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concern, and kept a watchful eye upon the movements of the savages.
As early as the spring of 1810 the Indians at The Prophet's Town gave unmistakable evi. dences of hostile intentions. Harrison adopted conciliatory measures toward them. He sent them friendly messages, and received for a time loyal but deceptive replies. His most trusted and efficient agent was Joseph Barron, a kindhearted interpreter, of French descent, who possessed and deserved the respect of all the tribes. Even he was at length received by the Prophet in an unfriendly spirit. “For what purpose do you come here ?” angrily exclaimed the impostor on one occasion. “ Brouillette was here; he came as a spy. Dubois was here; he was a spy. Now you have come. You, too, are a spy." Then, pointing to the ground, he said, vehemently, “There is your grave: look on it!" At that moment Tecumtha appeared, and assured Barron of his personal safety, and promised to visit Governor Harrison at Vincennes. This promise was fulfilled on the 12th of August (1810), when he suddenly appeared with four hundred armed warriors, to the great alarm of the inhabitants. His bearing was haughty, and
his words were insolent and defiant. When inyou are now to behold.'” He was then taken vited to the Governor's house to hold a council, he to a gate which opened into the Spirit-land, but said, “ Houses were built for you to hold counhe was not permitted to enter.
cils in; Indians hold theirs in the open air!” Such was Elkswatawa's story, and henceforth He then took a position under some trees in he was regarded as a divine messenger and was front of the house; and, unabashed by the large called The Prophet. He immediately entered assemblage of people before him, he opened the upon his mission as a preacher of righteousness. business with a speech marked by great dignity He inveighed against vices, and warned his peo- and native eloquence. When he had concluded ple to have nothing to do with the Pale-faces- one of the Governor's aids said to the chief, their religiou, their customs, their arms, or their through Barron, the interpreter, and pointing to arts; for every imitation of the intruders was a chair, “Your father requests you to take a offensive to the Great Master of Life. Tecum- seat at his side." The chief drew his mantle tha, possessed of a master mind and a states- around him, and, standing erect, said, with scornman's sagacity, was the moving spirit in all this imposture. He had conceived the grand idea, like Pontiac, of confederating all the Indian tribes from the Ohio to the Mississippi in a war of extermination against the Americans northward of the Beautiful River, and this was a part of his grand scheme for obtaining influence over them. He went from tribe to tribe, and published in the ears of eager listeners the wonders of his brother's divine mission. At the same time the cunning brother was acting his part with such success that his sway over the people was almost omnipotent.
For several years Tecumtha and his brother, encouraged by Elliott, Girty, and other British agents, were industriously engaged in the Confederacy scheme. Having excited the ill-will of some of the leading Shawnoese chiefs, they left their native valley and seated themselves tipon the Wabash, near the mouth of the Tippecanoe, gathered followers around them, and called the village The Prophet's Town. They were within the borders of Indiana, over whose settlements William Henry Harrison watched as Governor of the Territory. He observed the development of Tecumtha's scheme with much
ful tone, “My father! The Sun is my father, and the Earth is my mother : on her bosom I will repose" -and then seated himself upon the ground. The council was a stormy one, and some hostile demonstrations were made by the Indians; but it finally broke up with an appar. ently friendly spirit.
Harrison well knew the great ability and influence of Tecumtha, and regarded war with him and his followers not only possible, but probable. He made preparations to meet the savages in battle. A company of United States troops were called from Newport, opposite Cincin
FORT HARRISON, 1813. nati, to join well-drilled Indiana militia and dragoons at Vincennes. This professions of friendly feelings, and promised to movement was known to the Indians, and yet, see the Governor soon and convince him that he during the ensuing winter, they became bolder and had no reason to suspect the Indians of hostile more hostile. The teachings of Tecumtha, the intentions. He visited Vincennes at the close oracular revelations of The Prophet, and the en- of July (1811) with about three hundred followcouragement of the British in Canada, incited ers (twenty of them women), and saw the Govthem to action; and in the spring of 1811 roving ernor surrounded by almost eight hundred wellbands of savages plundered the cabins of the set- armed soldiers. His duplicity was perfect. He tlers, and the wigwams of Indians who would not made solemn protestations of friendship, yet left join them, all over the Upper Wabash region. Vincennes a few days afterward and went South There was wide-spread alarm. Barron was sent to visit the Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws for to the Shawnoese brothers to assure them that the the purpose of inducing them to join his proposed Governor was well prepared for war with all the league against the white people. tribes combined, and to tell them that unless Harrison now increased his military strength they put a stop to the outrages complained of, by calling to Vincennes the Fourth Regiment of and ceased their warlike movements, he should United States troops, under Colonel John P. attack them. Tecumtha was alarmed, made Boyd. He was authorized by the Government
to employ these troops and the entire militia of Indiana, if necessary, in attacking the savages on the Tippecanoe; for it was evident that The Prophet's Town was becoming the rendezvous for an Indian force that might soon imperil the whole white population of the Territory.
As the autumn advanced this cloud became more and more threatening, and Harrison determined to disperse it. He called for volunteers, and was delighted with a quick and ample response. He was very popular in the West, and his voice stirred the people like the sound of a trumpet. Old Indian fighters like General Wells and Colonel Owen of Kentucky instantly started for the field, accompanied by the eloquent Kentucky lawyer, Joseph Hamilton Daviess, and many others whose names are among those that Americans love to remember. On the 26th of September Governor Harrison was enabled to leave Fort Knox, at Vincennes, with about nine hundred effective men. With these he moved up the Wabash Valley; and on the eastern bank of the river, near the present village of Terre Haute, in Indiana, he commenced the erection of a stockade fort early in October.
It was completed at near the close of the month, station came from the alarmed savage to ask for and by the unanimous request of the officers it a parley. It was granted. The deputies aswas called “Fort Harrison.” A few mounds sured Harrison that a friendly message had been only now indicate its locality. Within its area sent to him, but that the couriers had missed stands a log-house built of the timbers of one of him by going down the opposite side of the the block-houses. The old sycamore and elm river. They hoped he would not advance any trees that were then in their early maturity when further, nor disturb the women and children by the fort was built yet stand along the bank be-occupying the town. They pointed to a triantween the canal and the river, living witnesses gular ridge back from the Wabash, about a mile, of stirring scenes there in 1813, when a handful which he would find an eligible place for an enof men, under Captain Zachary Taylor (the campment. It was mutually agreed that neitwelfth President of the United States), sus- ther party should commence hostilities until tained a siege against an overwhelming body of Harrison and The Prophet should have an inIndians.
terview the next day. The little army then Governor Harrison, by virtue of his office, marched to the ridge at the present Battlewas Commander-in-Chief of the expedition, and Ground station on the Louisville, New Albany, Colonel Boyd was his second in command. The and Chicago Railway, about seven miles north army, when it reached the Vermilion River on of the city of Lafayette, Indiana, and there enthe 2d of November, was composed of regulars camped. It was described by Harrison as “a under Boyd, sixty volunteers from Kentucky, piece of dry oak land, rising about ten feet above and between five and six hundred Indiana the level of a marshy prairie in front, toward militia. The command of the dragoons was in. The Prophet's Town, and nearly twice that trusted to Colonel Daviess, and the riflemen to height above a similar prairie in the rear, General Wells, both bearing, in this expedition, through which, and near to this bank, ran a the relative rank of Major.
small stream [Burnet's Creek] clothed with On the evening of the 5th of November the willows and other brushwood. Toward the left little army encamped within eleven miles of The flank this bench of land widened considerably, Prophet's Town. Now, for the first time since but became gradually narrower in the opposite they left Vincennes, were Indians visible. They direction, and at the distance of one hundred were observed hovering around the camp and and fifty yards from the right flank terminated caused great watchfulness. As the troops moved in an abrupt point." At that “abrupt point," forward on the morning of the 6th the forest delineated in the engraving as it appeared when seemed alive with them. The approach of the I visited the spot in 1860, the railway strikes army had been made known to The Prophet, the “bench of land.” On the right the little and his scouts, numerous and vigilant, watched figures show the place of the road along the every step of the invaders, who now marched in bank of the wet prairie. On the left is seen the battle order after the manner of Wayne's army steep bank of Burnet's Creek, now, as then, on the Maumee in 1794, which the present lead “clothed with willows and other brushwood,” er then suggested. When they were within a and vines. In the centre are seen the oaks and mile and a half of The Prophet's Town a depu-l a portion of the fence that now incloses the bat
tle-ground of Tippecanoe.
Harrison arranged his camp with care on the afternoon of the 6th, in the form of an irregular parallelogram on account of the shape of the ground. On the point was a battalion of United States Infantry under Major G. R. C. Floyd, flanked on the left by one company, and on the right by two companies of Indiana militia under Colonel Joseph Bartholomew. In the rear was a battalion of United States Infantry under Captain William C. Baen, acting as Major, with Captain R. C. Bur- Mars,” said Judge Naylor of Crawfordsville, ton of the Regulars in immediate command. Indiana (who was in the fight), to me, "who These were supported on the right by four com- fired that first alarm-gun. Poor fellow! He panies of Indiana militia, led respectively by discharged his rifle, rushed toward the camp, Captains Josiah Snelling, John Posey, Thomas but was shot dead before he reached it.” The Scott, and Jacob Warrick, the whole commanded whole camp was immediately aroused by a cry by Lieutenant-Colonel Luke Decker. The right “To arms!” and in the pale light of smouldering Aank, eighty yards wide, was filled with mount- watch-fires the officers formed their men for ed riflemen under Captain Spear Spencer. The battle as speedily as possible. But some of left, about one hundred and fifty yards in extent, them were compelled to fight singly at the doors was composed of mounted riflemen under Major- of their tents, for a number of the frenzied InGeneral Samuel Wells, commanding as Major, dians had penetrated to the centre of the camp. and led by Colonels Frederick Geiger and David These savages were slain every one of them. Robb, acting as Captains. Two troops of dra- Harrison was soon in his saddle; his own fine goons, under Colonel Joseph H. Daviess, acting white horse, frightened by the horrid yells of as Major, were stationed in the rear of the front the savages and the cracking of musketry, had line near the left flank; and at a right angle with broken from his fastenings, and could not be these companies in the rear of the left flank was found. He mounted another horse that stood a troop of cavalry, as a reserve, under Captain snorting near, and with his aid, Colonel Owen, Benjamin Parker. Wagons, baggage, officers' hastened to the point of attack. Other parts of tents, etc., were in the centre. Such was the the camp were soon assailed; and the gallant disposition of Harrison's troops on the evening Governor galloped in all directions, and made of the 6th of November, within a mile of the such dispositions for defense as were possible in hostile savage camp at The Prophet's Town the darkness. The battle raged for some time near the mouth of the Tippecanoe. Having es upon the front, rear, and flanks of the camp. tablished the guards and sentinels sound sleep The men behaved with the greatest gallantry soon fell upon the remainder of the camp. and coolness, notwithstanding nineteen-twenThere was a slight drizzle of rain, and the tieths of them had never been under fire before. night was intensely dark.
Many brave men fell. Daviess, while leading But there was no sleep in the camp of the a party at the angle on the front and left flank savages. Unmindful of his solemn promise not of the camp to dislodge the savages, fell mortalto commence hostilities until after a parley to be ly wounded. Spencer and his lieutenant on the held the following day, the treacherous Prophet, left flank were killed; Warrick was wounded as soon as the darkness came on, prepared his past recovery; and not far from the same spot followers to fall stealthily upon the American the gallant Owen, who bore honorable scars recamp and massacre those who had confided in ceived in battle with Indians, under St. Clair, his honor. He brought out a pretended magic precisely twenty years before, was slain. bowl and string of holy beans, and with the lat- Dawn brought relief. The lines of the camp ter in one hand, and the flaming “medicine remained unbroken. The foe was now visible. torch" in the other, he required his duped fol. He was in greatest force upon the two flanks. lowers to touch the talismanic beans and be Harrison strengthened them; and was about to made invulnerable, while each took an oath to order the cavalry under Parke to charge upon exterminate the Pale-faces. Having finished the savages on the left, when Major Wells, not his incantations, he turned to his highly-excited understanding the Governor's intentions, led the band of warriors, about seven hundred in num- infantry to perform that duty. It was executed ber, and said, holding up the holy beans, “ The gallantly and effectually. The Indians were time to attack the white man has come. They driven at the point of the bayonet, and the draare in your power. They sleep now and will goons pursued them into the wet prairies on never awake. The Great Spirit will give light both sides of the ridge on which the battle was to us and darkness to the white man. Their fought, as far as the soft ground would permit bullets shall not harm us; your weapons shall their horses to go. On the right flank the Inbe always fatal.” War-songs and dances fol- dians had been put to flight in the same manlowed, until the Indians were perfectly frenzied, ner, and driven into the marsh beyond Burnet's when The Prophet said “Go!" and they rushed Creek. They were scattered in all directions ; forth into the midnight blackness to fall upon and on the following day Harrison advanced the unsuspecting Americans. Stealthily they upon The Prophet's Town, and laid it in ashes. crept through the long grass of the prairie in the The dispersion of the savages and the conflagradeep gloom, intending to surround the camp, tion were thus alluded to by a poet of the day: kill the sentinels, rush in, and massacre the "Sound, sound the charge! Spur, spur the steel,
And swift the fugitives pursue!-It was now about four o'clock in the morn- 'Tis vain : rein in-your utmost speed
Could not o'ertake the recreant crew ing. Harrison was just pulling on his boots
In low land marsh, in dell or cave, when the crack of a single rifle at the northwest
Each Indian sought his life to save; angle of the camp fell upon his ear.
Whence peering forth, with fear and irc, instantly followed by the loud yells of numerous
He saw his Prophet's town on fire." savages from that qnarter. “ It was Stephen Looking eastward from the site of the battle
ground, over the “wet prairie" (now a fenced motive, with its magnificent chariots, courses by and cultivated plain), toward the Wabash, the them daily; and upon the very spot where Major visitor will see a range of very gentle hills cov- Wells charged upon the foe and drove them to ered with woods. On one of these the Prophet the tangled prairies is a flourishing college, stood while the battle was raging on that dark called “The Battle-ground Institute," and a November morning, at a safe distance from dap- little village large enough to deserve a charter. ger, singing a war-song and performing some In the spring of 1812 it was determined in pretended religious mummeries. When inform- Congress to declare war against Great Britain. ed that his followers were falling before the bul. That act was performed late in June, at which lets of the white man, he said, “Fight on! it will time Brigadier-General Hull was at the head of soon be as I told you." When, at last, the fugitive a little army, destined for the invasion of Canwarriors of many tribes—Shawnoese, Wyandots, ada. The expedition not only failed to accomKickapoos, Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawatomies, plish its object, but was disastrous in the exWinnebagoes, Sacs, and a few Miamies-lost treme, for the army was captured at Detroit, at their faith, and covered The Prophet with re- the middle of August, and the whole peninsula proaches, he cunningly told them that his predic. of Michigan passed into the possession of the tions had failed because, during his incantations, British. Mackinack, an important post between his wife touched the sacred vessels and broke the Lakes Huron and Michigan, had already been charm! Even Indian superstition and credulity seized by the British ; and the day before Hull could not accept that transparent falsehood for an surrendered, Fort Dearborn, at Chicago, was excuse, and the dishonest charlatan was deserted taken possession of by the Indians, many of its by his disappointed followers, and compelled to garrison were massacred, and the whole country take refuge with a small band of Wyandots in an- northward of Fort Wayne was left free to roamother part of the Wabash region. The spirit of ing bands of savages. the Northwestern Indians was broken, for many The events at Chicago formed a fearful trag. a brave warrior lay prone in death around the edy. Our space will allow only a meagre outAmerican camp. But the white people had suf- line record of them. It was a trading post in fered terribly, having no less than one hundred the remote wilderness, where the great city of and eighty-eight killed and wounded. This loss Chicago now stands. The first white settler produced wide-spread exasperation, not only there was John Kinzie, an enterprising Indian against the Indians of the Northwest, but against trader. Early in the present century the Unitthe British, the instigators of hostilities, and ed States Government built a fort there; and greatly strengthened the war-party in and out of on the 4th of July, 1804, it was formally named Congress.
Fort Dearborn, in honor of the then Secretary The battle-field of Tippecanoe is now a bean- of War. It stood on the south side of the Chitiful spot, and has become classic ground. It cago River. Kinzie's pleasant residence was on belongs to the State of Indiana, and is soon to the north side and opposite. Both appear in the be inclosed in an iron railing in place of the accompanying engraving, made from a sketch wooden fence that now surrounds it. The same by a daughter-in-law of Mr. Kinzie, the authoroaks are there that looked down in the pride of ess of “Wau-bun, or the Early Days in the their strength on the morning of the battle; but Northwest.” instead of standing in the midst of a vast wilder- At the time we are considering there was a ness, they are surrounded by the varied forms in small garrison at Fort Dearborn, commanded which civilization is manifested. The fiery loco- by Captain Nathan Heald. He and his family,