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Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That any person applying to enter any of the aforesaid lands, shall be required to make affidavit before the register or receiver of the proper land office, that he or she enters the same for his or her own use, and for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, or for the use of an adjoining farm or plantation, owned or occupied by him or herself, and together with said entry, he or she has not acquired from the United States, under the provisions of this act, more than three hundred and twenty acres, according to the established surveys; and if any person or persons taking such oath or affidavit shall swear falsely in the premises, he or she shall be subject to all the pains and penalties of perjury.
Approved August 4th, 1854.
Valley of the Ohio.
BY MANN BUTLER, ESQ.
Continued from page 331, vol. XII. No. 5, Honors and rewards of Virginia to Col. Clark and the Illinois regiment. First offensive expedition from Kentucky into the Indian country by Col. Bowman. The Indian chiefs Blackfeet and Red Hawk. Capture of stations in Kentucky hy Col. Byrd. Establishment of Fort Jefferson below the mouth of the Ohio river, in 1780, by Col. Clurk. Second Invasion of the Indian country by Col. Clark. Settlement of the McAfees in Kentucky. Great Land Court of Kentucky. Kentucky county divided into the three counties of Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln. Officers of these counties.
After this brilliant exploit, achieved over obstacles which might well have deterred the most energetic commanders ; it was only for a moment looked upon as sufficient ; it was only regarded as a stepping stone to other and richer triumphs. Detroit now presented itself in full view to our bold and indefatigable officer. “Twice has this town been in my power,” he wrote to Geo. Jefferson, “had I been able to have raised only five hundred men, when I first came into the country, or when at St. Vincents, or could I have secured my prisoners, and only have had three hundred good men, I should have attempted it.” Recent intelligence had reached Clark that the British force at, Detroit consisted of but 80 men, many of them invalids; and that the inhabitants were exceedingly well disposed towards the American interest. Indeed Col. Clark had determined on completing his bold enterprises, by an attack upon this point, when he received dispatches from Gov. Henry promising a re-enforcement of another batallion to complete his regiment. In consequence of this advice it was thought most prudent to postpone so distant and hazardous an expedition, until an imposing force should arrive. In the mean time, Col. Clark embarked on his galley for Kaskaskia, leaving Capt. Helm once more in the command of the town; and the superintendent of Indian affairs.
Subsequent events have fully confirmed the wisdom of this postponement of the expedition against Detroit; which all the disposeable force of the United States could not effect though frequently meditated, and which was indeed finally only effected by the treaty with Great Britain.* Had this enterprise succeeded ever so completely in capturing the fort; without the naval command of the lake, it could not have been maintained; and the captors could not have escaped surrender to the great local superiority of the enemy, and contiguity to the seat of his power. The experience of Gladwin's siege by Pontiac and Hull's campaign confirm this opinion. For the exploits which have now been related, the Legislature of Virginia in November, 1778, voted their thanks to Col. Clark and the brave officers and men under bis command, for their extraor. dinary resolution and perseverance, in so hazardous an enterprise, and for the important services thereby rendered their country.* In September, 1779, Lieut. Gov. Page addressed the same officer a letter, accompanied with a sword, purchased by order of the General Assembly, “as a proof of their approbation," he said, “of your great and good conduct and gallant behavior." In addition to these honors, [much more charity confered at this pe.. riod of the republic than in more prosperous times], 150,000 acres of land were granted to the Illinois regiment, which were located opposite to the Falls of Ohio, on the northwestern side of the river, under the name of “Clark's Grant,” which it still bears. Still, there can be no doubt of the inadequacy of these rewards to the services of Col. Clark to a great commonwealth — services by which her dominion was stretched from the Atlantic to the Mississippi — an empire exceeding the territory of Great Britain and France united. Yet, in the infancy of the western country, unenchanted by the application of steam to navigation owing to the
* See Spark's Washington, vol. XII, 66.
genius of Fulton, and in an unsettled and barbarous condition, its capacity of greatness could not be fully appreciated. Nor could its conquest be ranked at its proper height in the roll of fame. The conduct to Clark of the unterrified commonwealth must therefore be viewed with some abatement of severity for not at once discovering and suitably acknowledging the full merits of Colonel Clark. These extorted the high encomium from Chief Justice Marshal, that these bold and decisive measures, which, whether formed in a great or small scale, mark the military and enterprising genius of the man who plans and executes them."* This is indeed "laudari a laudato.” · The truth is, that George Rogers Clark was the master spirit of the western country from 1775, when he first visited Kentucky, until his first unfortunate campaign in 1786, hereafter to be noticed. It was the unanimous verdict of his cotemporaries, most of whom fought under his beloved banner, as Floyd and Linn, Logan and Boone. He was emphatically the founder of Kentucky, as much as he was the conqueror of the Illinois. If that bold soldier was not, in the language of the late John Randolph, of Roanoke, the American Hannibal, in the scale of his operations, he was so, in spirit and bold purpose. If he had not the legions and wealth of Carthage to support his operations, he wielded his handful of troops, and the poverty of Virginia, in the same bold, enterprising and original manner, as his great African prototype. To the mind of the author, this is a better criterion of similiar character and genius, than equality of force.
To punish the Indians for the depredations and hostilities which they had committed with fearful ferocity on the stations and hunters of Kentucky, an expedition into their own country was now determined on. The town of old Chilicothe, on the Little Miami, was selected as the object of this first considerable invasion of the Indian country on the right bank of the Ohio, by the pioneers of Kentucky. This expedition was led by Col. John Bowman, assisted by Benjamin Logan, John Holder, James Harrod and John Bulger, as captains; George M. Bedinger acted as Adjutant, and some of the most efficient men in Kentucky engaged in this expedition, to the number of three hundred. This was the first offensive expedition undertaken from Kentucky since the spirited incur
• Marshall's Washington.
sion of Boone, previous to the last siege of Boonesborough already related. It thus deserves somo expatiation ; great expectations were entertained of it in Virginia* The party marched in the month of July, with their provisions about their persons, they were well acquainted with the ground where it was intended to strike the blow; and the movements were so well conducted as to escape discovery by the enemy. It was one of those spontaneous movements of the pioneers directed by their own sagacity and courage without the aid or countenance of public authority. The Indians of the northwest had not yet experienced any formidable invasion from Kentucky, and seem to have entertained no apprehensions of a retaliation for their annual attacks upon this most vexed and harassed land.
Yet it must not be forgotten, throughout this narrative, that the settlement of Kentucky was a flagrant outrage upon the rights of the north-western Indians. No treaty with them sanctioned it, whatever pretext may be alleged, under the treaty with the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix, in 1768. It is only to be justified by the paramount interests of civilization, to the wants of savage life.
Col. Bowman's party arrived within a short distance of the town, near night, and halted. It was then determined to make the attack by day-break on the next day. For this purpose Capt. Logan was detached to encircle the town on one side; wbile Bowman was to surround it on the other, and to give the signal for assault. Logan immediately executed his part of the plan, and waited for the sigual of his commander. Day began to break, and still there was no appearance of the detachment in front. At length the Indians took the alarm and repaired to a strong cabin with port holes in it, while Logan's men took possession of the cabing left by the enemy. They moreover adopted the plan of forming a moveable breastwork out of the doors and puncheons or coarse plank of the floors, and pushing it against the Indian post. While these active measures were taking in the rear, Bowman was 80 fiercely attacked, as to prevent his getting near enough to give Logan the alarm agreed upon. Such was the account given the author by the late Gen. Ray, who was himself in the engagement. Yet such an engagement one would think would have proved suf. ficient signal to a man of Logan's well known promptitude; and it
• Jefferson's Correspondence, 1, 163.
is difficult to suppose it to have been too remote to be heard; moreover, the town was evidently surprised. This alertness on the part of the enemy, in addition to information received from a negro prisoner, that Girty and a body of Mingos were near at hand and had been sent for, determined the Colonel to order a retreat. This was reluctantly begun, and instead of preserving any order, the utmost confusion took place. After the loss of several lives, the party became re-united, and the retreat was resumed in better order. The Indian town was burned, a short lived suffering to the enemy; 163 horses captured and some other spoil obtained at the expense of 6 or 7 lives. This retreat was not suffered to be made without molestation from the enemy; Blackfeet, the chief, who had headed an expedition against Harrodsburg, and captured Boone with his salt makers at the Blue Licks, pursued the whites with a band of about thirty warriors. He was killed; but was succeeded by Red Hawk, who continued the battle. Bowman, though a gallant and somewhat experienced officer, is said to have made no detachments to repulse the enemy, and our men were standing as objects to be shot at; when Capts. Logan, Harrod, Bulger and a few others mounted some pack horses and scoured the woods in every direction, rushing on the Indians wherever they could find them. These offensive steps continued till Red Hawk was killed, and the rest of the Indian party fled. Our men returned home with a loss of 8 or 9 killed in the two actions ; that of the enemy was not, as it rarely happens with Indians, accurately known, but owing to the intermitted pursuit was no doubt considerable.*
The expeditions into the Indian country, which had recently been prosecuted by Col. Clark in the Illinois country, and Colonel Bowman on the Little Miami, seem at length to have roused the exertions of the British, in order to counteract their unfavorable influence upon their Indian allies. With this view a formidable
• The conduct of Col. Bowman in this expedition meets with heavy con. demnation from Mr. H. Marshall, and his opportunities of information were of the highest character ; yet in justice to this officer's memory, it must be stated that Gen. Ray gave the author a very different account from the current one of this battle; and allowed his old commander full credit for his conduct in this retreat, as on other occasions. He seems to have enjoyed much consideration among the hardy and sagacious pioneers to be inferred from his command at Boonesborough, either after or during its memorable siege in 1778; as well as his reinforcement of Logan's station, in the previous years. But more information can not be obtained of this gentleman, who seems from his letters to Col. Clark, to have ranked quite respectably in education, much above the generality of his compeers. The command of the first regiment of militia in Kentucky county and commission of magistrate confered upon him, confirm this character.