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Gnadenhutten and Fort Allen, high words arose between them, when the king raised his tomahawk and laid the chief dead at his feet. From this moment, though vengeance might slumber, he was a doomed man, a sacrifice alike to policy and revenge.
At the Congress, Tedeuscung, eloquent, and of imposing address, took at first a decided lead in the debates. But one of the chiefs of the Six Nations, says Chapman, “on the other hand expressed in strong language his resentment against the British Colonists, who had killed and imprisoned some of his tribe, and he, as well as other chiefs of those Nations, took great umbrage at the importance assumed by Tedeuscung, whom, as one of the Delawares, they considered in some degree subject to their authority. Tedeuscung, however, supported the high station which he held, with dignity and firmness, and the different Indian tribes at length became reconciled to each other. The Conference having continued eighteen days, and all causes of misunderstanding between the English and Indians being removed, a general peace was concluded on the twenty-sixth day of October. At this treaty the boundaries of the different purchases made from the Indians were more particularly described, and they received an additional compensation for their lands, consisting of knives, hats, caps, looking glasses, tobacco-boxes, shears, gun locks, combs, clothes, shoes, stockings, blankets, and several suits of laced clothes for their chieftains, and when the business of the treaty was completed, the stores of rum were opened, and distributed to the Indians, who soon exhibited a scene of brutal intoxication."
Great offence, it appears, was given to the ambassadors of the Six Nations at the consequence assumed, and the forward part taken by Tedeuscung; and yet no immediate measures were adopted to chastise his supposed contumacy. A solution of what might otherwise seem difficult, both in his more bold, independent conduct, and the forbearance of the Iroquois, may be found in the fact, that the power of their allies was already sensibly shaken, and Great Britain was preparing with unexampled vigour to drive the French from this continent. Fort William was taken in 1757; Louisburg surrendered to their victorious arms in the summer of 1758; and far more important to the Iroquois, as it was almost in the heart of the dominions claimed by them, the shame of Braddock's defeat was washed out, and Fort Du Quesne, (afterwards named Fort Pitt,) had sur. rendered to the English the February preceding the October of 1758, when the Conferences at Easton were holden. That event was a fatal blow to the widely extended claim of power on the part of the
confederacy; although the Council fire at Onondago was for many years after numerously surrounded by bold and ambitious chiefs and renowned warriors.
* The Six Nations, with instinctive sagacity seeing the rapid extinction of French power, withdrew, as we have noted, from the contest. War between England and France still raged, the colonies performing for the mother country, all that zeal, hardihood and courage could accomplish. As our story is little further connected with the French war, we may here, though in advance of our dates, state;—That Quebec was taken Sept. 13, 1759. The battle on Abraham's plains, between Wolf and Montcalm, is perhaps rendered more familiar to the American reader than any other event of the contest, by the popular song,
"In a mouldering cave, where the wretched retreat," &c. Niagara, Ticonderoga, and Crown Point, surrendered the same year. Montreal in 1760. The Moro Castle, in 1762. In this hazardous, but successful enterprise, a company of pro vincials, commanded by Capt. Z. Butler, shared the danger and glory. Peace was concluded in 1763; France yielding all the northern part of the continent to the victorious arms and councils of Great Britain, guided by Pitt.
Renewed efforts to Christianize Wyoming Indians-Pleasing success
ess-Wyalusing-Murder of King Tedeuscung--First Connecticut Settlement—Their massacre and expul. sion--Expedition under Col. Boyd to Wyoming-John and Emanuel Hoover-Removal of Christian Indians to the Ohio-Exposition of an important matter.
The peace concluded at Easton, allows us but a moment's respite from the record of war and crime. Turning to more congenial themes, we seize the moment and trace with pleasure, the progress of the Moravians in propagating the Gospel among the Indians. A large number of the Delaware nation were established in the valley. Waughwawame, their principal town, being situated not far below the site now occupied by Wilkesbarre. Though suffering many privations, the zeal of the missionaries did not cool; neither did their faith waver, nor their efforts relax: their souls seemed to glow with a divine ardour; success crowned their labours; several hundred Indians received the rite of baptism. Nor was it a mere formal profession on their part, for their lives were wholly changed, and the moral precepts of the Gospel regulated their conduct, while their hearts yielded assent to its doctrines. At Wyalusing, or as it is written by the German missionaries, Machwihilusing, a number of Christian Indians had united together, without a teacher, for purposes of worship, and thither the Rev. David Zeisberger repaired, and became their pastor. Under his wise direction, the settlement soon assumed a very pleasing aspect. Order, industry and neatness were established ; lands were cleared and fenced. Grain, cattle, horses, poultry, every sort of useful stock were introduced, and schools were opened for the education of Indian children. A bell, the first, probably, ever heard in Pennsylvania, north of the Kittatinny mountains, sounded from the chapel, calling the Indians to worship. Methinks, as its tones, loud and clear, vibrated on the undulating air, and were borne by the breeze beyond the hills, to the strange Indian, roaming the forest or approaching the place, the
sound must have come like a spirit's voice, a death knell to his race, awakening special wonder.
Three years thus passed, the settlement flourishing; a rose in a desert, and giving the highest promise of future usefulness, when the sudden outbreak of Indian war reached their ears, and created the utmost alarm. It had been a delusive hour of sunshine in the midst of a gathering storm. Strange as it may appear, though near the Iroquois, and in daily intercourse with them, the missionaries had not the least intimation of their purposes against the white settlements. When hostilities commenced, Mr. Zeisberger, and the other preachers, were left unmolested. But imminent danger threatening the Christian Indians, near Bethlehem, occasioned the recall of the pious missionary, and he attended them from that place to Philadelphia, whither they were sent for safety from the fury of the exasperated frontier inhabitants, who had been led to believe, notwithstanding their religious professions, that the Moravian In. dians were guilty of the cruel murders perpetrated upon their friends.
In the mean time, Wyoming was the theatre of highly interesting events. In a previous letter, I have stated the belief that king Tedeuscung was doomed, sooner or later, to destruction. Indian revenge may sleep, but never dies; the hour may be postponed for months or years, but at last will come as sure as fate. Tedeuscung, besides the independent airs assumed at Easton, had slain with his own hand the chief who commanded the Iroquois war party in their devastation of Gnadenhutten. War upon the whites being now renewed, it is not improbable that the king may have declined to lead his tribe to battle. Certain, however, it is, that for some time several of the Six Nations had been visiting at Wyoming, without any ostensible object, mingling, socially, with the Delawares, and appearing on friendly terms with the old chief. Whiskey had been obtained, which, when in his power, the Indian propensity was too strong to be resisted, and he drank until inebriation overpowered his senses, and he lay sleeping in his wigwam, scarcely conscious of life, and wholly unsuspicious of danger. In the dead of the night, on the 19th of April, 1763, the hut of Tedeuscung, and twenty of the surrounding dwellings burst, almost at the same moment, into flames, and thus the great Delaware king miserably perished.
Indian cunning ascribed the murder to the New England people, who were just commencing settlements in the valley.
It is sufficient to say, in the absence of the slightest evidence, that such a measure on their part would have been a compound of wickedness and folly, so stupid and base, that it cannot be supposed true, for a moment. Surrounded by Savages, far removed from the whites, their policy was too obvious to be mistaken, namely, to conciliate the Indians, by every fair means. The charge was made in far deeper malevolence than mere wanton mischief, for the destruction of the Connecticut settlers had also been resolved upon by the Six Nations.
The preceding year, that is, in 1762, a considerable number of emigrants had arrived in the valley from Connecticut. After sowing grain, they returned to their families, with whom, early the following Spring, they came back, prepared to establish themselves permanently, bringing their stock, household furniture, indeed, it is most probable, all they possessed on earth. Strange to say, although my inquiries have been faithfully pursued, wherever the least prospect existed of obtaining information, they have proved fruitless, and I am unable to state from what towns in Connecticut they came, or who were their principal leaders. Their town was built nearer the river than the Indian village of Maughwawame, on the flats, below Wilkesbarre. The season had been favorable; their various crops on those fertile plains had proved abundant, and they were looking forward, with hope, to scenes of prosperity and happiness ; but suddenly, without the least warning, on the 15th of October, a large party of savages raised the war whoop, and attacked them with fury. Unprepared for resistance, about twenty men fell, and were scalped ; the residue, men, women and children fled, in wild disorder, to the mountains. Language cannot describe the sufferings of the fugitives, as they traversed the wilderness, destitute of food or clothing, on their way to their former homes.
Mr. Chapman states, that Col. James Boyd, ordered by Gov. Hamilton, repaired to Wyoming, found the valley abandoned by the Indians, who had scalped those whom they had killed, and carried away their captives and plunder. The bodies of the slain lay strewed upon the field, and Col. Boyd having caused them to be decently interred, withdrew with his detachment down the river. I am not able to reconcile this with certain information derived from the Rev. Mr. Elder's correspondence with Gov. Hamilton.
Extract of a letter from John Elder to the Governor, dated Paxton, 30th September, 1763.