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Post at Fort Du Quesne.
way had been dyed with blood, every hill-side had rung with the death-yell, and grown red in the light of burning huts. The man who was at last chosen was a Moravian, who had lived among the savages seventeen years, and married among them ; his name Christian Frederic Post. Of his journey, sufferings, and doings, we have his own journal, though Heckewelder tells us, that those parts which redound most to his own credit, he omitted when printing it. He left Philadelphia upon the 15th of July, 1758; and, against the protestations of Teedyuscung, who said he would surely lose his life, proceeded up the Susquehannah,-passing " many plantations deserted and laid waste.” Upon the 7th of August, he came to the Alleghany, opposite French Creek, and was forced to pass under the very eyes of the garrison of Fort Venango, but was not molested. From Venango he went to “Kuskushkee,” which was on or near Big Beaver Creek. This place, he says, contained ninety houses and two hundred able warriors. At this place Post had much talk with the chiefs, who seemed well disposed, but somewhat afraid of the French. The great conference, however, it was determined should be held opposite Fort Du Quesne, where there were Indians of eight nations. The messenger was at first unwilling to go thither, fearing the French would seize him; but the savages said, “they would carry him in their bosom, he need fear nothing,” and they well redeemed this promise. On the 24th of August, Post, with his Indian friends, reached the point opposite the Fort; and there immediately followed a series of speeches, explanations and agreements, for which we must refer to his Journal.
At first he was was received rather hardly by an old and deaf Onondago, who claimed the land whereon they stood as belonging to the Six Nations; but a Delaware rebuked him in no very polite terms. “That man speaks not as a man,” he said; “he endeavors to frighten us by saying this ground is his; he dreams; he and his father (the French) have certainly drunk too much liquor; they are drunk; pray let them go to sleep till they are sober. You do not know what your own nation does at home, how much they have to say to the English. You are quite rotten. You stink. You do nothing but smoke your pipe here. Go to sleep with your father, and when you are sober we will speak to you.”
It was clear that the Delawares, and indeed all the western Indians, were wavering in their affection for the French; and, though some opposition was made to a union with the colonists,
1758. the general feeling, produced by the prospect of a quick approach by Forbes' army, and by the truth and kindness of Post himself, was in favor of England. The Indians, however, complained bitterly of the disposition which the whites showed in claiming and seizing their lands. “Why did you not fight your battles at home, or on the sea, instead of coming into our country to fight them ?” they asked, again and again ; and were mournful when they thought of the future. “ Your heart is good,” they said to Post, “ you speak sincerely: but we know there is always a great number who wish to get rich; they have enough ; look! we do not want to be rich, and take away what others have.” “The white people think we have no brains in our heads; that they are big, and we a little handful; but remember, when you hunt for a rattlesnake you cannot find it, and perhaps it will bite you before you see it.” When the war of Pontiac came, this saying might have been justly remembered.
At length, having concluded a pretty definite peace, Post turned toward Philadelphia, setting out upon the 9th of September; and, after the greatest sufferings and perils from French scouts and Indians, reached the settlements uninjured.
While Post was engaged upon his dangerous mission, the van of Forbes' army was pressing slowly forward under the heats of August from Raystown, (Bedford,)* toward Loyalhanna, hewing their way as they went. Early in September, the General reached Raystown, whither he also ordered Washington, who had till then been kept inactive among his sick troops at Fort Cumberland. Meantime two officers of the first Virginia regiment had gone separately, each with his party, to reconnoitre Fort Du Quesne, and had brought accounts of its condition up to the 13th of August. It being deemed desirable, however, to have fuller statements than they were able to give, a party of eight hundred men under Major Grant, with whom went Major Andrew Lewis of Virginia, was pushed forward to gain the desired information. Grant appears to have exceeded his orders, which were merely to obtain all the knowledge relative to the French which he could ; and after having unwisely divided his force, with equal want of sagacity brought on an engagement; having before him, perhaps, the vain hope that he should take the fort he was sent to examine. In the skirmish thus needlessly entered into, Grant's troops were thrown
Sparks' Washington, ii. 312. + See map in Sparks' Washington, ii.; also plate and account in Am. Pioneer, ii. 147.
British take Fort Du Quesne.
into confusion by their Indian foes. Lewis, who had been left two miles behind, hastening forward when he heard the sound of firearms, to relieve his comrades, was unable to check the rout which had commenced, and together with his commanding officer was taken prisoner. Indeed, the whole detachment would have shared their fate, had not Capt. Bullitt, with his fifty Virginians, rescued them. Ordering his men to lower their arms, this able officer waited until the Indians, who thought the little band about to yield, were full in view, then giving the word, poured upon the enemy a deadly fire, which was instantly followed by a charge with the bayonet,-a proceeding so unlooked for and so fatal as to lead to the complete rout of the assailants. This conduct of the Virginians was much admired, and Washington received publicly the compliments of the Commander-in-Chief on account of it.*
October had now arrived, and Washington was engaged in opening the road toward the Fork of the Ohio. On the 5th of November, he was still at Loyalhanna, where at one time the General thought of spending the winter; on the 15th, he was on Chesnut ridge, advancing from four to eight miles a day; and in ten days more stood where Fort Du Quesne had been; the French having destroyed it, when they embarked for the lower posts on the Ohio the preceding day.
At Easton, meantime, had been gathered another great council, at which were present “the eight United Nations, (the Iroquois,) and their confederates;” with all of whom, during October, peace was concluded. The particulars of this treaty are given in the American pioneer i. 244, taken from the Annual Register for 1759, p. 191 ; and from a note in Burk's “ History of Virginia,”ł we find that the Iroquois were very angry at the prominence of Teedyuscung. With the messengers to the West, bearing news of this treaty, Post was sent back, within five weeks after his return. He followed after General Forbes, from whom he received messages to the various tribes, with which he once more sought their chiefs; and was again very instrumental in preventing any junction of the Indians with the French. Indeed, but for Post's mission, there would in all probability have been gathered a strong force of
Sparks' Washington; ii. 313; note.—Butler's Kentucky, 2d edition, Introduction, xliv.–Marshall's Life of Washington, (Edition 1804, Philadelphia,) ii. 66. This defeat occurred, September 21. Washington commanded all the Virginia troops.
+ Vol. iii p. 239.
Indian War in the South.
western savages to waylay Forbes and defend Fort Du Quesne; in which case, so adverse was the season and the way, so wearied the men, and so badly managed the whole business, that there would have been great danger of a second “ Braddock's field ;" so that our humble Moravian friend played no unimportant part in securing again to his British Majesty the key to western America.
With the fall of Fort Du Quesne, all direct contest between the French and British in the West ceased. From that time Canada was the only scene of operations, though garrisons for a while remained in the forts on French Creek. In 1759, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Niagara, and at length Quebec itself yielded to the English; and, on the 8th of September, 1760, Montreal, Detroit, and all Canada were given up by Vaudreuil, the French governor.
But the French had not been the only dwellers in western America; and, when they were gone, the colonists still saw before them clouds of dark and jealous warriors. Indeed, no sooner were the Delawares quiet in the north, than the Cherokees, who had been assisting Virginia against her foes, were roused to war by the thoughtless and cruel conduct of the frontier men, who shot several of that tribe, because they took some horses which they found running at large in the woods. The ill-feeling bred by this act was eagerly fostered by the French in Louisiana ; and, while Amherst and Wolfe were pushing the war into Canada, the frontiers of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, were writhing under the horrors of Indian invasion. This Cherokee war continued through 1760, and into 1761, but was terminated in the summer of the last-named year by Colonel Grant. We should be glad, did it come within our province, to enter somewhat at large into the events of it, as then came forward two of the most remarkable chiefs of that day, the Great Warrior and the Little Carpenter (Attakullakulla); but we must first refer our readers to the second volume of Thatcher's “Indian Biography.”
Along the frontiers of Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, the old plantations had'been, one by one, reoccupied since 1758, and settlers were slowly pushing further into the Indian country, and traders were once more bearing their burdens over the mountains, and finding a way into the wigwams of the natives, who rested, watching silently, but narrowly, the course of their English defenders and allies. For it was, professedly, in the character of defenders, that Braddock and Forbes had come into the
Settlements in the West resumed.
West;* and, while every British finger itched for the lands as well as the furs of the wild men, with mistaken hypocrisy they would have persuaded them that the treasure and the life of England had been given to preserve her old allies, the Six Nations, and their dependents, the Delawares and Shawanese, from French aggression. But the savages knew whom they had to deal with, and looked at every step of the cultivator with jealousy and hate.
In 1760, the Ohio Company once more prepared to pursue their old plan, and sent to England for such orders and instructions to the Virginia government as would enable them to do so.f During the summer of that year, also, General Monkton, by a treaty at Fort Pitt, obtained leave to build posts within the wild lands, each post having ground enough about it to raise corn and vegetables for the use of the garrison. Nor, if we can credit one writer, were the settlements of the Ohio Company, and the forts, the only inroads upon the hunting grounds of the savages; for he says, that in 1757, by the books of the Secretary of Virginia, three millions of acres had been granted west of the mountains. Indeed, we know that in 1758 she tried by law to encourage settlements in the West; and the report of John Blair, Clerk of the Virginia Council, in 1768 or 1769, states, that most of the grants beyond the mountains were made before August, 1754.|| At any rate, it is clear that the Indians early began to murmur; for, in 1762, Bouquet issued his proclamation from Fort Pitt, saying that the treaty of Easton, in 1758, secured to the red men all lands west of the mountains as hunting-grounds; wherefore he forbids all settlements, and orders the arrest of the traders and settlers who were spreading discontent and fear among the Ohio Indians.
But if the Ohio Indians were early ill-disposed to the English, much more was this the case among those lake tribes, who had known only the French, and were strongly attached to them; the Ottaways, Wyandots, and Chippeways. The first visit which they received from the British was after the surrender of Vaudreuil, when Major Robert Rogers was sent to take charge of
Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 328.—Post's Journals show how full of jealousy the Indians were; see there also Forbes' letter, sent by him.
† Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 482-Plain Facts, p. 120, where a letter from the Company, dated September 9th, 1761, is given.
Dated August 20th. Plain Facts, pp. 55, 56. | Contest in North America, by an Impartial Hand, p. 36.-Secret Journals, vol. iii. p. 187.-Plain Facts. Appendix.
Plain Facts. p. 56.-See Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 64.