페이지 이미지

would fear to declare war, because Hanover was so exposed to her attacks ; but why the British movements, upon the sea particularly, did not lead to the declaration on her part, is not easily to be guessed. Early in 1756, however, both kingdoms formed alliances in Europe ; France with Austria, Russia, and Sweden; England with the Great Frederic. And then commenced forthwith the Seven Years' War, wherein most of Europe, North America, and the East and West Indies all partook and suffered.

Into the details of that war we cannot enter ; not even into those of the contest in North America. We can but say, that, though during 1756 it was proposed to attack Crown Point, Niagara, and Fort Du Quesne, neither was attacked ; for Montcalm took the forts at Oswego, which he destroyed to quiet the jealousy of the Iroquois, within whose territory they were built, and this stroke seemed to paralyze all arms. One bold blow was made by Armstrong at Kittaning, on the Alleghany, in September, * and the frontiers of Pennsylvania for a time were made safe ; but otherwise the year in America wore out with little result.

During the next year, 1757, nothing took place, but the capture of Fort William Henry, by Montcalm, and the massacre of its garrison by his Indians ; a scene, of which the readers of Cooper's novels need scarce be reminded. This, and the near destruction of the British fleet by a gale off Louisburg, were the leading events of this dark season; and no wonder that fear and despair sank deep into the hearts of the colonists. Nor was it in America alone, that Britain suffered during that summer. On the continent Frederic was borne down ; in the Mediterranean she had been defeated, and all was dark in the East; and, to add to the weight of these misfortunes, many of them came upon Pitt, the popular minister.

But the year 1758 opened under a new star. On sea and land, in Asia, Europe, and America, Britain regained what had been lost. The Austrians, Russians, and Swedes, all gave way before the great Captain of Prussia, and Pitt sent his own strong, and hopeful, and energetic spirit into his subalterns. In North America Louisburg yielded to Boscawen; Fort Frontenac was taken by Bradstreet; and Du Quesne was abandoned upon the approach of Forbes through Pennsylvania. From that time, the post at the Fork of the Ohio was Fort Pitt.

* Holmes's Annals, Vol. II. p. 73. — Burk's Virginia, Vol. III. p. 221. + He returned to office, June 29th, 1757.

In this last capture, as more particularly connected with the West, we are now chiefly interested. The details of the gathering and the march may be seen in the letters of Washington, who, in opposition to Colonel Bouquet, was in favor of crossing the mountains by Braddock's road, whereas Bouquet wished to cut a new one through Pennsylvania. In this division, Bouquet was listened to by the general; and late in the season a new route was undertaken, by which such delays and troubles were produced, that the whole expedition came near proving a failure. Braddock's road had, in early times, been selected by the most experienced Indians and frontier men as the most favorable whereby to cross the mountains, being nearly the route by which the national road has been since carried over them. In 1753, it was opened by the Ohio Company. It was afterward improved by the Provincial troops under Washington, and was finished by Braddock's engineers ; * and this route was now to be given up, and a wholly new one opened, probably, as Washington suggested, through Pennsylvania influence, that her frontiers might thereby be protected, and a way opened for her traders. The hardships and dangers of the march from Raystown to Fort Du Quesne, where the British van arrived upon the 25th of November, may be seen slightly pictured in the letters of Washington and the second Journal of Post, † and may be more vividly conceived by those who have passed through the valley of the upper Juniata. I

But, turning from this march, let us look at the position of

* Sparks's Washington, Vol. II. p. 302.
| Proud's Pennsylvania, Vol. II. Appendix.

# While upon this march, General Forbes was so sick that he was carried in a close litter, and to this the officers went to receive their orders. An anecdote was afterwards told of some inimical Indian chiefs, who came to the army on an embassy, and who, observing that from this close litter came all commands, asked the reason. The British officers, thinking the savages would despise their General, if told he was sick, were at first puzzled what answer to make; but in a moment one of them spoke out, and said, that in that litter was their General, who was so fierce and strong that he felt it necessary to bind himself, hand and foot, and lie still until he came to the enemy's country, lest he should do the ambassadors, or even his own men, a mischief. The red men gave their usual grunt, and placed some miles of forest between themselves and this fierce chieftain as soon as possible.

things in the West, during the autumn of 1758. We have said, that in the outset the French did their utmost to alienate the Six Nations and Delawares from their old connexion with the British ; and so politic were their movements, so accurate their knowledge of Indian character, that they fully succeeded. The English, as we have seen, had made most foolish and iniquitous attempts to get a claim to the Western lands, and by rum and bumbo had even obtained written grants of those lands; but when the rum had evaporated, the wild men saw how they had been deceived, and listened not unwillingly to the French professions of friendship, backed as they were by presents and politeness, and accompanied by no attempts to buy or wheedle land from them.* Early, therefore, many of the old allies of England joined her enemies ; and the treaties of Albany, Johnson Hall, and Eastont did little or nothing toward stopping the desolation of the frontiers of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The Quakers always believed, that this state of enmity between the Delawares and themselves, or their rulers, might be prevented by a little friendly communion; but the persuasions of the French, the renegade English traders, and the low Irish Catholics, who had gone into the West, were great obstacles to any friendly conversation on the one side, and the common feeling among the whites was an equal difficulty on the other. In the autumn of 1756, a treaty was held at Easton with the Pennsylvania Delawares, I and peace agreed to. But this did not bind the Ohio Indians even of the same nation, much less the Shawanese and Mingoes; and though the Sachem of the Pennsylvania savages, Teedyuscung, promised to call to his western relatives with a loud voice, they did not, or would not hear him ; the tomahawk and brand still shone among the rocky mountain fastnesses of the interior. Nor can any heart but pity the red men. They knew not whom

* See Post's Journals ; Pownall's Memoir, on Service in North America.

† Many treaties were made between 1753 and 1758, which amounted to little or nothing. See Mussachusetts Historical Collections, Vol. VII. p. 97. - Sparks's Franklin, Vol. III. pp. 436,450,471, &c.- Proud's Pennsylvania, Vol. II. App. ; Friendly Association's Address, and Post's Journals. There were two Easton treaties; one with the Pennsylvania Delawares, in 1756, the other with all the Indians, in 1758. - See also, in Proud's Pennsylrania, Vol. II. p. 331, an inquiry into the causes of quarrel with the Indians, and extracts from treaties, &c.

Sparks's Franklin, Vol. VII. p. 125.

nor where tod them from from the Frenand their

to believe, nor where to look for a true friend. The French said they came to defend them from the English ; the English said they came to defend them from the French ; and between the two powers they were wasting away, and their homes disappearing before them. “ The kings of France and England," said Teedyuscung, “have settled this land so as to coop us up as if in a pen. This very ground that is under me was my land and inheritance, and is taken from me by fraud.” Such being the feeling of the natives, and success being of late nearly balanced between the two European powers, no wonder that they hung doubting, and knew not which way to turn. The French wished the Eastern Delawares to move west, so as to bring them within their influence ;* and the British tried to persuade them to prevail on their western brethren to leave their new allies and be at peace.

In 1758, the condition of affairs being as stated, and Forbes's army on the eve of starting for Fort Du Quesne, and the French being also disheartened by the British success elsewhere, and their force at Du Quesne weak, — it was determined to make an effort to draw the western Indians over, and thereby still further to weaken the force that would oppose General Forbes. It was no easy matter, however, to find a true and trustworthy man, whose courage, skill, ability, knowledge, and physical power, would fit him for such a mission. He was to pass through a wilderness filled with doubtful friends, into a country filled with open enemies. The whole French interest would be against him, and the Indians of the Ohio were little to be trusted. Every stream on his way had been dyed with blood, every hill-side had rung with the death-yell, and grown red in the light of burning huts. The man who was at last chosen was a Moravian, who had lived among the savages seventeen years, and married among them ; his name Christian Frederic Post. Of his journey, sufferings, and doings, we have his own journal, though Heckewelder tells us, that those parts which redound most to his own, credit, he omitted when printing it. He left Philadelphia upon the 15th of July, 1758 ; and, against the protestations of Teedyuscung, who said he would surely lose his life, proceeded up the Susquehannah, — pass

* Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 53.

ing " many plantations deserted and laid waste.” Upon the 7th of August, he came to the Alleghany, opposite French Creek, and was forced to pass under the very eyes of the garrison of Fort Venango, but was not molested. From Venango he went to “ Kushkushkee,” which was on or near Big Beaver Creek. This place, he says, contained ninety houses and two hundred able warriors. At this place Post had much talk with the chiefs, who seemed well disposed, but somewhat afraid of the French. The great conference, however, it was determined should be held opposite Fort Du Quesne, where there were Indians of eight nations. The messenger was at first unwilling to go thither, fearing the French would seize him; but the savages said, “they would carry him in their bosom, he need fear nothing,” and they well redeemed this promise. On the 24th of August, Post, with his Indian friends, reached the point opposite the Fort; and there immediately followed a series of speeches, explanations, and agreements, for which we must refer to his Journal. At first he was received rather hardly by an old and deaf Onondago, who claimed the land whereon they stood as belonging to the Six Nations ; but a Delaware rebuked him in no very polite terms. " That man speaks not as a man," he said ; "he endearours to frighten us by saying this ground is his ; he dreams; he and his father (the French) have certainly drunk too much liquor ; they are drunk; pray let them go to sleep till they are sober. You do not know what your own nation does at home, how much they have to say to the English. You are quite rotten. You stink. You do nothing but smoke your pipe here. Go to sleep with your father, and when you are sober we will speak to you."

It was clear that the Delawares, and indeed all the western Indians, were wavering in their affection for the French; and, though some opposition was made to a union with the colonists, the general feeling, produced by the prospect of a quick approach by Forbes's army, and by the truth and kindness of Post himself, was in favor of England. The Indians, however, complained bitterly of the disposition which the whites showed in claiming and seizing their lands. “Why did you not fight your battles at home, or on the sea, instead of coming into our country to fight them ? ” they asked, again and again ; and were mournful when they thought of the future. " Your heart is good,” they said to Post, you speak sinVOL. XLIX. — No. 104.


« 이전계속 »