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thirty men, to the mouth of the Scioto. But the Indians had been notified and upon the arrival of the troops but four of the savages could be found. They were killed.
About this time the inroads of the Indians were becoming unbearable. They were instigated by the British to these attacks upon the white American
heroic treatment, and on July 15th, 1790, he addressed letters to the militia officers of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky, calling for troops for an Indian campaign. Accordingly there assembled at Cincinnati in September, a little army, from the states named, of 1,400 men, of which over three hundred were regulars. The militia, in a military sense was a mongrel crew, consisting principally of boys and old men, most of whoin were wholly undisciplined and ill-equipped. The result can be surmised. The expedition was a failure. The troops, though fighting bravely, were fearfully cut up; the killed being estimated at one hundred and eightythree men, including many officers. The lack of discipline was the principal factor in the defeat. General Harmar, a brave, honorable and able officer, could not control the militia, “they,” said he, “shamefully and cowardly threw away their arms and ran, without scarcely firing a gun.”
The campaign of General Harmar served but to exasperate the Indians, and they proceeded to form a confederacy of the tribes northwest of the Ohio, with the avowed purpose of annihilating the white settlements. There was panic and terror in the territory. In March, 1791, Congress took cognizance of the condition of affairs, and passed an act for the increase of the army on the Western frontier for the purpose of checking the Indian invasion. Governor St. Clair was appointed Major-General and Commander-inchief. Under the instructions of General Knox, who was Secretary of War, he proceeded to make the necessary arrangements for an expedition against the Indians. After long months of weary waiting and recruiting, General St. Clair, in command of about two thousand men, commenced his march from Fort Washington. Twenty-two miles from this point he erected Fort Hamilton, garrisoning this place, he marched further on, and at similar distances established Fort St. Clair and Fort Jefferson.
On November 4, 1791, the army of St. Clair was attacked within what is now Mercer County, Ohio, by Little Turtle and his warriors, fifteen hundred strong. They first attacked the militia who fled tumultuously. The surprise, for such it was, resulted in a complete defeat for the Americans. Over six hundred were killed, and two hundred and eighty wounded. The sequel to the battle was the horrible treatment by the Indians of the killed and wounded. This was “St. Clair's Defeat.” A combination of circumstances, uncontrolled by General St. Clair, was the cause of it. Raw militia, poor arms, bad discipline, and carelessness were the chief causes. The disastrous result of the battle called for an investigation by Congress, which, after the fullest inquiry, honorably acquitted General St. Clair of any responsibility in the defeat.
After five fruitless attempts to make peace with the
Indians, who were inflated by their successes in the defeats of Generals Harmar and St. Clair, the United States government determined upon a final and decisive movement in behalf of the settlers of the Northwest. General Anthony Wayne, the hero of Stony Point, and the most daring officer of the Revolution, was assigned to the command of this most important campaign. The spring and summer of 1793 was spent at Fort Washington (Cincinnati) drilling and recruiting his men, and at the same time holding himself in readiness to move northward. On the 7th of October, 1793, he left Fort Washington with three thousand well drilled men, and proceeded to six miles beyond Fort Jefferson, where he erected Fort Greenville, near where Greenville, in Darke County, is now situated. Here he went into winter quarters. The winter season being over, the spring of 1794 saw many skirmishes between the Americans and Indians, and also many efforts on the part of General Wayne to secure a treaty of peace. After a fair warning, he attacked the Indians on the 20th of August, 1794, and defeated them with great slaughter and terrible loss. All the chiefs of the Wyandots, nine in number, were killed. This engagement is known as the “Battle of Fallen Timbers," on account of the breast-work of fallen trees behind which the Indians were massed. ,
This chastisement quieted the Indians, and they begged for peace. The result was the “Treaty of Greenville,” signed by the chiefs of the twelve hostile tribes, at Fort Greenville, August 3, 1795. By the terms of this treaty, the Indians released extensive territory between the lakes and the Ohio River, and the United States gave them twenty thousand dollars in merchandise, and nine thousand dollars annually forever, to be divided among the several tribes. This was the last of Indian warfare in Ohio, and although for many years thereafter the red man roamed the forests, it was for the more peaceful purposes of hunting and fishing, and not upon the war-path.
The five years of bloodshed and military campaigns had a decided tendency to check the growth and development of the Northwest territory. The ablebodied men were taken from the clearings and the fields, and emigration westward was practically suspended. The women and children, with the men who remained at home, were paying more attention to the blockhouses and stockades than to the cornfields. The condition of affairs at the time can be better understood when we read the order promulgated at Cincinnati by St. Clair, through his Secretary, calling public attention to the fact that “the practice of assembling for public worship without arms may be attended with the most serious and melancholy consequences,” and he asks all good citizens to go armed, and to report the careless for punishment. The period of the Indian wars was one of fear and anxiety to the settlers.
After the treaty of Greenville and the restoration of peace, the population of the territory began to increase. In 1790, there were about three thousand white inhabitants in Ohio. Five years later there were fifteen thousand white persons in the Northwest Territory, and by 1798 there were five thousand male white persons within its borders. Under the Ordinance of 1787, this entitled the people to a territorial
legislature. Accordingly, on the 29th of October, 1798, Governor St. Clair issued his proclamation fixing the day for electing Territorial Representatives on the third Monday of December following.
Thus the Territory of the Northwest passed into its second or legislative grade of government. Prior to this, the making of the laws and their administration was vested wholly in Governor St. Clair and the Judges. The time had now arrived when that power was to be exercised by the people.
During the ten years preceding this change, the affairs of the territory had been well managed, and, excepting the Indian troubles, the settlers were progressing satisfactorily. The seeds of religion and literature were planted. The first church in Ohio was erected in 1790, at Columbia, and on the gth day of November, 1793, the first newspaper was printed by William Maxwell at Cincinnati, under the name of The Sentinel of the North-west Territory. The various settlements were yearly increasing; in 1795, Cincinnati had nearly five hundred inhabitants. It possessed a church, a school-house and a court-house. The pillory, stocks and whipping posts decorated its public square.
The criminal legislation of St. Clair and the Judges was very severe in its penalties. But the primitive condition of the people and the absolute necessity of totally suppressing crime, made it imperative that no mercy should be shown to lawbreakers. The whipping post was made a standing institution at every county seat, and was inaugurated as early as 1788. In 1792, the Judges passed a law directing the building of a county jail, court house, pillory, whipping