James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759.
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He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore's War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services.
Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812.
The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled "Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith," printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character. (Editor.)
In May, 1755, the province of Pennsylvania agreed to send out three hundred men, in order to cut a wagon-road from Fort Loudon, to join Braddock's road, near the Turkey Foot, or three forks of Youghiogheny. My brother-in-law, William Smith, Esq., of Conococheague, was appointed commissioner, to have the oversight of these road-cutters.
Though I was at that time only eighteen years of age, I had fallen violently in love with a young lady, whom I apprehended was possessed of a large share of both beauty and virtue; but being born between Venus and Mars, I concluded I must also leave my dear fair one, and go out with this company of road-cutters to see the event of this campaign; but still expecting that some time in the course of this summer I should again return to the arms of my beloved.
We went on with the road, without interruption, until near the Alleghany mountain; when I was sent back in order to hurry up some provision-wagons that were on the way after us. I proceeded down the road as far as the crossings of Juniata, where, finding the wagons were coming on as fast as possible, I returned up the road again towards the Alleghany mountain, in company with one Arnold Vigoras. About four or five miles above Bedford, three Indians had made a blind of bushes, stuck in the ground as though they grew naturally, where they concealed themselves, about fifteen yards from the road. When we came opposite to them they fired upon us, at this short distance, and killed my fellow-traveller, yet their bullets did not touch me; but my horse, making a violent start, threw me, and the Indians immediately ran up and took me prisoner. The one who laid hold on me was a Canasatauga, the other two were Delawares. One of them could speak English, and asked me if there were any more white men coming after. I told them not any near that I knew of. Two of these Indians stood by me, while the other scalped my comrade; they then set off and ran at a smart rate through the woods, for about fifteen miles, and that night we slept on the Alleghany mountain without fire.
The next morning they divided the last of their provisions which they had brought from Fort Du Quesne, and gave me an equal share, which was about two or three ounces of mouldy biscuit; this and a young ground-hog, about as large as a rabbit, roasted, and also equally divided, was all the provision we had until we came to the Loyal Hannan, which was about fifty miles; and a great part of the way we came through exceeding rocky laurel-thickets without any path. When we came to the west side of Laurel hill, they gave the scalp halloo, as usual, which is a long yell or halloo for every scalp or prisoner they have in possession; the last of these scalp halloos were followed with quick and sudden shrill shouts of joy and triumph. On their performing this, we were answered by the firing of a number of guns on the Loyal Hannan, one after another, quicker than one could count, by another party of Indians who were encamped near where Ligonier now stands. As we advanced near this party, they increased with repeated shouts of joy and triumph; but I did not share with them in their excessive mirth. When we came to this camp we found they had plenty of turkeys and other meat there; and though I never before ate venison without bread or salt, yet as I was hungry it relished very well. There we lay that night, and the next morning the whole of us marched on our way for Fort Du Quesne. The night after we joined another camp of Indians, with nearly the same ceremony, attended with great noise, and apparent joy, among all except one. The next morning we continued our march, and in the afternoon we came in full view of the fort, which stood on the point, near where Fort Pitt now stands. We then made a halt on the bank of the Alleghany, and repeated the scalp halloo, which was answered by the firing of all the firelocks in the hands of both Indians and French who were in and about the fort, in the aforesaid manner, and also the great guns, which were followed by the continued shouts and yells of the different savage tribes who were then collected there.
As I was at this time unacquainted with this mode of firing and yelling of the savages, I concluded that there were thousands of Indians there ready to receive General Braddock; but what added to my surprise, I saw numbers running towards me, stripped naked, excepting breech-clouts, and painted in the most hideous manner, of various colors, though the principal color was vermilion, or a bright red; yet there was annexed to this black, brown, blue, etc. As they approached, they formed themselves into two long ranks, about two or three rods apart. I was told by an Indian that could speak English that I must run betwixt these ranks, and that they would flog me all the way as I ran; and if I ran quick, it would be so much the better, as they would quit when I got to the end of the ranks. There appeared to be a general rejoicing around me, yet I could find nothing like joy in my breast; but I started to the race with all the resolution and vigor I was capable of exerting, and found that it was as I had been told, for I was flogged the whole way. When I had got near the end of the lines I was struck with something that appeared to me to be a stick, or the handle of a tomahawk, which caused me to fall to the ground. On my recovering my senses I endeavored to renew my race; but, as I arose, some one cast sand in my eyes, which blinded me so that I could not see where to run. They continued beating me most intolerably, until I was at length insensible; but before I lost my senses I remember my wishing them to strike the fatal blow, for I thought they intended killing me, but apprehended they were too long about it.
The first thing I remember was my being in the fort amidst the French and Indians, and a French doctor standing by me, who had opened a vein in my left arm: after which the interpreter asked me how I did. I told him I felt much pain. The doctor then washed my wounds, and the bruised places of my body with French brandy. As I felt faint, and the brandy smelt well, I asked for some inwardly, but the doctor told me, by the interpreter, that it did not suit my case.
When they found I could speak, a number of Indians came around me, and examined me, with threats of cruel death if I did not tell the truth. The first question they asked me was how many men were there in the party that were coming from Pennsylvania to join Braddock? I told them the truth, that there were three hundred. The next question was, were they well armed? I told them they were all well armed (meaning the arm of flesh), for they had only about thirty guns among the whole of them; which if the Indians had known they would certainly have gone and cut them all off; therefore I could not in conscience let them know the defenceless situation of these road-cutters. I was then sent to the hospital, and carefully attended by the doctors, and recovered quicker than what I expected.
Some time after I was there, I was visited by the Delaware Indian already mentioned, who was at the taking of me, and could speak some English. Though he spoke but bad English, yet I found him to be a man of considerable understanding. I asked him if I had done anything that had offended the Indians which caused them to treat me so unmercifully. He said no; it was only an old custom the Indians had, and it was like "how do you do"; after that, he said, I would be well used. I asked him if I should be admitted to remain with the French. He said no; and told me that as soon as I recovered, I must not only go with the Indians, but must be made an Indian myself. I asked him what news from Braddock's army. He said the Indians spied them every day, and he showed me, by making marks on the ground with a stick, that Braddock's army was advancing in very close order, and that the Indians would surround them, take trees, and (as he expressed it) shoot um down all one pigeon.
Shortly after this, on the 9th day of July, 1755, in the morning, I heard a great stir in the fort. As I could then walk with a staff in my hand, I went out of the door, which was just by the wall of the fort, and stood upon the wall, and viewed the Indians in a huddle before the gate, where were barrels of powder, bullets, flints, etc., and every one taking what suited. I saw the Indians also march off in rank entire; likewise the French Canadians, and some regulars. After viewing the Indians and French in different positions, I computed them to be about four hundred, and wondered that they attempted to go out against Braddock with so small a party. I was then in high hopes that I would soon see them fly before the British troops, and that General Braddock would take the fort and rescue me.
I remained anxious to know the event of this day; and, in the afternoon, I again observed a great noise and commotion in the fort, and though at that time I could not understand French, yet I found that it was the voice of joy and triumph, and feared that they had received what I called bad news.
I had observed some of the old-country soldiers speak Dutch: as I spoke Dutch, I went to one of them, and asked him what was the news. He told me that a runner had just arrived, who said that Braddock would certainly be defeated; that the Indians and French had surrounded him, and were concealed behind trees and in gullies, and kept a constant fire upon the English, and that they saw the English falling in heaps, and if they did not take the river, which was the only gap, and make their escape, there would not be one man left alive before sundown. The morning after the battle I saw Braddock's artillery brought into the fort; the same day I also saw several Indians in British officers' dress, with sash, half-moon, laced hats, etc., which the British then wore.
A few days after this the Indians demanded me, and I was obliged to go with them. I was not yet well able to march, but they took me in a canoe up the Alleghany River to an Indian town that was on the north side of the river, about forty miles above Fort Du Quesne. Here I remained about three weeks, and was then taken to an Indian town on the west branch of Muskingum, about twenty miles above the forks, which was called Tullihas, inhabited by Delawares, Caughnewagas, and Mohicans.
The day after my arrival at the aforesaid town a number of Indians collected about me, and one of them began to pull the hair out of my head. He had some ashes on a piece of bark, in which he frequently dipped his fingers in order to take the firmer hold, and so he went on, as if he had been plucking a turkey, until he had all the hair clean out of my head except a small spot about three or four inches square on my crown; this they cut off with a pair of scissors, excepting three locks, which they dressed up in their own mode. Two of these they wrapped round with a narrow beaded garter made by themselves for that purpose, and the other they plaited at full length, and then stuck it full of silver brooches. After this they bored my nose and ears, and fixed me off with earrings and nose jewels; then they ordered me to strip off my clothes and put on a breech-clout, which I did; they then painted my head, face, and body in various colors. They put a large belt of wampum on my neck, and silver bands on my hands and right arm; and so an old chief led me out in the street, and gave the alarm halloo, coo-wigh, several times repeated quick; and on this, all that were in the town came running and stood round the old chief, who held me by the hand in the midst. As I at that time knew nothing of their mode of adoption, and had seen them put to death all they had taken, and as I never could find that they saved a man alive at Braddock's defeat, I made no doubt but they were about putting me to death in some cruel manner. The old chief, holding me by the hand, made a long speech, very loud, and when he had done, he handed me to three young squaws, who led me by the hand down the bank, into the river, until the water was up to our middle. The squaws then made signs to me to plunge myself into the water, but I did not understand them; I thought that the result of the council was that I should be drowned, and that these young ladies were to be the executioners. They all three laid violent hold of me, and I for some time opposed them with all my might, which occasioned loud laughter by the multitude that were on the bank of the river. At length one of the squaws made out to speak a little English (for I believe they began to be afraid of me), and said no hurt you. On this I gave myself up to their ladyships, who were as good as their word; for though they plunged me under water, and washed and rubbed me severely, yet I could not say they hurt me much.
These young women then led me up to the council-house, where some of the tribe were ready with new clothes for me. They gave me a new ruffled shirt, which I put on, also a pair of leggings done off with ribbons and beads, likewise a pair of moccasons and garters dressed with beads, porcupine quills, and red hair—also a tinsel-laced cappo. They again painted my head and face with various colors, and tied a bunch of red feathers to one of those locks they had left on the crown of my head, which stood up five or six inches. They seated me on a bearskin, and gave me a pipe, tomahawk, and pole-cat skin pouch, which had been skinned pocket fashion, and contained tobacco, killegenico, or dry sumach leaves, which they mix with their tobacco; also spunk, flint, and steel. When I was thus seated, the Indians came in dressed and painted in their grandest manner. As they came in they took their seats, and for a considerable time there was a profound silence—every one was smoking; but not a word was spoken among them. At length one of the chiefs made a speech, which was delivered to me by an interpreter, and was as followeth: "My son, you are now flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone. By the ceremony which was performed this day every drop of white blood was washed out of your veins; you are taken into the Caughnewaga nation, and initiated into a warlike tribe; you are adopted into a great family, and now received with great seriousness and solemnity in the room and place of a great man. After what has passed this day, you are now one of us by an old strong law and custom. My son, you have now nothing to fear—we are now under the same obligations to love, support, and defend you that we are to love and to defend one another; therefore, you are to consider yourself as one of our people." At this time I did not believe this fine speech, especially that of the white blood being washed out of me; but since that time I have found out that there was much sincerity in said speech; for, from that day, I never knew them to make any distinction between me and themselves in any respect whatever until I left them. If they had plenty of clothing, I had plenty; if we were scarce, we all shared one fate.
After this ceremony was over I was introduced to my new kin, and told that I was to attend a feast that evening, which I did. And as the custom was, they gave me also a bowl and a wooden spoon, which I carried with me to the place where there was a number of large brass kettles full of boiled venison and green corn; every one advanced with his bowl and spoon, and had his share given him. After this, one of the chiefs made a short speech, and then we began to eat.
Shortly after this I went out to hunt in company with Mohawk Solomon, some of the Caughnewagas, and a Delaware Indian that was married to a Caughnewaga squaw. We travelled about south from this town, and the first night we killed nothing, but we had with us green corn, which we roasted and ate that night. The next day we encamped about twelve o'clock, and the hunters turned out to hunt, and I went down the run that we encamped on, in company with some squaws and boys, to hunt plums, which we found in great plenty. On my return to camp I observed a large piece of fat meat; the Delaware Indian, that could talk some English, observed me looking earnestly at this meat, and asked me, "What meat you think that is?" I said I supposed it was bear meat; he laughed, and said, "Ho, all one fool you, beal now elly pool," and pointing to the other side of the camp, he said, "Look at that skin, you think that beal skin?" I went and lifted the skin, which appeared like an ox-hide; he then said, "What skin you think that?" I replied, that I thought it was a buffalo-hide; he laughed, and said, "You fool again, you know nothing, you think buffalo that colo'?" I acknowledged I did not know much about these things, and told him I never saw a buffalo, and that I had not heard what color they were. He replied, "By and by you shall see gleat many buffalo; he now go to gleat lick. That skin no buffalo-skin, that skin buck-elk-skin." They went out with horses, and brought in the remainder of this buck-elk, which was the fattest creature I ever saw of the tallow kind.
We remained at this camp about eight or ten days, and killed a number of deer. Though we had neither bread nor salt at this time, yet we had both roast and boiled meat in great plenty, and they were frequently inviting me to eat when I had no appetite.
We then moved to the buffalo lick, where we killed several buffalo, and in their small brass kettles they made about half a bushel of salt. I suppose this lick was about thirty or forty miles from the aforesaid town, and somewhere between the Muskingum, Ohio, and Sciota. About the lick was clear, open woods, and thin white-oak land, and at that time there were large roads leading to the lick, like wagon-roads. We moved from this lick about six or seven miles, and encamped on a creek.
Some time after this, I was told to take the dogs with me, and go down the creek, perhaps I might kill a turkey; it being in the afternoon, I was also told not to go far from the creek, and to come up the creek again to the camp, and to take care not to get lost. When I had gone some distance down the creek, I came upon fresh buffalo tracks, and as I had a number of dogs with me to stop the buffalo, I concluded I would follow after and kill one; and as the grass and weeds were rank, I could readily follow the track. A little before sundown I despaired of coming up with them. I was then thinking how I might get to camp before night. I concluded, as the buffalo had made several turns, if I took the track back to the creek it would be dark before I could get to camp; therefore I thought I would take a near way through the hills, and strike the creek a little below the camp; but as it was cloudy weather, and I a very young woodsman, I could find neither creek nor camp. When night came on I fired my gun several times, and hallooed, but could have no answer. The next morning, early, the Indians were out after me, and as I had with me ten or a dozen dogs, and the grass and weeds rank, they could readily follow my track. When they came up with me they appeared to be in very good-humor. I asked Solomon if he thought I was running away; he said, "No, no, you go too much clooked." On my return to camp they took my gun from me, and for this rash step I was reduced to a bow and arrows for near two years. We were out on this tour for about six weeks.
This country is generally hilly, though intermixed with considerable quantities of rich upland and some good bottoms.
When we returned to the town, Pluggy and his party had arrived, and brought with them a considerable number of scalps and prisoners from the south branch of the Potomac; they also brought with them an English Bible, which they gave to a Dutch woman who was a prisoner; but as she could not read English, she made a present of it to me, which was very acceptable.
I remained in this town until some time in October, when my adopted brother, called Tontileaugo, who had married a Wyandot squaw, took me with him to Lake Erie. On this route we had no horses with us, and when we started from the town all the pack I carried was a pouch containing my books, a little dried venison, and my blanket. I had then no gun, but Tontileaugo, who was a first-rate hunter, carried a rifle gun, and every day killed deer, raccoons, or bears. We left the meat, excepting a little for present use, and carried the skins with us until we encamped, and then stretched them with elm bark, in a frame made with poles stuck in the ground, and tied together with lynn or elm bark; and when the skins were dried by the fire, we packed them up and carried them with us the next day.
As Tontileaugo could not speak English, I had to make use of all the Caughnewaga I had learned, even to talk very imperfectly with him; but I found I learned to talk Indian faster this way than when I had those with me who could speak English.
As we proceeded down the Canesadooharie waters, our packs increased by the skins that were daily killed, and became so very heavy that we could not march more than eight or ten miles per day. We came to Lake Erie about six miles west of the mouth of Canesadooharie. As the wind was very high the evening we came to the lake, I was surprised to hear the roaring of the water, and see the high waves that dashed against the shore, like the ocean. We encamped on a run near the lake, and, as the wind fell that night, the next morning the lake was only in a moderate motion, and we marched on the sand along the side of the water, frequently resting ourselves, as we were heavily laden. I saw on the sand a number of large fish, that had been left in flat or hollow places; as the wind fell and the waves abated they were left without water, or only a small quantity; and numbers of bald and gray eagles, etc., were along the shore devouring them.
Some time in the afternoon we came to a large camp of Wyandots, at the mouth of Canesadooharie, where Tontileaugo's wife was. Here we were kindly received; they gave us a kind of rough, brown potatoes, which grew spontaneously, and were called by the Caughnewagas ohnenata. These potatoes, peeled and dipped in raccoon's fat, taste nearly like our sweet potatoes. They also gave us what they call canaheanta, which is a kind of hominy, made of green corn, dried, and beans, mixed together.
We continued our camp at the mouth of Canesadooharie for some time, where we killed some deer and a great many raccoons; the raccoons here were remarkably large and fat. At length we all embarked in a large birch-bark canoe. This vessel was about four feet wide and three feet deep, and about five-and-thirty feet long; and though it could carry a heavy burden, it was so artfully and curiously constructed that four men could carry it several miles, or from one landing-place to another, or from the waters of the lake to the waters of the Ohio. We proceeded up Canesadooharie a few miles, and went on shore to hunt; but, to my great surprise, they carried the vessel we all came in up the bank, and inverted it, or turned the bottom up, and converted it to a dwelling-house, and kindled a fire before us to warm ourselves by and cook. With our baggage and ourselves in this house we were very much crowded, yet our little house turned off the rain very well.
While we remained here I left my pouch with my books in camp, wrapped up in my blanket, and went out to hunt chestnuts. On my return to camp my books were missing. I inquired after them, and asked the Indians if they knew where they were; they told me that they supposed the puppies had carried them off. I did not believe them, but thought they were displeased at my poring over my books, and concluded that they had destroyed them, or put them out of my way.
After this I was again out after nuts, and on my return beheld a new erection, composed of two white-oak saplings, that were forked about twelve feet high, and stood about fifteen feet apart. They had cut these saplings at the forks, and laid a strong pole across, which appeared in the form of a gallows; and the poles they had shaved very smooth, and painted in places with vermilion. I could not conceive the use of this piece of work, and at length concluded it was a gallows. I thought that I had displeased them by reading my books, and that they were about putting me to death. The next morning I observed them bringing their skins all to this place, and hanging them over this pole, so as to preserve them from being injured by the weather. This removed my fears. They also buried their large canoe in the ground, which is the way they took to preserve this sort of a canoe in the winter season.
As we had at this time no horse, every one got a pack on his back, and we steered an east course about twelve miles and encamped. The next morning we proceeded on the same course about ten miles to a large creek that empties into Lake Erie, betwixt Canesadooharie and Cayahoga. Here they made their winter cabin in the following form: they cut logs about fifteen feet long, and laid these logs upon each other, and drove posts in the ground at each end to keep them together; the posts they tied together at the top with bark, and by this means raised a wall fifteen feet long and about four feet high, and in the same manner they raised another wall opposite to this, at about twelve feet distance; then they drove forks in the ground in the centre of each end, and laid a strong pole from end to end on these forks; and from these walls to the poles they set up poles instead of rafters, and on these they tied small poles in place of laths; and a cover was made of lynn-bark, which will run even in the winter season.
It was some time in December when we finished this winter-cabin; but when we had got into this comparatively fine lodging another difficulty arose—we had nothing to eat. While I was travelling with Tontileaugo, as was before mentioned, and had plenty of fat venison, bear's meat, and raccoons, I then thought it was hard living without bread or salt; but now I began to conclude that, if I had anything that would banish pinching hunger, and keep soul and body together, I would be content.
While the hunters were all out, exerting themselves to the utmost of their ability, the squaws and boys (in which class I was) were scattered out in the bottoms, hunting red haws, black haws, and hickory nuts. As it was too late in the year we did not succeed in gathering haws, but we had tolerable success in scratching up hickory-nuts from under a light snow, and these we carried with us lest the hunters should not succeed. After our return the hunters came in, who had killed only two small turkeys, which were but little among eight hunters and thirteen squaws, boys, and children; but they were divided with the greatest equity and justice; every one got their equal share.
The next day the hunters turned out again, and killed one deer and three bears. One of the bears was very large and remarkably fat. The hunters carried in meat sufficient to give us all a hearty supper and breakfast. The squaws and all that could carry turned out to bring in meat; every one had their share assigned them, and my load was among the least; yet, not being accustomed to carrying in this way, I got exceedingly weary, and told them my load was too heavy; I must leave part of it and come for it again. They made a halt, and only laughed at me, and took part of my load, and added it to a young squaw's, who had as much before as I carried.
This kind of reproof had a greater tendency to excite me to exert myself in carrying without complaining than if they had whipped me for laziness. After this the hunters held a council, and concluded that they must have horses to carry their loads; and that they would go to war, even in this inclement season, in order to bring in horses.
Tontileaugo wished to be one of those who should go to war; but the votes went against him, as he was one of our best hunters; it was thought necessary to leave him at this winter-camp to provide for the squaws and children. It was agreed upon that Tontileaugo and three others should stay and hunt, and the other four go to war.
They then began to go through their common ceremony. They sung their war-songs, danced their war-dances, etc. And when they were equipped they went off singing their marching-song and firing their guns. Our camp appeared to be rejoicing; but I was grieved to think that some innocent persons would be murdered, not thinking of danger.
After the departure of these warriors we had hard times; and though we were not altogether out of provisions, we were brought to short allowance. At length Tontileaugo had considerable success, and we had meat brought into camp sufficient to last ten days. Tontileaugo then took me with him in order to encamp some distance from this winter-cabin, to try his luck there. We carried no provisions with us; he said he would leave what was there for the squaws and children, and that we could shift for ourselves. We steered about a south course up the waters of this creek, and encamped about ten or twelve miles from the winter-cabin. As it was still cold weather, and a crust upon the snow, which made a noise as we walked, and alarmed the deer, we could kill nothing, and consequently went to sleep without supper. The only chance we had, under these circumstances, was to hunt bear-holes; as the bears, about Christmas, search out a winter lodging-place, where they lie about three or four months without eating or drinking. This may appear to some incredible, but it is well known to be the case by those who live in the remote western parts of North America.
The next morning early we proceeded on, and when we found a tree scratched by the bears climbing up, and the hole in the tree sufficiently large for the reception of the bear, we then felled a sapling or small tree against or near the hole, and it was my business to climb up and drive out the bear, while Tontileaugo stood ready with his gun and bow. We went on in this manner until evening without success. At length we found a large elm scratched, and a hole in it about forty feet up, but no tree nigh suitable to lodge against the hole. Tontileaugo got a long pole and some dry rotten wood, which he tied in bunches with bark; and as there was a tree that grew near the elm, and extended up near the hole, but leaned the wrong way, so that we could not lodge it to advantage, to remedy this inconvenience he climbed up this tree and carried with him his rotten wood, fire, and pole. The rotten wood he tied to his belt, and to one end of the pole he tied a hook and a piece of rotten wood, which he set fire to, as it would retain fire almost like punk, and reached this hook from limb to limb as he went up. When he got up with his pole he put dry wood on fire into the hole; after he put in the fire he heard the bear snuff, and he came speedily down, took his gun in his hand, and waited until the bear would come out; but it was some time before it appeared, and when it did appear he attempted taking sight with his rifle; but it being then too dark to see the sights, he set it down by a tree, and instantly bent his bow, took hold of an arrow, and shot the bear a little behind the shoulder. I was preparing also to shoot an arrow, but he called to me to stop, there was no occasion; and with that the bear fell to the ground.
Being very hungry, we kindled a fire, opened the bear, took out the liver, and wrapped some of the caul-fat round, and put it on a wooden spit, which we stuck in the ground by the fire to roast; then we skinned the bear, got on our kettle, and had both roast and boiled, and also sauce to our meat, which appeared to me to be delicate fare. After I was fully satisfied I went to sleep; Tontileaugo awoke me, saying, "Come, eat hearty, we have got meat plenty now."
The next morning we cut down a lynn-tree, peeled bark and made a snug little shelter, facing the southeast, with a large log betwixt us and the northwest; we made a good fire before us, and scaffolded up our meat at one side. When we had finished our camp we went out to hunt; searched two trees for bears, but to no purpose. As the snow thawed a little in the afternoon, Tontileaugo killed a deer, which we carried with us to camp.
Some time in February the four warriors returned, who had taken two scalps and six horses from the frontiers of Pennsylvania. The hunters could then scatter out a considerable distance from the winter-cabin and encamp, kill meat, and bring it in upon horses; so that we commonly, after this, had plenty of provision.
In this month we began to make sugar. As some of the elm-bark will strip at this season, the squaws, after finding a tree that would do, cut it down, and with a crooked stick, broad and sharp at the end, took the bark off the tree, and of this bark made vessels, in a curious manner, that would hold about two gallons each; they made above one hundred of these kind of vessels. In the sugar-tree they cut a notch, sloping down, and at the end of the notch stuck in a tomahawk; in the place where they stuck the tomahawk they drove a long chip, in order to carry the water out from the tree, and under this they set their vessel to receive it. As sugar-trees were plenty and large here, they seldom or never notched a tree that was not two or three feet over. They also made bark vessels for carrying the water that would hold about four gallons each. They had two brass kettles that held about fifteen gallons each, and other smaller kettles in which they boiled the water. But as they could not at times boil away the water as fast as it was collected, they made vessels of bark that would hold about one hundred gallons each for retaining the water; and though the sugar-trees did not run every day, they had always a sufficient quantity of water to keep them boiling during the whole sugar-season.
About the latter end of March we began to prepare for moving into town in order to plant corn. The squaws were then frying the last of their bear's fat and making vessels to hold it; the vessels were made of deer-skins, which were skinned by pulling the skin off the neck without ripping. After they had taken off the hair they gathered it in small plaits round the neck, and, with a string, drew it together like a purse; in the centre a pin was put, below which they tied a string, and while it was wet they blew it up like a bladder, and let it remain in this manner until it was dry, when it appeared nearly in the shape of a sugar-loaf, but more rounding at the lower end. One of these vessels would hold about four or five gallons. In these vessels it was they carried their bear's oil.
When all things were ready we moved back to the falls of Canesadooharie. On our arrival at the falls (as we had brought with us on horseback about two hundred weight of sugar, a large quantity of bear's oil, skins, etc.) the canoe we had buried was not sufficient to carry all; therefore we were obliged to make another one of elm-bark. While we lay here a young Wyandot found my books. On this they collected together. I was a little way from the camp, and saw the collection, but did not know what it meant. They called me by my Indian name, which was Scoouwa, repeatedly. I ran to see what was the matter; they showed me my books, and said they were glad they had been found, for they knew I was grieved at the loss of them, and that they now rejoiced with me because they were found. As I could then speak some Indian, especially Caughnewaga (for both that and the Wyandot tongue were spoken in this camp), I told them that I thanked them for the kindness they had always shown to me, and also for finding my books. They asked if the books were damaged. I told them not much. They then showed how they lay, which was in the best manner to turn off the water. In a deer-skin pouch they lay all winter. The print was not much injured, though the binding was. This was the first time that I felt my heart warm towards the Indians. Though they had been exceedingly kind to me, I still before detested them on account of the barbarity I beheld after Braddock's defeat. Neither had I ever before pretended kindness, or expressed myself in a friendly manner; but I began now to excuse the Indians on account of their want of information.
We staid at this camp about two weeks, and killed a number of bears, raccoons, and some beavers. We made a canoe of elm-bark, and Tontileaugo embarked in it. He arrived at the falls that night; while I, mounted on horseback, with a bear-skin saddle and bark stirrups, proceeded by land to the falls. I came there the next morning, and we carried our canoe and loading past the falls.
We again proceeded towards the lakes; I on horseback and Tontileaugo by water. Here the land is generally good, but I found some difficulty in getting round swamps and ponds. When we came to the lake I proceeded along the strand and Tontileaugo near the shore, sometimes paddling and sometimes poling his canoe along.
After some time the wind arose, and he went into the mouth of a small creek and encamped. Here we staid several days on account of high wind, which raised the lake in great billows. While we were here Tontileaugo went out to hunt, and when he was gone a Wyandot came to our camp. I gave him a shoulder of venison which I had by the fire well roasted, and he received it gladly; told me he was hungry, and thanked me for my kindness. When Tontileaugo came home I told him that a Wyandot had been at camp, and that I gave him a shoulder of roasted venison. He said that was very well, "and I suppose you gave him also sugar and bear's oil to eat with his venison." I told him I did not, as the sugar and bear's oil were down in the canoe, I did not go for it. He replied, "You have behaved just like a Dutchman. Do you not know that when strangers come to our camp we ought always to give them the best that we have?" I acknowledged that I was wrong. He said that he could excuse this, as I was but young; but I must learn to behave like a warrior, and do great things, and never be found in any such little actions.
The lake being again calm, we proceeded, and arrived safe at Sunyendeand, which was a Wyandot town that lay upon a small creek which empties into the little lake below the mouth of Sandusky.
The town was about eighty rood above the mouth of the creek, on the south side of a large plain, on which timber grew, and nothing more but grass or nettles. In some places there were large flats where nothing but grass grew, about three feet high when grown, and in other places nothing but nettles, very rank, where the soil is extremely rich and loose; here they planted corn. In this town there were also French traders, who purchased our skins and fur, and we all got new clothes, paint, tobacco, etc.
After I had got my new clothes, and my head done off like a red-headed woodpecker, I, in company with a number of young Indians, went down to the corn-field to see the squaws at work. When we came there they asked me to take a hoe, which I did, and hoed for some time. The squaws applauded me as a good hand at the business; but when I returned to the town the old men, hearing of what I had done, chid me, and said that I was adopted in the place of a great man, and must not hoe corn like a squaw. They never had occasion to reprove me for anything like this again; as I never was extremely fond of work, I readily complied with their orders.
As the Indians, on their return from their winter hunt, bring in with them large quantities of bear's oil, sugar, dried venison, etc., at this time they have plenty, and do not spare eating or giving; thus they make way with their provision as quick as possible. They have no such thing as regular meals, breakfast, dinner, or supper; but if any one, even the town-folks, would go to the same house several times in one day, he would be invited to eat of the best; and with them it is bad manners to refuse to eat when it is offered. If they will not eat it is interpreted as a symptom of displeasure, or that the persons refusing to eat were angry with those who had invited them.
At this time hominy, plentifully mixed with bear's oil and sugar, or dried venison, bear's oil, and sugar, is what they offer to every one who comes in any time of the day; and so they go on until their sugar, bear's oil, and venison are all gone, and then they have to eat hominy by itself, without bread, salt, or anything else; yet still they invite every one that comes in to eat while they have anything to give. It is thought a shame not to invite people to eat while they have anything; but if they can in truth only say we have got nothing to eat, this is accepted as an honorable apology. All the hunters and warriors continued in town about six weeks after we came in; they spent this time in painting, going from house to house, eating, smoking, and playing at a game resembling dice, or hustle-cap. They put a number of plum-stones in a small bowl; one side of each stone is black, and the other white; they then shake or hustle the bowl, calling, "Hits, hits, hits, honesey, honesey, rago, rago;" which signifies calling for white or black, or what they wish to turn up; they then turn the bowl, and count the whites and blacks. Some were beating their kind of drum and singing; others were employed in playing on a sort of flute made of hollow cane; and others playing on the jew's-harp. Some part of this time was also taken up in attending the council-house, where the chiefs, and as many others as chose, attended; and at night they were frequently employed in singing and dancing. Towards the last of this time, which was in June, 1756, they were all engaged in preparing to go to war against the frontiers of Virginia. When they were equipped they went through their ceremonies, sung their war-songs, etc. They all marched off, from fifteen to sixty years of age; and some boys, only twelve years of age, were equipped with their bows and arrows, and went to war; so that none were left in town but squaws and children, except myself, one very old man, and another, about fifty years of age, who was lame.
The Indians were then in great hopes that they would drive all the Virginians over the lake, which is all the name they know for the sea. When the warriors left this town we had neither meat, sugar, or bear's oil left. All that we had then to live on was corn pounded into coarse meal or small hominy; this they boiled in water, which appeared like well-thickened soup, without salt or anything else. For some time we had plenty of this kind of hominy; at length we were brought to very short allowance, and as the warriors did not return as soon as they expected, we were soon in a starving condition, and but one gun in the town, and very little ammunition. The old lame Wyandot concluded that he would go a-hunting in a canoe, and take me with him, and try to kill deer in the water, as it was then watering time. We went up Sandusky a few miles, then turned up a creek and encamped. We had lights prepared, as we were to hunt in the night, and also a piece of bark and some bushes set up in the canoe, in order to conceal ourselves from the deer. A little boy that was with us held the light; I worked the canoe, and the old man, who had his gun loaded with large shot, when we came near the deer, fired, and in this manner killed three deer in part of one night. We went to our fire, ate heartily, and in the morning returned to town in order to relieve the hungry and distressed.
When we came to town the children were crying bitterly on account of pinching hunger. We delivered what we had taken, and though it was but little among so many, it was divided according to the strictest rules of justice. We immediately set out for another hunt, but before we returned a part of the warriors had come in, and brought with them on horseback a quantity of meat. These warriors had divided into different parties, and all struck at different places in Augusta County. They brought in with them a considerable number of scalps, prisoners, horses, and other plunder. One of the parties brought in with them one Arthur Campbell, that is now Colonel Campbell, who lives on Holston River, near the Royal Oak. As the Wyandots at Sunyendeand and those at Detroit were connected, Mr. Campbell was taken to Detroit; but he remained some time with me in this town. His company was very agreeable, and I was sorry when he left me. During his stay at Sunyendeand he borrowed my Bible, and made some pertinent remarks on what he had read. One passage was where it is said, "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." He said we ought to be resigned to the will of Providence, as we were now bearing the yoke in our youth. Mr. Campbell appeared to be then about sixteen or seventeen years of age.
About the time that these warriors came in the green corn was beginning to be of use, so that we had either green corn or venison, and sometimes both, which was, comparatively, high living. When we could have plenty of green corn, or roasting ears, the hunters became lazy, and spent their time, as already mentioned, in singing and dancing, etc. They appeared to be fulfilling the Scriptures beyond those who profess to believe in them, in that of taking no thought of to-morrow; and also in living in love, peace, and friendship together, without disputes. In this respect they shame those who profess Christianity.
In this manner we lived until October; then the geese, swans, ducks, cranes, etc., came from the north, and alighted on this little lake, without number, or innumerable. Sunyendeand is a remarkable place for fish in the spring, and fowl both in the fall and spring.
As our hunters were now tired with indolence, and fond of their own kind of exercise, they all turned out to fowling, and in this could scarce miss of success; so that we had now plenty of hominy and the best of fowls; and sometimes, as a rarity, we had a little bread, which was made of Indian-corn meal, pounded in a hominy block, mixed with boiled beans, and baked in cakes under the ashes.
This with us was called good living, though not equal to our fat, roasted, and boiled venison, when we went to the woods in the fall; or bear's meat and beaver in the winter; or sugar, bear's oil, and dry venison in the spring.
Some time in October, another adopted brother, older than Tontileaugo came to pay us a visit at Sunyendeand, and he asked me to take a hunt with him on Cayahoga. As they always used me as a free man, and gave me the liberty of choosing, I told him that I was attached to Tontileaugo, had never seen him before, and therefore asked some time to consider of this. He told me that the party he was going with would not be along, or at the mouth of this little lake, in less than six days, and I could in this time be acquainted with him, and judge for myself. I consulted with Tontileaugo on this occasion, and he told me that our old brother Tecaughretanego (which was his name) was a chief, and a better man than he was, and if I went with him I might expect to be well used; but he said I might do as I pleased, and if I staid he would use me as he had done. I told him that he had acted in every respect as a brother to me; yet I was much pleased with my old brother's conduct and conversation; and as he was going to a part of the country I had never been in, I wished to go with him. He said that he was perfectly willing.
I then went with Tecaughretanego to the mouth of the little lake, where he met with the company he intended going with, which was composed of Caughnewagas and Ottawas. As the wind was high and we could not proceed on our voyage, we remained here several days, and killed abundance of wild fowl, and a number of raccoons.
When a company of Indians are moving together on the lake, as it is at this time of the year often dangerous sailing, the old men hold a council; and when they agree to embark, every one is engaged immediately in making ready, without offering one word against the measure, though the lake may be boisterous and horrid. One morning, though the wind appeared to me to be as high as in days past, and the billows raging, yet the call was given "yohoh-yohoh," which was quickly answered by all—"ooh-ooh," which signifies agreed. We were all instantly engaged in preparing to start, and had considerable difficulties in embarking.
As soon as we got into our canoes we fell to paddling with all our might, making out from the shore. Though these sort of canoes ride waves beyond what could be expected, yet the water several times dashed into them. When we got out about half a mile from shore we hoisted sail, and as it was nearly a west wind, we then seemed to ride the waves with ease, and went on at a rapid rate. We then all laid down our paddles, excepting one that steered, and there was no water dashed into our canoes until we came near the shore again. We sailed about sixty miles that day, and encamped some time before night.
The next day we again embarked, and went on very well for some time; but the lake being boisterous, and the wind not fair, we were obliged to make to shore, which we accomplished with hard work and some difficulty in landing. The next morning a council was held by the old men.
As we had this day to pass by a long precipice of rocks on the shore, about nine miles, which rendered it impossible for us to land, though the wind was high and the lake rough, yet, as it was fair, we were all ordered to embark. We wrought ourselves out from the shore and hoisted sail (what we used in place of sail-cloth were our tent-mats, which answered the purpose very well), and went on for some time with a fair wind, until we were opposite to the precipice, and then it turned towards the shore, and we began to fear we should be cast upon the rocks. Two of the canoes were considerably farther out from the rocks than the canoe I was in. Those who were farthest out in the lake did not let down their sails until they had passed the precipice; but as we were nearer the rock, we were obliged to lower our sails, and paddle with all our might. With much difficulty we cleared ourselves of the rock, and landed. As the other canoes had landed before us, there were immediately runners sent off to see if we were all safely landed.
About the first of December, 1756, we were preparing for leaving the river: we buried our canoes, and as usual hung up our skins, and every one had a pack to carry. The squaws also packed up their tents, which they carried in large rolls that extended up above their heads, and though a great bulk, yet not heavy. We steered about a southeast course, and could not march over ten miles per day. At night we lodged in our flag tents, which, when erected, were nearly in the shape of a sugar-loaf, and about fifteen feet diameter at the ground.
In this manner we proceeded about forty miles, and wintered in these tents, on the waters of Beaver Creek, near a little lake or large pond, which is about two miles long and one broad, and a remarkable place for beaver.
It is a received opinion among Indians that the geese turn to beavers, and the snakes to raccoons; and though Tecaughretanego, who was a wise man, was not fully persuaded that this was true, yet he seemed in some measure to be carried away with this whimsical notion. He said that this pond had been always a great place for beaver. Though he said he knew them to be frequently all killed (as he thought), yet the next winter they would be as plenty as ever. And as the beaver was an animal that did not travel by land, and there being no water communication to or from this pond, how could such a number of beavers get there year after year? But as this pond was also a considerable place for geese, when they came in the fall from the north, and alighted in this pond, they turned beavers, all but the feet, which remained nearly the same.
In conversation with Tecaughretanego I happened to be talking of the beavers catching fish. He asked me why I thought that the beaver caught fish. I told him that I had read of the beaver making dams for the conveniency of fishing. He laughed, and made game of me and my book. He said the man that wrote that book knew nothing about the beaver. The beaver never did eat flesh of any kind, but lived on the bark of trees, roots, and other vegetables.
In order to know certainly how this was, when we killed a beaver I carefully examined the intestines, but found no appearance of fish; I afterwards made an experiment on a pet beaver which we had, and found that it would neither eat fish nor flesh; therefore I acknowledged that the book I had read was wrong.
Near this pond beaver was the principal game. Before the water froze up we caught a great many with wooden and steel traps; but after that we hunted the beaver on the ice. Some places here the beavers build large houses to live in; and in other places they have subterraneous lodgings in the banks. Where they lodge in the ground we have no chance of hunting them on the ice; but where they have houses, we go with mauls and handspikes, and break all the hollow ice, to prevent them from getting their heads above the water under it. Then we break a hole in the house, and they make their escape into the water; but as they cannot live long under water, they are obliged to go to some of those broken places to breathe, and the Indians commonly put in their hands, catch them by the hind-leg, haul them on the ice, and tomahawk them. Sometimes they shoot them in the head when they raise it above the water. I asked the Indians if they were not afraid to catch the beavers with their hands. They said no: they were not much of a biting creature; yet if they would catch them by the fore-foot they would bite.
I went out with Tecaughretanego and some others a beaver hunting; but we did not succeed, and on our return we saw where several raccoons had passed while the snow was soft, though there was now a crust upon it; we all made a halt, looking at the raccoon tracks. As they saw a tree with a hole in it, they told me to go and see if they had gone in thereat; and if they had to halloo, and they would come and take them out. When I went to that tree, I found they had gone past; but I saw another the way they had gone, and proceeded to examine that, and found they had gone up it. I then began to halloo, but could have no answer.
As it began to snow and blow most violently, I returned and proceeded after my company, and for some time could see their tracks; but the old snow being only about three inches deep, and a crust upon it, the present driving snow soon filled up the tracks. As I had only a bow, arrows, and tomahawk with me, and no way to strike fire, I appeared to be in a dismal situation; and as the air was dark with snow, I had little more prospect of steering my course than I would in the night. At length I came to a hollow tree, with a hole at one side that I could go in at. I went in, and found that it was a dry place, and the hollow about three feet diameter, and high enough for me to stand in. I found that there was also a considerable quantity of soft, dry rotten wood around this hollow; I therefore concluded that I would lodge here, and that I would go to work, and stop up the door of my house. I stripped off my blanket (which was all the clothes that I had, excepting a breech-clout, leggings, and moccasons), and with my tomahawk fell to chopping at the top of a fallen tree that lay near, and carried wood, and set it up on end against the door, until I had it three or four feet thick all around, excepting a hole I had left to creep in at. I had a block prepared that I could haul after me to stop this hole; and before I went in I put in a number of small sticks that I might more effectually stop it on the inside. When I went in, I took my tomahawk and cut down all the dry rotten wood I could get, and beat it small. With it I made a bed like a goose-nest or hog-bed, and with the small sticks stopped every hole, until my house was almost dark. I stripped off my moccasons, and danced in the centre of my bed, for half an hour, in order to warm myself. In this time my feet and whole body were agreeably warmed. The snow, in the meanwhile, had stopped all the holes, so that my house was as dark as a dungeon, though I knew it could not yet be dark out of doors. I then coiled myself up in my blanket, lay down in my little round bed, and had a tolerable night's lodging. When I awoke all was dark—not the least glimmering of light was to be seen. Immediately I recollected that I was not to expect light in this new habitation, as there was neither door nor window in it. As I could hear the storm raging, and did not suffer much cold as I was then situated, I concluded I would stay in my nest until I was certain it was day. When I had reason to conclude that it surely was day, I arose and put on my moccasons, which I had laid under my head to keep from freezing. I then endeavored to find the door, and had to do all by the sense of feeling, which took me some time. At length I found the block, but it being heavy, and a large quantity of snow having fallen on it, at the first attempt I did not move it. I then felt terrified—among all the hardships I had sustained, I never knew before what it was to be thus deprived of light. This, with the other circumstances attending it, appeared grievous. I went straightway to bed again, wrapped my blanket round me, and lay and mused awhile, and then prayed to Almighty God to direct and protect me as he had done heretofore. I once again attempted to move away the block, which proved successful; it moved about nine inches. With this a considerable quantity of snow fell in from above, and I immediately received light; so that I found a very great snow had fallen, above what I had ever seen in one night. I then knew why I could not easily move the block, and I was so rejoiced at obtaining the light that all my other difficulties seemed to vanish. I then turned into my cell, and returned God thanks for having once more received the light of heaven. At length I belted my blanket about me, got my tomahawk, bow and arrows, and went out of my den.
I was now in tolerable high spirits, though the snow had fallen above three feet deep, in addition to what was on the ground before; and the only imperfect guide I had in order to steer my course to camp was the trees, as the moss generally grows on the northwest side of them, if they are straight. I proceeded on, wading through the snow, and about twelve o'clock (as it appeared afterwards, from that time to night, for it was yet cloudy) I came upon the creek that our camp was on, about half a mile below the camp; and when I came in sight of the camp I found that there was great joy, by the shouts and yelling of the boys, etc.
When I arrived they all came round me, and received me gladly; but at this time no questions were asked, and I was taken into a tent, where they gave me plenty of fat beaver meat, and then asked me to smoke. When I had done, Tecaughretanego desired me to walk out to a fire they had made. I went out, and they all collected round me, both men, women, and boys. Tecaughretanego asked me to give them a particular account of what had happened from the time they left me yesterday until now. I told them the whole of the story, and they never interrupted me; but when I made a stop, the intervals were filled with loud exclamations of joy. As I could not at this time talk Ottawa or Jibewa well (which is nearly the same), I delivered my story in Caughnewaga. As my sister Molly's husband was a Jibewa, and could understand Caughnewaga, he acted as interpreter, and delivered my story to the Jibewas and Ottawas, which they received with pleasure.
One day, as I was looking after my traps, I got benighted, by beaver ponds intercepting my way to camp; and as I had neglected to take fireworks with me, and the weather very cold, I could find no suitable lodging-place; therefore the only expedient I could think of to keep myself from freezing was exercise. I danced and hallooed the whole night with all my might, and the next day came to camp. Though I suffered much more this time than the other night I lay out, yet the Indians were not so much concerned, as they thought I had fireworks with me; but when they knew how it was, they did not blame me. They said that old hunters were frequently involved in this place, as the beaver dams were one above another on every creek and run, so that it is hard to find a fording-place. They applauded me for my fortitude, and said, as they had now plenty of beaver skins, they would purchase me a new gun at Detroit, as we were to go there the next spring; and then if I should chance to be lost in dark weather, I could make a fire, kill provision, and return to camp when the sun shone. By being bewildered on the waters of Muskingum, I lost repute, and was reduced to the bow and arrow, and by lying out two nights here I regained my credit.
After some time the waters all froze again, and then, as formerly, we hunted beavers on the ice. Though beaver meat, without salt or bread, was the chief of our food this winter, yet we had always plenty, and I was well contented with my diet, as it appeared delicious fare after the way we had lived the winter before.
Some time in February we scaffolded up our fur and skins, and moved about ten miles in quest of a sugar-camp, or a suitable place to make sugar, and encamped in a large bottom on the head-waters of Big Beaver Creek. We had some difficulty in moving, as we had a blind Caughnewaga boy, about fifteen years of age, to lead; and as this country is very brushy, we frequently had him to carry. We had also my Jibewa brother-in-law's father with us, who was thought by the Indians to be a great conjuror; his name was Manetohcoa. This old man was so decrepit that we had to carry him this route upon a bier, and all our baggage to pack on our backs.
Some time in March, 1757, we began to move back to the forks of Cayahoga, which was about forty or fifty miles. And as we had no horses, we had all our baggage and several hundred weight of beaver skins, and some deer and bear skins, all to pack on our backs. The method we took to accomplish this was by making short days' journeys. In the morning we would move on with as much as we were able to carry, about five miles, and encamp, and then run back for more. We commonly made three such trips in the day. When we came to the great pond, we staid there one day to rest ourselves, and to kill ducks and geese.
When we came to the forks, we found that the skins we had scaffolded were all safe. Though this was a public place, and Indians frequently passing, and our skins hanging up in view, yet there were none stolen. And it is seldom that Indians do steal anything from one another. And they say they never did, until the white people came among them, and taught some of them to lie, cheat, and steal; but be that as it may, they never did curse or swear until the whites taught them. Some think their language will not admit of it, but I am not of that opinion. If I was so disposed, I could find language to curse or swear in the Indian tongue.
We took up our birch-bark canoes which we had buried, and found that they were not damaged by the winter; but they not being sufficient to carry all that we now had, we made a large chestnut-bark canoe, as elm-bark was not to be found at this place.
We all embarked, and had a very agreeable passage down the Cayahoga, and along the south side of Lake Erie, until we passed the mouth of Sandusky; then the wind arose, and we put in at the mouth of the Miami of the Lake, at Cedar Point, where we remained several days, and killed a number of turkeys, geese, ducks, and swans. The wind being fair, and the lake not extremely rough, we again embarked, hoisted up sails, and arrived safe at the Wyandot town, nearly opposite to Fort Detroit, on the north side of the river. Here we found a number of French traders, every one very willing to deal with us for our beaver.
We bought ourselves fine clothes, ammunition, paint, tobacco, etc., and, according to promise, they purchased me a new gun; yet we had parted with only about one third of our beaver. At length a trader came to town with French brandy; we purchased a keg of it, and held a council about who was to get drunk and who was to keep sober. I was invited to get drunk, but I refused the proposal; then they told me that I must be one of those who were to take care of the drunken people. I did not like this; but of two evils I chose that which I thought was the least—and fell in with those who were to conceal the arms, and keep every dangerous weapon we could out of their way, and endeavor, if possible, to keep the drinking-club from killing each other, which was a very hard task. Several times we hazarded our own lives, and got ourselves hurt in preventing them from slaying each other. Before they had finished this keg, near one third of the town was introduced to this drinking-club; they could not pay their part, as they had already disposed of all their skins; but that made no odds—all were welcome to drink. When they were done with this keg, they applied to the traders, and procured a kettle full of brandy at a time, which they divided out with a large wooden spoon; and so they went on, and never quit while they had a single beaver skin. When the trader had got all our beaver, he moved off to the Ottawa town, about a mile above the Wyandot town.
When the brandy was gone, and the drinking-club sober, they appeared much dejected. Some of them were crippled, others badly wounded, a number of their fine new shirts torn, and several blankets were burned. A number of squaws were also in this club, and neglected their corn-planting. We could now hear the effects of the brandy in the Ottawa town. They were singing and yelling in the most hideous manner, both night and day; but their frolic ended worse than ours: five Ottawas were killed and a great many wounded.
After this a number of young Indians were getting their ears cut, and they urged me to have mine cut likewise, but they did not attempt to compel me, though they endeavored to persuade me. The principal arguments they used were, its being a very great ornament, and also the common fashion. The former I did not believe, and the latter I could not deny. The way they performed this operation was by cutting the fleshy part of the circle of the ear, close to the gristle, quite through. When this was done they wrapped rags round this fleshy part until it was entirely healed; they then hung lead to it, and stretched it to a wonderful length: when it was sufficiently stretched, they wrapped the fleshy part round with brass wire, which formed it into a semicircle about four inches in diameter.
Many of the young men were now exercising themselves in a game resembling football, though they commonly struck the ball with a crooked stick made for that purpose; also a game something like this, wherein they used a wooden ball, about three inches in diameter, and the instrument they moved it with was a strong staff, about five feet long, with a hoop net on the end of it large enough to contain the ball. Before they begin the play, they lay off about half a mile distance in a clear plain, and the opposite parties all attend at the centre, where a disinterested person casts up the ball, then the opposite parties all contend for it. If any one gets it into his net, he runs with it the way he wishes it to go, and they all pursue him. If one of the opposite party overtakes the person with the ball, he gives the staff a stroke, which causes the ball to fly out of the net; then they have another debate for it, and if the one that gets it can outrun all the opposite party, and can carry it quite out, or over the line at the end, the game is won; but this seldom happens. When any one is running away with the ball, and is likely to be overtaken, he commonly throws it, and with this instrument can cast it fifty or sixty yards. Sometimes when the ball is almost at the one end, matters will take a sudden turn, and the opposite party may quickly carry it out at the other end. Oftentimes they will work a long while back and forward before they can get the ball over the line, or win the game.
About the 1st of June, 1757, the warriors were preparing to go to war, in the Wyandot, Pottowatomy, and Ottawa towns; also a great many Jibewas came down from the upper lakes; and after singing their war-songs and going through their common ceremonies, they marched off against the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, in their usual manner, singing the travelling song, slow firing, etc.
About the middle of June the Indians were almost all gone to war, from sixteen to sixty; yet Tecaughretanego remained in town with me. Though he had formerly, when they were at war with the southern nations, been a great warrior and an eminent counsellor, and I think as clear and able a reasoner upon any subject that he had an opportunity of being acquainted with as I ever knew, yet he had all along been against this war, and had strenuously opposed it in council. He said, if the English and French had a quarrel, let them fight their own battles themselves; it is not our business to intermeddle therewith.
Before the warriors returned we were very scarce of provision; and though we did not commonly steal from one another, yet we stole during this time anything that we could eat from the French, under the notion that it was just for us to do so, because they supported their soldiers; and our squaws, old men, and children were suffering on account of the war, as our hunters were all gone.
Some time in August the warriors returned, and brought in with them a great many scalps, prisoners, horses, and plunder; and the common report among the young warriors was that they would entirely subdue Tulhasaga, that is the English, or it might be literally rendered the Morning Light Inhabitants.
About the first of November a number of families were preparing to go on their winter hunt, and all agreed to cross the lake together. We encamped at the mouth of the river the first night, and a council was held, whether we should cross through by the three islands, or coast it round the lake. These islands lie in a line across the lake, and are just in sight of each other. Some of the Wyandots, or Ottawas, frequently make their winter hunt on these islands; though, excepting wild fowl and fish, there is scarcely any game here but raccoons, which are amazingly plenty, and exceedingly large and fat, as they feed upon the wild rice, which grows in abundance in wet places round these islands. It is said that each hunter, in one winter, will catch one thousand raccoons.
It is a received opinion among the Indians that the snakes and raccoons are transmigratory, and that a great many of the snakes turn into raccoons every fall, and raccoons into snakes every spring. This notion is founded on observations made on the snakes and raccoons in this island.
We concluded to coast it round the lake, and in two days we came to the mouth of the Miami of the Lake, and landed on Cedar Point, where we remained several days. Here we held a council, and concluded we would take a driving hunt in concert and in partnership.
The river in this place is about a mile broad, and as it and the lake form a kind of neck, which terminates in a point, all the hunters (which were fifty-three) went up the river, and we scattered ourselves from the river to the lake. When we first began to move we were not in sight of each other, but as we all raised the yell, we could move regularly together by the noise. At length we came in sight of each other, and appeared to be marching in good order; before we came to the point, both the squaws and boys in the canoes were scattered up the river and along the lake, to prevent the deer from making their escape by water. As we advanced near the point the guns began to crack slowly, and after some time the firing was like a little engagement. The squaws and boys were busy tomahawking the deer in the water, and we shooting them down on the land. We killed in all about thirty deer, though a great many made their escape by water.
Here our company separated. The chief part of them went up the Miami River, which empties into Lake Erie at Cedar Point, while we proceeded on our journey in company with Tecaughretanego, Tontileaugo, and two families of the Wyandots.
As cold weather was now approaching, we began to feel the doleful effects of extravagantly and foolishly spending the large quantity of beaver we had taken in our last winter's hunt. We were all nearly in the same circumstances; scarcely one had a shirt to his back; but each of us had an old blanket which we belted round us in the day, and slept in at night, with a deer or bear skin under us for our bed.
When we came to the Falls of Sandusky we buried our birch-bark canoes, as usual, at a large burying-place for that purpose, a little below the falls. At this place the river falls about eight feet over a rock, but not perpendicularly. With much difficulty we pushed up our wooden canoes; some of us went up the river, and the rest by land with the horses, until we came to the great meadows or prairies that lie between Sandusky and Sciota.
When we came to this place, we met with some Ottawa hunters, and agreed with them to take what they call a ring hunt, in partnership. We waited until we expected rain was near falling to extinguish the fire, and then we kindled a large circle in the prairie. At this time, or before the bucks began to run, a great number of deer lay concealed in the grass in the day, and moved about in the night; but as the fire burned in towards the centre of the circle, the deer fled before the fire; the Indians were scattered also at some distance before the fire, and shot them down every opportunity, which was very frequent, especially as the circle became small. When we came to divide the deer, there were about ten to each hunter, which were all killed in a few hours. The rain did not come on that night to put out the outside circle of the fire, and as the wind arose, it extended through the whole prairie, which was about fifty miles in length, and in some places nearly twenty in breadth. This put an end to our ring hunting this season, and was in other respects an injury to us in the hunting business; so that upon the whole we received more harm than benefit by our rapid hunting frolic. We then moved from the north end of the glades, and encamped at the carrying-place.
About the time the bucks quit running, Tontileaugo, his wife and children, Tecaughretanego, his son Nunganey, and myself, left the Wyandot camps at the carrying-place, and crossed the Sciota River at the south end of the glades, and proceeded on about a southwest course to a large creek called Ollentangy, which I believe interlocks with the waters of the Miami, and empties into Sciota on the west side thereof. From the south end of the prairie to Ollentangy there is a large quantity of beech land, intermixed with first-rate land. Here we made our winter hut, and had considerable success in hunting.
After some time one of Tontileaugo's stepsons (a lad about eight years of age) offended him, and he gave the boy a moderate whipping, which much displeased his Wyandot wife. She acknowledged that the boy was guilty of a fault, but thought that he ought to have been ducked, which is their usual mode of chastisement. She said she could not bear to have her son whipped like a servant or slave; and she was so displeased, that when Tontileaugo went out to hunt, she got her two horses, and all her effects (as in this country the husband and wife have separate interests), and moved back to the Wyandot camp that we had left.
When Tontileaugo returned he was much disturbed on hearing of his wife's elopement, and said that he would never go after her, were it not that he was afraid that she would get bewildered, and that his children that she had taken with her might suffer. Tontileaugo went after his wife, and when they met they made up the quarrel; and he never returned, but left Tecaughretanego and his son (a boy about ten years of age), and myself, who remained here in our hut all winter.
Tecaughretanego had been a first-rate warrior, statesman, and hunter, and though he was now near sixty years of age, was yet equal to the common run of hunters, but subject to the rheumatism, which deprived him of the use of his legs.
Shortly after Tontileaugo left us, Tecaughretanego became lame, and could scarcely walk out of our hut for two months. I had considerable success in hunting and trapping. Though Tecaughretanego endured much pain and misery, yet he bore it all with wonderful patience, and would often endeavor to entertain me with cheerful conversation. Sometimes he would applaud me for my diligence, skill, and activity; and at other times he would take great care in giving me instructions concerning the hunting and trapping business. He would also tell me that if I failed of success we would suffer very much, as we were about forty miles from any one living, that we knew of; yet he would not intimate that he apprehended we were in any danger, but still supposed that I was fully adequate to the task.
Tontileaugo left us a little before Christmas, and from that until some time in February we had always plenty of bear meat, venison, etc. During this time I killed much more than we could use; but having no horses to carry in what I killed, I left part of it in the woods. In February there came a snow, with a crust, which made a great noise when walking on it, and frightened away the deer; and as bear and beaver were scarce here, we got entirely out of provision. After I had hunted two days without eating anything, and had very short allowance for some days before, I returned late in the evening, faint and weary. When I came into our hut, Tecaughretanego asked what success. I told him not any. He asked me if I was not very hungry. I replied that the keen appetite seemed to be in some measure removed, but I was both faint and weary. He commanded Nunganey, his little son, to bring me something to eat, and he brought me a kettle with some bones and broth. After eating a few mouthfuls, my appetite violently returned, and I thought the victuals had a most agreeable relish, though it was only fox and wildcat bones, which lay about the camp, which the ravens and turkey-buzzards had picked; these Nunganey had collected and boiled, until the sinews that remained on the bones would strip off. I speedily finished my allowance, such as it was, and when I had ended my sweet repast, Tecaughretanego asked me how I felt. I told him that I was much refreshed. He then handed me his pipe and pouch, and told me to take a smoke. I did so. He then said he had something of importance to tell me, if I was now composed and ready to hear it. I told him that I was ready to hear him. He said the reason why he deferred his speech till now was because few men are in a right humor to hear good talk when they are extremely hungry, as they are then generally fretful and discomposed; "But as you appear now to enjoy calmness and serenity of mind, I will now communicate to you the thoughts of my heart, and those things that I know to be true.
"Brother,—As you have lived with the white people, you have not had the same advantage of knowing that the great Being above feeds his people, and gives them their meat in due season, as we Indians have, who are frequently out of provisions, and yet are wonderfully supplied, and that so frequently, that it is evidently the hand of the great Owaneeyo that doth this. Whereas the white people have commonly large stocks of tame cattle, that they can kill when they please, and also their barns and cribs filled with grain, and therefore have not the same opportunity of seeing and knowing that they are supported by the Ruler of heaven and earth.
"Brother,—I know that you are now afraid that we will all perish with hunger, but you have no just reason to fear this.
"Brother,—I have been young, but now am old; I have been frequently under the like circumstances that we now are, and that some time or other in almost every year of my life; yet I have hitherto been supported, and my wants supplied in time of need.
"Brother,—Owaneeyo sometimes suffers us to be in want, in order to teach us our dependence upon him, and to let us know that we are to love and serve him; and likewise to know the worth of the favors that we receive, and to make us more thankful.
"Brother,—Be assured that you will be supplied with food, and that just in the right time; but you must continue diligent in the use of means. Go to sleep, and rise early in the morning and go a-hunting; be strong, and exert yourself like a man, and the Great Spirit will direct your way."
The next morning I went out, and steered about an east course. I proceeded on slowly for about five miles, and saw deer frequently; but as the crust on the snow made a great noise, they were always running before I spied them, so that I could not get a shot. A violent appetite returned, and I became intolerably hungry. It was now that I concluded I would run off to Pennsylvania, my native country. As the snow was on the ground, and Indian hunters almost the whole of the way before me, I had but a poor prospect of making my escape, but my case appeared desperate. If I staid here, I thought I would perish with hunger, and if I met with Indians they could but kill me.
I then proceeded on as fast as I could walk, and when I got about ten or twelve miles from our hut I came upon fresh buffalo tracks; I pursued after, and in a short time came in sight of them as they were passing through a small glade. I ran with all my might and headed them, where I lay in ambush, and killed a very large cow. I immediately kindled a fire and began to roast meat, but could not wait till it was done; I ate it almost raw. When hunger was abated I began to be tenderly concerned for my old Indian brother and the little boy I had left in a perishing condition. I made haste and packed up what meat I could carry, secured what I left from the wolves, and returned homewards.
I scarcely thought on the old man's speech while I was almost distracted with hunger, but on my return was much affected with it, reflected on myself for my hard-heartedness and ingratitude, in attempting to run off and leave the venerable old man and little boy to perish with hunger. I also considered how remarkably the old man's speech had been verified in our providentially obtaining a supply. I thought also of that part of his speech which treated of the fractious dispositions of hungry people, which was the only excuse I had for my base inhumanity, in attempting to leave them in the most deplorable situation.
As it was moonlight, I got home to our hut, and found the old man in his usual good-humor. He thanked me for my exertion, and bid me sit down, as I must certainly be fatigued, and he commanded Nunganey to make haste and cook. I told him I would cook for him, and let the boy lay some meat on the coals for himself; which he did, but ate it almost raw, as I had done. I immediately hung on the kettle with some water, and cut the beef in thin slices, and put them in. When it had boiled awhile, I proposed taking it off the fire, but the old man replied, "Let it be done enough." This he said in as patient and unconcerned a manner as if he had not wanted one single meal. He commanded Nunganey to eat no more beef at that time, lest he might hurt himself, but told him to sit down, and after some time he might sup some broth; this command he reluctantly obeyed.
When we were all refreshed, Tecaughretanego delivered a speech upon the necessity and pleasure of receiving the necessary supports of life with thankfulness, knowing that Owaneeyo is the great giver. Such speeches from an Indian may be thought by those who are unacquainted with them altogether incredible; but when we reflect on the Indian war, we may readily conclude that they are not an ignorant or stupid sort of people, or they would not have been such fatal enemies. When they came into our country they outwitted us; and when we sent armies into their country, they outgeneralled and beat us with inferior force. Let us also take into consideration that Tecaughretanego was no common person, but was among the Indians as Socrates in the ancient heathen world; and, it may be, equal to him, if not in wisdom and in learning, yet perhaps in patience and fortitude. Notwithstanding Tecaughretanego's uncommon natural abilities, yet in the sequel of this history you will see the deficiency of the light of nature, unaided by revelation, in this truly great man.
The next morning Tecaughretanego desired me to go back and bring another load of buffalo beef. As I proceeded to do so, about five miles from our hut I found a bear tree. As a sapling grew near the tree, and reached near the hole that the bear went in at, I got dry dozed or rotten wood, that would catch and hold fire almost as well as spunk. This wood I tied up in bunches, fixed them on my back, and then climbed up the sapling, and with a pole I put them, touched with fire, into the hole, and then came down and took my gun in my hand. After some time the bear came out, and I killed and skinned it, packed up a load of the meat (after securing the remainder from the wolves), and returned home before night. On my return my old brother and his son were much rejoiced at my success. After this we had plenty of provisions.
We remained here until some time in April, 1758. At this time Tecaughretanego had recovered so that he could walk about. We made a bark canoe, embarked, and went down Ollentangy some distance, but, the water being low, we were in danger of splitting our canoe upon the rocks; therefore Tecaughretanego concluded we would encamp on shore, and pray for rain.
When we encamped Tecaughretanego made himself a sweat-house, which he did by sticking a number of hoops in the ground, each hoop forming a semicircle; this he covered all round with blankets and skins. He then prepared hot stones, which he rolled into this hut, and then went into it himself with a little kettle of water in his hand, mixed with a variety of herbs, which he had formerly cured, and had now with him in his pack; they afforded an odoriferous perfume. When he was in, he told me to pull down the blankets behind him, and cover all up close, which I did, and then he began to pour water upon the hot stones, and to sing aloud. He continued in this vehement hot place about fifteen minutes. All this he did in order to purify himself before he would address the Supreme Being. When he came out of his sweat-house he began to burn tobacco and pray. He began each petition with "Oh, ho, ho, ho" which is a kind of aspiration, and signifies an ardent wish. I observed that all his petitions were only for immediate or present temporal blessings. He began his address by thanksgiving in the following manner:
"O Great Being! I thank thee that I have obtained the use of my legs again; that I am now able to walk about and kill turkeys, etc., without feeling exquisite pain and misery. I know that thou art a hearer and a helper, and therefore I will call upon thee.
"Oh, ho, ho, ho,
"Grant that my knees and ankles may be right well, and that I may be able, not only to walk, but to run and to jump logs, as I did last fall.
"Oh, ho, ho, ho,
"Grant that on this voyage we may frequently kill bears, as they may be crossing the Scioto and Sandusky.
"Oh, ho, ho, ho,
"Grant that we may kill plenty of turkeys along the banks, to stew with our fat bear meat.
"Oh, ho, ho, ho,
"Grant that rain may come to raise the Ollentangy about two or three feet, that we may cross in safety down to Scioto, without danger of our canoe being wrecked on the rocks. And now, O Great Being, thou knowest how matters stand; thou knowest that I am a great lover of tobacco, and though I know not when I may get any more, I now make a present of the last I have unto thee, as a free burnt-offering; therefore I expect thou wilt hear and grant these requests, and I, thy servant, will return thee thanks and love thee for thy gifts."
During the whole of this scene I sat by Tecaughretanego, and as he went through it with the greatest solemnity I was seriously affected with his prayers. I remained duly composed until he came to the burning of the tobacco; and as I knew he was a great lover of it, and saw him cast the last of it into the fire, it excited in me a kind of merriment, and I insensibly smiled. Tecaughretanego observed me laughing, which displeased him, and occasioned him to address me in the following manner.
"Brother,—I have somewhat to say to you, and I hope you will not be offended when I tell you of your faults. You know that when you were reading your books in town I would not let the boys or any one disturb you; but now, when I was praying, I saw you laughing. I do not think that you look upon praying as a foolish thing; I believe you pray yourself. But perhaps you may think my mode or manner of praying foolish; if so, you ought in a friendly manner to instruct me, and not make sport of sacred things."
I acknowledged my error, and on this he handed me his pipe to smoke, in token of friendship and reconciliation, though at this time he had nothing to smoke but red-willow bark. I told him something of the method of reconciliation with an offended God, as revealed in my Bible, which I had then in possession. He said that he liked my story better than that of the French priests, but he thought that he was now too old to begin to learn a new religion, therefore he should continue to worship God in the way that he had been taught, and that if salvation or future happiness was to be had in his way of worship, he expected he would obtain it, and if it was inconsistent with the honor of the Great Spirit to accept of him in his own way of worship, he hoped that Owaneeyo would accept of him in the way I had mentioned, or in some other way, though he might now be ignorant of the channel through which favor or mercy might be conveyed. He said that he believed that Owaneeyo would hear and help every one that sincerely waited upon him.
A few days after Tecaughretanego had gone through his ceremonies and finished his prayers, the rain came and raised the creek a sufficient height, so that we passed in safety down to Scioto, and proceeded up to the carrying-place. We proceeded from this place down Sandusky, and in our passage we killed four bears and a number of turkeys. Tecaughretanego appeared now fully persuaded that all this came in answer to his prayers, and who can say with any degree of certainty that it was not so?
When we came to the little lake at the mouth of Sandusky, we called at a Wyandot town that was then there, called Sunyendeand. Here we diverted ourselves several days by catching rock-fish in a small creek, the name of which is also Sunyendeand, which signifies rock-fish. They fished in the night with lights, and struck the fish with gigs or spears. The rock-fish here, when they begin first to run up the creek to spawn, are exceedingly fat, sufficiently so to fry themselves. The first night we scarcely caught fish enough for present use for all that were in the town.
The next morning I met with a prisoner at this place by the name of Thompson, who had been taken from Virginia. He told me, if the Indians would only omit disturbing the fish for one night, he could catch more fish than the whole town could make use of. I told Mr. Thompson that if he was certain he could do this, that I would use my influence with the Indians to let the fish alone for one night. I applied to the chiefs, who agreed to my proposal, and said they were anxious to see what the Great Knife (as they called the Virginian) could do. Mr. Thompson, with the assistance of some other prisoners, set to work, and made a hoop-net of elm-bark; they then cut down a tree across the creek, and stuck in stakes at the lower side of it to prevent the fish from passing up, leaving only a gap at the one side of the creek; here he sat with his net, and when he felt the fish touch the net he drew it up, and frequently would haul out two or three rock-fish that would weigh about five or six pounds each. He continued at this until he had hauled out about a wagon-load, and then left the gap open in order to let them pass up, for they could not go far on account of the shallow water. Before day Mr. Thompson shut it up, to prevent them from passing down, in order to let the Indians have some diversion in killing them in daylight.
When the news of the fish came to town the Indians all collected, and with surprise beheld the large heap of fish, and applauded the ingenuity of the Virginian. When they saw the number of them that were confined in the water above the tree, the young Indians ran back to the town, and in a short time returned with their spears, gigs, bows and arrows, etc., and were the chief part of that day engaged in killing rock-fish, insomuch that we had more than we could use or preserve. As we had no salt, or any way to keep them, they lay upon the banks, and after some time great numbers of turkey-buzzards and eagles collected together and devoured them.
Shortly after this we left Sunyendeand, and in three days arrived at Detroit, where we remained this summer.
Some time in May we heard that General Forbes, with seven thousand men, was preparing to carry on a campaign against Fort Du Quesne, which then stood near where Fort Pitt was afterwards erected. Upon receiving this news, a number of runners were sent off by the French commander at Detroit to urge the different tribes of Indian warriors to repair to Fort Du Quesne.
Some time in July, 1758, the Ottawas, Jibewas, Potowatomies, and Wyandots rendezvoused at Detroit, and marched off to Fort Du Quesne, to prepare for the encounter of General Forbes. The common report was that they would serve him as they did General Braddock, and obtain much plunder. From this time until fall we had frequent accounts of Forbes's army, by Indian runners that were sent out to watch their motion. They espied them frequently from the mountains even after they left Fort Loudon. Notwithstanding their vigilance, Colonel Grant, with his Highlanders, stole a march upon them, and in the night took possession of a hill about eighty rods from Fort Du Quesne; this hill is on that account called Grant's Hill to this day. The French and Indians knew not that Grant and his men were there, until they beat the drum and played upon the bagpipes just at daylight. They then flew to arms, and the Indians ran up under cover of the banks of the Alleghany and Monongahela for some distance, and then sallied out from the banks of the rivers, and took possession of the hill above Grant; and as he was on the point of it, in sight of the fort, they immediately surrounded him; and as he had his Highlanders in ranks, and in very close order, and the Indians scattered and concealed behind trees, they defeated him with the loss only of a few warriors; most of the Highlanders were killed or taken prisoners.
After this defeat the Indians held a council, but were divided in their opinions. Some said that General Forbes would now turn back, and go home the way that he came, as Dunbar had done when General Braddock was defeated; others supposed he would come on. The French urged the Indians to stay and see the event; but as it was hard for the Indians to be absent from their squaws and children at this season of the year, a great many of them returned home to their hunting. After this the remainder of the Indians, some French regulars, and a number of Canadians, marched off in quest of General Forbes. They met his army near Fort Ligonier, and attacked them, but were frustrated in their design. They said that Forbes's men were beginning to learn the art of war, and that there were a great number of American riflemen along with the redcoats, who scattered out, took trees, and were good marksmen; therefore they found they could not accomplish their design, and were obliged to retreat. When they returned from the battle to Fort Du Quesne, the Indians concluded that they would go to their hunting. The French endeavored to persuade them to stay and try another battle. The Indians said if it was only the redcoats they had to do with they could soon subdue them, but they could not withstand Ashalecoa, or the Great Knife, which was the name they gave the Virginians. They then returned home to their hunting, and the French evacuated the fort, which General Forbes came and took possession of, without further opposition, late in the year 1758, and at this time began to build Fort Pitt.
When Tecaughretanego had heard the particulars of Grant's defeat he said that he could not well account for his contradictory and inconsistent conduct. He said, as the art of war consists in ambushing and surprising our enemies, and in preventing them from ambushing and surprising us, Grant, in the first place, acted like a wise and experienced warrior in artfully approaching in the night without being discovered; but when he came to the place, and the Indians were lying asleep outside of the fort, between him and the Alleghany River, in place of slipping up quietly, and falling upon them with their broadswords, they beat the drums and played upon the bagpipes. He said he could account for this inconsistent conduct in no other way than by supposing that he had made too free with spirituous liquors during the night, and became intoxicated about daylight. But to return.
This year we hunted up Sandusky and down Scioto, and took nearly the same route that we had done the last hunting season. We had considerable success, and returned to Detroit some time in April, 1759.
Shortly after this Tecaughretanego, his son Nunganey, and myself went from Detroit (in an elm-bark canoe) to Caughnewaga, a very ancient Indian town, about nine miles above Montreal, where I remained until about the first of July. I then heard of a French ship at Montreal that had English prisoners on board, in order to carry them over sea and exchange them. I went privately off from the Indians, and got also on board; but as General Wolfe had stopped the river St. Lawrence, we were all sent to prison in Montreal, where I remained four months. Some time in November we were all sent off from this place to Crown Point, and exchanged.
Early in the year 1760 I came home to Conococheague, and found that my people could never ascertain whether I was killed or taken until my return. They received me with great joy, but were surprised to see me so much like an Indian, both in my gait and gesture.
Upon inquiry, I found that my sweetheart was married a few days before I arrived. My feelings I must leave, on this occasion, for those of my readers to judge who have felt the pangs of disappointed love, as it is impossible now for me to describe the emotion of soul I felt at that time.
In the year 1788 I settled in Bourbon County, Kentucky, seven miles above Paris, and in the same year was elected a member of the convention that sat at Danville to confer about a separation from the State of Virginia; and from that year until the year 1799 I represented Bourbon County either in convention or as a member of the General Assembly, except two years that I was left a few votes behind.