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Peace Attempts with Western Prairie Indians, 1833

What was known as the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into in Mississippi with the Choctaw Indians September 27, 1830;1 pursuant to the terms of the treaty, in 1832 the movement of the Choctaw to their new home between the Canadian and Red rivers was under way but they were in danger from incursions of the Comanche and Pani Picts2 or Wichita, and the Kiowa tribe, who came east as far as the Washita and Blue rivers; these Indians had also evinced a hostile attitude toward white citizens and had attacked and plundered Santa Fe traders, trappers, and other unprotected travelers. A party of twelve traders had left Santa Fe in December, 1832, under Judge Carr of Saint Louis for their homes in Missouri. Their baggage and about ten thousand dollars in specie were packed upon mules. They were descending the Canadian River when, near the present town of Lathrop in the Panhandle of Texas, they were attacked by an overwhelming force of Comanche and Kiowa Indians. Two of the men, one named Pratt, and the other Mitchell, were killed; and after a siege of thirty-six hours the survivors made their escape at night on foot, leaving all their property in possession of the Indians. The party became separated and after incredible hardship and suffering five of them made their way to the Creek settlements on the Arkansas and to Fort Gibson where they found succor. Of the other five only two survived. The money secured by the Indians was the first they had ever seen.3 Colonel Arbuckle on May 6, ordered4 a military force to Red...

Fort Michillimackinac and Fort Holmes

It was a conjunction of the Church and the State which began the career of Fort Michillimackinac, more than three centuries ago, at Saint Ignace, a point on the Canadian side of the Straits of Mackinac; the Church in the person of the restless Father Marquette and the State in the form of its indefatigable military servant, the Sieur de la Salle. In 1673 Father Marquette established the mission of Saint Ignace in a thriving village of the Ottawas, who were, Francis Parkman tells us, among the most civilized tribes of the American natives. Two years later La Salle visited the place in the Griffon, the first vessel to sail the Great Lakes. This barque the indefatigable Frenchmen had just constructed on Cayuga Creek just above Niagara Falls. The beginnings of a fort were already made when La Salle came to St. Ignace, that is, a palisade had been erected. Its defenders were Indians. La Salle sent the Griffon back to civilization for supplies and rigging for a second sailing vessel. Fortunately for history, which would have lost one of its most picturesque figures, he decided to remain, himself, at Saint Ignace and not to accompany his beloved Griffon on its round trip. That bewildered little ship was overcome by the fury of one of the lakes. At least it never returned, or was heard of, and reasonable surmise is that it found its haven beneath the waters. La Salle filled in his spare hours at Saint Ignace in the casual practice of his profession, by completing and strengthening the puny defenses, which Father Marquette had caused to be...

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