders in America, cited, 11 (note).
MacNeill, Hector, (Bluff Hector), 12.
MacNeill, Neil, of Kintyre, 12.
Mansker, Gasper, 103, 185.
Marion, General Francis, 229.
Martin, Josiah, Royal Governor of North Carolina, 13.
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, 8.
Mereness, N. D., ed., Travels in the American Colonies, cited, 18
Mingo Indians, 114, 117, 118, 119-120, 126.
Miró, Don Estevan, Governor of Louisiana, 254-255, 259, 260-261.
Mississippi (State), Choctaws in, 63.
Mississippi River, French territory on, 56; Choctaws on, 57; Stewart's
party reaches, 95; Spain refuses right of navigation of, 253-254.
Missouri, Boone settles in, 274; Boone dies in, 284.
Mobile, French hold, 57.
Mohawk Indians, 178, 179.
Montgomery, John, 125 (note).
Montreal in hands of English, 87.
Mooney, James, 98, 100.
Moore's Fort, Boone commands, 122.
Moravians, 15, 16-24.
Morgan, David, 125 (note), 222.
Morgan, Sarah, marries Squire Boone, 26; see also Boone, Sarah Morgan.
Morgantown (N. C), Sevier sent to, 242-244.
Mountain Leader (Opimingo), Indian chief, 247.
Mountaineers of the South, 223-224.
Müller, Adam, 16.
Musgrove's Mill, engagement at, 202.


Nantuca Indians, deputation of warriors from, arrive at Chota, 178.
Nash, General Francis, 163, 186 (note).
Nashborough, Nashville first named, 186.
Nashville, founded, 186; Andrew Jackson at, 266; Robertson buried at,
Nathanael, Brother, one of the Moravian Brethren, 21.
Navigation Acts and Ireland, 4.
Necessity, Fort, 81.
Neely, Alexander, 100.
New France, 87, 88.
New Market (Va.), Sevier founds, 167.
Nolan, aids Wilkinson, 264.
"Nolichucky Jack," nickname of John Sevier, 184; see also Sevier.
North Carolina, Scotch-Irish in, 7; Craighead in, 8; Highlanders in,
12-13; Moravians in, 18; journey of Moravian Brethren into, 19-24;
rainfall, 43; pioneer homes in, 45-47; in French and Indian Wars, 82-83,
86; Indian policy, 83-84; Daniel Boone in, 92; Regulation Movement, 104,
137, 159-164; Transylvania Company formed in, 129-130; emigrants go to
Tennessee, 159; Robertson from, 165; boundary line, 170, 185, 186;
Watauga petitions for annexation, 171-172; erects Washington County,
172; Colonial Records, cited, 176 (note), 177 (note); sends out
Robertson as Indian agent, 183; Ferguson in, 203; Ferguson's
proclamation to, 212-213; Cornwallis expected to retreat through, 228;
resolution of gratitude to overmountain men, 230; cedes overmountain
territory to United States, 231-233; and State of Frankland, 234,
236-237, 238; and Sevier, 239, 240-245; and State of Franklin, 240; and
Tennessee settlements, 259-260.
North Wales (Penn.), Boone family in, 25.


Oconostota, Cherokee chief, 118, 132.
O'Fallon aids Wilkinson, 264.
Ohio, Clark against Indians of, 151, 153.
Ohio Company, 77, 78, 81, 111-112.
Old Tassel, Cherokee Indian, 270.
Oley Township, Berks County (Penn.), George Boone at, 25, 26.
Opimingo (Mountain Leader), Chickasaw chief, 247.
Oswego in hands of English, 87.
Ottawa Indians, 118, 178.


Palatines, see Germans.
Paris, Treaty of (1763), 94.
Patrick Henry, Fort, 186.
Penn, William, Boone seeks information from, 25.
Pennsylvania, Scotch-Irish in, 1, 6; Germans in, 15, 16; Boone family
in, 25-28; disputes Fort Pitt with Virginia, 112.
"Pennsylvania Dutch," 15.
"Pennsylvania Irish," 6.
Peyton, Ephraim, one of Donelson's party, 189.
Peyton, Mrs. Ephraim, Donelson's account of, 188, 189, 190.
Philadelphia, Boone family reaches, 25.
Pickett, History of Alabama, cited, 257 (note).
Piqua, Indian town, 153.
Pitfour, Lord, of Aberdeen, 196.
Pitt, Fort, 88, 112-113, 115.
Pittsburgh site a crucial point in 1754, 81.
Point Pleasant, Battle of, 123-124, 164, 272.
Pontleroy, French secret agent in America, 249.
Powell's Valley, 135; Boone's journey to, 106, 107.
"Powwowing Days," 41.
Presbyterian Church, and Scotch-Irish, 3, Charles I suppresses, 4.
Preston, Colonel William, 115, 120, 125.
Priber, French agent to Cherokees, 66-70.
Proclamation of 1763, 110-111, 113, 170.
Puck-e-shin-wa, Shawanoe chief, 125.
Pulaski, Count, 199 (note).


Quaker Meadows, Sevier's troops at, 209.
Quakers, see Friends, Society of.


Red Shoe, Choctaw chief, 63.
Regulation Movement, 104, 137, 159-164; Revolutionary War, Highlanders
in, 13-14; Indian raids in Kentucky, 139; King's Mountain, 195 et seq.;
attitude of France and Spain in, 248 et seq.
Roane, Archibald, Governor of Tennessee, 267.
Robertson, James, "father of Tennessee," 124-125 (note), 133; at
Watauga, 165-166, 170, 181; personal characteristics, 165; and Sevier,
167, 239; commands Wataugans, 172; Indian agent at Chota, 183; leads
settlers into middle Tennessee, 185; founds Nashville, 186; and
Ferguson, 195; and Indian war, 246, 255; characterizes McGillivray, 259;
death (1814), 270.
Robertson, Mrs. James, 246.
Robertson, Mark, 185.
Robinson, Colonel David, 149.
Rogers, John, 88.
Rogers, Joseph, 153.
Roosevelt, Theodore, The Winning of the West, cited, 134 (note).
Russell, William, 107, death of his son, 108.
Rutherford, Griffith, 163.
Rutledge, John, President of South Carolina, 176 (note).


St. Asaph's Station founded, 136.
St. Augustine, Spanish at, 55, 56.
St. Vincent, Island of, Ferguson on, 197.
Sapperton, trader, 117.
Scotch-Irish, as immigrants, 1-2, 6; characteristics, 2-3, 5-6;
religion, 3, 4; persecution of, 4-5; and American Independence, 7-8;
bibliography, 287; see also Highlanders.
Seven Years' War, casus belli, 76; in Europe, 82; land promised to
soldiers of, 118; Ferguson in, 196.
Sevier, John, 133; probably seen by Brother Grube, 20-21; marriage, 48;
at Watauga, 166-167, 169, 170, 171; and New Market, 167; and Robertson,
167, 168, 239; personal characteristics, 168-169; writes Virginia
Committee, 173-174; and Indian troubles, 174, 181-183, 226-228; and
"Bonnie Kate," 182; nicknamed "Nolichucky Jack," 184; and King's
Mountain, 200-201, 205-206, 208 et seq.; as a statesman, 226 et seq.;
feud with Tipton, 227, 234, 239-240, 241, 267; elected Governor of
Tennessee, 265; and Jackson, 266-269; death (1815), 269.
Sevier, John, Jr., 243 (note).
Sevier, Valentine, 125 (note).
Shawanoe Indians, 178; location, 57; and French, 58; Findlay a prisoner
of, 97; and Boone, 98-99, 108, 143-148; war with, 114, 118, 123-126;
relinquish right to Kentucky, 131; capture girls from Boonesborough,
Shelby, Isaac, at battle of Point Pleasant, 124 (note); Colonel of
Sullivan, 184; at King's Mountain, 200 et seq.; moves to Kentucky, 230.
Sheltowee (Big Turtle), name given to Boone by Indians, 145.
Sherrill, Bonnie Kate, wife of John Sevier, 182.
Six Nations, right to dispose of territory, 76; see also Iroquois
Social customs, of seaboard towns, 32; of pioneers, 32 et seq.
South Carolina, Yamasi Indians in, 56; and Cherokees, 177; Tories in,
195; see also Carolinas.
Spain, and Indians, 53, 54, 55; attitude toward American independence,
248-255; plots against United States, 255-265; State of Franklin and,
Spangenburg, Bishop, 18.
Spanish Succession, War of (1701-13), 15.
Spencer, Judge, issues warrant for Sevier, 241.
Stanwix, Fort, treaty of (1768), 132.
Stephen, Adam, Boone, 125 (note).
Stewart, John, brother-in-law of Daniel Boone, 95, 98, 100.
Stoner, Michael, 120, 121.
Stover, Jacob, husband of Sarah Boone, 25.
Stuart, Henry, deputy Indian agent, 177.
Stuart, John, with Dunmore's forces, Boone, 125 (note); British agent,
174, 176 (note); in Revolution, 229.
Sullivan County, formed from Washington County, 184; troops in, 201.
Sycamore Shoals, conference with Indians at (1775), 132-134, 170; troops
mustered at, 206.


Tach-nech-dor-us (Branching Oak of the Forest), Mingo chief, see Logan.
Tarleton, Sir Banastre, British officer, 218.
Taylor, Hancock, 113, 121 (note).
Tecumseh, 125.
Tennessee, 157 et seq., 259; name, 158 (note); and Mississippi River
navigation, 254; admitted as State (1796), 265; bibliography, 290-291;
see also Frankland, Franklin, Watauga.
Test Acts, 4.
Thomas, Isaac, trader, 173, 174, 177, 178, 228.
Thwaites, R. G., Daniel Boone, cited, 25 (note), 276 (note); Documentary
History of Dunmore's War, cited, 125 (note).
Tipton, Colond John, feud with Sevier, 227, 234, 239-240, 241, 267;
judge for North Carolina, 237.
Tipton, Jonathan, 226-227.
Todd, John, 149.
Tories, 195.
Traders among the pioneers, 52 et seq. Traders' Trace, 94.
Transylvania Company, 130-140.
Trent, Captain William, 81.
Tryon, William, Governor of North Carolina, 104, 169.
Tuckabatchee, Creek town, Sevier buried at, 269.
Turner, F. M., Life of General John Sevier, cited, 243 (note).


Ulster Plantation, 3-4.
Ulstermen, see Scotch-Irish.


Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de, French Minister, 250, 251, 252.
Virginia, claim to the Ohio, 76-77; Indian policy, 83; Indians apply for
redress to, 85; Daniel Boone in, 92; disputes Fort Pitt with
Pennsylvania, 112; Harrodsburg Remonstrance, 140; Clark and, 140, 142;
and Boone, 141; and Mississippi River navigation, 254.
Virginia, Valley of, Müller's settlement in, 16.


Wachovia Tract, 18.
Waddell, Hugh, of North Carolina, in French and Indian wars, 86, 87;
erects fort on Holston, 158; and Regulation Movement, 163.
Walpole Company, 112.
War of 1812, part of mountaineers in, 224.
Ward, James, 95.
Ward, Nancy, half-caste Cherokee prophetess, 174, 177.
Warriors' Path, 107, 132, 134, 186.
Washington, George, journeys to Fort Le Bœuf, 79; at Great Meadows, 81;
"Braddock's Defeat," 82; surveys in Kentucky, 111; tries to secure land
patents for soldiers, 113; and Indian allies, 176 (note); Ferguson's
story of, 179.
Washington, District of, 233.
Washington County, erected by North Carolina, 172; divided, 184.
Watauga Colony, lands leased to, 134; Harrod and Logan get supplies
from, 141-142; William Bean builds first cabin, 159; and Regulators,
163; Robertson at, 165-166, 170, 181; Sevier at, 166-167, 169, 200;
found to be on Indian lands, 170; petitions North Carolina for
annexation, 171-172; made into Washington County, 172; Indian attacks
on, 176, 181-183; and King's Mountain, 200-201, 205; see also Frankland,
Franklin, Tennessee.
Wayne, Mad Anthony, 263.
Welsh in America, 54.
Wheeling (W. Va.), as rendezvous for troops, 115; Cresap at, 116.
White Eyes, Delaware chief, 118.
Wilkinson, General James, 261-265.
Williams, Colonel, 209.
Williams, Jaret, 173.
Winchester, German settlement near, 16.
Winsor, Justin, The Westward Movement, quoted, 176 (note).
Winston, Major, 176 (note).
Woolwich, Ferguson studies at, 197.
Wyandot Indians, 114.


Yadkin Valley, Scotch-Irish in, 7; Craighead in, 8; Highlanders in,
12-13; Moravians in, 23; life in, 36, 47; hunting, 43, 105; Boone's home
in, 48, 90, 97; Presbyterian ministers in, 50.
Yamasi, Indians, 56; Massacre, 55.
Yellowstone, Daniel Boone in, 277.
Yorktown, Cornwallis surrenders at, 229.


Zeisberger, David, Moravian missionary, 17-18, 118.
Zinzendorf, Count (the Apostle), Moravian leader, 16-17.

The Chronicles of America Series

 1. The Red Man's Continent
    by Ellsworth Huntington
 2. The Spanish Conquerors
    by Irving Berdine Richman
 3. Elizabethan Sea-Dogs
    by William Charles Henry Wood
 4. The Crusaders of New France
    by William Bennett Munro
 5. Pioneers of the Old South
    by Mary Johnson
 6. The Fathers of New England
    by Charles McLean Andrews
 7. Dutch and English on the Hudson
    by Maud Wilder Goodwin
 8. The Quaker Colonies
    by Sydney George Fisher
 9. Colonial Folkways
    by Charles McLean Andrews
10. The Conquest of New France
    by George McKinnon Wrong
11. The Eve of the Revolution
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    by Max Farrand
14. Washington and His Colleagues
    by Henry Jones Ford
15. Jefferson and his Colleagues
    by Allen Johnson
16. John Marshall and the Constitution
    by Edward Samuel Corwin
17. The Fight for a Free Sea
    by Ralph Delahaye Paine
18. Pioneers of the Old Southwest
    by Constance Lindsay Skinner
19. The Old Northwest
    by Frederic Austin Ogg
20. The Reign of Andrew Jackson
    by Frederic Austin Ogg
21. The Paths of Inland Commerce
    by Archer Butler Hulbert
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    by Constance Lindsay Skinner
23. The Spanish Borderlands
    by Herbert Eugene Bolton
24. Texas and the Mexican War
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37. The Age of Invention
    by Holland Thompson
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    by John Moody
39. The Age of Big Business
    by Burton Jesse Hendrick
40. The Armies of Labor
    by Samuel Peter Orth
41. The Masters of Capital
    by John Moody
42. The New South
    by Holland Thompson
43. The Boss and the Machine
    by Samuel Peter Orth
44. The Cleveland Era
    by Henry Jones Ford
45. The Agrarian Crusade
    by Solon Justus Buck
46. The Path of Empire
    by Carl Russell Fish
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    by Harold Howland
48. Woodrow Wilson and the World War
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49. The Canadian Dominion
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50. The Hispanic Nations of the New World
    by William R. Shepherd

Transcriber Notes

The author spelled powderhorns on Page 46, but used a hyphen for
powder-horns on Page 208. The inconsistencies were retained.

On Page 58 and Page 142 the word pack-horse was hyphenated between two
lines. Since the author wrote pack-horse five times in the middle of a
sentence, with the hyphen, and did not write packhorse, both words were
transcribed pack-horse.

On Page 119, Tach-nech-dor-us was hyphenated between two lines. We
transcribed the name with hyphens after each syllable, Tach-nech-dor-us,
just as was done in the index.

The author referred to the back water men on Page 204. On Page 201, the
"backwater men" were quoted. Major Patrick Ferguson capitalized Back
Water, separated the syllables by a space, but alternately capitalized
Men on Page 203, while not doing so in his proclamation presented on
Page 213. In the same chapter, there were four different spellings for
the same word, which we retained, and only point out to indicate that
this is not an error in transcription.

On Page 299 in the index, changed the spelling of Opomingo to Opimingo
to match the spelling in the text, for the index entry: Mountain Leader

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