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surrendered the fort, and the whole garrison, consisting of the two already named (!), marched out and received the customary marks of respect for their brave defense. Hamilton was soon afterward made to surrender this place to Gen. George Rogers Clark, the ablest American detender in the West. The British soldiers were allowed to return to Detroit; but their commander, who was known to have been active in instigating Indian barbarities, was put in irons and sent to Virginia as a prisoner of war.
The English at Detroit suspected that a certain settlement of pious Moravian missionaries on the Muskingum river were aiding the American cause, and they called a conference at Niagara and urged the Iroquois to break up the Indian congregation which had collected under these missionaries; but the Iroquois declined to concern themselves so deeply in white men's quarrels, and sent a message to the Chippewas and Ottawas, requesting them to“ make soup" of the Indian congregation on the Muskingum.
These Moravian missionaries came to Detroit in 1781, before De Peyster, the commandant. A war council was held, and the councilhouse completely filled with Indians. Capt. Pike, an Indian chiet, addressed the assembly and told the commandant that the English might fight the Americans if they chose; it was their cause, not his; that they had raised a quarrel among themselves, and it was their business to fight it out. They had set him on the Americans as the hunter sets his dog upon the game. By the side of the British commander stood another war chief, with a stick in his hand four feet in length, strung with American scalps. This warrior followed Capt. Pike, saying: “Now, father, here is what has been done with the hatchet you gave me.
I have made the use of it you ordered me to do, and found it sharp."
The events just related are specimens of what occurred at and in connection with Detroit from the close of Pontiac's war until a number of years after the establishment of American independence. When the treaty of peace was signed at Versailles in 1783, the British on the frontier reduced their aggressive policy somewhat, but they continued to occupy the lake posts until 1796, on the claim that the lake region was not designed to be included in the treaty by the commissioners, probably on account of their ignorance of the geography of the region. Meanwhile the Indians extensively organized for depredation upon the Americans, and continued to harass them at every point.
During this period Alex. McKenzie, an agent of the British gov. ernment, visited Detroit, painted like an Indian, and said that he was just from the upper lakes, and that the tribes in that region were all in arms against any further immigration of Americans, and were ready to attack the infant settlements in Ohio. His statements had the desired effect; and, encouraged also by an agent from the Spanish settlements on the Mississippi, the Indians organized a great confederacy against the United States. To put this down, Gen. Harmar was first sent out by the Government, with 1,400 men; but he imprudently divided his army, and he was taken by surprise and defeated by a body of Indians under “Little Turtle.” Gen. Arthur St. Clair was next sent out, with 2,000 men, and he suffered a like fate. Then Gen. Anthony Wayne was sent West with a still larger army, and on the Maumee he gained an easy victory over the Indians, within a few miles of a Britishi post. He finally concluded a treaty with the Indians at Greenville, which broke up the whole confederacy. The British soon afterward gave up Detroit and Mackinaw.
“It was a considerable time before the Territory of Michigan, now in the possession of the United States, was improved or altered by the increase of settlements. The Canadian French continued to form the principal part of its population. The interior of the country was but little known, except by the Indians and the fur traders. The Indian title not being fully extinguished, no lands were brought into market, and consequently the settlements increased but slowly. The State of Michigan at this time constituted simply the county of Wayne in Northwest Territory. It sent one Repre. sentative to the Legislature of that Territory, which was held at Chillicothe. A court of common pleas was organized for the county, and the General Court of the whole Territory sometimes met at Detroit. No roads had as yet been constructed through the interior, nor were there any'settlements except on the frontiers. The habits of the people were essentially military, and but little attention was paid to agriculture except by the French peasantry. A representation was sent to the General Assembly of the Northwest Territory at Chillicothe until 1800, when Indiana was erected into a separate Territory. Two years later Michigan was annexed to Indiana Territory; but in 1805 Michigan separated, and William Hull appointed its first Governor.”—Tuttle's Hist. Mich.
The British revived the old prejudices that the Americans intended to drive the Indians out of the country, and the latter, under the lead of Tecumseh and his brother Elkswatawa, “the prophet,” organized again on an extensive scale to make war upon the Americans. The great idea of Tecumseh’s life was a universal confederacy
of all the Indian tribes north and south to resist the invasion of the whites; and his plan was to surprise them at all their posts throughout the country and capture them by the first assault. At this time the entire white population of Michigan was about 4,800, four-fifths of whom were French and the remainder Americans. The settlements were situated on the rivers Miami and Raisin, on the Huron of Lake Erie, on the Ecorse, Rouge and Detroit rivers, on the Huron of St. Clair, on the St. Clair river and Mackinaw island. Besides, there were here and there a group of huts belonging to the French fur traders. The villages on the Maumee, the Raisin and the Huron of Lake Erie contained a population of about 1,300; the settlements at Detroit and northward had about 2,200; Mackinaw about 1,000. Detroit was garrisoned by 94 men and Mackinaw by 79.
If one should inquire who has been the greatest Indian, the most noted, the “principal Indian ” in North America since its discovery by Columbus, we would be obliged to answer, Tecumseh. For all those qualities which elevate a man far above his race; for talent, tact, skill and bravery as a warrior; for high-minded, honorable and chivalrous bearing as a man; in a word, for all those elements of greatnegs which place him a long way above his fellows in savage life, the name and fame of Tecnmseh will go down to posterity in the West as one of the most celebrated of the aborigines of this continent,-as one who had no equal among the tribes that dwelt in the country drained by the Mississippi. Born to command him. self, he used all the appliances that would stimulate the courage and nerve the valor of his followers. Always in the front rank of battle, his followers blindly followed his lead, and as his war-cry rang clear above the din and noise of the battle-field, the Shawnee warriors, as they rushed on to victory or the grave, rallied around him, foemen worthy of the steel of the most gallant commander that ever entered the lists in defense of his altar or his home.
The tribe to which Tecumseh, or Tecumtha, as some write it, belonged, was the Shawnee, or Shawanee. The tradition of the nation held that they originally came from the Gulf of Mexico; that they wended their way up the Mississippi and the Ohio, and settled at or near the present site of Shawneetown, Ill., whence they removed to the upper Wabash. In the latter place, at any rate, they were found early in the 18th century, and were known as the “ bravest of the brave.” This tribe has uniformly been the bitter enemy of the white man, and in every contest with our people has exbibited a degree of skill and strategy that should characterize the most dangerous foe.
Tecumseh's notoriety and that of his brother, the Prophet, mutually served to establish and strengthen each other. While the Prophet had unlimited power, spiritual and temporal, he distributed his greatness in all the departments of Indian life with a kind of fanaticism that magnetically aroused the religious and superstitious passions, not only of his own followers, but also of all the tribes in
this part of the country; but Tecumseh concentrated his greatness upon the more practical and business affairs of military conquest. It is doubted whether he was really a sincere believer in the pretensions of his fanatic brother; if he did not believe in the pretentious feature of them he had the shrewdness to keep his unbelief to him. self, knowing that religious fanaticism was one of the strongest impulses to reckless bravery.
During his sojourn in the Northwestern Territory, it was Tecumseh's uppermost desire of life to confederate all the Indian tribes of the country together against the whites, to maintain their choice hunting-grounds. All his public policy converged toward this sin. . gle end. In his vast scheme he comprised even all the Indians in the Gulf country,--all in America west of the Alleghany moun. tains. He held, as a subordinate principle, that the Great Spirit had given the Indian race all these hunting-grounds to keep in common, and that no Indian or tribe could cede any portion of the land to the whites without the consent of all the tribes. Hence, in all his councils with the whites he ever maintained that the treaties were null and void.
When he met Harrison at Vincennes in council the last time, and, as he was invited by that General to take a seat with him on the platform, he hesitated; Harrison insisted, saying that it was the “wish of their Great Father, the President of the United States, that he should do so." The chief paused a moment, raised his tall and commanding form to its greatest height, surveyed the troops and crowd around himn, fixed his keen eyes upon Gov. Harrison, and then turning them to the sky above, and pointing toward heaven with his sinewy arm in a manner indicative of supreme contempt for the paternity assigned him, said in clarion tones: " My father? The sun is my father, the earth is my mother, and on her bosom I will recline.” He then stretched himself, with his warriors, on the green sward. The effect was electrical, and for some moments there was perfect silence.
The Governor, then, through an interpreter, told him that he understood he had some complaints to make and redress to ask, etc., and that he wished to investigate the matter and make restitution wherever it might be decided it should be done. As soon as the Governor was through with this introductory speech, the stately warrior arose, tall, athletic, manly, dignified and graceful, and with a voice at first low, but distinct and musical, commenced a reply. As he warmed up with his subject his clear tones might be heard,