Ohio History Journal

362 Ohio Arch

362       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

The short inscription of this tablet we are honoring today,

gives concisely historic facts which all may read.

It does not need a very vivid imagination to see and feel

all the labor, sacrifice, bloodshed, aching hearts and desolate

homes which are summed up in these facts.

We exult over the victories achieved, and thrill with horror

over the martyrdom of Col. Crawford.

His name is on the bead-roll of fame, and we all unite to

honor his memory, (and here it gives me pleasure to state that

our newest chapter, in Bucyrus, is named "Hannah Crawford,"

in memory of the brave wife of the martyr.)

Could he speak we might hear him say: "I have executed a

monument more lasting than brass, and more sublime than the

regal elevation of pyramids which neither the wasting shower,

the unavailing north wind, or an innumerable succession of years

and the flight of seasons shall be able to demolish."-(Smart's


In the name of the Ohio Daughters of the American Revo-

lution, I present this tablet to mark the northern terminal of the

old Indian water way and land trail, later known as the

"Harrison Trail."





The Daughters of the War of 1812 esteem it a great honor

to have erected this, their first tablet in the State of Ohio on so

historic a spot, and especially so, because it commemorates so

much history in the war period this organization stands for.

We have gathered here today to commemorate scenes in the

making of our nation which transpired almost one hundred

years ago. Here the red man came from the northland on his

way to the beautiful Ohio country. Again, we read of the trap-

per and a little later, of the history of old Fort Sandoski, and

of the terrible scenes enacted there at the time of Pontiac's con-

spiracy. During the war of 1812, Commodore Perry and Gen-

eral William Henry Harrison met in council not far from this

place. Commodore Perry requested Gen. Harrison to give him

troops to help man his ships. Thirty-six men responded, and 45

Old Fort Sandoski and the De Lery Portage

Old Fort Sandoski and the De Lery Portage.  363

364 Ohio Arch

364       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

years ofter the battle of Lake Erie, William Blair, of Lexing-

ton, Richland county, one of those 36 men who had volunteered,

visited Put-in-Bay, and attended the 45th anniversary cele-

bration of the battle of Lake Erie. He exhibited a rich and

massive silver medal, bearing the impress of Perry, with approp-

riate inscription, which had been presented to him with the

thanks of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of which state

he was then a citizen, in testimony of his bravery in that memor-

able battle. After the battle of Lake Erie, General Harrison be-

gan to concentrate his forces at the mouth of the Portage river

here. Governor Shelbey was on his march, and joined him with

4,000 volunteers from Kentucky. General McArthur had ar-

rived at Fort Meigs, General Cass had reached Upper Sandoski,

and Colonel Hill with a regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers

was on the march from Erie. About 7,000 men were advancing

for the invasion of Canada. On September 17, Governor Shel-

bey with his 4,000 mounted troops arrived at the Portage. Gen-

eral Harrison thought it best that they serve as infantry in the

invasion, and in order to secure their horses against escape, it

was necessary to build a brush and log fence across the penin-

sula, from Sandoski Bay to the Portage river. This provided

the horses a luxurious pasture. The number of horses left here

on the peninsula is estimated to have been about 5,000. On the

20th of September, Gen. McArthur's brigade from Fort Meigs,

joined the main body here, after a fatiguing march of 36 miles

clown the Lake Shore by way of Brownstown. Col. Johnson's

regiment had orders to approach Detroit by land, direct from

Fort Meigs, while such of Col. Hill's detached militia, as chose

not to cross into Canada were ordered to guard the British

prisoners taken by Commodore Perry from the Portage to Chil-

licothe. The different posts on the American side were left in

charge of Ohio militia, and about 500 of the Kentucky volun-

teers remained to guard the horses and stores. On the 21st of

September, at the dawn of the day, the embarkation from this

immediate shore commenced. For want of sufficient boats, not

more than one-third could embark at one time, and it was neces-

sary for the boats to return several times before all the troops

could be transported to Put-in-Bay, while Perry's fleet was busi-

Old Fort Sandoski and the De Lery Portage

Old Fort Sandoski and the De Lery Portage.   365


ly engaged in conveying the baggage of the army. On the 22d

of September, the whole army had reached the island and was

encamped on the margin of the bay. The Lawrence and six

prize ships captured from the enemy lay at anchor in the center

of the bay, in full view. Here they remained until the 25th of

September when they again embarked, some in small boats, and

366 Ohio Arch

366       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


some on board the fleet to take their second position nearer

Canada. They arrived a little before sunset that day at East

Sister Island, while General Harrison and Commodore Perry

in the Ariel, made a reconnoissance of the enemy's coast. It

was not until the morning of the 27th, that they began this last

journey across the lake. One account says the day was fine and

a propitious breeze made their passage a pleasing pastime. It

was a sublime and inspiring spectacle to behold sixteen ships

of war and a hundred boats filled with men borne rapidly and

majestically to the long sought shores of the enemy, and thus

they sailed until 4 p. m., when they landed four miles below

Malden. From this point, they marched to Detroit, and then

on to victory at the battle of the Thames. The battle of Lake

Erie was the first encounter of our infant navy, in fleet and

squadron, the Guerriere, the Java, and Macedonia had sur-

rendered in combat with single ships, but it was on the waters

of our fair Lake Erie, that the British nation was taught that

we could conquer them in squadron array. The battle of Lake

Erie opened to Gen. Harrison and his army the gate-way to

Malden, and enabled him to capture the only army that was

taken during the war of 1812. More than this, it restored to us

Detroit, gave our young nation once more, free navigation of the

Great Lakes, and shielded the frontier for 300 miles from the

assaults of the torch of a British and savage foe. Mr. Chairman,

the National Society, the United States Daughters of the War

of 1812, State of Ohio, presents with great pleasure, for safe-

keeping, this tablet with the patriotic hope that those who pass

by in future years, will stop and read of the brave men and their

deeds recorded hereon, and cherish anew love of liberty and

free government which made this a nation, and has always

kept it such. This tablet marks the nothern terminus of Ohio's

famous Harrison trail-a historic spot indeed in the history of

this republic.



Ladies and Gentlemen, we are standing upon one of the

most interesting spots connected with American history. From

the middle of the eighteenth century to the close of the War of