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The Winning of the West, Volume Four by Theodore Roosevelt

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Indian blood was scarcely noticeable, and these two men met the spies
and decoyed them to their death. The Indians then, soon after midnight
on the 30th of September, sought to rush the station by surprise. The
alarm was given by the running of the frightened cattle, and when the
sentinel fired at the assailants they were not ten yards from the gate
of the blockhouse. The barred door withstood the shock and the
flame-flashes lit up the night as the gun-men fired through the
loop-holes. The Indians tried to burn the fort, one of the chiefs, a
half-breed, leaping on the roof; he was shot through the thigh and
rolled off; but he stayed close to the logs trying to light them with
his torch, alternately blowing it into a blaze and halloing to the
Indians to keep on with the attack. However, he was slain, as was the
Shawnee head chief, and several warriors, while John Watts, leader of
the expedition, was shot through both thighs. The log walls of the grim
little blockhouse stood out black in the fitful glare of the cane torches;
and tongues of red fire streamed into the night as the rifles rang. The
attack had failed, and the throng of dark, flitting forms faded into
the gloom as the baffled Indians retreated. So disheartened were they
by the check, and by the loss they had suffered, that they did not
further molest the settlements, but fell back to their strongholds across
the Tennessee. Among the Cherokee chiefs who led the raid were two
signers of the treaty of Holston. [Footnote: Robertson MSS., Blount to
Robertson, Oct. 17, 1792; _Knoxville Gazette_, Oct. 10, and Oct. 20,
1792; Brown's Narrative, in _Southwestern Monthly_.]

Monotony of the Indian Outrages.

After this the war was open, so far as the Indians of the Lower Cherokee
Towns and of many of the Creek Towns were concerned; but the whites were
still restrained by strict orders from the United States authorities,
who refused to allow them to retaliate. Outrage followed outrage in
monotonously bloody succession. The Creeks were the worst offenders in
point of numbers, but the Lower Cherokees from the Chickamauga towns did
most harm according to their power. Sometimes the bands that entered the
settlements were several hundred strong; but their chief object was
plunder, and they rarely attacked the strong places of the white
frontiersmen, though they forced them to keep huddled in the stockaded
stations; nor did they often fight a pitched battle with the larger
bodies of militia. There is no reason for reciting in full the countless
deeds of rapine and murder. The incidents, though with infinite variety
of detail, were in substance the same as in all the Indian wars of the
backwoods. Men, women, and children were killed or captured; outlying
cabins were attacked and burned; the husbandman was shot as he worked in
the field, and the housewife as she went for water. The victim was now a
militiaman on his way to join his company, now one of a party of
immigrants, now a settler on his lonely farm, and now a justice of the
peace going to Court, or a Baptist preacher striving to reach the
Cumberland country that he might preach the word of God to the people
who had among them no religious instructor. The express messengers and
post riders, who went through the wilderness from one commander to the
other, always rode at hazard of their lives. In one of Blount's letters
to Robertson he remarks: "Your letter of the 6th of February sent
express by James Russell was handed to me, much stained with his blood,
by Mr. Shannon, who accompanied him." Russell had been wounded in an
ambuscade, and his fifty dollars were dearly earned. [Footnote:
Robertson MSS., Blount to Robertson, March 8, 1794. The files of the
_Knoxville Gazette_ are full of details of these outrages, and so are
the letters of Blount to the Secretary of War given in the American
State Papers, as well as the letters of Blount and Robertson in the two
bound volumes of Robertson MSS. Many of them are quoted in more
accessible form in Haywood.]

Brutal White Ruffians.

The Indians were even more fond of horse-stealing than of murder, and
they found a ready market for their horses not only in their own nations
and among the Spaniards, but among the American frontiersmen themselves.
Many of the unscrupulous white scoundrels who lived on the borders of
the Indian country made a regular practice of receiving the stolen
horses. As soon as a horse was driven from the Tennessee or Cumberland
it was hurried through the Indian country to the Carolina or Georgia
frontiers, where the red thieves delivered it to the foul white
receivers, who took it to some town on the seaboard, so as effectually
to prevent a recovery. At Swannanoa in North Carolina, among the lawless
settlements at the foot of the Oconee Mountain in South Carolina, and at
Tugaloo in Georgia, there were regular markets for these stolen horses.
[Footnote: Blount to the Secretary of War, May 5, 1792, and Nov. 10,
1794. As before, I use the word "Tennessee" instead of "Southwestern
Territory" for convenience; it was not regularly employed until 1796.]
There were then, and continued to exist as long as the frontier lasted,
plenty of white men who, though ready enough to wrong the Indians, were
equally ready to profit by the wrongs they inflicted on the white
settlers, and to encourage their misdeeds if profit was thereby to be
made. Very little evildoing of this kind took place Tennessee, for
Blount, backed by Sevier and Robertson, was vigilant to put it down; but
as yet the Federal Government was not firm in its seat, and its arm was
not long enough to reach into the remote frontier districts, where
lawlessness of every kind throve, and the whites wronged one another as
recklessly as they wronged the Indians.

Sufferings of the Honest Settlers.
Blount's Efforts to Prevent Brutality.

The white scoundrels throve in the confusion of a nominal peace which
the savages broke at will; but the honest frontiersmen really suffered
more than if there had been open war, as the Federal Government refused
to allow raids to be carried into the Indian territory, and in
consequence the marauding Indians could at any time reach a place of
safety. The blockhouses were of little consequence in putting a stop to
Indian attacks. The most efficient means of defence was the employment
of the hardiest and best hunters as scouts or spies, for they travelled
hither and thither through the woods and continually harried the war
parties. [Footnote: American State Papers, IV., p. 364; letter of
Secretary of War, May 30, 1793.] The militia bands also travelled to and
fro, marching to the rescue of some threatened settlement, or seeking to
intercept the attacking bands or to overtake those who had delivered
their stroke and were returning to the Indian country. Generally they
failed in the pursuit. Occasionally they were themselves ambushed,
attacked, and dispersed; sometimes they overtook and scattered their
foes. In such a case they were as little apt to show mercy to the
defeated as were the Indians themselves. Blount issued strict orders
that squaws and children were not to be slain, and the frontiersmen did
generally refuse to copy their antagonists in butchering the women
and children in cold blood. When an attack was made on a camp, however,
it was no uncommon thing to have the squaws killed while the fight was
hot. Blount, in one of his letters to Robertson, after the Cumberland
militia had attacked and destroyed a Creek war party which had murdered
a settler, expressed his pleasure at the perseverance with which the
militia captain had followed the Indians to the banks of the Tennessee,
where he had been lucky enough to overtake them in a position where not
one was able to escape. Blount especially complimented him upon having
spared the two squaws, "as all civilized people should"; and he added
that in so doing the captain's conduct offered a most agreeable contrast
to the behavior of some of his fellow citizens under like circumstances.
[Footnote: Robertson MSS., Blount's letter, March 8, 1794.]

Repeated Failures to Secure Peace.

Repeated efforts were made to secure peace with the Indians. Andrew
Pickens, of South Carolina, was sent to the exposed frontier in 1792 to
act as peace Commissioner. Pickens was a high-minded and honorable man,
who never hesitated to condemn the frontiersmen when they wronged the
Indians, and he was a champion of the latter wherever possible. He came
out with every hope and belief that he could make a permanent treaty;
but after having been some time on the border he was obliged to admit
that there was no chance of bringing about even a truce, and that the
nominal peace that obtained was worse for the settlers than actual war.
He wrote to Blount that though he earnestly hoped the people of the
border would observe the treaty, yet that the Cherokees had done more
damage, especially in the way of horse stealing, since the treaty was
signed than ever before, and that it was not possible to say what the
frontier inhabitants might be provoked to do. He continued: "While a
part, and that the ostensible ruling part, of a nation affect to be at,
and I believe really are for, peace, and the more active young men are
frequently killing people and stealing horses, it is extremely difficult
to know how to act. The people, even the most exposed, would prefer an
open war to such a situation. The reason is obvious. A man would then
know when he saw an Indian he saw an enemy, and would be prepared and
act accordingly." [Footnote: American State Papers, Pickens to Blount,
Hopewell, April 28, 1792.]

The Georgia Frontier.

The people of Tennessee were the wronged, and not the wrongdoers, and it
was upon them that the heaviest strokes of the Indians fell. The Georgia
frontiers were also harried continually, although much less severely;
but the Georgians were themselves far from blameless. Georgia was the
youngest, weakest, and most lawless of the original thirteen States, and
on the whole her dealings with the Indians were far from creditable,
More than once she inflicted shameful wrong on the Cherokees. The
Creeks, however, generally wronged her more than she wronged them, and
at this particular period even the Georgia frontiersmen were much less
to blame than were their Indian foes. By fair treaty the Indians had
agreed to cede to the whites lands upon which they now refused to allow
them to settle. They continually plundered and murdered the outlying
Georgia settlers; and the militia, in their retaliatory expeditions,
having no knowledge of who the murderers actually were, quite as often
killed the innocent as the guilty. One of the complaints of the Indians
was that the Georgians came in parties to hunt on the neutral ground,
and slew quantities of deer and turkeys by fire hunting at night and by
still hunting with the rifle in the daytime, while they killed many
bears by the aid of their "great gangs of dogs." [Footnote: American
State Papers, Timothy Barnard to James Seagrove, March 26, 1793.] This
could hardly be called a legitimate objection on the part of the Creeks,
however, for their own hunting parties ranged freely through the lands
they had ceded to the whites and killed game wherever they could find

Evil and fearful deeds were done by both sides. Peaceful Indians, even
envoys, going to the treaty grounds were slain in cold blood; and all
that the Georgians could allege by way of offset was that the savages
themselves had killed many peaceful whites.

Brutal Nature of the Contest in Georgia.

The Georgia frontiersmen openly showed their sullen hatred of the United
States authorities. The Georgia State government was too weak to enforce
order. It could neither keep the peace among its own frontiersmen,
nor wage effective war on the Indians; for when the militia did gather
to invade the Creek country they were so mutinous and disorderly that
the expeditions generally broke up without accomplishing anything. At
one period a militia general, Elijah Clark, actually led a large party
of frontiersmen into the unceded Creek hunting grounds with the purpose
of setting up an independent government; but the Georgia authorities for
once summoned energy sufficient to break up this lawless community.
[Footnote: American State Papers, IV., pp. 260, 295, 365, 394, 397, 410,
412, 417, 427, 473, etc.; _Knoxville Gazette_, Sept. 26, 1794. For
further allusion to Clark's settlement, see next chapter.]

Blount's Faithful Efforts to Preserve the Peace.

The Georgians were thus far from guiltless themselves, though at this
time they were more sinned against than sinning; but in the Tennessee
Territory the white settlers behaved very well throughout these years,
and showed both patience and fairness in their treatment of the Indians.
Blount did his best to prevent outrages, and Sevier and Robertson
heartily seconded him. In spite of the grumbling of the frontiersmen,
and in spite of repeated and almost intolerable provocation in the way
of Indian forays, Blount steadily refused to allow counter-expeditions
into the Indian territory, and stopped both the Tennesseeans and
Kentuckians when they prepared to make such expeditions. [Footnote:
Robertson MSS., Blount to Robertson, Jan. 8, 1793; to Benjamin Logan,
Nov. 1, 1794, etc.] Judge Campbell, the same man who was himself
attacked by the Indians when returning from his circuit, in his charge
to the Grand Jury at the end of 1791, particularly warned them to stop
any lawless attack upon the Indians. In November, 1792, when five
Creeks, headed by a Scotch half-breed, retreated to the Cherokee town of
Chiloa with stolen horses, a band of fifty whites gathered to march
after them and destroy the Cherokee town; but Sevier dispersed them and
made them go to their own homes. The following February a still larger
band gathered to attack the Cherokee towns and were dispersed by Blount
himself. Robertson, in the summer of 1793, prevented militia parties
from crossing the Tennessee in retaliation. In October, 1794, the Grand
Jury of Hamilton County entreated and adjured the people, in spite of
the Indian outrages to stand firmly by the law, and not to try to be
their own avengers; and when some whites settled in Powell's Valley, on
Cherokee lands, Governor Blount promptly turned them off. [Footnote:
_Knoxville Gazette_, Dec. 31, 1791; Nov. 17, 1792; Jan. 25, 1793; Feb.
9, Mar. 23, July 13, Sept. 14, 1793; Nov. 1 and 15, 1794; May 8, 1795.]

Seagrove's Difficulties.

The unfortunate Indian agent among the Creeks, Seagrove, speedily became
an object of special detestation to the frontiersmen generally, and the
inhabitants of the Tennessee country in particular, because he
persistently reported that he thought the Creeks peaceable, and deemed
their behavior less blameable than that of the whites. His attitude was
natural, for probably most of the Creek chiefs with whom he came in
contact were friendly, and many of those who were not professed to be so
when in his company, if only for the sake of getting the goods he had to
distribute; and of course they brought him word whenever the Georgians
killed a Creek, either innocent or guilty, without telling him of the
offence which the Georgians were blindly trying to revenge. Seagrove
himself had some rude awakenings. After reporting to the Central
Government at Philadelphia that the Creeks were warm in professing the
most sincere friendship, he would suddenly find, to his horror, that
they were sending off war parties and acting in concert with the
Shawnees; and at one time they actually, without any provocation,
attacked a trading store kept by his own brother, and killed the two men
who were managing it. [Footnote: American State Papers, Seagrove to James
Holmes, Feb. 24, 1793; to Mr. Payne, April 14, 1793.] Most of the
Creeks, however, professed, and doubtless felt, regret at these
outrages, and Seagrove continued to represent their conduct in a
favorable light to the Central Government, though he was forced to admit
that certain of the towns were undoubtedly hostile and could not be
controlled by the party which was for peace.

Blount calls Seagrove to Account.

Blount was much put out at the fact that Seagrove was believed at
Philadelphia when he reported the Creeks to be at peace. In a letter to
Seagrove, at the beginning of 1794, Blount told him sharply that as far
as the Cumberland district was concerned the Creeks had been the only
ones to blame since the treaty of New York, for they had killed or
enslaved over two hundred whites, attacking them in their houses,
fields, or on the public roads, and had driven off over a thousand
horses, while the Americans had done the Creeks no injuries whatever
except in defence of their homes and lives, or in pursuing war parties.
It was possible of course that occasionally an innocent hunter suffered
with the guilty marauders, but this was because he was off his own
hunting grounds; and the treaty explicitly showed that the Creeks had no
claim to the Cumberland region, while there was not a particle of truth
in their assertion that since the treaty had been entered into there had
been intrusion on their hunting grounds. Seagrove, in response, wrote
that he believed the Creeks and Cherokees sincerely desired peace. This
was followed forthwith by new outrages, and Blount wrote to Robertson:
"It does really seem as if assurances from Mr. Seagrove of the peaceful
disposition of the Creeks was the prelude to their murdering and
plundering the inhabitants of your district." [Footnote: Robertson MSS.,
Blount to Robertson, Feb. 13, 1793; Blount to James Seagrove, Jan. 9,
1794; Seagrove to Blount, Feb. 10, 1794; Blount to Robertson, March 8,
1794.] The _Knoxville Gazette_ called attention to the fact that
Seagrove had written a letter to the effect that the Creeks were well
disposed, just four days before the attack on Buchanan Station. On
September 22d Seagrove wrote stating that the Creeks were peaceable,
that all their chief men ardently wished for the cessation of
hostilities, and that they had refused the request of the Cherokees to
go to war with the United States; and his deputy agent, Barnard,
reiterated the assertions and stated that the Upper Creeks had remained
quiet, although six of their people had been killed at the mouth of the
Tennessee. The _Gazette_ thereupon published a list of twenty-one men,
women, and children who at that very time were held in slavery in the
Creek towns, and enumerated scores of murders which had been committed
by the Creeks during precisely the period when Seagrove and Barnard
described them as so desirous of peace. [Footnote: _Knoxville Gazette_,
Dec. 29, 1792; Dec. 19, 1793.]

Increasing Indignation of the Settlers.

Under such circumstances the settlers naturally grew indignant with the
United States because they were not protected, and were not even allowed
to defend themselves by punishing their foes. The Creeks and Cherokees
were receiving their annuities regularly, and many presents in addition,
while their outrages continued unceasingly. The Nashville people
complained that the Creeks were "as busy in killing and scalping as if
they had been paid three thousand dollars for so doing, in the room of
fifteen hundred dollars to keep the peace." [Footnote: _Knoxville
Gazette_, March 23, 1793.] A public address was issued in the _Knoxville
Gazette_ by the Tennesseeans on the subjects of their wrongs. In
respectful and loyal language, but firmly, the Tennesseeans called the
attention of the Government authorities to their sufferings. They avowed
the utmost devotion to the Union and a determination to stand by the
laws, but insisted that it would be absolutely necessary for them to
take measures to defend themselves by retaliating on the Indians.

Nature of the Indian Inroads.

A feature of the address was its vivid picture of the nature of the
ordinary Indian inroad and of the lack of any definite system of defence
on the frontier. It stated that the Indian raid or outbreak was usually
first made known either by the murder of some defenceless farmer, the
escape of some Indian trader, or the warning of some friendly Indian who
wished to avoid mischief. The first man who received the news, not
having made any agreement with the other members of the community as to
his course in such an emergency, ran away to his kinsfolk as fast as he
could. Every neighbor caught the alarm, thought himself the only person
left to fight, and got off on the same route as speedily as possible,
until, luckily for all, the meeting of the roads on the general retreat,
the difficulty of the way, the straying of horses, and sometimes the
halting to drink whiskey, put a stop to "the hurly-burly of the flight"
and reminded the fugitives that by this time they were in sufficient
force to rally; and then they would return "to explore the plundered
country and to bury the unfortunate scalped heads in the fag-end of the
retreat"; whereas if there had been an appointed rendezvous where all
could rally it would have prevented such a flight from what might
possibly have been a body of Indians far inferior in numbers to the
armed men of the settlements attacked. [Footnote: _Knoxville Gazette_,
April 6, 1793.]

The Frontiersmen Ask Permission to Retaliate.

The convention of Mero district early petitioned Congress for the right
to retaliate on the Indians and to follow them to their towns, stating
that they had refrained from doing so hitherto not from cowardice, but
only from regard to Government, and that they regretted that their
"rulers" (the Federal authorities at Philadelphia) did not enter into
their feelings or seem to sympathize with them. [Footnote: _Knoxville
Gazette_, August 13, 1792.] When the Territorial Legislature met in 1794
it petitioned Congress for war against the Creeks and Cherokees,
reciting the numerous outrages committed by them upon the whites;
stating that since 1792 the frontiersmen had been huddled together two
or three hundred to the station, anxiously expecting peace, or a legally
authorized war from which they would soon wring peace; and adding that
they were afraid of war in no shape, but that they asked that their
hands be unbound and they be allowed to defend themselves in the only
possible manner, by offensive war. They went on to say that, as members
of the Nation, they heartily approved of the hostilities which were then
being carried on against the Algerines for the protection of the
seafaring men of the coast-towns, and concluded: "The citizens who live
in poverty on the extreme frontier are as much entitled to be protected
in their lives, their families, and their little properties, as those
who roll in luxury, ease, and affluence in the great and opulent
Atlantic cities,"--for in frontier eyes the little seaboard
trading-towns assumed a rather comical aspect of magnificence. The
address was on the whole dignified in tone, and it undoubtedly set forth
both the wrong and the remedy with entire accuracy. The Tennesseeans
felt bitterly that the Federal Government did everything for Kentucky
and nothing for themselves, and they were rather inclined to sneer at
the difficulty experienced by the Kentuckians and the Federal army in
subduing the Northwestern Indians, while they themselves were left
single-handed to contend with the more numerous tribes of the South.
They were also inclined to laugh at the continual complaints the
Georgians made over the comparatively trivial wrongs they suffered from
the Indians, and at their inability either to control their own people
or to make war effectively. [Footnote: _Knoxville Gazette_, Feb. 26,
1794, March 27, 1794, etc., etc.]

The Situation Grows Intolerable.

Such a state of things as that which existed in the Tennessee territory
could not endure. The failure of the United States authorities to
undertake active offensive warfare and to protect the frontiersmen
rendered it inevitable that the frontiersmen should protect themselves;
and under the circumstances, when retaliation began it was certain
sometimes to fall upon the blameless. The rude militia officers began to
lead their retaliatory parties into the Indian lands, and soon the
innocent Indians suffered with the guilty, for the frontiersmen had no
means of distinguishing between them. The Indians who visited the
settlements with peaceful intent were of course at any time liable to be
mistaken for their brethren who were hostile, or else to be attacked by
scoundrels who were bent upon killing all red men alike. Thus, on one
day, as Blount reported, a friendly Indian passing the home of one of
the settlers was fired upon and wounded; while in the same region five
hostile Indians killed the wife and three children of a settler in his
sight; and another party stole a number of horses from a station; and
yet another party, composed of peaceful Indian hunters, was attacked at
night by some white militia, one man being killed and another wounded.
[Footnote: State Department MSS., Washington Papers, War Department, Ex.
C., page 19, extract of letter from Blount to Williamson, April 14,

Scolacutta, the Friendly Cherokee.

One of the firm friends of the whites was Scolacutta, the chief of the
Upper Cherokees. He tried to keep his people at peace, and repeatedly
warned the whites of impending attacks, Nevertheless, he was unwilling
or unable to stop by force the war parties of Creeks and Lower Cherokees
who came through his towns to raid against the settlements and who
retreated to them again when the raids were ended. Many of his young men
joined the bands of horse-thieves and scalp-hunters. The marauders
wished to embroil him with the whites, and were glad that the latter
should see the bloody trails leading back to his towns. For two years
after the signing of the treaty of Holston the war parties thus passed
and repassed through his country, and received aid and comfort from his
people, and yet the whites refrained from taking vengeance; but the
vengeance was certain to come in the end.

His Village Attacked.

In March, 1793, Scolacutta's nearest neighbor, an Indian living next
door to him in his own town, and other Indians of the nearest towns,
joined one of the war parties which attacked the settlements and killed
two unarmed lads. [Footnote: American State Papers, Blount's letter,
March 20, 1793. Scolacutta was usually known to the whites as Hanging
Maw.] The Indians did nothing to the murderers, and the whites forbore
to attack them; but their patience was nearly exhausted. In June
following a captain, John Beard, with fifty mounted riflemen, fell in
with a small party of Indians who had killed several settlers. He
followed their trail to Scolacutta's town, where he slew eight or nine
Indians, most of whom were friendly. [Footnote: Robertson MSS., Smith to
Robertson, June 19, 1793, etc.; _Knoxville Gazette_, June 15 and July
13, 1793, etc.] The Indians clamored for justice and the surrender of
the militia who had attacked them. Blount warmly sympathized with them,
but when he summoned a court-martial to try Beard it promptly acquitted
him, and the general frontier feeling was strongly in his favor. Other
militia commanders followed his example. Again and again they trailed
the war parties, laden with scalps and plunder, and attacked the towns
to which they went; killing the warriors and capturing squaws and
children. [Footnote: _Knoxville Gazette_, July 13, July 27, 1793, etc.,

Revengeful Forays.

The following January another party of red marauders was tracked by a
band of riflemen to Scolacutta's camp. The militia promptly fell on the
camp and killed several Indians, both the hostile and the friendly.
Other Cherokee towns were attacked and partially destroyed. In but one
instance were the whites beaten off. When once the whites fairly began
to make retaliatory inroads they troubled themselves but little as to
whether the Indians they assailed were or were not those who had wronged
them. In one case, four frontiersmen dressed and painted themselves like
Indians prior to starting on a foray to avenge the murder of a neighbor.
They could not find the trail of the murderers, and so went at random to
a Cherokee town, killed four warriors who were asleep on the ground, and
returned to the settlements. Scolacutta at first was very angry with
Blount, and taunted him with his inability to punish the whites, asserting
that the frontiersmen were "making fun" of their well-meaning governor;
but the old chief soon made up his mind that as long as he allowed the
war parties to go through his towns he would have to expect to suffer
at the hands of the injured settlers. He wrote to Blount enumerating
the different murders that had been committed by both sides, and stating
that his people were willing to let the misdeeds stand as off-setting
one another. He closed his letter by stating that the Upper Towns were
for peace, and added: "I want my mate, General Sevier, to see my talk ...
We have often told lies, but now you may depend on hearing the truth,"
which was a refreshingly frank admission. [Footnote: American State
Papers, iv., pp. 459, 460, etc.; _Knoxville Gazette_, Jan. 16, and
June 5, 1794.]

Sevier Takes Command.
He makes a Brilliant Raid.

When, towards the close of 1792, the ravages became very serious,
Sevier, the man whom the Indians feared more than any other, was called
to take command of the militia. For a year he confined himself to acting
on the defensive, and even thus he was able to give much protection to
the settlements. In September, 1793, however, several hundred Indians,
mostly Cherokees, crossed the Tennessee not thirty miles from Knoxville.
They attacked a small station, within which there were but thirteen
souls, who, after some resistance, surrendered on condition that their
lives should be spared; but they were butchered with obscene cruelty.
Sevier immediately marched toward the assailants, who fled back to the
Cherokee towns. Thither Sevier followed them, and went entirely through
the Cherokee country to the land of the Creeks, burning the towns and
destroying the stores of provisions. He marched with his usual quickness,
and the Indians were never able to get together in sufficient numbers to
oppose him. When he crossed High Tower River there was a skirmish, but
he soon routed the Indians, killing several of their warriors, and losing
himself but three men killed and three wounded. He utterly destroyed a
hostile Creek town, the chief of which was named Buffalo Horn. He
returned late in October, and after his return the frontiers of Eastern
Tennessee had a respite from the Indian ravages. Yet Congress refused
to pay his militia for the time they were out, because they had invaded
the Indian country instead of acting on the defensive. [Footnote:
Robertson MSS., Blount to Robertson, Oct. 29, 1793; _Knoxville Gazette_,
Oct. 12, and Nov. 23, 1793.]

Destruction of Nickajack and Running Water.

To chastise the Upper Cherokee Towns gave relief to the settlements on
the Holston, but the chief sinners were the Chickamaugas of the Lower
Cherokee towns, and the chief sufferers were the Cumberland settlers.
The Cumberland people were irritated beyond endurance, alike by the
ravages of these Indians and by the conduct of the United States in
forbidding them to retaliate. In September, 1794, they acted for
themselves. Early in the month Robertson received certain information
that a large body of Creeks and Lower Cherokees had gathered at the
towns and were preparing to invade the Cumberland settlements. The best
way to meet them was by a stroke in advance, and he determined to send
an expedition against them in their strongholds. There was no question
whatever as to the hostility of the Indians, for at this very time
settlers were being killed by war parties throughout the Cumberland
country. Some Kentuckians, under Colonel Whitley, had joined the
Tennesseeans, who were nominally led by a Major Ore; but various
frontier fighters, including Kaspar Mansker, were really as much in
command as was Ore. Over five hundred mounted riflemen, bold of heart
and strong of hand, marched toward the Chickamauga towns, which contained
some three hundred warriors. When they came to the Tennessee they spent
the entire night in ferrying the arms across and swimming the horses;
they used bundles of dry cane for rafts, and made four "bull-boats" out
of the hides of steers. They passed over unobserved and fell on the towns
of Nickajack and Running Water, taking the Indians completely by surprise;
they killed fifty-five warriors and captured nineteen squaws and children.
In the entire expedition but one white man was killed and three wounded.
[Footnote: Robertson MSS., Robertson to Blount, Oct. 8, 1794; Blount to
Robertson, Oct. 1, 1794, Sept. 9, 1794 (in which Blount expresses the
utmost disapproval of Robertson's conduct, and says he will not send on
Robertson's original letter to Philadelphia, for fear it will get him
into a scrape; and requests him to send a formal report which can be
forwarded); _Knoxville Gazette_, Sept. 26, 1794; Brown's Narrative.]

This Brings the Cherokees to Terms.

Not only the Federal authorities, but Blount himself, very much
disapproved of this expedition; nevertheless, it was right and proper,
and produced excellent effects. In no other way could the hostile towns
have been brought to reason. It was followed by a general conference
with the Cherokees at Tellico Blockhouse. Scolacutta appeared for the
Upper, and Watts for the Lower Cherokee Towns. Watts admitted that "for
their folly" the Lower Cherokees had hitherto refused to make peace, and
remarked frankly, "I do not say they did not deserve the chastisement
they received." Scolacutta stated that he could not sympathize much with
the Lower Towns, saying, "their own conduct brought destruction upon
them. The trails of murderers and thieves was followed to those towns
... Their bad conduct drew the white people on me, who injured me nearly
unto death.... All last winter I was compelled to lay in the woods by
the bad conduct of my own people drawing war on me." At last the
Cherokees seemed sincere in their desire for peace. [Footnote: Robertson
MSS., Blount's Minutes of Conference held with Cherokees, Nov. 7 and 8,
1794, at Tellico Blockhouse.]

Cherokees and Chikasaws Restrain Creeks.

These counter-attacks served a double purpose. They awed the hostile
Cherokees; and they forced the friendly Cherokees, for the sake of their
own safety, actively to interfere against the bands of hostile Creeks. A
Cherokee chief, The Stallion, and a number of warriors, joined with the
Federal soldiers and Tennessee militia in repulsing the Creek war
parties. They acted under Blount's directions, and put a complete stop
to the passage of hostile Indians through their towns. [Footnote:
Robertson MSS., Ecooe to John McKee, Tellico, Feb. 1, 1795, etc.] The
Chickasaws also had become embroiled with the Creeks. [Footnote: Blount
MSS., James Colbert to Robertson, Feb. 10, 1792.] For over three years
they carried on an intermittent warfare with them, and were heartily
supported by the frontiersmen, who were prompt to recognize the value of
their services. At the same time the hostile Indians were much cowed at
the news of Wayne's victory in the North.

Treachery of the United States Government to the Chickasaws.
The Frontiersmen Stand by Chickasaws.

All these causes combined to make the Creeks sue for peace. To its shame
and discredit the United States Government at first proposed to repeat
towards the Chickasaws the treachery of which the British had just been
guilty to the Northern Indians; for it refused to defend them from the
Creeks, against whom they had been acting, partly, it is true, for their
own ends, but partly in the interest of the settlers. The frontiersmen,
however, took a much more just and generous view of the affair. Mansker
and a number of the best fighters in the Cumberland district marched to
the assistance of the Chickasaws; and the frontier militia generally
showed grateful appreciation of the way both the Upper Cherokees and the
Chickasaws helped them put a stop to the hostilities of the Chickamaugas
and Creeks. Robertson got the Choctaws to interfere on behalf of the
Chickasaws and to threaten war with the Creeks if the latter persisted
in their hostilities. Moreover, the United States agents, when the
treaty was actually made, behaved better than their superiors had
promised, for they persuaded the Creeks to declare peace with the
Chickasaws as well as with the whites. [Footnote: Robertson MSS.,
Robertson to Blount, Jan. 13, 1795; Blount to Robertson, Jan. 20, 1795,
and April 26, 1795; Robertson to Blount, April 20, 1795; _Knoxville
Gazette_, Aug. 25, 1792, Oct. 12, 1793, June 19, 1794, July 17, Aug. 4
and Aug. 15, 1794; American State Papers, pp. 284, 285, etc., etc.] Many
of the peaceful Creeks had become so alarmed at the outlook that they
began to exert pressure on their warlike brethren; and at last the
hostile element yielded, though not until bitter feeling had arisen
between the factions. The fact was, that the Creeks were divided much as
they were twenty years later, when the Red Sticks went to war under the
inspiration of the Prophet; and it would have been well if Wayne had
been sent South, to invade their country and anticipate by twenty years
Jackson's feats. But the nation was not yet ready for such strong
measures. The Creeks were met half way in their desire for peace; and
the entire tribe concluded a treaty the provisions of which were
substantially those of the treaty of New York. They ceased all
hostilities, together with the Cherokees.

Fatuity of Timothy Pickering.

The concluding stage of the negotiations was marked by an incident which
plainly betrayed the faulty attitude of the National Government towards
Southwestern frontiersmen. With incredible folly, Timothy Pickering, at
this time Secretary of War, blindly refused to see the necessity of what
had been done by Blount and the Tennessee frontiersmen. In behalf of the
administration he wrote a letter to Blount which was as offensive as it
was fatuous. In it he actually blamed Blount for getting the Cherokees
and Chickasaws to help protect the frontier against the hostile Indians.
He forbade him to give any assistance to the Chickasaws. He announced
that he disapproved of The Stallion's deeds, and that the Cherokees must
not destroy Creeks passing through their country on the way to the
frontier. He even intimated that the surrender of The Stallion to the
Creeks would be a good thing. As for protecting the frontier from the
ravages of the Creeks, he merely vouchsafed the statement that he would
instruct Seagrove to make "some pointed declarations" to the Creeks on
the subject! He explained that the United States Government was resolved
not to have a direct or indirect war with the Creeks; and he closed by
reiterating, with futile insistency, that the instruction to the
Cherokees not to permit Creek war parties against the whites to come
through their country, did not warrant their using force to stop them.
[Footnote: Robertson MSS., Pickering to Blount, March 23, 1795.] He
failed to point out how it was possible, without force, to carry out
these instructions.

A more shameful letter was never written, and it was sufficient of
itself to show Pickering's conspicuous incapacity for the position he
held. The trouble was that he represented not very unfairly the
sentiment of a large portion of the Eastern, and especially the
Northeastern, people. When Blount visited Philadelphia in the summer of
1793 to urge a vigorous national war as the only thing which could bring
the Indians to behave themselves, [Footnote: Blount MSS., Blount to
Smith, June 17, 1793.] he reported that Washington had an entirely just
idea of the whole Indian business, but that Congress generally knew
little of the matter and was not disposed to act. [Footnote: Robertson
MSS., Blount to gentleman in Cumberland, Philadelphia, Aug. 28, 1793.]
His report was correct; and he might have added that the congressmen
were no more ignorant, and no more reluctant to do right, than their

Misconduct of the Federal Government.

The truth is that the United States Government during the six years from
1791 to 1796 behaved shamefully to the people who were settled along the
Cumberland and Holston. This was the more inexcusable in view of the
fact that, thanks to the example of Blount, Sevier, and Robertson, the
Tennesseeans, alone among the frontiersmen, showed an intelligent
appreciation of the benefits of the Union and a readiness to render it
loyal support. The Kentuckians acted far less rationally; yet the
Government tolerated much misconduct on their part, and largely for
their benefit carried on a great national war against the Northwestern
Indians. In the Southwest almost all that the Administration did was to
prohibit the frontiersmen from protecting themselves. Peace was finally
brought about largely through the effect of Wayne's victory, and the
knowledge of the Creeks that they would have to stand alone in any
further warfare; but it would not have been obtained at all if Sevier
and the other frontier leaders had not carried on their destructive
counter-inroads into the Cherokee and Upper Creek country, and if under
Robertson's orders Nickajack and Running Water had not been destroyed;
while the support of the Chickasaws and friendly Cherokees in stopping
the Creek war parties was essential. The Southwesterners owed thanks to
General Wayne and his army and to their own strong right hands; but they
had small cause for gratitude to the Federal Government. They owed still
less to the Northeasterners, or indeed to any of the men of the eastern
seaboard; the benefits arising from Pinckney's treaty form the only
exception. This neglect brought its own punishment. Blount and Sevier
were naturally inclined to Federalism, and it was probably only the
supineness of the Federal Government in failing to support the
Southwesterners against the Indians which threw Tennessee, when it
became a State, into the arms of the Democratic party.


However, peace was finally wrung from the Indians, and by the beginning
of 1796 the outrages ceased. The frontiers, north and south alike,
enjoyed a respite from Indian warfare for the first time in a
generation; nor was the peace interrupted until fifteen years

Growth of Tennessee.

Throngs of emigrants had come into Tennessee. A wagon road had been
chopped to the Cumberland District, and as the Indians gradually ceased
their ravages, the settlements about Nashville began to grow as rapidly
as the settlements along the Holston. In 1796 the required limit of
population had been reached, and Tennessee with over seventy-six
thousand inhabitants was formally admitted as a State of the Federal
Union; Sevier was elected Governor, Blount was made one of the Senators,
and Andrew Jackson was chosen Representative in Congress.

The Tennessee Constitution.

In their State Constitution the hard-working backwoods farmers showed a
conservative spirit which would seem strange to the radical democracy of
new Western States to-day. An elective Governor and two legislative
houses were provided; and the representation was proportioned, not to
the population at large, but to the citizen who paid taxes; for persons
with some little property were still considered to be the rightful
depositaries of political power. The Constitution established freedom of
the press, and complete religious liberty--a liberty then denied in the
parent State of North Carolina; but it contained some unwise and unjust
provisions. The Judges were appointed by the Legislature, and were
completely subservient to it; and, through the influence of the land
speculators all lands except town lots were taxed alike, so that the men
who had obtained possession of the best tracts shifted to other
shoulders much of their own proper burden. [Footnote: "Constitutional
History of Tennessee," by Joshua W. Caldwell, p. 101, another of Robert
Clark's publications; an admirable study of institutional development in



The Current of Tendency.

Throughout the history of the winning of the West what is noteworthy is
the current of tendency rather than the mere succession of individual
events. The general movement, and the general spirit behind the
movement, became evident in many different forms, and if attention is
paid only to some particular manifestation we lose sight of its true
import and of its explanation. Particular obstacles retarded or
diverted, particular causes accelerated, the current; but the set was
always in one direction. The peculiar circumstances of each case must
always be taken into account, but it is also necessary to understand
that it was but one link in the chain of causation.

The Causes of the Various Separatist and Filibustering Movements.

Such events as Burr's conspiracy or the conquest of Texas cannot be
properly understood if we fail to remember that they were but the most
spectacular or most important manifestations of what occurred many
times. The Texans won a striking victory and performed a feat of the
utmost importance in our history; and, moreover, it happened that at the
moment the accession of Texas was warmly favored by the party of the
slave-holders. Burr had been Vice-President of the United States, and
was a brilliant and able man, of imposing personality, whose intrigues
in the West attracted an attention altogether disproportionate to their
real weight. In consequence each event is often treated as if it were
isolated and stood apart from the general current of western history;
whereas in truth each was but the most striking or important among a
host or others. The feats performed by Austin and Houston and the
other founders of the Texan Republic were identical in kind with the
feats merely attempted, or but partially performed, by the men who, like
Morgan, Elijah Clark, and George Rogers Clark, at different times either
sought to found colonies in the Spanish-speaking lands under Spanish
authority, or else strove to conquer these lands outright by force of
arms. Boone settled in Missouri when it was still under the Spanish
Government, and himself accepted a Spanish commission. Whether Missouri
had or had not been ceded first by Spain to France and then by France to
the United States early in the present century, really would not have
altered its final destiny, so far at least as concerns the fact that it
would ultimately have been independent of both France and Spain, and
would have been dominated by an English-speaking people; for when once
the backwoodsmen, of whom Boone was the forerunner, became sufficiently
numerous in the land they were certain to throw off the yoke of the
foreigner; and the fact that they had voluntarily entered the land and
put themselves under this yoke would have made no more difference to
them than it afterwards made to the Texans. So it was with Aaron Burr.
His conspiracy was merely one, and by no means the most dangerous, of
the various conspiracies in which men like Wilkinson, Sebastian, and
many of the members of the early Democratic societies in Kentucky, bore
a part. It was rendered possible only by the temper of the people and by
the peculiar circumstances which also rendered the earlier conspiracies
possible; and it came to naught for the same reasons that they came to
naught, and was even more hopeless, because it was undertaken later,
when the conditions were less favorable.

Clark's Part in the Proposed French Attack on Spain.

The movement deliberately entered into by many of the Kentuckians in the
years 1793 and 1794, to conquer Louisiana on behalf of France, must be
treated in this way. The leader in this movement was George Rogers
Clark. His chance of success arose from the fact that there were on the
frontier many men of restless, adventurous, warlike type, who felt a
spirit of unruly defiance toward the home government and who greedily
eyed the rich Spanish lands. Whether they got the lands by conquest or
by colonization, and whether they warred under one flag or another, was
to them a matter of little moment. Clark's career is of itself
sufficient to prove the truth of this. He had already been at the head
of a movement to make war against the Spaniards, in defiance of the
Central Government, on behalf of the Western settlements. On another
occasion he had offered his sword to the Spanish Government, and had
requested permission to found in Spanish territory a State which should
be tributary to Spain and a barrier against the American advance. He had
thus already sought to lead the Westerners against Spain in a warfare
undertaken purely by themselves and for their own objects, and had also
offered to form by the help of some of these Westerners a State which
should be a constituent portion of the Spanish dominion. He now readily
undertook the task of raising an army of Westerners to overrun Louisiana
in the interests of the French Republic. The conditions which rendered
possible these various movements were substantially the same, although
the immediate causes, or occasions, were different. In any event the
result would ultimately have been the conquest of the Spanish dominions
by the armed frontiersmen, and the upbuilding of English-speaking States
on Spanish territory.

The American Sympathizers with the French Revolution.

The expedition which at the moment Clark proposed to head took its
peculiar shape from outside causes. At this period Genet was in the
midst of his preposterous career as Minister from the French Republic to
the United States. The various bodies of men who afterwards coalesced
into the Democratic-Republican party were frantically in favor of the
French Revolution, regarding it with a fatuous admiration quite as
foolish as the horror with which it affected most of the Federalists.
They were already looking to Jefferson as their leader, and Jefferson,
though at the time Secretary of State under Washington, was secretly
encouraging them, and was playing a very discreditable part toward his
chief. The ultra admirers of the French Revolution not only lost their
own heads, but turned Genet's as well, and persuaded him that the people
were with him and were ready to oppose Washington and the Central
Government in the interests of revolutionary France. Genet wished to
embroil America with England, and sought to fit out American privateers
on the seacoast towns to prey on the English commerce, and to organize
on the Ohio River an armed expedition to conquer Louisiana, as Spain was
then an ally of England and at war with France.

The Jeffersonians' Western Policy.

All over the country Genet's admirers formed Democratic societies on the
model of the Jacobin Clubs of France. They were of course either useless
or noxious in such a country and under such a government as that of the
United States, and exercised a very mischievous effect. Kentucky was
already under the influence of the same forces that were at work in
Virginia and elsewhere, and the classes of her people who were
politically dominant were saturated with the ideas of those doctrinaire
politicians of whom Jefferson was chief. These Jeffersonian doctrinaires
were men who at certain crises, in certain countries, might have
rendered great service to the cause of liberty and humanity; but their
influence in America was on the whole distinctly evil, save that, by a
series of accidents, they became the especial champions of the westward
extension of the nation, and in consequence were identified with a
movement which was all-essential to the national well-being.

Kentucky Ripe for Genet's Intrigues.

Kentucky was ripe for Genet's intrigues, and he found the available
leader for the movement in the person of George Rogers Clark. Clark was
deeply imbittered, not only with the United States Government but with
Virginia, for the Virginia assembly had refused to pay any of the debts
he had contracted on account of the State, and had not even reimbursed
him for what he had spent. [Footnote: Draper MSS., J. Clark to G. R.
Clark, Dec. 27, 1792.] He had a right to feel aggrieved at the State's
penuriousness and her indifference to her moral obligations; and just at
the time when he was most angered came the news that Genet was agitating
throughout the United States for a war with England, in open defiance of
Washington, and that among his plans he included a Western movement
against Louisiana. Clark at once wrote to him expressing intense
sympathy with the French objects and offering to undertake an expedition
for the conquest of St. Louis and upper Louisiana if he was provided
with the means to obtain provisions and stores. Clark further informed
Genet that his country had been utterly ungrateful to him, and that as
soon as he received Genet's approbation of what he proposed to do he
would get himself "expatriated." He asked for commissions for officers,
and stated his belief that the Creoles would rise, that the adventurous
Westerners would gladly throng to the contest, and that the army would
soon be at the gates of New Orleans. [Footnote: _Do_., Letter of George
Rogers Clark, Feb. 5, 1793; also Feb. 2d and Feb. 3d.]

Clark Commissioned as a French Major General.

Genet immediately commissioned Clark as a Major General in the service
of the French Republic, and sent out various Frenchmen--Michaux, La
Chaise, and others--with civil and military titles, to co-operate with
him, to fit out his force as well as possible, and to promise him pay
for his expenses. Brown, now one of Kentucky's representatives at
Philadelphia, gave these men letters of introduction to merchants in
Lexington and elsewhere, from whom they got some supplies; but they
found they would have to get most from Philadelphia. [Footnote: Draper
MSS., Michaux to George Rogers Clark, undated, but early in 1793.]
Michaux was the agent for the French Minister, though nominally his
visit was undertaken on purely scientific grounds. Jefferson's course in
the matter was characteristic. Openly, he was endeavoring in a
perfunctory manner to carry out Washington's policy of strict neutrality
in the contest between France and England, but secretly he was engaged
in tortuous intrigues against Washington and was thwarting his wishes,
so far as he dared, in regard to Genet.

Jefferson's Double-dealing.

It is impossible that he could have been really misled as to Michaux's
character and the object of his visits; nevertheless, he actually gave
him a letter of introduction to the Kentucky Governor, Isaac Shelby.
[Footnote: State Department MSS., Jefferson Papers, Series I., Vol. V.,
p. 163.] Shelby had shown himself a gallant and capable officer in
warfare against both the Indians and the Tories, but he possessed no
marked political ability, and was entirely lacking in the strength of
character which would have fitted him to put a stop to rebellion and
lawlessness. He hated England, sympathized with France, and did not
possess sufficient political good sense to appreciate either the
benefits of the Central Government or the need of preserving order.

Clark at once proceeded to raise what troops he could, and issued a
proclamation signed by himself as Major General of the Armies of France,
Commander in Chief of the French Revolutionary Legions on the
Mississippi. He announced that he proposed to raise volunteers for the
reduction of the Spanish posts on the Mississippi and to open the trade
of that river, and promised all who would join him from one to three
thousand acres of any unappropriated land in the conquered regions, the
officers to receive proportionately more. All lawful plunder was to be
equally divided according to the customs of war. [Footnote: Marshall,
II., page 103.] The proclamation thus frankly put the revolutionary
legions on the footing of a gang of freebooters. Each man was to receive
a commission proportioned in grade to the number of soldiers he brought
to Clark's band. In short, it was a piece of sheer filibustering, not
differing materially from one of Walker's filibustering attempts in
Central America sixty years later, save that at this time Clark had
utterly lost his splendid vigor of body and mind and was unfit for the
task he had set himself. At first, however, he met with promises of
support from various Kentuckians of prominence, including Benjamin
Logan. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Benjamin Logan to George Rogers Clark,
Dec. 31, 1793.] His agents gathered flat-boats and pirogues for the
troops and laid in stores of powder, lead, and beef. The nature of some
of the provisions shows what a characteristic backwoods expedition it
was; for Clark's agent notified him that he had ready "upwards of eleven
hundred weight of Bear Meat and about seventy or seventy-four pair of
Veneson Hams." [Footnote: Draper MSS., John Montgomery to Geo. Rogers
Clark, Jan. 12, 1794.]

The Democratic Societies Support Clark.

The Democratic Societies in Kentucky entered into Clark's plans with the
utmost enthusiasm, and issued manifestoes against the Central Government
which were, in style, of hysterical violence, and, in matter,
treasonable. The preparations were made openly, and speedily attracted
the attention of the Spanish agents, besides giving alarm to the
representatives of the Federal Government and to all sober citizens who
had sense enough to see that the proposed expedition was merely another
step toward anarchy. St. Clair, the Governor of the Northwestern
Territory, wrote to Shelby to warn him of what was being done, and
Wayne, who was a much more formidable person than Shelby or Clark or any
of their backers, took prompt steps to prevent the expedition from
starting, by building a fort near the mouth of the Ohio, and ordering
his lieutenants to hold themselves in readiness for any action he might
direct. At the same time the Administration wrote to Shelby telling him
what was on foot, and requesting him to see that no expedition of the
kind was allowed to march against the domains of a friendly power.

Shelby's Vacillation.

Shelby, in response, entered into a long argument to show that he could
not interfere with the expedition, and that he doubted his
constitutional power to do anything in the matter; his reasons being of
the familiar kind usually advanced in such cases, where a government
officer, from timidity or any other cause, refuses to do his duty. If
his contention as to his own powers and the powers of the General
Government had been sound, it would logically have followed that there
was no power anywhere to back up the law. Innes, the Federal Judge,
showed himself equally lukewarm in obeying the Federal authorities.
[Footnote: American State Papers, Foreign Relations, I., pp. 454, 460;
Marshall, II., 93.]

Blount's Decision and Patriotism.

Blount, the Governor of the Southwestern Territory, acted as vigorously
and patriotically as St. Clair and Wayne, and his conduct showed in
marked contrast to Shelby's. He possessed far too much political good
sense not to be disgusted with the conduct of Genet, which he denounced
in unmeasured terms. He expressed great pleasure when Washington
summarily rebuked the blatant French envoy. He explained to the
Tennesseeans that Genet had as his chief backers the disappointed
office-hunters and other unsavory characters in New York and in the
seacoast cities, but that the people at large were beginning to realize
what the truth was, and to show a proper feeling for the President and
his government. [Footnote: Robertson MSS., Blount's letter,
Philadelphia, Aug. 28, 1793.] Some of the Cumberland people, becoming
excited by the news of Clark's preparation, prepared to join him, or to
undertake a separate filibustering attack on their own account. Blount
immediately wrote to Robertson directing him to explain to these
"inconsiderate persons" that all they could possibly do was to attempt
the conquest of West Florida, and that they would "lay themselves liable
to heavy Pains and Penalties, both pecuniary and corporal in case they
ever returned to their injured country." He warned Robertson that it was
his duty to prevent the attempt, and that the legal officers of the
district must proceed against any of the men having French commissions,
and must do their best to stop the movement; which, he said, proceeded
"from the Machenations no doubt of that Jacobin Incendiary, Genet, which
is reason sufficient to make every honest mind revolt at the Idea."
Robertson warmly supported him, and notified the Spanish commander at
New Madrid of the steps which he was taking; at which the Spaniards
expressed great gratification. [Footnote: Robertson MSS., Blount to
Robertson, Jan. 18, 1794; letter from Portello, New Madrid, Jan. 17,

Collapse of the Movement.

However, the whole movement collapsed when Genet was recalled early in
1794, Clark being forced at once to abandon his expedition. [Footnote:
Blount MSS., Blount to Smith, April 3, 1794.] Clark found himself out of
pocket as the result of what he had done; and as there was no hope of
reimbursing himself by Spanish plunder, he sought to obtain from the
French Government reimbursement for the expenses, forwarding to the
French Assembly, through an agent in France, his bill for the "Expenses
of Expedition ordered by Citizen Genet." The agent answered that he
would try to secure the payment; and after he got to Paris he first
announced himself as hopeful; but later he wrote that he had discovered
that the French agents were really engaged in a dangerous conspiracy
against the Western country, and he finally had to admit that the claim
was disallowed. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Clark's accounts, Aug. 23, 1794;
Fulton to Clark, Nantes, Nov. 16, 1794; _Do.,_ Paris, April 9 and 12,
1795.] With this squabble between the French and Americans the history
of the abortive expedition ends.

Tortuous Diplomacy of the Spaniards.

The attempt, of course, excited and alarmed the Spaniards, and gave a
new turn to their tortuous diplomacy. In reading the correspondence of
the Spanish Governor, Baron Carondelet, both with his subordinates and
with his superiors, it is almost amusing to note the frankness with
which he avows his treachery. It evidently did not occur to him that
there was such a thing as national good faith, or that there was the
slightest impropriety in any form of mendacity when exercised in dealing
with the ministers or inhabitants of a foreign State. In this he was a
faithful reflex of his superiors at the Spanish Court. At the same time
that they were solemnly covenanting for a definite treaty of peace with
the United States they were secretly intriguing to bring about a
rebellion in the western States; and while they were assuring the
Americans that they were trying their best to keep the Indians peaceful,
they were urging the savages to war.

Their Alarm at Clark's Movements.

As for any gratitude to the National Government for stopping the
piratical expeditions of the Westerners, the Spaniards did not feel a
trace. They had early received news of Clark's projected expedition
through a Frenchman who came to the Spanish agents at Philadelphia;
[Footnote: Draper MSS., Spanish Documents, Carondelet to Alcudia, March
20, 1794.] and when the army began to gather they received from time to
time from their agents in Kentucky reports which, though exaggerated,
gave them a fairly accurate view of what was happening. No overt act of
hostility was committed by Clark's people, except by some of those who
started to join him from the Cumberland district, under the lead of a
man named Montgomery. These men built a wooden fort at the mouth of the
Cumberland River, and held the boats that passed to trade with Spain;
one of the boats that they took being a scow loaded with flour and
biscuit sent up stream by the Spanish Government itself.

Good Conduct of the United States Government.

When Wayne heard of the founding of this fort he acted with his usual
promptness, and sent an expedition which broke it up and released the
various boats. Then, to stop any repetition of the offence, and more
effectually to curb the overbearing truculence of the frontiersmen, he
himself built, as already mentioned, a fort at Massac, not far from the
Mississippi. All this of course was done in the interests of the
Spaniards themselves and in accordance with the earnest desire of the
United States authorities to prevent any unlawful attack on Louisiana;
yet Carondelet actually sent word to Gayoso de Lemos, the Governor of
Natchez and the upper part of the river, to persuade the Chickasaws
secretly to attack this fort and destroy it.

Ingratitude of the Spaniards.

Carondelet always had an exaggerated idea of the warlike capacity of the
Indian nations, and never understood the power of the Americans, nor
appreciated the desire of their Government to act in good faith. Gayoso
was in this respect a much more intelligent man, and he positively
refused to carry out the orders of his superior, remonstrating directly
to the Court of Spain, by which he was sustained. He pointed out that
the destruction of the fort would merely encourage the worst enemies of
the Spaniards, even if accomplished; and he further pointed out that it
was quite impossible to destroy it; for he understood fully the
difference between a fort garrisoned by Wayne's regulars and one held by
a mob of buccaneering militia. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Spanish
Documents, Manuel Gayoso de Lemos to the Duke de Alcudia, Natchez, Sept.
19, 1794.]

Gayoso and Carondelet.

It was not the first time that Gayoso's superior knowledge of the
Indians and of their American foes had prevented his carrying out the
orders of his superior officer. On one occasion Carondelet had directed
Gayoso to convene the Southern Indians, and to persuade them to send
deputies to the United States authorities with proposals to settle the
boundaries in accordance with the wishes of Spain, and to threaten open
war as an alternative. Gayoso refused to adopt this policy, and
persuaded Carondelet to alter it, showing that it was necessary above
all things to temporize, that such a course as the one proposed would
provoke immediate hostilities, and that the worst possible line for the
Spaniards to follow would be one of open war with the entire power of
the United States. [Footnote: _Do.,_ De Leraos to Carondelet, Dec. 6,

Pressure of the Westerners on the Spanish Domain.

Of course the action of the American Government in procuring the recall
of Genet and putting a stop to Clark's operations lightened for a moment
the pressure of the backwoodsmen upon the Spanish dominions; but it was
only for a moment. The Westerners were bent on seizing the Spanish
territory; and they were certain to persist in their efforts until they
were either successful or were definitely beaten in actual war. The acts
of aggression were sure to recur; it was only the form that varied. When
the chance of armed conquest under the banner of the French Republic
vanished, there was an immediate revival of plans for getting possession
of some part of the Spanish domain through the instrumentality of the
great land companies.

The Land Companies.

These land companies possessed on paper a weight which they did not have
in actual history. They occasionally enriched, and more often
impoverished, the individual speculators; but in the actual peopling of
the waste lands they counted for little in comparison with the steady
stream of pioneer farmers who poured in, each to hold and till the
ground he in fact occupied. However, the contemporary documents of the
day were full of details concerning the companies; and they did possess
considerable importance at certain times in the settlement of the West,
both because they in places stimulated that settlement, and because in
other places they retarded it, inasmuch as they kept out actual
settlers, who could not pre-empt land which had been purchased at low
rates from some legislative body by the speculators. The companies were
sometimes formed by men who wished themselves to lead emigrants into the
longed-for region, but more often they were purely speculative in
character, and those who founded them wished only to dispose of them at
an advantage to third parties. Their history is inextricably mixed with
the history of the intrigues with and against the Spaniards and British
in the West. The men who organized them wished to make money. Their
object was to obtain title to or possession of the lands, and it was
quite a secondary matter with them whether their title came from the
United States, England, or Spain. They were willing to form colonies on
Spanish or British territory, and they were even willing to work for the
dismemberment of the Western Territory from the Union, if by so doing
they could increase the value of the lands which they sought to acquire.
American adventurers had been in correspondence with Lord Dorchester,
the Governor General of Canada, looking to the possibility of securing
British aid for those desirous of embarking in great land speculations
in the West. These men proposed to try to get the Westerners to join
with the British in an attack upon Louisiana, or even to conduct this
attack themselves in the British interests, believing that with New
Orleans in British hands the entire province would be thrown open to
trade with the outside world and to settlement; with the result that the
lands would increase enormously in value, and the speculators and
organizers of the companies, and of the movements generally, grow rich
in consequence. [Footnote: Canadian Archives, Dorchester to Sydney, June
7, 1789; Grenville to Dorchester, May 6, 1790; Dorchester to Beckwith,
June 17, 1790; Dorchester to Grenville, Sept. 25, 1790. See Brown's
"Political Beginnings," 187.] They assured the British agents that the
Western country would speedily separate from the eastern States, and
would have to put itself under the protection of some foreign state.
Dorchester considered these plans of sufficient weight to warrant
inquiry by his agents, but nothing ever came of them.

The Yazoo Land Companies.

Much the most famous, or, it would be more correct to say, infamous, of
these companies were those organized in connection with the Yazoo
lands. [Footnote: The best and most thorough account of these is to be
found in Charles H. Haskin's "The Yazoo Land Companies."] The country in
what is now northern Mississippi and Alabama possessed, from its great
fertility, peculiar fascinations in the eyes of the adventurous land
speculators. It was unoccupied by settlers, because as a matter of fact
it was held in adverse possession by the Indians, under Spanish
protection. It was claimed by the Georgians, and its cession was sought
by the United States Government, so that there was much uncertainty as
to the title, which could in consequence be cheaply secured. Wilkinson,
Brown, Innes, and other Kentuckians, had applied to the Spaniards to be
allowed to take these lauds and hold them, in their own interests, but
on behalf of Spain, and against the United States. The application had
not been granted, and the next effort was of a directly opposite
character, the adventurers this time proposing, as they could not hold
the territory as armed subjects of Spain, to wrest it from Spain by
armed entry after getting title from Georgia. In other words, they were
going to carry on war as a syndicate, the military operations for the
occupation of the ceded territory being part of the business for which
the company was organized. Their relations with the Union were doubtless
to be determined by the course of events.

The South Carolina Yazoo Company.

This company was the South Carolina Yazoo Company. In 1789 several
companies were formed to obtain from the Georgia Legislature grants of
the western territory which Georgia asserted to be hers. One, the
Virginia Company, had among its incorporators Patrick Henry, and
received a grant of nearly 20,000 square miles, but accomplished
nothing. Another, the Tennessee Company, received a grant of what is now
most of northern Alabama, and organized a body of men under the
leadership of an adventurer named Zachariah Cox, who drifted down the
Tennessee in flat-boats to take possession, and repeated the attempt
more than once. They were, however, stopped, partly by Blount, and
partly by the Indians. The South Carolina Yazoo Company made the most
serious effort to get possession of the coveted territory. Its grant
included about 15,000 square miles in what is now middle Mississippi and
Alabama; the nominal price being 67,000 dollars. One of the prime movers
in this company was a man named Walsh, who called himself Washington, a
person of unsavory character, who, a couple of years later, was hung at
Charleston for passing forged paper money in South Carolina. All these
companies had hoped to pay the very small prices they were asked for the
lands in the depreciated currency of Georgia; but they never did make
the full payments or comply with the conditions of the grants, which
therefore lapsed.

Its Abortive Efforts in Kentucky.

Before this occurred the South Carolina Yazoo Company had striven to
take possession of its purchase by organizing a military expedition to
go down the Mississippi from Kentucky. For commander of this expedition
choice was made of a Revolutionary soldier named James O'Fallon, who
went to Kentucky, where he married Clark's sister. He entered into
relations with Wilkinson, who drew him into the tangled web of Spanish
intrigue. He raised soldiers, and drew up a formal contract, entered
into between the South Carolina Yazoo Company and their troops of the
Yazoo Battalion--over five hundred men in all, cavalry, artillery and
infantry. Each private was to receive two hundred and fifty acres of
"stipendiary" lands and the officers in proportion, up to the Lieutenant
Colonel, who was to receive six thousand. Commissions were formally
issued, and the positions of all the regular officers were filled, so
that the invasion was on the point of taking place. [Footnote: American
State Papers, Indian Affairs, I., James O'Fallon to the President of the
United States, Lexington, Sept. 25, 1790, etc., etc.] However, the
Spanish authorities called the matter to the attention of the United
States, and the Federal Government put a prompt stop to the
movement. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Spanish Documents, Carondelet to
Alcudia, Jan. 1, 1794, and May 31, 1794.] O'Fallon was himself
threatened with arrest by the Federal officers, and had to abandon his
project. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Clark and O'Fallon Papers, anonymous
letter to James O'Fallon, Lexington, March 30, 1791, etc., etc.] He
afterwards re-established his relations with the Government, and became
one of Wayne's correspondents; [Footnote: Draper MSS., Wayne to O'Fallon,
Sept. 16, 1793.] but he entered heartily into Clark's plans for the
expedition under Genet, and, like all the other participators in that
wretched affair, became involved in broils with Clark and every one
else. [Footnote: Draper MSS., De Lemos to Carondelet, Dec. 23, 1793.]

Revival of the Companies.

In 1795 the land companies, encouraged by the certainty that the United
States would speedily take possession of the Yazoo territory,
again sprang into life. In that year four, the Georgia, the
Georgia-Mississippi, the Tennessee, and the Upper Mississippi, companies
obtained grants from the Georgia Legislature to a territory of over
thirty millions of acres, for which they paid but five hundred thousand
dollars, or less than two cents an acre. Among the grantees were many
men of note, congressmen, senators, even judges. The grants were secured
by the grossest corruption, every member of the Legislature who voted
for them, with one exception, being a stockholder in some one of the
companies, while the procuring of the cessions was undertaken by James
Gunn, one of the two Georgia Senators. The outcry against the
transaction was so universal throughout the State that at the next
session of the Legislature, in 1796, the acts were repealed and the
grants rescinded. This caused great confusion, as most of the original
grantees had hastily sold out to third parties; the purchases being
largely made in South Carolina and Massachusetts. Efforts were made by
the original South Carolina Yazoo Company to sue Georgia in the Federal
Courts, which led to the adoption of the Constitutional provision
forbidding such action.

Their Failure.

When in 1802, Georgia ceded the territory in question, including all of
what is now middle and northern Alabama and Mississippi, to the United
States for the sum of twelve hundred and fifty thousand dollars, the
National Government became heir to these Yazoo difficulties. It was not
until 1814 that the matter was settled by a compromise, after
interminable litigation and legislation. [Footnote: American State
Papers, Public Lands, I., pp. 99, 101, 111, 165, 172, 178; Haskin's
"Yazoo Land Companies." In Congress, Randolph, on behalf of the ultra
states'-rights people led the opposition to the claimants, whose special
champions were Madison and the northern democrats. Chief Justice
Marshall in the case of Fletcher _vs._ Peck, decided that the rescinding
act impaired the obligation of contracts, and was therefore in violation
of the Constitution of the United States; a decision further amplified
in the Dartmouth case, which has determined the national policy in
regard to public contracts. This decision was followed by the passage of
the Compromise Act by Congress in 1814, which distributed a large sum of
money obtained from the land sales in the territory, in specified
proportions among the various claimants.] The land companies were more
important to the speculators than to the actual settlers of the
Mississippi; nevertheless, they did stimulate settlement, in certain
regions, and therefore increased by just so much the western pressure
upon Spain.

Georgian Filibusterers.

Some of the aggressive movements undertaken by the Americans were of so
loose a nature that it is hard to know what to call them. This was true
of Elijah dark's company of Georgia freebooters in 1794. Accompanied by
large bodies of armed men, he on several occasions penetrated into the
territory southwest of the Oconee. He asserted at one time that he was
acting for Georgia and in defence of her rights to the lands which the
Georgians claimed under the various State treaties with the Indians, but
which by the treaty of New York had been confirmed to the Creeks by the
United States. On another occasion he entitled his motley force the Sans
Culottes, and masqueraded as a major general of the French army, though
the French Consul denied having any connection with him. He established
for the time being a little independent government, with blockhouses and
small wooden towns, in the middle of the unceded hunting grounds, and
caused great alarm to the Spaniards. The frontiersmen sympathized with
him, and when he was arrested in Wilkes County the Grand Jury of the
county ordered his discharge, and solemnly declared that the treaty of
New York was inoperative and the proclamation of the Governor of Georgia
against Clark, illegal. This was too much for the patience of the
Governor. He ordered out the State troops to co-operate with the small
Federal force, and Clark and his men were ignominiously expelled from
their new government and forced to return to Georgia. [Footnote: Steven's
"Georgia," II., 401.]

Benefit of Washington's Administration to the West.

In such a welter of intrigue, of land speculation, and of more or less
piratical aggression, there was immanent danger that the West would
relapse into anarchy unless a firm government were established, and
unless the boundaries with England and Spain were definitely
established. As Washington's administration grew steadily in strength
and in the confidence of the people the first condition was met. The
necessary fixity of boundary was finally obtained by the treaties
negotiated through John Jay with England, and through Thomas Pinckney
with Spain.

Jay's Treaty.

Jay's treaty aroused a perfect torrent of wrath throughout the country,
and nowhere more than in the West. A few of the coolest and most
intelligent men approved it, and rugged old Humphrey Marshall, the
Federalist Senator from Kentucky, voted for its ratification; but the
general feeling against it was intense. Even Blount, who by this time
was pretty well disgusted with the way he had been treated by the
Central Government, denounced it, and expressed his belief that
Washington would have hard work to explain his conduct in procuring its
ratification. [Footnote: Blount MSS., Blount to Smith, Aug. 24, 1795.]

Folly of the Westerners.

Yet the Westerners were the very people who had no cause whatever to
complain of the treaty. It was not an entirely satisfactory treaty;
perhaps a man like Hamilton might have procured rather better terms;
but, taken as a whole, it worked an immense improvement upon the
condition of things already existing. Washington's position was
undoubtedly right. He would have preferred a better treaty, but he
regarded the Jay treaty as very much better than none at all. Moreover,
the last people who had a right to complain of it were those who were
most vociferous in their opposition. The anti-Federalist party was on
the whole the party of weakness and disorder, the party that was
clamorous and unruly, but ineffective in carrying out a sustained
policy, whether of offense or of defence, in foreign affairs. The people
who afterwards became known as Jeffersonian Republicans numbered in
their ranks the extremists who had been active as the founders of
Democratic societies in the French interest, and they were ferocious in
their wordy hostility to Great Britain; but they were not dangerous foes
to any foreign government which did not fear words. Had they possessed
the foresight and intelligence to strengthen the Federal Government the
Jay treaty would not have been necessary.

Futility of the State's-Rights Men in Foreign Affairs.

Only a strong, efficient central government, backed by a good fleet and
a well organized army, could hope to wring from England what the French
party, the forerunners of the Jeffersonian Democracy, demanded. But the
Jeffersonians were separatists and State's-rights men. They believed in
a government so weak as to be ineffective, and showed a folly literally
astounding in their unwillingness to provide for the wars which they
were ready to provoke. They resolutely refused to provide an army or a
navy, or to give the Central Government the power necessary for waging
war. They were quite right in their feeling of hostility to England, and
one of the fundamental and fatal weaknesses of the Federalists was the
Federalist willingness to submit to England's aggressions without
retaliation; but the Jeffersonians had no gift for government, and were
singularly deficient in masterful statesmen of the kind imperatively
needed by any nation which wishes to hold an honorable place among other
nations. They showed their governmental ineptitude clearly enough later
on when they came into power, for they at once stopped building the
fleet which the Federalists had begun, and allowed the military forces
of the nation to fall into utter disorganization, with, as a
consequence, the shameful humiliations of the War of 1812. This war was
in itself eminently necessary and proper, and was excellent in its
results, but it was attended by incidents of shame and disgrace to
America for which Jefferson and Madison and their political friends and
supporters among the politicians and the people have never received a
sufficiently severe condemnation.

Benefits of Jay's Treaty to the West.

Jay's treaty was signed late in 1794 and was ratified in 1795.
[Footnote: American State Papers, Foreign Relations, I., pp. 479, 484,
489, 502, 519, etc.] The indignation of the Kentuckians almost amounted
to mania. They denounced the treaty with frantic intemperance, and even
threatened violence to those of their own number, headed by Humphrey
Marshall, who supported it; yet they benefited much by it, for it got
them what they would have been absolutely powerless to obtain for
themselves, that is, the possession of the British posts on the Lakes.
In 1796 the Americans took formal possession of these posts, and the
boundary line in the Northwest as nominally established by the treaty
of Versailles became in fact the actual line of demarcation between
the American and the British possessions. The work of Jay capped the
work of Wayne. Federal garrisons were established at Detroit and
elsewhere, and the Indians, who had already entered into the treaty of
Greeneville, were prevented from breaking it by this intervention of the
American military posts between themselves and their British allies.
Peace was firmly established for the time being in the Northwest, and our
boundaries in that direction took the fixed form they still retain.
[Footnote: American State Papers, Indian Affairs, I., p. 573; Foreign
Relations, I., _passim_, etc., etc.]

Systematic Treachery of the Spaniards.

In dealing with the British the Americans sometimes had to encounter bad
faith, but more often a mere rough disregard for the rights of others,
of which they could themselves scarcely complain with a good grace, as
they showed precisely the same quality in their own actions. In dealing
with the Spaniards, on the other hand, they had to encounter deliberate
and systematic treachery and intrigue. The open negotiations between the
two governments over the boundary ran side by side with a current of
muddy intrigue between the Spanish Government on the one hand, and
certain traitorous Americans on the other; the leader of these traitors
being, as usual, the arch scoundrel, Wilkinson.

Their Intrigues with the Indians.

The Spaniards trusted almost as much to Indian intrigue as to bribery of
American leaders; indeed they trusted to it more for momentary effect,
though the far-sighted among them realized that in the long run the
safety of the Spanish possessions depended upon the growth of divisional
jealousies among the Americans themselves. The Spanish forts were built
as much to keep the Indians under command as to check the Americans. The
Governor of Natchez, De Lemos, had already established a fort at the
Chickasaw Bluffs, where there was danger of armed collision between the
Spaniards and either the Cumberland settlers under Robertson or the
Federal troops. Among the latter, by the way, the officer for whose
ability the Spaniards seemed to feel an especial respect was Lieutenant
William Clark. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Spanish Documents, Carondelet to
Don Louis de Las Casas, June 13, 1795; De Lemos to Carondelet, July 25,

The Chickasaws Befriend the Americans.

The Chickasaws were nearly drawn into a war with the Spaniards, who were
intensely irritated over their antagonism to the Creeks, for which the
Spaniards insisted that the Americans were responsible. [Footnote:
American State Papers, Foreign Relations, I., p. 305, etc.] The
Americans, however, were able to prove conclusively that the struggle
was due, not to their advice, but to the outrages of marauders from the
villages of the Muscogee confederacy. They showed by the letter of the
Chickasaw chief, James Colbert, that the Creeks had themselves begun
hostilities early in 1792 by killing a Chickasaw, and that the
Chickasaws, because of this spilling of blood, made war on the Creeks,
and sent word to the Americans to join in the war. The letter ran: "I
hope you will exert yourselves and join us so that we might give the
lads a Drubbeen for they have encroached on us this great while not us
alone you likewise for you have suffered a good dale by them I hope you
will think of your wounds." [Footnote: Blount MSS., James Colbert to
Robertson, Feb. 10, 1792.] The Americans had "thought of their wounds"
and had aided the Chickasaws in every way, as was proper; but the
original aggressors were the Creeks. The Chickasaws had entered into
what was a mere war of retaliation; though when once in they had fought
hard, under the lead of Opiamingo, their most noted war chief, who was
always friendly to the Americans and hostile to the Spaniards.

The Situation at Natchez.

At the Chickasaw Bluffs, and at Natchez, there was always danger of a
clash; for at these places the Spanish soldiers were in direct contact
with the foremost of the restless backwoods host, and with the Indians
who were most friendly or hostile to them. Open collision was averted,
but the Spaniards were kept uneasy and alert. There were plenty of
American settlers around Natchez, who were naturally friendly to the
American Government; and an agent from the State of Georgia, to the
horror of the Spaniards, came out to the country with the especial
purpose of looking over the Yazoo lands, at the time when Georgia was
about to grant them to the various land companies. What with the land
speculators, the frontiersmen, and the Federal troops, the situation
grew steadily more harassing for the Spaniards; and Carondolet kept the
advisors of the Spanish Crown well informed of the growing stress.

The Separatists Play into the Hands of the Spaniards.

The Spanish Government knew it would be beaten if the issue once came to
open war, and, true to the instincts of a weak and corrupt power, it
chose as its weapons delay, treachery, and intrigue. To individual
Americans the Spaniards often behaved with arrogance and brutality; but
they feared to give too serious offence to the American people as a
whole. Like all other enemies of the American Republic, from the days of
the Revolution to those of the Civil War, they saw clearly that their
best allies were the separatists, the disunionists, and they sought to
encourage in every way the party which, in a spirit of sectionalism,
wished to bring about a secession of one part of the country and the
erection of a separate government. The secessionists then, as always,
played into the hands of the men who wished the new republic ill. In the
last decade of the eighteenth century the acute friction was not between
North and South, but between East and West. The men who, from various
motives, wished to see a new republic created, hoped that this republic
would take in all the people of the western waters. These men never
actually succeeded in carrying the West with them. At the pinch the
majority of the Westerners remained loyal to the idea of national unity;
but there was a very strong separatist party, and there were very many
men who, though not separatists, were disposed to grumble loudly about
the shortcomings of the Federal government.

Their Influence in Kentucky.
Their Fatuity.

These men were especially numerous and powerful in Kentucky, and they
had as their organ the sole newspaper of the State, the _Kentucky
Gazette_. It was filled with fierce attacks, not only upon the General
Government, but upon Washington himself. Sometimes these attacks were
made on the authority of the _Gazette_; at other times they appeared in
the form of letters from outsiders, or of resolutions by the various
Democratic societies and political clubs. They were written with a
violence which, in striving after forcefulness, became feeble. They
described the people of Kentucky as having been "degraded and insulted,"
and as having borne these insults with "submissive patience." The
writers insisted that Kentucky had nothing to hope from the Federal
Government, and that it was nonsense to chatter about the infraction of
treaties, for it was necessary, at any cost, to take Louisiana, which
was "groaning under tyranny." They threatened the United States with
what the Kentuckians would do if their wishes were not granted, announcing
that they would make the conquest of Louisiana an ultimatum, and warning
the Government that they owed no eternal allegiance to it and might have
to separate, and that if they did there would be small reason to deplore
the separation. The separatist agitators failed to see that they could
obtain the objects they sought, the opening of the Mississippi and the
acquisition of Louisiana, only through the Federal Government, and only
by giving that Government full powers. Standing alone the Kentuckians
would have been laughed to scorn not only by England and France, but
even by Spain. Yet with silly fatuity they vigorously opposed every
effort to make the Government stronger or to increase national feeling,
railing even at the attempt to erect a great Federal city as "unwise,
impolitic, unjust," and "a monument to American folly." [Footnote:
_Kentucky Gazette_, Feb. 8, 1794; Sept. 16, 1797, etc., etc.] The men
who wrote these articles, and the leaders of the societies and clubs
which inspired them, certainly made a pitiable showing; they proved
that they themselves were only learning, and had not yet completely
mastered, the difficult art of self government.

Negotiations of the Spanish and American Governments.
Wilkinson's Ineffectual Treason.

It was the existence of these Western separatists, nominally the
fiercest foes of Spain, that in reality gave Spain the one real hope of
staying the western advance. In 1794 the American agents in Spain were
carrying on an interminable correspondence with the Spanish Court in the
effort to come to some understanding about the boundaries. [Footnote:
American State Papers, Foreign Relations, I., p. 443, etc.; letters of
Carmichael and Short to Gardoqui, Oct. 1, 1793; to Alcudia, Jan. 7,
1794, etc., etc.] The Spanish authorities were solemnly corresponding
with the American envoys, as if they meant peace; yet at the same time
they had authorized Carondelet to do his best to treat directly with the
American States of the West so as to bring about their separation from
the Union. In 1794 Wilkinson, who was quite incapable of understanding
that his infamy was heightened by the fact that he wore the uniform of
a Brigadier General of the United States, entered into negotiations for
a treaty, the base of which should be the separation of the Western
States from the Atlantic States. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Spanish
Documents, Carondelet to Alcudia, July 30, 1794.] He had sent two
confidential envoys to Carondelet. Carondelet jumped at the chance of
once more trying to separate the west from the east; and under Wilkinson's
directions he renewed his efforts to try by purchase and pension to
attach some of the leading Kentuckians to Spain. As a beginning he decided
to grant Wilkinson's request and send him twelve thousand dollars for
himself. [Footnote: _Do_., De Lemos to Alcudia, Sept. 19, 1794.] De Lemos
was sent to New Madrid in October to begin the direct negotiations with
Wilkinson and his allies. The funds to further the treasonable conspiracy
were also forwarded, as the need arose.

Failure of the American Government to Act with Proper Decision.

Carondelet was much encouraged as to the outcome by the fact that De
Lemos had not been dispossessed by force from the Chickasaw Bluffs. This
shows conclusively that Washington's administration was in error in not
acting with greater decision about the Spanish posts. Wayne should have
been ordered to use the sword, and to dispossess the Spaniards from the
east bank of the Mississippi. As so often in our history, we erred, not
through a spirit of over-aggressiveness, but through a willingness to
trust to peaceful measures instead of proceeding to assert our rights by

Murder of the Messengers to Wilkinson.
The Murderers Shielded.

The first active step taken by Carondelet and De Lemos was to send the
twelve thousand dollars to Wilkinson, as the foundation and earnest of
the bribery fund. But the effort miscarried. The money was sent by two
men, Collins Owen, each of whom bore cipher letters to Wilkinson,
including some that were sewed into the collars of their coats. Collins
reached Wilkinson in safety, but Owen was murdered, for the sake of the
money he bore, by his boat's crew while on the Ohio river. [Footnote:
_Do._, letters of Carondelet to Alcudia, Oct. 4, 1794, and of De Lemos
to Carondelet, Aug. 28, 1795.] The murderers were arrested and were
brought before the Federal judge, Harry Innes. Owen was a friend of
Innes, and had been by him recommended to Wilkinson as a trustworthy man
for any secret and perilous service. Nevertheless, although it was his
own friend who had been murdered, Innes refused to try the murderers, on
the ground that they were Spanish subjects; a reason which was simply
nonsensical. He forwarded them to Wilkinson at Fort Warren. The latter
sent them back to New Madrid. On their way they were stopped by the
officer at Fort Massac, a thoroughly loyal man, who had not been engaged
in the intrigues of Wilkinson and Innes. He sent to the Spanish
commander at New Madrid for an interpreter to interrogate the men. Of
course the Spaniards were as reluctant as Wilkinson and Innes that the
facts as to the relations between Carondelet and Wilkinson should be
developed, and, like Wilkinson and Innes, they preferred that the
murderers should escape rather than that these facts should come to
light. Accordingly the interpreter did not divulge the confession of the
villains, all evidence as to their guilt was withheld, and they were
finally discharged. The Spaniards were very nervous about the affair,
and were even afraid lest travellers might dig up Owen's body and find
the dispatches hidden in his collar; which, said De Lemos, they might
send to the President of the United States, who would of course take
measures to find out what the money and the ciphers meant. [Footnote:
_Do._, letter of De Lemos.]

Wilkinson's motives in acting as he did were of course simple. He could
not afford to have the murderers of his friend and agent tried lest they
should disclose his own black infamy. The conduct of Judge Innes is
difficult to explain on any ground consistent with his integrity and
with the official propriety of his actions. He may not have been a party
to Wilkinson's conspiracy, but he must certainly have known that
Wilkinson was engaged in negotiations with the Spaniards so corrupt that
they would not bear the light of exposure, or else he would never have
behaved toward the murderers in the way that he did behave. [Footnote:
Marshall, II., 155; Green, p. 328. Even recently defenders of Wilkinson
and Innes have asserted, in accordance with Wilkinson's explanations,
that the money forwarded him was due him from tobacco contracts entered
into some years previously with Miro. Carondelet in his letters above
quoted, however, declares outright that the money was advanced to begin
negotiations in Kentucky, through Wilkinson and others, for the
pensioning of Kentuckians in the interests of Spain and the severance of
the Western States from the Union.]

Carondelet Refuses to Give up the Posts.

Carondelet, through De Lemos, entered into correspondence with Wayne
about the fort built by his orders at the Chickasaw Bluffs. He refused
to give up this fort; and as Wayne became more urgent in his demands, he
continually responded with new excuses for delay. He was enabled to tell
exactly what Wayne was doing, as Wilkinson, who was serving under Wayne,
punctually informed the Spaniard of all that took place in the American
army. [Footnote: Draper MSS., Spanish Documents, Carondelet to Alcudia,
Nov. 1, 1793.] Carondelet saw that the fate of the Spanish-American
province which he ruled, hung on the separation of the Western States
from the Union. [Footnote: _Do._, Carondelet to Alcudia, Sept. 25,
1795.] As long as he thought it possible to bring about the separation,
he refused to pay heed even to the orders of the Court of Spain, or to
the treaty engagements by which he was nominally bound. He was forced to
make constant demands upon the Spanish Court for money to be used in the
negotiations; that is, to bribe Wilkinson and his fellows in Kentucky.
He succeeded in placating the Chickasaws, and got from them a formal
cession of the Chickasaw Bluffs, which was a direct blow at the American
pretensions. As with all Indian tribes, the Chickasaws were not capable
of any settled policy, and were not under any responsible authority.
While some of them were in close alliance with the Americans and were
warring on the Creeks, the others formed a treaty with the Spaniards and
gave them the territory they so earnestly wished. [Footnote: _Do._, De
Lemos to Carondelet, enclosed in Carondelet's letter of Sept. 26, 1795.]

Pinckney Sent as Minister to Spain.

However, neither Carondelet's energy and devotion to the Spanish
government nor his unscrupulous intrigues were able for long; to defer
the fate which hung over the Spanish possessions. In 1795 Washington
nominated as Minister to Spain Thomas Pinckney, a member of a
distinguished family of South Carolina statesmen, and a man of the
utmost energy and intelligence. Pinckney finally wrung from the
Spaniards a treaty which was as beneficial to the West as Jay's treaty,
and was attended by none of the drawbacks which marred Jay's work. The
Spaniards at the outset met his demands by a policy of delay and
evasion. Finally, he determined to stand this no longer, and, on October
24, 1795, demanded his passports, in a letter to Godoy, the "Prince of
Peace." The demand came at an opportune moment; for Godoy had just heard
of Jay's treaty. He misunderstood the way in which this was looked at in
the United States, and feared lest, if not counteracted, it might throw
the Americans into the arms of Great Britain, with which country Spain
was on the verge of war. It is not a little singular that Jay should
have thus rendered an involuntary but important additional service to
the Westerners who so hated him.

He Negotiates a treaty.

The Spaniards now promptly came to terms. They were in no condition to
fight the Americans; they knew that war would be the result if the
conflicting claims of the two peoples were not at once definitely
settled, one way or the other; and they concluded the treaty forthwith.
[Footnote: Pinckney receives justice from Lodge, in his "Washington,"
II., 160. For Pinckney's life, see the biography by Rev. C. C. Pinckney,
p. 129, etc.] Its two most important provisions were the settlement of
the southern boundary on the lines claimed by the United States, and the
granting of the right of deposit to the Westerners. The boundary
followed the thirty-first degree of latitude from the Mississippi to the
Chattahoochee, down it to the Flint, thence to the head of the St.
Mary's, and down it to the ocean. The Spanish troops were to be
withdrawn from this territory within the space of six months. The
Westerners were granted for three years the right of deposit at New
Orleans; after three years, either the right was to be continued, or
another equivalent port of deposit was to be granted somewhere on the
banks of the Mississippi. The right of deposit carried with it the right
to export goods from the place of deposit free from any but an
inconsiderable duty. [Footnote: American State Papers, Foreign
Relations, I., p. 533, etc.; Pinckney to Secretary of State, Aug. 11,
1795; to Godoy (Alcudia), Oct. 24, 1795; copy of treaty, Oct. 27th,

The Spaniards Delay the Execution of the Treaty.
They Again Try to Intrigue with the Westerners.

The treaty was ratified in 1796, but with astonishing bad faith the
Spaniards refused to carry out its provisions. At this time Carondelet
was in the midst of his negotiations with Wilkinson for the secession of
the West, and had high hopes that he could bring it about. He had chosen
as his agent an Englishman, named Thomas Power, who was a naturalized
Spanish subject, and very zealous in the service of Spain. [Footnote:
Gayarre, III., 34;. Wilkinson's Memoirs, II., 225.] Power went to
Kentucky, where he communicated with Wilkinson, Sebastian, Innes, and
one or two others, and submitted to them a letter from Carondelet. This
letter proposed a treaty, of which the first article was that Wilkinson
and his associates should exert themselves to bring about a separation
of the Western country and its formation into an independent government
wholly unconnected with that of the Atlantic States; and Carondelet in
letter assured the men to whom he was writing, that, because of what had
occurred in Europe since Spain had ratified the treaty of October 27th,
the treaty would not be executed by his Catholic Majesty. Promises of
favor to the Western people were held out, and Wilkinson was given a
more substantial bribe, in the shape of ten thousand dollars, by Power.
Sebastian, Innes, and their friends were also promised a hundred
thousand dollars for their good offices; and Carondelet, who had no more
hesitation in betraying red men than white, also offered to help the
Westerners subdue their Indian foes; these Indian foes being at the
moment the devoted allies of Spain.

Failure of their Efforts.

The time had gone by, however, when it was possible to hope for success
in such an intrigue. The treaty with Spain had caused much satisfaction
in the West, and the Kentuckians generally were growing more and more
loyal to the Central Government. Innes and his friends, in a written
communication, rejected the offer of Carondelet. They declared that they
were devoted to the Union and would not consent to break it up; but they
betrayed curiously little surprise or indignation at the offer, nor did
they in rejecting it use the vigorous language which beseemed men who,
while holding the commissions of a government, were proffered a hundred
thousand dollars to betray that government. [Footnote: American State
Papers, Miscellaneous, I., 928; deposition of Harry Innes, etc.] Power,
at the close of 1797, reported to his superiors that nothing could be

Confusion at Natchez.
The Posts Surrendered

Meanwhile Carondelet and De Lemos had persisted in declining to
surrender the posts at the Chickasaw Bluffs and Natchez, on pretexts
which were utterly frivolous. [Footnote: American State Papers, Foreign
Relations, II., pp. 20, 70, 78, 79; report of Timothy Pickering, January
22, 1798, etc.] At this time the Spanish Court was completely
subservient to France, which was hostile to the United States; and the
Spaniards would not carry out the treaty they had made until they had
exhausted every device of delay and evasion. Andrew Ellicott was
appointed by Washington Surveyor-General to run the boundary; but when,
early in 1797, he reached Natchez, the Spanish representative refused
point blank to run the boundary or evacuate the territory. Meanwhile the
Spanish Minister at Philadelphia, Yrujo, in his correspondence with the
Secretary of State, was pursuing precisely the same course of subterfuge
and delay. But these tactics could only avail for a time. Neither the
Government of the United States, nor the Western people would consent to
be balked much longer. The negotiations with Wilkinson and his
associates had come to nothing. A detachment of American regular
soldiers came down the river to support Ellicott. The settlers around
Natchez arose in revolt against the Spaniards and established a
Committee of Safety, under protection of the Americans. The population
of Mississippi was very mixed, including criminals fleeing from justice,
land speculators, old settlers, well-to-do planters, small pioneer
farmers, and adventurers of every kind; and, thanks to the large tory
element, there was a British, and a smaller Spanish party; but the
general feeling was overwhelmingly for the United States. The Spanish
Government made a virtue of necessity and withdrew its garrison, after
for some time preserving a kind of joint occupancy with the Americans.
[Footnote: B. A. Hinsdale: "The Establishment of the First Southern
Boundary of the United States." Largely based upon Ellicott's Journal.
Both Ellicott, and the leaders among the settlers, were warned of
Blount's scheme of conquest and land speculation, and were hostile to
it.] Captain Isaac Guyon, with a body of United States troops, took
formal possession of both the Chickasaw Bluffs and Natchez in 1797. In
1798 the Spaniards finally evacuated the country, [Footnote: Claiborne's
"Mississippi," p. 176. He is a writer of poor judgment; his verdicts on
Ellicott and Wilkinson are astounding.] their course being due neither
to the wisdom nor the good faith of their rulers, but to the fear and
worry caused by the unceasing pressure of the Americans. Spain yielded,
because she felt that not to do so would involve the loss of all
Louisiana. [Footnote: Gayarre, 413, 418; Pontalba's Memoir, Sept. 15,
1800.] The country was organized as the Mississippi Territory in June,
1798. [Footnote: American State Papers, Public Lands, I., p. 209.]

Blount's Extraordinary Scheme.

There was one incident, curious rather than important, but
characteristic in its way, which marked the close of the transactions of
the Western Americans with Spain at this time. During the very years
when Carondelet, under the orders of his Government, was seeking to
delay the execution of the boundary treaty, and to seduce the Westerners
from their allegiance to the United States, a Senator of the United
States, entirely without the knowledge of his Government, was engaged in
an intrigue for the conquest of a part of the Spanish dominion. This
Senator was no less a person than William Blount. Enterprising and
ambitious, he was even more deeply engaged in land speculations than
were the other prominent men of his time. [Footnote: Clay MSS., Blount
to Hart, March 13, 1799, etc., etc.] He felt that he had not been well
treated by the United States authorities, and, like all other
Westerners, he also felt that the misconduct of the Spaniards had been
so great that they were not entitled to the slightest consideration.
Moreover, he feared lest the territory should be transferred to France,
which would be a much more dangerous neighbor than Spain; and he had a
strong liking for Great Britain. If he could not see the territory taken
by the Americans under the flag of the United States, then he wished to
see them enter into possession of it under the standard of the British

In 1797 he entered into a scheme which was in part one of land
speculation and in part one of armed aggression against Spain. He tried
to organize an association with the purpose of seizing the Spanish
territory west of the Mississippi, and putting it under the control of
Great Britain, in the interests of the seizers. The scheme came to
nothing. No definite steps were taken, and the British Government
refused to take any share in the movement. Finally the plot was
discovered by the President, who brought it to the attention of the
Senate, and Blount was properly expelled from the Upper House for
entering into a conspiracy to conquer the lands of one neighboring power
in the interest of another. The Tennesseeans, however, who cared little
for the niceties of international law, and sympathized warmly with any
act of territorial aggression against the Spaniards, were not in the
least affected by his expulsion. They greeted him with enthusiasm, and
elected him to high office, and he lived among them the remainder of his
days, honored and respected. [Footnote: Blount MSS., letter of Hugh
Williamson, March 3, 1808, etc., etc.] Nevertheless, his conduct in this
instance was indefensible. It was an unfortunate interlude in an
otherwise honorable and useful public career. [Footnote: General Marcus
J. Wright, in his "Life and Services of William Blount," gives the most
favorable view possible of Blount's conduct.]



Rapid Growth of the West.

The growth of the West was very rapid in the years immediately
succeeding the peace with the Indians and the treaties with England and
Spain. As the settlers poured into what had been the Indian-haunted
wilderness it speedily became necessary to cut it into political
divisions. Kentucky had already been admitted as a State in 1792;
Tennessee likewise became a State in 1796. The Territory of Mississippi
was organized in 1798, to include the country west of Georgia and south
of Tennessee, which had been ceded by the Spaniards under Pinckney's
treaty. [Footnote: Claiborne's "Mississippi," p. 220, etc.] In 1800 the
Connecticut Reserve, in what is now northeastern Ohio, was taken by the
United States. The Northwestern Territory was divided into two parts;
the eastern was composed mainly of what is now the State of Ohio, while
the western portion was called Indiana Territory, and was organized with
W. H. Harrison as Governor, his capital being at Vincennes. [Footnote:
"Annals of the West," by Thomas H. Perkins, p. 473. A valuable book,
showing much scholarship and research. The author has never received
proper credit. Very few indeed of the Western historians of his date
showed either his painstaking care or his breadth of view.] Harrison
had been Wayne's aid-de-camp at the fight of the Fallen Timbers, and had
been singled out by Wayne for mention because of his coolness and
gallantry. Afterwards he had succeeded Sargent as Secretary of the
Northwestern Territory when Sargent had been made Governor of
Mississippi, and he had gone as a Territorial delegate to Congress.
[Footnote: Jacob Burnett in "Ohio Historical Transactions," Part II.,
Vol. I., p. 69.]

Ohio Becomes a State.

In 1802 Ohio was admitted as a State. St. Clair, and St. Clair's
supporters, struggled to keep the Territory from statehood, and proposed
to cut it down in size, nominally because they deemed the extent of
territory too great for governmental purposes, but really, doubtless,
because they distrusted the people, and did not wish to see them take
the government into their own hands. The effort failed, however, and the
State was admitted by Congress, beginning its existence in 1803.
[Footnote: Atwater, "History of Ohio," p. 169.] Congress made the
proviso that the State Constitution should accord with the Constitution
of the United States, and should embody the doctrines contained in the
Ordinance of 1787. [Footnote: The question of the boundaries of the
Northwestern States is well treated in "The Boundaries of Wisconsin," by
Reuben G. Thwaites, the Secretary of the State Historical Society of
Wisconsin.] The rapid settlement of southeastern Ohio was hindered by
the fact that the speculative land companies, the Ohio and Scioto
associations, held great tracts of territory which the pioneers passed
by in their desire to get to lands which they could acquire in their own
right. This was one of the many bad effects which resulted from the
Government's policy of disposing of its land in large blocks to the
highest bidder, instead of allotting it, as has since been done, in
quarter sections to actual settlers. [Footnote: Mr. Eli Thayer, in his
various writings, has rightly laid especial stress on this point.]

Harrison, St. Clair, and Sargent.
Lessons Taught by Blount's Experience.

Harrison was thoroughly in sympathy with the Westerners. He had thrown
in his lot with theirs; he deemed himself one of them, and was accepted
by them as a fit representative. Accordingly he was very popular as
Governor of Indiana. St. Clair in Ohio and Sargent in Mississippi were
both extremely unpopular. They were appointed by Federalist
administrations, and were entirely out of sympathy with the Western
people among whom they lived. One was a Scotchman, and one a New
Englander. They were both high-minded men, with sound ideas on
governmental policy, though Sargent was the abler of the two; but they
were out of touch with the Westerners. They distrusted the frontier
folk, and were bitterly disliked in return. Each committed the
fundamental fault of trying to govern the Territory over which he had
been put in accordance with his own ideas, and heedless of the wishes
and prejudices of those under him. Doubtless each was conscientious in
what he did, and each of course considered the difficulties under which
he labored to be due solely to the lawlessness and the many shortcomings
of the settlers. But this was an error. The experience of Blount when he
occupied the exceedingly difficult position of Territorial Governor of
Tennessee showed that it was quite possible for a man of firm belief in
the Union to get into touch with the frontiersmen and to be accepted by
them as a worthy representative; but the virtues of St. Clair and
Sargent were so different from the backwoods virtues, and their habits
of thought were so alien, that they could not possibly get on with the
people among whom their lot had been cast. Neither of them in the end
took up his abode in the Territory of which he had been Governor, both
returning to the East. The code of laws which they enacted prior to the
Territories possessing a sufficient number of inhabitants to become
entitled to Territorial legislatures were deemed by the settlers to be
arbitrary and unsuited to their needs. There was much popular feeling
against them. On one occasion St. Clair was mobbed in Chillicothe, the
then capital of Ohio, with no other effect than to procure a change of
capital to Cincinnati. Finally both Sargent and St. Clair were removed
by Jefferson, early in his administration.

The Jeffersonians the Champions of the West.

The Jeffersonian Republican party did very much that was evil, and it
advocated governmental principles of such utter folly that the party
itself was obliged immediately to abandon them when it undertook to
carry on the government of the United States, and only clung to them
long enough to cause serious and lasting damage to the country; but on
the vital question of the West, and its territorial expansion, the
Jeffersonian party was, on the whole, emphatically right, and its
opponents, the Federalists, emphatically wrong. The Jeffersonians
believed in the acquisition of territory in the West, and the
Federalists did not. The Jeffersonians believed that the Westerners
should be allowed to govern themselves precisely as other citizens of
the United States did, and should be given their full share in the
management of national affairs. Too many Federalists failed to see that
these positions were the only proper ones to take. In consequence,
notwithstanding all their manifold shortcomings, the Jeffersonians, and
not the Federalists, were those to whom the West owed most.

Right of the Westerners to Self-Government.

Whether the Westerners governed themselves as wisely as they should have
mattered little. The essential point was that they had to be given the
right of self-government. They could not be kept in pupilage. Like other
Americans, they had to be left to strike out for themselves and to sink
or swim according to the measure of their own capacities. When this was
done it was certain that they would commit many blunders, and that some
of these blunders would work harm not only to themselves but to the
whole nation. Nevertheless, all this had to be accepted as part of the
penalty paid for free government. It was wise to accept it in the first
place, and in the second place, whether wise or not, it was inevitable.
Many of the Federalists saw this; and to many of them, the Adamses, for
instance, and Jay and Pinckney, the West owed more than it did to most
of the Republican statesmen; but as a whole, the attitude of the
Federalists, especially in the Northeast, toward the West was ungenerous
and improper, while the Jeffersonians, with all their unwisdom and
demagogy, were nevertheless the Western champions.

Vagaries of Western Constitution-Making.

Mississippi and Ohio had squabbled with their Territorial governors much
as the Old Thirteen Colonies had squabbled with the governors appointed
by the Crown. One curious western consequence of this was common to both
cases. When the old Colonies became States, they in their constitutions
usually imposed the same checks upon the executive they themselves
elected as they had desired to see imposed upon the executive appointed
by an outside power. The new Territories followed the same course. When
Ohio became a State it adopted a very foolish constitution. This
constitution deprived the executive of almost all power, and provided a
feeble, short-term judiciary, throwing the control of affairs into the
hands of the legislative body, in accordance with what were then deemed
Democratic ideas. The people were entirely unable to realize that, so
far as their discontent with the Governor's actions was reasonable, it
arose from the fact that he was appointed, not by themselves, but by
some body or person not in sympathy with them. They failed to grasp the
seemingly self-evident truth that a governor, one man elected by the
people, is just as much their representative and is just as certain to
carry out their ideas as is a legislature, a body of men elected by the
people. They provided a government which accentuated, instead of
softening, the defects in their own social system. They were in no
danger of suffering from tyranny; they were in no danger of losing the
liberty which they so jealously guarded. The perils that threatened them
were lawlessness, lack of order, and lack of capacity to concentrate
their efforts in time of danger from within or from an external enemy;
and against these perils they made no provision whatever.

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