« 上一頁繼續 »
features which some see in it now-a-days. For ourselves, we see no more objection to an alliance with red men than white men, unless it can be shown to perpetuate bad blood, and produce renewed quarrel. The secrecy of the British orders and acts, we think, should long since have been dropped. If England did right, why hide her doings ? If wrong, let her own them and repent. The scalp-buying we object to, as leading to personal hostility. The conduct of the Tories and Indians at Wyoming, Cherry Valley, and during the invasion of the Mohawk, was full of evil, as war must be ; but we have no charge against Britain for those acts.
Upon the whole, then, the very considerable outcry against British cruelty, during the border wars, we think unfounded. We do not know of an act equal in treachery to the capture and murder of Cornstalk ; nor any that can compete, in point of cruelty, with those scenes in the West which it now becomes our painful duty to relate.
We have already said not a little respecting the Delawares upon the Muskingum ; but, in order to make intelligible those events to which we are now coming, we must speak of them more particularly. Some years before the revolutionary war began, those Delaware Indians, who had been converted to Christianity by the United brethren, or Moravians, had been invited by the Delawares living upon the Muskingum, to come and settle in their country. This they did, and built there several Aourishing towns. There were, therefore, at the time of which we have been treating, three classes of Delawares upon that river ; the heathen peace party, which was led by White-Eyes, the heathen war party under Pipe, and the Christian Delawares. The last-named people had nothing to do with the contests between the colonies and the mother country ; but, as their towns were situated about the forks of the Muskingum, and near the great war-path from the Wyandot and Miami country to the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, they were at times visited by bands from each of the warring parties. This exposed them to suspicion ; the Indians thought them renegades and spies; the whites called them secret foes, and accused them of aiding their heathen brethren.
* Heckewelder's Narrative, Doddridge, &c.
So matters stood when, in the summer of 1781, Colonel Brodhead led a body of troops against some of the hostile Delawares. This, a portion of his followers thought, would be an excellent opportunity to destroy the Moravian towns, and it was with difficulty he could withhold them. He sent word to Heckewelder, and tried to prevent any attack upon the members of his flock. In this he appears to have succeeded; but he did not, perhaps could not, prevent the slaughter of the prisoners taken from the hostile Delawares. First, sixteen were coolly killed, and then nearly twenty. A chief, who came under assurances of safety to Brodhead's camp, was also murdered by a noted partisan, named Wetzel.
This took place in the spring or summer of 1781. About that same time, the British commanders in the Northwest made up their minds, that the settlements of the Moravians were a great evil in their way; as the Christian Delawares continually notified the frontier men of war-parties marching against them. It was therefore determined to destroy those settlements and remove the Indians, unless they would go, of their own accord, to some other point. This they would not do ; and in the autumn, after long and frequent talks, which may be found in Heckewelder's “ Narrative,” the towns were abandoned, and the inhabitants removed to the Sandusky country, where they passed the winter in a most miserable condition. This removal the Americans appear to have looked on as a voluntary going over to the British.
In the spring of 1782, some of the Moravians, who had been literally starving through the winter, returned to their old places of abode, to gather what they could of the remainder of their property, and busied themselves in collecting the corn which had been left in the fields. About the time they returned for that purpose, parties of Wyandots came down upon the settlements, and slew many. This excited the frontier-men ; and believing a connexion to exist between the acts of the Wyandots, and the late movements of the Moravians, it was determined to attack and exterminate the latter, or, at least, to waste their lands and destroy their towns. Eighty or ninety men met for the purpose of effecting the objects just named, and marched in silence and swiftness upon the devoted villages. They reached them ; by threats and lies got hold of the gleaners scattered among them, and bound their prisoners, while they deliberated on their fate.
Williamson, the commander of the party, put the question ; Shall these men, women, and children, be taken to Pittsburg, or be killed ? Of the eighty or ninety men present, sixteen or eighteen only were for granting their lives ; and the prisoners were told to prepare for death. They prepared for death, and soon were dead ; slaughtered, some say in one way, and some in another ; but thus much is known, that eighty or ninety American men murdered, in cold blood, about forty men, twenty women, and thirty-four children, all defenceless and innocent fellow Christians.
It was in March of 1782, that this great murder was committed. And as the tiger, once having tasted blood, longs for blood, so it was with the frontier-men ; and another expedition was at once organized, to make a dash at the towns of the Moravian Delawares and Wyandots upon the Sandusky. No Indian was to be spared ; friend or foe, every red man was to die. The commander of this expedition was Colonel William Crawford, Washington's old agent in the West. He did not want to go, but found it could not be avoided. The troops, numbering nearly five hundred men, marched to the Sandusky uninterrupted. There they found the towns deserted, and the savages on the alert. A battle ensued, and the whites were forced to retreat. In their retreat many left the main body, and nearly all who did so perished. Crawford himself was taken and burnt to death, under the most horrible circumstances. We cannot detail them. In short, the whole expedition was a failure, as none ever better deserved to be.
Crawford's campaign was in June. In August a very large body of Indians appeared in Kentucky. They were met by the whites at the Blue Licks, on the Licking river, and a defeat was suffered by the Americans, which was long felt in that region, and is still familiar to all who live there. It was not too severe, however, to prevent Clark, with a thousand men, from marching into the Indian country, in September, and laying it waste so effectually as to awe the natives into comparative quiet. After that time Kentucky suffered little.
This march of Clark's, in the autumn of 1782, was indeed the last decided movement in the border wars of our Revolution. After that, personal encounters alone took place. It is true, that the western wars did not cease with the Revolution. The Miamis and their allies afterwards came more prominently forward, and the well-known campaigns of Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne wound up, for the time, the long Indian contest. From 1774 to 1795 there was not peace, northwest of the Ohio, between the white and red man. But into these wars we cannot enter, having already gone beyond our proposed limits.
Before closing, let us ask, however, What may be learned from a rapid survey of those wars which we have been glancing at ?
We may learn, that England was less blameworthy than we have been used to think her.
We may learn, that the Indians took less pleasure in slaughter than we have been in the habit of saying they did. Even at Wyoming and Cherry Valley, the Tories were more murderers than their red allies.
We may learn some national modesty, by finding, that Americans were guilty of the greatest treachery and the most cold-blooded murder done in those times.
We may learn, in fine, tolerance for all. The Tory felt that he was contending against traitors, disorganizers, locofocos of the worst tint ; the Whig against the tools of a tyrant, who had sold themselves into bondage for vile lucre; the Indian against the usurpers of his ancient and deeprooted right. In all, the lowest and most desperate part of man's nature was called into action, and the result was, that all did evil and wrong, times without number
We conclude with once more thanking Mr. Stone for his volumes. We do not think we have stated any thing which is not stated by him, and, usually, in a simple and interesting form. We wish, most heartily, that some one would follow his example, with regard to the border transactions in the South and West.
We may contending as the Whig asadage for vilea de
Art. II. — Sketches of English Literature ; with Consider
ations on the Spirit of the Times, Men, and Revolutions. By the Viscount de CHATEAUBRIAND. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1836.
There are few topics of greater attraction, or, when properly treated, of higher importance, than literary history. For what is it, but a faithful register of the successive steps, by which a nation has advanced in the career of civilization ? Civil history records the crimes and the follies, the enterprises, discoveries, and triumphs, it may be, of humanity. But to what do all these tend, or of what moment are they, in the eye of the philosopher, except as they accelerate or retard the march of civilization ? The history of literature is the history of the human mind. It is, as compared with other histories, the intellectual as distinguished from the material, — the informing spirit, as compared with the outward and visible.
When such a view of the mental progress of a people is combined with individual biography, we have all the materials for the deepest and most varied interest. The life of the man of letters is not always circumscribed by the walls of a cloister ; and was not, even in those days when the cloister was the familiar abode of science. The history of Dante and of Petrarch is the best commentary on that of their age. In later times, the man of letters has taken part in all the principal concerns of public and social life. But, even when the story is to derive its interest from his own personal character, what a store of entertainment is supplied by the eccentricities of genius, the joys and sorrows, not visible to vulgar eyes, but which agitate his finer sensibilities, as powerfully as the greatest shocks of worldly fortune would a hardier and less visionary temper. What deeper interest can romance afford, than is to be gathered from the melancholy story of Petrarch, Tasso, Alfieri, Rousseau, Byron, Burns, and a crowd of familiar names, whose genius seems to have been given them only to sharpen their sensibility to suffering ? What matter, if their sufferings were, for the most part, of the imagination ? They were not the less real to them. They lived in a world of imagination, and by the gift of genius, unfortunate to its proprietor, have known how,
VOL. xlix. — No. 105. 41