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1749, a particular account was sent, by De Witt Clinton, to the American Antiquarian Society, in whose second volume (p. 535 – 541) the inscription may be found at length. By this step, the French, perhaps, hoped to quiet the title to the river - Oyo”; but it produced not the least result. In that very year, we are told, a trading-house was built by the English upon the Great Miami, at the spot since called Loramie's Store ;* while, from another source we learn, that two traders were, in 1749, seized by the French upon the Maumee. At any rate, the storm was gathering ; the English company was determined to carry out its plan, and the French were determined to oppose them.
During 1750, we hear of no step, by either party ; but in February, 1751, we find Christopher Gist, the agent who had been appointed by the Ohio Company to examine the western lands, upon a visit to the Twigtwees or Tuigtuis, who lived upon the Miami river, one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth. f In speaking of this tribe, Mr. Gist says nothing of a trading-house among them, (at least in the passage from his Journal quoted by Mr. Sparks,) but he tells us, they left the Wabash for the sake of trading with the English ; and we have no doubt, that the spot which he visited was at the mouth of Loramie's Creek, where, as we have said, a trading-house was built about or before this time. Gist says, the Twigtwees were a very numerous people, much superior to the Six Nations, and that they were formerly in the French interest. Wynne speaks of them as the same with the Ottawas; but Gist undoubtedly meant the great Miamis confederacy; for he says, that they are not one tribe, but “ many different tribes, under the same form of government.” | Upon this journey Gist went as far down the Ohio as the Falls, and was gone seven months, though the particulars of his tour are still unknown to us; his Journal, with the exception of one or two passages published by Mr. Sparks, still resting in manuscript.
Having thus generally examined the land upon the Ohio, * Contest in America, by an Impartial Hand. Once this writer speaks of this post as upon the Wabash, but he doubtless meant that on the Miami.
† Sparks's Washington, Vol. II. p. 37.
I See Harrison's Discourse, already quoted.-Franklin, (Sparks's Franklin, Vol. IV. p. 71,) speaks of the Piankeshaws, a tribe of the Twigtwees; and again, of the Miamis or Twigtwees (Ibid., Vol. III. p. 72).
in November Gist commenced a thorough survey of the tract south of the Ohio and east of the Kanawha, which was that on which the Ohio Company proposed to make their first settlement. He spent the winter in that labor. Meanwhile no treaty of a definite character had yet been held with the western Indians; and, as the influence both of the French and of the independent English traders, was against the company, it was thought necessary to do something, and the Virginia government was desired to invite the chiefs to a conference at Logstown, which was done.
All this time the French had not been idle. They not only stirred up the savages, but took measures to fortify certain points on the upper waters of the Ohio, from which all lower posts might be easily attacked, and, beginning at Presqu'Ile, or Erie, on the lake, prepared a line of communication with the Alleghany. This was done by opening a wagon-road from Erie to a little lake lying at the head of French Creek, where a second fort was built, about fifteen miles from that at Erie. When this second fort was fortified we do not clearly learn; but some time in 1752, we believe. * But lest, while these little castles were quietly rising amid the forest, the British also might strengthen themselves too securely to be dislodged, a party of soldiers was sent to keep the Ohio clear; and this party, early in 1752, having heard of the tradinghouse upon the Miamis, and, very likely, of the visit to it by Gist, came to the Twigtwees and demanded the traders, as unauthorized intruders upon French lands. The Twigtwees, however, were neither cowards nor traitors, and refused to deliver up their friends. f The French then attacked the trading-house, which was probably a block-house, and, after a severe battle, in which fourteen of the natives were killed, and others wounded, took and destroyed it, carrying the traders away to Canada as prisoners, or, as one account says,
* Washington's Journal, of 1753. — Mante, in his History of the War, says, early in 1753; but there was a post at Erie when the traders were taken, before June, 1752.
I Sparks's Franklin, Vol. IV. p. 71. – Vol. III. p. 230. Plain Facts, p. 42. — Contest in North America, &c. p. 36. - Western Monthly Magazine, 1833. – This fort was always referred to in the early treaties of the United States with the Indians; see Land Laws. — Several other captures beside this are referred to by Franklin and others. The attack on Logstown, spoken of by Smollett and Russell, was doubtless this attack on the Miamis post. Smollett; George II. Chap. IX. See also Burk's Virginia, Vol. III. p. 170,
burning some of them alive. This fort, or trading-house, was called by the English writers Pickawillany. *
Such was the fate of the first British settlement in the Ohio valley, of which we have any record. It was destroyed early in 1752, as we know by the fact, that its destruction was referred to by the Indians at the Logstown treaty in June. What traders they were who were taken, we do not know with certainty. Some have thought them agents of the Ohio Company ; but Gist's proceedings about the Kenhawa do not favor the idea, neither do the subsequent steps of the company; and in the “ History of Pennsylvania,” ascribed to Franklin, we find a gift of condolence made by that Province to the Twigtwees for those slain in defence of the traders among them, in 1752, which leads us to believe that they were independent merchants from that colony. Blood had now been shed, and both parties became more deeply interested in the progress of events in the West.
The English, on their part, determined to purchase from the Indians a title to the lands they wished to occupy, by fair means or foul; and, in the spring of 1752, Messrs. Fry, Lomax, and Patton were sent from Virginia to hold a conference with the natives at Logstown, learn what they objected to in the treaty of Lancaster, of which it was said they complained, and settle all difficulties. t On the 9th of June, the commissioners met the red men at Logstown : this was a little village, seventeen miles and a half below Pittsburg, upon the north side of the Ohio. | It had long been a tradingpoint, but had been abandoned by the Indians in 1750. S Here the Lancaster treaty was produced, and the sale of the western lands insisted upon ; but the chiefs said, “No ; they had not heard of any sale west of the warrior's road, which ran at the foot of the Alleghany ridge.” The commissioners then offered goods for a ratification of the Lancaster treaty; spoke of the proposed settlement by the Ohio Company ; and
* A memorial of the King's ministers, in 1755, refers to it as “ Pickawil. lanes, in the centre of the territory between the Ohio and the Wabash.” Sparks's Franklin, Vol. IV. p. 330.
† Plain Facts, p. 40.-- Sparks's Washington, Vol. II. p. 480.
# Croghan, in his Journal says, that Logstown was south of the Ohio. (Butler's Kentucky, App.) The river is itself nearly north and south at the spot in question; but we always call the Canada side the north side, having reference to the general direction of the stream.
Bouquet's Expedition. London, 1766. p. 10. — Logstown is given on the map accompanying this volume.
used all their persuasions to secure the land wanted. Upon the 11th of June, the Indians replied. They recognised the treaty of Lancaster, and the authority of the Six Nations to make it, but denied that they had any knowledge of the western lands being conveyed to the English by said deed ; and declined, upon the whole, having any thing to do with the treaty of 1744. “However," said the savages, was the French have already struck the Twigtwees, we shall be pleased to have your assistance and protection, and wish you would build a fort at once at the Fork of the Ohio.”* But this permission was not what the Virginians wanted ; so they took aside Montour, the interpreter, who was a son of the famous Catherine Montour, † and a chief among the Six Nations, being three-fourths of Indian blood, and persuaded him by valid arguments (of the kind which an Indian most appreciates, doubtless,) to use his influence with his fellows. This he did ; and, upon the 13th of June, they all united in signing a deed, confirming the Lancaster treaty in its full extent, consenting to a settlement southeast of the Ohio, and guarantying that it should not be disturbed by them. I By such means was obtained the first treaty with the Indians in the Ohio valley.
All this time the two powers beyond the Atlantic were in a professed state of profound peace”; and commissioners were at Paris trying to out-manæuvre one another with regard to some of the disputed lands in America, § though in the West all looked like war. We have seen how the English outwitted the Indians, and secured themselves, as they thought, by their politic conduct. But the French, in this as in all cases, proved that they knew best how to manage the natives ; and, though they had to contend with the old hatred felt toward them by the Six Nations, and though they by no means refrained from strong acts, marching through
* Plain Facts, p. 42.
# For a sketch of this woman, see Massachusetts Historical Collections, First Series, Vol. VIl. p. 189, or Stone's Life of Brant, Vol. I. p. 339. She had two sons, Andrew and Henry. The latter was a captain among the Iroquois, the former a common interpreter, apparently. Andrew was taken by the French in 1749. Which of them was at Logstown we are not told; but, from his influence with the Indians, it was probably Henry.
# Plain Facts, pp. 38 - 44, The Virginia commissioners were men of high character, but treated with the Indians according to the ideas of their Š See Smollett; George II., chapters viii. and ix, vol. XLIX. — No. 104.
the midst of the Iroquois country, attacking the Twigtwees, and seizing the English traders, nevertheless they did succeed, as the British never did, in attaching the Indians to their cause. As an old chief of the Six Nations said at Easton, in 1758; “ The Indians on the Ohio left you because of your own fault. When we heard the French were coming, we asked you for help and arms, but we did not get them. The French came, they treated us kindly, and gained our affections. The Governor of Virginia settled on our lands for his own benefit, and, when we wanted help, forsook
fault." The Indchief of thn attachiness
So stood matters at the close of 1752. The English had secured (as they thought) a title to the Indian lands southeast of the Ohio, and Gist was at work laying out a town and fort there on Shurtees (Chartier's) Creek, about two miles below the Fork. † Eleven families also were crossing the mountains to settle at the point where Gist had fixed his own residence, west of Laurel Hill, and not far from the Youghiogany. Goods too had come from England for the Ohio Company, which, however, they could not well, and dared not, carry beyond Will's Creek, the point where Cumberland now stands, whence they were taken by the traders and Indians; and there was even some prospect of a road across the mountains to the Monongahela.
On the other hand, the French were gathering cannon and stores upon Lake Erie, and, without treaties or deeds for land, were gaining the good-will of even inimical tribes, and preparing, when all was ready, to strike the blow. Some of the savages, it is true, remonstrated. They said they did not understand this dispute between the Europeans, as to which of them the western lands belonged to, for they did not belong to either. But the French bullied when it served their turn, and flattered when it served their turn, and all the while went on with their preparations, which were in an advanced state early in 1753. I
In May of that year, the governor of Pennsylvania informed the Assembly of the French movements, a knowledge of which was derived, in part at least, from Montour, who
* Plain Facts, p. 55.- Pownall's Memoir on Service in North America. | Sparks's Washington, Vol. II. pp. 433, 482, and map, p. 38.
See in Washington's Journal, the Speech of Half-king to the French commander, and his answer. - Sparks's Washington, Vol. II. p. 434.