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NARRATIVES OF A LATE EXPEDITION AGAINST THE INDIANS; WITH An ACCOUNT of the BARBAROUS EXECUTION of Col. CRAWFORD; AND The WONDERFUL ESCAPE of Dr. Knight and John Slover from CAPTIVITY, in 1782.

PHILADELPHIA: Printed by FRANCIS BAILEY, in Market Street. M,DCC,LXXIII.

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To the PUBLIC.

The two following narratives were transmitted for pub­lication in September last, but shortly afterwards the letter from sir Guy Carleton to his excellency general Washington, informing that the savages had receiv­ed orders to desist from their incursions, gave reason to hope that there would be an end to their barbari­ties. For this reason it was not thought necessary to hold up to view what they had heretofore done. But as they still continue their murders on our frontiers, these narratives may be servicable to induce our go­vernments to take some effectual steps to chastise and repress them; as from hence they will see that the na­ture of an Indian is fierce and cruel, and that an ex­tirpation of them would be useful to the world, and honourable to those who can effect it.

Mr. BAILEY,

Enclosed are two narratives; one of Dr. Knight, who acted as surgeon in the expedition under col. Craw­ford; the other of John Slover: That of Dr. Knight was written by himself at my request; that of Slover was taken down by myself from his mouth as he re­lated it. The man from his early and long captivi­ty, amongst the Indians, though perfectly sensible and intelligent, yet cannot write. The character of Dr. Knight is well known to to be that of a good man, of great veracity, of a calm and deliberate mind, and using no exaggeration in his account of any matter. As a testimony in favour of the veracity of Slover, I thought proper to procure a certificate from the clergyman to whose church he belongs, and which is as follows:

"I DO hereby certify that John Slover has been for many years a regular member of the church under my care, and is worthy of the highest credit, WILLIAM RENO."

These narratives you will please to publish in your use­ful paper or in any other way you may judge proper. I conceive the publication of them may answer a good end in showing America, what have been the suffer­ings of some of her citizens by the hands of the In­dian allies of Britain. To these narratives I have subjoined some observations which you may publish or omit as it may be convenient.

H. BRACKENRIDGE.
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Dr. KNIGHT'S Narrative.

ABOUT the latter end of the month of March or the beginning of April, of the present year, the western Indians began to make incursions upon the frontiers of Ohio, Washington, Youghagany, and West­moreland counties, which has been their constant prac­tice ever since the commencement of the present war between the United States and Great Britain.

In consequence of these predatory invasions the prin­cipal officers of the abovementioned counties, namely, colonels Williamson and Marshall, tried every method in their power to set on foot an expedition against the Wyandot towns, which they could effect no other way than by giving all possible encouragement to volun­teers. The plan proposed was as follows: Every man furnishing himself with a horse, a gun, and one months provision, should be exempted from two tours of mili­tia duty. Likewise, that every one who had been plun­dured by the Indians, should, if the plunder could be found at their towns, have it again, proving it to be his property: and all horses lost on the expedition by unavoidable accident were to be replaced by horses taken in the enemy's country.

The time appointed for the rendezvous, or general meeting of the volunteers, was fixed to be on the 20th of May, and the place, the old Mingoe town on the west side of the river Ohio, about forty miles below Fort Pitt by land, and I think about 75 by water.

Col. Crawford was solicited by the general voice of these western counties and districts to command the ex­pedition. He accordingly set out as a volunteer and came to Fort Pitt two days before the time appointed for the assembling of the men. As there was no sur­geon yet appointed to go with the expedition, colonel Crawford begged the favour of gen. Irvine to permit me to accompany him, (my consent having been previ­ously [Page 5] asked) to which the general agreed provided col. Gibson did not object.

Having obtained permission of the colonel I left Fort Pitt on Tuesday, May 1st, and the next day about one in the afternoon arrived at the Mingoe bottom. The volunteers had not all crossed the river until Friday morning the 24th, they then distributed themselves into eighteen companies, choosing their captains by vote. There were chosen, also, one col commandant, four field and one brigade major. There were four hundred and sixty five who voted.

We began our march on Saturday May 25th, making almost a due west course, and on the fourth day reached the old Moravian town, upon the river Muskingum about 60 miles from the river Ohio. Some of the men having lost their horses on the night preceding, return­ed home.

Tuesday the 28th in the evening, major Brenton and captain Bean went some distance from camp to recon­noitre: having gone about one quarter of a mile they saw two indians, upon whom they fired, and then re­turned to camp. This was the first place in which we were discovered, as we understood afterwards.

On Thursday the fourth of June, which was the e­leventh day of our march, about one o'clock we came to the spot where the town of Sandusky formerly stood: the inhabitants had moved 18 miles lower down the creek, nearer the lower Sandusky; but as neither our guides or any who were with us, had known any thing of their removal, we began to conjecture there were no Indian towns nearer than the lower Sandusky, which was at least 40 miles distant.

However, after refreshing our horses we advanced on in search of some of their settlements, but had scarcely got the distance of three or four miles from the old town when a number of our men expressed their desire to re­turn, some of them alledging that they had only five days provision; upon which the field officers and cap­tains, determined, in council, to proceed that afternoon and no longer. Previous to the calling of this council, a small party of light horse had been sent forward to reconnoitre.

I shall here remark, by the way, that there are a [Page 6] great many extensive plains in that country: The woods in general grow very thin, and free from brush and underwood; so that light horsemen may advance a considerable distance before an army without being much exposed to the enemy.

Just as the council ended, an express returned from the above mentioned party of light horse with intelli­gence, "that they had been about three miles in front, and had seen a large body of Indians running towards them."—In a short time we saw the rest of the light horse, who joined us, and having gone one mile fur­ther met a number of Indians who had partly got pos­session of a piece of woods before us, whilst we were in the plains, but our men alighting from their horses and rushing into the woods soon obliged them to abandon that place.

The enemy being by this time reinforced flanked to the right, and part of them coming in our rear quickly made the action more serious. The firing continued very warm on both sides from four o'clock until the dusk of the evening, each party maintaining their ground. Next morning about six o'clock some guns were discharged at the distance of two or three hundred yards, which continued till day, doing little or no exe­cution on either side.

The field officers then assembled and agreed, as the enemy were every moment increasing and we had al­ready a number wounded, to retreat that night. The whole body was to form into three lines, keeping the wounded in the center. We had four killed and twen­ty three wounded, of the latter, seven very dangerous­ly, on which account as many biers were got ready to carry them: most of the rest were slightly wounded and none so bad but they could ride on horseback. After dark the officers went on the out posts and brought in all the men as expeditiously as they could. Just as the troops were about to form several guns were fired by the enemy, upon which some of our men spoke out and said, our intention was discovered by the Indians who were firing alarm guns. Upon which some in front hurried off and the rest immediately followed, leaving the seven men that were dangerously wounded, some of whom however got off on horseback, by means of some [Page 7] good friends, who waited for, and assisted them.

We had not got a quarter of a mile from the field of action when I heard col. Crawford calling for his son John Crawford, his son in law major Harrison, major Rose and William Crawford, his nephews, upon which I came up and told him I believed they were before us—He asked, was that the doctor?—I told him it was—he then replied, they were not in front, and begged of me not to leave him—I promised him I would not.

We then waited, and continued calling for these men till the troops had passed us. The colonel told me his horse had almost given out, that he could not keep up with the troops, and wished some of his best friends to remain with him: he then exclaimed against the militia for riding off in such an irregular manner, and leaving some of the wounded behind, contrary to his orders. Presently there came two men riding af­ter us, one of them an old man, the other a lad: we enquired if they had seen any of the above persons? they answered they had not.

By this time there was a very hot siring before us, and, as we judged, near where our main body must have been. Our course was then nearly south-west, but changing it, we went north about two miles, the two men remaining in company with us. Judging ourselves to be now out of the enemy's lines, we took a due east course, taking care to keep at the distance of fifteen or twenty yards apart, and directing our­selves by the north star.

The old man often lagged behind and when this was the case never failed to call for us to halt for him. When we were near the Sandusky Creek he fell one hundred yards behind, and bawled out, as usual, for us to halt. While we were preparing to reprimand him for making a noise, I heard an Indian halloo, as I thought one hundred and fifty yards from the man and partly behind him; after this we did not hear the man call again neither did he ever come up to us any more. It was now past midnight, and about day break col. Crawford's and the young man's horses gave out, and they left them. We pursued our jour­ney eastward, and about two o'clock fell in with [Page 8] capt. Biggs who had carried lieut. Ashley from the field of action, who had been dangerously wounded. We then went on about the space of an hour, when a heavy rain coming on we concluded it was best to en­camp, as we were encumbered with the wounded officer. We then barked four or five trees, made an encampment and a fire and remained there all that night. Next morning we again prosecuted our jour­ney, and having gone about three miles found a deer which had been recently killed. The meat was sliced from the bones and bundled up in the skin with a tomahawk lying by it. We carried all with us and in advancing about one mile further espyed the smoke of a fire. We then gave the wounded officer into the charge of the young man, desiring him to stay behind whilst the colonel, the captain, and myself, walked up as cautiously as we could toward the fire. When we came to it, we concluded from several circum­stances some of our people had encamped there the preceding night. We then went about roasting the venison, and when just about to march observed one of our men coming upon our tracks. He seemed at first very shy, but having called to him he came up and told us he was the person who had killed the deer, but upon hearing us come up, was afraid of Indians, hid it in a thicket and made off. Upon this we gave him some bread and roasted venison, proceeded al­together on our journey and about two o'clock came upon the paths by which we had gone out. Capt. Biggs and myself did not think it safe to keep the road, but the colonel said the Indians would not fol­low the troops farther than the plains, which we were then considerably past. As the wounded officer rode capt. Biggs' horse I lent the captain mine; the colo­nel and myself went about one hundred yards in front, the captain and the wounded officer in the center, and the two young men behind. After we had travelled about one mile and a half, several In­dians started up within fifteen or twenty steps of the colonel and me. As we at first discorvered only three I immediately got behind a large black-oak, made ready my piece and raised it up to take fight, when the colo­nel called to me twice not to fire; upon that one of [Page 9] the Indians ran up to the colonel and took him by the hand. The colonel then told me to put down my gun, which I did. At that instant one of them came up to me whom I had formerly seen very often, cal­led me doctor and took me by the hand. They were Delaware Indians of the Wingenim tribe. Captain Biggs fired amongst them but did no execution. They then told us, to call these people and make them come there, else they would go and kill them, which the colonel did, but they four got off and escaped for that time. The colonel and I were then taken to the Indian camp, which was about half a mile from the place where we were captivated. On Sunday evening five Delawares who had posted themselves at some distance further on the road brought back to the camp, where we lay, captain Biggs' and lieutenant Ashley's scalps, with an Indian scalp which captain Bigg's had taken in the field of action: they also brought in Biggs' horse and mine, they told us the two other men got away from them.

Monday morning the tenth of June we were parad­ed to march to Sandusky, about 33 miles distant: they had eleven prisoners of us and four scalps, the Indians being seventeen in number.

Col. Crawford was very desirous to see a certain Simon Girty, who lived with the Indians, and was on this account permitted to go to town the same night, with two warriors to guard him, having orders at the same time to pass by the place where the col. had turned out his horse, that they might if possible, find him. The rest of us were taken as far as the old town which was within eight miles of the new.

Tuesday morning the 11th, col. Crawford was brought out to us on purpose to be marched in with the other prisoners. I asked the colonel if he had seen Mr. Gir­ty?—He told me he had, and that Girty had promised to do every thing in his power for him, but that the Indians were very much enraged against the prisoners; particularly captain Pipe one of the chiefs: he likewise told me that Girty had informed him that his son in law col. Harrison and his nephew William Crawford, were made prisoners by the Shawanese, but had been pardoned. This capt. Pipe had come from the towns [Page 10] about an hour before col. Crawford, and had painted all the prisoners faces black.

As he was painting me he told me I should go to the Shawanese towns and see my friends. When the colo­nel arrived he painted him black also, told him he was [...] to see him, and that he would have him shaved when he came to see his friends at the Wyandot town. When we marched the col. and I were kept back be­tween Pipe and Wyngenim, the two Delaware chiefs, the other nine prisoners were sent forward with ano­ther party of Indians. As we went along we saw four of the prisoners lying by the path tomahaked and scalped some of them were at the distance of half a mile from each other. When we arrived within half a mile of the place where the colonel was executed, we overtook the five prisoners that remained alive: the In­dians had caused them to sit down on the ground, as they did also the colonel and me at some distance from them I was there given in charge to an Indian fellow to be taken to the Shawanese towns.

In the place where we were now made to sit down there was a number of squaws and boys who sell on the five prisoners and tomahawk'd them. There was a certain John McKinly, amongst the prisonners, former­ly an officer in the 13th Virginia regiment, whose head on old squaw cut off, and the Indians kicked it about upon the ground. The young indian fellows came of­ten where the colonel and I were, and dashed the scalps in our faces. We were then conducted along toward the place where the colonel was afterwards executed: when we came within about half a mile of it Simon Gir­ty met us, with several Indians on horseback: he spoke to the colonel, but as I was about one hundred and fif­ty yards behind could not hear what passed between them.

Almost every Indian we met struck us either with sticks or their fists. Girty waited till I was brought up and asked, was that the doctor?—I told him, yes, and went toward him reaching out my hand, but he bid me begone and called me a damn'd rascal, upon which the fellow who had me in charge pulled me along. Girty rode up after me and told me I was to go to the Shawa­nese towns.

[Page 11]When we were come to the fire the colonel was strip­ped naked, ordered to sit down by the fire and then they beat him with sticks and their fists. Presently after I was treated in the same manner. They then tied a rope to the foot of a post about fifteen feet high, bound the colonel's hands behind his back and fasten­ed the rope to the ligature between his wrists. The rope was long enough either for him to sit down or walk round the post once or twice and return the same way. The colonel then called to Girty and asked if they in­tended to burn him?—Girty answered, yes. The co­lonel said he would take it all patiently. Upon this capt. Pipe, a Delaware chief, made a speech to the In­dians, viz. about thirty or forty men, sixty or seventy squaws and boys.

When the speech was finished they all yelled a hide­ous and hearty assent to what had been said. The In­dian men then took up their guns and shot powder into the colonel's body, from his feet as far up as his neck. I think not less than seventy loads were discharged upon his naked body. They then crowded about him, and to the best of my observation, cut off his ears: when the throng had dispersed a little I saw the blood running from both sides of his head in consequence thereof.

The fire was about six or seven yards from the post to which the colonel was tied: it was made of small hickory poles, burnt quite through in the middle, each end of the poles remaining about six feet in length. Three or four Indians by turns would take up, indivi­dually, one of these burning pieces of wood and apply it to his naked body, already burnt black with the pow­der. These tormentors presented themselves on every side of him, so that which ever way he ran round the post they met him with the burning faggots and poles. Some of the squaws took broad boards upon which they would put a quantity of burning coals and hot embers and throw on him, so that in a short time he had no­thing but coals of fire and hot ashes to walk upon.

In the midst of these extreme tortures he called to Si­mon Girty and begged of him to shoot him; but Girty making no answer he called to him again. Girty then, by way of decision, told the colonel he had no gun, at [Page 12] the same time turning about to an Indian who was be­hind him, laughed heartily, and by all his gestures seemed delighted at the horrid scene.

Girty then came up to me and bade me prepare for death He said, however, I was not to die at that place▪ but to be burnt at the Shawanese towns. He swore by G—d I need not expect to escape death, but should suffer it in all its extremities.

He then observed that some prisoners had given him to understand that if our people had him they would not hurt him for his part, he said, he did not believe it, but desired to know my opinion of the matter; but being at that time in great anguish and distress for the torments the colonel was suffering before my eyes, as well as the expectation of undergoing the same fate in two days, I made little or no answer. He expressed a great deal of ill will for col. Gibson, and said he was one of his greatest enemies, and more to the same purpose, to all which I paid very little attention.

Col. Crawford at this period of his sufferings besought the Almighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, and bore his torments with the most manly forti­tude. He continued in all the extremities of pain for an hour and three quarters or two hours longer, as near as I can judge, when at last being almost spent, he lay down on his belly: they then scalped him and repeatedly threw the scalp in my face, telling me "that was my great captain."—An old squaw (whose appear­ance every way answered the ideas people entertain of the Devil) got a board, took a parcel of coals and ashes and laid them on his back and head after he had been scalped: he then raised himself upon his feet and began to walk round the post: they next put a burning stick to him as usual, but he seemed more insensible of pain than before.

The Indian fellow who had me in charge now took me away to capt. Pipes' house, about three quarters of a mile from the place of the colonel's execution. I was bound all night and thus, prevented from seeing the last of the horrid spectacle. Next morning, being June 12th, the Indian untied me, painted me black, and we set off for the Shawanese town, which he told me was somewhat less than forty miles from that place. We [Page 13] soon came to the spot where the colonel had been burnt, as it was partly in our way; I saw his bones laying a­mongst the remains of the fire, almost burnt to ashes, I suppose after he was dead they had laid his body on the fire.

The Indian told me, that was my Big Captain and gave the scalp halloo. He was on horseback and drove me before him.

I pretended to this Indian I was ignorant of the death I was to die at the Shawanese town, affected as chearful a countinance as possible and asked him if we were not to live together as brothers in one house when we should get to the town?—He seemed well pleased, and said, yes. He then asked me if I could make a wigwam?—I told him, I could—he then seemed more friendly —we went that day as near as I can judge about 25 miles, the course partly southwest—The Indian told me we should next day come to the town the sun being in such a di­rection, pointing nearly south. At night when we went to rest I attempted very often to unty myself but the Indian was extremely vigilant and scarce ever shut his eyes that night. About day break he got up and un­tied me: he next began to mend up the fire and as the gnats were troublesome I asked him if I should make a smoke behind him?—he said, yes. I then took the end of a dogwood fork which had been burnt down to a­bout 18 inches long: it was the longest stick I could find, yet too small for the purpose I had in view: then I pick­ed up another smaller stick and taking a coal of fire be­tween them went behind him: then turning suddenly about, I struck him on the head with all the force I was master of; which so stunned him that he fell forwards with both his hands into the fire, but seeing him reco­ver and get up, I siezed his gun while he ran off howl­ing in a most fearful manner—I followed him with a determination to shoot him down, but pulling back the cock of the gun with too great violence I believe I broke the main spring. I pursued him, however, about thirty yards still endeavouring to fire the gun, but could not; then going back to the fire I took his blanket, a pair of new mokkisons, his hoppes, powder horn, bullet bag, (together with the gun) and marched off, directing my course toward the five o'clock mark about half an [Page 14] hour before sunset I came to the plains which I think are about sixteen miles wide. I laid me down in a thicket till dark and then by the assistance of the north star made my way through them and got into the woods before morning. I proceeded on the next day and a­bout noon crossed the paths by which our troops had gone out: these paths are nearly east and west but I went due north all that afternoon with a view to avoid the enemy.

In the evening I began to be very faint, and no won­der; I had been six days prisoner; the last two days of which I had eat nothing and but very little the first three or four; there were wild goosberries in abun­dance in the woods, but being unripe required mastica­tion, which at that time I was not able to perform on account of a blow received from an Indian on the jaw with the back of a tomahawk: there was a weed that grew plentifully in that place, the juice of which I knew to be grateful and nourishing; I gathered a bundle of the same, took up my lodging under a large spreading beech tree and having sucked plentifully of the juice, went to sleep. Next day I made a due east course which I generally kept the rest of my journey. I often ima­gined my gun was only wood bound and tried every method I could devise to unscrew the lock but never could effect it having no knife nor any thing fitting for the purpose; I had now the satisfaction to find my jaw began to mend and in four or five days could chew any vegetable proper for nourishment, but finding my gun only a useless burden left her in the wilderness. I had no apparatus for making fire to sleep by so that I could get but little rest for the gnats and musketoes; there are likewise a great many swamps in the beach ridge which occasioned me very often to lie wet: this ridge through which I travelled is about 20 miles broad, the ground in general very level and rich, free from shrubs and brush: there are, however, very few springs, yet wells might easily be dug in all parts of that ridge; the timber on it is very lofty, but it is no easy matter to make a straight course through the same, the moss grow­ing as high upon the south side of the trees as on the north. There are a great many white oaks, ash and hickory trees that grow among the beach timber; there [Page 15] are likewise some places on the ridge, perhaps for three or four continued miles where there is little or no beech, and in such spots, black, white oak, ash and hickory a­bound. Sugar trees grow there also to a very great bulk: the soil is remarkably good, the ground a little ascend­ing and desending with some small rivulets and a few springs. When I got out of the beech ridge and nearer the river Muskingum the lands were more broken but equally rich with those before mentioned, and abound­ing with brooks and springs of water: there are also several small creeks that empty into that river, the bed of which is more than a mile wide in many places: the woods consist of white and black oaks, walnut, hickory and sugar tree in the greatest abundance. In all parts of the country through which I came the game was very plenty, that is to say, deer, turkies and pheasants, I likewise saw a great many vestiges of bears and some elks.

I crossed the river Muskingum about three or four miles below Fort Laurence, and crossing all paths aim­ed for the Ohio river. All this time my food was goose­berries, young nettles, the juice of herbs, a few ser­vice berries, and some May apples, likewise, two young blackbirds and a turripine, which I devoured raw. When my food sat heavy on my stomach, I used to eat a little wild ginger which put all to rights.

I came upon Ohio river about five miles below fort McIntosh, in the evening of the 21st day after I had made my escape, and on the twenty second, about seven o'clock in the morning, being the fourth day of July, arrived safe, though very much fatigued, at the fort.

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A Short MEMOIR of the within mentioned Col. CRAWFORD.

COL. CRAWFORD, was about 50 years of age, had been an old warrior against the savages. He dis­tinguished himself early as a volunteer in the last war, and was taken notice of by colonel (now general) Washington, who procured for him the commission of ensign. As a partisan he showed himself very active, and was greatly successful: He took several Indian towns, and did great service in scouting, patrolling and defending the frontiers. At the commencement of this war he raised a regiment in the back country by his own exertions: He had the commission of colonel in the continental army, and acted bravely on several occasions in the years 1776, 1777, and at other times. He held his commission at the time he took command of the militia, in the aforesaid expedition against the Indians: most probably he had it with him when he was taken: He was a man of good judgment, singular good nature, and great humanity, and remarkable for his hospitality; few strangers coming to the western coun­try, and not spending some days at the crossings of the Yochaghany river where he lived; no man therefore could be more regretted.

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The NARRATIVE of JOHN SLOVER.

HAVING in the last war been a prisoner amongst the Indians many years, and so being well ac­quainted with the country west of the Ohio I was em­ployed as a guide in the expedition under col. William Crawford against the Indian towns on or near the river Sandusky. It will be unnecessary for me to relate what is so well known, the circumstances and unfortunate event of that expedition; it will be sufficient to ob­serve, that having on Tuesday the fourth of June sought the enemy near Sandusky, we lay that night in our camp, and the next day fired on each other at the dis­tance of three hundred yards, doing little or no execu­tion. In the evening of that day it was proposed by col. Crawford, as I have been since informed, to draw off with order; but at the moment of our retreat the Indians (who had probably perceived that we were about to retire) firing alarm guns, our men broke and rode off in confusion, treading down those who were on foot, and leaving the wounded men who supplicated to be taken with them.

I was with some others on the rear of our troops [...]ed­ing our horses in the glade, when our men began to break: The main body of our people had passed by me a considerable distance before I was ready to set out. I overtook them before they crossed the glade, and was advanced almost in front. The company in which I was had separated from me, and had endeavoured to pass a morass: for coming up I found their horses had stuck fast in the morass, and endeavouring to pass, mine also in a short time stuck fast I ought to have said, the company of five or six men with which I had been immediately connected, and who were some distance to the right of the main body, had separated from me, &c. I try'd a long time to disengage my horse, until I could hear the enemy just behind me and o [...] each side, but in vain. Here then I was obliged to leave him. The morass was so unstable that I was to the middle in it, [Page 18] and it was with the greatest difficulty that I got across it but which having at length done, I came up with the six men who had left their horses in the same man­ner I had done; two of these, my companions, having lost their guns.

We travelled that night making our course towards Detroit, with a view to shun the enemy, who we con­ceived to have taken the paths by which the main bo­dy of our people had retreated. Just before day we got into a second deep morass, and were under the necessity of detaining until it was light to see our way through it. The whole of this day we travelled toward the Shawan­ese towns▪ with a view of throwing ourselves still far her out of the search of the enemy. About ten o'clock this day we sat down to eat a little, having tasted nothing from Tuesday, the day of our engagement, until this time which was on Thursday; and now the only thing we had to eat was a scrap of pork to each. We had sat down just by a warrior's path which we had not suspec­ted, when eight or nine warriors appeared Running off hastily we left our baggage and provisions, but were not discovered by the party; for skulking some time in the grass and bushes, we returned to the place and recovered our baggage. The warriors had halloo­ed as they passed, and were answered by others on our flanks

In our journey through the glades, or wide extended dry meadows, about twelve o'clock this day we disco­vered a party of Indians in front, but skulking in the grass and bushes were not perceived by them. In these glades we were in great danger, as we could be seen at a great distance. In the afternoon of this day there fell a heavy rain, the coldest I ever felt. We halted while it rained, and then travelling on we saw a party of the enemy about two hundred yards before us, but hiding ourselves in the bushes, we had again the good fortune not to be discovered. This night we got out of the glades, having in the night crossed the paths by which we had advanced to Sandusky. It was our design to leave all these paths to the right, and to come in by the Tuscarawas. We should have made a much grea­ter progress, had it not been for two of our companions [Page 19] who were lame; the one having his foot burnt, the other with a swelling in his knee of a rheumatic nature.

On this day, which was the second after the retreat, one of our company, the person affected with the rheu­matic swelling, was left behind some distance in a swamp. Waiting for him some time we saw him com­ing within one hundred yards, as I sat on the body of an old tree mending my mokkisins, but taking my eye from him I saw him no more. He had not observed our tracks, but had gone a different way. We whistled on our chargers, and afterwards hallooed for him, but in vain Nevertheless he was fortunate in missing us, for he afterwards came safe into Wheeling *. We tra­velled on until night, and were on the waters of Mus­kingum from the middle of this day.

Having catched a fawn this day we made a fire in the evening, and had a repast, having in the mean time eat nothing but the small bit of pork I mentioned be­fore. We set off at break of day. About nine o'clock the third day we fell in with a party of the enemy about twenty miles from the Tuscarawas, which is about 135 miles from fort Pitt. They had come upon our tracks, or had been on our flanks, and discovered us, and then having got before had way laid us, and fired before we perceived them. At the first fire one of my companions fell before me, and another just behind; these two had guns: there were six men in company, and four guns, two of these rendered useless by reason of the wet, when coming through the swamp the first night; we had try­ed to discharge them, but could not. When the indi­ans fired I ran to a tree, but an Indian presenting him­self fifteen yards before me, desired me to deliver my­self up and I should not be hurt: My gun was in good order, but apprehending the enemy behind might dis­charge their pieces at me, I did not risk firing, which I had afterwards reason to regret, when I found what was to be my fate, and that the Indian who was before me and presented his gun, was one of those who had just before fired. Two of my companions were taken [Page 20] with me in the same manner, the Indians assuring us we should not be hurt. But one in company, James Paul, who had a gun in order made his escape, and has since come into Wheeling. One of these Indians knew me, and was of the party by whom I was taken in the last war. He came up and spoke to me calling me by my Indian name, Mannuchcothee, and upbraiding me for coming to war against them. I will take a moment here to relate some particulars of my first captivity, and my life since.

I was taken from New River in Virginia by the Mi­amese, a nation of Indians by us called the Picts, amongst whom I lived six years; afterwards being sold to a Delaware, and by him put into the hands of a trader, I was carried amongst the Shawanese, with whom I continued six years: so that my whole time amongst these nations was twelve years, that is, from the eighth to the twentieth year of my age. At the treaty at Fort Pitt in the fall preceding what is called Dunmore's war, which, if I am right was in the year 1773, I came in with the Shawanese nation to the trea­ty, and meeting with some of my relations at that place was by them sollicited to relinquish the life of a savage, which I did with some reluctance, this manner of life having become natural to me, inasmuch as I had scarcely known any other. I enlisted as a soldier in the continental army at the commencement of the present [...] and served fifteen months. Having been properly discharged I have since married, have a family, and am in communion with the church

To return: The party by whom we were made pri­soners we had taken some horses, and left them at the glades we had passed the day before They had fol­lowed on our tracts from these glades; on our return to which we found the horses and rode We were carried to Wachatomakak, a town of the Mingoes and Shawanese. I think it was on the third day we reached the town, which when we were approaching, the Indians, in whose custody we were, began to look [...], having been kind to us before, and given us a little meat and flour to eat, which they had found or taken from some of our men on their retreat. This [Page 21] town is small, and we were told was about two miles distant from the main town to which they meant to carry us.

The inhabitants from this town came out with clubs and tomhawks, struck beat and abused us greatly. One of my two companions they seized, and having stripped him naked blacked him with coal and water: This was the sign of being burnt the man seemed to surmise it, and shed tears. He asked me the meaning of his being blacked; but I was forbid by the enemy in their own language to tell him what was intended. In English which they spoke easily, having been often at Fort Pitt, they assured him he was not to be hurt. I know of no reason for making him the first object of their cruelty, unless it was that he was the oldest.

A warrior had been sent to the greater town to ac­quaint them with our coming, and prepare them for the frolic; for on our coming to it, the inhabitants came out with guns, clubs and tomhawks. We were told that we had to run to the council house, about three hundred yards. The man that was blacked was about twenty yards before us, in running the gauntlet: They made him their principal object, men, women and children beating him, and those who had guns firing loads of powder on him as he ran naked, putting the muzzles of the guns to his body, shout­ing, hallooing and beating their drums in the mean time.

The unhappy man had reached the door of the coun­cil house, beat and wounded in a manner shocking to the sight; for having arrived before him we had it in our power to view the spectacle: it was indeed the most horrid that can be conceived: they had cut him with their tomhawks, shot his body black, burnt it into holes with loads of powder blown into him; a large wadding had made a wound in his shoulder whence the blood gushed.

Agreeable to the declaration of the enemy when he first set out he had reason to think himself secure when he had reached the door of the council house. This seemed to be his hope, for coming up with great strug­gling and endeavour, he laid hold of the door but was [Page 22] pulled back and drawn away by them; finding they in­tended no mercy, but putting him to death he attempted several times to snatch or lay hold of some of their tom­hawks, but being weak could not effect it. We saw him borne off and they were a long time beating, wounding, pursuing and killing him.

That same evening I saw the dead body of this man close by the council house. It was mangled cruelly and the blood mingled with the powder was rendered black. The same evening I saw him, after he had been cut in­to pieces and his limbs and his head about two hundred yards on the outside of the town put on poles. That e­vening also I saw the bodies of three others in the same black and mangled condition: these I was told had been put to death the same day and just before we had recahed the town. Their bodies as they lay were black, bloody, burnt with powder; two of these were Harri­son * and young Crawford . I knew the visage of col. Harrison, and I saw his cloathing and that of young Crawford, at the town. They brought horses to me and asked if I knew them?—I said they were Harrisons and Crawfords. They said they were.

The third of these men I did not know, but believe to have been col. M, Cleland, the third in command on the expedition.

[Page 23]The next day the bodies of these men were dragged to the outside of the town, and their carcases being given to the dogs, their limbs and heads were stuck on poles.

My surviving companion shortly after we had reach­ed the council house was sent to another town, and I presume he was burnt or executed in the same manner.

In the evening the men assembled in the council house: this is a large building about fifty yards in length and about twenty five yards wide; and about sixteen feet in height, built of split poles covered with bark: their first object was to examine me, which they could do in their own language, inasmuch as I could speak the Miame, Shawanese and Delaware languages, which I had learned during my early captivity in the last war: I found I had not forgotten these languages, especially the two former, as well as my native tongue.

They began with interrogating me concerning the si­tuation of our country, what were our provisions? our numbers? the state of the war between us and Britain? I informed them Cornwallis had been taken, which next day, when Matthew Elliot ** with James Girty ** came, he affirmed to be a lie, and the Indians seemed to give full credit to his declaration.

Hitherto I had been treated with some appearance of kindness, but now the enemy began to after their behaviour towards me. Girty had informed them, that when he asked me how I liked to live there, I had said that I intended to take the first opportunity to take a scalp and run off. It was, to be sure, very probable that if I had such intention, I would communicate it to him. Another man came to me and told me a story of his having lived on the south branch of Potowmac in Virginia, and having three brothers there, he pre­tended he wanted to get away, but I suspected his de­sign; [Page 24] nevertheless he reported that I had consented to go. In the mean time I was not tyed, and could have escaped, but having nothing to put on my feet, I wait­ed some time longer to provide for this.

I was invited every night to the war dances, which they usually continued until almost day. I could not comply with their desire, believing these things to be the service of the devil.

The council lasted fifteen days; from fifty to one hundred warriors being usually in council, and some­times more. Every warrior is admitted to these coun­cils; but only the chiefs or head warriors have the pri­vilege of speaking. The head warriors are accounted such from the number of scalps and prisoners they have taken.

The third day M‘Kee * was in council, and after­wards was generally present. He spoke little, and did not ask any questions or speak to me at all. He lives about two miles out of the town, has a house built of squared logs with a shingled roof▪ he was dressed in gold laced cloths. I had seen him at the former town through which I passed.

I think it was on the last day of the council, save one, that a speech came from Detroit, brought by a warrior who had been counselling with the commanding officer at that place. The speech had been long expected, and was in answer to one sometime before sent from the town to Detroit: It was in a belt of Wampum, and be­gan with addressing them, "My children," and en­quiring why they continued to take prisoners? "Pro­visions are scarce; when prisoners are brought in we are obliged to maintain them, and still some of them are running away, and carrying tidings of our affairs. When any of your people fall into the hands of the re­bels they show no mercy: why then should you take prisoners? Take no more prisoners, my children, of any sort; man, woman or child."

[Page 25]Two days after a party of every nation that was near being collected, it was determined on to take no more prisoners of any sort. They had held a large council, and the determination was, that if it were possible they could find a child of a span or three inches long, they would show no mercy to it. At the conclusion of the council it was agreed upon by all the tribes present, viz. the Tawaws, Chiappawaws, the Wiondots, the Min­goes, the Delawares, the Shawanese, the Munses, and a part of the Cherokees, that should any of the nations who were not present take any prisoner, these would rise against them, take away the prisoners and put them to death.

In the course of these deliberations I understood what was said perfectly. They laid plans against our settle­ments of Kentucky, the Falls, and towards Wheeling. These it will be unnecessary for me to mention in this narrative, more especially as the Indians finding me to have escaped, and knowing that I would not fail to communicate these designs, will be led to alter their re­solutions.

There was one council held at which I was not pre­sent: The warriors had sent for me as usual, but the squaw with whom I lived would not suffer me to go, but hid me under a large quantity of skins. It may have been from an unwillingness that I should hear in coun­cil the determination with respect to me, that I should be burnt.

About this time twelve men were brought in from Kentucky, three of whom were burnt on this day; the remainder were distributed to other towns, and all, as the Indians informed me, were burnt. This was after the speech came from Detroit.

On this day also I saw an Indian who had just come into town, and who said that the prisoner he was bring­ing to be burnt, and who he said was a doctor, had made his escape from him. I knew this must have been Dr. Knight, who went as surgeon of the expedi­tion. The Indian had a wound four inches long in his head, which he acknowledged the doctor had given him: he was cut to the scull. His story was, that he had untied the doctor, being asked by him to do so, the doctor promising that be would not go away; that while [Page 26] he was employed in kindling the fire, the doctor snatch­ed up the gun, had come behind and struck him; that he then made a stroke at the doctor with his knife, which he laid hold of, and his fingers were cut almost off, the knife being drawn through his hand▪ that he gave the doctor two stabs, one in the belly, the other in the back; said the doctor was a great, big, tall, strong man. Being now adopted in an Indian family, and having some confidence for my safety, I took the liberty to contradict this, and said that I knew the doc­tor, who was a weak, little man. The other warriors laughed immoderately, and did not seem to credit him*. At this time I was told that col. Crawford was burnt, and they greatly exulted over it.

The day after the council I have mentioned, about forty warriors accompanied by George Girty came early in the morning round the house where I was. The squaw gave me up; I was sitting before the door of the house; they put a rope round my neck, tyed my arms behind my back, stripped me naked, and blacked me in the usual manner. George Girty as soon as I was tyed, damned me, and said that I now should get what I had deserved many years. I was led away to a town distant about five miles, to which a messenger had been dispatched to desire them to prepare to receive me: Arriving at this town I was beaten with clubs and the pipe ends of their tomhawks, and was kept for some time tied to a tree before a house door. In the mean while the inhabitants set out to another town about two miles distant, where I was to be burnt, and where I ar­rived about three o'clock in the afternoon.

Here also was a council house, part of it covered and part of it without a roof. In the part of it where no cover was, but only sides built up, there stood a post about sixteen feet in height, and in the middle of the house around the post, there were three piles of wood built about three feet high and four feet from the post. [Page 27] Being brought to the post my arms were tyed behind me, and the thong or cord with which they were bound was fastened to the post; a rope also was put about my neck, and tyed to the post about four feet above my head. During the time they were tying me, piles of wood were kindled and began to flame.

Death by burning, which appeared to be now my fate, I had resolved to sustain with patience. The di­vine grace of God had made it less alarming to me; for on my way this day I had been greatly exercised in regard to my latter end. I knew myself to have been a regular member of the church, and to have sought repentance for my sins; but though I had often heard of the faith of assurance, had known nothing of it; but early this day, instantaneously by a change wrought upon me, sudden and perceivable as lightning, an assurance of my peace made with God, sprung up in my mind. The following words were the subject of my meditation—"In peace thou shalt see God. Fear not those who can kill the body. In peace shalt thou depart." I was on this occasion by a confidence in mind▪ not to be resisted, fully assured of my salvation: This being the case, I was willing, satisfied, and glad to die.

I was tyed to the post, as I have already said, and the flame was now kindled. The day was clear, not a cloud to be seen; if there were clouds low in the ho­rison, the sides of the house prevented me from seeing them, but I heard no thunder, or observed any sign of approaching rain. Just as the fire of one pile began to blaze, the wind rose; from the time they began to kin­dle the fire and to tie me to the post, until the wind began to blow, was about fifteen minutes. The wind blew a hurricane, and the rain followed in less than three minutes. The rain fell violent; and the fire, though it began to blaze considerably, was instant­ly extinguished. The rain lasted about a quarter of an hour.

When it was over the savages stood amazed, and were a long time silent. At last one said, We will let him alone till morning, and take a whole days frolic in burning him. The sun at this time was about three hours high. It was agreed upon, and the rope about my neck was untied, and making me sit down, they [Page 28] began to dance around me. They continued dancing in this manner until eleven o'clock at night; in the mean time, beating, kicking, and wounding me with their tomhawks and clubs .

At last one of the warriors, the Half Moon, asked me if I was sleepy? I answered, Yes. The head war­rior then chose out three men to take care of me. I was taken to a block house; my arms were tied until the cord was hid in the flesh; they were tied in two pla­ces, round the wrist and above the elbows. A rope was fastened about my neck, and tied to a beam of the house, but permitting me to lie down on a board. The three warriors were constantly harrassing and troubling me, saying, "How will you like to eat fire to morrow— you will kill no more Indians now." I was in expec­tation of their going to sleep; when at length, about an hour before day break, two laid down; the third smoked a pipe, talked to me, and asked the same pain­ful questions. About half an hour after he also laid down, and I heard him begin to snore. Instantly I went to work, and as my arms were perfectly dead with the cord, I laid myself down upon my right arm which was behind my back, and keeping it fast with my fingers, which had still some life and strength, I slipped the cord from my left arm over my elbow and my wrist. One of the warriors now got up and stirred the fire: I was apprehensive that I should be examined, and thought it was over with me; but my hopes reviv­ed when now he lay down again. I then attempted to unloose the rope about my neck, tryed to gnaw it but in vain, as it was as thick as my thumb and as hard as iron, being made of a buffaloe hide: I wrought with it a long time, gave it out, and could see no relief. At this time I saw day break and heard the cock crow: I made a second attempt almost without hope, pulling the rope by putting my fingers between my neck and it, and to [Page 29] my great surprise it came easily untyed: it was a noose with two or three knots tyed over it.

I stept over the warriors as they lay, and having got out of the house looked back to see if there was any disturb­ance; I then ran through the town into a corn field; in my way I saw a squaw with four or five children lying asleep under a tree: going a different way into the field I untyed my arm which was greatly swelled and turned black: having observed a number of horses in the glade as I ran through it, I went back to catch one, and on my way found a piece of an old rug or quilt hanging on a fence which I took with me: having caught the horse, the rope with which I had been tyed serving for a hal­ter, I rode off: the horse was strong and swift, and the woods being open and the country level, about ten o'clock that day I crossed the Siota river at a place by computation fifty full miles from the town. I had rode about twenty five miles on this side Siota by three o'clock in the afternoon, when the horse began to fail and could no longer go on a trot. I instantly left him and on foot ran about twenty miles farther that day, mak­ing in the whole the distance of near one hundred miles, In the evening I heard hallooing behind me and for this reason did not halt until about ten o'clock at night, when I sat down, was extremely sick and vomited; but when the moon rose which might have been about two hours after, I went on and travelled until day.

During the night I had a path, but in the morning judged it prudent to forsake the path and take a ridge for the distance of fifteen miles, in a line at right angles to my course, putting back as I went along with a stick the weeds which I had bended, lest I should be track'd by the enemy. I lay the next night on the waters of Muskingum: the nettles had been troublesome to me after my crossing the Siota, having nothing to defend myself but the piece of a rug which I had found, and which while I rode I used under me by way of saddle; the briars and thorns were now painful to and prevent­ed me from travelling in the night until the moon ap­peared: In the mean time I was hindred from sleeping by the musketoes, for even in the day I was under the necessity of travelling with a handful of bushes to brush them from my body.

[Page 30]The second night I reached Cushakim; next day came to Newcomer's town, where I got about seven rasberries, which were the first thing I ate from the morning in which the Indians had taken me to burn me until this time, which was now about three o'clock the fourth day. I felt hunger very little, but was extreme­ly weak; I swam Muskingum river at Oldcomers town, the river being about two hundred yards wide having reached the bank I sat down, looked back and thought I had a start of the indians if any should pursue. That evening I travelled about five miles, next day came to Stillwater a small river, in a branch of which I got two small crafish to eat: Next night I lay within five miles of Wheeling, but had not slept a wink during this whole time, being rendered impossible by the musketoes, which it was my constant employment to brush away. Next day came to Wheeling and saw a man on the is­land in the Ohio opposite to that post, and calling to him and asking for particular persons who had been on the expedition, and telling him I was Stover, at length, with great difficulty, he was persuaded to come over and bring me across in his canoe *.

[Page 32]
Mr. BAILEY,

WITH the narrative enclosed, I subjoin some obser­vations with regard to the animals, vulgarly cal­led Indians. It is not my intention to write any labour­ed essay; for at so great a distance from the city, and so long unaccustomed to write, I have scarcely resolution to put pen to paper. Having an opportunity to know something of the character of this race of men, from the deeds they perpetrate daily around me, I think proper to say something on the subject; indeed several years ago, and before I left your city, I had thought different from some others with respect to the right of soil, and the propriety of forming treaties and making peace with them. In the United States Magazine, in the year 1779, I published a dissertation denying them to have a right to the soil: I perceive a writer in your very ele­gant and useful paper, has taken up the same subject, under the signature of Caractacus, and unanswerably shown, that their claim to the extensive countries of America, is wild and inadmissible: I will take the li­berty in this place, to pursue this subject a little.

On what is their claim founded?—Occupancy. A wild India with his skin painted red, and a feather through his nose, has set his foot on the broad continent of North and South America: a second wild Indian with his ears cut in ringlets, or his nose slit like a swine or a malefactor, also sets his foot on the same extensive tract of soil: Let the first Indian make a talk to his bro­ther, and bid him take his foot off the continent, for he being first upon it, had occupied the whole, to kill buffaloes, and tall elks with long horns. This claim, in the reasoning of some men would be just, and the se­cond savage ought to depart in his canoe, and seek a continent where no prior occupant claimed the soil. Is this claim of occupancy of a very early date? When Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, went out to the three quarters of the old world, Ham to Africa, Shem to Asia, and Japhet to Europe, did each claim a quarter of the world for his residence? Suppose Ham to have spent his time fishing or gathering oysters in the Red Sea, never once stretching his leg in a long walk to see his vast dominions, from the mouth of the Nile, across the mountains of Ethiopia and the river Niger [Page 33] to the cape of Good Hope, where the Hottentotts, a cleanly people, now stray; or supposing him, like a Scots pedlar, to have travelled over many thousand leagues of that country: would this give him a right to the soil?—In the opinion of some men it would establish an exclusive right. Let a man in more modern times take a journey or voyage like Patrick Kennedy and o­thers, to the heads of the Missisippi or Missouri rivers, would he gain a right ever after to exclude all persons from drinking the water of these streams? Might not a second Adam make a talk to them and say, is the whole of this water necessary to allay your thirst, and may not I also drink of it?

The whole of this earth was given to man, and all de­scendents of Adam have a right to share it equally. There is no right of primogeniture in the laws of na­ture and of nations. There is reason that a tall man, such as the chaplain in the American army we call the High Priest, should have a larger spot of ground to stretch himself upon; or that a man with a big belly, like a goodly alderman of London, should have a larger garden to produce beans and cabbage for his appetite, but that an agile, nimble runner, like an Indian called the Big Cat, at Fort Pitt, should have more than his neighbours because he has traversed a greater space, I can see no reason.

I have conversed with some persons and found their mistakes on this subject, to arise from a view of claims by individuals in a state of society, some holding a greater proportion of the soil than others; but this is according to the laws to which they have consented; an individual holding one acre, cannot encroach on him who has a thousand, because he is bound by the law which secures property in this unequal manner. This is the municipal law of the state under which he lives. The member of a distant society is not excluded by the laws from a right to the soil: He claims under the general law of nature, which gives a right, equally to all, to so much of the soil as is necessary for subsist­ance. Should a German from the closely peopled coun­try of the Rhine, come into Pennsylvania, more thinly peopled, he would be justifiable in demanding a settle­ment, though his personal force would not be sufficient [Page 34] to effect it. It may be said that the cultivation or me­lioration of the earth, gives a property in it. No—if an individual has ingrossed more than is necessary to produce grain for him to live upon, his useless gardens, fields and pleasure walks, may be seized upon by the person who not finding convenient ground elsewhere, chooses to till them for his support.

It is a usual way of destroying an opinion, by pursu­ing it to its consequence. In the present case we may say, that if the visiting one acre of ground could give a right to it, the visiting a milion would give a right on the same principle; and thus a few surly ill natured men, might in the earlier ages, have excluded half the human race from a settlement, or should any have fixed themselves on territory, visited before they had set a foot upon it, they must be considered as invaders of the rights of others.

It is said that an individual, building a house or fa­bricating a machine has an exclusive right to it, and why not those who improve the earth? I would say, should a man build houses on a greater part of the soil than falls to his share, I would, in a state of nature, take away a proportion of the soil and the houses from him, but a machine or any work of art, does not lessen the means of subsistence to the human race, which an extensive occupation of the soil does.

Claims founded on the first discovery of soil are futile. When gold, jewels, manufactures, or any work of men's hands is lost, the finder is intitled to some reward, that is, he has some claim on the thing found, for a share of it.

When by industry or the exercise of genius, some­thing unusual is invented in medicine or in other mat­ters, the author doubtless has a claim to an exclusive profit by it, but who will say the soil is lost, or that any one can found a claim by discovering it. The earth with its woods and rivers still exists, and the only ad­vantage I would allow to any individual for having, cast his eye first on any particular part of it, is the privilege of making the first choice of situation. I would think the man a fool and unjust, who would exclude me from drinking the waters of the Missisippi river, because he had first seen it. He would be equally so who, would [Page 35] exclude me from settling in the country west of the Ohio because in chasing a buffaloe, he had been first o­ver it.

The idea of an exclusive right to the soil in the na­tives had its origin in the policy of the first discoverers, the kings of Europe. Should they deny the right of the natives from their first treading on the continent, they would take away the right of discovery in themselves, by sailing on the coast. As the vestige of the mokkison in one case gave a right, so the cruize in the other was the foundation of a claim.

Those who under these kings, derived grants, were led to countenance the idea, for otherwise why should kings grant or they hold extensive tracts of country.

Men become enslaved to an opinion that has been long entertained. Hence it is that many wise and good men will talk of the right of savages to immense tracts of oil.

What use do these ring streaked, spotted and speckled cattle make of the soil? Do they till it? Revelation said to man, "Thou shalt till the ground." This a­lone is human life. It is favourable to population, to science, to the information of a human mind in the wor­ship of a God. Warburton has well said, that before you can make an Indian a christian you must teach him agriculture and reduce him to a civilized life. To live by tilling is more humano, by hunting is more bestiarum. I would as soon admit a right in the buffaloe to grant lands, as in Killbuck, the Big Cat, the Big Dog, or any of the ragged wretches that are called chiefs and sa­chems. What would you think of going to a big lick, or place where the beasts collect to lick the saline and nitrous earth and water, and addressing yourself to a great buffaloe to grant you land? It is true he could not make the mark of the stone or the mountain in his deed; but he could set his cloven foot to the paper like the great Ottoman, the father of the Turks, who when he put his signature to an instrument, dipt his hand and spreading fingers in the ink and laid them on the parchment. To see how far the folly of mankind would go, I had once a thought of supplicating one of these great elkes or buffaloes that run to the westward, to make me a grant of a hundred thousand acres: I could [Page 36] prove he had brushed the weeds with his tail, and run fifty miles. I wonder if Congress or the different states would recognize the claim. I am so far from thinking the Indians have right to the soil, that not having made a better use of it for many hundred years, I conceive they have forfeited all pretence to claim, and ought to be driven from it.

With regard to forming treaties or making peace with this race, these are my ideas:—They have the shapes of men and may be of the human species, but certainly in their present state they approach nearer the character of Devils: take an Indian is there any faith in him? Can you bind him by favours? Can you trust his word or confide in his promise? When he makes war upon you, when he takes you prisoner and has you in his power will he spare you? In this he departs from the law of nature, by which, according to baron Mon­tesquieu and every other man who thinks on the sub­ject, it is unjustifiable to take away the life of him who submits; the conqueror in doing otherwise becomes a murderer, who ought to be put to death. On this prin­ciple are not the whole Indian nations murderers? Ma­ny of them may have not had an opportunity of putting prisoners to death, but the sentiment which they enter­tain leads them invariably to do this when they have it in their power or judge it expedient: these principles constitute them murderers, and they ought to be prevented from carrying them into execution, as we would prevent a common hommicide, who should be mad enough to conceive himself justifiable in killing men.

The tortures which they exercise on the bodies of their prisoners, justify extirmination. Gelo of Syra­cuse made war on the Carthaginians, because they of­fered up human victims, and made peace with them on condition they would cease from this unnatural and cruel superstition If we could have any faith in the savages, I would suffer them to live, provided they would no longer make war amongst themselves, or a­gainst others by lurking privately on the path ways of the wood, and putting unarmed and defenceless inha­bitants to death or attacking women and children in the frontier families, and on their ceasing in the mean to exercise torture.

[Page 37]I do not know but I ought to recal my word and say, that even reforming from these practices, they ought not to live: These nations are so degenerate from the life of man, so devoid of every sentiment of generosity, so prone to every vicious excess of passion, so faithless, and so incapable of all civilization, that it is dangerous to the good order of the world that they should exist in it. Why was it that a stream of fire was sent to burn up Sodom and Gomorrah, or some years before a de­luge of water to wash the old world, but that the evil example of wicked men and horrid deeds might be struck from the knowledge and memory of the world? Why was it that the Canaanites were sentenced to ex­tirpation, but because their rites and practices rendered them unfit to live. With what zeal did that good man Samuel hew Agag in pieces? With the same zeal ought every whig in America to hew the Big Pipe, or the Big Rattlesnake, or any of these, yclept by whatever name, wherever he can find them It may be said the Israel­ites had an order from the Lord to put to death the Ca­naanites. I think when we see men by their practice murderers, by every sentiment and principle of heart carried out to shed blood privately; it is a sufficient or­der to exterminate the whole brood. As the Seceder said of Satan, what will you make of them, my belov­ed, but ill, vile, evil devils?

There have been instances of several of these crea­tures that have been taken young from the woods, and put to public schools in America; I do not know one who has even by these means been rendered a useful member of society: They retain the temper of their race. I knew one of these, a certain John Montour, who had been educated at one of the northern semina­ries, taught Greek and Latin, and in this war dignified by Congress with a commission of captain. No greater savage ever existed. He had murdered several of his own people, and being obliged to avoid the resentment of their relations, had fled from one place to another, and at last joined our arms at Fort Pitt. I saw this man with the bloody scalp of an Indian in his hand, which he had just taken off, having first tomhawked the crea­ture, though submitting and praying for his life. The Indian had been for some time a prisoner with us, on [Page 38] suspicion of having acted against us, but having always professed himself a friend, and not being yet convicted of any murder, it was ruthful in his fellow savage to put him to death. I am well persuaded, that for a keg of whiskey you might induce any Indian to murder his wife, child, or best friend. I am informed, that the experiment was actually made by a trader. An Indian for a quart of whisky, in one of the western towns cut the throat of his own child.

This being the character of these men, shall we not wish to dispossess them of the goodly lands, springs and rivers to the westward, which they have so long made a scene of horror by their practices. At the termina­tion of the present war, when they are no longer assist­ed by our enemies, it will be easy to drive them be­yond the lakes: Instead of forming treaties, and send­ing any other talk to them, and prophaning ourselves by calling them brothers, I would simply let them know that they are no longer to show themselves below the heads of the great rivers that fall from the westward into the Ohio and Missisippi waters: After some period they may be reduced to more distant bounds, until dri­ven to the cold snows of the north west, where darkness reigns six months in the year, if the continent extends so far, their practices shall be obscured, and the tribes gradually abolished.

H. BRACKENRIGE.

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