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Indiana Historical Bureau

George Rogers Clark > Henry Hamilton's Journal > Ouiatenon to Vincennes, Hamilton Takes Vincennes, November 29 to December 17, 1778 Ouiatenon to Vincennes, Hamilton Takes Vincennes, November 29 to December 17, 1778

Eastern North America, circa 1779 Map29th. [November 29, 1778] This Morning Major Hay who had been at the Village to gain what intelligence he could of the proceedings of the rebels, returned-- I find that they have had every countenance and encouragement from the French traders-- Le Gras has a commission as Major signed by their commander, Bosseron a Captain's, Baron an Adjutant's, Monbrun, and Perault Officers--

I am told there is no Fort at the falls of Ohio, but am still in the belief there is, as the Shawanoe Chief so lately described to me, the situation of the Island and the falls--

Some reports make the rebels 60 at Kaskasquias, 40 at Cahokia others 280 in all--French reports variable as the authors--

An officer of the name of Helm commands at St. Vincennes-- Colonel George Rogers Clarke at the Ilinois-- Jean Baptiste Chapoton a trader from Detroit had come last night to my tent and was very coolly receiv'd, yet this morning he made his appearance with his usual affronterie, I desired to see his pass dated 17th, Feby. and askd him how he presumed to go to the llinois contrary to tne Oath and obligation of his passport-- he answer'd that he and Mr: Rapicault [Raimbault?] having been in partnership, the state of that person's affairs had engaged him to go-- I asked him, how he could excuse his not informing me of the arrival of the rebels in the Country, since he was on the spot- He said Mr: Le Gras had written, that his own writing was not legible, He thought he was at liberty to go on any part of his Majesty's possessions, all futile, impudent evasions, & received with the contempt they deserved--

The six pounder was fired frequently to draw in the Indians from their hunting--

30th. The Men were exercised in firing at a Mark-- Went to the Fort which is formd of a double range of houses enclosed with a Stockade 10 feet high, and very poorly defensive against small arms. ( 209) The Indian Cabins of this settlement are about 90, the families may be estimated at 10 to a cabin-- The French inhabitants being summoned to meet me in the Chapel I lectured Messrs: Chapoton and Raimbault-- They were well provided with evasive answers for every question I put to them--

The Outarde a Ouiattanon orator who had been in the Summer at Detroit, came from his wintering and saluted me at the fort, shortly after the Ottawas came in to dance-- In the after noon Kissingua (a mixed Ottawa & Miamis) arrived with 10 Ouiattanons for war, said he had been looking out for us till his eyes were sore, but that when he heard the report of a cannon in the wood, he was certain his father was arrived, & he had hastend to give him his hand-- (210) fixed 10 o'Clock next morning for a meeting of the Indians in Council.-- The Indians in high spirits, tho no liquor had been issued--

December 1st. [1778] Employed part of the day in drying damaged provisions &ca Held a talk with all the chiefs in the Morning, shewed the road-belt to the Ouiattanons, informd them of the sentiments of the 6 nations and the conformity of the lake Indians--

Spoke to them on the subject of the sale of lands privately made by the Old Tobacco, and some of the Peankashaas, as a thing transacted without the consent of parties concern'd, as an irregular proceeding unauthorized by the Crown whose sanction was necessary in public acts of such a nature that the compensation was by no means equivalent to what was stipulated by the Kings regulations, which being the case I told them they could not be bound, I therefore in presence of them all burnt the copy of the Contract and cession of lands, telling them that when I should see The Old Tobacco and his son, I should make them understand how imprudently they had acted with regard to their Brethren the River Indians--

N.B. A Copy of this contract sent to Sir G. C. as well as to Ld. G G.

Methusaagai (a Chippowey Chief) gave them a belt from the 6 nations by which they were exhorted to join the other Indians in acting against the Rebels, and to give credit to what they should hear from the English, who befriended and supported them--

Methusaagai deliverd also a belt from the Women living upon the lakes, addressed to the Wives of the River Indians, exhorting them to work hard with their hoes, to raise corn for the Warriors who should take up the Axe for their Father the King of England--

The Ouiattonons declared themselves well pleased to have the information the Chippowey chief had communicated, and that they were disposed to follow the good example of their brethren-- That Quiquapouhquáa (crooked legs) an old Chief who had received an English Medal from me at Detroit, had accepted a flag from the Rebels, and that they were uneasy till he brought it in to me-- (211) In the Evening the War Chief (Petite face) with 22 Warriors were accommodated with blankets &ca-- ( 212)

As it was necessary to sharpen the War axe of their Gentry, a feast of two hogs with a due proportion of what they call Milk (Rum) was prepared, they acknowledged they had received an axe at Detroit which had lain by till this time, but since they saw the Indians from That Quarter determined to act, they would not be behind them--

Godefroi Pittette and Raimbault French Inhabitants offerd their services, this last promising to act so as to retrieve his Character--

2d. [December 2, 1778] Major Hay went to the Fort, swore the Inhabitants, and hoisted the St. George's Ensign, which the Indians were informd was to be understood as a guarantee of protection and security of their lands-- A party of a Serjeant and six rank and file from each of the Detachments presented their Arms on the Flag being hoisted and three rounds from the six pounder were fired--

One Magnian a Trader of this post, who had gone voluntarily on this errand to some of the Chiefs in the neighbourhood, returnd with an account that two of the Quiquaboe chiefs were on their way, that they had hesitated but he had persuaded them to come.

A Feast about 2 p m. at the Ottawa encampment-- After the usual Oraison, Egushewai sung the war song having two war belts and three Death hammers togather in his hand-- --The men were exercised in firing at marks-- A chief of the Ouiattanon Indians named La Natte (the budget) properly means a Mat) left an Heiress who agreable to their customs, represented the Family and wore a French medal, as she is married to a Chief who had some influence and who wore an English Medal I wished to exchange her Medal for a large English one which I put about her neck having taken off her own, at the same time giving her some silver brooches and bracelets, but in a few minutes she appeared dissatisfied, and all my arguments could not prevail with her to be divorced from her old Medal-- (213) However on my insisting that she should keep the bracelets she resumed her good humor-- Mahinomba an Old Quiquaboe chief came in after Sunset from his hunting ground 25 leagues distant, He had been at Detroit in the Summer with 5 other old men-- I told him that tho' contrary to custom to speak on busyness after Sunset, I would break thro' that custom and even put off my journey for a day, that he might have an opportunity of conversing with the Chiefs of the other nations--

3d. Met all the Chiefs, held much the same discourse as with the Ouiattanon Indians-- They said on the arrival of the Virginians their War Chiefs had consulted Monsieur de Celoron on the occasion, asking him how they should act, That they were told they must hide the War belts they had received at Detroit-- They acknowledged they were afraid to take up the hatchet as their families were exposed too much to the inroads of the Virginians--

The War Song was sung by a number of different chiefs, And when I gave the War belt to the young Quiquaboe chief, I presented him with a handsome couteau de chasse (214)

Those who spoke, delivrd themselves as I could have wished and appeared highly pleased at the sight of their friends, as well as with their speeches, and promised to follow their example--

They gave a belt to the Chippoweys to cover the bones of all their deceased forefathers on both sides and a pipe or Calumet to conciliate their good will--

This is a usual ceremony, that any disagreable impression of former disputes or rupture may be effaced--

I had opened the assembly by smoaking out of the Calumets presented me by the Shawanoes and Quiquaboes at Detroit with which they seemed well pleased, saying they observed I did not forget my Children and that all the Tribes on the Ouabache would act to my wish-- Some complained of age and infirmities which would not allow them to follow me-- One after the rest had spoke, said Father! I have waited to the last, I have heard others speak for my part nothing ails me, my legs are stout and well able to carry me as far as you will chuse to go--

The Quiquaboe Chief who was the principal speaker in the Council said that on the approach of the Rebels to Ouiattanon they were taught to think them so numerous that opposition would be in vain, for which reason they had hid the Axe I had given them at Detroit, (meaning the War belt) but that when they actually arrived, and their number proved so inconsiderable, (there were but 70 or 80) One of the Chiefs shewed them the Belt, and told them that was prepared to strike them--

The same chief told me, the greater part of their people were at this time dispersed at their hunting grounds, but that in the Spring they would appear like Musquetoes and infest the Ohio, and all the Rebel Frontier-- 96 Cabins at this Village, computed at 10 souls per Cabin-- Total 960- reckon a third part Warriors 320-- but more likely 2 Warriors to a cabin 192 Warrions in all-- (215) (Dawson, Wiggins, Thompson, Cottrel, DuBois, Traders, and Serjeant Mr. Evers of La Mothe's arrived from Detroit. Orderd Cloathing powder and the usual equipment for the old Men women and children of the Quiquaboes, and Arms &ca for those Warriors who were to accompany us-- About 11 at night we had an Eclipse of the Moon, the Savages as is usual with them fired small arms almost the whole time it continued-- The Tuette a Chief Son in law of La Natte being asked about the Eclipse said he had thought at first the camp was attackd but happning to look up saw the occasion of it and fired as the rest--

4th. Prepared to take in as many of the Savages as our batteaus could hold conveniently-- A Ouiattanon Chief called le Forgeron (the Blacksmith) asked for a War belt, which having received he said, Why should not I go to War, I am old, I am too lame to be able to run away, War is my vocation, I had rather after my death have the flesh torn off the bones by wild beasts, than that it should lye to rot idly in the ground, meaning he preferred Death in the field of battle, to dying a natural death at home. (216)

Being told that old Quiquapouhquaa was coming I deferrd my Journey, and about Dusk he arrived when I went to speak to him and his people-- I told them that on the first news of the arrival of the Rebels in that Country, I had proposed coming to dispossess them, that the Indians bordering on the Lakes had offerd to accompany me to assist their brethren of the Ouabache, that the Tribes of Indians which lay on my road had also joined me-- That I had reason to be surprized that he who had been at Detroit, should so soon have forgot what I said to him there, since he and his people had been received as my children--

That it had been told me he had acted very unwisely in listening to the Rebels, and tho' it was late, I meant to enlighten them and to undeceive them as to the notions they had been possessd with, by ignorant or designing persons-- That I would hear his excuse before I would condemn his conduct-- That the Great King my master, was always ready to pardon those who seeing their error returnd to their Duty--That tho my situation was very humble, I endeavord to follow his example--

He answerd that on the arrival of the Virginians he was taught to believe they were very numerous, that he was alarm'd his people not being many in number, that he had acted inconsiderately in taking those people by the hand, but that he saw and was sorry for his error, that he respected his Father, and would submit to whatever he should decree-- That as a proof of his sincerity he had brought the Rebel Flag, which he deliverd up--

I set my foot on it, told him I was pleased to hear him acknowledge his fault, that on his arrival he had offerd me his hand, that I now would give him mine, being rejoyced at this showing a disposition which would entitle him to protection as well as the rest of the Indian nations who acknowledged but one Father-- That they might all be assured that while they continued to act as was required of them the King would supply their wants and secure their possessions-- that in testimony of this I would leave a Flag at the Fort, which was shortly after hoisted with the striped Rebel Flag beneath-- smoaked in the Quiquaboe Calumet-- congratulated them on our not being likely to meet any Indians in Arms, all being united in one cause-- mentioned the Peankashaá deed-- orderd provision for the Chiefs party--

5th. [December 5, 1778] He returned early with two War Chiefs and ten Warriors, presented me a pipe, saying that as last night I desired they might not conceal any thing, they acknowledged having smoaked in a Virginian pipe, but had been induced to it by Evil Councellors--

However since they had smoaked with me, they had forgot the flavor of the Virginian Tobacco-- The old man said he would go to war himself to take care of his young men, begging I would cover the bodies of such as should fall in the Field.-- I answerd them, that their candid confession had entirely effaced every bad impression-- That I considerd them as being really my children-- That those considerations ought to confirm them in their duty-- what they owed to the King who sent them all they wanted-- The advantage of cultivating the friendship of the other Nations-- lastly the preservation of their lands, by expelling the Rebels--

Quitted our camp about 11 a m.-- pitched about 9 miles below under an Eminence called Rattlesnake hill-- The Top of it is flat and commands an extensive view of the Country with the course of the Ouabache for a considerable distance winding thro' a level Country Meadows and woodland pleasingly varied-- a little lower down on the opposite shore is a small river called (riviere du petit Rocher)

6th It was very cold with a high wind, we encamped a little above a rising ground called by the French la rejouissance, on occasion of the first meeting of the French with the Indians of this river, on which account there were great rejoycings on both sides--

7th. Passed the river and Village called Vermillion, and encamped two leagues below it on the opposite side, all the Indians of this Village absent on their Winter hunt-- (217) The Shawanese applyed to me for leave to proceed to St. Vincennes to make a prisoner and get information to which I agreed--

8th. From 12 at Noon yesterday till late at Night it rained very hard with a tempestuous wind, towards morning the wind shifted and brought on snow with so keen an air that we were obliged to make fires in our tents before we could pack thern up--

The Chiefs came to me this morning and reminded me of my promise to them at Detroit, that there should be attention paid to their customs &ca In consequence they decided I should allow them to decamp before us and pitch about 2 leagues distant, that they had a ceremonial to go thro which would take them some time, and they wished to be altogether for the purpose-- I consented,-- this with the badness of the weather, prevented our getting away till one o'Clock afternoon-- we encamped about 7 miles lower and opposite to the Indians-- i e. on the opposite side of the river--

I had in the morning told Egushewai, the intention of the Shawanese desiring he would inform the rest of the chiefs, which he did, in the Evening they crossed the river, came to my tent, and requested that the Shawanese should be stopped-- I urged every thing in my power for their going but in vain and was at length obliged to send to Stop them--

The Savages employed themselves 'till a late hour, in their ceremonies, they sung to their budget Gods in uncouth but melancholy strains, then passed thro the encampment singing the war song at each separate camp of their tribes and our detachments--

As the breadth of the river now permitted, I this day orderd the boats should row in divisions abreast-- I conversed with the chiefs on the method they should observe, on a nearer approach to the Enemy, and found their ideas conformable to what I should have adopted-- A Body of Indians was to proceed on each side of the River having parties advanced to reconnoitre who were to be relieved occasionally-- having mentioned to them the necessity of acting with every precaution on our nearer approach to St. Vincennes they approved, and further of the propriety of sending parties at some distance from St. Vincennes, on the road to the Falls of Ohio, and Kaskasquias, as well as below the Village on the river to intercept intelligence--

9th. [December 9, 1778] We rowed this day about 8 leagues tho the wind was ahead-- An order had been given at setting out against firing at game from the Boats but did not mean to restrain the Indians, till within a certain distance from the Enemy-- The wild Turkies which are in vast numbers on this river fly across in flights of several scores togather, had drawn the fire of the Indians, and by the glancing of a ball, the White Fish an old Shawanese chief had his eye struck out-- without emotion he said, this comes from a friend, as lamenting that he should be wounded and not in fighting--

We encamped at the Cherakee steeps, (les Ecors des Tetes plattes) (218)

10th. The Weather cold and wind too high for the smaller craft-- The chiefs assembled at my tent and the petit Gris (dappled faun) a Miamis chief spoke upon a white string of Wampun, lamenting the accident which happened the day before to the chief of the Shawanese, requesting them to consider it purely as an accident--that we ought not to repine at anything which happend by the permission of the great Spirit,-- charged the chiefs to recommend to their young men to be less giddy, that we were now approaching an enemy, and it would become them to act with circumspection and not be squanderd in the woods in pursuit of game-- To prevent their boats going too far ahead, and that they ought to imitate the order and regularity of the whites-- That if they had listend to their fathers advice, this accident would not have happend-- I approved and supported what he said-- Wa we ya pe yass in waa the young Shawanese chief thanked him for his friendly condoleance-- Then spoke on the necessity of sending parties ahead and gave good reasons why the Shawanese should be employed on that Service--

I spoke privately with Egushewai, approved of what the young chief said at the same time assuring him I would not take such a step if not agreable to the other nations-- Jealousy among the Indians very common tho' industriously concealed-- They determined to consult this night on the subject-- I advised that some of different nations should be sent together as they would then be a check each on the other-- That it was requisite the numbers of the enemy and their disposition should be discovered if possible, and to be speedy in their determination--

The Indians properest for a busyness of the kind, as they can go into a settlement with skins as for trade and not be suspected, whereas a white man and a stranger would immediately be stopped-- Crooked legs related publickly all that passed with the Virginians declaring that since I had enjoined him he would not conceal any thing-- He mentioned that his own son in law had been at St. Vincennes and had attended at the meeting with the Virginians, where he had informed them that the Ouiattanon and Quiquaboe Chiefs would come down to hold a conference with them, which however was false-- That 'twas he who had persuaded the Ouiattanon Indians to accept a flag from the rebels, that seeing the French settlers at St. Vincennes and Ouiattanon on good terms with them, he was at a loss how to act as, at Detroit I had told the Indians, if the Americans attempted an inroad into their country, it was their busyness immediately to repel them-- That at a loss how to act they earnestly waited my arrival--

I spoke to the subject, pointing out the many contradictions evident in the speeches and actions of the Virginians--

Quiquapouhquaa added, that as Monsieur de Celoron had disappeared, they were without an adviser, and could not determine how to act--

We got to our encamping ground an hour before Sunset--

The Chiefs being assembled at my tent, I acquainted them with the orders of the day, and mentioned some particulars I was desirous the Indians should attend to, as, having some light canoes advanced some distance from the main body to communicate any alarm--

That what women and Children they had should be kept out of the way of danger in canoes apart-- that they would from that time desist from firing at Game-- That they would cease singing to their Gods at night-- To examine the state of their arms and give into the Gunsmiths any that wanted repair-- that the Shawanese and Quiquaboes were the properest to go on the reconnoitring parties, to procure intelligence at St. Vincennes-- That on a nearer approach to the Enemy, I should instruct them how to act, and should at the same time be ready to attend to their proposals--

That I had left directions at Detroit for the care of the families of those who had followed me--

That I should find means to inform the French inhabitants they must expect no favor if found in arms on the side of the Rebels-- in such a case no distinction would be made.--

11th [December 11, 1778] It had frozen very hard last night, much ice floating in the River, apprehensive of the river being renderd impassable for boats--

Read to the men the orders of yesterday respecting the manner in which they must act, in case of an attack on the boats from the land-- set off about nine o'Clock in the morning, arrived about 2 afternoon at the wintering ground of the Peankashaas--went ashore and saluted the old chief called la Mouche noire, (219) (the black fly)--we were received with the beating of a drum, and the usual ceremony of firing small arms on our approach--They were told that we could not conveniently talk with them at that time but as we should encamp but a little below their Village I had something to say to them-- Towards the close of day about 20 of them came down-- I repeated to them nearly what I had said to the Ouiattanon Indians and further that they had not any thing to apprehend from those Tribes thee accompanied me, as the procuring their tranquillity was chiefly what had brought us thro' their country-- smoaked in the Calumet of the Quiquaboes--

The Black fly said they had expected us for two months past, and were rejoyced at our arrival-- That they were in a lamentable condition, having on every side cause for apprehension, that they could not forsee which should have the upperhand the Virginians or we, but hoped we might, for should the Americans, the Indians must be completely wretched--

That they had no cause to lament the English Government having succeeded to the French, that I had given them courage by my speech, and they hoped I should inspire their young men with prudence--

They then presented me a Calumet, requesting that whenever I should smoak in it, I might think on them and have pity of their women and children--

Another man with a cut nose (called la petite morve) said he would follow me to war, that he and I should divide the prisoners at St. Vincennes, as there but were two there, meaning that there were but two rebel Officers--

We were encamped a little above a place called la Soupe, from the boiling eddies in the river.

12th Had a talk with a young chief of the Peankashaas who told me, he should not be surpsized if I had a bad impression of their Nation as some of them listened to the Virginians, (hinting at the old Tobacco and his Son) that those of his Village had not acted a like part, that he meant to follow me by land having a dependence on me but that the promises of the Virginians were but as wind &ca

I answerd him, that I wished him and his people to consider the king of England as their father, that while they continued faithfull they might depend on his protection-- saluted them with 3 Guns--

About noon we discovered a raft on the West side of the river with a fire kindled on it, the Indians immediately put ashore, we followed, and the men were soon drawn up making three fronts and leaving a reserve to guard the boats-- The Indians followed a Track for some distance but returned without making any thing of it-- we concluded it was some scout from the Enemy--

The usual guards and pickett were posted and we encamped as it began to rain--

13th. Before day went to the encampment of the Savages, and talkd with them about sending a party on each side of the river to reconnoitre and a canoe ahead, they accordingly did so, P. de Quindre and Pierrot Chesne accompanied them-- They had orders not to stop till they got low enough for our next encampment--

It blew hard with some snow, we lay by, the Indians were sent out to hunt, and the Carpenters made a new Axle tree for the 6 poundr.

In the evening a Pouteouattamie returnd from hunting who said he had discoverd the tracks of 5 horses--

The Officers of the picquet had orders to detach four men from each flank who were to take a circuit in the Woods half an hour before day as a kind of Patrole, to meet at the distance of 1/2 of a mile and return together to their pickett--

As I thought the Enemy would certainly endeavor to get a knowledge of our numbers, and for that purpose would send a spy to count our fires when we should quit our encampment I had purposed leaving a party of Indians concealed near our camp in hopes of making a prisoner, I had horse bells which they might make use of to entice any hunters that might be abroad & mentioned this to Chamintawa and Egushewai who approved it-- It was however neglected.

Kissingua went off in a mift taking a pirogue with him down the river, I conceived he meant to get a prisoner or other ways strike some stroke at St. Vincennes before our arrival. But on the 14th we overtook him, and no notice being taken of him he retutned to camp--

Three old Miamis Indians, who had struck thro' the woods from Terre haute, came to the river side and were taken in greatly fatigued and very hungry having lost their way--

The advanced party did not make any discovery--

An Officer of the Indian department with a Serjeant and 7 men to go from the pickett guard at dawn of day to look for Tracks and reconnoitre the ground-- Hole pins to be muffled-- Went at night to the Indian fires, told the chiefs I was not prompted by idle curiosity to pry into their ceremonies. That I highly commended their praying to the great Spirit, that he probably was pleased with their adoration, since among them all, there was not one sick man-- One of the chiefs thankd me for my Visit and said, who is there on earth that does not adore tbe Master of life, the giver of all things, all who consider the various productions of nature, must worship the supreme Lord--

The Priest at one of their camps stood at some distance from their fire, with his face toward the Wood having his budget hung upon two forked sticks, and in a very loud voice at the full extent of his lungs sung a hymn having a Chichiquoe or Indian rattle in his hand with which he kept time-- at certain pauses he howled like a Wolf, snorted like a horse, or imitated the cry of some wild beast or bird-- sometimes he utterd three distinct howls so loud and at the same time so dismal, as might have made the Knight of the fulling Mills tremble--

'Tis a rule with them not to pass before their Natte or Budgett On encamping they are placed something advance and towards the Enemy, in their water expeditions they are put in the bow of the canoe which they turn with the stern to the shore, that they may not irreverently step over their Natte-- It is a known fact that a Chief (I think of the Miamis) going to war and having charge of the Natte, funding that some one had profaned the ground in front of the War budget immediately drew out a knife and stabbed himself to the heart, such is their blind reverence to their devoted relics and scraps--

The Indians as I have already mentioned, have great faith in dreams-- some had dreams that we were to meet the Rebels at Terre haute, the son of masgaiash, a Chippowey chief dreamed last night that all the English with some few of the Savages were to fall in action, that about 20 French were to be killed, and the rest save themselves by flight-- I mention dreams as it is necessary to endeavor to find some method to quiet their superstition, rather than mock or insult them-- many managements are necessary with them-- I exhorted the Ouiattanon Indians to follow the example of the lake Indians in showing humanity to their prisoners--

15th. [December 15, 1778] Another Vision-- A terrible engagement-- all smoke! to be attacked on both sides the river-- the affair to begin tomorrow about two o'Clock afternoon-- sent off scouting parties this morning by land, before Sunrise--

The Indians decline sending any of their people in canoes to reconnoitre-- much ice this morning in the river-- A review of arms-- determine to send (if practicable) a party in canoes to pass the post of St. Vincennes to intercept any craft that might be sent down with intelligence-- ------- About two o'Clock afternoon the reconnoitring party returned with a Lieutt. Brouillett of the Militia of St. Vincennes, (220) and three men, sent by the Commandant of St. Vincennes (Captain Helm) to reconnoitre-- This Lieutenant had written instructions upon him at the time he was taken, signed (as well as a Commission for serving as Lieutenant in Bosseron's company) by Captain Helm, and at the same time was found on him a Commission as Lieutt. of Militia signed by Lieutt. Govr. Abbott-- I should not certainly have hesitated at the propriety of hanging this fellow on the first tree but for two reasons-- I was unwilling to whet the natural propensity of the Indians for blood, and I wished to gain the preverted Frenchman by Lenity--

The arms of the prisoners, I gave to the Indians who took them--The men were sent to the Guard-- At Night orderd the Chiefs to assemble, acquainted them with what was proper they should know of the intelligence given by the Prisoners-- They said they should dance for the last time and then acquaint me with the result of a council they meant to hold--They got Major Hay's warbelt and mine and danced till after midnight.

16th. Rain-- however we set off and got to a place called la carrierre (the Quarry) a wintering ground of the Peankashaas-- This morning I consulted with the chiefs about sending scouting parties to lay on the roads from St. Vincennes to the Ilinois, and to the falls of Ohio, to intercept any intelligence of our arrival, I also communicated my intention of sending off Major Hay with Captain La Mothe's Company the Detachmt. of the Kings with Lt. DuVernet and some of the Chiefs who should first reconnoitre the place and if they should find the report of the Prisoners faithfull, to take possession, and proper guards being posted, every step might be taken to prevent disorder, and particularly to store the liquor that the drunkenness of the Savages might be prevented--

Melioutonga, otherways Meligoua (in French la petite Vielle) a Peankashaa, who tho' no chief is attended to by his Tribe came with his brother and son, telling me candidly he had been at St. Vincennes to procure from them what he wanted for his family, but finding how little dependance there was on the promises of the Virginians he had return'd of his fools errand that he plainly saw a father in me, since tho I had come from so great a distance, I had nevertheless kept something for my children--That to prove his sincerity, he had brought me his heart (meaning his son) to go to war with me--

On Major Hay's setting off, the young Indians fearing they should not share in the busyness, got in a violent hurry into their canoes with design to accompany him, some of the Chiefs with the interpreters came in haste to inform me of it. I ran directly to the waterside and with some difficulty pacyfyed them. In the evening went to their camp and represented to the Chiefs, the absolute necessity of their young men being obedient and attentive to order--

Major Hay proceeded down the river, and lay in the neighbourhood of the Fort, but overtook the scouting party who had not gone so far as I had directed-- however they were on their guard and one of the Indians had discoverd our people, coming under cover of the night and counterfeiting the call of a wild Turkey--

17th. Snowed a good deal with a very cold wind, set off as early as possible-- On my approach to St. Vincennes was not a little surprized to see at a landing place about a small mile above the fort, our boats with a small guard, and the Gunboat with the flag, hawled on shore--

The American flag at the same time being displayed on the Fort I now presumed that some reinforcements had come to the Garrison and that the French inhabitants meant to assist in the defense in conjunction with their new friends, it proved otherwise, however I orderd the men ashore, drew them up with a double front posted sentries, and went to an eminence to get a view of the Fort. I presently discernd Major Hay with the men drawn up at a small distance at the old Village of the Peankashaas, who sent to me to inform me that the Inhabitants were bringing in their arms, not designing to make any resistance-- Seeing some of the principal inhabitants and understanding from them that the Rebel Officer was deserted by the French Volunteers who had engaged to serve on the Congress pay, I proceeded to the fort with the detachment of the King's regiment the 6 pr. in front, and sent to summon the Officer-- He desired to know who it was that summond him, being informed and that I was at the Wickett, he asked what terms he might expect-- He was answerd, that his situation did not admit of any other than his being treated with humanity-- On this the Wickett was set open, and my first care was to place centrys at the Gate to prevent the Savages getting in, but as there were ports for the small cannon, which had not been secured within, two or three of the smoaked skins had got in, those without seeing them overbore the Centries, not listening to the Interpreters their chiefs, or me who did all in their power to restrain them-- A scene of confusion now followed for the Savages first object was the securing some horses which had been bought up at the Ilinois for Congress, and which had been kept up in the Fort to the number of 32--These Creatures were terrified at the Tumult and scamperd round the Fort trampling and oversetting all that came in their way, on the Gate being thrown open they found their way out, and each had very shortly a rider-- Centries being immediately posted at Captain Helm's door, I hoped to secure for him any furniture or goods he might have, but the Savages hoping to find Plunder or Rum, went to the rear of the house and presently got in at the Windows,-- Captain Helm told me there was a barrel of Rum in the house and he apprehended the consequences should the Savages get at it, a centinel was immediately set who secured it, and the Savages having soon satisfied their curiosity moved out, having first appropriated whatever they thot. worth carrying off-- One of them going thro' a dark passage fell into a Cellar and put out his shoulder, but the Surgeon being at hand, it was almost presently reduced-- The scouting party which I had orderd to waylay the road to the Ilinois, intercepted the Messenger who had been sent by C. Helm with notice of our Arrival to Colol. Clarke at Kaskasquias-- The express was well mounted and had a guide, but fell into the snare and was brought in with his letter, unhurt by the Savages--

Not a single shot was fired in the course of the day, nor did the Savages commit any excess but in plundering the horses in the Fort-- Guards were mounted, and patroles orderd to pass thro' the Village every hour to prevent accidents--

In this miserable picketted work called a fort, was found scarce anything for defense, the want of a well was sufficient to evince its being untenable-- two Iron three pounders mounted on truck carriages and two Swivels not mounted constituted its whole defence, for there were not even platforms for small arms, nor men to use them the Company of rascal volunteers 70 in number having to a man deserted on our approach, and left Captain Helm with only three Virginians for a Garrison--

I allowed him liberty on giving his parole, and assurance that he would not by letter or otherways give any intelligence to the Americans--