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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...

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...

Life and travels of Colonel James Smith – Indian Captivities

James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759. He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore’s War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services. Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812. The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled “Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith,” printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character.

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 17th of August

On the 17th, on his return, he informed me that the Chief said “He had not given me leave to meet the Indians anywhere except at Duck Lake, and that they would only meet me there.” The Carlton Indians, however, sent me word, that they would be ready next morning at ten o’clock. On the 18th, as I was leaving for the Indian encampment, a messenger came to me from the Duck Lake Indians, asking for provisions. I replied, that Mr. Christie was in charge of the distribution of provisions, but that I would not give any to the Duck Lake Indians, in consequence of the unreasonableness of their conduct, and that provisions would only be given to the large encampment. I then proceeded to the Indian camp, together with my fellow Commissioners, and was escorted by Captain Walker and his troop. On my arrival I found that the ground had been most judiciously chosen, being elevated, with abundance of trees, hay marshes and small lakes. The spot which the Indians had left for my council tent overlooked the whole. The view was very beautiful: the hills and the trees in the distance, and in the foreground, the meadow land being dotted with clumps of wood, with the Indian tents clustered here and there to the number of two hundred. On my arrival, the Union Jack was hoisted, and the Indians at once began to assemble, beating drums, discharging fire-arms, singing and dancing. In about half an hour they were ready to advance and meet me. This they did in a semicircle, having men on horseback galloping in circles,...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 10th of August

On Sunday, the 10th, the Rev. Mr. McKay conducted the service for the police and others, who might attend, and in the afternoon the Rev. Mr. McDougall had a service in Cree; Bishop Grandin and the Rev. Mr. Scollen also had services for the Cree and Chippewayans. On Monday, the 11th, Mr. Christie completed the payments and distribution of provisions. The police commenced crossing the Saskatchewan, with a view to leaving on Tuesday, the 12th, for Battle River. We therefore sent our horses and carts across the river, and had our tents pitched with the view of commencing our return journey, early in the morning. Just as we were about to leave Port Pitt, however, the Great Bear, one of the three Cree Chiefs who were absent, arrived at the fort and asked to see me. The Commissioners met him, when he told me that he had been out on the plains hunting the buffalo, and had not heard the time of the meeting; that on hearing of it he had been sent in by the Cree and by the Stonies or Assiniboines to speak for them. I explained to him what had been done at Carlton and Pitt, he expressed regret that I was going away as he wished to talk to me. I then said we would not remove until the next day, which gratified him much. On the 13th, Sweet Grass and all the other Chiefs and Councilor came down to the fort with the Great Bear to bid me farewell. Sweet Grass told me the object of their visit. The Bear said the Indians on...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Narrative of the Proceedings

Narrative of the proceedings connected with the effecting of the treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt, in the year 1876, together with a report of the speeches of the Indians and Commissioners, by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., Secretary to the Commission. The expedition for the proposed Treaty Number Six, reached the South Saskatchewan on the afternoon of August 14th, where they were met by a messenger from the Cree Indians expressing welcome, also a messenger from Mr. L. Clarke, of Carlton House, offering to the Governor and party the hospitality of the Fort. The next morning, when about ten miles from Carlton, the Commissioners were met by a detachment of Mounted Police under Major Walker, who escorted them to the Fort; on the way the Commissioners passed an encampment of Cree whose Chief had previously seen the Governor at Duck Lake and asked him to make the treaty there; he replied that he could not promise, that he would meet the Indians where the greater number wished. These Cree joined in an invocation to the deity for a blessing on the Governor, and deputed one of their number to welcome him by shaking hands. Near the Fort were encamped about two hundred and fifty lodges of Cree, to whom the Commissioners at once served out two days’ allowance of provisions. On the 16th the Cree reported that they wanted another day to confer amongst themselves, this was granted and the Governor requested them to meet him and the Commissioners on the 18th at 10 a.m., to commence the business of the...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Government House

Government House, Fort Garry, Manitoba, 4th. December, 1876. Sir,–I beg to inform you that in compliance with the request of the Privy Council that I should proceed to the west to negotiate the treaties which I had last year, through the agency of the late Rev. George McDougall, promised the Plain Cree, would be undertaken, I left Fort Garry on the afternoon of the 27th of July last, with the view of prosecuting my mission. I was accompanied by one of my associates, the Hon. J. W. Christie, and by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., who was to act as secretary. I selected as my guide Mr. Pierre Levailler. The Hon. James McKay, who had also been associated in the commission, it was arranged, would follow me and meet me at Fort Carlton. On the morning of the 4th of August, I forded the Assiniboine about five miles from Fort Ellice, having accomplished what is usually regarded as the first stage of the journey to Fort Carlton, about two hundred and twenty miles. After crossing the river, I was overtaken by a party of the Sioux who have settled on the reserve assigned to them at Bird Tail Creek, and was detained the greater part of the day. I am sanguine that this settlement will prove a success, as these Sioux are displaying a laudable industry in cutting hay for their own use and for sale, and in breaking up ground for cultivation. I resumed my journey in the afternoon, but a storm coming on, I was obliged to encamp at the Springs, having only travelled eight miles in...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 23rd of August

August 23rd. Shortly after the business had commenced, proceedings were interrupted by the loud talking of a Chippewa, who was addressing the Indians gathered in front of the tent. The Governor said, “There was an Indian, a Chippewa, stood and spoke to you, he did not speak to his Governor as he should have done: I am willing to hear what any band has to say, but they must speak to me. I have been talking to the Cree for several days. I wish to go on with the work; if the Chippewa want to talk with me I will hear them afterwards. They are a little handful of strangers from the east, I have treated with their whole nation, they are not wiser than their people. “There are many reasons why business should go on; I hear that the buffalo are near you and you want to be off to your hunt; there are many mouths here to feed and provisions are getting low; now my friends I am ready to hear you.” TEE-TEE-QUAY-SAY–“Listen to me, my friends, all you who are sitting around here, and you will soon hear what the interpreter has to say for us.” The interpreter then read a list of the things the Indians had agreed in council to ask, viz.:–One ox and cow for each family. Four hoes, two spades, two scythes and a whetstone for each family. Two axes, two hay forks, two reaping hooks, one plough and one harrow for every three families. To each Chief one chest of tools as proposed. Seed of every kind in full to every...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 18th of August

August 18th. At half-past ten His Honor Lieut.-Gov. Morris, the Hon. W. J. Christie and Hon. Jas. McKay, accompanied by an escort of North-West Mounted Police, left the Fort for the camp of the Cree Indians, who had selected a site about a mile and a half from the Hudson’s Bay Fort. There were about two hundred and fifty lodges, containing over two thousand souls. The Governor’s tent was pitched on a piece of rising ground about four hundred yards from the Indian camp, and immediately facing it. As soon as the Governor and party arrived, the Indians who were to take part in the treaty, commenced to assemble near the Chief’s tents, to the sound of beating drums and the discharge of small arms, singing, dancing and loud speaking, going on at the same time. In about half an hour they were ready to advance and meet the Governor; this they did in a large semi-circle; in their front were about twenty braves on horseback, galloping about in circles, shouting, singing and going through various picturesque performances. The semi-circle steadily advanced until within fifty yards of the Governor’s tent, when a halt was made and further peculiar ceremonies commenced, the most remarkable of which was the “dance of the stem.” This was commenced by the Chiefs, medicine men, Councilor, singers and drum-beaters, coming a little to the front and seating themselves on blankets and robes spread for them. The bearer of the stem, Wah-wee-kah-nich-kah-oh-tah-mah-hote (the man you strike on the back), carrying in his hand a large and gorgeously adorned pipe stem, walked slowly along the semi-circle, and...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 19th of August

Second Day August 19th. The Lieutenant-Governor and Commissioners, with the Mounted Police escort, headed by their band, proceeded to the camp to meet the Indians at 10:30 a.m. The Indians having assembled in regular order with their two leading Chiefs, Mis-tah-wah-sis and Ah-tuck-ah-coop seated in front, the Governor said: “My friends, we have another bright day before us, and I trust that when it closes our faces will continue as bright as the day before us. I spoke yesterday as a friend to friends, as a brother to brothers, as a father to his children. I did not want to hurry you, I wanted you to think of my words, and now I will be glad if you will do as I asked you then, present your Chiefs to me, and I shall be glad to hear the words of the Indians through the voice of their Chiefs, or whoever they may appoint.” The head men then brought forward Mis-tah-wah-sis, of the Carlton Indians, representing seventy-six lodges. Ah-tuck-ah-coop, of the Wood Indians, representing about seventy lodges. These were acknowledged as the leading Chiefs, after them came James Smith, of the Fort-a-la-Corne Indians, fifty lodges. John Smith, of the Prince Albert and South Branch Indians, fifty lodges. The Chip-ee-wayan, of the Plain Indians, sixty lodges. Yah-yah-tah-kus-kin-un, of the Fishing or Sturgeon lake Indians, twenty lodges. Pee-yahan-kah-mihk-oo-sit, thirty lodges. Wah-wee-kah-nich-kah-oh-tah-mah-hote, of the River Indians, fifty lodges. Here a messenger came from the Indians under Chief Beardy, camped at Duck Lake, eight miles from the main camp. He shook hands with the Governor and said, “I am at a loss at this...
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