« PreviousContinue »
ing between Great Britain and America.” I, on my part, declare the same, and that the only cause I have to entertain a contrary idea at present, is the hostile act you are now in commission of, i. e. by recently taking post far within the well known and acknowledged limits of the United States, and erecting a fortification in the heart of the settlements of the Indian tribes now at war with the United States. This, sir, appears to be an act of the highest aggression, and destructive to the peace and interest of the Union. Hence, it becomes my duty to desire, and I do hereby desire and demand, in the name of the President of the United States, that you immediately desist from any further act of hostility or aggression, by forbearing to fortify, and by withdrawing the troops, artillery, and stores, under your orders and direction, forthwith, and removing to the nearest post occupied by His Britannic Majesty's troops at the peace of 1783, and which you will be permitted to do unmolested by the troops under my command.
I am, with very great respect, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,
ANTHONY WAYNE. Major William CAMPBELL, &c.
“Fort MIAMI, 22d August, 1794. “Sir: I have this moment the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date; in answer to which I have only to say, that, being placed here in the command of a British post, and acting in a military capacity only, I cannot enter into any discussion, either on the right or impropriety of my occupying my present position. Those are matters that I conceive will be best left to the ambassadors of our different nations. Having said this much, permit me to inform you that I certainly will not abandon this post at the summons of any power whatever, until I receive orders to that purpose from those I have the honor to serve under, or the fortune of war should oblige me. I must still adhere, sir, to the purport of my letter this morning, to desire that your army, or individuals
belonging to it, will not approach within reach of my cannon, without expecting the consequences attending it. Although I have said in the former part of my letter, that my situation here is totally military, yet, let me add, sir, that I am much deceived, if His Majesty, the King of Great Britain, had not a post on this river, at and prior to the period you mention.
I have the honor to be, sir, with the greatest respect, your most obedient and very humble servant, WILLIAM CANPBELL, Major 24th Regiment,
Commanding at Fort Miami. To Major General WAYNE, &c.”
On the 14th of September, 1794, the army under the command of Wayne moved from Fort Defiance and marched towards the deserted Miami village which stood at the confluence of the rivers St. Joseph and St. Mary's. The troops reached that place on the 17th of September; and, on the 18th, General Wayne reconnoitered the ground, and selected a site for a fort. On the 22d of October, a fort was completed and garrisoned by a strong detachment, consisting of infantry and artillery, under the command of Colonel John F. Hamtramck, who gave to the new fortification the name of Fort Wayne. The mounted volunteers of Kentucky moved from the Miami village on the 14th of October, on their way to Fort Washington, where, soon after their arrival, they were mustered and discharged. On the 28th of October, the main body of the regular troops marched from Fort Wayne on the route to Fort Greenville; at which post, on the 2d of November, General Wayne again established his head-quarters.
The Indians, who were defeated on the 20th of August, 1794, retired, disappointed and disheartened, to the borders of Maumee Bay: and, while Wayne continued to send messages to them, renewing his overtures of peace and friendship and inviting them to visit Fort Greenville for the purpose of concluding a treaty with the United States, Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, Colonel McKee and other officers of the British Indian department, persuaded Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, Buck-ong-ahe-lus, and other distinguished chiefs, to agree to hold an Indian Council at the mouth of Detroit river. After the action of the 20th of August, there was a general suspension of hostilities on the part of the Indians, who seemed to be inclined to determine for war or peace, "according to the certainty or uncertainty of effectual support from the British.”* A war between Great Britain and the United States at this juncture, was, however, prevented mainly by the prudence and firmness of Washington, seconded by the diplomatic skill of John Jay, who, on the 19th of April, 1794, was appointed Envoy Extraordinary from the United States of America to the Court of St. James, “ for the purpose of confirming, between the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty, perfect harmony and a good correspondence, and of removing all grounds of dissatisfaction.” + On the 19th of November, 1794, at London, after protracted and perplexing negotiations, Mr. Jay and William Wyndham (Lord Grenville) concluded a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between the United States and Great Britain.
This treaty was comprised in twenty-nine articles, the first of which was in the words following: “There shall be a firm, inviolable, and universal peace, and a true and sincere friendship, between His Britannic Majesty, his heirs and successors, and the United States of America; and between their respective countries, territories, cities, towns, and people of every degree, without exception of persons or places.” By the second article of the treaty, the King of Great Britain agreed to withdraw, on or before the 1st day of June, 1796, all his troops and garrisons from all posts and places within the boundary lines assigned to the United States by the treaty of peace of 1783.
During the winter of 1794–5, General Wayne was visited at his head-quarters by parties of Wyandots, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawattamies, Sacs, Miamies, Delawares, and Shawa. nees; who, respectively, signed preliminary articles of peace, and agreed to meet Wayne at Greenville, on or about the 15th of June, 1795, with all the sachems and war chiefs of their nations, for the purpose of concluding a definitive treaty of peace between the United States and the Indian tribes of the northwestern territory.
* Am. State Papers-Indian Affairs, p. 529.
| Letters of credence from Washington to John Jay-Am. State Papers--Foreign Rela tions, i. 471.
Early in the month of June, 1795, strong deputations from various tribes arrived at Greenville. The treaty of Fort Harmar, which was concluded at the mouth of the Muskingum, on the 9th of January, 1789, was selected by General Wayne as the foundation upon which the Indians were required to begin negotiations for peace. In the course of these negotiations, which were carried on from the 16th of June to the 10th of August, some of the Indian chiefs were unwilling to acknowledge the validity of the treaty of Fort Harmar. The Little Turtle, a Miami chief, addressing General Wayne on the 18th of July, said, “ You have told me that the present treaty should be founded upon that of Muskingum. I beg leave to observe to you, that that treaty was effected altogether by the Six Nations, who seduced some of our young men to attend it, together with a few of the Chippewas, Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, and Pottawattamies. I beg leave to tell you that I am entirely ignorant of what was done at that treaty."*
On the 19th of July, Blue Jacket, a distinguished Shawanee chief, being in private conference with General Wayne, said, “ Brother: I am very happy, that, notwithstanding all the difficulties and obstructions I had to encounter from
my relations and others at Detroit, I have succeeded so far in bringing my people to you at this time. I expect intelligence this day of the approach of more of them. I have briefly acquainted you with these things. I repeat my assurances of the sincerity of my sentiments and resolution, to be, for the future, a steady friend to the United States."
On the 21st of July, in council, Masass, a Chippewa chief, spoke to General Wayne, in behalf of the Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawattamies, who were called “the three fires.” The following is an extract from his speech: “Elder Brother: When you yesterday read to us the treaty of Muskingum, I under
* Minutes and proceedings of the Treaty at Greenville.--Am. State Papers-Indian Affairs--p. 567.