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I knew was, and is, the only way to make war and gain a name among the Indians. I immediately sent orders to Post Vincennes to make war on the Delawares — to use every means in their power to destroy them --- to show no kind of mercy to the men; but to spare the women and children. This order was executed without delay; their camps were attacked in every quarter where they could be found — many fell, and others were brought to Post Vincennes and put to death — the women and children secured, &c. They immediately applied for reconciliation; but were informed that I had ordered the war *** and that they dare not lay down the tomahawk without permission from me: but that if the Indians were agreed, no more blood should be spilt, until an express should go to Kaskaskia, which was immediately sent. I refused to make peace with the Delawares, and let them know that we never trusted those who had once violated their faith; but that if they had a mind to be quiet, they might; and if they could get any of the neighboring Indians to be security for their good behavior, I would let them alone; but that I cared very little about it, &c.-privately directing Captain Helm how to manage.
“A council was called of all the Indians in the neighborhood; my answer was made public; the Piankeshaws took on themselves to answer for the future good conduct of the Delawares; and the Tobacco's son, in a long speech, informed them of the baseness of their conduct, and how richly they had deserved the severe blow they had met with — that he had given them permission to settle that country, but not kill his friends
that they now saw the Big Knife had refused to make peace with them; but that he had become surety for their good conduct, and that they might go and mind their hunting - and that if they ever did any more mischief — pointing to the sacred bow that he held in his hand — which was as much as to say that he himself would for the future chastise them. Thus ended the war between us and the Delawares in this quarter much to our advantage; as the nations about said that we were as brave as the Indians, and not afraid to put an enemy to death. “ June being the time for the rendezvous at Post Vincennes, every exertion was made in procuring provisions of every species, and making other preparations. I received an express from Kentucky, wherein Colonel [John] Bowman informed me that he could furnish three hundred good men.
We were now going on in high spirits, and daily expecting troops down the Tennessee; when, on the we were surprised at the arrival of Colonel Montgomery with one hundred and fifty men only — which was all we had a right to expect from that quarter in a short time, as the recruiting business went on but slowly; and, for the first time, we learned the fall of our paper money. Things immediately put on a different appearance. We now lamented that we did not march from Post Vincennes to Detroit; but as we had a prospect of a considerable reinforcement from Kentucky, we yet flattered ourselves that something might be done: at least we might manæuvre in such a manner as to keep the enemy in hot water, and in suspense, and prevent their doing our frontiers much damage. We went on with procuring supplies,* and did not yet lose sight of our object; and, in order to feel the pulse of the enemy, I detached Major, who had lately joined us, and a company of volunteers, up the Illinois river -- under the pretence of visiting our friends; he was instructed to cross the country, and call at the Wea towns, and then proceed to Post Vincennes, making his observations on the route. This we expected would perfectly cover our designs; and, if we saw it prudent, we might on his return proceed. Early in June Colonel Montgomery was despatched by water with the whole of our stores: Major [Joseph] Bowman marched the remainder of our troops by land. Myself, with a party of horse, reached Post Vincennes in four days, where the whole safely arrived in a short time after.
* « There is one circumstance very distressing, that of our money's being discredited, to all intents and purposes, by the great number of traders who come here in my absence. each outbidding the other, giving prices unknown in this country by five hundred per cent., by which the people conceived it to be of no value, and both French and Spaniards refused to take a farthing of it. Provision is three times the price it was two months past, and to be got by no other means than my own bonds, goods, or force. Several merchants are now advancing considerable sums of their own property, rather than the service should suffer, by which I am sensible they must lose greatly, unless some method is taken to raise the credit of our coin, or a fund to be sent to Orleans, for the payment of the expenses of this place.”—[Letter, dated Kaskaskia, April 29, 1779, from Col. G. R. Clark to the Governor of Virgin ia.--Jefferson's Correspondence, i, 454.
“ Instead of three hundred men from Kentucky, there appeared about thirty volunteers, commanded by Capt. McGary. The loss of the expedition was too obvious to hesitate about it. Colonel [John] Bowman had turned his attention against the Shawanees towns, and got repulsed, and his men discouraged.
“ The business, from the first had been so conducted as to make no disadvantageous impression on the enemy, in case of a disappointment --- as they could never know whether we really had a design on Detroit, or only a finesse to amuse them, which latter would appear probable. Arranging things to the best advantage was now my principal study. The troops were divided between Post Vincennes, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and the Falls of Ohio. Colonel Montgomery was appointed to the command of the Illinois; Major Bowman to superintend the recruiting business; a number of officers were appointed to that service; and myself to take up my quarters at the falls, as the most convenient spot to have an eye over the whole.”
Thus closes the detail of Colonel Clark's proceedings at Post Vincennes.
During the years 1779 and 1780, many causes contributed to attract a great number of emigrants from the interior of Virginia, and from other states, to the fertile district of Kentucky.* Among these causes it is proper to reckon the achievements of Colonel Clark in the west, the temporary triumph of the British arms in some of the southern states, and the munificent spirit in which the government of Virginia invited adventurous families to take possession of the rich unappropriated lands which it claimed in the regions west of the Allegheny mountains. The danger which surrounded the first English settlers in these regions began to abate. The ancient French inhabitants of the new county of Illinois had taken the oath of allegiance to the state of Virginia. In July, 1778, the Congress of the United States directed Brigadier General McIntosh to collect at Pittsburgh a force of fifteen hundred men for the defence of the western frontiers: and on the 17th of September, 1778, a treaty of peace, friendship, and alliance was concluded, at Fort Pitt, between commissioners in behalf of the United States, and the chief men and deputies of the Delaware nation of Indians.t
In the spring of 1779, Colonel John Todd, bearing the commission of County Lieutenant for the county of Illinois, visited Post Vincennes and Kaskaskia for the purpose of organizing a temporary government according to the provisions of the act of the General Assembly of Virginia, of October, 1778. On the 15th of June, 1779, Mr. Todd issued the following proclamation:
*Three hundred large family boats arrived at the Falls of the Ohio, during the spring of 1780.-(Butler's History of Kentucky, 99. Laws United States, i, 302.
“ Ilinois [county,] to wit:- Whereas, from the fertility and beautiful situation of the lands bordering upon the Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, and Wabash rivers, the taking up the usual quantity of land heretofore allowed for a settlement by the government of Virginia, would injure both the strength and commerce of this country—I do, therefore, issue this proclamation, strictly enjoining all persons whatsoever from making any new settlements upon the flat lands of the said rivers, or within one league of said lands, unless in manner and form of settlements as heretofore made by the French inhabitants, until further orders herein given. And in order that all the claims to lands in said county may be fully known, and some method provided for perpetuating by record the just claims, every inhabitant is required, as soon as conveniently may be, to lay before the person in each district appointed for that purpose, a memorandum of his or her land, with copies of all their vouchers; and where vouchers have never been given, or are lost, such depositions or certificates as will tend to support their claims:- the memorandum to mention the quantity of land, to whom originally granted, and when - deducing the title through the various occupants to the present possessor.
The number of adventurers who will shortly overrun this country renders the above method necessary as well to ascertain the vacant lands as to guard against trespasses which will probably be committed on lands not of record.
Given under my hand and seal at Kaskaskia, the 15th of June, in the third year of the Commonwealth, 1779.
JOHN TODD, Jr." For the preservation of peace and the administration of justice a court of civil and criminal jurisdiction was instituted at Post Vincennes, in June, 1779. The court was composed of several magistrates. Colonel J. M. P. Legras, having been appointed commandant of the town, acted as president of the court, and in some cases exercised a controlling influence over its proceedings. Adopting in some measure the usages and