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last year; and may they ever continue to loat over an unbroken, wise and virtuous republic. Thirteen cannons to correspond with the old thirteen States, now [in 1854,] numbering 31, were fired to celebrate the reduction of the most important hostile post upon the Indian frontier; it was at that day, what Detroit and Malden have been at a later period, and what the European forts have always been, in the hands of the possessors - keys to influence and control over the native tribes.
At this surrender, there were only 79 prisoners received, with considerable stores; yet these facts form a very inadequate critereon of the importance of the conquest. It is not the intrinsic strength of the British garrison that is to be principally regarded; it is the horde of savages which it would have encouraged in destruction and murder on a most exposed frontier, extending their ravages, according to the hopes of the vanquished, to the Blue Ridge in Virginia. Such is the proper point of view from which to estimate the value of Clark's exertions in the conquest of the western country, but particularly the valley of the Ohio. Vincennes has from the time of its final reduction been one of the most important strongholds of the West—another advance post of European and American civilization established on the frontier, not subject to the insults and in the power of the Indians; but bridling their outrages and sending forth in some goodly degree, humaniz. ing influences, which are showing themselves in the new homes of the tribes west of the Mississippi.
Col. Clark was astonished on viewing the strength of the post, at its easy surrender ; but on reflection was convinced it might have been undermined, as the fort was within thirty feet of the river bank. If even this attempt had failed, his information was so exact, that on the arrival of his artillery, the first hot shot could have blown up the magazine.
On the day after the surrender of the British garrison, Captain Helm was despatched up the Wabash, with a detachment of sixty men, to intercept some boats with provisions and goods from Detroit. All of which were surprised, and stores to the amount of ten thousand sterling with forty prisoners were captured.
On the return of this successful expedition with the British flags still flying at the mast-head, our long expected galley, the Willing from Kaskaskia, hove in sight, and prepared for an attack upon the little river squadron descending the river, which was still sup
posed to belong to the enemy. But soon the beloved ensign of American freedom was hoisted to the joy and triumph of our countrymen. They were only mortified to find that they had not been present to aid in the reduction of the British and Indian stronghold.
It is not suitable to dismiss this brilliant achievement of Col. Clark and his hardy and daring followers without a passing reflection. Too much credit can scarcely be awarded to so adventurous an expeditior into the heart of British influence, among hordes of warlike and hostile savages, at the head of a mere handfull of men, though of the hardiest stamp of hardy and heroic times. Its influence in the war then raging on the seaboard, its diversion of Indian hostility from that hard pressed portion of the republic, have been less dwelt on, though not less real than its magnificent enlargement of the republic, from the barrier of the Alleghanies [urged by both France and Spain with every art of diplomacy and for some time too successfully,] to the wide expanse of the northern lakes and the Mississippi. This augmentation of the republic, the redemption of the valley of the Ohio from European dominion, and its rescue in no small degree from savage rule are eminently due to Col. Clark, his gallant Illinois regiment and the brave Creoles of the Illinois. ,
Still, I cannot forbear remarking that the feelings of the border people exasperated by the savage war in which they were engaged, entered too much into the measures pursued against the British. Our people could not look with the calm sentiments of professional and civilized belligerents upon a war prosecuted by the unseen and unexpected rifle—the deadly tomahawk and scalping knife; weapons which were used upon all alike, on men in arms, not more readily than on women and children. To them it was no mere game of skill, heroism and mutual magnanimity, like the chivalric contest of the older continent. There was no ground for such lofty feelings in their state of society; difficult enough to cherish, under the most generous forms of murderous war. They would not have been reciprocated, because utterly alien to Indian warfare. The reader then must not be surprised, when he sees the severity of Col. Clark to the hair-buyers, as the British rewarders of scalps were bitterly denominated. Much of the harshness of Col. Clark to Cerre at Kaskaskia, and Hamilton and Hay at St. Vincents, must be attributed to the naturally excited feelings
of the times, and the theater of action, and not to the natural disposition of the man.
European nations carrying on war upon this continent have never been able to avoid employing its savage tribes as auxiliaries. To reject them as such, would have been to engage them as additional enemies. Our own government forms no exception to this remark; they have been compelled to employ the native tribes against each other in their own defence when engaged in hostilities with any of them. The truth is, the Indian follows war, as the vulture the carrion; and if driven from one side, he is sure to be found on the other. Still much control over native ferocity may be exercised by stern adherence to humanity and encouragement offered for prisoners, rather than scalps.
As all information touching the broad region between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific coast is calculated to interest the American people at the present time, we have selected a few paragraphs from the Report of an Expedition down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers, by Capt. L. Sitzreaves, Corps Topographical Engineers.
The Pueblo of Zuni is situated on the parallel of 35° 0ť 10“ n. latitude. The longitude is not given by Capt. Sitgreaves; but its location on the map shows it to be but a few minutes east of the 108° of longitude west of Greenwich. The author says:
"The Zuni is a mere rivulet, and not entitled to the name of river; in most parts of our country it would not be dignified with that of creek. The corn-fields of the Zuni Indians extended at intervals for several miles down the stream, their crops and orchards being planted on the edge of the valley, or in the fertile gorges of the mountains. The only cultivation in the immediate vicinity of the pueblo consisted of small vegetable gardens, tended by the women and watered by hand, in which were grown chiefly onions, beans, and chile.” In a note, the author says: “Since the establishment of the military post at Canon Bonito, and the consequent pacfication of the Navajos, the amount of cultivation has greatly increased. During the past season the Zuni Indians had some ten thousand acres in corn, and the Moquis a still greater quantity. The orchards produce good peaches.”
"The Zuni is a northern tributary of the Little Colorado, and flows in a westerly direction until it falls into the latter, about 58 miles from the Pueblo. From the Pueblo the party followed the general direction of the stream by a well-beaten trail which enabled it to avoid the inconvenience of traveling over ground rendered soft and miry by the recent rains.” Very little notice is taken of the Zuni vailey by the author.
The following paragraph contains the only description which we have of the country from the Pueblo to the mouth of the river: “Camp No. 3. – The valley is here shut in by abrupt walls of gray sandstone, occasionally mixed with basalt, having frequent springs running out from under them; but farther down it expands to several miles in width, other valleys opening into it. The faces of the sandstone rocks, wherever they presented a smooth surface, were covered with Indian hieroglyphics, or pictures, carved or painted upon them.”
The 4th camp of the party after leaving the Pueblo of Zuni was located on the Little Colorado. At this point, the author says: “it is an insignificant stream, divided into several small channels, flowing through a narrow valley destitute of timber, but covered with a thick growth of rank unnutritious grass. The hills bounding it on either side are of a gradual slope, with here and there a rocky point, of a conglomerate of gray sandstone and pebbles jutting out into the bottom.” The following extracts from Captain Sitgreave's Journal contains nearly all that is interesting in his
the ce that the mules som pebbles of agate, heen stumps of
September 28, Camp No. 5.-Proceeding down the valley, it widens out into a broad plain, which the recent profuse rains had made soft and muddy. To avoid this we turned off from the river, and made our way across the high land, but gained little by the exchange, for the soil was so light and thinly covered with grass that the mules sank to their fetlocks at every step. The ground was strewed with pebbles of agate, jasper, and chalcedony, and masses of what appeared to have been stumps of trees petrified into jasper, beautifully striped with bright shades of red, (the predominating color,] blue, white, and yellow. The rocks were gray sandstone, sometimes of a slaty structure.
Septe ber 30, Camp No. 7.-The river here runs through a deep and rocky canon, which we skirted, and crossed below it to the south bank, finding the ground much broken by ravipes, which were only visible when we came directly upon them. The surrounding scenery resembled that of the northwestern prairies, the country being bare of trees and the horizon unbroken, except in one direction, where a high conical peak, that had served us sereral days as a land mark, varied the uniformity of its outline.
October 1, Camp No. 8. — The river, winding to the north, gave us a straight course across the high land, soft and sandy, as
ide of a blelke water in its bength the appearinged with
usual, and frequently intersected by deep ravines, until we again encountered it, flowing now between bluff sandy banks fringed with cotton-wood trees, and presenting at length the appearance of a river, but still with little water in its bed. I remarked cropping out of the side of a bluff a seam of fibrous gypsum three or four inches ihick. In the course of the day's march the San Francisco mountains became visible to the west, and to the north several singular volcanic peaks.
October 2, Camp No. 9.-The river here receives a tributary known among trappers as Chevelon's Fork. * * * In several places veins of fibrous gypsum were seen, looking like the icecrystals that burst open the ground in spring."
October 3, Camp No. 10. — Our course was here interrupted by a deep bayou thickly overgrown with rushes, and which, on at. tempting to turn it, was found to lead to a rocky ravine or canon utterly impassable. We retraced our steps, therefore, and with much difficulty recrossed the river, which, making a bend to the north, winds through a broad plain resembling the bed of a great lagoon from which the water had just subsided, leaving it slimy and intersected with fissures and channels that often impeded our progress. Here and there only a bush of the wild sage dotted its surface, and the surrounding hills appeared equally destitute of vegetation.
October 5, Camp No. 12.-The country on the north side presenting the same appearance of desolation as far as the eye could discern, we again crossed the river, and, passing to higher ground, encamped on a bayou near the edge of the valley. The grass upon the hills was invariably better and more abundant than in the river bottom, but the absence of wood and water in such places generally obliged us to make our camps near the river.
October 7, Camp No. 13.—Many precipitous canons were passed, enclosing within their walls of yellow sandstone clumps of cotton-wood trees. Ridges of lava and black dust, the detritus of the lava, covering the ground in many places, indicated our approach to a volcanic region. Near our camp, on the bank of the river, were the ruins of several stone houses, which the guide, Mr. Leroux, said resembled those of the Moqui Indians.
October 8, Camp No. 14.--About a mile below the last camp the river falls over a succession of horizontal ledges of sandstone, forming a beautiful cascade of one hundred and twenty feet in vertical height, and continues on its course through a canon of that depth, the general level of the banks remaining the same.
Having been informed by my guide and other experienced trappers that the canon extends down the river to its junction with the Colorado, and the great canon through which the latter flows, I regarded the attempt to follow the river to its mouth as too habe ardous, considering the condition of the animals and the state of