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Title: The Chicago Massacre of 1812
Author: Kirkland, Joseph
Language: English
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[Illustration: BRONZE GROUP. (Page 207.)]


                       CHICAGO MASSACRE OF 1812



                            JOSEPH KIRKLAND

                   "THE CAPTAIN OF COMPANY K," ETC.



                          334 DEARBORN STREET



Joseph Kirkland.





History is not a snap-shot. Events happen, and the true record of them
follows at a distance. Sometimes the early report is too voluminous,
and it takes time to reduce it to truth by a winnowing process that
divides chaff from grain. This has been the case regarding every great
modern battle. Sometimes, on the other hand, the event was obscure and
became important through the rise of other, later conditions; in which
case, instead of winnowing, the historian sets himself to gleaning the
field and making his grist out of scattered bits of its fruitage. This
has been the case regarding the Chicago massacre of 1812.

It was only a skirmish and a slaughter, involving the loss of
three-score lives. But those dead men, women and children were the
fore-runners of all the dwellers in one of the greatest cities of
Christendom, the renowned city of Chicago.

Up to less than twenty years ago it was thought--by the few who
gave the matter any thought--that next to nothing could ever be
found out concerning the events which took place in and about Fort
Dearborn--now Chicago--on August 15, 1812, and the time immediately
before and after that day. All that was then known was contained in
the artless, non-historic narrative contained in Mrs. Kinzie's amusing
and delightful story of her own adventures (1831-1833), into which she
wove, as a mere episode, the scattered reminiscences of members of her
family who had taken part in the tragedy of twenty years before.

But in 1881, ten years after the Great Fire had wiped out all old
Chicago, and all records of older Chicago, the Historical Society
happily took up the task of erecting a "massacre memorial tablet" on
the ground where Fort Dearborn had stood. William M. Hoyt generously
gave the necessary money, and the Hon. John Wentworth ably and
devotedly set himself about gathering, from all over the land, every
item which could be gleaned to throw light on the dark and dreadful
event. How well he succeeded is shown by his book, "Fort Dearborn,"
published by the Fergus Printing Company as number 16 in its admirable
Historical Series; a collection of pamphlets which should form part of
every library in the city.

Exhaustive as was Mr. Wentworth's research, yet the last word had not
been said. There was--and is--still living, the Hon. Darius Heald, son
of the Captain (Nathan) Heald who commanded the whites on the fatal
day, and who, with his wife, was sorely wounded in the fray. The son
had heard, a hundred times, his parents' story of the massacre; and his
repetition of that story taken down in short-hand from his own lips,
forms the main part of the strictly new matter I offer in this book.

Much of the contents of the following pages, which has been published
before, is not marked as quotation, for the reason that it is my own
writing, having been included in my "Story of Chicago," published by
the same house which publishes this book. (Many of the illustrations
are also taken from this same source.) On the other hand, much that
is marked in quotation is also my own work; but as it is part of my
contribution to Munsell & Company's large "History of Chicago" which is
still in press, credit is invariably given to the last-named work.

All I could find, on this fascinating theme, I have faithfully
recorded. If a later gleaner shall find more, no one will be more glad
than will I, to welcome it.

                                                       Joseph Kirkland.

The Chicago Massacre of 1812.



Saturday, August Fifteenth, 1812.

  Scene at dawn; page 19:--Mothers and children; Captain Wells and his
    Miamis; his niece, Rebekah Heald; why he blackened his face; the
    Dead March; the Fort cattle; Indian follies; 20:--Margaret Helm, the
    authority for Mrs. Kinzie's narrative in Wau-Bun; 21:--Ensign Ronan's
    insubordination; Rebekah Heald's version as reported by her son,
    Darius; 22:--Evacuation of the fort; Captain Heald's force; Kinzie
    family; they take boat; 23:--To-pee-nee-be's warning; line of march;
    24:--Pottowatomie "escort;" 25:--Wau-Bun narrative begins; the attack;
    27:--Surgeon Van Voorhees; 28:--Black Partridge rescues Mrs. Helm;
    scene portrayed in bronze group; 29:--John Kinzie reports safety of
    Lieutenant Helm; Captain Wells's scalp; Indians are kind to Mrs. Helm;
    she learns details of the struggle; a squaw tortures a wounded soldier;
    30:--English blamed for Indian alliance; Mrs. Heald's narrative
    begins; similar to Mrs. Helm's; the sand-ridges; 31:--Captain Wells
    orders and leads the charges; the battle thus foolishly lost; signal
    for surrender; 32:--The twelve militia-men; Captain Heald's wound;
    33:--Mrs. Heald's six wounds; particulars of Wells's death; Indians cut
    out his heart and eat it; 34:--"Epeconier!"; his noble self-sacrifice;
    relics in the Calumet Club; 35:--Mrs. Heald fights for her blanket;
    36:--Stripped of her jewelry; what became of it; articles redeemed and
    still in existence; 37:--Chandonnais saves the Healds' lives; wounded
    prisoners tortured to death; 38:--Fatal blot on the Indian race; Mrs.
    Helm's report goes on at second hand; variance with Captain Heald's;
    39:--The latter casts no slurs; 40:--One Indian kills twelve children
    in the baggage-wagon; Mrs. Helm's incredible account of Wells's death;
    41:--True-seeming tale of the Kinzies' escape; doubtful statement
    about Mrs. Heald; 42:--Kinzies again in the old house; Indians burn
    the fort; they guard the Kinzies, Wabash hostiles come; 44:--Peril
    and panic; 45:--Saved by Billy Caldwell, the Sau-ga-nash; 46:--Sukey
    Corbin's fate, as told by Mrs. Jouett; 48:--Possibility that a
    narrative by Lieutenant Helm may exist, Indian traits; 49:--What is
    next to be shown; 50.



  Chapter I. The Dark Before the Dawn.--The French
    period reluctantly passed over; Chicago reappears in 1778, after
    100 years of oblivion; J. B. Pointe de Saible; 53:--Various spellings
    of Chicago; meaning of the word; 54:--Treaty of 1795; building
    of the "Old Kinzie House" in 1778; 55:--Who was here then?
    Astor fortunes; 56:--50,000 square miles of solitude; Gurdon Hubbard's
    observations in 1816; Ouillemette, now Wilmette; Gen. Dearborn
    orders the fort built; 57:--John Whistler's company of the
    First Infantry comes in 1804 and builds it; John Whistler; 58:--The
    schooner Tracy arrives, the "big canoe with wings;" the account
    given, in 1875, by Mrs. Whistler; the pioneer, John Kinzie, arrives
    in 1804; 60:--State of things for the next eight years;
    61:--Charles Jouett; 62:--Joe Battles and Alexander Robinson;
    the Indians and Indian traders; whisky; Munsell's History of
    Chicago; 63.

  Chapter II. Building of the First Fort Dearborn.--William Wells
    is here in 1803; 65:--Signs an Indian trader's license as
    Governor Harrison's agent; Captain Anderson comes down from
    "Mill-wack-ie" in 1804; what the fort was like; 66:--Agency
    House; 67:--How the Chicagoans passed their time; War
    Department records of Fort Dearborn, furnished in 1881 by
    Secretary-of-War Lincoln to John Wentworth; 68:--In 1811 Captain
    Nathan Heald marries Rebekah Wells; wild wedding journey;
    69:--Gay winter for the bride; John Kinzie kills John Lalime in
    self-defence; 70:--Double murder by Indians at Lee's place
    (Hardscrabble), on the South Branch; 71:--Graphic narrative in
    Wau-Bun; 72:--Man and boy escape and spread the alarm; 74:--Captain
    Heald tells the story; Indian traits; 75.

  Chapter III. English and Indian Savages.--Capt. Heald
    is inclined to charge the Hardscrabble massacre to the Winnebagoes;
    British alliance with Indians characterized; 77:--Its unsoldierly
    results; ruin of brave General Hull; 78:--Shame to Lord
    Liverpool's government; "Suppose Russia should instigate a Sepoy
    rebellion;" wild alarm follows the Lee murders, 79:--Munsell's
    history of it; war declared; 80:--Hull sends Winnemeg with orders
    to Heald to evacuate Fort Dearborn and fall back on Detroit,
    Mackinaw had already been taken; wording of Hull's order differently
    given by Captain Heald and Mrs. Helm; 81:--The latter
    finds fault with the former; alleges want of harmony in the fort;
    82:--Mrs. Heald denies this, alleging that Ronan thought highly
    of his captain; the stammering soldier; 83:--comparative authenticity
    of the two narratives; how the Heald story comes to be told
    now for the first time; 84.

  Chapter IV. A Long Farewell.--Departure not favored
    by sub-officers; soldier suggests "jerked beef;" 85:--Heald's letter
    of Nov. 7, 1812, regarding the withdrawal; Wau-Bun to the
    contrary; alleged disorder; 86:--Captain Heald's traits; 87:--Heald
    and Kinzie have a pow-wow with the Indians; consult between
    themselves; agree to distribute goods, but destroy arms and
    whisky; Kinzie's liquors; plan carried out; 88:--William Wells
    to the rescue; scene of his arrival; 89:--Baseless hopes aroused;
    Black Partridge gives up his medal; 90:--This meant war; then
    what should have been done? 92:--Mrs. Heald's story of the
    preparations; 93:--Surroundings then and now; 94-96:--Saturday
    having been already described, the story skips from Friday to
    Sunday; 96.

  Chapter V. Fate of the Fugitives.--Every word treasured;
    97:--Heald's escape while wounded are being tortured; incidents
    of canoe-travel; omission of record of halt on the St. Joseph's;
    kindness of commandant at Mackinaw; 98;--Push on to
    Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburg, and so on home, to Louisville, meeting
    with Mrs. Heald's father; unfortunate loss of her written story;
    99:--Wau-Bun story; Sergeant Griffith and To-pee-nee-be; Kinzies
    are taken to Chief Robinson at St Joseph's, and later to Detroit;
    John Kinzie tries to save his property; 100:--Friendly Indians
    helped by Thomas Forsyth to rescue Lieut. Helm and send him to
    Detroit; sent on as prisoners to Fort George, Niagara; incivility
    atoned for by Col. Sheaffe; the Helms reach their home and
    friends; 102:--Mrs. Helm's remarks about Captain Heald; prisoners
    and citizens, scattered among the Indians, are alleged to be
    generally ransomed; 103:--Fate of Mrs. Burns and baby; child seen
    in after years by Mrs. Kinzie; fate of the Lee family; Black Partridge
    wants to marry the widow; the young raccoon; 104:--Madame
    du Pin; Nau-non-gee and Sergeant Hays kill each other; 106.

  Chapter VI. John Kinzie's Captivity.--America never a
    mititary nation; gloomy opening of 1813; early losses and later
    gains; 107:--Prisoners ransomed in Detroit; Kinzies try to help
    the helpless; 108:--John Kinzie suspected of spying; repeatedly
    arrested by the English and released by the Indians; ironed and
    imprisoned; 109:--Catches a glimpse of Perry's victory on Lake
    Erie; sent on to Quebec; 110:--Strange release; returns to Detroit,
    where, with Kee-po-tah, he welcomes Gen. Harrison; 112.

  Chapter VII. Contemporaneous Reports.--Progress of
    the press since 1812; Niles' Weekly Register our main authority;
    113:--First published statement of the massacre; the schooner
    Queen Charlotte; 114:--Absurd story regarding Mrs. Helm;
    115:--Still more absurd story, signed Walter Jordan; 116:--Possible
    leaven of truth; 117:--Nine survivors reported arrived at
    Plattsburgh from Quebec; 118:--Familiar names; harrowing tales
    they told; 119:--Pitiable fate of Mrs. Neads and her child, Kinzie
    family return to Chicago, where the bones of the massacre victims
    are buried by the soldiers sent to build the new fort; 120:--Letter
    from Fernando Jones; 121:--Solution of the Indian problem
    treated; 122:--Present condition of the Pottowatomies; 123:--Wonderful
    progress in five generations; speculations concerning
    the renewed interest in these old tales; 124:--Sculptured mementoes
    of the past slowly being provided by public-spirited citizens;
    Lambert Tree, Martin Ryerson and EH Bates; George M. Pullman's
    splendid bronze group of the massacre; 126:--Eugene Hall's
    verses at the unveiling of the Block-house Tablet in 1881.


  =A.= Pointe De Saible.--First settler, 100 years after Marquette
       etc.; 133:--Col. de Peyster mentions him in 1778 in his
       "Miscellanies," Burns's verses to De Peyster; 134:--De P. also
       mentions George Rogers Clark, 135:--De P's verses; 136:--His
       foot-notes, naming Chicago; what is known about De Saible;
       137:--E. G. Mason's remarks about him and Shaubena; 138--Perish
       Grignon (Wis. Hist. Soc. Collection) on the same subject;
       139:--Guesses as to the character and fortunes of De Saible;
       140:--"_Point de Sable_," no sand.

  =B.= Fort Dearborn Records at Washington.--Probable reason why
       records are scanty; 143:--Letter from Gen. Dearborn, Secretary
       of War; statement compiled from the adjutant-general's records;
       memorandum of the destruction; order for rebuilding; successive
       commanders; evacuation of 1823; 144:--Re-occupation in 1828;
       Major Whistler ordered to Fort Dearborn; final evacuation in
       1836; 145:--Demolition of fort in 1856; old paper found, dating
       from first fort; familiar names; 146:--One building survived
       until the great fire of 1871; the Waubansa stone; 147:--Daniel
       Webster speaks from its summit; its later vicissitudes;
       148:--Who were the victims of Aug. 15, 1812? Oblivion the usual
       fate of martyrs; 149:--Muster and pay-roll of 1810, the last now
       existing; 150.

  =C.= The Whistler Family.--Gardner's Military Dictionary gives
       items of old John Whistler, the Burgoyne soldier; suggestion
       that in Heald's place he might have avoided the disaster;
       his descendants; Mrs. William Whistler and her daughter,
       Gwenthlean Whistler Kinzie; Mrs. General Sheridan; 153:--Mrs.
       Whistler's visit to Chicago in 1875, 154:--Her reminiscences;
       155:--Whistler descendants in the army; 156.

  =D.= The Kinzie Family.--John Kinzie's origin and youth;
       157:--The Forsyths, Blanchard's story of the McKenzie girls;
       158:--Margaret, mother of some Kinzies and some Halls;
       Elizabeth, mother of some Clarks and some Clybourns; 160:--The
       bend sinister; John marries Eleanor (Lytle) McKillip and comes
       to Chicago; 161:--Extent of his trade; his continued relations
       with Detroit; 162;--His daughter-in-law, Juliette (Magill)
       Kinzie, writer of Wau-Bun, return after the massacre; 163:--His
       losses; pathetic letter to his son, John Harris Kinzie;
       164:--His papers burned in 1871; 165:--Inestimable services
       as treaty-maker; their partial recognition in treaty of 1838;
       165:--His hospitality; 166:--Visit of Gov. Cass; 167:--Winnebago
       scare; 168:--End of the old pioneer; Hubbard's narrative of his
       closing moments; 169:--Disappearance of the ancient mansion;
       170:--Mrs. Nellie Kinzie Gordon; 171:--Heroic death in battle of
       John Harris Kinzie, Jr.; 172.

  =E.= The Wells and the Heald Families.--William Wells's
       captivity among the Indians; Wa-nan-ga-peth, daughter of
       Me-che-kan-nah-quah, and her Wells descendants; 173:--William
       fighting on the Indians' side; Rebekah (Wells) Heald's story of
       her reclamation of her "Indian uncle;" 174:--His parting with
       his red father-in-law; later history of Me-che-kan-nah-quah, or
       Little Turtle; his presentation to Washington; 175:--Rebekah
       meets Nathan Heald at Fort Wayne; 176:--A. H. Edwards's
       anecdotes about Captain Wells; 177:--Family feeling of Wells's
       descendants; the Heald massacre relics shown; 179:--Masonic
       record of Nathan Heald; his letter of Oct. 13, 1813, reporting
       the massacre; 180:--Letter on official business, May 18, 1812;
       181:--Remarks thereon; 182:--Death of his niece, Mrs. Edwards,
       while this book is printing; 183.

  =F.= John Lalime.--Portents of the massacre; rivalry between
       government and civilian traders; 185:--Factions in the garrison;
       traits of John Lalime; 186:--His letters; retort of Main Poc;
       Miss Noke-no-qua; 187:--Lalime's attack on John Kinzie; Gurdon
       Hubbard's letter about it; Victoire (Mirandeau) Porthier's
       story; 189:--Garrison acquits Kinzie but buries Lalime in
       sight of the old house; 190:--Discovery of a skeleton in 1891;
       191:--Reasons for thinking it that of Lalime; 193:--Facts
       learned from Fernando Jones, Judge Blodgett, Hon. John C. Haines
       and others; St. James' church-yard; 193:--Letters from Fernando
       Jones, Hon. John C. Haines and Doctors Hosmer and Freer; 194-195.

  =G.= Reminiscences of A. H. Edwards.--Letter to John Wentworth; story
       of a girl who was one of the scalped children; bare spot on her
       head; 197:--She the daughter of John Cooper who is named in the
       muster-roll; 198:--Married a Detroiter named Farnum; 199.

  =H.= Billy Caldwell, the Sauganash.--His traits, good and bad;
       201:--He and Shabonee write a letter about General Harrison;

  =I.= Farewell War-Dance of the Indians.--Treaty of 1833; Latrobe's
       impressions of Chicago; 203:--Ex-Chief-Justice Caton describes
       the war dance; 205:--"Farewell Indians!" 206.

  =K.= The Bronze Memorial Group.--Where the massacre occurred;
       cumulative testimony identifying the spot; letters from Mrs.
       Henry W. King, Isaac N. Arnold, A. J. Galloway, Mrs. Mary Clark
       Williams, and Robert G. Clarke; 207-210:--The design of the
       group, and the designer, Carl Rohl-Smith: lucky chance gives two
       savages, "Kicking Bear" and "Short Bull," to serve as models
       for the figures; characteristic bearing of the savage models;
       bas-reliefs for pedestal, the fort interior, the evacuation,
       the fight, death of Captain Wells; dedicatory inscription;
       211:--Memorial fit to stand for centuries; 212.

  List of Illustrations; 15.

  Alphabetical Index; 213.


  Flag of distress;                                 14.
  Chicago in 1813;                                  26.
  Jesuit missionary;                                53.
  Me-che-kan-nah-quah;                              55.
  Gen. Anthony Wayne;                               56.
  Wm. Whistler;                                     58.
  Mrs. Wm. Whistler;                                59.
  Charles Jouett;                                   62.
  Redcoat of 1812;                                  65.
  Old Fort Dearborn;                                67.
  Cabin in the Woods;                               71.
  Kinzie mansion in 1812;                           73.
  Human Scalp;                                      75.
  Indian Warrior;                                   77.
  Squaw;                                            86.
  Black Partridge Medal;                            91.
  William Wells;                                    94.
  Chief Robinson;                                  101.
  New fort, River and Kinzie House (Wau-Bun);      111.
  Massacre tree; 18th St.;                         113.
  Second Block-house in its last days;             120.
  Block-House Tablet;                              125.
  Beaubien fiddle and Calumet;                     127.
  Emigrants with wagon;                            129.
  Cock crow;                                       133.
  Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La-Salle;              134.
  George Rogers Clark, late in life;               135.
  Shaubena;                                        130.
  Map of new Harbor;                               148.
  Drummer;                                         148.
  Interior of Fort (1850), Lake House in distance; 145.
  Waubansa stone and Great Fire relics;            147.
  Wild onion;                                      151.
  Gwenthlean (Whistler) Kinzie;                    153.
  James Kinzie (autograph);                        160.
  Samuel Miller (autograph);                       161.
  Juliette Kinzie;                                 163.
  John Harris Kinzie in 1827;                      164.
  John Kinzie (autograph);                         165.
  John Harris Kinzie late in life;                 166.
  Robert Allen Kinzie,                             167.
  Kinzie Mansion as given in Wau-Bun;              168.
  Mrs. Nellie (Kinzie) Gordon;                     171.
  John Harris Kinzie Jr.;                          172.
  Indian Mother and pappoose;                      173.
  Darius Heald with massacre relics;               179.
  Massacre tree and Pullman house;                 184.
  Cyclone;                                         185.
  Skeleton;                                        186.
  The late Calumet Club-House;                     196.
  Sauganash Hotel;                                 200.
  Me-tee-a, a signer of the treaty of 1821;        203.
  Indian War-dance, August 18, 1885;               204.
  Chi-ca-gou;                                      213.

The Chicago Massacre of 1812



Saturday, August Fifteenth, 1812--Narratives of the Massacre.


Historical and Biographical--How the Fort and City were Begun, and Who
were the Beginners.


  A.--John Baptiste Pointe de Saible.
  B.--Fort Dearborn in the War Department.
  C.--The Whistler Family.
  D.--The Kinzie Family.
  E.--The Wells and Heald Families.
  F.--The Bones of John Lalime.
  G.--Letters From A. H. Edwards.
  H.--Billy Caldwell, "The Sauganash."
  I.--Indian War Dance.
  K.--The Bronze Memorial Group.



THE morning of Fort Dearborn's fatal day dawned bright and clear over
Lake Michigan and the sandy flat. The "reveille" doubtless was sounded
before sun-rise; and one can imagine the rattle of the drum and scream
of the fife as they broke the dewy stillness and floated away, over the
sand-spit and out on the lake; across the river to the Kinzie house and
its outbuilding, the Ouillemette house; and up stream to the Indian
encampments, large, dark and lowering. Quite possibly the tune then
prescribed was the same as that now used for the drum-fife reveille,
together with the words that have attached themselves to it of late

    Wake ye lazy soldiers, rouse up and be killed,
     Hard tack and salt horse, get your gizzard filled.
    Then go to fighting--fire your forty round--
     Fall dead and lay there buried under ground.

If this time-honored (and much hated) tune has come down to us from so
long, the words had on that morning a significance even more perfect
than that ordinarily belonging to them.

Early the company cooks must have been at work, boiling whole barrels
of salt pork which had been in soak for days beforehand, and as
much fresh beef as could possibly be used before spoiling. Bread had
doubtless been baked and packed earlier in the week, and now all
imaginable preparations for a march of nearly a month must be completed
and the utensils packed and loaded into the company wagons. At each
of the other, smaller households outside the fort similar toils and
cares were going on. How were the lately weaned little ones to be cared
for? Perhaps some parents hoped that they could drive their milch-cows
with the caravan, seeing that grass was plenty and progress would be
necessarily slow. What did the prospective mothers hope and fear? The
wife of Phelim Corbin; how did she arm her soul for the month of rough
travel, with the travail of child birth as one of its terrors?

Certainly the happiest of the crowd were the unconscious little ones,
sure of love and care, full of hope and curiosity--a round dozen of
them in one wagon, beginning the first journey of their innocent
lives--the first and last. Fancy the mothers tucking them in! The eager
little faces upturned for good-bye kisses!

All the workers might have spared themselves their trouble. If they
were thinking of their cows, the crack of the Indian rifles soon ended
that care. The food was enough and to spare; not a morsel of it did
they ever eat. The journey of a month dwindled to a tramp of an hour;
and as to the precious children--

Captain William Wells had come, with thirty friendly Indians (Miamis)
to guard and help them through their long, lonely tramp to Detroit.
He was a white man, the uncle of the commandant's young wife (Rebekah
Wells Heald), but had been stolen when a boy by the Indians and brought
up by them; had married a chief's daughter and had fought on their side
until, years ago, this same young niece had gone to him and persuaded
him to come back to his own kith and kin. So any fears the helpless
settlers might have felt at first could now surely be put aside--Wells
was so strong, so brave, so well acquainted with the Indians! He could
doubtless keep them in order, either by policy or by force.

But if all was well, why had Captain Wells blackened his face--that is,
put on the Indian sign of war and death--before starting that morning?
All accounts agree that he did so, and usually it is taken as having
been a sign of consciousness of impending death. Mrs. Helm[A] seems to
have regarded it in this light. The question can never be settled, but
to me it seems to have been an act of policy; an effort to identify
himself with his Miamis and other friendly Indians. Wau-Bun adds the
gruesome and almost incredible story that the start out was made to the
music of the dead march! As Mrs. Helm was on horseback with the column
she must have known, and we can but take her word for it.

[A] Margaret Helm, wife of Lieutenant Helm, and step-daughter of old
John Kinzie, has hitherto been the main--almost the only--source of
knowledge about the massacre. She told the story twenty years after its
occurrence, to Mrs. John H. Kinzie, who embodied it in her romantic
narrative "Wau-Bun," published about twenty-two years later still.

The large herd of beef-cattle was left to the savages. This was
probably the most precious gift of all put in their hands by the
abandonment of the post. The liquor, if it had been left, would have
been their bane, and the fire-arms the mere instruments of mutual
destruction. The clothes must wear out, the flour be eaten up, the
tools and furniture useless, the paints and gew-gaws a fleeting joy;
but the herd! This would be self-sustaining, self-perpetuating, a
perennial fount of blessing and mine of wealth. Here were food,
clothing, shoes for this year and all years to come. No tribe or nation
of their race had ever possessed such a treasure. How did they avail
themselves of it? Wau-Bun answers:

  The fort had become a scene of plunder to such as remained after the
  troops moved out. The cattle had been shot down as they ran at large
  and lay dead or dying around. This work of butchery had commenced
  just as we were leaving the fort.

No more characteristic bit of Indian painting has ever been made than
that given in these few words. Here was the native savage (not ignorant
of wiser ways, for he had had the thrifty white man under his eyes for
four generations) still showing himself in sense a child, in strength a
man, and in cruelty a fiend incarnate.

Mrs. Helm continues:

  I well remember a remark of Ensign Ronan, as the firing went on.
  "Such," turning to me, "is to be our fate--to be shot down like

  "Well, sir," said the commanding officer, who overheard him, "are you

  "No," replied the high-spirited young man, "I can march up to the
  enemy where you dare not show your face!" And his subsequent gallant
  behavior showed this to be no idle boast.

Unconsciously Mrs. Helm, in this artless tale told to glorify the
younger officer, awakens in our minds a feeling of dislike for him.
That a youth, scarce two years out of West Point, should add an
ill-timed insult to the heavy cares of his senior officer, a soldier
of thirteen years service, must be shocking to every one. Seeing that
within two hours he was to die in action, bravely doing his duty (in
company with his senior similarly engaged and sorely wounded) we can
readily forgive his error, but not without a protest against a foolish
woman's foolish effort to make it out a noble and praiseworthy outburst.

Mrs. Heald's narrative[B] (though fortified by Captain Heald's letter,
quoted later) seems less probable than the foregoing circumstantial
account in Wau-Bun. She says:

  The fort was vacated quietly, not a cross word being passed between
  soldiers and Indians, and good-byes were exchanged. Not an officer
  objected to leaving. Nobody objected but Kinzie, who did so for
  personal reasons. Everything left was divided among the Indians
  who were there, and a party of them escorted the whites out of the
  fort, these Indians being the ones who took no interest in the
  fight, although they may have known something about it. The general
  impression among the officers (and this was Captain Heald's idea
  also) was that the Indians who took their share when the things were
  distributed at the fort, had no part in the massacre.

[B] It is a curious fact that all our direct information concerning the
events of that day comes from two women. Mrs. Lieutenant Helm, who has
been already mentioned, and Mrs. Captain Heald. Both these young wives
will receive more detailed mention a little further on. Mrs. Heald's
account has never been published before. I give it as taken down in
short-hand from the lips of her son, the Hon. Darius Heald of O'Fallon,
Missouri, in the summer of 1892.

Captain Heald's force consisted of fifty-four regular soldiers and
twelve militia-men, and with them departed every white inhabitant of
the little settlement, men, women and children--probably about thirty
in all--ranging in social condition from the prosperous Kinzies to the
humble discharged soldiers who had married and started to make a living
by tilling the soil, etc.

The Kinzie family was to go by boat, skirting along the lake and
keeping in touch with the land column as long as it should hug the
shore; later ascending the St. Joseph's River to "Bertrand," or
"Parc-aux-vaches," as it was called, in memory of its having been the
cow-pasture of the old French-Canadian settlement and fort which had
stood on the bank of that river a century or so ago. The boat-party
consisted of Mrs. John Kinzie, her son, John H., born at Sandwich,
Canada, July 7, 1803, and her other children--Ellen Marion (later Mrs.
Alexander Wolcott), born in Chicago, December, 1805; Maria Indiana
(later Mrs. General Hunter), born in Chicago, in 1807, and Robert A.,
born in Chicago in 1810. Her daughter by a previous marriage, Margaret
McKillip, was, it will be remembered, now the wife of Lieutenant Helm,
and she bravely elected to share the perils of the land-march with her
husband. There was also in the boat the nurse, Josette (misprinted
in Wau-Bun, "Grutte"[C]) Laframboise (afterward Mrs. Jean Baptiste
Beaubien), a clerk of Mr. Kinzie's, two servants, the boatman, and two
Indians as guard. This shows that the boat must have been neither a
bark canoe nor a common "dug-out" or "pirogue," but a large bateau,
capable of carrying these numerous passengers, with corresponding
baggage and supplies.

[C] In the Story of Chicago is given the following fac simile to show
how readily the name "Josette" might have been read "Grutte."

[Illustration: Josette (signature)]

To-pee-nee-be, a friendly Indian, chief of the St. Joseph's band, early
in the morning of the fatal day, had warned John Kinzie that trouble
was to come from the "escort" which Captain Heald had bargained for
with the Pottowatomies in council, and had urged him to go in the boat
with his family. But the old frontiers-man was built of too sturdy
stuff to take such advice. If there was to be danger he must share it,
and if help would avail he must give it; so he rode with the column.

First rode out Captain William Wells, hero-martyr, marching, probably
consciously, to a doom self-inflicted under the impulse of human
sympathy and soldierly honor. Following him were half of his mounted
escort of Miami Indians, followed in their turn by the volunteers
and such of the regulars as were able to bear arms. Next came the
short train of wagons, with stores, supplies, camp-equippage, women,
children, sick, wounded and disabled. This little caravan contained all
there was to show for eight years of industry and privation. But what
mattered it? Greater savings would only have meant greater loss, and
more men, women and children would only have meant more suffering and

The rear-guard was composed of the remainder of Captain Wells's
wretched Miamis, such reliance as is a broken reed. The Miamis were
mounted, as were Captain Wells, Mr. Kinzie, Mrs. Heald and Mrs. Helm,
but probably no others of the party.

The day continued bright and sunny, and the line must have stretched
from the fort (about the south end of Rush Street bridge) perhaps to
the present Madison Street, half way to the point where began the
sand-dunes or low hills which, even within the memory of the present
generation, skirted the shores down as far as the beginning of the oak
woods of Hyde Park. The bateau followed in the rear of the column and
had just reached the mouth of the river (where the foot of Madison
street now is[D]) when a messenger from To-pe-nee-be brought the Kinzie
party to a halt.

[D] The river then made a turn southward just east of the fort, and
only found an entrance to the lake across the south end of a long
sand-bar, the continuation of the shore of the North Side.

The column had marched parallel with the Pottowatomie "escort" until
both bodies reached the sand-hills. Then the whites kept by the
shore-road, while the Indians, veering slightly to their right, put the
sand-hills between their crowd and the slim, weak line of troops and

The reports of the fight itself, given by the two witnesses on
whom we must rely, do not differ materially from each other. Mrs.
Helm's narrative naturally treats more fully of the Kinzie family's
experiences; Mrs. Heald's more fully of her own adventures and the
death of her uncle. Neither woman mentions the other; they were
probably separated early. I will give the stories in turn, beginning
with Mrs. Helm's.

[Illustration: CHICAGO, IN 1812.]


  The boat started, but had scarcely reached the mouth of the river,
  which, it will be recollected, was here half a mile below the fort,
  when another messenger from To-pe-nee-be arrived to detain them where
  they were. In breathless expectation sat the wife and mother. She was
  a woman of uncommon energy and strength of character, yet her heart
  died within her as she folded her arms around her helpless infants
  and gazed on the march of her husband and her eldest child [Mrs.
  Helm] to certain destruction.

  They had marched perhaps a mile and a half [Fourteenth Street], when
  Captain Wells, who had kept somewhat in advance of his Miamis, came
  riding furiously back. "They are about to attack us!" he shouted.
  "Form instantly and charge upon them." Scarcely were the words
  uttered when a volley was showered from among the sand-hills. The
  troops were hastily brought into line and charged up the bank. One
  man, a veteran of seventy winters, fell as they ascended.

  After we had left the bank the firing became general. The Miamis fled
  at the outset. Their chief rode up to the Pottowatomies and said:
  "You have deceived the Americans and us. You have done a bad action,
  and (brandishing his tomahawk) I will be the first to head a party of
  Americans to return and punish your treachery." So saying he galloped
  after his companions, who were now scouring across the prairies.

Mrs. Helm does not say that she heard these words when uttered, nor
is it probable that she could have been within hearing distance of
the very head of the column, or even could have understood the words
unless (what most unlikely) they were uttered in English. The whole
circumstance looks apocryphal--probably a later Indian fabrication.

  The troops behaved most gallantly. They were but a handful, but they
  seemed resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Our horses
  pranced and bounded and could hardly be restrained as the balls
  whistled among them. I drew off a little and gazed upon my husband
  and father, who were yet unharmed, I felt that my hour was come,
  and endeavored to forget those I loved and prepare myself for my
  approaching fate.

This seems to be the moment where her narrative diverges from that
of Mrs. Heald, who evidently followed the troops, as she was caught
between a cross-fire of the Indians, whom the advance had left on its
flanks and rear, and there received her wounds. Mrs. Helm's subsequent
narrative shows that she was, when rescued, unwounded and near the Like.

  While I was thus engaged, the surgeon, Dr. Van Voorhees, came up. He
  was badly wounded. His horse was shot under him and he had received
  a ball in his leg. Every muscle of his face was quivering with the
  agony of terror. He said to me:

  "Do you think they will take our lives? I am badly wounded, but I
  think not mortally. Perhaps we might purchase our lives by promising
  a large reward. Do you think there is any chance?"

  "Dr. VanVoorhees," said I, "do not let us waste the few moments that
  yet remain to us in such vain hopes. Our fate is inevitable. In a
  few minutes we must appear before the bar of God. Let us make what
  preparation is yet in our power."

  "O, I cannot die!" exclaimed he. "I am not fit to die--if I had but a
  short time to prepare--death is awful!"

  I pointed to Ensign Ronan, who, though mortally wounded and nearly
  down, was still fighting with desperation on one knee. "Look at that
  man," said I; "at least he dies like a soldier."

  "Yes," replied the unfortunate man, with a gasp, "but he has no
  terrors of the future. He is an unbeliever."

When we read this remarkable dialogue--remarkable as occurring amid the
rattle of musketry on a battle-field where the narrators' friends were
perishing in a hopeless struggle with an overpowering force of savage
foes--we remember that Mrs. Kinzie's book did not assume to be history;
was not written as a grave and literal record of things as they were;
a statement carefully scrutinized to see that no unjust slur is cast
upon any character, even so unimportant a one as the poor wounded,
dying surgeon. Mrs. Helm, on the dreadful day, was a mere girl-wife
of seventeen years, and was a woman of thirty-seven when Mrs. Kinzie
transcribed the artless tale into Wau-Bun, a book which reads like a
romance, and was meant so to be read.

The utterance of these admirable sentiments while still in sight of
Ensign Ronan, mortally wounded, yet fighting with desperation on one
knee, again puts us in doubt as to Mrs. Helm's location on the field;
but the next part of her story shows that she was not far from the

  At this moment a young Indian raised his tomahawk at me. By springing
  aside I avoided the blow, which was intended for my skull, but which
  alighted on my shoulder. I seized him around the neck, and while
  exerting my utmost efforts to get possession of his scalping-knife,
  which hung in a scabbard over his breast, I was dragged from his
  grasp by another and an older Indian. The latter bore me struggling
  and resisting toward the lake. Notwithstanding the rapidity with
  which I was hurried along, I recognized, as I passed them, the
  remains of the unfortunate surgeon. Some murderous tomahawk had
  stretched him upon the very spot where I had last seen him.

  I was immediately plunged into the water and held there with a
  forcible hand, notwithstanding my resistance. I soon perceived,
  however, that the object of my captor was not to drown me, for he
  held me firmly in such a position as to place my head above water.
  This reassured me, and regarding him attentively I soon recognized,
  in spite of the paint with which he was disguised, _The Black

This picturesque narrative of the rescue of a young bride by a friendly
Indian, has been justly regarded as the one romantic story connected
with that dark and bloody day. It has been the chosen theme of the
story-teller, the painter and the sculptor, and its portrayal in
perennial bronze forms the theme of the magnificent group which has
been designed and modeled by the sculptor, Carl Rohl-Smith, cast in
bronze, and presented (June, 1893), with appropriate ceremonies, to the
Chicago Historical Society, "in trust for the city and for posterity"
as set forth by an inscription on its granite base.[E]

[E] See Appendix K.

Mrs. Helm goes on:

  When the firing had nearly subsided my preserver bore me from the
  water and conducted me up the sand-banks. It was a burning August
  morning, and walking through the sand in my drenched condition was
  inexpressibly painful and fatiguing. I stooped and took off my shoes
  to free them from the sand with which they were nearly filled, when a
  squaw seized and bore them off, and I was obliged to proceed without

  When we had gained the prairie [probably at about Twelfth Street]
  I was met by my father [her step-father, John Kinzie], who told me
  that my husband was safe, but slightly wounded. They led me gently
  back toward the Chicago River, along the southern bank of which was
  the Pottowatomie encampment. At one time I was placed on a horse
  without a saddle, but finding the motion insupportable, I sprang off.
  Supported partly by my kind conductor, Black Partridge, and partly
  by another Indian, Pee-so-tum, who held dangling in his hand a scalp
  which, by the black ribbon around the queue, I recognized as that of
  Captain Wells, I dragged my fainting steps to one of the wigwams.
  The wife of Wah-bee-nee-mah, a chief from the Illinois River, was
  standing near, and seeing my exhausted condition, she seized a
  kettle, dipped up some water from the stream that flowed near [the
  slough that emptied into the main river at about the south end of
  State Street bridge], threw into it some maple sugar, and stirring it
  up with her hand, gave it to me to drink. This act of kindness in the
  midst of so many horrors touched me most sensibly, but my attention
  was soon diverted to other objects.

  The whites had surrendered after the loss of about two-thirds their
  number. They had stipulated, through the interpreter, Peresh Leclerc,
  for the preservation of their lives and those of the remaining
  women and children, and for their delivery at some of the British
  posts, unless ransomed by traders in the Indian country. It appears
  that the wounded prisoners were not considered as included in the
  stipulation, and a horrible scene ensued on their being brought into
  camp. An old squaw, infuriated by the loss of friends, or excited
  by the sanguinary scenes around her, seemed possessed by a demoniac
  ferocity. She seized a stable-fork and assaulted one miserable
  victim who lay groaning and writhing in the agony of his wounds,
  aggravated by the scorching beams of the sun. With a delicacy of
  feeling scarcely to have been expected under such circumstances,
  Wah-bee-nee-mah stretched a mat across two poles, between me and
  the deadful scene. I was thus spared, in some degree, a view of its
  horrors, although I could not entirely close my ears to the cries of
  the sufferer.

The disgrace attaching to the British government in seeking alliance
with such savages in a war against civilized beings of its own race,
is elsewhere fully treated. One can only wish that those cries might
have reached the women of all England, instead of falling fruitlessly
on those of one poor, exhausted, helpless American girl, and of the red
hell-spawn grinning and dancing with delight at the sound.

Such is the tale as first given to the world by Mrs. Kinzie in
"Wau-Bun." I will now present the narrative of the same struggle,
defeat, surrender and massacre as often told by Mrs. Captain Heald to
her son, the Hon. Darius Heald, and by him to me. The two are not, in
essentials, contradictory; each completes and rounds out the other.

After giving the account of the peaceable start from the fort
(inconsistent with Mrs. Helm's story, already quoted, and less
truth-seeming than the latter), she goes on to say:


  Captain Wells' escort was mounted on Indian ponies. Captain Wells
  himself was mounted on a thoroughbred. Mrs. Heald and Mrs. Helm were
  also on horseback, the former on her own beloved Kentucky horse.

  They advanced, Wells and his escort getting about a quarter of a
  mile ahead, and were jogging along quietly when all at once they
  halted, and he turned back and got down pretty close to Captain
  Heald--perhaps half the distance. He pulled off his hat and swung
  it around his head once or twice, making a circle. As soon as he
  saw Wells coming back, Captain Heald said to his wife: "Uncle sees
  something ahead of him there. There is something wrong." And when
  he made the circle around his head, Mrs. Heald understood the sign,
  "We are surrounded by Indians." Captain Wells soon got close enough
  to shout "We are surrounded by Indians. March up on the sand-ridges.
  There are sand-ridges we ought to get in behind where we can stand
  half up and not be seen." Then she saw the Indians' heads "sticking
  up and down again, here and there, like turtles out of the water."
  They marched up on the sand-ridges, the wagons being put back next
  to the lake and the men taking position in front of them. Captain
  Wells shouted to Captain Heald, "Charge them!" and then led on and
  broke the ranks of the Indians, who scattered right and left. He then
  whirled round and charged to the left. This move brought them well
  out into the country, and they marched onward and took position about
  two or three hundred yards in front of the wagons and a like distance
  from the Indians. Captain Heald rather gave way to Captain Wells,
  knowing his superior excellence in Indian warfare, Wells having been
  trained from childhood by such warriors as Little Turtle, Tecumseh
  and Black Hawk; especially by the first two.

Here to the eye of common-sense, whether soldierly or civilian, the
battle is already gone--lost beyond salvation. The onus of blame
appears to rest on poor Wells, the brave, devoted volunteer. He had
learned war in a school that took no account of the supply-train; in
the school of individual fighters, living on nothing, saving no wounded
or non-combatants; dash, scurry, kill, scalp and run away, every man
for himself--and the devil take the hindmost--in other words the Indian
system. As to this band of whites, what had it to fight for but its
train of wagons with all the helpless ones, all the stores, all the
ammunition, all the means of progress and of caring for the wounded? To
charge the centre of a brave, unformed rabble which outflanks you is
only heroic suicide at best, and when the doing so leaves the train at
the mercy of the spreading flanks of the foe, it is fatal madness.

To return to the Heald narrative:

  Another charge was made which enabled Captain Wells to get a little
  closer to the Indians. He had two pistols and a small gun. His
  bullets and powder were kept in shoulder belts, hung at convenient
  places, and he generally had an extra bullet in his mouth, which
  helped him to load fast when necessary. He could pour in a little
  powder, wad it down, "blow in" the bullet, prime and fire more
  quickly than one can tell the facts. The Indians broke from him right
  and left. The hottest part of the battle lasted but a few minutes,
  but Captain Heald's little band was cut down. He gave the signal for
  surrender; the chiefs came together and they made a compromise.

By this time Wells, Ronan and Van Vorhees were killed, Heald had
a bullet in his hip, Mrs. Heald had a half dozen wounds, half the
regulars were killed or wounded, and so far as we now know for certain,
all twelve militia-men. (A doubt about this last named unexplained
mortality, and suggestion as to the probable manner of their death,
will be noted later.) Darius Heald could only say:

  Afterwards, in talking the matter over, Captain Nathan Heald said
  that he had no confidence in the Indians, but that he had done the
  best he could do; that in fifteen minutes more the last man would
  have been killed, as they had no chance at all; his men were falling
  rapidly, and he himself was wounded in the hip by a one-ounce ball.
  That ball was never extracted, and caused his death twenty years

In any circumstances, one cannot cast blame on a beaten commander,
negotiating with his victorious foes, while bleeding from a bullet
deep-bedded in his hip-joint. In this case, it is not likely that
blame would be due, even if Captain Heald had been unhurt. But for his
surrender, the Chicago Massacre would have been, on a small scale, the
fore-runner of the great Custer slaughter, where not a white man lived
to tell the tale. Every man, woman and child of white blood (except
perhaps the Kinzies and Lieutenant Helm), would now be in oblivion
almost as if they had never been born. Even the "massacre tree" that
stands to-day (1893) in Eighteenth street near the lake, in gaunt,
leafless old age, could only have been identified by the bleaching
skulls, great and small, which surrounded it when General Cass passed
the spot a few years afterward.

Here we take up again Mrs. Heald's personal story:

  After the fighting commenced, Mrs. Heald turned back and ascended a
  little elevation between the army and the wagons. She saw a young,
  fine-looking officer fall [probably Lieutenant Ronan] and thought it
  was her husband, and was under this impression until after the fight
  was over. Just before the surrender, she got up in range of the
  bullets coming from Indians on both sides of her. She did not know
  whether the Indians aimed at her or not, but she was wounded in six
  places, one hand being rendered helpless, the ball passing between
  the two bones of her arm. Her son has seen the scar a thousand times.

I have remarked that Mrs. Heald does not mention the presence of Mrs.
Helm, nor does the latter that of the former. We judge from this, and
from Mrs. Helm's account of her being saved by being plunged in the
lake, that the latter remained nearer the shore than did the other.


  Captain Wells, who was shot through the lungs, rode up and took her
  hand, saying: "Farewell my child." Mrs. Heald said to him: "Why
  uncle, I hope you will get over this." "No my child," he said, "lean
  not." He told her he was shot through the lungs, and she saw the
  blood oozing through his nose and mouth. He still held her hand and
  talked to her, saying that he could not last five minutes longer.
  He said: "Tell my wife--if you live to get there, but I think it
  doubtful if a single one gets there--tell her I died at my post doing
  the best I could. There are seven red devils over there that I have

  His horse, which had been shot just behind the girth, then fell and
  caught Captain Wells' leg under him. As he did so, Captain Wells
  turned and saw six or seven Indians approaching them. He took aim and
  fired, killing one of them. They approached still closer, and Mrs.
  Heald said to him: "Uncle, there is an Indian pointing right at the
  back of your head." Captain Wells put his hand back and held up his
  head that better aim might be taken, and then cried "Shoot away!" The
  Indian fired, the shot being fatal. They then pulled him out from
  under his horse (Mrs. Heald still seated on her horse near by) and
  cut his body open, the gashes being in the shape of a cross. They
  took out his heart, placed it on a gun-stick and whirled it round
  and round, yelling like fiends. The noise drew other Indians to the
  spot and they then commenced cutting up the heart and eating it. They
  crowded around and the bleeding heart was thrust forward at one after

  Finally an Indian cut off a piece, held it up to Mrs. Heald and
  insisted on her eating it. She shook her head. He then daubed her
  face with it. She shook her fist at him. Then they called her
  "Epeconier! Epeconier!" this being their name for Captain Wells--thus
  signifying that she was a Wells--a person full of pluck and fortitude.

So nobly perished one of the best and bravest frontiers-men, fighting
where he had been summoned by sympathy and affection, not by the orders
of any superior officer. No knight ever set lance in rest under a more
purely chivalric impulse than did this plain, pretending, half-educated
pioneer. Two hundred and fifty miles away he had heard the warning note
of peril, seen the fair young face of his brother's daughter (she who
long before had sought him out among his savage captors and restored
him to his kins-folk), and felt the impulse of manly self-devotion
to save her and her friends from impending doom. He obeyed the noble
impulse and--he died like a man, and somewhere beneath our thoughtless
footsteps his bones lie buried.[F]

[F] Chicago should not be without a statue of this early hero, martyred
in her service. A miniature exists purporting to give his features, and
as to his form, that could be easily reproduced from description, while
his Indian dress would serve to give grace and dignity to the work.
Among the first streets named, when the village of Chicago was laid out
(1831), was one called after him--for he was not yet forgotten. Part
of the street-the stretch north of the river--still retains the great
name, but the most important portion, that traversing the business
heart of the city, has been arbitrarily changed to "Fifth Avenue,"
there being no Fourth or Sixth Avenue adjoining it on either side to
excuse the ungrateful, barbarous innovation.

In the Calumet Club is preserved the identical hatchet worn by Captain
Wells during the last fight, with authenticating documents furnished
by James Madison Wolcott, of South Toledo, Ohio, his grandson by his
wife Wa-nan-ga-peth (daughter of Me-che-kan-nah-quah or Little Turtle)
through his daughter Ah-mah-qua-zah-quah ("A sweet breeze"), who
married Judge James Wolcott. It is related that Wa-nan-ga-peth received
the news of her husband's death from a stranger Indian who entered,
told the message, laid down the hatchet in token of its truth, and
departed, unknown as he came.

This narrative of the fight itself, as seen by Mrs. Heald and related
to me by her son, is marked by a style of severe simplicity and good
faith that seems to command confidence in the mind of the reader.
There is no point in the artless story where one is compelled to pause
and make a mental allowance for the bias of the narrator, for her
excitement and the uncertainty such a state of mind might throw over
her accuracy, or even for the errors (save those of omission) which
the lapse of years might have caused. All seems natural, unforced and
trustworthy. The story goes on:

  In the meantime her horse, which had become excited during the tumult
  by the smell of blood, commenced prancing around, and an Indian took
  him by the bit and led him down to the corral, or Indian camp near
  the fort. [This was on the banks of a slough which entered the river
  at about where State Street bridge now stands.] Approaching them, an
  Indian squaw caught sight of the bright-red blanket which was girted
  on over Mrs. Heald's saddle, for camping purposes, and immediately
  attempted to take it for her own. Mrs. Heald resisted vigorously, and
  although one hand was entirely useless and the other badly injured,
  she took her switch and with it struck the squaw such hard blows that
  "white welts were raised on her red hide." After this exhibition of
  spirit, the Indian who had hold of the horse's bit again shouted,
  "Epeconier! Epeconier!" and it is probably this display of daring
  which saved Mrs. Heald's life, and perhaps her husband's also.

Rebekah Wells Heald was evidently worthy of her name. Daughter of
Captain Samuel Wells, niece of Captain William Wells, wife of Captain
Nathan Heald, she was a woman whom the sight of blood could not daunt,
the smart of wounds weaken, or the fear of bereavement subdue. (For
many hours after the battle she supposed herself a widow.) Her son
Darius (her mouthpiece in this narrative) was not born until nine years
after that dreadful day; and now (1893), in his seventy-third year, he
shows the family form and spirit. Tall, stalwart, erect and dignified,
he is a typical southern-westerner, a mighty hunter in the past and a
tower of patriarchal strength in his old age.

  When she was brought in, after being captured and led down among
  the Indians, she was stripped of her jewelry--rings, breast-pin,
  ear-rings and comb. She was badly wounded, and was cared for that
  night (the fifteenth of August) as tenderly as a sister, by two or
  three squaws and one French woman, who did everything in their power
  to relieve her. She saw nothing of her jewelry till the next morning,
  when a brave made his appearance and pranced around, taking great
  pains to shew that he was wearing her comb in his scalp-lock--a
  performance fraught with difficulties, as he had hardly enough hair
  to keep it in, and found it necessary to push it back from time to
  time to prevent it from falling to the ground. Poor black Cicely she
  never saw again[G]. She had perished with the rest. Her horse, too,
  was gone forever.

[G] See page 70.

This horse was a thoroughbred, the same one that Mrs. Heald, as a
bride, had ridden from Kentucky a year before. The Indians had always
looked on it with envious eyes, and had employed all means, lawful and
otherwise, to get it from the fort. Now it was theirs by conquest,
and no later efforts availed to recover it. Doubtless among its new
owners its fate was hard and its life short. One winter of starvation,
exposure and abuse would "hang its hide on the fence," even while its
wretched Indian-pony companions were living on in stubborn endurance.

  It turned out afterwards that the Indians took their booty down to
  Peoria, to sell and "trade" for whisky, and it found its way quickly
  to St. Louis, where Colonel O'Fallon recognized a great deal as
  belonging to the Healds, and redeemed it and sent it to Colonel
  Samuel Wells at the Falls of the Ohio [Louisville] as a memento of
  his daughter and her husband, both supposed to be dead. It reached
  there before the Healds did, and the articles are now in possession
  of the family; most of them were shown by Hon. Darius Heald in
  Chicago, in 1892, when the before-mentioned short-hand transcript
  of his mother's story was made, and he and his precious relics were
  photographed, making a picture hereinafter presented. (See Appendix

  The Indian who led Captain Heald down to the camp and claimed him as
  his prisoner, was a half-breed named Chandonnais. He afterward found
  that Mrs. Heald was still alive, and, it is supposed, ransomed her
  from her captor; for, on the morning of the sixteenth, he brought
  the husband and wife together. He seems to have connived at the
  escape of both, for they found the matter wonderfully easy--boat
  and escort at hand and all oversight withdrawn. Years afterward, in
  1831, Chandonnais visited the Healds at their home, near O'Fallon,
  Missouri, and Darius Heald remembers his father's meeting and
  greeting the brave who had so nobly rescued them. It is thought that
  the Indians went off down the lake to have "a general frolic"--in
  other words, torture to death the wounded prisoners.

Here arises before the mind's eye the dim and cloudy vision of horror,
the acme of the tragedy, all the more appalling for its shrouding
mystery. It makes the flesh creep and the hair stand on end. It sears
the heart against the race whereof it was the inborn nature to feel in
the eyes a love for the sight of mortal agony, in the ears an eagerness
for the shriek of despairing anguish.

The wounded not included! The helpless picked out for torture! The
inflamed hurts to be deepened with a pitchfork and perhaps further
and mortally inflamed with a burning brand! Kindly Nature's passing
lethargy to be quickened into conscious death in frantic anguish!

The twelve militia-men are never again mentioned. They are as if they
had never been born, lived and toiled, never volunteered, never served,
fought and fell. How is this to be accounted for? Why should their
mortality be twice as great as that of the regulars? Darkness hides the
answer; but it seems not unlikely that the same hellish ingenuity which
held that "the wounded were not included," may also have held that men
not wearing the uniform were not protected by the capitulation, and so
they perished at the stake, surrounded by the "general frolic" which
occupied the savages, good and bad, friendly and inimical, during the
flight of the Healds and Kinzies.

There was no place on earth for a race which, through all its history,
had found delight in the spectacle of pain, which inflicted torture,
not as a means leading to some ulterior object, but as itself a source
of joy and gladness. The race is still in existence, but the inhuman
part of its characteristics are being refined away, leaving some of its
best traits in the more advanced of its present representatives. Later
on in this volume mention is made of its standing and its prospects at
this time.

Now to take up again the Wau-Bun narrative. The torturing incident,
already given, evidently ends the story of Mrs. Helm's personal
experiences; all that follows being what others professed to have seen.
Yet (possibly by typographical error) the quotation marks, which began
with the narration, are continued much further on, including paragraphs
wherein she is spoken of in the third person. (See later.) Mrs Helm

  The Americans, after the first attack by the Indians, charged upon
  those who had concealed themselves in a sort of ravine intervening
  between the sand-banks and the prairie. The latter gathered
  themselves into a body, and after some hard fighting, in which the
  number of whites had become reduced to twenty-eight, this little band
  succeeded in breaking through the enemy and gaining a rising ground
  not far from the oak woods.

  The contest now seemed hopeless, and Lieutenant Helm sent Peresh
  Leclerc, a half-breed boy in the service of Mr. Kinzie, who had
  accompanied the detachment and fought manfully on their side, to
  propose terms of capitulation. It was stipulated that the lives of
  all the survivors should be spared and a ransom permitted as soon as

Lieutenant Helm made the terms of capitulation? How could that be while
Captain Heald was present? And what is to be done with Captain Heald's
statement of October 7, 1812, less than three months after the event?
It reads as follows: "The Indians did not follow me but assembled in
a body on the top of the bank, and, after some consultation among
themselves, made signs for me to approach them. I advanced toward them
alone and was met by one of the Pottowatomie chief called Black Bird,
with an interpreter."

The reader will of course choose between the two statements
according to his judgement of probabilities and internal evidence of
truthfulness. Captain Heald certainly cast no slur on Lieutenant Helm,
and appears not even to have entered into the bitterness of feeling
against himself and his unhappy surgeon, which seems to have gone on
rankling through all the twenty years that elapsed between the direful
day and the telling of the story by Mrs. Helm to Mrs. Kinzie.

Mrs. Helm's expression, "Peresh Leclerc, a half-breed boy in the
service of Mr. Kinzie who had accompanied the detachment and fought
manfully on their side," leaves a possible ambiguity as to whether it
is the boy or his master who fought manfully on the side of the whites.

Next follows one of the most noteworthy parts of all Mrs. Helm's
narrative, the few words which depict the act of ferocity by which
the occasion has been given much of its picturesque and terrible

  But in the meantime, a horrible scene had been enacted. One young
  savage, climbing into the baggage-wagon containing the children of
  the white families, twelve in number, tomahawked the children of the
  entire group.[H]

[H] See Appendix G for the story of one of the scalped children.

This harrowing tale is strongly confirmed by Captain Heald's estimate
of losses as given in his letter of Oct. seventh (already quoted),
which he states as follows: "Our strength was about fifty-four regulars
and twelve militia, out of which twenty-six regulars and twelve militia
were killed in action, with two women and twelve children. Ensign
George Ronan and Dr. Isaac V. Van Vorhees, of my company, with Captain
Wells of Fort Wayne, to my great sorrow are numbered among the dead.
Lieutenant Linai T. Helm, with twenty-five non-commissioned officers
and privates, and eleven women and children, were prisoners when we

The next part of Mrs. Helm's narrative is remarkably at variance with
the stern, true-seeming and circumstantial account of Captain Wells'
death given by Mrs. Heald. Mrs Helm says (following the statement of
the slaughter of the innocents):

  This was during the engagement near the sand-hills. When Captain
  Wells, who was fighting near, beheld it, he exclaimed, "Is that
  your game, butchering women and children? Then I will kill too!" So
  saying, he turned his horse's head and started for the Indian camp
  near the fort, where had been left their squaws and children. Several
  Indians pursued him as he galloped along. He laid himself flat on the
  neck of his horse, loading and firing in that position as he would
  occasionally turn on his pursuers. At length their balls took effect,
  killing his horse and severely wounding himself At this moment he was
  met by Winnemeg and Wau-ban-see who endeavored to save him from the
  savages who had now overtaken him. As they supported him along, after
  having disengaged him from his horse, he received his death blow from
  another Indian, Pee-so-tum, who stabbed him in the back.

When we observe the incongruities of this tale (not to speak of its
contradiction by Mrs. Heald's report) such as the witnessing by Captain
Wells of the wagon slaughter (at a time when we know he was far away
inland, fighting at the head of the troops); of his alleged dastardly
flight from the field toward the Indian camp a mile-and-a-half away,
with the avowed intention of killing the squaws and pappooses; his
being overtaken on horseback by pursuing enemies on foot; his being
held up by two Indians while a third stabbed him in the back, the third
being the very one who helped Mrs. Helm to reach the fort; we are only
glad to remember that the narrator did not mean to have us understand
that she witnessed the occurrences she relates. Internal evidence
leads us to suspect that the story came to her from the lips of lying
Indians, eager to magnify to Mr. Kinzie their deeds of valor and of
kindness, and perhaps justify their treatment of poor Wells, alive and
dead. Pee-so-tum may have killed and scalped Wells, but it surely was
not under such circumstances as those above set forth. Not even the
best friends of the Indian claim for him any appreciation of the virtue
of mere veracity. Personal faithfulness of the most touching character
he often showed. Even the keeping of promises, often at the cost of
great personal sacrifice, has been known as a striking and admirable
trait. But "truth for truth's sake" is beyond him--as it is, indeed,
beyond the great mass of mankind.

The Wau-Bun story of the experiences of the Kinzie family bears
evidences of authenticity and reasonable accuracy, as might be expected
from the fact that Mrs. John H. Kinzie probably got it directly from
her husband's mother, Mrs. John Kinzie, who was alive at the time when
it was first written.

  Those of the family of Mr. Kinzie who had remained in the boat
  near the mouth of the river were carefully guarded by Kee-po-tah
  and another Indian. They had seen the smoke, then the blaze, and,
  immediately after, the report of the tremendous discharge sounded
  in their ears. Then all was confusion. They realized nothing until
  they saw an Indian come towards them from the battle-ground leading a
  horse on which sat a lady, apparently wounded.

  "That is Mrs. Heald," cried Mrs. Kinzie. "That Indian will kill her.
  Run Chandonnais," to one of Mr. Kinzie's clerks, "Take the mule that
  is tied there and offer it to him to release her."

  Her captor by this time was in the act of disengaging her bonnet from
  her head in order to scalp her. Chandonnais ran up, offered the mule
  as a ransom, with the promise of two bottles of whisky as soon as
  they should reach his village. The latter was a strong temptation.
  "But," said the Indian, "She is badly wounded--she will die--will you
  give me the whisky at all events?" Chandonnais promised he would, and
  the bargain was concluded. The savage placed the lady's bonnet on his
  own head and after an ineffectual effort on the part of some squaws
  to rob her of her shoes and stockings, she was brought on board the
  boat, where she lay moaning with pain from the many wounds she had
  received in both arms.

In this narrative the Indian bargains that he shall have his booty
whether the prisoners live or die. This stipulation indicates the
savage's view of the value of a prisoner. If likely to live, and
therefore exchangeable for ransom, then his life might be spared; if
not, then he belonged to his captor and could be used for the keen
delight of torture. This is probably the idea which inspired the
hellish notion of the exclusion of the wounded from Captain Heald's
capitulation. For the unhurt they could get ransom, therefore they
would spare their lives. But the wounded! Why spare them? They are not
merchantable. Nobody will give anything for a dead man. The dying are
available for only one profit--torture.

  When the boat was at length permitted to return to the mansion of Mr.
  Kinzie, and Mrs. Heald was removed to the house, it became necessary
  to dress her wounds. Mr. K. applied to an old chief who stood by,
  and who, like most of his tribe, possessed some skill in surgery,
  to extract a ball from the arm of the sufferer. "No, father," he
  replied, "I cannot do it; it makes me sick here," laying his hand on
  his heart. Mr. Kinzie then performed the operation himself with his

The discrepancy observable between this account and that of Mrs. Heald
herself, which says that on that night she was cared for by squaws in
the Indian encampment, may be explained away by supposing that it was
on the following day, after the Kinzies had got back to their home on
the north bank, that Mrs. Kinzie caught sight of her friend and sent
Chandonnais to her rescue in one of the boats they always used for
passing and repassing the river, at about where Rush Street bridge now
stands. The fact that no mule could well have been tied where the boat
lay offshore, near the river's mouth, makes this seem the probable
explanation of the incongruity.

At their own mansion the family of Mr. Kinzie were closely guarded by
their Indian friends, whose intention it was to carry them to Detroit
for security. The rest of the prisoners remained at the wigwams of
their captors.

Mrs. Helm, Mr. Kinzie's step-daughter, must have been among those once
more housed at the historic building of squared logs built about 1776,
by Pointe de Saible. This house was still standing when the village had
become, in name at least, a city, which it did in 1837. Mr. Kinzie had
planted along its front four poplar trees, and they appear in the early
pictures of Chicago. Doubtless, if one were to dig in the open space on
the east side of Pine Street, at its junction with Kinzie street, the
old roots would be found to this day (1893), and there are probably a
hundred living Chicagoans who remember having seen the house itself.

  The following morning, the work of plunder having been completed, the
  Indians set fire to the fort. A very fair, equitable distribution
  of the finery appeared to have been made, and shawls, ribbons and
  feathers fluttered about in all directions. The ludicrous appearance
  of one young fellow, who had arrayed himself in a muslin gown and the
  bonnet of one of the ladies, would, under other circumstances, have
  afforded matter of amusement.

  Black Partridge, Wan-ban-see and Kee-po-tah, with two other Indians,
  having established themselves in the porch of the building as
  sentinels, to protect the family from any evil the young men might be
  excited to commit, all remained tranquil for a short space after the
  conflagration. Very soon, however, a party of Indians from the Wabash
  made their appearance. These were, decidedly, the most hostile and
  implacable of all the tribes of the Pottowatomies. Being more remote,
  they had shared less than some of their brethren in the kindness
  of Mr. Kinzie and his family, and consequently their sentiments of
  regard for them were less powerful.

The Wabash Indians must have been smarting with the terrible defeat
inflicted on them only about one year before, when General Harrison,
whose confidential agent poor Wells had been, fought them at
Tippecanoe, on the banks of the Wabash River.

  Runners had been sent to the villages to apprise them of the intended
  evacuation of the post, as well as of the plans of the Indians
  assembled to attack the troops. Thirsting to participate in such a
  scene, they hurried on, and great was their mortification on arriving
  at the Aux Plaines [Des Plaines River] to meet with a party of their
  friends bearing with them Nee-scot-nee-meg badly wounded, and to
  learn that the battle was over, the spoils divided and the scalps
  all taken. On arriving at Chicago they blackened their faces and
  proceeded toward the dwelling of Mr. Kinzie.

  From his station on the piazza, Black Partridge had watched their
  approach, and his fears were particularly awakened for the safety
  of Mrs. Helm (Mr. Kinzie's step-daughter), who had recently come to
  the post and was personally unknown to the more remote Indians.[I]
  By his advice she was made to assume the ordinary dress of a French
  woman of the country; namely, a short gown and petticoat, with a
  blue cotton handkerchief wrapped around her head. In this disguise
  she was conducted by Black Partridge himself to the house of
  Ouilmette, a Frenchman with a half-breed wife, who formed part of the
  establishment of Mr. Kinzie, and whose dwelling was close at hand. It
  so happened that the Indians came first to this house in their search
  for prisoners. As they approached, the inmates, fearful that the fair
  complexion and general appearance of Mrs. Helm might betray her for
  an American, raised a large featherbed and placed her under the edge
  of it, upon the bedstead, with her face to the wall. Mrs. Bisson,
  the sister of Ouilmette's wife, then seated herself with her sewing
  on the edge of the bed. It was a hot day in August, and the feverish
  excitement of fear and agitation, together with her position, which
  was nearly suffocating, became so intolerable that at length Mrs.
  Helm entreated to be released and given up to the Indians.

[I] Although this, as well as the earlier part of the account (where
Mrs. Helm speaks in the first person) appears in Wau-Bun in continuous
quotation marks, it is manifest that the whole later portion is a
separate recital. Several interesting anecdotes are given in detail,
but for them the reader must look to the delightful original volume
which, though not in the market, can be found in the Chicago Historical
Society's collection, and also in many private libraries, especially
among those Chicagoans who were not burned out in the great fire of
1871. It is to be hoped that some of Mrs. Kinzie's descendants will
cause a new edition to be published for the benefit of later comers,
who will look to it for amusement (and also instruction) concerning
times and scenes so unlike those now around them as to seem to have
happened on another planet, instead of on the very soil they tread.
(Munsell's Hist. Chic.)

The words used imply that the step-daughter had not habitually formed
part of the family of John Kinzie at Chicago.

  "I can but die," said she; "let them put an end to my misery at once."

  Mrs. Bisson replied: "Your death would be the destruction of us
  all, for Black Partridge has resolved that if one drop of the blood
  of your family is spilled, he will take the lives of all concerned
  in it, even his nearest friends; and if once the work of murder
  commences there will be no end of it so long as there remains one
  white person or half-breed in the country."

  This expostulation nerved Mrs. Helm with fresh resolution. The
  Indians entered, and she could occasionally see them from her
  hiding-place, gliding about, stealthily inspecting every part of the
  room, though without making any ostensible search, until, apparently
  satisfied that there was no one concealed, they left the house.

  All this time Mrs. Bisson had kept her scat upon the side of the bed,
  calmly basting and arranging the patchwork of the quilt on which she
  was engaged, and preserving the appearance of the utmost tranquility,
  although she knew not but that the next moment she might receive a
  tomahawk in her brain. Her self command unquestionably saved the
  lives of all present.

  From Ouilmette's house the party of Indians proceeded to the dwelling
  of Mr. Kinzie. They entered the parlor, in which the family were
  assembled with their faithful protectors, and seated themselves upon
  the floor in silence.

  Black Partridge perceived, from their moody and revengeful looks,
  what was passing in their minds, but he dared not remonstrate with
  them. He only observed, in a low tone, to Wau-ban-see:

  "We have endeavored to save our friends, but it is vain; nothing will
  save them now."

  At this moment a friendly whoop was heard from a party of new-comers
  on the opposite bank of the river. Black Partridge hastened to meet
  their leader, as the canoe in which they had hastily embarked touched
  the bank near the house.

  "Who are you?" demanded he.

  "A man; who are _you?_"

  "A man like yourself; but tell me _who_ you are"--meaning, "tell me
  your disposition, and which side you are for."

  "I am the Sau-ga-nash."

  "Then make all speed to the house; your friend is in danger and you
  alone can save him."

Billy Caldwell, the "Sau-ga-nash," or Englishman, was son of Colonel
Caldwell, a British officer stationed at Detroit, his mother being
a beautiful Pottowatomie girl. He was educated by his father, though
serving his mother's race as a chief of the Pottowatomies. (There were
always many "chiefs.") He fought under Tecumseh against the whites
under Wayne--"Mad Anthony," as he was often called, "Old Tempest," as
Caldwell himself calls him[J]--also at the Battle of the Thames, in
1813, when Harrison fought and defeated the combined forces of British
and Indians, and the famous chief, Tecumseh, was killed. He took part
in the treaty of Greenville, in 1796, and that of Chicago, in 1833;
a long space of historic time, covering a racial struggle of many
thrilling incidents, not a thousandth part of which can ever see the
light. They are buried in blood, smoke, flame and darkness. At this
time, it will be observed, Caldwell was an ally of the English.

[J] See Appendix H.

  Billy Caldwell, for it was he, entered the parlor with a calm step,
  and without a trace of agitation in his manner. He deliberately took
  off his accoutrements and planed them, with his rifle, behind the
  door, and then saluted the hostile savages.

  "How now, my friends? A good day to you! I was told there were
  enemies here, but I am glad to find only friends. Why have you
  blackened your faces? Is it that you are mourning for those friends
  you have lost in battle?" (purposely misunderstanding this token of
  evil designs) "or is it that you are fasting? If so, ask our friend
  here, and he will give you to eat. He is the Indians' friend, and
  never yet refused them what they had need of."

  Thus taken by surprise, the savages were ashamed to acknowledge their
  bloody purpose. They therefore said modestly that they came to beg of
  their friends some white cotton in which to wrap their dead before
  interring them. This was given to them, with some other presents, and
  they took their departure peaceably from the premises.

The remainder of both the Wau-Bun and Heald narratives is devoted to
the flight from Chicago and the later fate of the fugitives. Before
closing this part of my story, I will give the following bit coming
from another source.

Near the (present) north end of State Street bridge stood a log house
known to history and tradition as "Cobweb Castle;" a name probably
given to it after the rebuilding of the fort in 1816, and after it
had become superannuated and superseded. Mrs. Callis, daughter of Mr.
Jouett, who came here with him about 1817, says of it: "The house in
which my father lived, was built before the massacre of 1812; I know
this from the fact that 'White Elk,' an Indian chief, the tallest
Indian I ever saw, was frequently pointed out to me as the savage
who had dashed out the brains of the children of Sukey Corbin (a
camp-follower and washerwoman) against the side of this very house.
Mrs. Jouett told her daughter of a frantic mother (perhaps the same
Mrs. Corbin), a former acquaintance of hers, who, on that occasion
fought the monster all the while the butchery was going on, and who, in
her turn, fell a victim herself."

This would indicate that some of the citizens (beside the Kinzies,
Healds and Helms) got back to the settlement after the collision at the
sand-hills, and that they found at their old homes no sanctuary, no
rest, no mercy, no hope.

It is to be observed that, as the Jouetts were not on the spot at the
time of the massacre, this part of the story has not the degree of
authenticity attaching to the reports of the Healds and Helms. The
treaty of 1817 gives, among the Pottowatomie signers, the Indian name
of "the White Elk" as "Wa-bin-she-way."

       *       *       *       *       *

Everything connected with the massacre itself, so far as existing
testimony has come to light, has now been told. There is a possibility
that one other document may be hidden away; an account written
by Lieutenant Helm. But this, if ever found, will necessarily be
identical, in all important particulars with the story told by his
widow and printed in Wan Bun.[K]

[K] Lieutenant (then Captain) Helm is said to have died at or near
Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., about 1817. His widow married, at St. James
church, Chicago, in 1836, Dr. Lucius Abbott, of Detroit. Therefore any
papers left by the Helms should be sought for in the last named city.

Edward G. Mason tells me that there is, or was, among the papers of the
Detroit Historical Society, a letter from Lieutenant Helm to Augustus
B. Woodward, Esq., at Washington City, in which the writer says that he
has nearly completed the history of the Chicago massacre, and that he
(Woodward) may expect it in two weeks. The letter was dated Flemington,
New Jersey, June 6, 1814. Mr. Mason thinks the letter intimates that
the publication of the history may subject the writer to court-martial.
Possibly this note may bring to light the lost history in question; a
thing much to be desired.

The day which dawned so bright has dragged through its bloody hours
and come to its dark and hideous close. The dead, men, women and
children, are at peace. The wounded are suffering the torments of the
pit, the rest are shuddering in the uncertainties that lie before them.
The Indians are riotously happy; for have they not done harm? Have
they not killed, scalped, destroyed, wasted, life and property? Have
they not annihilated the source whence they had been getting arms,
ammunition and blankets, and driven off the men who tried to keep
whisky from them? Have they not made a solitude and called it war? The
goods are scattered. The fort is burned. The cattle are dead or dying.
The soldiers are defeated, slain or held as prisoners, for ransom
if unhurt, for torture if disabled. The babes are brained and their
mothers dead or desolate. What more "happy hunting ground" is possible
to them this side of hades itself?

In "Wau-Bun," one seems to hear them telling of their individual good
deeds and attributing all evil deeds to each other. For the Indian's
hand was against every man, even all other Indians. Their bloodiest
wars have been between themselves; wars of absolute extermination for
the beaten party Every tribe held its lands by conquest and by force.
Even if we had taken them by the sword, without compensation (which we
never did), they would only have lost their holdings by the selfsame
means by which they had gained them.

Well is it for the kindlier folk that the cruel did not stick together.
If they had done so, we should be a hundred years in time and a
thousand miles in space further back in our territorial progress. But
they could not combine. "You might as well try to boil flints into a

       *       *       *       *       *

It still remains to me to trace, so far as it is not shrouded in
oblivion, the fate of the survivors. But as this leads some distance
into the future, I have thought best to treat the matter separately;
prefacing the story of what followed the tragedy by a short sketch of
what preceded and led up to it. Why did those brave and hapless beings
come here? How came they here? What brought their few and scattered
footprints to the ground since then trodden by millions?

The following pages will try to answer these questions, beginning with
the very earliest permanent settlement of what is now Chicago.


                             PART SECOND.






[Illustration: EARLY JESUIT.]

RESOLUTELY, though unwillingly, I pass over the romantic history of
the first century of Chicago's annals, the French period beginning
about 1678, embracing the thrilling story of La Salle, Marquette and
their brave fellow Catholics. Let us take up the tale when, in 1778,
during the Revolutionary war; just as the great George Rogers Clark
was capturing Indiana, Illinois and in fact the whole Northwest, from
the English; one Colonel Arent Schuyler de Peyster (a New York officer
of the British army, in command of Fort Mackinac) wrote some doggerel
verses which bring Chicago into modern history and literature.[L] In
one of his poems he speaks of "Eschikagou" and of Jean Baptiste Pointe
de Saible who lived there, and in a footnote he describes the place
as "a river and fort at the head of Lake Michigan," and the man as "a
handsome negro, well educated, but much in the French interest."

[L] See appendix A. After the peace. Colonel de Peyster retired to
Scotland and lived in or near Dumfries; and it is in his honor that
Burns wrote his verses "To Colonel de Peyster," beginning

"My honored Colonel, much I feel Thy interest in the poet's weal."

The fort spoken of by Colonel de Peyster, if it had any existence, must
have been a mere stockaded trading-post, for neither by English nor by
French forces had it been built, and as to American forces, there were
none west of the Alleghanies except Clark with his few score of heroic
frontiers-men. Fort Dearborn came twenty-six years later, as we shall

The word "Chicago" in some of its many forms of spelling[M] had been
in recognized existence for a century, being found in the scanty and
precious records left by Marquette, La Salle and their contemporaries,
though they first call the stream the "Portage River."

[M] Hurlbut's "Antiquities" discusses the name with great and
amusing particularity Here are some of the variations he gives in
its spelling and its meaning. Chicagowunzh, the wild onion or leek;
(Schoolcraft). Checaqua; a line of chiefs of the Tamaroa Indians,
signifying strong. Chigaakwa, "the woods are thin." Checagou, Chicagou,
Marquette and La Salle. Shikakok, "at the skunk." Chi-ka-go, wild
onion. Chikagou, an Indian chief who went to Paris (before 1752) where
the Duchess of Orleans, at Versailles, gave him a splendid snuff
box. Chicagou, M. DeLigny in a letter to M. DeSiette. Checaqua, "the
Thunder God." Chacaqua, "Divine River." Chicagua or Skunk river (in
Iowa). Chicago, skunk, onion or smelling thing; (Gordon S. Hubbard).
Chicagoua, equivalent of the Chippewa Jikag; "bête puante." Zhegahg,
a skunk. Eschikagou; (Col. De Peyster). Portage de Chegakou. Chikajo.
Chi-kaug-ong; (Schoolcraft). Chicazo, corruption of Chickasaw.

Much discussion has arisen about the word and its meaning, but the
preponderance of testimony seems to point to the conclusion that the
river took its name from the wild onion, leek or garlick that grew
in profusion along its banks in all this region, and is still to be
found in many neglected spots of original soil. Bold Tonti, La Salle's
faithful lieutenant, speaks of having been nourished during his long
tramp from the Illinois River to Green Bay by a weed much like the
leek of France, which they dug up with their fingers and ate as they
walked--surely the chi-ca-gou.

The first official mention of the word "Chicago" was in the "Treaty
of Greenville;" a compact made in 1795 between the Indians and "Mad
Anthony" Wayne, who had lately whipped them into a treaty-making frame
of mind. This treaty placed the boundary line between the whites and
the Indians east of the entire state of Indiana, but excepted and
retained for trading posts several isolated sections west of the line,
among them "one piece of land six miles square at the mouth of Chicago
River, emptying into the southwestern end of Lake Michigan, where a
fort formerly stood."

"Me-che-kan-nah-quah" or "Little Turtle," who took a prominent part in
the making of the treaty, was the father-in-law of William Wells, the
hero-martyr of the massacre, as has been set forth in Part I.


Baptiste Pointe de Saible, some time in the last century, built a log
house on the north bank of the Chicago River, near Lake Michigan,
just where Pine street now ends. This modest dwelling existed through
vicissitudes many and terrible. When built, it stood in a vast
solitude. North of it were thick woods which covered the whole of what
is now Chicago's proud "North Side." In front of it lay the narrow,
deep and sluggish creek which forms the main river; and, with its two
long, straggling branches, gives the city its inestimable harbor,[N]
with twenty-seven miles of dock frontage. Beyond it, stretching
indefinitely southward, lay the grassy flat now the "South Side," the
business centre and wealthiest residence portion. Westward, beyond
the north and south branches of the river, stretched the illimitable
prairie, including what at the present time is the "West Side," the
home of manufacturing enterprise and of a population larger than that
of the two other portions put together. And to the eastward lay the
lake; the only thing in nature which Jean Baptiste could recognize if
he should now return to the scene of his long, lonely, half savage,
half civilized sojourn.

[N] The city has, besides, another harbor along the Calumet lake and
river, some ten miles to the southward, which, when fully improved,
will exceed the first named in extent and value.

[Illustration: From "Cyclopædia of United States History."--Copyright
1881, by Harper & Brothers.


Suppose him to have built his log dwelling in 1778, the very year
when Colonel de Peyster luckily makes a note of his existence; all
about him must have been a waste place so far as human occupation is
concerned. Bands of roaming Indians from time to time appeared and
disappeared. French trappers and voyageurs doubtless made his house
their halting-place. Fur-traders' canoes, manned by French "voyageurs,"
"engages" and "coureurs des bois," paddling the great lakes and
unconsciously laying the foundation of the Astor fortunes, called,
from time to time, to buy the stores of peltry which he had collected,
and leave him the whisky of which he was so fond, but the rest of his
time was spent in patriarchal isolation and the society of his Indian
wives and their half-breed offspring. So far as we know, scarcely a
civilized habitation stood nearer than Green Bay on the north, the
Vermilion branch of the Wabash on the south and the Mississippi on the
west; a tract of nearly fifty thousand square miles.

Pointe de Saible's occupation ended about with the century, when
he sold the cabin to one Le Mai. Before this time, however, other
settlements had been begun nearer than those above mentioned; and
even in the very neighborhood there were a few neighbors. One Guarie
had settled on the west side of the North Branch; and Gurdon Hubbard
(who came here in 1818) says that that stream was still called "River
Guarie" and that he himself saw the remains of corn-hills on what must
have been Guarie's farm. (The South Branch was called "Portage River"
because it led to the Mud Lake connection with the Des Plaines and so
onward to the Mississippi). Pointe de Saible, Le Mai and Guarie have
died and left no sign, but there was another pioneer of pioneers in the
beginning of the present century who was more lucky. He was Antoine
Ouillemette, a Frenchman who took to wife a Pottowatomie squaw and thus
obtained a grant of land on part of which the pretty suburb of Wilmette
now stands. He did not die till 1829, six years before the final
departure of the Pottowatomies for the further West.

[Illustration: WILLIAM WHISTLER.]

The far-seeing plans which inspired our forefathers in making the
treaty of Greenville took shape in 1804, when General Henry Dearborn,
Secretary of War under President Jefferson, ordered the building of a
fort[O] and a company of soldiers arrived to build it, having marched
overland from Detroit under Lieutenant (afterward Colonel) James S.
Swearingen. Their Captain, John Whistler, had led an eventful life.
Hurlbut in his delightful "Chicago Antiquities" says he was "an officer
in the army of the Revolution," and adds: "We regret that we have so
few facts concerning his history; nor have we a portrait or signature
of the patriot." In fact he did serve during the Revolutionary war,
but it was on the British side in the army of General Burgoyne, being
taken prisoner with the rest, and paroled; joining the American army
later in life.[P] With Captain John Whistler came his son, Lieutenant
William Whistler, the latter accompanied by his young wife (of her and
her daughter we shall hear more hereafter), all of whom came around the
lakes on the schooner Tracy. The passengers left the Tracy on arriving
at St. Joseph's, Michigan, and came across the lake by a row-boat.
When the schooner arrived she anchored outside and her freight was
discharged by bateaux, as the river (which made a sharp turn southward
just below where Rush Street Bridge now stands and debouched over
a shallow bar at about the present foot of Madison Street) was not
navigable for lake vessels at that time, or for thirty-one years
afterward. Mrs. William Whistler said that some two thousand Indians
visited the locality, during the schooner's stay, to see the "big canoe
with wings."

[O] See Appendix B.

[P] See Appendix C.


From a photograph taken during her visit to Chicago in 1875.]

We further learn from Mrs. Whistler that there were then in the place
but four rude huts or trader's cabins, occupied by white men, Canadian
French with Indian wives. She adds:

"Captain Whistler, upon his arrival, at once set about erecting a
stockade and shelter for his protection, followed by getting out the
sticks for the heavier work. It is worth mentioning here that there was
not at that time, within hundreds of miles, a team of horses or oxen,
and as a consequence, the soldiers had to don the harness and, with the
aid of ropes, drag home the needed timbers."

This would indicate that the soldiers had made their long march from
Detroit (two hundred and eighty miles) without wagons or pack animals
to carry tents and rations; or, what is more probable, that the
transportation had been hired, and the outfit had returned to Detroit.

Next steps upon the scene the true pioneer of the Chicago of to-day;
John Kinzie.[Q] This first of citizens had learned of the proposed
establishment of the military post. Fort Dearborn, and, foreseeing
with his usual boldness and sagacity the advantages to spring from it,
had come over from his residence on the St. Joseph's river, and bought
from Le Mai the old Pointe de Saible log-cabin. Shortly after the
establishment of the fort he brought his family to the place wherein
the name of Kinzie has been always most distinguished. The family
consisted of his wife, Eleanor (Lytle), widow of a British officer
named McKillip, her young daughter Margaret, who afterward became
Mrs. Lieutenant Helm, and an infant son, John Harris Kinzie. They
occupied the old North Side log-house up to 1827--about twenty-five
years--(except from 1812 to 1816, the years of desolation) and it stood
for more than ten years longer; a landmark remembered by scores if not
hundreds of the Chicagoans of this time (1893).

[Q] See Appendix D.

For much of our scanty knowledge concerning the years following the
building of the fort we are indebted to Mrs. Julia (Ferson) Whistler,
wife of William and therefore daughter-in-law of John, the old Burgoyne
British regular.[R]

[R] See Appendix C.

From 1804 to 1811, the characteristic traits of this far away corner
of the earth were its isolation; the garrison within the stockade and
the ever present hovering clouds of savages outside, half seen, half
trusted, half feared; its long summers, (sometimes hot and sometimes
hotter); and its long winters, (sometimes cold and sometimes colder);
its plenitude of the mere necessaries of life, meat and drink, shelter
and fuel, with utter destitution of all luxuries; its leisurely
industry and humble prosperity; Kinzie, the kindly link between the
red man and the white, vying with the regular government agent in the
purchase of pelts and the sale of rude Indian goods. In 1805 Charles
Jouett was the United States Indian Agent here. He was a Virginian,
son of one of the survivors of Braddock's defeat. How much of his
time was spent here and how much elsewhere we do not know. In Mrs.
John H. Kinzie's charming book "Wau-Bun" he is not even mentioned,
which circumstance suggests that his relations with old John Kinzie
were not cordial; a state of things to be expected, considering their
relative positions. He was an educated man and must have enjoyed the
friendship of Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, judging by his appointment
as Government Agent, first at Detroit, later at Chicago (1804), which
latter post he resigned in 1811, only to be reappointed in 1817.

[Illustration: CHARLES JOUETT.]

It is probable that the United States agent was at a disadvantage in
dealing with the Indians, as he would have to obey the law forbidding
the supplying them with spirits; which law the other traders ignored.
In Hurlbut's "Antiquities" a bit of "local color" gives with much
vividness the condition of the prairie in those days.

"In the holidays of 1808-9 Mr. Jouett (then a widower) married Susan
Randolph Allen of Kentucky, and they made their wedding journey on
horseback in January, through the jungles, over the snow drifts, on
the ice and across the prairies, in the face of driving storms and the
frozen breath of the winds of the north. They had, on their journey,
a negro servant named Joe Battles and an Indian guide whose name was
Robinson; possibly the late chief Alexander Robinson. A team and wagon
followed, conveying their baggage, and _they marked their route for the
benefit of any future travelers."_

The government had tried to befriend the Indian in every way. It did
not forbid private traders from dealing with him; but it appointed
agents whose duty it was to sell him goods at prices barely sufficient
to cover cost and expenses. At the same time it forbade, under
penalty, the supplying him with liquor in any quantity, upon any
pretext. Unhappily the last-named kindly effort thwarted the first.
The miserable savage loved the venal white who would furnish him with
the poison. For it he would give not only his furs, but his food and
shelter, his wives and children, his body and his everlasting soul. As
the grand old Baptist missionary Isaac McCoy says, regarding the treaty
of 1821, at which he was present:

"At the treaty Topenebe, the principal chief of the Pottowatomies,
a man nearly eighty years of age [a long and constant friend of the
Kinzies], irritated by the continued refusal on the part of the
commissioners to gratify his importunities for whisky, exclaimed
in the presence of his tribe: 'We care not for the land, the money
or the goods. It is whisky we want. Give us the whisky.' After the
business of the treaty was concluded and before the Indians left the
treaty grounds, seven barrels of whisky were given them, and within
twenty-four hours afterward ten shocking murders were committed amongst

To quote from Munsell's History of Chicago:

  Few and meagre are the records of occurrences on the banks of the
  Chicago during these quiet years. The stagnation in this remote
  corner of creation was in sharp contrast with the doings in the great
  world, for these were the momentous Napoleonic years. Austerlitz,
  Jena, Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, were fought between 1805 and 1809,
  and one wonders whether even the echoes of the sound of those fights
  reached little Fort Dearborn. Yet the tremendous doings were not
  without their influence; for it was Napoleon's "European System" and
  England's struggle against it that precipitated our war of 1812; and
  one trivial incident in that war was the ruin of our little outpost.

The incidents of daily life went on in the lonely settlement, as

There was the occasional birth of a baby in the Kinzie house, the fort
or somewhere about, as there were several women here, soldiers' wives,
etc. Those born in the Kinzie mansion and the officers' families we
know about. But these were not all. There were at least a dozen little
ones who first saw the light in this locality, whose play-ground was
the parade and the river bank, whose merry voices must have added a
human sweetness to this savage place; whose entire identity, even to
their names, is lost. The one thing we know about them is how they
died, and that has been told in Part I.




[Illustration: A "red-coat" of 1812.]

DELAYING our narrative for a moment, we here bring upon the scene
another figure--the most distinguished and heroic of all who were to
play a part in the terrific tragedy which formed its climax--William
Wells.[S] This brave fellow, born of white parents, but early stolen
by Indians, and only restored after arriving at manhood, was a friend
and agent of General Harrison, who was at that time Governor of
the Indian Territory. Captain Wells had come to Chicago in 1803 on
official duty, as appears by a license (which the writer has had the
privilege of inspecting) issued to Jean B. La Geuness, to trade with
the Indians. This paper is still in existence, in the possession of
Dr. H. B. Tanner of Kaukaunee, Wis., having come to him from among the
papers of Judge John Lawe of Green Bay, who was for many years agent
of the American (John Jacob Astor's) Fur Company. The license bears
the name of "William Henry Harrison, Governor of the Indian Territory
and Superintendent of Indian Affairs," and is signed "by order of the
Governor. William Wells, Agent at Indian Affairs, Chicago, August the
30th, 1803."

[S] See Appendix E.

This license must have been signed in the old De Saible house. No fort
was here yet, nor any government office or officer, so far as we know.
Indeed, this page records, for the first time in history, the fact that
William Wells was in Chicago before 1812. Eight years later his niece
was to appear on the scene, arriving as the bride of Captain Heald,
then commanding Fort Dearborn.

But to return to Captain Whistler and the embryo fort.

A glimpse of early garrison-life appears in the personal narrative of
Captain Thomas C. Anderson, published in Volume IX of the Wisconsin
Historical Collection:

  During my second year [1804-5] at Min-na-wack, or Mill-wack-ie
  [Milwaukee] Captain Whistler, with his company of American soldiers,
  came to take possession of Chicago. At this time there were no
  buildings here except a few dilapidated log huts covered with bark.
  Captain Whistler had selected one of these as a temporary, though
  miserable, residence for his family, his officers and men being under
  canvas. On being informed of his arrival I felt it my duty to pay my
  respects to the authority so much required by the country. On the
  morrow I mounted Kee-ge-kaw, or Swift-goer, and the next day I was
  invited to dine with the Captain. On going to the house, the outer
  door opening into the dining-room, I found the table spread, the
  family and guests seated, consisting of several ladies, all as jolly
  as kittens.

The fort consisted of a stockade large enough to contain a
parade-ground and all the fort buildings, officers' quarters, barracks,
offices, guard-house, magazine, etc., and also two block-houses, each
built so that the second story overhung the lower, thus giving a
vertical fire for musketry to guard against an enemy's setting fire
to the house. One of these was at the southeast corner and the other
at the northwest. There were entrances on the south side (Michigan
Avenue), and on the north or water side, where a sunken road led down
to the river. Mr. Blanchard, in his "Chicago and the Northwest," says
that the armament consisted of the musket and bayonet, and three pieces
of light artillery--probably the old six-pounder, which threw a round
ball about double the size of a child's fist.

[Illustration: FORT DEARBORN, 1803-4. (Fergus' Series, No. 16)]

Beside the fort, the government put up an "Agency House," which stood
on the river bank just west of the sunken road that led from the fort
to the water. Mrs. Kinzie describes this building as an old-fashioned
log-house with a hall running through the middle, and one large room on
each side. Piazzas extended the whole length of the building, in front
and rear. It played a part in the final tragedy, and was destroyed with
the fort on August 15, 1812.

Munsell's "History of Chicago" gives the following picture at and after
the building of the first fort:

  When the schooner Tracy set sail and slowly vanished in the
  northwestern horizon, we may fancy that some wistful glances followed
  her. For those left behind it was the severing of all regular ties
  with "home," for years or forever. An occasional courier from
  Detroit or Fort Wayne brought news from the outside world; a rare
  canoe or bateau carried furs to Mackinaw and brought back tea,
  flour, sugar, salt, tobacco, hardware, powder and lead, dry goods,
  shoes, etc., perhaps a few books[T] and, best of all, letters! But
  between-times, what had they to make life worth living? Which of the
  compensations kind Nature always keeps in store, for even the most
  desolate of her children, were allotted to them?

[T] John H. Kinzie used to tell how, as a boy, he learned to read from
a spelling-book which was unexpectedly found in a chest of tea, and
that books were associated with the smell of tea in his mind forever

  They had the lake for coolness and beauty in summer; the forest for
  shelter, warmth and cheer in winter; masses of flowers in spring,
  and a few--very few--fruits and nuts in autumn, such as wild grapes
  and strawberries, wintergreen-berries, cranberries, whortleberries,
  hazel-nuts, walnuts, hickory-nuts, beech-nuts, etc. There was no lack
  of game to be had for the hunting, or fish for the catching. The
  garrison had cattle, therefore there was doubtless fresh beef, milk
  and butter. So a "good provider," as John Kinzie doubtless was (we
  know that he was the soul of hospitality) would be certain to keep
  his wife's larder always full to overflowing.

  The garrison officers' families made company for each other and the
  Kinzies and Jouetts; the soldiers gave protection and a thousand
  other services to all, and the two fifers and two drummers made
  music--such as it was. This rude melody was not all they had,
  however, for John Kinzie was a fiddler as well as a trader and a
  silver-smith ("Shaw-nee-aw-kee," or the "silver-smith," was his
  Indian name), and in the cool summer evenings, sitting on his porch,
  would send the sound of his instrument far and wide, over river and
  plain, through the dewy silence of the peaceful landscape.

  They had love and marriage, birth and death, buying and selling and
  getting gain; and, happily, had not the gift of "second sight," to
  divine what lay before them; what kind of end was to come to their

Mr. Wentworth's Fort Dearborn speech (Fergus' Historical Series No.
16, page 87) quotes a letter he had received from Hon. Robert Lincoln,
Secretary of War under President Garfield. From it we learn that no
muster-roll of the garrison at Fort Dearborn in 1811 or 1812 is on
file at the War Department, but that the general returns of the army
show that the fort was garrisoned from June 4, 1804, to June, 1812,
by a company of the First Regiment of Infantry. In these returns the
strength of the garrison, officers, musicians and privates, is given as
follows: Under Captain John Whistler, June 4, 1804, 69; Dec. 31, 1806,
66; Sept. 30, 1809, 77. Under Captain Nathan Heald, Sept. 30, 1810, 67;
Sept. 30, 1811, 51, and June --, 1812, 53.[U]

[U] See Appendix B for a muster-roll dated Dec 31, 1810 (the latest
entry which gives names), wherein are shown several who appear later as
victims of the massacre.

The deficiency of records in the archives of the War Department may
perhaps be accounted for by the fact that the British, after the
so-called "battle" of Bladensburgh, took Washington and burned all the
government buildings.

In 1811 Captain Nathan Heald, then in command of Fort Dearborn, went
down to Kentucky, where he married Rebekah Wells daughter of Captain
Samuel Wells and niece of William.[V] The newly married pair came up
overland (probably following the trail marked by Mr. Jouett), bringing
the wedding treasures of the bride--silver, etc., and her own personal
adornments, which interesting relics, after vicissitudes strange and
terrible, are now in possession of her son, Darius Heald, and, with
him, are depicted elsewhere in these pages.

[V] See Appendix E for additional details regarding the romantic
history of the Wells and Heald families.

Mrs. Heald's narrative of these events, as reported to me by her son,
is as follows:

  In the summer of 1811, Captain Heald, then in command of Fort
  Dearborn, at Chicago, got leave of absence to go down to Louisville,
  to get married. He went on horseback, alone, traveling by compass.

  They were married, and after the wedding started north on horseback
  for Fort Dearborn. There were four horses--two for the bride and
  groom, one for the packs and blankets, and one for a little negro
  slave-girl named Cicely. This girl had begged so hard to be brought
  along that they could not refuse her request, although it was, as
  the Captain said, adding one more to the difficulties of making the
  long, lonesome, toilsome trip on horseback. They traveled by compass,
  as before. The horses were good ones, and not Indian ponies. Those
  that the Captain and his bride rode were thoroughbreds, as was the
  one ridden by the slave-girl, and they had also a good one to carry
  the pack, so that they made the trip in about a week's time; starting
  Thursday, and reaching Fort Dearborn on the following Wednesday
  night, making about fifty miles a day. Nothing of importance occurred
  on the bridal trip; they arrived safely, and the garrison turned out
  to receive them with all the honors of war, the bride being quite an
  addition to the little company.

  Rebekah was much pleased with her reception, and found everything
  bright and cheerful. She liked the wild place, the wild lake and the
  wild Indians; everything suited her ways and disposition, "being on
  the wild order herself," she said; and all went on very pleasantly.
  Among other gayeties there was skating in winter up and down the
  frozen river, and Ensign Ronan was a famous skater. Sometimes he
  would take an Indian squaw by the hands, she holding her feet still,
  and swing her back and forth from side to side of the little stream,
  until he came to a place where there was a deep snowdrift on the
  bank, when he would (accidentally, of course) loose his grip on her
  hands, and she would fly off into the snowdrift and be buried clear
  out of sight.

In 1812 the peaceful quiet was rudely startled, then assaulted, then
destroyed. The first breach of the peace was the killing by Mr. Kinzie
(in self-defense) of one John Lalime, Indian interpreter at Fort
Dearborn.[W] This was early in 1812. It had, however, nothing to do
with the friendliness or enmity of the red-men.

[W] See Appendix F.

The second event was of a different kind. A man named Lee.[X] who
lived on the lake-shore, near the fort, had enclosed and was farming
a piece of land on the northwest side of the South Branch, within the
present "Lumber District," about half way between Halsted Street and
Ashland avenue. It was first known as "Lee's Place," afterwards as
"Hardscrabble." It was occupied by one Liberty White, with two other
men and a boy, the son of Mr. Lee.

[X] This name I find sometimes spelled "Lee," and sometimes "See."

[Illustration: CABIN IN THE WOODS.]

This spot was not far from the place where Père Marquette passed the
winter of 1674-75; perhaps the very same ground. (See Munsell's History
of Chicago for a copy of the good Father's journal, with parallel
translation.) Mrs. John Kinzie, first in a pamphlet dated in 1836, and
published in 1844, and later in Wau-Bun, gives an extremely picturesque
account of the alarm, evidently taken down from the lips of those who
had been present; namely her husband (then a boy), his mother, Mrs.
John Kinzie, and his half-sister, Mrs. Helm.

  It was the evening of the 7th of April, 1812. The children of Mrs.
  Kinzie were dancing before the fire to the music or their father's
  violin. The tea-table was spread, and they were awaiting the return
  of their mother, who was gone to visit a sick neighbor. [Mrs. John
  Burns, living at about where is now the crossing of Kinzie and State
  Streets, had just been delivered of a child.] Suddenly their sports
  were interrupted; the door was thrown open and Mrs. Kinzie rushed in
  pale with terror, and scarcely able to articulate.

  "The Indians! The Indians!"

  "The Indians! What? Where?"

  "Up at Lee's place, killing and scalping!"

  With difficulty Mrs. Kinzie composed herself sufficiently to give the
  information that while she was up at Burns's a man and a boy were
  seen running down with all speed to the opposite side of the river;
  that they called across to give notice to Burns's family to save
  themselves, for the Indians were at Lee's place, from which they had
  just made their escape. Having given this terrifying news they made
  all speed for the fort, which was on the same side of the river that
  they were. All was now consternation and dismay. The family were
  hurried into two old pirogues [dug-out tree-trunks] that were moored
  near the house, and paddled with all possible haste across the river
  to take refuge in the fort.

Mrs. Kinzie goes on to give the fullest account we have of this initial
murder, fitting prelude to the bloody drama to follow a few months
later. Here is a condensation of her narrative:

In the afternoon a party of ten or twelve Indians, dressed and painted,
arrived at the Lee house, and according to their custom, entered and
seated themselves without ceremony. Something in their appearance
and manner excited the suspicions of one of the family, a Frenchman
[Debou], who remarked: "I don't like the looks of those Indians; they
are not Pottowatomies." Another of the family, a discharged soldier,
said to a boy (a son of Lee): "If that is the case, we had better get
away if we can. Say nothing, but do as you see me do." As the afternoon
was far advanced, the soldier walked leisurely toward the two canoes
tied near the bank. They asked where he was going. He pointed to the
cattle which were standing among the hay-stacks on the opposite bank,
and made signs that they must go and fodder them and then return and
get their supper.

[Illustration: KINZIE MANSION--1812]

He got into one canoe and the boy into the other. When they gained
the opposite side they pulled some hay for the cattle, and when they
had gradually made a circuit so that their movements were concealed
by the hay-stacks, they took to the woods and made for the fort. They
had run a quarter of a mile when they heard the discharge of two guns
successively. They stopped not nor stayed until they arrived opposite
Burns's place (North State and Kinzie streets), where they called
across to warn the Burns family of their danger, and then hastened to
the fort.

A party of soldiers had that afternoon obtained leave to go up the
river to fish. The commanding officer ordered a cannon to be fired to
warn them of their danger. Hearing the signal they took the hint, put
out their torches and dropped down the river as silently as possible.
It will be remembered that the battle of Tippecanoe, the preceding
November, had rendered every man vigilant, and the slightest alarm was
an admonition to "beware of Indians."

When the fishing-party reached Lee's place, it was proposed to stop and
warn the inmates. All was still as death around the house. They groped
their way along, and as the corporal jumped over the small enclosure
he placed his hand on the dead body of a man. By the sense of touch he
soon ascertained that the head was without a scalp and was otherwise
mutilated. The faithful dog of the murdered man stood guarding the
remains of his master.

Captain Heald, writing from the fort, gives a shorter statement, adding
some further particulars:

  Chicago, April 15, 1812.--The Indians have commenced hostilities
  in this quarter. On the sixth instant, a little before sunset, a
  party of eleven Indians, supposed to be Winnebagoes, came to Messrs.
  Russell and See's cabin, in a field on the Portage branch of the
  Chicago River, about three miles from the garrison, where they
  murdered two men; one by the name of Liberty White, an American, and
  the other a Canadian Frenchman whose name I do not know. [Debou.]
  White received two balls through his body, nine stabs with a knife
  in his breast, and one in his hip, his throat was cut from ear to
  ear, his nose and lips were taken off in one piece, and his head
  was skinned almost as far round as they could find any hair. The
  Frenchman was only shot through the neck and scalped. Since the
  murder of these two men, one or two other parties of Indians have
  been lurking about us, but we have been so much on our guard they
  have not been able to get any scalps.

[Illustration: HUMAN SCALP.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Among all the tribes of savages met by various immigrations of
Europeans, a thousand differences of arms, implements, manners,
habits and customs were observed. Some were more barbarous, others
less; but there was one trophy one weapon, one trait, invariable and
universal--the bleeding scalp, the sharp scalping-knife, the rage for
scalping. This proves much. It shows that killing was not a mere means
to an end, but the end aimed at. It shows that sheer, unadulterated,
unmitigated murder was the ideal grace of manhood. The brain-pan of
man, woman or child yielded its covering, torn away warm and quivering,
and the possessor was sure of the honor and favor of his fellows, men,
women and children. No woman shed a tear over the locks of a sister
woman; no child over the curls of a baby.

Savagery the world has ever known, and isolated instances of wholesale
destruction of non-combatants in the drunkenness of victory; but there
is no record of a whole race, consisting of many tribes, spread over
many lands, enduring for many generations, where such diabolism was the
general ethnic trait.




[Illustration: INDIAN WARRIOR]

THE WINNEBAGOES, we observe, are charged by Captain Heald
with this outbreak of lawlessness.

The Pottowatomies always averred that they had nothing to do with the
great massacre, and this may be true of the tribe as a whole, but it is
well known that many of its members, as well as the Winnebagoes, had
been engaged with the Ottawas and Shawnees at the battle of Tippecanoe,
less than a year before. The English, ever since the Revolution, had
been seeking their friendship--and our injury--by giving them yearly
presents at Maiden (in Canada, near Detroit), and they placed much
foolish reliance on the red-men's help in prosecuting the war of 1812.
Foolish, because the unspeakable savage was only formidable in sneaking
hostilities against women and children, and against men unwarned and
overmatched; not in a fair fight on equal terms. In all that contest
they were simply murderously hostile. Wau-Bun gives an incident which
displays their animus. In the spring of 1812 two Indians of the Calamic
(Calumet) band came to the fort to visit Captain Heald. One of them,
Nau-non-gee, seeing Mrs. Heald and Mrs. Helm playing battle-door on the
parade-ground, said to the interpreter (probably John Kinzie): "The
white chief's wives are amusing themselves very much; it will not be
long before they will be hoeing in our cornfields."

The service they rendered England is such as England should blush to
receive. It was the service of inspiring terror in the hearts of the
helpless. Two days after the massacre at Chicago, the unfortunate and
execrated General Hull surrendered Detroit to the British and Indians.
Why did he do so? He had suffered no defeat. He could have crossed
the river and fought them with every prospect of victory. But could
he leave that town at the mercy of fiends who knew no mercy? He could
have given battle at Detroit itself, but the British General (Proctor)
kindly told him that if he should be compelled to assault he would not
be able to control his Indian allies. Now, in case of defeat, Hull's
army could take care of themselves, either as prisoners or fugitives;
but what might become of a thousand helpless, hapless women and
children, and the wounded men he would have on his hands? What would
have become of them? Read further on in this narrative and see!

So, in an evil hour for himself. General Hull took the merciful course,
and innocent blood was spared. The fall of Detroit was directly due
to non-military caution, a mercifulness that had nothing to do with
the hazard of civilized war and the fate of the army. The unfortunate
commander, a man of undoubted courage, a man who had served his country
through the Revolution, was tried by court-martial and condemned to
death. The sentence was not carried out in form, but in substance it
was, for he lived in obscurity, if not obloquy, and died with a stained
name which is slowly recovering its proper place.

       *       *       *       *       *

Vain is it for apologists to try to shift on to local subordinates the
blame for the shameful course of Lord Liverpool's government. The same
king was (nominally) reigning who had employed these same allies only
thirty years before, George Third was on the throne through both wars;
that of the Revolution and that of 1812. English ears--such as were
sensitive to just and bitter denunciation--must still, in 1812, have
been ringing with the public outcry against the infamy of 1775-82. Even
England's own servants protested against it. Doubtless they felt, as
any gentleman must feel, that he who stays at home in personal safety
and employs base minions to do his murdering, is more contemptible than
are the minions themselves, for they at least take their lives in their
hands when they set out.

Where stand the guilty in this business? Lower than where we should
stand if we had, during our Civil War, incited the negroes to the
destruction of their masters' families, for the negro cannot be as
cruel as the Indian could not helping being. Lower than Russia would
stand if, in a war along the Afghan frontier, she should scheme for
a new Sepoy rebellion, with its ravishing and maiming of well born
English women. Such women were treated worse than even Dante's fancy
could portray, and yet not worse than were the survivors of the Chicago

       *       *       *       *       *

In the little settlement a wild season of alarm followed the double
murder at Hardscrabble. The surviving civilians, consisting of a
few discharged soldiers and some families of half-breeds, organized
themselves for defense. They took for their stronghold the Agency House
already-mentioned as standing on the river-bank just west of the fort.
The house (as has been said) was built of logs and had porches on both
its long sides. They planked up the porches, leaving loopholes for
firing through, and set guards in proper military fashion. To quote
once more from Munsell.

  As this was outside of garrison duty, it must have required a
  volunteer force, organized and armed; and this seems to furnish a
  clue hitherto unmarked by any historian, to explain the presence of
  "twelve militia" who were mentioned by Captain Heald in his report
  as having taken part in the fight of August 15th, and as having been
  every one killed. No other mention of these devoted twelve exists in
  any form except the grim memorandum of death at the post of duty.[Y]
  Evidently they must have been organized and armed under the auspices
  of the government force at this time, from the discharged soldiers
  and half-breeds, and perhaps included Lee, Pettell, Burns, Russell,
  etc., all of whom were probably enrolled and expected pay from the
  government, albeit their claim necessarily lapsed with their own
  death on that bloody day. In confirmation of this suggestion we have
  Mrs. Kinzie's remark (Wau-Bun, p. 244) that Lee, his son, and all his
  household, except his wife and daughter, had perished in the affray.
  Also her mention of Mrs. Burns and her infant among the survivors; no
  word being uttered about the husband and father.

[Y] See Mrs. Kinzie's narrative and Captain Heald's letter, hereinafter

  The Kinzies did not return to their North Side house. Mr. Kinzie
  had succeeded Lalime as government interpreter, and doubtless the
  garrison needed his services almost continually. There were several
  slight alarms and disturbances. A night patrol fired at a prowling
  red-man, and a hatchet hurled in return missed its mark and struck
  a wagon-wheel. A horse-stealing raid upon the garrison stables,
  failing to find the horses, was turned into an attack on the sheep,
  which were all stabbed and set loose. These alarms and other things
  combined to show that the quiet of the preceding days had come to an
  end. The unspeakable Indian had been bribed, tempted and misled by
  the miserable Englishman to take up again his cruelties; his burning,
  scalping, tomahawking, knifing and mutilation of combatants and
  non-combatants alike, men, women and children.

War was declared by the United States against England on June 12, 1812.
Mackinaw was taken by the British on July 16. Having Detroit to protect
and a force of British and Indians to oppose, General Hull naturally
aimed to mass his forces and abandon all indefensible outlying posts,
such as Fort Dearborn evidently was. Therefore, about August 1st, he
sent by Winnemeg, a friendly Indian, a dispatch to Captain Heald,
ordering him to evacuate the fort and to proceed to Detroit by land
with his command, leaving it to his discretion to dispose of the public
property as he might think proper.[Z] Mrs. Kinzie, in Wau-Bun, says
that the messenger arrived on August 7th, instead of the 9th which
Captain Heald names as the date of his receipt of the order, and adds
that the same letter brought news of the declaration of war (which
had taken place about two months earlier) and of the loss of the post
at Mackinaw. She also gives us a new reading of the dispatch, quite
different from that given by Captain Heald. She says the orders to
Captain Heald were "to vacate the fort if practicable, and in that
event to distribute all the United States property contained in the
fort and in the United States factory, or agency, among the Indians
in the neighborhood." This discrepancy between our two sources of
information becomes important in judging of the blame, if any,
attributable to Captain Heald for the disaster toward which all were
hastening. Guided by the ordinary rules of evidence, we must take
Captain Heald's version as the true one, and believe that the order was
peremptory, only to be disobeyed if the subordinate officer felt sure
that it would not have been given if his superior had been on the spot;
and also that the distribution of goods was, on Captain Heald's part,
a voluntary concession intended to win the favor of the Indian--the
incurable savage.

[Z] See Appendix E.

It should here be stated that there is a broad divergence--one might
say a contradiction--between the Kinzie account and the Heald account
of the occurrences of that troubled, appalling, disastrous time. Mrs.
Kinzie says that Winnemeg privately told Mr. Kinzie that the fort ought
not to be evacuated, seeing that it was well supplied with provisions
and ammunition, and advised waiting for reinforcements. Also that if
Captain Heald was to go at all, he should start at once, to get out
of the way of the hostiles by a forced march while the Indians were
dividing the spoil. (How many "forced marches" would it have taken to
make that lumbering caravan safe from pursuit by the red runners of the
wilds?) She says:

  The order for evacuating the post was read next morning upon
  parade. It is difficult to understand why Captain Heald, in such
  an emergency, omitted the usual form of calling a council of war
  with his officers. It can only be accounted for by the fact of a
  want of harmonious feeling between himself and one of his junior
  officers--Ensign Ronan, a high-spirited and somewhat overbearing, but
  brave and generous young man.

A "council of war" between the captain and his two lieutenants and
(perhaps) the surgeon, to debate an unconditional order received from
the general commanding the division, does not strike the average reader
as an "usual form," nor does any disaffection on the part of the junior
among the officers seem likely to enter into the question, one way
or the other. But the suggestion throws a side-light on the unhappy
state of things at Fort Dearborn. It seems unquestionable that this
young ensign was not in accord with his captain, and that the Kinzies,
especially the young story-teller, Mrs. Helm (who was Mrs. Kinzie's
authority), sided with the junior--as was perhaps natural. To quote
from Munsell:

  It becomes necessary here to call to mind the possible bias which
  may have existed in the hearts of the narrators in handing down the
  story to Mrs. Kinzie, the writer of Wau-Bun, who probably never saw
  the principal actor in it, John Kinzie, behaving died two years
  before her marriage with his son, John H. Kinzie. The latter was only
  nine years old at the time of the massacre. His mother, however,
  Mrs. Kinzie, she did know well, also his aunt, Mrs. Helm [John's
  step-daughter], from whose lips the Wau-Bun account of the massacre
  was taken down by her. It is quite certain that departure meant
  ruin to John Kinzie; for of all the property he had accumulated
  in his long, able, arduous and profitable business life, not a
  handful could be carried away by land. And the event showed that he,
  personally, had nothing to fear from the Indians.

Here is what Mrs. Heald says about these matters:

  It is all false about any quarrel between Ronan and Captain Heald.
  The ensign thought the world of the captain, and gave him a big book
  with their two names written it. Among the property recovered after
  the massacre was this book, which the Indians thought was the Bible.
  They would pass their hands across the pages and point significantly
  heavenward; but in fact the book was a dictionary and is still in
  possession of the family, having been bound in buckskin to preserve
  such part as has not already succumbed to the many vicissitudes.
  Occasionally Indians would come and steal horses when the men were
  some distance away cutting hay for the winter's supplies, and they
  were apt to try to get the scalp of any white person against whom
  they had any hard feeling.

  Mrs. Heald recalls a particular case where a soldier, a great
  stammerer, was out on picket, and from the block-house window she
  saw an Indian try to get between him and the fort. To attract the
  soldier's attention Captain Heald had a gun fired, and the man, when
  he saw his peril, started homeward, the Indian at the same time
  starting to cut him off. The soldier was the best runner, and when
  the Indian called out to him some taunting expression, he looked over
  his shoulder and tried to shout a retort, but his stuttering tongue
  made this take so long that he came near losing his life, though at
  last he got in safely.

In writing the story of the events of that eventful time, there
being but two sources of information--to some extent divergent, even
contradictory--one is tempted to print them in parallel columns and let
the reader take his choice. Each has the same degree of authenticity,
seeing that Mrs. Helm, an actor in the tragedy, told Mrs. Kinzie
the story, who gives it to us; while Mrs. Heald, also an actor (and
besides, a badly wounded sufferer), told it often to her son, the Hon.
Darius Heald, who gives it to us. But as the parallel columns might
prove more controversial than interesting, the plan I have pursued is
the presenting of undisputed facts, and, in case of controversy, the
account which seems most probable, with the adverse side when necessary.


  The Heald story is now for the first time made a part of permanent
  history. In 1891, while writing the "Story of Chicago," I learned
  that Darius Heald, son of Nathan and Rebekah [Wells] Heald, was still
  living; whereupon I got him to come to Chicago from his home in
  Missouri, bringing all the relics and mementoes of his parents which
  he could find. He came, and sat for a portrait with the relics by
  his side, and his entire story was taken down in short-hand from his
  own lips. The little which was available is included in my "Story of
  Chicago," and the remainder I caused to be published in the Magazine
  of American History. (See Appendix E.)

[Illustration: GEORGE THIRD.]




THE departure was not approved by all, if any, of the subordinate
officers. It was urged on Capt. Heald that the command would be
attacked; that the attack would have been made long before if it had
not been for the Indians' regard for the Kinzies; that the helplessness
of the women and children and the invalided and superannuated soldiers
was sure to make the march slow and perilous, and that the place could
well be defended. Captain Heald pleaded his orders, and alleged that
the place was not provisioned to stand a siege.

Upon one occasion, as Captain Heald was conversing with Mr. Kinzie on
the parade, he remarked: "I could not remain, even if I thought best,
for I have but a small store of provisions." "Why, captain," said a
soldier who stood near by, forgetting all etiquette, "you have cattle
enough to last the troops six months." "But I have no salt to preserve
it with." "Then jerk it," said the man, "as the Indians do their
venison."[AA] (Wau-Bun.)

[AA] This is done by cutting the meat in thin slices and placing it on
a scaffold over a fire, which dries the meat and smokes it at the same

Captain Heald, in his letter of November 7th, 1812 (less than three
months after the massacre), says of the Indians: "The neighboring
Indians got the information as early as I did, and came in from all
quarters in order to receive the goods in the factory store, which they
understood were to be given them. The collection was unusually large
for that place, but they conducted with the strictest propriety until
after I left the fort." But Wau-Bun gives a different coloring to the
matter, and with such circumstantiality that there seems necessarily
to be some truth on the other side. Mrs. Kinzie says that there was
dissatisfaction in the garrison amounting to insubordination (as
instanced by the soldier's interference in the captain's talk with Mr.
Kinzie) and increasing insolence on the part of the Indians. The story

[Illustration: SQUAW.]

  Entering the fort in defiance of the sentinels, they made their
  way without ceremony to the officers' quarters. On one occasion an
  Indian took up a rifle and fired it in the parlor of the commanding
  officer, as an expression of defiance. Some were of the opinion that
  this was intended among the young men as a signal for an attack. The
  old chiefs passed backwards and forwards among the assembled groups
  with the appearance of the most lively agitation, while the squaws
  rushed to and fro in great excitement and evidently prepared for some
  fearful scene. (Wau-Bun.)

(As might be expected, the squaws often showed themselves the most
bitter, cruel and relentless partisans.)

The feeling will intrude itself that Captain Heald was too truthful,
trustful, brave and good a man to be a perfect Indian-fighter. He had
none of the savage's traits except his courage. He was without guile,
or craft, or duplicity or cruelty. The soul of honor, he attributed
good faith to his foe. A temperate man, he could not conceive of the
insanity of maniacs to whom the transient delirium of drunkenness is
heaven on earth.

We must remember that there is always a hard feeling between the
military and the civil authority in every Indian post--East Indian or
American Indian--the soldier holding the sword and the civilian the
purse, each slightly envying the other what he possesses, and slightly
despising him for the lack of what he is deprived of.

At any rate. Captain Heald (by and with the advice of Mr. Kinzie)
concluded not to give the whisky and arms to the savages. He did what
any of us, common-sense, reasonable men, ignorant of the worst traits
of the most cruel of races, might have done. He doubtless reasoned thus:

"I will destroy the means of frenzy and the implements of murder; then
I will win the grateful allegiance of the Indian by magnificent gifts;
stores that will make him rich beyond his wildest dream of comfort and
abundance. Then I will throw myself and these defenceless ones on his

Alas, he did not know with whom he was dealing! What is food and
clothing to a devil demanding drink and gunpowder? He got only
insolence in return for what he gave them, and loud curses for what he
withheld. At the same time Mr. Kinzie could plainly see that if his
whisky was destroyed by the government he might be reimbursed for it,
while if it was left to the Indians the loss would be absolute and

Captain Heald held a council with the Indians on the afternoon of
Wednesday, August 12, his juniors (according to Wau-Bun) declining his
request to accompany him on the ground that they had secret information
that the officers were to be massacred while in council; so he and
Mr. Kinzie (interpreter) went boldly forth alone. When the two had
walked out, the others opened the port-holes in the block-houses and
trained the guns so as to command the assembly. No attack took place,
and Captain Heald then promised the Indians a distribution of the
goods--whether with or without any express reservations we do not know.
The Indians, on their part, promised to escort the train in safety.
(This would indicate that the promise was made to one tribe, the
Pottowatomies, and that opposition might be looked for from another,
probably the Winnebagoes.)

After the council, Mr. Kinzie had a long talk with Captain Heald,
whereat it was agreed that all surplus arms, ammunition and liquor
should not be distributed, but destroyed. This is Mrs. Kinzie's own
account, and seems to set at rest the charge of bad faith (in not
distributing all the goods) which has been made by Heald decryers and
Indian apologists.

  On the thirteenth; the goods, consisting of blankets, broadcloths,
  calicoes, paints, etc., were distributed as stipulated. The same
  evening the ammunition and liquor were carried, part into the
  sally-port, and thrown into a well which had been dug there; the
  remainder was transported as secretly as possible through the
  northern gate, the heads of the barrels knocked in and the contents
  poured into the river. _The same fate was shared by a large quantity
  of alcohol belonging to Mr. Kinzie, which has, been deposited in a
  warehouse opposite the fort._[AB]

[AB] The italics are not used in the original. Mrs. Heald says that
there was only one barrel of spirits in the fort.

  The Indians suspected what was going on, and crept, serpent-like,
  as near the scene of action as possible, but a vigilant watch was
  kept up and no one was suffered to approach but those engaged in
  the affair. All the muskets not necessary for the command on the
  march were broken up and thrown in the well, together with bags of
  shot, flints, gun-screws and, in short, every weapon of offence. On
  the afternoon of the same day a second council was held with the
  Indians. They expressed great indignation at the destruction of the
  ammunition and liquor. Notwithstanding the precautions taken to
  preserve secrecy, the noise of knocking in the heads of the barrels
  had betrayed the operations, and so great was the quantity of liquor
  thrown into the river that the taste of the water next morning was,
  as one expressed it, "strong grog." (Wau-Bun narrative.)

William Wells, with the courage and endurance of his red
foster-parents, and the faithful, loving heart of his own race, heard
in some way (at Fort Wayne, where he was stationed) of the proposed
evacuation of Fort Dearborn and the perilous flight to Detroit--nearly
three hundred miles through the lonely "oak openings" of Michigan. His
friends were here--his girl-friend, his own brother's daughter, Rebekah
Wells Heald, was here. The thought of their danger summoned him like
the sound of a trumpet to share it. He came at the head of a band of
thirty Miami Indians, to guide, guard, help in every way the forlorn
hope. It was too late to change the fatal plan, even if he would have
tried to do so. He was a soldier, and obedience to orders was a part of
his training. Besides, he knew the Indians, and they knew and respected
him, and an expedition which would be desperate without his presence,
might be changed by his help to a reasonable undertaking. If the whites
had any friends among the reds, he would be at the head of those
friends to lead them against the unfriendly.

How the hearts of the troubled little settlement must have bounded as
they saw the help approaching! Fancy the scene!

On Friday, August 14th, when the sun was sinking in the West, there
came along the lake-shore, stretched out beside the yellow sand-hills
that extended southward clear down to the oak woods now marking the
suburb of Hyde Park, the band of mounted Indians, headed by the good
and brave soldier who knew the Indians as well as they knew each other.
They had tramped all the way from Fort Wayne, one hundred and fifty
miles, charged with the kindly, dangerous task of escorting the entire
Chicago community back along the pathless forest they themselves had
just come through.

Captain Heald unquestionably felt greatly reinvigorated, for this was
an endorsement of his plan as well as help toward carrying it out.
There could be no doubt at headquarters as to his coming, for here was
an escorted officer arriving to bear him company. There was certainly a
warm hand-shaking between the officers as they came together, and--one
would like to have seen the meeting between uncle and niece! It was
well neither could look forward twenty-four hours.

Even now the die was cast, and those behind the scenes knew that
all was lost. Black Partridge, a chief friendly to the whites,
had received, for services rendered at the time of the treaty of
Greenville,[AC] a silver medal bearing on one side a portrait of
Madison, and on the other clasped hands, surmounted by tomahawk and
"calumet," or pipe of peace, with the words "Peace and Friendship."
Now he approached Captain Heald and delivered to him the significant
emblem. His words, rendered by an interpreter, were these:

"Father, I come to deliver to you the medal I wear. It was given to
me by the Americans, and I have long worn it in token of our mutual
friendship. But our young men are resolved to imbue their hands in the
blood of the whites. I cannot restrain them, and I will not wear a
token of peace when I am compelled to act as an enemy." (Wau-Bun.)

[AC] The treaty wherein the six miles square, which includes Chicago,
was reserved to the whites.

[Illustration: From "Cyclopædia of United States History."

Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.


This was equivalent to a declaration of hostilities, and a council of
war, with Captain Wells as the most trusted adviser, would now have
been most excellent. A plan of march should have been formed, including
plan of battle, if battle should befall. Many advantages would be with
the whites. For several days they would have the lake as their water
supply and as a protection on one side. They had wagons to carry food,
ammunition and the disabled, and to serve as a cover against musketry.
They had between fifty and sixty armed and drilled regulars, twelve
good militia-men and thirty Miamis, who could have been forced to
fight if they had been properly held in hand--in all about one hundred
men. They had a large supply of beef on the hoof, of which many, no
doubt, were draught-oxen. On the whole, it is safe to say that, had
they had a due sense of the condition of things, they might have made
themselves, if not secure from attack, at least safe from annihilation;
for, once massed behind the wagons, with the lake at their back, the
first onslaught would have met such a rebuff as would have daunted the
fickle Indian, who never perseveres against severe loss, no matter
how great the stake or how heavy the damage he is inflicting on his
enemy. One may now see how the defence should have been conducted when
the fatal onslaught did occur. The wagons massed along the shore, the
troops--regulars, militia and Miami escort, every man and woman who
could fire or load a gun--using these wagons as a breast-work and
defending them and the non-combatants crouching behind them; this would
have discouraged the assailants and given time for a parley, during
which the friendly Indians could have made their influence felt.

So easy it is to be wise after the event!

Mrs. Heald herself (through her son) gives us the following narrative:

  General Hull had sent orders to Captain Heald to evacuate the fort
  and come to Detroit, where he (Hull) was in command and preparing for
  a battle. The messenger arrived at Fort Dearborn about August 10.
  The evacuation took place August 15, 1812. The dispatch was brought
  by an Indian, and the date of the order showed that the fellow was a
  little too long in making the trip. He gave some excuse for this when
  the captain read the dispatch. He had gotten lame, or his moccasins
  had worn out, or something had occurred which made him a little late.
  But after Wells arrived--he came on the 12th or 13th, accompanied by
  thirty mounted Miamis--they talked the matter over and Wells said
  to Captain Heald: "Captain, that red rascal somehow or other was a
  longtime getting here. I fear he has notified the Indians along the
  way that the things will probably be distributed here and there may
  be considerable of a crowd. I don't fear anything serious, but I had
  much rather the Indian had come right straight here. He had no right
  to know, unless he was told, what the order was, but he got posted
  somehow as to what his business was about."

  At the time Wells arrived there were a few Indians there who had
  found out that the fort was to be vacated, and by the time they left
  there was a considerable party of them collected, all seemingly
  friendly with Captain Heald. Wells had very little idea there was to
  be a fight on the way, yet "smelt something in the air." But Captain
  Heald's orders were to vacate, and he must obey them unless something
  turned up that he could see was not right. They, however, discussed
  the probabilities of a siege. They had but few provisions, but little
  ammunition, and thought there was but little risk in going. Heald's
  orders were to dispose of things as he thought best. There was but
  little whisky. He thought what they had (one barrel) ought not to
  go into the hands of the Indians, nor should the munitions of war;
  and they took the whisky to a well that was inside the enclosure and
  poured it in, and what little arms and ammunition was left, besides
  what they took with them, was also thrown in.

  John Kinzie, the trader at the post, objected to their going away,
  saying that his business would be interfered with--perhaps ruined.
  Captain Heald said he was sorry for that, but that he had to obey
  orders unless there was something objectionable to keep him from it.
  He advised Kinzie, however, not to allow the Indians to get to his
  alcohol, of which he had a considerable quantity--to pour it on the
  ground or in the river, or do something to dispose of it; that it
  would be unsafe, under the circumstances, to let the Indians have
  it. Mr. Kinzie suggested that the government might make this loss
  good, but this Captain Heald could not vouch for. The spirits were

       *       *       *       *       *

Suppose the veteran, Wells, tired with the tramping, the trifling and
the turmoil, mounted on the roof of the block-house at the northwest
corner of the stockade, and in the shadow of its motionless flag,
pausing, and looking about him--what does he see?

[Illustration: WILLIAM WELLS.]

A lonely, weedy streamlet flows eastward past the fort, then turns
sharp to the right and makes its weak way by a shallow, fordable
ripple, over a long sand-bar, into the lake, a half mile to the
southward. At his feet, on the river bank, stands the United States
Agency Storehouse. Across the river and a little to the eastward is
the Kinzie house, built of squared logs by Jean Baptiste Pointe de
Saible nearly forty years ago, now repaired, enlarged and improved by
its owner and occupant, John Kinzie. A canoe lies moored to the bank
in front of the house; when any of the numerous Kinzies wish to come
to the fort they can paddle across; when any one wishes to go over he
can halloo for the canoe. Just west of Kinzie's house is Ouillemette's
cabin, and still further that of John Burns. Opposite Burns's place
[near South State street] a swampy branch enters the river from the
south, and on the sides of this branch there is a straggling lot of
Indian wigwams--ominous sight! The north side of the river is all
wooded, except where little garden-patches are cleared around the human
habitations. The observer may see the forks of the stream a half-mile
to the westward, but he cannot trace its branches, either "River
Guarie," to the north, or "Portage River," to the south, for the trees
hide them. Near him, to the west and south, sandy flats, grassy marshes
and general desolation are all that he can see. (Will that barren waste
ever be worth a dollar an acre?) Beyond, out of sight, past the bend of
the South Branch, is Lee's place, with its fresh blood-stains and its
two grassless graves.

[Illustration: REBEKAH (WELLS) HEALD.]

And so his eye wanders on, across the sandy flat, across the Indian
trail, leading west of south, and the lake-shore trail which he himself
came over, and finally rests with relief on the lake itself, the
dancing blue water and the sky that covers it.

It is said that he who is about to die has some times a "second sight,"
a gift of looking forward to the days that are to follow his death.

Suppose the weary and anxious observer now to fall asleep, and in
dreams to be gifted with this prophetic foresight, and to discern the
change that four-score years are to bring.

It is 1892. Close at hand he sees the streamlet, now a mighty
channel--a fine, broad, deep water-way, running straight between long
piers out to the lake, and stretching inland indefinitely; bordered by
elephantine elevators, spanned by magnificent draw-bridges, each built
of steel and moved by steam; carrying on its floods great propellers
of 100,000 bushels of grain capacity. Looking north, west and south,
he sees serried ranks of enormous buildings towering for miles on
miles, each one so tall as to dwarf the fort and the block-house to
nothingness. He sees hundreds of miles of paved streets, thronged with
innumerable passengers and vehicles moving hither and thither, meeting
and impeding each other, so that sometimes so many try to pass that
none can pass; all must wait until the uniformed guardians of the
peace bring order out of chaos. Every acre of ground in sight is worth
millions of dollars.

His dreaming ears must be stunned by the thunder of commerce, his
nostrils shocked by the smell of the vast food-factories, his skin
smutched with the smoke of the burning fuel all about him, to keep
these wheels in motion. Bewildered and dumbfounded, even more wearied
than he had been by his waking view, he would fain turn his eyes to the
east and rest them on the shining calm of the great lake, the dancing
blue water and the sky that covers it.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so we bid him good-bye. Whatever dream visited his tired soul that
Friday night was his last. The next day was the one whereon his heroic
death was to crown his brave, loving, faithful, fruitless effort to
shield the innocent and helpless from a relentless doom.

As the fatal Saturday has been fully treated in Part First of this
book, I now pass on to the dark days which followed it, and gather up
the details, meager and scanty, of the later life of the survivors, and
their death, so far known to the living world.



EVERY word bearing upon the adventures of the handful of Chicagoans
left alive on Sunday, August 16th, 1812, has been carefully looked up
and faithfully transcribed. Those words are few enough; the silence and
darkness that enshroud their fate are more pathetically eloquent than
speech could well be.

To begin with the Healds, who, as we have seen, were brought again
together on the morning of August 16th, by the half-breed, Chandonnais.
Darius Heald continues his report of his mother's narrative, as follows:

  It is thought that the Indians went off down the lake to have "a
  general frolic;" in other words, to torture to death the wounded
  prisoners. On the night of the sixteenth, Captain and Mrs. Heald,
  accompanied by an Indian named Robinson [probably Chief Robinson,
  well known in Chicago for many years], embarked in a canoe and,
  unmolested, commenced their journey to Mackinaw. Chandonnais'
  friendship was no half-way matter. They traveled all that night and
  all next day, until late in the evening, when they saw a young deer
  coming down to the water in a little clump of bushes to get a drink.
  They drew as near the shore as possible, and the Indian lad stepped
  out and waded to the shore, skipped down the bank behind the deer and
  shot it. Then they pitched camp, dressed the deer, using the hide
  as a kneading-board, whereon Mrs. Heald stirred up some flour (they
  having brought a little in a leather bag from the fort) into a stiff
  paste, which she wound around sticks and toasted over the fire; and
  this Captain Heald afterward declared to be the finest bread he ever

Here should come in, (according to Mrs. Helm's account in Wau-Bun)
mention of a halt of some days at the mouth of the St. Joseph's river.
It seems to me quite probable that the lapse of time had obliterated
from Darius Heald's memory that part of his mother's narrative; or that
he passed over, in talking to the stenographer, a matter which a timely
question would have brought out. (See the Wau-Bun story, further on.)

  They pushed on to Mackinaw, as Captain Heald said he had no chance
  of getting clear except by going to a British officer, and it was
  here that his parole was taken. It happened that Captain Heald and
  the officer in command at Mackinaw were both Free Masons, and Mrs.
  Heald says that they went off into a room by themselves, and that
  Captain Heald told his story and asked for help. He said that the
  Indians would pursue them, would not be more than twenty-four hours
  behind, and that a body would overtake them, and asked the British
  officer if he could protect them. The British officer said it would
  be a very hard matter in the fix they were in. If the Indians came
  down they might be overpowered; but that he would do this: He had a
  little "sailer" [a sailing-boat], and he would put Captain Heald and
  his wife in that and anchor it near the shore, and as soon as there
  were signs of Indians would signal them to start. He then took out
  his pocket-book and told Captain Heald to help himself "But," said
  Captain Heald, "we may never meet again." "That," said the officer,
  "makes no difference. You have a wife and I have no one on whom to
  spend money. I can do without it. You take it and use it, and if it
  is ever convenient to send it back you may do so." Mrs. Heald says
  she never knew why the officer should have been so kind to them, but
  laid it to the fact of their both being Masons; but said she "could
  never get anything out of him" (Captain Heald), although she tried
  more than once, and that she "never expected to get to know Masonic

  However, Captain Heald did not take the money of the noble and
  generous enemy, for he had at that moment some two hundred dollars,
  probably in gold, which his provident wife had sewn in the cuffs of
  his undershirt, a circumstance which would indicate that she, at
  least, foresaw possible tribulation before they left the fort.

  The Indians came in sight looking one hundred strong, and the British
  officer gave the sign for the little boat to move on. They went down
  to Detroit, and thence to Buffalo, whence they crossed to Pittsburg
  and went down the Ohio River, having procured, through an officer,
  some conveyance by which to go down the river, and they then drifted
  down, part of the way by boat and part of the way by raft, and in
  this way reached Kentucky soil. They reached Mrs. Heald's old home by
  night, past midnight, and rapped for admittance. Colonel Samuel Wells
  asked, "Who's there?" "A friend," said Captain Heald. "Well, who are
  you?" "Well, I am a friend." Mrs. Heald then spoke up and said, "Yes,
  two friends." Colonel Wells thought he recognized a woman's voice,
  and came to the door and opened it, and found himself face to face
  with his daughter, whom he had not seen for nearly two years, whom he
  had supposed to be dead, who left him as a bride and returned home
  as a wounded prisoner. They had been two months on the way from Fort
  Dearborn to Kentucky.

  Before her death, in 1856, Mrs. Heald had dictated to Mrs. Kerr,
  her niece, a large number of facts connected with her life. The
  manuscript was foolscap, and contained, Mr. Heald thinks, some
  hundreds of pages. It was in existence up to the time of the Union
  War, and he remembers seeing it wrapped up in a newspaper and tied
  with twine, at the Heald residence, in St. Charles County, Missouri,
  near the town of O'Fallon. During one of the incursions of Union
  soldiers the house was ransacked from top to bottom. Captain Heald's
  sword was taken away, and, greatest loss of all, that manuscript then
  disappeared, Mr. Heald thinks probably destroyed--burned among other
  papers supposed to be of no value.

  A negro boy, who had been raised by Mr. Heald, received word that
  that sword had been left somewhere not far from home, and was then
  being used as a corn-knife, and he obtained it and brought it back
  to Mr. Heald, who recognized it as what was left of his father's old
  sword; but alas! the manuscript has never been heard of--probably
  never will be. This is the nearest approach now possible to a
  reproduction of the facts it contained.

The Wau-Bun narrative is more circumstantial, if not more trustworthy,
and tends naturally in a different direction. It goes on:

  Along with Mr. Kinzie's party was a non-commissioned officer who
  had made his escape in a singular manner. As the troops were about
  leaving the fort it was found that the baggage horses of the surgeon
  had strayed off. The quartermaster-sergeant, Griffith, was sent to
  collect them and bring them on, it being absolutely necessary to
  recover them, since their packs contained part of the surgeon's
  apparatus and the medicines for the march.

  This man had been for a long time on the sick report, and for
  this reason was given the charge of the baggage instead of being
  placed with the troops. His efforts to recover the horses being
  unsuccessful, he was hastening to rejoin his party, alarmed at some
  appearances of disorder and hostile indications among the Indians,
  when he was met and made prisoner by To-pee-nee-be.

  Having taken from him his arms and accoutrements, the chief put him
  in a canoe and paddled him across the river, bidding him make for the
  woods and secrete himself. This he did, and the following day in the
  afternoon, seeing from his lurking-place that all appeared quiet, he
  ventured to steal cautiously into the garden of Ouilmette, where he
  concealed himself for a time behind some currant-bushes.

  At length he determined to enter the house, and accordingly climbed
  up through a small back window into the room where the family were.
  This was just as the Wabash Indians left the house of Ouilmette for
  that of Mr. Kinzie. The danger of the sergeant was now imminent.
  The family stripped him of his uniform and arrayed him in a suit
  of deerskin, with belt, moccasins and pipe, like a French engage.
  His dark complexion and large black whiskers favored the disguise.
  The family were all ordered to address him in French, and although
  utterly ignorant of the language, he continued to pass for a
  Weem-tee-gosh,[AD] and as such to accompany Mr. Kinzie and his
  family, undetected by his enemies, until they reached a place of

[AD] Frenchman.

  On the third day after the battle, the family of Mr. Kinzie, with
  the clerks of the establishment, were put into a boat under the
  care of François, a half-breed interpreter, and conveyed to St.
  Joseph's, where they remained until the following November, under
  the protection of To-pe-nee-bee's band. They were then conducted
  to Detroit under the escort of Chandonnais and their trusty Indian
  friend, Kee-po-tah, and delivered up as prisoners of war to Colonel
  McKee, the British Indian Agent.

  Mr. Kinzie was not allowed to leave St. Joseph's with his family, his
  Indian friends insisting on his remaining and endeavoring to secure
  some remnant of his scattered property. During his excursions with
  them for that purpose he wore the costume and paint of the tribe, in
  order to escape capture and perhaps death at the hands of those who
  were still thirsting for blood. In time, however, his anxiety for his
  family induced him to follow them to Detroit, where in the month of
  January he was received and paroled by General Proctor.

  Captain and Mrs. Heald had been sent across the lake to St. Joseph's,
  the day after the battle. The former had received two wounds and the
  latter seven in the engagement.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER ROBINSON (in old age).

Chief of the Pottowatomies, Chippewas, and others.]

  Lieutenant Helm, who was likewise wounded, was carried by some
  friendly Indian to their village on the Au Sable, and thence to
  Peoria, where he was liberated by the intervention of Mr. Thomas
  Forsyth, the half-brother of Mr. Kinzie. Mrs. Helm had accompanied
  her parents to St. Joseph's, where they resided in the family of
  Alexander Robinson,[AE] receiving from them all possible kindness and
  hospitality for several months.

[AE] This Pottowatomie chief, well known to many of the citizens of
Chicago, was residing at Aux Plaines when Wau-Bun was written.

  After their arrival in Detroit Mrs. Helm was joined by her husband,
  when they were both arrested, by order of the British commander, and
  sent on horseback, in the dead of winter, through Canada, to Fort
  George, on the Niagara frontier. When they arrived at that post there
  seemed no official appointed to receive them, and notwithstanding
  their long and fatiguing journey, in weather the most cold and
  inclement, Mrs. Helm, a delicate woman of seventeen years, was
  permitted to sit waiting in her saddle, without the gate, for more
  than an hour before the refreshment of fire or food, or even the
  shelter of a roof, was offered to her. When Colonel Sheaffe, who had
  been absent at the time, was informed of this brutal inhospitality,
  he expressed the greatest indignation. He waited on Mrs. Helm
  immediately, apologized in the most courteous manner, and treated her
  and Lieutenant H. with the most considerate kindness, until, by an
  exchange of prisoners, they were liberated and found means to reach
  their friends in Steuben County, New York.

  Captain Heald had been taken prisoner by an Indian from the
  Kankakee who had a strong personal regard for him, and who, when
  he saw the wounded and enfeebled state of Mrs. H., released her
  husband that he might accompany his wife to St. Joseph's. To the
  latter place they were accordingly carried, as has been related,
  by Chandonnais and his party. In the mean time, the Indian who
  had so nobly released his prisoner returned to his village on the
  Kankakee, where he had the mortification of finding that his conduct
  had excited great dissatisfaction among his band. So great was the
  displeasure manifested that he resolved to make a journey to St.
  Joseph's and reclaim his prisoner. News of his intention being
  brought to To-pee-nee-bee and Kee-po-tah, under whose care the
  prisoners were, they held a private council with Chandonnais, Mr.
  Kinzie and the principal men of the village, the result of which
  was, a determination to send Captain and Mrs. Heald to the island of
  Mackinac and deliver them up to the British. They were accordingly
  put in a bark canoe and paddled by Robinson and his wife a distance
  of three hundred miles along the coast of Michigan, and surrendered
  as prisoners of war to the commanding officer at Mackinac.

This, though discordant with the shorter report received from the
Healds, certainly seems to have sound basis of truth. I have no doubt
that the Captain and his wife did halt at St. Joseph's and that John
Kinzie had something to do with their further journey to Mackinac.
Wau-Bun proceeds:

  As an instance of the procrastinating spirit of Captain Heald it may
  be mentioned that even after he had received certain intelligence
  that his Indian captor was on his way from the Kankakee to St.
  Joseph's to retake him, he would still have delayed another day at
  that place to make preparation for a more comfortable journey to

Mrs. Helm's acuteness in finding flaws in Captain Heald is quite
interesting. But as this Kankakee information must have come entirely
through Indian channels, and as the savage plan is ever to strike
first and warn afterward, I am prone to suspect that he applied the
"personal equation," and made light of the tale; and that there was in
fact little in it to frighten a brave man and his heroic wife. (_Per
contra_, see the Mackinaw incident.)

  The soldiers, with their wives and surviving children, were dispersed
  among the different villages of the Pottowatomies, upon the Illinois,
  Wabash and Rock River, and at Milwaukee, until the following spring,
  when they were, for the most part, carried to Detroit and ransomed.

We should like to believe the hopeful views here given regarding the
fate of the remaining prisoners. In truth, this account is as well
authenticated as is that given in the Niles' Register, as copied from a
Plattsburgh (N. Y.) newspaper, and given later in this work.

  Mrs. Burns, with her infant, became the prisoners of a chief who
  carried her to his village and treated her with great kindness. His
  wife, from jealousy of the favor shown to the white woman and her
  child, always treated them with great hostility. On one occasion
  she struck the infant with a tomahawk, and narrowly missed her aim
  of putting an end to it altogether.[AF] They were not long left in
  the power of the old hag, after this demonstration, but on the first
  opportunity carried to a place of safety.

[AF] Twenty-two years after this, as I was on a journey to Chicago
in the steamer Uncle Sam, a young woman, hearing my name, introduced
herself to me, and raising her hair from her forehead, showed me the
mark of the tomahawk which had so nearly been fatal to her. (Mrs.
Kinzie, in Wau-Bun.)

  The family of Mr. Lee had resided in a house on the lake-shore, not
  far from the fort. Mr. Lee was the owner of Lee's Place, which he
  cultivated as a farm. It was his son who ran down with a discharged
  soldier to give the alarm of "Indians" at the fort on the afternoon
  of the 7th of April. The father, the son, and all the other members
  had fallen victims on the 15th of August, except Mrs. Lee and her
  young infant. These were claimed by Black Partridge and carried to
  his village on the Au Sable. He had been particularly attached to a
  little girl of Mrs. Lee's, about twelve years of age. This child had
  been placed on horseback for the march, and as she was unaccustomed
  to the exercise, she was tied fast to the saddle, lest by any
  accident she should slip off or be thrown.

  She was within reach of the balls at the commencement of the
  engagement, and was severely wounded. The horse set off on a full
  gallop, which partly threw her, but she was held fast by the bands
  which confined her, and hung dangling as the animal ran violently
  about. In this state she was met by Black Partridge, who caught the
  horse and disengaged her from the saddle. Finding her so much wounded
  that she could not recover, and that she was suffering great agony,
  he put the finishing stroke to her at once with his tomahawk. He
  afterwards said that this was the hardest thing he ever tried to do,
  but he did it because he could not bear to see her suffer.

  He took the mother and her infant to his village, where he became
  warmly attached to the former--so much so that he wished to marry
  her; but, as she very naturally objected, he treated her with the
  greatest respect and consideration. He was in no hurry to release
  her, for he was in hopes of prevailing on her to become his wife. In
  the course of the winter her child fell ill. Finding that none of the
  remedies within their reach were effectual, Black Partridge proposed
  to take the little one to Chicago, where there was now a French
  trader living in the mansion of Mr. Kinzie, and procure some medical
  aid from him. Wrapping up his charge with the greatest care he set
  out on his journey.

  When he arrived at the residence of M. du Pin, he entered the room
  where he was, and carefully placed his burden on the floor.

  "What have you there?" asked M. du Pin.

  "A young raccoon which I brought you as a present," was the reply,
  and opening the pack he showed the little sick infant.

  When the trader had prescribed for its complaint, and Black Partridge
  was about to return to his home, he told his friend his proposal to
  Mrs. Lee to become his wife, and the manner in which it had been

  M. du Pin entertained some fears that the chiefs resolution might
  not hold out, to leave it to the lady herself whether to receive his
  addresses or not, so he entered at once into a negotiation for her
  ransom, and so effectually wrought upon the good feelings of Black
  Partridge that he consented to bring his fair prisoner at once to
  Chicago, that she might be restored to her friends.

  Whether the kind trader had at the outset any other feeling than
  sympathy and brotherly kindness, we cannot say--we only know that in
  process of time, Mrs. Lee became Madame du Pin, and that they lived
  together in great happiness for many years after.

So disappears, from earliest Chicago annals, the name of Lee. The
father had been a householder, living somewhere about where the
new Public Library is now building, and his farm was (after Père
Marquette's "cabinage") the very first settlement on the West Side of
the South Branch or "Portage River." His son escaped from the murderers
at "Hardscrabble" in spring, only to perish, with his father, during
the massacre, or perhaps in the "general frolic" that followed. Then
the widow becomes Mrs. du Pin and we hear no more of the Lees. There is
a grim completeness about the domestic drama. On Friday it has father,
mother, son, daughter and baby, on Saturday, father and son are killed
in battle (or by torture) and daughter mangled by a horse's feet and
finished by a tomahawk; a few months later the puny baby is brought
in to be "doctored" and then the widow marries again and lives on "in
great happiness."

  The fate of Nau-non-gee, one of the chiefs of the Calumet village,
  and who is mentioned in the early part of the narrative, deserves to
  be recorded.

  During the battle of the 15th of August, the chief object of his
  attack was one Sergeant Hays, a man from whom he had received many
  acts of kindness.

  After Hays had received a ball through the body, this Indian ran
  up to tomahawk him, when the Sergeant, collecting his remaining
  strength, pierced him through the body with his bayonet. They fell
  together. Other Indians running up soon dispatched Hays, and it was
  not until then that his bayonet was extracted from the body of his

  The wounded chief was carried after the battle to his village on
  the Calumet, where he survived for several days. Finding his end
  approaching; he called together his young men, and enjoined them in
  the most solemn manner to regard the safety of their prisoners after
  his death, and to take the lives of none of them, from respect to
  his memory, as he deserved his fate from the hands of those whose
  kindness he had so ill-requited.

[Illustration: From: "Cyclopædia of United States History."--Copyright,
1881, by Harper & Brothers.




We are, and always were (and I hope always will be), anything but a
"military nation." 1813 opened very gloomily for the United States;
but, as our quiet country has shown in several times of trial, it takes
some disaster to wake up Americans to the claims of the land they love
and the government they themselves have made. Bunker Hill was a defeat,
in form, but the patriots only fell back a little way; then halted
and quietly remarked: "We have several more hills to sell at the same
price," the price being such a loss as the British army had rarely met.
The war of 1812 began with the loss of Mackinaw and Detroit on land
and the frigate Chesapeake at sea; but Scott at Chippewa and Lundy's
Lane, Harrison at the Thames and Jackson at New Orleans caused all land
reverses to be forgotten; while Perry's victory on Lake Erie, together
with a splendid cluster of triumphs on the ocean, gave our navy a
lustre which it has never lost or suffered to become tarnished.

Curiously enough, Mr. Kinzie, our own Chicago pioneer, was a witness
to the finish of the glorious day at Put-in-bay, in announcing which
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry added to our war-cries the immortal
words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours."

Here is Mrs. Kinzie's narrative of the captivity of her father-in-law,
embodying his experiences at that time:


  It had been a stipulation of General Hull at the surrender of Detroit
  that the inhabitants of that place should remain undisturbed in their
  homes. Accordingly the family of Mr. Kinzie took up their quarters
  with their friends in the old mansion which many will still recall as
  standing on the northeast corner of Jefferson Avenue and Wayne Street.

  The feelings of indignation and sympathy were constantly aroused in
  the hearts of the citizens during the winter that ensued. They were
  almost daily called upon to witness the cruelties practiced upon
  American prisoners brought in by their Indian captors. Those who
  could scarcely drag their wounded, bleeding feet over the frozen
  ground, were compelled to dance for the amusement of the savages, and
  these exhibitions sometimes took place before the government house,
  the residence of Colonel McKee. Some of the British officers looked
  down from their windows at these heart-rending performances; for the
  honor of humanity we will hope such instances were rare.

  Everything that could be made available among the effects of the
  citizens were offered, to ransom their countrymen from the hands
  of these inhuman beings. The prisoners brought in from the River
  Raisin--those unfortunate men who were permitted, after their
  surrender to General Proctor, to be tortured and murdered by inches
  by his savage allies, excited the sympathies and called for the
  action of the whole community. Private houses were turned into
  hospitals, and every one was forward to get possession of as many as
  possible of the survivors. To effect this even the articles of their
  apparel were bartered by the ladies of Detroit, as they watched from
  their doors or windows the miserable victims being carried about for

  In the dwelling of Mr. Kinzie, one large room was devoted to the
  reception of these sufferers. Few of them survived. Among those
  spoken of as the objects of deepest interest, were two young
  gentlemen of Kentucky, both severely wounded, and their wounds
  aggravated to a mortal degree by subsequent ill-usage and hardships.
  Their solicitude for each other and their exhibition in various ways
  of the most tender fraternal affection created an impression never to
  be forgotten.

  The last bargain made was by Black Jim, and one of the children,
  who had permission to redeem a negro servant of the gallant Colonel
  Allen, with an old white horse, the only available article that
  remained among their possessions.

  A brother of Colonel Allen afterward came to Detroit, and the negro
  preferred returning to servitude rather than remaining a stranger in
  a strange land.

  Mr. Kinzie, as has been related, joined his family at Detroit in the
  month of January. A short time after, suspicions arose that he was in
  correspondence with General Harrison, who was now at Fort Meigs, and
  who was believed to be meditating an advance upon Detroit. Lieutenant
  Watson of the British army waited upon Mr. Kinzie one day with an
  invitation to the quarters of General Proctor on the opposite side
  of the river, saying he wished to speak with him on business. Quite
  unsuspicious, he complied with the invitation, when to his surprise
  he was ordered into confinement, and strictly guarded in the house
  of his former partner, Mr. Patterson of Sandwich. Finding he did not
  return to his home, Mrs. Kinzie informed some of the Indian chiefs,
  his particular friends, who immediately repaired to the headquarters
  of the commanding officer, demanded their "friend's" release and
  brought him back to his home. After awaiting a time until a favorable
  opportunity presented itself, the General sent a detachment of
  dragoons to arrest him. They had succeeded in carrying him away and
  crossing the river with him. Just at this moment a party of friendly
  Indians made their appearance.

  "Where is Shaw-nee-aw-kee?" was the first question.

  "There," replied his wife, pointing across the river, "in the hands
  of the red-coats who are taking him away again."

  The Indians ran to the river, seized some canoes that they found
  there, and crossing over to Sandwich compelled General Proctor a
  second time to forego his intentions.

  A third time this officer was more successful, and succeeded in
  arresting Mr. Kinzie and conveying him, heavily ironed, to Fort
  Maiden in Canada, at the mouth of the Detroit river. Here he was at
  first treated with great severity, but after a time the rigor of his
  confinement was somewhat relaxed, and he was permitted to walk on the
  bank of the river for air and exercise.

  On the 10th of September, as he was taking his promenade under the
  close supervision of a guard of soldiers, the whole party were
  startled by the sound of guns on Lake Erie at no great distance
  below. What could it mean? It must be Commodore Barclay firing into
  some of the Yankees. The firing continued. The time allotted the
  prisoner for his daily walk expired, but neither he nor his guard
  observed the lapse of time, so anxiously were they listening to what
  they now felt sure was an engagement between ships of war. At length
  Mr. Kinzie was reminded that the hour for his return to confinement
  had arrived. He petitioned for another half hour.

  "Let me stay," said he, "until we can learn how the battle has gone."

  Very soon a sloop appeared under press of sail, rounding the point,
  and, presently, two gun-boats in chase of her.

  "She is running--she bears the British colors," cried he--"yes, yes,
  they are lowering. She is striking her flag! Now," turning to the
  soldiers, "I will go back to prison contented, I know how the battle
  has gone."

  The sloop was the Little Belt, the last of the squadron captured by
  the gallant Perry, on that memorable occasion, which he announced in
  the immortal words: "We have met the enemy and they are ours!"

  Matters were growing critical, and it was necessary to transfer all
  prisoners to a place of greater security than the frontier was now
  likely to be. It was resolved therefore to send Mr. Kinzie to the
  mother country. Nothing has ever appeared which would explain this
  course of General Proctor in regard to this gentleman. He had been
  taken from the bosom of his family, where he was living quietly
  under the parole which he had received, and was protected by the
  stipulations of the surrender. He was kept for months in confinement.
  Now he was placed on horseback under a strong guard, who announced
  that they had orders to shoot him through the head if he offered to
  speak to a person on the road. He was tied upon the saddle in a way
  to prevent his escape, and thus they set out for Quebec. A little
  incident occurred which will help to illustrate the course invariably
  pursued toward our citizens at this period, by the British army on
  the northwestern frontier.

  The saddle upon which Mr. Kinzie rode had not been properly fastened,
  and owing to the rough motion of the animal on which it was, it
  turned so as to bring the rider into a most awkward and painful
  position. His limbs being fastened he could not disengage himself,
  and in this manner he was compelled by those who had charge of him,
  to ride until he was nearly exhausted, before they had the humanity
  to release him.


  Arrived at Quebec, he was put on board a small vessel to be sent
  to England. The vessel when a few days out at sea was chased by an
  American frigate and driven into Halifax. A second time she set sail
  when she sprang a leak and was compelled to put back.

  The attempt to send him across the ocean was now abandoned, and he
  was returned to Quebec. Another step, equally inexplicable with his
  arrest, was now taken. This was his release, and that of Mr. Macomb,
  of Detroit, who was also in confinement at Quebec, and the permission
  given them to return to their friends and families, although the war
  was not yet ended. It may possibly be imagined that in the treatment
  these gentlemen received, the British commander sheltered himself
  under the plea of their being "native born British subjects," and
  perhaps when it was ascertained that Mr. Kinzie was indeed a citizen
  of the United States, it was thought safest to release him.

  In the meantime General Harrison at the head of his troops had
  reached Detroit. He landed on the 29th of September. All the citizens
  went forth to meet him.--Mrs. Kinzie leading her children by the
  hand, was of the number. The General accompanied her to her home
  and took up his abode there. On his arrival he was introduced to
  Kee-po-tah, who happened to be on a visit to the family at that time.
  The General had seen the chief the preceding year, at the council at
  Vincennes, and the meeting was one of great cordiality and interest.

Additional particulars about the interesting career of this remarkable
man are given further on. (See Appendix D.)




HARDLY any one institution existing four score years ago, shows so
wondrous a change as does the American newspaper. The steamboat,
railroad, telegraph, telephone, power-press and other mechanical aids
to the spreading of news have all been invented and perfected within
that time, while gas and electric light have aided in the prompt
reproduction of intelligence, and penny-postage in its dissemination.
So that which was then an infant--say rather an embryo--is now a giant.

[Illustration: MASSACRE TREE, 18th STREET.]

The very first published narrative of the massacre which is now at hand
is the following account, very short and full of errors, taken from
the Buffalo Gazette (date not given) and published in Niles' Weekly
Register of October 3, 1812.[AG]

[AG] This paper, published in Baltimore, was the best general chronicle
of events reported by correspondents or appearing in the few and meager
outlying journals of the day.

  _Fall of Fort Dearborn, at Chicago._--Yesterday afternoon the Queen
  Charlotte arrived at Fort Erie, seven days from Detroit. A flag of
  truce soon landed, at Buffalo Creek, Major Atwater and Lieut. J.
  L. Eastman, who gave the following account of the fall of Fort
  Dearborn: On the first of September a Pottowatomie chief arrived at
  Detroit and stated that about the middle of August Captain Wells,
  from Fort Wayne [an interpreter], arrived at Fort Dearborn to advise
  the commandant of that fort to evacuate it and retreat. In the mean
  time a large body of Indians of different nations had collected
  and menaced the garrison. A council was held with the Indians, in
  which it was agreed that the party in the garrison should be spared
  on condition that all property in the fort should be given up. The
  Americans marched out but were fired upon and nearly all killed.
  There were about fifty men in the fort beside women and children, and
  probably not more than ten or twelve taken prisoners. Captain Wells
  and Heald [the commandant] were killed.

This brief report interests us in various ways. Detroit was in the
British hands, and the Queen Charlotte a British ship, for Perry's
victory had not yet been won. Major Atwater and Lieut. Eastman, here
liberated by the British under flag of truce, were probably part
of the army surrendered by General Hull on August 16, and paroled;
these officers having remained in Detroit for some unexplained
reason--perhaps because they were citizens of that city, as Atwater is
an old Detroit name. (It has been given to a street there.) The Queen
Charlotte was one of the ships captured by Perry on Sept. 10, 1813, and
was sunk in Put-in-Bay, and twenty years later she was raised, repaired
and put again in commission, this time as a trading-vessel, and it was
on her that John Dean Caton, later Chief Justice of Illinois, and now
(1893) an honored resident of Chicago, took passage at Buffalo with his
bride, in 1834, and came to the land which was to be their home for
sixty years.[AH]

[AH] Mrs. Caton died in 1892.

Regarding the rest of the fugitives we have very scanty reports. The
next item we find is an utterly wild, false and fanciful statement of
Mrs. Helm's vicissitudes, contradicting in every particular her own
narrative, as given in Wau-Bun.

       [From Niles' Weekly Register, Saturday, April 13, 1813.]

  _Savage Barbarity._--Mrs. Helm, the wife of Lieutenant Helm, who
  escaped from the butchery of Chicauga by the assistance of a
  humane Indian, has arrived at this place [Buffaloe]. The account
  of her sufferings during three months' slavery among the Indians
  and three months' imprisonment among their allies, would make a
  most interesting volume. One circumstance alone will I mention.
  During five days after she was taken prisoner she had not the least
  sustenance, and was compelled to drag a canoe (barefooted and wading
  along the stream) in which there were some squaws, and when she
  demanded food, some flesh of her murdered countrymen and a piece of
  Col. Wells' heart was offered her.

  She knows the fact that Col. Proctor, the British commander at
  Maiden, bought the scalps of our murdered garrison of Chicauga, and
  thanks to her noble spirit, she boldly charged him with his infamy in
  his own house.

  She knows further, from the tribe with whom she was a prisoner, and
  who were the perpetrators of those murders, that they intended to
  remain true, but that they received orders from the British to cut
  off our garrison, whom they were to escort.

  Oh, spirits of the murdered Americans! can ye not rouse your
  countrymen, your friends, your relations, to take ample vengeance on
  those worse than savage bloodhounds?

                                                              An Officer.

  March 18th, 1813.

This is manifestly written to "fire the patriotic heart" of the country
to rally to the defence of "Buffaloe," a frontier town in deadly fear
of its Canadian neighbors, in sight beyond the Niagara River. Mrs. Helm
herself must have learned with surprise that while she, with the rest
of the Kinzie family, was hospitably entertained at "Parc-aux-vaches,"
on the St. Joseph, she was suffering "three months' slavery among the
Indians;" and later, while living in Detroit, she was enduring "three
months' imprisonment among their allies," the English. Also that
during the five days after the massacre, when she tells us she was,
with much discomfort and more alarm, living in the Kinzie mansion with
her relatives, she was really dragging a canoe, barefooted, wading
along the stream, deprived of all sustenance except the flesh of her
murdered countrymen, especially poor Wells's carved-up and bleeding
heart--which, by the way, she had only heard of; never seen! Such
things serve very well to prove to us that, as creators of imaginative
fiction, newspaper correspondents of those days were equal even to
those of our own.

More absurd, if possible, is a letter printed in Niles' Register of
May 8, 1813, purporting to have been written by one Walter Jordan, a
non-commissioned officer of regulars, stationed at Fort Wayne, to his
wife, in Alleghany County, dated Fort Wayne, October 19, 1812. In the
first place, it is most unlikely that any such white man should have
been in Captain Wells's company and remained unmentioned. We hear of
nobody as arriving but Captain Wells and his thirty Miami Indians. In
our day, it is true, a captain would be likely to be accompanied by
an orderly; but Wells had been brought up in too stern a school to be
provided with such an attendant. Then, too, the narrative bristles with
absurdities. The story is as follows:

  I take my pen to inform you that I am well, after a long and perilous
  journey through the Indian country. Capt. Wells, myself, and an
  hundred friendly Indians, left Fort Wayne on the 1st of August to
  escort Captain Heald from Fort Chicauga, as he was in danger of
  being captured by the British. Orders had been given to abandon the
  fort and retreat to Fort Wayne, a distance of 150 miles. We reached
  Chicauga on the 10th of August, and on the 15th prepared for an
  immediate march, burning all that we could not fetch with us. On the
  15th at 8 o'clock we commenced our march with our small force, which
  consisted of Captain Wells, myself, one hundred Confute Indians,
  Captain Heald's one hundred men, ten women, twenty children--in all
  232. We had marched half a mile when we were attacked by 600 Kickapoo
  and Wynbago Indians. In the moment of trial our Confute savages
  joined the savage enemy. Our contest lasted fifteen minutes, when
  every man, woman and child was killed except fifteen. Thanks be to
  God, I was one of those who escaped. First they shot the feather off
  my cap, next the epaulet off my shoulder, and then the handle from
  the sword; I then surrendered to four savage rascals. The Confute
  chief, taking me by the hand and speaking English, said: "Jordan, I
  know you. You gave me tobacco at Fort Wayne. We won't kill you, but
  come and see what we will do to your captain." So, leading me to
  where Wells lay, they cut off his head and put it on a long pole,
  while another took out his heart and divided it up among the chiefs
  and ate it up raw. Then they scalped the slain and stripped the
  prisoners, and gathered in a ring with us fifteen poor wretches in
  the middle. They had nearly fallen out about the divide, but my old
  chief, the White Racoon, holding me fast, they made the divide and
  departed to their towns. They tied me hard and fast that night, and
  placed a guard over me. I lay down and slept soundly until morning,
  for I was tired. In the morning they untied me and set me parching
  corn, at which I worked attentively until night. They said that if I
  would stay, and not run away they would make a chief of me; but if I
  would attempt to run away they would catch me and burn me alive. I
  answered them with a fine story in order to gain their confidence,
  and finally made my escape from them on the 19th of August, and
  took one of the best horses to carry me, being seven days in the
  wilderness. I was joyfully received at Wayne on the 26th. On the
  28th day they attacked the fort and blockaded us until the 16th of
  September, when we were relieved by General Harrison.

One is uncertain whether to rate this as a yarn made by some
penny-a-liner out of such scraps as might be picked up from common
rumor and the tales of returned stragglers of the thirty Indians who
ran away when the attack began, or the lying story of a fellow who was
really of the party, and one of the leaders, not in the fight, but in
the flight. His enumeration of "one hundred Confute Indians," (no tribe
of that name being known to history) in place of the band of thirty
Miamis, his estimate of Captain Heald's "one hundred men, ten women and
twenty children," his march of "half a mile," his statement that all
were killed except fifteen, which would make the loss of life over two
hundred, in place of Captain Heald's estimate of fifty-two, all tend to
force the conclusion that there was no Walter Jordan in the matter.
The latter part of the story, representing himself as heroically losing
feather, epaulet and sword-hilt to the rascally savages, who still
refrained from inflicting bodily injury on him, his then being kindly
but firmly led to the place where poor Wells, in the presence of his
niece, was waiting to have his head cut off and set up on a pole, and
his heart cut out and divided among the chiefs, etc., tends to the
belief that Walter Jordan was present, ran away, saved himself, reached
Fort Wayne and devised this cock-and-bull story to explain his long
absence, his personal safety and his possession of a horse which did
not belong to him. Another hypothesis is that he started from Fort
Wayne with Wells, deserted on the road, hung around until he got the
story as told by the Indian fugitives, and (finding that his captain
was dead) put a bold face on the matter and came in, bringing a horse
he had been lucky enough to "capture" when its owner was not looking.

The next item is dated more than a year later; a year during which the
wretched captives seem to have suffered miseries indescribable. The
story bears the stamp of truth so far as the escaped fugitives knew it:

            [From Niles' Weekly Register, 4th June, 1814.]

  Chicago.--Among the persons who have recently arrived at this place,
  says the Plattsburg [N. Y.] paper of the 21st ultimo, from Quebec,
  are: James Van Horn, Dyson Dyer, Joseph Knowles, Joseph Bowen, Paul
  Grummond, Nathan Edson, Elias Mills, James Corbin, Phelim Corbin,
  of the First Regiment of U. S. Infantry, who survived the massacre
  at Fort Dearborn, or Chicago, on the 15th August, 1812. It will be
  recollected that the commandant at Fort Chicago, Captain Heald, was
  ordered by General Hull to evacuate the fort and proceed with his
  command to Detroit; that having proceeded about a mile and a half,
  the troops were attacked by a body of Indians, to whom they were
  compelled to capitulate.

  Captain Heald, in his report of this affair, dated October 23d, 1812,
  says: "Our strength was fifty-four regulars and twelve militia, out
  of which twenty-six regulars and all the militia, with two women and
  twelve children, were killed in the action.

  "Lieut. Linai T. Helm, with twenty-five non-commissioned officers
  and privates, and eleven women and children, were prisoners when
  we separated." Lieut. Helm was ransomed. Of the twenty-five
  non-commissioned officers and privates, and the eleven women and
  children, the nine persons above mentioned are believed to be the
  only survivors. They state that the prisoners who were not put
  to death on the march were taken to the Fox River, in the Indian
  territory, where they were distributed among the Indians as servants.
  Those who survived remained in this situation about nine months,
  during which time they were allowed scarcely a sufficiency of
  sustenance to support nature, and were then brought to Fort Chicago,
  where they were purchased by a French trader, agreeable to the
  directions of General Proctor, and sent to Amherstburg, and from
  thence to Quebec, where they arrived November 8th, 1813.

  John Neads, who was one of the prisoners, formerly of Virginia, died
  among the Indians between the 15th and 20th of January, 1813.

  Hugh Logan, an Irishman, was tomahawked and put to death, be not
  being able to walk from excessive fatigue.

  August Mott, a German, was killed in the same manner for the like

  A man by the name of Nelson was frozen to death while a captive with
  the Indians. He was formerly from Maryland.

  A child of Mrs. Neads, the wife of John Neads, was tied to a tree to
  prevent its following and crying after its mother for victuals. Mrs..
  Neads perished from hunger and cold.

  The officers who were killed on the 15th of August had their heads
  cut off and their hearts taken out and boiled in the presence of the
  prisoners. Eleven children were massacred and scalped in one wagon.

  Mrs. Corbin, wife of Phelim Corbin, in an advanced stage of
  pregnancy, was tomahawked, scalped, cut open, and had the child taken
  out and its head cut off.

Turning to the latest muster-roll of the force, dated 1810, we identify
among these survivors the names of Dyson Dyer, Nathan Edson, Paul
Grummow, James Van Home, James Corbin and Phelim Corbin. Among the
perished, August Mott, John Neads and Hugh Logan. To this sad list must
be added four still more pitiable victims--the wife and unborn child
of Phelim Corbin, and the unhappy Mrs. Neads, to whom death must have
been welcome after seeing her little one "tied to a tree to keep it
from following her and crying for victuals."


Mrs. John Kinzie, in a sketch of the life of her husband (Chic. Hist.
Society, July 11, 1877. Fergus' Hist. Series No. 10) says:

  In 1816 the Kinzie family returned to their desolated home in
  Chicago. The bones of the murdered soldiers, who had fallen four
  years before, were still lying unburied where they had fallen. The
  troops who rebuilt the fort collected and interred these remains.
  The coffins which contained them were deposited near the bank of the
  river, which then had its outlet about at the foot of Madison Street.
  The cutting through the sand-bar for the harbor caused the lake to
  encroach and wash away the earth, exposing the long range of coffins
  and their contents, which were afterward cared for and reinterred by
  the civil authorities.

There is good reason to believe that Mrs. Kinzie was mistaken in
thinking that the coffins exposed on the lake shore by the action of
the waves, contained the bodies of those who perished in the massacre.
The fort burying-ground certainly was at the place indicated, and the
exposed coffins doubtless contained the bodies of those buried in that
ground; but that does not include the massacre victims. Mr. Fernando
Jones believes them to have been buried at where Seventeenth Street,
extended, would cross Prairie Avenue.

A letter on the matter (kindly furnished me while these pages are in
preparation) reads as follows:

  Upon my arrival in Chicago, in the spring of 1835, being fifteen
  years of age, I became acquainted with a number of Indian and
  half-breed boys, as well as older persons, and visited many times
  the location of the Indian massacre of 1812. The spot was pointed
  out by some who were children at the time, and by others who had
  been informed by their parents. The burial-place where the victims
  were interred was quite distinct at that time. There was a mound in
  the prairie southwest of the massacre-ground, that was pointed out
  as the grave of the vidette, or soldier in advance of the retreating

  The tradition was that the soldier ran west into the prairie,
  thinking to hide in the tall grass, but was pursued and killed and
  scalped and his body afterward buried by friendly half breeds.

  In the summer of 1836 a number of youngsters, accompanied by some
  young Indians and half-breeds, proceeded to examine the lonely
  hillock in the plains. The turf still preserved the shape of a
  grave. There were in the party as I remember, besides myself, Pierre
  Laframbois, Alex Beaubien, Charles Cleaver, J. Louis Hooker and
  John C. Haines. After digging about three feet into the ground we
  unearthed a skeleton surrounded by bits of woolen cloth, pieces of
  leather, brass military buttons and buckles and a brass plate with U.
  S. upon it. We became convinced that this was undeniably the grave
  of the traditional vidette, and reverently returned the remains into
  the grave where they had lain for a quarter of a century, and where
  I suppose they still remain. The spot was about a block south of
  the Calumet Club-House, near the S. E. corner of Indiana Ave. and
  Twenty-first Street. I kept watch of the place until streets were
  laid out and the property improved, having resided near it for over
  twenty-five years.

                                                        Fernando Jones.

No remains of any coffin were found, a fact which would indicate a
battle-field burial; but on the other hand, it seems most improbable
that the Indians would have left belt-plate, buttons and cloth on any
of their victims.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Indian Problem is solved at last, and by the Indians' own and only
means for the solution of problems--the cutting of the knot. It has
been a long struggle, marked by wrong on both sides and by shame on
ours--theirs was not capable of shame. They had many friends and only
one formidable enemy--themselves.

The Americans met them with the sword in one hand and the olive
branch in the other. They declined the branch and defied the sword.
The English offered them gifts in both hands, and they took all that
was offered, rendering in exchange services disgraceful to the more
civilized party to the contract. The French offered them love, and won
theirs in return. While other whites held aloof, the gay Frenchman
fraternized with them, became one with them, shared their lives and
their pursuits, won their religious allegiance--nay, more; in a gentler
and more irresistible way prevailed over them, for he formed with their
women alliances which furnished the inferior race a hybrid, partly like
themselves, but superior, and able and willing to be their leaders
against the more grasping, less loving Americans. These hybrids have,
in many cases, continued the race on its enlightened side, and there
are not wanting among ourselves splendid specimens of manhood and
womanhood, whose fine figures, flashing eyes, and strong, grave faces,
proclaim the proud possession of the blood of the only really "first
citizens" of our democratic republic.

It is now hard to trace the Indians who departed hence in 1835,
fifty-eight years ago. They are almost "lost tribes." The report for
1890 of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs, gives Pottowatomies of
various descriptions scattered in many places. This same is true of the
Ottawas and Chippewas.

The larger part of the Pottowatomies (known of old as the "Woods Band,"
in contradistinction to the "Prairie Band") have renounced tribal
relations and are known as the "Citizen Band." They number scarcely two
thousand souls, and occupy a tract nearly thirty miles square (575,000
acres) in Oklahoma.

The Commissioners' report says but little about them, giving more
attention to the "Prairie Band," since they are still a tribe, and
thus, "wards of the nation." They number only 432, and hold in common
77,357 acres in Kansas, where they are doing fairly, but are pestered
with the dregs of the "Citizen Band," who fall back on the tribe like
the returned prodigal--but unrepentant, and still fit company only for
the husk-eating swine.

Of the "Citizen Band," Special Agent Porter says:

"The Pottowatomies are citizens of the United States, thoroughly
tinctured with white blood. Nearly all of them speak English and read
and write. Some of them are quite wealthy, being good farmers, with
large herds of stock. Their morals are below the standard, considering
their advanced state as a civilized' people."

This is not high praise; still, it gives hope for better things. Peace
and industry coming first, civilization and morality will follow. The
savage Indian is essentially a being of the past (notwithstanding
the survival of a few wild Apaches, a few "ghost-dancers" among the
Sioux, and some other exceptional bodies) and he is succeeded by the
truly civilized Indian (of whom the Cherokees are a splendid example),
a self-respecting, self governing, self-educating, prosperous human
being; not particularly different from the frontiers-man, except by a
slight and diminishing shade of color and by the possession of the best
characteristics of his savage ancestors. It may perhaps be said that
no race of men has ever made as much progress in five generations as
have the "civilized Indians." It is only one hundred and sixty years
since d'Artaguiette, Vinsenne, the Jesuit Senat, and young St. Ange,
son of the French commandant in the Illinois country (Fort Chartres),
were defeated in the Arkansas country and were burned at the stake
by the unconquered Chickasaws, who were "amazed to see the fortitude
with which white men could die." And now, in the territory adjoining
Arkansas on the west, the descendants of the torturers are cultivating
farms, maintaining governments, courts, schools and churches, and
in short, setting an example worthy to be followed by many who have
been "civilized" from the time ages back of the year 1492; when the
innocent, luckless Haytians learned of the existence of the unspeakable
Spaniards, in cruelty the only rivals of the North American aborigines.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is the reason for the intense interest and curiosity which
clusters about this story of violence and rapine, of heroism, anguish
and death? Other massacres have blotted with blood the pages of
American history. From Deerfield and Schenectady to the Little Bighorn,
our devoted bands have perished at the hands of the American Indian;
and each dark day is suffered to rest as a mere tradition, buried in
the half-forgotten folk-lore of its time and place. Why does the Fort
Dearborn massacre, involving only a few score souls, hold a different
rank in our hearts?

It is because the footsteps of millions are passing over the spot
where it all happened; steamers are churning its peaceful waters;
bells and steam-whistles are rending the air that bore away the sound
of gun-shots, war-whoops and dying cries; and the sculptors' art is
putting into immortal bronze the memory of its incidents. Thus does it
gain an _ex post facto_ importance and a posthumous fame.

[Illustration: BLOCK-HOUSE TABLET]

Transcription of Block-House Tablet:


  This building occupies the site of old
  Fort Dearborn which extended a little
  across Mich. Ave. and somewhat into the
  River as it now is.

  The Fort was built in 1803 & 4. Forming
  our outmost defense.

  By order of Gen. Hull it was evacuated Aug.
  15, 1812 after its stores and provisions
  had been distributed among the Indians.

  Very soon after the Indians attacked and
  massacred about fifty of the troops and
  a number of citizens including women and
  children and next day burned the Fort.

  In 1816 it was re-built, but after the
  Black-hawk War it went into gradual disuse and
  in May 1857 when it was torn down, excepting a
  single building, which stood upon this site
  till the Great Fire of Oct. 9, 1871.

  At the suggestion of the Chicago Historical
  Society this tablet was erected by
  Nov. 1889.                   W. M. Hoyt.

Among the world's great cities, Chicago should be the one most
thoroughly recorded. No other that counts her denizens by the million
has among them those born before her annals fairly began. No other has
had such startling vicissitudes. Laid low by slaughter in her infancy
and by fire in her youth, she has climbed with bounding steps, upward
and onward. Toiling, enduring, laughing, prospering, exulting; she has
taken each scourge as a fillip to her energy, each spur as a stimulus
to her courage. Hers is the enthusiasm of youth with the strength of

The early days of Paris and London are lost in half-mythical shadow.
Even if told, their incidents might fail to match in interest those
which have befallen their young sister. So much the more zealously
should we who love this youthful aspirant for fame, take care that
the romance of her childhood shall be preserved and handed down to

The spirited figure of La Salle (given by Lambert Tree) and Martin
Ryerson's Indian group, are both fine memorials of the dawn of things
in the North-West. Eli Bates's matchless statue of Lincoln is devoted
to a page in the history of the whole Union. Now comes Chicago's latest
treasure, the magnificent group commemorating the massacre of 1812;
a purely civic work, to keep in the minds of Chicago's citizens, for
untold generations, the romance and reality of her struggling infancy.

Honor to the men who, in the intense pressure of the present, still
have thoughts for the past and the future.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the unveiling, (1881) of the Block-House Tablet (designed by the
Chicago Historical Society) set by William M. Hoyt in the north wall
of his warehouse, facing Rush Street Bridge from the south, Mr. Eugene
Hall read some stanzas of original verse so musical, so poetic and so
apt for the occasion, that I venture (with his permission) to repeat
them here, as a finish to our story.

       *       *       *       *       *


                            FORT DEARBORN,

        Here, where the savage war-whoop once resounded,
        Where council fires burned brightly years ago,
        Where the red Indian from his covert bounded
            To scalp his pale-faced foe:

        Here, where grey badgers had their haunts and burrows,
        Where wild wolves howled and prowled in midnight bands,
        Where frontier farmers turned the virgin furrows,
            Our splendid city stands.

        Here, where brave men and helpless women perished,
        Here, where in unknown graves their forms decay;
        This marble, that their memory may be cherished,
            We consecrate today.

        No more the farm-boy's call, or lowing cattle.
        Frighten the timid wild fowl from the slough:
        The noisy trucks and wagons roll and rattle
            O'er miles of pavement now.

        Now are our senses startled and confounded.
        By screaming whistle and by clanging bell.
        Where Beaubien's merry fiddle once resounded
            When summer twilight fell.

        Here stood the fort with palisades about it.
        With low log block-house in those early hours;
        The prairie fair extended far without it.
            Blooming with fragrant flowers.

        About this spot the buildings quickly clustered;
        The logs decayed, the palisade went down.
        Here the resistless Western spirit mustered
            And built this wondrous town.

        Here from the trackless plain its structures started.
        And one by one, in splendor rose to view.
        The white ships went and came, the years departed,
            And still she grandly grew.

        Till one wild night, a night each man remembers.
        When round her homes the red fire leaped and curled.
        The sky was filled with flame and flying embers.
            That swept them from the world.

        Men said: "Chicago's bright career is ended!"
        As by the smouldering stones they chanced to go,
        While the wide world its love and pity blended,
            To help us in our woe.

        O where was ever human goodness greater?
        Man's love for man was never more sublime.
        On the eternal scroll of our Creator
            'Tis written for all time.

        Chicago lives, and many a lofty steeple
        Looks down today upon this western plain;
        The tireless hands of her unconquered people
            Have reared her walls again.

        Long may she live and grow in wealth and beauty,
        And may her children be, in coming years,
        True to their trust and faithful in their duty
            As her brave pioneers.



  A--John Baptiste Pointe de Saible.

  B--Fort Dearborn in the War Department.

  C--The Whittier Family.

  D--The Kinzie Family.

  E--The Wells and Heald Families.

  F--The Bones of John Lalime.

  G--Letters from a. H. Edwards.

  H--Billy Caldwell, "The Sauganash."

  I--Indian War Dance.

  K--The Bronze Memorial Group.



[Illustration: COCK-CROW.]

NOT IN JEST, but in grave, sober earnest, the Indians used to say
that "the first white man in Chicago was a nigger." In their view,
all non-Indians were "whites," the adjective having to them only a
racial significance. Then, too the aborigines had no jests--no harmless
ones. Peering into the dim past for early items concerning what is now
Chicago, one comes first to the comparatively clear (though positively
scanty) records of the French--La Salle, Marquette, Tonti, Hennepin,
St. Cosme and their bold associates--who came in by way of the St.
Lawrence in the seventeenth century--1672 to 1700.

From that time there occurs a great blank. Scarcely a ray of light
or word of intelligence pierces the deep gloom for just one hundred
years. Detroit, Mackinaw, Lake Superior, Green Bay, Fort Duquesne and
St. Louis are kept in view. Even Kaskasia and Fort Chartres, both in
Illinois territory, are on record; a circumstance due to the fact, not
generally known, that they were points of importance in John Law's
famous Mississippi scheme. But Chicago was almost as though it had sunk
below the waves of Lake Michigan when La Salle, Marquette and St. Cosme
bade it good-bye.


Suddenly, in 1778, in the midst of the Revolutionary War, the name
reappears in literature in a curious way. It comes to us through a
poetical allusion from the pen of Colonel Arent Schuyler de Peyster,
commandant at Michilimackinac. De Peyster, as his name suggests, was a
New Yorker of the ancient Dutch stock He entered the English army and
in 1757 was commissioned lieutenant in the Eighth, or King's Regiment
of Foot. Necessarily he was and continued to be a royalist, and when
war broke out served King George against Gen. George.

Fortunately for our knowledge of the West during Revolutionary times,
Colonel de Peyster was a scholar and a gentleman as well a soldier and
a Tory He left a volume of "Miscellanies," which was first published
(1813) in Dumfries, Scotland, whither the old soldier retired when the
bad cause for which he made a good fight came to a disastrous end by
the peace of Paris in 1783.[AI] An edition, edited by General J. Watts
de Peyster, of Yonkers, was published in 1888.

[AI] After his return to Scotland, Colonel de Peyster commanded the
"fencibles" (militia), of which Robert Burns was a member, and it was
in his honor that the poet wrote his poem, "To Colonel de Peyster,"

"My honored Colonel, deep I feel Your interest in the poets' weal."

and ending, after several stanzas:

"But lest you think I am uncivil To plague you with this draunting
drivel. Abjuring a intentions evil, I quat my pen: The Lord preserve us
frae the devil, Amen! Amen!"

[Illustration: From "Cyclopædia of United States History."--Copyright,
1881 by Harper & Brothers.


Colonel de Peyster's post of loyal service was Mackinaw, whither, as
the "Miscellanies" tell us, he was sent early in 1774, "to command
the post, with the painful task of superintending the lake Indians."
"Canoes arrived with passes signed by the American General Wooster, and
Dr. Benjamin Franklin, wherein it was stipulated that those traders
should not afford any succor whatever to the British garrison."

He adds that "in the spring following they [the Indians] were sent
down to assist General Burgoine in his expedition across Lake
Champlaine"--an entry which recalls the fate of poor Jane McCrea, whose
death at the hands of the Indians, near Saratoga, used to draw tears
from our childish eyes in the good old times before patriotism was no

In that expedition they seem to have done no valuable service to King
George (except the killing of Miss McCrea), and on their return they
were assembled at Mackinaw for the purpose of making a diversion in
favor of the English General Hamilton, whom George Rogers Clark, our
paragon of Western soldiers, had defeated already (though de Peyster
did not know it) and sent across the Alleghanies, a prisoner, to
Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia.

Now comes in the mention of Chicago. De Peyster made a speech to
the assembled redskins, which speech he next day turned into rude
rhyme at the request of a fair lady whom he calls, in gallant French
phrase, "une chère compagne de voyage." The poem is included in the

[AJ] The lady was his wife. The marriage was childless, and General J.
Watts de Peyster (1892) says in a private note: "She was _chère_ indeed
to de P's lineal heirs, for her cajolery of the Colonel transferred his
property from his nephew, protege and namesake. Captain Arent Schuyler
de Peyster, to her own people, McMurdo's, or whatever was the name of
her nephews." General de Peyster says that he himself got the story
from Captain Arent Schuyler de Peyster, the namesake in question, and
the discoverer of the "De Peyster Islands," in the Pacific Ocean.

The entire versified speech is too long to quote, interesting though
it be as an unstudied sketch of things of that time and place. Any one
wishing to know more of it can find it in the "Miscellanies," of which
a copy should be easily found in any large library.


    Great chiefs, convened at my desire
    To kindle up this council-fire,
    Which, with ascending smoke shall burn,
    Till you from war once more return
    To lay the axe in earth so deep
    That nothing shall disturb its sleep.

    I know you have been told by Clark
    His riflemen ne'er miss the mark;
    In vain you hide behind a tree
    If they your finger-tip can see.
    The instant they have got their aim
    Enrolls you on the list of lame.

    But then, my sons, this boaster's rifles,
    To those I have in store are trifles:
    If you but make the tree your mark
    The ball will twirl beneath the bark.
    Till it one-half the circle find,
    Then out and kill the man behind.

    Clark says, with Louis in alliance
    He sets your father at defiance;
    That he, too, hopes, ere long, to gain
    Assistance from the King of Spain.

    Suppose, awhile, his threats prove true.
    My children, what becomes of you?
    Your sons, your daughters and your wives,
    Must they be hacked by their big knives?
    Clark, soon repulsed, will ne'er return,
    While your war-fire thus clear doth burn.

    At Fort St. Joseph and the Post,
    Go, lay in ambush for his host,
    While I send round Lake Michigan
    And raise the warriors to a man.
    Who, on their way to get to you.
    Shall take a peep at Eschikagou.[AK]

    Those runagates at Milwackie
    Must now perforce with you agree.
    Sly Siggernaak and Naakewoin
    Must with Langlade their forces join,
    Or he will send them, _tout au diable_
    As he did Baptiste Pointe de Saible.[AL]

[AK] A river and fort at the head of Lake Michigan.

[AL] A handsome negro, well educated and settled in Chicago, but much
in the interest of the French.

So steps upon the stage of history the earliest non-Indian settler
of Chicago; a man who built, at about the time of our Declaration
of Independence, the house which was standing within the memory of
hundreds of Chicagoans of 1892--the well-known "Kinzie Mansion," that
faced the north bank of the river where Pine Street now ends.

Mrs. John H. Kinzie, in her delightful book, "Wau-Bun, the Early day
in the North-West," calls him "Pointe au Sable," and says he was a
native of San Domingo, and came from that island with a friend named
Glamorgan; who had obtained large Spanish grants in or about St. Louis.
She adds that Jean Baptiste sold his Chicago establishment to a French
trader named Le Mai, and went back to Peoria where his friend Glamorgan
was living, and died tinder his roof, presumably about 1800. From Le
Mai, the property passed in 1803, to John Kinzie, the real pioneer of

Hispaniola (Hayti and San Domingo) was discovered and even colonized,
by Columbus, in 1492. It had then some two million inhabitants, living
like our first parents in Eden (Genesis I, 27), but the unspeakable
cruelty of the Spaniards so depopulated the splendid and happy island,
that in 1517--twenty-five years later--it was requisite to import negro
slaves to carry on the mining, and to-day not one soul of the original
race survives.

The French began to come in 1630, and by the treaty of Ryswick
[1697] the island was divided between France and Spain. Then began
the greatness of the Haytian negro, which culminated in Toussaint
L'Ouverture, liberator of his race from French slavery and his land
from French domain; and later, victim to Napoleon's perfidy. Under the
French rule many free negroes were educated in France, very probably
Baptiste Pointe de Saible among the rest. At any rate he was of the
adventurous spirit which would rather be first in a new sphere than
last in an old, and so, with Glamorgan, he came over to Mobile or New
Orleans. Then (probably on one of John Law's "Compagnie de l'Occident"
bateaux) he came up the Mississippi to Kaskaskia, Cahokia, St. Louis,
and at last to Peoria, on the Illinois, where he left Glamorgan, and
pushed on to the Pottowatomie outposts where we find him in 1778, the
object of Colonel de Peyster's admiring dislike.

Edward G. Mason, in an address before the Historical society, gives
a tradition in regard to Pointe de Saible's welcome on Chicago soil,
which tradition appears in "Early Western Days," a volume published
by John T. Kingston, formerly a state senator of Wisconsin. It runs
thus: An Indian living south of the Portage River--now called the
Chicago--being out hunting, suddenly came upon a strange object,
half hidden by the underbrush. It was a black face with white eyes
and woolly hair! (Probably no Indian of his tribe had ever seen a
negro.) After gazing at the novel sight awhile, he grunted, "Ugh!
Mucketewees!" (black meat.) He captured the odd animal and carried him
to the village, whither came the Indians from far and near to gaze, to
wonder, and to speculate. Fortunately for Baptiste, for Chicago and
for history, the consensus of opinion called it "bad meat," and so the
creature's life was spared.

Shaubena, a chief of the Pottowatomies, was in and about Chicago long
after their war dance of 1836. He had seen Pointe de Saible, but
unfortunately his knowledge concerning him is not on record. Mr. Mason
says regretfully:

  In 1855, at the old Wells Street station, I saw old Shaubena wearing
  moccasins, leggins, coat and plug hat with colored strings tied
  around it. He was gazing with great delight at the Galena Railway
  engine, named for him, and calling the attention of the people on the
  platform to it. He doubtless thought that a much more wonderful sight
  than old Jean Baptiste.

[Illustration: SHAUBENA IN OLD AGE. (ABOUT 1856.)]

One other mention of Pointe de Saible is thrown up from the almost
barren shore of Western history. The third volume of the Wisconsin
Historical Society's collection contains certain "Recollections"
of Augustin Grignon (a grandson of Sieur Charles de Langlade), who
became the first permanent white settler of Wisconsin about 1735, and,
as we have seen, is named by de Peyster in his verses, among which
"Recollections" occurs the following precious bit:

"At a very early period there was a negro who lived here (Chicago)
named Baptiste Pointe de Saible. My brother, Perish Grignon, visited
Chicago about 1794 and told me that Pointe de Saible was a large man,
that he had a commission for some office, but for what particular
office or for what government I cannot now recollect. He was a trader,
pretty wealthy, and drank freely. I do not know what became of him."

With these bits of chance allusion--touches here and there--we get a
quite distinct impression of the lonely Baptiste. His origin shows
possibility of greatness, for it was the same with that of François
Dominique Toussaint, surnamed l'Ouverture. Like him, he was a French
West-Indian mulatto. He was large, handsome, well-educated and
adventurous, traits which mark pretty clearly his migrations and his
fortunes. Neither in Mobile, New Orleans, Kaskaskia, nor St. Louis
could he probably feel at home, for at each of these places nigritude
was associated with servitude. Among the Peoria Indians he probably
found scanty elbow-room, especially if his friend and rival trader,
Glamorgan, was, as his name implies, of Welsh blood--a race which
gleans close, and thrives where others starve.

Not unnaturally would he, as tradition suggests, aspire to headship of
the great tribe of Pottowatomies, for he knew how vastly superior he
was to the best of them; and quite as naturally would he fail, seeing
that the red strain of blood and the black have even less in common
than has each with the white. At the same time, considering the state
of domestic relations at that time and place, we may be very sure that
he did not fail to "take some savage woman"--one or more--to rear
his dusky race in large numbers and much rude, half-breed gaiety and

As to his office, one would like greatly to know something about it,
and is prone to wish that somebody would look it up--in the general
government archives, or those of the North-West Territory, which had
been established in 1788, General St. Clair being its first governor,
and Cincinnati (Losantiville) its capital. Why should it not have been
under Harrison and Wells? It would scarcely have been an English office
in view of the unpleasant allusion by de Peyster, though the English
maintained emissaries hereabouts--fomenters of discontent--away on
almost to the war of 1812. Still, it might be worth while to try the
Canadian records. Barring swell a discovery, it seems probable that the
last word has been written about him.

Jean Baptiste's name "Pointe de Saible" (or Sable) might be suspected
of being a description of his residence rather than an inheritance
from his forefathers, for the cabin of squared logs, so early built
and so lately destroyed, stood at the head of the great sand-point
which of old interrupted the course of the Chicago river lakeward, and
turned it south for about half a mile to where it flowed over a long,
fordable, narrow bar formed by the ceaseless sandstream that moves
from north to south along the western shore of Lake Michigan. But the
records and traditions are old enough and exact enough to uphold the
name as a patronymic, and leave the place as a mere coincidence. One
might almost as easily trace it to his lack of grit and perseverance,
seeing that he put his hand to the plow and looked back; that he came
to Chicago in hope and moved away in despair; that having a "homestead
location" he did not stay and "prove up;" that, owning, by occupation,
a thousand million dollars worth of real estate, he sold it for a song
instead of waiting for a "boom." _Point de sable_--"no sand."

The two other characteristics of Chicago's first merchant-prince, which
are preserved for us by lucky chance, are that he was "pretty wealthy"
and that he "drank freely." Only one of these traits has come down to
his successors of a century later. [From "Liber Scriptorum," published
by the Authors' Club, New York.]

                           Joseph Kirkland.


[Illustration: Proposed Plan for Improving the Mouth of Chicago River]




WAR Department records, back of the war of 1812, are few and
poor; partly, no doubt, for the reason that during that short struggle
a British force, sailing up the Potomac, seized upon the defenceless
little city of Washington and burned its public buildings with their
contents. The Hon. Robert Lincoln, Secretary of War (under President
Garfield) at the time of unveiling the Block House Tablet, May 21,
1881, kindly furnished to Mr. Wentworth copies of all documents on file
relating to Fort Dearborn and its garrison, (Fergus' Hist., Series No.

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from a letter written June 28, 1804, by General Henry Dearborn,
Secretary of War under President Jefferson:

  Being of opinion that, for the general defence of our country,
  we ought not to rely upon fortifications, but on men and steel;
  and that works calculated for resisting batteries of cannon are
  necessary only for our principal seaports, I cannot conceive it
  useful or expedient to construct expensive works for our interior
  military posts, especially such as are intended merely to hold
  the Indians in check. I have therefore directed stockade works
  aided by block-houses to be erected at Vincennes, at Chikago, at
  or near the mouth of the Miami of the lakes, and at Kaskaskia, in
  conformity with the sketch herewith enclosed, each calculated for a
  full company; the block-houses to be constructed of timber slightly
  hewed, and of the most durable kind to be obtained at the respective
  places; the magazines for powder to be of brick, of a conic figure,
  each capable of receiving from fifty to one hundred barrels of
  powder. Establishments of the kind here proposed will, I presume,
  be necessary for each of the military posts in Upper and Lower
  Louisiana, New Orleans and its immediate dependencies excepted. I
  will thank you to examine the enclosed sketch, and to give me your
  opinion on the dimensions and other proposed arrangements You will
  observe the block-houses are to be so placed as to scour from the
  upper and lower stories the whole of the lines. The back part of the
  barracks are to have port-holes which can be opened when necessary
  for the use of musketry for annoying an enemy.

  It will, I presume, be proper ultimately to extend palisades round
  the block-houses.

       *       *       *       *       *

Statement compiled from the Records of the Adjutant General's office in
the case of Fort Dearborn, with copies of orders:

  Fort Dearborn, situated at Chicago, Ill., within a few yards of
  Lake Michigan. Latitude 41° 51' North; Longitude 87° 15' West. Post
  established by the United States forces in 1804. (From 1804-12 no
  records are on file.)

  August 15th, 1812, the garrison having evacuated the post and were
  _en route_ for Ft. Wayne, under the command of Captain Nathan Heald,
  1st U. S. Infantry, composed of 54 Regular Infantry, 12 Militia
  men, and one interpreter, was attacked by Indians to the number of
  between 400 and 500, of whom 15 were killed. Those of the garrison
  killed were Ensign George Ronan, 1st Infantry, Dr. Isaac Van Voorhis,
  Captain Wells, Interpreter, 24 enlisted men, U S. Infantry, and 12
  Militia-men; 2 women and 12 children were also killed. The wounded
  were Captain Nathan Heald and Mrs. Heald. None others reported. The
  next day, August 16th, 1812, the post was destroyed by the Indians.
  Reoccupied about June 1816, Capt. Hezekiah Bradley, 3rd Infantry,
  commanding. The troops continued in occupation until October, 1823,
  when the post was evacuated and left in charge of the Indian agent;
  It was reoccupied Oct. 3rd, 1828.

  Capt. Hezekiah Bradley, 3rd Infantry, commanded the post from June
  1816, to May 1817, Brevet Major D. Baker to June 1820; Captain
  Hezekiah Bradley, 3rd Infantry, to January 1821, Major Alex Cummings,
  3rd Infantry, to October, 1821; Lieut. Col. J. McNeal, 3rd Infantry,
  to July 1823; Captain John Greene, 3rd Infantry, to October, 1823;
  post not garrisoned from October 1823, to October 1828. No returns of
  post on file prior to 1828.

       *       *       *       *       *

Copies of Orders.


  Adjutant General's Office, Washington, 27 May, 1823.

  The Major-General commanding the army directs that Fort Dearborn,
  Chicago, be evacuated, and that the garrison thereof be withdrawn to
  the headquarters of the 3rd regiment of Infantry.

  One company of the 3rd regiment of Infantry will proceed to Mackinac
  and relieve the company of artillery now stationed there, which, with
  the company of artillery at Fort Shelby, Detroit, will be withdrawn
  and ordered to the harbor of New York.

  The commanding General of the Eastern department, will give the
  necessary orders for carrying these movements into effect, as well as
  for the security of the public property at Forts Dearborn and Shelby.

  By order of Major-General Brown.

                    (Signed) Chas. J. Nourse, _Act'g Adjutant-General_.


  Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, 19 August, 1828.

  (Extract.) In conformity with the directions of the Secretary of War,
  the following movements of the troops will be made.

  Two companies of the 5th regiment of Infantry to reoccupy Fort
  Dearborn, at the head of Lake Michigan; the remaining eight companies
  to proceed by the way of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers to Fort Howard,
  Green Bay, where the headquarters of the regiment will be established.

  Four Co's of the Reg't to constitute the garrison of Fort Howard; two
  Co's for the garrison of Michilimackinac, and two for that of Fort

  4. The Quartermaster-General's department to furnish the necessary
  transportation and supplies for the movement and accommodation of the

  The subsistence department to furnish the necessary supplies of

  The Surgeon-General to supply medical officers and suitable hospital
  supplies for the posts to be established and reoccupied.

  5. The Commanding Generals of the Eastern and Western departments
  are respectively charged with the execution of this order as far as
  relates to their respective commands.

  By order of Major General Macomb, Major-General Commanding the Army.

                                 (Signed) R. Jones, _Adjutant-General_.


  Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, 23 Feb., 1832.

  (Copy.) The headquarters of the 2nd Regiment of Infantry are
  transferred to Fort Niagara. Lieut. Col. Cummings, with all the
  officers and men composing the garrison of Madison Barracks,
  Sackett's Harbor, will accordingly relieve the garrison of Fort
  Niagara; and Major Whistler, on being relieved by Lieut.-Col.
  Cummings, with all the troops under his command, will repair to Fort
  Dearborn (Chicago, Illinois) and garrison that post.

  Assistant Surgeon De Camp, now on duty at Madison Barracks, is
  assigned to duly at Fort Dearborn, and will accompany the troops
  ordered to that post. These movements will take place as soon as the
  navigation will permit.

  By order of Major-General Macomb.

                                 (Signed) R. Jones, _Adjutant-General_.


  Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, Nov. 30th, 1836.

  (Extract) I. The troops stationed at Fort Dearborn, Chicago, will
  immediately proceed to Fort Howard and join the garrison at that
  post. Such public property as may be left at Fort Dearborn will
  remain in charge of Brevt-Major Plympton, of the 5th Infantry; who
  will continue in command of the post until otherwise instructed.

  By order of Alexander Macomb, Maj.-Gen. Com'd'g-in-Chief.

                                 (Signed) R. Jones, _Adjutant-General_.

       *       *       *       *       *


When the last fort was being demolished [1856] an old paper was found
which bore internal evidence of being a survival from the first fort.
How it could have survived the flames of 1812 is a mystery. Perhaps
some brick bomb-proof magazine chanced to shelter it, and the builders
of the new fort, finding it, laid it in a closet, where it remained,
hidden and forgotten. One would like to see it to-day--if it also
survived October 9, 1871!

  Permission is hereby given for one gill of whiskey each: Denison,[A]
  Dyer,[A] Andrews,[A] Keamble (?), Burman, J. Corbin,[A] Burnett,
  Smith,[A] McPherson, Hamilton, Fury[A], Grumond[A] (?), Morfitt,
  Lynch,[A] Locker,[A] Peterson,[A] P. Corbin,[A] Van Horn,[AM] Mills.


                                    [Illustration: G Ronan (signature)]

November 12th, 1811.

[AM] Appear on the nuster-roll given on page 150. Several of the names
recur in the Plattsburg story of the nine survivors (21 May 1814).

On December 29, 1836, the garrison was finally withdrawn from Fort
Dearborn, and after its thirty-three years of stirring vicissitudes it
passed into a useless old age, which lasted a score of years before
its abandonment as a government possession. In fact, one of its
buildings--a great, barn-like, wooden hospital--was standing, in use as
a hospital storehouse, up to 1871, when the great fire obliterated it,
with nearly all else that was ancient in Chicago.

       *       *       *       *       *


An exception to this destruction and the fast gathering cloud of
oblivion, is to be found in an old red granite boulder, with a
rude human face carved on it, which stood in the center of the
fort esplanade, and which is now (1891) one of our few antiquarian
treasures. It is nearly eight feet high by three feet in greatest
diameter, and weighs perhaps 4,000 pounds. In prehistoric times the
Indians used the concave top for a corn-mill, and for many, many weary
hours must the patient and long-suffering squaws have leaned over it,
crushing the scanty, flinty corn of those days into material for the
food of braves and pappooses.

Many persons have looked on it as a relic of prehistoric art--the
sacrificial stone of an Aztec teocalli perhaps--but Mr. Hurlbut gives
the cold truth; more modern, though scarcely less romantic. He says
it was set up in the fort, and soldiers, sick and well, used it as
a lounging-place. Sometimes it served as a pillory for disorderly
characters, and it was a common expression or threat, that for certain
offenses the offender would be "sent to the rock." Waubansa was a
Chicago chief, and a soldier-sculptor tried to depict his features on
the stone; and (to quote Mr. Hurlbut):

"The portrait pleased the Indians, the liege friends of the chief,
greatly; for a party of them, admitted into the block-house to see it,
whooped and leaped as if they had achieved a victory, and with uncouth
gestures they danced in a triumphant circle around the rock."

  In 1837 ... Daniel Webster paid a visit to the West, and took Chicago
  in his route.... The conveyance was a barouche with four elegant
  creams attached. Mr. Webster was accompanied by his daughter and
  son. Every wheel-vehicle, every horse and mule in town, it is said,
  were in requisition that day, and the senator was met some miles
  out by a numerous delegation from this _new city_, who joined in
  the procession.... It was the fourth of July, the column came over
  Randolph Street bridge, and thence to the parade-ground within the
  fort. There were guns at the fort, which were eloquent, of course,
  though the soldiers had left some weeks before. The foundation of
  all this outcry about Mr. Webster is, that the base and platform on
  which that gentleman stood when he made the speech within the fort,
  was the rock, the same Waubansa stone.... Justin Butterfield (who
  stood directly in front of the senator) swung his hat and cheered the

The "statue" was pierced to form the base of a fountain, and was set up
as one of the curiosities of the great Sanitary Commission Fair, held
in 1865, in Dearborn Park, in aid of the sick and wounded in the war
for the Union. In 1856 it was adopted as a relic by the Hon. Isaac N.
Arnold--member of Congress during the war and one of the staunchest and
ablest of patriots, and most devoted of friends to the soldiers--who
moved it to his home, in Erie street. Mr. Arnold's house was burned
with the rest in the great fire of 1871, and old "Waubansa" passed
through the flames with the same unmoved look he had preserved through
his earlier vicissitudes. Afterward numerous fire relics were grouped
about him and a photograph taken, wherein, for the first time, he looks
abashed, as if conscious of the contrast between his uncouthness and
the carvings which surround his antique lineaments. The stone stands
open to the public view in the grounds adjoining the new home (100 Pine
Street), which Mr. Arnold built after the fire, and in which he lived
up to the time of his lamented death, in April, 1884.

       *       *       *       *       *

Who were the victims of August fifteenth, 1812? What were the names of
the killed, the wounded, the tortured, the missing? This is a question
to which only the merest apology for an answer can be given. In tens
of thousands of cases the very act of dying for one's country forbids
the possibility of becoming known to fame. Nameless graves dot our
land from north to south, and from east to west, especially from the
Susquehanna to the Rio Grande and from the Ohio to the Gulf. Heaven
knows who were those dead, and who they might have become if they had
not died when and where they did. Let us hope that somewhere in the
universe they have their record--on earth they are forgotten.

I have aimed at recording every surviving name of the dwellers in
Chicago up to the massacre. As an effort toward that end, I give, on
the next page, the last muster and pay-roll of the troops at the old
fort, as shown by existing records. It is headed:

"Muster roll of a company of Infantry under the command of Captain
Nathan Heald, in the First Regiment of the United States, commanded by
Colonel Jacob Kingsbury, from Nov. 30, when last mustered, to December
31, 1810."

It concludes with a certificate in the following form, identical, by
the way, with the formula in use in our army to this day (1893):

  Recapitulation.--Present, fit for duty, 50; sick, 5; unfit for
  service, 3; on command, 1; on furlough, 1; discharged, 6. Total, 67.

  We Certify on honor that this muster-roll exhibits a true statement
  of the company commanded by Captain Nathan Heald, and that the
  remarks set opposite their names are accurate and just.

                                                    J. Cooper, S. Mate.

  Ph. O'Strander, Lieutenant commanding the Company,

     Names.           Rank.     Appointed or    Remarks and changes
                                 enlisted.       since last muster.

  *Nathan Heald      Captain    31 Jan.  1807   On furlough in Mass
  Philip O'Strander  2nd Lieut.  1 May   1808 { Present Of Capt. Rhea's
                                              { Co. Asst M y Agt. Sick.
  Seth Thompson         "       18 Aug.  1808        Present
  *John Cooper       Surg Mate  13 June  1808           "
  Joseph Glass       Sergeant   18 June  1806           "
  *John Crozier          "       2 July  1808           "
  Richard Rickman        "      10 May   1806           "
  Thomas Forth       Corporal    6 July  1807           "
  *Asa Campbell          "      26 Jan.  1810           "
  *Rhodias Jones         "       9 Dec.  1807           "
  * Richard Garner       "       2 Oct.  1810           "
  George Burnet      Fifer.      1 Oct.  1806           "
  John Smith             "      27 June  1806           "
  *John Hamilton     Drummer     5 July  1808           "
  *Hugh McPherson        "      20 Oct.  1807           "
  *John Allen        Private    27 Nov.  1810           "
  George Adams           "      21 Aug.  1806           "
  Presley Andrews        "      11 July  1806           "   (sick.)
  Thomas Ashbrook        "      29 Dec.  1805   Term expired 29 Dec. 1810.
  Thomas Burns           "      18 June  1806        Present.
  Patrick Burke          "      27 May   1806           "   (sick.)
  Redmond Berry          "       2 July  1806           "
  William Best           "      22 April 1806    Present unfit for service
  James Chapman          "       1 Dec.  1805    Time expired 1 Dec. 1810.
  James Corbin           "       2 Oct.  1810        Present.
  Fielding Corbin        "       7 Dec.  1805    Time expired 7 Dec. 1810.
  Silas Clark            "      15 Aug.  1806    On command at Ft. Wayne
  James Clark            "       4 Dec.  1805    Time expired 4 Dec. 1810.
  *Dyson Dyer            "       1 Oct.  1810    Present (sick).
  Stephen Draper         "      19 July  1806           "
  *Daniel Dougherty      "      13 Aug.  1807           "
  Michael Denison        "      28 April 1806           "
  *Nathan Edson          "       6 April 1810           "
  *John Fury             "      19 March 1808           "
  "Paul Grummo           "       1 Oct.  1810           "
  *William N. Hunt       "      18 Oct.  1810           "
  John Kelsoe            "      17 Dec.  1808    Time expired 17 Dec. 1810
  *David Kennison        "      14 March 1808        Present.
  *Sam'l Kirkpatrick     "      20 Dec.  1810    Re-enlisted 20 Dec. 1810.
  *Jacob Laudon          "      28 Nov.  1807        Unfit for service.
  *James Lutta           "      10 April 1810    .........................
  *Michael Lynch         "      20 Dec.  1810    Re-enlisted 20 Dec. 1810.
  *Michael Leonard       "      13 April 1810        Present.
  Hugh Logan             "       5 May   1806           "
  *Frederick Locker      "      13 April 1810           "
  Andrew Loy             "       6 July  1807           "
  August Mott            "       9 July  1806           "
  Ralph Miller           "      19 Dec.  1805    Term expired 19 Dec. 1810
  Peter Miller           "      13 June  1806    Present, unfit for service.
  *Duncan McCarty        "       2 Aug.  1807        Present.
  Patrick McGowan        "      30 April 1806           "
  James Mabury           "      14 April 1806           "
  William Moffit         "      23 April 1806           "
  John Moyan             "      28 June  1806           "
  *John Neads            "       5 July  1808           "
  *Joseph Noles          "       8 Sept  1810           "
  *Thomas Poindexter     "       3 Sept. 1810           "
  William Pickett        "       6 June  1806           "
  *Frederick Peterson    "       1 June  1808           "
  *David Sherror         "       1 Oct.  1810           "
  *John Suttonfield      "       8 Sept. 1807           "
  *John Smith            "       2 April 1808           "
  *James Starr           "      18 Nov.  1809           "
  Phillip Smith          "      30 April 1806           "
  *John Simmons          "      14 March 1810           "
  *James Van Home        "       2 May   1810           "   (sick).
  Anthony L. Waggoner    "       9 Jan.  1806           "   (sick).

* Men who are likely to have been in service at the time of the



[Illustration: WILD ONION.]

ACCORDING to Gardner's Military Dictionary, Captain John
Whistler was born in Ireland. He was originally a British soldier, and
was made prisoner with General Burgoyne at the battle of Saratoga,
in 1777, where our General Henry Dearborn was serving as Major.
The captives were conducted to Boston, where, by the terms of the
capitulation, they should have been paroled; but for some reason (which
the English, by considered no sufficient excuse for not complying with
the military agreement) the Continental Congress held them as prisoners
of war until the peace of 1783.

John Whistler did not return to England, but joined the American army
and became first sergeant, and then won his way to a captaincy in the
First Infantry, in which capacity he came, in 1804, and built the first
Fort Dearborn. He was brevetted major in 1812, and served with his
company until it was disbanded after the close of the war (June, 1815).
He died in 1827 at Bellefontaine, Missouri, where he had been military
storekeeper for several years. John Wentworth (Fort Dearborn; Fergus'
Historical Series, No. 16, p. 14) says:

  Some writers contend that had Captain Whistler been in charge of the
  fort instead of Captain Heald, the massacre would not have taken
  place. Captain Heald has had no one to speak for him here. But he was
  appointed from Massachusetts a second lieutenant in 1799, and could
  not be supposed to have that acquaintance with the characteristics of
  the Indians which Whistler had, who had been in his country's service
  ever since Burgoyne's surrender in 1777, and principally against the
  Indians, and frequently participating in the campaigns of General
  Arthur St. Clair, in one of which he was wounded.

Of him Captain Andreas says (Hist. Chi. Vol. I, p. 80):

  After the war he married and settled in Hagerstown, Md., where his
  son William was born. He enlisted in the American army and took
  part in the Northwestern Indian War, serving under St. Clair and
  afterward under Wayne. He was speedily promoted, rising through the
  lower grades to a lieutenancy in 1792, and became a captain in 1794.
  He rebuilt the fort in 1815[AN] [after the destruction and massacre
  in 1812] and removed to St. Charles, Mo., in 1817. In 1818 he was
  military storekeeper at St. Louis, and died at Bellefontaine. Mo., in
  1827. He was a brave and efficient officer, and became the progenitor
  of a line of brave and efficient soldiers.

[AN] Apparently an error. The second fort was built by Captain Hezekiah
Bradley, who was sent here for that purpose with two companies of
infantry, arriving July 4, 1816.

His son, George Washington Whistler, was with Captain John when the
family came to Chicago, being then three years old. This is the Major
Whistler who became a distinguished engineer in the service of Russia.
Another son. Lieutenant William Whistler, with his young wife (Julia
Ferson) came to Chicago with Captain Whistler. He will be mentioned
later as one of the last commandants of Fort Dearborn, holding that
post until 1833. He lived until 1863.

Julia Ferson, who became Mrs. William Whistler, was born in Salem,
Mass., 1787. Her parents were John and Mary (La Dake) Ferson. In
childhood she removed with her parents to Detroit, where she received
most of her education. In May, 1802, she was married to William
Whistler (born in Hagerstown Md., about 1784), a second lieutenant
in the company of his father. Captain John Whistler, U. S. A., then
stationed at Detroit. (Fergus' Historical Series No. 16.) She visited
Chicago in 1875, when, at eighty-seven, her mind and memory were
of the brightest, and conversation with her on old matters was a
rare pleasure. Mrs. General Philip Sheridan is her grand niece, and
cherishes her relationship as a patent to high rank in our Chicago
nobility. No portrait of John Whistler is known to exist. For
likenesses of Major and Mrs. William Whistler see pages 58 and 59.

[Illustration: MRS GWENTHLEAN [WHISTLER] KINZIE (1891).]

A daughter of William and this charming old lady was born in 1818, and
named Gwenthlean. She was married at Fort Dearborn, in 1834, to Robert
A. Kinzie, second son of John Kinzie, the pioneer. Mrs. Gwenthlean
Kinzie is now living in Chicago, and has been consulted in the
preparation of this narrative.[AO]

[AO] On mentioning to Judge Caton that Mrs Robert Kinzie was again
living here following a long absence, the venerable Chief-Justice,
after a moment's thought, sad: "Yes, I remember the marriage, and that
the bride was one of the most beautiful women you can imagine. I have
never seen her since that time. Ladies were not plentiful in this part
of the world then, and we were not over particular about looks, but
Gwenthlean Whistler Kinzie would be noted for her beauty anywhere at
anytime." And on looking at the lady herself, one can well believe all
that can be said in praise of her charms in her girlish years--sixteen
when she was married.

Mr. Hurlbut (Chicago Antiquities, p. 83) gives the following spirited
account of a visit made in 1875 to Mrs. Julia (Ferson) Whistler, wife
of William and daughter-in-law of old John, the whilom soldier in
the army of General Burgoyne. (It will be observed that Mr. Hurlbut
slightly mistook his war record).

  Very few of the four hundred thousand reasonably adult individuals
  now residing in Chicago are aware that the person of whom we
  are going to speak is now a visitor in Chicago. After so long a
  period--since early in the century; before those of our citizens
  who have reached their "three-score years and ten" were born, when
  she came, a trustful wife of sixteen, and stepped a shore upon
  the river-bank--it is not a little remarkable that she is to-day
  again passing over and around the locality of her early home. Under
  the gentle supervision of this married maiden's blue eyes our
  stockade-fortress, then so far within the wilderness, was erected.
  Yet, of all those who came in that summer of 1803; the sailor-men
  of that vessel, the oarsmen of that boat, the company of United
  States soldiers, Captain and Mrs. Whistler and their son, the
  husband and his bride of a year; all, we may safely say, have bid
  adieu to earth excepting this lone representative. These are some
  of the circumstances which contribute to make this lady a personage
  of unusual interest to the dwellers here. A few particulars in the
  life of Mrs. Whistler, together with some of the facts attending
  the coming of those who arrived to assist in the building of Fort
  Dearborn, will certainly be acceptable.

  It was a coveted pilgrimage which we sought, as any one might
  believe, for it was during the tremendous rain-storm of the evening
  of the 29th of October, 1875, that we sallied out to call at Mrs.
  Colonel R. A. Kinzie's, for an introduction to the lady's mother,
  Mrs. Whistler. When we entered the parlor, the venerable woman was
  engaged at the center table, in some game of amusement with her
  grand-children and great grand-children, seemingly as much interested
  as any of the juveniles. (We will remark here that five generations
  in succession of this family have lived in Chicago.) She claimed
  to enjoy good health, and was, apparently, an unusual specimen of
  well preserved faculties, both intellectual and physical. She is
  of tall form, and her appearance still indicates the truth of the
  common report, that in her earlier years she was a person of uncommon
  elegance. A marked trait of hers has been a spirit of unyielding
  energy and determination, and which length of years has not yet
  subdued. Her tenacious memory ministers to a voluble tongue, and we
  may say, briefly, she is an agreeable, intelligent, and sprightly
  lady, numbering only a little over 88 years. "To-day," said she,
  "I received my first pension on account of my husband's services."
  Mrs. Whistler resides in Newport, Kentucky. She has one son and
  several grandsons in the army. Born in Salem, Mass., July 3rd, 1787,
  her maiden name was Julia Ferson, and her parents were John and
  Mary (LaDake) Ferson. In childhood she removed with her parents to
  Detroit, where she received most of her education. In the month of
  May, 1802, she was married to William Whistler (born in Hagerstown,
  Md., about 1784), a second lieutenant in the company of his father,
  Captain John Whistler, U. S. A., then stationed at Detroit. In the
  summer of the ensuing year, Captain Whistler's company was ordered
  to Chicago, to occupy the post and build the fort. Lieutenant James
  S. Swearingen (late Col. Swearingen of Chillicothe, O.) conducted
  the company from Detroit overland. The U. S. Steamer "Tracy," Dorr
  master, was despatched at same time for same destination, with
  supplies, and having also on board Captain John Whistler, Mrs.
  Whistler, their son George W., then three years old [afterwards the
  distinguished engineer in the employ of the Russian government]
  Lieutenant William Whistler, and the young wife of the last named
  gentleman. The schooner stopped briefly on her route at the St.
  Joseph's river, where the Whistlers left the vessel and took a
  row-boat to Chicago. The schooner, on arriving at Chicago, anchored
  half a mile from the shore, discharging her freight by boats. Some
  two thousand Indians visited the locality while the vessel was here,
  being attracted by so unusual an occurrence as the appearance, in
  these waters, of a "big canoe with wings." Lieutenant Swearingen
  returned with the "Tracy" to Detroit.

  There were then here, says Mrs W., but four rude huts or traders'
  cabins, occupied by white men, Canadian French with Indian wives; of
  these were Le Mai, Pettell and Ouilmette. No fort existed here at
  that time, although it is understood (see treaty of Greenville) that
  there had been one at a former day, built by the French, doubtless,
  as it was upon one of the main routes from New France to Louisiana,
  of which extensive region that government long held possession by
  a series of military posts. [It is said that Durantaye, a French
  official, built some sort of a fortification here as early as 1685.]

  Captain Whistler, upon his arrival, at once set about erecting a
  stockade and shelter for their protection, followed by getting
  out the sticks for the heavier work. It is worth mentioning here
  that there was not at that time within hundreds of miles a team of
  horses or oxen, and, as a consequence, the soldiers had to don the
  harness, and with the aid of ropes drag home the needed timbers.
  The birth of two children within the fort we have referred to
  elsewhere. Lieutenant Whistler, after a five years' sojourn here,
  was transferred to Fort Wayne, having previously been made a first
  lieutenant. He distinguished himself at the battle of Maguago, Mich.,
  August 9th, 1812; was in Detroit at the time of Hull's surrender,
  and, with Mrs. Whistler, was taken prisoner to Montreal; was
  promoted to a Captain in December, 1812, to Major in 1826, and to
  Lieutenant-Colonel in 1845. At his death he had rendered sixty-two
  years continuous service in the army, yet Mrs. W. says she remembers
  but six short furloughs during the whole time. He was stationed at
  various posts, besides those of Green Bay, Niagara, and Sackett's
  Harbor; at the last named post General Grant (then a subaltern
  officer) belonged to the command of Colonel W. In June, 1832, Colonel
  Whistler arrived again at Fort Dearborn, not the work which he had
  assisted to build twenty-eight years before, for that was burned in
  1812, but the later one, erected in 1816-17. He then remained here
  but a brief period.

  Colonel William Whistler's height at maturity was six feet two
  inches, and his weight at one time was 250 pounds. He died in
  Newport, Kentucky, December 4th, 1863.

  Captain John Whistler, the builder and commandant of the first
  Fort Dearborn (afterwards Major W.) was an officer in the army of
  the Revolution. We regret that we have so few facts concerning his
  history; nor have we a portrait or signature of the patriot. It is
  believed that when ordered to Chicago he belonged to a regiment of
  artillery. He continued in command at Fort Dearborn until the fore
  part of 1811, we think, for we notice that his successor. Captain
  Heald, gave to the Pottowatomie chief "Little Chief" a pass to St.
  Louis, dated July 11, 1811. Mrs. Whistler expressed to us her opinion
  that had Captain W. been continued in command, the Chicago massacre
  would not have happened. Major John Whistler died at Bellefontaine.
  Mo., in 1827.

  Colonel James Swearingen was a second lieutenant in 1803, when
  he conducted the company of Captain Whistler from Detroit across
  Michigan to Chicago. The regiment of artillery, with which he was
  connected, is understood to have been the only corps of that branch
  of defence. Lieutenant Swearingen continued in the service until
  about 1816, attaining the rank of colonel, when he resigned his
  commission and made his residence in Chillicothe, O., where he died
  on his eighty-second birthday, in February, 1864.

Mrs. Julia (Ferson) Whistler died at Newport, Ky., in 1878, at the ripe
age of ninety years.

James McNeil Whistler, the eccentric and distinguished London artist,
is descended from old John, the Burgoyne British soldier, through
George Washington Whistler, the great American engineer in the Russian

It is interesting to observe that both our old leading families, the
Whistlers and the Kinzies, have furnished successive generations of
soldiers to their country. The heroic death of John Harris Kinzie,
second, will be noted in the Appendix D, which is devoted to the Kinzie
family. Of the Whistlers, some of the name have been constantly in the
military service, and when the two families joined by the marriage of
Robert Kinzie and Gwenthlean Whistler the racial tendency continued.

General Garland Whistler, son of Colonel William Whistler, was a
graduate of West Point, and a soldier in the war for the Union. He
is now on the retired list. His son. Major Garland Whistler, also a
graduate, was in the late war and is still in the service. Major David
Hunter Kinzie, son of Robert (uniting the two families), left West
Point for active service in the Union war. He is now at the Presidio,
California. Captain John Kinzie, another son of Robert, is stationed at




BEGINNING at a point even further back in the dim past than the
building of Pointe de Saible's cabin, we take up the narrative of
the lives of its latest owners, John Kinzie was born in Quebec about
1763, son of John McKenzie, or McKinzie, a Scotchman, who married Mrs.
Haliburton, a widow, with one daughter,[AP] and died when his son
John was very young. Mrs. McKenzie made a third marriage, with one
William Forsyth, who had served under General Wolfe in the taking of
Quebec. William Forsyth, with wife, children and step-children, lived
many years in New York, and later in Detroit. While they lived in New
York, John McKinzie, afterward John Kinzie, was sent, with two Forsyth
half-brothers, to school in Williamsburgh, just across the East river;
a negro servant, or slave, going every Saturday night to bring the
three boys home. One Saturday there was no Johnnie to be found--the
embryo frontiers-man had runaway. He got on board a sloop bound for
Albany and fell in with some one who helped him on to Quebec, where he
found employment in the shop of a silver-smith; and there he remained
three years and learned the trade which later gave him the Indian
name, "Shaw-nee-aw-kee"--silver-smith.

[AP] This daughter, half-sister of John Kinzie, is said in Wau-Bun to
have possessed beauty and accomplishments, and to have lived to become
the mother of General Fleming and Nicholas Low, both very well known in
New York and Brooklyn.

We next find him in Detroit, with his mother and step-father, who
had moved thither with their Forsyth children.[AQ] Robert Forsyth, a
grandson of William, was well known in Chicago in the decade before the
Union War. He was an officer of the Illinois Central Railway, and his
tall, handsome figure, his bluff, hearty manners and his unquestionable
ability', made him a general favorite.

[AQ] William Forsyth kept a hotel in Detroit for many years and died
there in 1790 Robert, one of his sons, was in the service of the
American government during the war of 1812. Thomas, who became Major
Thomas Forsyth, U. S. A., was born in Detroit, December 5, 1771. Before
the war of 1812, he was Indian Agent among the Pottowatomies at Peoria
Lake. After the war of 1812 he was sent as U. S. Indian Agent among
the Sauks and Foxes, with whom he remained many years. He died at St.
Louis, October 29, 1833. Colonel Robert Forsyth, an early resident of
Chicago, was the son of Major Thomas Forsyth; George, another son of
William Forsyth, was lost in the woods near Detroit, August 6, 1778.
(Andreas' Hist. Chic.) Mrs. Kinzie quotes from the record in an old
family Bible, as follows: "George Forsyth was lost in the woods 6th
August, 1778, when Henry Hays and Mark Stirling ran away and left
him. The remains of George Forsyth we're found by an Indian the 2d of
October, 1776 close by the Prairie Ronde." Family tradition gives some
particulars of the disaster, adding the touching fact that after its
fourteen months' exposure there was nothing to identify the body but
the auburn curls and the little boots.

While at Detroit, John Kinzie began his long career as Indian-trader,
beginning with the Shawnees and Ottawas in the Ohio country. In this
way he made the acquaintance of two Indian girls, who, when young,
had been captured on the Kanawha River and taken to Chillicothe, the
headquarters of the tribe. Their names were Margaret and Elizabeth
McKenzie, and their story is thus romantically told by Rufus Blanchard
in his admirable "Discovery of the Northwest and History of Chicago."
(R. Blanchard & Co., Wheaton, Ill. 1881.)

  Among the venturesome pioneers of Virginia was a backwoods-man
  named McKenzie. He, with a number of his comrades, settled at the
  mouth of Wolf's creek, where it empties into the Kanawha. During
  Dunmore's War on the frontier [about 1773] the Shawanese, in one of
  their border forays, came suddenly upon the home of McKenzie, killed
  his wife and led two of his children into captivity. The names of
  the young captives were Margaret, ten years old, and Elizabeth;
  eight years old. They were taken to Chillicothe, the great Indian
  Town of the Shawanese, where they were adopted into the family of
  a high-bred Indian chief and raised under the tender care of his
  obedient squaw, according to custom. Ten years later Margaret was
  allowed to accompany her foster-father on a hunting-excursion to
  the St. Mary's River, near Fort Wayne. A young chief of the same
  tribe became enamored by the graces and accomplishments of the
  young captive, but Margaret recoiled from her swarthy lover and
  determined not to yield her heart to one who had no higher destiny
  for her than to ornament his leggings with porcupine quills--one of
  the highest accomplishments of which a squaw is capable. Margaret's
  lover approached the camp where she was sleeping, intending to force
  her to become his wife. According to the Indian custom, a din of
  yells and rattle of a drum announced the intentions of the would-be
  bridegroom to the terrified victim. The heroine fled to the forest
  for protection.

[Illustration: JOHN K. CLARK.]

  Fortunately her dog followed her as she fled down the bank of the
  St. Mary's River, to the stockade, half a mile distant, where
  the horses were kept. The footsteps of her detestable lover were
  close behind. She turned and set her dog at him, and reached the
  stockade, unhitched a horse, leaped upon his back and took her flight
  through the wilderness, seventy-five miles, to her Indian home at
  Chillicothe. The horse died the next day after he had performed so
  wonderful a feat without rest or sustenance. This heroic girl and
  her sister, Elizabeth, became afterward mothers of some of the first
  pioneers of Chicago.

  After the adventures of Margaret, as just told, she, with her sister,
  Elizabeth, were taken to Detroit by their foster-father, and there
  they became acquainted with John Kinzie--and they were married.
  Elizabeth at the same time met a Scotchman named Clark and married
  him. The two young couples lived in Detroit about five years, during
  which time Margaret (Kinzie) had three children, William, James and
  Elizabeth; and Elizabeth (Clark) had two, John K. and Elizabeth.

  The treaty of Greenville, 1795, having restored peace on the border,
  Mr. Isaac McKenzie, the father, received tidings of his children,
  and went to Detroit to see them. The two young mothers, with their
  children, returned with their father to their old home, to which
  arrangement both of their husbands consented. A final separation was
  not intended, but time and distance divorced them forever. Mr. Kinzie
  afterwards moved to St. Joseph's, where he married a Mrs. McKillip,
  the widow of a British officer. Margaret married Mr. Benjamin Hall,
  of Virginia, and Elizabeth married Mr. Jonas Clybourn of the same
  place. David, the oldest son of Benjamin Hall and Margaret, made a
  journey to Chicago in 1822, and he remained there three years. On
  his return to Virginia his flattering account of the place induced
  a number of persons to emigrate thither. The first of these was
  Archibald Clybourn, the eldest son of Elizabeth, who remained a
  permanent resident and an esteemed citizen, well known to thousands
  of the present inhabitants of Chicago. His mother was Elizabeth the
  captive, who, with her second husband, Mr. Clybourn, soon afterwards
  came to Chicago. Mr. Benjamin Hall was another of the Chicago
  pioneers who emigrated to Chicago in consequence of David Hall's
  commendations of its future promise. Margaret, the captive, was his
  aunt, and to him the writer is indebted for the detail of Margaret's
  and Elizabeth's history. Mr. Hall is now a resident of Wheaton. He
  came to Chicago in 1830 and was the proprietor of the first tannery
  ever established there.


[Illustration: James Kinzie (signature)]

  Elizabeth Kinzie, daughter of John Kinzie, became the wife of Samuel
  Miller, of a respectable Quaker family in Ohio. She was highly
  respected by all who knew her. Her husband kept the Miller House, at
  the forks of the Chicago River. James Kinzie came to Chicago about
  1824, and was well received by his father. [James is mentioned by Mr.
  Kinzie in a letter written in 1821, given later in this article].

This is the romantic story taken by Mr. Blanchard from the lips of
the nephew of one of the captive girls, and given in his valuable
history. Some of the circumstances stated as fact may be questionable,
especially the "marriage" of the girls to Mr. Kinzie and Mr. Clark.
Their summary removal by their father, and their marriage to other
men, considered with the marriage of Mr. Kinzie and Mr. Clark to other
women, seems to cast doubt upon the occurrence of any ceremonies, civil
or religious. Those relations were lightly held at that time and place.
There is doubtless a "bend sinister" somewhere, but it seems unlikely
that James Kinzie and Elizabeth and Samuel Miller would have left the
legitimacy of the more distinguished branch of the family unassailed if
it had been assailable. (It is said that Mrs. Miller did chafe under
the scandal.)

[Illustration: Samuel Miller (signature)]

In 1800 John Kinzie married Eleanor (Lytle) McKillip, widow of a
British officer, who had one daughter, Margaret, afterward Mrs.
Lieutenant Helm. In the same year he moved to the St. Joseph's River,
which empties into Lake Michigan on its eastern side, nearly opposite
Chicago, and there set up his trading-house. His son, John Harris
Kinzie, was born at Sandwich, opposite Detroit, where his mother
chanced to be spending a day when he made his unexpected appearance.

In 1803 John Kinzie visited Chicago, having probably learned of the
approaching establishment of Fort Dearborn, and bought the Le Mai
house, built by Jean Baptiste Pointe de Saible, some twenty-five
years before. He moved into it with his family in the following year.
From that time to his death, in 1828, he is the most conspicuous and
unique figure in Chicago history, and fairly deserves the name of the
father of the city. His branch trading-posts existed in Milwaukee, at
Rock River, on the Illinois and Kankakee Rivers, and in the Sangamon
country. To quote again Andreas (Hist. Chic. Vol. I, P. 73):

  This extended Indian trade made the employment of a large number of
  men at headquarters a necessity, and the Canadian voyageurs in the
  service of Mr. Kinzie were about the only white men who had occasion
  to visit Chicago during those early years. He was sutler for the
  garrison at the fort in addition to his Indian trade, and also kept
  up his manufacture of the ornaments in which the Indians delighted.
  During the first residence of Mr. and Mrs. John Kinzie in Chicago,
  three children were born to them--Ellen Marion in December, 1805;
  Maria Indiana in 1807, and Robert Allen, February 8, 1810. Margaret
  McKillip, Mr. Kinzie's step-daughter, who married Lieutenant Linai T.
  Helm of Fort Dearborn, and also Robert Forsyth, nephew of Mr. Kinzie,
  were at times members of his family, the latter being the first
  teacher of John H. Kinzie.

Henry H. Hurlbut in his delightful "Chicago Antiquities,"[AR] says:

  By what we learn from a search in the county records at Detroit,
  John Kinzie seems to have been doing business there in the years
  1795-97 and '98. In May, 1795, some portion of the Ottawa tribe of
  Indians conveyed lands on the Maumee to John Kinzie, silver-smith, of
  Detroit; also in the same year to John Kinzie, merchant, of Detroit.
  It appears, also, from the same records, that in September, 1810,
  John Kinzie and John Whistler Jr. were lately copartners in trade at
  Fort Dearborn, and in the same year John Kinzie and Thomas Forsyth
  were merchants in Chicago. We are told by Robert A. Kinzie that his
  father was sutler at Fort Dearborn when he came to Chicago in 1804;
  possibly Mr. Whistler Jr. was his partner in that enterprise. In
  October, 1815, John Kinzie and Thomas Forsyth were copartners in
  trade in the District of Detroit, Territory of Michigan. In March,
  1816, appear on the records the names of John Kinzie, silver-smith,
  and Elenor, his wife, of Detroit. By these items it seems that though
  Mr. Kinzie took up his residence in Chicago in 1804 [the first entry
  here upon his books bore date May 12, 1804] and that he left here
  after the battle of August, 1812, returning in 1816, yet he was
  still identified with Detroit, certainly until the summer of 1816.
  We notice that he was a witness at the treaty of Spring Wells, near
  Detroit, in September, 1815. He was one of the interpreters.

[AR] A book full of bits of old-time gossip, traditions and skeptical
notes on other traditions, controversial criticism on Wau-Bun and
other books, and good-humored raillery, aimed at persons and things of
the early day. Only five hundred copies were printed, and the book is
becoming scarce, but some copies remain for sale in the family of its
author, 27 Winthrop Place, Chicago.

Wau-Bun gives a long and romantic biography of John Kinzie and his
progenitors; such a sketch as would naturally (and properly) be made
by a daughter-in-law, writing during the lifetime of many of the
persons directly interested in the facts related, but omitting things
which would shock the sensibilities of those persons, and mar the
literary symmetry of the picture set forth in her pages. She does not
allude to the Margaret McKenzie episode, never mentions James Kinzie,
well-known Chicagoan as he was, and also ignores another matter which
the integrity of history requires to be stated, and which the lapse
of almost three generations should disarm of the sting which might
attach to it at the time of Wau-Bun. This matter is the killing, in
self-defense, of John Lalime, by John Kinzie. (See Appendix F.)

[Illustration: MRS. JULIETTE KINZIE (1856).

Author of "Wau-Bun."]

After the massacre and the subsequent events so romantically described
in Wau-Bun, Mr. Kinzie returned, probably in the autumn of 1816, to
Chicago, where he reoccupied the historic house. To sit on his front
porch and watch the building of a new fort in the old spot must have
been a mingling of pleasure and pain. All that had passed since the
original incoming of twelve years before must have seemed like a dream.
The lake to the eastward, the river in front, the prairie beyond and
the oak woods behind him were all as of old; but here around him were
the children born and reared in the intervening years; here were new
soldiers to take the place of the little band sacrificed four years
ago. There, scattered over the sand-hills, were the bleaching bones of
the martyred dead, and within dwelt an enduring memory of the horrors
of their killing.

[Illustration: JOHN HARRIS KINZIE (1827).

From a miniature in possession of the Kinzie family.]

And where were the savings of a lifetime of industry, courage and
enterprise? Gone beyond recall. He made heroic efforts to redeem
something from the wreck, traveling in Indian fashion and in Indian
dress from one to another of the places where he had had branch
trading-posts, and where debts were due to him. But it takes only a
slight knowledge of affairs in a new country to see clearly that after
war has disturbed and ravaged a district, and four years of absence
have wasted the goods and scattered the debtors, every dollar saved
would have cost in the saving two dollars' worth of work and sacrifice
of strength and time. That his salvage was small and his later days
quite devoid of the ease and comfort which his hard-won early success
should have guaranteed him, we have the testimony of a letter written
by him August 19, 1821, to his son John H., after he had placed the
latter with the American (Astor's) Fur Company at Mackinaw:

  Dear Son--I received your letter by the schooner. Nothing gives me
  more satisfaction than to hear from you and of you. It does give
  both myself and your mother a pleasure to hear how your conduct is
  talked of by every one that hopes you every advantage. Let this
  rather stimulate you to continue the worthy man, for a good name is
  better than wealth, and we cannot be too circumspect in our line of
  conduct. Mr. Crooks speaks highly of you and try to continue to be
  the favorite of such worthy men as Mr. Crooks, Mr. Stewart and other
  gentlemen of the firm. Your mother and all of the family are well and
  send their love to you. James[AS] is here, and I am pleased that his
  returns are such as to satisfy the firm.

[AS] John's half-brother, son of the captive girl, Margaret McKenzie.

  I have been reduced in wages, owing to the economy of the government.
  My interpreter's salary is no more and I have but $100 to subsist
  on. It does work me hard sometimes to provide for your brothers and
  sisters on this and maintain my family in a decent manner. I will
  have to take new measures. I hate to change houses, but I have been
  requested to wait Conant's arrival. We are all mighty busy, as the
  treaty commences to-morrow and we have hordes of Indians around us
  already. My best respects to Mr. Crooks and Stewart and all the
  gentlemen of your house.

  Adieu. I am your loving father,

[Illustration: John Kinzie (signature)]

This is said to be the only letter of John Kinzie's that is known to
exist. (A large and invaluable collection of papers were given in 1877
to the Historical Society by John H. Kinzie, and perished with the
society building in the great fire of 1871). No portrait of John Kinzie
has ever been found.

He assisted in negotiating the treaty of 1821, before mentioned;
addressing the Indians to reconcile them to it, and signing it as a
sub-agent, which post he filled under his son-in-law, Dr. Alexander
Wolcott, Indian agent. In 1825 he was appointed Justice of the Peace,
for Peoria county.

Captain Andreas remarks on John Kinzie's standing with the Indians as

  The esteem in which Mr. Kinzie was held by the Indians is shown by
  the treaty made with the Pottowatomies September 20, 1828, by one
  provision of which they gave to Eleanor Kinzie and her four children
  by the late John Kinzie $3,500 in consideration of the attachment of
  the Indians to her deceased husband, who was long an Indian trader
  and who lost a large sum in the trade, by the credits given them and
  also by the destruction of his property. The money is in lieu of a
  tract of land which the Indians gave the late John Kinzie long since,
  and upon which he lived.

There is no doubt that the Indians had a warm feeling for the Kinzies.
At the same time it seems probable that the treaty in question, like
all other treaties, was carefully arranged by the whites and merely
submitted to the Indians for ratification. The Indians did not give any
money, all payments came from the United States, and were made to such
persons (other than Indians) as the commissioners thought best to care
for. As to the land given by the Indians to Mr. Kinzie and on which he
lived, where was it? The Indians had parted with the Chicago tract, six
miles square, nine years before Mr. Kinzie arrived at Fort Dearborn. It
is true that in May, 1795, the Ottawas (not the Pottowatomies) conveyed
land in Ohio to John Kinzie and Thomas Forsyth; but he certainly never
lived on it. He also lived at Parc-aux-vaches, on the St. Joseph's
river, from 1800 to 1804. It is possible, though not probable, that the
Indians made him a grant there.


Everyone who visited the hospitable "Kinzie mansion" was glad to do so
again. Let us follow the good example.

The structure, as put up by Pointe de Saible, and passed through the
hands of Le Mai to John Kinzie, was a cabin of roughly squared logs.
In Kinzie's time it was beautified, enlarged, improved and surrounded
by out-houses, trees, fences, grass plats, piazza and garden. "The
latch string hung outside the door,"[AT] and all were free to pull it
and enter. Friend or stranger, red-man or white could come and go, eat
and drink, sleep and wake, listen and talk as well. A tale is told of
two travelers who mistook the house for an inn, gave orders, asked
questions, praised and blamed, as one does who says to himself, "Shall
I not take mine ease in mine inn?" and who were keenly mortified
when they came to pay their scot and found that there was none to
pay. In front (as the picture shows) were four fine poplars; in the
rear, two great cotton-woods. The remains of one of these last named
were visible at a very late period. (Who knows just how lately?) In
the out-buildings were accommodated dairy, baking-ovens, stables and
rooms for "the Frenchmen," the Canadian engages who were then the
chief subordinates in fur-trading, and whose descendants are now
well-known citizens, their names perpetuating their ancestry--Beaubien,
Laframboise, Porthier, Mirandeau, etc.

[AT] This odd expression of welcome came from the old style of
door-fastening; a latch within lifted by the hand or by a string which
was poked through a gimlet hole, so that it could be pulled from the
outside. To lock the door the household simply pulled in the string and
kept it inside.

Captain Andreas says:

  The Kinzie house was no gloomy home. Up to the very time of their
  forced removal, the children danced to the sound of their father's
  violin and the long hours of frontier life were made merry with sport
  and play. Later the primitive court of Justice Kinzie must have been
  held in the "spare room"--if spare room there was.

[Illustration: ROBERT ALLEN KINZIE.]

Hurlbut, in his "Chicago Antiquities," says:

  The last distinguished guest from abroad whom the Kinzies entertained
  at the old house was Governor Cass; in the summer of 1827. This was
  during the Winnebago Indian excitement. Gurdon Hubbard says: "While
  at breakfast at Mr. Kinzie's house we heard singing, faint at first
  but gradually growing louder as the singer approached. Mr. Kinzie
  recognized the leading voice as that of Bob Forsyth, and left the
  table for the piazza of the house, where we all followed. About where
  Wells Street crosses, in plain sight from where we stood, was a light
  birch bark canoe, manned with thirteen men, rapidly approaching, the
  men keeping time with the paddles to one of the Canadian boat-songs;
  it proved to be Governor Cass and his secretary, Robert Forsyth, and
  they landed and soon joined in."

The visit of Governor Cass was just before the "Winnebago scare" of
1827. He it was that informed the lonely, unarmed and defenceless
post of Fort Dearborn of the Winnebago uprising. Gurdon Hubbard at
once proposed to ride down the "Hubbard Trail" for help. The others
objected for fear they might be attacked before his return; but it
was finally decided that he should go, and go he did. At Danville he
raised, within about a day, fifty volunteers, armed and mounted, and
started for Fort Dearborn. They reached the Vermilion, then at flood
and running "bank-full" and very rapidly. The horses on being driven
in would turn and come back to shore. Hubbard, provoked at the delay,
threw off his coat, crying: "Give me old Charley!" Mounting the horse
he boldly dashed into the stream, and the other horses crowded after
him. "The water was so swift that Old Charley became unmanageable; but
Hubbard dismounted on the upper side, seized the horse by the mane,
and, swimming with his left hand, guided the horse in the direction of
the opposite shore. We were afraid he would be washed under, or struck
by his feet and drowned, but he got over."[AU]

[AU] See "the Winnebago Scare" by Hiram W. Beckwith, of Danville.
Fergus' Historical Series No. 10.


The brave rescuers arrived and stayed, petted and feasted by the
Chicagoans of that day, until a runner came in from Green Bay, bringing
word that Governor Cass had made peace with the Indians.

According to Mr. Hurlbut, as the old master neared his end the old
homestead also went to decay. The very logs must have been in a
perishing condition after fifty years of service, and the lake sand,
driven by the lake breezes, piled itself up against the north and east
sides. Then, too, the standard of comfort had changed. Son-in-law
Wolcott had rooms in the brick building of the unoccupied fort. Colonel
Beaubien had a frame house close to the fort's south wall (now Michigan
Avenue and River Streets), and thither the Kinzies moved. What more
natural than that the ancient tree, as it tottered to its fall, should
lean over toward the young saplings that had sprung up at its foot? It
is the way of the world.


It was in 1827 that Mr. Kinzie, and whatever then formed his household,
quitted the historical log house for the last time. In 1829, it was
(says Andreas) used for a while by Anson N. Taylor as a store. In
March, 1831, Mr. Bailey lived in it and probably made it the post
office, its first location in Chicago, as he was the first postmaster.
The mail was then brought from Detroit on horseback, about twice a

Captain Andreas says:

  After 1831 and 1832, when Mark Noble occupied it with his family,
  there is no record of its being inhabited. Its decaying logs were
  used by the Indians and immigrants for fuel, and the drifting sands
  of Lake Michigan was fast piled over its remains. No one knows when
  it finally disappeared, but with the growth of the new town, this
  relic of the early day of Chicago passed from sight to be numbered
  among the things that were.

Mrs. Robert Kinzie says now (1893) that she is sure that the house was
standing when she was married in the fort, in 1834, and she thinks long
afterward She scouts the idea that those solid logs were used by the
Indians or immigrants for fuel.

The following account of Mr. Kinzie's death was learned from Mr. Gurdon
S. Hubbard: "He remained in full vigor of health in both body and
mind, till he had a slight attack of apoplexy, after which his health
continued to decline until his death, which took place in a few months,
at the residence of his son-in-law. Dr. Wolcott, who then lived in the
brick building, formerly used as the officers' quarters in the fort.
Here, while on a brief visit to Mrs. Wolcott (Ellen Marion Kinzie), he
was suddenly attacked with apoplexy. Mr. Hubbard, then living in Mr.
Kinzie's family, was sent for, and on coming into the presence of the
dying man he found him in convulsions on the floor, in the parlor, his
head supported by his daughter. Mr. Hubbard raised him to a sitting
position and thus supported him till he drew his last breath. The
funeral service took place in the fort and the last honors due to the
old pioneer were paid with impressive respect by the few inhabitants of
the place."

Mr. Kinzie's remains were first buried in the fort burying ground
on the lake shore south of the old fort (about Michigan Avenue and
Washington Street) whence they were later removed to a plot west of the
present water-works (Chicago Avenue and Tower Place) and finally to
Graceland, where they now rest.

Unfortunately there exists no portrait of John Kinzie. The portrait
of John H. Kinzie, taken from a miniature, and that of his wife, the
author of Wau-Bun, are kindly furnished by their daughter, Mrs. Nellie
Kinzie Gordon. There has also been copied an oil portrait of the last
named lady herself, painted by Healy in 1857, when she was about to
quit her native city for her home in Savannah, Georgia, which departure
was a loss still remembered and regretted by her many Chicago friends
and admirers; in other words by all of the Chicago of 1857 which
survives to 1893.

[Illustration: MRS. NELLIE (KINZIE) GORDON.]

A fourth portrait of this honored branch of the pioneer stock is
that of the son, John H. Kinzie, Jr., who died for his country in a
manner which must endear his memory to every Union loving patriot. The
following touching sketch of his life and death is contributed by a
near relative of the brave young martyr.

John Harris Kinzie, Jr., was born in 1838. He was educated as a civil
engineer at the Polytechnic Institute of Ann Arbor, Mich. He served in
the navy during the war and met his tragic fate in 1862, while master's
mate on the gun-boat Mound City, commanded by Admiral Davis.

While attacking a fort on the White River, a shot from the fort's
battery penetrated the boiler of the Mound City. In the terrific
explosion that followed, young Kinzie and more than ninety others were
scalded and blown overboard.

The hospital boat of the fleet immediately set out to rescue the
wounded men. As Kinzie struck out for the boat, his friend Augustus
Taylor, of Cairo, called out to him to keep out of the range of the
fort as the sharp-shooters were evidently picking off the wounded men
in the water. This proved to be true; young Kinzie was shot through the
legs and arras by minié balls as he was being lifted into the boat.

[Illustration: JOHN HARRIS KINZIE, JR]

He soon heard the shouts of his comrades; and turning to one of his
friends, he said:

"We have taken the fort. I am ready to die now."

He sank rapidly and died the following morning, June 18, just as the
sun was rising. He left a young wife barely eighteen years old, a
daughter of Judge James, of Racine, Wisconsin, and his own little
daughter was born three months after his death.

It was necessary to put a guard over the person of Colonel Fry (who
was captured with the fort) to save him from being sacrificed to
the indignation the men felt against him for having ordered his
sharp-shooters to pick off the scalded men and shoot them in the water.




GRATITUDE to our first hero and martyr calls for a somewhat
extended study of his life, and it will be found interesting enough to
repay the attention.

Colonel Samuel Wells and his brother Captain William Wells were
Kentuckians; the family being said to have come from Virginia. William,
when twelve years old, was stolen by the Indians from the residence of
Hon. Nathaniel Pope, where both brothers seem to have been living. He
was adopted by Me-che-kan-nah-quah, or little Turtle, a chief of the
Miamis, lived in his house and married his daughter Wa-nan-ga-peth, by
whom he had several children, of whom the following left children:

Pe-me-zah-quah (Rebekah) married Captain Hackley, of Fort Wayne,
leaving Ann and John Hackley, her children.

Ah-mah-qua-zah-quah (a "sweet breeze"--Mary) born at Fort Wayne May 10,
1800, married Judge James Wolcott March 8, 1821; died at Maumee City,
(now South Toledo,) O., Feb. 19, 1834, leaving children as follows:
William Wells Wolcott, Toledo; Mary Ann (Wolcott) Gilbert, South
Toledo; Henry Clay Wolcott, South Toledo, and James Madison Wolcott,
South Toledo.

Jane (Wells) Grigg, living at Peru, Indiana; has children.

Yelberton P. Wells, St. Louis, died leaving one child.

William fought on the side of the Indians in the campaign of 1790
and 1791, when they defeated the Americans under Generals Harmer and
Saint Clair. The story of his reclamation, as told by Rebekah (Wells)
Heald to her son Darius, and repeated by him to a stenographer, in my
presence, in 1892, is quite romantic.

Rebekah was daughter of Samuel Wells, elder brother of William, and was
therefore niece of the latter. She must have been born between 1780 and
1790. We learn from the story of her son, the Hon. Darius Heald, as

  She was fond of telling the story of her life, and her children and
  her friends were never tired of listening to it. [Her son thinks he
  has heard her tell it a hundred times.] She would begin away back in
  her girlhood, spent in the country about Louisville, Kentucky, when
  her father. Colonel Samuel Wells, was living there; and tell how
  they all wanted uncle William Wells, whom they called their "Indian
  uncle," to leave the Indians who had stolen him in his boyhood, and
  come home and belong to his white relations. He hung back for years,
  and even at last, when he agreed to visit them, made the proviso that
  he should be allowed to bring along an Indian escort with him, so
  that he should not be compelled to stay with them if he did not want

  Young Rebekah Wells was the one who had been chosen to go to the
  Indian council with her father, and persuade her uncle William to
  come and visit his old home; she, being a girl, very likely had more
  influence with him than any of the men could have had. William Wells
  was at that time living a wild Indian life, roaming up and down the
  Wabash river, and between the lakes and the Ohio. Probably the place
  where the battle of Tippicanoe was fought, in 1811, near the present
  site of La Fayette, Indiana, was pretty near the center of his
  regular stamping ground.

  After much hesitation he consented to get together a party of braves,
  somewhere from seventy-five to a hundred, and visit his relatives.
  Little Turtle, whose daughter he had married, was along, very likely
  commanding the escort. They went down to the falls of the Ohio river,
  about opposite Louisville, and camped, while William Wells, with a
  picked band of twenty-five, crossed the river and met with his own
  people. Then the question arose as to whether he was the brother of
  Colonel Samuel Wells, and he asked to be taken to the place where
  he was said to have been captured, to see if he could remember the
  circumstances. When he reached there, he looked about and pointed
  in a certain direction and asked if there was a pond there; and
  they said: "Well, let's go and see." So they went in the direction
  indicated, and to be sure they saw the pond; and he said that he
  could remember that pond. Then he saw a younger brother present, whom
  he had accidentally wounded in the head as a child, and he said to
  his brother:

  "Now if you are my brother there ought to be a mark on the back of
  your head, where I hit you with a stone one day;" and the brother
  held up his head, and William lifted the hair and found the scar, and
  he said: "Yes, I am your brother."

  William was now convinced for the first time that he was the brother
  of Colonel Samuel Wells, but he went back with his Indian friends,
  his father-in-law, Little Turtle, and the rest, and it was not until
  sometime later that he told Little Turtle that, although he had
  fought for his Indian friends all his life, the time had now come
  when he was going home to fight for his own flesh and blood. It was
  under a big tree on the banks of the Miami that he had this talk, and
  he pointed to the sun and said: "Till the sun goes up in the middle
  of the sky we are friends. After that you can kill me if you want
  to." Still they always remained friends, and agreed that if in war,
  if one could find out on which side of the army the other was put,
  he would change positions so as not to be likely to meet the other
  in battle; and if one recognized the other while fighting, he would
  never aim to hit him. They also had the privilege of meeting and
  talking to each other, it being understood that nothing was to be
  said about the opposing numbers of their armies. They were not to act
  as spies but simply to meet each other as friends.

It was at about the time when General Wayne, "Mad Anthony," came into
command that Wells left his red friends and began to serve on the side
of his own flesh and blood. He was made captain of a company of scouts,
and must have done good service, for, in 1798, he accompanied his
father-in-law, Little Turtle, to Philadelphia, where the Indian (and
probably Wells also) was presented to President Washington, and in 1803
we find him back at Chicago signing an Indian trader's license: "W.
H. Harrison, Governor of Indian Territory, by William Wells, agent at
Indian affairs." Little Turtle lived usually at Fort Wayne. Of him his
friend John Johnston, of Piqua, Ohio, said:

  "He was a man of great wit, humor and vivacity, fond of the company
  of gentlemen and delighted in good eating. When I knew him he had two
  wives living with him under the same roof in the greatest harmony.
  This distinguished chief died at Fort Wayne of a confirmed case of
  gout, brought on by high living, and was buried with military honors
  by the troops of the United States."

He died July 14, 1812, and was buried on the west bank of the river at
Fort Wayne. His portrait hangs on the walls of the War Department at

In 1809 Captain Wells took his niece, Rebekah, with him to Fort Wayne
on a visit. Captain Heald was then on duty at Fort Wayne, and it
was doubtless there that the love-making took place which led to the
marriage of the two young people in 1811.

The following interesting bits concerning Captain Wells are taken from
a letter written by A. H. Edwards to Hon. John Wentworth (Fergus' Hist.
Series No. 16), the remainder of which letter is given later in this
volume. (See Appendix G.)

  Captain Wells, after being captured by the Indians when a boy,
  remained with them until the treaty with the Miamis. Somewhere about
  the year 1795 he was a chief and an adopted brother of the celebrated
  chief Little Turtle. Captain Wells signed the marriage certificate,
  as officiating magistrate, of my father and mother at Fort Wayne,
  June, 1805. The certificate is now in my possession.

                                                 "Fort Wayne, 4th June.

  "I do hereby certify that I joined Dr. Abraham Edwards and Ruthy Hunt
  in the holy bonds of matrimony, on the third instant, according to
  the law.

  "Given under my Hand and Seal, the day and year above written.

                                                  "William Wells, Esq."

  * * * Captain Wells urged Major Heald not to leave the fort, as he
  did not like the way the Indians acted, and was well acquainted with
  all their movements as learned from his Indian allies, who deserted
  him the moment the firing commenced. Captain N. Heald's story is as
  I heard it from the mouth of one who saw it all, the girl and her
  mother, the one living in our family for many years, and the mother
  in Detroit. Their name was Cooper.

  Captain Wells, soon after leaving the Indians, was appointed
  interpreter at the request of General Wayne, and was with him in his
  campaign against the Indians as captain of a company of spies, and
  many thrilling accounts were given me of his daring and remarkable
  adventures as such, related by one who received them from his own
  lips, and in confirmation of one of his adventures pointed at an
  Indian present, and said: "That Indian," says he, "belongs to me,
  and sticks to me like a brother," and then told how he captured him
  with his rifle on his shoulder. This Indian was the one who gave
  Mrs. Wells the first intimation of his death and then disappeared,
  supposed to have returned to his people.

  Captain William Wells was acting Indian Agent and Justice of the
  Peace at Port Wayne at the time he married my father and mother, and
  was considered a remarkably brave and resolute man. I will give you a
  sketch of one of his feats as told me by my mother, who was present
  and witnessed it all. The Indians were collected at Fort Wayne on
  the way for the purpose of meeting the Miamis and other Indians in
  council. While camped there they invited the officers of the fort to
  come out and witness a grand dance, and other performances, previous
  to their departure for the Indian conference. Wells advised the
  commander of the fort not to go, as he did not like the actions of
  the Indians; but his advice was overruled, and all hands went out,
  including the officers' ladies. But the troops in the fort were on
  the alert, their guns were loaded and sentries were doubled, as it
  was in the evening. A very large tent was provided for the purpose
  of the grand dance. After many preliminary dances and talks, a large
  and powerful chief arose and commenced his dance around the ring, and
  made many flourishes with his tomahawk. Then he came up to Wells, who
  stood next my mother, and spoke in Indian and made demonstrations
  with his tomahawk that looked dangerous, and then took his seat.
  But no sooner than he did so Wells gave one of the most unearthly
  war-whoops she ever heard, and sprang up into the air as high as her
  head, and picked up the jaw bone of a horse or ox that lay near by,
  and went around the ring in a more vigorous and artistic Indian style
  than had been seen that evening; and wound up by going up to the big
  Indian and flourishing his jaw-bone, and told him that he had killed
  more Indians than white men, and had killed one that looked just like
  him, and he believed it was his brother, only much better looking
  and a better brave than he was. The Indians were perfectly taken by
  surprise. Wells turned to the officers and told them to be going.
  He hurried them off to the fort, and had all hands on the alert
  during the night. When questioned as to his action and what he said,
  he replied that he had told the Indians what I have related. Then
  he enquired of those present if they did not see that the Indians
  standing on the opposite side of the tent had their rifles wrapped up
  in their blankets.

  "If I had not done just as I had, and talked to that Indian as I did,
  we would all have been shot in five minutes; but my actions required
  a council, as their plans were, as they supposed, frustrated, and
  that the troops would be down on them at the first hostile move they
  made." He saw the game when he first went in, as his Indian training
  taught him, and he waited just for the demonstration that was made
  as the signal for action. Wells saw no time was to be lost, and made
  good his resolve, and the big Indian cowed under the demonstration
  of Wells. My mother said he looked as if he expected Wells to make
  an end of him for what he had said to Wells in his dance. "I had
  to meet bravado with bravado, and I think I beat," said Wells. You
  could see it in the countenances of all the Indians. The same advice
  given to Heald, if attended to, would have saved the massacre of Fort
  Dearborn. * * * *

                                                         A. H. Edwards.

James Madison Wolcott, grandson of Captain Wells (through
Ah-mah-quah-zah-quah, who married Judge James Wolcott) wrote to Mr.
Wentworth as follows:

  We are proud of our Little Turtle [Indian] blood and of our Captain
  Wells blood. We try to keep up the customs of our ancestors, and
  dress occasionally in Indian costumes. We take no exception when
  people speak of our Indian parentage. We take pleasure in sending
  you the tomahawk which Captain William Wells had at the time of his
  death, and which was brought to his family by an Indian who was in
  the battle. We also have a dress-sword which was presented to him
  by General W. H. Harrison, and a great many books which he had;
  showing that even when he lived among the Indians, he was trying to
  improve himself. He did all he could to educate his children. Captain
  Wells, in the year of his death, sent to President Madison, at Little
  Turtle's request, the interpretation of the speech that that chief
  made to General W. H. Harrison, January 25, 1812.

Captain Heald never got rid of the effect of his wound. The bullet
remained embedded in his hip and doubtless is in his coffin. He
resigned shortly after the war, and the family (in 1817) settled at
Stockland, Missouri. The new name of the place, O'Fallon, recalls
the fact that the well known Colonel O'Fallon, of St. Louis, was an
old friend of the family, and himself redeemed the things which the
Indians had captured at the massacre (the same articles now cherished
as relics of the historic event) and sent them to Colonel Samuel Wells
at Louisville, where they arrived during the interval when all supposed
that Nathan and Rebekah had perished with the members of the garrison
and their fellow-sufferers.

Among the articles captured by the Indians and, after their
transportation from Chicago to Peoria and from Peoria to Saint
Louis, bought by Colonel O'Fallon and sent to the Falls of the Ohio
(Louisville) to Samuel Wells, are the following, all of which were
brought to Chicago by the Hon. Darius Heald, exhibited to his relatives
(the family of Gen. A. L. Chetlain), and their friends, and here

  Captain Heald's sword.

  A shawl-pin he wore which, when recovered, had been bent to serve as
  a nose-ring.

  Part of his uniform coat, which seems to have been divided among his

  Six silver table-spoons and one soup-ladle, each marked "N. R. H.,"
  doubtless the wedding-present made by Colonel Samuel Wells to Nathan
  and Rebekah Heald.

  A hair brooch marked "S. W.," supposed to contain the hair of Samuel

  A finger-ring marked "R. W." (Probably one of the girlish treasures
  of Rebekah Wells.)

  A fine tortoise-shell comb, cut somewhat in the shape of an eagle's
  beak and having silver ornaments representing the bird's eye,
  nostril, etc.


Mr. Wentworth further says:

  In the biographical sketches of the members of the Corinthian Lodge
  of Masons, at Concord, Mass., I find the following:

  Nathan Heald, initiated in 1797, died at Stockland (now O'Fallon) in
  St. Charles County, Missouri, where he had resided some years, in
  1832, aged 57 years. He was born in Ipswich, N. H., September 29,
  1775, was the third sou of Colonel Thomas and Sybel (Adams) Heald
  and in early life joined the U. S. Army. Mrs. Maria (Heald) Edwards,
  of this city, born at Ipswich, N. H, in 1803, mother of Mrs. General
  Chetlain, was the eldest child of his brother, Hon. Thomas Heald, one
  of the Associate Judges of the Supreme Court of Alabama. (Fergus'
  Hist. Series No. 16.)

A considerable part of Captain Heald's first report of the massacre
appears in our old friend Niles' Weekly Register, Nov. 7, 1812. (I
have quoted it, to a great extent, in connection with the story of the

  Extract of a letter from Captain Heald, late commandant at Fort
  Chicago, dated at Pittsburg, October 23, 1812:

  On the 9th of August, I received orders from General Hull to evacuate
  the post and proceed with my command to Detroit, by land, leaving
  it at my discretion to dispose of the public property as I thought
  proper. The neighboring Indians got the information as soon as I did,
  and came in from all quarters to receive goods in the factory-store,
  which they understood were to be given to them. On the 13th, Captain
  Wells, of Fort Wayne, arrived with about thirty Miamis, for the
  purpose of escorting us in, by request of General Hull. On the 14th
  I delivered to the Indians all the goods of the factory-store, and a
  considerable quantity of provisions which we could not take with us.
  The surplus arms and ammunition I thought proper to destroy, fearing
  they would make bad use of it, if put in their possession. I also
  destroyed all liquor on hand soon after they began to collect.

  The collection was unusually large for that place, but they conducted
  with the strictest propriety until after I left the fort. On the
  15th, at 9 A. M., we commenced our march. A part of the Miamis were
  detached in front, the remainder in our rear, as guards, under the
  direction of Captain Wells. The situation of the country rendered it
  necessary for us to take the beach, with the lake on our left and
  a high sand-bank on our right at about one hundred yards distance.
  We had proceeded about a mile and a half when it was discovered
  that the Indians were prepared to attack us from behind the bank. I
  immediately marched up, with the company, to the top of the bank,
  when the action commenced; after firing one round we charged, and the
  Indians gave way in front and joined those on our flanks. In about
  fifteen minutes they got possession of all our horses, provisions,
  and baggage of every description, and, finding the Miamis did not
  assist us, I drew off the men I had left and took possession of a
  small elevation in the open prairie, out of shot of the bank or any
  other cover. The Indians did not follow me but assembled in a body
  on the top of the bank, and after some private consultation among
  themselves, made signs for me to approach them. I advanced toward
  them alone and was met by one of the Pottowatomie chiefs called
  Black-bird, with an interpreter. After shaking hands, he requested
  me to surrender, promising to spare the lives of all the prisoners.
  On a few moments consideration I concluded it would be most prudent
  to comply with his request, although I did not put entire confidence
  in his promise. After delivering up our arms we were taken back to
  their encampment near the fort, and distributed among the different

  The next morning they set fire to the fort and left the place, taking
  the prisoners with them. Their number of warriors was between four
  and five hundred, mostly from the Pottowatomie nation, and their
  loss, from the best information I could get, was about fifteen.
  Our strength was about fifty-four regulars and twelve militia,
  out of which twenty-six regulars and all the militia were killed
  in the action, with two women and twelve children. Ensign George
  Ronan and Dr. Isaac Van Voorhis of my company, with Captain Wells
  of Fort Wayne, to my great sorrow, are numbered among the dead.
  Lieutenant Linai T. Helm, with twenty-five non-commissioned officers
  and privates and eleven women and children, were prisoners when we

  Mrs. Heald and myself were taken to the mouth of the river St.
  Joseph, and, being both badly wounded, were permitted to reside
  with Mr. Burnett, an Indian trader. In a few days after our arrival
  there, the Indians went off to take Fort Wayne, and in their absence
  I engaged a Frenchman to take us to Michilimackinac by water, where
  I gave myself up as a prisoner of war, with one of my sergeants. The
  commanding officer, Captain Roberts, offered me every assistance
  in his power to render our situation comfortable while we remained
  there, and to enable us to proceed on our journey. To him I gave my
  parole of honor, and came to Detroit and reported myself to Colonel
  Proctor, who gave us a passage to Buffalo, from that place I came by
  way of Presque-Isle, and arrived here yesterday.

                                                          Nathan Heald.

The following letter from Captain Heald, written three years after
taking up his residence in Missouri, speaks for itself:

            St. Charles, Missouri Territory May 18th, 1820.

  Sir:--I had the honor of receiving your letter of the 30th of March,
  a few days since. The garrison at Chicago commanded by me at the time
  Detroit was surrendered by General Hull, were every man paid up to
  the 30th of June, 1812, inclusive, officers' subsistence and forage

  The last payment embraced nine months, and was made by myself as
  the agent of Mr. Eastman, but I cannot say what the amount was.
  Every paper relative to that transaction was soon after lost. I am,
  however, confident that there was no deposit with me to pay the
  garrison for the three months subsequent to the 30th of June, 1812.

  The receipt-rolls which I had taken from Mr. Eastman, together with
  the balance of money in my hands, fell into the hands of the Indians
  on the 15th of August, 1812, when the troops under my command were
  defeated near Chicago; what became of them afterwards I know not. I
  have no papers in my possession relative to that garrison, excepting
  one muster-roll for the month of May, 1812. By it I find that the
  garrison there consisted of one captain, one 2nd lieutenant, one
  ensign, one surgeon's mate, four sergeants, two corporals, four
  musicians and forty-one privates. I cannot determine what the
  strength of the garrison was at any other time during the years 1811
  and 1812, but it was on the decline. Monthly returns were regularly
  submitted to the Adjutant and Inspector-General's office, at
  Washington City, which, I suppose, can be found at any time.

  I am respectfully sir, your most obedient servant,

                                                            Nathan Heald.

       Peter Hagner, Esq.,       }
  3rd Auditor's Office, Treasury }
  Department, Washington City.   }

       *       *       *       *       *

  This brings up to the mind of every officer the terrors of the
  "Auditors of the Treasury." Not victory or defeat, not wounds or
  even death--nay, not old Time himself can clear a soldier from the
  terrible ordeal of the "Accounting Department." Poor Heald had
  evidently been asked: "Where is the money which was in your hands
  before the savages surrounded you, slaughtered your troops, wounded
  yourself and your wife, massacred the civilians under your care,
  tortured to death your wounded and burned your fort?" At the same
  time the ordnance bureau doubtless asked what had become of the
  arms, ammunition, accoutrements and cooking utensils; the commissary
  bureau asked after the stores and the quartermaster's bureau after
  the equippage. Scores of thousands of volunteer officers in the Union
  war found to their cost that their fighting was the only thing which
  the War Department kept no record of; that their account-keeping
  and reporting was what must be most carefully looked after if they
  would free themselves, their heirs, executors and assigns, from
  imperishable obligations. For the government knows no "statute of
  limitations"--takes no account of the lapse of time any more than
  does Nature in her operations. "Contra regem tempus non occurret."

  Yet, paradoxical as it may seem, this is right. If all men were
  honest, "red tape" could be done away with; but as men are,
  individual accountability is indispensable. Without it, the army
  might fall into negligence leading to corruption, instead of being,
  as it is, the very example of administrational honor and probity.

       *       *       *       *       *

It so happens that the death of Mrs. Maria (Heald) Edwards, niece of
Captain Nathan Heald and mother of Mrs. General Chetlain, is announced
after the above matter had been put in print. She died on May 6, 1893,
at the residence of General Chetlain, in this city, at the ripe age of
ninety years.

It stirs the heart to think that, almost up to this very day, there
was living among us so near a relative to the gallant and unfortunate
captain; a woman who was a girl nine years old when her uncle passed
through the direful ordeal.






SOME ominous threatenings were heard at old Ft. Dearborn
before the bursting of the storm of August 15, 1812. Among them was the
killing of the interpreter for the government, John Lalime.

John Kinzie arrived at Fort Dearborn in 1804, and with his family
occupied a house built of squared logs, which, up to about 1840,
stood where the corner of Cass and Kinzie streets now is. He was an
Indian-trader, furnishing what the savages desired and taking furs in
exchange. The government also had an Indian agent, or trader, there.

Various circumstances tend to show that before 1812 considerable
rivalry existed between the government fur-trading agency and the
civilian dealers. The former had certain advantages in the cheapness of
purchase and transportation, but were restricted as to selling liquor.
The latter were nominally under the same restriction, but practically
free, and the Indians, like other dipsomaniacs, hated every man who
tried to restrain their drinking. The short-sighted savages mistook
their friends for their enemies, their enemies for their friends. They
loved the poison and the poisoner.

[Illustration: Remains unearthed April 26th and presented to the
Historical Society July 27, 1891.]

Mrs. Kinzie, in Wau-Bun, says that there were two factions in the
garrison, the Kinzies sympathizing with the opposition. Also that,
though the garrison was massacred, no Kinzie was injured, the immunity
extending even to Lieutenant Linai T. Helm, who had married Mr.
Kinzie's step-daughter. Also that while the fort was burned, the Kinzie
mansion was left untouched, and remained standing up to within the
memory of living men.

For several years before 1812, John Lalime, a Frenchman, had been
the government's salaried interpreter at Fort Dearborn. The earliest
mention of the name occurs in a letter written from St. Joseph by
William Burnett to his Detroit correspondent, which begins with the
words: "When Mr. Lalime was in Detroit last you was pleased to tell
him that if I should want anything at your house, it should be at my
service." The next intelligence about him is in two letters he wrote
concerning Indian matters. The first was to Wm. Clark, Governor of
Missouri, and reads as follows:

                                               Chicago, 26th May, 1811.

  Sir--An Indian from the Peorias passed here yesterday and has given
  me information that the Indians about that place have been about
  the settlements of Kaskasia and Vincennes and have stolen from
  fifteen to twenty horses. It appears by the information given me
  that the principal actors are two brothers of the wife of Main Foe.
  He is residing on the Peoria, or a little above it, at a place they
  call "Prairie du Corbeau." By the express going to Fort Wayne I
  will communicate this to the agent. I presume, sir, that you will
  communicate this to the Governor of Kaskasia and General Harrison. I
  am sir, with respect,

                                           Y'r h'ble serv't,
                                                             J. Lalime.

The second letter is the one mentioned in the first. It is written to
John Johnson, United States factor at Fort Wayne, dated July 7th, 1811,
and reads as follows:

  Since my last to you we have news of other depredations and murders
  committed about the settlement of Cahokia. The first news we received
  was that the brother-in-law of Main Poc went down and stole a number
  of horses. Second, another party went down, stole some horses, killed
  a man and took off a young woman, but they being pursued were obliged
  to leave her to save themselves. Third, they have been there and
  killed and destroyed a whole family. The cause of it in part is from
  the Little Chief that came last fall to see Governor Harrison under
  the feigned name of Wapepa. He told the Indians that he had told the
  governor that the Americans were settling on their lands, and asked
  him what should be done with them. He told the Indians that the
  Governor had told him they were bad people.

We observe that the Peoria chief, Main Poc, is mentioned as blameworthy
for these wrongs. It may be interesting to know Main Poc's side of the
question. Said he:

  You astonish me with your talk! Whenever you do wrong there is
  nothing said or done; but when we do anything you immediately take
  us and tie us by the neck with a rope. You say, what will become of
  our women and children if there is war? On the other hand, what will
  become of your women and children? It is best to avoid war.

Lalime's letters show that he was a man of ability and education. We
also guess, from a clause in Article III of the treaty of 1821, that
Lalime lived after the manner of those days, and left at least one
half-breed child. The clause reserves a half-section of land for "John
B. Lalime, son of Noke-no-qua."

Miss Noke-no-qua is not otherwise known to history.

The next knowledge we have of Lalime relates to his violent death in
the spring of 1812, about five months before the massacre, at a point
on the south bank of the river within a stone's throw of where is now
the south end of Rush Street bridge.

[Illustration: GURDON SALTONSTALL HUBBARD. (Last picture taken of him.)]

In a letter written by the lamented Gurdon Hubbard to John Wentworth,
June 25th, 1881, we read:

  As regards the unfortunate killing of Mr. Lalime by Mr. John Kinzie,
  I have heard the account of it related by Mrs. Kinzie and her
  daughter, Mrs. Helm. Mr. Kinzie never, in my hearing, alluded to or
  spoke of it. He deeply regretted the act. Knowing his aversion to
  conversing on the subject, I never spoke to him about it.

  Mrs. Kinzie said that her husband and Lalime had for several years
  been on unfriendly terms, and had had frequent altercations; that at
  the time of the encounter Mr. Kinzie had crossed the river alone,
  in a canoe, going to the fort, and that Lalime met him outside the
  garrison and shot him, the ball cutting the side of his neck. She
  supposed that Lalime saw her husband crossing, and taking his pistol
  went through the gate purposely to meet him. Mr. Kinzie, closing with
  Lalime, stabbed him and returned to the house covered with blood. He
  told his wife what he had done, that he feared he had killed Lalime,
  and probably a squad would be sent for him and that he must hide.
  She, in haste, took bandages and with him retreated to the woods,
  where as soon as possible she dressed his wounds, returning just
  in time to meet an officer with a squad with orders to seize her
  husband. He could not be found. For several days he was hid in the
  bush and cared for by his wife.

  Lalime was, I understand, an educated man, and quite a favorite with
  the officers, who were greatly excited. They decided he should be
  buried near Kinzie's house, in plain view from his front door and
  piazza. The grave was enclosed in a picket fence, which Mr. Kinzie,
  in his lifetime, kept in perfect order. My impression has ever been
  that Mr. Kinzie acted, as he told his wife, in self-defence. This
  is borne out by the fact that, after a full investigation by the
  officers, whose friend the deceased was, they acquitted Mr. Kinzie,
  who then returned to his family.

  In some of these details I may be in error, but the fact has always
  been firm in my mind that Lalime made the attack, provoking the
  killing, in self-defence. Mr. Kinzie deeply regretted the result, and
  avoided any reference to it.

                                                         G. S. Hubbard.

Mr. Hubbard does not say he remembers having seen the grave. He did not
come to Chicago to live until 1836. Judge Blodgett, as we shall see
hereafter, describes its position as not on the river bank, but back in
the timber.

A somewhat different account of the affair was given by Mrs. Porthier
(Victoire Mirandeau,) and printed in Captain Andreas' History of
Chicago, Vol. II, page 105.

  My sister Madeline and I saw the fight between John Kinzie and
  Lalime, when Lalime was killed. It was sunset, when they used to
  shut the gates of the fort. Kinzie and Lalime came out together,
  and soon we heard Lieutenant Helm call out for Mr. Kinzie to look
  out for Lalime, as he had a pistol. Quick we saw the men come
  together. We heard the pistol go off and saw the smoke. Then they
  fell down together. I don't know as Lalime got up at all, but Kinzie
  got home pretty quick. Blood was running from his shoulder, where
  Lalime had shot him. In the night he packed up some things and my
  father took him to Milwaukee, where he stayed until his shoulder
  got well and he found he would not be troubled if he came back. You
  see, Kinzie wasn't to blame at all. He didn't have any pistol nor
  knife--nothing. After Lalime shot him and Kinzie got his arms around
  him, he (Lalime) pulled out his dirk, and as they fell he was stabbed
  with his own knife. That is what they all said. I didn't see the
  knife at all. I don't remember where Lalime was buried. I don't think
  his grave was very near Kinzie's house. I don't remember that Mr.
  Kinzie ever took care of the grave. That is all I know about it. I
  don't know what the quarrel was about. It was an old one--business, I

This bears all the thumb-marks of truth. It comes at first hand from a
disinterested eye-witness. Even if we suppose Mrs. Kinzie to have seen
the affray, which she does not say, it was doubtless from the opposite
side of the river, while Victoire and her sister were in the fort
itself. No other account, direct from an eye-witness, has ever been

Now, without pretending to certainty, it strikes me as probable that
up to this time Kinzie stood on the Indian side of the irrepressible
conflict between white men and red men, while the army and Lalime took
the other. Mrs. Helm's narrative in Wau-Bun is decidedly hostile to
the good sense of the commandant of the fort, and even to the courage
of some of his faithful subordinates, while obviously friendly to the
mutinous element in his command. Therefore it seems to me quite likely
that Lalime's crazy attack on Kinzie was not entirely disconnected with
that irrepressible conflict, that this long-standing quarrel had more
than appears on the surface to do with the admitted success of Kinzie's
trade and the well-known unprofitableness of the business carried on by
the government agency.

On April 29th, 1891, there was unearthed at the southwest corner of
Cass and Illinois streets, a skeleton. Workmen were digging a cellar
there for a large new building, and were startled by having the shovel
stopped by a skull, wherein its edge made a slight abrasion. Further
examination brought to light some spinal vertebrae, some fragments of
ribs, some remains of shoulder-blades and pelvis-bones, some bones
of the upper and lower arms and the hip-bones, besides two bones of
the lower part of one leg; also fragments, nearly crumbled away, of
a rude pine coffin. The rumor of the discovery spread through the
neighborhood, and luckily reached the ears of Mr. Scott Fergus, son of
the veteran printer, Robert Fergus, whose establishment stands within
ten feet of the place where these relics of mortality had so long lain

Mr. Fergus at once tried to save and collect the bones, and finding
some disposition on the part of the laborers to disregard his requests,
he rang for the police-patrol wagon, which bundled the little lot into
a soap-box and carried them to the East Chicago Avenue station.

I was out of town at this time and did not hear of the interesting
occurrence until Mr. Fergus told me of it upon my return, about a month
later. I then went to the station, only to learn that the bones, being
unclaimed, had been sent in the patrol-wagon to the morgue at the
County Hospital, on the West Side. However, on looking up the officer
who carried them over, he freely and kindly offered to try to reclaim
them, and have them delivered to the Historical Society. The morgue
officials, after a few days, at a merely nominal expense, complied with
the request, and they are now here. Was this, _is_ this the skeleton of
John Lalime?

The place where the bones were found is within a stone's throw of the
exact spot indicated by Gurdon Hubbard as the place where the picket
fence marked the grave, "two hundred yards west of the Kinzie house."

Dr. Arthur B. Hosmer, and Dr. Otto Freer, who have examined the relics
independently of each other, and assisted me in arranging them in human
semblance, consider them to be the skeleton of a slender white man,
about five feet and four inches in height.

The color, consistency and general conditions indicate that they had
lain in the ground (dry sand) for a very long time, reaching probably
or possibly the seventy-nine years which have elapsed since Lalime's

Now, admitting their expert judgment to be correct, this man died not
far from 1812. At that time there had not and never had been in all
these parts more than some fifty to one hundred white men, nearly all
of whom were soldiers, living in the fort and subject to burial in the
fort burying-ground, adjoining the present site of Michigan Avenue and
Randolph street. At a later date, say fifty years ago, isolated burials
were not uncommon, but even then they could scarcely have occurred in
so public a spot as the north bank cf the river, close to the docks
and warehouses which had been by that time built there.

John C. Haines, Fernando Jones and others remember perfectly the
existence of that lonely little fenced enclosure, and even that it was
said to mark the resting-place of a man killed in a fight. They and all
others agree that no other burials were made thereabouts, so far as
known. Another point, favorable or otherwise to this identification, is
the fact that the place where the skeleton was found is the lot whereon
stood the first St. James Church, and that the attendants there, as I
was informed by one of them, Mr. Ezra McCagg, never heard of any burial
as having taken place in the church-yard.

On the other hand, Mr. Hubbard designates "the river bank" as the place
of burial, and the memory of Mr. Fernando Jones is to the effect that
the fenced enclosure was nearer to the place of Rush Street bridge than
is the spot of finding.

But in contradiction to this view. Judge Blodgett tells me that he
was here in 1831 and 1832, which was several years before either Mr.
Jones or Mr. Haines, and before Mr. Hubbard came here to live, he being
then trading at Danville. The Judge adds that with the Beaubien and
Laframboise boys he paddled canoes on the creek, played in the old
Kinzie log-house and wandered all about the numerous paths that ran
along the river bank, and back into the thick, tangled underbrush which
filled the woods, covering almost all the North Side west of the shore
sand-hills. He says that one path over which they traveled back and
forth ran from the old house west to the forks of the river, passing
north of the old Agency house--"Cobweb Castle"--which stood near the
northeast corner of Kinzie and State Streets. Also that from that path
behind Cobweb Castle the boys pointed further north to where they said
there was a grave where the man was buried whom John Kinzie had killed,
but they never went out to that spot, and so far as he remembered he
never saw the grave. A kind of awe kept him quite clear of that place.
All he knows is that it was somewhere out in the brush behind the
Agency house.

This seems to locate the grave as nearly as possible at the corner of
Illinois and Cass streets, where these relics were found. Fernando
Jones suggests that even if the grave was originally elsewhere, the
remains might have got into the church lot in this way: In 1832
Robert Kinzie entered and subdivided Kinzie's Addition, bounded by
Chicago Avenue on the north, the lake on the east, Kinzie Street on
the south and State Street on the west, and gradually he and his
brother John sold the lots. In 1835 they gave the St. James Society
the two lots where the church was built and wherein this skeleton
was found. What more likely than that on selling the lot whereon the
original interment took place (supposing it to be other than where
the bones were unearthed) the sellers were compelled, either by the
buyer's stipulation or their own sense of duty to their father's
manifest wishes, to find a new place for the coffin of poor Lalime, and
thereupon selected the spare room in the new church-yard?

       *       *       *       *       *

It is worthy of note, that as, with the skeleton, were found the
remains of a coffin--a single bit of pine board, showing the well-known
"shoulder angle," though decayed so that only a crumbling strip half an
inch thick was left--this could not have been a secret interment, made
to conceal the death of a man. It would seem utterly improbable that
two men's bodies should have been coffined and buried within the little
space of ground, in the few years of time pointed out by all these
circumstances. We learn that Lalime was so buried; also that, so far
as known, all other excavations thereabouts have failed to expose his
remains; also that these relics have now come to light. Everyone must
draw his own conclusion. I have drawn mine. If it be erroneous, this
exploitation of the subject will be likely to bring out the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                                Chicago, July 20th, 1891.

  Joseph Kirkland, Esquire:

  _Dear Sir_--In answer to your inquiry as to any incidents coming to
  my knowledge as to the grave of John Lalime, who was buried near the
  mouth of the Chicago River in the year 1812, I furnish the following

  When I arrived in Chicago, on my sixteenth birthday, May 26th, 1835,
  I landed on the north side of the present river, near its mouth, very
  near to the old John Kinzie homestead. I was escorted to the historic
  Cobweb Castle and the Dearborn Street bridge by the children of an
  old friend of my father's, Samuel Jackson, who was employed upon the
  north pier harbor work, and who had been an old neighbor in Buffalo,
  New York, where he had also been employed upon the government harbor.
  The little boy, Ezra, and the girl, Abigail, pointed out a grave
  situated a little to the north of our path and several hundred feet
  west of the Kinzie house. The grave was surrounded by a neat white
  picket fence. I passed it many times afterward, during that and the
  succeeding summer, and often visited it with children about my own
  age. The history of this lonely grave, as detailed by them, gave it
  a peculiar fascination to me, and to them, and to others who saw
  it. I recall now, after an interval of mere than half a century, a
  number of persons who visited this grave with me, among whom were
  the Indian wife of Captain Jamison; the wife of Lieut. Thompson, a
  half-breed woman; Virginia Baxley, daughter of Captain Baxley, of the
  fort; Pierre Laframboise, son of a chief and interpreter; Alexander
  Beaubien, son of a trader, and John C. Haines, who was also a clerk
  near me on South Water Street.

  The tradition in regard to this grave was that it was the last
  resting-place of a Frenchman named Lalime, who was government
  interpreter at the fort, and who was killed in an encounter with the
  old Indian-trader, John Kinzie. It was said that the officers of
  the garrison had the body buried in sight of Mr. Kinzie's house in
  resentment for his murder. But it seems that old Mr. Kinzie took the
  sting from this reproach by carefully tending the spot during his
  lifetime, and his son, John H. Kinzie, continued the same care over

  Soon after the erection of St. James Episcopal Church, about the
  year 1838, a grave was noticed on the north side of the lot and in
  the rear of the church, which was situated on the southwest corner
  of Cass and Illinois Streets, and opposite the new house of John H.
  Kinzie. The lot upon which the Frenchman was buried had been sold
  by Mr. John H. Kinzie, and was built upon, and Mr. Kinzie had given
  the lot upon the corner for the church. Mr. Alonzo C. Wood, the
  builder of the church, who still survives, informs me that the grave
  appeared there mysteriously, and his remembrance is that the Rev.
  Mr. Hallam, the priest in charge, informed him that the remains were
  placed there by the direction of Mr. Kinzie, or Mrs. Kinzie, but he
  has no further distinct recollection in regard to it. I, myself,
  never mentioned the subject to Mr. John H. Kinzie, but remember a
  conversation with his brother, Robert A. Kinzie, U. S. Paymaster, in
  which he expressed satisfaction that his brother had taken care of
  the bones of poor Lalime. It was understood by the few conversant
  with the history of Lalime's death that both the elder Kinzie and
  his son, John H., were averse to speaking of the matter, but "Bob"
  was very like an Indian, and not at all reticent on the question,
  and that the legend among those who took any interest in the matter
  has always been that this solitary grave in the church-yard was the
  grave of the "little Frenchman" who was first buried near the spot.
  Under the circumstances, it is not strange that the removal should
  have been quietly made, and I have little doubt in my own mind that
  the tradition is correct.

                                              Very sincerely yours,

                                                        Fernando Jones.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                                    Chicago, 15 July, 1891.

    Major J. Kirkland:
  Without very definite recollection as to just where the grave of John
  Lalime stood in 1835, when I came to Chicago, I can say that I knew
  of its existence and have an impression it stood in St. James' Church
  lot, corner of Cass and Michigan Streets.

                                                            John C. Haines.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                            108 Pine Street, Chicago, }
                                                       July 11, 1893. }

  The bones shown me at this date at the Chicago Historical Society,
  constitute the major portion of a human skeleton--that of an adult
  white male of slender build and about five feet four to five inches
  in height. There is evidence of a partial or complete fracture of the
  left femur, at some time in his life, thoroughly repaired and with
  some permanent thickening of the bone.

  Judging by the color, weight and rotten condition of the bones, I
  believe that they have been in the ground (supposing it to be sandy
  and above water-level) at least sixty (60) but not to exceed one
  hundred (100) years.

                                                    A. B. Hosmer, M. D.

       *       *       *       *       *


  The skeleton shown me by Mr. Joseph Kirkland is without doubt of
  great age and resembles in appearance fragments of others that have
  lain for many years in sandy soil. All animal matter has departed
  from the bones, leaving them very light and consisting of the mineral
  portions alone.

  The type of skeleton is that of a man of moderate stature and light
  build. The skull is that of a white man and of great symmetry. The
  lower jaw is missing, but the upper perfect, barring loss of all
  teeth but one. The presence of the third molar's sockets speaks
  for the complete maturity of the man. It is impossible exactly to
  estimate the exact time that the skeleton has been in the ground, but
  its appearance would tally well with the eighty years it is supposed
  to have lain there.

                                                         Dr. O. T. Freer.

  July 20th, 1891.




                                        Sheboygan (Wis.), May 24th, 1891.

  Hon. John Wentworth:

  _Dear Sir_--I have had the pleasure of reading your account and also
  the remarks of others in regard to Chicago and Illinois history. I
  am acquainted with some facts derived from conversation with one who
  was there, and witnessed the fight and killing of many of those who
  lost their lives on that memorable day. She was a daughter of one of
  the soldiers, and was one of the children who, with her mother and
  sisters, occupied the wagons, or conveyances that was to convey them
  from the fort. She told me she saw her father when he fell, and also
  many others. She, with her mother and sisters, were taken prisoners
  among the Indians for nearly two years, and were finally taken to
  Mackinac and sold to the traders and sent to Detroit. On our arrival
  in Detroit, in 1816, after the war, this girl was taken into our
  family, and was then about thirteen years old, and had been scalped.
  She said a young Indian came to the wagon where she was and grabbed
  her by the hair and pulled her out of the wagon, and she fought him
  the best she knew how, scratching and biting, till finally he threw
  her down and scalped her. She was so frightened she was not aware of
  it until the blood ran down her face. An old squaw interfered and
  prevented her from being tomahawked by the Indian, she going with
  the squaw to her wigwam, and was taken care of and her head cured.
  This squaw was one that often came to their house. The bare spot on
  the top of the head was about the size of a silver dollar. She saw
  Captain Wells killed, and told the same story as related in your

  My father was well acquainted with Captain Wells; was stationed with
  him at Fort Wayne, Indiana, where I was born, in 1807, and he was
  surgeon of the post. My mother was a daughter of Col. Thomas Hunt of
  the Fifth Infantry.

  I think there must be a mistake as to the year the Kinzies returned
  to Chicago. My father and family arrived in Detroit in June, 1816;
  the Kinzies were there then, and I was schoolmate of John, Robert,
  Ellen and Maria during that year, and I think they returned to
  Chicago in 1817. Mr. Kinzie went in the fall of 1816, and the family
  in the spring of 1817.

  I was in Chicago in 1832 in the Black Hawk War time, as First
  Lieutenant of cavalry, from Michigan. The regiment was commanded by
  General Hart L. Stewart, now living in Chicago.

  During the Black Hawk War, and when in Chicago, we heard of the
  killing of the Hall family and the carrying off of the two girls. Our
  company camped that night at the mouth of the Little Calumet, and
  next morning went into Chicago, and the fort was occupied by women
  and children of the surrounding country.

  Then I saw for the last time my schoolmate, R. A. Kinzie. My brother.
  Col. L. A. H. Edwards, was in command of the fort after we left, and
  had a Cass County regiment of military from Michigan. We met him on
  our return at Door Prairie. He remained there until the arrival of
  Major Whistler, in June, 1832; he retired from the fort before the
  landing of any of the U. S. troops, on account of cholera being among
  them, and he wished to avoid any contact with them on that account.
  His command camped on the prairie, about a mile from the fort, and
  remained only a day or two. Fearing the cholera might get among his
  men, he left for home, as he saw they were not needed any longer, and
  was so informed by Major Whistler.

  Captain Anderson, Ensign Wallace and myself camped under the
  hospitable roof of General Beaubien, on the bank of the lake, not
  very far from the fort, who had kept the only house there. Mark
  Beaubien Jr. went into Chicago with us, he having joined us at Niles,
  on his way home from school. He was the son of the one called the

  Our family lived in Detroit and were well acquainted with the
  Whistlers. My father. Major Edwards, was in Detroit at the surrender
  of Hull, as Surgeon-General of the Northwestern Army. He went from
  Ohio, and arriving in Detroit, received his appointment. Our family
  was then living in Dayton, Ohio. At the close of the war he resigned,
  and in 1816 removed to Detroit and was appointed sutler to all
  Northwestern posts--Fort Gratiot, Mackinac, Green Bay [Fort Howard],
  and Chicago [Fort Dearborn]--his books, now in my possession,
  showing his dealings with each of these stores, and all the officers
  mentioned in your paper.

It is pleasant to note that at the disastrous fire at the Calumet Club,
which occurred while these pages were preparing, the Beaubien fiddle
and the Wells hatchet were saved.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                       Sheboygan (Wis.), Jan. 10, 1881.

  Your letter of the 5th came to hand to-day. The person I named as
  being present at the massacre, was a daughter of Cooper,[AV] one
  of the soldiers who was killed in the fight. Her account, as given
  to me, as also her mother's, was that as soon as all the soldiers
  were disposed of, the Indians made a rush for the wagons, where
  the women and children were. Her mother, and sister younger than
  herself, were taken from the wagon and carried away. A young Indian
  boy about fourteen or fifteen years old dragged her by the hair
  out of the wagon, and she bit and scratched him so badly that he
  finally scalped her and would have killed her if an old squaw had
  not prevented him. I think she married a man by the name of Farnum
  and lived many years in Detroit. Her mother died there about the
  year 1832. The sisters were living in Detroit in 1828. I have since
  heard they were living in Mackinac. I do not know the first name of
  Cooper. He was killed and the girl said she saw her father's scalp
  in the hands of an Indian afterward. He had sandy hair. I think she
  said they were Scotch. Isabella had children. The girl said she saw
  Wells when he fell from his horse, and that his face was painted.
  What became of her sister I do not know, as I left Detroit in 1823,
  but my father and mother remained there until 1828. You will receive
  with this a statement written by my father regarding himself, a short
  time before his death, which occurred in October, 1860, at Kalamazoo,
  Mich., where he had resided for many years. The statement will give
  you all the information in regard to himself as well as who my
  mother was. Her father, Thomas Hunt, was appointed a surgeon in the
  army directly after the battle of Bunker Hill, where he was brought
  into notice by an act of gallantry, then only a boy of fifteen. He
  remained in the army until his death, in 1808, in command of his
  regiment, at Bellefontaine, Missouri. His sons and grandsons have
  been representatives in the army ever since. Captain Thomas Hunt,
  mentioned in your letter, was a son, and the present General Henry
  J. Hunt, of the Artillery, and General Lewis C. Hunt, commanding the
  Fourth Infantry, grandsons, whose father (my mother's brother) was
  Captain Samuel W. Hunt of the army.

  My grandfather, Thomas Hunt, was a captain under Lafayette, and was
  wounded at Yorktown in storming a redoubt of the British. Afterward
  he was with General Anthony Wayne in his campaign against the
  Indians, and was left in command of Fort Wayne as its first commander
  after the subjection of the Indians.

                                                         A. H. Edwards.

[AV] "John Cooper, Surgeon's Mate," is found in the muster-roll shown
on page 150. He also signed the certificate to the roll.

For other extracts from this interesting paper see Appendix E--"The
Wells and Heald families."

[Illustration: THE SAUGANASH (1833).]



[Illustration: T]HE Sauganash had qualities, good and bad, appertaining
to each of his parent races. He had fighting courage and coolness in
danger, he had physical endurance, he had personal faithfulness to
personal friends, he had a love of strong drink. There is now (1893) in
this city, an account-book kept which was at a Chicago grocery store in
the thirties, wherein appear many charges reading: "One quart whisky
to B. Caldwell." The book is in possession of Julian Rumsey, Esq., a
relative of Mrs. Juliette (Magill) Kinzie, author of "Wau-Bun."

When the inevitable separation came, and the Indians, after a grand
farewell war-dance (August 18, 1835),[AW] departed on their migration
toward the setting sun, Caldwell went with them, and died September
28, 1841, at Council Bluffs, Iowa. His old friend Mark Beaubien, had
named after him the first and most noted of Chicago's real hotels, the
"Sauganash," lovingly remembered by many of the "first families."

[AW] See Appendix I.

       *       *       *       *       *

Letter written by the Sauganash [Billy Caldwell] and Shabonee [Chambly].

                                        Council Bluffs, March 23rd, 1840.

  _To General Harrison's Friends:_

  The other day several newspapers were brought to us; and peeping over
  them, to our astonishment we found that the hero of the late war was
  called a coward. This would have surprised the tall braves, Tecumseh,
  of the Shawnees, and Round Head and Walk-in-the-water of the late
  Tomahawkees. The first time we got acquainted with General Harrison,
  it was at the council fires of the late Old Tempest, General Wayne,
  on the headquarters of the Wabash at Greenville, 1796. From that
  time till 1811 we had many friendly smokes with him; but from 1812
  we changed our tobacco smoke into powder smoke. Then we found that
  General Harrison was a brave warrior and humane to his prisoners, as
  reported to us by two of Tecumseh's young men, who were taken in the
  fleet with Captain Barclay on the 10th of September, 1813, and on the
  Thames, where he routed both the red-men and the British, and where
  he showed his courage and his humanity to his prisoners, both white
  and red. See report of Adams Brown and family, taken on the morning
  of the battle, October 5th, 1813. We are the only two surviving of
  that day in this country. We hope the good white men will protect the
  name of General Harrison. We remain your friends forever.

                                  Chamblee [Shabonee], Aid to Tecumseh.

[Illustration: Billy Caldwell (signature)]

[Illustration: ME-TEE-A; A SIGNER OF THE TREATY OF 1821.]



[Illustration: E]ARLY in 1833 Indians to the number of five thousand or
more, assembled at Chicago, around the fort, the village, the rivers
and the portage, to treat for the sale of their entire remaining
possessions in Illinois and Wisconsin. John Joseph Latrobe, in his
"Rambles in North America," gives the following realistic sketch of the
state of things hereabouts just sixty years ago:

  A mushroom town on the verge of a level country, crowded to its
  utmost capacity and beyond, a surrounding cloud of Indians encamped
  on the prairie, beneath the shelter of the woods, on the river-side
  or by the low sand-hills along the lake, companies of old warriers
  under every bush, smoking, arguing, palavering, pow-wowing, with no
  apparent prospect of agreement.

The negotiations dragged on for weeks and months, for the Indians
were slow to put an end to their jollification, an occasion when they
were the guests of the Government, and fared sumptuously with nothing
to pay. The treaty had still to be ratified by the senate before its
provisions could be carried out and the settlement made. This took
about two years.


The money paid and the goods delivered, the Indians shook the dust off
their feet and departed; the dust shaking being literal, for once, as
they joined, just before starting, in a final "war-dance." For this
strange scene, we fortunately have as witness Ex-Chief-Justice Caton,
previously quoted herein. He estimates the dancers at eight hundred,
that being all the braves that could be mustered, out of the five
thousand members then present of the departing tribes. The date was
August 18th, 1835. He says:

  They appreciated that it was their last on their native soil--that
  it was a sort of funeral ceremony of old associations and memories,
  and nothing was omitted to lend it all the grandeur and solemnity
  possible. They assembled at the Council House (North-east corner of
  Rush and Kinzie Streets). All were naked except a strip of cloth
  around their loins. Their bodies were covered with a great variety
  of brilliant paints. On their faces particularly they seemed to have
  exhausted their art of hideous decoration. Foreheads, cheeks and
  noses were covered with curved strips of red or vermillion, which
  were edged with black points, and gave the appearance of a horrid
  grin. The long, coarse black hair was gathered into scalp locks on
  the tops of their heads and decorated with a profusion of hawks'
  and eagles' feathers; some strung together so as to reach nearly
  to the ground. They were principally armed with tomahawks and war
  clubs. They were led by what answered for a band of music, which
  created a discordant din of hideous noises, produced by beating on
  hollow vessels and striking clubs and sticks together. They advanced
  with a continuous dance. Their actual progress was quite slow. They
  proceeded up along the river on the North side, stopping in front
  of every house to perform some extra antics. They crossed the north
  branch on the old bridge, about Kinzie Street, and proceeded south
  to the bridge which stood where Lake Street bridge is now, nearly in
  front of, and in full view from the Sauganash Hotel ("Wigwam" lot,
  Lake and Market Streets). A number of young married people had rooms
  there. The parlor was in the second story pointing west, from the
  windows of which the best view of the dancers was to be had and these
  were filled with ladies.

The young lawyer, afterward Chief Justice, had come to the West in
1833, and less than a year before this had gone back to Oneida County,
New York, and there married Miss Laura Sherrill. They were among the
lookers-on from those upper windows, a crowd all interested, many
agitated and some really frightened at the thought of the passions and
memories that must be inflaming those savage breasts and that were
making them the very picture of demoniac fury.

  Although the din and clatter had been heard for some time, they did
  not come into view from this point of observation till they had
  proceeded so far West (on the North side) as to come on a line with
  the house. All the way to the South Branch bridge came the wild band,
  which was in front as they came upon the bridge, redoubling their
  blows, followed by the warriors who had now wrought themselves into a
  perfect fury.

  The morning was very warm and the perspiration was pouring from
  them. Their countenances had assumed an expression of all the worst
  passions--fierce anger, terrible hate, dire revenge, remorseless
  cruelty--all were expressed in their terrible features. Their
  tomahawks and clubs were thrown and brandished in every direction,
  and with every step and every gesture they uttered the most frightful
  yells. The dance consisted of leaps and spasmodic steps, now
  forward, now back or sidewise, the whole body distorted into every
  imaginable position, most generally stooping forward with the head
  and face thrown up, the back arched down, first one foot thrown
  forward and withdrawn and the other similarly thrust out, frequently
  squatting quite to the ground, and all with a movement almost as
  quick as lightning. The yells and screams they uttered were broken
  up and multiplied and rendered all the more hideous by a rapid
  clapping of the mouth with the palm of the hand. When the head of
  the column reached the hotel, while they looked up at the windows
  at the "Chemo-ko-man squaws," it seemed as if we had a picture of
  hell itself before us, and a carnival of the damned spirits there
  confined. They paused in their progress, for extra exploits, in
  front of John T. Semple's house, near the northwest corner of Lake
  and Franklin Streets, and then again in front of the Tremont, on the
  northwest corner of Take and Dearborn Streets, where the appearance
  of ladies again in the window again inspired them with new life and
  energy. Thence they proceeded down to Fort Dearborn, where we will
  take a final leave of my old friends, with more good wishes for their
  final welfare than I really dare hope will be realized.

The Indians were conveyed to the lands selected for them, (and accepted
by a deputation sent by them in advance of the treaty) in Clay County,
Missouri, opposite Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The Missourians were
hostile to their new, strange neighbors, and two years later they were
again moved, this time to a reservation in Iowa, near Council Bluffs.
Once more the fate of the poor waif, "Move on, move on," was theirs,
and then they halted in Kansas for many years. Their present condition
has been already sketched.

Judge Caton is an ardent, devoted friend of the Indians. He knew many
of them personally, they having been his faithful companions--by night
and day, in summer and winter--in hunting, which was the passion of his
early years. Yet here, we observe, he says sadly, that his wishes for
their welfare go beyond any confident hope he can feel.



History places the scene of the Massacre adjacent to the shore of Lake
Michigan, between the present 16th and 20th Streets. The Memorial
Group, now (1893) newly erected, stands at the eastern extremity of
18th Street, overlooking the lake (nothing intervening save the right
of way of the Illinois Central Railway); and is therefore in the midst
of the battle-field.

I think it well here to put in evidence unanswerable testimony as to
the identity of the spot selected for the group with the place where
the short and fatal struggle took place. Regarding it, Munsell's
history observes:

  The attack, the charge, the subsequent advance, etc., seem all to
  point to about the spot where is now Eighteenth Street; and to the
  Massacre tree, a tall cottonwood, still standing when these lines are
  penned (1892), though dead since about five years ago.

  For conclusive evidence of the identity of the tree and its
  trustworthiness as marking the battle-field, see certificates of old
  citizens given on page 31, Vol. I, Andreas' History of Chicago.

The letters quoted by Captain Andreas are all from persons not only
well-informed, but also of the highest social character and standing.
They are as follows:

Letter from Mrs. Henry W. King.

                                              151 Rush Street, Chicago, }
                                                      January 25, 1884. }

  A. T. Andreas, Esq.

  _Dear sir:_--I am very happy to tell you what I know about the tree
  in question, for I am anxious that its value as a relic should
  be appreciated by Chicago people, especially since the fire has
  obliterated nearly every other object connected with our early
  history. Shortly before the death of my friend Mrs. John K. Kinzie, I
  called upon her and asked her to drive with me through the city and
  point out the various locations and points of interest that she knew
  were connected with the "early day" of Chicago. She said there were
  very few objects remaining, but localities she would be happy to show

  She appointed a day, but was not well enough to keep her appointment;
  went East soon after for her health and died within a few weeks.
  However, at this interview I mention, she said that to her the most
  interesting object in our city was the old Cottonwood tree that
  stands on Eighteenth Street, between Prairie Avenue and the lake.
  She remarked that it, with its fellows, were saplings at the time of
  the Indian Massacre, and that they marked the spot of that fearful
  occurrence; though she was not sure but that the smaller one had
  either died or been cut down. I expressed surprise at the location,
  imagining that the massacre occurred further south, among the small
  sand-hills that we early settlers remember in the vicinity of Hyde
  Park. I remember that her answer to this was:

  "My child, you must understand that in 1812 there was no Chicago,
  and the distance between the old fort and Eighteenth Street was
  enormous." Said she: "My husband and his family always bore in mind
  the location of that massacre, and marked it by the Cottonwood trees,
  which, strange to say, have stood unharmed in the middle of the
  street to this day."

  The above facts I communicated to the Historical Society soon after
  Mrs. Kinzie's death, and believe through them was the means of
  preventing the cutting down of the old tree, which the citizens of
  the South Side had voted to be a nuisance. I sincerely hope something
  may be done to fence in and preserve so valuable a relic and reminder
  of one of the most sad and interesting events in the life of Chicago.

                      Believe me, sir, yours most respectfully,
                                                    Mrs. Henry W. King.

Letter from Hon. Isaac N. Arnold.

                                               Chicago, January 25, 1884.

  Captain A. T. Andreas.

  _Dear sir:_--I have your note of this morning, asking me to state
  what I know relating to the massacre at Chicago in 1812. I came to
  Chicago in October, 1836; the Fort Dearborn reservation then, and
  for several years afterward, belonged to the government, and there
  were but a few scattering houses from Fort Dearborn south to [the
  present location of] the University, and between Michigan Avenue and
  the beach of Lake Michigan. The sand-hills near the shore were still
  standing. The family of John H. Kinzie was then the most prominent
  in Chicago, and the best acquainted with its early history. From
  this family and other early settlers, and by Mr. and Mrs. Kinzie, I
  was told where the attack on the soldiers by the Indians was made.
  There were then growing some cottonwood trees near which I was told
  the massacre occurred. One of those trees is still standing in the
  street leading from Michigan Avenue to the lake and not very far from
  the track of the Illinois Central Railway. This tree was pointed out
  to me by both Mr. and Mrs Kinzie, as near the place where the attack
  began. As the fight continued, the combatants moved south and went
  over considerable space. Mrs. John H. Kinzie was a person of clear
  and retentive memory and of great intelligence. She wrote a full and
  graphic history of the massacre, obtaining her facts, in part, from
  eye-witnesses, and I have no' doubts of her accuracy.

                                      Very respectfully yours,
                                                       Isaac N. Arnold.

Letter from A. J. Galloway.

                                               Chicago, February 8, 1884.

  Captain A. T. Andreas.

_My dear sir:_--At your request I will state my recollections
concerning the cottonwood tree in the east end of Eighteenth Street.
When I removed from Eldredge Court to the present 1808 Prairie Avenue,
in 1858, the tree was in apparent good condition, though showing all
the marks of advanced age. The large lower branches (since cutoff),
after mounting upward for a time, curved gracefully downward, so that a
man riding under them could have readily touched their extremities with
his whip at a distance of twenty or twenty-five feet from the body.
From an intimate knowledge of the growth of trees, I have no doubt but
its sapling life long ante-dated the time of the massacre of the Fort
Dearborn garrison. I will venture the opinion that if it were cut down
and the stump subjected to a careful examination, it would be found
that the last two inches of its growth cover a period of fifty years at

                                              Yours truly,
                                                        A. J. Galloway.

To these highly convincing letters. Captain Andreas adds verbal
testimony as follows:

  Charles Harpell, an old citizen, now living on the North Side, says
  that as far back as he can remember this locality was known as "the
  Indian battle-ground;" that years ago, when a boy, he with others
  used to play there (the place, from its very associations, having
  the strongest attractions) and hunt in the sand for beads and other
  little trinkets, which they were wont to find in abundance. Mr.
  Harpell relates, also, that he, while playing there one day, found an
  old single-barreled brass pistol, which he kept for many years.

  Mrs. Mary Clark Williams, whose father, H. B. Clark, purchased in
  1833, the land on which the tree now stands, says that nearly fifty
  years ago she played under the old cottonwood, and that it was then
  a large and thrifty tree. In 1840 an old Indian told her that the
  massacre occurred on that spot.

On the same branch of the subject, and in absolute conformation of the
Clark testimony, see the following letter, later than the other, which
I am glad to be able to give as "the conclusion of the matter."

                                         Aspen, Colorado, March 15, 1890.

  _Editor of the Tribune:_

  I notice your interesting article on the subject of the Chicago
  Massacre of 1812. I was born on what is now Michigan Avenue (then a
  farm) and within 1,200 feet of this awful affair. Your article is in
  the main correct, though not exactly so as regards the tree at the
  foot of Eighteenth Street. This was one of a grove, consisting of
  perhaps fifty to seventy-five large cotton-woods, extending from a
  little north of Sixteenth to a little south of Eighteenth Street.
  Almost in the center of this grove--I think the exact location would
  be two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet north of Eighteenth
  Street, on the east end of Wirt Dexter's lot--stood a "clump" of
  eight or nine trees....

  The sand-hills extended from about where the Illinois Central
  round-house now is south to about Twenty-Fifth Street. They were
  covered with low cedar trees, ground pine, and sand cherry bushes,
  together with a perfect mat of sand prickers, to which the soles of
  our feet often gave testimony when in swimming. The old cemetery,
  where many of the old settlers were buried, was located near
  Twenty-Second Street and Calumet Avenue. I think the McAvoy brewery
  stands about the centre of it.

  I sincerely hope something will be done to commemorate this awful
  affair and perpetuate the memory of our ancestors, who fought the
  Indians, the fleas and the ague to make so grand and beautiful a city
  as Chicago.

                                                      Robert G. Clarke.

So much for the place selected for the bronze group, now for the work

Carl Rohl-Smith, a Danish sculptor who had already won distinction
in Europe and in America, and who came to Chicago under the strong
attraction which the preparation of the World's Columbian Exposition
offered for all artists, won notice and praise by his statue of
Franklin, cast for the entrance of the Electrical building. This work
pleased those interested highly, and the sculptor was invited to
prepare the model for a group to commemorate the Fort Dearborn Massacre
of 1812. Mr. Rohl-Smith, by the help of his accomplished wife, made a
study of the historical facts connected with the event, and naturally
concluded that Black Partridge saving the life of Mrs. Helm was the
portion of the sad story which presented the most picturesque, dramatic
and artistic features for reproduction. To this he added the killing
of Surgeon VanVoorhees, which Mrs. Helm details almost in the same
breath with the story of her own experience. The study, when completed
in clay, won the approval of all observers (this acceptance being
fortified by the warm admiration the group elicited from the best
art-critics to whom it was submitted), and orders were at once given
for the work; to be in bronze and of heroic proportions; the figure
group to be nine feet high, set on a granite pedestal ten feet high.

Mr. Rohl-Smith set himself to work with the utmost diligence. Fortune
favored him; for there happened to be just then some Indians of the
must untamed sort at Fort Sheridan (only a few miles away), in charge
of the garrison as prisoners of war, they having been captured in the
Pine Ridge disturbance whereof the affair of Wounded Knee creek was the
chief event. By General Miles's permission, Mr. Rohl-Smith was allowed
to select two of these red-men to stand as models for the principal
savage figures of the group. The two best adapted were "Kicking Bear"
and "Short Bull." Concerning them Mr. Rohl-Smith says:

  Kicking Bear is the best specimen of physical manhood I have ever
  critically examined. He is a wonderful man and seems to enjoy the
  novelty of posing, besides evidently having a clear understanding of
  the use to which his figure will be put. The assailant of Mrs. Helm,
  the one with the uplifted tomahawk [Short Bull] fills the historical
  idea that the assailant was a "young" Indian, naturally one who
  would not be as fully developed as the vigorous, manly chief, Black
  Partridge. The presence of these Indians has been of great value to
  me in producing the figures. I have been enabled to bring out some of
  their characteristics not otherwise possible.

The savages were accompanied by an interpreter, and the newspapers of
the day gave some amusing accounts of their demeanor in the studio;
their mixture of docility and self-assertion, etc. It chanced that
the real dispositions of the two principal models were the reverse
of their assumed characters; and Kicking Bear (who, when wearing his
native dress and war-paint, carried a string of _six scalps_ as part
of his outfit), was much amused at the fact that he was assigned the
more humane part. "Me, good Injun!" he cried; "him bad Injun!" And he
laughed loudly at the jest.

The four faces of the granite pedestal bear appropriate _bas-reliefs_
cast in bronze. The front (south-west) shows the fight itself; the
opposite side represents the train--troops, wagons, etc.--leaving the
fort; one end gives the scene when Black Partridge delivered up his
medal to Captain Heald, and the opposite end the death of the heroic

The various scenes bear descriptive inscriptions; and on the North-West
face is the dedication, as follows:

  Presented May, 1893, to the Chicago Historical Society, in Trust for
  the City of Chicago and for Posterity.

The group stands on the scene of the fight, just one hundred and
twenty feet east of the "Massacre tree" spoken of in chapter VII, and
earlier in this appendix. Its position is admirable in the artistic
point of view as well as in the historical, for it occupies the eastern
extremity of Eighteenth Street and the northern of Calumet Avenue;
separated from Lake Michigan only by the right of way of the Illinois
Central railway. The hillocks which shielded the Indians in making
their attack have been leveled down, but their sandy base forms an
admirable foundation for the massive pedestal, which may well keep its
place, unmoved, for a thousand years.




  Abbott, Dr. Lucius; 49.
  Agency House; 48, 67, 79, 192.
  Ah-mah-qua-zah-quah; 35, 173.
  Allen, Colonel; 109.
  American Fur Co.; 65, 164.
  Anderson, Capt. Thomas C.; 66.
  Andreas, Capt. A. T. quoted; 153, 163, 165, 167, 170, 216-218.
  Andrews, Presley; 146, 150.
  Arnold, Hon. I. N.; 148-149, 217.
  Artaguiette; 124.
  Astor's Fur Co.; 56, 65, 164.
  Atwater, Major; 113, 114.


  Baker, B'vt Major D.; 144.
  Bates, Eli, 126.
  Battles, Joe; 63.
  Baxley, Virginia; 194.
  Beaubien, Alex.; 121, 194.
  Beaubien, J. B.; 169.
  Beckwith, H. W.; 168.
  Bisson, Mrs.; 45, 46.
  Black Bird; 40, 180.
  Black Hawk; 32.
  Black Partridge; 29, 30, 44-46, 90, 104, 220.
  Black Partridge Medal; 91.
  Blanchard, Rufus; 67, 158-161.
  Block-House; 120.
  Block-House Tablet; 125, 126.
  Blodgett, Hon. H. W.; 189, 192.
  Bowen, Joseph; 118.
  Braddock's Defeat; 61.
  Bradley, Capt. H.; 144.
  British and Indians; 30, 77-79.
  Brock, Gen.; 78.
  Bronze Group; 29, 220, 221.
  Brown, Maj. Gen.; 145.
  Bunker Hill, Battle of; 107.
  Burgoyne, Gen.; 58, 135.
  Burman (soldier); 146.
  Burnett, Geo.; 146, 150.
  Burns, John and family; 72, 80, 103.
  Burns, Robert; 134.
  Butterfield, Justin; 148.


  Cahokia; 138.
  Caldwell, Billy (Sauganash); 46, 47, 201, 203.
  Callis, Mrs.; 48.
  Calumet Club; 35.
  Calumet Lake; 55.
  Cass. Lewis; 83, 167, 168.
  Caton, Hon. J. D.; 114, 153, 203-206.
  Caton, Laura Sherrill; 205.
  Chandonnais; 37, 38, 42, 43, 97, 102.
  Chetlain, Mrs. Gen.; 180.
  Chicago; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Chicago in 1812 and in 1892; 95.
  Chicago, the name; 54.
  Chicago, Treaty of; 47.
  Clark, Elizabeth; 159.
  Clark, Geo. Rogers; 53, 54, 135.
  Clark, H. B.; 218.
  Clark, John K.; 159.
  Clarke, Robert G.; 220.
  Cleaver, Charles; 121.
  Clybourn, Archibald; 160.
  Clybourn, Jonas; 160.
  Cobweb Castle; 48, 192.
  Conflict of Authorities; 83, 84, 87.
  Confute Indians; 116.
  Cooper, Isabella; 197-9.
  Cooper, John, Surg. Mate; 149, 150.
  Corbin, James; 118, 146, 150.
  Corbin, Phelim; 20, 118, 146, 150.
  Corbin, Sukey; 20, 48, 119.
  Cummings, Maj. Alex.; 144.
  Custer slaughter; 33.


  Dearborn, Fort; see Fort Dearborn.
  Dearborn, Gen. Henry; 57, 143.
  Debou (Frenchman); 72.
  Defence, possible; 192.
  De Peyster, Col. A. S.; 53; 56, 134-136.
  De Peyster, J. Watts; 134.
  Du Pin, Madame; 104.
  Durantaye; 155.
  Dyer, Dyson; 118, 146, 150.


  Eastman, Lieut. J. L.; 113, 114.
  Eastman, Jonathan, Paymaster; 189.
  Edson, Nathan; 118, 150.
  Edwards, J. H.; 176-7, 197-9.
  Edwards, Maria (Heald); 183.
  English employment of Indians; 77-79.
  "Epeconier;" 35, 36.
  Erie Canal; 210.
  Evacuation of Fort Dearborn; 81, 88.


  Farnum, Isabella (Cooper); 197.
  Fergus Hist. Series, quoted; 68, 120, 151, 152, 168.
  Fergus, Robert; 190.
  Fergus, Scott; 190, 191.
  Ferson, Julia, 152.
  Forsyth, Geo.; 158.
  Forsyth, Robert; 158, 167.
  Forsyth, Thomas; 158, 162, 166.
  Forsyth, William; 157.
  Fort Chartres; 133.
  Fort Dearborn, _passim_; see table of contents.
  Fort Dearborn, Records of; 143-150.
  Fort Dearborn Verses; 127-129.
  Fort George, Canada; 102.
  Fort Maiden, Canada; 109.
  Fort Meigs, Canada; 109.
  François, half-breed; 100.
  Franklin, Statue of; 220.
  Free Masonry; 98, 178.
  Freer, Dr. Otto; 191, 195.
  French Period; 53.
  Fry, Col.; 172.
  Fury, John; 146, 150.


  Galloway, A. J.; 218.
  Gardner's Military History, quoted; 151.
  George III; 79, 84, 135.
  Gilbert, Mary Ann; 173.
  Glamorgan; 137.
  Gordon, Mrs. Nellie Kinzie; 171.
  Grade of streets changed; 210.
  Grant, Gen. U. S.; 155.
  Great Fire; 213, 214.
  Greene, Capt. John; 144.
  Greenville, Treaty of; 47, 54, 57, 90, 155, 159.
  Griffith, Quartermaster; 100.
  Grigg, Jane Wells; 173.
  Grignon, Augustin; 139.
  Grummond, Paul; 118, 146, 150.
  "Grutte;" 24.
  Guarie River; 57.


  Hackleys, Ann and John; 173.
  Haines, Hon. John C.; 121, 192, 194, 195.
  Hall, Benjamin; 160.
  Hall, David; 160.
  Hall, Eugene; 127.
  Hallam, Rev. Mr.; 194.
  Haliburton, Mrs.; 157.
  Hamilton, Gen.; 135.
  Hardscrabble; 71, 105.
  Harmer, Gen.; 174.
  Harpell, Charles; 218.
  Harrison, W. H.; 44, 65, 107, 109, 201.
  Hays, Sergeant; 105.
  Hayti, Island of; 137.
  Heald family; 173-183.
  Heald, Hon. Darius; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Heald manuscript lost; 99.
  Heald, Captain Nathan; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Heald, Rebekah (Wells); _passim_; see table of contents.
  Heald, Rebekah, quoted; 31-38, 69, 83, 93, 97-99.
  Helm, Lieut. Linai T.; 23, 33, 39, 41, 48, 49, 162, 181.
  Helm, Margaret; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Helm, Margaret, quoted; see Wau-Bun.
  Hennepin; 133.
  Henry, Patrick; 135.
  Hispaniola; 137.
  Historical Society; 29, 45, 165, 191.
  Hooker, J. Lewis; 121.
  Hosmer, Dr. A. B.; 191, 195.
  House-raising; 209, 210.
  Hoyt, William M.; 127.
  Hubbard, G. S.; 57, 167, 169, 170, 188.
  Hull, Gen.; 78, 80, 93, 114, 118, 180.
  Hunt family, the; 199.
  Hunter, Gen. David; 23.
  Hurlbut's Antiquities; 54, 58, 62, 148, 154, 155, 162, 167.


  Indians; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Indian Agency; 62, 63.
  Indian Atrocities; 38.
  Indian Group, (Ryerson's); 126.
  Indian Treaties; 165.


  Jackson, Andrew; 107.
  Jackson, Samuel; 194.
  Jamison, Capt.; 194.
  Jefferson, President; 57.
  Jerked beef; 85.
  Johnston, John; 175.
  Jones, Fernando; 121, 192-195.
  Jones, R. Adjt. Gen.; 145, 146.
  Jordan, Walter; 116-118.
  Jouett, Charles, 48, 61, 62.


  Kaskaskia; 133, 138.
  Keamble, (soldier); 146.
  Kee-ge-kaw or swift-goer; 66.
  Kee-po-tah; 44, 100, 103, 112.
  Kickapoos; 116.
  Kicking Bear; 221.
  King, Mrs. Henry W.; 217.
  Kingsbury, Col. Jacob; 149.
  Kingston, John T.; 138.
  Kinzie family; 23, 46, 61, 68, 100, 120, 157-170.
  Kinzie House; 19, 44, 46, 61, 64, 73, 80, 111, 167.
  Kinzie, John; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Kinzie, Mrs. John; 23, 43, 61, 165.
  Kinzie, John Harris; 23, 61; 161, 164, 165, 171, 194.
  Kinzie, Mrs. John Harris; 21, 28, 42, 82, 120, 163, 171, 216.
  Kinzie, John Harris Jr.; 171, 172;
  Kinzie, Ellen Marion; 23, 170.
  Kinzie, Maria Indiana; 23.
  Kinzie, Robert Allen; 23, 167.
  Kinzie, Mrs. Robert Allen; 153, 170, 194.
  Knowles, Joseph; 118.


  Laframboise, Josette; 24.
  Laframboise, Pierre; 121, 194.
  La Geuness, J. B.; 65.
  Lake Erie, battle of; 109, 110.
  Lalime, John; 70, 80, 163, 185.
  La Salle, Robert Cavelier; 53, 54, 126, 133, 134.
  Latrobe, John Joseph; 203.
  Law, John, 133, 138.
  Lawe, Judge John; 65.
  Leclerc, Peresh; 30, 39.
  Lee's place and family; 70-72, 80, 104, 105.
  Le Mai; 57, 60, 137, 155.
  Liber Scriptorum; 133-141.
  Lincoln, Hon. Robert; 68, 143.
  Little Belt, Sloop; 110.
  Little Turtle (Me-che-kan-nah-quah); 32, 35, 55, 173-177.
  Locker, Frederick; 146, 150.
  Logan, Hugh; 119, 150.
  Lord Liverpool's Government; 78, 79.
  Lundy's Lane, battle of; 107.
  Lynch, Michael; 146, 150.


  Macomb, Mr.; 112.
  Macomb, Maj. Gen; 146.
  Mackinaw;  53, 80, 102, 103.
  Mad Anthony; see Wayne.
  Maguago, battle of; 155.
  Main Poc; 187.
  Marquette; 53, 54, 71, 105, 133.
  Mason, E. G.; 49, 138.
  Massacre; 19-50 and _passim_.
  Massacre tree; 33, 113, 216-219.
  McCagg, Ezra; 192.
  McCoy, Isaac; 63.
  McCrea, Miss Jane; 135.
  McKee, Col.; 100.
  McKenzie, Elizabeth; 158, 159.
  McKenzie, Isaac; 159.
  McKenzie, John; 157.
  McKenzie, Margaret; 158, 159, 163, 164.
  McKillip, Eleanor; 160, 161.
  McKillip, Margaret; 161.
  McNeil, Col. J.; 144.
  McPherson, Hugh; 146, 150.
  Me-che-kan-nah-quah; 32, 35, 55, 173.
  Miami Indians; 20, 24, 25-27, 89, 93, 116, 180.
  Militia-men; 23, 38, 40.
  Miller, Samuel; 161.
  Mills, Elias; 118, 146.
  Min-na-wack or Mill-wack-ie; 66, 103.
  Mirandeau, Victoire; 189.
  Morfitt, William; 146, 150.
  Mott, August; 119, 150.
  Mound City (gun-boat); 171.
  Munsell's History, quoted; 45. 63, 67, 71, 80, 82.


  Napoleonic years; 63.
  Nau-non-gee; 77, 105.
  Neads, John, wife and child; 119, 150.
  Nelson (soldier); 119.
  Nee-scot-nee-meg; 45.
  New Orleans, battle of, 107.
  Niles Register, quoted; 108, 113, 115, 116, 118, 180.
  Noble, Mark; 170.
  Noke-no-qua, Miss; 187.
  Nourse, Charles J.; 145.


  O'Fallon, Col.; 37, 178.
  O'Fallon, Mo.; 38, 99, 178.
  O'Strander, Philip; 149, 150.
  Ottawas; 77.
  Ouillemette; 19, 45, 46, 57, 155.


  Parc-aux-vaches; 23, 115, 166.
  Patterson, Mr.; 109.
  Pee-so-tum, 30, 41, 142.
  Pe-me-zah-quah; 173.
  Perry, Commodore; 107, 110.
  Peterson (soldier); 146.
  Pettell, M.; 80, 155.
  Plattsburgh paper, quoted; 103.
  Pointe de Saible, J. B.; 44, 53, 55-57, 60, 133-141, 157, 166.
  Pope, Nathaniel; 173.
  Porthier, Victoire Mirandeau; 189, 190.
  Pottowatomies; 24, 25-27, 30, 40, 44, 46, 57, 88, 103, 123, 166.
  Proctor, Gen.; 101, 108, 115, 119.
  Posterity of Pioneers; John Whistler, John Kinzie, William Wells and
    Nathan Heald; see appendix C, D and E.
  Put-in-bay; 107, 114.


  Queen Charlotte, (schooner); 113, 114.


  Relics recovered; 178.
  Reveille; 19.
  Roberts, Capt.; 181.
  Robinson, Chief; 63, 101.
  Rohl-Smith, Carl; 29, 220, 221.
  Ronan, Lieut. George; 22, 28, 33, 40, 70, 83, 83, 144, 146, 181.
  Round Head; 201.
  Rumsey, Julian; 201.
  Russell family; 80.
  Ryerson, Martin; 126.
  Ryswick, treaty of; 137.


  Sand-dunes; 25; 29, 31, 180.
  Sauganash, the; 46, 47, 201, 202.
  Scalped girl; 197.
  Scott, Winfield; 107.
  Senat, Jesuit; 124.
  Shaubena; 138, 139, 202.
  Shaw-nee-aw-kee, (Silver-smith); 68, 109, 158.
  Shawnee Indians; 77, 201.
  Sheaffe, Col.; 102.
  Sheridan, Mrs. Gen.; 152.
  Short Bull; 221.
  Skeletons juried; 120, 121.
  Skeleton in Hist. Society; 186.
  Sleeping-car system; 212-214.
  Smith, John; 146, 150.
  St. Ange; 124.
  St. Clair, Governor; 140, 174.
  St. Cosme; 133.
  St. Domingo; 137.
  St. James' Church; 194.
  St. Joseph's; 23, 59, 98, 100-102.
  Stuart, David; 164.
  Swearingen, Col. James S.; 58.
  Sword of Capt. Heald; 99.


  Tanner, Dr. H. B.; 65.
  Taylor, Augustus; 172.
  Tecumseh; 32, 47, 106, 201.
  Thames, battle of; 107.
  Thompson, Lieut.; 194.
  Tippecanoe, battle of; 44, 74, 77.
  Tonti; 54, 133.
  To-pee-nee-be; 24, 25, 27, 63, 100, 102.
  Torture of wounded prisoners; 38, 43, 98.
  Toussaint L'Ouverture; 138, 139.
  "Tracy," schooner; 59, 67, 155.
  Tree, Lambert; 126.


  Van Home, James; 118, 146, 150.
  Van Voorhees, Dr. Isaac; 28, 33, 40, 144, 181, 220.
  Vinsenne; 124.


  Wabash Indians; 44.
  Wabash River; 144.
  Wa-bin-she-way; 48.
  Waggoner, Anthony L.; 150.
  Wah-bee-nee-mah; 30.
  Walk-in-the-water; 201.
  Wa-nan-ga-peth; 35, 173.
  War-dance; 203.
  War of 1812; 80.
  Washington, President; 175.
  Wau-ban-see; 41, 44.
  Waubansa stone; 147, 148.
  Wau-Bun, quoted; 21, 23, 28, 81, 39, 41, 42, 44, 45, 62, 71, 72, 80, 82,
    85, 86, 88, 90, 99-106, 108-110, 137, 186.
  Wayne, Gen. Anthony; 47, 55, 56, 175, 202.
  Webster, Daniel; 148.
  Weem-tee-gosh; 100.
  Wells family; 173-183.
  Wells, Rebekah; 69, 70, 173.
  Wells, Samuel; 36, 37, 69, 99, 173.
  Wells, William; _passim_; see table of contents.
  Wells Street; 35.
  Wentworth, John; 68, 151, 152.
  Whisky; 63, 87, 88.
  Whistler family; 151-156.
  Whistler, John; 58-61, 66, 69.
  Whistler, John Jr.; 162.
  Whistler, Major Geo. W.; 152.
  Whistler, William; 58, 59.
  Whistler, Mrs. Wm.; 59, 60, 61.
  White Elk; 48.
  White, Liberty; 71.
  Williams, Mrs. Mary Clark; 118.
  Wilmette; 57.
  Winnebagoes; 77, 88, 116, 167.
  Winnemeg; 41, 80, 81.
  Wolcott, Alexander; 165, 169.
  Wolcott, Henry Clay; 173.
  Wolcott, James Madison; 35, 173, 177.
  Wolcott, William Wells; 173.
  Women and Children; 40, 49, 64.
  Wood, Alonzo C.; 194.
  Woodward, Augustus B.; 49.
  Wounded for torture; 38, 43, 98.

334 Dearborn Street,

                   *       *       *       *       *

                     MAJOR KIRKLAND'S FIVE BOOKS.

                   *       *       *       *       *

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THE STORY OF CHICAGO. Cloth, $3.50; Half Morocco, $5.00; Full Morocco,
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       *       *       *       *       *

The two histories are devoted to a topic which the whole world agrees
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The last named, "The Chicago Massacre of 1812," is here, within these
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has been published for about a year, meeting a success without parallel
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The publishers have received (beside hundreds of favorable reviews) the
following eloquent personal letters, worth many ordinary critiques:


    [Illustration]      OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES,
                        LOUISA CHANDLER MOULTON,
                        FRANCES E. WILLARD,
                        EDMUND C. STEDMAN,

                           HAVE TO SAY ABOUT

                         THE STORY OF CHICAGO:

                                                Boston, March 19, 1892.

My Dear Mr. Dibble:

I have waited a few days to become acquainted with your beautiful book,
"The Story of Chicago." It is indeed a story worth telling, and I thank
you most heartily for giving me the opportunity of reading it and the
privilege of placing it upon my shelves.

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may be, by and by, of the Continent.

                                      I am, dear sir. Very truly yours,
                                                 Oliver Wendell Holmes.

                                           22 Rutland Square,           }
                                         Boston, Mass., April 11, 1892. }

Dear Mr. Dibble:

I have delayed to thank you for "The Story of Chicago" until I could
find time to make myself thoroughly familiar with it; and I can now
say, without hesitation, that it has interested me more than any other
story of a town that I have ever read.

I congratulate you on having secured as its author so accomplished a
writer as Major Kirkland, whose novels are a memorable delight, and
who proves himself, in this fascinating "Story of Chicago," no less
successful as a historian.

Your very numerous and beautiful illustrations add greatly to the value
of the book; and surely this Story, (which reads like a chapter of
miracles,) is a contribution to American history of which no one can
afford to be ignorant.

                                      Yours very sincerely,
                                               Louise Chandler Moulton.

                                             Rest Cottage,              }
                                         Evanston, Ill., June 23, 1892. }

  The Dibble Publishing Co.,
                      Chicago, Ill.

Kind Friends:--"The Story of Chicago" is Major Kirkland's masterpiece.
He has comprehended what envious New York has called the "Windy City,"
but which is in reality the Magic City, not only of America but of
the world. Whoever helps to put this book under eyes that have not
been blessed by its fair, inspiring pages and choice photogravures has
helped to increase the sum of human happiness, for as the brain of man
is creation's masterpiece so Chicago is the planet's whispering gallery
of whatever is most hopeful, progressive and inspiring to humanity.
Her history is the epic of the Great Lakes and the wonder-book of the
prairies. Long may its crisp pages rustle in the breeze.

                                                    Frances E. Willard.

                                                  137 West 78th Street, }
                                             New York, July 12th, 1892. }

Dear Mr. Dibble:

When you prevailed upon Major Kirkland to write the "Story of Chicago."
you displayed once more your acumen. You induced the brilliant author
of "Zury" to forego his imaginative work for a while, and to devote his
talent to the narration of an "o'er true tale"--a tale, however, as
strange and absorbing as any romance. I know he will get his reward,
and I hope you will get yours.

But let me compliment you, heartily, upon the book itself, and upon the
liberality and taste with which you have illustrated it. Every American
is proud of Chicago, of her history, her great ambition, her financial
and intellectual progress. Her record is faithfully set forth in your
handsome volume. Whoever designs to visit Chicago and the Columbian
Exposition should own and thoroughly read "The Story."

                                          Ever sincerely yours,
                                                     Edmund C. Stedman.

Following the good practice of "letting other men do the talking," here
are some of the countless public praises which came crowding in after
the publication of each of the three novels:


[Illustration: O]NE NOVEL ("Zury") tells of life on Zury's farm, and
another ("The McVeys") tells of life at Springville and early Chicago,
with glimpses of Lincoln, Douglas, David Davis, etc., and bring
together Zury and Anne Sparrow, the hero and heroine of both novels: Of
these two books Hamlin Garland in _The Boston Transcript_ says:

  "The full revelation of inexhaustible wealth of native American
  material ... will come to the Eastern reader with the reading of
  "Zury" ... It is as native to Illinois as Tolstoi's "Anna Karenina"
  and Torguenieff's "Father and Sons" are to Russia, its descriptions
  are so infused with real emotion and so graphic. The book is
  absolutely unconventional ... not a trace of the old-world literature
  or society,--and every character is new and native ... The heroine is
  a Boston girl, ... a bouncing, resolute, and very frank personage,
  able to care for herself in any place. The central figure ... is
  Zury.... This a great and consistent piece of character painting....
  He fills the book with his presence and his inimitable comments upon
  life and society.... A man whose better nature flowered late."

  "The McVeys; An Episode," has the sincerity of history, and when one
  reads it he is in the very atmosphere of Spring County. The surveying
  crew, the railroad building and final jubilee, the lead mining all
  go on under the eye.... The story of Anne and her children forms the
  connecting thread of a book of great power and freshness.

The War novel won the first prize ($1,600) in the famous competition
got up by the Detroit Free Press. In gaining favorable notices it quite
equalled its two predecessors.

  "The Captain of Company K." There is nothing in the nature of
  artistic writing within the covers of "The Captain of Company K,"
  by Maj. Joseph Kirkland, nor is there any of that kind called real
  because it is ugly, but there is a good story of life in a volunteer
  company in active service. The hero is a fine specimen of those
  countless citizens to whom their country's need revealed their best
  selves, and the heroine is an admirable likeness of the girls of her
  time. The publishers compare the story to the work of Tolstoi and De
  Maupassant, which is unjust to the author, whose mind is as free from
  Russian morbidity as it is of French artistic instinct, and, being an
  American, he is to be congratulated on both deficiencies. It is not
  the most truthful writers, or the authors of the most wholesome books
  who are carried away by the influence of contemporary foreigners,
  any more than it is the manliest men who imitate the social caprices
  of other countries. Maj. Kirkland has written an American story for
  Americans, and has written it well.--_Boston Herald._

  "The Captain of Company K," by Joseph Kirkland, is one of the very
  few later stories of '61 which cannot fail to interest everybody. To
  those readers who are already acquainted with Mr. Kirkland's "Zury"
  and the "McVeys," and they are not a few, "Company K" will be a
  double treat, as it carries some of the characters he has portrayed
  in them through the scene of the great rebellion. The style of the
  book is clearly hinted at in its unique dedication to "The surviving
  men of the firing line; who could see the enemy in front of them with
  the naked eye, while they would have needed a field glass to see the
  history makers behind them." The private's impressions of war, formed
  in the teeth of musketry, may be of less value to accurate history
  than the view from the the epaulette quarter, but for dramatic
  purposes the foot soldier's story is best, as Mr Kirkland proves by
  his success with a military novel.--_Kingston (N. Y.) Freeman._

  I read the story at one sitting, and morning found me closing the
  volume. You have written a true book. That intimate image of certain
  phases of the Civil War, which the mind's eye of the soldier alone
  retains, and which, already dimmed by years, would soon have been
  blotted forever, has been caught and fixed in literature.--_Major
  Henry A. Huntington._


Sell on easy payments "A Library of American Literature," "New
Chambers' Encyclopedia," "Webster's International Dictionary," and
other standard illustrated publications, giving employment to hundreds
of intelligent instructors and solicitors. Our friends, subscribers,
solicitors and customers are cordially invited to make our office their
headquarters during their stay at the World's Fair. Call or address,

                                                 Dibble Publishing Co.,
                                             334 Dearborn St., Chicago.


  =World's Columbian Exposition=

                        =.......Pocket Record Book=

is alphabetically arranged, with maps, floor-plans and charts, so as
to answer as a guide as to what is best worth seeing and how to see it
and keep a perfect record, from day to day, of what you have inspected,
with ample room for memoranda all through the book. Sent by mail,
postage paid, on receipt of 10 cents.



Is a charming story, of interest from start to finish. So cleverly is
the tale unfolded there is no point at which to rest until the end is
reached. The compassionate author closes on page 160. In paper covers,
50 cents, and will be sent postage paid to any address on receipt of



Speaks for itself in a language and style of its own, drawing the
reader on, page after page, fully occupying the mind with dramatic
scenes of exquisite taste and ever changing variety, in so clear and
vivid a form the reader is inclined to feel he is really participating
in, and helping to tell the story of his adventures and those of his
friends who are leading characters in this beautiful drama of real
life. 288 pages handsomely printed from close, clear type, neat cloth
covers, $1.00; paper covers 50 cents, and will be sent, postage paid,
to any address on receipt of price.



This sweet singer, though blind, has so beautifully told the story of
"Lily Pearl" that one of our leading authors says of her: "Sightless
she is not, for in her the mind's eye is of a brilliancy that seems
to make our mere physical vision useless by comparison. Better the
soul's sight without eyes, than the eyesight without soul." 458 pages
handsomely illustrated and neatly bound in cloth, $1.25. Address

                                         =DIBBLE PUBLISHING CO.=
                                             334 Dearborn St., Chicago.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber Note

Images were moved so as to not split paragraphs. Hyphenation, outside
of quoted passages, was standardized to the most prevalent form used.
Minor typographical errors were corrected. To preserve the look of the
original, the muster-roll on page 150 retains an asterisk rather than
using a repeated footnote letter.

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