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until next spring; and so the king and council shaking hands with us, we took our leave.”
“Tuesday, 15th. We left Muskingum and went west five miles to the White Woman's creek, on which is a small town. This white woman was taken away from New England, when she was not above ten years old by the French Indians. She is now upwards of fifty-has an Indian husband and several children. Her name is Mary Harris. She still remembers they used to be very religious in New England; and wonders how the white men can be so wicked as she has seen them in the woods."
Having crossed the Licking and Hockhocking, Gist descended the east bank of the Scioto, was favorably received at several Delaware villages, and estimated the strength of the tribe at about five hundred fighting men. On the 28th, he reached Shawnee town, “situated on both sides of the Ohio, just below the mouth of Scioto creek, and containing about three hundred men. There were about forty houses on the south side of the river, and about a hundred on the north side, with a kind of state house, about ninety feet long, with a tight cover of bark in which councils were held.”
Thence on the 12th of February, the party as before enumerated, crossed to the Great Miami, and were received at the Tawightwi town, which was on the northwest side of the river, and consisted of about four hundred families. The Tawightwi, or Miami Indians, are described as a numerous people, consisting of many different tribes, under the same form of government. A chief of the confederacy was chosen indifferently from the tribes, and at this time, was the king of the Piankeshaws. Gist was kindly received, and notwithstanding four Ottawas were present as envoys from the
8) See Appendix, No. III.
French, with tempting presents and offers of renewals of friendship, the latter were rejected, and the powerful Miamis gave the English envoy a promise to meet the Virginia commissioners at Logstown, seventeen miles below Pittsburg, for a general treaty. The scene of this interview was probably at the mouth of Loramies Creek, or just above Piqua.
The king of the Piankeshaws, setting up the English colors in the council, as well as the French, rose and replied to the overtures of the Ottawa messengers. “The path to the French is bloody, and was made so by them. We have cleared a road for our brothers, the English, and your fathers have made it foul, and have taken some of our brothers prisoners.” “This,” added the king, “ we look upon as done to us," and turning suddenly from them, he strode out of the council. At this the representative of the French, an Ottawa, wept and howled, predicting sorrow for the Miamis.
To the English, the Weas and Piankeshaws, after deliberation, sent a speech by the great orator of the Weas. “You have taken us by the hand,” were his words, “ into the great chain of friendship. Therefore we present you with these two bundles of skins to make shoes for your people, and this pipe to smoke in, to assure you our hearts are good towards
you, our brothers.” In the presence of the Ottawa ambassadors, the great war chief of the Picqua stood up, and summoning in imagination the French to be present, he spoke
“Fathers! you have desired we should go home to you, but I tell you it is not our home; for we have made a path to the sun rising, and have been taken by the hand by our brothers, the English, the Six Nations, the Delawares, the Shawanese, and the Wyandots; and we assure you in that road we will go. And as you threaten us with war in the spring, we tell you, if you are angry, we are ready to receive you, and resolve to die here, before we will go to you. That you may know this to be our mind, we send you this string of black wampum.
Brothers, the Ottawas, you hear what I say, tell that to your fathers, the French, for that is our mind, and we speak it from our hearts."
“The French colors are taken down,” adds Bancroft," and the Ottawas are dismissed to the French fort of Sandusky."9
On the 1st of March, Gist left on his return by the falls of Ohio, and through the Cumberland mountains, to North Carolina; but in April, 1751, the Miami chiefs were revisited by Croghan, with similar results, as narrated in his published journal.
The Shawanese, found by Gist at the mouth of the Scioto, were lately returned from their southern wanderings, but as the scattered portions of the tribe came to Ohio, they established themselves higher up the stream and on the waters of the Miami, building several towns.
Having thus generally examined the land upon the Ohio, in November Gist commenced a thorough survey of the tract south of the Ohio, and east of the Kanawha, granted to the Ohio Company, and spent the winter in that labor.
Early in 1752, a settlement of English traders was attempted on the Great Miami, at the mouth of Loramie's Creek. A party of French soldiers having heard of it, came to the Twigtwees or Miamis, and demanded the traders as intruders. The Indians refused-the trading house was destroyed-fourteen natives killed, and the traders were carried into Canada, and some of them, according to one account, burned alive. This fort or trading house, was called by the English writers Pickawillany. These traders were probably Pennsylvanians, for that State made a gift of condolence to the Twigtwees for those slain in their defence.10
9) History of the United States, iv, 81.
On the 9th June, 1752, Messrs. Fry, Lomax and Patton, Virginia Commissioners, met the Indians at Logstown, fourteen miles below Pittsburg, on the right bank of the Ohio, which had long been a trading point, but had been abandoned by the Indians in 1750. Gist appeared as agent for the Ohio Company. The Commissioners urged a confirmation of the treaty of Lancaster. The Indians claimed that the treaty at Lancaster did not cede any lands west of the warrior's road, which ran at the foot of the Alleghany ridge. Two old chiefs asked Mr. Gist where the Indians' land layfor the French claimed all the land on one side of the Ohio river, and the English on the other? Mr. Gist found the question difficult to answer. “However,” said the savages, “as the French have already struck the Twigtwees, we shall be pleased to have your assistance and protection, and wish you would build a fort at once at the Fork of the Ohio.” The Virginians asked much more, and at length, by bribing one of the Montours to exert his influence, induced the Indians to sign a deed, confirming the Lancaster treaty in its full extent, consenting to a settlement southeast of the Ohio, and guarantying that it should not be disturbed by them.
Hildreth says in 1752, “a band of the Miamis, or Twigtwees, as the English called them, settled at Sandusky, having refused to remove to Detroit, and persisting in trade with the English, their village was burned, the English traders were seized, and their merchandize confiscated.”?li This is probably an inaccurate version of the affair at Loramies or Pickawillany.
10) This was in May, 1753. The present to the Miamis was two hundred pounds, besides a grant of six hundred pounds for general distribution among the tribes; but so great was the apprehension of the French, that the money probably was not sent, though Conrad Weiser was dispatched as a messenger in August to learn how things stood. Sparks' Franklin, iii, 219; N. A. Review, xlix, 83.
Early in 1753, Gist had established a plantation near the Youghiogany, west of Laurel Hill, consisting of eleven families, but his purpose to lay off a town and fort near the mouth of Chartier's creek, about two miles below the Fork, on the southeast side of the river, was relinquished.
In the summer and fall of 1753, the French landed at Erie, and planted their garrisons at Presq’ Isle, Le Boeuf and Venango.
In November of the same year, George Washington, as the envoy of Virginia, had his unsatisfactory interview of remonstrance with the French commandant.
11) History of the United States, by Richard Hildreth, II, 436.