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Natchez Trace

In 1792, in a council held at Chickasaw Bluffs, where Memphis, Tennessee, is now located, a treaty was made with the Chickasaws, in which they granted the United States the right of way through their territory for a public road to be opened from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. This road was long known, and no doubt, remembered by many at the present time by the name “Natchez Trace.” It crossed the Tennessee River at a point then known as “Colberts Ferry,” and passed through the present counties of Tishomingo, Ittiwamba, Lee, Pantotoc, Chickasaw, Choctaw, thence on to Natchez, and soon became the great and only thoroughfare for emigrants passing from the older states to Mississippi, Louisiana and South Arkansas. Soon after its opening, it was crowded by fortune seekers and adventurers of all descriptions and characters, some as bad as it was possible for them to be, and none as good as they might be. One of the most noted desperadoes in those early days of Mississippi’s history was a man named Mason, who, with his gang of thieves and cut-throats, established himself at a point on the Ohio river then called “The Cave in the Rock,” and about one hundred miles above its junction with the Mississippi river. There, under the disguise of keeping a store for the accommodation of emigrants, keel and flat boatmen passing up and down the river, he enticed them into his power, murdered and robbed them; then sent their boats and contents to New Orleans, through the hands of his accomplices to be sold. He, at length, left “The Cave in the Rock,”...

Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa’s

Immediately after the peace of 1763 all the French forts in the west as far as Green Bay were garrisoned with English troops; and the Indians now began to realize, but too late, what they had long apprehended the selfish designs of both French and English threatening destruction, if not utter annihilation, to their entire race. These apprehensions brought upon the theatre of Indian warfare, at that period of time, the most remarkable Indian in the annals of history, Pontiac, the chief of the Ottawa’s and the principal sachem of the Algonquin Confederacy. He was not only distinguished for his noble and manly form, commanding address and proud demeanor, but also for his lofty courage, winning manners and a pointed and vigorous eloquence, which won the respect and confidence of all Indians, and made him a marked example of that grandeur and sublimity of character so often found among his so greatly miscomprehended race. Pontiac had closely watched the slowly advancing power of the English, and their haughty and defiant encroachments upon the territories of his own people and his entire race. When he was informed of the approach of Major Rogers with a company of English soldiers into his country, the indignation of the forest hero was roused to its highest pitch; and at once he sent a messenger to Rogers, who met him on the 7th of November, 1763, with a request to halt until Pontiac, the chief of the Nation, should arrive, then on his way. As soon as Pontiac came up he boldly demanded of Rogers his business and why he had come with his soldiers...

Migration of Families out of Norwich VT

At the first enumeration of the inhabitants of eastern Vermont, as made by the authority of New York in 1771, Norwich was found to be the most populous of all the towns of Windsor County, having forty families and 206 inhabitants. Windsor followed with 203, and Hartford was third with 190. The aggregate population of the county (ten towns reported) was then but 1,205, mostly confined to the first and second tiers of towns west of the Connecticut River. Twenty years later, in 1791, Hartland led all the towns of the county with 1,652 inhabitants, Woodstock and Windsor coming next with 1,605 and 1,542 respectively. Exceptional causes made the little town of Guilford (now numbering scarcely more than one thousand inhabitants), till after the year 1800, the most populous town in the state. In Norwich, the great falling off in the size of families in recent years is seen in the fact, that in the year 1800, the number of children of school age was 604, out of a total population of 1,486, while in 1880 with a nearly equal population (1,471) it was but 390. In the removal of large numbers of the native-born inhabitants by emigration, we must find the principal cause of the decline of our rural population. Preeminently is this true of Norwich. The outflow of people began very early and now for more than a century there has been one unbroken, living stream of emigration pouring over our borders. Several families that had first located here became, before the close of the Revolutionary War, the pioneer settlers of Royalton, Tunbridge, and Randolph. Some of...

Gen. Anthony Wayne’s Campaign

In April 1792, General Anthony Wayne was appointed by the general government to take command of the Northwestern Army. On the 5th of the following November a hundred men from Kentucky, under Adair as captain, made a raid across the Ohio River into the Indians country, but the indefatigable Little Turtle and his band of heroes met him and, in a severe fight: defeated him, with heavy loss, and drove him back to his own. In the spring of 1793, during the arrangements that were being made for Wayne’s campaign, Congress sent commissioners to the Northwest Indians to negotiate a treaty on the basis of the treaty made at Fort Harmer in 1789. This treaty-making with the Northwest Indians was not a step with the view of civilizing the Indians and bringing them under the benign influences of Christianity, nor was the organization of Wayne’s army for the purpose of protecting them from the raids of the marauding companies of white marauders, robbers and thieves, who invaded there country whenever the desired; but for the accomplishment of a scheme for robbing the helpless Indians of their country and homes. The commissioners called a council of tap Indians to be held at the mouth of the Muskingum River. Now, it is a known fact, that the. Congress of the United States never did assemble any tribe or tribes of Indians upon the North American continent from 1776 to the present time, for the humane purpose of consulting with them upon measures relating to their civilization and Christianity. Never. But to rob and swindle them out of their country was the only...

Moravian Massacre at Gnadenbrutten

In the early part of the year 1763 two Moravian missionaries, Post and Heckewelder, established a mission among the Tuscarawa Indians, and in a few years they had three nourishing missionary stations, viz: Shoenbrun, Gnadenbrutten and Salem, which were about five miles apart and fifty miles west of the present town of Steubenville, Ohio. During our Revolutionary War their position being midway between the hostile Indians (allies of the British) on the Sandusky River, and our frontier settlements, and therefore on the direct route of the war parties of both the British Indian allies and the frontier settlers, they were occasionally forced to give food and shelter to both, which aroused the jealousy of both the Indian allies of the English and the American frontiersmen, although they preserved the strictest neutrality. In February 1772, the American settlers (nothing more could be expected) assumed to believe that the Moravian, or Christian Indians; as they were called, harbored the hostile Indians; therefore they pronounced them enemies, and at once doomed them to destruction. Accordingly on the following march, ninety volunteers, under the leadership of one David Williamson, started for Gnadenbrutten where they arrived on the morning of the 8th, and at once surrounded and entered the station; but found the most of the Indians in a field gathering corn. They told them they had come in peace and friendship, and with a proposition to move them from their unpleasant and dangerous position between the two hostile races to Fort Pitt for their better protection. The unsuspecting Indians, delighted at the suggestion of their removal to a safer place, gave up their few...

Mission’s Among the Southern Indians

In the year 1819 the Synod of South Carolina resolved to establish a mission among the Southern Indians east of the Mississippi river. The Cherokees, Muskogee’s, Seminoles, Choctaws and Chickasaws then occupied Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Rev. David Humphries offered to take charge of the intended mission. He was directed to visit the Indians, obtain their consent and select a suitable location. Rev. T. C. Stewart, then a young licentiate, offered himself as a companion to Mr. Humphries. They first visited the Muskogee’s (Creeks), who, in a council of the Nation, declined their proposition. They then traveled through Alabama into Mississippi, and proposed to establish a mission among the Chickasaws. They found them on the eve of holding a council of the Nation to elect a king. In that council, held in 1820, permission was granted the missionaries to establish missions in their Nation, and a charter was signed by the newly chosen king. The two missionaries then returned to South Carolina. During the return Mr. Humphries concluded that he was not called to preach to the untaught North American Indians. But the Rev. T. C. Stewart, during the same journey, firmly resolved to undertake the self-denying work, and offered to take charge of the contemplated mission. The Synod gladly accepted, and he at once commenced making preparations to enter upon the life of a missionary to the Chickasaws. In January 1821, he reached the place chosen for a station, and named it Monroe Station, in honor of James Monroe, the then president of the United States. Mr. Stewart was the only missionary. Two men, however, accompanied him...

Early Exploration and Native Americans

De Soto and his band gave to the Choctaws at Moma Binah and the Chickasaws at Chikasahha their first lesson in the white man’s modus operandi to civilize and Christianize North American Indians; so has the same lesson been continued to be given to that unfortunate people by his white successors from that day to this, all over this continent, but which to them, was as the tones of an alarm-bell at midnight. And one hundred and twenty-three years have passed since our forefathers declared all men of every nationality to be free and equal on the soil of the North American continent then under their jurisdiction, except the Africans whom they held in slavery, and the Native Americans against whom they decreed absolute extermination because they could not also enslave them; to prove which, they at once began to hold out flattering-inducements to the so-called oppressed people of all climes under the sun, to come to free America and assist them to oppress and kill off the Native Americans and in partnership take their lands and country, as this was more in accordance with their lust of wealth and speedy self-aggrandizement than the imagined slow process of educating, civilizing and Christianizing them, a work too con descending, too humiliating; and to demonstrate that it has been a grand and glorious success, we now point with vaunting pride and haughty satisfaction to our broad and far extended landed possessions as indisputable evidence of our just claims to the resolution passed by our pilgrim ancestors, “We are the children of the Lord”; and to the little remnant of hapless, helpless and...

The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and also wrote, at his dictation, his journals concerning his voyages. Shortly after the marriage of Columbus and Felipa at Lisbon, they moved to the island of Porto Santo which her father had colonized and was governor at the time of his death, and settled on a large landed estate which belonged to Palestrello, and which he had bequeathed to Felipa together with all his journals and papers. In that home of retirement and peace the young husband and wife lived in connubial bliss for many years. How could it be otherwise, since each had found in the other a congenial spirit, full of adventurous explorations, but which all others regarded as visionary follies? They read together and talked over the journals and papers of Bartolomeo, during which Felipa also entertained Columbus with accounts of her own voyages with her father, together with his opinions and those of other navigators of that age his friends and companions of a possible country that might be discovered in the distant West, and the...

The Meeting in 1811 of Tecumseh and Apushamatahah

The meeting in 1811, of Tecumseh, the mighty Shawnee, with Apushamatahah, the intrepid Choctaw. I will here give a true narrative of an incident in the life of the great and noble Choctaw chief, Apushamatahah, as related by Colonel John Pitchlynn, a white man of sterling integrity, and who acted for many years as interpreter to the Choctaws for the United States Government, and who was an eye-witness to the thrilling scene, a similar one, never before nor afterwards befell the lot of a white man to witness, except that of Sam Dale, the great scout of General Andrew Jackson, who witnessed a similar one that of Tecumseh in council assembled with the Muskogee’s, shortly afterwards of which I will speak in the history of that once powerful and war-like race of people. Colonel John Pitchlynn was adopted in early manhood by the Choctaws, and marrying among them, he at once became as one of their people; and was named by them “Chahtah It-ti-ka-na,” The Choctaws Friend; and long and well he proved himself worthy the title Conferred upon, and the trust confided in him. He had five sons by his Choctaw wife, Peter, Silas, Thomas, Jack and James, all of who prove to be men of talent, and exerted a moral influence among their people, except Jack, who was ruined by the white man s whiskey and his demoralizing examples and influences. I was personally acquainted with Peter. Silas and Jack, the former held, during a long and useful life, the highest positions in the political history of his Nation, well deserving the title given him by the...
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