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the northwestern side of the river Ohio. Such was the state of affairs when, in the summer of 1786, a strong military force was raised in Kentucky, for the purpose of making simultaneous attacks on the Indian towns of the Wabash and the Shawanee villages in the country between the Big Miami and the Scioto rivers. About one thousand men, under the command of General George Rogers Clark, marched from the Falls of the Ohio for Post Vincennes, and arrived in the neighborhood of that place early in the month of October. The army then encamped, and lay in a state of inactivity for nine days, awaiting the arrival of provisions and stores which had been shipped on keel boats at Louisville and Clarksville. When the boats arrived at Post Vincennes about one half of the provision was spoiled; and that part which had been moved by land was almost exhausted. A spirit of discontent began to manifest itself in camp, even before the arrival of the boats; and when the state of supplies was known, this spirit became more apparent.* The Kentucky troops, however, having been reinforced by a considerable number of the inhabitants of Post Vincennes, were ordered to move up the Wabash, towards the Indian towns that lay in the vicinity of the ancient post of Ouiatenon. The people of these towns had received intelligence of the approach of their enemy, and had selected a place for an ambuscade among the defiles of Pine creek. On reaching the neighborhood of the mouth of Vermillion river, the army found that the Indians had deserted their villages on that stream near its junction with the Wabash. At this crisis, when the spirits of the officers and men were depressed by disappointment, hunger, and fatigue, some persons circulated throughout the camp a rumor that General Clark had sent a flag of truce to the Indians, with the offer of peace or war. This rumor, combined with a lamentable change which had taken place in the once temperate, bold, energetic and commanding character of Clark, excited among the troops a spirit of insubordination which neither the commands, nor the entreaties, nor the tears of the General could subdue. At an encampment near the mouth of the Vermillion river, about three hundred men in a body left the army, and proceeded on their way homeward. The remainder of the troops, under the command of General Clark, then abandoned the expedition and returned to Post Vincennes.

*Marshall's History of Kentucky.

The expedition which marched against the Shawanee villages was commanded by Colonel Benjamin Logan. This officer at the head of four or five hundred mounted riflemen, crossed the river Ohio at the point where the town of Maysville now stands, and penetrated the Indian country as far as the head waters of Mad river. In the words of one of the actors this expedition, “ Colonel Logan would have surprised the Indian towns against which he marched, had not one of his men deserted to the enemy, and gave notice of his approach. As it was, he burned eight large towns, and destroyed many fields of corn. He took seventy or eighty prisoners, and killed about twenty warriors, and among the rest, the head chief of the nation. This last act caused deep regret, humiliation, and shame to the commander and his troops.” The murder of the chief was, however, perpetrated in direct violation of the orders of Colonel Logan. In the course of this expedition the Kentuckians lost about ten men.f

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The late Gen. William Lytle, of Cincinnati.
McDonald's Sketches.


In the month of October, 1786, a Board, composed of field officers in the Wabash expedition, met in council at Post Vincennes, and "unanimously agreed that a garrison at that place would be of essential service to the district of Kentucky, and that supplies might be had in the district more than sufficient for their support, by impressment or otherwise, under the direction of a commissary to be appointed for that purpose, pursuant to the authority vested in the field officers of the district by the Executive of Virginia. The same Board appointed Mr. John Craig, jr. a commissary of purchases; and resolved that one field officer and two hundred and fifty men (exclusive of a company of artillery to be commanded by Captain Valentine Thomas Dalton,) be recruited to garrison Post Vincennes; and that Colonel John Holder be appointed to command the troops in this service.”* In order to carry these resolutions into effect, General Clark, who “assumed the supreme direction of the corps,” † began to levy recruits, appoint officers, and impress provisions for the support of a garrison at Post Vincennes. He despatched messages to the Indian tribes that lived on the borders of the Wabash, and invited those tribes to meet him in a great council at Clarksville, on the 20th of November, 1786, to make a treaty of peace and friendship. A few chiefs of different bands sent answers to General Clark, and expressed their willingness to meet him in council, not at Clarksville, but at Post Vincennes. The following is an extract from the answer of “the Goose and Fusil:"

Secret Journals of Congress, iv. 311. tIb. 312.

"My Elder Brother: Thou oughtest to know the place we have been accustomed to speak at: it is at Post Vincennes. There our chiefs are laid. There our ancestor's bed is, and that of our father the French-and not at Clarksville, where you required us to meet you: We don't know such a place but at Post Vincennes where we always went when necessary to hold councils. My Elder Brother -- thou informest me I must meet you at the place I have mentioned; yet, thou seest, my brother, that the season is far advanced; and that I would not have time to invite my allies to come to your council, which we pray to hold at Post Vincennes.”

In replying to this message, and to other communications of a similar nature, General Clark said, “I propose the last of April, [1787] for the grand council to be held at this place, Post Vincennes, where I expect all those who are inclined to open the roads will appear, and we can soon discover what the Deity means.”

At this period the Spanish minister, Mr. Gardoqui, and John Jay, the Secretary of the United States for Foreign Affairs, were carrying on negotiations for the establishment of a treaty between the United States and Spain. On the 3d of August, 1786, Mr. Jay made before Congress a certain statement, from which the following is an extract:- " It appears to me that a proper commercial treaty with Spain would be of more importance to the United States than any they have formed, or can form, with any other nation. I am led to entertain this opinion from the influence which Spain may and will have both on our politics and commerce. France, whom we consider as our ally, and to whom we shall naturally turn our eyes for aid in case of war, &c. is strongly bound to Spain by the family compact; and the advantages she derives from it are so various and so great, that it is questionable whether she could ever remain neutral in case of a rupture between us and Spain. Besides, we are well apprised of the sentiments of France relative to our western claims --- in which I include that of freely navigating the river Mississippi. I take it for granted that, while the compact in question exists, France will invariably think it

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her interest to prefer the good will of Spain to the good will of America; and although she would very reluctantly give umbrage to either, yet, if driven to take part with one or the other, I think it would not be in our favor. Unless we are friends with Spain, her influence, whether more or less, on the counsels of Versailles, will always be against us. general principles of policy and commerce, it is the interest of the United States to be on the best terms with Spain. My attention is chiefly fixed on two obstacles which at prese at divide us, viz: the navigation of the Mississippi, and the territorial limits between them and us.

“My letters from Spain, when our affairs were the least promising, evince my opinion respecting the Mississippi, and oppose every idea of our relinquishing our right to navigate it. I entertain the same sentiments of that right, and of the importance of retaining it, which I then did. Mr. Gardoqui strongly insists on our relinquishing it. We have had many conferences and much reasoning on the subject, not necessary now to detail. His concluding answer to all my arguments has steadily been, that the king will never yield that point, nor consent to any compromise about it: for that it always has been, and continues to be, one of their maxims of policy, to exclude all mankind from their American shores.

“I have often reminded him that the adjacent country was filling fast with people; and that the time must and would come, when they would not submit to seeing a fine river flow before their doors without using it as a highway to the sea for the transportation of their productions: that it would therefore be wise to look forward to that event, and take care not to sow in the treaty any seeds of future discord. He said that the time alluded to was far distant; and that treaties were not to provide for contingencies so remote and future. For his part he considered the rapid settlement of that country as injurious to the states, and that they would find it necessary to check it. Many fruitless arguments passed between us; and though he would admit that the only way to make treaties and friendship permanent, was for neither party to leave the other any thing

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