Ohio History Journal







My story will be confined to the sixteen miles which separate

Fort Stephenson at the Lower Falls of the Sandusky river, (now

Fremont), from the banks of Lake Erie, at the mouth of the

Portage river, (Port Clinton), the point visited by all Indians

and French in coming from or going to Detroit and the north-

west; and later the point

from which General Harri-

son's army left American soil

to pursue the British in Can-

ada in his successful cam-

paign terminating at the Bat-

tle of the Thames, October 5,


Although the distance by

land over this trail is only six-

teen miles, nevertheless by the

windings and turnings of the

Sandusky river the distance to

old Fort Sandoski on the

north side of the bay is some

forty miles. Within this short

distance we shall hope to show

you old Fort Sandoski, the

first fort built by white men in

Ohio, in 1745; diagonally opposite to it the French Fort Junundat,

built in 1754, where the first white child was born in Ohio, of

French parentage; thence up the river twenty miles to the home

of James Whitaker and Elizabeth Foulks Whitaker, his wife,

the first permanent white settlers in Ohio, who were brought to

the Sandusky country as prisoners by the Wyandots in 1774 and

1776 respectively, adopted as Indians and married at Detroit in


358 Ohio Arch

358      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

1781, and immediately settled on what has since been known as

the Whitaker Reservation; Fort Stephenson, here in Fremont,

the place first brought into prominence in American history by

the presence of the famous Revolutionary patriot, Israel Put-

nam, who commanded the Colonial troops from Connecticut in

the Bradstreet expedition of 1764; the place to which General

Washington sent Captain Brady to ascertain the war-like inten-

tions of the Indians in 1780; where the British established a tem-

porary fort in 1782 during the Revolutionary war; where General

Wayne promised to build an American fort in 1795 to protect

the friendly Indians against the encroachments of the British

Indians; where finally the youthful Major George Croghan on

the 2d of August, 1813, defeated the combined forces of the

British under Proctor and the Indians under Tecumseh in the

famous battle of Fort Stephenson; and to Spiegel Grove, the

home of Rutherford Birchard Hayes and Lucy Webb Hayes, the

typical American home of the last half of the 19th century. My

desire is to show how this Sandusky country was one of the

great natural runways of the Indians in their migrations between

the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, to the Ohio and the

Mississippi Rivers; of the French, who cannily imitated the In-

dian in his method of travel and woodland life; of the English,

coming in from the east to possess the land; and of the Ameri-

cans, in expelling the English from the country.

The term Sandusky, in all military and frontier history is

broadly used, having been applied by the Indians not only to the

river but to the valley and the Indian villages situated at the

upper and lower rapids (Upper and Lower Sandusky), and the

bay, or "little lake." This ubiquitous nomenclature has not

unnaturally led many persons of the present day to suppose that

the flourishing neighboring city of Sandusky was one of the vil-

lages bearing that name; whereas the Sandusky city of today was

unknown until years after the War of 1812 and was called

Ogontz's Place, later Portland, and not until a decade after

the glorious defence of Ft. Stephenson (or "Sandusky" as the

name is inscribed on the gold medal awarded to Croghan by

the Congress of the United States), was the name "Sandusky

City" formally adopted by our neighbor on the Lake.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            359


The Sandusky country in Indian history possesses a peculiar

charm and fascinating interest. During that period of years

which fills western annals with the story of bloody conflict, the

valley of the Sandusky river and the Indian village at the lower

falls of the Sandusky, (now Fremont) were the home of the

most powerful and war-like of the savage nations. Between the

period of the old French war of 1755 and the war of 1812, this

place presented the varied scenes of Indian life-primitive agri-

culture, rude cabins, canoe building, amusements, the council

fire, prisoners running the

gauntlet and burning at the


Let us go back, however,

for some two centuries.  In

1534 Cartier found on the

present sites of Quebec and

Montreal, Indian tribes who

were in fierce combat with

the peoples to the south of

them -the Senecas and kin-

dred Iroquois nations.  Be-

tween Cartier's last voyage to

the St. Lawrence in 1543 and

the arrival of Champlain in

1603 but little is definitely

known of these tribes and

their wars. According to the

Jesuit Relation for 1639 a con-

federacy of four highly organized Huron tribes, doubtless the

remnants, with additions, of Cartier's Indians who had been

driven westward, dwelt in the vicinity of Lake Simcoe and Georg-

ian Bay, and were known as Wendats. This term the English

later corrupted to Wyandot, while the French continued to use

the term Huron. In 1615 Champlain found all these northern

tribes waging fierce war against the Iroquois tribes in New York.

When the French established trading posts on the St. Law-

rence the Hurons made annual trips to the posts, and in 1615 the

Jesuits established a mission for them about fifty miles below

360 Ohio Arch

360      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Montreal. Father Sagard was the first historian of the mission,

and is authority for the statement that the Hurons were in the

habit of sending large war parties to ravage the country of the

Iroquois. The hostility between them  dated from  prehistoric

times, so that the invasion and destruction of the Huron country

in 1648-50 by the Iroquois was but the final blow in a struggle

of almost 100 years. The acquisition of firearms by the Iroquois

from the Dutch while the Hurons had almost none, was an

important factor in the success of the Iroquois. Hundreds of

Hurons were carried captive to the Iroquois country; others

escaped to their kindred the Neutrals and the Eries; and others

took refuge at Green Bay--where

the Ottawas joined them; later on

the south shore of Lake Superior,

and again at Mackinac island. In

1670 we find a remnant of them in

the palisaded village of St. Ignace.

Later some of the Hurons moved

to Detroit, and thence to the San-

dusky country, in Ohio.

Mention was made of a kindred

tribe of the Hurons, the Neutral

Nation. Tradition has it that long

before the settlement in the San-

dusky valley of the fugitive Hurons,

the Neutral Nation had at Lower

Sandusky (Fremont) two fortified neutral towns, on opposite

sides of the Sandusky river, which in the shape of earthworks

were observed by the pioneer residents of Fremont.

Major B. F. Stickney, for many years an Indian agent in

this locality and familiar with its history and traditions, in a

lecture in Toledo in 1845, speaking of these towns, said: "The

Wyandots have given me this account of them. At a period of

two and a half centuries ago all the Indians west of this point

were at war with those east. Two walled towns were built near

each other, inhabited by those of Wyandot origin. They assumed

a neutral character. All of the west might enter the western city

and all of the east the eastern. The inhabitants of one city might

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.             361


inform those of the other that war parties were there; but who

they were or whence they came or anything more must not be


Gen. Lewis Cass, in an address in 1829 before the Historical

society of Michigan, alluding to these neutral towns, said: "During

the long and disastrous contest which preceded and followed the

arrival of the Europeans, in which the Iroquois contended for

victory, and their enemy for existence, this little band preserved

the integrity of their tribe and the sacred character of peace-

makers. All who met upon their threshold met as friends. This

neutral nation was still in existence when the French mission-

aries reached the upper lakes two centuries ago. The details of

their history and of their character are meagre and unsatisfactory,

and this is the more to be regretted as such a sanctuary among

the barbarous tribes is not only a singular institution but alto-

gether at variance with that reckless spirit of cruelty with which

their wars are usually prosecuted." Internal feuds arose, as the

tradition goes, and the villages were destroyed.

The first white explorer of all this region was La Salle who

on Aug. 7, 1679, in his bark the Griffin, sailed from Niagara out

on the surface of Lake Erie. With him came Father Hennepin

who wrote that "the lake encloses on its southern bank a tract

of land as large as the kingdom of France." A map attached to

Hennepin's work, published in 1683, shows Sandusky bay and

river drawn to an accurate angle with the southern shore of Lake

Erie, from which it is evident that La Salle entered Sandusky

bay and river.

Although Cadillac had founded Detroit in 1701 it was not

until 1739 that we begin to gain a little definite information about

events on the Sandusky. The war chief of the Wyandot or Huron

tribe before mentioned, was one Orontony or Nicolas, who

after being worsted in conflict with the French near Detroit, had

removed his followers to the mouth of Sandusky River. Nicolas

was a wily savage whose enmity was greatly to be feared, and

he commanded men who formed an alert, unscrupulous and pow-

erful body. The French having provoked his bitter hatred, which

was fomented by English agents, he conspired to destroy the

French not only at Detroit but at the upper posts. In 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                 363


Nicolas had permitted the English to erect a trading post or

blockhouse known as Ft. Sandoski at his principal town on the

bay and to remain and dispose of their stock. Notwithstanding

some discrepancy as to time, the blockhouse which Nicolas per-

mitted the English traders to build was probably the first of the

English forts, known as Fort Sandusky, built on the portage

between the Sandusky river and Lake Erie. By August, 1747,

the Iroquois of the west, the Hurons, Ottawas, Miami, Sioux,

Shawnees and other tribes, to the number of seventeen, had en-

tered into the conspiracy. Through the treachery of a Huron

woman the plot was revealed to a Jesuit priest who communi-

cated the information to Longueuil, the French commandant at

Detroit, who in turn notified all the other French posts, and

although a desultory warfare broke out resulting in a number

of murders, there was no concerted action. Nicolas finding that

he had been deserted by his allies, and seeing the activity and

determination of the French not to suffer English encroachments

on what they called French territory, finally in April, 1748,

destroyed his villages and palisades at (Fort) Sandusky and

removed with 119 warriors and their families to White River

(Indiana). Not long after he withdrew to the Illinois country

on the Ohio River, where he died in the autumn of 1748. The

inflexible and determined   conduct of Longueuil toward the

most of the conspiring tribes brought the coalition to an end in

May, 1748.*

In 1739 Sieur de Noyelle wrote to the Marquis de Beauharnais

that "the Hurons had all gathered at Sandoske, although they had been

told that they have nothing to fear."- Nevertheless "they were armed

like men who go to fight-bullets in their mouths and in their guns-

and one Nicolas was their chief." This is our first mention of the re-

doubtable warrior under whose protection old Fort Sandusky was built.

These letters to and from Beauharnais dwell upon Nicolas's zeal in pass-

ing about war belts among the various tribes and his frequent treason

against the French. "As I fear lest he may hatch something wrong,"

* Summarized from Handbook of the Indians (Bureau Ethnology);

O'Callaghan's "Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New

York," Vol. X, pp. 83-271; and Winsor's "Narrative and Critical His-

tory of America." Vol. V. Knapp's "History of the Maumee Valley"

and Sleeum's "History of the Maumee River Basin" contain excellent

narratives of this conspiracy.

364 Ohio Arch

364        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Beauharnais wrote, "I have sent out orders on all sides to inform me

of what is going on." M. de Longueuil, commandant at Detroit noted

in his daily reports, (Documents Relative to New France, vol. III),

that on "on May 20 some Hurons from Detroit established now for

some years at Sandoske, of the band of the war chief Nicolas, had

killed five Frenchmen who were returning from White River, and had

stolen their peltry; that the Indians thereabouts had formed a plan to

destroy all the French at Detroit during the fete of Pentacost and then

go to the fort and put all to fire and blood; that some Hurons had

struck too soon, the plot has been disclosed by a Huron woman who

came to warn M. de Longueuil. - Nicolas's band had continued to hold

themselves at Sandoske where

they counted not only to protect

themselves but to harass Detroit

by little war parties." Following

letters show that the Sandoske

Hurons had murdered the five

Frenchmen under conditions of

the greatest cruelty.

Nov. 14, 1747, M. de Longue-

uil wrote:  "Nicolas's band at

Sandoske are as insolent as ever,

the chief never ceasing his work

to get allies-Nicolas will draw

the English to him and facilitate

their establishments all along

Lake Erie."   March 20, 1748.

"The conduct of Nicolas is sus-

picious. The English in Phila-

delphia came there twice during

the winter and were well re-

ceived. The scalps of the Frenchmen killed near the fort of the Miamis

(now Ft. Wayne) have been carried there (Sandoske)." May 28, 1748.

M. de Longueuil reports that a faithful Indian who had gone to gather

up the Indians who had deserted from the village of Otsandoske (Nic-

olas's village near the mouth of the river) reported that Nicolas with

119 warriors of his nation, women and children and baggage, after

having burned the fort and the cabins of the village, had taken the

route for White River.-Canadian Archives.

Although Nicolas's career at Fort Sandusky was thus ended,

the English traders did not give up the foothold they had gained.

In 1749 La Jonquiere, governor of Canada, learned to his great

indignation that several English traders had again reached the

Sandusky and were "exerting a bad influence upon the Indians of

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            365

that quarter." It was in 1749 also that Captain Pierre de Celoron*

traversed Ohio with 300 men; buried leaden plates with the French

arms thereon at the mouths of the rivers entering the Ohio from

the north, claiming the whole country for France. He came north

by the way of our sister river the Maumee. He told the Indians

that the English traders would ruin them and drive them out of

the country, and in this respect he told the truth. He was made

commandant at Detroit,

and immediately followed

the formal claim of France

to the territory between

Lake Erie and the Ohio

by founding a fort and

trading post on the bay.

Doubtless this was that

Fort Sandoski "usurped by

the French in 1751," as

Mitchell's map puts it. In

1753, a force of 1,200

French from Montreal

built forts at Presqu'isle,

La Boeuf and Venango,

the present sites of Erie,

Waterford and Venango.

Du   Quesne   (Pittsburg)

was built the next year.

In 1754 Fort Junundat was

built on the east or right

side of the Sandusky bay or river. Gist, the land surveyor of

the Ohio Company, under date of 1750 thus refers to Ft. San-

dusky: "Two traders belonging to Mr. Croghan came into town

and informed us that two of his people had been taken by 40,

Frenchmen and 20 Indians, who carried them with 7 horse loads

of skins to a new fort the French were building on one of the

branches of Lake Erie."

* Known also as Bienville de Celeron; but our spelling is copied

from the "Jesuit Relations" (Burrows' Cleveland Edition) of Rev. Father

Bonnecamps, who accompanied this Ohio expedition.

366 Ohio Arch

366      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


The location of Old Fort Sandoski, the first fort built by

white men in Ohio, long a subject of earnest research, was defi-

nitely settled by Col. Webb C. Haves, of Fremont, and Mr.

Chas. W. Burrows, of Cleveland, by the discovery, in 1906, of

the de Lery journals. Mr. Burrows' work in publishing the "Jesuit

Relations" had familiarized him with the richness of the Can-

adian archives, and at Colonel Hayes' request he communicated

with the archivist of Laval University, Quebec, and some clue

being found, Colonel Hayes and Mr. Burrows at once visited

the Rev. Father A. F. Jones, S. J., of St. Mary's College, Mon-

treal, and Abbe Gosselin, archivist of Laval University at

Quebec, at which latter place the eight de Lery Journals were

discovered. One of these journals, with its numerous maps and

accompanying descriptions of the daily journeyings and solar

observations, settles definitely the exact location of old Fort San-

doski, the first fort built by white men in Ohio, the location of

which has until now been in doubt even among our foremost

historians.  The distinguished Col. Charles Whittlesey, long

president of the Western Reserve Historical Society, in a Tract

published in 1873 on the forts at Sandusky, had written:

"It is not easy to determine the precise location of the early

French and English forts or trading posts on Sandusky Bay.

The earliest map which has on it the name of this bay is that of

Henry Popple, London, 1733, where it is called 'Lake Sandoski.'

Indian traders from Pennsylvania were there in 1748, but prob-

ably had not then a permanent post or fort. On Mitchell's map,

London, 1755, and on that of Evans, Philadelphia, same date, there

is a 'fort' laid down on the north side of the bay near the mouth.

It is much more probable that this fort, house or post was sit-

uated where the trail or portage path came out on the bay, across

the neck from the Portage or Carrying River, at Ottawa. The

English government had no fortifications there at that time.

Mitchell states that the fort on the north side, meaning post, was

'usurped by the French in 1751.' Fort Junundat, on Evans' map,

is placed south of the bay and east of Sandusky River, 'built in

1754.' This was a French establishment for trade, perhaps with

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745 367

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745             367

368 Ohio Arch

368        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


a stockade for defence against the English and their Indian


*The late A. T. Goodman, for many years secretary of the Western

Reserve Historical Society, in Tract No. 4. published Jan. 1871, has

the following references to Fort Sandusky: "English traders first made

their appearance in the Ohio country in 1699-1700. From that time until

1745 we frequently hear of them at various towns and stations. In 1745

they built a small fort or blockhouse among the Hurons on the north

side of Sandusky Bay. In 1748 they were driven off by a party of

French soldiers from Detroit. Prior to 1763 the English in Ohio were

very few in comparison to the French."

In Tract No. 6, in "Papers Relating to the First White Settlers

in Ohio," also by Mr. Goodman, published in July 1871, occurs the fol-

lowing reference to Fort Sandusky. "As early as the year 1745 English

traders penetrated as far as Sandusky, or 'St. Dusky,' and established

a post on the north side of the bay near the carrying place or portage

from the Portage river across the peninsula. They were driven away

by the French probably in 1748 or 1749. During this period a celebrated

Indian trader from Pennsylvania, George Croghan, had a station at or

near the mouth of the Cuyahoga, then known as the Cayahaga, and

sometimes as Hioga."

Tract No. 25 is a 25-page description of the early maps of America,

by Judge C. C. Baldwin for many years Secretary of the Western Re-

serve Historical Society and later its president. It was published in

April, 1875, and especially commands the accuracy of the Evans' and

Mitchell's maps of 1755, and Pownall's map of 1777. "Lewis Evans was

an American geographer and surveyor, born about 1700 and died 1756.

He published a map of the Middle Colonies in 1755 with an analysis.

The map itself is an epitome of history and geography. It was engraved

by James Turner, and printed by B. Franklin and D. Hall, in Philadel-

phia. It was dedicated to Gov. Pownall, who in 1776 published a folio

with an enlarged analysis, but the same map, in which the Governor

stood stoutly by his deceased friend against other maps pirated. The

advance in local knowledge in this map is large.--A map which was

repeatedly printed, much used and of long authority was Mitchell's.

John Mitchell, M. D., F. R. S., came to Virginia early in the 18th

century as a botanist. He lived long in America and died in England

in 1768. His large and elaborate map has a certificate from John Pownall,

secretary of the Board of Trade, and brother of Governor Thomas

Pownall, that it was undertaken at his request, composed from drafts,

charts, and actual surveys, transmitted from the different Colonies by

the Governors thereof. This certificate is dated July 1st, 1755.  *  **

This map was used by the commissioners in making the treaty of peace in

1783, by which our country became a nation."

Lewis Evans in the title page to his "Geographical, Historical,

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.             369

370 Ohio Arch

370        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

De Lery in his journal of 1754 refers to Fort Junundat

when he mentions the fact of his having discharged his rifle and

otherwise made futile attempts to attract the attention of some

of the French traders on the opposite side of the bay from the

ruins of Old Fort Sandusky; and later speaks of Sieur Gouin,

a French trader who was settled opposite in a blockhouse or

trading  post.  Numerous authorities    confirm  this, especially

Evans' map, published the next year, 1755, which locates "Fort

Junundat, built in 1754," as south of the bay and east of the

river; and this fort Junundat must have been the one near the

mouth of Pickerel Creek, now in Townsend township, Sandusky

county; although the erosions of the bank have caused it to

disappear.  It was from   this fort Junundat that many of the

later Indian trails on the east side of the Sandusky River started.

It is an interesting fact that the wife of Sieur Gouin, re-

ferred to by de Lery, is mentioned nine years later as having

early in May, 1763, seen the Ottawa Indians filing off the ends

of their gun barrels evidently preparing for the surprise and mas-

sacre of the Detroit garrison under Gladwin by Pontiac.

In August, 1754, the Chevalier Chaussegros de Lery, of

Quebec, a distinguished engineer of the French army, was ordered

to accompany an expedition from     Presq'isle (Erie) to Detroit

and Michillimacinac.   The expedition started from   Presqu'isle

(Erie) on the 30th of July, 1754, and skirting along the southern

shore of Lake Erie, entered Sandusky Bay, Sunday, August 4,

and made a portage across the peninsula from the ruins of old

Fort "Sandoske on Lac Sandoske," fifty-seven arpents or about

two miles across to the "great lake," (Erie), to the present site

of Port Clinton.

Political, Philosophical and Mechanical Essays, the first containing an

Analysis of a general Map of the Middle British Colonies in America"

says: "Sandusky is a considerable river abounding in level land, its

stream gentle all the way to its mouth where it will receive considerable

slope. This river is an important pass and the French have secured it

as such, the Northern Indians cross the lake here from island to island,

land at Sandoski, and go by a quick path to the lower Shawanese towns,

and thence to the gap of Onarioto in the way to the Ottawa country.

This will no doubt be the way that the French will take from Detroit

to Moville, unless the English will be advised to secure it, now that it

is in their power."

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   371


Colonel Crawford Lindsey of Quebec has prepared the following

biographical sketch of DeLery.

Abbe Daniel in his work entitled "Le Vicomte C. de Lery et sa

famille" devotes over 40 pages to Joseph Gaspard de Lery. The author

who had access to the family papers has succeeded in producing a fairly

complete work in that comparatively short biography. From it we take

the following notes:

The de Lery family originally came from Toulon. Gaspard Chaus-

segros de Lery, the grandfather of the one who forms the subject of

this sketch, was the engineer of that city. His son Gaspard was also

an engineer, and in 1716 the Council of the Marine sent him to Canada

to direct the works on the Quebec fortifications.  After a long and

fine career, he died in 1756.

On the 3d of October, 1717, he married Marie Renee le Gardeur

de Beauvais, by whom he had several children,

among whom was Joseph Gaspard, baptised in Que-

bec on the 21st July, 1721.

Joseph Gaspard entered the Minor Seminary of

Quebec on the 29th June, 1731, and like all other

pupils of that institution under the French regime, he

followed the classes of the Jesuits' College.

Three years afterward, in 1734, an application

was made for his appointment to the position of

assistant-engineer in Quebec, but the answer to this

was that it would not be proper to appoint a child

of eleven or twelve to that position.

Such an application would lead one to suppose

that young Joseph Gaspard displayed great aptitude

for engineering and had been taught by his father

who had himself written an excellent work on fortification.

In any case the position of assistant engineer, which had been re-

fused him in 1735, was given him on the 21st April, 1739, when he

was only 18 years old.

In the following year we find young de Lery in Louisiana. Charged

by Broutin, the chief engineer, with the duty of reconnoitering the

route leading to the Chicachos, he accomplished his mission to the sat-

isfaction of his chiefs.

In 1741 he was promised a commission of second ensign and he

received it the following year.

In 1743 he took a detachment to St. Frederick, put the fort in a

state of defense and finished the prison. He was afterward engaged

in repairing or constructing several forks in the Montreal district and

was finally sent to that city whose fortifications were not in a proper

condition. This was in 1744.

The following years were devoted to repairing forts Chambly and

St. Frederick.

372 Ohio Arch and Hist

372        Ohio Arch and Hist. Society Publications.


M. de Lery was not only an engineer, he was also a soldier. The

authorities gave him frequent opportunities of proving his valor  His

expedition against the Loups and the Aquires in 1747 was the first of

the kind; it was not to be the last.

de Lery who was only a second ensign was promoted first ensign

or ensign on the establishment in 1748.

About the same time, M. De Galissonniere, wishing to obtain in-

formation regarding the route from Montreal to Detroit as well as the

necessity of building new forts or repairing the old ones, ordered M.

de Lery to perform the journey and to make a full report. To that

order we are indebted for the first of M. de Lery's journals, and it will

be seen that he performed the duty conscientiously.

Leaving Lachine on the 6th of June, 1749, he returned to Quebec

on the 25th September following. M. de la Galissonniere was no longer

there to congratulate him, but M. de la Jonquiere showed his satisfac-

tion by appointing him commandant of the artillery, a position he held

till May, 1750.

The governor did better still  On October 8th he submitted his

name to the King for a lieutenancy which was granted him in April,

1751. M. de Lery was then in Acadia as commandant of Fort Beause-

jour, which he built as well as thai of Gaspareau. The reasons neces-

sitating the construction of those forts are known to everybody.

Nevertheless the English were displeased and accused the French

of having invaded a portion of Nova Scotia, burned Beaubassin, fur-

nished arms to the inhabitants, etc., and would be satisfied with nothing

less than compelling M. de la Jonquiere to disavow his conduct. There-

upon the Governor deemed it his duty to send some one to France to

give information to the court and he chose for the purpose M. de Lery

who had just arrived from Acadia. The latter had no difficulty in justi-

fying M. de la Jonquiere.

After spending some time at La Rochelle to acquire further knowl-

edge of military manoeuvres, M. de Lery sailed for Quebec, where he

arrived on the 23d October, 1752.

On the 24th September, 1754, he was married in Quebec to Louise

Martel de Brouague.

The years 1754 and 1755 were especially busy ones for M. de Lery.

Ordered to Niagara, he spent the winter there and went to Fort Du-

Quesne, where he had same repairs executed. He was about to begin

work on Fort Mochault when he was recalled to Fort Niagara by M.

de Villiers who was in command there.

The narrative of that campaign or rather of those campaigns, con-

stitutes the second and probably the most important of M. de Lery's

journals. In it will be found interesting details which exist nowhere else.

From that date, M. de Lery's journals enable us to follow him more

easily and we refer the reader to them, merely calling attention to the

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   373


expedition of 1756 against Fort Bull, that against Choueguen in the same

year and the work on the Quebec fortifications in 1757.

Promoted Captain on the 1st of May, 1757, M. de Lery had not yet

been honored with the Cross of St. Louis; it was granted him on the

20th January, 1759.

Finally on the 13th September of the same year, he took part in

the battle of the Plains of Abraham and was wounded.

After the capitulation of Montreal, M. de Lery obtained permission

from M. de Vaudreuil, to remain in Canada. In the following year he

went to France with his family. He visited Paris and proceeded to

London where he was presented to the King. It was on that occasion

that George III, addressing himself to M. de Lery's young wife, said

to her: "Madame if all the Canadian ladies are like you, I have truly

made a conquest."

M. de Lery returned to Canada in 1764. In the following year the

Duc de Choiseul authorized him to live there. He thought, however,

of returning to France, but the Court, which had not looked with a fa-

vorable eye on his stay in England, ignored his application.

In 1774, England granted Canada The Quebec Act; a legislative

Council was formed and M. de Lery was one of its first members. With

his colleagues, he took the oath on the 17th August, 1775. Seven years

afterward, September 7, 1782, the French Court confirmed the pension

that had been granted him in 1762.

M. de Lery lived many years longer. He died in Quebec, Dec. 11,

1797, at the age of 76, and was buried three days afterward in the Ca-


Madame de Lery had died in 1793. Of their marriage 18 children

were born; 10 sons and 8 daughters. The most celebrated of all was

Francois Joseph, who afterward became Lieutenant-General, Chief En-

gineer and Baron of the French Empire.


This notice does not do justice to M. de Lery's qualities.

By reading his journals one will know him better and appreciate

the zeal, activity and intelligence of that brave officer whom the

French governors honored with their confidence while giving

him  unsparing proofs of their satisfaction.

Throughout his whole military career, de Lery kept careful

journals. These have been translated from the original French

by Col. Crawford Lindsey, the official translator of the province

of Quebec, who had translated the "Jesuit Relations" into Eng-

lish for the publishers, the Burrows Bros., of Cleveland.

There are 8 of these journals of M. de Lery's campaigns

whereof the following is a summary description:

374 Ohio Arch

374        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


1. Journal of 1749. A memorandum book without a cover, contain-

ing 42 pages, 2 of which are blank. This is the narrative of a voyage to

Detroit undertaken by the order of M. de la Galissonniere.

2. Journal of 1754-1755. It consists of 8 small memorandum books

whose sheets are held together by ribbons of different colors. There

are 288 pages in all, including 14 blank ones.

This journal is probably the most important of all those left by

M. de Lery, owing to the numerous and interesting items of informa-

tion it gives respecting the old French forts and the routes leading to

them. It also contains a large number of figures, plans, etc.

3. Journal of 1756. Same size as the preceding one; 29 pages of


Although the title of this journal would lead one to infer that it

relates to expeditions at Ft. Bull, Choueguen and Carillon, this memor-

andum book contains in reality only the narrative of the voyage to

Carillon. The remainder is contained in two separate books.

4. Journal of the Campaign of 1756-April. Capture of Ft. Bull.

A memorandum book with paste cover, containing 60 pages, three of

which are blank. It contains two maps and a plat of Fort Bull.

5. Choueguen Campaign, 1756. Form and cover similar to the

preceding one; this book contains 28 pages. In it the author gives a

plan of Choueguen and vicinity.

6. Journal of 1757. A book of 32 pages. It gives interesting de-

tails respecting thee Quebec fortifications at which M. de Lery worked

all summer.

7. Journal of 1758. Consists of 27 pages, 10 of which are blank.

It is the narrative of an expedition in July and August to the Iroquois


Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.               375


8. Journal of 1758. Voyage in September and October from Que-

bec to Carillon. A book of 12 pages.


The journals 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, are evidently a first draft, roughly

written; this can be seen by the writing and spelling. The writing

without being bad is not always easy to make out. With regard

to the spelling it may perhaps be considered by some as queer.

But the reader must remember that M. de Lery wrote currente

calamo, probably even during the course of his journeys, and that,

apart from numbers 4 and 5, all the other manuscripts are merely

a rough draft.

It is only fair to add this defect was not peculiar to him.

Many men of his day, who had been educated to some extent

were as deficient in their spelling. The proof that M. de Lery

could do better will be found in the journals of 1756, numbers

4 and 5, which are very well written with correct spelling. The

latter two manuscripts, with their well executed maps and plans,

may be classed among the finest of the period.

M. de Lery's journals now belong to    Laval University,

Quebec. They were bequeathed to it by the late Abbe Verreau,

who had obtained them from the estate of the late Jacques Viger,

well known throughout Canada for his historical researches and

labors. We cannot tell how they came into his possession.

The reader will judge for himself of the history of the

country in general and of certain sections of the United States in

particular. This induced Laval University to allow their pub-

lication by the Burrows Bros. Co., Cleveland, Ohio, who will

follow the general style and arrangement of their great work,

"The Jesuit Relations."  Patriotic societies and all students of

history are greatly indebted to Chas. W. Burrows, president of

the Burrows Bros. company, for his historical researches and


The daily entries in de Lery's journal from the time of leav-

ing Presqu'isle (Erie), July 30, 1754, until the arrival at the

ruins of the old Fort Sandusky, August 4, give with great detail

the courses, distances and the character of the country on the shore

of the lake. There are no less than nineteen quite elaborate little

sketches of the entrances to the rivers, etc., including five detailed

376 Ohio Arch

376        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

sketches of the ruins of the old fort (Sandoski) and of San-

dusky bay. We give this part of the journal:

Extract from Journal of Joseph Gaspard Chaussegros de Lery,

Lieut. des Trouppes En route from Quebec to Fort Duquesne

but Destination changed at Presque isle (Erie) to Fort Detroit in


(Presque Isle (Erie) 30 July, 1754)

30th, Tuesday. Started from the presqu isle at half past

4 in the morning. Monsieur Pean, captain, regimental adjutant

of  Quebec,  commanding .................................  1

Monsieur St Martin, acting major............................

Monsieur  Lery  ................................... Lieutenants  3

Monsieur St Ours............................................

M onsieur        Rigauville     ..........................................

M onsieur        Desmeloises ........................................

[127]  ................................................. Ensigns  4

M onsieur        Porneuf   ............................................

M onsieur        Cournoyer     ..........................................

Father Bonnecamp jesuit .......................................                                                                                         1

Monsieur forget duverger, Priest of the missions Etrangeres...                                                           1

M onsieur        M auviles  ...........................................

M onsieur        Vig e        ..................................... Surgeons  3

M onsieur        G aron     .............................................

M onsieur        Laforce,   store-keeper ................................  1

Monsieur Constant, an old interpreter among the outaouais,

Sauteux,               etc.           ............................................                                                                     1

27  Canoes,  each             carrying  10  men..............................                                                                    270


285 men


Each canoe was loaded with 25 Packages consisting chiefly of pro-

visions. * * * * * *

(128 to 138 omitted).

4th Sunday. (Aug. 4, 1754).     We started at 5 h. 22 m. N. W.

At 2/3 of a league, Monsieur de Rigauville landed with Father Bonne-

camp, Jesuit, and another canoe. There he took the altitude which was

41 Degrees, 24 Minutes, 54 Seconds. The wind was stormy and a cloud

covered the whole sky to the North East. From the point where the

altitude was taken to the Point seen in the East, the bearing is E.N.W.;

from the same Point to the Point in the West, the bearing is S.E. by

S. and N.W. by N. From the Riviere aux hurons, or Riviere au

Pere, or Riviere au Vermilion, the shore runs S.E. and N.W. for a

distance of About 134 Legue in which space is the Entrance to lake

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   377


otsandoske. At 10 o'clock I found myself opposite two entrances of a

Bay. As my canoe was the nearest to land as well as the most in

advance and as I had no guide, I thought this was the entrance of

lake otsandoske. The wind was astern and as I steered for the entrance

the Rollers were very heavy while I was in the pass on the left as one

enters (for the entrance of the lake is divided by a small island) my

canoe shipped [139] a great deal of Water. I discovered a great sheet

of Water which I took for lake otsandoske. I displayed my flag as a

signal to all the canoes which steered for me with the wind astern.

Many shipped a good Deal of Water and suffered exceedingly from the

heavy wind. I saw them all enter the lake and land at the other end

of the island to empty the water out of the canoes.  Monsieur Pean

had to change his clothes which were wet through. I did not know

where the portage was. I imagined that some vestiges still remained

of the fort the French had built in 1751 and which was afterwards

evacuated. To find it I followed the shore on the north side of the

said lake which runs East and West. After proceeding about 3 Leagues,

I found a clearing where I landed at noon and discovered the Ruins of

the Old fort. I at once had the packages in my canoe carried across

the portage.  At two o'clock the whole [140] had been taken over.

Monsieur Pean arrived at 3 o'clock. The Remainder of the day was

spent in portaging the effects and the canoes; three of the latter, how-

ever, remained at the Little lake. The portage is 57 arpents in length;

starting from the Little lake, it runs N. by N.W. There are three small

prairies to be crossed which are at about equal distance from one another;

after that is a small grove of trees and then the bank of the River of

the Portage on the shore of the great lake where our camp was.

I calculate that, from  the River we call Riviere aux Hurons

to the Entrance of lake otsandoske, the distance is two Leagues; for

the space of one league the shore is bordered merely by a strip of woods,

after which is a great prairie which ends at lake otsandoske.

To enable one to understand the Route of this day and that of

Father Bonnecamp, jesuit, in passing out of the little lake to [141] Pointe

aux cedres, I will indicate in the figure below the route he took outside

and that which I followed inside. * * * * * *

6th, Tuesday. At 1 h. 40 m. in the afternoon the greater portion

of the detachment ordered to go to Michilimaquinak arrived at detroit.

Monsieur Pean was in the van, and De Lery formed the rear-guard,

Monsieur de St martin, the major, was in the position suited to his

rank; Messieurs de St Ours, Neuvillette, Desmeloises and de Cournoyer

commanded the divisions. The said detachment saluted the flag of the

fort with three discharges of musketry. We landed at the gardens, that

is to say above the fort which fired nine Rockets, while the troops were

under arms and the drums beat the general.     Monsieur dumuy, the

378 Ohio Arch

378        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


commandant of the said fort, received Monsieur Pean, our commandant,

thirty feet from the gate of the fort where the troops and militia were

drawn up and they were dismissed only after Monsieur Pean had

entered the fort, whence he sent orders to his canoe to proceed below

it; there he pitched his camp adjoining the Enceinte of the fort

on the Side facing the village of the Pouteouatamis. The officers en-

camped in the front line along the hill facing the Water and the troops

and militia-men placed their tents behind in four lines. The hurons

went to salute the commandant of the detachment. The weather was

Fine and the sun very hot; no wind.

7th, Wednesday. The Pouteouatamis saluted the Commandant of

the detachment and all the officers, myself in particular because I was

to remain at Detroit.

Monsieur le mercier arrived at 9 o'clock in the evening and

announced the approaching departure of Monsieur Pean's detachment.

* * *

Extract from Journal of Joseph Gaspard Chaussegros de Lery Lt.

des Trouppes, return journey from Ft. Detroit to Ft. Du Quesne via

Ft. Sandoske on Lac Dot Sandoske in March, 1755.

March 15th, Saturday. As the wind blew from the water and it was

impossible to Embark, I decided to leave behind the two Frenchmen

who had brought me in the pirogue so that it might take it back to the

fort, and to travel by land with the two iroquois. We started at 8 o'clock

and at 4 we camped half a league beyond the Pointe aux feviers. We

broke through in several places. The weather was cold. We passed

two Rivers; 'one in the middle of the Bay and the other almost at the

Pointe aux feviers. The savages were so loaded with our equipment

that they were obliged to make traines with our apichimons or bear skins.

I calculate that we traveled five and a half Leagues that day.

16th Sunday. The weather was Fine but cold but yet not sufficiently

so [264] to allow of our crossing the Streams and Rivers on the ice

without breaking through. We

crossed the Riviere a toussain in

the water; it is wide and shallow

and situate a league and a quarter

from the Pointe aux feviers.

Here is a figure of that River:

We walked over difficult ground full of hot springs and when we

had to leave it and go on the shore ice, we ran the risk of breaking

our legs, as the ice was not sound and frequently there was No Water

underneath. We saw great numbers of swans, bustards, ducks, cranes

and other game but they were so wild we could not approach them.

Two of us arrived at the Riviere du Portage. At 3 o'clock in the

afternoon, Thomas, the iroquois from the lake of two mountains who

was with me, went along the outer edge of the shore ice to go and

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   379


get a pirogue on the other side of the River and it was 5 o'clock

when I got across. I left him to await the other savage who had re-

mained behind and I went on to lake Sandoske to see whether we could

cross it either in a canoe or on the ice. I arrived there at half past

six o'clock after walking continually in the Water of which that portage

is full at that season. I found the lake clear of ice and fired three

gun-shots, the signal I had arranged with The iroquois who rejoined

me at half past seven o'clock. He had not seen his comrade who did

not come to sleep with us. We fired several gun-shots to make our-

selves heard by the French traders on the South East shore of lake

dot Sandoske, but they did not answer. We had nothing for supper

but a teal as The savage who had remained behind carried the pro-


[266] I examined the River of the portage and found its figure

different at this season from what it was in the month of August last

year when I passed there; the grass was then high and the Water lower.

[268] 17th, Monday. Very early in the morning The iroquois from

the lake Started to go and meet the one from the Belle Riviere who

had not joined us The previous evening. I placed a flag on the Water's

edge and fired several gun-shots to make the traders on the opposite

shore see and hear me, but they did not hear any more than on the

previous day. At noon the two savages arrived. We placed in the

water a large canoe of eight paddles that we found and crossed 3/4 of a

league above the Riviere du Poisson doree. [Pickerel Creek.]

I reached the house of Sieur gouin, a trader, at 4 o'clock in the

afternoon. We were a long time crossing because our canoe leaked a

good deal and I was kept busy bailing while the two savages paddled.

* * * * *

[269] 18th, Tuesday. The wind was from the south and cold;

the Sun came out. The savages prepared and made a saddle for the

horse that was to carry our provisions. I sent one of them with The

huron interpreter to the Little village to get me a guide and I par-

ticularly charged the latter with that mission; also to buy a horse for me.

At 4 o'clock in the afternoon The interpreter and the savage Returned

without either guide or horse. Our two savages decided to take the

route via the presqu isle by canoe. This, added to what the hurons

told me about the Rivers having overflowed their banks and the woods

being full of Water, led me to decide to go in a Canoe.

[270] I had one of six paddles prepared with all its fittings to be

ready to start very early the following morning. I wrote to Monsieur

the Commandant of detroit and sent him the Statement of the few

supplies advanced me by Sieur gouin for those who owned the canoe

which I might Perhaps Leave at the Riviere a seguin called gayahague.

19th. Wednesday. I was unable to start before noon because the

canoe had to be gummed as it leaked a great deal. I went to sleep at

380 Ohio Arich

380        Ohio Arich. and Hist. Society Publications.


the head of lake Sandoske in a place sheltered from the wind. The

weather was Fine. We went to the Point on the lake to see whether

there was Much ice. We found shore ice and, as the weather was

setting in fine, this led us to Hope that we should reach whither we

proposed going with fair ease.

[271] I calculate that we traveled 4-1/2 Leagues. Figure of the

entrance of lake dot Sandoske and view of the lands to the West with

the Plan of the swamp as far as the portage of the village of ainoton.

[272] 20th, Thursday, Heavy gale from the north east. We re-

mained, being unable to put our canoe in the Water.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                381


21st, Friday. At 7 o'clock in the morning we embarked to go to

the head of the swamp of lake dot Sandoske to the East. We went

about a league and a half and portaged over to the great Lake which

we found full of ice. This compelled us to retrace our steps and go

to the Portage of the village of aniauton, which we did. At 5 o'clock

we reached the said village whereof only three cabins and some palisades

remain. We decided to take the conchake Route although it was long.

We asked a huron to guide us. I offered him the value of a beaver

skin to [273] take us to the Riviere a Seguin, but he refused, saying

that his nation would think he was going on the war-path. This, in

addition to the trouble the men of that nation had caused with the

same object some days previously, led me to think that he would per-

haps not submit without compulsion to all that might be favorable to

us on The oyo.

The Place where we were is that where the hurons took refuge

382 Ohio Arch

382       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


after Leaving isle aux bois blanc and killed the Frenchmen. They had

erected a fort there whereof the following is the figure.

[274] 22d, Saturday. Very early in the morning one of my sav-

ages started to go to the house of Sieur gouin, the Trader, at the

lake, to get his horse. We got

our packages ready to start in the

the afternoon if he returned in

time. I wrote Sieur gouin to

Send two Frenchmen to get his

canoe with its fittings left on the

lake shore on the Portage of the


There was no more snow on the

ground and this caused the woods

to be full of Water. We had found a good deal on the previous day

on our way to the village. At 5 o'clock the savage who had gone to

get the horse, returned. The Frenchmen were to come the following

day to take away their Canoe.

I wrote to Monsieur du muy and to Madame de Lery and dated

the letters the 23rd March. The weather was fine with a little rain in

the morning.

[275]  An anniez who had passed the

winter at a three days' march from this

village, arrived.  He was going to trade

at Sandoske. He told me he had a horse

for sale. I accepted the offer. He prom-

ised to join me in two days on his return

from the trade and deliver me the horse.

23rd, Sunday. At half past 8 o'clock in

the morning we started on the Conchake road for Fort Duquesne. * * *


The importance of the "De Lery" portage and the loca-

tion of old fort Sandusky at the entrance to the Sandusky coun-

try is shown not only by the desire of the renegade Nicolas to

occupy and hold this point of strategic importance almost midway

between the French outpost at Detroit and the English outposts

or settlements in Pennsylvania and Virginia on the headwaters

of the Ohio. Fort Sandusky, the first fort in Ohio, originally

built by the British in 1745 and destroyed by the French when

they made Nicolas sue for peace in 1748, is located in the early

map of Evans as "usurped by the French in 1751." The French

built their post at Junundat at the point described by de Lery


C.d Fort Sandoski of 1745.            383


as the location of the trading post of Sieur Gouin, and marked

in the early maps Ft. Junundat, 1754. This in turn was de-

stroyed by the British after the capture of Ft. du Quesne by

the British in 1758, so that immediately after the surrender of

all French territory in America, Sept. 8, 1760, when Major

Robert Rogers was sent out to take possession of the western

forts the importance of a new fort at Sandusky was realized and

frequent references made in contemporary reports and letters.

Captain Campbell, of

Detroit, wrote to Bou-

quet, Dec. 11, 1760: "A

small post at Sandusky

would be useful for the

communi cation with

Pittsburg." The follow-

ing August, 1761, Cap-

tain Cochrane writes

from Presque'isle that

he is to build a fort at

Sandusky, the order be-

ing from Amherst. Sept.

1, 1761, Lieut.   Elias

Meyer writes in French

to Bouquet that he has

been surveying, and had

fixed on a good spot for

a blockhouse, three miles

from a village called by

the Indians Canoutout,

where all the traders

unload and load their

goods for Detroit; it is

almost in the middle of

Little Lake Sandusky. The blockhouse and palisades were finished

Nov. 29, 1761.


On the 8th of September, 1760, following Wolfe's Victory on

the Plains of Abraham, Quebec, Canada with all its dependencies,

was surrendered to the British crown. It still remained to carry

into effect the full terms of the conquest by taking over the

western forts, and this difficult and perilous task was assigned to

384 Ohio Arch

384       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Major Robert Rogers * of New Hampshire, an old commander

of Putnam and Stark.

On Sept. 12, 1760, Rogers, at the height of his reputation

received orders from General Amherst, the British commander-

in-chief in America, to ascend the St. Lawrence and take posses-

sion of the western forts; and he left Montreal the next day,

with 200 Rangers, "half hunters, half woodsmen, armed like

Indians with hatchet, gun and knife;" artillery commanded by

Lieut. Davis; and Lieut. Brehm, assistant engineer, who delivered

dispatches and summons to surrender to Captain Beletre, the com-

mandant at Detroit. Beletre at first refused to believe that Can-

ada had capitulated, but on receipt of the letter from Vaudreuil,

the governor of Canada, he was forced to yield and accom-

panied Rogers on his eastward trip to Philadelphia+

Rogers' return was by land, via the Sandusky and Tuscara-

was trail to Ft. Pitt. Jan. 2, 1761, says his Journal: "We ar-

rived at Lake Sandusky." The following month, namely Feb.

3, 1761, Bouquet wrote to Amherst: "Lieutenant Meyer has left

Ensign Pauli and fifteen men at Sandusky." This is the first

mention of H. C. Pauli, who was in command of the garrison of

Ft. Sandusky. Several letters and reports from him are among

the Bouquet collection, now in the Canadian Archives, and he

uniformly used this spelling of his name, although Parkman and

some other historians write it Paully. Feb. 19, 1762, Pauli wrote

to Bouquet that the Indians were discontented about the block-

house; and inquired how he should behave if they became insolent.

*Rogers is described as "tall and strong of person and rough of

feature; versed in all the arts of woodcraft, sagacious, prompt and reso-

lute; his mind by no means uncultivated. But his vain, restless and

grasping spirit and more than doubtful honesty proved the ruin of an en-

viable reputation. Six years after his western expedition he was tried

by court martial for a meditated act of treason, the surrender of Ft.

Michillimackinac to the Spaniards at that time masters of Upper Louis-

iana. Not long after he went to Africa and fought two battles under

the Dey of Algiers. Returning to take part in the American Revolution

he was suspected by Washington of playing the part of a spy; openly

espoused the British cause; and in 1778 was banished from New Hamp-

shire. The time and place of his death is unknown.-Condensed from

Parkman's "Conspiracy of Pontiac."

+Mante's History of the Late War, 1772.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            385


In May he reported that the chiefs had given leave to Philip

Boyle to plant corn; that the Iroquois were very quiet and the

department healthy. The batteaux left for the winter thirty

miles off were found, when sent for, to be nearly ruined by the

Indians probably for the nails; and the men on their return lost in

the storm the only canoe he had. In July he reported his men

had fever from the bad water and asked for medicine. Provisions

were scarce. In August, provisions had been delivered by Captain

Robertson, commanding a vessel on Lake Erie, which could not

get into Lake Sandusky from shallowness of the water. Men

of his old party were ill.

Rogers and his Rangers had been met somewhere near the

mouth of Grand River, east of Cleveland, by Pontiac, who

haughtily demanded their business. Later he gave them his lofty

permission "to pass through the country unmolested." The great

Ottawa leader here stands prominently forward in history for the

first time. He believed that if all the tribes could be made to

unite in a grand assault upon the English, there might be a chance

of overthrowing them; and he had succeeded in arousing to

bloodshed most of the tribes between the Alleghenies and the

Mississippi. A detail of his plan of procedure was to attack all

the English forts upon the same day; and having destroyed the

garrisons to devastate the defenseless frontier and concentrate

upon the more populous centers. Early in May, 1763, the storm

burst. "Nine British forts yielded instantly, Detroit and Ft. Pitt

alone escaping capture; and the savages drank, scooped up in

hollow of joined hands the blood of many a Briton;-Sandusky

was the first to fall." On the 16th of May, Pauli, the command-

ing officer, was informed that some Indians were waiting at the

gate to speak to him. As several of the number were well known

to him he ordered them without hesitation to be admitted. Arriv-

ing at his headquarters, two of the treacherous visitors seated

themselves on either side of the commandant, while the rest were

disposed in various parts of the room. The pipes were lighted

and the conversation begun, when an Indian who stood in the

doorway suddenly made a signal by raising his head. Upon

this the astonished officer was instantly pounced upon and dis-

armed; while at the same moment a confused noise of shrieks

Vol. XVII - 25.

386 Ohio Arch

386      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


and yells, the firing of guns and the hurried tramp of feet sounded

from the area of the fort without. It soon ceased, however, and

Pauli, led by his captors from the room saw the parade ground

strewn with the corpses of his murdered garrison. At nightfall

he was conducted to the margin of the lake, where several birch

canoes lay in readiness, and as amid the thick darkness the party

pushed out from shore the captive saw the fort lately under his

command bursting into sheets of flame.*

Pauli was carried to Detroit, bound hand and foot and

solaced on the way with the expectation of being burned alive.

However on landing at the camp of Pontiac he was surrounded

by a crowd of Indians who pelted him with stones, sticks and

gravel forcing him to sing and dance. An old woman whose

husband had lately died chose to adopt him in place of the de-

ceased warrior. He was plunged into the river that the white

blood might be washed from his veins; conducted to the lodge

of the widow and treated henceforth with all the consideration

due to an Ottawa warrior. This forced match took place about

the 20th of May, and in July following a divorce occurred. One

evening a man was seen running toward the fort at Detroit,

closely pursued by Indians. On his arriving within gunshot they

gave over the chase and the fugitive came panting beneath the

walls, where a wicket was flung open to receive him. He proved

to be the commandant at Fort Sandusky who had seized the first

opportunity to escape from the embraces of the Ottawa widow.+

Meanwhile Pontiac himself was besieging Detroit, which

garrison heard through one La Brosse, a Canadian who came to

the gate, that Ft. Sandusky had been taken and all its garrison

slain or captured. Pauli had sent through one of the Canadian

inhabitants a report to Major Gladwin, commandant at Detroit,

giving a full account of the capture; and on July 6, proceedings

of a court of inquiry were held by Major Gladwin to ascertain

the manner of the taking of Fort Sandusky.

*"Conspiracy of Pontiac;" and MS official Documert Report of the

Loss of the Posts in the Indian country, inclosed in a letter from Major

Gladwin to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, July 8, 1763.

+ Taylor's Ohio.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            387


Lieutenant Cuyler with ninety-six men and twenty-three

batteaux laden with stores was on the way to the relief of De-

troit, along the northern shore of Lake Erie, when a band of

Wyandots was sent to intercept him, which they did, May 28,

at Point Pelee. Cuyler's boats had been beached and the party

prepared to encamp. They were surprised by the Indians and a

hot blaze of musketry took place from both sides. Then the

Indians charged and the soldiers fled panic-stricken to their boats.

Five were set afloat and pushed off. Cuyler seeing himself de-

serted waded up to his neck in the water and climbed into a boat.

One other beside him escaped,

and rowing all night the party of

thirty men reached Fort Sandusky,

which of course they found burned,

and proceeded thence to Niagara.

The tragedy at Fort Sandusky

did not long remain unavenged. On

the 26th of July, a detachment of 260

men under command of Captain Dal-

yell arrived at the ruins of the old

fort, on their coastwise route along

the southern shore of Lake Erie to the

relief of Detroit. Furious at the de-

vastation presented by the ruins of the

burned fort and the decomposing bodies of the garrison, Dalyell

decided to tarry a few days and inflict punishment of the per-

petrators of the deed. He marched inland to the Wyandot village

at the lower falls of the Sandusky (now Fremont), which he

burned to the ground, at the same time destroying the adjacent

fields of standing corn. This inadequate retribution voiced the

soldiers' hatred of savage treachery-the turning of the hither-

to friendly Wyandot against Pauli's little English force, just as

sixteen years earlier Nicolas and his Hurons had, near the same

place, turned against their whilom friends and associates, the


Dalyell then continued his journey northward and under

cover of night effected a junction with the Detroit garrison.

Dalyell had been the companion of Israel Putnam in some of the

388 Ohio Arch

388       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


most adventurous passages of that veteran's life, but more re-

cently had acted as aide-de-camp to Sir Jeffrey Amherst. On the

very day of his arrival he persuaded Gladwin to let him make a

night attack on Pontiac's forces, which resulted in his own death

and the loss of fifty-nine of his men at Bloody Run. Major

Robert Rogers, trained in frontier warfare, who succeeded to the

command, with his Rangers put the ambushed savages to flight;

while two batteaux from the fort came to his own relief and an

orderly retreat was made. This Indian victory restored the wan-

ing fortune of Pontiac and brought daily accessions to his forces.

In the spring of 1764 the frontiers were still alarmed by

savage incursions, and General Gage

who had succeeded General Amherst

in command of the British forces in

America resolved to send two expedi-

tions into the heart of the enemy's

country, to punish the Indians and re-

gain possession of the forts. Col.

Henry Bouquet, a Swiss officer who

had served for seven years in the

British army in America, was in com-

mand of the expedition marching into

the Ohio country from Ft. Pitt, while

the northern army commanded by

Col. Bradstreet, was to proceed to

Detroit via the lakes. Bradstreet set

out from Albany with the following force: 243 men of the 17th

Regiment; 98 of the 55th; 344 New York Battalion; 209 New

Jersey Battalion; 73 boatmen; total 1183. The Connecticut bat-

talion was under Israel Putnam, the future hero of Bunker Hill.

The chief engineer of the exposition was Lieut. John Montresor,

to whom we shall refer later. From Lake Ontario the army pro-

ceeded westward in two vessels, 75 whaleboats and numberless

canoes, stopping to found a fort at Erie and resting near the

ruins of old Fort Sandusky.

Bradstreet had been ordered by Gage to chastise the Indians

whenever they appeared in arms, but all hostile indications ceased

at his advance. On the 12th of August, near Presque isle (Erie)

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            389


a delegation of Indians met him purporting to represent several

tribes, promising that all prisoners should be delivered at Lower

Sandusky within twenty-five days, that all claims to the posts of

the English in the west were to be abandoned, and leave given to

erect as many forts and trading posts as should be necessary for

the security of the traders, with a grant of as much land around

each post as a cannon could throw a shot over; that if any Indian

killed an Englishman he should be delivered at Fort Pitt for

trial; and that if one tribe

violated the peace the others

would unite in punishing


The terms seemed hon-

orable, but there is reason

to believe that the tribes

had not authorized this del-

egation to speak for them.

Parkman insists that they

were only spies and that

Bradstreet was duped. Tay-

lor believes Parkman's

strictures  on  Bradstreet

too severe; but it is not

necessary to enter into that

discussion here. That the

Indians were sending one

delegation to him with

peace propositions at the

same time they were sending others to stir up the tribes to war is

shown from the journal of Capt. Thomas Morris, an English of-

ficer of the 17th Regiment, who was sent to visit the Indians

along the Maumee, Wabash and Indian Rivers, while Bradstreet

was at Detroit and Sandusky. His journal is in the State Paper

Office in London.+  For details of his thrilling trip -how he

met an Indian riding a superb white horse which Braddock had

ridden in his fatal expedition; and how an Indian chief traded

*Taylor's Ohio.

+Reprinted by Arthur Clark Co., Cleveland, 1904.

390 Ohio Arch

390      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Morris a copy of Shakespeare for some gunpowder - see Park-

man's Pontiac, vol. II. Morris wrote to Bradstreet, Sept. 18,

1764: "The villains have nipped our fairest hopes (of peace) in

the bud. I tremble for you at Sandusky; though I was greatly

pleased to find that you have one of the vessels with you and ar-

tillery. I wish the chiefs were assembled on board the vessel

and that she had a hole in her bottom."

Camping near the ruins of old Fort Sandusky, Bradstreet

spared the Wyandot villages, the Indians agreeing to make their

submission at Detroit, which

place was entered by his army

Aug. 26th. After arranging

matters there, Bradstreet left

seven companies of the 7th

Reg't., u n d e r Lieut.-Col.

Campbell, and returned to

Sandusky   Lake, Sept. 18,


We have already referred

to Lieut. John Montresor, the

engineer of Bradstreet's army,

whose journals first printed

in the New York Historical

collection for 1881 cast a new

light upon many of the most

important   occurrences               of

Bradstreet's expedition                and

the  old           French  and            In-

dian wars.      Montresor was,

like de Lery, the son of a famous engineer, the elder Montresor

having been ordered to America in 1757, where he planned and

built several fortifications about New York. His eldest son John

served as assistant engineer under his father at Gibraltar, and

was gazetted chief engineer under General Braddock in that

officer's American campaign.  He was wounded in that dis-

astrous engagement, July 9, 1755; was at the capitulation of

Quebec in 1760, and to his talent as an artist we are indebted for

an excellent likeness in profile of General Wolfe taken in camp

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   391

near Quebec. In 1763 he assisted in the relief of Major

Gladwin at Detroit when besieged by Pontiac's army, and in

1764 was engineer of Bradstreet's expedition.       Later he was

principal engineer during the occupation of Boston and New

York by the British troops, and in Dec., 1775, was made by

George III. "chief engineer in America."      He was present as

one of the managers of the celebrated ball "Mischianza" given

in Philadelphia by the British officers to Sir William   Howe on

the eve of his departure for England.      After the close of the

American Revolution Montresor returned to England where he

obtained the rank of Colonel, traveled extensively and died June

26, 1799. His portrait by Copley shows what a fine specimen of

manhood he was. His valuable journals contain many illuminat-

ing references to the period and the locality with which we are

concerned. I insert a considerable portion of this interesting



Sept. 7, 1764. Proposed by Col. Bradstreet that the army set out

for Sandusky in three days. Up that river (at the Lower Falls-Fre-

mont), was the rendezvous proposed where Col. B. should entrench till

the arrival there of the troops under command of Col. Bouquet.

Sept. 12. Received orders from Col. Bradstreet to make out a

small proportion for building a fort at Sandusky if the Indians on our

arrival there don't comply with the articles agreed to on Aug. 12.

13th. Arrived advice from Sandusky that the Indians to the num-

ber of 800 warriors had assembled there to oppose our troops from dis-

embarkation instead of ratifying the treaty.

14th. The whole embarked. Our present number of boats, 60 of

the Long Boats and one Barge. Put on board a proportion of intrench-

ing tools necessary for establishing a post at Sandusky if necessary.

15th. This morning we were met in a birch canoe by officers sent

to Sandusky who brought us account that they were not well treated

by some of that village, that the reason of their being so tardy in their

determination was owing to their having been promised by the Upper

Nations to make some stroke, that by what could be learned they pro-

pose assembling about 1,000 warriors to surprise us when in council

at Sandusky and to murder the whole, but they hoped forgiveness for

the ill advice of their sachems. -Two Indians seen on horseback. The

savages in these parts possess, including the Shawanese, about 6,000


17th. Accounts arrived that the Delawares and Shawanese are as-

sembled at Sandusky where the old Fort stood that the Indians burnt

392 Ohio Arch

392        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


last year, a bad place for the boats. The whole set sail and arrived at

Thistle Creek about one mile and three-quarters to the eastward of it,

but the water failing returned and encamped a half mile to the west-

ward of the old Fort. A good clay beach. Found at the old Fort the

officer of the 80th sent with provisions from Detroit.

19th. The channel of Sandusky was sounded and found sufficient

water for the vessels now on Lake Erie to enter. Arrived the sachem

Manitou and the great war chief of the Ottawas with twelve more young

warriors to attend the general council to be held there. Remark that

the water rises and falls upward of two feet perpendicular, the difference

between the winds blowing in and out of this lake.

20th. As the nations expected to ratify the treaty propose taking

the route of the upper village of the Hurons 60 miles from the first

rapids on the river of Sandusky, the whole embarked and proceeded and

encamped one mile below the rapids in order to meet them one day

sooner and also to be so much nearer to attack their villages on the

Ohio should they not comply with every article alluded to in the treaty

of peace. The country covered with Game. The land extremely rich,

interspersed near the borders of the Rivers and lake with large tracts

of meadow.   This camp very advantageously situated on the rising

ground and open woods as per draught. The most of this river from

the entrance to the rapids being about 18 miles is 5 fathoms water the

first six miles up meadow, the rest woods, are part with another 80

yards Broad. The evening and morning gun ordered to be fired, with

the camp duties as before. A considerable difference observed in the

climate becoming more moderate.

21. The quarter guards of the several battalions and detachments

defended by Fleches and Redoubts with 6 light field 6 pounders in the

intervals. The Indians from the neighboring village at the Rapids (Lower

Sandusky), which for the most part is abandoned this spring, brought

in the produce of their settlement chiefly consisting of melons, squashes

and Indian corn to traffic with the troops for salt, rum, etc. Arrived

an express from Miamis fort not being permitted to proceed any further

by the Miamis. The warriors in that river assembled 700 strong. When

he was at the fort, 15 Shawanese and Delawares arrived there with 14

belts to the several nations to carry on the war against the English as

well as themselves having vowed enmity to us as long as the sun would

shine, as per journal from Capt. Morris wherein is set forth the sev-

eral escapes he made of being scalped-A Council was held this night

between Col. Bradstreet and the chiefs of several nations now encamped

with us acquainting them with the above accounts. Desiring to hear their

sentiments with regard to them  tomorrow in Council. The Indians

counciled together the chief of the night. The schooner with materials,

etc., discovered at anchor near the entrance of Lake Sandusky. -Ar-

rived from the Upper Huron village of Sandusky, 60 miles from hence,

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   393


accounts that the chiefs of that nation were preparing to come down

and ratify the peace made with us.

22d. A Council held this afternoon between Col. Bradstreet and

several friendly Indian chiefs. The result that 3 Indians should be dis-

patched to see if the Delawares and Shawanese were on their Rout, if

they were to hasten them. On examining the provisions found sufficient

but for 20 days for the Troops. I went to the Huron village (Lower

Sandusky), and took sketch and bearings of that advantageous and

beautiful situation and the meanderings of the river. Remarked that

the left of our encampment is contiguous to the remains of an old Fort

where the Delawares and some of the Western Indians took post to

shelter themselves against the Iroquois near 100 years ago-this con-

structed in the form of a circle 300 yards in circumference, one-half

defended by the river and a remarkable hollow or gully which covers

the left and part of the front of our present encampment. The works

thrown up for the defence of the camp completed by the respective corps

that were to occupy them.

23d. No accounts arrived as yet from the chiefs of the Nations

expected. Orders for the Troops to receive 2 days provisions and to

cook it. The Gun to fire at four o'clock in the morning at which time

the tents are to be struck and the whole to embark and proceed at the

Beating of the General, a very necessary movement as affairs do not

wear the best appearance from the delay of our enemies who were to

assemble to fulfill and ratify the articles of the peace agreed on and for

near 12 miles of this river is one entire Defile. Arrived accounts that

the Schooner was drove back to la Petite Isle.

24th. The whole returned down the river. Entered the lake, or

rather the Bay of Sandusky and continued on it till we arrived three-

quarters of a mile above where the French Fort stood on the carrying

place between the Lakes Sandusky and Erie, where we encamped. A

working party set to work immediately in clearing the ground to con-

struct a fort on. Made the Design, marked out the work and began

on cutting the trenches and felling timber for Stockades, etc. - Rowed

this day to the present encampment Seven Leagues.

25th. This morning at daybreak a long boat was dispatched to

the Schooner with letters for Detroit where she is immediately to pro-

ceed after delivering into the boat the materials, etc., belonging to the

Engineers for carrying on the Fort. Arrived a canoe from    up the

River of Sandusky with advices that some of the Hurons of the Upper

Villages had arrived at the lower one and that some of the Delawares

and Shawanese had been there on their way to us, but that the courier

dispatched by the officer of the 80th had sent them back for their pris-

oners. Two Ottawa chiefs arrived in our camp on horseback from Les

Pariries des Mascoutins up the river Miamis, confirming the accounts

transmitted by the officer of the 17th to Col. Bradstreet, also that the

Miamis, Quicapous, Mascoutins, and Powtowwattomies of St. Joseph

had danced the war dance having ac-

cepted the Belts sent by the Delawares,

Shawanese and Senecas before the return

of the 2 Miamis chiefs that signed the ar-

ticles of peace made with Col. Bradstreet

at Detroit. -Arrived an express from

Gen. Gage to Col. Bradstreet by way of

Niagara by an officer of the 46th Regt.,

who took the side of Lake Erie and for-

tunately fell in with the Long Boat sent

to the vessel from this Camp. Contents

of that despatch from the Commander in

Chief. The Disapprobation of the Peace

concluded with the Delaware, Shawanese,

Savages of Scioto Plains and Hurons of

Sandusky, notwithstanding the Orders,

"make peace with those Savages who

should offer it," and that extraordinary

peace granted to the Senecas and that

branch of them called the Jennessee at

Niagara in August after that recent and

most barbarous stroke Sept., 1763, on the

Niagara Carrying Place - containing also

the absolute necessity of 12 of the Dela-

wares and Shawanese to be delivered up

to be put to death and advice of Col.

Bouquet being on his march against the

Ohio Indians by way of Fort Pitt which

he was to leave the 1st October.

26th. Working parties continue in con-

structing the Intended Fort. Early this

morning was dispatched two long boats

to the Lower Huron village (Lower San-

dusky), near our last encampment on the

River of Sandusky to immediately bring

our Indians we left there. This morning

about eleven o'clock I received orders to

discontinue the Works, the several parties

were dismissed accordingly.  Arrived a

birch canoe with Hurons informing us

that 40 warriors and chiefs exclusive of

women were on the opposite side of the

lake at an old village on the river Poisson

d'ontario; that they had brought some

prisoners down with them belonging to

their band. Provisions were ordered for

the whole and sent them, in the same


Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   395


27th. Four long boats sent off for the Hurons and prisoners to

the opposite side of the lake. Two long boats one of which a Gun Boat

detached to the Point of the Lake with a Captain of the 80th, two subal-

terns and 20 men to fire a gun in case any vessel arrives either from

Detroit or Fort Erie and to be answered from our encampment. The

two long boats sent up the Sandusky river to hasten the return of the

Indians arrived this morning and brought several in them. A Grand

Council held with the Indians at Headquarters. Returned the four boats

and brought 102 Wiandots and one prisoner (boy) who came all on


7th. By the behavior of the 6 Nations in general now with us I

sincerely apprehend them to be the greatest enemies to his Britain Ma-

jesty in North America.

Oct. 12. An armed long boat despatched for to receive the party

where the Old Fort stood expected in this day. Strength of our troops

present 1,400, beside 200 Indians.

14th. An Indian confirmed this day that what I before remarked

in this Journal with regard to the designs of the enemy who was present

when the plot was laid which was as follows: That on our arrival at

Sandusky, that 300 picked men should promiscuously join us in order

to treat with us at Sandusky, each armed with either tomahawk or

scalping knife, that they should encamp on our right and left according

to our usual custom of encamping Indians when with us--that they

were to dance every night, that 400 others armed with spears were to

be near at hand and when they should find us least on our guard they

were to tomahawk us, seconded by those without. Completed my plans

of the south side of Lake Erie as far as the mouth of the Lake of San-


Oct. 18. Whole decamped and embarked for Niagara.

Montresor mentions the orders received from Col. Brad-

street to take the necessary supplies to build a fort at the ruins

where old fort Sandoski stood and mentions the good clay beach

a half mile to the westward of the old fort where the Bradstreet

expedition encamped. On Sept. 20 he relates "that as the na-

tions expected to ratify the treaty, proposed taking the route of

the upper village of the Hurons, 60 miles from the first rapids

on the river of Sandusky, the whole (expedition in order to meet

them one day sooner at the Lower Falls of the Sandusky and also

to be so much nearer to attack their villages on the Ohio should

they fail to comply with every article alluded to in the treaty of

peace. This day's route 30 miles. * * * This camp very

advantageously situated on a rising ground and open woods as

396 Ohio Arch

396      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

per draft. The evening and morning gun ordered to be fired,

with the camp duties, etc., as before. Sept. 21. The Quarter

guards of the several battalions and detachments defended by

fleches and redoubts with six light field 6-pounders in the inter-

vals. On the 22d, Montresor writes: "I went to the Huron vil-

lage (destroyed by Captain Dalyell the previous year) and took

sketches and bearings of that advantageous and beautiful situa-

tion and the meanderings of the river. Remarked that the left of

our encampment is contiguous to the remains of an old fort

where the Delawares and some of the western Indians took shel-

ter themselves against the Iroquois near 100 years ago. This con-

struction in the form of a circle 300 yards in circumference,

one-half defended by the river, is a remarkable hollow way or

gully which covers the left and part of the front of our present


The above description by Montresor, of Bradstreet's camp

in the northern portion of the two mile square reservation form-

ing Fremont, is readily recognized. Bradstreet's army of 1,100

men with cannon was encamped on the high ground extending

from the present site of Fort Stephenson in a semi-circle around

the bluff to the present Sandusky County Fair Grounds, at

which latter point and as a protection to the left of his line

Israel Putnam constructed fleches and redoubts. Montresor's

description of the Indian ruins in the form of a circle refers

to the traditional story of the free or neutral city of the Indians

located at this point. One of their villages or forts is supposed

to have been on the east bank of the Sandusky above the falls

in the vicinity of what is known as the Blue Banks. Diagonally

opposite to it on the northwestern portion of the two-mile reser-

vation was the other free city, located as described by Montresor,

near the present fair grounds.  On the low land between

the encampment and the river was the course over which 20

years later the unfortunate white captives from the Ohio river

country were forced to run the gauntlet, so graphically described

by the Moravian missionary Heckewelder while he himself with

Zeisberger and the other missionaries was a prisoner here en

route to Detroit.

On the 24th of September, Colonel Bradstreet's command

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            397

returned down the Sandusky river to Sandusky

Bay "and continued on till we arrived 3/4 of a mile

above where the French fort (originally the Brit-

ish fort of 1745) stood on the carrying place be-

tween the lakes Sandusky and Erie where we en-

camped. A working party set to work imme-

diately in clearing the ground to construct a fort

on; made the design, marked out the work, and

began cutting the trenches and felling timbers for


Colonel Bradstreet was undoubtedly forced

to abandon his trip up the Sandusky river owing

to the depth of water required by his large bat-

teaux. But he had, nevertheless, taken his com-

mand into the very heart of the Indian countryand caused the

398 Ohio Arch

398       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Indians to sue for peace and agree to restore to the whites the

captives demanded by them as the necessary precursor of peace.

Thus it came to pass that Colonel Bouquet with his expedition

which scarcely reached the southern confines of the warlike

Wyandots at the head of the Muskingum river received the

surrender of the whites and all the glory in connection there-

with; while Colonel Bradstreet had the humiliation of having

all his treaties disapproved by the British commander-in-chief,

and actually returned in disgrace. Bradstreet was undoubtedly

so chagrined at the treatment by General Gage that he left

the Sandusky country hurriedly in a rage, even leaving some of

his men who were engaged in hunting. Three days later he

met with a serious disaster off the mouth of Rocky River from

which place his command returned to Albany after suffering

untold hardships.

Our next knowledge of Lower Sandusky comes from Cap-

tain Samuel Brady, the scout, whom Washington sent out for

information upon the movements of the Indians of this region.

He approached the village under cover of night, forded the river

and hid himself on the island, since known as Brady's Island,

just below the present State Street bridge. The next morning

he was an unsuspected witness at a horse race. A war party

had just arrived from Kentucky with some fine horses. They

were lined up along the west bank of the river. A    white

mare won race after race. Wearying of the monotony the In-

dians put two riders upon her. Still she came in victorious. A

third man was added, which load sufficed to defeat her, and

seemed to delight the spectators. Brady escaped that night and

reported to Washington that the Indians were engrossed with

other matters than war.

In 1778 Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were each led

captive through this village. Both fortunately escaped their In-

dian captors. Preceding and following the Revolutionary War

more Indian captives were brought to Lower Sandusky than to

any other place. The Moravian missionaries Heckewelder and

Zeisberger as prisoners were lodged in the houses of Arundel

and Robbins in the spring of 1781. The two English traders

Arundel and Robbins were settled at the Wyandot village at the

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.           399


foot of the lower rapids of the Sandusky river, Lower Sandusky

(now Fremont), which was recorded in Hutchin's map of 1764

as Junqueindundeh. Here they observed the ordeal of running

the gauntlet. Heckewelder in his History of the Indian Nations


"In the month of April, 1782, when I was myself a prisoner

at Lower Sandusky, waiting for an opportunity to proceed with a

trader to Detroit, three American prisoners were brought in by

fourteen warriors. As soon as they had crossed the river they

were told to run as hard as they could to a painted post which

was shown to them. The youngest of the three without a mo-

400 Ohio Arch

400      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


ment's hesitation immediately started for it, and reached it with-

out receiving a single blow; the second hesitated for a moment,

but recollecting himself he also ran as fast as he could and

likewise reached the post unhurt. The third, frightened at seeing

so many men, women and children with weapons in their hands

ready to strike him, kept begging the captain to spare him, saying

he was a mason and would build him a fine large house or do any

work for him.

"'Run for your life,' said the chief to him, 'and don't talk

now of building houses!' The captain turned his back upon him

and our mason now began to run, but received many a hard blow.

one of which nearly brought him to the ground, which if he had

fallen would have decided his fate. He how-

ever reached the goal sadly bruised, and

was beside bitterly reproached as a vile

coward while the others were hailed as

brave men and received tokens of universal


Heckewelder also relates how  Girty,

the white renegade, had ordered the Mora-

vian captives to be driven on foot to De-

troit "the same as if we were cattle, and

never make a halt for the purpose of the

women giving suck to their children; to

foot it every step of the way." The kindhearted Frenchman,

Levallie, who received Girty's order disobeyed it, however, sent a

runner to the commandant at Detroit representing the situation

of the large band of captives and got boats to take them from

Lower Sandusky down the Sandusky river and thence to Detroit.

The massacre of the Moravians in their villages on the Mus-

kingum, which occurred in 1782, falls outside the limits of this

sketch, as does Crawford's expedition and awful death at Upper

Sandusky in May, 1782. Crawford, though ten years the senior,

had learned surveying under Washington and had recently, in

his humble cabin on the banks of the Youghiogheny, been visited

by the commander-in-chief. Butler's Rangers were sent by De

Peyster, the British commandant at Detroit, to support the In-

dians against Crawford's advancing force of American volun-

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            401


teers. The Rangers were mounted and took two cannon and a

mortar. Their horses were sent around the lake by land, while

they with their arms and cannon took boat to Lower Sandusky,

where their horses met them for the advance. At the lower

village, too, were the traders who, at Crawford's approach, had

fled from Upper Sandusky.

In Western Reserve Historical Tract, No. 22, entitled Cleve-

land in the War of the Revolution, though the compiler is obliged

to acknowledge "that there is

no sign of occupancy at the

mouth of the Cuyahoga,"

nevertheless this Tract is of

intense interest to us as call-

ing attention to the fact that

the British had in 1782 "es-

tablished a post at Lower San-

dusky," and firmly establishes

the claim of Fremont to par-

ticipation in the events of the

American Revolution. The

letter is an order from the

commandant at Fort Pitt,

Brig. General William Irvine,

the intimate friend of Wash-

ington, to Major Isaac Craig,

and contains the definite state-

ment "that the British have

established a post at Lower Sandusky." It reads:

"FORT PITT, Nov. 11, 1782.

"SIR:-I have received intelligence through various channels, that

the British have established a post at Lower Sandusky; and also informa-

tion that it is suspected they intend erecting one either at Cuyahoga

Creek or Grand River, (Fairport). But as these accounts are not from

persons of military knowledge, nor to be fully relied upon in any par-

ticular, and I am anxious to have the facts well established; you will

therefore proceeded with Lieutenant Rose,* my aid-de-camp, and six active

* Lieut. Rose, it will be remembered, was sent by Gen. Irvine as his

representative with the ill-fated expedition of Col. Crawford against the

Vol. XVII- 26.

402 Ohio Arch

402        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


men, in order to reconnoiter these two places, particularly Cuyahoga. As

your party is so small you will use every precaution to avoid being dis-

covered, which service I expect you will be able to perform, as they

will probably be relaxed in discipline at this advanced season of the year.

When   you  have  reconnoitered

these posts (if any), you may try

to take a prisoner, provided it

can be done without much risk

of and losing any of your party;

which must be guarded against

at all events, as it is not your

business to come to action. My

reasons for allowing you so small

a party being to avoid discovery.

I know your zeal will excite you

to go to lengths perhaps even be-

yond your judgment in order to

effect the purposes of your ex-

cursion. But notwithstanding my

earnest desire to obtain accurate

accounts of the matter mentioned

herein, you will please keep in

view that I am extremely solici-

tous that every man may be

brought back safe, and that one

man falling into the hands of the

enemy may not only ruin your

whole present business but also

prevent future discovery. As it may be necessary for you to detach

or separate from Mr. Rose, it will be proper for you to give him a cer-

tified copy of this order.

I am sir your obedient humble servant,


"Major Craig."


In 1785 the masterful Brandt held a great council fire at

Sandusky villages in June, 1782. He was fortunate enough to escape

the clutches of the savages. He was by birth a Russian nobleman, Baron

Gustave Henri de Rosenthal. Having killed a fellow-nobleman in a duel

near the palace in St. Petersburg, he fled in disguise to America, where

the Revolution was in progress, and fought long and gallantly for Amer-

ican Independence, being the only Russian officer on the American side.

He was pardoned by Czar Alexander and in April, 1784, returned to

Russia, married an early love and was appointed Field Marshal of the

Province of Livonia.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            403

Lower Sandusky and here formed the league which six years

later defeated the American army under Arthur St. Clair. Within

a year after holding this council fire, Brandt visited London and

was feted and encouraged by all the British authorities in his

undertaking to drive the Americans south of the Ohio. St.

Clair's defeat was followed two years later by that of General

Harmar, and the Indians' onslaught continued unchecked till

Maj. General Wayne on Aug. 8, 1794, at the Battle of Fallen

Timbers, finally vanquished them with frightful slaughter.

The Wyandots were the bravest of the Indians. "With

other tribes, flight in battle was no disgrace and was sometimes

a part of their strategy.  With the

Wyandot, however, it was different.

In the battle of Fallen Timbers, in

which the strength of the confederate

tribes was broken by Mad Anthony

Wayne, but one survivor remained of

thirteen Chiefs of the Wyandot, and

he was found badly wounded," Tarhe

the Crane.  When General Wayne

was ready to start on what was his

victorious campaign from Greenville,

"he sent for Captain Wells, who com-

manded a company of scouts, and re-

quested him to capture an Indian from

Sandusky for the purpose of ob-

taining information. Wells, who spent his early life among the

Indians as a captive, was perfectly acquainted with their character

and answered that he could capture a prisoner, but not one from

Sandusky. 'Why not from Sandusky?' asked the General. 'Be-

cause there are only Wyandots at Sandusky,' he answered. 'Why

will not a Wyandot do?'   'A Wyandot will never be taken


General Wayne in a letter to Tarhe the famous Wyandot war-

rior of Lower Sandusky, who had been the first to espouse the

American cause after the defeat of the Indians at the Battle of

Fallen Timbers, wrote:

404 Ohio Arch

404       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


"To Tarhe and all the other Sachems and War Chiefs at Sandusky:

"Brothers:-You express some apprehension of injury from some

of the hostile tribes on account of the part you have lately taken. Your

father General Washington, the President of the fifteen Fires of America,

will take you under his protection and has ordered me to defend his

dutiful children from any injury that may be attempted against them on

account of their peaceable disposition towards the United States, and for

which purpose he will order a fort or fortification to be built at the foot

of the rapids of Sandusky on the reserved lands as soon as the season

and circumstances will permit.


"Major General and Commander in Chief of the Legion of the U. S.

Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the said United States for settling

a permanent peace with all the Indian Tribes and Nations northwest

of the Ohio.

"Greenville, 1st January, 1795.


Colonel Commanding.

"Endorsed In Lt. Governor Simcoe's No. 21 to the Duke of Port-


On the 25th November, 1808, the Indian tribes in a treaty

concluded at Brownstown, in the Territory of Michigan, ceded

to the United States a tract of land for a road of 120 feet in

width, from the foot of the rapids of the river Miami of Lake

Erie (now Ft. Meigs on the Maumee), through Lower Sandusky,

to the western line of the Connecticut Reserve (Bellevue), and

all the land within one mile of the said road on each side thereof;

and also a tract of land, for a road only, 120 feet in width, to run

southwardly from Lower Sandusky to the boundary line estab-

lished by the treaty of Greenville.

The former road known as the Western Reserve and Maumee

Pike was in course of time constructed and became especially

famous from having no ascertainable bottom when used by the

Ohio militia in the Michigan war. The road from Lower San-

dusky south was not constructed under the authority granted by

this treaty; but after the declaration of war with Great Britain,

June 18, 1812, Maj.-Gen. Wm. H. Harrison, commanding the

northwestern army, directed the laying out of a military road fol-

lowing the old French and Indian trail, known to historians

as the Sandusky-Scioto trail from Lake Erie, near old Fort San-

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.           405


dusky, thence down the west bank of the Sandusky and along the

Scioto to the Ohio. This trail from Lake Erie to the Ohio fol-

lowed the Sandusky-Scioto watercourse, which had but two land

portages: one the de Lery portage of two miles from the lake

at the mouth of Portage river to Sandusky bay near the mouth of

the Sandusky river; and the other the portage of less than four

miles from the headwaters of the Sandusky to that of the Scioto.

Capt. James Smith, one of the early white prisoners, was taken

over this watercourse and portage several times during his cap-

tivity, 1755-59.

The old French and Indian trail later became generally known

as the Harrison military trail of the war of 1812, and extended

from Gen. Harrison's headquarters at Franklinton, now Colum-

bus, the county seat of Franklin county, as well as the capital of

the state; from which point it extended through what have since

become the county seat towns of Delaware, Delaware county;

Marion, Marion county; to Ft. Ferree, 1813, now Upper San-

406 Ohio Arch

406       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

dusky, the county seat of Wyandot county; to Ft. Ball, 1813, now

Tiffin, the county seat of Seneca county; to Ft. Seneca, 1813, on

the Sandusky river, where General Harrison made his permanent

headquarters during the northwestern campaign. The military

road continued thence northwardly to Fort Stephenson, built in

1812, at Lower Sandusky, now Fremont, the county seat of San-

dusky county; and thence to the mouth of the Portage river on

Lake Erie, now Port Clinton, the county seat of Ottawa county,

near which are the ruins of old Fort Sandusky of 1745. From

Ft. Seneca a shorter military trail was cut directly through to

Fort Meigs, built in 1813.*  From Fort Stephenson at Lower

Sandusky, there was a trail much used by the military, extend-

ing from Fort Meigs to Fort Stephenson and on to the mouth

of the Huron river and to Cleveland; and also a trail, one

of the earliest in Ohio, from the old French fort, Junundat, built

in 1754, up the easterly bank of the Sandusky river, to the

Wyandot village of Junquindundeh, later Lower Sandusky and

now Fremont.

The suggestion has recently been made to preserve the old

French and Indian trail, later known as the Harrison military

trail of the War of 1812, from the State Capitol at Columbus,

to Lake Erie at Port Clinton and the Camp Perry rifle range of

the present day, as an automobile highway. Such a road would

not only be of great utility and pleasure to the automobilists of

the State, but would also preserve this historic military road made

so famous by General Harrison, and over which his soldiers of

the regular army, reinforced by the Ohio militia under Governor

Meigs and the Kentucky militia under Governor Shelby, marched

to victory, driving the British and their Indian allies forever

from Ohio soil. A section of the original Indian trail, over a

* On this route an enormous flat boulder was passed which was

named the Harrison rock because of the story that General Harrison

with the officers of his Staff used it as a mess table on his frequent trips

between Fort Seneca and Fort Meigs. Prof. G. F. Wright, president of

the Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society, visited the rock recently, and found it

to be 34 feet in circumference and approximately 10x13 feet face, weigh-

ing some 80 tons. It is of magnesian rock, syenite rather than granite, the

syenite of Egypt. It belongs to the Laurentian age, the oldest of the

world and came down from north of Lake Huron.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.              407

half mile in extent, is preserved through Spiegel Grove. In fact,

since the agitation for the preservation of this famous Indian trail,

that portion of it which extends through Spiegel Grove has been

offered to the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society to be

forever preserved. This gift ought to serve as an incentive to

the preservation and marking of the entire trail.

The gallant defence of Ft. Stephenson by Major George

Croghan, 17th U. S. Infantry, with but 160 men against 2,000

British and Indians under Proctor and Tecumseh, on the 1st and

2d of August, 1813, was followed by the immediate retreat of

Proctor's force of regulars on the ships of Captain Barclay's

fleet down the Sandusky river to Lake Erie, where on the 10th of

September Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry captured the entire

British fleet in the sanguinary battle of Lake Erie. General Har-

rison ordered his entire command to Ft. Stephenson at Lower

Sandusky and then marched down the left bank of the river to

old Ft. Sandusky and across the de Lery portage to Lake Erie

408 Ohio Arch

408      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


The American commander followed the example of the French

expeditions of earlier times and caused the vessels on which his

supplies had been brought down the Sandusky river from Ft.

Stephenson to be hauled across the famous de Lery portage from

old Ft. Sandusky to the mouth of the Portage river at Lake

Erie. He further caused the construction of a fence across this

peninsula by regiments of militia formed in column so as to

stretch across from the Sandusky to the Portage rivers. Within

the Marblehead peninsula thus enclosed, he turned loose the

several thousand horses of his command to be guarded by a small

force, while with the remainder of his command he embarked on

the victorious vessels of Commodore Perry's

fleet and started across Lake Erie, making tem-

porary stops on Put-in-Bay and West Sister

islands and then landing on the Canadian shore

opposite Detroit. From this point he marched

against Proctor and Tecumseh and utterly van-

quished them in the Battle of the Thames on

the 5th of October, 1813, Tecumseh himself

being among the slain. On returning from his

Canadian campaign most of his troops were

transported across Lake Erie by Perry's ships,

landing at what is now Port Clinton, gathering

up their horses and supplies, and taking up their march over the de

Lery portage and the old French and Indian trail back through

Ft. Stephenson to Ft. Seneca. Here many of the militia were

honorably discharged, and the victorious soldiers of Ohio and

Kentucky resumed their march over the old trail to the new

State Capital at Columbus.

It is an interesting fact that in the military expeditions of

the Indians, French, British and Americans, in the "Sandusky

country," the British alone used the present day entrance to the

Sandusky river, through Sandusky bay from Lake Erie. Brad-

street's expedition in 1764, in large, unwieldy batteaux carry-

ing twenty-seven men each, entered Sandusky bay and sailed up

Sandusky river as far as the lower falls of the Sandusky (now

Fremont), in his effort to make a juncture with the Bouquet ex-

pedition which started from Ft. Pitt. He was unable to get his

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.           409


cumbrous batteaux over the low falls and thus it happened that

he made his westernmost camp at this very point as previously

narrated. Again the British under Proctor in July, 1813, on the

ships of Captain Barclay's fleet, after making a feint against Ft.

Meigs at the lower rapids of the Maumee, sailed back to Lake

Erie, around to Sandusky bay and up the Sandusky river. For-

tunately for Major Croghan, Proctor mistook the wider mouth

of Muddy Creek for the true channel of the Sandusky, and

thereby lost a day. However, on the evening of July 31, Proc-

tor appeared around the bend

below Brady's island, of Revo-

lutionary war fame, near

which he anchored and disem-

barked his troops and ar-

tillery, preparatory to a bom-

bardment of Ft. Stephenson

as a preliminary to an assault.

Cannon and howitzers were

hauled up from the river and

fire opened on the devoted

garrison from the point now

known as the British Redoubt.

From this point the fort was

bombarded until the evening

of the 2d of August when the

final assault was made. After

the disastrous repulse which

followed, Proctor gathered up

his wounded, burying most of his dead on the banks of the San-

dusky, near the present W. & L. E. R. R. cut, and sailed down the

river to Lake Erie. He stopped, however, long enough to pillage

the Whitaker home and destroy the storehouse out of revenge for

the information alleged to have been given the Americans by Mrs.

Elizabeth Foulks Whitaker, wife of the first permanent white

settler in Ohio, as detailed later.

The French, and later the Americans, imitating the Indians,

employed frailer craft than did the British, and in their expedi-

tions to and from Detroit skirted the islands or hugged the

410 Ohio Arch

410        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


western shore of Lake Erie around to the mouth of the Portage

river; whence as heretofore shown, the Indians, the numerous

French expeditions under de Lery and others, and the Americans

as late as 1813, under General Harrison, used the land portage and

hauled their boats across to the mouth of the Sandusky. They

did this rather than risk their frail crafts in the stormy passage

of forty-five miles around the Marblehead peninsula and up the

Sandusky bay.

The best description extant of Major Croghan's defense of

Fort Stephenson and of General Harrison's expedition into Can-

ada is that contained in "A     History of the Late War in the

Western Country," by Robert B. McAfee, Lexington, Ky., a

rare and valuable volume.

"General Harrison had returned from Cleveland to Lower Sandusky

(July, 1813) several days before the arrival of the enemy, and received

at that place from the express the information that Camp Meigs was

again invested. He then immediately removed his headquarters to Seneca

town, about nine miles up the Sandusky river, where he constructed a

fortified camp, having left Major Croghan with 160 regulars in Fort

Stephenson and taken with him to Seneca about 140 more, under the

immediate command of Colonel Wells. A few days afterward he was

reinforced by the arrival of 300 regulars under Colonel Paul, and Colonel

Ball's corps of 150 dragoons, which made his whole force at that place

upwards of 600 strong. He was soon joined also by Generals McArthur

and Cass; and Colonel Owings with a regiment of 500 regulars from

Kentucky, was also advancing to the frontiers; but he did not arrive at

headquarters before the siege of Fort Meigs had been abandoned by the

enemy.   *   *    *

"The force which Proctor and Tecumseh brought against us in this

instance has been ascertained to have been about 5,000 strong. A greater

number of Indians were collected by them for this expedition than ever

were assembled in one body on any other occasion during the whole war.

"Having raised the siege of Camp Meigs, the British sailed round

into Sandusky bay, whilst a competent number of their savage allies

marched across through the swamps of Portage River, to co-operate in

a combined attack at Lower Sandusky, expecting no doubt that General

Harrison's attention would be chiefly directed to forts Winchester and

Meigs. The General however had calculated on their taking this course,

and had been careful to keep patrols down the bay, opposite the mouth

of Portage River, where he supposed their forces would debark.

"Several days before the British had invested Fort Meigs General

Harrison, with Major Croghan and some other officers, had examined the

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            411

4l2 Ohio Arch

4l2     Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


heights which surround Fort Stephenson; and as the hill on the opposite

or southeast side of the river, was found to be the most commanding

eminence, the General had some thoughts of removing the fort to that

place, and Major Croghan declared his readiness to undertake the work.

But the General did not authorize him to do it, as he believed that if

the enemy intended to invade our territory again, they would do it be-

fore the removal could be completed. It was then finally concluded, that

the fort which was calculated for a garrison of only two hundred men,

could not be defended against the heavy artillery of the enemy; and that

if the British should approach it by water, which would cause a pre-

sumption that they had brought their heavy artillery, the fort must be

abandoned and burned, provided a retreat could be effected with safety.

In the orders left with Major Croghan it was stated,-'Should the

British troops approach you in force with cannon, and you can discover

them in time to effect a retreat, you will do so immediately, destroy-

ing all the public stores. * * * You must be aware that the attempt

to retreat in the face of an Indian force would be vain. Against such

an enemy your garrison would be safe, however great the 'number.'"


On the evening of the 29th, Gen. Harrison received intelli-

gence by express from Gen. Clay, that the enemy had abandoned

the seige of Fort Meigs, and as the Indians on that day had

swarmed in the woods round his camp, he entertained no doubt

but an immediate attack was intended either on Sandusky or

Seneca. He therefore immediately called a council of war, con-

sisting of McArthur, Cass, Ball, Paul, Wood, Hukill, Holmes and

Graham, who were unanimously of the opinion that Fort Stephen-

son was untenable against heavy artillery, and that as the enemy

could bring with facility any quantity of battering cannon against

it, by which it must inevitably fall, and as it was an unimportant

post, containing nothing the loss of which would be felt by us,

that the garrison should therefore not be reinforced but with-

drawn and the place destroyed. In pursuance of this decision

the General immediately despatched the following order to Major



"Sir, immediately on receiving this letter, you will abandon Fort

Stephenson, set fire to it and repair with your command this night to

headquarters. Cross the river and come up on the opposite side. If

you should deem and find it impracticable to make good your march

to this place, take the road to Huron and pursue it with the utmost

circumspection and despatch."

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                 413


This order was sent by Mr. Conner and two Indians, who

lost their way in the dark and did not arrive at Fort Stephenson

before 11 o'clock the next day. When Major Croghan received

it, he could not then retreat with safety, as the Indians were hov-

ering round the fort in considerable force. He called a council

of his officers, a majority of whom coincided with him in opinion

that a retreat would be unsafe, and that the post could be main-

tained against the enemy at least until further instructions could

be received from headquarters. The major therefore immediately

returned the following answer:

"Sir, I have received yours of yesterday, 10 o'clock P. M., ordering

me to destroy this place and make good my retreat, which was received

too late to be carried into execution. We have determined to maintain

this place and by heavens we can."

In writing this note Major Croghan had a view to the prob-

ability of its falling into the hands of the enemy, and on that

account made use of a stronger language than would otherwise

have been consistent with propriety. It reached the General on

the same day, who did not fully understand the circumstances

and motives under which it had been dictated. The following

order was therefore immediately prepared, and sent with Colonel

Wells in the morning, escorted by Colonel Ball with his corps of


"JULY 30, 1813.

"SIR. - The General has received your letter of this date, informing

him that you had thought proper to disobey the order issued from this

office, and delivered to you this morning. It appears that the informa-

tion which dictated the order was incorrect; and as you did not receive

it in the night as was expected, it might have been proper that you should

have reported the circumstance and your situation, before you proceeded

to its execution. This might have been passed over, but I am directed

to say to you, that an officer who presumes to aver that he has made

his resolution and that he will act in direct opposition to the orders

of his General can no longer be entrusted with a separate command.

Colonel Wells is sent to relieve you. You will deliver the command to

him and repair with Col. Ball's squadron to this place. By command

etc.; A. H. Holmes, Asst. Adj. General."

The squadron of dragoons on this trip met with a party of

Indians near Lower Sandusky and killed 11 out of 12. The In-

414 Ohio Arch

414      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

dians had formed an ambush and fired on the advance guard con-

sisting of a sergeant and five privates. Upon seeing the squadron

approach they fled, but were pursued and soon overtaken by the

front squad of Captain Hopkins's troop. The greater part of

them were cut down by Colonel Ball and Captain Hopkins with

his subalterns, whose horses being the fleetest overtook them first.

The loss on our part was two privates wounded and two horses


Colonel Wells being left in the command of Fort Stephen-

son, Major Croghan returned with the squadron to headquarters.

He there explained his motives for writing such a note, which

were deemed satisfactory and having remained all night with the

General who treated him politely, he was permitted to return to

his command in the morning with written orders similar to those

he had received before.

A reconnoitering party which had been sent from headquart-

ers to the shore of the lake, about 20 miles distant from Fort

Stephenson, discovered the approach of the enemy by water on

the evening of the 31st of July. They returned by the fort, after

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.             415


12 o'clock the next day, and had passed it but a few hours when

the enemy made their appearance before it. The Indians showed

themselves first on the hill over the river, and were saluted by a

6-pounder, the only piece of artillery in the fort, which soon

caused them to retire. In half an hour the British gunboats came

into sight; and the Indian forces displayed themselves in every

direction, with a view to intercept the garrison should a retreat

be attempted. The 6-pounder was fired a few times at the gun-

boats, which was returned by the artillery of the enemy. A land-

ing of their troops with a 51/2 inch howitzer was effected about a

mile below the fort; and Major Chambers accompanied by Dick-

son was despatched towards the fort with a flag, and was met on

the part of Major Croghan by Ensign Shipp of the 17th Regi-

ment. After the usual ceremonies Major Chambers observed to

Ensign Shipp, that he was instructed by Gen. Proctor to demand

the surrender of the fort, as he was anxious to spare the effusion

of human blood, which he could not do, should he be under the

necessity of reducing it by the powerful force of artillery, regu-

lars and Indians under his command. Shipp replied that the com-

mandant of the fort and its garrison were determined to defend

it to the last extremity, that no force however great could induce

them to surrender, as they were resolved to maintain their post

or to bury themselves in its ruins. Dickson then said that their

immense body of Indians could not be restrained from massacring

the whole garrison in case of success - of which we have no

doubt, rejoined Chambers, as we are amply prepared. Dickson

then proceeded to remark that it was a pity so fine a young man

should fall into the hands of the savages - sir, for God's sake

surrender, and prevent the dreadful massacre that will be caused

by your resistance. Mr. Shipp replied that when the fort was

taken there would be none to massacre. It will not be given up

while a man is able to resist. An Indian at this moment came out

of an adjoining ravine and advancing to the Ensign took hold of

his sword and attempted to wrest it from him. Dickson inter-

fered, and having restrained the Indian, affected great anxiety

to get him safe into the fort.

The enemy now opened their fire from their 6-pounders in

the gunboats and the howitzer on shore, which they continued

416 Ohio Arch

416      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


through the night with but little intermission and with very little

effect. The forces of the enemy consisted of about 500 regulars,

and about 800 Indians commanded by Dickson, the whole being

commanded by Gen. Proctor in person. Tecumseh was stationed

on the road to Fort Meigs with a body of 2,000 Indians, expecting

to intercept a reinforcement on that route.

Major Croghan through the evening occasionally fired his 6-

pounder, at the same time changing its place occasionally to induce

a belief that he had more than one piece. As it produced very little

execution on the enemy, and he was desirous of saving his ammu-

nition, he soon discontinued his fire. The enemy had directed

their fire against the north-

western angle of the fort

which induced the command-

ant to believe that an attempt

to storm his works would be

made at that point. In the

night Captain Hunter was di-

rected to remove the 6-pound-

er to a blockhouse from which

it would rake that angle. By

great industry and personal

exertion, Captain Hunter soon

accomplished this object in secrecy. The embrasure was masked,

and the piece loaded with a half charge of powder and double

charge of slugs and grape shot.

Early in the morning of the second, the enemy opened their

fire from their howitzer, and three 6-pounders which they had

landed in the night, and planted in a point of woods about 250

yards from the fort. In the evening, about 4 o'clock, they concen-

trated the fire of all their guns on the northwest angle which con-

vinced Major Croghan that they would endeavor to make a breach

and storm the works at that point; he therefore immediately had

that place strengthened as much as possible with bags of flour and

sand, which were so effectual that the picketing in that place

sustained no material injury. Sergeant Weaver with five or six

gentlemen of the Petersburg Volunteers and Pittsburgh Blues,

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            417


who happened to be in the fort, was entrusted with the manage-

ment of the 6-pounder.

Late in the evening when the smoke of the firing had com-

pletely enveloped the fort, the enemy proceeded to make the as-

sault. Two feints were made toward the southern angle, where

Captain Hunter's lines were formed; and at the same time a col-

umn of 350 men was discovered advancing through the smoke,

within 20 paces of the northwestern angle. A heavy galling fire

of musketry was now opened upon them from the fort which

threw them into confusion. Colonel Shortt, who headed the prin-

cipal column soon rallied his men and led them with great bravery

to the brink of the ditch. After a momentary pause he leaped

into the ditch, calling to his men to follow him, and in a few

minutes it was full. The masked porthole was now opened, and

the 6-pounder, at a distance of 30 feet, poured such destruction

upon them that but few who had entered the ditch were fortunate

Vol. XVII -27.

418 Ohio Arch

418      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


enough to escape. A precipitate and confused retreat was the

immediate consequence, although some of the officers attempted

to rally their men. The other column which was led by Colonel

Warburton and Major Chambers, was also routed in confusion

by a destructive fire from the line commanded by Captain Hunter.

The whole of them fled into the adjoining wood, beyond the

reach of our small arms. During the assault, which lasted half

an hour, the enemy kept up an incessant fire from their howitzer

and five 6-pounders. They left Colonel Shortt, a lieutenant and

25 privates dead in the ditch; and the total number of prisoners

taken was 26, most of them badly wounded. Major Muir was

knocked down in the ditch, and lay among the dead, till the dark-

ness of the night enabled him to escape in safety. The loss of

the garrison was one killed and 7 slightly wounded. The total

loss of the enemy could not be less than 150 killed and wounded.

When night came on, which was soon after the assault, the

wounded in the ditch were in a desperate situation. Complete

relief could not be brought to them by either side with any degree

of safety. Major Croghan however relieved them as much as

possible - he contrived to convey them water over the picketing

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            419


in buckets, and a ditch was opened under the pickets through

which those who were able and willing were encouraged to crawl

into the fort. All who were able preferred of course to follow

their defeated comrades, and many others were carried from the

vicinity of the fort by the Indians, particularly their own killed

and wounded; and in the night about 3 o'clock the whole British

and Indian force commenced a disorderly retreat. So great was

their precipitation, that they left a sail boat containing some

clothing and a considerable quantity of military stores; and on

the next day 70 stand of arms and some braces of pistols were

picked up around the fort. Their hurry and confusion was caused

by the apprehension of an attack from Gen. Harrison, of whose

position and force they had probably received an exaggerated




The enemy have been since last evening, before Lower Sandusky,

and are battering it with all their might. Come on, my friend, as quickly

as possible, that we may relieve the brave fellows who are defending it.

I had ordered it to be abandoned. The order was not obeyed. I know

it will be defended to the last extremity; for earth does not hold a set

of finer fellows than Croghan and his officers. I shall expect you to-

morrow certainly.                 Yours, etc.,


[Governor Shelby.]

420 Ohio Arch

420        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.



"You will find arms at Upper Sandusky; also a considerable quan-

tity at Lower Sandusky. I set out from this place in an hour. Our fleet

has beyond all doubt met that of the enemy. The day before yesterday

an incessant and tremendous cannonading was heard in the direction

of Malden by a detachment of troops coming from  Fort Meigs. It

lasted two hours. I am all anxiety for the result. There will be no

occasion for your halting here. Lower Sandusky affords fine grazing.

With respect to a station for your horses, there is the best in the world

immediately at the place of embarkation. The Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie,

and Portage river form between them a peninsula, the isthmus of which

is only a mile and a half across. A fence of that length, and a sufficient

guard left there, would make all the horses of the army safe. It would

enclose fifty or sixty thousand acres, in which are many cultivated fields,

which have been abandoned and are now grown up with the finest grass.

Your sick had better be left at Upper Sandusky or here.



Within half an hour after the above letter was written, the

general received the following laconic note from the commodore.

by express from Lower Sandusky:



September 10, 1813.

"DEAR GENERAL-We have met the enemy and they are ours-

two ships, two brigs, one schooner and a sloop.

"Yours with great respect and esteem,



The exhilarating news set Lower Sandusky and camp Seneca

in an uproar of tumultuous joy.    The general immediately pro-

ceeded to the former place, and issued his orders, for the move-

ment of the troops, and transportation of the provisions, military

stores, etc., to the margin of the lake, preparatory to their em-


In bringing down the military stores and provisions from

the posts on the Sandusky river, to the vessels in the lake, a short

land carriage became necessary to expedite the embarkation.

The peninsula formed by the Sandusky Bay on the right and by

the Portage river and Lake Erie on the left, extending between

fifteen and twenty miles from the anchorage of the shipping in

the mouth of the Portage; at which place the isthmus on which

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.            421

the army was encamped was less than two miles across from one

river to the other. The boats in going round the peninsula to

the shipping, would have to travel upward of forty miles, and to

be exposed to the dangers of the lake navigation. It was there-

fore deemed the most safe and expeditious to transport the stores

and drag the boats across the isthmus, which was accomplished

between the 15th and 20th of the month, whilst the army was

detained in making other necessary arrangements.

The Kentucky troops were encamped across the narrowest

part of the isthmus, above the place of embarkation; and each

regiment was ordered to construct a strong fence of brush and

fallen timber in front of its encampment, which extended when

finished, from Portage River to Sandusky River. Within this en-

closure their horses were turned loose to graze on ample pastures

of excellent grass. The preparations for the expedition being

nearly completed, it became necessary to detail a guard to be left

for the protection of the horses. The commandants of regiments

were ordered by the governor to detach one-twentieth part of their

commands for this service; and Colonel Christopher Rife was

designated as their commander. In furnishing the men, many

of the colonels had to resort to a draft, as volunteers to stay on

this side the lake could not be obtained.

On the 20th, Gen. Harrison embarked with the regular troops

under Generals McArthur and Cass, and arrived the same day

at Put-in-Bay in Bass Island, and about 10 miles distant from

the point of embarkation. Next morning the governor (Shelby)

sailed with a part of his troops, having ordered Major General

Desha to remain at Portage and bring up the rear, which he per-

formed with great alacrity and vigilance. On that and the suc-

ceeding day all the militia arrived at Bass Island. Colonel Rife

was left in command at Portage, with Doctor Maguffin as his

surgeon. The whole army remained on Bass Island on the 24th,

waiting for the arrival of all necessary stores and provisions at

that place.

On the 25th, the whole army moved to the Middle Sister, a

small island containing about five or six acres of ground, which

was now crowded with men, having about 4,500 upon it. Whilst

the transport vessels were bringing up the military stores and

422 Ohio Arch

422       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

provisions on the 26th, Gen. Harrison sailed with Commodore

Perry in the Ariel to reconnoitre off Maiden, and ascertain a suit-

able point on the lake shore for the debarkation of his troops.

On Monday the 27th, the whole army was embarked early in

the day, and set sail from the Middle Sister for the Canada shore,

Gen. Harrison having previously circulated a general order among

the troops in which he exhorted them to remember the fame of

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.           423


their ancestors and the justice of the cause in which they were


Soon after the British force had surrendered and it was

discovered that the Indians were yielding on the left, Gen Har-

rison ordered Major Payne to pursue Gen. Proctor with a part

of his battalion. * * * But Proctor was not to be taken.

His guilty conscience had told him that his only chance for safety

from the vengeance of those whose countrymen he had murdered

lay in the celerity of his flight. The pursuers, however, at last

pressed him so closely that he was obliged to abandon the road,

and his carriage and sword were captured by the gallant Major

Wood. Six pieces of brass artillery were taken, three of which

had been captured in the Revolution at Saratoga and York, and

surrendered again by Hull in Detroit.


Lieut-Colonel Eleazer Wood was one of the first graduates

of the military academy at West Point, 1806, and was a dis-

424 Ohio Arch

424       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


tinguished engineer. In 1812 he built the fort at Lower San-

dusky, which was later named after Col. Stephenson, and was so

gallantly defended by Major George Croghan on the 2d of

August, 1813. He was also the engineer who planned Fort Meigs

in 1813, and participated most gallantly in its siege and also in

the Battle of the Thames. He was killed September 17, 1814.

Proctor's carriage, captured by Major Wood, was brought

to Lower Sandusky, and for many years was shown upon all

public occasions as one of the trophies of the war, second in

interest only to "Old Betsy."

One of the "six pieces of brass artillery" referred to above,

is now one of the most cherished relics in the museum on Fort

Stephenson. It is a handsome brass piece, evidently a French

gun originally, as it has near its muzzle the royal cipher of King

Louis of France. It was presented to King George of England,

or was captured by him, and has the monogram G. R., with the

crown, near its base. It was captured from the British under

Burgoyne at Saratoga, and in common with other trophies was

elaborately inscribed, as captured by Benedict Arnold:









October 7, 1777.



After Benedict Arnold turned traitor at West Point, his

name was carefully erased from all trophies. This gun was one

of the number so ignominously surrendered at Detroit by Gen.

Hull, August 16, 1812, to the British Major General Brock. After

being captured for the second time from the British under Proctor,

by the Americans under Gen. Harrison at the Battle of the

Thames, October 5, 1813, it was retired from active service and

has now for more than twenty-five years been an object of the

greatest interest in the museum on the site of old Fort Stephenson.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.             425


The first permanent white settlers in Ohio were James

Whitaker and Elizabeth Foulks, who were captured in western

Pennsylvania in 1774 and 1776 respectively, by the Wyandot

Indians, by whom they were adopted and taken to Lower San-

dusky, now Fremont, Ohio, where they were brought together

as adopted members of the Wyandot tribe. They were married

in Detroit, in 1781, and returned to a tract of land which had

been given to them by the Wyandots on the Sandusky River,

three miles below the lower rapids known as Lower Sandusky.

Here they lived and raised a family of eight children. One

of their grandchildren and several great grandchildren are resi-

dents of Fremont and vicinity.

James Whitaker, who became an Indian trader, died in 1804,

at Upper Sandusky, where he had a store; but his remains were

brought to his home established in 1781, where he was buried on

a tract originally given him as a wedding gift by the Indians,

which tract, containing 1280 acres, was set aside to his widow

by the treaty made at Fort Industry, September 29, 1817. His

tombstone was brought from the old Whitaker farm and placed

in Birchard Library, just one hundred years after its erection

over his grave. It bears the following inscription:








DEC. 17, 1804

In the 48th year of his age.*



The Whitaker Reserve is of especial interest to the Daugh-

ters of the American Revolution owing to the fact that Major

Nathan Goodale, one of the most gallant officers of the Revolu-

tionary army, who emigrated to Marietta with the Ohio Company

was buried there. Major Goodale was a native of Brookfield,

* For a full account of James Whitaker and his family, see Ohio.

Arch. & Hist. So. Quarterly, January, 1907.

426 Ohio Arch

426       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Mass., but joined the Ohio Company in 1788. He removed to

Belpre, near Marietta, in 1789, where he was captured March

1, 1793, while working on his farm within fifty rods of the garri-

son, by eight Wyandot Indians, who hurried him off toward

Detroit, in order to secure a large ransom. While en route, near

Lower Sandusky, he fell ill and could not travel. The Whitakers

learning of his condition took him to their home, where Mrs.

Whitaker carefully nursed him until he finally died and was prob-

ably buried in what afterward became the Whitaker family grave-

yard. Mrs. Whitaker said that "the Indians left him at her

house where he died of a disease like pleurisy without having re-

ceived any very ill usage from his captors other than the means

necessary to prevent his escape."


On "Croghan Day," 1885, the Sandusky County Soldiers'

Monument in Fort Stephenson Park, Fremont, Ohio, was un-

veiled, with Gen. Rutherford B. Hayes, late President of the

United States, as presiding officer. Before presenting the speak-

ers of the day, he read numerous letters of regret, among which

was one from Gen. W. T. Sherman, which contained the follow-

ing interesting statement as to the importance of the victory

gained by Croghan:

"The defense of Fort Stephenson, by Croghan and his gallant little

band, was the necessary precursor to Perry's victory on the Lake, and

of General Harrison's triumphant victory at the battle of the Thames.

These assured to our immediate ancestors the mastery of the Great

West, and from that day to this the west has been the bulwark of this


"The occasion is worthy a monument to the skies, and nothing

could be more congenial to me personally than to assist, but, as I hope

I have demonstrated, it is impossible."


On "Croghan Day," 1906, the remains of Colonel Croghan

were reinterred at the base of the Soldiers' Monument. The

grave was covered with a large block of Quincy granite bearing

this inscription:

George Croghan

Major 17th U. S. Infantry,

Defender of Fort Stephenson.

August 1st and 2d, 1813.

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.                   427


Born Locust Grove, Ky., Nov. 15, 1791.

Died New Orleans, La., Jan. 8, 1849,

Colonel Inspector General

United States Army.

Remains removed from

Croghan Family Burying Ground,

Locust Grove, Ky.,

August 2, 1906.


Two cannon and a commemorative tablet mark the spot from

which the British cannon bombarded Fort Stephenson.

The tablet reads as follows:

Near this spot

British cannon from Commodore Barclay's fleet bombarded

Major Croghan in Fort Stephenson August 1, and 2, 1813.

General Proctor attempted to capture the fort by assault with

his Wellington veterans, assisted by Indians under Tecumseh.

Major Croghan with only 160 men and one cannon

"Old Betsy," repulsed the assault.

The British retreated to their ships with many killed and wounded,

but leaving Lt. Col. Shortt, Lieut. Gordon

and 25 soldiers of the 41st regiment dead in the ditch.

Commodore Barclay was wounded and with his entire fleet including

the cannon used against Fort Stephenson was captured by

Commodore Perry at the battle of Lake Erie, Sept. 10, 1813.

General Proctor, with his British regulars, was defeated and

Tecumseh with many of his Indians, was killed by

General Harrison at the battle of the Thames, Oct. 5, 1813.

Major Croghan was awarded a gold medal and each

of his officers a sword by the Congress of the United States

for gallantry in the defense of Fort Stephenson.

Erected by the George Croghan Chapter, D. A. R.


A pretty little scene links that battle of nearly a century ago

with our own present. A group of distinguished visitors one day

entered the Blue Room of the White House, at Washington, un-

announced, during the administration of President Hayes, and

were surprised to find the beautiful mistress of the house sitting

on the floor, needle and thread in hand, while before her half

reclining on the central divan, sat an old soldier in the uniform

of an ordnance sergeant of the United States Army.

The callers, who were Sir Edward Thornton, the British

428 Ohio Arch

428       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Minister, with some English friends, were about to retire, when

the lady looked up from her work, saw them, and laughingly

called them to stay. She rose from the floor, shook hands warmly

with the old soldier, and assuring him that his uniform was now

perfect, handed him over to the care of her son.

The lady was our own Mrs. Lucy Webb Hayes, and the old

soldier was Ordnance Sergeant William Gaines, U. S. Army, re-

tired, the last survivor of the gallant defenders of Fort Stephen-

son, who, after an active service of over 51 years, had become an

inmate of the Soldiers' Home in Washington as a reward for his

long service in the regular army. A full dress uniform for an

ordnance sergeant was purchased and ordered sent to the White

House, so that a photograph in uniform could be taken of the old

soldier. To his great distress he discovered that the sergeant's

stripes, indicative of his rank, had not been attached to the seam

of his trousers, but had been sent loose to be used at the wearer's


Mrs. Hayes, who had come down to greet him in the Blue

Room, learning the cause of his distress, at once sent for needle

and thread, saying she would herself stitch them on. She was

just finishing the task, sitting on the floor with the old soldier

standing before her, when the British Minister and his guests

entered, and caught the charming picture to carry away to their

English home.

The great love which Mrs. Hayes bore for the Amer-

ican soldier was one of the characteristics of her life. The

beautiful young wife and mother of but thirty years, was "the

mother of the regiment" to her husband's old regiment, the 23d

Ohio Infantry, from the breaking out of the war until the day of

her death, nearly 30 years later, when the survivors acted as a

guard of honor at her funeral in Spiegel Grove. Her sympa-

thetic care for the wounded was commemorated in the oil paint-

ing placed in the Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Xenia, and typified

her devoted service in the hospitals after the bloody Antietam

campaign in which her own husband was so severely wounded.

I feel sure that a principal pleasure of your conference so-

journ in Fremont is the picture you will carry away of the beauti-

ful home at Spiegel Grove, the home of our loved and honored

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745

Old Fort Sandoski of 1745.             429


citizens, Rutherford Birchard Hayes and Lucy Webb Hayes. The

hospitality of the Hayes home is proverbial, and many distin-

guished persons have shared it before you. Many of these are

recalled to the visitor by the giant oaks, the graceful elm, the

beautiful maple and the sturdy hickory, which bear the names of

the more prominent of General Hayes' comrades in arms, or in

the executive office in Washington, who have been visitors at

this beautiful home. Almost every object in it is historic or stor-

ied. Its library of Americana is one of the finest extant. The

grove in which it stands is a primeval forest, full of legends of

the Indians and their captives, and frontiersmen and soldiers of

the early wars. The noble old mansion and its grounds will,

we hope, long remain as a typical American home of the latter

half of the 19th century, and as a lasting memorial to our most

honored citizens.




The patriotic city of Fremont, at the request of the local

Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, has placed

an historical tablet at the station of each of the steam railroads

passing through that historic city. While few if any cities in

Ohio can present so historically interesting a Tablet, yet the cus-

tom is well worth following. The Tablet reads:



County Seat of Sandusky County, Ohio

The JUNQUINDUNDEH of the Indians, and

the LOWER SANDUSKY of the Revolutionary War and the

War of 1812.

An old NEUTRAL TOWN of the ERIES used as a refuge on

the destruction of the HURON Confederacy by the IROQUOIS in 1650.

Westermost point reached by the BRITISH and COLONIAL

TROOPS from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under ISRAEL

PUTNAM in BRADSTREET'S Expedition against Pontiac in 1764.

A BRITISH POST established here during the REVOLUTION-


430 Ohio Arch

430        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.



WELDER and ZEISBERGER, and over 1000 whites held here as

PRISONERS by the Indians.

FORT STEPHENSON built in 1812, and gallantly defended by

Major GEORGE CROGHAN, 17th U. S. Infantry, with 160 men,

against 2000 British and Indians under PROCTOR and TECUMSEH,

Aug. 1st and 2d, 1813.


19th President of the United States.