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The sensation produced by the fall of Detroit—with the surrender by Hull of the Territory of Michigan, and the whole of the northwestern army-throughout the United States, and especially throughout the west, can hardly be conceived. At first it was scarcely believed, the event being improbable, and therefore unexpected. Notwithstanding some doubts had been entertained in relation to General Hull's ability to subdue the country he had invaded, there were none as to his ability to de. fend himself. Never were a people more deeply, more universally chagrined. Its effect, too, politically, was tremendous. A large portion of the community was opposed to the war; and the failure of the first military expedition was supposed, and pretended by many, to be ominous of its results. Some imputed it to treachery in its commander ; some to his want of skill and enterprise ; some to the effects of cowardice ; some to the improvidence of General Dearborn; and some arraigned even the administration itself. A victim, therefore, became necessary; a victim was found-and, like the scape-goat of old, General Hull bore into the wilderness, the crimes and the follies of all, who had thus participated in their country's disgrace and our public disasters.
The American people, however, soon recovered from their chagrin. The public spirit was immediately aroused to action, and efforts, scarcely surpassed in the most enthusiastic periods of the Revolution, shortly thereafter followed as of course.
“The whole population of Michigan," says Governor Hull, "of which Detroit was the capital, was between four and five thousand souls; their settlements were on the Miami of Lake Erie, the river Raisin, Eros Rouge, the Detroit river, Lake St. Clair, and the Isle of Mackinaw. The greater part were Canadians. They were miserable farmers, paid little attention to agriculture, and depended principally on hunting, fishing, and trading with the Indians for support. The produce of the territory, in the substantial articles of living, was by no means sufficient for the subsistence of the inhabitants. They were supplied with pork, beef, flour, and corn, principally from the States of Ohio, NewYork, and Pennsylvania.”
Governor Hull's proclamation has been a subject of much comment, both in this country and in Europe. Our commissioners at Ghent, in 1814, it is said, declared to the British plenipotentiaries, that "it was unauthorized, and disapproved of by the American government." The records, however, of the war department, show the fact to be otherwise. On the first of August, 1812, the secretary, in reply to General Hull, says: " Your letters of the 13th and 14th, together with your proclamation, have been received. Your operations are approved of by the president.” The proclamation, in fact, was well written-appropriate to the occasion, and contained nothing of which an American ought to have been ashamed. Had success attended the expedition, it would have been considered as a model for such proclamations. In that event, as many, we have no doubt, would have aspired to its authorship, as afterward did to the honor of killing Brock or Tecumseh.
By WILLIAM HULL, GOVERNOR OF THE TERRITORY OF MICHIGAN, AND COMMANDING THE
A PROCLAMATION. Inhabitants of Canada : After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the United States have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities, of Great Britain, have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission. The army under my command has invaded your country; the standard of the Union now waves over the territory of Canada. To the peaceable, unoffending inhabitants, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to make them. I come to protect, not to injure you.
Separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wilderness, from Great Britain, you have no participation in her councils, no interest in her conduct. You have felt her tyranny, you have seen her injustice. But I do not ask you to avenge the one, or redress the other. The United States are sufficiently powerful to afford every security consistent with their rights and your expectations. I tender to you the invaluable blessings of civil, political, and religious liberty-and their necessary results, individual and general prosperity; that liberty which gave decision to our councils and energy to our conduct, in a struggle for independence, which conducted us safely and triumphantly through the stormy period of the Revolution; that liberty, which raised us to an elevated rank among the nations of the world; and which afforded a greater measure of peace and security, of wealth and improvement, than ever fell to the lot of any people.
In the name of my country, and the authority of its Government, I promise you protection to your persons, property, and rights. Remain at your homes, pursue your peaceful and customary avocations-raise not your hands against your brethren. Many of your fathers fought for the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being children, therefore, of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an army of friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated from tyranny and oppression, and restored to the dignified station of freemen. Had I any doubt of eventual success, I might ask your assistance ; but I do not; I come prepared for every contingency. I have a force which will break down all opposition, and that force is but the vanguard of a much greater. If, contrary to your own interest, and the just expectations of my country, you should take a part in the approaching contest, you will be considered as enemies, and all the horrors and calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous and savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages be let loose to murder our citizens and butcher our women and children, this war will be a war of extermination. The first stroke of the tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping-knife, will be the signal of one indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner. Instant death will be his lot. If the dictates of reason, duty, justice, and humanity, cannot prevent the employment of a force which respects no rights, and knows no wrong, it will be prevented by a severe and relentless system of retaliation. I doubt not your courage and firmness ; I will not doubt your attachment to liberty. If you tender your services voluntarily, they will be accepted readily. The United States offer you peace, liberty, and security. Your choice lies between these, and war, slavery, or destruction. Choose, then-choose wisely, and may He, who knows the justice of our cause, and who holds in his hand the fate of nations, guide you to the result the most compatible with your rights and interest, your peace and happiness.
The remarks of Mr. Secretary Armstrong, that Governor Hull had nothing to do, "but to lead his enemy into indiscretions," and then “punish” him, especially wben that
enemy was Sir Isaac Brock, reminds us of the story of the rats belling the cat; and is only equalled by the Chinese "making up faces, and all sorts of grimaces," in their recent attempts at resisting the veteran legions of England.
The author is aware, that the account here given of General Hull's expedition, varies in some particulars from other published accounts. Breckenridge, in his History of the late War, nowhere men ions the armistice entered into by General Dearborn, on the 8th of August, at Albany. General Brock, it seems, arrived at Malden on the 14th of the same month, with reinforcements. General Brock could not have known it when he left Niagara, and must, therefore, have anticipated the “suspension of hostilities.” That the armistice had an important bearing upon the result of the campaign, no one can deny.
Chicago-Origin of its name-A fort erected here in 1804–Its advantages Pottawato
mies in its neighborhood-Tecumseh, in 1809, meditates its destruction-Massacre of White and others at Lee's Place, April 7, 1812_Winnemeg, a Pottawatomy Indian, arrives in Chicago, with dispatches from General Hull, August 7th, 1812Advises Captain Heald to remain in the garrison, or abandon it immediately-Advice disregarded-Order to evacuate read on the parade-Lieutenant Helm and Ensign Ronan remonstrate against it-Dissatisfaction in Camp—Savages more and more insolent-A council held August 12th, 1812_Captain Heald attends it alone Captain Heald resolves to destroy the arms and ammunition not in use, also the liquor and stores August 13th, the goods distributed among the Indians Arms, ammunition, and liquor destroyed-August 14th, Captain Wells, Mrs. Heald's brother, arrives in camp-Another council held with the Indians—The latter indignant at the destruction of the arms, etc.—Black Hawk's assertion-A portion of the Chiefs still friendly-Black Partridge-August 15th, 1812, garrison marches out of the FortAttacked by the Indians on their march-After a severe action, in which two-thirds of the whole number are slain, the residue capitulate--Ensign Ronan and Dr. Voorhes killed-Prisoners and children massacred after the battle-Billy Caldwell--A party of savages from the Wabash arrive Mrs. Heald—Mrs. Helm-Lieutenant Helm and other prisoners—Their subsequent fate.
OUR misfortunes did not cease with the surrender of Detroit. Other garrisons more remote, and worse provided for, in like manner were abandoned or surrendered, some with, and others without resistance.
When Detroit was thus invested by a British force, and at the very time its surrender was demanded by General Brock, a tragedy was acting at Chicago in Illinois, which cast all others in the shade. (See note 1.)
By the treaty of Greenville, in August, 1795, negotiated by General Wayne, as well with the Pottawatomies as the Miamies, a tract of land six miles square, at the mouth of “the Chikago river," was ceded to the United States. From certain expressions used in the treaty, it would seem that a settlement had been made, and probably a fort, or blockhouse, had been erected by the French, on the lands thus ceded, some time before. Be that, however, as it may, the subject is no longer material. No vestige of such a settlement for many years has been visible. In 1804, a small fort was erected here by the United States. It consisted of two blockhouses, and a subterranean passage, from the parade to the river, the whole of which was surrounded by a picket, and furnished with three pieces of light artillery. A company of United States troops, about fifty in number, many of whom were invalids, constituted its garrison. Its position was well calculated for offence or de. fence; and its situation well adapted to effect the object for which it was intended, that is, “to supply the Indian's wants, and control the Indian's policy.”
The Pottawatomies at that time inhabited, or rather overran, the country in its vicinity. They were a numerous and warlike tribe ; had fought the armies of Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne ; and in the (then) recent battle of Tippecanoe, a number of their chiefs had fallen. Though hostile to the whites in general, they were partial to individuals among them, who by continued kindness had won, and afterward retained, their friendship.
In addition to its garrison, a few families had removed thither, both French and Canadian. This little community, disconnected as it was from the whole civilized world, except through Indian trails to Detroit, Fort Wayne, and St. Louis, and across the waters of Lake Michigan, on which the proud flag of England triumphantly waved previous to the war of 1812, furnished scarcely an incident worthy of record.
In 1809, it was selected by Tecumseh as the theatre, and marked out by him for savage massacre. The plans, however, of that celebrated warrior being then immature, its doom was postponed ; and the battle of Tippecanoe having been fought in his absence, Tecumseh repaired to Malden, where the Pottawatomies, for several years, had received presents from their allies, and being there aided by the English, resumed again his schemes of vengeance.
On the 7th of April, 1812, a number of persons, and among them a Mr. White, were massacred at a place called Hardscrabble, (then Lee's place,) about four miles from Chicago, by a marauding party of Winne. bagoes. No connection, however, existing between the Winnebagoes concerned, and the other tribes in their vicinity, and no concert being apparent, between those who committed the murder and the residue of the tribe, the transaction, though barbarous in its nature, was permitted to slumber, without exciting that interest which such occurrences usually inspire.
When war was declared in 1812, the little garrison at Chicago, consisting, as already stated, of a single company, was commanded by Captain Heald; Lieutenant Helm and Ensign Ronan, were officers under him, and Dr. Van Voorhes, its surgeon.
The nation, which declares war, selecting, of course, its own time for doing it, is wholly inexcusable, when no warlike preparations accompany the act. The last moments of peace with considerate men, will always be employed in obtaining correct knowledge of the force they may have to encounter. Another duty is equally imperative; that of speedily withdrawing, or promptly reinforcing, all remote and isolated posts. If there be anything in their position, which renders their retention important, either to the progress or result of the war, the latter course will