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The First White Man of the West by Timothy Flint

Part 3 out of 4

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first intimation of it which the unsuspecting inhabitants had, was being
fired upon. Unprepared to resist so formidable a force, provided
moreover with cannon, against which their palisade walls would not
stand, they were obliged to surrender at discretion. The savages
immediately prostrated one man and two women with the tomahawk. All the
other prisoners, many of whom were sick, were loaded with baggage and
forced to accompany their return march to the Indian towns. Whoever,
whether male or female, infant or aged, became unable, from sickness or
exhaustion, to proceed, was immediately dispatched with the tomahawk.

The inhabitants, exasperated by the recital of cruelties to the children
and women, too horrible to be named, put themselves under the standard
of the intrepid and successful General Clarke, who commanded a regiment
of United States' troops at the falls of Ohio. He was joined by a number
of volunteers from the country, and they marched against Pickaway, one
of the principal towns of the Shawnese, on the Great Miami. He conducted
this expedition with his accustomed good fortune. He burnt their town to
ashes. Beside the dead, which, according to their custom, the Indians
carried off, seventeen bodies were left behind. The loss of General
Clarke was seventeen killed.

We here present brief outlines of some of the other more prominent
western pioneers, the kindred spirits, the Boones of Kentucky. High
spirited intelligent, intrepid as they were, they can never supplant the
reckless hero of Kentucky and Missouri in our thoughts. It is true,
these men deserve to have their memories perpetuated in monumental
brass, and the more enduring page of history. But there is a sad
interest attached to the memory of Daniel Boone, which can never belong,
in an equal degree, to theirs. They foresaw what this beautiful country
would become in the hands of its new possessors. Extending their
thoughts beyond the ken of a hunter's calculations, they anticipated the
consequences of buts and bounds, officers of registry and record, and
courts of justice. In due time, they secured a fair and adequate
reversion in the soil which they had planted and so nobly defended.
Hence, their posterity, with the inheritance of their name and renown,
enter into the heritage of their possessions, and find an honorable and
an abundant residence in the country which their fathers settled.
Boone, on the contrary, was too simple-minded, too little given to
prospective calculations, and his heart in too much what was passing
under his eye, to make this thrifty forecast. In age, in penury,
landless, and without a home, he is seen leaving Kentucky, then an
opulent and flourishing country, for a new wilderness and new scenes of

Among the names of the conspicuous backwoodsmen who settled the west, we
cannot fail to recognize that of James Harrod. He was from the banks of
the Monongahela, and among the earliest immigrants to the "Bloody
Ground." He descended the Great Kenhawa, and returned to Pennsylvania in
1774. He made himself conspicuous with a party of his friends at the
famous contest with the Indians at the "Point," Next year he returned to
Kentucky with a party of immigrants, fixing himself at one of the
earliest settlements in the country, which, in honor of him, was called

Nature had moulded him of a form and temperament to look the formidable
red man in the face. He was six feet, muscular, broad chested, of a firm
and animated countenance, keen and piercing eyes, and sparing of speech.
He gained himself an imperishable name in the annals of Kentucky, under
the extreme disadvantage of not knowing how to read or write! Obliging
and benevolent to his neighbors, he was brave and active in their
defence. A successful, because a persevering and intelligent hunter, he
was liberal to profuseness in the distribution of the spoils. Vigilant
and unerring with his rifle, it was at one time directed against the
abundant game for the sake of his friends rather than himself; and at
others, against the enemies of his country. Guided by the inexplicable
instinct of forest skill, he could conduct the wanderer in the woods
from point to point through the wilderness, as the needle guides the
mariner upon the ocean. So endowed, others equally illiterate, and less
gifted, naturally, and from instinct, arranged themselves under his
banner, and fearlessly followed such a leader.

If it was reported, that a family, recently arrived in the country, and
not yet acquainted with the backwood's modes of supply, was in want of
food, Harrod was seen at the cabin door, offering the body of a deer or
buffalo, which he had just killed. The commencing farmer, who had lost
his oxen, or plough horse, in the range, and unused to the vocation of
hunting them, or fearful of the Indian rifle, felt no hesitancy, from
his known character, in applying to Harrod. He would disappear in the
woods, and in the exercise of his own wonderful tact, the lost beast was
soon seen driving to the door.

But the precincts of a station, or the field of a farm, were too
uncongenial a range for such a spirit as his. To breathe the fresh
forest air--to range deserts where man was not to be seen--to pursue the
wild deer and buffalo--to trap the bear and the wolf, or beside the
still pond, or the unexplored stream, to catch otters and beavers--to
bring down the wild turkey from the summit of the highest trees; such
were the congenial pursuits in which he delighted.

But, in a higher sphere, and in the service of his country, he united
the instinctive tact and dexterity of a huntsman with the bravery of a
soldier. No labor was too severe for his hardihood; no enterprise too
daring and forlorn for his adventure; no course too intricate and
complicated for his judgment, so far as native talent could guide it. As
a Colonel of the militia, he conducted expeditions against the Indians
with uncommon success. After the country had become populous, and he a
husband and a father, in the midst of an affectionate family, possessed
of every comfort--such was the effect of temperament, operating upon
habit, that he became often silent and thoughtful in the midst of the
social circle, and was seen in that frame to wander away into remote
forests, and to bury himself amidst the unpeopled knobs, where, in a few
weeks, he would reacquire his cheerfulness. In one of these excursions
he disappeared, and was seen no more, leaving no trace to determine
whether he died a natural death, was slain by wild beasts, or the
tomahawk of the savage.

Among the names of many of the first settlers of Harrodsburgh, are those
that are found most prominent in the early annals of Kentucky. In the
first list of these we find the names of McGary, Harland, McBride, and
Chaplain. Among the young settlers, none were more conspicuous for
active, daring, and meritorious service, than James Ray. Prompt at his
post at the first moment of alarm, brave in the field, fearless and
persevering in the pursuit of the enemy, scarcely a battle, skirmish, or
expedition took place in which he had not a distinguished part. Equally
expert as a woodsman, and skilful and successful as a hunter, he was
often employed as a spy. It is recorded of him that he left his
garrison, when short of provisions, by night marched to a forest at the
distance of six miles, killed a buffalo, and, loaded with the choice
parts of the flesh, returned to regale the hungry inhabitants in the
morning. He achieved this enterprise, too, when it was well known that
the vicinity was thronged with Indians, lurking for an opportunity to
kill. These are the positions which try the daring and skill, the
usefulness and value of men, furnishing a criterion which cannot be
counterfeited between reality and resemblance.

We may perhaps in this place most properly introduce another of the
famous partisans in savage warfare, Simon Kenton, alias Butler, who,
from humble beginnings, made himself conspicuous by distinguished
services and achievements in the first settlements of this country, and
ought to be recorded as one of the patriarchs of Kentucky. He was born
in Virginia, in 1753. He grew to maturity without being able to read or
write; but from his early exploits he seems to have been endowed with
feelings which the educated and those born in the upper walks of life,
appear to suppose a monopoly reserved for themselves. It is recorded of
him, that at the age of nineteen, he had a violent contest with another
competitor for the favor of the lady of his love. She refused to make an
election between them, and the subject of this notice indignantly exiled
himself from his native place. After various peregrinations on the long
rivers of the west, he fixed himself in Kentucky, and soon became a
distinguished partisan against the savages. In 1774, he joined himself
to Lord Dunmore, and was appointed one of his spies. He made various
excursions, and performed important services in this employ. He finally
selected a place for improvement on the site where Washington now is.
Returning one day from hunting, he found one of his companions slain by
the Indians, and his body thrown into the fire. He left Washington in
consequence, and joined himself to Colonel Clarke in his fortunate and
gallant expedition against Vincennes and Kaskaskia. He was sent by that
commander with despatches for Kentucky. He passed through the streets of
Vincennes, then in possession of the British and Indians, without
discovery. Arriving at White river, he and his party made a raft on
which to cross with their guns and baggage, driving their horses into
the river and compelling them to swim it. A party of Indians was
concealed on the opposite bank, who took possession of the horses as
they mounted the bank from crossing the river. Butler and his party
seeing this, continued to float down the river on their raft without
coming to land. They concealed themselves in the bushes until night,
when they crossed the river, pursued their journey, and delivered their

After this, Butler made a journey of discovery to the northern regions
of the Ohio country, and was made prisoner by the Indians. They painted
him black, as is their custom when a victim is destined for their
torture, and informed him that he was to be burned at Chillicothe.
Meanwhile, for their own amusement, and as a prelude of his torture,
they manacled him hand and foot, and placed him on an unbridled and
unbroken horse, and turned the animal loose, driving it off at its
utmost speed, with shouts, delighted at witnessing its mode of managing
with its living burden. The horse unable to shake off this new and
strange encumbrance, made for the thickest covert of the woods and
brambles, with the speed of the winds. It is easy to conjecture the
position and suffering of the victim. The terrified animal exhausted
itself in fruitless efforts to shake off its burden, and worn down and
subdued, brought Butler back amidst the yells of the exulting savages to
the camp.

Arrived within a mile of Chillicothe, they halted, took Butler from his
horse and tied him to a stake, where he remained twenty-four hours in
one position. He was taken from the stake to "run the gauntlet." The
Indian mode of managing this kind of torture was as follows: The
inhabitants of the tribe, old and young, were placed in parallel lines,
armed with clubs and switches. The victim was to make his way to the
council house through these files, every member of which struggled to
beat him as he passed as severely as possible. If he reached the council
house alive, he was to be spared. In the lines were nearly six hundred
Indians, and Butler had to make his way almost a mile in the endurance
of this infernal sport. He was started by a blow; but soon broke through
the files, and had almost reached the council house, when a stout
warrior knocked him down with a club. He was severely beaten in this
position, and taken back again into custody.

It seems incredible that they sometimes adopted their prisoners, and
treated them with the utmost lenity and even kindness. At other times,
ingenuity was exhausted to invent tortures, and every renewed endurance
of the victim seemed to stimulate their vengeance to new discoveries of
cruelty. Butler was one of these ill-fated subjects. No way satisfied
with what they had done, they marched him from village to village to
give all a spectacle of his sufferings. He run the gauntlet thirteen
times. He made various attempts to escape; and in one instance would
have effected it, had he not been arrested by some savages who were
accidentally returning to the village from which he was escaping. It was
finally determined to burn him at the Lower Sandusky, but an apparent
accident changed his destiny.

In passing to the stake, the procession went by the cabin of Girty, of
whom we have already spoken. This renegado white man lived among these
Indians, and had just returned from an unsuccessful expedition against
the whites on the frontiers of Pennsylvania. The wretch burned with
disappointment and revenge, and hearing that there was a white man going
to the torture, determined to wreak his vengeance on him. He found the
unfortunate Butler, threw him to the ground, and began to beat him.
Butler, who instantly recognized in Girty the quondam companion and
playmate of youth, at once made himself known to him. This sacramental
tie of friendship, on recognition, caused the savage heart of Girty to
relent. He raised him up, and promised to save him. He procured the
assemblage of a council, and persuaded the savages to relinquish Butler
to him. He took the unfortunate man home, fed, and clothed him, and
Butler began to recruit from his wounds and torture. But the relenting
of the savages was only transient and momentary. After five days they
repented of their relaxation in his favor, reclaimed him, and marched
him to Lower Sandusky to be burned there, according to their original
purpose. By a fortunate coincidence, he there met the Indian agent from
Detroit, who, from motives of humanity, exerted his influence with the
savages for his release, and took him with him to Detroit. Here he was
paroled by the Governor. He escaped; and being endowed, like Daniel
Boone, to be at home in the woods, by a march of thirty days through the
wilderness, he reached Kentucky.

In 1784, Simon Kenton reoccupied the settlement, near Washington, which
he had commenced in 1775. Associated with a number of people, he erected
a block-house, and made a station here. This became an important point
of covering and defence for the interior country. Immigrants felt more
confidence in landing at Limestone. To render this confidence more
complete, Kenton and his associates built a block-house at Limestone.
Two men, of the name of Tanner, had made a small settlement the year
preceding at Blue Lick, and were now making salt there. The route from
Limestone to Lexington became one of the most general travel for
immigrants, and many stations sprang up upon it. Travellers to the
country had hitherto been compelled to sleep under the open canopy,
exposed to the rains and dews of the night. But cabins were now so
common, that they might generally repose under a roof that sheltered
them from the weather, and find a bright fire, plenty of wood, and with
the rustic fare, a most cheerful and cordial welcome. The people of
these new regions were hospitable from native inclination. They were
hospitable from circumstances. None but those who dwell in a wilderness,
where the savages roam and the wolves howl, can understand all the
pleasant associations connected with the sight of a stranger of the same
race. The entertainer felt himself stronger from the presence of his
guest. His offered food and fare were the spoils of the chase. He heard
news from the old settlements and the great World; and he saw in the
accession of every stranger a new guaranty of the security, wealth, and
improvement of the infant country where he had chosen his resting place.

Among other worthy associates of Boone, we may mention the family of
McAffee. Two brothers, James and Robert, emigrated from the county of
Botetourt, Virginia, and settled on Salt river, six miles from
Harrodsburgh. Having revisited their parent country, on their return
they brought with them William and George McAffee. In 1777, the Indians
destroyed the whole of their valuable stock of cattle, while they were
absent from Kentucky. In 1779 they returned, and settled McAffee's
station, which was subsequently compelled to take its full share in the
sufferings and dangers of Indian hostilities.

Benjamin Logan immigrated to the country in 1775, as a private citizen.
But he was a man of too much character to remain unnoted. As his
character developed, he was successively appointed a magistrate, elected
a member of the legislature and rose, as a military character, to the
rank of general. His parents were natives of Ireland, who emigrated,
while young, to Pennsylvania, where they married, and soon afterwards
removed to Augusta county, Virginia.

Benjamin, their oldest son, was born there; and at the age of fourteen,
lost his father. Charged, at this early age, with the care of a widowed
mother, and children still younger than himself, neither the
circumstances of his family, of the country, or his peculiar condition,
allowed him the chances of education. Almost as unlettered as James
Harrod, he was a memorable example of a self-formed man. Great natural
acuteness, and strong intellectual powers, were, however, adorned by a
disposition of uncommon benevolence. Under the eye of an excellent
father, he commenced with the rudiments of common instruction, the
soundest lessons of Christian piety and morality, which were continued
by the guidance and example of an admirable mother, with whom he resided
until he was turned of twenty-one.

His father had deceased intestate, and, in virtue of the laws then in
force, the whole extensive inheritance of his father's lands descended
to him, to the exclusion of his brothers and sisters. His example ought
to be recorded for the benefit of those grasping children in these days,
who, dead to all natural affection, and every sentiment but avarice,
seize all that the law will grant, whether equity will sanction it or
not. Disregarding this claim of primogeniture, he insisted that the
whole inheritance should be parceled into equal shares, of which he
accepted only his own. But the generous impulses of his noble nature,
were not limited to the domestic circle. His heart was warm with the
more enlarged sentiments of patriotism. At the age of twenty-one, he
accompanied Colonel Beauquette, as a serjeant, in a hostile expedition
against the Indians of the north. Having provided for the comfortable
settlement of his mother and family on James River, Virginia, he moved
to the Holston, where he settled and married.

Having been in the expedition of Lord Dunmore against the Indians, and
having thus acquired a taste for forest marches and incident, he
determined, in 1775, to try his fortunes in Kentucky, which country had
then just become a theme of discussion. He set forth from his mother's
family with three slaves, leaving the rest to her. In Powell's valley he
met with Boone, Henderson, and other kindred spirits, and pursued his
journey towards Kentucky in company with them. He parted from them,
before they reached Boonesborough, and selected a spot for himself,
afterwards called Logan's fort, or station.

In the winter of 1776, he removed his family from Holston, and in March,
arrived with it in Kentucky. It was the same year in which the daughter
of Col. Boone, and those of Col. Calloway were made captives. The
whole-country being in a state of alarm, he endeavored to assemble some
of the settlers that were dispersed in the country called the Crab
Orchard, to join him at his cabins, and there form a station of
sufficient strength to defend itself against Indian assault. But finding
them timid and unresolved, he was himself obliged to desert his
incipient settlement, and move for safety to Harrodsburgh. Yet, such was
his determination not to abandon his selected spot, that he raised a
crop of corn there, defenceless and surrounded on all sides by Indian

In the winter of 1777, and previous to the attack of Harrodsburgh, he
found six families ready to share with him the dangers of the selected
spot; and he removed his family with them to his cabins, where the
settlement immediately united in the important duty of palisading a

Before these arrangements were fully completed as the females of the
establishment, on the twentieth of May, were milking their cows,
sustained by a guard of their husbands and fathers, the whole party was
suddenly assailed by a large body of Indians, concealed in a cane-brake.
One man was killed, and two wounded, one mortally, the other severely.
The remainder reached the interior of the palisades in safety. The
number in all was thirty, half of whom were women and children. A
circumstance was now discovered, exceedingly trying to such a benevolent
spirit as that of Logan. While the Indians were still firing, and the
inmates part exulting in their safety, and the others mourning over
their dead and wounded, it was perceived, that one of the wounded, by
the name of Harrison, was still alive, and exposed every moment to be
scalped by the Indians. All this his wife and family could discern from
within. It is not difficult to imagine their agonizing condition, and
piercing lamentations for the fate of one so dear to them. Logan
discovered, on this occasion, the same keen sensibility to tenderness,
and insensibility to danger, that characterized his friend Boone in
similar predicaments. He endeavored to rally a few of the small number
of the male inmates of the place to join him, and rush out, and assist
in attempting to bring the wounded man within the palisades. But so
obvious was the danger, so forlorn appeared the enterprise, that no one
could be found disposed to volunteer his aid, except a single individual
by the name of John Martin. When they had reached the gate, the wounded
man raised himself partly erect, and made a movement, as if disposed to
try to reach the fort himself. On this, Martin desisted from the
enterprise, and left Logan to attempt it alone. He rushed forward to the
wounded man. He made some efforts to crawl onwards by the aid of Logan;
but weakened by the loss of blood, and the agony of his wounds, he
fainted, and Logan taking him up in his arms, bore him towards the
fort. A shower of bullets was discharged upon them, many of which struck
the palisades close to his head, as he brought the wounded man safe
within the gate, and deposited him in the care of his family.

The station, at this juncture, was destitute of both powder and ball;
and there was no chance of supply nearer than Holston. All intercourse
between station and station was cut off. Without ammunition the station
could not be defended against the Indians. The question was, how to
obviate this pressing emergency, and obtain a supply? Captain Logan
selected two trusty companions, left the fort by night, evaded the
besieging Indians, reached the woods, and with his companions made his
way in safety to Holston, procured the necessary supply of ammunition,
packed it under their care on horseback, giving them directions how to
proceed. He then left them, and traversing the forests by a shorter
route on foot, he reached the fort in safety, in ten days from his
departure. The Indians still kept up the siege with unabated
perseverance. The hopes of the diminished garrison had given way to
despair. The return of Logan inspired them with renewed confidence.

Uniting the best attributes of a woodsman and a soldier to uncommon
local acquaintance with the country, his instinctive sagacity prescribed
to him, on this journey, the necessity of deserting the beaten path,
where, he was aware, he should be intercepted by the savages. Avoiding,
from the same calculation, the passage of the Cumberland Gap, he
explored a track in which man, or at least the white man, had never
trodden before. We may add, it has never been trodden since. Through
cane-brakes and tangled thickets, over cliffs and precipices, and
pathless mountains, he made his solitary way. Following his directions
implicitly, his companions, who carried the ammunition, also reached the
fort, and it was saved.

His rencounters with the Indians, and his hairbreadth escapes make no
inconsiderable figure in the subsequent annals of Kentucky. The year
after the siege of his fort, on a hunting excursion, he discovered an
Indian camp, at Big Flat Spring, two miles from his station. Returning
immediately he raised a party, with which he attacked the camp, from
which the Indians fled with precipitation, without much loss on their
part, and none on his. A short time after he was attacked at the same
place, by another party of Indians. His arm was broken by their fire,
and he was otherwise slightly wounded in the breast. They even seized
the mane of his horse, and he escaped them from their extreme eagerness
to take him alive.

No sooner were his wounds healed, than we find him in the fore front of
the expedition against the Indians. In 1779, he served as a captain in
Bowman's campaign. He signalized his bravery in the unfortunate battle
that ensued, and was with difficulty compelled to retire, when retreat
became necessary. The next year a party travelling from Harrodsburgh
towards Logan's fort, were fired upon by the Indians, and two of them
mortally wounded One, however, survived to reach the fort, and give an
account of the fate of his wounded companion. Logan immediately raised a
small party of young men, and repaired to the aid of the wounded man,
who had crawled out of sight of the Indians behind a clump of bushes. He
was still alive. Logan took him on his shoulders, occasionally relieved
in sustaining the burden by his younger associates, and in this way
conveyed him to the fort. On their return from Harrodsburgh, Logan's
party were fired upon, and one of the party wounded. The assailants were
repelled with loss; and it was Logan's fortune again to be the bearer of
the wounded man upon his shoulders for a long distance, exposed, the
while, to the fire of the Indians.

His reputation for bravery and hospitality, and the influence of a long
train of connections, caused him to be the instrument of bringing out
many immigrants to Kentucky. They were of a character to prove an
acquisition to the country. Like his friends, Daniel Boone, and James
Harrod, his house was open to all the recent immigrants. In the early
stages of the settlement of the country, his station, like Boone's and
Harrod's, was one of the main pillars of the colony. Feeling the
importance of this station, as a point of support to the infant
settlements, he took effectual measures to keep up an intercourse with
the other stations, particularly those of Boone and Harrod. Dangerous as
this intercourse was, Logan generally travelled alone, often by night,
and universally with such swiftness of foot, that few could be found
able to keep speed with him.

In the year 1780, he received his commission as Colonel, and was soon
after a member of the Virginia legislature at Richmond. In the year
1781, the Indians attacked Montgomery's station, consisting of six
families, connected by blood with Colonel Logan. The father and brother
of Mrs. Logan were killed, and her sister-in-law, with four children,
taken prisoners. This disaster occurred about ten miles from Logan's
fort. His first object was to rescue the prisoners, and his next to
chastise the barbarity of the Indians. He immediately collected a party
of his friends, and repaired to the scene of action. He was here joined
by the bereaved relatives of Montgomery's family. He commanded a rapid
pursuit of the enemy, who were soon overtaken, and briskly attacked.
They faced upon their assailants, but were beaten after a severe
conflict. William Montgomery killed three Indians, and wounded a fourth.
Two women and three children were rescued. The savages murdered the
other child to prevent its being re-taken. The other prisoners would
have experienced the same fate, had they not fled for their lives into
the thickets.

It would be very easy to extend this brief sketch of some of the more
conspicuous pioneers of Kentucky. Their heroic and disinterested
services, their lavish prodigality of their blood and property, gave
them that popularity which is universally felt to be a high and
priceless acquisition. Loved, and trusted, and honored as fathers of
their country; while they lived, they had the persuasion of such
generous minds as theirs, that their names would descend with blessings
to their grateful posterity.


Boone's brother killed, and Boone himself narrowly escapes from the
Indians--Assault upon Ashton's station--and upon the station near
Shelbyville--Attack upon McAffee's station.

We have already spoken of the elder brother of Col. Boone and his second
return to the Yadkin. A fondness for the western valleys seems to have
been as deeply engraven in his affections, as in the heart of his
brother. He subsequently returned once more with his family to Kentucky.
In 1780 we find a younger brother of Daniel Boone resident with him. The
two brothers set out on the sixth of October of that year, to revisit
the blue Licks. It may well strike us as a singular fact, that Colonel
Boone should have felt any disposition to revisit a place that was
connected with so many former disasters. But, as a place convenient for
the manufacture of salt, it was a point of importance to the rapidly
growing settlement. They had manufactured as much salt as they could
pack, and were returning to Boonesborough, when they were overtaken by a
party of Indians. By the first fire Colonel Boone's brother fell dead by
his side. Daniel Boone faced the enemy, and aimed at the foremost
Indian, who appeared to have been the slayer of his brother. That Indian
fell. By this time he discovered a host advancing upon him. Taking the
still loaded rifle of his fallen brother, he prostrated another foe, and
while flying from his enemy found time to reload his rifle. The bullets
of a dozen muskets whistled about his head; but the distance of the foe
rendered them harmless. No scalp would have been of so much value to his
pursuers as that of the well known Daniel Boone; and they pursued him
with the utmost eagerness. His object was so far to outstrip them, as to
be able to conceal his trail, and put them to fault in regard to his
course. He made for a little hill, behind which was a stream of water.
He sprang into the water and waded up its current for some distance, and
then emerged and struck off at right angles to his former course.
Darting onward at the height of his speed, he hoped that he had
distanced them, and thrown them off his trail. To his infinite
mortification, he discovered that his foe, either accidentally, or from
their natural sagacity, had rendered all his caution fruitless, and were
fiercely pursuing him still. His next expedient was that of a swing by
the aid of a grape-vine, which had so well served him on a like occasion
before. He soon found one convenient for the experiment, and availed
himself of it, as before. This hope was also disappointed. His foe still
hung with staunch perseverance on his trail. He now perceived by their
movements, that they were conducted by a dog, that easily ran in zig-zag
directions, when at fault, until it had re-scented his course. The
expedient of Boone was the only one that seemed adequate to save him.
His gun was reloaded. The dog was in advance of the Indians, still
scenting his track. A rifle shot delivered him from his officious
pursuer. He soon reached a point convenient for concealing his trail,
and while the Indians were hunting for it, gained so much upon them as
to be enabled to reach Boonesborough in safety.

At the close of the autumn of 1780, Kentucky, from being one county, was
divided into three, named Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. William Pope,
Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Logan, were appointed to the important
offices of commanding the militia of their respective counties.

During this year Col. Clarke descended the Ohio, with a part of his
Virginia regiment, and after entering the Mississippi, at the first
bluff on the eastern bank, he landed and built Fort Jefferson. The
occupation of this fort, for the time, added the Chickasaws to the
number of hostile Indians that the western people had to encounter. It
was soon discovered, that it would be advisable to evacuate it, as a
mean of restoring peace. It was on their acknowleged territory. It had
been erected without their consent. They boasted it, as a proof of their
friendship, that they had never invaded Kentucky; and they indignantly
resented this violation of their territory. The evacuation of the fort
was the terms of a peace which the Chickasaws faithfully observed.

The winter of 1781, was one of unusual length and distress for the young
settlement of Kentucky. Many of the immigrants arrived after the close
of the hunting season; and beside, were unskilful in the difficult
pursuit of supplying themselves with game. The Indians had destroyed
most of the corn of the preceding summer, and the number of persons to
be supplied had rapidly increased. These circumstances created a
temporary famine, which, added to the severity of the season, inflicted
much severe suffering upon the settlement. Boone and Harrod were abroad,
breasting the keen forest air, and seeking the retreat of the deer and
buffalo, now becoming scarce, as the inhabitants multiplied. These
indefatigable and intrepid men supplied the hungry immigrants with the
flesh of buffaloes and deers; and the hardy settlers, accustomed to
privations, and not to over delicacy in their food, contented themselves
to live entirely on meat, until, in the ensuing autumn, they once more
derived abundance from the fresh and fertile soil.

In May, 1782, a body of savages assaulted Ashton's station, killed one
man, and took another prisoner. Captain Ashton, with twenty-five men,
pursued and overtook them. An engagement, which lasted two hours,
ensued. But the great superiority of the Indians in number, obliged
Captain Ashton to retreat. The loss of this intrepid party was severe.
Eight were killed, and four mortally wounded--their brave commander
being among the number of the slain. Four children were taken captive
from Major Hoy's station, in August following. Unwarned by the fate of
Captain Ashton's party. Captain Holden, with the inadequate force of
seventeen men, pursued the captors, came up with them, and were defeated
with the loss of four men killed, and one wounded.

This was one of the most disastrous periods since the settlement of the
country. A number of the more recent and feeble stations, were so
annoyed by savage hostility as to be broken up. The horses were carried
off, and the cattle killed in every direction. Near Lexington, a man at
work in his field, was shot dead by a single Indian, who ran upon his
foe to scalp him, and was himself shot dead from the fort, and fell on
the body of his foe.

During the severity of winter, the fury of Indian incursion was awhile
suspended, and the stern and scarred hunters had a respite of a few
weeks about their cabin fires. But in March, the hostilities were
renewed, and several marauding parties of Indians entered the country
from north of the Ohio. Col. William Lyn, and Captains Tipton and
Chapman, were killed by small detachments that waylaid them upon the
Beargrass. In pursuit of one of these parties, Captain Aquila White,
with seventeen men trailed the Indians to the Falls of the Ohio.
Supposing that they had crossed, he embarked his men in canoes to follow
them on the other shore. They had just committed themselves to the
stream, when they were fired upon from the shore they had left. Nine of
the party were killed or wounded. Yet, enfeebled as the remainder were,
they relanded, faced the foe, and compelled them to retreat.

In April following, a station settled by Boone's elder brother, near the
present site where Shelbyville now stands, became alarmed by the
appearance of parties of Indians in its vicinity. The people, in
consternation, unadvisedly resolved to remove to Beargrass. The men
accordingly set out encumbered with women, children, and baggage. In
this defenceless predicament, they were attacked by the Indians near
Long Run. They experienced some loss, and a general dispersion from each
other in the woods. Colonel Floyd, in great haste, raised twenty-five
men, and repaired to the scene of action, intent alike upon
administering relief to the sufferers, and chastisement to the enemy. He
divided his party, and advanced upon them with caution. But their
superior knowledge of the country, enabled the Indians to ambuscade both
divisions, and to defeat them with the loss of half his men; a loss
poorly compensated by the circumstance, that a still greater number of
the savages fell in the engagement. The number of the latter were
supposed to be three times that of Colonel Floyd's party. The Colonel
narrowly escaped with his life, by the aid of Captain Samuel Wells, who,
seeing him on foot, pursued by the enemy, dismounted and gave him his
own horse, and as he fled, ran by his side to support him on the saddle,
from which he might have fallen through weakness from his wounds.--This
act of Captain Wells was the more magnanimous, as Floyd and himself were
not friends at the time. Such noble generosity was not thrown away upon
Floyd. It produced its natural effect, and these two persons lived and
died friends. It is pleasant to record such a mode of quelling

Early in May, two men, one of whom was Samuel McAffee, left James
McAffee's station, to go to a clearing at a short distance. They had
advanced about a fourth of a mile, when they were fired upon. The
companion of McAffee fell. The latter turned and fled towards the
station. He had not gained more than fifteen steps when he met an
Indian. Both paused a moment to raise their guns, in order to discharge
them. The muzzles almost touched. Both fired at the same moment. The
Indian's gun flashed in the pan, and he fell. McAffee continued his
retreat; but before he reached the station, its inmates had heard the
report of the guns; and James and Robert, brothers of McAffee, had come
out to the aid of those attacked. The three brothers met, Robert,
notwithstanding the caution he received from his brother, ran along the
path to see the dead Indian. The party of Indians to which he had
belonged, were upon the watch among the trees, and several of them
placed themselves between Robert and the station, to intercept his
return. Soon made aware of the danger to which his thoughtlessness had
exposed him, he found all his dexterity and knowledge of Indian warfare
requisite to ensure his safety. He sprang from behind one tree to
another, in the direction of the station, pursued by an Indian until he
reached a fence within a hundred yards of it, which he cleared by a
leap. The Indian had posted himself behind a tree to take safe
aim.--McAffee was now prepared for him. As the Indian put his head out
from the cover of his tree, to look for his object, he caught McAffee's
ball in his mouth, and fell. McAffee reached the station in safety.

James, though he did not expose himself as his brother had done, was
fired upon by five Indians who lay in ambush. He fled to a tree for
protection. Immediately after he had gained one, three or four aimed at
him from the other side. The balls scattered earth upon him, as they
struck around his feet, but he remained unharmed. He had no sooner
entered the inclosure of the station in safety, than Indians were seen
approaching in all directions. Their accustomed horrid yells preceded a
general attack upon the station. Their fire was returned with spirit,
the women running balls as fast as they were required. The attack
continued two hours, when the Indians withdrew.

The firing had aroused the neighborhood; and soon after the retreat of
the Indians, Major McGary appeared with forty men. It was determined to
pursue the Indians, as they could not have advanced far. This purpose
was immediately carried into execution. The Indians were overtaken and
completely routed. The station suffered inconvenience from the loss of
their domestic animals, which were all killed by the Indians, previous
to their retreat. One white man was killed and another died of his
wounds in a few days. This was the last attack upon this station by the
Indians, although it remained for some years a frontier post.

We might easily swell these annals to volumes, by entering into details
of the attack of Kincheloe's station, and its defence by Colonel Floyd;
the exploits of Thomas Randolph; the captivity of Mrs. Bland and Peake;
and the long catalogue of recorded narratives of murders, burnings,
assaults, heroic defences, escapes, and the various incidents of Indian
warfare upon the incipient settlements. While their barbarity and horror
chill the blood, they show us what sort of men the first settlers of
the country were, and what scenes they had to witness, and what events
to meet, before they prepared for us our present peace and abundance.
The danger and apprehension of their condition must have been such, that
we cannot well imagine how they could proceed to the operations of
building and fencing, with sufficient composure and quietness of spirit,
to complete the slow and laborious preliminaries of founding such
establishments, as they have transmitted to their children. Men they
must have been, who could go firmly and cheerfully to the common
occupations of agriculture, with their lives in their hands, and under
the constant expectation of being greeted from the thickets and
cane-brakes with the rifle bullet and the Indian yell. Even the women
were heroes, and their are instances in abundance on record, where, in
defence of their children and cabins, they conducted with an undaunted
energy of attack or defence, which would throw into shade the vaunted
bravery in the bulletins of regular battles.

These magnanimous pioneers seem to have had a presentiment that they had
a great work to accomplish--laying the foundations of a state in the
wilderness--a work from which they were to be deterred, neither by
hunger, nor toil, nor danger, nor death. For tenderness and affection,
they had hearts of flesh. For the difficulties and dangers of their
positions, their bosoms were of iron. THEY FEARED GOD, AND HAD NO OTHER


Disastrous battle near the Blue Licks--General Clarke's expedition
against the Miami towns--Massacre of McClure's family--The horrors of
Indian assaults throughout the settlements--General Harmar's
expedition--Defeat of General St. Clair--Gen. Wayne's victory, and a
final peace with the Indians.

Here, in the order of the annals of the country, would be the place to
present the famous attack of Bryant's station, which we have anticipated
by an anachronism, and given already, in order to present the reader
with a clear view of a _station_, and the peculiar mode of _attack and
defence_ in these border wars. The attack upon Bryant's station was made
by the largest body of Indians that had been seen in Kentucky, the whole
force amounting at least to six hundred men. We have seen that they did
not decamp until they had suffered a severe loss of their warriors. They
departed with so much precipitation as to have left their tents
standing, their fires burning, and their meat roasting. They took the
road to the lower Blue Licks.

Colonel Todd, of Lexington, despatched immediate intelligence of this
attack to Colonel Trigg, near Harrodsburgh, and Colonel Boone, who had
now returned with his family from North Carolina to Boonesborough. These
men were prompt in collecting volunteers in their vicinity. Scarcely had
the Indians disappeared from Bryant's station, before a hundred and
sixty-six men were assembled to march in pursuit of nearly triple their
number of Indians. Besides Colonels Trigg, Todd, and Boone, Majors
McGary and Harland, from the vicinity of Harrodsburgh, had a part in
this command: A council was held, in which, after considering the
disparity of numbers, it was still determined to pursue the Indians.
Such was their impetuosity, that they could not be persuaded to wait for
the arrival of Colonel Logan, who was known to be collecting a strong
party to join them.

The march was immediately commenced upon their trail. They had not
proceeded far before Colonel Boone, experienced in the habits of Indians
and the indications of their purposes, announced that he discovered
marks that their foe was making demonstrations of willingness to meet
them. He observed that they took no pains to conceal their route, but
carefully took measures to mislead their pursuers in regard to their
number. Their first purpose was indicated by cutting trees on their
path--the most palpable of all directions as to their course. The other
was equally concealed by a cautious concentration of their camp, and by
the files taking particular care to step in the foot prints of their
file leaders, so that twenty warriors might be numbered from the
foot-marks only as one.

Still no Indians were actually seen, until the party arrived on the
southern bank of the Licking, at the point of the Blue Licks. A body of
Indians was here discovered, mounting the summit of an opposite hill,
moving leisurely, and apparently without hurry or alarm--retiring
slowly from sight, as on a common march.

The party halted. The officers assembled, and a general consultation
took place, respecting what was to be done. The alternatives were,
whether it was best to cross the Licking at the hazard of an engagement
with the Indians; or to wait where they were, reconnoiter the country,
act on the defensive, and abide the coming up of Colonel Logan with his

Colonels Todd and Trigg, little acquainted with the Indians, were
desirous to be guided by the judgment of Colonel Boone. His opinion
being called for, he gave it with his usual clearness and
circumspection. As regarded the number of the enemy, his judgment was,
that it should be counted from three to five hundred. From the careless
and leisurely manner of the march of the body, they had seen, he was
aware, that the main body was near, and that the show of this small
party was probably, with a view to draw on the attack, founded upon an
entire ignorance of their numbers. With the localities of the country
about the Licks, from his former residence there, he was perfectly
acquainted. The river forms, by its curves, an irregular ellipsis,
embracing the great ridge and buffalo road leading from the Licks. Its
longest line of bisection leads towards Limestone, and is terminated by
two ravines heading together in a point, and diverging thence in
opposite directions to the river. In his view, it was probable that the
Indians had formed an ambuscade behind these ravines, in a position as
advantageous for them as it would be dangerous to the party, if they
continued their march. He advised that the party should divide; the one
half march up the Licking on the opposite side, and crossing at the
mouth of a small branch, called Elk creek, fall over upon the eastern
curve of the ravine; while the other half should take a position
favorable for yielding them prompt co-operation in case of an attack. He
demonstrated, that in this way the advantage of position might be taken
from the enemy, and turned in their favor. He was decided and pressing,
that if it was determined to attack a force superior, before the arrival
of Colonel Logan, they ought at least to send out spies and explore the
country before they marched the main body over the river.

This wise counsel of Colonel Boone was perfectly accordant with the
views of Colonels Todd and Trigg, and of most of the persons consulted
on the occasion. But while they were deliberating, Major McGary,
patriotic, no doubt, in his intentions, but ardent, rash, hot-headed,
and indocile to military rule, guided his horse into the edge of the
river, raised the war-whoop in Kentucky style, and exclaimed, in a voice
of gay confidence, "All those that are not cowards will follow me; I
will show them where the Indians are!" Saying this, he spurred his horse
into the water. One and another, under the impulse of such an appeal to
their courage, dashed in after him. The council was thus broken up by
force. A part caught the rash spirit by sympathy. The rest, who were
disposed to listen to better counsels, were borne along, and their
suggestions drowned in the general clamor. All counsel and command were
at an end. And it is thus that many of the most important events of
history have been determined.

The whole party crossed the river, keeping straight forward in the
beaten buffalo road. Advanced a little, parties flanked out from the
main body, as the irregularity and unevenness of the ground would allow.
The whole body moved on in reckless precipitation and disorder, over a
surface covered with rocks, laid bare by the trampling of buffaloes, and
the washing of the rain of ages. Their course led them in front of the
high ridge which extends for some distance to the left of the road. They
were decoyed on in the direction of one of the ravines of which we have
spoken, by the reappearance of the party of Indians they had first seen.

The termination of this ridge sloped off in a declivity covered with a
thick forest of oaks. The ravines were thick set on their banks with
small timber, or encumbered with burnt wood, and the whole area before
them had been stripped bare of all herbage by the buffaloes that had
resorted to the Licks. Clumps of soil here and there on the bare rock
supported a few trees, which gave the whole of this spot of evil omen a
most singular appearance. The advance of the party was headed by McGary,
Harland, and McBride. A party of Indians, as Boone had predicted, that
had been ambushed in the woods here met them. A warm and bloody action
immediately commenced, and the rifles on either side did fatal
execution. It was discovered in a moment that the whole line of the
ravine concealed Indians, who, to the number of thrice that of their
foes, rushed upon them. Colonels Todd and Trigg, whose position had been
on the right, by the movement in crossing, were thrown in the rear. They
fell in their places, and the rear was turned. Between twenty and thirty
of these brave men had already paid the forfeit of their rashness, when
a retreat commenced under the edge of the tomahawk, and the whizzing of
Indian bullets. When the party first crossed the river all were mounted.
Many had dismounted at the commencement of the action. Others engaged on
horseback. On the retreat, some were fortunate enough to recover their
horses, and fled on horseback. Others retreated on foot. From the point
where the engagement commenced to the Licking river was about a mile's
distance. A high and rugged cliff environed either shore of the river,
which sloped off to a plain near the Licks. The ford was narrow, and the
water above and below it deep. Some were overtaken on the way, and fell
under the tomahawk. But the greatest slaughter was at the river. Some
were slain in crossing, and some on either shore.

A singular spectacle was here presented in the case of a man by the name
of Netherland, who had been derided for his timidity. He was mounted on
a fleet and powerful horse, the back of which he had never left for a
moment. He was one of the first to recross the Licking. Finding himself
safe upon the opposite shore, a sentiment of sympathy came upon him as
he looked back and took a survey of the scene of murder going on in the
river and on its shore. Many had reached the river in a state of
faintness and exhaustion, and the Indians were still cutting them down.
Inspired with the feeling of a commander, he cried out in a loud and
authoritative voice, "Halt! Fire on the Indians. Protect the men in the
river." The call was obeyed. Ten or twelve men instantly turned, fired
on the enemy, and checked their pursuit for a moment, thus enabling some
of the exhausted and wounded fugitives to evade the tomahawk, already
uplifted to destroy them. The brave and benevolent Reynolds, whose reply
to Girty has been reported, relinquished his own horse to Colonel Robert
Patterson, who was infirm from former wounds, and was retreating on
foot. He thus enabled that veteran to escape. While thus signalizing his
disinterested intrepidity, he fell himself into the hands of the
Indians. The party that took him consisted of three. Two whites passed
him on their retreat. Two of the Indians pursued, leaving him under the
guard of the third. His captor stooped to tie his moccasin, and he
sprang away from him and escaped. It is supposed that one-fourth of the
men engaged in this action were commissioned officers. The whole number
engaged was one hundred and seventy-six. Of these, sixty were slain, and
eight made prisoners. Among the most distinguished names of those who
fell, were those of Colonels Todd and Trigg, Majors Harland and Bulger,
Captains Gordon and McBride, and a son of Colonel Boone. The loss of the
savages has never been ascertained. It could not have equalled that of
the assailants, though some supposed it greater. This sanguinary affair
took place August 19, 1782.

Colonel Logan, on arriving at Bryant's station, with a force of three
hundred men, found the troops had already marched. He made a rapid
advance in hopes to join them before they should have met with the
Indians. He came up with the survivors, on their retreat from their
ill-fated contest, not far from Bryant's station. He determined to
pursue his march to the battle ground to bury the dead, if he could not
avenge their fall. He was joined by many friends of the killed and
missing, from Lexington and Bryant's station. They reached the battle
ground on the 25th. It presented a heartrending spectacle. Where so
lately had arisen the shouts of the robust and intrepid woodsmen, and
the sharp yell of the savages, as they closed in the murderous contest,
the silence of the wide forest was now unbroken, except by birds of
prey, as they screamed and sailed over the carnage. The heat was so
excessive, and the bodies were so changed by it and the hideous gashes
and mangling of the Indian tomahawk and knife, that friends could no
longer recognize their dearest relatives. They performed the sad rights
of sepulture as they might, upon the rocky ground.

The Indian forces that had fought at the Blue Licks, in the exultation
of victory and revenge, returned homeward with their scalps. Those from
the north--and they constituted the greater numbers--returned quietly.
The western bands took their route through Jefferson county, in hopes to
add more scalps to the number of their trophies. Colonel Floyd led out a
force to protect the country. They marched through the region on Salt
river, and saw no traces of Indians. They dispersed on their return. The
greater number of them reached their station, and laid down, fatigued
and exhausted, without any precaution against a foe. The Indians came
upon them in this predicament in the night, and killed several women and
children. A few escaped under the cover of the darkness. A woman, taken
prisoner that night, escaped from her savage captors by throwing herself
into the bushes, while they passed on. She wandered about the woods
eighteen days, subsisting only on wild fruits, and was then found and
carried to Lynn's station. She survived the extreme state of exhaustion
in which she was discovered. Another woman, taken with four children, at
the same time, was carried to Detroit.

The terrible blow which the savages had struck at the Blue Licks,
excited a general and immediate purpose of retaliation through Kentucky.
General Clarke was appointed commander-in-chief, and Colonel Logan next
under him in command of the expedition, to be raised for that purpose.
The forces were to rendezvous at Licking. The last of September, 1782,
General Clarke, with one thousand men, marched from the present site of
Cincinnati, for the Indian towns on the Miami. They fell in on their
route with the camp of Simon Girty, who would have been completely
surprised with his Indians, had not a straggling savage espied the
advance, and reported it to them just in season to enable them to
scatter in every direction. They soon spread the intelligence that an
army from Kentucky was marching upon their towns.

As the army approached the towns on their route, they found that the
inhabitants had evacuated them, and fled into the woods. All the cabins
at Chillicothe, Piqua, and Willis were burned. Some skirmishing took
place, however, in which five Indians were killed, and seven made
prisoners, without any loss to the Kentuckians, save the wounding of one
man, which afterwards proved mortal. One distinguished Indian
surrendered himself, and was afterwards inhumanly murdered by one of the
troops, to the deep regret and mortification of General Clarke.

In October, 1785, Mr. McClure and family, in company with a number of
other families, were assailed on Skegg's creek. Six of the family were
killed, and Mrs. McClure, a child, and a number of other persons made
prisoners. The attack took place in the night. The circumstances of the
capture of Mrs. McClure, furnish an affecting incident illustrating the
invincible force of natural tenderness. She had concealed herself, with
her four children, in the brush of a thicket, which, together with the
darkness, screened her from observation. Had she chosen to have left her
infant behind, she might have escaped. But she grasped it, and held it
to her bosom, although aware that its shrieks would betray their covert.
The Indians, guided to the spot by its cries, killed the three larger
children, and took her and her infant captives. The unfortunate and
bereaved mother was obliged to accompany their march on an untamed and
unbroken horse.

Intelligence of these massacres and cruelties circulated rapidly.
Captain Whitley immediately collected twenty-one men from the adjoining
stations, overtook, and killed two of these savages, retook the desolate
mother, her babe, and a negro servant, and the scalps of the six persons
whom they had killed. Ten days afterwards, another party of immigrants,
led by Mr. Moore, were attacked, and nine of their number killed.
Captain Whitley pursued the perpetrators of this bloody act, with thirty
men. On the sixth day of pursuit through the wilderness, he came up with
twenty Indians, clad in the dresses of those whom they had slain. They
dismounted and dispersed in the woods though not until three of them
were killed. The pursuers recovered eight scalps, and all the plunder
which the Indians had collected at the late massacre.

An expedition of General Clarke, with a thousand men, against the Wabash
Indians, failed in consequence of the impatience and discouragement of
his men from want of provisions. Colonel Logan was more successful in an
expedition against the Shawnese Indians on the Scioto. He surprised one
of the towns, and killed a number of the warriors, and took some

In October, 1785, the General Government convoked a meeting of all the
Lake and Ohio tribes to meet at the mouth of the Great Miami. The
Indians met the summons with a moody indifference and neglect, alleging
the continued aggressions of the Kentuckians as a reason for refusing to
comply with the summons.

The horrors of Indian assault were occasionally felt in every
settlement. We select one narrative in detail, to convey an idea of
Indian hostility on the one hand, and the manner in which it was met on
the other. A family lived on Coope's run, in Bourbon county, consisting
of a mother, two sons of a mature age, a widowed daughter, with an
infant in her arms, two grown daughters, and a daughter of ten years.
The house was a double cabin. The two grown daughters and the smaller
girl were in one division, and the remainder of the family in the other.
At evening twilight, a knocking was heard at the door of the latter
division, asking in good English, and the customary western phrase, "Who
keeps house?" As the sons went to open the door, the mother forbade
them, affirming that the persons claiming admittance were Indians. The
young men sprang to their guns. The Indians, finding themselves refused
admittance at that door, made an effort at the opposite one. That door
they soon beat open with a rail, and endeavored to take the three girls
prisoners. The little girl sprang away, and might have escaped from them
in the darkness and the woods. But the forlorn child, under the natural
impulse of instinct, ran for the other door and cried for help. The
brothers within, it may be supposed, would wish to go forth and protect
the feeble and terrified wailer. The mother, taking a broader view of
expedience and duty, forbade them. They soon hushed the cries of the
distracted child by the merciless tomahawk. While a part of the Indians
were engaged in murdering this child, and another in confining one of
the grown girls that they had made captive, the third heroically
defended herself with a knife, which she was using at a loom at the
moment of attack. The intrepidity she put forth was unavailing. She
killed one Indian, and was herself killed by another. The Indians,
meanwhile, having obtained possession of one half the house, fired it.
The persons shut up in the other half had now no other alternative than
to be consumed in the flames rapidly spreading towards them, or to go
forth and expose themselves to the murderous tomahawks, that had already
laid three of the family in their blood. The Indians stationed
themselves in the dark angles of the fence, where, by the bright glare
of the flames, they could see every thing, and yet remain themselves
unseen. Here they could make a sure mark of all that should escape from
within. One of the sons took charge of his aged and infirm mother, and
the other of his widowed sister and her infant. The brothers emerged
from the burning ruins, separated, and endeavored to spring over the
fence. The mother was shot dead as her son was piously aiding her over
the fence. The other brother was killed as he was gallantly defending
his sister. The widowed sister, her infant, and one of the brothers
escaped the massacre, and alarmed the settlement. Thirty men, commanded
by Colonel Edwards, arrived next day to witness the appalling spectacle
presented around the smoking ruins of this cabin. Considerable snow had
fallen, and the Indians were obliged to leave a trail, which easily
indicated their path. In the evening of that day, they came upon the
expiring body of the young woman, apparently murdered but a few moments
before their arrival. The Indians had been premonished of their pursuit
by the barking of a dog that followed them. They overtook and killed two
of the Indians that had staid behind, apparently as voluntary victims to
secure the retreat of the rest.

To prevent immigrants from reaching the country, the Indians infested
the Ohio river, and concealed themselves in small parties at different
points from Pittsburgh to Louisville, where they laid in ambush and
fired upon the boats as they passed. They frequently attempted by false
signals to decoy the boats ashore, and in several instances succeeded by
these artifices in capturing and murdering whole families, and
plundering them of their effects. They even armed and manned some of the
boats and scows they had taken, and used them as a kind of floating
battery, by means of which they killed and captured many persons
approaching the settlements.

The last boat which brought immigrants to the country down the Ohio,
that was known to have been attacked by the Indians, was assaulted in
the spring of 1791. This circumstance gives it a claim to be mentioned
in this place. It was commanded by Captain Hubbel, and brought
immigrants from Vermont. The whole number of men, women, and children
amounted to twenty persons. These persons had been forewarned by various
circumstances that they noted, that hostile Indians were along the shore
waiting to attack them. They came up with other boats descending the
river, and bound in the same direction with themselves. They endeavored
ineffectually to persuade the passengers to join them, that they might
descend in the strength of numbers and union. They continued to move
down the river alone. The first attempt upon them was a customary Indian
stratagem. A person, affecting to be a white man, hailed them, and
requested them to lie by, that he might come on board. Finding that the
boat's crew were not to be allured to the shore by this artifice, the
Indians put off from the shore in three canoes, and attacked the boat.
Never was a contest of this sort maintained with more desperate bravery.
The Indians attempted to board the boat, and the inmates made use of all
arms of annoyance and defence. Captain Hubbel, although he had been
severely wounded in two places, and had the cock of his gun shot off by
an Indian fire, still continued to discharge his mutilated gun by a
fire-brand. After a long and desperate conflict, in which all the
passengers capable of defence but four, had been wounded, the Indians
paddled off their canoes to attack the boats left behind. They were
successful against the first boat they assailed. The boat yielded to
them without opposition. They killed the Captain and a boy, and took the
women on board prisoners. Making a screen of these unfortunate women, by
exposing them to the fire of Captain Hubbel's boat, they returned to the
assault. It imposed upon him the painful alternative, either to yield to
the Indians, or to fire into their canoes at the hazard of killing the
women of their own people. But the intrepid Captain remarked, that if
these women escaped their fire, it would probably be to suffer a more
terrible death from the savages. He determined to keep up his fire, even
on these hard conditions; and the savages were beaten off a second time.
In the course of the engagement, the boat, left to itself, had floated
with the current near the north shore, where four or five hundred
Indians were collected, who poured a shower of balls upon the boat. All
the inmates could do, was to avoid exposure as much as possible, and
exercise their patience until the boat should float past the Indian
fire. One of the inmates of the boat, seeing, as it slowly drifted on, a
fine chance for a shot at an Indian, although warned against it, could
not resist the temptation of taking his chance. He raised his head to
take aim, and was instantly shot dead. When the boat had drifted beyond
the reach of the Indian fire, but two of the nine fighting men on board
were found unhurt. Two were killed, and two mortally wounded. The noble
courage of a boy on board deserves to be recorded. When the boat was now
in a place of safety, he requested his friends to extract a ball that
had lodged in the skin of his forehead. When this ball had been
extracted, he requested them to take out a piece of bone that had been
fractured in his elbow by another shot. When asked by his mother why he
had not complained or made known his suffering during the engagement, he
coolly replied, intimating that there was noise enough without his, that
the Captain had ordered the people to make no noise.

All attempts of the General Government to pacify the Indians, having
proved ineffectual, an expedition was planned against the hostile tribes
north-west of the Ohio. The object was to bring the Indians to a general
engagement; or, if that might not be, to destroy their establishments on
the waters of the Scioto and the Wabash. General Harmar was appointed to
the command of this expedition. Major Hamtranck, with a detachment, was
to make a diversion in his favor up the Wabash.

On the 13th of September, 1791, General Harmar marched from Fort
Washington, the present site of Cincinnati, with three hundred and
twenty regulars, and effected a junction with the militia of
Pennsylvania and Kentucky, which had advanced twenty-five miles in
front. The whole force amounted to one thousand four hundred and
fifty-three men. Col. Hardin, who commanded the Kentucky militia, was
detached with six hundred men, chiefly militia, to reconnoiter. On his
approach to the Indian settlements, the Indians set fire to their
villages and fled. In order, if possible, to overtake them, he was
detached with a smaller force, that could be moved more rapidly. It
consisted of two hundred and ten men. A small party of Indians met and
attacked them; and the greater part of the militia behaved
badly,--leaving a few brave men, who would not fly, to their fate.
Twenty-three of the party fell, and seven only made their escape and
rejoined the army. Notwithstanding this check, the army succeeded so far
as to reduce the remaining towns to ashes, and destroy their provisions.

On their return to Fort Washington, Gen. Harmar was desirous of wiping
off, in another action, the disgrace which public opinion had impressed
upon his arms. He halted eight miles from Chillicothe, and late at night
detached Col. Hardin, with orders to find the enemy, and bring them to
an engagement. Early in the morning this detachment reached the enemy,
and a severe engagement ensued. The savages fought with desperation.
Some of the American troops shrunk; but the officers conducted with
great gallantry. Most of them fell, bravely discharging their duty. More
than fifty regulars and one hundred militia, including the brave
officers, Fontaine, Willys, and Frothingham, were slain.

Harmar, in his official account of this affair, claimed the victory,
although the Americans seem clearly to have had the worst of it. At his
request, he was tried by a court martial, and honorably acquitted. The
enemy had suffered so severely, that they allowed him to return
unmolested to Fort Washington.

The terrors and the annoyance of Indian hostilities still hung over the
western settlements. The call was loud and general from the frontiers,
for ample and efficient protection. Congress placed the means in the
hands of the executive. Major General Arthur St. Clair was appointed
commander-in-chief of the forces to be employed in the meditated
expedition. The objects of it were, to destroy the Indian settlements
between the Miamies; to expel them from the country; and establish a
chain of posts which should prevent their return during the war. This
army was late in assembling in the vicinity of Fort Washington. They
marched directly towards the chief establishments of the enemy, building
and garrisoning in their way the two intermediate forts, Hamilton and
Jefferson. After the detachments had been made for these garrisons, the
effective force that remained amounted to something less than two
thousand men. To open a road for their march, was a slow and tedious
business. Small parties of Indians were often seen hovering about their
march; and some unimportant skirmishes took place. As the army
approached the enemy's country, sixty of the militia deserted in a body.
To prevent the influence of such an example, Major Hamtranck was
detached with a regiment in pursuit of the deserters. The army now
consisting of one thousand four hundred men continued its march. On the
third of November 1792, it encamped fifteen miles south of the Miami
villages. Having been rejoined by Major Hamtranck, General St. Clair
proposed to march immediately against them.

Half an hour before sunrise, the militia was attacked by the savages,
and fled in the utmost confusion. They burst through the formed line of
the regulars into the camp. Great efforts were made by the officers to
restore order; but not with the desired success. The Indians pressed
upon the heels of the flying militia, and engaged General Butler with
great intrepidity. The action became warm and general; and the fire of
the assailants passing round both flanks of the first line, in a few
minutes was poured with equal fury upon the rear. The artillerists in
the centre were mowed down, and the fire was the more galling, as it was
directed by an invisible enemy, crouching on the ground, or concealed
behind trees. In this manner they advanced towards the very mouths of
the cannon; and fought with the infuriated fierceness with which success
always animates savages. Some of the soldiers exhibited military
fearlessness, and fought with great bravery. Others were timid and
disposed to fly. With a self-devotion which the occasion required, the
officers generally exposed themselves to the hottest of the contest, and
fell in great numbers, in desperate efforts to restore the battle.

The commanding general, though he had been for some time enfeebled with
severe disease, acted with personal bravery, and delivered his orders
with judgment and self-possession. A charge was made upon the savages
with the bayonet: and they were driven from their covert with some loss,
a distance of four hundred yards. But as soon as the charge was
suspended, they returned to the attack. General Butler was mortally
wounded; the left of the right wing broken, and the artillerists killed
almost to a man. The guns were seized and the camp penetrated by the
enemy. A desperate charge was headed by Colonel Butler, although he was
severely wounded, and the Indians were again driven from the camp, and
the artillery recovered. Several charges were repeated with partial
success. The enemy only retreated, to return to the charge, flashed with
new ardor. The ranks of the troops were broken, and the men pressed
together in crowds, and were shot down without resistance. A retreat was
all that remained, to save the remnant of the army. Colonel Darke was
ordered to charge a body of savages that intercepted their retreat.
Major Clark, with his battalion, was directed to cover the rear. These
orders were carried into effect, and a most disorderly retreat
commenced. A pursuit was kept up four miles, when, fortunately for the
surviving Americans, the natural greediness of the savage appetite for
plunder, called back the victorious Indians to the camp, to divide the
spoils. The routed troops continued their flight to fort Jefferson,
throwing away their arms on the road. The wounded were left here, and
the army retired upon fort Washington.

In this fatal battle, fell thirty-eight commissioned officers, and five
hundred and ninety-three non-commissioned officers and privates.
Twenty-one commissioned officers, many of whom afterwards died of their
wounds, and two hundred and forty-two non-commissioned officers and
privates were wounded.

The savage force, in this fatal engagement, was led by a Mississago
chief, who had been trained to war under the British, during the
revolution. So superior was his knowledge of tactics, that the Indian
chiefs, though extremely jealous of him, yielded the entire command to
him; and he arranged and fought the battle with great combination of
military skill. Their force amounted to four thousand; and they stated
the Americans killed, at six hundred and twenty, and their own at
sixty-five; but it was undoubtedly much greater. They took seven pieces
of cannon and two hundred oxen, and many horses. The chief, at the close
of the battle, bade the Indians forbear the pursuit of the Americans, as
he said they had killed enough.

General Scott, with one thousand mounted volunteers from Kentucky, soon
after marched against a party of the victors, at St. Clair's fatal
field. He found the Indians rioting in their plunder, riding the oxen in
the glee of triumph, and acting as if the whole body was intoxicated.
General Scott immediately attacked them. The contest was short but
decisive. The Indians had two hundred killed on the spot. The cannon and
military stores remaining, were retaken, and the savages completely
routed. The loss of the Kentuckians was inconsiderable.

The reputation of the government was now committed in the fortunes of
the war. Three additional regiments were directed to be raised. On the
motion in congress for raising these regiments, there was an animated,
and even a bitter debate. It was urged on one hand, that the expense of
such a force would involve the necessity of severe taxation; that too
much power was thrown into the hands of the president; that the war had
been badly managed, and ought to have been entrusted to the militia of
the west, under their own officers; and with more force they urged that
no success could be of any avail, so long as the British held those
posts within our acknowledged limits, from which the savages were
supplied with protection, shelter, arms, advice, and instigation to the

On the other hand, the justice of the cause, as a war of defence, and
not of conquest, was unquestionable. It was proved, that between 1783
and 1790, no less than one thousand five hundred people of Kentucky had
been massacred by the savages, or dragged into a horrid captivity; and
that the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia had suffered a loss not
much less. It was proved that every effort had been made to pacify the
savages without effect. They showed that in 1790, when a treaty was
proposed to the savages at the Miami, they first refused to treat, and
then asked thirty days for deliberation. It was granted. In the interim,
they stated that not less than one hundred and twenty persons had been
killed and captured, and several prisoners roasted alive; at the term of
which horrors, they refused any answer at all to the proposition to
treat. Various other remarks were made in defence of the bill. It tried
the strength of parties in congress, and was finally carried.

General St. Clair resigned, and Major General Anthony Wayne was
appointed to succeed him. This officer commanded the confidence of the
western people, who confided in that reckless bravery, which had long
before procured him the appellation of "Mad Anthony." There was a
powerful party who still affected to consider this war unnecessary, and
every impediment was placed in the way of its success, which that party
could devise. To prove to them that the government was still disposed to
peace, two excellent officers and valuable men, Col. Hardin, and Major
Truman, were severally despatched with propositions of peace. They were
both murdered by the savages. These unsuccessful attempts at
negotiation, and the difficulties and delays naturally incident to the
preparation of such a force, together with the attempts that had been
made in congress, to render the war unpopular, had worn away so much
time that the season for operations for the year had almost elapsed. But
as soon as the negotiations had wholly failed, the campaign was opened
with as much vigor as the nature of the case would admit. The general
was able, however, to do no more this autumn, than to advance into the
forest towards the country of the savages, six miles in advance of fort
Jefferson. He took possession of the ground on which the fatal defeat of
St. Clair had taken place, in 1792. He here erected a fortification,
with the appropriate name of Fort Recovery. His principal camp was
called Greenville.

In Kentucky, meanwhile, many of the people clamored against these
measures, and loudly insisted that the war ought to be carried on by
militia, to be commanded by an officer taken from their state. It was
believed, too, by the executive, that the British government, by
retaining their posts within our limits, and by various other measures,
at least countenanced the Indians in their hostilities. That government
took a more decisive measure early in the spring. A British detachment
from Detroit, advanced near fifty miles south of that place, and
fortified themselves on the Miami of the lakes. In one of the numerous
skirmishes which took place between the savages and the advance of
General Wayne, it was affirmed, that the British were mingled with the

On the 8th of August, 1794, General Wayne reached the confluence of the
Au Glaize, and the Miami of the lakes. The richest and most extensive
settlements of the western Indians were at this place. It was distant
only about thirty miles from the post on the Miami, which the British;
had recently occupied. The whole strength of the enemy, amounting to
nearly two thousand warriors, was collected in the vicinity of that
post. The regulars of General Wayne were not much inferior in numbers. A
reinforcement of one thousand one hundred mounted Kentucky militia,
commanded by General Scott, gave a decided superiority to the American
force. The general was well aware that the enemy were ready to give him
battle, and he ardently desired it. But in pursuance of the settled
policy of the United States, another effort was made for the attainment
of peace, without the shedding of blood. The savages were exhorted by
those who were sent to them, no longer to follow the counsels of the bad
men at the foot of the Rapids, who urged them on to the war, but had
neither the power nor the inclination to protect them; that to listen to
the propositions of the government of the United States, would restore
them to their homes, and rescue them from famine. To these propositions
they returned only an evasive answer.

On the 20th of August, the army of General Wayne marched in columns. A
select battalion, under Major Price, moved as a reconnoitering force in
front. After marching five miles, he received so heavy a fire from the
savages, concealed as usual, that he was compelled to retreat. The
savages had chosen their ground with great judgment. They had moved into
a thick wood, in advance of the British works, and had taken a position
behind fallen timber, prostrated by a tornado. This rendered their
position almost inaccessible to horse. They were formed in three regular
lines, according to Indian custom, very much extended in front. Their
first effort was to turn the left flank of the American army.

The American legion was ordered to advance with trailed arms, and rouse
the enemy from his covert at the point of the bayonet, and then deliver
its fire. The cavalry, led by Captain Campbell, was ordered to advance
between the Indians and the river, where the wood permitted them to
penetrate, and charge their left flank. General Scott, at the head of
the mounted volunteers, was commanded to make a considerable circuit
and turn their right. These, and all the complicated orders of General
Wayne, were promptly executed. But such was the impetuosity of the
charge made by the first line of infantry, so entirely was the enemy
broken by it, and so rapid was the pursuit, that only a small part of
the second line, and of the mounted volunteers could take any part in
the action. In the course of an hour, the savages were driven more than
two miles, and within gun-shot of the British fort.

General Wayne remained three days on the field of battle, reducing the
houses and corn-fields, above and below the fort, and some of them
within pistol shot of it, to ashes. The houses and stores of Col. M'Kee,
an English trader, whose great influence among the savages had been
uniformly exerted for the continuance of the war, was burned among the
rest. Correspondence upon these points took place between General Wayne
and Major Campbell, who commanded the British fort. That of General
Wayne was sufficiently firm; and it manifested that the latter only
avoided hostilities with him, by acquiescing in the destruction of
British property within the range of his guns.

On the 28th the army returned to Au Glaize, destroying all the villages
and corn within fifty miles of the river. In this decisive battle, the
American loss, in killed and wounded, amounted to one hundred and seven,
including officers. Among those that fell, were Captain Campbell and
Lieutenant Towles. The general bestowed great and merited praise, for
their bravery and promptitude in this affair, to all his troops.

The hostility of the Indians still continuing, the whole country was
laid waste: and forts were erected in the heart of their settlements, to
prevent their return. This seasonable victory, and this determined
conduct on the part of the United States, rescued them from a general
war with all the nations north-west of the Ohio. The Six Nations had
manifested resentments, which were only appeased for the moment, by the
suspension of a settlement, which Pennsylvania was making at Presqu'
Isle, within their alleged limits. The issue of this battle dissipated
the clouds at once which had been thickening in that quarter. Its
influence was undoubtedly felt far to the south. The Indian inhabitants
of Georgia, and still farther to the south had been apparently on the
verge of a war, and had been hardly restrained from hostility by the
feeble authority of that state.

No incidents of great importance occurred in this quarter, until August
3d, of the next year when a definitive treaty was concluded by General
Wayne, with the hostile Indians north-west of the Ohio. By this treaty,
the destructive war which had so long desolated that frontier, was ended
in a manner acceptable to the United States. An accommodation was also
brought about with the southern Indians, notwithstanding the intrigues
of their Spanish neighbors. The regions of the Mississippi valley were
opened on all sides to immigration, and rescued from the dread of Indian


Rejoicings on account of the peace--Boone indulges his propensity for
hunting--Kentucky increases in population--Some account of their
conflicting land titles--Progress of civil improvement destroying the
range of the hunter--Litigation of land titles--Boone loses his
lands--Removes from Kentucky to the Kanawha--Leaves the Kanawha and goes
to Missouri, where he is appointed Commandant.

The peace which followed the defeat of the northern tribes of Indians by
General Wayne, was most grateful to the harassed settlers of the west.
The news of it was received every where with the most lively joy. Every
one had cause of gratulation. The hardy warriors, whose exploits we have
recounted, felt that they were relieved from the immense
responsibilities which rested upon them as the guardians and protectors
of the infant settlements. The new settlers could now clear their wild
lands, and cultivate their rich fields in peace--without fearing the
ambush and the rifles of a secret foe; and the tenants of the scattered
cabins could now sleep in safety, and without the dread of being wakened
by the midnight war-whoop of the savage. Those who had been pent up in
forts and stations joyfully sallied forth, and settled wherever the soil
and local advantages appeared the most inviting.

Colonel Boone, in particular, felt that a firm and resolute perseverance
had finally triumphed over every obstacle. That the rich and boundless
valleys of the great west--the garden of the earth--and the paradise
of hunters, had been won from the dominion of the savage tribes, and
opened as an asylum for the oppressed, the enterprising, and the free of
every land. He had travelled in every direction through this great
valley. He had descended from the Alleghanies into the fertile regions
of Tennessee, and traced the courses of the Cumberland and Tennessee
rivers. He had wandered with delight through the blooming forests of
Kentucky. He had been carried prisoner by the Indians through the
wilderness which is now the state of Ohio to the great lakes of the
north; he had traced the head waters of the Kentucky, the Wabash, the
Miamies, the Scioto, and other great rivers of the west, and had
followed their meanderings to their entrance into the Ohio; he had stood
upon the shores of this beautiful river, and gazed with admiration, as
he pursued its winding and placid course through endless forests to
mingle with the Mississippi; he had caught some glimmerings of the
future, and saw with the prophetic eye of a patriot, that this great
valley must soon become the abode of millions of freemen; and his heart
swelled with joy, and warmed with a transport which was natural to a
mind so unsophisticated and disinterested as his.

Boone rejoiced in a peace which put an end to his perils and anxieties,
and which now gave him full leisure and scope to follow his darling
pursuit of hunting. He had first been led to the country by that spirit
of the hunter, which in him amounted almost to a passion. This
propensity may be said to be natural to man. Even in cities and populous
places we find men so fond of this pastime that they ransack the
cultivated fields and enclosures of the farmer, for the purpose of
killing the little birds and squirrels, which, from their
insignificance, have ventured to take up their abode with civilized man.
What, then, must have been the feelings of Boone, to find himself in the
grand theatre of the hunter--filled with buffaloes, deer, bears, wild
turkeys, and other noble game?

The free exercise of this darling passion had been checked and
restrained, ever since the first settlement of the country, by the
continued wars and hostile incursions of the Indians. The path of the
hunter had been ambushed by the wily savage, and he seldom ventured
beyond the purlieus of his cabin, or the station where he resided. He
was now free to roam in safety through the pathless wilderness--to camp
out in security whenever he was overtaken by night; and to pursue the
game wherever it was to be found in the greatest abundance.

Civilization had not yet driven the primitive tenants of the forest from
their favorite retreats. Most of the country was still in a state of
nature--unsettled and unappropriated. Few fences or inclosures impeded
the free range of the hunter, and very few buts and bounds warned him of
his being about to trespass upon the private property of some neighbor.
Herds of buffaloes and deer still fed upon the rich cane-brake and rank
vegetation of the boundless woods, and resorted to the numerous Licks
for salt and drink.

Boone now improved this golden opportunity of indulging in his favorite
pursuit. He loved to wander alone, with his unerring rifle upon his
shoulder, through the labyrinths of the tangled forests, and to rouse
the wild beast from his secret lair. There was to him a charm in these
primeval solitudes which suited his peculiar temperament, and he
frequently absented himself on these lonely expeditions for days
together. He never was known to return without being loaded with the
spoils of the chase. The choicest viands and titbits of all the
forest-fed animals were constantly to be found upon his table. Not that
Boone was an epicure; far from it. He would have been satisfied with a
soldier's fare. In common with other pioneers of his time, he knew what
it was to live upon roots and herbs for days together. He had suffered
hunger and want in all its forms without a murmur or complaint. But when
peace allowed him to follow his profession of a hunter, and to exercise
that tact and superiority which so much distinguished him, he selected
from the abundance and profusion of the game which fell victims to his
skill, such parts as were most esteemed. His friends and neighbors were
also, at all times, made welcome to a share of whatever he killed. And
he continued to live in this primitive simplicity--enjoying the luxury
of hunting, and of roving in the woods, and indulging his generous and
disinterested disposition towards his neighbors, for several years after
the peace.

In the meantime, while Boone had been thus courting solitude, and
absorbed by the engrossing excitement of hunting, the restless spirit of
immigration, and of civil and physical improvement, had not been idle.
After the peace the tide of population poured into the country in a
continual stream and the busy spirit of civilization was every where
making inroads into the ancient forests, and encroaching upon the
dominions of the hunter.

In order, however, that the reader may more readily comprehend the
causes which operated as grievances to Boone, and finally led him to
abandon Kentucky, and seek a home in regions more congenial, it will be
necessary to allude to the progress made in population, and the civil
polity, and incidents attending the settlement of the country.

The state of Kentucky was not surveyed by the government and laid off
into sections and townships as has been the case with all the lands
north of the Ohio. But the government of Virginia had issued land
warrants, or certificates entitling the holder to locate wherever he
might choose, the number of acres named in the warrant. They also grave
to actual settlers certain pre-emption rights to such lands as they
might occupy and improve by building a cabin, raising a crop, &c. The
holders of these warrants, after selecting the land which they intended
to cover, with their titles, were required to enter a survey and
description of the tracts selected, in the Land office, which had been
opened for the purpose, to be recorded there, for the information of
others, and to prevent subsequent holders of warrants from locating the
same lands. Yet notwithstanding these precautions, such was the careless
manner in which these surveys were made, that many illiterate persons,
ignorant of the forms of law, and the necessity of precision in the
specification and descriptions of the tracts on which they had laid
their warrants, made such loose and vague entries in the land office, as
to afford no accurate information to subsequent locators, who frequently
laid their warrants on the same tracts. It thus happened that the whole
or a part of almost every tract was covered with different and
conflicting titles--forming what have been aptly called 'shingle
titles'--overlaying and lapping upon each other, as shingles do upon the
roof of a building. In this way twice the existing acres of land were
sold and the door opened for endless controversy about boundaries and
titles. The following copy of an entry may serve as a specimen of the
vagueness of the lines, buts, and bounds of their claims, and as
accounting for the flood of litigation that ensued.

"George Smith enters nine hundred acres of land on a treasury warrant,
lying on the north side of Kentucky river, a mile below a creek;
beginning about twenty poles below a lick; and running down the river
westwardly, and northwestwardly for quantity."

It will easily be seen that a description, so general and indefinite in
its terms, could serve as no guide to others who might wish to avoid
entering the same lands. This defect in providing for the certainty and
safety of land titles, proved a sore evil to the state of Kentucky. As
these lands increased in value and importance, controversies arose as to
the ownership of almost every tract: and innumerable suits, great
strife and excitement, prevailed in every neighborhood, and continued
until within a late period, to agitate the whole body of society. The
legislature of the state, by acts of limitation and judicious
legislation upon the subject, have finally quieted the titles of the
actual occupants.

Among others who made these loose and unfortunate entries, was Daniel
Boone. Unaccustomed to the forms of law and technical precision, he was
guided by his own views of what was proper and requisite, and made such
brief and general entries, as were afterwards held not sufficient to
identify the land. He had discovered and explored the country when it
was all one vast wilderness--unoccupied, and unclaimed. He and a few
other hardy pioneers, by almost incredible hardships, dangers, and
sacrifices, had won it from the savage foe; and judging from his own
single and generous mind, he did not suppose that question would ever be
made of his right to occupy such favorite portions as he might select
and pay for. He did not think it possible that any one, knowing these
circumstances, could be found so greedy or so heartless, as to grudge
him the quiet and unmolested enjoyment of what he had so dearly earned.
But in this he was sadly mistaken. A set of speculators and interlopers,
who, following in the train of civilization and wealth, came to enrich
themselves by monopolizing the rich lands which had thus been won for
them, and by the aid of legal advisers, following all the nice
requisitions of the law, pounced, among others, upon the lands of our
old pioneer. He was not at first disturbed by these speculating
harpies; and game being plenty, he gave himself little uneasiness about
the claims and titles to particular spots, so long as he had such vast
hunting grounds to roam in--which, however, he had the sorrow to see
daily encroached upon by the new settlements of the immigrants.

But the inroads made by the frequent settlements in his accustomed
hunting range, were not the only annoyances which disturbed the simple
habits and patriarchal views of Boone. Civilization brought along with
it all the forms of law, and the complicated organization of society and
civil government, the progress of which had kept pace with the
increasing population.

As early as 1783, the territory of Kentucky had been laid off into three
counties, and was that year, by law, formed into one District,
denominated the District of Kentucky. Regular courts of justice were
organized--log court-houses and log jails were erected--judges, lawyers,
sheriffs, and juries were engaged in the administration of
justice--money began to circulate--cattle and flocks multiplied--reading
and writing schools were commenced--more wealthy immigrants began to
flock to the country, bringing with them cabinet furniture, and many of
the luxuries of more civilized life--and merchandize began to be wagoned
from Philadelphia across the mountains to fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh,
from whence it was conveyed in flat boats to Maysville and Louisville.

In 1785 a convention was convoked at Danville, who adopted a memorial,
addressed to the Legislature of Virginia, and another to the people of
Kentucky--suggesting the propriety, and reasons for erecting the new
country into an independent state. In the discussion of this question
parties arose, and that warmth and excitement were elicited, which are
inseparable from the free and unrestrained discussion of public

In 1786 the legislature of Virginia enacted the preliminary provisions
for the separation of Kentucky, as an independent state, provided that
Congress should admit it into the Union. About this time another source
of party discord was opened in agitating debates touching the claims of
Kentucky and the West to the navigation of the Mississippi. The
inhabitants were informed by malcontents in Western Pennsylvania, that
the American Secretary of State was making propositions to the Spanish
minister, to cede to Spain the exclusive right of navigation of the
Mississippi for twenty-five years. This information as might be
supposed, created a great sensation. It had been felt from the beginning
of the western settlements, that the right to the free navigation of the
Mississippi was of vital importance to the whole western country, and
the least relinquishment of this right--even for the smallest space of
time, would be of dangerous precedent and tendency. Circulars were
addressed by the principal settlers to men of influence in the nation.
But before any decisive measures could be taken, Virginia interfered, by
instructing her representatives in Congress to make strong
representations against the ruinous policy of the measure.

In 1787 commenced the first operations of that mighty engine, the
press, in the western country. Nothing could have been wider from the
anticipations, perhaps from the wishes of Boone, than this progress of
things. But in the order of events, the transition of unlettered
backwoods emigrants to a people with a police, and all the engines of
civilization was uncommonly rapid. There was no other paper within five
hundred miles of the one now established by Mr. Bradford, at Lexington.
The political heart-burnings and slander that had hitherto been
transmitted through oral channels, were now concentrated for circulation
in this gazette.

In April, 1792, Kentucky was admitted into the Union as an independent
state; improvements were steadily and rapidly progressing, and
notwithstanding the hostility of the Indians, the population of the
state was regularly increasing until the peace which followed the
victory of Gen. Wayne. After which, as has been observed, the tide of
emigration poured into the country with unexampled rapidity.

Litigation in regard to land titles now began to increase, and continued
until it was carried to a distressing height. Col. Boone had begun to
turn his attention to the cultivation of the choice tracts he had
entered; and he looked forward with the consoling thought that he had
enough to provide for a large and rising family, by securing to each of
his children, as they became of age, a fine plantation. But in the
vortex of litigation which ensued, he was not permitted to escape. The
speculators who had spread their greedy claims over the lands which had
been previously located and paid for by Boone, relying upon his
imperfect entries, and some legal flaws in his titles, brought their
ejectments against him, and dragged him into a court of law. He employed
counsel, and from term to term, was compelled to dance attendance at
court. Here the old hunter listened to the quibbles--the subtleties, and
to him, inexplicable jargon of the lawyers. His suits were finally
decided against him, and he was cast out of the possession of all, or
nearly all the lands which he had looked upon as being indubitably his
own. The indignation of the old pioneer can well be imagined, as he saw
himself thus stript, by the quibbles and intricacies of the law, of all
the rewards of his exposures, labors, sufferings, and dangers in the
first settlement of Kentucky. He became more than ever disgusted with
the grasping and avaricious spirit--the heartless intercourse and
technical forms of what is called civilized society.

But having expended his indignation in a transient paroxysm, he soon
settled back to his customary mental complacency and self-possession;
and as he had no longer any pledge of consequence remaining to him in
the soil of Kentucky--and as it was, moreover, becoming on all sides
subject to the empire of the cultivator's axe and plough, he resolved to
leave the country. He had witnessed with regret the dispersion of the
band of pioneers, with whom he had hunted and fought, side by side, and
like a band of brothers, shared every hardship and every danger; and he
sighed for new fields of adventure, and the excitement of a hunter's

Influenced by these feelings, he removed from Kentucky to the great
Kanawha; where he settled near Point Pleasant. He had been informed that
buffaloes and deer were still to be found in abundance on the unsettled
bottoms of this river, and that it was a fine country for trapping. Here
he continued to reside several years. But he was disappointed in his
expectations of finding game. The vicinity of the settlements above and
below this unsettled region, had driven the buffaloes from the country;
and though there were plenty of deer, yet he derived but little success
from his trapping. He finally commenced raising stock, and began to turn
his attention to agriculture.

While thus engaged, he met with some persons who had returned from a
tour up the Missouri, who described to him the fine country bordering
upon that river. The vast prairies--the herds of buffaloes--the grizzly
bears--the beavers and otters; and above all, the ancient and unexplored
forests of that unknown region, fired his imagination, and produced at
once a resolve to remove there.

Accordingly, gathering up such useful articles of baggage as were of
light carriage, among which his trusty rifle was not forgotten, he
started with his family, driving his whole stock of cattle along with
him, on a pilgrimage to this new land of promise. He passed through
Cincinnati on his way thither in 1798. Being enquired of as to what had
induced him to leave all the comforts of home, and so rich and
flourishing a country as his dear Kentucky, which he had discovered, and
might almost call his own, for the wilds of Missouri? "Too much
crowded," replied he--"too crowded--I want more elbow room." He
proceeded about forty-five miles above St. Louis, and settled in what is
now St. Charles county. This country being still in the possession of
the French and Spanish, the ancient laws by which these territories were
governed were still in force there. Nothing could be more simple than
their whole system of administration. They had no constitution, no king,
no legislative assemblies, no judges, juries, lawyers, or sheriffs. An
officer, called the Commandant, and the priests, exercised all the
functions of civil magistrates, and decided the few controversies which
arose among these primitive in habitants, who held and occupied many
things in common. They suffered their ponies, their cattle, their swine,
and their flocks, to ramble and graze on the same common prairies and
pastures--having but few fences or inclosures, and possessing but little
of that spirit of speculation, enterprise, and money-making, which has
always characterized the Americans.

These simple laws and neighborly customs suited the peculiar habits and
temper of Boone. And as his character for honesty, courage, and fidelity
followed him there, he was appointed Commandant for the district of St.
Charles by the Spanish Commandant. He retained this command, and
continued to exercise the duties of his office with credit to himself,
and to the satisfaction of all concerned, until the government of the
United States went into effect.


Anecdotes of Colonel Boone, related by Mr. Audubon--A remarkable
instance of memory.

As an evidence of the development of backwoods skill, and a vivid
picture of Daniel Boone, we give the following from Mr. Audubon:

"Daniel Boone, or as he was usually called in the Western country,
Colonel Boone, happened to spend a night under the same roof with me,
more than twenty years ago. We had returned from a shooting excursion,
in the course of which his extraordinary skill in the management of a
rifle had been fully displayed. On retiring to the room appropriated to
that remarkable individual and myself for the night, I felt anxious to
know more of his exploits and adventures than I did, and accordingly
took the liberty of proposing numerous questions to him. The stature and
general appearance of this wanderer of the western forests, approached
the gigantic. His chest was broad and prominent; his muscular powers
displayed themselves in every limb; his countenance gave indication of
his great courage, enterprise, and perseverance; and when he spoke, the
very motion of his lips brought the impression, that whatever he uttered
could not be otherwise than strictly true. I undressed, whilst he merely
took off his hunting shirt, and arranged a few folds of blankets on the
floor; choosing rather to lie there, as he observed, than on the softest
bed. When we had both disposed of ourselves, each after his own
fashion, he related to me the following account of his powers of memory,
which I lay before you, kind reader, in his own words, hoping that the
simplicity of his style may prove interesting to you.

"I was once," said he, "on a hunting expedition on the banks of the
Green river, when the lower parts of this (Kentucky,) were still in the
hands of nature, and none but the sons of the soil were looked upon as
its lawful proprietors. We Virginians had for some time been waging a
war of intrusion upon them, and I, amongst the rest, rambled through the
woods, in pursuit of their race, as I now would follow the tracks of any
ravenous animal. The Indians outwitted me one dark night, and I was as
unexpectedly as suddenly made a prisoner by them. The trick had been
managed with great skill; for no sooner had I extinguished the fire of
my camp, and laid me down to rest, in full security, as I thought, than
I felt myself seized by an indistinguishable number of hands, and was
immediately pinioned, as if about to be led to the scaffold for
execution. To have attempted to be refractory, would have proved useless
and dangerous to my life; and I suffered myself to be removed from my
camp to theirs, a few miles distant, without uttering even a word of
complaint. You are aware, I dare say, that to act in this manner, was
the best policy, as you understand that by so doing, I proved to the
Indians at once, that I was born and bred as fearless of death as any of

"When we reached the camp, great rejoicings were exhibited. Two squaws,
and a few papooses, appeared particularly delighted at the sight of me,
and I was assured, by very unequivocal gestures and words, that, on the
morrow, the mortal enemy of the Red-skins would cease to live. I never
opened my lips, but was busy contriving some scheme which might enable
me to give the rascals the slip before dawn. The women immediately fell
a searching about my hunting shirt for whatever they might think
valuable, and fortunately for me, soon found my flask, filled with
_Monongahela_, (that is, reader, strong whisky.) A terrific grin was
exhibited on their murderous countenances, while my heart throbbed with
joy at the anticipation of their intoxication. The crew immediately
began to beat their bellies and sing, as they passed the bottle from
mouth to mouth. How often did I wish the flask ten times its size, and
filled with aquafortis! I observed that the squaws drank more freely
than the warriors, and again my spirits were about to be depressed, when
the report of a gun was heard at a distance. The Indians all jumped on
their feet. The singing and drinking were both brought to a stand; and I
saw with inexpressible joy, the men walk off to some distance, and talk
to the squaws. I knew that they were consulting about me, and I foresaw,
that in a few moments the warriors would go to discover the cause of the
gun having been fired so near their camp. I expected the squaws would be
left to guard me. Well, sir, it was just so. They returned; the men took
up their guns and walked away. The squaws sat down again, and in less
than five minutes they had my bottle up to their dirty mouths, gurgling
down their throats the remains of the whisky.

"With what pleasure did I see them becoming more and more drunk, until
the liquor took such hold of them that it was quite impossible for these
women to be of any service. They tumbled down, rolled about, and began
to snore; when I, having no other chance of freeing myself from the
cords that fastened me, rolled over and over towards the fire, and after
a short time burned them asunder. I rose on my feet; stretched my
stiffened sinews; snatched up my rifle, and, for once in my life, spared
that of Indians. I now recollect how desirous I once or twice felt to
lay open the skulls of the wretches with my tomahawk; but when I again
thought upon killing beings unprepared and unable to defend themselves,
it looked like murder without need, and I gave up the idea.

"But, sir, I felt determined to mark the spot, and walking to a thrifty
ash sapling, I cut out of it three large chips, and ran off. I soon
reached the river; soon crossed it, and threw myself deep into the
cane-brakes, imitating the tracks of an Indian with my feet, so that no
chance might be left for those from whom I had escaped to overtake me.

"It is now nearly twenty years since this happened, and more than five
since I left the whites' settlements, which I might probably never have
visited again, had I not been called on as a witness in a law-suit that
was pending in Kentucky, and which, I really believe, would never have
been settled, had I not come forward, and established the beginning of
a certain boundary line. This is the story, sir.

"Mr. ---- moved from old Virginia into Kentucky, and having a large tract
granted to him in the new state, laid claim to a certain parcel of land
adjoining Green river, and as chance would have it, he took for one of
his corners the very ash tree on which I had made my mark, and finished
his survey of some thousands of acres, beginning, as it is expressed in
the deed, "at an ash marked by three distinct notches of the tomahawk of
a white man."

"The tree had grown much, and the bark had covered the marks; but, some
how or other, Mr. ---- heard from some one all that I have already said
to you, and thinking that I might remember the spot alluded to in the
deed, but which was no longer discoverable, wrote for me to come and try
at least to find the place on the tree. His letter mentioned, that all
my expenses should be paid; and not caring much about once more going
back to Kentucky, I started and met Mr.----. After some conversation,
the affair with the Indians came to my recollection. I considered for a
while, and began to think that after all, I could find the very spot, as
well as the tree, if it was yet standing.

"Mr. ---- and I mounted our horses, and off we went to the Green river
bottoms. After some difficulties, for you must be aware, sir, that great
changes had taken place in these woods, I found at last the spot where I
had crossed the river, and waiting for the moon to rise, made for the
course in which I thought the ash tree grew. On approaching the place,
I felt as if the Indians were there still, and as if I was still a
prisoner among them, Mr. ---- and I camped near what I conceived the
spot, and waited till the, return of day.

"At the rising of the sun I was on foot, and after a good deal of
musing, thought that an ash tree then in sight must be the very one on
which I had made my mark. I felt as if there could be no doubt of it,
and mentioned my thought to Mr. ----. "Well, Colonel Boone," said he, "if
you think so, I hope it may prove true, but we must have some witnesses;
do you stay hereabout, and I will go and bring some of the settlers whom
I know." I agreed. Mr. ---- trotted off, and I, to pass the time, rambled
about to see if a deer was still living in the land. But ah! sir, what a
wonderful difference thirty years makes in the country! Why, at the time
when I was caught by the Indians, you would not have walked out in any
direction for more than a mile without shooting a buck or a bear. There
were then thousands of buffaloes on the hills in Kentucky; the land
looked as if it would never become poor; and to hunt in those days was a
pleasure indeed. But when I was left to myself on the banks of Green
river, I dare say for the last time in my life, a few _signs_ only of
deer were to be seen, and as to a deer itself, I saw none.

"Mr. ---- returned, accompanied by three gentlemen. They looked upon me
as if I had been Washington himself, and walked to the ash tree which I
now called my own, as if in quest of a long lost treasure. I took an axe
from one of them and cut a few chips off the bark. Still no signs were
to be seen. So I cut again, until I thought it time to be cautious, and
I scraped and worked away with my butcher knife, until I _did_ come to
where my tomahawk had left an impression in the wood. We now went
regularly to work, and scraped at the tree with care, until three hacks,
as plain as any three notches ever were, could be seen. Mr. ---- and the
other gentlemen were astonished, and, I must allow, I was as much
surprised as pleased, myself. I made affidavit of this remarkable
occurrence in the presence of these gentlemen. Mr. ---- gained his cause.
I left Green river, forever, and came to where we now are; and, sir, I
wish you a good night."


Progress of improvement in Missouri--Old age of Boone--Death of his
wife--He goes to reside with his son--His death--His personal appearance
and character.

Soon after the purchase of Missouri from the French by our government,
the American system of government began to be introduced there. American
laws, American courts, and the whole American system of politics and
jurisprudence spread over the country, changing, by degrees, the
features of civil society; infusing life and vigor into the body
politic, and introducing that restless spirit of speculation and
improvement which characterise the people of the United States. The tide
of emigration once more swept by the dwelling of Daniel Boone, driving
off the game and monopolizing the rich hunting grounds. His office of
commandant was merged and lost in the new order of things. He saw that
it was in vain to contend with fate; that go where he would, American
enterprize seemed doomed to follow him, and to thwart all his schemes of
backwoods retirement. He found himself once more surrounded by the rapid
march of improvement, and he accommodated himself, as well as he might,
to a state of things which he could not prevent. He had the satisfaction
of seeing his children well settled around him, and he spent his time in
hunting and exploring the new country.

Meantime, old age began to creep upon him by degrees, and he had the
mortification to find himself surpassed in his own favorite pursuit. The
_sharp shooters_, and younger hunters could scour the forests with
fleeter pace, and bring down the bears and buffaloes with surer aim,
than his time-worn frame, and impaired vision would allow. Even the
French, with their fleets of periogues, ascended the Missouri to points
where his stiffened sinews did not permit him to follow. These volatile
and babbling hunters, with their little, and to him despicable shot
guns, could bring down a turkey, where the rifle bullet, now directed by
his dimmed eye, could not reach. It was in vain that the sights were
made more conspicuous by shreds of white paper. No vigor of will can
repair the irresistible influence of age. And however the heart and
juvenile remembrances of Boone might follow these brisk and talkative
hunters to the Rocky mountains and the Western sea, the sad
consciousness that years were stronger than the subduer of bears and
Indians, came over his mind like a cloud.

Other sorrows came also with age. In March, 1813, he had the misfortune
to lose his wife. She had been to him a faithful companion--participating
the same heroic and generous nature with himself. She had followed him
from North Carolina into the far wilderness, without a road or even a
trace to guide their way--surrounded at every step by wild beasts and
savages, and was one of the first white women in the state of Kentucky.
She had united her fate to his, and in all his hardships, perils, and
trials, had stood by him, a meek, yet courageous and affectionate
friend. She was now taken from him in his old age, and he felt for a
time, that he was alone in the world, and that the principal tie to his
own existence was sundered.

About this time, too, the British war with its influence upon the savage
auxiliaries of Britain, extended even to the remote forests of Missouri,
which rendered the wandering life of a hunter extremely dangerous. He
was no longer able to make one of the rangers who pursued the Indians.
But he sent numerous substitutes in his children and neighbors.

After the death of his wife, he went to reside with his son Major Nathan
Boone, and continued to make his home there until his death. After the
peace he occupied himself in hunting, trapping, and exploring the
country--being absent sometimes two or three months at a time--solacing
his aged ear with the music of his young days--the howl of the nocturnal
wolf--and the war song of the prowling savages, heard far away from the
companionship of man.

When the writer lived in St. Charles, in 1816, Colonel Boone, with the
return of peace, had resumed his Kentucky habits. He resided, as has
been observed, with his son on the Missouri--surrounded by the
plantations of his children and connections--occasionally farming, and
still felling the trees for his winter fire into his door yard; and
every autumn, retiring to the remote and moon-illumined cities of the
beavers, for the trapping of which, age had taken away none of his
capabilities. He could still, by the aid of paper on his rifle sights,
bring down an occasional turkey; at the salt licks, he still waylaid the
deer; and he found and cut down bee-trees as readily as in his morning
days. Never was old age more green, or gray hairs more graceful. His
high, calm, bold forehead seemed converted by years, into iron. Decay
came to him without infirmity, palsy, or pain--and surrounded and
cherished by kind friends, he died as he had lived, composed and
tranquil. This event took place in the year 1818, and in the
eighty-fourth year of his age.

Frequent enquiries, and opposite statements have been made, in regard to
the religious tenets of the Kentucky hunter. It is due to truth to
state, that Boone, little addicted to books, knew but little of the
bible, the best of all. He worshipped, as he often said, the Great
Spirit--for the woods were his books and his temple; and the creed of
the red men naturally became his. But such were the truth, simplicity,
and kindness of his character, there can be but little doubt, had the
gospel of the Son of God been proposed to him, in its sublime truth and
reasonableness, that he would have added to all his other virtues, the
higher name of Christian.

He was five feet ten inches in height, of a very erect, clean limbed,
and athletic form--admirably fitted in structure, muscle, temperament,
and habit, for the endurance of the labors, changes, and sufferings he
underwent. He had what phrenologists would have considered a model
head--with a forehead peculiarly high, noble, and bold--thin and
compressed lips--a mild, clear, blue eye--a large and prominent chin,
and a general expression of countenance in which fearlessness and
courage sat enthroned, and which told the beholder at a glance, what he
had been, and was formed to be.

We have only to add, that the bust of Boone, in Washington, the painting
of him ordered by the General Assembly of Missouri, and the engravings
of him in general, have--his family being judges--very little
resemblance. They want the high port and noble daring of his

Though ungratefully requited by his country, he has left a name
identified with the history of Kentucky, and with the founders and
benefactors of our great republic. In all future time, and in every
portion of the globe; in history, in sculpture, in song, in
eloquence--the name of Daniel Boone will be recorded as the patriarch of
Backwoods Pioneers.

His name has already been celebrated by more than one poet. He is the
hero of a poem called the "MOUNTAIN MUSE," by our amiable countryman,
Bryan. He is supposed to be the original from which the inimitable
characters of LEATHER STOCKING, HAWKEYE, and the TRAPPER of the
PRAIRIES, in Cooper's novels, were drawn; and we will close these
memoirs, with the splendid tribute to the patriarch of backwoodsmen, by
the prince of modern poets, Lord Byron.

Of all men, saving Sylla, the man-slayer,
Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
Of the great names which in our faces stare,
The General Boone, backwoodsman of Kentucky,
Was happiest among mortals any where,
For killing nothing, but a bear or buck; he
Enjoy'd the lonely, vigorous, harmless days
Of his old age, in wilds of deepest maze.

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