Header Graphic
History of Dayton, Ohio 1889
Chapter One

(page 9)



Indian History-Mound Builders-Dayton Earthworks-French and English Claim the Ohio Valley-Indian Titles Extinguished-Ohio One of the Greatest of the Indian Battle-fields - Indian Trails - Dayton in the Indian Hunting Ground - Wild Animals and Birds-The Twightwee or Miami Villages-Shawnee Towns-Pickaway Plains-The Miamis Head of a Confederacy-Gist Visits the Miamis in 1751Visits the Shawnees-Ohio Land Company-Celoron de Bienville Claims the Ohio Valley for the French-Ascends the Big Miami-The French Destroy Pickawillany -French Build Posts at Erie and Venango-Fort Duquesne-English Do Not Assist the Indians-The Miamis Allies of the French in 1763-The English Destroy the Miami Villages--.Miamis Remove to Fort Wayne-France Cedes the Northwest to England-Pontiac's War-Captain Bullitt Visits Chillicothe in 1773-Lord Dunmore's War-Daniel Boone a Captive at Chillicothe-Colonel Bowman's Expedition from Kentucky Against Chillicothe-Byrd's Force of British and Indians Invade Kentucky-Rogers Clarke's Expedition to Ohio-Four Thousand Shawnees Rendered Homeless- Broadhead Defeats the Delawares- Crawford's Expedition-Clarke's Second Expedition-Skirmish on Site of Dayton-Logan's Campaign in 1786-Second Skirmish on Site of Dayton-Gratitude Due to General Clarke- Symmes Visits Upper Miami Valley-Harmar's Defeat-Scott and Wilkinson's Raid- St. Clair's Defeat-General Wayne's Campaign-Treaty of Peace-British Vacate Western Forts 1796 – Tecumseh – Friendly Indians at Piqua in Fidelity of Logan-Black Hoof-Tribes all Removed from Ohio Before 1843


NOTE.-In the preparation of the part of the HISTORY OF DAYTON (from the beginning down to 1840, inclusive) assigned to me, indebtedness is acknowledged to the "History of Dayton," by M. E. Curwen, and to that part of the "History of Montgomery County" relating to Dayton, written by Ashley Brown. Use has been made of manuscript letters and papers, particularly of the manuscript journal of Benjamin Van Cleve, kindly loaned to me by his great-grandson, R. Fay Dover. The volumes of Dayton newspapers from 1808 to 1841, in the Public Library, have been thoroughly searched, and a large part of the information embodied in the history obtained from them. The following authorities have been consulted: Bancroft's " History of the United States," J. P. McLean's "Mound Builders," "The American Pioneer Magazine," Howe's "Ohio Historical Collections," Prof. Orton's " Report on the Geology of Montgomery County," Black's " Story of Ohio," and King's " History of Ohio."

            I am also under the greatest obligations to my daughter, Mary D. Steele, for invaluable assistance.

            R. W. S.



            THE vast and fertile region known as the Northwest Territory was the home of a race of people of whom the origin and destiny is unknown, and the theories concerning whom, at the most, can only be called conjecture. The Indians who occupied that portion of the territory now known as Ohio, when it was first visited by the whites, manifested no curiosity concerning the history of this people, and had no traditions (page 10) in regard to them. They were called Mound Builders, because of the numerous mounds found in different parts of the country, but principally along the river valleys. Many of the mounds have been excavated, but no articles have been found that indicate a high degree of civilization, and it may be that their builders were not very different from the Indians and had been driven from their homes by more powerful tribes who invaded the country. The earthworks built by them were of two kinds-mounds and enclosures. The mounds were located at points commanding a wide view of the surrounding country, and it is supposed were used for purposes of observation or burial. The enclosures, many of which were of great extent, may have been intended for defense, or for places of worship. There are more than ten thousand of these earthworks in Ohio, and, in addition to many smaller ones, three of considerable size in Montgomery County-an enclosure on a commanding bluff in Twin Creek valley, two miles south of Germantown; a large mound near Miamisburg, and an enclosure now included in Calvary Cemetery, just south of Dayton. J. P. McLean, in his work "The Mound Builders," thus describes the latter two : "The great mound-at Miamisburg has been assigned to the class called mounds of observation. It is situated on a high hill just east of the Great Miami River, and has a commanding view of the broad valley of the river. It is sixty-eight feet in perpendicular height, and eight hundred and fifty-two in circumference at its base, and contains three hundred and eleven thousand three hundred and fifty-three cubic feet." "South of Dayton on a hill one hundred and sixty feet high is a fort, enclosing twenty-four acres. The gateway on the south is covered in the interior by a ditch twenty feet wide and seven hundred feet long. On the northern line of embankment is a small mound, from the top of which a full view of the country for a long distance up and down the river may be obtained."

            When the first white men penetrated the forests that covered the Ohio valley, the country was inhabited by various tribes of Indians. But while the Indians were the possessors of the land, the ownership of it was claimed by three great nations, France, England, and Spain. Spain was content to have her claim settled on other battle-fields, but France and England entered into a fierce contest for possession within the territory itself.

            The French asserted that the discovery of the Ohio in 1669 by their countryman, La Salle, gave the valley watered by the river and its tributaries to France; but the English resisted the pretensions of the French, and insisted that the discovery and occupation of the Atlantic coast gave them possession of the continent, and that before the French (page 11) began their explorations, the lands granted by Great Britain to colonists were described as stretching from sea to sea. The English, however, took the precaution of strengthening their title by Indian treaties and purchases of lands, for which they received legally executed deeds. By the treaty with the Iroquois or Six Nations in 1684, it was claimed that the country of the Indians beyond the mountains, of which the powerful Eastern Confederacy was regarded as the conqueror and ruler, became subject to the English. The protests of the western Indians, who declared that they were not subject to the Iroquois, were not heeded, but modern research seems to prove that the Six Nations ceded lands over which they had no authority. In 1701 a treaty of peace was signed between the French and Iroquois, which enabled France to keep the mastery of the Great Lakes, though England shared the trade with the western Indians. The Iroquois          wished to be regarded as neutrals in the strife between the two European nations, and asserted their independence of both. In 1726 the English made a new Indian treaty, which they explained as confirming the grant of land made in 1684 and renewed, as they claimed, in 1701. In 1744, at Lancaster, the English made another treaty with the Iroquois, purchasing from them for about four hundred pounds the Ohio basin, and also protection for their northern frontier. This treaty was confirmed at Logstown in 1752, but French and Indian hostilities prevented them from enforcing their title. The Revolutionary War intervened, and at its close, Great Britain, in 1783, by the treaty of Versailles, which secured the independence of the United States, relinquished her claim to the possession of the Ohio valley. In 1784 the title of Virginia to the territory northwest of the Ohio, which she claimed by purchase from the Indians, was ceded to the United States. By treaties between the United States and the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix in 1784, and the Wyandots, Chippewas, Delawares, and Ottawas at Fort McIntosh in 1785, the Indian title to a great part of the Ohio valley was extinguished and the boundaries of their reservations fixed.

            From an early period the country which now forms the State of Ohio was one of the greatest of the Indian battlefields. During many years annually up and down the Ohio and its larger tributaries silently glided the canoes of the terrible Northern Confederacy of the Six Nations, bringing captivity or death to numbers of the inhabitants and destruction to their property. Reaching a convenient landing, the invaders, leaving their fleet with a sufficient guard, made expeditions against villages in the interior.

            When Indian warriors traveled by land, they followed one of two (page 12) trails-one east of the Little Miami and the other west of the Great Miami. The trail east of the Little Miami led from the Macachack and the Piqua towns, on Mad River, and Chillicothe, near Xenia, to the Ohio. The other trail led from the portage, at Laramie (though also branching from there to the villages north and west), past the Piqua towns, on the Great Miami, through Greenville and Fort Jefferson, east of Eaton and west of Hamilton to the Ohio below the mouth of the Great Miami. From the trails, over which passed for generations the moccasined feet of countless bands of Indian braves, resplendent in war-paint and feathers, arrows and other relics of the red man used often to be picked up, and even now are sometimes found. The hunting grounds between the trails furnished war parties as well as villages with food, and when the braves were on the war-path, hunters were always sent into this preserve to collect game and fish.

            Long before the Miami valley was visited by white men, the country between the Great and Little Miami rivers, and bounded on the south by the Ohio and on the north by Mad River, was used only as a hunting ground. No Indians have lived on this land since 1700. Probably for a century before Dayton was laid out, no wigwam was built on the site selected by the original proprietors. The town lay just within this immense game preserve, and was, previous to the invasion of the whites, the home of buffaloes, elks, deer, bears, wild cats, wolves, panthers, foxes, and all the animals and birds of the temperate zone, which literally swarmed in the forests.

            Before the middle of the eighteenth century, villages were built on the outer river banks west of the Great Miami and east of the Little Miami. Care was taken to select sites above the danger of foods, though in positions where. the villagers could easily land from their canoes, where the squaws could, without difficulty, have access to the water, and which were free from timber. Round the villages spread hundreds of acres of land, cultivated by the squaws. From these fertile bottom lands they annually gathered an abundant harvest of Indian corn, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco. Hunters, trappers, and fishermen furnished them with plenty of animal food, and with skins to exchange for powder, lead, blankets, and other necessaries.

            The Indian. towns, as we have said, lay outside of the hunting grounds. West of the Great Miami and near the present town of Piqua were situated, till 1763, the Miami or Twightwee villages. After the Miamis left Ohio, the Shawnees occupied their old home, calling their town Upper Piqua. About sixteen miles from where Sidney now stands was the Laramie settlement. At the head-waters of Mad River, Logan County, (page 13) were the Macachack towns. Chillicothe, near Xenia, and Piqua, near Springfield, were important villages. All but the Twightwee villages were the homes of Shawnees. Among the most important of their settlements were Old Chillicothe and Grenadier Squawtown, on the Pickaway Plains, three and a half miles south of Circleville. To this place a large number of the prisoners taken by the war parties were brought for safe-keeping, as its situation rendered escape difficult, and no enemy could, in the daytime, approach the villages unseen. From a high hill, called Black Mountain, the Indians commanded a wide and uninterrupted view of the country for miles, as they yearly burned the forests and kept down the undergrowth. On the Pickaway Plains many a white captive "suffered to the death all the tortures that savage ingenuity could invent." The Indians living in the Miami valley, when the first white men visited it, were the Twightwee or Miami tribes. The word Miami is said to mean mother in the Ottawa language. The Miamis belonged to the Algonquin fancily. They came here from Michigan. "' My forefather,' said the Miami orator, Little Turtle, at Greenville, ' kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his lidos to the head waters of Scioto; from thence to its mouth ; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash; and from thence to Chicago and Lake Michigan. These are the boundaries within which the prints of my ancestor's houses are everywhere to be seen;' and the early French narratives confirm his words." The Miamis were a people noted for intelligence and force of character, and were at the head of a powerful confederacy, which consisted of the Miamis, Wyandots, Pottawatomies, Ottawas, and Shawnees. The Weas, Eel River Indians, Kickapoos, Munsees, and other Wabash tribes, and also the Delawares and Chippewas, often united with the Miamis against the Iroquois. Still other tribes joined them when the wars against the whites began, as, for instance, the Seven Nations of Canada, the Indians of the Upper Lake tribes, and the Illinois Indians. The Western Indians were long the allies of the French, whose assistance they needed against the Iroquois.

            The principal Miami or Twightwee village was situated on the Great Miami, near Piqua, as already stated. Gist gave the following account of it when he visited it in 1751: "This town is situated on the Big Miami, about one hundred and fifty miles from the mouth thereof. It consists of about four hundred families, and is daily increasing. It is accounted one of the strongest Indian towns upon this part of the continent. The Twightwees are a very numerous people, consisting of many different tribes under the same form of government. Each tribe has a particular chief, one of which is chosen indifferently out of any tribe to rule the whole (page 14) nation, and is invested with greater authority than any of the others. They are accounted the most powerful nation west of the English settlement, and much superior to the Six Nations, with whom they are now in amity."

            Next in importance to the Miamis, and after their removal to Indiana, the only tribe in this valley were the Shawnees. They were called the Spartans of the West, and though not the equals of the Miamis were a brave, though exceedingly cruel race, and were successful hunters. They emigrated to this region about 1740, having originally lived in Florida and Alabama, from whence they were driven by their enemies.  The Shawnee chief, Black Hoof, who lived to be one hundred and five years old remembered bathing in the sea on the Florida coast when a boy.

            Shawnee or Shawnoese means "people from the South." Soon after they came north, lands in the Miami Confederacy were granted them. They built their first towns near the mouth of the Scioto. When the emigrant boats began to appear on the Ohio, they moved further up the Scioto; afterward they built towns in Greene, Clarke, Logan, Shelby  and Miami counties, from whence they were driven by the Kentuckians to Mercer and Logan counties. At their town of Piqua, five miles from Springfield, was born the great chief, Tecumseh, whose first experience of war is said to have been gained on the site of Dayton. Gist visited the Shawnee town at the mouth of the Scioto in 1751, and described it as containing about three hundred men and forty houses built on both of the Ohio. In the town was a kind of state house, ninety feet long, and with a tight cover of bark, in which they held at ninety councils. He describes them as now reconciled with the Six Nations, with whom they were formerly at variance. They were also at this time great friends of the English, to whom they were grateful for protection against the vengeance of the Iroquois.

            In 1748 a treaty with the Six Nations and the Miamis was made by the English at Albany. The next year the Iroquois, hearing that the French were making preparations against New York and Pennsylvania for assistance, but the assemblies refused to do anything to confirm their Indian alliances. The Virginians were wiser, and endeavored to secure the fidelity of the Miamis. In 1749 a party of Virginians formed the Ohio Land Company for purposes of trade and with the intention of sending a colony beyond the Alleghenies. They received a grant of five hundred thousand acres of land, to be located on the northern bank of the Ohio or between the Monongahela and the Kanawha. The French, hearing of the preparations which the (page 15) English were making to take possession of the Ohio country, resolved to anticipate England, and at once, in 1749, they sent out Celoron de Bienville with three hundred soldiers to trace the boundaries of the Ohio valley and occupy it. He was furnished with lead plates, on which was engraved the inscription, that "from the farthest ridge whence water trickled towards the Ohio the country belonged to France." These plates he was directed to bury in the Indian mounds and along the banks of the Ohio and its tributaries. In token of possession, the Lilies of France were also nailed to a forest tree at a certain point on the south bank of the Ohio.

            He forbade the tribes to trade with the English, and told the Indians at Logstown, seventeen miles below Pittsburgh: “I am going down the river to scourge home my children, the Miamis and the Wyandots." Accordingly, he ascended the Great Miami in boats to the Twightwee villages, though the ascent in August must have been made with difficulty, unless the season was unusually rainy. But the Indians, unmoved by his threats, replied that the lands were theirs, and that they had a right to freedom of trade. They understood well the ceremony of burying the lead plates, and murmured: "We know it is done to steal our country from us." Instead of being cowed into submission, they appealed to the Six Nations and the English for protection. Yet the Ohio Indians were jealous of the English also, and threatened the agent of the Ohio Company when he

Logstown. "You are come," they cried, "to lands; you never shall go home safe." However, as a messenger from English king, they respected him, and allowed him to go on.

            In 1750 the Ohio Land Company built their trading post at Willis’ Creek, now Cumberland, Maryland. They did not themselves venture into the Indian country, but their goods were purchased by strolling traders, who had no settled homes, but wandered among the tribes who lived as far west as the Miamis. In February, 1751, however, as already mentioned, Christopher Gist, the agent of the company, who was sent out to examine western land, visited the Miami Confederacny. With the assistance of presents and the persuasions of Croghan and Montour who accompanied him and had great influence with the tribes, he induced the representatives of the confederacy, assembled in council at the Twightwee village, to make a treaty with the English. The Ottawa agents the of the Canadians, who has also brought presents, in vain endeavored to induce the Indians to renew their alliance with the French. Their tears, and howls, and prophecies of woe to the Miamis were without effect, and they departed in a rage. After they were gone, the French colors were Indians down, and the council house became a scene of wild revelry. The Indians (page 16) danced the feather dance, pausing at intervals at the signal of a war chief to hear the recital of his brave exploits. Having exhausted his eloquence, he threw presents lavishly to the musicians and dancers, when the turmoil began again. On the first of March, Gist departed. Later in the same year Croghan again visited the Ohio Indians, and obtained from them permission to build a trading post. The Indians also urged the English to build a fort at the forks of the Monongahela, now Pittsburg.

            In May, 1752, the English and Ohio Indians met at Logstown, and ratified the treaty made at Lancaster in 1744. The chiefs of the Six Nations declined to appear at this council, as it “did not suit their customs to treat of affairs in the woods and weeds." The Miamis had promised Gist that they would never give heed to the words of the French, and that their friendship with the English should "stand like the loftiest mountains," and for some time they kept their promise. The English about the time of Gist's visit, had built a fortified trading house, called Pickawillany, sixteen miles northwest of the present town of Sidney. Early in the year 1752, the French hearing of this post, sent  an armed body of men against the Miamis. The Indians were informed that the English traders were intruding on French lands, and must be given up to their men. The Miamis refused to obey, and the French, with the assistance of some Ottawas and Chippewas, attacked and destroyed the place after a severe battle. A number of Indians were wounded and fourteen were killed. The king of the Piankeshaws, who was chief of the whole Miami Confederacy, was taken, captive, and sacrificed and eaten by the Indian allies of the French.

            William Trent, the messenger of Virginia, went from Logstown to Pickawillany shortly after this battle, and found it deserted. He took down the French flag, which was floating over the ruins, and substituted the English colors. He then returned to Logstown to meet the representatives of the stricken confederacy, who had assembled there for " condolence and concert in revenge." They sent messengers to the English and the Six Nations, soliciting protection and vengeance against the French. Pennsylvania presented the Miamis two hundred pounds for their courageous defense of her traders. After the destruction of Pickawillany, no English settlement was made in Ohio till it passed into the possession of the United States.

            In 1753 a French army of twelve hundred men marched from Canada to take possession of Ohio. The Six Nations warned the English and the western Indians of the projected invasion. The tribes on the Ohio sent envoys in April to meet the French at Niagara and endeavor to (page 17) persuade them to turn back; but were received with contempt and derision. In September representatives of the Mingos, Shawnees, Wyandots, Delawares, and Miamis met Franklin and his colleagues at Carlisle. The Indians promised, with the assistance of the English, to repel the French, who had established posts at Erie, Waterford, and Venango. In 1754 the fort, which the English had begun at the forks of the Monongahela, was taken by the French and renamed Duquesne, but was retaken by Washington in 1758 and called Pitt. Some of the western Indians became allies of the French, and were so tenderly attached to them that, as Colonel Johnston relates, fifty years later they would burst into tears when speaking of the time when their French fathers had dominion over them. One of the chiefs, a report of whose speech is given in the "American Pioneer," said to the English when they made the treaty of peace with the Indians at Easton in 1758: "Brethren, the cause why the Indians at Ohio left you was owing to yourselves. When we heard of the French coming there, we desired the governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania to supply us with implements and necessaries for war, and we would defend our lands; but these governors disregarded our message; the French came to us, traded with our people, used them kindly, and gained their afections. The governor of Virginia settled on our lands for his own benefit, but when we wanted his assistance, forsook us. . You deal hardly with us; you claim all the wild creatures, and will not let us come on your lands so much as to hunt after them; you will not let us peel a single tree. Surely this is hard. You take of us what lands you please, and the cattle you raise on theirs are your own; but those that are wild are still ours, and should be common to both; for our nephews, when they sold the land, did not propose to deprive themselves of hunting the wild deer, or using a stick of wood."

            About 1763 a battle was fought at the Twightwee villages, on the Great Miami, between French and English traders, assisted by Indians. The English had for allies the Delawares, Shawnees, Munsees, part of the Senecas from Pennsylvania, the Cherokees, and Catawbas, while the Miamis were on the side of the French. The fort was besieged by the English and their Indian allies for more than a week, but could not be taken. The assailants met with severe losses. A number of the besieged were killed, and all their unprotected property was destroyed. It was said that after the battle baskets full of bullets could have been gathered from the ground. Shortly after this the Miamis removed to Miami of the Lakes, near Fort Wayne.

            By the treaty of peace with France in 1763, the Northwest was ceded (page 18) to the British; but the Indians denied the right of France to transfer their lands to Great Britain, and they resolved "since the French must go, no other nation should take their place." If the English had kept their promises to the tribes instead of, for nearly a century, habitually breaking them, and had conciliated instead of aggravating them, they might have been spared Pontiac's cruel war, which began in.May, 1763. In this conspiracy were engaged all the western tribes to the banks of the Mississippi. Nine British posts fell, and the savages drank from their clasped hands the blood of many Englishmen; but in August, 1763, the Indians were routed, and made peace with the English.

            One day in the year 1773, the Shawnees at Chillicothe, near Xenia, saw, with wonder and amazement, a solitary white man, carrying a flag of truce, boldly entering their village. This was the intrepid Captain Bullitt, one of a party of surveyors from Virginia, who were on their way down the Ohio. He had come alone to Chillicothe from the river to ask the friendship of the Indians and their consent to make a settlement in Kentucky. Won by his courage and his wit, the Shawnees granted his request, and he set of on his dangerous return journey through the wilderness to rejoin his companions at Maysville. This amicable powwow was the prelude to years of war.

            In the eighteenth century this valley, now so peaceful and prosperous, and teeming with people noted for intelligence, refinement, and benevolence, was the gloomy abode of cruelty and death. The wild animals             which roamed through the woods were scarcely more brutal and fierce than the inhabitants of the infrequent villages scattered along the borders of the Miami hunting grounds, for this was the terrible "Indian country," which the imagination of trembling women in far-distant block houses invested with all the horrors of a veritable hell on earth. The pioneers of Kentucky looked with jealous and longing eyes on the great Indian game preserve across the Ohio. The wily and suspicious savages used their best endeavors to exclude them; but though they ventured over here at the risk of being burned, they frequently came. Lord Dunmore's war against the towns on the Scioto ended in 1774 with a treaty of peace, concluded near the Pickaway Plains, in which the Indians agreed to make the Ohio their boundary, and the people of Virginia, of which Kentucky was a part, promised not to pass beyond that river; but, as usual, neither party kept their word.

            From the time of the frst settlement of Kentucky small parties of Shawnees and their warm friends, the Wyandots, were constantly slipping across the Ohio to surprise the Kentucky settlements, and then hastening back through the Miami valley with booty and prisoners to their secluded (page 19) villages. The pioneers never knew when these terrible foes would appear.

            They slept with loaded guns at their bedsides, and when they went into the fields to plant their corn, part of the men stood on guard, while the rest hurriedly performed the labor. Less sad was the fate of settlers whose scalps were carried home as trophies, than that of the captives who were dragged through the Miami woods to Chillicothe, there to endure all the indignities and excruciating agonies which the malice of pitiless savages could inflict.

            Once the Indians, during the Revolution, brought Daniel Boone back with them, and kept him as an honored guest, rather than as a captive, at Chillicothe, near Xenia. They took a great fancy to him, "fondly caressed him," and adopted him into a family. In vain Governor Hamilton, of Detroit, who had also taken a great fancy to the fascinating Kentuckian, offered the Indians a considerable sum of money if they would release him. They refused to part with him. But discovering, after he had been at Chillicothe for several months, that a party of one hundred and ffty warriors were about starting for Boonesborough, Boone managed to make his escape from the town, and, by hard traveling, arrived at home in time "to foil the plans of the enemy, and not only saved the borough which he had founded, but probably all the frontier parts of Kentucky from devastation."

            For a time there was no concerted action in Kentucky against the Indians, who, as emigration increased, stirred up by the English, by whom they were told that the frontiersmen were trespassing on Indian lands, became more and more jealous, restless, and revengeful. Retaliation was left to single families or individuals who had suffered from Indian raids, and the pioneers fought, each man for himself, without consultation or combination. Often a solitary frontiersman, burning to revenge the loss of property or friends, and carrying only his gun and a bag of parched corn, fearlessly, though cautiously, made his way into the Indian country, and slyly creeping near a village, killed at least one of his detested foes, stole of with one or more ponies, and got safely home to Kentucky.

            In the summer of 1779, the first military expedition from Kentucky against the Ohio Indians crossed the river. Colonel Bowman marched with one hundred and sixty volunteers to Chillicothe, on the Little Miami, and burned the town, but was then forced to retreat. The Indians retaliated in October by attacking one hundred men under command of Colonel Rogers and Captain Benham, who were passing up the river in two boats. Nearly all the men, after a brave fight, were tomahawked and scalped. In June, 1780, a party of six hundred Canadians and Indians (page 20) organized at Detroit, and, under the command of Colonel Byrd, invaded Kentucky and sacked Ruddell's and Martin's stations. Byrd could not control the savages, who were guilty of their usual atrocities. After taking the stations, Byrd retreated to the forks of the Licking, over the road which he had cut from the Ohio through the woods on his advance. When he reached his camp, the Indians immediately made of for Chillicothe and Piqua. He had come down the Great Miami to the Ohio in bateaux, bringing, it is said, six pieces of artillery with him. But the Miami was now so low, that he was obliged to return by land, leaving his cannon in the woods to be, perhaps, brought on later by Indians. In the summer of 1780, soon after Byrd's invasion of Kentucky, General George Rogers Clarke led an expedition of experienced Indian fighters to Ohio. Among the officers who held command under Clarke was Captain Robert Patterson, one of the founders of Lexington and Cincinnati, and from 1804 till 1827 a citizen of Dayton. When Clarke reached Chillicothe, near Xenia, he found it deserted and in fames, kindled by the Indians. After destroying several hundred acres of corn, he proceeded to the Piqua towns, near Springfield and about twelve miles from Chillicothe. The Shawnees were defeated. Clarke burned the houses, cut down the growing corn and vegetables, and then returned to Chillicothe and destroyed a field which he had saved to feed his horses, after which the expedition set out for home. By this victory of Clarke the homes, crops, and other property of about four thousand Shawnees were destroyed, and for some time they were wholly engaged in rebuilding their wigwams, and in hunting and fishing to obtain food for their families. In March, 1781, Colonel Broadhead made a successful expedition from Wheeling against the Delawares on the Upper Muskingum. In July of the same year the Indians attacked a party of one hundred and six American soldiers, who were descending the river, killed forty-one, and captured the rest. Enraged by constant attacks from the savages, the settlers were not careful to distinguish friends from foes, and in March, 1782, occurred the disgraceful massacre of friendly and non-resistant Moravian Indians, in the Tuscarawas valley, by a force of one hundred Virginians and Pennsylvanians. In June, 1782, Colonel Crawford made a second expedition against the Moravians and the Wyandots, in what is now Wyandot County. It was utterly routed, and the commander was horribly tortured and burned at the stake. In July of this year the British at Detroit sent a force of six hundred men against Bryant's Station, near Lexington. A number of Shawnees, Wyandots, Miamis, and Delawares assembled at Chillicothe, near Xenia, and joined the expedition. The Indians, after heavy losses, retreated from Bryant's Station; but a party (page 21) of one hundred and sixty Kentuckians, who pursued them, were drawn into an ambush near the Blue Licks and sixty of them killed and seven captured.

            Finding that the Indians were recovering from their defeat in 1780, Clarke, in the fall of 1782, led a second expedition of one thousand Kentuckians to Ohio. They met with no resistance till they reached the mouth of Mad River, on the ninth of November, where they found a small party of Indians stationed to prevent their crossing the stream. A skirmish on the site of Dayton followed, in which the Kentuckians were victorious. They spent the night here, and then proceeded to Upper Piqua, on the Great Miami, which the Shawnees had built after the destruction of their villages in 1780. On the road to Piqua they rescued a captive Kentucky woman, a Mrs. McFall, from a party of Indians. She accompanied them when they returned home.

            Having destroyed Upper Piqua, Clarke went onto the trading station which had been built about 1775 by a Frenchman named Laramie, on the site of Pickawillany. They plundered and burnt the store, and destroyed the Indians' wigwams and crops. Soon after this Laramie, who was a favorite with the Indians, emigrated with a large number of Shawnees to the Spanish territory, and there the remainder of their race gradually gathered. Some of the Shawnees, after the destruction of Upper Piqua, built towns at St. Mary's and Wapakoneta, and here they were living when Dayton was settled. The Delawares were in the same neighborhood. For some time after the peace with Great Britain in 1783, the Indians, who had met with many reverses and losses during the Revolution, did not trouble the settlements as much as formerly, but about 1785 they recommenced hostilities. It became necessary in 1786 to send a force against the Wabash and Mad River villages. The latter expedition was under command of Colonel Logan. It was divided into brigades, commanded by Colonel Robert Patterson and Colonel Thomas Kennedy, who took different directions. They harried and ruined the Indian country, destroying houses, crops, and vegetables, taking a large number of horses, and leaving the Indians in a state of destitution and starvation, from which it took them nearly a year to recover.

            Eight large towns, called Macachack, situated in what is now Logan County, were destroyed, seventy or eighty prisoners taken, and twenty warriors, one of then a chief, killed. Among the captives was an Indian lad whom the commander of the force carried with him to his Kentucky home, where he lived for some time. Colonel Logan became much attached to the boy, who took his name, and was for life the staunch friend of the whites. After a few years he was allowed to return (page 22) to his tribe, and became the friendly Shawnee chief, Logan. He was mortally wounded during the War of 1812, while, by command of             General Harrison, engaged in service against some Indian allies of the British. The more famous orator, Logan, was also named for a white man, James Logan, secretary of the colony of Pennsylvania. The Kentuckians returned to the Ohio by way of the Mad River valley, and, as in 1782, at the mouth of the river found a party of Indians on guard. With them was Tecumseh, at this, time about fourteen years old. Having, after some slight resistance, beaten the Indians, and driven them up Mad River, and gained the second battle or skirmish fought on the site of Dayton, they camped for the night. Being well. supplied with provisions from the captured towns, they remained here for two or three days examining land, with a view to recommending a settlement in this neighborhood. The Indians, driven across the Scioto by Logan, did not immediately return to the Miami valley, and when the Kentuckians departed they left an uninhabited country behind them. These successful raids were a necessary preparation for the settlement of this region, for till the powerful Shawnees were driven out, no white town could be built in the Miami valley. The Indians were the allies of the British, so that Clarke's expeditions to Ohio were really as much a part of the Revolutionary War as his Indiana and Illinois campaigns. To this brave patriot and military genius we are indebted, not only for victories over the savages, but for the possession of the Northwest, which, but for his foresight and efforts, might have remained a part of the British dominions.

            Some of his most valuable victories were gained by diplomacy. In the winter of 1785, a fort had been built at North Bend for the purpose of guarding emigrants down the Ohio, and also to prevent squatters from encroaching on Indian lands, for the United States Government was anxious to prevent all pretext for Indian hostilities. The first regiment sent west was raised principally for the purpose of driving the whites of the reservation. The fort at North Bend was named for Captain Finney, of the First Infantry, which, with the exception of two companies, constituted the whole of the United States Army. In January, 1786, General George Rogers Clarke, Colonel Richard Butler, and Samuel H. Parsons were commissioned by the government to make a treaty of peace with the Mad River and Wabash Indians. The commissioners met representatives of the tribes at Fort Finney, but would have failed to accomplish their object but for the determination, coolness, and intrepidity of Clarke. His frm and undaunted manner overawed the Indians, who, instead of murdering the commissioners and proclaiming war, as was (page 23) their probable intention when they arrived at Fort Pinney, made a treaty, giving both the Miami valleys to the United States. The Indians, however, continued to resent the intrusion of the whites. Symmes treated the Indians with consideration. The surveying party, which he led. in 1787, met a party forty miles from Cincinnati. He protected them from the rifles of the Kentuckians, and his clemency so offended the latter that they abandoned the company and returned home. Yet Filson, another member of the party, who started back to the Ohio from the northern boundary line of Hamilton County, was killed by the implacable savages. In April, 1788, a party of six surveyors, camped near Mad River, were surprised and two of them killed. In the summer of 1789, Major Doughty, of the United States Army, built Fort Washington in the center of Losanteville, now Cincinnati. Stations and block houses, surrounded by cabins of settlers, were built at distances of five, nine, and twelve miles from the fort, and were able to successfully defend themselves.

            In September, 1790, General Harmar, with an army of fourteen hundred and fifty men, three hundred and twenty of whom were United States troops, marched from Fort Washington up the Miami valley, past the destroyed towns of Chillicothe, Piqua, and Laramie, to the Indian settlements, near the present city of Fort Wayne. Though he burnt seven villages and twenty thousand bushels of corn, yet, as few of the enemy were killed, and he was obliged to retreat to Cincinnati, the Indians did not consider themselves conquered. Nevertheless, the loss of their houses and provisions hampered them, and but for this check the sufferings of the settlers from their depredations would have been much greater. During the whole of the winter of 1790-1791, numerous parties of Indians were organizing in the Miami valley to attack weak block houses. Dayton was one of their favorite rendezvous. Parties came down the Miami in canoes, and, having formed a camp of supplies at the mouth of Mad River, in charge of squaws, and sent out hunters, started on their raids. Four hundred warriors attacked Dunlap's Station, on the Great Miami; wounded two and murdered Abner Hunt, but were repulsed. For months they were very daring, skulking about the streets of Cincinnati, and keeping the people in a constant state of terror, yet they did not succeed in destroying the settlements on the Upper Ohio and between the Miamis, eight in all, which had been begun in 1788.

            In May and August, 1791, General Scott and Colonel Wilkinson made successful raids on the Wabash towns. These expeditions were followed in the fall by St. Clair's campaign against the Indians. He bad a force of twenty-three hundred regular soldiers and six hundred militia.

            (page 24)They left Fort Washington September 17th, reached a point on the site of Fort Recovery, Darke County, November 3d, and at daylight, November 4th, were attacked by the Indians, among whom were a number of painted Canadians. After three hours of hard fighting, the whites were totally defeated. St. Clair's defeat and his heavy losses, amounting almost to the destruction of his army, which was the strongest and most completely equipped military force that had ever been seen in the West, fled the whole Ohio valley with consternation. The Indians, encouraged by victory, kept up constant hostilities against the whites, who, however, as a rule, shut up in strong block houses guarded by experienced Revolutionary soldiers and Indian fghters, passed safely. through this period of anxiety and danger. A few weeks after St. Clair's defeat General Wilkinson led an expedition to the battlefield, to bury the dead and collect abandoned government property. Forts Hamilton, Jefferson, and St. Clair, which were built in the winter of 1791-1792, and garrisoned by soldiers from Fort Washington, were frequently attacked by the victorious Indians. November 6, 1792, Major Adair and a party of one hundred Kentuckians defeated two hundred and fifty Indians near Fort St. Clair, one mile west of Eaton.

            In the spring of 1793, General Wayne was made commander of the Western Army, which consisted of thirty-six hundred men. He marched into the Indian country in the fall, but no important engagement occurred during the winter, which was spent in drill and preparation for the coming campaign. Fort Piqua was built on the site of the old Indian town of that name, as a place of deposit for army stores, which were brought up the Great Miami in boats. To Fort Piqua were also brought, for burial, many who fell in Wayne's battles, Once, in 1794, a boat of supplies was attacked in sight of the fort by Indians, and the captain and twenty-three men who guarded it were massacred.

            On June 30 and 31,1794, Wayne defeated an army of fifteen hundred Indians. August 30th he fought and gained the battle of Fallen Timbers, which ended the four years of Indian war. August 3, 1795, after seven months of effort on the part of Wayne, a treaty of peace was concluded at Greenville, eleven hundred and thirty Indians being in attendance. Hostilities were to cease, and all prisoners to be restored. Wayne's victory secured the peace and safety of the Ohio valley, and immediately after the treaty was signed, colonies began to move out into the wilderness. Seventeen days from the time of the meeting of Wayne and the tribes at Greenville, arrangements were made for the settlement of Dayton. Wayne's victory was the conquest of British and Spanish, as well as Indian enemies; for the English and Spaniards, anxious, for the purposes (page 25) of trade, to retain their old influence over the tribes, resented American rule in the West, and their emissaries excited the Indians, by false representations, to continue their hostilities against the pioneers. The British refused, till 1796, to give tip the forts south of the Great Lakes, and this encouraged the Indians to hope that, by the assistance of their English friends, they would be able to drive their common enemy out of the West, and regain their former unlimited power. The Indians who fought against St. Clair and Wayne were supplied by the British officers with provisions, muskets, cannon, and ammunition, and large numbers of painted Canadians accompanied them to the battlefield.

            The evil influence of the British did not cease till after the War of 1812. The great chief, Tecumseh, and his brother, the Prophet, no doubt received encouragement from the English, when they began to form their league, which was similar in purpose to the earlier conspiracy of Pontiac. The eloquent Tecumseh, in 1805, traveled through the Northwest and South, endeavoring to excite the pride and patriotism of the tribes. His object in forming the league was to "resolutely oppose the further intrusion of the whites upon the Indian lands." He complained that the Thirteen Fires, which was the Indian name for the United States, had cheated and imposed upon the tribes; and his reason for joining the British Army in 1812 was, that the English General Porter promised that he would certainly get the Indian lands back, which the Americans had stolen from them.

            In 1810 the British, probably in anticipation of hostilities with the United States, began to furnish Tecumseh's followers with ammunition.

            In November, 1811, before the plans of Tecumseh were fully matured, his followers, commanded by the Prophet, were conquered at the battle of Tippecanoe by General Harrison. From the beginning of the War of 1812 till his death, at the battle of the Thames, October 6, 1813,

            Tecumseh and his Indians served with the British against the United States. This celebrated chief was as noted for his humanity as for his courage, intelligence, and eloquence.

            The government refused to employ Indians against the British in the War of 1812. Those who remained friendly to us claimed and received protection from the United States. They were gathered at Piqua under the care of Colonel Johnston, United States Indian agent. About six thousand Indians were, at one time, at Piqua, and their presence insured the safety of the frontier. These Indians gave many proofs of their fidelity. On one occasion it was necessary to bring a large number of  women and children from Fort Wayne to Piqua. Colonel Johnston summoned the Shawnee chiefs, and called for volunteers to conduct (page 26) this helpless party to Ohio. Logan instantly offered his services, and, accompanied by a party of volunteers on horseback, started at once for Fort Wayne, and soon brought his charges safely through the wilderness, swarming with hostile savages, to Piqua. "The women spoke in the highest terms of the vigilance, care, and delicacy of their faithful conductors." But for the influence of the Shawnee chief, Black Hoof, many of these six thousand friendly Indians would probably have been allies of the British. Black Hoof was born in Florida, but fought in all the wars in Ohio from 1755 till Wayne's treaty in 1795. He remained faithful to the stipulations of the treaty. Tecumseh in vain endeavored to persuade him to join his league, and Black Hoof's prudence and influence also kept the greater part of his tribe out of it.

            Wayne's treaty secured the Miami valley and, indeed, the whole of southern Ohio to the Americans, as the Indian reservation, whose boundary was settled at Greenville, did not reach further south than the portage at the site of the old Laramie trading post, in Shelby County.

            The Indians in the Western Reserve sold their lands to the United States in 1805. In 1817 the United States Commissioners bought nearly the whole of northwestern Ohio from the tribes. The Delawares ceded their reservation in 1829; the Shawnees and the Senecas sold their land in 1832, and in 1842 the government bought the reservation of the Wyandots, the only Indians left in the State. The tribes were all removed to lands reserved for them in Indian Territory.

Return to "History of Dayton" Home Page