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Title: Lives of Famous Indian Chiefs - From Cofachiqui, the Indian Princess and Powhatan, down - to and including Chief Joseph and Geronimo
Author: Wood, Norman B.
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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{Illustration: Frontispiece--Norman B. Wood.}

                      LIVES of FAMOUS
                       INDIAN CHIEFS

               CHIEF  JOSEPH  AND  GERONIMO.

                    Also an answer, from the
                 latest research, of the query,

                   WHENCE CAME THE INDIAN?

                   Together with a number
                 of thrillingly interesting


                          * * * * *

                    BY OUR SPECIAL ARTIST.

                          * * * * *

                        NORMAN B. WOOD

Historian, Lecturer, and Author of "The White Side of a Black Subject" (out
   of print after twelve editions) and "A New Negro for a New Century,"
   which has reached a circulation of nearly a _hundred thousand copies._

{Illustration: Two Indians in a canoe.}

                         PUBLISHED BY

                   Brady Block, Aurora, Ill.

    Copyrighted in 1906 by American  Indian  Historical Publishing Co.,
                        Aurora, Illinois.
                              * * * * *
                  All rights of every kind reserved.

{Illustration: seal.}



                      THEODORE ROOSEVELT,


        Who has observed closely and recorded justly the
        character of the Red Man, and who, in the words
        of Chief Quanah Parker, "is the Indian's President
        as well as the white man's," this volume is respectfully
        dedicated by

                          THE AUTHOR.


                            * * * * *

Introduction,                                                    11

                          CHAPTER  I.

Cofachiqui, The Indian Princess,                                 21

                          CHAPTER  II.

Powhatan, or Wah-Un-So-Na-Cook,                                  41

                          CHAPTER  III.

Massasoit, The Friend of the Puritans,                           65

                          CHAPTER  IV.

King Philip, or Metacomet, The Last of the Wampanoaghs,          85

                          CHAPTER   V.

Pontiac, The Red Napoleon, Head Chief of the Ottawas and
   Organizer of the First Great Indian Confederation,          121

                         CHAPTER  VI.

Logan, or Tal-Ga-Yee-Ta, The Cayuga (Mingo) Chief, Orator
   and Friend of the White Man. Also a Brief Sketch of
   Cornstalk,                                                  173

                         CHAPTER   VII.

Captain Joseph Brant, or Thay-En-Da-Ne-Gea, Principal
   Sachem of the Mohawks and Head Chief of the Iroquois
   Confederation,                                              191

                         CHAPTER  VIII.

Red Jacket, or Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha, "The Keeper Awake." The
   Indian Demosthenes, Chief of the Senecas,                   237

                          CHAPTER IX.

Little Turtle, or Michikiniqua, War Chief of the Miamis, and
   Conqueror of Harmar and St. Clair,                          283

                           CHAPTER  X.

Tecumseh, or "The Shooting Star," Famous War-chief of the
   Shawnees, Organizer of the Second Great Indian Confederation
   and General in the British Army in the War of 1812,         317

                         CHAPTER  XI.

Black Hawk, or Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak, and His War,         363

                         CHAPTER  XII.

Shabbona, or Built Like a Bear, The White Man's Friend, a
   Celebrated Pottawatomie Chief,                              401

                         CHAPTER  XIII.

Sitting Bull, or Tatanka Yotanka, The Great Sioux Chief and
   Medicine Man,                                               443

                          CHAPTER  XIV.

Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perces, or Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lat-Kekt,
   Thunder Rolling in the Mountains, The Modern Xenophon,      497

                         CHAPTER  XV.

Geronimo, or Go-Yat-Thlay, The  Yawner, The  Renowned
   Apache Chief and Medicine Man,                              529

                         CHAPTER  XVI.

Quanah Parker, Head Chief of the Comanches, With, an
   Account of the Captivity of His Mother, Cynthia Anne
   Parker, Known as "The White Comanche,"                      563

                        CHAPTER   XVII.

A Sheaf of Good Indian Stories From History,                   589

                         CHAPTER  XVIII.

Indian Anecdotes and Incidents, Humorous and Otherwise,        673

                         CHAPTER  XIX.

Whence Came the Aborigines of America?                         721

                    LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

                              * * * * *

 1 Frontispiece.
 2 Cofachiqui, The Indian Princess,                             19
 3 American Horse, Sioux Chief,                                 29
 4 Powhatan,                                                    39
 5 Captain Smith and Pocahontas,                                49
 6 Pocahontas, or Lady Rebecca,                                 59
 7 Ope-Chan-Ca-Nough,                                           69
 8 Massasoit and Pilgrims,                                      79
 9 Nellie Jumping Eagle,                                        89
10 King Philip, or Metacomet,                                   99
11 Philip Rejecting Elliot's Preaching,                        109
12 Pontiac, The Red Napoleon,                                  119
13 Montcalm  at Massacre of Quebec,                            129
14 Hollow-Horn Bear, Sioux Chief,                              139
15 Major Campbell and Pontiac,                                 149
16 Hollow  Horn,                                               159
17 Starved Rock,                                               169
18 Logan, The Mingo Orator,                                    179
19 Logan and the Two  Hunters,                                 189
20 Joseph Brant, Mohawk  Chief,                                199
21 King Hendrick, Mohawk  Chief,                               209
22 Sir William Johnson and the Mohawks,                        219
23 Leading Hawk,                                               229
24 Red Jacket, Seneca Chief and Orator,                        239
25 Massacre at Wyoming,                                        249
26 Corn Planter, Seneca Chief,                                 259
27 Adolph Knock and Family,                                    269
28 Red Jacket Presenting Deer,                                 279
29 Little Turtle, Miami War-chief,                             289
30 Little Turtle's Warriors Chasing St. Clair's Scout          299
31 Ouray, Late Principal Chief of Utes,                        309
32 Tecumseh, The Noblest Indian of Them All,                   319
33 Tecumseh Rebuking Proctor,                                  329
34 The Prophet, Brother of Tecumseh,                           339
35 Red Cloud, Noted Sioux Chief,                               349
36 Death of Tecumseh,                                          359
37 Black Hawk, Sac and Fox Chief,                              369
38 Buffalo Hunt,                                               379
39 Keokuk, Sac and Fox Chief,                                  389
40 Shabbona, "The White Man's Friend," Pottawatomie Chief,     399
41 Fort Dearborn Massacre,                                     409
42 Annie Red Shirt, Indian Beauty,                             419
43 Waubonsie, Pottawatomie Chief,                              429
44 Plan of Sitting Bull's Tepee,                               440
45 Sitting Bull, Noted Sioux Chief and Medicine Man,           441
46 Sitting Bull's Family,                                      451
47 Chief Gall, Sioux War-chief,                                461
48 Chief One Bull and Family,                                  471
49 Rain-In-The-Face, Noted Sioux Warrior,                      481
50 Sitting Bull's Autograph,                                   486
51 Indian Village,                                             491
55 Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perces, Greatest Indian Since
      Tecumseh,                                                501
53 Buckskin Charlie, War-chief of Utes,                        511
54 "Comes Out Holy," Sioux,                                    521
55 Geronimo, Noted Apache Chief and Medicine Man,              531
56 Group of Apaches,                                           541
57 Naiche, Apache Chief,                                       551
58 Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief,                              561
59 Quanah Parker and Two of His Wives,                         571
60 Comanche Indians Stealing Cows,                             581
61 Needle Parker, Indian Beauty,                               591
62 The Mohawk's Last Arrow,                                    601
63 Lone Wolf, Orator and Principal Chief of the Kiowas,        611
64 Kiowa Annie, Noted Indian Beauty,                           621
65 Se-Quo-Yah, The Cherokee Cadmus,                            631
66 Big Tree, Second Kiowa Chief,                               641
67 Satanta, Kiowa Chief and Noted Orator,                      651
68 Chief Simon Pokagon, Pottawatomie,                          661
69 Dr. Charles A. Eastman,                                     671
70 Dr. Carlos Montezuma,                                       681
71 The Last Shot,                                              691
72 Chief Charles Journey Cake,                                 701
73 Indian Maiden in Japanese Costume,                          713
74 Japanese Maiden in Indian Costume,                          725
75 Map Showing How America Was Peopled,                        737
76 Japanese Man in Garb of Indian,                             749
77 Indian Man in Japanese Garb,                                761


We do not propose to apologize for writing this book, for the reasons that
those who approve would not consider it necessary and those who oppose
would not accept the apology. Therefore, we can only offer the same
explanation as that made twenty-four centuries ago by the "Father of
History" when he said: "To rescue from oblivion the noble deeds of those
who have gone before, I, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, write this chronicle."

We deem it well, however, to mention a few of the many reasons which
impelled us to attempt the somewhat laborious but congenial task of
preparing this work.

First of all, we were gratified and inspired by the kind reception accorded
our first literary venture, "The White Side of a Black Subject,"  which is
now out of print after reaching twelve editions. Added to this was the
still more generous treatment of our second production, "A  New Negro for
a New Century." Nearly a hundred thousand copies of this book have been
sold up to date, and the demand is still increasing.

Having done what we could to vindicate the Afro-American, we next began to
consider the First American, when by chance a copy of Thatcher's "Indian
Biography" fell into our hands. We read this book with much interest, and
were impressed  with two facts. First of all, we noticed that while the
author gave the lives of a few chiefs well known to this generation, he
filled the book up with village or sub chiefs, of whom even historians of
this age never heard. Then, too, the book in question was seventy-four
years old.

Thatcher's biography tended to create an appetite for that kind of
literature, and we inquired for other lives of noted Indians, but, strange
to say, could only hear of one other book devoted to that subject. This was
a small  volume  written by S. G. Goodrich, sixty-two years ago, and he
gave only short sketches of perhaps half a dozen Indians of the United
States, but the greater portion of the contents was devoted to the Indians
of Peru and Mexico.

We now concluded that if there were only two books giving the lives of
famous Indians, and both of these published so many years ago, there was
certainly room for another book on the subject, which should be confined to
the Indian tribes of the United States and cover their entire history from
Powhatan to the present time.

We trust we will not be misunderstood. We know that many Indian books have
been written since the date of those mentioned, but they were on "The
Indian Wars," "The Pioneer and the Indian,"  "The Winning of the West,"
"The Manners and Customs of the Indian," "Folklore Tradition and Legend,"
and many other phases of the question. We know that Pontiac, Brant, Red
Jacket, Tecumseh, Shabbona, Black Hawk, Sitting Bull, and perhaps others,
have had their lives written, but in each of these cases an entire book is
devoted to one Indian and his war. Our claim is that we have written the
only book giving in a condensed form the lives of practically all the most
famous Indian chiefs from the Colonial period to the present time.

Lest it be thought that we have an exaggerated idea of our people's
interest in the Indian, we will digress long enough to prove the statement
to our own satisfaction, and we trust also to that of the reader.

Mrs. Sigourney has well said with reference to this point

                "Ye say they all have passed away,
                   That noble race and brave,
                That their light canoes have vanished
                   From off the crested wave
                That 'mid the forests where they roamed
                   There rings no hunter's shout,
                But their name is on your waters
                   Ye may not wash it out.

               "Ye say their cone like cabins
                   That clustered o'er the vale
                Have fled away like withered leaves
                   Before the autumn gale.
                But their memory liveth on your hills,
                   Their baptism on your shore;
                Your everlasting rivers speak
                   Their dialect of yore."

We  have  ventured to add  a third verse

                Ye say no lover wooes his maid,
                   No warrior leads his band.
                All in forgotten graves are laid,
                   E'en great chiefs of the clan;
                That where their council fires were lit
                   The shepherd tends his flock.
                But their names are on your mountains
                   And survive the earthquake shock.

The mark of our contact with the Indian is upon us indelibly and forever.
He has not only impressed himself upon our geography, but on our character,
language and literature.

Bancroft, our greatest historian, is not quite right when he says, "The
memorials of their former existence are found only in the names of the
rivers and mountains." These memorials have not only permeated our poetry
and other literature, but they are perpetuated in much of the food we eat,
and every mention of potatoes, chocolate, cocoa, mush, green corn,
succotash, hominy and the festive turkey is a tribute to the red man, while
the fragrance of the tobacco or Indian weed we smoke is incense to their

On one occasion, according to Aesop, a man and a lion got into an argument
as to which of the two was the stronger, and thus contending they walked
together until they came to a statue representing a man choking and
subduing a lion. "There," exclaimed the man, "that proves my point, and
demonstrates that a man is stronger than a lion." To which the king of
beasts replied, "When the lions get to be sculptors, they will have the
lion choking and overcoming the man."

The Indians are neither sculptors, painters nor historians.

The only record we have of many of their noblest chiefs, greatest deeds,
hardest fought battles, or sublimest flights of eloquence, are the poor,
fragmentary accounts recorded and handed down by their implacable enemies,
the all-conquering whites.

It is hard indeed for one enemy to do another justice. The man with whom
you are engaged in a death struggle is not the man to write your history;
but such has been the historian of the Indian. His destroyer has covered
him up in an unmarked grave, and then written the story of his life.

Can any one believe that the Spaniards, cruel, hard-hearted and remorseless
as the grave, who swept whole nations from the earth, sparing neither men,
women nor children, could or would write a true story of their silent

Is it not reasonable to believe that had Philip, Pontiac, Cornstalk,
Tecumseh, Black Hawk or Chief Joseph been able to fling their burning
thoughts upon the historic page, it would have been very different from the
published account?

We believe that God will yet raise up an Indian of intellectual force and
fire enough to write a defense of his race to ring through the ages and
secure a just verdict from generations yet unborn.

In the preparation of this work we have honestly tried to do the subject
justice, and have endeavored to put ourself in the Indian's place, as much
as it is possible for a white man to do.

We have prosecuted the self-imposed task with enthusiasm and interest from
its inception to its completion. We fully agree with Bishop Whipple when he
said: "Our Indian wars were most of them needless and wicked. The North
American Indian is the noblest type of a heathen man on the earth. He
recognizes a Great Spirit; he believes in immortality; he has a quick
intellect; he is a clear thinker; he is brave and fearless, and until
betrayed, he is true to his plighted faith; he has a passionate love for
his children, and counts it joy to die for his people. Our most terrible
wars have been with the noblest types of the Indians, and with men who had
been the white man's friend. Nicolet said the Sioux were the finest type of
wild men he had ever seen. Old traders say it used to be the boast of the
Sioux that they had never taken the life of a white man. Lewis and Clark,
Governor Stevens and Colonel Steptoe bore testimony to the devoted
friendship of the Nez Percé for the white man."

One evidence that our Indian wars were unnecessary is seen in the fact that
while our country has been constantly involved in them, Canada has not had
any; although our Government has spent for the Indians a hundred dollars to
their one.

They recognize, as we do, that the Indian has a possessory right to the
soil. They purchase this right, as we do, by treaty but their treaties are
made with the Indian subjects of His Majesty, the King, while our
Government has enacted the farce of making treaties with Indian tribes or
their representatives, as if they were sovereign nations. Those tribes of
blanket Indians, roaming the wilderness and prairie, living by hunting,
trapping, fishing or plundering, without a code of laws to practice, or a
government to maintain, are not nations, and nothing in their history or
condition could properly invest them with a treaty-making power.

There are other lessons we can learn from Canada concerning the Indian
question. They set apart a permanent reservation for them; they seldom move
them, while our Government has continually moved whole tribes at the demand
of greedy white men who were determined to have the Indian's land by fair
means or foul, generally the latter. Moreover, the Canadian government
selects agents of high character, who receive their appointments for life;
they make fewer promises, but they fulfil them; they give the Indians
Christian missions, which have the hearty support of Christian people and
all their efforts are toward self help and civilization.

In 1862 Bishop Whipple visited Washington, and had a long talk with
President Lincoln. Said he: "I found the President a willing listener. As I
repeated the story of specific acts of dishonesty (on the part of Indian
agents of  that period) the President said: 'Did you ever hear of the
Southern man who bought monkeys to pick cotton? they were quick; their
long, slim fingers would pull out the cotton faster than Negroes; but he
found it took two overseers to watch one monkey. This Indian business
needs ten honest men to watch one Indian agent.'" In speaking of this
interview with the Bishop, Lincoln afterwards said to a friend "As I
listened to Bishop Whipple's story of robbery and shame, I felt it to my
boots;" and, rising to his full height, he added: "If I live this accursed
system shall be reformed." But unfortunately he did not live to carry out
his plans. However, we are glad to note an improvement in the condition of
our Indians, of recent years, which shows that the public conscience has at
last been aroused, and one object of this book is to further that good

Another object is to disprove the oft-quoted saying of General Sherman that
"the only good Indian is a dead one." {FN} We have written the biographies
of twenty or more famous chiefs, any one of whom was a good Indian, or
would have been had he received kind treatment from the whites, who were
almost invariably the aggressors. It makes one's soul sick to read of the
white men selling the Indian "firewater," to brutalize and destroy; of
violated treaties; of outrageous treatment which aroused the worst
passions of the Indian's nature.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} General Sherman used this phrase at a banquet at Delmonico's, New
 York, in the winter of 1879.

In selecting the subjects for our biographical sketches, we were confronted
with an embarrassment of riches. And while there are none in the book which
could well have been omitted, yet there are many outside richly deserving a
place in it.  There are so many famous chiefs, we found it impossible to
give them all a place in one volume. So we tried to select those who, in
our judgment, were the greatest, those who for special reasons could not be
omitted, and those whom we thought would make the most interesting

We may say in this connection, that we refrained from writing the
biographies of mixed breeds, such as Osceola Powell, Weatherford  or Red
Eagle, simply because we knew, from our experience with other books, that
people would be prone to say that their greatness was due to the infusion
of the blood of the superior white race. As far as we  know, all of our
subjects treated at length were full-blooded Indians, except Sequoyah and
Quanah Parker, and most of them, as we shall see, were nature's noblemen.

We have enjoyed peculiar facilities for prosecuting our studies on Indian
biography and history, having free access to the four great libraries of

For the benefit of others interested in the same subject, we will mention a
few of the many books we found helpful, in the preparation of this work,
besides the two already named.

At the head of the list we place Roosevelt's "Winning of the West,"
Parkman's "Conspiracy  of Pontiac," Mason's "Pioneer History," Ellis's
"Indian Wars of the United States." In our judgment these are about the
strongest books we have  read on the subject, especially in relation to the
Indian, the pioneer, and the border wars.

In the next group we place Dunn's "Massacres of the Mountains," Finerty's
"War-path and Bivouac," Helen Hunt Jackson's "Century of Dishonor," and
Eggleston's "Biographies of Brant, Red Jacket, Tecumseh," etc.

In addition to our library work, we spent much time traveling among the
Indian tribes and making the acquaintance of many of the most famous living
chiefs, and cultivating their friendship, so we record many of the
incidents in the book as an eye-witness.

We referred to the Indian in this introduction as a so-called "vanishing
race." As a matter of fact the Indian is not vanishing at all but slowly
increasing in numbers. The census of 1890 gave the number of Indians in the
United States as 248,258, while that of 1900 gave the total as 270,544, a
net gain of 22,291 in ten years.

Another erroneous conception many people have of the Indian we can only
call attention to here. They somehow have come to believe that the Red Man
is very dignified and solemn, has no appreciation of the ludicrous, or
conception of a joke. Never was a greater mistake. No one enjoys what he
considers a good joke more than an Indian. You will find some evidence that
he can be as funny as his white brother, in the chapter on "Indian

We determined to have the illustrations one of the very best features of
the book, fully in keeping  with the subject matter; and, wherever
possible, absolutely authentic. For this reason alone, the publication has
been held back several months, the publishers sparing neither pains nor
expense in procuring pictures from photographers and collectors, who made a
specialty of the Indian, such as D. F. Barry, Drake, the Field Museum, the
Newberry Library and the Ethnological Bureau at Washington; some of the
latter being copies of paintings made before photography was known. We also
procured photographs of several rare paintings never published in any book

Should the book prove instructive in demonstrating that there is a
brighter, better side to Indian life and character than is usually seen,
the author will feel that he has not written in vain, and he will be
gratified if, in addition to this, it also gives pleasure.

{Illustration: Cofachiqui, the Indian Princess, presenting the string of
pearls to De Soto.}

                             CHAPTER I.

                  Cofachiqui, the Indian Princess.
             A True Story of De Soto and His Cavaliers.

Cofachiqui seems to have been the name of a populous and wealthy Indian
province visited by Hernando De Soto and his army of adventurers and
cavaliers in their wanderings in search of gold. They also applied this
name to the beautiful and intelligent young queen or princess who ruled the
Indians of this and a confederation of neighboring tribes.

It is impossible to trace the route traversed by De Soto, as it was at
times an aimless wandering through what is now the States of Florida,
Georgia, and, perhaps, the border of South Carolina. But Indian traditions
locate Yupaha, the capital of the province of Cofachiqui, at what is now
Silver Bluff, on the east bank of the Savannah river, in Barnwell county,
South Carolina. From time to time rumor reached De Soto and his men of this
great princess, a veritable "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed," whose subjects were
so devoted and faithful that her slightest wish was law.

One day an Indian youth, who had been brought into camp with other
prisoners, told the Spaniards that all the neighboring chiefs paid tribute
to this great ruler, and sent her at stated intervals provision, fine
clothing and gold. The cavaliers cared nothing for the provision and
clothing, but they were all interest when gold was mentioned, and asked the
youth many  questions, through their interpreter, which he answered in
full. He told how the gold was taken from the earth, how it was melted and
refined. His description was so exact that the Spaniards had no longer any
doubt. They were greatly elated at the news, and after robbing and
plundering the Indians who had fed and sheltered them during the winter
months--the usual return for such kindness--they broke camp and marched
northward. Many times during the march the Spaniards were on the verge of
starvation and wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, where they must have
perished, had they not been rescued and fed by the simple-minded,
hospitable natives. Even those from whom they received such timely aid were
often robbed and murdered indiscriminately. No doubt the Indians regarded
them as demons rather than Christians, for the unprovoked savage ferocity
of the Spaniards would be beyond belief if the sickening details were not
piously set forth by the historian of the expedition.

On the 28th day of April, 1540, De Soto and his Spaniards reached the
neighborhood of Cofachiqui. While the army camped for the night the
enterprising Juan De Añasco with a band of thirty foot-soldiers went out
to reconnoiter. They soon found a broad, well-worn path leading along the
banks of a large river, probably the Savannah. They followed this path
about two leagues when, just as it grew dark, they reached a landing
opposite a large Indian town. There was no means of crossing the river,
neither would it have been prudent to have crossed with such small
numbers, not knowing the kind of reception to expect, or the force they
might encounter.

So Añasco dispatched couriers back in the night to inform De Soto of their
discovery. By daylight the vanguard of the army, consisting of one hundred
horse and as many foot, was in motion, led by De Soto himself. When he
reached the banks of the river, and the natives upon the opposite shore
caught sight of his glittering dragoons on their magnificent steeds, they
were struck with amazement and consternation.

The interpreter shouted loudly for some one to bear a message to their
chief. After some little hesitation and deliberation, the Indians launched
a large canoe, in which six warriors took seats. They  were men of fine
appearance and probably the counselors of the chief. Quite a number of
lusty men grasped the oars, and the canoe was driven rapidly through the
water. De Soto, who had watched these movements with interest, knew he was
about to be visited by the head men of the town, He therefore ordered his
showy throne or chair of state, which he had with him for such occasions,
to be placed in position. Here he took his seat with his officers around.
The distinguished natives landed without any apparent fear, and, advancing
toward the Spaniards, all six of them at the same time made three profound
bows, the first toward the east, to the sun, the second toward the west, to
the moon, and the third to De Soto. "Sir," said their spokesman, "do you
wish peace or war?" "Peace," answered the Spanish general, as usual, "not
war"; adding that he only asked passage through the territory and
provision, in order to reach other provinces, which were his destination;
he desired rafts and canoes also to cross the army over the river, and
lastly friendly treatment while he was marching through the country so
that he might cause it the least damage possible.

Peace, the ambassadors said they could promise; as for food, they had
themselves but little, because during the past year a pestilence had swept
off many of their people and driven others from their villages into the
woods, so that they had not planted their fields; and although the
pestilence was now over, yet many of the Indians had not returned to their
homes. The settlement opposite alone had escaped the scourge. They went on
to explain that their chief was a woman--a young princess, but recently
raised to the position. They would return and bear to her the request of
the strangers, who in the meantime must await her answer with good
confidence, however, for although their ruler was a maiden, she had the
judgment and spirit of a man, and they doubted not would do for the
Spaniards all she possibly could. With this the six envoys returned to
their boats, and crossing the river were soon lost to sight in the waiting
crowd upon the other shore. After a short interval the Spaniards saw a
decided commotion among the Indians. A large and highly decorated canoe
appeared and was hastily made ready, mats and cushions were placed in it
and a canopy raised over one end. Then quite a gorgeous palanquin was seen
borne by four stalwart men, descending toward the stream a young squaw,
evidently the princess descended from it, and seated herself in the canoe
that had the awning.

Eight Indian women followed, taking the paddles; the men went in the other
canoes. The women rowed the princess across the river, and when she stepped
out of her barge they followed, walking up the bank after her. If there
were any among the cavaliers who knew classical history they must have been
reminded (although the scene was rustic and simple in comparison) of
Cleopatra going up the river Cydnus to meet Mark Antony, when according
to Shakespeare,

            "The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
             Burn'd on the water. . . .
             . . . For her own person,
             It beggar'd all description: she did lie
             In her pavilion. . . .
                Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids,
             So many mermaids, tended her . . .
             . . . At the helm
             A seeming mermaid steers."

The princess, making a low and graceful bow before the Spanish general,
seated herself upon the throne, which he brought and placed for her at his
side, and without waiting an instant began to speak. She repeated what her
warriors had said; that the pestilence of the past year made it impossible
for her to furnish the amount of provision she would wish, but that she
would do all in her power. And that De Soto might see her will in her deed,
she gave him at once one of her two storehouses of corn, collected in her
village for the relief of her people who had escaped from the pestilence;
the other one she requested De Soto to kindly spare, for her own
necessities were great.

She said she had another store of corn in a neighboring village, part of
which he could take if necessary. She offered half of her own residence for
De Soto's accommodation, and half of the houses in the village as barracks
for his soldiers. If it would please him more, she and all her people would
abandon the village and retire to a neighboring one. She also promised that
by the next day rafts and canoes should be in readiness to transport the
Spaniards across the river.

Abbott informs us that "The generous soul of De Soto was deeply touched as
he assured her of his lasting friendship and that of his sovereign."  But
there is not the slightest evidence that De Soto was ever actuated by a
generous motive. We are inclined to believe, with Joel Chandler Harris,
that the truth seems to be that De Soto and his men cared nothing for the
courtesy and hospitality of the Queen and that they were not moved by her
beauty and kindness.

According to the historian of the expedition, the Spaniards had quite a
conversation with the young princess and were astonished at her sound
judgment and well ordered ideas. But they also noticed that the Indians of
this tribe were more refined and intelligent in appearance, more affable
and less warlike, than the others they had met in their explorations. They
were, moreover, quite graceful and attractive, and almost as white as the

While talking the princess had quietly and slowly unwound a long string of
pearls, as large as hazelnuts, that coiled three times around her neck and
fell to her waist. When the interview was over she handed the string of
pearls to Juan Ortiz, the interpreter, and told him to give them to the
governor. The interpreter told her his commander would appreciate them more
if presented with her own hands. She replied that she dare not do that for
fear of being considered immodest. De Soto now inquired of the interpreter
what was said, and being informed, answered with much earnestness like a
truly gallant cavalier (which he was not) "More than the pearls themselves
would I value the favor of receiving them from her hands; and in acting so
she would not go against modesty, for we are treating of peace and
friendship, of all things the most important, most serious between strange
people." Having heard this the princess arose and with her own fair hands
suspended the string of costly pearls around the neck of De Soto. The
governor then arose and taking from his finger a gold ring set with a
handsome ruby that he always wore (which he had probably pillaged from the
Peruvians) he gave it to the princess. She received it with great dignity
and placed it on one of her fingers.

Grace King, in her book, "De Soto and His Men in Florida," says, in this
connection: "This little ceremony over, she took her leave and returned to
her village, leaving the Spanish cavaliers charmed and half in love with
her, not only on account of her mind, but of her beauty, which they vowed
then and ever afterward she possessed to the extreme of perfection. And
so also then and afterward they called her by no other name or title than
La Sanora, the lady of Cofachiqui; and the name was right, says the
chronicler, for a lady she was in all respects." The master of camp
arrived with the rest of the army and it was put across the river next day
by means of the rafts and canoes provided by the Indians.

De Soto and his cavaliers found themselves surrounded by the most
hospitable Indians they had yet seen. They were supplied with everything
the land afforded and rested in comfortable houses and wigwams under the
shades of the mulberry trees.

The soldiers were so delighted with the situation that they were anxious to
form a settlement there; but De Soto refused to forget the only object of
the expedition, which was to search for gold and other treasures. The
general was a man of few words but an iron will, and his determination had
the desired effect. His men soon recovered their energies. While enjoying
the hospitalities of the princess they found out the burial place of her
people, and robbed their graves, according to the Spanish historian, of
three hundred and fifty weight of pearls, and figures of babies and birds
made from iridescent shells.

Learning that the widowed mother of the princess lived in retirement about
forty miles down the river, and that she was said to be the owner of many
fine pearls, De Soto determined to get her in his power. He pretended,
however, to be actuated only by a desire to make sure of peace and
tranquillity as long as he was in the country.

At his request Cofachiqui dispatched twelve of her principal officers
inviting her mother to come to town and meet a people never before seen by
the Indians and see the wonderful animals on which they rode. The Queen's
mother, instead of complying, sent her daughter a severe reprimand for
having admitted into her capitol a body of strangers of whom she knew
nothing. All this being reported to De Soto made him more determined than
ever to get her in his power. Accordingly he ordered Juan De Añasco to
take thirty soldiers, and disregarding the privacy and seclusion of the
queen mother to bring her kindly but with force with him to the camp.
Añasco, although the day was well advanced, set out at once on his
mission. A young warrior about the age of the princess was appointed by her
to be guide for the party. The princess also gave him special instructions
that when the men neared the dwelling place of the queen mother, he was to
go in advance and warn her of the Spaniards coming, and supplicate her to
go peaceably and as a friend with them, and he was to be sure and say that
her daughter and all her people made the same petition to her. The young
warrior had been reared in the very arms of the queen mother, and she loved
him as her own son, and the princess chose him for this very reason, hoping
that love for the messenger would mitigate the pain inflicted by this
message. The young warrior matched his princess chief in looks and learning
and was strikingly attractive in face and figure. He wore a diadem of
rarest feathers, a mantle of finest and softest deerskin. At his back was a
magnificent bow just his own height and an elegant quiver of arrows.

About midday the party stopped to eat and to rest a while under the shade
of a grove of trees, for it was quite warm. Sitting apart the guide seemed
to give himself up to thought, resting his head on his hand and every now
and then breathing a low sigh. Presently he took his quiver of arrows and
placing it before him on the ground, began slowly to draw them out one by
one and passed them to the Spaniards, who broke into exclamations of
surprise and pleasure, for each one was different from the other and had
a beauty and novelty of its own. In polish and workmanship they were indeed
remarkable. Some were tipped with staghorn, others with fishbones
wonderfully and cunningly adapted. At last the young warrior drew out a
flint head, pointed and edged like a dagger. Casting an anxious glance
around and seeing the attention of the Spaniards engrossed in examining his
weapons, he plunged the sharp-pointed arrow into his throat, severing an
artery, and fell. Before the Spaniards could rush to him he was dead.
There were several Indian attendants in the company who seemed overwhelmed
with distress, uttering loud cries of grief over the corpse. These were now
questioned by the Spaniards, and it was learned that the young guide knew
that the queen mother was very unwilling to have any acquaintance with the
Spaniards, because she had emphatically refused to meet them when first
importuned; and now for him to guide those same Spaniards to her that they
might compel her to come by fair means or foul, would make him appear as a
miserable ingrate after her great kindness. On the other hand the princess,
whom he revered and loved, had commissioned him to conduct the Spaniards to
her mother's abode. He did not dare to disobey her commands. Either
alternative was more to be dreaded by him than death. The ingenious young
man had therefore endeavored to escape the dilemma by self-destruction.

Savage history offers not, perhaps, another instance of such refined and
romantic devotion. He could not live to please both, so he determined to
die for both.

The other Indians were now pressed to act as guides, but they all swore,
truly or falsely, that they did not know where the queen mother lived; that
the young warrior alone knew the secret of her hiding place. The cavaliers
pushed on as best they could without a guide, but the bad walking, the
excessive heat and the weight of their armor wearied and disgusted them,
and after two days they returned empty-handed to the camp.

Two days after his return an Indian came to Añasco and offered to conduct
him down the river in a canoe to the home of the queen mother. He gladly
accepted the proposition. Two large canoes with strong rowers were quickly
made ready, and Añasco with twenty companions set out on this second
expedition. But it was also doomed to failure. The queen mother heard of
his approach and with a few attendants secretly fled to another retreat
far away. After a fruitless search of six days, the canoes returned. De
Soto never again attempted to get possession of the widow.

{Illustration: American Horse, Sioux Chief.}

In the meantime, while Añasco was engaged in these unsuccessful
expeditions, De Soto had been making anxious inquiries respecting the
silver and gold he had been informed was to be found in the province. He
began by summoning the princess before him and his officers and commanding
her to bring all the yellow and white metals and pearls she possessed, like
the finger rings and pieces of silver and pearls and stones set in the
rings that the Spaniards showed her. The princess replied that both the
white and yellow metals were to be found in great abundance in her
territory. She immediately sent out Indians to bring him in specimens. They
quickly returned laden with a yellow metal somewhat resembling gold in
color, but which proved to be copper. The shining substance which he had
supposed was silver was nothing but a worthless species of mica or quartz.
The sight of these articles dissipated, in an instant, all the bright and
chimerical hopes which  had  prompted the Spaniards to undertake this long
and perilous expedition.

It would seem that the warm-hearted princess sympathized with the Spaniards
in their great disappointment, or she may have feared they would vent their
rage on her hapless people; certain it is, she informed them that while
there were no precious stones in her realm, they did have great abundance
of pearls. Pointing with her fingers to a temple that stood upon a
neighboring mound, she said:  "That is the burial place of the warriors
of this village, there you will find our pearls. Take what you wish; and if
you wish more not far from here there is a village which was the home of my
forefather; its temple is far larger than this, you will find there so
many pearls that even if you loaded all your horses with them and
yourselves with as much as you could carry, you would not come to the end
of them. Many years have my people been collecting and storing pearls. Take
all, and if you still want more, we can get more, and even more still for
you from the fishing places of my people."

This great news and the magnificently queenly manner in which it was told
soon raised the drooping spirits of the Spaniards and consoled them for the
bitter disappointments about the gold and silver.

The fact of her inviting the Spaniards to ransack the tombs of her
forefathers for pearls, seems, as Goodrich says, "utterly inconsistent with
all our notions of the reverence for ancestry which is so striking a
characteristic of the Indians. We should have a strong doubt of the truth
of the statement, were it not distinctly asserted in both the narratives of
the expedition."  To our mind there is only one of two explanations of
it--either the two historians deliberately falsified their statements to
cover up the impious sacrilege of De Soto and his cavaliers, or else the
princess was intimidated until she pursued the peace-at-any-price policy,
even to the profanation of her ancestors' tombs.

The Spaniards soon visited the temple which the princess had pointed out
and took from it pearls amounting to fourteen bushels, according to one
author, while others record a very much larger amount.

Two days later De Soto, with a large retinue of his own officers and of the
household of the princess, started out to visit the large temple at
Talomeco, as it was called, situated upon the high bank of the river about
three miles distant.

The country through which they passed en route was very fertile and in
places covered with fruit trees filled with ripe fruit which the Spaniards
picked and ate with relish, while they congratulated themselves that the
golden dawn of a realization of their dreams was brightening before them.

They found this village contained about five hundred cabins, all
substantially built, and from its superiority of size and appearance over
other villages they inferred it had one day been the seat and residence of
several powerful chiefs. The chief's residence on a mound rose larger and
more conspicuous than the others, but it was in turn dominated by the
temple. The Spaniards' eyes, in fact, could see nothing but the temple as
it loomed up before them on a commanding eminence at the side of this
deserted village. As it was by far the largest and most imposing edifice
they saw in their journey through the Southland it merits a description. It
was about three hundred feet in length by one hundred and twenty in
breadth, with a tall pointed roof that glittered like an enchanted palace.
Canes, slender and supple, woven into a fine mat, served for thatching, and
this was studded with row upon row of all kinds and sizes of shells with
the bright side out. There were great sea shells of curious shapes, conchs
and periwinkles--a marvel of playing light and color.

Grace King has given such a full description of the interior of this temple
that she must have received her information from the records of the
historians of the expedition. Said she, "Throwing open the two large doors
the Spaniards paused at the threshold spellbound. Twelve gigantic statues
of wood confronted them, counterfeiting life with such ferocity of
expression and such audacity of posture as could not but awe them. Six
stood on one side and six on the other side of the door as if to guard it
and to forbid any one to enter. The first ones, those next the door, were
giants about twelve feet high, the others diminished in size by regular
gradation. Each pair held a different kind of weapon and stood in attitude
to use it. The first and largest raised in both hands great clubs,
ornamented a quarter of their length with points and facets of copper; the
second brandished broadswords of wood shaped much like the steel swords of
the Spaniards. The next wielded wooden staves about six feet long, the end
flattened out into a blade or paddle. The fourth pair had tomahawks with
blades of brass or flint; the fifth held bows with arrows aimed and strung,
drawn ready to shoot; the sixth and last statues grasped pikes pointed
with copper.

"Passing between the file of monsters the Spaniards entered the great room.
Overhead were rows of lustrous shells such as covered the roof, and strands
of pearls interspersed with strings of bright feathers, all seemed to be
floating in the air in wildering tapestry. Looking lower the Spaniards saw
that along the upper sides of the four walls ran two rows of statues,
figures of men and women of natural size, each placed on a separate
pedestal. The men held various weapons and each weapon was ornamented with
strings of pearl. The women had nothing in their hands. All the space
around these statues was covered with shields of skins and fine cane mats.
The burial chests were placed on benches around the four sides of the room,
but in the center upon the floor were also rows of caskets, placed one on
top of another in regular gradation like pyramids. All the caskets, large
and small, were filled with pearls; and the pearls, too, were distributed
according to size, the largest in the largest caskets, the smallest, the
seed pearls, in the smallest caskets. In all there was such a quantity of
pearls that seeing it with their own eyes, the Spaniards confessed that
what the princess had told them about the temple was truth and not pride
and exaggeration. As she declared, even if they loaded themselves with as
much as they could carry (and there were more than nine hundred of them)
and loaded their three hundred horses with them, they could not take them
all, there would still be hundreds of bushels of them left. And in addition
there were great heaps of the largest and handsomest deerskins, dyed in
different colors, and skins of other animals dressed with the hair
on--cured and dressed as perfectly, the Spaniards said, as could have been
done in Germany or Muscovy. Around this great room were eight small rooms
all filled with different weapons--pikes, clubs, tomahawks, bows and arrows
of all varieties and of the most exquisite workmanship; some with
three-pronged heads, like harpoons, some two-pronged; some with chisel
edges, like daggers; some shaped like thorns. In the last room were mats of
cane, so finely woven that there were few among the Spanish crossbowmen
could have put a bolt through them."

The revenue officers now proposed to take from the spoils the royal fifth
that belonged to his imperial majesty and to carry it away with them. But
De Soto said that this would only embarrass the movements of the army with
excessive luggage, that even now it could not carry its necessary munitions
and provisions. "They were not dividing the land now," he reminded them,
"only exploring it."

Such is the story taken from the historians of the expedition. But, as Joel
Chandler Harris says "It is just as well to believe a little of this as to
believe a great deal. It was an easy matter for the survivors of the
expedition to exaggerate these things and they probably took great
liberties with the facts, but there is no doubt the Indians possessed many
pearls. Mussels like those from which they took the gems are still to be
found in the small streams and creeks of Georgia, and an enterprising boy
might even now be able to find a seed pearl if he sought for it

It is not to be doubted that rich stores of pearls were found. Some were
distributed to the officers and men, but the bulk of them, strange to say,
were left undisturbed to await the return of the Spaniards another day. It
is said that De Soto dipped into the pearls and gave his two joined hands
full to each cavalier to make rosaries of, he said to say prayers for their
sins on. We imagine if their prayers were in proportion to their sins they
must have spent the most of their time at their devotions.

The Spaniards were greatly elated at the discovery of these riches. Some of
them must have known that real pearls were estimated at a value next to
diamonds, and there were undoubtedly many real pearls of great value in so
large a collection, possibly rivaling the one possessed by Philip II. of
Spain, which was about the size of a pigeon egg and valued at one hundred
and sixty thousand dollars, or that of Cleopatra, which was valued at three
hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars.

De Soto was urged to establish his colony in this country, which was at
once beautiful, fertile and rich in treasures. But the persistent spirit of
De Soto was not to be turned from its one great all-absorbing object, the
search for gold. He was a man of few words  but of wonderful will power.

Accordingly he eagerly inquired of the Indians if they knew of any still
greater land or chief farther inland. The princess and her advisers had
learned by this time that the best way to get rid of such unwilling guests
was to answer such questions in the affirmative. They assured him that
further on was a greater and more powerful chief ruling over a richer
country called Chiaha. He determined at once to march thither. In answer to
the objections of those who wished to remain where they were, he urged that
in consequence of the recent pestilence there was not sufficient provision
in the country to support the army for a month. That by continuing their
march they might find gold mines. Should they fail, they could then return,
and in the meantime, the Indians having replanted their land, there would
be abundance of food. He had his way and preparations were made for the

The conduct of the Spaniards had been so cruel during their stay at
Cofachiqui that the princess and her people had come to regard them with
fear and hatred. There were some indications that the princess so far
distrusted the treacherous and marble-hearted Spaniards, that, like her
more prudent mother, she was about to secretly escape from them by flight.
In some way De Soto heard of this and appointed a guard who was to keep a
constant watch upon the princess, so that she could by no possibility
escape. And when he took up his march for Chiaha, May 4, 1540, the
princess who had received him with so much grace, dignity and hospitality
was compelled to accompany him on foot with an escort of female attendants.
Even the old Spanish chronicler is moved to remark that, "it was not so
good usage as she deserved for the good will she showed and the good
entertainment that she made him."

We fully agree with him, for there are but few instances in all history of
baser ingratitude. One reason why De Soto made the princess his prisoner
and carried her with the expedition was to use her influence in controlling
the Indians along his line of march. In fact, the Indians of Florida,
Mexico and Peru were so loyal and devoted to their rulers that they often
refrained from attacking the Spaniards, lest they should imperil their
lives. It was true in this case that the Indians not only did not attack
the invaders while the princess was with them, but at her command they
supplied them with guides to conduct them through the wilderness, porters
to carry their extra baggage and provision as it was needed along the route
through her domain.

But had the Spaniards treated the princess and her people kindly and with
justice all this would have been done from motives of hospitality and good
will. Kindness begets kindness even among savage races.

De Soto did not accept the spirit of the letter from the noble Isabella, in
which she wrote, "I will no longer persevere in this invasion of the lands
of others which is always plunging me more and more deeply into
difficulties." Instead of this he followed the infamous example which
Pizarro, in Peru, and Cortez, in Mexico, had set him. There is nothing
whatever to justify his action, as it was alike cruel, dastardly and

After being dragged a prisoner in the Spanish army for two or three weeks
and covering a distance of about three hundred miles, she found an
opportunity to escape from her treacherous and brutal captors. Passing one
day through a thick forest she and her attendants suddenly darted from the
train and disappeared. De Soto never saw her or heard from her again,
though every effort was made to recapture her, partly because of the casket
of splendid pearls which one of her attendants carried off with her.
Undoubtedly a band of her warriors were in rendezvous there to receive her.

The historian of Florida, Garcilasode la Vega, terminates his account of
this princess by declaring that she possessed a truly noble soul and was
worthy of an empire. Shame for his country-men has induced him to suppress
all mention of the brutal indignity to which she was subjected by De Soto,
and for which, as a Castilian knight, he deserved to have been deprived of
his spurs. The Portuguese narrator who accompanied the expedition states
the facts too circumstantially to leave us in any doubt about the matter,
and the noble and generous Cofachiqui is to be numbered among those who
suffered by trusting to the honor and justice of the plunderers of the New

Again quoting from Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus), we feel moved to say
that "De Soto's expedition was organized by the spirit of greed. It spread
desolation wherever it went and it ended in disaster and despair. De Soto
himself found a grave in the waters of the Mississippi, and the survivors
who made their way back home were broken in health and spirit."

An attempt has been made to throw a halo of romance over the march of the
Spaniards through the wilderness of the New World, but there is nothing
romantic or inspiring about it. It was simply a search for riches in which
hundreds of lives were most cruelly sacrificed and thousands of homes

The only permanent good which resulted from it was the discovery of the
Father of Waters and this noble, Indian Princess Cofachiqui.

{Illustration: Powhatan, or Wah-Un-So-Na-Cook. Atypical American Indian.}

                            CHAPTER II.

                 POWHATAN, OR WAH-UN-SO-NA-COOK.

When the English colonists first landed in Virginia, in 1607, they found
the country occupied by three large tribes of natives known by the general
names Mannahoack, Monacans and Powhatans.

Of these the two former might be called highland or mountain Indians,
because they occupied the hill country east of the Alleghany ridge, while
the Powhatan nation inhabited the lowland region extending from the
seacoast westward to the falls of the rivers and from the Patuxent
southward to Carolina.

Mr. Jefferson, in his "Notes on Virginia," estimates that the Powhatan
confederacy at one time occupied about eight thousand square miles of
territory, with a population of about eight thousand people, of whom
twenty-four hundred were warriors. When it is remembered that there were
thirty tribes in this coalition, and that this estimate is less than one
hundred warriors to the tribe, it seems moderate enough, especially since
it is recorded by an early writer that three hundred warriors appeared
under one Indian chief in one body at one time and seven hundred at
another, all of whom were apparently of his own tribe.

Moreover, the Powhatan confederacy inhabited a country upon which nature
bestowed her favors with lavish profusion. Their settlements were mostly on
the banks of the James, Elizabeth, Nansamond, York and Chickahominy rivers,
all of which abounded with fish and fowl. The forest was filled with deer
and wild turkey, while the toothsome oyster was found in great abundance on
the shores of the Chesapeake and its numerous inlets. Indeed, the whole
region seems to have been a veritable paradise for hunter and fisherman.
Vast quantities of corn, too, yearly rewarded even the crude agriculture of
the Indians, bestowed as it was upon the best portion of a fertile soil.

Captain John Smith, the hero and historian of early Virginia, informs us
that at one time "the rivers became so covered with swans, geese, ducks and
cranes that we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia pease, pumpions
(pumpkins) and putchamins (a wild plum), fish, fowl and diverse sorts of
wild beasts so fat as we could eat them." He might have added, "And the
barbarous people showed us no little kindness," but at first were ready to
divide with them their ample store, for on one occasion when Smith
undertook an exploring tour into the interior late in the season a violent
storm obliged him and his men to keep Christmas among the savages.  "And we
were never more merry," he relates, "nor fed on more plenty of good
oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowl and good bread, nor ever had better fires
in England."

The mention of oysters here is the first account of this palatable bivalve
we have found in history. They also graced the first Thanksgiving dinner,
as will be seen in another chapter. But it might be asked, why is it, since
Virginia was a land of such great abundance of food, we read so much of
famine and "the starving time" among the colonists at Jamestown? Simply
because the men sent over by King James were for the most part so idle,
improvident and utterly worthless that they would have literally starved to
death "with stewed pigeons flying into their mouths." Shortly after the
settlement at Jamestown Captains Smith and Newport, accompanied by
twenty-three others, sailed up the James river to its falls. A few miles
below where Richmond now stands, near what is known as Mayo's plantation,
they visited an Indian village of a dozen houses called Powhatan. Here they
met and were entertained by the leading chief, or werowance, of the
Powhatan confederacy, who, strange to say, was also called Powhatan.
Indeed, the English understanding but little of the Indian language, and
hearing this name often mentioned, and always with awe or reverence, by
turns regarded it as the name of a river, of the country, of the people, of
a town and of their head sachem.

But little is known of this, the first interview between Captain Smith and
company and the great sagamore and his people, but it is recorded that the
English were kindly and hospitably received, as they usually were, and
feasted on fruit, fish and vegetables, as well as roast deer and cakes.

Bancroft says the savages at first murmured at this intrusion of strangers
into the country; but their crafty chief disguised his fear and would only
say, "They hurt you not; they take but a little waste land."

But even Powhatan grew suspicious of a cross which Newport insisted on
erecting as a sign of English dominion until the latter, probably at the
suggestion of Smith, told him the arms represented Powhatan and himself,
and the middle their united league. The interview ended by the return of
the explorers to Jamestown, but before doing so Newport presented the
chief with a hatchet, with which he was much delighted.

The English invested savage life with all the dignity of European courts.
Powhatan was styled "king" or "emperor," his wives, of whom he had many,
were "queens," his daughter was a "princess" and his principal warriors
were "lords of the kingdom."

In his younger days Powhatan had been a great warrior. Hereditarily he was
sachem of eight tribes and by his arms he subdued twenty-two others, so
that at this time he was the mighty werowance, or sagamore, of thirty of
the forty tribes of Virginia. This great chief has been called the Indian
Caesar, and certainly his system of government was strikingly similar to
that of the Roman Empire, for the hereditary chiefs or "kings" of the
subject tribes were permitted to rule their own people as before the
conquest and their local laws and customs were not interfered with on
condition of their paying annual tribute to Powhatan of "skinnes, beads,
copper, pearle, deere, turkies, wild beasts and corne. What he commandeth
they dare not disobey in the least thing." Moreover, as if to make the
resemblance more remarkable, his subjects regarded him as half man and half
god, just as the Roman people regarded their emperors as demi-gods.

He is described as a "tall, well-proportioned man with a sower looke, his
head somewhat gray, his beard so thinne that it seemeth none at all, his
age neare sixtie, of a very able and hardy body, to endure any labor."  And
certainly the extent of his conquests, his unlimited power over his
subjects and the pomp which he maintained invested Powhatan with no little
courtly though savage dignity.

Besides this village of his own name where he entertained Smith and
Newport, Powhatan had a larger town on the York river called
We-ro-wo-co-mo-co, a hunting town in the wilderness called Orapax, and
others. At each of his hereditary towns there was a house built in the form
of a long arbor for his especial reception, and when the great chief made
a visit to one of his towns a feast was made ready in advance and spread in
the long house. A  mile from Orapax, deep in the woods, he had another
arbor-like house in which he kept all his treasures, such as furs, copper,
pearls and beads, to have them ready for his burial. Though isolated, the
contents of this treasure-house were never disturbed, but whether this was
due to the terror inspired by the owner or to superstitious reverence is
not known. Perhaps it was both.

It is said that Powhatan had twenty sons and eleven daughters living at the
time of the Jamestown settlement. We know nothing of his sons except
Nantaquans, who is described as "the most manliest, comliest and boldest
spirit, ever seen in a savage."

Pocahontas, the favorite daughter of Powhatan, was thought to have been
born in 1594, which would make her about thirteen years of age at the time
of Captain Smith's trial before her august father. Nothing is known of her
mother; she was simply one of Powhatan's numerous wives, and it is within
the bounds of possibility that, growing tired of her, the chief had
presented her to one of his subjects whom he wished to honor, for such was
his custom.

The Indians believed that a knowledge of the real names of persons gave
their enemies power to cast spells upon them, so they were frequently known
by several names and endeavored to conceal their true ones. They also had a
custom of changing the name upon great occasions.

Pocahontas, signifying, it is said, "Bright Stream Between Two Hills," was
the household name of Powhatan's "dearest daughter." She had also two
other names, Amonate and Matoaka, the last being her "real name." Besides
her favorite brother, Nantaquans, we know the names of two sisters,
Matachanna and Cleopatre. The real name of Powhatan, it seems, was
Wah-un-so-na-cook. This powerful Indian sagamore was at first attended by
a bodyguard of forty or fifty tall warriors, which was increased to two
hundred after hostilities commenced with the English.

Captain Smith informs us that "every night upon the foure quarters of his
house are four sentinels, each from other a slight shoot, and at every
halfe houre one from the corps on guard doth hollow, shaking his lips with
his finger betweene them, unto whom every sentinel doth answer round from
his stand; if any faile, they presently send forth an officer that beateth
him extremely." This is the first description we have of the Indian
warwhoop still in vogue among certain tribes, and while it was a safeguard
to prevent surprise, it must have tended to murder sleep about every
half-hour during the watch of the night.

We also read that Powhatan had a fleet, of which he was very proud. It
consisted of a large number of the canoes called "dugouts," which are still
in use among some tribes of Indians. These boats were made by a very
laborious process. Trees of a kind of timber which would float readily were
felled by fire and from the trunks a boat was shaped and hollowed out by
means of burning and scraping with shells and tomahawks.

The family of Powhatan was numerous and influential. Besides his sons and
daughters there were also three brothers younger than himself; and upon
them successively (and not his sons) according to their several ages,
custom  seems  to have required that the government should devolve after
his own death. The eldest, Opitchipan, accordingly succeeded him, in form
at least. But this chief proved to be an inactive and unambitious man,
owing in part to the fact that he was well advanced in years. He was soon
thrown into the shade by the superior energy and greater talent of
Ope-chan-ca-nough, who, before many years, ruled the entire federation
acquired by Powhatan. Of the younger brother, Kekataugh, scarcely anything
is known. He is thought to have died before an opportunity occurred to show
his ability in a public station.

It was Ope-chan-ca-nough, then sachem of the Pamunkies, who captured the
indomitable Captain Smith while the latter was engaged in exploring the
Chickahominy river.

Having gone as far as they could in a barge, Captain Smith left it moored
in the middle of a small lake out of the reach of the savages on the banks,
and accompanied by Robinson, Emry and two friendly Indians, pushed on up
the stream in a smaller boat. Those with the barge were ordered on no
account to go ashore. But the order was disobeyed and they came near
forfeiting their lives by their rashness, for two or three hundred Indians
lay in ambush on the banks. When, on landing, the English discovered the
crouching savages, they fled precipitately to their boat and escaped,
leaving one of their number, George Cassen, a prisoner. Him the Indians
compelled to show the direction taken by Smith, after which he was put to
death in a barbarous manner.

Smith's party was overtaken among the Chickahominy swamps or "slashes," as
they are called in Virginia, Robinson and Emry were killed and Smith
himself captured, but only after a terrible resistance. He fought like a
lion at bay, tied one of the Indian guides to his left arm for a shield,
killed three Indians, wounded several others and would have escaped had he
not stepped backward into a deep quagmire.

He now surrendered to the Indian sachem Ope-chan-ca-nough, who conducted
him in triumph through the Indian villages on the Potomac and the
Rappahannock, thence to his own town, Pamunkey. At this place the medicine
men practiced incantations and ceremonies for the space of three days,
hoping to obtain some insight into the mysterious character and designs of
the captive in order to determine his fate. By this time Smith had so
overawed his captors that they feared to inflict the death penalty without
the concurrence of their great werowance, Powhatan. Accordingly he was
conveyed to We-ro-wo-co-mo-co, the favorite home of this chieftain of the
chiefs, on the York river, a few miles from the historic field of Yorktown.

Arriving at We-ro-wo-co-mo-co, Captain Smith was detained near the town
until preparations had been made to receive him in state. When Powhatan and
his train had time to array themselves in all "their greatest braveries"
the noted prisoner was admitted to the great chief's presence. Powhatan
"looked every inch a king" as he sat on a kind of throne in the longhouse,
covered with a robe of raccoon skin, and with a coronet of immense gaily
colored plumes on his head. His two favorite daughters sat on right and
left while files of warriors and women of rank, his favorite wives or
sisters, were ranged around the hall.

On Smith's entrance into the hall of state a great shout arose from those
present. At a signal a handsome Indian woman, perhaps a sister of the great
chief, whom Smith styles "the Queen of Appamatuck," brought water in a
copper basin to wash the prisoner's hands, while her companion presented a
bunch of feathers with which to dry them.

Powhatan now proceeded to question Smith  closely as to where he was from,
where he was going, what brought the whites to his country, what were their
intentions, what kind of a country they lived in and how many warriors they
had. No doubt the captain was equal to the occasion, but it is quite
probable that the grim old savage regarded him as a liar. Again quoting
Smith, "A long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great
stones were brought before Powhatan, then as many savages as could, layd
hands on him, dragged him to them and thereon layd his head," in position
to be crushed with a war club. A stalwart warrior was appointed
executioner. The signal was given, the grim executioner raised his heavy
war club and another moment had decided the fate both of the illustrious
captive and his colony. But that uplifted bludgeon was not destined to fall
upon the head of Smith. Matoaka, or Pocahontas, the eldest daughter of
Powhatan, sprang from her seat, and rushing between the big warrior and
his intended victim, she clasped "his head in her arms and laid her own
upon his to save him from death." She held on with the resolution of
despair until her father, yielding to her frantic appeals, lifted them up
and ordered Smith to be released. "The Emperor was contented; he should
live to make him hatchets" (like the one Newport had presented) "and her
beads and copper trinkets."

Ridpath well says, "There is no reason in the world for doubting the truth
of this affecting and romantic story, one of the most marvelous and
touching in the history of any nation."

Bancroft also records the incident as a historical fact and moralizes on
it by saying, "The gentle feelings of humanity are the same in every race
and in every period of life; they bloom, though unconsciously, even in the
bosom of a young Indian maiden."

The truth of this beautiful story was never doubted until 1866, when the
eminent antiquarian, Dr. Charles Deane, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in
reprinting Smith's first book, "The True Relation of 1609," pointed out
that it contains no reference to this hair-breadth escape. Since then many
American historians and scholars have concluded that it never happened at
all, and in order to be consistent they have tried to prove that Smith was
a blustering braggadocio, which is the very last thing that could in truth
be said of him. The rescue of a captive doomed to death, by a woman, is not
such an unheard-of thing in Indian stories.

If the truth of this deliverance be denied, how then did Smith come back to
Jamestown loaded with presents when the other three men were killed, George
Cassen, in particular, in a most horrible manner? And how is it, supposing
Smith's account of it to be false, that Pocahontas afterward frequently
came to Jamestown with her attendants bringing baskets of corn and was,
next to Smith himself, the salvation of the colony? She was also sent by
her father to intercede with Smith for the release of prisoners. The fact
is, nobody doubted the story in Smith's life time and he had enemies
enough. Pocahontas never visited Jamestown after Smith went to England in
October, 1609, until she was kidnapped and taken there in April, 1613, by
the infamous Captain Argall, with the aid of Japazaws, the chief sachem of
the Patawomekes or Potomacs.

{Illustration: Captain Smith Making Toys For Pocahontas.}

It is true there is no mention of Pocahontas saving the life of Smith in
the "True Relation," but it must not be forgotten that it is confessed that
the editor came upon his copy at second or third hand; that is, we suppose
that it had been copied in MS. He also confesses to selecting what he
thought "fit to be printed."  "Can any one doubt," says Eggleston, "that
the 'True Relation' was carefully revised, not to say corrupted, in the
interest of the company and the colony? And, if so, what more natural than
that the hostility of so great a chief as Powhatan would be concealed? For
the great need of the colony was a fresh supply of colonists. Nothing would
have so much tended to check emigration to Virginia (especially women) as a
belief that the most powerful neighboring prince was at war with the

But Smith does mention the thrilling incident in his letter to Queen Anne,
on behalf of his protege, and rings the changes on it. Said he,
"Pocahontas, the King's most dear and well-beloved daughter, being but a
child of twelve or thirteen years of age, whose compassionate, pitiful
heart, of desperate estate, gave me much cause to respect her." . . . For
"at the minute of my execution she hazarded the beating out of her own
brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father
that I was safely conducted to Jamestown."

The amiable young "princess," Pocahontas, became the first Christian
convert in Virginia, as well as the first bride, when she married John
Rolfe, in 1613. At her baptism she received the name "Lady Rebecca," no
doubt in allusion to Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, who became the mother of
two distinct nations and two manner of people.

In 1616 she and her husband went to England. Here the "Lady Rebecca"
received great attentions at court and was entertained by the Bishop of
London. Pocahontas remained in England about a year; and when, with her
husband and son, she was about to return to Virginia, with her father's
counselor, Tomocomo, she was seized with smallpox at Gravesend and died in
June,1617, aged twenty-two.

It may assist the reader to remember the place by recalling that at
_Gravesend_ her beautiful life came to an _end_ and she found a _grave_
under the chancel of the parish church.

John Rolfe returned to Virginia and became a prominent official of the
colony. His son, Thomas Rolfe, was taken to London, where he was brought up
by an uncle. When he was a young man he came to Virginia, and, as
"Lieutenant Rolfe," commanded Fort James, on the Chickahominy.

In 1644, when about twenty-six, he petitioned the Governor for permission
to visit his great uncle, Ope-chan-ca-nough, and his aunt, Cleopatre, who
still lived in the woods on the York river. He married a young lady of
England, became a gentleman of "note and fortune" in Virginia, and some of
the most prominent families of that State are descended from him.

John Randolph, of Roanoke, was the best known of his descendants and was
proud of his Indian blood. His manner of walking and the peculiar
brightness of his eyes are said to have shown his origin, and he once said
he came of a race who never forgot a kindness or forgave an injury.
Randolph was sixth in descent from Pocahontas, through Jane Rolfe, her
grand-daughter. "And," as John Esten Cook says, "the blood of Powhatan
mingled with that of his old enemies. Dead for many years, and asleep in
his sepulcher at Orapax, the savage old Emperor still spoke in the voice of
his great descendant, the orator of Roanoke."

The crafty Powhatan, seeing how much superior the English weapons were to
his own, determined to possess some of them. Accordingly, after sparing the
life of Captain Smith, he told him that they were now friends and that he
would presently send him home, and when he arrived at Jamestown he must
send him two great guns and a grindstone. He also promised to consider him
his son and give him the country of Capahowosick.

Smith was shortly afterward sent to Jamestown with twelve guides and
arrived safely after seven weeks' captivity. Here he treated his savage
guides with great hospitality and showed Rawhunt, their leader, two
demi-culverins (long cannon carrying a nine-pound shot) and a millstone to
carry to Powhatan. The Indians, however, "found them somewhat too heavy."
To give them a wholesome fright, Smith caused a cannon to be loaded with
stone and fired among the boughs of trees filled with icicles. The effect
may easily be imagined.

Presents of various toys and trinkets were now given the Indians for
Powhatan and his family and they went away satisfied.

During the same winter Smith visited Powhatan in company with Newport.
Attended by a guard of thirty or forty men they sailed as far as
We-ro-wo-co-mo-co the first day. Here Newport's courage failed him. But
Smith, with twenty men, went on and visited the chief at his town.

Powhatan exerted himself to the utmost to give his adopted son a royal
entertainment. The warriors shouted for joy to see Smith; orations were
addressed to him and a plentiful feast provided to refresh him after his
journey. The great sachem received him, reclining upon his bed of mats, his
pillow of dressed skin lying beside him with its brilliant embroidery of
shells and beads, and his dress consisting chiefly of a handsome fur robe.
Along the sides of the house sat twenty comely females, each with her head
and shoulders painted red and a great chain of white beads about her neck.
"Before these sat his chiefest men in like order, and more than fortie
platters of fine bread stood in two piles on each side of the door. Foure
or five hundred people made a guard behind them for our passage; and
Proclamation was made, none upon paine of death to presume to doe us any
wrong or discourtesie. With many pretty discourses to renew their old
acquaintance, this great king and our captain spent the time, till the ebbe
left our barge aground. Then renewing their feast with feates, dauncing and
singing, and such like mirth, we quartered that night with Powhatan."

The next day Captain Newport came ashore and was received with savage pomp,
Smith taking the part of interpreter. Newport presented Powhatan with a boy
named Thomas Salvage. In return the chief gave him a servant of his named
Namontack, and several days were spent in 'feasting, dancing and trading,
during which time the old sachem manifested so much dignity and so much
discretion as to create a high admiration of his talents in the minds of
his guests.

Newport had brought with him a variety of articles for barter, such as he
supposed would command a high price in corn. Not finding the lower class of
Indians profitable, as they dealt on a small scale and had but little corn
to spare, he was anxious to drive a bargain with Powhatan himself. This,
however, the haughty chief affected to decline and despise.

"Captain Newport," said he, "it is not agreeable to my greatness to truck
in this peddling manner for trifles. I am a great werowance and I esteem
you the same. Therefore lay me down all your commodities together; what I
like I will take and in return you shall have what I conceive to be a fair

Newport fell into the trap. He did as requested, contrary to Smith's
advice. Powhatan selected the best of his goods and valued his corn so high
that Smith says it might as well have been purchased in old Spain. They did
not get four bushels, where they expected twenty hogsheads.

It was now Smith's turn to try his skill; and he made his experiment not
upon the sagacity of Powhatan but upon his simplicity. Picking up a string
of large brilliant blue beads he contrived to glance them as if by
accident, so that their glint attracted the eye of the chief, who at once
became eager to see them. Smith denied having them, then protested he could
not sell them as they were made of the same stuff as the sky and only to be
worn by the greatest kings on earth.

Powhatan immediately became "half-mad" to own "such strange jewels." It
ended by Smith securing two or three hundred bushels of corn for a pound or
two of blue beads. Having loaded their barges, they floated with the next
tide. They also visited Ope-chan-ca-nough before their return and "fitted
this chief with blue beads on the same terms."

On September 10, 1608, Smith was made President of the colony and things
had begun to run smoothly when the marplot Newport returned with several
wild schemes. He brought with him orders from King James for a coronation
of Powhatan as Emperor, together with elaborate presents for the old chief.
A more foolish thing was never perpetrated. Smith, with his usual hard
sense, protested against it. He well knew that it would tend to increase
the haughty chief's notions of his own importance and make it impossible to
maintain friendly relations with him. Finding his opposition in vain he
insisted on at least trying to get Powhatan to come to Jamestown for the
ceremony, and even offered to go himself and extend the invitation to the

Smith took with him four companions only and went across the woods by land,
about twelve miles, to We-ro-wo-co-mo-co. Powhatan was then absent at a
distance of twenty or thirty miles. Pocahontas immediately sent for him and
he arrived the following day. Smith now delivered his message desiring him
to visit "his father" Newport at Jamestown for the purpose of receiving
the newly arrived presents and also concerting a campaign in common against
the Monacans. But this proud representative in the American forest of the
divine right of kings haughtily replied, "If your King has sent me a
present, I also am a King and this is my land; eight days I will stay to
receive them. Your father is to come to me, not I to him, nor yet to your
fort neither will I bite at such a bait; as for the Monacans I can revenge
my own injuries."

"This is the lofty potentate," says a charming writer, "whom Smith could
have tickled out of his senses with a glass bead and who would have
infinitely preferred a big shining copper kettle to the misplaced honor
intended to be thrust upon him, but the offer of which puffed him up beyond
the reach of negotiation."

After some further general conversation Smith returned with his answer. If
the mountain would not come to Mahomet, then Mahomet must go to the
mountain. The presents were sent by water around to We-ro-wo-co-mo-co and
the two captains with a guard of fifty men went by land. Smith describes
the ridiculous ceremony of the coronation, the last act of which shows that
the old sachem himself saw the size of the joke. "The presents were brought
him, his basin and ewer, bed and furniture setup, his scarlet cloak and
apparel with much adoe put on him, being assured they would not hurt him.
But a foule trouble there was to make him kneel to receive his crown; he
not knowing the majesty, nor wearing of a crown, nor bending of the knee,
endured so many persuasions, examples and instructions as tyred them all.
At last by bearing hard on his shoulders, he a little stooped, and three
having the crown in their hands, put it on his head, when by the warning of
a pistoll the boats were prepared with such a volly of shot, that the king
started up in a horrible feare, till he saw all was well. Then, remembering
himself, to congratulate their kindness, he gave his old shoes (moccasins)
and his mantell (of raccoon skins) to Captain Newport." The mountain
labored and brought forth a mouse.

Little was heard of Powhatan for some time after this, except occasionally
through the medium of some of his tribes, who refused to trade with the
English in consequence of his orders to that effect. He had evidently
become jealous, but appearances were still kept up, and in December, 1608,
the Emperor (for he is now one of the crowned heads) invited the captain to
visit him. He wanted his assistance in building a house, and if he would
bring with him a grindstone, fifty swords, a few muskets, a cock and hen,
with a quantity of beads and copper, he might depend upon getting a ship
load of corn.

Smith accepted the invitation and set off with a pinnace and two barges
manned by forty-six volunteers. It was on this occasion that a severe storm
drove Smith and his men to seek shelter and spend Christmas with friendly
Indians, where they enjoyed the good cheer and hospitality mentioned
elsewhere in this narrative.

They reached We-ro-wo-co-mo-co January 12, quartered without much ceremony
at the first house they found, and sent to Powhatan for a supply of
provisions. The wily old chief furnished them with plenty of bread, venison
and turkeys, but pretended not to have sent for them at all. In reply Smith
asked if he had forgotten his own invitation thus suddenly, and then
produced the messengers who had carried it, and who happened to be near at
hand. Powhatan affected to regard the whole affair as a mere joke and
laughed heartily. Smith reproached him with deceit and hostility. The chief
replied by wordy evasions and seemed very indifferent about his new house.
He demanded guns and swords in exchange for corn, which Smith, of course,
refused. By this time the captain was provoked and gave the chief to
understand that necessity might force him to use disagreeable expedients in
relieving his own wants and the need of the colony. Powhatan listened to
this declaration with cool gravity and replied with corresponding
frankness. Said he, "I will spare you what I can and that within two days.
But, Captain Smith, I have some doubts as to your object in this visit. I
am informed that you wish to conquer more than to trade, and at all events
you know my people must be afraid to come near you with their corn so long
as you go armed and with such a retinue. Lay aside your weapons then. Here
they are needless. We are all friends, all Powhatans." The information here
alluded to was probably gained from the two Dutchmen who had deserted the
colony and gone among the Indians.

A great contest of ingenuity now ensued between the Englishman and the
savage, the latter endeavoring to temporize only for the purpose of putting
Smith and his men off their guard. He especially insisted on the propriety
of laying aside their arms.

"Captain Smith," he continued, "I am old and I know well the difference
between peace and war. I wish to live quietly with you and I wish the same
for my successors. Now, rumors which reach me on all hands make me uneasy.
What do you expect to gain by destroying us who provide you with food? And
what can you get by war if we escape you and hide our provisions in the
woods? We are unarmed, too, you see. Do you believe me such a fool as not
to prefer eating good meat, sleeping quietly with my wives and children,
laughing and making merry with you, having copper and hatchets and anything
else--as your friend--to flying from you as your enemy, lying cold in the
woods, eating acorns and roots, and being so hunted by you meanwhile that
if but a twig break, my men will cry out, 'There comes Captain Smith.' Let
us be friends, then. Do not invade us with such an armed force. Lay aside
these arms."

But Smith was proof against this eloquence, which, it will be conceded, was
of a high order. Believing the chief's purpose was to disarm the English
and then massacre them, he ordered the ice broken and the pinnace brought
nearer shore. More men were then landed preparatory to an attack.

The white man and the Indian were well matched in general intelligence,
insight into character and craftiness. No diplomacy inferior to that of the
Indian Emperor could have so long retained the upper hand of Smith. No
leader of less courage and resources than John Smith could so long have
maintained a starving colony in the hostile dominions of the great

While waiting until the re-enforcements could land. Smith tried to keep
Powhatan engaged in a lengthy conversation. But the Indian outwitted him.
Leaving three of his handsomest and most entertaining wives to occupy
Smith's attention, Powhatan slipped through the rear of his bark dwelling
and escaped, while his warriors surrounded the house. When Smith discovered
the danger he rushed boldly out. Flourishing his sword and firing his
pistol at the nearest savage he escaped to the river, where his men had
just landed.

The English had already traded a copper kettle to Powhatan for eighty
bushels of corn. This was now delivered, and with loaded muskets they
forced the Indians to fill the boat.

By the time this was done night had come on, but the loaded vessel could
not be moved until high tide. Smith and his men must remain ashore until
morning. Powhatan and his warriors plotted to attack them while at their
supper. Once again Pocahontas saved Smith. Slipping into the camp she
hurriedly warned him of his danger and revealed the whole plot. The captain
offered her handsome presents and rewards, but with tears in her eyes she
refused them all, saying it would cost her her life to be seen to have

{Illustration: Pocahontas, or Lady Rebecca.}

Presently ten lusty warriors came bearing a hot supper for the English and
urging them to eat. But Smith compelled the waiters first to taste their
own food as an assurance against poison. He then sent them back to tell
Powhatan the English were ready for him.

No one was permitted to sleep that night, but all were ordered to be ready
to fight any moment, as large numbers of Indians could be seen lurking
around. Their vigilance saved them, and with the high tide of the morning
the homeward trip was commenced.

Such benefits resulted from the marriage of Rolfe and Pocahontas that
Governor Dale piously ascribed it to the divine approval resting on the
conversion of the heathen, and reflecting that another daughter of Powhatan
would form an additional pledge of peace, sent Ralph Hamer and the
interpreter, Thomas Savage, to Powhatan to procure a second daughter for

They found the aged chief at Matchcat, further up the river than
We-ro-wo-co-mo-co, and after a pipe of tobacco had been passed around
Powhatan inquired anxiously about his daughter's welfare, "her marriage,
his unknown son, and how they liked, lived and loved together."  Hamer
answered that they "lived civilly and lovingly together," and "that his
daughter was so well content that she would not change her life to return
and live with him, whereat he laughed heartily and said he was very glad of

Powhatan now asked the particular cause of Mr. Hamer's visit. On being told
it was private, the Emperor ordered the room cleared of all except the
inevitable pair of queens, who sat on either side of the monarch. Hamer
began by saying that he was the bearer of a number of presents from
Governor Dale, consisting of coffee, beads, combs, fish hooks and knives,
and a promise of the much-talked-of grindstone whenever Powhatan would send
for it. He then added that the Governor, hearing of the fame of the
Emperor's youngest daughter, was desirous of making her "his nearest
companion and wife." He conceived there could not be a finer bond of union
between the two people than such a connection; and, besides, Pocahontas was
exceedingly anxious for her sister's companionship at Jamestown. He hoped
that Powhatan would at least suffer her to visit the colony when he should

Powhatan more than once came very near interrupting the delivery of this
message. But he controlled himself, and when Hamer had finished, the
Emperor gracefully acknowledged the compliment, but protested that his
daughter had been three days married to a certain young chief. To this the
brazen Hamer replied that this was nothing; that the groom would readily
relinquish her for the ample presents which Governor Dale would make, and
further that a prince of his greatness might easily exert his authority to
reclaim his daughter on some pretext. To this base proposition the old
sachem made an answer of which the nobility and purity might have put to
shame the unscrupulous Hamer. He confessed that he loved his daughter as
his life and though he had many children he delighted in her most of all.
He could not live without seeing her every day and that would be
impossible if she went among the colonists, for he had resolved upon no
account to put himself in their power or to visit them. He desired no other
pledge of friendship than the one already existing in the marriage of his
Pocahontas, unless she should die, in which case he would give up another
child. He  concluded with the following pathetic eloquence: "I hold it not
a brotherly part for your King to endeavor to bereave me of my two darling
children at once. Give him to understand that if he had no pledge at all,
he need not distrust any injury from me or my people. There has already
been too much of blood and war; too many of my people and of his have
already fallen in our strife, and by my occasion there shall never be any
more. I, who have power to perform it, have said it; no, not though I
should have just occasion offered, for I am now grown old and would
gladly end my few remaining days in peace and quiet. Even if the English
should offer me injury, I would not resent it. My country is large enough
and I would remove myself further from you. I hope this will give
satisfaction to my brother, he can not have my daughter. If he is not
satisfied, I will move three days' journey from him and never see
Englishmen more."

His speech was ended. The barbarian's hall of state was silent. The council
fire unreplenished had burned low during the interview and the great
crackling logs lay reduced to a dull heap of embers--fit symbol of the aged
chieftain who had just spoken.

As Mason well says, "Call him a savage, but remember that his shining love
for his daughter only throws into darker shadow the infamous  proposition
of the civilized Englishman to tear away the three days' bride from the
arms of her Indian lover and give her to a man who had already a wife in
England. Call him a barbarian, but forget not that when his enemies
hungered he gave them food. When his people were robbed, whipped and
imprisoned by the invaders of his country, he had only retaliated and had
never failed to buy the peace to which he was entitled without money and
without price. Call him a heathen, but do not deny that when he said that,
if the English should do him an injury, he would not resent it but only
move further from them, he more nearly followed the rule of the Master, of
whom he was ignorant, than did the faithless, pilfering adventurers at the
fort, who rolled their eyes heavenward and called themselves Christians."

No candid person can read the history of this famous Indian with an
attentive consideration of the circumstances under which he was placed
without forming a high estimate of his character as a warrior, statesman
and a patriot. His deficiencies were those of education and not of genius.
His faults were those of the people whom he governed and of the period in
which he lived. His great talents, on the other hand, were his own and
these are acknowledged even by those historians who still regard him with

Smith calls him "a prince of excellent sense and parts, and a great master
of all the savage arts of government and policy."

He died in 1618, just one year after the untimely death of Pocahontas,
"full of years and satiated with fightings, and the delights of savage
life." He is a prominent character in the early history of our country and
well does he deserve it. In his prime he was as ambitious as Julius Caesar
and not less successful, considering his surroundings. He and Pocahontas
were the real "F. F. V.'s," for, beyond controversy, they were of the
"First Families of Virginia."

                           CHAPTER III

                   THE FRIEND OF THE PURITANS.

"Welcome, Englishmen!" A terrific peal of thunder from a cloudless sky
would not have astonished the Plymouth Fathers as did these startling
words. It was March 16, 1621, a remarkably pleasant day, and they had
assembled in town meeting to plan and discuss ways and means for the best
interests of the colony. So engrossed were they with the matter under
consideration they did not notice the approach of a solitary Indian as he
stalked boldly through the street of this village until he advanced towards
the astonished group, and with hand outstretched in a friendly gesture and
with perfectly intelligible English addressed them with the words,
"Welcome, Englishmen!" The astonished settlers started to their feet and
grasped their ever ready weapons. But reassured by his friendly gestures
and hearty repetition of the familiar English phrase in which only kindness
lurked, the settlers cordially returned his greeting and reciprocated his
"welcome,"  which is the only one the Pilgrims ever received.

"He who would have friends must show himself friendly." This their dusky
guest had done and it paved the way for a pleasant interview, which
resulted in mutual good. Knowing that the way to the heart lies through the
stomach, they at once gave their visitor "strong water, biscuit, butter,
cheese and some pudding, with a piece of mallard."

The heart of the savage was gained: the taciturnity characteristic of his
race gave way and he imparted valuable information, much of it pertaining
to things they had long desired to know. They ascertained that his name was
Samoset, that he was a subordinate chief of the Wampanoag tribe, and his
hunting-grounds were near the island of Monhegan, which is at the mouth of
Penobscot Bay. With a strong wind it was but a day's sail eastward, but it
required five days to make the journey by land. This was a noted fishing
place and he had learned something of the English language from crews of
fishing vessels which frequented his coast. He told them the country in
their vicinity was called Pawtuxet; that four years previous a terrible
pestilence had swept off the tribes that inhabited the district, so that
none remained to claim the soil.

He also informed them that a powerful sachem named Massasoit was their
nearest neighbor. He lived about Montaup (afterward corrupted by the
English into Mount Hope), and was chief of the Wampanoag tribe as well as
head sachem of the Pokanoket confederacy of thirty tribes. Massasoit, he
said, was disposed to be friendly. But another tribe, called the Nausets,
were greatly incensed against the English, and with just cause. Samoset was
able to define this cause, which also served to explain the fierce attack
the Pilgrims received from the savages in their memorable "First

It seems that a captain by the name of Hunt who had been left in charge of
a vessel by Captain John Smith, while exploring the coast of New England in
1614, had exasperated the Indians beyond endurance. Captain Smith thus
records this infamous crime in his "Generale Historie of New England." "He
(Hunt) betraied foure and twentie of these poore salvages aboord his ship,
and most dishonestly and inhumanely for their kind usage of me and all our
men, carried them with him to Maligo, and there for a little private gaine
sold those silly salvages for Rials of eight; but this vilde act kept him
ever after from any more emploiement to these parts."

Samoset had heard from his red brothers all about this kidnapping, as well
as the attack on the Pilgrims in revenge for it.

The sequel of Hunt's outrageous crime is quite interesting. He sold his
victims, as we have seen, at Malaga, for eighty pounds each, but some of
them, including an Indian by the name of Squanto, were ransomed and
liberated by the monks of that island.

Squanto now went first to Cornhill, England, afterward to London. Here he
acquired some knowledge of the English language and obtained the friendship
and sympathy of Mr. John Slaney, a merchant of that city, who protected him
and determined to send the poor exile back to his native land.

About this time (1619) Sir F. Gorges was preparing to send a ship to New
England under the command of Captain Thomas Dermer, and it was arranged for
Squanto to embark on board this ship. "When I arrived," says Dermer in his
letter to Purchas, "at my savage's native country, finding all dead
(because of the pestilence), I traveled along a day's journey to a place
called Nummastaquyt, where, finding inhabitants, I dispatched a messenger a
day's journey further west, to Pacanokit, which bordereth on the sea;
whence came to see me two kings, attended with a guard of fifty armed men,
who being well satisfied with that my savage and I discoursed unto them
(being desirous of novelty) gave me content in whatsoever I demanded. Here
I redeemed a Frenchman and afterwards another at Masstachusitt, who three
years since escaped shipwreck at the northeast of Cape Cod."

One of these two "kings," as the sachems were frequently entitled by the
early writers, must have been Massasoit, the other was probably his
brother, Quadepinah.

The good Captain Dermer was faithful to his trust and delivered the poor
exile Squanto to his native land, but not to his own people at Plymouth, as
they had been swept off by the pestilence in his absence. He, however,
became a loyal subject of Massasoit. He was introduced to the English
settlers at Plymouth by Samoset on his third visit. Squanto was disposed to
return good for evil, and forgetting the outrage of the knave who had
kidnapped him and remembering only the great kindness which he had
received from his benefactor, Mr. Slaney, and from the people generally in
London, in generous requital now attached himself cordially to the Pilgrims
and became their firm friend. His residence in England, as we have stated,
had rendered him quite familiar with the English language, and he proved
invaluable, not only as an interpreter, but also in instructing them
respecting fishing, woodcraft, planting corn and other modes of obtaining
support in the wilderness.

Squanto brought the welcome intelligence that his sovereign chief, the
great Massasoit, had heard of the arrival of the Pilgrims and was
approaching to pay them a friendly visit, attended by a retinue of sixty
warriors. An hour later Massasoit and his warriors, accompanied by his
brother, Quadepinah (sometimes written Quadequina) appeared on a
neighboring hill. The wily sachem was well acquainted with the conduct of
the unprincipled Hunt and other English seamen who had skirted the coast
and committed all manner of outrages on the natives, and he was too wary to
place himself in the power of strangers, respecting whom he entertained
such well grounded suspicions. He therefore took a position on a hill where
he could not be taken by surprise and in case of attack could retreat if

As they seemed unwilling to approach nearer, Squanto was sent to ascertain
their designs, and was informed that they wished some one should be sent
to hold a parley. Edward Winslow was appointed to discharge this duty, and
he immediately waited on the sachem and conveyed a present consisting of a
pair of knives and a copper chain with a jewel attached to it. Also a
knife, a jewel to hang on his ear, "a pot of strong water, a good quantity
of biscuit and some butter" for Quadepinah. Massasoit received him with
dignity, yet with courtesy. Mr. Winslow, with the aid of Squanto as
interpreter, addressed the chief in a speech of some length, to which the
Indians listened with the decorous gravity characteristic of the race. The
purport of the speech was that King James saluted the sachem, his brother,
with the words of peace and love; that he accepted him as his friend and
ally; and that the Governor desired to see him and to trade and treat with
him upon friendly terms.

Massasoit made no special reply to these words, probably for the sufficient
reason that he did not fully comprehend the drift of it, except the last
clause. He observed the sword and armor of Winslow during the harangue,
and, when he had ceased speaking, signified his disposition to commence the
proposed trade immediately by buying them. They were not, however, for
sale; and after a brief parley Winslow was left behind as a hostage in the
custody of Quadepinah, while Massasoit and twenty unarmed followers met
Standish, Williamson and six musketeers at the brook which divided the

{Illustration: Ope-Chan-Ca-Nough.}

The sachem and his retinue, marching in Indian file one behind the other,
led by the chief, were escorted to the best house in the village. Here a
green rug was spread upon the floor and several cushions piled on it for
his accommodation. Presently Governor Carver entered the house in as great
state as he could command, with beat of drum and blare of trumpet, and a
squad of armed men as a bodyguard. The Governor took the hand of Massasoit
and kissed it. The Indian chieftain immediately imitated his example and
returned the salute.

The two leaders now sat down together and regaled themselves with
refreshments consisting chiefly of "strong waters, a thing the savages love
very well; and the sachem took such a large draught of it at once as made
him sweat all the while he staid."  The white man's "firewater" thus in
evidence in this treaty has been the most fruitful source of the red man's
ruin from that day to the present time. Following are the terms of the
treaty concluded upon this occasion:

1. That neither he nor any of his (Massasoit's) should injure or do hurt to
any of their people.

2. That if any of his did any hurt to any of theirs, he should send the
offender, that they might punish him.

3. That if anything were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause it
to be restored, and they should do the like to his.

4. That if any did unjustly war against him, they would aid him; and if any
did war against them, he should aid them.

5. That he should send to his neighbor confederates, to inform them of
this, that they might not wrong them, but might be like wise comprised in
these conditions of peace.

6. That when his came to them upon any occasion, they should leave their
arms behind them.

7. That so doing, their sovereign lord, King James, would esteem him as
his friend and ally.

Such was the first treaty made with the Indians of New England, which
remained in force fifty-four years. Nor was Massasoit or any of the
Wampanoags during his lifetime convicted by the harshest revilers of his
race of having violated or attempted to violate any of its provisions. It
was eminently satisfactory to both parties to the compact, but a close
reading will show hints (as usual) of the white man overreaching his red
brother. In the first place they got an immense territory for a few baubles
and gewgaws, part of which were utterly useless. Then, too, the Indians
were required to come unarmed in their interviews with the Pilgrims, but we
fail to find it stated that the white men should leave their pieces behind
them on going among the Indians. It is also noticed that the Indians were
to aid the English should any foe war against them, and the English should
aid the Indians should any foe "unjustly war against them." Why this word
"unjustly" on the one side and not on the other? And who was to decide the
matter? Certainly the Puritans. But to their credit be it said, they did
send aid to their ally promptly in his time of need, as we shall see.

Massasoit is thus described in the Pilgrim's Journal: "In his person he is
a very lusty man in his best years, an able body, grave of countenance and
spare of speech; in his attire little or nothing differing from the rest of
his followers, save only in a great chain of white beads about his neck;
behind his neck, attached to the chain, hangs a pouch of tobacco which he
drank (smoked) and gave us to drink. His face was painted with a seal red,
and he was oiled both head and face that he looked greasily." He and his
companions were picturesquely dressed in skins and plumes of brilliant
colors. Being tall, strongmen, and the first natives whom most of the
colonists had ever seen near at hand, they must have impressed them as a
somewhat imposing as well as interesting spectacle.

After the conclusion of this famous treaty, Massasoit was conducted by the
Governor to the brook and rejoined his party, leaving hostages behind.
Presently his brother, Quadepinah, came over with a retinue, and was
entertained with like hospitality. The next day, on an invitation from the
chief, Standish and Allerton returned his visit and were regaled with
"three or four ground-nuts and some tobacco." Governor Carver sent for the
chief's kettle and returned it "full of pease, which pleased them well, and
so they went their way."

The next interview the colonists had with Massasoit was in July, 1621. At
this time an embassy consisting of Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins, with
Squanto as interpreter, was sent to make the sachem a formal visit at
Montaup, his seat near the Narragansett bay. The objects of this embassy
were, says Mourt, "that forasmuch as his subjects came often and without
fear upon all occasions amongst us, becoming, in fact, a sad annoyance to
the colonists as they went to the sea shore in search of lobsters and to
fish. Men, women and children always hanging about the village, clamorous
for food and pertinaciously inquisitive." It was partly to abate this
nuisance and "partly," says the old chronicle, "to know where to find our
savage allies, if occasion served, as also to see their strength, explore
the country, make satisfaction for some injuries conceived to have been
done on our parts, and to continue, the league of peace and friendship
between them and us." The "injuries" here mentioned refer to the fact that
the colonists shortly after their arrival found corn buried in the ground.
Seeing no inhabitants in the neighborhood, "but some graves of the dead
newly buried," they took the corn with the intention of making full
satisfaction for it whenever it became practicable. The owners of it were
supposed to have fled through fear. It was now proposed that the owners of
this corn should be informed by Massasoit, if they could be found, that the
English were ready to pay them with an equal quantity of corn, English
meal, or "any other commodities they had to pleasure them withal"; and
full satisfaction was offered for any trouble which the sachem might do
them the favor to take. All of which shows that the Pilgrim Fathers were
scrupulously just in their dealings with the Indians.

The two ambassadors and their guide, bearing presents for the sachem,
started on their journey through the forest. Much they marveled at the
well-nigh infallible skill of Squanto in always leading right, even when
confronted with a mazy labyrinth of paths pointing in every direction. They
met several bands of Indians en route, and partook of such hospitality as
they had to offer. Their number was augmented by six stalwart savages, who
insisted not only on bearing them company but bearing their arms and
baggage. At the various fords the friendly Indians carried the Englishmen
over dry-shod upon their shoulders, which is quite remarkable, in view of
the proverbial laziness of the Indians in general and those of the New
England coast in particular.

In due time the envoys arrived at Montaup, or Sowams, the residence of
Massasoit. The sachem was not at home, but was quickly summoned by a runner
and was saluted by his visitors with a discharge of musketry. He welcomed
them heartily after the Indian manner, took them into his lodge and seated
them by himself. The envoys then delivered their message and presents, the
latter consisting of a copper chain and a horseman's coat of red cotton
embroidered with lace. Massasoit proudly hung the chain about his neck and
arrayed himself in this superb garment without delay, evidently enjoying
the admiration of his people, who gazed upon him at a distance. The great
chief now gathered his leading warriors around him, and after the pipe of
peace had been smoked by all, he answered the message in detail. Expressing
his desire to continue in peace and friendship with his neighbors, he
promised to promote the traffic in furs, to furnish a supply of corn for
seed and, in short, to comply with all their requests.

The two commissioners stated the case concerning the too frequent and
protracted visits of the Indians to the colony with great tact and
delicacy, assuring the sachem that he himself or any he might send would
always be welcome. "To the end that we might know his messengers from
others," wrote Winslow, "we desired Massasoit, if any one should come from
him to us to send the copper chain, that we might know the savage and
harken and give credit to his message accordingly."

As it grew late and he offered no more substantial entertainment than
this, "no doubt for the sound reason," as Thatcher says, "that he had
nothing to offer," his guests expressed a desire to retire for the night.
The chief at once complied with their request in the language of Winslow,
"He laid us on the bed with himself and his wife, they at one end and we at
the other, it being only planks laid a foot from the ground, and a thin mat
upon them. Two more of chief men, for want of room, pressed by and upon us,
so that we were worse weary of our lodging than of our journey."

The next day the two ambassadors had no breakfast, but the morning was
taken up in receiving, as visitors, several subordinate sachems and their
warriors, and in witnessing Indian games which had been gotten up for their
entertainment. About noon Massasoit, who had gone hunting at dawn,
returned, bringing with him two large fishes which he had speared or shot
with arrows. These were soon boiled and divided among forty persons this
was the first meal taken by the envoys for a day and two nights.

The afternoon passed slowly away and again the two white men went
supperless to bed, only to spend another sleepless night, being kept awake
by vermin, hunger and noise of the savages. Friday morning they arose at
dawn resolved to immediately commence their journey home. At this Massasoit
greatly importuned them to remain longer with him. "But we determined,"
they recorded in their graphic narrative, "to keep the Sabbath at home, and
feared that we should either be light-headed for want of sleep, for what
with bad lodgings, the savages' barbarous singing (for they used to sing
themselves to sleep), lice and fleas within doors and mosquitoes without,
we could hardly sleep all the time of our being there; we much fearing that
if we should stay any longer we should not be able to recover home for want
of strength; so that on the Friday morning before the sun rising we took
our leave and departed, Massasoit being both grieved and ashamed that he
could no better entertain us." It is thus apparent that Massasoit, in spite
of his many virtues and the conceded fact that he was the greatest chief of
all the New England tribes of this period, was in his housekeeping the
smallest possible removed above brute life.

With the streams and bays swarming with fish, the neighboring forest filled
with turkey, deer and other game, he and his people seem to have lived in
semi-starvation. This fact is all the more startling when it is contrasted
with the great abundance enjoyed by Powhatan, Joseph Brant, Red Jacket and
others, mentioned elsewhere, and their tribes. But it is also true of this
great chief that despite his pinching poverty, when the test came he proved
to be pure gold refined by fire.

Thatcher informs us that "Massasoit's friendship was again tested in March,
1622, when an Indian known to be under Squanto's influence came running in
among a party of colonists with his face gashed and the blood fresh upon
it, calling out to them to flee for their lives, and then looking behind
him as if pursued. On coming up he told them that the Indians under
Massasoit were gathering at a certain place for an attack upon the colony;
that he had received his wounds in consequence of opposing their designs
and had barely escaped from them with his life. The report occasioned no
little alarm, although the correctness of it was flatly denied by Hobbamak,
a Pokanoket Indian residing at Plymouth, who recommended that a messenger
be sent secretly to Sowams for the purpose of ascertaining the truth. This
was done and the messenger, finding everything in its usually quiet state,
informed Massasoit of the reports circulated against him. He was
excessively incensed against Squanto, but sent his thanks to the Governor
for the opinion of his fidelity which he understood him to retain, and
directed the messenger to assure him that he should instantly apprise him
of any conspiracy which might at any further time take place;"  This whole
affair seems to have been a plot on the part of Squanto, out of jealousy,
to array the colonists against their ally, but happily for both parties it
miscarried through the common-sense suggestion of Hobbamak.

Early in the spring of 1623 news came to Plymouth that Massasoit was very
sick at his home, and it was determined to send Mr. Winslow to pay him a
second visit in token of the friendship of the colonists. That gentleman
started on his journey at once, taking with him Hobbamak as guide and
interpreter, and accompanied by "one Master John Hampden, a London
gentleman who had wintered with him and desired much to see the country and
the Indians in their wigwam homes." This Hampden afterward became
Cromwell's distinguished friend and counselor, and is alluded to in Gray's

The envoys had not gone far before they met some Indians who told them
Massasoit was dead. The white men were shocked and Hobbamak began to wail
forth his chief's death song: "Oh, great sachem. Oh, great heart, with many
have I been acquainted, but none ever equaled thee." Then turning to his
companions he said, "Oh, Master Winslow, his like you will never see again.
He was not like other Indians, false and bloody and implacable; but kind,
easily appeased when angry, and reasonable in his requirements. He was a
wise sachem, not ashamed to ask advice, governing better with mild, than
other chiefs did with severe measures. I fear you have not now one faithful
friend left in the wigwams of the red men." He would then break forth again
in loud lamentations, "enough." says Winslow, "to have made the hardest
heart sob and wail." But time pressed, and Winslow, bidding Hobbamak "leave
wringing of his hands" and follow him, trudged on through the forest until
they came to Corbitant's village. The sachem was not at home but his squaw
informed them that Massasoit was not yet dead, though he could scarcely
live long enough to permit his visitors to close his eyes.

Believing that while there was life there was hope, the envoys pressed on
and soon reached Massasoit's humble abode. "When we arrived thither," wrote
Winslow, "we found the home so full that we could scarce get in, though
they used their best diligence to make way for us. They were in the midst
of their charms for him, making such a fiendish noise that it distempered
us who were well, and therefore was unlike to ease him that was sick. About
him were six or eight women who chafed his arms, legs and thighs, to keep
heat in them. When they had made an end of their charming, one told him
that his friends, the English, were come to see him. Having understanding
left, but his sight was wholly gone, he asked who was come. They told him
Winsnow, for they can not pronounce the letter L, but ordinarily N in the
place thereof. He desired to speak with me. When I came to him they told
him of it, he put forth his hand to me, which I took. Then he said twice,
though very inwardly, 'Keen Winsnow?' which is to say, 'Art thou Winslow?'
I answered 'Ahhe,' that is, 'Yes.' Then he doubled these words: 'Matta neen
wonckanet namen Winsnow'; that is to say, '0, Winslow, I shall never see
thee again;'" Hobbamak was now called in and desired to assure the sachem
of the Governor's kind remembrance of him in his affliction, and to inform
him of the medicine and delicacies they had brought with them for his use.
Winslow, who seems to have possessed some knowledge of the healing art,
then proceeded to use measures for his relief, consisting of a "confection
of many comfortable conserves," which soon worked a cure. The convalescent
sachem said, "Now I know that the English are indeed my friends, and love
me; while I live I will not forget this kindness."

As Martyn well says, "Nobly did he keep his word; for, after requesting
'the pale-face medicine' to exercise his skill upon others of his tribe,
who were down with the same disease which had laid him low, his gratitude
was so warm that he disclosed to Winslow, through Hobbamak, the fact that a
widespread and well matured conspiracy was afoot to exterminate Weston's
colony, in revenge for injuries heaped upon the Indian; that all the
northeastern tribes were in the league; and that the massacre was to
include the Pilgrims also, lest they should avenge the fall of their

"A chief was here at the setting of the sun," added Massasoit, "and he told
me that the pale-faces did not love me, else they would visit me in my
pain, and he urged me to join the war party. But I said, 'No.' Now, if you
take the chiefs of the league and kill them, it will end the war-trail in
the blood of those who made it, and save the setllements." The chief's
advice was afterward taken by Miles Standish and his men, and proved to be
successful in nipping the conspiracy in the bud.

{Illustration: Massasoit and Pilgrims.}

Mr. Winslow remained several days and his fame as a physician spread so
rapidly that great crowds gathered in an encampment around Montaup to gain
relief from various ills. Some came from the distance of more than a
hundred miles. But on hearing of the plot above mentioned, immediately
started for home.

The other leading events in the life of Massasoit may be soon detailed. In
1632 he was assaulted at Sowams by a party of Narragansetts and obliged to
take refuge in the home of an Englishman. His situation was soon
ascertained at Plymouth, and an armed force being promptly dispatched to
his relief under his old friend Standish, the Narragansetts were compelled
to retreat.

Massasoit and ninety of his people were also present at the first
celebration of Thanksgiving in the autumn of 1621, and were feasted by the
colonists for three days, though the Indians contributed five fat deer to
the festivity. Oysters, turkey and pumpkin pie also graced this occasion,
and no Thanksgiving feast is considered _complete_ to-day without these

Governor Winthrop records this anecdote of the great sachem: "It seems that
his old friend 'Winsnow,' made a trading voyage to Connecticut, during the
summer of 1634. On his return he left his vessel upon the Narragansett
coast for some reason or other, and commenced his journey for Plymouth
across the woods. Finding himself at a loss, probably, as to his route, he
made his way to Sowams, and  called upon his ancient acquaintance, the
sachem. The latter gave him his usual kind welcome, and upon his resuming
his journey offered to conduct him home, a pedestrian journey of two days.
He had just dispatched one of his Wampanoags to Plymouth with instructions
to inform the friends of Winslow that he was dead, and to persuade them of
this melancholy fact by specifying such particulars as their own ingenuity
might suggest. All this was done accordingly, and the tidings occasioned,
as might be expected, a very unpleasant excitement throughout the colony.
In the midst of it, however, the sachem entered the village attended by
Winslow, with more than his usual complacency in his honest and cheerful
countenance. He was asked why such a report had been circulated the day
previous. 'That Winsnow might be the more welcome,' he answered, 'and that
you might be the more happy; it is my custom.' He had come thus far to
enjoy the surprise personally; and he returned homeward more gratified by
it, without doubt, than he would have been by the most fortunate foray
among the Narragansetts."

We have seen it intimated more than once that Massasoit's fear of those
warlike neighbors lay at the foundation of his friendship for the English
settlers. It might have been nearer the truth, considering all the known
facts in the case, to say that his interest happened to coincide with his
inclination. At all events, it was in the power of any of the other sachems
of the surrounding country to have established the same friendly relation
with the colonists had they been prompted by as much good breeding or good
sense. "On the contrary," as Thatcher says, "the Massachusetts were
plotting and threatening on one hand, as we have seen--not without
provocation, it must be allowed--while the Narragansett sachem, upon the
other, had sent in his compliments as early as 1622, in the shape of a
bundle of arrows, tied up with a rattlesnake's skin. Nor should we forget
the wretched feebleness of the colony at the period of their first
acquaintance with Massasoit. Indeed the instant measures which he took for
their relief and protection look more like the promptings of compassion
than either hope or fear. A month previous to his appearance among them,
they were reduced to such a pitiable condition by sickness, that only six
or seven men of their whole number were able to perform labor in the open
air; and probably their entire fighting force, could they have been
mustered together, would scarcely have equaled that little detachment of
twenty which Massasoit brought with him into the village, delicately
leaving twice as many with the arms of all behind him, as he afterward
exchanged six hostages for one. No wonder the colonists 'could not yet
conceive but that he was willing to have peace with them.'"

Massasoit was unique among Indian sachems, in the fact that he was ever a
lover of peace; nor is he known to have been once engaged in waging war
with the powerful and warlike tribes who environed his territory. All the
native tribes of New  England but the Pokanoket confederation were involved
in dissensions and wars with each other and the white settlers; and all
shared sooner or later the fate which he avoided. This chief vied with
Canonicus and Miantonomoh, the Narragansett sachems, in giving a hearty
welcome to Roger Williams at the time of his banishment from Salem, when
he "fled from Christians to the savages, who knew and loved him, till at
last he reached the kind-hearted but stupid Indian heathen, Massasoit."
These three friends in his time of distress shouted their welcome
salutation of "Wha-cheer, wha-cheer?" and grasped his hand with cordial
sympathy as he stepped ashore.

The reason for this warm welcome accorded Roger Williams the Baptist, the
father of "soul liberty," is obvious when it is remembered that he took
great interest in the Indians, so mastering their dialects as to be able to
prepare "a key to the languages of America." Except Eliot, his coworker, he
was the most successful missionary among the Indians of this period. "My
soul's desire," he said, "was to do the natives good." And later he wrote.
"God was pleased to give me a painful patient spirit, to lodge with them in
their filthy, smoky holes to gain their tongue."

While at Plymouth he had written a pamphlet against the validity of the
colonial charter and submitted it to Governor Bradford. This he afterward
published while at Salem, and in it he said: "Why lay such stress upon your
patent from King James? Tis but idle parchment; James has no more right to
give away or sell Massasoit's lands, and cut and carve his country, than
Massasoit has to sell James' kingdom or to send his Indians to colonize
Warwickshire." Thus did he run a tilt against the established law and order
of his time; but while it endeared him to Massasoit, who became to him "a
friend in need and a friend in deed," it led to his banishment from Salem
"in winter snow and inclement weather"--without guide, without food,
without shelter, he suffered tortures. "Fourteen weeks," he wrote, "I Was
sorely tossed in a bitter season, not knowing what bread or bed did mean."
He must inevitably have perished in the frozen wilderness without giving to
the world his immortal idea, had he not found shelter and food with

Great events turn on seemingly trivial circumstances. Who shall say that
Massasoit, in saving the life of the great reformer, did not preserve to
all time the casket containing the priceless jewel--religious tolerance.

Bancroft well says of Roger Williams: "In the capacious recesses of his
mind, he had revolved the nature of intolerance, and he, and he alone, had
arrived at the grand principle which is its sole effectual remedy. He
announced his discovery under the simple proposition of the sanctity of
conscience. The civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control
opinion; should punish guilt, but never violate the freedom of the soul."
This divinely inspired idea of the pioneer American reformer is embodied in
the first article of amendment to our Constitution: "Congress shall make no
law  respecting an  establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof."

Tracing the effect back to its cause, we find behind this first article of
amendment and responsible for it, Roger Williams, and  behind him, aiding,
though in ignorance, we find the great-hearted, honest, benevolent savage,

                              CHAPTER IV.

                    KING PHILIP, OR METACOMET.
                   THE LAST OF THE WAMPANOAGS.

The "great and good Massasoit" was gathered to his fathers in the year
1661, but to the last remained firm in his fidelity to the English. Near
the close of his life he took his two sons, Wamsutta and Pometaeom, or
Metacomet, to Plymouth and requested the Governor in token of friendship to
give them English names. They were very bright, attractive young men of
fine physical developments. The Governor related to the aged sachem the
history of Philip and Alexander, the renowned Kings of Macedon, and gave to
Wamsutta, the older, the name of Alexander, the Conqueror of Asia, and to
his younger brother the less renowned name of Philip, and by these names
they are known in history. The two young chieftains married sisters, the
handsome daughters of the sachem of Pocasset. The wife of Alexander was
named Wetamoo, who, as we shall see had an eventful life and a sad and
untimely death. The wife of Philip had the euphonious name of

Alexander became sachem on the death of his father and was deeply grieved
that the English were so rapidly increasing, while his people were
decreasing. Moreover his lands were fast slipping away to the possession of
the English. Year by year the territory of the Wampanoags had narrowed
until they had nothing left they could call their own but the two narrow
peninsulas of Bristol and Tiverton on the east coast of Narragansett bay.

There were personal grievances also on both sides. With prosperity came
avarice. Unprincipled men flocked to the new settlements which sprang up
everywhere; the Indians were despised and often harshly treated; and the
forbearance which marked the Pilgrims with the Indians was forgotten. The
English were quick to notice a change in the Indians and a less friendly
disposition in their young chief.

It was decided to summon Alexander before the Plymouth court to answer
charges of plotting against the colony. The sachem refused to come. Upon
this, Governor Prince assembled his counselors, and, after deliberation,
ordered Major Josiah Winslow, son of Massasoit's old friend, Edward
Winslow, to take an armed force, go to Mount Hope and arrest Alexander and
bring him to Plymouth. This was accordingly done, and though his rage knew
no bounds, he was forced at the muzzle of a gun to march in front of his
captors. The indignity offered him crushed his kingly spirit. He was taken
alarmingly ill with a burning fever, caused by his fury, grief and
humiliation. His warriors, greatly alarmed for the safety of their beloved
chieftain, entreated that they might be permitted to take Alexander home.
The privilege was granted on condition that the chief's son should be sent
to them as a hostage, and the sachem returned as soon as he had recovered.

The warriors, accompanied by Alexander's beautiful queen, Wetamoo, started
on the sad journey, bearing their unhappy and suffering chieftain upon a
litter on their shoulders. Slowly they traveled until they arrived at
Taunton river; there they took to canoes, but had not paddled far before it
became evident that their chieftain was dying. Landing, they placed him on
a grassy mound under an overshadowing tree. While the stoical warriors
gathered around in stern sadness and the faithful and heroic Wetamoo held
the head of her dying lord and wiped his clammy brow, his proud spirit
departed "for the land of the hereafter."

This event filled the hearts of his people with sullen and vindictive
malice, for they believed Alexander to have been poisoned by the English.
Wetamoo immediately became the unrelenting foe of the English. She was by
birth a princess in another tribe, one of the numerous "squaw sachems" of
New England, and able to lead three hundred warriors into the field. All
the energies of her soul were aroused to avenge her husband's death.

Alexander was succeeded by his brother Philip, who also became the head of
the Pokanoket confederacy, and in a few years, by his superior diplomacy,
he held sway over nearly all the tribes of New England. Philip, of Mount
Hope, was a man of superior endowments and one of the few Indians
acknowledged by all historians to have been truly great. He clearly
understood the power of the English and the peril he encountered in
measuring arms with them. And yet he also saw that unless the encroachments
of the English could be arrested his own race was doomed to destruction. He
deliberately made up his mind to avenge his brother's untimely death; to
drive the English from the country or perish in the attempt. Had he
belonged to the proud Caucasian race, and especially the Anglo-Saxon
division of it, he would have been called a patriot; but, belonging to a
so-called inferior race, we find that Hubbard and other earlier historians,
whenever they had occasion to mention his name, pay him the passing
compliment of "caitiff," "hellhound," "fiend," "arch-rebel" and various
similar designations of respect and affection. Verily it makes a great
difference as to whether it was my bull gored your ox, or vice versa.
Philip and his Wampanoags are unlucky enough, like the lion in the fable,
to have no painter.

At one time Philip is thought to have been quite interested in the
Christian religion, "but," as Abbott says, "apparently foreseeing that with
the introduction of Christianity all the peculiarities in manners and
customs of Indian life must pass away, he adopted the views of his father,
Massasoit, and became bitterly opposed to any change of religion among his
people." Mr. Goodkin, speaking of the Wampanoags, says: "There are some
that have hopes of the greatest and chiefest sachem, named Philip. Some of
his chief men, as I hear, stand well inclined to hear the gospel, and
himself is a person of good understanding and knowledge in the best things.
I have heard him speak very good words, arguing that his conscience is
convicted. But yet, though his will is bound to embrace Jesus Christ, his
sensual and carnal lusts are strong bands to hold him fast under Satan's

Before the war Rev. John Elliot, the great apostle to the Indians, made the
most persistent efforts to induce Philip to embrace Christianity. The
courtly savage had always received his arguments and persuasions politely,
but without other effect. One day he took hold of a button on Elliot's
regulation black threadbare coat and said, "I care no more for your
religion than I do for that old button. Let me hear no more about it."

The character of Philip is further illustrated by an incident which
happened in 1665. At that time he heard that a Christian-Indian named
Assasamooyh, whom the colonists called John Gibbs, had spoken
disrespectfully of his father, Massasoit. It was not a mere personal insult
but a violation of reverence due from a subject to his king, and the
offender forfeited his life, according to their code, at the hand of the
nearest relative, who thus became the "avenger of blood."

Hearing that Assasamooyh was on the island of Nantucket, Philip took a
canoe and went in pursuit. The offender was sitting at the table of one of
the colonists when a messenger rushed in breathlessly and informed him that
the dreaded avenger was near the door. Assasamooyh had but just time to
rush from the house when the enraged chieftain was upon him. From house to
house the Indian fled like a frightened deer, closely pursued by Philip
with brandished tomahawk, who considered himself but the honored executor
of justice. Assasamooyh, however, at length leaped a bank and plunging into
a forest eluded his foe. With difficulty the colonists then succeeded in
purchasing the life of his intended victim by a very heavy ransom.

The muttering warclouds grew darker and more threatening on the horizon,
and while, for a time, there was no open rupture, yet many things, real and
imaginary, indicated an impending crisis.

{Illustration: Nellie Jumping Eagle, Ogalalla Sioux.}

It is not recorded that the old men dreamed dreams, but young and old
appear to have "seen visions." In that superstitious witch-burning age it
is not surprising that many of the colonists at this time began to give way
to superstitious fears. Among other things it was asserted that a sign of
impending evil in the form of an Indian bow was clearly defined against the
heavens, and during the eclipse of the moon the figure of an Indian scalp
was clearly seen imprinted on its disk. The northern heavens glowed with
auroral lights of unusual brilliancy; troops of phantom horsemen were heard
to dash through the air; the sighing of the night-wind was like the sound
of whistling bullets; and the howling of wolves was fiercer and more
constant than usual. These things, the superstitious declared, were
warnings that the colonists were about to be severely punished for their
sins, among which they named profane swearing, the neglect of bringing up
their children in more rigid observances, the licensing of ale houses, and
the wearing of long hair by the men and of gay apparel by the women. The
more extreme even declared that they were about to be "judged" for not
exterminating the Quakers.

Historians have given Philip credit for a grand scheme, conceived with deep
foresight and carried on with the most crafty and persevering
dissimulation--a scheme to lull the suspicions of the whites by a constant
show of friendship, till a general combination of all the Indian tribes
could be formed to extirpate them at a single blow. The English meantime
felt as if standing over a powder magazine which might explode at any time.
They were fully persuaded that a plot was making for their destruction.
They felt that something must be done to meet the coming storm or dissipate
it before it should burst on their heads.

What confirmed them in this belief was the fact that Philip exerted every
effort to accumulate guns and ammunition for his warriors. Unlike Powhatan,
he succeeded in obtaining a good supply of the deadly weapons of the
English, and even made a great effort to obtain the formula for making
gunpowder. His men became expert marksmen and continually practiced
athletic exercises, all in pursuit of their common purpose.

In 1671 Philip was discovered to be making warlike preparations and
summoned to a conference with the Plymouth government at Taunton. He
refused to come unless accompanied by his men. The conference took place in
the meeting-house at Taunton. On one side of the house were ranged Philip's
fierce looking warriors, attired, painted and armed as for battle. Their
long black hair, their eyes glittering with treachery and hate, their
fantastic plumes and decorations contrasted strangely with the prim and
austere Puritans with plain garb, close-cut hair and solemn countenances as
they ranged themselves on the opposite side of the church. The
Massachusetts commissioners, three gentlemen, were to sit alone near the
altar as umpires. No fair-minded man can fail to admire the character
developed by Philip in these arrangements.

Philip alone was the Indian orator and managed his case, which was
manifestly a bad one, with such adroitness, that we doubt not Prince
Talleyrand himself, the world's most skillful diplomat, would have assigned
him a high place among diplomatists. Philip charged the whites with
depredations upon his cornfields and denied that he entertained any hostile
design; and promptly explained his preparations for war as intended for
defense against the Narragansetts. Evidence was at hand, however, to show
that he was on terms of more intimate friendship with the Narragansetts at
this time than ever before. His plans were by no means perfected and he
denied any hostile purposes, signed a new treaty and agreed to surrender
all his guns. He is said to have been frightened into this agreement, but
his history is written only by his foes. Philip and his warriors
immediately gave up their guns, seventy in number, and promised to send in
the rest within a given time. It was also agreed in the council that in
case of further troubles both parties should submit their complaints to the
arbitration of Massachusetts.

This settlement, apparently so important, amounted to nothing. The Indians
were ever ready, it is said, to sign any agreement whatever which would
extricate them from a momentary difficulty, but such promises were broken
as promptly as made on the white man's theory, perhaps, that "all is fair
in love and war." Certain it is that Philip, having returned to Mount Hope,
sent in no more guns, but was busy as ever gaining resources for war and
entering into alliances with other tribes.

At last Philip was notified from Plymouth that unless the arms were given
up by September 13, force would be used to compel the act. At the same
time messengers were also dispatched to the government of Massachusetts, at
Boston, which, it will be remembered, was chosen as umpire to arbitrate
between the two contending parties. Philip, shrewd enough to have perceived
the jealousy and rivalry between the two colonies, set off at once to
Boston, and thus assumed the position of the "law and order" party. With
the rarest diplomacy he flattered the Massachusetts colony by certain
territorial concessions and made such an adroit statement of his case,
representing that Plymouth had encroached on the other colonies by
summoning him for trial before her own court, and virtually declaring war
without consulting them, that the Bostonians not only refused to help
Plymouth at this time but coolly criticised her action as wrong and
unwarrantable. They also wrote a letter to Plymouth, assuming that there
was perhaps equal blame on both sides, and declaring that there did not
appear to be sufficient cause for the Plymouth people to commence
hostilities. In their letter they wrote: "We do not understand how Philip
hath subjected himself to you. But the treatment you have given him, and
your proceedings toward him, do not render him such a subject as that, if
there be not at present answering to summons there should presently be a
proceeding to hostilities. The sword once drawn and dipped in blood may
make him as independent upon you as you are upon him." In short, the
Bostonians believed that the whole difficulty arose from the Puritans'
"lust for inflicting justice" and might have been avoided.

It was while Philip was at Boston that Josselyn, the English traveler, saw
him. "The roytelet of the Pokanokets," he informs us, "had a coat on and
buskins set thick with beads in pleasant wild work, and a broad belt of the
same. His accoutrements were valued at twenty pounds. . . . Their beads are
their money; of these there are two sorts, blue beads and white beads; the
first is their gold, the last their silver. These they work out of certain
shells, so cunningly that neither Jew nor devil can counterfeit."

Philip, bent on gaining further time for his plans and preparations, signed
a new treaty, in which he confessed himself the author of the troubles and
stipulated to pay a hundred pounds "in such things as he had" as an
indemnity for the expense to which he had subjected the colony.
Furthermore, he covenanted to deliver "five wolves' heads if he could get
them, or as many as he could procure until they came to five wolves' heads

Three years now passed of strained intercourse and suspicious peace. This
interval was used by the sachem to concert a most elaborate plan for the
extermination of the English. Ancient enmities were forgotten. All the New
England tribes except the Mohegans and the remnant of the Pequots were
united in a great confederacy, of which Philip was to be the chief. The
Narragansetts alone agreed to furnish four thousand warriors. Other tribes
were to furnish their hundreds or their thousands, according to their
strength. Hostilities were to commence in the spring of 1676 by a
simultaneous assault upon all the settlements, so as to prevent aid being
sent from one part of the country to another.

As Philip's deep laid plans approached maturity he became more independent
and bold in his demeanor. The Governor of Massachusetts, becoming convinced
that a dreadful conspiracy was in progress, sent an ambassador to Philip
demanding an explanation of these threatening appearances, and desiring
another treaty of peace and friendship. The proud sachem haughtily replied
to the ambassador: "Your Governor is but a subject of King Charles of
England. I shall not treat with a subject. I shall only treat  with the
King, my brother. When he comes I am ready."

Just before the outbreak John Borden, a Rhode Island man and a great friend
of Philip, tried to dissuade him from war. His reply is remarkable: "The
English who came first to this country were but a handful of people,
forlorn, poor and distressed. My father did all in his power to serve them.
Others came. Their numbers increased. My father's counselors were alarmed.
They urged him to destroy the English before they became strong enough to
give law to the Indians and take away their country. My father was also the
father to the English. He remained their friend. Experience shows that his
counselors were right. The English disarmed my people. They tried them by
their own laws, and assessed damages my people could not pay. Sometimes the
cattle of the English would come into the corn-fields of my people, for
they did not make fences like the English. I must then be seized and
confined till I sold another tract of my country for damages and costs.
Thus tract after tract is gone. But a small part of the dominion of my
ancestors remains. I am determined not to live till I have no country."

"This," says a writer, "is a declaration of war more striking in its
origin, more true in its statements, than any with which we are acquainted.
It is the mournful summary of accumulated wrongs that cry aloud for battle,
not for revenge alone, but for the very existence of the oppressed. It is
the sad note of preparation sounded by a royal leader that summons to
their last conflict the aboriginal lords of New England."

The burning words were followed by burning deeds. Though still unprepared
for war, the pent-up fury of his warriors could hardly be restrained. They
became very insolent and boastful, and would actually sharpen their knives
and tomahawks upon the door-sills of the colonists, talking in mysterious
phrase of the great deeds they were about to perform.

One of the most intelligent of Elliot's converts was John Sassamon, who had
acquired considerable education, and had become quite an efficient agent in
Christian missions to the Indians. He was also a great help to Elliot in
translating the Bible and other books into the Indian language. He lived in
semi-civilized style upon Assawompset Neck, with his family, including a
very pretty daughter, whom he called Assowetough, but who was called by the
Puritans the less sonorous name of Betty. The noted place in Middleborough
now called Betty's Neck is immortalized by the charms of Assowetough.
Sassamon, though sustaining the most intimate and friendly relations with
the English, was a subject of King Philip, and became his private

Soon after this Sassamon became acquainted with Philip's conspiracy in all
its appalling extent and magnitude of design. He at once repaired to
Plymouth and informed the Governor of his discovery, but enjoined the
strictest secrecy respecting his communication, assuring the Governor that
should the Indians learn that he had betrayed them his life would be the
inevitable forfeit. Sassamon soon after resigned his position as Philip's
secretary, and returning to Middleborough, resumed his employment as
teacher and preacher to the Indians.

By some unknown means Philip learned that he had been betrayed by Sassamon,
and early in the spring of 1675, Sassamon was suddenly missing. Suspicion
immediately arose that he had been murdered either by Philip or some of his
friends. After a search the body was found beneath the ice of Assawompset
pond, in Middleborough. The murderers, hoping to escape suspicion, left his
hat and gun upon the ice, that it might be supposed he had drowned himself
or fallen in by accident; but upon an examination of the body it appeared
that his neck had been broken, "which," says Dr. Mather, "is one _Indian
way of murdering._" Three Indians were arrested and put upon trial at
Plymouth, in June, before a jury composed of _eight_ Englishmen and _four_
Indians. In that superstitious age the colonists were but too ready to
believe anything and everything which supported a charge against Philip.
The leader of the three Indians arrested was Tobias, one of Philip's
councilors. Dr. Increase Mather says of him: "When Tobias came near the
dead body, it fell a bleeding on fresh, as if it had been newly slain,
albeit it was buried a considerable time before that."

Matters looked very black for Tobias, and blacker still when a _convenient_
Indian, one Patuekson, was found who, from a neighboring hill, claimed to
have witnessed the death of Sassamon, at the hands of Tobias and the
others. Patuekson had not dared to tell what he had seen before this,
because of fears for his own life.

The three men were all convicted and hung. Philip was highly exasperated
when he heard of the execution. He did not deny their agency in the affair,
but contended that "the English had nothing to do with one Indian's killing
another." To make matters worse, Philip was apprehensive that he also might
be kidnapped and hung, as indeed was contemplated, as we learn from a
letter written by Governor Winslow, July 4, 1675, in which he says: "I do
solemnly protest, we know not anything from us which might have put Philip
upon these motions, nor have heard that he pretends to suffer any wrong
from us, save only that we had killed some Indians, and intended to send
for himself for the murder of John Sassamon." We are curious to know what
more provocation the good Governor would deem necessary before Philip would
have a _just "casus  beli."_

The murder of Sassamon precipitated the conflict. At that time Philip was
training his forces, but had not fully matured his plans. The
Narragansetts, who had entered into the plot and were to furnish four
thousand warriors, were not yet ready. But Philip could no longer restrain
the vindictive spirit of his young Wampanoag warriors, who were roused to a
frenzy, and immediately commenced a series of the most intolerable
annoyances, shooting the cattle, frightening the women and children, and
insulting wayfarers wherever they could find them. According to Abbott,
"The Indians had imbibed the superstitious notion, which had probably been
taught them by John Sassamon, that the party which should commence the war
and shed the first blood would be defeated. They therefore wished, by
violence and insult, to provoke the English to strike the first blow." Nor
had they long to wait. On Sunday, June 20, 1675, a party of eight Indians,
bent on mischief, entered the little settlement of Swanzey, ransacked a
house while the settlers were at church and shot the peaceful cattle
pasturing on the green. Becoming very much exasperated at the attempt of
the Indians to force an entrance into his house, a settler fired at and
wounded one of the savages, who went sullenly away with bloody threats. The
first blood was now shed, and the drama of war was opened. In view of the
alarming state of affairs, messengers were dispatched to Boston and
Plymouth. Thursday, the 24th, was appointed as a day of fasting and prayer.

On that day the village wore the stillness of a Sabbath. The pious people
were returning with thoughtful faces from the log church. The rough street,
filled with stumps, wound past the cabins with their little clearings, and
through the noonday shadows of the primeval forest. Suddenly there were two
sharp reports, two puffs of smoke, and two manly forms lay prostrate, one
of them dead. The English were dumb with horror. Two who were dispatched
for a "chirurgeon" were shot dead in the road, at the same time red flames
burst through the roofs of a dozen cabins.

Leaving their slain where they had fallen, sixteen men and fifty-four women
and children fled to a large house, where they prepared to fight for their
lives. In another part of the town six others were killed and their bodies
shockingly mutilated in attempting to reach this place of safety. One story
is recorded of a servant girl in a cabin, who hid two little children under
a large brass kettle, fired at an Indian entering the house, and, failing
to kill him, beat him off by throwing a shovelful of live coals in his
face, so that he was found in the woods dead from his wounds. As the
terrible news quickly spread through the colonies, little companies of men
were soon raised. The people besieged in the strong house at Swanzey were
relieved, and soon a force of more than a hundred men was collected at that
ill-fated village. An expedition was sent to attack Philip at Mount Hope;
but that wily sachem, fearing a trap and seeing how untenable the little
peninsula was for successful defense, had withdrawn his entire force and
taken a strong strategic position in the midst of the great Pocasset swamp,
where he was finally located by Captain Church and his men.

{Illustration: King Philip, or Metacomet.}

In the meantime the Massachusetts troops had marched into the Narragansett
country, and with great show of force concluded a treaty with the
Narragansetts, which they faithfully observed while the colonists were in
sight. The united forces then marched on Philip, still intrenched in the
great swamp. The colonists, knowing the intellectual supremacy of King
Philip as the commanding genius of the war, determined to kill or capture
him, and offered large rewards for his head.

After the English were led into an ambush and fifteen of them killed, they
concluded that, as three sides of the swamp were surrounded by water, they
had only to closely guard the land side, and Philip would be starved out
and forced to surrender, as the Indians had but a limited store of
provisions. So they built a fort and kept guard for thirteen days.

But Philip and his warriors had been busy constructing rafts and canoes,
and one dark night he floated all his fighting men, numbering some two
hundred, across the river, and continued his flight far away into the
unknown and almost unexplored wilderness of the interior of Massachusetts.
Wetamoo, the widow of his brother Alexander, who was ever at Philip's side,
together with some of her warriors, escaped with him. He left a hundred
starving women and children in the swamps, who surrendered themselves the
next morning to the English.

Philip had now penetrated the Wilderness and effected his escape beyond the
reach of his foes. He had the boundless forest around him for his refuge,
with the opportunity of emerging at his leisure upon any point of attack
along the New England frontier he might choose. Brookfield, an exposed
settlement of twenty families, was the first to suffer. Twenty horsemen
coming to its defense, were ambushed in a deep gully, and eleven killed.
Emboldened by this success, three hundred Indians, yelling like fiends and
brandishing their bloody weapons, rushed into the settlement. The terrified
people gathered for defense in the strongest house, from the loopholes and
windows of which they saw the torch applied to their homes. In an hour
every cabin, with all its household furniture, most of it brought from
England, was a heap of smoldering embers.

The Indians now surrounded the house in which the people were gathered.
Inside, feather beds were fastened to the walls for protection. Outside the
Indians exerted their utmost ingenuity for two days to fire the building;
They wrapped around their arrows hemp dipped in oil, and setting them on
fire, shot them on the dry, inflammable roof. Several times the building
was in a blaze, but by great effort the inmates extinguished it. One night
a fire was built against the very door, but the colonists rushed out to a
near-by well and procured water to quench it.

When the ammunition of the colonists was running low, and they were
exhausted by two days and as many nights of incessant conflict, and ready
to despair, the Indians made a last desperate effort to fire the building.
Filling a cart with hemp, flax and the resinous boughs of fir and pine,
fastening to the tongue a succession of long poles, they set the whole
contents on fire and pushed it against the garrison house, whose walls were
as dry as tinder.

But at that critical instant, when all hope was gone. Major Willard, of
Boston, with forty-eight dragoons, charged through the Indians, scattering
them right and left, and entered the garrison. The burning cart was rolled
away from the building, and a providential shower aided in extinguishing
the flames which had been kindled.

The savages, after firing a few volleys into the fortress, sullenly
retired. During this remarkable siege, one white man was killed and many
wounded, while the Indians' loss was about eighty killed.

It is said that Major Willard, who thus rescued the people of Brookfield
from a cruel death, suffered military censure and disgrace for having gone
there instead of remaining at Hadley, where there were no Indians.

The fate of Brookfield was also meted out to Hatfield, Deerfield,
Northfield and Springfield, while North Hampton, Worcester and Hadley,
though lacking the name, became "battlefields."

A curious incident is recorded in connection with the Indians attack on
Hadley, which occurred on Sabbath morning of September 1, while the people
were attending public worship. This town had three companies organized for
defense, but the suddenness of the attack caused the people to become
panic-stricken; they were about to fly in the wildest confusion, like sheep
assailed by wolves. Suddenly a stranger of large size, commanding
appearance, loud voice and flowing, gray hair and beard, appeared in their
midst with a rallying cry and drawn sword. His strange military aspect, and
authoritative manner, quickly inspired all with courage. They fought with
desperate valor under his leadership, and after a bloody battle the savages
were defeated and driven away. The people of Hadley now turned to look for
their deliverer, but he had disappeared, as suddenly as he had come, and
was never seen again. They firmly believed him to have been the angel of
the Lord, and so it passed into the traditions of the place. Years
afterward it was discovered that the stranger was William Goffe, one of
Cromwell's major-generals, and one of the judges who signed the death
warrant of Charles I., called by the royalists "regicides." Many of these
judges were executed when Charles II. became King. Three of them--Gen.
William Goffe, his father-in-law, Gen. Edward Whalley, and Col. John
Dixwell, fled to America on board the same ship that brought the first news
of the restoration of the monarchy. They arrived in Boston July, 1660, and
made their abode at Cambridge. Soon after this a fencing-master erected a
platform on the Boston Common and dared any man to fight him with swords.
Goffe, armed with a huge cheese covered with a cloth for a shield, and a
mop filled with muddy water, appeared before the champion, who immediately
made a thrust at his antagonist. Goffe caught and held the fencing-master's
sword in the cheese and besmeared him with the mud in his mop. The enraged
fencing-master caught up a broadsword, when Goffe cried, "Hold! I have
hitherto played with you; if you attack me. I will surely kill you." The
alarmed champion dropped his sword and exclaimed, "Who can you be? You must
be either Goffe, or Whalley, or the devil, for there are no other persons
who could beat me."

Feeling insecure at Cambridge, for Charles II. offered large rewards for
their arrest, and sent officers to take them, the "regicides" fled to New
Haven, where the Rev. Mr. Davenport and the citizens generally did what
they could to protect them. Learning that their pursuers were near, they
hid in caves, in clefts of the rocks, in mills and other obscure places,
where their friends supplied their wants. Pastor Davenport preached a
sermon on the text, "Hide the outcasts; betray not him that wandereth." The
sermon had the desired effect, and the officers returned without capturing
the regicides.

Finally, in 1664, they went to Hadley, Massachusetts, where they remained
in absolute seclusion, in the house of Rev. Mr. Russell, during a period of
about fifteen years.

Dixwell was with Whalley and Goffe most of the time until they died--the
former in 1678 and the latter in 1679--and were buried at New Haven, where
the colonel lived the latter part of his life under an assumed name. He,
too, died and was buried at New Haven. In the burying-ground in the rear of
the Central Church, small stones with brief inscriptions mark the graves of
the three "regicides."

This in brief is the true story of the "Angel of the Lord, who delivered
Hadley." Soon after this Hadley became the headquarters of the colonists'
army. Quite a large force was assembled there, and most of the inhabitants
of the adjoining towns fled to this place for protection.

There were three thousand bushels of corn stored in the garrison house at
Deerfield, fifteen miles above Hadley, on the western side of the river. On
the 18th of September, 1675, Captain Lothrop, with a force of one hundred
men, soldiers and teamsters, was sent to bring this corn to Hadley. Nothing
occurred until they had loaded their wagons and were on the return trip.
Not an Indian had been seen; but all the time the lurking foe had been
watching their movements, and plotting their destruction. All went well
until they reached the banks of a beautiful little stream. It was a bright
autumnal day. Grape-vines festooned the gigantic forest trees, and purple
clusters, ripe and luscious, hung in profusion among the boughs. Captain
Lothrop was so unsuspicious of danger that he allowed many of his men to
throw their guns into the carts and to stroll about gathering grapes.

The critical moment arrived, and the English being in the midst of the
ambush, a thousand Indians sprang up from their concealment, as if by
magic, and poured a deadly fire upon the straggling column. Then, with
exultant yells, they rushed from every quarter to close assault. The
English were taken entirely by surprise, and being scattered in a long line
of march, could only resort to the Indian mode of fighting, each one from
behind a tree. But they were entirely surrounded and overpowered. Some, in
their dismay, leaped into the branches of the trees, hoping thus to escape
observation. The savages, with shouts of derision, mocked them for a time,
and then killed them.

But eight escaped to tell of the awful tragedy. Ninety young men of the
very flower of Essex county were thus slaughtered. The little stream
running through the south part of Deerfield, on whose banks this dreadful
tragedy occurred, has since been known as Bloody Brook, from the fact that
the water was discolored as a result of this slaughter. Captain Mosely
heard the firing at Deerfield, only five miles distant, and immediately
marched to their rescue, but got there too late. He and his seventy men,
however, fell upon the Indians with undaunted courage. Keeping his men in
solid phalanx he broke through the lines of the savages, again and again
cutting down all in sight, but losing heavily every minute. Aided by the
swamp, the forest, and overwhelming numbers, the Indians maintained the
fight with much fierceness for six hours, and in the end Mosely and  his
men would probably have shared the same fate as those for whom they thus
imperiled their lives, had not reinforcements arrived at the critical
moment, consisting of one hundred and sixty friendly Mohegan Indians under
the command of Major Treat. These fresh troops fell vigorously upon the
foe, and the savages fled, leaving ninety-six of their number dead. Philip
himself is said to have commanded in this bloody fight, and his men, though
defeated in the end, were greatly encouraged and emboldened.

The two captains, Mosely and Treat, encamped near by in an open space, and
attended to the burial of the dead the following day. They were deposited
in two pits, the colonists in one and the Indians in the other. A slab has
been placed over the mound which covers the slain, and a marble monument
now marks the spot where this battle was fought.

Up to this time the colonists had acted independently of each other, but it
dawned upon them at last that their only hope of avoiding utter destruction
lay in union. Accordingly commissioners were appointed from Massachusetts,
Plymouth and Connecticut, to form a confederation, and plan for a concerted
effort, with not less than a thousand troops. This number was quickly
raised, and being augmented by one hundred and fifty Mohegan Indians from
Connecticut, was placed under the command of Col. Josiah Winslow, of

Meantime the Narragansetts annulled the treaty they had been forced to make
with the colonists. Their chief, Canonchet, not only received Philip and
his Wampanoags, but aided them in constructing a strong fortification in an
immense swamp, near what is now South Kingston, Rhode Island. It was on
high ground near the center of the swamp, including several acres. The
walls were an impenetrable hedge, with palisades and breast-works. Here
they constructed five hundred log houses, almost bulletproof. The only
entrance was by means of a bridge, over deep water, consisting of the trunk
of a large tree, along which persons were forced to walk in single file. As
this bridge was also flanked by a blockhouse, the whole plan of the place
was an admirable proof of Philip's genius for war. Three thousand warriors
under the command of Philip and Canonchet soon assembled at this
rendezvous, where they were attacked by the colonists on the morning of
December 19, having been guided to the fallen tree by a treacherous
Narragansett Indian.

As the English rushed to cross this narrow bridge, they were instantly cut
down by Philip's sharpshooters. Others promptly took their places only to
share their fate. In a few moments six captains and a large number of their
men were dead or struggling in the ditch. A few crossed the tree and
reached the enclosure, only to fall pierced by the balls of the savages

At last, Captain Church, the hero of this war, with thirty picked men,
forced an entrance into the fort at a point in the rear, not so strongly
defended. In a moment they were supported by hundreds more. Once within the
enclosure the real struggle was but commenced. The shrieks of the savages
mingled with the roar of musketry. "It was," as Augustus Lynch Mason says,
"the great struggle of New England. On the one hand fought three thousand
Indian warriors, inspired by every feeling of patriotism, hatred, revenge,
the sense of oppression, and love for their families. They fought for their
native land. On the other were the colonists, the offspring of an age of
intolerance and fanaticism, of war and revolution. Exiled from their native
land, these men of iron had wrought out for themselves rude homes in the
wilderness. Unless they could maintain their settlements in New England
against the savages there was no place under the bending sky where they
might live in liberty and peace. The inhospitable earth would disown her
children. So they fought, nerved by the thought of wife and child, by the
memory of the past, by the hopes of the future."

The conflict raged for three hours without decisive results, but with great
slaughter on both sides. The English could not be driven from the fort, nor
could they dislodge the Indians. At last the ammunition of the savages ran
low, and above the tumult was heard the shout of Captain Church crying,
"Fire the wig-wams!" The order was obeyed, and to the din of battle was
added the thunderous roar of flames mingled with the shrieks and wailings
of old men, women and children, as they were roasted alive in the fiery
furnaces. Quarter was neither asked nor given, as the combatants fought
like demons, contending for every foot of ground. When night came on, with
a heavy snow-storm, the savages retreated to the smoky depths of the swamp,
where many perished with the cold.

The English were left in possession of the charred fort, but it was a
dearly bought victory. Since daybreak the colonists had marched sixteen
miles and fought this terrible battle without food or rest. Nor did they
stop when the victory was won, but hastily collecting their dead and
disabled, they placed them on quickly improvised litters, and wearily
trudged away into the forest on the return march. As they slowly stumbled
over the rough places, or plowed their way through the deep snow, bearing
their slain, many a brave comrade sank by the way to rise no more. In this
decisive battle a thousand warriors were killed and hundreds more were
captured. Besides the non-combatants, nearly all the wounded perished in
the flames. The pride of the Narragansetts perished in a day, but eighty
English soldiers, including six captains, were killed, and one hundred and
fifty others wounded. Those of the Indians who escaped, led by Philip,
again repaired to the Nipmucks. With the opening of spring the war was
renewed with more violence than ever. With the decline of their fortunes,
the Indians grew desperate, and swept the frontier with resistless fury.
Lancaster, Medfield, Groton and Marlboro were laid in ashes. Weymouth,
within twenty miles of Boston, met the same fate. On every hand were seen
traces of murder and rapine. But the end was near at hand; the resources
of the savages were wasted and their number daily decreasing.

In April, Canonchet, the great sachem of the Narragansetts, and, next to
Philip, the master spirit of the war, was captured on the banks of the
Blackstone. The English offered to spare his life if he would bring about a
treaty of peace. But the suggestion was scornfully rejected. It was
Canonchet who, when the English demanded that he should surrender some of
Philip's men, who were with him on a former occasion, replied, "Not a
Wampanoag nor the paring of a Wampanoag's nail shall be delivered up." When
told that he must die he made this memorable answer: "I like it well; I
shall die before my heart is soft, or I have said anything unworthy of
myself." Because he had refused to violate the laws of hospitality by
surrendering his friends to certain death or slavery, his father had been
murdered, his warriors slain by the hundred, his women and children burned
alive in the wigwams of the fort. Yet for all this he uttered not a word of
reproach. Scorning to save his life by the submission of his people to such
conquerors, he calmly folded his arms across his kingly breast, and with
head erect and eye that never quailed, received the fatal bullets in his
heart. In all the lore of chivalry and war their cannot be found a more
heroic soul.

{Illustration: Philip rejecting Elliot's preaching.}

Like his father, Miantonomo, Canonchet (or Nannutemo, as he is sometimes
called) was a friend to the heroic Roger Williams, who tried to dissuade
him from becoming an ally to Philip. Mr. Williams now seventy-seven years
of age, told him that "Massachusetts could raise ten thousand men, and even
were the Indians to destroy them all, Old England could send over an equal
number every year until the Indians were conquered." To which the noble
young chief proudly and generously replied: "Let them come, we shall be
ready for them; but as for you, Brother Williams, you are a good man; you
have been kind to us many years; not a hair of your head shall be touched."
And when the town of Providence was nearly destroyed by the Indians, it was
Canonchet who gave orders that the person and property of Roger Williams
should be spared, and he was obeyed. And yet there are those who think the
Indian is devoid of gratitude.

The death of Canonchet, his most formidable ally, had a very depressing
effect on Philip, and marked the beginning of the end, for their friendship
was like that of David and Jonathan, strongest in adversity. Other
influences were also at work which were surely undermining the power of
Philip. Having had their stores of corn and other provision destroyed by
the English, and being prevented from planting more by the desolation of
war, his warriors were forced to a diet almost entirely of meat. This
caused many to fall a prey to disease. Moreover, the allied tribes began to
murmur in open discontent and rebellion, saying that Philip had promised
them easy victories and much plunder, but instead they had gained nothing
by this war but hardship, suffering and the hatred of the English. Nothing
succeeds like success, but it is also true that nothing fails like failure.

Captain Church was made commander-in-chief of all the forces, with full
power to conduct the war in his own way. He abandoned the English method of
warfare and fought the Indians with their own methods. Offers of peace were
made to all who were discerning enough to see that their cause was
hopeless, and various bands of Indians began to lay down their arms, only
to take them up again as allies to the colonists.

Queen Awashonks, and her Saconet tribe, numbering about three hundred
warriors, deserted him, and fought under the command of Church to the end
of the war.

It is said that Philip never smiled again when he heard of this desertion,
for he knew his doom was sealed.

But Wetamoo (Alexander's beautiful widow, who was also the squaw sachem or
queen of the Pocasset tribe) and her warriors, remained faithful to his
waning fortunes. At the beginning of the war, Wetamoo, flushed with hope,
had marched to the conflict at the head of three hundred warriors. She and
her men were always in the thickest of the fight, and her forces had been
reduced to a dejected and despairing band of but twenty-six followers.

A deserting Indian came to Taunton and offered to conduct the English to a
spot on the river where Wetamoo and her surviving warriors were in hiding.
Twenty English armed themselves and followed him to a place called
Gardner's Neck, near Swanzey, where they surprised and captured every one
but Wetamoo herself. The heroic queen, too proud to be captured, knowing it
meant slavery, instantly threw off all her clothing and seizing a broken
piece of wood she plunged into the stream. But, weakened by famine and
exhaustion, her nerveless arm failed her and she sank to the bottom of the
stream. Soon after her body, like a bronze statue of marvelous symmetry,
was found washed ashore. The English immediately _cut off her head_ and set
it upon a pole in one of the streets of Taunton, a trophy ghastly, bloody
and revolting. Many of her subjects were in Taunton as captives, and when
they saw the features of their beloved queen, they filled the air with
shrieks and lamentations.

The situation of Philip had now become desperate. The indefatigable Captain
Church followed hard after him and tracked him through every covert and
hiding place. On the 1st of August he came up with him and killed and took
one hundred and thirty of his men. Philip again had a narrow escape and
fled so precipitately that his wampum belt, covered with beads, and silver,
the ensign of his princedom, fell into the hands of the English, who also
captured his wife and only son, young Metacomet, both of whom  were doomed
to slavery and shipped to the West Indies. His cup of misfortune was now
filled to the brim. "My heart breaks," said he in the agony of his grief,
"now I am ready to die."

Philip now began, like Saul of old, when earth was leaving him, to look to
the powers beyond it, and applied to his magicians and sorcerers, who, on
consulting their oracles, assured him that no Englishman should ever kill
him, as indeed many had tried to do, and so far had failed. This was a
vague consolation, yet it seems to have given him, for a while, a
confidence in his destiny, and he took his last stand in the middle of a
dense and almost inaccessible swamp just south of Mount Hope, his old home,
where he had spent the only happy years of his eventful life. It was a
fit retreat for a despairing man, being one of those waste and dismal
places hid by cypress and other trees of dense foliage, that spread their
gloomy shades over the treacherous shallows and pools beneath.

In the few dry parts oaks and pines grew, and, between them a brushwood so
thick that man or beast could hardly penetrate; on the long, rich grass of
these parts wild cattle fed, unassailed by the hand of man, save when they
ventured beyond the confines of the swamp. There were wolves, deer and
other wild animals, and wilder men, it was said, were seen here, supposed
to have been the children of some of the Indians who had either been lost
or left here, and had thus grown up like denizens of this wild, dismal
swamp. Here, on a little spot of upland, the battled chieftain gathered his
little band around him, and, like a lion at bay, made his last stand.

In this extremity, an Indian proposed to seek peace with the English; the
haughty monarch instantly laid him dead at his feet, as a punishment for
his temerity and as a warning to others. But this act led to his own
undoing. The brother of this murdered Indian, named Alderman, indignant at
such severity, deserted to the English, and offered to guide them to the
swamp where Philip was secreted. Church and his men gladly accepted the
offer, and immediately followed the traitor to the place and surrounded the

The night before his death it is said that Philip, "like him of the army of
Midian," had been dreaming that he was fallen into the hands of the
English; he awoke in alarm and told it to his men and advised them to fly
for their lives, for he believed it would come to pass. Now, just as he was
telling his dream, he was startled by the first shot fired by one of the
English, who had surrounded his camp. Seizing his gun and powder horn he
fled at full speed in a direction guarded by an Englishman and the traitor,
Alderman. The Englishman took deliberate aim at him when he was only a few
yards away, but the powder was damp and the gun missed fire, as if in
fulfilment of the oracle. It was now the Indian's turn, and a sharp report
rang through the forest and _two bullets,_ for the gun was _double_
charged, passed almost directly through the heart of the heroic warrior.
For an instant the majestic frame of the chieftain quivered from the shock,
and then he fell heavily and stone dead in the mud and water of the swamp.

The traitorous Indian ran eagerly to inform Captain Church that he had shot
King Philip, and Church, by a prearranged signal, called his soldiers
together and informed them of the death of their formidable foe. The
corpse was dragged out of the swamp, as if it had been the carcass of a
wild beast, to where the ground was dry. Captain Church then said:
"Forasmuch as he has caused many an Englishman's body to lie unburied and
to rot above the ground, not one of his bones shall be buried."
Accordingly, an old Indian executioner was ordered to cut off his head and
quarter his body, which was immediately done. Philip had a mutilated hand,
caused by the bursting of a pistol; this hand was given to Alderman, who
shot him, as his share of the spoil. Captain Church informs us that
Alderman preserved it in rum and carried it around the country as a show,
"and accordingly he got many a penny by exhibiting it." The head was sent
to Plymouth, where it was set up on a gibbet and exposed for twenty years,
while the four quarters of the body were nailed to as many trees, a
terrible exhibition of the barbarism of that age.

"Such," said Edward Everett, "was the fate of Philip. He had fought a
relentless war, but he fought for his native land, for the mound that
covered the bones of his parents; he fought for his squaw and papoose;
no--I will not defraud them of the sacred names which our hearts
understand--he fought for his wife and child."

Philip, of Mount Hope, was certainly one of the most illustrious savages
upon the North American continent. The interposition of Providence alone
seems to have prevented him from exterminating the whole English race of
New England. Though his character has been described only by those who were
exasperated against him to the very highest degree, still it is evident
that he possessed many of the noblest qualities which can embellish any

Mrs. Rowlandson, who was captured by the Indians at the time Lancaster was
destroyed, met King Philip on several occasions and received only kind
usage at his hands. She says in her narrative: "Then I went to see King
Philip" (who was not present at the attack of Lancaster), "and he bade me
come in and sit down, and asked me whether I would smoke, a usual
compliment, now-a-days, among saints and sinners, but this no ways suited
me. During my abode in this place, Philip spoke to me to make a shirt for
his boy, for which he gave me a shilling. Afterward he asked me to make a
cap for his boy, for which he invited me to dinner. I went, and he gave me
a pancake, about as big as two fingers; it was made of parched wheat,
beaten, and fried in bear's grease, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter
meat in my life." She met Philip again at the rendezvous near Mount
Wachusett. Kindly, and with the courtesy of a polished gentleman, he took
the hand of the unhappy captive and said "In two more weeks you shall be
your own mistress again," In the last talk she had with Philip, he said to
her, with a smile on his face: "Would you like to hear some good news? I
have a pleasant word for you. You are to go home to-morrow," and she did.

That magnanimity and gratitude were prominent characteristics of this great
chieftain is shown by his treatment of the Leonard family, who resided at
Taunton and erected the first forge which was established in the English
colonies. Though living at Mount Hope, Philip had a favorite summer resort
at Fowling Pond, near Taunton, and thus became acquainted with the
Leonards, who treated him and his warriors with uniform kindness, repairing
their guns, and supplying them with such tools as the Indians highly
prized. "Philip," says Abbott, "had become exceedingly attached to this
family, and in gratitude, at the commencement of the war, had given the
strictest orders that the Indians should never molest or injure a Leonard.
Apprehending that in a general assault upon the town his friends, the
Leonards, might be exposed to danger, he spread the shield of his generous
protection over the whole place." Thus the Leonard family did for Taunton
what the family of Lot were unable to do for Sodom. The Indians were often
seen near, and in large numbers, but it was spared the fate of thirteen
other towns, some of them larger than Taunton.

"His mode of making war," says Francis Baylies, "was secret and terrible.
He seemed like a demon of destruction hurling his bolts in darkness. With
cautious and noiseless steps, and shrouded by the deep shade of midnight,
he glided from the gloomy depths of the woods. He stole on the villages and
settlements of New England, like the pestilence, unseen and unheard. His
dreadful agency was felt when the yells of his followers roused his victims
from their slumbers, and when the flames of their blazing habitations
glared upon their eyes. His pathway could be traced by the horrible
desolation of its progress, by its crimson print upon the snows and the
sands, by smoke and fire, by houses in ruins, by the shrieks of women, the
wailing of infants, and the groans of the wounded and dying. Well indeed
might he have been called the 'terror of New England.' Yet in no instance
did he transcend the usages of Indian warfare."

Though the generality of the Indians were often inhuman, yet it does not
appear that Philip was personally vindictive. His enmity was national, not
individual. Nor is there any evidence that Philip ever ordered a captive to
be tortured, while it is undeniable that the English, in several instances,
surrendered their captives to the horrid barbarities of their savage

As Abbott well says, "We must remember that the Indians have no chroniclers
of their wrongs, and yet the colonial historians furnish us with abundant
incidental evidence that outrages were perpetrated by individuals of the
colonists, which were sufficient to drive any people mad. No one can now
contemplate the doom of Metacomet, the last of an illustrious line, but
with emotions of sadness."

            "Even that he lived is for his conqueror's tongue,
             By foes alone his death-song must be sung.
             No chronicles but theirs shall tell
                His mournful doom to future times,
             May these upon his virtues dwell.
                And his fate forget his crimes!"

Philip's war was not only the most serious conflict which New England ever
sustained against the savages, but the most fatal to the aborigines
themselves. The great tribe of the Narragansetts, of old, the leading tribe
of New England, was almost entirely exterminated; hardly a hundred warriors
remained. The last chief of either tribe capable of leading the Indians to
battle had fallen. Philip's son was sent to Bermuda and sold as a slave.
The war cost the colonies half a million of dollars, and the lives of about
six hundred men, the flower of the population. Thirteen towns and six
hundred houses were burned, and there was hardly a family in the country
that had not occasion to mourn the death of a relative.

{Illustration: Pontiac, the Red Napoleon.}

                             CHAPTER V.

                    PONTIAC, THE RED NAPOLEON.

                          INDIAN CONFEDERATION.

It has been said that the history of the United States began with the
triumph of the English on the heights of Abraham, resulting in the
immediate fall of Quebec and the inevitable surrender of all Canada.

This memorable event took place September 13, 1759, and from New Hampshire
to Georgia the American colonists welcomed the news with exuberant

But their joy was premature and of short duration, for though the French
had been subdued, and were suing for peace, their Indian allies, under the
indomitable Pontiac, had, in the language of Paul Jones, "just begun to

This remarkable sachem was principal chief of the Ottawas, and the virtual
head of a loose kind of confederacy, consisting of the Ottawas, Ojibways
and Pottawatomies. Over those around him, his authority was almost
despotic, and his power extended far beyond the limits of the three united
tribes. His influence was great among all the nations of the Illinois
country; while from the sources of the Ohio to those of the Mississippi,
and, indeed, to the farthest boundaries of the wide-spread Algonquin race,
his name was known and respected.

He is said to have been the son of an Ottawa chief and an Ojibway mother,
a circumstance which proved an advantage to him by increasing his influence
over both tribes. But the mere fact that Pontiac was born the son of a
chief would, as Parkman says, "in no degree account for the extent of his
power; for, among Indians, many a chief's son sinks back into
insignificance, while the offspring of a common warrior may succeed to his
place." Among all the wild tribes of the continent, personal merit is
indispensable to gaining or preserving dignity. Courage, resolution,
wisdom, address and eloquence are sure passports to distinction. With all
these Pontiac was preeminently endowed, and it was chiefly to them, urged
to their highest activity by a vehement ambition, that he owed his
greatness, for all authorities, and especially those who came personally in
contact with him, concede the fact that he was _indeed great._

A traveler who visited his country about 1760 mentions him in the following
terms: "Pontiac, their present King or Emperor, has certainly the largest
empire and greatest authority of any Indian chief that has appeared on the
continent since our acquaintance with it. He puts on an air of majesty and
princely grandeur, and is greatly honored and revered by his subjects."

Pontiac is said to have commanded the Ottawas at Braddock's defeat, and was
treated with much honor by the French officers. The venerable Pierre
Chouteau, of St. Louis, remembered to have seen Pontiac a few days before
the assassination of that chief, attired in the complete uniform of a
French officer, which had been given him by the Marquis of Montcalm, a
short time before the fall of Quebec.

An Ojibway Indian told Parkman that some portion of his power was to be
ascribed to his being a chief of the _Metai,_ a magical association among
the Indians of the lakes, in which character he exerted an influence on the
superstitions of his followers.

The great chief possessed many resources. His intellect was strong and
capacious, while his commanding energy and subtle craft could match the
best of his wily race. But, though capable of acts of lofty magnanimity, he
was a thorough savage, sharing all their passions and prejudices, their
fierceness and treachery. Yet his faults were those of his race; and they
can not eclipse his nobler qualities, the great powers and heroic virtues
of his mind.

At the time of which we write, Pontiac made his home at an Ottawa village
about five miles above Detroit, on the opposite or Canadian side of the
river. He lived in no royal state. His cabin was a small, oven-shaped
structure of bark and rushes. Here he dwelt with his squaws and children;
and here, doubtless, he might often have been seen, carelessly reclining
his half-naked form on a rush mat, or bearskin, like any ordinary warrior.
But his vigorous mind was ever active--thinking, scheming, plotting, if you
will, how to most effectually unite all the scattered tribes, many of them
his hereditary foes, in one great far-reaching effort to regain what the
French had lost, by driving back the English invaders from _his_ land.

The first time Pontiac stands forth distinctly on the page of history, or
rather stalks across that page, was in 1760, about a year after the victory
of the English at Quebec.

On September 12, 1760, the famous major, Robert Rogers, received orders
from Sir Jeffrey Amherst to ascend the lakes with a detachment of two
hundred rangers in fifteen whaleboats and take possession, in the name of
his Britannic majesty, of Detroit, Michillimackinac, and other western
posts included in the late capitulation. On November 7 they reached the
mouth of a river called by Rogers the Chogage. Weary with their long voyage
they determined to rest a few days, and were preparing their encampment in
the neighboring forest when a party of Indian chiefs and warriors entered
the camp.

They proclaimed themselves an embassy from Pontiac, "King and Lord of that
country," and informed Rogers and his rangers that their great sachem, in
person, proposed to visit the English; that he was then not far distant,
coming peaceably, and that he desired the major to halt his detachment
"till such time as _he_ could see him with his own eyes."

The major drew up his troops as requested, and before long Pontiac made his
appearance. He wore, we are told, "an air of majesty and princely
grandeur." He saluted them, but the salutation, so far from being another
"Welcome, Englishmen!" was very frigid and formal. He at once sternly
demanded of Rogers his business in his territory, and how he had dared to
venture upon it without his permission. Rogers very prudently answered that
he had no design against the Indians, but, on the contrary, wished to
remove from their country a nation who had been an obstacle to mutual
friendship and commerce between them and the English. He also made known
his commission to this effect, and concluded with a present of several
belts of wampum. Pontiac received them with the single observation, "I
shall stand in the path you are walking till morning," and gave at the same
time, a small string of wampum. "This," writes the major, "was as much as
to say I must not march farther without his leave."

Such, undoubtedly, was the safest construction, and the sequel shows that
Pontiac considered it the most civil. Before departing for the night he
inquired of Rogers whether he wanted anything which _his_ country afforded;
if so, his warriors should bring it for him.

The reply was discreet as the offer was generous, that whatever provisions
might be brought in should be well paid for. Probably they were; but the
English were, at all events, supplied the next morning with several bags of
parched corn, game and other necessaries. Pontiac himself, at the second
meeting, offered the pipe of peace, which he and Rogers smoked by turns. He
declared that he thereby made peace with Rogers and his rangers and that
they should pass through his dominions, not only unmolested by his
subjects, but protected by them from all other parties who might incline to
be hostile.

A cold storm of rain set in, and the rangers were detained some days in
their encampment. During this time Rogers had several interviews with
Pontiac, and was constrained to admire the native vigor of his intellect,
no less than the singular control he exercised over his own warriors and
all the Indians in the lake regions. In the course of their conversation,
Rogers informs us that the great chieftain "often intimated to him that he
should be content to reign in his country, in subordination to the King of
Great Britain, and was willing to pay him such annual acknowledgment as he
was able in furs, and to call him Uncle." England was much in his thoughts,
and he several times expressed a desire to see it. He told Rogers that if
he would conduct him there he would give him a part of his country. He was
willing to grant the English favors, and allow them to settle in his
dominions, but not unless he could be viewed as a sovereign; and he gave
them to understand that unless they conducted themselves agreeable to his
wishes, "he would shut up the way and keep them out."

"As an earnest of his friendship," continued Rogers, "he sent one hundred
warriors to protect and assist us in driving one hundred fat cattle, which
we had brought for the use of the detachment from Pittsburg, by the way of
Presque Isle. He likewise sent to the several Indian towns, on the south
side and west end of Lake Erie, to inform them that I had his consent to
come into the country. He attended me constantly after this interview till
I arrived at Detroit, and while I remained in the country, and was the
means of preserving the detachment from the fury of the Indians, who had
assembled at the mouth of the strait, with an intent to cut us off. I had
several conferences with him, in which he discovered great strength of
judgment, and a thirst after knowledge. He was especially anxious to be
made acquainted with the English mode of war, to know how their arms and
accoutrements were provided, and how their clothing was manufactured."

Up to this time Pontiac had been in word and deed the fast friend and ally
of the French; but it is easy to discern the motives that impelled him to
renounce his old adherence. The American forest never produced a man more
shrewd, politic and ambitious. Ignorant as he was of what was passing in
the world, he could clearly see that the French power was on the wane, and
he knew his own interest too well to prop a falling cause. By making
friends of the English he hoped to gain powerful allies, who would aid his
ambitious projects, and give him an increased influence over the tribes;
and he flattered himself that the newcomers would treat him with the same
studied respect which the French had always observed. In this and all his
other expectations of advantage from the English, he was doomed to

There seems no reasonable doubt of the sincerity of Pontiac's friendship
toward the English at this time, and we can not forbear thinking how
different might have been the record of the historian, had the English
authorities pursued a friendly and conciliatory policy toward the Indians
in general, and this mighty chieftain in particular. What massacres and
devastation might the country have been spared.

Instead of "a work of love and reconciliation" toward the Indians the
_exact opposite policy_ was pursued by the English. Flushed with their
victory over the more formidable French, they bestowed only a passing
thought on the despised savages, and greatly underrated their warlike

A number of things tended to enrage the Indians against the English
invaders of their land, for such they regarded them from the first. It will
be remembered that Pontiac, in his interview with Major Rogers, made his
overtures of friendship and alliance with the English _conditional._ His
whole conversation sufficiently indicated that he was far from considering
himself a conquered prince, and that he expected to be treated with the
respect and honor due to a king or emperor by all who came into his country
or treated with him. In short, if the English treated him in this manner
they were welcome to come into his country, but if they treated him with
neglect and contempt, "he should shut up the way and keep them out."

The English _did_ treat him and his people with neglect and contempt, and
as a consequence the mighty chief was justly indignant.

From the small and widely separated forts along the lakes and in the
interior, the red men had, with sorrow and anger, seen the _fleur-de-lis_
disappear and the cross of St. George take its place. Toward the
intruders--victors over their friends, patrons and allies--the Indians
maintained a stubborn resentment and hostility.

The Indians were ever lovers of the French, and for good reasons, for when,
as Parkman says, "the French had possession of the remote forts, they were
accustomed, with a wise liberality, to supply the surrounding Indians with
guns, ammunition and clothing, until the latter had forgotten the weapons
and garments of their forefathers and depended on the white men for
support. The sudden withholding of these supplies was, therefore, a
grievous calamity. Want, suffering and death were the consequences, and
this cause alone would have been enough to produce general discontent. But,
unhappily, other grievances were superadded. When the Indians visited the
forts, after the English took possession, instead of being treated with
politic attention and politeness, as formerly, they were received gruffly,
subjected to indignities, and not infrequently helped out of the fort with
the butt of a sentry's musket or a vigorous kick from an officer. These
marks of contempt were unspeakably galling to their haughty spirits."

Moreover, the wilderness was overrun with brutal English traders, who
plundered, swindled and cursed the warriors, besides changing them into
vagabonds by the rum traffic.

Meanwhile the subjugated French, still smarting under their defeat,
dispatched emissaries to almost every village and council house, from the
lakes to the gulf, saying that the English had formed a deliberate scheme
to exterminate the entire Indian race, and with this design had already
begun to hem them in with a chain of forts on one side and settlements on
the other. King Louis of France, they said, had of late years been
sleeping, and that, during his slumbers, the English had seized upon
Canada; but that he was now awake again, and that his armies were advancing
up the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi to drive out the intruders from the
country of his red children. The French trading companies, and, it is said,
the officers of the crown also, distributed with a liberal hand the more
substantial encouragement of arms, ammunition, clothing and provisions.

The fierce passions of the Indians, excited by their wrongs and encouraged
by the representations of the French, were farther wrought upon by
disturbing influences of another kind. A great _prophet_ arose among the
Delawares, preaching the recovery of the Indian's hunting grounds from the
white man, and claiming to have received a revelation direct from the Great
Spirit. Vast throngs, including many from remote regions, listened
spellbound by his wild eloquence. The white man was driving the Indians
from their country, he said, and unless the Indians obeyed the Great
Spirit, and destroyed the white man, then the latter would destroy them.

This was the state of affairs among the Indians in 1761 and 1762.
Everywhere was discontent, sullen hatred and dark foreboding passion.

Pontiac saw his opportunity; he maintained close relations with the great
Delaware prophet, and, like Philip before and Tecumseh after him, he
determined to unite all the tribes he could reach or influence in a
gigantic conspiracy to exterminate their common enemy, with the help of
France, whom, he intended, should regain her foothold on the continent.

"The plan of operation," says Thatcher, "adopted by Pontiac evinces an
extraordinary genius, as well as courage and energy of the highest order.
This was a sudden and contemporaneous attack upon all the British posts on
the lakes--at St. Joseph, Ouiatenon, Green Bay, Michillimackinac, Detroit,
the Maumee and the Sandusky--and also upon the forts at Niagara, Presque
Isle, Le Boeuf, Verango and Fort Pitt. Most of the fortifications at these
places were slight, being rather commercial depots than military
establishments. Still, against the Indians they were strongholds, and the
positions had been so judiciously selected by the French that to this day
they command the great avenues of communication to the world of woods and
waters in the remote North and West. It was manifest to Pontiac, familiar
as he was with the geography of this vast tract of country, and with the
practical, if not the technical, maxims of war, that the possession or the
destruction of these posts--saying nothing of their garrisons--would be
emphatically 'shutting up the way.' If the surprise could be simultaneous,
so that every English banner which waved upon a line of thousands of miles
should be prostrated at the same moment, the garrisons would be unable to
exchange assistance, while, on the other hand, the failure of one Indian
detachment would have no effect to discourage another. Certainly, some
might succeed. Probably the war might begin and be terminated with the same
single blow; and then Pontiac would again be Lord and King of the broad
land of his ancestors."

{Illustration: Montcalm trying to stop the massacre at Quebec.}

But it was necessary, first of all, to form a belligerent combination of
the tribes, and the more extensive the better. To this end, toward the
close of 1762, dark mysterious messengers from this Napoleon of the
Indians, each bearing a war belt of wampum, broad and long as the
importance of the occasion demanded, threaded their ways through the forest
to the farthest shores of Lake Superior, and the distant delta of the
Mississippi. On the arrival of these ambassadors to a tribe, the chief
warriors would assemble in the council house. Then the orator, flinging
down the red-stained tomahawk before his audience, would deliver, with
energetic emphasis and action the message from his lord. The keynote was
_war!_  On a certain day in May, after so many moons, the Indians, from
lakes to gulf, were to take the war-path simultaneously, destroy the
English fort nearest, and then throw themselves on the unprotected

"The bugle call of such a mighty leader as Pontiac," as Mason says, "roused
the remotest tribes. Everywhere they joined the conspiracy, and sent lofty
messages to Pontiac of the deeds they would  perform. The ordinary pursuits
of life were given up. The warriors danced the war-dance for weeks at a
time. Squaws were set to sharpening knives, moulding bullets and mixing war
paint. Children caught the fever, and practiced incessantly with bows and
arrows. For the one time in their history, a hundred wild and restless
tribes were animated by a single inspiration and purpose. That which was
incapable of union, united. Conjurors practiced their arts. Magicians
consulted their oracles. Prophets avowed revelations from the most High.
Warriors withdrew to caves and fastnesses, where, with fasting and
self-torture, they wrought themselves into more fearful excitement and
mania. Young men sought to raise their courage by eating raw flesh and
drinking hot blood. Tall chieftains, crowned with nodding plumes, harangued
their followers nightly, striking every chord of revenge, glory, avarice,
pride, patriotism and love, which trembled in the savage breast.

"As the orator approached his climax he would leap into the air,
brandishing his hatchet as if rushing upon an enemy, yelling the war-whoop,
throwing himself in a thousand postures, his eyes aflame, his muscles
strained and knotted, his face a thunderstorm of passion, as if in the
actual struggle. At last, with a triumphant shout, he brandishes aloft the
scalp of the imaginary victim. His eloquence is irresistible. His audience
is convulsed with passionate interest, and sways like trees tossed in the
tempest. At last, the whole assembly, fired with uncontrollable frenzy,
rush together in the ring, leaping, stamping, yelling, brandishing knives
and hatchets in the firelight, hacking and stabbing the air, until the
lonely midnight forest is transformed into a howling pandemonium of devils,
from whose fearful uproar the startled animals, miles away, flee frightened
into remote lairs."

The time for the bursting of the storm drew near. Yet at only one place on
the frontier was there the least suspicion of Indian disturbance. The
garrisons of the exposed forts reposed in fancied security. The arch
conspirator, Pontiac, had breathed the breath of life into a vast
conspiracy, whose ramifications spread their network over a region of
country of which the northwestern and southeastern extremities were nearly
two thousand miles apart. Yet the traders, hunters, scouts and trappers who
were right among the Indians, and were versed in the signs of approaching
trouble, suspected nothing wrong. Colossal conspiracy! Stupendous deceit!

Pontiac arranged to meet the chiefs of the allied tribes, from far and
near, in a grand war council, which was held on the banks of the  Aux
Ecorces, or Etorces, a little river not far from Detroit, on April 27,
1763. Parkman has given us the best description of what occurred at this
council. Said he, "On the long-expected morning heralds passed from one
group of lodges to another, calling the warriors in loud voice to attend
the great council before Pontiac. In accordance with the summons they came
issuing; from their wigwams--the tall, half-naked figures of the wild
Ojibways, with quivers slung at their backs, and light war clubs resting
in the hollow of their arms; Ottawas, wrapped close in their gaudy
blankets; Wyandots, fluttering in their painted shirts, their heads adorned
with feathers and their leggings garnished with bells. All were soon seated
in a wide circle upon the grass, row within row, a grave and silent
assembly. Each savage countenance seemed carved in wood, and none could
have detected the deep and fiery passion hidden beneath that immovable

"Then Pontiac rose; according to tradition, not above middle height. His
muscular figure was cast in a mold of remarkable symmetry and vigor. His
complexion was darker than is usual with his race, and his features, though
by no means regular, had a bold and stern expression, while his habitual
bearing was imperious and peremptory, like that of a man accustomed to
sweep away all opposition by the force of his imperious will. On occasions
like this he was wont to appear as befitted his power and character, and he
stood before the council plumed and painted in the full costume of war.

"Looking around upon his wild auditors he began to speak, with fierce
gesture and loud, impassioned voice; and at every pause, deep guttural
ejaculations of assent and approval responded to his words. Said he: 'It
is important, my brothers, that we should exterminate from our land this
nation, whose only object is our death. You must be all sensible, as well
as myself, that we can no longer supply our wants in the way we were
accustomed to do with our fathers, the French. They sell us their goods at
double the price that the French made us pay, and yet their merchandise is
good for nothing; for no sooner have we bought a blanket or other thing to
cover us, than it is necessary to procure others against the time of
departure for our wintering ground. Neither will they let us have them on
credit, as our brothers, the French, used to do. When I visit the English
chief and inform him of the death of any of our comrades, instead of
lamenting, as our brothers, the French, used to do, they make game of us.
If I ask him for anything for our sick, he refuses, and tells us he does
not want us, from which it is apparent he seeks our death. We must,
therefore, in return, destroy them without delay; there is nothing to
prevent us; there are but few of them, and we shall easily overcome
them--why should we not attack them? Are we not men? Have I not shown you
the belts I received from our Great Father, the King of France? He tells us
to strike--why should we not listen to his words? What do you fear? The
time has arrived. Do you fear that our brothers, the French, who are now
among us, will hinder us? They are not acquainted with our designs, and if
they did know them, could they prevent them? You know as well as myself,
that when the English came upon our lands, to drive from them our father,
Bellestre, they took from the French all the guns that they have, so that
they have now no guns to defend themselves with. Therefore, now is the
time; let us strike. Should there be any French to take their part, let us
strike them as we do the English. I have sent belts and speeches to our
friends, the Chippeways of Saginaw, and our brothers, the Ottawas of
Michillimacinac, and  to those of the Riviere á la Tranche (Thames river),
inviting them to join us, and they will not delay. In the meantime, let us
strike. There is no longer any time to lose, and when the English shall be
defeated, we will stop the way, so that no more shall return upon our

He also assured them that the Indians and their French brothers would again
fight side by side against the common foe, as they did in other years on
the Monongahela, when the banners of the English had been trampled in the
bloody mire of defeat.

The orator, having lashed his audience into fury, quickly soothed them with
the story of the Delaware prophet, already mentioned, who had a dream in
which it was revealed to him that by traveling in a certain direction he
would at length reach the abode of the 'Great Spirit,' or Master of Life.

"After many days of journeying, full of strange incidents," continued
Pontiac, "he saw before him a vast mountain of dazzling whiteness, so
precipitous that he was about to turn back in despair, when a beautiful
woman arrayed in white appeared and thus accosted him: 'How can you hope,
encumbered as you are, to succeed in your design? Go down to the foot of
the mountain, throw away your gun, your ammunition, your provisions and
your clothing; wash yourself in the stream which flows there, and you will
then be prepared to stand before the Master of Life.' The Indian obeyed,
and again began to ascend among the rocks, while the woman, seeing him
still discouraged, laughed at his faintness of heart and told him that, if
he wished for success, he must climb by the aid of one hand and one foot
only. After great toil and suffering, he at length found himself at the
summit. The woman had disappeared, and he was left alone. A rich and
beautiful plain lay before him, and at a little distance he saw three great
villages, far superior to any he had seen in any tribe. As he approached
the largest and stood hesitating whether he should enter, a man, gorgeously
attired, stepped forth, and, taking him by the hand, welcomed him to the
celestial abode. He then conducted him into the presence of the Great
Spirit, where the Indian stood confounded  at the unspeakable splendor
which surrounded him. The Great Spirit bade him be seated, and thus
addressed him: 'I am the Maker of heaven and earth, the trees, lakes,
rivers and all things else. I am the Maker of mankind; and because I love
you, you must do my will. The land on which you live I have made for _you,_
and not for others. Why do you suffer the white man to dwell among you? My
children, you have forgotten the customs and traditions of your
forefathers. Why do you not clothe yourselves in skins, as they did, and
use the bows and arrows, and the stone-pointed lances, which they used? You
have bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man, until
you can no longer do without them; and what is worse, you have drunk the
poison fire-water, which turns you into fools. Fling all these things away;
live as your wise forefathers lived before you. And as for these
English--these dogs dressed in red, who have come to rob you of your
hunting grounds and drive away the game--you must lift the hatchet against
them. Wipe them from the face of the earth, and then you will win my favor
back again, and once more be happy and prosperous. The children of your
great father, the King of France, are not like the English. Never forget
that they are your brethren. They are very dear to me, for they love the
red men, and understand the true mode of worshipping me.'"

Such is the tale told by Pontiac to the council, quoted by Parkman from
statements recorded both by Indians and Canadians who were present.

Before this vast assembly dissolved, the great chieftain unfolded his
wide-laid plans for a simultaneous attack on all the forts in possession of
the English. The 7th of May, 1763, was named as the day of destruction, and
his schemes, which were constructed with the white man's skill and the red
man's cunning, met the hearty approval of all the assembled chiefs and
warriors, and the great council dissolved.

The plan was now ripe for execution, and with the suddenness of a
whirlwind, the storm of war burst forth all along the frontier. Nine of the
British forts, or stations, were captured. Some of the garrisons were
completely surprised and massacred on the spot; a few individuals, in other
cases, escaped. In case of most, if not all of the nine surprisals, quite
as much was effected by stratagem as by force, and that apparently by a
pre-concerted system, which indicates the far-seeing superintendence of
Pontiac himself.

In this storm of war, the most thrilling and tragic scenes were enacted at
Mackinaw, or Michillimackinac, and Detroit. The former was the scene of a
bloody savage triumph; the latter, of a long and perilous siege, in which
the savage besiegers were under the personal command of the great Pontiac.
As it is the only recorded instance of the protracted siege of a fortified
civilized garrison by an army of savages, we will tell the story in detail,
but will first briefly describe the successful stratagem which resulted in
the capture of Michillimackinac and the slaughter of the garrison.

The name Michillimackinac, which, in the Algonquin tongue, signifies the
Great Turtle, was first, from a fancied resemblance, applied to the
neighboring island and thence to the fort.

By reason of its location on the south side of the strait, between lakes
Huron and Michigan, Michillimackinac was one of the most important
positions on the frontier. It was the place of deposit and point of
departure between the upper and lower countries; the traders always
assembled there on their voyages to and from Montreal. Connected with it
was an area of two acres, inclosed with tall cedar-wood posts, sharpened at
the top, and extending on one side so near the water's edge that a western
wind always drove the waves against the foot of the stockade.

The place at this time contained thirty families within the palisades of
the fort, and about as many more without, with a garrison of about
thirty-five men and their officers, according to Parkman.

Warning of the tempest that impended had been clearly given; enough, had it
been heeded, to have averted the fatal disaster. Several of the Canadians
least hostile to the English had thrown out hints of approaching danger,
and one of them had even told Captain Etherington, the commander, that the
Indians had formed a design to destroy, not only his garrison, but all the
English on the lakes. Etherington not only turned a deaf ear to what he
heard, but threatened to send prisoner to Detroit the next person who
should disturb the fort with such tidings. Only the day before the tragic
4th of June an Indian named Wawatam, an Ojibway chief, who had taken a
fancy to Alexander Henry, a trader, who was in the fort, came over and
first advised, then urged, and finally begged Henry on his knees, to leave
the fort that night. But all in vain!

The morning of June 4, the birthday of King George, was warm and sultry.
The plain in front of the fort was covered with Indians of the Ojibway,
Chippewa and Sac tribes.

Early in the morning, many Ojibways came to the fort, inviting the officers
and soldiers to come out and see a grand game of ball, or _baggattaway,_
which was to be played between their nation and the Sacs, for a high wager.
In consequence of this invitation, the place was soon deserted of half its
tenants, and the gates of the palisade were wide open. Groups of soldiers
stood in the shade looking at the sport, _most of them without their arms._

Sober Indian chiefs stood as if intently watching the fortunes of the game.
In fact, however, their thoughts were far otherwise employed. Large numbers
of squaws also mingled in the crowd, but gradually gathering in a group
near the open gates. And, strange to say, in spite of the warm day they
were _wrapped to the throat in blankets._

Baggattaway has always been a favorite game with many Indian tribes. At
either extremity of the open ground, from half a mile to a mile apart,
stood two posts, which constituted the stations or goals of the parties.
Except that the ball was much smaller and that a bat or racket much like
those used in lawn tennis served instead of the kick, the game was
identical with our well-known football, and just as brutal.

The ball was started from the middle of the ground, and the game was for
each side to keep it from touching their own post and drive it against that
of their adversaries. Hundreds of lithe and agile figures were leaping and
bounding over each other, turning handsprings and somersaults, striking
with the bats, tripping each other up, every way, any way, to get at the
ball and foil the adversary. At one moment the whole were crowded together,
a dense throng of combatants, all struggling for the ball; at the next,
they are scattered again, and running over the ground like hounds in full
chase. Each, in his excitement, yelled and shouted at the height of his

Suddenly the ball rose high, and descending in a wide curve, fell near the
gate of the fort. This was no chance stroke, but a part of a preconcerted
stratagem to insure the surprise and destruction of the garrison. The
players instantly bounded toward the ball, a rushing, maddened and
tumultuous throng, but just as they neared the gates, the shouts of sport
changed suddenly to the ferocious war-whoop. The squaws threw open their
blankets, exposing the guns, hatchets and knives, and the players instantly
flung away their bats and seized the weapons, before the amazed English had
time to think or act. They at once fell upon the defenseless garrison and
traders, butchered fifteen on the spot, captured the rest, including the
commander, while everything that had belonged to the English was carried
off or destroyed, though none of the French families or their property was
disturbed. It is said that these captives were afterward ransomed at
Montreal, at high prices.

{Illustration: Hollow Horn Bear, Sioux Chief.}

As we have seen, it was a part of Pontiac's plan that each tribe should
attack the fort or English settlement nearest to them. For this reason, and
because it was the largest and best fortified place, he took personal
command at the siege of Detroit.

This settlement was founded by La Motte Cadillac in 1701, and contained at
this time, according to Major Rogers, about twenty-five hundred people. The
center of the settlement was the fortified town or fort, which stood on the
western margin of the river, and contained about a hundred houses,
compactly built, and surrounded by a palisade twenty-five feet high, with a
bastion at each corner, and block-houses over the gates.

The garrison of the fort consisted of one hundred and twenty English
soldiers, under the command of Major Gladwyn. There were also forty fur
traders, and the ordinary Canadian inhabitants of the place, who could not
be trusted in case of an Indian outbreak.

Two small armed schooners, the Beaver and the Gladwyn, lay anchored in the
river, while the ordnance of the fort consisted of two six-pounders, one
three-pounder and three mortars; all of an indifferent quality. The
settlement outside the fort, stretching about eight miles along both sides
of the Detroit river, consisted of the dwellings of Canadians, and three
Indian  villages, the Ottawas and Wyandots, on the east, and the
Pottawatomies on the west side of the stream.

"Such was Detroit--a place whose defences could have opposed no resistance
to a civilized enemy; and yet situated as it was at a strategic point on
the bank of a broad  navigable river far removed from the hope of speedy
succor, it could only rely, in the terrible struggle that awaited it, upon
its own slight strength and feeble resources," as Parkman well says.

On the afternoon of May 5 a Canadian woman, the wife of St. Aubin, one of
the prominent settlers, crossed the river to the Ottawa village to buy some
maple sugar and venison. She was surprised at finding several warriors
engaged in filing off their gun-barrels, so as to reduce them, stock and
all to the length of about a yard. Such a weapon could easily be hid under
a blanket. That night the woman mentioned the circumstance to a neighbor,
the village blacksmith. "Oh," said he, "that explains it." "Explains what?"
"The reason why so many Indians have lately wanted to borrow my files and

It is not known whether this circumstance reached the ears of the
commander; if so, it received no attention at his hands. But, in the hour
of impending doom, the love of an Indian maiden interposed to save the
garrison from butchery.

In the Pottawatomie village, it is said, there lived an Ojibway girl, who
could boast a larger share of beauty than is common to the wigwam. She had
attracted the eye of Gladwyn, who had taken great interest in her, and as
she was very bright, had given her some instruction. While she, on her
part, had become much attached to the handsome young officer. On the
afternoon of May 6, Catharine--for so the officers called her--came to the
fort and repaired to Gladwyn's quarters, bringing with her a pair of elk
skin moccasins, ornamented with beads and porcupine work, which he had
requested her to make. But this time the girl's eyes no longer sparkled
with pleasure and excitement. Her face was anxious, and her look furtive.
She said little and soon left the room; but the sentinel at the door saw
her still lingering at the street corner, though the hour for closing the
gates was nearly come.

At length she attracted the attention of Gladwyn himself. The major at once
saw that the girl knew something which she feared yet longed to tell.
Calling her to him, he sought to win her secret, but it was not for a long
while, and under solemn promises that she should not be betrayed, but
rather _protected,_ should it become  necessary, that the dusky sweetheart
spoke. "To-morrow," she said, "Pontiac will come to the fort with sixty of
his chiefs, and demand a council. Each will be armed with a gun cut short,
and hidden under his blanket. When all are assembled in the council-house,
and after he has delivered his speech, he will offer a peace belt of
wampum, holding it in a reversed position. This will be the signal of
attack. The chiefs will spring up and fire upon the officers, and the
Indians in the street will fall upon the garrison. Every Englishman will be
killed, but not the scalp of a single Frenchman will be touched."

Gladwyn believed the maid, and the words of warning spoken, she went back
to her people. The guards that night were doubled. At times the watchers on
the walls heard unwonted sounds, borne to them on the night wind from the
distant Indian villages. They were the steady beat of the Indian drum and
the shrill choruses of the war-dance.

The next day, about ten o'clock, the great war chief, with his treacherous
followers, reached the fort, and the gateway was thrown open to admit them.
All were wrapped to the throat in colored blankets, their faces smeared
with paint, and their heads adorned with nodding plumes. For the most
part, they were tall, strong men, and all had a gait and bearing of
peculiar stateliness. The leader started as he saw the soldiers drawn up in
line, and heard the ominous tap of the drum. Arriving at the council-house
they saw Gladwyn, with several of his officers, in readiness to receive
them, and the observant chiefs did not fail to notice that every Englishman
wore a sword at his side and a pair of pistols in his belt, and the
conspirators eyed each other with uneasy glances.

"Why," demanded Pontiac, "do I see so many of my father's young men
standing in the street with their guns?" Gladwyn replied through his
interpreter, La Butte, that he had ordered the soldiers under arms for the
sake of exercise and discipline. Pontiac saw at once that the plot was
discovered. He did not lose control of himself, however, but made the
customary speech, though the signal for attack was not given. After a short
and uneasy sitting he and his chiefs withdrew with marked discomfiture and

Gladwyn has been censured for not detaining the chiefs as hostages for the
good conduct of their followers. "Perhaps," as Parkman says, "the
commandant feared lest should he arrest the chiefs when gathered at a
public council and guiltless as yet of open violence, the act might be
interpreted as cowardly and dishonorable. He was ignorant, moreover, of the
true nature or extent of the plot."

Balked in his treachery, the great chief withdrew to his village, enraged
and mortified, yet still resolved to persevere. That Gladwyn had suffered
him to escape, was to his mind ample proof either of cowardice or
ignorance. The latter supposition seeming the more probable, he determined
to visit the fort once more and convince the English, if possible, that
their suspicions against him were unfounded.

Accordingly, on the following morning he repaired to the fort, with three
of his chiefs, bearing in his hand the sacred calumet, or pipe of peace,
the bowl carved in stone, and the stem adorned with feathers. Offering it
to Gladwyn, he addressed him and his officers as follows: "My fathers, evil
birds have sung lies in your ear. We that stand before you are friends of
the English. We love them as our brothers, and, to prove our love, we have
come this day to smoke the pipe of peace." At his departure, he gave the
pipe to Major Campbell, second in command, as a further pledge of his

That afternoon, the better to cover his designs, Pontiac called the young
men of all the tribes to a game of ball, which took place in a neighboring
field, with great noise and shouting. At nightfall the garrison was
startled by a burst of loud, shrill yells. The drums beat to arms and the
troops were ordered to their posts; but the alarm was caused only by the
victors in the ball game announcing their success by these discordant
outcries. Meanwhile Pontiac spent the afternoon consulting with his chiefs
how to compass the ruin of the English.

The next day, about eleven o'clock, the common behind the fort was again
thronged with Indians; Pontiac, advancing from among the multitude,
approached the gate, only to find it closed and barred against him. He
shouted to the sentinels, and demanded why he was refused admittance.
Gladwyn himself replied that the great chief might enter, if he chose, but
the crowd he had brought with him must remain outside. Pontiac rejoined
that he wished all his warriors to enjoy the fragrance of the friendly
calumet. But Gladwyn was inexorable, and replied that he would have none of
his rabble in the fort. Instantly the savage threw off the mask of deceit
he had worn so long, and, casting one look of unspeakable rage and hate at
the fort, he turned abruptly from the gate and strode toward his followers,
who lay in great numbers flat on the ground beyond reach of gunshot. At his
approach, they all leaped up and ran off "yelping," in the language of an
eye witness, "like so many devils." They rushed to the house of an old
English Woman and her family, beat down the doors and tomahawked the
inmates. Another party jumped into their canoes, and paddled with all speed
to the Isle of Cochon, where dwelt an Englishman named Fisher, formerly a
sergeant of the regulars. Him they also killed and scalped.

That night, while the garrison watched with sleepless apprehension, the
entire Ottawa village was removed to the west side of the river. "We will
be near them," said Pontiac. The position taken by the Indians was just
above the mouth of Parent's creek.

During the night a Canadian, named Desnoyers, came down the river in a
canoe, and landing at the water gate, informed the garrison that two
English officers, Sir Robert Davers and Captain Robertson, had been
murdered on Lake St. Clair, and that Pontiac had been reinforced by the
whole war strength of the Ojibways. If the Indians had prior to this, as it
is claimed, a force of from six hundred to two thousand, these accessions
would make them quite formidable.

Every  Englishman in the fort, whether trader or soldier, was now ordered
under arms. No man lay down to sleep, and the commander walked the ramparts
all night. Not till the blush of dawn tinged the eastern sky did the fierce
savages, yelling with infernal power, come bounding naked to the assault.

The soldiers looked from their loopholes, thinking to see their assailants
gathering for a rush against the feeble barrier. But in this they were
agreeably disappointed. For though their clamors filled the air, and their
guns blazed thick and hot, while the bullets pelted the fort with leaden
hail, yet very few were visible. Some were sheltered behind barns and
fences, some skulked among bushes, others lay flat in hollows of the ground
while those who could find no shelter were leaping about with the agility
of monkeys, to render it impossible for the marksmen at the fort to hit
them. Each had filled his mouth with bullets, for the convenience of
loading, and each was charging and firing without suspending these swift
movements for a moment.

At the end  of six hours the assailants grew weary and withdrew. It was
found that only five men had been wounded in the fort, while the cautious
enemy had sustained but trifling loss.

Gladwyn, believing the affair ended, dispatched La Butte, a neutral
interpreter, accompanied by two old Canadians, Chapeton and Godefroy, to
open negotiations. Many other Canadian inhabitants took this opportunity of
leaving the place.

Pontiac received the three ambassadors politely, and heard their offers of
peace with seeming acquiescence. He, however, stepped aside to talk the
matter over with the other chiefs, after which Pontiac declared that, out
of their earnest desire for a lasting treaty, they wished to hold council
with their English fathers themselves, and they were especially desirous
that Major Campbell, the veteran officer, second in command at the fort,
should visit their camp.

When the word reached Campbell he prepared at once to go, in spite of
Gladwyn's fears of treachery. He felt, he said, no fear of the Indians,
with whom he had always been on the most friendly terms. Gladwyn, with some
hesitation, gave a reluctant consent. Campbell left the fort accompanied by
Lieutenant McDougal, and attended by La Butte and several other Canadians.
A Canadian met them and warned the two British officers they were entering
the lion's den, but the brave men refused to turn back.

As they entered the Indian camp a howling multitude of women and children
surrounded them, armed with clubs, sticks and stones. But Pontiac, with a
word and a gesture, quelled the mob, and conducted them to the
council-house, where they were surrounded by sinister faces. Campbell made
his speech. It was heard in perfect silence, and no reply was made. For a
full hour the unfortunate officers saw before them the same concourse of
dark faces bending an unwavering gaze upon them. At last Campbell rose to
go. Pontiac made an imperious gesture for him to resume his seat. "My
father," said he, "will sleep to-night in the lodges of his red children."
The gray-haired soldier and his companion were captives.

Many of the Indians were eager to kill the captives on the spot; but
Pontiac protected them from injury and insult, and conducted them to the
house of M. Meloche, near Parent's creek, where good quarters were assigned
them, and as much liberty allowed as was consistent with safe custody. The
peril of their situation was diminished by the circumstance that two
Indians had been detained at the fort as prisoners, for some slight
offense, a few days prior to this, and it is quite possible Pontiac
designed to effect an exchange.

Late the same night La Butte returned with anxious face to the fort. Some
of the officers suspected him, no doubt unjustly, with a share in the
treachery. Feeling the suspicion, he spent the remainder of the night in
the narrow street, gloomy and silent.

Thatcher informs us concerning these two prisoners that McDougal effected
his escape, "but Major Campbell was tomahawked by an infuriated savage
named Wasson, in revenge for the death of a relative. One account says
'they boiled his heart and ate it, and made a pouch of the skin of his
arms!' The brutal assassin fled to Saginaw, apprehensive of the vengeance
of Pontiac; and it is but justice to the memory of that chieftain to say
that he was indignant at the atrocious act and used every possible
exertion to apprehend the murderer. Doubtless had he been captured the
chief would have inflicted the death penalty."

It is said that the wily chieftain found out in some manner that the
Ojibway maiden, Catharine, disclosed the plot to Gladwyn, and ordered four
Indians to take her and bring her before him. The order was promptly
obeyed, according to the diary of a Canadian who was contemporary, and
having arrived at the Pottawatomie village, they seized Catharine "and
obliged her to march before them, uttering cries of joy in the manner they
do when they hold a victim in their clutches on whom they are going to
exercise their cruelty; they made her enter the fort, and took her before
the commandant (Gladwyn), as if to confront her with him, and asked him if
it was not from her he had learned their design; but they were no better
satisfied than if they had kept themselves quiet. They obtained from that
officer bread and beer for themselves and for her. They then led her to
their chief (Pontiac) in the village."

It will be remembered that before the girl imparted her secret, which was
destined to save the lives of all in the fort, Gladwyn solemnly promised
that she should not be betrayed, but rather protected should it become
necessary. And now the exigency has arisen; Catharine and her captors are
in the fort. But when did a white man ever keep his sacred word to an
Indian? Gladwyn did not betray her, it is true, for he made no answer to
the questions asked him. But he afforded her only such protection in this,
her hour of peril, "as the wolf shows to the lamb, or the kite to the
dove." He gave beer to the four Indians, who were already angry, to enrage
them still more, and also supplied Catharine with beer, which may have been
the starting point of her ruin, as we shall see.

But he did not lift a finger to save or protect the one to whom he probably
owed his life, but permitted her to be dragged from the fort into the
presence of the enraged Pontiac, who, according to another Canadian
tradition, seized a bat or racket used by the Indians in their ballgame,
and flogged her until life was almost extinct. An old Indian told Henry
Conner, formerly United States interpreter at Detroit, that Catharine
survived her terrible punishment and lived for many years; but having
contracted intemperate habits, she fell, when intoxicated, into a kettle of
boiling maple sap, and was so severely scalded that she died in

{Illustration: Major Campbell in Conference with Pontiac.}

Pontiac proceeded to redistribute his forces. One band hid in ambush along
the river below the fort. Others surrounded the fort on the land side. The
garrison had only three weeks' provisions, and the Indians determined that
this scanty store should not be replenished. Every house in Detroit was
searched for grease, tallow, or whatever would serve for food, and all the
provisions were placed in a public storehouse.

The Indians, with their usual improvidence, had neglected to provide
against the exigency of a siege, thinking to have taken Detroit at a
single stroke. The Canadian settlers were ruthlessly despoiled of their
stores, and the food thus obtained was wasted with characteristic
recklessness. Aggravated beyond endurance they complained to Pontiac. He
heard them, and made the following characteristic reply:

"I do not doubt, my brothers, that this war is very troublesome to you, for
our warriors are continually passing and repassing through your settlement.
I am sorry for it. Do not think I approve of the damage that is done by
them; and as a proof of this, remember the war with the Foxes and the part
which I took in it. It is now seventeen years since the Ojibways of
Michillimackinac, combined with the Sacs and Foxes, came down to destroy
you. Who then defended you? Was it not I and my young men? Mickinac, great
chief of all these nations, said in council that he would carry to his
village the head of your commandant--that he would eat his heart and drink
his blood. Did I not take your part? Did I not go to his camp, and say to
him, that if he wished to kill the French he must first kill me and my
warriors? Did I not assist you in routing them and driving them away? And
now you think I would turn my arms against you! No, my brothers; I am the
same French Pontiac who assisted you seventeen years ago. I am a Frenchman,
and I wish to die a Frenchman; and now I repeat to you that you and I are
one--that it is for both our interests that I should be avenged. Let me
alone. I do not ask you for aid, for it is not in your power to give it. I
only ask provisions for myself and men. Yet, if you are inclined to assist
me, I shall not refuse you. It would please me, and you yourselves would be
sooner rid of your troubles; for I promise you, that as soon as the English
are driven out, we will go back to our villages, and there await the
arrival of our French father. You have heard what I have to say; remain at
peace, and I will watch that no harm shall be done to you, either by my men
or by the other Indians."

Pontiac promptly took measures for bringing the disorders complained of to
a close, while at the same time he provided sustenance for his warriors, a
veritable commissary department, "and, in doing this, he displayed," as
Parkman says, "a policy and forecast scarcely paralleled in the history of
his race."  He first forbade the commission of farther outrages, on the
penalty of condign punishment. He next visited in turn the families of the
Canadians, and, inspecting the property belonging to them, he assigned to
each the share of provisions which it must furnish for the support of the
Indians. The contributions thus levied were all collected at the house of
Meloche, near Parent's creek, whence they were regularly issued to the
Indians of the different camps.

Knowing that the character and habits of an Indian would render him
incapable of being a judicious commissary, Pontiac availed himself of
Canadian help, employing one Quilleriez and several others to discharge,
under his eye, the duties of this office. But he did another thing which
revealed his genius for command, and proved him to be an Indian Napoleon.
Anxious to avoid offending the Canadians, yet unable to make compensation
for the provisions he had levied, Pontiac issued _promissory notes,_ drawn
upon birch-bark, and signed with the figure of an otter, the totem to which
he belonged. Under this was drawn the representation of the particular
article for which the bill was valid--as a gun, a bag of corn, a deer, a
hog, or a beef. These bills passed current among the Canadians and Indians
of the period, and were faithfully redeemed after the war. As Goodrich
says, "The 'Pontiac treasury notes,' we believe, were never below par.
Repudiation was unknown under savage rule in Michigan and Canada. Let the
barbarian chief enjoy the full applause due to his financial honor. His
modern successors might find something in his example worthy of imitation."

Not one of the Ottawa tribe dared to infringe the command he had given,
that the  property of the Canadians should be respected. They would not so
much as cross the cultivated fields but followed the beaten paths; in such
awe did they stand of his displeasure. A few young Wyandots, however, still
committed nightly depredations on the hog-pen of Baby, an old friend of
Pontiac. The Canadian complained of the theft to Pontiac, and desired his
protection. The great chief hastened to the assistance of his friend, and,
arriving about nightfall at the house, walked to and fro among the barns
and enclosures. At a late hour he saw the dark forms of hog thieves
stealing through the gloom. "Go back to your village, you Wyandot dogs," he
shouted; "if you tread again on this man's land, you shall die." They slunk
away abashed; and from that time forward Baby's property was safe. Pontiac
could claim no legitimate authority over the Wyandots, but his powerful
spirit forced respect and obedience from all who approached him.

One night at an early period of the siege, Pontiac entered the house of
Baby, and seating himself by the fire, looked for some time steadily at the
embers. At length, raising his head, he said he had heard that the English
had offered the Canadian a bushel of silver for the scalp of his friend.
Baby declared that the story was false, and assured him that he would never
betray him. Pontiac studied his features keenly for a moment and replied:
"My brother has spoken the truth, and I will show him that I believe him."
So saying, he wrapped his blanket around him, and "lay like a warrior
taking his rest," in peaceful slumber until morning.

Some time after this our old friend Rogers, of Rogers' Rangers, arrived at
Detroit with a detachment of troops, and the next day sent a bottle of
brandy by a friendly Indian, as a present to Pontiac. The other chiefs
urged him not to drink it for fear of poison. Pontiac heard them through,
and boldly replied  "It is not possible that this man, who knows my love
for him, and who is also sensible of the great favors I have done him, can
think of taking away my life"; then putting the cup to his lips he drank a
draught without betraying the slightest apprehension. He could practice
treachery himself, yet scorned to suspect it in white men.

Weeks rolled by with no change in the situation at Detroit. The British
commander-in-chief at New York, unmindful of the Indian outbreak, had, as
usual in the spring, sent a detachment up the lakes with food, ammunition
and reenforcements for the different forts.

On May 30 some faint specks appeared on the distant watery horizon. They
grew larger and blacker. The sentry in the bastion called aloud to the
officers, who eagerly ran to look with spy-glasses. They recognized the
banner of St. George, floating at the masthead of the leading boat of the
long expected fleet. The officer at once gave command for a salute of
welcome. When the sound of the booming cannon died away, every ear was
strained to catch the response. It soon came, but instead of artillery, it
was a faint but unmistakable _war-whoop._ The faces of the English grew
pale. The approaching flotilla was watched with breathless anxiety. When it
was well in view, a number of dark and savage forms rose up in the boats.
_The flotilla was in the hands of the Indians._ In the foremost of the
eighteen barges there were four prisoners and only three Indians. In the
others, the Indians outnumbered the white men and compelled them to row.
Just as the leading boat was opposite the Beaver, the one small schooner
which lay at anchor before the fort (the Gladwyn having been sent to hasten
and escort this very flotilla) one of the soldiers was seen to seize a
savage by the hair and belt and throw him overboard. The Indian held fast
to his enemy's clothes, and drawing himself upward, stabbed him again and
again with his knife and then dragged him overboard. Both sank grappled in
each other's arms. The two remaining Indians leaped out of the boat. The
prisoners turned, and pulled for the distant schooner, shouting aloud for
aid. The Indians on shore opened a heavy fire upon them, wounding one of
their number, and the light birch canoes gave chase, gaining on them at
every stroke of the oar. Escape seemed hopeless, when the report of a
cannon burst from the side of the schooner. The ball narrowly missed the
foremost canoe, beating the water in a line of foam which almost capsized
the frail craft. At this the pursuers drew back in dismay; and the Indians
on shore, being in turn saluted by a second shot, ceased firing and
scattered among the bushes. The prisoners thus rescued were greeted as men
snatched from the jaws of death.

This, in brief, was their story. Lieutenant Cuyler had left Fort Niagara on
May 13 with twenty barges, ninety-six men and a plentiful supply of
provisions and ammunition. Coasting along the northern shore of Lake Erie,
they had passed the armed schooner Gladwyn without seeing it, and, of
course, knew nothing of the Indian hostilities. On the twenty-eighth of the
month, the flotilla landed at Point Pelee, not far from the mouth of the
Detroit river. The boats were drawn on the beach, and the party prepared to
encamp. A man and a boy went to gather firewood at a short distance from
the spot, when an Indian leaped out of the woods, seized the boy by the
hair, and tomahawked him. The man ran into the camp shouting that the woods
were full of Indians. The report was true, for Pontiac had stationed the
Wyandots at this very spot to intercept trading boats or parties of troops.
Cuyler quickly formed his soldiers into a semicircle before the boats, just
as the Indians opened fire. For an instant there was a hot blaze of
musketry on both sides; then the Indians broke out of the woods in a body,
and rushed fiercely upon the center of the line, which gave way in every
part; the men flinging down their guns, running panic-stricken to the boats
and struggling with ill-directed efforts to shove them into the water. Five
were set afloat, and pushed off from  the shore, crowded with terrified
soldier's, huddled together like sheep in the shambles. Never was rout more
complete or soldiers more unnerved and demoralized.

Cuyler, seeing himself deserted by his men, as he afterward stated, waded
up to his neck in the lake and climbed into one of the retreating boats.
The Indians, on their part, pushed two more boats afloat and went in
pursuit of the fugitives, three boatloads of whom allowed themselves to be
_captured without resistance._ Think of it, two boatloads of Indians
capture _three boatloads of English,_ who seemingly made no effort to
escape the fate of horrible torture which awaited all but a few, who were
enslaved. The other two boats, in one of which was Cuyler himself, effected
their escape, and returning to Niagara, he reported his loss to Major
Wilkins, the commanding officer. Between thirty and forty men, some of whom
were wounded, were crowded in these two boats. These, with the three
rescued at Detroit, were all of the ninety-six which survived the ill-fated

The little schooner Gladwyn, having passed the flotilla probably in the
night or during a fog, reached Niagara without mishap. She was still riding
at anchor in the smooth river above the falls, when Cuyler and the remnant
of his men returned and reported the terrible disaster that had befallen
him. This officer, and the survivors of his party, with a few other troops
spared from the garrison of Niagara, were ordered to embark on board of
her, and make the best of their way back to Detroit. The force, amounting
to sixty men, with such ammunition and supplies as could be spared from the
fort, was soon under sail. In due time they entered the Detroit river, and
were almost in sight of the fort, but the critical part of the undertaking
still remained.

The river was in some places narrow, and more than eight hundred Indians
were on the alert to intercept their passage. On the afternoon of the 23d
the schooner began to move slowly up the river, with a gentle breeze, which
gradually died away, and left the vessel becalmed in the narrow channel
opposite Fighting Island, and within gunshot of an Indian ambush.

Of the sixty men on board all were crowded below deck except ten or twelve,
in hopes that the Indians, encouraged by this apparent weakness, might make
an open attack. At sunset the guards on board the vessel were doubled.
Hours wore on, and nothing had broken the deep repose of the night. At
last, the splash of muffled oars was heard. Dark objects came moving
swiftly down the stream toward the vessel. The men were ordered up from
below and took their places in perfect silence. A blow on the mast with a
hammer was to be the signal for firing. The Indians, gliding stealthily
over the water in their birch canoes, thought the prize was theirs. At last
the hammer struck the mast. The slumbering vessel burst into a blaze of
cannon and musketry, which illumined the night like a flash of lightning.
Grape and musket shot flew, tearing among the canoes, sinking some
outright, killing fourteen Indians, wounding about twenty more and driving
the rest in consternation to the shore. As the enemy opened fire from their
breastwork, the schooner weighed anchor, and, drifting with the river's
tide, floated down out of danger. Several days afterward, with a favoring
wind, she again attempted to ascend. This time she was successful, for
though the Indians fired at her constantly from the shore, no man was hurt.
As she passed the Wyandot village she sent a shower of grape among its
yelping inhabitants, by which several were killed; and then, furling her
sails, lay peacefully at anchor by the side of her companion vessel,
abreast of the fort.

The schooner brought to the garrison a much-needed supply of men,
ammunition and provisions. She also brought the important news that a
treaty of peace was concluded between France and England. But Pontiac
refused to believe it, and his war went on.

The two schooners in the river were regarded by the Indians with mingled
rage and superstition; not alone on account of the broadsides with which
their camps were bombarded, but the knowledge that the vessels served to
connect the isolated garrison with the rest of the world. They determined,
therefore, to destroy them. The inventive genius of Pontiac caused a fire
raft to be constructed by lashing together a number of canoes, piled high
with a vast quantity of combustibles. A torch was applied in several
places, and the thing of destruction was pushed off into the current.

But fortune or Providence protected the schooners, the blazing raft passed
within a hundred feet of them, and floating harmlessly down the stream,
consumed nothing but itself. This attempt was several times repeated, but
Gladwyn, on his part, provided boats and floating logs, which were moored
by chains at some distance above the vessels, and foiled every attempt.

In the meantime, unknown to the garrison, Captain Dalyell was on his way to
Detroit with twenty-two barges, bearing two hundred and eighty men, with
several small cannon, and a fresh supply of provisions and ammunition.
Under cover of night and fog they reached the fort in safety, but not until
they sustained an attack from the Indians which resulted in the loss of
fifteen men. With this expedition was Major Rogers, commander of the famous
Rogers's Rangers, and twenty of his men.

{Illustration: Hollow Horn, Sioux (Upper Brule).}

Captain Dalyell had a conference with Gladwyn, and requested permission to
march out on the following night and attack the Indian camp. The commander,
better acquainted with the position of affairs, opposed it; but Dalyell
urged the matter so strongly, Gladwyn gave a reluctant consent. About two
o'clock on the morning of July 31, the gates were silently opened, and two
hundred and fifty men marched up the road along the river's shore. In the
river, keeping abreast of the troops, two bateaux, each carrying a swivel
gun, were rowed with muffled oars. As there was no moon shining, everything
seemed favorable to strike a deadly blow at the camp of Pontiac. But though
they knew it not, that vigilant and crafty chieftain was apprised of this
movement by his spies, and with several hundred Indians lay in ambush at
the bridge across Parent's creek, a mile and a half from the fort. As the
English drew near the dangerous pass they could discern the house of
Meloche, mentioned before, upon a rising ground to the left, while in front
the bridge was dimly visible, and the ridges beyond it seemed like a wall
of blackness, partly due to the fog rising from the river. The advance
guard were half way over the bridge and the main body just entering upon
it. Suddenly there was a wild war-whoop in the darkness, and the ridges,
fences, trees and anything which could afford shelter to a savage, burst
into flame. Half the advance guard fell at the first discharge; the
terrified survivors fled to the rear, and in a moment the whole column was
thrown into confusion. Dalyell rushed to the front and did what he could to
rally his men. His clarion voice rang out above this infernal din. But all
in vain. He received several wounds, and was in the act of rescuing a
disabled soldier when he was killed. It is said that Pontiac ordered the
head of the gallant captain to be cut off and set upon a post. The total
command was demoralized by his fall. In this crisis Major Rogers and his
twenty rangers, followed by a number of the regulars, took possession of a
strong house, which commanded the road, owned by a Canadian named Campau.
Barricading the windows, they held the savages at bay and covered the
retreat. Captain Grant hurried forward and took another strong position
near the river. From here he ordered the two armed bateaux to return to a
point opposite Campau's house, and open a fire of swivels in order to
scatter the Indians and rescue Rogers and his men. This was promptly done,
and the gallant Rogers and his handful of rangers, who, by their courage,
saved the command from total destruction, were in turn rescued, just as the
savage horde was about to overpower them by sheer force of numbers. The
rangers made their way to the fort under cover of the cannonade.

The fight at Bloody Run, as Parent's creek has since been called, cost the
garrison at Detroit fifty-nine men killed and wounded, according to
Parkman, while Thatcher, strange to say, estimates the loss of the English
at _seventy men killed_ and _forty wounded._ This was the last important
event attending the prosecution of the siege.

Not long after this, the schooner Gladwyn, having been sent down to Niagara
with letters and dispatches, made the trip in safety. She was now
returning, having on  board Horst, her master; Jacobs, her mate, and a crew
of ten men, besides six Iroquois Indians, supposed to be friendly to the
English. She entered the Detroit river on the night of September 3, and in
the morning the six Indians asked to be put ashore, and the request was
foolishly granted.

That they went at once to Pontiac with a report of the weakness of the crew
there can be no doubt. Certain it is, the wind failing, the schooner
anchored about nine miles below the fort. Here she was attacked by three
hundred and fifty Indians, at night. The savages swarmed over the sides of
the vessel by scores, but they were met with such desperate courage and
furious resistance that in a few minutes the English had killed and wounded
more than twice their own number. There were only twelve men on board and
they killed and wounded twenty-seven Indians; of the wounded, eight died in
a few days. But resistance was useless. Ten or fifteen Indians surrounded
each gallant defender. Just as all seemed over, Jacobs, the mate, shouted,
"Fire the magazine, boys, and blow her up!" This desperate command saved
her and her crew. Some Wyandots understood the meaning of the words, and
gave the alarm to their companions. With a wild cry of terror the Indians
leaped from the vessel into the water, and all were seen swimming and
diving in all directions, to escape the explosion. The savages did not
renew the attack.

The next morning the Gladwyn sailed up the river, reaching the fort safely.
Six of her crew escaped unhurt; of the other six, two, including Horst, the
master, were killed and four seriously wounded, while the Indians had seven
men killed outright, and about twenty wounded, of whom eight were known to
have died within a few days. The whole action lasted but a few minutes, but
the fierceness of the struggle is apparent from the loss on both sides. The
survivors of the little crew each received a medal.

The news of the disaster at Bloody Run, following on the heels of the
ill-fated Cuyler's expedition, was conveyed to Niagara by the schooner
Gladwyn on the last voyage, just recorded.

These disasters at the siege of Detroit, together with the fact that nine
out of the twelve forts on the frontier had been captured by Pontiac's
warriors, forced Sir Jeffrey Amherst to the reluctant conclusion that the
tribes had risen in a general insurrection. As commander-in-chief of these
English forces, he saw the time had come for decisive action with a large
force if he would regain what was lost, and force the Indians into

Accordingly, he dispatched two armies, from different points, into the
heart of the Indian country. The command of the first was given to Colonel
Boquet, with orders to advance from Philadelphia to Fort Pitt, and thence
to penetrate into the midst of the Delawares and Shawnees. The other army,
under Colonel Bradstreet, was to ascend the lakes and force the tribes of
Detroit and the regions beyond to unconditional submission.

The first expedition, that under Colonel Boquet, was very successful. He
met the Indians at Bushy Run, and in a two-days' battle--one of the best
contested ever fought between white and red men--routed them completely. He
now compelled the Indians to sue for peace and surrender their captives.

News of Boquet's victory, and the approach of Colonel Bradstreet with a
force of three thousand men, soon reached the Indians besieging Detroit, in
the summer of 1764. Pontiac was too well aware of the superiority of the
English arms to indulge a hope of resisting successfully so great a force
in battle. Many of his allies were now ready to desert him and make peace
with the English. Early in the summer of 1764, a grand council was held at
Niagara by Sir William Johnson and Colonel Bradstreet, who stopped there on
his way to Detroit and the Northwest. Nearly two thousand Indians attended,
including representatives from twenty-two different tribes, eleven of them
Western--a fact strikingly indicating the immense train of operations
managed by the influence of Pontiac. Before Bradstreet and his army reached
Detroit, Pontiac and his Ottawas abandoned the siege, at least temporarily,
and repaired to the Illinois. His allies at Detroit made a treaty of peace
with Colonel Bradstreet, and thus ended the siege which had continued a
year, but, as Rogers says, "_he_ (Pontiac) _would not be personally
concerned in it,_ saying, that when he made a peace, it should be such a
one as would be useful and honorable to himself and to the King of Great
Britain. _But he has not as yet proposed his terms._"

What the great chief attempted to do about this time was to rally the
western tribes of Indiana and Illinois into a new confederation to resist
the English invaders to the last. Crossing over to the Wabash, he passed
from village to village, among the Kickapoos and the three tribes of the
Miamis, rousing them by his eloquence and breathing into them his own
fierce spirit of resistance.

He next, by rapid marches, crossed to the banks of the Mississippi, and
summoned the four tribes of the Illinois to a general council. But these
degenerate savages, beaten by the surrounding tribes for several
generations past, had lost their warlike spirit, and though still noisy and
boastful, they had become "like women, using only tongues for weapons."
They showed no zeal for fight, nor did they take any interest in the
schemes of the great war chief of the Ottawas.

But Pontiac knew how to deal with such cravens. Frowning on the cowering
assembly, he exclaimed: "If you hesitate, I will consume your tribes as a
fire consumes the dry grass on the prairie." They did not hesitate, but
professed concurrence in his views at once. It is quite probable, however,
those threatening words cost Pontiac his life, as will be seen. Even
cowards have good memories.

Leaving the Illinois, he hastened to Fort Chartres, at the head of four
hundred warriors, and demanded men and ammunition, which St. Ange, the
commander, politely refused to grant. He also sent an embassy all the way
to New Orleans to demand help from the French government, and to convey a
war belt to the distant tribes of Louisiana, urging them, in the name of
the mighty Pontiac, to prevent the English from ascending the Mississippi,
which his military genius foresaw they would attempt. In this he was right,
but their attempts were completely foiled.

The principal mission of the ambassadors was, however, a complete failure.
The government was about to be transferred from France to Spain. The
Governor granted an interview and explained the true situation. From France
no help was to be expected.

When the report of this embassy reached Pontiac, he saw that all was lost.
The foundation of all his ambitious schemes had been French interference.
He had believed a lie and rested his hopes on a delusion. As Mason says,
"His solitary will, which had controlled and combined into cooperation a
hundred restless tribes, had breathed life into a conspiracy continental in
its proportions, and had exploded a mine ramifying to forts, isolated by
hundreds of miles of unbroken wilderness, could no longer uphold the
crumbling fabric. His stormy spirit had warred with destiny, and had been

For the proud Pontiac there remained but two alternatives destruction or
submission. With a hell of hate in his heart he chose the latter. At Fort
Quiatenon, on the Wabash, near the site of Lafayette, Indiana, he met
George Croghan, the commissioner appointed by Sir William Johnson, and
formally tendered the traditional calumet of peace. Pontiac and his retinue
also accompanied Croghan to Detroit, and in the same old council-hall where
he and his sixty chiefs had attempted to destroy the garrison, the terms of
peace were arranged, and ratified by representatives from Ojibway and
Pottawatomie tribes, August 27, 1764.

Pontiac's speech on this occasion, in reply to that of Croghan, is rich in
figures and symbols, and is, therefore, quoted in full:

"Father, we have all smoked out of this pipe of peace. It is your
children's pipe; and as the war is over, and the Great Spirit and Giver of
Light, who has made the earth and everything therein, has brought us all
together this day for our mutual good, I declare to all nations that I have
settled my peace with you before I came here, and now deliver my pipe to be
sent to Sir William Johnson, that he may know I have made peace, and taken
the King of England for my father, in the presence of all the nations now
assembled; and whenever any of those nations go to visit him, they may
smoke out of it with him in peace. Fathers, we are obliged to you for
lighting up our old council-fire for us, and desiring us to return to it;
but we are now settled on the Miami river, not far from hence. Whenever you
want us you will find us there.

"Our people love liquor, and if we dwelt near you in our old village of
Detroit, our warriors would be always drunk, and quarrels would arise
between us and you."

The wise chief could see that drunkenness was the bane of his whole unhappy
race, and therefore chose to be remote from the white settlement. He kept
his young men away from whisky. When will the white chiefs be as wise and
keep whisky away from their young men?

The following spring, 1766, Pontiac was as good as his word, and visited
Sir William Johnson at his castle on the Mohawk, and in behalf of the
tribes lately banded in his confederation concluded a treaty of peace and

From this time he disappears from the page of history, only to reappear in
the closing scene in the eventful drama of his life. He is believed to have
lived like a common warrior, with a remnant of his tribe, in different
parts of what is now the States of Indiana and Illinois.

In April, 1769, he went to St. Louis, and made a two days' visit with his
old friend, St. Ange, who was then in command at that post, having offered
his services to the Spaniards after the cession of Louisiana. St. Ange,
Pierre Chouteau and other principal inhabitants of the little settlement,
entertained him and his attendant chiefs with cordial hospitality for
several days. But hearing that there was a large assembly of Illinois
Indians at Cahokia, on the Illinois side of the river, Pontiac, against the
advice of his friends, determined to go over and see what was going
forward. It was at this time he was arrayed in the full uniform of a French
officer, which had been presented to him by the Marquis of Montcalm as a
token of esteem, and this fact tended to excite uneasiness, as well as to
enrage the English traders at Cahokia, who believed the chief did it to add
insult to injury.

The gathering in progress proved to be a trading and drinking bout, in
which the remorseless English traders, as usual, plied the Indians with
whisky in order to swindle them, while intoxicated, out of their furs. The
place was full of Illinois Indians, but Pontiac held them in contempt, and
accepted the hospitality of the friendly Creoles of Cahokia, and, at such
primitive entertainment the whisky bottle would not fail to play its part.
Pontiac soon became intoxicated himself, and starting to the neighboring
woods was shortly afterward heard singing magic songs, in the mystic
influence of which he reposed the greatest confidence.

An English trader, named Williamson, was then in the village, who, in
common with the rest of his countrymen, regarded Pontiac with the greatest
distrust, probably augmented by the visit of the chief to St. Louis, and
while the opportunity was favorable, determined to effect his destruction.
Approaching a strolling Indian of the Kaskaskia band of the Illinois tribe,
he bribed him with a barrel of whisky and a promise of a further reward to
murder the great chief.

It will be remembered that Pontiac incurred the hatred of this tribe by
saying to them when in council, "If you hesitate, I will consume your
tribes as the fire consumes the dry grass on the prairie." No doubt those
words had been rankling in the hearts of the Illinois Indians ever since,
for an Indian never forgets a friend or forgives an injury, and now the
hour of revenge has come. The bargain was quickly made. The assassin glided
up behind Pontiac in the forest and buried a tomahawk in the mighty brain
in which all ambitions were dead forever.

Thus basely terminated the career of the warrior whose great natural
endowments made him the greatest of his race, but his memory is still
cherished by the remnant of the tribes who felt the power of his influence.

The body was soon found, and the village became a pandemonium of howling
savages. His few friends seized their arms to wreak vengeance on the
perpetrator of the murder, but the Illinois, interposing in behalf of their
countryman, drove them from the town. Foiled in their attempt to obtain
retribution they fled to the tribes over whom Pontiac had held sway, to
spread the tidings and call them to avenge his murder. Meanwhile St. Ange
procured the body of his guest, and mindful of his former friendship,
buried it with warlike honors near the fort under his command at St. Louis.

A war of extermination was declared against the abettors of this crime.
Swarms of Ottawas, Sacs, Foxes, Pottawatomies and other northern tribes who
had been fired by the eloquence, or led to victory by the martyred chief,
descended on the prairies of Illinois, and whole villages and tribes were
extirpated to appease his shade.

It was at this time that the famous "Starved Rock" took its expressive but
unpoetical name. It is a rocky bluff about six miles below the beautiful
city of Ottawa, Illinois, named after the tribe of which Pontiac was head
chief. The great rock overhangs the sluggish Illinois river on the left
bank, and is about one hundred and twenty-five feet high and inaccessible
except by a narrow and difficult path in the rear. Its top is nearly an
acre in extent. Here La Salle and Tonty built a palisade, which they named
Fort St. Louis, and collected at its base about twenty thousand Indians,
whom they formed into a defensive league against the encroachments of the
dreaded Iroquois.

Tradition states, that in the war of extermination which followed the
cold-blooded and unprovoked murder of Pontiac in time of peace, a remnant
of the Illinois Indians made their last stand at this famous stronghold.
Here they were besieged by a vastly superior force of Pottawatomies. But
the besieged knew that a few warriors could defend this rock against a
host, and defied their enemies for a time and kept them at bay. Hunger and
thirst, more formidable enemies, however, soon accomplished what the foe
was unable to effect. Their small quantity of provisions quickly failed,
and their supply of water was stopped by the enemy severing the cords of
rawhide attached to the vessels by which they elevated it from the river
below. Thus environed by relentless foes, they took a last lingering look
at their beautiful hunting grounds, spread out like a panorama on the
gently rolling river and slowly gave way to despair.

{Illustration: Starved Rock.}

Charles Lanman says of this tragic event, "Day followed day, and the last
lingering hope was abandoned. Their destiny was sealed, and no change for
good could possibly take place, for the human bloodhounds that watched
their prey were utterly without mercy. The feeble white-haired chief crept
into a thicket and breathed his last. The recently strong warrior, uttering
a protracted but feeble yell of exultation, hurled his tomahawk at some
fiend below and then yielded himself up to the pains of his condition. The
blithe form of the soft-eyed youth parted with his strength, and was
compelled to totter and fall upon the earth and die. Ten weary, weary days
passed on, and the strongest man and the last of his tribe was numbered
with the dead."

Years afterward their bones were seen whitening on the summit of this lofty
fortress, known since as "Starved Rock."

All this horrible torture and slaughter was because a brutal English Indian
trader (and most of them were brutal) bribed an Indian already drunk on the
whisky he had supplied, to murder probably one of the greatest warriors and
rulers of all history, considering his environment.

"But," as Parkman, the  great chieftain's biographer, strikingly says,
"Could his shade have revisited the scene of murder, his savage spirit
would have exulted in the vengeance which overwhelmed the abettors of the
crime. Tradition has but faintly preserved the memory of the event and its
only annalists, men who held the intestine feuds of the savage tribes in no
more account than the quarrels of panthers or wildcats, have left but a
meager record. Yet enough remains to tell us that over the grave of Pontiac
more blood was poured out in atonement than flowed from the hecatombs of
slaughtered heroes on the corpse of Patroelus.

"Neither mound nor tablet marked the burial-place of Pontiac. For a
mausoleum, a city has risen above the forest hero, and the race whom he
hated with such burning rancor tramples with unceasing footsteps over his
forgotten grave. {FN} But he became a model and inspiration for subsequent

Michigan, where his eventful life was largely spent, and Illinois, where it
ended, have each a beautiful city preserving his name. It is also embalmed
in tradition and legend. And nature, kinder than man, had built for him a
colossal monument which will endure for ages, and be known throughout all
time as "Starved  Rock."

                              * * * * *

 {FN} F. M. Crunden, Librarian, Public Library of St. Louis, wrote the
 author: "It is believed that Pontiac was buried on the site of the present
 Southern Hotel here; and a tablet marking his burial-place is there now."

                           CHAPTER VI.


                          OF CORNSTALK.

This unfortunate chief is better known to the world by the eloquent and
pathetic speech, which he has left as a record of his misfortunes and
sorrows, than by his exploits in war. His father, Shikellimus, was a Cayuga
chief, whose house was on the borders of Cayuga Lake, in New York. He was a
personal friend of the benevolent James Logan, the intimate friend of
William Penn and the founder of the Logonian Library, at Philadelphia. The
name of the second son was probably derived from this person.

Logan inherited his gifts and noble nature from his father, who was ever a
lover of peace, and also known as the white man's friend. His wigwam was
famed far and near as the abode of hospitality, friendship, and kindness.
It was a wigwam, but there was something of the halo about it which
invested a feudal castle in the days of English chivalry and romance.

Shikellimus was a good provider, and those who gathered around his
comfortable fire, which was lighted for every stranger by the forest
chieftain, felt the independence of the lone traveler in some old baronial
hall; and he who presided at the feast to which all were welcome, was not
less noble or less dignified than an English lord. Had there been a pen to
record his hospitality and _table talk,_ there would probably have been
seen in it more wisdom than entered into the discourse of many a prince or
potentate. But, alas, for forest eloquence, it was wafted only by the
breeze, and its echo died away forever.

So much for the environment of the home of his childhood. Another thing
which no doubt influenced his character was the fact that in boyhood he
came under the influence of the sweet-spirited Moravian missionaries, with
their gentle manners and soothing words. There was about him a similar
quiet and softened dignity, a refinement of sentiment and delicacy of
feeling, which characterizes none but the lofty, and exhales from none but
the pure.

Logan moved in early life to the banks of the Juniata, which is a
beautiful little river, flowing through a wild, romantic country, watered
also by the Susquehanna. In a pleasant valley he built his cabin, and
married a Shawnee wife. Thus he became identified with the Shawnees and
Delawares, though belonging to the Six Nations. Logan inherited his
father's talents of oratory and bid fair to be equally prosperous. He took
no part in the French and Indian war of 1760, nor that of Pontiac which
followed, except to assume the role of peacemaker.

His house, like his father's, was the Indian's and the white man's home,
the dwelling-place of love. Alas! that the milk of human kindness in his
bosom should ever have been turned to gall by cruel and inhuman wrongs. In
his childhood a little cousin had been taken captive by white men, under
aggravating circumstances, but for this he did not become the foe of the
white race.

"Forgive and forget," seems to have been his motto at this time; and he
lived to be an aged man, before vengeance took possession of his soul.

In all the country where he dwelt he was known, and to every cottage Logan
was welcome; terror did not creep into the heart of woman nor fear disturb
the little child, when his footsteps were heard at their doors. And this,
as was afterwards proved, was not because he had not all the traits which
make a brave warrior, but from a settled principle that all men were
brothers and should love one another.

Minnie Myrtle, in her interesting book, "The Iroquois," says of Logan: "He
set forth at one time on a hunting expedition, and was alone in the forest.
Two white hunters were engaged in the same sport, and having killed a bear
in a wild gorge, were about to rest beside a babbling spring, when they saw
an Indian form reflected in the water. They sprang to their feet and
grasped their rifles, but the Indian bent forward and struck the rifles
from their hands, and spilt the powder from their flasks. Then stretching
forth his open palm in token of friendship, he seated himself beside them
and won his way to their hearts. For a week they roamed together, hunting
and fishing by day and sleeping by the same fire at night. It was Logan,
and henceforth their brother. At the end of their hunt, he pursued his way
over the Alleghenies, to his lodge, and they returned to their homes, never
again to point a gun at an Indian's heart.

"Some white men on a journey stopped at his cabin to rest. For amusement a
shooting match was proposed, at which the wager was to be a dollar a shot.
During the sport Logan lost five shots, and when they had finished he
entered his lodge and brought out five deer skins in payment of his losses,
as a dollar a skin was the established price in those days and the red
man's money. But his guests refused to take them, saying they had only
been shooting for sport and wished no forfeit. But the honorable Indian
would take no denial, replying, 'If you had lost the shots I should have
taken your dollars, but as I have lost, take my skins.'

"Another time he wished to buy grain, and took his skins to a tailor, who
adulterated the wheat, thinking the Indian _would not know._ But the miller
informed him, and advised him to apply to a magistrate for redress. He went
to a Mr. Brown, who kindly saw that his loss was made up, for Logan came
often to his house, and he knew his noble heart and grieved to see him
wronged. As he was waiting the decision of the magistrate, he played with
a little girl, who was just trying to walk, and the mother remarked that
she needed some shoes, which she was not able to purchase for her.

"The child was very fond of Logan and loved to sit upon his knee, and when
he went away was ready to go too. He asked the mother if he might take her
to his cabin for the day, and she, knowing well the attention which would
be bestowed upon her in the Indian's lodge, consented. Toward night there
was a little anxiety about the child, but the shades of evening had
scarcely begun to deepen, when Logan was seen wending his way to the
cottage with his precious charge; and when he placed her in her mother's
arms, she saw upon her feet a tiny pair of moccasins, neatly wrought and
ornamented with beads, that his own skilful hands had made. Was not this a
delicate way  of showing gratitude and expressing friendship? Was it a rude
and savage nature that prompted this attention to a little child, to
gladden a mother's heart? Not all the refined teachings of civilization
could have invented a more beautiful tribute of sympathy and grateful

The hunters and backwoodsmen of the period describe Logan as a chief or
headman, among the outlying parties of Senecas and Cayugas, and the
fragments of broken tribes that lived along the upper Ohio and its

They tell us he was a man of splendid appearance, over six feet tall,
straight as a spear-shaft, with countenance as open as it was brave and
manly, until the wrongs he endured stamped on it an expression of gloomy
ferocity. He had always been the friend of the white man, and had been
noted particularly for his kindness and gentleness to children. Up to this
time he had lived at peace with the borderers, for though some of his kin
had been massacred by the whites, years before, he had forgiven the
deed--probably because he had knowledge of the fact that others of his
relatives and people had been concerned in equally bloody massacres of the

A skilled marksman and mighty hunter, of commanding presence, who treated
all men with grave courtesy and dignity, and exacted the same treatment in
return, he was a prime favorite with all the white hunters and borderers
whose friendship and goodwill was worth having. They admired him for his
skill and courage, and they loved him for his straightforward integrity and
his noble loyalty to his friends of both races.

In the "American Pioneer" an old hunter is quoted as saying that he
considered "Logan the best specimen of humanity he ever met with, either
white or red."

Logan was never tempted to touch a drop of "fire-water" until after his
great wrongs kindled revenge in his soul. He adopted few of the customs
and rejected all the vices of civilization. Such was Logan before the evil
days came upon him and his heart was fired with the passion for revenge.
And such, indeed, would have been recorded of many other Indians had they
received the same kind treatment they extended to the whites. But, "alas
for the rarity of human charity under the sun."

Early in the spring the border settlers began to suffer from the deeds of
straggling bands of Indians. {FN} Horses were stolen, one or two murders
were committed, the inhabitants of the more outlying cabins fled to the
forts, and the frontiersmen began to threaten fierce vengeance.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Thatcher says these robberies were all charged to Indians, "though
 perhaps, not justly, for it is well known that a large number of civilized
 adventurers were traversing the frontiers at this time, who sometimes
 disguised themselves as Indians and committed many depredations and even

On April 16 an Indian trader by the name of Butler had his store attacked
and plundered by a roving band of Cherokees. Of the three men in charge at
the time one was killed, another wounded, but the third made his escape and
raised the alarm. Immediately after this, Connolly, who was acting as
Governor Dunmore's lieutenant on the border, issued an open letter,
commanding the frontiersmen to hold themselves in readiness to repel any
attack of the Indians, as the Shawnees were known to be hostile.

Among the backwoodsmen was one Michael Cresap, a Maryland borderer, who had
moved to the banks of the Ohio to establish a home for his family.
Roosevelt, in "The Winning of the West," says of Cresap: "He was of the
regular pioneer type; a good woodsman, sturdy and brave, a fearless
fighter, devoted to his friends and his country; but alas, when his blood
was heated, and his savage instincts fairly roused, inclined to regard any
red man, whether hostile or friendly as a being who should be slain on
sight. Nor did he condemn the brutal deeds done by others on innocent

Cresap, who had been appointed a captain of the frontier militia, was near
Wheeling at the time Connolly's letter was received, with a band of hunters
and scouts. These were fearless men who had adopted many of the ways of the
Indians, including their method both of declaring war and fighting. Of
course, they put a very liberal interpretation upon the order given them by
Connolly to repel an attack and proceeded to declare war in the regular
Indian style. Calling a council, they planted the war-post, and after
marching around it many times, brandishing their hatchets, knives, swords
or whatever weapon they carried, all at a signal from their leader struck
the post, leaving their weapons sticking in it, and waited eagerly for a
chance to attack their common enemy, the Indians.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, the first blood shed was that of
friendly Indians. It seems that Butler, the Indian trader, hoping to
recover some of the peltries of which he had been robbed by the Cherokees,
had sent two friendly Shawnees in a canoe to the place of massacre. Cresap
and his men ambushed these friendly Indians on the 27th near Captina, and
killed and scalped them. Some of the more humane of the frontiersmen
strongly protested against this outrage; but a large majority of them were
excited and enraged by the rumor of Indian hostilities, and threatened to
kill whoever interfered with them, cursing the traders as being worse than
the Indians, as was often the case. Cresap boasted of the murder, and never
said a word against scalping. The next day he again led out his men and
attacked another party of Shawnees, who had been trading near Pittsburg,
killed one and wounded two others, one of the whites being also wounded.

Shortly after this Cresap and his band started to Logan's camp, then
located at Yellow Creek, some fifty miles distant. After marching several
miles they began to reflect on what they were about to do; calling a halt,
they discussed the fact that the camp they were going to attack consisted
of friendly Indians, and mainly women and children; their better nature
asserted itself, and they immediately returned home.

{Illustration: Logan, or Tal-Ga-Yee-Ta, the Mingo Chief and Orator.}

"But," as Roosevelt says, "Logan's people did not profit by Cresap's change
of heart. On the last day of April a small party of men, women and
children, including almost all of Logan's kin, left his camp and crossed
the river to visit Daniel Greathouse, as had been their custom; for he made
a trade of selling rum to the savages, though Cresap had notified him to
stop. The whole party were plied with liquor, and became helplessly drunk,
in which condition Greathouse and his associate criminals fell on and
massacred them, nine souls in all. It was an inhuman and revolting deed,
which should consign the names of the perpetrators to eternal infamy."

The whole family of Logan perished in this and other similar massacres; in
one of the last were his brother and sister.

It will excite the wonder of no man that Logan from this moment breathed
nothing but vengeance against the treacherous and inhuman whites. A
general Indian war immediately followed. Logan was the foremost in leading
his countrymen to the slaughter of their perfidious enemies. On July 12,
with a party of only eight warriors, he attacked a settlement on the
Muskingum, captured two prisoners and carried them off. When they arrived
at an Indian town, they delivered them to the inhabitants, who at once
prepared to put them to death by torture. Logan, however, in the heat of
his vindictive feelings, displayed the humanity of his nature. He cut the
cords of one of the prisoners, a man named Robinson, who was about to be
burned at the stake, and saved his life at the risk of his own. A few days
afterward he suddenly appeared to this prisoner with some gunpowder, ink
and a wild-goose quill, wherewith to make a pen, and dictated to him a
note. This note was afterward tied to a war-club and left in the house of a
settler, whose entire family had been butchered by the savages. It was
brief, but written with ferocious directness to the man whom he wrongly
believed to be the author of his heart-rending troubles. It read as

"Captain Cresap"

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

   "July 21, 1774.                 Captain John Logan."

The frontier was now in a blaze, and the Indians made preparations for war.
The Mingos, Shawnees, Delawares, Wyandots and outlying Iroquois, especially
the Senecas, together with a party of warriors of the Miamis from western
Ohio, all banded themselves together, under the command of Cornstalk, the
great Shawnee chieftain, and Logan.

Meantime Governor Dunmore was making ready a formidable army with which to
overwhelm the hostile Indians. The plan was to raise three thousand men;
one half, or the northern wing, was to be under the command of Lord Dunmore
in person, while the other, composed entirely of border men, living among
the mountains west of the Blue Ridge, was under Gen. Andrew Lewis.

Both wings were ordered to take a position at Point Pleasant, where the
Great Kanawha empties into the Ohio. The division led by Lewis reached this
place and, having camped on a jut of land between the two rivers, waited
the coming of Lord Dunmore and his command.

But the crafty Cornstalk did not propose to wait for the coming of the
other wing; through his runners he had full knowledge of the movements of
the frontier militia. He was greatly outnumbered; but he had at his command
over a thousand warriors, the very pick of the young men to be found among
the tribes between the Great Lakes and the Ohio. His foes were divided, and
he determined to strike a decisive blow before they were again united.
Accordingly, he led his long file of warriors to the mouth of the Kanawha,
and attacked the division under Lewis on the morning of October 10, 1774,
about daylight.

This battle, known in history by two names--Point Pleasant and the Great
Kanawha--was purely an American affair because it was fought solely by the
backwoodsmen on one side, and American Indians on the other. It was Greek
meeting Greek, or, better still, white American meeting Red, and was one of
the most stubbornly fought and bravely contested in the annals of history.

The fight was a succession of single combats, each man sheltering himself
behind a stump, or rock, or tree-trunk, or whatever was at hand. The
backwoodsmen were the best shots, but the Indians excelled in the art of
hiding and shielding themselves from harm. The two lines, though more than
a mile in length, were so close together that many of the combatants
grappled in hand-to-hand combat, using knife or tomahawk. The crack of the
rifles was continuous, while above the noise could be heard the groans of
the wounded and the shouts of the combatants, as each encouraged his own
side or jeered at the enemy. The cheers of the whites mingled with the
war-whoops of the Indians. The chiefs continued to exhort their warriors to
still greater deeds of valor.

Cornstalk, the commander of the savages, distinguished himself in all his
maneuvers throughout the engagement by the skill as well as the bravery of
a consummate general. During the whole of the day his stentorian voice was
heard throughout the ranks of his enemies, vociferating, "Be strong! be
strong!" After an incessant fire of about twelve hours' duration darkness
put an end to the conflict. The Indians now made a most skilful retreat,
carrying all their wounded in safety across the Ohio, and the Americans
were too exhausted to pursue them.

This battle was not only stubbornly contested but bloody. The whites,
though claiming the victory, had suffered more than their foes, and indeed
had won only because it was against the entire policy of Indian warfare to
suffer a severe loss, even if a victory could be gained thereby. Some
seventy-five of the whites had been killed or mortally wounded, and one
hundred and forty severely or slightly wounded, so that they lost a fifth
of their entire number. Of the Indians, the loss was not much more than
half as many; only about forty were killed or mortally wounded. No chief of
importance was slain among the Indians, while the whites lost in succession
their second, third and fourth in command, and had seventeen officers
killed or wounded.

The spirit of the Indians had been broken by their defeat. Cornstalk and
Logan alone were ready and eager to continue the war. But when the former
saw that he could not stir the hearts of his warriors, even with his
burning eloquence, to continue the war, he stuck his tomahawk into the
war-post, and said that if he could not lead them in battle he would lead
them in making peace. Accordingly, with all his fellow-chiefs, except
Logan, he went to Lord Dunmore's camp, and there entered into a treaty.
In this the Indians agreed to surrender all the white prisoners and stolen
horses in their possession, to renounce all claim to the lands south of the
Ohio, and to give hostages as an earnest of their good faith.

Cornstalk was their chief spokesman, and though obliged to assent to the
conditions imposed, yet preserved through all the proceedings a bearing of
proud defiance that showed that he at least was not conquered, and was a
stranger to fear. In all his talks, he addressed the white leaders with a
tone of vehement denunciation and reproach, that seemed to evince more the
attitude of a conqueror than of one of the conquered. The Virginians, who
prized skill in oratory only less than skill in warfare, were greatly
impressed by the chieftain's eloquence, marvelous voice and majestic
bearing. Some of them afterwards stated that his oratory fully equaled that
of their great speakers, Richard Henry Lee and Patrick Henry.

Meantime Logan remained apart in the Mingo village, brooding over his
wrongs and the vengeance he had taken. The other Indians, when asked about
Logan and the reason of his absence, replied that he was like an angry dog,
whose bristles were still up, but that they were gradually falling, and
when he was urged to attend the meeting he replied that he was a warrior,
not a councillor, and would not come.

Since the mountain would not come to Mohammed, that prophet was forced to
go to the mountain; as it was deemed absolutely imperative to have an
understanding with this great leader, and learn his intentions. Accordingly
a messenger was sent to interview Logan. John Gibson, a frontier veteran,
who had long lived among the Indians and knew thoroughly both their
language and their manners and customs, was chosen for this task. To him
Logan was willing to talk. Taking him aside, he suddenly addressed him in
a speech that will always retain its place as one of the finest outbursts
of Indian eloquence recorded in the history of our country. John Gibson was
a plain, honest backwoodsman, utterly incapable of "doctoring" a speech for
the better, so he took it down in writing, translating it literally, and,
returning to camp, put it into Dunmore's hands. The Governor then read it
in council before the entire frontier army, including George Rogers Clark
and Cresap, to whom Logan imputed the butchery of his family.

The speech, when read, proved no acknowledgment of defeat, nor expression
of desire for peace, but rather a pathetic recital of the heartbreaking
wrongs which had been perpetrated against him, even though innocent of
harming the whites, and a fierce justification of the vengeance he had
taken. The justly famous speech is as follows:

"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 camp, an advocate for peace. {FN} Such was my love for the whites
that my countrymen pointed as I passed and said, 'Logan is the friend of
the white man.' 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 runs 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."

                              * * * * *

  {FN} Logan here refers to the French and Indian and Pontiac wars, when
  he refused, positively, to join the Indians, though often urged to dig
  up the hatchet.

The backwoodsmen listened with almost breathless attention to the reading
of this speech, and many of them no doubt regretted the wanton and brutal
murder. They were so much impressed by it, that it was the one subject of
conversation around the evening campfire, and they continually attempted to
rehearse it to each other. {FN} This was especially true of the last
clause; one would ask the question, "Who is there to mourn for Logan?"
and another would answer with much feeling, "Not one." But they were very
well aware that Daniel Greathouse, and not Michael Cresap, was the guilty
fiend who wantonly murdered this innocent family, and when the speech was
read George Rogers Clark turned to Cresap and said, "You must be a very
great man, that the Indians shoulder you with every mean thing that has
happened." Whereat Cresap, much angered, swore that he had a good mind to
tomahawk Greathouse for this heinous murder. We can only express a regret
that Cresap did not carry out his threat, and a hope that some Indian meted
out justice to Greathouse as he richly deserved.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Jefferson's Manuscript

Concerning this powerful address, Thomas Jefferson says: "I may challenge
the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent
orator--if Europe has furnished more eminent--to produce a single passage
superior to the speech of Logan"; and Clinton, in his "Historical
Discourse," subscribes to this noble eulogium:

               "Old Logan was the white man's friend
                But injuries forced his love to end;
                Of children, wife and kindred shorn,
                None left for him to joy or mourn,
                He rose in calm, vindictive ire,
                And bade them, by their fathers slain,
                No more in voiceless peace remain,
                But lift the brand, and battle cry.
                For vengeance, if not victory." {FN}

                              * * * * *

  {FN} Minnie Myrtle.

Roosevelt says, of the close of his career, "Proud, gloomy Logan never
recovered from the blow that had been dealt him; he drank deeper and
deeper, and became more and more an implacable, moody and blood-thirsty
savage, yet with noble qualities that came to the surface now and then.
Again and again he wrought havoc among the frontier settlers; yet we
several times hear of his saving the lives of prisoners. Once he saved
Simon Kenton from torture and death, when Girty, moved by a rare spark of
compassion for his former comrade, had already tried to do so and failed.
At last he perished in a drunken brawl by the hand of another Indian."

We notice the authorities differ in their account of Logan's death. Drake
says of him: "The melancholy history of Logan must be dismissed with no
relief to its gloomy colors. He was himself a victim to the same ferocious
cruelty which had already rendered him a desolate man. Not long after the
treaty (of Wayne at Greenville) a party of whites murdered him as he was
returning from Detroit to his own country."

There were none to mourn for Logan; but as Jefferson well says, "his
talents and misfortunes have attached to him the respect and commiseration
of a world."

Cornstalk died a noble death, but by an act of cowardly treachery, which is
one of the darkest stains on the pages of our frontier history. In the
early part of the year 1777 he came into the garrison at Point Pleasant to
explain that, while he was anxious to keep the terms of the treaty his
warriors were determined to go to war; and frankly added, that if they did
he would be compelled to join them. He and three others, including his son,
Ellinipsieo, and the chief Red Hawk, were retained as hostages and confined
in the fort. About this time a member of a company of rangers was killed by
the Indians near the fort; whereupon his comrades, headed by their captain,
one John Hall, rushed furiously into the fort to murder the Indian
prisoners. Cornstalk heard them rushing in and knew what to expect. Never
for an instant did his courage fail him. Turning to Ellinipsieo, the
youngest of the group, he thus exhorted him: "My son, the Great Spirit has
seen fit that we should die together, and has sent you to that end. It is
his will, and let us submit." Then, drawing his blanket around him, with
the grace and dignity of a Roman Senator, he faced his assassins, and fell
dead, pierced by seven or eight bullets. The other helpless and unarmed
Indians were butchered at the same time.

Mr. Withers, in his "Chronicles," writes thus of Cornstalk and this
indefensible murder: "Thus perished the mighty Cornstalk, a sachem of the
Shawnees, and King of the Northern Confederacy, in 1774, a chief remarkable
for many great and good qualities. He was disposed to be at all times the
friend of the white men, as he ever was the advocate of honorable peace.
But when his country's wrongs 'called aloud for battle,' he became the
thunderbolt of war, and made her oppressors feel the weight of his uplifted
arm. His noble bearing, his generous and disinterested attachment to the
colonies when the thunder of British cannon was reverberating through the
land, his anxiety to preserve the frontier of Virginia from desolation and
death, the object of his visit to Point Pleasant--all conspired to win for
him the esteem and respect of others; while the untimely and perfidious
manner of his death caused a deep and lasting regret to pervade the bosoms
even of those who were enemies to his nation, and excited the just
indignation of all toward his inhuman and barbarous murderers."

{Illustration: Logan and the Two Hunters.}

                             CHAPTER VII.


                     THE IROQUOIS CONFEDERATION.

This remarkable man was born on the banks of the Ohio in 1742. His father,
who bore the unpronounceable and unspellable name of Tehowaghwengaraghkwin,
was a subordinate chief of the Wolf totem or clan of the Mohawk tribe.

There were two other rival clans among the Mohawks, known as the Tortoise
or Turtle, and the Bear, while among the entire Iroquois confederation
there were eight, the other five being the Crane, Snipe, Hawk, Beaver and
Deer clans.

The following interesting legend is told of the ancestors of our hero. The
scene is laid at what is known as the Little Falls of the Mohawk:

"Long ago, when the river was broader and the falls more lofty, a feud
arose between two young chiefs of the respective clans of the Mohawk
nation, the Wolf and the Tortoise. A maiden of the Bear totem was the cause
of the feud, as maidens often are. She was loved by both the young chiefs,
and for a time she so coquetted that each thought himself beloved by her in
return. Her father was a stern old warrior and loved his child tenderly.
Both chiefs had fought the Mingoes and Mohegans by his side, and the
bravery of each entitled him to the hand of the maiden. Her affections were
at length stirred by the more earnest importunities of the Wolf, and she
promised to become his bride. This decision reached the ears of the
Tortoise, and the embers of jealousy, which disturbed both while unaccepted
suitors, burst into a flame of ungenerous revenge in the bosom of the
disappointed lover. He determined to possess the coveted treasure before
the Wolf should take her to his wigwam. With well-dissembled acquiescence
in her choice, and expressions of warm friendship for herself and her
affianced, he allayed all suspicions, and the maiden rambled with him in
the moonlight upon the banks of the river when her affianced was away,
unconscious of danger. The day approached for the maiden to go to the
wigwam of her lord. The Tortoise was with her alone in a secluded nook upon
the brink of the river. His light canoe was near and he proposed a voyage
to a beautiful little island in the stream, where the fire-flies sparkled
and the whippoorwill chanted its evening serenade. They launched, but,
instead of paddling for the island, the Tortoise turned his prow toward the
cataract. Like an arrow they sped down the swift current, while the young
chief, with vigorous arm, paddled for the western shore. Skilful as with
the bow and hatchet, he steered his canoe to the mouth of the cavern, then
upon the water's brink, seized the affrighted maiden, and leaped ashore, at
the same moment securing his canoe by a strong green withe. The cave was
dry, a soft bed of the skins of beasts was spread, and abundance of
provision was there stored. At the top of the cave, far above the maiden's
reach, an opening revealed a passage through the fissures to the rocks
above. It was known only to the Tortoise; and there he kept the maiden many
months, until her affianced gave her up as lost to him forever. At length,
while hunting on the southern hills in flowery May, the Wolf saw the canoe
at the mouth of the cave. It solved the question in his mind. The evening
was clear, and the full moon shone brightly. He waited until midnight,
when, with an arm as strong and skill as accurate as his rival's, he
steered his canoe to the mouth of the cavern, which was lighted up by the
moon. By its light he saw the perfidious Tortoise sleeping peacefully by
the side of his unwilling bride. The Wolf smote the Tortoise, but the wound
was slight. The awakened warrior, unable to grasp his hatchet in the dark,
bounded through the opening at the top of the cavern and closed it with a
heavy stone. The lovers embraced in momentary joy. It was brief, for a
fearful doom seemed to await them. The Tortoise would return with force,
and they had to make choice of death by the hatchet of the rival chief, or
the waters of the cataract. The latter was their choice, and, in
affectionate embrace, they sat in their canoe and made the fearful leap.
The frail vessel struck propitiously upon the boiling waters, and,
unharmed, passed over the gulf below. Down the broad stream they glided,
and far away, upon the margin of the lower lake, they lived and loved for
two generations, and saw their children's children go out to the battle and
the chase. In the line of their descent tradition avers, came Brant, the
Mohawk sachem, the _strong_ Wolf of his nation."

It is said that Brant's Indian name, Thay-en-da-ne-gea, signifies a bundle
of sticks, or, in other words, strength. Joseph Brant, in company with two
older brothers, fought his first battle at Lake George, under the famous
chief, King Hendrick.

It may be interesting to recall the fact that it was from this noted chief
that Sir William Johnson obtained a choice tract of land on the Mohawk, in
the following manner. The sachem, being at the baronet's house, saw a
richly embroidered coat and coveted it. The next morning he said to Sir
William, "Brother, me dream last night." "Indeed," answered Sir William,
"what did my red brother dream?" "Me dream that coat be mine." "It is
yours," said the shrewd baronet. Not long afterward Sir William visited
the sachem, and he, too, had a dream. "Brother," he said, "I dreamed last
night." "What did my pale-faced brother dream?" asked Hendrick. "I dreamed
that this tract of land was mine," describing a square bounded on the south
by the Mohawk, on the east by Canada creek, and north and west by objects
equally well known. Hendrick was astonished. He saw the enormity of the
request, for it embraced nearly a hundred thousand acres, but he was not to
be outdone in generosity. He sat thoughtfully for a moment, and then said,
"Brother, the land is yours, but you must not dream again." The title was
confirmed by the British government, and the tract was called the Royal
Grant. Thus did Sir William Johnson become, next to the Penns, and Lord
Fairfax, the largest landholder in the colonies.

Brant's father died in the Ohio country and his mother returned to
Canajoharie, on the Mohawk, with the two younger children--Mary, or Mollie,
as she was usually called, and Joseph.

By traffic with the Indians for furs, Sir William Johnson acquired a large
fortune. He erected two splendid and spacious buildings, which he called
the "Castle" and "Hall," respectively, occupying one in winter, the other
in summer.

Four or five years after he built the castle, the wife of Colonel Johnson,
as he was then called, a plain, fair-haired German girl of humble lineage,
died, leaving her husband one boy, John, and two baby daughters. One day
the widower attended a muster of the county militia.

As an officer came riding by on a prancing steed, a bright-eyed,
red-cheeked Indian girl of sixteen, a real beauty, with her white teeth,
long, flowing black hair, and a form of rare symmetry and grace, laughingly
bantered him for a ride. The officer told her she might jump on if she
could. Quick as a flash the agile girl leaped up on the horse behind the
gallant rider, and clinging to him, her hair and ribbons blowing wildly in
the breeze, rode round and round on the flying steed before the applauding

One man took more than ordinary interest in the incident. It was the
susceptible and lonely widower. That night Mollie Brant, Joseph's sister,
who was the dusky beauty, went home with the baronet to Johnson Castle,
becoming thenceforth the mistress alike of it and its proprietor. The
motherless daughters were assigned apartments of their own, where they
lived in complete seclusion under the care of a devoted friend of their
mother, an officer's widow. Their time was occupied with needlework or
study. Their library consisted of the Bible and prayer-book, Rollin's
"Ancient History," and a few English novels of the period. A game of chess,
a walk in the park, or a drive along the river road, constituted their only
amusements. At the age of sixteen they had never seen a lady other than
their governess. Occasionally some gentleman visitor came to Johnson Hall.
This served to break the monotony for the lonely girls, to whom such a
guest was always presented. They married early, and their father built for
them two elegant stone residences a few miles from the castle.

Far different from this conventual life of the two daughters was that led
below stairs by their father. From the first, Sir William acquired great
influence over the warriors of the far-famed Six Nations or Iroquois
Confederation. The negotiations of the British Government with these
Indians were all carried on through him. The castle was his storehouse,
where large supplies of guns, ammunition and trinkets were kept for trade.
Around the castle were clusters of cabins for the accommodation of Indians
who came to traffic.

Sir William also kept a bounteous table open to every comer. The Indians
would visit him day and night, sleeping in the halls, on the steps or in
the cabins, as suited their fancy, and faring on their host's sumptuous
provision for days at a time. The natural genius of the baronet for
controlling the restless red men was greatly aided by his questionable
alliance with Mollie Brant. She was immensely popular, possessed a shrewd
intelligence, and acquired great influence over her people. Sir William,
moreover, by this alliance, for he married her near the close of his life
in order to make her children legitimate, won the hearts of the warriors.
His castle, to which they were always glad to come, was considered the
splendid establishment of one of their own people. The Indians formally
adopted the baronet into the Mohawk nation; they then gave him an Indian
name and made him a war-chief.

Brant is said to have taken that name from the fact that after the death of
his father, the mother married an Indian who went by the name of Brant
among the English. Thay-en-da-ne-gea would naturally be called by the
surname of his stepfather. At first he was known as Brant's Joseph,
afterward Joseph Brant.

Women are often designing, and use their influence over men for their own
purposes. It is natural to find that "Miss Mollie Brant" made use of her
influence over Sir William to further the interests of her brother Joseph.
As he was an unusually intelligent lad he soon became the recipient of Sir
William's bounty, and was sent by him to school at Lebanon, Connecticut.
This school was taught by Rev. Eleazer Wheelock. In Dr. Wheelock's letters
to Sir William Johnson, Joseph Brant is frequently well spoken of, as
"Joseph and the rest of the boys are well, studious and diligent"; "Joseph
is indeed an excellent youth."

He was employed by the baronet to assist in his duties as Indian
commissioner. He acted as interpreter, and was often sent on long journeys,
to the wild Indians of the West. In this work he early exhibited rare
diplomatic ability. Moreover, Brant took great interest in things
spiritual, and aided materially in translating portions of the Bible, the
prayer-book and ritual, into the Mohawk tongue.

At the time of Sir William Johnson's death. Brant was a powerful Mohawk
sachem. John Johnson, the only son of Sir William, inherited the title and
much of the wealth; while Guy Johnson, Sir William's son-in-law, became
Indian Commissioner, with Joseph Brant as his private secretary.

Meanwhile the Revolution was approaching. New York constantly protested her
loyalty, but still claimed her liberty. Political discussion became loud
and heated. The people found themselves ranged into two hostile parties.
The great majority were patriots. They believed in the colonies having
justice, come what would. These were the Whigs. But there was also a
minority party who retained their old attachment to England, who justified
the home government, and abused the Whigs. They were the Conservatives, or
Tories. The one demanded a change--a reform. The other replied, "Let well
enough alone; peace! peace! when there was no peace."

These party dissensions reached the Mohawk valley, where a majority of the
people were enthusiastic Whigs. The Johnsons, however, were Tories.
Property and aristocracy are conservative. The Johnsons were very wealthy
and cared nothing for the tax on tea. What was it to them if troops were
quartered in Boston? It cost them nothing. So they wanted things to
continue as they were.

Brant had now become, by the exigencies of war, by his connection with the
Johnsons, and by his own superior mind and gift for leadership, the most
powerful and influential of the Iroquois war-chiefs.

Before the Americans were yet sure whether Brant would take up the tomahawk
against them, his old school-master was asked to write to him on the

President Wheelock accordingly wrote Brant a very long letter, using every
argument in favor of the colonists that he thought would have weight with
an Indian. Brant answered with Indian wit that he very well remembered the
happy hours he had spent under the Doctor's roof, and he especially
remembered the family prayers, and, above all, how his school-master used
to pray "that they might be able to live as good subjects, to fear God and
honor the King."

Meantime the American successes in Canada were, for a time, very
influential with the Indians on the American  border, many of whom took
sides with the colonies. It is possible that Brant, too, felt the power of
success and wavered a little at this critical time, though he always denied
it. In speaking of this period long afterward, Brant said: "When I joined
the English in the beginning of the war, it was purely on account of my
forefathers' engagements with the King. I always looked on these
engagements, or covenants between the King and the Indian nations, as a
sacred thing; therefore I was not to be frightened by the threats of rebels
at the time."

Encouraged by the Johnsons and other Tories, who wished him to see the
mother-country, that he might judge of her resources and population, Brant
sailed for England in the fall of 1775. On his arrival in London he was
conducted to a rather obscure inn, called "The Swan With Two Necks." All
haste was made, however, to provide statelier lodgings for the great
"Indian King," as the Englishmen called him. But Brant politely but firmly
declined, declaring that the people at "The Swan" had treated him so kindly
he preferred to stay there.

"In this Joseph showed his innocence," as Mason says. "He mistook the broad
smile and hearty handshake, which forms such an important part of the
landlord's stock in trade, for the genuine article. If he was taken in by
the patronizing airs of the shrewd tavern-keeper, Brant showed no other
signs of verdancy. He dressed in European clothing of the best quality. His
courtly manners and clear-cut English caused the throng of titled men and
jeweled women who sought his company and pressed upon him the honors of the
capital to lose sight of the fact that this lordly gentleman of foreign
accent and distinguished air was, in fact, a red-fisted savage, accustomed
to lead his yelling band of braves to midnight massacres.

"When he appeared at court on visits of business or ceremony, he laid aside
his European habit, and wore a gorgeous costume of the fashion of his own
people. Bands of silver encircled his sinewy arms. Tall plumes adorned his
head-dress, and highly colored fabrics, hung with copper pendants, formed
his clothing. The sight of a glittering tomahawk with his full name, 'J.
Thay-en-da-ne-gea,' engraved on it must have shocked the ladies at court."

Brant was much lionized while in England. He was courted by that celebrated
worshiper of great men, Boswell; and sat for his picture twice during the
visit, once at Boswell's request, and once for the Earl of Warwick, who
caused Romney, the eminent painter, to make a portrait of him for his

He bought a gold ring during his stay, upon which he had his full name
engraved, that his body might be identified in case of his death in the
coming battles.

{Illustration: Joseph Brant, or Thay-En-Da-Ne-Gea, Great War-Chief of the

Before he left England he promised to lead three thousand Indians into the
field on the royal side. Returning to America, by way of New York, early in
the spring, he was secretly landed at some quiet spot near the city. From
here he undertook the dangerous journey through the country to Canada, and
succeeded. On reaching Canada, he at once collected a large force of
Indians, which he placed at the disposal of Sir Guy Carleton, commander of
the royal forces in Canada. Carleton ordered him with six hundred Iroquois
to join a company of regulars in dislodging the Americans from a point of
land about forty miles above Montreal, known as the Cedars. The American
commander, Bedell, when he saw the English and Indians approaching,
deserted, under pretense of going for reinforcements. The command was left
to Major Butterfield, who seems to have been almost as cowardly as Bedell.
After a brief fight with musketry, he was intimidated by a threat that the
Indians would have no mercy if the Americans held out any longer, and
surrendered, against the wishes of his men. He had hardly surrendered when
a detachment was sent to his relief by Arnold, which was attacked by Brant
and his Indians, and, after a stubborn fight, captured. The savages
murdered several of the prisoners before they could be stopped. Brant
immediately exerted himself in every way to prevent a massacre. One of the
prisoners, Captain McKinistry, who was wounded, was selected by the Indians
to be put to death by torture. Brant would not permit this, but a chief's
influence is not very great in such eases, and it was with a great deal of
trouble that he prevented it. To soothe the feelings of his warriors, he
and some of the British officers made up a purse, with which they bought
the Indians an ox to roast instead of Captain McKinistry, who was treated
with so much kindness by the young chief that he and Brant became fast
friends. In after years Brant never passed down the Hudson without visiting
the captain at his home. Arnold secured the exchange of the prisoners by
promising to release British prisoners in return, which promise was never

In 1777 Brant gathered a large force of Indians at Oquaga, on the
Susquehanna. The settlers on the frontier trembled, and there was reason
for fear, for Brant was planning an attack upon Cherry Valley. He
approached the settlement with his Indians one bright May morning, and took
an observation from the distant woods. It happened at this moment that the
boys of the settlement were parading in front of the rude fort with their
wooden swords and guns. Brant mistook the amateurs for real soldiers. He,
with his party, moved to a hiding place along the roadside, hoping to
intercept some one who would give them information. That morning Lieutenant
Wormwood, a rich young man from the Mohawk, who had come over to Cherry
Valley to tell the inhabitants that reinforcements would be sent, started
home. He was accompanied by one Peter Sitz, who bore double dispatches, one
true, the other exaggerating the strength of the defense at the fort. When
they reached the place where the Indians were in hiding Brant hailed them,
but instead of answering they put spurs to their horses and tried to pass.
But the savages fired at them, killing the lieutenant outright, and the
horse on which Sitz rode. The Indians now rushed out and scalped Wormwood
and captured Sitz, who delivered the bogus dispatches to Brant. By this
means he was fortunately deceived as to the strength of Cherry Valley, and
retired. It is said that the chief regretted the death of the young man, as
they had formerly been friends.

Brant's forces at Oquaga continued to increase; all believed he was
preparing for a hostile movement. The people of the frontier were in
terror; General Herkimer, who was an old neighbor and friend of Brant,
determined to visit him, hoping to influence him to remain neutral, and,
failing in this, to capture the chief if possible. He sent a messenger,
inviting Brant to an interview with him at Unadilla, and marched to this
place with over three hundred militia. Brant moved to meet him with some
five hundred braves; he encamped within two miles of Herkimer and sent a
messenger to the general.

"Captain Brant wants to know what you came here for," said the messenger.

"I merely came to see and talk with my brother, Captain Brant," answered

"Do all these men want to talk with Captain Brant, too?"  inquired the
Indian. "I will carry your talk to Captain Brant, but you must not come any

Through messengers a meeting was appointed to take place about midway
between the two encampments. After Herkimer  and his party had been on the
ground some time Brant and his friends arrived, greeted the general and
began to converse, but watched his face with a keen eye. In fact, each
observed the other with ill-disguised suspicion.

"May I inquire the reason of my being so honored?" said the polite chief.

"I came only on a friendly visit," answered Herkimer.

"And all these have come on a friendly visit, too?" and Brant eyed
Herkimer's companions. "All want to see the poor Indians? It is very kind,"
he added, with just a little curl of the lip.

General Herkimer wished to go forward to his camp, but Brant informed him
he was quite near enough at present, and that he must not proceed further
in that direction. Herkimer questioned Brant about his feelings and
intentions with regard to the war between England and the colonies, to
which the sachem replied earnestly: "The Indians are in concert with the
King, as their fathers were. We have yet got the wampum belt which the King
gave us, and we can not break our word. You and your followers have joined
the Boston people against your sovereign. Yet, although the Bostonians are
resolute, the King will humble them. General Schuyler was very smart on the
Indians in his treaty with them, but at the same time he could not afford
to give them the smallest article of clothing. The Indians have made war
before upon the white people when they were all united; now they are
divided, and the Indians are not frightened." Brant peremptorily refused to
surrender the Tories in his party, when this was demanded, but agreed to
meet Herkimer on the following morning.

That night Herkimer laid a dark plot to massacre the chief and his few
attendants at the next meeting, the following day. But Brant was wary. At
the appointed time he marched up to General Herkimer with great dignity.

"I have five hundred warriors with me, armed and ready for battle," said
he. "You are in my power; but as we have been friends and neighbors I will
not take advantage of you." As he said this he gave a signal to his waiting
band, and with a war-whoop that made the forest resound they swept around
the spot ready for any work their chief had for them to do. Restraining his
men, Brant faced Herkimer and his raw recruits, and with a haughty gesture
said: "You may go." The colonists took the hint and went at the highest
possible speed.

Joseph Waggoner, one of Herkimer's party, in a written statement, declared
that the general appointed himself and three others to be present at this
meeting, and at a signal from him to shoot Brant and his three attendants
upon the spot. This was not a very honorable or friendly intention, but
white men in Indian warfare often become as treacherous as the Indians
themselves, and it is a relief to know that the plan failed for the reason

The savage war had now commenced. The tomahawk and scalping-knife were
combined with British bayonets for the devastation of the frontier.
Burgoyne, who had superseded Sir Guy Carleton as commander of the royal
forces in Canada, in invading New York, detached St. Leger against Fort
Stanwix, or Schuyler, on the Mohawk. Brant and his Indians formed a part of
this force. Colonel Gansevoort, the commander of the fort, declared his
determination to defend it to the last extremity. But the fortifications
were weak, and the garrison in peril. A body of militia was raised in the
valley of the Mohawk for the relief of the place. Our old friend General
Herkimer, took the command and, early in August, began his march for the
fort. St. Leger, hearing of his approach, dispatched a strong force of
British and Indians to meet them. Brant, knowing from experience that the
militia would advance without much order or precaution, planned an ambush,
which the misconduct of the Americans and their commander enabled him to
carry into effect with such success as to cause them a severe loss. He
placed his warriors in an ambush where there was a causeway and bridge
crossing a low marsh. They were arranged in a circle with an opening at the
bridge. As soon as the main body had crossed this marsh, a band of warriors
rushed in to close the gap of the circle, completely inclosing the militia,
with the exception of the supply train and rear guard, which had not
entered the causeway.

Herkimer's first intimation of the vicinity of an enemy was a terrific
Indian yell, followed immediately by so heavy and well-aimed a volley as
brought nearly every man in his advanced body to the ground. A frightful
struggle ensued. From every side the savages poured in the most galling
fire. Every time the militia attempted to breakthrough the fatal lines
which encircled them, they were beaten back with fearful slaughter. Yet
they bravely maintained a most stubborn resistance by posting themselves in
Indian fashion behind logs and trees.

Observing that a savage, waiting till a colonist had discharged his gun
from behind a tree, would rush forward and tomahawk him before he could
reload, they placed two men behind each tree, one reserving his fire for
the defense of his companion. Finding themselves pressed on all sides, the
militiamen disposed themselves in a circle. It was a small wheel within a
larger one.

Just as the Indians charged on their foes with desperate valor, using the
murderous bayonet, as well as the tomahawk, a sudden storm which had come
up unnoticed by the struggling combatants broke upon them with tropical
fury. Unearthly bolts of lightning, followed by peal after peal of
sky-splitting thunder, lent horror to the scene. The trees of the forest
writhed and swayed in the fury of the tempest. In a moment a mighty flood
of waters burst forth from the surcharged clouds, dampening the powder and
rendering some of the guns of the combatants useless. The conflict of men
became puny in comparison with the conflict of the elements. The noise of
battle was but a stillness contrasted with the awful roar of the storm. The
awed combatants desisted. The dark clans of Thay-en-da-ne-gea withdrew in
sullen rage to the sheltering distance.

The storm lasted about an hour, and the Americans availed themselves of
this opportunity to take a more advantageous position.

When the fighting was again renewed, the red men were reenforced by a
detachment of Johnson's Greens. As the royalists advanced upon the American
militia, neighbor recognized neighbor, and with the bitter hatred of civil
warfare the battle was waged more fiercely. The Americans fired upon the
Greens as they came up, and then, with uncontrollable ferocity, sprang from
the sheltering trees and attacked them with their bayonets and the butts of
their muskets. The contest grew even closer, and militiamen and Tories,
some of whom were neighbors and relatives, throttled and stabbed one
another, often dying grappled together.

Near the commencement of the action a musket ball passed through and killed
General Herkimer's horse, and shattered his own leg just below the knee.
With perfect composure and cool courage, he ordered the saddle to be taken
from his dead horse and placed against a large beech tree near. Seated
there, with his men falling all around him, and the bullets of the enemy
like driving sleet, the intrepid old general calmly gave his orders. When
advised to take a less exposed position, his reply was, "No, I will face
the enemy," and he continued to command his men; at the same time coolly
taking out his tinder-box and lighting his pipe, he smoked it with the
greatest composure. He did not long survive the battle, but died at his
home near by.

A body of two hundred and fifty men of the garrison were in the meantime
advancing to the relief of Herkimer's party. They fell upon the Indians and
Tories, put them to rout, captured their provisions and baggage, with five
standards, and returned in safety. Brant now drew off his braves, and one
of the bloodiest battles of the war ended.

Herkimer's disaster produced no disheartening effects upon the garrison.
They repulsed every attack, and refused to listen to any mention of a
surrender, although they no longer had any hope of being relieved.

As it was of the utmost importance to reduce this place, in order to leave
no military post in the hands of the Americans which might threaten the
right flank of Burgoyne's army in its approach, St. Leger tried the arts of
intimidation. On August 8 he sent a flag to the fort with a summons to
surrender, in which he exaggerated his own strength, and represented that
Burgoyne had entered Albany in triumph, after laying waste the whole
country in his victorious march. He further stated that Brant and his
Indians were determined, if they met with further resistance, to massacre
every soul on the Mohawk river; and, in case they were obliged to wait any
longer for the surrender of Fort Schuyler, every man in the garrison would
be tomahawked.

Gansevoort, maintaining his inflexible resolution, was not moved in the
slightest degree by these threats, but determined to make one more attempt
to obtain relief. Two of his officers volunteered their services, and with
much difficulty and many adventures, made their way through the cordon of
the enemy to German Flats, from which place a message was sent to General
Schuyler, at Stillwater. Measures were instantly taken to relieve the fort.
General Arnold offered to conduct the expedition, and a brigade was
detached for this purpose.

But an opportunity presented itself for directing a stratagem against the
enemy. Among the Tory spies recently captured was a half-witted fellow
named Hon-Yost Schuyler; he was tried by court-martial and condemned to
death. His mother and brother interceded with Arnold on his behalf; the
general at first was inexorable, but at last proposed terms on which he
would grant Hon-Yost's pardon. He must hurry to Fort Schuyler and alarm St.
Leger's army, so that he would raise the siege. The foolish fellow
immediately accepted these conditions, and his brother became a hostage in
his stead. Hon-Yost now made arrangements with a friendly Oneida Indian to
aid him, and, after firing several shots through his clothes, the two men
started by different routes to St. Leger's army.

Brant's Indian warriors had been morose and dissatisfied since the battle
of Oriskany; they had been promised an easy success and much plunder, and
they had found neither the one nor the other. They were now holding a great
pow-wow to consult the spirits about the success of the present siege. In
the midst of the ranting and drumming, and dancing, and other mysterious
jugglery, Hon-Yost arrived in camp. Hon-Yost was well known to be on their
side, and they crowded around him to hear the news. With the trickery of a
half-witted man he did not deliver his message in plain words. He knew the
effect of mystery with an Indian. He shook his head ominously, and pointed
to his riddled clothes to denote his narrow escape from the coming foe.

"How many men--how many men are there?" asked the eager Indians.

Hon-Yost looked up and pointed to the leaves of the trees over his head.
The report ran like wild-fire through the camp; it quickly reached the ear
of the commander. St. Leger sent for Hon-Yost. The wily fellow adopted a
different policy in talking to the English commander. He told a straight
and pitiful story; how he had been captured, tried and condemned; how, on
the way to his execution, finding himself carelessly guarded, he had fled,
thinking he would die any way, and he would as soon be shot as hung. His
escape had been narrow, as the colonel might see by looking at his clothes.
And the Americans were coming in great force to raise the siege. While
Hon-Yost was being interviewed at headquarters, the Oneida messenger
arrived with wampum to say that the Americans were indeed coming in great
force. Of course, after all this, the spirits consulted in the pow-wow gave
ominous warnings. St. Leger saw that the Indians were about to decamp; he
tried to reassure them; he called a council, but neither the influence of
Thay-en-da-ne-gea nor that of Johnson was of any  avail.

"The pow-wow says we must go--the pow-wow says we must go," persisted the
Indians. And the besieging army went--as fast as they could, strewing their
baggage along the route.

The simpleton, whose well-told lie was responsible for this sudden
departure, went with them a few miles, and then contrived to slip away. He
reported to General Arnold, who promptly released his brother, and gave him
a full pardon.

Brant was again at Oquaga in 1778, the terror of the border. Women turned
pale and children trembled at his very name. In the bitter animosity of the
day no story of cruelty was too black to be laid upon Brant, the great
chief of these savage warriors. Brant felt keenly the hatred with which he
was regarded in afterlife among frontiersmen. The proud chief wished to be
regarded as a gentleman in every respect. "He always denied," as Edward
Eggleston says, "that he had ever committed any act of cruelty during this
cruel war, and none has been proved against him, while many stories of his
mercy are well authenticated. He led, indeed, a savage force, and fought in
the savage way, as the English officials who managed the Indian alliance
desired. When Indians were accused of cruelty Brant would return the charge
upon the whites, who sometimes, in fact, excelled the savages in their
revengeful barbarity. To Brant the civilized custom of imprisoning men was
the worst of cruelty; a man's liberty, he held, was worth more than his
life. Of the Indian custom of torture he did not approve, but when a man
must die for a crime, he thought it better to give him some chance to make
atonement in a courageous and warrior-like death than to execute him after
the manner of the whites by the humiliating gallows. Brant used in
after-life to defend the Indian mode of warfare. He said the Indians had
neither the artillery, the numbers, the forts, nor the prisons of the white
men. In  place of artillery they must use stratagem; as their forces were
small, they must use every means to kill as many of the enemy with as small
a loss to themselves as possible; and, as they had no prisons, their
captives must, in some cases, be killed. He held it more merciful to kill
a suffering person, and thus put an end to his misery."

{Illustration: King Hendrick, Mohawk Chief.}

During the summer of 1778, when every borderer trembled for his life, a boy
named William McKoun was one day making hay in a field alone; when,
happening to turn around he saw an Indian very near, and involuntarily
raised his rake for defense.

"Don't be afraid, young man, I shan't hurt you," said the Indian. "Can you
tell me where Foster's house is?" The youth gave the directions, and then
asked, "Do you know Mr. Foster?" "I am slightly acquainted with him. I saw
him once at Halfway creek," answered the Indian. "What is your name?"
"William McKoun." "Oh, you are a son of Captain McKoun, who lives in the
northeast part of town, I suppose. I know your father very well; he lives
neighbor to Mr. Foster. I know McKoun very, very well, and a very fine
fellow he is, too. I know several more of your neighbors and they are all
fine men."

"What is your name?" the boy ventured to ask. The Indian hesitated a moment
and then said: "My name is Brant." "What! Captain Brant?" cried the boy,
eagerly. "No; I'm a cousin of his," answered the chief, smiling, as he
turned away.

The first blow that Brant struck in 1778 was at a small settlement about
ten miles from Cherry Valley. The inhabitants were aroused by the terrible
war-whoop in the dead of night; some escaped, the rest were taken
prisoners. Under Brant's guidance there was no massacreing of helpless
women and children. The houses and barns were fired, and their flames
lighted up the country; the men were tied and carried into captivity. Brant
had left one large house unburned. Into this he gathered the women and
children, and here he left them unharmed.

The alarming news that Brant's forces were increasing, and that he was
fortifying himself at Unadilla, reached Cherry Valley. Captain McKoun, of
that place, very foolishly wrote Brant a challenge to meet him either in
single combat, or with an equal number of men, with the insulting addition
that if Brant would come to Cherry Valley they would change him "from a
Brant to a goose." This letter was put in the Indian post office; in other
words, it was tied to a stick and put in an Indian foot-path, and was sure
to reach the chief.

Brant received it in due time, and referred to it in this postscript to a
letter written to a loyalist a few days after: "I heard that the Cherry
Valley people are very bold and intend to make nothing of us; they call us
wild geese, but I know the contrary. I mean now to fight the cruel rebels
as well as I can."

Early in the fall of 1778 Brant, with his Indian army, made an attack upon
German Flats, the finest and richest part of Mohawk Valley. Fortunately
four scouts from the settlement were out; three of them were killed by the
Indians, but the fourth one escaped to warn the settlers. Men, women and
children took to Forts Dayton and Herkimer, near by, for safety. Brant did
not know that his approach was expected. The Indians swept into the
settlement from different directions, that they might take it entirely by
surprise. They found the houses deserted. A  moment more and the settlement
was in a blaze. Each family could see from the forts its own home and the
stored-up fruits of their year's labor fast burning up. But they might be
thankful they were not in the houses.

The Indians dared not brave the artillery of the forts, but could be seen
rushing into the pastures after the cattle, and driving away sheep and
horses. They left the settlers nothing, but fortunately they had found only
two men to kill.

A war of retaliation was now begun. A regiment of American troops marched
upon Brant's headquarters. They approached Unadilla with the greatest
caution, thinking to surprise the Indians in their homes, but Indians are
not often so surprised. They found that Unadilla had been deserted several
days. Capturing a loyalist, they made him guide them to Oquaga. This town
had been just deserted in the greatest confusion, and much of the Indians'
portable property was left behind. Here were a number of well-built houses
which denoted Brant's efforts at civilization. The colonial soldiers
feasted upon poultry, fruit and vegetables of the red men; and then
everything was destroyed by fire.

Near to this place was an Indian fort. This, too, was laid in ruins. On the
return two mills were burned and the village of Unadilla was left in a

From his ruined villages Brant determined to return to Niagara for winter
quarters. While on the way he was met by Walter N. Butler, who, with a
force of loyalists, was marching to attack the settlements, and he brought
orders for Brant to join him. The great sachem was much displeased to be
put in a subordinate position under this young man, or rather young fiend,
whom he disliked. He was at length persuaded to join him, however, with a
force of some five hundred warriors.

It was late in the fall. The scattered settlers had returned to their homes
thinking it was too late in the season for further danger from the Indians,
as Brant and his warriors had, as they supposed, gone into winter quarters
at Niagara. They therefore did not apprehend an attack on the settlement.

The fort at Cherry Valley was the church, surrounded with a stockade and
garrisoned by eastern soldiers, who knew little of Indian fighting. They
heard rumors of an approach from the Indians, but did not credit them
fully. They did, however, send out scouts, who went a few miles, built a
fire and lay down to sleep, without appointing a guard. They awoke to find
themselves prisoners.

Butler and Brant approached the settlement on a stormy night. They fired
upon a straggling settler, who escaped to give the alarm. But, strange to
say, the commander did not yet believe the Indians were coming in force,
until they burst like a storm upon the settlement, surrounding the houses
and murdering the inhabitants as they came forth.

The house of Mr. Wells, a prominent citizen, was first surrounded, and
every person in it was killed by the ferocious Senecas, who were first to
rush into the village. Captain Alden, the unwise commander, paid for his
folly with his life. He and the other officers were quartered among the
settlers outside the fort, and as soon as the alarm was heard he tried to
reach the fort, but a savage hurled his tomahawk at his head with deadly
effect. Thirty-two settlers, mostly women and children, were killed,
although some of them escaped to the woods and from there to the Mohawk
Valley. Brant greatly regretted the murder of the Wells family, with whom
he was well acquainted; although he had tried to anticipate the Indians and
reach the Wells house before the Senecas, but failed. He now asked after
Captain McKoun, and was informed that he had probably escaped to the Mohawk
with his family.

"He sent me a challenge once," said Brant. "I have now come to accept it.
He is a fine soldier thus to retreat."

"Captain McKoun would not turn his back upon an enemy when there was any
probability of success," answered his informer.

"I know it," said Brant. "He is a brave man, and I would have given more to
take him than any other man in Cherry Valley, but I would not have hurt a
hair of his head."

Through all that terrible struggle, here and elsewhere, in which so much
blood was shed, and so many heart-sickening scenes were enacted by both
parties, Brant was generally found on the side of mercy; but it was his
misfortune to be under the command of Tories, whom  he declared, "were more
savage than the savages themselves."

We have called Walter N. Butler a fiend, and an incident is recorded of the
massacre at Cherry Valley which tends to prove it. Butler ordered a little
child to be killed because he was a rebel. Brant interfered and saved him,
remarking: "This child is not an enemy to the King, nor a friend to the
colonies; long before he is old enough to bear arms the trouble will be

During this massacre Brant entered a house where he found a woman going
about her regular duties.

"How does it happen you are at this kind of work while your neighbors are
all murdered around you?" exclaimed the chief.

"We are King's people," answered the woman.

"That plea won't save you to-day," said Brant.

"There is one Joseph Brant; if he is with the Indians, he will save us,"
said the woman.

"I am Joseph Brant," answered the chief; "but I am not in command, and I
don't know that I can save you, but I will do what I can."

At this moment some Senecas approached the house "Get into bed and pretend
you are sick," said Brant. The woman hurried into bed and Brant met the

"There's no one here but a sick woman and her children." said he. He
prevailed upon the Indians to leave, after little conversation. When they
were out of sight he went to the door and gave a long, shrill yell.
Immediately some Mohawks came running across the fields.

"Where is your paint?" Brant called out to them. "Here, put my mark upon
this woman and her children." The order was obeyed, and Brant turned to the
woman saying, "You are now probably safe, as the Indians will understand
and respect that sign."

The loyalists and Indians gained no success by an attempted assault on the
fort, while the garrison dared make no sally, on account of the superior
numbers of the Indians. The enemy encamped for the night in the valley, and
spent most of the night distributing and dividing plunder. There were
thirty or forty prisoners, men, women and children, who spent a sleepless
night, fearing that torture was reserved for them; but the next morning the
whole force marched down Cherry Valley creek. On the morning of the
following day, the prisoners were all gathered together, and were informed
that the women were all to be sent back with the exception of Mrs. Moore,
Mrs. Campbell and their children. It seems that the husbands of these two
women had been active in border warfare, and it was resolved, as a
punishment, to keep their families in captivity. These Women and children
were finally exchanged for British prisoners among the Americans.

Among other captives the Indians carried away, at this time, a man  named
Vrooman, who was an old friend of the chief. Desiring to give his friend a
chance to escape. Brant sent him back about two miles to get some
birch-bark. He, of course, expected to see no more of him, but what was his
surprise when, a few hours after, Vrooman came hurrying up with the bark,
which the chief did not want. Brant said afterward that he had sent him
back on purpose to give him a chance to escape, but he was such a big fool
he did not do it and he was compelled to take him to Canada.

In 1780, when Sir John Johnson and Brant led a desolating army through the
Schoharie and Mohawk valleys, Brant's humanity was again displayed. On
their way to Fort Hunter an infant was carried off. The frantic mother
followed them as far as the fort, but could get no tidings of her child. On
the morning after the departure of the invaders, and while General Van
Rensselaer's officers were at breakfast, a young Indian came bounding into
the room, bearing the infant in his arms and a letter from Captain Brant,
addressed to "The Commander of the Rebel Army." The letter was as follows:
"Sir,--I send you, by one of my runners, the child, which he will deliver,
that you may know that whatever others may do, I do not make war upon women
and children. I am sorry to say that I have those engaged with me who are
more savage than the savages themselves." He named Colonel John Butler, who
commanded the Tories at Wyoming, and his son, Walter N., the commander of
the British and Indians at Cherry Valley. The former occurred July 3, 1778
the latter, November 10, of the same year.

These were among the most bloody massacres of Indian warfare. But let it
never be forgotten, that the commander and instigator of the butchery of
aged non-combatants, women and children, at each place, was a _white  man._
We have seen how Brant restrained the fiendish barbarity of the younger
Butler at Cherry Valley. And, as to Wyoming, it has been proven that the
"Monster  Brant," as Campbell calls him in his "Gertrude of Wyoming," _was
not present_ at that massacre.

The Indians who fought with the Loyalists at Wyoming were not Mohawks, but
Senecas, under their war-chief, Gi-en-gwa-tah, which signifies "he who goes
in the smoke."

It was at Wyoming where the garrison sallied forth under Colonel Zebulon
Butler, the commander, to attack the Tories and Indians, under the command
of John Butler. The Americans were ambushed and only a remnant regained the
fort. A demand was sent in for the surrender of the fort, accompanied by
one hundred and ninety-six bloody scalps, taken from the slain. When the
best terms were asked, the infamous John Butler replied, "the hatchet." It
will be noticed that the hostile commanders bore the same name, as they
were cousins and had been old friends.

It was believed for many years that Brant and his Mohawk warriors were
engaged in the invasion of Wyoming. Historians of established reputation,
such as Gordon, Ramsey, Thacher, Marshall, and Allen, assert that he and
John Butler were joint commanders on that occasion, and upon his memory
rested the foul imputation of being a participant in the horrid
transactions of Wyoming. Misled by history, or rather "historical
imagination," Campbell, in his "Gertrude of Wyoming," makes the Oneida

           "This is no time to fill the joyous cup;
           The mammoth comes--the foe--the monster Brant,
           With all his howling, desolating band."

And again:

           "Scorning to wield the hatchet for his tribe,
           'Gainst Brant himself I went to battle forth;
           Accursed Brant! he left of all my tribe
           Nor man, nor child, nor thing of living birth.
           No! not the dog that watched my household hearth
           Escaped that night of blood upon the plains.
           All perish'd. I alone am left on earth!
           To whom nor relative nor blood remains--
           No, not a kindred drop that runs in human veins."

Brant always denied any participation in the invasion, but the evidence of
history seemed against him, and the verdict of the world was that he was
one of the chief actors in that horrible tragedy. From this aspersion Mr.
Stone vindicated his character in his "Life of Brant." A  reviewer,
understood to be Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts, disputed the point, and
maintained that Stone had not made out a clear case for the sachem.
Unwilling to remain deceived, if he was so, Mr. Stone made a journey to the
Seneca country, where he found several surviving warriors who were engaged
in that campaign. The celebrated Seneca chief, Kavundvowand, better known
as Captain Pollard, who was a young chief in the battle, gave Mr. Stone a
clear account of the events, and was positive in his declarations that
Brant and the Mohawks were not engaged in that campaign. The Indians were
principally Senecas, and were led by Gi-en-gwa-tah, as before mentioned.
John Brant, a son of the Mohawk sachem, while in England in 1823, on a
mission in behalf of his nation, opened a correspondence with Mr. Campbell
on the subject of the injustice which the latter had done the chief in his
"Gertrude of Wyoming." The result was a partial acknowledgment of his error
by the poet in the next edition of the poem that was printed. He did not
change a word of the poem, but referred to the use of Brant's name there in
a note, in which he says: "His son referred to documents which completely
satisfied me that the common accounts of Brant's cruelties at Wyoming,
which I had found in books of travels, and in Adolphus's and other similar
histories of England, were gross errors. . . . The name of Brant,
therefore, remains in my poem a pure and declared character of fiction."
This was well enough, as far as it went; but an omission, after such a
conviction of error, to blot out the name entirely from the poem, was
unworthy of the character of an honest man; and the stain upon the poet's
name will remain as long as the blot upon a humane warrior shall endure in
the epic.

{Illustration: Sir William Johnson in treaty with the Mohawks.}

Following is a part of the letter written by Campbell to John Brant:
"Sir,--Ten days ago I was not aware that such a person existed as a son of
the Indian leader, Brant, who is mentioned in my poem, 'Gertrude of
Wyoming.' . . . Lastly, you assert that he was not within many miles of the
spot when the battle which decided the fate of Wyoming took place; and from
your offer of reference to living witnesses, I can not but admit the

Another of Brant's exploits was the destruction of Minisink, near the
border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With a band of sixty Mohawks and
twenty-seven Tories disguised as Indians, Brant stole upon the Minisink
people, whose first warning was the burning of houses. Most of the
inhabitants fled, but some were killed and others taken captive. The houses
were plundered and burned, property destroyed and cattle driven away.

In a massacre during this raid one man, Major Wood, was about to be killed,
when, either by accident or design, he made a Masonic signal, though he did
not belong to the order. Brant was an enthusiastic Freemason, and at once
rescued him. When the Indian leader found out the deception, he boiled over
with rage, but yet spared his life. The captive, on his part, it is said,
felt bound to join the order immediately on his release from captivity.

In the summer of 1779, the colonies resolved on a united effort to crush
the power of the Six Nations by an invasion of their country. The command
was given to General Sullivan, who went to work as one in earnest. He
decided that the expedition should advance in three divisions. The left was
to move from Pittsburg, under Col. Daniel Broadhead; the right from the
Mohawk, under Gen. James Clinton, while Sullivan was to lead the center
from Wyoming.

General Clinton, with seventeen hundred men, reached Otsego Lake, the
source of the Susquehanna. In doing this Clinton had traversed a portage of
about twenty miles, conveying his baggage and two hundred and twenty boats.
Owing to the dry season there was not sufficient water to float any craft
larger than an Indian canoe. While waiting for orders Clinton employed his
men damming up the outlet of the lake, which raised the surface of the
water several feet. When the order came, everything was in readiness; the
dam was torn away, and the out rushing torrent carried with it the large
boats filled with troops and supplies, where nothing but Indian canoes had
ever been seen before. The sight astonished the Indians, who concluded that
the Great Spirit must have made the flood to show that he was angry with

The two armies met at Tioga in the latter part of August, forming together
a force of five thousand men. On August 26 this powerful body marched into
the Indian country. At the Indian village of Newtown, where Elmira now
stands, Sullivan found a force of twelve hundred Tories and Indians under
the command of Sir John and Guy Johnson, Col. John and Walter N. Butler,
and Joseph Brant.

The battle began at once and raged all day. The Americans gradually forced
the enemy back. So many Indians were killed that "the sides of the rocks
next the river appeared as though blood had been poured on them by

All was lost. The Indian warriors fled, taking women and children with
them, and leaving their fertile country, with its populous and
well-laid-out villages, its vast fields of waving grain, its numerous
orchards, laden with the ruddy fruit, open to the destroyers' advance. Town
after town was laid in ashes. Of Kanadaseagea, the capital of the Senecas,
not one house was left standing. Genesee, the principal western town,
containing all the winter stores of the confederacy, was completely
obliterated. Nor were they the ordinary wigwams and cabins, but frame
houses, some of which were finely finished, painted and provided with
chimneys. These invaders found themselves in a veritable garden, with a
soil that needed but to be tickled with a crude implement, to make it laugh
with a golden harvest.

A soldier took the pains to measure an ear of corn which he plucked from
the stalk and found it to be twenty-two inches long. Another soldier made a
rough count of the number of apple trees in a single orchard which was on
the point of destruction. He estimated that there were fifteen hundred
bearing trees. Nor was this unusually large. Of the number of orchards, the
men said they were "innumerable." This, probably, included those of peach
and pear trees. They were the product of the toil and care of generations
of Iroquois. "A wigwam can be built in two or three days," the Indians
sadly said; "but a tree takes many years to grow again."

One can not help but contrast the indications of great abundance found here
with the abject poverty of the "great and good Massasoit," mentioned in
another chapter. But Massasoit lived in an inhospitable country and his
career was near the beginning of the intercourse between the white and red
races. Evidently the enterprising Iroquois had learned much of agriculture
and horticulture from the thrifty farmers near them.

General Sullivan had now destroyed their homes and driven their families
abroad to strange and inhospitable regions. More than forty of the villages
were laid in ruins. As Mason says, "The landscape was no longer variegated
with fields of golden grain, with burdened orchards, staggering beneath
their tinted fruitage, with verdant pastures, dotted over with sleek and
peaceful herds, nor with waving forests of ancient trees, whose emerald
foliage formed such a rich contrast with the sunny sky and winding river.
As far as the eye could stretch, the prospect presented a single ominous
color. That color was black. It was a landscape of charcoal! The American
general was happy."

The sorrows of the Iroquois became the source of dissension. There arose a
peace party. The leader of it was a young Seneca chief named Red Jacket. He
had the gift of eloquence. He spoke with thrilling earnestness of the folly
of war, which was driving them forever from the lovely valley which they
had inherited from their fathers; a war, too, in which they fought, not for
themselves, but for the English. "What have the English done for us," he
exclaimed, with flashing eye, drawing his proud form to its fullest height,
and pointing with the zeal of despair toward the winding Mohawk, "that we
should become homeless and helpless wanderers for their sakes?" His
burning words sank deep into the hearts of his passionate hearers. It was
secretly resolved by his party to send a runner to the American army, and
ask them to offer peace on any terms.

Brant heard of this plot to make peace. He kept his own counsel. The runner
left the camp. Two confidential warriors were summoned by him. In a few
stern words he explained to them that the American flag of truce must never
reach the Indian camp. Its bearers must be killed on the way, yet with such
secrecy that their fate should not be known. The expectant peace party,
waiting for the message in vain, were to believe that the Americans had
scornfully refused to hear their prayer for peace. The plot was carried
out. The flag of truce never arrived.

Meantime Colonel Broadhead, leading the expedition from Pittsburg, ascended
the Allegheny with six hundred men. His purpose was to create a diversion
that would help the general campaign. Besides doing that he destroyed many
villages and cornfields, and returned after a month's absence without the
loss of a man.

The winter of 1779-80 was one of unprecedented rigor. The shivering
Iroquois, at Niagara, suffered severely; but the fire of hate burned in the
heart of Brant as hot as ever. He had long meditated a terrible revenge
upon the Oneidas, who had refused to follow his leadership, and persisted
in neutrality. Upon them he laid the blame of all his disasters. That
winter he led his warriors across frozen rivers and through snowy forests,
to the home of the unsuspecting Oneidas. Of what followed we have no
detailed history. It is only known that Brant fell upon them without mercy,
that their villages and wigwams, their store-houses and council buildings
were suddenly destroyed, that vast numbers of them were slain, and that the
survivors fled to the white men for protection. The poor refugees, stricken
for a fault which was not their own, were allotted rude and comfortless
quarters near Schenectady, where they were supported by the Government till
the close of the war.

The Tories and Indians, to the number of about one thousand, under Sir John
Johnson, Brant and Cornplanter, planned another invasion of the Mohawk
settlements. Brant's appetite for vengeance was unabated. He was ambitious
to surpass the work of Sullivan.

On the morning of October 16, 1780, the occupants of the little fort at
Middleburg, far down the Mohawk Valley, looked out at sunrise on a
startling sight. In every direction barns, hay-stacks, granaries and many
houses were on fire. Everywhere the people fled, abandoning everything in
their madness of fear. Their alarm was justifiable. Brant's army, without a
moment's warning, was upon them.

At first the Tories and Indians mounted their little cannon and prepared to
besiege the fort. But meeting with a stubborn resistance, and finding that
the siege would delay them, Brant, a past-master of guerrilla warfare, gave
up the notion of taking the fort, and swept on down the valley. In their
course the whole valley on both sides of the Mohawk was laid in ruins.
Houses and barns were burned, the horses and cattle killed or driven off,
and those of the inhabitants who were not safely within the walls of their
fortifications were either killed or taken captive.

The very churches were fired.

But the torch of destruction was stayed wherever lived a Tory. They passed
by the homes of all who were loyal to England. Then one of the strange
sides of human nature asserted itself. The settlers, furious at their own
wrongs, and aflame with passion at the sight of their Tory neighbors'
immunity from harm, issued from the forts and with their own hands applied
the torch to all houses left standing, thus completing the work which
transformed a verdant valley into a mighty  cinder.

The goal of the expedition was Schenectady, but the invaders never reached
that settlement. Flying horsemen had long since carried the news of the
invasion to Albany. Too much time had been taken up in the advance. General
Van Rensselaer, with a strong force, was on the way to meet the enemy.
Brant and Johnson began a retreat, but it was now too late. A heavy battle
was fought. At sunset the advantage was with the Americans. But Van
Rensselaer, who was proverbially slow or incompetent, failed to push it.
That night was of unusual darkness and favored the retreat of the enemy.

An amusing thing happened at this time. Nine Tories were hurrying through
the forest in full retreat. Suddenly a stern voice cried out in the
darkness, "Lay down your arms." They obeyed promptly and were made
prisoners. Every Tory was securely pinioned and led away. In the morning
they found themselves in a little block-house. Their captors were seven
militiamen. The nine had surrendered to the seven.

According to Eggleston another curious incident happened in connection with
this expedition. "The famous Cornplanter, who commanded the Senecas who
served under Brant, was a half-breed. He said of himself: 'When I was a
child and began to play with the Indian boys in the village, they took
notice of my skin being a different color from theirs and spoke about it. I
inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that my father was a white
man.' Cornplanter's father was, in fact, an Indian trader named O'Beel,
who was settled in the Mohawk Valley at the time of its invasion. During
the progress of the army Cornplanter went with a band of Indians to his
father's house, and taking him prisoner, marched off with him. After going
some ten or twelve miles, he stopped abruptly, and, walking up in front of
his father, said: 'My name is John O'Beel, commonly called Cornplanter. I
am your son. You are my father. You are now my prisoner and subject to the
customs of Indian war-fare. You shall not be harmed. You need not fear. I
am a warrior. Many are the scalps which I have taken. Many prisoners I have
put to death. I am your son. I am a warrior. I was anxious to see you and
greet you in friendship. I went to your cabin and took you by force, but
your life shall be spared. Indians love their friends and their kindred,
and treat them with kindness. If now you choose to fellow the fortunes of
your yellow son, I will cherish your old age with plenty of venison and you
shall live easy. But if you prefer to return to the arms of your pale-face
squaw and the caresses of your pale-face children, my brothers, it is well.
You are free to choose.' The old man preferred to go back and Cornplanter
sent him with an Indian escort."

The last scene of the bloody drama on the Mohawk took place October 24,
1781. The British force of regulars, Tories and Indians, to the number of a
thousand, were under the command of Major Ross and Walter N. Butler. The
Americans, under the command of Colonels Rowley and Willett, met the
invaders near Johnson Hall and a battle immediately ensued. The advantage
was with the Americans, and the enemy retreated, in a northerly course
along West Canada creek, pursued by Willett. Night came on and Willett and
his force encamped in a thick wood upon the "Royal Grant," which Sir
William Johnson obtained from King Hendrick, the Indian chief, in a
dreaming contest.

The next day the Americans overtook the enemy, commanded by Walter Butler,
on the opposite side of the stream. A  brisk fire was kept up across the
creek, by both parties, until Butler was shot in the head by an Oneida
Indian, who knew him and took deliberate aim. His men now fled in
confusion. The friendly Oneida bounded across the stream, and found his
victim not dead, but writhing in great agony. The bloody Tory who had never
shown mercy to others begged piteously for his life, "Save me! Save me!"
he cried out, "Give me quarter!" while the tomahawk of the warrior
glittered over his head. "Me give you Sherry Falley quarter!" shouted the
Indian, and buried his hatchet in the head of his enemy. He took his scalp,
and, with the rest of the Oneidas, continued the pursuit of the flying
host. The body of Butler was left to the beasts and birds, without burial,
for charity toward one so inhuman and blood-stained had no dwelling place
in the bosom of his foes. The place where he fell is still called Butler's
Ford. The pursuit was kept up until evening, when Willett, completely
successful by entirely routing and dispersing the enemy, wheeled his
victorious little army and returned to Fort Dayton in triumph.

Quite a different fate was in store for the second in command at Cherry
Valley, the humane Brant. At the close of the American Revolution, when the
treaty of peace was made between Great Britain and the United States not
one word was said in it about the Six Nations. It was ever thus. Indians
have a great sense of their own dignity and importance. They were much hurt
at being thus overlooked by the power they had aided so materially in the
late war. Brant immediately exerted himself to get a home for his people.
The Mohawks had left forever their own beautiful country in New York and
were now encamped on the American side of Niagara river.

The Senecas, who were very anxious for the Mohawks in any future wars,
offered them a home in the Genesee Valley. But Brant said the Mohawks were
determined to "sink or swim" with the English. Accordingly, he went to
Quebec, and with the aid of General Haldiman, secured a grant of land on
Grand river, which flows into Lake Erie. Brant and his Mohawks received a
title to the land on both sides of the river from its mouth to its source.
This made a tract both beautiful and fertile twelve miles wide and one
hundred miles long. The Mohawks soon after took possession of their new

The Baroness De Riedesel, a charming German lady, who was the wife of the
general commanding the Hessians during Burgoyne's campaign, met Brant at
Quebec. She says in her memoirs: "I saw at that time the famous Indian
chief, Captain Brant. His manners are polished; he expressed himself with
fluency, and was much esteemed by General Haldiman. I dined with him once
at the general's. In his dress he showed off to advantage the half military
and half savage costume. His countenance was manly and intelligent, and his
disposition very mild."

{Illustration: Leading Hawk, Sioux (Upper Brule).}

Like other ambitious warriors, since and before, Brant planned at one time
a confederacy of the Northwestern tribes, over which he should be the head
chief. He never succeeded in uniting the Indians, however.

In 1785 Brant made a second visit to England, and was received with more
splendor and ceremony than before. This was in consideration of his eminent
services for the crown during the Revolution. He was well acquainted with
Sir Guy Carlton, afterward Lord Dorchester. Earl Moira, afterward Marquis
of Hastings, had formed an attachment for Brant and gave him his picture
set in gold. Lord Percy, who afterward became Duke of Northumberland, had
been adopted by the Mohawks, and on the occasion of his adoption Brant had
given him the name of Thorighwegeri, or the Evergreen Brake.

Brant, therefore, had many friends among the nobility, and was presented at
court. He refused to kiss the King's hand, but gallantly offered to kiss
the hand of the Queen. He became quite a favorite with the royal family.
The Prince of Wales, afterward George IV., who was then very wild, took a
good deal of pleasure in the sachem's company. He invited Brant to go with
him on some of his rambles, in which he visited places, as Brant afterward
said, "very queer for a prince to go to." He was often a guest at the
Prince's table, where he met many Whig leaders, among them, the celebrated
Charles James Fox. Brant learned from the conversation of these Whig
leaders to have much less respect for the King than he had been taught in
America. Fox presented the chief with a silver snuff-box with his initials
engraved upon it.

Brant met, in society, a nobleman (?) save the mark! of whom he had heard
the scandalous story that his honors were purchased at the expense of the
virtue of his beautiful wife. This nobleman very foolishly hectored Brant
rather rudely upon the wild customs and manners of the Indians.

"There are customs in England also which the Indians think very strange,"
said the chief coolly. "And pray what are they?" inquired the nobleman,
"Why, the Indians have heard," said Brant, "that it is a practice in
England for men who are born chiefs to sell the virtue of their squaws for
place and for money to buy their venison." It is unnecessary to add that
the nobleman was effectually silenced.

Eggleston informs us, that, "while Brant was in London a great masquerade
was given, to which he was invited. He needed no mask. He dressed himself
for the occasion in his rich semi-savage costume, wore his handsome
tomahawk in his belt, and painted one-half his face in the Indian manner.
There were some Turks also present at the ball. One of them examined Brant
very closely, and at last raised his hand and pulled the chief's Roman
nose, supposing it to be a mask. Instantly Brant gave the war-whoop and
swung his glistening tomahawk around the Turk's head in that dangerous way
in which Indians handle this weapon. It was only an Indian joke, but the
Turk cowered in abject terror and the ladies shrieked and ran as though
they had been in as much danger as the settlers' wives and daughters of
America, who had dreaded this same sound but a few years before."

Having accomplished the purpose of his visit to England, which was some
reparation to the Mohawks for losses sustained in the war, and money with
which to build a church and school-house, Brant returned to Canada.

He now began his labors for the improvement of his people, and hoped to
induce them to devote themselves more to agriculture.

The Western nations still looked to the great war-chief for advice. Brant
thus retained his importance. He was under half-pay as a British officer,
and held the commission of colonel from the King of England, though he was
usually called captain.

When he visited Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States, the
new government offered to double his salary and make him many presents if
he would influence the Western nations for peace. Brant refused the offer,
knowing that he would be accused of duplicity if he received anything from
the United States. An Indian chief quickly loses his influence if he is
suspected of being mercenary.

Brant, in fact, joined the Western Indians, and is said to have been
present with one hundred and fifty Mohawks in the fierce battle which
resulted in St. Clair's defeat, though this fact is disputed. It is well
known that Little Turtle commanded the Indians in that battle, and it
hardly seems reasonable that the great war-chief and head of the Iroquois
would take second place to another.

He erected for himself a fine mansion on the western shore of Lake Ontario,
where he lived in great splendor. Here he held his barbaric court, "with a
retinue of thirty Negro servants, and surrounded by gay soldiers, cavaliers
in powdered wigs and scarlet coats, and all the motley assemblage of that
picturesque era."

His correspondence, of which much is yet extant, reveals a rugged and
powerful intellect, on which his associations with white men had exerted a
marked influence. He encouraged missionaries to come among his people, and
renewed his Christian professions, which had, perhaps, been suspended or
eclipsed while he was hurling his warriors like destroying thunderbolts on
the people of the Mohawk Valley. His letters reveal a proud, sensitive
spirit, jealous of its dignity, and which could not brook the slightest
imputation of dishonor. His mind was eminently diplomatic and nothing
escaped his attention, whether in the cabinets of ministers or around the
council fire of distant tribes of Western Indians.

The oft-quoted saying that, "uneasy lies the head which wears a crown," was
demonstrated in his career. On one of his Eastern trips, a Dutchman from
the Mohawk Valley, whose entire family had been killed by Brant's warriors,
swore vengeance. The man shadowed him day and night, seeking an opportunity
to kill him. Brant had taken a room in a New York hotel, which fronted on
Broadway. Looking out of the window, he saw his enemy on the opposite side
of the street aiming a gun at him. Our old hero, Colonel Willet,
interfered. He assured the Dutchman, whose name was Dygert, that the war
was over, and he would be hanged if he murdered the chief. This so
frightened the man that he went home without carrying his threat into
execution. Thus we find that the very man who refused burial to the body
of Walter N. Butler, saved the life of Brant. The chief had planned to
return through the Mohawk Valley, but learning of a plot to assassinate him
en route he changed his course and went home another way. He was most
cordially abhorred, and lived and died virtually an exile from his native

Nor was his ascendancy among the Iroquois maintained without some
heartburning. His old enemy, Red Jacket, the orator, gathered a number of
malcontents around his standard, and at a pretended meeting of the sachems
of the confederacy, during Brant's absence, he was impeached and formally
deposed from the position of head chief of the Six Nations. When
Thay-en-da-ne-gea heard of it on his return, he boldly confronted his
enemies in public council; he defied them, denied their calumnies and
charges, and demanded a fair trial before his people. The military fame and
prestige of the great war-chief overcame even the burning eloquence and
invectives of Red Jacket, and Brant triumphed over all opposition.

Brant proved conclusively that he had always been loyal to the British
cause, and the best interest of the Six Nations.

It is a little remarkable, therefore, that among his warmest personal
friends was Colonel Aaron Burr, who was afterward a traitor to his country,
in thought and intention, if not in actual fact.

Colonel Burr was at this time in the zenith of his popularity. He gave
Brant a letter of introduction to his talented daughter, Theodosia, then
but fourteen years old. Her father said of Brant in this letter: "Colonel
Brant is a man of education--speaks and writes the English perfectly--and
has seen much of Europe and America. Receive him with respect and
hospitality. He is not one of those Indians who drink, but is quite a
gentleman; not one who will make you fine bows, but one who understands and
practices what belongs to propriety and good breeding. He has daughters; if
you could think of some little present to send to one of them-a pair of
earrings, for example--it would please him."

Theodosia Burr received Brant with great hospitality, and gave him a dinner
party, to which she invited some of the most eminent gentlemen in New York.
Several years afterward, when Theodosia was married, she and her husband
visited Brant and his family at Grand River.

Brant died in 1807, at the age of sixty-four years, leaving unfinished his
work for the security of the Mohawks in the full possession of their lands.
Among his last words he said to the chief, Norton: "Have pity on the poor
Indian; if you can get any influence with the great, endeavor to do them
all the good you can."

A few years before the chief's death he had built a large house on a tract
of land at the head of Lake Ontario, a gift from the King. He had a number
of Negro slaves whom he had captured during the war and who lived with him
in contentment, it is said, satisfied with the Indian customs.

The great chief was buried beside the church which he had built at Grand
River, the first church in upper Canada. There is a monument over his
grave, said to have cost thirty thousand dollars, with the following

"This tomb is erected to the memory of Thay-en-da-ne-gea, or Capt. Joseph
Brant, principal chief and warrior of the Six Nations Indians, by his
fellow-subjects, admirers of his fidelity and attachment to the British

On the death of Joseph Brant, his youngest son, John, became chief, and
head of the confederacy. He was a gentlemanly young man and distinguished
himself on the British side in the war of 1812, and was given a captain's

In 1832 he was elected a member of the Provincial Parliament for the county
of Haldiman.

He and his youngest sister, Elizabeth, lived in their father's house in
civilized style, but their mother preferred to live among the Indians in
the Mohawk village at Grand River. A gentleman and his daughters who
visited them in 1819 found the parlor carpeted and furnished with mahogany
tables, the fashionable chairs of the day, a guitar, and a number of books.
Miss Brant proved to be "a noble-looking Indian girl." The upper part of
her hair was done up in a silk net, while the long lower tresses hung down
her back. She wore a short black silk petticoat, with a tunic of the same
material, black silk stockings and black kid shoes. She was remarkably
self-possessed and ladylike. She afterward married William Johnson Kerr,
a grandson of Sir William Johnson, and they lived together happily in the
Brant house.

                              CHAPTER VIII.

                      RED JACKET, OR SA-GO-YE-WAT-HA,

                               THE SENECAS.

The subject of this sketch was certainly the greatest orator of the Six
Nations, and it is doubtful if his equal was ever known among all the
American Indians. His birth is supposed to have taken place about the year
1750, under a great tree which formerly stood near the spring of water at
Canoga point on the west shore of Cayuga Lake, in Western New York.

His parents were of the Seneca tribe, the most western of the Iroquois
confederation, and lived at Can-e-de-sa-ga, a large Indian village on the
present site of Geneva.

At the time of his birth, owing to scarcity of game, his parents, with
others, were hunting on the west shore of Cayuga Lake. The locality has
been purchased by Judge Sackett, of Seneca Falls, who derived the statement
here quoted from the great orator himself. When interrogated about his
birthplace the sachem would answer, counting on his fingers as he spoke,
"One, two, three, four above John Harris," meaning four miles above where
Harris kept his ferry across the Cayuga, before the erection of the bridge.

The orator, whose eloquence was the pride of the race, and the special
glory of the Senecas, owed nothing to the advantages of illustrious
descent, but was of humble parentage. He was a Cayuga on his father's side,
and the Cayugas claim to have been a thoughtful and far-seeing people. The
fact of his possessing wonderful eloquence was never disputed at any time.
The name which Red Jacket received in his infancy was O-te-tiana, and
signified "Always Ready." According to the custom of his people, when he
became chief he took another--Sa-go-ye-wat-ha,--which means "The Keeper

But little is known of his history until the campaign of Sullivan, when
Red Jacket must have been about twenty-nine years of age.

Tradition says that he was remarkably swift in the chase and possessed a
marvelous power of endurance. For these reasons, he was very successful in
hunting. On account of his fleetness he was often employed as a messenger
or "runner" by his people in his youth, and afterward in a like capacity by
the British officers during the Revolution.

According to Mr. Stone, the learned Indian biographist, Sa-go-ye-wat-ha
obtained the name of Red Jacket from the following circumstance: "During
the War of the Revolution he made himself very useful to the British
officers as a messenger. He was doubtless the more so because of his
intelligence and gift for oratory. In return for his services the officers
presented the young man with a scarlet jacket, very richly embroidered."
One can imagine the immense pride with which the "Young Prince of the Wolf
Clan," as his admiring people were accustomed to call him, donned this
brilliant garment. He took such delight in the jacket that he was kept in
such garments by the British officers during the Revolution. This peculiar
dress became a mark of distinction and gave him the name by which he was
afterward best known. Even after the war, when the Americans wished to find
a way to his heart, they clothed his back with a red jacket.

It has been almost the universal testimony of books that Red Jacket, the
Indian orator, like the two greatest of the ancient world, Demosthenes and
Cicero, was a coward. This inference has been drawn very naturally,
perhaps, from the fact that he generally, but not always, opposed war and
seldom wielded the tomahawk. But the old men of his nation, who knew him
best and the motives from which he acted, deny the charge. Many even
asserted that he was brave, though prudent, and not at all lacking in the
qualities they admire in a warrior. They assign other reasons for his
persistent opposition to war, and maintain that his superior sagacity led
him to see its consequences to the Indian.

{Illustration: Red Jacket, or Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-ha, "The Keeper Awake."
Celebrated Seneca Chief and Orator.}

In the Revolutionary contest the red men generally enlisted on the side of
the British, believing it to be for their interests. They could not
understand anything of the real nature of the controversy of the two rival
powers, and were justifiable in studying their own interest alone. In
taking the British side the Iroquois were strongly influenced by the
Johnsons, the Tory leaders of New York, and their powerful ally, Captain
Joseph Brant, the great war-chief of the Mohawks. But it was all done in
spite of the eloquent protest of Red Jacket. "Let them alone," said the
wise man and orator. "Let us remain upon our lands and take care of
ourselves. What have the English done for us?" he exclaimed, drawing his
proud form to its fullest height and pointing with the zeal of despair
toward the winding Mohawk, "that we should become homeless and helpless
wanderers for their sakes?"

But his motives were impugned and misunderstood. Some of his own warriors
called him a coward and promptly followed Cornplanter and Brant to battle.
These two chiefs seemed to have had a contempt for Red Jacket because of
his supposed cowardice. They nicknamed him _Cow-Killer,_ and often told
with much gusto a story at his expense. This story was to the effect that
at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, the young chief, with his
usual eloquence, exhorted the Indians to courage, and promised to be with
them in the thickest of the fight. When the battle came off, however, he
was missing, having stayed at home to cut up a cow which he had captured.
This story, with the speech just quoted in opposition to war, tended to
convince many of the Indians that the Seneca sachem was a coward.

But when the very things he prophesied literally happened, when in the
progress of the war, as we have recorded in the life of Brant, Sullivan's
army destroyed forty populous towns, with many orchards and fields of
golden grain; when the Senecas were driven further west, and the proud
Mohawks across the boundary into Canada, the deluded Indians saw that Red
Jacket, the sage, was a true prophet. Had they followed his advice all
would have been well, but they refused, and the Mohawks had "become
homeless and helpless wanderers" for the sake of the British, who cared
nothing for them when the war was over.

At the close of the Revolution, the influence of Red Jacket was restored;
for the reason that even his enemies had to concede that he was right, that
he opposed war not from cowardice, but because his sagacious mind could see
the end from the beginning, and he knew that in any case it must end
disastrously for the Indian. He is to be commended for acting with wisdom
and prudence. Another sage of old has said: "A prudent man foreseeth the
evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on and are punished."

No one accused Washington of cowardice, when he advised his countrymen to
keep neutral and make no entangling alliance with a foreign power. This, in
its last analysis, was about the same position taken by Red Jacket. Why,
then, should it be assumed that he was a coward?

But there are other positive proofs of Red Jacket's courage. On one
occasion the Mohawks challenged the Senecas to a game of ball. The
challenge was accepted, and a large number of the Iroquois had gathered to
witness the game.

Many valuable articles, such as ornaments, weapons, belts and furs were bet
on the result of the game. The stakes were placed under the care of a
company of aged Indians and the game was called. The ball was of deerskin;
the bats, or rackets, were woven with deerskin thongs. A certain number of
players were chosen upon each side. They were entirely nude except a
breech-cloth about their loins. Each party had a gate, or two poles,
planted in the ground about three rods apart. The aim of the players on
each side was to drive the ball through their own gate a specified number
of times. It took several contests to decide the match. The players,
provided with bats, were ranged in opposite lines, and between them stood
two picked players, one from either side, who were expected to start the
game. Sometimes a pretty Indian girl, very gayly dressed and decked with
silver ornaments, ran between the lines until she reached the two leaders
in the center, when she would  drop the ball between them. The instant it
touched the ground each of the two Indians would make a struggle to start
the ball toward his own gate.

It was a rule of the game that the ball must not be touched by foot or
hand. But a player might strike it with, or catch it on, his racket and run
with it to the goal, if he could. But the opposite side would have men
stationed to guard against such easy success. A fierce struggle for the
possession of the ball was continually in progress, and players were
frequently hurt, sometimes severely. It was usually taken in good part, but
at this particular game a Mohawk player struck a Seneca a hard blow with
his bat. Instantly the Senecas dropped their bats, took up the stakes that
they had laid down in betting, and returned to their own country. Three
weeks after Red Jacket and some other chiefs sent a belligerent message to
the Mohawks demanding satisfaction for the insult. Brant immediately called
a council of his people, and it was decided to recommend a friendly council
of both nations to settle the difference. The Senecas consented to this,
and the council met. Red Jacket was opposed to a reconciliation. He made a
stirring speech, in which he pictured the offense in its blackest light,
and was in favor of nothing less than war. But the older Senecas, and among
them Cornplanter, who had not yet lost his influence, were opposed to a
break between the two nations, and proposed that presents should be made in
atonement to the young man who had been injured. The Mohawks consented to
this, and the pipe of peace was finally smoked in friendship.

Now, remember, it was Red Jacket who sent the belligerent message to the
Mohawks, demanding satisfaction for the injury to the young man, and insult
to his tribe. He it was who favored _war,_ as the only way in which it
could be wiped out. In the event of hostilities, he well knew that he and
his tribe would be arrayed against the terrible Mohawks, under the command
of their great war-chief, Captain Brant, whose name was a terror to white
and red foe alike. There was certainly no evidence of cowardice in this

A treaty was made with the Six Nations on the part of the United States at
Fort Stanwix, in 1784. General Lafayette was present at this council, and
was struck with the eloquence of Red Jacket. The war-chief of the Senecas,
Cornplanter, was in favor of peace, while Red Jacket, who was called a
coward, used  all his eloquence in favor of war.

There are only two ways to account for his action at this time. Either he
was a courageous leader, or else he believed the war policy would be the
most popular, at least with the Senecas. Red Jacket and the Senecas also
took part in the war of 1812. As early as 1810 the orator gave information
to the Indian agent of attempts made by Tecumseh, the Prophet, and others,
to draw his nation into the great Western combination; but the war of 1812
had scarcely commenced, when the Senecas volunteered their services to
their American neighbors. For some time these were rejected, and every
exertion was made to induce them to remain neutral. The Indians bore the
restraint with an ill grace, but said nothing. At length, in the summer of
1812, the English unadvisedly took possession of Grand Island, in the
Niagara River, a valuable territory of the Senecas. This was too much for
the pride of such men as Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother. A council was
called immediately--the American agent was summoned to attend--and the
orator arose and thus addressed him:

"Brother!" said he, after stating the information received, "you have told
us we had nothing to do with the war between you and the British. But the
war has come to our doors. Our property is seized upon by the British and
their Indian friends. It is necessary for us, then, to take up this
business. We must defend our property; we must drive the enemy from our
soil. If we sit still on our lands, and take no means of redress, the
British, following the customs of you white people, _will hold them by
conquest;_ and you, if you conquer Canada, will claim them on the same
principles, as conquered _from the British._ Brother, we wish to go with
our warriors and drive off these bad people, and take possession of those

The effect of this reasonable declaration, and especially of the manner in
which it was made, was such as might be expected. A grand council of the
Six Nations came together, and a manifesto, of which the following is a
literal translation, according to Thatcher, was issued against the British
in Canada, and signed by all the grand councilors of the Confederation:

"We, the chiefs and councilors of the Six Nations of Indians, residing in
the State of New York, do hereby proclaim to all the war-chiefs and
warriors of the Six Nations, that war is declared on our part against the
provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. Therefore, we do hereby command and
advise all the war-chiefs to call forth immediately the warriors under
them, and put them in motion to protect their rights and liberties, which
our brethren, the Americans, are now defending."

We regret that no speech of Red Jacket on this memorable occasion is
preserved. But his eloquence, and that of his brother chiefs, must have
inspired the warriors to great zeal and courage for although the
declaration was made quite late in 1812, we find quite a number of them in
the battle near Fort George. An official account of this action was given
by General Boyd, under date of August 13. The enemy were completely routed,
and a number of British Indians (Mohawks) were captured by our allies.
"Those," continued the general in his report, "who participated in this
contest, _particularly the Indians,_ conducted with great bravery and
activity. General Porter volunteered in the affair, and Major Chapin
evinced his accustomed zeal and courage. The regulars under Major Cummings,
as far as they were engaged, conducted well. The principal chiefs who led
the warriors this day were Farmer's Brother, Red Jacket, Little Billy,
Pollard, Black Snake, Johnson, Silver Heels, Captain Halftown, Major Henry
0. Ball (Cornplanter's son) and Captain Cold, who was wounded. In a council
which was held with them yesterday, they covenanted not to scalp or murder,
and I am happy to say that they treated the prisoners with humanity,
committed no wanton cruelties on the dead, but obeyed orders, and behaved
in a soldier-like manner."

Thatcher says: "We believe all the chiefs here mentioned were Senecas
except Captain Cold." In his next bulletin, the General reports, "The
bravery and humanity of the Indians were equally conspicuous." Another
authority quoted in Nile's "Register" says, "They behaved with great
gallantry and betrayed no disposition to violate the restrictions which
Boyd had imposed."

"These restrictions," as Thatcher says, "it should be observed in justice
to Red Jacket and his brave comrades, had been previously agreed upon at
the grand council, and the former probably felt no humiliation in departing
in this particular from the usual savagery of his warriors. We have met
with no authentic charges against him, either of cruelty or cowardice, and
it is well known that he took part in a number of sharply contested

Is not all this a complete vindication of Red Jacket's courage?

Of the boyhood of this great sachem we know nothing. Like many another he
owed his celebrity to the troublous times in which he lived. The powers of
the orator can only be exhibited on occasions of great interest; and the
mighty intellect of Red Jacket could not have exercised itself upon
theology, philosophy, or law, for the Indian was a stranger to all these
things. He was, however, a natural logician, and had gifts which, in a
white man, would have insured success as a lawyer. One of the first
forensic efforts of the young chief was in behalf of the women of his
people, who, among the Iroquois, were permitted to exert their influence in
all public and important matters. And to this extent, the Six Nations of
this period were more civilized than many of the _white_ nations of the
_twentieth century, including our own._

In the year 1791, when Washington wished to secure the neutrality of the
Six Nations, a deputation was sent to treat with them, but was not
favorably received, as many of the young chiefs were for war and sided with
the British. The women, as is usual, preferred peace, and argued that the
land was theirs, for they cultivated and took care of it, and, therefore,
had a right to speak concerning the use that should be made of its
products. They demanded to be heard on this occasion, and addressed the
deputation first themselves in the following words:

"Brother:--The Great Ruler has spared us until another day to talk
together; for since you came here from General Washington, you and our
uncles, the sachems, have been counseling together. Moreover, your sisters,
the women, have taken the same into great consideration, because you and
our sachems have said so much about it. Now, that is the reason we have
come to say something to you, and to tell you that the Great Ruler hath
preserved you, and that you ought to hear and listen to what we women shall
speak, as well as the sachems; _for we are the owners of this land,_ AND
IT IS OURS! It is we that plant it for our and their use. Hear us,
therefore, for we speak things that concern us and our children; and you
must not think hard of us while our men shall say more to you, for we have
told them."

They then designated Red Jacket as their speaker, and he took up the speech
of his clients as follows:

"Brothers from Pennsylvania: You that are sent from General Washington and
by the thirteen fires you have been sitting side by side with us every day,
and the Great Ruler has appointed us another pleasant day to meet again.

"Now, listen, brothers; you know it has been the request of our head
warriors, that we are left to answer for our women who are to conclude what
ought to be done by both sachems and warriors. So hear what is their
conclusion. The business you come on is very troublesome, and we have been
a long time considering it; and now the elder of our women have said that
our sachems and warriors must _help you,_ for the good of them and their
children, and you tell us the Americans are strong for peace.

"Now, all that has been done for you has been done by our women; the rest
will be a hard task for us; for the people at the setting sun are bad
people, and you have come in too much haste for such great matters of
importance. And now, brothers, you must look when it is light in the
morning, until the setting sun, and you must reach your neck over the land
to take in all the light you can to show the danger. And these are the
words of our women to you, and the sachems and warriors who shall go with

"Now, brothers from Pennsylvania and from General Washington, I have told
you all I was directed. Make your minds easy, and let us throw all care on
the mercy of the Great Keeper, in hopes that he will assist us."

"So," as Minnie Myrtle says, "there was peace instead of war, as there
would often be if the voice of women could be heard! and though the
Senecas, in revising their laws and customs, have in a measure acceded to
the civilized barbarism of treating the opinions of women with contempt,
where their interest is equal, they still cannot sign a treaty without the
consent of _two-thirds of the mothers!_"

On another occasion the women sent a message, which Red Jacket delivered
for them, saying that they fully concurred in the opinion of their sachems,
that the white people had been the cause of all the Indians' distresses.
The white people had pressed and squeezed them together, until it gave them
great pain at their hearts. One of the white women had told the Indians to
repent; and they now, in turn, called on the white people to repent--they
having as much need of repentance as the Indians. They, therefore, hoped
the pale-faces would repent and wrong the Indians no more, but give back
the lands they had taken.

At the termination of the Revolution, the Indians who were the allies of
the English were left to take care of themselves as best they could. Though
they had fought desperately in their own way, and inflicted every species
of suffering on our people, Washington extended to them the hand of
friendship and offered them protection. His kindness won him the gratitude
of the Indians. He undoubtedly filled a place in their affections never
occupied by any other white man, save Roger Williams, or William Penn. His
influence over the Indians helps to explain the fact that in all subsequent
wars the Senecas were either neutral or loyal to the Americans; proof that
the "Father of His Country" was also revered by his red children.

{Illustration: Massacre at Wyoming.}

Red Jacket was one of fifty chiefs who visited President Washington at
Philadelphia, then the seat of government, in 1792. While there the
President presented him with a silver medal, on which Washington, in
military uniform, was represented as handing a long peace-pipe to an Indian
chief with a scalp lock decorated with plumes on the top of his head, while
a white man was plowing with a yoke of oxen in the background. This last
figure was probably intended as a hint for the Indians to abandon war and
the chase, and adopt the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. On the reverse
side was the eagle, and motto of our country, "_E Pluribus Unum._" Indians
prefer ornaments of silver to those of gold, for they are more becoming to
their red skin. Red Jacket prized this medal very highly. He wore it on all
state occasions. Nevertheless, sad to relate, it is stated that the beloved
medal was more than once in pawn for whisky.

The medal in question was quite large. The exact dimensions were seven
inches long, by five broad. The last heard of the medal was in 1867, when
it was in possession of Brigadier-General Parker, of Grant's staff, who was
at that time chief sachem of the Six Nations.

While in Philadelphia, each member of the deputation of chiefs received
from General Knox, on the part of the Government, a military uniform such,
as was worn by the officers, together with a cocked hat. When Red Jacket's
suit was offered him he sent back word to General Knox that he could not
consistently wear such a garb, as he was not a war-chief, and requested
that a different suit might be given him, more suitable to his station. But
when the plain suit was brought to him, he declined giving up the
regimentals, coolly remarking that though as a sachem he could not wear a
military uniform in time of peace, yet in time of war the sachem joined the
warriors, and he would therefore keep it till war broke out, when he could
assume a military dress with propriety.

On one occasion, being invited with several of his people to dine at the
home of an officer, he ate very heartily of several kinds of meat; and
seeing the surprise of the host, he remarked that he belonged to the Wolf
Clan, and "wolves were always fond of meat."

About the year 1790, a council was held on the shore of Lake Canandaigua to
negotiate a purchase of land from the Indians. After two days spent in
discussing the terms, a treaty was agreed upon, and only wanted the
formality of a signature to make it complete, when Red Jacket, who had not
yet been heard, arose to speak. An eye-witness thus describes the scene:
"With the grace and dignity of a Roman Senator, he drew his blanket around
him, and with a piercing eye surveyed the multitude. All was hushed;
nothing interposed to break the silence, save the gentle rustle of the
tree-tops, under whose shade they were gathered. After a long and solemn,
but not unmeaning pause, he commenced his speech in a low voice and
sententious style. Rising gradually with the subject, he depicted the
primitive simplicity and happiness of his nation, and the wrongs they had
sustained from the usurpations of white men, with such bold but faithful
eloquence that every auditor was soon roused to vengeance or melted into
tears. The effect was inexpressible. But ere the emotions of admiration and
sympathy had subsided, the white men became alarmed. They were in the heart
of an Indian country, surrounded by more than ten times their number, who
were inflamed by the remembrance of their injuries and excited to
indignation by the eloquence of a favorite chief. Appalled and terrified,
the white men cast a cheerless gaze upon the hordes around them. A nod from
the chiefs might be the onset of destruction. At this portentous moment,
Farmer's Brother interposed. He replied not to his brother chief, but with
sagacity truly aboriginal, he caused a cessation of the council, introduced
good cheer, commended the eloquence of Red Jacket, and before the meeting
had reassembled, with the aid of other prudent chiefs, he had moderated the
fury of his nation to a more salutary view of the question before them."

The fame of his great eloquence gained Red Jacket a powerful influence, not
only in his own tribe but among all the Six Nations of Indians. "I am  an
orator; I was born an orator," was his boastful declaration; and to all
future generations his name will descend enrolled on the list with
Demosthenes and Cicero in ancient, and Pitt, Henry or Webster in modern
times; and though a Pagan and belonging to a rude, uncultured race, his
vices were no greater than those of men who lived all their lives under
Christian influences. He strenuously opposed every effort to introduce
Christianity among his people, for he could not understand how it could be
so valuable or necessary, when he saw how little it influenced the conduct
of white men and the wrongs they inflicted in the name of their God upon
the red man. He could not make the distinction between those who possessed
religion and those who merely _professed_ it; and as he came in contact
with very few who walked uprightly, he naturally concluded that a religion
which did no more for its followers was not worth adopting. He believed the
Great Spirit had formed the red and white man distinct; that they could no
more be of one creed than one color; and when the wars were over and there
was nothing more for them to do, he wished his people to be separated
entirely from white men, and return as much as possible to their old

He saw his people wasting away before the pale-faces; as he once said in a
speech before a great assemblage: "We stand a small island in the bosom of
the great waters. We are encircled--we are encompassed. The Evil Spirit
rides upon the blast, and the waters are disturbed. They rise, they press
upon us, and the waves once settled over us, we disappear for ever. Who,
then, lives to mourn us? None! What prevents our extermination? Nothing! We
are mingled with the common elements."

From all accounts, the first missionaries sent among the Senecas were not
very judicious, and did not take the wisest course to make their religion
acceptable to any people, and especially to a wronged and outraged race. In
1805 a young missionary by the name of Cram was sent into the country of
the Six Nations. A council was called to consider whether to receive him,
and after he had made an introductory speech, Red Jacket made the following

"Friend and Brother: It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should
meet together this day. He orders all things, and has given us a fine day
for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun and caused it
to shine with brightness upon us. For all these things we thank the Great
Ruler, and Him _only!_

"Brother, this council-fire was kindled by you. It was, at your request
that we came together at this time. We have listened with joy to what you
have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives us great
joy, for we now consider that we stand upright before you and can speak
what we think. All have heard your voice and can speak to you as one man.
Our minds are agreed.

"Brother, listen to what we say. There was a time when our forefathers
owned this great island. Their seats extended from the rising to the
setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had
created the buffalo, the deer and other animals for food. He had made the
bear and the beaver. Their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered
them over the country and taught us how to take them. He had caused the
earth to produce corn for bread. All this he had done for his red children
because he loved them. If we had some disputes about our hunting-ground,
they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood. But an evil
day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great water and landed upon
this island. Their numbers were small. They found us friends and not
enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country on account of
wicked men, and had come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a
small seat. We took pity on them and granted their request, and they sat
down amongst us. We gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison (rum) in

"The white people, brother, had now found our country. Tidings were carried
back, and more came amongst us. Yet we did not fear them. We took them to
be friends. They called us brothers; we believed them, and gave them a
larger seat. At length their numbers had greatly increased. They wanted
more land; they wanted our country. Our eyes were opened, and our minds
became uneasy. Wars took place. Indians were hired to fight against
Indians, and many of our people were destroyed. They also brought strong
liquor amongst us. It was strong and powerful and has slain thousands.

"Brother, our seats were once large, and yours were small. You have now
become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our
blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied you want to force
your religion upon us.

"Brother, continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how
to worship the Great Spirit agreeable to his mind; and if we do not take
hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy
hereafter. You say that you are right, and we are lost. How do we know this
to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it
was intended for us as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to
us--and not only to us, but to our forefathers--the knowledge of that book,
with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us
about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the
white people?

"Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great
Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so
much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?

"Brother, we do not understand these things. We are told that your religion
was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son.
We, also, have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been
handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us
to be thankful for all the favors we receive; to love each other, and be
united. We never quarrel about religion, because it is a matter which
concerns each man and the Great Spirit.

"Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you; we
only want to enjoy our own.

"Brother, we have been told that you have been preaching to the white
people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted
with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching
has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest and less
disposed to cheat Indians, we will consider again of what you have  said.

"Brother, you have now heard our talk, and this is all we have to say at
present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand,
and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you
safely to your friends."

According to the suggestion of their orator, the Indians moved forward to
shake hands with the missionary; but he refused, saying, "There was no
fellowship between the religion of God and the Devil." Yet the Indians
smiled and retired peacefully.

At another time Red Jacket said, referring to this same unwise missionary:
"The white people were not content with the wrongs they had done his
people, but wanted to cram their doctrines down their throats."

The great chief could never be induced to look upon Christianity with
favor. But it was the _pagan white people,_ with whom he came in contact,
who poisoned his mind, and prejudiced him against the missionaries and
their religion. They, knowing that the missionaries were the true friends
of the Indian, and understood their own evil machinations, wished to banish
them from the reservations.

Red Jacket lost ten or eleven children by consumption, the grim destroyer
of so many of all races. A lady once asked him whether he had any children
living. "Red Jacket was once a great man, and in favor with the Great
Spirit," sorrowfully answered the chief. "He was a lofty pine among the
smaller trees of the forest; but after years of glory he degraded himself
by drinking the fire-water of the white man. The Great Spirit has looked
upon him in anger and his lightning has stripped the pine of its branches,
and left standing only the scarred trunk dead at the top."

Had he hated the white men sufficiently to resist their temptations, he
might have been the glory and the savior of his people. The word which in
Seneca is used to express strong drink very truly and emphatically
describes it as "the mind destroyer." This was its office, and if the noble
mind of Red Jacket had not been partly destroyed by its agency, he would
have seen clearly through the dark plots of his enemies, and been able to
counter-plot to their destruction and thus rescued his people from the
grasp of their pursuers.

We find no evidence that he was addicted to any other debasing vice except
intemperance, while his life exemplified many ennobling virtues. He had an
intuitive perception of propriety, as was observed by an incident which
occurred while a white gentleman was traveling with a party of Indian
chiefs and their interpreter. Red Jacket was one of the party, but he was
uniformly grave. The others were much inclined to merriment, and during an
evening, when they were gathered around the fire in a log cabin, the mirth
was so great and the conversation so jocular, that Red Jacket was afraid
the stranger, who could not understand their language, would think himself
treated with impoliteness, and infer that their sport was at his expense.
He evidently enjoyed their happiness, though he took no part, but after a
while he spoke to Mr. Parish, the interpreter, and requested him to repeat
a few words to Mr. Hospres, which were as follows: "We have been made
uncomfortable by the storm; we are now warm and comfortable; it has caused
us to feel cheerful and merry; but I hope our friend who is traveling with
us will not be hurt at this merriment, or suppose that we are taking
advantage of his ignorance of our language to make him in any manner the
subject of mirth." On being assured that no such suspicion could be
entertained of the honorable men who were present, they resumed their mirth
and Red Jacket his gravity.

When Lafayette visited Buffalo in 1825, among those who thronged to pay
their respects was Red Jacket. When the chief was introduced to Lafayette
he said: "Do you remember being at the treaty of peace with the Six Nations
at Fort Stanwix?" "Yes," answered the general, "I have not forgotten that
great council. By the way, what has become of that young chief who opposed
so eloquently the burying of the tomahawk?" "He is before you," said Red

"Time has worked great changes upon us both," said Lafayette, "Ah," replied
the chief, "time has not been so severe upon you as it has upon me. It has
left you a fresh countenance and hair to cover your head; while to
me--behold!" The chief pulled a handkerchief from his head and disclosed
its baldness. But Lafayette did not leave him to think thus harshly of time
but proved to him that the ravages had been nearly the same upon both, by
removing a wig and exposing a head almost as bald as the chief's; upon
which he remarked, with much  pleasantry, that a scalp from some bystander
would renew his youth in the same manner!

Red Jacket pretended to understand no language but his own, and entertained
a great dislike for English. He would not reply to any of Lafayette's
questions until his interpreter had translated them into Seneca. Levasseur
states that in his conference with Lafayette, he evidently comprehended
everything uttered in his presence, while he would speak only Indian; and
that his former high opinion of the general seemed to be much increased by
a few chance-medley Seneca words, which the latter had the good fortune to
remember, and the courtesy to repeat.

Thatcher informs us that on another occasion the notorious fanatic, Jemima
Wilkenson, while trying to make proselytes, invited the Senecas to a
conference. This strange woman professed to be the world's Savior at his
second appearance upon earth, and was then living in fine style in the
western part of New York State with her dupes. Red Jacket attended the
council with his people and listened patiently to the end of a long
address. Most of it he probably understood, but instead of replying to her
argument in detail, he laid the axe at the root of her authority. Having
risen very gravely and spoken a few words in Seneca, he noticed her
inquire what he was talking about? "Ha!" He exclaimed with an arch
look--"she inspired--she Jesus Christ--and not know _indian?_" The solidity
of her pretensions was at once decided adversely, in the minds of at least
the heathen part of her audience.

{Illustration: Corn Planter, Ki-On-Twog-Ky, Seneca Chief.}

The gifted sachem on one occasion used the following figurative language,
in speaking of the enchroachments of the white people:

"We first knew you a feeble plant which wanted a little earth whereon to
grow. We gave it you and afterward, when we could have trod you under our
feet, we watered and protected you; and now you have grown to be a mighty
tree, whose top reaches the clouds, and whose branches overspread the whole
land, whilst we, who were the tall pine of the forest, have become a feeble
plant and need your protection.

"When you first came here, you clung around our knee and called us
_father;_ we took you by the hand and called you brothers. You have grown
greater than we, so that we can no longer reach up to your hand; but we
wish to cling around your knee and be called your children." Is not this at
once beautiful and pathetic?

But Sa-go-ye-wat-ha could be sarcastic, as well as pathetic; in fact he ran
the whole gamut, and was deficient in nothing essential to eloquence.

Minnie Myrtle, in her book. "The Iroquois," relates the following incident:

"A young French nobleman visited Buffalo on one occasion, and having heard
much of the fame of Red Jacket, sent him word that he wished to see him,
and invited him to come the next day. Red Jacket received the message, and
affected great contempt, saying: 'Tell the _young man_ if he wishes to
visit the old chief he will find him with his nation, where other strangers
pay their respects to him, and Red Jacket will be glad to see him.' The
count sent back word that he had taken a long journey and was fatigued;
that he had come all the way from France to see the great orator of the
Seneca nation, and hoped he would not refuse to meet him at Buffalo. 'Tell
him,' said the sarcastic chief, 'that, having come so far to see me, it is
strange he should stop within seven miles of my lodge.' So the young
Frenchman was obliged to seek him in his wigwam; after which he consented
to dine with the count at Buffalo, and was pronounced by him a greater
wonder than Niagara Falls itself."

On another occasion he was visited by a gentleman who talked incessantly
and to little purpose, and who would go very near the person he was
addressing and chatter about as intelligibly as a magpie. Red Jacket,
receiving the message that a stranger wished to see him, dressed himself
with great care, and came forth in all his dignity. One glance of his keen
eye was sufficient for him to understand the character of his guest, and
listening a few moments with contempt in all his features, he then went
close to him and exclaimed, "Cha! cha! cha!" as fast as he could speak, and
turned on his heel to his own cabin "as straight as an Indian," nor deigned
to look behind him while in sight of the house occupied by the loquacious
stranger, who stood for once speechless!

Like other great orators, he had his full share of vanity. He was fully
aware of his importance, and disposed to make others aware of it. Colonel
Pickering was often employed by the government to negotiate treaties, and
would take down the speeches on the occasion in writing. At one time, when
Red Jacket was the orator, he thought he would note the words of the
interpreter whilst the chief was himself speaking. He immediately paused,
and on being requested to proceed, said, "No, not whilst you hold down your
head." "Why can you not speak whilst I write?" "Because, if you look me in
the eye, you can tell whether I tell you the truth."

At another time he turned his head to speak to a third person, when Red
Jacket very haughtily rebuked him, saying, "When a Seneca speaks he ought
to be listened to with attention from one end of this great island to the

When he returned from Philadelphia, he was in the habit of using his
oratorical powers to embellish the manner of his reception, and would
collect around him the chiefs and people of his nation, and, dressed in his
uniform, with the cocked hat under his arm, would personify the President,
and bow to all present as if they were the company in the great saloon,
imitating the manners and gestures of the original with true grace and
dignity, and then entertain his audience with the compliments and
attentions which had been bestowed upon him.

When invited to dine or be present at any social function among white
people, he conformed with wonderful tact to the customs to which he was a
stranger, never manifesting any surprise or asking any questions till he
could consult some friend whose ridicule he did not fear. He once told a
gentleman that when he dined with President Washington, a man ran off with
his knife and fork every now and then and returned with others. "Now," said
Red Jacket, "what was that for?"

The gentleman told him that there were a great many kinds of dishes, each
cooked in a different manner, and that the plates, knives and forks were
changed every time a new dish was brought on.

"Ah," said Red Jacket thoughtfully, "is that it? You must then suppose that
the plates and knives and forks retain the taste of the cookery?" "Yes."

"Have you then," demanded the chief, "any method by which you can change
your palates every time you change your plate? For I think the taste would
remain on the palate longer than it would on the plate."

"We are in the habit of washing that away by drinking wine," answered the

"Ah," said Red Jacket, "now I understand it. I was persuaded that so
general a custom among you must be founded in reason, and I only regret
that when I was in Philadelphia I did not understand it. The moment the man
went off with my plate I would have drunk wine until he brought me another;
for although I am fond of eating, I am more so of drinking."

Red Jacket was extremely fond of sugar. He was once at the table of Captain
Jones, the interpreter. Mrs. Jones handed him his coffee without sugar, for
a joke.

"My son," said the chief, looking at the captain severely, "do you allow
your squaw thus to trifle with your father?" The children giggled. "And do
you allow your children to make sport of their chief?" added Red Jacket.
Apologies were made and the sugar-bowl was handed to the offended chief. He
filled his cup to the brim with sugar and ate it out by the spoonful with
the utmost gravity.

Eggleston informs us that, "Red Jacket could see no justice in the white
man's court of law. An Indian who had broken in to a house and stolen some
small article of value was indicted for burglary. Red Jacket made a long
speech in court in his defense. But the Indian was sentenced to
imprisonment for life, much to the orator's disgust. After the proceedings
were over Red Jacket left the courthouse in company with the lawyers.
Across the street was the sign of a printing-office with the arms of the
State, representing Liberty and Justice. Red Jacket stopped and pointed to
the sign.

"What him call?" demanded the chief.

"Liberty," answered the bystanders.

"Ugh!" said the sachem.

"What him call?" pointing to the other figure upon the sign.

"Justice," was the answer.

"Where him live now?" inquired the chief.

Red Jacket was one day met going the opposite direction from an execution
to which everybody was crowding. He was asked why he, too, did not go.
"Fools enough there already. Battle is the place to see men die," he

Although fond of good things, Red Jacket had a great contempt for a
sensualist. When asked his opinion of a chief appropriately named Hot
Bread, who was known to be indolent and gluttonous, he exclaimed, "Waugh!
big man here (laying his hand upon his abdomen), but very small man here,"
bringing the palm of his hand with significant emphasis across his

For a long time the great chief refused to sit for his portrait, though
often importuned. "When Red Jacket dies," he would say, "all that belongs
to him shall die too." But at length an appeal to his vanity availed, and
on being assured that his picture was wanted to hang with those of
Washington and Jefferson, and other great men in the National Galleries, he
consented; and having once broken his resolution, no longer resisted, and
was painted by several artists. The one by Weir is considered best, and was
taken during a visit of the chief to New York, in 1828, at the request of
Dr. Francis. He dressed himself with great care in the costume he thought
most becoming and appropriate, decorated with his brilliant war-dress, his
tomahawk, and Washington medal. He then seated himself in a large
arm-chair, while around him groups of Indians were reclining upon the
floor. He  was more than seventy years of age at the time, but tall, erect
and firm, though with many of the traces of time and dissipation upon his
form and countenance. He manifested great pleasure as the outlines of the
picture were filled up, and especially when his favorite medal came out in
full relief; and when the picture was finished, started to his feet and
clasped the hand of the artist, exclaiming, "Good! good!"

One who knew him remarks, "That his characteristics are preserved to
admiration, and his majestic front exhibits an attitude surpassing every
other I have ever seen of the human skull."

Mr. Stone, in his "Life of Red Jacket," gives an account of an interview
between that chief and Rev. Dr. Breckenridge, which took place at the
residence of General Porter, Black Rock, New York, in 1821.

General Porter's wife was a sister to Dr. Breckenridge, and he was visiting
them at the time. Several chiefs, including Red Jacket, were invited to
dine with the general and meet his kinsmen.

"On the appointed day," wrote Dr. Breckenridge, "they made their appearance
in due form, headed by Red Jacket, to the number of eight or ten besides
himself. He wore a blue dress, the upper garment cut after the fashion of a
hunting shirt, with blue leggings, a red jacket and a girdle of red about
his waist. I have seldom seen a more dignified or noble looking body of men
than the entire group.

"After the introduction was over, and the object of their invitation
stated, Red Jacket turned to me familiarly and asked: 'What are you? You
say you are not a government agent; are you a gambler (meaning a land
speculator), or a black-coat (clergyman), or what are you?'

"I answered, 'I am yet too young a man to engage in any profession; but I
hope some of these days to be a black-coat.'

"He lifted up his hands, accompanied by his eyes, in a most expressive way;
and though not a word was uttered, every one fully understood that he very
distinctly expressed the sentiment, 'What a fool!' I commanded my
countenance and seeming not to have observed him, proceeded to tell him
something of our colleges and other institutions."

It was during this interview that the objects of speculators were so
explained to him that he understood their evil designs; and the true nature
of the missionary enterprise was made clear to his comprehension, so that
his enmity was never afterward so bitter. When assured that by the course
he was pursuing, he was doing more than any one else to break up and drive
away his people, and that the effect of the teachings of the missionaries
was to preserve them, he grasped the hand of the speaker and said: "If this
is so it is new to me, and I will lay it up in my  mind," pointing to his
noble forehead, "and talk of it to the chiefs and the people."

Dr. Breckenridge continues: "Red Jacket was about sixty years old at this
time, and had a weather-beaten look, which age, and more than all,
intemperance, had produced; but his general appearance was striking, and
his face noble. His lofty and capacious forehead, his piercing black eye,
his gently curved lips, fine cheek and slightly aquiline nose--all marked
a great man; and as sustained and expressed by his dignified air, made a
deep impression on all who saw him. All these features became doubly
expressive, when his mind and body were set in motion by the effort of
speaking--if effort that may be called which flowed like a stream from his
lips. I saw him in the wane of life, and heard him only in private, and
through a stupid and careless interpreter. Yet, notwithstanding these
disadvantages, he was one of the greatest and most eloquent orators I ever
knew. His cadence was measured, and yet very musical; and when excited he
would spring to his feet, elevate his head, expand his arms and utter with
indescribable effect of manner and tone, some of his noblest thoughts."

General Porter speaks of him as a man endowed with great intellectual
powers, and who, as an orator, was not only unsurpassed, but unequaled by
any of his contemporaries. Although those who were ignorant of his language
could not fully appreciate the force and beauty of his speeches, when
received through the medium of an interpreter--generally coarse and
clumsy--yet such was the peculiar gracefulness of his person, attitudes and
action, and the mellow tones of his Seneca dialect, and such the
astonishing effects produced on that part of the auditory who did fully
understand him, and whose souls appeared to be engrossed and borne away by
the orator, that he was listened to by all with perfect delight. His
figures were frequently so sublime, so apposite and so beautiful that the
interpreter often said the English language was not rich enough to allow of
doing him justice.

Another gentleman says: "It is evident that the best translations of Indian
speeches must fail to express the beauty and sublimity of the
originals--especially of such an original as Red Jacket. It has been my
good fortune to hear him a few times, but only in late years, when his
powers were enfeebled by age and intemperance; but I shall never forget the
impression made on me the first time I saw him  in council. The English
language has no figures to convey the true meaning of the original, but
though coming through the medium of an illiterate interpreter, I saw the
dismembered parts of a splendid oration."

Through the machinations of his great rival, Cornplanter, Red Jacket was
once accused of being a wizard, and actually tried for witchcraft. Very
likely he was accused of spitting fire at night or some other wizard's
performance. At any rate Red Jacket arose and made his own defense.
Eggleston says: "For three hours he spoke with the most wonderful
eloquence, moving the Indians in spite of themselves. They were divided. A
bare majority was in favor of Red Jacket and his life was saved." We
question whether his life was actually in any danger, even had the decision
gone against him, for the reason that Red Jacket had a great many white
friends, and they would certainly have interfered in his behalf, as they
did in the case of other Indians of less prominence accused of witchcraft
at the same time.

Near the close of his life Red Jacket was formally deposed by twenty-six
chiefs of his tribe. This was due partly to the jealousy of rival chiefs,
but mainly because of his opposition to the Christian party, and on account
of his intemperate habits.

But Red Jacket was not yet prepared to submit patiently to such
degradation, especially when he knew so well the true motives of those who
effected it. Nor was he by any means so much under the control of his bad
habits as not to feel occasionally, perhaps generally, both the
consciousness of his power and the sting of shame. "It shall not be said of
me" thought the old orator, with a gleam of a fiery soul in his eye--"It
shall not be said that Sa-go-ye-wat-ha lived in insignificance and died in
dishonor. Am I too feeble to avenge myself of my enemies? Am I not as I
have been?" In fine, he roused himself to a great effort. Representations
were made to the neighboring tribes--for he knew too well the hopelessness
of a movement confined to his own--and only a month had elapsed since his
deposition, when a grand council of the chiefs of the Six Nations assembled
together at the upper council-house of the Seneca village reservation.

The document of the Christian party was  read, and then Half-Town rose,
and, in behalf of the Seneca Indians, said there was but one voice in his
nation, among the common people, and that was of general indignation at
contumely cast on so great a man as Red Jacket. Several other chiefs
addressed the council to the same, effect. The condemned orator rose
slowly, as if grieved and humiliated, but yet with his ancient air of

{Illustration: Adolph Knock and Family, Sioux.}

"My Brothers," he said after a solemn pause, "you have this day been
correctly informed of an attempt to make me sit down and throw off the
authority of a chief, by twenty-six misguided chiefs of my nation. You have
heard the statements of my associates in council, and their explanations of
the foolish charges brought against me. I have taken the legal and proper
way to meet these charges. It is the only way in which I could notice them.
Charges which I despise, and which nothing would induce me to notice but
the concern which many respected chiefs of my nation feel in the character
of their aged comrade. Were it otherwise, I should not be before you. I
would fold my arms and sit quietly under these ridiculous slanders.

"The Christian party have not even proceeded legally, according to our
usages, to put me down. Ah! it grieves my heart, when I look around me and
see the situation of my people--in old-time united and powerful, now
divided and feeble. I feel sorry for my nation. When I am gone to the other
world--when the Great Spirit calls me away--who among my people can take my
place? Many years have I guided the nation."

Here he introduced some artful observations on the origin of the attack
upon him. He then alluded to the course taken by the Christians, as ruinous
and disgraceful, especially in their abandonment of the religion of their
fathers, and their sacrifices, for paltry considerations, of the land given
them by the Great Spirit. As for the "Black-Coats," Mr. Calhoun had told
him at Washington, four years before, that the Indians must treat with
them as they thought proper; the Government would not interfere. "I will
not consent," he concluded, sagaciously identifying his disgrace with his
opposition to the Christians, "I will not consent silently to be trampled
under foot. As long as I can raise my voice, I will oppose such measures.
As long as I can stand in my moccasins, I will do all that I can for my
nation." It is scarcely necessary to add that the result of the conference
was the triumphant restoration of the orator to his former rank.

In a council which was held with the Senecas by General Tompkins, of New
York, a discussion arose concerning some point in a treaty made several
years before. The agent stated one thing and Red Jacket another, insisting
that he was correct. He was answered that it was written on paper, in the
record of that treaty, and must be so.

"The paper then tells a lie," said the orator, "for I have it written here
(placing his hand upon his brow). You Yankees are born with a feather
between your fingers, but your paper does not speak the truth. The Indian
keeps his knowledge here this is the book the Great Spirit has given him
and it does not lie." On consulting the documents more particularly, it was
found that the Indian record was, _indeed, the most correct!_

Red Jacket's early youth was spent in the beautiful valley of the Genesee;
there were his favorite hunting grounds, and there his memory loved to
linger. During the strife of wars and the more bitter strife of treaties,
he had indulged very little in his favorite pastime; and when a day of
comparative quiet came, he, in company with a friend, took his gun and went
forth to enjoy one more hunt in this favored region. They had gone but a
short distance, however, when a clearing opened before them. With a
contemptuous sneer, the old man turned aside and wandered in another
direction. In a little while he came to another, and looking over a fence,
he saw a white man holding a plow, which was turning up the earth in dark
furrows over a large field. Again he turned sadly away, and plunged deeper
in the forest, but soon another open field presented itself and though he
had been all his life oppressed with the woes of his people, he now for the
first time sat down and wept. There was no longer any hope--they had wasted

A gentleman who knew Red Jacket intimately for half a century, says: "He
was the most graceful public speaker I ever heard. His stature was above
the middle size; his eyes fine, and expressive of the intellect which gave
them fire; he was fluent without being too rapid; and dignified and
stately, without rigidity. When he arose, he would turn toward the Indians
and ask their attention to what he was about to say in behalf of the
Commissioner of the United States. He would then turn toward the
Commissioner, and with a slight but dignified inclination of the head,

Red Jacket visited the Atlantic cities repeatedly, and for the last time as
late as the spring of 1829. He was, on these occasions, and especially on
the latter, the object of no little curiosity and attention. He enjoyed
both, and was particularly careful to demean himself in a manner suited to
the dignity of his rank and reputation.

One of the Boston papers contained the following mention of his visit to
that city: "Red Jacket.--This celebrated Indian chief, who has recently
attracted so much attention at New York and the Southern cities, has
arrived in this city, and has accepted an invitation of the Superintendent
to visit the New England Museum this evening, March 21, in  his full Indian
costume, attended by Captain Johnson, his interpreter, by whom those who
wish it can be introduced and hold conversation with him."

Boston, then as now, was nothing if not literary, and a poetical friend
does him but justice in thus alluding to his Washington medal, his forest
costume and the stately carriage which the chieftain still gallantly

       "Thy garb--though Austria's bosom-star would frighten
           That medal pale, as diamonds, the dark mine,
        And George the Fourth wore, in the dance at Brighton,
           A more becoming evening dress than thine.

       "Yet 'tis a brave one, scorning wind and weather.
           And fitted for thy couch on field and flood.
         As Rob Roy's tartans for the highland heather.
           Or forest green for England's Robin Hood.

       "Is strength a monarch's merit?--like a whaler's--
            Thou art as tall, as sinewy, and as strong
         As earth's first kings--the Argo's gallant sailors--
            Heroes in history, and gods in song.

        "Who will believe that, with a smile whose blessing
            Would, like the patriarch's, soothe a dying hour;
         With voice as low, as gentle, and caressing,
            As e'er won maiden's lip in moonlight bower

        "With look like patient Job's eschewing evil
            With motions graceful as a bird's in air
         Thou art in truth, the veriest devil
            That e'er clenched fingers in a captive's hair!

        "That in thy veins there springs a poison fountain,
            Deadlier than that which bathes the Upas tree;
         And in thy wrath a nursing cat o' mountain
            Is calm as her babe's sleep compared to thee!

       "And underneath that face, like summer's oceans--
            Its lip as moveless, and its cheek as clear--
         Slumbers a whirlwind of the heart's emotions,
            Love, hatred, pride, hope, sorrow--all, save fear.

       "Love--for thy land, as if she were thy daughter;
            Her pipes in peace, her tomahawk in wars;
         Hatred of missionaries and cold water;
            Pride--in thy rifle-trophies and thy scars;

       "Hope--that thy wrongs will be by the Great Spirit
            Remembered and revenged when thou art gone;
         Sorrow--that none are left thee to inherit
            Thy name, thy fame, thy passions and thy throne."

This poet is not the only civilized authority who noticed that Red Jacket
possessed personal attractions which greatly aided his forensic success,
for one of the most distinguished public men of the State of New York was
wont to say that the chieftain reminded him strongly of the celebrated John
Randolph, of Roanoke, in his best estate, and that these two were the only
orators of nature he had ever heard or seen.

In the last stanza quoted is an allusion to the melancholy domestic
circumstances of the subject of them. He had been--according to
Thatcher--the father of thirteen children, during his lifetime, and had
buried them all.

Some time after this visit to the Atlantic cities, he was invited to the
launching of a schooner which was named after him. He christened the vessel
with a short speech.

"You have a great name given to you," said he, addressing the ship, "strive
to deserve it. Be brave and daring. Go boldly into the great lakes and fear
neither the swift wind nor the strong waves. Be not frightened nor overcome
by them, for it is in resisting storms and tempest that I, whose name you
bear, obtained my renown. Let my great example inspire you to courage and
lead you to glory."

Of the domestic character and habits of the great Indian orator we know, of
course, very little. It has not been the custom of civilized or Christian
people to relate much concerning the home life of eminent Indians.

We know, however, that Red Jacket separated from his first wife after she
had become the mother of several children, and that her infidelity was the
alleged cause. The repugnance which he ever afterward manifested toward her
is in accordance with his known moral purity of character.

Red Jacket married a second wife. She was the widow of a chief named Two
Guns, and a woman of fine face and bearing. She became interested in
Christianity, and thought of joining the church; whereupon Red Jacket was
enraged. He said that they had lived happily together, but that now if she
joined the party to which her husband  was opposed, he would leave her. His
wife, however, joined the church, and Red Jacket immediately left her and
went to the other reservation.

But he was not happy separated from those he loved, and those he left were
not happy without him. He missed the caresses of the children, and
especially the youngest daughter, of whom he was very fond. Through the
agency of this little girl a reconciliation was effected. He even promised
that he would never again interfere with his wife's religious privileges,
and to his credit be it said, he kept the promise.

The great orator was suddenly taken ill of cholera morbus in the council
house, where he had gone that day dressed with more than ordinary care,
with all his gay apparel and ornaments. When he returned he said to his
wife, "I am sick; I could not stay till the council had finished. I shall
never recover."  He then took off all his rich costume and laid it
carefully away; reclined himself upon his couch and did not rise again till
morning, or speak except to answer some slight question. His wife prepared
him medicine which he patiently took, but said, "It will do no good. I
shall die." The next day he called her to him, and requested her and the
little girl he loved so much, to sit beside him, and listen to his parting

"I am going to die," he said. "I shall never leave the house again alive. I
wish to thank you for your kindness to me. You have loved me. You have
always prepared my food and taken care of my clothes, and been patient with
me. I am sorry I ever treated you unkindly. I am sorry I left you, because
of your new religion, and I am convinced that it is a good religion and
has made you a better woman, and wish you to persevere in it. I should like
to have lived a little longer for your sake. I meant to build you a new
house and make you more comfortable, but it is now too late. But I hope my
daughter will remember what I have often told her--not to go in the streets
with strangers or improper persons. She must stay with her mother, and grow
up a respectable woman.

"When I am dead it will be noised abroad through all the world--they will
hear of it across the great waters, and say, 'Red Jacket, the great orator,
is dead.' And white men will come and ask you for my  body. They will wish
to bury me. But do not let them take me. Clothe me in my simplest dress
put on my leggings and my moccasins, and hang the cross which I have worn
so long, around my neck, and let it lie upon my bosom. Then bury me among
my people. Neither do I wish to be buried with Pagan rites. I wish the
ceremonies to be as you like, according to the customs of your new religion
if you choose. Your minister says the dead will rise. Perhaps they will. If
they do, I wish to rise with my old comrades. I do not wish to rise among
_pale-faces._  I wish to be surrounded by red men. Do not make a feast
according to the customs of the Indians. Whenever my friends chose, they
could come and feast with me when I was well, and I do not wish those who
have never eaten with me in my cabin to surfeit at my funeral feast."

When he had finished, he laid himself again upon the couch and did not rise
again. He lived several days, but was most of the time in a stupor, or else
delirious. He often asked for Mr. Harris, the missionary, and afterward
would unconsciously mutter--"I do not hate him--he thinks I hate him, but
I do not. I would not hurt him." The missionary was sent for repeatedly,
but he did not return till the chieftain was dead. When the messenger told
him  Mr. Harris had not come, he replied, "Very well. The Great Spirit will
order it as he sees best, whether I have an opportunity to speak  with
him." Again he would murmur, "He accused me of being a snake, and trying
to bite somebody. This was very true, and I wish to repent and make

Whether it was Mr. Harris that he referred to all the time he was talking
in this way could not be ascertained, as he did not seem to comprehend if
any direct question was put to him, but from his remarks, and his known
enmity to him, this was the natural supposition.

The cross which he wore was a very rich one, of stones set in gold, and
very large; it was given to him, but by whom his friends never knew. This
was all the ornament which he requested should be buried with him.

It certainly was very remarkable that Red Jacket, after a life of sworn
enmity to Christianity, should be so influenced by the unobtrusive example
of his Christian wife, as to abjure Pagan rites and request Christian
burial. But such was undoubtedly the case, as we are informed by Minnie
Myrtle, who spent much time among the Iroquois, especially the Senecas, and
got her information concerning "the closing scene" from the sachem's
favorite stepdaughter.

The wife and daughter were the only ones to whom he spoke parting words or
gave a parting blessing; but as his last hour drew nigh, his family all
gathered around him, and mournful it was to think that the children were
not his own--his were all sleeping in the little churchyard where he was
soon to be laid--they were his stepchildren--the children of his favorite
wife. It has been somewhere stated that his first wife died before him, but
this is a mistake; she was living at the time of his death.

His last words were still, "Where is the missionary?" He then clasped the
little girl, whom he loved so devotedly, to his bosom; while she sobbed in
anguish her ears caught his hurried breathing--his arms relaxed their
hold--she looked up, and he was gone. There was mourning in the household,
and there was mourning among the people. The orator, the great man of whom
they were still proud, while they lamented his degeneracy, was gone. He had
been a true though mistaken friend, and who would take his place?

All his requests were complied with strictly. The funeral took place in the
little mission church, with appropriate but most simple ceremonies. In
these the Pagans took but little interest. Wrapped in profound and solemn
thought, they, however, waited patiently their termination. Some of them
then arose, and successively addressed their countrymen in their own
language. They recounted the exploits and the virtues of him whose remains
they were now about to bear to his last home. They remembered his own
prophetic appeal--"Who shall take my place among my people?" They thought
of the ancient glory of their nation, and they looked around them on its
miserable remnant. The contrast made their hearts sick, and tears trickled
down their cheeks. Well might they weep! The strong warrior's arm was
mouldering into dust, and the eye of the gifted orator was cold and
motionless forever.

The last council he attended he recommended to both parties among his
people, the Christian and Pagan, that they should resolve to quarrel no
more, but each man believe according, to his own way. In his last public
speech to his people he said: "I am about to leave you, and when I am gone,
and my warning shall no longer be heard or regarded, the craft and avarice
of the white man will prevail. Many winters have I breasted the storm, but
I am an aged tree and can stand no longer. My leaves are fallen, my
branches are withered, and I am shaken by every  breeze. Soon my aged trunk
will be prostrate, and the foot of the exulting foe of the Indian may be
placed upon it in safety; for I have none who will be able to avenge such
an indignity. Think not I mourn for myself. I go to join the spirits of my
fathers, where age can not come; but my heart fails me when I think of my
people, who are so soon to be scattered and forgotten."

{Illustration: Red Jacket presents a buck to the delegation from

In less than nine years after his death "the craft and avarice of the white
man" had prevailed, as he predicted, and "every foot of the ancient
inheritance of the Senecas was ceded to the white man, in exchange for a
tract west of the Mississippi." Through the intervention of the Friends,
however, this calamity was averted, and for the first and only time, the
Indians recovered their land after it had been fraudulently obtained.

Red Jacket was buried in the little mission burying ground, at the gateway
of what was once an old fort.

A simple stone was erected to mark his grave, and the spot became a resort
for travelers from far and near.

The following inscription was cut on his tombstone:


                       THE KEEPER AWAKE.
                          RED JACKET,
                          CHIEF OF THE
                      WOLF TRIBE OF THE SENECAS.
                       Died, Jan. 20, 1830.
                         Aged, 78 years.

His headstone was desecrated by relic-hunting vandals, until his name
disappeared from the marble.

Some among those who knew and honored him, wished to remove his remains to
the new cemetery at Buffalo. They even caused him to be disinterred and
placed in a leaden coffin, preparatory to a second burial. But ere their
desire was accomplished, his family had heard of what they considered the
terrible sacrilege, and immediately demanded that he should be given up.
They had removed from the Buffalo to the Cattaraugus reservation, and
therefore did not wish to bury him again in the mission churchyard, so they
brought his precious dust to their own dwelling, where for many years it
remained unburied. They almost felt as if he would rise up to curse them,
if they allowed him to lie side by side with those he so cordially hated.
He did not wish to rise with pale-faces, whom he considered the despoilers
of his people, nor to mingle his red dust with that of his white foes.

Recently a splendid monument, surmounted  by a statue of the great Seneca
orator, has been erected in the beautiful city of Buffalo.

                            CHAPTER IX.


                               ST. CLAIR.

Judged from his success on the field of battle and his sagacity in council,
Little Turtle deserves to rank among the four greatest American Indians,
the other three being Pontiac, Tecumseh and Chief Joseph. Indeed, when it
is remembered that "nothing succeeds like success," and that he alone of
all the Indian commanders had three victories to his credit (for the defeat
of the whites at Blue Lick, in Kentucky, is also conceded to him), he might
be regarded as in some respects the greatest American Indian.

Little Turtle was thought to have been born on the banks of the Miami
River, in Ohio, about the year 1747. He was the son of a Miami chief, but
his mother was a Mohegan woman, probably captured in war and adopted into
the tribe. As the Indian maxim in relation to descents is generally the
same with that of our obsolete civil law in relation to slaves, that the
condition of the offspring follows the condition of the mother. {FN} Little
Turtle had no advantage whatever from his father's rank. He, however,
became a chief at an early age, for his extraordinary talents attracted the
notice of his countrymen in boyhood.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} "Partus sequitur ventrum."

His first services worthy of mention were those of a young warrior in the
ranks of his tribe. Here the soundness of his judgment and his skill and
bravery in battle soon made him chief, and finally bore him on to a
commanding influence, not only in his own nation, but among all the
neighboring tribes.

Notwithstanding his name, Little Turtle was at this time at least six feet
tall; strong, muscular and remarkably dignified in his manner, though of a
somewhat morose countenance and apparently very crafty and subtle. As a
warrior he was fearless, but not rash; shrewd to plan, bold and energetic
to execute--no peril could daunt and no emergency could surprise him.
Politically he was the first follower of Pontiac, and the latest model of
Tecumseh. He indulged in much the same gloomy apprehension that the whites
would over top and finally uproot his race; and he sought much the same
combination of the Indian nations to prevent it.

Long after the conclusion of the peace of 1783, the British retained
possession of several posts within our ceded limits on the north, which
were rallying-points for the Indians hostile to the American cause, and
where they were supplied and subsisted to a considerable extent, while they
continued to wage that war with us, which their civilized ally no longer
maintained. The infant Government made strenuous exertions to pacify all
these tribes. With some they succeeded, but the Indians of the Miami and
Wabash would consent to no terms. They were strong in domestic combination,
besides receiving encouragement from across the Canadian border.

Little Turtle, ably assisted by Blue Jacket, head chief of the Shawnees of
this period, and Buckongahelas, who led the Delawares, formed a
confederation of the Wyandots, Pottawatomies, Chippewas, Ottawas, Shawnees,
Delawares and Miamis, and parts of several other tribes.

These were substantially the same tribes who had thirty years before been
united under Pontiac, and formed an exact precedent for the combination of
Tecumseh and his brother at Tippecanoe some years after, as will be seen.

On September 13, 1791--all attempts to conciliate the hostile tribes, who
were now ravaging the frontiers, having been abandoned--General Harmar,
under the direction of the Federal Government, marched against them from
Fort Washington, where Cincinnati now stands, with three hundred and twenty
regulars, who were soon after joined by a body of militia, making the whole
force about fifteen hundred men.

When they reached the Miami villages they were found deserted by the
Indians. The army burned them, destroyed the standing corn, and then
encamped on the ground. An Indian trail being discovered soon after,
Hardin, with one hundred and fifty militia, properly officered, and thirty
regulars, commanded by Captain Armstrong, was sent in pursuit.

In a prairie at the distance of six miles, the Indians had formed an ambush
on each side of their own trail, where they were concealed among the bushes
and long grass. All unsuspicious of danger the troops followed the trail,
but were no sooner involved within the snare laid for them than the enemy
poured in a heavy fire from both sides. Greatly to the mortification of
their colonel, the militia broke ranks at once and fled, deserting the
regulars, who stood firm till nearly all of them were killed.

The Indians remained on the field, and during the night held a dance of
victory over their dead and dying enemies. To this ceremony Captain
Armstrong was a constrained and unwilling witness, being sunk to his neck
in mud and water, within a hundred yards of the scene.

The life of Ensign Hartshorn was also saved by his having accidentally
fallen over a log hidden among the weeds and grass. During the night both
these officers eluded the notice of their enemies, and reached camp before

Apparently disheartened by the result of this skirmish, Harmar broke up his
camp in a day or two afterward and retreated nearer the settlements. On the
second day of the march, when about ten miles from the ruined villages, the
general ordered a halt, and sent Colonel Hardin back to the main town with
some sixty regulars and three hundred militia. Hardin had no sooner reached
the point to which he had been ordered, than a small body of Indians
appeared on the ground. After receiving the fire of the militia, the
savages broke into separate parties, and by seeming to fly, as if
panic-stricken, encouraged the militia to follow in pursuit. The stratagem
was successful. The militia had no sooner disappeared in chase of the
fugitives, than the regulars, thus left alone, were suddenly assaulted by
large numbers of the foe, who had hitherto remained in concealment.

The Indians precipitated themselves upon the sixty regulars under Major
Willis, but were received with the most inflexible determination. The
Indian war-whoop, so appalling even to the bravest hearts, was heard in
cool, inflexible silence. The whirling of the tomahawk was met by the
thrust of the bayonet.

Nothing could exceed the intrepidity of the savages on this occasion. The
militia they appeared to despise, and with all the undauntedness
conceivable threw down their guns and rushed upon the bayonets of the
regular soldiers. Quite a few of them fell, but being far superior in
numbers the regulars were soon overpowered; for, while the poor soldier had
his bayonet in one Indian two more would sink their tomahawks in his head.
The defeat of the troops was complete, the dead and wounded were left on
the field of action in possession of the savages.

In the meantime, the militia came straggling in from their vain and
hopeless pursuit, and the struggle was renewed for a time, but when they
realized that the regulars had been almost annihilated during their
absence, they lost heart and retreated.

Of the regulars engaged in this most sanguinary battle only ten escaped
back to the camp, while the militia, under Hardin, lost ninety-eight in
killed and ten others wounded.

After this unfortunate repulse, Harmar retired without attempting anything
further. The conduct of Harmar and Hardin did not escape severe criticism
and censure, not, it would seem, without cause.

Of the eleven hundred or more men under the command of Harmar in this
expedition, there were three hundred and twenty regulars and seven hundred
and eighty militia. But he sent only thirty regulars and one hundred and
fifty militia to the first engagement, and only sixty regulars and three
hundred militia to the second.

Why was it he always sent the raw recruits to find and attack the Indians
and kept the best soldiers idle in the camp? Was it to insure his own
safety, by having a strong guard always present?

Again, it is noticed that, in both cases, instead of advancing himself with
the main body, he sent Colonel Hardin to lead the forlorn hope. He was
always ready to give the command, "Go!" but in his lexicon there was no
such word as "Come!" Consequently the word "fail" was written so plain that
"he who runs might read." Colonel Hardin, for his part, displayed great
courage, and but little skill as an Indian fighter, as he was ambushed and
out-generaled on both occasions. In fact, the only generalship shown in
this campaign was that evinced by the Indian commander, who was none other
than the hero of this sketch, Little Turtle.

General Harmar, deeply chagrined, returned to Fort Washington. He and
Hardin both demanded a court-martial; the latter was unanimously and
honorably acquitted. Harmar was also acquitted, but immediately afterward
resigned his commission.

Elated by their success, the Indians continued their depredations with
greater audacity than ever, and the situation of the frontiers became truly

The early movements of the newly organized Federal Government were
difficult and embarrassing. With a view, however, to the defense of the
northern and western frontiers, an act was passed by Congress for
increasing the army; St. Clair, the Governor of the Northwestern
territories, received a commission as major-general, and steps were taken
for raising the new regiment and the levies, the command of which was to be
given to General Butler.

Washington, who was President at this time, had been deeply chagrined by
the mortifying disasters of General Harmar's expedition against the Miamis,
resulting from Indian ambushes. In taking leave, therefore, of his old
military comrade, St. Clair, he wished him success and honor, and added
this solemn warning: "You have your instructions from the Secretary of War.
I had a strict eye to them, and will add but one word--Beware of a
surprise! You know how the Indians fight. I repeat it--_Beware of a
surprise!"_  With these warning words sounding in his ear, fresh with
Washington's awful emphasis, St. Clair started to the front to assume

"Old men for council, young men for war," is a good maxim which was not
regarded at this time. St. Clair was not only old and infirm, but weak and
sick with an attack of gout, and at times almost helpless. Moreover, he had
been very unfortunate in his military career in the Revolutionary War.
Neither he nor the second in command, Maj.-Gen. Richard Butler, possessed
any of the qualities of leadership save courage. The whole burden fell on
the adjutant-general, Colonel Winthrop Sargent, an old Revolutionary
veteran, without whom the expedition would probably have failed in ignominy
even before the Indians were reached, and he showed courage and ability of
a high order; yet in planning for battle he was unable to remedy to the
blunders of his superiors.

Napoleon is quoted as saying. "Better an army of deer led on by a lion than
an army of lions led on by a deer," In the light of subsequent events, this
was much like an army of deer led on by a deer.

The troops were, for the most part, of wretched stuff. St. Clair was
particularly unpopular in Kentucky, and no volunteers could be found to
serve under him. The militia of Kentucky had been called on, and about one
thousand reluctantly furnished by draft; but as they were all unfavorable
to the commander-in-chief, many desertions took place daily. They seemed to
think that the only possible outcome of this expedition was defeat.

St. Clair made his headquarters at Fort Hamilton, now Hamilton, Ohio, about
twenty-five miles northward of Fort Washington, or Cincinnati.

{Illustration: Little Turtle, or Mich-I-Kin-I-Qua, Miami War-chief,
Conqueror of Harmar and St. Clair.}

The season was already advanced before St. Clair took the field. The whole
force of regulars and levies able to march from Fort Washington did not
much exceed two thousand men. Desertion reduced the number to about
fourteen hundred before they had advanced far into the hostile territory.
Continuing the march, however, on the 3d of November he encamped on a piece
of commanding ground, within fifteen miles of the Miami villages. An
interval of only seventy paces was left between the two wings of the army.
The right was in some degree protected by a creek with a steep bank; the
left by cavalry and pickets. Colonel Oldham, who commanded the remains of
the Kentucky levies, was sent across the creek and took a position on the
first rising ground beyond it, about a quarter of a mile distant. Indians
were seen during the afternoon and evening, skulking about the camp, and
were fired at by the sentinels, yet neither St. Clair nor Butler took any
adequate  measures to ward off the impending blow, or prevent a surprise.
Indeed, they did not expect to be attacked.

Meantime the Indians were holding a grand war council. The plan of attack
was decided, and the order and rank of the various tribes settled, and
positions assigned them. The Wyandots stretched to the west; the Delawares
were stationed next to them; the Senecas third in order, while the other
tribes and bands took similar positions on the other side. The Turtle,
acting as commander-in-chief, superintended and stimulated the whole, but
headed no particular detachment; the arm of the warrior was to do much, but
the eye and voice of the chieftain much more. Nothing happened during the
night to alarm the Americans, and the noise and stir of the outskirts in
the early part of the evening gradually subsided. All at length was silent,
and it might well be supposed, as it probably was, that the enemy had taken
advantage of the darkness of the night to make good a precipitate retreat,
or that their whole force as yet consisted only of a few scouting and
scalping parties. But they were soon undeceived.

On the morning of November 4, the militia were violently attacked between
dawn and sunrise by a large body of Indians, who, with terrific yells,
poured in a volley of musketry along the entire length of the picket line.
Never was surprise more complete. The ranks of the militia were thrown into
confusion at once by the fury of the onset, the heavy firing, and the
appalling whoops and yells of the throngs of painted savages.

After a brief resistance they broke and fled in wild panic to the camp of
the regulars, among whom they rushed like frightened sheep, spreading
confusion and demoralization.

The troops sprang to arms as soon as they heard the firing at the picket
line, and their volleys checked the onrush of the savages but only for a
moment. The plumed warriors divided and filed off to either side, as if at
the command of their leader, completely surrounding the camp, killing the
pickets and advancing close to the main lines.

The battle was now fiercely contested on both sides, but it was almost a
hopeless struggle for the Americans from the beginning, as it was
impossible for the gunners to hit an enemy they could not see, as they
crept from tree to tree, and log to log. The soldiers stood in close order
in the center, where their ranks were steadily thinned by the rapid fire or
hurtling tomahawk of the Indians.

The Indians fought with great courage and ferocity, and slaughtered the
bewildered soldiers like sheep, as they vainly fired through the dense
smoke into the surrounding woods.

The best description of this battle we have seen is given in Roosevelt's
"Winning of the West," volume IV, chapter 1, in which he says: "The
officers behaved very well, cheering and encouraging their men: but they
were the special targets of the Indians, and fell rapidly. St. Clair and
Butler, by  their cool fearlessness in the hour of extreme peril, made some
amends for their shortcomings as commanders. They walked up and down the
lines from flank to flank, passing and repassing each other; for the two
lines of battle were facing outward, and each general was busy trying to
keep his wing from falling back. St. Clair's clothes were pierced by eight
bullets, but he was himself untouched. He wore a blanket coat with a hood;
he had a long queue, and his thick gray hair flowed from under his
three-cornered hat; a lock of his hair was carried off by a bullet. Several
times he headed the charges, sword in hand. General Butler had his arm
broken early in the fight, but he continued to walk to and fro along the
line, his coat off and the wounded arm in a sling. Another bullet struck
him in the side, inflicting a mortal wound; and he was carried to the
middle of the camp, where he sat propped up by knapsacks. Men and horses
were falling around him at every moment. St. Clair sent an aide, Lieut.
Ebenezer Denny, to ask how he was; he displayed no anxiety, and answered
that he felt well. While speaking, a young cadet, who stood near by, was
hit on the knee-cap by a spent ball, and at the shock cried aloud; whereat
the general laughed so that his wounded side shook. The aide left him and
there is no further certain record of his fate except that he was slain;
but it is said that in one of the Indian rushes a warrior bounded toward
him and sunk the tomahawk in his brain before any one could interfere.

"Instead of being awed by the bellowing artillery, the Indians made the
gunners a special object of attack. Man after man was picked off, until
every officer was killed but one, who was wounded; and most of the privates
were slain or disabled. The artillery was thus almost silenced, and the
Indians, emboldened by success, swarmed forward and seized the guns, while
at the same time a part of the left wing of the army began to shrink back.
But the Indians were now on comparatively open ground, where the regulars
could see them and get at them; and under St. Clair's own leadership the
troops rushed fiercely at the savages, with fixed bayonets, and drove them
back to cover. By this time the confusion and disorder were great; while
from every hollow and grass patch, from behind every stump and tree and
fallen log, the Indians continued their fire. Again and again the officers
led forward the troops in bayonet charges; and at first the men followed
them with a will. Each charge seemed for a moment to be successful, the
Indians rising in swarms and running in headlong flight from the bayonets.
In one of these charges Colonel Darke's battalion drove the Indians several
hundred yards, across the branch of the Wabash; but when the colonel halted
and rallied his men, he found the savages had closed in behind him, and he
had to fight his way back, while the foe he had been chasing at once turned
and harrassed his rear. He was himself wounded, and lost most of his
command. On reentering camp he found the Indians again in possession of the
artillery and  baggage, from which they were again driven; they had already
scalped the slain, who lay about the guns. Major Thomas Butler had his
thigh broken by a bullet; but continued on horseback in command of his
battalion until the end of the fight. The only regular regiment present
lost every officer killed or wounded. The commander of the Kentucky
militia, Colonel Oldham, was killed early in the action, while trying to
rally his men and berating them for cowards.

"The charging troops could accomplish nothing permanent. The men were too
clumsy and ill-trained in forest warfare to overtake their fleet,
half-naked antagonists. The latter never received the shock; but though
they fled they were nothing daunted, for they turned the instant the
battalion did and followed firing, and, indeed, were only visible when
raised by a charge.

"The Indian attack was relentless, and could neither be avoided, parried
nor met by counter assault. For two hours the soldiers kept up a slowly
lessening resistance; but by degrees their hearts failed. In vain the
officers tried, by encouragement, by jeers, and even blows, to drive them
back to the fight. They were unnerved.

"There was but one thing to do. If possible the remnant of the army must be
saved, and it could only be done by instant flight, even at the cost of
abandoning the wounded. The broad road by which the army had advanced was
the only line of retreat. The artillery had already been spiked and
abandoned. Most of the horses had been killed, but a few were still left,
and on one of these St. Clair mounted. He gathered together those
fragments of the different battalions which contained the few men who still
kept heart and head, and ordered them to charge and regain the road from
which the savages had cut them off. Repeated orders were necessary before
some of the men could be roused from their stupor sufficiently to follow
the charging party; and they were only induced to move when told that it
was a retreat.

"Colonel Darke and a few officers placed themselves at the head of the
column, the coolest and boldest men drew up behind them, and they fell on
the Indians with such fury as to force them back well beyond the road. This
made an opening through which the rest of the troops pressed 'like a drove
of bullocks.'" {FN}

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Van Cleve's Journal.

"The Indians were surprised by the vigor of the charge and puzzled as to
its object. They opened out on both sides and half the soldiers had gone
through before they tired more than a chance shot or two. They then fell on
the rear and began a hot pursuit. St. Clair sent his aide, Denny, to the
front to try to keep order, but neither he nor any one else could check the
flight. Major Clark tried to rally his battalion to cover the retreat, but
he was killed and the effort abandoned."

As soon as the men realized that in flight there lay some hope of safety
they broke into a stampede which soon became uncontrollable. Even St.
Clair admitted in his dispatches that this retreat "was a precipitate one,
in fact, a flight." Most of the militia threw away their arms and
accoutrements, and in their headlong flight the weak and wounded, and even
some of the women who were with the army, were knocked down and ruthlessly
trampled by the terrified men.

The pursuit continued about four miles, when the Indian commander, Little
Turtle, restrained his dusky warriors, saying they had killed enough and
should now divide the spoils. The natural greediness of the savage appetite
for plunder made the red men willing to obey this command, otherwise hardly
a man would have escaped.

General St. Clair tried to stay behind and stem the torrent of fugitives,
but failed utterly, being swept along in the mad stampede. He now attempted
to ride to the front to rally the troops, but the clumsy pack-horse which
he rode could not be pricked out of a walk. The flight continued from
half-past nine until after sunset, when the routed  troops reached Fort
Jefferson, some thirty miles distant, completely exhausted.

One day's hurried flight had carried them over a space which covered a
fortnight's advance. Here they met the detached regiment, three hundred
strong, which had  been sent by St. Clair after the deserters. Leaving
their wounded at Fort Jefferson, the retreat was continued until the
half-armed rabble reached Fort Washington and the log huts of the infant
city of Cincinnati. {FN}

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Washington was called "the Cincinnati of the West." Hence it was an
 easy and natural change from Fort Washington to Cincinnati.

The loss in this disastrous expedition amounted to upward of nine hundred
men, including fifty-nine officers. Of these six hundred and thirty were
killed, and two hundred and eighty wounded. Only one or two were taken
prisoners, as the savages killed every one who fell into their hands. It
is said that the influence of Little Turtle prevented any captives being
tortured, but he could not prevent one case of cannibalism.

In Brickell's Narrative it is stated that the savage Chippewas from the
far-off North devoured one of the slain soldiers, {FN} probably in a spirit
of ferocious bravado; the other tribes expressed horror at the deed.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} In our investigations we have found several cases of cannibalism, but
 they have always been Canadian Indians, especially the tribes living near
 lakes Huron and Superior. We believe it was not common.

St. Clair's defeat, with the possible exception of that of Braddock, was
the most complete and overwhelming in the annals of Indian warfare. He and
his apologists always claimed that he was overpowered by numbers; but as no
English historian makes the Indians more numerous than the Americans, some
credit must be given to them upon other grounds than the pretext of
numerical superiority. Indeed, their attack was conducted with astonishing
intrepidity. After the first volley of firearms, they fought every inch of
the field hand to hand, with their tomahawks.

The Indians were rich in spoil. They got horses, cattle, tents, guns, axes,
powder, bullets, clothing, blankets and a supply of provisions--in short,
everything they needed.

Thatcher is responsible for the statement that "an American officer, who
encountered a party of thirty Indians near the battle-ground, a day or two
after the defeat, and was detained by them till they were made to believe
him a friend to their cause, from  Canada, was informed that the number of
the Indians engaged in the battle was twelve hundred, of whom the larger
portion were Miamis, besides half-breeds and renegades, including among the
latter the notorious Simon Girty." This officer was also informed that the
number killed on the Indian side was fifty-six.

These savages were returning home with their share of the plunder. One of
them had a hundred and twenty-seven American scalps, strung on a pole, and
the rest were laden with various other articles of different values. They
had also three pack-horses, carrying as many kegs of wine and spirits as
could be piled on their backs. {FN}

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Perhaps this last statement tends to explain the easy victory of the

When the remnant of the shattered army reached Fort Washington, St. Clair
dispatched his aide, the ever ready Lieut. Ebenezer Denny, to carry the
news to Philadelphia, the national capital.

The manner in which the news of this disaster affected Washington is thus
described by Mr. Rush. Said he, "Mr. Lear (the President's private
secretary) saw a storm was gathering. In the agony of his emotion he
(Washington) struck his clenched hands with fearful force against his
forehead, and in a paroxysm of anguish exclaimed: 'It's all over! St.
Clair's defeated--routed; the officers nearly all killed--the men by
wholesale--that brave army cut to pieces--the rout complete! Too shocking
to think of--and a _surprise_ in the bargain!' He uttered all this with
great vehemence. Then he paused and walked about the room several times,
agitated, but saying nothing. Near the door he stopped short and stood
still a few seconds; then turning to the secretary, who stood amazed at the
spectacle of Washington in all his wrath, he again broke forth:

"'_Yes, sir. Here, in this very room, on this very spot,_ I took leave of
him: I wished him success and honor. 'You have your instructions,' I said,
'from the Secretary of War: I had a strict eye to them, and will add but
one word--beware of a _surprise!_ I repeat it--beware of a _surprise!_ You
know how the Indians fight us. He went off with that as my last solemn
warning thrown into his ears. And yet to suffer that army to be cut to
pieces, hacked by a surprise--the very thing I guarded him against! 0. God!
0. God! He's worse than a murderer! How can he answer it to his country?
The blood of the slain is upon him--the curse of widows and orphans--the
curse of heaven!'"

This torrent came out in tone appalling. His very frame shook. "It was
awful!" said Mr. Lear. "More than once he threw his hands up as he hurled
imprecations upon St. Clair." Mr. Lear remained speechless--awed into
breathless silence. Presently the roused chief sat down on the sofa once
more. He seemed conscious of his passion, and uncomfortable. He was silent;
his wrath began to subside. He at length said, in an altered voice: "This
must not go beyond this room." Another pause followed--a longer one--when
he said in a tone quite low, "General St. Clair shall have justice. I
looked hastily through the dispatches--saw the whole disaster, but not all
the particulars. I will hear him without prejudice; he shall have full
justice; yes, long, faithful and meritorious services have their claims."

Washington was now perfectly calm. Half an hour had gone by; the storm of
indignation and passion was over, and no sign of it was afterward seen in
his conduct or heard in his conversation. His wrath on this occasion was
perhaps never before aroused to so great a degree, except when he
confronted Lee, when the latter was retreating at the battle of Monmouth.

{Illustration: Little Turtle's warriors chasing St. Clair's scout.}

The effect of this terrible disaster was at once encouraging to Little
Turtle and his formidable confederation, and correspondingly depressing to
the youthful government and the settlers of the Northwest Territory, where
Indian depredations increased alarmingly.

Congress soon took the necessary steps to raise and equip another army, and
tendered the command to Gen. Anthony Wayne, commonly called "Mad Anthony"
because of his intrepid courage and energy. General Wayne accepted the
command on condition that sufficient time be allotted him to thoroughly
drill his raw recruits. Wayne proved to be the right man for the place and
fully sustained the reputation he had won at Stony Point and other battles
of the Revolution. He soon had his militia under such perfect discipline
that they were ready and anxious to meet the enemy.

Perhaps no man in the country was better qualified to meet the emergencies
of an Indian warfare in the woods. Thatcher says, "The Indians were
themselves, indeed, sensible of this fact, and the mere intelligence of his
approach had its effect on their spirits. They universally called him the
'Black Snake,' from the superior cunning which they ascribed to him; and
even allowed him the credit of being a fair match for Buckongahelas, Blue
Jacket or the Turtle himself."

Wayne prosecuted the decisive campaign of 1794 with a spirit which
justified the estimate of his enemy, although, owing to the difficulties of
transporting stores and provisions through a wilderness, which at that time
could not be traversed by wagons, he was unable to commence operations
until near midsummer. He had already in the fall of the previous season
erected Fort Recovery, on the site of St. Clair's defeat; and early in
August, he raised a fortification at the confluence of the Au-Glaize and
Miami, which he named Fort Defiance. His whole force was now nearly two
thousand regulars, exclusive of eleven hundred mounted Kentucky militia,
under General Scott. Here he had expected to surprise the neighboring
villages of the enemy; and the more effectually to insure the success of
his _coup-de-main,_ he had not only advanced thus far by an obscure and
very difficult route, but taken pains to clear out two roads from
Greenville in that direction, in order to attract and divert the attention
of the Indians, while he marched by neither. But his generalship proved of
no avail. The Turtle and his warriors kept too vigilant an eye on the foe
they were now awaiting, to be easily surprised, even had not their
movements been quickened, as they were, by the information of an American

On the 12th of the month the General learned from some of the Indians taken
prisoners, that their main body occupied a camp near the British fort at
the rapids of the Miami. But he now resolved before approaching them much
nearer to try the effect of one more proposal of peace. He had in his army
a man named Miller, who had long been a captive with some of the tribes,
and spoke their language, and he selected him for the hazardous

Miller did not want to go; he believed the Indians were determined on war,
and that they would not respect a flag of truce, but would probably kill
him. General Wayne, however, assured Miller that he would hold the eight
prisoners then in his custody as pledges for his safety, and that he might
take with him any escort he desired. Thus encouraged, the soldier consented
to go with the message; and to attend him, he selected from the prisoners
one of the men and a squaw. With these he left camp at 4 P. M. on the 13th,
and at daybreak next morning arrived at the tents of the hostile chiefs,
which were near together, and known by his attendants, without being
discovered. He immediately displayed his white flag and proclaimed himself
"a  messenger with a peace talk." Instantly he was assailed on all sides,
with a hideous yell, while some of the Indians shouted, "Kill the runner!
Kill the spy!" But when he addressed them in their own language and
explained to them his real character, they suspended the blow, and took him
into custody. He showed and explained the general's letter, not omitting
the positive assurance that if they did not send the bearer back to him by
the 16th of the month, he would at sunset on that day cause every Indian in
his camp to be put to death.

Miller was closely confined and a council called by the chiefs. On the
15th he was liberated, and furnished with an answer to General Wayne, which
was "that if he waited where he was for ten days, and then sent Miller for
them, they would treat with him; but that if he advanced, they would give
him battle." The general's impatience had prevented his waiting the return
of his minister. Miller came up with the army on the 16th, however, and
delivered the answer; to which he added, that "from the manner in which the
Indians were dressed and painted, and the constant arrival of parties, it
was his opinion they had determined on war and only wanted time to muster
their whole force." {FN}

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Marshall.

This intelligence caused Wayne to rapidly continue his march down the

Meantime the red men, through their runners, had full knowledge of his
movements. During the night preceding the battle of Fallen Timbers, the
chiefs of the different tribes of the confederation held a council, and it
was proposed by some to go up and attack General Wayne in his encampment.
The proposition was opposed, and it was determined to wait until the next
day and fight the battle on ground of their own selection, in front of the
British fort. Little Turtle, more wise than the other chiefs, disapproved
of this plan, while Blue Jacket was warmly in favor of it. The former
disliked the idea of fighting Wayne under present circumstances, and was
even inclined to make peace. Schoolcraft informs us that, in his speech in
the council, he said, "We have beaten the enemy twice, under separate
commanders. We can not expect the same good fortune to always attend us.
The Americans are now led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and the
day are alike to him; and during all the time that he has been marching
upon our villages, notwithstanding the watchfulness of our young men, we
have never been able to surprise him. Think well of it. There is something
whispers me, it would be prudent to listen to his offers of peace." On this
he was reproached by one of the chiefs with cowardice, and that ended the
conference. Stung to the quick by a reproach which he felt he never
merited; he would have laid the reviler dead at his feet; but his was not
the bravery of an assassin. He took his post at the head of the Miamis when
the battle was fought, determined to do his duty; and that event proved
that he had formed a very correct estimate of the ability of General Wayne.

Having been reinforced by sixteen hundred Kentuckians, under the brave
general, Charles Scott, Wayne's army now numbered about four thousand men,
and he was ready for battle. He used every caution while in the Indian's
country, and invariably went into camp about the middle of the afternoon,
in a hollow square, which was inclosed by a rampart of logs. He was well
aware that hundreds of eyes were watching his every movement from tree and
bush, and he was determined never to be surprised.

The battle of Fallen Timbers, so called because at this place a large
number of forest trees had been blown down by a tornado, was fought August
20, 1794.

The Indians took this position because it would give them favorable, covert
for their mode of warfare, and prevent the successful use of cavalry.
Moreover, it was practically under the guns of the British fort, on the
Maumee, from whence the Indians doubtless expected aid. The savages were
formed in three lines, within supporting distance of each other, and
extending for nearly two miles at right angles with the river.

A selected battalion of mounted volunteers moved in front of the legion,
commanded by Major Price, who was ordered to keep sufficiently in advance
so as to give timely warning for the troops to form for action. After
advancing about five miles, Major Price's corps received the fire of the
enemy, who were secreted in the high grass and behind bushes, and fell back
to the main army. The legion was immediately formed into two lines and
ordered to charge with trailed arms and rouse the Indians from their
coverts with point of bayonet, and when up to deliver a close and well
directed fire on their backs, followed by a brisk charge, so as not to give
them time to reload. The cavalry was ordered to make a wide circuit and
attack the Indians after they were driven from their position. But so
impetuous was the charge of the well-trained infantry, they had the red men
routed and in full retreat before the cavalry could head them off. The
Indians were driven in the course of an hour several miles through the
thick woods by less than half their numbers.

The panic-stricken savages were chased with great slaughter to the very
walls of the British fort of Maumee, the commander of which had promised,
in case of defeat, to open the gates and give them protection. But he
probably had no real intention of doing so; certain it is, the gates
remained closed while scores of Indians were cut down without mercy by the
"Long Knives," {FN} even while huddled about the gates clamoring for
admission. Thus it was that this fort, instead of being a place of refuge,
became a delusion and a snare, and a veritable death trap to the routed

                              * * * * *

 {FN} The name "Long Knives" had been given by the Indians to the American
 soldiers before this battle, but it was now revived as the Kentucky
 cavalry, who did much of the slaughter, were all armed with long swords.

General Wayne, in his official report, gave his killed as thirty-eight, and
his wounded, one hundred and one. The loss of the Indians' could not be
definitely ascertained, but, inasmuch as they had two thousand warriors
engaged, it must have been great.

The formidable confederation of tribes was so completely crushed, they did
not recover from the effects of it for twenty years. After destroying all
the cornfields of the Indians for miles around, and laying waste all their
towns, Wayne gave the savages to understand that their alternative was
peace or destruction.

Seeing only starvation confronting them, and knowing, from sad experience,
the folly of expecting aid from the British or Canadians, the Indians
determined to make a treaty with Wayne in the summer of 1795. This was
ratified at Greenville, Ohio, August 7. Red men were present to the number
of eleven hundred and thirty, including a full delegation from every
hostile tribe. By the conditions of this treaty the Indians solemnly
covenanted to keep the peace, and agreed to cede to our Government a vast
tract of land lying in the present States of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

The Government in its turn agreed to pay the tribes annuities aggregating
nine thousand five hundred dollars, and acknowledge the Indian title to the
remaining territories, probably with the usual mental reservation, until
such time as the white men wanted to settle on it. In addition to this, all
prisoners on both sides were to be restored.

Dawson, in his memoirs of General Harrison (who was educated in General
Wayne's family), has given some interesting reminiscences respecting the
conclusion of this peace. He states that Little Turtle took a decided part
against the giving up of the large tract of country which General Wayne
required on the part of the United States. This circumstance, however, was
not unfavorable to the attainment of the object, as it was evident there
was a violent jealousy of the Turtle among most of the Ottawas, Chippewas
and Pottawatomies, so that they invariably opposed everything which he
advocated. And as they and their friends constituted the majority of the
council the Turtle was always in the minority. The superiority of his mind
was conspicuous not only in their company, but in his deportment in the
society of white people. All the chiefs were invited, in their turns, to
the general's table, and on these occasions the most of them showed
themselves still savages. But the Turtle seemed to readily adopt the ways
of civilization, and, in comparison with his brother chiefs, was quite a

After the peace was concluded, the Turtle settled upon Eel River, about
twenty miles from Fort Wayne, where the Americans erected for him a
comfortable house. He frequently visited the seat of government, both at
Philadelphia and Washington. His taste for civilized life being observed,
the Indian agents were desired by the Government to furnish him with every
reasonable accommodation for his comfortable subsistence, hoping that the
example might prove beneficial in their exertions to civilize the other

Thatcher informs us that, "These indulgences, however, entirely destroyed,
for a time at least, the Turtle's influence among the savages; for some
envied his good fortune and others suspected his honesty. Being perfectly
sensible of this, and not a little chagrined by it, we may fairly presume
that he made various attempts to recover his popularity. This was probably
the secret of his opposition to the interests of the United States, on more
occasions than one, where it was not altogether indispensable. But we
certainly need not deny him on that account the credit of real patriotism,
which he manifested at all times. The truth is that in some indifferent
cases, when he might have yielded to the demands of the American
authorities without disgrace, he opposed them chiefly for the sake of
retaining or regaining his influence with his countrymen."

Schoolcraft, who speaks of Little Turtle in very complimentary terms, gives
him the credit of doing at least as much as any other Indian in America "to
abolish the rites of human sacrifice." By this he means the torture of
prisoners, especially burning them at the stake. In this he is undoubtedly
right, for the Turtle uniformly enjoyed the reputation of being as humane
as he was brave. No prisoner was ever reserved for torture by his warriors.

Nor was this the only case in which he acted the part of a reformer, so
much needed among his countrymen. He was the first chief to originate an
efficient system of measures for the suppression of intemperance among his
people. And never was a similar system so loudly called for, for the
condition of his people was truly deplorable. The Turtle was no less
mortified than incensed by these abuses. He saw his countrymen destroyed,
and destroying each other, every day in peace, and no tribe was  more
besotted than the Eel River Miamis; and he saw hundreds of them in war, at
one time, surprised and massacred in their cups without resistance, like
sheep assailed by wolves, on the very ground still red and wet with his
victories. Possibly chagrin was as strong a motive with him as
philanthropy. But, however that might be, he devoted himself with his usual
energy to the correction of the evil. In 1802, or 1803, he went before the
Legislature of Kentucky, attended by his friend and interpreter, Captain
Wells, {FN} and made his appeal to them in person. A committee was
appointed to consider the subject, and we believe a law was passed to
prevent the sale of whisky to the Indians, as he desired. He also visited
the Legislature of Ohio, and made a highly animated address. His
description of the Indian traders was drawn from life, when he said, "They
stripped the poor Indian of skins, gun, blanket, everything--while his
squaw and the children dependent on him lay starving and shivering in his
wigwam." Thatcher informs us that nothing came of this eloquent speech
except the empty honor of addressing that august body.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} This Captain William Wells, when a lad, was captured with four others
 while hunting near Louisville, Kentucky. The Indians conveyed them to
 Indiana. Afterward Wells was taken to a village of the Miamis in Ohio,
 and, on being adopted into the tribe became a brother-in-law to Little
 Turtle. He afterward left the Indians to become one of Wayne's scouts, and
 was killed at the Fort Dearborn massacre in 1812. He left a family of half
 breed children, and for him Wells street, Chicago, is named.

Little Turtle seems to have been an all-round reformer. He it was who first
introduced the practice of inoculation for the prevention of smallpox among
the Indians--a scourge second only to whisky, as we learn from the European
(London) Magazine, of April, 1802. The article was compiled from American
papers, and made this statement: "Last winter, there was a grand embassy of
Indians to the President and Congress at Washington. Little Turtle was the
head warrior. The President had supplied them with plows, spinning-wheels,
etc., and to crown all he explained to them how the Great Spirit had made a
donation to the white men--first to one in England (Dr. Jenner), and then
to one in America  (Dr. Waterhouse, of Boston)--of a means of preventing
the smallpox. Such a confidence had the copper-colored King in the words of
his 'Father,' that he submitted to be inoculated, together with the rest of
the warriors. It further appears that he took a quantity of the vaccine
matter home with him, which he probably administered in person not long
afterward fifteen more of his tribe visited the seat of government in
pursuit of the same remedy."

{Illustration: Ouray, late principal chief of he Utes.}

We shall conclude our sketch of this eminent chief with a few anecdotes
preserved by Mr. Dawson:

"What distinguished him most," says that writer, "was his ardent desire to
be informed of all that relates to our institutions; and he seemed to
possess a mind capable of understanding and valuing the advantages of
civilized life, in a degree far superior to any other Indian of his time.
During the frequent visits which he made to the seat of government, he
examined everything he saw with an inquisitive eye, and never failed to
embrace every opportunity to acquire information by inquiring of those with
whom he could take that liberty.

"Upon his return from Philadelphia, in 1797, he visited Governor Harrison,
at that time a captain in the army, and commander at Fort Washington. He
told the captain he had seen many things, which he wished to have
explained, but said he was afraid of giving offense by asking too many
questions. 'My friend here,' said he, meaning Captain Wells, the
interpreter, 'being about as ignorant as myself, could give me but little
satisfaction.' He then desired the captain to inform him how our Government
was formed, and what particular powers and duties were exercised by the two
houses of Congress, by the President, the Secretaries, etc. Being satisfied
on this subject, he told the captain he had become acquainted with a great
warrior while in Philadelphia, in whose fate he was much interested and
whose history he wished to learn. This was no other than the immortal
Kosciusko; he had arrived at Philadelphia a short time before, and hearing
that a celebrated Indian chief was in the city, he sent for him. They were
mutually pleased with each other, and the Turtle's visits were often
repeated. When he went to take his final leave of the wounded patriot, the
latter presented Little Turtle with an elegant pair of pistols, and a
splendid robe, made of sea otter's skin, worth several hundred dollars.

"The Turtle now told his host that he wished very much to know in what wars
his friend had received those grievous wounds which had rendered him so
crippled and infirm. The captain showed him, upon a map of Europe, the
situation of Poland, and explained to him the usurpations of its territory
by the neighboring powers--the exertions of Kosciusko to free his country
from this foreign yoke--his first victories, and his final defeat and
captivity. While he was describing the last unsuccessful battle of
Kosciusko, the Turtle seemed scarcely able to contain himself. At the
conclusion he traversed the room with great agitation, violently flourished
the pipe tomahawk which he had been smoking, and exclaimed, 'Let that woman
take care of herself'--meaning the Empress Catharine--'this may yet be a
dangerous man!'

"The captain explained to the Turtle some anecdotes respecting the Empress
and her favorites, one of whom--the King of Poland--had at first been by
her elevated to the throne and afterward driven from it. He was much
astonished to find that men, and particularly warriors, would submit to a
woman. He said that perhaps if his friend Kosciusko had been a portly,
handsome man, he might have had better success with her majesty of all the
Russias, and might by means of a love-intrigue have obtained that
independence for his country, to which his skill and valor in the field had
been found unequal.

"The Turtle was fond of joking, and was possessed of considerable talent
for repartee. In the year 1797 he lodged in a house in Philadelphia, in
which was an Irish gentleman of considerable wit, who became much attached
to the Indian and frequently amused himself in drawing out his wit by
good-humored jests. The Turtle and this gentleman were at that time both
sitting for their portraits--the former by order of the President of the
United States, the picture to be hung up in the war-office--to the
celebrated Stewart. The two meeting one morning in the painter's studio,
the Turtle appeared to be rather more thoughtful than usual. The Irishman
rallied him upon it, and affected to construe it into an acknowledgment of
his superiority in the jocular contest. 'He  mistakes,' said the Turtle to
the interpreter, 'I was just thinking of proposing to this man, to paint us
both on one board, and here I would stand face to face with him, and berate
him to all eternity.'"

Little Turtle opposed the designs of Tecumseh and the Prophet, from the
time of their first appearance on the political stage, and it was owing to
his influence that very little was effected by them among the Miamis, as
well as other tribes, for a long time. Had he lived through the war of
1812, he would undoubtedly have exerted himself more energetically for the
American interest than ever before. The following communication indicates
the part he was prepared to take, subsequent to the battle of Tippecanoe.
The "witness" probably acted as amanuensis:

                                    "Fort Wayne, 25th Jan., 1812.
Governor Harrison:

"My friend,--I have been requested by my nation to speak to you, and obey
their request with pleasure, because I believe their situation requires all
the aid I can afford them.

"When your speech by Mr. Dubois was received by the Miamis, they answered
it, and I made known to you their opinion at that time.

"Your letter to William Wells, of the 23d November last, has been explained
to the Miamis and Eel River tribes of Indians.

"My friend, although neither of these tribes have had anything to do with
the late unfortunate affair which happened on the Wabash, still they all
rejoice to hear you say, that if those foolish Indians which were engaged
in that action would return to their several homes and remain quiet, that
they would be pardoned, and again received by the President as his
children. We believe there is none of them that will be so foolish as not
to accept of this friendly offer; whilst, at the same time, I assure you,
that nothing shall be wanting on my part to prevail on them to accept it.

"All the Prophet's followers have left him (with the exception of two camps
of his own tribe); Tecumseh has just joined him with eight men only. No
danger can be apprehended from them at present. Our eyes will be constantly
kept on them, and should they attempt to gather strength again, we will do
all in our power to prevent it, and at the same time give you immediate
information of their intentions.

"We are sorry that the peace and friendship which has so long existed
between the red and white people, could not be preserved, without the loss
of so many good men as fell on both sides in the late action on the Wabash;
but we are satisfied that it will be the means of making that peace which
ought to exist between us more respected, both by the red and the white

"We have been lately told by different Indians from that quarter, that you
wished the Indians from this country to visit you; this they will do with
pleasure when you give them information of it in writing.

"My friend, the clouds appear to be rising in a different quarter, which
threatens to turn our light into darkness. To prevent this, it may require
the united efforts of us all. We hope that none of us will be found to
shrink from the storm that threatens to burst upon  our nations.

                                       "Your friend.

            "(X) Mischecanocquah, {FN} or Little Turtle,
            For the Miami and Eel River tribes of Indians.
      Witness, Wm. Turner, Surgeon's Mate, U. S. Army.
     I certify that the above is a true translation.
                                            Wm. Wells."

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Written also Michikiniqua

We thus find that the Turtle's sympathies were with the Americans in the
war of 1812, which was about to burst forth in all its fury. But he was not
destined to be an active participant in the stirring scenes that succeeded.

He died while on a visit to the commandant at Fort Wayne, July 14, 1812,
deeply deplored by the whites as well as his own people.

His last disease, according to the report of the army surgeon, was gout,
and from it he was a great sufferer, but he endured it "with the
characteristic composure of his race." He died on the turf of his open camp
and was buried by his friend, the commandant, with honors of war.

He was said to be sixty-five years of age by those who had the opportunity
of learning the fact from himself. That account would make him forty-five
at the time of his great victory over St. Clair; and about thirty at the
breaking out of the American Revolution, during which he no doubt laid the
foundation of his fame. It is known that the Miamis gave as much trouble
during that period as any other tribe on the continent ever did in as few
years, and the Turtle was then their rising young chief.

There is one other story of Little Turtle which is too good to omit. When
the celebrated French traveler, Volney, made the acquaintance of the Turtle
he asked what prevented him from living among the whites, and if he were
not more comfortable in Philadelphia than upon the banks of the Wabash? To
which he replied, "Taking all things together, you have the advantage over
us; but here I am deaf and dumb. I do not talk your language; I can neither
hear nor make myself heard. When I walk through the streets, I see every
person in his shop employed about something, one makes shoes, and another
hats, a third sells cloth, and every one lives by his labor. I say to
myself, 'which of all these things can you do?' Not one. I can make a bow
or an arrow, catch fish, kill game and go to war; but none of these are of
any use here. To learn what is done here would require a long time. Old age
comes on. I should be a piece of furniture, useless to my nation, useless
to the whites and useless to myself. I must return to my own country."

Savage and heathen as he was, because of his environment, he always had an
intense longing for better conditions for himself and people; which goes to
prove that Little Turtle was one of nature's noblemen.

                            CHAPTER X.


                        IN THE WAR OF 1812.

Judged from whatever standpoint you will, the subject of this sketch was
certainly one of the greatest, if not the very greatest American Indian.

The name Tecumseh means "The Shooting Star," and it was very appropriate,
and seems to have been prophetical of his meteoric career and brilliant
genius, to say nothing of his numerous journeys to distant tribes, which
were accomplished with incredible speed.

This great chief was born at the old Indian town of Piqua, Ohio, on the Mad
River, in 1768.

His father, a Shawnee chief named Puckeshinwan, was killed in the battle of
Kanawha, in 1774.

His mother was thought to have been a Creek or Cherokee. Her name was
Methoataske, and she is said to have been a comely, intelligent and very
respectable woman.

There is a story that he and his brother, Elskwatawa, the Prophet, were
twins, and even that a third brother, Kumshaka, were the offspring of the
same mother at the same birth, though, according to one account, the
Prophet and a twin brother were some years younger than Tecumseh. Eggleston
is of the opinion that the Prophet and a twin brother were born in 1771.

We hear little or nothing of Kumshaka, and the presumption is that he died

There were seven children in this interesting family, two
others--Cheeseekau, the oldest brother, and Menewaula-Koosee, or
Tecumapease, the name given to her later in life, according to the Indian
usage, to signify her relationship to the great Tecumseh--were also famous.

His father's death occurring when Tecumseh was but six years old, he was
placed under the charge of his oldest brother, Cheeseekau. The latter was a
brave man, of noble character. His chief occupation and care was the proper
training of the young Tecumseh, who was early recognized as the hope of the
family, and coming leader of his people.

It was Cheeseekau who instructed the fatherless boy thoroughly, until he

                "Skilled in all the games of hunters,
                Learned in all the lore of old men
                In all youthful sports and pastimes.
                In all manly arts and labors."

It was this same older brother who, by constant and zealous labor, imbued
his mind with a love for truth, a ready generosity, a manly courage in
battle, and a dignified fortitude in suffering. He also drilled him in the
art of eloquence, and wrought into his mind the idea which afterward became
the inspiration of the great chieftain--that of the salvation of his people
from the white man.

Tecumseh always cherished the warmest affection for his only sister,
Tecumapease. She is described as being "sensible, kind-hearted and
uniformly exemplary in her conduct," and must have been an attractive
person, with a commanding character, for she is known to have exercised a
remarkable influence over the females of her tribe. She was married to a
brave called Wasegoboah, or Stand Firm. The mutual affection between the
brother and sister continued through life. She was always his favorite. The
first fruits of the chase belonged to Tecumapease. The choicest presents of
the white man to Tecumseh, or the best of his share of the spoils of war.
became trophies for his sister.

Educated by the care of his elder brother, and cherished by the affection
of a noble sister, Tecumseh grew to manhood.

{Illustration: Tecumseh, or The Shooting Star, Famous Shawnee War-Chief
and general in the British Army in War of 1812.}

War was his ruling passion even in his earlier years. He soon became a
recognized leader of his companions. Mimic combats and sham battles were
his favorite sports. While his brother, the Prophet, remained at home
engaged in idle and disreputable intrigues, Tecumseh followed the hunters
in their chase and the war parties on their way to battle. The Indian
warfare which raged during his earlier years made a great impression on his
mind. He must have heard, around the camp-fires, the stories of the Indian
conflicts of the Revolution, the genius of Brant, the murder of Cornstalk,
the massacre of the Moravian Indians, as well as stories of the great
Pontiac and his far-reaching confederacy. These were the things upon which
his youthful imagination was nourished.

Tecumseh was only sixteen years of age when he took part in his first
battle, near where the city of Dayton, Ohio, now stands. It is said that
the boy took fright and fled. A similar story is told of the great Seneca
chief, Red Jacket, and of Frederick the Great. But, if true, it is the only
time he was  ever guilty of such weakness.

Shortly after this he participated in an attack on a flatboat descending
the Ohio River. At this time he fought like a young lion, completely wiping
out the stain of cowardice. All the boatmen were killed but one, who was
reserved for torture. Strange to say, since it could not have been an
unusual occurrence, the young warrior had never before witnessed such a
scene. Filled with horror, he remonstrated against the practice with such
eloquence that all agreed that they would never burn another prisoner. From
that time forth no prisoners were burned by any war party of which Tecumseh
was a member.

When he was nineteen years of age, Tecumseh and Cheeseekau took a long
journey to the South. This, the older brother believed, would tend to
enlarge the understanding of his pupil with general ideas. They traveled as
far as the country of the Creeks and Cherokees, and found the latter
engaged in a war with the whites.

The two brothers and their band of warriors at once enlisted in the
struggle. In an attack on a certain fort Cheeseekau led the charge. Just
before the attack he told his followers that in the conflict he would be
shot in the forehead and killed. The premonition was verified literally,
for he fell, pierced by a bullet midway between the eyes. As he fell
mortally wounded upon the battlefield he exclaimed with his expiring
breath, "Happy am I to thus fall in battle, and not die in a wigwam like an
old squaw." The Indians, panic-stricken at the fall of their leader, as
well as the fulfillment of the prophecy, fled in all directions.

After the fall of Cheeseekau the band of warriors chose Tecumseh, though
the youngest of the party, as their leader. To show himself worthy of this
honor Tecumseh took ten men, and going to the nearest white settlement
attacked and killed all the men and took the women and children prisoners.
No expedition was thought complete without Tecumseh, and his military
genius won him great renown.

One night Tecumseh, with a dozen warriors, was encamped on the Alabama
River. All of the men had lain down for the night except the young chief,
who was dressing some meat by the fire. Suddenly the camp was attacked by
thirty white men. With a shrill cry Tecumseh roused every warrior to his
feet. Their leader at their head, the Indians rushed furiously toward a
certain point in the circle formed by their foes. Two white men were killed
outright, and the others, giving way before the impetuous charge, suffered
Tecumseh and his band to break through and make their way to their boats.

After an absence from Ohio of three years, during which Tecumseh had many
adventures, and visited all the Southern tribes, he returned to his people
in the fall of 1790.

During his absence General Harmar had been defeated and his army cut to
pieces by the Indians under the famous Miami chief, Little Turtle, and the
Shawnee sachem, Blue Jacket.

He was in time, however, to take part in the defeat of General St. Clair by
the Indians under Little Turtle, which was the most decisive victory ever
gained by the American Indians. Tecumseh was also present at the battle of
Fallen Timbers, so called because the battlefield was covered with fallen
forest trees, wrecked by some tornado. It was in this battle that Mad
Anthony Wayne crushed the Indian power of the Ohio Valley.

He did not attend the council of Greenville, when the treaty was made with
the Indians, but remained at home in his wigwam, sullen and angry. He was
at this time still quite young but a man of influence and importance in his
nation, for Blue Jacket, the principal chief of the Shawnees, made haste to
visit him on Deer Creek and explain the terms on which peace had been made.

He now gathered about him a band of warriors, of whom he became chief.
These roving Shawnees, after moving several times, accepted an invitation
from the Delawares and settled on the White River, in Indiana, in 1798.
Here Tecumseh remained several years, peacefully occupied in hunting.
During this time he was extending his influence among the different tribes,
and adding to his band of followers.

Many incidents are related of him during his sojourn on the White River. He
was a great hunter, partly as a matter of sport, and partly because it
enabled him to give the highly prized venison to the sick and poor of his
tribe. One day a number of young Shawnee Warriors wagered him that each of
them could kill as many deer in a three days' hunt as he. Tecumseh quietly
accepted the challenge, and the hunters made their preparations that
evening for a start before daylight the next morning. At the end of the
three days the crowd of boasters once more assembled around the camp-fire
of their village. The largest number of deerskins brought in by any one of
the party was twelve. Tecumseh brought with him thirty.

A characteristic anecdote is told of him while he and a party of Indians
were on a visit to Ohio in 1803. It seems that a corpulent and cowardly
Kentuckian was in the territory at the time for the purpose of exploring
lands on the Mad River. He lodged one night at the house of Capt. Abner
Barrett, residing on the head waters of Buck Creek. In the course of the
evening he learned, with apparent alarm, that there were some Indians
encamped within a short distance of the house. While the conversation was
going on the door opened and Tecumseh stalked in with his dignified manner.
He saluted Captain Barrett, and then, observing the agitated visitor,
contemplated him scornfully for a minute or two, and turning to the host,
and pointing to the agitated Kentuckian, he  exclaimed: "A big baby!" "A
big baby!" He stepped across the room and, patting the Kentuckian on the
shoulder, repeated the contemptuous remark, "A big baby! Won't hurt you!"
The stout Kentuckian was greatly alarmed, and all present amused.

In the year 1805 a portion of the Shawnee nation residing on the headwaters
of the Auglaize River, wishing to reassemble their scattered people, sent a
deputation to Tecumseh and his party (then living on White River), and also
to a body of the same tribe upon the Mississiniway, another tributary of
the Wabash, inviting them to remove and join their brethren on the Auglaize
River. To this proposition both parties assented; and the two bands met at
Greenville, on their way thither. There, through the influence of
Laulewasikaw, or the Loud Voice, Tecumseh's brother, they concluded to
establish themselves; and accordingly the project of going to the Auglaize
was abandoned.

This is the first incident recorded of Laulewasikaw. The name "Loud Voice"
is thought to refer to his self-assertion and boastfulness, as much as to
his really stentorian voice. It is thought that Tecumseh was behind his
brother in influencing the two parties to unite together at Greenville, as
it increased the number of his immediate followers.

It happened about this time that an old Shawnee Indian, by the name of
Penagashega, or The-Change-of-Feathers, "who had for some years been
engaged in the respectable calling of a prophet," fell sick and died. As
soon as the news of the old prophet's death reached Laulewasikaw he rolled
his eye (he had but one) piously toward heaven and fell on his face in a
trance, and continued a long time motionless and apparently without any
signs of life.

He was supposed to be dead and preparations were made for his burial. All
the principal men of the tribe were assembled, and they were in the act of
bearing him away to his grave, when he suddenly revived and uttered these
words: _"Be not alarmed--I have seen heaven. Call the tribe together, that
I may reveal to them the whole of my vision."_  The tribe was accordingly
collected together, and he proceeded to inform them that two beautiful
young men had been sent from heaven by the Great Spirit, who addressed him
in the following language: "The Great Spirit is angry with you, and will
destroy all the red men, unless you abandon drunkenness, lying and
stealing. If you will not do this and turn yourselves to him, you shall
never enter the beautiful place which we will now show you."

He was then conducted to the gates of heaven, where he was indulged with a
sight of all its glories, but not permitted to enter. After being
tantalized in this manner for several hours he was ordered to return to the
earth, to inform the Indians of what he had seen and urge them to repent of
their vices, and they would visit him again. It was in consequence of this
_vision (?)_ that Elskwatawa assumed the name and functions of a prophet,
and soon acquired an extraordinary celebrity. He established headquarters
at Greenville and proclaimed himself a Prophet and Reformer in place of the
departed Change-of-Feathers. Prophet wise, he now assumed a new name, that
of Tenskwatawa, which signifies "The Open Door." This name pointed him out
as a means of deliverance to his people.

He soon gathered around him a large band of adherents from the Shawnees,
Delawares, Wyandots, Pottawatomies, Ottawas, Chippewas and Kickapoos. To
these he boldly announced that the Great Spirit, who had made the red men,
was not the same who had made the white men; and that all their misfortunes
was due to the fact that they had forsaken the mode of life designed for
them, and imitated the manners of the whites.

In this address he harangued against witchcraft, a thing much believed in
by the Indians, and said that those who practiced it or remained bewitched
could not enter heaven. He next denounced drunkenness, and stated on his
journey to heaven the first place he came to was the dwelling of the Devil.
Here he saw all who had died drunkards, with flames of fire issuing from
their mouths. He admitted that previous to this he had himself been a
drunkard, but his vision had frightened him so that he drank no more. Such
was the effect of his preaching against this pernicious vice that many of
his followers became alarmed and ceased to drink the "firewater," or
"crazywater," as whisky was appropriately called by the Indians. He also
preached earnestly against the intermarriage of whites and Indians, saying
that this was one of the chief causes of their unhappiness. And yet he
often boasted that his own grandparents were a noble Creek warrior, and the
daughter of one of the Governors of South Carolina. But as there is not a
scintilla of corroborative evidence we are forced to conclude that however
truly the Prophet foretold the future, he lied about the past. The Prophet
advocated a community of goods, an adjustment of things which would have
well suited that indolent reformer. He also preached, what Tecumseh
constantly practiced, the duty of the young to support and cherish the
aged and infirm. He denounced innovations in the dress and habits of the
red men, and appealed to their national pride, by boasting of the
superiority of the Shawnees over other nations. He promised to his faithful
adherents who would obey his injunctions all the comfort and happiness
enjoyed by their ancestors, before the advent of the whites.

Finally he announced that the Great Spirit had given him power to confound
his enemies, to cure all diseases, and to prevent death, either from
sickness or on the battlefield.

There can be no doubt that the Prophet succeeded in deceiving himself, and
was a firm believer in the methods and measures he advocated. Neither is
there any doubt that Tecumseh's gradually developing schemes inspired and
shaped the Prophet's plans. His was the master mind which controlled the
tribes through the machinations of the Prophet.

Elskwatawa shared to some extent the great talents of his brother, but it
might have been said of him: "His virtues another's, his faults were his
own." He was neither courageous nor truthful, but cunning, shrewd and
boastful. He equaled his famous brother in eloquence, and surpassed him in
graceful manners.

Opposition was naturally made to the innovations of the new prophet by the
neighboring chiefs, who felt that he sought to undermine their power. A
course of fanatical persecution for witchcraft was begun, shocking in its
cruelty and injustice, but only too much resembling something which
occurred at Salem, among people of our own enlightened race.

The superstition of the Indians was so great that if the Prophet denounced
some chief who opposed him as a wizard, a loss of reputation and perhaps of
life ensued. Several Delawares were among the first victims. An old woman
was denounced as a witch, and was called upon repeatedly to give up her
charm and medicine-bag. She was put to the stake and burned. As she was
dying, she exclaimed that her grandson, who was out hunting, had it. He was
pursued and arrested. He confessed that he had borrowed the charm, and by
means of it had flown through the air over Kentucky to the banks of the
Mississippi and back again between twilight and bedtime. He insisted,
however, that he had returned the charm to his grandmother, and was finally

On the following day an old chief named Teteboxti was accused of being a
wizard. Knowing that his doom was fixed, the old man arrayed himself in his
finest clothes and confronted the grim circle of inquisitors in the
council-house. The trial was speedy. The sentence was passed. The old chief
calmly assisted in the construction of his own funeral pile. Touched by his
white hairs, the council became merciful. They voted to tomahawk him and
burn his body afterward. This was done. A council was held over the wife of
Teteboxti and his nephew, Billy Paterson. The latter died like a Christian,
singing and praying. Preparations were then made for the burning of
Teteboxti's wife when her brother, a young man of twenty, suddenly started
up and bravely led her by the hand out of the house. He returned to the
amazed council and said "The Devil" (alluding to the Prophet), "has come
among us, and we are killing each other." He then reseated himself. This
seemed to break the spell and to awaken the Indians to a realization of
what they were doing, and put a stop for a time to further persecution
among the Delawares.

But with other tribes the witchcraft delusion continued, until Governor
Harrison was justly alarmed. He knew that although the Indians had been
quiet for ten years, and no ordinary leader could rouse them, yet deceived
by a mask of religion, they might once more plunge the frontiers into
bloody war. Moreover, his sympathies were touched by the stories of the
poor wretches doomed to a horrible death by this strange delusion.
Accordingly he sent the Indians an earnest letter, urging them in the name
of the Seventeen Fires (States) to drive out the Prophet, and boldly
asserted that the latter was a fraud. He told the Indians that the
pretender could work no miracles. "Ask of him to cause the sun to stand
still, the moon to alter its course, the rivers to cease to flow, or the
dead to rise from their graves."

But this letter did not accomplish the end desired. For a time, it is true,
the persecutions entirely ceased, but the influence of the Prophet was
increased by his accepting Governor Harrison's challenge to work miracles.
Hearing by chance from an educated white man that an eclipse of the sun
would occur on a certain day, he boldly announced that on such a day he
would cause darkness to cover the sun. The reports of this prophecy, and
the fact that he had accepted the Governor's challenge, spread abroad, and
on the appointed day there was a large body of Indians, from all the
neighboring tribes, assembled.

An hour before noon the Prophet, dressed with dazzling splendor, came out
of his wigwam, and strode with slow and stately steps toward the center of
the large circle. Extending his right arm and turning his face toward the
heavens, he pronounced an unintelligible incantation. As he proceeded a
disc of darkness was observed to be slowly appearing upon the edge of the
sun. The eyes of the vast assemblage were turned from the Prophet toward
the phenomenon. As the moments progressed the dark spot enlarged. It grew
darker and darker. The multitude was thrilled with awe. Not a few believed
the end of the world was at hand. The deep shadows, the darkened air, the
increasing obscurity, which at sunset would have attracted no attention,
occurring in the middle of the day, with the sun in high heaven, seemed
portentous and awful. The Prophet alone remained calm. At the moment of
total eclipse he cried out in a loud voice,  "Behold! did I not prophesy
truly? Darkness has come over the sun as I told you."

{Illustration: Tecumseh rebuking Proctor.}

The reports of this miracle (?) gave a wonderful impulse to the fame of the
Prophet. Tecumseh now appeared on the scene. He took care to lend the aid
of his powerful name and influence to the Prophet by an ostentatious
reverence. The latter returned the compliment by pointing out Tecumseh as
the leader chosen by the Great Spirit to save the Indians. The brothers
were thus a mutual benefit. The Indians were fired with fanaticism and
eager for a fight under such heaven-appointed leaders.

The whites were alarmed. The ever increasing throng of savages about
Tecumseh and his brother seemed ready to break out into violence. At a
council in Ohio, Tecumseh made a three hours' speech. He reviewed all the
treaties with the white men, and undertook to prove that all had been
broken by the enemies of his people. The Indians were roused to a perfect
frenzy by his fiery eloquence.

In the spring of 1808 the Pottawatomies and Kickapoos granted the two
brothers and their band a tract of land on the Tippecanoe, one of the
tributaries of the Wabash River in western Indiana. Here they established a
village, which came to be known as the Prophet's town. They drew around
them a large body of Indians from a number of tribes. The Prophet's
followers now for the first time began to combine warlike sports with their
religious exercises, showing that Tecumseh's genius for war was gradually
predominating over the Prophet's religious fanaticism. The great plan to
which Tecumseh now devoted all his genius and energies was nothing less
than a mighty confederation of all the Indian tribes, to drive the white
men beyond the Alleghenies.

As the great scheme took shape in his mind it became less and less that of
a mere temporary alliance, such as Pontiac had sought; and more and more
that of a "great and permanent confederation, an empire of red men, of
which Tecumseh should be the leader and Emperor." For about four years he
traveled incessantly in the propagation of his enterprise. Now he visited
the farthest extremity of Lake Superior. At another time he passed through
the unknown regions beyond the Mississippi. Again he labored with the
Creeks of the South, securing Red Eagle, or Weatherford, as his most
illustrious convert.

In 1810 it was reported that Tecumseh controlled more than sixteen hundred
warriors. The National Government became alarmed, for it was evident that
the exposed settlements of Indiana were in danger.

In September, 1809, a treaty was concluded at Fort Wayne, between the
Delawares, Miamis and Pottawatomies, and General Harrison, Governor of the
territory and Commissioner on the part of the United States. By this treaty
the Indians ceded to the Government a tract of land extending sixty miles
along the Wabash above Vincennes. This was done without the advice or
knowledge of Tecumseh, and neither the Prophet nor any of his followers
were present during the transaction. They had no claim on the land in
question, it having been in the legal possession of the Miamis time out of
mind, while the Shawnees were only sojourners. The chiefs of the other
tribes attended the council, and advised the cession, and the transaction
was in every respect regular and equitable from the white man's
stand-point. Yet Tecumseh, who had been absent during the negotiations on a
mission of intrigue among the different tribes, was inflamed with anger
when he returned and heard what had been done. He openly threatened to kill
the chiefs who had signed the treaty, and declared his determination to
prevent the land from being surveyed and occupied by the Americans.
Harrison being informed of this sent Mr. Dubois to Prophet's Town to
discover more fully, if possible, the designs of the brothers. The
messenger was kindly received, but nothing was accomplished. To the
suggestion that he should go to Vincennes and present his complaints to the
Governor, the Prophet replied, "The Great Spirit has fixed the spot for the
Indian to kindle his camp-fire, and he dare not go to any other.
Elskwatawa's and his brother Tecumseh's must be on the banks of the
Tippecanoe, or the Great Spirit will be angry with them. Evil birds have
carried false news to my father, the Governor. Let him not believe that
Elskwatawa, the Prophet, wishes to make war upon him and his people." This
ended the interview.

Shortly after this Governor Harrison sent Mr. Baron, with a letter to
Tippecanoe. When this messenger reached the Prophet's town he was received
in a very dramatic fashion. He was first conducted ceremoniously to the
place where the Prophet, surrounded by a number of Indians, was seated.
"The Prophet looked at me," said Mr. Baron, "for several minutes, without
speaking or making any sign of recognition, although he knew me well. At
last, in a tone expressive of anger and scorn, he said: 'For what purpose
do you come here? Bronilette was here; he was a spy. Dubois was here; _he_
was a spy. Now _you_ have come; _you,_ too, are a spy. There is your grave!
Look on it!' The Prophet then pointed to the ground near the spot where I

From a lodge near by issued the majestic form of Tecumseh, who said in a
cold and haughty tone: "Your life is in no danger. Say why you have come
among us." The messenger, in reply, read the letter from Governor Harrison
urging them to submit to the Government.

"I know your warriors are brave," the Governor wrote, "but ours are not
less so. What can a few brave warriors do against the innumerable warriors
of the Seventeen Fires? Our blue-coats are more numerous than you can
count; our hunters are like the leaves of the forest, or the grains of sand
on the Wabash. Do not think that the red-coats can protect you; they are
not able to protect themselves. They do not think of going to war with us.
If they did, you would in a few moons see our flag wave over all the forts
of Canada. What reason have you to complain of the Seventeen Fires? Have
they taken anything from you? Have they ever violated the treaties made
with the red men? You say they have purchased lands from those who had no
right to sell them. Show that this is so and the land will be instantly
restored. Show us the rightful owners. I have full power to arrange this
business; but if you would rather carry your complaints before your great
father at Washington, you shall be indulged."

Pleased with this letter, Tecumseh said that he would now go to Vincennes
and show the Governor that he had been listening to bad men when he was
told that the Indians wished to make war. He had never been to see the
Governor, but remembered him as a very young man riding beside General
Wayne. Thirty of his principal men, he said, would attend him, but the
party would probably be larger, as many of the young men would wish to go.

Notwithstanding the request which the Governor made, on hearing this, that
but few should come, four hundred descended the Wabash on the 12th of
August. Painted in the most terrific manner, and armed with tomahawks, they
were well prepared for war in case of an attack.

Governor Harrison had made arrangements for holding the council on the
portico of his own house, {FN} and here, attended by civil and military
officers, a small guard of soldiers and many citizens of Vincennes, he
awaited the arrival of Tecumseh. It was the 15th of August, 1810. At the
appointed hour, Tecumseh, attended by about forty warriors, made his
appearance, with much dancing and various curious incantations by the
Prophet. Advancing within thirty or forty yards of the house, the chief
suddenly halted, as if awaiting some movement on the part of the Governor.
An interpreter was sent to invite him and his followers to the portico, but
Tecumseh declined this invitation, saying that he thought a grove near by,
to which he pointed as he spoke, was a more suitable place. The Governor
yielded the point, chairs and benches were removed to the grove, but the
Indians, according to their habit, sat upon the grass.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} The old Harrison mansion is still standing at Vincennes, and was seen
 by the author a few years ago.

The council was opened by Tecumseh, who stated his position on the
irritating question between the whites and his race. Referring to the
treaty made by the Governor at Fort Wayne the previous year, he boldly
declared that he was determined to fight against the cession of lands by
the Indians unless assented to by _all_ the tribes acting in concert.

He admitted that he had threatened to kill the chiefs who signed the Fort
Wayne treaty, and furthermore, he did not intend to let the village chiefs
manage their affairs longer, but would place the power heretofore vested in
them in the hands of the war-chiefs. The Americans had driven the Indians
from the seacoast, and would soon drive them into the lakes; and while he
disowned any intention of making war upon the United States, he asserted in
the most emphatic language, that he would oppose any further intrusion of
the whites upon their lands. He  made a summary of the wrongs his people
had suffered from the close of the Revolution to that day. It was plain
that this appeal "struck fire" in the hearts of his own people, who would
have followed his commands to the death.

Having finished his speech, Tecumseh turned to seat himself, when he
observed that no chair had been provided for him. Governor Harrison
immediately ordered one, and, as the interpreter handed it to him, he said,
"Your father requests you to be seated." "My father?" said Tecumseh; "the
sun is my father and the earth is my mother, on her bosom will I repose;"
and drawing his blanket about him with as much dignity as a Roman Senator
would his toga, he seated himself among his warriors on the ground. We
challenge the world to produce a more eloquent sentence than this.

Replying to this address, Governor Harrison declared that the Indians were
not one nation, having a common property in the land. The Miamis were the
real owners of the tract on the Wabash, ceded by the late treaty, and the
Shawnees had no business to interfere, since, on the arrival of the whites
in this country, they had found the Miamis in possession of the land, the
Shawnees at that time being residents of Georgia. It was absurd to contend
that the Indians constituted one nation, for had such been the will of the
Great Spirit, he would not have given them different languages.

The interpretation of this speech to Tecumseh threw him into a terrible
rage. He sprang to his feet and began speaking in a loud and angry manner.
The Governor did not understand his language, but General Gibson, who was
present, did, and he remarked to the Governor: "Those fellows intend
mischief you had better bring up the guard." At the same instant the whole
forty warriors grasped their tomahawks, leaped to their feet and glared at
the Governor. Harrison leaped to his feet and drew his sword. Capt. G. R.
Floyd, of the army, who stood near him, drew a dirk, and the chief,
Winnemac, a friendly Indian, cocked his pistol. The citizens present who
were unarmed, seized clubs and brick-bats, while Rev. Mr. Winans, of the
Methodist Church, ran to the Governor's house, got a gun, and posted
himself at the door to defend the family. During this scene, no one spoke,
until the guard came running up, and appearing to be in the act of firing,
the Governor ordered them not to do so. He then demanded of the interpreter
an explanation of what had happened, who replied that Tecumseh had
interrupted him, declaring that all the Governor had said was false; and
that he and the Seventeen Fires (States) had cheated and imposed on the

The Governor then told Tecumseh that he was a bad man, and that he would
hold no further communication with him, that as he had come to Vincennes
under the protection of a council-fire, he might return in safety, but that
he must immediately leave the village. Here the council terminated.

That night two companies of militia were brought into the town, and the one
belonging there was made ready for the expected attack. Next morning
Tecumseh sent an apology to the Governor for his hasty action. He begged
another interview and declared that he did not intend to attack him, and
said that certain white men were the instigators of the whole thing. In the
light of subsequent events, the last statement was true, and those white
men were British officers.

Governor Harrison consented to meet him again the next day, and this time
Tecumseh comported himself with dignity and courtesy. In the course of the
talk, the Governor asked the sachem whether he would oppose the survey of
the lands. To which he replied that nothing could shake the determination
of himself and followers to insist on the old boundary. When he sat down,
his leading chiefs followed with the declaration that the Wyandots,
Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Ottawas and Winnebagos had entered the Shawnee
league and would stand by Tecumseh to the end.

Harrison said he would make known this decision to the President, but he
was certain that the claim of Tecumseh would never be acknowledged, as the
land in question was bought from the Miamis, the original owners, who alone
had the right to sell.

On the following day the Governor visited Tecumseh in his camp, attended
only by the interpreter, and was very politely received. A long
conversation followed, in the course of which the chieftain repeated his
sentiments expressed in the council. He viewed the policy of the United
States, in purchasing the lands from the Indians, as a mighty flood, which,
unless checked, would drown all his people. The confederacy which he had
formed to prevent such sales without the consent of all the tribes was the
dam he was building to resist the flood. He added that he should be
reluctant to take part in a war with the Seventeen Fires, and if the
Governor would induce the President to give up the lands lately purchased,
and agree never to make another treaty for land without the consent of all
the tribes, he would be their faithful ally, and assist them in the war,
which he knew was about to take place with England; but if this was not
done, he would be compelled to unite with the British, who were very
anxious to enlist his warriors for allies. The Governor replied that he
would make known his views to the President, but there was no hope of their
being agreed to.

"Well," said Tecumseh, "as the Great Chief is to settle the matter, I hope
the Great Spirit will put enough sense into his head to cause him to give
up the land; it is true, he is so far off he will not be injured by the
war; he may sit still in his town and drink his wine, while you and I will
have to fight it out."

This prophecy, it will be seen, was literally fulfilled, and the great
chieftain attested that fulfillment with his blood. The Governor, as he was
about to leave, proposed to Tecumseh that in the event of war between the
Indians and the United States, he would use his influence to put an end to
the cruel mode of warfare which the Indians were accustomed to wage upon
prisoners or helpless women and children. To this he cheerfully consented;
and, to his everlasting credit, it is recorded that he faithfully kept the

Tecumseh must have known that his demands would never be acceded to by the
United States, for from this time forward the attitude of himself and
brother became distinctively hostile. The great war-belt was sent around to
the neighboring tribes, who were invited to join in a confederacy to
"confine the great water" and prevent it from overflowing them. The
matchless eloquence and sagacity of Tecumseh brought most of the tribes
into the alliance.

In the spring of 1811 Governor Harrison sent a boat up the Wabash loaded
with salt for the Indians, that article constituting a part of their
annuity. Five barrels were to be left with the Prophet, for the Kickapoos
and Shawnees. Upon the arrival of the boat at Tippecanoe, the Prophet
called a council, by which it was decided to seize all the salt. This was
accordingly done; though the year previous the Prophet had refused to take

When Governor Harrison referred to the seizure of this salt, at the next
council held with the Indians, Tecumseh hissed back to him, that the
Governor was hard to please; he was angry at one time when the Indians took
no salt and another year because they did take it.

{Illustration: The Prophet, brother of Tecumseh.}

The last council with Tecumseh was held at Vincennes July 27, 1811, but
nothing was accomplished. The chasm could not be bridged, since neither of
the parties concerned would yield a point. War must come. Two days after
the council adjourned the great chieftain set off on a journey to the

In a letter to the War Department, just after this council, Governor
Harrison speaks of "the implicit obedience and respect which the followers
of Tecumseh pay to him," as wonderful. He says: "If it were not for the
vicinity of the United States, he would perhaps be the founder of an empire
that would  rival in glory Mexico or Peru. No difficulties deter him. For
four years he has  been in constant motion. You see him to-day on the
Wabash, and in a short time hear of him on the shores of Lake Erie or
Michigan, or on the banks of the Mississippi; and wherever he goes he makes
an impression favorable to his purpose. He is now upon the last round to
put a finishing stroke to his work. I hope, however, before his return,
that that part of the work which he considered complete will be demolished,
and even its foundation rooted up."

Tecumseh visited the Choctaws, Creeks or Muskogees, Seminoles and other
tribes. His success was marvelous. There seemed no resisting his persuasive
eloquence. In most instances the determination was unanimous to dig up the
hatchet whenever he was ready for them.

Like other great generals, Tecumseh gave close attention to details. He
invented a calendar showing the exact day on which they were to strike the
white settlements. This he did by making little bundles of sticks painted
red. Each bundle contained sticks equal to the number of days that would
pass before the one arrived which he had indicated to them. Every morning
they were to throw away a stick. Thus it was that the Seminoles, in the war
which followed, became widely known under the name of "Red Sticks."
Tecumseh also directed the Indians, that should the question be asked, why
he had come so far? to answer, that he had advised them to till the soil,
to abstain from the use of "firewater," and to live peacefully with the
white people.

At Tuckabatchee, Alabama, Tecumseh addressed the council of the Creek
nation, but met a silent opponent in the principal chief, Big Warrior. He
at once divined the feelings of this chief. Angrily stamping his foot on
the ground, he looked into the eyes of Big Warrior and said: "Your blood is
white. You have taken my talk and the sticks, and the wampum, and the
hatchet, but you do not mean to fight. I know the reason. You do not
believe the Great Spirit has sent me. You shall know. I leave Tuckabatchee
directly and shall go straight to Detroit; when I arrive there, I will
stamp on the ground with my foot and shake down every house in
Tuckabatchee." This was a wild threat, and Big Warrior was dumbfounded. He
and his people were superstitious and began to dread Tecumseh's arrival at
Detroit. They often met, talked over the strange affair, and actually tried
to compute the time it would take the great chieftain to reach that town.
When the morning of the day fixed upon arrived, an awful rumbling of the
ground was heard; the earth began to shake and down came the flimsy lodges.
The frantic Indians ran to and fro shouting: "Tecumseh has got to Detroit!"
The threat had been fulfilled and the warriors no longer hesitated to go to
war with the great leader.

All this was produced by the historical earthquake of New Madrid, on the
Mississippi. Strange as it may seem, it is said to have taken place the
very day Tecumseh reached Detroit, and in exact fulfillment of his threat.

During the absence of Tecumseh in the South, the Indians at Prophet's Town
were so warlike and aggressive that Governor Harrison determined to march
to that place and settle the difficulties with the Indians, or break up
their rendezvous.

Accordingly, on September 26, 1811, at the head of nine hundred troops, he
started on this expedition. Six days afterward the army encamped on the
eastern bank of the Wabash, two miles above the present bustling city of
Terre Haute. Here a log fort was constructed, and named by the soldiers
Fort Harrison.

Leaving a small guard at the new fort, the troops advanced along the east
bank of the Wabash, until they passed Big Raccoon Creek. Here it was
determined to cross to the other side of the river, to avoid a dense woody
shore, where there was danger of ambush. This was effected at a point near
the town of Montezuma, Indiana. Advancing still further, at the mouth of
the Vermilion River he built a block-house to protect his boats and heavy
baggage, and proceeded thence to the immediate vicinity of the Prophet's
town. He was desirous of attacking this as soon as possible, because he
knew that Tecumseh might return any day.

The army encamped for the night about three-quarters of a mile from the
Prophet's town on the now famous Tippecanoe battleground, seven miles
northeast of the city of Lafayette. The place was a beautiful spot of
timber-land, about ten feet higher than the marshy prairie in front, which
stretched away toward the Prophet's town, and nearly twice that height
above a similar prairie, on the other side, across which sluggishly flowed
a small stream, its course marked by willows and brushwood.

At this point he was met by ambassadors, who asked that the white men
refrain from hostilities until the following day, when a peace talk could
be had. Harrison, however, was too prudent to be deluded into a belief that
no danger threatened. The army settled itself for the night in order of
battle, the men sleeping on their arms. Notwithstanding the truce those of
the soldiers experienced in Indian warfare fully expected an attack before
morning light.

Meanwhile the Indians were by no means idle. All night long the chiefs sat
in council. A dozen different plans for the attack were proposed. At one
time it was decided to meet the whites in council on the next day, agree to
their proposals, and withdraw, leaving behind two Winnebagos, who were to
rush forward and assassinate the Governor. This was to be the signal for
battle. Later in the night, which was dark and rainy, the plan was changed.
The Prophet, mixing some mysterious concoction of "hell-broth," pretended
to read in it the fact that one-half of Harrison's army was dead and the
other half crazy. Encouraged by this assurance, the whole body of warriors,
at four o'clock in the morning, began to creep across the miry prairie
toward the American camp.

A little after four in the morning, a sentinel who was gazing on the wide
prairie before him, had his attention roused by a strange movement on its
surface. Not a breath of wind was stirring, yet the tall grass was waving
as if under the influence of a strong breeze. Rapidly the noiseless waves
approached nearer till they broke against the rising ground at his feet.
"Who goes there?" he shouted, but no voice answered. Suddenly, with the
quick thought of a backwoodsman, he stooped down, and looking _through and
under_ the grass, beheld an Indian stealthily creeping toward him! He
fired; in an instant a tremendous war-whoop, the nightmare of all who slept
in a hostile Indian country, was heard on all sides, and the force of
savage warriors rushed upon the American lines. The Indians were commanded
by White Loon, Stone Eater and Winnemac, the Pottawatomie chief who had
professed so much friendship for the Governor, at the time of the first
council at Vincennes. The guard gave way at the point of attack, but the
men who had been sleeping on their arms were immediately prepared to
receive the Indians bravely. The suddenness of the attack might have
created a panic even among veterans, yet the men stood their ground, though
only one in twenty had ever been under fire before. But many of them were
Kentuckians, and "the bravest of the brave."

The camp-fires were quickly extinguished, that their light might not assist
the Indians, and the battle raged in the darkness on all sides. Elskwatawa
had prophesied that the American bullets would rebound from the bodies of
the Indians, and that they would be provided with light, while all would be
"thick darkness" to their enemies. He had evidently heard of Moses and
Pharaoh. For some reason, however, he did not personally try the truth of
his prophecies by engaging in the fight; unwilling "to attest at once the
rival powers of a sham prophecy and a real American bullet." Stationing
himself on a small hill near at hand, he chanted a war-song, and presided
like an evil genius over this battle. Though invisible in the darkness, his
shrill and piercing voice could be distinctly heard above the noise. To the
messengers that came to tell him that, despite his assurances, his
followers were falling, he said: "Tell them to keep on fighting and it will
be as the Prophet has said."

In the confusion of the sudden attack the large white horse of Governor
Harrison could not be found, and he mounted a borrowed plug of a different
color instead. This circumstance doubtless saved his life. One of his
aides, who also rode a white horse, fell in the very beginning of the
attack, pierced by a dozen balls. There can be no doubt he was mistaken for
his chief, whom the Indians determined to kill at all hazards.

During the battle General Harrison rode from one side of the camp to the
other, disposing his men to the best advantage, and inspiring them by his
personal courage. A ball passed through his hat and another his hair, but
he escaped unhurt. At one time he stopped to reprove a cowardly French
ensign, who sheltered himself behind a tree, and told him he ought to be
ashamed to be under shelter when his men were exposed.

The Frenchman, when the battle was over, complained bitterly. "I vas not
behind de tree," he said; "de tree vas before me. Dere vas de tree, and
here vas my position; how can I help? I can not move de tree; I can not
leaf my position."

The Indians made use of deer hoofs instead of drums to signal an advance or
retreat; making with them certain rattling sounds. Never were savages known
to battle more desperately. For once they quite abandoned their practice of
fighting from behind shelter, and rushed right up to the bayonets of their
foes. The conflict lasted until shortly after daylight, when with a last
charge the troops routed the savages and put them to flight.

When the Indians fled the whites found thirty-seven of their own number
killed and one hundred and fifty-one wounded. Twenty-five of the latter
died of their wounds. The loss of the Indians was thought to be equally

The Prophet's influence was gone forever, "You are a liar," said a
Winnebago warrior to him whom they had lately revered as a messenger from
the Great Spirit, "for you told us that the white people were dead or
crazy, when they were all in their senses and fought like the devil."

The Prophet replied, in a tone strangely different from that which he was
accustomed to use, that there had been some mistake in the compounding of
his "medicine." The enraged Indians bound him and threatened him with
death, but finally released him.

The second day after the battle the Americans advanced to the Prophet's
town. No defiant war-whoop greeted them. The place was deserted, having
been abandoned in a panic.

The Indians, more civilized than most tribes, had left behind all their
household furniture, many firearms (supplied by the British), great
quantities of corn, numbers of hogs and chickens. The only inhabitant was
an aged chief with a broken leg, who had been left by his people. Having
dressed the wound of the chief and provided sufficient food to last him
several days, they told him to say to the Indians that those who should
leave the Prophet and return to their own tribes should  be forgiven. Then
taking the provisions for their own use the entire village was destroyed.

Tecumseh was already on his way home, after a very successful trip. Red
Eagle and the Creeks were preparing for war. The Cherokees, the Osages, the
Seminoles, were all ready to take up the hatchet.

The great confederacy seemed almost an accomplished fact. Confident and
exultant, Tecumseh hurried back to the Prophet's town. He was ignorant of
what had happened. As he and his party approached they gave the
salute-yell. Instead of a wild chorus in answer from the direction of the
village, all was as silent as the tomb.

Anxious and alarmed, he hurried forward. He soon saw the spot where the
village had stood, but not a cabin was to be seen. He rubbed his eyes and
looked again, to see if it was not a dream, a nightmare. Not so. The
village had disappeared. Only heaps of ashes marked its sight; "Simply this
and nothing more." All its fortifications, all the stores of ammunition,
arms and provision, the result of years of weary toil, were gone. Tecumseh
knew at once what had happened. He was overwhelmed with sorrow. Just at the
moment of apparent triumph he found the very foundation of the structure
dissolved in thin air. Guided by some stragglers, Tecumseh hurried to the
camp, where the disgraced Prophet awaited, with fear and trembling, his
brother's return. Great and terrible was Tecumseh's anger. He bitterly
reproached his brother, and was so enraged that he seized the unfortunate
impostor by the hair and shook him until life was well nigh extinct. The
battle had been fought in direct opposition to his orders.

The Prophet was an object of contempt ever afterward. The very boys yelled
and jeered at him as he sneaked through a village. Yet, because he was
Tecumseh's brother, he was saved from further punishment.

Tecumseh wrote to General Harrison that he desired to go to Washington and
see the Great Father. The request was granted, but he was required to go
alone. This wounded the spirit of the disappointed man. The would-be
emperor refused to go without a retinue. Filled with unutterable fury, he
joined the English army in Canada. When invited to take part in a peace
council, he said: "No! I have taken sides with my father, the King, and I
will suffer my bones to bleach on this shore before I will recross that
stream to take part in any council of neutrality."

Tecumseh took an active part in the war and before long found himself at
the head of seven hundred warrior's. Nearly all the war-chiefs followed his
lead and went over to the British side. Shortly after this, because of
bravery in what is known as the battle of Brownstown, and in recognition of
his eminent ability, Tecumseh was made a brigadier-general in the British
army. He is thought to have been the only American Indian who ever held so
high a position, except Gen. Ely S. Parker, of the Rebellion.

Major-General Brock, a brave and generous gentleman, was now in command of
the British army. He was as much honored and respected by his Indian ally
as General Proctor, his successor, was afterward despised.

General Brock and Tecumseh, with their combined force, took a position at
Sandwich, a place opposite Detroit. Here the commander-in-chief asked his
ally what sort of a country he would have to pass through in order to get
to Detroit. Tecumseh, taking a roll of elm bark, and extending it on the
ground and securing it in place by four stones, drew his scalping-knife,
and, with the point, etched upon the bark a plan of the country, showing
its hills, rivers, woods, morasses and roads. Pleased with this unexpected
talent in Tecumseh, as well as by the fact that he induced the Indians not
of his immediate party to cross the river first. General Brock took off his
splendid sash and, in the presence of the army, placed it around the body
of the chief. Tecumseh received the honor with evident gratification; but
was next day seen without his sash. General Brock, fearing something had
displeased the chief, sent his interpreter for an explanation. The latter
soon returned with the report that Tecumseh, not wishing to wear such a
mark of distinction, when an older, and as he said, abler warrior than
himself was present, had transferred the sash to Roundhead, the Wyandot

In this the great chief showed his shrewdness, knowing the Indian's love of
display and the tendency in human nature to jealousy. Moreover, he would
not be so conspicuous in battle.

As is well known, the American general, Hull, made a cowardly surrender of
Detroit. He was court-martialed and sentenced to be shot, but was pardoned
because of his age and his services during the Revolution.

At the time of the surrender, General Brock asked Tecumseh not to allow the
Indians to abuse the prisoners. "Have no fear," he replied; "I despise them
too much to meddle with them."

The surrender of Detroit exposed the whole Northwestern frontier to the
ravages of the enemy. General Brock was killed at the battle of Queenstown
and the command of the British army devolved upon General Proctor. He had
under him in the spring of 1813 fourteen hundred British and eighteen
hundred Indian allies, commanded by Tecumseh. The Americans to meet this
force had only twelve hundred troops and a small force of Indians, under
the command of General Harrison; but they were _Americans,_ and many of
them from _Kentucky._

{Illustration: Red Cloud, noted Sioux Chief.}

One of the most disastrous affairs of the war was in connection with the
attack upon Fort Meigs. It seems that Colonel Dudley and his force had been
sent to the opposite side of the river to seize a battery erected by the
enemy and spike the cannon. They gained possession of the battery, but
before they could complete their work the enemy rallied in overwhelming
numbers. Nearly every one who escaped the rifle and tomahawk was captured,
Dudley being one of those who was tomahawked and scalped.

The prisoners were taken to Proctor's headquarters, where the Indians
tomahawked such as they pleased. More than twenty were murdered in this
horrible manner. General Proctor made no attempt to restrain them, but was
looking calmly upon the fiendish work, when he heard a voice in the Indian
tongue shouting something at the rear. Turning his head he saw Tecumseh
dashing forward, his horse at full speed. The instant he reached the spot
he leaped off, and seeing two Indians in the act of killing an American,
seized one by the throat and the other by the breast and hurled them to the
ground. Drawing his tomahawk and scalping-knife he sprang between the
Indians and their victims, and, brandishing the weapons with the fury of a
madman dared any one of the blood thirsty savages to attempt to injure
another prisoner. His consuming wrath cowed all, and they slunk away from
him. Turning to Proctor, he sternly demanded why he had not stopped the

"Sir," replied the British general, "your Indians can not be restrained."

"Begone!" thundered Tecumseh; "you are not fit to command! Go home and put
on the petticoat of a squaw!"

Call him barbarian, if you will, but remember, that of the two commanders
the fiend who looked on complacently during this cruel butchery of
defenseless white prisoners, was _white;_ while he who risked his life to
prevent it, was a _red man._

Another instance in the career of this truly great man is given by Drake.
Shortly after he had stopped the slaughter of the captives he noticed a
small group of Indians interested in something. Colonel Elliott said to
him: "Yonder are four of your people who have been taken prisoners you may
do what you please with them." Tecumseh walked over to the group and found
four Shawnees, who, while fighting on the side of the Americans, had been
captured. "Friends," said Tecumseh, "Colonel Elliott has placed you under
my charge and I will send you back to your nation, with a talk to your

Accordingly, he took them with the army as far as Raisin, from which point
their return home would be less dangerous, and then sent two of his
warriors to accompany them with a friendly message to their chiefs. They
were thus discharged, under their parole not to fight against the British
during the war.

Tecumseh was an unruly ally, because he despised Proctor. One day,
provisions being scarce, salt beef was given the English soldiers, while
the Indians received only horse-flesh. Angered at the outrage, Tecumseh
strode to Proctor's tent and demanded an explanation. Seeing the English
general about to treat the complaint with indifference, Tecumseh
significantly struck the hilt of the commander's sword, touching at the
same time the handle of his tomahawk, and said: "You are Proctor. I am
Tecumseh." This hint at a mode of settling the difficulty brought Proctor
to terms at once.

After an unsuccessful attempt to reduce Fort Stephenson, then garrisoned by
one hundred and sixty men commanded by Major Croghan, Proctor and his
forces retreated to Malden.

About this time, an American citizen, Captain Le Croix, was arrested by
order of the British commander and confined on board a ship, to be sent to
Montreal. Tecumseh had an especial friendship for Le Croix, and it may have
been because of his influence with the chief that he was seized. Tecumseh,
suspecting that Le Croix had been imprisoned, called on General Proctor,
and asked if he knew anything of his friend. He even ordered the British
general to tell him the truth, adding, "If I ever detect you in a
falsehood, I, with my Indians, will immediately abandon you." The general
was obliged to acknowledge that Le Croix was a prisoner. Tecumseh then
demanded that his friend should be instantly liberated. General Proctor
wrote a line stating that the "King of the Woods" desired the release of
Captain Le Croix, and that it must be done at once. The order was obeyed.
Tecumseh treated the American commander with equal contempt. A recent
writer gives a challenge which that great chief sent to General Harrison at
the first siege of Fort Meigs. It was as follows:

"General Harrison: I have with me eight hundred braves. You have an equal
number in your hiding place. Come out with them and give me battle. You
talked like a brave when we met at Vincennes, and I respected you, but now
you hide behind logs and in the earth, like a ground-hog. Give me answer.


The Americans always had great confidence in Tecumseh, though he was an
enemy. Once when the English and Indians were encamped near the River
Raisin, some Sauks and Winnebagos entered the house of a Mrs. Ruland and
began to plunder it. She immediately sent her little daughter to ask
Tecumseh to come to her assistance. The chief was in council and was making
a speech when the child entered the building and pulled the skirts of
Tecumseh's hunting-shirt, saying, "Come to our house, there are bad Indians
there." Tecumseh did not wait to finish his speech, but walked rapidly to
the house. At the entrance he met some Indians dragging a trunk away. He
knocked down the first one with a blow from his tomahawk. The others
prepared to resist. "Dogs!" cried the chief, "I am Tecumseh!" The Indians
immediately fled and Tecumseh turned upon some English officers who were
standing near: "You," said he, "are worse, than dogs, to break your faith
with prisoners." The officers immediately apologized to Mrs. Ruland, and
offered to put a guard around her house. She declined this offer, however,
saying that she was not afraid so long as that man, pointing to Tecumseh,
was near.

The ill success which attended the efforts of the British caused Tecumseh
not only to lose heart, but dissipated what little faith he had felt in
Proctor. He seriously meditated a withdrawal from the contest. Assembling
the Shawnees, Wyandots and Ottawas, who were under his command, he declared
his intention to them. He told them that when they had taken up the
tomahawk and joined their father, the King, they were promised plenty of
white men to fight with them; "but the number is not now greater," said he,
"than at the commencement of the war; and we are treated by them like the
dogs of snipe hunters; we are always sent ahead to start the game. It is
better that we should return to our own country, and let the Americans come
on and fight the British."

To this proposition his followers agreed; but the Sioux and Chippewas
discovering his intention, went to him, and insisted that inasmuch as he
had first united with the British, and had been instrumental in bringing
their tribes into the alliance, he ought not to leave them; and through
their influence he was finally induced to remain.

Tecumseh's last grudge against Proctor was on account of the retreat of the
English from Malden, after Commodore Perry's victory on Lake Erie. The
Indians did not understand the movements of a naval battle, and General
Proctor, who doubtless dreaded the influence of a defeat upon them, said to
Tecumseh, "My fleet has whipped the Americans, but the vessels being much
injured have gone to Put-in-Bay to refit, and will be here in a few days."

The suspicions of Tecumseh were soon aroused, however, when he thought he
perceived indications of a plan to retreat from Maiden. When he spoke to
Proctor on the subject, that cringing coward told him that he was only
going to send all his valuables up the Thames, where they would be met by a
reinforcement and  be safe. Tecumseh, however, felt sure that the commander
was meditating a retreat. He demanded, in the name of his Indians, that he
be heard by General Proctor. Audience was granted him on September 18, and
the Indian orator delivered his last speech, a copy of which was afterward
found in Proctor's baggage when it was captured. We can only quote two
paragraphs from it here:

"You always told us," said he, "you would never draw your foot off British
ground; but now, father, we see that you are drawing back, and we are sorry
to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our
father's conduct to a fat dog that carries its tail on its back, but when
affrighted drops it between its legs and runs off. Father, listen! The
Americans have not yet defeated us by land; neither are we sure they have
done so by water; we, therefore wish to remain here and fight our enemy,
should they make their appearance. If they defeat us, we will then retreat
with our father.

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

In spite of Tecumseh's protest, Proctor burned Malden and began a retreat.
He pretended from time to time that he would halt and give battle. When the
retreat commenced, Tecumseh said, "We are now going to follow the British,
and I am sure that we shall never return."  At last, on October 5, Proctor
was forced to halt and oppose the pursuing Americans in the battle of the
Thames. Just before the engagement Tecumseh said to the group of chiefs
around him: "Brother warriors, we are about to enter into an engagement,
from which I shall never come out--my body will remain on the field of
battle." Unbuckling his sword and handing it to a chief, he said, "When my
son becomes a noted warrior and able to wield a sword, give this to him."

The battle which followed was for a time fiercely contested, and the
position selected was well adapted for defense. The Indians, under their
indomitable leader, stood their ground longer than the British regulars.

Proctor fled, like the coward he was, leaving the great chief and his
warriors to receive the brunt of the battle. The flight of the British
commander was too rapid for him to be overtaken, though they captured his

With one arm bleeding and almost useless, Tecumseh, too proud to fly, stood
his ground, dealing prodigious blows right and left, and inspiring his
warriors with his loud commanding war-whoop, which was heard above the din
of the battle.

Col. Richard  M. Johnson and his Kentucky cavalry were ordered to charge
the Indians. This they did with such fury that the savage warriors fled;
but not until their intrepid leader had received a bullet through his head,
which stilled his clarion voice in death.

The discussion as to who killed Tecumseh became a singularly heated one in
subsequent political campaigns, the chief recommendation for office in that
day being skill as an Indian fighter.

The friends of Col. Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, claimed that _honor_
for their hero when he was a candidate for the Vice-Presidency. This,
indeed, constituted one of his chief claims to the suffrage of his party,
just as Harrison's victories at Tippecanoe and the Thames elevated him to
the Presidency. Johnson himself never made the claim, saying that his
assailant was so close upon him that he did not stop to ask him his name
before shooting him.

It may be doubted whether anybody ever did know who fired the shot that
killed the great chief. Those who saw him shot, from the American side, did
not know him from any other Indian, for there was nothing in his dress to
distinguish him from his warriors, and the Indians who saw him fall did not
know his slayer. Many mistook the body of a gayly dressed and painted
warrior for that of Tecumseh.

James, the English historian, and Eggleston, both assert that from the body
of this Indian much of the skin was actually flayed and converted into
razor-strops by some of the pioneer Kentuckians, who had become almost as
barbarous as the savages against whom they fought. The truth of this
statement is confirmed by the testimony of several American officers and
privates who were in the battle of the Thames. They state, however, that
it was the work of a few brutish individuals, and that the great mass of
the army were shocked at its perpetration. {FN}

                              * * * * *

 {FN} The author when a youth was told by Dr. William A. Moore, of Milford,
 Kentucky, a member of the Legislature and an old-school gentleman of the
 highest integrity, that he (the Doctor) had seen a razor-strop made from
 the skin that covered Tecumseh's backbone. It has been demonstrated that
 Tecumseh's body was not harmed, but another Indian mistaken for him was
 both scalped and flayed.

A short distance from where Tecumseh fell, the body of his friend,
Wasegoboah, the husband of Tecumapease, was found. They had often fought
side by side, and now, in front of their men, bravely battling the enemy,
they side by side closed their mortal careers.

The British historian, James, in his account of the battle of the Thames,
makes the following remarks upon the character and personal appearance of
the subject of this sketch.

"Thus fell the Indian warrior, Tecumseh, in the forty-fourth year of his
age. He was of the Shawnee tribe, five feet ten inches high, and with more
than the usual stoutness, possessed all the agility and perseverance of the
Indian character. His carriage was dignified, his eye penetrating, his
countenance, which even in death betrayed the indications of a lofty
spirit, rather of the sterner cast.

"Had he not possessed a certain austerity of manners, he could not have
controlled the wayward passions of those who followed him to battle. He was
of a silent habit; but when his eloquence became roused into action by the
reiterated encroachments of the Americans, his strong intellect could
supply him with a flow of oratory that enabled him, as he governed in the
field, so to prescribe in the council.

"Such a man was the unlettered savage, Tecumseh. He has left a son, who,
when his father fell, was about seventeen years old, and fought by his
side. The prince regent in 1814, out of respect to the memory of the old,
sent out as a present to the young Tecumseh, a handsome sword.
Unfortunately, however, for the Indian cause and country, faint are the
prospects that Tecumseh, the son, will ever equal, in wisdom or prowess,
Tecumseh, the father."

The name of Tecumseh's son was Pugeshashenwa. The prince regent also
settled upon him an annual pension, in consideration of his father's
services. He was treated with much respect, because he was the son of his
father, and removed to Indian Territory with the remnant of the Shawnee

Tecumseh is described as a perfect Apollo in form, his face oval, his nose
straight and handsome, and his mouth regular and beautiful. His eyes,
singularly enough, were "hazel, clear and pleasant in conversation, but
like balls of fire when excited by anger or enthusiasm." His bearing was
that of a lofty and noble spirit, a true "King of the Woods," as the
English called him. He was temperate in his habits, loving truth and honor
better than life. He was an ideal Indian, and both in body and mind the
finest flower of the aboriginal American race.

Possessing a genius which must have made him eminent in any age or country,
like Brant, Pontiac and King Philip, his illustrious predecessors, he had
failed yet like them he was great in defeat. He was the first great
chieftain to prohibit the massacre of prisoners.

Trumbull, in his "Indian Wars," thus refers to this renowned leader: "He
was the most extraordinary Indian that has ever appeared in history. His
acute understanding very early in life informed him that his countrymen had
lost their importance that they were gradually yielding to the whites, who
were acquiring an imposing influence over them. Instigated by these
considerations, and perhaps by his natural ferocity and attachment to war,
he became a decided enemy to the whites, with an invincible determination
to regain for his country the proud independence she had lost.

"Aware, at length, of the extent, number and power of the United States, he
became fully convinced of the futility of any single nation of red men
attempting to cope with them."

{Illustration: Death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames.}

"He formed, therefore, the grand scheme of uniting all the tribes east of
the Mississippi into hostility against the United States. This was a field
worthy of his great and commanding genius."

Besides several towns in different States christened in his honor, his name
was also borne by one of the greatest of American generals.

At the meeting of the Republican National Committee in Washington, November
23, 1891, to select a city in which to hold a Presidential convention,
President Palmer, of the World's Fair Commission, gave in an eloquent plea
for the selection of Detroit, the promise to take the visitors thirty miles
over into Canada to view the spot where Tecumseh, "the greatest Indian the
American continent ever knew, was slain."

Paradoxical as it may seem, he was a savage, yet one of nature's noblemen.

The words of Hamlet apply to this "King of the Woods" in a striking manner:

             "See, what a grace was seated on this brow
             Hyperion's locks; the front of Jove himself;
             An eye like Mars, to threaten and command
             A station like the herald Mercury,
             New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill
             A combination, and a form, indeed,
             Where every god did seem to set his seal,
             To give the world assurance of a man."

                            CHAPTER XI.

                           AND HIS WAR.

Great warriors among the Indians, like those of the favored white race,
learned from those who preceded them. We have seen that King Philip united
the tribes of New England against their common enemy, the whites, in the
first great Indian war, and his example was copied in turn by Pontiac and

Black Hawk led a band of his own warriors and fought under Tecumseh in the
war of 1812, and must have gained much inspiration as well as a knowledge
of the most effectual methods of fighting the Americans, from that great
chieftain. Certain it is Black Hawk also sought to form a confederation of
the neighboring tribes, including the Pottawatomies, Winnebagos, Chippewas,
Menomonees and Ottawas. But they had not forgotten the lessons of the
preceding half-century or more, and remained neutral.

He also visited the commander of the British forces at Malden, opposite
Detroit, hoping to gain encouragement and munitions of war, but in this he
was disappointed. The commander, knowing the power of the Americans and the
feeble resources of the Indians, strongly advised against a hopeless war.
This was not the kind of advice the enraged chief wanted, and, of course,
it was declined.

What was the cause of the Black Hawk War? There are several answers to this
question, but we think the explanation of Black Hawk himself in his
autobiography is authentic and the real _"casus belli."_ This autobiography
was dictated to an amanuensis, by means of an interpreter. In it the chief

"In 1804 one of our people killed an American and was captured and confined
in the prison at St. Louis for the offense. We held a council at our
village to see what could be done for him, and determined that Quashquame,
Pashepaho, Onchequaka and Hashequarhiqua should go down to St. Louis, see
our American father and do all they could to have our friend released, by
paying for the person killed, thus covering the blood and satisfying the
relations of the murdered man; this being the only means with us for
saving a person who had killed another, and we then thought it was the
same way with the whites.

"The party started with the good wishes of the whole nation, who had high
hopes that the emissaries would accomplish the object of their mission.

"The relations of the prisoner blacked their faces and fasted, hoping the
Great Spirit would take pity on them and return husband and father to his
sorrowing wife and weeping children.

"Quashquame and party remained a long time, but finally returned and
encamped a short distance below the village. They did not come up that day,
nor did any one approach their camp. They appeared to be dressed in fine
coats and had medals. From these circumstances we were in hopes that they
had brought good news.

"Early the next morning the council lodge was crowded. Quashquame and party
came up and gave us the following account of their mission:

"'On our arrival at St. Louis we met our American father and explained to
him our business, urging the release of our friend. The American chief told
us he wanted land. We agreed to give him some on the west side of the
Mississippi, likewise more on the Illinois side opposite Jefferson. When
the business was all arranged we expected to have our friend released to
come home with us. About the time we were ready to start our brother was
let out of prison. He started and ran a short distance, when he was _shot

"This was all they could remember of what had been said and done. It
subsequently appeared that they had been drunk the greater part of the
time while at St. Louis.

"This was all myself and nation knew of the so-called treaty of 1804. It
has since been explained to me. I found by that treaty, that all of the
country east of the Mississippi and south of Jefferson was ceded to the
United States for one thousand dollars a year. I will leave it to the
people of the United States to say whether our nation was properly
represented in this treaty? Or whether we received a fair compensation for
the extent of country ceded by those four individuals?

"I could say much more respecting this treaty, but I will not at this time.
It has been the origin of all our serious difficulties with the whites."

On June 27, 1831, Black Hawk made a treaty with General Gaines, and gave a
reluctant consent to abandon his village and cornfields on the Rock River
in Illinois and join Keokuk's band on their reservation in Iowa. General
Gaines believed the trouble was ended, and so it probably would have been
had the whites observed the provisions of the treaty. The Indians had been
promised corn to supply the wants of their families in lieu of that which
was left in their fields, but the amount was so meager that they began to

In this emergency, a party of Sacs, to quote the language of Black Hawk,
crossed the river "to steal corn from their own fields."

Moving with his band up Rock River, he was overtaken by a messenger from
General Atkinson ordering him to return and recross the Mississippi. Black
Hawk said he was not on the warpath, but going on a friendly visit to the
village of White Cloud, the Winnebago Prophet, and continued his journey.
General Atkinson now sent imperative orders for him to return at once, or
he would pursue him with his entire army and drive him back. In reply
Black Hawk said the general had no right to make the order so long as his
band was peaceable, and that he intended to go on to the Prophet's village.

When Black Hawk reached a point about forty miles above Dixon's Ferry he
was met in council by some Pottawatomie and Winnebago chiefs. They assured
Black Hawk that their people would not join him in making war upon the
United States, contrary to his expectations. Black Hawk now saw that the
Prophet and others had misrepresented the plans and intentions of these
tribes, and resolved to send a flag of truce to General Atkinson and ask
permission to descend Rock River, recross the Mississippi and return to
their reservation.

About this time General Whitesides had concentrated a large force of
militia at Dixon's Ferry, and, at the solicitation of Major Stillman,
permitted him to take out a scouting party of 270 mounted men. They
ascended Rock River to the mouth of Sycamore Creek and encamped within a
few miles of Black Hawk's band, but ignorant of that fact. Indian scouts
soon reported to Black Hawk that a large company of mounted militia were
coming toward his camp, and the chief at once dispatched three warriors
with a white flag of truce, and an invitation for the officers to visit his
camp. The whites paid no attention to this flag, but captured the
messengers, killing the flag-bearer instantly. Black Hawk also sent five
others to look after the flag-bearers. They were pursued and one killed,
but the remainder, together with the two flag-bearers, made their escape
in the confusion incident to making preparation to charge the Indian camp.

When the old chief heard that his flag of truce was disregarded and two of
his warriors killed, he gave the war-whoop and prepared to meet the whites.
He had only about forty mounted warriors, the others being absent on a
hunting trip. Having taken a position in a copse of timber and underbrush
near Sycamore Creek, he waited the approach of the whites. The soldiers
advanced in disorderly fashion, and, having crossed the creek, were
surprised by a terrific war-whoop from the Indians who were concealed in
the bushes and with deadly aim commenced firing into their ranks. Judging
from the yelling of the Indians their number was variously estimated at
from one to two thousand. The entire party was thrown into such confusion
that Major Stillman had no control of them and ordered a retreat.

_The forty Indians put the two hundred and forty to flight, killing a dozen
and losing only two or three._

With one exception the entire company continued their flight to Dixon's
Ferry, a distance of thirty miles; some never stopped until they _were
safe at home._

Black Hawk and fifteen warriors soon gave up the chase, and returned to
his camp. But the remainder pursued the fugitives several miles, overtaking
and killing a few whose horses were too slow to keep out of their way.

Among the slow mounted of the retreating party was a Methodist preacher,
who adopted a novel plan to save himself and horse. On coming to a ravine
he left the main track and followed down the ravine until he found a place
where the banks were deep enough to shelter himself and horse from view,
and remained there for two hours in safety. He had the precaution to keep
a strict count of the Indians as they crossed the ravine. When they had
returned and continued on their way to their camp, he left his hiding-place
and trotted leisurely along to Dixon's Ferry, which he reached about
sunrise the next morning.

When he reported the stratagem by which he was saved, and was asked the
number of the pursuing Indians, he promptly replied _"twenty-five by actual
count."_ Great indignation was manifested by some of the brave volunteers,
who reached camp several hours before him and reported the number of the
Indians at _fifteen hundred to two thousand._ But the minister was well
known by many of the volunteers as a high-toned Christian gentleman whose
veracity had never been questioned, and they stood by him, and no violence
was attempted.

The news of Stillman's defeat "by two thousand blood thirsty Indian
warriors" spread fast, far and wide, and Governor Reynolds, of Illinois,
called for more volunteers.

When the news reached Washington General Scott was ordered to take a
thousand soldiers and proceed to the seat of war and take the command.
While en route this army was attacked by cholera, which swept off a large
number and rendered the remainder unfit for service. It is now generally
conceded that the violation of a flag of truce, which is respected in all
civilized wars, the wanton murder of its bearers, and the attack upon a
mere remnant of Black Hawk's band when suing for peace, precipitated a war
which could have been and should have been avoided.

As positive proof that the volunteers were guilty of precipitating the war
by killing the bearer of the white flag of truce, we quote the narrative of
Elijah Kilbourn, one of the scouts connected with Stillman's command. It
seems that Kilbourn was captured by Black Hawk during the war of 1812, and
adopted into his tribe. He finally escaped, and was again captured by
three of Black Hawk's braves at the battle of Sycamore Creek. The story
also shows the noble character of Black Hawk, and will be told in
Kilbourn's own language. Said he: "We had been scouting through the country
that lay about Fort Stephenson, when early one morning one of our number
came in with the intelligence that the fort was besieged by a combined
force of British and Indians. We were soon in the saddle and riding with
all speed in the direction of the fort, hoping to join in the fight. But in
this we were disappointed, as we learned that the brave little garrison,
under the command of Major Crogan, had repulsed the enemy with great
slaughter. We learned, however, that Black Hawk, the leader of the savages,
at the termination of the battle, had gone back with twenty of his
warriors, to his village on Rock River, and we determined at once to
follow him.

"At sunrise the next morning we were on his trail and followed it with
great care to the banks of a stream. Here we ascertained that the savages
had separated into nearly equal parties--the one keeping straight down the
bank of the stream, while the other had crossed to the other side and
continued toward Rock River. Our leader now detailed four of us to follow
the trail across the stream, while he with the rest, some seven or eight
in number, immediately took the one down the bank."

{Illustration: Black Hawk, or Ma-Ka-Tai-Me She-Kia-Kiak, Sac and Fox

"During the course of the following morning we came across a great many
different trails, and by these we were so perplexed that we resolved to
return to the main body, but from the signs we had already seen we knew
that such a step would be attended with the greatest danger. It was at last
decided that it would be far more safe for all hands to separate, and each
man look out for himself. This resolve was immediately put into execution,
and a few minutes later found me alone in the great wilderness. I had often
been so before, but never had I been placed in a situation as dangerous as
the present one, for now on all sides I was surrounded by hostile Indians.

"I encountered nothing very formidable till some two hours before sunset,
when, just as I emerged from a tangled thicket, I saw an Indian on his
knees at a clear, sparkling spring, slaking his thirst. Instinctively I
placed my rifle to my shoulder, drew a bead upon the savage and pulled the
trigger. Imagine, if you can, my feelings as the flint came down and was
shivered to pieces without igniting the priming.

"The next moment the savage was up on his feet, his piece leveled directly
at me and his finger pressing the trigger. There was no escape. I had left
my horse in the woods some time before. The thicket behind me was too dense
to permit me to enter it again quickly, and there was no tree within reach
of sufficient size to protect me from the aim of my foe, who, now finding
me at his mercy, advanced, his gun still in its threatening rest and
ordered me to surrender. Resistance and escape were alike out of the
question, and I accordingly delivered myself up his prisoner, hoping by
some means to escape at some future period. He now told me, in good
English, to proceed in a certain direction. I obeyed him and had not gone
a stone's throw before, just as I turned a thick clump of trees, I came
suddenly upon an Indian camp, the one to which my captor undoubtedly

"As we came up all the savages, some six or eight in number, rose quickly
and appeared much surprised at my sudden appearance amongst them; but they
offered me no harm, and they behaved with most marked respect to my captor,
whom, upon a close inspection I recognized to be Black Hawk himself. The
tall chief, with his keen eye, looked every inch a warrior.

"'The white mole digs deep, but Makataimeshe Kiakiak (Black Hawk) flies
high and can see far off,' said the chieftain in a deep guttural tone,
addressing me. He then related to his followers the occasion of my capture,
and as he did so they glared at me fiercely and handled their weapons in a
threatening manner, but at the conclusion of his remarks they appeared
better pleased, although I was the recipient of many a passing frown. He
now informed me that he had told his young men that they were to consider
me a brother, as he was going to adopt me into the tribe.

"This was to me little better than death itself, but there was no
alternative, and so I was obliged to submit, with the hope of making my
escape at some future time. The communication of Black Hawk, moreover,
caused me great astonishment, and after pondering the matter I was finally
forced to set down as its cause one of those unaccountable whims to which
the savage temperament is often subject.

"The next morning my captors forced me to go with them to their village on
Rock River, where, after going through a tedious ceremony, I was dressed
and painted, and thus turned from a white man into an Indian.

"For nearly three years ensuing it was my constant study to give my
adopted brothers the slip, but during the whole of that time I was so
carefully watched and guarded that I never found an opportunity to escape.

"However, it is a long lane that has no turning, and so it proved in my
case. Pretending to be well satisfied with my new mode of life, I at last
gained upon the confidence of the savages, and one day when their vigilance
was relaxed, I made my escape and returned in safety to my friends, who had
mourned for me as dead.

"Many years after this I was a participant in the battle at Sycamore Creek,
which is a tributary of Rock River. I was employed by the Government as a
scout, in which capacity it was acknowledged I had no superior, but I felt
no pride in hearing myself praised, for I knew I was working against Black
Hawk, who, although he was an Indian, had once spared my life, and I was
one never to forget a kindness. And, besides this, I had taken a great
liking to him, for there was something noble and generous in his nature.
However, my first duty was to my country, and I did my duty at all hazards.

"Now you must know that Black Hawk, after moving west of the Mississippi,
had recrossed, contrary to his agreement; not, however, from any hostile
motive, but to raise a crop of corn and beans with the Pottawatomies and
Winnebagos, of which his own people stood in the utmost need. With this
intention he had gone some distance up Rock River, when an express from
General Atkinson ordered him peremptorily to return. This order the old
chief refused to obey, saying that the general had no right to issue it. A
second express from Atkinson threatened Black Hawk that if he did not
return peaceably force would be resorted to. The aged warrior became
incensed at this and utterly refused to obey the mandate, but, at the same
time, sent word to the general that he would not be the first to commence

"The movement of the renowned warrior was immediately trumpeted abroad as
an invasion of the State, and with more rashness than wisdom, Governor
Reynolds ordered the Illinois militia to take the field, and these were
joined by the regulars under General Atkinson, at Rock Island. Major
Stillman, having under his command two hundred and seventy-five mounted
men, the chief part of whom were volunteers, while a few, like myself, were
regular scouts, obtained leave of General Whitesides--then stationed at
Dixon's Ferry--to go on a scouting expedition. I knew well what would
follow; but still, as I was under orders, I was obliged to obey, and
together with the rest proceeded some thirty miles up Rock River to where
Sycamore Creek empties into it. This brought us to within six or eight
miles of the camp of Black  Hawk, who, on that day, May 14, was engaged in
preparing a dog feast for the purpose of fitly celebrating a contemplated
visit of some Pottawatomie chiefs.

"Soon after preparing to camp we saw three Indians approach us, bearing a
white flag; and these, upon coming up, were made prisoners. A second
deputation of five were pursued by some twenty of our mounted militia and
two of them killed, while the other three escaped. One of the party that
bore the white flag was, out of the most cowardly vindictiveness, _shot
down while standing a prisoner in camp._ The whole detachment, after these
atrocities, now bore down upon the camp of Black Hawk, whose braves, with
the exception of some forty or fifty, were away at a distance, hunting.

"As we rode up a galling and destructive fire was poured in upon us by the
savages, who, after discharging their guns, sprang from their coverts on
either side, with their usual horrible yells, and continued the attack with
their tomahawks and knives. My comrades fell around me like leaves; and
happening to cast my eyes behind me I beheld the whole detachment of
militia flying from the field. Some four or five of us were left
unsupported in the very midst of the foe, who, renewing their yells, rushed
down upon us in a body. Gideon Munson and myself were taken prisoners,
while others were instantly tomahawked and scalped, Munson, during the
afternoon, seeing, as he supposed, a good opportunity to escape, recklessly
attempted it, but was immediately shot down by his captor. And I now began
to wish they would serve me in the same manner, for I knew that if
recognized by the savages, I should be put to death by the most horrible
tortures. Nothing occurred, however, to give me any real uneasiness upon
this point till the following morning, when Black Hawk, passing by me,
turned and eyed me keenly for a moment or so. Then, stepping close to me,
he said, in a low tone: _'Does the mole think that Black Hawk forgets?'_

"Walking away with a dignified air, he left me, as you may suppose,
bordering on despair, for I knew too well the Indian character to imagine
for a single instant that my life would be spared under the circumstances,
I had been adopted into the tribe by Black Hawk, had lived nearly three
years among them, and by escaping had incurred their displeasure, which
could only be appeased with my blood. Added to this, I was now taken
prisoner at the very time that the passions of the savages were most highly
wrought upon by the mean and cowardly conduct of the whites. I therefore
gave up all hope, and doggedly determined to meet stoically my fate.

"Although the Indians passed and repassed me many times during the day,
often bestowing on me a buffet or a kick, yet not one of them seemed to
remember me as having formerly been one of the tribe. At times this infused
me with a faint hope, which was always immediately after extinguished, as I
recalled to mind my recognition by Black Hawk himself.

"Some two hours before sunset Black Hawk again came to where I was bound,
and having loosened the cords with which I was fastened to a tree, my arms
still remaining confined, bade me follow him. I immediately obeyed him, not
knowing what was to be my doom, though I expected nothing short of death by
torture. In silence we left the camp, not one of the savages interfering
with us or offering me the slightest harm or indignity. For nearly an hour
we strode on through the gloomy forest, now and then starting from its
retreat some wild animal that fled upon our approach. Arriving at a bend of
the river, my guide halted, and turning towards the sun, which was rapidly
setting, he said, after a short pause:

"'I am going to send you back to your chief, though I ought to kill you for
running away a longtime ago, after I had adopted you as a son, but Black
Hawk can forgive as well as fight. When you return to your chief I want you
to tell him all my words. Tell him that Black Hawk's eyes have looked upon
many suns but they shall not see many more, and that his back is no longer
straight, as in his youth, but is beginning to bend with age. The Great
Spirit has whispered among the tree-tops in the morning and evening, and
says that Black Hawk's days are few, and that he is wanted in the spirit
land. He is half dead, his arm shakes and is no longer strong, and his feet
are slow on the warpath. Tell him all this, and tell him, too,' continued
the untutored hero of the forest, with trembling emotion and marked
emphasis, 'that Black Hawk would have been a friend to the whites, but they
would not let him, and that the hatchet was dug up by themselves and not by
the Indians. Tell your chief that Black Hawk meant no harm to the palefaces
when he came across the Mississippi, but came peaceably to raise corn for
his starving women and children, and that even then he would have gone
back; but when he sent this white flag the braves who carried it were
treated like squaws and one of them inhumanly shot. Tell him, too,' he
concluded with terrible force, while his eyes fairly flashed fire, '_that
Black Hawk will have revenge,_ and that he will never stop until the Great
Spirit shall say to him, Come away.'

"Thus saying, he loosened the cord that bound my arms, and after giving me
particular directions as to the best course to pursue to my own camp, bade
me farewell and struck off into the trackless forest, to commence that
final struggle which was decided against the Indians."

Although the Winnebagos and the Pottawatomies had resolved to take no part
in the war, yet a few young warriors from each of these tribes, emboldened
by Black Hawk's easy victory over Stillman's raw recruits, decided to join
his band. These committed many depredations among the settlements along the
Fox and Illinois rivers.

When the warriors returned from their hunting expedition, Black Hawk
concentrated his entire force, consisting of about five hundred warriors,
according to his own statement, at a point between the Rock and Wisconsin

General Atkinson, with a force of nearly two thousand men, pressed on to
meet him. But the wily chief declined to risk a battle with such odds and
withdrew into the wilderness. General Atkinson followed, incurring the
danger of an ambuscade, but Black Hawk could not be brought to a stand.

When Black Hawk reached the Mississippi River, he let most of his women and
children descend it in canoes, but a majority were captured by the whites
and quite a number drowned.

With the main body of his warriors he approached the river, intending to
cross, but was met at this point by the steamboat Warrior.

The chief was so touched by the suffering of the women and children, the
starving condition of his men, and the utter hopelessness of continuing the
unequal struggle, that he decided to surrender. Accordingly, he sent a
hundred and fifty warriors to the edge of the stream with a flag of truce.
An effort was also made to communicate with the Winnebago interpreter on
board the boat. But either the interpreter failed to understand what was
shouted to him by the Indians on shore or he was treacherous and failed to
report the message correctly to Captain Throckmorton, of the Warrior, or
Lieutenant Kingsburg, who commanded the troops, for certain it is those on
the boat paid no attention to the white flag of truce or the expressed
desire on the part of Black Hawk to surrender.

Orders were given to shell the Indians on the shore with musketry and a
six-pounder loaded with canister. It resulted in killing twenty-three
Indians outright and wounding a large number. The savages were trying to
surrender, and were so astonished at this unexpected attack, that they
fired only a few random shots, one of which passed through a man's leg on
the Warrior.

As the wood began to fail, and night was approaching, the Warrior went on
to Prairie du Chien. The final battle of the war occurred the next day,
August 2. This is known as the battle of Bad Axe and was fought where the
little stream by that name joins the Mississippi. The account we give of
it is quoted from Black Hawk's autobiography, in which the chief said:
"Early in the morning a party of whites, being in advance of the army, came
upon our people, who were attempting to cross the Mississippi. They tried
to give themselves up; the whites paid no attention to their entreaties,
but commenced slaughtering them. In a little while the whole army arrived.
Our braves, but few in number, finding that the enemy paid no regard to
age or sex, and seeing that they were  murdering helpless women and little
children, determined to fight until they were killed. As many women as
could commenced swimming the Mississippi, with their children on their
backs. A number of them were drowned, and some shot before they could reach
the opposite shore.

"This massacre, which terminated the war, lasted about two hours. Our loss
in killed was about sixty, besides a number that was drowned. The loss of
the enemy could not be ascertained by my braves exactly; but they think
that they killed about sixteen during the action."

It was afterward estimated that the loss of the Americans in killed and
wounded was twenty-seven--that of the Indians nearly two hundred.

In reviewing the Black Hawk War the student of history is forced to the
conclusion that it was caused by the white man's avarice and determination
to swindle the Indian out of his birthright, the finest lands of Wisconsin,
Missouri and Illinois, for the usual mess of pottage. It began by the
deliberate murder of the bearer of a white flag of truce (which is
respected by every civilized nation on earth), and it ended in an
indiscriminate massacre of men, women and helpless children, while the
chief and warriors were suing for peace, and actually trying to surrender.

Having escaped through the lines of the American army, Black Hawk, with a
small party, fled to the Winnebago village at La Crosse. On his arrival
here he entered the lodge of their chief and told him he intended giving
himself up to the American war-chief and die if it pleased the Great
Spirit. Black Hawk still retained his medicine bag, which he now presented
to the chief, and informed him that it was "the soul of the Sac
nation--that it never had been dishonored in any battle; take it, it is my
life--dearer than life--and give it to the American chief!" The Winnebago
chief received it, promised to take special care of it, and said if Black
Hawk's life was spared he would send it to him, but for some unknown cause
this promise was never fulfilled.

{Illustration: Buffalo Hunt.}

During his stay at this village the squaws made him a suit of white
deerskin, which he wore when he went with several Winnebagos to Prairie du
Chien and gave himself up.

On August 27, 1833, about noon, Black Hawk and his companion, called the
Prophet, surrendered to General Street at Prairie du Chien.

On September 7, Black Hawk, now a prisoner of war, together with the
Prophet and others, were taken on board the steamer Winnebago and sent to
Jefferson Barracks, in charge of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, of whom the chief
said: "He is a good and brave young chief, with whose conduct I was much
pleased, and treated us with great kindness."

We are here reminded that at least four men who took part in the Black Hawk
War were heard of again. Col. Zachariah Taylor and Capt. Abraham Lincoln
each became President; Lieut. Jefferson Davis, Taylor's son-in-law,
President of the Southern Confederacy, while Gen. Winfield Scott, "the hero
of four wars," escaped the cholera, which almost destroyed his army, to
become a strong Presidential probability, and the standard-bearer of the
Whig party.

While Black Hawk was not equal to Pontiac, Brant or Tecumseh as a warrior
and leader of men, yet his skill in oratory placed him in the class with
Red Jacket, Logan, or even the gifted Tecumseh. Fortunately many of his
speeches were made under circumstances which have permitted them to be
preserved and though they were probably "revised," in some instances, by
admiring friends, yet he undoubtedly possessed a peculiar poetical
eloquence all his own.

When the fallen chieftain entered the presence of General Street as a
prisoner he thus addressed him: "You have taken me prisoner with all my
warriors. I am much grieved, for I expected if I did not defeat you to
hold out much longer and give you more trouble before I surrendered. I
tried hard to bring you into ambush, but your last general understands
Indian fighting. The first one was not so wise. When I saw I could not beat
you by Indian fighting, I determined to rush on you and fight you face to
face. I fought hard, but your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like
birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like wind through the trees in
winter. My warriors fell around me; it began to look dismal. I saw my evil
day at hand. The sun rose dim on us in the morning and at night it sank in
a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that
shone on Black Hawk. His heart is dead and no longer beats quick in his
bosom. He is now a prisoner to the white man; they will do with him as they
wish. But he can stand torture and is not afraid of death. He is no coward.
Black Hawk is an Indian.

"He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought
for his countrymen, the squaws and pappooses, against white men, who came
year after year to cheat him and take away their lands. You know the cause
of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed
of it. The white men despise the Indians and drive them from their homes.
But the Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian
and look at him spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies; Indians do
not steal.

"An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he
would be put to death and eaten up by the wolves. The white men are bad
schoolmasters; they carry false looks and deal in false actions; they smile
in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by the hand to
gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them. We told them to
let us alone and keep away from us; but they followed on, and beset our
path as they coiled themselves among us, like a snake. They poisoned us by
their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming like
them, hypocrites and liars, adulterers, lazy drones--all talkers and no

"We looked up to the Great Spirit. We went to our great father. We were
encouraged. His great council gave us fair words and big promises; but we
got no satisfaction. Things were growing worse. There were no deer in the
forest. The opossum and beaver were fled; the springs were drying up and
our squaws and pappooses without victuals to keep them from starving; we
called a great council and built a large fire. The spirit of our fathers
arose and spoke to us to avenge our wrongs or die. We all spoke before the
council-fire. It was warm and pleasant. We setup the war-whoop, and dug up
the tomahawk; our knives were ready, and the heart of Black Hawk swelled
high in his bosom when he led his warriors to battle. He is satisfied. He
will go to the world of spirits contented. He has done his duty. His father
will meet him there and commend him.

"Black Hawk is a true Indian and disdains to cry like a woman. He feels for
his wife, his children and his friends. But he does not care for himself.
He cares for his nation and the Indians. They will suffer. He laments their
fate. The white men do not scalp the head; but they do worse--they poison
the heart; it is not pure with them. His countrymen will not be scalped,
but they will, in a few years, become like the white men, so that you can't
trust them, and there must be, as in the white settlements, nearly as many
officers as men, to take care of them and keep them in order.

"Farewell, my nation! Black Hawk tried to save you and avenge your wrongs.
He drank the blood of some of the  whites. He has been taken prisoner and
his plans are stopped. He can do no more. He is near his end. His sun is
setting and will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk."

Black Hawk at the time of his imprisonment was sixty-six years of age.

Some time during the month of September the United States made a treaty
with the Sacs and Foxes by which six million acres of choice land were
ceded, containing the rich lead mine near Galena. In payment for this
cession the United States agreed "to pay an annuity of $20,000 for thirty
years; to support a blacksmith and gunsmith in addition to those then
employed; to pay the debts of the tribes; to supply provisions; and, as a
reward for the fidelity of Keokuk and the friendly band, to allow a
reservation to be made for them of forty square miles, on the Iowa River,
to include Keokuk's principal village." This treaty also required that
Black Hawk, his two sons, the Prophet, Neopope (the second chief) and five
others of the hostile band were to remain in the hands of the whites as
hostages during the pleasure of the President of the United States.

The captive Indians were sent to Washington by order of President Jackson,
and arrived at their destination April 22, 1833. The day following Black
Hawk had a long interview with the President; it is said that his first
greeting on meeting President was, "I am a man, and you are another."

"Old Hickory" had had a wide experience with Indians, and at once made them
feel at ease by greeting them kindly, and after having the articles of
dress provided for them exhibited he told Black Hawk they would be
delivered to him for distribution. He then said they would have to leave
shortly for Fortress Monroe and remain until he gave them permission to
return to their country. That date depended upon the conduct of the
Indians, but he hoped they would soon evince good feeling and thereby
shorten the time.

During this interview Black Hawk gave a brief history of the cause of the
war, saying: "We did not expect to conquer the whites; no. They had too
many houses, too many  men. I took up the hatchet, for my part, to revenge
injuries which my people could no longer endure. Had I borne them longer
without striking, my people would have said, 'Black Hawk is a woman, he is
too old to be a chief; he is no Sac.' These reflections caused me to raise
the war-whoop. I say no more of it, it is known to you. Keokuk once was
here; you took him by the hand, and, when he wished to return to his home,
you were willing. Black Hawk expects that, like Keokuk, we shall be
permitted to return too."

The President assured him that he was acquainted with the essential facts
of the war, and that the chief need feel no uneasiness about the women and
children whom they had left behind. They would be looked after and
protected from their Indian foes.

On April 26 the captives arrived at Fortress Monroe. Here they received
much kindness, and though confined were not  shackled, and their
imprisonment made as easy as possible. But they pined for the free air of
the prairies, for their rude wigwams and the companionship of their
families. Time passed slowly, with little to occupy their minds, but their
own sad thoughts.

We can not help but wonder if the mind of Black Hawk at this time reverted
to the young war-chief (Jefferson Davis) who treated him so kindly while
on board the steamer Winnebago en route for Jefferson Barracks; who was
destined at the downfall of the Confederacy to be a United States prisoner
and confined in Fortress Monroe, the same grim Bastille in which he was now

Fortunately their behavior was satisfactory to the President and by special
order the prisoners were released the 4th of June.

It was thought wise by the Government to impress the Indians by a contrast
of their own feeble resources with the vast wealth and great population of
the Americans, by giving them a view of several large cities on their
journey home. So the day following their release from prison the Indians
and their escort took a steamer for Baltimore, by way of Norfolk.

When Black Hawk and his party arrived in Baltimore they found that the
Great Father, President Jackson, was also in that city. In an interview
with the chief, the President said "When I saw you in Washington, I told
you that you had behaved very badly in going to war against the whites.
Your conduct then compelled me to send my warriors against you, and your
people were defeated with great loss, and several of you surrendered, to be
kept until I should be satisfied that you would not try to do any more
injury. I told you, too, that I would inquire whether your people wished
you to return, and whether if you did return there would be any danger to
the frontier. General Clark and General Atkinson, whom you know, have
informed me that your principal chief and your people are anxious you
should return, and Keokuk has asked me to send you back. Your chiefs have
pledged themselves for your good conduct, and that you will never again
take up the hatchet against the whites, and I have given directions that
you should be taken to your own country.

"Major Garland, who is with you, will conduct you through some of our
towns. You will see the strength of the White people. You will see that our
young men are as numerous as the leaves in the woods. What can you do
against us? You may kill a few women and children, but such a force would
soon be sent against you as would destroy your whole tribe. Let the red men
hunt and take care of their families. I hope they will not again raise the
tomahawk against their white brethren. We do not wish to injure you. We
desire your prosperity and improvement. But if you again make war against
our people I shall send a force which will severely punish you. When you
go back, listen to the councils of Keokuk and the other friendly chiefs;
bury the tomahawk and live in peace with the people on the frontier. And I
pray the Great Spirit to give you a smooth path and a fair sky to return."

From Baltimore the party, conducted by Major Garland, went to Philadelphia.
Here the Indians visited the mint and each received a number of new coins,
of which they were very proud.

New York was the next city visited. Here the Indians were amazed at the
size of the "village" and the vast throngs of people which greeted them at
every turn. Indeed, all along the route they were dined and wined and well
nigh killed with kindness. Black Hawk also received a large number of
valuable presents.

One of the most interesting incidents of what might be called their
triumphal tour, was a brief visit to the Senecas, at their council-house on
their reservation in New York. The Seneca chieftain, Captain Pollard
(Karlundawana), an aged and respected man, expressed his pleasure at
meeting them, urging them to go to their homes in a peaceable frame of
mind, to cultivate the soil, and never more to fight against the white men.

To which Black Hawk replied: "Our aged brother of the Senecas, who has
spoken to us, has spoken the words of a wise and good man. We are strangers
to each other, though we have the same color, and the same Great Spirit
made us all and gave us this country together. Brothers, we have seen how
great a people the whites are. They are very rich and very strong. It is
folly for us to fight against them. We shall go home with much knowledge.
For myself, I shall advise my people to be quiet, and live like good men.
The advice which you gave us, brother, is very good, and we tell you now we
mean to walk the straight path in the future, and to content ourselves with
what we have and with the cultivation of our lands."

From Buffalo the Indians traveled by water to Detroit. After leaving this
city no incident of importance occurred until they reached Fort Armstrong,
Rock Island, about the 1st of August. Fort Armstrong had been selected as
the most appropriate place for the dismissal of the Indians.

Keokuk was away on a buffalo hunt when Black Hawk arrived, but hurried to
the place, attended by a large party, as soon as he heard the news. A large
room in the garrison was prepared for the reception of the two parties.
About ten o'clock Keokuk appeared at the head of a hundred warriors.
Profound silence prevailed until the arrival of Black Hawk and his party.
As they came in Keokuk and the chiefs of his band arose and shook hands
with him and the rest. Black Hawk and party moved around and seated
themselves opposite Keokuk; but he and his son showed in their looks their
dejection and humiliation, for they knew that after years of rivalry the
time of triumph for Keokuk, the younger chieftain, had arrived.

Major Garland broke the silence by saying that he was glad to find so much
good feeling in the tribe toward Black Hawk and his party. He was
confident, from what he had seen and heard, that they would have no more
trouble among themselves. He had but little to say as the President's
speech to Black Hawk said all, and this would now be read and interpreted
to the Indians. This was accordingly done, when Keokuk arose and said

"I have listened to the talk of our Great Father. It is true; we pledged
our honors with those of our young braves, for their liberation. We thought
much of it; our councils were long; their wives and children were in our
thoughts. When we talked of them our hearts were full. Their wives and
children came to us, which made us feel like women; but we were men. The
word which we sent to our Great Father was one word, the word of all. The
heart of our Great Father was good; he spoke like the father of children.
The Great Spirit made his heart big in council. We received our brothers
in friendship our hearts are good toward them. They once listened to bad
counsel; now their ears are closed. I give my hand to them; when they shake
it they shake the hand of all. I will shake hands with them and then I am

Major Garland now delivered the most humiliating insult and the unkindest
cut Black Hawk had ever received. He said he wished all present clearly to
understand that the President considered Keokuk the principal chief of the
tribe, and in the future he should be acknowledged as the only one entitled
to that distinction. He wished Black Hawk to listen and conform to his
counsels. The two bands that had heretofore existed in the tribe must be
broken up.

When this cutting speech was translated to Black Hawk a bad matter was made
worse by a blunder of the interpreter, who represented Major Garland as
declaring that Black Hawk _must conform_ to the counsels of Keokuk.

The chief was infuriated, and rising to his feet, his eyes flashing fire,
he replied: "I am an old man; I will not conform to the counsel of any one.
I will act for myself; no one shall govern me. I am old; my hair is gray.
I once gave counsels to my young men; am I to conform to others? I shall
soon go to the Great Spirit, where I shall rest. What I said to our Great
Father in Washington, I say again: I will always listen to him. I am done."

{Illustration: Keokuk, Head Chief of Sac and Fox Tribe.}

It was the last flickering spark of grandeur and greatness. His words
caused a stir among the listeners. The interpreter hastened to explain that
he was only requested to listen to the counsels of Keokuk. Black Hawk made
no reply, but seemed absorbed in his own gloomy thoughts, until Keokuk said
to him in an undertone: "Why do you speak thus before the white men? I will
speak for you, you trembled and did not mean what you said." Black Hawk
nodded assent and Keokuk said:

"Our brother, who has again come among us, has spoken, but he spoke in
wrath, his tongue was forked; he spoke not like a man, a Sac. He knew his
words were bad; he trembled like the oak, whose roots have been washed by
many rains. He is old what he said let us forget. He says he did not mean
it; he wishes it were forgotten. I have spoken for him. What I have said is
his own words, not mine. Let us say he spoke in council to-day and that his
words were good; I have spoken."

Major Garland that evening invited the principal chiefs, including Black
Hawk, to meet him at his quarters. After several speeches had been made by
the other chiefs, Black Hawk arose, and in a calm but somewhat subdued
manner, said: "I feel that I am an old man. Once I could speak, but now I
have little to say. To-day we meet many of our brothers. We are glad to see
them. I have listened to what my brothers said; their hearts are good; they
have been like Sacs since I left them; they have taken care of my wife and
children, who had no wigwam. I thank them for it; the Great Spirit knows I
thank them. Before the sun sets behind the hills to-morrow I shall see
them. I want to see them. When I left them I expected to return. I told our
Great Father, when in Washington, I would listen to his counsels; I say so
to you. I will listen to the counsel of Keokuk. I shall soon be far away.
I shall have no village, no band; I shall live alone. What I said in
council to-day I wish forgotten. If it has been put upon paper, I wish a
mark to be drawn over it. I did not mean it. Now we are alone; let us say
we will forget it. Say to our Great Father and Governor Cass that I will
listen to them. Many years ago I met Governor Cass in councils, far across
the prairies to the rising sun. His counsels were good. My ears were
closed. I listened to the Great Father across the waters. My father
listened to him, whose band was large. My band was once large, but now I
have no band. I and my son and all our party thank our Great Father for
what he has done. He is old; I am old; we shall soon go to the Great
Spirit, where we shall rest. He sent us through his great villages. We saw
many white men, who treated us with kindness. We thank them. We thank you
and Mr. Sprague for coming with us. Your road was long and crooked. We
never saw so many white men before. When you were with us we felt as though
we had some friends among them. We felt safe. You knew them all. When you
come upon the Mississippi again, you shall come to my wigwam. I have none
now. On your road home, you pass where my village once was. No one lives
there now; all are gone. I give you my hand; we may never meet again. I
shall long remember you. The Great Spirit will be with you and your wives
and children. Before the sun rises I shall start to my family. My son will
be here to see you before you go, I will shake hands with my brothers now,
and then I am done."

In September, 1837, a delegation of Sacs and Foxes, and another of Sioux
and Iowas visited Washington, and at the suggestion of the President,
extended their tour through the principal cities of the East.

The idea of impressing the untutored mind of poor Lo {?} with our wealth,
numbers and importance as a nation, seems to have been a favorite one with
many of our Presidents. We presume this delegation, which included both
Black Hawk and Keokuk, was suitably impressed, as have been many others

This tour extended to Boston, where the delegation was addressed by Edward
Everett, then Governor of Massachusetts, in one of the best speeches ever
delivered to Indians, at the conclusion of which Keokuk and Black Hawk each
made eloquent addresses. Presents were then distributed to the Indians by
the Governor. Keokuk received a splendid sword and brace of pistols, his
little son a nice little rifle, the other chiefs long swords, and Black
Hawk a sword and brace of pistols. At the close of the ceremonies in the
Capital, the Indians entertained thirty thousand cultured Bostonians with a

Soon after his return from Boston Black Hawk moved further west to the Des
Moines River, near the storehouse of an Indian trader, where he had
previously built a good house for his future home. His family included his
wife, two sons, Nashashuk and Gamesett, and an only daughter and her

As he had given up the chase entirely, having sufficient means from his
annuities, he now turned his attention to the improvement of his grounds,
and soon had everything comfortable around him. Here he had frequent visits
from the whites, who came through curiosity to see the great war-chief, but
all were made welcome and treated with great hospitality.

On the Fourth of July, 1838, Black Hawk was at a celebration in Fort
Madison, by special invitation. Among the toasts called forth by the
occasion was the following:

"Our illustrious guest, Black Hawk. May his declining years be as calm and
serene as his previous life has been boisterous and full of warlike
incidents. His attachment and present friendship to his white brethren
fully entitle him to a seat at our festive board."

As soon as this sentiment was drunk. Black Hawk arose and delivered the
following speech, which was taken down at the time by two interpreters, and
by them furnished for publication:

"It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here to-day--have eaten with my
white friends. The earth is our mother--we are now on it--with the Great
Spirit above us--it is good. I hope we are all friends here. A few summers
ago I was fighting against you--I  did wrong, perhaps; but that is
past--it is buried--let it be forgotten.

"Rock River was a beautiful country--I liked my towns, my cornfields, and
the home of my people. I fought for it. It is now yours--keep it as we
did--it will produce you good crops.

"I thank the Great Spirit that I am now friendly with my white brethren. We
are here together--we have eaten together--we are friends--it is your wish
and mine. I thank you for your friendship.

"I was once a great warrior--I am now poor. Keokuk has been the cause of
my present situation--but do not attach blame to him. I am now old. I have
looked upon the Mississippi River since I was a child. I love the great
river. I have dwelt near its banks from the time I was an infant. I look
upon it now. I shake hands with you, and as it is my wish, I hope you are
all my friends."

Black Hawk always felt an unrelenting hatred for Keokuk, whom he averred
excelled him in nothing but drinking whisky. Keokuk was, however, beyond
his influence, as he was recognized as the principal chief of the tribe by
the United States Government. He was undoubtedly a man of great talents,
excelled as an orator and diplomat. Seeing how utterly hopeless it was to
go to war with the United States, he advocated peace at any price, even the
sale of 26,500,000 acres of the finest land in Missouri, Wisconsin and
Illinois, at three cents an acre.

According to his autobiography Black Hawk was born at the Sac village on
the Rock River in the year 1767. His father's name was Pyesa. He was also a
chief of the Rock River band of the Sac tribe, but not very prominent, it
would seem.

The subject of this sketch was full six feet in height, and well
proportioned. It will be remembered that there is a tone of melancholy in
all his speeches, as if he considered his life's career ended, and expected
his troubles to end in a speedy death. His proud heart was broken by the
cruelty of the Government in deposing him and recognizing his rival,
Keokuk, as the principal chief. After this was done he seemed to have lost
interest in life and to actually desire the rest of the grave. Nor had he
long to wait, but passed away October 3, 1838, at the age of seventy-one
years. But he failed to find the much desired repose in the grave, for some
of that same race which kept him moving on while living turned ghoul and
dug up his bones. This fact is learned from the following letter written to
the _Burlington Hawk Eye_  by Capt. James H. Jordan, a trader among
the Sacs and Foxes before Black Hawk's death, who was present at the
funeral, in which he says:

"Black Hawk was buried on the northeast quarter of Section 2, Township 70,
Range 12, Davis County, Iowa, near the northeast corner of the county, on
the Des Moines River bottom, about ninety rods from where he lived when he
died, on the north side of the river. I have the ground on which he lived
for a door-yard, it being between my house and the river. The only mound
over the grave was some puncheons split out and set over his grave and then
sodded over with bluegrass, making a ridge about four feet high. A
flagstaff some twenty feet high was planted at the head, on which was a
silk flag, which hung there until the wind wore it out. My house and his
were only about four rods apart when he died. He was sick only about
fourteen days. He was buried right where he sat the year before, when in
council with the Iowa Indians, and was buried in a suit of military
clothes, made to order and given to him when in Washington City by General
Jackson, with hat, sword, gold epaulets, etc..

"The Annals of Iowa of 1863 and 1864 state that the old chief was buried by
laying his body on a board, his feet fifteen inches below the surface of
the ground, and his head raised three feet above the ground. On his left
side was a sword presented him by General Jackson; on his right side a cane
presented him by Henry Clay, and one given him by a British officer, and
other trophies. Three medals hung about his neck, from President Jackson,
ex-President John Quincy Adams, and the city of Boston, respectively. The
body was covered with boards on each side, six feet long, which formed a
ridge; the gables being closed by boards the whole was covered with
bluegrass sod. Near the flagstaff was the usual hewn post inscribed with
Indian characters representing his warlike exploits, etc. Enclosing all was
a strong circular picket fence twelve feet high, his body remained here
until July, 1839, when it was carried off by a certain Dr. Turner, then
living at Lexington, Van Buren County, Iowa. Captain Horn says the bones
were carried to Alton, Illinois, to be mounted with wire. Mr. Barrows says
they were taken to Warsaw, Illinois. Black Hawk's sons, when they heard of
this desecration of their father's grave, were very indignant, and
complained of it to Governor Lucas, of Iowa, and his excellency caused the
bones to be brought back to Burlington in the fall of 1839, or spring of
1840. When the sons came to take possession of them, finding them safely
stored 'in a good dry place,' they left them there. The bones were
subsequently placed in the collection of the Burlington Geological and
Historical Society, and it is thought that they perished in the fire, which
destroyed the building and all the society's collections in 1855; though
the editor of the Annals (April, 1865, p. 478) says there is good reason to
believe that the bones were not destroyed by the fire, and he is credibly
informed that they are now at the residence of a former officer of said
society, and thus escaped that catastrophe."

In closing this narrative of the life of this noble old chief it may be
just to speak briefly of his personal traits. He was an Indian, and from
that standpoint we must judge him. The make-up of his character comprised
those elements in a marked degree which constitutes a noble nature. In all
the social relations of life he was kind and affable. In his home he was
the affectionate husband and father. He was free from many vices that
others of his race had contracted from their association with the white
people, never using intoxicating beverages to excess. As a warrior he knew
no fear, and on the field of battle his feats of personal prowess stamped
him as the "bravest of the brave." But he excelled as an orator and
counsellor of his people rather than a military hero. His love of his
country, his home, his lands, and the rights of his people to their broad
domain, moved his great soul to take up arms. Revenge or conquest formed no
part of his purpose. Right was all he demanded, and for that alone he waged
the unequal contest with the superior race to the bitter and inevitable

The Black Hawk Watch Tower, as it is called, is situated on the Rock River
a short distance from the Mississippi. It had been selected by Black Hawk's
father as a lookout, at the first building up of the Sac village. From this
point they had an unobstructed view up and down both rivers for many miles,
and across the prairies as far as the vision could penetrate. The "Tower"
is now a summer resort for the people of Rock Island.

In his autobiography Black Hawk says: "In 1827, a young Sioux Indian got
lost on the prairie in a snowstorm, and found his way into our village.
Although he was an enemy, he was safe while accepting the hospitality of
the Sacs. He remained there for some time on account of the severity of the
storm. Becoming well acquainted, he fell in love with the daughter of one
of the head men of the village where he had been entertained, and before
leaving for his own country, promised to come back for her at a certain
time during the next summer.

"In July he made his way to the Rock River village, where  he secreted
himself in the woods until he could meet the maiden he loved, who came out
to the field with her mother to assist her in hoeing corn. Late in the
afternoon her mother left her and went to the village. No sooner had she
got out of hearing, than he gave a loud whistle, which assured the maiden
that he had returned. She continued hoeing leisurely to the end of the row,
when her lover came to meet her, and she promised to come to him as soon
as she could go to the lodge and get her blanket, and together they would
flee to his country. But, unfortunately for the lovers, the girl's two
brothers had seen the meeting, and after procuring their guns started in
pursuit of them. A  heavy thunderstorm was coming on at the time. The
lovers hastened to and took shelter under a cliff of rocks, at Black Hawk's
Watch Tower. Soon after a loud peal of thunder was heard, the cliff of
rocks was shattered in a thousand pieces, and the lovers buried beneath,
while in full view of her pursuing brothers. This, their unexpected tomb,
still remains undisturbed.

"This tower, to which my name has been applied, was a favorite resort, and
was frequently visited by me alone, when I could sit and smoke my pipe and
look with wonder and pleasure at the grand scenes that were presented by
the sun's rays even across the mighty water. On one occasion a French-man,
who had been making his home in our village, brought his violin with him to
the tower, to play and dance for the amusement of a number of our people,
who had assembled there, and, while dancing with his back to the cliff,
accidentally fell over it and was killed by the fall. The Indians say that
always at the same time of the year soft strains of the violin can be heard
near that spot."

The following beautiful word painting by a recent visitor to the tower we
take from the Rock Island Union:

                    BLACK HAWK'S WATCH TOWER.
                      BY JENNIE M. FOWLER.

      "Beautiful tower! famous in history,
       Rich in legend, in old-time mystery,
       Graced with tales of Indian lore,
       Crowned with beauty from summit to shore.

      "Below, winds the river, silent and still,
       Nestling so calmly 'mid island and hill.
       Above, like warriors, proudly and grand,
       Tower the forest trees, monarchs of land.

      "A landmark for all to admire and wonder.
       With thy history ancient, for nations to ponder,
       Boldly thou liftest thy head to the breeze.
       Crowned with thy plumes, the nodding trees.

      "Years now are gone--forever more fled.
       Since the Indian crept with catlike tread.
       With moccasined foot, with eagle eye
       The red men our foes in ambush lie.

      "The owl still his nightly vigil keeps.
       While the river, below him, peacefully sleeps,
       The whippoorwill utters his plaintive cry.
       The trees still whisper, and gently sigh.

      "The pale moon still creeps from her daily rest,
       Throwing her rays o'er the river's dark breast,
       The katydid and cricket, I trow,
       In days gone by, chirruped, even as now.

      "Indian! thy camp-fires no longer are smoldering,
       Thy bones 'neath the forest moss long have been moldering,
       The 'Great Spirit' claims thee. He leadeth thy tribe.
       To new hunting-grounds not won with a bribe.

      "On thy Watch Tow'r the paleface his home now makes.
       His dwelling, the site of the forest tree takes.
       Gone are thy wigwams, the wild deer long fled,
       Black Hawk, with his tribe, lie silent and dead."

{Illustration: Shabbona, or "Built Like a Bear," Pottwatomie Chief. "The
White Man's Friend."}

                             CHAPTER XII.

                          POTTAWATOMIE CHIEF.

"Is Saul also among the prophets?" Is Shabbona classed among the _famous_
Indian chiefs? He who was only chief of a small band or village?

Yes, and for the best of reasons.

               "Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
                'Tis only noble to be good;
                Kind hearts are more than coronets,
                And simple faith than Norman blood."

However, we will tell the story of his life, and let the reader judge
whether he is rightly classified.

According to his own statement he was born in an Ottawa village about the
beginning of the Revolutionary War, in the year 1775 or 1776.

We have before us, as we write, three different sketches of his life, and
though they all agree as to the date, they mention three distinct birth
places, widely separated. Thus we find that Matson, his principal
biographer, says "he was born at an Indian village on the Kankakee River,
in what is now Will County, Illinois." Caroline M. McIlvane, librarian of
the Chicago Historical Society, in her interesting sketch of Shabbona,
says, "he was born at an Indian village on the Maumee River";  while one
of the speakers at the dedication of the Shabbona monument, which occurred
at Morris, Illinois, October 23, 1903, said "Shabbona was born at the
principal village of the Ottawas in Canada." Who shall decide when the
doctors disagree?

His father, a nephew of the illustrious Pontiac, was a war-chief of the
Ottawas, and was undoubtedly a man of ability, as he was one of the
commissioners representing his tribe in Wayne's treaty at Greenville, in
1795, and made a speech on that occasion.

When Shabbona was an infant his parents moved to Canada, where the boy grew
up and was instructed in all the Indian lore of his day. In youth he
excelled all competitors in the many feats of strength, speed and
endurance. His name is usually interpreted to mean "Built like a bear,"
and it was certainly appropriate, as he was five feet nine inches in
height, well proportioned, though with very broad, deep chest, heavy
shoulders, large neck and a head of extraordinary size.

Mr. Gurdon S. Hubbard, agent of the American Fur Company, at Chicago, said
of Shabbona: "From my first acquaintance with him, which began in 1818, to
his death, I was impressed with the nobility of his character. Physically
he was as fine a specimen of a man as I ever saw--tall, well proportioned,
strong and active, with a face expressing great strength of mind, and
goodness of heart."

Fur traders who knew him in the prime of his life, speak of him as a very
handsome Indian, excelling in horsemanship, dancing and athletics of all

The name of the subject of this sketch was spelled many different ways, but
was usually pronounced as though spelled Shab-o-nay. Hon. George M.
Hollenback, of Aurora, Illinois, says: "I have heard 'The Old Settler'
pronounce his own name many times and it was always as though it was
spelled Shab-o-neh."

Matson, in "Memories of Shaubena," says, "In four treaties where his
signature appears, the orthography varies, and each of his educated
descendants and connections spell the name different. I have in my
possession, either written or printed, seventeen different ways of
spelling the name. Some of these are so unlike that it is hard to believe
they were intended for the same person."

The French form of the name was Chamblee, and this spelling was used by
his old friend Sauganash, or Billy Caldwell, in the following document, the
original of which reposes in the archives of the Chicago Historical

"This is to certify that the bearer of this name, Chamblee, was a faithful
companion to me during the late war with the United States. The bearer
joined the late celebrated warrior, Tecumseh, of the Shawnee Nation, in the
year 1807, on the Wabash River, and remained with the above warrior from
the commencement of hostilities with the United States until our defeat at
Moravian Town, on the Thames, October 5, 1813. I have been witness to his
intrepidity and courageous warrior conduct on many occasions, and he showed
a great deal of humanity to those unfortunate sons of Mars who fell into
his hands.

   "Amhurstburg, August 1, 1816.            B. Caldwell,
                                            Captain  I. D."

We have decided to adopt the style used in spelling the town in Illinois
named for the chief, as also on the monument over his grave.

About the year 1800, according to a letter from Frances R. Howe, of Porter
Station, Indiana, a grandniece of Shabbona, "an extended hunting excursion
brought him from the Ottawa country into the Pottawatomie hunting grounds,
where he was kindly received by a chief and his family. The young hunter
made such a fine impression on Spotka and his wife that they gave him their
daughter in marriage." This Pottawatomie wife of Shabbona was Wiomex Okono,
whose home, according to Miss McIlvane, was located where the city of
Chicago now stands. {FN} On the death of Spotka, and before he was forty
years old, our hero was made chief of his adopted nation. He soon afterward
moved his band to what has since been called Shabbona's Grove, in the
southern part of De Kalb County. Here he resided until 1837.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Matson locates this Pottawatomie band, into which Shabbona married,
 on the Illinois River, a short distance above the mouth of the Fox.

In the summer of 1807, when Shabbona was on the Wabash, he spent some time
at the Shawnee village with Tecumseh. This was probably his first
acquaintance with the great chief. On a warm day in early Indian summer, in
1810, while Shabbona and his young men were playing ball, Tecumseh,
accompanied by three chiefs, mounted on spirited black ponies, rode into
the village. On the next day a favorite fat dog was killed and a feast made
for the distinguished visitors. On their departure their host accompanied
them, stirred by Tecumseh's eloquence on behalf of his pet scheme of
uniting all the Western tribes in a confederation, to wage war against the

The five chiefs now visited the Winnebagos and Menomonees. Passing through
Green Bay they crossed the southern part of Wisconsin to Prairie du Chien.
From here they descended the Mississippi to Rock Island, and visited the
Sac and Fox villages of Wapello and Black Hawk.

Shabbona now returned to his village, but Tecumseh and party continued down
the river to St. Louis.

The following summer Shabbona was present at the second council at
Vincennes, which ended as the former one, without any concessions on either
side, and consequently without effecting a reconciliation.

The next day after the council Shabbona started on a journey South, with
Tecumseh and two other Shawnee chiefs. They spent several months among the
Creeks, Cherokees and Choctaws. Returning to the Wabash late in the fall,
about two weeks after the battle of Tippecanoe, they saw the remains of
soldiers which had been dug up by the Indians and scattered over the

In the summer of 1812 messengers from Tecumseh visited many villages in
northern Illinois, informing the tribes that war had been declared between
the United States and England, and offering the warriors large sums of
money to fight for the latter. These emissaries wished to capture Fort
Dearborn before the garrison knew that war existed. Shabbona intended at
first to remain at home and take no part in the war, but hearing that a
number of warriors from other villages and a few from his own had left for
Chicago, he mounted his pony and followed them.

Shabbona and a few warriors arrived at Chicago on the afternoon of the
fatal day of the Fort Dearborn massacre. This was August 16, 1812, the same
day of the cowardly surrender of General Hull at Detroit.

The chieftain and his young warriors were horrified at the sight of blood
and carnage. The sand along the beach where the massacre had occurred was
dyed and soaked with the blood of forty-two dead bodies of soldiers, women
and children, all of whom were scalped and mutilated. The body of Capt.
William Wells, for whom Wells street, Chicago, is named, lay in one place,
his head in another, while his arms and legs were scattered about in
different places.

The captain had been very friendly with Black Partridge, and that chief now
gathered up his remains and gave them decent burial near where they were
found, but the remains of the other victims of the massacre lay where they
had fallen until the rebuilding of Fort Dearborn, in 1816, when they were
collected and interred by order of Captain Bradley.

The prisoners who had been spared were taken to the Indian camp, which was
near the present crossing of Jackson and State streets, and closely

John Kinzie, whose residence stood on the north bank of the river opposite
the fort, had been the Indian trader at this place for eight years, and, of
course, he had many friends among the savages. As a special favor he was
permitted to return to his own house, accompanied by his family, including
a step-daughter (the wife of Lieutenant Helm) now badly wounded.

The evening after the massacre the chiefs present held a council to decide
the fate of the prisoners, and it was agreed to deliver them to the British
commander at Detroit, according to the terms of surrender. This would have
been done, but unfortunately many warriors from a distance came into camp
after dark, who were thirsting for blood, and seemed determined to murder
the prisoners, in spite of the decision of the chiefs in council and the
stipulated terms of surrender.

Black Partridge and Shabbona, with a few of their warriors, determined to
make an effort to protect the inmates of Kinzie's house from the tomahawks
of the blood thirsty savages; accordingly they took a position on the porch
with their rifles crossing the doorway. But the guard was overpowered by
sheer numbers, as a large party of hostile savages, with their faces
painted, rushed by them, forcing their way into the house. The parlor and
sitting-room were quickly filled with Indians, who stood with
scalping-knives and tomahawks in hand, waiting the signal from their leader
to commence the bloody work. Mrs. Kinzie, with her children, and  Mrs.
Helm, sat in a back room weeping at the thought of the horrible death which
awaited them in a moment. Even Black Partridge was in utter despair, and
said to Mrs. Kinzie, "We have done everything in our power to save you,
but now all is lost you and your friends, together with the prisoners at
the camp, will be slain." But there was a chief in the camp who had more
influence than either Black Partridge or Shabbona. At the instant Black
Partridge spoke a loud whoop was heard at the river. He immediately ran to
see what it meant, and in the darkness saw a canoe approaching, and shouted
to its occupant, "Who are you, friend or foe?" The new comer leaped ashore
exclaiming in reply, "I am  Sauganash," His voice rang out like a trumpet
on the still night air, reaching the ears of Mrs. Kinzie and her friends in
the back room of her house, and a faint hope sprung up in her heart. She
knew Sauganash, or Billy Caldwell, the halfbreed, could save them if he
only reached the house in time. Black Partridge now shouted, "Hasten to the
house, for our friends are in danger and you alone can save them!" The
tall, manly-looking chief, with his head adorned with eagle feathers and
rifle in hand, ran to the house, rushed into the parlor, which was still
full of scowling savages with weapons drawn, and by entreaties, and threats
of the dire vengeance of his friend and kinsman, the great Tecumseh, who
never, when present, allowed a massacre of prisoners, he prevailed on them
to abandon their murderous designs. Through his influence Kinzie's family
and the prisoners at the camp were saved a horrible death.

It was afterward found that a young half-breed girl, who had been in
Kinzie's family for some time, where she had received kind treatment,
seeing the hostile savages approaching, ran to Billy Caldwell's wigwam, and
informed him of their danger, when he hastened to the rescue just in time.
This young half-breed girl afterward married a Frenchman named Joseph

Sauganash, or Billy Caldwell, one of the heroes of the Fort Dearborn
massacre, was a son of Colonel Caldwell, of the British army, who for many
years was stationed at Detroit. His mother was a squaw of great beauty and
intelligence, a connection (possibly a sister) of the renowned Tecumseh. He
was known by the name of Sauganash, which in the Pottawatomie language
means an Englishman. Billy Caldwell had a good education for that time, was
a very popular chief, the idol of his band, and possessed a remarkable
influence over the entire tribe. He lived at Chicago twenty-six years in a
cabin located on the north side of the river, near where North Water
crosses La Salle street. He went west with his tribe in June, 1836, and
died in Kansas some years after this.

Late in the autumn after the Chicago massacre, just as Shabbona and his
band were about to start on their winter hunt, two messengers from Tecumseh
arrived at his village. They brought a good-sized package of presents,
consisting of beads, rings and various kinds of ornaments, intended mainly
for the Squaws. Tecumseh had sent the wampum to Shabbona, asking him to
bring his warriors and join his forces, and for their services they were
promised a large amount of British gold. Tecumseh's emissaries said,
moreover, that all the Pottawatomies along the Illinois and its
tributaries, including the bands of Black Partridge, Como, Schwinger and
Comas, had dug up the hatchet and pledged their support; and that Thomas
Forsyth, a trader at Peoria, had raised a company of French and half-breeds
and gone to the war. These statements all proved to be false. Not one of
the bands mentioned had agreed to go to war, and Shabbona afterward said
had he known the true facts he would have remained at home, and continued
the hunt, which would have been more profitable.

But believing the report, the winter hunt was indefinitely postponed, and
the following day Shabbona started for the seat of war at the head of
twenty-two warriors. When they reached the St. Joseph River they fell in
with Colonel Dixon's recruits, consisting of a large number of warriors led
by Black Hawk, who had followed around the lake from Green Bay.

Shabbona became an aide to General Tecumseh, served until the end of the
war, and stood by his side when he fell in the battle of the Thames. He
always revered the memory of Tecumseh and loved to talk about him.

In giving his account of the death of Tecumseh to the early settlers around
him, Shabbona said that on the morning of the battle of the Thames,
Tecumseh, Billy Caldwell and himself were sitting on a log near the
camp-fire, smoking their pipes, when a messenger came to Tecumseh, saying
General Proctor wished to see him immediately. The chief arose and went
hastily to the general's headquarters, but soon returned, looking quite
melancholy, without saying a word, when Billy Caldwell said to him,
"Father, what are we to do? Shall we fight the Americans?" To which he
replied, "Yes, my son; before sunset we will be in their smoke, as they are
now marching on to us. But the general wants you. Go, my son, I shall never
see you again." Tecumseh appeared, he said, to have a presentiment that the
impending battle would be his last. Tecumseh posted his warriors in the
thick timber flanking the British line, with himself at their head, and
here awaited the approach of the Americans. Soon the battle commenced, and
the Indian rifles were fast thinning the ranks of the Americans, when a
large body of horsemen were seen approaching on a gallop. These troopers
came bravely on until they approached the line of battle, when Tecumseh and
his warriors sprang forward with the Shawnee war-whoop to meet the charge.
For a moment all was confusion, being a hand-to-hand fight, and many were
slain on both sides. Tecumseh, after discharging his rifle, was about to
tomahawk the man on a white horse (Col. R. M. Johnson), when the latter
shot him with a pistol. The tomahawk, missing its deadly aim, took effect
on the withers of the horse, while Tecumseh, with a shrill whoop, fell to
the ground. Shabbona said he was standing by the side of Tecumseh when he
received the fatal shot, and sprang forward, to tomahawk the slayer of the
great chief, but at that instant the horse reared and fell, being pierced
by many bullets, and the rider, badly wounded, was thrown to the ground but
rescued by his comrades. The warriors, no longer hearing the voice of
Tecumseh, fled from the field, when the battle ended.

{Illustration: Fort Dearborn Massacre.}

That night, after the battle, Shabbona accompanied a party of warriors to
the fatal field and found Tecumseh's remains, where he fell. A bullet had
pierced his heart and his skull was broken, probably by the breech of a
gun; otherwise the body was untouched. Near Tecumseh's remains lay the body
of a large, fine-looking warrior, decorated with plumes and paint, whom the
soldiers, no doubt, mistook for the great chief, as it was scalped and
large portions of skins tripped from the body. On the day of the battle
Tecumseh was dressed in plain buckskin, wearing no ornaments except a
British medal suspended from the neck by a cord. The fact that Tecumseh was
very modest and never wore anything to distinguish him from his warriors,
though a British general as well as head chief of the Indian Confederation,
was one cause of his great popularity. He was one with his men, and ruled
by force of character and actual ability. This habit probably saved his
life in other battles, and his body from being mutilated by the Kentucky
soldiers, many of whom were backwoodsmen who fought the Indians in their
own way.

Shabbona's narrative is the most interesting, and probably the most
authentic account of the death of Tecumseh we have found in history. Many
years after, when Col. Richard M. Johnson was Vice-President of the United
States, Shabbona visited Washington, and the two got together and had a
long conversation about the battle of the Thames and the death of Tecumseh.
Before leaving Washington Colonel Johnson presented the chief a heavy solid
gold ring, in token of friendship, which he wore until the day of his
death, and by his request it was buried with him.

At the time of the Winnebago War, in the summer of 1827, the settlers along
the frontier were very much alarmed, as it was thought that the
Pottawatomies were about to take part in it. It was now that Shabbona first
earned his title of "The white man's friend," by mounting his pony and
visiting almost every Pottawatomie village in the State, explaining to the
chiefs the folly of going to war with the United States, and in most cases
his arguments were successful.

Big Thunder, who had a village on the Kishwaukee, near where Belvidere now
stands, had agreed to go to war; but when Shabbona visited him, and pointed
out the impossibility of conquering the whites, he changed his mind, and,
returning the wampum which the Winnebagos had sent him, decided to remain
at peace. Shabbona also visited Big Foot's village, but here his mission
was a failure. Big Foot was in favor of uniting all the Western tribes to
make war on the frontier and drive the whites from the country. He had
promised Red Bird, the noted Winnebago chief, to become his ally, and
should take up the tomahawk when the war began.

Soon after Shabbona's visit Big Foot and his band came to Chicago to draw
their annual payment from the Government, and while there they deported
themselves in a way to alarm the people.

The night after drawing their pay some of the Indians painted their faces,
danced around the agency-house singing war songs, and occasionally yelling
at the top of their voices. On the following night Fort Dearborn was struck
by lightning and set on fire, when several buildings were burned. Big Foot
and his warriors refused to render any aid in extinguishing the flames, but
stood by as idle spectators.

The Indians were encamped in a grove north of the river and appeared sulky
and unfriendly, constantly avoiding conversation with the whites, but
frequently engaged in earnest conversation with each other. It was also
noticed that they would stop talking as soon as other Indians or whites
approached. In a few day's the band left at night for their village, and
their strange conduct caused the people to believe they intended evil.

The next day after Big Foot's departure the citizens called a meeting to
discuss the situation and plan for their safety. This meeting was attended
by whites, half-breeds and Indians. It was decided at this meeting to send
Shabbona and Billy Caldwell as messengers to Big Foot's village to get an
explanation of their strange conduct and learn, if possible, what they
intended to do. The two chiefs started on their mission the following

Big Foot was a large, raw-boned, big-footed, dark-visaged Indian. His
countenance was bloated by intemperance. He is said to have ruled over his
band with despotic sway, and usually his will was law. His village was on
the banks of the lake, which formerly bore his own name, but is now  called
Lake Geneva.

When Shabbona and Billy Caldwell reached their destination they thought it
prudent for one to hide in the cedar timber on the ridge overlooking the
village, to watch proceedings, while the other had the interview with Big
Foot and his band. It was Shabbona who rode boldly into the village, but
the meeting between the two chiefs was far from friendly.

Big Foot at once accused Shabbona of being a friend of the whites and a
traitor to his tribe, saying had it not been for him, Billy Caldwell and
Robinson, all of the Pottawatomies would unite with the Winnebagos in
making war on the Americans; to which Shabbona replied that he could not
assist the Winnebagos against the United States, as the whites were so
strong they must eventually conquer, and the war could only result in the
ruin of that tribe. A large number of warriors had collected around the
two chiefs, listening to their conversation, when Big Foot became so
enraged that he seized his tomahawk and would have killed Shabbona had not
the warriors interfered and prevented it. Shabbona was now disarmed, bound
and thrown into an unoccupied wigwam and guarded by two warriors to prevent
his escape.

Billy Caldwell, from his hiding place, was watching closely, and when he
saw his friend stripped of his arms, bound and led away, probably to be put
to death, he became alarmed, fearing he might meet the same fate if caught;
consequently he mounted his pony and hastened back to Chicago and reported
Shabbona either killed or a prisoner in Big Foot's village. The citizens
were greatly alarmed, as their worst fears were confirmed. Shabbona had
been known by the people of Chicago a long time. He was held in high
estimation by both whites and Indians, and all were grieved at his loss.
But while grief and excitement was at its height, Shabbona returned, his
pony covered with foam, and the grief was turned into rejoicing.

It seems that a council was called the night after he was taken captive, to
consider what to do with him. It was decided in council that it was unsafe
to keep Shabbona a prisoner, as his band and other bands, as well as the
whites at Chicago, whose messenger he was, would certainly come to his
rescue, and if executed his death would be avenged. So, against the protest
of Big Foot, who was still enraged at him, the warriors decided to set him
free the next morning. This was accordingly done, and when his belongings,
including his pony, were returned to him, a friend whispered in his ear to
ride for his life, as Big Foot would surely pursue and he would be killed
if overtaken. This accounted for the foam on the pony. It was, indeed, a
race for life, as Big Foot and four warriors were hot on his trail for
many miles, but Shabbona's pony proved to be the best.

During the period from 1823 to October 3, 1828, Fort Dearborn was not
permanently occupied by troops. Consequently for five years the citizens of
Chicago were without protection.

The inhabitants of Chicago consisted principally of French, half-breeds and
a few Yankee adventurers engaged in the fur trade. The people had been on
good terms with the Indians, and often exchanged friendly visits with them;
but now war existed between the whites and Winnebagos, and it was known
that Big Foot's band, and perhaps other of the Pottawatomies, were ready to
join them. With the exception of the bands controlled by Shabbona, Billy
Caldwell and Robinson, the country for two hundred miles around was full of
discontented Indians, who were liable to dig up the tomahawk at any time.
So the citizens almost imagined they were in danger of a second massacre.
But Shabbona quieted their fears by offering to bring his warriors to
Chicago and guard it, if it became necessary, and his proposition the
people hailed with much rejoicing. Happily this was not found necessary, as
shortly after this an express came from Galena with the good news that the
Winnebago war was over and Red Bird a prisoner.

In the summer of 1829, a Connecticut Yankee, by the name of George Whitney,
came to Shabbona's village for the purpose of trading with the Indians.
Whitney's outfit consisted of a covered wagon drawn by two mules, and
loaded with a miscellaneous stock of articles of Indian traffic, including
a barrel of whisky. The Indian trader had with him a jolly young half-breed
named Spike, who performed the duties of teamster, cook and interpreter.

After pitching his tent in the edge of Shabbona's grove near the village,
Whitney enjoyed an excellent trade with the Indians, especially in whisky.
Many Indians got drunk and became noisy and abusive to their families,
seeing which, Shabbona went to Whitney and requested him not to sell any
more whisky to his people; but regardless of this request, Whitney
continued to sell his distilled damnation to all who had the price. At this
Shabbona became justly indignant, and going to his tent one morning he told
the trader that if he did not leave the grove that day he would be at the
trouble of moving him. As soon as Shabbona had gone, Whitney asked Spike
what the angry chief had said. "He said," answered Spike, "that if you are
found here at sunset your scalp will be seen to-morrow morning hanging on
the top of that pole," pointing to a high, straight pole used by the
Indians in their crane dances.

On hearing this Whitney turned pale and trembled; he began at once to take
down his tent and pack his goods; at the same time he ordered Spike to
catch the mules and hitch them to the wagon as soon as possible. When
everything had been hastily tumbled into the wagon, Whitney seized the
reins, and whipping his mules into a gallop, quickly disappeared in the
direction of Chicago, and was never heard of again in that part of the

What a pity white men have not pluck enough to try the same experiment when
they see a saloon is about to be forced onto them against their wills, to
debauch their sons.

The Sacs and Foxes, Winnebagos and Pottawatomies held a council in
February, 1832, at Indian town. Black Hawk, Neopope, Little Bear and many
other chiefs of their tribe were present. White Cloud, or the Prophet,
represented the Winnebagos, while Shabbona, Waba, Shick Shack, Meommuse,
Waseaw, Sheatee, Kelto, Autuckee and Waubonsie were the Pottawatomie chiefs
in attendance.

The object of this council was to unite the different tribes in a war
against the frontier settlements, hoping to check or drive back the tide of
emigration, and save their villages and hunting grounds from the
encroachments of the whites. During the council, which lasted a number of
days, many speeches were made for and against such a union. The Winnebago
chief, White Cloud, called the Prophet, was the leading spirit of the
council. His zeal and oratory gave him great influence. He said, in one of
his speeches, "If all the tribes are united, their warriors will be like
the trees of the forest"; to which Shabbona replied, "Yes, but the soldiers
of the whites will outnumber the leaves on the trees."

Shabbona, while not a great orator, possessed honesty and good judgment,
and this in a measure atoned for his lack of eloquence. After the death of
Black Partridge and Senachwine no chief among the Pottawatomies had as much
influence as Shabbona. While Black Hawk was a prisoner at Jefferson
Barracks, in the fall of 1832, he told Thomas Forsyth, the former agent of
the Sacs and Foxes, that, had it not been for Shabbona the whole
Pottawatomie nation would have joined his standard, and then he could have
continued the war for years, dictated his own terms of peace, and his
people would not have been so crushed and humiliated.

As evidence of the influence of Shabbona it is said that, at the
Indiantown council, he induced all the Pottawatomie chiefs except Waubonsie
to oppose the union of the tribes against the whites.

Black Hawk now regarded his scheme as a failure, and mounting his pony left
for home with a sad heart. However, the Prophet, Neopope and Wisshick were
not so easily discouraged, and started on a mission to the villages on the
upper Rock River, and in Wisconsin. A few of the chiefs accepted the
wampum, and promised support in case of war, but most of the Winnebagos,
remembering the disastrous war of a few years ago under Red Bird, remained
neutral and advised against another encounter with the whites. But Neopope
and Wisshick reported that _all_ the Pottawatomies at the north and most of
the Winnebagos would join him in a war if he would come up in their

Deceived by these false statements, Black Hawk determined to prosecute his
original plans and started up the Rock River with his entire band.

When Black Hawk ascended to the present site of Byron without meeting the
expected reinforcements, he became discouraged. After fixing his camp on a
stream, since appropriately called Stillman's Run, he dispatched a runner
for his old friends in arms, Shabbona and Waubonsie, who immediately
started to his camp. After dinner Black Hawk took his two friends a short
distance, and seating themselves on a fallen tree, he told them the story
of his wrongs. Said he, "I was born at the Sac village, and here I spent my
childhood, youth and manhood. I like to look upon this place, with its
surroundings of big rivers, shady groves and green prairies. Here is the
grave of my father and some of my children; here I expected to live and die
and lay my bones by the side of those near and dear unto me; but now, in my
old age, I have been driven from my home, and dare not look again upon this
loved spot." Here the old chief broke down and wept, a rare thing for an
Indian. After wiping his tears away he continued, almost heartbroken,
"Before many moons you, too, will be compelled to leave your homes, the
haunts of your youth your villages, cornfields and hunting grounds will be
in possession of the whites, and by them the graves of your fathers will be
plowed over, while your people will be driven westward toward the setting
sun to find a new home beyond the Father of Waters."

This prediction was fulfilled in both cases. Continuing, the aged chief
said, "We have always been as brothers; have fought side by side in the
British War; have hunted together and slept under the same blanket; we have
met in council at religious feasts; our people are alike and our interests
the same.

"I am now on the warpath. Runners have been sent to different villages
bearing wampum and asking the chiefs to meet my band in council. Once
united we would be so strong the whites would not attack us, but would
treat on favorable terms, and return to me my village and the graves of my

Shabbona, in reply, said he could not join him in a war against the whites;
that Governor Clark, General Cass and his friends at Chicago had made him
many presents, some of which he still kept as tokens of friendship, and
while in possession of these gifts he could not think of raising the
tomahawk against their people. Shabbona also declined to attend the
proposed council, and advised Black Hawk to return west of the Mississippi
as the only  means of saving his people; the two chiefs parted, to meet no
more in this life.

Waubonsie, seeing the decided stand taken by Shabbona, also refused to take
part in the approaching war. However, Waubonsie agreed to attend the
council of chiefs.

The next day after this interview Shabbona mounted his pony and went to
Dixon's Ferry to offer the service of himself and warriors to General

{Illustration: Annie Red Shirt, An Indian Beauty.}

There was among the volunteers a worthless vagabond named George McKabe,
who was employed as cook in one of the companies. McKabe was married to an
Indian squaw belonging to Black Hawk's band, but was too lazy to hunt or
work and spent his time loafing around the village drinking whisky and
stealing from the settlers. He joined the volunteers at Black Hawk's
suggestion who thought it well to have a spy among the whites to inform him
of their plans, and warn the Indians when an attack was intended.

This wretch, who was equal to any villainy, whether it concerned friend or
foe, while strolling through Stillman's camp at Dixon's Ferry, saw Shabbona
when he arrived, and told some of the rangers that he was a Sac Indian
belonging to Black Hawk's band, and there as a spy. The rangers, believing
McKabe's story, dragged Shabbona from his pony, disarmed him, and abused
him in a shameful manner. In vain he exclaimed in his broken English, "Me
Shabbona; me Pottawatomie; Neconche moka man" (a friend of the white man).
The drunken ruffians paid no attention to him and would have murdered him
outright had not Mr. Dixon, the keeper of the ferry, heard of it and
hurried to his rescue. This gentleman had known Shabbona a number of years,
and claiming him for his friend and guest he was permitted to take the
chief to his home, and afterward introduced him to Governor Reynolds,
General Atkinson, Colonel Taylor and others, and he became a prime favorite
with officers and men.

Black Hawk's grand council was interrupted by the arrival of a messenger
with his pony in a gallop, bringing tidings of the approach of Stillman's
army. Some of the chiefs were on the way but had not yet arrived, and those
who were present, including Waubonsie, mounted their ponies and rode back
to their villages with all speed.

So the council never met, and Black Hawk failed to obtain the aid of the
friendly chiefs; some even became allies of the whites.

There were, however, certain disaffected Pottawatomies, belonging to
different bands, who joined Black Hawk. These, with a few Sac and Fox
warriors and Winnebagos committed many outrages and murders on the
defenseless settlers along the Illinois, Fox and Rock rivers, and their
tributaries. Many others would have been butchered had they not received
warning from their friend in need and friend indeed, Shabbona.

The night after Stillman's retreat, as Shabbona was sleeping at his home he
was awakened by a messenger, who reported that a battle had been fought and
Black Hawk's band had been victorious. The chief knew only too well that
war parties would be immediately sent out to murder the nearest settlers.
So he made a hasty preparation to warn them of danger. Having dispatched
his son, Pypegee, to Holderman's Grove settlements and his nephew, Pyps, to
those on Fox River, he mounted his fleetest pony and started for Bureau and
Indian Creek.

We can not help but think that the words of the hymn writer would apply as
well to this heathen, hurrying to save the lives of those nominal
Christians, as it would to the Christian missionary hastening to save the

              "Take your life in your hand,
               Go quick while you may;
               Speed away, speed away, speed away!"

The first house Shabbona reached was that of Squire Dimmick, who lived near
the present site of La Moille. When informed of his danger, Dimmick replied
that "he would stay until his corn was planted," adding that "he had left
the year before, and it proved a false alarm, and he believed it would be
so this time." Shabbona's reply to this was, "If you will stay at home,
send off your squaw and pappooses, or they will be murdered before the
rising of to-morrow's sun!" Shabbona had now mounted his pony again, and as
he turned to go he raised his hand above his head, and in a loud impressive
voice exclaimed "Auhaw Puckegee" (you must leave) and started off in a
gallop to warn others. This last remark caused Dimmick to change his mind,
and hastily putting his family and a few things into a wagon he left his
claim, never to return.

Shabbona continued to ride until he had warned all the settlers on Bureau
and Indian creeks, and they at once fled to Hennepin, Peoria and
Springfield, where they remained until the war was over, while a few never
returned to their claims. It was not a false alarm the settlers received,
for during the night of the same day that Shabbona notified them, Girty, a
notorious half-breed, led a band of about seventy warriors to Bureau.
During the night this band of cut-throats visited almost every house in the
settlement, in some of which they found the fire still burning, but were
surprised to find their intended victims had fled. Girty's band encamped in
the edge of the timber west of the present site of Princeton.

When Shabbona's nephew, Pyps, had warned the settlers on Fox River of the
commencement of hostilities, he went on a visit to a young squaw, of whom
he was enamoured, at Rochell's village, south of the Illinois. After
remaining a few days, he was returning home by way of Indian Creek when he
noticed a large body of Indians entering the timber within six miles of the
settlement. Hurrying home, he immediately informed Shabbona about the
Indians and also of having noticed some of the settlers still in their

Knowing that these settlers would be almost certain to fall victims to
these savages, Shabbona determined to go and warn them a _second time._
Accordingly, about midnight, after giving some directions to his family and
friends, in case he should be killed, which he knew would be his fate if
seen by the hostiles, Shabbona started for the Indian Creek settlement.

He thus deliberately periled his life to save his white friends. It was
certainly one of the most courageous deeds recorded in history, for--

               "The noblest place a man can die
                Is where man dies for _man._"

But he seems to have been protected by Providence, for the Sac bullet was
never moulded that was destined to lay our hero low.

Shabbona arrived at his destination about sunrise, before the people were
out of bed, with his pony in a foam of sweat. He quickly informed the
settlers that a large band of hostile Indians were seen in the timber about
six miles above on the evening before, and unless they left immediately
they would almost certainly be killed. On hearing this, Hall, one of the
leading citizens, was in favor of starting for Ottawa at once. But another
man with greater influence, by the name of Davis, opposed it, saying he did
not fear the Indians, and no redskin could drive him from his home.
Unfortunately the counsel of Davis prevailed, and the settlers refused to
heed the warning of Shabbona, and, strange to say, made no preparation for

On the fatal day of the Indian Creek massacre, about four o'clock in the
afternoon of May 20, 1832, the red fiends made their attack under the
leadership of Girty, the infamous half-breed. Most of the men were at work
in the blacksmith shop, and the women busy with their household affairs.
The whites were completely surprised and shot down before they could make
an effectual resistance.

In less time than it takes to record it, fifteen people were butchered,
including Hall and Davis; the entire community was wiped out of existence,
except a few who were in the field, and the two sisters, Sylvia and Rachel
Hall, carried off into captivity.

The next day after the massacre, a company of rangers from Chicago and
vicinity, under Captain Naper, and also a party from Putnam County, visited
the scene of horror and buried the dead. A fine monument was afterward
erected over the remains of the victims by their surviving friends,
containing the names and ages of those massacred.

The Hall sisters were conveyed on horseback to Black Hawk's camp, near the
present site of Madison, Wisconsin. Meantime their brother, John W. Hall,
marched with his regiment as far north as the lead mines of Galena. Here
he informed Col. H. Gratiot, agent of the Winnebagos, of his sisters'
captivity, and the gallant colonel employed two chiefs, White Crow and
Whirling Thunder, to ransom the captives, and they started at once to Black
Hawk's camp. A council was now called and it was agreed to ransom the
prisoners for two thousand dollars and forty horses, besides a quantity of
blankets, beads, etc. But the matter was not yet ended; a young chief
claimed Rachel as his prize, intending to make her his wife, and was
unwilling to give her up. He even threatened to tomahawk her rather than
let her go. After some delay a compromise was effected by giving him ten
horses; but before parting with her he cut off two of her locks of hair as
a trophy. The girls were now taken to Galena, where they were rejoiced to
meet their brother, John W., whom they supposed was killed in the massacre.

An account of the capture of these sisters having been published throughout
the country, the people everywhere were much rejoiced at their deliverance.
The people of Galena also vied with each other in honoring them and
bestowing presents, including several handsome dresses, made in the latest

After about a week's stay at Galena they started to St. Louis, accompanied
by their brother, on board the steamer Winnebago--the same boat, by the
way, on which Black Hawk himself was afterward conveyed to Jefferson

At St. Louis the sisters were entertained by Governor Clark. During their
stay with the Governor's family money amounting to $470 was collected for
them, besides many valuable presents. It was here they were met by Rev.
Erastus Horn, an old friend of their father, who conveyed them to his home
in Cass County, Illinois. When their brother, John W. Hall, married and
settled in Bureau County, the two girls made their home with him. The State
Legislature presented them with a quarter section of canal land near
Joliet, and Congress afterward made an appropriation of money for their

Sylvia, the older, married Rev. William Horn, and established a home at
Lincoln, Nebraska. Rachel married William Munson and settled at Freedom, La
Salle County, near the scene of her captivity. Here she remained until her
untimely death a few years afterward.

When Pyps, Shabbona's nephew, notified the settlers on Fox River he came to
a family by the name of Harris. It seems that Mr. Harris and his two sons
were away at the time hunting their horses, which had strayed off the day
before, so the family had no means of escape except on foot. This would not
have been so bad, but for the fact that old Mr. Combs, Mrs. Harris' father,
made his home with her, and being confined to his bed with inflammatory
rheumatism, could not go with the family in their flight. Mrs. Harris
regretted to leave him to almost certain death. But the old hero exclaimed,
"Flee for your lives, and leave me to my fate; I am an old man and can live
but a short time at any rate." Mrs. Harris and the grandchildren left him
with sore hearts, never expecting to see him again. Traveling slowly on
foot they were overtaken by the Aments and Clarks, and later by Mr. Harris
and his two sons. In due time they arrived at Plainfield.

Soon after the departure of the Harris family, the house was entered by a
party of Indians, who, finding supper on the table sat down and ate. During
the meal they talked about the escape of their intended victims, and one
remarked to the rest, "Shabbona did this." Verily, "the way to a man's
heart is through his stomach." Others besides "civilized man can not live
without cooks," or at least it is here demonstrated that even savages
appreciate good cooking. Mrs. Harris was a famous cook of that day, and
this fact probably saved her father's life. It is more than probable that
had the Indians discovered "Grandpa Combs" before they had eaten that good
supper, while they were hungry and savage, the old gentleman would have
been tomahawked and scalped. But after supper the Indians were in a better
humor, and instead of killing the helpless old man, they actually
_administered to his wants,_ and tried to make him comfortable. Not only
so, but for nearly a week they _visited him daily,_ supplying him with food
and drink. Thus matters continued until Harris's House was visited by a
company  of rangers commanded by Captain Naper, who found old Mr. Combs so
much improved in health that he was able to go with them to Plainfield, and
afterward to Chicago with his friends. He survived the war several years,
and often spoke of his kind treatment from the Indians when he expected to
be killed.

While the regular army, under the command of General Atkinson, camped at
Dixon's Ferry waiting for reinforcements to enable them to pursue Black
Hawk, a number of Pottawatomie warriors joined it and were mustered into
service. The warriors were led by Shabbona, Waubonsie and Billy Caldwell.
General Atkinson, after consulting with his officers and other parties
about the merits of the three chiefs, gave the command of the warriors to
Shabbona. This gave offense to the other chiefs, each of whom expected the
honor, and they shortly left the service, taking with them some of the
warriors. Shabbona and his band remained with the army during the campaign,
doing good service as scouts, and keeping General Atkinson posted on the
movements of Black Hawk.

General Atkinson and his army came up with Black Hawk's band near four
lakes, where they were secreted in the thick timber, surrounded by water
and swampy land. An attempt was made to construct rafts to cross the water,
but, night coming on, it was abandoned. In the darkness of the night some
of Black Hawk's warriors came within hailing distance of the army and
shouted across the narrow lake and swamp that Black Hawk's braves could
whip Atkinson's army, and their squaws could whip Shabbona's warriors. At
these taunting words Shabbona became very indignant and asked permission of
the general to take his warriors around the head of the lake and attack
Black Hawk's men during the darkness of the night, but the request was not

Next day the army went around the lake to attack the enemy. Shabbona, at
the head of his warriors, was ordered to charge the enemy. The order was
obeyed. The Indians, yelling their war-whoop, charged through the timber,
but met with no resistance, as Black Hawk and his warriors had fled during
the night.

In the  winter of 1831 and 1832, Governor Clark, of St. Louis, who had been
appointed general Indian agent of the West, hearing that Shabbona had
prevented the Pottawatomies from becoming allies of Black Hawk, sent him a
number of presents, among which was a handsome fur hat with a wide silver
band. War and carnage were represented on one side of this silver band, on
the other friendship, pipe of peace, etc. For safe keeping Shabbona
carried this hat to his friend, John M. Gay, who lived a few miles north
of what is now Wyanet. Mr. Gay put it for safekeeping in the garret, but
the following spring, during the Black Hawk war, he and his family fled
from home, leaving the hat, with many other things, in his house. On
returning at the close of the war he found that the Indians had carried
off most of his things, including Shabbona's hat. After the war the chief
called for his hat, and was much grieved to find it gone. The Indians who
stole the hat took it to Black Hawk's camp and presented it to that chief,
and it was worn by him at the great feast and council near four lakes. It
was afterward picked up on the battlefield of Wisconsin River by one of
General Dodge's rangers, who carried it to Galena, where it was kept some
time as one of the trophies of the war. Some years after the close of the
war this hat was recognized by an Indian as the one stolen from Gay's
house and worn by Black Hawk at the Council of Four Lakes.

The prediction made by Black Hawk that Shabbona would soon be compelled to
abandon his beloved village and go west to a reservation was fulfilled in
the summer of 1836. At that time the Indian agent, Capt. J. B. Russell,
notified the chief that his band must remove to the lands assigned them by
the Government, in accordance with the treaty, as no one but himself and
family could remain at the Grove. In imagination I hear some one say,
"But this Government order applied only to Shabbona's band. Of course, the
Government would not be so ungrateful to 'The White Man's Friend' as to
force him to leave his happy home, where he had spent the most of his life,
and go to a new reservation in a distant State." Granting that this was the
intention of the Government, it was still a cruel deed to force the chief
in his declining years to make a choice between his village and his band.
Let it not be forgotten that not only Shabbona, but practically his entire
band of warriors, fought on the side of the whites during the Black Hawk
War, besides saving the lives of many settlers by warning them of danger.
Common justice, to say nothing of gratitude, should have impelled the
Government to make an exception in the case of Shabbona and his band. A
reservation should have been given them around and including Shabbona's
Grove, and the title should have been secured to them,

                      "While the grass grows
                       And the water flows."

{Illustration: Waubonsie, Pottawatomie Chief, whose village stood near
Aurora, Ill.}

"Consistency is a jewel," but our Government never displayed any of it in
its dealings with the Indians. Black Hawk's warriors, who arrayed
themselves against the Government, were sent across the Mississippi to a
reservation in the rich land of Southeastern Iowa, while Shabbona's
warriors, who fought bravely as allies of the Government, are banished to a
reservation in distant western Kansas, a somewhat arid and inhospitable
region. Friend and foe are treated exactly alike, when a few greedy white
men covet the Indian's village and cornfields. The ways of our Government
in its dealings with the Indians are past finding out.

When notified by the agent, Shabbona said he did not like to leave his
happy home, but could not think of being separated from his people,
therefore he would go with them. The agent offered to move them at the
expense of the Government, but Shabbona said he did not require it, as they
had plenty of ponies to carry all their tents, and the hunters could supply
them with food while making the journey.

Shabbona's band left their grove in September, but stopped on Bureau Creek
about six weeks, engaged in hunting and fishing. Here he received the
visits from a number of settlers, some of whom were the people he had
warned during the Black Hawk War. These now expressed their gratitude by
bringing into his camp green corn, melons, squashes and fruit of all kinds,
and in return he sent them turkeys and venison.

Shabbona was afflicted with ague at this time and seemed very grateful to
his white friends for their visits and presents. He told them he had hunted
on Bureau thirty years in succession, but this was probably his last hunt,
as he was going to his reservation in the Far West in a few days, where he
expected to leave his bones. He was very sad at the thought of being
compelled to leave the country where he had spent his infancy, youth and
manhood, and be forced in his old age to seek a new home in a distant land.
At the time of his departure for Kansas his band consisted of one hundred
and forty-two persons, old and young, and they had one hundred and sixty
ponies. The journey was resumed late in October.

Soon after Shabbona and his band settled on the reservation in western
Kansas, the Black Hawk band of Sacs and Foxes were moved from Iowa to the
same locality. This band, under the leadership of Neopope, who was second
in command during the war, settled on a reservation only about fifty miles
from Shabbona's, Neopope had often declared he would kill Shabbona, Pypegee
and Pyps for notifying the settlers of danger and fighting against them
during the late war. Shabbona had been warned of these threats, but did not
believe he would ever be harmed.

In the fall of 1837, Shabbona, Pypegee, Pyps and five others went on a
buffalo hunt about one hundred miles from home. Neopope heard of it, and
thinking this a good time to take his revenge, raised a war party and
followed them.

About midnight, when all were asleep, this party of Sacs and Foxes attacked
the camp, killing Pypegee and Pyps and wounding another hunter, who was
overtaken and slain. Shabbona, his son, Smoke, and four others escaped from
the camp, but Neopope and his warriors were hot on their trail and pursued
them almost to their village. The fugitives reached home the third day,
more dead than alive, having traveled more than one hundred miles on foot,
without rest or food. Knowing that he would be killed if he remained in
Kansas, the aged chief left immediately for his farm in De Kalb County,
Illinois, accompanied by his family, consisting of two squaws, children
and grandchildren, about twenty-five people in all. He arrived at his
destination the latter part of November, 1837.

Some time during the spring of 1838, some of Shabbona's family discovered
an old decrepit squaw hid in the thick timber near the village. Her face
was partly covered with a buckskin headdress, and highly colored with
different kinds of paint. Strange to say, she was armed with rifle, knife
and tomahawk, and a jaded pony hitched near by showed evidence of a long
journey. The aged squaw would give no account of herself, nor could they
get her to tell whence she came or her destination. She seemed sullen and
morose, and having been furnished with food, mounted her pony and left the
grove. It was afterward learned that this old squaw was not a squaw at all,
but Neopope, the war-chief of Black Hawk's band, who had assumed that
disguise and was there to assassinate Shabbona. Having been discovered and
fearing detection caused him to leave without accomplishing his object.
Shabbona did not know the true character of the old squaw until he visited
Kansas, after the death of Neopope, and the incident was told by some of
his friends.

In the spring of 1849 Shabbona, with his family, went to visit his band in
Kansas and remained there over two years. As soon as he was gone certain
parties made affidavits that he had sold and abandoned his reservation and
gone West to live. These papers were sent to the General Land Office at
Washington, and the Commissioner decided that by abandoning his land
Shabbona had forfeited his right to the reservation. When he returned in
the fall of 1851 with his family, he was amazed to find the whites in
possession of his village, cornfields and grove.

When he found himself deprived of all that he held dear, he broke down and
cried like a child. Many days he gave himself up to sadness and refused to
be comforted, and each night he went to a lonely place in the grove and
prayed to the Great Spirit. To add insult to injury, the white ruffian who
now had possession of the grove cursed the aged chief for cutting a few
camp poles, and burning a few dry limbs for cooking, and ordered him to
leave "his" grove, which had been Shabbona's home for fifty years. He was
now old--past three score and ten--no longer capable of getting a living by
hunting, as formerly, and with a number of small grandchildren depending
on him for support. With a sad heart Shabbona looked for the last time upon
the graves of departed loved ones, and then left the grove forever.

Shabbona never could understand why the Government should dispossess him of
his reservation in his old age, just when he needed it most. Can you
understand it, gentle reader?

The aged chief and his family now camped in a grove of timber on Big Rock
Creek, where he remained some time undecided what to do. Here his white
friends of other days came to see him and brought many  presents.

It was during his stay at this place that the citizens of Ottawa, at the
solicitation of ex-Sheriff George E. Walker, raised money to buy and
improve a small tract of land on the south bank of the Illinois River, two
miles above Seneca, in Grundy County. Here his friends built a comfortable
frame dwelling, with fencing and other improvements, and presented it to
Shabbona for a home. The house was pleasantly situated and commanded a
splendid view of the river, but Shabbona preferred to live in a wigwam and
the residence was used only as a storehouse.

The Government gave him an annuity of two hundred dollars, as a Black Hawk
War veteran; this fund, supplemented by gifts from his friends, kept him
above want.

While living at this place, Shabbona received a call from Williamson
Durley, of Putnam County, who gave him a special invitation to visit at his
house. Mr. Durley had been a merchant at Hennepin a number of years, and
Shabbona often traded with him for goods for his band, paying for them in
furs. Their business relations were pleasant and Shabbona regarded Mr.
Durley as one of his best friends.

While on this visit Shabbona was accompanied by three daughters and his
grandson, a lad of twelve years of age, named Smoke. At the suggestion of
Mr. Durley the whole party dressed themselves in full Indian costume, with
feathers, paint, rings, beads, etc., and mounted on horseback they visited
Hennepin, where they attracted much attention. All the citizens turned out
to honor them with a hearty reception.

At different times Shabbona was selected by the Pottawatomie tribe to
represent their interest at the National Capital. On one of these visits to
Washington, General Cass introduced him to the President, some of the
members of Congress, heads of departments and others. A large crowd had
collected in the rotunda of the capitol to see Shabbona, when General Cass
introduced him to the audience, saying, "Shabbona is the greatest red man
of the West; he has always been a friend to the whites and saved many of
their lives during the Black Hawk War." At the conclusion of this speech
people came forward to shake hands with the chief, and many of the ladies
_met him with a kiss._

On another of the trips to Washington, while Shabbona, with other chiefs,
was standing on the east portico of the capitol engaged in conversation an
elegantly dressed gentleman approached the group, and, looking earnestly at
Shabbona, exclaimed, "Were you not in the battle of Frenchtown in 1813?"
On receiving an affirmative answer, he continued, "Do you remember saving
the life of a wounded lieutenant from Kentucky by the name of Shelby?" The
chief remembered the incident, when the gentleman exclaimed, "Well, I am
that same Lieutenant Shelby!" Mr. Shelby showed his gratitude by the
presentation of several gifts.

Hon. Perry A. Armstrong, of Morris, Illinois, for many years an intimate
friend of Shabbona, says: "We were in Joliet one chilly night in November,
1857, and put up at the Exchange Hotel. Arising a little after daylight, we
opened the window-blind of our bedroom, when we noticed an Indian slowly
walking up and down the sidewalk opposite the hotel, beating his arms
around his body to keep up a circulation of blood. A high, tight-board
fence stood on the west of the sidewalk, close up to which we beheld three
persons lying, well wrapped in blankets. On  reaching the street we were
greeted with 'Boozhu coozhu nicon' (How do you do, my friend), in the
familiar voice of Shabbona. His wife, daughter and grandchild were sleeping
sweetly and comfortably under the shelter of the board fence, wrapped in
their own blankets, to which the old chief had added his while he kept
watch and ward during the long cold night over his sleeping loved ones,
although he was over fourscore years of age. Always considerate of the
rights and comforts of others, Shabbona was diffident and cautious in
approaching the home of a white man. He had reached Joliet late the night
previous, and was too diffident to wake anybody to ask for shelter. Finding
this high fence would ward off the fierce western wind, he arranged his
wife and daughter and little grandchild so they could be comfortable, and
gave them his own blanket, while he kept himself from chilling by constant

On one occasion Shabbona was on a hunting trip in the big woods of the
Kankakee River, hoping to find a deer, accompanied by his family and some
friends from Kansas. While the old chief and his friends were off hunting
the man who owned the grove where they were encamped came and abused the
squaws by calling them hard names, and ordered them to leave. He even tore
down one of the tents in his anger. Of course Shabbona was indignant when
he returned and heard of it, and determined to move his camp the next

That evening about sunset the owner of the timber, accompanied by two of
his neighbors, returned to the Indian camp, when the old chief offered his
hand, at the same time exclaiming, "Me Shabbona." This introduction usually
acted as a talisman among settlers, by giving him a hearty welcome wherever
his camp was pitched, but with this ruffian it failed of its magical
effect. His answer was to inform the chief, with an oath, that if he did
not immediately leave he would destroy his tents. Shabbona took out some
pieces of silver and offered them to him in payment for a few tent poles
and firewood. But this did not satisfy the enraged man. Being in a terrible
rage, his voice raised to a high pitch, he told the chief that if he did
not leave his timber at once he would move him, and, in carrying out his
threats, upset a kettle containing the Indian's supper. This was too much
for the old chief. It was now his turn to get angry, because forbearance
had ceased to be a virtue; therefore, he took his tomahawk and knife out
of his belt, laying them on the ground by the side of his rifle, and then
going up to the man, said to him in broken English, his eyes flashing fire,
that if he did not shut his mouth he would knock every tooth down his
throat. The owner of the timber was completely cowed, he turned pale, and
without saying another word made a hasty retreat, leaving Shabbona to move
his encampment when it suited him.

One Fourth of July the people of Ottawa, Illinois, determined to celebrate
in grand style, and at the same time raise a fund for the benefit of
Shabbona. Mounted on his favorite pony, with all his Indian costume, the
aged chief led the procession. That evening they gave a splendid ball in a
large hall; and as the price of the tickets was high and the attendance
large, quite a sum of money was realized. One of the belles of that city
proposed that Shabbona should be asked to select the prettiest lady at the
ball, thinking, of course, she would be the favored one.

The proposition was accepted with hilarious approval, because there were
many others who had claims to beauty. When all the ladies were seated
around the hall and the old chief was informed by his friend, George E.
Walker, of what they wished him to do, he accepted the task, and with a
broad smile on his face and a merry twinkle in his eye, which meant fun, he
started at the lower end of the hall, and by a sign made them understand
that he wished them to rise _seriatim,_ as he came to each, and required
them to walk up the length of the hall and back again and be seated before
he examined the next. This he did to every lady in the hall, examining
their dress, form and gait as critically as a horse jockey would a horse
before purchase. None escaped the examination, old or young, from the girl
in her teens to the aged matron, even including Okono, his
four-hundred-pound squaw. When all had been examined in this way he
approached his wife, slapped her on the shoulder, and remarked, "Much big,
heap prettiest squaw."

There was a loud shout of approval--not of his judgment of beauty, but of
his good sense and knowledge of human nature. Had he selected one of the
many really beautiful young ladies, by that selection he would have
offended the rest, but by choosing his own squaw, he turned the whole
affair into a huge joke.

Matson informs us that a few years before his death, the aged chief gave
all his family Christian names, in addition to their Indian names, assuming
the name of Benjamin himself.

Our tawny hero passed away at his residence on the Illinois River, July 17,
1859, aged eighty-four years, and was buried with much ceremony in Morris

For many years no stone marked the grave. But at the twenty-ninth annual
reunion of the Old Settlers of La Salle County, Illinois, held at Ottawa on
August 19, 1897, with several thousand people present, Hon. Charles F.
Gunther, of Chicago, offered a motion for the appointment of a committee of
Old Settlers to devise ways and means for the erection of a suitable
monument to the memory of Shabbona, to be placed where he was buried, which
motion was unanimously carried. After the committee was appointed, it
organized by electing P. A. Armstrong, president; C. F. Gunther, R. C.
Jordan and G. M. Hollenbeck, vice-presidents; L. A. Williams, secretary,
and E. Y. Griggs, treasurer. They now became incorporated under the statute
as "The Shabbona Memorial Association."

All this resulted in raising funds and erecting a monument, which was
unveiled and dedicated October 23, 1903.

The president of the association, Hon. Perry A. Armstrong, of Morris, in
dedicating the monument, used corn, beans, pumpkins and tobacco, instead of
corn, wine and oil, stating that "they were native products of North
America, and used by the Indians. Corn and beans were their staff of life,
pumpkins and squashes their relishes, and tobacco their solace. They used
it in their pipes but never chewed it."

Short addresses were also made by ex-Congressman Henderson, of Princeton;
Hon. M. N. Armstrong, of Ottawa, and Hon. R. C. Jordan. The latter began by
saying, "Character speaks louder than words. A great man never dies. And
great are the people who are great enough to know what is great. Man has
shown an innate goodness by his disposition in all ages to laud the good
deeds of his fellows. And that he has ever cherished ideals higher than
self is proven by the tributes offered to the memory of his dead."

By the side of Shabbona slumber his wife, Canoka; Mary, his daughter; his
granddaughter, Mary Okonto, and his nieces, Metwetch, Chicksaw, and Soco.

The monument is a huge bowlder of granite, fit symbol of the rugged,
imperishable character of him who sleeps beneath, and contains the simple

                          "SHABBONA, 1775-1859."

{Illustration: Plan of Sitting Bull's Tepee, as drawn by Scout Allison.}

{Illustration: Sitting Bull, or Tatanka Yotanka, Renowned Sioux Chief and
medicine man.}

                             CHAPTER XIII.


The Sioux or Dakota Indians were first seen by the French explorers in
1640, near the head waters of the Mississippi River. The Algonquins called
them Nadowessioux, whence the name gradually became shortened into Sioux.
This was the largest family or confederation in the Northwest and was
divided into a number of tribes, known as the Santee, Sisseton, Wahpeton,
Yankton, Yanktonnais, Teton, Brule, Ogalalla and Unepapa. These are all
Sioux proper, and still number nearly thirty thousand tall, well-built
Indians, with large features and heavy, massive faces. They are perhaps the
finest type of plains Indians, who, until recent years, lived by hunting
the buffalo.

At one time their territory extended east of the Mississippi and from the
source of the "Father of Waters" to the upper Missouri, but they live at
present chiefly in the States of North and South Dakota.

Undoubtedly the most famous leader of the Sioux was the subject of this
sketch. He was great in spite of the fact that he was a medicine man,
rather than chief proper, and that his tongue was mightier than his

Sitting Bull was born on Willow Creek, Dakota, in 1837. He is said to have
been an Unepapa, though he signed the treaty in 1868 as an Oglala.

He is described as a heavy built Indian, with a large, massive head, and,
strange to say, _brown hair,_ which is very rare among Indians. His
complexion was also light and his face badly marked with smallpox. He was
about five feet ten inches tall, possessed a fine physique and striking
appearance, with his prominent hooked nose, and fierce half-bloodshot eyes
gleaming from under brows which indicate large perceptive organs. Judging
from his photograph, taken in a standing position, he was slightly
bow-legged, and wore his hair in two heavy braids hanging on either side in
front of his shoulders.

Sitting Bull's reputation was more of the agitator and schemer than of the
warrior. As Cyrus Townsend Bradley, in his "Indian Fights and Fighters,"
well says, "The Indians said he had a big head but a little heart, and they
esteemed him something of a coward; in spite of this his influence over the
chiefs and the Indians was paramount, and remained so until his death.

"Perhaps he lacked the physical courage which is necessary in fighting, but
he must have had abundant moral courage, for he was the most implacable
enemy and the most dangerous--because of his ability, which was so great as
to overcome the Indian's contempt for his lack of personal courage--that
the United States had ever had among the Indians. He was a strategist, a
tactician--everything but a fighter. However, his lack of fighting
qualities was not serious, for he gathered around him a dauntless array of
war-chiefs, the first among them being Crazy Horse, an Ogalalla, a skilful
and indomitable, as well as a brave and ferocious leader." There was
probably, no other Sioux who could make so proud a showing of the combined
essentials of leadership as this prophet, priest, medicine man and chief.

The leading events of the early part of his career were recorded by himself
and fell into the hands of the whites by an accident soon after the Phil.
Kearney massacre. It seems that a Yanktonnais Indian brought to Fort Buford
an old roster-book of the Thirty-first Infantry, which had on the blank
sides of the leaves a series of portraitures of the doings of a mighty
warrior. They were rather skilfully executed in brown and black inks, with
coloring added for the horses and clothing. The totem in the corner of each
pictograph, a buffalo bull on its haunches, connected with the hero by a
line, revealed the fact that it was a history of Sitting Bull, who with a
band of warriors had been committing depredations in that part of the
country for several years.

The Yanktonnais Indian finally admitted that he had stolen it from Sitting
Bull and sold it for a dollar and a half's worth of supplies. Almost every
picture of the first twenty-five represents the slaughter of enemies of all
sorts--Indians and white men, women and children, frontiersmen, railroad
hands, teamsters and soldiers. He was as impartial as death itself, and all
was grist that came to his mill. The next lot of about a dozen show his
exploits as a collector of horses, a pursuit at which he was a brilliant
success. The last few pictures represent him as leader of the Strong
Hearts--a Sioux fraternity of warriors noted for their bravery and
fortitude--charging two Crow villages. In one of these encounters thirty
scalps were taken. These picture diaries are usually correct in detail.
Ordinarily they are made on buffalo robes, or buckskin, and are kept by the
hero to display among his own people who are acquainted with the facts of
which he  boasts. In this case there were soldiers at the fort who could
vouch for the truth of some of the picture records.

While, therefore, Sitting Bull was not a chief of any great prominence
during "the piping times of peace," he had a record as a fighter and a
reputation as a skilful commander, which made him a powerful loadstone of
attraction to the discontented Sioux of the agencies. These always thought
of him, and flocked to his camp at the first outbreak of hostility.

It was stated at one time that Sitting Bull, while hating the white
Americans, and disdaining to speak their language, was yet very fond of the
French Canadians, that he talked French and that he had been converted to
Christianity by a French Jesuit, named Father De Smet. It is uncertain how
much truth there is in the statement, but there is probably some foundation
for it. Certain it is, the French Jesuits have always been noted for their
wonderful success in gaining the affections of the Indians, as well as for
the transitory nature of their conversions. It is quite possible that
Father De Smet may not only have baptized Sitting Bull some time, but
induced him and his braves to attend mass, as performed by himself in the
wilderness. There was never any real evidence of a change of heart, and the
benefits of the conversion were only skin deep, as far as preventing
cruelty in war was concerned.

It can not be denied that Sitting Bull was an Indian of unusual powers of
mind, and a warrior whose talent amounted to genius. He must have been a
general of the highest order, to have set the United States at defiance, as
he did, for ten long years. That he was able to do this so long was owing
to his skilful use of two advantages: a central position surrounded by
"bad-lands," and the quarter circle of agencies from which he and his band
drew supplies as wards of the Government, and allies, every campaign. These
so-called "bad-lands" are large sections of clay soil, baked into chasms,
four or five feet wide and perhaps twenty feet deep, by the long and
intense droughts of that climate. This rough country, impassable for
wagons, surrounded the hostiles at the time of which we write.

In the face of these advantages and of Sitting Bull's talents as a warrior,
the Government decided to pacify them by giving the Indians all they asked,
in the treaty of 1868.

Thus matters stood from 1868 to 1875, when Sitting Bull, accompanied by Red
Cloud and Spotted Tail, visited the national capital. The three
distinguished Sioux chiefs attracted marked attention, and were feasted and
entertained by some of the leading men of the nation. General Grant was
then President and the Great Father granted an audience with the three
chiefs. The President and his advisers tried to induce the Sioux leaders
to sign a new treaty, because--well gold had been discovered in the Black
Hills, most of which by treaty belonged to the Sioux, but the three chiefs
stubbornly refused to sign any treaty whatever, even at the request of the
Great Father.

"Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war." She also has her
defeats, and this was one of them. Finding nothing could be accomplished
in the way of a new treaty, or peaceable settlement of the vexatious
question, it was determined in 1876 to try one more campaign against
Sitting Bull and his hostiles.

When gold was discovered in the Black Hills, there was the usual rush of
miners and turbulent frontier population. Notwithstanding the fact that our
authorities warned the emigrants to keep away, thousands of desperate men
were soon engaged in the scramble for the precious metal. By way of
retaliation, the Sioux left their reservation and began burning houses,
stealing horses and killing settlers in Montana and Wyoming. A strong force
of regulars under Generals Crook and Terry marched against them in the
mountainous country of the Upper Yellowstone, and several thousand warriors
under Sitting Bull were driven back toward the Big Horn mountains and

Gen. George A. Custer and Major Reno were sent forward with the Seventh
Cavalry to locate the hostiles. Custer started on June 22d, and early in
the morning of the 25th, 1876, discovered the camp of Sitting Bull. The
village extended three and a half miles up the Little Big Horn and is
estimated to have contained at least five thousand people.

Any one else but Custer would have waited for reinforcements, or retired
without risking a battle with such tremendous odds against him, but this
was not Custer's way.

It is quite probable he did not realize what a fearful hornet's nest he was
about to stir up. Certain it is, Custer, as had always been his custom,
divided his command into three parts--one division under Major Reno, one
under Captain Benteen, the third commanded by himself. Reno was ordered to
charge the lower end of the village, Benteen to charge the center on the
opposite side, and he intended to strike the enemy on the upper end of the

The particulars of what followed can never be known, since Custer and every
one of his immediate command were killed. As in the case of the fall of the
Alamo, in 1836, none of the soldiers survived to tell the story.

There were, however, two survivors who were not soldiers in the strictest
sense of the term. They were Curley, the Crow scout, who escaped by letting
down his hair and donning a blanket, and thus disguising himself as a
Sioux. He claims to have found an unguarded pass through which he escaped
and to have informed General Custer of it. He even urged Custer to mount
his fleet horse and ride for his life. But that gallant hero preferred to
die by his men, rather than attempt to escape in this selfish manner.

The other survivor was Comanche, the famous horse of Captain Keogh, a
relative of General Custer. He was found about a day's journey from the
battlefield, and as he had seven bad wounds, and was very weak from loss of
blood, the soldiers never expected to get him back to camp, but by
constructing a strong litter of poles and army blankets this was
accomplished. With the best of treatment the equine hero fully recovered,
and was given an honorable discharge. Special provision was made for the
care and support of Comanche at Fort Riley. Once in a while, when the
cavalry troops were on inspection, Comanche was led out, saddled and
bridled, but no one ever sat in his saddle after the battle of the Little
Big Horn.

Custer's command used the dead bodies of their horses killed by the Indians
for a barricade. As the soldiers began the attack with a charge, every
horse had been saddled. When, however, Comanche was found he was stripped
of his saddle, bridle and accoutrements. It is therefore supposed that the
Indians stripped and left him, believing he could not recover.

He is known to be the sole survivor of the cavalry horses, as the body of
every other horse was found among the heaps of slain.

Comanche was one of the original mounts of the Seventh Cavalry, which was
organized in 1866, and had been in almost every battle with the Indian
service of that thrilling period. He was now taken in charge by Captain
Rowlan and sent to Fort Riley, where for fourteen years he roamed the
pasture at will, and was the pet of the Seventh Cavalry. He received the
kindest of treatment until he died of old age, November 6, 1891. At the
time of his death it was estimated that he was forty-five years old. This
is the more remarkable when it is remembered that few horses reach the age
of thirty-five years.

Comanche's skin was stuffed and mounted and placed in the museum of the
Kansas State University. It was afterward on exhibition at the Columbian
Exposition in Chicago, where it was seen by the author.

As there were no white survivors of the Custer fight on Little Big Horn,
the historian is compelled to get his information from the Indian leaders.

Sitting Bull, Gall and Rain-in-the-Face, Itiomagaju, have each been induced
to give their versions of it. We have not thought it best to quote Sitting
Bull's statement. He was absent at the time of the battle "making
medicine," took no active part in it, and we consider the whole story as
either drawn on his imagination, or that of the reporter who interviewed
him. We quote the account of Rain-in-the-Face, because he at least was
present at the battle, and is the accredited slayer of Capt. Tom Custer.

It seems that Rain-in-the-Face had waylaid and murdered Dr. Houzinger, a
veterinary surgeon, and Mr. Baliran, a sutler, who were stragglers in the
rear, at the time of the Yellowstone expedition under General Stanley. Not
long after this Rain-in-the-Face, with other young Sioux, took part in the
Sun Dance, a ceremonial performance of great torture in which the aspirants
give final proof of endurance and courage which entitles them to the _toga
virilis_ of a full-fledged, warrior. One feature of it was the suspension
in air of the candidate by a rawhide rope passed through slits cut in the
breast, or elsewhere, until the flesh tears and he falls to the ground. If
he faints, falters or fails, or even gives way momentarily to his anguish
during the period of suspension, he is called and treated as a squaw for
the rest of his miserable life.

Edward Esmond says, "Rain-in-the-Face was lucky when he was so tied up; the
tendons gave way easily, and he was released after so short a suspension
that it was felt he had not fairly won his spurs. Sitting Bull, the chief
medicine man, decided that the test was unsatisfactory. Rain-in-the-Face
thereupon defied Sitting Bull to do his worst, declaring there was no test
could wring a murmur of pain from his lips.

"Sitting Bull was equal to the occasion. He cut deep slits in the back over
the kidneys, the hollows remaining were big enough almost to take in a
closed fist years after, and passed the rawhide rope through them. For two
days the young Indian hung suspended, taunting his torturers, jeering at
them, defying them to do their worst, while singing his war songs and
boasting of his deeds. The tough flesh, muscles and tendons would not tear
loose although he kicked and struggled violently to get free. Finally,
Sitting Bull, satisfied that Rain-in-the-Face's courage and endurance were
above proof, ordered buffalo skulls to be tied to his legs, and the added
weight, with some more vigorous kicking, enabled the Indian Stoic to break
free. It was one of the most wonderful exhibitions of stoicism, endurance
and courage ever witnessed among the Sioux, where these qualities were not

Rain-in-the-Face had passed the test. No one thereafter questioned his
courage. He was an approved warrior, indeed. It was while suspended thus
that he boasted of the murder of Dr. Houzinger and Mr. Baliran, and was
overheard by Charley Reynolds, the scout, who told Custer and the regiment.
Rain-in-the-Face was arrested at Standing Rock Agency by a squad of
soldiers under the command of Capt. Tom Custer, whom the Indians called
Little Hair, to distinguish him from his brother, the general, whom they
called Long Hair. He was put in the guard-house and condemned to execution,
but, with the aid of white prisoners, made his escape. Before doing so,
however, he told Tom Custer, in the event of his escape, he would cut his
heart out and eat it.

{Illustration: Sitting Bull's two wives and daughters.}

From now on we will let the noted warrior tell his own story as found in
_Outdoor Life,_ of March, 1903:

"I rejoined Sitting Bull and Gall. They were afraid to come and get me
there. I sent Little Hair a picture, on a piece of buffalo skin, of a
bloody-heart. He knew I didn't forget my vow. The next time I saw Little
Hair, ugh! I got his heart. I have said all."

And, Indian-like, he stopped. But we wanted to hear how he took Tom
Custer's heart. McFadden, who is quite an artist as well as an actor of
note, had made an imaginary sketch of "Custer's Last Charge." He got it and
handed it to Rain, saying: "Does that look anything like the fight?" Rain
studied it for a long time, and then burst out laughing.

"No," he said, "this picture is a lie. Those long swords, have swords--they
never fought us with swords, but with guns and revolvers. These men are on
ponies--they fought us on foot, and every fourth man held the others'
horses. That's always their way of fighting. We tie ourselves onto our
ponies and fight in a circle. These people are not dressed as we dress in a
fight. They look like agency Indians--we strip naked and have ourselves
and our ponies painted. This picture gives us bows and arrows. We were
better armed than the long swords. Their guns wouldn't shoot but once--the
thing would not throw out the empty cartridge shells. (In this he was
historically correct, as dozens of guns were picked up on the battlefield
by General Gibbon's command, two days after, with the shells still sticking
in them, showing that the ejector wouldn't work.) When we found they could
not shoot we saved our bullets by knocking the long swords over with our
war-clubs--it was just like killing sheep. Some of them got on their knees
and begged; we spared none--ugh! This picture is like all the white man's
pictures of Indians, a lie. I will show you how it looked."

Then turning it over he pulled out a stump of a lead pencil from his pouch
and drew a large shape of a letter S turned sidewise. "Here," said he, "is
the Little Big Horn River; we had our-lodges along the banks in the shape
of a bent bow."

"How many lodges did you have?" asked Harry.

"Oh,  many, many times ten. We were like blades of grass." [It is estimated
that there were between four and six thousand Indians, hence there must
have been at least a thousand lodges.]

"Sitting Bull had made big medicine way off on a hill. He came in with it;
he had it in a bag on a coup-stick. He made a big speech and said that
Waukontonka (the Great Spirit) had come to him riding on an eagle.
Waukontonka had told him that the long swords were coming, but the Indians
would wipe them off the face of the earth. His speech made our hearts glad.
Next day our runners came in and told us the long swords were coming.
Sitting Bull had the squaws put up empty death lodges along the bend of the
river to fool the Ree scouts when they came up and looked down over the
bluffs. The brush and bend hid our lodges. Then Sitting Bull went away to
make more medicine and didn't come back till the fight was over.

"Gall was head chief. Crazy Horse led the Cheyennes; Goose, the Bannocks.
I was not a head chief--my brother, Iron Horn was--but I had a band of the
worst Uncpapas; all of them had killed more enemies than they had fingers
and toes. When the long swords came we knew their ponies were tired out. We
knew they were fooled by the death lodges. They thought we were but a

"We knew they made a mistake when they separated. Gall took most of the
Indians up the river to come in between them and cut them off. We saw the
Ree scouts had stayed back with Long Yellow Hair, and we were glad. We saw
them trotting along, and let them come in over the bluffs. Some of our
young men went up the gully which they had crossed and cut them off from

"Then we showed our line in front, and the long swords charged. They reeled
under our fire and started to fall back. Our young men behind them opened
fire. Then we saw some officers talking and pointing. Don't know who they
were, for they all looked alike. I didn't see Long Hair then or afterward.
We heard the Rees singing their death song--they knew we had them. All
dismounted and every fourth man held the others' ponies. Then we closed all
around them. We rushed like a wave does at the sand out there (this
interview occurred at Coney Island) and shot the pony holders and stampeded
the ponies by waving our blankets in their faces. Our squaws caught them,
for they were tired out.

"I had sung the war-song--I had smelt the powder smoke--my heart was
bad--I was like one that had no mind. I rushed in and took their flag; my
pony fell dead as I took it. I cut the thong that bound me. I jumped up
and brained the long-sword flagman with my war-club and ran back to our
line with the flag.

"The long sword's blood and brains splashed in my face. It felt hot and
blood ran in my mouth. I could taste it. I was mad. I got a fresh pony and
rushed back, shooting, cutting and slashing. This pony was shot and I got

"This time I saw Little Hair. I remembered my vow. I was crazy. I feared
nothing. I knew nothing would hurt me, for I had my white-weasel-tail-charm
on. {FN} [He was wearing the charm at the time he told this.] I don't know
how many I killed trying to get at him. He knew me. I laughed at him and
yelled at him. I saw his mouth move, but there was so much noise I couldn't
hear his voice. He was afraid. When I got near enough I shot him with my
revolver. My gun was gone, I don't know where. I leaped from my pony and
cut out his heart and bit a piece out of it and spit it in his face. I got
back on my pony and rode off shaking it. I was satisfied and sick of
fighting; I didn't scalp him."

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Notwithstanding his white-weasel-tail charm Rain-in-the-Face was
 wounded in this battle. A bullet pierced his right leg just above the
 knee. With a razor the wounded man attempted some surgery. First he cut
 deeply into the front of his leg, but failed to reach the bullet. Then he
 reached around to the back of his leg and cut into the flesh from that
 quarter. He got the bullet, also several tendons, and narrowly missed
 cutting the artery and bleeding to death. He was lame and had to walk on
 crutches all his life thereafter. [Statement of Mr. Esmond.]

"I didn't go back on the field after that. The squaws came up afterward and
killed the wounded, cut their bootlegs off for moccasin soles and took
their money, watches and rings. They cut their fingers off to get them
quicker. They hunted for Long Yellow Hair to scalp him, but could not find
him. He didn't wear his fort clothes (uniform), his hair had been cut off,
and the Indians didn't know him. [This corroborates what Mrs. Custer says
about her husband having his long yellow curls cut at St. Paul some weeks
before he was killed.]

"That night we had a big feast and the scalp dance. Then Sitting Bull came
up and made another speech. He said, 'I told you how it would be. I made
great medicine. My medicine warmed your hearts and made you brave.'

"He talked a long time. All the Indians gave him the credit of winning the
fight because his medicine won it. But he wasn't in the fight. Gall got mad
at Sitting Bull that night. Gall said: 'We did the fighting, you only made
medicine. It would have been the same anyway.' Their hearts were bad
towards each other after that always.

"After that fight we could have killed all the others on the hill (Reno's
command) but for the quarrel between Gall and Sitting Bull. Both wanted to
be head chief. Some of the Indians said Gall was right and went with him.
Some said Sitting Bull was. I didn't care, I was my own chief and had my
bad young men; we would not obey either of them unless we wanted to, and
they feared us.

"I was sick of fighting--I had had enough. I wanted to dance. We heard more
long swords were coming with wheel guns (artillery, Gatlings). We moved
camp north. They followed many days till we crossed the line into Canada.
I stayed over there till Sitting Bull came back, and I came back with him.
That is all there is to tell. I never told it to white men before."

When he had finished, I said to him: "Rain, if you didn't kill Long Yellow
Hair, who did?" "_I don't know. No one knows._ It was like running in the
dark." "Well," asked Mae, "Why was it Long Yellow Hair wasn't scalped,
when every one else was? Did you consider him too brave to be scalped?"

"No one is too brave to be scalped; that wouldn't make any difference. The
squaws wondered afterward why they couldn't find him. He must have lain
under some other dead bodies. I didn't know, till I heard it long afterward
from the whites, that he wasn't scalped."

Rain-in-the-Face was about sixty-two years of age at the time of his death,
which occurred at Standing Rock Agency, North Dakota, September 12, 1905,
and was the last chief to survive and tell the tale of the Custer fight,
Gall and Sitting Bull have both gone to hunt the white buffalo long since.
Rain could write his name in English. He was taught to do it at the World's
Fair in order to sell Longfellow's poem entitled, "The Revenge of
Rain-in-the-Face." He didn't know the significance of it after he had
written it. His knowledge of English was confined to about thirty words,
but he could not say them so any one could understand him, though he could
understand almost anything that was said in English. The author recalls
seeing him at the World's Fair while hunting Indian data. He looked then
very much like his picture and walked with crutches.

Like many other Indians, his gratitude was for favors to come and not for
favors already shown. You could depend upon any promise he made, but it
took a world of patience to get him to promise anything. Even at the age of
sixty he was still a Hercules. In form and face he was the most pronounced
type of the ideal Fenimore Cooper dime novel Indian in America.

Upon the arrival of news of the Custer fight at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,
General Miles and the Fifth Infantry were ordered to proceed to the scene
of hostilities and form part of the large command already there. The order
was at once obeyed.

On October 18 Lieut.-Col. E. S. Otis, commanding a battalion of four
companies of the Twenty-third Infantry, was escorting a wagon train of
supplies from Glendive, Montana, to the cantonment, when he was attacked by
a large force of Indians. The soldiers had a hard fight to keep the animals
from being stampeded, and the train from capture. They finally beat off the
Indians, and during a temporary cessation of hostilities, a messenger rode
out from the Indian lines, waving a paper, which was left on a hill in
sight. When it was picked up Colonel Otis found it to be an imperious
message, probably written by some half-breed, but dictated by the subject
of this sketch. It ran as follows:


"I want to know what you are doing traveling on this road. You scare all
the buffalo away. I want to hunt in this place. I want you to turn back
from here. If you don't I will fight you again. I want you to leave what
you have got here and turn back from here.

                           "I am your friend.
                                          Sitting Bull."

"I  mean all the rations you have got and some powder. Wish you would write
as soon as you can."

This document was certainly unique in Indian warfare, as it illustrates
both the spirit and naivete of the noted chief.

Colonel Otis dispatched a scout to Sitting Bull with the information that
he intended to take his wagon train through to headquarters in spite of all
the Indians on earth, and if Sitting Bull wanted to have a fight, he (Otis)
would be glad to accommodate him at any time and on any terms. The train
soon started and the Indians as promptly resumed the attack. But the
engagement was soon terminated by a flag of truce. A messenger from the
Indians stated that they were tired and hungry and wanted to treat for

Otis invited Sitting Bull to come into his lines, but that wily chief
refused, although he sent three chiefs to represent him. Otis had no
authority to treat for peace, but he gave the Indians a small quantity of
hard bread and two sides of bacon. He also advised them to go to Tongue
River and communicate with his superior officer, General Miles. The train
now moved on, and after following a short distance with threatening
movements the Indians withdrew.

The same night Otis met General Miles with his entire force, who sent the
train on to the cantonment, and started after Sitting Bull. Miles's little
army at this time numbered three hundred and ninety-eight men, with one
Gatling gun. With Sitting Bull were Gall and other noted chiefs, and one
thousand warriors of the Miniconjous, San Ares, Brules and Uncpapas,
together with their women and children, in all over three thousand Indians.
Miles overtook Sitting Bull on October 21, at Cedar Creek, when that chief
asked for an interview, which was arranged. Sitting Bull was attended by
a sub-chief and six warriors, Miles by an aide and six troopers. The
meeting took place at a halfway point between the two lines, all parties
being mounted.

In his "Indian Fights and Fighters," Cyrus Townsend Brady says of this
interview: "Sitting Bull wanted peace on the old basis. The Indians
demanded permission to retain their arms, with liberty to hunt and roam at
will over the plains and through the mountains, with no responsibility to
any one, while the Government required them to surrender their arms and
come into the agencies. The demands were irreconcilable, therefore. The
interview was an interesting one, and though it began calmly enough, it
grew exciting toward the end.

"Sitting Bull, whom Miles describes as a fine, powerful, intelligent,
determined looking man, was evidently full of bitter and persistent
animosity toward the white race. He said, 'No Indian that ever lived loved
the white man, and no white man that ever lived loved the Indian; that God
Almighty had made him an Indian, but He didn't make him an agency Indian,
and he didn't intend to be one.' The manner of the famous chief had been
cold, but dignified and courteous. As the conversation progressed, he
became angry--so enraged, in fact, that in Miles's words, 'he finally gave
an exhibition of wild frenzy. His whole manner seemed more like that of a
wild beast than a human being. His face assumed a furious expression. His
jaws were lightly closed, his lips were compressed and you could see his
eyes glisten with the fire of savage hatred.'

"One can not help admiring the picture presented by the splendid, though
ferocious, savage. I have no doubt General Miles himself admired him.

"At the height of the conference, a young warrior stole out from the Indian
lines and slipped a carbine under Sitting Bull's blanket. He was followed
by several other Indians, to the number of a dozen, who joined the band,
evidently meditating treachery. Miles, who with his aide, was armed with
revolvers only, promptly required these new auxiliaries to retire, else the
conference would be terminated immediately. His demand was reluctantly
obeyed. After some further talk a second meeting was appointed for the
morrow, and the conference broke up.

"During the night Miles moved his command in position to be able to
intercept the movement of the Indians the next day. There was another
interview with the picturesque and imperious savage, whose conditions of
peace were found to be absolutely impossible, since they involved the
abandonment of all military posts, the withdrawal of all settlers,
garrisons, etc., from the country. He wanted everything and would give
nothing. He spoke like a conqueror, and looked like one, although his
subsequent actions were not in keeping with the part. Miles, seeing the
futility of further discussion, peremptorily broke up the conference. He
told Sitting Bull that he would take no advantage of the flag of truce, but
that he would give him just fifteen minutes to get back to his people to
prepare for fighting. Shouting defiance, the chiefs rode back to the Indian

"There was 'mounting in hot haste' and hurried preparations made for
immediate battle on both sides. Watch in hand, Miles checked off the
minutes, and exactly at the time appointed he ordered an advance. The
Indians set fire to the dry grass, which was not yet covered with snow, and
the battle was joined amid clouds of flame and smoke. Although outnumbered
nearly three to one, the attack of the soldiers was pressed home so
relentlessly that the Indians were driven back from their camp, which fell
into the possession of Miles.

"The Sioux were not beaten, however, for the discomfited warriors rallied a
force to protect their flying women and children, under the leadership of
Gall and others. Sitting Bull not being as much of a fighter as a talker.
They were led to the fight again and again by their intrepid chiefs. On one
occasion, so impetuous was their gallantry that the troops were forced to
form a square to repel their wild charges.  Before the battle was over--and
it continued into the next day--the Indians had been driven headlong for
over forty miles."

{Illustration: Chief Gall, War Chief of the Sioux.}

"They had suffered a serious loss in warriors, but a greater in the
destruction of their camp equipage and winter supplies and other property.
Two thousand of them came in on the third day and surrendered under
promises of good treatment. Several hundred broke into small parties and
scattered. Miles's little force was too small to be divided to form a guard
for the Indians; he had other things to do, so he detained a number of the
principal chiefs as hostages, and exacted promises from the rest that they
would surrender at the Spotted Tail or Red Cloud Agency--a promise which,
by the way, the great majority of them kept. Sitting Bull, Gall and about
four hundred others refused to surrender, and made for the boundary line,
escaping pursuit for the time being."

Here they were joined by the brothers Iron Horn and Rain-in-the-Face, each
leading a band.

Sitting Bull now determined to make his home in British America, and seemed
to be on friendly terms with his cousin John of the same surname. His
following was augmented by discontented Indians from the reservations, who
were continually crossing the boundary to join the famous chief. Canada
thus became the sanctuary of refuge for the Indian, as it had formerly been
for the Negro slave, but the two races were impelled by entirely different
motives. That of the Negro was to escape cruel servitude, often with the
accompaniment of the overseer's lash or the bloodhound's fangs; while the
incentive of the Indian in fleeing from our reservations was the hope of
escaping _impending starvation._ One of the military commanders, in his
official report, says, "The hostile body was largely reenforced by
accessions from the various agencies, where the malcontents were, doubtless
in many cases, driven to desperation by starvation and the heartless frauds
perpetrated on them"; and that the Interior Department is obliged to
confess that, "Such desertions were largely due to the uneasiness which the
Indians had long felt on account of the infraction of treaty stipulations
by the white invasion of the Black Hills, seriously aggravated at the most
critical period by irregular and insufficient issues of rations
necessitated by inadequate and delayed appropriations."

Indeed, it seemed in those dark days the "apparent purpose of the
Government to abandon them (the reservation Indians) to starvation."

As if to add insult to injury, about this time a commission consisting of
Brig.-Gen. A. H. Terry, Hon. A. G. Lawrence and Colonel (now General)
Corbin, secretary, was sent to Canada to treat with Sitting Bull, and the
malcontents then at Fort  Walsh. General Terry recapitulated to them the
advantages of being at peace with the United States, the kindly (?)
treatment that all surrendered prisoners had received, and said: "The
President invites you to come to the boundary of his and your country, and
there give up your arms and ammunition, and thence go to the agencies to
which he will assign you, and there give up your horses, excepting those
which are required for peace purposes. Your arms and horses will then be
sold, and with all the money obtained for them cows will be bought and sent
to you."

The reference to the kindly treatment received by the surrendered prisoners
would have been amusing if it had not been pitiful. At that moment there
were Indians in the council who had left our reservations solely to escape
starvation, and the Indian chiefs knew all about this.

The Indians must have been totally without sense of humor if they could
have listened to the commissioners without laughing. Sitting Bull's reply,
which we can only quote in part, is worthy of being put on record among the
notable protests of Indian chiefs against the oppressions of their race.
Said he "For sixty-four years you have kept me and my people and treated us
bad. What have we done that you should want us to stop? We have done
nothing. It is all the people on your side that have started us to do all
these depredations. We could not go anywhere else and we took refuge in
this country. . . . I would like to know why you came here? In the first
place I did not give you the country; but you followed me from one place to
another, so I had to leave and come over to this country. . . . You have
got ears to hear, and eyes to see, and you see how I live with these
people. You see me. Here I am. If you think I am a fool, you are a bigger
fool than I am. This house is a medicine-house. You come here to tell us
lies, but we don't want to hear them. I don't wish any such language used
to me that is to tell me lies in my Great Mother's (Queen  Victoria's)
house. This country is mine, and I intend to stay here and to raise this
country full of grown people. See these people here. We were raised with
them [shaking hands with the British officers]. That is enough, so no more.
. . . The part of the country you gave me you ran me out of. . . . I wish
you to go back and take it easy going back."

After several others had spoken, and the Indians seemed about to leave the
room, the interpreter was directed to ask the following questions: "Shall
I say to the President that you refuse the offers that he has made to you?
Are we to understand that you refuse those offers?" Sitting Bull answered:
"I could tell you more, but that is all I have to tell. If we told you
more, you would not pay any attention to it. This part of the country does
not belong to your people. You belong to the other side, this side belongs
to us."

Thus the conference closed. The Indians positively refused to give up all
their weapons, to exchange their horses for cows and the priceless
privilege of being shut up upon reservations, off which they could not go
without being pursued, arrested and brought back by troops.

Sitting Bull did not believe the cows would materialize if his people gave
up their horses. He had long since lost faith in the Government which, as
he expressed it, "had made fifty-two treaties with the Sioux and kept none
of them."

It was also in this connection that the great Indian leader made his famous
reply: "Tell them at Washington if they have one man who speaks the truth
to send him to me, and I will listen to what he has to say."

The country originally owned and occupied by the Sioux extended many miles
beyond the Canadian boundary line. Hence they had claims to territory in
both countries, but their lot at this period was indeed sad. Those bands on
our side were for the most part confined to reservations where, by reason
of crop failure and the other causes already given, they were threatened
with starvation.

Those malcontent Indians under Sitting Bull, on the Canadian side, enjoyed
liberty, but they had little else. The Canadian Government would give them
protection but no supplies. And now the buffalo, on which they depended
mainly for subsistence, was being gradually exterminated or driven off.

Besides the commission appointed by the Government at least two
enterprising Chicago papers sent reporters all the way to Canada to
interview the Indian sphinx of the Northwest. These interviews took place
at Fort Walsh, in the presence of Major Walsh, who seems to have been a
prime favorite with Sitting Bull and all his followers. In the first one,
it is stated:

"At the appointed time, half-past eight, the lamps were lighted and the
most mysterious Indian chieftain who ever flourished in North America was
ushered in. There he stood, his blanket rolled back, his head upreared, his
right moccasin put forward, his right hand thrown across his chest. I
arose and approached him, holding out both hands. He grasped them
cordially. 'How!' said he, 'How!' At this time he was clad in a black and
white calico shirt, black cloth leggins and moccasins, magnificently
embroidered with beads and porcupine quills. He held in his left hand a
foxskin cap, its brush drooping to his feet; with the dignity and grace of
a natural gentleman he had removed it from his head at the threshold. His
eyes gleamed like black diamonds. His visage, devoid of paint, was noble
and commanding; nay, it was something more. Besides the Indian character
given to it by high cheek-bones, a broad, retreating forehead, a prominent,
aquiline nose and a jaw like a bull-dog's, there was about the mouth
something of beauty, but more an expression of exquisite irony. Such a
mouth and such eyes as this Indian's, if seen in the countenance of a white
man would appear to denote qualities similar to those which animated the
career of Mazarin. Yet there was something wondrously sweet in his smile as
he extended to me his hands.

"Such hands! They felt as small and soft as a maiden's, but when I pressed
them I could feel the sinews beneath the flesh quivering hard like a wild
animal's. I led him to a seat, a lounge set against the wall, on which he
sat with indolent grace. Major Walsh, brilliant in red uniform, sat beside
him, and a portable table was brought near. Two interpreters brought chairs
and seated themselves, and at a neighboring desk the stenographer took his
place. I afterward learned that two Sioux chiefs stood on guard outside the
door, and that all the Indians in the fort had their arms ready to spring
in case of a suspected treachery. On the previous night two of the Indians
had been taken suddenly ill, and their sickness had been ascribed by some
warriors to poison. So restless and anxious were all the savages that
nothing but the influence and tact of Major Walsh could have procured for
me and for your readers the following valuable, indeed, historical,
colloquy with this justly famous Indian.

"I turned to the interpreter and said, 'Explain again to Sitting Bull that
he is with a friend.' The interpreter explained. 'Banee!' said the chief,
holding out his hand again and pressing mine.

"Major Walsh here said: 'Sitting Bull is in the best mood now that you
could possibly wish. Proceed with your questions and make them as logical
as you can. I will assist you and trip you up occasionally if you are
likely to irritate him.'

"Then the dialogue went on. I give it literally:"

"'You are a great chief,' said I to Sitting Bull, 'but you live behind a
cloud. Your face is dark, my people do not see it. Tell me, do you hate the
Americans very much?"

"A gleam as of fire shot across his face.

"'I am no chief.'

"This was precisely what I expected. It will dissipate at once the
erroneous idea which has prevailed that Sitting Bull is either a chief or
a warrior.

"'What are you?'

"'I am.' said he, crossing both hands upon his chest, slightly nodding, and
smiling satirically, 'a man.'

"'What does he mean?' I inquired, turning to Major Walsh. 'He means,'
responded the major, 'to keep you in ignorance of his secret if he can. His
position among his bands is anomalous. His own tribe, the Uncpapas, are not
all in fealty to him. Parts of nearly twenty different tribes of Sioux,
besides a remnant of the Uncpapas, abide with him. So far as I have
learned, he rules over these fragments of tribes, which compose his camp of
twenty-five hundred, including between eight hundred and nine hundred
warriors, by sheer compelling force of intellect and will. I believe that
he understands nothing particularly of war or military tactics, at least
not enough to give him the skill or the right to command warriors in
battle. He is supposed to have guided the fortunes of several battles,
including the fight in which Custer fell. That supposition, as you will
presently find, is partially erroneous. His word was always potent in the
camp or in the field, but he has usually left to the war-chiefs the duties
appertaining to engagements. When the crisis came he gave his opinion,
which was accepted as law.'

"'What was he then?' I inquired, continuing this momentary dialogue with
Major Walsh. 'Was he, is he, a mere medicine man?'

"'Don't for the world,' replied the major, 'intimate to him, in the
questions you are about to ask him, that you have derived the idea from me,
or from any one, that he is a mere medicine man. He would deem that a
profound insult. In point of fact he is a medicine man, but a far greater,
more influential medicine man than any savage I have ever known. He has
constituted himself a ruler. He is a unique power among the Indians. To the
warriors, his people, he speaks with the authority of a Robert Peel, to
their chiefs with that of a Richelieu. This does not really express the
extent of his influence, for behind Peel and Richelieu there were traitors
and in front of them were factions. Sitting Bull has no traitors in his
camp; there are none to be jealous of him. He does not assert himself over
strongly. He does not interfere with the rights or duties of others. His
power consists in the universal confidence which is given to his judgment,
which he seldom denotes until he is asked for an expression of it. It has
been, so far, so accurate, it has guided his people so well, he has been
caught in so few mistakes and he has saved even his ablest and oldest
chiefs from so many evil consequences of their own misjudgment, that to-day
his word among them all is worth more than the united voices of the rest of
the camp. He speaks; they listen and they obey. Now let us hear what his
explanation will be?

"'You say you are no chief?' 'No!' with considerable hauteur.

"'Are you a head soldier?' 'I am nothing--neither a chief nor a soldier.'
'What, nothing?' 'Nothing.'

"'What, then, makes the warriors of your camp, the great chiefs who are
here along with you, look up to you so?  Why do they think so much of you?'
Sitting Bull's lips curled with a proud smile. 'Oh, I used to be a kind of
a chief; but the Americans made me go away from my father's hunting

"'You do not love the Americans?' You should have seen this savage's lips.
'I saw to-day that all the warriors around you clapped their hands and
cried out when you spoke. What you said appeared to please them. They liked
you. They seemed to think that what you said was right for them to say. If
you are not a great chief, why do these men think so much of you?'

"At this, Sitting Bull, who had in the meantime been leaning back against
the wall, assumed a posture of mingled toleration and disdain.

"'Your people lookup to men because they are rich; because they have much
land, many lodges, many squaws.' 'Yes.'

"'Well, I suppose my people look up to me because I am poor. That is the
difference.' In this answer was concentrated all the evasiveness natural to
an Indian.

"'What is your feeling toward the Americans now?' He did not even deign an
answer. He touched his hip, where his knife was.

"I asked the interpreter to insist on an answer.

"'Listen,' said Sitting Bull, not changing his posture, but putting his
right hand out upon my knee. I told them to-day what my notions were--that
I did not want to go back there. Every time that I had any difficulty with
them they struck me first. I want to live in peace.'

"'Have you an implacable enmity to the Americans? Would you live with them
in peace if they allowed you to do so or do you think you can only obtain
peace here?' 'The White Mother is good.'

"'Better than the Great Father?' 'Hough!' And then, after a pause, Sitting
Bull continued: 'They [the Commissioners] asked me to-day to give them my
horses. I bought my horses and they are mine. I bought them from men who
came up the Missouri in Mackinaws. They do not belong to the Government,
neither do the rifles. The rifles are also mine. I bought them I paid for
them. Why I should give them up, I do not know. I will not give them up.'

"'Do you really think, do your people believe that it is wise to reject the
proffers that have been made to you by the United States Commissioners? Do
not some of you feel as if you were destined to lose your old hunting
grounds? Don't you see that you will probably have the same difficulty in
Canada that you have had in the United States?' 'The White Mother does not

"'Do you expect to live here by hunting? Are there buffaloes enough? Can
your people subsist on the game here?' 'I don't know. I hope so.'

"'If not, are any part of your people disposed to take up agriculture?
Would any of them raise steers and go to farming? 'I don't know.'

"'What will they do, then?' 'As long as there are buffaloes that is the way
we will live.'

"'But the time will come when there will be no more buffaloes.' 'Those are
the words of an American.'

"'How long do you think the buffaloes will last?' Sitting Bull arose. 'We
know,' said he, extending his right hand with an impressive gesture, 'that
on the other side the buffaloes will not last very long. Why? Because the
country over there is poisoned with blood--a poison that kills all the
buffaloes or drives them away. It is strange,' he continued, with his
peculiar smile, 'that the Americans should complain that the Indians kill
buffaloes. We kill buffaloes, as we kill other animals, for food and
clothing, and to make our lodges warm. They kill buffaloes for what? Go
through your country. See the thousands of carcasses rotting on the plains.
Your young men shoot for pleasure. All they take from a dead buffalo is his
tail or his head, or his horns, perhaps, to show they have killed a
buffalo. What is this? Is it robbery? You call us savages. What are they?
The buffaloes have come north. We have come north to find them, and to get
away from a place where the people tell lies.'"

{Illustration: Chief One Bull and Family.}

"To gain time, and not to dwell importunately on a single point, I asked
Sitting Bull to tell me something of his early life. In the first place,
where he was born? 'I was born on the Missouri River; at least I recollect
that somebody told me so--I don't know who told me or where I was told of

"'Of what tribe are you?' 'I am an Uncpapa.'

"'Of the Sioux?' 'Yes; of the great Sioux nation.'

"'Who was your father?' 'My father is dead.'

"'Is your mother living?' 'My mother lives with me in my lodge.'

"'Great lies are told about you. White men say that you lived among them
when you were young; that you went to school; that you learned to write and
read from books; that you speak English; that you know how to talk French?'
'It is a lie.'

"'You are an Indian?' (Proudly) 'I am a Sioux.'

"Then suddenly relaxing from his hauteur. Sitting Bull began to laugh. 'I
have heard,' he said, 'of some of these stories. They are all strange lies.
What I am I am,' and here he leaned back and resumed his attitude and
expression of barbaric grandeur. 'I am a man. I see, I know; I began to see
when I was not yet born--when I was not in my mother's arms. It was then I
began to study about my people. I studied about many things. I studied
about the smallpox, that was killing my people--the great sickness that was
killing the women and children. I was so interested that I turned over on
my side. The Great Spirit must have told me at that time (and here he
unconsciously revealed his secret), that I would be the man to be the judge
of all the other Indians--a big  man, to decide for them in all their

"'And you have since decided for them?' 'I speak. It is enough.'

"'Could not your people, whom you love so well, get on with the Americans?'

"'Why?' 'I never taught my people to trust Americans. I have told them the
truth--that the Americans are great liars. I never dealt with the
Americans. Why should I? The land belonged to my people. I say I never
dealt with them--I mean I never treated with them in a way to surrender my
people's rights. I traded with them, but I always gave full value for what
I got. I never asked the United States Government to make me presents of
blankets or cloth, or anything of that kind. The most I did was to ask them
to send me an honest trader that I could trade with, and I proposed to give
him buffalo robes and elk skins, and other hides in exchange for what we
wanted. I told every trader who came to our camps that I did not want any
favors from him--that I wanted to trade with him fairly and equally, giving
him full value for what I got, but the traders wanted me to trade with them
on no such terms. They wanted to give little and get much. They told me if
I did not accept what they gave me in trade they would get the Government
to fight me. I told them I did not want to fight.'

"'But you fought?' 'At last, yes; but not until I had tried hard to prevent
a fight. At first my young men, when they began to talk bad, stole five
American horses. I did not like this and was afraid something bad would
come of it. I took the horses away from them and gave them back to the
Americans. It did no good. By and by we had to fight.'"

The reporter now drew from the great leader his version of the Little Big
Horn fight, and the death of Custer. But, as neither party to the dialogue
were in the battle, this part of the interview must of necessity be the
work of imagination and will not be quoted. It is impossible for any one to
give an authentic description of a battle fought in his absence.

John F. Finnerty, the war correspondent for the Chicago _Times,_ also
visited Sitting Bull, while he and his band were encamped on Mushroom
Creek, Woody Mountain, in the summer of 1879.

His experience with the "Sphinx" was somewhat different from that of the
other reporter.

The invitation to make this visit also came from Major Walsh, of the
mounted police, who called at General Miles's camp, on Rocky Creek, a few
days previous. We can only quote a few paragraphs bearing directly on the
famous chief:

"So," thought I, "I am going to see the elephant. I have followed Sitting
Bull around long enough, and now I shall behold 'the lion in his den,' in
earnest. Presently the tramping and shouting of the scalp-dance ceased, and
the chiefs, their many colored blankets folded around them, after the
fashion of the ancient toga, came filing down to the council, seating
themselves according to their tribes in a big semicircle.

"Major Walsh had chairs placed for himself and me under the shade of his
garden fence. The chiefs seated themselves on the ground, after the Turkish
fashion. Behind them, rank after rank, were the mounted warriors, and still
further back, the squaws and children. The chiefs were all assembled, and I
inquired which was Sitting Bull. 'He is not among them,' said Major Walsh.
'He will not speak in council where Americans are present, because he
stubbornly declares he will have nothing to do with them. You will see him,
however, before very long.'

"Soon afterward, an Indian mounted on a cream-colored pony, and holding in
his hand an eagle's wing, which did duty for a fan, spurred in back of the
chiefs and stared stolidly for a minute or two at me. His hair, parted in
the ordinary Sioux fashion, was without a plume. His broad face and wide
jaws were destitute of paint, and as he sat there on his horse, regarding
me with a look which seemed blended of curiosity and insolence, I did not
need to be told that he was Sitting Bull.

"'That is old Bull himself,' said the major. 'He will hear everything, but
will say nothing until he feels called upon to agitate something with the

"After a little, the noted savage dismounted, and led his horse partly into
the shade. I noticed he was an inch or two over the medium height, broadly
built, rather bow-legged, I thought, and he limped slightly, as though from
an old wound. He sat upon the ground, and was soon engirdled by a crowd of
young warriors, with whom he was an especial favorite, as representing the
unquenchable hostility of the aboriginal savage to the hated palefaces.

"I amused myself on July 31 by accompanying the major to a bluff
immediately overlooking the Sioux camp, and from which a complete view of
the numbers and surroundings of that great horde of savages could be
obtained. I thought there were, at the lowest calculation, from one
thousand to eleven hundred lodges in that encampment. There must have been
twenty-five hundred fighting men, at the least, in the confederated tribes.
Arms and ammunition were plentiful, but food of any kind was scarce. The
Indians did not seem to trouble themselves about concealing their strength;
on the contrary, they seemed to glory in it, and the young warriors wore an
air of haughty hostility whenever I came near them. Their leaders, however,
treated me respectfully. Sitting Bull only stared at me occasionally, but
was not rude, as was often his habit when brought in contact with people he
supposed to be Americans, whom he hated with inconceivable rancor. He said
to Larrabee, the interpreter: 'That man (meaning me) is from the other
side. I want nothing to do with the Americans. They do not treat me well.
They cheat me when I trade. They have my country now. Let them keep it. I
never seek anybody. Least of all do I seek any Americans."

"This rather nettled me, for I had made not the slightest attempt to speak
to Mr. Bull, and, in fact, did not care much to interview him, as he had
been long ago pumped dry about his hatred of our people, and that was about
his chief stock-in-trade, although I am not going to deny that he had some
great mysterious power over the Sioux, and especially over his own tribe
of Uncpapas. He was, in fact, their beau-ideal of implacable hostility to
the paleface, and he shouted at the United States, from the safe recesses
of the Queen's dominions, 'No surrender!'

"'Tell Sitting Bull,' I said to Larrabee, 'that if he does not seek me,
neither do I him. I am not going to beg him to speak to me.'

"The interpreter laughed and said: 'It is just as well not to take any
notice. He may be in better humor by-and-by.'

"Many of the high-minded and most of the vicious men among the Indians of
the Northwest found their leader in Sitting Bull, who, although often
unpopular with his fellow-chiefs, was always potent for evil with the wild
and restless spirits who believed that war against the whites was, or ought
to be, the chief object of their existence. This was about the true status
of the Indian agitator in those days. He had strong personal magnetism. His
judgment was said to be superior to his courage, and his cunning superior
to both. He had not, like Crazy Horse, the reputation of being recklessly
brave, but neither was he reputed a dastard. Sitting Bull was simply
prudent and would not throw away his life, so long as he had any chance of
doing injury to the Americans.

"It is true that the wily savage was to all intents and purposes, a British
subject, but his influence crossed the line, and no settlers would venture
on Milk River until the implacable savage was thoroughly whipped and
humbled. I don't care what any one says about Sitting Bull not having been
a warrior. If he had not the sword, he had at least the magic sway of a
Mohammed over the rude war tribes that engirdled him. Everybody talks of
Sitting Bull, and, whether he be a figure-head or an idea or an
incomprehensible mystery, his old-time influence was undoubted. His very
name was potent. He was the Rhoderick Dhu of his wild and warlike race, and
when he fell the Sioux Confederation fell with him. The agitator was then
verging on fifty, but hardly looked it.

"Mrs. Allen, wife of the post trader, said Sitting Bull was the nicest
Indian around the trading-post, always treating her with the most marked
consideration, and never intruding upon the privacy of the household, by
hanging around at meal time, as some of the others did. In the hostile camp
I had several opportunities of studying his face, and I can say honestly
that 'Old Sit' has a fine aboriginal countenance, and, once seen, he can
never be forgotten. I heard his voice many times--deep guttural, but, at
the same time, melodious. He called my friend, Walsh, 'meejure,' his
nearest approach to the pronunciation of 'major.' In manner he was
dignified but not stiff, and when in good humor, which occurred pretty
often, he laughed with the ease of a schoolboy. The traditional idea of
white people that Indians never laugh, is but a time-honored absurdity.
Among themselves they are often gayly boisterous, and I know of no people
who can enjoy what they consider a good joke better.

"The Indians appeared to be pretty short on meat supply during my stay in
their camp, but the poor creatures had no more idea of the imminence of the
famine which subsequently compelled their surrender, than so many children.
The faithful squaws went out on the wooded bluffs and gathered all kinds of
berries to make up for the lack of animal food. Yet it was the intense
humanity of Major Walsh that absolutely kept the wretched people from
eating their horses. I knew then that the reign of Sitting Bull would not
be long in the land."

In the fall of 1880, E. H. Allison, the army scout, who was master of the
Sioux language, was ordered by Gen. A. H. Terry to visit the camp of
Sitting Bull and induce that leader and his band to surrender. Accordingly,
the scout made preparation to start, by filling an army wagon with
provisions and presents for the Indians. He now selected the four best
mules in the camp to draw the wagon, and Private Day, a soldier,
volunteered as teamster, dressed in citizen's clothes.

The scout and his companion started from Port Buford October 25, and
reached the camp of Sitting Bull in due time. They found the Indians on
the west bank of Frenchman's Creek, just where it joins Milk River, which
is in the northern part of Montana.

"We reached the camp," said the scout, "about 3 p. m., when I was rather
agreeably surprised and somewhat puzzled by receiving a pressing
invitation, which could easily be construed into a command, to make my home
at Sitting Bull's lodge, as long as I stayed in the camp. I accepted the
invitation, but stipulated that Chief Gall should superintend the
distribution of the provisions which I had brought them. [He thus satisfied
both chiefs and their followers.] To this Sitting Bull readily acceded,
and I was soon comfortably housed, together with the soldier, in the tepee
of the great Indian priest and prophet. After an early supper, I sought and
obtained a private interview with Chief Gall, who, knowing the object of my
visit, informed me that he had resolved to effect the surrender of the
entire band. Sitting Bull and all, but to accomplish this more time would
be required than he had first anticipated. He must first go back to Canada,
to enable Sitting Bull to keep an engagement to meet Major Walsh, of the
Dominion forces, in a council, at the Woody Mountain Trading Post. And to
insure success, and expedite matters, he advised that I should meet him
again at Woody Mountain, as soon as possible, after reporting to Major
Brotherton, at Fort Buford. Considering the circumstances, I deemed it best
to acquiesce in his plans. Yet I was anxious to make some kind of a showing
on this trip that would encourage Major Brotherton, and reward him for the
confidence he had placed in me. I explained this to Chief Gail, who told me
to remain in the camp two days, to rest my  mules, and by that time he
would have twenty families ready to send in with me; but he cautioned me
not to let Silting Bull know their real purpose, but to lead him to
suppose they were only going in to the agency on a visit to their friends.

"Perfectly satisfied with these arrangements, I returned a little after
dark to Sitting Bull's lodge, where the soldier, who could not speak a word
of the Indian language, was having a lonesome time, and growing somewhat
anxious for my safety. We were both very tired and soon lay down to rest,
while I engaged the old chief in conversation. Sitting Bull's family at
that time consisted of his two wives (sisters), two daughters and three
sons, the eldest being a daughter of seventeen, the other daughter being
next, about fourteen, the eldest son, Crow Foot (since dead), seven years
old, and the two youngest boys were twins, born about three weeks before
the battle of the Little Big Horn, and were, therefore, not more than four
and a half years old; one of the twins was named Ih-pe-ya-na-pa-pi, from
the fact that his mother 'fled and abandoned him in the tepee,' at the time
of the battle. The accompanying cut shows the arrangement of beds, etc., in
the lodge, while we were there.

"I continued in conversation with the chief until about midnight, when I
fell asleep. I must have been asleep less than an hour, when I was awakened
by the sharp crack of a rifle ringing out on the still night air, and the
simultaneous war-whoop of contending savages. The camp was instantly in a
state of the wildest confusion. Indian women, seizing their babies, fled,
screaming, they knew not whither, for safety; warriors suddenly awakened
from their slumbers, seized their arms and flew with the speed of the wind
to the aid of their comrades, who were already engaged in conflict with an
enemy, whose presence could only be determined by the sharp report and
flashes of fire from their guns, as they fired in the darkness upon the
Sioux camp. Here was an opportunity for the soldier and myself to prove our
friendship, by aiding the Sioux warriors in their defense of the camp,
which we proceeded to do, by seizing our rifles and hastily joining the
warriors, who, by this time, had turned the enemy, whose firing soon ceased
altogether, and we all returned to the camp, where comparative quiet was
restored; but no one slept any more that night. Our muscles were strained
and our nervous systems were unstrung."

{Illustration: Rain-in-the Face, accredited slayer of Tom Custer.}

"The fact that myself and companion took part in the defense of the camp
was favorably commented on by all, and in all probability saved our lives,
for the Indians are very superstitious, and their blood was up; something
was wrong; in fact, things had been going wrong for several days. There
must be a 'Jonah' in the camp, and how easy it would be to find a pair of
'Jonahs' in the persons of two white men in camp; but our prompt action had
made a most favorable impression, and diverted their thoughts from the
subject of 'Jonahs,' and I improved the opportunity by comparing their
uncertain, hunted existence with the happy life of their friends at the
agencies in Dakota, whose wives and little ones were even then sleeping
peacefully in their beds, without fear of being disturbed by prowling bands
of Indian foes.

"A number of warriors followed cautiously after the retreating Blackfeet,
but failed to come up with them. They returned to camp about ten in the
morning, and reported finding blood-stained bandages on the trail, so there
must have been some of the enemy wounded. Among the Sioux, no one was hurt,
nor did they lose any horses on this occasion. But danger was yet lurking
near. About two in the afternoon, a warrior came into camp and reported the
discovery of a small herd of buffalo, about four miles from camp. About
thirty warriors mounted their horses and went out to kill them; among the
number was Scarlet Plume, a popular young brave, who was a favorite with
every one. The warriors approached the buffalo under cover, till they were
within easy rifle range, when they opened fire and killed all but one,
which struck on across the plain, seemingly unhurt. Young Scarlet Plume
alone gave chase, following the animal and finally killing it near the head
of a ravine, running up from the Milk River, which at that point was
densely studded with timber. He had killed his last buffalo. He was alone
and more than a mile from his companions. A party of Blackfeet braves,
concealed in the timber, had been watching his movements, and now, while he
was busily engaged skinning the buffalo, they approached, under cover of
the ravine, shot him, took his scalp and made good their escape. His body
was found by his father. Old Scarlet Thunder, and was brought by him into
camp, a little before sunset that evening. Then indeed there was weeping
and wailing in that camp. Language utterly fails me when I try to describe
the scene that followed. His old mother, his five sisters, and scores of
friends and relatives, tore their hair, slashed their limbs with knives,
till the ground where they stood was wet with hot human gore; they rent
their garments, calling in a loud wailing voice upon the name of the lost
son and brother.

"It was no time for negotiations. Not a time for anything, in fact, but
silence and obscurity on my part; so, with my companion, I sought the
seclusion of Sitting Bull's tepee, where we spent the night in fitful and
unrefreshing slumber. Early in the morning, at the first faint dawn of day,
I was awakened by a call from Chief Gall, whom I joined in a walk about the
camp. He informed me that the twenty lodges he had promised me had silently
taken their departure during the night, and that I would find them in the
evening encamped about twenty miles down the Milk River. He said that five
women and nine children belonging to the party, but who had no horses, had
remained behind, and desired to ride in my wagon. He also informed me that
Strong Hand would return with me to Poplar Creek. Accordingly, as soon as
breakfast was over, we hitched up the mules, and were only too glad to get
away from a place, where, to say the least, our experience had been very
unpleasant. Strong Hand was returning afoot, and at his suggestion, I
loaned him my horse, to enable him to traverse the river bottoms in quest
of deer. The women and children climbed in the wagon with their meager
effects, and we began moving out of the camp. Strong Hand riding just in
advance of the mules, while I occupied a seat with the driver.

"It was nearly dark when we came up with the twenty lodges sent on ahead by
Chief Gall. Strong Hand was there with plenty of good venison and we soon
had a hot supper. We returned in safety to Fort Buford, where, I hope, with
a pardonable degree of pride I turned over to Major Brotherton the first
fruits of my labor, twenty lodges of the hostile Sioux, and submitted an
official report to be forwarded to General Terry, of this, my visit to the
camp of Sitting Bull."

A short time after this Scout Allison heard from an Indian who arrived from
Sitting Bull's camp that an open rupture had occurred between Chief Gall
and Sitting Bull. This was occasioned by the discovery of some of the
adherents of Sitting Bull that Chief Gall had instigated the desertion of
the twenty lodges who had come with Allison to Buford. Concealment being no
longer possible, Chief Gall, characteristically prompt in action, had
leaped into the midst of the camp, and publicly called upon all who
acknowledged him as chief to separate themselves from the followers of
Sitting Bull, and prepare immediately to follow him to Fort Buford. It was
a bold thing to do, and the first time in the history of the reign of
Sitting Bull that his authority had been set at defiance. It was clearly a
test of supremacy, and Chief Gall came off victorious, taking away from
Sitting Bull fully two-thirds of the entire band.

On July 20, 1881, Sitting Bull, with the remainder of his band, surrendered
at Fort Buford. Two days later all the captive hostiles, numbering 2,829,
were turned over to the agent at Standing Rock, North Dakota.

Ellis, in his "Indian Wars," informs us that "For a time the old chief
acted like a good Indian. He exhibited himself for weeks in New York and
other cities, where he naturally aroused much interest and curiosity. A
striking scene was that observed in 1883, when, at one of the railway
stations of the West, Sitting Bull sat on a windy eminence selling his
autographs for a dollar and a half apiece. In the smiling group of
purchasers gathered around him were Generals U. S. Grant and P. H.
Sheridan, Carl Schurz, W. M. Evarts, a number of United States Senators and
Congressmen, several British noblemen, besides Berlin bankers, German
professors, railway presidents, financiers and journalists. The old chief
did a thriving trade disposing of his signature, of which this is a

{Illustration: Facsimile of Sitting Bull's signature.}

"In July and August, 1888, Sitting Bull, at a conference at Standing Rock,
influenced his tribe to refuse to relinquish their lands. He was as defiant
as ever, and, but for his death, must have been the leading actor in the
last outbreak."

Nothing more is heard of Sitting Bull until 1890, when that strange
hallucination, the Messiah craze, took possession of some of the Sioux
bands. This strong delusion seems to have had its origin in about the
following manner, as we learn from a letter written to General Miles by an
army officer stationed at Los Angeles, California, and bearing the date of
November 28, 1890.

In it the officer says: "I know you will be surprised when I say to you, I
have found the Messiah, and the story of my finding him is as follows: Last
spring an Indian called and said he would like to speak to the commander.
I took him into the room, and he gave me a history of himself. He said his
name was Johnson Sides; that he was known as the Peace-maker among all
Indians and whites of Nevada, where he lived.

"To substantiate his statement he showed me a medal which he carried strung
around his neck, on which was a legend to the effect that he was presented
with the medal by some Christian society for his efforts toward doing good
to his fellowmen, whether white or red.

"He could talk very good English, was dressed like an ordinary laborer, but
had the Indian's way of wearing his hair. He told me he knew the Bible;
that he was desirous of making peace with every one, and that is why he was
named Peacemaker. He said that Indians had come from far and near to see
him, and he pulled out a pipe, such as are made by Northern Indians, which
pipe was recognized as having come from either Montana or Dakota. Johnson
Sides said it came from Dakota, and the kind of clay of which it was made
could not be found in Nevada, and that the stem was of a peculiar wood, not
found in Nevada or California. He mentioned the names of the Indians who
had visited him, and the tribes to which they belonged; also gave the time
they had called.

"I firmly believe that this is the good-natured Indian that has caused all
this trouble; that he has taught the members of his tribe the story of
Christ, or the Messiah, and the time when he will once more visit this
earth, as it has been taught him by the Christian people interested in his
welfare. He has told these visiting Indians of the paradise in store for
all people when the Son shall once more visit the earth; and the Indian's
paradise is whatever his imagination may lead him to believe, the same as
the white man's. He has no doubt delivered the story in its true light, and
the Indians, in retelling the story, have warped and woven it according to
their understanding."

It is believed that some of the Sioux of the Standing Rock Agency were
among those who visited Johnson Sides, and it is thought that the Messiah
craze and ghost dance grew out of the excitement incident to their report
of the visit, warped by an overwrought imagination.

While matters were thus shaping themselves, the wily old medicine man,
Sitting Bull, bided his time watching for an opportunity to regain his
former prestige. Vague traditions had always existed concerning the second
coming of Christ. Pontiac, Tecumseh and Black Hawk were each in touch with
a "prophet" who fired the imaginations of warriors and head chiefs to a

So the sagacious leader believed that once more his hour had struck. Was
not he, Sitting Bull, a great Medicine Man? A religious teacher? And shall
he not lead his people in this? Clearly this was his opportunity, but in
order to be an effectual leader, he must first see the Messiah. This he
actually claimed to have done, and the story was related to Mr. Zook, a
Montana ranchman, as follows:

"Sitting Bull was hunting one day near the Shoshone mountains, and as night
came on he was seized with a strange feeling, and at first involuntarily,
but finally with alacrity, he followed a star, which moved westward through
the sky. All night the star guided him, and near morning he met the
Messiah, clad in a white robe. His hair flowed upon his shoulders, his
beard was long, and around his head shone a bright halo. When Sitting Bull
beheld this wonderful apparition, he fainted and had a strange dream. A
band of Cheyennes and Arapahoes, who had long since been dead, appeared to
him and danced, inviting him to join them. Presently he was restored to his
senses, and the Messiah spoke to him. He asked him if the Indians would not
rejoice to see their dead kindred and the buffalo restored to life, and
Sitting Bull assured him that they would be deeply gratified. Then the
Messiah told him that he had come to save the white men, but that they
persecuted him; and now he had come to rescue the long-tormented Indian. He
showed him the holes in his hands, made by the nails when he was crucified,
to convince him that he was the same Christ who had appeared nineteen
hundred years ago. All day Christ instructed him and gave him evidence of
his power. He said that the white men had come to take him, but as they
approached the soil became quicksand and the men and horses sank. As
evening came on, he bade Sitting Bull depart; and although he had been
hunting away from his tepee for ten sleeps, he came to it in a very few
minutes. He told his people his story and sent others to verify his
statements, and they told the same tales."

When the Indians heard of this wonderful vision of Sitting Bull, they came
in swarms and pitched their tepees around him. There, at his suggestion,
they inaugurated the "worship dances," and forming a ring to the number of
three thousand people, they danced around Sitting Bull and his chiefs,
while chanting a monotonous accompaniment of weird strains. Thus they
danced all night, or until they dropped down from sheer exhaustion, when
others would take their place.

Sitting Bull soon became the acknowledged lender in this strange form of
worship, which spread like wild fire among the Sioux of the reservations.

Indian Agent McLaughlin called on Sitting Bull at his camp on Grand River,
forty miles southwest from Fort Yates, and had an earnest talk with the
great medicine man, hoping to dissuade him and his deluded followers from
their absurd action and unwarranted expectations.

Sitting Bull seemed a little impressed, but still assumed the role of big
chief before his followers. "He finally," said McLaughlin, "made me a
proposition, which was that I should accompany him on a journey to trace
from the beginning the story of the Indian Messiah, and when he reached the
last tribe, or where it originated, if they could not produce the man who
started the story, and we did not find the new Messiah, as described, upon
the earth, together with the dead Indians returning to reinhabit this
country, he would return convinced that they (the Indians) had been too
credulous and imposed upon, which report from him would satisfy the Sioux,
and all practices of the ghost societies would cease; but if we found the
Messiah, they be permitted to continue their medicine practices, and
organize as they are now endeavoring to do.

"I told him that this proposition was a novel one, but that the attempt to
carry it out would be similar to an attempt to catch up with the wind that
blew last year, but that I wished him to come to my house, where I would
give him a whole night, or a day and a night, in which time I thought I
could convince him of the absurdity of this foolish craze, and the fact of
his making me the proposition that he did was a convincing proof that he
did not fully believe in what he was professing and he tried so hard to
make others believe.

"He did not, however, promise fully to come into the agency to discuss the
matter, but said he would consider my talk and decide after deliberation."

Nothing came of it, however, and when it was found that neither cajolery
nor threats availed with Sitting Bull his arrest was determined on. It was
held that his failure to send his children to the agency school, and to
report in person, was a sufficient breach of peace to justify such a step.

The warrant for the arrest was sent in the form of the following telegram:

                          "Headquarters Department of Dakota,
                          St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 12, 1890.

"_To Commanding Officer, Fort Yates, North Dakota:_

"The division commander has directed that you make it your especial duty to
secure the person of Sitting Bull. Call on the Indian agent to cooperate
and render such assistance as will best promote the purpose in view.

"Acknowledge receipt, and if not perfectly clear, report back.

"By command of General Ruger.

                                   "(Signed) M. Barber,
                            Assistant Adjutant-General."

After Colonel Drum, the commandant at Fort Yates, had consulted with Major
McLaughlin, the Indian agent, it was decided that the arrest should be
effected through the Indian police.

Accordingly, a band of police, under the command of Lieut. Henry Bull Head,
was detailed to make the capture.

The Indian police, to the number of forty, set out to perform their errand,
followed at some distance by two troops of cavalry under Captain Fetchet
and a body of infantry, under Colonel Drum.

Five miles from Sitting Bull's camp, the troops and police held a
consultation. It was agreed that the soldiers should station themselves
within two or three miles of the Indian camp, where they could be readily

Lieutenant Bull Head now selected ten policemen, including Sergeants Shave
Head and Red Tomahawk, and at their head entered the house about 5:50
o'clock on the morning of December 15, and arrested Sitting Bull. He
occupied considerable time in dressing, and at first accepted his arrest
quietly; but while dressing, his son, Crowfoot, commenced upbraiding him
for agreeing to go with the police. On this Sitting Bull became stubborn
and refused to go. After some parleying, the police removed him from the
house and found themselves and prisoner in the midst of a howling mob of
ghost-dancers, frenzied with rage.

{Illustration: Indian Village.}

In a letter written by Major McLaughlin we learn what happened at this
time. Said he: "The policemen reasoned with the crowd, gradually forcing
them back, thus increasing the open circle considerably; but Sitting Bull
kept calling upon his followers to rescue him from the police; that if the
two principal men, Bull Head and Shave Head, were killed, the others would
run away; and he finally called out for them to commence the attack,
whereupon Catch-the-Bear, and Strike-the-Kettle, two of Sitting Bull's men,
dashed through the crowd and fired. Lieutenant Bull Head was standing on
one side of Sitting Bull and Sergeant Shave Head on the other, with
Sergeant Red Tomahawk behind, to prevent his escaping. Catch-the-Bear's
shot struck Bull Head on the right side, and he instantly wheeled and shot
Sitting Bull, hitting him in the left side, between the tenth and eleventh
ribs, and Strike-the-Kettle's shot having passed through Shave Head's
abdomen, all three fell together. Catch-the-Bear, who fired the first shot,
was immediately shot down by Private Lone Man."

It is said that while reeling, Sitting Bull managed to draw a revolver,
which exploded just as he fell, the ball entering Bull Head's thigh. At
the same instant the second sergeant, Red Tomahawk, shot the old chief in
the stomach.

The fight now became general, Sitting Bull's followers swarmed around the
police and guns were clubbed. The ground was strewn with broken stocks and
bent barrels.

The entire force of Indian police under Red Tomahawk now engaged in the
fray, but were getting the worst of it and retreated to Sitting Bull's
house. At this instant the white soldiers arrived and quickly formed for

The cavalry, under Captain Fechet, charged the Indians, while the
artillery, under Lieutenant Brooks, began to shell them with their
Hotchkiss and Gatling guns, and the hostiles fled in disorder.

Though badly wounded, Sitting Bull crawled into the bushes, and, like
Custer before him, made his "last stand," fighting desperately with his
Winchester. He was dragged forth and an Indian policeman sprang forward
with a small pole, used on the sides of wagons, and beat in his head, while
others broke his rifle over his head, and slashed his face horribly with
their knives.

Lieutenant Slocum did all he could to prevent this brutality, but the
Indian police were infuriated on account of their loss and beyond his

Thus died one of the greatest, and certainly the most famous, Indian since
Tecumseh. He divides honors with Little Turtle, in having planned and
gained the greatest victories ever achieved by the Indian over his white
foe. Nor will any warrior of the future surpass Sitting Bull, for the last
great battle between the two races has been fought. It will be remembered
that three among the greatest of the Indian chiefs, Philip, Pontiac and
Sitting Bull, were slain by Indians.

Many sensational writers profess to believe that Sitting Bull was murdered,
and that when his arrest was arranged it was understood that an excuse was
to be found for putting him out of the way.

We can not believe that our Government and military authorities would plot
a deliberate and horrible murder. This has never been our record in
disposing of vanquished foes. We firmly believe that had the great leader
submitted to arrest quietly his life would have been spared. But it was
Sitting Bull who alarmed the camp and ordered the attack, which was
commenced by his own warriors.

The fight which resulted was brief but desperate, and there fell of the
ghost-dancers, besides Sitting Bull, Catch-the-Bear, Black Bird, Little
Assiniboine, Crow Foot (son of Sitting Bull, seventeen years old), Spotted
Horse Bull, a chief; Brave Thunder, a chief, and Chase, badly wounded.

Of the police there were killed, Bull Head, the lieutenant in command;
Shave Head, first sergeant; Little Eagle, fourth sergeant;
Afraid-of-Soldiers, private; John Armstrong and Hawk Man, special police,
and Middle, mortally wounded.

The bodies of the Indian police were all buried with military honors in the
agency cemetery at Fort Yates a few days later. But the surviving police
and their friends objected so strenuously to the interment of Sitting Bull
among their dead that he was buried in the cemetery of the post, some
distance away.

Hundreds of tourists go each year to see the last resting place of this
truly great Indian; and, vandal-like, rob the grave and vicinity of
whatever they can find, as relics.

Sitting Bull was an enigma, and never fully understood by white man or
Indian. He prided himself, like all medicine men, in being mysterious; the
fact that he was a true patriot, from the Indian's standpoint, none can

His old friend and fellow-chief, Rain-in-the-Face, was buried by his side.
United during most of their stormy lives, it was appropriate that "in death
they were not divided." Both sleep peacefully in the Indian cemetery of the
Standing Rock Reservation. The name, Standing Rock, comes from a solitary
stone which stands on the bank of the Missouri River at this point.
Following is the legend:

Long years ago, probably before Columbus' caravels crossed to the western
world, a Ree Indian took a Sioux squaw for his second wife. His first
spouse, and  mother of his child, could not brook the rival and daily pined
in silence and sorrow. In vain her husband's assurances that she was still
first in his heart and home. The sight of the usurper ate into her heart,
and at last, with her babe on her shoulders, she fled as did Hagar with
Ishmael, although in this case it was Sarah who left her husband's home.
Her friends followed her, pleading with her to return, since only death and
starvation awaited her, but she kept on her way until she reached the bank
of the Missouri. There she sat with the child on her shoulders, paying no
heed to her friends, until at last she broke her silence. "Leave me," she
said. "I am turning to stone, and my child and I shall sit here forever."
Even as she spoke the change came over her, and there the mother and child
sit to-day. The Indians called the Standing Rock "wokan," or holy, and for
centuries votive offerings were laid before it. The Government placed it
upon a pedestal, and sphinx-like it looks toward the East, over the land
from which the Indian has been driven forever.

                            CHAPTER XIV.



This remarkable man, and greatest Indian since Tecumseh, was born,
according to his own statement, in eastern Oregon, in the year 1841.

In the _North American Review,_ of April, 1879, is an article dictated by
Joseph, in which he states that his tribe was originally called the
Chute-pa-lu, and gives the origin of the name Nez Perces (nose pierced), as
applied to them, as follows:

"We did not know there were other people besides the Indian until about one
hundred winters ago, when some men with white faces came to our country.
They brought many things with them to trade for furs and skins. They
brought tobacco, which was new to us. They also brought guns with flint
stones on them, which frightened our women and children.

"Our people could not talk with these white-faced men, but they used signs
which all people understand. These men were Frenchmen, and they called our
people 'Nez Perces,' because they wore rings in their noses for ornaments.
Although very few of our people wear them now, we are still called by the
same name.

"The first white men of your people who came to our country were named
Lewis and Clark. They also brought many things our people had never seen.
They talked straight and our people gave them a great feast, as proof that
their hearts were friendly. These men were very kind. They made presents
to our chiefs and our people made presents to them. We had a great many
horses, of which we gave them what they needed, and they gave us guns and
tobacco in return. All the Nez Perces made friends with Lewis and Clark,
and agreed to let them pass through their country, and never to make war on
white men. This promise the Nez Perces have never broken. No white man can
accuse them of bad faith and speak with a straight tongue. It has always
been the pride of the Nez Perces that they were the friends of the white

Chief Joseph's father was also a chief, and called Joseph. It seems that
this name was given to him by Rev. Mr. Spaulding, who was associated with
Dr. Marcus Whitman, and at one time a missionary to the lower Nez Perces.

A strange man was old Joseph, a sturdy, strong-built man with a will of
iron and a foresight that never failed him, save when he welcomed the
Americans to his country. He had some strange notions, too, one of which
was that "no man owned any part of the earth, and a man could not sell what
he did not own." He seems to have been an aboriginal Henry George in his
idea that ownership in land should be limited to occupancy.

In 1855 Governor Stevens and Rev. Mr. Spaulding invited all the Nez Perces
to a treaty council. Old Joseph was present, and when Mr. Spaulding urged
him to sign the treaty, he answered, "Why do you ask me to sign away my
country? It is your business to talk to us about spirit matters, and not to
talk to us about parting with our land."

When Governor Stevens also urged him to sign the treaty he refused, saying,
"I will not sign your paper; you go where you please, so do I; you are not
a child. I am no child; I can think for myself. No man can think for me. I
have no other home than this. I will not give it up to any man. My people
would have no home. Take away your paper, I will not touch it with my

Old Joseph was as firm as a rock and would never sign way his rights to
Wallowa (Winding Water), claiming that it had always belonged to his people
and their title should be perpetuated. He even went so far as to enclose
the entire tract with poles firmly planted in the ground, and said, "Inside
this boundary is the home of my people. The white man may take the land
outside. Within this boundary all our people were born. It circles around
the graves of our fathers, and we  will never give up these graves to any

Deluded old Joseph! Vain was your effort; nor would a Chinese wall have
long been an effectual barrier against the encroachments of the whites, who
had seen and coveted the beautiful valley of the "Winding Waters." Ere long
white settlers established homes _inside_ the boundaries of the aged chief,
in spite of his remonstrance. And the United States Government, instead of
protecting him in his rights, coolly claimed that it had bought all the Nez
Perces country outside of Lapwai reservation from Chief Lawyer and others.

On account of these encroachments another treaty was made in 1863. By this
time old Joseph had become blind and feeble, and could no longer speak for
his people. It was then that young Joseph took his father's place as chief,
and made his first speech to white men. Said he to the agent who held the
council: "I did not want to come to this council, but I came, hoping that
we could save blood. The white man has no right to come here and take our
country. We have never accepted any presents from the Government. Neither
Lawyer nor any other chief had authority to sell this land. It has always
belonged to my people. It came unclouded to them from our fathers, and we
will defend this land as long as a drop of Indian blood warms the hearts of
our men."

The agent told Joseph he had orders from the Great White Chief at
Washington for his band to go upon the Lapwai Reservation, and that if they
obeyed he would help them in many ways. "You _must_ move to the agency," he
said. To which Joseph replied, "1 will not. I do not need your help; we
have plenty, and we are contented and happy if the white man will let us
alone. The reservation is too small for so many people with all their
stock. You  can keep your presents; we can go to your towns and pay for all
we need; we have plenty of horses and cattle to sell, and we won't have any
help from you; we are free now; we can go where we please. Our fathers were
born here. Here they lived, here they died, here are their graves. We will
never leave them." The agent went away, and the Indians had peace for a
little while.

In his narrative young Joseph said, "Soon after this my father sent for me.
I saw he was dying. I took his hand in mine. He said: 'My son, my body is
returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the
Great Spirit Chief. When I am gone, think of your country. You are the
chief of these people. They look to you to guide them. Always remember that
your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you
are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more and white
men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son,
never forget my dying words. This country holds your father's body. Never
sell the bones of your father and your mother.' I pressed my father's hand
and told him I would protect his grave with my life. My father smiled and
passed away to the spirit land. I buried him in that beautiful valley of
'Winding  Waters.' I love that land more than all the rest of the world. A
man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal."

Spoken like the noble son of an equally noble sire. Inspired by such words
of burning patriotism, is it any wonder that young Joseph resisted the
encroachments of the whites and the machinations of the Government
authorities to the bitter end, and not only gave them "a run for their
money," but the most stubbornly contested campaign of all our Indian wars?

Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perces, was more than six feet in height, of
magnificent physique, strikingly handsome and graceful, with a native
dignity, and a mind of great strength. He was a true patriot and in defense
of his country evinced the genius of a natural born general, and could he
have received the training of West Point, he would have become the peer of
Grant, Lee or Sherman. He conducted, as will be seen, one of the most
skilful and masterly retreats in the annals of warfare.

{Illustration: Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces, or

He was, moreover, as eloquent as Logan or Red Jacket, and a gifted
logician, who could not be refuted. He disposed of the question in dispute
in a manner that was at once logical and unanswerable. Said he, "If we ever
owned the land we own it still, for we never sold it. In the treaty
councils the commissioners have claimed that our country had been sold to
the government. Suppose a white man should come to me and say, 'Joseph, I
like your horses and I want to buy them.' I say to him, 'No, my horses suit
me; I will not sell them.' Then he goes to my neighbor and says to him,
'Joseph has some good horses. I want to buy them, but he refuses to sell.'
My neighbor answers, 'Pay me the money and I will sell you Joseph's
horses.' The white man returns to me and says, 'Joseph, I have bought your
horses and you must let me have them.' If we sold our lands to the
government this is the way they were bought."

After the wrong was consummated, when Joseph was permitted to go to
Washington and talk to our wise men, he said, "I have asked some of the
great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that
he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they
please. They can not tell me." That question will never be answered.

In his report of September, 1875, Gen. O. O. Howard said, "I think it a
great mistake to take from Joseph and his band of Nez Perces Indians that
(the Wallowa) valley. The white people really do not want it. They wish to
be bought out. I think gradually this valley will be abandoned by the white
people, and possibly Congress can be induced to let these really peaceable
Indians have this poor valley for their own."

Lieut.-Col. H. Clay Wood was another member of the commission who, in his
report of August 1, 1876, on "The Status of young Joseph and his band of
Nez Perces Indians," gave his opinion that the Government had so far failed
to comply with its agreements in the treaty of 1855; that none of the Nez
Perces were bound by it. He also made a minority report as commissioner,
recommending that although Joseph's band would have to be moved eventually,
yet that, "until Joseph commits some overt act of hostility, force should
not be used to put him upon any reservation."

The other members of the commission, D. H. Jerome, William Stickney and A.
C. Barstow, must have made a very different report, for certain it is, the
Department of the Interior, acting on its recommendations, ordered the
non-treaties to be placed on the Lapwai reservation.

By virtue of his office as commander of that district, General Howard was
the agent to enforce this order. He met the non-treaties in May, and found,
as he must have anticipated, that they were unwilling to go on the

General Howard held three councils with the malcontent Indians at Fort
Lapwai, the station of the Indian agency for the Nez Perces reservation,
said to be the loveliest valley of Idaho. The last of these councils, that
of May 7, 1877, was indeed a stormy session. The principal speaker on this
occasion was Too-Hool-Hool-Suit, who was a dreamer as well as a prophet,
priest and chief. He taught that the earth having been created by God in
its completeness, should not be interfered with, disturbed or improved by
man, and that if the Indians continued steadfast in their belief, a great
leader would be raised up in the East, at a single blast of whose trumpet
all the dead warriors would start suddenly into life, and that the millions
of braves thus collected would expel the white man from the continent of
America, and repossess it for their own dusky race. The old dreamer was a
man of great importance and remarkable influence among the Indians.

As the council proceeded, Too-Hool-Hool-Suit arose and said to General
Howard: "The Great Spirit Chief made the world as it is, and as he wanted
it, and he made a part of it for us to live upon. I do not see where you
get authority to say that we shall not live where he placed us." Chief
Joseph says General Howard now lost his temper, and said: "Shut up! I don't
want to hear any more such talk. The law says you shall go upon the
reservation to live, and I want you to do so, but you persist in disobeying
the law [meaning the treaty]. If you do not move I will take the matter
into my own hand and make you suffer for your disobedience."

Too-Hool-Hool-Suit answered: "Who are you, that you ask us to talk, and
then tell me I shan't talk? Are you the Great Spirit? Did you make the
world? Did you make the sun? Did you make the river to run for us to drink?
or the grass to grow? Did you make all these things, that you talk to us as
though we were boys? If you did, then you have the right to talk as you

General Howard replied, "You are an impudent fellow, and I will put you in
the guard-house," and then ordered a soldier to arrest him.
Too-Hool-Hool-Suit made no resistance. He asked General Howard: "Is that
your order? I don't care. I have expressed my heart to you. I have nothing
to take back. I have spoken for my country. You can arrest me, but you can
not change me or make me take back what I have said."

Continuing, Joseph said: "The soldiers came forward and seized my friend
and took him to the guard-house. My men whispered among themselves whether
they should let this thing be done. I counseled them to submit. If I had
said nothing, General Howard would never have given another unjust order
against my men. I saw the danger, and, while they dragged
Too-Hool-Hool-Suit to prison, I arose and said: '_I am going to talk now._
I don't care whether you arrest me or not.' I turned to my people and said:
'The arrest of Too-Hool-Hool-Suit was wrong, but we will not resent the
insult. We were invited to this council to express our hearts, and we have
done so.' Too-Hool-Hool-Suit was a prisoner five days before he was

This Indian chief was, therefore, put under military arrest and confined
for five days for delivering himself of what General Howard calls a
"_tirade_" in a council to which the Indians had been invited to come for
the purpose of consultation and expression of sentiment. As the Indian
Commissioner, in his Annual Report for 1878, well says, "If such and so
swift penalty as this, for 'tirades' in council were the law of our land,
especially in the District of Columbia, it would be 'no just cause of
complaint' when Indians suffer for it. But considering the frequency,
length and safety of 'tirades' in all parts of America, it seems unjust not
to permit Indians to deliver them. However, they do come under the head of
'spontaneous productions of the soil;' and an Indian on a reservation is
invested with no such proprietorship in anything which comes under that

The position of the Government was now plain to the Indians. They must go
to the reservation or fight. They decided to go. Joseph wrote: "I said in
my heart that rather than have war I would give up my country. I would give
up my father's grave. I would give up everything rather than have the blood
of white men upon the hands of my people. General Howard refused to allow
me more than thirty days to move my people and their stock. I said to him,
'My people have always been the friends of the white man. Why are you in
such a hurry? I can not get ready to move in thirty days. Our stock is
scattered, and Snake River is very high. Let us wait until fall, then the
river will be low. We want time to hunt up our stock and gather supplies
for winter. We want the people who live upon the lands we are to occupy at
Lapwai to have time to gather their harvest."

General Howard replied, "If you let the time run over one day, the soldiers
will be there to drive you on the reservation, and all your cattle and
horses outside the reservation at that time will fall into the hands of the
white men."

It does seem that this great haste was unnecessary and positively cruel,
and that those Indians should have been given time to collect their stock,
their sole means of subsistence, and get them safely over the river. But
the theory is we must have firmness in dealing with the Indian, if we have
nothing else; yet this time it proved to be a serious and costly blunder.
Joseph truly said, "If General Howard had given me plenty of time to gather
up my stock and treated Too-Hool-Hool-Suit as a man should be treated,
_there would have been no war._"

The Indians went to make their preparations; they looked on their old home
and their love for it increased at the thought that they were about to be
deprived of it by fraud, even though they had never sold or signed it away.
Too-Hool-Hool-Suit's indignation burned because of his imprisonment for the
offense of telling his convictions in the council, the very thing he was
expected to do. There was a warrior whose father had been killed by a white
man, and the wrong was unrebuked. There were the two warriors who had been
whipped by one Harry Mason. These formed a war party, and determined, over
Joseph's counsel, to fight the soldiers when they came. It is said that at
this time, Chief Joseph rode one day through his village, with a revolver
in each hand, saying he would shoot the first one of his warriors who
resisted the Government. Finally, they gathered all the stock they could
find, preparatory to moving. A heavy rain raised the river so high some of
the cattle could not be taken across. Indian guards were put in charge of
the cattle left behind. White men attacked these guards and took the
cattle. After this Joseph could not restrain his young men and the warfare

It was the desire of Joseph and others that the settlers should not be
molested, in the hope that they would remain neutral; but it was voted down
in the war-council, on the grounds that it was the settlers who brought on
all the trouble, because they wanted the Nez Perces' land and stock, and,
in fact, some of them actually got both.

The Indians now bought arms and ammunition wherever they could. They
practiced military movements, in which they were already quite proficient.
General Shanks says that "Joseph's party was thoroughly disciplined; that
they rode at full gallop along the mountain side in a steady formation by
fours; formed twos, at a given signal, with perfect precision, to cross a
narrow bridge; then galloped into line, reined in to a sudden halt, and
dismounted with as much system as regulars."

June 18 arrived; the thirty days were up; the soldiers had not come. Over
on Salmon River three Indians killed an old hermit ranch man named Devine.
The taste of blood whetted their appetites, and the next day four more fell
victims. Mounting their horses, they hurried to Camas Prairie, where the
main body of Indians was encamped. Riding through the camp they displayed
the spoils of their bloodshed and exhorted the others to join them. Joseph
and his brother, Ollacut, were not in the camp; they had placed their
tepees some distance from the others, on account of Joseph's wife, who was
sick and wanted quiet. White Bird, the next in rank and influence, gave
way. Riding through the camp, he exclaimed, "All must join now. There is
blood. You will be punished if you delay." Seventeen warriors joined the
three and they hurried back to Salmon River. Eight more fell victims to
them, including Harry Mason, who had whipped the two Indians.

On the night of June 14 another party attacked the people of the Cottonwood
House, a ranch used as a frontier inn, on the road between Mount Idaho and
Fort Lapwai. At ten o'clock they were warned by a messenger of the
approaching Indians, and hurriedly started to Mount Idaho, two on
horseback, the rest, including several women and children, in a farm wagon.

When they had covered ten miles of their journey they were overtaken by the
Indians. Two men and a boy were killed and the others badly wounded, two
men subsequently dying of their injuries.

Joseph protested against hostilities until he saw that war was inevitable.
He then took command and moved his warriors to White Bird cañon, where
they prepared to fight the soldiers. Nor had they long to wait. Colonel
Perry, at the head of ninety soldiers, was soon on the road from Fort
Lapwai. On the evening of the 16th he reached Grangerville, four miles from
Mount Idaho, where he was joined by ten citizens. Marching on through the
night, he reached White Bird cañon at daylight and began the descent of
the broad trail, hoping to surprise the Indians. But the vigilant Joseph's
keen eye was the first to discover the group of horsemen silhouetted
against the sky at the head of the cañon, just as the sun was rising. "Get
the white man's glass I Tell White Bird. Horses! The soldiers are here!"
he shouted in command.

Some of his young men became a little nervous as they saw the soldiers
approaching and suggested that it would be better to move across the
Salmon River, where the soldiers could not reach them. "No." said Joseph,
"we will fight them here." The women and children were sent across the
river and a party of mounted warriors under White Bird took a position in
ambush behind a ridge on the south side of the cañon. The rest, under
Joseph, were crouched on the ground, squarely across the trail, hidden
behind rocks and in hollows. On came the soldiers until well within range,
when every bush and rock poured out its fire. At the same time White Bird's
men appeared on the left and poured in another deadly volley. The soldiers
were falling fast, and the order was shouted to fall back to the next
ridge. This was immediately done, but with the enemy at their heels there
was no time to stop. While the officers were trying to rally their men the
Indians were pressing along the sides of the cañon to gain the head and
cut off retreat. Part of the command reached the ascent and hurried out.
The remainder, under Lieutenant Theller, were cut off, and most of them,
including the gallant lieutenant, were killed. Across the rugged country
the Indians pursued the flying troops for twelve miles. But once out of
that death trap the officers obtained control, and the retreat was
conducted with some degree of order. Four miles from Mount Idaho Joseph
withdrew his men. He had fought and won his first battle, even though
largely outnumbered by his enemy.

Joseph says of this encounter: "We numbered in that battle sixty men, and
the soldiers one hundred. The fight lasted but a few minutes before the
soldiers retreated. They lost thirty-three killed, and had seven wounded.
When an Indian fights, he only shoots to kill; but soldiers shoot at
random. None of the soldiers were scalped. We do not believe in scalping
nor in killing wounded men. Soldiers do not kill many Indians unless they
are wounded and left upon the battlefield. Then they kill Indians."

The military reputation of the Nez Perces was altered. It would require a
stronger force to subdue them. Reinforcements were ordered from all the
neighboring forts. Skirmishing and minor engagements continued.

While waiting for these reinforcements a detachment was sent under Captain
Whipple to attack Chief Looking-Glass and his band, and bring them in
before they had time to join the hostiles. Whipple discovered the red men
in the neighborhood of Mount Idaho, and dispatched Lieutenant Rains with
ten picked men and a scout named Foster to reconnoiter. Following this
advance-guard at a distance of a mile with his main force, the sound of
firing was heard at the front. Hurrying forward with his command, Whipple
was horrified to find that Rains and every man in his detachment had been
killed. A company of seventeen volunteers, under Captain Randall, was
attacked on the Mount Idaho road; two were killed and two wounded. All
would have been cut to pieces, had not Captain Whipple and his company
hurried to the rescue. As to Looking Glass, his camp was destroyed, and
seven hundred and twenty-five ponies captured, but he and his warriors all
escaped and joined Joseph.

Meantime, General Howard was at Fort Lapwai impatiently waiting for
reinforcements. But the accounts of Indian horrors came so thick and fast
that further delay, though desirable, was yet impossible.

Mason, in his account of this expedition, says: "The little band of
men--cavalry and infantry--together with an old mountain howitzer and two
Gatling guns, are drawn up in marching order. The train of pack-mules, with
their immense loads of ammunition and provision, move restlessly back and
forward in the parade-ground. The trained white mare, with the tinkling
bell attached to her neck, stands thoughtful and attentive, ready to lead
her restless followers along the stony trail."

{Illustration: Buckskin Charlie, War-Chief of the Utes.}

"The last farewells are said. The last mule pack is adjusted. The last
red-shirted artillery man takes his stand by his gun. There is a moment of
quiet. Suddenly the commanding officer shouts, 'Attention!' and then a
moment later, 'Column, march!' Every man steps off with his right foot. The
cavalry are in front. The proud bell-mare, with her cavalcade of mules,
stubborn to all else, but to her yielding the most perfect obedience, {FN}
follow, and behind them, in column of fours, come the infantry."

                              * * * * *

 {FN} The author's father has taken large droves of mules from Lexington,
 Kentucky, on foot to New Orleans, with no help but one assistant and an
 old white mare. If this queen of the drove was inclined to bite or kick
 her followers on the slightest provocation, her influence over them, was
 wonderful. Without her no fence would hold them overnight; with her in
 their midst no fence was necessary, for where she was there would they be

On July 11, General Howard and his little army of four hundred fighting
men, besides teamsters and train men, came in sight of the enemy.

Joseph, at the head of about three hundred warriors, had crossed the
country to the Lapwai reservation and taken a position on the Clearwater,
and was waiting to give battle, having erected breast works of the most
approved pattern.

This was done with the assistance of the squaws, who fought as hard as the
men, and, as usual, worked harder.

The soldiers advanced in line of battle, leaving the supply trains
unguarded. From the high point of vantage he had  taken, Joseph was quick
to notice this and dispatched thirty warriors to attack them. An officer
with his field glass caught this movement just in time to send a messenger
to warn them to hurry into the lines. A company of cavalry also galloped to
their protection. The Indians gained the smaller train, killed two packers
and disabled their animals, but were driven off by the fire of the cavalry.
The large train, however, gained the lines uninjured. The battle raged all
that afternoon, with its charges and counter charges, its feinting and
fighting. During the night both parties kept up a desultory fire while
strengthening their positions. The battle was renewed in the morning, and
continued with no perceptible advantage to either side until the middle of
the afternoon. At that time a fresh company of cavalry reënforced General
Howard's command. The troops now redoubled their effort by charging the
enemy's line on the left. For a short time the Indians fought desperately
from behind their rocky breastworks, but at length gave way and fled in all
directions, bounding from rock to rock through the ravines, or plunging
into the river out of sight only to reappear when its swift current had
borne them out of range. The victorious troops pressed them so closely that
the Indian camp, with its blankets, buffalo robes and cooking utensils fell
into their hands. The Indians, however, made their escape with their herds
and sufficient supplies for their purpose, and before the soldiers could
cross the Clearwater, a large body of warriors was seen on the right front,
apparently returning for an attack. While preparations were being made to
meet this force, the remainder, of the Indians continued their flight and
escaped. The returning warriors, having accomplished their purpose by this
feint, shortly disappeared. In the morning the troops continued to pursue
the retreating Indians, only to fall into an ambush by the rear-guard of
the Nez Perces, and be thrown into confusion.

As Dunn says: "Night found the Indians safely encamped in an almost
impregnable position, at the entrance of Lolo trail. Joseph had fought his
second battle, against heavy odds, and though beaten, had brought off his
forces most creditably."

Finding they were largely outnumbered, the Indians retreated through the
mountain pass to Bitter Root valley, over what General Sherman says "Is
universally admitted by all who have traveled it--from Lewis and Clark to
Captain Winters--as one of the worst trails for man and beast on this
continent." The Nez Perces came safely over this trail, encumbered with
their women and children and herds.

In the valley of the Lou-Lou they were confronted by a hastily built fort,
held by Captain Rawn with a few regulars and some volunteers. Looking-Glass
said to them, "We will not fight the settlers if they do not fight us. We
are going by you to the buffalo country. Will you let us go in peace?" Rawn
replied, "you can not go by us." To this the Indian answered, "We are going
by you without fighting if you will let us, but we are going by you

The volunteers now interfered, and told the commander the Nez Perces had
always been "good Indians." The settlers on the Bitter Root had no grounds
for complaint in their conduct, as they passed each year to and from the
buffalo country. Besides, in the expressive frontier phrase, "they had not
lost any Indians," and consequently were not hunting for any. The Indians
might pass, and God speed them out of the country.

The Nez Perces not only passed by in peace, but they stopped at the
villages of Stevensville and Corvallis and traded with the whites. They
also left a spy at Corvallis, who stopped until Howard had come up and
passed on, and then sped away to Joseph with full particulars.

Meantime General Gibbon, with about two hundred cavalry, had hastened from
Helena across to Fort Missoula, on the Bitter Root, but arrived too late to
intercept Joseph. Gibbon followed the Indian trail, and overtook them
August 8. Waiting through the night for "that dark still hour which is just
before the dawn," he swept through the camp in a furious charge, completely
surprising the Indians. It seems that Joseph and his men supposed the war
was over, and having started to the buffalo country, were careless about
posting sentinels. Though taken by surprise, General Joseph rallied his
warriors and recaptured the camp. He also drove the soldiers back to a
grove of timber, where they erected rude barricades, and made a stand.

Joseph said of General Gibbon: "Finding that he was not able to capture us,
he sent to his camp for his big guns (cannon), but my men had captured them
and all the ammunition. We damaged the big guns all we could and carried
away the powder and lead." At eleven o'clock that night the Indians
withdrew, leaving Gibbon wounded and his command so crippled that it could
not pursue. Joseph had fought and won his third battle.

The Nez Perces remained long enough to bury their dead, but when General
Howard joined Gibbon at this place, his Bannock scouts, ghoul-like, dug up
the bodies, and in the presence of officers and men, scalped and mutilated
them. The body of Looking-Glass, their ablest diplomat, who fell here, was
abused in this manner, although the Nez Perces, being neither civilized nor
the allies of civilization, neither took scalps nor mutilated. It is also
their proud boast that they never made war on women and children while the
war lasted. Joseph said "We would feel ashamed to do so cowardly an act."

Continuing the retreat, Joseph and his band crossed the continental divide
again into Idaho, and camped on the great Camas prairie, on the
Yellowstone, west of the National Park. He had replenished his supplies,
captured two hundred and fifty good horses, and his forces were in
excellent condition. General Howard's troops also camped in the prairie a
day's march behind. Lieutenant Bacon had been dispatched with a squad of
men to hold Tacher's Pass, the most accessible roadway over the divide into
the park. The pickets and sentinels were posted, and the weary troopers
were soon sleeping, unconscious of war's alarms.

In the faint starlight dark forms might have been seen creeping through the
tall grass. Halter ropes and hobbles were cut and bells removed from the
necks of the bell-mares. Creeping away in the same manner, but with less
caution, a slight noise was made. "What was that?" asked a picket of a
comrade. "Nothing but a prowling wolf," was the reply. For some time
nothing could be heard in the camp but the regular foot falls of the
sentinel. Suddenly a troop of horsemen came in sight, riding back over the
trail of the Indians. They rode in column of fours, regularly and without
haste. "It must be Bacon's men returning," said the pickets. On came the
troopers to the very lines of the camp, but when they were challenged by
the sentinel they answered with a war-whoop. At once pandemonium was let
loose. A  wild yell arose, followed by a fusillade of small arms, which
startled the soldiers and stampeded the horses and mules, which were seen
scampering away, with heads in the air, nostrils spread, snorting with
excitement, followed by the Indians, yelling like demons. We must credit
the great chieftain with a successful surprise.

The Nez Perces next eluded Bacon and retreated through Tacher's Pass into
the beautiful National Park. In the region of the hot springs and geysers,
they met a party of travelers. It consisted of Mr. Cowan, his wife,
sister-in-law, brother-in-law and two guides. Three of the men were left
for dead, but the other, together with the two ladies, were carried into
captivity. Horrible fate! General Howard said they were "afterward
rescued." But Joseph said, "On the way we captured one white man and two
white women. We released them at the end of three days. They were kindly

On September 9 word was brought that General Sturgis was coming from the
Powder River country with three hundred and fifty cavalry and some friendly
Crows. Joseph was now between the two forces. Can the Indian chieftain
again escape? Yes, this savage, with a genius for war which would have made
him famous among the military heroes of any age or country, made a feint
toward the West, fooling Sturgis, and sending him on a wild-goose chase to
guard the trail down the Stinking Water. At the same time Joseph and his
people, under cover of a dense forest, made their way into a narrow and
slippery cañon. This was immensely deep, but the almost perpendicular
walls were but twenty feet apart. Through this dark chasm slipped
and floundered the cavalry and infantry. It must have been a strange sight
as the column moved slowly along the bottom of the defile, men, horses,
pack-mules and artillery, with only a narrow ribbon of sky high above
them. All in vain, Joseph again escaped.

There was but one way to reach them and that was by direct pursuit. All day
long the Indians retreated, fighting desperately as they went, and at dark
the exhausted soldiers withdrew to camp at the mouth of the cañon. Nothing
had been accomplished during the day except to round up several hundred
ponies which had been abandoned by the Nez Perces, while they continued
their flight on fresh mounts. March as they would, the soldiers could not
diminish the distance between pursued and pursuers.

The Nez Perces retreated up the Musselshell River, and then, circling back
of the Judith Mountains, struck the Missouri September 23, at Cow Island.
General Joseph had fought his fourth battle, against a greatly superior
force, which he had held in check, while he brought off his own people in
comparative safety. Crossing the Missouri, the Nez Perces moved on
leisurely to the north. Having repulsed the forces of Howard, Gibbon, and
Sturgis, each in turn, the Indians began to feel secure. They were now
entering a beautiful country, a veritable paradise, lying between the Bear
Paw and Little Rocky Mountains. It is also rich in romance and tradition,
and the reputed locality of the "Lost Cabin of Montana," the new El Dorado
of miners' thoughts by day and dreams by night.

The Indians established their camp on Snake Creek, a tributary of Milk
River, within a day's march of the British dominions.

There was yet one hope. Days before, a messenger had embarked in a canoe
and started down the Yellowstone River to Fort Keough, to inform Gen. N. A.
Miles, the commandant, of the situation. General Miles at once put his
forces in order and started northward to intercept the wily Joseph. He
reached the Indian camp on the morning of September 30, at the head of
three hundred and seventy-five men, and at once began the attack.

The Nez Perces knew of their coming only long enough to take a position in
the ravines of the creek valley, and await the attack. General Miles
ordered a charge upon the Indian camp, which succeeded in cutting it in two
and capturing most of their horses. The soldiers, however, recoiled under
the deadly fire of the Indians, with one-fifth of their force killed and

Joseph's warriors, though surprised, proved themselves worthy of the
reputation they had established at Camas prairie, Big Hole and elsewhere,
and fought with great valor. The continuous fire and unerring aim of their
magazine guns at close range inflicted a loss to General Miles of
twenty-six killed and forty wounded, while Joseph's loss for the first day
and night was eighteen men and three women.

Each side found foe men worthy of their steel. Never, on any occasion, did
the American Indians display more heroic courage, and never did the
American soldiers exhibit more unshaken fortitude.

For four days and as many nights the two forces faced each other. The
whites controlled the situation, as escape from the ravine was cut off, but
were unwilling to attempt to capture the camp by storm. They knew, from
their first experience, that such an attempt would involve a terrible loss
of life. Meantime, Joseph strengthened his intrenchments and prepared for a
siege. He also dispatched a messenger to Sitting Bull, who was just over
the line of the British dominions with twelve hundred discontented and
hostile Sioux. The hope was that this chief and his warriors would come to
their relief; but for some reason Sitting Bull failed them in their

The Indians could not escape through the lines without abandoning their
wounded and helpless. Joseph said of this battle: "We could have escaped
from Bear Paw Mountain if we had left our wounded, old women and children
behind. We were unwilling to do this. We had never heard of a wounded
Indian recovering while in the hands of white men. I could not bear to see
my wounded men and women suffer any longer; we had lost enough already.
General Miles had promised that we might return to our country with what
stock we had left. I believed General Miles, or I never would have
surrendered. I have heard that he has been censured for making the promise
to return us to Lapwai. He could not have made any other terms with me at
that time. I would have held him in check until my friends came to my
assistance, and then neither of the generals nor their soldiers would have
ever left Bear Paw Mountain alive."

On the morning of October 5 Joseph and his band surrendered--those who were
left. Ollacut, his brother, had fallen here at Snake Creek, with
twenty-seven others. White Bird had flown in the night with a band of one
hundred and five, including Joseph's daughter. They reached the British
Dominions and joined Sitting Bull. So, to stop any further bloodshed, Chief
Joseph now handed his gun to General Miles, in the presence of General
Howard, who arrived the day previous with a small escort, and said with
impressive dignity: "Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me
before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed.
Looking-Glass is dead; Too-Hool-Hool-Suit is dead. The old men are all
dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men
(Ollacut) is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children
are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills,
and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are--perhaps
freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how
many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me,
my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick, and sad. From where the sun now
stands I will fight no more against the white man forever."

"Thus," says General Sherman, "has terminated one of the most extraordinary
Indian wars of which there is any record."

The Indians throughout displayed a courage and skill that elicited
universal praise; they abstained from scalping, let captive women go free,
did not commit indiscriminate murder of peaceful families, which is usual,
and fought with almost scientific skill, using advance and rear guards,
skirmish lines and field fortifications.

{Illustration: "Comes Out Holy," Sioux.}

Gen. Nelson A. Miles, perhaps the greatest living authority, as he is
certainly one of our ablest generals and most successful Indian fighters,
says in his report: "As these people have been hitherto loyal to the
Government, and friends of the white race, from the time their country was
first explored, and in their skilful campaign have spared hundreds of lives
and thousands of dollars' worth of property, that they might have
destroyed, and as they have been, in my opinion, grossly wronged in years
past; have lost most of their ponies, property and everything except a
small amount of clothing, I have the honor to recommend that ample
provision be made for their civilization, and to enable them to become
self-sustaining. They are sufficiently intelligent to appreciate the
consideration which, in my opinion, is due them from the Government. The
Nez Perces are the boldest men, and the best marksmen of any Indians I have
encountered, and Chief Joseph is a man of more sagacity and intelligence
than any Indian I have ever met. He counseled against the war, and against
the usual atrocities practiced by Indians, and is far more humane than such
leaders as Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. The campaign of the Nez Perces is
a good illustration of what would be the result of bad faith or
ill-treatment toward the large tribes of mountain Indians that occupy most
of the Rocky Mountain range."

It must be understood that Joseph surrendered on honorable terms. General
Miles said: "I acted on what I supposed was the original design of the
Government to place these Indians on their own reservation, and so informed
them, and also sent assurances to the war parties that were out and those
who had escaped, that they would be taken to Tongue River and retained for
a time, and sent across the mountains as soon as the weather permitted in
the spring." The Indians understood also that they were to retain what
stock they still had. General Howard also concurred in these conditions and
gave orders to General Miles to send the Indians to his department in the
spring, unless he received "instructions from higher authority."

The terms of this surrender were shamefully violated. Joseph and his band
were taken first to Fort Lincoln. Then to Fort Leavenworth, afterward to
the Quapaw Agency, Indian Territory. At Leavenworth they were placed
between a lagoon and the river, the worst possible place for sanitary
conditions that could have been selected, with no water but that of the
"Big Muddy" to drink. All were affected by the poisonous malaria of the

Joseph said, "Many of my people sickened and died, and we buried them in
this strange land. I can not tell how much my heart suffered for my people
while at Leavenworth. The Great Spirit Chief, who rules above, seemed to be
looking some other way, and did not see what was being done to my  people."
Yet he is just and magnanimous enough to add in the same connection: "I
believe General Miles would have kept his word if he could have done so. I
do not blame him for what we have suffered since the surrender. I do not
know who is to blame. We gave up all our horses, over eleven hundred, and
all our saddles, over one hundred, and we have not heard from them since.
_Somehody has got our Horses._"

As Helen Hunt Jackson well says in her "Century of Dishonor," "This
narrative of Chief Joseph's is profoundly touching; a very Iliad of
tragedy, of dignified and hopeless sorrow; and it stands supported by the
official records of the Indian Bureau."

The Indian Commissioner, in his Annual Report for 1878, says: "After the
arrival of Joseph and his band in Indian Territory, the bad effect of their
location at Fort Leavenworth manifested itself in the prostration by
sickness at one time of two hundred and sixty out of the four hundred and
ten, and within a few months in the death of more than one-quarter of the
entire number."

It is gratifying to record that General Miles left no stone unturned to
have the conditions of the surrender respected. Some seven years later,
when he had been promoted, he succeeded in having Chief Joseph and the
remnant of his band returned to the neighborhood of their old home. Joseph
and a few others were placed at the Colville Agency, in Washington, and the
remainder were put with their people on Lapwai reservation.

A few years ago Chief Joseph attended the commencement exercises of the
Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and there sat at the same banquet table
with Gen. 0. 0. Howard. The two former foes, but at that time fast friends,
toasted each other.

A special correspondent of the _Inter Ocean_ wrote of this incident:

"These two men were the chief opposing figures in a most remarkable Indian
war twenty-seven years ago. During this war, in 1877, Chief Joseph's battle
line was fourteen hundred miles long. He proved one of the greatest foes
who ever fought against an American army, but his present attitude is
vastly different, as was shown by his speech at the banquet. He spoke in
the Indian language, the literal translation being as follows:

"'Friends, I meet here my friend, General Howard. I used to be so anxious
to meet him. I wanted to kill him in war. To-day I am glad to meet him, and
glad to meet everybody here, and to be friends with General Howard. We are
both old men, still we live, and I am glad. We both fought in many wars and
we are both alive. Ever since the war I have made up my  mind to be
friendly to the whites and to everybody. I wish you, my friends, would
believe me as I believe myself in my heart in what I say. When my friend
General Howard and I fought together I had no idea that we would ever sit
down to a meal together, as to-day, but we have, and I am glad. I have lost
many friends and many men, women and children, but I have no grievance
against any of the white people, General Howard or any one. If General
Howard dies first, of course I will be sorry. I understand and I know that
learning of books is a nice thing, and I have some children here in school
from my tribe that are trying to learn something, and I am thankful to know
there are some of my children here struggling to learn the white man's ways
and his books. I repeat again I have no enmity against anybody. I want to
be friends to everybody. I wish my children would learn more and more every
day, so they can mingle with the white people and do business with them as
well as anybody else, I shall try to get Indians to send their children to

During the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, at St. Louis, in 1904, Chief
Joseph was one of the greatest attractions at the Indian Congress, the
early part of the season. But the thought of exhibiting himself for money
was very distasteful and humiliating to the proud chieftain. This, together
with his habit of brooding over the wrongs and afflictions of his unhappy
people, brought on a sickness. He went back to the reservation the early
part of July, but it was simply going home to die. He lingered along until
the 21st day of the following September, when his great soul took its
flight to the "Great Spirit Chief," who will judge between him and the
Government who (it would almost seem) deliberately wasted and destroyed one
of the noblest and most civilized of the native American tribes.

Soon after his death, Dr. E. H. Latham, the agency physician, was
interviewed by a newspaper reporter, and he declared that "Joseph had died
of a broken heart."

No people on earth have a nobler patriotism, or greater love for their
country than the Indians. We doubt not the doctor's diagnosis was correct,
and we firmly believe that thousands of other leaders of that race have
died of the same malady.

All fair-minded people now believe it was a mistake, and a burning shame,
to take the Wallowa valley away from Joseph and his band for the benefit of
a few greedy settlers, when there were at that very time teeming millions
of acres of land just as good, and open to settlement, throughout eastern
Oregon and border States. All the vast treasure and bloodshed would have
been saved, and to-day there would have been in that valley of "Winding
Water" one of the most civilized, prosperous and progressive Indian
settlements in America.

It would actually pay our Government in dollars and cents to mete out the
same protection and justice to the Indian as it does to every one else
under the flag whose skin is white. Whatever the theory may be, the
practice has been to regard the Indian as the legal prey and predestined
victim for every white scoundrel who wanted to rob or even murder him, and
he was often justified on the theory that "the only good Indian is a dead

But it is a long lane that has no turn. Those broken-hearted martyrs, like
Joseph, have not died in vain. We seem to be entering on a new era of human
brotherhood, in which the value is placed on the jewel rather than the
_color_ of the casket containing it. Manhood, worth, virtue, are now sought
for and honored even by the proud Anglo-Saxon, regardless of race or color.

The proof of this statement is found in the splendid monument erected by
the Washington University State Historical Society over the remains of
Chief Joseph.

We are indebted to Prof. Edmond  S. Meany, secretary of the above society,
for an account of the exercises held at the unveiling and dedication of the
monument. This took place at Nespelim, Washington, June 20, 1905, in the
presence of a large number of white and Indian friends and admirers of the
great chief.

The monument is of white marble and measures seven and one-half feet in
height. On the front is carved a fine portrait of the famous warrior. On
the base, below this portrait, in large raised letters, appears the name,
CHIEF JOSEPH. On one side is his Nez Perce name, Hin-Mah-Too-Yah-Lat-Kekt,
and its translation, "Thunder Rolling in the Mountains." On the other side,
"He led his people in the Nez Perce war of 1877. Died 21 September, 1904,
age, about 60 years," On the back of the shaft: "Erected 20 June, 1905, by
the Washington University State Historical Society."

We also received from an Indian correspondent, Tom Eagle Blanket, of
Nespelim, a newspaper containing a report of the exercises of the occasion.
Several speeches were made by representatives of both races. The principal
Indian orator was Yellow Bull, an aged Nez Perce from Montana, who was a
sub-chief, next in rank to the younger Joseph, at the time of the war, and
fought with him, side by side. Though old and blind. Yellow Bull walked
erect and made quite an imposing appearance in his rich Indian dress. He
spoke very earnestly, and said in part: "I am very glad to meet you all
here to-day, my brothers and sisters, and children and white friends. When
the Creator created us, he put us on this earth, and the flowers on the
earth, and he takes us all in his arms and keeps us in peace and
friendship, and our friendship and peace shall never fade, but it will
shine forever. Our people love our old customs. I am very glad to see our
white friends here attending this ceremony, and it seems like we all have
the same sad feelings, and that would seem like it would wipe my tears.
Joseph is dead; but his words are not dead; his words will live forever.
This monument will stand--Joseph's words will stand as long as this
monument. We (the red and the white people) are both here, and the Great
Spirit looks down on us both; and now if we are good and live right, like
Joseph, we shall see him. I have finished."

As soon as the two widows of Joseph and other old squaws who were with the
fighting Nez Perces during the war heard the voice of Yellow Bull once
more, and his words of the dead chieftain, they broke forth into loud
wailing, thus proving that Indian women love as devotedly, and mourn for
the loved and lost, exactly like their white sisters.

After electing Albert Waters chief, to succeed Joseph, the bands returned
to their homes and reservations.

                             CHAPTER XV.


With the possible exception of the Sioux, the Apaches were the most
formidable of all our Western Indian tribes. Indeed it is conceded that in
cunning, ferocity and endurance they have never had an equal on this
continent, or a superior on this globe.

General Crook, who was an acknowledged authority, has seen an Apache lope
for fifteen hundred feet up the side of a mountain without showing any sign
of fatigue, there being neither an increase of respiration or perspiration.
A band of Apaches have been known to ambush a party of whites on an open
plain, where there was neither tree, shrub, nor blade of grass growing. It
was done by burrowing in the sand and covering their bodies, all but their
eyes, and remaining motionless until the unsuspecting whites were within a
hundred yards of them.

Capt. John G. Bourke, who served under Crook against the Apaches, thus
describes those warriors: "Physically, he is perfect; he might be a trifle
taller for artistic effect, but his apparent 'squattiness' is due more to
great girth of chest than to diminutive stature. His muscles are hard as
bone, and I have seen one light a match on the sole of his naked foot.
Twenty years ago, when Crook took him in hand, the Apache had few wants and
cared for no luxuries. War was his business, his life, and victory his
dream. To attack a Mexican camp or isolated village, and run off a herd of
cattle, mules or sheep, he would gladly travel hundreds of miles, incurring
every risk and displaying a courage which would have been extolled in an
historical novel if it had happened in a raid by Highlanders upon
Southrons; but when it was your stock or your friends, it became quite a
different matter. He wore no clothing whatever, save a narrow piece of
calico or buckskin about the loins, a helmet, also of buckskin, plentifully
crested with the plumage of the wild turkey and eagle, and long-legged
moccasins, held to the waist by a string, and turned up at the toes in a
shield which protected him from stones and 'cholla' cactus. If he felt
thirsty he drank from the nearest brook; if there was no brook near by, he
went without, and, putting a stone or twig in his mouth to induce a flow of
saliva, journeyed on. When he desired to communicate with friends at home,
or to put himself in correspondence with persons whose cooperation had been
promised, he rubbed two sticks together, and dense signal smoke rolled to
the zenith and was answered from peaks twenty and thirty miles away. By
nightfall his bivouac was pitched at a distance from water, generally on
the flank of a rocky mountain, along which no trail would be left, and up
which no force of cavalry could hope to ascend without making a noise to
awaken the dead."

The Apache had another practice which made it still more difficult to trail
or capture a roving band. After striking a murderous blow, and when closely
pursued, they would break up into small parties, which, if hard pressed,
would continue to dissolve until each one was pursuing his way alone
through the mountain fastnesses. When pursuit was suspended and the danger
over, they reunited at some remote rendezvous well known to all.

Another great advantage which the Apache had over the soldier is the fact
that these people were familiar with all the ravines, caverns, cañons,
defiles, gorges and places inaccessible to horses, which are almost
innumerable in the mountain ranges of Arizona, New Mexico and across the
headwaters of the Rio Grande. The Apache, when on a raid, could live on
rats, mice, terrapin and rabbits; and if all these failed and he was hard
pressed, he would kill and eat his horse.

{Illustration: Geronimo, or Go-Yat-Thlay, The Yawner, the renowned Apache
Chief and Medicine Man.}

Among the arts possessed by these red men was that of concocting a beverage
from the maguey plant, called "Tizwin," compared to which fusel oil and
Jersey lightning are as mild and harmless as Jersey milk. But the Apaches
are not at all squeamish as regards the flavor of their liquors; strength
and results are all that is demanded, and "Tizwin" had plenty of both. So
when they wished to indulge in a debauch they would drink copious draughts
of this horrible concoction, which brought out all the latent demon in
them, provided it had not already come to the surface.

Ellis, in his "Indian Wars," says: "The climate of Arizona and other parts
of the Southwest, for weeks at a time, is like a furnace. Were not the air
dry, life would be unbearable to the whites. If those who remained at home
had any conception of the sufferings of our officers and soldiers when
prosecuting their Indian campaigns, their lips, instead of speaking
criticism, would utter expressions of wonder and admiration.

"When the troops were trying to run down the Apaches, the thermometer, day
after day, marked one hundred and twenty degrees, and often more. The
metalwork on their guns became so hot that it could not be touched with the
bare hand. The air pulsated and the soil was baked under their feet.
Sometimes, when aflame with thirst, they toiled mile after mile, cheered by
the expectation of reaching some spring, they found the Apaches had been
there ahead of them and befouled it beyond all use for man or beast."

Various reasons have been assigned to account for the Apache outbreak of
the spring of 1885. Perhaps the following is the most probable of those
mentioned. Rendered desperate by long-enforced temperance restrictions, the
Apaches concocted a quantity of their native drink, "Tizwin," and the
braves got uproariously drunk. With returning sobriety came repentance and
a wholesome fear of General Crook, who was then in command of the forces in
the Southwest and had supervision of the posts and reservations. Such
sprees by his Indian charges were strictly forbidden, and surely punished.
Lieutenant Davis, in command of the post, was interviewed regarding their
offense and the probability of punishment. "I must report the matter to
General Crook," replied the officer; "I can not say what steps he will see
fit to take in the matter."

The braves withdrew anxious and fearful, but concealing their real feelings
beneath a sullen gravity. The envoys reported the ominous reply of the
lieutenant to the others of the band, and the matter was discussed at
length. Among those who had the most to say was a woman, Huera, the squaw
of Mangus, one of the principal chiefs of the Apaches, who possessed an
influence over the braves seldom equaled by Indian women. More than once
her intercession cast the balance in the fate of a captive, and meant death
by torture or life and adoption into the tribe. She now addressed the
warriors about as follows: "Are you men, old women or children? If old
women and children you will stay here and wait to receive your punishment.
But if you are warriors you will take the warpath, and then the 'Grey Fox'
must catch you before you are punished. May-be-so you go to Sonora, and he
no catch you. I have spoken."

To her fierce utterances they listened with attention, because she told
them what they wanted to hear, and the next day saw them upon the warpath.
They had escaped punishment, for a time at least, for it is an axiom of
Indian warfare, the truth of which is at once apparent, that you can not do
anything to an Indian until you have caught him.

The leader of this band of Chiricahua Apaches is the subject of this
sketch--the far-famed Geronimo, the best advertised Indian on earth. He is
a son of Tah-Clish-Un, and a pupil of Cochise, from whom he had learned
every detail of Indian generalship, and had succeeded him in his marvelous
influence over the tribe.

Lieut. Britton Davis, Third Cavalry, under whose control the Chiricahuas
were, telegraphed at once to General Crook a report of the case, but the
wires were working badly and the message was never delivered. Had the
message reached Crook, he would at once have taken action to head them off
and it is quite probable no trouble would have occurred, as he would have
nipped it in the bud.

The troops were at once prepared for pursuit, and the long chase began
about the middle of April, 1885. Their earliest field of operations was in
that portion of New Mexico between the Ladron and Magdalena Mountains and
the boundary of Arizona, and just north of the Gila River. "Geronimo knows
this country as well as if he had made it himself," was the quaint remark
of a newspaper correspondent; and indeed it would not have suited his
purpose better, had it been made to order.

From mountain fastnesses beyond the reach of the ordinary white soldier,
the warriors of Geronimo and Naiche could look down upon the troops sent in
pursuit. From their hiding-places among the caves and cañons they could
make a sudden dash upon scouting parties, or cut off supply trains; and the
cunning savages knew how to time these descents so as to avoid danger of
diminishing their band.

"But," as Kelsey says, "it was not only in finding secure hiding-places
that the Indians were too much for the whites. Had that been all, they
might have been surrounded by a cordon of soldiers and reduced by famine.
They had pathways known only to themselves, by which they could elude
pursuit. Issuing from their rocky caves and lofty eyries, the untiring
children of the plains would descend upon the isolated settlements which
are scattered over the two territories, and write in fire and blood the
message of defiance to the general whom they had once feared. Now and then,
perhaps a captive woman or child would be carried off to a fate worse than
death; but more often all fell beneath the murderous stroke of the Apache.
Possessing themselves of the horses which had once belonged to the murdered
settler, they would ride off. However hot the pursuit they were not to be

"The cavalry must have rest, not only for themselves, but for their horses.
But if the steeds of the Indians tired, they had but to steal others at the
settlements which they passed, and freshly mounted, the unwearied red men
laughed at the white men's best speed. From ninety to one hundred miles in
the course of the day was no unusual achievement, though they were
encumbered with their women and children; and if necessity required they
could travel much farther without resting."

General Crook had a theory that the best way to catch Geronimo and his band
of marauders was to employ other friendly Apache warriors as scouts,
trailers and Indian police.

This was accordingly done, and between two and three hundred were sworn
into the service of the United States, and placed under the command of
Captain Crawford.

With the aid of these Apache scouts they were now able to match cunning
with cunning, to interpret the smoke signals, to trail the enemy night or
day where no track was visible to the eyes of the regulars.

Geronimo now fled across the Mexican line into the provinces of Chihuahua
and Sonora, where in the Sierra Madre Mountains the country was even more
rugged than on the American side.

Fortunately a treaty existed with Mexico at this time, whereby troops from
either country were permitted to cross the boundary when in chase of
fugitive Indians.

Geronimo had with him when he started thirty-four warriors, eight boys and
ninety-one women. Who were almost as fierce as the bucks. Never did so
small a band of savages give our Government as much trouble.

General Crook and Captain Crawford were on their mettle, and the pursuit
was continued across the Rio Grande. From place to place along the border
the soldiers followed the fugitives. Now and again a sudden encounter would
result in the death of one or two on either side, and the retreat of the

The soldiers and Indian scouts pushed matters so hard that they finally
corraled Geronimo. They held him just one night, when he escaped again and
the flight was continued. Several nights later he had the temerity to steal
into camp with four warriors, and, seizing a white woman, told her that the
only way to save her life was to point out his wife's tent. She obeyed.
Geronimo set her down, caught up his squaw, and was off before the alarm
could be given.

During the fall of 1885, the death of Geronimo was regularly reported about
every two weeks, but during the first part of November he was sufficiently
alive to have three running fights with the pursuing soldiers.

The Mexicans had also suffered severely from the depredations of the
marauding Apaches, and they, too, had organized a company of irregular
troops from the Tarahumari Indians, who were almost as wild and fierce as
the Apaches themselves, and had been their mortal enemy for the past two
hundred years. This company, one hundred and fifty strong, officered by
Mexicans and under the command of Santa Anna Perez, a captain in the
Mexican army, had trailed a band of thieving Apaches seventeen days.

Meantime Captain Crawford and his regulars and Indian scouts were
relentlessly pursuing Geronimo and his band, and during the month of
January, 1886, they came up with them near Nacori, in the State of Sonora,
and surrounded their camp just before daylight. For once Geronimo was
surprised; probably worn out at last by the continuous pursuit, the Indians
slept sounder than usual. Certain it is, the surprise was complete, and
after a few volleys had been fired the Indians saw their case was hopeless
and prepared to surrender.

Hoisting a white flag, which was the signal for the firing to cease, and
relying on the white man's chivalry, the squaws of the camp were
dispatched, as messengers, to the commanding officer. The squaws stated
that Geronimo, Xaiche and their warriors wished to confer with Captain
Crawford; that they were worn out with the long chase, and were ready to
meet General Crook and surrender to him. They had no terms to propose, but
would throw themselves on the mercy of the victor. Captain Crawford now
demanded that they should surrender their horses, mules, wagons, ammunition
and camp outfit. His requirements were at once complied with, and it was
agreed that a conference should be held the next day to arrange a meeting
between General Crook and the hostiles.

Thus matters stood when the band of thieving, murdering Apaches pursued by
the Mexican soldiers, reached Geronimo's band. The fugitives found their
comrades treating with a United States officer. They had literally jumped
out of the frying-pan into the fire. The Mexicans were hot in pursuit, and
were not to be deprived of their revenge simply because their foes had
received unexpected reinforcements. They promptly opened fire, which was as
promptly returned. Suddenly above the conflict a shrill voice is heard:
"For God's sake, stop firing! These are United States troops."

The captain at once ordered his men to stop, but before the command was
understood, there was a report from a Mexican rifle, and the gallant
Captain Crawford fell back with a bullet in his brain. With a muttered
curse, a young  Apache called Dutchy returned the shot and avenged the
death of his beloved captain that he was unable to prevent.

In this unfortunate skirmish the Mexicans lost one of their bravest
officers, Mauricio Coredor, who was one of their best Indian fighters, and
had rendered great service to both nations by ridding the earth of
Victorio, that bloodthirsty and cruel Apache, a worthy predecessor of
Geronimo. They also lost another officer and two privates; while four of
their number were wounded, or, according to some accounts, nine.

Of the United States force, two privates were wounded; the commanding
officer being the only one whose injury was fatal.

When the firing ceased, Lieutenant Maus, the second in command, accompanied
by one comrade, advanced to confer with Capt. Santa Anna Perez. The United
States uniform is not always an all-sufficient guarantee in such cases, and
the Mexican commander was doubtful what course to pursue. Lieutenant Maus
proposed that when they should reach Nacori, he would produce papers to
show that he was what he claimed to be. But Captain Perez resolved that he
would not fail in discretion and refused to allow an Apache to approach his
camp, even though a United States scout. Matters between the two officers
were finally adjusted, by each giving the other a letter, stating the
manner in which the fight occurred; so that neither would be censured by
his superior officer for firing upon the troops of a friendly nation.
Having escorted the body of Captain Crawford to Nacori, where it was
temporarily interred (and afterward conveyed to Kearney, Nebraska, for
burial), Lieutenant Maus took the command and encamped with all his force
on the bank of the San Bernardino Creek, whence he sent a courier to Fort
Bowie to inform General Crook of the request of Geronimo's band for an
interview, looking to a surrender. Meanwhile, as usual, the wishes of the
settlers had far outrun the facts, and it was confidently asserted that
Geronimo had already surrendered with all his warriors. General Crook at
once assented to the request, and set off for the rendezvous.

The journey of forty miles was soon made and communications opened with the
hostiles, whose camp was about twenty-five miles south of that of
Lieutenant Maus. The Indians called for more time, on the plea that it was
difficult to collect all the braves belonging to the band, as they were
scattered through a rough mountain country difficult of access by couriers.
Meantime the settlers were anxious for the surrender, for well they knew
that their lives and stock were in constant jeopardy while Geronimo and his
marauders were at large, so they gave their imaginations full rein, and had
the whole business arranged to their satisfaction several times before
General Crook had even fixed a date for it. So it came about that the
slippery Geronimo surrendered as many times in the spring of 1886 as he had
been killed the previous fall. Unfortunately for the peace and safety of
the people of the three territories, surrendering in imagination and on
paper was no more effective than killing done in the same way; and Geronimo
remained in his camp until the latter part of March.

At last the interview took place under the shade of large sycamore and
cottonwood trees. Captain Bourke, who was present, made a verbatim record
of the conference. Said he:

"Geronimo began a long disquisition upon the causes which induced the
outbreak from Camp Apache; he blamed 'Chato,' 'Mickey Free,' and Lieut.
Britton Davis, who, he charged, were unfriendly to him. He was told by an
Indian named 'Nodiskay' and by the wife of 'Mangus,' that the white people
were going to send for him, arrest and kill him; he had been praying to the
Dawn (Tapida) and the Darkness, to the Sun (Chigo-na-ay), and the Sky
(Yandestan), to help him and put a stop to those bad stories that people
were telling about him and what they had put in the papers. [The old chief
was here apparently alluding to the demand made by certain of the
Southwestern journals at the time of his surrender to Crook in 1883, that
he should be hanged.] 'I don't want that any more; when a man tries to do
right, such stories ought not to be put in the newspapers. What is the
matter that you [General  Crook] don't speak to me? It would be better if
you would speak to me and look with a pleasant face; it would make better
feeling; I would be glad if you did. I'd be better satisfied if you would
talk to me once in a while. Why don't you look at me and smile at me? I am
the same man. I have the same feet, legs and hands, and the sun looks down
on me a complete man; I wish you would look and smile at me. The Sun and
the Darkness, the Winds, are all listening to what we now say. To prove to
you that I am now telling you the truth, remember I sent you word that I
would come from a place far away to speak to you here, and you see me now.
Some have come on horseback and some on foot; if I were thinking bad or if
I had done bad, I would never have come here. If it had been my fault would
I have come so far to talk with you?' He then expressed his delight at
seeing 'Ka-e-ten-na' once more; he had lost all hope of ever having that
pleasure; that was one reason why he had left Camp Apache."

{Illustration: Group of Apaches at the time of their surrender.}

"To this speech General Crook replied, through the interpreter, 'I have
heard what you have said. It seems very strange that more than forty men
should be afraid of three; but if you left the reservation for that reason,
why did you kill innocent people, sneaking all over the country to do it?
What did those innocent people do to you that you should kill them, steal
their horses, and slip around in the rocks like coyotes? What had that to
do with killing innocent people? There is not a week passes that you don't
hear foolish stories in your own camp; but you are no child--you don't have
to believe them. You promised me in the Sierra Madre that that peace should
last, but you have lied about it. When a man has lied to me once I want
some better proof than his own word before I can believe him again. Your
story about being afraid of arrest is all bosh; there were no orders to
arrest you. You sent up some of your people to kill 'Chato' and Lieutenant
Davis, and then you started the story that they had killed them, and thus
you got a great many of your people to go out. Everything that you did on
the reservation is known; there is no use for you to try to talk nonsense.
I am no child. You must make up your mind whether you will stay out on the
warpath or surrender unconditionally. If you stay out I'll keep after you
and kill the last one if it takes fifty years. You are making a great fuss
about seeing 'Ka-e-ten-na'; over a year ago I asked you if you wanted me to
bring 'Ka-e-ten-na' back, but you said 'no.' It's a good thing for you,
Geronimo, that we didn't bring 'Ka-e-ten-na' back, because 'Ka-e-ten-na'
has more sense now than all the rest of the Chiricahuas put together. You
told me the same sort of a story in the Sierra Madre, but you lied. What
evidence have I of your sincerity? How do I know whether or not you are
lying to me? Have I ever lied to you? I have said all I have to say; you
had better think it over to-night and let me know in the morning.'"

Thus the conference ended with the best of prospects for a treaty, and an
immediate end of hostilities. The Indians were subdued and had determined
to surrender, but it was not to be. There is one power which was not taken
into account, but which proved to be more potent for evil than the
representatives of the Government--Crook and his army--were for good. John
Barleycorn appeared at this turning point of the treaty, and proved to be
stronger than Uncle Sam, by promptly undoing all that Crook and the
lamented Crawford had done.

According to Captain Bourke, "'Archaise' and 'Ka-e-ten-na' came and
awakened General Crook before it was yet daylight, on March 28, and
informed him that 'Nachita,' one of the Chiricahua chiefs, was so drunk he
couldn't stand up and was lying prone on the ground; other Chiricahuas were
also drunk, but none so drunk as 'Nachita.' Whisky had been sold them by a
rascal named Tribollet, who lived on the San Bernardino ranch, on the
Mexican side of the line, about four hundred yards from the boundary. These
Indians asked permission to take a squad of their soldiers and guard
Tribollet and his men to keep them from selling any more of the
soul-destroying stuff to the Chiricahuas. A beautiful commentary upon the
civilization of the white man! When we reached Cajon Bonito, the woods and
grass were on fire; four or five Chiricahua mules, already saddled, were
wandering about without riders. Pretty soon we came upon 'Geronimo,'
'Kuthli' and three other Chiricahua warriors riding on two mules, all drunk
as lords. It seemed to me a great shame that armies could not carry with
them an atmosphere of military law which would have justified the hanging
of the wretch, Tribollet, as a foe to human society. Upon arriving at San
Bernardino Springs, Mr. Frank Leslie informed me that he had seen this man
Tribollet sell thirty dollars' worth of mescal in less than one hour--all
to Chiricahuas--and upon being remonstrated with, the wretch boasted that
he could have sold one hundred dollars' worth that day at ten dollars a
gallon in silver. That night, during a drizzling rain, a part of the
Chiricahuas--those who had been drinking Tribollet's whisky stole out from
Maus' camp and betook themselves to the mountains, frightened, as was
afterward learned, by the lies told them by Tribollet and the men at his
ranch. Two of the warriors, upon sobering up, returned voluntarily, and
there is no doubt at all that, had General Crook not been relieved from the
command of the Department of Arizona, he could have sent out runners from
among their own people and brought back the last one without a shot being
fired. Before being stampeded by the lies and the vile whisky of wicked
men, whose only mode of livelihood was from the vices, weaknesses, or
perils of the human race, all the Chiricahuas--drunk or sober--were in the
best of humor and were quietly herding their ponies just outside of Maus'

"Thus was one of the bravest, and, up to this point, most successful
generals and his army defeated by one villainous wretch with a barrel of
cheap whisky. What did Tribollet care how many settlers' homes were burned,
their stock driven off, and their families butchered, if he could only sell
his vile adulterated whisky at ten dollars a gallon in silver."

Many settlers of the Southwest had long believed that General Geronimo was
a better officer than General Crook, and this result, just at the time of
the proposed surrender, seemed to justify them.

About the most charitable construction we can put upon General Crook's
action, or rather want of action, is that he was failing at this time, by
reason of age, and "eight years of the hardest work of his life." He
certainly was slow, careless and showed a lack of firmness in dealing with
the villainous wretch, Tribollet.

If no other way was open, he could have arrested him, or acted on the
suggestion of the Apache scout, and detailed a squad of soldiers to guard
Tribollet and his men to keep them from selling whisky to the Indians,
contrary to orders.

General Crook now tendered his resignation as commander of the Department
of the Southwest, and was succeeded by Gen. Nelson A. Miles.

General Crook's policy had been to surround the hostiles and crush them as
an anaconda does his prey; but he might as well have tried to crush an
air-cushion. General Miles, who was our most successful Indian fighter,
because he was somehow nearly always _present_ when hostile Indians were
ready to surrender, adopted a more active and vigorous campaign. He
organized the expedient of offering a reward for each Indian or head of an
Indian brought in. It is said that the price of an ordinary brave was $50,
while Geronimo, dead or alive, was worth $2,000 to the one who should kill
or capture him. In spite of these drastic measures, those who predicted a
speedy end of the war were doomed to disappointment.

Capt. H. W. Lawton, Fourth Cavalry, took the field with his command, May 5,
1885. He intended at first to operate exclusively in Mexico, as it was
thought that Geronimo had fled to his stronghold in the Sierra Madre. But
this was only a ruse to send the soldiers on the wrong trail, while the
band of that wily chief broke up into small companies and raided through
southwestern Arizona and northwestern Sonora. But Lawton soon learned the
deception and followed the raiding parties.

Captain Lawton's command consisted of thirty-five men of Troop B, Fourth
Cavalry, twenty Indian scouts, twenty men of Company D, Eighth Infantry,
and two pack trains. Fresh detachments of scouts and infantry took the
places of those first sent out, and by the first part of July the Apaches
had been driven southeast of Oposura. Up to this time Lawton's command had
marched a distance equal to two-thirds of the breadth of the continent,
surprised the hostiles once, and forced them to abandon their camps on
three different occasions. The country at this time was burned over, and in
many places there was neither grass nor water.

"Every device known to the Indian," wrote Captain Lawton, "was practiced to
throw me off the trail, but without avail. My trailers were good, and it
was soon proven that there was not a spot the enemy could reach where
security was assured."

During the month of July the cavalry were so worn out, a fresh start was
made with only infantry and Indian scouts. Assistant Leonard Wood was given
the command of the infantry, while Lieutenant Brown led the scouts. These
charged the camp of the hostiles and captured all their ponies and baggage,
but the elusive Geronimo and his band escaped, to supply themselves with
fresh horses from the nearest corral.

When the infantry in turn became exhausted and their shoes worn out on the
rocks, they were sent back to the supply camp for rest, while fresh
cavalry, under Lieut. A. L. Smith, continued the campaign.

General Miles's order at this time was: "Commanding officers are expected
to continue a pursuit until capture, or until they are assured a fresh
command is on the trail." In obedience to this command, the hunt for
Geronimo was taken up by twenty-five different detachments representing
four regiments.

This continuous trailing, together with five encounters, soon convinced the
Apaches that there was no safety in Arizona, and they hurried to the
mountain fastnesses of the Sierra Madre in Sonora, where they frequently
rise 6,000 and 7,000 feet above the plain, which is a mile above sea level.

Surgeon Wood, in his report, describes Sonora as "a continuous mass of
mountains of the most rugged character. Range follows range with hardly an
excuse for a valley, unless the narrow cañons be so considered." Spencer
says these cañons are a mile deep.

Lawton's command now resumed the trail, clinging to it like bloodhounds, in
spite of heat, hunger, thirst and fatigue. Geronimo and Naiche could not
shake him off. Pursued and pursuers reached a point three hundred miles
south of the boundary line.

The relays of troops on their trail night and day were too much even for
Geronimo's band, in spite of their marvelous powers of endurance. They were
at last perfectly exhausted and willing to surrender. At this time Lieut.
C. B. Gatewood, of the Sixth Cavalry, at the risk of his life, went into
Geronimo's camp, where he met him face to face and demanded his surrender.
As he and his entire band were helpless and hopeless they expressed
themselves as willing to submit.

The only terms Lawton or his superior, General Miles, would consider was
unconditional surrender. At last, after some consultation with his
warriors, the oft-killed and much surrendering Apache submitted himself to
the United States authorities on the morning of September 3, 1886, at
Skeleton Cañon, Arizona. When the band surrendered, General Miles noticed
that Chief Naiche was not among the Indians; and messengers were sent
after him to induce him to come in; but he delayed until the evening of the
next day. The chief explained that his delay was due to two reasons. In the
first place, he was fearful of being treated as his grandfather, Mangus
Colorado, had been, that is, murdered after he surrendered.

His second reason for delay was that he thought it appropriate that he, the
son of the great war-chief, Cochise, and the first chief of the
Chiricahuas, should be the last to lay down his arms and cease fighting the
white men, whom he and his fathers had fought for two centuries.

Never was the surrender of so small a number of savages deemed of more
importance. Twenty-two warriors comprised the entire fighting force that
remained. About eighteen months had been spent in the pursuit, which
covered a distance of two thousand miles. General Miles had been in command
just twenty-one weeks, during which time his men traversed more than one
thousand miles.

The Geronimo war, now ended, had cost the Government more than a million

When the news was received, and confirmed by later reports, that Geronimo
and his band had actually surrendered, there was much rejoicing throughout
western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and even across the Rio Grande in
Mexico. Bonfires were made, and congratulatory telegrams poured in upon
General Miles and Captain Lawton from many sources. Families who had been
in daily terror of their lives, now felt they could retire at night with
some assurance of living to see the sunrise of the next morning.

It was not thought prudent to let Geronimo and his band remain in the
Southwest, even as United States prisoners, as the settlers would have
still been in terror lest they should again break out of the reservation or
prison and renew their depredations.

For this reason, Geronimo and sixteen members of his band, including the
leading chiefs, were sent to Fort Pickens, Florida. The rest of his band,
and the four hundred Chiricahua and Warm Spring Indians of Fort Apache were
sent to Fort Marion, near St. Augustine, Florida, about the same time. May
1, 1887, the prisoners from the latter fort were removed to Mount Vernon,
Alabama, to improve their health. Here they were afterward joined by
Geronimo and the other prisoners from Fort Pickens.

At least two of the officers engaged in this campaign afterward became
distinguished in the Spanish-American and Philippine wars. We refer to
Capt. H. W. Lawton and Surgeon Leonard Wood, whose subsequent histories are
well known.

Capt. John G. Bourke, near the close of his work, "On the Border with
Crook," states that a number of the prisoners sent to Florida, including
"Chato" and his band, "had remained faithful for three years, and had
rendered signal service in the pursuit of the renegades." Continuing, he
wrote, "Yet, every one of those faithful scouts--especially the two,
'Ki-e-ta' and Martinez, who had at imminent personal peril gone into the
Sierra Madre to hunt up 'Geronimo' and induce him to surrender--were
transplanted to Florida, and there subjected to the same punishment as had
been meted out to 'Geronimo.' And with them were sent men like 'Goth-Kli'
and 'To-Klanni,' who were not Chiricahuas at all, but had only lately
married wives of that band, who had never been on the warpath in any
capacity except as soldiers of the Government, and had devoted years to its
service. There is no more disgraceful page in the history of our relations
with the American Indians than that which conceals the treachery visited
upon the Chiricahuas who remained faithful in their allegiance to our

If these statements are true, and they are quoted from documents of the War
Department, then the loyal Indians of this period have been terribly
wronged. And every honorable soldier, and just citizen, should demand that
reparation be made and the wrong righted as much as possible, even after
the lapse of years. If these Indians were unjustly imprisoned, as is here
claimed, the accumulating years only serve to augment the shame of those
responsible for such an outrage.

In the spring of 1889 a school was opened for the Indian children at Mount
Vernon, Alabama, and Geronimo was not only present at the opening, but
acted as head usher on the occasion.

October 4, 1894, Geronimo and a portion of his band, including Naiche and
other chiefs, were removed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. They now number 240
people and are called prisoners of war.

Naiche, the last of the band to surrender, seems to be, according to his
own statement, an hereditary chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. He is said to
be a clever artist, and a crack shot, either with the primitive bow and
arrow or Winchester rifle. He is now one of the United States soldiers at
Fort Sill, having enlisted as a Government scout.

As we were anxious to learn more of these two noted Indians, especially
Geronimo, we determined to make a visit to Fort Sill, which is in Comanche
County, Oklahoma Territory, three miles from Lawton. This we did in April
of 1905.

The commandant at the fort, Lieut. George A. Purington, extended every
courtesy, and among other things gave me this bit of information. Said he:
"When Geronimo was about to start to Washington I gave him a check for
$171. He took it to Lawton and deposited $170 of it in the bank, and
started to Washington with only $1 in his pocket. But wherever the train
stopped and people learned that Geronimo was on board they crowded around
the car windows and bought his autograph as fast as he could write it at
50 cents each." The interpreter, George M. Wratton, who was with Geronimo,
said he had trouble getting him from one depot to another because of the
people crowding around, eager for his autograph. He attracted more
attention than any one in Washington, the President alone excepted. He soon
had his pockets full of money. He bought a trunk and filled it with good
clothes, and had money in his pocket when he returned to Fort Sill, ahead
of the interpreter, having become separated from him in Washington.

{Illustration: Naiche, Head Chief of he Chiricahua Apaches.}

The commandant also informed us that Geronimo's imprisonment was of the
mildest form possible. His treatment is kind and humane, and, in fact, he
is a well-to-do Indian, with money in the bank at Lawton and the proceeds
of a herd of about two hundred cattle, kept on the reservation by his good
friend, Uncle Sam. Continuing, the lieutenant said, warming with his theme;
"Why, as a matter of fact, Geronimo enjoys comparative freedom. Besides
going to Washington City recently and coming all the way back by himself,
he is continually going somewhere. Here is a letter which I have just
received from one of the Miller Brothers, proprietors of 101 Ranch of
Bliss, Oklahoma, asking me to let Geronimo be with them June 11 in their
great Wild West Cowboy and Indian outfit, which is being arranged to
entertain the National Editorial Association, which will meet at Guthrie
about that time. They propose to pay Geronimo his own price, and I am
perfectly willing he should go and earn something for himself. Out of the
fifty or sixty thousand people expected on the ground that day, it is
thought that at least ten thousand will come purposely to see Geronimo, as
he is the best advertised Indian in America. Just last night I gave him a
permit to visit Quanah Parker, and he will go to-day. Here he enjoys
comparative liberty and protection, but should the President pardon him,
and he return to his old haunts in Arizona or Texas, there are a number of
white men, whose families he and his warriors butchered, have sworn to kill
him on sight."

In walking around the grounds of the fort, I went into a sutler's store and
purchased a bow and arrow made by Geronimo, but I failed to find the chief,
and was passing near the depot, going to the home of Mr. Wratton, the
interpreter, to make inquiry, when the station agent called to me and said
Geronimo was then in the depot waiting for a train. Hurrying back, I found
the noted chief on the platform of the depot; he took my proffered hand
with a smile and a hearty "How!" and pulled me up on the platform. I had
expected to see a gray-haired, sour-visaged, skinny-looking old Indian,
with a scowl on his face and nervous twitching fingers, as if eager to shed
more blood. But instead I saw a smiling, well-kept, well-dressed Indian,
about five feet nine inches tall, with square shoulders and deep chest,
indicating the marvelous power of endurance for which he and his warriors
were noted. His actual weight that day was 169 pounds, but an old soldier
who had followed him over desert and mountain assured me that his fighting
weight used to be about a ton.

He is rather darker than the average of the Apaches, his skin being more of
a chocolate than copper color. He has the usual Indian features with broad
face and high and prominent cheekbones, each covered at the time with a
vermilion spot about the size of a silver dollar. But the most remarkable
of all his features are his eyes, which are keen and bright and a decided
blue, something very rare among Indians.

He was dressed in a well-fitting blue cloth suit of citizen's clothes, and
it was hard to realize that he was the same Indian designated by General
Miles as "the tiger of the human race." I found that while he was quick to
understand much that was said to him, he spoke but a few  words of English,
therefore I suggested by signs that we go to the interpreter's house and
have him talk for us. Turning to the station agent and looking up the track
he asked, "How much?" The agent pulled out Geronimo's open-faced silver
watch from his vest pocket and running his finger around the dial, and half
around again, he indicated an hour and a half. "Good," he exclaimed, and
we started off to the interpreter's house, about one-fourth of a mile
across the prairie from the depot. Imagine the writer and Geronimo walking
arm in arm across the pasture. Well, that is what happened. There are other
things besides politics which make strange companions.

About half way to the house there was a little stream to cross, its width
being a good jump for a man. Now I rather excelled in jumping in my
college sports and saw a chance to test the old chief's activity, so
running forward, I vaulted over the stream, but it required an effort, and
to my astonishment Geronimo leaped it with ease and went a foot farther
than where I landed.

Near the interpreter's yard was a prairie-dog town, the first I had ever
seen. It consisted of a number of little hills with a hole in the side
least exposed to rain; on top of some of these hills prairie dogs were to
be seen, and heard, barking at us as we approached until we got quite near,
when they would dart into their holes. The aged chief noticed them, and
throwing an imaginary Winchester to his shoulder and sighting along the
barrel, he made his mouth "pop" several times in imitation of a gun. In the
distance I noticed three more hills, each with a prairie dog sentinel on
top. Calling his attention to them by pointing in that direction, he at
once raised the sights on his imaginary gun and again his "pop! pop! pop!"
was heard, showing that his eyes are still good.

When we reached the house of the interpreter, George M. Wratton, and I had
explained the object of our call, and convinced him that I was a historian
searching for facts and information, he was ready to help me. I found him
a very intelligent, well informed gentleman, who, as the commandant had
assured me, probably knows more about Geronimo than the chief does himself.

Mr. Wratton was present, and one of the two interpreters who did the
talking, when Geronimo surrendered to General Miles. He was a famous scout
during the Geronimo war and is now interpreter at Fort Sill. He it was who
interpreted Geronimo's speech to the "Great Father," President Roosevelt,
in Washington, as also the reply. My first question to Geronimo was,
"Where were you born?" "In Arizona," was the reply. "How old are you?" "He
says he is seventy-three," said my interpreter, "but I tell you he is at
least eighty, if not more." Continuing, he added, "I don't believe he knows
his age, few Indians do." "Is he a full-blood Indian?" I asked. "Yes,"
was the reply. "Then how is it that he has a Mexican or Spanish name?
Geronimo is from one of those languages and is the same as Gerome." The
chief's reply was that this name was given him in Mexico many years ago,
when but a youth, and took the place of his Indian name, as it was much
easier to pronounce.

"Do you know this Indian name?" I asked, "and will you kindly write it on
my note-book?" "Certainly," he answered, and this is what he wrote:
"Go-Yat-Thlay." Having obtained through the interpreter a promise from
Geronimo to write his autograph on my bow and note-book, we returned to the
depot, where this promise was at once made good. While waiting for the
trains, which were to meet at Fort Sill. I showed Geronimo a book which I
had bought in Lawton that morning. It was a short history of the Comanche
and Apache tribes and contained a number of Indian pictures, including
several of Geronimo. He was greatly interested in these cuts, especially
those of himself, and took pains to show them to the other Indians around.
At last he turned to me, and pointing first to himself and then to the
picture, he uttered one expressive word, "Me."

A few minutes later Geronimo and the writer waved a last adieu to each
other from the rear platforms of receding trains and the interview ended.
I learned at Fort Sill that Geronimo, in point of fact, is not a chief at
all, that honor belonging to Naiche, but, like Sitting Bull, is an Indian
medicine man with the authority of a chief. Be that as it may, he is
recognized not only as a chief but as the most famous living chief. The
words of Spartacus to the gladiators would be as true if spoken by this
barbarian, "Ye call me chief and ye do well."

While in Washington last March attending the inauguration of President
Roosevelt, Geronimo called on the President, accompanied by the five other
chiefs who were in the procession, and his interpreter, Mr. Wratton. At
this time he made the following address to the "Great Father," through his
interpreter, and received a characteristic reply:

                           GERONIMO'S APPEAL.

"Great Father, I look to you as I look to God. When I see your face I think
I see the face of the Great Spirit. I come here to pray to you to be good
to me and to my people.

"When I was young, many years ago, I was a fool. Did I know that I was a
fool? No. My heart was brave. My limbs were strong. I could follow the
warpath days and nights without rest and without food. I knew that fear of
me was in the heart of every chief of red men who was my enemy.

"Then came the warriors of the Great White Chief. Did I fear them? No. Did
I fear the Great White Chief? No. He was my enemy and the enemy of my
people. His people desired the country of my people. My heart was strong
against him. I said that he should never have my country.

"Great Father, in those days my people were as the leaves of the trees. The
young men were strong. They were brave. The old men were glad to die in
battle. Our children were many. Should we let strangers take their country
from them? No. Should our women say that our livers were white? No. I
defied the Great White Chief, for in those days I was a fool.

"I had a bad heart, Great Father. My heart was bad then, but I did not know
it. Is my heart bad now? No. My heart is good and my talk is straight. I am
punished and I suffer. I ask you to think of me as I was then. I lived in
the home of my people. I was their chief. They trusted me. It was right
that I should give them my strength and my wisdom.

"When the soldiers of the Great White Chief drove me and my people from our
home we went to the mountains. When they followed we slew all that we
could. We said we would not be captured. No. We starved, but we killed. I
said that we would never yield, for I was a fool.

"So I was punished, and all my people were punished with me. The white
soldiers took me and made me a prisoner far from my own country, and my
people were scattered. What was Geronimo then? Was he the great chief of
the Apache nation? No. His hands were tied. He was no more than a woman.

"Great Father, other Indians have homes where they can live and be happy. I
and my people have no homes. The place where we are kept is bad for us. Our
cattle can not live in that place. We are sick there and we die. White men
are in the country that was my home. I pray you to tell them to go away and
let my people go there and be happy.

"Great Father, my hands are tied as with a rope. My heart is no longer bad.
I will tell my people to obey no chief but the Great White Chief. I pray
you to cut the ropes and make me free. Let me die in my own country, an old
man who has been punished enough and is free."

                            Roosevelt's reply.

"Geronimo, I do not see how I can grant your prayer. You speak truly when
you say that you have been foolish. I am glad that you have ceased to
commit follies. I am glad that you are trying to live at peace and in
friendship with the white people.

"I have no anger in my heart against you. I even wish it were only a
question of letting you return to your country as a free man. Then I should
not have the same feeling about it. I must think and act for the good of
all the people of this country.

"You must remember that there are white people in your old home. It is
probable that some of these have bad hearts toward you. If you went back
there some of these men might kill you, or make trouble for your people. It
is hard for them to forget that you made trouble for them. I should have to
interfere between you. There would be more war and more bloodshed.

"My country has had enough of these troubles. I want peace for all, for
both the red and the white men. You and your people are not confined within
doors. You are allowed to cut the timber and till your farms. The results
of your labor are for your own benefit.

"I feel, Geronimo, that it is best for you to stay where you are. For the
present, at least, I can not give you any promise of a change. I will
confer with the Commissioner and with the Secretary of War about your case,
but I do not think I can hold out any hope for yon. That is all that I can
say, Geronimo, except that I am sorry, and have no feeling against you."

We have had some correspondence with Mr. Wratton, the interpreter, and are
indebted to him for much information contained in this sketch. In a recent
letter, he says: "Geronimo has a daughter at Fort Sill named Eva, aged
sixteen years; a daughter at Mescalero, New Mexico, named Lena, aged twenty
years; also a son at Mescalero, New Mexico, aged about eighteen years. The
aged chief also thinks he has some children living in Old Mexico, who were
captured by the Mexicans many years ago."

Geronimo was the most conspicuous figure at Miller Brothers' "Last Buffalo
Hunt," at Ranch 101, near Bliss, Oklahoma Territory, June 11, 1905. And
when one of the visitors, Dr. Homer M. Thomas, of Chicago, shot and wounded
a buffalo from his automobile, it was Geronimo who rushed forward and
finished the animal with neatness and dispatch.

His latest achievement was his marriage to his eighth wife, a widow named
Mary Loto, which took place Christmas day. Perhaps now he will be more
contented at Fort Sill.

{Illustration: Quanah Parker, Principal Chief of the Comanches.}

                              CHAPTER XVI.


Up to this point we have refrained from writing the biography of
half-breed Indians, lest people should imagine their greatness was due to
the infusion of the blood of the superior white race. But the story of
Quanah Parker is so interesting, and he has such a remarkable personality
in many ways, that we have decided to make an exception in his case. Then,
too, as will be seen, his mother, Cynthia Anne Parker, at the time of his
birth, was to all intents and purposes an Indian, though born of white

It is said on good authority that the Apaches and Comanches are related
through intermarriage and consanguinity, and at one period formed a single

During a scarcity of food these people were divided into the mountain
tribes, who pledged their word and honor to their brothers who lived on the
fish, water-fowl and swine, that they would never eat the fish from the
streams, nor the fowls from the waters, nor the hogs from the mud. Their
bottom-land brothers were to abstain from the game of the mountains and
plains. This treaty, made in the time of famine, was sacredly kept in the
days of plenty, and ever afterward those highland Indians refused to eat
pork, fish or water-fowl.

The best account of Cynthia Anne Parker and her famous son, Quanah, is
found in White's "Experiences of An Indian Agent." In it he quotes an
article from General Alford on "The White Comanche," in which the general

"Amongst numerous illustrations of heroism which illuminate the pages of
Texas history perhaps none shines with a brighter halo than the capture of
Fort Parker. In 1833 a small colony formed in Illinois, moved to the then
Mexican province of Texas, and settled in a beautiful and fertile region on
the Navasota River, about two miles from the present city of Groesbeck, the
county seat of Limestone County. The colony consisted of nine families, in
all thirty-four persons, of which Elder John Parker was the patriarchal
head. They erected a block-house, which was known as Fort Parker, for
protection against the assaults of hostile Indians. This structure was made
of solid logs, closely knit together and hewn down so as to make a compact
perfect square, without opening of any kind until it reached a height of
ten or twelve feet, where the structure widened on each side, forming a
projection impossible to climb. The lower story, reached only by an
interior ladder, was used as a place of storage for provisions. The upper
story was divided into two large rooms with port-holes for the use of guns.
These rooms were also the living rooms, and reached only by a ladder from
the outside, which was pulled up at night, after the occupants had
ascended, making a safe fortification against any reasonable force unless
assailed by fire.

"These hardy sons of toil tilled their adjacent fields by day, always
taking their arms with them, and retired to the fort at night. Success
crowned their labors and they were prosperous and happy. On the morning of
May 18, 1836, the men left as usual for their fields, a mile distant.
Scarcely had they left the inclosure when the fort was attacked by about
seven hundred Comanches and Kiowas, who were waiting in ambush. A gallant
and most resolute defense was made, many savages being sent to their
'happy hunting grounds,' but it was impossible to stem the terrible
assault, and Fort Parker fell. Then began the carnival of death. Elder
John Parker, Silas M. Parker, Ben F. Parker, Sam M. Frost and Robert Frost
were killed and scalped in the presence of their horror-stricken families.
Mrs. John Parker, Granny Parker and Mrs. Duty were dangerously wounded and
left for dead, and the following were carried into a captivity worse than
death: Mrs. Rachel Plummer, James Pratt Plummer, her two-year-old son,
Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg, Cynthia Anne Parker, nine years old, and her
little brother, John, aged six, both children of Silas M. Parker. The
remainder of the party made their escape, and after incredible suffering,
being forced even to the dire necessity of eating skunks to save their
lives, they reached Fort Houston, now the residence of Hon. John H.
Reagan, about three miles from the present city of Palestine, in Anderson
County, where they obtained prompt succor, and a relief party buried their

Cynthia Anne Parker and her little brother, John, were held by separate
bands. John grew up to athletic young manhood, married a beautiful,
night-eyed young Mexican captive, Donna Juanita Espinosa, escaped from the
savages, or was released by them, joined the Confederate army under Gen.
H. P. Bee, became noted for his gallantry and daring, and at last accounts
was leading a happy, contented, pastoral life as a ranchero, on the Western
Llano Estacado (Staked Plains) of Texas.

Four long and anxious years had passed since Cynthia Anne was taken from
her weeping mother's arms, during which time no tidings had been received
by her anxious family, when in 1840, Col. Len Williams, an old and honored
Texan, Mr. Stout, a trader, and Jack Harry, a Delaware Indian guide, packed
mules with goods and engaged in an expedition of private traffic with the
Indians. On the Canadian River they fell in with Pahauka's band of
Comanches, with whom they were on peaceable terms. Cynthia Anne was with
this tribe, and from the day of her capture had never beheld a white
person. Colonel Williams proposed to redeem her from the old Comanche who
held her in bondage, but the fierceness of his countenance warned him of
the danger of further mentioning the subject.

Pahauka, however, reluctantly permitted her to sit at the foot of a tree,
and while the presence of the white men was doubtless a happy event to the
poor stricken captive, who in her doleful captivity had endured everything
but death, _she refused to speak one word._  As she sat there, musing
perhaps, of distant relatives and friends, and her bereavement at the
beginning and progress of her distress, they employed every persuasive art
to evoke from her some expression of her feelings. They told her of her
relatives and her playmates, and asked what message of love she would send
them, but she had been commanded to silence, and with no hope of release
was afraid to appear sad or dejected, and by a stoical effort controlled
her emotions, lest the terrors of her captivity should be increased. But
the anxiety of her mind was betrayed by the quiver of her lips, showing
that she was not insensible to the common feelings of humanity.

As the years rolled by Cynthia Anne developed the charms of captivating
womanhood, and the heart of more than one dusky warrior was pierced by the
elysian darts of her laughing eyes and the ripple of her silvery voice, and
laid at her feet the trophies of the chase. Among the number whom her
budding charms brought to her shrine was Peta Nocona, a redoubtable young
Comanche war-chief, in prowess and renown the peer of the famous "Big
Foot," who fell in a desperate hand-to-hand combat with the famous Indian
fighter, Capt. Shapley P. Ross, of Waco, the illustrious father of the
still more distinguished son, Gen. Sul Ross, now the Governor of Texas. It
is a remarkable and happy coincidence that the son, emulating the father's
contagious deeds of valor and prowess, afterward, in single combat, in the
valley of the Pease, forever put to rest the brave and knightly Peta

Cynthia Anne, stranger now to every word of her mother tongue, save only
her childhood name, became the bride of the brown warrior, Peta Nocona,
bore him three children, and loved him with a fierce passion and wifely
devotion, evinced by the fact that, fifteen years after her capture a party
of hunters, including friends of her family, visited the Comanche
encampment on the upper Canadian River, and recognizing Cynthia Anne,
through the medium of her name, endeavored to induce her to return to her
kindred and the abode of civilization. She shook her head in a sorrowful
negative, and pointing to her little naked barbarians sporting at her feet,
and the great, lazy chief sleeping in the shade near by, the locks of a
score of fresh scalps dangling at his belt, replied: "I am happy wedded, I
love my husband and my little ones, who are his, too, and I can not
forsake them."

The account of the death of Peta Nocona, and the recapture of Cynthia Anne
Parker, is best told in a letter written by Governor Ross to Gen. George
F. Alford, from which we will quote a few paragraphs. It was dated:

                            "Executive Office, Austin, April 18, 1893.

"My Dear General--In response to your request, I herewith inclose you my
recollections, after a lapse of thirty years, of the events to which you
refer. . . . On December 18, 1860, while marching up Pease River, I had
suspicions that Indians were in the vicinity by reason of the great number
of buffalo which came running toward us from the north, and while my
command moved to the low ground I visited neighboring high points to make
discoveries. To my surprise I found myself within two hundred yards of a
large Comanche village, located on a small stream winding around the base
of a hill. A cold, piercing wind from the north was blowing, bearing with
it clouds of dust, and my presence was thus unobserved and the surprise

"In making disposition for the attack the sergeant and his twenty men were
sent at a gallop behind a chain of sand hills to cut off their retreat,
while, with my forty men, I charged. The attack was so sudden that a large
number were killed before they could prepare for defense. They fled
precipitately, right into the arms of the sergeant and his twenty. Here
they met with a warm reception, and finding themselves completely
encompassed, every one fled his own way and was hotly pursued and hard
pressed. The chief, a warrior of great repute, named Peta Nocona, with an
Indian girl about fifteen years of age mounted on his horse behind him, and
Cynthia Anne Parker, his squaw, with a girl child about two years old in
her arms, and mounted on a fleet young pony, fled together. Lieut. Tom
Kelliheir and I pursued them, and after running about a mile, Kelliheir ran
up by the side of Cynthia Anne's horse, and supposing her to be a man, was
in the act of shooting her when she held up her child and stopped. {FN} I
kept on alone at the top of my horse's speed, after the chief, and about
half a mile further, when in about twenty yards of him, I fired my pistol,
striking the girl, whom I supposed to be a man, as she rode like one,
and only her head was visible above the buffalo robe with which she was
wrapped--near the heart, killing her instantly. And the same ball would
have killed both but for the shield of the chief, which hung down, covering
his back. When the girl fell from the horse, dead, she pulled the chief off
also, but he caught on his feet, and, before steadying himself, my horse,
running at full speed, was nearly upon him, when he sped an arrow, which
struck my horse and caused him to pitch or 'buck,' and it was with the
greatest difficulty I could keep my saddle, meantime narrowly escaping
several arrows coming in quick succession from the chief's bow. Being at
such disadvantage, he undoubtedly would have killed me, but for a random
shot from my pistol while I was clinging with my left hand to the pommel of
my saddle, which broke his right arm at the elbow, completely disabling
him. My horse then becoming more quiet, I shot the chief twice through the
body; whereupon he deliberately walked to a small tree near by, the only
one in sight, and leaning against it with one arm around it for support,
began to sing a weird, wild song--the death song of the savage. There was
a plaintive melody in it which, under the dramatic circumstances, filled my
heart with sorrow. At this time my Mexican servant, who had once been a
captive with the Comanches and spoke their language as fluently as his
mother tongue, came up in company with others of my men. Through him I
summoned the chief to surrender, but he promptly treated every overture
with contempt, and emphasized his refusal with a savage attempt to thrust
me through with his lance, which he still held in his left hand. I could
only look upon him with pity and admiration, for, deplorable as was his
situation with no possible chance of escape, his band utterly destroyed,
his wife and child captives in his sight, he was undaunted by the fate that
awaited him, and as he preferred death to life, I directed the Mexican to
end his misery by a charge of buckshot from the gun which he carried, and
the brave savage, who had been so long the scourge and terror of the Texas
frontier, passed into the land of the shadows and rested with his fathers.
Taking up his accoutrements, which I subsequently delivered to Gen. Sam
Houston, as Governor of Texas and commander-in-chief of her soldiery, to be
deposited in the State archives at Austin, we rode back to the captive
woman, whose identity was then unknown, and found Lieutenant Kelliheir, who
was guarding her and her child, bitterly reproaching himself for having run
his pet horse so hard after an old squaw. She was very dirty and far from
attractive, in her scanty garments, as well as her person, but as soon as
I looked her in the face, I said: 'Why, Tom, this is a white woman; Indians
do not have blue eyes.' On our way to the captured Indian village, where
our men were assembling with the spoils we had captured, I discovered an
Indian boy about nine years old, secreted in the tall grass. Expecting to
be killed, he began to cry, but I made him mount behind me and carried him
along, taking him to my home at Waco, where he became an obedient member of
my family. When, in after years, I tried to induce him to return to his
people, he refused to go, and died in McLennan County about four years

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Another account says she threw back her robe, held her child in front
 of her and exclaimed in broken Spanish, "Americano! Americano!"

"When camped for the night, Cynthia Anne, our then unknown captive, kept
crying, and thinking it was caused by fear of death at our hands, I had the
Mexican tell her in the Comanche language, that we recognized her as one of
our own people and would not harm her. She replied that two of her sons, in
addition to the infant daughter, were with her when the fight began, and
she was distressed by the fear that they had been killed. It so happened,
however, that both escaped, and one of them--Quanah--is now the chief of
the Comanche tribe, and the beautiful city of Quanah, now the county seat
of Hardeman County, is named in his honor. The other son died some years
ago on the plains. Through my Mexican interpreter I then asked her to give
me the history of her life with the Indians, and the circumstances
attending her capture by them, which she promptly did in a very intelligent
manner, and as the facts detailed by her corresponded with the massacre at
Parker's Fort in 1836, I was impressed with the belief that she was Cynthia
Anne Parker.

"Returning to my post, I sent her and her child to the ladies at Camp
Cooper, where she received the attention her sex and situation demanded,
and at the same time I dispatched a messenger to Col. Isaac Parker, her
uncle, near Weatherford, Parker County, named as his memorial, for he was
many years a distinguished Senator in the Congress of the Republic, and in
the Legislature of the State after annexation. When Colonel Parker came to
my post I sent the messenger with him to Camp Cooper, in the capacity of
interpreter, and her identity was soon discovered to Colonel Parker's
entire satisfaction. She had been a captive just twenty-four years and
seven  months, and was in her thirty-fourth year when recovered. I remain,
my dear general,

                                           "Sincerely your friend.
                                             L. S. Ross."

A few more incidents of her subsequent life are told by General Alford.
Said he: "Cynthia Anne and her infant barbarian were taken to Austin, the
capital of the State; the immortal Sam Houston was Governor, the Secession
Convention was in session. She was taken to the magnificent Statehouse,
where this august body was holding grave discussion as to the policy of
withdrawing from the Union. Comprehending not one word of her mother
tongue, she concluded it was a council of mighty chiefs, assembled for the
trial of her life, and in great alarm tried to make her escape. Her
brother, Col. Dan  Parker, who resided near Parker's Bluff, in Anderson
County, was a member of the Legislature from that county, and a colleague
of this writer, who then represented the Eleventh Senatorial District.
Colonel Parker took his unhappy sister to his comfortable home, and essayed
by the kind offices of tenderness and affection to restore her to the
comforts and enjoyments of civilized life, to which she had been so long a
stranger. But as thorough an Indian in manner and looks as if she had been
a native born, she sought every opportunity to escape and rejoin her dusky
companions, and had to be constantly and closely watched."

{Illustration: Quanah Parker and Two of His Wives.}

"The civil strife then being waged between the North and South, between
fathers, sons and brothers, necessitated the primitive arts of spinning and
weaving, in which she soon became an adept, and gradually her mother tongue
came back, and with it occasional incidents of her childhood. But the
ruling passion of her bosom seemed to be the maternal instinct, and she
cherished the hope that when the cruel war was over she would at least
succeed in reclaiming her two sons, who were still with the Comanches. But
the Great Spirit had written otherwise, and Cynthia Anne and Little Prairie
Flower were called in 1864 to the Spirit Land, and peacefully sleep side by
side under the great oak trees on her brother's plantation near Palestine.

"Thus ends the sad story of a woman whose stormy life, darkened by an
eternal shadow, made her far-famed throughout the borders of the imperial
Lone Star State.

"Cynthia Anne's son has been for some years the popular hereditary chief of
the once powerful confederacy of Comanche Indians, which, though greatly
decimated by war and the enervating influences of semi-civilization, is
still one of the most numerous tribes in the United States. He is
intelligent and wealthy; in personal appearance he is tall, muscular and
graceful in his movements; is a friend of the white man, and rules his
tribe with firmness, moderation and wisdom. He is located on his
picturesque reservation in Oklahoma, not many miles distant from the city
of Quanah, so named in his honor.

"A few years since I met the chief in Wichita Falls, and when informed that
I had personally known his pale-faced mother, Cynthia Anne, or Prelock--as
she was called by the Indians--he had a thousand questions to ask about her
personal appearance, size, shape, form, height, weight, color of hair and
eyes, etc. He gave me a cordial invitation to visit him at his 'tepee,' or
wigwam, near Fort Sill, profusely promising all the fish, game, ponies and
_squaws_ I desired."

General Alford's statement that Quanah is the hereditary chief is
incorrect. It is true he is the son of Chief Peta Nocona, but it by no
means follows that the son of a chief will succeed to the chieftaincy, by
"divine right" of inheritance. The son of a common warrior, if he possesses
the elements of leadership, force of character, eloquence in council, and
general ability, will stand a much better show of becoming a chief, than
the son of a chief lacking in these essentials.

Fortunately we know how Quanah Parker became chief; he told part of his
story to the author of this book and the entire account to E. E. White, the
special Indian Agent. As the story is very romantic and interesting we will
give it in full.

Said Mr. White: "By the death of his father and the recapture of his
mother, Quanah was left an orphan at an age which could not have been more
than twelve years. The same disaster that reduced him to orphanage also
made him a pauper. Although the son of a deceased chief, now having no
parents, no home and no fortune, he became, not the ruler of his tribe, but
a waif of the camp. But being self-reliant, an expert archer, a successful
hunter for one of his age, good natured and intelligent, he made friends,
among the boys of the tribe at least, and found whereon to lay his head,
and plenty to eat and wear. And while orphanage and poverty entailed sorrow
and suffering upon the young savage, it was happily contrary to nature for
those sad misfortunes to divest him of the 'divine right' to love and be
loved. And although he was half a savage by blood and a complete one by
habit and association, abundant proof that he was not devoid of the finer
instincts of humanity is found in the ardent and constant love which he has
always borne for his first wife, Weckeah, and the strong and undying
affection and sympathy that he has always exhibited for his most unhappy
mother. It is said that his first question upon surrendering the tribe to
General MacKenzie, in 1876, was concerning her, and that his first request
was for permission to go to see her, her death not then being known either
to himself or the general.

"Proof of his captive mother's love for him, and the sentiment of her
nature, are shown in the name she bestowed upon him, its meaning in the
Comanche language being fragrance. I was one day on the prairie with a
large party of Comanches. We stopped at a spring for water, and the chiefs,
Tabannaka and White Wolf, the Jonathan and David of the tribe, walked down
the branch a short distance and gathered a large handful of wild mint.
Holding it to my nose, White Wolf said, 'Quanah, quanah. You take it.' I
said, 'Sweet smell; is that quanah?' They replied: 'Yes; quanah--heap good
smell.' Then plucking a bunch of wild flowers they inhaled their fragrance
to show me what they meant, and then handing them to me said,
'Quanah--quanah--heap quanah--good smell.'

"Quanah's best friend and most constant playmate in his orphanage was
Weckeah, Chief Yellow Bear's daughter. They rode her father's ponies to the
water holes, played through the camps together, and were inseparable. He
shot antelope and other game for her amusement, and she learned to bead his
moccasins and ornament his bow quiver.

"The years went by and Quanah and Weckeah were no longer papooses. They
were in the very bloom of young manhood and womanhood, and each in form and
feature without flaw or blemish. But they did not know that they loved each

"There were other young men in the village, however, and one day one of
them, gaudily painted and bedecked with beads and small mirrors, came near
Yellow Bear's tepee, blowing his reed flutes. Three days later he came
again, and nearer than before. Only two days passed until he came the third
time. Spreading his blanket on the grass in front of Yellow Bear's tepee,
and seating himself on it, he looked straight at the doorway and played
softly all the love songs of the tribe. Weckeah showed not her face to the
wooer. Her heart was throbbing violently with a sensation that had never
thrilled her before, but it was not responsive to the notes of the flutes.

"Nor had Quanah been unobservant and there were strange and violent
pulsations through his veins also. It was the first time he had ever seen
the arts of the lover attempted to be employed on Weckeah. Instantly his
very soul was aflame with love for her. There was just one hot, ecstatic,
overpowering flush of love, and then there came into his leaping heart the
chilling, agonizing thought that this wooing might be by Weckeah's favor or
encouragement. Then a very tempest of contending emotions raged in his

"When the sun's rays began to slant to the east there came to Yellow Bear's
tepee a rich old chief by the name of Eckitoacup, who had been, when a
young man, the rival of Peta Nocona for the heart and hand of the beautiful
'White Comanche,' Cynthia Anne Parker. Eckitoacup and Yellow Bear sat down
together, on buffalo robes under the brush wickiup in front of the tepee.
They smoked their pipes leisurely, and talked a long time, not in whispers,
but very slow and in low tones. When Quanah and Weckeah met that evening it
was with feelings never experienced before by either of them.

"Weckeah was greatly agitated. She fluttered like a bird, and kneeling at
Quanah's feet, she locked her arms around his knees, looked up in his face
and begged him to save her.

"The lover with the flutes was Tannap, the only son of rich old Eckitoacup.
Weckeah abhorred him, but his father had offered Yellow Bear ten ponies for
her. Yellow Bear loved his daughter, and notwithstanding it was the tribal
custom he was loath to sell her against her will. He had given Eckitoacup
no answer for the present, and Weckeah implored Quanah to get ten ponies
and take her himself.

"Quanah was filled with deepest pity for Weckeah, and alarmed at the
prospect of losing her, for he owned but one pony, and Tannap's father
owned a hundred. After telling Weckeah to be brave and note everything said
and done in her sight and hearing, Quanah tore away from her, and gathering
all of his young friends together, explained his situation to them. They
loved him and hated Tannap, but calamities in war had made them all poor
like himself. They separated to meet again in secret with others next
morning. During the day nine ponies were tendered to him, which, with the
one he owned made ten. These Quanah accepted on condition that others
should be received in exchange for them whenever he could get them, which
he was ambitious and hopeful enough to believe he could some day do.

"Driving these ponies, with the haste of an anxious lover, to Yellow Bear's
tepee, Quanah there met old Eckitoacup, who greeted him with a taunting
chuckle of exultation and a look of wicked revenge. His spies having
informed him of the action of Quanah's friends, he had raised his bid to
twenty ponies. This being an exceptionally liberal offer, Yellow Bear had
promptly accepted it, and now the jealous and unforgiving old savage was
exulting in his triumph over the poor but knightly rival of his arrogant
and despised son, and gloating in his revenge upon the valiant and rising
son of his own late successful and hated rival.

"Entering the tepee, Quanah found Weckeah prostrated at her mother's feet
in deepest distress. In two sleeps Tannap would bring the twenty ponies and
claim his prize. Weckeah was heartbroken and Quanah was desperate. He
hurried back for another consultation with his friends, but not to ask for
more ponies. It was to submit a new and startling proposition to them--to
tell them of a new thought that had come to him--a new resolution that had
taken possession of his very soul. Though he himself did not suspect it,
the star of a new chief was about to rise above the horizon.

"The new scheme promising spoils and adventure, as well as triumph over a
hated rival, Quanah's zealous young friends agreed to it with an enthusiasm
which they could hardly avoid showing in their faces and actions.

"The unhappy lovers stole another brief twilight meeting in the shadows of
Yellow Bear's tepee. Weckeah's quick eyes noted with increasing admiration
and confidence that the past two days had marked a great change in Quanah.
He was now no longer a boy. He seemed to have grown taller, was more
serious and thoughtful, and spoke with an evident courage and consciousness
of strength which gave her great hope and comfort. He told her that their
only hope was in flight, and, as she knew, according to the inexorable law
of the tribe, that meant certain death to him and at least the delivery of
herself to Tannap, and possibly death to herself also, if they should be

"Weckeah, instead of being deterred by the hazards of the attempt at
elopement, was eager to go, for in that step she could see the possibility
of a life of happiness, and escape from a fate which, in her detestation of
Tannap, she regarded as even worse than death.

"Just at moondown the next night, which, from the description given me, I
suppose was about eleven o'clock, Quanah and one of his friends met Weckeah
at the door of her father's tepee and conducted her to the edge of the
camp, where their horses and twenty-one other young men were waiting.

"Then began the most remarkable elopement, and, in some respects, at least,
the most remarkable ride ever known on the plains, among either whites or

"Quanah took the lead with Weckeah next behind him, and the twenty-two
young men following in single file. For seven hours they did not break a
lope, except to water their ponies in crossing streams. At daylight they
stopped to graze their ponies and make a repast on dried buffalo meat. Here
Weckeah saw with pride and increasing confidence that many of those
twenty-two tall sinewy young men carried guns, and all of them revolvers,
shields, bows, and quivers full of arrows, and were mounted and equipped
throughout as a select war party.

"Stopping only a few hours, they changed their course, separated and came
together again at a designated place at sunset. There they stopped again
until moondown, and then resuming their journey, traveled together all

"They were now in Texas, and dared not travel any more in daylight. When
night came on they changed their course again, separated into couples, and
traveled that way several nights, coming together at a place which, from
the description, I think probably was Double Mountain, in Scurry County,
Texas. There they stopped several days to recruit their ponies, subsisting
themselves on game, which then abounded in that region. From that place
they traveled in couples from high point to high point until they came to a
river, which I suppose, from the description, was one of the main branches
of the Concho, and there they established their rendezvous, and, as Quanah
expressed it, 'went to stealin' hosses.'

"It has been said--indeed, I believe it has been universally conceded--that
the Comanches, before their subjugation, were 'the finest horse thieves the
world ever saw.' Whether this has been conceded or not, I am sure no one
who knew them then will deny that it was a well-deserved 'compliment.' And
I doubt not that Quanah and his bridal party, or _bridle party,_ whichever
it may seem most appropriate to call it, contributed generously to the
weaving of that wreath for the tribal brow.

"Eckitoacup's band being utterly unable to follow the trail, the fugitives
remained undiscovered in that region for more than a year, and, in Quanah's
own candid and comprehensive language, 'just stole hosses all over Texas.'
In a few months they had a large herd, including many valuable American
horses and mules.

"But it was not long until the young men began to sigh for the girls they
had left behind them, and to venture back, a few at a time, to see them,
and always with laudations of their chief, and glowing accounts of the
magnitude and 'profits' of their 'business.' They invariably returned with
their sweethearts, and many other Indians, of both sexes, also. With
Quanah's encouragement their visits became frequent, and at the end of a
year his band numbered several hundred.

"But through these visits old Eckitoacup had heard of the fugitive, and was
now coming with a large war party to punish him and take Weckeah. Weckeah
again became badly frightened. She would get behind Quanah from the
direction of Tannap's approach, clasp her arms around him and beg him not
to give her up. But her entreaties were wholly unnecessary. Quanah, of his
own accord, was ready to die rather than suffer her to be taken from him.

"Eckitoacup found Quanah's band posted for battle. He was astounded at
their numbers and became so alarmed for his own safety that he was glad to
agree to an offer of compromise, rather than risk the hazard of battle.
Four chiefs were sent from each side to meet half way between the two bands
and arrange the compromise. After a great deal of smoking and haggling
Eckitoacup's men proposed to accept nineteen horses, the pick of Quanah's
herd, in full satisfaction of all demands. Quanah promptly approved the
agreement with the cheerful and significant observation that he knew a
ranch where he could get nineteen others just as good in a few hours.

"This gave Quanah the right to return to the tribe, and as the Texans had
him pretty well 'located' in that rendezvous and were becoming quite
'impudent' and inhospitable to him, and his band was now too large to be
longer concealed anywhere in the State, he followed close after Eckitoacup.
Continuing in the territory, to receive accessions from the other bands,
including Eckitoacup's, he soon became the acknowledged chief of the tribe,
and as a war-chief, before being overpowered and conquered, he had achieved
great renown for prowess, enterprise, sagacity and true military genius,
his sway perhaps never being greater, or even as great, as it is at the
present day. He lives in a picturesque valley on the south side of the
Wichita Mountains, where he owns a good home, a hundred horses, perhaps a
thousand cattle, and has two hundred and fifty acres of land in
cultivation, though I doubt if he has ever plowed a furrow himself, _or
would do it if he could._  Weckeah presides over his household, happy and
contented, proud of her husband, with immunity from burdensome duties, and
provided with all the comforts and luxuries befitting her station in life.
But there is a good deal of Brigham Young, or the Sultan of Turkey, in this
untutored Comanche, and instead of Weckeah being his only wife, she is
merely one of a harem of five--his devotion to her, which has always been
constant and unquestioned, not precluding him from the polygamous custom of
the tribe. It must be said to his credit, however, that Weckeah is still
his favorite. This is quite evident to those who see much of them, and on
one occasion, when something was said of the possibility of the Government
arbitrarily divorcing all the Indians from their plural wives, I asked him
which of his he would choose to retain if that were done. Without a
moment's hesitation he said Weckeah."

{Illustration: Comanche Indians stealing cows.}

"Yellow Bear, Weckeah's father, became an ardent friend and admirer of
Quanah, and lived until 1887, when he got what the Texans considered 'a
mighty good joke' on himself. He and Quanah got to feeling rich and
'civilized,' put on their 'white man's clothes,' and went down to Fort
Worth to have a big 'blow out' with a 'herd' of cattle barons who were
grazing cattle on their reservation. They put up at the leading 'chuck-away
tepee' of the town, the Pickwick, and coming in from a round-up of the city
with their white friends at a late hour of the night, they dragged
themselves wearily up to their room, and '_blowedout' the gas._ When
discovered next morning, Yellow Bear's spirit had been blown away to the
boundless prairies of the Great Spirit above, never to return, and Quanah
was crouched on his 'all-fours' at a window, unconscious, his own soul just
about to wing its flight to the same mysterious realms."

I was living in Oklahoma in the spring of 1905, employed in preparing the
manuscript of this book. As I needed a good sketch of Quanah Parker, in
order to complete my "Lives of Famous Indian Chiefs," I decided to go and
interview him and get my information at first hands and authentic. Arriving
at Lawton, I was informed that Quanah Parker was at Cache, a small town in
Comanche County, twelve miles distant. I immediately boarded the 'Frisco
train, and in due time found myself at Cache, which is located at the foot
of the Wichita Mountains.

I found the chief in his buggy just starting out of town, and seemingly in
a hurry, but when I introduced myself and stated my business, he alighted
from the buggy and expressed himself as willing to talk.

Though a half-breed, Quanah Parker has every appearance of a typical
Indian, being tall, straight, athletic and as dark as the full bloods of
his tribe. He rules his people with wisdom and moderation, by sheer force
of character, and is very popular with both white and red neighbors. He is
quite wealthy, and ambitious withal to represent the new State, shortly to
be formed of the two territories, in the United States Senate. He argues
that a large percentage of the population of the new State will be of his
race, who will also be affected by many of the laws to be enacted,
therefore there should be an Indian in the United States Senate, or it
would be another case of taxation without representation.

As the population of the new State will be of both races, so a logical
representative in the Senate should belong to both races. All of which
clearly means Chief Parker. And he is perfectly willing to serve his people
in that august body, when the time comes. And indeed the new State might
hunt further for senatorial timber and fare worse, only in case of his
election he would likely be refused a seat on the grounds of being a
polygamist. The prophecy that "seven women shall take hold of one man" was
fulfilled in his case; but of late years he has reduced his harem.

He prides himself on being a personal friend of President Roosevelt and was
one of the six chiefs who were in the parade at the time of the
inauguration last March, the others being Little Plume, of the Blackfoot
tribe; American Horse and Hollow Horn Bear, of the Sioux; Geronimo, of the
Apaches, and Buckskin Charley, of the Utes. When we were seated in the
shade the chief said: "What do you want to talk about?" I answered by way
of a leader, "Tell me of your last trip to Washington and the President's
inauguration." He proceeded to comply with the request, but as this was
reported in all the papers at the time, we will omit it and refer to
something of more general interest.

The chief was easily understood, but spoke somewhat broken, and in a manner
peculiar to the Indian. We will try to give his exact language: "How about
the President's wolf hunt in the big prairie," we asked. "It's like this,"
he answered. "President came along in his special car. It stopped.
President stood on platform of car, fix glasses on his nose, look all over
crowd. I standing back good way among Injuns. President see me, motion
first with one hand, then two hands, like this, but I no go."

"Why you no go," I asked in astonishment, "when the President motioned for
you to come?" "How I know he mean me? Plenty Injuns in crowd, other chiefs
around. Might mean other chiefs, so I no go at first; then he sent
messenger after me. Messenger say, 'President Roosevelt want to see Chief
Quanah Parker at car.' Then I know he mean me and I follow messenger to car
through crowd; we elbow our way through crowd like this, and this [showing
me how it was done]. President reach out over heads of people and grip my
hand, so. He then give me big pull right up steps side him, shook my hand
may-be-so like pump handle and pat me on back with other hand. He made a
little speech and say, 'this is my friend, Chief Quanah Parker. I met him
in Washington City. He friend to white and father to red man and 'titled to
respect and honor of both.'

"Then people in crowd around car shout out, 'two big chiefs, big white
chief, big red chief, both good men, and good friends,' and they do like
this [clapping his hands], long time. President say: 'Won't you go hunting
with me in big prairie, and stay week and show us where to find the
wolves?' I went with him, stayed five days, took tent, camping and cooking
outfit, and some of my men and my family, or some of my family; had good
time, killed plenty wolves."

Continuing, the chief said: "President Roosevelt, him all right, him
different from McKinley and Cleveland. They way up in the air, standing on
their dignity, but him down here on level with the people. Him Injuns'
President, as well as white man's President. Him all kinds of man; when he
with cowboys, he cowboy; when he with Rough Riders, he roughest rider of
all; when he with statesmen, he statesman; and when he with Injuns, he just
like Injun; all same he white Injun. We personal friends. I talk to him and
use influence with him for pardon Geronimo. I got message for Geronimo, but
I no tell you, tell him first." "Then you will be going to Fort Sill in a
few days to deliver the President's message?" I ventured to remark. But the
reply was, "No! no! I much heap big chief; he come to see me."

I told him I realized that fact and intended to give him a good mention in
my Indian history I was just completing, and asked him if he could furnish
me a late photograph to enable me to have a good cut made for the book. He
said that he and Geronimo had some pictures taken together in Washington
City, and added, "They no come yet, may-be-so they come to-morrow,
may-be-so next week; when they come I send you one." The chief kept his
word, and some time afterward I got a photograph from him.

It was hard to realize as I saw the good-natured looking Comanche Indians
loafing or trading in the stores of the enterprising little town of Cache,
that only a few years ago some of those same warriors had doubtless made
night hideous with their dreaded war-whoop, which is said to resemble the
'rah, 'rah! of the college boys.

Quanah Parker is really a great man, and a born ruler. He seems to combine
the shrewdness and stoicism of the Indian with the intelligence and
diplomacy of the white race. He manages to conciliate that element of his
tribe which hates the whites and doggedly opposes all innovations, while
vigorously advocating progress.

When the lands were allotted to the Comanches he advised them to choose
good farming lands and become peaceable, industrious citizens of the United
States. They took his advice and chose lands close to those of their chief,
thus forming a Comanche settlement and village which is beautiful for
situation at the base of the picturesque Wichita Mountains, about eighteen
miles from the military post of Fort Sill.

About two and one-half miles from Cache, on the south side of one of the
Wichita Mountains, stands Quanah's home, known as the "White House of the
Comanches." It is quite an imposing square, two-story frame building, with
wide galleries running entirely around it. It gleams startlingly white and
tall against the blue of the sky and the vivid green of the prairie, and
presents a striking contrast to the somber gray and brown of the mountain
side, which forms a background.

Built in the days when lumber had to be hauled hundreds of miles over rough
prairie trails, it cost at least double what it would to-day. It is said to
contain thirty rooms, and is furnished with all the comforts and many of
the luxuries of civilization. Over the organ in his parlor hangs a
life-sized oil painting of his white mother, to which the chief proudly
calls the attention of all his visitors. For many years his was the only
house on the reservation, and it became an object of wonder to the Indians
and of interest to the white visitors.

The shrewd chief is a good financier, and looks after his own interest
closely; owning large droves of cattle and at least a hundred ponies, and
controlling thousands of acres of land, the allotments of his wives and
children. To-day there are three "ladies of the White House,"  To-ah-nook,
Too-pay and Too-ni-ce (we never supposed a lady could be too nice). They
have separate apartments and each has her own sewing machine, of which she
is as proud as a small boy with a new toy.

Quanah not only belongs to the two races, but is somewhat dual-natured. In
appearance, as we have stated, he is decidedly more Indian than white, and
when he is with the full bloods, the moccasins, buckskin leggings, gaudy
blanket and eagle-plume headdress or war bonnet adorn his stalwart person.
But when mingling with his white friends, he adopts the garb of
civilization--cutaway coat, stiffly laundered linen and soft felt hat.

Too-ni-ce, his youngest wife, accompanies him on his trips abroad, when
she, too, dresses like the white ladies at the agency, and poses as "Mrs.
Quanah Parker," driving with the chief in his handsome turnout behind his
team of prize-winning sorrels, that even a Kentuckian might admire.

Quanah has a large family of children, and is giving all of them good
educational advantages, at the mission schools on the reservation, the
large school at Chilocco, Oklahoma, and at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

We met one of his sons, Baldwin, who is a sprightly and handsome youth of
about seventeen, the day we spent at Cache, and from him derived much of
the information contained in this chapter. He has also a beautiful and
accomplished daughter, Needle Parker, whose sad, sweet face resembles
somewhat the portrait of her grandmother. She also brings to mind one of
the night-eyed Castilian beauties of old Mexico, whose blood mingles with
and tinges the life-current of the Comanche Indians.

                              CHAPTER XVII.


                          I. AN INDIAN STRATAGEM.

During the Revolutionary War, a regiment of soldiers was stationed upon the
confines of an extensive savanna in Georgia. Its particular office was to
guard every avenue of approach to the main army. The sentinels, whose posts
penetrated into the woods, were supplied from the ranks; but they were
perpetually surprised upon their posts by the Indians and borne off their
stations, without communicating any alarm or being heard of afterward.

One morning, the sentinels having been stationed as usual over night, the
guard went at sunrise to relieve a post which extended a considerable
distance into the wood. The sentinel was gone. The surprise was great; but
the circumstance had occurred before. They left another man, and departed,
wishing him better luck. "You need not be afraid," said the man, with
warmth, "I shall not desert."

The sentinels were replaced every four hours, and, at the appointed time,
the guard again marched to relieve the post. To their inexpressible
astonishment the man was gone. They searched around the spot, but no traces
of him could be found. It was now more necessary than ever that the
station should not remain unoccupied; they left another man and returned
to the guardhouse.

The superstition of the soldiers was awakened and terror ran through the
regiment. The colonel, being apprised of the occurrence, signified his
intention to accompany the guard when they relieved the sentinel they had
left. At the appointed time, they all marched together; and again, to their
unutterable wonder, they found the post vacant, and the man gone. Under
these circumstances, the colonel hesitated whether he should station a
whole company on the spot or whether he should again submit the post to a
single sentinel. The cause of these repeated disappearances of men whose
courage and honesty were never suspected must be discovered, and it seemed
not likely that this discovery could be obtained by persisting in the old

Three brave men were now lost to the regiment, and to assign the fourth
seemed nothing less than giving him up to destruction. The poor fellow
whose turn it was to take the station, though a man in other respects of
incomparable resolution, trembled from head to foot.

"I must do my duty," said he to the officer; "I know that; but I should
like to lose my life with more credit." "I will leave no man," said the
colonel, "against his will."  A man immediately stepped from the ranks and
desired to take the post. Every mouth commended his resolution.

"I will not be taken alive," said he, "and you shall hear of me at the
least alarm. At all events, I will fire my piece if I hear the least noise.
If a crow chatters, or a leaf falls, you shall hear my musket. You may be
alarmed when nothing is the matter; but you must take the chance as the
condition of the discovery."

The colonel applauded his courage, and told him he would do right to fire
upon the least noise that he could not satisfactorily explain. His comrades
shook hands with him, and left him with a melancholy foreboding. The
company marched back and awaited the event in the guardhouse.

An hour had now elapsed and every ear was upon the rack for the discharge
of the musket, when, upon a sudden, the report was heard. The guard
immediately marched, accompanied, as before, by the colonel and some of the
most experienced officers of the regiment.

As they approached the post they saw the man advancing toward them,
dragging another man on the ground by the hair of his head. When they came
up to him, it appeared to be an Indian whom he had shot. An explanation was
immediately required.

{Illustration: Needle Parker, the beautiful and accomplished daughter of
Quanah Parker.}

"I told you, colonel," said the man, "that I should fire if I heard the
least noise. That resolution I took has saved my life. I had not been long
at my post when I heard a rustling at some short distance; I looked and
saw a wild hog, such as are common in the woods, crawling along the ground,
and seemingly looking for nuts under the trees, among the leaves.

"As these animals are so very common, I ceased to consider it seriously,
but kept my eyes fixed upon it, and marked its progress among the trees;
still there was no need to give the alarm. It struck me, however, as
somewhat singular to see this animal making, by a circuitous passage, for a
thick grove immediately behind my post. I therefore kept my eye more
constantly fixed upon it, and, as it was now within a few yards of the
coppice, I hesitated whether I should fire.

"My comrades, thought I, will laugh at me for alarming them by shooting a
pig. I had almost resolved to let it alone, when, just as it approached the
thicket, I thought I observed it give an unusual spring. I no longer
hesitated; I took my aim, discharged my piece, and the animal was
immediately stretched before me, with a groan which I thought to be that of
a human creature.

"I went up to it, and judge of my astonishment when I found that I had
killed an Indian. He had enveloped himself with the skin of one of these
wild hogs so artfully and completely, his hands and his feet were so
entirely concealed in it, and his gait and appearance were so exactly
correspondent to that of the animals, that, imperfectly as they were always
seen through the trees and bushes the disguise could not be detected at a
distance, and scarcely discovered upon the nearest inspection. He was armed
with a dagger and a tomahawk."

The cause of the disappearance of the other sentinels was now apparent. The
Indians, sheltered in this disguise, secreted themselves in the coppice,
watched for the moment to throw off the hog skin, burst upon the sentinels
without previous alarm, and, too quick to give them an opportunity to
discharge their pieces, either stabbed or tomahawked them. They then bore
their bodies away and concealed them at some distance in the leaves, which
were thick on the ground.

                    II. THE MOHAWK'S LAST ARROW.

When the Grand Monarque, Louis XIV., ruled France, he appointed one of his
favorite courtiers, the Chevalier de Frontenac, Governor-General of New
France, or Konnedieya. {FN} Some years after Count de Frontenac became
viceregent, the war-like Five Nations (afterward six), "The Romans of
America," proved themselves soldiers of the highest order. This they did
not only by carrying their arms among the native tribes a thousand miles
away, and striking their enemies alike upon the lakes of Maine, the
mountains of Carolina and the prairies of Missouri; but they had already
bearded one European army beneath the walls of Quebec, and shut up another
for weeks within the defenses of Montreal, with the same courage that, half
a century later, vanquished the battalions of Dieskau, upon the banks of
Lake George.

                              * * * * *

 {FN} Since corrupted into Canada, "Beautiful Water," probably so called
 from the amber-like color of many of its streams.

To punish the savages for their "insolence," and bring them under
subjection, the commander-in-chief, the veteran Governor Frontenac,
organized an expedition to invade the country of the Five Nations, and
marshaled his forces at La Chine on July 4, 1696. The aged chevalier was
said to have other objects in view besides the political motives for the

It seems that many years previous, when the Five Nations had invested the
capital of New France and threatened the extermination of that thriving
colony, a beautiful half-blood girl, whose education had been commenced
under the immediate auspices of the Governor-General, and in whom, indeed,
M. de Frontenac was said to have a parental interest, was carried off, with
other prisoners, by the retiring foe. Every effort had been made in vain
during the occasional cessations of hostilities between the French and the
Iroquois, to recover this girl; and though, in the years that intervened,
some wandering Jesuit from time to time averred that he had seen the
Christian captive living as the contented wife of a young Mohawk warrior,
yet the old nobleman seems never to have despaired of reclaiming his
"nut-brown daughter." Indeed the chevalier must have been impelled by some
such hope when, at the age of seventy, and so feeble that he was half the
time carried in a litter, he ventured to encounter the perils of an
American wilderness and place himself at the head of the heterogeneous
bands which now invaded the country of the Five Nations, under his command.

Among the half-breed spies, border scouts and mongrel adventurers that
followed in the train of the invading army was a renegade Fleming of the
name of Hanyost. This man in early youth had been made a sergeant-major,
when he deserted to the French ranks in Flanders. He had subsequently taken
up a military grant in Canada, sold it after emigrating, and then, making
his way down to the Dutch settlements on the Hudson, had become a sojourner
among their old allies, the Mohawks, and adopted the life of a hunter.
Hanyost, hearing that his old friends, the French, were making such a
formidable descent, did not hesitate to desert his more recent
acquaintances and offer his services as a guide to Count Frontenac the
moment he entered the hostile country. It was not, however, mere cupidity
or the habitual love of treachery which actuated the base Fleming in this
instance. Hanyost, in a difficulty with an Indian trapper, which had been
referred for arbitrament to a young Mohawk chief, Kiodago (a settler of
disputes), whose cool courage and firmness fully entitled him to so
distinguished a name, conceived himself aggrieved by the award which had
been given against him. The scorn with which the arbitrator met his charge
of unfairness stung him to the soul, and fearing the arm of the powerful
savage, he had nursed the revenge in secret, whose accomplishment seemed
now at hand. Kiodago, ignorant of the hostile force which had entered his
country, was off with his band at a fishing station, or summer camp, among
the wild hills, and when Hanyost informed the commander of the French
forces that by surprising this party his long-lost daughter, the wife of
Kiodago, might be once more given to his arms, a small but efficient force
was instantly detached from the main body of the army to strike the blow. A
dozen musketeers, with twenty-five pikemen, led severally by the Baron de
Bekancourt and the Chevalier de Grais, the former having the chief command
of the expedition, were sent upon this duty, with Hanyost to guide them to
the village of Kiodago. Many hours were consumed upon the march, as the
soldiers were not yet habituated to the wilderness; but just before dawn on
the second day the party found themselves in the neighborhood of the Indian

The place was wrapped in repose, and the two cavaliers trusted that the
surprise would be so complete that their commander's daughter must
certainly be taken. The baron, after a careful examination of the hilly
passes, determined to head the onslaught, while his companion in arms, with
Hanyost to mark out his prey, should pounce upon the chieftain's wife.
This being arranged, their followers were warned not to injure the female
captives while cutting their defenders to pieces, and then, a moment being
allowed for each man to take a last look at the condition of his arms, they
were led to the attack.

The inhabitants of the fated village, secure in their isolated situation,
aloof from the war-parties of that wild district, had neglected all
precaution against surprise, and were buried in sleep when the whizzing of
a grenade, that terrible but superseded engine of destruction, roused them
from their slumbers. The missile, to which a direction had been given that
carried it in a direct line through the main row of wigwams which formed
the little street, went crashing among their frail frames of basket-work,
and kindled the dry mats stretched over them into instant flames. And then,
as the startled warriors leaped, all naked and unarmed, from their blazing
lodges, the French pikemen, waiting only for a volley from the musketeers,
followed it up with a charge still more fatal. The wretched savages were
slaughtered like sheep in the shambles. Some, overwhelmed with dismay, sank
unresisting upon the ground, and covering up their heads, after the Indian
fashion when resigned to death, awaited the fatal stroke without a murmur;
others, seized with a less benumbing panic, sought safety in flight, and
rushed upon the pikes that lined the forest paths around them.

Many there were, however, who, schooled to scenes as dreadful, acquitted
themselves like warriors. Snatching their weapons from the greedy flames,
they sprang with irresistible fury upon the bristling files of pikemen.
Their heavy war-clubs beat down and splintered the fragile spears of the
Europeans, whose corslets, ruddy with the reflected fires amid which they
fought, glinted back still brighter sparks from the hatchets of flint
which crashed against them. The fierce veterans pealed the charging cry of
many a well-fought field in other climes; but wild and high, the Indian
war-whoop rose shrill above the din of conflict, until the hovering raven
in mid air caught up and answered that discordant shriek.

De Grais, in the meantime, surveyed the scene of action with eager
intentness, expecting each moment to see the paler features of the
Christian captive among the dusky females, who ever and anon sprang
shrieking from the blazing lodges, and were instantly hurled backward into
the flames by fathers and brothers, who even thus would save them from the
hands that vainly essayed to grasp their distracted forms. The Mohawks
began now to wage a more successful resistance, and just when the fight was
raging hottest, and the high-spirited Frenchman, beginning to despair of
his prey, was about launching into the midst of it, he saw a tall warrior
who had hitherto been forward in the conflict, disengage himself from the
melee, and wheeling suddenly upon a soldier, who had likewise separated
from his party, brain him with a tomahawk before he could make a movement
in his defense. The quick eye of the young chevalier, too, caught a glance
of another figure, in pursuit of whom, as she emerged with an infant in her
arms, from a lodge on the further side of the village, the luckless
Frenchman had met his doom. It was the Christian captive, the wife of
Kiodago, beneath whose hand he had fallen. The chief now stood over the
body of his victim, brandishing a war-club which he had snatched from a
dying Indian near. Quick as thought, De Grais leveled a pistol at his head,
when the track of the flying girl brought her directly in his line of
sight, and he withheld  his fire. Kiodago, in the meantime, had been cut
off from the rest of his people by the soldiers, who closed in upon the
space which his terrible arm had a moment before kept open. A cry of agony
escaped the high-souled savage, as he saw how thus the last hope was lost.
He made a gesture as if about to again rush into the fray, and sacrifice
his life with his tribesmen; and then perceiving how futile must be the
act, he turned on his heel, and bounded after his retreating wife, with
arms outstretched to shield her from the dropping shots of the enemy.

The rising sun had now lighted up the scene, but all this passed so
instantaneously that it was impossible for De Grais to keep his eye upon
the fugitives amid the shifting forms that glanced continually before him;
and when, accompanied by Hanyost and seven others, he had got fairly in
pursuit, Kiodago, who still kept behind his wife, was far in advance of the
chevalier and his party. Her forest training had made the Christian captive
as fleet of foot as an Indian maiden. She heard, too, the cheering voice of
her loved warrior behind her, and pressing her infant to her heart, she
urged her flight over crag and fell and soon reached the head of a rocky
pass, which it would take some moments for any but an American forester to
scale. But the indefatigable Frenchmen are urging their way up the steep;
the cry of pursuit grows nearer as they catch a sight of her husband
through the thickets, and the agonized wife finds her onward progress
prevented by a ledge of rock that impends above her. But now again Kiodago
is by her side; he has lifted his wife to the cliff above, and placed her
infant in her arms and already the Indian mother is speeding on to a cavern
among the hills, well known as a fastness of safety.

Kiodago looked a moment after her retreating figure, and then coolly swung
himself to the ledge which commanded the pass. He might now easily escape
his pursuers; but as he stepped back from the edge of the cliff and looked
down the narrow ravine, the vengeful spirit of the red man was too strong
within him to allow such an opportunity of striking a blow to escape. His
tomahawk and war-club had both been lost in the strife, but he still
carried at his back a more efficient weapon in the hands of so keen a
hunter. There were but three arrows in his quiver, and the Mohawk was
determined to have the life of an enemy in exchange for each of them. His
bow was strung quickly, but with as much coolness as if there was no
exigency to require haste. Yet he had scarcely time to throw himself upon
his breast, a few yards from the brink of the declivity, before one of his
pursuers, more active than the rest, exposed himself to the unerring
archer. He came leaping from rock to rock, and had nearly reached the head
of the glen, when, pierced through and through by one of Kiodago's arrows,
he toppled from the crags, and rolled, clutching the leaves in his death
agony, among the tangled furze below. A second met a similar fate, and a
third victim would probably have been added, if a shot from the fusil of
Hanyost, who sprang forward and caught sight of the Indian just as the
first man fell, had not disabled the thumb joint of the bold archer, even
as he fixed his last arrow in the string. Resistance seemed now at an end,
and Kiodago again betook himself to flight. Yet anxious to divert the
pursuit from his wife, the young chieftain pealed a yell of defiance, as he
retreated in a different direction from that which she had taken. The whoop
was answered by a simultaneous shout and rush on the part of the whites;
but the Indian had not advanced far before he perceived that the pursuing
party, now reduced to six, had divided, and that three only followed him.
He had recognized the scout, Hanyost, among his enemies, and it was now
apparent that that wily traitor, instead of being misled by his _ruse,_ had
guided the other three upon the direct trail to the cavern which the
Christian captive had taken. Quick as thought, the Mohawk acted upon the
impression. Making a few steps within a thicket, still to mislead his
present pursuers, he bounded across a mountain torrent, and then leaving
his foot-marks dashed in the yielding bank, he turned shortly on a rock
beyond, recrossed the stream, and concealed himself behind a falling tree;
while his pursuers passed within a few paces of his covert.

A broken hillock now only divided the chief from the point to which he had
directed his wife by another route, and to which the remaining party,
consisting of De Grais, Hanyost and a French musketeer, were hotly urging
their way. The hunted warrior ground his teeth with rage when he heard the
voice of the treacherous Fleming in the glen below him; and springing from
crag to crag, he circled the rocky knoll, and planted his foot by the roots
of a blasted oak, that shot its limbs above the cavern, just as his wife
had reached the spot, and pressing her babe to her bosom, sank exhausted
among the flowers that waved in the moist breath of the cave. It chanced
that at that very instant, De Grais and his followers had paused beneath
the opposite side of the knoll, from whose broken surface the foot of the
flying Indian had disengaged a stone, which crackling among the branches,
found its way through a slight ravine into the glen below. The two
Frenchmen stood in doubt for a moment. The musketeer, pointing in the
direction whence the stone had rolled, turned to receive the order of his
officer. The chevalier, who had made one step in advance of a broad rock
between them, leaned upon it, pistol in hand, half turning toward his
follower while the scout, who stood furthest out from the steep bank,
bending forward to discover the mouth of the cave, must have caught a
glimpse of the sinking female, just as the shadowy form of her husband was
displayed above her. God help thee now, bold archer! thy quiver is empty;
thy game of life is nearly up; the sleuth-hound is upon thee; and thy
scalp-lock, whose plumes now flutter in the breeze, will soon be twined in
the fingers of the vengeful renegade. Thy wife--But hold! the noble savage
has still one arrow left!

{Illustration: The Mohawk's Last Arrow.}

Disabled, as he thought himself, the Mohawk had not dropped his bow in his
flight. His last arrow was still gripped in his bleeding fingers; and
though his stiffening thumb forbore the use of it to the best advantage,
the hand of Kiodago had not lost its power. {FN} The crisis which it takes
so long to describe had been realized by him in an instant. He saw how the
French-men, inexperienced in woodcraft, were at fault; he saw, too, that
the keen eye of Hanyost had caught sight of the object of their pursuit,
and that further flight was hopeless, while the scene of his burning
village in the distance inflamed him with hate and fury toward the
instrument of his misfortunes. Bracing one knee upon the flinty rock, while
the muscles of the other swelled as if the whole energies of his body were
collected in that single effort, Kiodago aims at the treacherous scout, and
the twanging bowstring dismisses his last arrow upon its errand. The hand
of the Spirit could alone have guided that shaft! But Waneyo smiles upon
the brave warrior, and the arrow, while it rattles harmless against the
cuirass of the French officer, glances toward the victim for whom it was
intended, and quivers in the heart of Hanyost! The dying wretch grasped the
sword-chain of the chevalier, whose corslet clanged among the rocks, as the
two went rolling down the glen together; and De Grais was not unwilling to
abandon the pursuit when the musketeer, coming to his assistance, had
disengaged him, bruised and bloody, from the embrace of the stiffening

                              * * * * *

 {FN} The English mode of holding the arrow, as represented in the plate,
 is not common among our aborigines, who use the thumb for a purchase.

What more is there to add. The bewildered Europeans rejoined their
comrades, who were soon after on their march from the scene they had
desolated; while Kiodago descended from his eyrie to collect the fugitive
survivors of his band, and, after burying the slain, to wreak a terrible
vengeance upon their murderers; the most of whom were cut off by him before
they joined the main body of the French army. The Count de Frontenac,
returning to Canada, died soon afterward, and the existence of his
half-blood daughter was soon forgotten. And--though among the dozen old
families in the State of New York who have Indian blood in their veins,
many trace their descent from the off spring of the noble Kiodago and his
Christian wife--yet the hand of genius, as displayed in the admirable
picture of Chapman, which we reproduce, has alone rescued from oblivion
the thrilling scene of the Mohawk's LAST ARROW!

                   III. AUDUBON'S NIGHT OF PERIL.

"On my return from the upper Mississippi," said John J. Audubon, the
celebrated ornithologist, "I found myself obliged to cross one of the wide
prairies which, in that portion of the United States, vary the appearance
of the country. The weather was fine; all around me was as fresh and
blooming as if it had just issued from the bosom of Nature. My knapsack, my
gun and my dog were all I had for baggage and company. The track that I
followed was an old Indian trail, and as darkness overshadowed the prairie,
I felt some desire to reach at least a copse in which I might lie down to
rest. The night-hawks were skimming over and around me, attracted by the
buzzing wings of the beetles, which form their food, and the distant
howlings of wolves gave me some hope that I should soon arrive at the
skirts of some woodland.

"I did so; and almost at the same instant a fire-light attracted my
attention. I moved toward it, full of confidence that it proceeded from the
camp of some wandering Indians. I was mistaken. I discovered by its glare
that it was from the open door of a small log cabin, and that a tall figure
passed and repassed between it and me, as if busily engaged in house-hold

"I reached the place, and presenting myself at the door, asked the tall
figure, which proved to be a woman, if I might take shelter under her roof
for the night. Her voice was gruff and her attire negligently thrown about
her. She answered in the affirmative. I walked in, took a stool and quietly
seated myself by the fire.

"The next object that attracted my attention was a finely formed young
Indian resting his head between his hands, with his elbows on his knees. A
long bow rested against a log wall near him, while a quantity of arrows and
two or three raccoon skins lay at his feet. He moved not--he apparently
breathed not.

"Accustomed to the habits of the Indians, and knowing that they pay little
attention to the approach of civilized strangers (a circumstance which in
some countries is considered to evince the apathy of their character), I
addressed him in French, a language not unfrequently partially known to the
people in that neighborhood.

"He raised his head, pointed to one of his eyes with his finger, and gave
me a significant look with the other. His face was covered with blood. The
fact was that about an hour or so before this, as he was in the act of
discharging an arrow at a raccoon in the top of a tree, the arrow had split
upon the cord and sprung back with such violence into his right eye as to
destroy it forever.

"Feeling hungry, I inquired what sort of fare I might expect. Such a thing
as a bed was not to be seen, but many large untanned bear and buffalo hides
lay piled up in a corner. I drew  a fine timepiece from my breast and told
the woman that it was late and that I was fatigued. She had espied my
watch, the richness and beauty of which seemed to operate upon her feelings
with electrical quickness. She told me that there was plenty of venison and
jerked buffalo meat, and that on removing the ashes I should find a cake.
But my watch had struck her fancy, and her curiosity had to be gratified by
an immediate sight of it. I took off the gold chain that secured it from
around my neck and handed it to her. She was all ecstasy, spoke of its
beauty, asked me its value and put my chain around her brawny neck, saying
how happy the possession of such a watch would make her.

"Thoughtless, and, as I fancied myself in so retired a spot secure, I paid
little attention to her talk or her movements. I helped my dog to a good
supper of venison, and was not long in satisfying the demands of my own

"The Indian rose from his seat as if in extreme suffering. He passed and
repassed me several times, and once pinched me on the arm so violently that
the pain nearly brought forth an exclamation of anger. I looked at him; his
eye met mine, but his look was so forbidding that it struck a chill into
the more nervous part of my system. He again seated himself, drew his
butcher's knife from its greasy scabbard, examined its edge as I would do
that of a razor suspected dull, replaced it, and again taking his tomahawk
from his belt, filled the pipe of it with tobacco, and sent me expressive
glances whenever our hostess chanced to have her back toward us.

"Never until that moment had my senses been awakened to the danger which I
now suspected to be about me. I returned glance for glance to my companion,
and rested well assured that whatever enemies I might have, he was not one
of their number. I asked the woman for my watch, wound it up, and under
pretense of wishing to see how the weather might probably be on the morrow,
took up my gun and walked out of the cabin. I slipped a ball into each
barrel, scraped the edges of my flints, renewed the primings, and returning
to the hut, gave a favorable account of my observations. I now took a few
bearskins, made a pallet of them, and calling my faithful dog to my side,
lay down, with my gun close to my body, and in a few minutes was to all
appearances fast asleep.

"A short time had elapsed when some voices were heard, and from the corner
of my eyes I saw two athletic youths making their entrance, bearing a dead
stag on a pole. They disposed of their burden, and asking for whisky,
helped themselves freely to it. Observing me and the wounded Indian, they
asked who I was, and why that rascal (meaning the Indian, who, they knew,
understood not a word of English) was in the house. The mother--for so she
proved to be--bade them speak less loudly, made mention of my watch, and
took them to a corner, where a conversation took place in a low tone, the
purport of which it required little shrewdness in me to guess. I tapped my
dog gently; he moved his tail, and with indescribable pleasure I saw his
fine eyes alternately fixed on me, and raised toward the trio in the
corner. I felt that he perceived danger in my situation. The Indian
exchanged a last glance with me.

"The lads had eaten and drunk themselves into such condition that I already
looked upon them as _hors de combat,_ and the frequent visits of the whisky
bottle to the ugly mouth of their dam I hoped would soon reduce her to a
like state. Judge of my astonishment, reader, when I saw this incarnate
fiend take a large butcher's knife and go to the grindstone to whet its
edge. I saw her pour the water on the turning stone, and watched her
working away with the dangerous instrument until the cold sweat covered
every part of my body, despite my determination to defend myself to the
last. Her task finished, she walked to her reeling sons and said, 'There,
that'll soon settle him. Boys, you kill the Indian and then for the watch!'

"I turned, cocked my gunlocks silently, touched my faithful companion, and
lay ready to startup and shoot the first that might attempt my life. The
moment was fast approaching, and that night might have been my last in this
world, had not Providence made preparations for my rescue. All was ready;
the infernal hag was advancing slowly, probably contemplating the best way
of despatching me whilst her sons should be engaged with the Indian. I was
several times on the eve of rising and shooting her on the spot; but she
was not to be punished thus. The door was suddenly opened, and there
entered two stout travelers, each with a long rifle on his shoulder. I
bounced upon my feet, and making them most heartily welcome, told them how
well it was for me that they should have arrived at that moment. The tale
was told in a minute. The drunken young men were secured, and the woman, in
spite of her defense and vociferations, shared the same fate. The Indian
fairly danced with joy, and gave us to understand that as he could not
sleep for pain, he would watch over us. You may suppose we slept much less
than we talked.

"The two strangers gave me an account of their once having been themselves
in a somewhat similar situation. Day came, fair and rosy, and with it the
punishment of our captives. They were quite sobered. Their feet were
unbound, but their arms were still securely tied. We marched them into the
woods off the road, and having disposed of them as regulators were wont to
treat such wretches, we set fire to the cabin, gave all their skins and
implements to the young Indian warrior and proceeded, well pleased, toward
the settlements.

"During upward of twenty-five years, when my wanderings extended to all
parts of our country, this was the only time at which my life was in danger
from my fellow-creatures. Indeed, so little risk do travelers run in the
United States that no one born there ever dreams of any to be encountered
on the road; and I can only account for the occurrence by supposing that
the inhabitants of the cabin were not Americans."


The following story, though somewhat similar to the foregoing, had a very
different termination:

The year 1812 was one of anxiety and alarm to the frontier settlers of our
country, for the Indians, incited by British emissaries, were sullen, and
in many portions of the Ohio Valley and on the Canadian border openly
hostile to the Americans.

Three families dwelling in a little settlement on the banks of a small
stream which emptied into Lake Erie had refrained in every way possible
from giving offense to their Indian neighbors, the Miamis of the Lake,
whose nearest village was thirty miles distant. However, to be safe, they
built a block-house surrounded by a tall stockade, and always had their
guns and other weapons ready for use.

One dark night, Minor Spicer, who lived in one of these isolated cabins,
heard some one call in front of his house. It was late, and Spicer's
family, with the exception of himself and wife, had retired. Seizing his
rifle, Minor, in spite of his wife's entreaty that he should pay no
attention to the hail, opened the door and stepped outside.

A large Indian, mounted on a big raw-boned gray horse, with a deer across
the withers, and a rifle in each hand, confronted the settler.

"What do you want?" the white man asked. The Indian replied in the
Wyandotte tongue, a language perfectly unintelligible to Spicer.

"Speak English! Speak English!" shouted Spicer, "or as sure as a gun is
iron I will draw a bead on you."

The Indian was not alarmed by this threat, since he understood not one word
of it. But he knew three English, words, and now used them to good purpose.
Pointing to the cabin, he exclaimed, "Injun tired, cold, sleepy," and Minor
understood at once that he desired a night's lodging.

Now, among the frontiersmen, hospitality was universal. The latch string
literally hung on the outside. No matter how humble the guest, and whether
friend or foe, shelter was never denied, and even the last crust would be
divided with the stranger. In the present instance the request was promptly
granted, Spicer showing the Indian where to put his horse, and then, it
must be confessed with inward misgivings, leading the way into the house,
the Indian bringing in his venison.

The good woman fairly trembled with terror as she looked upon the towering
form and forbidding face of their savage guest, as he hung up his venison
with an air of proprietorship after which he placed his guns and tomahawk
in a corner of the backroom which served as kitchen.

With his scalping-knife the Indian now cut a large piece from the venison
and intimated by signs that he was hungry and desired Mrs. Spicer to cook
it for him. Mrs. Spicer complied with the request, her husband standing
near, his rifle always within reach, watching every movement of the
sullen-faced guest, regretting more and more that he had permitted him to
enter. He consoled himself with the thought that had he refused he would
have incurred his undying hatred, and resolved, while seemingly at ease, to
be on the alert for treachery, and repay it with death.

The wife broiled the meat upon the coals, seasoned it well with pepper and
salt, and motioned the Indian toward the table. He ate only a few
mouthfuls, and when he thought he was unobserved, slyly slipped the greater
portion of it in his pouch, clearly refuting, according to the watchful
white man's mind, his claim that he was hungry, and convincing Spicer that
mischief was intended.

The host and hostess signified their intention of retiring, and the Indian
lay down before the fire. Mr. and Mrs. Spicer retired to the front room,
which opened through a door from the kitchen, which was occupied by the
Indian. Of course, sleep was impossible, for their own lives and that of
their children, and indeed the fate of the whole settlement, might depend
upon their vigilance.

The door of the room they occupied was left wide open, so that the Indian
was in full view. Would the tall warrior, who had gained entrance to their
home under pretense of being weary and hungry, attempt to murder them
himself, or would he, when he thought the family sound asleep, unbar the
door to admit his confederates to assist him in his bloody work? The
husband and wife said nothing to each other regarding their fears, but the
necessity of remaining awake was fully understood and agreed upon between

The bed upon which Spicer and his wife lay was without the circle of the
firelight, and in heavy shadow; and their faces were not discernible in the
gloom. They breathed deeply to deceive the Indian, whom they believed to be
as wakeful as they themselves, although he lay perfectly still for an hour.
At the end of that time he raised himself upon his elbow and listened. All
was silent, and he sat upright, and again listened as before. No sound
disturbed the silence but the deep breathing of the sleeping children in
the loft above him and the regular respiration of Spicer and his wife, who
were watching the Indian with mingled feelings of anger and alarm, for now
his evil intention seemed about to be made known. Rising to his feet, the
Indian stepped as swiftly and softly as a panther to the corner where his
weapons were piled.

{Illustration: Lone Wolf, Famous Orator and Principal Chief of the Kiowas.}

"Shall I shoot him in his tracks?" thought Spicer, whose hand was now upon
his gun. "No, I can't shoot a man in my own house whose back is toward me,
but if he draws the bolt of the outside door, or makes a motion to attack
us, he will find me ready."

By this time the savage had reached the corner, and stood silently
listening to see if he had awakened any one. Satisfied that he had not, he
took up his glittering scalping-knife. Mrs. Spicer shuddered as he passed
his fingers across the edge of the blade to assure himself of its keenness.
Already she seemed to feel the cold steel upon her naked flesh. She touched
her husband's hand as if to urge him to shoot. He gave her hand a
reassuring pressure, and grasped his gun, awaiting the Indian's onslaught.

The savage, however, seemed in no haste, and instead of turning toward the
door of the cabin, or the room in which Spicer and his wife lay, he quietly
stole toward the opposite corner of the  room. Surprised and puzzled,
Spicer and his wife watched the Indian's mysterious movements, which in
another minute explained themselves.

Reaching the corner where the venison hung, he took it down, and laying it
upon the floor, deftly cut off a piece weighing a pound or two, and then
made his way back to the fire and placed it on the embers. Carefully wiping
his scalping-knife and placing it again with his weapons, he sat down
before the fire, watching his meat cook, and, when it was done to his
satisfaction, he devoured it with much apparent relish, and lay down again
and was soon sleeping the sleep of the weary.

Indians as a rule (especially those around the great fresh-water lakes)
dislike salt and pepper, and Mrs. Spicer had so seasoned the venison she
cooked for her guest that it was unpalatable, and with innate delicacy he
attempted to conceal the fact that it was not done to his liking by
slipping it into his pouch. Both Spicer and his wife knew in an instant
that this was the case, when the Indian, unconscious how near his dislike
for pepper and salt had brought him to death sat down to watch his venison
broil. Their minds at ease, they too, were soon peacefully sleeping.

Afterward, when the Indian, who came season after season to visit Spicer
and his family, learned enough English to speak quite well, he told them
that upon the occasion of his first visit to their cabin he had lost his
trail, and had been guided to their door by the light from the window. He
had left his father, who was too tired to travel farther, in an abandoned
hunting-hut they found in the woods, and had given him his blanket. The
other rifle was his father's, and the next morning he went back to him, and
the two found their trail and went onward to their village.

Every spring and autumn the Indian, who called himself "Heno," which is the
Wyandot for "Thunder," used to call at the cabin of the Spicer's with gifts
of game and skins, and when the settler, upon one of these visits, told him
of the hour of terror he spent watching his movements the first night of
their acquaintance, Heno, who was a merry fellow in spite of his looks,
chuckled softly to himself, the humor of the situation evidently striking
him forcibly.

Heno became very fond of the Spicer children, and upon his visits to their
home they would importune their father to tell again the tale of Heno's
midnight raid upon his venison, the Indian accompanying the narrator with
expressive pantomime, which much delighted himself and his auditors.

                  V. STORY OF AN HONEST INDIAN.

The inhabitants along the north shore of Lake Superior are nearly all
Indians, who are largely dependent upon the fisheries for their living;
when these fail or are good, so is their general condition. It has been my
good fortune, writes Stanley Du Bois, to spend many summers there.

My custom is to get a large Mackinac boat, the white man's improvement on
the birch bark canoe, to put into it my tent, stores, camping and other
equipment, and, together with a  couple of Indians, to sail along the north
shore of the great lake, usually making a new camp every night, not bound
by any hard and fast rule to do so; staying longer if it is agreeable or
too stormy to make sailing safe or pleasant. Sometimes I have to anchor and
ride out a heavy swell, for there are hundreds of miles of shore line where
the rocky cliffs come down to the water's edge, and if there is any surf
there is no such thing as landing from a boat. One evening, having made a
landing, pitched the tent, and had a good supper, while sitting alone, the
Indians busy about the boat hauled up on the narrow beach, a huge dog came
stalking up to me. He was in a pitiable condition. Evidently he had been in
a fight with a bear or lynx, or some other fierce, powerful creature, for
nearly half his scalp had been torn loose from his skull and hung down over
his face, completely blinding one eye. At first I was uncertain how to
act, but I soon saw that he meant no harm, really in dog language he very
plainly gave me to understand that he looked to me for relief. Going into
the tent I got a needle and thread, and together we went down to the
water's edge, where I washed the dirt and vermin out of the great wound,
and then placing the skin back where it belonged sewed it up. The Indians
pricked a quantity of balsam blisters, and after smearing that plentifully
over the edges of the wound, we gave the dog his supper. During the night
he disappeared.

The Indians and myself finished the season according to our pleasure, and
the incident of the dog was fast becoming a fading memory. Two years later,
with these same two Indians, I was again sailing along the north shore of
Lake Superior. Seeing a little wooden pier put out into the water we headed
for it. As soon as we came near, some twenty-five or thirty half-wild,
savage dogs stormed out on the pier and threatened to eat us alive! An
elderly Indian came down from the shore, and with a stout club beat them
mercilessly and drove them to the shore; all except one, who, changing his
bark of anger and defiance to yelps of delight, fawned and whined on me
most unaccountably, and despite blows and commands refused to leave.

"Now I know who fix my dog; come to my house. I too wish to thank you as
well as my dog." That was the greeting I received, and the first I had
heard of the mutilated dog of two years previous.

The house was a log hut of one room only on the ground floor, with a low,
dark loft above; no luxuries and few comforts anywhere. His wife busied
herself to get us something to eat; it didn't take long, and when dinner
was called we sat down to the table. Reverently bowing their heads he asked
God's blessing on what was before us, a broiled whitefish and a bucket of
water, that was all, for the season's fishing so far had been a failure.
The man and children could speak fairly good English, his wife could not
speak it at all. After our meal I gave him a little bag of smoking tobacco.
It was the first he had used for several months, and you can hardly know
how happy he was. Moved by its influence and of gratitude for my care to
his dog, he told me a strange experience that had come into his life. I
have taken the liberty of altering his broken English and idioms into plain
talk, but the facts are just as he told me that beautiful summer day, with
the hum of the wind through the great pine trees over and back of his home,
and the wash of the waves on the rocky shore in front. But for the little
group around that home it was a grand solitude for hundreds of miles in
every direction. This is his story:

"Some thirty years ago there came to my cabin a young Englishman, not a
hunter or a fisherman, but one who would sit for hours at a time on that
old bent tree yonder, and make the strangest and sweetest music I ever
heard. I never saw an instrument like his. He made me forget myself, and
sometimes when he would play I would cry just like a dog. Then he would put
that aside and go off into the woods alone, taking with him a stranger and
even more curious instrument. What he was trying to do I do not know, but
he looked into it, and then made marks in a book. I said he went alone, but
that is hardly true; no white man went with him, only one of my little
boys. They are men grown now, and have families of their own. One day a
sailboat came to my little pier, and a gentleman called out, 'Hello Baker!
you must go back with me right away,' and after a few minutes' talk he
called out to me, 'I am going away, but will be back again. Keep what is
mine till I return,' and they sailed away.

"That was more than thirty years ago, and he has not returned yet. If you
care to see what he left with me I will show it to you."

We went back into the cabin, and his wife climbed into the loft overhead
and passed down a violin case, a theodolite, and a small, silver-trimmed
leather grip. Opening the case he took out as fine a violin as it has ever
been my pleasure to handle. There was no name of maker or owner on it. The
strings were loose, but after tuning it up as best I could after so long a
time out of use, I found it had a marvelously pure, sweet, strong tone. The
theodolite was of London make, and had seen much hard usage, but was in
good condition. Opening the grip, which was not locked, we took out and
laid on the table a surveyor's memorandum book, a few pencils, a silver
telescopic pen holder with a gold pen in its end, and an intaglio seal cut
in a red stone in the other end, the letter B, some postage stamps, some
sheets of paper and envelopes, and a small copy of Shakespeare's plays.
Turning to the fly leaf of the book I read the name in pencil, "S. Baker."

"This is not all," said the Indian to his wife, and she went up to the loft
again and brought down a canvas bag. It would have held about a quart.
Untying the string which closed it, he turned the contents out on the
table, gold and silver coins. We counted it. Sixty-two sovereigns and a few
small pieces of silver, all English money.

To say that I was amazed but mildly expressed my thoughts at the time. Here
was an Indian family, poor as poverty, yet with over three hundred dollars
in gold for years in their cabin, and knowing its purchasing power
perfectly well all the time. I asked him why he did not use it to buy
necessities at such a time as this. He gave me a look of mingled sorrow and
wonder that I would so much as suggest such a thing, and said that these
things were left with him for safe keeping, and that he would sooner starve
than betray his trust. They were starving then, and it was not the first
time so either. I tried to persuade him to use it, but he said "No," and
put it all back into the bag, and everything belonging to the young
stranger was taken up and put away in the loft.

The next day I went away. My summer trips took me elsewhere for several
years, but this past summer I was back to the north shore of Lake Superior
again. Having a mind to look up my old Indian friend, I went to the place
where we had parted company, but the little pier was wholly gone. We made
a landing and soon came upon the ruins of the house. The roof had fallen in
and the walls were partly rotted down. The little garden patch was a tangle
of briers and weeds; desolation reigned everywhere.

A couple of days later, still sailing along the shore, we came in sight of
a long, strong, handsome pier, with a tall flag staff on its outer end.
Back of it, about a hundred yards up the shore, was a tiny Indian village
of maybe two hundred souls. Landing at the dock, a handsome young man
greeted me and called me by name. He was a grandson of my old Indian
friend. I immediately asked  him of his grandfather.

"Come and see where we have laid him," was his answer; and taking me by the
hand he led me to a beautiful little grassy plot, surrounded with a neat
white paling fence. There, beside the wife of his youth, who had shared
with him his privations, his joys and his sorrows, there his children had
reverently laid him away.

We then went to the home of the young Indian. He had a neat
story-and-a-half house, nearly covered with trailing vines. It was well
furnished, a cabinet organ, a sewing machine, some books and pictures, a
gasoline stove, carpets, curtains and other furniture of civilization. He
was a prosperous lumberman, and a full-blooded Indian.

I asked him regarding the violin, theodolite, books, money, etc. The money
had been used after his grandfather's death, the other articles he has in
his possession now.

Going back as well as we could we came to the conclusion that they
originally belonged to the man who afterward became Sir Samuel Baker, but
we could not be certain. Of this we are sure, that the keeping of the money
and other valuables so many years was a rare example of fidelity. And the
strangest part of it all is, that my knowledge of it, and yours, should
come about through kindness to a dog in distress. I have had considerable
experience with Indians, from the far North of our land to South America,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Times without number have I trusted my
person and valuables to them, and in not a single instance was the
confidence misplaced.

                  VI. "GO!" A STORY OF RED CLOUD.

The new El Dorado was in sight, writes Calkins. Gordon's party of twelve
tired frontiersmen had mounted the high divide which separates the sources
of the Running Water from those of the Cheyenne. For five weeks the men had
shoveled drifts, buffeted blizzards and kept a constant vigil among the
interminable sand-hills. By means, too, of stable canvas, shovels, axes,
iron picket-pins and a modicum of dry feed, they had kept in good condition
the splendid eight-mule team which drew their big freighter.

In fact "Gordon's outfit" was a model one in every respect, and probably no
similar body of men ever faced our snow-bound, trackless plains, better
equipped for the adventure. And now the muffled marchers cheered as "Cap"
Gordon halted them and pointed to a blurred and inky upheaval upon the far
rim of a limitless waste of white. The famous Black Hills, a veritable
wonderland, unseen hitherto by any party of whites save the men of Custer's
expedition, lay before them.

Two more days and the gold-seekers would gain the shelter of those
pine-covered hills, where their merry axes would "eat chips" until shelter,
comfort and safety from attack were secured. Out of the bitter cold, after
weeks of toil and danger, into warmth and safety--no wonder they were glad.

As yet they had seen no sign of the hostile Sioux, but their frosty cheers,
thin and piping, had hardly been borne away by the cutting wind when a
moving black speck appeared on the western horizon.

The speck drew nearer, and resolved itself into a solitary horseman. Could
it be that a single Sioux would approach a party of their strength? They
watched the rider without anxiety. They were so near the goal now that no
war party of sufficient strength to become a menace was likely to be
gathered. They were equipped with an arsenal of modern guns, with fifty
thousand rounds of ammunition, and had boasted they were "good to stand off
three hundred Sioux."

Nearer and nearer drew the horseman, his pony coming on in rabbit-like
jumps to clear the drifts. Speculation ceased. It was an Indian--probably a
hunter strayed far from his village, half-starved and coming to beg for
food. Well, the poor wretch should have frozen bread and meat, as much as
he could eat they could not stop to give him better fare.

It was as cold as Greenland. The bundled driver upon the great wagon
slapped his single line, and yelled at the plodding mules. Eleven
buffalo-coated, fur-encased men with feet clad in snow-packs, marched at
the tail of the freighter. In such weather their cold "shooting-irons" were
left in the wagon, nor did they deem it necessary now  to get them  out.

They were prepared for a begging Indian, but the apparition which finally
rode in upon the monotony of the long march seemed to them a figure as
farcical as savage. As the Sioux horseman confronted them he lowered his
blanket, uncovering his solemn, barbarian face, and stretching out one long
arm, pointed them  back upon their trail. "Go!" he said, and he repeated
the command with fierce insistence.

The freight wagon rattled on, but the footmen halted for a moment to laugh.

{Illustration: Kiowa Annie, noted Indian beauty.}

The Indian stretched his lean arm and shouted, "Go!" still more savagely.
It was immensely funny. Gordon's men jeered the solitary autocrat, and
laughed until their icicled beards pulled. They bade him get into a drift
and cool off; asked him if his mother knew he was out, and whether his feet
were sore, and if it hurt him much to talk, and if he hadn't a brother who
could chin-chin _washitado?_

His sole answer to their jeering, as he rode along side, was "Go! go! go!"
repeated with savage emphasis and a flourish of his arm to southward.

The footmen were plodding a dozen rods in the rear of their freight wagon,
and still laughing frostily at this queer specimen of "Injun," when the
savage spurred his pony forward. A few quick leaps carried him up to the
toiling eight-mule team. His blanket dropped around his hips, and a
repeating carbine rose to his face. Both wheelers dropped at the first
shot, killed by a single ounce slug. A rapid fusillade of shots was
distributed among the struggling mules, and then the Sioux was off, shaking
his gun and yelling defiance, his pony going in zigzag leaps and like the

Men ran tumbling over each other to get into the wagon and at their guns.
The teamster and two or three others, who, despite the cold, carried
revolvers under their great coats, jerked their mittens and fumbled with
stiff fingers for their weapons. They had not been nerved up with
excitement, like the Sioux, and before they could bring their guns to bear,
the savage was well out upon the prairie.

And when these men tried, with rifle or revolver, to shoot at the swiftly
moving erratic mark presented by the cunning Sioux and his rabbit-like
pony, the cutting wind numbed their fingers and filled their eyes with
water, the glistening snow obscured their front sights, and they pelted a
white waste harmlessly with bullets.

The anger which raged in them when they knew the Sioux had escaped
Scot-free was something frightful. Six mules of the splendid eight lay
weltering in blood; another was disabled, and only one had come off without
hurt. Half the counties of northwestern Iowa had been scoured to get
together "Gordon's Pride," as this