Click Here to Return to Index
Click Here to Return to Booklet Index
No, stream in Western Pennsylvania affords more copious fountains or richer springs of ancient lore, than the Big Beaver "Creek," the scene of many daring exploits of Captain Sam. Brady, and where the garrison of Fort McIntosh stalked the deer, and lured the wild turkey by their calls. Formed by the confluence of the Mahoning from the west, and the Shenango from the north, with their large tributaries, the Neshannock, the Slippery Rock and the Connoquenessing, bearing the waters of many streams, the Beaver pours into the Ohio, the floods of an immense territory.
From the conformation of the country, the mouth of the Big Beaver became the pathway of Indian travel over the west. Up this stream by its. branches, the natives found their way to the upper Allegheny, to Presque Isle, on Lake Erie, to Cuyahoga and the entire territory of the present States of Ohio and Michigan. In the same currents the whites followed the retiring footsteps of the redmen, filling up the spaces left vacant by the receding tide. And when Pennsylvania carried her internal improvement system to Lake Erie, she chose the same central stream, beginning with the so called "Beaver Division." Col. Bouquet, crossing the Big Beaver on the 6th of October, 1764, in his western march, had long before described it, as twenty perches wide, ford stony and pretty deep, running through a rich vale, with a strong current, its banks high, the uplands adjoining it very good, and the timber tall and young.
It will thus be seen, that, when in early times, the name I Creek was given to the stream, it was badly misnamed; an error corrected in 1835, by Marcus Tullius Cicero-Gould, in his map of " Beaver City," extending from its mouth to the upper end of " Old Brighton," (now Beaver Falls.) The inflamed imagination of Gould, in his swoln speculations, following the removal of the United States deposits from the Bank of the United States, into the State Banks, has since been fairly realized by the towns along the Beaver, which now form an almost continuous, chain to the Upper Falls, about six miles from its mouth. These falls, the Upper, Middle and Lower, descend fifty-two feet in two miles, as ascertained by the United States Engineers, when searching for a site for a western armory, in the decade of 1820.
The true character of the Beaver was well illustrated by Jake Norton, an old settler on its bank near Homewood, when the Beaver Division of the Pennsylvania Canal was in progress. Doctor Charles T. Whippo, an eminent Civil Engineer, had been brought from an eastern State to take charge of the Susquehanna Canal, under an Act of 9th April, 1827; in prosecuting the original Act of 25th February, 1826, initiating the Internal Improvement System of Pennsylvania. When the Beaver Division was authorized, under the Act of 21st March, 1831, Doctor Whippo was sent to take charge of it from the mouth to New Castle. This division consisted chiefly of a slackwater navigation, and dams were built. at, Bridgewater, (near the mouth,) at Old Brighton, Adams, (or Upper Falls,) Connoquenessing, Newport and New Castle. Norton meeting the Doctor, said: Your work won't do, it is too little," referring to the low towing path and abutments. Oh no Jake, (the Doctor said pleasantly,) "I have done much. of this work on other streams." "Well Doctor," (replie d Jake,) bimeby the Big Engineer will come along, and then you'll see."
His prophecy was soon fulfilled. On the 10tth of February, 1832, the greatest flood ever known, rose over the banks, filling all the valley and bearing destruction everywhere, in its wild torrent. Great floods have since devastated the valley in 1852,1860 and '61, and 1884. Owing to the embankment across the valley of the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Railroad, that of 1884 rose higher in the lower part of Bridgewater. But that of 1832, unopposed by this barrier, rose higher, including the second sash of the high windows in Stephen Stone's large new brick house at the point. At the Big Beaver bridge it rose just to the floor timbers, much higher than the main street of Bridgewater, so much, that a large keel boat. lay at the end of the bridge opposite to Ward's tavern; while smaller craft carried passengers to the Beaver Hill. Midway the length of the street, where the land was the highest, the depth of water was over three feet. There it rose in David Minis' store within four inches of the top of his counter, on which he had piled many goods.
The dam at Bridgewater, begun in the summer or fall of 1831, was so far constructed in February, 1832, that the immense floods boiling over it dug up the bottom of the stream to a great depth, carrying the stratified slate many feet below, and piling it across the stream. On pieces of this slate, three to four feet wide, were printed the most beautiful forms of the ferns, which in the I long past had grown on the original bottom. The great force of the flood also carried away the largest part of an island, then situated relatively to the mouth of the Beaver, in the same manner as Smoky Island stood at the mouth of the Allegheny River. The flood swirling around. the high abutment of the State dam, cut its way into the town lots of Bridgewater a long distance.
The flood of 1884, being about two feet lower than that. of 1832, at the Beaver bridge, the structure would have been. safe, resting on high piers founded on a rock bottom. But the mass of rolling water dislodging the Fallston bridge above, drove it against that at Bridgewater, And' both descending against the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad bridge all were carried away, that of Bridgewater in part lodging against the iron trestle of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, and destroying much of it.
So much has been written in vindication of the title of the Big Beaver to be a river, and in proof of the power of Jake Norton's Big Engineer.
Coming now to the early history of the stream so far as known to the whites, we discover Kaskaskunk or Kuskuskee or Cushcushing or Ketosky, as the great town of the Delaware Indians, on the Big Beaver River, was variously named. There is a seeming discrepancy in its locality as stated by early writers, some placing it four miles up the Mahoning, and others immediately on the Big Beaver
Thomas Hutchins, the geographer of the last century,, who accompanied Col. Bouquet in his expedition from Fort Pitt in 1764, places Kuskuskee in his map, on the west side of the Beaver, just below the mouth of the Mahoning. Christian Fredrick Post, the Moravian, traveling west in 1758, came to the Beaver and. found the town on the east side. But he also says that Kuskuskee consisted of four towns, each at a distance from the. others. This fact probably explains the discrepancy. The town then contained, he says, about ninety houses, and two hundred able warriors. This would give about one thousand souls, as the Indian's houses generally contained more than one family.
The knowledge of the Indians of Pennsylvania, and of this western part, we owe largely to religious enthusiasm, and the desire of good men to carry Christ and his Cross to them. The M6ravians of the last century longed for their conversion so greatly, they ventured comfort,, ease and life itself, by going to them and living among them. They spread a knowledge of the Savior's love, and proved their own unselfish desire to save them from the perdition they believed awaited them without this saving grace. Among the leading historians of those times were the Moravian missionaries, Revs. David Zeisberger, George Henry Loskiel and Gotlieb Ernestus Heckewelder, whose labors were performed chiefly between the years' 1735 and 1787.
When the Europeans first settled in America, the territory of the present United States was largely occupied by two great branches of the Redmen, the Lenni Lenape or Delawares, and Mengwe or Mingoes, called Iroquois by the French, and known to the English as the Five Nations, and as the Six Nations after the accession of the Tuscarawas from the south about 1712. The Six Nations hadtheir chief residence in what is now the State of' New York; but extended outward as far as the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, in their frequent war expeditions. .
The Delawares, on the other hand, occupied a wider field, extending from Nova Scotia into Virginia, including many tribes branching from them, but speaking dialects of the same language. This language is said to have been one of great regularity and richness, furnishing a copious vocabulary for the orator, and of great variety and power of expression. An early historian of Pennsylvania, says: "Their language is said to be rich, sonorous, plastic and. comprehensive in the highest degree." "And though. greatly pliant, it is subjected to rules from which there are few exceptions. It has the power of expressing every idea, even the most abstract, The Old and New Testaments have been translated into it, and the Christian missionaries have no difficulty, as they assert, is making themselves understood on all subjects by the Indians." The same. writer states, that the Indians have no laws but public opinion; rendering eloquence necessarily the handmaid to persuasion. "To this cause. (he adds) we may ascribe the cultivation and the many beauties, which are said to mark the Indian tongue."
The traditions of these two great branches of Indians, as learned by the early writers, are these: The Lenni Lenapes coming from the far west reached the Mississippi (Namoesi-Sipu, or the river of fish,) many years ago. On the eastern side of this river lived a large Indian nation called the Allegewe (Alleghany) who opposed their passage. About the same time another large nation called Mengwes, reached the Mississippi, but farther north and were likewise met and opposed by the Allegewes.,
War began between the Lenni Lenapes and the Mengwes on one side, and the Allegewes on the other, lasting several years, with an immense destruction of lives, the Allegewes erecting large fortifications, and town defences. But the western Indians came in such numbers, notwithstanding their losses, the Allegewes foreseeing destruction abandoned their country and fled down the Mississippi. The two conquering nations passed eastward dividing the country between them, the Mengwes choosing the northern lakes and tributary streams, and the Lenni Lenapes spreading over the south and east, settling, down to cultivating the soil and deriving sustenance from the rivers and the sea. On the other hand the Mengwes became, warriors, and in later times engaged constantly in wars, with the surrounding tribes.
When the Dutch reached Manhattan, (New York), extending up to Albany, they traded with the Mengwes, exchanging guns and powder and lead for furs. The English after, dislodging the Dutch continued the. same kind of trading with these Indians, now known to them as the Five Nations. Being thus possessed of fire arms, their power was so greatly increased they conquered many near and distant tribes, carrying, terror and loss even to the French on the St. Lawrence. They claimed to have conquered the Delawares and made women of them. Heckewelder, who lived long among the Delawares, denies this, by argument convincing himself of its untruth. He says the Delawares. were entrapped, and led to become peacemakers between the Five Nations and their enemies. As warriors scorn to sue for peace, their women intervene to plead for it. Thus, after the Delawares, at the request of the Five Nations, took the attitude, of peacemakers,. the latter, enemies at heart, took advantage of the friendly act, slandered the Delawares, calling them women, and claiming to have conquered them. Heckewelder says there is no evidence of any great battle which could have' resulted in this subjection. Other writers hold a different opinion, relying on the fact that on several occasions the chiefs of the Five Nations publicly reproved the Delawares, calling them women, and disputing their title to sell lands.
Whatever may have been the merits of this controversy, it is clear that in later times the Delawares asserted their title to be men. They were numerous, and it was in this state they were found at the middle of the last century, when living in their large town of Kaskaskunk or Kuskuskee. Among their chiefs were some of the most celebrated warriors and peace rulers, men who may be called statesmen, such as Shingiss, Amockwe, (King Beaver), White Eyes, Glickkiken, Pakanke, Delaware George, Capt. Pipe, Pisquetumen, and others. Their chiefs were often called captains by the Moravians.
William Penn found the Delawares in large numbers on the river Delaware, and adjacent regions, when he came in 1682 to take possession of his grant from Charles the Second. Foreseeing trouble and injury to his colony if he pursued a harsh course towards the Indians, he wisely treated them with fairness, and purchased their title to the lands they claimed. So much were they pleased with him, they called him Brother Onas. Onas is a Delaware word for feather or quill, and hence a pen.
These friendly relations continued until the "Walking Purchase " opened their eyes to the greed of Penn's heirs. The bargain was for so much land as a man could walk over in a day and a half. This was understood by the Delawares to be the distance one would fairly walk in that time, But the Penns employed expert runners, of great swiftness, and the distance was traveled at a most rapid gait, making almost double the distance of a fair walk. The Indians could not keep up, and said the runners did not walk, but ran. The dispute became so great that the Penns called in the Iroquois to settle it. This was done by a chief who indulged in grea t abuse of the Delawares, calling them women, and deciding against them.
The Delawares became restive and hostile, and at the same time the increasiug white population pressed them westward. As early as 1742, many had crossed the mountains and settled along the Ohio and its tributaries. In 1748, Conrad Weiser found them at Kuskuskee. He says in his journal on the 29th of August, 1748, while waiting at Logstown for the Council of the Indians, he sent Andrew Montour, (the interpreter), to Coscusky, (sic.) a large town about thirty miles off, with a message to the Indians there. On Montour's return, he informed Weiser that the Indians desired the Council to be held there, but the Indians at Logstown objecting, he remained, until the Council assembled.
The Delawares were at Kuskuskee in, 1751, when George Croghan came on a similar mission to Logstown where he found many of the Six Nations, the Delawares, and the Shawanese. In addressing the Delawares, he referred to a message sent by Conrad Weiser, three years before acquainting him with the death of their King; a man much beloved; and he condoled with them for their great loss.
Two years later Washington came on his visit to the French Forts on French Creek, but says very little of Kuskuskee, for the reason that he went by the way of Venango. In his journal of the 25th of November, 1753, he refers to four Frenchmen, deserters from a company at Kuskuskas, (sic.), and again refers to inquiries made about a boy who had been taken by the Indians by way of Kuskusko (sic.) town. Thenceforward but little is known of' the town, as the French next year took possession of the head of the Ohio, and built Fort Duquesne, followed by the French, and English war.
Of all who visited Kuskuskee, no one has written more fully or satisfactorily than the, Moravian, Christian Frederick Post, who was sent by the Governor and Colonial Council of Pennsylvania, in 1758, on a mission to the Indians on the Ohio, to prevent their being drawn off by the French. He came by way of the West Branch of the Susquehanna, and after passing Venango unobserved, he traveled west, and coming to the "Connoquenashon," he found there an old Indian town, fifteen miles from Kuskuskee. He there sent forward Pisquetumen with four, strings of wampum and a message informing the Indians at Kuskuskee of his approach, with good news from the Governor and people of Pennsylvania, and the King of England; and requesting them to call together all, the Kings and Captains (so he terms them) of the -towns, that none might be missing, as he did not wish his words should be hidden or spoken under cover. When he came he was received kindly, King Beaver showing him a large house to lodge in. Sixty able young men called and shook hands with him. Ten Captains saluted him.
King Beaver said they had never expected to see their English brethren again, and thanked God for it. It will be remembered that during, the French and English war a large part, probably the major number of the Delawares, had fought with the French against the English. The people, Post says, crowded his house. Delaware George, a leading captain, said he had not slept all night because of his coming., The French also came and, spoke to him. There were fifteen of them there building houses for the Indians. A French captain was gone with fifteen others to another town, evidently another of the four towns. The Indians said the French brought them many goods, and clothed men, women and children every year, and gave them as much powder and lead as they wanted.
Delaware Daniel prepared a dinner to which he invited him, and all the Kings and Captains. He said: "Brother, we are as glad to see you among us as if we dined with the Governor and people in Philadelphia. We never thought so much of you before."
Altogether the treatment of Post was quite cordial. A great council was held, and many speeches made, and amicable relations seemed to be established with the English. Yet the influence of the French continued, and was constantly exerted to prevent the Delawares from leaving them.
King Beaver made a dinner, at which the French captain who had returned, was present. The Indians expressed much pleasure in seeing their brothers, the English, at which, says Post, the Frenchman appeared low spirited and ate his dinner without relish. After five days entertainment Post set off for Sankorek, (Beaver), with twentyfive horsemen and fifteen footmen,
On his return to Kuskuskee, he was again entertained kindly with much feasting. But he now discovered that some of the Delawares were fearful of danger from the English, owing to their past adherence to the French. Their principal chief, Shingiss, was especially fearful. He said a reward had been offered for his head. But Post assured them strongly of the friendly spirit of the English. But for the space occupied, the conferences of the Indians are worth detailing. They display great acuteness and policy. A part of one speech its worth its space. The speaker said:
"Brother, your heart is good, you always speak sincerely, but we know, there are always a great number of people that want to get rich; they never have enough; look, we do not want to be rich, and take away that which others have. God has given you the tame creatures; we do not want to take them away from you. God has given us the deer and other wild creatures which we must feed on; and we rejoice in that which springs out of the ground, and thank God for it. Look now my Brother, the white people think we have no brains in our heads, but that they are great and big, and that makes them make war with us. We are but a little handful to what you are, but remember when you look for, a wild turkey you cannot always find it; it is so little it hides itself under the bushes; and when you hunt for a rattlesnake you cannot find it, and perhaps it will bite you before you see it."
At this time the Delawares said they could not make peace alone; many others were to be consulted. Yet Post's mission seemed quite encouraging. But a large number of the Delawares continued hostile. The French still treated them in a politic way and retained them. On the 4th of September, Post writes in his journal, that on this day, two hundred French and Indians arrived at Kuskuskee, on their way to Fort Duquesne, and stayed all night.
As previously mentioned, Post stated that Kuskuskee consisted of four towns. From his second journal it is evident, agreeing with his former statement, that some of these towns lay on the east side of the Big Beaver. His second visit was authorized by the Governor and the Colonial Council, with the same design as the first, to procure peace. In the second journal, on the 15th of November, 1758, he says: "At 12 o'clock, we crossed the road from Venango to Fort Duquesne; we went west towards Kuskuskee," showing that they were approching the Beaver from the east,. Then he continues: " We went down a long valley to Beaver Creek, through old Kuskuskee,,a large spot of land about three miles long." Again, referring to two Indians they met, the journal continues, ",both went with us to the town." In his first journal he wrote of the " Middle town." It would seem certain therefore, that the towns composing Kuskuskee lay on both sides of the river. This is confirmed by the character of the land, very fine bottoms lying on both sides of the Beaver, and the easily cultivated bottoms being the favorite locations of the Indian towns.
On his second visit the Delawares again received Post very kindly, owing no doubt to his personal favor; but this mission like the former ended without a nearer approach to a peace ; the Delawares still continuing in the French interest. A small number, however, were always, friendly to the English. But the body of the Delawares were held by French intrigue. They were liberal in their supplies of goods. The English on the other hand paid less attention to them, while the Irish traders, as Post remarked "spirited" the Indians against them.
Early in 1753, the French reached Presque Isle (Erie) and built forts there, and on French Creek; and in 1754, built Fort Duquesne, at the confluence of the rivers. Here they maintained entire control of the Indians in Pennsylvania and along the Ohio. The Delawares traded at Fort Duquesne with the French, while the English lost ground by the defeat of Washington at the Great Meadows in 1754, and by the crushing defeat of General Braddock and England's finest troops, on the 9th of July, 1755. Thus between 1753 and 1764, when Col. Bouquet drove the Indians out of Pennsylvania, the Delawares occupying Kuskuskee continued hostile.
Their attitude was well understood by Col. Mercer while in command at Fort Pitt. He wrote to Governor Denny, of Pennsylvania, in, a letter dated July 8th, 1759,as follows:
"The intelligence from every quarter makes it evident the French have not lost hope of securing a post here. They are extremely busy in collecting over the Lake Indians, and propose assembling them near Kuskuskee. For this purpose they are forming magazines of arms and provisions near that place. They have yet many friends among the Delawares and Shawanese, As appears by our not receiving the least information of this design, though it is formed in the heart of the Delaware country, and these scoundrels come in shoals every day to live upon us, pretending the utmost friendship."
I take this opportunity of correcting an inadvertent error in the Sketch of Fort Pitt. lt is said at page 16, Col. Mercer fell at the battle of Trenton; but the army marched that night on Princeton, and it was there he fell.
The Delawares continued hostile throughout the Revolutionary War, and participated in the defeats of' Harmar and St. Clair in 1790 and 1791. Peace was not realized until the defeat of all the western Indians, by General Wayne, at the battle of the " Fallen Timbers," on the Maumee, in 1794.
So far we have seen the Delawares at Kuskuskee in a state of war. Another aspect remains to be presented. The Moravian brethren had been thwarted by war in the west, and had returned to Bethlehem, where they originally began their labors among the redmen. The Rev. David Zeisberger, having learned that the Indians on the upper Allegheny were desirous of having the Gospel brought to them, in the spring of 1768, removed with an assistant and three families, to Goschgoshing, (the place of hogs,) a Delaware town about thirty miles above French Creek. They were successful in a measure, but that place was rough, and the Indians depraved. As a consequence, they removed in the spring of 1769, to Lawanakhannak, (the middle stream,) about fifteen, miles from Goschgoshing, in what is now Venango county.
These Indians belonged to the Minsi or Mousey tribe of Delawares. There a chapel and huts were built, converts were made and success attended their efforts. At this place Ziesberger was heard by Glikkiken, a chief of the Delawares at Kuskuskee, who had been sent to confute him. But Glikkiken, being a fair man, listened attentively, and became convinced of the truth of the teachings of the Moravians. On his return to Kuskuskee, he reported so favorably that Ziesberger was invited to move to Kuskuskee.
On the 17th of April, 1770, the society at Lawanakhannak set out in canoes down the Allegheny and Ohio to the mouth of the Big Beaver, up which they ascended with great labor, making a portage around the falls, above which they were met by Glikkiken with horses. The leading historian of these events was the Rev. George Henry Loskiel, an early Moravian missionary, who has left a full history of the events in the west. After a fatiguing journey, he says, yet refreshing their souls whenever they could by the comfortable word of God, they arrived at the settlement on the Big Beaver on the 3rd of May. He praises the spot alloted as one which could not be better chosen, there being good land sufficient to support one hundred families. They were well received by Pakanke, the head chief of' the Delawares in Kaskaskunk, (sic.) Here Glikkiken, the chief who was converted at Lawanakhannak, determined to leave Kuskuskee and five with them. A large hut for the meetings was built, and houses for the people. This place was called Friedenstadt, (the town of peace.)
In some of the histories of this section, the town of Friedenstadt was said to be on the west side, of Big Beaver. This is a mistake. In the introduction to Heckewelder's work on these Indians, it is said Friedenstadt lay between the Shenango and the Slippery Rock; thus placing it on the east side of the Beaver. Heckewelder who is also a historian, resided a part of the time at Friedenstadt, to which he was sent as an assistant. Tradition also, known to myself over sixty years, places " Moravia " on the east side of the river, corresponding with this statement and also corresponding with the statement of Loskiel, that it was a place of good land sufficient to support one hundred families. There is no finer land in the county now of Lawrence, than the Moravian bottom. It is at the lower, end of it, the canal passing from New Castle down east side, debouched into the slackwater.
The first baptism, Loskiel remarks, was administered June 12, 1770, to the wife of the blind Chief Solomon. She had been a strong opponent of her husband, but finally becoming convinced was anxious to obtain salvation. Many were struck with wonder at the solemn rite, among them Glikkikin; and the whole assembly was powerfully affected, much to, the joy of Zeisberger and Sensemen, an assistant.
The Indians in the adjacent country were astonished at the success of the Moravians, and some became alarmed at the new doctrine. The removal of Glikkiken gave offense to many at Kuskuskee. He however continued firm in his conviction, and was moved to open tears and loud weeping, to the astonishment of many, that so great a chief of known bravery, should give way to grief in the public assembly.
At this time an epidemic was making ravages among the Indians, some attributing its prevalance to the new doctrine. Still great success attended the work for a time. Many came from a distance to hear the word, especially from Sheningue (Shenango).o At Friedenstadt great peace prevailed, the baptized improving daily in their conduct. Among the unbaptized Glikkiken, and a chief called Geaskund were the most humble and contrite. One woman, threatened by an Indian conjuror sent to oppose the work, said she did not fear him. Even if her life was taken she would go home to her Savior, and enjoy much greater happiness than in this life. Thus far we realize the devotion of the Moravians, and the susceptibility of the hearts of these so called savages to gracious impressions, and their realizations of a Savior's love.
But the elements of opposition at Kuskuskee had enlarged; and discord from the outside increasing, was making a deep impression. Lies were propagated and suspicions engendered. The'Senecas of the Six Nations also made trouble about. the land, asserting that the Moravians were intruders. The result came. at last, and the Moravian colony found it necessary to move. The Indians selected for them land on the Muskingum and Tuscarawas. Schoenbrun (a clear spring) on the Muskingum was built, to which the Christian Indians on the Beaver removed. Settlements in the same valley, viz: Gnadenhutten and Salem were made about thirty miles from Schoenbrun. For a time peace prevailed under the favor of the chiefs of the surrounding tribes, and the people manifested interest in the church. During this time these Christian Indians were under the protection of the Delaware Council.
But when Detroit became the headquarters of the British, and Fort Pitt of the Americans; during the war for Independence, trouble arose. Each party suspected the innocent Moravians of being spies and informers, and each threatened them. They were warned of their peril but failed to realize it. A Wyandot chief visiting them in 1781, said to them: "Two mighty Gods stand opposite with mouths open, and you stand between them, and are in danger of being crushed by one or the other, or both."
Without following their miseries, a tale of horror may be. told in brief. On the 8th of March, 1782, ninety-six of these Christians, magnified the name of the Lord by patiently meeting a cruel death." The murder of these inoffensive defenceless people by a band of Americans, largely from Western Pennsylvania, under a leader named Williamson, was the most horrid, cruel, and unnecessary massacre ever perpetrated by men, even of the most savage and brutal instincts. It was worse than. the Mohammedan crime of the "Black Hole," of Calcutta, which shocked the world. These poor Christian men and women and their very childrren were met in a professed spirit of amity, deprived of all means of assistance by falsehood, disarmed even of suspicion by men supposed to be friends, professing to intend to place them in safety. They were crowded into two houses, the men, in one and the women and children in another. Now discovering the. intention to take their lives but submitting to their cruel fate with all the patient resignation with which Christianity imbues the heart; and praying to God for his forgiveness, they met their death with an equanimity almost unprecedented in the world's history of martyrdom.
While thus confined within the walls into which they had beencrowded, the savage whites made the attack beating out their brains with heavy-clubs until their arms became tired of the slaughter, and the weapons were handed over to others. One fiend picked up a. mallet, saying this will suit well, and after braining fourteen, handed it to another, saying, I have done pretty well, you go on in the same way.
Of all the ninety-six men women and children, but two youths escaped. When one reads the horrid details of this cold blooded murder, and the patient suffering of these' Christians, he wonders that fire had not rained down on these white fiends, worse than that which was poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah.
But one hundred years have fled, and with them all traces of the Delawares on the Big Beaver River. Kaskaskunk, once a living hive of warriors, has left no mark, save in the uncertain tradition, which simply lives in the air, and in the speculation of the curious. The place which once knew them seems to start up for a moment from its long sleep exclaiming, Who! When! Where! But the phantom sinks as suddenly into the inisible shade and is gone forever. A few days ago a professional gentleman well informed, living near and almost in sight of the beautiful farms flourishing in the place where the vision sank, wrote to me (not aware I was engaged in this sketch) and said: "For a number of years I have made efforts to collect facts in regard to the true location and history of the Indian village in what is now our county, called Kuskuskee. I have not been successful.
But the Indian is gone, and if his spirit lingers in the air, it gives no sign. My correspondent seems to wait in vain. No vision of the past sears his sight.
I am reminded of an incident related to me by my friend the late Samuel A Purviance. When in Congress he boarded in the same, house with the late Gen'l Sam. Houston and his lovely daughter. She possessed a voice of that exquisite tender sympathy, which distils the secret tear and bids it flow. She sometimes, to her own accopaniment sang the " Indian's Lament."