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1 • f PRICE 30c.l4i*T rutler. . LANE. WELLAND.S:c. AUTHOR OF "BATTLE OF LUNDY'S PUBLISHED BY LlNDl'S LANE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. .s I^ANQERS THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD. PRINTED AT THE OFFICt OF THE TRIBUNE." &c. BY E. CRUIKSHANK..
Ont.Lundy's Lane Historical Society. cV' THE STORY OF BuTLER's Rangers AND THE SETTLEMENT OF NIAGARA BY ERNEST RUIKSHANK.. Wellasd. 1893. ' Tribin-k Printing Hoise. O^ .
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or even a fair-minded. Fort Erie. sacrificed and unconquerno apology is found unduly said that these able endurance. fierce. may be •were hard. The present narrative is based chiefly upon unpublished official documents. but should be remembered that they lived world. unfailing courage. in a hard. in a stormy time. within the writer's reach.m PREFACE. but every book and pamphlet bearing in any way upon the subject. thousand descendants of the brave men who formed nANV of ancestors Butler's Rangers are now I living in Ontario and other British Provinces. 27th February. point of view. It presenting a narrative which will not be has been my aim to make a fair statement of the facts It it by sifting the evidence on both sides. . hold that they have no reason to be ashamed distinguished by the none too com- who were eminently who mon virtues of inalterable loyalty. at feel that necessary in eulogistic. To them. has also been consulted. 1893. and revengeful men. and revengeful Their story has never yet been told from a sympathetic. I they had embraced. and everything for the cause which least. fierce.
other cause had tended to delay the Outside of 5. having a population of about was the largest and busiest . but nowhere did they run very far back rivers or from those some tributary stream.000. did not contain a free population much exceeding a quarter of a million. entitled to vote at elections. or even to lease except conduct more than any Their on the most arbitrary of terms. settlement of the Province. New York itself. although probably the flourishing of the British INColonies the wealthiest and undoubtedly the most in America. The settlements were clustered along banks of the Hudson. Of these. and extended up to the valley of the Mohawk nearly to its source. such as the Schoharie or which offered an easy means of communication with the outer world at all seasons. Albany. the year 1774. A few old Dutch families still possessed Cobus Kill. the Province of New York. those enormous estates which they had acquired before the English conquest. 39.000 were freeholders. and stubbornly refused to part with them at any price.TH E STORY OF BUTLER'S RANGER5 AND THE SETTLEHENT OF NIAGARA.
town. and the By the people of New England they were cordially hated." influential By was For with Sir far the best known and most man in the Province William years Johnson. west. The hum of A numerous fleet small sailing vessels was constantly employed in carrying the varied products of this region to the sea coast. usually spent the The merchants or their agents engaged in this traffic summer at Oswego. " that during the twenty years preceding the Loyalist a regretful termed this period the Golden Age of New York. the Albany trader Mohawk river became the The greed and unscrupulousness of had become proverbial throughout the colonies. Stretching for grain. neighboring hillsides were clothed with majestic pines. The valleys of the Mohawk and of rich its principal tributary from the south. So marked was the general has prosperity of the province. had encouraged them to get Englanders had even threatened to its burn Albany the first opportunity. superintendent of the Northern Indians. for during hostile Indians the late French wars they had not only sold the in arms and ammunition. where they met the Indians and ^ """ from the north great highway for their goods. some from fifty miles along either bank of the Upper Mohawk. to ecHpse Montreal. tract. where more than two miles the nationality of its the German Flats. were frequently termed the " Garden of the Province. such as silver plate with the names of the owners it. the Schoharie Kill. Since the conquest of Canada with the it had become the and bade fair seat of much of the fur trade Indians. and inhabitants returned their hate with interest. revolution. His influence over the Indians has never been equalled by any other white man. In their fury the at New said." being and yielding composed deep virgin enormous crops of grass and in soil. but nowidth. but to secure it he found himself obliged to conform to their habits in many . lay a noted fertile inhabitants. and the of the saw mill was heard on every petty creek. engraved on and. easy of cultivation. thirty consummate skill he had performed the duties of his difficult office and unvarying success. but had taken England still exchange the spoils of ravaged New villages. it was more. called.
took off the coat without hesitation and preit Next morning his turn came. this was done in such a direct and straightforward way that they took no offence. whenever Indians attempted to over-reach it. that if the that he must have the land. they seldom failed to get the worst of In early that he life a Mo- hawk chief one day informed him at a council had dreamed coat. On being urged to he had dreamed that they had given him a large tract of land. apparent cheerfulness.discreditable ways. upon being assured that he had. dreamed tell it a very curious he said dream during the night. Yet. said that he liberal united in his mode of life An acquaintance "the calm urbanity of a hospitality. at a pepper corn rent. with perfect confidence and fearlessness in the midst of quantities of everything most coveted by them. ruefully. painted his face and joined them in the war-dance. and he remarked to he had the Indians that. the and extensive trader with the splendid the plain. manners of Although he did not by any means neglect his in his relations with the Indians. at his Hundreds of them storehouse at Castle frequently were entertained by him alone Johnson. Knowing their superstitious reverence for dreams. At times he wore their costume. as a reward for his great services. and he jealously protected them from the exactions and fraudulent schemes of others. and even to blink at their vices and crimes. . and. that he would never dream with him again. with white man had actually dreamed At the end of the a tract of land last French war the King had granted Johnson This was known as the containing a hundred thousand acres. but he added. although not in the habit of dreaming. Sir William looked at him sharply and inquired whether he had sented to him. really dreamed this. and obtained large of land from them for the merest trifle. to build a house on and form a settlement. The chief at once said." private interests tracts though dignified. extending for nine miles along the Mohawk river. During the French war he had induced the Colonial Legislature to pay them a reward for scalps. him. the night before that Johnson had given him a handsome laced which he thought was the same one he then had on. numeran ous attendance and ancient baron.
he built a spacious mansion near the Cayadutta river. a of agreeable manners and unusual ability. but who was regarded by her own for tribe as They lived together with every appearance of union and affection. a veteran of the P>ench wars. besides his own numerous family. extending from the outskirts of Schenectady to the Indian and from the Mohawk branch of the Deleware northward to the St. latter were Indian chiefs from distant To supply the ordinary wants of his own household alone. a physician. His superb and prodigal hospitality made him well- known name. his official duties. his activity in public affairs was conspicuous many ways. a and large inn. During he co-habited with Mary Brant. to hundreds who otherwise would have scarcely heard his His early marriage with Catharine Weissenberg had made him popular among the German settlers. No travellers of note. in . at his sole expense. whom he life styled his house-keeper. Many He imported poor immigrants were assisted by him to obtain lands. however. but were hall. She gained much influence over him. whither he attracted several merchants. and upon it. twenty-four oxen and a hundred hogs were slaughtered annually. in 1764. and had several illegitimate children. territory. in the foundation of schools for both in When he succeeded having an immense frontier. Aside from in her adroit- ness and knowledge of their languages proved extremely useful to him in his dealings with the Indians. For some time after her death he lived loosely. absolutely forced to accept the hospitality of the owner of the Consequently. without distinction. were permitted to remain over night at this tavern. Frequently eight or ten of the parts of the continent. Lawrence. and he aided liberally whites and Indians. Churches were built in every important settlement for the use of Calvinlst or Lutheran alike. and mechanics of every kind.8 Royal Grant. blood horses and improved breeds of sheep for the benefit of the community. Sir William had seldom less than ten and sometimes as many as thirty guests. and during the three following years he created the thriving village of Johnstown. set apart under the name of Tryon County. There he built a stone church which was conducted by Captain Gilbert Tice. the last twenty years of his Mohawk woman his lawful wife.
a He His then leaned back death at the chair and expired without time. and the Indians under and to protect the latter agains the encroachments and swindling plots of the unscrupulous tradtrs and land-jobbers that swarmed on the frontiers of every province With a set purpose he encouraged the intermarriage of the races. which he presented to the people. wfien groan. Sir William retired to where he in down and drank a glass of wine. he possessed a marvellous comof temper and perfect control of his countenance under the most trying circumstances. Usually a silent man. The last ten life were occupied by a ceaseless struggle to maintain peace between the whies his charge. were much exasperated by the recenjt murder of several of their people by the whites. he became fitting occasion. he had already given a not very creditable rxample by living with an . He became among tribes. On one a favorite occasion. m|)re I than once negotiated the it treaties of peace between the Six Nation^ and western or southern Iroquois Confederacy rewarded his services all tne The by gift of the "Salt Lake Onondaga. in 1768. and other wrongs. such first a critical the Indians were discontented to and the mutterincrs of the coming storm were beginning be . in July. with bis private room.o\ince.) As already rnentioned. mand fluent and even eloquent on a Like the Indians. vJith marriage of eighteen young white women and he was present as many Indian in at the chiefs. Johnson at once built a stone court house and gaol years of his Johnstj)\vn. These poiihts of similarity with may have assisted him to acquire and retain his influence. Indian woman. in William Johnson died a ^udden and startling manner while engaged in holding a general council with the Indians at JohnThe day was fxtremely hot. After delivering a long and persuasive address. and the Indians son Hall. mediator and refferee disputes arising the Indians themselves. but them it can- not be denied that his treatment of them was marked by unvarying and inflexible Sir honesty and justice. all his old-fimt sat vigor.honor of the last British Governor of the at P." and land surrounding for two miles in depth. 1774.
he was far less popular than his father. Guy Johnson of Guy Park. New York. one of whom had married her cousin. army contractor. sisters. and is left a lap in their ranks that to believe that none could Had he lived there of the good rdason valley the whole population Mohawk vould have risen in arms at his in command. the lands surrounding Onondaga lake. that he had been easily elected a member Assembly a few years before over Philip Schuyler. such manners. Guy Johnson in the capacity of to If' in the superintendent of the Six Nations and Western Indians and Glaus same relation to the Canadian tribes.1. was a staggering blow to the Loyah'sts fill. his in and were driven into exile to renew the struggle a distant wilderness. Colonel acres. Naturally reserved and distant in his Yet. besides most of his father's personal property. and was not over scrupulous in At the time of his death. Daniel Glaus. was the of the of family influence. not in the restricted sense which that term has been His son. was liberally provided and to each of her six children he bequeathed ^. and a like quantity of land to eac*) of his four sisters and two brothers. the candidate the Livingston party. Sir William Johnson. was a comparative stranger to the people. as she was usually styled.000 acres. Sir John Johnson. His sons-in-law had acted as his deputies in the management of Indian affairs for a dozen years. and each had received a . next to was the greatest land holder large in the Sir Penn family. yet there wasAo impropriety lately used."' alihough. John inherited Johnson Hall and the His surrounding estate. of his work family and that he would have eerted himself with all defence of the " Unity of the Empire" his brmer tact and energy. perhaps. each house-keeper. an heiress and lady of fashion. British xAmerica. received fourteen thousand Sir William's Molly.500 and 3. having lived much in Albany and New York both before and after his marriage with Miss Watts. the other. Miss for. in ranking him among the "Makers in of America. and Joseph Brant and his brother. then thirty-two years of age.lO heard throughout the of Frci-ince. Much was soon undone by friends th( devastating hand of war. an active and energetic politician great wealth as an his who had gained methods.
the elder Butler secured a large and valuable property. He then accompanied Johnson against Fort Niagara as second in command of the Indians. but He greatly and escaped unhurt." William Johnson received command of the expedition against Crown Point in 1755. America with some important commands on influence the frontier. a young Irish subaltern. in In allusion to this circum- whom he was heartily disliked. Johnson's own brother-in-law. but far sur- passing both in natural ability. his eldest son. He died in 1760. sixty One tract lying about seven miles from Johnstown. courage. and educated in the same province. who By in return exerted hmiself for the advancement of Butler's family. He held his regiment. lieutenant in the British army for seventy years. stance Colonel Claus. Sixty-five years before. accused him in New England. Farrel Wade.1 1 careful training in their duties. but it soon became manifest that both were wofully deficient of graver faults. he nominated John Butler and his In the disasbrother Walter as captains in the Indian department.incorporated as the Royal Americans or 6oth. Hendrick. containing ler's thousand purchase. and the celebrated Mohawk Chief. was born 1725. by of flattery New London. the purchase of land from the Indians. although he never gained promotion. Walter Butler. In the course of his service he made himself useful to Sir William Johnson. claiming descent from the illustrious family of Ormonde. his father. to these men in rank and local influence.. at John Butler. to say nothing Some two time before his death he had formally recom- mended Guy Johnson Next ' as his successor in office. "having been born and bred When Sir trous battle of the 8th September of that year. at was long known as Butthe age of ninety. were killed. Conn. in the requisite tact and energy. stood John Eutler. and afterwards . had to come from which he exchanged into one of the independent companies formed for service in the colonies. having been a acres. and succeeded John Butler distinguished himself served under Abercromby at Ticon- him in the entire charge of in them after General Prideaux's death. and acquired considerable among the Indians. and cunning. In that station he shared the victory . deroga and with Bradstreet at the capture of Fort Frontenac. and experience.
the Loyalists. sense. "a youth of spirit. In the City of New York. and it was said acted with "spirit. Owing to his intimate knowledge of several Indian languages." son. the eldest son. He then resided on his } fine estate of Butlersburg.. bravery. he was actively in command of the Indians.12 over the relieving force which so signally avenged Braddock's defeat. Montreal as second war. in During Pontiac's the difficult task j and successfully employed I of restraining the Six Nations from joinmg the hostile Indians. and a daughter. and they dangled before the eyes of many discontented. After the surrender of the garrifor was appointed a member of the court established there of civil cases. near Caughnawaga. but their leaders lacked the and decision of character needful New courage to turn it to the best advantage. were generally disposed to be loyal or absolutely neutral. two-thirds of all the property was owned by elsewhere. employed by Sir William Johnson up the hour of his death as most important councils. the trial In 1760 he went with General Amherst to '. and was one of the Judges of the County Court and Lieutenant-Colonel of Guy Johnson's i regiment of militia. he . two younger in sons. he was constantly interpreter at the . still under twenty. strained to give his consent. and was foremost in pursuit of the enemy. and the recent German immigrants. not only of Sir John Johnson but of both his brothers-in-law." Thomas. wealthy merchants. lately admitted to the bar. his family consisted of Walter. and ability. civil who were intimately associ- ated with Butler in his would be dismissed in Fearing that he consequence. and might continue to act as their interpreter and Guy Johnson was con- Besides his wife. the adherents of the Church of England. not the positive enmity. The power of the Loyalist party was probably greater York than in any other Province. and resolution. and outside there was scarcely a symptom of disaffection. will. Sir William Johnson had nominated him an executor of his but from if some unknown cause he had incurred the pronounced dislike. the proprietors of the great feudal manors. more numerous here than The Dutch farmers. the Indians petitioned that he military functions. . But there was a small party of violent revolutionists prepared to go any length.
Guy Johnson and j Tryon Hendrick Frey. The last Provincial Assembly had therefore strongly indicated its disapproval of the acts of the The Congress. inhabitants \ most j I loyal of Tryon County were. which in the end were confiscated. Large tracts of land were owned by absentee Loyalists. John Dease. 1774.400 families here men were under arms. a motion in the New York Assembly was lost to sider the proceeding of the Continental Congress by a vote of eleven to ten. a debt of eight or nine millons of pounds due to British merchants . and Tryon himself. declaring their " that it did not appear to tend to the violation of their civil opinion or religious rights. Joseph Peter Chew. There was an enormous quantity of land held by a few active Loyalists which might be parcelled out among their followers there was. Waltons. Thompsons and Youngs. imperilled handsome estates. fifteen nine. too. DeLanceys. Governor visited the valley in 1772. to gratify There was. among the and contented. 1775. and many others. ingly pleased with the presence of their who were not less seem- ' Governor than he with them. Herkimers. Hares." it He reviewed the militia and reported that exceeded 1. which might be repudiated. Alexander White. had never swerved from their allegiance. Cosbys. the supervisors of that county had flatly refused to take sides in the dispute with Great Britain. such as the Nelles. and refused to share the res]:ionsibility for them.'3 lawless men almost irresistible temptations to join them. John Robert Lottridge. but merely regarded a single article of commerce . these eventually shared the and same fate. besides. and wrote rapturously of the evident '' i prosperity and contentment of the people. Besides the members of the Johnson family. illimitable liberty their passions and do whatever seemed right in their own con- eyes. In January. Freys. to all appearance. and a resolution for the appointment of new delegates to the next Congress was rejected by seventeen to nine. Hendrick Ten Broeck. The great proprietors and wealthy Loyalists to a man. DePeysters. a vote of thanks to the delegates from to Province was proposed and negatived. the Bradts. Butler. Already in June. Their representatives. the Soon after.
appeared with all their dependents armed vances ." the county until May. if New P'. " adding that they the following March. its appearance in have been suppressed A Whig committee was next formed at Cherry Valley. sheriff s[)irit was cut down by the Despite this check. prevarication. sheriff. that in the be. King George the Third." A "liberty pole. at a numerous meeting of the Mohawk district. men. their struck terror oppose the people considering of their grieso great. 1775. magistrates sentiments." erected at this time or very soon afterwards.14 which no person was compelled real virtue and resolution might with. they into most oi them and they dispersed. and have even last week. On in the iSth of May " this they complained to the Committee of Safety Albany that county has for a series of years been ruled by one family. as they are. which his true and sense of the words. or ought to often commonly understood without has accompanied the same expressions from warmest opponents. when can exerting itself to preserve exist. obedience without which no state They do plain therefore resolve to bear faithful and and true allegiance to their lawful sovereign. and which persons of easily have avoided or dispensed At the cjuarter sessions judges. its members were evidently conscious that as yet they represented an No organized revolutionary movement made it when seems to uninfluential and insignificant local minority. the and grand jury re-atfirmed these abhorred. I possible more contemptible. all held in measures tending through partial representation to alienate the affections of the subjects from the Crown. or by wresting the interest and meaning of a particular act to draw in the inhabitants of a wide and extensive territory to a dangerous and rebellious that opposition to the parent state. but by force." to purchase. and do still abhor. the several branches of which are still strenuous in dissuading the people from coming into Congressional measures. and the people unarmed. clerk. the of discontent continued to make ." to number being Guy Johnson and conducted by fore little afterwards scornfully described this meeting as having been called by an "itinerant others.ngland leather-dresser. or attend had there- inclination to revisit such to their absurd- ities.
when the local Sir Whig Committee announced its that John Johnson had fortified the hall and surrounded himself with defence. and to whom the very name of Papist was For once Johnson failed to fathom the intensity of their religious prejudice. and and quarrelsome race. estates Sir William Johnson's latest project for improving his and peopling the country. the Revolutionary party daring to and aggressive. They were all . effort to more effective way. the peacefierce. were hesitating and timid. Accordingly. cattle. they could not a body of Highland Roman Catholics for in a have appealed to the inhabitants already learned to dislike the religion. and agricultural implements. To German farmers around them they seemed a rude. valued by him ful at p/^2. Oneida lake. A few of the leaders purchased lands as tenants the re- mainder were established supplied by Sir John with on the Johnson estates. To the westward lay the country of the Six Nations. and many six of their relatives forming a body of more than and dependents. though numerous. but stood strictly on the defensive. They had further Highlanders. ants of sturdy Palatine recusants that had suffered the extremity of ill for conscience sake. Accordingly. Leek. however. the immigration in 1773 of the McDonnels of Scottus in Glengarry. which was being vigorously carried out by his son. Elsewhere throughout the Province the Loyalists. and were food. and the Tienaderha branch of the Susque- . they were constrained negotiate and temporize. hundred i)ersons. and they detested their their friends. Roman Catholics.15 headway. The Johnsons and meet made no their opponents. he traced his descent in the direct line from the Maclan abominable. The boundary separating their territory from Tryon county followed the Oswego river. A feeling of kinship to prompted him to enter into a correspondence which led Aberchallader. with CoUachie. Though born in Ireland and bearing an Anglicised name. constantly wearing dirk and broad sword. much given over to superstition and indolalrous practices. filled the minds of many of the original settlers with For the most part they were descendvague suspicion and alarm.000 during the next two years. branch of the McDonnels of Glencoe.
Six miles They could Tuscarora turn out 250 warriors. numbering two hundred fighting men. door. Cayugas. which were connected by frequent intermarriages. Three western and regarded were likewise united with them as their them on the "elder brothers. On the eastern branch of the Susquehanna the remnant of four allied or vassal tribes from the southward had settled not long before. in close alliance. near the borders of Oneida Lake. (300) and the Hurons (200) on the Sandusky. residing near the lake which still bears their name. A considerable number of these three tribes. lived the Oneidas two villages called old and new Oneida. The Mohawks. Church of England missionary. of whom about one-fifth were warriors. "the Long House. the Shawanese.i6 hanna. Just outside the in boundary. and most influential. a As Muskingum. "Were they savages. By the ravages of pestilence and almost incessant warfare their numbers had gradually dwindled to less than ten thousand. could muster 150 by a warriors. whom professed Christianity under the instrucStuart. lived chiefly in one closely large village near lake Cayuga. although still regarded was the least numerous of all the straggling villages." said Mrs. A chain of Seneca villages extended lake to from within fifty miles of Cayuga the upper waters of the Ohio. They often termed their confederacy. nearly the whole of tion of the They numbered than five hundred persons. Mr. which were quite surrounded on less sides by populous white settlements." of which the Senecas residing on the Susquehanna and Ohio guarded the western. while the Onondagas kept the council fire in the centre. Grant of Laggan. who . beyond these lay the village. and were roughly estimated to contain a thousand warriors. They occujjjied three small in two on the Mohawk and one all the vale of Schoharie. writ- ing from personal observation. as the bravest tribes. inhabited hundred men capable of bearing arms. whole the Six Nations had made considerable advances in civilization. and the Mohawks the eastern. The Onondagas. on lands allotted to tribes them by the Six Nations. had been nominally The converted by Presbyterian missionaries from New England.'" These were the Delewares (600) inhabiting the Susquehanna and Scioto. "who had fixed habitations .
treaties. arms. and taken on at least a thin veneer of European civilization. Thirty years before. whose language was sonorous. planted maize and beans. . and clothing? They wha had wise though unwritten laws and conducted their wars. and expressive .17 who built castles (for so they called their not incommodious wooden houses. into battle by Butler. Lottridge and other their Many of them had white blood flowing They had generally adopted the dress and many customs of the whites. "Nothing less than manifest mjury. whose shadow of Johnson had been received Hall. was bold and nervous and animated musical. on to their ancient rites the other hand. who possessed generous and elevated . heroic fortitude and unstained probity ?'' The Mohawks. Hare. and several bands of these allies had aided them actively during the In the missionaries Kirkland and Crosby. they now found ready and ardent . Sir John Johnson they regarded as one of "their own blood. still rigidly and customs. Indeed. and alliances with deep and sound policy they whose eloquence . they are in civilized state." Governor Tryon had remarked some years before. principal "castle" stood almost within the had lived for years in closest association with their white neighbors. necticut their efforts among the Oneidas and Onondagas. Among the decadent tribes of Massachusetts and Con- had already been crowned with entire success. "in my opinion will drive the Mohawks from They appear their steady attachment to His Majesty's interest. veins. surrounded with palisades) who cultivated rich fields ." and they constantly professed the warmest attachment to the English. and many adhered of them good farmers." The Senecas and Cayugas. stationed siege of Boston. to be actuated as a community by principles which would do honor to the most civilized nations. For some months past the Whigs of New England had been secretly endeavoring to enlist the Indians on their side in the coming struggle. f. sentiments. and showed considerable ingenuity in constructing and adorning their canoes. Sir William Johnson into their tribe and his fondness for them was so marked that they were frequently described as his Indians. They in had been often led provincial officers.
" But in his letter to Lord Dartmouth he said. all forts on the borders of their territory except Oswegatchie. had opposed the missionaries complained to Johnson that they had refused to baptize their children. took from them four of their settlements. so necessary to them in huntThe faction that ing.i8 partisans. the Indians being a state of suspense rather than any other until their different disputes are accommodated. and Mackinac. in open defiance of a solemn treaty. backed by royal proclamation." that they must expect no further attention from him as he had stopped all goods coming to America." In reply the superintendent cautiously advised them that "they might signify their disgust in a manner that becomes moderate men towards a minister. "I see plainly." In common with other tribes the Six Nations had many which grave grounds for dissatisfaction. and consequently gunpowder. They had not forgotten that in the past large tracts of the richest lands and forgery. plainly contrary to the intention of the treaty of 1788. whose person should always be treated with respect on account of his sacred |jrofession. Niagara. set They openly assured their congregations that "the King was against the Americans and Indians. on the Susquehanna were alarmed and lately irritated when they learned that the boundary line. run from Owegy on that river to the Deleware. unless timely prevented. The Mohawks were allies resisting a most iniquitous conspiracy to evict their largest village them from the very lands on Their was built. Detroit. some extraordinary its steps may be taken to embarrass in the Government and officers. and denounced Crosby in particular as "a busy man interested in trade and things we always thought unbecoming to a clergyman. During the winter Guy Johnson learned that these "weak civil but furious zealots" were trying to engage these Indians in the war. upon those rivers had been wrested from them by fraud At the same time the Shawanesc were deeply exaspertheir favorite ated by the unlawful irruption of a thousand armed settlers from Virginia upon hunting grounds in Kentucky. To dispel the suspicions of the Indians the regular troops had been long since withdrawn from and diminish expenses. would soon cost three or four dollars a gill. and the garrisons of these posts were reduced to the .
of which are still unredressed. who are the most suspicious people in the world. southward yet unpunished. is Johnson's voluminous correspondence. have operated so dis- strongly on their suspicious minds." They the back inhabitants. " vividly related in . and the offscourings of colonial rascaldom. disrepu- table. who not only make them intoxicated during the time intended for public business. particularly those who daily go over the mountains of A'irginia." "Their malevolence and fall regard of all treaties is still demonstrated whenever they in the way of small parties or on public affairs there single Indians. When Indians are assembled are always traders secreted in the neighbor- hood. all of their grievances. employ much of their time in hunting. in The back settlements had become. the robberies and murders committed on their people on the frontiers of the Provinces larity to the with which the trade it. a refuge for the run- aways. the intrusions together with the rest upon their lands and bad claims. all as usual.lowest point. and the irreguis conducted through the want of suffiit cient powers to regulate is not surprising that the Indians." he wrote Lord Shelburne." in the different "The repeated acts of cruelty com- mitted Provinces hitherto unpunished. while their defences had been permitted to fall into ruins. interfering with . and the story wanton aggressions upon the Indians. resulted only embittering the inhabitants of the border against the British Government without conferring the slightest benefit upon the Indians. should be actuated by a spirit of strong resentment. and some publicly. but afterwards get back the greater part of their presents in exchange for spirituous liquors of the worst kind.Sir of their William When we to consider the encroachments made towards the Ohio. in conjunction with the incessant efforts of the agents of the Crown to prevent intrusion on their lands. escaped convicts. The advance guard of European civilization was undeniably The lawless conduct of these men. This policy. thereby defeating the intentions of the Crown and causing that them to commit many murders and " disorders as well amongst the (the Indians) discover inhabitants as themselves. "the grievances complained of conin cerning unjust grants other parts of the country yet unredressed.
in which they interfere much more with the Indians than if they pursued agriculture alone. The Indians. and the Indian hunters (who are composed of all . perceive that our Governtheir ments are weak and impotent. rob. on I their and the unrestrained irregularities in trade to which see no period." "In most of the Indian towns on our to be found frontiers there are some idle fellows who give themselves up entirely to ease and drinking. prejudice. or a rabble settlers rescue them from the hands of justice. have a hatred . have been removing from Pennsylvania and Virginia. owing to ignorance. into the Indian country towards the Ohio. from whence he gave me a particular account of the uneasiness it occasioned amongst the Indians. So that with the artifices of designing men amongst them. as fond of independency as themselves. when my deputy was sent to the Illinois. the jealousy of the Indians is rather increased. Many of these emigrants are idle fellows that are too lazy to cultivate lands. and more regardless of Government. the encroachments and many other acts of injustice of the inhabitants of most of the frontiers. and frequently murder the Indians that they are in general a lawless set of people. and a considerable number of settlensents were made as early as 1765. democratical principle. remote situation. united with debtors and persons of a wandering disposition." have little lands and pay so little regard to a fair title or the authority of the American Governments.. rest are and being cast out by the " I made the instruments of the worst hopes that settlements can be restrained by any ordinary measures where the multitude have for so many years discovered such an ungovernable passion for these part of our people. the landed men protect " all them. for. the incapacity and (as it appears to the Indians) the unwillingness of our American Governments to redress them. juries will acquit that whatever these people do them. lands. &c." " For more than ten years past the most dissolute fellows. Indian warriors or hunters are too often inclined to of these evils result from the rapid intrusion and the young Most retaliate. and their likewise. ill-treat. and invited by the plenty of game they found have employed themselves in hunting.20 them therein." set out with a general These generally prejudice against Indians.
and scalped and mutilated by the frontiersmen of Virginia. Meanwhile Guy Johnson and with desperate energy to restrain the Six Nations from joining in the conflict. Before a treaty was concluded the startling information came from that French agents had been sent to America to excue an England Indian war. Caravans of traders proceeding to the Indian country were way- . In the end the chiefs agreed not only to recall the warriors that had already gone to the war. but to advise the Shawanese to make peace." The Senecas confessed at the same time that there were other "bad belts" among the Shawanese. with the significant message that "their French father was not dead." than eighteen The measure of wrong and injustice was filled to overflowing.2 I the warriors in each nation) already begin to " feel the scarcity this has occasioned. after They resisted this very superior force made their escape across the river with his deputies strove trifling having killed and wounded nearly two hundred of their assailants. the Shawanese broke from the control of Alexander McKee. and a few of their In October. which greatly increases their resentment. The Six Nations were deeply stirred by their appeals for assistance. of which there are no recent instances. being the entire fighting force of the tribe. which the latter then found themselves obliged to do. Mingos and others connected with them by marriage. three younger warriors hastened to join them. but sleeping. were attacked by more than a thousand Virginian of the Great for militia at the fork Kanawha river. Johnson's resident deputy. a mysterious trader. an entire day and adroitly loss. 1774. and began what is known as Cresap's or Lord Dunmore's war." before his death he referred to A few months the many murders committed by less our people with impunity. assisted by a few hundred Shawanese. and everything seemed ripe for a general rising of the Indians when Sir William Johnson's able hand was removed. Exasperated by a series of base and brutal murders in which Indian women and children were butchered without mercy. who succeeded in obtaining from the Senecas an "axe belt" presented to them by one Sang-blanc. and the substantial truth of the warning was established by Colonel Butler.
Small armies in met in pitched battle. entirely upon which the commercial welfare of Canada then depended. an alliance with the Indians was clearly indispenbest sable. disguised in war paint and breech-clout. as- To complete the prevailing anarchy of the borders. They have refused to let us have powder . Those who knew the Indians to would be impossible their employment at first Englishmen there can appeared much more objectionable than it did to the average colonist. except on the ground of expense. enlisted Indians. immigrants from Connecticut in the Wyoming Valley and from Virginia at Pittsburg had seized large tracts of land. but if they refused on the 4th of at Kirkland to prevail upon them to remain neutral. The capture of the Northwestern fur trade. sent a letter to the Missionary Oneida. this letter. men were and dwellings burned both places. brethren to leave their country. requesting him to exert his influence with the Six Nations to induce them to join their forces. the Congress April. yet we have fought for them and conquered Canada and many other places which they have had and have not paid us for." was a marvel of ingenious misrepresen" were obliged by the cruelty of their said.22 laid Indians and plundered by armed bands of white men. and were holding them by force killed in defiance of the Provincial authorities of Pennsylvania. It it An address to the Indians accompanied tation. approved of a with scarcely symptom of hesitation. on both sides agreed that To the educated that Washington and Adams. but they became neutral or joined the enemy resistance against any attack of the forts would entail the loss would be hopeless. It is certain keep them be little doubt neutral. who had been made familiar with it in former wars. Montgomery and Schuyler. " Our fathers. To it preserve both. as the garrisons were insufficient and the works had been defensible. the Stockbridge Having of Massa- already chusetts. 1775. and it in fact the leaders of the revolution generally. The trading posts and forts on the great lakes lay practically at the mercy of the Six Nations. permitted to decay as the until they were scarcely As long Indians continued friendly these posts if would be tolerably secure.
I want our brother Indians to help us can fight well in the bush. to regulars. rank and file. and my men fight as Indians do. You bridge Indian. ? What would the Indians do with- out powder and shot of our own making. yours will sleep together. from : — know they stand all along close together. warriors like want your warriors to join me and if you will." Confidential agents were dispatched at the same time Scotia. in which he said come and see me. I brothers and ambush the regulars and I my will . and without his there Mohawks of gathered body . Ethan Allen sent one Captain Ninham. blanket. and forty In these intrigues another New England clergy-. and eat my men and and fight . give you money.in Albany and Philadelphia He assembled the that a plot had been formed to kidnap him. to solicit the assistance of the Indians of recruit Canada and Nova To each from these tribes they promised a coat. just like brothers. paint. and I will and anything go with you into and the woods to scout. there is in the army. Eleazar Wheelock of Dartmouth College. began to kill our brothers in this country. But we soon hope to supply them with both They have made a law to establish the religion of the Pope in Canada. as the influence of New England was strong among these simul- Indians. regulars our brothers and will fight against us fight. About the same time (14th May) Guy Johnson received taneous warnings from correspondents . kill know Indians are good warriors and You know it is good for my warriors and because they first Indians too. men from his own officers of his department and a party of trusty A fortified his house to resist an attack. and to defend him. man. who tried with small success at the to counteract . a Stock- Crown Point with a message to the Indians at " I want to have your warriors Caughnawaga. for I because they first killed therefore.23 and shot to send to the Indians. although time. regiment of militia. tomakawks. blankets. the Rev. knives. was very In May. active. and drink together.^lien's intrigues. shillings a month. and help me fight the King's regular troops." This letter was at once carried to General Carleton.
1775. and persons were forced to sign articles of association against the Government. Six I Nations is never to lose and hope through your an object of which we ought zeal and endeavors we may avoid any ill consequences that may be expected to follow through the measures which may have been pursued by the \''irginians." The only instructions which Johnson had as yet received were contained in a letter from Lord Dartmouth. drunk on public occasions. He announced had assembled every Indian they could engage." he concluded. then besieged in that Boston.xercise of my own judgment. the supplies he had ordered for the use of the Indians were detained at Albany. and be- . " I desire. and the besiegers much enraged tion by his reverses. lost "In short. his wounded soldiers had been tomahawked and scalped." he said. Their message was intercepted and made use of to inflame the His movements were constantly watched by people against him.'" decided Johnson's course.24 knowledge. these allies were sentries that. as he asserted. In some of the skirmishes that had taken place. dated ist February. . and even trifling articles for his held. in conjunc- continually firing on his and outposts. summoned the Oneidas to their assistance. He collected all Mohawks that were at home. and that all others should have the same privilege. Johnson reminded the the winter in the face of if committees that he had persuaded the Indians to remain quiet during much provocation. "no time should be Gage's the letter to distress a people future so wantonly rebellious. Threats of an attack were daily own household were withmade seditious toasts were . letters passing to and from his house were opened and read spies . superintendent insulted. and warned them that they now found and their revenge. their council fire disturbed. they might yet take a dreadful His office was of the greatest importance to the safety of the frontiers and the interests of trade. and it was his duty to promote peace. their supplies stopped. in which the latter had remarked "The preserving the good will : and affection of the sight. and with their riflemen. " to enjoy liberty of conscience and the e." His situation was daily growing more intolerable when he received a letter from General Gage.
but he was forced to leave visions. besides many other men of weight and /influence. Among marched rapidly up those who accom- \ 'Hon Sir panied were Daniel Claus. and weeks elapsed before he was able to set sail in a sloop and The flotilla several batteaux.25 I ing joined by about a hundred ardent loyalists. As a whole his party was drawn from the flower of the population. and they raised the country in arms behind him under pretence of defending the frontier against the Indians. His march caused great alarm among those who had reason to dread reprisals. Barent Frey. following Oswego. 1600 Canadian Indians assembled there and only. Near the although they did not venture to oppose or attack him. and to send their band of warriors present with him to Montreal to inspire their dependents there with the same resolution. Lawrence. A few days later 1450 Indians. but found little difficulty in persuading the Indians "to resolve to co-operate with with His Majesty's troops in defence of the communication and waters emptying into the St. as they could not endure being kept in in idleness. it and Johnson advised the governor motion with as little that would be expedient to put the Indians in de- lay as possible. 1 the Mohawk towards the Indian frontiers. Gilbert Tice. . consider it wise to permit them to advance beyond the province In other words. he had determined to employ them on the defensive A few days later. them behind Oneidas marching for want of pro- On the I 7th of July he reached he held a council there with from the Hurons of Detroit. the mayor of Albany. who was several him up the Mohawk with for supplies. and he was forced send to Oswegatchie He still professed the most peaceable intentions. taking with him only 120 Indians. He described "the New arguments used by him to effect this result. Colonel Claus has recorded the agreed to adopt the same policy. Joseph Brant and at least two of William Johnson's sons. arrived at Montreal in August. as he d'd not line. Yost Herkimer. Carle- ton replied that they must be amused some other way. boats laden with proto visions was detained by his enemies. John and Walter Butler. including a deputation Cuyler." several Means of transport were not available. and in the annoyance of the enemy. ruins of Fort Stanwix he met a large party of the to his relief.
" hundred warriors next attended a conference with the governor and openly proposed to warn the uate Ticonderoga and New Englanders to evac- Crown Point. briskly assailed them in the The Americans took shelter in a large barn. lay waste their frontiers. Fifty warriors were selected and sent forward under Captain Gilbert Tice. forty Captain Crawford sallied out to meet the invaders with ! of the 26th Regiment and a few volunteers from among He held them in check until Lieutenants Butler and the residents. and on the 6th of Septenvber ninety of them ambushed and repelled with heavy besiege that place. a . men : [ flank. On the 25th of September. and in the event of a refusal to will. the striking example of whom in a they made they slaves or servants and got from them the fraudulent manner. their being then in possession of the territory about Lake Champlain which His Majesty allotted to them for hunting and fishing . the danger of their losing those means of subsistence in case the rebels should get footing there. but when a field- surrendered at discretion. Johns. Carleton thanked them for their good to but declared that their all he wanted them do was to station a party ot young men at St. to serve as scouts for that garrison and watch the movements of the enemy. piece was brought against the building they . country not the least concerned in the dispute . Ethan Allen appeared sudat the denly on the island of Montreal rapidly against the town.26 ington Englanders insulting the troops and becoming the aggressors at Lextheir unwarrantable and rebellious invasion of Canada. which would be the case with Indians should become Six the rulers of the continent of America. loss a large body of Americans advancing to In this skirmish Captain Tice was badly faithful wounded and Captain Daniel. Johnson. Crown among them. which was then quite unfortified head of 140 men and advanced and weakly garrisoned. with thirty ranyers and Indians. creased to 125. Mohawk. some their lands all . with Walter Butler and Peter Johnson (a natural son of Their number was afterwards inSir William) as his lieutenants."' and several other Indians. "a were killed. Their ill-usage of the Indians in general and stripping them of their lands if all not guarded against by the living of their own people of.
fully Indians alike of their recent pledges and their ancient friendship and There is conclusive evidence that he faith- obeyed his instructions and "spoke to them of nothing but peace. 1776." until March. most trying and and finding of that he himself would be inevitably shut up within \ the walls Niagara Colonel Butler.'\t for Col. to A hundred of the to Senecas and Cayugas readily consented passage for traders and to they expected to return at go to Montreal open a "make a path. Johnson and Claus sailed for England in once applied for leave of absence. as the This alone proved a task of supreme country of the Six Nations was already overrun with in the service of the spies and emissaries Congress. of whom the mis- sionaries Crosby and Kirkland. whom that time. where there was a sufficient quantity of military stores to tempt an attack. and reminded the alliance with the King. Butler's instructions from the governor merely directed him to preserve the good will of the Indians and retain them in an attitude of absolute neutrality." took their in the pursuit. Johnson. but was again refused. so reluctant was the governor to employ them in offensive operations. In this task he was quite successful." . Quebec during the winter. Deane. On learning his decision most of them returned home much discon- tented. which was continually being trumpeted in their ears by these men. when he received a message requiring him to send down a body of warriors to assist in the reconquest of the province. he despatched to who was next to them in rank in the depart- 1 ment. hand. Butler summoned meeting with after He distributed presents a liberal meeting with fluctuating success. and had been named by Johnson as his deputy during his absence. leader with his own hand A few days later Guy Johnson once more requested permission to lead a body of Indians against the enemy. and November. were the most zealous and influential. Johnson. \ difficulty. "an intrepid and active young man. They had even begun to plan the capture of Niagara. Oswegatchie they were . The confidence of the Indians was greatly shaken by the successful invasion of Canada. Their conduct naturally appeared at at a to Carleton very like a desertion of their post critical time. and the interpreter.27 Lieut.
and that consequently he must not think of attempting the expedition against Detroit. that no small share of credit was due himself as the In the meantime he had persuaded organizer of the expedition. under Capt. and a small party of the 8th regiment. whom it was difficult to detect or exclude. John Johnson. in PhilaCaldwell. all Having thus for the moment Butler secured the "Upper Posts" from danger of an attack. half-blood sons of the late Sir William Johnson. to Niagara. fugitives A steady though slender tide of was already setting in from the border settlements.28 joined !:>> an equal numljcr of Missassaugas. brother of Among Niagara. This sudden diversion contributed of Montreal. Agents of his own were then quietly established in the principal villages to collect intelligence and keep One of the ablest of these was William the Indians in good humor. which had been talked of for some time past. who reported all instances these were white men. and to send a message to their western policy. Forster. them through the intervening wilderness to prison and safely guided others may be named Barent Frey. an Oneida trader of • much experience. surrendered to them after a very faint and a reinforcement of 120 not more was cut to pieces next day. allies urging them to adopt the same Accordingly we find the western Indians informing the American agent_ at Pittsburg that they would not permit an army to pass through their country. labored steadily to strengthen his influence among the Indians. and William and Peter. assembled from the north shore of Lake Ontario. materially to force the enemy out unreasonably. a young adventurer belonginti. to a good family a number of British officers to escape from assisted had who delphia. in the Oneida or Deleware Indians. . His enemy from next step was to secure the expulsion of all known emissaries of the their territories. Colonel Hendrick Frey of Tryon county. but usually they were pay of Congress had been spies In that took place to their employers. He knew some that at every meeting present. Cedars. occupied by 400 The advanced post men with two show of resistance. and Butler felt. both of New York and and he was soon enabled to Pennsylvania. of the Americans at the field-guns. the Six Nations in a body to declare that they would take no part in the war.
Butler decided to abide . They had made ing their way in disguise from with enemies. part of the year were nearly British victories in Canada in the early counterbalanced by the loss of Boston. and asserted that Butler's scalp or person. principal war-chief of the Senecas. accompanied by the Capt. but united in close alliance with. Brant New York through a region swarmhad vvitnessed Howe's victories. Already he entertained dreams of a great Indian confederacy extending from Detroit to Montreal. and his observations had thoroughly convinced him of the power of England. the English. produced a remarkable sensation among them. for his letters were intercepted and instantly confined. McKee to Despairing of success by any other means. and that it was generally supposed that they would ultimately join it was admitted to would be almost impossible keep them neutral much longer. bearing a verbal Six message from Guy Johnson Nations. Pittsburg. desiring them to hold themselves in readiness to co-operate with Howe. the party they believed most likely to succeed. restrained from rising at once and attacking the fronat It was this critical moment to that Joseph Brant appeared among the Senecas. Schuyler's correspondence shows that the plan was approved. but there is no mention of the reward. The minds of most of the Indians continued unsettled and wavering to the end of It the year. Yet he failed to obtain the aid of Alexander McKee of who was almost omnipotent among the Shawanese and was other western tribes. Intelligence of the capture of New York by General Howe and his subsequent successes. and when he arrived obtained Niagara December he had many assurances of active support. Tice. publicly accused the Oneidas of having entertained such a proposal. His fiery eloquence at stirred the Indians in wherever already he went. organize from them a body of thoroughly trustworthy and efficient most of whom were able to speak one or more Indian languages. the rVmericans began concoct schemes for kidnapping Butler. independent of. At the general council of the confederacy Sangerachta. and some tribes were with difficulty tiers.29 I assistants. General Schuyler had promised them $250 for Rumor said the reward was subsequently increased to $1000.
and against (General Schuyler with his men and marched him and disarmed the whole of Sir its tenants without firing a shot. was ended. into that tribe. inquisitorial visits Finally. and received him coldly. travelling from village to village not omitting to visit throughout the length and breadth of the league. and were im- prisoned. One of their militia was to disarm Butler's tenants. some personal influence through them ail to prepare for hostilities steadily In Tryon county the situation of the remaining loyalists had become less endurable. but to give a John was forced not only observance. among whom he possessed his marriage. firmly refused to sign. strengthened by England. under of officers upom whom against they could rely The Articles Association the (jovernment were then presented to everybody. the hostile Oneidas. and re-organize the implicitly. to sign a bond for was impounded. urging in the spring. such as Colonel Frey. They did first not acts to make relentless use of their power. it annoyed by movement. whose tragic fate will be noticed later. A few determined loyalists. Sir John Johnson was constantly and required to give reasons for every was determined to make him a prisoner and . Dutch inhabitants were carried Although their oppression without fear of reprisals. the Reverend John Stuart. and a ing strict search made as ft:)r All his ready money hidden arms. and began secretly to form a regiment for the support of the Government. Brant resumed his agitation. telling the comSir mittee that he would rather lose his head than comply. All open dissent was instantly and severely punished." it .Ml hope of a successful rising really had very imiwrtant results. had obtained full control of fail public affairs. parole. For some months afterwards. 4. in local John Johnson. After a very short stay.by his original instructions from Carleton. the arrival of troops from all New Their opponents. ventured to set them at defiance. and the committees were henceforth at liberty to continue hostafies.000 friends His intentions were suspected. and Henry Hare. surrounded by his tenants and strong influence. Six lead- men among the Highlanders and off as many of the English this and derisively ^ was termed by the loyalists " Schuyler's peacock expedition.
were deported to New England. Schuyler him from his parole. of being put to death if those that remained should take Of the Highwould consent "on condition up arms or in ' any way assist the enemy. and he crossed over to Montreal where he arrived the day after Sir Guy Carleton had recovered possession. fled through the great Adirondac guided by a few faithful Mohawks. that • After his flight. a British fleet and army were said to be ascending Lawrence. Hastily assembling 170 of his personal friends and tenants. where the wife and daughter of Captain Fenton. but the St. wilderness towards Regis." . feathered. Johnson Hall was con- verted into a barracks and the contents carried off or destroyed.31 remove the wrote a entire letter releasing body of Highlanders from the county. none were permitted to stay behind unless they to give at least five hostages in every hundred persons. They had onions. an obnoxious loyalist. The committee remarked and children were in significantly. remained behind was renewed with increased son's house only the walls were left Of Guy John- standing. with their children. quite exhausted with fatigue and half dead In a few days Johnson's force was swelled by Cana- dians and Indians to 500. and sent a New Jersey same time take him into custody. that as long as their wives their hands neither Johnson nor Butler would hardly dare to act against them. When they arrived at Caughnawaga they were with hunger. not had time to collect provisions. Colonel Frey. upon wild and leaves of beech trees. it. Butler. and seventy more of the [landers. Montreal was known to regiment to deliver be still in the hands of the enemy. were Lady Johnson and Mrs. he St. and paraded through the late streets by a mob of women. removed to together with the families of most of the High- and other refugees. the persecution of the miserable loyalists rigor. and during the nine days entirely they were in the woods the whole party lived roots. member of the Provincial Assembly. Albany landers as hostages. and if they did their families "would not be saved from the violence of the That this might be no vain threat was clearly shown by a people. and at the By some means Johnson was forewarned of this artful scheme and he determined to make his escape to Canada. principal inhabitants. had actually been tarred." recent occurrence at Boston.
be biding their time In the heart of the valley was the remnant of the Mohawks. that the American Commissioners from motives of policy." the New York still removed to a safer Convention gave orders that she should be i)lace and more closely watched. and cause. who were known to rise in arms. The Congress had not abandoned its hopes of enlisting some of its service. not dared to approach nearer to to than one letter written prepare them for them than Onondaga. surrounded by suspicious neighbors and narrowly watched. having been previously warned by their agents that these might pro- duce an unfavorable imjjression. Indians when they assembled. Brant had but ready to obey the summons of Johnson or Butler. and to promise them a substantial the Indians in belonging to the regular army which they was suggested that they might even be bribed to surprise and deliver Fort Niagara into their hands by a promise of Such.32 For some months Lady Johnson was permitted to remain quietly with a relative in Albany. the much success. abstained from making any overtures to them. Brant had continued his agitation with only the Oneidas had offered his activity. During the summer of 1776. respondence with her husband. His own indiscretion caused him in meet with undeserved rebuff an unexpected quarter. that cause which and of great firmness of mind. he had written . however. and most warmly attached to is so inimical to the freedom and independence of has done great injury to the American the American States. Elated by his favorable reception among the Senecas. There were numbers of quiet but steadfast to loyalists in Albany and Tryon counties. and more flight had been inter- cepted and only provoked stricter surveillance. and found means to keep up a secret corBut towards the end of the year. Convention engaged a party to kidnap him. was the temper of the plunder of its contents. Alarmed by New York came not a but that project to to nothing. the Indian Commissioners were authorized to engage any number of the Six Nations not exceeding 2000. having learned that she was "a person of great art and political intrigue. In fact any serious opposition. reward for every prisoner It should make.
ties I and conI tented himself by saying." He instructed prevent any such movement. whose " envy and jealousy British he solely attributed the However. aged and infirm. "Of the importance of the object had no whose In both these capaci- submitted this to the consideration of my superiors. the policy of the the Government with respect to Indians had already undergone a change." before. 1777. At the end of the war he studiously avoided defending right to judge." at this His letter was shown to Carleton. and in May. ideas of the policy. Carleton received instructions to employ a body of the Six Nations in an invasion " of the State of New York. taking due pre- cautions to conduct by placing proper persons at their head their parties and restrain them from committing violence on the well- affected and inoffensive inhabitants. for . refusal. will best appear from the unwearied pains which have been purpose from the first settlement of the colonies. and he to left the place deeply offended with " Butler. innocent as well the guilty. and Mountains dissuading them from inviting them to join him instead. will be equally exposed to Butler in the strongest terms to effectually their fury. He was afterwards severely censured Sir in their official correspondence by Col. either as a subject or a soldier. promising " to they did that they should be allowed make war in their own way. as- wherein women and children." is There no evidence that Butler had ever advocated it. supply him with powder and other when he indigna- returned to Niagara to prepare for his campaign. and construed to mean that Brant intended "an indiscriminate attack. he had warmly urged the chiefs to take Only every means to prevent their people from committing any depredataken for that a month tions on the frontiers. and even the necessity of conciliating the affections of the Indians and of steadily attaching them to the British Government. In consequence Butler refusing to put an end to Brant's design by articles. Claus and John Johnson. tion Brant's knew no bounds. this step.33 to the Indians of the Lake of Two serving under Sir Guy if Carleton. who waS' naturally annoyed it bold attempt to interfere with his plans.
1777. who had orders to advance from Stanwix. had not yet arrived at The number of regular troops was . They reported that many more were merely waiting five '"from for a favorable opportunity to follow their example. Depue brought hanna. Y. with fresh hardship and ruthless persecution. He had already encouraged them active agents for the him at Niagara. whole force was which stood on the present site to be assembled at Oswego about the end of July. nine lieu- and 75 rangers.34 having expended large sums among the Indians and yet kept them inactive while the enemy had taken possession of Fort Stanwix. with the exception of a single company. instructions he carried them out with the resolution as before. of five capt-ains. the Indians at Detroit were also invited to send a contingent. Before the middle of June Butler was able to announce that the agents of Congress had been baffled in their efforts to at draw the Indians to the Councils they had convened list Pittsburg and Albany. Jessup actually enlisted a hundred men near Albany. Equally favorable reports came in Mr. other hand. Leger's force. collect as he received from Carleton. tales of Small parties of loyalists could speak some Indian were daily arriving. Yet all the and when he received fresh ^ame imperturbable fidelity and and quietly executing his instructions. and Captain brought off as On part of the St. other quarters. They even hinted that he was then wavering time Butler had been faithfully in his allegiance. him to many Indians as possible and join Col. By of the Senecas. many more from Schoharie to Crown Point. The many of them being Mr. and he next sent among the Six Nations and Missasthe advice saugas to collect warriors proposed expedition. and to send the Governor a tenants. and during the winter a letters their wish to enlist as rangers from seventy inhabitants of the Susqueunder Butler's to join command. McDonnel of Sir John Johnson's regiment. the regiment of German riflemen detailed as Quebec. most of whom language. Refugees had continued to arrive at Niagara from the Mohawk. N. the 5th June. a letter On directing St. Leger. Montreal against Fort of Rome. announcing persons of influence. and led Butler to believe that he could raise a battalion of hundred men very quickly.
to less San- and Brant arrived at Oswego But it with as parties swelled the entire many gathered from several tribes. the startthat 800 or 1000 of the Tryon County to relieve the garri- under Gen. ling information militia. . were on the march it son and would be within twelve miles of that night. with a few Indians. There were 750 to which was found to be unex- pectedly strong. but he was so thoroughly well conduct that he declined to displace him. Half of St. Leger's small regular force was scattered along his line of cation for twenty miles. Other number of Indians collected there to 800 or 1000. the decision and consented to serve under his personal enemy. made a party of eighty white soldiers. Herkimer. that Butler still hoped to avoid bloodshed and that the militia might He may have had be induced to disperse without coming to blows. but he was once directed Sir march with these to waylay the approaching enemy. headed about 200 of that nation. Carleton was consequently appointment. with a party of rangers. Brant. made up of detachments from four different corps. men camp. in Besides the Indians he had barely 250 fort. communi- engaged in the in cutting a road and bringing up the artillery and stores. They advanced and halted In the morning their scouts announced that the enemy Even then it appears was approaching and only a few miles away. at the his light This. for the night. not come with any intention of fighting. a soon became manifest that a majority of these had Col. to accompany him five miles. went forward cheerfully enough to assist a i)arty of light infantry in surrounding the in fort. and amounted than 500. came in At the very instant of his arrival. the Seneca chief. but compelled to ratify the satisfied with Butler's Butler loyally accepted requested him to act as second in comniLind. gerachta. reason to suspect that many of them were apathetic or even friendly. at Butler could only muster 400 Indians. head of John Johnson volunteered company.35 accordingly diminished by more than a third. but Butler was detained for several days by the remainder needlessly prolonged conferences. Claus had arrived from England with Indians employed commission appointing him superintendent of all the in the expedition. and he did not succeed in bringing them up to the jjlace until the 5th of August.
some cool-headed Even then fellows kept up a running fight until the clouds use of that burst in a terrific rainstorm. brother-in-law. During his march Herkimer had beea joined by sixty Oneidas. by means of a rude causeway.. Their opinion prevailed and the whole force moved forward and selected a position near the "Orisca field. They had not been derous ox-wagons. when the eagerness of some drunken Indians precipitated the attack and saved the rear-guard from the fate that overtook the rest of the column. in there long before the creaking of the pon- which they conveyed their baggage and proannounced the approach of Herkimer's force. The rear-guard promptly ran away in a wild panic. but even these practised woodsmen had failed to notice any sign of danger. with the smell Elated by the sight and maddened and of blood and gunpowder. Herkimer's own brother. Johnson's light infantry to block the was stationed across the road way at the proper moment. the road leading to Fort Stanwix crossed a marsh in the bottom of a deep ravine. which put an end fire-arms. The causeway was already hopelessly choked with their unwieldy wagons. a distance of a The first deliberate volley that burst upon them from very few yards was terribly destructive. On the crest of the further slope. lessly into the jaws of the trap prepared for them. Of but the remainder many were slaughtered almost without resistance. When they in upon the main body and the attenuated column advanced heed- reached the marsh the flanking parties closed to cross the causeway. Butler accordingly proposed that to lay the relieving force should be summoned down its arms and But Brant and the Indians generally were eager for battle. visions. while the Indians were hidden among the thickets. to the further the pursuit was continued until tidings came . Other famihes^ were divided manner. Dense thickets on both an ideal spot for sides of the narrow wagon-track made this an am- buscade.36 Gen. with instructions entirely to gain the rear of the advancing column and surround it before beginning the attack. and hotly opposed this. and nephew were that at moment serving as officers in a similar with the Indians." where disband. many of the Indians rushed from their coverts to complete the victory with spear hatchet.
" and were to receive four shillings. The Indians butchered many after they had surrendered. Two of these companies were to be formed of "people speaking the Indian language and acquainted with their customs and manner of making war. "having gone that a in their shirts as naked to action. it proved a barren was too strong to be taken by assault. for More than one half of these were Senecas. and the besiegers had no artillery capable of mak- Decisive as this success appeared at the time. was on its way to relieve the place. at their [selves entirely The whole were required to clothe and arm themown expense. Those who remained were surly and dispirited by the plunder of their camp during the sortie. three and fifty privates. Johnson's regiment was killed and two were wounded. taking with him three of the principal chiefs to present them to the Governor. Captains Hare and Wilson of the rangers were killed. New York of currency. victory. a day. This was considered extremely . composed of a captain. it became known much larger and better disciplined under Berjedict Arnold. and Private David Secord was officer of wounded . of whom at least two hundred were killed. in consideration of the fateague they are liable to undergo. by which they lost their blankets and much of their clothing. "to people well acquainted with the woods. Butler went to Quebec to settle his accounts. Thirty-three Indians were killed and twenty-nine wounded. the Indians began to disperse with whatever booty they had obtained." When force. The fort ing a breach in the defences. St. a lieutenant. the garrison remained defiant.37 the garrison had •camp. and nished him with "beating orders" for the enlistment of eight companies. Leger had no alternative but to raise the siege and return to Montreal." were to receive two be composed shillings a day. As usual after a successful battle. three sergeants. each corporals. a sortie and taken possession of part of the Butler estimated that the mihtia left five hundred of their made number on the field. to which Sir Guy Carleton readily consented. He fur- (then renewed his proposal to raise a battalion of rangers to serve with the Indians. in revenge the comparatively heavy loss they had themselves sustained through their unwonted recklessness in engaging in a hand to hand fight. The remaining companies.
he would follow him thither. At the same time Glaus and Johnson were steadily endeavoring to undermine his influence by every means within their reach.38 high pay. when the fuming with disappointment. Butler received instructions march with such rangers as he had already enlisted or could enlist and as large a body of Indians as could be collected without exposing their country to invasion." He requested that they would "deliver him up and not follow his wicked counsels any more. The Indians had protested warmly against the withdrawal of the British troops from Oswego. and it that these eight as twenty was subsequently estimated by General Haldimand companies of rangers cost the Government as much infantry. and confidently pre- dicted that he would not succeed in enlisting many rangers. (Sept. learned the Oneidas. "to settle what was past and renew chain of friendship. and declared he found that Butler had gone to Niagara. Onondagas and Tuscaroras had actually accepted the hatchet tendered them by General Schuyler. On his way to Niagara he received much disBurgoyne's army. and that the loyal chiefs for his were alarmed and anxious speedy return. Butler would lead them to ruin. A letter from a trader at Niagara informed Butler that some of the Senecas were much displeased with him. Upon Butler arriving at Carleton that Island. companies of regular On to at once. at the foot of Lake Ontario." He their former them for announced that if his intention of taking possession of Oswego. 15th. saying that they were being abandoned to their enemies contrary to the assurances Sickness prevailed to such an extent at Niagara they had received. and if he had gone to Montreal he would intercept him on his return. and invited them to the German Flats. They criticised his actions with undisguised rancor. Schuyler had promptly Indians were still meet him at seized the opportune moment. but he had long ago told them that Col. couraging information.) C'ol." adding that he "did not blame what had happened. that the garrison was reduced to seventy-five men fit for duty. and form a junction with Gen. and had proved their hostility by making prisoners of some loyalists . the same day.
" Butler said conclusion. " are determined to be action. but nothing had been heard of them since the forest had swallowed them. Loyalists continued to arrive. and went on by water. ber the first company of rangers was completed. His son Walter and two other at officers of the Indian Department were confined Albany. and otherwise cruelly treated. dangerous. and humbly promised future. The to and at their suggestion Butler boldly majority of the Senecas and Cayugas were still friendly. the chiefs obeyed very promptly." His former agent. they had received. Most of his rangers had marched overland to the Susquehanna after the siege of Fort Stanwix was raised. significantly. with orders to drive cattle from the settlements to Niagara for the maintenance of the garrison. adding.39 passing through their country. heavily ironed. and Our friends. He had intended to proceed over- land from Oswego to Niagara. so. the astounding intelligence of the At Niagara he was overtaken by surrender of Burgoyne's whole Consequently the movement he had been instructed to make was no longer practicable. and Onondagas They surrendered the hatchet and war-belt of the Tuscaroras to follow his advice in A trusty courier instantly sped off through the woods of the towards forces New York with a message for the " commander British for in on the Hudson. this him and deliver up the hatchet they had accepted from none but his real friends need must have been agreeably surprised All at He the success of measure. Depue. and hasten the return of the rangers already and by the middle of Decemthere. at which there had been a very stormy debate over their future policy. He had attended a general meeting of the whole confederacy at Onondaga. that appear. still resolute and hopeful. announcing that they were ready asking for instructions. summoned the other tribes to come Schuyler. passing through all the principal Indian villages on his way and engaging warriors for his proposed This design he was then forced to abandon as being too expedition. in the worst of times. again hurried to the Susquehanna to seek fresh recruits. and Butler expected . Presently Joseph Brant arrived. army.
many of them. to be a wild." Their fears proved groundless the time. who had already set the State Government of Pennsylvania at complete defiance." Pittsburg and safely arrived at Detroit. ungovernable race. inhabitants. After prolonged wanderings they were surprised by an overwhelming force. lying between branch of the Susquehanna and the Kiskismenitas Creek. but the innocent are guilty. It is admitted that the rough frontiersfor men "The of that quarter had given the Indians abundant provocation several years past. less savage than their tawny neighbors. Everywhere there Soon after McKee's flight from were undoubted signs of reaction. their fidelity." said Timothy Pickering in a letter to Washington.40 form two more upon the return of his recruiting officers. Butler's force had then increased to their support. and the Senecas haughtily refused to receive a belt sent to them from Schuyler. . and then that he fell had been the cause of shedding Their war-parties the east upon the border settlements of Pennsylvania. The remainder disAt the persed. Then followed tidings of an unexpected disaster. driving the and in a unfortunate inhabitants that escaped into the numerous small forts built for their protection. little "appear. The party of rangers detached from Oswego to the Susquehanna was conducted by James to Secord. and he immediately prepared to march These tribes gave him the strongest assurances of that with the object of strengthening and he mentioned their determination they had resorted to " some a superstitious rites which have often produced effects upon at fierce and barbarous people. and several had returned to their former homes. where he took charge of the Indian department. and by savage barbarities in fact in provoked them to revenge. now involved one common calamity with the McKee had escaped from and all are greatly disheartened. few days reduced them to smouldering ruins. and thirty taken prisoners. replying that the blood of their kinsmen was still reeking from the ground it. to 125. for which dreadful retribution was then exacted. same time the Senecas and Cayugas were seriously alarmed by repeated rumors of an attack upon their villages by the masterful Connecticut settlers in ^Vyoming.
the principal I village of the Senecas. He confidently anticipated that he would be able to complete his battalion irnmediately after reaching the settlements. Letters from the frontier informed him that one otificer had enlisted nearly a hundred men. after he began I his march from Niagara on the 2nd of May. N. flour for his force. During the winter. and at holding a Council with the Indians Canadasaga. Accordingly. when they controlling told Butler that they meant "to strike in a body. The white There were two grist were all loyalists. Many of his best recruits all were drawn from the east branch of the Susquehanna. on the Susquehanna. 1778. which he could thus menace and alarm at It once. which could be used to grind I ! . was his intention to protect the Indian villages from attack and to his supplies make war sustain war by taking from the enemy. .4^ Pittsburg a plot to surprise the fort was discovered and inhabitants were imprisoned. sweeping along and breaking up their In this way he anticipated that "back settlements" as he did so." This information caused him to march and directing their among them with the movements in accordance object of with his instructions. the Senecas carefully abstained from molesting the frontier of New York until they found an opportunity of removing such of their friends as might be exposed to retaliation.Y. New Jersey. and he could easily enable him to join for that purpose. where persons suspected of loyalist leanings were keenly persecuted. Thirty desperate many men from the to Detroit. and that others \ had likewise been moderately successful. and Pennsylvania.. Sir "fall upon such part of New York" as would Henry Clinton whenever he received orders it In the meantime. inhabitants of that village mills in the vicinity Geneva. situated near the present site of 1 fixed his headquarters at Unadilla '. and of meeting various parties of recruits which he learned were on their way to join him. Governor Hamilton was informed that two hundred persons were prepared to come away in a body if they could obtain a safe conduct through killed were the Indian territory. was equally near the frontiers of the three States of New York. but of the neigh- boring country then attempted to make their way some and others driven back by the Indians.
The officers of Congress the State of New York had not been deceived by the inactivity of the Senecas during the winter." . It was attended by 700 Indians. recruits confierce of outrage and cruelty to relate. Oneidas and Onondagas. there could dispute a member of of the effects of the disaffected. Schuyler and La Fayette addressed them in turn. dependence from Massaby detachments of Continental troops New Jersey." General Roberdeau. "is very irregular. but " The confiscation to the as no be leading facts. less there and weak with hunger and in their Doubt- version of their wrongs. was some exaggeration and the brutality offered to Congress. had been taken and unceremoniously hanged. He found the Senecas suffering severely from want of both food and clothing through the stoppage of the usual channels of trade by the war. As they seldom ventured Stockades were built in every settlement. is shocking. as I am informed. these posts were genermuch to put ally occupied chusetts. from them even their wearing apparel. as Commissioner of Congress. the rangers or the Indian among the captives. footsore. Four hundred women and children belonging to the families of the principal loyalist at Albany as hostages for the safety refugees were seized and confined Buder's entire family was then in the hands of his of the frontier. tinue to come in. but travel. reported. A liberal quantity of presents was then distributed and the Indians announced their intention of in remaining neutral. in their operations nearer the seaboard. assuring them of the favor and protection of Congress and its ally. and his eldest son was reported to be slowly dying There was scarcely an officer in effects of his treatment. bitterest from the enemies. and ative chiefly of the King of France. [generally ragged. burning with a desire for retaliation. They had sent spies the Council called to meet at Johnstown by La Fayette as representSchuyler.42 he might create a diversion of considerable importance in favor of Clinton or Howe. Department that had not some near relative fresh story Every party of fugitives had some Several loyalist recruiting officers Still. but still resolute in their hostility to to the Americans. in taking the wives and children of some of them. on the local militia. or distant parts of New York.
settlements protected by regular soldiers. reinforced by the local . which was very adroitly executed. forts. and it became an who were object of no small importance to destroy the coming harvest before it could be lodged in their magazines. with the main body." they came well schooled in these respects. " to shoot well. The Senecas were particularly anxious to expel the Wyoming settlers. and kept a great stretch of country in constant alarm. or Wyoming. fugitives had little knowledge of drill or military discipas but the chief requisites of a good ranger being. and to endure privation and fatigue. while Butler. Brant and Frey made a hasty descent here and there. difficult and dangerous where they were still forcibly detained. inhabitants. where he was lying under sentence of death. enterprise. to march well. he was despatched to Quebec to regain and obtain arms and clothing at for the corps. proceeded Moving with bewildering rapidity along the skirts of the settle- ments. Schoharie. first step was to send Brant and Lieut. Still too sick and weak command of the company in the rangers to which he had been health appointed. immigrants from New England. travelled more than two hundred miles on in foot and horseback through a country abounding to take enemies. From all of these places the American armies had already drawn some recruits and supplies of inestimable value.43 These line. and distinguished by the revolutionary fervor of chiefly recent the. men to Brant and Frey were detached with eighty alarm and harrass Cherry Valley and Schoharie. General Haldimand subsequently remarked. Twice they were pur- sued by small bodies of Continental troops. against whom they cherished a long-standing grudge. it From Unadilla would be a matter of ease to strike swiftly either all populous advanced occupied by strong detachments of Cherry Valley. Butler was. who had escaped from his Albany He had safely prison. in that direction.cheered at the same time by the unexpected appearance of his son Walter. Barent Frey with a small party of rangers and Indians to bring away the remainder of the Mohawks from This was a their villages. and many minor forms of parade could readily be dispensed with Butler's in service.
even forcing some of the inhabit- ants to take refuge in Schenectady.44 and twice they turned upon their pursuers and by a wellfairly annihilated them with scarcely any loss to their own party. who were accused committed ejected. and several persons killed. during which small armies were organized. The magistrates had lately shown their zeal by the prosecution of some persons living further up the of being loyalists.000. These had been recently recalled for the defence of their homes and were accompanied by a small detachment of Continental infantry under Colonel Zebulon Butler. and had already sent two companies of riflemen to serve under Washington. arms. river. Thirty of these were seized and to jail in Connecticut. forts houses burnt. and built and besieged. The inhabitants were. and desolated a great part of the Schoharie valley. Wyoming or the County of Westmoreland. entirely composed of emigrants from Connecticut. and w^as anticipated that the harvest it creased so rapidly that was estimated at 6. . as it named. fled to The remainder were summarily and most of them Unadilla and joined the rangers. with few exceptions. then ripening would furnish a still greater quantity for the same pur])0se. Yet it was by no means the Arcadia that has been pictured. William Caldwell. After two months of this guerilla warfare they were able militia. many In this conflict. had served his apprenticeship in many of the rangers were Pennsylvanians who had been expelled from their holdings by the triumphant invaders and had seen I their houses wrapped in flames as it they fled. warm partizans of the Revolution. The population had in- congregated in a valley twenty-five miles in length and nowhere more than three in breadth. one of Butler's captains. On the contrary. for ten years back it had been a scene of strife and violence. planned ambush to report that they had killed or taken 294 men in arms. Rival land-companies had waged an obstinate struggle for possession of the narrow but fertile tract of alluvial soil skirting the river. and the was officially The valley of \ inhabitants had seized and held their farms by force of arms alone. Many thousand bushels of grain had been shipped during the past year for the supply of the Continental army near Philadelphia. contained a very thriving and populous settlement.
" cause for doomed to suffer the wrong that Aside from the land question." offer of half their refused Johnson "with the affair. having never. heard of. Butler was instructed to accompany Before this could be done. Some of them got drunk and uttered vague as hostages ever They were seized. been openly and fairly purchased of them. and gave them my opinion of the whole and also told them the unhappy con- sequences that would follow should they. next attempted. is the Governor of Pennsylvania. " Connecticut. cruelty." " The their Connecticut Company by an said. were further exasperated by an indefensible act of A few of . to bribe Sir interest. 1777. the Seneca chief. slight it deserved. declared than that these lands do yet belong that I " nothing more certain these nations. the chiefs of the tribe received a message Colonel Denniston and Judge Jenkins in the name of the inhabitants.45 The Indians contended of the lands occupied by the fruitlessly for that they were still the rightful owners Wyoming people. the Indians force. Mindful of former treach- Indians applied to Col. without success." was too powerful to be long withstood. and had been detained since." The land-hunger now in that " teeming hive. and the un- happy squatters were amendeth wrong. I Wm. force a He added that he did not believe the settlement in those parts. They had protested more than twenty years against the settlement of the valley. The justice of their claim was then generally admitted. Sangerachta. as so often hinted. there. the Senecas had a more recent irritation. Johnson offer. the them to a council. had acted as the spokesman of one deputation that had been sent to Connecticut to remonstrate. inviting ery. Liquor was given them threats. Butler for the assistance of a body of troops to enable them to go in such force as to secure the release of the prisoners. In the autumn of the preceding year a party to visit from their tribe had been invited the settlement. them with his whole Accordingly. Hamilton. from In April." Six Nations would ever consent to a settlement best on their war-path and hunting-ground. and the movement delayed until the disturbances preceding the Revolution afforded a favorable opportunity for reviving that to it.
and prepared for action with alacrity. the various Of these there were eight or ten. hundred men were seen advancing slowly along the was composed of the entire This force detatchment of . and on the morning of the 3rd July. and two a men and bend woman down Three killed and scalped. Butler then marched swiftly through the woods with 200 rangers and 300 Indians. Terms were soon arranged by which the garrison agreed to surrender the place with all their arms and stores. from which he looked down on prisoners. On the last day of June he encamped on the summit of a high hill. saying that they would at least be on an equal footing with them four or five in the woods. and were prepared to speak with him either as friends or foes.. in numbering eight hundred men. in a few and at night he was joined by two his From these men in it was learned that approach had been discovered." Butler at once sent Lieut. Forty then the remaining garrison on that side of the river. His scouts brought loyalists.vitation. but after lor. and At this the Indians rejoiced apparently preparing for an attack. parties sent out by Butler to collect cattle reported that the militia were assembling in great numbers near Forty Fort. Fort.46 their people stealthily havinL. were attacked by a scouting party from the settlement. Shortly after noon river. and engaged not to bear arms again during the war. greatly. was summoned. approached within five miles of Wyoming. The defiant answer was returned that the inhabitants were determined to fight. and "would have all their scalps before night. had been assembled forts. Floating at the the Susquehanna in boats and rafts to the great Islands.g deliberation the terms were rejected. and that addition to sixty Continentals the entire militia of the settlement. sent a message to Col. and John Turncy of the rangers summon it. lives should be Jenkins' fort next capitulated on the same terms. on the sole condition that their preserved. marched within view of Wintemute's to fort. Denniston informing in Next morning the Indians him that they had come consequence of his ir. the three largest being on the same side of the river as his camp. the greater part of the valley. Two days had been consumed in this way.
four o'clock. They three rounds without receiving a shot in reply. Bolton. and taking a rifle. in Many tried to swim the and were shot or drowned fire the act. which was repeated by each band of Indians in succession and prowas succeeded by a deliberate and longed by the rangers. the Indians being stationed on the to lie flat and ordered them on the ground and reserve their fire until a signal his He laid aside military hat. the Americans pushed forward rapidly. who was the destroying Jenkins' fort. posted himself in the centre of the rangers. This deadly volley. ed within a hundred tion. m darted forward to cut off their retreat. a veteran soldier Wyoming riflemen under Colonel Zebulon who had served through the French war and at the siege of of Connecticut militia Havana." Butler said in his aff"air was soon over. For many years these militiamen had been armed and carefully trained. and gradually advancwhen Sangerachta gave a shrill whoop. He then posted his men in a " fine open wood. had fired yards. "Our half an letter to Col. last The year Indians were so exasperated with their loss Fort Stanwix . and at directed enemy was still about a mile away. and in the land-war they had easily routed their antagonists. Butler Fort Wintemute to be set on fire. advanced in line until within two hundred yards of the rangers' posi- when they discovered them and began firing. Caldwell. and the The Indians that part of the line gave way in a sudden panic. In only at five prisoners. not lasting above first fire till this action hour from the time they gave the were taken 227 scalps and their flight. tied a handkerchief around his head. After the enemy deployed and they had passed the burning stockade. the enemy's Already the Indians had turned left militia flank by creeping along the margin of the marsh. was given by the Seneca chief. and a merciless pursuit began. river. "that the was so close and well-directed." extending from an impenetrable marsh to the right in six distinct parties. After that they offered but resistance.47 Continental infantry and Butler. was recalled. and the greater part of the 24th regiment commanded by Colonel Denniston himself. river. Supposing that this was when the forerunner of a retreat. and drove them little in confusion towards the river.
" said Only sixty of the entire body that marched out to give battle are to have escaped. same conditions that that he had and even consented Forty Fort should children. two majors. which their fears prompted them blood-curdling and wholly imaginary details. regulars fled had Butler readily agreed to grant the offered before the battle. After dark he heard the sound of footsteps. Denniston. On our side we lost one Indian killed. "It has been a sore day for the "It has indeed. Col." the younger man said. officers. This story was told by a wounded officer who escaped by secreting himself in a thicket. and an immense drove of cattle had been collected as plunder by the Indians. at surrendered the first summons a headed by Col. who came lost next day with a minister and four others to treat for the they had remainder of the settlement of Westmoreland. on the opposite side of the river. seven captains. of whom fourteen were Continentals. and two men. remain standing as~a place of refuge for the As a measure of precaution he insisted that women and all spirits should be destroyed before the stores were delivered.48 that it was with difficulty in I could save the lives of these few. terms for the rest of the The few surviving from the valley during the night. It is certain that Butler strongly disapproved of this wholesale slaughter. and has been . Already the mills and many farm houses were in flames." The three forts at Laruwanak. Denniston and beg for next morning. two rangers and eight Indians wounded. This eagerly circulated to throw to embellish with tale of horror was odium upon the loyalists. eleven ensigns and 268 privates. and a deputation clergyman came from Forty Fort to settlement. told me one colonel. Those who fled from the valley told a far different story of death and desolation. and even from taunting the inhabitants with their defeat. whom he recognized as Butler himself and one of his passed so near his hiding place that he could overhear snatches of their conversation. and more than one of the prisoners remembered to the end of their lives his constant efforts to prevent the Indians from plundering." replied Butler Yankees. sadly. thirteen lieutenants. "blood enough has been shed.
Even now. (1840) it is not offence we draw of him what we believe he could have It is certain commanded much face was in a high Col. he promised to "use utmost influence that the property of the inhabitants shall be preserved entire to them. although with evident trepidation as to " the prob- able consequences of telling the truth. who appeared in arms before the year was ended. confirms the statement of Mrs. sini^le assure you that the destruction of the settlement not a person was hurt except such as were in arms. " But what gives me the sincerest satisfaction in is that I can. him. and that none of the inhabitants should again bear arms. written from Laruwanak on the 12th July. it Undoubtedly massacre battle. its No one can deny that the capitulation on degree honorable and favorable to Col. By the final capitulation it was agreed that all the forts should be utterly demolished. and that they are to remain in peaceable possession of their farms and unmolested in a free trade through this state as far as lies in their power. practically corroborates Butler's statement. while it is not denied Denniston and others. and ." He afterwards asserted in the most solemn language that these conditions were faithfully observed by that they were violated by Col. but was of strong or from a lost and not of prisoners helpless men flying women and children as they represented. the local historian of Wyoming.49 repealed with there was a " little variation " down to the present day. without some fear of giving to be a just outline. The officers and men of the rangers have supported themselves through hunger and fatigue with great cheerfulness. at Wyoming." his On his part. with great truth. the Continental stores surrendered. Butler said. In his letter to Col. and Butler that river it was further stipulated by " properties taken from the people called Tories up the be made good." Miner. Bolton already cited. Denniston. The prisoners on both sides were to be liberated. to these. the Indians gave no quarter. Myers. in truth. that Butler exerted himself to restrain the savages. seemed deeply hurt when unable to do so. The settlement was wholly at his mercy. Franklin more severe conditions.
tree. women and all children. of the Susquehanna. fate of The days the roads and the rivers were covered for miles by throngs of The adjacent counties were nearly people flying from their homes. Niagara. exclusive of guns and tomahawks. The and the roads down were covered with men. and The trembling from their commander a volley was fired by a party of rangers." "Boyd!" he exclaimed. all the greatest in the part of Another writes of armed most formidable manner. Every one of them. that sir !" " Go Butler repeated sternly. when furnished with a list of property. was the only life taken after the capitulation was signed. and . through the rough visage of the warrior showing a rather agreeable than forbidding aspect. Care sat upon his brow. flying for their lives. below the middle stature yet active." wretch obeyed.5° offered. stood at describes one grim deed of which Butler himself made no Butler When the garrison of Forty Fort marched out. "I never river my life saw such scenes of distress. he of Butler as succeeded in construct- life-like portrait he appeared to them. and Butler took advantage of the general panic to send a party to destroy the For many settlement on the Lackawaxen branch of the Deleware. This. faltered. deserted. Speaking quickly. Decision." He mention. "Go that tree!" "I Boyd to that you will consider me a prisoner of war. without opposition as in it An eye witness said. firmness.Sunbury became the frontier post on the west branch It was asserted that Butler might have advanced far as Carlisle. "A fat man. to make it good. to a deserter from hope. hath a large spontoon and as soon as engaged rushes on in a most dreadful manner. Miner states. sir. courage were undoubted charac- teristics of the man." Wyoming spread terror along the border. the gateway and " recognized one Boyd. . left many without any property at it." The Executive Council of Pennsylvania instantly ordered two regiments of regulars and 1800 militia to march to the defence of the Much of the harvest elsewhere was destroyed in consefrontier." and none who have not "700 Indians. and he fell dead. he repeated his words when excited. at a signal From ing a the recollections of survivors.
detached from constantly scouting towards the Aughquaga with thirty rangers. with instructions to march at once to Oquaga and inform the Indians that he had villages. leaving the head. and Mr. already their country fall tressed." Butler continued. when joined by the Indians. must disperse and an easy prey. their general army. to enlist as many able-bodied men of the as you can." Butler in was forced to seek Caldwell command of the rangers. "Captain Caldwell of the rangers. Adams." A memorandum September indicates distribution the rangers the vast extent of country covered by their operations at this time. Joseph Brant. Captain Powell of the Indian Department. tive eye on Fort Pitt. Mr. Struck fever down at Tioga a few days later by a violent attack of in and ague accompanied by "rheumatism relief at Niagara. is Captain Johnson.V 51 quence. Mr. Pawling also of detached from Aughquaga with thirty rangers and Indians to Wyalusing. quaga and neighborhood. and conduct any offensive movement he considered practiAn officer and a few rangers were to accompany every party and harrass the frontier. to watch the motions of ihe a number rebels said to be assembling there. ''I of Indians sent out to reconnoitre would have you give orders. ready. "to every party you send out If we can prevent to burn and destroy everything they possibly can. John Young. The chiefs of Upper Seneca keep an attenThe main body of the rangers is at Aughfor an . German Flats and Cherry Valley. and the diversion of so many troops to this quarter unquestionably hampered the movements of their main army. the enemy getting in their grain. from the Seneca of Indians out from thence to the continual parties keeps country. as well to is annoy the enemy as to gain intelligence. are at Aughquaga. of the west branch of the Susquehanna and Juniata. with directions to scout as low as Wyoming. and to Schoharie. Mr. come to assist in the defence of their border cable. upon the Susquehanna.towards Fort Stanwix. employed in as low as the Minnesinks scouting from there to the Deleware river. who are of much disYou are recommended early in for their loyalty. Indian Department at Carleton Island is employed in scouting .
overtook the fugitives and shot them But their friends and relatives stubbornly refused to believe that they to desert. after rest destroying the arms of the an unpardonable offence. This. or till was too do anything. A number of unknown men had -Some. that he would remain where he was or thereI him thought I till he could join the army from late to New York with safety. A single traitor plish the destruction of the entire corps. were actually spies in the enemy's service. Butler had accordingly issued a standing order that any the man should on the spot. at their families. " He [Haldimand] time . attempt to desert he must be instantly pursued and shot Shortly after their arrival at to visit Oquaga two men from Susquehanna asked leave torily refused. it offered themselves from time to time for enlistment. it appears that a continuous chain of scouting parties was maintained during the summer from Lake Ontario to the Ohio. a young officer already highly distinguished .incursion to the enemy's frontier or to defend the Indian country. which occasioned profound discontent among the rangers. We have his own evidence on point. Galdwell peremp- the " Taking advantage of an opportunity when on guard Indian Gastle. Sir John Johnson Governor's elbow in Quebec maliciously whispering that he to would this do anything worthy of note. of course. bringing with him Lieut. was Galdwell sent out a party which soon at sight. was subsequently discovered. had actually intended for the offenders and continued to manifest their sympathy in various ways. or Royal Highfor land Emigrants.ate in August Walter Butler returned from Quebec. of the guard. John McDonnel of the 84th Regt. was at the fail While Butler was engaged in harrying Wyoming. During might easily accomhis advance upon if Wyoming." During the time Galdwell held command a tragic event occurred. l. On the i6th July he wrote to Glaus with evident satis- faction. all this that he thought he could have struck a blow I told his was not abouts it might venture to assure him that it intention. asked me yesterday what Butler would be ere about now." Although the force at his disposal did not exceed 600 rangers and Indians." they stole quietly away with their arras..
had obtained leave to serve with the rangers. destroyed. but he in- hoping to surprise the garrison. A off. As senior captain. and speaker of the Legislative Caldwell. Assembly of Upper Canada. and 826 cattle killed or driven On his return to Unadilla. he met and ca[)tured a party of Oneidas. and the darkness became so complete that Caldwell was forced to halt on the very outskirts of the settlement instead of advancing upon the fort as he had intended.. the flats for England cattle. had plundered the loyalists there and carried off some prisoners. but his own Indians scouts the sole insisted that they should be liberated. survivor outran all Three men were and got instantly his pursuers heavy rain began. who. horses and mares. Advancing swiftly through the woods from Unadilla. stantly gave the order to move gan. The melancholy work of destruction betaken refuge in the forts. At night a The rain was falling in torrents when on. finding there was little prospect of active employment with his own regiment. well's How own thoroughly brief it was performed may be judged from Cald" description. party of white shot. except the church German Flats. and drove from William Tygert's to Fort Herkimer on the south side of the river. and we took them out The oxen were at large New of the enclosure inhabitants reported that The Fort Dayton within pistol-shot of the fort. among them two sick rangers. still daylight returned. Butler superseded and McDonnel was put in command of a company. The entire population had but every house was found deserted. He had good reason to suspect that these Indians were scouts in the enemy's service. . life In after years for McDonnel became known first in civil as member Glengarry. off a great all many cows and oxen. where there were two large forts occupied by a Continental regiment.and from Adam Staring's to beyond Canada Creek on the north side. kept on the use of the Continental troops. Caldwell was then detached with 200 rangers and 160 Indians against the German Flats. but was next encountered. Caldwell had the mortification to learn that the Oneidas he had liberated. We destroyed all the grain and buildings on the Wydeck's and Fort Dayton." five mills and 120 other buildings were off.53 activity and courage.
Massachusetts regiment and the inhabitants generally were bitterly hostile. Niag- be in great danger. . By this raid the Young family. Hartley. which had already furnished Butler with two active officers. women and children to take care of their villages. moment for a counterstroke had While strong parties dogged the steps of the retreating enemy. against Cherry Valley. arriv- but carried off Indian scalps. They burnt both those villages with the houses and mills of the Scot- the tish loyalists in the vicinity. accusing them of killing women and and torturing prisoners. He threatened to waste their country with "fire and sword" if they delayed to sue for peace. estimated at 1400. had been warned of their approach by an Oneida. a small party of the 8th and 321 Indians." Col. where he was joined by children Caldwell with the rangers. desolating the farms of many loyalists as he advanced. Hartley ascended the Susquehanna as far as Tioga. and On the night of the 9th November. attended by a strong guard. when he retreated with every sign His rear-guard was five fiercely assailed and lost fifteen men. leaving only their The Senecas rapidly assembled 400 men. Another force from same time upon Oquaga and Unadilla. piloted by Denniston and others who had surrendered Schoharie advanced at at Wyoming. while their destination. and even ostentatiously defiant of the Indians. and burnt the Indian village there. Bolton sent a few volunteers at the from the 8th to join him. of He then sent a written message to the chiefs Chemung. under Col. Finding himself head of 800 men. he marched with 200 rangers. where they had long been forming magazines The forts there were occupied by Alden's collecting cattle. a scout of nine men yet twenty miles from sent out by the garrison was From them it was learned that the commandant surprised and taken. Butler prepared to attack Hartley.54 This was followed by a formidable inroad by a body of regulars and militia. Butler saw that the favorable ed. They also stated that most of the officers usually slept in a house a quarter of a mile out- side the fort. a few miles distant. and that the Continentals numbered 300 and the militia 150. Captain Butler had retired to Canadasaga. Convinced ara would that if the Six Nations "were forced to a neutrality. suffered severely in property. of haste.
while blazing houses . the fort. chilling rain. regiment were abandoned in the house and burnt in it. and opened a fierce of artillery and small arms. He assembled the chiefs and proposed that as soon as the moon rose. ran for his two men cutting wood. they should resume their halted his at After an exhausting men shelter. There he was obliged to remain into a inactive all day under a ceaseless. fort at full speed. which then undoubtedly outnumbered them considerably. while Butler with the assailed move until daybreak. and were glad move as soon as day appeared. Butler dark in a pinewood. and and plunder. violently. persed Their wretched misconduct forced him to in every direction to kill collect all the rangers compact body on an eminence near the principal entrance to the fort. It was then McDonnel with 50 picked rangers and some remainder tents. briskly at loop-holes in palisades for ten minutes. by passingthrough a dense swamp. One fell dead the other. when Butler saw with horror and consterdis- nation that the Indians had set their officers at defiance. and fired The rangers seized and the burnt a the detached block-house. it They readily assented. when the Indians in front fired at bleeding.55 march next day through a blinding snowstorm and over ground covered with deep wet snow and mud. while he made a rush upon the fort with the rangers. and ten privates were taken. they spent a to sleepless night cowering beneath the pines. The colors of the three subalterns. which afforded them some from Cherry Valley. but only two or three reached soldiers. whoop and followed been halted a long start. but before the time appointed arrived they obstinately refused to began to rain and arranged that Capt. to fix flints and load their rifles. Indians should storm the house. Unhappily the rangers had just and the Indians obtained The Continental officers attempted to escape to the it. to oppose a sally by the garrison. They had approached unperceived within a mile of the fort. Without blankets or fires. five other officers were killed on the way and the lieutenant-colonel. and twenty The fire garrison of the fort was fully alarmed. six miles march and surround the house occupied by the officers. though life and the entire body of Indians set up a . The colonel.
and they continued to look on from the walls in Another great herd of cattle was collected. Those surrendered were placed next the camp fires and protected by his Next morning most of the Indians and the feeblest men among the rangers were sent away with a huge drove of captured cattle for the supply of the garrison at Niagara. I could not prevail on the Indians to leave the women and children behind. Bolton of the 17th " November. He I did not disguise the dark side of the story in his letter to Col. I could not some of them failing victims to the fury of the savages. and they declared that they would be no more accused falsely of fighting the enemy twice. be truly ascribed to tiie rebels having This has much falsely accused the Indians of cruelty at Wyomen. while Butler. with the remainder. and Butler his retreat. He then struggled with indifferent success to rescue the prisoners. swept the valley from end to end. and they are still more incensed at finding that the colonel and those who had then laid down their arms. on them. soon after marching into their country intending to destroy their villages. At nightfall he marched a mile down the valley and encamped. meaning they would in future give no quarter. a very violent rebel. exasperated them. who were with the humane assistance of Mr. but the lesson of would j^rovoke the Wyoming had not been lost silent fury. " have much to that notwithstanding my utmost precautions to save the prevent women and children. I believe. ruthlessly burning every building and stack in sight. They have carried off many of the inhabitants and killed more. among them Colin Cloyd." . again stood guard at the gate of the fort. leisurely began having had only two rangers and three Indians wounded during the expedition.56 and shrieks of agony told their pitiful tale in the settlement below." he said. and Captain Jacobs The death of the women and children on loyalists. lament. and Brant. though the second morning Captain Johnson (to whose knowledge of the Indians and address in managing them I am much indebted) and I got them to permit twelve. to return. and whom I concealed. with 60 rangers and 50 Indians. and McDonnel whole force. Joseph Brant of Ochquaga. He hoped that this appalling spectacle garrison to sally out and fight. this occasion may.
assenting to the • and men of the rangers of conniving at the crimes and outrages committed by the Indians. Butler the and her partners in captivity. in which he said :^ I am induced by humanity to permit the prisoners whose names are enclosed to remain behind. than anything else contributed to hasten Their temporary detention more the release of Mrs. The inhabitants killed at Cherry Valley do not lay at my door my .57 In addition to those mentioned here. that not a man. ten women. lest the inclemency of the " season and their helpless and naked condition should prove fatal. first. confidently appealing to the prisoners themselves for confirmation of statements. James Clinton. the killing men in arms in the field. Hartley. In spite of strenuous efforts to prevent off a the Indians carried number women and and children to their villages. or a woman or child was hurt after the capitulait. Though we in that case plead guilty. Butler and her family to come to Canada in consideration. of your forces. Butler and other officers liberated. and asserting that similar acts had been perpetrated when no Indians proposed exchange. I have done everything in my power to restrain the Indians from hurting women and of children who fell into their hands." it. officers. at least the conduct of some of your yourselves . being a copy of his letter charging them crimes they . and thirty-two children. sent to the with Indians the enclosed. About Indian arrived at Niagara bearing a letter middle of February an from Gen. tion. at "We committed Wyoming deny. I hope you will allow Mrs. To his this Walter Butler made a prompt and indignant reply. contrary." he said. leaving with them a letter addressed to General Schuyler. he actually set at liberty seven men. Most of these were from lime to time purchased from them by Col. should you inhumanity. woman call it or child before or taken into captivity. Col. but if you insist I will engage to send you moreover an equal number of j^risoners and allow you to name the persons. "any cruelties to have been so far to the either by whites or Indians . at who had succeeded Schuyler in command Albany. accessories) it's If any are guilty (as conscience acquits me. but accusing the officers were present.
were the reasons assigned by the Indians to me. after the destruction of Cherry Valley. and threatening them and their villages with fire and sword. then prisoners among as at you. took to the woods and. to observe that I experienced no humanity. The burning of one friends then inhabited only by a few families they might remain in peace and — your — who till of their villages. for their not acting in the same manner Wyoman. and no quarters. few hours before the arrival of your troops. constructed un- der Colonel Butler's sujjervision during the autumn. " having brass plate in front bearing the monogram G. R. or even common justice. "The prisoners sent back by me. and them in force against yourselves. acquit . or any now in our or the In- dians" hands. to complete the matter. . among you. 1778. henceforth known as the " Rangers' Barracks. they had determined to convince you that it was not fear which had prevented them putting your threats against from committing the one. both before and since their arrival at this post. trimmed with a low. that they should not even receive quarter. after solemn capitulation and agreement not to bear arms during the war. or taking captive. flat cap." full Six December. further declare that they have received every assistance. or in my power to prewomen and children me and must any way injuring them. a friendship with you." The uniform selected scarlet for — very similar a them was of dark green to the present rifle uniform — with cloth. during my imprisonment wants. that being charged by their enemies with what they never had done. and they then went into winter quarters in an isolated range of log buildings. Colonel Stacey and several will other officers of yours. and threatened by them. companies of rangers were assembled at Fort Niagara in to receive their clothing. imagined assured. when exchanged. that could be got to relieve their I must beg leave. and Colonel Denniston not performing a a promise to release number of soldiers belonging to Colonel Butler's corps of rangers. Colonel Denniston and a his people appearing again in arms with Colonel Hartley. on the west side of the river. but must declare I did everything in vent the Indians killing the prisoners. They added. by-the-bye.58 never committed." encir- .
. rangers." It was intended that they expected to pro- should be armed with vide his rifles. he disliked the place. the second year they might possibly support themselves and families. under cultivation seven years to bring land We must be cautious how we encroach on the land of the Six Nations. Bolton. in and (the country belonging to far [)refer- the Missassaugas and able to the east Government of Canada. " firelocks " Colonel Bolton lent them a hundred from the magazine. and in consequence to many of their arms were found be old and nearly unserviceable. and are of opinion an now offers to make a beginning by for encouraging some of the distressed loyalists lately arrived at this post With the little stock they have brought. He said. 1778. His Majesty's protection. and refugee loyalists had The enormous expense and already convinced (General Haldimand of the great advantage that might be derived from the establishment of a permanent settlement at Niagara. that its of the soil. not a single good flint in the great difliculty experienced in supplying the wants of the garrison. and was not encouraging. sug- gesting that the refugees might be usefully employed in tilling land Bolton's health was poor. had been noted sionally sent For a dozen years back the military gardens formed at Oswego for the size and fine quality of the ofificers vegetables produced in them. both from the soil situation. and believed cultivation garrison. but as each man was own they brought with them any kind of firearm they were able to procure." 1779. specimens of which the I occa- down to The Governor knew astonish their friends at Montreal the fertility and Albany. on the 4th March.59 cled by the words "Butler's Rangers. But upon more mature consideration he wrote. near the first his reply as we have informed them that the Great King never deprived them of an acre since 1759. the west side of the river. but confessed that there was the place.) by and where none of those difliculties can the oj^portunity arise. the 7th October. / might be readily extended for the maintenance of the On fort. he wrote to Col. The sole credit of the project may be fairly ascribed to him. " It would require to supply the garrison. when he drove the French away. "The gentlemen I have consulted think. and Niagara.
to he regarded their " no pains or trouble will be spared on your part keep the different . am confident. ." Butler was able to assure him that although the rangers. . The Governor also signified his thorough approval of the conduct of the rangers. who would pay a reasonable price for them. and that people (the Indians) having a constant eye to the designs of the rebels. Your own knowledge of the importance of Niagara will suggest the necessity of your corps. so that in six or seven years such a plan would be serviceable to the Government and the individuals that would undertake it. more than a hundred had been brought in by them. and I trust that you. will never cease your exhortations till you shall at length convince them that such indiscriminate vengeance. and in case of need of throwing yourselves into that place to join in its defence. having no other means of subsistence. the greatest satisfaction if his which the Indians It in their fury are so apt to endeavors to prevent the excesses to run had proved effectual. makes desirable that cattle should be driven or any other articles sent in to Colonel Bolton. very disapprobation of such proceedings. From that period the increase would be considerable. in whose cause they are that But he did not fail to remind Butler " I assistance as indispensable as ever. however. and every officer serving with the savages. taken even upon the treacherous and cruel enemy they are engaged with. is as useless and disreputable as it is contrary to the disposition fighting. ." he said. much to his credit that he gave proofs of his is. while he heartily regretted and condemned the cruelty of the Indians. Haldimand constantly referred to the necessity of provisioning and protecting Niagara from attack at all " hazards. The ara great expense it and difficulty of transporting provisions to Niagin." and maxims of their King.6o and the third year they might be useful to this post." In his letters to Butler." he wrote. " I have received Captain Butler's relation of the operations at " the success of which would have afforded Cherry Valley. generally consumed most of the captured cattle.
and Lieuts. and that every argument will be made use of by you to convince them how severely they would feel the contrary behavior. from whence I some expect intelligence. and an Indian went from this some time ago express whom I have engaged to make his way to Albany to observe what at that place. and to intercept. with orders to Capt. Secord sent to Shimong purpose of keeping a constant watch upon the rebels towards Wyoming. use his utmost endeavors to gain every intelligence of the enemy's designs. The main body of the rangers were held in perpetual readiness to march wherever they might be needed. if possible. "There are two scouts ordered out upon the Ohio. and a party has been despreparations are going on to observe the situation of the enemy Minnesinks the towards patched in that quarter. in Scouts from Niagara were constantly sent out every direction guard against surprise.6i tribes in the humor of acting for the service of the Crown. Several parties are out towards Fort Stanwix. Johnson is stationed among the Senecas. and made to use of them to convert others. Indians in that quarter in Dochstader and Johnson are sent to reside among the order to have scouts constantly out. and the Seneca chief has promised to have some of . The fatigue and hardship entailed by scouting duties alone may be judged from the return of parties out on the 2nd February. and have sent by express any accounts of material import Aubrey at as well to Capt. Butler made every exertion to prepare the corps for service early in the spring. Carleton Island as to the commanding officer of this garrison. and to for the send the " earliest intelligence to this place. and side. During the winter the Indians professed to be in great fear of an Butler reported that Congress had its emissaries everywhere. De a party to watch the road between Quoin's son has undertaken with Fort Stanwix and the German Flats. that they were using every art to draw the Indians over to their They actually succeeded with some of the Onondagas. some of the rebels. as parties have been out that way for daily time. towards Fort Pitt and the places adjacent. to observe the motions of the enemy. and Capt. 1779. is Mr." attack.
and announcing that large reinforcements were expected from England.62 his young men continually out. governor of Detroit. Bolton was compelled the garrison." movement in any part but we must gain immediate notice of These parties in had several smart skirmishes during the prisoners. so it will be almost impossible for the to enemy make the smallest it. Hamilton's disaster had endangered Detroit. Fort Stanwix next Indian villages were burnt. news of the gathering of the enemy. A formid- army was assembling at Wyoming. Bolton instructed Butler to march to their . had been taken by the enemy. and brought many The Indians were much depressed the arrival of upon learning that Hamilton. Three ^8 women and children captured. with letters and news- papers relating British successes elsewhere. and Col. every scout and messenger brought At Fort Pitt there was a num- some unknown purpose. erous force preparing boats for able As the spring advanced. this tribe was already friendly Americans. Six hundred men from few killed. and a spy returning from the Mohawk announced that he had seen 700 men in camp at Canajoharie. encountered a strong body of American riflemen near Fort Pitt and cleverly drew them into an ambush. but Dochstader himself was badly hurt in three places. to send Caldwell with fifty picked rangers to reinforce In the beginning of April. Twenty-one were killed and nine taken. and that it was reported they were the vanguard of an army of 3. and a to the As Indians.intended nothing less than their total extermination. Lieut. made a raid on Onondaga. and to forward to us an account of what discoveries they make. John Dochstader. On learning this Col.000 advancing from that quarter against the Indians. this event only served to alienate them They were fast and exasperate the remainder of the becoming convinced that their enemies . with the loss of only one Indian killed and three wounded. with io8 Indians and a few rangers. but they quickly recovered their spirits on Thomas Hill. winter. a messenger from New York.
" If the scouts out towards Oswego. and the frontier settlements were everywhere protected by a girdle of strong stockades. leaving his baggage and provisions to struggle him on pack-horses from Irondequot Bay. Cattle and grain could scarcely said that be purchased at Scouts confirmed the report that an over- whelming army was assembling on the Susquehanna. to prevent the Oneidas from discovering the weakness of the garrison at Niagara. many of them were on roots and any price. adding at all must hold his ground hazards while there was any pros- pect ot an invasion of the Indian country. he must follow at once " to escort the general's At the same time it was equally necessary to keep strong baggage. was detached to the Susquehanna to obtain cattle. Eieutenant Thompson. as it was surmised that the dash direction. the principal village of the Senecas. it soon became evident that he must to a great extent be "governed by the old Smoky Heads or chiefs. But being among the Indians and acting in defence of their country. with forty rangers.63 assistance. prudent officer. Haldimand could " more encouraging than that Butler must attempt fleet some stroke to i^rocure subsistence for the rangers" until the that he of "victuallers" arrived from England. could reach him. Eong before this letter effect." Butler ventured sent him with sixty men to alarm the settlements on the Mohawk. and keep a sharp lookout towards Fort Pitt and Wyoming. upon Onondaga was a mere feint to draw him in that Americans should attempt an advance from Fort Pitt upon Detroit. to including a few Indians. and on the 2nd of May he left Niagara with 400 men. Everywhere he found the Indians on the very brink of starvation actually living . accompanied by Rowland Montour and a few Indians. Eieutenant Johnson made a raid upon Schoharie and . but to detain and being "a spirited. In response to the most urgent appeals to send say nothing him provisions. and compelled Butler to huriy forward after by forced marches." They were panic stricken by a false alarm that the Americans were advancing on Cayuga. leaves. He was directed advance no further than Canadasaga. Butler had attempted to put his advice into Captain McDonnel had been ordered to rejoin his regiment.
" he wrote on the rSth June. is "I have sent her with Mr. I told her she might stay in much my house.64 brought off eighteen prisoners. He with stated when he Gen. packhorses. although it that a very serious invasion that the was still generally supposed . leaving the inhabitants to their horrible fate. " advance from "North River. Seacord to Niagara. there 600 with men. expect in a few days to get Mrs. Moore and family released likewise. and were to have 400 more. shall send them to Niagara the opportunity. If there at is She not a I want of clothing and other necessaries. Another actually penetrated beyond the Hudson and enlisted seventy men." to cut off the and they a third They intend Indians as come and then join and attack Niagara. more convenient place. and Generals Sullivan daily expected to nine regiments and nine cannon. "I have procured the releasement of Mrs. Butler urged the Indians to plant as much By corn as possible. Hand was encamped and Maxwell were from Fort along. and every ranger not otherwise employed was set at work to assist in the fields them June from on the fertile Genessee flats. were lying in the river." A great They had 600 number of boats There could no longer be any doubt was contemplated. On it the 3rd July a deserter came in from Wyoming that i^roved. the rangers were mouth. as did the arrival of numerous recruits and refugees. and the starving Indians were wasting his scanty supply of ammunition by firing at every wretched little bird they saw in the woods. hand to and Butler began to carry his to tremble lest he should fail to obtain food enough men out of the country. the beginning of living his stock of provisions was exhausted. very reliable information. Another army was Pitt. as left. but their presence only added to his distress. in The Indians have given I me seven prisoners they have brought first at different times." bringing. It is pleasing to find that even in this extremity he did not relax his efforts to redeem the prisoners still in the hands of the Indians. It seemed impossible to remain much longer atCanadasaga. One bold recruiting officer had gone within sight of Albany and brought in twenty men belonging to Burgoyne's army. Campbell.
The small stock of profrom Niagara had long since been consumed. Mohawk dis- covered an encampment of troops at " Cochran's Lake. and made fierce threats of retaliation in like manner." They Sergt. Many of the settlepreceding summer. Their comrades bitterly exasperated. Lieut. ed the there lives of the is which has brought actual sickness on some and endanger"To add to all this. Henry Hare and Newberry of the rangers had been taken by the enemy and executed as spies. much as possible. and must either The Indians were continually begging for food. By the 19th July every expedient that ingenuity and experience could suggest for the maintenance of the remainder of his battalion at Canadasaga had been exhausted. Hare had been recognized while " viewing the up the were river. as well as to procure supplies. and occupy them To in distract their the defence of own frontiers. whole." supposed to be the advance-guard of the army coming from " North River. which the frontier. where the rangers could be any of them I could not body for want of provisions. a few volunteers from the 8th. with a refinement of cruelty. in front of his own house. two days' march from Canadasaga. and such of forts. while Barent Frey and Brant marched against Minnesink on the Deleware. was selected as a suitable place for an encampment. which visions sent by Bolton power to supply." Butler continued. " to make it go as far as possible. as remain are secured by a chain at enemy maintain small distances all along their and had I a prospect of taking march out against them with a sufficient Genessee Falls.65 attention as their numbers of the enemy were much exaggerated. McDonnel with 60 and 100 Indians." likewise brought the doleful news that Lieut. was sent to the west branch of the Susquehanna. Meanwhile." . return or starve. stores as they passed and was hanged on a gallows^ erected." there was the not the same opportunity of driving cattle from the enemy's as frontier ments were then broken. scouting parties returning from the rangers. Thompson wrote from Tioga that he had been unable to procure any cattle. although great care had been taken and the men only allowed as much as was barely sufficient to keep it was not in his them " alive.
in all and vigilant officers were stationed their outlying villages with instructions to keep scouts out in every direction. having heard the firing. there is no place can be at all so centrical for either of those places. for welcome change of diet to men who had been Ireland. After a " very fatiguing and tedious march over mountains and through woods almost impenetrable. who." McDonnel gained the west branch of the Susall quehanna. McDonnel said that very few would their flight have escaped had not been favored by thick underwood. the frontier post. against the frontiers While Butler was so employed both the parties he had sent out had struck damaging blows." Butler explained. Two hours later besiegers only the rangers were eighty unexpectedly attacked by a party of seventy or men from a neighboring fort. were taken. will " many weeks. had advanced to the relief of Fort Freeland. leaving three captains and the field. including a commissioner of the county. on stale salt meat imported from Should we be wanted at Oswego. On the 27th July he marched night and at daybreak came ers in sight of Fort Freeland. skirmish he attempted to induce the Indians to follow up their sue- . McDonnel them flank. Of the John Montour. The Indians had dispersed in search of cattle and allowed them within gunshot. or Venango. thirty in front until approach unperceived until formed his men and engaged the Indians assembled and took the enemy in the hastily to men dead on if when they were quickly routed. Should our services be required towards Fort Pitt. while scalping a man under the walls. was wounded. After this He lost only one Indian killed and another wounded. justice to the people under my command in I could no longer delay as they were suffering everything that disease flict.66 supplied with provisions by boats from Niagara. Before noon the Thirty-one prison- garrison capitulated. and had they remained this and hunger could insituation much longer would have been entirely unfit for service. after having two men killed. Detroit. who led a party of the Indians." He himself still remained at Canadasaga to sustain the spirits of the Indians. and the abundance of fish in the river would afford a living. In it. " it be the most convenient place for us to move from to it.
Brant quietly led a party of Indians Quickly recovering from his around a hill and sud- denly attacked his assailants remorselessly slaughtered killed." Immediately after the return of his detachments. but should I comply with the requisition made by and you it would effectually answer the intention of the enemy destroy the grand object of this expedition. They dispersed and were More than a hundred were and but one taken prisoner. but " and insisted on retreatthey were glutted with plunder In the morning he ing a few miles to enjoy themselves overnight. Tidings of these disasters. but half of them were subsequently stolen by the Indians. but limping . with little opposition. direction to observe their He returned with some i)risoners. A hundred were driven off. returned with loo men and destroyed five forts and thirty miles of " settled country. accompanied by urgent appeals for assistance. an ambush the Lackawaxen surprise. but he firmly refused to be turned aside from his main purpose. and many other buildings their retreat they Minne- On much superior force of militia. awaiting the approach of the enemy from Wyoming. or to He re- . Eighty women and children were taken during the day and released cattle uninjured. " said in reply. Lottridge with a small party the Oneidas. Butler to bring off some of despatched Lieut. in their flight. On the 5th of August McDon- nel was again at Tioga. reached General Sullivan at Wyoming on the 29th July. He had been informed Daniel Servos. Brant and Frey had a very similar experience. and Lieut. with a larger one. Nothing could afford me more pleasure than to lieve the distressed. with the object of raising the water the stream boats.67 cess. in the rear. to float their leading into the Susquehanna sufficiently in that and the indefatigable Brant went movements. They destroyed at several small forts or stockades sink. to alarm the German Flats. at were pursued by a which outmarched them and formed ford. have it in my power to add to the safety of your settlement. who had stated their wish to desert the enemy. advancing within a short distance of Shamokin. that the Americans were damming the outlet in of Otsego or Cochran's Lake.
a delegate in Congress. numbered nearly 2. By it that time Sullivan's advancefor Tioga. have joined them. capture total destruction and devastation It will be of as many prisoners.68 from an ugly wound guard had arrived at in the foot.000. "The immediate essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent all them man- planting more." " Washington informed him. where was evidently waiting the from Otsego Lake. of every age and sex." . their settlements. Beginning he became successively a hostler. or any in may have in their power that we are interested to get They may possibly be engaged by address. are the the and their of settlements. a of all a member and last general in the Continental army. opponents. besides 500 boatman and drivers. "After you have very thoroughly completed the destruction of if the Indians should show a disposition for peace it. At the same time 500 men from Fort Pitt were directed to ascend the Allenear that river. of the Assembly. . The largest. that the country not be merely over-run. and put them in our possession. a tavern-keeper. Parties should be detached to lay waste it the set- tlements around. Brant. of huma striking type ble origin. and stratthe agem to surprise the garrison at Niagara and the shipping upon lakes. " distract in the ex- pectation that their converging rify" their movements would and ter- which had gradually assembled at Wyoming. up some of the prinour hands Butler. I would have you encourage on condition that they will give some decisive evidence of their sincerity by delivering of their past hostility into cipal instigators the most mischievous of the Tories that others they ours. which the Revolution life as a stable-boy. posed chiefly of New York troops. consisted of 3. as possible. self-reliant men. ner. ghany and destroy the Seneca villages General Sullivan. had brought to the front. comStates. secrecy. objects. with instructions to do in the most effectual but destroyed.500 veteran soldiers from the Eastern Clinton's division. was of a class of shrewd. a lawyer. pushing. junction of the division The force intended for the invasion of the Indian territory had been organized in three divisions by Washington's advice. who was selected for the chief command.
commanded by the most active rebel generals. where their bri- gades were assembled June and carefully trained for bush-fighting. rounded. driving with him 800 and 1200 pack- horses. where a strong stockade was built. as Butler observed. at Butler halted daily to reconnoitre Chuckmet. was composed of " some of the best Continental troops. which had floated leisurely down the Tioga upon His army must then have numbered quite 6000. when he retired with the loss man The to Americans lost twenty-one in killed or wounded. conveying his heavy baggage and nine field guns. and not a regiment of militia among the whole. The rangers were immediately recalled to Canadasaga where Butler had assembled 300 Indians. were attacked by Rowland Montour with forty Indians. Kirkland.69 Sullivan completed his preparations with notable deliberation and forethought. his entire division On the 13th. but failed to take a prisoner On the 19th Sullivan was joined by Clinton's brigade as he desired. heedless of the clamor of the inhabitants for greater haste. and attended by 120 boats on the river. Sullivan with made a night march to surprise Chemung. Leaving a strong garrison at Tioga. Thirty Oneidas. of five regiments. sending forward parties and alarm their outposts. headed by their spiritual adviser. Hundreds of boats and wagons were employed and stores at in for six weeks in accumulating provisions Wyoming. he deliberately resumed his advance. and returned Tioga. warily feeling every step with swarms of riflebreaking the dam they had built. fourteen miles from their camp. march from that place. . besides Wyoming militia . Montour held his ground of one until nearly surkilled. were •engaged as scouts and guides. His scouts killed a few stragglers and drove off some horses. a vil- ' Their approach was discovered and the place As they were passing through a narrow defile the invaders deserted. into much confusion. with eleven regiments of infantry and and one of cattle artillery. On the the last day of July he began his rifles. and thrown lage of thirty houses. after destroying some houses and cornfields. This force. and the whole advanced to meet the enemy." On the nth August it arrived at I'ioga Point and encamped between the rivers.
a log building were dug. Captain Butler with the remainder of the rangers and the party of the 8th held the centre. McDonnel with sixty rangers and Brant with thirty " whites and Indians" occupied the right of this position. The number of warriors that joined Butler never exceeded 300. so having possession of the heights. He had less than 300 rangers and only 14 men of the 8th. which they atIn some places shallow freshly cut boughs. fidence.70 men in front and on the flanks. to the right of which lay a large plain extending to the river that. leaving small parties among the to harass the Delewares had pointed out the spot where they ought to meet the enemy. a majority of the Indians thought only of removing their families and moveable property to a place of safety. and cutting a wide road through the Avoods for the passage of his artillery and packhorses. but the Americans on nately bent upon following their advice. and terminating in a narrow pass near our encampment. on the 27th of August. Butler accordingly marched forward and took possession of the ground indicated to him. we would have had greatly the left advantage should the enemy direct their march that way. Having sent away his baggage in charge of the sick. There was no exaggeration when he said that the enemy were coming with as many thousands as he had hundreds. although he had expected 1000." A tempted rifle-pits to mask with rough breastwork was formed of logs. country was invaded by a large force from Pittsburgh. Butler tried to persuade the Indians to retire to some more advan hills tageous position. was a steep mountain. while the main body of the Indians. assisted by their brethren under Brant. The Delewares had promised 200 and only sent 30. and a large creek in our front On our at a little distance. runners then came from the Seneca villages on the Alleghany to announce that their On this. " It was a ridge of about half- a-mile in length. and the others were obstitheir advance.. He kept up an appearance of conIndians by telling and attempted to reassure the them he would defeat the invaders with the rangers alone. commanded by . and was occupied and loop-holed for musketry. Unfortunately. however. Panic-stricken by the appearance of such an overwhelming army.
retired for the night to their encamped below own camp. . and before advancing into the plain some of their scouts climbed trees. at the foot of the mountain. about a Next day the position was again occupied from sunrise until dark. who had come together from the opposite flank to point out the danger of remaining any One of*the most powerful reasons for an longer where they were. lying on the ground behind it. two weeks before. was posted on the left. from which they discovered this entrenchment and saw a number of Indians. when a number of riflemen appeared in the skirt of the woods." Here they remained exposed to the full glare of the sun until two o'clock. but had been subsisting entirely upon a daily allowance of seven ears of green corn. Butler began to suspect the their retreat. to turn the rangers' position and gain the When the skirmish had lasted for half an hour. it wing along the mountain. they resumed possession of their lines " some officious fellows among the Indians which. At sunset they were informed that the enemy was still Chemung. Neither officers nor men of the rangers had a blanket or tent to at cover them. The plain between them and the breastwork was covered with tall grass rising nearly as high as a man's head. Chuckmet. and turned the its altered trary left way from original situation. at daybreak. without any appearance of the Americans." Butler said. the Indians to commence enemy's purpose and urged His advice was warmly seconded by Brant and the Cayuga chief. They at once commenced a brisk fire while their artillery was being brought forward. flour. with trifling loss on either side.71 Sangerachta. and they mile distant. quite the conwhich was in a great measure the cause of our defeat. But Sullivan's scouts had heard the noise of their axes in the day and seen the glare of their camp-fires at night. and a brigade of the hill light infantry detached around defile in the rear. " On the 29th. The affair at Chemung had made the Americans more than usually cautious. which they scarcely found time to cook. as gave the enemy room to outflank us on that wing without opposition. brightly painted with vermillion. and since their arrival they had neither meat. had nor salt.
was the wretched physical condition of the rangers,
horribly enfeebled by exposure
and the poorness of
moment the action began three officers and men were struck down by the ague. But the majority of the
obstinately bent on holding their ground,
pay no attention to their arguments.
that time the
guns and coehorns in position and opened "an elegant firing shells, round and grape shot, and iron spikes upon
This had an immediate and demoral-
the main body of the Indians.
sight of the shells bursting in their rear
that they were already surrounded,
and ran away
and they sprang The rangers and Brant's
to their feet
thus deserted, retired as rapidly as possible to the
found already occupied by the enemy's riflemen, with whom they kept up a running fight for nearly a mile, when they were obliged to
disperse in every direction
fording the river, others escaping
along the wooded summit of the
hill. Butler himself narrowly avoided capture. Many of the Indians never halted in their flight till they reached their respective villages, but the rangers reassembled
before dark at Nanticoketown, five miles distant, and continued their
retreat until they overtook their baggage.
were killed or missing, and three
Indians reported a loss
his regular troops,
scouts was killed besides.
His victorious troops amused themselves by scalping the dead, two cases actually skinned the bodies of Indians from the
hips downward, to
tops or leggings.
Next day Sullivan sent back all unnecessary baggage and some of his heaviest cannon to Tioga and resumed his advance in the same
deliberate and cautious
but resistless manner, laying waste the scat-
tered villages, cornfields and orchards he passed, in the most thorough-
going fashion imaginable.
relates that he often
Butler compare his march to "driving a wedge into a stick of
nothing stopped or disturbed
Indian runners constantly
of his approach, so that he found their houses always deserted and empty. Half of Butler's
were sick and absolutely
unfit for duty,
back to Canadasaga, sending to the mouth of the Genessee for removal to Niagara. The mass of the Indians were thoroughly
who behaved throughout
and even the influence and example of Brant and Sangerwith admirable courage and firmness,
failed to rally
to his support.
for their tribe, but Sullivan haughtily replied
totally to extirpate the
had "instructed him
nations of Indians, to subdue their country, destroy their crops, and
to seek habitations
where they would be
Captain Butler continued to watch Sullivan's motions with a few picked rangers and some Indians that were kept together by the
tireless exertions of
Brant and Rowland Montour.
the 7th Sept.
the American army took possession of Canadasaga, but the Indians
by that time had
them once more before they could reach Genessee. Many of the rangers who had been disabled by the ague •had also recovered sufficiently to bear arms again, and cheerfully
returned to join their comrades.
for the safety of his post, sent
of the 8th to Butits
followed by that of the 34th immediately on from Carletoh Island.
and Indians, and
marched from Canawagoras with 400 rangers morning formed an ambush upon the
By the Indians' request path by which the enemy was advancing. the rangers were mingled with them to keep up their courage, and
the entire party lay concealed
vanguard, which was busily engaged in a bridge over a morass at the head of I-ake and trees building felling
in close vicinity to Sullivan's
to pass Conesus, with the intention of allowing part of his army as to prevent the remainder a such in it and way attacking across,
They were then
by a sudden'
musketry on the
and the Indians, crying out they
were surrounded, ran
hastily in that direction.
the spot he found that an American scout of thirty men, in rambling
through the woods, had stumbled into the midst of the rangers and Indians on that flank. Twenty-two of them were killed by a single
Boyd and a private taken prisoner. Boyd told still numbered 5,000, including 1,500 riflemen^ had only a month's provisions when they began their march,
that they did not
intend to advance beyond Genessee.
immediately retired across the Genessee, and the next morning the American army appeared on the opposite bank. All the Indians
once deserted him, and he abandoned the
Before night he arrived
Creek, on his way to Niagara.
then learned that Caldwell's
company had been ordered down from
by way of Oswego.
Five thousand famishing Indians
Caldwell, with a small
had taken refuge
who was reported
He found that the fort at Tioga had been abandoned and burnt, and there were unquestionable signs that the American army had retreated with much haste. Its line of march was strewed
with the bodies of packhorses that had been shot as they gave out,
and several hundred
and horses were running wild
woods about Tioga.
Caldwell advanced sixteen miles further, but
Indians refused to go to
to return to Niagara.
he desired, and compelled
reported that he had destroyed forty
but several others had escaped his notice, besides a
sive cornfields near Genessee.
number of extenin
But he had not succeeded
half-a-dozen prisoners during the whole expedition, although this
In spite of his pre-
cautions to prevent
of his soldiers
were guilty of acts of in cold blood ;
Butler was still there. must be employed for that service alone." His severity only served to exasperate the Indians " and render them more impatient of Johnson restraint in the future. Johnson and Butler arrived at Oswego. "The nests are destroyed but the birds are still on the wing. Three Rivers. when the camp was alarmed by a sentry firing at a prowling Indian. did not exceed 200." this cam- paign will recommend you stil! more to his Many tion of the rangers being sick and others detached. Haldimand was so profoundly discouraged by the events of the summer that he warned Lord G. Johnson returned to Carleton Island and sent the rangers into winter quarters at Niagara. Sir John Johnson sailed from Carleton Island for Sodus. who confessed that point of attack. taking them by surprise being clearly at an end. with the necessary supply of provisions. the troops were embarked in three sailing vessels. Germain that. and several days were consumed in lengthy councils with the Indians. A scout from the rangers went out and captured three Oneidas. One of his officers truthfully remarked in his journal. His Majesty has been made acquainted with your I he has approved of them. their tribe had been warned of their danger by a Cayuga from All prospect of Niagara. where they remained until the 20th. and Brant with some Indians marched overland posed first to await their arrival. On the loth. where they arrived with their clothing torn to rags by hard service. where he proThe Oneida village was selected as the to the On the 15th. During Caldwell's absence Butler was directed to join Sir John at Sodus Bay with the remainder of the General rangers. " opportunity to convey to him the gratifying." a body of 1000 or 1500 men. The expedi- proved an utter On the 4th October. serve the . as soon as the river became navigable in the spring. that Haldimand took information that services. and hope the events of Royal favor.75 another shut set a helpless left man and woman in a cabin which they then respects his- on fire and them to perish miserably. and had sent them to watch their motions. the num- ber of effective men at his disposal failure. In many campaign was practically a failure. if he expected to pre- "upper country and fur trade. but was driven into Niagara next day by a terrific gale.
from its centrical situation. so very distant. Each officer had written instructions prescribing his route. lengthened. but certain that all record many stirring incidents of these adventurous outline journeys perished with the actors. it should immediately be carried into execution. and the hardships and perils attending their expeditions The difficulty of obtaining supplies seriously were greatly increased. and attended with so heavy an expense to Government . the troops infinitely better provided. hampered their movements.) he requested permission to on " this scheme of forming settlements near the principal forts: I have for many years regretted that measures were not adopted such as to prevent the safety of those posts depending upon supplies from home. and they drove with them a few cattle. and a drove of cattle was the most precious spoil they could ally seize. undertaken. the character of their operations necessarily changed. in which the events of the fully noted. expedition were more or less is Some of of these have been preserved. and only a bare now re- mains in most cases.. its each of which had a bag of flour and another of salt tied back. which. and in such case I should be many more amply ly happy to receive your I lordship's approbation of. with some expense the first two or three years.76 In the same carry letter (13th Sept. but should this unfortunate war terminate. could very well supply both Detroit and Machilimakinac." villages were no longer in existence to serve even Their marches became very much as a temporary base of supplies for the rangers. The size of their parties was gener- diminished and as many on of them as possible were mounted. and the different posts be in perfect security by raising grain and all kinds of stock at Detroit. and . but would even in as In these times nothing can be vigorousrepay it. "The same plan is very practicable at Niagara. all of which might be obviated. The officer in command it kept a journal. the transportation so extremely precari- ous. and there is It will be necessarily attended' nothing wanting but a beginning. and commands to undertake. 1779. what effects for am convinced would produce the most salutary As the Indian His Majesty's interests in those parts.
woods as them if they once entered that the first notice they had of their approach was . visited both Niagara and the Mohawk still valley in 1791." Congress had fully acknowledged the importance of its their opera- tions in the past. and allegiance they were not to be excelled. were it not confirmed by one and Equally creditable of them. both officers and soldiers.000 of best troops from the principal seat of war for an entire year. as well as to or take any of to them who are enemies or in arms.1 is and suffering ihey all is underwent hard credible. of them. Guy Johnson arrived at Niagara ." the testimony of the traveler Long. Sir John's corps and Butler's rangers were very distressing to the back settlers . in the hope of crushThe annoyance and damage occasioned by the system of ing them. another contemporary." he remarks. children or aged persons. or to bring off your any persons well affected His Majesty's service. l\ "During the American war." Late in the autumn of 1779. when the memory of these events was fresh in the minds of everybody. and it was agreed were Loyalist troops on all hands that for steadiness. Patrick Campbell. He writes of the exploits of the rangers with undisguised enthusiasm. now inaugurated. shewing humanity women. and to this advances and retreats were equally sudden and astonday the Americans say they might have as easily in the found out a parcel of wolves it . " This chosen corps this band of brothers — — was rarely worsted in any skirmish or action. late a captain in the 42nd. them in sight. bravery. and there can be no doubt that the presence of the rangers with the Indians was the means of preserving many lives.77 usually directing him " to destroy any magazines or granaries which kill afford supplies to the rebels. "the best collected from the Mohawk. was indescribably harassing to the enemy. by withdrawing a division of 5. . their ishing. fatigue have known many and the account they gave of the . though often obliged to retire and betake themselves to the wilderness when a superior force came against them. guerilla warfare. and endeavoring to obtain all intelligence in power of the to state of affairs. and of their retreat their being out of reach.
The Niagara two months at a stretch. in the villages Recruiting officers from the rangers lay concealed settlements throughout the winter. more prudence and less severity. Butler continued to The Cayugas and Delewares. " in every case against the enemies of America. and succeeded. Brodhead. threatened to deliver him into the hands of the Americans tured he ven- among them again. the duty." they would join him The remarkable was frozen over for severity of the winter even prevented scouting river at parties from going out until late in February. dispirited by their act as his dei)uty. The sufferings of the Indians were frightful. and many perished from in frail cold and hunger. with culty. but Gen. and Col. as he desired. Haldimand declined to ' approve of the appointment of a Major and Adjutant for the corps. More than 2. and I am persuaded will be the pleasure. "Rangers are in general separated. relief at Niagara.600 were encamped wigwams around Fort Niagara. who commanded promised them protection on the conditions that they would bring him "as many scalps and prisoners from the English and their as they had formerly taken from the Americans. its full strength. and the nature of their service little requires the forms of parade or the manoeuvres practised in the It is field. and the remainder sought shelter that had escaped destruction." the immediate vicinity of Fort had one-third of the sued Six Nations in our interest at the present in The Wyandots and Shawanese Pitt actually for terms. misfortunes. and their " But want soon compelled them to seek resentment gradually passed away when no they found that their enemies were determined to show them mercy. and eight in the gorges of the feet Alleghanies the snow lay in many places and ten deep. 1780. Butler was promoted to the rank and pay of a Provincial Lieutenant-Colonel. The Governor took occasion to say in respect to this. Had Sullivan acted with 'Bolton observed in May." "I am satisfied we should not have time. and that allies" there. of . They blamed and even if Butler for destruction of their villages. showed unmistakable permitting the signs of defection. in enlisting a sufficient among little the diffi- number of men to complete the bat- talion to .7S and assumed control of the Indian department.
300 Indians. deserted. and levelling well. in these particulars. John Johnson. Brant. Brant and Clement with 300 men marched immediately against They found their principal village entirely and burned the fort built for its protection. He took a few prisoners and devasted a long stretch of country with slight opposition. Nelles. ])riming and loading carefully.79 every captain to perfect his company in dispersing and forming expeThese." and in the They were accordingly carefully management of two light exercised field-guns. marched against the Oneida villages. the recalcitrant Oneidas. McDonnel with sixty rangers. in the Onondagas and Tuscaroras. "hitherto rebel interest. secretly first blow was struck by Sir John Johnson. called grasshoppers. and the remainder ran for shelter -reached with the exception of two that were shot dead in their to the which they flight. fit which continued for ten days. In July. and retired without loss. with personal activity and alertness. Dochstader and Fort Stanwix by Brant and Capt. Early in the spring of 1780. are all the qualities effective or can be are wished for in a ranger." actually arrived at Niagara. few Oneidas joined his party and the McDonnel was struck down by an remainder promised to follow. . On the 21st he appeared among the settlements near The Johnson Hall. with 300 soldiers and Indians. that ditiously. The indecision of the Indians prevented him from accomplishing anything he had intended. On approach- the Oneidas encamped under the ing Fort Stanwix they discovered After a short parley about a hundred of them agreed to join walls. to act as scouts those garrisons. accompanied by 100 Indians under Capt. although pursued by the (lovernor of the State with a thousand men. one company was for sent to Detroit and another to Carleton Island. In June. He was joined by 143 loyalists who were expecting his arrival. and some small parties cut off at both places. fort. having advanced through the wilderness without being discovered. Pittsburg was blockaded by Lieut. and his men were forced to tie A ague him upon chiefly his horse during the return march. who marched from Crown Point on the 9th May.
making a long circuit. if the former is acting with the latter. his force into five parties routes against Schoharie. Niagara the Oneidas professed much contrition for conduct and surrendered a flag their past and one of eleven officer's commissions distributed among them by the Americans. : " The Council would and do premiums : tion. He detached David Karacanty with the greater part of the Indians against Fort Plank. We do not re- collect one single instance of recovering a single captive or plunder. a step which had been strongly recommended from several quarters. advanced by forced marches upon Claes' Barrack. we have concluded to ofl'er a reward for scalps. attempted. In April." any of the enemy. but the garrison on his had already taken the alarm. besides many women and children who were off. and subdividing different Flats. were captured. at once Five hundred horses and cattle were driven Before the inhabitants could recover from their surprise. tho' so many pursuits have been Reed informed Colonel Brodhead that "after many consultations and much deliberation. Presi- dent Reed definitely announced their decision to the lieutenants of the border counties and other military officers. To Colonel Hunter he wrote you to ofler the following for the purpose authorize For every male prisoner. he sent them by as many Cherry Valley. white or Indian. and the German On their arrival at where they took many more prisoners and created great alarm. where he appeared on the morning of the 2nd August. with several mills and many other Fifty prisoners buildings. Brant had vanished. and then.8o After blockading the place closely for a short distance to some days Brant retreated remove suspicion." . $1500. and $1000 The proof must be left to your ovvn discrefor every Indian scalp. containing great quantities of grain. So greatly harassed were the frontiers of Pennsylvania that the Executive Council of the State determined to offer a reward for prisoners and scalps. 1780. and we hope it will prove an incentive for young killing or taking fellows of the country and others to turn out against the Indians. Two small forts were abandoned approach and destroyed. At the same time many other parties were similarly engaged on the Susquehanna and Ohio. released. not doubting your care to prevent imposition.
accoutred. cost what it will. and perhaps involve the Indians in a war against one another. tenant of Bedford county said : We by Lieutenant Dochstader on the i6th July. Such an isolated community existed at this time in the almost inacessible Catawisse Valley. and." Several painted like companies of rangers armed. Com- against the inhabitants. and numerous small forts built for their protection. In various secluded valleys many quiet loyalists still lived undisturbed upon their farms. With an inconsiderable party of Indians he had surprised a blockhouse in Woodcock Valley. he added. on a branch of the Susquehanna above Wyoming. occupied by a captain and eleven of the newly formed rangers. the Indians msisted on putting ten of the prisoners to death to ensure their own escape. and so produce a general Indian In a subsequent letter he lamented that the reward had not to "officers. been extended conceive it and friendly Indians.8i In reply Brodhead warned the Council that " the Delewares act with our scouts." The lieu"A number of our militia companies Their fears." which had been executed morning. and often Indians. negroes and other suspected During every instrangers being frequently seen amongst them. soldiers. to save their border settlements from destruction. its Every day brought officer lamentable tale of One I wrote " : The inhabitants have been flying for a week past. that they have lived peaceably in the most dangerous times. and blockhouses measures failed But even these energetic bloodshed and ruin. the country was alarmed. believe there will not be a family in Northumberland town to-morrow ought to have Niagara. had recently been are entirely broke up. were soon formed. because I would have been a sure method to save the friendly Indians and destroy some of the hostile ones. fear (the reward) may be construed into a license to take off the scalps of some war. walled plaints were lodged in by towering " hills." aggravated by "a most alarming stroke. and will join it I have great reason the first to believe a considerable number I me upon capital enterprise I can undertake." of our friendly Delewares. being warmly pursued. Un- happily. . from whom the rangers frequently received shelter and supplies.
" The destruc- was decreed. where they spent a day in destroying the surrounding settlement. at to Wyom- they destroyed it. and taking three prisoners. Johnston and Rowland Montour with forty rangers and Indians." " to obedience remaining Oneidas Sir John Johnson was sent to Oswego with 150 or to cut them off. "at the head of Chilloskewagie. long known as received a wound in the arm from which he died Early in the course of the same to a week later. taking with him a grasshop- and at the same time to force the I would by no means. The objects of these " to divide the strength that may be movements. It marched for the accomplish it with a company of volunteers. ernor added in a letter to Bolton. the lieutenant to of the county.82 cursion the families fly enemy have made into this country. ing." but Rowland INIontour. were brought against Sir H. This party had invested Fort Rice. with the remainder. Then marching against Fort Jenkins. and detached ten men conduct the prisoners and captured cattle to Niagara. turned westward. month Haldimand determined Each send two larger expeditions against the frontiers of New York. and Butler was directed to join him with 140 of the 8th. and they were to : advance simultaneously the other from one from Crown Point towards Albany and the Oswego upon Mohawk river. unexpectedly discovered Cairns with 41 men advancing upon Catawisse. and in an in- stant routed his entire party. and 200 rangers. "have you send a single man who " . Concealing themselves. he explained. " a brave and active chief. 80 of the 34th. Johnston and Montour. Wm." of his own regiment." on the 5th September. all the disaffected there for protection. as well as to destroy the enemy's supplies from the late plentiful harvest and to give His Majesty's loyal subjects an opportunity of retiring to this province. was preserved time by the accidental appearance of Lieut. to favor any operations his present situation may enable him to carry out. Clinton." the Govper and two royals from Niagara. on the loth. of these was to consist of about 600 men. and. and Colonel Cairns. whilst the well-affected are obliged to in evacuate the country or shut themselves tion of this settlement garrison. killing the colonel and fifteen others. they obtained the advantage of the first fire. Only one Indian was killed at the time.
By this time. They began were march next day. without paying attention rosters. and a pair of moccasins. . who confirmed the former ac- counts. The guns were then placed upon rude sleds hastily con- structed on the spot. and it was with that the remainder of the Indians were prevented from ^^vo by a report that intimidated following their example. and another party was to obtain a supply. On the 8th they arrived at Old Oneida where they were re- joined by a scouting party bringing some prisoners from the German Flats. those whose personal would rather weaken than give strength to the detachment.The troops are to be provided with a blanket." His letter found the small garrison of Niagara more than usually Bolton averred that he had never before weakened by disease. I would by all (means have him employed this service. their provisions were almost exhausted. On the 12th another scout returned with more prisoners. as . vessels from arriving at their Contrary winds prevented their ist Oswego until the October. danger of a discovery I is from disaffected Indians from Carleton Island is or Niagara. . and Butler embarked on -the 24th September. where the boats and •concealed. one of their own Oneidas deserted. and ten days' provisions were served out to each man. who stated that two Oneidas had passed through some days before on their way from Niagara to Albany spreading the news that 'iowing The day folButler had gone on an expedition with a large party. as success will entirely abilities to the depend upon your despatch and are not equal to these efforts vigor. taking with him every ranger that could be of the slightest service. but said that the inhabitants had no suspicion that they were so near. hope Joseph [Brant] in returned. as they were . sent forward to a Scotch settlement at Schoharie great difficulty Cayugas then deserted.83 as not a good marcher and capable of bearing fatigue. known so many men to be sick at once. . for with . including some convalescents and a number of tailed with difficulty in much Indians collected in extreme haste.The chief -«very man that falls out one or two must be left behind . conveying their artillery and baggage in boats a quantity of provisions as far as Onondaga. The detachments were de- consequence. . leggings. The same must be observed in your choice of officers.
the foraging party returned with eleven cattle. The horse for convenience of transport — but finding they were a great ena royals had been slung across a swamp. which they quickly accomplished and rejoined the main body soon after they had reached the Mohawk. on the opposite bank. stantly slaughtered On ther- which were in- then pushed on as and distributed among the hungry soldiers. which they hoped to take. cumbrance they were taken off and buried in were so bad that even the light three-pounder The roads drag- fieldpieces were When they approached the river. scout sent from below^ to observe their motions was three overtaken and men killed or captured. again de- and informed Colonel Brown. and every building as they went along. Thompson and Brant with 150 rangers and Indians were sent across the creek to destroy the settlement around Fort Hunter. on the 17th. but returned un- The march was then resumed. Brown deter- . and Capt." spent in They had then been under arms for full twenty-four hours. The rangers and Indians surrounded this work and fired smartly at the embrasures and loopholes until the royals could be brought forward to make a breach. Heralded by lurid flames and rolling clouds of smoke they swept onward to the middle fort. A few rounds convinced them that these fort. along the road A leading down the west bank of Schoharie Kill to the Mohawk. laying waste the entire country on both sides until midnight. ged forward with much labor. Thence they swiftly advanced up the river. who commanded at Stone Arabia. passed the fort at the head of the Schoharie. 15th.ooo of the enemy had already collected to meet them. torch in hand.Capt. They rapidly as possible. light guns would make no impression upon the stout logs of the son of the rangers was sent to liberately fired at three times hurt. and just before daybreak. almost continuous exertion. He was de- by a noted marksman. three The roar of alarm-guns announced that they fire orders were given to set to had been discovered. and were utterly overcome by During the night two men who had deserted from Fort in the spring fatigue. Andrew Thompsummon the garrison. of the weakness of the party on that side of the river. Stanwix serted and enlisted in Johnson's regiment.84 2. when they halted at the narrow pass called " The Nose.
which disabled him from particularly marching. having a narrow lane and wide open field in front. regiments of Continentals and nearly a hundred Oneida Indians. in pursuit of them. according to Johnson's account. found in Colonel Brown's pocket revealed the fact that General Van Rensselaer. and Brant received a painful fiesh wound with in the foot. men in the hope of crushing However. while direction to gain their left. "V^hile the attention of the Americans was thus occupied in front. burning every- a fort Three miles further on the road was blocked by which compelled him to march through the fields. came aware of Brown's disastrous defeat they halted in dismay. and at the Fort Hendricks' ford he was forced to make a second detour to avoid ithe fire of several fortified houses. 8th. but the Americans only loss of forty or forty. who then disappeared. but were Johnson sent forward small parties of the rangers. A private of the 8th and three Indians were killed. leaving only a few light posted in a wood behind a log fence.five in all. A few horsemen were seen in front viewing their Brown's force was next discovered numbers. and firing had not yet ceased when his advance guard appeared on the other bank of the His force had by this time increased to 1500. at had arrived Fort Hunter the night before. Upon regaining the high road at . Johnson had by that time whole force. McDonnell led the rangers in the opposite Johnson then charged their position with the remainder of the 8th and 34th. and his Johnson continued thing in his track. their support and a brisk skirmish commenced. crossed the river with nearly his troops on the other side. and was advancing upon Stone Arabia in the midst of a dense fog. soon driven back. including two river. and When they behe was accompanied by Governor Clinton himself. and 34th to A party of Indians began the attack. march through Stone Arabia. with 600 militia and three guns. three rangers were wounded. admitted a Colonel Brown was killed with nearly 100 of his men. In company for McDonnell he was comLet- mended by Johnson ters courage and activity on this occasion. Brant with a body of Indians made a circuit through the woods to turn their right fiank.85 ruined to attack it it at daybreak with 360 before it could be reinforced. leaping over the fence and driving them out of the woods.
The detachment of the 34th and part of Johnson's regiment gave way and were pursued by the enemy with loud cheers. under Captain Parke of the 8th. and Johnson's Indians. and did not succeed Johnson second day when the exhausted entire force was re-united with their retreat with the exception of about forty men. taking two. kill- ing ten. and a volley of musketry from the remainder of the their fire. all They continued state. but they dared not halt for an instant. Meanwhile Parke had gone on in rejoining rapidly. without the slightest molestation. and they took a prisoner who informed them that he was one of a party of sixty that .. Sending a strong party to seize a hill overlooking and commanding re- the road Johnson immediately attacked this position with the mainder and drove them across a field. possible speed in their Village.86 sunset he found that \^an Rensselaer had crossed the river and had? securely posted his entire force in the houses and orchards in front. discovering that they were greatly outnumbered. until they reached the Oneida Here fortune again favored them. McDonnell missed until the his trail after. although almost fainting with fatigue and lack of sleep. He boldly charged the enemy without hesitation. strayed off in the direction of Fort Herkimer. were seized by a panic and rode through the ford in frantic haste to escape. A single. their headlong forward flight the Americans advanced on the creeping silently in the growing darkness under cover of the trees and fences. The Americans reformed under the guns of the fort. line drove them back and totally silenced Van Rensselaer's men were so- much shaken by this final repulse that he retreated three miles and permitted Johnson to pass the ford. thus laid open to him. enemy marching collision. 'vell-aimed discharge of grape. Encouraged by left. where they arrived next morning and discovered to join Van Rensselaer. and began a very hot fire at close quarters. Uncertain of sixty of the their numa bers Parke hastily ordered his men to take to the woods and avoid But the stout-hearted McDonnell then came up with a few rangers. The Indians led the way into the woods. One of these. In the darkness they lost their way and separated into several parties. at the Ger- man Flats.prisoners and driving the rest into the fort with- out having a single man hurt.
Falling ill behind by them that morning. Eighteen of the missing men were to rangers. Dame. considerable magazine of flour in that quarter previous to the late incursion. but most of these. and a by the Indians.000 bushels of grain. and fifty-two missing. Johnson instantly directed a detachment to proceed in pursuit. Including Indians." interruption of transportation by fiost . but that fine district I should view this calamity with less concern did 1 see destroyed. a that thirteen grist mills. previous to the and bad weather. returned away. The settlement of Schoharie alone would have delivered is now totally eighty thousand bushels of grain.87 had been sent from Fort Stanwix on the march he had been left to destroy their boats. By in the arrival of this party the total loss on the expedition was dimin- ished to forty-six. in respect to the formation of magaWe had prospects of forming a very zines upon the North River. To their great relief they found their boats These instructions night and day until they overtook the enemy. fect number of stragglers were afterwards brought Their course was marked by a wide tract of perdesolation where many smiling farms had been. and Maryland. Six mounted rangers were then sent to intercept two Oneidas whom the enemy had despatched to search for the boats. a few days after headed by Capt. Johnson reported he had nine killed. Johnson stated numerous saw mills. of whom several were known Oswego to have been wounded. two wounded. as thousand houses. George the main body had sailed There they found a boat and a supply of provisions which had been left behind for them. and reached Carleton Island in safety. Deleware. were so successfully executed that only two of the Americans unharmed. had been given to the flames during the terrible three days spent in marching down The severity and importance of the Schoharie and up the Mohawk. blow was freely admitted by Washington in a letter to the President "The destruction of the grain of Congress of the 7th November upon the western frontier of New York is likely to be attended with : the most alarming consequences. and march escaped from being killed and fifty-two captured. and many barns containing 600. arriving at that Oswego next lost day. the least prospect of obtaining the necessary supplies of flour from the States of Pennsylvania. and on the 25th the whole column came up and embarked.
George McGinn of the Indian department most remarkable escape. the enemy had sent a party to destroy the boats. A party of nine men was then sent back to bring him They carried and being suddenly alarmed abandoned him with a companion named Mannerly. There these unfortunate men remained exposed to the weather without the least into the woods. driven from their I Niagara. where he built a blockhouse and continued send scouting parties to the Ohio year Gen. dated the 17th of March. A sudden attack upon the Shawanese villages near the Ohio compelled Capt. and for the better Upper accommodation and support of His Majesty's homes. and difficulties attending the transport of provisions to the Posts.88 retreat. river until all danger of an invasion had passed. Peter Hare to march to their relief with the rangers stationed at Detroit. am come to a resolution to reclaim the land granted saugas to Sir William Johnson for by the Missasthe Crown. who. situated on the south- . 1 He then took advantage of Col. During the summer of In a this Haldimand took active steps for the formation of settlements both at Detroit letter and Niagara. living entirely him a few miles nuts they managed to collect. Germain had ap- proved of his scheme. life These Indians carried McGinn two months between where he and death before he recovered sufficient strength to admit of his removal to Niagara. uncertainty. until they upon a few handfuls of hickory were discovered by a band lay for of Senecas returning from the war. 1780. Badly wounded in the knee in the action. Their appearance restored the spirits of those Indians who had been at first inclined to abandon their country. shelter for eleven days. In the confusion caused by the report that left off. Bol- ton of the 7th July " Having maturely reflected upon the vast expense. to their village at the Genessee. A month later. he was conveyed on horseback witii extreme difficulty In the had last a as far as New Oneida. Butler's visit to Quebec in June to discuss the best result posals into effect. he was behind. take refuge at loyal subjects. The : method of carrying his prowas announced in a letter to Col. Lord G. Lieut. Hare to retired to the Miami.
as shall be in your power. he wrote again Lieut. stock of cattle. according to their merits. is not to be disposed of to the commanding officer to for the use of the troops. and you please to afford them every entitle to whether of horses or sobriety. The settlers are therefore to understand that the produce of their farms. order the or inclination from either time should by remove. industry. gratis. those who settle up- on it are not to consider that they have the smallest right to any part thereof. the produce alone their possessions They will hold being their property. and be furnished them assistance.-Col.89 west of the river opposite to the fort. from year to year. should they be inclined to quit their situation at Niagara. and of course remain at all times the sole property of the Crown and annexed to the fort. They they are put in possession of their other implements of husbandry will will lots. they any of the commanding officer. further encouragewill be allowed a reasonable quantity of provisions for the space of twelve months after Seed. mills. and a reasonable allowance will be \ made them for their improvements. letter of the 7th inst. and not traders or accidental travelers. which will be granted by the Com- If at for the time being. directions of which will be com- municated several lots to you by another letter. "Some fertile. otherwise. &c. over and above their removed from the post. it part of the land being already cleared and all of is expected that in a short time the produce will it being be con- siderable. For their ment no rent will be required of them. which will be delivered to you by with my intentions of settling will be made On the Butler. they are to have permisssion to dispose mander-in-Chief of their crops. which land will be divided into and distributed to such loyalists who are capable of im- proving them and desirous of procuring by industry a comfortable maintenance for their families until such times as by peace they^ shall be restored to their respective homes. " As the above mentioned grant of land will be reclaimed at the expense of the Government. ploughs. to those whose and good conduct may such indulgencies.. but own consumption.." in these terms: "By my 13th July. I you acquainted i families at Niagara for the purpose of reclaiming and cultivating land .
but amongst that sort of people little can be expected without a gratuity. persons to employ. as well as for the present unavoidable consumption of the Indians as for the it support of the troops may be necessary occasionally to march into that country. I have returned into the Commissary's store as provision. Butler reported progress for planting The it winter wheat sent up came too late. I request that you furnish Col. . Butler. and his acquaintance and influence with those who may be I have settle. either advancing family. ciently not The expediency of this measure is suffionly by the injury the service has and must always suffer from a want of a sufficient supply of provisions. " Lieut. resolution to extend I am at therefore come to a the scheme to the several posts in the upper country. I it already being in some forwardness it Carleton Island. with whom I have conversed fully upon this subject. the more so as they are likely to have assistance from their comrades.9° to be annexed to the evident. I am persuaded you will find him very useful. They will want about sixty bushels of spring wheat and oats. Butler " : from the King's store a sufficient quantity. Col. his being upon the spot with his rangers. conversed freely with him upon this subject and have desired him to engage any loyalists he may find proper persons about Montreal and found to to take them up with him. officer which you please forward to the commanding after hav- ing perused them. he years or having a large You will probably find them fit could dispense with. fearing the mice would destroy it. and from his knowledge of farming. He informs me in there are some good farmers in his corps who. And you for will give such orders and assistance as you will judge expedient promoting with the utmost despatch an undertaking so apparently beneficial to Government as well as to the ease and comfort of the troops." On the 17th December. has promised to give you every assistance in his power. and as that business must be done by volunteers and fatigue men. I have got four or five families settled and they have built themselves houses. fort. but likewise to diminish the expense and labor attend- ing so difficult and distant a transport. and here enclose instructions for carrying will into execution at Detroit.
John Bradt. New Jersey. but to if dressed leather was sent would get some of the rangers forge Capt. with thirty Indians. and harrass the garrison in this way until the middle the fort was burned and abandoned in sheer despair. a barrel of Indian corn. May. They were very sucin cessful obtaining recruits in that quarter. where he burned several . and nothing remained but the blank walls of the forts that had failed to protect them. when Fort Pitt had been blockaded during the winter and spring in like April Lieut. Others went to Norman's Kill and Hellebergh. Lieut. In Bowen burned the deserted fort at Cherry Valley. rangers and many marched to blockade Fort Stanwix. and at destroyed a settlement Bowman's Creek. although frequently pursued. to gain intelligence and to seek recruits for two additional companies that Butler had obtained permission to raise. and spring for planting. and any man that ventured to show him- self outside the walls did so at imminent peril of becoming a mark Successive parties continued to hover about of hidden rifleman. their incursions were extended further." make it. still Encouraged by these Volunteer Alien events. and a good many of the garrison killed or taken. One party led by Butler's nephew^ Andrew Bradt. 1781. which they had hoped to take. early in the "The harness sent up I is not of the kind wanted. Twiss was to have sent is not arrived. The him in Please put mind Several small parties were sent out in January. of it. They arrived there just a day too late to intercept a convoy of provisions teen men. penetrated into New Jersey and returned with fifteen recruits. The settlements upon the above Johnstown had been literally blotted out of existence by their repeated incursions. They were river Mohawk accordingly obliged to travel much further and to carry with them three or four weeks' provisions. On the I St February. manner. but cut off a foraging party of sevenA few weeks later another detachment of about the same number for a fell into their hands. led a party into Sussex County. even sending their spies into the streets of Albany. Brant and Lieut.91 and twelve of buckwheat.
who had been scouting for several weeks along the western frontier of Pennsylvania with forty men. a I number of can assure families are flying away daily since the late damage. within three miles of Frankstown. and ." In New York very vigorous measures had been undertaken by the Governor for the defence of the frontier. On the 3rd of June. ing parties in different parts of the May there were five scoutMohawk Valley. your Excellency that if immediate assistance is not sent to this county the whole of the frontier will move off in a few days.92 mills and alarmed a wide stretch of country for weeks. when they were haste to Niagara. Nelles. After the destruction of Fort Stanwix. Robt. one-third of the missing men had been killed or had deserted to the taken in the various raids. killed.500 to 800. and only got off with the assistance of a party sent out from the fort to their relief Nelles had but one man killed and two wounded. but even to reside there for months together. met an equal number of the local militia and rangers on the high road. In the skirmish that followed thirteen Americans were seven taken prisoners. that the militia of the district He reported He estimated that had been reduced from 2. This event spread indescribable terror through all the The lieutenant of the county wrote ten days is surrounding country. one-third enemy. where there was a garrison. and that they friends still had numbers of loyal . courageous and resourceful. In finally retiring with several prisoners and loyalists. and five others were wounded. Lieut. they well knew that their fate would not be pleasant to think upon. Solitary rangers had been lurking in various places since December. He brought with him two Continental regiments. Colonel Willett was placed stationed on the in command of all troops Mohawk. and fixed his headquarters at Canajoharie. proves at once that they were in the highest degree active. in Bedford County. with orders to remain in hiding until to return with all something of consequence occurred. and sympathizers among the inhabitants. " later This county : in a deplorable situation . The fact that they were not only able to pass constantly through the enemy's country in every direction with absolute impunity. and one of these even appeared in the outskirts of Schenectady. If they were taken.
he got in front of Dochstader's party This movement was discovered and Willett found an ambuscade. McKean. Willett had lost fifteen greatly killed and wounded. Columns of smoke from the burning settlement announced its fate toWillett. On the 7th he encountered a scout of American riflemen near Otsego Lake. and he arrived at Corrys-' Being fired upon town. and the German less Flats. will be sufficient for their own consumption. taking with Twenty houses were burned. Capt. have an immense quantity more than For their protection he proposed to keep small bodies of soldiers constantly marching to and fro. Caldwell proceeded from' Niagara with a large party in the direction of Schenectady. "so keen were they Before night he followed with 170 soldiers. they succeed in preserving the will they have in the " they ground. eleven miles from Willett's headquarters. and frequently changing He first About the was not long allowed to remain unoccupied. being among the former. Dochstader perceived that men were outnumbered and gave the signal to retreat. and they determined to ." their route. which was accomplished with the loss of only five wounded. for revenge." he added. with some intention of uniting with a detachment which v/as supposed to be advancing towards that place from Crown Point. On the 9th two more prisoners were captured. but nearly the whole of the captured cattle were abandoned. " himself suddenly attacked with much noise and spirit. of June Lieut. i On the 3rd of August he overtook another detachment headed by Lieut. from some fortified houses. but thought that he had gained a victory worth of. there were no fifty than twenty-four if each sheltering from ten to grain families. and Dochstader began him six prisoners and 120 horses and cattle. these were instantly forced and ten of the inmates killed. John Hare. a very active partisan." After the his. boasting In July. skirmish had continued for some time." and formed Early in the morning.93 the remainder had removed into the interior. " Yet. a distance of sixty-three forts. Between Schenectady miles. and in an hour he had 70 militia in pursuit. John Dochstader marched from Niagara with 70 men. his retreat. of whom one was killed and another taken.
but the Indians positively refused on the ground its that it would alarm the country. of a flourishing and extensive settlement protected by six strong In attacking these. But repeated disasters had taught them caution and he was allowed to escape without having a single ranger injured. Many cattle and horses were taken and great quantities of grain destroyed. Caldwell sent a party of rangers to Nipenack. and without consulting Caldwell. Nelles was sent to fell in those of a recruiting party of the rangers. Four were discovered. which they would be forced to pass on their way. The Indians were sated with plunder and refused to advance further. which they destroyed. a numerous herd of cattle. where they burned two mills and destroyed.94 advance together. which they entirely They were then within twelve miles of Esopus (Kingsand the whole country was militia two regiments of Already rising in arms around them." . as the garrison was small. driving before him intercept their retreat. kill and take the greatest part of the left cattle which would have us in a starving condition were captured by the it not for the horses we had taken. determined to attack a place days called later tracks Monbackers. They passed another it in the night without being seen. five Indians were killed or wounded. which Caldwell conjectured to be Lieut." he wrote to Butler. Caldwell wished to attack. or Rochester. with two mills and thirty stone houses. Their combined force numbered 87 rangers and Their provisions being nearly exhausted. ton). They then entered the outskirts forts. the Indians held a council. " We had the mortification to see the return. but one of the forts was then abandoned. many houses and advanced to Monbackers. which he dispersed and made two small fort at prisoners. 250 Indians. but promised to attempt capture on their return. but with a scout of the enemy. Again " On our the misconduct of his Indians placed him in serious peril. reconnoitre. in one of which a party of men perished after having stubbornly refused to surrender. Indians rangers. in Ulster County. were advancing from opposite quarters to Caldwell leisurely retired. in the hope of enticing his pursuers into the woods. They were then within forty miles of a Lackawaxen. commanding a narrow gorge among the This place hills. and on the at Neversink in the nth stole past fort same manner.
John Clement and a chief named Traquanda. flat on the ground in a semi-circle around the The Americans were headed by Captain Woodworth. and eight others taken prisoners. lying spot. and when they arrived at the place where the fires had been made Clement heard their leader exclaim. time the company of rangers that had been sent to Detroit were actively engaged in repelling what had threatened to be At this a formidable kias attack. who declared that the means of giving peace and security felt reduction of Detroit is the only to our western frontier. with two other ofificers and nineteen men. were killed on the spot." Clark confident of his ability to enlist a sufficient if number of volunteers artillery for the purpose. Next morning three alarm guns were fired by the garrison. "Damn them! They single are gone off!" Clement's men allowed them to approach within pistol shot of the centre of their position. when they fired a fatal volley and rushed upon them with spears and tomahawks. where they hope settlement large night " and day employed . with 74 rangers and Indians. They came boldly on. Woodworth. Col. themselves among the thickets near by. arrived at the German Flats and reconnoitred the fort. returned with the information that forty riflemen were rapidly apThey at once abandoned their camp and concealed proaching. and burned a magazine the inhabitants were effects to a made an incursion into He in reported that removing their called Bryant's Station. Clark's intentions soon reached Elliott with a small party In March Captain Matthew of provisions. A young Indian. Detroit. he was provided by Congress with and but ordered stores. Lieut. who was sent to watch the fort. of artillery and the commandant at Fort Pitt to detach a company To this as many regular Rumors of to infantry as he could spare accompany him. and they concluded that their presence had been discovered. and Vincennes. capture of that place His project was warmly supported by " Washington. Encouraged by the easy conquest of KaskasGeorge Rogers Clark had begun to plan the also.95 J[ On the 8th September. while only two Indians were wounded. who was well known to many of the rangers as a brave and enterprising enemy. Kentucky. Washington not only readily consented.
Ky. Their spies kept them minutely informed of Clark's movements. and thirty men were were taken prisoners. This consisted of 100 rangers by Col. inevitable result. The Shawanese. Brodhead advanced from Fort and destroyed the Deleware villages. The rangers. six other officers. and lured into an ambush with the Lochry. and as the rangers had already been four days without provisions.96 to remain in security during the expedition. and threatened the Wyandots. This movement first drew the rangers to Lorimier's at the Pitt portage. and the whole force floated down the river in twelve officers and fifty-two privates the captured boats. Not a man escaped. F'inally his preparations for the expedition at about the middle of August they learned that Wheeling appeared to be nearly completed. with the intention of attacking Clark at the Falls. who were acting as guides. Capt. had already passed down the stream. then concluded that it would not be prudent to attack the fort. within thirty miles Clark's position only and when they two hundred remained. with the main body. was enticed ashore. Thompson then proceeded with the rangers to their former station at Miami. and then to Sandusky. Scouts returned from the Falls with some prisoners. . were absolutely at the point of starvation when they succeeded in shooting a couple of bears. killed." Capt. Pa. who reported that Clark had abandoned the expedition against Detroit. between the Great and Little Miami. But the Indians. Indians. satisfi(Louisville. but that a second division was behind. and began their long march overland to intercept him on On the 26th an advanced party of his voyage down the Ohio.) where he had built a fort. A few hours later this party came in sight. to inspirit the Indians in that quarter. lieu- and volunteers in thirteen boats.. commanded tenant of Westmoreland County. where they remained for nearly two months encamped among fever haunted swamps. who had been delayed by heavy rains. commanded by Brant and George Girty. began of to disperse rapidly. ed with arrived this partial success. reached the river and captured one of his boats. Lochry. From the prisoners they learned that Clark. then came up. and Brant went to Detroit with a few warriors of the Six Nations. I'hompson marched His men towards their villages in the hope of obtaining a supply.
where it would be inexpedient to attack them. McKee and Next day a larger party. In September the tenth company of rangers was completed and pronounced by Col. This concluded active operations in that quarter. Floyd and several other principal officers were among the slain. lieutenant of the county. Haldimand.97 Brant crossed over into Kentucky and advanced towards Boone's fort. and afterwards join the main body at Cobus Kill. came to the scene of the action They rode straight into an ambush prepared for them. Walter Butler.hastily collected and forcibly described of 36 " as the dregs of the tribes. 169 rangers under Capt. who are to the falls well acquainted with that part of the country. pro- before. to be a very good one. and when they finally returned to Detroit their clothing was completely torn to rags in their long marches through the woods. Tice. and from thence to the Tienderha river. Powell. to bury the dead. for putting men of the 8th under Lieut. with the loss of only four Indians. both from this part and Carleton Island. where the boats under a guard. a settlement which has not yet been molested. Coote. Major . Johnson and Col." This plan was approved of by the Governor." commanded by Capt. commanded by Col. might be sent to whence a party destroy the remaining mills at Canajoharie. posing another raid in force on the same lines as that of the year In reply Powell said " The Mohawk has been so long the : and Indians. Butler. but the over.and 109 Indians. advise that the force sent out should be assembled at Oswego and proceed and some island left might be on the south side of Oneida Lake. A after inspection. that very few remain for further operations. all danger of invasion For several weeks they subsisted entirely on green rangers remained in the Indian country until seemed corn. and most of them were killed or taken. They met and routed a party of horsemen with considerable loss. They might then proceed to Duanesboro'. Col. and orders issued The contingent from Niagara consisted it into execution. few days after a letter was received from Gen. Floyd. for the people have been so much accustomed to those operations that they now theatre of action for troops secure what grain they raise in fortified houses.
He has been in every fort on the Mohawk river. : whom cepted. and all articles of the enemy. On boats .98 Ross. For this danger- formerly "an active rebel. reaching Oswego until the 9th Major Ross was already the 17th he left his and began his march next day. avoid the destruction of cruelty. Haldimand moved forward a body of troops to Crown Point. to Ross had therefore determined make an attempt gain more exact and reliable intelligence by means of a spy. cattle. which can contribute to the support have the strongest injunctions to children. mills. and brought in a detail of the strength of the whole. " effectively to the frontiers of parties orders. brought with him from Carleton Island ments from four zo"] officers and men. " You will give these he continued. Powell to send out several small parties of rangers and Indians from Niagara against various parts of New York and Pennsylvania." destroy all kinds of grain and forage. prepared for the purOn his return in August." women and and every species of Niagara from A there. He was taken by them to Albany and three times closely examined by the Governor and a Committee. one expose. the Americans as a deserter. as usual. They will." ous service he selected a bright young man named John Servos. fulfilling After everything requisite he obtained a pass to go to the Jerseys. but returned to rejoin his recruits for Sir regiment a few days ago with battalion. who had been taken prisoner by Sir John in his last expedition this Johnson In and had since enlisted in his regiment. Ross reported " I was lucky in my choice. and to make the alarm more general he instructed Col. visit six young John Johnson's 2nd He says the inhabit- ants of the in Mohawk are in expectation of a from Sir John. who was placed in command of the expedition.." As on the former occasion. composed of detach- different regiments. May agent left Carleton Island and surrendered himself to . &c. to he gave a description of Carleton Island. violent gale prevented the detachments from October. and many places are secreting provisions for him. The information derived from prisoners and deserters during the early part of the year had been particularly to vague and contradictory.
which was swollen by the rain. A small party sallied from Fort Johnson to dispute . During the march several prisoners were brought in. for the in- o'clock they had advanced within twelve miles of Schenectady and every building in three mills and a large public magazine. he marched night through incessant rain and over fourteen miles of the worst possible roads. and Duanesboro' Canajoharie with 400 more. lying centrally between these garrisons. and were abandoned to the tender mercies of the enemy. and on the evening of the following day reached Corrystown.99 with a guard in a creek falling into Lake Oneida. their objective point. Owing to the roundabout route they had taken their appearance at that place was as unexpected as if they had sprung out of the earth. At three o'clock in the 25th. worn out by fatigue. 500 at Schoharie. and all much of the time ankle-deep in mud. that he had no time to lose. at who stated that there were 1. including Ross then wheeled about and marched he forded at swiftly Johnstown with much difficulty. On the 23rd they passed through Cherry Valley. sight was in flames. habitants had fled They found the place during the night. As they hurried forward towards the Mohawk was they took a few prisoners. which was seven miles in length. as in a few Ross perceived hours his presence would be ft known at all these places. Two days later Lieut. they forded the Schoharie. where they were allowed to daybreak. while the remainder of the troojjs moved along By ten the main road to support them. was deemed perfectly safe from attack. within gunshot of Fort Hunter. who had distinguished himself on so many occasions. Although his men were in very already terribly fatigued by eight days' steady marching bad weather. and marched to- wards Otsego Lake. His men struggled dozen fell gallantly to keep together and not more than a behind. on their arms until Then the rangers and Indians were detailed to destroy the settlement. from whom it was learned that Sir John Johnson had appeared at Crown Point. Willett at Schenectady. died very suddenly. or VVarrensbush. totally deserted. morning of the and two hours rest later halted near Warrensbush. but that their own movements were as yet undiscovered.000 men assembled that Col. as the river up the Mohawk. Dochstader of the rangers.
their passage, but the officer in
killed at the first fire,
behind him, and
to retreat directly
through the woods to Carleton
Island instead of attempting to return to his boats, but concealed his
intention from everybody in order to prevent the
from prisoners or deserters.
Marching through the village, he Provisions were hastily near Johnson Hall.
journey without the least
alarm, and by marching
had advanced from Canajoharie with his whole force at all night had arrived at Fort Hunter
early in the morning.
picked up several stragglers from the
regular troops under Ross's
obtained their estimate of
the numbers of the raiders.
Already the Schoharie had risen so. rapidly that the ford had become impassable and he was obliged to cross in boats. 'This delayed him until afternoon, and he then learned
Ross had crossed the Mohawk, and followed as rapidly as the He was joined by 400 men from Schenectady, and by detachments from other quarters, which increased his force to
roads would permit.
however, being militia and new levies. afternoon, the scouts sent out by Rossreturned without having observed any signs of a pursuit, and he
more than 1200, much of
At three o'clock
directed Captain Tice to lead the
direct route to Carleton Island.
way with the Indians by the most When Tice had advanced a mile
woods he was suddenly ordered
and join the
who were covering
The enemy was then advancit
ing so rapidly
such force that Ross was convinced that
jaded troops to outmarch him without sacrificing many of the weaker men, and he determined to He hastily selected a position about a quarter of a mile after fight.
would no longer be possible
entering the woods, and formed a line covered by the rangers
distance in front.
Exclusive of the Indians,
he had then 354 of all ranks under arms. The enemy soon appeared and the rangers began the action with a volley, which they followed up by charging with their well-
of the woods.
and drove the American riflemen
support with a large
having previously detached nearly a third of his
force to turn his opponent's position
off his retreat.
entered the woods, Ross ordered a general
advance, fo'llowed by a charge, which was attended with immediate and
confessed that the whole of his right wing
^'turned and fled without any apparent cause."
of his men,
were driven to the edge of the woods, when the whole body "fled precipitately in full view " for more than a mile." I then lamented the want of a good body
however, kept up a running
fight until they
of Indians," Ross complained, "few of those present
we would probably have crushed the spirit of the rebels on the Mohawk." The left wing of the Americans still remained unbroken, covered by the
of a field-piece planted upon a high ridge
but being briskly charged also gave way, leaving the gun
victorious troops pursued as rapidly as fatigue
taking a few prisoners.
would perfiring had
ended, the third division of the enemy appeared on the edge of the woods in their rear, but "seemed inclined rather to harrass than attack
They remained under cover, keeping up a desultory fire The field-piece was turned on them, and
few rounds they were charged and dispersed in their turn.
the pursuit, which was continued for^two miles, they suffered severely, and had not darkness intervened would have been nearly exterminated.
of skirmishes Ross had not lost more than twenty
and wounded, but the darkness and exhaustion caused many He believed others to stray away and increased his total loss to fifty.
counted twenty of
that the loss inflicted
upon the enemy was very much greater, as he dead in one place and he had secured twentyWillett collected his scattered forces and retired
across the bridge at Johnstown, where he took possession of the stone Ross marched six miles into the woods and encamped for
Next day he continued
unpursued, but succes-
sive storms of
prevented him from gaining the
leading from the
of the 29th, and
Flats to Carleton Island until the evening
was then discovered that the Indians had shaped
their course to favor their
return to Niagara, instead of consider-
ing the safety of the troops.
proof of their
misconduct, he resolved to allow them to go their
on the following morning, leaving them
over their smouldering
over, the pursuer
danger appeared to be
was actually close at his heels. directly from the late battlefield
and sent men
collected 500 fresh troops,
including 60 Oneida Indians,
appears* to have divined that Ross was retreating directly to Carleton
the 29th he crossed the river with this force very lightly
equipped, and followed the
night he had actually
search of traces of his march.
encamped within a couple of miles of Soon after daylight he surprised some
the exof the
lingered in camp,
intimation of this event was conveyed to Ross by riflemen firing
he ordered his
as rapidly as
possible until they
a final stand.
had crossed Canada Creek, when they would make
few of the rangers halted to engage the pursuers
at a trot
and the remainder went on
the creek Capt. Butler,
party, lined the ford with rangers to gain time for his leader to
The stream and all surrounding objects were veiled in when Willett's advance guard came up and plunged withFor
out hesitation into the water.
they saw Butler wave his hand in defiance, and a volley from the The survivors opposite bank struck down several of their number.
up the bank and retreated
into the woods.
again and several volleys were interchanged at ranacross the creek. One of these chance shots struck Capt. Butler
head and he
dead where he stood.
Americans had a decided advantage
ground "and their
and the latter had been accidentally drowned when on his way down. yet they ran in their famished condition thirty miles before they stopped. Benton. Thompson. but did not venture to pursue further.103 favorite object of firing at a distance. In the whole expedition he had and even carrying with him the whole lost 74 officers and Thirteen of these to men. two-thirds of whom were returned as missing. ." Butler's death. Some were so unfortunate as to have fallen into the hands of in cold blood. in his History of was given officer Herkimer County. men were almost without food and many of them had lost their blankets and overcoats. a pound of horseflesh a day per man. who subsequently returned in safety of the missing men who Oswego. ally rejoiced He exulted loudly over and his biographer tells us that the inhabitants gener- more on learning that than they did at the intelligence of the surrender of Cornwallis. loss. yet seven days march before him through a intersected by several streams passable only by although the weather was most inclement. he arrived at Carleton Island on the 6th Novenriber without further of his prisoners. which became the known to them about same time. " with only half they had been four days in the wilderness. where he awaited an attack for lett When the firing ceased "VVilan hour before continuing his retreat. crossed the stream and found Butler and three rangers lying dead. were rangers. In their absence Caldwell had gone to Detroit to relieve Capt. with enemies appear to have been put to death " an excess of cruelty. and his means of rafts." states that one non-commissioned is a horrible there letters Haldimand's of in one the to Oneidas. The rangers returned to Niagara for the winter. The progress of the Niagara in Butler's settlement during the year was briefly sketched correspondence." Ross had taken up a better position a quarter of a mile further on.and up their exasperated story of a ranger being gradually dismembered by his captors while he was yet alive. In the pursuit and skirmish Ross had actually lost only ten men." he said. and although he had barren wilderness. The wonderful endurance "Although displayed by his opponents excited his frank admiration.
and took about thirty prisoners. Orders were then received to abstain as far as possible from offensive operations. under Sergeant Secord. and continued the gloomy prospect. took and destroyed a blockhouse on Bald Eagle Creek. Powell and Sangerachta marched towards Indians. On the 15th of the same month. and a party of picked men on from these. also wantwill if can furnish them with a smith out of the rangers.104 On to sow. ing. who I should imagine obliged to work for what the King allows. party destroyed the fort and settlement of Loyal Hanna. Fort Pitt to create a diversion in favor of the AVestern who This were then menaced with a formidable attack from that quarter. and were only allowed Indians were Still.. frontier the in spite of several small parties of rangers to remained on the whole winter. such as is fit for plow-shares. Both troops and much dispirited by the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. and no expedition was undertaken until June. hoes. he resumed the subject: "The winter being so moderate here enables the farmers to clean the ground and planting and sowing early in the spring. Nelles. They have maintained themselves half-rations since September last. from the at first. R." Elsewhere the war was practically an end. be joined by fresh recruits In April nearly 200 rangers were detached to Carleton Island to enable Major Ross to occupy Oswego. when Capt." On the 7th December. on the road to Philadelphia. 1 flatter myself that in a short time the farmers will be found to be of essential use to this post. prepare it for If they only begin to cultivate the land in summer. be His Excellency thinks proper to allow the above articles for one year. scouting the frontier of Pennsylvania. . I Iron fit for axes. the season is over before they can expect to draw any subsistence from their labor. the rest have been able to help themselves. went with him to act as scouts. draws provision. as there are still a few wanted is for farmers already settled. &c. the 2oth of I the loyahsts "The articles you mentioned for May he said have received and given out to such as had lands ready The farmers are much in need of a blacksmith and forge : — and iron. Lieut. they I believe but one family might after that be able to help themselves.
to march to the assistance of the Lieut. I'll the best chance they have now is make peace with the rebels." he said. . they declared their intention of marching against Sandusky and repeating their exploit there. They conclude home. possibly because they had ciliation. It was deterof the largest mined to kill the prisoners on the spot. it but were accused of having harbored hostile Indians. . The bodies were then burnt in the houses. Early in the year a party of frontiersmen had made a descent upon a village on the Muskingum. with Indians who were much alarmed. were much less affected by this depression than other regiments that had not been so actively engaged." some time In short. Their properties on the Mohawk taken possession of by the New to Englanders. " The colony troops. however. Deserters they know are received and live quiet at venture to say that there are desert many men ago. for years entertained small hopes of any recon- In the west a body of rangers was actively employed during the summer. with signal success. They do not think the King river are will From every quarter they have unpleasing tidings. and Caldwell the " Lake Indians" was ordered at that place. Major Ross has that their cause forcibly described the temptations and misgivings that beset them. told severely upon the spirits of the provincial troops generally during this period. are low. By the middle of May their with his company and design was known in Detroit. " have not that relish for the war they had when carried on succeed. were brutally beaten to death.I05 The want upon them of active employment and the conviction now forced was lost. Elated by the ease with which they had accomplished this foul deed." Two buildings were selected as "slaughter-houses the helpless victims were dragged sons. and ninety-six per- of whom two-thirds were women and children. in with ropes around their necks. little offensively. spirits who would sooner have suffered death than that nothing now but fear of death prevents. solely inhabited by Indians converted to Christianity by the Moravian missionaries. Turney. their The rangers. They had taken no all part in the war. was admitted.
and was not without experience in Indian warfare.io6 twenty-four rangers from Niagara. who had was daily ex- assistance. and on scraps of paper scattered about their they intended to give no quarter to man. They were in high spirits and sanguine of success. Crawford retired into a large grove of copsewood. as they advanced. and gradually pushed back their antagonists until Caldwell was able to place most of his force under cover. Swift-footed runners their hovered about them They counted that numbers. where at the he could protect either of the Indian villages from attack time. erally Even admitted that they were gen- animated by no other motive than a desire for murder and plunder. and forced him to quit the field. with a prodigious little amount of yelling and firing on both sides. pected to return. young and up the Shawanese to their McKee. numberold. John Turney. including most of those concerned in the late massacre. Col. were already marching against them. although their leader. which furnished good cover for horses and men. ball. a veteran The command then devolv- ed on Lieut. and he at to once advanced meet them at the junction of the tvvo paths. Crawford. The skirmish then became very badly brisk. joined at him soon after his arrival Sandusky. surrounded on all sides by open ground. and learned from writing on the trees deserted camps or child. more than 150 gone to bring warriors. They soon learned that 500 mounted riflemen. and gave him a decided advantage until the rangers managed to gain a foothold in a projecting angle of woods. Caldenemy were only a few miles away. was a brave and honSeveral Continental officers from the garrison of Fort orable man. was soon his wounded by a musket which passed through both thighs. 1782. same On his appearance. however. but loss on either. soldier of many years service. Caldwell. To meet them ing not Caldvvell the whole fighting strength of the had 70 rangers. their friends woman. and Wyandots of Sandusky. Pitt accompanied the expedition as a "party of pleasure. well learned that the At noon on the King's birthday. 44 Lake Indians. the 4th of June." The entire force was well armed and finely mounted. .
and at This indicated the weakest part of the to midnight they made a vigorous rush upon it and broke through. (who must be tired of such scenes of cruelty. Maj. and the tomahawk of the Indians was struck last man that fell beneath down on the very banks of Caldwell and McKee estimated that 250 of the fugitives were killed or perished in the woods. therefore.I07 f. Indian " died like a hero. Most of them were mounted and darkness favored their flight. Of the Indians. while Capt. but observed that the Turney renewed the luctant to enemy seemed re- However. the enemy. They were horribly the Ohio. interpreter Le . their assailants only Both parties encamped where they lay." In the two days' skirmishing but one ranger was killed and two wounded. tortured to death in spite of the remonstrances of the only officer present." he wrote to the chiefs that such a I must. reiter- McKee. They continued five or six. " De Peyster threated to withdraw the rangers from the support of the Indians in case the offence was repeated. Matthew Elliott directed the movements of the Indians. The unfortunate Crawford and a few others were reserved for a worse fate. be under the necessity of recalling the troops. Caldwell. and Caldwell said that Crawford suft'ering never changed countenance. them I Tell provided they avoid cruelties. who is ever ready to assist them the shall common enemy. besides Capt. the most dreadful In consequence of this atrocious act of revenge. press his advantage.) provided they persist. and enabled Turney to surround the Americans. to gain lost ground until night put an end to the The Americans had about twenty-five men. and at daybreak attack. they made two feeble At noon McKee attempts to charge. The the chase continued many days. directed their sentries to fire at stated intervals line during the night. firing. opportunely arrived with 140 Shawanese. but they were pursued with the tireless energy born of insatiable hate." although agony. Throughout the afternoon he continued to continue the action. and at dark felt sanguine of capturing the whole Probably he would have succeeded if the Indians had not body. which were easily repulsed. ate my injunctions to you. by "of representing to mode of war will no means be counten- anced by against their English father.
loS Vallier and four warriors were killed and eight warriors wounded. Indians. Capt. Those Indians once became to their assist- urgent in their ance. fully for Station. till volley. McKee. as far as the to the On the 12th July he with the intention of assailing marched from Upper Sandusky Wheeling. but on finding that there was no occaCaldwell and sion for alarm they began to disperse rapidly." and Clench it From the prisoners was learned that Col. all splendidly mounted. and only 200 left Caldwell with thirty rangers and Wyandot and Lake in Indians. McKee its 1. " Too much cannot be Turney Lieut. where the ground would be more favorable an action. Daniel Boone. the principal fort in broke off by another route. but destroyed everything outside the walls. to which they instantly replied with an entire time. and had actually advanced Whetstone branch of the Scioto. encamped a grassy hollow near the ford of the Licking Early in the morning of the i8th his scouts announced that about were picked 200 of the enemy were rapidly approaching on horseback. with the rangers and 300 Indians. when he was diverted village of Shawanese with an attack. commanded by Cols. Caldwell in we rushed was All resistance at said. These men from the Kentucky settlements. On " " Great Buffalo Trail about a hundred Indians retreating along the Kentucky. and on the 15th of August crossed that river and marched upon Bryant's They besieged it unsuccesstwo days.100 Indians for Piqua by the report that it was menaced had succeeded in assembling upwards of defence. advanced to the Ohio. and river. in still meditated an attack upon the Shawanese signally baffled which he had been so at the year before. in particular signalized themselves. and other well known leaders. Todd. Clark villages. When within sixty yards a single shot was fired from the rangers' covert in the long grass. They dismounted and crossed the ford on foot." an end in five minutes. He then turned aside to the Blue for Licks. Trigg. "They stood to it very well for some upon them. No people could behave better. when they broke immediately. demands that the rangers should move Caldwell recovered rapidly from his wounds and resumed command." Elliott said in praise of the officers and men and " wrote. "He that could mount a .
horse was well
he that could not had no time
one of the few survivors. Caldwell stated that 146 were
killed or taken,
ranger was hurt,
Indians were killed and ten wounded.
Bute, was also killed.
died like a warrior," Caldwell said,
people could behave better than both
The Indians behaved extremely well, and no officers and men in general."
Andrew Bradt having
pany of rangers too
overtake Caldwell, had marched against
Wheeling, accompanied by 238 Indians.
nth September he
devastated the settlement there, and ten days later joined Caldwell in the Shawanese country, where they remained for about a month.
Hunger, exposure, and disease did
to Detroit the
and when they
as "walking spectres."
infant colony at Niagara continued to
the 4th April, Col. Powell
"the farmers are
some ground on
the other side of the river to plant corn for
Government, and as there
Buffalo Creek, Col. Butler has advised
party shall accordingly 6e sent, but
some exceeding good land cleared at me to plant some there, and a
no great progress can
At midsummer he stated
farmers had scarcely raised grain enough for their
Butler took a
more cheerful view. On the 12th June he wrote His Excellency is pleased with the progress of the They certainly have done very well, and would have done
had they received smithy
tools, provisions, &c., the
disappointed them, as they expected to be supplied 'agreeable to the memorandum His Excellency gave me.
of which has
Seven or eight rangers got
from the frontier
These, with some others that have been
are desirous of being discharged
on lands near
the place, provided they can be supplied with provisions for one year
:and such smith work as
These people were bred
of opinion will soon be useful to this post, as well
as to enable
support their famiHes comfortably, which at
daily expect a
of recruits from
the frontier, which
corps complete after discharging those
people that ure in the decline of life and having large families." In the same letter, he stated that Peter and James Secord were
preparing to build a saw and
near the Rangers' Barracks.
buy the iron work and millstones in Lower He Canada, and wished to have these sent up in the King's ships. was informed, in reply, that the private ownership of the mill would
not be permitted, but that materials would be furnished and the
survey of the 25th
sixteen families settled,
cleared 236 acres,
wheat, 46 of oats,
August showed that there were numbering sixty-eight persons. They had and had raised during the year 206 bushels of 926 of Indian corn, and 630 of potatoes. They
horses, 42 cows, 30 sheep,
In November, Col. Allan Maclean,
and 103 hogs. who had succeeded
of the garrison,
wrote that " Lieut. Brass, formerly Ser-
geant Brass, now employed to build a corn and saw mill, says he will undertake to complete the dam and finish the two mills at the
expense of ^500, N. Y. currency, or to be paid so much a day the time employed, as he is to be chief workman himself."
had been seriously
weeks, and Maclean
seized the opportunity to pay a " recovers but
It is surprising any degree to the management of the Indians. what good humor he sent them away after he had acquainted them
that he was short of several articles of clothing for
Butler was sufficiently recovered
On the 3rd of March he wrote "The farmers actually settled here are
rather be subject to a small
not well satisfied with the
uncertain tenure on which they hold their lands and improvements,
they could be
effectually secured to them.
T I I
some people of
who have even
property in the
colonies that would not think
"The saw and
materials from below arrive in time
imagine may be
the beginning of June."
discontent of the settlers soon found a voice in the
"The humble address
side the river Niagara
of farmers residing on lands on
you were pleased Haldimand's proposals, on
to read to us
expecting one year's provisions and
which we have not had as
Part only of the provisions has been
as a singular
should be forever obliged to His Excel-
be pleased to grant us leases, or some other security
for our farms, as
our present uncertain situation
as wfe are obliged to sell our
price as the
have no objecquantity
tion to furnish the garrison at a reasonable price what
by the commanding to merchants and others
same time beg we can agree,
from being obliged to pay merchants their own prices for everything we want. We should be very willing to subject ourselves to a rent for our farms after a term of eight years, as the footing we are on at
present we are liable to be turned off our places when the commandWe are happy for the present, being not under ing officer pleases. the slightest apprehension, but the Commandant often changes, which
Elijah Phelps, Thos. McMicking,
behalf of ourselves and the rest of the farmers."
" As soon as the stipulations in their visional articles of peace. and are deserving of whatever His Majesty may be generously " pleased to favor or reward them with " But I must not omit to observe to I Your Excellency. under penalty of being treated "with the severity due to their crimes and nefarious defection. at 50 men per company. and by no means wanting effect in every respect good soldiers. favor. The remainder were peremptorily warned to leave the country before the loth of June. some were executed without form of law. and many savagely assaulted. " Maclean wrote Col. hope of being restored to their former homes. where they : — ' could not expect the shadow of justice. that could be wished for to effect the service of the upper country regarding the connection with the "The late views of great part of the corps was to return to their . and there could be no doubt that that part of the treaty at least would be openly set at defiance. sum and the Missassaugas that they with twelve miles to more along the would rather go Japan than go among the Americans. and its appearance and conduct " elicited his hearty commendation. and might." officially During the summer the entire battalion of rangers was inspected by Major Potts of the 8th regiment." I wanted. During the course of the war. the requisites to worthy of applause.I 12 The prospective return of peace inspired the exiles with little In May. 1783. should they be and might answer every purpose Indians. Butler says that none of his people will ever think of going to attend courts of law in the colonies. the American newspapers were filled with declarations of undying animosity to the expatriated loyalists. became generally known. contained in the pro- where they could never live in peace. and that to re-purchase their estates is what they are not able will part to do . in that two- thirds of the men are as fine fellows as ever saw collected together. upon the service they have been employed they have ever in general behaved bravely and done their duty. that for a much smaller lake. form a most complete small corps. Of those who had already rashly ventured to return to their former homes.
Col. wait Your Excellency's pleasure on that head. 1 1 1 women. 1784. and within a officers and men had agreed to settle. with the intent never to return. and the disposition they seem to have avowed to abide by.^'3 (former homes as soon as a reduction should take place. and the promises of Col. wishes. For a quarter of a century afterwards. :. the great majority decided to remain. De Peyster reported. ! The regiment was finally disbanded in June. succeed in grants of land at present are to that settle and expectation. has much abated the ardour and anxiety of the men on the purpose to return home. their desire for cultivating list. the names of officers and disbanded regiment constantly recur in the peaceful annals of their new home as legislators and magistrates. They seem tenure of the from the States by the I have permitted some of the most decent people to shortest route. and the number of acres cleared had already increased to 713. He was universally regarded as the mainstay of the settlement. with On to' the 28th June. but last night seventy to fetch their relations and many wish of the people who refused to sign went off without leave. but there was un- foreseen delay in making the surveys and their dissatisfaction the tenure had not abated. and 257 children. but from the late publications of the colonists." ' ' month 258 families. which I believe most of them strength of 469 . as surveyors and town officers. Many of the officers and non-commis-^ sioned officers had begun to provide for the future by selecting lands. making. We have to dislike the not above 100 on the lands. with their body of 620 persons. of this lake and river seems to have taken up and engaged their both consideration. a However. and . that they may end. the neighboring lands Butler to obtain : some general settlement upon hope. with the intention that the men should at once take up their residence on lands assigned to them in the immediate vicinity. of the Butler's men personal influence increased with the flight of time. disposed to of the upon. "The people sign Crown Lands but slowly." a A ' return corps showed men.
Hardy won honorable distinction for Even in those whose age and infirmities absolutely disabled them from active service the old spirit yet burned so fiercely that they eagerly volunteered to do garrison duty and release younger invader. far although generally advanced the field . men to confront the THE END. Barent Frey and John Butler fell Rowe died gallantly in . in 1796. . zeal. there scarcely a hostile criticism of his public or private in all the conduct to be discovered ence. David Secord. Successive Deputy Superintendent of the Indians until his commandants at Niagara added their tact. and ability. to that of their predeces- He retained the confidence and respect of Carleton and Simcoe to the last. and. Until the formation of the Province of Upper Canada. huge mass of official correspond- Many of his followers lived to bear arms in the war of 1812. testimony as to his sors.114 an acknowledged authority on all matters concerning it. Ralfe Clench and John meritorious service. and continued to perform the responsible and difficult duties of death. Thomas a victim to disease William Caldwell. in years. he served as Judge of the District Court. apart is from the spiteful attacks of Claus and Johnson.
e V F 5547 N5C78 Cruikshank. Ernest Alexander The story of Butler's Rangers and the settlement of Niagara d PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE FROM THIS CARDS OR SLIPS POCKET UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY A .