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left. It was necessary I should gain these groves; and, for this purpose, I dismounted, went forward, and leading my horse through a bog, to the armpits in mud and water, with great difficulty and fatigue I accomplished my object; and, changing my course to south by west, I regained the Tippecanoe road at five o'clock, and encamped on it at seven o'clock, after a march of thirty miles, which broke down several of my horses. I am the more minute in detailing the occurrences of this day, because they produced the most unfavorable effects.
“I was in motion at four o'clock next morning, and at eight o'clock my advanced guard made some discoveries which induced me to believe we were near an Indian village. I immediately pushed that body forward in a trot, and followed with Major Caldwell and the second battalion ; leaving Major McDowell to take the charge of the prisoners. I reached Tippecanoe at twelve o'clock, which had been occupied by the enemy, who watched my motions and abandoned the place that morning. After the destruction of this town, in June last, the enemy had returned and cultivated their corn and pulse, which I found in high perfection, and in much greater quantity than at l'Anguille, [the French name of Ke-na-pa-com-aqua.] To refresh my horses, and give time to cut down the corn, I determined to halt till the next morning, and then to resume my march to the Kickapoo town, on the prairie, by the road which leads from Ouiatenon to that place. In the course of the day, I had discovered some murmurings and discontent amongst the men, which I found, on enquiry, to proceed from their reluctance to advance farther into the enemy's country. This induced me to call for a state of the horses and provisions; when, to my great mortification, two hundred and seventy horses were returned lame and tired, with barely five days' provisions for the men. Under these circumstances I was compelled to abandon my designs upon the Kickapoos of the prairies, and, with a degree of anguish not to be comprehended but by those who have experienced similar disappointments, I marched forward to a town of the same nation, situate about three leagues west of Ouiatenon: as I advanced to that town the enemy made some show of fighting me, but vanished at my approach. I destroyed this town, consisting of thirty houses, with a considerable quantity of corn in the milk, and the same day I moved on to Ouiatenon, where I forded the Wabash, and proceeded to the site of the villages on the margin of the prairie, where I encamped at seven o'clock. At this town, and the villages destroyed by General Scott, in June, we found the corn had been replanted, and was now in high cultivation, several fields being well ploughed; all which was destroyed. On the 12th I resumed my march, and, falling into General Scott's return trace, I arrived, without any material incident, at the Rapids of the Ohio, on the 21st instant, [August,] after a march, by accurate computation, of four hundred and fifty-one miles from Fort Washington.
“ The volunteers of Kentucky have on this occasion acquitted themselves with their usual good conduct: but, as no opportunity offered for individual distinction, it would be unjust to give one the plaudits to which they all have an equal title. I cannot, however, in propriety, forbear to express my warm approbation of the good conduct of my Majors, McDowell and Caldwell; and of Colonel Russell, who, in the character of a volunteer, without commission, led my advance; and I feel myself under obligations to Major Adair and Captain Parker, who acted immediately about my person, for the services they rendered me, by most prompt, active, and energetic exertions.
“ The services which I have been able to render, fall short of my wishes, my intentions, and my expectations. But, sir, when you reflect on the causes which checked my career and blasted my designs, I flatter myself you will believe every thing has been done which could be done in my circumstances. I have destroyed the chief town of the Ouiatenon nation, and made prisoners of the sons and sisters of the king: I have burnt a respectable Kickapoo village, and cut down at least four hundred and thirty acres of corn, chiefly in the milk. The Ouia. tenons, [Weas,] left without houses, home, or provisions, must cease to war, and will find active employ to subsist their squaws and children during the impending winter.”
The three successive expeditions, under Harmar, Scott, and Wilkinson, fell with considerable severity on the tribes of the Miami and Shawanee nations. Many of their people were killed; their principal villages were plundered and destroyed; their cultivated fields were laid waste; and a number of their men, women, and children, were taken and carried into captivity. But, impressed with the opinion that the United States wished to deprive them of their lands and to exterminate their race, these tribes, instead of being subdued by their misfortunes, were aroused to a state of angry excitement which bordered on desperation. To aid them in their war against the United States they called to their assistance numbers of warriors from the Delaware, Wyandot, Kickapoo, Pottawattamie, Ottawa, Chippewa, and other northern tribes; and while Governor St. Clair was making preparations to establish a military post at the Miami village, the Miami chief Little Turtle, the Shawanee chief Blue Jacket, and the Delaware chief Buck-ong-a-helas, were actively engaged in an effort to organize a confederacy of tribes sufficiently powerful to drive the white settlers from the territory lying on the northwestern side of the river Ohio. These chiefs received counsel and aid from Simon Girty, Alexander McKee, Matthew Elliott,* and from a number of British, French, and American traders, who generally resided among the Indians, and supplied them with arms and ammunition, in exchange for furs and peltries. At this time the government of Great Britain still supported garrisons at the posts of Niagara, Detroit, and Michilimackinack, notwithstanding it was declared, by the seventh article of the definitive treaty of peace of 1783, that the king of Great Britain would “with all convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any negroes or property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his forces, garrisons, and fleets, from the United States, and from every post, place, and harbor within the same." + It is here proper to note the grounds on which Great Britain, from 1783 to 1796, refused to withdraw her
*McKee and Elliott were subordinate agents in the British Indian Department. tLaws United States, i. 205.
garrisons from the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio. The fourth article of the treaty of peace of 1783, was in these words, viz: “It is agreed that the creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money, of all bona fide debts heretofore contracted."* On the 8th of December, 1785, John Adams, Esq. American Minister at London, laid before the British Secretary of State, a memorial which contained the following passages:
Although a period of three years has elapsed since the signature of the preliminary treaty, and of more than two years since that of the definitive treaty, the posts of Oswegatchy, Oswego, Niagara, Presque Isle, Sandusky, Detroit, Michilimackinack, with others not necessary to be particularly enumerated, and a considerable territory round each of them, all within the incontestible limits of the United States, are still held by British garrisons, to the loss and injury of the United States. The subscriber, therefore, in the name and behalf of the said United States, and in obedience to their express commands, has the honor to require of his Britannic Majesty's Ministry, that all his Majesty's armies and garrisons be forthwith withdrawn from the United States, from all and every of the posts and fortresses herein before enumerated, and from every other post, place, and harbor within the territory of the United States, according to the true intention of the treaties aforesaid." +
On the 28th of February, 1786, the British Secretary of State, Lord Carmarthen, in an answer to Mr. Adams, said, “I have to observe to you, sir, that it is his Majesty's fixed determination, upon the present as well as every other occasion, to act in perfect conformity to the strictest principles of justice and good faith. The seventh article both of the provisional and of the definitive treaties between his Majesty and the United States clearly stipulates the withdrawing with all convenient speed, his Majesty's armies, garrisons, and fleets, from
*Laws United States, i, 204. Secret Journal of Congress, iv. 186.
the said United States, and from every post, place, and harbor within the same; and no doubt can possibly arise respecting either the letter or spirit of such an engagement. The fourth article of the same treaties as clearly stipulates, that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money, of all bona fide debts heretofore contracted. The little attention paid to the fulfilling this engagement on the part of the subjects of the United States in general, and the direct breach of it in many particular instances,* have already reduced many of the King's subjects to the utmost degree of difficulty and distress: nor have their applications for redress, to those whose situations in America naturally pointed them out as the guardians of the public faith, been as yet successful in obtaining them that justice to which, on every principle of law as well as of humanity, they were clearly and indisputably entitled. The engagements entered into by treaty ought to be mutual and equally binding on the respective contracting parties. It would, therefore, be the height of folly as well as injustice, to suppose one party alone obliged to a strict observance of the public faith, while the other might remain free to deviate from its own engagements, as often as convenience might render such deviation necessary, though at the expense of its own national credit and importance. I flatter myself, however, sir, that justice will speedily be done to British creditors; and, I can assure you, sir, that whenever America shall manifest a real determination to fulfil her part of the treaty, Great Britain will not hesitate to prove her sincerity to co-operate in whatever points depend upon her for carrying every article of it into real and complete effect.” †
In the answer from Lord Carmarthen to Mr. Adams, the government of the United States saw the ostensible grounds on which Great Britain continued to keep possession of the important military and trading posts at Niagara, Detroit, and
*Soon after the treaty of peace was ratificd, some of the states passed laws which were designed to restrain and impede the collection of debts due from American citizens to British subjects.
Secret Journal of Congress, iv. 187.