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"hey were capable of. What would be their joy to see this extraordinary woman escorting a swarthy band of warriors to the village, changed from foes to friends! (The Indians, upon such occasion, would paint themselves black to manifest their sorrow for their infernal murderous intent upon their friends.) After a thorough feasting of the savages, sometimes for days, their reconciliation would usually last some time. Mrs. LeCompt, as she was still called after Brady's death, lived to the extreme age of 109 years. She died in 1843, at Cahokia. Ex-Gov. Reynolds, from whose pioneer history we are in great part indebted for the above account, says he knew her well for 30 years.

Mrs. John Edgar.—This accomplished woman, the center of fashion for remote Illinois in the olden time, presided for many years with equal grace and dignity over her husband's splendid mansion at Kaskaskia, the abode of hospitality and sort of the elite for near a half century. It was in the spacious and elegantly furnished parlors of this house that La Fayette, on his visit to Illinois in 1825, was sumptuously entertained, by a banquet and ball. Mrs. Edgar's name merits high rank on the scroll of revolutionary heroines. By birth, education, and sympathy, she was American, but her husband, John Edgar, was an officer in the British navy, fighting against the colonies in their struggle for liberty and independence. By her talent, shrewdness, and above all, her patriotic devotion to her country, she won over not only the heart of her husband to the American cause, but was the projector of many plans by which soldiers in the British army were induced to quit and join the ranks of the patriots. She had, upon one occasion, arranged a plan of escape for three soldiers and was to furnish them guns, American uniforms, etc., and all needful information to enable them to reach the patriot camp. When they came she was absent from home, but her husband, a confidante of all her operations, notwithstanding his position in the enemy's navy, supplied them with the outfit prepared for them by her. But the deserters were apprehended, returned to the British camp, and compellerl to divulge the names of their abettors. This implicated Edgar and he fled; remaining a while in the American army he deemed it safer for his life to seek greater seclusion and came to Kaskaskia. His property was contiscated; but the rare sagacity of his patriotic and devoted wife, who remained back, enabled her to save from the wreck some $12,000, with which she joined her husband two years afterwards in his western home.* Their union was childless; but they were for many years the most wealthy family in Illinois. Edgar was a large, portly man. A county of the State perpetuates his name.

Mrs. Robert Morrison.—This talented lady was a rare acquisition to the society of Kaskaskia. Reared and educated in the monumental city, she, in 1805, accompanied her brother, Col. Donaldson, to St. Louis, in the far off wilds of the west, whither he was sent as a commissioner to investigate the land titles. But the west became her permanent home. She was married the following year to Robert Morrison, of Kaskaskia, which place became her residence thenceforth. Well educated, sprightly and energetic, her mind was gifted with originality and romance. “Her delight was *Bee Hist. Sketch of Randolph & Co. and Reynold's Pioneer Hist. +Reynold's Pioneer Hist. of Ils.

in the rosy fields of poetry.”+ Her pen was seldom idle. She composed with a ready facility and her writings possessed a high degree of merit. Her contributions to the scientific publications of W. Walsh, of Philadelphia, and other periodicals of the time, both verse and prose, were much admired. Nor did the political questions of the day escape her ready pen. The discussion of these topics in our newspapers were eagerly read by the politicians of Illinois. A feat of much ingenuity was her work of remoddling and converting into verse the Psalms of David. The volume was presented to the Philadelphia Presbytery and met with bigh commendation for many of its excellencies, though it was not adopted. Later in life, she gave a thorough investigation to the doctrines of religious sects, and after much reflection united with the Catholic church. Possessed of great force of character, and zealous and ardent in whatever she espoused, her example and precepts contributed greatly toward proselyting members to that faith. She became the mother of an interesting family. Some of her sons have been quite conspicious in the affairs of this State. Mrs. Morrison lived to an advanced age, and died at Belleville in 1843.


It is recordedł that at least two human lives have fallen a sacrifice to the miserable superstition of witchcraft in Illinois in early times. An African slave by the name of Moreau was, about the year 1790, hung on a tree a little ways southeast of Cahokia, charged with and convicted of this imaginary crime. He had acknowledged, it is said, that by his power of devilish incantation "he had poisoned his master, but that his mistress had proved too powerful for his necromancy,” and this it seems was fully believed, and he was executed. The case was murder; but there was at this period a very imperfect administration of the laws in Illinois. In the same village, ignorantly inspired by a belief in the existence of this dread power of diabolism, another negro's life was offered up to the Moloch of superstition, by being shot down in the public streets. An old negress of that vicinity, named Javette, commonly reputed to possess the supernatural power of destroying life and property by the potency of her incantations, inspired such terror by her appearance that adults as well as children would flee at her approach. It was a very common feeling among the French to dread to incur in any way the displeasure of certain old colored people, under the vague belief and fear that they possessed a clandestine power by which to invoke the aid of the evil one to work mischief or injury to person or property. Nor was this belief solely confined to the French, or this power ascribed only to the colored people. An old woman living on Silver Creek was very generally accredited with the power of witchcraft, which, it was believed, she exercised in taking milk from her neighbor's cows at pleasure, without the aid of any physical agency. The African's belief in fetishes, and the power of their divination, is well-known. Many superstitious blacks in this country have claimed the descent to them of fetish power; the infatuation regarding voudouism, formerly so wide spread, is not yet extinct among many ignorant

#Reynold's Pioneer Hist.

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blacks of Louisiana, as we read occasionally from New Orleans papers. Renault, agent of the “Company of the West,” bought in 1720, at San Domingo, 500 slaves which he brought to Illinois, many of whom were direct from Africa, and thus was imported the claim to this occult power, whiclı, perhaps, bad no difficulty in finding lodgement in the minds of the superstitious French of Illinois. Mankind have ever been prone to superstitious beliefs; there are very many persons now who are daily governed in the multiplied affairs of life by some sign, omen, or augury.

Nor were the red children of the forest in America free from superstition. The brother of the Shawanee warrior, Tecumseh, named Lawlelueskaw, the loud voiced, better known as the one eyed Prophet, who commanded the Indians at the battle of Tippecanoe, seeking to reform his people, earnestly declaimed against the vice of witchcraft, as well as drunkenness, intermarrying with white men, etc. In obedience to the commands of the maniteau, the Great Spirit, he fulminated the penalty of death against those who practiced the black art of witchcraft and magic. His vehement harrangues evoked among his followers a paroxysm of superstitious infatuation. An old Delaware chief, named Tatebockoshe, was accused of witchcraft, tried, condemned, tomahawked and consumed on a pyre. This was enacted on the present site of Yorktown, Delaware county, Indiana.* The chief's wife, his nephew, Billy Patterson, and an aged Indian named Joshua, were next accused of witchcraft and the two latter convicted, sentenced and burned at the stake; but a brother of the chief's wife boldly stepped forward, seized his sister and led her from the council house, without opposition from those present, and immediately returned, and in a loud tone harangued the 'savages, exclaiming: "Maniteau, the evil spirit has come in our midst and we are murdering one another.” This, together with the earnest letter of Gov. Harrison, sent by special messenger in the spring of 1806, exhorting the Indians to spurn the pretended prophet, checked the horrid delusion. See Drake's Tecumseh, 88.


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"He had also offended by his influence in bringing about the treaty of Aug. 1804, by which the chiefs and head men of the Delawares ceded to the U.S. that large tract of land in southern Indiana, since known as the "pocket."




Its Organization-Extinguishing Indian Titles to Lands-Gov. Har.

rison's Facility in This-Land Speculations and Frauds in Improvement-rights" and "Head-rights"-Meeting of the Legislaat Vincennes in 1805—Statutes of 1807.

By act of Congress, approved May 7, 1800, the large and unwieldy territory of the Northwest was divided'; all that part of it lying westward of a line beginning on the Olio river opposite the mouth of the Kentucky, running thence north via Fort Recovery to the British possessions, was constituted a separate territory and called Indiana. It enclosed the present States of Ilinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana except a small strip on the eastern side between the mouth of the Kentucky and Great Miami. The white population of the country was estimated at 4,875, and negro slaves 135, while the aggregate number of Indians within the extreme limits of the territory was fairly reckoned at 100,000. The seat of Government was fixed at Vincennes, and the ordinance of 1787 was applied to the territory in a modified form : that clause requiring 5,000 free white male inhabitants of the age of 21 years and upwards, before a general assembly could be organized, was changed to the wish of a simple majority of the freeholders. The law was to go into effect on the 4th of July following.

A chief reason for making this division was the large extent of the north western territory, which rendered the ordinary operations of government uncertain and the prompt and efficient administration of justice almost impossible. In the three western countiesKnox, St. Clair and Randolph, the latter two in Illinois, there had heen but one term of court, having cognizance of crimes, held in five years. Such immunity to offenders offered a safe asylum to the vilest and most abandoned scoundrels. The law of 1791, confirming titles and granting lands to certain persons for military services, and the laying out thereof, remained unexcuted, causing great discontent;* and the unpopularity of Governor St. Clair was constantly on the increase. His unfortunate campaign against the Maumee towns, which had greatly shaken the contidence of the people, had but rendered his conduct of civil affairs more arbitrary and defiant. He vetoed nearly every act of the legislature establishing new counties, to the great inconvenience of the people

*See report of Committee in Congress-Am. State Pap. XX, 206.

in their transactions with clerks and recorders, and to the vexation of suitors at law.

The territorial legislature sitting at Cincinnati, elected, on the 3d of October, 1799, William Henry Harrison, then secretary of the territory, a delegate to congress, over Arthur St. Clair, jun., by a vote of 11 to 10. The contest elicited wide and unusual interest, and was not unattended by much acrimony and ill blood. The St. Clairs were federalists, and party feeling ran extremely high in those days. Harrison was largely instrumental in Congress in obtaining the passage of the act of division. Up to this time the smallest tract of public lands which could be entered was 400 acres, except fractional pieces cut by important streams. This was a great hindrance to settlement, and to the poor our land system was a curse rather than a blessing. Harrison, fully appreciating this grievance, urged through Congress a law authorizing the sale of the public lands in tracts of 320 acres, with a cash payment of only one-fourth and the balance in one, two and three years. The passage of this law was regarded in the west as a public service of the greatest importance, rendering Harrison extremely popular. He was, May 13, 1800, appointed Governor for the Indiana territory. John Gibson (he to whom in 1774, Logan, the great Indian chief had delivered his celebrated speech), was · appointed secretary; and William Clark, John Griffin and Henry Vanderburgh, territorial judges. In the absence of the governor, secretary Gibson proceeded in July to put the machinery of territorial government in motion by appointing the necessary local officers for the administration of the laws, &c. In January, 1801, Governor Harrison, having arrived at his post of duty, immediately convened the judges with himself at the seat of government, for the adoption of "such laws as the exigency of the times” required, and to the discharge of such other duty for the government of the territory as congress had by law imposed upon them. They remained in session two weeks, passed several resolutions provi. ding payment for various services, and adopted a number of laws, one providing for the establishment of courts of quarter sessions of the peace in the counties of St. Clair, Randolph and Knox. A term of the general court for the territory at large, was commenced by the three judges on the 3d of March, 1801. Thus the first grade of territorial government was put in full working order.

The purchase of Louisana from France having been consummated in 1803, that vast domain lying west of the Mississippi, was by act of Congress, March 26, 1804, annexed to the Indiana territory. Gov. Harrison and the judges, in October, 1804, adopted the necessary laws for the government of the district of Lousiana. The union was, however, of short duration; March 3, 1805, Louisiana was detached and erected into a separate territory. Shortly after this Aaron Burr entered upon his treasonable effort to wrest from the United States this large domain and to found his southWestern empire. To organize an expedition for his enterprise, he visited, among other places in the west, Vincennes and Kankaskia, and induced a few men of the territory to enroll their names on the list of his followers; but the scheme came speedily to naught-his men abandoned it, and he was arrested in Mississippi in the spring of 1807. After the purchase of Louisiana, it became desirable to learn something respecting the vast region lying between the Mis

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