Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

sacre.

tant.

tioned, having excited an abiding interest in this community, the reader, we have no doubt, will excuse the license we have taken of inserting their “ melancholy tale."*

“On the 21st of May, 1832," says the narrator, Mrs. Munson, “ at about four o'clock in the afternoon, as Mr. Pettigrew's, and our (Mr. Hall's) family were assembled at the house of Mr. William Davis, in Indian Creek settlement, in La Salle county, Illinois, a large party of Indians, about seventy in number, were seen crossing Mr. Davis's fence, about eight or ten paces from the house. As they approached, Mr. Pettigrew attempted to shut the door, but was shot down in doing so. The savages then rushed in and massacred every one present, except my sister and myself. The persons massacred were, Mr. Pettigrew, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Pettigrew, Mrs. Hall, (my mother) and Miss Davis, a young lady of about fifteen, and six children, four of them boys and two of them girls. These were in the house : Mr. Davis, Mr. Hall, (my father,) William Norris, and Henry George, were massacred without—fifteen in all. The time occupied in the massacre was less, probably, than ten minutes. When the Indians entered, my sister and myself were sitting near the door, sewing. I got immediately upon the bed, and stood there during the mas

The confusion was such—the terror inspired by the firing of guns in the house, and the shrieks of the wounded and dying so great—that I have no recollection in what manner they were killed. As soon as the massacre was over, three Indians seized and dragged me from the bed without much violence, and led me into the yard. I was then taken by two of them about half-way across the creek-fifty paces or more, perhaps, dis

From thence I was led back into the yard, in front of the house, where I saw my sister for the first time since our separation.

“ We were then taken by four Indians-two having bold of each-and hurried off on foot in a northern direction as fast as we could run, for about two miles, through timber bordering upon the creek, when we came to a place where the Indians had left their horses, previous to the attack. We were then placed, without constraint, upon two of their poor est horses, each of which was led by an Indian, and proceeded as fast as our horses could travel, in a direction, as I supposed, toward the camp, accompanied by about thirty war. riors. We continued travelling in this manner until about midnight, when we halted to rest our horses—the Indians exhibiting all the while, symptoms of great uneasiness, arising, apparently, from their apprehension of being pursued. After resting for about two hours, we started again on the same horses as before, and travelled, at a brisk gait, the residue of the night, and all next day until about noon, when we halted, and the Indians having scalded some beans, and roasted some acorns, desired us to eat. We eat some of the beans and tasted of the acorns, not from any disposition we had to eat, but to avoid giving offence to our captors. We remained in this place for one or two hours. The Indians, after having finished their scanty meal, busied themselves in dressing the scalps they had taken, stretching them upon small hoops. Among them I recognized, by the the color of the hair, my own mother's. It produced a kind of faintness, or blind. ness, and I fell into a swoon ; from which I was awaked, shortly thereafter, by a summons to set out upon our journey. We travelled on in the same way, but more leisurely than before, until almost night, when the horse I rode gave out, and I was seated behind an Indian who rode a fine horse, belonging to Mr. Henderson, taken from the settlement in which we were captured. In this manner we continued on until about nine o'clock at night, when we reached the camp, having travelled, as I suppose, about ninety miles in twenty-eight hours.

“ The Sac camp was on the bank of a small creek, surrounded by low marshy ground, scattered over with small, burr-oak trees. On our arrival, several squaws came to our assistance, took us from our horses, and conducted us into the camp ; prepared a place for us to sit down, and presented us some parched corn, some meal and maple-sugar mixed, and desired us to eat. We did so, more through fear than hunger; and at their request threw a small parcel (about a table-spoon full) into the fire, as did also the squaws

* We are indebted to Colonel Hamilton, of Chicago, for the following interesting narrative of Miss. Re chel Hall, now Mrs. Munson.

and the Indians which accompanied us. There was much apparent rejoicing on our arri. val. About ten o'clock we were invited by the squaws to lie down, which we did, and enjoyed a kind of confused, or disordered slumber, which lasted until after sunrise. The next morning, soon after we rose, our fears of massacre and torture began to abate. We were presented with some boiled beans and sugar for breakfast, and ate a little, having, though almost exhausted, as yet no appetite for food. About ten o'clock the camp broke up, and we all moved about five miles across the creek, and encamped again on an elevated spot covered with timber, near a small creek. We travelled, each upon a separate horse, heavily laden with provisions, blankets, kettles, and other furniture required in an Indian camp. We arrived at our new encampment a little before sundown. Here a white pole was stuck in the ground, and the scalps taken, when we were captured, hung up as trophies. About fifty warriors assembled in the centre, and commenced a dance, in which a few of the squaws participated. They danced around this pole to the music of a drum, and gourds so prepared as to make a rattling noise. I was invited frequently by the squaws to join in the dance, but refused. The first dance was had in the morning, after our arrival in camp; the same was repeated daily while we continued among them. Soon after we arose on the first morning after our arrival, some warriors came to our lodge and took us out, and gave me a red flag, and placed something in the hands of my sister which I do not recollect, and made us march around through the encampment, passing each wigwam. They then led us to the centre of the spot they had cleared off, to prepare for the dance, near where the white pole was stuck up; then placing a blanket upon the earth, and after painting our faces red and black, ordered us to lie down with our faces toward the ground. They then danced around us with war-clubs, tomahawks and spears. Before its conclusion we were taken away by two squaws, who, we understood, were the wives of Black Hawk. In the evening, as soon as the dance was over, we were presented with a supper, consisting of coffee, fried cakes, boiled corn, and fried venison, with fried leeks, of which we ate more freely than before. We continued with them for four days longer, during which we fared in a similar manner, until the two last days, when we got out of four. When our flour was exhausted, we had coffee, meat, and pounded corn made into soup. On being delivered over to the squaws, above mentioned, we were separated from each other, but permitted to visit every day, and remain for about two hours without interruption. These squaws encamped near each other, and we were considered as their children, and treated as such. Our encampments were removed five or six miles each day, and my sister and myself were always permitted to ride at such removals. Our fare was usually better than that of others in our wigwam. Our fears of massacre had now subsided-being received and adopted into the family of a chief. We were not re. quired to perform any labor, but were closely watched to prevent our escape.

“ On the fifth day after our arrival at the Sac camp, we were told that we must go with some Winnebago chiefs, who had come for us. At that time the Sac encampment was on a considerable stream, the outlet, as I supposed, of some lake. There were a number of large lakes in its vicinity. The squaws with whom we lived, were, apparently, distressed at the idea of our leaving them. The Winnebagoes endeavored to make us understand that they were about to take us to the white people. This, however, we did not believe ; but on the contrary, supposed they intended to take us entirely away from our country, friends, and home.

“ We left the Sac encampment with four Winnebagoes the same evening, and travelled about fifteen miles; each of us riding on horseback behind a Winnebago chief—the latter expressing frequently their fears of pursuit by the Sacs, who exhibited great uneasiness at our departure ; the prophet having cut two locks of hair from my head, and one from my sister's, just before we left them.*

The Indians' account of this transaction varies a little from Mrs. Munson's. The Indians said thet a young warrior claimed one of the Miss Holls as his prize, and was unwilling to give her up. That the Winnebagoes, who were at that time on friendly terms with the whites, after using all the arguments they were capable of, had recourse to threats, which, together with ten horses, offered for their ransom, finally rucceeded. The young warrior cutting from Miss Hall's head a lock of hair, bore no affinity to a similar act among the whites. It was done in order to preserve a trophy of his warlike exploils.

“We reached the Winnebago encampment a little after dark, and were kindly received It was more comfortable than any we had seen; and we slept sounder and better than before. We rose early next morning. The Indians, however, had been up some time; ate breakfast before sunrise, and started in canoes up the river. There were, I believe, eight in company. We continued on our course until nearly sundown, when we landed and encamped on the bank of the river. There were present about a hundred Winnebago warriors. During the next day, four Sac Indians arrived in camp, dressed inwhite men's clothes,' and desired to talk with us. We were told, however, by the Winnebago chiefs, that we must shut our ears and turn away from them, which we did. “The Blind and his son, left our encampment during the night, and returned early in the morning. Immediately afterward, they came to us, and the Blind asked if we thought the whites would hang them if they took us to the fort. We gave them to understand that they would not. They next inquired, if we thought the white people would give them anything for taking us to them. We gave them to understand that they would. "The Blind then collected his horses, and with the Whirling Thunder,' and about twenty of the Winnebagoes, we crossed the river and pursued our journey-my sister and myself, each on a separate horse. We encamped about dark; rose early next morning, and after a hasty meal of pork and potatoes, (the first we had seen since our captivity,) of which we ate heartily, we travelled on until we reached the fort, the Blue Mounds, (Wisconsin Territory.) Before our arrival thither, we had become satisfied that our protectors were taking us to our friends, and that we had formerly done them injustice. About three miles from the fort, we stopped, and the Indians cooked some venison ; after which they took a white handkerchief which I had, and tying it to a long pole, three Indians proceeded with it to the fort. About a quarter of a mile from thence, we were met by a Frenchman. The Indians formed a ring, and the Frenchman rode into it, and held a talk with our protectors. The latter expressed an unwillingness to give us up until they could see Mr. Gratiot, the agent. Being informed by the Frenchman that we should be well treated, and that they should see us daily, until Mr. Gratiot's arrival, they delivered us into the Frenchman's care ; we repaired immediately to the fort, where the ladies of the garrison, (who in the meantime had assembled,) received us with the utmost lenderness. We were thereupon attired once more in the costume of our own country; and next day started for Galena. On reaching a little fort at White-Oak Springs, we were met by our eldest brother, who, together with a younger one, was at work in a field near the house, when we were captured and when the massacre began fed, and arrived in safety at Dixon's ferry. On leaving Galena, we went on board the steamboat Winnebago, for St. Louis, which place we reached in five days; and were kindly received by its citizens, and hospitably entertained by Governor Clark. Previous to our leaving Galena, we had received an affectionate letter from the Rev. Mr. Horn, of Morgan county, inviting us to make his house our future home. We accepted the invitation, and left St. Louis in the steamboat Caroline for Beardstown, on the Illinois river, whither we arrived on the third day thereafter. On landing, we were kindly received by its citizens ; and in a few hours reached the residence of Mr. Horn, five miles distant, in the latter part of July, 1832, when our troubles ended."

The Miss Halls' brother having married and settled in Putnam county, Illinois, about this time, he invited his sisters to come and reside with him ; they did so in the fore part of August, 1832. The elder Miss Hall afterward, in March, 1833, married Mr. William Munson, and settled in La Salle county, about twelve miles north of Ottaway. The younger sister, in May, 1833, married Mr. William Horn, a son of the reverend clergyman, who had so kindly offered them a home in his family, and removed to Morgan county, in this State."

The Legislature of Illinois, in 1833, donated a quarter section of land (one hundred and sixty acres,) to the Miss Halls, lying in the village of Juliet, Will county. It was sold, we believe, several years since by them, for a small consideration. The land to donated, was granted by the United States to the State of Illinois, for the completion of the Illinois and Michigan canal. Had the Legislature given them thrice its value in money, and raised that amount by taxation, it would have done the Legislature some credit, and the people would have cheerfully paid it. By giving, however, what did not belong to them, and thus violating their trust, a different question is presented to the peo. ple of this State for their reflection. Congress also gave them a considerable donation in money.

NOTE III.

The author acknowledges his obligations to Doctor Levi D. Boone, of Chicago, for the account herein given of General Whitesides's, and General Henry's expeditions. Doctor Boone commanded a company in General Whitesides's brigade ; and was surgeon of one of the regiments attached to General Henry's. He remained with both till they were respectively discharged. He is a kinsman of Colonel Daniel Boone, of Kentucky, con spicuous in border warfare. He is familiar with all the incidents be relates, and a gentleman of high respectability.

on

CHAPTER XX.

Mormons settle in Illinois, April, 1840—Found the city of Nauvoo-_Joseph Smith-His

Biography—Is directed by an Angel to the spot where the sacred record, “ the Book of Mormon,” was afterward found-Oliver Cowdrey, his friend, describes the place, in Palmyra, Wayne county, New-York-Records contained in a stone box had been deposited there fourteen hundred years—Records delivered into the hands of the Prophet, (Joseph Smith,) September 22nd, 1827—Gold plates described—Urim and Thummim, etc.— The Prophet ridiculed- Afterward persecuted—Goes to Pennsylvania

– Translates the Book of Mormon-Certificates, etc.—The Prophet baptized, in 1829—An cdition of the Book of Mormon printed in 1830—Church of the Latter Day Saints organized at Manchester, Ontario county, New-York, April 6th, 1830 -Mormon Creed-Not even a plausible imposition-Mormons, in 1833, remove to Jackson county, Missouri-Difficulty with their neighbors—Remove to Clay county, Missouri—And from thence to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835—Kirtland Bank-Joseph Smith President-Bank fails—Mormons remove to Caldwell county, Missouri, and build the city of the Far West-Difficulty with their neighbors Expelled from Missouri, 1838—Remove to Illinois in the spring of 1840—City of Nauvoo incorporated, December 16th, 1840—Provisions in its charter-Nauvoo Tavern incorporatedNauvoo Legion—Nauvoo University - Joseph Smith appointed Lieutenant-generalOrdinance of Nauvoo, for repealing acts of the Legislature—Mr. Caswell's description of Nauvoo, and its Prophet—Religious toleration.

In April, 1840, a large number of “the Latter Day Saints,” or Mor. mons, came hither and located themselves on the east bank of the Mississippi, at a place known and distinguished upon the map, by the name of Commerce, in Hancock county, Illinois. They had been driven from Missouri, and sought refuge here, with “ their little ones and their cattle.” They purchased a considerable tract of land in the vicinity, and commenced building a city, which they called Nauvoo—signifying, as we have been told, by a Mormon preacher, "peaceable, or pleasant."

As the Mormons, and more especially their leader, Joseph Smith, (known generally as Jo Smith,) who unites in his own proper person the "prophet, the seer, the merchant, the revelator, the president, the elder, the editor, the general of the Nauvoo legion, and last, though not least, the tavern-keeper,” ( See note 1.) are destined “to cut a considerable figure in the world;" an account of the origin and progress of this singular sect, and a brief notice of “the Mormon prophet,” we have no doubt, will be acceptable to our readers.

Joseph Smith was born at Sharon, in Windsor county, Vermont, on the 23rd of December, 1805, and of course was thirty-eight years old in December last, (1843.) His parents were in humble circumstances, and

« ZurückWeiter »