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murderer he would like to see him; if he attempted to secure the murderers without the consent of all the chiefs he would be killed, and that the Missouri murderers were Kickapoos; he denied being himself a great chief, and said he could not control his young men who were so scattered that it would be impossible to bring them together; they had no laws among them like the whites to punish offenders; denied listening to evil birds or interfering between the British and Americans. They would not join the British, for in thie last war they had left them in the lurch and would do só again. When he wanted a blanket he bought it. The British had invited them to aid them, but they had sent them word to fight their own battles, that they wanted to live in peace. He complained that the Americans did not live up to their promises in supplying their wants, and that they had been fired upon by whites in coming down to the council. Promised good behavior, which they hoped the Good Spirit would help them to perform, and professed great humility.

The Indians had brought their women and children along to show his Excellency, as Gomo naively said, how ragged and needy they were. This, together with their fair promises of good beharior and peaceable intentions, had the desired effect. They came away loaded with substantial presents. An early writer says: "The wild men exercised the most diplomacy, and made the governor believe the Indians were for peace, and that the whites need dread nothing from them. They promised enough to obtain presents, and went off laughing at the credulity of the whites.”+ Some of them were in August following concerned in the horrible massacre at Chicago.

The savages of the north west, however, were thoroughly stirred up and did not desire peace; in this the reports of travelers, traders, and spies all concurred; the red wampum was constantly passing between the different tribes in all parts of the country, from the Sioux of the St. Peters to the tribes at the head of the Wabash, and a general combination was fast ripening. The British agents at Prairie du Chien, Fort Malden, and other points, in anticipation of a war with the United States, sought to enlist the favor of the savages by the distribution of large supplies of goods, arms and ammunition to them. The English continued their insults to our flag upon the high seas, and their government refusing to relinquish its offensive course, all hope of a peaceful issue was abandoned, and congress, on the 19th of June, 1812, formally declared war against Great Britain. In Illinois the threatened Indian tronbles had already caused a more thorough organization of the militia along the frontiers, from the mouth of the Illinois down the Mississippi to the Ohio, thence up that stream and the Wabash above Vincennes. Additional forts were also built, one towards the mouth of the Little Wabash, one at the mouth of La Motte Creek.

*Edwards' Life of Edwards. +Reynolds' Own Times.




The greatest, as well the most revolting, massacre of whites that ever occurred in Illinois, was perpetrated by the Potawattomie tribe of Indians, on the site of the present city of Chicago.

From early Indian tradition, it has been gathered that the mouth of the Chicago river was a favorite resort of the Illinois tribes in very remote times. Besides its fishing facilities, it was the only deep inlet from the lake on its south westerly bend. The portage between the Chicago and the headwaters of the Illinois, offered but a narrow interruption to canoe travel from the great lakes on the north to the Gulf of Mexico. It is said, that the Tamaroas gave name to the river, derived from Checaqua, the title of a long succession of governing chiefs, which, by an easy transition, attached to the place. It was said also to mean thunder, the voice of Manitou, and “skunk," an appellation but too suggestive during a few years preceding the deepening of the canal, by which its current was reversed with the pure waters of the lake. But its most commonly accepted definition is "wild onion,” from that rather odorous vegetable growing abundantly on its banks in early times. *

A small French trading post was established there in the period of the French explorations. For the better possession of their Western empire, the French built forts at various points, from Canada, via Peoria, to New Orleans, including one at Chicago. On the earliest known map of this region, dated Quebec, 1688, a correct outline of the lake is given, and the river accurately located, with "Fort Chicago” marked at its mouth. Subsequently, the Americans found no vestige of the early French settlers there. By the treaty of Greenville, to which the Potawattomies from this region, with many others, were parties, "one piece of land 6 miles square, at the mouth of the Chekajo river, emptying into the south-west end of Lake Michigan, where a fort formerly stood," was relinquished. The tide of emigration setting into Iudiana and Michigan after the treaty of Greenville, 1795, concentrated the Indians in greater numbers about this point, and largely increased the Indian trade, for which a number of traders were here located ; John Kinzie being one whose descendants are residents of Chicago down to the present time. The general government, in 1804, built, on the south sido of the river, Fort Dearborn, Chicago and its great conflagration.

named after a general of the army, and garrisoned it with 50 men and 3 pieces of artillery, The fort consisted of 2 block-houses, with a pararle ground and sally-port, or subterranean passage to the river, the whole surrounded by a stockade. With this precarious protection, the number of traders increased and a few settlers gathered around the post.

For eight years, this isolated garrison and community furnished scarcely an incident worthy of record. Friendly intercourse between the garrison and neighboring Indians grew apace. The attachment of the Indians for the traders was particularly cordial. Whilo nearly all the chiefs visited Fort Malden yearly, and received large amounts of presents, and many Potawattomies, Winnebagos and Ottawas were in the battle of Tippecanoe with the Shawanese, the principal chiefs of the neighborhood were yet on amicable terms here with the Americans. Then our trouble with Great Britain threatened an open rupture; but the Indians, long before the declaration of hostilities, took the war-path, as we have seen. We have already noticed their attack on an outpost of this place called Hardscrabble.

On the 7th of August, arrived the order of Governor Hull, commander-in-chief of the north west, by the hand of a trusty chief of the Potawattomies, called Winnemeg, or Cat-fish, “to eracuate the post if practicable, and in that event, to distribute the property belonging to the United States, in the fort and in the factory or agency, to the Indians in the neighborhood.” The dispatches further announced, that the British had taken Mackinaw, and that General Hull, with his army, was proceeding from Fort Wayne to Detroit.

The garrison, at the time, consisted of 75 men, few of whom were effective soldiers. The officers were, Captain Heald, the commander, Lieutenant Helm and Ensign Ronan (both very young men), and Doctor Voorhees, the surgeon. John Kinzie was the principal trader. He and the first two named officers had families there. So also some of the soldiers and other traders. Considerable coolness existed between Ensign Ronan, a brave and gallant soldier, but overbearing in his disposition, and Captain Heald.

Winnemeg, the bearer of the dispatches, well apprised of the hostile disposition of the treacherous savages, advised strongly against the evacuation, which was discretionary. The fort was well supplied with ammunition and provisions for six months, and in the meantime succor might come. He sought to learn the intention of the commander, and further urged, that if it should be decided to evacute, then let it be done immediately, and by forced marches elude the concentration of the savages before the news, of which they were yet ignorant, should circulate among them. To this most excellent advice, Captain Heald gave no heed; he decided not only to evacuate, but deemed itobedience to orders to collect the neighboring Indians and make an equitable distribution of the property among them. Again the sagacious Indian chief, strongly seconded by Mr. Kinzie, who had much at stake, suggested the expediency of promptly marching out, leaving all things standing, and while the Indians should be engaged in dividing the spoils, to effect an unmolested retreat. But the commander, not apprehending the murderous intent of the savages to the extent the advisers did, and impressed with the duty of obedi


ence to orders, disregared this also, notwithstanding the discretion allowed him. On the following morning, without consultation with the subordinate officers—with whom he was estranged-he pub. lished on parade the order for evacuating the post. The officers whose counsel had been thus ignored in so important an emergency, remonstrated against this step, and pointed out the improbability of their party reaching Fort Wayne without molestation ; how they would be retarded in their marches by the women and child dren, and invalid and superanuated soldiers; how the few friendly chiefs, who had from motives of private regard for the family of Mr. Kinzie, opposed successfully an attack upon the fort the preceding autumn, were now, when the country was at war with Great Britain, powerless to restrain their tribes. They advised remaining and fortifying themselves till succor came; at any rate, it was better to fall into the hands of the British, as prisoners, than a sacrifice to the brutal ferocity of the savages. Captain Heald, however, dreading censure, stood upon his idea of obedience to orders, and expressed confidence in the friendly professions of the Indians. With this, the officers, who regarded the project as little short of madness, held themselves aloof from their commander, and dissatisfaction and insubordination spread among the soldiers. The Indians, too, became daily more unruly. They entered the fort in defiance of the sentinels, and made their way without ceremony into the quarters of the officers. Ou one occasion, an Indian fired a rifle in the parlor of the commanding offi

This was by some construed as a signal to the young braves for an attack. The old chiets were passing to and fro among the assembled groups with much agitation, while the squaws were rushing hither and hither, as if looking for a fearful scene. Captain Heald clung to his conviction of having created a feeling so amicable among them, as would ensure the safe passage of the party to Fort Wayne. In the meantime, a runner had arrived with a message from Tecumseh, who had joined the British with a large force, conveying the news to the Indians of the capture of Fort Mackinaw in July, the defeat of Major Van Horne at Brownstown, and the inglorious retreat of General Hull from Canada, saying further, that he had no doubt but that Hull would, in a short time, be compelled to surrender; and urged them to arm immediately.

The Indians from the neighboring villages having at length collected, a council was held on the 12th of August. Of the officers of the garrison, though requested, none attended beside the commander; the others, in anticipation of intended mischief, opened the port-holes of the blockhouses and with loaded cannons commanded the council. This action, it was supposed, prevented a massacre at the time. Capt. Heald promised the Indians to dis. tribute among them all the goods in the United States factory, and the ammunition and provisions in the fort, desiring an escort of the Pottawatomies to Fort Wayne in return, and promising them a further liberal reward upon arrival there. The Indians, with many professions of friendship, assented to all he proposed and promised all he required.

No sooner had the commander made these indiscreet promises than he allowed himself to be persuaded to violate them,

Mr. Kinzie, well knowing the treachery of the Indian character, repre. sented to him the danger to their party of furnishing the savages with arms and ammunition, and liquor to fire their brains. This argument, true and excellent in itself, was now certainly inopportune, and, if acted upon could only incense the treacherous foe. But Capt. Heald, struck with the impolicy of his conduct and falling in with the advice, now resolved to break his indiscreet promise. Accordingly, on the 13th, all the goods in the factory store were duly distributed; but in the night time the arms were broken, the ammunition secretly thrown in a well, and the barrels of whisky, of which there was a large quantity, mostly belonging to traders, were rolled quietly through the sally-port, their heads knocked in and their contents emptied into the river. But the lurking redskins witnessed the breaking of the casks, and quickly apprehending how faith had been broken with them by the whites, were greatly exasperated at the loss of their fond "fire water," which they asserted was destroyed in such abundance as to make the river taste "groggy." At a second council held on the 14th, they expressed their indignation at this conduct, and their murmurs and threats were loud and deep. Black Hawk, who lived many years after, always maintained that this violation of promises on the part of the whites precipitated the massacre on the following day.

While nearly all the Indians in alliance with the British partook of the hostility of their people against the Americans, there were still several chiefs and braves who retained a personal regard for the inhabitants of this place. Among these was Black Partridge, a chief of some renown. He now entered the quarters of Capt. Heald and spoke as follows: “Father, I come to deliver up to you the medal I wear. It was given me by the Americans, and I have long worn it in token of our mutual friendship. But our young men are resolved to imbrue their hands in the blood of the whites. I cannot restrain them, and I will not wear a token of peace while I am compelled to act as an enemy."

On the same day, the 14th, the despondency of the garrison was for a time dispelled by the arrival of Capt. Wells from Ft. Wayne, with 15 friendly Miamis. Capt. Wells was the son of Gen. Wells, of Kentucky, and either a brother or uncle to Mrs. Capt. Heald. When a child, he was taken prisoner by the Miamis and reared and adopted in the family of Little Turtle, who commanded the Indians in the defeat of St. Clair, in 1790, Wells leading 300 of the warriors in the very front of that battle. He subsequently joined the army of Gen. Wayne, and by his knowledge of the country, proved a powerful auxiliary. Later he rejoined his foster father. He was a brave and fearless warrior. Having learned the order of evacuation, and knowing well the hostile disposition of the Pottawatomies, he made a rapid march through the wilderness to save, if possible, his sister and the garrison at Chicago, from their impending doom. But he came too late. The ammunition was destroyed and the savages were rioting on the provisions. Preparations were therefore made to march on the morrow. The reserved ammunition, 25 rounds to the man, was now distributed. The baggage wagons for the sick, the women and the children, containing also a box of cartridges, were got ready, and amid the pervading gloom, a fatiguing march through the wilderness in prospect, and the fears of disaster on the route, the whole party

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