The British, on the other hand, now supplied them with nothing, frequently insulting them when they appeared around the forts. Everything conspired to fix the Indian population in their prejudices against the British Government. Even the seeds of the American Revolution were scattered into the west, and began to grow. The first Indian chief to raise the war-whoop was probably Kiashuta, of the Senecas, but Pontiac, of the Ottawas, was the great George Washington of all the tribes to systemize and render effectual the initial movements of the approaching storm.
His home was about eight miles above Detroit, on Pechee Island, which looks out upon the waters of Lake St. He was a well-formed man, with a countenance indicating a high degree of intelligence. In he had successfully defended Detroit against the northern tribes, and it is probable he was present and assisted in the defeat of Braddock. About the close of he called a general council of the tribes, sending out ambassadors in all directions, who, with the war belt of wampum and the tomahawk, went from village to village, and camp to camp, informing the sachems everywhere, that war was impending, and delivering to them the message of Pontiac.
They all approved the message, and April 27, 1 , a e Three of these were within the bounds of this State. The first prominent event of the war was the massacre at Fort Michilimackinac, on the northernmost point of the southern peninsula, the site of the present city of Mackinaw. This Indian outrage was one of the most ingeniously devised and resolutely executed schemes inl American history. The Chippewas or Ojibways appointed one of their big ball plays in the vicinity of the post and invited and inveigled as many of the occupants as they could to the scene of play, then fell upon the unsuspecting and unguarded English in the most brutal manner.
For the details of this horrible scene we are indebted to Alexander Henry, a trader at that point, who experienced several most bloodcurdling escapes from death and scalping at the hands of the savages. The result of the massacre was the death of about seventy out of ninety persons.
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The Ottawa Indians, who occupied mainly the eastern portion of the lower peninsula, were not consulted by the Chippewas, with reference to attacking Michilimackinac, and were consequently so enraged that they espoused the cause of the English, through spite; and it was through their instrumentality that Mr. Henry and some of his comrades were saved from death and conveyed east to the regions of civilization.
Of Mr. Henry's narrow escapes we give thefollowing succinct account: Instead of attending the ball play of the Indians he spent tile day writing letters to his friends, as a canoe was to leave for the East the following day. While thus engaged, lie heard an Indian war cry and a noise of general confusion.
Looking out of the window, he saw a crowd of Indians within the fort, that is, within the village palisade, who were cutting down and scalpi;g every Englishman they found.
He seized a fowling piece which he had at hand, and waited a moment for the signal, the drum beat to arms. In that dreadful interval he saw several of his countrymen fall under the tomahawk and struggle between the knees of an Indian, who held him in this manner to scalp him, while still alive. Henry heard no signal to arms; and seeing it was useless to undertake to resist Indians, he thought only of shelter for himself.
He saw many of the Canadian inhabitants of the fort calmly looking on, neither opposing the Indians nor suffering injury, and he therefore concluded he might find safety in some of their houses. He stealthily ran to one occupied by Mr. Langlade and family, who were at their windows beholding the bloody scene.
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Langlade scarcely dared to harbor him, but a Pawnee slave of the former concealed him in the garret, locked the stairway door and took away the key. In this situation Mr. Henry obtained, through an aperture, a view of what was going on without. He saw the dead scalped and mangled, the "f ' i. Henry almost felt as if he were a victim himself so intense were his sufferings. Soon the Indian fiends began to halloo, " All is finished.
The garret was separated from the room below by only a layer of single boards, and Mr. Henry heard all that was said. As soon as the Indians entered they inquired whether there were any Englishmen in the house.
Langlade replied that he could not say; they might examine for themselves. He tlien conducted them to tile garret door. As the door was locked, a moment of time was snatched by Mr. Henry to crawl into a heap of birch-bark vessels in a dark corner; and although several Indians searched around the garret, one of them coming within arm's length of the sweating prisoner, they went out satisfied that no Englishman was there. As Mr.
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Henry was passing the succeeding night in this room, he could think of no possible chance of escape from the country. HIe was out of provisions, the nearest post was Detroit, miles away, and the route thither lay through the enemy's country. The next morning he heard Indian voices below informing Mr. Langlade that they had not found an Englishman named Henry among the dead, and they believed him to be somewhere concealed.
The latter was saved from instant death by one of tlhe savages adopting him as a brother in the place of one lost. The Indians were all mad with liquor, however, and Mr. An hour afterwards he was taken out of the fort by an Indian indebted to him for goods, and was under the uplifted knife of the savage when he suddenly broke away from him and made back to Mr.
Langlade's house, barely escaping the knife of the Indian tile whole distance.
The next day he, with three other prisoners, were taken in a canoe toward Lake Michigan, and at Fox Point, eighteen miles distant, the Ottafwas rescued the whites through spite at the Chippewas, sayir. He was rescued again by an old friendly Indian claiming him as a brother. The next morning he saw the dead bodies of seven whites dragged forth from the prison lodge he had just occupied.
The fattest of these dead bodies was actually served up and feasted on directly before the eyes of Mr. Through tlme partiality of the Ottawas and the complications of military affairs among the Indians, Mr. Henry, after severe exposures and many more thrilling escapes, was finally landed within territory occupied by whites A-IV L 1c9J. For more than a year after the massacre, Michilimackinac was occupied only by wood rangers and Indians; then, after the treaty, Capt.
Howard was sent with troops to take possession.
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The Great French Scheme. The river St. Joseph, of Lake Michigan, was called "the river Miamis" in , in which year La Salle built a small fort on its bank, near the lake shore. The principal station of the mission for the instruction of the Miamis was established on the borders of this river. The first French post within the territory of the Miamis was at the mouth of the river Miamis, on an eminence naturally fortified on two sides by the river, and on one side by a deep ditch made by a fall of water.
It was of triangular form. The missionary, Hennepin, gives a good description of it, as he was one of the company who built it in Says he: " We felled the trees that were on the top of the hill, and having cleared the same from bushes for about two musket shot, we began to build a redoubt of eighty feet long and forty feet broad, with great square pieces of timber laid one upon another, and prepared a great number of stakes of about twenty-five feet long to drive into the ground, to make our fort more inaccessible on the river side.
We employed the whole month of November about that work, which was very hard, though we had no other food but the bears' flesh our savage killed. These beasts are very common in that place, because of the great quantity of grapes they find there; but their flesh being too fat and luscious, our men began to be weary of it, and desired leave to go a-hunting to kill some wild goats. La Salle denied them that liberty, which caused some murmurs among them, and it was but unwillingly that they continued their work. This, together with the approach of Winter and the apprehension that M.
La Salle had that his vessel the Griffin was lost, made him very melancholy, though he concealed it as much as he could. We made a cabin wherein we performed divine service every Sunday, and Father Gabriel and I, who preached alternately, took care to take such texts as were suitable to our present circumstances and fit to G - r The fort was at last perfected and called Fort Miamis.
Of these, about were Twight-wess or Miamis proper, Weas or Ouiate-nons, Piankeshaws and Schockeys, and at this time the principal villages of the Twightwess were situated about the head of the Maumee River, at and near the place where Fort Wayne now is. The larger Wea villages were near the banks of the Wabash River, in the vicinity of the Ouiatenon; and the Shockeys and Piankeshaws dwelt on the banks of the Vermillion and on the borders of the Wabash, between Vincennes and Ouiatenon. Branches of the Pottawatomie, Shawnee, Delaware and Kcickapoo tribes were permitted at different times to enter within the boundaries of the Miamis and reside for a while.
The wars in which France and England were engaged from to , retarded the growth of the colonies of those nations in North America, and the efforts made by France to connect Canada and the Gulf of Mexico by a chain of trading-posts and colonies naturally excited the jealousy of England and gradually laid the foundation for a struggle at arms. After several stations were established elsewhere in the West, trading-posts were started at the Miami villages, which stood at the head of the Maumee, at the Wea villages about Ouiatenon, on the Wabash, and at the Piankeshaw villages about the present site of Vincennes.
It is probable that before the close of the year , temporary trading-posts were erected at the sites of Fort Wayne, Ouiatenon and Vincennes.