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as if “ trumpet-tongued,” to the utmost limits of the assembly. The most perfect silence prevailed, except when his warriors gave their guttural assent to some eloquent recital of the red man's wrong and the white man's injustice. Tecumseh recited the wrongs which his race had suffered from the time of the massacre of the Moravian Indians to the present; said he did not know how he could ever again be the friend of the white man; that the Great Spirit had given to the Indian all the land from the Miami to the Mississippi, and from the lakes to the Ohio, as a common property to all the tribes in these borders, and that the land could not and should not be sold without the consent of all; that all the tribes on the continent formed but one nation; that if the United States would not give up the lands they had bought of the Miamis and the other tribes, those united with him were determined to annihilate those tribes; that they were determined to have no more chiefs, but in future to be governed by their warriors; that unless the whites ceased their encroachments upon Indian lands, the fate of the Indians was sealed; they had been driven from the banks of the Delaware across the Alleghanies, and their possessions on the Wabash and the Illinois were now to be taken from them; that in a few years they would not have ground enough to bury their warriors on this side of the “Father of Waters;" that all would perish, all their possessions taken from them by fraud or force, unless they stopped the progress of the white man westward; that it inust be a war of races in which one or the other must perish; that their tribes had been driven toward the setting sun like a galloping horse (ne-kat-a-kush-e ka-top-o-lin-to).
The Shawnee language, in which this most eminent Indian statesinan spoke, excelled all other aboriginal tongues in its musical articulation; and the effect of Tecumseh's oratory on this occasion can be more easily imagined than described. Gov. Harrison, although as brave a soldier and General as any American, was over. come by this speech. He well knew Tecumseh's power and influence among all the tribes, knew his bravery, courage and determination, and knew that he meant what he said. When Tecumseh was done speaking there was a stillness throughout the assembly which was really painful; not a whisper was heard, and all eyes were turned from the speaker toward Gov. Harrison, who after a few moments came to himself, and recollecting many of the absurd statements of the great Indian orator, began a reply which was more logical, if not so eloquent. The Shawnees were attentive until Harrison's interpreter began to translate his speech to the Miamis and Pottawatomies, when Tecumseh and his warriors sprang to their feet, brandishing their war-clubs and tomahawks. “Tell him," said Tecumseh, addressing the interpreter in Shawnee, “he lies.” The interpreter undertook to convey this message to the Governor in smoother language, but Tecumseh noticed the effort and remonstrated, “ No, no; tell him he lies.” The warriors began to grow more excited, when Secretary Gibson ordered the American troops in arms to advance. This allayed the rising storm, and as soon as Tecumseh's “He lies” was literally interpreted to the Governor, the latter told Tecumseh through the interpreter to tell Tecumseh he would hold no further council with him.
Thus the assembly was broken up, and one can hardly imagine a more exciting scene. It would constitute the finest subject for a historical painting to adorn the rotunda of the capitol. The next day Tecumseh requested another interview with the Governor, which was granted on condition that he should make an apology to the Governor for his language the day before. This he made through the interpreter. Measures for defense and protection were taken, however, lest there should be another outbreak. Two companies of militia were ordered from the country, and the one in town added to them, while the Governor and his friends went into council fully armed and prepared for any contingency. On this occasion the conduct of Tecumseh was entirely different from that of the day before. Firm and intrepid, showing not the slightest fear or alarm, surrounded with a military force four times his own, he preserved the utmost composure and equanimity. No one would have supposed that he could have been the principal actor in the thrilling scene of the previous day. He claimed that half the Americans were in sympathy with him. He also said that whites had informed him that Gov. Harrison had purchased land from the Indians without any authority from the Government; that he, Harrison, had but two years more to remain in office, and that if he, Tecumseh, could prevail upon the Indians who sold the lands not to receive their annuities for that time, and the present Governor displaced by a good man as his successor, the latter would restore to the Indians all the lands purchased from them.
The Wyandots, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Ottawas and the Winnebagoes, through their respective spokesmen, declared their adherence to the great Shawnee warrior and statesman. Gov. Harrison then told them that he would send Tecumseh's speech to the Presi.
dent of the United States and return the answer to the Indians as soon as it was received. Tecumseh then declared that he and his allies were determined that the old boundary line should continue; and that if the whites crossed it, it would be at their peril. Gov. Harrison re. plied that he would be equally plain with him and state that the President would never allow that the lands on the Wabash were the property of any other tribes than those who had occupied them since the white people first came to America; and as the title to the lands lately purchased was derived from those tribes by a fair purchase, he might rest assured that the right of the United States would be supported by the sword. “So be it,” was the stern and haughty reply of the Shawnee chieftan, as he and his braves took leave of the Governor and wended their way in Indian file to their camping ground.
Thus ended the last conference on earth between the chivalrous Tecumseh and the hero of the battle of Tippecanoe. The bones of the first lie bleaching on the battle-field of the Thames, and those of the last in a mausoleum on the banks of the Ohio; each struggled for the mastery of his race, and each no doubt was equally honest and patriotic in his purposes. The weak yielded to the strong, the defenseless to the powerful, and the hunting-ground of the Shawnee is all occupied by his enemy.
Tecumseh, with four of his braves, immediately embarked in a birch canoe, descended the Wabash, and went on to the South to unite the tribes of that country in a general system of self-defense against the encroachment of the whites. His emblem was a disjointed snake, with the motto, " Join or die!" In union alone was strength.
Before Tecumseh left the Prophet's town at the mouth of the Tippecanoe river, on his excursion to the South, he had a definite understanding with his brother and the chieftains of the other tribes in the Wabash country, that they should preserve perfect peace with the whites until his arrangements were completed for a confederacy of the tribes on both sides of the Ohio and on the Mississippi river; but it seems that while he was in the South engaged in his work of uniting the tribes of that country some of the Northern tribes showed signs of fight and precipitated Harrison into that campaign which ended in the battle of Tippecanoe and the total route of the Indians. Tecumseh, on his return from the South, learning what had happened, was overcome with chagrin, disappointment and anger, and accused his brother of duplicity and coward
ice; indeed, it is said that he never forgave him to the day of his death. A short time afterward, on the breaking out of the war of Great Britain, he joined Proctor, at Malden, with a party of his warriors, and was killed at the battle of the Thames, Oct. 5, 1813, by a Mr. Wheatty, as we are positively informed by Mr. A. J. James, now a resident of La Harpe township, Hancock county, Ill., whose father-in-law, John Pigman, of Coshocton county, Ohio, was an eye witness. Gen. Johnson has generally had the credit of killing Tecumseh.
"Old" Okemos, a nephew of Pontiac and once the chief of the Chippewas, was born at or near Knagg's Station, on the Shiawassee river, where the Chicago and Grand Trunk Railroad crosses that stream. The date is shrouded in mystery. At the time of his death he was said to be a centenarian. The earliest account we have of him is that he took the war-path in 1796. Judge Littlejohn, in his " Legends of the Northwest," introduces him to the reader in 1803. The battle of Sandusky, in which Okemos took an active part, was the great event of his life, and this it was that gave him his chieftainship and caused him to be revered by his tribe. Concerning that event he himself used to say:
“Myself and cousin, Man-a-to-corb-way, with 16 other braves enlisted under the British flag, formed a scouting or war party, left the upper Raisin, and made our rendezvous at Sandusky. 'One morning while lying in ambush near a road lately cut for the passage of the American army and supply wagons, we saw 20 cavalrymen approaching us. Our ambush was located on a slight ridge, with brush directly in our front. We immediately decided to attack the Americans, although they outnumbered us.
Our plan was first to fire and cripple them, and then make a dash with the tomahawk. We waited until they approached so near that we could count the buttons on their coats, when firing commenced. The cavalry-men with drawn sabers immediately charged upon the Indians. The plumes upon the hats of the cavalry-men looked like a flock of a thousand pigeons just hovering for a lighting.”
Okemos and his cousin fought side by side, loading and firing while dodging from one cover to another. In less than ten minutes after the firing began the sound of a bugle was heard, and casting their eyes in the direction of the sound, they saw the road and woods filled with cavalry. The small party of Indians were immediately surrounded and every man cut down. All were left for dead on the field. Okemos and his cousin both had their skulls cloven and their bodies gashed in a fearful manner. The cavalrymen, before leaving the field, in order to be sure life was extinct, would lean forward from their horses and pierce the chests of the Indians, even into their lungs. The last that Okemos remembered was that after emptying one saddle, and springing toward another