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messenger next came from St. Ange, requesting him to visit Fort Chartres and adjust affairs preparatory to his withdrawal from the fort. As this was in accordance with his intentions, he immediately set out, but had not proceeded far before he was met by Pontiac and a numerous retinue of warriors. The chief had come to offer terms of peace, and Croghan returned with him to the fort for consultation. Thé chiefs and warriors of the surrounding nations also met in council, and Pontiac, in the presence of the multitude, introduced the pipe of peace and expressed his concurrence in the friendly sentiments which had been interchanged at the fort before his arrival. He declared that the French had misled him with the statement that the English proposed to stir up the Cherokees against his brethren of Illinois, and thus reduce them to servitude. The English, he agreed, might take possession of Fort Chartres and the other military posts, but sagaciously intimated that the French had never purchased the lands of the Illinois, and as they lived on them by sufferance only, their successors would have no legal right to their possession. The amicable feelings manifested by the Illinois chiefs who were present, obviated the necessity of his proceeding farther westward, and he next directed his attention to the tribes of the north-east.

Accompanied by Pontiac he crossed to Fort Miami, and descending the Manmee, held conferences with the different tribes dwelling in the immense forests which shelter the banks of the stream. Passing thence up the Detroit, he arrived at the fort on the 17th of Angust, where he found a vast concourse of neighboring tribes. The fear of punishment, and the long privations they had suffered from the suspension of the fur trade, had banished every thought of hostility, and all were anxious for peace and its attendant blessings. After numerous interviews with different tribes in the old town hall, where Pontiac first essayed the execution of his treachery, Croghan called a final meeting on the 27th of August. Imitating the forest eloquence with which he had long been familiar, he thus addressed the convocation :

"Children, we are very glad to see so many of you present at your ancient council fire, which has been negleeted for some time past. Since then high winds have blown and raised heavy clouds over your country. I now, by this belt, re-kindle your ancient fires, and throw dry wood upon it, that the blaze may ascend to heaven, so that all pations may see it and know that you live in peace with your fathers, the English. By this belt I disperse all the black clouds from over your heads, that the suu may shine clear on your women and children, and that those unborn may enjoy the blessings of this general peace, now so happily settled between your fathers, the English, and you and all your younger breihren toward the sunsetting.”

Pontiac replied: “Father, we have all smoked together out of this peace pipe, and as the Great Spirit has brought us together for good, I declare to all the nations that I have made peace with the Euglish. In the presence of all the tribes now assembled, I take the King of England for my father, and dedicate this pipe to his use, that thenceforth we may visit him and smoke together in peace.

The object of Croghan's visit was now consummated, but before he departed he exacted from Pontiac a promise that the following spring he would repair to Oswego and enter into a treaty with Sir William Johnson, in behalf of the western nations associated with him in the war.

" In the meantime a hundred Highlanders of the 42d regiment, those veterans whose battle cry had echoed over the bloodiest

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fields of America, had left Fort Pitt under command of Captain Stirling, and descending the Ohio undeterred by the rigor of the season, arrived at Chartres just as the snows of early winter began to whiten the naked forests. The flag of France descended from the rampart, and with the stern courtesies of war St. Ange yielded up his post, the citadel of Illinois, to its new masters. In that act was consummated the double triumph of British power in America. England had crushed her hereditary foe; France in her fall had left to irretrievable ruin the savage tribes to whom her policy and self-interest had lent a transient support."* The doomed nations were next to seal their submission to the power which had wrought their ruin, and British sway would be complete.

Reminded of his promise to Croghan by the leafy drapery of summer, Pontiac repaired to Oswego, and for the last time appeared before the representatives of English sovereignty. In the midst of a large concourse, which the importance of the occasion had drawn together, he arose and said : "Father, we thank the Great Spirit who has given us this day of bright skies and genial warmth to consider the great affairs now before us. In his presence, and in behalf of all the nations toward the sunsetting, of which I am the master, I now take you by the hand. I call upon him to witness, that I have spoken from my heart, and in the name of the tribes which I represent, I promise to keep this covenant as long as I live.” Having now fulfilled his promise, he retired from the scene of his humiliation with a sad heart. Before his fierce glance the vail which hides the present from the future was withdrawn, and he saw his people, deceived by intruding strangers, driven from the home of their ancestors and fleeing westward to perish on the desert with hunger.

After the treaty he returned to the west, and for three years buried his disappointment in the seclusion of its dark forests, providing as a common hunter for his family. In the earlier part of the year 1769, some slight disturbance occurred between the Indians of Illinois and some French traders living in and around St. Louis. Simultaneously Pontiac appeared in the excited region, but whether he was connected with the disturbance is not known. The English evidently regarded him with distrust, and determined to take his life to prevent a repetition of the bloody drama he had formerly enacted. Soon after his arrival he went to St. Louis and called on his old friend St. Ange, then in command of the Spanish garrison. For this purpose he arrayed himself in the uniform which had been presented him by Montcalm, and which he had the good taste never to wear except on important occasions. St. Ange and the principal inhabitants of the place gave him a cordial wel. come, and exerted themselves to render his visit agreeable. He had been there but a few days when he heard that there was a social gathering of the Indians at Cahokia, on the opposite side of the river, and informed his friend that he would cross over and see what they were doing. St. Ange, aware of the danger he would encounter, endeavored to disuade him from his purpose, but the chief boasting that he was not afraid of the English, departed. At Cahokia he found the Indians engaged in a drunken carousal, and soon becoming intoxicated himself, started to the neighboring woods, and shortly afterward was heard singing magic songs, in

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the mystic influence of which he reposed the greatest confidence.

There was an English trader in the village at the time, who, in common with the rest of his countrymen, regarded him with the greatest distrust, and while the oportunity was favorable determined to effect his destruction. He approached a vagabond Indian of the Kaskaskia tribe, and bribed him with a barrel of whiskey to execute his murderous intent. The assassin approached the woods, and at a favorable moment glided up behind the chief and buried his tomabawk in his brain. Thus basely terminated the carreer of the warrior, whose great natural endowments made him the greatest hero of his race, and with him ended their last great struggle to resist the inroads of civilized men. The body was soon found, and the village became a pandemonium of howling savages. His friends, worse than brutalized by their fiery potations, seized their arms to wreak vengeance on the perpetrator of the murder, but the Illinois, interposing in behalf of their countryman, drove them from the town. Foiled in their attempt to obtain retribution, they fled to the neighboring nations, and making known the momentous intelligence, a war of extermination was declared against the abettors of this crime. Swarms of Sacs, Foxes, Pottawatomies, and other northern tribes who had been fired by the eloquence of the martyred chief, descended to the plains of Illinois, and whole villages were extirpated to appease his shade.* St. Ange procured the body of his guest, and mindful of his former friendship buried it with the honors of war near the fort under his command at St. Louis. His proud mausoleum is the great city which has since risen above his unknown grave, and his loud requiem the din of industry and the tramp of thousands descended from the race he hated with such remorseless rancor. The forest solitudes through which he loved to wander have been swept away, his warriors are no more, and the rusty relics of their former existence can only be found in the cabinet of the antiquary, while the great river which floated only their frail canoes is now beat into foam by the powerful enginery of the passing steamboat.

*It was at this time that the tragedy before described on the Rock of St. Louis was enacted, which has since been known as "Starved Rock."

CHAPTER XV.

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1765–78 – ILLINOIS AS A BRITISH PROVINCE-Partial

Exodus of the French - Their Dislike of English Law, and Restoration of their Oun by the Quebec Bill - Land Grants by British CommandantsCurious Indian DeedsConditon of the Scttlements in 1766, by Captain Pitman-Brady's and Meillette's Expeditions to the St. Joseph in 1777-78.

It was on the 10th of October, 1765, that the ensign of France was replaced on the ramparts of Fort Chartres by the flag of Great Britain. At the time the colonies of the Atlantic seaboard were assembled in preliminary congress at New York, dreaming of liberty and independence for the continent, while the great valley east of the Mississippi, with its broad rivers rushing from the mountains and gathering in the plain, its vast prairies unsurpassed for their wealth of soil, its boundless primeval forests with their deep solitudes, into which were presently to be summoned the eager millions of many tongues to build their happy homes, passed finally from the dominion of France under the yoke of Great Britain.* Besides being constructively a part of Florida for over 100 years, during which time no Spaniard set foot upon her soil or rested his eye upon her beautful plains, Illinois, for nearly 90 years, had been in the actual occupation of the French, their puny settlements slumbering quietly in colonial dependence on the faroff waters of the Kaskaskia, Illinois and Wabash. But the AngloSaxon had gained at last a permanent foot-hold on the banks of the great river, and a new life, instinct with energy and progress, was about to be infused into the country.

M. Neyon de Villiers, long the commandant of Fort Chartres, kept from the French, and particularly the Indians, so long as he could, a knowledge of the cession of the country to Great Britain by the treaty of Paris, and finally, when it had gained publicity and when the power and influence of the great Indian conspirator was broken, rather than dwell under the detested flag of the conqueror, he abandoned Illinois in the summer of 1764, followed by many of the inhabitants, to New Orleans. The command of the fort and country then devolved upon M. St. Ange de Bellerive, a veteran Canadian officer of rare tact and large experience, who, 40 years prior, had escorted Charlevoix through the West, the Jesuit traveler mentioning him with commendation. His position required

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skill and address to save his feeble colony from a renewed war with the English, and from a general massacre by the incensed hordes of savages under Pontiac surrounding him. By the home government he had been advised of the cession to the British, and ordered to surrender the country upon their arrival to claim it. By repeated embassies from Pontiac and from various warlike tribes toward the east, he was importuned for assistance against the English, and unceasingly tormented by the Illinois demanding arms and ammunition. But in various dexterous ways, he put off from time the importunate savages with fair speeches and occasional presents, while he anxiously awaited the coming of the British garrison to take possession and relieve him of his dilemna.* After the evacuation of Fort Chartres, he also retired from the country, conducting his feeble garrison of 21 soldiers to the infant settlement of St. Louis, where, in the absence of any Spanish rule as yet, he continued to exercise the functions of his office with great satisfaction to the people until November, 1770, when his authority was superceded by Piernas, commandant under the Spanish government. By a secret treaty, ratified November 3, 1762, the king of France had ceded to the king of Spain all the territory west of the Mississippi to its remotest tributaries, including New Orleans; but the civil jurisdiction of Spain was not enforced in Upper Louisiana until 1769.f Prior to his departure, with a fatherly care and benevolent intent, St. Ange instituted for those he left behind in Illinois some wise and salutory regulations regarding titles to their lands.

The exodus of the old Canadian French was large just prior, and during the British occupation. Unwilling to dwell under the flag of their hereditary enemy, many, including some of the wealthiest families, removed with their slaves and other personal effects, mostly to Upper Louisiana, just across the Mississippi, and settled in the small hamlet of St. Genevieve. Others joined and aided Laclede in founding the present great city of St. Louis, the site of which had then but just been selected as a depot for the fur company of Louisiana. The number of inhabitants of foreign lineage residing in the Illinois settlements was estimated as follows: White men able to bear arms, 700; white women, 500; their children, 850; negroes of both sexes, 900; total, 2,950. By the hegira, one-third of the whites and a greater proportion of the blacks removed, leaving probably less than 2,000 souls at the commencement of the British occupation, during which the influx did not more than keep pace with the efflux. Few English or Americans even visited the country under the British rule, and less settled. Scarcely an Anglo-Saxon (other than the British troops, traders, officers and favored land speculators) was seen there during this time, and until the conquest of Clark in 1778.

Captain Sterling, of the 42d Royal Highlanders, brought out with him, and in taking possession of Fort Chartres, published the following proclamation :

" By His Excellency, Thomas Gage, Major-General of the King's armies, Coloviel of the 22d regiment, General commanding in chief all the forces of His Majesty in North America, etc., etc:

*See his letter to Governor D'Abbadie, Sept. 9th. +Monette's Valley of the Mississippi. *Peck's Annals of the West.

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