페이지 이미지

wards complied with." An instance of Indian faith which, if it had only been continued, might have saved both belligerents many ruthless scenes. But the truth is, that the Indian is not brought up to spare his enemies when in his power, or to murmur at the full practice on himself of all the torments authorized by his laws of war.

Earlyin June, 1778, a party of 450 warriors assembled atChilicothe, armed and painted, in their usual terrific way, and bent on another expedition against the marked and signal object of Indian hostility and vengeance—Boone's Fort on the Kentucky river.— Now, for the first time, Capt. Boone derived pleasure from his captivity, since it gave him an opportunity of information of the utmost importance to his threatened garrison. This he determined at all hazards, to convey to it, in order to save it from destruction. How much must the simple woodcraft of Boone have won upon the Indians, to have permitted him to know, much more to witness their formidable military preparations! That he was a great favorite with them, in spite of his white skin, appears from the refusal of his captors to allow of his ransom, when offered by Col. Hamilton, the British governor at Detroit. The prisoner was too dear, even to gratify the love of tormenting a prisoner, or avidity for the tempting stores of British goods kept for liberal distribution among their red allies.

On the 10th of the month, before sunrise, "I departed," says the pioneer, ''in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which time I had but one meal." Never could an escape have been more providential for the redemption of our forlorn hope on the frontiers. The fort was in a bad state of defence; the garrison proceeded, however, to repair its flanks, strengthen its gates and posterns, and to form double bastions; all of which was completed in ten days."* At length another of the white prisoners, escaping from the enemy, informed our people, that the Indians, on learning Boone's elopement, had, according to their customs, postponed their expedition three weeks.

The Indians had sent spies out to view our movements; and were greatly alarmed, at our increase in number and strength. "The grand councils of the nation were held frequently, and with more deliberation than usual." They evidently saw the hour ap

• Filson's Kentucky.


proaching, when the Long Knife would dispossess them of their domestic habitations, and anxiously concerned for futurity, determined utterly to extirpate the whites out of Kentucky.* Our forlorn hope was not intimidated by the fearful odds opposed to them; but in the face of a formidable invasion impending over them, Capt. Boone, about the 1st of August, 1778, undertook an expedition into the Indian country with a party of 19 men for the purpose of surprising a small Indian town, on the Scioto, called Paint Creek Toion. "We advanced," says the daring invader, "within four miles thereof, where we met a party of thirty Indians on their march againstBoonesborough, intending to join the others at Chilicothe. A smart fight ensued betwixt us; at length the savages gave way and fled." Learning from two of his scouts, who had been sent on to the town, that the Indians had deserted it, Boone returned with all possible expedition to assist the garrison at home. On the 6th of August, 1778, he passed a mixed party of Canadians and Indians, and on the 7th day the party arrived safe at Boonesborough."

Could active enterprise have been more gallantly displayed at the head of thousands, than by this sagacious and intrepid captain of forest rangers? In the face of an enemy twenty times his force, Boone carried the war into the enemy's country — into Africa. On the 7th of September, 1778,f an Indian army [if the term is not hyperbolical] consisting of four hundred men, commanded by Capt. Duchesne, with eleven other Frenchmen, and some Indian chiefs, invaded Kentucky. They marched up within view of our fort with British and French colors flying." Col. Bowman makes the number 350, and Blackfish [who had adopted Boone as his son, when a prisoner among the Indians,] was the commander. The fort was summoned in his Britannic Majesty's name, to surrender. Two days were requested for consideration, which were granted. It was now indeed, in the language of Boone, "a critical time" with the besieged; their numbers were small, "between 60 and 70 men, with a large number of women and children ;"J the army before these rude walls was "fearfully painted, marking their footsteps with desolation." Death was, however, preferable to captivity among such an enemy, and could but be their fate,

• Boone's Narrative. Filson's Kentucky.

f See Bowman's Letter in Appendix, and Annals of the West, 2d edit., 220. SparK's Biography. Life of Boone, p. 18. t Peck's Life of Boone, 79.


moted from the rank of captain to that of major. Nor is the slightest mention of the court martial in the history of the times.*

The enemy "now attacked us on every side, and a constant fire ensued between us day and night for the space of nine days. During the siege an attack was made to undermine the fort, which stood only sixty yards from the river bank; as soon as this was discovered by the muddiness of the water below the fort, produced by the excavated earth, a\rench was cut to intersect the mine on the bank of the river. When the besiegers found out this, by the earth thrown out of the fort, they desisted from their stratagem; and on the 20th of September, 1778, raised the siege and departed.

Daring this formidable attack both in time and numbers, which seemed to threaten the garrison so fatally, when the enemy were assisted by white men from Canada, our people "had but two men killed and four wounded; besides a number of cattle destroyed." A degree of injury almost incredibly insignificant under such fearful odds of numbers ; "while the enemy's loss amounted to thirtyseven killed, and a great number wounded." "125 pounds of bullets were picked up about the fort, besides those which had penetrated the logs of the walls."

Thus most fortunately for the gallant band of pioneers, surrounded in the heart of an Indian wilderness, hundreds of miles from the settlements of their countrymen, terminated an expedition strong enough under an energetic and persevering commander with suitable followers, to have stormed every fort in the country, and have swept it olean of our countrymen. Providence ordered it otherwise, and as the author rejoices to believe, for the good of the human race. This can never be extensively or permanently promoted, under the dominion of the ignorance, brutality and ferocity incident to the savage state, all over the world. These vices were exhibitod in our own barbarian ancestors, before their conquest and civilization, by the Romans. Sickly must the benevolence of that bosom be, which sighs over the triumphs of civilized life, even in its ruder forms; for they are the harbingers of brighter and better days of diffusing light, learning and religion. These are the consolations, which Heaven presents the human race for the temporary strife and distress attending the conflict between barbarism and civilization. They are the price set by Providence on the blessings of higher social happiness, humanity and peace.

• Boone's Life, by Peck, and the inquiries of the indefatigable Lyman C, Draper have alone furnished this intelligence, 92.

Article III.

(From the American Railway Times.)

The Iron Interests of the tTnited States.

We have referred to, and sincerely depredated the attempt that is now being made in Congress to repeal the duty on foreign mado iron. We think such a movement is unwise and perilous to one of the greatest, is not the greatest of American interests! Upon the first blush it would seem as if our opposition to the project was not made with due reference to the railway wants of the country, and especially with regard to the thousand new and gigantrrj railway enterprises of the West and South. It is not so. We should like to see every one of these enterprises placed upon a substantial footing, so firm that nothing could prevent their rapid and immediate completion. We have none of that fear that is Bo loudly expressed by many in certain quarters, that we have too many railway facilities. We believe the general common sense of the country, the question of profit and loss as a commercial enterprise, will prevent this trouble, if the speculative fever of the more rash is not stimulated and fed by undue Legislative action. The majority of the persons who are now besieging Congress for land grants for railway purposes, care nothing for the good of the country or the local accommodation they prate about so glibly; they are only anxious to fill their own capacious pockets. The projects they are representing are many of them good, and if carried forward to completion, would be a benefit to the country; while others are valueless and not wanted. Allowing that the valuable part of these projects are wanted, would it be judicious to drive them forward at the present time, if by so doing they prejudice and destroy other interests of the most important national consideration? Let us be guided by a little common sense. A man in trade may think it a very fine thing to build a house costing some fifteen or twenty thousand dollars. But there are two things he will consider if he is wise, before he goes forward with his building projects. In the first place docs he actually need it, and secondly, can he afford it? A negative answer to either branch of this proposition will prevent the expenditure. There are some things that man needs that he cannot afford to buy, and there are many things he can afford to buy that he does not need. Prudence then will dictate, that what he cannot afford to buy, he will let alone.

If, however, forgetting the dictates of prudence, he does buy what he cannot afford, the loss will fall upon others, and so those with whom he is trading will have to suffer for his want of prudence. His creditors, perhaps, are men of small means like himself, and by his bankruptcy are involved in distress and poverty. This seems a hard case, but the community in which the man lived would think it Btill a harder case, if, by some sudden Legislative

« 이전계속 »