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be enlarged to the same extent. And this re-annexation of these inland posts to this Province is the more necessary on account of the Fur Trade which the people of this Province carry on to them: Because, in the present state of things, as there are no Courts of Justice whose jurisdiction extends to those distant places, those of the Factors we send to them with our Goods to trade with the Indians for their Furs, who happen to prove dishonest, continue in them, out of the reach of their creditors, and live upon the profits of the Goods entrusted to their care, which entirely ruins this culony, and turns these posts into harbors for rogues and vagabonds, whose wicked and violent conduct is often likely to give rise to wars with the Indians."*
On the 2d of June, 1774, the British Parliament passed an act which extended the boundaries of the Province of Quebec so as to include the territories which now lie within the limits of the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. The act also secured to the French inhabitants the free exercise of their religion, and to the Roman Catholic clergy those rights which were agreeable to the articles of capitulation at the time of the surrender of the Province. In addition to these privileges, the same act of Parliament restored to the French inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, their ancient laws in civil cases, without a trial by jury.† The extension of the Province beyond the limits described in the proclamation of 1763, was “justified by the plea, that several French families were settled in remote parts of the country, beyond the former districts, and an entire colony was established among the Illinois Indians.” I The privileges which were granted to the Roman Catholics, the great enlargement of the boundaries of Canada, and the establishment of French laws and customs in that Province were regarded with sentiments of strong disapprobation by the English inhabitants of the British colonies in America. They viewed it as a stroke of ministerial policy, designed to secure the co-operation of the French in the subjugation of those colonists who had opposed the Stamp act, and who were at that time arrayed in opposition to other arbitrary acts of the government of Great Britain. Thus, the passage of the Quebec bill, while it secured the attachment of the French inhabitants of Canada, contributed in some degree to sever the political ties by which the English colonies in America were bound to the mother country. On the 22d of September, 1774, in a Convention which was held at Falmouth in the Province of Massachusetts, the assembly adopted a report which contained these words:—“As the very extraordinary and alarming act for establishing the Roman Catholic religion and French laws in Canada may introduce the French or Indians into our frontier towns, we recommend that every town and individual in this country should be provided with a proper stock of military stores, according to our Province law; and that some patriotic military officers be chosen in each town to exercise their several companies and make them perfect in the military art."
*American Archives, 4th ser. I, p. 1848.
In 1764 a Court of King's Bench and a Court of Common Pleas were established in the Province of Canada. The Canadians were not opposed to the criminal law of England; but they objected to the course of the English law in civil trials. Their opposition to the trial hy jury was remarkable; and they often said that they thought it very extraordinary that English gentlemen should think their property safer in the determination of tailors and shoemakers, mixed with the people in trade, than in that of the judges." A Mr. Maseres, of Canada, when under an examination before the British House of Commons, in 1774, said " that the Canadians had no clear notions of government, having never been used to any such speculations."- [Proceedings on the Quebec bill in the British House of Commons, June, 1774.
I Bisset, i, 375.
The French colonists of America, perceiving that the people of the English provinces were inclined to deprive them of the privileges which had been granted to them by the Quebec act, ardently supported the cause of Great Britain during the early part of the American revolutionary war. At the French settlements in the country northwest of the Ohio, Indian war parties were often supplied with arms and ammunition, and sent to assail the western frontiers of the English colonies.
Early in the year 1773, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the English traders in the west, the troops were withdrawn from Fort Pitt, by order of General Gage, and the Assembly of Pennsylvania refused to maintain a garrison at that post. Soon after this event occurred, many adventurers from Virginia, some from Maryland, and a few from North Carolina, crossed the Allegheny mountains for the purpose of surveying the lands and making settlements in the country on the southern borders of the river Ohio. The lands in the neighborhood of Fort Pitt were surveyed for the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, in 1769, and “Magistrates were appointed to act there in the beginning of 1771."* In 1774, Governor Dunmore, from motives which have never been satisfactorily explained, began to encourage the English colonists to take warrants from him for lands in the west; and, under the pretence that Fort Pitt was within the boundary of Virginia, he appointed magistrates to act at that place. One of these magistrates, John Conolly, who was also one of the patentees of a tract of land lying about the Falls of Ohio, collected a number of men, established a garrison at Fort Pitt, changed the name of that post to Fort Dunmore, and sent out small parties for the purpose of building forts lower down the river Ohio.
In the latter part of April, 1774, a number of people being engaged in looking out for settlements on the Ohio, information was spread among them, that the Indians had robbed some of the land-jobbers, as those adventurers were called. Alarmed for their safety they collected together at Wheeling creek. Hearing there that there were two Indians and some traders at a place not far above Wheeling, Michael Cresap, one of the party, proposed to way-lay and kill them. The proposition, though opposed,t was adopted. A party went up the river, with Cresap at their head, and killed the two Indians. The same afternoon it was reported that there was a party of Indians on the Ohio, a few miles below Wheeling. Cresap and his party immediately proceeded down the river, and encamped on the banks. The Indians passed him peaceably, and encamped, below him, at the mouth of Grave-creek. Cresap
*Letter from Gov. Penn to Lord Dunmore, 31st March, 1774.
t"On our arrival at the Whecling, being informed that there were two Indians with some traders near and above Wheeling, a proposition was made by the then Captain Mi. chael Cresap to way-lay and kill the Indians upon the river. This measure I opposed with much violence, alleging that the killing of those Indians might involve the country in a war."--[Letter of Col. Ebenezer Zane.
and his party attacked them and killed several. The Indians returned the fire, and wounded one of Cresap's party."*Among the slain of the Indians were some of the family of the Cayuga Chief Logan, who had distinguished himself as the friend of white men. A few days after these murders were perpetrated, a party of thirty-two men, under one Daniel Greathouse, massacred twelve or thirteen Indians at a place near “Baker's Bottom,” on the Ohio, about forty miles above Wheeling. This massacre was effected by means of a very dishonorable stratagem. A party of Indians, on their way down the Ohio, heard of the murders near Wheeling, and fearing to proceed, they encamped at the mouth of Big Yellow creek, opposite the house of one Joshua Baker, who had settled on a tract of land which was called Baker's Bottom. The party under Greathouse lay in ambush, while their leader crossed the river to the camp of the Indians, and under the mask of friendship counted their numbers, and found them too strong for an open attack with his force. While he was at the camp, he was cautioned by one of the Indian women to go home, because the Indian men were drinking, and angry on account of the murder of their relations. On leaving the camp, Greathouseinvited the Indians to go over to the house of Baker, and drink. He then re-crossed the river, and requested Baker to give any of the Indians who might come over, as much rum as they might call for, "and get as many of them drunk as he possibly could.” † Several Indians, among whom were two women and a little girl, crossed the river, and went to the house of Baker, where the men soon became intoxicated. Greathouse and his party then fell upon the drunken Indians, and slaughtered the men and women. The little Indian girl alone was spared. The party of Indians on the other side of the river, on hearing the report of guns, sent a canoe with two men in it to enquire what had happened. As soon as these two men landed on the beach, they were killed by the whites. A number of armed Indians, in another canoe, attempted to reach the shore some
*Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, 332. † Doddridge's Notes, 227.-Jefferson's Notes, 334.
distance below Baker's house; but they were met by a fire from the party under Greathouse, which killed some, wounded others, and obliged the rest to retreat.
The English settlers on the borders of the Ohio, knowing that the Indians, in consequence of these murders, would make war upon them, either moved away from the frontiers or prepared to defend themselves by building forts and block-houses. As soon as information of these events reached the seat of government of Pennsylvania, the authorities of that Province despatched messengers to assure the Indians that the acts of the white men who were commanded by Cresap and Greathouse, were not sanctioned by the people of Pennsylvania. Believing these assurances, the Indians, in detached parties composed of Mingoes, Delawares, and Shawanees, began to make war upon the settlers along the whole extent of the western frontiers of Virginia. To protect the western settlements, and to punish the hostile Indians, the government of that Province soon gave orders to raise an army of three thousand men. The southern division of this army, under the command of Colonel Andrew Lewis, was ordered to march through the Greenbriar country, to the mouth of the Great Kanawha river. The other division, under the command of Governor Dunmore, was to rendezvous at Fort Pitt, and from that point, descend the river Ohio, to form a junction with Colonel Lewis, at the mouth of the Kanawha.
On the 20th of June, 1774, Governor Dunmore, who was then at Williamsburgh, the seat of government in Virginia, wrote as follows, to John Conolly, one of the Virginia magistrates at Fort Pitt : "I hope you will prevail on the Delawares and the well affected part of the Mingoes to move off from the Shawanees. It is highly necessary that you continue at Fort Dunmore, [Fort Pitt,] and I think, therefore, that you could not do better than to send Captain William Crawford with what men you can spare to join him, and to co-operate with Colonel Lewis, or to strike a stroke himself, if he thinks he can do it with safety. * ** I would recommend it to all officers going out on parties to make as many prisoners as they can of