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MASSACRE AT CHERRY VALLEY.
Alden, who appears to have been ex- one blow smote her to the earth. John tremely negligent in his military Wells, Esq., at this time deceased, duties and to have failed to provide and the father of Robert Wells, had against such an attack. As a result, been one of the judges of the courts the Indians completely surprised the of Tryon County; in that capacity, little settlement. The most wanton and as one of the justices of the acts of cruelty were committed, quorum, he had been on intimate among which probably the best terms with Sir William Johnson and known is the murder of Miss Jane family, who frequently visited at his Wells, a full account of which is given house, and with also Colonel John by Judge Campbell.*
Butler, likewise a judge. The family “She was a young lady, not dis- were not active either for or against tinguished for her personal beauty, the country; they wished to remain but endeared to her friends by her neutral, so far as they could, in such amiable disposition, and her Chris- turbulent times; they also performed tian charities; one in whom the military duty, when called out to defriendless found a friend,' and to fend the country. Colonel John Butwhom the poor would always say ler, in a conversation relative to • God speed thee.' She fled from the them, remarked: 'I would have gone house to a pile of wood near by, be- miles on my hands and knees to have hind which she endeavored to screen saved that family, and why my son herself. Here she was pursued by an did not do it God only knows.'"* Indian, who, as he approached, de- On the other hand, while the savliberately wiped his bloody knife ages were spreading desolation along upon his leggings, and then placed it the borders of Pennsylvania and New in its sheath; then drawing his toma York, Colonel George Rogers Clark hawk, he seized her by the arm; she prevented the same calamity on the possessed some knowledge of the In- Virginia borders. Clark believed that dian language, and remonstrated, and the time had now come for the consupplicated, though in vain. Peter quest of the Northwest, and in DeSmith, a tory, who had formerly been cember, 1777, laid before Governor a domestic in Mr. Wells's family, now Patrick Henry of Virginia a plan by interposed, saying she was his sister, which this might be accomplished. and desiring him to spare her life. On January 2, 1778, Henry gave He shook his tomahawk at him in de
Clark two sets of instructions, one for fiance, and then, turning round, with
raising 350 men for military service
in Kentucky, the other, secret, order* See also Stone's Life of Brant, vol. i., pp. 379- ing him to use this force to capture 381; Lossing, Field-Book of the Revolution, vol. i., pp. 267–270; E. T. Tomlinson, Red Chief: a Story * Border Warfare of New York, pp. 138-139. of the Massacre of Cherry Valley (1905). See also Roberts, New York, vol. ii., pp. 427-428.
EXPEDITION OF GEORGE ROGERS CLARK.
Kaskaskia.* On June 24, 1778, Clark, ening the ardor of the savages for who had now been joined by Simon further warfare on the frontiermen.* Kenton,t started at the head of about Having pacified the territory sur150 men and, after almost incredible rounding Kaskaskia, Clark disexertions, penetrated to the British patched an expedition to capture settlements on the Mississippi. On Rocheblave, the governor of the terJuly 4 Kaskaskia (now a dependency ritory. This was successful. The of Canada, having been given to the governor was taken, together with British at the peace of 1763) was sur- his written instructions for the conprised and taken, and a few days duct of the war sent him from Quebec, later the neighboring town Cahokia Detroit and Michillimackinac. From was also captured, the inhabitants these papers Clark gathered much taking the oath of allegiance to important information regarding the America. Clark was now in a very plans of Colonel Henry Hamilton, dangerous situation, for not only was then governor of Detroit. After havhe far removed from his base of sup- ing captured Vincennes, Hamilton inplies and from all support, but was in tended to make a vigorous attack the very midst of numerous fierce and
* The most important sources of information hostile tribes. Nevertheless, his quick
for Clark's campaign of 1778–1779. are his own ac
to wit and his courage saved the whole counts, all four of which will be found in W. H. band and quickly won the confidence
English, Conquest of the Northwest, vol. i., App.
These accounts will be found separately in Jefferof the natives. He formed his plans son's Works (Washington's ed.), vol. i., pp. 222with remarkable quickness and great
226; the memoir in Dillon, History of Indiana,
pp. 127-184; and the journal from the Canadian judgment and they were executed
Archives at Ottawa, in American Historical Rewith promptness and courage. Dur view, vol. i., pp. 91–96, parts of which will be
found also in Hart, American History Told ty Con. ing the most inclement season of the
temporaries, vol. ii., pp. 579–582. Governor Hamyear, he suddenly attacked the Indian ilton's report from the Canadian Archives is in
Michigan Historical and Pioneer Collections, vol. villages and turned their own arti
ix., pp. 489–516. See also Colonel George Rogers fices against them, materially damp Clark's Sketches of his Campaign in the Illinois
in 1778-1779, in Ohio Valley Historical Series, no.
iii.; Hinsdale, Old Northwest, chap. x.; Ogg, * Henry, Life of Patrick Henry, vol. i., pp. 584 Opening of the Mississippi, p. 354 et seq.; 588; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, vol. ii., pp. Thwaites, How George Rogers Clark Won the 36–38. For Governor Henry's instructions see Northwest; Winsor, The Westward Movement, W. H. English, The Conquest of the Country chaps. viii.-ix.; Hosmer, Short History of the Northwest of the River Ohio, vol. i., pp. 92-104; Mississippi Valley, pp. 80–95 ; Roosevelt, Winning Clark's Campaign in the Illinois, pp. 95-97. See of the West, vol. ii., chap. ii.; Winsor, Narrative also Moore, The Northwest under Three Flags, and Critical History, vol. vi., pp. 716–742; Jacob Pp. 217–218; Dunn, Indiana, p. 133; and Henry's P. Dunn, Indiana, chap. iv.; W. H. Smith, Indiana, letter to the delegates in Congress, quoted in vol. i., chap. iv.; John Reynolds, The Pioneer HisTyler, Life of Patrick Henry, pp. 230-231.
tory of Illinois, chap. iv.; Mann Butler, Kentucky, † For a short sketch of Kenton's early career chaps. iii.-V.; Illinois Historical Collections, vol. see Roosevelt, Winning of the West, vol. i., pp. i., pp. 199–204; Lossing, Field-Book of the Revo. 118, 158, 219, 241, 268, vol. ii., pp. 25-30.
lution, vol. ii., p. 287 et seq.
CLARK CAPTURES VINCENNES. upon the Virginia frontiers.* Clark mutinied, but such was Clark's influsoon received intelligence that Hamil- ence that all who were able continued ton, believing himself safe because of on with him and soon reached their his distance from danger and the diffi- destination.* On February 24 Clark culty of sending an expedition against reached Vincennes and completely him, had dispatched his Indians to surprised the town. The inhabitants harass the frontier, and had taken readily submitted to Clark's authorpost at Vincennes, with only about 80 ity, but Hamilton, the governor, made soldiers and three field pieces and an effort to defend the fort. On the some swivels. Though he could next day, however, he was compelled muster only 170 effective men, Clark to surrender himself and the garrison determined to seize the opportunity prisoners of war.t Because of his to attack Hamilton; this being the activities in inciting the Indians to only means by which he could save atrocities, Hamilton had become so himself and disconcert Hamilton's obnoxious to the Americans that the plans. About February 7,1779, there- cxccutive council of Virginia placed forc, Clark sent out a small galley, lim and some of his agents in prison mounting two four-pounders and four under irons.f Several months afterswivels and manned with a company ward, however, they were released on of soldiers. This vessel was to proceed up the Wabash until she reached torical Series, vol. iii., p. 99 et seq.; Dunn, In
diana, pp. 142–144. See also the excerpts from a point a few miles below Vincennes,
Bowman's Journal in Henry, Life of Patrick instructions being given that no per Henry, vol. i., pp. 597–601, and Clark's letter of son be allowed to pass her. Clark
April 29, 1779, to Governor Henry, vol. iii., p.
233 et seg. himself then set out and spent sixteen * Roosevelt, pp. 72–73. days in crossing the country between † See Law, The Colonial History of Vincennes;
Ogg, Opening of the Mississippi, pp. 362-366; Kaskaskia and Vincennes, being com
Smith in Powell's Historic Touons of the Western pelled to undergo all manner of hard States; E. A. Bryan, Indiana's First Settlement;
Clark's Important Conquest of Post Vincennes, in ship in the woods and marshes. In
Magazine of American llistory, vol. xxi., pp. 386– crossing the drowned lands of the 403; Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, vol. ii., Wabash about five days were spent,
chap. iii.; English, The Conquest of the Northwest,
vol. i., chaps. X.-xi. ; Hamilton's report previously and for miles at a time the members
quoted; Dillon, Indiana, chaps. xii-xv.; Dunn, of the little band were compelled to Indiana, pp. 138-151; Smith, Indiana, vol. i., wade through water up to their
chap. iv.; C. W. Butterfield, History of George
Rogers Clark's Conquest of the Illinois and breasts. At times the men almost Wabash Towns, 1778 and 1779 (1904); Moore, The
Northwest under Three Flags, pp. 219–244; * Michigan Pioneer Collections, vol. ix., p. 489 Illinois Historical Collections, vol. i., p. 255 et et seq.
seq.; Cooke, Virginia, p. 450 et seq. † Roosevelt, Winning of the West, vol. ii., p. 68. § Cooley, Michigan, pp. 99-100; Roosevelt, vol.
I Illinois Historical Collections, vol. i., pp. 246_ ii., pp. 86–87. See also Jefferson's letters regarding 253; Roosevelt, p. 69 et seq.
this in Ford's ed. of Jefferson's Writings, vol. ii., || See Bowman's Journal in Ohio Valley His. pp. 246-256.
CONGRESS DETERMINES TO PUNISH INDIANS.
the recommendation of General country and spread devastation on all Washington.* Clark's expedition sides. Washington directed Sullivan was of especial benefit to the Ameri- to be unsparing in his severity and can cause, for it not only disconcerted ordered him to detach parties “ to lay Hamilton's plans and saved the west- waste all the settlements around, with ern frontier from savage incursions, instructions to do it in an effectual but also proved to the Indians that manner, that the country may be not the Americans could fight equally as mercly overrun, but destroyed.” well as the British and that in the This should be done before Sullivan long run the Indians would gain noth- considered any overtures of peace.* ing by adhering to the British.t Peabody says: For a long time Congress had en- “It mu
"It must be owned that orders like these come deavored to persuade the Indians to strangely from the pen of Washington. The most remain neutral, if they could not
tender mercies of war are sulliciently cruel, when
softened by all the mitigations which have resulted espouse the cause of the revolution
from the improved sentiment and feeling of ists; but as the Indians refused to do modern times. These mitigations are not unlike
the rules of chivalry, which make it dishonorable this and continued their depreda- to strike at particular portions of the body, while tions, Congress determined to stop their ravages by inflicting upon them
his opponent by hard blows on all the rest. But
to ravage flourishing settlements with fire, to such punishment as their deeds mer destroy them so effectually that, as in ancient ited. Among the Indians who partici
times, the plough might pass over the places where
they stood, and that not a trace of sustaining pated in the massacre of Wyoming
vegetation might remain in the fields whitening to were those of the Six Nations, with the harvest, can hardly be thought of without the exception of a portion of the
emotions of pain and horror; they are the dark
calamities of war, from which the heart turns Oneidas, and Washington determined shuddering away. that these Indians should be taught a
“But we are not to forget that they were
designed to fall upon a foe, whose path was always lesson they would not soon forget.
to be traced in blood; against whose fury neither General Sullivan was placed in com the helplessness of infancy, nor feeble age, nor the mand of 3,000 troops and ordered to
a to defenceless state of woman, could afford the least
protection. We have already mentioned their proceed from Wyoming into the
atrocities at Wyoming and Cherry Valley; these country of the Senecas, where his had awakened a deep and universal conviction,
that the only security against such enemies was troops were to be joined by a force
to be found in driving them completely from the under General Clinton, proceeding haunts, where urged on by British agents, or by from the Mohawk River. After the
loyalists more savage and relentless than them.
selves, they came forth to the work of death. two forces had united, they were to They obeyed the impulses of their wild education, march into the heart of the Indian
which converted cruelty and revenge into virtues;
and the responsibility of the measures adopted * Dunn, Indiana, p. 149; Ford's ed. of Jefferson's Writings, vol. ii., p. 258. et seq.
* See the instructions in Sparks' ed. of Wash† Dunn, Indiana, p. 150. See also Henry's in- ington's Writings, vol. v., p. 264; also Sullivan's structions for governing the territory, in Henry, letter of April 16, 1779, in Sparks, Correspondence Life of Patrick Ilenry, vol. iii., p. 209 et seq. of the Revolution, vol. ii., pp. 264–268.
VOL. III – 10
against them must certainly rest upon those by whom they were stimulated to aggression, with a full knowledge of the consequences that must follow. It is enough to show how strong must have been the sense entertained of the necessity of such measures, at the time, when we see them planned and ordained by Washington; the last man to devise or desire anything which bore in his view the aspect of wanton cruelty.” *
Marshall says: “ The devastation of the country has been
but this sentiment is the result rather of an amiable disposition in the human mind to condemn whatever may have the appearance of tending to aggravate the miseries of war, than of reflectica. Circumstances existed, which reconciled to humanity this seeming departure from it. Great Britain possessed advantages, which insured a controlling influence over the Indians, and kept thern in almost continual war with the United States. Their habitual ferocity seemed to have derived increased virulence from the malignity of the white men, who had taken refuge among them; and there was real foundation for the opinion, that an annual repetition of the horrors of Wyoming could be prevented only by disabling the savages from perpetrating them. No means in the power of the United States promised so certainly to effect this desirable object, as the removal of neighbors, whose hostility could be diminished only by terror, and whose resentments were to be assuaged only by fear.” †
whole Indian force numbered 1,500 men, though the Indians themselves men, say there were about 800. About 200 whites were also with them. On a piece of rising ground the Indians had constructed a breastwork half a mile in length, the right flank being covered by the river, which, bending to the right and to the right and winding round the rear, left only the front and left of the breastwork open to attack. To the left was a high ridge nearly parallel to the general course of the river. which terminated a little below the breastwork. Still further to the left and in the same direction ran another ridge leading to the rear of the American army. The battle ground was thickly covered with underbrush and high trees, and the Indians had so constructed their breastwork that this underbrush completely concealed it from the approaching enemy. Furthermore, the road ran parallel to the breastwork and thus the whole flank of the passing enemy would be exposed to the fire of those within the breastwork. Beside the forces in the breastwork, parties of Indians were stationed on both hills so as to fall on Sullivan's flanks the minute the action should begin.
This arrangement had been discovered by Sullivan on August 29, and before beginning the general action, Sullivan ordered his men to drive the outlying parties toward the breastwork, so that he could not possibly be, taken in the rear. When the main army had advanced. Sullivan directed
On August 11, 1779, Sullivan's army reached the point of confluence of the Tioga with the Susquehanna. On the 22d General Clinton arrived, and the united forces proceeded upon their work of devastation. The Indians under Brant determined to resist the American troops with all their force, and selected for a battle ground a place about one mile in front of Newtown. According to the estimates of General Sullivan, the
* Life of General Sullivan, pp. 128–129. † Marshall, Life of Washington, vol. i., p. 323.