The site of General Wayne’s cantonment of 1792-93, at Legion Ville was
located very close (500’ north) of the Native American village of Logstown.
This village was the most important settlement in Western Pennsylvania
for over half a century. The site where Wayne chose to build his camp was
occupied by Native Americans from at least 6,500 B.C. to A.D. 1761, and
as such contains the rich archaeological remains of this massive colonial
fortification and an earlier Native American occupation. The following
is a nicely done story about the Logstown settlement from 1894.
The ravages of time are fast leveling the landmarks of Indian occupancy in Western Pennsylvania and on the river Ohio. Places where many gathered, and early councils of the red men were held, where affairs of vast importance were transacted, are now unknown, and not a vestige remains to mark the spots then filled with life and activity. Such has been the fate of Logstown, on the Ohio. In the middle of the last century it was a busy centre of Indian life, where a great trade was carried on with them by the French and the English. Then, too, the Indian nations claimed all the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, and on the Ohio. Not only no vestige marks its once busy scene, but error has transferred its site to the opposite side of the Ohio.
The evidence of its true locality is, however, full and absolute to those who choose to delve into the remains of the past; of this hereafter. For the present it is sufficient to say, that Logstown stood on the land, now the property of the Harmony Society, at Economy, a short distance below the town, and on the right or north bank of the Ohio. In the early settlement of the French on the river St. Lawrence, their progress was northward and westward, leading them to the upper Lakes and to the Mississippi. Their southward war expeditions were toward the British Colonies on the Atlantic. It was not until the middle of the last century they reached Presque Isle, on Lake Erie, and extended eastward to the Allegheny River, by them called the Ohio. They built forts at Presque Isle, LeBoueff on French Creek, and Venango at its junction with the Allegheny. Intending to mark their claim of title to the countries bounding on the Allegheny and Ohio, founded on the alleged discovery of the main Ohio by the Sieur. LaSalle, about seventy or eighty years before, the Marquis Gallesonier, the French Governor of New France, sent Mons Celeron down the Allegheny and Ohio, in the year 1749, to plant the evidence of possession and title along their shores. This he did by burying many inscribed leaden plates at the mouths of principal tributaries. A translation of one of these may be seen in "Fort McIntosh, and its Times," page 7. This plate was found at the mouth of French Creek, called Toradakoin by the Indians.
A short time before, most probably in 1747, the French had built New Logstown for the Indians inhabiting Western Pennsylvania and the Ohio. It was built on the second rise, or plateau below the town of Economy (Ambridge, Pennsylvania, ed.), in Beaver County. The houses, about thirty, were substantial log cabins, some with stone chimneys. It was here a large trade was carried on between the French and English traders and the Indians. The original town was an Indian village, on the river bottom below the new town, one of the many Indian settlements on the river and creek bottoms of the larger branches. They selected the rich sandy river and creek flats fro the cultivation of maize (Indian corn), such being level and more easily cultivated in their primitive modes. The precise time of building the new town is not accurately known, but all the information gathered would fix the date as 1747. At this time neither Fort Du Quesne nor Fort Pitt existed, the former being built in 1754, and the latter in 1759. The junction of the rivers Monongahela and Allegheny was then wild and uninhabited. Logstown was therefore the centre of French and Indian affairs.
The first distinct knowledge of Logstown is found in the journal of Conrad Weiser, who was sent by the Pennsylvania Colonial Council to visit the Indians on the Ohio. Conrad Weiser was a German, born in 1696: came with his father, when ten years old, to America, and settled at Scohaire, New York. When a boy he went to live with the chief of the Mohawk Nation, to acquire a knowledge of the language, which he mastered, and thus became an efficient interpreter. In 1729, he came to Pennsylvania, and settled in the Tulpehocken valley, near the present town of Womelsdorff. He was employed by the Colonial Government in many services: was a justice of the peace, and was commissioned Colonel in a regiment of volunteers in Berks county. He was highly esteemed for his intelligence, honesty, and great reliability, and participated in various matters of great importance. His knowledge of the Indian tongues carried him on missions to the Indians among the Six Nations in New York, and to those westward on the Ohio. A man of great shrewdness, caution, and discretion, he was intimately acquainted with the Indian character, and was much respected by them. His residence was in Heidelberg Township, Berks County, where he lived for many years, and died in July, 1760.
The Colonial Council being appraised of the efforts of the French to win over the Ohio Indians, felt it proper to take steps to prevent it. Conrad Weiser was called upon to advise with the Council. He took with him, and presented to them, Andrew Montour, a very competent interpreter. The Council sent them to the Ohio, giving Weiser written instructions covering many points of the inquiry and discussions. The instructions began by saying: "This Government having promised the Indians who came from the Ohio in November last, to send you to them early in the spring, and having provided a present of considerable, you are to proceed thither with all convenient dispatch. Mr. George Croghan, the Indian trader, who is well acquainted with the Indian country, and the best roads to Ohio, has undertaken the convoy of you and the goods, with his own men and horses, at the public expense." The instructions are too numerous and minute to be recited. They included many points to be learned, such as a perfect knowledge of the number, situation and strength of all the Indians on the Ohio, their temper, and the influence of the tribes. These instructions display great confidence and trust in Weiser’s intelligence, discretion and integrity. They are signed by Anthony Palmer, the President of the Council, and dated June 23rd, 1748. Weiser kept a full journal of his journey, and of his conferences with the Indians. He set out from Heidelberg August 11th, 1748, going by the Tuscarowa path, passing Standing Stone, (Huntington), on the Juniata and Frankstown, crossing the "Allegheny Hills," going through the "Clearfields," reaching the "Kiskeminitoes" on the 20th day of August, and on the same day crossing to the Ohio, (Allegheny), where he took passage by water to Logstown. On the 27th of August, he dined in a Seneca town, where an old Seneca woman reigned, he says, with great authority, and arrived at Logstown that evening, and saluted the town. The Indians returned the salute with about one hundred guns. Great joy appeared in their countenances. Some of his party went from Logstown up to Koskosky, a large Indian town thirty miles off. Kuskuskee, as it is oftener written, lay on the west side of the Big Beaver, just below the mouth of the Mahoning. Weiser himself went to Beaver Creek, eight miles below, to have some Wampum woven. The journal is very voluminous, containing the preparations made to meet the Indians of various tribes in council, at Logstown, among them naming the "Wyandots," Senecas and Delaware’s. In compliance with his instructions, he states the number of the fighting men of each nation settled on the Ohio, as given by the deputies in council, viz.: Senecas, 163; Shawanese, 162; Owandots, 100; Tisagechroamis, 40; Mohawks, 74; Mohicans, 15; Onondagos, 35; Cayugas, 20; Oneidas, 15; Delaware’s, 165; in all, 789. The count was by bundles of small sticks.
On the 3d of September, he says:
"We set up the Union flag on a long pole; treated all the company with a dram of rum. The King’s health was drunk by the Indians and white men. Towards night a great many Indians arrived to attend the Council. There was much firing on both sides. The strangers first saluted the town at a quarter of a mile distance, and at their entry the town’s people returned the firs, and also the English traders, of whom there were about twenty." Being informed that the "Wandots" were going over to the French, and trying to take the Delaware’s with them, he sent Montour up to the Delaware towns on Beaver Creek, to inquire into the matter, and was informed they had no correspondence with the Wandots that way. In this council with the Wandots, they informed him that they came from the French on account of hard usage; that the French got their young men to go to war against their enemies, and would use them like slaves; and their goods were so dear, the Indians could not buy them; that one hundred fighting men came to join the English, and more would follow. The goods were sent out by Croghan were delayed so long, some distrust was evidenced. But finally they arrived, and were divided into five shares for distribution; one to the Senecas, one to the Cayugas, Oneidas, Onondagos and Tisaghechroamis, and Mohickans, and the last to the Shawanese. The Indians expressed great satisfaction, and were well pleased with the cessation of arms, referring to the peace declared between England and France.
The goods sent out by Croghan were delayed so long, some distrust was evidenced. But finally they arrived, and were divided into five shares for distribution; one to the Senecas, one to the Cayugas, Oneidas, Onondagos and Mohawks, one to the Delawares, another to the Owandots, Tisaghechroamis, and the Mohickans, and the last to the Shawanese. The Indians expressed great satisfaction, and were well pleased with the cessation of arms, referring to the peace declared between England and France. On behalf of the President and Council, Weiser addressed each Nation separately, and received replies from their representative chiefs or deputies. Many of the replies are interesting, but must be omitted. The effect of Weiser’s mission was important in attaching many of the Indians to the English, and preventing others from being carried off to the French. The next important notice of Logstown is found in a letter from George Croghan to Governor Hamilton, dated at Logstown, December 16th, 1750. He arrived the day before, and found there were thirty warriors of the Six Nations, who were going to war against the Catawba Indians. They told him that Joncaire, then a very influential and active agent of the French, was at an Indian town about 150 miles up the river, where he intended to build a fort, if he could get the consent of the Indians. It seems probable the town was at the mouth of French Creek, where the French built a fort about that time. He refers to the design of the Twightwees to settle up the river, and their determination to hold no treaty of peace with the French, and to other matters of importance. The Assembly of the Province had made provisions for a present to the Indians on the Ohio, of goods promised to them by the Council.
In consequence of the inability of Conrad Weiser, who was engaged to go to the Six Nations in New York, George Croghan was appointed to go to Logstown, to convey to them the present. Instructions were given to Croghan, dated April 25th, 1751. Of his proceedings he kept a journal, which he afterwards submitted to the Governor, dated at his home, in Pennsylvania, June 10th, 1751. These dates give an approximate time required to make the journey to Logstown and return, and the proceedings there. Croghan took with him Andrew Montour, the interpreter, and reached Logstown May 18th, 1751. The Indians of a number of tribes attended, and received him favorably. A large council was held. Croghan states that on the 20th of May, Joncaire, the French agent, came from the head of the Ohio (Allegheny) with forty Indian warriors of the Six Nations, and one Frenchman. On the 21st, a council was called by Joncaire of all the Indians in the town, and he addressed them thus: "CHILDREN:- I desire you may now give me an answer from your hearts to the speech of Monsieur Shularone (the commander of the party of two hundred Frenchmen that went down the river two years ago) made to you. His speech was, that their father, the Governor of Canada, desired his children on the Ohio to turn away the English traders from amongst them, and to discharge them from ever coming there again, or on any of the branches, on pain of incurring his displeasure; and to enforce the speech he gave a very large belt of wampum." Immediately one of the chiefs of the Six Nations got up and made the following speech: "Fathers:- I mean you that call yourselves our fathers, hear what I am going to say to you: You desire we may turn our brothers the English away, and not suffer them to trade with us again. I know tell you from our hearts, we will not, for we ourselves brought them here to live, and they shall live among us as long as there is one of us alive. You are always threatening our brothers what you will do to them, and in particular that man, (pointing to me.) Now, if you have anything to say to our brothers, tell it to him, if you be a man, as you Frenchmen always say you are, and the head of all nations. Our brothers are the people we will trade with, and not you. Go tell your Governor to ask the Onondago council if I don’t speak the minds of all the Six Nations," and returned the belt.
On a subsequent day, (May 25th,) Joncaire apologized to Mr. Croghan,
saying his orders came from the French Governor, and he was obliged to
obey, though he was sensible the Indians would not receive his declaration.
The Indians present came from many places down and up the river, the Big
Beaver, and other points. The method of proceeding by the Indians as to
a disposition of their land is interesting, as illustrated by an example
related in the journal. A Dunkard, from Virginia, came to Logstown, to
request the consent of the Six Nations to his making a settlement on land
on the "Yogh-yo-ganie." The Indians answered it was not in their power
to dispose of lands; that he must first be recommended by the Governor
of Pennsylvania, and then apply to the council at Onondaga. It will be
remembered that the title of the Indians to the whole of Western Pennsylvania
was not extinguished at that time. The treaties made at Fort Stanwix had
not then been made. See "Fort Pitt and its Times," page 24. A treaty between
Croghan and the Indians was made at Logstown, on the 28th of May, 1751.
Deputies from the Six Nations, the Delawares, Shawanese, Awandots and Twightwees
were present. Croghan, in behalf of Governor Hamilton made separate speeches
to the deputies of each nation. An indication of the trade at Logstown
is found in the names given by Croghan of the English traders present,
viz.: Thomas Kinton, Samuel Cuggens, Jacob
Pyatt, John Owens, Thomas Ward, Joseph Nellson, James
Brown, Dennis Sullivan, Paul Pearce, and Caleb Lamb. An Indian custom at
the close of a speech was to signify approval by the cry "Yo-ha."
For example, it is stated, "The speaker at the close of his speech handed a belt of wampum, which was received with a Yo-ha." One is tempted to think that the savages at some of our colleges learned their yell from these. The speeches of Governor Hamilton, by Croghan, in his name, were answered seriatim by the Indians, after consultation among themselves. The journal states the proceeding thus: "A speech received from the Six Nations. The speaker directed his discourse to the Governor of Pennsylvania." The names of the chiefs were then stated, and the name of the speaker. That of the Six Nations was "Toanohiso." The speeches shoe directness and business shrewdness. George Croghan, who filled so large a space in the affairs of the west, was an Indian trader. He was by birth an Irishman, educated at Dublin. His residence was at Pennsboro, in Cumberland county, nearly opposite Harris’ Ferry, on the shores of Lake Erie, as early as 1746. He acquired an ample knowledge of the Indian tongues, and became a man of importance among that people. At one time he was wealthy, but lost nearly all by the ravages of the French Indians. In General Braddock’s unfortunate expedition, he was a Captain, and present at the battle of July 9th, 1755, remaining with the general until his death. Afterwards, he became an Indian Agent under Sir William Johnson, and was his Deputy in charge of the Ohio Indians. In this capacity he held numerous conferences with the Indians, and was engaged in many missions to them, some as far westward as the Illinois.
He was not the ancestor of Mrs. Captain Schenley, whose Allegheny county interests are so well known. William Croghan, the husband of Mary O’Hara, second daughter of General James O’Hara, and the father of Mrs. Schenley, was a son of Major William Croghan, an officer in a Virginia regiment. William Croghan, the son, was a frequent visitor at the office of Henry Baldwin, in Pittsburgh, when the writer was a student of law in that office. This was in the year 1826. He was at that time paying attention to Miss O’Hara. The next noticeable mention of Logstown is found in the journal of Major George Washington, of his visit to the French forts on French Creek, at Venango, and LeBoueff. He reached Logstown November 25th, 1753. There he waited some days completing his arrangements to go to Venango, and left for that place December 4th, 1753. See an account more at large in "Fort McIntosh, and its Times," page 9. His journal is exceedingly interesting, as all such accounts are, but it is too long to abstract. The chief matter to be noticed now, is the importance attached to Logstown, at that time, as a place of trade and population, making it a point to be visited. No fort had then been built at the head of the main Ohio, where Du Quesne was constructed in the year, (1754.) After that year we hear but little of Logstown, the events of history taking place at Du Quesne and its vicinity.
Washington’s defeat in 1754, and surrender at Fort Necessity, and Braddock’s defeat at Turtle Creek, in 1755, left the French in possession of the Ohio territory until the abandonment of Fort Du Quesne, on the approach of General John Forbes’ army in November, 1758. In the next year, 1759, Fort Pitt was commenced, and finished in 1760. During the year 1758, and before the advance of General Forbes on Du Quesne, another important journal is found in that of Christian Frederick Post, of his mission to the Ohio Indians, with a message from the Colonial Council of Pennsylvania, to the Delaware, Shawanese and Mingoes settled there. In that journal Logstown again comes into prominent view. He began his journey July 5th, 1758, going by Fort Allen, (on the Lehigh,) and reaching Fort Augusta, (Sunbury,) on the Susquehanna, July 25th. On the 12th of August he came to "Conaquonashon," where, he says, was an old Indian town, fifteen miles from Kuskuskee. On reaching Kuskuskee, he was received hospitably by King Beaver, (of the Turtle tribe of the Delawares,) and found fifteen Frenchmen there building houses for the Indians. Much that is interesting transpired there, but it is too long for notice. On the 20th of August, Post reached Sawkunk, at the mouth of the Big Beaver, and was roughly received. The Indians there were determined to take him to Fort Du Quesne to meet the French and many other Indians there. He opposed this much, but was compelled to go, reaching Logstown on the night of the 23d, where he was received kindly. On the 24th, he came in sight of the Fort, but refused to cross the Allegheny. The Indians at the Fort crossed over to see him. Much ado took place, the French coming over and demanding him of the Indians. They refused however to permit them to take him, saying, "they would hear no more about it, but to send them 100 loaves of bread." There was much whispering among the French and Indians; but the latter remained firm.
On the afternoon of the 25th, 300 Canadians arrived at the Fort, and reported more were to follow, with forty battoes loaded with ammunition. Among the Indians were many well known chiefs, for example, Captain Killbuck, afterwards the claimant of Smoky Island, opposite the Pittsburgh point. Post mentions that many Irish traders endeavored to "spirit" up the Indians against the English. On the 26th, a council was held by the French with their own Indians, in which it was proposed to cut off all the Delaware chiefs present, and then the Delawares would give them no more trouble. The Tawas answered, "no; we cannot do this thing, for though there is but a handful here, they are a strong people, spread over a great distance, and whatever they agree to must be." At a council on the opposite side to the Fort, the French insisted that Post should be delivered up to them. The Indians refused to consent, and next morning Post set off before daylight, reaching Sawkunk, (Beaver,) where he was now well received. On the 28th of August, he set out for Kuskuskee, with a company of over 20 Indians. At that place he dined with Shingiss. Much feasting took place, and consultations among the Indians. Shortly before he left, a council was held, and a very satisfactory answer to the Governor was given to Post.
A thing of much concern to the Indians was the approach of the army
under General Forbes, of which they had learned, thinking that they might
be cut off. They even feared that the English and French would unite against
them. They appealed to Post to tell them the truth, saying: "Now brother,
you are here with us, you are our own flesh and blood, speak from the bottom
of your heart, will not the French and the English join together to cut
off the Indians?" Post declared, with great feeling, that he told them
the whole truth, ending by saying, "I do declare before God, that the English
never did, nor never will join the French to destroy you." He then explained
the relations of the English and French, to convince them. They seemed
to be satisfied. During his stay at Kuskuskee, 200 French and Indians arrived
on their way to Fort Du Quesne. The French threatened to catch him privately,
and take his scalp. On the 9th of September Post Left, making a most painful
and laborious journey homeward, taking unusual paths to avoid being waylaid,
and crossing the Susquehanna, (West Branch,) six times, and lying in the
woods thirty-two nights, with the heavens his only covering, before reaching
Fort Augusta, (Sunbury.)
His life was often in danger, but he was saved only by friendship and honest intentions of the Indians. In reading this journal one is struck with the true Indian character, exhibiting a sense of right, of honor, proper sentiment, and honest intention, more than it is usual to attribute to them. The Indian is seen by the whites chiefly in a state of war, when his wild nature, heated by his sense of wrongs, displays itself in practices the most savage and inhumane. His anger and revenge drive him on to deeds of the greatest barbarity. But in his own wigwam and native forest, he feels the common sentiments of human nature, and evidences a sense of right and honor, which displays him in a very different aspect. General Forbes army arrived at Fort Du Quesne on the 24th of November, 1758, to find it abandoned and in ruin. Fort Pitt was built in the following year and finished in 1760. The Indians then deserted many of their towns, and Logstown was no longer a prominent place of trade and council.
Christian Frederick Post, before General Forbes reached Fort Du Quesne, had made a second journey to the Indians on the Ohio with a message from Governor Denny, of Pennsylvania. He set out on the 25th of October, 1758. This journey, like the former, contains much that is important and interesting, but as only one material reference to Logstown is made, the journal will not be averted to, except to state what he said as to Logstown. On the 2d of December, 1758, he left Sawkunk, (mouth of Beaver,) from Pittsburgh. He says: "The Beaver Creek being very high, it is almost two o’clock in the afternoon before we came over the creek; this land seems to be very rich. I, with my companion, Ketiuskund’s son, came to Logstown, situated on a hill. On the east end is a great piece of low land, where the Old Logstown used to stand. In the new Logstown, the French have built about thirty houses for the Indians. They have a large corn field on the south side, where the corn stands ungathered." This cornfield, cultivated on the opposite or south side from Logstown, evidently explains the origin of the belief of the early settlers of Beaver County, that Logstown stood on the south side of the Ohio.
The only further notice of Logstown worth stating is found in the journal
of Major George Washington, (from October 5th to December 1st, 1770,) of
his tour down the Ohio to view lands to be apportioned among the officers
and soldiers of the French war. On the 20th of October, he encamped with
Colonel Croghan and Lieutenant Hamilton, about four miles above Logstown.
On the 21st, leaving the encampment, where he parted with Croghan and the company, he reached Logstown and breakfasted there, and at eleven o’clock reached the mouth of Beaver. No Indians are mentioned, and as this was in 1770, six years after Colonel Bouquet’s march, when he found Logstown deserted, the occupants were certainly whites. It remains only to furnish the conclusive evidence of the true site of Logstown. It is proved by early maps and documents corresponding to the statement of Post in his second journal. A map of the British and French Dominions in North America, particularly showing (it says) the French encroachments through all the British plantations, from Nova Scotia down to the Gulf of Mexico.
On the face of the map is a narrative of these encroachments, filling quite a large space. The map has no date, but contains internal evidence it was made not later than 1753. Fort Du Quesne (Erected in 1754) is not marked upon it. Logstown is found marked in its proper relative position, on the north side of the Ohio. This agrees with the journals of Conrad Weiser, Post and Croghan, and the facts already mentioned.
2. A map made by Lewis Evans in 1755, of the middle British Colonies and Indian Nations adjacent, viz.: "Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island,"- "Of Acquanishuonigy, the country of the Confederate Indians,"- "Comprehending Aquanishuonigy proper, their places of residence," "Couxsaxrage, and Skaniadarade, their Beaver hunting countries,"- "Of Lakes Erie, Ontario and Champlain,"- "And parts of New France." "Wherein is also shown the ancient and present seats of the Indian nations."
Tables of distances and valuable notes are given on the face. It was published under an Act of Parliament. Logstown occupies its proper place on the north side of the Ohio, and Fort Du Quesne is laid down upon it.
3. A map found in a most interesting volume, the work of Captain Knox, a British soldier in command in America, in the years 1757-1760, adds another proof to the chain. It was published by him in London, in 1769, by subscription. The very large list of subscribers to it contains the names of many of the nobility and gentry of England, evidencing a very popular opinion of the merits of the work. It is doubly interesting to many persons in Western Pennsylvania, as the author was the great-great grandfather of the Reverend Edward J. Knox, D.D., the esteemed pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Beaver, who has kindly permitted me to use the map contained in it. This map, like the others, shows Logstown laid down in its proper relative position, on the north side of the Ohio.
4. Another map is that of Thomas Hutchins, an American Geographer, who,
I think, accompanied the expedition of Colonel Bouquet against the Ohio
Indians in 1764. It places Logstown in the same position on the north side.
5. The next document is the journal of Colonel Bouquet’s march in October, 1764. His march was down the right or north bank of the Ohio.
6. The entry of October 5th, states: "In this day’s march the army passed through Logstown, situated seventeen miles, one-half and fifty-seven perches by the path from Fort Pitt. This place was noted before the last war for the great trade carried on there by the English and French, but its inhabitants, the Shawanese and Delawares, abandoned it in the year 1750*.
The lower town extended about sixty perches over a rich bottom to the
foot of a low steep ridge, on the summit of which, near the declivity,
stood the upper town, commanding a most agreeable prospect over the lower
and quite across the Ohio, which is about 500 yards across here, and by
its majestic current adds much to the beauty of the place." This description
corresponds with that of Christian Frederick Post in his second journal.
*- This is probably a misprint for 1760, when Fort Pitt was finished. The journals of Croghan, Post and Washington show that Logstown was occupied from 1750-1760.
6. Still another and conclusive document is the map of the Second District of Depreciation Surveys, made by Daniel Leet, in 1758 and 1786. This is a veritable record of the Land Office of Pennsylvania, on which hundreds of titles depend. In this map containing 143 lots surveyed on the north side of the Ohio, in the Second District, "Old Logstown" is laid down upon lots numbered 18 and 19, lying on the river. These are two tracts of land owned by the Harmony Society, at Economy. The Second (or Leets) District extended from the west side of the Big Beaver to the Big Sewickley creek, which, with the eastern line of the Second District, became the boundary between Allegheny and Beaver counties. A feature of the Ohio may be noticed, as explaining some old references to lands on the east side of the Ohio. The general course of the Ohio from Pittsburgh to Beaver is northwest, but at Economy the river runs nearly due north, leaving the town and adjacent lands on the east side.
In considering these ancient journals which refer to the Indian nations,
and the lands they occupied, especially viewing the old maps, which place
before the eye so distinctly and so vividly the Indian countries, their
boundaries, towns and cultivated valleys, one is struck with the number,
density of population, and tribes of these nations, now wholly extinct.
Men of to-day have no conception of their occupancy, power and rights.
We are apt to look upon them as the merest nomads wandering over trackless
forests, and tied to no homes. To this often is added the notion, like
that in regard to the Negroes of the south, they had no rights which white
men were bound to respect. Yet when their condition, at the time when the
Europeans found them in possession, is considered, we must perceive that
they were there rightfully, with title as good as that which generally
invests nations with rights, and they felt the wrongs of those who are
call civilized, yet with violence drove them from their homes and the graves
of their people.
The bow and arrow, and the stone hatchet were not equal to the musket
and sabre, and might made right. It may have been, as some think, in the
order of Providence, as lower orders of animals have given place to higher
grades, that civilization was designed by an overruling Power, to prevail,
by the extinction of the Indian and the destruction of his rights.
Yet this consummation, be it right or wrong, cannot repress sympathy for his fate, and a reflection that our own title rests on rapine and violence. Amen.