Ohio History Journal





It will always seem strange that the Indian tribes erected

no monuments of an enduring character to mark the last resting

place of their dead; especially so, as they had constantly before

them the example of the burial mounds of the race that pre-

ceded them in the occupancy of the country, as well as the later

example of the white race, whose custom of marking the graves

of their dead was familiar to them. It is doubtful if the graves

of even a score of their most noted chiefs or warriors could

now be certainly determined. Even the exact burial spot of

that great and wise Chief Crane (Tarhe), who was long the grand

sachem of the Wyandot tribe, cannot now be definitely fixed,

although his death occurred as late as the year 1818, at Crane

Town, in Wyandot county, Ohio, and his burial was witnessed

by many hundreds of Indians of many tribes and by many white

men. The grave of Chief Leatherlips would not now be known

had it not been marked by a white man who witnessed his ex-

ecution and burial.

Many chiefs have obtained a permanent place in the history

of the country and have thus enduring monuments, but even

such noted chiefs as Pontiac, Tecumseh, Crane, Logan, Solomon,

Black Hoof, Little Turtle, Blue Jacket and many others, who

were conspicuously active in the early settlement of Ohio, and

most of them buried in Ohio soil, are all monumentless and their

burial places are now unknown.

At all periods of the history of the contact, and too often

conflict, between the white and red races since the landing of the

Pilgrims, there appeared great and worthy red men, actuated

by high purposes, whose lives and characters were illustrated

and made notable by magnanimous and noble deeds. Instances

of this kind fill all our history, not only as to chiefs and warriors,

but as to many of the Indian women. It has long been the

pride of many Virginia families to boast that the blood of Po-

Vol. IX-l.

2 Ohio Arch

2          Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


cahontas coursed through their veins. This is the most noted

instance of that kind, but many other Indian women are known

to have performed equally noble and worthy deeds as those

accredited to Pocahontas, which were followed by great and

lasting results for the good of humanity and civilization.

The great conspiracy of Pontiac in 1763, which was no less

comprehensive in its scope than the complete extermination of

the white settlers and the white race in the entire northwest

territory, was defeated by an Indian woman, who revealed the

secret plans of Pontiac to Major Gladwyn, who was then in

command of the fort at what is now the City of Detroit. Pontiac's

plan was to obtain entrance to the fort for himself and a large

number of warriors with concealed weapons under the pre-

tense of a friendly conference and then massacre the officers

and soldiers of the garrison. This fort was the key to the

situation, and had it fallen, as eight of the twelve forts attacked

did fall, it is far more than probable that the dreadful purposes

of Pontiac would have, at least in a great measure, succeeded,

and would have worked great and permanent changes in the

history of the settlement of all the territory of the great north-

west. These are but single instances of Indian heroineism,

which might be indefinitely extended; but this is not our pur-

pose at present. Our present purpose is simply to call attention

to the singular fact that the white race has almost entirely failed

of effort to preserve or commemorate the names or mark the rest-

ing places of even the most noted and illustrious of the Indian

race; although as to many of them the white man is under the

highest and most sacred obligations. We have possessed ourselves

of the vast continent which they once occupied and have practically

extinguished the race, and yet have made comparatively no effort

to perpetuate their history, or place monuments to the memory

of even their greatest chiefs. The names of their warriors have

fallen into our history as necessary part of the narrative, with

little or no purpose to perpetuate their fame or celebrate their

virtues. We erect all kinds of monuments to our real, and too

often our imaginary, heroes, but there has been almost an entire

neglect and failure of intentional purpose to recognize the worth

and character of the heroes of the red race by our people. That

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.    3


such a man as Chief Crane (Tarhe) should be without a suitable

monument seems almost incredible, in view of his long honorable

and useful life and his many virtues, and especially his great

services to both races for their good. I have seen and talked

with several persons who knew Chief Crane in his lifetime, and

all testify to his high and honorable character, as well as to his

great common sense and goodness of heart. General William

Henry Harrison, who had the widest and most accurate acquaint-

ance with, and knowledge of, the Indians of the northwest

territory of any man of his time, gives his high endorsement

as to the honor and worth of this great and good chief, with

whom he was intimately acquainted. In his report made to the

Secretary of War, March 22, 1814, he says:

"The Wyandots of Sandusky have adhered to us throughout

the war. Their chief, the Crane, is a venerable, intelligent and

upright man."

At another time, while speaking highly of several important

chiefs with whom he had been largely in contact, he designated

Chief Crane as "the noblest of them all."

Mr. Walker, a half-blood Wyandot and a well educated and

intelligent man, who was born at Upper Sandusky in 1801, and

who went with his tribe when they removed to the territory of

Kansas, of which he became its first territorial governor, has

left a sketch of Chief Crane, which was published in the "Wyan-

dot Democrat" under the date of August 13, 1866. In that

sketch he says:

"When in his prime he must have been a lithe, wiry man,

capable of great endurance, as he marched on foot at the head

of his warriors through the whole of General Harrison's cam-

paign into Canada and was an active participant in the Battle

of the Thames, although seventy-two years of age. He steadily

and unflinchingly opposed Tecumseh's war policy from 1808 up

to the breaking out of the War of 1812. He maintained inviolate

the treaty of peace concluded with General Wayne in 1795 (the

Treaty of Greenville). This brought him into conflict with

the ambitious Shawnee (Tecumseh), the latter having no re-

gard for the plighted faith of his predecessors. But Tarhe de-

termined to maintain that of his and remained true to the Amer-

4 Ohio Arch

4         Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


ican cause until the day of his death. He was a man of mild

aspect, and gentle in his manners when at repose, but when

acting publicly exhibited great energy, and when addressing

his people there was always something that to my youthful ear

sounded like stern command. He never drank spirits; never

used tobacco in any form.

"His Indian name is supposed to mean crane (the tall fowl);

but this is a mistake. Crane is merely a sobriquet bestowed upon

him by the French, thus: 'Le chef Grue,' or 'Monsieur Grue,'

the Chief Crane, of Mr. Crane. This nickname was bestowed

upon him on account of his height and slender form. He had

no English name, but the Americans took up and adopted the

French nickname. Tarhe or Tarhee, when critically analyzed

means, At him, the tree, or at the tree the tree personified.

Thus you have in this one word a preposition, a personal pro-

noun, a definite article and a noun. The name of your populous

township should be Tarhe instead of Crane. It is due to the

memory of that great and good man."

Chief Crane was born near Detroit in 1742. He belonged

to the Porcupine tribe of the Wyandots and from the time that

he was old enough to be counted as a warrior he participated in

all the battles of his tribe down to the battle of "Fallen Timbers",

in 1794. He was with Cornstalk at the bloody battle of Point

Pleasant, West Virginia, which took place October 1O, 1774.

General Harrison, when a young officer in the United States

army, was engaged in the battle of "Fallen Timbers" under Gen-

eral Wayne, August, 1794, where the Indians were disastrously

defeated. In an address delivered by him before the Historical

Society of Cincinnati, 1839, in speaking of the Indian tribes en-

gaged in that battle, he says of the Wyandots:

"Their youths were taught to consider anything that had

the appearance of the acknowledgment of the superiority of an

enemy as disgraceful. In the battle of the Miami Rapids (Fal-

len Timbers), of thirteen chiefs of that tribe who were present,

only one survived and he was badly wounded."

The wounded chief was undoubtedly Chief Crane, who was

badly wounded in the arm at that battle, but escaped with his


Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.      5


Jeremiah Armstrong, who lived in Franklinton and Colum-

bus from its earliest settlement to 1859 and was well known

to all the older residents, has left an interesting narrative of

his experience while a prisoner with the Indians, during which

time he saw much of Chief Crane. Armstrong was born in

Washington county, Maryland, March, 1785, but his parents

removed to Virginia, opposite the upper end of Blennerhasset's

Island, prior to 1794. In April of that year he and his older

brother and sister were captured and carried into Ohio by the

Indians of the Wyandot tribe. His mother and other members

of the family, except his father, were murdered. In their re-

treat they passed the points of Lancaster, Columbus, Upper

Sandusky and on to Lower Sandusky at the mouth of the San-

dusky River and Lake Erie. In his narrative he says:

"On arriving at Lower Sandusky, before entering the town,

they halted and formed a procession for Cox (a fellow prisoner),

my sister, my brother and myself to run the gauntlet. They pointed

to the house of their chief, Old Crane, about a hundred yards dis-

tant, signifying that we should run into it. We did so, and were

received very kindly by the old chief; he was a very mild man,

beloved by all."

In speaking of the battle of "Fallen Timbers," he says:

"In the month of August, 1794, when I had been a prisoner

about four months, General Wayne conquered the Indians in

that decisive battle on the Maumee (Fallen Timbers). Before

the battle, the squaws and children were sent to Lower Sandusky.

Runners were sent from the scene of action to inform us of their

defeat, and to order us to Sandusky Bay. They supposed that

Wayne would come with his forces and massacre the whole of

us. Great was the consternation and confusion; and I (strange

infatuation), thinking their enemies mine, ran and got into a

canoe, fearing they would go and leave me at the mercy of the

palefaces. We all arrived safe at the bay; and there the Indians

conveyed their wounded-Old Crane among the number. He

was wounded in the arm; and my friend, the one that saved my

life, was killed."

This would seem to definitely determine that it was Chief

Crane to whom General Harrison referred as the only chief of

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6         Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


the Wyandots who escaped death at that battle, but "was badly

wounded." The full narrative of Jeremiah Armstrong, written

by himself in 1858, appears in Martin's History of Franklin

County. He always retained until his death a great reverence

and affection for Chief Crane.

It may be safely said of Crane that he was the most influ-

ential chief in bringing about the celebrated Treaty of Greenville.

He had the discernment to see that the battle of "Fallen Timbers"

had broken the military power of the Indians of the northwest,

and that peace was the only safety for his tribe and race; so

he made haste to have the principal tribes with whom he had

influence make a preliminary agreement of peace with General

Wayne, and thus suspend hostilities until the general treaty could

be made, embracing all the tribes. Accordingly on January 24,

1795, the principal chiefs of the Chippewas, Ottawas, Sacs, Pot-

tawattomies, Miamis, Shawnees, Delawares and Wyandots en-

tered into a preliminary agreement with General Wayne at Green-

ville, Ohio, to suspend hostilities "until articles for a permanent

peace shall be adjusted, agreed to and signed." It was further

agreed that "the aforesaid sachems and war chiefs for and on

behalf of their nations which they represent, do agree to meet

the above named plenipotentiary of the United States at Green-

ville on or about the 15th day of June, next; with all the sachems

and war chiefs of their nations then and there to consult and

conclude upon such terms of amity and peace as shall be for the

interest and to the satisfaction of both parties."

This led to the celebrated and most important Treaty of

Greenville, concluded August 3, 1795, in the bringing about

of which no chief or warrior was so influential as Chief Crane.

There were many turbulent and vindictive chiefs and warriors

of the various tribes who opposed the treaty and desired to con-

tinue their wars and forays against the white settlers, and it

was a delicate and difficult task to overcome and satisfy their

objections; and this could probably not have been accomplished,

except by the strong influence and persuasive arguments of

Chief Crane. Other influential chiefs and warriors joined with

him in his efforts, but he was the central and controlling source

of influence and power. It is now a matter of history that with

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Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.     7

the exception of the wars and disturbances excited by the rest-

less and turbulent Tecumseh and his associates, resulting in

what is called the War of 1812, the Treaty of Greenville ended

the long and bloody strife between the red and white race in

the northwest territory.

Most of the tribes who were parties to that treaty remained

ever true to its conditions, notwithstanding the baneful influ-

ence of Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, and other turbu-

lent spirits, who were for years industriously endeavoring to

create a hostile feeling among the Indians, and did draw away

many of them to their great detriment and injury. Chief Crane,

however, with many other important chiefs, remained true to

their treaty obligations, and greatly hindered and balked the

schemes of the restless and ambitious Tecumseh.

On June 21, 1813, Crane, at the head of about fifty chiefs

and warriors, met in conference with General Harrison at the

town of Franklinton (now Columbus), when he, as their only

spokesman, assured General Harrison that they would remain

true to their treaty obligations, and if necessary join with him

in the prosecution of the war against Tecumseh and the English

under General Proctor. This assurance was of the greatest

possible benefit and advantage to General Harrison at that crit-

ical period of the war and enabled him to use his forces with

greater effect.

Chief Crane died at the Indian village of Crane Town,

near Upper Sandusky, in Wyandot county, Ohio, in November,

1818, being at that time seventy-six years of age.

Col. John Johnston, then United States Indian Agent, was

present at the funeral ceremonials. In his "Recollections" he


"I was invited to attend a general council of all the tribes

of Ohio, the Delawares of Indiana, and the Senecas of New

York, at Upper Sandusky. I found on arriving at that place

a very large attendance. Among the chiefs was the noted

leader and orator Red Jacket, from Buffalo. The first business

done was the speaker of the nation delivering an oration on the

character of the deceased chief. Then followed what might be

called a monody or ceremony of mourning and lamentation. Thus

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8         Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


seats were arranged from end to end of the large council house,

about six feet apart. The head men and the aged took their

seats facing each other, stooping down their heads almost touch-

ing. In this position they remained several hours. Deep, heavy

and long continued groans were commenced at one end of the

row of the mourners and were passed around until all had re-

sponded and these repeated at intervals of a few minutes. The

Indians were all washed and had no paint or decorations of any

kind upon their person, their countenance and general deport-

ment denoting the deepest mourning. I had never witnessed

anything of the kind and was told this ceremony was not per-

formed but upon the decease of some great man."

Crane was the chief sachem of the Wyandots, to which tribe

was intrusted the grand calumet which bound the tribes north

of the Ohio in a confederation for mutual benefit and protection.

He was therefore at the time of his death and for many years

before, the leading and principal representative of his race in

the northwest. Aside from his own tribe his death was mourned

by the Shawnees, Delawares, Senecas, Ottawas, Mohawks and

Miamis assembled for that purpose. Perhaps no chief in the

history of the Indian race had more numerous or more sincere

mourners at his grave, and yet, although but little more than

eighty years have passed since his death, his grave is not only

unmarked, but unknown.

It is not fitting or seemly that his name should be allowed

to be forgotten and his memory perish. He was a wise and good

man and an honorable chief, well known to the early settlers in

central Ohio, many of whom were honored by his friendship

and all benefited by his influence. From the time of the Treaty

of Greenville in 1795 to the time of his death in 1818, a period

of almost a quarter of a century, during which time the early

settlements in central Ohio were made, he was more than any

other chief of his time the rock of security and safety of the

white settlers. He frequently visited Franklinton and was the

friend of Lucas Sullivant and his associates, who, in the last

years of the last century, founded what is now the City of Co-

lumbus. He often maintained his camp for considerable pe-

riods at the celebrated Wyandot Spring, on the west bank of the

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.     9


Scioto, eight miles north of Columbus, at what is now known

as Wyandot Grove. In September, 1883, the late Abraham Sells,

then owner of the Wyandot

Grove and Spring, pointed out to

Col. Samuel Thompson and the

writer the spot near the spring

where Chief Crane maintained

his camp. It would seem most

fitting and proper that so good

and honorable a man, although

he belonged to a race whom we

are usually pleased to call sav-

ages, should have his memory

perpetuated as far as possible by

an enduring monument. This

is a duty which the white race

owes to one of the best repre-

sentatives of a race which has

passed away and whose territory

we have taken for permanent



As far as we know, or have

been able to ascertain, but four

monuments have been erected

in this country by white men

with the view of perpetuating

the memory of Indian chiefs or

warriors. The first in order of

time was erected at Keokuk,

Iowa, in memory of Chief Keo-

kuk, for whom that important

city was named. It was com-

pleted in 1886. Kee-o-kuk (Keo-

kuk) (the Watchful Fox) was

born at Rock River, Illinois,

about 1780. He was of three-

quarter Indian blood, his father

being one-half-blood French and his mother a full-blood Sac.

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10        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


He was not a chief by birth, but became chief of his tribe by

reason of his own talents and efforts. He was brave and skill-

ful in war and possessed of the gift of oratory in an unusual

degree. He is said to have been vain and mercenary, but he

had the high courage to withstand and in a large measure

thwart the schemes and purposes of the sullen and gloomy

Black Hawk, who was also a Sac chief of great ability and

influence with both the Sac and the Fox nations.

Chief Keokuk sustained almost precisely the same rela-

tion to Black Hawk in 1832 that Crane had sustained to Te-

cumseh twenty years before. Crane and other well-disposed

chiefs restrained a large majority of the Indians of the north-

west from engaging in the War of 1812; and Keokuk did the

same in 1832 as to the Sac and Fox nations, then living along

the Mississippi in Iowa and Illinois. The restless nature of many

of the warriors of those tribes had been greatly worked upon

by Black Hawk and his co-agitators, and it required the most

heroic efforts to bring them to reason and restrain them from

war. To this task Keokuk proved himself equal. He called

a council of the warriors of the Sac and Fox nations, and when

they were assembled spoke to them as follows:

"Braves, I am your chief. It is my duty to rule you as

a father at home, and to lead you to war if you are determined

to go; but in this war there is no middle course. The United

States is a great power, and unless we conquer that great na-

tion we must perish. I will lead you instantly against the

whites on one condition-that is, that we shall first put all our

women and children to death and then resolve that, having

crossed the Mississippi, we shall never return, but perish among

the graves of our fathers rather than yieldto the white man."

It would be difficult to find in all oratory more heroic words

or more determined sentiments than these; and they had the

desired effect on the minds of a large majority of the assembled

warriors and influenced them to abandon their war purposes.

A small number, however, adhered to Black Hawk, and with

him crossed the Mississippi into Illinois and began their foray

but were soon subdued and Black Hawk himself made a prisoner.

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.      11


Although this raid of Black Hawk and his followers was of

short duration, for the time it greatly disturbed the settlers in

northern and western Illinois, and was remarkable for the num-

ber of distinguished men that it called into active service for its

suppression. Among those who served either as regulars in the

army of the United States or as officers of volunteers were

Major-General Winfield Scott, General Atkinson, President

Zachariah Taylor, Major-General Robert Anderson, General

Jefferson Davis, General David Hunter and Abraham Lincoln.

These are some of the most distinguished names in our national

history. After the capture of Black Hawk, Jefferson Davis, then

a young lieutenant in the United States Army, was appointed

to take him and other prisoners to Washington and thence to-

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12        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


Fortress Monroe, where he was confined for a time as a pris-

oner of war, and where Jefferson Davis himself, thirty-three

years later, was confined for a time for treason against his


Subsequent to the Black Hawk War, Keokuk removed with

his tribe from Iowa to the territory of Kansas, where he died

in 1848. A marble slab was placed over his grave, which marked

the place of his burial until 1883 when his remains were ex-

humed and brought back to the City of Keokuk by a committee

of citizens appointed for that purpose (Dr. J. M. Shaffer and

Judge C. F. Davis), and interred in the public park, where a

splendid and durable monument was erected by voluntary con-

tribution to designate the final resting place of this noted chief.

In addition to this commendable act on the part of the citi-

zens of Keokuk, a further lasting mark of respect has been paid

to him by placing a bronze bust of him in the marble room of

the United States Senate at Washington.

There is also a portrait of Keokuk painted by George Catlin

in 1832, now in the Smithsonian Institution, having been placed

there in 1879 through the generous donation of Mrs. Joseph Har-

rison, of Philadelphia, who became the owner of the entire "Cat-

lin Collection," including the portrait of Keokuk. There are

about three hundred portraits of Indians in this collection, all

of which were donated by Mrs. Harrison to the Smithsonian

Institution, and more than any one collection now existing pre-

serves the features and dress of the Indian race.

The splendid collection of portraits of Indian chiefs and

warriors painted by that celebrated artist, Charles B. King, and

secured by the war department about 1830, known as the "King

Collection," consisting of one hundred and forty-seven portraits,

was destroyed by the disastrous fire which occurred in the Smith-

sonian Institute January 24, 1865. The celebrated "Stanley Gal-

lery," almost if not quite equally as valuable, was destroyed at

the same time. These were two of the most important collec-

tions of Indian portraits ever painted and in their destruction

the features of many noted chiefs and warriors were lost

and can never be correctly restored. The first named of these

collections belonged to the government, but the "Stanley Gal-

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.      13

lery" was Mr. Stanley's private property, temporarily deposited

in the Smithsonian Institute.

The efforts to collect galleries of portraits of representa-

tives of the Indian race have been singularly unfortunate. The

late P. T. Barnum made a special effort to collect a gallery of

the portraits of noted members of the Indian race, and he suc-

ceeded through many years of effort in collecting one of the

finest galleries of portraits of the red race that has ever been got-

ten together. Many distinguished artists contributed their best

efforts upon portraits which became the property of Mr. Barnum.

The collection was destroyed by fire, along with his entire

museum, at the corner of Ann street and Broadway in the City

of New York, July 13, 1865, just six months after thedestruc-

tion of the King and Stanley collections in the Smithsonian In-

stitute fire. Thus the three finest collections of Indian portraits

in existence were destroyed within six months. The "Catlin

Gallery," the most extensive and valuable of any now in exist-

ence, passed through two fires and was greatly damaged, but not

entirely destroyed, and the damage has in large measure been


This collection has had a singular history. The portraits

were all the work of Mr. Catlin himself, who was a most inde-

fatigable artist. His collection was first exhibited in New York,

Philadelphia and Boston in the years 1837, 1838 and 1839. In

1840 he took it to London, where it was on exhibition in various

cities in England until 1844. He then took it to Paris, where

it was on exhibition until 1848, when he was compelled to leave

Paris on account of the revolution occurring in that year. He

took his collection back to London, where it remained on ex-

hibition until 1852, when Mr. Catlin came to financial ruin

through unfortunate speculations. The collection was seized to

satisfy creditors and finally fell into the hands of Mr. Joseph

Harrison, Jr., a wealthy and cultivated gentleman of Philadel-

phia, who had generously assisted Mr. Catlin in his financial

distress. Subsequently Mr. Harrison had the collection boxed

and shipped back to Philadelphia, where it was stored in various

warehouses and remained neglected and forgotten for twenty-

five years and until 1879, when it was brought to light in a

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14         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


damaged condition. In the meantime Mr. Harrison had died

and when the collection was discovered Mrs. Harrison made a

gift of it to the Nation and it was placed in the Smithsonian

Institute, and is now the only important collection of original

portraits of Indians in existance.

But Keokuk has received a more noble and enduring monu-

ment than canvas or marble could secure. On the west bank

of the Mississippi River, at its junction with the Des Moines

River, on an elevated bluff overlooking the magnificent valleys

of both rivers and commanding a view of the territory of the three

great states of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, stands the beautiful

and important City of Keokuk, named for this noted chief. This

city, where his ashes now repose, was the center of the territory

originally occupied by the Sac and Fox nations, of which he

was the most celebrated chief. The citizens of Keokuk have

surely done themselves honor in honoring as they have the name

and memory of a man who was the best representative of the

race that preceded them in the occupancy of that portion of

the country.


The next monument in the order of time, erected to the

memory of an Indian chief, was that of Leatherlips (Sha-tey-ya-

ron-yah), on the spot where he was executed by people of his

own race, June 1, 1810. The exact spot is on the east bank of

the Scioto River in the extreme northwest corner of Perry town-

ship, Franklin county, Ohio, about fifteen miles northwest from

the City of Columbus. This chief was in camp there at the

time, accompanied only by one of the hunters of his tribe, when

six Indians, supposed to be of the Wyandots of Detroit, led by

Round Head, suddenly appeared at his camp and informed him

that he had been tried and found guilty of witchcraft and sen-

tenced to death. Resistance was useless and he submitted to his

fate with dignity and fortitude. His execution was witnessed

by William Sells, a white man, and a graphic account of the

dreadful occurrence has been published in the "Hesperian" by

Ottaway Curry, one of the editors of that publication, who ob-

tained the account from Mr. Sells. It was also published in

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.   15


Drake's Life of Tecumseh, and again quoted in an historical

address by Col. Samuel Thompson, of Columbus, Ohio, before

the Wyandot Club at the Wyandot Grove, September 18, 1887,

and has been widely published in other ways. Where the pre-

tended trial for witchcraft was had is not known; but it was

the general belief that the whole plan for the taking off of this

old chief was devised by Tens-kwan-ta-waw  (the Prophet),

brother of Tecumseh, who had his headquarters at that time on

the Tippecanoe River in northern Indiana. He was at that time

endeavoring to incite discontent among the Indians and to lead

them into war. He was constantly being visited by discontented

and evil-minded Indians from the various tribes, and among

them some of the Wyandots from about Detroit, and it was

supposed that from there the party came through the wilder-

ness and found Leatherlips at his temporary camp on the Scioto.

16 Ohio Arch

16        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


The real cause of his taking off was that he was firmly opposed

to the plans of Tecumseh and the Prophet, and with Crane and

other well-disposed chiefs was holding the Wyandots of Ohio

in the lines of peace and keeping them steadfast in the observ-

ance of their treaty obligations.

The execution of Leatherlips at that particular point has

accidentally associated his name with another name of great

and permanent historic interest. About the middle of the last

century there was born of a noble Lithuanian family a Polish

patriot, Thaddeus Kosciusko, whose name will be forever held

dear by liberty-loving people everywhere, and especially by Amer-

icans. He was educated in the best military schools of Europe

and became an officer in the Polish army. At the beginning of

our Revolutionary War he came to this county to assist the

people of the colonies in their struggle for independence. He

served during that entire war with great fidelity and distinction,

a part of the time on the staff of General Washington as chief

engineer. At the close of that war he returned to his native

country and was for many years the most conspicuous figure

in the long and desperate struggle which Poland maintained

against the combined powers of Russia, Prussia and Austria.

At last he was defeated, the Polish army destroyed and he was

carried, wounded and a prisoner, to St. Petersburg. Poland

suffered dismemberment. After two years of imprisonment the

death of Queen Catharine of Russia occurred and Kosciusko

was restored to liberty and his sword was tendered him by the

new Emperor Paul, but he declined it, saying that he had no

need of it, as he had no country to defend. Subsequently (1797)

he re-visited this country and was everywhere joyfully received

by a grateful people. Congress voted him honors and lands,

and it so happened that the lands bestowed upon him were lo-

cated upon the east bank of the Scioto River in the northern

part of Franklin county, Ohio. It was on these lands in this

then wilderness that Leatherlips was in camp when his death

was decreed and here he was executed, and the virgin soil

which a grateful people had bestowed upon the liberty-loving

Kosciusko drank the blood of Leatherlips and there his ashes

repose to-day.

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.    17


On the spot where he was executed and buried the Wyandot

Club, of the City of Columbus, in the year 1888, erected a Scotch

granite monument to his memory, sarcophagus in design. This

club consists of seventeen members, which number cannot be

increased. It was organized about twenty years ago for social

purposes, but incidentally the members have taken an interest

in historic matters pertaining to former occupants of this portion

of the country.

Some years ago the beautiful Wyandot Grove, on which is

the celebrated Wyandot Spring, was in danger of passing into

hands not likely to preserve it. To prevent this and insure pro-

tection and perpetuation of this noble grove and spring the club

purchased the grounds, containing forty acres of land, and

erected thereon a beautiful stone club house. This grove is

situated on the west bank of the Scioto River, nine miles north-

west from the City of Columbus. The spring, which has always

been known from the earliest settlement as the "Wyandot

Spring," flows out of the limestone formation at this place in

great volume and is of historic interest. It was the favorite

stopping place for the Indians and probably for their predeces-

sors in the occupancy of this portion of the country on their

way up and down the Scioto River, either in canoes or on the

trail. The old Indian trail, from the mouth of the Scioto River

to the Sandusky Bay, passed immediately by this spring. As

long as the Indians remained in Central Ohio this continued to

be a favorite stopping place with them and has also been a place

of resort by the white people ever since the first settlers ap-

peared along the upper Scioto.

The place where Leatherlips was executed is six miles north

from the Wyandot Grove, on the opposite bank of the river. The

spot where this dreadful occurrence took place has always been

well known to the white settlers in the neighborhood, and the

late J. C. Thompson, who owned and occupied the land for

fifty years preceding the purchase by the Wyandot Club, had

always kept the place marked and carefully guarded from dese-


In 1888 the members of the club purchased an acre of ground

where the execution took place and surrounded it with a most

Vol. IX-2.

18 Ohio Arch

18       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


substantial stone wall and had it dedicated forever for burial pur-

poses. The monument stands upon the summit of the east

bank of the Scioto River and about fifteen rods from the river's

edge at a height of about fifty feet above the waters of that

stream. The land slopes gradually and gently from the monu-

ment to the river's edge. The view from the monument, both

up and down the Scioto at that place, is one of the most pic-

turesque and beautiful to be found anywhere on that river. The

grounds are kept in good order and the place is visited yearly

by many hundreds of people.

When the monument was erected the story of Leatherlips

and his sad fate had been largely forgotten by the older genera-

tion, most of whom had passed away, and had not become gen-

erally known to the younger generation. The erection of the

monument at once created a wide and active interest in the pub-

lic mind, and has tended greatly to widen information not only

in regard to this particular event, but as to Indian history gen-


Both Kosciusko and Leatherlips have obtained enduring

monuments in very unusual and unexpected ways. The former

saw the liberties of his country destroyed and his territory par-

titioned among the great powers of Europe, and himself died

in exile, but his liberty-loving countrymen brought his remains

back to his native land and erected over him a mighty mound

of earth which was collected by patriotic hands from all the

great battle fields of Poland. Leatherlips had no countrymen

to raise a monument to him. His tribe had perished from the

earth. There was no one even of his race to pay him honor or

do ought to preserve his memory, and it was thought by the

members of the Wyandot Club, which bears the name of his

tribe, that a suitable monument on the spot where he was ex-

ecuted would greatly tend to perpetuate his memory and at the

same time show that the white race was not wholly indifferent

to the courage and virtues of a man who, although he was born

a "savage" and lived the wild life of the forest, yet had great

and noble qualities. A Scotch granite monument was therefore

procured from Aberdeen, Scotland, and placed upon the spot

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.     19


where eighty years before he had been so cruelly murdered and

obscurely buried in the depths of the then wilderness of Ohio.

There is every reason to believe that the death of Chief Crane

was included in the purposes of those who planned the death

of Leatherlips, and that he would have fallen a victim of the

conspiracy if he could have been found separated temporarily

from his tribe, as was Leatherlips. The truth of course cannot

now be definitely ascertained, but as Crane was the most im-

portant and influential chief of his tribe and equally determined

with Leatherlips to restrain his tribe from war, it may be con-

sidered as certain that the conspirators would have dispatched

Crane if the opportunity had been afforded, as it was in the

case of Leatherlips.


The next in order of time was the mounment to the great

Seneca chief, Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha, "The Keeper Awake"),

which was erected to his memory and that of five other chiefs

and nine warriors of the Seneca nation in Forest Lawn Cemetery,

Buffalo, N. Y., June 22, 1892. Red Jacket was born at Seneca

Lake, New York, in 1752, and died on the Seneca Reservation,

near Buffalo, January 20, 1830. He was present, as we have

seen, at the burial of Chief Crane at Upper Sandusky in 1818,

and was the most conspicuous figure in that assemblage of

chiefs and warriors. His fame is that of a statesman and orator

rather than as a warrior, as he came into prominence after the

period of the long and bloody wars in which his tribe had been

concerned. He was, however, in several respects one of the

most noted chiefs of modern times, and certainly the most noted

among the Six Nations of the Iroquois. As to his personal

appearance he was described as a "perfect Indian."  He was a

perfect Indian not only in appearance, but in dress, character

and instinct. He refused to acquire the English language and

always spoke his native tongue. He dressed with much taste

in the Indian costume; "upper garments blue, cut after the

fashion of the hunting shirt, with blue leggings, very neat moc-

casins, a red jacket and a girdle of red about his waist. In form

he was erect, but not large. His eye was fine, his forehead lofty

and capacious, his bearing calm and dignified." He had an un-

20 Ohio Arch

20        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.    21


alterable contempt for the dress of the white man, and also an

unalterable dislike for missionaries. In answer to a proposal

to send missionaries among his people he said:

"We also have a religion, which was given to our fore-

fathers and has been handed down to us, their children. We

worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the

favors we receive, to love each other and to be united. We never

quarrel about religion.

"The Great Spirit has made us all, but He has made a differ-

ence between his white and red children. He has given us

different complexions and different customs. To you He has

given the arts. To these He has not opened our eyes. We know

these things to be true, since He has made so great a differ-

ence between us in other things, why may we not conclude that

He has given us a different religion, according to our understand-

ing. The Great Spirit does right; He knows what is best for

His children; we are satisfied.

"We are told that you have been preaching to the white

people in this place. These people are our neighbors; we are

acquainted with them; we will wait a little while and see what

effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them

good, makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians,

we will then consider again of what you have said."

On another occasion, speaking of the missionaries, he said:

"These men know we do not understand their religion;

we cannot read their book. They tell us different stories about

what it contains and we believe they make the book to talk to

suit themselves. The Great Spirit will not punish us for what

we do not know. He will do justice to his red children. These

black coats talk to the Great Spirit and ask for light that we

may see as they do, when they are blind themselves and quar-

rel about the light which guides them. These black coats tell

us to work and raise corn; they do nothing themselves and

would starve to death if somebody did not feed them. All they

do is to pray to the Great Spirit; but that will not make corn

or potatoes grow. They have always been ready to teach us

how to quarrel about their religion."

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22        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


In 1818 the celebrated artist, Charles B. King, painted a por-

trait of Red Jacket when on a visit to Washington City. It was

one of the "King Collection," owned by the government, and

which was destroyed by fire in the Smithsonian Institution Jan-

uary 24, 1865.

In 1849 the eminent actor, Henry Placide, caused a marble

slab, with a suitable inscription, to be placed at the head of Red

Jacket's grave. This was, however, largely destroyed by reck-

less and thoughtless relic hunters. What is left of it is now

deposited in the rooms of the Buffalo Historical Society at

Buffalo, New York. The place of his original interment was

in the old Mission Cemetery at East Buffalo, which, through

neglect and time, came to be a common pasture ground for cat-

tle and was in a "scandalous state of delapidation and neglect."

In 1852 an educated Chippeway, named Copway, delivered

a series of lectures in Buffalo, in which he called attention to

the neglected grave of Red Jacket. A prominent resident of

Buffalo, Mr. Hotchkiss, lived near the place where Red Jacket

was buried and he, together with Copway, exhumed the remains

and placed them in a cedar coffin, which he placed in his house.

Hotchkiss' motives were good, but the Indians then living in

the neighborhood, on discovering that the remains had been

removed, became greatly excited and made angry demonstrations

against him. The remains were then given over to Ruth Ste-

venson, a stepdaughter of Red Jacket, who retained them in

her cabin for some years, and finally secreted them in a place

unknown to any person but herself. After some years, when

she had become advanced in age, she became anxious to have the

remains of her stepfather receive a final and known resting

place, and with that view October 2, 1879, she delivered them

to the Buffalo Historical Society, which society assumed their

care and custody and deposited them in the vaults of the Western

Savings Bank of Buffalo, where they remained until October

9, 1884, when the final interment was made in Forest Lawn

Cemetery at Buffalo.

The splendid monument which now marks the spot was

not completed for some years after the interment. The Buf-

falo Historical Society selected a noble design for the monu-

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.   23


ment, but after expending a large sum of money on its con-

struction was crippled for means to bring it to completion. This

embarrassment was finally removed by the act of a generous

and noble woman, Mrs. Huyler, of New York City, who, with-

out suggestion or solicitation, came forward and gave her check

for ten thousand dollars, that being the sum necessary to com-

plete the work so worthily begun. The society was anxious to

make public the name of this generous lady, but she preferred

otherwise, desiring that the members of the Buffalo Historical

Society should have the credit of completing the splendid work

which they had designed and set in motion. The name, how-

ever, has long been an open secret, although we think it has

never before been published. The time has now come, how-

ever, when no harm can come by openly connecting Mrs. Huy-

ler's name with the noble enterprise which her generous dona-

tion brought so happily to completion. No one American of

whom we have knowledge has contributed so generously to an

effort on the part of the white race to perpetuate the history

and memory of the red race, now practically passed away.

The unveiling of this monument took place June 22, 1892,

and it is and will be for all time a sterling credit to the designers

and promoters of this tribute to the memory of Red Jacket and

other chiefs of the Seneca Nation. Along with the remains of

Red Jacket there was also interred at the same time the remains

of five other Seneca chiefs and nine unknown warriors, their

remains having been removed from the Old Mission Burying

Ground near Buffalo, where Red Jacket was originally buried.

So that the monument commemorates not only the great Chief

Red Jacket, but has the wider significance of being a tribute to

the memory of the Seneca Nation, which occupied that region

of beauty and grandeur about the Niagara River and there

worshipped and waged war as far back as we have any history

or tradition of them.

The names of the other chiefs whose ashes were re-interred

and now repose by the side of Red Jacket beneath the shadow

of this splendid monument were:

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24        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


First: Young King (Gui-en-gwah-toh), born about 1760

and probably a nephew of Old King, renowned in the annals

of the Seneca Nation.

Second: Captain Pollard (Ga-on-dowau-na; Big-Tree),

who was a Seneca Sachem and said to be only second to Red

Jacket as an orator and superior to him in morals, "being liter-

ally a man without guile and distinguished for his benevolence

and wisdom."

Third: Little Billy (Jish-ge-ge, or Katy-did, an insect),

also called "The War Chief," died December 28, 1834, at Buf-

falo Creek, New York, at a very advanced age. He was one

of the Indian guides who accompanied Washington on his mis-

sion to Fort Duquesne during the old French and Indian war.

Fourth: Destroy-Town (Go-non-da-gie; meaning "he de-

stroys the town"), was noted for the "soundness of his judg-

ment, his love of truth, his probity and his bravery as a warrior."

Fifth: Tall Peter (Ha-no-ja-cya), who was one of the lead-

ing chiefs of his nation and led a useful and exemplary life.

He also was buried in the Old Mission Cemetery with the other

chiefs before mentioned, and his remains were exhumed and re-

interred with his fellow chiefs and warriors.

By the commendable and most praiseworthy action on the

part of the Buffalo Historical Society, the names of all these

once celebrated and worthy chiefs and sachems have been res-

cued from that oblivion which has fallen upon the names and

memories of almost all of the great and influential men of their



The next monument in the order of time was that of Chief

Cornstalk, a great Shawnee Sachem and warrior, erected at

Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in October, 1896. This monu-

ment stands in the Court House yard and was placed there by a

few enterprising and generous residents of Point Pleasant,

prominent among them being Hon. Lon T. Pilchard, Hon. C. E.

Hogg, Hon. John E. Beller, Capt. John R. Selbe, Mr. F. B.

Tippett, Col. Thomas Mulford and others.

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.    25

26 Ohio Arch

26        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


On the occasion of the unveiling of the monument Hon. C.

E. Hogg delivered an address replete with eloquence and his-

torical statements, in the course of which he said:

"Who was this man that, after the lapse of more than one

hundred years since falling to sleep in the lands of his fore-

fathers, that these proud and noble people should assemble here

beneath the shadows of this aged temple of justice on this

autumnal day to do honor to his life and character?  History

answers that he was a son of the Shawnees, a child of the forest

and of nature; an Indian, but a warrior and chieftain; wise and

composed in council, but fierce and terrible in war. * * *

God had raised him up to be the leader of his people and the

Creator had endowed him with splendid intellectual faculties.

* * * He was a great orator, a man of transcendant elo-

quence; but the fame of Cornstalk will always rest upon his

prowess and generalship at the battle of Point Pleasant, fought

on the 10th day of October, 1774, and the ground upon which

we are now gathered was the scene of the thickest of the fight,

and where the Death Angel struggled the hardest to seize upon

his victims. *  *  * This battle so momentous in its con-

sequences was not the result of accident. It was planned and

carried out by the commander and his braves with consummate

skill and far-sightedness. History says that this distinguished

chief and consummate warrior proved himself on this eventful

day to be justly entitled to the prominent position which he

occupied. * * *"

"Never did men exhibit more conclusive evidence of bravery

in making a charge and fortitude in sustaining an onset than

did these undisciplined and unlettered soldiers of the forest on

the field of battle at Point Pleasant in the dark days of our

country, more than a century ago. Such was the foe our white

brethren had to meet in battle on that historic day. But by skill

in arms, valor in action and strategy in plan as nightfall began

to approach and the great orb of day to hide his face from the

terrible scene of carnage and death the almost invincible enemy

withdrew from action and victory perched upon our arms.

Not a great while after this famous battle, indeed before its

disasters had ceased to echo in the savage ear, a mighty coalition

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.    27


was forming among the Indians northwest of the Ohio River for

the purpose of waging war against the colonists and the Ameri-

can patriots to further the cause of British aggression and the

assent of the Shawnees alone was wanting to conclude its per-

fection. The distinguished sachem, whose memory we are glad

to honor to-day, at the head of the great nation of the Shawnees,

was opposed to an alliance with the British and anxious to main-

tain friendly and cordial relations with the colonists. All his

influence and all his energies were exerted to prevent his brethren

from again making war upon our people, but all his efforts to

stay its tide seemed to be in vain, so determined were his people

to again enter upon the wild theater of war. In this posture

of affairs he again came to this place, then in command of Capt.

Matthew Arbuckle, on a mission of friendship and love to com-

municate the hostile preparations of the Indians and that the

Shawnees alone-Cornstalk's people-were wanting to render

a confederacy complete and that the current of feeling was run-

ning so strong among the Indians against the colonists that the

Shawnees would float with the stream in despite of his endeav-

ors to stem it and that hostilities would commence immediately."

These extracts more eloquently and truly portray the life

and character of Cornstalk than any words of mine could do.

The story of Cornstalk and his sad fate, and that of his son,

Ellinipsico, and Red Hawk, the brilliant young chief who ac-

companied Cornstalk on this friendly mission to Point Pleasant,

has been so often and sorrowfully told that it is not our purpose

to repeat it here, further than to say, that it was a most unfortu-

nate and inexcusable error to detain them as was done in the

camp, which they had entered with friendly feelings and with

the highest and best motives.

A day or two after their unfortunate detention it so hap-

pened that some roving Indians prowling in the neighborhood

of the camp killed a white man. At least that was the report,

and thereupon the infuriated soldiers under Captain Arbunckle,

in despite of his best efforts to restrain them, rushed upon Corn-

stalk and his son and Chief Red-Hawk and most cruelly mur-

dered them. It always has been and always will be considered

one of the most inexcusable and unfortunate murders in the his-

28 Ohio Arch

28        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


tory of our contact with the red race. It destroyed at once and

necessarily the only hope of reconciliation and peace between

the white settlers south of the Ohio River and the Indian tribes

north of it. This dreadful occurrence was in the month of

May, 1777, and was followed by a succession of wars, forays

and murders down to the battle of "Fallen Timbers," in 1794,

during which time many thousands of white men, women and

children, and many thousands of the red race of all ages and

conditions perished at each other's hands.

The dreadful character of the crime was, if possible, height-

ened by the death of the brilliant young Chief Ellinipsico, son

of Cornstalk. The old chief went voluntarily into the camp

of the white men, but the son was deceived and treacherously

misled and trapped to his death. He was enticed across the

Ohio River by deceit and fraudulent pretenses of friendship and

immediately imprisoned with his father and Red Hawk and suf-

fered death at the same time with them. There never has been

and never can be any excuse or palliation for the murder of this

young chief and no one event in the history of those bloody times

so much enraged the vindictive spirit of the Indian tribes, partic-

ularly of the Shawnees. It can never be known how many

deaths of white men, women and children during the next twenty

years were owing to this treachery and murder, but it is certain

that they were legion.

It is an inspiring thought that some justice sometimes at

least comes around to the memory of those who have been cruelly

wronged and such has been the case with Cornstalk. One hun-

dred and twenty years after he had been cruelly murdered by those

whom he was trying to befriend and protect, a suitable and endur-

ing monument was raised to his memory by a few generous-

minded white men on the spot where he fought one of the great-

est battles in all Indian warfare, and where he, three years after-

wards, gave up his life while engaged in a friendly and noble

mission for the benefit and protection of the white race, as well

as that of his own.

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.   29



We have now mentioned all the monuments which have

been actually erected to individual Indians of which we have

knowledge; but it is proper to add that another monument has

been proposed and is now being urged for the great Pottowatto-

mie Chief Shabbona or Sha-bo-na (meaning, built like a bear).

This celebrated chief died near Morris, Grundy county, Ill., July

17, 1859, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery at Morris, Ill.

His pall-bearers were all white men, of whom but one of them

(Hon. P. A. Armstrong) is living at the present time. He was

well acquainted with this old chief and of him he has said that

30 Ohio Arch

30        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


"He was as modest as he was brave and as true to the dictates

of humanity as the sun."

Mr. Armstrong is the president of an association organized

for the purpose of erecting a monument to this noted chief.

Shabbona went with his tribe from Illinois in 1835 to the terri-

tory west of the Mississippi, but years afterwards returned to

the State of Illinois, where the Government of the United States

had bestowed upon him lands in Grundy county, for his services

during the Black Hawk war, and he remained in Grundy county

until he died. That he was cheated out of these lands by un-

scrupulous white men before his death is a sad and mortifying

fact, but it is not germane to our present purpose. We desire now

only to recall briefly the merits of this brave man and his claims to

recognition by the white race. He was second in command of the

Indian forces under Tecumseh at the "Battle of the Thames" in

1813, and was in command of the Indian forces after Tecumseh

fell. The result of that battle was such as to convince him that no

further wars could be successfully waged by the Indians against

the white race, and he determined thereafter to refrain from

war, and when in 1832 Black Hawk appealed to him to join

forces with him he not only turned a deaf ear to his entreaties,

but exerted himself to the utmost to warn and protect the white

settlers against the contemplated foray of Black Hawk. Black

Hawk said to him by way of inducement to join in his purposes:

"If you will permit your young men to unite with mine I will

have an army like the trees in the forest and will drive the pale-

faces before me like autumn leaves before an angry wind," to

which Shabbona replied: "But the palefaces will soon bring

an army like the leaves on the trees and sweep you into the ocean

beneath the setting sun." Seeing, however, that Black Hawk

was determined upon war and bloodshed, he slipped away from

the council and by most extraordinary efforts hastened himself

in one direction while sending his son in another, and thus suc-

ceeded in warning the white settlers of their impending danger

and saved most of them from the slaughter which otherwise

would have fallen upon all. Most of those who lost their lives

in that foray had refused to heed the warnings which Shabbona

had given them. Afterward he acted as guide for General At-

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments

Concerning Indian Chiefs and Their Monuments.    31

kins in his pursuit of Black Hawk through the Winnebago

swamps. For these acts and efforts he was afterwards tried by

his tribe and found guilty of aiding and abetting the enemies of

his people, and the title of chief was taken away from him and he

was ever afterwards treated as a traitor to his tribe and race.

It has been said of him by one of the most intelligent and

well-informed writers, concerning this old chief, that: "History

records the deeds of no champion of pure, noble, disinterested and

genuine self-sacrificing humanity equalling those of this untu-

tored, so-called savage, Shabbona."

It is to be most sincerely hoped that the efforts of the asso-

ciation to erect a monument to this old chief may soon be ended

in success, for surely he deserves of the white race for whom

he sacrificed everything that was dear in life, and by some of

whom he was most deeply wronged, that they should rescue his

name permanently from oblivion and show to the world that his

worthy life and self-sacrificing deeds have not been and shall

not be forgotten.