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customs of the early French commandants, the magistrates of the Court of Post Vincennes began to grant or concede tracts of land to the French and American inhabitants of the town, and to different civil and military officers of the country. Indeed it appears that the court assumed the power of granting lands to every applicant. Before the year 1783, about twentysix thousand acres of land were granted to different individuals. From 1783 to 1757, when the practice was stopped by General Harmar, the grants amounted to twenty-two thousand acres.* They were given in tracts varying in quantities from four hundred acres to the size of a house lot. Besides these small concessions there were some grants of tracts several leagues square. The commandant and magistrates, after having exercised this power for some time began to believe that they had the right to dispose of all that large tract of land which, in 1742, had been granted by the Piankeshaw Indians, for the use of the French inhabitants of Post Vincennes. “ Accordingly an arrangement was made, by which the whole country to which the Indian title was supposed to be extinguished, was divided between the members of the court, and orders to that effect entered on their journal: each member absenting himself from the court on the day that the order was to be made in his favor, so that it might appear to be the act of his fellows only.” †
From 1779 to 1787 the white population of the county of Illinois, and the Indian tribes of the territory northwest of the Ohio, were kept in a state of incertitude, excitement, and alarm, by a succession of events which shall now be briefly noticed in their proper order.
I. - In June, 1779, Colonel John Bowman led a force of three hundred men from Kentucky against an Indian town on the Little Miami river. In this expedition Benjamin Logan, John Holder, James Harrod, and John Bulger, were captains. The expedition " arrived within a short distance of the town, near night, and halted. It was then determined to make the attack by day-break: For this purpose, Captain Logan was detached to encircle the town on one side, while Bowman was to surround it on the other, and to give the signal of assault. Logan immediately executed his part of the plan, and waited for his superior officers. Day began to break, and still there was no appearance of the detachment in front. Logan in the mean time ordered his men to conceal themselves in the grass and the weeds. The men, in shifting about for hiding places, alarmed one of the enemy's dogs, whose barking soon brought out an Indian to discover the cause of the alarm. At this moment one of Logan's men discharged his gun: the Indian aware that it proceeded from an enemy, gave an instantaneous and loud whoop, and ran immediately to his cabin. The alarm was now spread; but still the time was not too late for an energetic attack. Logan could see the women and children escaping to the woods by a ridge between his party and the other detachment."* The Indians made a vigorous defence; and the party under Colonel Bowman were forced to retreat to Kentucky, with a loss of eight or nine men killed. The loss of the Indians has not been recorded.
*Letter, written in 1790, from Winthrop Sargent to George Washington. Letter, dated Vincennes, January 19, 1802, from Gov. Harrison to James Madison. Jefferson's Correspondence, i, 163.
II. - In the spring of 1780, an expedition commanded by Captain Byrd set out from Detroit to attack the settlements in Kentucky. This expedition, having some small pieces of artillery, proceeded in boats as far as it could ascend the Maumee river. It moved thence, by land to the Big Miami, down that river to the Ohio, and up the Ohio to the mouth of Licking river. From this point, with a force amounting to about six hundred men, principally Indians, Captain Byrd moved up the Licking, as far as the junction of the south fork of that stream. Being then in the vicinity of Martin's and Ruddle's stations, he appeared before those places about the 22d of June. The settlers, being surprised by an overwhelming force, “surrendered at discretion.” The Indians plundered the stations, and took possession of the prisoners, some of whom were massacred, while others were carried into captivity. Immediately after the reduction of these two inconsiderable stations, Captain Byrd, although no force appeared to oppose him, commenced a precipitate retreat from Kentucky. Various causes have been assigned for this sudden movement: some writers have attributed it to the weak and vacillating character of Byrd: others say, that “shocked by the irrepressible barbarities of the Indians, he determined to arrest his expedition, and return to Detroit."
* Butler's History Kentucky, 108.
III. - Soon after the retreat of Captain Byrd, General George Rogers Clark raised, in Kentucky, an army of about one thousand men, for the purpose of carrying an expedition against the Indian villages on the Little Miami and the Big Miami rivers. The army moved from the mouth of Licking river about the 2d of August, 1780; and after a march of four days it reached the principal Chillicothe village on the banks of the Little Miami. The Indians had deserted the place and retired to the Piqua town on the Big Miami. The troops under General Clark, after cutting down the growing corn about the Chillicothe village and destroying several Indian huts, marched for the Piqua town. This town extended along the margin of the river two or three miles; the huts in some cases being more than one hundred yards apart. As the Kentuckians advanced upon the town, they were suddenly attacked by a considerable number of Indians; but the latter, after maintaining an obstinate conflict for some time, were at last overpowered by superior numbers, and forced to retreat, leaving seventeen or eighteen of their men dead on the field. The loss of the whites was nineteen or twenty, killed. The Piqua town and a few deserted villages within twenty miles of it were reduced to ashes; many acres of corn were destroyed: and the Kentucky troops then returned to the mouth of Licking, where they were disbanded.
IV.- In the fall of 1780, La Balme, a native of France, made an attempt to carry an expedition from Kaskaskia against Detroit. With twenty or thirty men he marched from Kaskaskia to Post Vincennes, where he was joined by a small reinforcement. He then moved up the Wabash and reached the British trading post, Ke-ki-ong-a, at the head of the river Maumee. After plundering the traders and some of the In. dians, he marched from the post and encamped near the river Aboite. A party of Miami Indians attacked the encampment, in the night. La Balme and several of his followers were slain, and the expedition was totally defeated and broken up.
V.-A war between Great Britain and Spain broke out early in 1779; and on the 2d of January, 1781, Captain Don Eugenio Pierre, a Spaniard, with a detachment of sixty-five men, marched for the British post of St. Joseph. This Spanish expedition was joined by sixty Indians. The united forces reached St. Joseph without opposition, and captured a few British traders at that place. Don Eugenio Pierre formally took possession of the post, its dependencies, and the river Illinois, in the name of the king of Spain. The Spaniards, however, soon retired from St. Joseph, and returned to St. Louis. Spain made an attempt to found, on this circumstance, a claim to a large territory on the eastern side of the river Mississippi.
VI. - In the spring of 1781,* an army of eight hundred men commanded by Colonel Broadhead, marched from the place of rendezvous, at Wheeling, to destroy some Indian settlements at Coshocton, near the forks of the Muskingum river. The army reached the principal village on the east side of the river and took a number of prisoners, without firing a single shot. Sixteen captive warriors were immediately tomahawked and scalped. The march of the army was arrested by the river, which was very high, and the villages on the west side escaped destruction. An Indian made his appearance on the western bank of the river, and called to some of the sentinels of Broadhead's army. They answered, “what do you want?" He told them that he wished to see the Big Captain - meaning Colonel Broadhead. That officer soon appeared on the eastern bank of the river, and asked the Indian to tell what he wanted. The latter replied “I want peace."
“ Send over some of your chiefs," said Colonel Broadhead. “May be you kill,” replied the Indian. “No," said the Colonel, “they shall come, and go, in safety.” A chief of very commanding appearance then went over the river to the encampment, and entered into a conversation with Colonel Broadhead. While he was thus engaged, a man whose name was Wetzel, walked up behind him, and gave him a powerful blow on the head, with a tomahawk. The chief fell down and expired instantly. Some Indian villages were destroyed; a few more Indian prisoners were tomahawked; and the army under Colonel Broadhead then retired from the Indian country.
*Doddridge says “in the summer of 1780."
VII. - In the month of March, 1782, Colonel David Williamson, at the head of a party of eighty or ninety mounted men, principally from the western part of Pennsylvania, crossed the Ohio at Mingo Bottom, and marched to destroy the towns of the peaceable Moravian Indians on the Muskingum river. This party took the unresisting Indians of the villages of Gnadenhuetten and Salem - placed them under guard in two houses at the former village - and then held a general council to decide on their fate. They were doomed to death: Only eighteen of Williamson's men were disposed to spare their lives. Ninety-six Indians were massacred at this place. Among these there were twenty women, and thirty-four children. The deed was perpetrated on the 8th of March, 1782. The villages and the mangled bodies of the slain were burned; and Colonel Williamson and his party then made a rapid retreat to the settlements on the eastern side of the Ohio.
VIII.-Early in the spring of 1782, a party of about twentyfive Indians appeared before Estill's station, in Kentucky. At this place they killed one white man, captured a negro, and destroyed some cattle: the Indians then retreated. Captain James Estill, at the head of twenty-five men, pursued the retreating party, and overtook them on Hinkston's fork of Licking, about two miles below the Little Mountain. After an obstinate battle, which was fought on the 22d of March, the Kentuckians were defeated, with the loss of nine men killed. Captain Estill was among the slain.
IX. - In the latter part of the month of May, 1782, Colonel William Crawford, at the head of four hundred and eighty vol