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would deliver up the lands lately purchased, and never make another treaty without the consent of all the tribes. Gen. Harrison promised to refer the matter to the President, although, said he, he will not be very likely to listen to the proposition made; whereupon Tecumseh declared, that the Great Spirit would determine the matter, and he and Harrison would be obliged to fight it out. The Governor then proposed to him, that, in the event of a war, he should do his best to put an end to the cruel mode of warfare as carried on by his countrymen, to which Tecumseh at once assented, being perhaps, the only Indian, wbo scrupulously kept his word in this respect.
On the 27th of July, 1811, he again visited Gen. Harrison, at the head of about 400 warriors, probably with a view of impressing the whites with an idea of his strength. Several murders had previously been committed in Illinois by the Indians, and Gen. Harrison, notified of these occurrences, was rather in a bad humor, when he met Tecumseh at their fourth conference. Tecumseh, whose manner and bebaviour were always very respectful, and on this occasion most remarkably polite and dignified, openly declared to Gen. Harrison, “that, after much trouble, he had united all the western tribes under his lead and placed them under his direction; that, in so doing, be had merely imitated the example set by the United States themselves, and claimed to have the same right to do this ; that the murders spoken of ought to be forgiven, since the Indians had suffered similar injuries at the hands of the wbites; and lastly, that the Indians were going to reoccupy, in autumn, their ancient hunting-ground, at Tippecanoe, which the Americans were then about surveying." The Governor replied, “that the President would put his warriors in petticoats sooner than give up the country he had fairly acquired, or to suffer his people to be murdered with impunity.”
Whereupon, Tecumseh left him, and shortly afterwards resumed his travels among his countrymen.
In the meantime, his brother, the prophet, collected around himself in Tippecanoe, the restless and daring spirits of every tribe, haranguing them daily, and protecting them, by a hundred charms, from the weapons of the white man, encouraging, rather than controlling, their lawless desires. Several murders were committed, and one of Gov. Harrison's owo soldiers fired upon by the Indians. The Indians apparently intending hostilities, Gov. Harrison, with a force of nearly 1,000 men, proceeded to their village to restore peace, if necessary, by force of arms. He found their town, Tippecanoe, fortified with great care, and on the 6th of September, 1811, encamped at the distance of a mile from it. The prophet had taught his followers to believe, that the village was wholly impregnable, and that in the coming contest the Great Spirit would strike the eyes of the Americans with blindness, and would make their bullets fall harmless at the Indian's feet. Encouraged by these assurances of their holy prophet, the savages, early on the morning of the 7th of September, sallied forth from their town, and attacked the camp of Gov. Harrison, with an apparent determination to conquer or to die.
They encountered a desperate resistance, but believing themselves fated to conquer, continued the battle until daylight, when they were in their turn charged by the troops with the bayonet, and after a bloody conflict, driven into a swamp. The Indians lost 38 killed, besides a great many wounded; the Americans 60 killed and 120 wounded. The town of the prophet was burnt, the corn in its vicinity destroyed, and the savages compelled to sue for peace. The exasperated Indians abused and nearly killed the prophet, whose claims to magic power were forever destroyed.
When Tecumseh returned and heard of this disastrous battle, which had been fought against his most positive orders, and saw his people dispersed, overpowered by indignation, and losing for a moment his wonted self-control, he reproached his brother in the most bitter terms, seized him by the hair, and came very near taking his life. His anger and disappointment we may readily understand, since, by striking the western Indians with terror, the battle of Tippecanoe resulted in postponing, if not wholly frustrating, the execution of the vast undertaking — to which he had devoted the best years of his noble manhood — of uniting all the Indian nations in a powerful confederacy, which he was to direct and govern. After an interview with the Indian agent, during which he blamed Gen. Harrison for having made war upon his people during his absence, he departed to Canada to fight under the banners of the British, - not because he either loved or respected them, for this was impossible to him, who hated every white man without distinction, and only too well understood the policy pursued by Great Britain towards his people, — but because, after the battle of Tippecanoe, he could expect no success in his undertaking against the Americans, unless by making the British interested in them.
The opportunity, which Tecumseh had so anxiously awaited, of avenging the injuries of his people upon the Americans, at last presented itself. Ever since the close of the revolutionary war, the most illiberal policy was pursued towards the United States by Great Britain; desirous of repressing the growth of the republic, which already at that time threatened to become her great commercial rival, she violated every commercial and maritime right of the nation, and filled the measure of her arrogance by searching the American vessels on the high seas, impressing such as were unable to prove on the spot, that they were Americans, into her public service. Ignominious outrages and atrocious injuries were thus inflicted by Great Britain upon the American people, until the latter, unless indeed willing to be considered as her subjects, if not her slaves, found themselves compelled to declare war against her. A force of several regiments of regulars and militia was immediately raised, and placed at the disposal of Gen. Hull, who, on the 12th of July, 1812, crossed the Canadian frontier, and issued a proclamation to the inhabitants, exhorting them to join his standard; but either from want of courage or lack of judgment, after “an inglorious occupation of less than a month,” withdrew his forces from the Canadian territory.
Sir Isaac Brock was then Governor of Upper Canada, and commander of the British forces, which were then but small. They were afterwards considerably increased. Apprised at an early day of the declaration of war by Congress, he transmitted the intelligence at once to his outposts, and “ere the tardy and blundering movements of the American secretary had begun, his legions were in the field.” Having collected a force of 300 English troops and 600 Indians, he arrived at Fort Mackinaw before the declaration of war was even known there, and compelled its small garrison of 58 men to surrender.
About that time Capt. Brush, at the head of a company of volunteers, reached the river Raisin with supplies for the army of Gen. Hull. As he did not dare to proceed any further, the country around being infested with savages, Major Van Horn with 150 men was sent to escort him to head-quarters. He was attacked near Brownstown, by a large body of British regulars and Indians, and defeated, with a loss of 19 killed; whereupon Lieut. Col. Miller, with 300 regulars and 200 militia, was despatched to the relief of Capt. Brush. Though Col. Miller advanced with great caution, he fell into an ambuscade, being unexpectedly attacked by a party of British regulars, and Indians, commanded by Tecumseh in person. The battle raged with great fury; a bayonet charge, however, executed with great spirit by the Americans, drove back the British, whilst the Indians under Tecumseh maintained their ground, fighting with the most desperate valor. Unwilling, that their Indian allies should excel them in bravery, the British returned to the charge, continuing the combat for two hours, after which they beat a basty retreat. The loss in killed and wounded amounted to about 100 men on either side. Lieut. Col. Miller, while in Brownstown, making preparations to pursue his march, received orders to return immediately to head-quarters. Gen. Hull, in order to secure himself a regular supply of provisions, and at the same time to keep open his communication with the Ohio, had fixed his camp at Detroit. The vigilant Sir Isaac Brock, perceiving the isolated and perilous position of Gen. Hull, appeared on the 15th of August, 1812, before Detroit, with about 1000 men, both regulars and Indians, and summoned Gen. Hull to surrender. To the astonishment and indignation of the whole garrison, who, equal as they were in numerical force to the British, confidently expected to repel the latter with great slaughter, in case they should dare an attack, Gen. Hull, whom no doubt old age had rendered imbecile, ordered his troops to stack their arms, and surrendered, not only his own precious person, but also the place, the Territory of Michigan, and all of the northwestern army under his command, to the British under Sir Isaac Brock, on the 16th of August, 1812. A provisional government having been established in Detroit under Col. Proctor, Sir Isaac Brock returned to Niagara, and in the second invasion of Canada by the Americans, was slain at the battle of Queenstown.
The fall of Detroit was not the only reverse the American arms were destined to sustain, before they should vindicate the cause of their country by splendid victories. Other forts, more remote, and, owing to the utter incompetence of Gen. Hull, but miserably provided for, had to be abandoned to the British, and at the very time of the fall of Detroit, Chicago was the theatre of barbarous cruelties and a savage massacre, in which its garrison was nearly exterminated. Chicago, was then but a small fort, wbich the United States government had erected in 1804, in order to supply the Indians' wants and to control the Indians' policy." Sixty men, under the command of Capt. Heald, constituted the whole of its garrison. Gen. Hull, who, as commander of the Northwestern army, was also entrusted with the defence of the forts of the Northwestern Territory, despatched a friendly Indian to Chicago with such orders as could only emanate from such a man, directing Capt. Heald to evacuate the fort, and to distribute all of the United States property, arms and ammunition included, among the neighboring Indians, and repair to Fort Wayne. This Indian arrived on the 7th of August, and urged Capt. Heald to evacuate the fort without a moment's delay, before the Pottawatomies, a numerous and warlike tribe, through whose country they had to pass, could receive intelligence, and collect a force sufficient to harass bim on his march. Capt. Heald neglected to follow this prudent advice, so that at the time he read the order of evacuation to his troops, the Indians were already apprised of his intentions. Several of the officers of Capt. Heald, considering his project as little short of madness, remonstrated against it, urging Capt. Heald to remain in the fort, and to strengthen it as well as possible; but in obedience to the order of Gen. Hull, Capt. Heald insisted upon marching out. Although the Indians of the adjacent villages had already become troublesome, and manifested symptoms of hostility, so infatuated was Capt. Heald, as to hold, on the 12th of August, a council with them, in wbich he requested them to escort him to Fort Wayne, promising large rewards on their arrival thither, in addition to the goods, ammunition and provisions they were to receive, in pursuance of the absurd order of Gen. Hull. On the next day Capt. Heald distributed the goods in the factory store among the Indians, but being struck with the folly of delivering to them arms and ammunition, which they might use against the Americans, or liquor, which might arouse their savage temper, emptied the liquor into the stream flowing near by, and destroyed of arms and ammunition whatever was not required for immediate use. Notwith