Ohio History Journal



Archaeological and Historical











O God, who art the blessed Potentate, the King of kings

and the Lord of lords, the Almighty Ruler of nations, we adore

and magnify Thy glorious name for all the great things which

Thou hast done for us. We render Thee thanks for the goodly

heritage which Thou hast given unto us, for the civil and relig-

ious privileges which we enjoy, and for the multiplied manifes-

tations of Thy favor towards us. We thank Thee for this fair

land which Thou hast given and preserved to us. Grant that we

may show our thankfulness for these Thy mercies by living in

reverence of Thy almighty power and dominion, in humble re-

liance on Thy goodness and mercy, and in whole obedience to

Thy righteous laws. Preserve, we beseech Thee, to our coun-

try the blessings of peace; restore them to nations deprived

of them, and secure them to all the places of the earth. May

the kingdom of the Prince of Peace come and reign in the hearts

and lives of men. We implore Thy blessing on all in legislative,

judicial and executive authority, that they may have grace, wis-

dom and understanding so to discharge their duties as most ef-

fectually to promote Thy glory, the interest of true religion and

virtue, and the peace, good order and welfare of this state and


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nation. Continue, O Lord, to prosper our institutions for the

promotion of sound learning, the diffusion of virtuous education,

and the advancement of christian truth, and of the perpetuity

and prosperity of Thy Church. Change, we beseech Thee, every

evil heart of unbelief. Save us from the guilt of abasing the

privileges of prosperity to luxury and licentiousness, lest we pro-

voke Thy just judgment. 0, Lord of our salvation, may we

offer our souls and bodies a living sacrifice to Thee who hast

preserved and redeemed us through Jesus Christ our Lord, on

whose merits we alone humbly rely for the forgiveness of our

sins and the acceptance of our service. Almighty God, whose

kingdom is everlasting and power infinite, have mercy upon

this whole land and so rule the hearts of Thy servants, the Presi-

dent of the United States, the Governor of this State, and all

others in authority, that they may above all things seek Thy

honor and glory, and that we, and all the people, duly considering

whose authority they bear, may thankfully and obediently honor

them in Thee and for Thee, according to Thy blessed Word and

ordinance, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with Thee and

the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without

end. And now may the peace of God, which passeth all under-

standing, be amongst us and remain with us forever, and may

the blessing of God Almighty, the Father and the Son and the

Holy Ghost, be amongst us and remain with us always. Amen.

Address of Governor McKinley

Address of Governor McKinley.          207







(INTRODUCTION BY J. R. KNOX: - The people of Ohio like

to see their Governor, the soldiers of the army like to see their

old comrade, everybody wants to see McKinley, and I have the

pleasure now, fellow citizens, of presenting to you Governor Mc-

Kinley of Ohio, who will now address you.)


Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Your president has said that the people of Ohio want to see

the Governor of their state. I heartily reciprocate that feeling

when I say that the Governor of Ohio wants to see the people of

Ohio. It affords me special pleasure, to be present and rejoice

with you here to-day. It is pleasant, not only to meet on this

historic ground and occasion, but both a privilege and pleasure

to have the opportunity to attest my respect and veneration for

the brave men and noble women who were the pioneer settlers

of Ohio and of the great Northwest. It is not too eulogistic for

us to claim that no better or purer people ever laid the founda-

tions of society and government at any other time or place in

all the world's history. Certainly the record of the pioneers of

Ohio from 1788 to 1803 is a broad heritage, a priceless legacy,

for any commonwealth to enjoy. Seldom has a great community

been established under circumstances more adverse, nor with

greater cost in blood and suffering, privation and toil, than at-

tended the erection of the state of Ohio in what was then a sav-

age and unbroken wilderness from the river to the lake. It is

fitting that we should rejoice that it is now so great and so pros-

perous and everywhere celebrated as perhaps the fairest and most

beautiful land anywhere to be found in our majestic common


But not to us of the present day is the praise and gratitude

due, but to the grand men of that historic age, which produced

a Washington, a Wayne, a St. Clair, a Putnam, a Cutler, a

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Symmes, a Worthington, a Tiffin and a Meigs, and the hosts of

other illustrious patriots whose name and fame are indissolubly

linked with the history of Ohio and their common country. No

lack, my fellow-citizens, was in our primal stock, no weakling

founders builded there. They were the men of Plymouth Rock,

the Puritan, and the Cavalier. To them let us give the honor

and tribute for the courage and sacrifice which made us all we

are to-day.

The centennial anniversary we meet to celebrate is of far

more than local or mere state interest. If we may judge events

by their subsequent results, we can heartily agree with the his-

torians that the signing of the treaty of peace at Greenville on

August 3rd, 1795, was the most important event necessary to per-

manent settlement and occupation in the existence of the whole

Northwest territory. Indeed, its good effects far outstretched

even the boundaries of that great domain. The campaign which

preceded it is justly said by Atwater in his clean history of Ohio

to have subdued the whole Indian territory from Florida to the

northern lakes. The power of the savages to stop the onward

march of civilization was broken, and the soil of Ohio was prac-

tically free from Indian outbreaks and outrages, from which the

struggling settlements had severely suffered for more than seven

years. It is, my countrymen, at this remote period difficult to

conceive the unprotected state of the frontiersmen a century ago.

We too little appreciate their sacrifices. From the first settle-

ment at Marietta until Wayne's great victory there was not a day

and scarce an hour when the few white inhabitants over a wide

region of the wilderness were not in constant danger of massacre

by the Indians. They intercepted almost every boat that passed

up the Ohio river. They picked off the few farmers who ven-

tured to attempt to level the forests or cultivate the soil beyond

the close proximity of the block house, and emboldened by their

success, frequently attacked the garrisons themselves. They

were constantly inspired to attack the Americans, not only by

the Indians themselves and their principal chiefs, but by almost

equally cruel and vindictive British and Canadian officers of De-

troit, and at other lake posts still occupied by them. So numer-

ous were these affrays and massacres and murders that it is as-

Address of Governor McKinley

Address of Governor McKinley.           209

sumed by one writer that twenty thousand men, women and chil-

dren were killed by the Indians before they finally abandoned the

attempt to prevent the occupation of Ohio by the white people.

They had viewed the coming of the whites from the first

with distrust, but it was not until 1790 that the lurking dangers

had become so great, from the constant watchfulness and treach-

erous attacks of the Indians, that literally a reign of terror pos-

sessed all the settlements. In September, 1790, General Josiah

Harmar, then chief lieutenant of the United States Army, made

a raid into the Indian country, as the whole territory northwest of

the Ohio was then properly called. This expedition was unsuc-

cessful and also resulted in the annihilation of his command.

So terrible were the perils to which the people of the frontier

were now exposed that they attracted the attention of the whole

country, of Congress and the President. President Washington

had in person witnessed all the horrors of savage warfare, and

persuaded Congress in 1791 to authorize him to raise a regiment

of regulars and two of volunteers for a campaign of six months

against the Indians. The command of this army was intrusted

to General Arthur St. Clair, the Governor of the Northwest terri-

tory, and late in October, 1791, he advanced with a large force

upon the hostile savages whose principal villages were upon the

Miami and Wabash rivers. The army had reached a point about

twenty-three miles north of this city in its toilsome march

through the wilderness, when it was surprised by a large body

of Indians and routed with great loss and confusion. More than

half the army was killed or captured. The engagement occurred

November 4th, 1791, and the horde of victorious Indians was led

by the noted chiefs Blue Jacket and Little Turtle, and Girty, the

renegade. The shattered remains of St. Clair's army retreated

to the walls of Fort Jefferson, or to within about fifty miles of

the present city of Hamilton. Nearly half the settlers of the ter-

ritory had entered upon this fatal campaign, and so terrible was

the loss and panic attending the defeat that all the settlements

of the Miami country, except those in the immediate vicinity of

the forts, were almost entirely abandoned. Many of the retreat-

ing soldiers continued their flight into Kentucky, and it is said

that the Indians were so emboldened by their great victory that

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they even ventured by night into the streets of Cincinnati to spy

out the exposure of the town and the best points from which to

make an attack upon Fort Washington.

The situation of the frontier was critical in the extreme, but

it was nearly a year before the national government took any de-

cisive measures for the punishment of the Indians. Meanwhile,

constant attacks were made upon them with varying success

whenever opportunity presented. Negotiations for peace were

attempted time and time again, but all failed. Negotiations for

peace were again attempted by a commission appointed by the

President, consisting of Benjamin Lincoln, Beverly Randolph

and Timothy Pickering, but the hostile savages could not be

brought to satisfactory terms. Further military operations and

expeditions into the Indian country were attempted by Colonel

Wilkinson and General Charles Scott, who rendered excellent

services in the western frontier wars. These were not entirely

without success, but they gave no permanent relief to the imper-

iled settlements. The people of the country were weary of the

distress and bloody massacres of the Ohio Valley, and yet a few

opposed further preparations for the prosecution of the war upon

the Indians. Indeed, so disheartened was the country that it

was even proposed by a few timid members of Congress to aban-

don the whole of the Northwest territory and make the Ohio

river the northern bounds of the United States. What an inex-

cusable and criminal blunder this would have been. In these

fears, however, President Washington fortunately did not share,

and the national government gradually began gathering men and

supplies for a new expedition into the Miami country. The rep-

utation of the nation was at stake and a third defeat could not

be contemplated or permitted.

On April 17th, 1792, General Anthony Wayne was ap-

pointed by Washington to command this expedition. He was

then the Commander-in-chief of all the armies of the United

States, and enjoyed not only great reputation as a soldier, but

the confidence of the country as a brave and fearless and ener-

getic man. In a hasty and necessarily very imperfect sketch

like this his heroic services and fame in the Revolution can only

be mentioned. One of his biographers happily describes him as

Address of Governor McKinley

Address of Governor McKinley.           211


a "born soldier," and says that such was his aptitude and dili-

gence that in six weeks after the fight at Lexington and Con-

cord he had organized the volunteers of Chester county so per-

fectly that they had more the appearance of a veteran than of a

militia regiment. With this command he accompanied General

Sullivan in his ill-fated expedition to Canada in 1776, and, al-

though wounded, effected the retreat that saved the American

army both from capture and serious loss. At Brandywine he

commanded a brigade, and at Germantown he led a division in

the thickest fight, receiving two wounds and a horse killed under

him. At Monmouth his conduct was marked with particular ap-

proval by Washington, while his capture of Stony Point in 1779

was one of the most brilliant exploits of the Revolution. At the

commencement of the attack Wayne was struck on the head by a

musket ball and sank to the ground. Instantly recovering him-

self, he arose on one knee and exclaimed, "March on! carry me

into the fort, I will die at the head of this column." For this he

received the thanks of, and a gold medal from, the Congress of the

United States. His attack upon Fort Lee in 1780 was equally

brave but not so fortunate; while in 1781 he rendered the most

important service in quelling a revolt against the Pennsylvania

troops to the great advantage of the country and the entire satis-

faction of the discouraged troops. At Green Springs, Virginia,

he was again wounded, but succeeded by his splendid tactics in

frustrating Cornwallis and saving La Fayette's army. He was

actively engaged in the investment and capture of Yorktown.

Toward the close of revolutionary days he was again in active

command, and was soon after sent to Georgia to re-establish the

supremacy of the United States there. He completely defeated

the British, the Tories, and the Indians, and compelled them to

retire to and within the garrison at Savannah. For this great

service the state of Georgia subsequently made him a large grant

of land, upon which he went to live in 1789. He had the su-

preme satisfaction of receiving the capitulations of the British

garrisons both at Savannah and Charleston; and was made Ma-

jor-General in 1793, at a time when sickness compelled him to

retire temporarily from the army, but not until after hostilities

had entirely ceased.

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In civil life he was a member of the council of the govern-

ment of Pennsylvania, and was also elected to the convention

which framed the constitution of that state. When he returned

to Georgia he was elected to Congress in 1790, but his seat was

contested and at last declared vacant. Disgusted with politics,

he returned to the army with greater zeal and ardor than ever,

determined at all hazards to achieve complete success.

Instead of proceeding precipitately into this disturbed terri-

tory, he spent nearly a year in collecting and drilling his men.

Meanwhile the commissioners of the government exhausted

every effort for peace. But all such efforts were unavailing. In

September, 1793, General Wayne had so organized his army

that by rapid marches he advanced up the valley of the Great

Miami to Fort Jefferson and thence proceeded to establish a

strongly fortified camp for the winter headquarters and called

the place Greenville. From that point he advanced to the scene

of St. Clair's defeat and here built another stockade, which he

named Fort Recovery. He pushed on through the wilderness,

during the following summer, driving the Indians before him to

the junction of the Auglaize and Maumee rivers. Here he con-

structed in the very heart of the Indian country a very strong

and scientifically arranged work which he styled, in intrepidity,

Fort Defiance. The Indians had entirely failed to surprise him

and did not dare to stand before his brave and well-disciplined

troops. They vainly assailed Fort Recovery on June 30th, 1794,

with great loss and slaughter. They realized they must at last

fight one who, they were clear to see, deserved their own titles,

"The Wind," "The Tornado," and "The Warrior who never

sleeps." Having finished Fort Defiance, Wayne again pressed

forward to what are called the Rapids of the Miami and here

built Fort Wayne. His army consisted now of 2,000 regulars and

1100 riflemen under command of General Scott. On August 13th

he sent a pacific message to the Indians, urging them to come into

camp and enter a permanent and lasting peace with the United

States. They did not come. Encouraged by assurances of assist-

ance from the British, the Indians, contrary to the advice of their

chieftain, declined all these overtures. General Wayne immediately

prepared for battle and on August 20th attacked the savages almost

Address of Governor McKinley

Address of Governor McKinley.           213


within the range of the guns of the British forts. The Indian

forces amounted to fully 2,000 braves, the resistance was stub-

born, but they were at length completely routed and driven more

than two miles through the woods with great slaughter until

within pistol shot of the British garrison. Their houses, corn,

and personal effects were completely destroyed throughout the

whole country, on both sides of the Miami, for a distance of fifty

miles. General Wayne in his official report to the President said,

"The horde of savages abandoned themselves to flight, dispers-

ing with terror and shame, leaving our victorious army in full

and quiet possession of the field."

The army returned to Greenville, where it again went into

winter quarters, and here the humble and subdued Indians soon

began to arrive to ask for peace upon any terms which their re-

cent conqueror might dictate. Early in January, 1795, measures

were taken to assemble all the tribes of the Northwest to Green-

ville, and the following June the council began between General

Wayne, acting for the United States, and some 1100 chiefs, rep-

resenting the twelve principal tribes of the West. After six

weeks deliberation the treaty was signed. The Indians relin-

quished practically all control of the soil of Ohio, with certain

small and unimportant reservations along the Auglaize, St.

Marys, Sandusky and Miami rivers.

Washington was quick to recognize the importance and ex-

cellence of Wayne's services, and cordially commended them in

a public letter of thanks and in his following message to Con-

gress. Wayne visited the city of Philadelphia late in 1795, and

his entering into that city was like the conqueror triumphal.

Business was suspended and he was conducted through the

streets amidst the ringing of bells, the roaring of cannons, and

the acclamations of the grateful people. Congress, then in ses-

sion in that city, unanimously adopted resolutions highly com-

mendatory of the General and the whole army. There could not

have been a more gratifying or spontaneous outburst of public

admiration than was shown to General Wayne after the signing

of the Treaty of Greenville one hundred years ago. On every

hand Wayne was greeted as a public benefactor and a hero and

was given the most pleasant evidences of the high appreciation

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by people and government of the important services he had ren-

dered to his country.

Besides putting an end to a brutal and bloody war, waged

without respect for age or sex throughout our western territory,

his success had the effect of quieting Indian disturbances both

north and south, of opening to the civilized population the fertile

region which had been the theatre of the late hostilities, and

eventually added much greater territory equally inviting to set-

tlement and culture. A further and most useful effect was to

allay the agitated feeling at home, for the disastrous defeat of

Harmar and St. Clair had gone far to shake the confidence of

the people in the executive branch of the federal government.

Abroad Wayne's services were equally beneficial to the

United States, for they hastened the execution of the pending

negotiations with Great Britain by which the American posts, so

long and so stubbornly held by the British, were at last given up.

He was appointed sole commissioner to treat with the

Northwestern Indians. He soon returned to the West, but his

life of singular activity and usefulness was soon to come to a

close. After a prompt and faithful discharge of his new duties,

he died at or near the humble log cabin which was his home at

Presque Isle, on the shores of the lake, now Erie, Pennsylvania,

in December, 1796, at the comparatively young age of fifty-two.

His last request was that of a soldier. He asked that his remains

be buried under the flag staff of the old fort at Erie. Here they

remained until 1809, when they were conveyed to Chester county

and buried with all the honors of war by his late companions in

arms, The Pennsylvania State Society of the Cincinnati.

Wayne, my fellow citizens, was in every way a most remark-

able soldier. To my mind he was more like the dashing Phil.

Sheridan than any other great military chieftain in our history.

He was called Mad Anthony, not on account of his imprudence,

but because of his mad zeal for his country (and I wish we had

more of it now), and for his wonderful bravery in every engage-

ment. Grant said that Sheridan never needed but one command,

and that was, "to go in," and he went in and always won. Wash-

ington had the same supreme confidence in Wayne and is said

to have spoken sadly of his death in the full vigor of life, in the

Address of Governor McKinley

Address of Governor McKinley.          215


noontide of glory, and in the midst of a most splendid usefulness.

On the other hand, Wayne's confidence in Washington and his

obedience to him were without limitation or bound. It was this

trust and love that led the brusque old soldier once to say to

Washington, when asked by him if he would accept the com-

mand of a most perilous expedition: "If your Excellency will

plan it, I will undertake to storm hell itself." The language

was emphatic but in no sense profane, nor the expression of a

man who was deficient in respect for piety and religion. It was

simply a natural outburst of admiration for his old General, for

whom he would have cheerfully died at any time.

My fellow citizens, of such stuff true heroes are made, and

leaders that seldom fail. It is said that on the morning of the

battle of Fallen Timbers William Henry Harrison, of the staff of

General Wayne, said to his commander, "General Wayne, I am

afraid you will go into this battle and forget to give me the neces-

sary field orders." "Perhaps I may," General Wayne replied,

"but if I do, recollect the standing order of the day is to charge

all the rascals with the bayonet."

As characteristic of this illustrious soldier, I want specially

to call your attention to the correspondence which passed be-

tween him and the commander of the British post on the banks

of the Maumee one hundred years ago. Wayne's letter has the

genuine American ring. It is firm, fearless and aggressive. It

is the language of a brave man engaged in a great and holy

cause. It has the true American spirit, and I wish we had more

of it now.

"Miami River, August 21st, 1794." (I read a letter now

from the British commander to General Wayne. He says):

"Sir: The army of the United States of America said to be un-

der your command have taken post on the banks of the Miami

for upwards of the last twenty-four hours, almost within the

reach of the guns of this fort, which, being a post belonging to

his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, occupied by his Majesty's

troops, and which I have the honor to command, it becomes my

duty to inform myself as speedily as possible in what light I am

to view your making such near approach to this British garrison.

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Signed, William Campbell, commanding a British post on the

banks of the Miami."

To that letter old General Wayne replied: "I have received

your letter of this day." (He didn't wait until the next day). "I

have received your letter of this day requiring from me the mo-

tives which have moved the army under my command to the po-

sition they at present command. Without questioning the au-

thority or the propriety, sir, of your interrogatory, I think I may

without breach of decorum observe to you that, were you entitled

to an answer, the most full and satisfactory one was announced

to you from the muzzle of my gun yesterday. I have the honor

to be, sir, yours with great respect, Anthony Wayne, Major-Gen-

eral, Commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States."

To me one of the greatest benefits of the Treaty of Green-

ville has always seemed that it opened wide the gateway of op-

portunity to the free and easy settlement of the great West.

Other Indian wars and outbreaks there were, but none so for-

midable after that great treaty was signed. The immense flood

of emigrants that poured into Ohio found happy and peaceful

homes on the old hunting grounds and in the Indian villages of

the Northwest, and from them has descended a sturdy people,

whose pluck and enterprise and energy have never been surpassed

anywhere in the United States.

Mr. President, Greenville may justly congratulate herself

that she is the site where the treaty was signed, that her name

and fame are forever linked with its history. Let us keep alive

those precious memories of the past and instill into the minds of

the young the lessons of the stirring patriotism and devotion to

duty of the men who were the first to establish here the authority

of the Republic and founded on eternal principles its free and

noble institutions. The centuries may come, the centuries may

go. but their fame will survive forever on this historic ground.

The day thrills with historic interest. It is filled with stir-

ring memories, and recalls the struggles of the past for peace,

and the majesty of constitutional government. It is most fitting

to celebrate this anniversary. It marks an epoch in our civiliza-

tion. One hundred years ago Indian hostilities were suppressed

and the compact of peace concluded between the government

Address of Governor McKinley

Address of Governor McKinley.            217


and the Indians, which made the great Northwest the undisputed

territory of the United States, and what was once a dense wilder-

ness inhabited by barbarous tribes is now the home of a happy

and progressive people, and the center of as high an order of

civilization as is to be found anywhere in the world.

It is a great thing to make history. The men who partici-

pated in the Indian wars won victories for civilization and man-

kind. And these victories all of us are enjoying to-day. Noth-

ing, therefore, could be more appropriate than that this great

section of the country, which a century ago was the theatre of

war, should pause to celebrate the stirring events of those times

and the peace which followed, and do honor to the brave men

who participated in them.

It is a rich inheritance to any community to have in its keep-

ing historic ground. As we grow older in statehood, interest in

these historical events increases, and their frequent celebration

is calculated to promote patriotism and a spirit of devoted loyalty

to country. So many mighty events in our national history have

transpired since the signing of this treaty of peace, that in the

popular mind it does not possess that importance which it de-

serves. I am glad that you have planned this centennial cele-

bration to commemorate the event and emphasize its importance

and value. It is well to realize that it is one of the landmarks

of civilization and that it beckoned the people on to greater and

greater achievements which opened the way to progress, and its

celebration to-day is alike profitable and inspiring to every true

lover of country and its happy and peaceful homes.

We cannot have too many of these celebrations with their

impressive lessons of patriotism and sacrifice. Let us teach our

children to revere the past, for by its examples and lessons alone

can we wisely prepare them for a better and nobler future. The

city of Greenville, the people of Ohio, the people of the country.

should see to it that at no distant day a great monument shall

be erected to celebrate this great event.

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Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of Darke County, Fellow


One hundred years have passed since that eventful day in

August when the treaty of Greenville was signed. The different

nations of Indians present and parties to the treaty consisted of

one hundred and eight Wyandots, three hundred and eighty Del-

awares, one hundred and forty-three Shawanese, forty-five Otta-

was, forty-six Chippewas, two hundred and forty Pottawattomies,

seventy-three Miamies and Eel Rivers, twelve Weas and Pianki-

shaws, and ten Kickapoos and Kaskaskias - making a total of

eleven hundred and thirty chiefs and warriors.

The Indians active in the Council were Little Turtle, chief

of the Miamies, Blue Jacket and Massas, chiefs of the Shawanese,

Te-ta-bosksh-ke, king of the Delawares and Buck-on-ge-he-las

and Pe-ke-te-le-mund, chiefs of the Delawares, Sun and New

Corn and Asi-me-the, chiefs of the Pottawattomies, Mash-i-pi-

nash-i-wish, or Bad Bird, chief of the Chippewas, Kick-a-poo

and Kee-a-hah, chiefs of the Kickapoos, Little Brave, chief of

the Weas, Tar-ke, or Crane, chief of the Wyandots, Black Hoof

and Ah-goosh-a-way, chiefs of the Ottawas. Every chief and

warrior who participated in that Council has passed to the land

of the Great Spirit. General Wayne died on Lake Erie; and,

doubtless, the dying hero saw in its turbulent waters, at times,

something of his own unconquerable will, and, at others, that

quiet which would come at last to his restless soul.

The influence of the Treaty still remains. It saved defense-

less settlements from the tomahawk and scalping knife of the In-

dian, and opened up to immigration and settlement the limitless

West. It is the testimony of history that the Confederate tribes

kept the faith pledged at Greenville, and never violated the limits

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            219


established by the Treaty. The writer of the article on Ohio in

the American Commonwealth says that it was a grand tribute to

General Wayne that no chief or warrior who gave him the hand

at Greenville ever after lifted the hatchet against the United

States. There were malcontents on the Wabash and Lake Mich-

igan who took side's with Tecumseh and the Prophet in the war

of 1812, perhaps for good cause, but the tribes and their chiefs

sat still. Tecumseh himself, with his brother, the prophet, re-

sided at Greenville from 1805 to 1808, and the Shawanese, when

moving from their reservation on the Auglaize in 1832, encamped

on Tecumseh Point and remained a day or two to take a last


We have gathered to-day on this historic ground, and under

the genial skies of this delightful summer afternoon, to com-

memorate the most important civic event - next to the adoption

of the ordinance of 1787 - in the history of the Northwestern

territory. It was the beginning of an era of prosperity, and the

tide of immigration at once set in for new homes and new settle-

ments. The future now lay in the direction of peace and the

cultivation of the arts of peace. The pioneers began to come

to the valleys of the Miamies, the Scioto and the Muskingum.

The population of the Northwest at the close of the year follow-

ing the Treaty of Greenville has been estimated at five thousand

souls. The stillness of the forest was now broken by the sound

of the woodman's axe.



In October, 1792, a great Council of all the tribes of the

Northwest was held at Au-Glaise - now the city of Defiance.

It was the largest Indian Council of the time. The Confederated

Tribes of the Northwestern territory were represented in the

Council at the confluence of Au-Glaise and the Miami of the

Lakes. Even the representatives of the Seven Nations of Can-

ada were present. Corn Planter and forty-eight chiefs of the

Six Nations of New York were present. "Besides these," said

Corn Planter, "there were so many nations that we cannot tell

the names of them. There were three men from the Gora Na-

tion; it took them a whole season to come; and twenty-seven

220 Ohio Arch

220     Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.

nations from beyond Canada." The question of peace or war

was earnestly discussed. The chiefs of the Shawanese insisted

upon war, while Red Jacket, the chief of the Senecas, declared

for peace.

It is interesting to follow the report of their mission made

by the chiefs of the Six Nations to the Indian agent at Buffalo.

The Indians had been informed that "the President of the United

States thinks himself the greatest man on this island, but they

wished it understood that they had this country long in peace

before they saw a person with a white skin; and that when Gen-

eral Washington sent out an army into their country, with orders

to proceed as far as the Miami towns and on to the Glaize, it fell

into their hands." This referred to the defeat of General St.

Clair on the site of Fort Recovery, then a part of Darke county,

on November the 4th, 1791. If, however, the white man wished

to hold a council - General Washington being the head man -

they would treat with him at the Rapids of the Miami "at the

time when the leaves are fully out."

The armistice, however, which the hostile Indians promised

to observe "until the leaves were fully out," was not faithfully

kept, for on the sixth of November following, the Kentucky

Mounted Infantry, under Major Adair, was attacked by a body

of Indians, in the neighborhood of St. Clair, a post recently es-

tablished about twenty-five miles north of Fort Hamilton, and

near the present site of the neighboring town of Eaton.




The President of the United States, on the first of March,

1793, appointed Benjamin Lincoln, Beverly Randolph and Tim-

othy Pickering as commissioners to attend the proposed meeting

at the Rapids of the Miami (Maumee) "when the leaves were

fully out." The place of conference was afterwards changed to


The commissioners received their instructions on the 26th

of April of the same year, and on the 27th General Lincoln left

Philadelphia for Niagara by way of New York. Pickering and

Randolph left on the 30th by the route through Pennsylvania

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.           221


which led up the valleys of the Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Lycom-

ing and Coshocton across to Genessee. The commissioners on

reaching Niagara, about May 17th, were invited at once by Lieu-

tenant Governor Simcoe to take up their residence at his seat,

Navy Hall, with which invitation they complied. The commis-

sioners, on the 7th of June, addressed a communication to Gov-

ernor Simcoe that reports had been spread among the Indians

by which their prejudices had been excited. As an instance of

such unfounded reports, the commissioners had noticed the dec-

larations of a Mohawk, from Grand River, that Governor Sim-

coe advised the Indians to make peace, but not to give up their

lands. The commissioners called the attention of the Governor

to the fact that the sales and settlements of the lands over the

Ohio, founded on the treaties of Forts McIntosh and Harmar

would render it impossible to make that river the boundary.

The reply of Governor Simcoe was to the effect that ever

since the conquest of Canada it had been the principle of the

British Government to unite the American Indians so that all

petty jealousies might be fully extinguished and the real wishes

of tile Confederated tribes find full expression. This was desired

to the end that all the treaties made with them might have the

most complete ratification and universal concurrence, but

a suspicion of a contrary conduct on the part of the agents of

the United States had been deeply impressed upon the minds of

the Confederacy.





It was now the 26th of June and no news had been received

from Sandusky. The commissioners themselves prepared to

embark for the mouth of the Detroit river, but on July 15th,

while still detained by head winds, Colonel Butler, the com-

mander of the Tories at Wyoming, with Captain Brandt and

some fifty warriors, arrived from the mouth of the Maumee, and

two days afterwards, in the presence of the Governor, Brandt

declared that the Indian nations who owned the lands north of

222 Ohio Arch

222       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


the Ohio river as their common property were all of one mind

and one heart on that subject.

They wished to say that the warriors of the white men in

their neighborhood prevented the meeting at the appointed place,

and to know whether the commisioners had authority to run a

new boundary line between the lands of the United States and

the Indian nations?

The Indians were assured that there need be no apprehen-

sion of hostile incursions into the Indian country, north of the

Ohio river, during the treaty of Sandusky. The Great Chief,

General Washington, was so anxious to prevent anything which

could obstruct the treaty and prolong the war that he had given

orders of that character to the Head Warrior, General Wayne,

and had informed the governors of the several states adjoining

Ohio of the treaty to be held at Sandusky. They had been re-

quested to unite with the Federal power to prevent any hostile

attempts against the Indians north of the Ohio until the result

of the conference should be made known. The governor of

Pennsylvania and Virginia had accordingly issued their orders,

and if, after all these precautions, any hostilities should be com-

mitted north of the Ohio, they must proceed from a few disor-

derly people, whom no considerations of justice or public good

can restrain.



In April, 1792, General Wayne was appointed by President

Washington Commander-in-chief of the army of the United

States. The troops under General St. Clair had been almost

annihilated in the famous defeat and were completely demoral-

ized. Indeed the Secretary of War, at parting with General

Wayne in May, 1792, expressly enjoined upon him "that another

defeat would be inexpressibly ruinous to the reputation of the


General Wayne reached Fort Washington - now Cincin-

nati- in April 1793, and commenced at once the organization

of the army, and to forward supplies to Fort Jefferson and to cut

military roads through the Indian country. These movements

of a military character awakened a distrust among the Indians

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            223


on the borders of the Maumee, and certainly were regarded by

the commissioners as calculated to endanger the success of the

negotiations. When negotiations for peace are conducted by

the Indians the whole body of the nations assemble, and not a

few counsellors. The negotiations must necessarily be delayed

if the warriors are called to watch the movements of their ene-

mies. The Mohawk chief referred to the movements of General


"The Indians have information," write the commissioners

to the Secretary of War under date of July 12, 1793, "confirmed

by repeated scouts that General Washington has cut and cleared

a road straight from Fort Washington into the Indian country,

in a direction that would have missed Fort Jefferson, but that

meeting with a large swamp, it was of necessity turned toward

that Fort, and then continued six miles beyond it; that large

quantities of provisions are accumulated at the forts, far exceed-

ing the wants of the garrison, and that numerous herds of horses

are assembled beyond Fort Jefferson, guarded by considerable

bodies of troops. With these preparations for war in their

neighborhood, for it is but three days' journey from thence to

the Glaize, they say their minds cannot rest easy. The distance

here mentioned is from Captain Brandt's information, and is, no

doubt, exact. We suppose that from twenty to twenty-five miles

may be deemed a day's journey."

The declaration of Corn Planter made to General Wayne in

his tent at Legionsville, on his way from Pittsburg to Fort

Washington, in 1793, that the Ohio river must be the boundary

between the Indians and the white people, impressed that officer

that any attempt at pacification by treaty were useless. The Sec-

retary of War advised him that the sentiment of the citizens of

the United States was adverse to an Indian war, and that a Com-

mission had been named to treat with the Indians in the hope

of securing peace. No effort was spared in the meantime to se-

cure the efficiency of the army, and Wayne even sent to Ken-

tucky for mounted volunteers. Subsequent events vindicated the

soundness of his judgment as well as his knowledge of the people

of the frontier whom he was to defend, and of the foe whom he

was commissioned to subdue.

224 Ohio Arch

224      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.





The commissioners left Fort Erie on the 14th of July and on

the 21st of July arrived at the mouth of the Detroit river. The

British authorities prevented any further advance, and they took

up their quarters at the house of Matthew Elliott, the famous

renegade, then a subordinate agent in the British Indian De-

partment. Colonel McKee, the Indian agent, was in attendance

at the Council, and the commissioners addressed him a note,

borne by Elliott, to inform the Indians of their arrival and ask

when they could be received. Elliott returned on the 29th of

July, bringing with him a deputation of twenty chiefs from the

Council. On the following day Sa-waghda-munk, chief of the

Wyandots, submitted the action of the General Council at the

foot of the Miami Rapids on the 27th of July, 1793, in behalf of

the whole Confederacy, and signed by the Wyandots. Delawares,

Shawanese, Miamies, Mingoes, Pottawattamies, Ottawas, Con-

noys, Chippewas and Munsees, Seven Nations of Canada, Sen-

ecas of the Glaize, Nanticohees, Mohicans, Creeks and Cher-


The Council declared that the boundary line run by the

white people at Fort Stanwix was the Ohio river, and if the white

men desired a firm and lasting peace they must immediately re-

move all their people from this side of the river.

The Indians were reminded that while at the treaty of Fort

Stanwix, twenty-five years before, the river Ohio was agreed on

as the boundary line between them and the white people of the

British colonies, that seven years after that boundary was fixed

a quarrel broke out between their father, the King of Great

Britain, and the people of the Colonies, who are now the people

of the United States. The quarrel was ended by the treaty of

peace made by the king, about ten years ago, by which the Great

Lakes, and the waters which unite them, were by him declared to

be the boundaries of the United States.

The attention of the Indians was called to the fact that peace

having thus been made between the king of Great Britain and

the United States, it remained to make peace between them and

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            225

the Indian nations who had taken part with the king; for this

purpose commissioners were appointed, who sent messengers to

all those Indian nations, inviting them to come and make peace.

The first treaty had been held about nine years before, at Fort

Stanwix, with the Six Nations, which had stood firm and unvio-

lated. The next treaty was made about ninety days after at Fort

McIntosh, with the Half-King of the Wyandots, Captain Pipe,

and other chiefs, in behalf of the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa

and Chippewa nations. Treaties were made afterward witch di-

vers Indian nations south of the Ohio river; and the next treaty

was made with Ka-ki-pila-thy, then present, and other Shawanese

chiefs, in behalf of the Shawanese nations, at the mouth of the

Great which which runs into the Ohio river.

The Great Council of the United States -  referring to

Congress - had disposed of large tracts of land thereby ceded.

and a great number of people had removed from other parts of

the United States and settled upon them. Many families of their

ancient fathers, the French, came over the waters and settled

upon a part of the same lands. This had reference to the French

settlement at Gallipolis.

When it appeared that a number of the Indians were dis-

satisfied with the treaties of Fort McIntosh and Miami, the Great

Council of the United States had appointed Governor St. Clair

Commissioner, with full powers, for the purpose of removing all

causes of controversy, regulating trade and settling boundaries

between the Indian nations in the northern departments and the

United States. Governor St. Clair sent messengers to all the

nations concerned to meet him at a Council fire which he kindled

at the falls of the Muskingum. The fire was put out and so

another Council fire was kindled at Fort Harmar, when near

six hundred Indians of different nations attended. The treaty

of Fort Stanwix was then renewed and confirmed by the Six

Nations, and the treaty of Fort McIntosh was renewed and con-

firmed by the Wyandots and Delawares. Some Ottawas, Chip-

pewas, Pottawattamies and Sacs were also parties to this treaty

at Fort Harmar.

It was explicitly declared that it would be impossible to

make the river Ohio the boundary line between their people and

226 Ohio Arch

226      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


the United States. The United States only wished to have con-

firmed all the lands ceded to them by the treaty of Fort Harmar,

and also a small tract of land at the Rapids of Ohio, claimed by

General Clark for the use of himself and warriors. The United

States offered to give, in consideration of the same, such a large

sum in money or goods as was never given at one time for any

quantity of Indian lands since the white people first set their

foot on this Island.



The commissioners of the United States had formerly set

up a claim to their whole country, southward of the Great Lakes,

as the property of the United States. It was now conceded that

the right of soil of all this country from the Great Lakes south-

ward was in the Indian Nations so long as they desired to occupy

the same. The only claim now made was that to the particular

tracts and the general right of preemption, or the right of pur-

chasing of the Indian Nations disposed to sell their lands - to

the exclusion of white people whatever.

The Indians denied that the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Beaver

Creek (Fort McIntosh) and other places were not complete, and

insisted that the Ohio river had been fixed as the boundary by

Sir William Johnson, and that they would not give up the land.

It was agreed between those deputed by the confederated In-

dians and Governor St. Clair that no bargains or sale of any

part of these Indian lands would be considered as valid or bind-

ing unless ratified by a general council of the confederacy, and

yet the treaty for the cession of an immense country was held

with a few chiefs of two or three nations, who were in no man-

ner authorized to make any grant or concession whatever. It

is now expected that since their independence is acknowledged

they should, in return for the favor surrender to their country.

The Indians, with surpassing eloquence, resisted the con-

tention that they had ever made any agreement with the king,

or with any other nation, to give to either the exclusive right of

purchasing their lands, and declared that they were free to make

any bargain or cession of lands whenever and to whomsoever

they pleased. If the white people made a treaty that none of them

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.           227

but the king should purchase the land of the Indians, and had

given the right to the United States, it is an affair that concerns

the king and the United States. The power yet remains to be

exercised by the Indians. They would retreat no further, and

had resolved to leave their bones in the small space to which

they were confined. Justice alone would be done by permitting

the boundary line of the Ohio river to remain between the In-

dians and the whites, and without such consent no conference

would be held.




The commissioners who were still at Captain Elliott's, at

the mouth of the Detroit river, sent the word to the chiefs and

warriors of the Indian nations assembled at the foot of the

Maumee Rapids, on the 16th day of August, 1793, that since it

was impossible to make the river Ohio the boundary between

the lands of the Indians and the lands of the United States the

negotiations were at an end. It was a matter of much regret

that peace could not be obtained, but knowing the upright and

liberal views of the United States, which had been explained so

far as an opportunity had been given, impartial judges would

not attribute the war to them.




All negotiations with the Indian tribes of the Northwest to

secure a permanent and lasting peace were now terminated.

There was nothing left but the arbitrament of battle. The con-

federate tribes would not lay down their arms except on the one

condition that the Ohio river should forever be the boundary

line between their people and the United States. No thought-

ful student can read the proceedings and declarations of these

great councils of the Confederated tribes without being pro-

foundly moved by the high patriotism and lofty devotion of these

statesmen of the wilderness. The Confederacy which the great

Pontiac had formed thirty years before to protect his race had

perished under an advancing civilization, and they now deter--

mined to stake their all for the hunting grounds of their fathers

and for the inheritance of their children. The wiser policy would

228 Ohio Arch

228       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


have been to have accepted the liberal terms offered by the

Federal Government, and to have made concessions which pru-

dence dictated from the very circumstances of the respective

treaties. The river Ohio could no more be fixed as the boun-

dary line between the Indian tribes and the United States in

August, 1793, than the Ohio river could be fixed as the boundary

line between the two sections of this Union in April, 1861. The

hand on the dial plate of progress could not go backward.

The Indians were doubtless emboldened by the defeats of

Harmar and Arthur St. Clair, and could have no adequate idea

of the power and resources of the Federal Government. It is in

evidence, too, that they had hope of British as well as Spanish

aid in this struggle with the whites. This will be found in the

declarations of the Indians themselves, and in the recorded

speeches and messages of the British and Spanish emissaries.

Stone, in his life of Brandt, quotes that warrior as saying that

they were engaged in forming a confederacy, and these endeav-

ors enabled them to defeat the American armies. The purpose

of the conference at the Miami (Maumee) river in the summer

of 1793 was, to first act as mediator in bringing about an honor-

able peace, and in the event of failure to join the western breth-

ren in the fortunes of war. The entering upon a treaty with

the commissioners of the United States was opposed by those

acting under the British Government, and hopes of further as-

sistance were given to encourage them to insist on the Ohio

river as the boundary line between them and the United States.

(Stone II, 358.) This confidence in British aid was excited

among the Indians before the final refusal of the generous terms

offered by General Washington, and they realized the helpless-

ness of such aid when they were refused refuge under the guns

at Fort Miami, and found the gates of the fort itself closed

against their dusky warriors in their retreat from the fatal field

of the Fallen Timbers.



The position to which General Wayne was now called re-

quired military and diplomatic skill of the highest order. It

seemed that the government was about to be engaged in an inter-

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.           229

minable war, while hostilities with Great Britain appeared inevit-

able because of the refusal of the British to comply with the treaty

of 1783, and especially that part which provided for the evacuation

of the forts northwest of the Ohio. There was no other course but

to advance into the Indian country and bring them into submis-

sion by the strong arm of military power. In September, 1793,

the Secretary of War wrote to General Wayne: "Every offer

had been made to obtain peace by milder terms than the sword.

Every effort had failed, under circumstances which leave noth-

ing for us to expect but war."

The army of General Wayne, some twenty-five hundred

strong, began its forward movement in the wilderness on Octo-

ber the 7th, 1793. The army marched to Fort Hamilton on the

first day, and finally encamped October 13th, at a post six miles

in advance of Fort Jefferson, which was named Fort Greenville,

in honor of Nathaniel Greene, with whom he served in the army

of the revolution. General Wayne passed the winter of 1793-94

at Fort Greenville, and months elapsed without any communica-

tion with the government at Philadelphia. He was left to his

own resources. Convoys of provisions for the camp were fre-

quently intercepted and their escort murdered by the Indians.

In December, 1793, General Wayne sent forward a detachment

to the spot of St. Clair's defeat. The command arrived on the

ground on Christmas day and pitched their tents on the battle-

field. After the melancholy duty of burying the bones of the

dead had been performed a fortification was built called Fort

Recovery, in commemoration of the recovery of the ground from

the Indians, who had held possession since the defeat in 1791.

It was the fortune of the speaker to deliver the centennial oration

ever the bones of the gallant dead, which had been exhumed for

a final resting place in a cemetery provided for the purpose.

While the army of General Wayne was encamped at Fort

Greenville a severe and bloody engagement took place on the

30th of June, 1794, under the very walls of Fort Recovery. The

assaulting party was repulsed with a heavy loss, and was finally

driven away on the next day. It appears from the official report

of Major Mills, Adjutant-General of the army, that twenty-two

230 Ohio Arch

230      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


officers and non-commissioned officers were killed in that ac-

tion, including Major McMahon himself.



General Wayne, having been reinforced on July 26th, 1794,

by sixteen hundred mounted men from Kentucky, under the

command of Major-General Scott, with whom he had served at

the battle of Monmouth, left the encampment at Greenville on

July 28th, 1794, and advanced seventy miles northward into

the very heart of the Indian country. He wrote to the Secretary

of War on August 14th, 1794, that he had constructed a fort

which was named Fort Adams, and was completing a strong

stockade fort with four good blockhouses, by way of bastions,

at the confluence of the Auglaize and the Miami, which was

called Fort Defiance. He thought it proper to offer the Indians

a last overture of peace, but said: "Should war be their choice,

that blood be upon their own heads. America should no longer

be insulted with impunity." He committed himself and his gal-

lant army to an all-powerful and just God. "The Indians were

driven with a great loss on the morning of August 20th, 1794,

under the guns of Fort Miami - then occupied by Major Camp-

bell and a garrison of British soldiers. The victory was com-

plete, and the military power of the Indian tribes of the North-

west was broken forever. General Wayne remained below the

Rapids with his army for three days. The object of the cam-

paign against the Indians of the Northwest having been fully

accomplished by the decisive battle of the Fallen Timbers on

August 20th, 1794, the army of General Wayne returned to Fort

Defiance, laying waste the villages and corn fields of the Indians

for many miles. The Indians, defeated and utterly disheartened,

retired to the borders of the Maumee Bay. General Wayne, on

the 14th of September, marched toward the Miami villages, and

just below the confluence of the St. Mary's and the St. Joseph

rivers built a strong fortification, which, on October the 22d,

1795, was occupied by Colonel Hamtranck.  After a salute of

fifteen guns, it was named Fort Wayne - the site of the present

prosperous city of that name. The army began the march from

Fort Wayne on October the 25th, 1794, and on the evening of

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            231

November the 2d, 1794, reached Fort Greenville, where it was

saluted with thirty-five guns from a six-pounder. The army had

marched from Fort Greenville for the campaign of the North-

west on July 28th, 1794, and now returned to winter quarters"

after an arduous and fatiguing expedition of ninety-seven days.

It had marched and counter-marched during that time upwards

of three hundred miles through the enemy's country, cutting a

wagon road the entire distance, besides constructing three forti-

fications - Fort Adams, at the St. Mary's, Fort Defiance, at the

Auglaize, and Fort Wayne, at the Miami villages. The Indians

of the Northwest had not only been completely subdued but a

lasting peace had been accomplished. The arms of the United

States, too, had been vindicated from the shame of defeat and



It was reported to General Wayne that the chiefs and na-

tions were much divided as to peace or war. The Shawanese,

the Tawas, and Indians near Detroit, were for war; the Wyan-

dots, of Sandusky, were for peace; the Delawares and Miamies

were about equally divided; while the Pottawattamies and the

Chippewas were greatly disheartened over the battle. It soon

became evident that the Indians desired peace. Intelligence

came from the West that the Indians were crossing the Missis-

sippi. A new treaty had been made with the Iroquois on the

11th of November; while but few Indians were seen lurking in

the neighborhood of Fort Wayne and Fort Defiance. They

were impressed with the force of General Wayne after the en-

gagement at the Fallen Timbers. The Pottawattamies called

him "The Wind," because, as they said, "he was exactly like the

hurricane which drives and tears everything before it." He was

known as "The Blacksnake" among the other tribes.



While the army was in winter quarters at Fort Greenville,

General Wayne was constantly receiving communications from

the chiefs of the tribes - some being of a friendly and others

of a hostile character. As early as the 28th and 29th of Decem-

ber, 1794, the chiefs of the Chippewas, Ottawas, Sacs, Pottawat-

232 Ohio Arch

232       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


tamies and Miamies, came with messages of peace to Fort

Wayne; while on January 24th following, these tribes, together

with the Delawares, Wyandots and Shawanese entered into a

preliminary article with General Wayne at Greenville, looking

to a permanent and lasting peace. Tar-ke, or Crane, chief

Sachem of the Wyandots, entreated the Americans to listen to

the chiefs and warriors of his tribe, and referred to the Council

and treaty made with General St. Clair at Muskingum in 1789.

The Wyandots wrote that they wished for peace, and had deter-

mined to bury the hatchet and scalping knife deep in the ground.

General Wayne at once responded to these appeals, and

sent word to Tar-ke, or Crane, and to all the chiefs and warriors

of the Wyandots, and to all other tribes and nations of the In-

dians in the Northwest, that they should no longer suffer them-

selves to be imposed upon by the bad advice of unscrupulous

men who had often betrayed them by fair and plausible, but false

promises of assistance in fighting the fifteen fires of the United

States. He said to them, that it was nearly six years since the

Sachems and warriors of the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas,

Chippewas, Pottawattamies and Sacs concluded a treaty at the

mouth of the Muskingum with General St. Clair for removing

all causes of controversy, and for determining the questions of

boundary between the Indian tribes and the United States. He

contended that that treaty was founded upon the principles of

equity and justice, and proposed it as a basis upon which a last-

ing and permanent peace could be established. They were all

invited to come to Fort Greenville, and were assured of a cordial

welcome and a safe conduct for all the chiefs and warriors who

might attend. An ardent desire was expressed that the Great

Spirit would incline their hearts and words to peace, and that

they soon might all meet in council.



It was the policy of General Wayne to create a division of

opinion and thus prevent unity of action among the tribes, at

least until his garrison could be strengthened. It was said that

many of the Indians, true to the instincts of pride and ambition,

had determined to remove their families far beyond the Missis-

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            233


sippi, rather than submit to the humiliation of suing for peace

from the white man. Rumor had already reached General

Wayne that more than one hundred of the warriors of the Sha-

wanese were then hunting on the head-waters of the Miamies of

the Ohio, and of the Scioto, who intended to steal as many horses

as would be necessary to carry them and their families to the

Mississippi, where several of their nation and many of the Dela-

wares had already settled, rather than make peace



In the beginning of June, 1795, the Indians began to collect

at Greenville, apparently without any concert of action, and gave

notice as they arrived that they had come to negotiate a peace.

On the 16th of June, 1795, a number of the Delawares, Ottawas,

Pottawattamies, and Eel River Indians having arrived, General

Wayne caused them to be assembled on that day, and for the

first time met them in general council. After they had received

and smoked the calumet of peace, he said that he took them by

the hands as brothers assembled for peace; that he had that day

kindled the council fire of the United States, and then delivered

to each tribe a string of white wampum as an evidence of the

friendship thus commenced.

General Wayne said: "The Heavens are high, the woods

are open, we will rest in peace. In the meantime we will have a

little refreshment to wash the dust from our throats. We will,

on this happy occasion be merry, but without passing the bounds

of temperance and sobriety. We will now cover up the council

fire and keep it alive till the remainder of the different tribes

assemble and form a full meeting and representation."



The next day New Corn, one of the old chiefs of the Potta-

wattamies, with several warriors arrived. He said that they had

come from Lake Michigan, and that after the treaty was over

they would exchange their old medals for those of General Wash-

ington. They wanted peace.

Buck-on-ge-he-las, with a party of Delawares came soon

afterward, and also As-i--me-the, with a party of Pottawattamies.

234 Ohio Arch

234      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


They were received at the Council House. The Delaware king

told Wayne that his forefathers used soft cloth to dry up their

tears, but that they used wampum, and hoped by its influence to

do away with all past misfortunes. The Pottawattamie chief said

that they were all there - the remainder were dead - and as

a proof of their good wishes they had brought with them two pris-

oners - all in their possession.

General Wayne welcomed them to Greenville; told them

that the great council fire had been kindled and the pipe of peace

had been smoked. When the Wyandots from Sandusky and De-

troit, and the tribes in that quarter would arrive, fresh wood

would be added to the fire, and business would be postponed

until then. In the meantime, he would give them something

which would make their hearts glad, and also distributed some




The celebrated Little Turtle, chief of the Miamies, came on

the 23rd of June. Little Turtle was the noblest Roman of them

ali. He commanded at the defeat of Harmar and St. Clair. He,

like Pontiac, thirty years before him, was the soul of fire, and

every one who reads of the treaty of Greenville will be impressed

with his high courage and the manly stand which he took for his

race and the hunting grounds of his fathers. It has been said

that the sun of Indian glory set with him, and when Little Turtle

and Tecumseh passed away the clouds and shadows which for

two hundred years had gathered around their race closed in the

starless night of death.



The Indian chiefs and warriors who had gathered at Fort

Greenville were all present on the 25th of June, when General

Wayne addressed them as to the arrangements he had made for

their comfort during the council. The exterior redoubts were

given up to accomodate the different nations with council houses.

He desired them to retire to their quarters like his own men at

the firing of the evening gun. If any of his foolish young men

were found troubling their quarters he wished the Indians to tie

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.             235


them and send them to him, to be dealt with according to cir-

cumstances of the case.

It seems that there had been an accident the day before, in

the explosion of some fireworks prepared for the 4th of July,

and that the soldiers immediately rushed to their posts, to the

astonishment of the Indians, who feared an attack. The Gen-

eral assured them, that this was the order of the camp. They

were present at his invitation and were not more secure in their

own villages. He humored the Indians by telling them that

General Washington and his great council had sent them large

presents which he soon expected; - their friends, the Quakers,

had also sent them messages and some small presents. Bad

Bird, a Chippewa chief, thought that was all very right and very


Little Turtle made a short speech on the 30th of June to the

Chippewas, and said that when brothers meet they always ex-

perienced pleasure; and as it was a little cool, he hoped they

would get some drink; and that they expected to be treated as

warriors. He wanted some fire-water, and would like to have

some mutton and pork occasionally. New Corn was most happy

to be in accord with the sentiments of Little Turtle; but their

hearts were sorry, and it grieved them to have seen the graves of

their brothers who fell there last winter.

The Sun, chief of the Pottawattamies, complained of the

allowance of food. They ate in the morning and became hungry

at night. The days were long and they had nothing to do.

They became weary and wished for home.



General Wayne was the real diplomat. He was prudent in

council as well as brave in war. Warriors from all the Indian

tribes of the Northwest had gathered in council, and while those

were present who had defied and even defeated the whole armed

power of the United States, yet they were as little children. He

explained that they had no pork, and but few sheep, which were

intended for the use of the sick, and occasionally for the officers.

He promised that the sick should share with his own sick in the

comforts of the camp, and that he would divide with the officers.

236 Ohio Arch

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The graves of which New Corn spoke could not be remedied

and grief was unmanly. He gave each of the chiefs a sheep for

their own use, and some drink for themselves and their people,

to make their hearts glad and to dry up their tears; and then

suggested, by way of parenthesis, that they all take a glass


General Wayne having now waited as long as was deemed

expedient called the council together July 15th, 1795, and un-

covered the council fire, and had the interpreter sworn. He

presented the Calumet of Peace of the fifteen fires (fifteen states)

of the United States of America. He showed the Indians pres-

ent the commission he held from General Washington and the

Council of the fifteen fires, appointing him Commander-in-chief

of the American Legion, and then the commission which he had

received from the same authority on the 4th day of April, 1794,

for settling a peace with all the Indians northwest of the Ohio.

He impressed the chiefs and warriors assembled with the

great importance of the interests at stake, and that they were

now called upon to determine questions which involved the hap-

piness of the United States and the Indian nations. He invoked

the blessing of the Great Spirit upon their deliberations.



General Wayne then referred to the treaty which had been

concluded by Governor St. Clair at Fort Harmar at the mouth

of the Muskingum, which had removed all controversy for the

time, and had clearly defined the boundaries between them and

the United States. He urged them to think coolly of these

matters, and having raked up the council fire, invited them all

to have some drink.

Little Turtle several days afterward replied with much

warmth to General Wayne: "We have heard," said he, "and

considered what you have said to us. You have shown, and we

have seen, your powers to treat with us. I came here for the

purpose of hearing you. I suppose it to be your wish that peace

shall take place throughout the world. When we hear you say

so we will be prepared to answer you. You have told me that the

present treaty should be founded upon that of Muskingum. I

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.          237


beg leave to observe to you that that treaty was effected alto-

gether by the Six Nations, who seduced some of our young men

to attend it, together with a few of the Chippewas, Wyandots, Ot

tawas, Delawares and Pottawattamies. I beg leave to tell you

that I am entirely ignorant of what was done at that treaty. I

hope those who held it may give you their opinion whether or

not is was agreeable to them."

Massas, a celebrated Chippewa chief, arrived on the 18th

with Blue Jacket of the Shawanese and participated in the Coun-

cil. The speech of Massas is interesting in that it gives an ac-

count of the celebrated Muskingum Treaty from the Indian

standpoint. He was at the Treaty of Muskingum and held a

copy in his hand. He admitted that the treaty had not been

faithfully followed, but said in extenuation that the waters in their

woods were not deep, and that some foolish young men with

long arms had reached into the bottom and taken their toma-


Little Turtle demanded to know what lands had been ceded

by the Treaty of Muskingum. "I expect," said he, "that the

lands on the Wabash and in this country belong to me and my

people. I now take the opportunity to inform my brethren of

the United States and others present that there are men of sense

and understanding among my people as well as among theirs,

and that these lands were disposed of without our knowledge

and consent. .... You have pointed out, he continued, the

boundary line between the Indians and the United States; but

I now take the liberty to inform you that that line cuts off from

the Indians a large portion of country which has been enjoyed

by my forefathers from time immemorial without molestation or

dispute. The prints of my ancestor's houses are everywhere to

he seen in this portion. I was a little astonished at hearing you

and my brethren who are present telling each other what busi-

ness you had transacted together at Muskingum concerning this

country. It is well known by all my brothers present that my

forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he ex-

tended his lines to the head-waters of the Scioto; from thence

to its mouth; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the

238 Ohio Arch

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Wabash, and from thence to Lake Michigan. At this place I

first saw my elder brothers, the Shawanese. I have now in-

formed you of the boundaries of the Miami Nation, where the

Great Spirit placed my forefather a long time ago, and charged

him not to sell or part with his lands, but to preserve them for

his posterity. This charge has been handed down to me. I

was much surprised that my brothers differed so much from me

on this subject; for their conduct would lead me to suppose that

the Great Spirit and their forefathers had not given them the

same charge that was given to me, but, on the contrary, had

directed them to sell their lands to any who wore a hat as soon

as he should ask it of them."




On the 17th day clay of July, 1795, General Wayne fixed the

general boundary line that should divide the United States, or

the fifteen great fires of America, from the lands belonging to

the Indian nations. He explained to them the several articles

of a treaty upon which a permanent peace could be established

between the United States and the Indian tribes northwest of

the Ohio. The third article, which should define the boundary

reads that "The general boundary line between the lands of the

United States and the lands of the said Indian tribes shall begin

at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, and run thence up the same

to the portage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of the

Muskingum; thence down that branch to the crossing place

near Fort Laurens; thence westwardly to a fork of that branch

of the great Miami river running into the Ohio river, at or near

which stood Loramie's Store, and where commenced the portage

between the Miami of the Ohio and St. Mary's river, which is

a branch of the Miami which runs into Lake Erie; thence a wes-

terly course to Fort Recovery, which stands on the bank of the

Wabash; thence southerly in a direct line to the Ohio, so as to

intersect that river opposite the mouth of the Kentucky or Cut-

tawa river."

There were certain reservations granted to the Indians in

this treaty. The treaty provided for a lasting peace, and stipu-

lated that all the prisoners then held should be restored. Little

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            239


Turtle insisted that the line should run from Fort Recovery to

Fort Hamilton, on the Great Miami, and assured the whites of

the free navigation of that river from thence to its mouth



The treaty was signed by the various nations, and dated

August the 3d, 1795. It was laid before the Senate December

9th, 1795, and was ratified December 22d, 1795. This closed

the old Indian wars of the West.

General Wayne in declaring the Council at an end, said: "I

now fervently pray to the Great Spirit that the peace now estab-

lished may be permanent; and that it may hold us together in

the bonds of friendship until time shall be no more. I also pray

that the Great Spirit above may enlighten your minds and open

your eyes to your true happiness, that your children may learn

to cultivate the earth and enjoy the fruits of peace and industry."

By the treaty the Indians ceded about 25,000 square miles

of territory to the United States, besides sixteen separate tracts

including lands and forts. The Indians received in considera-

tion of these cessions goods of the value of twenty thousand dol-

lars as presents, and were promised an annual allowance of

ninety-five hundred dollars to be equally distributed to the par-

ties to the treaty.

A second treaty was concluded at Greenville, July 22, 1814,

with the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanese, Senecas and Mi-

amies, by General William Henry Harrison and Governor Lewis

Cass, commissioners on the part of the United States, by which

the tribes engaged to aid the United States in the war with

Great Britain and her savage allies.



General Wayne sent a proclamation to the Cherokees, then

settled on the head-waters of the Scioto, of the treaty, and invited

them to come forward and enter into similar articles of peace.

Most of them promised to hunt peaceably on the Scioto until

their corn was ripe, and then they would quit this side of the

Ohio forever and return to their own country.

240 Ohio Arch

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Burnet in his Notes, speaks of a party of Shawanese war-

riors, some sixty or seventy in number, who had been hostile,

bringing four prisoners to Greenville, three of whom they had

captured on the 13th of July, 1795, in Randolph county, Virginia.

Puck-se-saw, or Jumper, one of their chiefs, said that as soon as

he received the belt which General Wayne had sent by Blue

Jacket, he concluded to surrender the prisoners and promised to

do no more mischief.



The blessings of liberty, law and order crown the century

which has passed since the signing of the Treaty of Greenville.

The harvests are peacefully gathered to their garners, the valleys

rustle with standing corn and the songs of our homes are unin-

vaded by the cries and terrors of battle. The soil itself was dedi-

cated to human freedom, and has never been cursed by the unre-

quited toil of the bondman. The institutions and laws of five

great Republics are founded on the imperishable principles of the

Ordinance of 1787. It established a code of law for an imperial

territory. That great instrument enjoined the utmost good faith

toward the Indians in their liberty, their lands and their property,

and in the enactment of laws founded on justice and humanity.

The treaty of Greenville, following the spirit of its imperishable

principles, extended the hand of friendship toward the Indian, re-

spected his liberty, paid full compensation for his lands and pro-

tected his property. It established a code of morals for a free

people. When some future Bancroft shall write the history of

this people he will speak of the great Ordinance as the first at-

tempt to establish civic government in the Northwestern States,

and then of the Treaty here proclaimed, which supplants the

harsher tones of military strife with the softer syllables of charity

and love. If, too, the victories of peace are not less renonwned

than those of war, then the day will surely come when a grateful

people, revering their traditions, and conscious of the maxims

imperial of their glory, will erect on this historic ground a majes-

tic monument, having an outstretched hand rather than a fixed

bayonet, and with the simple yet immortal inscription, "The

Treaty of Greenville."

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.          241








Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I acknowledge the kindness of your committee in giving

me, by their invitation, an opportunity to address you on this

occasion. In coming back to Greenville after an absence of

years, there remain, on this side of the great river that separates

this from a future state of existence, but a few of those warm

friends who welcomed me when I first came to Greenville, forty-

six years ago, as a lawyer "following the circuit," after the man-

ner in vogue with the early lawyers of the state, and not aban-

doned entirely at the time above spoken of by the lawyers of

western Ohio. My connection with the Greenville courts, either

as lawyer or judge, continued for more than twenty-five years.

On my return at present, I meet but one of the numerous

members of the Greenville bar, who were in active practice when

I came to your old court house in a professional way. That

member is John R. Knox, between whom and myself the closest

relations of professional and personal friendship and confidence

have existed for all these years, and it is too late now to reasonably

apprehend a jar between us in the future. However, my friend

seems to be as youthful and active as myself, and if a jar should

unfortunately occur between us, followed by a conflict, the avoir-

dupois of the case will be in my favor, and my object will be, if

possible, to gently "sit down on him," which will settle the racket

between the only remaining members of the Greenville bar of


But I must not confine my remarks to the members of the

bar alone. In the periods of time that I spent in Greenville, it

was my good fortune to become pleasantly acquainted very gen-

erally throughout the town and country. As it was with the

bar, so it was with the personal acquaintances made when I

first came. But comparatively few of them remain to greet me

to-day. The others have gone. This impresses me with the

Vol. VII.-16.

242 Ohio Arch

242       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.

idea that I must be a "back number" brought forward for the

occasion. But be that as it may, if time would permit I would

be delighted to mention the names of many of the pioneer women

and men, whom I found here at my first coming, and to testify

to their great worth and excellence in every respect. These in-

troductory remarks may be regarded as smacking of egotism,

but I regard my long acquaintance in Greenville and the country

as justifying what I have said by way of re-introducing myself to

the old remaining pioneers and the descendants of those who

have gone.

The occasion that calls us together is the centennial cele-

bration of the Treaty of Greenville, commonly called Wayne's


The nations of antiquity delighted to be able to trace their

origin back to some fabulous demi-god, of miraculous, mysterious

and perhaps accidental birth, to whom they gave a name, and

to whom they attributed such acts, powers and greatness that in

their opinion elevated him far above the sphere of ordinary mor-

tals. The traditions upon which they relied to establish the facts

concerning their origin were too old to be contradicted by living

witnesses, and hence, were susceptible of being proved to the

ready satisfaction of the populace, by the beautiful but fabulous

legends and stories, which were invented by the genius of the

poets and priests and sung by the wandering minstrels to admir-

ing and appreciative crowds collected on the street corners or in

shady groves; and in this way the courage and patriotism of the

populace were stimulated to such a degree as to render them

capable of performing great deeds in defense of personal rights

and their country.

If it was a pleasure to the ancients to listen to these beautiful

legends and fables, pertaining to the origin of their government,

it ought to be a pleasure to us to familiarize ourselves with the

facts relating to our origin, as well as the origin of our own State,

its organization, its form, its laws, its institutions, and all that

renders it great and good in the sense that places it in the front

rank of states, in the grandest political Union of states that has

ever existed upon earth.

Every important fact connected with our State and preced-

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.            243


ing its organization are now matters of history, open to the in-

spection of all citizens who take an interest in our origin and


A connected sequence of historical facts, taking us back to

the discovery of this continent by Columbus, and to the first set-

tlements of what now constitutes the United States of America,

are all available to the students of history, who are desirous of

knowing the facts that occurred between the time of the dis-

covery and the first settlements, a mere reference to which is all

that can be appropriately or necessarily made on this occasion.

But we are here to celebrate the Centennial of the Treaty

of Greenville.

The occasion is one of such interest, not only to the people

of Ohio, but to those of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wiscon-

sin, which states were all carved out of what is known in history

and in law as the "Territory northwest of the river Ohio." These

states are naturally more deeply interested in the history of this

territory, than are the other states, for the reason that the Treaty

of Greenville was the result of somewhat local causes that had

been operating, and tending to make such a treaty a necessity for

many years.

The states named have, therefore, a common interest in all

matters relating to this territory, that preceded its organization

by the Ordinance of 1787. It will be impossible in the limits of

this address to call attention with particularity to all that is of

interest in this connection. All that can be done, will be to pre-

sent in a general way, the controlling causes by which the terri-

tory and jurisdiction over it was acquired by the United States;

the manner in which that jurisdiction was exercised from the

time it was acquired until by due process of law the people of

the territory organized themselves into the five states named,

with defined boundaries, and were admitted into the Union on

an equal footing with the original states.

It is apparent that the scope of this address must necessarily

be much restricted. Much interesting matter must be omitted.

No effort will be made to preserve the exact chronological order

of the occurrence of controlling events, though an effort will be

made to prevent confusion in these respects. Attention will be

244 Ohio Arch

244       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


directed mainly to the territory northwest of the river Ohio, its

defense by the general government against the Indians, and the

battles fought with them, eventuating in the Treaty of Greenville.

We pass by the supposed laws of the Mound Builders, and

the more modern savages, who, history tells us, were in the pos-

session and occupancy of the great Northwest territory when it

was first discovered by Europeans, and whose legends and fables

may have been as beautiful as those of any other prehistoric peo-

ples who have inhabited the earth; but they had no poets to put

them in enduring form, to be sung by the wandering minstrels

for the amusement and education of their fellows, and their oral

traditions have been lost and forgotten.

By the right of discovery and occupation in 1673, France as-

serted her dominion and jurisdiction over all the territory west

of the Alleghenies, from the St. Lawrence to the mouth of the

Mississippi, which includes what we know as the territory north-

west of the river Ohio. France retained dominion over this vast

territory until 1763, ninety years, during which time the Jesuits

and agents of France, in an intelligent manner, made explora-

tions of every part of the territory, much of which they mapped

with a good deal of accuracy. They also established Indian mis-

sions in the territory, especially in the region of the Great Lakes.

They planted settlements therein, principally in the central and

extreme southern portions of it. They also erected and manned

forts at strategic points, generally on or near some navigable

stream or lake, by which they held military possession of the

territory for the French Crown.

At the close of a war between England and France, in which

the sovereignty of this territory was one of the many questions

involved, and which resulted disastrously to France, the latter,

by the treaty of 1763, was compelled to cede to the former all

her possessions in America lying east of the Mississippi river.

This gave England a title by conquest to the ceded terri-

tory, which was annexed to the English Crown, and became sub-

ject to her dominion and laws. She also took military posses-

sion of it. Many of the forts mentioned had been built by

France as a protection against the encroachment of the English

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.          245


colonies, which were partly contiguous to or adjoining said pos-

sessions of France.

After the peace of 1763, the English having no use for the

forts so built by France as a protection against England and her

colonies, abandoned and destroyed all such; and thereafter Eng-

land retained forcible military possession of her lately conquered

territory by means of three forts under the command of English

officers, one of which was at Detroit in Michigan, one at Kas-

kaskia in Illinois, and the other at Vincennes, Indiana. Under

the law of nations, this was a sufficient possession to protect the

claim of England to the territory so acquired from France as

against all others.

The Revolutionary War, which commenced in 1775, was

waged on the part of the colonies for the sole and only avowed

purpose of achieving their independence. They had in the out-

set of the war no declared purpose of conquest.

The boundaries of the colonies became the boundaries of the

respective states after they had become independent, and did not

on the west extend beyond the crest of the Alleghenies.

It is true that after independence was achieved, three of the

states, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, set up claims

to portions of the Northwest territory, by virtue of the terms of

their original colonial grants from the Crown, and on a like

ground Virginia claimed the entire territory northwest of the

river Ohio.

There is no purpose on my part to discuss the merits of

these respective claims, and they are alluded to only for the

purpose of saying that they subsequently became the subjects of

such heated controversies between the states as to endanger the

formation of the Union itself; and that in my opinion the discus-

sions that took place in Congress, on the subject of these claims,

in which men of consummate ability took part, did more to en-

lighten and educate the people of the states, and in an allowable

sense, the states themselves, than any other single subject that

was discussed in Congress previous to the adoption of the consti-

tution that sealed the Union. The discussions had reference to

the principles of our form of government, the rights of the

states respectively, and above all on the necessity of the states

246 Ohio Arch

246       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


meeting each other in a spirit of conciliation and compromise in

settling their respective claims in order that the formation of the

Union might be rendered possible.

It is interesting, as well as gratifying, to know that the spirit

of compromise prevailed, and that the states directly interested in

the controversy respecting this great territory, with the excep-

tion of some special reservation on the part of Connecticut and

Virginia, which were conceded to be just, in due form ceded to

the United States in trust for the benefit of the people of the

several states all their respective claims to the great Northwest

territory, but for which compromise I am persuaded the Union

could not have been formed and perfected by the adoption of

the constitution, and perhaps the Treaty of Greenville, which

affected so vitally the great territory in question, might never

have been made.

We go back for the purpose of briefly tracing our title to

the great Northwest territory. By the right of discovery and oc-

cupation, France asserted her dominion over all the territory

west of the Alleghenies, from the St. Lawrence to the mouth of

the Mississippi from 1673 to 1763. During these ninety years

the territory that is now Ohio, was subject to the laws of France;

and although these laws left their impression upon the lands in

some localities outside of what is now Ohio territory, they made

no lasting impression here. This may be accepted as evidence

of the fact that when the civilization and laws of the Anglo-

Saxons come in collision with those of Latins, the latter give way.

By the treaty of 1763 between France and Great Britain the

former ceded to the latter all her possessions in North America

lying east of the Mississippi river. This, as before said, gave

Great Britain a title by conquest to the ceded territory, and all

of it, including that portion that is now Ohio, became subject to

her dominion and laws, and remained so till 1783, when she ac-

knowledged the independence of the states in rebellion against

her authority; and the Mississippi was fixed as the western boun-

dary of the territory that was thereafter to be subject to the gov-

ernment and laws of the United States.

But how came the Mississippi to be made the western boun-

dary of the territory acquired by that treaty? It was by the

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.          247


forcible ousting of the English from the territory during the

Revolutionary War, and the taking and holding forcible military

possession of it by Virginia till the close of the war. This made

a holding of the possession of the territory adverse to the Eng-

lish, and this, under the law of nations, gave the United States at

the time of the treaty of peace in 1783, a right to insist that they

hold the territory to the Mississippi river by conquest. This

right was eventually conceded by England, and by the treaty, the

Mississippi was made the western boundary of the territory, to

which England relinquished all claim by the treaty. If England

had still been in foricble military possession of it, at the time of

the treaty, after holding such forcible possession by conquest

from France, it is a very serious problem whether her sovereignty

over it would have been relinquished to the United States. The

latter made her claim through Virginia, whose claim under a

Crown grant has heretofore been mentioned; and it will be

proper now to state how Virginia came into forcible military

possession of the territory. Previous to the revolution in 1774,

the Indians inhabiting Northwest territory and Canada were in

the habit of making raids into the western borders of Pennsyl-

vania and Virginia for the purpose of obtaining scalps and plun-

der from the whites. These raids became so serious that Vir-

ginia determined to put an end to them by war upon the tribes.

A military force was raised and sent against them. In 1775, the

battle of Point Pleasant, on the Ohio, was fought. It was the

most stubborn and sanguinary Indian battle that was ever fought

to a finish on this continent. The Indians were overwhelmingly

defeated. They then sued for peace, and a treaty of peace was

made, with which none of the parties were afterwards satisfied.

The result was that the Indians were peaceable for some two

years, when they again commenced their predatory warfare

against the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Now came to the front one of the most remarkable men of

those remarkable times - George Rogers Clarke. He lived in

Albemarle county, Virginia. He was of large size, to which his

physical strength corresponded. He was mentally a very able

man, and was an experienced Indian fighter and was of un-

doubted courage and determination. The Indians were trained

248 Ohio Arch

248       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


and commanded by English officers, and were fitted out, shel-

tered and protected by the English at the forts of Kaskaskia and

Vincennes while prosecuting their wars against the frontiers;

and on their return from their forays, laden with scalps and plun-

der, they were received by the English with demonstrations of

joy and hearty approval. Under these circumstances Clarke was

of the opinion that the Indians could not be whipped adequately

to make them desist from their savage warfare against the fron-

tiers, while they could flee, when necessary to avoid punishment,

to the protection of the British forts above named, where they

were armed and encouraged to continue their depradations on

the whites.

Without counselling with any one on the subject, Clarke

conceived the bold design of making a conquest of the great

Northwest territory by taking and holding Forts Kaskaskia and

Vincennes, after which the Indians could be driven from the

territory. On submitting his designs and plans to Governor

Henry of Virginia, they were approved, and through his influ-

ence, after much delay and vexation, during which Clarke mort-

gaged all his property to raise money to forward his scheme of

conquest, a force of about two hundred, which was to have been

three hundred and fifty men, was organized and placed under

the command of Clarke. In January, 1778, he marched to Pitts,

burg. where he and his army took boats and commenced the

descent of the Ohio, for a point on the river opposite to Kas-

kaskia, and about sixty miles from its mouth. The delays of

the voyage, from causes incident to those early times and im-

perfect means of transportation, were such that he did not arrive

at the point above indicated until the fall of 1778. As soon as

his boats were secured he commenced his march against Kas-

kaskia. The march was one of great hardships, but his men en-

dured them cheerfully when they saw their commander march-

ing in the front, rifle in hand and carrying his provisions on his


It is almost needless to say that he took the British by sur-

prise and the garrison surrendered without resistance.

This peril then confronted him. Vincennes, which was a

strong military post, under the command of the British Lieuten-

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.          249

ant Governor Hamilton, lay directly between Kaskaskia and the

frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Clarke, looking facts

boldly in the face, said: "I must take Hamilton, or he will take

me." With him, decision was followed by instant action. With

only one hundred and thirty men, the others remaining to de-

fend the fort, he at once started from Kaskaskia in February,

1789, to march across the country to capture Vincennes. There

is no time now to speak of that terrible march, in which for days

and days the men were constanly wading in water from two to

four feet deep. It is without a parallel in history.

No other man than Clarke could have brought his men

through it, but he did it without the loss of a man, though many

of them were so weak as to require the assistance of those who

were stronger when they reached ten acres of dry land about two

miles from Vincennes.  Even then Governor Hamilton had no

notice of Clarke's approach, and the latter having captured some

Indians with some Buffalo meat, held them prisoners until he

had fed his famished men upon the captured meat. He then

literally waded against the fort and after one day's fighting, it


The Virginians then manned the forts so strongly that the

English made no subsequent demonstration against them, and

thus the former held armed military possession of the territory

until the close of the revolution; and being so in possession,

their right to the territory was admitted in the treaty of peace,

and, as before said, the entire Northwest territory was ceded by

England to the United States by that treaty.

I doubt whether history, taking everything into considera-

tion, shows a parallel to this conquest of Clarke's. It strikes me,

that without this conquest and continued military occupation of

the territory up to the time peace was concluded, neither the

United States nor Virginia had any claim to the territory that

would have been valid under the law of nations.

Perhaps but few now listening to me have ever before heard

of George Rogers Clarke, or know of his great conquests, the

benefits of which we are to-day enjoying throughout the con-

quered territory, which now consists of five free and independent

states, each constituting a star of the first magnitude in the grand

250 Ohio Arch

250      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


galaxy of states composing our beloved Union. By his great

valor and courage, he was instrumental in the extinguishment of

the sovereignty of England over the territory composing these

states. But while the conquest swept away the claims of Eng-

land, it did not extinguish the title of the Indians to the lands

in the territory, which title they acquired and held by virtue of

original discovery and continued occupancy of it, until their title

to a large portion of the territory was extinguished by  the

Treaty of Greenville.

I therefore suggest that on this occasion the memories of

George Rogers Clarke and Anthony Wayne should be associated

and equally cherished by the people of the five great states created

cut of the territory: the one to be remembered as the extin-

guisher of the sovereignty of England over the territory, the

other to be remembered as the extinguisher of the Indian title

to a large portion of the territory by the Treaty of Greenville,

after having conquered a peace that made the treaty a necessity

to the Indians in order to save themselves from extinguishment.

Just one word by way of digression, respecting the two

great men I have just named. As above said, Clarke mortgaged

his property for more than it was worth to raise the money to

equip his little, but great, army of conquest. Virginia recog-

nized the greatness of the services of himself and his men, and

made them a princely donation of lands in the conquered ter-

ritory, in compensation of their services, and which donation was

subsequently recognized and validated by the United States. It

is to be hoped that his men received more benefit from the dona-

tion than did their gallant commander, whose share of the lands

was seized and sold by his creditors to pay the debts he had con-

tracted in equipping his army. He died poor.

The other, General Wayne, died in Erie, Pennsylvania, in

the government service, for want of what, to him, were the neces-

saries of life. I visited his tomb, years ago, and as I approached

it I respectfully uncovered my head, and as I stood there, silently

contemplating the hazardous scenes through which he passed

in his active military life, those that stood in the front line of my

thoughts were the "Battle of Fallen Timbers" and the "Treaty of

Greenville," as they are in your minds to-day.

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.           251


Here, in order to mention one other thing of supreme im-

portance in connection with the Treaty of Greenville, I must

again go back a few years, and call attention to other matters

with which the patriot fathers were earnestly wrestling, with fear

and trembling as to the fate of their beloved country whose in-

dependence they had recently achieved. Although they were

still clinging to the "Articles of the Confederation" and the

Congress of the States, held under it, as the sheet anchor of

their hopes, it had become clearly apparent that the ties of the

Articles of Confederation were too weak and inefficient to ac-

complish the purposes of a union of independent states, such as

they contemplated, and for which they hoped and prayed.

No point of time can be more interesting to citizens of the

Northwest territory than that to which attention is now directed.

The war of the Revolution had been brought to successful ter-

mination. The Articles of Confederation were in force, and the

Congress of the States held under it was doing all it could do to

meet and harmonize the conflicting interests and demands of the

states of the Union. The constitutional convention had met in

May, 1787, and was in session at Philadelphia, but it was un-

known what the outcome of its labors would be. The last Con-

gress of the States under the confederation was sitting in New

York, in which only eight states were represented, and it was

manifest that it was about to fall to pieces of its own weight, or

from want of cohesive and coercive powers.

The citizens of the Northwest territory have especial reasons

to look back with reverence and affection upon the congress of

the old confederation; for it was the territories northwest of the

river Ohio that were the objects of its last and most solicitous

care. With its expiring breath it gave to them the "Ordinance

of '87", and in pursuance of its provisions appointed a governor

and three judges, who were to organize a civil government within

its boundaries, and adjourned never to meet again.

Two months afterwards (September 17th, 1787), the con-

vention promulgated the Constitution of the United States which

was adopted and is supreme, but at the time of which we are

speaking the "Ordinance" in its relation to the territories was

scarcely inferior in importance to the constitution itself. Except

252 Ohio Arch

252       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


as to the initial and temporary government of the governor and

judges, it contained an announcement of the true theory of

American liberty, and provided everything necessary to the de-

velopment of free and independent states, and for their admis-

sion into the Union on an equal footing with the original states,

and this for the time being was what was best suited to their

condition. It was a code complete within itself.

It will be remembered, however, that the Indian title to the

Northwest territory had not been conclusively extinguished to

any part of it. It is true that by the treaty of Fort McIntosh

the whites claimed that there had been an extinguishment of the

Indian title to a large portion of what is now Ohio; but the In-

dians claimed that the treaty had been made by certain Indians

who had no power to make it, and that it was, therefore, fraudu-

lent and void. Notwithstanding this claim of the Indians, how-

ever, settlers had begun to flock into the territory shortly after

the adoption of the Ordinance, and were being from time to time

attacked, murdered and scalped by the Indians at all vulnerable


The great importance of the Treaty of Greenville, consisted

in the fact, that it in a conclusive way swept away the Indian title

to all the land south or east of the treaty line, and thus gave full

effect to the beneficent provisions of the Ordinance of '87 in

nearly all that portion of the territory that now constitutes the

state of Ohio. But this was not all, the Treaty of Greenville be-

came a precedent, and the principles it established were those,

substantially, that were subsequently applied in extinguishing

the Indian title to the residue of the great Northwest territory,

which is now sufficient in itself to constitute an empire in popu-

lation, and in all things else that constitute goodness and great-

ness in government; lying at the bottom of which are the lasting

effects of the Treaty of Greenville.

It is impossible for me to say on the subjects that I have

above spoken of all that I ought to say upon them, but I hope I

have said enough to show the importance of the Treaty of Green-

ville, which, to the pioneers of the territory, was like the shadow

of a great rock in a desert land, under which they could lie down

and rest in safety, while on their march to empire.

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.         253


Inasmuch as that portion of the territory which now con-

stitutes the state of Ohio was the first to receive the benefits of

the Ordinance of '87 and the Treaty of '95, and was also the first

state developed and prepared for admission into the Union under

their provisions; as showing what occurred in Ohio in respect

to its organization as a territory, its early laws, and admission

into the Union, we give the substance of some of them; and

assuming that what occurred in Ohio in these respects, prob-

ably occurred in substantially the same way in the organization

of the other four states that were formed from the Northwest ter-

ritory, we give those that occurred in Ohio as samples of what

probably occurred in respect to the others.

The Governor and two of the judges appointed by the old

congress, arrived at Marietta on the 9th of July, 1778, and estab-

lished the first form of civil government within the territory. A

few settlers had preceded them to that point and were literally

encamped in the wilderness.

In confirmation of the maxim that self-preservation is the

first law of nature, on the 25th of July, 1788, they published a

law for regulating and establishing the militia, which was the

first law published in the territory. The third section reads thus:

"And, whereas, in the infant state of a country, defense and pro-

tection are absolutely essential, all male inhabitants of the age

of sixteen and upwards shall be armed, equipped and accoutred

in the following manner: . with a musket and bayonet, or rifle,

cartridge box, pouch, or powder horn and bullet pouch, with

forty rounds of cartridges, or one pound of powder and four

pounds of lead, priming wire and brush, and six flints."

And by the fourth section, amongst other things it is pro

vided that the "corps shall be paraded at ten o'clock in the

morning of each first day of the week, armed and equipped as

aforesaid, in convenient places next adjacent to the places of

public worship, etc.", and the reason given for this was that it

was necessary in order to avert danger.

The salient points of other laws may be noticed for the pur-

pose of contrasting those early times with the present, thus show-

ing the advances in civilization that have been made in our state

254 Ohio Arch

254       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


in less than a century. For instance, by a law of September,

1788, the punishment affixed to the commission of crimes, al-

though deemed necessary then, would now be called cruel and

unusual. Treason was punishable with death and forfeiture of

estates real and personal. To the malicious burning of a dwell-

ing house the same punishment and forfeitures were affixed.

Malicious murder was punishable with death. The punishment

for other felonies and misdemeanors was generally by whipping,

never exceeding thirty-nine lashes, and in some cases not ex-

ceeding ten lashes, and sitting in the stocks from one to three

hours was also generally prescribed in addition.

It is interesting to us lawyers to know the fact that the fees

for practicing attorneys were fixed by law, and ranged from one

dollar in the quarter sessions to two dollars in the Supreme

Court, for each case tried and argued. There was no intention

that lawyers should become bloated capitalists.

Assessments for the support of the organized counties were

made in money or specific articles as the assessor deemed best,

and if not paid promptly the party assessed was imprisoned till

the payment was made, or his discharge ordered.

If a single man became indebted and could not pay in cash,

he would, With the consent of the creditor, be ordered by the

court to pay in personal services, not to exceed seven years in

any case. Under like circumstances a married man could not

be required to serve more than five years.

These laws, selected at random as examples of the laws pub-

lished or adopted by the Governor and Judges, are not referred

to in either a querulous or frivolous sense. They have upon

their face internal evidence of the circumstances and necessities

of the people for whose government and preservation they were

made. Much more may be readily inferred from them than is

expressed in their words. They were made in the unbroken

wilderness by pioneers for pioneers. All were to be soldiers.

All were to be honest, and if they were not they were either to

be hanged or whipped out of the country. They had to pay

their assessments, either in corn or cash as the case might be,

or go to jail. There should be no extortioners, and bachelors

were at a discount as compared with husbands.

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. W. J. Gilmore.          255


So far this sketch is intended to direct attention in a gen-

eral and historical way to some of the laws affecting in a greater

or less degree what now constitutes Ohio territory, from the

time of its occupation by Europeans, down to the point at which

we have arrived. One of the provisions of our first constitution

is here quoted: "That a frequent recurrence to the fundamental

principles of government is absolutely necessary to preserve the

blessings of liberty."

This enunciation of a great principle pertaining to civil gov-

ernment is as true to-day as when it was announced nearly one

hundred years ago. Startling and significant events have oc-

curred in the meantime, affecting us as a state and as a people;

endangering not only Ohio, but our Union itself. But by cling-

ing and adhering to the great principles upon which our govern-

ments, federal and state, are founded, and resorting to the strong

arm of the military power, only when required to do so solely for

their preservation against military force brought against them

and intended for their destruction, we have been able to main-

tain our civil governments in all their pristine beauty and vigor,

and the states formed from the Northwest territory have also

reaped rich harvest from the seeds that were planted when the

Treaty of Greenville was made. And to slightly paraphrase the

words of a great statesman, let us say "that if we are not stricken

with judicial blindness we will cling to our constitutions and

treaties, as the mariner clings to the last plank when night and

tempest close around him."

256 Ohio Arch

256      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.








Ladies and Gentlemen:

I come to you from the adjoining State to join with you in

this celebration. We have a common interest in this historic

event with you. I will detain you but a few minutes. We have

been together and associated together in four of the great im-

portant events that have touched the Northwest. When Wolfe

met the French at Quebec this territory was transferred from

France to Great Britain. When General George Rodgers Clark

found the British holding the forts in the Northwest, and

throughout this territory, he was enabled to capture Kaskaskia

and Vincennes, and this country was turned over to the United

States, all that rich domain northwest of the Ohio being secured

to the Republic in consequence of his prowess. Again, Indiana

was associated with you when the Ordinance of 1787 was

adopted, - the grandest ordinance for the government of ter-

ritory that has ever been conceived by man. Its influence has

been radiating from that day to this. Again, we were interested

and associated with you when the splendid victories were made

after a series of defeats that culminated in the Treaty in your

city, which you are honoring to-day.

The respect that you are showing here is appreciated not

only by Ohio, but by every State in the Northwest. The paper

presented gave us a fine historical account of how we have trav-

eled together, how we have been associated together. Yours

was the first State formed under the Ordinance of 1787; my

good State, Indiana, was the second; but from the days of that

Ordinance and from the days of this Treaty, we have moved a

pace that has incited the admiration of the world. The Indians,

up to the time that Wayne passed through with his army held

this country in their grasp. The Revolutionary War had been

closed for a number of years, and there was a large portion of

the population that wanted to come westward. But the Indian

Address of Hon

Address of Hon. Samuel H. Doyle.           257


said, "No, the Ohio river is in our possession, we will hold it."

Boat after boat that came down the Ohio was captured and the

persons on board were massacred. Never had we any perma-

nent peace to offer to the eastern settlers until after Wayne had

succeeded at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, and brought within

your city more than twelve tribes and fifty chiefs and secured the

treaty, a fac-simile of which you see here.

I have an interest, I say, as a citizen of Indiana. I have,

too, another interest. When a small boy I heard at my grand-

father's knee the story of the march through this wilderness.

I have heard the story over and over again. I want to call your

attention to the condition of the fire-arms used in that contest.

They were spoken of and described by the speaker. They were

all of the old flint lock pattern; breech loaders, loaded with a

coarse powder made prime with a fine powder, and it took ten

times the space of time to load that it would with your muskets.

Here is a powder flask that passed from the Ohio river up to

the Battle of Fallen Timbers, and it is treasured to-day in my

house. Money would not buy it. It is a quaint old powder

flask, but we appreciate it.

Gentlemen, it is now past the noon hour, and I am here

merely as a visitor and a citizen of the adjoining State, and I will

not continue my remarks. I thank you kindly.





Messrs. Robeson, Martz and Hunter,

GENTLEMEN: -    Your cordial invitation to the celebration

of the one hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Greenville

greets me here. I have also been commissioned by the Gover-

nor of Wisconsin to represent him on that occasion.

It grieves me much, that circumstances beyond my control

forbid me to join with you in commemorating what was, in my

view of the case, the true birthday of all our trans-Ohio-river


Before Wayne, all was embryo or chaos. Indians, backed

Vol. VII.-17.

258 Ohio Arch

258       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


by British, triumphant, and British holding the western posts as

tenaciously as so many Gibralters. But Wayne saw, by the

light of nature, the only effective policy. His text was: Scalp

them first, and then preach to them. He scalped at Maumee, he

preached at Greenville. The posts were surrendered and aborig-

inal depredations came to a perpetual end. The eagle braves

no more moved the wing, or opened their mouth, or peeped.

Ohio, Mother of the West, even to the utmost bound of her

everlasting hills, and to the boundless Pacific, may her second

century be in keeping with her first!

Regardfully yours,