OMTA & ABMP
President of the Oregon Massage Therapists Association
Please help keep
this site free.
Buy one of my books, on sale below.
All sales go to help support this website.
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
by Robert Bike
The Bible mentions about 232 plants by name, or closely enough to figure out what plant is meant. Of these, 24 are aromatic plants; that is, parts of the plants can be pressed or distilled to get an essential oil. Essential oils are the lifeblood of plants and have tremendous healing capabilities.
healing power of plants is the basis for modern medicines.
Originally published in manuscript form in 1999, I completely revised the book and added illustrations.
Biblical Aromatherapy in paperback,
List price $24.99; introductory offer $19.99
To order the pdf version and download to your computer or phone,
The electronic version is only $2.99!
Carlile, columnist for the Freeport (Illinois) Journal Standard,
featured this website in her column on January 19, 2007.
Life Purpose is to inspire my friends
Robert Bike, LMT, LLC
Below is the 1880 History of Stephenson County, scanned, in six parts. There are scanning errors, spelling differences and other problems. This took me a very long time to complete. I removed long sections that had nothing to do with Stephenson County, but have included some of the background history of the region, state and area for showing what some of the thinking was behind the writing.
This era was highly racist. Native Americans were considered savages. The Mormons were despised. White citizens were highly praised, even when it is obvious they were of dubious character. For balance, look at the Autobiography of Black Hawk, a raw, emotional story from the vanquished warrior.
Also, a word about spelling. The English language and spelling has changed tremendously since 1880. The 1880 author apparently didn't care too much about spelling words and names. On many occasions one person's name was spelled two different ways in the same paragraph, and once three different ways. I have no idea what the correct spelling was, in most cases, and have tried to maintain consistency.
Biographical Sketches of Citizens, War Record of its Volunteers in the late Rebellion, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of the Northwest, History of Illinois, Map of Stephenson County, Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matters
WESTERN HISTORICAL COMPANY,
M. H. TILDEN
The following pages, assuming to relate a history of Stephenson County from its earliest settlement to the present day, owe their appearance to the enterprise of an historical company, supplemented by the demand of a generous public. In its preparation, sources of information have been sought and appropriations freely made from presumably authentic data. No claim is made to originality, and numerous mistakes will doubtless be discovered, especially by those disposed to be hypercritical. In a work of such magnitude, these are unavoidable.
The author cannot pretend to have acquitted himself to his own satisfaction, though he has labored diligently to furnish a reliable, if yet an imperfect, compilation of facts and events which are alleged to have occurred in Stephenson County since the days when Kellogg, Kirker, Robey, Timms and others rejoiced to get into the wilderness. Whatever of merit or demerit the book contains remains for the reader to discover, and his judgment may be unprejudiced if he finds no word of promise on the introductory page.
In conclusion, he desires to make his acknowledgments to the Pioneers who still survive, to the Press, the cloth, the public officers, County, State and Federal, and other mediums of communication, not alone for "history," but for many kind acts, and much else that may contribute to whatever of success shall greet the succeeding pages.
A preface is generally regarded as the substitute for an apology. The author indulges the hope that, in equaling reasonable expectations, the substitute will be adopted by his readers.
Chicago, September, 1880.
CULVER, PAGE, HOYNE & CO., PRINTERS
115 and 120 Monroe Street.
OF THE 1880 HISTORY OF STEPHENSON COUNTY - PART ONE
Source of the Mississippi
English Explorations & Settlements
Tecumseh, & the War of 1812
Black Hawk & the Black Hawk War
Present Condition of the Northwest
First French Occupation
Genius of LaSalle
Massacre at Fort Dearborn
Indian Troubles The Black Hawk War
Part One - Geographical
All sales go to help support this website.
Stories, Volume 1
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
When the Northwestern Territory was ceded to the United States by Virginia in 1784, it embraced only the territory lying between the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers, and north to the northern limits of the United States. It coincided with the area now embraced in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and that portion of Minnesota lying on the east side of the Mississippi River. The United States itself at that period extended no farther west than the Mississippi River; but by the purchase of Louisiana in 1803, the western boundary of the United States was extended to the Rocky Mountains and the Northern Pacific Ocean. The new territory thus added to the National domain, and subsequently opened to settlement, has been called the " New Northwest," in contradistinction from the old " Northwestern Territory."
In comparison with the old Northwest this is a territory of vast magnitude. It includes an area of 1,887,850 square miles; being greater in extent than the united areas of all the Middle and Southern States, including Texas. Out of this magnificent territory have been erected eleven sovereign States and eight Territories, with an aggregate population, at the present time, of 13,000,000 inhabitants, or nearly one third of the entire population of the United States.
Its lakes are fresh-water seas, and the larger rivers of the continent flow for a thousand miles through its rich alluvial valleys and far stretching prairies, more acres of which are arable and productive of the highest percentage of the cereals than of any other area of like extent on the globe.
For the last twenty years the increase of population in the Northwest has been about as three to one in any other portion of the United States.
In the year 1541, DeSoto first saw the Great West in the New World. He, however, penetrated no farther north than the 35th parallel of latitude. The expedition resulted in his death and that of more than half his army, the remainder of whom found their way to Cuba, thence to Spain, in a famished and demoralized condition. DeSoto founded no settlements, produced no results, and left no traces, unless it were that he awakened the hostility of the red man against the white man, and disheartened such as might desire to follow up the career of discovery for better purposes. The French nation were eager and ready to seize upon any news from this extensive domain, and were the first to profit by DeSoto's defeat. Yet it was more than a century before any adventurer took advantage of these discoveries.
In 1616, four years before the pilgrims " moored their bark on the wild New England shore," Le Caron, a French Franciscan, had penetrated through the Iroquois and Wyandots (Hurons) to the streams which run into Lake Huron; and in 1634, two Jesuit missionaries founded the first mission among the lake tribes. It was just one hundred years from the discovery of the Mississippi by DeSoto (1541) until the Canadian envoys met the savage nations of the Northwest at the Falls of St. Mary, below the outlet of Lake Superior. This visit led to no permanent result; yet it was not until 1659 that any of the adventurous fur traders attempted to spend a Winter in the frozen wilds about the great lakes, nor was it until 1660 that a station was established upon their borders by Mesnard, who perished in the woods a few months after. In 1665, Claude Allouez built the earliest lasting habitation of the white man among the Indians of the Northwest. In 1668, Claude Dablon and James Marquette founded the mission of Sault Ste. Marie at the Falls of St. Mary, and two years afterward, Nicholas Perrot, as agent for M. Talon, Governor General of Canada, explored Lake Illinois (Michigan) as far south as the present City of Chicago, and invited the Indian nations to meet him at a grand council at Sault Ste. Marie the following Spring, where they were taken under the protection of the king, and formal possession was taken of the Northwest. This same year Marquette established a mission at Point St. Ignatius, where was founded the old town of Michillimackinac.
During M. Talon's explorations and Marquette's residence at St. Ignatius, they learned of a great river away to the west, and fancied as all others did then that upon its fertile banks whole tribes of God's children resided, to whom the sound of the Gospel had never come. Filled with a wish to go and preach to them, and in compliance with a request of M. Talon, who earnestly desired to extend the domain of his king, and to ascertain whether the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean, Marquette with Joliet, as commander of the expedition, prepared for the undertaking.
On the 13th of May, 1673, the explorers, accompanied by five assistant French Canadians, set out from Mackinaw on their daring voyage of discovery. The Indians, who gathered to witness their departure, were astonished at the boldness of the undertaking, and endeavored to dissuade them from their purpose by representing the tribes on the Mississippi as exceedingly savage and cruel, and the river itself as full of all sorts of frightful monsters ready to swallow them and their canoes together. But, nothing daunted by these terrific descriptions, Marquette told them he was willing not only to encounter all the perils of the unknown region they were about to explore, but to lay down his life in a cause in which the salvation of souls was involved; and having prayed together they separated. Coasting along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the adventurers entered Green Bay, and passed thence up the Fox River and Lake Winnebago to a village of the Miamis and Kickapoos. Here Marquette was delighted to find a beautiful cross planted in the middle of the town ornamented with white skins, red girdles and bows and arrows, which these good people had offered to the Great Manitou, or God, to thank him for the pity he had bestowed on them during the Winter in giving them an abundant " chase." This was the farthest outpost to which Dablon and Allouez had extended their missionary labors the year previous. Here Marquette drank mineral waters and was instructed in the secret of a root which cures the bite of the venomous rattlesnake.
He assembled the chiefs and old men of the village, and, pointing to Joliet, said: " My friend is an envoy of France, to discover new countries, and I am an ambassador from God to enlighten them with the truths of the Gospel." Two Miami guides were here furnished to conduct them to the Wisconsin River, and they set out from the Indian village on the 10th of June, amidst a great crowd of natives who had assembled to witness their departure into a region where no white man had ever yet ventured. The guides, having conducted them across the portage, returned. The explorers launched their canoes upon the Wisconsin, which they descended to the Mississippi and proceeded down its unknown waters. What emotions must have swelled their breasts as they struck out into the broadening current and became conscious that they were now upon the bosom of the Father of Waters. The mystery was about to be lifted from the long-sought river. The scenery in that locality is beautiful, and on that delightful seventeenth of June must have been clad in all its primeval loveliness as it had been adorned by the hand of Nature. Drifting rapidly, it is said that the bold bluffs on either hand " reminded them of the castled shores of their own beautiful rivers of France." By-and-by, as they drifted along, great herds of buffalo appeared on the banks. On going to the heads of the valley they could see a country of the greatest beauty and fertility, apparently destitute of inhabitants yet presenting the appearance of extensive manors, under the fastidious cultivation of lordly proprietors.
OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
On June 25, they went ashore and found some fresh traces of men upon the sand, and a path which led to the prairie. The men remained in the boat, and Marquette and Joliet followed the path till they discovered a village on the banks of a river, and two other villages on a hill, within a half league of the first, inhabited by Indians. They were received most hospitably by these natives, who had never before seen a white person. After remaining a few days they re-embarked and descended the river to about latitude 33°, where they found a village of the Arkansas, and being satisfied that the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, turned their course up the river, and ascending the stream to the mouth of the Illinois, rowed up that stream to its source, and procured guides from that point to the lakes. " Nowhere on this journey," says Marquette, " did we see such grounds, meadows, woods, stags, buffaloes, deer, wildcats, bustards, swans, ducks, parroquets, and even beavers, as on the Illinois River." The party, without loss or injury, reached Green Bay in September, and reported their discovery one of the most important of the age, but of which no record was preserved save Marquette's, Joliet losing his by the upsetting of his canoe on his way to Quebec. Afterward Marquette returned to the Illinois Indians by their request, and ministered to them until 1675. On the 18th of May, in that year, as he was passing the mouth of a stream going with his boatmen up Lake Michigan he asked to land at its mouth and celebrate Mass. Leaving his men with the canoe, he retired a short distance and began his devotions. As much time passed and he did not return, his men went in search of him, and found him upon his knees, dead. He had peacefully passed away while at prayer. He was buried at this spot. Charlevoix, who visited the place fifty years after, found the waters had retreated from the grave, leaving the beloved missionary to repose in peace. The river has since been called Marquette.
While Marquette and his companions were pursuing their labors in the West, two men, differing widely from him and each other, were preparing to follow in his footsteps and perfect the discoveries so well begun by him. These were Robert de La Salle and Louis Hennepin.
After La Salle's return from the discovery of the Ohio River (see the narrative elsewhere), he established himself again among the French trading posts in Canada. Here he mused long upon the pet project of those ages a short way to China and the East, and was busily planning an expedition up the great lakes, and so across the continent to the Pacific, when Marquette returned from the Mississippi. At once the vigorous mind of LaSalle received from his and his companions' stories the idea that by following the Great River northward, or by turning up some of the numerous western tributaries, the object could easily be gained. He applied to Prontenac, Governor General of Canada, and laid before him the plan, dim but gigantic. Frontenac entered warmly into his plans, and saw that LaSalle's idea to connect the great lakes by a chain of forts with the Gulf of Mexico would bind the country so wonderfully together, give unmeasured power to France, and glory to himself, under whose administration he earnestly hoped all would be realized.
LaSalle now repaired to France, laid his plans before the King, who warmly approved of them, and made him a Chevalier. He also received from all the noblemen the warmest wishes for his success. The Chevalier returned to Canada, and busily entered upon his work. He at once rebuilt Fort Frontenac and constructed the first ship to sail on these fresh-water seas. On the 7th of August, 1679, having been joined by Hennepin, he began his voyage in the Griffin up Lake Erie. He passed over this lake, through the straits beyond, up Lake St. Clair and into Huron. In this lake they encountered heavy storms. They were some time at Michillimackinac, where LaSalle founded a fort, and passed on to Green Bay, the "Baie des Puans" of the French, where he found a large quantity of furs collected for him. He loaded the Griffin with these, and placing her under the care of a pilot and fourteen sailors, started her on her return voyage. The vessel was never afterward heard of. He remained about these parts until early in the Winter, when, hearing nothing from the Griffin, he collected all the men thirty working men and three monks and started again upon his great undertaking.
By a short portage they passed to the Illinois or Kankakee, called by the Indians, "Theakeke," wolf, because of the tribes of Indians called by that name, commonly known as the Mahingans, dwelling there. The French pronounced it Kiakiki, which became corrupted to Kankakee. "Falling down the said river by easy journeys, the better to observe the country," about the last of December they reached a village of the Illinois Indians, containing some five hundred cabins, but at that moment no inhabitants. The Seur de LaSalle being in want of some breadstuff's, took advantage of the absence of the Indians to help himself to a sufficiency of maize, large quantities of which he found concealed in holes under the wigwams. This village was situated near the present village of Utica in LaSalle County, Illinois. The corn being securely stored, the voyagers again betook themselves to the stream, and toward evening, on the 4th day of January, 1680, they came into a lake which must have been the lake of Peoria. This was called by the Indians Pim-i-te-wi, that is, a place where there are many fat beasts. Here the natives were met with in large numbers, but they were gentle and kind, and having spent some time with them, LaSalle determined to erect another fort in that place, for he had heard rumors that some of the adjoining tribes were trying to disturb the good feeling which existed, and some of his men were disposed to complain, owing to the hardships and perils of the travel.
He called this fort " Orevecoeur'''' (broken-heart), a name expressive of the very natural sorrow and anxiety which the pretty certain loss of his ship. Griffin, and his consequent impoverishment, the danger of hostility on the part of the Indians, and of mutiny among his own men, might well cause him. His fears were not entirely groundless. At one time poison was placed in his food, but fortunately was discovered.
While building this fort, the Winter wore away, the prairies began to look green, and LaSalle, despairing of any reinforcements, concluded to return to Canada, raise new means and new men, and embark anew in the enterprise. For this purpose he made Hennepin the leader of a party to explore the head waters of the Mississippi, and he set out on his journey. This journey was accomplished with the aid of a few persons, and was successfully made, though over an almost unknown route, and in a bad season of the year. He safely reached Canada, and set out again for the object of his search.
Hennepin and his party left Fort Crevecoeur on the last of February, 1680. When LaSalle reached this place on his return expedition, he found the fort entirely deserted, and he was obliged to return again to Canada. He embarked the third time, and succeeded. Seven days after leaving the fort, Hennepin reached the Mississippi, and paddling up the icy stream as best he could, reached no higher than the Wisconsin River by the 11th of April. Here he and his followers were taken prisoners by a band of Northern Indians, who treated them with great kindness. Hennepin's comrades were Anthony Auguel and Michael Ako. On this voyage they found several beautiful lakes, and " saw some charming prairies."
Their captors were the Isaute or Sauteurs, Chippewas, a tribe of the Sioux nation, who took them up the river until about the first of May, when they reached some falls, which Hennepin christened Falls of St. Anthony in honor of his patron saint. Here they took the land, and traveling nearly two hundred miles to the northwest, brought them to their villages. Here they were kept about three months, were treated kindly by their captors, and at the end of that time, were met by a band of Frenchmen, headed by one Seur de Luth, who, in pursuit of trade and game, had penetrated thus far by the route of Lake Superior; and with these fellowcountrymen Hennepin and his companions were allowed to return to the borders of civilized life in November, 1680, just after LaSalle had returned to the wilderness on his second trip. Hennepin soon after went to France, where he published an account of his adventures.
The Mississippi was first discovered by De Soto in April, 1541, in his vain endeavor to find gold and precious gems. In the following Spring, De Soto, weary with hope long deferred, and worn out with his wanderings, fell a victim to disease, and on the 21st of May died. His followers, reduced by fatigue and disease to less than three hundred men, wandered about the country nearly a year, in the vain endeavor to rescue themselves by land, and finally constructed seven small vessels, called brigantines, in which they embarked, and descending the river, supposing it would lead them to the sea, in July they came to the sea (Gulf of Mexico), and by September reached the Island of Cuba.
They were the first to see the great outlet of the Mississippi; but, being so weary and discouraged, made no attempt to claim the country, and hardly had an intelligent idea of what they had passed through.
To La Salle, the intrepid explorer, belongs the honor of giving the first account of the mouths of the river. His great desire was to possess this entire country for his king, and in January, 1682, he and his band of explorers left the shores of Lake Michigan on their third attempt, crossed the Portage, passed down the Illinois River, and on the 6th of February reached the banks of the Mississippi.
the 13th they commenced their downward course, which they pursued with
but one interruption, until upon the 6th of March they discovered the
three great passages by which the river discharges its waters into the
gulf. La Salle thus narrates the event:
"We landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three leagues (nine miles) from its mouth. On the seventh, M. de La Salle went to reconnoiter the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonti meanwhile examined the great middle channel. They found the main outlets beautiful, large and deep. On the eighth we reascended the river, a little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry place beyond the reach of inundations. The elevation of the North Pole was here about twenty-seven degrees. Here we prepared a column and a cross, and to the column were affixed the arms of France with this inscription:
"Louis Le Grand, Roi de France et de Navarre, regne; Le neuvieme April, 1682."
The whole party, under arms, chanted the Te Deum, and then, after a salute and cries of " Vive le Hoi" the column was erected by M. de La Salle, who, standing near it, proclaimed in a loud voice the authority of the King of France. La Salle returned and laid the foundations of the Mississippi settlements in Illinois; thence he proceeded to France, where another expedition was fitted out, of which he was commander, and in two succeeding voyages failed to find the outlet of the river by sailing along the shore of the gulf. On the third voyage he was killed, through the treachery of his followers, and the object of his expeditions was not accomplished until 1699, when D'Iberville, under the authority of the crown, discovered, on the second of March, by way of the sea, the mouth of the " Hidden River." This majestic stream was called by the natives " Malbouchia" and by the Spaniards, " la Palissade" from the great number of trees about its mouth. After traversing the several outlets, and satisfying himself as to its certainty, he erected a fort near its western outlet, and returned to France.
An avenue of trade was now opened out which was fully improved. In 1718, New Orleans was laid out and settled by some European colonists. In 1762, the colony was made over to Spain, to be regained by France under the consulate of Napoleon. In 1803, it was purchased by the United States for the sum of fifteen million dollars, and the territory of Louisiana and commerce of the Mississippi River came under the charge of the United States. Although LaSalle's labors ended in defeat and death, he had not worked and suffered in vain. He had thrown open to France and the world an immense and most valuable country; had established several ports, and laid the foundations of more than one settlement there. " Peoria, Kaskaskia and Cahokia, are to this day monuments of LaSalle's labors; for, though he had founded neither of them (unless Peoria, which was built nearly upon the site of Fort Crevecceur,) it was by those whom he led into the West that these places were peopled and civilized. He was, if not the discoverer, the first settler of the Mississippi Valley, and as such deserves to be known and honored."
The French early improved the opening made for them. Before the year 1698, the Rev. Father Gravier began a mission among the Illinois, and founded Kaskaskia. For some time this was merely a missionary station, where none but natives resided, it being one of three such villages, the other two being Cahokia and Peoria. What is known of these missions is learned from a letter written by Father Gabriel Marest, dated " Aux Cascaskias, autrement dit de lTmmaculate Conception de la Sainte Vierge, le 9 Noveinbre, 1712." Soon after the founding of Kaskaskia, the missionary, Pinet, gathered a flock at Cahokia, while Peoria arose near the ruins of Fort Crevecceur. This must have been about the year 1700. The post at Vincennes on the Oubache river, (pronounced Wa-ba, meaning summer cloud moving swiftly} was established in 1702, according to the best authorities. [There is considerable dispute about this date, some asserting it was founded as late as 1742. When the new court house at Vincennes was erected, all authorities on the subject were, carefully examined, and 1702 fixed upon as the correct date. It was accordingly engraved on the corner-stone of the court house.] It is altogether probable that on LaSalle's last trip he established the stations at Kaskaskia and Cahokia. In July, 1701, the foundations of Fort Ponchartrain were laid by De la Motte Cadillac on the Detroit River. These stations, with those established further north, were the earliest attempts to occupy the Northwest Territory. At the same time efforts were being made to occupy the Southwest, which finally culminated in the settlement and founding of the City of New Orleans by a colony from England in 1718. This was mainly accomplished through the efforts of the famous Mississippi Company, established by the notorious John Law, who so quickly arose into prominence in France, and who with his scheme so quickly and so ignominiously passed away.
From the time of the founding of these stations for fifty years the French nation were engrossed with the settlement of the lower Mississippi, and the war with the Chicasaws, who had, in revenge for repeated injuries, cut off the entire colony at Natchez. Although the company did little for Louisiana, as the entire West was then called, yet it opened the trade through the Mississippi River, and started the raising of grains indigenous to that climate. Until the year 1750, but little is known of the settlements in the Northwest, as it was not until this time that the attention of the English was called to the occupation of this portion of the New World, which they then supposed they owned.
Vivier, a missionary among the Illinois, writing from " Aux Illinois," six leagues from Fort Chartres, June 8, 1750, says: "We have here whites, negroes and Indians, to say nothing of cross-breeds. There are five French villages, and three villages of the natives, within a space of twenty-one leagues situated between the Mississippi and another river called the Karkadaid (Kaskaskias). In the five French villages are, perhaps, eleven hundred whites, three hundred blacks and some sixty red slaves or savages. The three Illinois towns do not contain more than eight hundred souls all told. Most of the French till the soil; they raise wheat, cattle, pigs and horses, and live like princes. Three times as much is produced as can be consumed; and great quantities of grain and flour are sent to New Orleans."
This city was now the seaport town of the Northwest, and save in the extreme northern part, where only furs and copper ore were found, almost all the products of the country found their way to France by the mouth of the Father of Waters. In another letter, dated November 7, 1750, this same priest says: "For fifteen leagues above the mouth of the Mississippi one sees no dwellings, the ground being too low to be habitable. Thence to New Orleans, the lands are only partially occupied. New Orleans contains black, white and red, not more, I think, than twelve hundred persons. To this point come all lumber, bricks, salt-beef, tallow, tar, skins and bear's grease; and above all, pork and flour from the Illinois. These things create some commerce, as forty vessels and more have come hither this year. Above New Orleans, plantations are again met with; the most considerable is a colony of Germans, some ten leagues up the river. At Point Coupee, thirty-five leagues above the German settlement, is a fort. Along here, within five or six leagues, are not less than sixty habitations. Fifty leagues farther up is the Natchez post, where we have a garrison, who are kept prisoners through fear of the Chickasaws. Here and at Point Coupee, they raise excellent tobacco. Another hundred leagues brings us to the Arkansas, where we have also a fort and a garrison for the benefit of the river traders. * * * From the Arkansas to the Illinois, nearly five hundred leagues, there is not a settlement. There should be, however, a fort at the Oubache (Ohio), the only path by which the English can reach the Mississippi. In the Illinois country are numberless mines, but no one to work them as they deserve."
Father Marest, writing from the post at Vincennes in 1812, makes the same observation. Vivier also says: " Some individuals dig lead near the surface and supply the Indians and Canada. Two Spaniards now here, who claim to be adepts, say that our mines are like those of Mexico, and that if we would dig deeper, we should find silver under the lead; and at any rate the lead is excellent. There is also in this country, beyond doubt, copper ore, as from time to time large pieces are found in the streams."
At the close of the year 1750, the French occupied, in addition to the lower Mississippi posts and those in Illinois, one at Du Quesne, one at the Maumee in the country of the Miamis, and one at Sandusky in what may be termed the Ohio Valley. In the northern part of the Northwest they had stations at St. Joseph's on the St. Joseph's of Lake Michigan, at Fort Ponchartrain (Detroit), at Michillimackanac or Massillimacanac, Fox River of Green Bay, and at Sault Ste. Marie. The fondest dreams of LaSalle were now fully realized. The French alone were possessors of this vast realm, basing their claim on discovery and settlement. Another nation, however, was now turning its attention to this extensive country, and hearing of its wealth, began to lay plans for occupying it and for securing the great profits arising therefrom.
The French, however, had another claim to this country, namely, the This " eautiful" river was discovered by Robert Cavalier de LaSalle in 1669, four years before the discovery of the Mississippi by Joliet and Marquette.
While LaSalle was at his trading post on the St. Lawrence, he found leisure to study nine Indian dialects, the chief of which was the Iroquois. He not only desired to facilitate his intercourse in trade, but he longed to travel and explore the unknown regions of the West. An incident soon occurred which decided him to fit out an exploring expedition.
While conversing with some Senecas, he learned of a river called the Ohio, which rose in their country and flowed to the sea, but at such a distance that it required eight months to reach its mouth. In this statement the Mississippi and its tributaries were considered as one stream. LaSalle believing, as most of the French at that period did, that the great rivers flowing west emptied into the Sea of California, was anxious to embark in the enterprise of discovering a route across the continent to the commerce of China and Japan.
He repaired at once to Quebec to obtain the approval of the Governor. His eloquent appeal prevailed. The Governor and the Intendant, Talon, issued letters patent authorizing the enterprise, but made no provision to defray the expenses. At this juncture the seminary of St. Sulpice decided to send out missionaries in connection with the expedition, and LaSalle offering to sell his improvements at LaChine to raise money, the offer was accepted by the Superior, and two thousand eight hundred dollars were raised, with which LaSalle purchased four canoes and the necessary supplies for the outfit.
On the 6th of July, 1669, the party, numbering twenty-four persons, embarked in seven canoes on the St. Lawrence; two additional canoes carried the Indian guides. In three days they were gliding over the bosom of Lake Ontario. Their guides conducted them directly to the Seneca village on the bank of the Genesee, in the vicinity of the present City of Rochester, New York. Here they expected to procure guides to conduct them to the Ohio, but in this they were disappointed.
The Indians seemed unfriendly to the enterprise. LaSalle suspected that the Jesuits had prejudiced their minds against his plans. After waiting a month in the hope of gaining their object, they met an Indian from the Iroquois colony at the head of Lake Ontario, who assured them that they could there find guides, and offered to conduct them thence.
On their way they passed the mouth of the Niagara River, when they heard for the first time the distant thunder of the cataract. Arriving among the Iroquois, they met with a friendly reception, and learned from a Shawanee prisoner that they could reach the Ohio in six weeks. Delighted with the unexpected good fortune, they made ready to resume their journey; but just as they were about to start they heard of the arrival of two Frenchmen in a neighboring village. One of them proved to be Louis Joliet, afterwards famous as an explorer in the West. He had been sent by the Canadian Government to explore the copper mines on Lake Superior, but had failed, and was on his way back to Quebec. He gave the missionaries a map of the country he had explored in the lake region, together with an account of the condition of the Indians in that quarter. This induced the priests to determine on leaving the expedition and going to Lake Superior. LaSalle warned them that the Jesuits were probably occupying that field, and that they would meet with a cold reception. Nevertheless they persisted in their purpose, and after worship on the lake shore, parted from LaSalle. On arriving at Lake Superior, they found, as LaSalle had predicted, the Jesuit Fathers, Marquette and Dablon, occupying the field.
These zealous disciples of Loyola informed them that they wanted no assistance from St. Sulpice, nor from those who made him their patron saint; and thus repulsed, they returned to Montreal the following June without having made a single discovery or converted a single Indian.
After parting with the priests, LaSalle went to the chief Iroquois village at Onondaga, where he obtained guides, and passing thence to a tributary of the Ohio south of Lake Erie, he descended the latter as far as the falls at Louisville. Thus was the Ohio discovered by LaSalle, the persevering and successful French explorer of the West, in 1669.
The account of the latter part of his journey is found in an anonymous paper, which purports to have been taken from the lips of LaSalle himself during a subsequent visit to Paris. In a letter written to Count Frontenac in 1667, shortly after the discovery, he himself says that he discovered the Ohio and descended it to the falls. This was regarded as an indisputable fact by the French authorities, who claimed the Ohio Valley upon another ground. When Washington was sent by the colony of Virginia in 1753, to demand of Gordeur de St. Pierre why the French had built a fort on the Monongahela, the haughty commandant at Quebec replied: " We claim the country on the Ohio by virtue of the discoveries of LaSalle, and will not give it up to the English. Our orders are to make prisoners of every Englishman found trading in the Ohio Valley."
EXPLORATIONS AND SETTLEMENTS.
When the new year of 1750 broke in upon the Father of Waters and the Great Northwest, all was still wild save at the French posts already described. In 1749, when the English first began to think seriously about sending men into the West, the greater portion of the States of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were yet under the dominion of the red men. The English knew, however, pretty conclusively of the nature of the wealth of these wilds. As early as 1710, Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, had commenced movements to secure the country west of the Alleghenies to the English crown. In Pennsylvania, Governor Keith and James Logan, secretary of the province, from 1719 to 1731, represented to the powers of England the necessity of securing the Western lands. Nothing was done, however, by that power save to take some diplomatic steps to secure the claims of Britain to this unexplored wilderness.
England had from the outset claimed from the Atlantic to the Pacific, on the ground that the discovery of the seacoast and its possession was a discovery and possession of the country, and, as is well known, her grants to the colonies extended " from sea to sea." This was not all her claim. She had purchased from the Indian tribes large tracts of land. This latter was also a strong argument. As early as 1684, Lord Howard, Governor of Virginia, held a treaty with the six nations. These were the great Northern Confederacy, and comprised at first the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. Afterward the Tuscaroras were taken into the confederacy, and it became known as the Six Nations.
They came under the protection of the mother country, and again in 1701, they repeated the agreement, and in September, 1726, a formal deed was drawn up and signed by the chiefs. The validity of this claim has often been disputed, but never successfully. In 1744, a purchase was made at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, of certain lands within the " Colony of Virginia," for which the Indians received <£200 in gold and a like sum in goods, with a promise that, as settlements increased, more should be paid. The Commissioners from Virginia were Colonel Thomas Lee and Colonel William Beverly. As settlements extended, the promise of more pay was called to mind, and Mr. Conrad Weiser was sent across the mountains with presents to appease the savages. Col. Lee, and some Virginians accompanied him with the intention of sounding the Indians upon their feelings regarding the English. They were not satisfied with their treatment, and plainly told the Commissioners why.
The English did not desire the cultivation of the country, but the monopoly of the Indian trade. In 1748, the Ohio Company was formed, and petitioned the king for a grant of land beyond the Alleghenies. This was granted, and the government of Virginia was ordered to grant to them a half million acres, two hundred thousand of which were to be located at once. Upon the 12th of June, 1749, 800,000 acres from the line of Canada north and west was made to the Loyal Company, and on the 29th of October, 1751, 100,000 acres were given to the Greenbriar Company. All this time the French were not idle. They saw that, should the British gain a foothold in the West, especially upon the Ohio, they might not only prevent the French settling upon it, but in time would come to the lower posts and so gain possession of the whole country. Upon the 10th of May, 1774, Vaudreuil, Governor of Canada and the French possessions, well knowing the consequences that must arise from allowing the English to build trading posts in the Northwest, seized some of their frontier posts, and to further secure the claim of the French to the West, he, in 1749, sent Louis Celeron with a party of soldiers to plant along the Ohio River, in the mounds and at the mouths of its principal tributaries, plates of lead, on which were inscribed the claims of France. These were heard of in 1752, and within the memory of residents now living along the " Oyo," as the beautiful river was called by the French.
One of these plates was found with the inscription partly defaced. It bears date August 16, 1749, and a copy of the inscription with particular account of the discovery of the plate, was sent by DeWitt Clinton to the American Antiquarian Society, among whose journals it may now be found.* These measures did not, however, deter the English from going on with their explorations, and though neither party resorted to arms, yet the conflict was gathering, and it was only a question of time when the storm would burst upon the frontier settlements. In 1750, Christopher Gist was sent by the Ohio Company to examine its lands. He went to a village of the Twigtwees, on the Miami, about one hundred and fifty miles above its mouth. He afterward spoke of it as very populous. From there he went down the Ohio River nearly to the falls at the present City of Louisville, and in November he commenced a survey of the Company's lands.
During the Winter, General Andrew Lewis performed a similar work for the Greenbriar Company. Meanwhile the French were busy in preparing their forts for defense, and in opening roads, and also sent a small party of soldiers to keep the Ohio clear. This party, having heard of the English post on the Miami River, early in 1652, assisted by the Ottawas and Chippewas, attacked it, and, after a severe battle, in which fourteen of the natives were killed and others wounded, captured the garrison. (They were probably garrisoned in a block house). The traders were carried away to Canada, and one account says several were burned. This fort or post was called by the English Pickawillany. A memorial of the king's ministers refers to it as " Pickawillanes, in the center of the territory between the Ohio and the Wabash. The name is probably some variation of Pickaway or Picqua in 1773, written by Rev. David Jones Pickaweke."
* The following is a translation of the inscription on the plate: "In the year 1749. reign of Louis XV., King of France, we, Celeron, commandant of a detachment by Monsieur the Marquis of Gallisoniere, commander-in-chief of New France, to establish tranquility in certain Indian villages of these cantons, have buried this plate at the confluence of the Toradakoin, this twenty- ninth of July, near the river Ohio, otherwise Beautiful River, as a monument of renewal of possession which we have taken of the said river, and all its tributaries; inasmuch as the preceding Kings of France have enjoyed it, and maintained it by their arms and treaties; especially by those of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix La Chapelle."
This was the first blood shed between the French and English, and occurred near the present City of Piqua, Ohio, or at least at a point about forty-seven miles north of Dayton. Each nation became now more interested in the progress of events in the Northwest. The English determined to purchase from the Indians a title to the lands they wished to occupy, and Messrs. Fry (afterward Commander-in-chief over Washington at the commencement of the French War of 1775-1763), Lomax and Patton were sent in the Spring of 1752 to hold a conference with the natives at Logstown to learn what they objected to in the treaty of Lancaster already noticed, and to settle all difficulties. On the 9th of June, these Commissioners met the red men at Logstown, a little village on the north bank of the Ohio, about seventeen miles below the site of Pittsburgh. Here had been a trading point for many years, but it was abandoned by the Indians in 1750. At first the Indians declined to recognize the treaty of Lancaster, but, the Commissioners taking aside Montour, the interpreter, who was a son of the famous Catharine Montour, and a chief among the six nations, induced him to use his influence in their favor. This he did, and upon the 13th of June they all united in signing a deed, confirming the Lancaster treaty in its full extent, consenting to a settlement of the southeast of the Ohio, and guaranteeing that it should not be disturbed by them. These were the means used to obtain the first treaty with the Indians in the Ohio Valley.
Meanwhile the powers beyond the sea were trying to out-manceuvre each other, and were professing to be at peace. The English generally outwitted the Indians, and failed in many instances to fulfill their contracts. They thereby gained the ill-will of the red men, and further increased the feeling by failing to provide them with arms and ammunition. Said an old chief, at Easton, in 1758: " The Indians on the Ohio left you because of your own fault. When we heard the French were coming, we asked you for help and arms, but we did not get them. The French came, they treated us kindly, and gained our affections. The Governor of Virginia settled on our lands for his own benefit, and, when we wanted help, forsook us."
At the beginning of 1653, the English thought they had secured by title the lands in the West, but the French had quietly gathered cannon and military stores to be in readiness for the expected blow. The English made other attempts to ratify these existing treaties, but not until the Summer could the Indians be gathered together to discuss the plans of the French. They had sent messages to the French, warning them away; but they replied that they intended to complete the chain of forts already begun, and would not abandon the field.
Soon after this, no satisfaction being obtained from the Ohio regarding the positions and purposes of the French, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia determined to send to them another messenger and learn from them, if possible, their intentions. For this purpose he selected a young man, a surveyor, who, at the early age of nineteen, had received the rank of major, and who was thoroughly posted regarding frontier life. This personage was no other than the illustrious George Washington, who then held considerable interest in Western lands. He was at this time just twenty-two years of age. Taking Gist as his guide, the two, accompanied by four servitors, set out on their perilous march. They left Will's Creek on the 10th of November, 1753, and on the 22d reached the Monongahela, about ten miles above the fork. From there they went to Logstown, where Washington had a long conference with the chiefs of the Six Nations. From them he learned the condition of the French, and also heard of their determination not to come down the river till the following Spring.
The Indians were non-committal, as they were afraid to turn either way, and, as far as they could, desired to remain neutral. Washington, finding nothing could be done with them, went on to Venango, an old Indian town at the mouth of French Creek. Here the French had a fort, called Fort Machault. Through the rum and flattery of the French, he nearly lost all his Indian followers. Finding nothing of importance here, he pursued his way amid great privations, and on the 11th of December reached the fort at the head of French Creek. Here he delivered Governor Dinwiddie's letter, received his answer, took his observations, and on the 16th set out upon his return journey with no one but Gist, his guide, and a few Indians who still remained true to him, notwithstanding the endeavors of the French to retain them. Their homeward journey was one of great peril and suffering from the cold, yet they reached home in safety on the 6th of January, 1754.
From the letter of St. Pierre, commander of the French fort, sent by Washington to Governor Dinwiddie, it was learned that the French would not give up without a struggle. Active preparations were at once made in all the English colonies for the coming conflict, while the French finished the fort at Venango and strengthened their lines of fortifications, and gathered their forces to be in readiness.
The Old Dominion was all alive. Virginia was the center of great activities; volunteers were called for, and from all the neighboring colonies men rallied to the conflict, and everywhere along the Potomac men were enlisting under the Governor's proclamation which promised two hundred thousand acres on the Ohio. Along this river they were gathering as far as Will's Creek, and far beyond this point, whither Trent had come for assistance for his little band of forty-one men, who were working away in hunger and want, to fortify that point at the fork of the Ohio, to which both parties were looking with deep interest.
"The first birds of Spring filled the air with their song; the swift river rolled by the Allegheny hillsides, swollen by the melting snows of Spring and the April showers. The leaves were appearing; a few Indian scouts were seen, but no enemy seemed near at hand; and all was so quiet, that Frazier, an old Indian scout and trader, who had been left by Trent in command, ventured to his home at the mouth of Turtle Creek, ten miles up the Monongahela. But, though all was so quiet in that wilderness, keen eyes had seen the low intrenchment rising at the fork, and swift feet had borne the news of it up the river; and upon the morning of the 17th of April, Ensign Ward, who then had charge of it, saw upon the Allegheny a sight that made his heart sink sixty batteaux and three hundred canoes filled with men, and laden deep with cannon and stores. * * * That evening he supped with his captor, Contrecoeur, and the next day he was bowed off by the Frenchman, and with his men and tools, marched up the Monongahela."
The French and Indian war had begun. The treaty of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, had left the boundaries between the French and English possessions unsettled, and the events already narrated show the French were determined to hold the country watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries; while the English laid claims to the country by virtue of the discoveries of the Cabots, and claimed all the country from Newfoundland to Florida, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The first decisive blow had now been struck, and the first attempt of the English, through the Ohio Company, to occupy these lands, had resulted disastrously to them. The French and Indians immediately completed the fortifications begun at the Fork, which they had so easily captured and when completed gave to the fort the name of DuQuesne. Washington was at Will's Creek when the news of the capture of the fort arrived. He at once departed to recapture it. On his way he entrenched him self at a place called the " Meadows," where he erected a fort called by him Fort Necessity. From there he surprised and captured a force of French and Indians marching against him, but was soon after attacked in his fort by a much superior force, and was obliged to yield on the morning of July 4th. He was allowed to return to Virginia.
The English Government immediately planned four campaigns; one against Fort DuQuesne; one against Nova Scotia; one against Fort Niagara, and one against Crown Point. These occurred during 1755-6, and were not successful in driving the French from their possessionsThe expedition against Fort DuQuesne was led by the famous General Braddock, who, refusing to listen to the advice of Washington and those acquainted with Indian warfare, suffered such an inglorious defeat. This occurred on the morning of July 9th, and is generally known as the battle of Monongahela, or " Braddock's Defeat."
The war continued with various vicissitudes through the years 1756-7; when, at the commencement of 1758, in accordance with the plans of William Pitt, then Secretary of State, afterwards Lord Chatham, active preparations were made to carry on the war. Three expeditions were planned for this year: one, under General Amherst, against Louisburg; another, under Abercrombie, against Fort Ticonderoga; and a third, under General Forbes, against Fort DuQuesne. On the 26th of July, Louisburg surrendered after a desperate resistance of more than forty days, and the eastern part of the Canadian possessions fell into the hands of the British. Abercrombie captured Fort Frontenac, and when the expedition against Fort DuQuesne, of which Washington had the active command, arrived there, it was found in flames and deserted. The English at once took possession, rebuilt the fort, and in honor of their illustrious statesman, changed the name to Fort Pitt.
The great object of the campaign of 1759, was the reduction of Canada. General Wolfe was to lay siege to Quebec; Amherst was to reduce Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and General Prideaux was to capture Niagara. This latter place was taken in July, but the gallant Prideaux lost his life in the attempt. Amherst captured Ticonderoga and Crown Point without a blow; and Wolfe, after making the memorable ascent to the Plains of Abraham, on September 13th, defeated Montcalm, and on the 18th, the city capitulated. In this engagement Montcolm and Wolfe both lost their lives. De Levi, Montcalm's successor, marched to Sillery, three miles above the city, with the purpose of defeating the English, and there, on the 28th of the following April, was fought one of the bloodiest battles of the French and Indian War. It resulted in the defeat of the French, and the fall of the City of Montreal.
The Governor signed a capitulation by which the whole of Canada was surrendered to the English. This practically concluded the war, but it was not until 1763 that the treaties of peace between France and England were signed. This was done on the 10th of February of that year, and under its provisions all the country east of the Mississippi and north of the Iberville River, in Louisiana, were ceded to England. At the same time Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain.
On the 13th of September, 1760, Major Robert Rogers was sent from Montreal to take charge of Detroit, the only remaining French post in the territory. He arrived there on the 19th of November, and summoned the place to surrender. At first the commander of the post, Beletre. refused, but on the 29th, hearing of the continued defeat of the French arms, surrendered. Rogers remained there until December 23d under the personal protection of the celebrated chief, Pontiac, to whom, no doubt, he owed his safety. Pontiac had come here to inquire the purposes of the English in taking possession of the country. He was assured that they came simply to trade with the natives, and did not desire their country. This answer conciliated the savages, and did much to insure the safety of Rogers and his party during their stay, and while on their journey home.
Rogers set out for Fort Pitt on December 23, and was just one month on the way. His route was from Detroit to Maumee, thence across the present State of Ohio directly to the fort. This was the common trail of the Indians in their journeys from Sandusky to the fork of the Ohio. It went from Fort Sandusky, where Sandusky City now is, crossed the Huron river, then called Bald Eagle Creek, to " Mohickon John's Town " on Mohickon Creek, the northern branch of White Woman's River, and thence crossed to Beaver's Town, a Delaware town on what is now Sandy Creek. At Beaver's Town were probably one hundred and fifty warriors, and not less than three thousand acres of cleared land. From there the track went up Sandy Creek to and across Big Beaver, and up the Ohio to Logstown, thence on to the fork.
The Northwest Territory was now entirely under the English rule. New settlements began to be rapidly made, and the promise of a large trade was speedily manifested. Had the British carried out their promises with the natives none of those savage butcheries would have been perpetrated, and the country would have been spared their recital.
The renowned chief, Pontiac, was one of the leading spirits in these atrocities. We will now pause in our narrative, and notice the leading events in his life. The earliest authentic information regarding this noted Indian chief is learned from an account of an Indian trader named Alexander Henry, who, in the Spring of 1761, penetrated his domains as far as Missillimacnac. Pontiac was then a great friend of the French, but a bitter foe of the English, whom he considered as encroaching on his hunting grounds. Henry was obliged to disguise himself as a Canadian to insure safety, but was discovered by Pontiac, who bitterly reproached him and the English for their attempted subjugation of the West. He declared that no treaty had been made with them; no presents sent them, and that he would resent any possession of the West by that nation.
He was at the time about fifty years of age, tall and dignified, and was civil and military ruler of the Ottawas, Ojibwas and Pottawatamies.
The Indians, from Lake Michigan to the borders of North Carolina, were united in this feeling, and at the time of the treaty of Paris, ratified February 10, 1763, a general conspiracy was formed to fall suddenly upon the frontier British posts, and with one blow strike every man dead. Pontiac was the marked leader in all this, and was the commander of the Chippewas, Ottawas, Wyandots, Miamis, Shawanese, Delawares and Mingoes, who had, for the time, laid aside their local quarrels to unite in this enterprise.
The blow came, as near as can now be ascertained, on May 7, 1768. Nine British posts fell, and the Indians drank, " scooped up in the hollow of joined hands," the blood of many a Briton.
Pontiac's immediate field of action was the garrison at Detroit. Here, however, the plans were frustrated by an Indian woman disclosing the plot the evening previous to his arrival. Everything was carried out, however, according to Pontiac's plans until the moment of action, when Major Gladwyn, the commander of the post, stepping to one of the Indian chiefs, suddenly drew aside his blanket and disclosed the concealed musket. Pontiac, though a brave man, turned pale and trembled. He saw his plan was known, and that the garrison were prepared. He endeavored to exculpate himself from any such intentions; but the guilt was evident, and he and his followers were dismissed with a severe reprimand, and warned never to again enter the walls of the post.
Pontiac at once laid siege to the fort, and until the treaty of peace between the British and the Western Indians, concluded in August, 1764, continued to harass and besiege the fortress. He organized a regular commissariat department, issued bills of credit written out on bark, which, to his credit, it may be stated, were punctually redeemed. At the conclusion of the treaty, in which it seems he took no part, he went further south, living many years among the Illinois.
He had given up all hope of saving his country and race. After a time he endeavored to unite the Illinois tribe and those about St. Louis in a war with the whites. His efforts were fruitless, and only ended in a quarrel between himself and some Kaskaskia Indians, one of whom soon afterwards killed him. His death was, however, avenged by the northern Indians, who nearly exterminated the Illinois in the wars which followed.
Had it not been for the treachery of a few of his followers, his plan for the extermination of the whites, a masterly one, would undoubtedly have been carried out.
It was in the Spring of the year following Rogers' visit that Alexander Henry went to Missillimacnac, and everywhere found the strongest feelings against the English, who had not carried out their promises, and were doing nothing to conciliate the natives. Here he met the chief, Pontiac, who, after conveying to him in a speech the idea that their French father would awake soon and utterly destroy his enemies, said: " Englishman, although you have conquered the French, you have not yet conquered us! We are not your slaves! These lakes, these woods, these mountains, were left us by our ancestors. They are our inheritance, and we will part with them to none. Your nation supposes that we, like the white people, can not live without bread and pork and beef. But you ought to know that He, the Great Spirit and Master of Life, has provided food for us upon these broad lakes and in these mountains."
He then spoke of the fact that no treaty had been made with them, no presents sent them, and that he and his people were yet for war. Such were the feelings of the Northwestern Indians immediately after the English took possession of their country. These feelings were no doubt encouraged by the Canadians and French, who hoped that yet the French arms might prevail. The treaty of Paris, however, gave to the English the right to this vast domain, and active preparations were going on to occupy it and enjoy its trade and emoluments.
In 1762, France, by a secret treaty, ceded Louisiana to Spain, to prevent it falling into the hands of the English, who were becoming masters of the entire West. The next year the treaty of Paris, signed at Fontainbleau, gave to the English the domain of the country in question. Twenty years after, by the treaty of peace between the United States and England, that part of Canada lying south and west of the Great Lakes, comprehending a large territory which is the subject of these sketches, was acknowledged to be a portion of the United States; and twenty years still later, in 1803, Louisiana was ceded by Spain back to France, and by France sold to the United States.
In the half century, from the 'building of the Fort of Crevecceur by LaSalle, in 1680, up to the erection of Fort Chartres, many French settlements had been made in that quarter. These have already been noticed, being those at St. Vincent (Vincennes), Kohokia or Cahokia, Kaskaskia and Prairie du Rocher, on the American Bottom, a large tract of rich alluvial soil in Illinois, on the Mississippi, opposite the site of St. Louis.
By the treaty of Paris, the regions east of the Mississippi, including all these and other towns of the Northwest, were given over to England; but they do not appear to have been taken possession of until 1765, when Captain Stirling, in the name of the Majesty of England, established himself at Fort Chartres bearing with him the proclamation of General Gage, dated December 30, 1764, which promised religious freedom to all Catholics who worshiped here, and a right to leave the country with their effects if they wished, or to remain with the privileges of Englishmen.
It was shortly after the occupancy of the West by the British that the war with Pontiac opened. It is already noticed in the sketch of that chieftain. By it many a Briton lost his life, and many a frontier settlement in its infancy ceased to exist. This was not ended until the year 1764, when, failing to capture Detroit, Niagara and Fort Pitt, his confederacy became disheartened, and, receiving no aid from the French, Pontiac abandoned the enterprise and departed to the Illinois, among whom he afterward lost his life.
As soon as these difficulties were definitely settled, settlers began rapidly to survey the country and prepare for occupation. During the year 1770, a number of persons from Virginia and other British provinces explored and marked out nearly all the valuable lands on the Monongahela and along the banks of the Ohio as far as the Little Kanawha. This was followed by another exploring expedition, in which George Washington was a party. The latter, accompanied by Dr. Craik, Capt. Crawford and others, on the 20th of October, 1770, descended the Ohio from Pittsburgh to the mouth of the Kanawha; ascended that stream about fourteen miles, marked out several large tracts of land, shot several buffalo, which were then abundant in the Ohio Valley, and returned to the fort.
Pittsburgh was at this time a trading post, about which was clustered a village of some twenty houses, inhabited by Indian traders. This same year, Capt. Pittman visited Kaskaskia and its neighboring villages. He found there about sixty-five resident families, and at Cahokia only forty-five dwellings. At Fort Chartres was another small settlement, and at Detroit the garrison were quite prosperous and strong. For a year or two settlers continued to locate near some of these posts, generally Fort Pitt or Detroit, owing to the fears of the Indians, who still maintained some feelings of hatred to the English. The trade from the posts Was quite good, and from those in Illinois large quantities of pork and flour found their way to the New Orleans market. At this time the policy of the British Government was strongly opposed to the extension of the colonies west. In 1763, the King of England forbade, by royal proclamation, his colonial subjects from making a settlement beyond the sources of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean. At the instance of the Board of Trade, measures were taken to prevent the settlement without the limits prescribed, and to retain the commerce within easy reach of Great Britain.
The commander-in-chief of the king's forces wrote in 1769: " In the course of a few years necessity will compel the colonists, should they extend their settlements west, to provide manufactures of some kind for themselves, and when all connection upheld by commerce with the mother country ceases, an independency in their government will soon follow."
In accordance with this policy, Gov. Gage issued a proclamation in 1772, commanding the inhabitants of Vincennes to abandon their settlements and join some of the Eastern English colonies. To this they strenuously objected, giving good reasons therefor, and were allowed to remain. The strong opposition to this policy of Great Britain led to its change, and to such a course as to gain the attachment of the French population. In December, 1773, influential citizens of Quebec petitioned the king for an extension of the boundary lines of that province, which was granted, and Parliament passed an act on June 2, 1774, extending the boundary so as to include the territory lying within the present States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
In consequence of the liberal policy pursued by the British Government toward the French settlers in the West, they were disposed to favor that nation in the war which soon followed with the colonies; but the early alliance between France and America soon brought them to the side of the war for independence.
In 1774, Gov. Dunmore, of Virginia, began to encourage emigration to the Western lands. He appointed magistrates at Fort Pitt under the pretense that the fort was under the government of that commonwealth. One of these justices, John Connelly, who possessed a tract of land in the Ohio Valley, gathered a force of men and garrisoned the fort, calling it Fort Dunmore. This and other parties were formed to select sites for settlements, and often came in conflict with the Indians, who yet claimed portions of the valley, and several battles followed. These ended in the famous battle of Kanawha in July, where the Indians were defeated and driven across the Ohio.
During the years 1775 and 1776, by the operations of land companies and the perseverance of individuals, several settlements were firmly established between the Alleghanies and the Ohio River, and western land speculators were busy in Illinois and on the Wabash. At a council held in Kaskaskia on July 5, 1773, an association of English traders, calling themselves the " Illinois Land Company," obtained from ten chiefs of the Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Peoria tribes two large tracts of land lying on the east side of the Mississippi River south of the Illinois. In 1775, a merchant from the Illinois Country, named Viviat, came to Post Vincennes as the agent of the association called the " Wabash Land Company." On the 8th of October he obtained from eleven Piankeshaw chiefs, a deed for 37,497,600 acres of land. This deed was signed by the grantors, attested by a number of the inhabitants of Vincennes, and afterward recorded in the office of a notary public at Kaskaskia. This and other land companies had extensive schemes for the colonization of the West; but all were frustrated by the breaking out of the Revolution. On the 20th of April, 1780, the two companies named consolidated under the name of the "United Illinois and Wabash Land Company." They afterward made strenuous efforts to have these grants sanctioned by Congress, but all signally failed.
When the War of the Revolution commenced, Kentucky was an unorganized country, though there were several settlements within her borders. In Hutchins' Topography of Virginia, it is stated that at that time "Kaskaskia contained 80 houses, and nearly 1,000 white and black inhabitants the whites being a little the more numerous. Cahokia contains 50 houses and 300 white inhabitants, and 80 negroes. There were east of the Mississippi River, about the year 1771" when these observations were made "300 white men capable of bearing arms, and 230 negroes."
1775 until the expedition of Clark, nothing is recorded and nothing
known of these settlements, save what is contained in a report made
by a committee to Congress in June, 1778. From it the following extract
"Near the mouth of the River Kaskaskia, there is a village which appears to have contained nearly eighty families from the beginning of the late revolution. There are twelve families in a small village at la Prairie du Rochers, and near fifty families at the Kahokia Village. There are also four or five families at Fort Chartres and St. Philips, which is five miles further up the river."
St. Louis had been settled in February, 1764, and at this time contained, including its neighboring towns, over six hundred whites and one hundred and fifty negroes. It must be remembered that all the country west of the Mississippi was now under French rule, and remained so until ceded again to Spain, its original owner, who afterwards sold it and the country including New Orleans to the United States. At Detroit there were, according to Capt. Carver, who was in the Northwest from 1766 to 1768, more than one hundred houses, and the river was settled for more than twenty miles, although poorly cultivated the people being engaged in the Indian trade. This old town has a history, which we will here relate.
It is the oldest town in the Northwest, having been founded by Antoine de Lamotte Cadillac, in 1701. It was laid out in the form of an oblong square, of two acres in length, and an acre and a half in width. As described by A. D. Frazer, who first visited it and became a permanent resident of the place, in 1778, it comprised within its limits that space between Mr. Palmer's store (Conant Block) and Capt. Perkins' house (near the Arsenal building), and extended back as far as the public barn, and was bordered in front by the Detroit River. It was surrounded by oak and cedar pickets, about fifteen feet long, set in the ground, and had four gates east, west, north and south. Over the first three of these gates were block houses provided with four guns apiece, each a six-pounder. Two six-gun batteries were planted fronting the river and in a parallel direction with the block houses. There were four streets running east and west, the main street being twenty feet wide and the rest fifteen feet, while the four streets crossing these at right angles were from ten to fifteen feet in width.
the date spoken of by Mr. Frazer, there was no fort within the enclosure,
but a citadel on the ground corresponding to the present northwest corner
of Jefferson Avenue and Wayne Street. The citadel was inclosed by pickets,
and within it were erected barracks of wood, two stories high, sufficient
to contain ten officers, and also barracks sufficient to contain four
hundred men, and a provision store built of brick. The citadel also
contained a hospital and guard-house. The old town of Detroit, in 1778,
contained about sixty houses, most of them one story, with a few a story
and a half in height. They were all of logs, some hewn and some round.
There was one building of splendid appearance, called the " King's
Palace," two stories high, which stood near the east
gate. It was built for Governor Hamilton, the first governor commissioned by the British. There were two guard-houses, one near the west gate and the other near the Government House. Each of the guards consisted of twenty-four men and a subaltern, who mounted regularly every morning between nine and ten o'clock, Each furnished four sentinels, who were relieved every two hours. There was also an officer of the day, who performed strict duty. Each of the gates was shut regularly at sunset, even wicket gates were shut at nine o'clock, and all the keys were delivered into the hands of the commanding officer. They were opened in the morning at sunrise. No Indian or squaw was permitted to enter town with any weapon, such as a tomahawk or a knife. It was a standing order that the Indians should deliver their arms and instruments of every kind before they were permitted to pass the sentinel, and they were restored to them on their return. No more than twenty-five Indians were allowed to enter the town at any one time, and they were admitted only at the east and west gates. At sundown the drums beat, and all the Indians were required to leave town instantly. There was a council house near the water side for the purpose of holding council with the Indians. The population of the town was about sixty families, in all about two hundred males and one hundred females. This town was destroyed by fire, all except one dwelling, in 1805. After which the present "new" town was laid out.
On the breaking out of the Revolution, the British held every post of importance in the West. Kentucky was formed as a component part of Virginia, and the sturdy pioneers of the West, alive to their interests, and recognizing the great benefits of obtaining the control of the trade in this part of the New World, held steadily to their purposes, and those within the commonwealth of Kentucky proceeded to exercise their civil privileges, by electing John Todd and Richard Gallaway, burgesses to represent them in the Assembly of the parent state.
Early in September of that year (1777) the first court was held in Harrodsburg, and Col. Bowman, afterwards major, who had arrived in August, was made the commander of a militia organization which had been commenced the March previous. Thus the tree of loyalty was growing. The chief spirit in this far-out colony, who had represented her the year previous east of the mountains, was now meditating a move unequaled in its boldness. He had been watching the movements of the British throughout the Northwest, and understood their whole plan. He saw it was through their possession of the posts at Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, and other places, which would give them constant and easy access to the various Indian tribes in the Northwest, that the British intended to penetrate the country from the north and south, and annihilate the frontier fortresses. This moving, energetic man was Colonel, afterwards General, George Rogers Clark. He knew the Indians were not unanimously in accord with the English, and he was convinced that, could the British be defeated and expelled from the Northwest, the natives might be easily awed into neutrality; and by spies sent for the purpose, he satisfied himself that the enterprise against the Illinois settlements might easily succeed. Having convinced himself of the certainty of the project, he repaired to the Capital of Virginia, which place he reached on November 5th. While he was on his way, fortunately, on October 17th, Burgoyne had been defeated, and the spirits of the colonists greatly encouraged thereby. Patrick Henry was Governor of Virginia, and at once entered heartily into Clark's plans. The same plan had before been agitated in the Colonial Assemblies, but there was no one until Clark came who was sufficiently acquainted with the condition of affairs at the scene of action to be able to guide them.
Clark, having satisfied the Virginia leaders of the feasibility of his plan, received, on the 2d of January, two sets of instructions one secret, the other open the latter authorized him to proceed to enlist seven companies to go to Kentucky, subject to his orders, and to serve three months from their arrival in the West. The secret order authorized him to arm these troops, to procure his powder and lead of General Hand at Pittsburgh, and to proceed at once to subjugate the country.
With these instructions Clark repaired to Pittsburgh, choosing rather to raise his men west of the mountains, as he well knew all were needed in the colonies in the conflict there. He sent Col. W. B. Smith to Hoiston for the same purpose, but neither succeeded in raising the required number of men. The settlers in these parts were afraid to leave their own firesides exposed to a vigilant foe, and but few could be induced to join the proposed expedition. With three companies and several private volunteers, Clark at length commenced his descent of the Ohio, which he navigated as far as the Falls, where he took possession of and fortified Corn Island, a small island between the present Cities of Louisville, Kentucky, and New Albany, Indiana. Remains of this fortification may yet be found. At this place he appointed Col. Bowman to meet him with such recruits as had reached Kentucky by the southern route, and as many as could be spared from the station. Here he announced to the men their real destination. Having completed his arrangements, and chosen his party, he left a small garrison upon the island, and on the 24th of June, during a total eclipse of the sun, which to them augured no good, and which fixes beyond dispute the date of starting, he with his chosen band, fell down the river. His plan was to go by water as far as Fort Massac or Massacre, and thence march direct to Kaskaskia.
Here he intended to surprise the garrison, and after its capture go to Cahokia, then to Vincennes, and lastly to Detroit. Should he fail, he intended to inarch directly to the Mississippi River and cross it into the Spanish country. Before his start he received two good items of information: one that the alliance had been formed between France and the United States; and the other that the Indians throughout the Illinois country and the inhabitants, at the various frontier posts, had been led to believe by the British that the " Long Knives" or Virginians, were the most fierce, bloodthirsty and cruel savages that ever scalped a foe. With this impression on their minds, Clark saw that proper management would cause them to submit at once from fear, if surprised, and then from gratitude would become friendly if treated with unexpected leniency.
The march to Kaskaskia was accomplished through a hot July sun, and the town reached on the evening of July 4. He captured the fort near the village, and soon after the village itself by surprise, and without the loss of a single man or by killing any of the enemy. After sufficiently working upon the fears of the natives, Clark told them they were at perfect liberty to worship as they pleased, and to take whichever side of the great conflict they would, also he would protect them from any barbarity from British or Indian foe. This had the desired effect, and the inhabitants, so unexpectedly and so gratefully surprised by the unlooked for turn of affairs, at once swore allegiance to the American arms, and when Clark desired to go to Cahokia on the 6th of July, they accompanied him, and through their influence the inhabitants of the place surrendered, and gladly placed themselves under his protection. Thus the two important posts in Illinois passed from the hands of the English into the possession of Virginia.
In the person of the priest at Kaskaskia, M. Gibault, Clark found a powerful ally and generous friend. Clark saw that, to retain possession of the Northwest and treat successfully with the Indians within its boundaries, he must establish a government for the colonies he had taken. St. Vincent, the next important post to Detroit, remained yet to be taken before the Mississippi Valley was conquered. M. Gibault told him that he would alone, by persuasion, lead Vincennes to throw off its connection with England. Clark gladly accepted his offer, and on the 14th of July, in company with a fellow-townsman, M. Gibault started on his mission of peace, and on the 1st of August returned with the cheerful intelligence that the post on the "O^ache'' had taken the oath of allegiance to the Old Dominion. During this interval, Clark established his courts, placed garrisons at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, successfully re-enlisted his men, sent word to have a fort, which proved the germ of Louisville, erected at the Falls of the Ohio, and dispatched Mr. Rocheblave, who had been commander at Kaskaskia, as a prisoner of war to Richmond. In October the County of Illinois was established by the Legislature of Virginia, John Todd appointed Lieutenant Colonel and Civil Governor, and in November General Clark and his men received the thanks of the Old Dominion through their Legislature.
In a speech a few days afterward, Clark made known fully to the natives his plans, and at its close all came forward and swore allegiance to the Long Knives. While he was doing this Governor Hamilton, having made his various arrangements, had left Detroit and moved down the Wabash to Vincennes intending to operate from that point in reducing the Illinois posts, and then proceed on down to Kentucky and drive the rebels from the West. Gen. Clark had, on the return of M. Gibault, dispatched Captain Helm, of Fauquier County, Virginia, with an attendant named Henry, across the Illinois prairies to command the fort. Hamilton knew nothing of the capitulation of the post, and was greatly surprised on his arrival to be confronted by Capt. Helm, who, standing at the entrance of the fort by a loaded cannon ready to fire upon his assailants, demanded upon what terms Hamilton demanded possession of the fort. Being granted the rights of a prisoner of war, he surrendered to the British General, who could scarcely believe his eyes when he saw the force in the garrison.
Hamilton, not realizing the character of the men with whom he was contending, gave up his intended campaign for the Winter, sent his four hundred Indian warriors to prevent troops from coming down the Ohio, and to annoy the Americans in all ways, and sat quietly down to pass the Winter. Information of all these proceedings having reached Clark, he saw that immediate and decisive action was necessary, and that unless he captured Hamilton, Hamilton would capture him. Clark received the news on the 29th of January, 1779, and on February 4th, having sufficiently garrisoned Kaskaskia and Cahokia, he sent down the Mississippi a " battoe," as Major Bowman writes it, in order to ascend the Ohio and Wabash, and operate with the land forces gathering for the fray.
On the next day, Clark, with his little force of one hundred and twenty men, set out for the post, and after incredible hard marching through much mud, the ground being thawed by the incessant spring rains, on the 22d reached the fort, and being joined by his " battoe," at once commenced the attack on the post. The aim of the American backwoodsman was unerring, and on the 24th the garrison surrendered to the intrepid boldness of Clark. The French were treated with great kindness, and gladly renewed their allegiance to Virginia. Hamilton was sent as a prisoner to Virginia, where he was kept in close confinement. During his command of the British frontier posts, he had offered prizes to the Indians for all the scalps of Americans they would bring to him, and had earned in consequence thereof the title " Hair-buyer General," by which he was ever afterward known.
Detroit was now without doubt within easy reach of the enterprising Virginian, could he but raise the necessary force. Governor Henry being apprised of this, promised him the needed reinforcement, and Clark concluded to wait until he could capture and sufficiently garrison the posts. Had Clark failed in this bold undertaking, and Hamilton succeeded in uniting the western Indians for the next Spring's campaign, the West would indeed have been swept from the Mississippi to the Allegheny Mountains, and the great blow struck, which had been contemplated from the commencement, by the British.
"But for this small army of dripping, but fearless Virginians, the union of all the tribes from Georgia to Maine against the colonies might have been effected, and the whole current of our history changed."
At this time some fears were entertained by the Colonial Governments that the Indians in the North and Northwest were inclining to the British, and under the instructions of Washington, now Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial army, and so bravely fighting for American independence, armed forces were sent against the Six Nations, and upon the Ohio frontier, Col. Bowman, acting under the same general's orders, marched against Indians within the present limits of that State. These expeditions were in the main successful, and the Indians were compelled to sue for peace.
During this same year (1779) the famous " Land Laws" of Virginia were passed. The passage of these laws was of more consequence to the pioneers of Kentucky and the Northwest than the gaining of a few Indian conflicts. These laws confirmed in main all grants made, and guaranteed to all actual settlers their rights and privileges. After providing for the settlers, the laws provided for selling the balance of the public lands at forty cents per acre. To carry the Land Laws into effect, the Legislature sent four Virginians westward to attend to the various claims, over many of which great confusion prevailed concerning their validity. These gentlemen opened their court on October 13, 1779, at St. Asaphs, and continued until April 26, 1780, when they adjourned, having decided three thousand claims. They were succeeded by the surveyor, who came in the person of Mr. George May, and assumed his duties on the 10th day of the month whose name he bore. With the opening of the next year (1780) the troubles concerning the navigation of the Mississippi commenced. The Spanish Government exacted such measures in relation to its trade as to cause the overtures made to the United States to be rejected. The American Government considered they had a right to navigate its channel. To enforce their claims, a fort was erected below the mouth of the Ohio on the Kentucky side of the river. The settlements in Kentucky were being rapidly filled by emigrants. It was during this year that the first seminary of learning was established in the West in this young and enterprising Commonwealth.
The settlers here did not look upon the building of this fort in a friendly manner, as it aroused the hostility of the Indians. Spain had been friendly to the Colonies during their struggle for independence, and though for a while this friendship appeared in danger from the refusal of the free navigation of the river, yet it was finally settled to the satisfaction of both nations.
The Winter of 1779-80 was one of the most unusually severe ones ever experienced in the West. The Indians always referred to it as the "Great Cold." Numbers of wild animals perished, and not a few pioneers lost their lives. The following Summer a party of Canadians and Indians attacked St. Louis, and attempted to take possession of it in consequence of the friendly disposition of Spain to the revolting colonies. They met with such a determined resistance on the part of the inhabitants, even the women taking part in the battle, that they were compelled to abandon the contest. They also made an attack on the settlements in Kentucky, but, becoming alarmed in some unaccountable manner, they fled the country in great haste.
About this time arose the question in the Colonial Congress concerning the western lands claimed by Virginia, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The agitation concerning this subject finally led New York, on the 19th of February, 1780, to pass a law giving to the delegates of that State in Congress the power to cede her western lands for the benefit of the United States. This law was laid before Congress during the next month, but no steps were taken concerning it until September 6th, when a resolution passed that body calling upon the States claiming western lands to release their claims in favor of the whole body.
This basis formed the union, and was the first after all of those legislative measures which resulted in the creation of the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In December of the same year, the plan of conquering Detroit again arose. The conquest might have easily been effected by Clark had the necessary aid been furnished him. Nothing decisive was done, yet the heads of the Government knew that the safety of the Northwest from British invasion lay in the capture and retention of that important post, the only unconquered one in the territory.
Before the close of the year, Kentucky was divided into the Counties of Lincoln, Fayette and Jefferson, and the act establishing the Town of Louisville was passed. This same year is also noted in the annals of American history as the year in which occurred Arnold's treason to the United States.
Virginia, in accordance with the resolution of Congress, on the 2d day of January, 1781, agreed to yield her western lands to the United States upon certain conditions, which Congress would not accede to, and the Act of Cession, on the part of the Old Dominion, failed, nor was anything farther done until 1783. During all that time the Colonies were busily engaged in the struggle with the mother country, and in consequence thereof but little heed was given to the western settlements. Upon the 16th of April, 1781, the first birth north of the Ohio River of American parentage occurred, being that of Mary Hecke welder, daughter of the widely known Moravian missionary, whose band of Christian Indians suffered in after years a horrible massacre by the hands of the frontier settlers, who had been exasperated by the murder of several of their neighbors, and in their rage committed, without regard to humanity, a deed which forever afterwards cast a shade of shame upon their lives. For this and kindred outrages on the part of the whites, the Indians committed many deeds of cruelty which darken the years of 1771 and 1772 in the history of the Northwest.
During the year 1782 a number of battles among the Indians and frontiersmen occurred, and between the Moravian Indians and the Wyandots. In these, horrible acts of cruelty were practiced on the captives, many of such dark deeds transpiring under the leadership of the notorious frontier outlaw, Simon Girty, whose name, as well as those of his brothers, was a terror to women and children. These occurred chiefly in the Ohio valleys. Contemporary with them were several engagements in Kentucky, in which the famous Daniel Boone engaged, and who, often by his skill and knowledge of Indian warfare, saved the outposts from cruel destruction. By the close of the year victory had perched upon the American banner, and on the 30th of November, provisional articles of peace had been arranged between the Commissioners of England and her unconquerable colonies. Cornwallis had been defeated on the 19th of October preceding, and the liberty of America was assured. On the 19th of April following, the anniversary of the battle of Lexington, peace was proclaimed to the army of the United States, and on the 3d of the next September, the definite treaty which ended our revolutionary struggle was concluded. By the terms of that treaty, the boundaries of the West were as follows: On the north the line was to extend along the center of the Great Lakes; from the western point of Lake Superior to Long Lake; thence to the Lake of the Woods; thence to the head of the Mississippi River; down its center to the 81st parallel of latitude, then on that line east to the head of the Appalachicola River; down its center to its junction with the Flint; thence straight to the head of St. Mary's River, and thence down along its center to the Atlantic Ocean.
[Next there follows an extensive history of the settlement of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, which the webmaster omits.]
All sales go to help support this website.
Stories, Volume 1
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
AND THE WAR OF 1812.
This famous Indian chief was born about the year 1768, not far from the site of the present City of Piqua, Ohio. His father, Puckeshinwa, was a member of the Kisopok tribe of the Swanoese nation, and his mother, Methontaske, was a member of the Turtle tribe of the same people. They removed from Florida about the middle of the last century to the birthplace of Tecumseh. In 1774, his father, who had risen to be chief, was slain at the battle of Point Pleasant, and not long after Tecumseh, by his bravery, became the leader of his tribe. In 1795 he was declared chief, and then lived at Deer Creek, near the site of the present City of Urbana. He remained here about one year, when he returned to Piqua, and in 1798, he went to White River, Indiana. In 1805, he and his brother, Laulewasikan (Open Door), who had announced himself as a prophet, went to a tract of land on the Wabash River, given them by the Pottawatomies and Kickapoos. From this date the chief comes into prominence. He was now about thirty-seven years of age, was five feet and ten inches in height, was stoutly built, and possessed of enormous powers of endurance. His countenance was naturally pleasing, and he was, in general, devoid of those savage attributes possessed by most Indians. It is stated he could read and write, and had a confidential secretary and adviser, named Billy Caldwell, a half-breed, who afterward became chief of the Pottawatomies. He occupied the first house built on the site of Chicago. At this time, Tecumseh entered upon the great work of his life. He had long objected to the grants of land made by the Indians to the whites, and determined to unite all the Indian tribes into a league, in order that no treaties or grants of land could be made save by the consent of this confederation.
He traveled constantly, going from north to south; from the south to the north, everywhere urging the Indians to this step. He was a matchless orator, and his burning words had their effect.
Gen. Harrison, then Governor of Indiana, by watching the movements of the Indians, became convinced that a grand conspiracy was forming, and made preparations to defend the settlements. Tecumseh's plan was similar to Pontiac's, elsewhere described, and to the cunning artifice of that chieftain was added his own sagacity.
During the year 1809, Tecumseh and the prophet were actively preparing for the work. In that year, Gen. Harrison entered into a treaty with the Delawares, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Miamis, Eel River Indians and Weas, in which these tribes ceded to the whites certain lands upon the Wabash, to all of which Tecumseh entered a bitter protest, averring as one principal reason that he did not want the Indians to give up any lands north and west of the Ohio River.
Tecumseh, in August, 1810, visited the General at Vincennes and held a council relating to the grievances of the Indians. Becoming unduly angry at this conference he was dismissed from the village, and soon after departed to incite the southern Indian tribes to the conflict.
Gen. Harrison determined to move upon the chiefs headquarters at Tippecanoe, and for this purpose went about sixty-five miles up the Wabash, where he built Fort Harrison. From this place he went to the prophet's town, where he informed the Indians he had no hostile intentions, provided they were true to the existing treaties. He encamped near the village early in October, and on the morning of November 7, he was attacked by a large force of the Indians, and the famous battle of Tippecanoe occurred. The Indians were routed and their town broken up. Tecumseh returning not long after, was greatly exasperated at his brother, the prophet, even threatening to kill him for rashly precipitating the war, and foiling his (Tecumseh's) plans.
Tecumseh sent word to Gen. Harrison that he was now returned from the South, and was ready to visit the. President as had at one time previously been proposed. Gen. Harrison informed him he could not go as a chief, which method Tecumseh desired, and the visit was never made.
In June of the following year, he visited the Indian agent at Fort Wayne. Here he disavowed any intention to make a war against the United States, and reproached Gen. Harrison for marching against his people. The agent replied to this; Tecumseh listened with a cold indifference, and after making a few general remarks, with a haughty air drew his blanket about him, left the council house, and departed for Fort Maiden, in Upper Canada, where he joined the British standard.
He remained under this Government, doing effective work for the Crown while engaged in the war of 1812 which now opened. He was, however, always humane in his treatment of the prisoners, never allowing his warriors to ruthlessly mutilate the bodies of those slain, or wantonly murder the captive.
In the Summer of 1813, Perry's victory on Lake Erie occurred, and shortly after active preparations were made to capture Maiden. On the 27th of September, the American army, under Gen. Harrison, set sail for the shores of Canada, and in a few hours stood around the ruins of Maiden, from which the British army, under Proctor, had retreated to Sand-wich, intending to make its way to the heart of Canada by the Valley of the Thames. On the 29th Gen. Harrison was at Sandwich, and Gen McArthur took possession of Detroit and the territory of Michigan.
On the 2d of October, the Americans began their pursuit of Proctor, whom they overtook on the 5th, and the battle of the Thames followed. Early in the engagement, Tecumseh who was at the head of the column of Indians was slain, and they, no longer hearing the voice of their chieftain, fled. The victory was decisive, and practically closed the war in the Northwest.
Just who killed the great chief has been a matter of much dispute; but the weight of opinion awards the act to Col. Richard M. Johnson, who fired at him with a pistol, the shot proving fatal.
In 1805 occurred Burr's Insurrection. He took possession of a beautiful island in the Ohio, after the killing of Hamilton, and is charged by many with attempting to set up an independent government. His plans were frustrated by the general government, his property confiscated and he was compelled to flee the country for safety.
In January, 1807, Governor Hull, of Michigan Territory, made a treaty with the Indians, whereby all that peninsula was ceded to the United States. Before the close of the year, a stockade was built about Detroit. It was also during this year that Indiana and Illinois endeavored to obtain the repeal of that section of the compact of 1787, whereby slavery was excluded from the Northwest Territory. These attempts, however, all signally failed.
In 1809 it was deemed advisable to divide the Indiana Territory. This was done, and the Territory of Illinois was formed from the western part, the seat of government being fixed at Kaskaskia. The next year, the intentions of Tecumseh manifested themselves in open hostilities, and then began the events already narrated.
While this war was in progress, emigration to the West went on with surprising rapidity. In 1811, under Mr. Roosevelt of New York, the first steamboat trip was made on the Ohio, much to the astonishment of the natives, many of whom fled in terror at the appearance of the "monster." It arrived at Louisville on the 10th day of October. At the close of the first week of January, 1812, it arrived at Natchez, after being nearly overwhelmed in the great earthquake which occurred while on its downward trip.
The battle of the Thames was fought on October 6, 1813. It effectually closed hostilities in the Northwest, although peace was not fully restored until July 22, 1814, when a treaty was formed at Greenville, under the direction of General Harrison, between the United States and the Indian tribes, in which it was stipulated that the Indians should cease hostilities against the Americans if the war were continued. Such, happily, was not the case, and on the 24th of December the treaty of Ghent was signed by the representatives of England and the United States. This treaty was followed the next year by treaties with various Indian tribes throughout the West and Northwest, and quiet was again restored in this part of the new world.
[Webmaster: more Indiana history omitted]
On the 28th of December the Bank of Illinois, at Shawneetown, was chartered, with a capital of $300,000. At this period all banks were under the control of the States, and were allowed to establish branches at different convenient points.
[Webmaster: more Ohio history omitted]
In 1818, Illinois was made a state, and all the territory north of her northern limits was erected into a separate territory and joined to Michigan for judicial purposes. By the following year, navigation of the lakes was increasing with great rapidity and affording an immense source of revenue to the dwellers in the Northwest, but it was not until 1826 that the trade was extended to Lake Michigan, or that steamships began to navigate the bosom of that inland sea.
Until the year 1832, the commencement of the Black Hawk War, but few hostilities were experienced with the Indians. Roads were opened, canals were dug, cities were built, common schools were established, universities were founded, many of which, especially the Michigan University, have achieved a world wide-reputation. The people were becoming wealthy. The domains of the United States had been extended, and had the sons of the forest been treated with honesty and justice, the record of many years would have been that of peace and continuous prosperity.
HAWK AND THE BLACK HAWK WAR.
This conflict, though confined to Illinois, is an important epoch in the Northwestern history, being the last war with the Indians in this part of the United States.
Ma-ka T tai-me-she-kia-kiah, or Black Hawk, was born in the principal Sac village, about three miles from the junction of Rock River with the Mississippi, in the year 1767. His father's name was Py-e-sa or Pahaes; his grandfather's, Na-na-ma-kee, or the Thunderer. Black Hawk early distinguished himself as a warrior, and at the age of fifteen was permitted to paint and was ranked among the braves. About the year 1783, he went on an expedition against the enemies of his nation, the Osages, one of whom he killed and scalped, and for this deed of Indian bravery he was permitted to join in the scalp dance. Three or four years after he, at the head of two hundred braves, went on another expedition against the Osages, to avenge the murder of some women and children belonging to his own tribe. Meeting an equal number of Osage warriors, a fierce battle ensued, in which the latter tribe lost one-half their number. The Sacs lost only about nineteen warriors. He next attacked the Cherokees for a similar cause. In a severe battle with them, near the present City of St. Louis, his father was slain, and Black Hawk, taking possession of the " Medicine Bag," at once announced himself chief of the Sac nation. He had now conquered the Cherokees, and about the year 1800, at the head of five hundred Sacs and Foxes, and a hundred Iowas, he waged war against the Osage nation and subdued it. For two years he battled successfully with other Indian tribes, all of whom he conquered.
Black Hawk does not at any time seem to have been friendly to the Americans. When on a visit to St. Louis to see his " Spanish Father," he declined to see any of the Americans, alleging, as a reason, he did not want two fathers.
The treaty at St. Louis was consummated in 1804. The next year the United States Government erected a fort near the head of the Des Moines Rapids, called Fort Edwards. This seemed to enrage Black Hawk, who at once determined to capture Fort Madison, standing on the west side of the Mississippi above the mouth of the Des Moines River. The fort was garrisoned by about fifty men. Here he was defeated. The difficulties with the British Government arose about this time, and the War of 1812 followed. That government, extending aid to the Western Indians, by giving them arms and ammunition, induced them to remain hostile to the Americans. In August, 1812, Black Hawk, at the head of about five hundred braves, started to join the British forces at Detroit, passing on his way the site of Chicago, where the famous Fort Dearborn Massacre a few days before occurred. Of his connection with the British eminent but little is known. In 1813 he with his little band descended the Mississippi, and attacking some United States troops at Fort Howard was defeated.
In the early part of 1815, the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi were notified that peace had been declared between the United States and England, and nearly all hostilities had ceased. Black Hawk did not sign any treaty, however, until May of the following year. He then recognized the validity of the treaty at St. Louis in 1804. From the time of signing this treaty in 1816, until the breaking out of the war in 1832, he and his band passed their time in the common pursuits of Indian life.
Ten years before the commencement of this war, the Sac and Fox Indians were urged to join the Iowas on the west bank of the Father of Waters. All were agreed, save the band known as the British Band, of which Black Hawk was leader. He strenuously objected to the removal, and was induced to comply only after being threatened with the power of the Government. This and various actions on the part of the white settlers provoked Black Hawk and his band to attempt the capture of his native village now occupied by the whites. The war followed. He and his actions were undoubtedly misunderstood, and had his wishes been acquiesced in at the beginning of the struggle, much bloodshed would have been prevented.
Black Hawk was chief now of the Sac and Fox nations, and a noted warrior. He and his tribe inhabited a village on Rock River, nearly three miles above its confluence with the Mississippi, where the tribe had lived many generations. When that portion of Illinois was reserved to them, they remained in peaceable possession of their reservation, spending their time in the enjoyment of Indian life. The fine situation of their village and the quality of their lands incited the more lawless white settlers, who from time to time began to encroach upon the red men's domain. From one pretext to another, and from one step to another, the crafty white men gained a foothold, until through whiskey and artifice they obtained deeds from many of the Indians for their possessions. The Indians were finally induced to cross over the Father of Waters and locate among the Iowas. Black Hawk was strenuously opposed to all this, but as the authorities of Illinois and the United States thought this the best move, he was forced to comply. Moreover other tribes joined the whites and urged the removal. Black Hawk would not agree to the terms of the treaty made with his nation for their lands, and as soon as the military, called to enforce his removal, had retired, he returned to the Illinois side of the river. A large force was at once raised and marched against him. On the evening of May 14, 1832, the first engagement occurred between a band from this army and Black Hawk's band, in which the former were defeated.
This attack and its result aroused the whites. A large force of men was raised, and Gen. Scott hastened from the seaboard, by way of the lakes, with United States troops and artillery to aid in the subjugation of the Indians. On the 24th of June, Black Hawk, with 200 warriors, was repulsed by Major Demont between Rock River and Galena. The American army continued to move up Rock River toward the main body of the Indians, and on the 21st of July came upon Black Hawk and his band, and defeated them near the Blue Mounds.
Before this action, Gen. Henry, in command, sent word to the main army by whom he was immediately rejoined, and the whole crossed the Wisconsin in pursuit of Black Hawk and his band who were fleeing to the Mississippi. They were overtaken on the 2d of August, and in the battle which followed the power of the Indian chief was completely broken. He fled, but was seized by the Winnebagoes and delivered to the whites.
On the 21st of September, 1832, Gen. Scott and Gov. Reynolds concluded a treaty with the Winnebagoes, Sacs and Foxes by which they ceded to the United States a vast tract of country, and agreed to remain peaceable with the whites. For the faithful performance of the provisions of this treaty on the part of the Indians, it was stipulated that Black Hawk, his two sons, the prophet Wabokieshiek, and six other chiefs of the hostile bands should be retained as hostages during the pleasure of the President. They were confined at Fort Barracks and put in irons.
The next Spring, by order of the Secretary of War, they were taken to Washington. From there they were removed to Fortress Monroe, "there to remain until the conduct of their nation was such as to justify their being set at liberty." They were retained here until the 4th of June, when the authorities directed them to be taken to the principal cities so that they might see the folly of contending against the white people. Everywhere they were observed by thousands, the name of the old chief being extensively known. By the middle of August they reached Fort Armstrong on Rock Island, where Black Hawk was soon after released to go to his countrymen. As he passed the site of his birthplace, now the home of the white man, he was deeply moved. His village where he was born, where he had so happily lived, and where he had hoped to die, was now another's dwelling place, and he was a wanderer.
On the next day after his release, he went at once to his tribe and his lodge, His wife was yet living, and with her he passed the remainder of his days. To his credit it may be said that Black Hawk always remained true to his wife, and served her with a devotion uncommon among the Indians, living with her upward of forty years.
Black Hawk now passed his time hunting and fishing. A deep melancholy had settled over him from which he could not be freed. At all times when he visited the whites he was received with marked attention. He was an honored guest at the old settlers' reunion in Lee County, Illinois, at some of their meetings, and received many tokens of esteem. In September, 1838, while on his way to Rock Island to receive his annuity from the Government, he contracted a severe cold which resulted in a fatal attack of bilious fever which terminated his life on October 3.
His faithful wife, who was devotedly attached to him, mourned deeply during his sickness. After his death he was dressed in the uniform presented to him by the President while in Washington. He was buried in a grave six feet in depth, situated upon a beautiful eminence. "The body was placed in the middle of the grave, in a sitting posture, upon a seat constructed for the purpose. On his left side, the cane, given him by Henry Clay, was placed upright, with his right hand resting upon it. Many of the old warrior's trophies were placed in the grave, and some Indian garments, together with his favorite weapons.'"
No sooner was the Black Hawk war concluded than settlers began rapidly to pour into the northern parts of Illinois, and into Wisconsin, now free from Indian depredations. Chicago, from a trading post, had grown to a commercial center, and was rapidly coming into prominence. In 1835, the formation of a State Government in Michigan was discussed, but did not take active form until two years later, when the State became a part of the Federal Union.
The main attraction to that portion of the Northwest lying west of Lake Michigan, now included in the State of Wisconsin, was its alluvial wealth. Copper ore was found about Lake Superior. For some time this region was attached to Michigan for judiciary purposes, but in 1835 was made a territory, then including Minnesota and Iowa. The latter State was detached two years later. In 1848, Wisconsin was admitted as a State, Madison being made the capital. We have now traced the various divisions of the Northwest Territory (save a little in Minnesota) from the time it was a unit comprising this vast territory, until circumstances compelled its present division.
CONDITION OF THE NORTHWEST
Preceding chapters have brought us to the close of the Black Hawk war, and we now turn to the contemplation of the growth and prosperity of the Northwest under the smile of peace and the blessings of our civilization. The pioneers of this region date events back to the deep snow of 1831, no one arriving here since that date taking first honors. The inciting cause of the immigration which overflowed the prairies early in the '30s was the reports of the marvelous beauty and fertility of the region distributed through the East by those who had participated in the Black Hawk campaign with Gen. Scott. Chicago and Milwaukee then had a few hundred inhabitants, and Gurdon S. Hubbard's trail from the former city to Kaskaskia led almost through a wilderness. Vegetables and clothing were largely distributed through the regions adjoining the lakes by steamers from the Ohio towns. There are men now living in Illinois who came to the state when barely an acre was in cultivation, and a man now prominent in the business circles of Chicago looked over the swampy, cheerless site of that metropolis in 1818 and went south ward into civilization. Emigrants from Pennsylvania in 1880 left behind them but one small railway in the coal regions, thirty miles in length, and made their way to the Northwest mostly with ox teams, finding in Northern Illinois petty settlements scores of miles apart, although the southern portion of the state was fairly dotted with farms. The water courses of the lakes and rivers furnished transportation to the second great army of immigrants, and about 1850 railroads were pushed to that extent that, the crisis of 1837 was precipitated upon us, from the effects of which the Western country had not fully recovered at the outbreak of the war.
Hostilities found the colonists of the prairies fully alive to the demands of the occasion, and the honor of recruiting the vast armies of the Union fell largely to Gov. Yates, of Illinois, and Gov. Morton, of Indiana. To recount the share of the glories of the campaign won by our Western troops is a needless task, except to mention the fact that Illinois gave to the nation the President who saved it, and sent out at the head of one of its regiments the general who led its armies to the final victory at Appomattox. The struggle, on the whole, had a marked effect for the better on the new Northwest, guiding it an impetus which twenty years of peace would not have produced. In a large degree this prosperity was an inflated one, and with the rest of the Union we have since been compelled to atone therefor by four years of depression of values, of scarcity of employment, and loss of fortune. To a less degree, however, than the manufacturing or mining regions has the West suffered during the prolonged panic now so near its end.
Agriculture, still the leading feature in our industries, has been quite prosperous through all these dark years, and the farmers have cleared away many incumbrances resting over them from the period of fictitious values. The population has steadily increased, the arts and sciences are gaining a stronger foothold, the trade area of the region is becoming daily more extended, and we have been largely exempt from the financial calamities which have nearly wrecked communities on the seaboard dependent wholly on foreign commerce or domestic manufacture.
At the present period there are no great schemes broached for the Northwest, no propositions for government subsidies or national works of improvement, but the capital of the world is attracted hither for the purchase of our products or the expansion of our capacity for serving the nation at large. Anew era is dawning as to transportation, and we bid fair to deal almost exclusively with the increasing and expanding lines of steel rail running through every few miles of territory on the prairies.
The lake marine will no doubt continue to be useful in the warmer season, and to serve as a regulator of freight rates; but experienced navigators forecast the decay of the system in moving to the seaboard the enormous crops of the West. Within the past five years it has become quite common to see direct shipments to Europe and the West Indies going through from the second-class towns along the Mississippi and Missouri.
As to popular education, the standard has of late risen very greatly, and our schools would be creditable to any section of the Union.
More and more as the events of the war pass into obscurity will the fate of the Northwest be linked with that of the Southwest, and the next Congressional apportionment will give the valley of the Mississippi absolute control of the legislation of the nation, and do much toward securing the removal of the Federal capitol to some more central location.
Our public men continue to wield the full share of influence pertaining to their rank in the national autonomy, and seem not to forget that for the past sixteen years they and their constituents have dictated the principles which should govern the country.
In a work like this, destined to lie on the shelves of the library for generations, and not doomed to daily destruction like a newspaper, one can not indulge in the same glowing predictions, the sanguine statements of actualities that fill the columns of ephemeral publications. Time may bring grief to the pet projects of a writer, and explode castles erected on a pedestal of facts. Yet there are unmistakable indications before us of the same radical change in our great Northwest which characterizes its history for the past thirty years. Our domain has a sort of natural geographical border, save where it melts away to the southward in the cattle raising districts of the southwest.
Our prime interest will for some years doubtless be the growth of the food of the world, in which branch it has already outstripped all competitors, and our great rival in this duty will naturally be the fertile plains of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, to say nothing of the new empire so rapidly growing up in Texas. Over these regions there is a continued progress in agriculture and in railway building, and we must look to our laurels. Intelligent observers of events are fully aware of the strides made in the way of shipments of fresh meats to Europe, many of these ocean cargoes being actually slaughtered in the West and transported on ice to the wharves of the seaboard cities. That this new enterprise will continue there is no reason to doubt.
There are in Chicago several factories for the canning of prepared meats for European consumption, and the orders for this class of goods are already immense. English capital is becoming daily more and more dissatisfied with railway loans and investments, and is gradually seeking mammoth outlays in lands and live stock. The stock yards in Chicago, Indianapolis and East St. Louis are yearly increasing their facilities, and their plant steadily grows more valuable. Importations of blooded animals from the progressive countries of Europe are destined to greatly improve the quality of our beef and mutton. Nowhere is there to be seen a more enticing display in this line than at our state and county fairs, and the interest in the matter is on the increase.
To attempt to give statistics of our grain production for 1877 would be useless, so far have we surpassed ourselves in the quantity and quality of our product. We are too liable to forget that we are giving the world its first article of necessity its food supply. An opportunity to learn this fact so it never can be forgotten was afforded at Chicago at the outbreak of the great panic of 1873, when Canadian purchasers, fearing the prostration of business might bring about an anarchical condition of affairs, went to that city with coin in bulk and foreign drafts to secure their supplies in their own currency at first hands. It may be justly claimed by the agricultural community that their combined efforts gave the nation its first impetus toward a restoration of its crippled industries, and their labor brought the gold premium to a lower depth than the government was able to reach by its most intense efforts of legislation and compulsion. The hundreds of millions about to be disbursed for farm products have already, by the anticipation common to all commercial nations, set the wheels in motion, and will relieve us from the perils so long shadowing our efforts to return to a healthy tone.
Manufacturing has attained in the chief cities a foothold which bids fair to render the Northwest independent of the outside world. Nearly our whole region has a distribution of coal measures which will in time support the manufactures necessary to our comfort and prosperity. As to transportation, the chief factor in the production of all articles excellent food, no section is so magnificently endowed, and our facilities are yearly increasing beyond those of any other region.
The period from a central point of the war to the outbreak of the panic was marked by a tremendous growth in our railway lines, but the depression of the times caused almost a total suspension of operations. Now that prosperity is returning to our stricken country we witness its anticipation by the railroad interest in a series of projects, extensions, and leases which bid fair to largely increase our transportation facilities.
The process of foreclosure and sale of incumbered lines is another matter to be considered. In the case of the Illinois Central road, which formerly transferred to other lines at Cairo the vast burden of freight destined for the Gulf region, we now see the incorporation of the tracks connecting through to New Orleans, every mile co-operating in turning toward the northwestern metropolis the weight of the inter-state commerce of a thousand miles or more of fertile plantations. Three competing routes to Texas have established in Chicago their general freight and passenger agencies. Four or five lines compete for all Pacific freights to a point as as far as the interior of Nebraska. Half a dozen or more splendid bridge structures have been thrown across the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by the railways. The Chicago and Northwestern line has become an aggregation of over two thousand miles of rail, and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul is its close rival in extent and importance.
The three lines running to Cairo via Vincennes form a through route for all traffic with the states to the southward. The chief projects now under discussion are the Chicago and Atlantic, which is to unite with lines now built to Charleston, and the Chicago and Canada Southern, which line will connect with all the various branches of that Canadian enterprise. Our latest new road is the Chicago and Lake Huron, formed of three lines, and entering the city from Valparaiso on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago track. The trunk lines being mainly in operation, the progress made in the way of shortening tracks, making air-line branches, and running extensions does not show to the advantage it deserves, as this process is constantly adding new facilities to the established order of things. The panic reduced the price of steel to a point where the railways could hardly afford to use iron rails, and all our northwestern lines report large relays of Bessemer track. The immense crops now being moved have given a great rise to the value of railway stocks, and their transportation must result in heavy pecuniary advantages.
Few are aware of the importance of the wholesale and jobbing trade of Chicago. One leading firm has since the panic sold $24,000,000 of dry goods in one year, and they now expect most confidently to add seventy per cent, to the figures of their last year's business. In boots and shoes and in clothing, twenty or more great firms from the east have placed here their distributing agents or their factories; and in groceries Chicago supplies the entire Northwest at rates presenting advantages over New York.
Chicago has stepped in between New York and the rural banks as a financial center, and scarcely a banking institution in the grain or cattle regions but keeps its reserve funds in the vaults of our commercial institutions. Accumulating here throughout the spring and summer months, they are summoned home at pleasure to move the products of the prairies. This process greatly strengthens the northwest in its financial operations, leaving home capital to supplement local operations on behalf of home interests.
It is impossible to forecast the destiny of this grand and growing section of the Union. Figures and predictions made at this date might seem ten years hence so ludicrously small as to excite only derision.
The name of this beautiful Prairie State is derived from Illini, a Delaware word signifying Superior Men. It has a French termination, and is a symbol of how the two races the French and the Indians were intermixed during the early history of the country.
The appellation was no doubt well applied to the primitive inhabitants of the soil whose prowess in savage warfare long withstood the combined attacks of the fierce Iroquois on the one side, and the no less savage and relentless Sacs and Foxes on the other. The Illinois were once a powerful confederacy, occupying the most beautiful and fertile region in the great Valley of the Mississippi, which their enemies coveted and struggled long and hard to wrest from them. By the fortunes of war they were diminished in numbers, and finally destroyed. "Starved Rock," on the Illinois River, according to tradition, commemorates their last tragedy, where, it is said, the entire tribe starved rather than surrender.
All sales go to help support this website.
Stories, Volume 1
events have happened in Freeport and Stephenson County, Illinois,
and remarkable people have lived there. These are stories gathered
about people and events from 1835 through World War II.
The first European discoveries in Illinois date back over two hundred years. They are a part of that movement which, from the beginning to the middle of the seventeenth century, brought the French Canadian missionaries and fur traders into the Valley of the Mississippi, and which, at a later period, established the civil and ecclesiastical authority of France from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the foot-hills of the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains.
The great river of the West had been discovered by DeSoto, the Spanish conqueror of Florida, three quarters of a century before the French founded Quebec in 1608, but the Spanish left the country a wilderness, without further exploration or settlement within its borders, in which condition it remained until the Mississippi was discovered by the agents of the French Canadian government, Joliet and Marquette, in 1673. These renowned explorers were not the first white visitors to Illinois.
In 1671 two years in advance of them came Nicholas Perrot to Chicago. He had been sent by Talon as an agent of the Canadian government to call a great peace convention of Western Indians at Green Bay, preparatory to the movement for the discovery of the Mississippi. It was deemed a good stroke of policy to secure, as far as possible, the friendship and co-operation of the Indians, far and near, before venturing upon an enterprise which their hostility might render disastrous, and which their friendship and assistance would do so much to make successful; and to this end Perrot was sent to call together in council the tribes throughout the Northwest, and to promise them the commerce and protection of the French government. He accordingly arrived at Green Bay in 1671, and procuring an escort of Pottawattamies, proceeded in a bark canoe upon a visit to the Miamis, at Chicago. Perrot was therefore the first European to set foot upon the soil of Illinois.
Still there were others before Marquette. In 1672, the Jesuit missionaries, Fathers Claude Allouez and Claude Dablon, bore the standard of the Cross from their mission at Green Bay through western Wisconsin and northern Illinois, visiting the Foxes on Fox River, and the Masquotines and Kickapoos at the mouth of the Milwaukee. These missionaries penetrated on the route afterwards followed by Marquette as far as the Kickapoo village at the head of Lake Winnebago, where Marquette, in his journey, secured guides across the portage to the Wisconsin.
The oft-repeated story of Marquette and Joliet is well known. They were the agents employed by the Canadian government to discover the Mississippi. Marquette was a native of France, born in 1637, a Jesuit priest by education, and a man of simple faith and of great zeal and devotion in extending the Roman Catholic religion among the Indians. Arriving in Canada in 1666, he was sent as a missionary to the far Northwest, and, in 1668, founded a mission at Sault Ste. Marie. The following year he moved to La Pointe, in Lake Superior, where he instructed a branch of the Hurons till 1670, when he removed south, and founded the mission at St. Ignace, on the Straits of Mackinaw. Here he remained, devoting a portion of his time to the study of the Illinois language under a native teacher who had accompanied him to the mission from La Pointe, till he was joined by Joliet in the Spring of 1673. By the way of Green Bay and the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, they entered the Mississippi, which they explored to the mouth of the Arkansas, and returned by the way of the Illinois and Chicago Rivers to Lake Michigan.
On his way up the Illinois, Marquette visited the great village of the Kaskaskias, near what is now Utica, in the county of LaSalle. The following year he returned and established among them the mission of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, which was the first Jesuit mission founded in Illinois and in the Mississippi Valley. The intervening winter he had spent in a hut which his companions erected on the Chicago River, a few leagues from its mouth. The founding of this mission was the last act of Marquette's life. He died in Michigan, on his way back to Green Bay, May 18, 1675.
The first French occupation of the territory now embraced in Illinois was effected by LaSalle in 1680, seven years after the time of Marquette and Joliet. LaSalle, having constructed a vessel, the "Griffin," above the falls of Niagara, which he sailed to Green Bay, and having passed thence in canoes to the mouth of the St. Joseph River, by which and the Kankakee he reached the Illinois, in January, 1680, erected Fort Crevecceur, at the lower end of Peoria Lake, where the city of Peoria is now situated. The place where this ancient fort stood may still be seen just below the outlet of Peoria Lake. It was destined, however, to a temporary existence. From this point, LaSalle determined to descend the Mississippi to its mouth, but did not accomplish this purpose till two years later in 1682. Returning to Fort Frontenac for the purpose of getting materials with which to rig his vessel, he left the fort in charge of Touti, his lieutenant, who during his absence was driven off by the Iroquois Indians. These savages had made a raid upon the settlement of the Illinois, and had left nothing in their track but ruin and desolation. Mr. Davidson, in his History of Illinois, gives the following graphic account of the picture that met the eyes of LaSalle and his companions on their return:
"At the great town of the Illinois they were appalled at the scene which opened to their view. No hunter appeared to break its death-like silence with a salutatory whoop of welcome. The plain on which the town had stood was now strewn with charred fragments of lodges, which had so recently swarmed with savage life and hilarity. To render more hideous the picture of desolation, large numbers of skulls had been placed on the upper extremities of lodge-poles which had escaped the devouring flames. In the midst of these horrors was the rude fort of the spoilers, rendered frightful by the same ghastly relics. A near approach showed that the graves had been robbed of their bodies, and swarms of buzzards were discovered glutting their loathsome stomachs on the reeking corruption. To complete the work of destruction, the growing corn of the village had been cut down and burned, while the pits containing the products of previous years, had been rifled and their contents scattered with wanton waste. It was evident the suspected blow of the Iroquois had fallen with relentless fury."
Tonti had escaped LaSalle knew not whither. Passing down the lake in search of him and his men, LaSalle discovered that the fort had been destroyed, but the vessel which he had partly constructed was still on the stocks, and but slightly injured. After further fruitless search, failing to find Tonti, he fastened to a tree a painting representing himself and party sitting in a canoe and bearing a pipe of peace, and to the painting attached a letter addressed to Tonti.
Tonti had escaped, and, after untold privations, taken shelter among the Pottawattamies near Green Bay. These were friendly to the French. One of their old chiefs used to say, " There were but three great captains in the world, himself, Tonti and LaSalle."
We must now return to LaSalle, whose exploits stand out in such bold relief. He was born in Rouen, France, in 1643. His father was wealthy, but he renounced his patrimony on entering a college of the Jesuits, from which he separated and came to Canada a poor man in 1666. The priests of St. Sulpice, among whom he had a brother, were then the proprietors of Montreal, the nucleus of which was a seminary or convent founded by that order. The Superior granted to LaSalle a large tract of land at LaChine, where he established himself in the fur trade.
He was a man of daring genius, and outstripped all his competitors in exploits of travel and commerce with the Indians. In 1669, he visited the headquarters of the great Iroquois Confederacy, at Onondaga, in the heart of New York, and, obtaining guides, explored the Ohio River to the falls at Louisville.
In order to understand the genius of LaSalle, it must be remembered that for many years prior to his time the missionaries and traders were obliged to make their way to the Northwest by the Ottawa River (of Canada) on account of the fierce hostility of the Iroquois along the lower lakes and Niagara River, which entirely closed this latter route to the Upper Lakes. They carried on their commerce chiefly by canoes, paddling them through the Ottawa to Lake Nipissing, carrying them across the portage to French River, and descending that to Lake Huron. This being the route by which they reached the Northwest, accounts for the fact that all the earliest Jesuit missions were established in the neighborhood of the Upper Lakes. LaSalle conceived the grand idea of opening the route by Niagara River and the Lower Lakes to Canadian commerce by sail vessels, connecting it with the navigation of the Mississippi, and thus opening a magnificent water communication from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. This truly grand and comprehensive purpose seems to have animated him in all his wonderful achievements and the matchless difficulties and hardships he surmounted. As the first step in the accomplishment of this object he established himself on Lake Ontario, and built and garrisoned Fort Frontenac, the site of the present city of Kingston, Canada.
Here he obtained a grant of land from the French crown and a body of troops by which he beat back the invading Iroquois and cleared the passage to Niagara Falls. Having by this masterly stroke made it safe to attempt a hitherto untried expedition, his next step, as we have seen, was to advance to the Falls with all his outfit for building a ship with which to sail the lakes. He was successful in this undertaking, though his ultimate purpose was defeated by a strange combination of untoward circumstances. The Jesuits evidently hated LaSalle and plotted against him, because he had abandoned them and co-operated with a rival order. The fur traders were also jealous of his superior success in opening new channels of commerce. At LaChine he had taken the trade of Lake Ontario, which but for his presence there would have gone to Quebec. While they were plodding with their bar & canoes through the Ottawa he was constructing sailing vessels to command the trade of the lakes and the Mississippi. These great plans excited the jealousy and envy of the small traders, introduced treason and revolt into the ranks of his own companions, and finally led to the foul assassination by which his great achievements were prematurely ended.
In 1682, LaSalle, having completed his vessel at Peoria, descended the Mississippi to its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico. Erecting a standard on which he inscribed the arms of France, he took formal possession of the whole valley of the mighty river, in the name of Louis XIV, then reigning, in honor of whom he named the country Louisiana.
LaSalle then went to France, was appointed Governor, and returned with a fleet and immigrants, for the purpose of planting a colony in Illinois. They arrived in due time in the Gulf of Mexico, but failing to find the mouth of the Mississippi, up which LaSalle intended to sail, his supply ship, with the immigrants, was driven ashore and wrecked on Matagorda Bay. With the fragments of the vessel he constructed a stockade and rude huts on the shore for the protection of the immigrants, calling the post Fort St. Louis. He then made a trip into New Mexico, in search of silver mines, but, meeting with disappointment, returned to find his little colony reduced to forty souls. He then resolved to travel on foot to Illinois, and, starting with his companions, had reached the valley of the Colorado, near the mouth of Trinity river, when he was shot by one of his men. This occurred on the 19th of March, 1687.
Dr. J. W. Foster remarks of him: "Thus fell, not far from the banks of the Trinity, Robert Cavalier de la Salle, one of the grandest characters that ever figured in American history a man capable of originating the vastest schemes, and endowed with a will and a judgment capable of carrying them to successful results. Had ample facilities been placed by the King of France at his disposal, the result of the colonization of this continent might have been far different from what we now behold."
In 1787 it was the object of the wisest and ablest legislation found in any merely human records. No man can study the secret history of THE "COMPACT OF 1787," and not feel that Providence was guiding with sleepless eye these unborn States. The ordinance that on July 13, 1787, finally became the incorporating act, has a most marvelous history. Jefferson had vainly tried to secure a system of government for the northwestern territory. He was an emancipationist of that day, and favored the exclusion of slavery from the territory Virginia had ceded to the general government; but the South voted him down as often as it came up. In 1787, as late as July 10, an organizing act without the anti-slavery clause was pending. This concession to the South was expected to carry it. Congress was in session in New York City. On July 5, Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, of Massachusetts, came into New York to lobby on the northwestern territory. Everything seemed to fall into his hands. Events were ripe.
The state of the public credit, the growing of Southern prejudice, the basis of his mission, his personal character, all combined to complete one of those sudden and marvelous revolutions of public sentiment that once in five or ten centuries are seen to sweep over a country like the breath of the Almighty. Cutler was a graduate of Yale received his A.M. from Harvard, and his D.D. from Yale. He had studied and taken degrees in the three learned professions, medicine, law, and divinity. He had thus America's best indorsement. He had published a scientific examination of the plants of New England. His name stood second only to that of Franklin as a scientist in America. He was a courtly gentleman of the old style, a man of commanding presence, and of inviting face. The Southern members said they had never seen such a gentleman in the North. He came representing a company that desired to purchase a tract of land now included in Ohio, for the purpose of planting a colony. It was a speculation. Government money was worth eighteen cents on the dollar. This Massachusetts company had collected enough to purchase 1,500,000 acres of land. Other speculators in New York made Dr. Cutler their agent (lobbyist). On the 12th he represented a demand for 5,500,000 acres. This would reduce the national debt. Jefferson and Virginia were regarded as authority concerning the land Virginia had just ceded. Jefferson's policy wanted to provide for the public credit, and this was a good opportunity to do something.
Massachusetts then owned the territory of Maine, which she was crowding on the market. She was opposed to opening the northwestern region. This fired the zeal of Virginia. The South caught the inspiration, and all exalted Dr. Cutler. The English minister invited him to dine with some of the Southern gentlemen. He was the center of interest.
entire South rallied round him. Massachusetts could not vote against
him, because many of the constituents of her members were interested
personally in the western speculation. Thus Cutler, making friends with
the South, and, doubtless, using all the arts of the lobby, was enabled
to command the situation. True to deeper convictions, he dictated one
of the most compact and finished documents of wise statesmanship that
has ever adorned any human law book. He borrowed from Jefferson the
term " Articles of Compact," which, preceding the federal
constitution, rose into the most sacred character. He then followed
very closely the constitution of Massachusetts, adopted three years
before. Its most marked points were:
1. The exclusion of slavery from the territory forever.
2. Provision for public schools, giving one township for a seminary, and every section numbered 16 in each township; that is, one-thirty-sixth of all the land, for public schools.
3. A provision prohibiting the adoption of any constitution or the enactment of any law that should nullify preexisting contracts.
Be it forever remembered that this compact declared that " Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall always be encouraged."
Dr. Cutler planted himself on this platform and would not yield. Giving his unqualified declaration that it was that or nothing that unless they could make the land desirable they did not want it he took his horse and buggy, and started for the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. On July 13, 1787, the bill was put upon its passage, and was unanimously adopted, every Southern member voting for it, and only one man, Mr. Yates, of New York, voting against it. But as the States voted as States, Yates lost his vote, and the compact was put beyond repeal.
Thus the great States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin a vast empire, the heart of the great valley were consecrated to freedom, intelligence, and honesty. Thus the great heart of the nation was prepared for a year and a day and an hour. In the light of these eighty-nine years I affirm that this act was the salvation of the republic and the destruction of slavery. Soon the South saw their great blunder, and tried to repeal the compact. In 1803 Congress referred it to a committee of which John Randolph was chairman. He reported that this ordinance was a compact, and opposed repeal. Thus it stood a rock, in the way of the on-rushing sea of slavery.
With all this timely aid it was, after all, a most desperate and protracted struggle to keep the soil of Illinois sacred to freedom. It was the natural battle-field for the irrepressible conflict. In the southern end of the State slavery preceded the compact. It existed among the old French settlers, and was hard to eradicate. The southern part of the State was settled from the slave States, and this population brought their laws, customs, and institutions with them. A stream of population from the North poured into the northern part of the State. These sections misunderstood and hated each other perfectly. The Southerners regarded the Yankees as a skinning, tricky, penurious race of peddlers, filling the country with tinware, brass clocks, and wooden nutmegs. The Northerner thought of the Southerner as a lean, lank, lazy creature, burrowing in a hut, and rioting in whiskey, dirt and ignorance. These causes aided in making the struggle long and bitter. So strong was the sympathy with slavery that, in spite of the ordinance of 1787, and in spite of the deed of cession, it was determined to allow the old French settlers to retain their slaves. Planters from the slave States might bring their slaves, if they would give them a chance to choose freedom or years of service and bondage for their children till they should become thirty years of age. If they chose freedom they must leave the State in sixty days or be sold as fugitives. Servants were whipped for offenses for which white men are fined. Each lash paid forty cents of the fine. A negro ten miles from home without a pass was whipped. These famous laws were imported from the slave States just as they imported laws for the inspection of flax and wool when there was neither in the State.
These Black Laws are now wiped out. A vigorous effort was made to protect slavery in the State Constitution of 1817. It barely failed. It was renewed in 1825, when a convention was asked to make a new constitution. After a hard fight the convention was defeated. But slaves did not disappear from the census of the State until 1850. There were mobs and murders in the interest of slavery. Lovejoy was added to the list of martyrs a sort of first-fruits of that long life of immortal heroes who saw freedom as the one supreme desire of their souls, and were so enamored of her that they preferred to die rather than survive her.
The population of 12,282 that occupied the territory in A.D. 1800, increased to 45,000 in A.D. 1818, when the State Constitution was adopted, and Illinois took her place in the Union, with a star on the flag and two votes in the Senate.
[Webmaster: long history of Illinois sharply edited & portions deleted]
AT FORT DEARBORN.
During the war of 1812, Fort Dearborn became the theater of stirring events. The garrison consisted of fifty-four men under command of Captain Nathan Heald, assisted by Lieutenant Helm (son-in-law of Mrs. Kinzie) and Ensign Ronan. Dr. Voorhees was surgeon. The only residents at the post at that time were the wives of Captain Heald and Lieutenant Helm, and a few of the soldiers, Mr. Kinzie and his family, and a few Canadian voyageurs, with their wives and children. The soldiers and Mr. Kinzie were on most friendly terms with the Pottawattamies and Winnebagos, the principal tribes around them, but they could not win them from their attachment to the British.
One evening in April, 1812, Mr. Kinzie sat playing on his violin and his children were dancing to the music, when Mrs. Kinzie came rushing into the house, pale with terror, and exclaiming: " The Indians! the Indians!" "What? Where?" eagerly inquired Mr. Kinzie. "Up at Lee's, killing and scalping," answered the frightened mother, who, when the alarm was given, was attending Mrs. Barnes (just confined) living not far off. Mr. Kinzie and his family crossed the river and took refuge in the fort, to which place Mrs. Barnes and her infant not a day old were safely conveyed. The rest of the inhabitants took shelter in the fort. This alarm was caused by a scalping party of Winnebagos, who hovered about the fort several days, when they disappeared, and for several weeks the inhabitants were undisturbed.
On the 7th of August, 1812, General Hull, at Detroit, sent orders to Captain Heald to evacuate Fort Dearborn, and to distribute all the United States property to the Indians in the neighborhood a most insane order. The Pottawattamie chief, who brought the dispatch, had more wisdom than the commanding general. He advised Captain Heald not to make the distribution. Said he: "Leave the fort and stores as they are, and let the Indians make distribution for themselves; and while they are engaged in the business, the white people may escape to Fort Wayne."
Captain Heald held a council with the Indians on the afternoon of the 12th, in which his officers refused to join, for they had been informed that treachery was designed that the Indians intended to murder the white people in the council, and then destroy those in the fort. Captain Heald, however, took the precaution to open a port-hole displaying a cannon pointing directly upon the council, and by that means saved his life.
Mr. Kinzie, who knew the Indians well, begged Captain Heald not to confide in their promises, nor distribute the arms and munitions among them, for it would only put power into their hands to destroy the whites. Ac tine upon this advice, Heald resolved to withhold the munitions of war; and on the night of the 13th, after the distribution of the other property had been made, the powder, ball and liquors were thrown into the river, the muskets broken up and destroyed.
Black Partridge, a friendly chief, came to Captain Heald, and said: " Linden birds have been singing in my ears to-day: be careful on the march you are going to take." On that dark night vigilant Indians had crept near the fort and discovered the destruction of their promised booty going on within. The next morning the powder was seen floating on the surface of the river. The savages were exasperated and made loud complaints and threats.
On the following day when preparations were making to leave the fort, and all the inmates were deeply impressed with a sense of impending danger, Capt. Wells, an uncle of Mrs. Heald, was discovered upon the Indian trail among the sand-hills on the borders of the lake, not far distant, with a band of mounted Miamis, of whose tribe he was chief, having been adopted by the famous Miami warrior, Little Turtle. When news of Hull's surrender reached Fort Wayne, he had started with this force to assist Heald in defending Fort Dearborn. He was too late. Every means for its defense had been destroyed the night before, and arrangements were made for leaving the fort on the morning of the 15th.
It was a warm bright morning in the middle of August. Indications were positive that the savages intended to murder the white people; and when they moved out of the southern gate of the fort, the march was like a funeral procession. The band, feeling the solemnity of the occasion, struck up the Dead March in Saul.
Capt. Wells, who had blackened his face with gun-powder in token of his fate, took the lead with his band of Miamis, followed by Capt. Heald, with his wife by his side on horseback. Mr. Kinzie hoped by his personal influence to avert the impending blow, and therefore accompanied them, leaving his family in a boat in charge of a friendly Indian, to be taken to his trading station at the site of Niles, Michigan, in the event of his death.
The procession moved slowly along the lake shore till they reached the sand-hills between the prairie and the beach, when the Pottawattamie escort, under the leadership of Blackbird, filed to the right, placing those hills between them and the white people. Wells, with his Miamis, had kept in the advance. They suddenly came rushing back, Wells exclaiming, "They are about to attack us; form instantly." These words were quickly followed by a storm of bullets, which came whistling over the little hills which the treacherous savages had made the covert for their murderous attack. The white troops charged upon the Indians, drove them back to the prairie, and then the battle was waged between fifty-four soldiers, twelve civilians and three or four women (the cowardly Miamis having fled at the outset) against five hundred Indian warriors. The white people, hopeless, resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Ensign Ronan wielded his weapon vigorously, even after falling upon his knees weak from the loss of blood. Capt. Wells, who was by the side of his niece, Mrs. Heald, when the conflict began, behaved with the greatest coolness and courage.
He said to her, "We have not the slightest chance for life. We must part to meet no more in this world. God bless you." And then he dashed forward. Seeing a young warrior, painted like a demon, climb into a wagon in which were twelve children, and tomahawk them all, he cried out, unmindful of his personal danger, "If that is your game, butchering women and children, I will kill too." He spurred his horse towards the Indian camp, where they had left their squaws and papooses, hotly pursued by swift-footed young warriors, who sent bullets whistling after him. One of these killed his horse and wounded him severely in the leg. With a yell the young braves rushed to make him their prisoner and reserve him for torture. He resolved not to be made a captive, and by the use of the most provoking epithets tried to induce them to kill him instantly. He called a fiery young chief a squaw, when the enraged warrior killed Wells instantly with his tomahawk, jumped upon his body, cut out his heart, and ate a portion of the warm morsel with savage delight!
In this fearful combat women bore a conspicuous part. Mrs. Heald was an excellent equestrian and an expert in the use of the rifle. She fought the savages bravely, receiving several severe wounds. Though faint from the loss of blood, she managed to keep her saddle. A savage raised his tomahawk to kill her, when she looked him full in the face, and with a sweet smile and in a gentle voice said, in his own language, "Surely you will not kill a squaw! " The arm of the savage fell, and the life of the heroic woman was saved.
Mrs. Helm, the step-daughter of Mr. Kinzie, had an encounter with a stout Indian, who attempted to tomahawk her. Springing to one side, she received the glancing blow on her shoulder, and at the same instant seized the savage round the neck with her arms and endeavored to get hold of his scalping knife, which hung in a sheath at his breast. While she was thus struggling she was dragged from her antagonist by another powerful Indian, who bore her, in spite of her struggles, to the margin of the lake and plunged her in. To her astonishment she was held by him so that she would not drown, and she soon perceived that she was in the hands of the friendly Black Partridge, who had saved her life.
The wife of Sergeant Holt, a large and powerful woman, behaved as bravely as an Amazon. She rode a fine, high-spirited horse, which the Indians coveted, and several of them attacked her with the butts of their guns, for the purpose of dismounting her; but she used the sword which she had snatched from her disabled husband so skillfully that she foiled them; and, suddenly wheeling her horse, she dashed over the prairie, followed by the savages shouting, "The brave woman! the brave woman! Don't hurt her!" They finally overtook her, and while she was fighting them in front, a powerful savage came up behind her, seized her by the neck and dragged her to the ground. Horse and woman were made captives. Mrs. Holt was a long time a captive among the Indians, but was afterwards ransomed.
In this sharp conflict two-thirds of the white people were slain and wounded, and all their horses, baggage and provision were lost. Only twenty-eight straggling men now remained to fight five hundred Indians rendered furious by the sight of blood. They succeeded in breaking through the ranks of the murderers and gaining a slight eminence on the prairie near the Oak Woods. The Indians did not pursue, but gathered on their flanks, while the chiefs held a consultation on the sand-hills, and showed signs of willingness to parley. It would have been madness on the part of the whites to renew the fight; and so Capt. Heald went forward and met Blackbird on the open prairie, where terms of surrender were soon agreed upon. It was arranged that the white people should give up their arms to Blackbird, and that the survivors should become prisoners of war, to be exchanged for ransoms as soon as practicable. With this understanding captives and captors started for the Indian camp near the fort, to which Mrs. Helm had been taken bleeding and suffering by Black Partridge, and had met her step-father and learned that her husband was safe.
A new scene of horror was now opened at the Indian camp. The wounded, not being included in the terms of surrender, as it was interpreted by the Indians, and the British general, Proctor, having offered a liberal bounty for American scalps, delivered at Maiden, nearly all the wounded men were killed and scalped, and the price of the trophies was afterwards paid by the British government.
This celebrated Indian chief, whose portrait appears in this work, deserves more than a passing notice. Although Shabbona was not so conspicuous as Tecumseh or Black Hawk, yet in point of merit he was superior to either of them.
Shabbona was born at an Indian village on the Kankakee River, now in Will County, about the year 1775. While young he was made chief of the band, and went to Shabbona Grove, now DeKalb County, where they were found in the early settlement of the county.
In the war of 1812, Shabbona, with his warriors, joined Tecumseh, was aid to that great chief, and stood by his side when he fell at the battle of the Thames. At the time of the Winnebago war, in 1827, he visited almost every village among the Pottawatomies, and by his persuasive arguments prevented them from taking part in the war. By request of the citizens of Chicago, Shabbona, accompanied by Billy Caldwell (Sauganash), visited Big Foot's village at Geneva Lake, in order to pacify the warriors, as fears were entertained that they were about to raise the tomahawk against the whites. Here Shabbona was taken prisoner by Big Foot, and his life threatened, but on the following day was set at liberty. From that time the Indians (through reproach) styled him " the white man's friend," and many times his life was endangered.
Before the Black Hawk war, Shabbona met in council at two different times, and by his influence prevented his people from taking part with the Sacs and Foxes. After the death of Black Partridge and Senachwine, no chief among the Pottawatomies exerted so much influence as Shabbona. Black Hawk, aware of this influence, visited him at two different times, in order to enlist him in his cause, but was unsuccessful. While Black Hawk was a prisoner at Jefferson Barracks, he said, had it not been for Shabbona the whole Pottawatomie nation would have joined his standard, and he could have continued the war for years.
To Shabbona many of the early settlers of Illinois owe the preservation of their lives, for it is a well-known fact, had he not notified the people of their danger, a large portion of them would have fallen victims to the tomahawk of savages. By saving the lives of whites he endangered his own, for the Sacs and Foxes threatened to kill him, and made two attempts to execute their threats. They killed Pypeogee, his son, and Pyps, his nephew, and hunted him down as though he was a wild beast.
Shabbona had a reservation of two sections of land at his Grove, but by leaving it and going west for a short time, the Government declared the reservation forfeited, and sold it the same as other vacant land. On Shabbona's return, and finding his possessions gone, he was very sad and broken down in spirit, and left the Grove for ever. The citizens of Ottawa raised money and bought him a tract of land on the Illinois River, above Seneca, in Grundy County, on which they built a house, and supplied him with means to live on. He lived here until his death, which occurred on the 17th of July, 1859, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, and was buried with great pomp in the cemetery at Morris. His squaw, Pokanoka, was drowned in Mazen Creek, Grundy County, on the 30th of November, 1864, and was buried by his side.
In 1861 subscriptions were taken up in many of the river towns, to erect a monument over the remains of Shabbona, but the war breaking out, the enterprise was abandoned. Only a plain marble slab marks the resting-place of this friend of the white man.
of Illinois State Laws.
[Deleted by webmaster, as not part of history of Stephenson County]
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND ITS AMENDMENTS.
[Deleted by webmaster, as not part of history of Stephenson County]
Rules for Every Day Use.
[Deleted by webmaster, as not part of history of Stephenson County]
OF THE STATES OF THE UNION, AND THEIR SIGNIFICATIONS.
[Deleted by webmaster, as not part of history of Stephenson County]
COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD;
[Deleted by webmaster, as not part of history of Stephenson County]
[Deleted by webmaster, as not part of history of Stephenson County]
Stephenson County is bounded on the east by Winnebago, on the south by Ogle and Carroll, on the west by Jo Daviess, and on the north by Green County, Wis. It thus lies in the northern tier of counties in the State, and is the second county eastward from the Mississippi River. It is twenty-seven miles wide from east to west, and about twenty-one from its northern to its southern boundary line, containing 573 square miles. The northern part of the county, according to surveys made by the Illinois Central Railroad Company, averages about 723 feet above the level of the Mississippi River at Cairo, about 415 feet above the level of Lake Michigan, and about 1,000 feet above the level of the sea. The southern part of the county averages some 250 feet lower than these averages. The general level of the country, it will thus be seen, presents a gentle slope to southern sunny skies. The general surface, or face of the country, is composed of gently undulating and rather rolling prairie land, interspersed with small groves and narrow belts of timber lands skirting the streams. A small portion of the county is made up of barrens and oak orchards or openings.
The prairie soil is of unsurpassed fertility, and under a high state of cultivation and improvement. It is not so black and deep as the prairie soil further south; but is drier, sandier, lighter or more chocolate colored, producing in great perfection all the staple crops of the northern part of the State. The oak openings and other poorer portions of the county produce the best wheat and other cereal grains, the best potatoes raised in the State, very excellent apples, and pears of the hardier varieties, and with proper care and cultivation will nourish the vine and ripen its fruitage to a greater extent than is now dreamed of by the grape-growers and wine-makers of the West. Indeed, the day is coming, when its gravelly hills and loess clay will not only blush with the purple clusters of such vines as best endure the cold climate, but will also become sources of profit to their cultivators, and of exquisite pleasure to those who delight in using healthful, invigorating, pure wines. The soil of this county, as of all these northern counties, also produces and ripens in great perfection the currant, gooseberry, strawberry, raspberry and other garden fruits.
The county is reasonably well watered with streams, which flow in various directions over its surface. Of these, the Pecatonica is the largest and most important. It enters the county about seven miles from its northwest corner, flows in a course a little south of east to Freeport, bends round to the westward at this latter place, and enters the county of Winnebago, not far from the center of its western boundary lines. Its waters are turbid and muddy as the "Yellow Tiber;" its course is serpentine and crooked beyond comparison, winding and doubling upon itself in the most capricious manner; its current slow-flowing, treacherous and silent, notwithstanding the general difference in level between the northern and southern portions of the county, affording few water powers, and they of limited fall, but heavy and constant in their action.
This is pre-eminently true of the six feet fall at Freeport, but hardly so true of the power at Martin's mill, just across the northern line of the county. Indeed, so far as a description of the stream is concerned, the dispute as to the Indian significance of the name "Pecatonica," "Muddy Water" and "Crooked Stream," might be well reconciled by adopting both meanings, and applying them with much truth to this tortuous body of flowing mud. Along portions of its course, its oozy banks and stagnant waters might breed miasms and fevers, were its influences not counteracted by the general healthfulness and salubrity of the climate of Northern Illinois. Yellow Creek enters the county almost at the center of its western boundary line, and flows into the Pecatonica two or three miles below and east of Freeport, its general course being a little south of east. Its waters have a yellowish, somewhat creamy color, and are slow floating like the Pecatonica. The color of its waters is derived from the Cincinnati shales along its banks, which dissolve and mingle with the water like yellow cream with muddy coffee. Its course is not so crooked as the Pecatonica. It wanders about in long, undulating swerves, instead of short, abrupt doublings. It affords few water powers, and they of limited extent. Cedar and Richland Creeks rise almost entirely within the county toward its northern and central parts, flow southward, mingle their waters together within a few miles of the Pecatonica, and empty into the latter stream a few miles above Freeport. Both these streams afford light but constant water powers.
They are not mountain born, but are fed by prairie and woodland springs, almost entirely within the boundaries of the county lines. Rock Run enters the county about four miles from its northeast corner, and empties, after running about four miles on an air line, into the Pecatonica, about one and a half miles west of where it crosses the western line of Winnebago County. This is a beautiful little stream, affording a few light water powers. It goes babbling and murmuring along through rich prairie farms and woodland groves, until within a half a dozen miles of its mouth. Here the banks rise to precipitous, brush-covered, timber-covered hills, and in a few miles further, the low alluvial bottom of the Pecatonica is entered, through which it seeks its way with less haste into the dirty waters of the latter stream. Cranes Creek is a small and short prairie stream or brook, flowing into the Yellow Creek nearly south of Freeport, coming in from near the center of the southern boundary line of the county. Besides these, there are many brooks, rivulets and little streams in various parts of the county, watering it reasonably well, both for agricultural and stock purposes. Nor should the mention of the bright, flashing, singing little Silver Creek be omitted; this runs through the town of the same name, and finds its way into Yellow Creek not far from its mouth.
In comparison with most northern counties, Stephenson might be said to be well timbered. The Pecatonica is skirted, more especially along its eastern bank, with a body of rather heavy timber, spreading out northward into the town of Oneco, for a considerable distance. Yellow Creek is fringed, for a part of its course, with a scattering growth of white oak-groves and clumps spreading across from Mill Grove to Eleroy and Sciota mills, into oak openings and a somewhat rough soil. Part of the town of Loran, in the southwest portion of the county, is a regular white-oak barren, with scattering trees and some brush-wood. Crane's Grove, lying south of Freeport, is about three miles long and more than a mile wide. Lynn and walnut groves dot the broad expanse of prairie in the northeastern part of the county, with a grateful exchange in the monotony of the prairie view. Cedar Creek has some good timber along its course. Richland Creek is shadowed by the heaviest body of good timber perhaps in the whole county.
The prevailing timber consists of white, black and burr oak, sugar maple, black walnut, butternut, pignut, shellbark and common hickory, slippery and water elm, yellow poplar, with occasional laurel, red cedar, white pine, paw-paw, and some of the rarer oaks interspersed; sumach and hazel also abound in and around all the groves; wild cherry, honey locust, linden or basswood, ash, cotton-wood sycamore and some other varieties of timber are more or less to be noticed, and in some particular localities are found in considerable abundance.
Such, in brief, are the topographical features of Stephenson County a county whose agricultural resources are not surpassed by those of any county in Northern Illinois. Indeed, it would be hard to find an equal area anywhere in the State whose soil is so universally good, productive and teeming in every bountiful gift to the industrious tillers of the earth. No mineral wealth or peculiar manufacturing facilities will attract to this county the attention of the adventurous, but for those resources which are derived from a rich soil and abundant agricultural capabilities, this favored county may well claim a lasting preeminence.
The geology of Stephenson County is of a very simple character. After leaving the surface geology, the first formation met in a descending order is the Niagara limestone, succeeded in regular order by the Cincinnati shales, and the three divisions of the Trenton period, namely, the Galena, Blue and Buff limestones of the old Trenton seas. The following sections show the actual worked exposures of these rocks as measured in the quarries by the Hon. James Shaw, of Mt. Carroll, from whose writings on the subject the preceding and following have been taken:
SECTION OF WORKED OUTCROPS
|Quaternary deposits, consisting of clay, sand, gravel||10 to 65 feet|
|Niagara limestone||23 feet|
|Cincinnati group||40 feet|
|Galena limestone||75 feet|
|Blue limestone||38 feet|
|Bluff limestone||40 feet|
Each of these groups or formations outcrops at some place or places in the county. Some of them are the immediate underlying rocks over large portions of the same.
As further illustrating the geological formations of this county, and more especially those which lie deep down in the earth, an imperfect section, obtained from the borings of the Rocky Farm oil well, is given. This well was commenced in 1854, and continued on through a great part of the year 1865. At that time the oil fever was prevailing extensively. Some surface indications were noticed in a small brook running through the north part of Section 6, in the town of Lancaster. A company was formed, an engine obtained, and a hole six inches in diameter drilled into the earth for over 800 feet. No oil was obtained, no indications of oil noticed, after leaving the surface, and the enterprise was finally abandoned. Although very unprofitable to the company, this boring was not devoid of scientific interest. After boring about eight feet through the overlying soil and clays, the Galena limestone was struck. No very accurate record of the material passed through for the first 120 fee was kept, but from the fact that the Galena limestone outcrops heavily at Cedarville, only a mile or two distant, being there seventy-five or eighty feet thick in the exposure on Cedar Creek, it is believed the well in this 120 feet passed out of the Galena limestone, and reached perhaps a considerable distance into the blue limestones, immediately underlying. Commencing at 120 feet beneath the surface, a section of strata and materials bored through is given, until the depth of 608 feet was reached, as indicated by the detritus brought to the surface by the auger. No record of the last 250 feet seems to have been kept.
SECTION OF OIL WELL ON ROCKY FARM
Section in Feet
Depth in Feet
blue limestone and mud veins
gray limestone, containing crevices
shales of various kinds
St. Peter's sandstone, soft and very white
red sandstone, with tough, paint-like mud veins
yellow, sand-like surface sand
quicksand and salty water
bright yellow, fine salty sand
slate of chalky color and nature
snuff-colored, slatey rocks
sharp, slate-colored sand
dark red stone, like soapstone, with thin, flinty strata and iron pyrites
bright red stone, slightly only
dark reddish slate, with iron pyrites
At the depth of about 60 feet from the surface, some dark-colored carbon-ferous shales were struck. These must have belonged to the Blue limestone underlying the Galena, and, perhaps, are near the dividing line between the two.
From thence to the depth of 168 feet the blue and buff limestones of the Trenton period were undoubtedly the rocks passed through. The next 207 feet was the St. Peter sandstone. There could be no mistake as to this; the auger brought it up pure, white and crumbly. The next 109 feet, although it strongly resembled the St. Peter's sandstone, was stained by water holding iron in solution, and belongs, perhaps, to the calciferous sandstone, or lower magnesian limestone of the Northwest. The next 121 feet almost loses its identity, but, perhaps belongs to the lower calciferous sandstones, and to the Potsdam sandstone. Chemical analysis of the materials brought to the surface, aided by a strong magnifying glass, may show these surmises to be partially untrue.
Some importance is to be attached to the above section, because it is a matter of much interest to the citizens of Stephenson County, and because it afforded an opportunity for making even a partial examination of the deep underlying foundations. It also settled another question for a long time agitating the public mind in this part of the State. Before this experiment, geological science had foretold that no productive oil deposits-could or would be found in this part of the country. It had predicted this from knowledge of the underlying strata, and their inability to collect and preserve the oily treasures of the earth. But capitalists lacked faith in the teachings of science, and acquired in the school of experience the lessons which they would nowhere else learn. The experiment of this well had a wonderful influence in allaying the oil fever in this region.
The following is a description of the out cropping geological formations, for which the heartiest acknowledgments are also tendered ex-Speaker Shaw: QUATERNARY DEPOSITS. The deposits cover unconformably the underlying rocks to a varying depth. At some places they are five or ten feet thick; at others, they perhaps extend in thickness to sixty or seventy feet. To say that they average twenty-five or thirty feet all over the county, would, perhaps, be placing the figures safely within the bounds of truth. If all this accumulation of deposited materials could be removed, the surface of the underlying rocks would present a very rough and uneven surface, scooped-out depressions, extending through overlying formations, and over large portions of the country, presenting, if filled with water, the phenomena of broad shallow lakes. The mounds, rising like watch-towers, over these prairies (resisting, on account of some local cause or hardness, the denuding agencies that carried away the rest of the formation), would appear like islands in the surrounding waste of waters. The rocky surface thus left, so far as can be judged by limited examinations, would be unsmoothed by water current and unscratched by glacier, but would be everywhere uneven, rough and covered with unworn fragments of stone.
Along the narrow bottoms of the Pecatonica may be noticed a strip of alluvium proper. At some places it is very narrow; at others, it extends to one or two miles in width. The same deposit may be observed at a few localities along the Yellow Creek bottom, and also along the narrow bottoms of some of the smaller streams. The deposit, however, is of limited extent; it is rich, fat and heavy as an agricultural and timber soil. Along some of these streams the low, bold hills are found to be composed of the loess marls and clays; but this deposit is also of quite limited extent in the country. All the rest of these superficial deposits belong to the sands, clays and gravels of the drifts proper. These clays, and clayey sands, however, do not very strongly furnish the evidences of deposition or transportation. They seem to partake, in part at least, of the nature and character of the rock formations lying immediately below them.
Where the Galena limestone is the underlying rock, the appearance seemed, upon examination, to have been somewhat as follows: First, there was the prairie soil and clayey sub-soil, at most only a few feet in thickness; this was succeeded by a reddish-brown clay, mixed with flints and pieces of cherty Galena limestone. Then came the clay and pieces of limestone, preserving their regular stratification, the limestone becoming more abundant in the descent until the solid rock strata were reached. In a few instances, this overlying clay is creamy in color, and almost limey in texture; but the prevailing color is reddish-brown or red, and in many cases it is more or less mixed with sand. The clays overlying the Cincinnati shades also bear a resemblance to this formation, from which they are doubtless in part derived. They are of a creamy or more chocolate color finer in texture and freer from sand. These superficial clays and loams certainly have the appearance of being the residue left after frost and water had pulverized and, by percolation, removed, the more soluble portions of the uppermost parts of the formations below.
But, aside from these deposits, the gravel beds and bowlders of the true drift period are not wanting in this county. That part lying west of the Illinois Central Railroad and south of Yellow Creek, being mostly low, level, prairie, underlaid mostly by the Cincinnati shales, and also that low, rich, level part between Waddam's Mound and the range of mounds running from the neighborhood of Warren toward the southwest, and underlaid by the Galena limestone, may almost be denominated a driftless region. Few boulders are seen over it, and few or no real gravel deposits can be found. The prairies north and east of Waddams' Grove have strewed over them numberless boulders, some black, some flame-colored, and some combining the various colors of the metamorphic rocks. At one place, about halfway between Waddams' Grove and Winslow, they are rolled into windrows along the road, and used in part for the lane fences. Many of these are exceedingly beautiful and many colored. They are the real "lost rocks," and must have been dropped from the slow-moving icebergs, as they drifted along toward the southwest. All that part of the country north and east of the Pecatonica is characterized by these boulders, and many deposits of gravel and gravelly clay are to be met with in almost any of the low ridges of land. The same may be said of the eastern portion of the county, excepting that the deposits are not so extensive.
Some other formations belonging to the surface geology, such as fire clay, peat, bog-iron ore, muck and the like, will be referred to in the economical geology of the county.
The superficial extent of the county covered by this formation is quite small. Waddams' Grove, quite a high elevation of land, two or three miles long and a mile or two wide, and located a little northwest of Lena, is capped by the Niagara limestone. At French's quarry, near the top end of this elevation facing toward Lena, there is an exposure worked to the depth of about fifteen feet. French's well, near the same spot, is forty-five feet deep, the upper twenty feet being sunk through this formation, and the lower twenty-five feet sinking through the underlying Cincinnati shales. At Blakesly's quarry, twenty-five feet of the same formation is worked into. This is about one mile west of French's, on the north face of the hill. Here they have worked down to the Cincinnati shales. The bottom layers in both these quarries are compact and solid; the top layers are thick, irregular, speckled and porous. A species of slender, rotten Oynthophyllum was the only fossil observed in these quarries. From the latter quarry the prospect toward the north and west is beautiful beyond description. The low, level, rich prairie, with its fields and meadows, barns and farm-houses, skirted in the distance by the range of mounds, bending around like a distant amphitheater into Jo Daviess County, presents as fine a scene beneath a glowing June sun, as can be observed in any State.
Leaving this elevation, the Niagara is next found outcropping in the southwestern part of the county. Its extent can be indicated by a line which should enter the county from the west in the town of Kent, some three miles south of Simmons' Mound, then following the general course of Yellow Creek, keeping distant from that stream two to five miles, until nearly opposite to Crane's Grove, then southward until the south boundary line of the county is reached, near it, bi-section with the Illinois Central Railroad track. This line would cut off that portion of the county underlaid by the Niagara rocks. And even in this, some of the small streams which come into Yellow Creek through this section cut into the Cincinnati group; and a band of the Cincinnati group along Lashell's Hollow, where the little village of Loharn is located, also discloses the shales and quarries of this group. ******
This formation is not much marred in this portion of the county. At Big Springs in Lashell Hollow, quite a quantity of stone has been taken out. Few fossils were to be observed, except that great quantities of some of the rougher Niagara corals lie strewn over the hills about Loharn, consisting of two or three species of Favosites and some imperfect Halysites.
Cincinnati Group. The rocks and shales of this group cover but a limited extent of this county. All that part of Waddam's Grove, between the level of the surrounding prairie and the capping Niagara, is composed of the shales and rocks of this group. The gentle slopes of the ascent, and the creamy, colored waters of the springs, are an unfailing index of this formation. No quarries are opened in it, but it is here, perhaps, forty feet thick. The broad belt south of Yellow Creek, crossing this stream in the township of Kent, extending up into the southwest corner of the township of West Point, as indicated on the general map, has been referred to sufficiently, perhaps, in speaking of the previous formation. About the village of Loharn, the hills on either side of the creek, to their top, are composed of the Cincinnati rocks and shales. Many quarries are opened in the face of the hills, and fair building stone is obtained.
The worked outcrops are here fifteen or twenty feet thick. Following the creek to the northward from here a few miles, the Cincinnati formation runs under, and the Niagara takes its place. In the half-township of Erie, just west of the village of Eleroy, there is quite an elevation of land, covering several sections, and crowned with a scattering grove, which is made up exclusively of the Cincinnati formation. On the west end of the village of New Dublin, there is a quarried outcrop some forty feet deep. A Catholic chapel is built out of the stones of this quarry.
The Trenton Limestone. This formation as now recognized by geologists embraces the Galena. The Trenton proper, or blue, and the buff limestones these formations are well-marked and easily distinguishable, and will be referred to under their appropriate heads.
The Galena Limestone. Nearly three-fourths of Stephenson County is underlaid by this well-known division of the Trenton rocks. And, inasmuch as the railroad cuts and the streams afford the best facilities to study the geologic formations of this county, they will be considered. The Illinois Central enters the county at Warren, near its northwest corner. It passes over a low, smooth prairie, without outcrop or stone quarry, to Lena. Waddam's Grove, which stands in this prairie, shows that the Galena limestone underlies it. At Lena, there is a quarry and a limekiln within a short distance of the town, reposing some fifteen feet in thickness. About two miles farther, there is another; both on a little stream toward the north.
Passing on toward the southeast, the railroads exhibit several small sections in the top of the Galena beds, but do not afford any heavy section until Freeport is reached. Just west of the city, along the track of the railroad, and near the banks of the Pecatonica River, in a low range of hills, three extensive quarries are worked, furnishing stone for lime and for the large amount of building material needed. The first nearest the city is worked about eighteen feet deep. The rock obtained here is very soft, yellow, sandy and full of cavities the size of a walnut.
Where heaps of it have been removed, a considerable amount of sand is left scattered on the ground. The top layers of this quarry are so friable and crumbling, that hand specimens will hardly remain in shape. The second quarry exposes an outcrop of about twenty-four feet. The third is exactly similar to the second. Both of them are somewhat shaley toward the top. but rapidly grow massive and solid as they are worked into. The Western Union Railroad enters the county on a line almost exactly south of Freeport, and passes out of it four miles south of its northeast corner. Three miles southwest of Freeport, it cuts through the top of the rock under consideration, exposing the usual red clay, and over this a gravelly subsoil. About three miles northwest of Freeport, there is an exactly similar cut. About a mile further on toward the northwest is another, which measures 1,000 feet long and twenty-four feet deep in the middle.
Further on, and a little over a mile west of Rock City, is another cut 350 yards long and fifteen feet deep in the solid stone at the deepest place, and the stone covered by about ten feet of the usual gravelly clay. Here the stone is hard, glassy, conchoidal in fracture, and begins to assume the characteristics of the blue or Trenton proper. One-half a mile further on and nearer Rock City, there is a cut about twelve feet deep, the lowest part exposing the real blue limestone. Further on, and one mile east of Dacotah, there is another cut in the yellow Galena. Further on, at the railroad bridge over Rock Run, there is a cut about twenty-two feet deep. The first four feet is the usual reddish clay, the next twelve feet is Galena limestone, assuming characteristics of the blue, and the last five feet is into the blue itself. The union of the Galena and blue, passing into each other almost perceptibly, may be satisfactorily examined here.
The next and last cut is about one-fourth of a mile east of Davis, almost on the county line. It is over 1,000 feet long and thirty-one feet deep; the upper seven feet is the usual clay, with some gravel in it: the lower twenty-four feet is Galena limestone, solid, a little bluish in color and of a somewhat conchoidal fracture. In fact, all these exposures along the eastern part of the county, in their blue color, conchoidal fracture and hardness, differ considerably from the Freeport quarries. They are lower down in the series, and assimilate somewhat into the character of the blue below. So true is this that in some of the exposures it is hard to fix upon the line of separation between the two.
From Freeport, south along the railroad track, no other exposures of the Galena limestone are visible.
Leaving the railroad cuts, the streams present the next best opportunities to trace the superficial area, thickness and phenomena of this deposit. The Pecatonica River, about four or five miles after entering the county, strikes the Galena limestone, and for its whole distance in the county, exposes this formation where any rocks are exposed along its banks. There are no very good exposures, however, on this stream, except those at Freeport, already referred to. At Bobtown, or New Pennsylvania, an outcrop is worked near the river, and at or near the mouth of Yellow Creek the formation is dug into in an old crevice lead mine. Richland Creek and Cedar Creek both expose the Galena rocks for their entire length. Both these streams have cut deep into the solid rocks, and at many places along their banks heavy outcrops and escarpments stand out in bold relief. At Buena Vista, on the former stream, there is an outcrop of twenty feet, quarried into for its full depth. At Cedarville, on the latter stream, the outcrop is seventy feet thick. A large quarry is here opened, out of which the stone in Addams' mill-dam have been taken. At the Scioto mills, below the confluence of the two streams, and in many places in that neighborhood, the same rocks are exposed and quarried. Crane's Creek, where it washes the west end of Crane's Grove, exposes the Galena limestone, and the the same limestone is worked into at Rosensteel's quarry, near Freeport, to a depth of twenty-two feet.
Leaving the streams, reference will next be made to other portions of the county examined. Burr Oak Grove, half-way between Lena and Winslow, has near its eastern limits an interesting outcrop. About two and a half miles west of the latter place, almost every little prairie hill-top is dug into, and several small quarries opened. An exposure of twenty-four feet was also examined at the limekiln, a little southeast of Rock City. The top of this quarry is Galena limestone, but it gradually changes into the blue before the bottom is reached.
In the township of Ridott, the Galena is the underlying stone, changing into the blue toward the eastern and southeastern part. In the township of Oneco the formation is heavily developed. In short, the outcrop of this well-known formation, or division of the Trenton rocks, are so numerous that it is not necessary to particularize more fully than to briefly state their superficial boundaries and area.
All that part of the country between the Pecatonica River and Yellow Creek, except a small strip east and south of Winslow, and except the developments of the Cincinnati group at Waddam's Grove, New Dublin, Kent and along the banks of the Yellow Creek, is underlaid by the Galena rocks. All that part of the county north and east of the Pecatonica River, except in the bed and along either side of Rock Run, is underlaid by the same. The southeastern part of the county, nearly up to the Pecatonica River, and nearly to the track of the Illinois Central Railroad, with the exception of a strip along the southeastern corner and a few isolated patches in the eastern part of the township of Silver Creek, is also underlaid by these same rocks.
Fossils. Few fossils are found in the Galena limestone in Stephenson Co. The characteristic Heceptaculites sulcata, called by the miners and quarrymen " lead blossom " and " sunflower coral," is found at Freeport and Cedarville in great abundance, but good specimens are hard to obtain on account of the friable nature of the stone in which it is found. At the former place, a specimen of Heceptaculites orbicularis was noticed. Two or three species of Murchisonia, fragments of several species of Orthocera, one or two well-known Orthis, two species of Pleurotomaria, a small Bellerophon, and a rather well-defined Ambonychia, were the fossils most usually observed. They all exist in the form of casts, and perfect specimens are hard to find.
This, the middle division of the Trenton, is of limited extent in this county. Of course, in many places marked on the map with the color indicating the Galena, a shaft sunk down a short distance would strike the blue limestone, but it is described as the surface rock. Rock Run cuts into the blue limestone soon after entering the county, and all along its banks on both sides, until within a mile or two of its confluence with the Pecatonica, this rock outcrops and shows itself. Some of the high, rocky banks, are overcapped with the Galena, but the usual rock is the blue. At the railroad bridge of the Western Union Railroad Company, over Rock Run, the railroad track is about six feet below the junction of the Galena and the blue. Stepping west out of the railroad cut, there is a perpendicular descent of thirty-three feet from the track down to the water level, making the whole thickness of the blue, at this place, about thirty-nine feet. The lower part of this outcrop is very blue, the upper part yellowish, with thin strata, and gradually changing in lithological character, until the overlying Galena just east of the bridge is reached. This is a very interesting section. One and a half miles below this locality is a quarry, opened in the west bluff of the stream. The outcrop is twenty-five feet thick.
The top part is shaly and yellowish and the bottom becomes heavier and bluer in color. Some of the thin shaly strata are full of small-sized orthis. These two outcrops are fair representations of all the others along the stream. Some indications of underlying blue limestones prophesy its existence in the southeastern part of the county, and have so been marked on the county map.
Some slabs with fossils similar to those found in the Dixon marble were picked up; these with the fragmentary stems of Eucrinites, were the only fossils found. A small specimen of the " sunflower coral " was found in the blue limestone, at Rock Run railroad bridge, the only one ever found by the party making the examinations in this rock.
The Buff Limestone. The only place where this, the lower division of the Trenton, is developed in this county, is at Winslow. It is doubtless the underlying rock for a few miles below this place and on both sides of the Pecatonica River for this distance. Here it presents very much the appearance of a quarry in the blue. The top is shaly, thin bedded, and of a yellowish chocolate color. At Martin's mill in Wisconsin, one mile above, the outcrop is much heavier, the bottom layers more massive and very blue. Professor Whitney pronounces these exposures of the buff, and the fossils seem to indicate that he is correct in this. The lithological character of the quarries would indicate the same thing, but in a less satisfactory manner. On either side of this strip of buff, and within a short distance of its outcrops, the Galena limestone comes to the surface, so that the latter seems to rest uncomfortably upon the former; but in following the stream to the northward, a few miles above the mill, the St. Peters sandstone begins to show its outliers. The quarry at Winslow is worked twenty-three feet deep, and at Martin's mill thirty-five feet, and at both places it is some ten feet from the bottom of the quarries to the surface of the water. Geologically, the locality is one of the most interesting in this part of the State.
Many well-preserved casts of fossils were found here. Among them the most characteristic were Pleurotomaria subconica; a large Orthoeera, five or six inches in diameter and six feet long, with a part of the shell still wanting; a Cypricardites Niota; Oncoceras pandion; some two species of Tellinomya.
All sales go to help support this website.
Stories, Volume 1
The chief sources of wealth in Stephenson County are to be found in the richness and productiveness of its soil, and in its abundant agricultural resources. It is as less waste land, and is regarded as the best agricultural county in the State. In her fat, rich soil, therefore, is contained the first and chiefest source of wealth in the county that which nourishes all the rest, and fostering and building up the city of Freeport in a wonderful manner. But, aside from this, there are other sources of wealth and industry demanding attention.
Almost everywhere beneath the soils and sub-soils may be found clay beds, out of which an excellent article of common red brick can be manufactured, This is more especially true of the reddish clays overlying the Galena limestone. Beds of sand are also found, sufficiently pure for mortars and plastering purposes, but they are far less numerous than the clay beds. A tough, tenacious, dark-colored fire-clay also underlies some of the peat marshes, which has been dried and baked into a tenacious, light-colored brick, as an experiment, but this is not, perhaps, of much economic value.
The more solid portions of the Galena limestone burns into a quicklime of excellent quality, and there are many lime kilns in the county. Certain portions of the blue limestone also burn into a good lime, and at Martin's mill certain portions of the buff are being successfully made into lime of fair quality.
All the rocks hitherto described furnish building stone of better or worse qualities. The Niagara is quarried in several places. It furnishes a handsome-colored, enduring building material, but is unshapely and unmanageable on account of its irregular stratification. The Cincinnati group, although considered an invaluable building material, is much quarried about New Dublin and in that region. It comes out of the quarry in good shape for light work, and does not crumble and decay when exposed to the weather, as it has been known to do farther west. Farm foundations, houses, bridge abutments, and such other work may be seen built out of the Cincinnati group, at many places in the western part of the county.
The Catholic chapel before alluded to is built out of this material, and does not, as yet, exhibit much signs of decay. Indeed, some of the bottom strata are massive, very blue and excessively hard; but yet the Cincinnati group would not furnish stone suitable for massive and solid masonry, or for long-continued resistance to the action of the elements.
The Galena limestone furnishes a good material for the heavier kinds of masonry. It is a rough, unshapely stone, requiring much labor to lay it, but when well dressed and laid, it seasons into great hardness, and takes a beautiful cream or chocolate color. Nearly all the stone work in the city of Freeport is built of this stone. The blue and buff both afford a good stone for building purposes. The upper strata are too thin and irregular, but the lower blue strata afford the most beautiful building stone to be found in this part of the State. The only difficulty seems to be the great labor in quarrying, on account of the great amount of worthless materials to be removed upon reaching the handsome and valuable portions of the quarries.
Some bog-iron ore may be found in some of the marshes, but it is of little value and limited extent. Pieces of flat copper have been picked up in the gravel beds, but they are of rare occurrence, and come from regions far remote.
Galena, or common lead ore, is and has been mined for to some extent. There is an old crevice mine near the mouth of Yellow Creek that has often engaged attention in years past, but no heavy amounts of mineral have ever been taken from it. From the quarries near Lena, "chunks " as large as the fist have been taken. In the township of Oneco a company of Freeport men prospected to a considerable extent, and obtained several hundred pounds of mineral. Near Weitzel's Mill some "prospecting" has been carried on. Along the banks of Yellow Creek some "float mineral" has been picked up; and in almost any of the quarries small bits of ore may be detected. But none of these localities have shown heavy bodies of lead. Indeed, the Galena limestone, notwithstanding its general prevalence in this county, seems to be very unproductive of rich bodies of mineral wealth. The probabilities are that no rich, or even good-paying, diggings will ever be discovered, for the simple reason that they do not exist within the borders of the county. Small deposits undoubtedly do exist, and will occasionally create some excitement, and invite the expenditure of mining capital, but, in the opinion of many, capital thus expended will never make remunerative returns.
At several localities peat-beds of some value have been discovered. On the farm of a Mr. White, in Township 26, Range 9, a bed of about fifty acres was discovered. It was from three to six feet, and underlaid by a tough, tenacious, dark-colored fire-clay. The peat is of a rather poor quality, and is probably of no great value as fuel. Near Lena and Burr Oak Grove the same indications exist. On the low, level prairies south of Yellow Creek, and ranging between Florence and Crane's Grove, almost every swale and marsh has more or less peat in it. One of these beds is quite extensive, and will become valuable as soon as the peat experiment succeeds. It is found in the township of Florence, between Sections 25 and 26, the section line running along near its middle. Careful borings show a depth of from six to nine feet of peat.
The peat experiment is not yet fully solved, but its solution will not only enrich the experimentalist, but confer great blessings upon the inhabitants of these northern prairie counties.
In prefacing what it seems worth while to say upon the Indian occupation of Stephenson County, the publisher desires to acknowledge his obligations to the judicious and very valuable compilations on the subject made by Gen. S. D. Atkins, and contained in his address of July 4, 1876, from which the following, in that behalf, is appropriated. After detailing the history of Illinois from its earliest settlements to the close of the war for Independence, he says: "After the Revolutionary war, emigration pushed rapidly over the Alleghanies into the magnificent country watered by the Ohio and Mississippi and their tributaries.
Many settlers in Illinois came from Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. They were mostly poor people, unable to own slaves, and many were in sentiment opposed to slavery, and were seeking a new country where slavery did not exist. Southern Illinois was principally settled by these people who, with their families, penetrated the wilderness, with all their household goods upon pack animals and themselves upon foot, depending upon their trusty rifles and fishing-rods for sustenance by the way. Some trace the sobriquet of 'Suckers,' universally applied to Illinois, to these poor settlers from the South; they were emigrants from the 'poorer classes of the Slave States, where the tobacco plant was already extensively cultivated by slave labor, and they, not being able to own slaves in the Slave States, came to Illinois to get away from the imperious domination of their wealthy neighbors.
The tobacco plant (now so extensively cultivated in Stephenson County) has many sprouts from the root and main stem, which, if not stripped off, suck up its nutriment and destroy the staple. These sprouts are called 'suckers. ' and are as carefully stripped off from the plant and thrown away as is the tobacco worm itself. These poor emigrants from the Slave States were jeeringly and derisively called 'Suckers,' because they were asserted to be a burden upon the people of wealth; and when they removed to Illinois they were supposed to have stripped themselves off from the parent stem, and gone away to perish in the wilderness like the 'suckers' stripped from the tobacco plant. But we wear the title proudly now, for the stone rejected by the builders has become the chief stone of the corner, and in intelligence, morals, material prosperity and population, Illinois has far outstripped her poor old mother, Virginia, and surpassed Kentucky and Tennessee. The cognomen was misapplied. Slavery was the 'sucker' from which they fled, and the 'Subtle corps of sappers and miners" that 'sucked' the life-blood out of the States from which the early settlers of Illinois emigrated.
But there is another generally accepted explanation of this sobriquet of 'Suckers,' the nickname of the Illinoisans. Lead was early discovered in the vicinity of Galena, and in 1824, Col. James Johnson, of Kentucky, had gone there with a party of miners and opened a lead mine, about one mile above the present city of Galena. His great success drew others there in 1825, and in 1826 and 1827 hundreds, and even thousands, from Kentucky and Missouri and Southern Illinois went to that section to work the lead mines.
It was estimated that in the summer of 1827 the number of miners in the mining region about Galena was between seven and ten thousand. The Southern Illinoisans ran up the Mississippi in the spring season, worked the lead mines during the warm weather, and ran down the river again to their homes in the fall season, thus establishing a similitude between their migratory habits and the fishy tribe known as 'Suckers,' that run up stream in the spring and down stream in the fall. No matter how it came about, the term 'Suckers' will stick to the Illinoisans 'while wood grows and water runs.'
At that time, 1824 and 1825, there was not a white settler within the bounds of what now constitutes Stephenson County, and not a white settlement anywhere in Northern Illinois, between Chicago and Galena. This broad expanse of magnificent country, Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, surpassing, in the estimation of the writer, any country he has ever visited; and, in the estimation of at least one gentleman who has traveled extensively and circumnavigated the globe, surpassing in climate, soil and productions any other spot on the globe's surface, was in the peaceful possession of the red man.
So far as the writer knows, or has been able to learn within the few days he has devoted to the subject, so white man had then looked upon its beautiful prairies, grand old groves or sparkling streams. It is possible that under the treaty of 1804, the white man, the European and their descendants, might have had a right to visit this country, but, so far as the writer knows, no one ever did. It was the home of, and in the undisturbed possession of, the powerful Indian tribes known in history as the Sacs and Foxes.
A subordinate Indian tribe, the Winnebagoes, occupied Stephenson County and vast tracts besides along the Pecatonica, Wasemon and Rock Rivers.
The chief of this subordinate tribe was Winneshiek, whose principal village was situated on the banks of the Pecatonica, at the mouth of the Spring Run, along Spring street, through the present densely inhabited portion of the city of Freeport. This Indian chieftain, Winneshiek, was a short, stubbed, powerful man, temperate in his habits, and peaceable and well-disposed toward the whites.
In fact, the Winnebagoes were so well disposed toward the whites that they have gone down in history as pusillanimous and cowardly. Their lodges were on the grounds now occupied by the Illinois Central and Northwestern Railway Companies. Their corn-fields, where the dusky squaws and dark-eyed maidens of the Winnebagoes planted and raised their corn, were in the immediate vicinity of Taylor's Driving Park, and the writer has often traced their corn-hills, laboriously thrown up by these matron and maiden 'grangers,' with no better 'agricultural implements' than clam shells, where the park now is, and no doubt traces of these corn-hills might yet be found by the curious in that vicinity. The burial-ground of the tribe was where the Illinois Central Railway freight house now stands, and, in excavating for the foundation of that structure, in 1853, many skeletons of the Indians buried there were exhumed by the workmen.
Col. E. H. Gratiot, so far as the writer knows, was one of the first white people who looked upon the beautiful country of Stephenson County before a plow had broken its virgin soil. Col. Gratiot is a son of the founder of Gratiot's Grove, Wis. His grandfather emigrated to America with John Jacob Astor, of New York, and his father came to the lead mines, in the vicinity of Galena, immediately after the first discovery of lead in that region. Col. Gratiot remembers distinctly this peculiar mode of burial of the Winnebagoes 'burial in the air.'
It is an interesting query, 'Who was the first white person in Stephenson County?' I cannot answer the query.
Southern Illinois was settled immediately at the close of the Revolutionary war, but Northwestern Illinois had no settlers until lead was discovered near Galena, about 1823-24. Illinois was admitted into the Union as a State in 1818, but, so far as the writer knows, no white man had yet visited the valley of the Pecatonica. Col. Gratiot traveled on horseback, in company with a single companion, in the fall of 1827, from Jacksonville, Ill., to Gratiot's Grove, Wis., passing through from Dixon to Buffalo Grove, and Burr Oak Grove to the Apple River country, and, with the exception of a man named Kirker, who settled in 1826 in Burr Oak Grove and built a cabin which he abandoned within the year Col. Gratiot and his companion were, so far as the writer knows, the first.
Col. Gratiot and companion stopped at Kirker's deserted cabin for 'nooning' when on their way through this region in 1827. Col. Gratiot crossed Rock River at Dixon before any ferry was established there, fording streams, following an 'Indian trail ' afterward known, we believe, as the 'Sucker trail;' at any rate, he struck the 'Sucker trail' at that point; and he met no white man in his journey after leaving Peoria until he reached Gratiot's Grove.
Kirker may have, and probably did, abandon his claim at Burr Oak Grove on account of the Winnebago difficulty that occurred in 1827. Some of the lead miners had gone beyond what the Indians regarded as their proper bounds, and trespassed upon the lands of the Indians, and, in addition to that, there was another cause of difficulty. In the month of July, 1827, a boat left Galena for Fort Snelling, in Minnesota, and on the way up, the crew stopped at an Indian encampment on the bank of the river. Some of the Indians went on board of the boat, and were forcibly detained and not permitted to land until they had gone about twelve miles farther up the stream. The Indians highly resented the insult, and watched the return of the boat. As soon as the party were discovered descending the river, the Indians attacked them from the bank, and severely wounded several on board; but the party reached Galena and spread the alarm, when the miners built small forts, or log block-houses, and flocked to them for safety.
A fort was built at Elizabeth, another at Apple River, and another at Hamilton's Diggings, near Wyota, on the northwest branch of the Pecatonica, about sixteen miles northwest of Winslow, on the road to Mineral Point. William Hamilton, the founder of Hamilton's Diggings, was a son of the great Alexander Hamilton, Washington's first Secretary of the Treasury. Gen. Dodge who, about that time, came to the lead-mining region from Missouri, raised irregular volunteers among the miners, and began scouting the country for the hostile red-skins.
Probably late in the fall of 1827, while Dodge and his irregulars were in the vicinity of Mineral Point, they espied a young Indian lad a short distance from them. Gen. Dodge ordered the guide and Indian interpreter, Jesse W. Shull, the founder of Shullsburg. to go up to the Indian boy and ascertain the tribe to which he belonged, and where his people were encamped. The Indian boy ran, but Shull hailed him in the Winnebago tongue and induced him to halt and surrender. When brought into the presence of Gen. Dodge, the brave Indian boy refused to give up his gun, and was disarmed by force. He informed Gen. Dodge that he was a son of ' Winneshiek,' or 'Coming Thunder,' whose village was on the Pecatonica, and who, with his braves, was hunting in that vicinity.
Dodge and his volunteers moved to the Indian encampment, but the Indians fled. Gen. Dodge directed the Indian boy to go into the neighborhood of some thickets, where the Indians were, and call them out, as he wished to have a talk with them; but the suspicious Winnebagoes paid no heed to the captive Indian boy. Gen. Dodge retained his captive, and soon started with him down the Pecatonica to ascertain if Winneshiek and the bands of Winnebagoes had gone to attend a council of the hostile Indians, at that time reported to be in council on the Wisconsin River. Gen. Dodge and his volunteers, guided by Winneshiek's son, came to Winneshiek's principal village, where Freeport now stands, but found the village deserted, and concluded that Winnesheik and his warriors were attending the great Indian pow-wow on the Wisconsin.
"The Winnebago difficulty resulted in a great scare to the miners, but in nothing more, except the building of forts and block-houses, which were afterward found very handy to have in the family. The Winnebagoes made a treaty with the whites, by which the whites were allowed to occupy a part of the mineral region, and the Indians were paid $20,000 in goods and trinkets, at enormous prices, for the damages sustained by mining on their lands and a much larger strip of mineral-bearing land opened up to the miners. About a year afterward, two large strips of country were purchased from the Winnebagoes, one extending along the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers from the east to the west, giving a passage across the country from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi, and the other reaching from Rock Island to the Wisconsin, including Stephenson County."
TROUBLES THE BLACK HAWK WAR
"A treaty had been made with the Sacs and Foxes, by General Harrison at St. Louis, in September, 1804, by which those powerful Indian nations had ceded to the United States all their lands on Rock and Pecatonica Rivers, and much more elsewhere. That treaty was confirmed by another treaty with part of those Indians in 1815 and by another part in 1816. Under these various treaties the Indians had principally removed to the west side of the Mississippi, and the United States had caused some of these lands situated at the mouth of the Rock River to be surveyed and sold.
"But there was one old chief of the Sacs, called Mucata Muhicatah, or Black Hawk, who always denied the validity of these treaties. Black Hawk was now an old man. He had been a warrior from his youth; he had led many a war party on the trail of an enemy, and had never been defeated. He had been in the service of England in the war of 1812, and had been aide-de-camp to the great Tecumseh. At the close of the war of 1812 he had not joined in making peace with the United States, but he and his band long kept up a connection with Canada, and the voice of Black Hawk was always for war upon the Americans. Black Hawk's own account of the treaty of 1804 is as follows: He says that some Indians of his tribe were arrested and imprisoned in St. Louis for murder, and that some of the chiefs were sent down to provide for their defense; that while there, and without the consent of the nation, those chiefs were induced to sell the Indian country; that when they came home it appeared that they had been drunk most of the time while absent, and could give no account of what they had done, except that they had sold some land to the white people, and had come home loaded with presents and Indian finery. This, said Black Hawk, was all the nation ever heard or knew about the treaty of 1804.
"Under the pretense that the treaty of 1804 was void, he made some resistance to the order of the Government for the removal of his tribes west of the Mississippi, but had at length consented, and with his people took up a residence on the west side of the 'Father of Waters.' In the spring of 1831 Black Hawk re-crossed the river with his women and children and three hundred warriors of the British band, together with some allies from the Pottawatomie and Kickapoo nations, to establish himself upon his ancient hunting-grounds and in the principal village of his nation, on the banks of Rock River, in what is now Whiteside County. Many white settlers were there, but he ordered them away, threw down their fences, unroofed their log cabins, cut up their grain, drove off and killed their cattle, and threatened the people with death if they remained.
The settlers complained to Gov. Reynolds, who called out the militia, which ,was placed under the command of Gen. Gaines, of the regular army, who, after many delays, marched against Black Hawk, but only to find that he and his dusky warriors and dusky maidens and squaws and pappooses had quickly recrossed the Mississippi. But Gaines, more bent upon devastation than the Indians had been, gave the ancient Indian village to the flames, and proposed to follow Black Hawk across the river and chastise him there. Black Hawk sued for peace and ratified the treaty of 1804, by which the Indian lands, including Stephenson County, had been sold to the whites.
"But, notwithstanding Black Hawk and his followers had, in 1831, ratified the treaty of 1804, the wily chieftain and the disaffected Indians prepared to again cross to the east side of the Mississippi, and re-assert their claim to the country on Rock River and Pecatonica and their tributaries.
"The united Sac and Fox nations were divided into two parties. Black Hawk commanded the warlike band, and Keokuk, another chief, headed the band which was in favor of peace. But nearly all the bold, turbulent spirits, who delighted in mischief, arranged themselves under the banner of Black Hawk, and with the chivalry of his nation he re-crossed the Mississippi early in the spring of 1832, and marched directly to the Rock River country. Gov. Reynolds made another call for volunteers, and four regiments and a spy battalion were soon organized. Col. Dewitt commanded the First Regiment, Col. Fry the Second, Col. Thomas the Third, Col. Thompson the Fourth and Col. James D. Henry commanded the spy battalion, and the whole was placed under the command of Brig. Gen. Samuel Whiteside, of the State Militia, after whom Whiteside County was afterward named.
Gen. Atkinson, of the regular army, commanded the regulars, and had general command. The force marched to Dixon, and was there joined by two battalions of mounted volunteers from Central Illinois, under Ma's. Stillman and Bailey, who were pushed up Rock River, in the advance, about thirty miles above Dixon, to White Rock Grove, in Ogle County, where he encamped just before night, on the 12th of May, 1832, and in a short time a party of Indians were discovered on some rising ground about a mile further up the river. A party of Stillman's volunteers, without orders, mounted and pursued, stringing along in disorder. The Indians retreated, but were overtaken, and three of them slain. Black Hawk was just over the hill with his main force, amounting to about seven hundred warriors, and with his dusky warriors, he moved down on Maj. Stillman's camp, driving his whole force helter-skelter before him, and, it is said, that not a man of them stopped until they had safely reached the camp at Dixon, or been halted by an Indian rifle or tomahawk.
The writer recently visited that locality, and it is known to this day as 'Stillman's Run.' Eleven of Stillman's men were killed, among them Maj. Perkins and Capt. Adams. As is usual in a disastrous retreat, every man who escaped reported all his comrades killed. One badly frightened Kentuckian made a report to Gen. Whiteside, of Dixon, and his speech has come down to us in history. Here it is, for it is too good to be lost: 'Sirs,' said he to Gen. Whiteside and the soldiers gathered near, 'our detachment was encamped among some scattered timber, on the north side of Old Man's Creek, with the prairie from the north gently sloping down to our encampment. It was just after twilight, in the gloaming of the evening, when we discovered Black Hawk's army coming down upon us in solid column; they displayed in the form of a crescent upon the brow of the prairie, and such accuracy and precision of military movements were never witnessed by man; they were equal to the best troops of Wellington in Spain.
I have said that the Indians came down in solid column, and displayed in the form of a crescent; and, what was most wonderful, there were large squares of cavalry resting upon the points of the curve, which squares were supported again by other columns fifteen deep, extending back through the woods and over a swamp three-quarters of a mile, which again rested upon the main body of Black Hawk's army , bivouacked upon the banks of the Kishwakee. It was a terrible and glorious sight to see the tawny warriors as they rode along our flanks attempting to outflank us, with the glittering moonbeams glistening from their polished blades and burnished spears. It was a sight well calculated to strike consternation into the stoutest and boldest heart, and accordingly, our men soon began to break in small squads, for tall timber. In a very little time the route became general; the Indians were upon our flanks, and threatened the destruction of the entire detachment.
About this time Maj. Stillman,Col. Stephenson, Maj. Perkins, Capt. Adams, Mr. Hackelton and myself, with some others, threw ourselves into the rear to rally the fugitives and protect the retreat. But in a short time all my companions fell, bravely fighting hand to hand with the savage enemy, and I alone was left upon the field of battle. About this time I discovered, not far to the left, a corp of horsemen which seemed to be in tolerable order. I immediately deployed to the left, when, leaning down and placing my body in a recumbent position upon the mane of my horse, so as to bring the heads of the horsemen between my eye and the horizon, I discovered by the light of the moon that they were gentlemen who did not wear hats, by which token I knew they were no friends of mine. I therefore made a retrograde movement and recovered my former position, where I remained some time meditating what further I could do in the service of my country, when a random ball came whistling by my ear, and plainly whispered to me, "Stranger, you have no further business here."
Upon hearing this, I followed the example of my companions in arms, and broke for tall timber, and the way I ran was not a little, and quit.'
"The Kentuckian was a lawyer, just returning from the circuit, with a slight wardrobe and Chitty's pleadings packed in his saddle-bags, all of which were captured by the Indians. He afterward related, with much vexation, that Black Hawk had decked himself out in his finery, appearing in the wild woods, among his savage companions, dressed in one of the Kentuckian ruffled shirts drawn over his deerskin leggings, with a volume of Chitty's Pleadings under each arm.
"But the trumpet sounded a council of war at the tent of Gen. Whiteside, in Dixon, and it was resolved to march to the fatal field. The volunteers marched, but the Indians had gone some further up Rock River, and many had scattered out in smaller parties all over the country to attack the nearest settlements of white people.
"One party of about seventy Indians made a descent upon a settlement of whites at Indian Creek, and massacred fifteen persons, men, women and children, of the families of Messrs. Hall, Davis and Pettigrew, and took two young women prisoners Silvia and Rachel Hall, one about seventeen, the other about fifteen years of age. To describe this massacre is only to repeat what has been written hundreds of times. The Indians in broad daylight entered the homes of the settlers, quietly and apparently peacefully; some of the inmates were immediately shot down with rifles, others pierced through with spears or dispatched with the tomahawk.
The Indians afterward related with an infernal glee, how the women had squeaked like geese when they were run through the body with spears, or felt the sharp tomahawk entering their heads. All the victims were scalped; their bodies were mutilated and mangled; the little children were chopped to pieces with axes, and the women were tied up by their heels to the walls of the houses. The young women prisoners were hurried away, by forced marches, from this horrid scene, beyond the reach of pursuit. After a long and fatiguing journey through the wilderness in charge of their Indian conductors, they were at last ransomed by Major Gratiot, founder of Gratiot's Grove, on the headwaters of the Wisconsin River, by the payment of two thousand dollars in horses, wampum and trinkets, and returned to their friends.
"General Whiteside gathered up the mutilated remains of the eleven white men slain by the Indians and buried them at Stillman's Run, and then returned to Dixon, where he met General Atkinson and the regulars with supplies. The volunteers, who had expected to have grand sport killing Indians, began to realize that the boot might be on the other leg, and the Indians have grand sport killing them; and so they grumbled and demanded to be mustered out, their term of enlistment being about to expire, and on the 27th and 28th of May they were mustered out by Gov. Reynolds, at Ottawa.
Meanwhile a new regiment of volunteers was mustered in at Beardstown, with Jacob Fry as Colonel, James D. Henry as Lieutenant Colonel, and John Thomas as Major. Gen. Whiteside, the late commanding general, volunteered as a private. The different companies of this regiment were so posted as to guard the frontiers, Capt. Adam W. Snyder was sent to scout the country between Rock River and Galena, and while he was encamped near Burr Oak Grove, in what is now the township of Erin, in Stephenson County, on the night of the 17th of June, 1832, his company was fired upon by the Indians. The next morning he pursued them, four in number, and drove them into a sink-hole in the ground, when he charged upon and killed the Indians, losing one man mortally wounded. As he returned to camp, bearing his wounded soldier, his men, suffering from thirst, scattered in search of water, when they were sharply attacked by about seventy Indians, who had been secretly watching their motions, and awaiting a good opportunity. Captain Snyder called upon General Whiteside, then a private in his company, to assist him in forming his men. General Whiteside proclaimed in a loud voice that he would shoot the first man who attempted to run. The men were soon formed. Both parties took position behind trees..
Gen. Whiteside, an old Indian fighter and a capital marksman with a rifle, shot the commander of the Indians, and they, from that moment, began to retreat. As they were not pursued, the Indian loss was never ascertained. Capt. Snyder lost two men killed and one wounded.
"On the 15th of June, 1832, the new levies of volunteers were in camp, and were formed in three brigades. Gen. Alexander Posey commanded the first; General Milton K. Alexander, the second, and Gen. James D. Henry the third brigade."
"Before the new army could be brought into the field, the scattered war parties of the Indians had killed several white men; one was killed on Bureau Creek, one in Buffalo Grove, in Ogle County, another on Fox River, and two east of Fox River. On the 22d of May, 1882, Gen. Atkinson had dispatched Mr. St. Vrain, the Indian Agent for the Sacs and Foxes at Rock Island, with a few men, as an express to Fort Armstrong. On their way they fell in with a party of Indians led by a Chief well known to St. Vrain, a particular friend of his, named 'Little Bear,' who had adopted St. Vrain as his brother. Mr. St. Vrain felt no fear of one who was his friend, who had been an inmate of his house, and had adopted him as his brother, and approached him in the greatest security; but ' Little Bear ' no sooner got St. Vrain in his power than he murdered and scalped him and all his party."
"About the middle of June, 1832, some strolling Indians had captured horses near Elizabeth, in Jo Daviess County. Shortly after the animals were missed, Capt. J. W. Stevenson, a son of Col. Benjamin Stevenson, in honor of whom this county is named, went from Galena to Elizabeth, with a few of his men, and set out in pursuit of the savages. As the grass was long at that season of the year, it was not difficult to keep the Indians' trail, and they soon came up to them at a point a little northeast of what is now known as Waddam's Grove, in Stevenson County. The Indians immediately ran into a thicket close by, and, concealing themselves amid the thick brush and fallen timber, waited for Stevenson to make the attack, which Capt. Stevenson did with admirable gallantry, although it may appear at this distance that his zeal and gallantry outran his discretion.
Capt. Stevenson, who had with him only about a dozen men, ordered his party to dismount, and, leaving the horses, in charge of one or two men, led the rest to the charge, intending, probably, to drive the Indians from their place of concealment. The Indians reserved their fire until the white men approached quite close, when they fired from their concealment, the whites returned the fire without effect upon their concealed foe, and turned back upon the prairie out of range to re-load; and again, with admirable courage, marched toward the thicket, and, before entering it, again received the cool fire of the Indians. Three of Capt. Stevenson's men were killed, and others, including himself, wounded. Capt. Stevenson then retreated, leaving the bodies of his dead companions, Stephen Howard, George Eames, and a man named Lovell, who were buried the next morning after the Indians had departed. Governor Ford says: ' This attack of Capt. Stevenson was unsuccessful, and may have been imprudent; but it equaled any thing in modern warfare in daring and desperate courage.'
"About a week after the above occurrence, Black Hawk selected about one hundred and fifty of his very choicest braves and marched across the country from Rock River, and made an attack on Apple River Fort, erected by the miners, just north of the present village of Elizabeth, in Jo Daviess County. It was a fearful struggle by the handful of miners and their wives the women molded bullets while the men, in the absence of Moody and Sankey, proceeded most gallantly to ' Hold the Fort ' and Black Hawk and his band were defeated.
"About the same time, another party of Indians made an attack on three men near Fort Hamilton, on the Pecatonica, killing two of them, the third escaping to the fort. General Dodge soon after arrived at Fort Hamilton, with twenty men, and made quick pursuit of the Indians, and chased them to the Pecatonica, where they took shelter under the high bank of the river. Dodge and his party charged up on them in their place of concealment and shelter, and killed the whole party of Indians, eleven in number, losing four whites wounded, three of them mortally.
"On the 25th of June, 1832, Major John Dement, of Dixon, in command of a detachment of Posey's Brigade, was camped near Burr Oak Grove, in what is now the township of Kent, in this county, and, learning from Captain Funk that a fresh trail of a large body of Indians leading south had been seen within five miles of his camp the day before, undoubtedly the trail of Black Hawk and his band falling back from Apple River Fort, after his unsuccessful attack, his whole command rushed out in pursuit of the enemy and discovered seven Indians, who were as intent on spying out the situation as was Major Dement. Some of Dement's men immediately made pursuit of the Indians, but their commander, fearing an ambuscade, endeavored to call them back.
In this manner Major Dement had proceeded about a mile, pursuing the seven Indians first discovered, and he had scarcely entered the grove before he perceived about three hundred of Black Hawk's band issuing from the timber to attack him. The Indians came on firing, hallooing and yelling to make themselves more terrific, after the Indian fashion, when Major Dement, seeing himself in great danger of being surrounded by a superior force, retired to his camp, closely pursued by the yelling savages.
Here his whole force took possession of the log buildings erected by Kirker and Kellogg, which answered the purpose of a fort, and here Major Dement and his command were vigorously attacked by the Indians. They shot sixty-seven of the horses and narrowly escaped killing the commander himself. Major Dement and Duvall were standing in the door of one of the log houses together, when two of the Indians came out in sight, and before Duvall, who perceived them, could draw the attention of Major Dement to their movements, the Indians fired.
One of the bullets whizzed past Duvall's ear and lodged in the timbers of the house; the other bullet cut Major Dement's commission, which he carried in the crown of his hat. Major Dement mounted two of his men on his swiftest horses, as an express to General Posey, at Buffalo Grove, for reinforcements, who eluded the Indians, but who, doubtless, were observed by the Indians, who divined the object of the flying couriers, and Black Hawk formed his braves into column and started for Rock River. Major Dement lost nine men killed and the Indians left upon the field nine of their dusky warriors, and probably had twice as many wounded.
General Posey hastened with his entire brigade to the relief of Major Dement, but did not reach the Grove, until two hours after Black Hawk had retreated. The next day General Posey marched a little to the north in search of the Indians, then marched back to the Grove to await the arrival of his baggage wagons; and then marched to Fort Hamilton, on the Pecatonica.
"When the news of the battle reached Dixon, where the volunteers and regulars were then assembled, under the command of General Atkinson of the regular army, Alexander's Brigade was ordered in the direction of Plum River to intercept Black Hawk, if possible, but did not succeed. General Atkinson remained with the infantry at Dixon two days, then marched, accompanied by the brigade of General Henry, toward the country of the Four Lakes, higher up Rock River, in Wisconsin.
"General Atkinson., having heard that Black Hawk had concentrated his forces at the Four Lakes and fortified his position with the intention of deciding the fate of the war by a grand battle, marched with as much haste as prudence would warrant when invading a hostile and wilderness country with undisciplined forces, where there was no means of procuring reliable intelligence of the number or whereabouts of the enemy.
"On the 30th of June, 1832, he passed through Turtle Village, a considerable town of the Winnebagoes, then deserted, and camped one mile beyond it on the open prairie. He believed that the hostile Indians were in that immediate neighborhood, and prepared to resist their attack, if made. That night the Indians were prowling about his encampment. Continual alarms were given by the sentinels during the night, and the whole command was frequently called out in order of battle. The march was continued the next day, and nothing occurred until the army arrived at Lake Koshkanong, except the discovery of trails and signs of the recent presence of Indians, the occasional sight of an Indian scout, and the usual camp rumors. Here General Atkinson was joined by General Alexander's brigade, and after Major Ewing and Colonel Fry, with the battalion of the one and the regiment of the other, had thoroughly examined the whole country round about and had ascertained that no enemy was near, the whole force again continued its march up Rock River, on the east side, to the Burnt Village, on the White River, in Wisconsin, where General Atkinson was joined by the brigade of General Posey, from Fort Hamilton on the Pecatonica, and a battalion of a hundred men from Wisconsin, commanded by Major Dodge.
"Eight weeks had now been wasted, with scarcely the sight of a red-skin since the battle of Kellogg's Grove, and the commanding general seemed further from the attainment of his object than when the second requisition of troops was organized. At that time Posey and Alexander commanded each 1,000 men. General Henry took the field with 1,262, and the regulars, under the immediate command of Colonel Zachary Taylor, amounted to 450 more. At this time there was not more than four days' rations in the hands of the commissary; the enemy might be weeks in advance; the volunteers were fast melting away from various causes, although the regulars had not lost a man. General Atkinson therefore found it necessary to disperse his command for the purpose of procuring supplies.
"According to previous arrangements, on the 10th of July, 1832, the several brigades took up their lines of march for their several destinations. Col. Ewing's regiment was sent back to Dixon; Gen. Posey marched to Fort Hamilton, on the Pecatonica; Gen. Henry, with Col. Alexander and Maj. Dodge, was sent to Fort Winnebago, situated at the Portage, between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers; while Gen. Atkinson, with Col. Taylor and the regulars, fell back to Lake Koshkonong, and there erected a fort, named after the lake, where he Avas to remain until the volunteers returned with supplies. Gen. Henry marched to Fort Winnebago in three days.
Two days were occupied by Gen. Henry, at Fort Winnebago, in obtaining provisions, on the last of which the Winnebago chiefs there reported that Black Hawk and his forces were encamped at Manitou Village, thirty-five miles above Gen. Atkinson, on Rock River. In a council held by Gen. Henry, Col. Alexander, and Maj. Dodge, it was determined to violate orders by marching directly to the enemy, with the hope of taking him by surprise, or at least putting Black Hawk between them and Gen. Atkinson, thus cutting off his further retreat to the north. Twelve o'clock, noon, July 15, 1832, was the hour appointed to commence the march. Gen. Henry proceeded at once to reorganize his command, with a view to disencumber himself of his sick and dismounted men, that as little as possible might impede the celerity of his march.
Gen. Henry was a complete soldier. He was gifted with uncommon talent of commanding with sternness without giving offense; of forcing his men to obey, without degrading them in their own estimation; he was brave without rashness, and gave his orders with firmness and authority, without any appearance of bluster. In his mere person he looked the commander, in a word, he was one of those very rare men who are gifted by nature with the power to command militia; to be at the same time feared and loved, and with the capacity of inspiring his soldiers with the ardor, impetuosity, and honorable impulses of their commander. Col. Alexander, with his brigade, was sent back to Gen. Atkinson, and at noon, July 15, 1832, Gen. Henry, with his brigade, the battalion of one hundred Wisconsin volunteers, under Maj. Dodge, and a spy battalion under command of Maj. William Lee D. Ewing, set out on his march from Fort Winnebago to attack Black Hawk, accompanied by Poquette, a half-breed, and the 'White Pawnee,' a Winnebago chief, as guides.
On the route to the head-waters of Rock River he was thrown from a direct line by intervening swamps extending for miles. Reaching Rock River, three Winnebagoes gave intelligence that Black Hawk was encamped at Cranberry Lake, further up the river. Relying on this information, it was decided by Gen. Henry to make a forced march in that direction. Dr. Merryman, of Springfield, Ill., and W. W. Woodbridge, of Wisconsin, were sent as an express to Gen. Atkinson to advise him of Henry's movements. They were accompanied by a chief called ' Little Thunder,' as a guide, and, having started about dark, and proceeded on their perilous journey about eight miles to the southwest, they came upon the fresh main trail of Black Hawk and his people, endeavoring to escape by way of the Four Lakes across the Wisconsin River.
At the sight of the broad, fresh trail, the Indian guide was struck with terror, and, without permission, retreated back to the camp. Merryman and Woodbridge retreated also, but not until the treacherous 'Little Thunder' had announced his discovery in the Indian tongue to the Winnebagoes, his countrymen, who were in the very act of making their escape, when they were stopped by Maj. Murray McConnell, and taken to the tent of Gen. Henry, to whom they confessed that they had come into his camp only to give false information, and favor the retreat of Black Hawk and his dusky warriors, and then, to make amends for their perfidy, and, perhaps, as they were led to believe, to avoid immediate death, they disclosed all they knew of Black Hawk's movements.
Gen. Henry prudently kept the treachery of these Indians a secret from his men, for it would have required the influence of himself and all his officers to have saved their lives, had their perfidious conduct been known throughout the camp. The next morning, July 19, 1832, by daylight, everything was ready for a forced march; but first another express was dispatched to Gen. Atkinson. All cumbrous baggage was thrown away. The tents and most of the camp equipage were left in a pile in the wilderness. Many of the men left their blankets and all their clothing, except the suits they wore. Those who had lost their horses took nothing but their guns and ammunition and slight rations on their backs, and traveled over mountain and plain, swamp and thicket, and kept up with the men on horseback.
All the men now marched with a better spirit than usual. The sight of the broad, fresh trail of Black Hawk's retreating people inspired every one with a lively hope of bringing the war to a speedy end. There was no murmuring, there was no excuse or complaining, and none on the sick report. The first day, in the afternoon, they were overtaken by one of those storms common on the prairies, black and terrific, accompanied by torrents of rain, and the most fearful lightning and thunder; but the men dashed on through thickets almost impenetrable, and swamps almost impassable, and that day marched upward of fifty miles. During the day's march, Gen. Henry, Maj. Murray McConnell, and the members of the General's staff, often dismounted and marched on foot, giving their horses to the weary, dismounted men. The storm raged until two o'clock the next morning. The men, exhausted with fatigue, threw themselves supperless upon the rain-drenched earth for the rain was so continuous that they could not kindle fires with which to prepare supper. The next morning, July 20, 1832, the storm had abated, and all were on the march by daylight, and after a march as fatiguing as the day before, the army encamped upon the banks of the Four Lakes forming the source of the Catfish River in Wisconsin, and near where Black Hawk had encamped the night previous. The men kindled their fires for supper with a hearty good will, for they had marched nearly a hundred miles without cooked food or a spark of fire. All were in fine spirits and high expectation of overtaking the Indians next day, and putting an end to the war by a general battle.
"At daylight, July 21, 1832, the march was resumed with unabated ardor. The men were hurried forward by the continual order, 'Close up, close up.' The day's march was harder than the two preceding days. The men on foot were forced into a run to keep up with the column, the men on horseback carrying for them their arms and rations. Maj. William Lee D. Ewing commanded the spy battalion and with him was joined the battalion of one hundred men under the command of Maj. Dodge, of Wisconsin. These two officers with their commands were in the advance, but the main body was always in sight.
About noon the advance guard came close upon the rear guard of the retreating red-skins. It is to be regretted that we have no account of the management and perils of Hawk Black in conducting his retreat. All that we know is that for many miles before they were overtaken their broad trail was strewn with camp kettles baggage of various kinds, which they had thrown away in the hurry of their flight. The sight of those articles encouraged Gen. Henry's men to press forward. About noon the scouts in the advance came suddenly upon two Indians, and as the Indians were attempting to escape, one of them was killed and left dead upon the field.
Dr. Addison Philleo, editor of the Galenian, a newspaper published at Galena, and the only paper published in the Northwest at that time, scalped the dead Indian, and for a long time afterward exhibited the scalp as an evidence of his valor. He may not have been as eloquent as the Kentucky lawyer who distinguished himself in reporting to Gen. Whiteside the battle of Stillman's Run; but the writer is induced to remark that lawyers and editors are not, in his opinion, successful Indian fighters.
Early in the afternoon the rear guard of Black Hawk's army began to make feint stands, merely to gain time to enable the main body to take up a more advantageous position. A few shots would be exchanged, and then the Indians would push ahead; but with so wily a foe to fight, caution had to be observed, troops deployed, and the thickets scoured, to be certain of no lurking foes. In this manner the Indians gained time to reach the broken grounds on the bluffs of the Wisconsin river. Near the middle of the afternoon, July 21, 1832, while Gen. Henry's advance guard was passing some uneven ground, covered with low timber and high grass, they were suddenly fired upon by a body of secreted Indians.
In an instant Maj. Ewing's command was dismounted and formed in front, sending their horses to the rear. The Indians kept up a fire from behind fallen trees, and none of them could be discovered except by the flash and report of their guns. In a few minutes Gen. Henry arrived with the main body, and formed instantly his order of battle. Col. Jones' regiment was placed on the right, Col. Collins' regiment on the left, and Col. Fry's regiment in the rear as a reserve; Maj. Ewing's battalion was placed in front of the line; Maj. Dodge's battalion of one hundred men, from Wisconsin, on the extreme right, all dismounted, and in this order Gen. Henry's little army moved forward into battle. Gen. Henry gave the order to charge with the whole line, and his order was eagerly and handsomely executed by Ewing's battalion, and by Col. Jones' and Col. Collins' regiments.
"The Indians retreated before this charge obliquely to the right, and concentrated their main force in front of Dodge's battalion, evidencing a design to turn his right flank. Gen. Henry sent an order by Major Murray McConnell to Major Dodge to charge with his battalion; but Major Dodge being of the opinion that the enemy was too strong for him, requested a reinforcement. Gen. Henry ordered Col. Fry's regiment, his only reserve, to the aid of Major Dodge, and formed it on his right, and Major Dodge and Col. Fry charged upon the Indians.
In front of Col. Fry's regiment were bushes and high grass where the Indians lay concealed, and Fry's regiment received the fire of nearly the whole body of Black Hawk's warriors. But their fire was briskly returned by the regiment of Col. Fry and by Dodge's battalion, and the whole line steadily advanced until within almost bayonet reach of the red-skins, when Black Hawk fell back to the west along the high, broken bluffs of the Wisconsin, and took up a new position in the thickest timber and tall grass at the head of a hollow leading to the Wisconsin river, where Black Hawk appeared determined to make a firm stand; but he was gallantly charged upon in his new position by the battalion of Major Ewing and the regiments of Col. Collins and Col. Jones, and the Indians put to rout, some of them being pursued down the hollow, and others again to the west along the high bluffs of the river, until they descended the bluffs to the Wisconsin bottom, nearly a mile wide and very swampy, covered with thick, tall grass above the heads of men on horseback. Night came on; further pursuit was stopped, and Gen. Henry and his victorious little army lay upon the field of battle.
"That night Gen. Henry's camp was disturbed by the voice of an Indian, loudly sounding from a distant hill, as if giving orders or desiring conference. It afterward appeared that it was a voice of an Indian chief, speaking in the Winnebago language, stating that the Indians had their squaws and families with them, that they were starving for provisions, and were not able to fight the white people; that if they were permitted to pass peacefully over the Mississippi, they would do no more mischief. He spoke in the Winnebago tongue in the hope that some of the Winnebago Indians were with Gen. Henry and would act as his interpreters. No Winnebagoes were present, they having ran at the commencement of the action, and so his language was never explained until after the close of the war.
"Next morning early Gen. Henry advanced his forces to the Wisconsin River, and ascertained that the Indians had all crossed it, and made their escape to the hills between the Wisconsin and the Mississippi, It was ascertained after the battle that Black Hawk's loss amounted to sixty-eight left dead upon the field, and a large number of wounded, of whom twenty-five were afterward found along the Indian trail leading to the Mississippi. Gen. Henry lost one man killed and eight wounded. It appeared that the Indians, knowing that they were to fight a mounted force had been trained to fire at an elevation to hit men on horseback; but as Gen. Henry had dismounted his forces, and sent his horses into the rear, the Indians had overshot their foes, which accounted for the small loss in Gen. Henry's command.
"This gallant action, July 21, 1832, an Illinoisan, and a volunteer, fought against orders, but with a true soldier's ardor to serve his country, and with a soldier's care to notify his commanding general by frequent expresses of his actions and intentions; and this battle of the Wisconsin really and virtually ended the famous Black Hawk War, and opened up Stephenson County to permanent settlement by the whites.
But Gen. Henry received no credit for it then. The valorous Doctor Philleo, editor of The Gralenian, wrote up an account of it, in the interest of Maj. Dodge, calling Dodge a general, and not mentioning Gen. Henry at all, and his account of the battle was printed in all the newspapers of the United States, and has gone into many of its histories, filching Gen. Henry's fame for the benefit of Maj. Dodge. Besides, the gallant conduct and splendid generalship of Gen. Henry, gave mortal offense to all the regular army officers for then, as in our late war, West Pointers were determined that mere volunteers should win no laurels. Gen. Henry was as modest as he was brave and skillful, and went to his death without the just praise that posterity will award him.
"The next day after the battle of the Wisconsin, on July 22, 1832, for want of provisions, Gen. Henry determined to fall back to the Blue Mounds. The Winnebagoes who accompanied Gen. Henry during his forced march, at the very commencement of the action, had deserted, and made a bee-line for 'tall timber.' No one with Gen. Henry knew enough of the country to act as a guide. Gen. Henry had marched 130 miles through an unknown and unexplored country, without roads or landmarks, simply pushing hard upon Black Hawk's trail, and now found himself in a position in which no one with him could direct his way to the settlements. He was without rations or forage, men and animals fatigued, and he might be a week blundering through the wilderness finding his way out. A council was called to consider these difficulties; and whilst he was debating the course to be pursued, some Indians approached with a white flag, who were ascertained to be friendly Winnebagoes.
They acted as guides for Gen. Henry, and in two days he had arrived at Blue mounds, where he met Gen. Atkinson with the regulars and Alexander's brigade, from Fort Koskonong, where they had been 'bottled up' while Gen. Henry achieved his splendid victory over Black Hawk; also Posey's brigade from Fort Hamilton, on the Pecatonica. It was soon apparent to Gen. Henry, and to all his officers, that Gen. Atkinson, and all the regular officers, were deeply mortified at the success of Gen. Henry and the Illinois militia. They did not intend that non-professionals and mere volunteers should have any of the credit in the war. Volunteers were good enough for fighting, good enough to enrich the soil with their blood, but the harvest of fame that sprang from their sprinkled blood must be garnered by West Pointers.
"Gen. Henry had virtually ended the war, but Gen. Atkinson soon put his army in motion after Black Hawk and his dispirited braves. On the 2d of August, 1832, the battle of Bad Axe was fought by Gen. Atkinson. He put the gallant Gen. Henry and his command virtually into disgrace by detailing him and his brigade as train guard in the rear. But circumstances occurred that gave Gen. Henry and his gallant Illinois volunteers the front again, without the orders and against the wish of Gen. Atkinson.
The Indians were encamped on the banks of the Mississippi, some distance below the mouth of the Bad Axe River. They were aware that Gen. Atkinson was in close pursuit; and to mislead Gen. Atkinson and gain time for crossing into the Indian country, west of the Mississippi, Black Hawk in person went back with about twenty Indians, to meet Gen. Atkinson's advance, attack, and retreat to the river several miles above his regular camp. Accordingly, Gen. Atkinson's advance was suddenly fired upon by Biack Hawk and his little band from behind trees and fallen timber. Gen. Atkinson rode immediately to the front and, in person, directed a charge. The wily Indians gave way, and were pursued by Gen. Atkinson and his regulars, and all the army except the brigade of the gallant Gen. Henry, that was in the rear acting as train guard, and in the hurry of the pursuit of the Indians, Gen. Henry was left without orders.
When Gen. Henry came up to the place where the attack had first been made by the Indians, he saw clearly that the wily stratagem of the untutored savage had triumphed over the science of a veteran General. The main trail of the Indians was plain to be seen leading to the river lower down, and Gen. Henry marched his brigade right forward upon the main trail. At the foot of the high bluff bordering the river valley, on the edge of a swamp covered with timber, drift-wood and underbrush, through which the Indian trail led fresh and broad, Gen. Henry dismounted his troops and left his horses. He formed his men on foot and advanced to the attack, preceded by an advance guard of eight men, who advanced until they came in sight of the river, where they were fired upon by about fifty Indians, and five out of eight in the advance guard instantly fell wounded or dead.
The other three, behind trees, stood their ground until Gen. Henry came up with the main body, which deployed to the right and left from the center, rushed forward, and the battle became general along the whole line. The fifty Indians first met retreated upon the main body, amounting to about 800 warriors; but the Indians were taken by surprise. They fought bravely and desperately, but their leader, Black Hawk, was not with them he had led the small party in the first attack upon Gen. Atkinson, and was now misleading the veteran regular General away from his own camp and the Indians in front of Henry fought without plan or concert. Gen. Henry, with his gallant Illinois volunteers, charged steadily forward, driving the foe from tree to tree, and from hiding place to hiding place, and crowded them steadily to the river's bank, where a desperate struggle ensued; but the deadly bayonet in the hands of Gen. Henry's charging brigade drove them into the river, some to swim it, some to drown, and some to take temporary shelter on a small willow-covered island near the shore.
"Gen. Atkinson heard the music of Henry's rifles, and returned with his army, but the work was mainly accomplished. It had been determined that Gen. Henry and his Illinois volunteers should have no share in that day's glory, but the fates taking advantage of a blunder by Gen. Atkinson had otherwise directed. After the Indians had retreated into the Mississippi River and on to the willow-covered island, Gen. Henry sent Maj. Murray McConnel to give intelligence of his movements to Gen. Atkinson, who, while being misled by Black Hawk and his little band of twenty chosen warriors, had heard the firing where Gen. Henry was engaged. Gen. Atkinson left the pursuit of the twenty Indians and hastened to share in the general engagement. He w as met by Gen. Henry's messenger, Maj. Murray McConnell, near the scene of action, in passing through which, the dead and dying Indians lying around, bore frightful evidence of the stern work done before his arrival.
Gen. Atkinson, however, lost no time in forming his regulars, and Major Dodge's battalion, Maj. Ewing's battalion, and Col. Fry's regiment, for a descent upon the willow-covered island, where lay concealed the last remnant of Black Hawk's army. They gallantly charged through the water up to their arm-pits on to the island and swept it clean of the lurking foe. The twenty Indians who first made the attack on Gen. Atkinson, and misled him, who were led by Black Hawk in person, escaped up the river to the Dalles, on the Wisconsin, where some friendly Sioux and Winnebagoes pursued the broken and defeated chief, captured him and turned him over to Col. Zachary Taylor, of the regular army.
He was taken to Jefferson Barracks, where Gen. Winfield Scott and Gov. Reynolds made another 'treaty,' and again the Sacs and Foxes relinquished to the whites all claim upon the territory now known as Stephenson County, Ill., including, of course, vast tracts besides. Black Hawk was taken to Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, etc., and dined and wined, and eventually returned to his people west of the Mississippi, on June 4, 1833. Black Hawk never went upon the warpath again, and died at the age of eighty, October 3, 1840.
Stephenson County was created by an act of the Legislature, promulgated March 4, 1837, its organization provided for, and the seat of justice established at Freeport, by a Board of Commissioners, composed of Minor York, of Ogle, and Vance L. Davidson and Isaac Chambers, of Jo Daviess Counties. A meeting of the Commissioners was held at the house of William Baker, on the first Monday of May following, whereat the organization was perfected, and an election held for the following county officers: Sheriff, Coroner, Surveyor, three County Commissioners and one Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court, who were to hold their offices until the next succeeding general elections, and until their successors are elected and qualified.
The subjoined is a list of the first county officers, together with those who succeeded the subsequent vacancies:
Sheriffs. William Kirkpatrick, 1837; Hubbard Graves, 1838; Oliver W. Brewster, 1840; Joseph McCool, 1842; 0. W. Brewster, 1844-46; F A. Strockey, 1848.
Coroner. Lorenzo Lee. 1837; B. R. Wilmot, 1838; Lorain Snow, 1840; Henry W. Hollenbeck, 1841; Isaac S. Forbes, 1842; W. Patterson, 1844; Henry W. Foster, 1846; Abel Smith, 1848.
Surveyor. Frederick D. Bulkley, from 1837 to 1842; A. Chamberlain, 1843; no record in 1844, 1845, 1846; M. Montelius, 1847.
Commissioners. L. W. Streator, Isaac S. Forbes and Julius Smith, 1837; L. W. Streator, Robert McConnell and John Moore, 1838; Thomas Van Valzah, 1839; J. Cory and B. R. Wilmot, 1840; Hubbard Graves and Alfred Cadwell, 1841; James T. Smith and George Reitzell, 1842; Joseph Musser, 1843; Ezekiel Brown, 1844; Samuel F. Dodds. 1845; Abner B. Clingman, 1846; John Bradford, 1847; Gustavus A. Farwell, 1848.
County Clerk. O. H. Wright, 1837; no returns for 1838; O. H. Wright, from 1839 to 1846.
Assessor and Treasurer. L. O. Crocker, 1837-40.
Assessors. 0. W. Brewster, 1841-42; Chancellor Martin, 1843; A. W. Rice, 1844-47.
Probate Judges. 0. H. Wright, 1838-41; Thomas J. Turner, 1842-45; Seth B. Farwell, 1846; C. W. Williams, 1847.
Clerks County Commissioners Court. W. H. Hollenbeck, 1837; W. P. Hunt, 1838: W. H. Hollenbeck, 1839-42; William Preston, from 1843 to 1847.
Collectors. John R. Howe, 1838; John Gordon, 1840; 0. W. Brewster, 1841-47; F. A. Strockey, 1848.
State Senators. George W . Harrison, 1838; J. A. Mitchell, 1842; L. P. Sanger, 1846-48.
Mouse of Representatives. Germanicus Kent, 1838; Thomas Drummond, 1840; William Preston, 1842; G. Purinton, 1844; L. H. Bowen, 1846; L. H. Bowen, 1847; A. Eads, 1848.
School Commissioners. John Rice, 1841; Jared Sheetz, 1843; L. W. Guiteau. 1845-47.
Treasurer. L. 0. Crocker, 184142; Chancellor Martin, 1843; A. W. Rice. 1844-7.
Recorder. J. W. Bulkley, 1843; John A. Clark, 1845-47.
It should be stated that prior to the election, of November, 1849, the county was under what is known as "the county organization." Thereafter it came under township organization, and the following is the list of officers who have served:
County Judge. George Purinton, 1849; John Coates, 1853; W. M. Buckley. 1857;Talcott Ormsbee, 1861; Charles B. Wright, 186365; Andrew Hinds 1869; Henry C. Hyde, 1873-77.
County Clerk. W. Preston, 1849; J. J. Rogers, 1853 died in office, and David H. Sunderland, elected to the vacancy at a special election, holden June 4. 1855. David H. Sunderland 1857-61; George Thompson, 1865; George Thompson, 1869; I. F. Kleekner. 1873-77.
County Justices of the Peace. L. Gibler and G. W. Andrews, 1850.
County Treasurer. Jonathan Reitzell, 1849; W. M. Buckley, 1853; Andrew Hinds, 1855; W. S. Gray, 1857-61; William Young, 1863-65; Robert T. Cooper, 1869-71; Oliver P. McCool, 1873-75; Charles F. Goodhue, 1877 removed in October, 1878, and Wallace W. Hutchison succeeded to the vacancy at a special election held in November of the same year; re-elected at the general election for county officers, holden Nov. 4, 1879.
County Surveyor. Marcus Carter, 1849; B. Dornblazer, 1853-57; C. T. Dunham, 1859; William 0. Saxton, to fill vacancy, 1860; W. Peters, 1861-63; Christopher T. Dunham, 1865-69; Samuel J. Dodds, 1871; F. E. Josel, 1875; Hiram Shons, 1879.
School Commissioners. J. B. Smith, 1849; John Barfoot, 1852; F. W. 5. Brawley, 1853-55; Henry Freeman, 1857; H. C. Burchard, 1859; A. A. Crary, 1861-63.
The title to the office changed to County Superintendent of Schools A. A. Crary, 1865; Isaac F. Kleckner, 1869; Johnson Potter, 1873; Adam A. Krape, 1877.
Senators. The Senatorial District was originally composed of the counties of Stephenson, Carroll and Jo Daviess, with one Senator and three Representatives one from each county. This continued until the adoption of the constitution in 1870. The Senators were Hugh Wallace, 1850; John H. Adams; 1854, re-elected, 1858-62 and 1866; James M. Hunter and Dr. Little, 1870, Henry Green, 1872; R. H. McClellan, 1876.
Representatives. B. B. Howard, 1850; C. B. Denio, 1852; T. J. Turner, 1854; J. A. Davis, 1856; J. A. Davis, 1858; John F. Ankeney, 1860; Horatio C. Burchard, 1862-64; Joseph M. Bailey, 1866-68; Thomas J. Turner and William Massenberg, 1870; E. L. Cronkrite and J. S. Taggart, 1872-74; E. L. Cronkrite, 1876; J. I. Neff and Andrew Hinds, 1878.
Sheriffs. Peter D. Fisher, 1850; George Reitzell, 1852; Isaac Kleckner, 1854; J. W. Shaffer, 1856: C. F. Taggart, 1858: J. W. Shaffer, 1860; W. W. Robey. 1862; Jeremiah J. Piersol, 1864; W. W. Robey, 1866; John R. Hayes, 1868; John R. Haves, 1870; J. J. Piersol, 1872-74; Jesse R. Leigh, 1876-78.
Coroner. Isaac Bechtol, 1850; George H. Hartsough, 1852; Abel Smith, 1854; Samuel McAfee, 1856: B. P. Belknap, 1857, to fill vacancy; John Washburn, 1858; Levi A. Mease, 1862; W. W. Robey, 1864; F. A. Darling, 1866: Caspar Schultz, 1868; Christian M. Hillebrand, 1869; Jeremiah J. Dean, 1870-78.
Circuit Judges. The Circuit Court first held its sessions on the 26th day of August, 1839, the Hon. Daniel Stone presiding. In the winter of 1840, an act was passed by the General Assembly, abolishing the Circuit Court system, and providing that the duties incident thereto should be discharged by the Judges of the Supreme Court. This was continued until the fall of 1848, when the Circuit Court system was revived, and has since obtained with the following Justices: Daniel Stone, 1839; Thomas C. Brown, 1841; Benjamin R. Sheldon, 1849 to March, 1870; William Brown, the present incumbent. In 1877, Stephenson County was included in the Thirteenth Circuit, the same consisting of the counties of Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Carroll, Ogle, Whiteside and Lee. For this circuit three Judges were elected J. M. Bailey, William Brown and John V. Eustace. Bailey was appointed Justice of the Appellate Court, and the duties of his circuit are discharged by Justices Brown and Eustace, though Judge Bailey assists when not engaged on the Appellate bench.
Clerks Circuit Court. John A. Clark, from 1839 to 1852; Joseph B. Smith, to 1856; Luther W. Guiteau, to 1860; John W. Shaffer, to November 9, 1863, resigned and Edward P. Hodges appointed to the vacancy; subsequently elected to the office for four years from 1864: William Polk, to 1872; Aaron W. Hall, 1876; D. S. Brewster, present incumbent.
States .Attorney. Sheldon L. Hall, 1839; Thomas J. Turner, 1846; H. B. Stillman, 1847-50; Orrin S. Miller, 1851-52; William Brown, to 1860; S. D. Atkins, to 1864; F. C. Ingalls, to 1868; D. W. Jackson, to 1872; J. S. Cochran, the present incumbent.
With the close of the Black Hawk war, the Indians as a rule disappeared from their hunting grounds, and returned no more to plague the inventors of a new line of life in future Stephenson County. The few who remained were dispirited, subdued and awed into defenseless apathy by the whites, whom they rarely interfered with or in any way, save through minor thefts and annoyances proceeding therefrom, recognized as the existing power. The relics of their barbaric life, however, were noticed by the settlers at intervals, and recalled the days when Winneshiek occupied the country without restraint.
Near the City of Freeport,where are to be seen their corn-fields, council houses, cabins and cemeteries wherein they labored, consulted, lived, died and were buried not committed to mother earth, there to await the dawning of the resurrection morn, but laid to rest in the air, if so anomalous a condition of affairs can be conceived. Four strong poles were planted in the ground, on which a platform was constructed, and the body of the dead with his bow and arrows, together with various trinkets placed thereon and left to the storms, the sunshine, and the future. Some of these antique "burial-grounds " were to be observed by the early settlers in the West, when the skeleton of deceased was all that remained to recall the living, who once rejoiced in health and strength, whose tribe doubtless mourned the deep damnation of his takings-off, as its representatives shrived him for his pursuit of game and foemen in the happy hunting-grounds. But these sentinels of death, against whom the advance of progressing civilization long since prevailed, disappeared with their discovery, and no monument remains to mark the spot where once they were endured.
Years have elapsed since the first settlers visited Stephenson County, whence they went the way of all flesh, and the music of their rejoicings became fainter and fainter until it was stilled. In the hurry and bustle of life, in the burdens which mankind has borne, made heavier with each succeeding cycle, in the changes which have followed each other so rapidly, and the active advancement in the perfected places of life, the historic associations connected with these pioneers, have lost some of their freshness, but none of the value to which they are justly entitled. Once their corn-fields decked the river bottoms and fringed the hillsides and ravines with a wealth of foliage, bespeaking a plenteous harvest against the hour of need.
In the russet days of the present, when the tanned reaper in brief moments of ease vouchsafed him, the fields lying brown and bare, contemplates his possessions as they dot the landscape, and are lost in the horizon, he scarcely reflects upon the times long since gone out in age, and consigned to the tomb of oblivion, where others who preceded him toiled as he toiled in fields of grain ripe for the harvest, rejoiced as he rejoiced, unmindful of the coming of age and infirmities, or of another generation by whom his acres should be appropriated and himself not unfrequently left to wander an Ishmaelite in almost undiscovered lands. But many of them have gone, and with them many a glorious throng of happy dreams.
Yet if there is a pious mansion for the blest, if the soul is not extinguished with the body, may they not return in spring, or with the harvest in autumn, or with winter and his aged locks, and view the regions they once knew so familiarly, or sit and muse upon the changes that have been wrought and have survived the injuries of time, since they went hence. They kept their patient vigil in their day, faced the storm of penury and wrestled with the strong hand of adversity, but the seed sown amid trials, and sorrows and weepings, has yielded sheaves of wealth to the present days which are bound to the melodies of harvest songs and stored with prayers of thanksgiving. Those days were dark, indeed, with no silver lining to the clouds that impended over the future. But none were disheartened. Their hearts were high with hope. They believed the horizon would dawn into the morning of which prophets spoke and minstrels sang, of which poets dreamed and painters sketched. They believed the time would be when the fir-tree would come up instead of the thorn, the myrtle-tree instead of the brier, when the mountains and hills should break forth into singing, and the trees of the wood should clap their hands.
And these confidences have been more than realized. The thorn has given place to the fir-tree, and the myrtle-tree has usurped the place of the briar. The voices of the husbandmen are heard throughout the land, and their songs of thanksgiving are echoed from each hillside. Peace, plenty, felicity and contentment are to be witnessed on every side; the heritages of those who came into this unbroken wilderness fifty years ago, buoyant, elastic, laughing at temporary misfortune, shedding a genial warmth on those they met while passing through life, and, departing, leaving behind not only a kindly and gentle memory, but an example for those who came after.
The collation of facts concerning events occurring at a date within the memory of inhabitants by no means comparatively ancient, would appear to the uninitiated in the character of a task presenting but limited difficulties. By some, the labor has been regarded as one of the necessary incidents of life to be endured; some have regarded it with indifference, while others have paused not in their fierce career to concede a superficial consideration of the premises.
From these indispositions, coupled with the failure among those possessed of the incidents, to record the same for future reference and adaptation, the record of early settlements contains but scant materials from which to weave an acceptable history. Patient industry and careful research, however, have not been without results, but have aided the laborers employed in that behalf.
From all that can be learned in this connection, it appears that a man named Kirker left St. Louis some time during the year 1826, and, removing to the vicinity of Galena, established himself as a lead miner in the employ of Col. Gratiot, founder of Gratiot's Grove, Wis. Here he remained about a year, doubtless encountering many of the vicissitudes, enduring many of the trials and participating in some of the triumphs peculiar to lead mining and the life thereof, when he dissolved partnership with the business, bade good-bye to Col Gratiot and his associates, and, venturing into Stephenson County, built a cabin in Burr Oak Grove, and set himself up as an Indian trader. The success which attended his commercial undertaking is not of record, but the fact that he retired from active operations and left his habitation to the possession of savages within a year after his advent into its vicinity, would argue the conclusion that his ambition was not properly recognized, which conclusion is further strengthened by the fact that he was heard of no more after his year's sojourn at Burr Oak. Whither he went or what he did are beyond the ken of the living, the suggestion of rumor or the range of probabilities, to determine. He was never seen again in the vicinity nor elsewhere, according to the chronicles.
For a year following, future Stephenson County was remitted to the possession of the Indians, and whomsoever may have been sufficiently adventurous to enter its territorial limits, without leaving any trail behind him to guide posterity or enterprise in their pursuits of his name and local habitation.
During 1827, when, according to all accounts, the summer's sun had vanished and autumn winds were whistling through the leafless trees, a native of New York by the name of Oliver W. Kellogg, crossed the river at Dixon, and, pursuing the uneven tenor of an emigrant's way in those days, worried gradually through the eastern portion of the present county, and tarried not until he reached the improvements made by Kirker, his predecessor, near Burr Oak Grove, in the vicinity of which he pitched his camp, and before the coming of spring erected a house. The domicile was in many respects a pretentious edifice for the days, and enjoyed an experience as varied as it has been at times, exciting.
Within its protecting and hospitable walls John Dement, of Dixon, and his troops, took shelter from the Indians, and, in the spring of 1835, it became the home of James Timms, one of the first permanent settlers in the county, he purchasing the domain from a man named Green, of Galena, who derived a title from Lafayette, a French adventurer who succeeded Kellogg in its possession, but fled when the Black Hawk war rendered residence in Burr Oak Grove an exceedingly hazardous undertaking. The old house remained comparatively intact until 1862, when it was torn down and the frame appropriated to other uses. A new house was built on the site, but no more like the Kellogg improvement, it is said, than Hecuba resembled Hamlet.
Nothing remains of these pioneer premises but an orchard, old and fruitless, that was planted by Kellogg, the first in Stephenson County. It has served its purpose, and, decrepit with age, is permitted to survive the rush of matter for the good it has been the means of accomplishing in the flush of its youth and strength.
During the summer of 1833, the "barren" opposite this house was the scene of a tragedy as fatal as it was singular, by which two lives were sacrificed, two families shrouded in woe, and the soil of Stephenson County first drenched with the blood of murdered innocence.
It seems that two young men, en route to the lead mines, had halted at the point indicated, and encamped for the night. Their establishment consisted of a wagon and two yoke of cattle, together with the equipments usual to the completely furnished "prairie schooner," and of a quality superior to that ordinarily taken into the lead mines at the period mentioned. As was afterward ascertained, they were the sons of Virginia planters, who became impressed with the glowing accounts they had heard of the wealth of the lead country, and, provided with every accessory that could contribute to their comfort or prosperity, started in pursuit of fortune. After a laborious trip, the adventurous twain reached Kellogg's cabin, as the shades of night were obscuring the landscape, and having, as they thought, secured their cattle and eaten their supper, lay down to dreams. In the morning, they awoke to discover that their oxen had strayed off, and while one of them prepared breakfast the other started out in search of the missing stock. After a delay of several hours the oxen were recovered, and driven to camp. Upon their arrival, the young man who had been left in charge, was found to have made no progress in the duties assigned him, and a dispute arose between himself and his companion as to the cause.
This discussion was carried on, it is said, with much acrimony, and finally ended in blows, during which one of the contestants seized a pin, connected with the tongue of the wagon, or an ox-yoke, and, striking a blow upon the head of his antagonist, crushed the skull, and inflicted a wound that caused almost instant death.
Paralyzed with horror at the lengths to which, in an unguarded moment, he had permitted his anger to carry him, he was powerless for the time to attempt any concealment of his crime, and sought a relief from the woe, to which he had committed his peace of mind, by flight. But wanderings through the forest afforded no release from the pangs of conscience, and he returned to the scene of the tragedy, where his victim had fallen by the wayside, cold and stiff, grim and ghastly, a horrible spectacle to those inured to scenes of strife and bloodshed, and doubly so to him, with whom he had embarked so short a time before, with high hopes and pleasurable anticipations on the voyage of life that terminated in death and eternal desolation.
With the implements included in the invoice of tools, he digged a grave, and, laying his companion therein, the survivor hooked up the oxen and pursued his journey west, arriving at Apple River within a week after the sad occurrence, where he related the facts, as are herein stated, to the amazed settlers, who placed no restraint upon his liberty, however, when he disappeared from view, and was never seen or heard of thereafter. Many years subsequent, the skeleton of a human being was found in the woods of Jo Daviess County, of whose identity no one could be found to testify, and the impression obtained that it was the remains of him who had murdered his comrade in the barren opposite the Kellogg cabin.
All sales go to help support this website.
Stories, Volume 1
One - Geographical
Thank you for visiting!