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THREATS OF SIR JOHN ST. CLAIR.
Massachusetts and elsewhere, led by Lieutenant-colonel Monckton.
The business of the Congress being finished, General Braddock would have set out for Fredericktown, in Maryland, but few Waggons or teams had yet come to remove the artillery. Washington bad looked with wonder and dismay at the huge parapher. Dalia of war, and the world of superfluities to be transported across the mountains, recollecting the difficulties he had experienced in getting over them with his nine swivels and scanty supplies. “If our march is to be regulated by the slow movements of the train," said he, “it will be tedious, very tedious, indeed.” His predictions excited a sarcastic smile in Braddock, as betraying the limited notions of a young provincial officer, little acquainted with the march of armies.
In the mean while, Sir John St. Clair, who had returned to the frontier, was storming at the camp at Fort Cumberland. The road required of the Pennsylvania government had not been commenced. George Croghan and the other commissioners were but just arrived in camp. Sir John, according to Croghan, received them in a very disagreeable manner; would not look at their draughts, nor suffer any representations to be made to him in regard to the province, “ but stormed like a lion rampant;” declaring that the want of the road and of the provisions promised by Pennsylvania had retarded the expedition, and might cost them their lives from the fresh numbers of French that might be poured into the country." That instead of marching to the Ohio, he would in nine days march his army into Cumberland County to cut the roads, press horses, waggons, &c.—That he would not suffer a soldier to handle an axe, but by fire and sword oblige the inhabitants to do it. • • * That he would kill all kinds of cattle, and carry away the horses, burn the houses, &c.; and that if the French defeated them, by the delays of Pennsylvania, he would, with his sword drawn, pass through the province and treat the inhabitants as a parcel of traitors to his master. That he would write to England by a man-of-war; shake Mr. Penn's proprietaryship, and represent Pennsylvania as a disaffected province. * * * * He told us to go to the general, if we pleased, who would give us ten bad words for one that he had given."
The explosive wrath of Sir John, which was not to be appeased, shook the souls of the commissioners, and they wrote to Governor Morris, urging that people might be set at work upon the road, if the Assembly had made provision for opening it; and that flour might be sent without delay to the mouth of Canococheague River, “as being the only remedy left to prevent these threatened mischiefs.” *
In reply, Mr. Richard Peters, Governor Morris's secretary, wrote in his name: “Get a number of hands immediately, and further the work by all possible methods. Your expenses will be paid at the next sitting of Assembly. Do your duty, and oblige the general and quartermaster if possible. Finish the road that will be wanted first, and then proceed to any other that may be thought necessary.”
An additional commission, of a different kind, was intrusted to George Croghan. Governor Morris by letter requested him to convene at Aughquick, in Pennsylvania, as many warriors as possible of the mixed tribes of the Ohio, distribute among them wampum belts sent for the purpose, and engage them to meet General Braddock when on the march, and render him all the assistance in their power.
* Colonial Records, vol. vi., p. 868.
CAPTAIN JACK AND HIS BAND
In reply, Croghan engaged to enlist a strong body of Indians, being sure of the influence of Scarooyadi, successor to the halfking, and of his adjunct, White Thunder, keeper of the speechbelts.* At the instance of Governor Morris, Croghan secured the services of another kind of force. This was a bard of hunters, resolute men, well acquainted with the country, and inured to hardships. They were under the command of Captain Jack, one of the most remarkable characters of Pennsylvania; a complete hero of the wilderness. He had been for many years a captive among the Indians; and, having learnt their ways, had formed this association for the protection of the settlements, receiving a commission of captain from the Governor of Pennsyl. vania. The band had become famous for its exploits, and was a terror to the Indians. Captain Jack was at present protecting the settlements on the Canococheague ; but promised to march by a circuitous route and join Braddock with his hunters. “They require no shelter for the night,” writes Croghan; “they ask no pay. If the whole army was composed of such men there would be no cause of apprehension. I shall be with them in time for duty.” 1
The following extract of a letter, dated August, 1750, gives one of the stories relative to this individual :
“The · Black Hunter,' the Black Rifle,' the Wild Hunter of Juniata,' is a white man ; his history is this: He entered the woods with a few enterprising companions; built his cabin; cleared a littlo land, and amused himself with the pleasures of fishing and hunting. He felt happy, for then he had not a care. But on an evening, when be returned from a day of sport, he found his cabin burnt, his wife
* Colonial Records, vol. vi., p. 375. + Hazard's Register of Penn., vol. iv., p. 416.
and children murdered. From that moment he forsakes civilized man ; hunts out caves, in which he lives; protects the frontier inhabitants from the Indians; and seizes every opportunity of revenge that offers. He lives the terror of the Indians and the consolation of the whites. On one occasion, near Juniata, in the middle of a dark night, a family were suddenly awaked from sleep by the report of a gun; they jump from their huts, and by the glimmering light from the chimney saw an Indian fill to rise no more. The open door exposed to view the wild hunter. "I have saved your lives,' he cried, then turned and was buried in the glooin of night."- Hazard's Register of Penn., vol. iv., 389.
WASHINGTON PROCLAIMED AIDE-DE-CAMP-DISAPPOINTMENTS AT FREDERICKTOWN-
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND BRADDOCK—CONTRACTS-DEPARTURE FOR wills' CREEK-ROUGH ROADS-THE GENERAL IN HIS CIIARIOT-CAMP AT FORT CCMBERLAND-HUGH MERCER—DR. CRAIK-MILITARY TACTICS--CAMP RULESSECRETARY PETERS-INDIANS IN CAMP-INDIAN BEAUTIES—THE PRINCESS BRIGHT LIGUTNING-ERRAND TO WILLIAMSBURG-BRADDOCK'S OPINION OF CONTRACTORS AND INDIANS— ARRIVAL OF CONVEYANCES.
GENERAL BRADDOCK set out from Alexandria on the 20th of April. Washirgton remained behind a few days to arrange his affairs, and then rejoined him at Fredericktown, in Maryland, where, on the 10th of May, he was proclaimed one of the general's aides-de-camp. The troubles of Braddock had already com menced. The Virginian contractors failed to fulfil their engage. ments; of all the immense means of transportation so confidently promised, but fifteen waggons and a hundred draft-horses had arrived, and there was no prospect of more. There was equal disappointment in provisions, both as to quantity and quality; and he had to send round the country to buy cattle for the subsistence of the troops.
Fortunately, while the general was venting his spleen in anu