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board his galley for Kaskaskia, leaving Captain Helm at Vincennes once more in command.
Victory seemed now to have hung with rapture upon the banners of Clarke. He had extended tho bounds of the Republic from the Ohio to the Mississippi. His footsteps had scarcely been marked with blood for him to appear was, of course, to conquer. Well might Buckongahelas, the head warrior of the Delawares, after the peace-chiefs had addressed the commissioners at Fort McIntosh, in 1785, advance without deigning to notice the colleague of Colonel Clarke, and take the latter by the hand, and say as he did : “I thank the Great Spirit, for having this day brought together two such great warriors as Buckongahelas and General Clarke.''
As we are about to take our leave of a patriot and hero for ever, our readers may, perhaps, wish to know how so bright a star in the American constellation, as Colonel Clarke, could have dropped from its sphere. We answer in the language of his kinsman and friend, who, speaking of him afterward, says: “He was no longer the same man as the conqueror of Kaskaskia, and the captor of Vincennes. His mind was wounded by the neglect of the government of Virginia to settle his accounts. Private suits were brought against him for public supplies, which ultimately swept away his fortune, and with this injustice the spirits of the hero fell, and the general never recovered the energies which had stamped him as one of nature's noblemen. At the same time, it is feared that a too ready and too extensive conviviality contributed its mischievous effects."*
The surrender of Cornwallis, on the 19th of October, 1781, and the treaty of peace between England and the United Colonies, bearing date on the 20th of July, 1783, by which the independence of the latter was recognized, terminated, for a while, hostilities with the savages, and as the British power in Illinois became extinguished by the efforts of Colonel Clarke, in 1778 and 1779, little remains for us to record. On the 2nd of July, 1783, General Clarke's official duties ceased in Illinois. (See note.) History, we are told, has been seldom known to smile.
46 Hay. oc, and spoil, and ruin are its gain.” While the pursuits of honest industry occupy hardly a page, a siege or a tempest, a war or a famine, a rev. olution or a civil broil, supply materials for volumes.
The History of Illinois between the surrender of Vincennes, in 1779, and the peace, or rather the truce of 1783, became, therefore, a blank.
An Englishman, (Sydney Smith,) high on the rolls of fame, in speaking of the American Revolution, its origin, progress, and close, graphically remarks: “ There was a period, when the slightest concessions would have satisfied the Ameri
But all the world was in heroics. One set of men met at the Lamb, the other at the Lion. Blood and treasure-men, breathing war, vengeance and contempt ; and in eight years afterward, an awkward-looking gentleman, in plain clothes, walked up to the drawing-room, in St. James's, and was introduced as the embassador from the United States of America."
* Butler's History of Kentucky, to which we are principally indebted for the account of Colonel Clarke's expedition to Illinois.
GOVERNOR BENJAMIN HARRISON'S LETTER TO GENERAL GEORGE R.
IN COUNCIL, JULY 2nd, 1783. SIR :
The conclusion of the war, and the distressed situation of the State, with regard to its finances, call on us to adopt the most prudent economy. It is for this reason alone, I nave come to a determination to give over all thought, for the present, of carrying on an offensive war against the Indians, which, you will easily perceive, will render the services of a general officer in that quarter unnecessary, and will, therefore, consider yourself as out of command. But, before I take leave of you, I feel myself called upon, in the most forcible manner, to return you my thanks, and those of my council, for the very great and singular services you have rendered your country, in wresting so great and valuable a territory from the hands of the British enemy; repelling the attacks of their savage allies, and carrying on a successful war in the heart of their country. This tribute of praise and thanks, so justly due, I am happy to communicate to you, as the united voice of the erecutive.
I am, with respect, sir,
Indian Tribes not included in the Peace of 1783-Indian hostilities continued-Peace of
1783 a mere truce-Western and Northwestern posts withheld—Indian hostilities instigated by the English traders and emissaries-English encroachments in Ohio, Washington's opinion upon this subject-Boundaries of the United States fixed by Treaty–Violated by the English-Cause of such violation—Northwestern Territory, claimed by different States-Deeds of cession-Ordinance for its government, July 13, 1787–Relief Laws; and Laws to prevent the collection of debts by British merchants Washington's opinion thereon_Constitution of the United States adopted-Congress resolve to chastise the Indians—General Harmer appointed Commander-in-chief-American Army consisted of 320 Regular troops and some Militia-General Harmer defeated by Little Turtle, the Miami Chief-General St. Clair appointed Governor of the Northwestern Territory—Is defeated by Little Turtle -A new Army raised—General Wayne appointed to its command—Colonel Harding, and Major Freeman of Kentucky, sent as Agents to the Miamis-Murdered General Wayne advances to Greenville-Builds Fort Recovery-British erect a fort on the Miami-Letter from General Knox to General Wayne—The latter builds Fort Defiance—General Wayne writes to Little Turtle-Little Turtle advises the savages to listen to his terms—General Wayne builds Fort Deposite— Is attacked by the Indians-Defeats the latter with great loss— Treaty of Greenville, January 7, 1794 Observed faithfully till the War of 1812–Correspondence between General Wayne and Major Campbell—Effect of Wayne's victory— Treaty of amity and commerce between England and the United States, November 19, 1794Ratified afterward by the President and Senate-Western Posts given up, and peace restored to the Frontiers-American Settlements made in Illinois Its Population in 1810, 12,228.
The peace of 1783, between England and the United States, did not include the Indian allies of the former. Several tribes, therefore, continued their hostilities as before; and between 1783 and 1790, no less than one thousand five hundred and twenty men, women, and children, in Kentucky alone, were killed or carried into captivity.
We have already remarked that the peace of ’83 was merely a truce, not a pacification. It was, in fact, nothing more than a temporary and reluctant sacrifice of national pride to national interest. It was not a frank and honest adjustment of differences without a wish to renew the controversy. The first American minister accredited at the English court, had scarcely passed the threshold of St. James's ere the unextin. guished animosity of the English nation toward the United States became apparent. The elder Adams, our first minister at London, in a letter to the secretary of foreign affairs, dated July 19th, 1785, says:
“ If England had another hundred millions to spend, they would soon force the ministry into a war with the United States.” The withholding of the western and northwestern military posts, (Mackinaw, Detroit, Niagara, and others,) confessedly within the limits of the United States, in violation of the treaty of 1783; the instigating of the Indian tribes, in alliance with Great Britain, to a renewal of hostilities ; and the extending of territorial encroachments on the Miami of the lake, from whence she supplied the wants, and prompted the attacks of the numerous savage tribes, which then occupied the whole of this vast country, constitute a part only of the evidence on which this opinion is founded. “ There does not,” says President Washington, in a letter to Mr. Jay, as late as the 30th of August, 1794, “ remain a doubt in the mind of any well-informed person in this country, that all the difficulties we encounter with the Indians, their hostilities, the murder of helpless women and children along our frontiers, result from the conduct of the agents of Great Britain in this country.” Again : “ It is an undeniable fact, that they are furnishing the whole with arms, ammunition, clothing, and even provisions, to carry on the war, I might go farther, and if they are not much belied, add men also, in disguise."
“ Were nations," says an elegant writer, “to review in person their motives for having made war, with the means they employed, and the method by which they conducted it, they would in general find much to blame in a moral, as well as a military point of view. The conviction of the wrongs they did, and the blunders they committed, might, on another and similar occasion, improve both their skill and their tactics, and make them at once better men and abler soldiers. But as nations cannot be brought together, it rests with Government to perform this duty of selfexamination, when, if they omit it, the task devolves on the historian."
We will endeavor, then, inasmuch as the English government and people have been exceedingly remiss, in performing this duty of selfexamination, to do it for them.
By the treaty of peace in 1783, Great Britain “ acknowledged the freedom, sovereignty, and independence of the United States."
The boundaries of the latter were also fixed. The Mississippi on the west, and lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, and the Lake of the Woods, and their connecting rivers on the north. Mackinaw, Detroit, and Niagara, were then confessedly within the United States, and the withholding of them by the British government was, of course, a viola. tion of the treaty. The emanation of Indian hostilities from thence was for many years too apparent to require elucidation. That the English then were in the wrong, and therefore without apology, other than that hereinafter suggested, cannot be denied. That she was prompted to this course by the supposition, " that man is incapable of self-government;"> and also by the secret and delusive hope that the union of these States would be temporary; and that a part, or perhaps the whole, would seek a reconnection with the British empire, we can readily believe.
That she has, thus far, been deceived in her anticipations, is a matter of history; and that she will, hereafter, be deceived in like manner, if, such be her anticipations, is perhaps equally certain.
At the close of the American war, the confederate States were without any special bond of union, deeply involved in debt, their credit entirely ruined, and anarchy in prospect before them: to bind them together by a common tie, to raise their exhausted credit, and to meet their obligations, were considerations of the highest moment. The boundaries of several of the States were undefined ; and several conflicting claims were interposed to the immense region, known and distinguished as the “ Western (now public) lands."
The Confederation asked, 'therefore, of the several States asserting these claims—especially to lands west of the great range of mountains, which divide the waters of the Atlantic from those of the Mississippideeds of cession of their soil and sovereignty, in order to secure harmony among the States; to unite them more firmly by ties of interest, having property held in common, for the benefit of all; and by the gradual sale of such lands, to provide the means of paying off the revolutionary debt,
The request was met with a spirit of patriotism, and cessions were made by individual States, to nearly all of the property lying west of the Appalachian mountains, and east of the Mississippi river, embracing the the richest and best watered valley in the world.
That portion of the public lands which constituted what was then called the “Northwestern Territory,” and includes now the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, and the Territory of Wisconsin; was claimed wholly by the State of Virginia, and in part by the States of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, under their respective charters, or grants from the English crown. Their boundaries, however, were vague and uncertain, and gave rise, therefore, to claims (no matter whether real or pretended,) difficult to be adjusted.
The title of Virginia to the extensive territory-containing about one hundred and sixty-five millions of acres—was, unquestionably, better founded than that of any, or all of the other States together. In the first place, a large portion of it was included in the original patent. In the second place, its conquest was achieved by a military force, raised, equipped, and paid by the State of Virginia. And in the last place, Virginia was in the actual possession of all of this domain. A county (Illinois) had been organized under its jurisdiction. Justice, both civil and criminal, was administered in the name, and by the authority of the people of Virginia; and the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Vincennes, and elsewhere, had taken the oath of allegiance to the “Commonwealth of Virginia.” On the other hand, neither Massachusetts, NewYork, nor Connecticut, had enforced, or sought to enforce, actual author. ity, it is believed, over the disputed territory, or any part of it. Be that, however, as it may, the question is no longer material. The State of New York, on the 1st of March, 1780, the State of Virginia on the 23rd of April, 1784, the State of Massachusetts on the 19th of April, 1785, and the State of Connecticut on the 13th of September, 1786, ceded all their right, title, and claim, as well as soil and jurisdiction, to the United States,