From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County
In the country northwest of the Ohio, many tribes of Indianas roamed at large through the primitive forests, imbued, by the incursions of the white man, with feelings of bitter hostility towards any further progress of his hated enemy, among whom were the Deiawares on Beaver Creek, Cuyahoga and Muskingum, whose towns contained about 600 individuals ; about 300 Shawanoes who dwelt on the Scioto, Muskingum and adjoining country , the Twigtwees, Piankeshaws and Miamis, dwelling along the Miami river and its tributaries, all of whom looked with a jealous eye upon the advancing tide of immigration, which was so soon to convert his hunting grounds into waving fields of grain, and replace his wigwam by the more imposing structures of civilization. "We need not wonder therefore, that upon every provocation, how slight so-ever, his ever ready tomahawk sought its victim, his knife leaping from its sheath to circle round the head of his enemy.
The rival claims of England and France for the possession of the country, gradually led to a long and bloody war, involving the colonies and Indian tribes, who espoused the cause of the nation offering the strongest inducement.
As early as 1749, the whole Miami valley became the arena of sanguinary contention between the two nations and their Indian allies, on both sides. The French rested their claims upon the explorations of Marquette and La Salle, actual occupation, and the construction of the treaties of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix La Chapelle; while on" the other hand, the English claimed prior occupation, a construction of the same treaties favorable to them, and direct cession by the Aboriginal owners. Their discovery conveyed no equitable ownership, however, and was disregarded by both powers. The Indian title being totally ignored, led them to inquire: "Where are the Indian lands, since the French claim all on the north side of the Ohio, and the English all on the south side of it?"
The English colonies were agricnlturalists, and of a permanent nature; while the French were mostly traders, soldiers, and missionaries. Thus it followed, that the French hecame, through miscegenation, more thoroughly incorporated with the Indian tribes, and wielded a greater influence over them than the English; giving rise to the old proverb, that the "French knew how to give gifts to the Indians." Through her traders and missionaries, therefore, France was familiar with all the Indian tribes before the English explored beyond the mountains. The French, perfectly cognizant of the vast wealth of the new country, and the lucrative traffic to be carried on with the Indians, were induced at an early period to establish a line of quasi military trading posts among the Indians on the Ohio and its tributaries, and to preserve the possession so obtained, they began the erection of forts extending from Canada to Louisiana. To counteract this bold step of the French to possess themselves of the country and its rich resultant emoluments, England gave to an association of gentlemen in Great Britain and Virginia, (under the title of the "Ohio Land Company") the privilege of locating and holding in their own right and title, 600,000 acres of land within the country then under contention between England and France. In pursuance of this arrangement, according to Western Annals, in the fall of 1720, the Ohio Company sent out Christopher Gist with instructions to examine the passes, trace the courses of the rivers, mark the falls, seek for the most valuable lands, observe the strength, and conciliate the Indian tribes. Accordingly he visited Logstown. Received with jealousy, he proceeded to the Muskingum, found a village of Ottawas friendly to the French, and a village of Wyandots divided in sentiment. Next he passed to the Shawanoes towns on the Scioto, was assured of their friendship, then crossed the Miami Valley, reporting that "nothing was wanting but cultiva- tion to make it a most delightful country." The land was secretly surveyed, locations made in the most valuable sections, the Indians were conciliated, and trading posts were established. The true motives of the company were soon revealed through cupidity and jealousy, and the French actually seized and imprisoned the English traders, and established a line of military posts from Presque Isle to the Ohio river. Following this, at the suggestion of Washington, the Ohio Company erected a stockade at the confluence of the Monongahela and Alleghany; before the work was complete however, they were dispersed by the French, who took possession of the place, and erected Fort du Quesne. These hostile movements were followed by what is known as Braddock's war, which for a time checked the settlement from both countries.
The defeat of Braddock opened the flood-gates for the inroads of the savages along the borders of the northwest, who murdered and scalped the colonists in the valleys by the scores during the years 1755, 1756, and 1757.
In 1758, expeditions were sent out to capture Fort Du Quesne. On approaching it, the French set fire to it and retired. The English took possession, rebuilt it, and named it Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh. This rendered feasible the scheme of Pitt for the reduction of Canada. Predeaux was to attack Niagara, Amherst, Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and Wolf, Quebec, which latter surrendered September 18, 1759, and gave Canada to the English. During this, the tide of emigration was slowly pushing further into the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and traders once again entered the wigwams of the Indians, who anxiously watched the movements of the two nations.
With the surrender of Fort Du Quesne and Niagara, open hostilities between England and France ceased in the west. On the 8th of September, 1760, Canada was surrendered to the English. On the failure of peace negotiations, France and Spain united to check the advance of English power, which proving futile, a treaty of peace was signed November 3, 1762, and ratified at Paris, February, 1763, at which, to retain Havana, Spain ceded Florida to England, and to reinstate Spain, France secretly ceded all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi to Spain.
While the casus belli between the two nations was settled, the Indians, who had generally espoused the cause of France, were by no means satisfied. In the breast of the Indian, the seeds of hatred for the English, early sown by the French, took ready root, and, nurtured by the same, grew into implacable animosity; therefore the task of spreading her authority over the savage hordes of the west, and securing peace to the colonies, was both difficult and dangerous. Foreseeing the inevitable destruction of his people unless the French were victorious, and the English driven from the soil, in 1762 the great Ottawa chief, Pontiac, sent messengers, with black wampum and red tomahawk, to all the surrounding tribes, notifying them that on a certain day a simultaneous attack would be made on all the Enghsh posts, followed by a general onslaught upon the whole border. Pursuant to this, a grand council was held April 27, 1763, at the river Ecorces, at which Pontiac delivered a fiery speech, appealing to their superstition, their manhood, and their bravery, and portrayed the wrongs they had suffered. The chiefs listened, and burned for revenge; the day was set, and each tribe eagerly awaited the bloody moment.
The history of Detroit, Major Gladwin, the beautiful Ojibaway girl through her love revealing the plans of the Indians, the shortened guns, the entrance of Pontiac and his chiefs, their apprehensions at the bristling appearance of the garrison, the signal of the wampum, the click of the revolvers, rattle of swords, and consternation of the baffled Indians, are well known to every school-boy, who has laughed in his sleeve to see the Indians, who came in with so much pomp, go out with so much humiliation. The mask was thrown off, and a furious attack began, but unavailing. Not so with the other posts. At Fort Sandusky, St. Joseph, Oniatenon, Miami, Presque Isle, and Mackinaw, they gained access under pretext of a game of ball, called baggataway. Only one escaped from Green Bay, Lieutenant Garell. Meanwhile war raged along the borders with savage cruelty.
Colonel Bouquet was sent to the relief of Fort Pitt, then closely beseiged. Reaching Carlisle July 1, 1763, he found the people in a panic, huddled together, and without provisions. After eighteen days spent in relieving them, he resumed his march toward Bushy Run, where he was suddenly attacked by an overwhelming force of Indians. In vain did he charge, and drive them back. From behind trees and rocks they poured in an invisible yet destructive fire, until defeat seemed inevitable. The genius of Bouquet saved them. Two companies were ordered to fall back, as if retreating. Two others were to lie in ambush. The Indians rushed upon the retreating column, when they received a heavy fire in flank, followed by a bayonet charge, which totally routed them. This closed the war during this year.
The next spring Pontiac again laid seige to Detroit. Bradstreet and Bouquet were sent against him. The former was duped by a pretended treaty. The same ruse was attempted upon Bouquet, but he treated their delegates as spies, and informed them that if they delivered all their prisoners in ten days, they might hope for peace, otherwise he would show no mercy. His terms were instantly complied with, and a permanent peace was established.
The appearance of security and immunity from danger which succeeded this treaty of 1765, contributed to the advancement of prosperity all over the northwestern frontiers. The necessity of congregating in forts and block-houses no longer existing, each family enjoyed the pleasures of its own fireside, undisturbed by apprehensions of danger from the bloodthirsty savage. No longer did they cultivate their little patches in common, with tomahawks in their belts, and rifles attached to their plow-beams. They could sow, expecting to reap; and this feeling of safety increased their prosperity, and encouraged others to join them. As a consequence, immigration flowed in, and settlements sprang up in the forests.
This peaceful condition of things, however, received a check in 1774, caused, in the main, by the gradual encroachment of the whites upon Indian territory. This (Lord Dunmore's war), after much bloodshed, was brought to a close, principally through the agency of the celebrated chief, Cornstalk, after the decisive battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774.
This leads us up to the Revolution, when again the Indians, or, as Lord Chatham truly said, the "horrible hounds of war, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of their mangled victims," were let loose upon the defenseless frontiers.
Inasmuch as the principal depredations in this war were committed in this region by the Shawanoes Indians, then located upon the Scioto, Mad, and Little Miami rivers, a brief resume of their history may not be uninteresting. The Shawanoes were known as the most warlike nation of the great Algonquin family. This family seemed to have possessed a language almost uniform throughout all the tribes. The Algonquins are supposed to have numbered at one time not less than 90,000. It is said that the language was very complex, yet capable of lofty flights of oratory, beautiful rhetorical figures, and ill-adapted to light and trifling speech.
The Shawanoes were very nomadic, therefore their history is somewhat obscure. We hear of them as early as the advent of John Smith, 1607. They were then on the Susquehanna. In 1632 they were on the Delaware. The Swanee, or Suawanee River, in Florida, derives its name from them. From these many conflicting accounts, we are to suppose that originally they were one great tribe, but, by war, became separated into subdivisions, which, after many years wandering, were again reunited. We have an authentic account from their noted chief, Blackhoof, who told Colonel John Johnston, of Piqua, that he well remembered having bathed on the Florida beach. It is evident that they came from the south, under the leadership of Blackhoof, to the Miami Valley, and established themselves, about 1770, in the neighborhood of the Little Miami, Scioto, and Mad River valleys. In Lord Dunsmore's war, the Shawanoes took an active part, under the great and noble chief, Cornstalk. After his defeat hy General Lewis, he sued for peace, and ever after was the firm friend of the whites, and by them was cruelly murdered, even while under their protection on a mission of peace. It appears that about 1770 the Shawanoes made their headquarters at Old Chillicothe (now Oldtown, on the Little Miami, in this county). It was here that Captain Bullitt visited them, in 1773. It was here that Simon Kenton ran the gauntlet, in 1776. (Vid. Xenia Township.) It was here that Daniel Boone was taken, with twenty-seven others, in 1778. (See, also, Xenia Township.) Having now narrowed the horizon of our observations to that portion of territory circumscribed by the boundaries of Greene County, we shall proceed more specifically to narrate the events that transpired within her borders.
In the autumn of 1779, a number of keel-boats were ascending the Ohio, commanded by Major Rogers. When they had advanced as far as the Licking, they observed a few Indians upon a sand-bar, while a canoe, with three savages, was in the act of putting off from the Kentucky shore, evidently to bring them over. Instantly making his boats fast to the Kentucky shore, and cautiously landing his men, ke sought to attack them unawares, but was discovered, furiously attacked, and his whole force almost totally destroyed, only two or three escaping to convey the doleful tidings to the settlements. As their capital, Chillicothe (now OldtoAvn), was within reach of retaliation, an expedition, in 1779, under Colonel Bowman, with Colonel Benjamin Logan second in command, was fitted out against the Shawanoes, to strike a blow at Chillicothe. They left Harrodsburg in July, and took their preliminary measures so well, that they arrived within a mile of Chillicothe without giving the slightest alarm to the enemy.
Here the detachment halted at an early hour in the night, and, as usual, sent out spies to examine the condition of the village. Before midnight they returned with the intelligence that the enemy remained unapprised of their presence in the vicinity, and were resting in a state of unmilitary security. Upon the receipt of this, the army was instantly put in motion. It was determined that Logan, with one half the command, should march around the town on the left, while Bowman, with the remaining forces, was to make a corresponding movement on the right. Both should grope their way through the woods with profound silence until they met on the opposite sides, when the attack was to commence. Logan having completed his part of the maneuver, stationed his men behind trees, logs, and stones, and awaited in silence and extreme anxiety the preconcerted signal of attack. Hour after hour stole away, and Bowman did not appear. At length the rays of the sun began to peep over the hills and shoot across the valley. Logan, still expecting the arrival of his colonel, more securely secreted his men in the high grass and awaited the signal. No orders arrived.
In the meantime, while changing positions through the grass they chanced to alarm a dog which was prowling around the village. He instantly set up a vociferous baying, spasmodically advancing toward the men who had attracted his attention. Presently a solitary Indian left his cabin, advanced cautiously toward the dog, frequently halting and raising upon his tiptoes, and furtively gazing around him.
Logan's party lay close, scarcely breathing, anxiously hoping to take him alive without giving the alarm. But at that instant a gun was fired in an opposite quarter of the town, as was afterwards ascertained, by one of Bowman's men, and the Indian, giving one shrill whoop, ran swiftly back to the council house. Believing this to be the signal for attack, and concealment now being impossible, Logan's party sprang from the grass and rushed upon the village. As they advanced they perceived a motley crowd of all ages,and both sexes, yelling, leaping and running toward the council house, where they collected in full force, determined upon a stubborn resistance. Logan instantly threw his men into the cabins, deserted by the Indians, and rapidly advancing from hut to hut, at last established himself within rifle-shot of the Indian stronghold.
Now listening impatiently for sounds of the conflict which should have taken place on the other side in co-operation with him, his anxious ears detected no sound. All was silent in that quarter. The Indians having recovered from their temporary panic, poured in a heavy and deadly fire upon the cabins that protected his men. His position grew each moment more critical. He had pushed his detachment so close to the redoubt that advance or retreat w equally dangerous. The enemy outnumbered him, and indications soon revealed a disposition to turn both his flanks and cut off his retreat. Under these circumstances, ignorant of the movements of his commander, and cut off from all communication with him, he resolved upon the bold and judicious plan of forming a movable breastwork of the materials furnished by the cabins, and under cover of it rush upon the stronghold of the savages aud carry it by assault.
Had this bold plan been consummated, with the co-operation of Bowman, the victory would no doubt have been complete, and many subsequent outrages have been averted. But in its very initiation a messenger arrived from Bowman with orders to retreat. Astonished at such an order, when honor and safety required an offensive movement, Logan hastily asked if "Bowman had been overpowered by the enemy?" "No." "Had he ever beheld an enemy?" "No." "What then was the cause of this extraordinary abandonment of a design so prosperously begun?" He did not know. The colonel had ordered a retreat! Logan was reluctantly compelled to obey.
"With militia, in the face of an enemy superior in force, a retreat is almost certain to terminate in a demoralized rout, and this was no exception. As soon as the order was made known, a most tumultuous scene began. Not being sustained by that mutual confidence— offspring of discipline—which buoys up regular soldiers under all circumstances, they no longer acted in concert. Each man selected the time, manner, and route of his individual retreat. Here a solitary Kentuckian would start up from behind a stump and send away through the grass, dodging and turning to avoid the balls that whistled around him. There a dozen men would run from a cabin and scatter in every direction, each anxious to save himself, and none having leisure to attend to his neighbor. The Indians, astonished at seeing men fleeing apparently from themselves, sallied out, pursued and cut them up as a sportsman would a flock of geese. They soon joined Bowman's party, who, from some unaccountable panic in their commander, or fault in themselves, had not stirred from the spot where Logan had left them the night before. All was confusion. Some cursed their colonel; some reproached other officers; one shouted one thing; one bellowed another; but all seemed to agree that they ought to make the best of their way home without a moment's delay. By great exertions on the part of Logan, ably assisted by Harrod, Bulger, and Major Bedinger, of the Blue Licks, some degree of order was restored, and a tolerably respectable retreat commenced. The Indians, however, soon surrounded them on all sides, and kept up a hot fire, which soon grew fatal. Colonel Bowman appeared totally demented, aud sat upon his horse like a pillar of stone, neither giving an order or taking any measures to repel the enemy. The sound of the rifle shots had, however, restored the men to their senses, and they readily formed in a large hollow square, took to the trees and returned the fire with great spirit. The enemy were quickly repelled, and the troops resumed their march.
But scarcely had they advanced half a mile when the Indians reappeared, and again opened fire on the front, rear, and both flanks. Again a square was formed, and the savages repelled; but they had not fairly resumed their march when the same galling fire was again poured in upon them, from every tree, bush, and stone capable of concealing an Indian. Matters began to look serious. The enemy were evidently endeavoring to detain them until fresh Indians should arrive, cut off their retreat, and take them all prisoners. The troops began to waver, and a panic was rapidly spreading from colonel to privates. At this crisis, Logan, Harrod, and Bedinger, selected the boldest and best mounted men, and dashing into the bushes on horseback scoured the woods in every direction, forcing the Indians from their coverts, and cutting them down as they ran from tree to tree. This decisive step completely dispersed the enemy, and the weary and dispirited troops continued their retreat unmolested, with the loss of nine killed and several wounded. The Indians in this action were led by Blackfish, the adopted father of Daniel Boone while he was their captive.
The Indians, in retaliation for this, resolved upon the invasion of Kentucky. In 1780, aided by their English allies, who supplied them with men and artillery, they formed an army at Old Chillicothe, and under the command of Colonel Byrd marched for the settlements of Kentucky. Ruddles' Station was attacked, and the garrison murdered. Colonel Byrd, being unable to restrain his savage allies, refused to go further unless all prisoners were delivered to him; which being promised, he led them along the valvey of the Licking five miles further, to Martin's Fort, where, despite their solemn promise, the same atrocities were committed, and, he, to his credit, refused to go any further. The Indians loaded their victims with the plunder of their own dwellings, and started for their towns, and as the unfortunate prisoner sunk under the weight the tomahawk was buried in his brains.
After the outrages committed by Colonel Byrd and his Indians, it was determined to punish them by carrying the war into their own stronghold, which was then Old Chillicothe, on the Little Miami, in this county. We can give no better account than from Bradford's notes:
"On the 2d of August, 1780, General Clarke took up the line of march from where Cincinnati now stands for the Indian towns. The line of march was as follows: The first division, commanded by Clarke, took the front position; the center was occupied by artillery, military stores, and baggage; the second, commanded by Colonel Logan, was placed in the rear. The men were ordered to march in four lines, at about forty yards distant from each other, and a line of flankers on each side, about the same distance from the right and left line. There was also a front and rear guard, who kept only in sight of the main army. In order to prevent confusion, in case of an attack of the enemy during the march, a general order was issued, that in the event of an attack in front, the front was to stand fast, and the two right lines wheel to the right, and the two left lines to the left hand, and thus form a complete line, while the artillery was to advance to the center of the line. In case of an attack upon either of the flanks, or side lines, these were to stand fast, and likewise the artillery, while the opposite lines wheeled and formed on the two extremes of those lines. In the event of an attack upon the rear, similar order was to be observed as in an attack in front. In this manner the army moved on without encountering anything worthy of notice.
"About 2 o'clock on the afternoon of the 6th of August, they arrived at the village. They found the town not only abandoned, but most of the houses burned down, and burning, having been set on fire that morning. The army encamped on the ground that night, and on the following day cut down several hundred (probably two hundred) acres of corn (and every tree which bore any kind of fruit was destroyed), and about 4 o'clock in the evening took up their line of march for the Piqua towns, which were about twelve miles from Chillicothe (in Clarke County).
"They had not marched more than a mile from Chillicothe, before there came on a very heavy rain, with thunder and lightning, accompanied by considerable wind. Without tents, or any other shelter from the rain, which fell in torrents, the men were as wet as though they had been plunged into the river; nor had they power to keep their guns dry. It was nearly dark before the rain ceased, when they were ordered to encamp in a hollow square, with the baggage and horses in the center, and as soon as fires could be made, dry their clothes, etc. They were ordered to examine their guns, and see that they were in good condition ; to discharge them in the following manner: One company was to fire, and time given to re-load, when a company at the most remote part of the camp from that which had fired, was to discharge theirs, and so on, aUernately, until all the guns were fired.
"On the morning of the 8th, the army marched by sunrise, and having a level, open way, arrived in sight of Piqua, on the west side of Mad Eiver, about 2 p. m. The Indian road from Chillicothe to Piqua, which the army followed, crossed Mad River about a quarter of a mile below the town, and as soon as the advanced guard crossed into a prairie of high weeds, they were attacked by the Indians, who had been concealed there, awaiting their approach.
"The ground on which this attack was made, as well as the manner in which it was done, left no doubt but that a general engagement was intended. Colonel Logan was therefore ordered, with about four hundred men, to file off to the right and march up the river on the east side, and continue to the upper end of the town, so as to prevent the Indians from escaping in that direction, while the remainder of the men, under Colonels Flynn, Lloyed, and Harrod, were ordered to cross the river and encompass the town on the west side, while General Clarke, with the troops under Colonel Slaughter, and such as were attached to the artillery, marched directly toward the town.
"The prairie in which the Indians who commenced the attack were concealed, was only about two hundred yards across to the timbered land, and the division of the army destined to encompass the town on the west side, found it necessary to cross the prairie to avoid the fire of a concealed enemy. The Indians evinced great military skill and judgment, and to prevent the western division from executing the duties assigned them, they made a powerful effort to turn their left wing. This was discovered by Lloyed and Flynn, who, to prevent being outflanked, extended the line of battle west, more than a mile from the town, which continued, warmly contested on both sides, until about 5 o'clock, when the Indians disappeared, everywhere unperccived, except a few in the town.
"The field-piece, which had been entirely useless before, was now brought to bear upon the houses, when a few well-directed shots dislodged the Indians which were in them. From a French prisoner among them, General Clarke learned that the savages did not expect the army to reach their town so soon; and that it was their intention, had it not rained, to attack the whites with the knife and tomahawk the previous night. The firing of the guns also deterred them. It seems that the alarm was universal, and every village was deserted. Occasionally, it is said, a solitary Indian would crawl through the grass within shooting distance, deliver his fire, and sink out of sight. The town was stretched along the banks of the river for a long distance, and in order to surround it on the east, Logan was compelled to march over three miles. In the meantime the Indians concentrated their whole force on the troops under General Clarke, and Logan never saw an Indian; hence, the great loss to the whites, and severity of the battle, which led to the remark of Girty, who drew off his three hundred Mingo warriors, saying it was folly to fight madmen. And true; the Kentuckians fought with desperation, well knowing that if they were defeated none would escape; and the Indians, elated with success and thirsting for blood, would fall upon the defenseless settlements of Kentucky, and murder their wives, their daughters, mothers, and children. The next day was spent in cutting down the growing corn, destroying the cabins and food, and collecting horses. On the 10th, the army began their homeward march, remaining in Chillicothe over night, and destroying a field of corn that had been left standing for their horses on their return.
"It is supposed that about five hundred acres of corn were destroyed on this expedition, besides every other vegetable, and food of any kind, to afford nourishment to the foe. Killing a few Indians only served to exasperate them, but destroying their sustenance struck at their vitals, and compelled them to hunt for support, and thus the settlements were left in repose."
This state of immunity from Indian outrage lasted but two years. In Angust, 1782, there was a grand council held at Chillicothe (now Oldtown), composed of the Wyandots, Shawanoes, Mingoes, Tawas, Pottowatomies, Delawares, and numerous other tribes. In their deliberations they were aided by those two fiends in human shape, Girty and McKee. The Revolutionary War was virtually over, and these disgraceful traitors and renegades feared the avenging arm of Virginia, and had thus sought, for their own safety, to instigate the Indians to murder the settlers of the surrounding country.
In pursuance of their plans, two armies, one of six hundred, the other of three hundred and fifty, prepared to march to their assigned stations. Toward the last of August, the army of redskins who were destined for Kentucky, marched toward Bryant's Station, placing themselves in ambush. But in their eagerness for blood, they foiled their own scheme by prematurely firing upon a few stragglers around the fort.
The Indians were repulsed by the garrison; and receiving reinforcements from Lexington, Harrodsburg, and Boonesborongh, pursuit was immediately commenced, and at the Lower Blue Licks they first caught sight of the foe. From the signs on the trail, the practiced eye of Boone detected evidences of a large force of Indians, and these, he concluded, were in ambush on the opposite bank, and he advised a separation of the forces, and extreme caution. But the impetuous McGary, exclaiming, "Let all who are not cowards follow me," spurred his horse into the river, and was followed by all into the ambush, and the terrible result of his rashness was the slaughter-pen of the Blue Licks.
An soon as Gen. G. R. Clarke heard of the disaster at Blue Licks, he determined to chastise the Indians, and, if possible, destroy them. To this end, he called for one thousand men, to be raised from Kentucky, making their headquarters at Cincinnati, where he was to meet them, at the head of a part of an Illinois regiment, of which he then had command, bringing with him one brass fieldpiece.
"The exultant savages had returned to Old Chillicothe, and had divided their spoil and their captives. Colonel Boone was immediately sent for to take part in this expedition. Clarke's army crossed the Ohio, and marching very rapidly up the banks of the Little Miami, arrived within two miles of Chillicothe before they were observed. Here they discovered a solitary straggler, who instantly fled to the village, yelling like a demon at every jump. The troops pressed on with all possible speed, but upon entering the town found it deserted. So precipitate had been their retreat, however, that the enemy left the fires burning, pots boiling, and meat roasting on sticks. This was a treat to the almost famished Kentuckians, who, after full indulgence, proceeded to destroy the town, corn, and everything tending to support the savage foe. It is said that on the approach of the army, men, women, and children fled to the forest, leaving everything behind them. Five towns, during this expedition, were left in ashes, and the work of destruction was complete. This campaign so thoroughly crushed the Indians, that no more organized raids were made against the surrounding settlements, and the termination of the Revolutionary War left them to their own resources."
Numerous expeditions took place from this till the general outbreak in May, 1790. The militia, under General Harmer, attack the Miami villages. Colonel Hardin is defeated October 19th, and again on the 22d. May 15, 1791, St. Clair organizes liis army at Fort Washington, September 17th begins his march, and on November 4th is defeated.
From 1780 to 1791, the armies of Clarke, Harmer, and St. Clair had marched through this section of the country. Here was the favorite home of the Indians; their corn-fields, their stronghold, their capital. Here were their councils held, their war dances performed. From here they radiated on their missions of murder and rapine. Here was the hot-bed of Indian hostility. The triumphs over Harmer and St. Clair incited the savages to renewed barbarities. The frontiers were in continual apprehension of danger. They would retire at night, expecting to awake in flames, by the lurid glare of which the savages would be seen, waving the wreaking tomahawk, bathed in the blood of their wives and their children. General Wayne meets and conquers the Indians, after a severe battle, August 20, 1794. This decisive battle virtually ended the Indian trouble in the northwestern frontiers, and prepared the way for settlement.
Eleven years prior to this battle of General Wayne, Washington, seeing the difficulties that would necessarily grow out of individual settlements in the Indian country, on the 7th day of September, 1783, in a letter to James Duane, a member of congress, urged the necessity of making the settlements more compact, and prohibiting individual purchase of the Indians, even punishing all such purchases, not made by congress or the state legislatures, as felonies. To this end, congress did, on the 18th day of April, 1783, urge the necessity of a cession of the western lands, and on the 13th day of September following, stated the terms upon which it would receive a deed from Virginia, to which she acceded, as we have seen, on the 20th of December of the same year; and on the 1st day of March, 1784, the deed was made, and signed by Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James Monroe, delegates in congress from Virginia.
It was not deemed advisable to await the settlement of all questions of cession before taking steps to conciliate the Indians and extinguish their title. On the 22d of September all purchases of, or settlements upon, Indian lands were forbidden by congress, and on the 15th of October the commissioners to treat with the Indians were instructed
"To require the delivery of all prisoners; to inform the Indians of the boundaries between the British possessions and the United States; and to negotiate for all the land east of the line proposed by Washington, namely: from the month of the Great Miami to Mad River (Dayton); thence to Fort Miami, on the Maumee; and thence down the Manmee to the lake, etc."
It is believed the first treaty with the Indians extinguishing their title to the lands comprising the present territory of onr county, was held at Fort Mcintosh, January 21, 1785, at which the United States were represented by George R. Clarke, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee, and the chiefs of the Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas, and Ottawa Indians.
The conditions of this treaty were, that three chiefs, one from the Wyandots, and two from the Delaware nations, should be delivered to the commissioners, to be held until all prisoners then in possession of the nations represented should be given up. The boundary line between the United States and the said Indians, was to begin at the river Cuyahoga, and run up that river to the portage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum; then down the said branch to the forks at the crossing place above Fort Lawrence; thence westwardly to the portage of the Big Miami which runs into the Ohio, at the mouth of which branch (Laramie's Creek) the fort stood, (Fort Laramie) which was taken by the French in 1752; then along the said portage to the Great Miami or Ome (Maumee) river; and down the southeast side of the same to its mouth; thence along the south shore of Lake Erie to the mouth of the Cuyahoga, where it began.
At the treaty of Fort Harmer, January 9, 1789, between Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the Northwest Territory, and the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, and others, the treaty of Fort Mcintosh was confirmed; and in consideration of peace then granted, and the presents they then received, as well as a quantity of goods amounting to $6,000, which were delivered to them, they released and quit claimed, and ceded to the United States all the land east, south, and west of the lines above described.
Subsequently, by the treaty of Greenville, August 8, 1795, the boundary lines of the two former treaties were confirmed, so far as from the mouth of the Cuyahoga to the crossing place above Fort Lawrence. "Thence," says this treaty, "westwardly to a fork of that branch of the Great Miami River running into the Ohio, at or near which stood Laramie's store." (Laramie's store, or Pickawillany, was at the mouth of Laramie Creek, in Miami County, but Fort Laramie was sixteen miles up the creek, in Shelby County, evidently the spot mentioned.) Instead of running up the Maumee,— which was formerly called the Miami of the Lake,—and along the southern shore of Lake Erie to the place of beginning, the Greenville treaty line runs to Fort Recovery, thence south in a direct line to the Ohio, intersectiiag it opposite the mouth of the Kentucky river. (See preceding pages.)
By this last treaty all other treaties were confirmed and ratified; and all the territory northwest of the river Ohio, east and south of the above boundary lines, was ceded and relinquished forever by the Indians, "And these lands, or any part of them, shall never hereafter be made a cause or pretense, on the part of the said tribes, or any of them, of war or injury to the United States, or any other people thereof.
"In consideration of the peace now established, and of the cessions and relinquishment of lands made in the preceding article by the said tribes of Indians, and to manifest the liberality of the United States, as the great means of rendering this peace strong and perpetual, the United States now deliver to the said Indian tribes a quantity of goods to the value of twenty thousand dollars, the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge; and henceforward, every year, forever, the United States will deliver, at some convenient place northward of the river Ohio, like useful goods, suited to the circumstances of the Indians, of the value of nine thousand five hundred dollars; reckoning that value at the first cost of the goods" in the city or place in the United States where they shall be procured. The tribes to which these goods are to be annually delivered, and the proportions in which they are to be delivered, are the following:
"To the Wyandots, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"To the Delawares, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"To the Shawanoes, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"To the Miamis, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"To the Ottawas, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"To the Chippewas, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"To the Pottawatamies, the amount of one thousand dollars.
"And to the Kickapoo, Wea, Eel River, Piankeshaw, and Kaskaskia tribes, the amount of five hundred dollars each.
"To prevent any misunderstanding about the Indian lands relinquished by the United States, in the fourth article, it is now explicitly declared that the meaning of that relinquishment is this The Indian tribes who have a right to these lands are quietly to enjoy them, hunting, planting and dwelling thereon, so long as they please, without any molestation from the United States. But when those tribes, or any of them, shall be disposed to sell their lands, or any part of them, they are to be sold only to the United States; and until such sale, the United States will protect all the said Indian tribes in the quiet enjoyment of their lands against all citizens of the United States; and against all other white persons who intrude upon the same. 'And the said Indians again acknowledge themselves to be under the protection of the United States, and no other power whatever.
"The Indians, or the United States, may remove and punish intruders on Indian lands.
"Indians may hunt within ceded lands.
"Trade shall be opened in substance, as by provisions in treaty of Fort Harmer.
"All injuries shall be referred to law, not privately avenged and all hostile plans known to either, shall be revealed to the other party.
"All previous treaties annulled."
This great and abiding peace document was signed by the various nations named in the fourth article, and dated August 3d, 1795. It was laid before the Senate, December 9th, and ratified December 22d. So closed the old Indian wars of the West.
Thus have we endeavored to trace the history of our county, from the original grant of King James I, April 10, 1606, to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Sommers, Richard Hackluit, and Edward Maria Wingfield, "adventurers of and for our city of London," with various additions. May 23, 1609, and March, 1611, (vide sup.) to its cession to the United States by Virginia, March 1,1784; and on till its final conveyance by the Indians, under the treaties above mentioned, which freed it from savage depredation, prepared it for individual purchase and settlement, and cleared the way for the advancing tide of immigration, which was rapidly moving along the banks of every stream emptying into that great artery of the northwest, the Ohio River, appropriately called by the French "La Belle Rivier."
During the consummation of these various treaties, ranging from the year 1785 to 1795, a portion of the country began to be surveyed, (vide ante pages,) which was followed by purchase and actual occupation. A company, composed of officers and soldiers of the Revolution, was formed in Boston, March, 1786, with Gen. Rufus Putnam as agent, who, in the spring of 1788, with forty-seven others from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, erected a stockade, and formed a permanent settlement known as Marietta. In the winter of 1786, a Mr. Stites, of Redstone, visited congress, then at New York, with a view to settling a tract of country between the two Miamis. John Cleves Symmes, then a member from New Jersey, becoming interested in the scheme, and with an eye to speculation, determined to make a personal investigation the result of which was the purchase of one million acres between the Miamis, in his name. Soon after, he sold to Mathias Denman, and others, that portion which now forms the site of Cincinnati, and in the fall of 1789 several families from New York, New Jersey, and Redstone, descended the Ohio River in flat-boats, as far as the mouth of the Little Miami. As the Indians manifested hostile intentions, forty soldiers, under Lieutenant Kersey, joined them as an escort and guard. They erected at first a single block house; soon adding to it, however, three others. Subsequently a stockade fort was built on a spot now included within the town of Columbia. In June, 1789, Major Doughty, with one hundred and forty regulars, put up four block houses opposite the mouth of the Licking, on the purchase by Denham of Symmes, and about the same time built Fort Washington. Soon after, General Harmer arrived with three hundred more troops, and occupied the fort. Assured now of protection, Israel Ludlow, Denham, and Patterson, began the erection of cabins along the river, and within range of the fort. During the following winter Ludlow surveyed and laid out the town of Losantiville. (A quadroon production of the Latin os, Greek anti, and French ville, and L unknown.) When General St. Clair came there to reside as Governor of the Northwest Territory, he changed the name to Cincinnati.
In 1787 the reserved lands of Virginia were examined, and entries made. In the following year congress protested the validity of these claims, which, however, was withdrawn in 1790. In this year Nathanial Massie entered into an agreement with certain persons to survey these lands, and lay them open for individual purchase; establishing a town above Maysville, called Manchester, from which they made surveying expeditions during the years from 1791 to 1796.
Symmes having originally contracted for two million acres of land, and under this contract having disposed of portions of it to settlers along the Little Miami, and vicinity of the present site ot Dayton, his failure to pay for but two hundred and forty-eight thousand five hundred and forty acres threw these purchasers to the mercy of the federal rulers, until preemption rights were secured to them by the act of 1799.
A few days after Wayne's treaty, St. Clair, Wilkinson, Jonathan Dayton, and Israel Ludlow, purchased the seventh and eighth ranges of Symmes, between Mad River and the Little Miami. On the 21st of September, 1795, Daniel C. Cooper undertook to mark out and survey a road on these lands, which was completed by John Dunlap, October 4th, the same year. November 4th, Israel Ludlow laid off Dayton, and the lots were disposed of by raffle.
As the Indians receded, the bold and adventurous pioneers followed closely in their wake. Radiating from their stronghold, they assembled in groups, and put out their little patches of corn and shooting out in diiferent directions, the little settlements spread toward all points of the compass, until in passing through the dense forest, the lonely cabin was frequently to be met with, and the smoke might be seen curling up through the closely intertwining branches of the patriarchal oaks.