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colonel, with authority to raise a battalion of seven companies in the western counties of Virginia for a secret expedition under his command.
Early in June his recruiting captains returned with their levies from the counties west of the Blue Ridge to Pittsburgh, and he descended the Ohio with the broken companies to“ the Falls." Here, encamped on “Corn Island," he tarried some time, in hopes of recruiting his forces from the stations ; but the secret expedition was unpopular in the settlements, which were entirely dependent on the protection of the militia, and it was deemed inexpedient to reduce their numbers, and thereby invite attack from the enemy.
With one hundred and fifty-three men, he descended the river below the mouth of the Tennessee ; there concealing his boats, he advanced through the wilderness direct to Kaskaskia, and on the night of July 4th took possession of the British post and the town of Kaskaskia, without the loss of a man or the fire of
[A.D. 1778.] A few days sufficed to reduce the whole country to the allegiance of Virginia, and the posts to her arms. Before the lapse of many days he was master of all the British posts from the Wabash to the Upper Mississippi, had established the authority of Virginia, and had sent the governor and commandants prisoners of war to the State capital.
[A.D. 1779.] The following year, the British commandant at Detroit having advanced upon Vincennes and recovered the post, which had been without a garrison, Colonel Clark, with the same celerity as at Kaskaskia, advanced eastward to the Wabash, at the most wet and inclement season of the winter, and after an investment of thirty-six hours, captured the entire British force and recovered the place, sending Colonel Hamilton and his officers prisoners of war to Virginia.
[A.D. 1780.] Having supreme military command on the Lower Ohio and on the Mississippi, he established Fort Jefferson on the Mississippi, a few miles below the Ohio, thus extending the authority and the arms of Virginia to the remotest limit of British power in the West. For several years afterward he commanded on the Ohio above " the Falls," and became the admiration and the terror of the hostile tribes.
The history of Colonel Clark during the subsequent years, until 1786, is so intimately blended with that of Kentucky, that it is unnecessary here to trace his services further.
EXTENSION OF VIRGINIA SETTLEMENTS AND JURISDICTION TO THE
MISSISSIPPI.-INDIAN HOSTILITIES UPON THE OHIO.-A.D. 1776 To 1780.
Argument.—Retrospect of the frontier Settlements of Western Virginia, Pennsylva.
nia, North Carolina, and Kentucky in 1776.—Check to these Settlements by hostile Cherokees.-Cherokee War.—Three-fold Invasion of Cherokee Country.—“ Treaty of Dewett's Corner."-"Treaty of Long Island," on Holston.—Cherokees retire from ceded Territory.-Hostilities of Northwestern Tribes.-Kentucky Stations supplied with Powder by Major Clark.-Posts on the Ohio.-Attack on M'Clellan's Station, December, 1776.-Hostilities in West Augusta.- County of Kentucky erected.Militia Organization in 1777.—District of West Augusta divided into three Counties. -Ohio County organized.— Settlements in West Augusta.—The Indians attack Har. rod's Station; also, Logan's Fort and Boonesborough.-Militia organization in Ohio County.-Memorable Siege of Boonesborough from July 4th to September.- Captain Logan's Re-enforcement from North Carolina.—Colonel John Bowman's Re-enforcement.-County of Kentucky organized.—Militia Organization.—Extent of Kentucky County.--Colonel Henderson indemnified for Loss of Transylvania.-Indian Hostili. ties near the Ohio.-Cornstalk, Ellinipsico, and Red Hawk killed at Point Pleasant. -Condition of Wheeling Fort.-"Fort Henry."--Situation and Importance of this Fort.-Attacked by four hundred Indians under Simon Girty.-Loss of the Garrison near the Fort.- Incidents of Indian Warfare.—Major M'Cullock.-Captain Mason.Major Clark plans the Reduction of Kaskaskia.—The Expedition proceeds from “ the Falls."-Surprise and Capture of Kaskaskia and “Fort Gage."-Suspension of Civil Government in West Augusta.-Martial Law suspended.—Courts organized.-Attorneys and Attorney-general.-Daniel Boone and twenty-seven Men captured at Blue Licks. His Captivity among the Indians.—His Escape and Return to Boonesborough.-Makes an Incursion to Paint Creek. Boonesborough invested by large Indian Force, August, 1778.-Defense and Incidents of the Siege.—"Fort M'Intosh” erected.—"Fort Laurens" erected.—Protracted Siege of Fort Laurens.-Court of Land Commissioners established in Kentucky, 1779.–First Settlement at Lexington, Bryant's Station, Forks of Licking, and on Sources of Salt River.- Massacre of Col. onel Rodgers and ninety Men on the Ohio.-Colonel Bowman's unsuccessful Expedition to the Miami Towns.—Emigration to Kentucky.- Arrival of Immigrants in 1779. -Scarcity of Provisions.—Depreciation of Paper Currency.—Distress of Emigrants until 1780.-Defenses on the Ohio.-"Fort Nelson.”-Colonel Slaughter.-Landed Interest in Kentucky.—The Indians capture Ruddle's and Martin's Stations, and retire.-Destruction of the Moravian Towns on the Coshocton.-Massacre of Captives and friendly Moravians.-Colonel Clark invades the Shawanese Country in 1780.Militia Organization in 1780.—Colonel Clark erects “Fort Jefferson" on the Mississippi.--Southern Boundary of Virginia extended to the Mississippi.
[A.D. 1776.] During the period under consideration, the state of Virginia, in virtue of her royal charter, claimed all the territory which would be included by extending her northern and southern boundaries due west to the Mississippi. This would comprise all the lands east of the Mississippi between the parallels of 36° 30' and 39° 40', of course including Kentucky, the southern half of Illinois, and one third of Ohio, or all that portion south of M.Connelsville, Lancaster, and Xenia ; and before the close of the year 1780, her jurisdiction had been extended over the whole of her claim, besides an extensive portion of Western Pennsylvania south of Fort Pitt, upon the Monongahela and Youghiogeny, which was supposed to be within the limits of Virginia.
At this time, as we have already shown,* the settlements had extended upon all the eastern branches of the Monongahela, the Youghiogeny, and upon all the small eastern tributaries of the Upper Ohio, for one hundred and twenty miles below Pittsburgh; also, upon the sources of the Greenbrier, the Litile Kenhawa, and Elk River, west of the mountains, together comprising the northwestern counties of Virginia and the southwestern counties of Pennsylvania as now established. Pittsburgh was a frontier town of Virginia, and the settlements southward upon all the tributaries of the Monongahela were considered frontier settlements of Virginia, into which the tide of emigration from Eastern Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania was bearing numerous settlers and pioneers. The extensive region, however, south of the Little Kenhawa and westward to the Mississippi, was one immense savage wilderness, occupied chiefly by the native tribes. To this there was one exception, which comprised the settlements recently commenced upon the Kentucky River and its tributaries in the vicinity of Boonesborough, Logan's Fort, and Harrodsburg. This was the “ dark and bloody ground” of the Indians, which had been reserved by the Northern and Southern Indians as common hunting-grounds. They looked with suspicious jealousy upon the rapid advance of the white man, as his habitations were gradually multiplying upon both sides of the Kentucky River. These settlements, which were already attracting the hostile demonstrations of the Shawanese and other northwestern tribes, were in their infancy, and almost beyond the protection of the state.
In the extreme southeastern angle of the present State of Virginia, the population had been advancing slowly for the last ten years, upon the sources of the Holston and Clinch Rivers, within the territory claimed by the Cherokees. This war
See book iii. of this work, viz.: Advance of the Anglo-American Population, &c., chapters ii. and iii.
like nation had again commenced hostilities against these frontier settlements, and the immigrants had been compelled hastily to abandon their homes, and seek safety and protection in the older settlements. At this period the vicinity of the present old town of Abington was an exposed frontier region, where several hundred of the inhabitants had collected for mutual protection and defense against the hostile Cherokees. The stockade in which they were cooped up for nearly six months was known as “Black's Station,” and occupied the present site of Abington.
The whole region north and south of Kentucky River was virtually beyond the civil jurisdiction of Virginią, although, by an act of the Legislature, it had been annexed to the jurisdiction of Fincastle county. The authority of the Transylvanian Republic had failed, and the civil organization had not been extended over the settlements.
In the mean time, the colony which had been commenced upon the Kentucky River had been harassed by straggling parties of hostile Indians, who infested all the settlements, occasionally killing those who were passing from one habitation to another, destroying the cattle, and stealing horses. So frequent had these murders and depredations become toward the close of the year, that no family was considered safe beyond the limits of the "stations,” to which all retired for mutual protection and defense. Individuals passing from one station to another were armed, or an armed guard escorted them to their destination, as a protection from Indian massacre.
No one was safe to walk beyond the stockades; for death, in the shape of an Indian, might lurk in every thicket, behind every tree, or under every bush. Were the fields to be tilled, was firewood or timber for building to be procured from the forest, or were the cattle to be penned outside the stockade, an armed sentinel stood by to give alarm of danger, or an armed guard was ready to resist any sudden assault. To accomplish his purpose of capturing a prisoner, of taking a scalp, or of stealing a horse, the wily Indian, in his silent approaches, would lurk near the stations and settlements, unseen for days, until an opportunity offered to retire with his trophy.
It was not until October that the inhabitants were supplied with powder for their defense, through the intrepid perseverance of Major George Rogers Clark, the protector and patron
of Kentucky. Having visited the capital of Virginia, and procured the appropriation of five hundred pounds of powder, to be delivered at Pittsburgh for the settlements of Kentucky, he proceeded in a boat with six companions, two of whom were killed by the Indians on the way, to convey it down the river, through a region infested with hostile savages. With great precaution and secrecy, he succeeded in conveying it to the vicinity of the Limestone Creek, near the present town of Maysville, where it was concealed until he could proceed on foot to M-Clellan's Station in search of a sufficient escort for its safe delivery at Harrod's Station. Having procured a guard of twenty-seven men, including Simon Kenton, Robert Patterson, and others of like character, he returned to Limestone Creek, whence the twenty-five kegs of powder were safely conveyed by the escort to the principal stations.*
The nearest military post was that at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa, where Captain Arbuckle commanded a garrison of militia, not less than two hundred miles from the isolated settlements of Kentucky.† The people, under the direction of Major Clark, were compelled to provide for their own safety, and unite for the common defense. No civil government by the state had been yet organized in this remote region.
Although the Shawanese from the Miami and Wabash had annoyed the inhabitants on the waters of the Kentucky River with their depredations and secret murders, yet it was not until the last of December that a regular war party advanced against the settlements. On the 29th of December, a party of forty-seven warriors, led on by “ Black Fish,” a noted Shawanese chief, made an unexpected attack upon M'Clellan's Station, on the north fork of Elk-horn, and near the site of the present village of Georgetown. On the first attack, M.Clellan and two other men were killed before the fort was placed in a state of defense. The remainder of the settlers defended themselves, being closely cooped up in the stockade until the Indians had dispersed to attack other points. The whole number subse- . quently abandoned the station, and escaped by night to the more secure and populous one at Harrodsburg. I
In the mean time, the hostile Indians of the Mingo tribes, as well as the Shawanese, had not been idle in their operations * Butler's Kentucky, p. 40.
† American Pioneer, vol. ii., p. 344. Butler's Kentucky, p. 42.