Gen. Anthony Wayne’s Campaign
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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 motive for a council, and I challenge, successful contradiction. About twenty Indians, from about the same number of tribes responded to the commissioner’s call, and assembled at the designated place. They justly denied the validity of the treaty made in 1789, at Fort Harmer, as it had only been made by representatives of six of the tribes, who had no power or right to cede the territories of the other tribes, and Congress knew it, as well as the Indians. But that infamous game of secretly making a sham purchase of lands from a tribe or two, and then extend the claim over every tribe whose lands were coveted, and then back the diabolical proceedings by seizing it VI ET ARMIS, then burning their homes, cutting down their orchards, destroying their every means of support, and murdering them in cold blood, all, without distinction of age or sex, because they dared to raise a hand in self-defense, has been our plan, and only plan, of dealing with the North American Indians from first to last.
The deputation of Indians mentioned above justly insisted on the treaty of Fort Stanwix, made in 1767, which established the Ohio River as the boundary; and boldly affirmed that the Whites must conform to that treaty, as they had made no- other with them; and move from their territories west of the Ohio River, if they desired peace with the Indians. But the commissioners still pointed to the two treaties of 1784 and 1789, in which they affirmed the United States had bought large bodies of land, which they had determined to hold. How clearly this old precedent, handed down from that day to this, was illustrated in the securing of the Oklahoma Territory, and also that from the Sioux, in which fraud, falsehood, hypocrisy and rascality are the only characteristics that are visible in the whole?
But the commissioners, finding the Indians immovable and strenuously appealing to the treaty of 1768, and knowing that they had truth, justice and honor on their side, and judging that noble race of the long ago, who then were free, pure and even unstained by the vices of the White Race, whose very breath seemed pollution to them by the fallacy of their, own polluted hearts, offered pecuniary inducements to them to confirm the treaty, then endeavoring to be made with them, the vast tracts of land in the Ohio country which were claimed by the treaty of Fort Harmer in 1789, made with six little tribes alone. If that treaty was just and valid, what necessity was there in calling a council of those Indians to make another treaty in regard to those identical lands?
And why did Congress instruct those commissioners, if cajolery and threats would not avail, to resort to their last argument bribery.
But those ancient Indian patriots could not be bribed. It would have been as easy for those commissioners to have, turned the sun from its course as those twenty native American chiefs of a century ago from the paths of honor. Nor would they agree to any other boundary line than the Ohio River, proposed by the Whites, accepted by the Indians and established by both in the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768. The council adjourned and the bulldogs of war were untied and turned loose upon the Indians, Why? Because they refused to sell their country. That’s all. Congress knew they would not give up their country by the bogus treaty of 1789; and it knew that it had no more just claims to those vast tracts of land than it did to the throne of Queen Victoria. But the United States had the power, but not the honor, therefore Ahab took the land.
Wayne at once took up the line of March for the Indian territories in Ohio. On his march, he built a fort where Greenville, Ohio, is now situated. In October 1793, the seemingly indomitable Little Turtle and his warriors made an attack upon Lieutenant Lowry, who, with ninety men, was conveying supplies for the army, and killed Lowry and fourteen of his men, and captured ninety horses.
Wayne remained at the newly erected, fort until the spring of 1794 making every preparation for a successful ex terminating campaign against the Indians, who were concentrating their strength upon the Maumee River, and also making every preparation that their meager means would admit to repel their plundering invaders. On the 27th, of July, Wayne, with an army of 4000 men, started upon his depredatory and exterminating work upon the Indians. August 4th, found him on the St. Mary’s River, 47 miles, from the fort. There he erected another fort and named it Fort Adams, garrisoning it with one hundred men. He again resumed his march, and. 0n the 8th of August encamped 103 miles from his first fort. On the morning of the 20th he came to the encampment of the Indians on the bank of the Maumee River, and the battle opened, which resulted in the defeat of the Indians, though they fought with heroic bravery, and, says Wayne in his report of the battle “exposed their persons in an unusual degree, and seemed determined to conquer or perish.” Wayne remained three days after the battle, burning their houses, destroying their cornfields and everything that could be destroyed, above and below for fifty miles on each side of the Maumee River.
This barbarous destruction of their villages and vast cornfields that spread for fifty and sixty miles along the banks of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers, reduced the Indians to such privations and sufferings, that they were forced to sue for peace; and on the 3rd of August, 1795, Wayne concluded a treaty of peace with the northwest tribes, in which the Indians were forced to make concessions of large tracts of land, as usual in all such cases, for fighting for liberty and their native land.
But here, as in the middle watches of the night, I will close this cursory review of the fearful sufferings and cruel destruction of that portion of the human family, who were seldom equaled and never surpassed in the annals of the world for patient endurance and patriotic heroism when battling for their homes and native land against the iron heel of tyranny, and who formerly possessed and inhabited the northern and western part of this continent as a free and happy people; then fell into the hands of France, and subsequently into those of England, to be finally handed over to the United States as old and useless goods and chattels. And though I have but exhibited the mere skeleton of their wrongs and woes inflicted by the hands of white civilization and professed Christianity, yet I will return to my subject, the Chickasaws, from which I have so long and far wandered; not to repose in hope of a fairer morn in tracing the line of their history, since there can be no hope expected in this age abounding, as all heretofore have, more with vice than with virtue.