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Four American pioneers: Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, David Crockett, Kit Carson : : a book for young Americans / by Frances M. Perry and Katherine Beebe. Perry, F. M. (Frances Melville) 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-106-27901818 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Four American pioneers: Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, David Crockett, Kit Carson : : a book for young Americans / by Frances M. Perry and Katherine Beebe. Perry, F. M. (Frances Melville) Werner, New York ; Chicago :  255 p. : ill., ports. ; 19 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1993. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02769.03 KUK) Printing Master B92-106. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Boone, Daniel, 1734-1820. Clark, George Rogers, 1752-1818. Crockett, Davy, 1786-1836. Carson, Kit, 1809-1868. Pioneers United States. Indians of North America Wars.Beebe, Katherine, 1860- THE FOUR GREAT AMERICANS SERIES BIOGRAPHICAL STORIES FOR YOUNG READERS Edited by JAMES BAmwiN, Ph.D. FOUR AMERICAN PIONEERS The Four Great Americans Series Edited by JAMES BALDWIN, Ph.D. BIOGRAPHICAL STORIES OF GREAT AMERICANS FOR YOUNG AMERICAN READERS ClI I. FOUR GREAT AMERICANS George Washington Benjamin Franklin Daniel Webster Abraham Lincoln By James Baldwin, Ph.D. sth. Illustrated. 246 pages. Price 50c II. FOUR AMERICAN PATRIOTS Patrick Henry Alexander Hamilton Andrew Jackson Ulysses S. Grant By Alma Holman Burton Author of "The Story of Our Country," "Lafayette," etc. Cloth. Illustrated. 2 56 pages. Price 5oc III. FOUR AMERICAN NAVAL HEROES Paul Jones Oliver H Perry David G. Farragut George Dewey By Mabel Borton Beebe Cloth. Illustrated. 254 pages. Price 5oc IV. FOUR AMERICAN POETS William Cullen Bryant Henry W. Longfellow John G. Whittier Oliver Wendell Holmes By Sherwin Cody Cloth. Portraits. 254 pages. Price 5cC V. FOUR FAMOUS AMERICAN WRITERS Washington Irving Edgar Allan Poe James Russell Lowell Bayard Taylor By Sherwin Cody Cloth. Portraits. 256 pages. Price soc VI. FOUR AMERICAN PIONEERS Daniel Boone George Rogers Clark David Crockett Kit Carson By Frances M Perry and Katherine Beebe Cloth. Illustrated. 256 pages. Price 50C VII. GREAT AMERICAN EDUCATORS Horace Mann Mary Lyon David P. Page Hen ry Barnard, beat By A. E. Winship, Litt.D OTHER VOLUMES IN PREPARATION FOUR AMERICAN PIONEERS DANIEL BOONE GEORGE ROGERS CLARK DAVID CROCKETT KIT CARSON A Book for roung Americans BY FRANCES M. PERRY AND KATHERINE BEEBE AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY CINCINNATI NEW YORK CH ICAGO COPYRIGHT, 1900, By WERNER SCHOOL BOOK COMPANY PIONEERS E-P 12 CONTENTS THE STORY OF DANIEL BOONE CHILDHOOD . A YOUNG HUNTER WESTWARD Ho! A SECOND ROBINSON CRUSOE EAST AGAIN PREPARING THE WAY THE NEW KENTUCKY HOME INDIAN HOSTILITIES BOONE MADE PRISONER CAPTIVITY AND ESCAPE PREPARATIONS FOR THE SIEGE THE SIEGE OF BOONESBOROUGH DARK DAYS . OLD AGE 5 PAGE . II . '4 . ' I7 . 21 . 25 28 . . 3 ' 35 39 42 . 46 . 49 55 . 6i CHAPTER I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. Ix. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. CONTENTS. THE STORY OF GEORGE ROGERS CLARK CHAPTER PAGE I. BOYHOOD AND YOUTH . . . . 73 II. "KENTUCKI . . . . . . . 75 III. THE CONQUEST OF ILLINOIS . . . . 80 IV. COLONEL CLARK AND THE INDIANS . . 89 V. INDIAN TREATIES . . . . . . 95 VI. VINCENNES . . . . . . . I0I VII. THROUGH THE DROWNED LANDS . . . 105 VIII. THE CAPTURE OF FORT SACKVILLE . . 110 IX. THE DELAWARE INDIANS . . . . . ii8 X. BACK IN KENTUCKY . . . . . 120 XI. LOCHRY's DEFEAT I.. . . 24 XII. BORDER TROUBLES 1.. . . . 26 XIII. AFTER THE WAR . . . . 128 6 CONTENTS. 7 THE STORY OF DAVID CROCKETT PAGE CHAPTER I. A NEGLECTED CHILD . . . 135 II. A HOMESICK BoY . . . . I38 III. A RUNAWAY . . . . . . . I42 IV. A HIRED HAND 1.. . . 145 V. A HoUSEIIOLDER. . . . . . I50 VI. A SOLDIER . . . . . . I54 VII. A LEADING CITIZEN . . . . 158 VIII. A BEAR HUNTER . . . . . . I65 IX. A CONGRESSMAN . . . . . 172 X. A TRAVELER . . . . I75 XI. A DARING ADVENTURER . . 179 XII. A HERO OF THE ALAMO . . I88 CONTENTS. THE STORY OF I PREPARATION GETTING A START TRAPPING IN CALIFORNIA THE SECOND EXPEDITION FREE TRAPPING FAIR AND CAMP HUNTING IN THE ROCKIES CARSON AND FREMONT WEST WITH FREMONT AGAIN ON THE MARCH KIT CARSON PAGE . . . . '97 . . . 20I . . . . 207 . . . 2I5 . . . . 22I . . . 225 . . . . . 230 . . 237 . . . . 242 . 245 XI. AT HOME 8 CHAPTER I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. 249 THE STORY D A N I E L B OO N E By FRANCES M. PERRY O F DANIEL BOONE. DANIEL BOONE THE HERO OF KENTUCKY I.-CHILDHOOD. When Daniel Boone was a child the land west of the Alleghanies was a wilderness inhabited only by Indians. But in Virginia, and other places east of the mountains, there were fine houses with broad porches and large, richly-furnished rooms There stately men in powdered wigs and knee-breeches, and queenly dames in stiff brocades and high-heeled shoes, lived and brought up little American boys and girls after the fashion of their English cousins. However, it was not in such a house nor among such people that Daniel Boone learned to walk, and talk, and think. His father was a poor man who lived in a rude log cabin on the outskirts of a dark forest in Pennsyl- vania. There Daniel spent his happy childhood. The cabin was small, but that made it very snug in winter when the snow was blowing outside and the logs were blazing in the great stone fireplace. And in sum- mer, if there was not room enough for the large family II DANIEL BOONE. in the small house, there was plenty of space out of doors. The little folks in that humble home were not fed on pies and cakes, but they had an abundance of plain food which makes strong muscles; and sharp appetites gave it flavor. The beds were hard, but all slept too soundly to think of that. The rough hunter loved his children fondly. When he came home from a day's hunt and Daniel toddled down the path to meet him, he tossed the sturdy little fellow upon his shoulder and let him examine the heavy flint-lock with eager baby fingers. Or perhaps he had brought a shy rabbit or cunning squirrel to his boy, just as your father sometimes brings a ball or a toy to your younger brother. Daniel loved animals and had no fear of them. These tiny creatures of the woods were his play- fellows, and his father's hunting-dogs were his com- rades. As soon as he was old enough he went with his brothers and sisters to the log schoolhouse to learn to read and write. The schoolroom was small, dark, and comfortless. The master was cross and unjust. The place seemed like a prison to Daniel. He was glad to shun such a place and plunge into the forest with his gun on his shoulder and his dog at his heels. There he felt free and happy. Long, solitary tramps through the woods in quest of game were his greatest pleasure. He was usually so successful in 1 2 CHILDHOOD. hunting that his father made no objection to his staying away from school. The youthful hunter might have been hurt or lost while on these lonely rambles, but he rarely had a mishap; for he was as cautious as he was brave. His habit of hunting alone made him observing and AX self-reliant, for there was no one to whom he could go for advice when in trouble. When exploring new re- gions in fair weather he was guided by the sun; and when the day was dark and cloudy the thick moss on the north side of the tree-trunks told him which way to go. He rarely needed such guides, however, for, like the wild animals, he seemed to know his way by instinct. He soon knew the forest for miles A HUNTER'S EQUIP- around. He could name the trees at MENT. a distance from the color of their leaves. In the winter he knew them by their bark, their manner of branching, and their forms. He could find the finest nuts and the most luscious berries. He knew the tiniest wild flowers, and where and when to look for them. I3 DANIEL BOONE. He was very much interested in animals, and studied their haunts and habits. He became a good marksman, for he could keep a cool head and a steady hand at the most exciting moment. He knew many Indians; he visited their tents; ate their food; hunted with them; traveled with them; and learned their customs, their tricks, and their character. Thus, while other American boys were being schooled in English manners and were being prepared to meet the British on equal terms and defeat them, Daniel Boone was taking the lessons in forest lore and Indian craft that were to fit him to subdue the wilderness and vanquish the red man. II.-A YOUNG HUNTER. Daniel Boone grew to manhood without caring much for the peaceful, industrious habits of civilization. Farming he did not like. Business and politics were uninteresting. He was even indifferent to the war with the French and Indians, which was then exciting his countrymen. Hunting claimed the most of his time and attention. He was an ideal hunter, having been fitted by nature and training for that life at a period when hunting was not a sport, but a serious occupa- tion. Though not unusually tall, he was finely formed. He 14 A YOUNG HUNTER. had the grace and freedom of a strong man who has plenty of the right kind of exercise. His broad, deep chest showed that he could run very fast without getting out of breath or panting. His light springing step carried him over the ground so swiftly and easily that men hurrying along the road behind him were sur- prised to see how fast the distance between them increased. When necessary he could work harder and longer without food or rest than other men. No Indian was more quick and nimble or more artful and cunning than Boone when he was trying to outwit an enemy or surprise timid game. He had a fine head and his face was by no means commonplace. The high forehead, the clear, calm eyes and the firm mouth, all told of a manly courage to which imprudence and fear were equally impossible. In his disposition he was kind and accommodating, and his friends and relatives respected and admired the quiet youth, of whose skill and strength wonderful stories were told. Of course there were fault-finding strangers who did not think so well of him, but criti- cised his rough clothes and called him stupid because he was not interested in the same subjects that they were. It made little difference to Daniel Boone whether people liked or disliked his conduct, so long as he could forget the rest of the world in the old forest with its 15 DANIEL BOONE. woody odors, its deep silences, and numberless living creatures. But when at last the sound of the woodman's ax began to rival the report of the hunter's gun in his beloved forest, and the frontiersman's cabin and corn- field appeared in the clearings, he became dissatisfied. He did not like to see his hunting grounds turned into farm-lands. He was well pleased, therefore, when his father decided to move to a new settlement on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, which was reported to be a fine hunting district. There were no railroads then, not even wagon roads, and movers had to travel on foot or on horseback. Fortunately, they seldom had many articles of sufficient value to carry with them. When the Boone family reached the end of their long journey, Daniel helped his father and brothers to make a loghouse much like their old Pennsylvania home. This cabin did not shelter him many months. He met a bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked lass in the settlement. He loved her so dearly that he decided to build a little home of his own if he could only persuade the sweet Rebecca to be its mistress. He was very happy when he found that she loved him in return, and they were soon married. They went to housekeeping in a poor but romantic cabin on the edge of a beautiful forest. For a while this forest furnished them with all they needed, but as more people came to live in the neigh- borhood Daniel Boone again saw the game driven away ir6 WESTWARD HO! by advancing civilization. He tried to cultivate the soil and manage a small farm, but he found such work much harder than hunting. Then, too, the inequality of the settlers in wealth and position distressed him. The rich had large plantations, fine houses, slaves, and luxuries of all kinds. They seemed to think their wealth gave them rights which their poor neighbors who dressed in deerskins and lived in log cabins did not have. This vexed the independent Boone and he became unhappy and restless. III.-WESTWARD HO! Boone heard glowing reports of the hunting-grounds beyond the mountains, from John Finley, who had been there trading with the Indians. He thought that such a country would be an ideal place in which to live. He talked the matter over with his friends and found five tried hunters who were willing to go with him on a hunting and exploring expedition through that region. So in the spring of 1769, when his neighbors were hard at work sowing and planting, Daniel Boone said farewell to his wife and children and started for the distant west. He and his companions were going to a country where there were no hotels, no houses, not even stores 17 DANIEL BOONE. where they might buy food, clothing or blankets. Money would be useless to them there. Yet they car- ried with them no provisions or other articles except powder and bullets, for their rifles and hatchets must furnish them with the necessities of life. As they passed through the settlement the people came to their doors to look after the six men. They PaL. O hio ----------. -- , NTU cPLd [nci. LUELICK, co _OROUGH p KENTUCK9OBR - --en. R / GN IA EgL --- - .NORTH Term. . CAROLI SC. K MAP SHOWING THE PLACES VISITED BY BOONE. ,wore comfortable deerskin hunting-suits trimmed with fringes of slashed deerskin. On their feet were stout moccasins of the same material. Full powder horns dangled from their belts, and every man had a strong hunting-knife, a tomahawk, and a rifle. All the boys who saw them on that pleasant spring morning thought they looked very brave and manly and told their mothers that they too would be hunters when they grew up. But the older people shook their heads I8 WESTWARD HO! I9 and said that it was much better to be a farmer or a mer- chant. And the boys might have agreed with them if they could have traveled for a day or two with those hunters., While the weather was fair and bright the hunters kept in good spirits. But heavy rains soon fell. The mountain paths were muddy and slippery. There were no bridges, and so they had to cross the swollen moun- tain streams as best they could, sometimes wading, and sometimes floating themselves over on logs or rude rafts. Wet through, cold, often hungry, they could not help sighing for the comfortable homes they had left. But they were hardy men, and trudged on with no thought of turning back. The bad weather continued. As they got deeper among the wild and unexplored mountains, the difficulty of traveling increased. They did not know at what moment they might be attacked by a band of Indians. Even Boone thought it a most unpleasant journey. He called the cliffs "wild " and "horrid" and said it was "impossible to behold them without terror." To him they looked like the "ruins of the world." After a month's hard tramping they reached the crest of the heights that overlook the rich plains of central Kentucky. As they viewed the valleys and rolling forest lands below them they felt rewarded for their difficult march. The scene was beautiful and prom- ising. Large herds of buffaloes were seen grazing on DANIEL BOONE. the hillsides or browsing on the leaves in the cane- brakes. Deer and all sorts of choice game assured them of abundant food. They built a rude hunters' lodge of logs and bark, as a shelter from rain. This they made their headquarters. In the morning they started out by twos and later in the day all returned to the lodge, bringing the fruits of a day's hunt. In the evening they cooked and ate a hearty supper and told the adventures of the day. Sometimes one reported that he had seen signs of Indians. Then all were cautious for a short time. As they became acquainted with the neighboring country they took longer trips, meeting less often at the lodge. In this way they spent the summer and fall. A few days before Christmas, as Daniel Boone and a single companion were enjoying a ramble through a beautiful section of the country, rich in game and timber, they were waylaid by a party of fifteen Indians. It was useless to make resistance, and they were over- powered and made prisoners. Boone knew the Indian character well. He knew that the savages would probably kill them if they were troublesome or disagreeable, and so he acted as if he were well pleased with his new life. His friend fol- lowed his example; and when the Indians found that the prisoners could march just as far as they them- selves could, that they could go as long without food, always appeared contented, and never tried to get away, 20 A SECOND ROBINSON CRUSOE. they thought them very brave fellows and did not watch them so closely. On the seventh night after they had been made pris- oners, Boone saw that they were unwatched. While all the Indians were sleeping lie roused his companion and, seizing their rifles, the two stole away. When the Indians awoke next morning, their former prisoners were already far on their way toward the old lodge. IV.-A SECOND ROBINSON CRUSOE. The fugitives hastened to the old meeting place expecting to find friends and good cheer. Instead they found the lodge empty and deserted. At first they, were struck with dismay. They were full of anxiety for their companions. They were sorry to lose the valu- able skins they had collected. And after their recent experience with the Indians it was not pleasant to know that they were the only white men west of the mountains. But Daniel Boone was not the man to be driven from his purpose by fear or discomfort or any ordinary disaster. This ill-fortune only made him more de- termined to succeed. The two men went to work with energy to repair their loss. A few days later, on returning from a long hunt, they saw two white men approaching their camp. 21 DANIEL BOONE. Hurrying to welcome the new-comers, Boone was sur- prised to meet his own brother, Squire Boone. He had started with a fellow adventurer to explore the country and find, if possible, some trace of Daniel. By the marks which the hunters had left along the route, he had been able to trace them to the camp. You may imagine how glad Daniel Boone was to see his brother and hear from his wife and children. And you may imagine how glad Squire Boone was to meet the brother whom he had begun to fear that he should never see again. A larger fire than usual was made that night in the little cabin, and the choicest game was roasted over it for the cold and hungry travelers. In talking over their adventures and plans, all forgot that they were tired, and the fire burned low before they went to sleep in their warm buffalo robes. The following days were spent in hunting and ex- ploring. The men were cheerful and hopeful. Four seemed to them a goodly company; but their number was soon reduced again to two. Squire Boone's com- panion returned home, and Daniel's friend was killed by the Indians. The brothers prepared a more comfortable cabin for their winter quarters and passed that season in safety. In the spring their supply of powder and lead got so low that it was necessary for one of them to go back to Carolina 'or more. It was decided that Squire Boone 22 A SECOND ROBINSON CRUSOE. should go. He started on the first of May. So, just one year from the day on which Daniel Boone had left his home and set out for the West, he was left alone in the wilderness. After his brother had left he was as lonely as Robin- son Crusoe. He had not a dog or a horse to keep him ALONE AT THE HUNTERS' CAMP. company. He was in constant danger of being cap- tured or shot by Indians. His only food was game and wild fruit. Few men could have endured such privations. But Boone's life from childhood had prepared him to accept such circumstances almost as a matter of course. 23 24 DANIEL BOONE. At first he felt lonesome and thought much of his wife and children, but he had no fear. He explored the country, following the traces or roads, mnade through the cane by buffaloes and other animals, to the salt licks. He traced streams to their sources, named rivers, noted the forests and the vege- table products of different regions, and marked good locations for settlements. He often traveled far from his camp on these occasions and slept under the open sky. At night he heard wolves howl and panthers screech, but he knew they were too well supplied with game to care to molest him. He was always on the lookout for Indians. He learned that he was in a territory which was the home of no tribe, but the common hunting and battle ground of many. He knew that his camp had been discovered, and he feared it was watched; for on returning to it he often found that it had been visited. In spite of so many dangers he really enjoyed this life better than the uneventful life of a farmer, and never regretted the step he had taken. Still when three months had passed he began to look rather uneasily at his small store of ammunition and watch anxiously for his brother. And he felt sincerely thankful when he met him at last in the old camp. Squire Boone brought horses, powder, lead, and, best of all, news of the health and prosperity of the dear ones at home. After another fall and winter spent in hunting and EAST AGAIN. exploring the land along the Cumberland River. the brothers returned to Carolina. But Daniel Boone had found the place that he wished to make his home and left it with the expectation of returning soon with his family and friends. V.-EAST AGAIN. Daniel Boone did not telegraph to his wife that he was coming home, nor did he write to her, for you must remember that there was no telegraph then, and there were no mail coaches in that part of the world. But if Mrs. Boone had been getting ready for weeks, the floor could not have been whiter, the tins could not have been more shining bright, the fire could not have blazed more merrily, the corn-bread could not have been lighter, and the children could not have been more trim and neat than they were on that spring evening when the weather-beaten hunter stood again at his own door after an absence of two years. How overjoyed they were to see him ! No wonder the brisk little woman in homespun let the bowl of li-s- cious strawberries fall with a crash on the clean floor while she gave a cry of delight and ran into his out- stretched arms. Then those tall, fine-looking boys and girls, who had grown so that he scarcely knew them, crowded about him and almost smothered him with caresses. 25 DANIEL BOONE. When the news of Boone's return spread through the neighborhood, friends and relatives came in to welcome him. He was quite a hero. Every one wanted to hear of his adventures and learn about the rich land he had found. Mrs. Boone was so proud of her brave husband, and so happy in having him home again, that she forgot all about the two long years of hard work and separation. He gave such a glowing account of Kentucky that all his family thought it would be fine to go there and were pleased to hear him say that he would take them back with him. Some of the neighbors said they would be glad to join them. This was just what Boone wanted, and he began at once to organize a party of emigrants and prepare for the departure. The farm had to be sold. Provision had to be made for the comfort of women and children. Then, there were delays caused by people changing their minds after they had promised to go, and more than a year passed before a company of five families was ready, with cattle and household goods, to start for the new home in the wilderness. They began the journey in good spirits. In Powell's Valley they were joined by forty men. The whole party pressed eagerly forward, full of hope. They had crossed two ranges of mountains and were nearing the third when those in front were.startled by rifle reports in the rear. 26 E.AST AGAIN. They turned back and found that the young men driving the cattle had been attacked by a band of In- dians. The emigrants charged upon the savages and drove them away. But six of their boys had fallen in the first fire. Among those killed was Daniel Boone's eldest son. Overcome with grief and fear, the party would not go on. Boone, therefore, led them back to the settlements OLD FLINT LOCK RIFLE USED BY BOONE. oin the Clinch River. Here, still far from his promised land, he staid with his family until 1774. The fame of Boone's explorations in Kentucky reached the ears of the governor of Virginia, who at that time had a party of surveyors working along the Ohio River. The Indians had become so hostile that these men dared not come back the way they had gone, and it was dangerous for them to stay where they were. The governor requested Boone to go to the Falls of the Ohio to find and conduct them home, overland. He was glad to do this and set forth at once with one com- panion. About two months later he returned to the set- tlement with the surveyors, having made the journey of eight hundred miles through a country without roads in sixty-two days. 27 DANIEL BOONE. A little later the governor made him captain of three garrisons, and sent him to fight the Indians. A treaty of peace soon put an end to the hostilities between Virginia and the Indians, and Daniel Boone was again without employment, but not for long. VI.-PREPARING THE WAY. A company of rich men in North Carolina thought they might increase their wealth by buying a large tract of land in famous Kentucky and selling it off to settlers in small farms. They would first have to buy the land of the Indians. As Daniel Boone knew all about the land, they wished him to take charge of this part of the business. Accord- ingly he went, in their behalf, to a council of Indians and bought the land on terms satisfactory to both Indians and white men. After the treaty was made an old Indian shook hands with Boone and said: " We have given you a fine country, brother, but you will have trouble to settle it." The men who had bought the land wished to see it occupied. In order to encourage movers to go there they wished to have a road opened and a fort built. Boone was put in charge of this undertaking. A better man for the work could not have been found. He had a personal interest in it, for the road was to be traveled 28 PREPARING THE WAY. by his own family and the fort would protect them in their new home. At the head of a band of well-armed workmen, hired for thirty-three cents a day, he commenced the work promptly. It went forward rapidly, for the road was no more than a rude path, marked and cleared so that a line of pack horses might travel over it. Although THE FORT AT BOONUSBOROUGH. always on the lookout for anl attack from the Indians, the road-makers were not molested until they had nearly completed their work. When within fifteen miles of the place which Boone had decided upon for the station, the party was fired upon by Indians. Though the white men finally drove the savages away, two of their num- ber were killed and two wounded. Three days later the Indians made a second assault. 29 DANIEL BOONE. That time Boone lost two more of his men and three were wounded. This resistance only roused the deter- mined leader to put forth greater effort to finish the road and build a strong fort to defend his employers' property against the claims of men who, he thought, had no right to it. On the first day of April, 1775, they began to build a fort near a salt lick about one hundred and eighty feet south of the Kentucky River. While busy with this work, which was not completed until the middle of June, they lost one man. When finished, the station was named, in honor of the man to whom it owed its existence, Boonesborough. The fame of the fertility of Kentucky had spread, and several parties of Virginians ventured that year to cross the mountains and visit the wonderful hunting-ground. Their object was to claim lands for future settlement. For Virginia, the state to which the territory of Ken- tucky belonged, had offered four hundred acres of land to every one who would clear a portion of it, raise a crop of Indian corn, and build a rude cabin. The settlers did not fell the large trees, but cut the bark so that they would die. Then having cleared away the underbrush, planted corn, and put up rude huts on desirable tracts of land, most of them went back to their homes in the East. These men expected to sell or use their lands when the country was better settled and less dangerous. 30 THE NEW KENTUCKY HOME. Daniel Boone had no thought of getting rich by claim- ing and selling Kentucky lands. To him it seemed a good place for a home just as it was. As soon as the fort was completed he left it in charge of a few men and returned to the settlement on the Clinch River, to move his family to the home he had prepared for them. VII.-THE NEW KENTUCKY HOME. Boone was a happy man when he said good-by to the quiet little community east of the Cumberland Moun- tains and set forth with his wife and children for the land he loved. It took much courage for Mrs. Boone to leave home and friends and attempt a second time the perilous jour- ney through the wilderness from Clinch River to Boones- borough. But she was a brave woman, and, if her heart was heavy with sorrow and fear when she passed the spot where, two years before, her eldest boy was shot, she hid her grief, and her husband did not know that she was less happy than he. She noticed the beautiful scenery and spoke of the fine air. Where the way was broad enough, Daniel Boone rode beside her. His happiness made him more talkative than usual, and he pointed out objects of interest or related some adventure that had befallen him here or there along the road. Then lie spoke of the new fQrt 3x DANIEL BOONE. Ii z 04 32 THE NEW KENTUCKY HOME. and told how strong it was and how safe they would be from the Indians when they reached it. Thus he talked until the entire company shared his enthusiasm. But all the tine he was on the alert. No stragglers were allowed to linger behind the company or stray aside to fall victims to Indian cunning, and all reached Boonesborough in safety and with high hopes. How beautiful the new home was! The world seemed so grand and free and all their own. Mrs. Boone and her daughter stood on the banks of the Kentucky and felt a thrill of pride when Daniel Boone told them that they would be remembered in history as the first white women to behold that stream. Everything was new and unusual. They were inter- ested in the curious animals and strange plants. They felt the charm that he had felt, and were glad to be there. Then, too, they thought themselves so safe when once inside of the great palisade. Before the novelty wore off and before they had time to be lone- some other families joined them. The station consisted of several cabins opening on a hollow square and surrounded by a wall about twelve feet high, made of stout posts, sharpened and planted firmly in the earth. At the corners were projecting, strong blockhouses. In the daytime the men went outside of the palisade to hunt, and plant or tend their corn. The women went to and from the spring for water. The children 33 played about the gate. The cattle browsed on the tender cane leaves. But at night all assembled within the sheltering walls. Each of the families had a separate cabin. Five or six of the men who had no families clubbed together in a single dwelling. Living so close together and having the same interests all were as well acquainted and friendly as one great family. And what good times they had in the evening after the day's work! Such feasts, such fiddling, such danc- ing and singing! Never was fairy tale listened to with such breathless interest as were the adventures of those daring hunters. With plenty of work to keep them busy by day, and frolics and story-telling for the even- ing hours, they had little time to regret old friends and little occasion to fear the Indians. This tranquillity was interrupted and the Christmas cheer of the pioneers was changed to sorrow and appre- hension, for on the twenty-fourth of December one of their number was wounded and another killed by prowling savages. After that they were left in peace for some time. Their cane-fed cattle gave them the most delicious cream, butter, and cheese. The women and boys worked in February and March making maple sugar, which the children said was almost as good as the golden honey that the wild bees had stored for them in the old for- est trees. Crops flourished. The salt licks furnished DANIEL BOONE. 34 INDIAN HOSTILITIES. good salt. The wild animals provided them with meat and skins. In short, nature cherished them in rude plenty, and they were happy and prosperous in their new home. Their experience had encouraged others to follow their example, and several stations sprang up in the vicinity. VIII.-INDIAN HOSTILITIES. No signs of the Indians had been seen for some time. The boys began to call them cowards and to boast what they would do if one dared to venture on their land. Even the older people had begun to feel rather secure. But one evening in July on returning from a hunt Daniel Boone found the settlement in a state of great excitement. Women were weeping and wringing their hands; there were watchmen at the gate with loaded rifles; men were melting bullets, and all looked troubled. He soon learned the cause of this distress. His young daughter and two of her girl friends had imprudently crossed the river in an old boat. When they reached the opposite bank they were seized by Indians and carried away. It was impossible for those who saw the deed to help the terrified girls, for they had taken the only boat. When Boone heard the sad story his eyes flashed, but he spoke quietly and all were cheered by his strong, sensible words. He immediately took the matter into 35 DANIEL BOONE. his own hands. He told the broken-hearted mothers that they need have no fear for their daughters' present safety, as the Indians treated women captives with kind- ness and respect. He promised to return their daughters to them safe and sound. No one knew the force of the enemy, but eight brave men offered to go with Boone to rescue the girls. With- out loss of time they began hunting for some trace to show the route taken by the Indians. By daylight they were on the track of the red men and in eager pur- suit. The Indians had scattered and marched through the thickest cane they could find, so that the white men would have hard work to follow them. But Boone did not try to follow them. He led his men in the same direction by a better way for about thirty miles. Then turning to cross their path he came upon their tracks in a buffalo road. Boone and his men quickened their march and soon caine upon the savages, who had halted and were prepar- ing a meal. The Indians were so surprised that they fled, leaving prisoners and rifles behind. The white men fired after the flying foe and two fell. But, satisfied to find their children, Boone and his friends refrained froni punishing the kidnappers further, and hastened back to the fort with the poor frightened girls. There was great rejoicing when they reached the station. The girls were kissed, scolded, and cried over 36 INDIAN HOSTILITIES. by the women. The small boys regarded them as heroines. This was the beginning of a long struggle between the Indians and pioneers. The whole region was alive with savages. They laid siege to all the stations. They did not usually advance boldly and attack the settle- ments in large companies, but hid themselves, watched their chances and killed their enemies singly whenever they could do so without risk to themselves. If it had been possible for the white men to stay within their fortifications they would not have suffered much from these sieges. They fought with an enemy cruel and cunning, but unacquainted with the arts of civilized warfare. To the Indians, the storming of forts was a new and vain undertaking. A log fortress was as unconquerable as one of stone, so far as these simple warriors were concerned. But the pioneers depended on the great world outside of the fortress for food and clothing. To keep up the supply of such materials it was necessary to make fre- quent sallies from the palisade. Prudence was needed, but action was just as necessary. The pioneers were obliged to risk the uncertain danger from Indians to avoid the sure misery of starvation. Those were days, weeks, months, of terrible anxiety to the little bands of settlers scattered through the wilderness. Wherever the white man went his path was beset with danger. The sly savages lurked behind 37 DANIEL BOONE. trees or in bushes. Stones and stumps afforded them hiding places. The hunter in pursuit of game was shot down and scalped. The parties on the way to the salt licks were fired into by unseen hands. The farimer, hoeing his corn, was slain. The boy, stooping at the spring to fill his pail, received a bullet in his breast. The first man who chanced to come out of the gate in the morning fell face downward on the earth, and before the cloud of gun smoke had cleared away the stealthy redskin had vanished. In the dead of night firebrands were thrown upon the roofs of houses-cattle were killed or driven away. Whenever hunger forced the besieging party to with- draw to hunt, the pioneers made the most of the time to plow fields or harvest grain, to collect cattle or replenish their stock of buffalo or bear meat. Several times the garrisons were assailed by large bands of Indians. When they were one or two hundred strong they ventured to approach the forts and attempt to batter down the gates. Their fury, their war whoops, their faces terrible with paint and hatred, filled the breasts of the besieged with terror. But they were usually driven back by the sharp-shooting palefaces with greater loss than they inflicted. It was in such trying times as these that Boone seemed most the hero. The harassed people who had come to share his fate in the wilderness regarded him as 38 BOONE MADE PRISONER. their leader and adviser. But that fearless, generous man insisted on serving as well as leading. He was eager to do the nmost dangerous work. He went out on the road to meet emigrants and lead them by secret ways to the stations. He journeyed by night from station to station. He got game and salt for the famishing garrisons. Often he met and struggled with Indians, but he seemed to bear a charmed life. None of them could boast greater cunning or alertness than he, none equal strength and marksmanship. He became known and feared as the captain of the "Long Knives." IX.-BOONE MADE PRISONER. In the winter of 1778 the salt supply gave out in Boonesborough. Now, there are very few articles of food that please us without salt; and indeed salt is necessary to the health of man and beast. As the Indians were no longer lurking about the fort, but had gone back to their villages to spend the winter, the settlers thought they might safely send a party of men to the springs to make a quantity of salt. Accordingly, thirty men, with kettles and sacks, left Boonesborough Cn the first of January for the Lower Blue Licks, on Licking River. There were famous salt springs at this place; and it 39 DANIEL BOONE. had derived its name from the fact that immense num- bers of deer and buffaloes resorted there to lick the salt which collected around the edges of the springs. The pioneers wished to make a large quantity of salt, and the licks were for weeks the scene of great activ- ity. Some of the men drew the water from the springs; some tended the fires; others watched the boiling liquid in the great iron kettles. When the water had all evaporated the salt crystals FE that were left in the kettles were emptied MAKING SALT. into large sacks. These the men kept in a dry place until they had as much salt as the packhorses could carry; then they sent it to the garrison in charge of two or three men, while the others stayed at the spring and made more salt. A hunter and scout was needed to supply the workmen with food and give warning if the Indians 40 BOONE MADE PRISONER. should approach. These duties were left to Daniel Boone. One day, when at some distance from the camp, he found himself surrounded by a large body of Indians. Seeing that he could not escape, he cheerfully yielded himself prisoner. He was not slow to learn the reason why this strong band of savages had left their homes to make a long march in the middle of winter. They were on the warpath. Their scouts had told them that most of the men were away from Boonesborough and they were hastening to destroy that fort while it was defense- less. Boone knew enough about Indian warfare to realize what a horrible fate awaited the settlement, so dear to him, if these pitiless men could not be turned from their purpose. He pictured the helpless women and children attacked by howling savages. In fancy he saw them rushing from their flaming homes only to fall a prey to the cruel tomahawk. Then he imagined the midnight massacre of the salt makers that would probably follow this bloody deed. If he could only get word to the men at the licks they might rush to the defense of the garrison and save it and themselves! But that was a vain wish and Boone bent his whole power to accomplish possible good. It seemed to him better that strong men should suffer imprisonment than that the devoted women who had 4r DANIEL BOONE. shared the hardship of frontier life should be slain or that all should perish. He therefore reasoned with the chief and persuaded him that it would be much wiser for him to take the salt-makers prisoners than to destroy the garrison, as he would receive large rewards for them from the British at Detroit. The Indians saw the truth of what he said, and when he assured them that he had such power over his men that they would yield without resistance if he com- manded them to do so, they were pleased with the prospect of such an easy and safe victory. They prom- ised him that if he would put the " Long Knives " in their power they would treat them well. Convinced that he had done the best in his power for all concerned, Boone gravely, but without faltering, led the braves to the camp of the astonished salt-makers. They were amazed to hear the word "surrender " from Daniel Boone; but they obeyed, believing that he had good reason for his action. You may be sure that those brave men agreed that he had done wisely when they learned of the danger that had thus been turned from the women and children of their garrison. X. -CAPTrIVITY AND ESCAPE. Well satisfied with having taken so many prisoners, the Indians returned to Old Chillicothe, north of the 42 CAPTIVITY AND ESCAPE. 43 Ohio River, to show their prisoners and celebrate their victory. They were faithful to their pledge and their captives fared as well as their own warriors; but un- willing hearts make slow traveling, and the Boones- borough men found the one hundred and sixty miles' march in bitter winter weather a long and hard one. Thev reached the Indian village in February. Run- ners were sent in advance to announce the return of a successful band of warriors, and the people of the village assembled to give the victors a noisy welcome and satisfy their curiosity regarding the prisoners. In March Boone and ten of his men were sent to Detroit in charge of forty braves. General Hamilton, the British commander at that place, had made a treaty of friendship with the Indians and had offered a reward for white prisoners. It was for the purpose of getting this reward that the prisoners were taken on this long march. I Boone, in a certain way, enjoyed it. Alertand observ- ing as usual, he saw much to interest him in the country through which they were passing. It was just such a trip as he would have enjoyed taking had he been free. The Indians felt him to be a powerful man. They ad- mired him and stood in awe of him. The more they saw of him the better they liked him. When they reached Detroit they sold the other pris- oners to the British, but refused to give up Boone. A large sum of money was offered in exchange for this im- DANIEL BOONE. portant prisoner. The Indians refused it, saying they liked him so well they wished to make him one of their tribe. The British had promised to treat him well and he had a strong dislike for Indians, yet Boone showed no disappointment when he heard this, but appeared very ready to remain their prisoner. He was not easily overcome by misfortune. He went back with the Indians and took up his life among them with a cheerful face and hopeful heart. He longed to hear from Boonesborough and to send word of his safety to his family. He felt sure that he would succeed in making his escape before long, and in the meantime he did not find it hard to live as the Indians did. He was bathed, to wash away his white blood, and received into the tribe with due ceremony as the adopted son of a chief. He worked for his captors, making salt for them and tending their crops. He served so faith- fully and always acted in such a friendly, manly way that he soon won the confidence of the entire tribe. He was allowed to go hunting and always brought back presents of fine game to the great chief or king. When asked to measure his power in shooting at a mark or in running races with the savages, he showed his good sense and freedom from vanity. He saw that they were jealous of him if he surpassed them in skill, so he let them win in the contests, but came so near to 44 CAPTIVITY AND ESCAPE. victory that he held their respect and admiration. They soon came to trust him so much that they did not think it necessary to watch him closely. This was what he wanted. In June, on returning from a salt-making expedition, he found the village full of strange Indians. As it was SHOOTING AT A MARK WITH THE INDIANS. supposed that he could not understand the speech of the new-comers they talked freely in his presence, and he soon picked up enough words to learn that the braves were assembling to attack Boonesborough. When he heard that, he decided that the moment had come for him to attempt flight. 4S' DANIEL BOONE. He would be killed if caught, but at all risks he must make an effort to escape and warn his people of their danger. His captivity had been the means of saving the garrison once, he would save it again by escape. Hiding a piece of dried venison in his hunting shirt, he started at daybreak " to hunt." As soon as he was well out of sight he took pains to hide all marks that would show the Indians the way he had taken, then started with great speed for Boonesborough. His haste was so great that he did not stop to eat. He was in continual dread of being overtaken, and traveled night and day till he reached the Ohio. He was not a good swimmer and he was perplexed as to how he should cross the river. Luckily he found an old canoe on the bank. It leaked badly, but a few minutes' work made it sufficiently water-proof to carry him to the opposite bank. Once across the river, he rested a little, shot a wild turkey for food, and thus re- freshed, renewed his journey to the settlement. XI.-PREPARATIONS FOR THE SIEGE. When Boone came in sight of the familiar old fort he quickened his steps and his eye brightened. He forgot that he was tired and foot-sore. He forgot for a moment the terrible fate that threatened the station. The faces of his wife, his children and neighbors filled his thoughts 46 PREPARATIONS FOR THE SIEGE. and the prospect of seeing them all again made him happy. His coming caused great rejoicing. Men and women thronged about to shake hands once more with their old captain. But Mrs. Boone was not among them; for, losing hope of her husband's return, she had gone back to her father's house in North Carolina with all her children except one daughter. Boone's disappointment on hearing this was softened by the thought that his loved ones were out of harm's way, and he soon forgot his personal affairs in thoughts of war. He interrupted the numerous questions concerning his welfare to ask about the strength of the fortification. He inquired whether certain repairs needed at the time of his departure had been made. The men explained that they had been so busy farming and hunting that the fortifications had been neglected. Captain Boone found upon examination that this was too true. No repairs had been made, and the old wall was badly weakened in places by decay. For sixty men to attempt to withstand over four hundred Indians in this feeble fort seemed hopeless, but Boone did not despair. He knew his men and every one of them was a worker and a hero. Under his direc- tion they began at once to strengthen the palisade. For days there was a ringing of axes and a crashing of fall- ing oaks in the forests around Boonesborough that the Indian scouts heard with alarm. 47 DANIEL BOONE. Inside of ten days the work was finished, and the fort was as strong as it could well be made with such mate- rial. The garrison was ready for an attack, but an escaped prisoner brought word that the warriors had been disturbed by Boone's flight and the reports of new fortifications at Boonesborough, and would put off their expedition for three weeks. That time ought not to be lost; the Indians' fear of them should be increased. So thought Boone; and he determined to take a daring step. He called for volun- teers and, with a company of nineteen men, made a bold dash into the enemy's country. He thought that if the Kentuckians threatened the Indian villages the warriors might return to their homes to defend them. With this idea in view, he and his company advanced toward Paint-Creek-Town, a village in the region where he had recently been a prisoner. When almost there they met a squad of Indians on their way to join those who were coming to attack Boonesborough. A brisk skirmish resulted, carried on according to the Indian fashion from behind trees and logs. After some minutes of sharp shooting, one of the Indians was killed and two were wounded. Their comrades then fled, leaving horses and bag- gage behind. Encircled by this booty, Boone faced his men homeward, for he had learned that Paint-Creek- Town had been deserted and that the warriors were on the march. 48 THE SIEGE OF BOONESBOROUGH. You may be sure that the Indians, routed by Boone's company, in reporting the affray to their friends, pictured the force that had overpowered them as much stronger and more terrible than it really was in order to excuse their own defeat. Perhaps it was with a hope of reaching Boones- borough while so many of its defenders were away that the Indians set forth on their long-planned journey. However, by forced marches Boone outstripped the main body of the enemy, and regained the fort without the loss of a single man. This bold deed had far-reaching results, for it encour- aged the garrison greatly, and made the Indians look upon Boone and his men with almost superstitious dread. XII.-THE SIEGE OF BOONESBOROUGH. If the men of Boonesborough could have trembled with fear they must have done so when they saw the host by which their little fort was soon surrounded. There was a great horde of Indian warriors and sachems, hideous in paint and feathers, commanded by Chief Blackfish, the same who had been Boone's master when il captivity. A little band of Canadians marched with them under British and French flags. Although there were not over a dozen palefaces they added much to the strength of their allies, because of 49 DANIEL BOONE. their knowledge of storming fortifications. When Daniel Boone saw them he knew that this siege would differ from other Indian sieges, not only in foice but in method. And true enough, up came several men headed by the leader of the Canadians, Du Quesne, with a flag of truce, and asked to see Captain Daniel Boone. As Captain Boone was not far away he appeared promptly. Du Quesne then demanded the " surrender of the garrison in the name of His Britannic Majesty." That sounded very dreadful. They had to fight this time-not simply ignorant savages, but four hundred and fifty well-armed warriors, directed by white men experienced in arts of war, and acting under the authority of " His Majesty, the King." Captain Boone seemed deeply impressed and after a brief talk with the men around him asked for two days to consider the question. Du Quesne granted the request; for a man who is sure of victory can afford to be generous. As " all is fair in war," you will not be surprised to learn that Boone did not need two days, or two hours, or two minutes, to decide what the garrison would do. The idea of their yielding was as far from his thoughts, as the idea of their offering any serious resistance was from Du Quesne's. He knew that they had a large force to encounter and that if the fort was taken by storm they need expect no quarter from the Indians. But those men who had come into the wilderness for 50 THE SIEGE OF BOONESBOROUGH. larger freedom, preferred death to captivity. It was no new thing for them to risk their lives against great odds, depending on their own strength and valor for the victory. Boone gave directions for the cattle to be brought in and a store of provisions and water to be collected. The fort was the scene of busy preparations for a long siege during the next two days. Even the women and children did their part, carrying water all day long from the spring. But care was taken that not many should be away from the fort at one time, and a constant watch was kept to guard against Indian treachery. No at- tempt was made to interfere with their work, however. The enemy watched all of these preparations with grim satisfaction. They had a cunning plan in mind and expected to eat the food that Boone's men were collect- ing with such labor. When the two days had passed, Du Quesne returned for an answer. Boone announced that the men of Boonesborough would resist to the last man. He then thanked the enemy for the time they had given him. He thought they would be angry and ready to fight. Instead, Du Quesne replied that before going to war they would better hear the liberal terms of surrender that General Hamilton offered them, and invited a com- mittee of nine men to talk the matter over with them before the fort. Eight men volunteered to go with Boone to a point 53I DANIEL BOONE. within gunshot of the fort to treat with the Indians. No arms were carried by either party. Though there were only nine in Boone's party many Indians attended the council. After some talk a paper was read, saying that the people of Boonesborough would be left in peace if they would acknowledge the sovereignty of England. The Kentuckians saw there was treachery in this fair promise, but thought it wisest to conceal their doubt. So they signed the paper and consented to shake hands with the Indians. At this, eighteen strong Indians stepped forward and two grasped each of the nine men of Boonesborough by the hand and arm and tried to drag them away. The men were on the lookout for an attack, and each putting forth his utmost strength managed to escape from his two captors. The guard at the fort saw the struggle and opened fire. The Indians be- gan firing at the same time. But, wonderful as it may seem, the entire party reached the fort with only one wounded. Trickery had failed; the prey had escaped from their very grasp. Maddened with failure, the Indians rushed against the fort with blind fury, yelling, battering the gates, and firing wildly at the log fort. This was the beginning of a hard struggle that lasted for nine days. Both parties suffered. The Indians found no shelter within rifle-shot of the fort, and, .52 THE SIEGE OF BOONESBOROUGH. driven to open fighting, fell before the sparing but deadly fire from the fort. The little party within the fort suffered also. There were so few of them to watch and fight so many. The women proved a great help. They not only pre- pared food for the men and made bullets, but with courage that equaled the men's they stood beside them when the fight was thickest and loaded their muskets. Daniel Boone's daughter was wounded while loading her father's rifle. She was struck by an Indian bullet, but it was too far spent to do serious harm. Protected by their ramparts the men wasted no am- munition in aimless firing, but took good aim and shot to kill. A negro at the fort deserted and joined the Indians. He had a good rifle, and stationing himself in a tree within reach of the fort fired into it. Daniel Boone soon discovered the place from which these well- aimed shots were fired, and waiting till the traitor raised the upper part of his head above a branch to take aim- fired. The negro fell with his head pierced by the old hunter's bullet. Despairing of making any headway with arms, the Indians tried to burn the fort. A fire was started on the roof of one of the cabins, but it was discovered before it had doile much damage. A brave young man climbed to the roof and in the face of a brisk fire from the enemy put out the flames. 53 DANIEL BOONE. By the advice of the Canadians the assailants next sought to dig an underground passage or mine to the fort. They began to dig in the river bank above the water line, out of sight from the fort, and out of reach of its guns. But the men at the fort soon guessed what they were about, by the muddy water in the river below the fort. Boone ordered a trench cut across this passage. The earth removed was thrown over the wall of the fort. When the enemy saw it they knew that their plan was discovered and would be defeated. They gave up the hope of success, and returned to their homes sullen with shame, grief, and disappoint- ment. Thirty-seven of their proud warriors were slain and many were wounded, but that was not all. They had lost hope of regaining their hunting grounds from the " Long Knives." The British were not less disap- pointed; they had to bear the expense of the war; they had lost the confidence of the Indians, and the western bulwark of American freedom was as strong as ever. The people of Boouesborough had reason to rejoice. All but six, two killed and four wounded, had escaped the fire of the enemy, which had been so heavy that after the siege they picked up one hundred and twenty- five pounds of bullets around the walls. By their suc- cess they encouraged immigration and discouraged the Indians. In short, they had saved Kentucky. And Daniel Boone was the hero of the day. 54 DARK DAYS. XIII.-DARK DAYS. Everybody was now talking about Boone's courage and skill, and he was rewarded by being given the rank of major. But pioneer life was full of struggles and the glory of victory was soon lost sight of in the little battles and victories of daily life. Boone went to Caro- lina for his wife and children. He was given a cordial welcome and stayed there a short time. His safe return with reports of success influenced many families to emi- grate to the west. Boone succeeded in reaching Boonesborough again, but said afterwards that his troubles on that journey would fill a book. It was at that time that he was robbed of his own fortune, and worse, of money entrusted to him by others, for the purpose of buying land. Some people accused him of dishonesty, but not those who knew him. This is what one of the men whose money he lost wrote: "I have known Boone in times of old, when poverty and distress held him fast by the hand; and in these wretched circumstances I have ever found him of a noble and generous soul, despising everything mean; and therefore I will freely grant him a discharge for whatever sums of mine he might have possessed at that time. " During Boone's absence serious danger had threatened the settlement. The British had organized an army of 55 DANIEL BOONE. savages and invaded Kentucky with cannon. The frontiersmen knew that the sheltering walls that had saved them so often from Indian violence could not stand before the fire of cannon. Two stations were taken, but the difficulty of moving artillery over the rough ground caused the party to give up the undertak- ing before Boonesborougb was reached. In the autumnn of 1780 Boone and his brother went on an expedition to Blue Licks. On their way home they fell into an Indian ambuscade. His brother was killed and it was only by great exertion that Daniel Boone escaped. He was fleet of foot and cunning as an Indian, but he could not throw the pursuers off his trail. He discov- ered that they were led in the chase by a dog. He knew that he could not deceive the creature's instinct, and so he waited until it came near him and shot it. Without its guidance the Indians were soon outwitted by the hunter. He made the rest of his journey home without ad- venture, but with a heavy heart. The brother who had been his devoted companion through years of dan- ger and hardship had been cruelly killed, and he missed him sadly. The winter that followed was a bitter one. The ground was covered with snow from November till Feb- ruary, and the cold was so intense that cattle and even wild beasts fro7e to death. To add to the suffering of 56 DARK DAYS. the settlers there was a corn-famine, for much of the corn had been destroyed by the Indians. Buffalo meat was their chief food. In spite of so many hardships the settlements grew and increased. The Indians became desper- ate and rallied to make a last attempt to crush the intruders. In the summer of I782 they invaded Kentucky under the leadership of two white men, who lived with the Indians and helped them in their attacks upon settle- ments. They assailed Bryant's Station first. But the little garrison offered a stout resistance and they were obliged to withdraw. The militia were summoned to pursue them. Then came a day terrible for the pioneers of Kentucky-a day not to be named among them with- out a thrill of horror-a day that filled the stout heart of Daniel Boone with bitterness and grief. Colonel Boone (he had been made Lieutenant-Colonel) and his men, most of them veterans in Indian warfare, were among the first to answer the call for aid. With the tried soldiers of his troop was a youth about to engage in his first battle. This was Israel Boone, the son of Daniel. The company that met at Bryant's Station was a good one for any but an enemy to look at. Those men had such rugged frames, such keen, intelligent faces, and such an air of self-confidence. Their leaders were men distinguished for deeds of valor-backwoods 57 DANIEL BOONE, heroes, whose names were household words and whose adventures were fireside stories in every settlement. But there was none among them so well fitted to be guide and commander as Daniel Boone. None knew the ground so well. None knew the foe so well. None had such a glorious record as he. But the command was given to an older officer. There was some disagreement as to whether they should advance at once or wait for Colonel Logan with his men. Most were in favor of immediate pursuit. Boone advised delay. He called attention to the fact that the Indians had made no effort to conceal their route, had even marked the trees with their tomahawks as if to invite pursuit. He noticed, too, that the camp- fires were few, and inferred that the Indians were trying to hide their strength. His warning was not listened to and he was accused of cowardice. The troops advanced without seeing anything of the enemy until they reached the Licking River at Lower Blue Licks. Here the vanguard saw a few Indians on the other side of the river. Before crossing the stream a council of officers was held. Boone again advised caution. He predicted that they would find about four or five hundred Indians in ambush in the ravines along the ridge on the other side. If they insisted on continuing he proposed a plan by which they might hope for victory. The discussion was interrupted. A rash young 58 DARK DAYS. officer raised a warwhoop and with the shout, " Those who are not cowards follow me; I will show them where the Indians are," plunged into the river. He was eagerly followed by many. Boone paused a moment, and his men stood firm waiting for his command. He believed those men were rushing to their death. But he could not stand back and let them perish without another effort to save them. He ordered his men forward. At Boone's entreaty there was another halt across the river, and scouts were sent out to examine the ravines. They re- ported no Indians. And the Kentuckians again went forward. As they neared the ridge the long grass in the ravines suddenly became alive with armed savages. A deadly fire was poured upon the troops from both sides. Many fell, dead or wounded. The others returned fire, but in vain. To face those terrible volleys meant death. A retreat was ordered. It became a flight. The Indians were upon the terror- stricken men, brandishing their tomahawks and mad for blood. Boone held his men together as long as there was hope of united action. Then all became disorder. It was a bitter thing for him to see those young men, the flower of the settlement, dead upon the bare earth, but when his son Israel was shot the father forgot others. He took his dying boy in his arms and with the strength 59 DANIEL BOONE. of love and despair strode through the flying bullets unhurt. Many a brave deed was done that day. One man who had been called coward proved himself valiant. He was making his escape on a fine horse when the fate of the men trying to cross the river appealed to him. He called to his comrades with the air of a commander: " Halt! Fire upon the Indians and protect our men." They obeyed and the pursuit was checked. Another brave fellow saw an old, lame officer unmounted. He gave him his own horse and took his chance of escape on foot. The fugitives were pursued for twenty miles, but most of those who got across the river in safety escaped. About sixty of the Kentuckians fell that day and as many Indians. The grief throughout the settlements was bitter and their revenge was terrible. A thousand frontiersmen commanded by George Rog- ers Clark, the famous hero of the Northwest, were soon marching into the Indian country. With them went Daniel Boone, in whose advice everybody placed the greatest confidence. The Kentuckians crossed the Ohio River, and marched rapidly upon the Indian towns on the Miami River. The red men were taken by surprise while celebrating the victory which they had gained at Blue Licks. Clark's army was within two miles of their principal town when they first learned of its approach. They 60 OLD AGE. fled in the greatest haste, and made no attempt to defend their homes. The frontiersmen burned all the Indian towns on the Miami, destroyed the crops, and killed every Indian that came in their way. The red men had never been so severely punished. and they were greatly disheartened. "They learned," said Boone, "that it was useless for them to keep on fighting with the whites." After this, the Indians made but little serious trouble in Kentucky. The settlers now felt themselves secure, and they could give more attention to their clearings and farms. But a few red men still lurked in the woods, or came across the Ohio River, intent upon mischief. And it was not until some years later that life was entirely safe throughout the Kentucky settlements. XIV.-OLD AGE. Peace was declared between England and America and the Indians were no longer incited by the British to attack the settlers. The harsh punishment they had received for their last expedition had its effect too, and the Red Men gave up trying to conquer the "Long Knives." Kentucky was dotted with cabins and block- 6i DANIEL BOONE. houses. The day of Indian wars had passed. But the savages still troubled lonely farmers. They were ever on the watch to attack the defenseless or kidnap children. Daniel Boone built a neat log-house on a fine large farm, where he lived surrounded by his family and friends. He was a marked man and the Indians would have been glad at any time to capture him. One day he was in his barn loft, examining his tobacco, which had been thrown across the rafters to dry. Hearing a noise, he looked down and saw four well-armed Indians standing below him. "Now, Boone," cried the leader, "we've got you. You no get away any more. We take you off to Chilli- cothe this time. You no cheat us any more. " Boone saw their loaded guns pointed at him, and knew that resistance would be useless. But he recognized the men as old acquaintances belonging to the same party that had captured him years before when making salt at Blue Licks. So he said pleasantly, "Ah, my friends, how glad I am to see you! Just wait till I have turned the rest of this tobacco, and then I'll come down and shake hands with you." The red men wanted him to come down at once; but when he told them he would go quietly with them, they consented to let him finish his work. Boone, while busy tossing his tobacco about, chatted pleasantly with the four savages, and recalled the old 62 OLD AGE. times when he had competed with them in hiunting and in shooting at a mark. They became so deeply inter- ested in what he was saying that they forgot themselves and put their guns down upon the ground. Suddenly Boone threw a quantity of the dry tobacco, full of dust, down into their upturned faces. At the same moment he jumped upon them with as much of the tobacco as he could carry in his arms, filling their eyes and mouths with the choking, blinding dust. Then, before they could recover themselves, he ran as fast as he could towards his cabin. He had gone but a little distance when he looked around to see what the Indians were doing. To his great amusement he saw them groping around as though blinded, reaching out their hands to find their rifles, and feeling their way out of the dense cloud of tobacco dust. He could not avoid a taunting laugh, while the Indians cursed themselves as fools and called after him in no pleasant manner. But he was soon safe in his cabin, and the four savages were obliged to return sadly to their people without the prisoner whom they had hoped to bring. Although shrewd in his dealings with Indians, Daniel Boone was simple and straightforward in his dealings with men of his own race and he expected the same treatment from them. He was therefore surprised and indignant to find that because he had neglected some legal formality the land that he had discovered, explored, 63 DANIEL BOONE. wrested from the Indians, cleared and cultivated, be- longed, not to him, but to the man who had signed the proper papers. He loved Kentucky. The soil, the trees, the rocks, the rivers, were dear to him. Here he had spent the most eventful years of his life and known his deepest sorrows and keenest joys. He was proud of it. Its settlement was in a large measure his work. But he was homeless in the land where he had founded homes for others. He made a brief visit to his birthplace in Pennsyl- vania, then went to Virginia, where he found a lonely spot near Point Pleasant on the Great Kanawha in the center of a rich game district. There he lived for five years, finding quiet enjoyment in the wild woods with his gun and his dogs. Then there came to him glowing reports from the land beyond the Mississippi. He had a brother and son there, and their descriptions of life in that region made him think of early days in Ken- tucky. He determined to join them. So at sixty years of age, the great pioneer, accompanied by his faithful wife, started west again, away from civilization into the wilderness. This was a fortunate move. His fame had gone before him and he received a warm welcome. The Spanish governor saw what an influence the coming of such a man as Boone would have on the settlement of 64 OLD AGE. the territory and was glad to honor him. He made him commander of the Femme Osage District in what is now the state of Missouri, and presented him with eight thousand five hundred acres of land. He worked hard at trapping and hunting and when he had saved some money returned to Kentucky. The growth of civilization there seemed almost magical to the man who could remember the winter when he was the only white inhabitant of the vast territory. But curiosity had not brought the pioneer to Kentucky. He had come to return the money he had lost by that unfortunate robbery, and so relieve his mind from a burden that had troubled him for more than fifteen years. He hunted up every man to whom he was indebted, and having paid every dollar he owed, returned to Missouri with a much lighter heart and a much lighter pocket-book. He was well pleased with his new home. Its great forests and simple people suited him. Here he lived over the delights of his old Kentucky life without suf- fering its hardships. At the age of seventy-five, and until his eyesight failed, he was as great a hunter as in his younger days. Sometimes he would spend days and weeks in the woods, far from any settlement, and exposed to all sorts of danger. There were still many Indians in that part of the country, and some of them were always making trouble 65 DANIEL BOONE. for the white settlers. But Boone understood them so well, and was so shrewd in his dealings with them, that they were never able to harm him. When in the woods, however, he was obliged to be very watchful. He knew how to place his beaver traps where the Indians could not find them; he knew how to conceal his own trail so that they could not follow it; even the little hut, in which he lived when out hunting, was so well hidden in some leafy thicket that no one could guess where to look for it. In the trapping of beavers, Boone took the greatest delight. Paddling alone in his light canoe, he explored the creeks and streamlets in his neighborhood, and even the great Missouri itself, setting his traps and gathering a rich harvest of furs. At one time, with a little negro boy twelve years old, he took pack-horses and made a long jour- ney through the woods to the country on the Osage River. There he built a winter camp, intending to hunt and trap until he had skins enough to load his horses. He had hardly laid in his supplies for the winter, before he was taken very sick. For weeks he lay in the little hut with no one to care for him but the little negro boy. "Tom," he said, "if I die you must bury me under the great oak on the top of that hill. Then you must catch the horses, tie the blankets and skins on their backs, and take them home. Be sure to take 66 OLD AGE. my rifle with you, too; and tell all the folks at home that I remembered them to the last." But toward spring the old man rallied and soon grew strong again; and on the first fine day lie broke up camp, mounted one of his horses, and returned home; but he did not carry many beaver skins with him that time. So long as the Spanish and the French had control of the Missouri country, Boone was safe in the possession of his lands. But when the territory came into the hands of the United States, the government refused to recognize his claim. In the meantime Kentucky had become a state, and in his distress Boone appealed to its legislature for help. Glad to serve the founder of the state, the legislature had the matter presented to Congress. In consideration for hiss services to the country Congress granted Colonel Boone eight hundred and fifty acres of land. In December, i8I3, Boone received word of this gift, but the enjoyment of the good news was blighted by the death of his wife. Boone chose a beautiful spot overlooking the river for her grave and expressed a wish to be buried beside her. Boone was now a silvery-haired old man. His eyes were too dim to hunt; and lie spent the remainder of his life in peace and content with his sons and daugh- ters. You may be sure he was a most delightful grand- father and always had a story to tell the boys. 67 DANIEL BOONE. He died, in i820, at the age of eighty-five, surrounded by relatives and loving friends, and was buried beside his wife. But twenty-five years later the remains of both were removed to the cemetery of Frankfort, Ken- tucky, with great pomp and ceremony. So the noble pioneer is at rest in the land he loved. BOONE'S MONUMJ4NT, FRANKFORT, KY. 68 THE PIONEERS. THE PIONEERS. Here once Boone trod-the hardy pioneer- The only white man in the wilderness; Oh! how he loved alone to hunt the deer, Alone at eve his simple meal to dress; No mark upon the tree, nor print, nor track, To lead him forward, or to guide him back; He roved the forest, king by main and might, And looked up to the sky and shaped his course aright, The mountain there, that lifts its bald, high head Above the forest was, perchance, his throne; There has he stood and marked the woods outspread Like a great kingdom that was all his own. In hunting-shirt and moccasins arrayed, With bearskin cap, and pouch, and needful blade, How carelessly he leaned upon his gun, That scepter of the wild that had so often wont Those western pioneers an impulse felt, Which their less hardy sons scarce comprehend; Alone, in Nature's wildest scenes they dwelt, Where crag and precipice and torrent blend, And stretched around the wilderness, as rude As the red rovers of its solitude, Who watched their coming with a hate profound, And fought with deadly strife for every inch of ground. To shun a greater ill sought they the wild No; they left happier lands behind them far, And brought the nursing mother and her child To share the dangers of the border war. The log-built cabin from the Indian barred, Their little boy, perchance, kept watch and ward, While father plowed with rifle at his back, Or sought the glutted foe through many a devious track. 69 DANIEL BOONE. How cautiously yet fearlessly, that boy Would search the forest for the wild beast's lair, And lift his rifle with a hurried joy, If chance he spied the Indian lurking there! And should they bear him prisoner from the fight, While they are sleeping in the dead midnight He slips the thongs that bind him to the tree, And leaving death with them, bounds home right happily. Before the mother, bursting through the door, The red man rushes where her infants rest; Oh, God! he hurls them on the cabin floor, And she, down kneeling, clasps them to her breast How he exults and revels in her woe, And lifts the weapon, yet delays the blow! Ha! that report! behold, he reels, he dies! And quickly to her arms the husband, father, flies. In the long winter eve, their cabin fast, The big logs blazing in the chimney wide, They'd hear the Indian howling, or the blast, And deem themselves in castellated pride. Then would the fearless forester disclose Most strange adventures with his sylvan foes, Of how his arts did over theirs prevail, And how he followed far upon their bloody trail. And it was happiness, they said, to stand, When summer smiled upon them in the wood, And see the little clearing there expand, And be the masters of the solitude. Danger was but excitement; and when came The tide of emigration, life grew tame; Then would they seek some unknown wild anew, And soon above the trees, the smoke was curling blue. F. W. THOMAS. 70 THE STORY OF GEORGE ROGERS CLARK By KATHERINE BEEBE GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK THE HERO OF THE NORTHWEST I.-BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. George Rogers Clark was born in Virginia... The state which claims George Washington, Thomas Jeffer- son and Patrick Henry is proud to call him her son. His ancestors were Scotch and English. They settled in Virginia at an early day, near Charlottesville, which is not far from Monticello, the home and burial place of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was so much older than Clark that they did not see much of each other as boys, although they lived so near together. After they were men they -became good friends. There were few schools in Virginia when George Clark was a boy, and he was not able to get much pf an education. One of his schoolmates was James Madison, who afterwards became president of the United States. George's favorite studies were mathematics and surveying. When Clark was nineteen years old he joined an expe- 73 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. dition that was going to the Ohio valley. He went as a surveyor, and intended to take up some land, and set- tle in the West. The party, traveling on horseback and in canoes, were obliged to take great care not to be dis- covered by the Indians. Clark found his land near the place where the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, novwstands. He built a cabin, and lived there for some time, hunting, fishing, im- proving his land, and earning money by surveying. He wrote to his parents that he liked this rough pioneer life very much. In 1773 he went with a party of Virginians farther down the river, towards Kentucky. Two years before the Declaration of Independence was signed there was a short, but hard-fought, war in the Ohio valley. Some friendly Shawnee Indians, and the family of a chief named Logan, were killed by white men. This caused all the border Indians to "take up the hatchet." Houses were burned, cattle and crops destroyed, men, women, and children killed, and many scalps taken. The Indians were finally defeated in battle and forced to make peace. This trouble has been called " Dunmore's War," because it was thought that Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, was at the bottom of it. It was believed that the white men who killed the friendly Indians were acting under his orders. In this war young George Rogers Clark took a part. 74 "KENTUCKI." II. '1 I KIENTUCKI. 1 1 In 1775 many settlers were emigrating to what is now the state of Kentucky. Among them were some of George Clark's friends. He decided to to with them, and do as he had done before, make his way by survey' ing, and take up land for a home. He wrote back to Virginia that Kentucky was a beautiful country, and that he was sure his father would join him if he could only see how rich the land was. Several years later his father and mother made their home at Mulberry Hill, near the place where the city of Louisville now stands. Clark went from one part of the new country to the other, often leading the backwoodsmen who served as Indian fighters. He soon became prominent among the frontiersmen. He seemed to forget that he had come to the new country to take up land and make money by surveying, for he found so much to do for the struggling settlements that he had no time to think of himself. The Indians were on the warpath most of the time, and there was but little powder among the settle. Kentucky was so far away from Virginia that it scariply seemed to be a part of it For these reasons Cla determined to find out whether the mother state would protect her border settlements, or whether the pioneers would have to form a new state and take care of them- selves. A meeting was held in Harrodsburg in which 75 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. the people chose George Clark and John Jones to go to Virginia for them.' They were to find out what could be done for the protection of the settlements. Clark and Jones set out alone, traveling overland instead of by the river. A long and dangerous journey was before them. The ground was wet and muddy; there were hills, mountains, and swollen streams to be crossed; there were signs of hostile Indians every- where. They had not gone far before they lost one of their horses, and all the baggage had to be placed on the other. The feet of both men were often wet for days together, and they dared not make a fire for fear of being discovered by Indians. The soles of their feet became blistered, so much so that Clark afterwards said that he "traveled in more torment than he had ever before experienced." As the two men approached Cumberlund they hoped to obtain relief, but on reaching the place they found-it burned and deserted. Painfully they pushed on towards the next settlement, Martin's Fort, only to find that it, too, had been abandoned. The next settlement was sixty miles away. They could not' travel any longer, for they now had whit hunters call "scald feet"; there was nothing to be done but stay where they were till help should come. They decided to fortify themselves in the strongest of the deserted cabins, burn the others, so that Indians could not hide in or behind them, and cure their feet 76 4KENTUCKI." with the oil and ooze of oak bark. A few hogs had been left behind when the settlers of Martin's Fort had fled, and our adventurers caught and killed some of them. The door of the cabin they chose was found to be fastened. Clark climbed to the roof, knocked off part of the chimney, and dropped down inside. He opened the door, and both men set to work, preparing for defense. The meat was brought in; a barrel was filled with water; rifles and pistols mere laid out on a table. In case of attack Jones was to load and Clark was to fire' Wood and corn were added to their stores, loopholes cut in the walls, and doors and windows barred. This work occupied them till evening. As soon as the wind changed they meant to burn the other build- ings, and were just about to do so when they heard a horse bell. They at once prepared themselves for Indians, but, to their great joy, soon discovered that the horse belonged to white men, who had come back to Martin's Fort for some things that had been hidden and left behind. These white men, when they saw smoke coming from the chimney of the cabin, had made ready to fight Indians. They were as glad as Clark and Jones were to meet white men instead of red. With these friendly helpers the travelers crossed the mountains, but found they were too late to meet the Virginia Assembly that spring. They made their plans 77 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. to wait for the autumn meeting; for only the Assembly had the power to grant the Kentuckians the help and protection they needed. Jones joined the troops then being raised to fight the Cherokee Indians. Clark went to Williamsburg to see what he could do about getting some powder. On this errand he went to see Governor Patrick Henry, who was in favor of doing all that was possible to assist the fron- tiersmen. Clark, nevertheless, had a great deal of trouble getting the powder they so sorely needed. He wrote to those in authority that if the Kentucky country belonged to Virginia it was to her interest to protect it ; that if it was iiot worth protecting, it was not-worth claiming; that if Virginia did not send relief the settlers must seek help elsewhere, or form an independent PATRICK HENRY. state. After much anxiety and long delay Clark received an order for five hundred pounds of powder. He at once wrote to Kentucky for men to take it down the Ohio River. This letter was lost, as letters often were in those days, for the messenger was either killed or captured by the Indians. In the autumn, when the Assembly met, Clark and Jones presented the claims of the Kentucky settlements. After considerable difficulty and disappointment they had the satisfaction of knowing that their chosen home 78 "KENTUCKI. 79 was in the " County of Kentucki," and under the pro- tection of Virginia. Hearing nothing from home, they decided that they must take the powder down the river themselves. It was late in the fall before they were able to start; but, late or not, they felt that it ought to reach Kentucky as soon as possible, for they knew that the Indians would be again on the warpath as soon as winter was over. - With seven men they set out on their journey down the Ohio. They were soon discovered and pursued by their savage foes, and were finally obliged to hide the powder in four or five places along the river bank. They ran the boat some miles farther down stream, set it adrift, and then started across the country towards Harrodsburg, where Clark intended to get a larger force of men to go back for the powder. On the way hle met four explorers, who told him that his friend John Todd, with a number of men, was in the vicinity. This decided Clark to push on to Harrodsburg with two men, leaving Jones and the others to await the party lie ex- pected to send. Soon after Clark had gone Todd, with ten men, met Jones and his little band. The two parties concluded not to wait for the Harrodsburg men, but to go after the powder themselves. They had not gone far before they met a large body of Indians. A short and fierce battle was fought, which went hard with the white men. 79 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. Jones and several others were killed, and the rest were taken prisoners; but these unfortunate men did not let the Indians know where the powder was hidden. A little later the men sent by Clark brought it safely to the settlements. III.-THE CONQUEST OF ILLINOIS. About this time, a large number of Indians appeared suddenly near Harrodsburg. They shot at some boys who were playing in the woods, and captured one of them. The others made their escape and gave the alarm. A party of men at once set out in pursuit, but they did not find the Indians. This was fortunate for the settlers, for the savages so far outnumbered the white men that the latter would certainly have been defeated, and in those troublous times the loss of even one man was a serious thing. Part of the town had been deserted as soon as the news was brought in by the boys. Men, women, and children left their homes to take refuge in the fort. It was well they did so in time, for, in the early morning, the Indians again appeared and set fire to the empty houses. Again the brave pioneers set out to attack their foes, but they were soon obliged to retreat. This was the opening of another Indian war. Many men, women, and children were killed; prisoners were 80 THE CONQUEST OF ILLINOIS. taken and tortured; homes were burned, and cattle and crops destroyed on every side. It seemed for a time as if Kentucky must become again the Indian hunting ground which it had been before the sturdy backwoods- men determined to make it their home. Virginia's new county was indeed in a sad plight. It was hundreds of miles from the mother state, and over- run with savages. The settlers were forced to spend most of the time defending the forts, tending the wounded, and burying the dead. They could raise no crops, and so had to depend almost entirely on the hunt- ers for food. These men were so often killed or cap- tured by the Indians that it was only by taking the utmnost care that they were able to do their work. They were obligel to set out before daylight, that they might not be seen by their watchful foes, and to remain away until dark for the same reason. Eugland and America being at war, the British at Detroit were urging the Indians to attack the frontier settlements. Agents were sent among the tribes with promises and presents. Scalps of American men, women, and children were bought and paid for. Bitter indeed was the feeling in Kentucky against the English officers who so abused their power, and many were the backwoodsmnen who longed for revenge. Especially was this true of those whose wives, children, or friends had been killed or captured. The situation grew worse as the season advanced. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. Clark began to fear that the Kentuckians would have to surrender entirely and be carried away to Detroit, to become the prisoners of the British. A ray of hope arrived with Captain John Bowman, who was sent-from Virginia with a company of men. Clark nevertheless knew that he himself must go to war seriously if his country was to be saved. The people were looking to him for help, and he therefore decided to go to Virginia and tell their sad story there. He declared that unless something was done at once, Kentucky would be lost; that if that came to pass, not only would there be no more supplies of food and furs sent from the west, but Virginia would have to send extra troops to guard her borders. This work Ken- tucky was now doing as best she could. Clark knew that the British commanders of the forts in Illinois and at Detroit were inciting the Indians against the Americans. He wished to march to these posts, and, by capturing them, put an end to English influence among the Indian tribes. He had already sent spies into the Illinois country, and had learned from them the condition of the fort at Kaskaskia, and of the French towns near by. He had been informed that the British were not expecting an attack, and that they were influencing the French people against the Americans. The French had always had great influence with the Indians, hence Clark hoped that if lie took the Illinois towns he would nxake friends of them, and that they, in 92 THE CONQUEST OF ILLINOIS. their turn, would help him to put an end to the horrible border warfare then going on. After explaining all these things, Clark asked Gov- ernor Henry for troops, that he might carry out his plan. The governor gave him permission to raise the companies lie needed, and declared himself much pleased with Clark's idea. Colonel Clark soon found that he had set himself a hard task. It was very difficult to find men who were not needed at home or had not already enlisted in their country's service. He managed to secure a promise from the government that three hundred acres of land in the conquered territory should be given to each man who helped to win it. This promise, which was after- wards fulfilled, was of great assistance to him, and he finally succeeded in recruiting a number of men. The plan of capturing the Illinois towns was, for a time, kept secret. The men supposed that they were merely going to protect the' Kentucky border. When Clark started down the Ohio River lhe had about one hundred and seventy-five men, instead of the five hundred he had hoped to have. The first stopping place was Corn Island, opposite the place where Louis- ville now stands, which was then called the Falls of the Ohio. This island no longer exists; it was gradually swept away by the swift current of the river. At the time of Clark's landing it was about seventy acres in extent. Some twenty families had come with 83 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. hini and his troops, and they decided to settle on the island. Clark divided the land ainong thein, that each man might have his own garden, and detailed a few of his soldiers for their protection. The time had now come to reveal to the men the true object of the expedition. Most of them were willing and anxious to follow their brave leader. On the twenty-fourth of June, 1778, they left Corn Island for Kaskaskia. At the very moment of departure the sun was dark- ened by an eclipse, which must have greatly astonished them all. They regarded it as a good omen, however, and set off with cheers and rejoicings. The boats were rowed down the river, the rowers working in relays day and night, to a point about three miles below the mouth of the Tennessee. Near the place where Fort Massac, an old French outpost, had once stood, the party landed. Before the landing took place, a canoe containing a party of hunters was stopped. Clark was glad to learn from these men that they had just come from Kaskaskia. They told him that the fort there was in good condition and well defended, but that no one thought the Ameri- cans would really attack it. They were sure both fort and town would be easily captured if taken by surprise. They said that if the approach of the Americans was discovered the French people of the town would take sides with the English, for the English officers had told 84 THE CONQUEST OF ILLINOIS. the townsfolk such terrible stories about the American backwoodsmen that they were much afraid of them. The hunters offered to join Clark's forces, and one of them said he would act as guide from the river to Kas- kaskia. This offer was thankfully accepted; the land- 0 "WECVL 1 jSPAqTA ing was made; . x,4. the boats were hidden, and the men were or- dered forward. The first part of the march was through swampy land; the rest of the way was over the open prairie. By looking at the map, you can see the course of the march from Fort MKassac. On the third day the guide appeared to be confused, and said he had lost his way. This immediately aroused the suspicions of both Colonel Clark and his men. They began to fear that they were being led into a trap, 85 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. and that they might be betrayed into the hands of the enemy. Clark said it was very strange that a man who knew his way perfectly three days before should now be in doubt of it. He did not think it possible for any one to go from Kaskaskia to the river without learning the route well. The guide seemed very uncomfortable, and the soldiers grew more and more angry. He was finally told that unless lie found the trail he would be shot. He begged to be allowed to go to a certain place a little distance away, from which he was sure he could find out where they were. Some of Clark's men were sent with him, and he soon proved his words true. He dis- covered the landmarks he had hoped to find, and was once more sure of his way. He had reallybeen lost and bewildered, and the suspicious against him were unfounded. On the evening of July fourth the Americans reached Kaskaskia. They halted about three quarters of a mile from town, then cautiously approached a house on the river bank. The French family living in it were taken prisoners, and boats were secured in which the troops crossed to the other side after dark. Colonel Clark, with part of his men, went to the fort; the rest were sent to take possession of the town. There was a dance at the fort that night, at which most of the British officers and many of the towns- people were present. The American soldiers placed 86 THE CONQUEST OF ILLINOIS. themselves on guard in silence, and in the middle of the gayety Clark stepped just inside the door. He stood there, in his rough backwoodsman's dress, surveying the .scene with a grim smile. No one noticed the stranger at the door, until an Indian, who was sitting on the floor, chanced to look that way. He eyed Clark closely for a moxnent, and then sprang to his feet with a yell. Immediately there was great confusion and alarm. " There is no danger," said the American quietly. "Go on with your fun. Only remember that you are now dancing under the flag of Virginia, and not that of England-' In a very short time the town was in the possession of the Americans. The commander of the fort, Philip Rocheblave, was captured in his bed. Clark learned that many of the townspeople were inclined to be friendly to the Americans, but that others had been told such terrible stories of their fierceness and cruelty that they were greatly frightened to find them- selves in their power. He decided to appear very severe at first, in order to surprise the people more completely by his kindness later on. When the priest and several of the leading French citizens came to talk to Colonel Clark and his officers they must have thought them little better than savages. Much of their clothing had been left with the boats, and what they had on had been badly torn by bushes and 87 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. briars on the march. Their faces were dirty, their hair was unkempt, and they were tired and worn for want of food and rest. Each party looked at the other in silence for a time; then one of the Frenchmen spoke. He said he knew that the townspeople must be carried away from their homes as prisoners, and he begged that they might be allowed to meet in the church to take leave of each other. "You may do as you please about going to the church," said Colonel Clark sternly, "but let no one dare attempt to escape from the town.'" The frightened citizens flocked to the church, and men were again sent to the American commander. They humbly thanked him for permitting them to meet together; they begged that when the prisoners were taken away the families might not be separated; they asked that the women and children be allowed to keep some food and clothing. "Do you think that you are dealing with Indians" asked Colonel Clark abruptly. "Do you think Amer- icans war against women and children We came to prevent suffering, not to cause it !" He then went on to explain that because the English commander was-inciting the Indians to murder their wives, children, and friends, the Americans had marched against Kaskaskia; that all they wanted was to put an end to Indian wars; that the king of France was now 88 COLONEL CLARK AND THE INDIANS. the friend of the colonies; that their church should not be interfered with; that no property should be destroyed and no prisoners taken. He told the story of the trouble betvween England and America which had led to the war of the Revolution, and proved to them that what the English had been telling them of the Americans was untrue. "You may go back to your homes in peace and safety," said he. Great was the joy of the Kaskaskians on hearing these words. They declared that they had been misled and deceived; that they were glad to be friends with the Americans, and that they would loyally serve them. When affairs at Kaskaskia were well settled, Colonel Clark sent Captain Bowman, with a party of men, to the neighboring town of Cahokia. This place, like Kas- kaskia, was surprised and taken. The same story that was made known in one town was told in the other, and with the same result-the French were glad to become the friends and allies of the Americans. The town of Prairie du Rocher and the settlement at Fort Chartres were also taken with little trouble to the Americans. IV.-COLONEL CLARK AND THE INDIANS. When the Indians in and about Kaskaskia realized that the Americans were in control they quickly disap- peared. Colonel Clark was very anxious to gain an' 89 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK.. influence over these Indians, and, with that end in view, managed to get a report spread among them that more troops were expected to join those already in Illinois. He was wise enough to send no direct mes- sage to the savages. ;AtAH M He wished thein to think that he did not I En Ad ( care where they were or what thev did. The town of Vin- cennes, onl the Wabash River, was a larger and more important post than Kaskaskia. Itwas necessary to obtain pos- session of it, in order to complete the conquest .,-' \ \; t of the Illinois. country. SKA Among the leading cit- izens of Kaskaskia was rFather Gibault, the \;Catholic priest, who had become the firm rHE FRENCH SEpTTLPMENTS ON THEr MISSISSIPPI friend of Colonel Clark and the American cause. He assured Clark that the French of Vincennes would do as the people of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Prairie go COLONEL CLARK AND THE INDIANS. du Rocher, and Fort Chartres had done, if they only knew the true state of affairs. He offered to go and tell them the real reason for the quarrel between England and America, for he was sure they had been as much deceived and misled as the Kas- kasians had been. He said that he would make known the fact that the French king was now the friend of the Americans, and that he would tell how Colonel Clark treated those whom he conquered. He believed that when once these facts were known the flag of Virginia would be raised over Vincennes. This proved to be the case. Father Gibault, accom- panied by Captain Helm and a small party of men, successfully performed his mission. The people of Vin- cennes declared themselves the friends of the Americans. Fort Sackville at that place was surrendered, and Cap- tain Helm took command of it with one American sol- dier and some Frenchmen as a garrison. The Indians around Vincennes were greatly surprised when the English flag was hauled down and Virginia's colors hoisted in its place. The French told the Indians that their Father, the king of France, had joined forces with the " Long Knives," as the Americans were called by their savage foes, and advised them to make peace, lest they be destroyed. This the Indians heard on every side, and it made a deep impression on them. One of the most powerful chiefs was called Tobacco's Son, and also The-Grand-Door-to-the-Wabash. Clark 9I GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. wished to make friends with this chief, and sent him his compliments by Father Gibault. He also sent him a speech and a belt by Captain Helm., The chief had said in reply that now, since he understood the situation, he would not only declare friendship with the Long Knives himself, but he would advise the other Wabash Indians to make peace at once. This was exactly what Clark wanted. As the news of these events spread, many Indians came to Calhokia to make treaties of peace. The English at Detroit became greatly alarmed, and kept their agents busy among the Indian villages, making presents and speeches. The French, however, worked among the tribes in the interest of their new friends. Colonel Clark had long been of the opinion that it was a mistake to make friends with treacherous savages by giving them presents. He felt that such a course made the Indians think the white men afraid of them. He made up his mind not to give those with whom he treated the least reason for believing that he feared them. Several chiefs asked him for a council, to which lie consented. Indian councils were always conducted with much ceremony, and took a great deal of time. Clark made a point of being even more ceremonious than the Indians themselves, and, on this occasion, let one of them make the opening speech. The chief laid the blame of all the border warfare on the English, whose "bad birds," as lie called the agents, 9:2 COLONEL CLARK AND THE INDIANS. had been flying among the tribes. At the end of the speech many Indians threw down the flags and war belts sent them by the British, and stamped on them. "I will think over what you have said," said Colonel Clark, " and tell you to-morrow whether the Long Knives will forgive you or destroy you." The next day the chief of the Long Knives made his speech. " Men and warriors," said he sternly, " listen to my words. I am a warrior, not a counselor. I hold war in my right hand and peace in my left. I am sent by the Council of the Long Knives to take possession of all the towns owned by the English, and to watch the red mnen. I will make bloody the paths of those who stop the way to the river. I will open such paths for those who are friends, that women and children may walk in them." At the close of the speech he offered a peace belt and a war belt. "Take whichever you please," said he. " If you choose the war belt you may go back in safety to your English friends, and make ready to fight. If you choose the peace belt you shall be the friends of the Long Knives and of the French. If you do not keep faith, when once you give your word, you shall be destroyed." The Indians were then dismissed to think over what the white chief had said. They came together again on the next day. Colonel 93 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. Clark seated himself at a table with great dignity, his officers and the leading citizens of the town standing near by. The Indians solemnly kindled a fire. Three chiefs approached Colonel Clark, one carrying a peace belt, one a peace pipe, and the other fire with which to light it. Here Colonel Clark spoke. " You ought to be thankful to the Great Spirit who has opened your eyes and hearts to the truth ! " said he. " The Long Knives do not speak like any other people," answered a chief. "We believe you speak the truth, and that the English have deceived us. Some of our old men told us this long ago. We will throw the tomahawk into the river. We will also send news to our friends of the good talk we have heard." The pipe of peace was then smoked by red men and white, and a general handshaking followed. Many councils similar to this one were held in Cahokia. Colonel Clark was occupied for weeks mak- ing and listening to speeches. One by one the tribes made peace until all in the neighborhood of the Illinois towns might fairly be counted friendly. V.-INDIAN TREATIES. Colonel Clark wished to secure peace with as many tribes as possible, not only that the Indian war might be brought to an end, but also because he wished to 94 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK "IN COUNCIL WITH THE INDIANS." From tIh painting in the Illinois -State House. 95 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. keep the new country he had won from being re-taken by the English. He had such a small force, and the Indians were so numerous, that he knew he would be in great danger if they did not come over to the American side. There were often hundreds of savages gathered together in Cahokia, and Colonel Clark confessed, in a letter, that he was frequently uneasy lest they should suddenly decide to unite against the conquerors of Illinois. The Indians, however, were never allowed to discover the least sign of anxiety. Colonel Clark con- tinued to act as though he cared little whether they chose peace or war, but he was nevertheless doing everything in his power to bring about treaties of peace. He interested himself in a chief called Black Bird, who was a leader among the Lake Michigan tribes. Black Bird had been in St. Louis when Clark took Kaskaskia and the other Illinois towns. As soon as he heard the news he fled, fearing that the Long Knives would at once take vengeance on him. On the way north he and his braves met a party of traders, to whom they told the story of Clark's conquest. The traders tried to persuade the Indians to go back. " The Long Knives will think you are afraid of them, " they said. " My family is sick," replied Black Bird; " I will go in the spring. I will write to the chief of the Long Knives at Kaskaskia." 96 INDIAN TREATIES. Black Bird did write, and Colonel Clark answered the letter. He was most anxious to win over this chief, who had great influence among the lake Indians. He paid one of his men two hundred dollars to visit Black Bird at St. Joseph. This man invited the chief to visit Clark at Cahokia. He accepted the invitation, and arrived with eight of his warriors. Seeing preparations for the usual Indian ceremonies, he at once sent word to Clark that such forms would be unnecessary between them, as they would transact their business like white men. When he met Colonel Clark he tried to behave like a very polite gentleman, and had himself introduced by one of the French citizens. " I have for some time wanted a council with some chief of the Long Knives," said he. " I have grown doubtful of the English, and there are some matters which I should like to have explained." He then asked such intelligent questions that Clark had to tell him the whole history of the American colonies, from the time of Columbus down to that day. " The English are afraid of the Long Knives,'" said Black Bird. " I should not blame you if you destroyed all the Indians who are unfriendly. I will be a friend to you. I will make my people your friends as soon as my young men come back from the warpaths they now tread. I will make the other lake tribes your friends also." "I am glad to hear this, " answered Colonel Clark. " I 97 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. will write the great chiefs of the Long Knives that Black Bird has become their friend." Black Bird kept his word. He not only became the friend of the Americans, but used his influence among the lake tribes for their cause, as he had said he would. Clark's next work was with a warrior named Big Gate. This chief, when a boy, had been with the great Pontiac at the siege of Detroit. The Indian boy had shot a white man who was standing at the gate of the fort. From that time he had borne the name of Big Gate. He heard the news from Illinois and came, with sev- eral followers, to see Colonel Clark. He had the audacity to come in full war dress, wearing about his neck the bloody belt he had received from the English. For several days he attended the councils which Clark was then holding with various chiefs and their tribes. He always sat in front, but said nothing. Clark had found out all about him, but, for a time, paid him no attention. He finally told him, however, that he knew who he was, but that, as public business came before private, Big C-ate must excuse him if he did not speak with him till later. " When white warriors talk with their enemies," said Colonel Clark, "each treats the other with the greatest respect. Each honors the other according to his exploits. I hope that you will remain with us a few days, and that you will dine with me and my officers this evening." 98 INDIAN TREATIES. This polite speech made Big Gate very nervous. He tried to refuse the invitation, but Clark would not take no for an answer. He showed the discomfited chief so much honor, and treated him with stuch great ceremony, that he at last became very much excited. He ran to the middle of the room and took off his war belt. He threw this, and an English flag which he carried, to the floor. He cast off his other garments one by one, until he had almost nothing on. Then he made a speech. " I am a warrior," he declared. " I have delighted in war from Iny youth. The English have lied to me. I thought the Long Knives in the wrong. I have fought against them three times, and was ready to go on the warpath again. I thought I would come to see what kind of people they are. I know now that they are in the right. I will no longer be on the wrong side." Big Gate then struck himself violently on the chest, saying that he was now one of the Long Knives. He began to shake hands all around, in a way that made great fun for the Anwerican officers. The soldiers threw his old clothes away, and one of the officers gave him a fine new snit. This delighted him greatly. That evening he dined with Colonel Clark and his officers in great state. After the dinner he had a long talk with the American commander, in which he gave his new friend the news from Detroit. In his zeal for 99 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. the American cause he offered to go there at once and get either a scalp or a prisoner. He meant in this way to show his good will toward his white brothers. "I do not want the Indians to fight for mie," said Colonel Clark. "I wish them only to look on. The Long Knives do their own fighting." Big Gate went away soon after this, and as he left town some of the officers saluted him with pistol shots. This pleased him very much, and he departed much impressed by the power and the politeness of the Long Knives. He soon had an opportunity to show his friendship for them. On his way hoine he fell in with a party of traders. Thinking to please the Indians, these men told them that they were English. To their astonishment Big Gate said: " I amn now a captain of the Long Knives. I shall take you back to Cahokia as iny prisoners." " Now that we know you to be friends," said one of the traders, "we will tell you the truth. We are run- ning away from the English to join the Long Knives." "I do not believe you," answered the chief. "I shall keep you prisoners." The unfortunate traders were bound, and forced to go with the Indians. A party of Americans, however, soomi came by on their way to Cahokia. These men took charge of the prisoners, promising to deliver them safely into Clark's hands. This they did, but we are not told whether they proved to be friends or foes. 100 VINCENNES. Colonel Clark had now concluded peace with most of the tribes within reach. Many came from long dis- tances to declare their friendship. Indian promises, however, were easily broken, and Clark was still anxious and troubled. VI. -VINCENNES. As winter approached Colonel Clark became even more disturbed than he had been during the summer and early autumn. No news had come from Virginia, and this made him less and less hopeful of reinforcement. He had been receiving a letter from Vincennes every fortnight, and now even this failed to arrive. In great anxiety he sent out scouts. They did not return. For a time he waited in suspense; then he set out from Kaskaskia for Cahokia, that he might counsel with Captain Bowman. On the way footmnarks of seven or eight men were dis- covered, but Clark thought little of the circumstance. He went on to Prairie du Rocher, twelve miles from Kaskaskia, where he expected to remain over night. There lie found a dance in progress, and both lie and his men joined in the festivity. In the midst of it a nies- senger arrived with news for Colonel Clark. " Eight nundred white men and Indians are within a few miles of Kaskaskia! " he declared. " They intend to attack the fort to-night ! " 10I GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. The scene of gayety was at once changed to one of the wildest excitement and alarm. The French well knew that if Kaskaskia was taken, Prairie du Rocher and Cahokia would also fall into the hands of the enemv. They feared that, in that case, they would be severely punished for having gone over to the American side. Some of Clark's friends urged him to seek safety across the Mississippi among the Spaniards. He laughed at the very thought, and began to prepare to go back to Kaskaskia. He ordered his men to dress like hunters, that they might mingle unrecognized with the English and Indians, who would probably be attacking the fort when they arrived. He hoped that he and his men, so disguised, might find some way to get into the fort. He prepared a message for Captain Bowman which instructed him to get together all the men he could and come at once from Cahokia to Kaskaskia. " Take the best horse in town !" said Colonel Clark to the man chosen to carry this message. " Ride until it can go no further, then make the rest of the way on foot !" He and his men set out in hot haste for the town they had so lately left. On reaching it they found that no enemy had yet appeared. The fort had been care- fully prepared for an attack, but Clark decided that more provisions were necessary. The French citizens were afraid to supply him, fearing punishment if the I02 ViNCENNES. English, after taking the town, should learn that they had helped provision the fort. There was no time for the discussion of this matter. Clark acted with a soldier's promptness. He sent out word that he was going to destroy all provisions and stores in the town, to keep them from falling into the enemy's hands. In proof of his words he set fire to a Darn full of grain, which was near the fort. The citizens then made haste to bring in all the supplies that were wanted. Clark did not venture to ask them to fight with him against the English, for he was sure they would be afraid to do so. He had to rely on his own. men, and those of Captain Bowman, who arrived the next day. The whole alarm, however, proved to be a false one. It was found that the army of eight hundred English and Indians was only a small party sent out to capture Colonel Clark, and that they had gone away. The leaders of the party had given some negroes, who were working on the river bank, the message which reached Clark at Prairie du Rocher. They knew that he would at once prepare for defense, and that they, in the mean- time, could get safely away. Soon after this another startling message was brought to Kaskaskia. A man by the name of Vigo, just arrived from Vincennes, told Clark that General Hamilton of Detroit, with a party of regulars, volunteers, and Indians to the number of several hundred, had captured Vincennes; that he had sent some of his soldiers to 103 10 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. patrol the Ohio River, disbanded others, and settled down in Fort Sackville for the winter. It was Hamil- ton's intention to drive Clark out of Illinois in the spring, and then to fall on the Kentucky settlements. "If I don't take Hamilton, he will take me !" said Colonel Clark, who, in spite of his usual brave cheerful- ness, knew that his situation was desperate. "We must attack at once," said he. "If we are suc- cessful both Illinois and Kentucky will be saved. If we fail we shall be no worse off than we are now." Preparations for war immediately began. The whole Illinois country was aroused; every one gave what help he could; volunteers were much praised and' encouraged. A large Mississippi River boat was purchased, loaded with stores and cannon, and manned by forty-five soldiers under Captain John Rogers. The Willing, as she was called, was to go to a point a few miles below Vincennes and wait there for the land forces under Colonel Clark. On the fourth of February, she set off on her voyage down the river. In the meantime a company of volunteers arrived from Cahokia, and another had been formed in Kas- kaskia. By the fifth all was in readiness; good Father Gibault, ever the friend of the Americans, addressed the troops and gave them his blessing. There were upwards of a hundred and seventy men in the little army which set out from Kaskaskia followed by the prayers and well-wishes of those who remained behind. 104 THROUGH TILE " DROWNED LANDS." VII.-THROUGH THE "DROWNED LANDS." Through rain, mud, and pools of standing water George Rogers Clark's gallant followers started to trav- erse what is now the state of Illinois.' The first stream was crossed by means of trees felled for the purpose. Beyond this river the road stretched away over a p)artly submerged plain. Clark was anxious to keelp up the spirits and courage of his men, and, with that end in view, planned that the evenings should be times of feasting and merry-making. Each day onie company was supplied with horses, and given permission to hunt along the line of march. The men at night prepared the came they were able to secure, and invited their comrades to share it with them. Many buffaloes, some deer, and water-fowl, in this way supplemented the pro- visions carried by the packhorses. This diversion helped the men along their toilsome way until they reached the Little Wabash River. Clark acted as if he were enjoying himself, and indeed he was filled with satisfaction as he realized that the farther they advanced the more impossible it became to retreat. Between the Little Wabash and the next river all the country was under water. Instead of two dis- tinct streams, a large body of water, five miles in width, was to be crossed. Although much troubled by this F For the route across lI1inoi[, see map, p 85 1OS GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. difficulty, Clark laughed at it among his men, and at once set them to work building a canoe. As soon as it was completed a number of soldiers were sent in it to find a camping place on the farther side. They found a bit of ground, about half an acre in extent, toward which the army proceeded to move. The channel of the first river was about thirty yards wide and very deep. By means of the canoe a scaffold was built on the farther bank, to which the baggage was ferried. The horses swam across and were reloaded, while the men were brought over in the boat. They marched through the water which covered the land between the two rivers, being sometimes submerged to their armpits. The few who were weak or ailing were put into the canoe. The second river was crossed as the first had been, and the piece of rising ground reached on which they were to encamp. In spite of these hardships the soldiers were in great spirits, and indulged in much laughing and joking at one another's expense. During the day a boy, whom Clark afterwards called " a little antic drummer," made great fun for the others by floating on his drum. The men were sure now that nothing could stop them. They felt ready for any hardship or difficulty which might present itself and talked together of marching on to Detroit as soon as they had taken Vincennes. All this gave their leader great satisfaction, though s o6 THROUGH THE "DROWNED LANDS. 7 0 he was far from sharing their confidence of easy victory. On and oin he led his little band, through rain, mud, and water. Hunting was no longer possible, and pro- visions began to run short. Many streams and creeks had to be crossed, some of them very deep, which of course meant much hard work for the soldiers. On and oin they marched, the country becoming worse as they approached the Wabash. During a halt Captain Kennedy and three men were sent out in the canoe with orders to search for and cap- ture boats. This was on the seventeenth of February. All day the army waded through water, and it was eight o'clock at night before a spot was found on which a camp could be made. The place at last selected was far from dry, as it was a piece of ground " from which the water was falling." Here the men spent a miser- able night, cold, wet, and hungry. In the morning Kennedy returned, having met with no success in his quest for boats. The army was now near enough to Vincennes to hear the sunrise gun from the fort. By two o'clock that afternoon they found themselves on the bank of the Wabash River, but unable to cross. Rafts were built and men again sent out to seek for boats. They spent a day and a night in the water, finding neither boats nor dry land. The situation was now desperate, as the men were almost starving. They had had nothing to eat for two I07 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. days, and in consequence became much cast down and discouraged. Some of the volunteers even began to talk of going back. Clark laughed at themn, and told them to go out and try to find a deer. They obeyed his order, and succeeded in killing one, to the great delight of their hungry comrades. Clark set other men to making canoes. Later a boat containing five French- men was captured as it caine down the river. These men told Clark that the British in Vincennes as yet knew nothing of his approach. Early on the twenty-first the work of ferrying the men across to a little hill was begun. Beyond this hill was another stretch of flooded prairie. Once there, there was nothing to do but go on; and on they went, sometimes in water up to their necks. They had hoped to reach Vincennes that night, but found it impossible, being obliged to halt on the first available piece of rising ground. They had traveled through the water, and in the rain,without food, all day, but on the morn- ing of the twenty-second again plunged into the flood on the forward march. They advanced only three miles during the whole day. Once more they encamped, and once more marched on through the "drowned lands.'" At one o'clock, on the twenty-third, they found themselves in sight of Vincennes. At one stage of their terrible journey, the water became deeper and deeper as they went on. Clark passed back word that it was growing shallower, and 108 THROUGH THE "DROWNED LANDS. " the men pressed forward. When almost in despair him- self it really became less deep, and he sent back a call that woods were just ahead. This encouraged the men to fresh exertions, as they hoped to find solid ground under their feet when once among the trees. Here also the ground was under water, but progress became easier, as they could help themselves along by trees, logs, and bushes. At one place, after a long struggle through water deeper than usual, the men were so exhausted on reach- ing the rising ground that many of them fell at the water's edge, and had to be dragged to places of safety. Great fires were built, but some soldiers could only be revived by being walked briskly tip and down between two stronger ones. It was here that a canoe, full of corn, tallow, and buffalo meat, in charge of some squaws, was captured. From these supplies great kettles of soup were made for the famished men. Clark at one timne felt obliged to use another and a sterner method of urging his men forward than any of those that have been mentioned. Captain Bowman, with twenty-five picked men, was ordered to keep in the reatr and shoot any man who should attempt to desert. When the soldiers heard this order given they cheered their conmnander, and said among themselves that he was doing.right. Il spite of all these hardships, as. the army paused on the elevation from which they could see Fort Sackville, log GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. their courage revived, so that they were quite ready to march on that night and capture the town they had toiled so hard to reach. VIII.-THE CAPTURE OF FORT SACKVILLE. The country between the hill, where the army had halted, and the town of Vincennes, was rolling prairie. The lowest ground was covered with pools of water, which were alive with ducks. Several hunters on horseback could be seen, and Colonel Clark sent a party of his young volunteers in pursuit of them. One was captured and brought before the American commander, who questioned him closely. The prisoner said that the English had on that day completed the repairs on the fort, and that there were many Indians in town. He thought that counting both white men and red there were upwards of six hundred men in Vincennes. Clark had hoped to add The Willing's crew of fifty to his own one hundred and seventy men, but as yet nothing had been heard of her. He was much encour- aged by the fact that the French citizens wished the Americans well. He was also glad to learn that the Indian chief, Tobacco's Son, had, only a few days before, declared himself the friend of the Long Knives, and this too in council with the British. Clark knew that the presence of his army must soon I I THE CAPTURE OF FORT SACKVILLE. be discovered, and so he sent a letter to the townspeople, telling them that he meant to take the fort that night; that all who were friends of the English must join them in the fort, or take their chances outside; that all who favored the Americans must prove it by keeping indoors. This letter was so worded as to lead the people to believe FORT S; XCVILLE. that the army was from Kentucky. Messages were sent to certain citizens in the names of well-known Ken- tuicky men. The soldiers were instructed to talk as if they numbered at least a thousand. As the bearer of the letter entered Vincennes, Clark and his officers watched him through their field glasses. Although there was soon a great stir in the town, the I I I GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. fort remained quiet. Clark concluded that the English knew of his approach and were prepared for defense. This, however, was not the case. They were celebrat- ing the completion of the repairs, with feasting and games, and were ignorant of the presence of an enemy. Colonel Clark spoke to his men of the great impor- tance of obeying orders implicitly. The men responded with cheers, and made ready to follow their brave com- mander wherever he should lead them. As the little army moved slowly forward it marched, counterinarched, and displayed banners in such a way as to make it appear from a distance that many hundred men were advancing. Keeping under the hillocks, Clark delayed bringing his men close to the town until after dark. On arriving, Lieutenant Bailey was ordered to take fourteen men and open fire on the fort, while the rest took possession of the town. When the Americans began to fire, the British thought nothing of it, suppos- ing that some of the Indians were amusing themselves. When one of their men was shot through a loophole they awoke to the fact that a more formidable enemy was at their gates. Games, pipes, and cards were tossed aside, the drums beat the alarm, and the soldiers made ready to defend the fort. The officers had heard that a party of men was approaching Vincennes, and Captain Lamothe had been sent out to reconnoiter, but they had no idea that it was George Rogers Clark and his army. The battle soon began in earnest, all of Clark's men, I I 2 THE CAPTURE OF FORT SACKVILLE. except a reserve of fifty, taking part. Breastworks were built near the fort, behind which the soldiers so con- cealed themselves that the British could form no idea of their numbers. At the corners of Fort Sackville were blockhouses, in each of which was a cannon, which did little harm to Clark's men, but damaged some of the houses near by. These guns were quickly rendered useless by the excellent marksmanship of the backwoods soldiers. No sooner were the openings made for the cannon, than such a volley of bullets poured in that the British could not stand to their guns. Seven or eight gunners were shot down at their posts. When the openings were closed the Americans showered taunts and abuse on their enemies, with the purpose of inducing them to fire again. In this they were often successful, but after a time the use of the cannon had to be discontinued. The American breastworks were within thirty yards of the fort. Had the English been able to use their cannon these must have been demolished, and many soldiers killed. Keeping well under cover, according to Clark's orders, the riflemen not only silenced the can- non, but shot into the loopholes of the fort the moment a shadow darkened one of them. Clark kept his men firing and shouting at such a rate that the English thought his force a great deal larger than it was. He ordered a detachment' to begin work on a mine, with a view to blowing up the fort. He felt that he had no I113 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. time to lose, for should the Indians decide to unite with the British he knew he would be overpowered. Captain Lamothe, the British officer who had been sent out on the scouting expedition, was now very anxious to join his comrades inside the fort. For some time he hovered about, seeking a chance to enter, but finding none. When Clark discovered this, lie concluded to let him get in, for fear he might stir up the Indians against him. He withdrew his men to some little dis- tance, ordering them not to fire on Lamothe, should lie attempt to get in. As lie had foreseen, the British officer at once made a-dash for his friends. He and his men were eagerly assisted by those within the fort, and all were safely admitted, amid such taunts and jeers from the Americans as must have told them that they had been purposely allowed to enter. This made the English surer than ever that Clark had a large force, for as soon as these men were safely inside, the Americans again opened fire. It was not long before Hamilton sent word to Clark that he wished a three-days' truce, and asked the American commander to meet him at the gate of the fort. Clark replied that he would agree to nothing but surrender, although he was willing to meet General Hamilton, with Captain Helm, in the church. This was arranged, and the two commanders stood face to face. Captain Helm, the American prisoner, Major Hay, an English officer, and Captain Bowman were also present. 11I4 THE CAPTURE OF FORT SACKVILLE. Hamilton asked that his troops be permitted to go to Pensacola in case of surrender. Clark answered that this could not be allowed; that the British troops had fought bravely and would not be worse treated in con- sequence; that General the fort would surely would be murder; that eager to storm the fort that if they once got be able to save a single This was far from Hamilton, and the two without coining to any Hamilton must know, that, as be taken, any further fighting the American soldiers were very and could hardly be restrained; in, even he, himself, would not man. being satisfactory to General commanders were about to part agreement, when Clark said, " Firing will not begin, Your Excellency, until after the druims give the alarm." "Why do you refuse all terms but unconditional sur- renider " asked Hamilton. " Because," said Clark frankly, "there are among your officers some of those who set the Indians to mur- dering our friends and relations on the Kentucky border. I wish to put those men to death for the wrong they have done. They are Indian partisans." "Pray, sir," broke in Major Hay, "who is it that you call an Indian partisan" " Sir," replied Colonel Clark, " I take Major. Hay to be one of the principals." At this Hay turned deadly pale, and trembled so that Clark knew he had judged rightly; Hamilton seemed I IS GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. greatly disturbed. Once more terms of surrender were discussed, and Hamilton felt forced to give way. An official paper was made out and signed as follows: I. Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton engages to deliver up to Colonel Clark Fort Sackville, as it is at present, with all stores, etc. 2. The garrison are to deliver themselves as prisoners of war and march out, with arms, accoutrements, etc. 3.- The garrison to be delivered up at ten o'clock to-morrow. 4. Three days to be allowed the garrison to settle their accounts with the inhabitants and traders of the place. 5. The officers of the garrison to be allowed their necessary baggage, etc. Signed at Fort Vincent (Vincennes), 24th February, 1779- Agreed for the following reasons: The remoteness from succor, the state and quantity of provisions, etc., unanimity of officers and men in its expediency, the honorable terms allowed, and, lastly, the confidence in a generous enemy. Signed, HENRY HAMILTON, Lieutenant-Governor and Superintendent. While terms of surrender were being discussed, a party of twenty Indians, who had just returned from a raid on the Kentucky settlements, was seen approaching the town. An American captain, John Williams, and some of his men, went out to meet them. Thev uttered the cry of successful warriors, and Captain Williams an- i i6 THE CAPTURE OF FORT SACKVILLE. swered their signs. The Indians fired a salute, and Williams's men did the same. When the two parties were within a short distance of each other the chief stopped; Williams quickly seized him, and the Indians turned and ran, the white men in pursuit. A number of savages were killed outright, others were taken pris- oners, and later on killed under the very walls of the fort. This was done to show the other Indians how powerless the English were to protect them. When Clark saw the inside of the fort, with its plen- tiful stores, he was much surprised that he had won so easy a victory. He decided to release some of his prisoners, who were volunteers from Detroit, as he had more on his hands than he could well care for. He told these young men that he knew they had been led away by their love of adventure; that instead of being sent as prisoners to Virginia they could go back to Detroit and tell their friends what kind of conquerors the Americans were. The young volunteers were only too glad to do this, and afterwards made many friends for the American cause among the citizens of Detroit. Word came that boats loaded with stores for Fort Sackville were on their way from Detroit, and Captain Helm was sent out to intercept them. This he was for- tunately able to do, and a valuable prize was thus secured. The provisions were taken for public use, and the goods divided among the soldiers. Captain Rogers, of The Willing, soon joined Clark I 17 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. at Vincennes, greatly regretting that he had arrived too late to take part in the attack. He and Captain Williams were later sent to Virginia in charge of Hamilton, his officers, and some men. Hamilton was treated with great severity in Virginia prisons, but after a time was released and exchanged. IX.-THE DELAWARE INDIANS. After his victory Colonel Clark sent no message to the Indians, but waited to see what effect the news would have upon them. They very soon began to flock into Vincennes for the purpose of making peace. Clark told them he was glad to take their promises, but that if these promises were ever broken the Long Knives would not trust the Indians again. After much ceremony, and many speeches, belts were exchanged, peace pipes smoked, and a number of treaties signed. Lieutenant Richard Brashear was left in charge of Fort Sackville, with one hundred men. Captain Helm was made com- mandant of the town, and put in charge of Indian affairs. On the twentieth of March, Clark, and the rest of his men, embarked on The Willing for Kaskaskia. On their way up the Mississippi they saw several new Indian camps. They learned, when they reached Kas- kaskia, that some Delaware Indians had been in town a I I8 THE DELAWARE INDIANS. few days before behaving very badly, some of them even going so far as to flash their guns at white women. Some passing soldiers had come to the rescue, and driven the Indians away. Later on, word came from Captain Helm that a party of traders had been killed by Delawares near Vincennes. Clark at once sent out a company to find their camps and villages. He distrusted these savages, and felt that he ought to destroy them if he could. They had, at one time, made a sort of peace treaty with the Americans, but he knew that they really wanted war. He was glad that he now had the opportunity of showing the other tribes what the Long Knives would do with those who dared to make war against them. He sent orders to the soldiers at Vincennes to attack the Delawares at once; to kill the men, but spare the women and children. Accordingly their camps were de- stroyed, many Indians killed, and many taken prisoners. The Delawares then asked for peace, but were told that they dare not lay down the hatchet without permission from Colonel Clark; but that a message would be sent for them to Kaskaskia. Clark sent back word that he would not grant peace; that he never trusted those who once broke faith; but that if they could get other tribes to be their security he would let them alone. The Delawares then called a council, at which Clark's answer was made public. The Piankeshaws promised to be security for the good faith and conduct of the lI I GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. Delawares. Tobacco's Son made a speech, in which he blamed them severely. "I gave you permission to settle in this country," said he, " but not to kill Iny friends. If you offend again, I, myself, will punish you. I swear it by the Sacred Bow." This bow was then brought out. It was a wonderful affair, decorated with feathers, eagles' tails, a pipe of peace, and many trinkets. At one end was a spear, six inches long, which had been dipped in blood. This bow could only be handled by the greatest chiefs. It made a profound impression on the frightened Dela- wares, who were now only too glad to declare themselves at peace with the Long Knives. X.--BACK IN KENTUCKY. The first miessenger sent to Virginia, with news of the victory at Vincennes, was killed on the way; but when the Virginians finally learned what Clark had done there was great rejoicing. The brave soldiers, and their braver commander, were praised on every side. The assembly presented Colonel Clark with a fine sword, in recognition of his "distinguished services." But the troops promised for an expedition against Detroit were not sent; Clark therefore decided to go back to Kentucky, making his way by the river to the I120 BACK IN KENTUCKY. Falls of the Ohio. He found that many new settlers had come to Kentucky, and this caused him to hope that he might soon so increase his army as to be able to miarch against the British. He made a careful plan for the laying in of large stores of jerked meat for army supplies, but his hunters were so harassed by the Indians that nothing came of it. Corn Island had been abandoned, and a fort built oil the Kentucky side of the river. Clark set himself at work strengthening this fort and preparing it for defense. This was really the foundation of the city of Louisville. Clark drew a plan for a magnificent city, laying out many parks and public grounds. If these ideas had been carried out Louisville would now be one of the most beautiful cities in the country; but as the town around the fort grew larger much of the public land was sold. Colonel Clark also drew up maps and plans for a city to be built opposite Louisville, which he hoped would be called Clarksville. Clark now became anxious to have a fort built at the mouth of the Ohio. This, lie felt, would strengthen the American claim to the newly conquered Illinois country. He hoped also to establish other forts to the inorth, which would keep the Indians farther away from Kentucky. In 1780 he wcnt, with a small force, to a place on the Mississippi called Iron Banks, four or five miles below the mouth of the Ohio River. Here he built several I2 I GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. blockhouses, and a fort called Fort Jefferson. Soon after its completion it was besieged by one thousand Choctaw and Cherokee Indians. Within were only thirty men, some of whom were sick; water was scarce, and, at one time, the only food was unripe pumpkins. The men had no thought of surrender, however, and finally succeeded in driving off their foes. The Indians were entrapped into a certain position, where a cannon, loaded with rifle and musket balls, could be brought to bear on them. It was fired into their ranks, when they were crowded together, with deadly effect. They drew off in haste, and made no more assaults; and after hovering about the neighbor- hood until Clark arrived with reinforcements, they dis- appeared. Clark so feared an expedition from Detroit that he planned to avert it by making the first attack himself. With this in view he set out from Fort Jefferson for Har- rodsburg, with only two companions. He was undertak- ing a most dangerous journey, for the country between the two places was full of hostile Indians. Clark and his men painted their faces and dressed like savages, hoping in this way to elude their foes. They were, in conse- quence, fired on by some white men who mistook them for Indians; fortunately no one was hurt. Living on buffalo meat and game, and crossing the swollen streams on rafts made of logs and grapevines, the travelers reached Harrodsburg in safety. 1 22 BACK IN KENTUCKY. Clark began at once to raise troops, for he knew that the situation was serious. Kentucky was threatened by the British, and harassed by Indians. News came that an expedition had really been planned by the English and their savage allies against Kaskaskia and Cahokia. Then word arrived that an army of seven hundred and fifty men was already on the way south; that American traders had been taken on the Mississippi; that workers in the lead mines had been made prisoners. These threatening and real dangers caused great alarm in Kentucky. Clark decided to attack his ene- mies, not only to punish them, but to calm the fears of his frightened countrymen. He gathered together, at the mouth of the Licking River, all the able-bodied men in the vicinity. These troops marched at once, one thousand strong, to an Indian village north of the Ohio River, carrying a cannon with them on the back of a pack horse. The Indians fled on hearing of the approach of the white men, who burned the village to the ground as soon as they reached it. They then went on to Piqua, an Indian town of well-built log houses, gardens of corn and beans, and a strong blockhouse. The white men opened an attack, and the Indians retreated so skillfully as to lose only a few of their number. The village was burned and the crops destroyed. One other Indian town was burned before the pioneers turned towards home. I 23 1GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. During this time things were going very badly at Fort Jefferson, as there were but few men in the gar- rison. One by one these sickened, (lied, or deserted; and finally the fort was abandoned. XI.-LOCHRY's DEFEAT. Colonel Clark, in 178I, was still very anxious to march against Detroit. He called a council of war at the Falls of the Ohio to consider the number of troops needed, and how they could be fed. He then went to Virginia, hoping to get help there; but during his stay the British, under Arnold, invaded the state. He laid aside his own hopes and plans long enough to help his countrymen repel this invasion. Both Governor Thomas Jefferson and General George Washington approved of Clark's plans, and promised to do what they could to further them. They were able to do very little, however, and he experienced great difficulty in securing men. Indeed there were, this time, very few who were not already in the continental army, or desperately needed at home. Clark had hoped to leave Fort Pitt on June fifteenth, with two thousand men. He was obliged to start down the river with only four hundred, but expecting other troops to follow. One division of these was commanded by Colonel Lochry of Pennsylvania, who started in July I 24 LOCHRY'S DEFEAT. to join Clark, but met with many delays. Clark, after waiting for him at Wheeling five days longer than he had planned, was then obliged to move on with his restless soldiers. He left boats and provisions for Lochry, who came the next day and immediately fol- lowed him down the river. Lochry was again delayed, an(l, instead of meeting Clark at the place decided on, arrived there one day too late. Clark moved his troops to the mouth of the Kanawha River, but they were so uneasy and dissatisfied that he did not dare remain. He left a letter on a pole for Lochry, telling him to come on as quickly as possible. Misfortunes followed thick and fast. Lochry's party did not know the channel of the river; their supplies became exhausted, and they at last lost all hope of catching up with Clark. Captain Shannon, with seven men, was sent down the river in a fast boat, to overtake Clark and tell him the plight of his friends. These men were captured by Indians, who read the letter telling Clark of Lochry's forlorn condition. The British, and their Indian allies, had thought Clark's and Lochry's parties were together, but now, knowing them to be miles apart, they at once decided to attack the weaker force. Three hundred of them watched their opportunity at the mouth of the Great Mliami River. where they won an easy victory. Forty Americans were killed, and the rest of the party cap- tured. 1 2 5 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. Great was the distress in Pennsylvania when the news of this defeat arrived, for Lochry's expedition had been made up of some of the best and bravest men in the state, and of these there were none to spare. Clark was overwhelmed with grief and chagrin, for this dis- aster destroyed his hope of being able to march against Detroit. XII.-BORDER TROUBLES. After Lochry's defeat Clark went to the Falls of the Ohio, where he found trouble and toil awaiting him. There were difficulties between citizens and soldiers at Vincennes, and trouble of the same sort in the Illinois towns. Kaskaskia was in constant peril; food and sup- plies were scarce everywhere. In Kentucky many people had been obliged to give up their farms and move into the forts; whole families had been destroyed by the Indians, and the settlements were full of widows and orphans. One brave man, Colonel Floyd, had gone in pursuit of the Indians with twenty-five men. He had met a band of two hundred savages and been defeated. Clark went to work with his unfailing courage and ability, first calling a council of war. Some were in favor of an expedition against the Indians, others of building more forts along the Ohio, still others of attempting another outpost at the mouth of the river. Clark advised a stronger fort at the falls, which was built, Ir.26 BORDER TROUBLES. and called Fort Nelson. Two others were also erected near by. Fort Nelson contained about an acre of ground, and was surrounded by a ditch eight feet deep and ten feet wide. The breastworks were log pens filled with earth; and pickets ten feet high were planted on them. Inside of the fort was a spring of running water. Clark decided to have the river patrolled by armed boats. He asked the government for means to build them, but did not receive any money, for the simple reason that there was none in the treasury of Virginia. Although disappointed he was not discouraged, but set to work to do the next best thing. He built a gunboat himself and armed it with cannon. This boat patrolled the river, from the falls to where the city of Cincinnati now stands, and did good service. In the spring of I782, another Indian war broke out. Esthill's Station was first attacked and captured. A little later several hundred Indians attacked Bryant's Station. Here they were not successful, but by this time the settlers were greatly alarmed. One hundred and eighty-two men quickly got together to fight the Indians. They met them at a place called Blue Licks, and a fierce battle was fought, in which one third of the Kentuckians lost their lives. Clark was then called on to command the men who were assembling from all the western settlements. By November he was able to lead an army of over one thousand frontiersmen towards the Indian villages on I 2 7 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. the Miami River. As was usually the case, the savages fled at the approach of the white men, who destroyed a number of towns, and all crops and provisions. This brought such poverty and famine on the Indians that they were, for the time, completely crushed. They ceased to harass the Kentucky border, and kept to the north of the Ohio River. XIII.-AFTER THE WAR. When the treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain was signed the American people began to realize the great value of George Rogers Clark's services to his country. The Northwest Terri- tory, which included what are now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was in American, not English hands. Had it not been so, England might have kept this territory for herself Virginia, now one of the United States, finding her- self exhausted by the seven years' war, had neither money nor supplies for Clark's army in the west. For these reasons he was relieved of his command in 1783. A letter was sent him containing many expressions of Virginia's appreciation of his services. Nevertheless he was left without work or money. He found him- self obliged to take the long journey to Williamsburg in such poverty and distress that lie was in need of 128 AFTER THE WAR. even necessary clothing. He went to ask for a little of the money he had so hardly earned. Twenty years after his death the government paid his heirs thirty thousand dollars on his account. Five or six years before he died he was allowed a pension of four hundred dollars a year. In the meantime he was a poor man. In January, I785, Clark and two other men, Butler and Lee, were sent by the United States government to make treaties with the Wyandotte, Chippewa, and Ottawa Indians. The council was held at Fort Mcintosh, on the Ohio River. The greatest of the chiefs, on seeing Clark, took him by the hand and said, "I thank the Great Spirit for having this day brought together two such great warriors as Buckongehelas and General Clark." The next January, Clark, Butler, and Parsons were sent to make a treaty with the Shawnees. Three hun- dred Indians arrived at the meeting place, gay with paint and feathers. As the garrison of the fort num- bered only seventy men, this was rather alarming. One Indian made a bold speech, which so excited the others that they whooped at every pause. The chief presented black and white wampum, signifying that he was ready for either peace or war. General Clark pushed these belts off the table as if they were of no consequence, at which all the Indians started up with a savage cry. Clark rose to his feet, glared at them a moment, then stamped his foot, and I29 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. ordered them to "get out." They left at once, an, held council together all night; in the morning the, sued for peace. The men who had gone with Clark to the Illinoi country received the land promised them in the cot quered territory. One thousand acres, opposite LouiE ville, was set aside for a town to be called Clarksville COLONEL CLARK'S HOME AT CLARKSVILLE. To this settlement General Clark now gave his time an(' attention, laying plans for a fine city, which, however, were never realized. Twenty or thirty families settlec in the new town, and Clark himself lived there, in little log house on the river bank. As he grew older he became much broken in health, and paralysis finally disabled him. In his hielplessness, lie fell one day, so near the fire that one leg was terribly burned. 130 AFTER THE WAR. It became necessary to cut off the injured limb, and the old soldier bravely ordered the surgeon to "go ahead." Chloroform was not used in those days, and the only help for a man in such a case was his own courage. General Clark asked that the drums and fifes might be played for him while the operation was in progress, and to the mnusic lie kept time with his fingers iuring the long two hours of agony. The sword presented to Clark in 1779 had been bought for the purpose. In i8I2 the Virginia legisla- THE SVORD PRESENTED TO COLONEL CLARK BY THE STATE OF VIRGINIA. t ure ordered one made to take its place. At the time of its presentation General Clark was living on the Ken- tucky side of the river with his sister. To General Mercer, who had been sent to hiun with the sword, it is said lie made the following reply: " You have made a very handsome address, and the sword is very handsome, too. When Virginia needed a sword I gave her one. I am too old and infirm, as you see, ever to use a sword again, but I amn glad that my 131 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. I32 old mother state has not forgotten me, and I thank her for the honor, and you for your kindness and friendly words." General Clark died February thirteenth, i8i8, old, paralyzed, crippled, poor, and with clouded mind. He was buried in private ground at Locust Grove, just out of Louisville. Fifty years later his remains were re- moved to the Louisville cemetery, at Cave Hill, where they now rest, marked by a simple headstone. In the city of Indianapolis, in Februaty, i895, a monument was erected in his honor. MONUMENT TO GENERAL GEORGE ROGERS CLARK AT INDIAN- APOLIS, INDIANA. THE STORY OF DAVID CROCKETT By FRANCES M. PERRY DAV IOD CROCKET77. DAVID CROCKETT THE HERO OF TENNESSEE I.-A NEGLECTED CHILD. A little ragged boy with frowzy hair and dirty face stood on the bank of a river screaming with rage. He was angry with his older brothers, who were paddling about in a canoe. They did not heed his screams, and would soon be carried out of hearing by the swiftly flowing water. His little heart was full of anger because they had not taken him with them. But since there is no use in crying when there is no one to hear, the child presently began to sob more quietly. In a little while he saw a workman running toward the stream, and his screams grew louder. But to his surprise the man ran past him, plunged into the water, swam to the canoe, and with great efforts dragged it ashore. The little boy did not understand that if the man had been a few minutes later his brothers would have been swept over the falls and dashed to death on the rocks 135 DAVID CROCKETT. below. But he did know that they were badly fright- ened, and he thought they deserved it. No one told him that it was wrong to lose his temper, or that he should be very thankful to have his brothers still alive. For no one cared very much what little David Crockett thought or how he felt. He was left to take care of himself. No one coaxed him through the mysteries of the alphabet, no one sang him to sleep, or taught him to lisp a prayer. His hard-working father and mother did not wish to be troubled with children's quarrels. Each one was allowed to fight his own battles. As David had several brothers older than himself, he learned early to stand up for his rights with voice and fist. He usually had his own way with the boys; for when he did not, he made a great trouble about it, and they found it easier to give up to the headstrong youngster than to oppose him. His mother scolded him when he bothered her. His father whipped him if he did not mind. The only com- mandments the boy knew, were: " Mind your father," and, " Don't bother your mother." David Crockett's first home was a poor little floorless log hut near the present village of Limestone in East Tennessee. There he was born on the 17th of August, I786, and there he was living at the time of the incident of which I have told you. The cabin was a comfortless place, with nothing in it 136 A NEGLECTED CHILD. to make life cheerful and happy. But David had never known anything better, amid so lie enjoyed himself, in his own way, as well as though he were living in a palace. His father was a restless man, never satisfied to remain long in one place ; and in a short time the old home was abandoned, and the family moved to another about fifty miles farther west. Thtus the Crocketts went about from one part of Ten- ....... -......n 0 AS bJ i l X MAP OF TENNESSEE, SHOWING PLACES WHERE CROCRETT LIVED. nessee to another, seldom staying in any one locality longer than two or three years. Wherever they went the wild, wooded country was beautiful. But the shanties in which they lived were always dark and dismal. David spent most of the time out of doors and grew to be a rugged and active boy. He had a strong will and generally succeeded in donge whatever seemed worth while. He thought it worth while to make his play fellows do as he wished. They looked upon him as their leader and liked him. 137 DAVID CROCKETT. On the other hand he had learned that it was not worth while to displease his father. He therefore did his best at any work that his father told him to do. Mr. Crockett thought David a handy boy and found plenty of small jobs to keep him busy. I1.-A HOMESICK Boy. When David Crockett was twelve years old his father kept an inn on a forest road where teamsters stopped for food and rest. One evening David came in whistling. He knew by the wagons outside that there were guests at the house, and he was sure of a good supper. He noticed that everybody stopped talking and looked at him as he entered. He glanced at his mother, who was working over the fire with tearful eyes. Then he saw that his father was dropping silver pieces into his drawer with a look of satisfaction. He listened with a fast beating heart while his father explained that a driver had hired him to help drive his cattle to market and told him to be ready in the morn- ing to start to Virginia with his new master. A great lump rose in his throat and he found it hard to talk. His mother piled his plate with good things, but he could not eat. The thought of going so far from home among strangers gave him a queer, lonely feeling. On that other day, long before, when his brothers had 138 A HOMESICK BOY. left him alone on the shore, he was angry and wished to punish them. But now he had no idea of objecting to his father's order and he knew better than to make a scene. He struggled manfully with his feelings and kept back the tears. That was in 1798,.and there were then few roads or bridges between East Tennessee and Virginia. A four hundred mile tramp over mountainous land was a hard- ship for even so strong a boy as David Crockett. Our little hero often got cold and tired and hungry. He was glad when night came. Then after a hearty supper of wild turkey or venison he would throw him- self upon a bed of dry leaves and sleep, and dream of home. The journey ended a few miles from the Natural Bridge in Virginia. David's master was pleased with the work he had done and was kind to him. In addi- tion to what he had paid Mr. Crockett he gave the boy six dollars. No plan had been made for David's return. His employer wanted him to stay with him, and offered to do well by him. But David was so homesick that no place seemed good to him without his father and mother and sisters and brothers. One day when he was alone he saw some teamsters traveling west. He knew them, for they had once or twice stopped at his father's inn. He begged them to take him home. They were afraid they would get into trouble if they did so without asking his employer; but 139 DAVID CROCKETT. they felt sorry for him and promised to let him go with them if he would join them at daybreak the next morn- ing at a tavern seven miles up the road. That night David tied his clothes into a little bundle and went to bed, but not to sleep. He was so happy thinking of going home, and so fearful lest he might DAV'ID'S ARRIVAL AT TH1E TAVERN. oversleep, that he could not close his eyes. In the middle of the night he got up and left the house while every one was fast asleep. When he opened the door large snowflakes blew against his cheeks. It was dark, but he could see that the ground had a heavy coating of white and the snow was falling fast. This would make his tramp harder. But he had no idea of giving up. 140 A HOMESICK BOY. Blinded by the snow and the darkness, he stumbled along toward the highway. He was afraid lest some one should find out that he had left and follow him. When he reached the road he felt safe, for he thought they would not follow far in the dark, and in the morn- ing his tracks would be filled with snow so that they would not know which way he had gone. With a lighter heart he trudged along in the night and the storm, and reached the tavern a little before daylight. The men were already up and harnessing the horses. They were surprised to see the lad wading through snow almost up to his knees. They warmed and fed him, and then the party started in the gray dawn. David made himself so helpful that he won the good will of the men, and they wished to keep him in their company all the way. But the heavy wagons moved too slowly for the impatient boy. When within two hundred miles of home he left his friends and set out on foot alone through the wilderness. Just before he reached a large river he was overtaken by a man riding in his direction. This man was lead- ing a horse and kindly invited the small adventurer to mount it. David continued in the care of this good-hearted man until within twenty miles of home. There their ways separated and David hurried to his father's house as fast as his nimble feet could carry him. 141 DAVID CROCKETT. In this adventure the boy showed the energy and determination that in later life won for him the title of "Go-ahead-Crockett. " III.-A RUNAWAY. David stayed at home that summer and helped his father. In the following autumn a school was opened in the neighborhood. The settlers were glad to give their children a chance to learn to read and write. The young people, large and small, gathered in the log schoolhouse, where the new schoolmaster set them to work to learn their letters. David was one of the pupils. The first day he watched, in wide-eyed wonder, every- thing that was done. Then he grew tired of school and thought it very stupid to sit still all day and study. Most of the people whom he knew were unable to read and write, and he did not see why he need know more than they did. It seemed to him much more manly to be at work. However, he persevered for four days, and was beginning to make some headway with the alpha- bet, when his school education was brought to a sudden check. He had a quarrel with one of the school boys. The two boys had a fight on the way home from school. Although the other was the older and the larger boy, David proved to be the stronger. He bruised and I42 A RUNAWAY. scratched his foe unmercifully, and the next day he was afraid to go back to school, lest the teacher should find out about it and punish him. For several days he left home in the morning with his brothers, but went to the woods instead of to school. Most of the boys liked him too well to tell his father, and the others were afraid of displeasing him. Finally the schoolmaster wrote a note to Mr. Crockett to ask why David did not come to school. When the severe father learned that David had played truant for fear of a whipping, he said lie would give him a harder thrashing than any lie had ever dreamed of if he did not go back to school. As David refused to obey, he cut a heavy hickory stick and started after him in a rage. The boy outran his half-drunken father, and hid till the latter gave up the chase. He felt well satisfied with his escape; but when he began to be hungry he was afraid to go home. He remembered how easily he had made friends among strangers, and decided to run away. He went to the house of a man who he knew was about to take a drove of cattle to Virginia. As David had had experience in this kind of work, the man very willingly hired him to go with him. When the work was done, instead of returning to Tennessee, the boy found other employment. He went as far east as Baltimore and engaged to work 143 DAVID CROCKETT. on a ship bound for London. The wagoner, whom he was with at the time, was a sensible man and would not let him go to sea. This seemed to David great cruelty, for he did not know what a miserable, friendless little drudge he would have been on the ship. Compelled to stay on land, he wandered from place to place working on farms, driving cattle, and tending horses. It was never hard for him to make friends or get work. He was a cheerful, jolly boy; every one liked him, and he was so lively and industrious that his work always gave satisfaction. But, work as he would, he could not make more than enough to feed and clothe himself. And new friends and new scenes could not make the faithful boy forget old ones. He often thought of home, but his father, with a hickory stick, was the most prominent figure in the home picture, and he could not make up his mind to go back. If his father had been angry with him for run- ning away from school, how much more angry would he be with him for running away from home! He was fifteen years old before his longing to see home and friends overcame his dread of punishment. When at last he came in sight of the familiar little inn after his long absence, he saw wagons before the door. He knew strangers were there and the idea occurred to him to ask for a night's lodging as if he were a passing traveler. He was curious to see if any one would recognize him. 1144 A HIRED HAND. When he went in, the men were lounging before the fire, and the women were getting supper. He sat in the shadow of the chimney corner and took no part in the conversation. When they went to the supper-table the women gave their attention to their guests, and David could not escape the sharp eyes of his eldest sister. She looked at him keenly for a moment, then jumped tip and rushed at him, crying: " Here is ny long lost brother." There was great rejoicing over the returned runaway. When he found how glad all were to see him again, and when he realized how great grief his mother and sisters had suffered, he felt humbled and ashamed. He saw that it would have been more manly to stay home and take his punishment than to make others suffer so much; and he wished that he had done so. It is needless to say that in his joy at the homecom- ing of his big boy, the father forgot the threatened whipping. IV.-A HIRED HAND. The law of Tennessee required a manl to give his son a homie and support until he was eighteen years old. In return for that the son's time, labor, and money were under the control cf his father. David Crockett had shown that he could take care of himself. He had unlearned the lesson of childhood, I145 DAVID CROCKETT. "Mind your father"; and Mr. Crockett saw that it would be hard to keep him at home unless he chose to stay. So he promised to give him his liberty if he would work out a debt of thirty-six dollars which he owed to one of the neighbors. David was ready to do that. He went at once to the man and agreed to work for six months in payment of his father's debt. He worked faithfully, never missing a day for half a year. At the end of that time he was his own master. His father had no more right to his time or labor. The youth had no money, but he was capable of making his own way. The man for whom he had been working wished to keep him. But he refused to work longer for him, because the men who met at his place were men of bad habits and character, and he did not wish to become like them. He went to an old Quaker farmer and asked for employment. The Quaker allowed him to work on trial for a week. Then, being satisfied with his services, he told the boy that if he would work for him six months he would cancel a debt of forty dollars that Mr. Crockett owed him. David thought it over. He was not responsible for his father's debts. He had done his duty; and his father expected nothing more of him. Surely he owed nothing to the man who had hired him out when he was twelve years old to work among strangers, and who 146 A HIRED HAND. in drunken fury had driven him from home. But he was a generous boy, and the thought of giving his old father a pleasant surprise pleased him so much that he accepted the Quaker's offer. For another six months he worked hard and faith- fully without even visiting his home, though he was only fifteen miles away from it. At the end of that time the Quaker gave him his father's note for the forty dollars. Then he felt proud as a king. One Sunday afternoon he brushed his hair and his old clothes, borrowed a horse, and rode over to his home. The family gave him a warm welcome. He was now the family pet. He had traveled so much and had so many interesting experiences to relate that even his father listened with respect to his conversation. Then, too, he was his own master, making his own living; and that made them all feel proud of him. As they sat chattering about various things he took out the note and handed it to his father. The old man looked at it with a troubled face. He thought David had been sent to collect the money. He shook his head sadly, and said he didn't have the money and could not see how he could get it. That was a proud and happy moment for David, but he tried to speak care- lessly: "You needn't bother about the money. The note's paid. I paid it myself and just brought it to you for a present." The hard old- man knew that he had not been a very 147 DAVID CROCKETT. good father to David, and he was so moved by this undeserved kindness that he shed tears. When David saw his father so overcome by his generosity he felt repaid for his six months' labor. He had now worked a year for his father, and, as he had had no money in all that time, his clothes were nearly wvorn out and too small for him. So he bar- gained to work for the Quaker for a suit of clothes. While lie was doing that, a niece of the Quaker came to the house on a visit. She was a pretty girl and David fell in love with her. When he told her so, and asked her to marry him, she said she had promised to marry her cousin. The poor. boy thought he never could be happy again. He could not be gay and light hearted. He became dissatisfied with himself. He thought that if he had had some education the Quaker girl would have liked hin better, and so lie decided to go to school. He was seventeen years old, bult had never attended school but four days in his life. He did not even know his letters. The Quaker was willing to give him his board and allow him four days a week for school if he would work for him the test of the time. Poor David was a big fellow to start to school. But it was not unusual to find boys of his age in the A, B, C class at that time; for there were few schools, and many boys, like David, had had no chance to go to school when they were children. Tie tried hard and in time learned to write his name, to read from the primer, and I 48 A HIRED HAND. to work problems in addition, subtraction and miultipli- cation. But he made slow progress and liked active life better than study. In the course of time he forgot his disappointment and began to enjoy life again. He was fond of fun and enjoyed dances, harvest frolics, and such rude backwoods amusements. He liked to hunt and was considered one of the best shots in the neighborhood. It was much easier for himi to hit the center spot of a target than to get the correct answer to a problem in subtraction. One of his keenest pleasures was a shooting match. The good Quiaker with whomn he lived did not approve of this pastime, btut David and the young men of his time thought there was no better sport. WXhen a farmer wished to raise a little money he would pult up one of his fine cattle to be shot for. Tickets were sold for twenty-five cents each, and one man could buiy as mnany as he wished. Each ticket entitled the owner to one shot. Boards with crosses in the center served for targets. Every young man who could get a gun canie to try his luck in winning a portion of the beef. The one who shot nearest the center was given the hide and tallow; the next got his choice of the hind- quarters of the beef; the third got the other hindquarter; the fourth was given his choice of the forequarters; the fifth took the remaining forequarter; and the sixth got the lead in the tree against which they shot. I149 DAVID CROCKETT. David was very successful. He sometimes bought several tickets and won not only the first but several other portions of the beef. He could easily sell the meat for money. And you may be sure a youth who worked so hard and was paid so little was glad to hear silver clinking in his own pockets. V.-A HOUSEHOLDER. In all the country there was no young man more popular than David Crockett. The old people liked him because he was honest, kindhearted, and industri- ous. The boys thought him the best company in the world, for no one could tell such a funny story, or invent such prime jokes. The girls admired him very much; for they liked to dance with the graceful .youth who wore his tattered buckskin suit with the air of a prince. It is not surprising that after several disappointments he at last found a pretty little Irish girl, about his own age, who loved him so much that she did not object to his poverty. His only possessions were the clothes on his back and an old horse he had bought with half a year's work. But he felt so rich in the love of the little maid that he did not think that the possession of houses and lands was at all necessary to happiness. After the wedding David took his bride to his father's house, where a large company had gathered to I50 A HOUSEHOLDER. welcome the young couple. They stayed there for a few days, and then returned to the bride's mother, who gave them a spinning wheel and two cows and calves for a wedding present. David rented a cabin and a few acres of ground near by and started farming. He had the horse and cows to begin with, but no fur- niture or tools. They could make chairs and tables and beds; and as for a stove there was no need of that, for everybody cooked by the fireplace in those days. The Crocketts' cabin was better fitted up than that of most young l couples of that neigh- borhood. DAVID'S CABIN. David's former em- ployer, the Quaker, gave him fifteen dollars. This seemed like great wealth to David and his young bride. They went to the store together and bought pans, dishes, tools, and such other things as they needed, but could not make; and they soon had a cozy home. The little housewife was a beautiful weaver and her fih- gers were never idle. David worked on the farm and sometime; went hunting, but he had a hard time to make enough to pay his rent. A good many families were moving further west, and IS5I DAVID CROCKETT. David Crockett thought it would be a sensible thing for him to move also. It would be pleasanter to support his famil- by hunting than by farming. Game was, of course, more plentiful in the more unsettled parts of the state. It was little harder for people who lived as he did to move from one home to auother than it is for Indians or Arabs to change their dwelling places. The few house- hold articles worth moving could be packed on two or three horses. The wife and the small children were made comfortable on the back of some old nag. The rest of the family could walk. Wagons were sometimes used; and in some places where roads had been made through the wilderness, long trains of movers might be seen making their way slowly towards the unsettled west. In fair weather the travelers spent the night under the open sky by a camp-fire, with perhaps a watchman to keep off wolves and mountain wildcats. If it rained a rude shed was made of tree boughs. A tender wild turkey browned over the wood fire furnished the hungry wayfarers with a delicious repast. When a spot was found that seemed good for a home, it required but a few days' work to clear a garden patch and make a "camp" or hut of logs. In this way David Crockett moved several timnes. Hunting was then as profitable an occupation as farmning, especially for a poor man who did not have money enough to buy good farning implemnents and I52 A HOUSEHOLDER. stock. Young Crockett was a fine hunter, and, after moving to his new home, he spent most of the time in scouring the woods for choice game or in dressing skins. The fame of his woodcraft and marksmanship spread through all that part of the country. This seems to us a shiftless way to live, but it was the best way those poor backwoodsmen knew. We are glad A TRAIN OF MOVERS GOING WEST. they could be happy and contented with so little. We shall find that they were intelligent and brave, as well. Whenm Crockett was living in Franklin County, Ten- nessee, trouble broke out between the Creek Indians and the white people. The Indians suddenly attacked the settlement at Fort Minns, in southern Alabama, and murdered about four hundred people. Mlen, women, and children were killed without mercy. This happened I53 DAVID CROCKETT. far away from Crockett's home in Tennessee. He had no friends there to write to him about it. He had no daily paper and there was no telegraph then. But one man told another, and not many days passed before the lonely settlers on the remote frontier were talking .over the terrible deed with fear and anger. David Crockett had always been opposed to war, but he was one of the first to volunteer to fight the Indians. When he told his wife that he was going to the war she urged him not to leave her and her two little children alone in the wilderness. It was hard for him to with- stand her tears and entreaties. But he told her that no pioneers, not even they themselves, would be safe unless the Indians were punished. He reminded her that there was a good supply of meat and corn, sufficient to last till his return; and he said that he would probably be back safe and sound in two months. He did his best to comfort her, but never wavered in his determination to do what seemed as much his duty as any other man's. He could talk well, and his wife, who was really a brave, sensible woman, was soon won over to think as he did. Each went to work to provide for the other's comfort during the separation. VI.-A SOLDIER. The Tennessee boys proved to be the heroes of the war with the Creek Indians. In that war Crockett did 154 A SOLDIER. good service as a private soldier. He liked adventure, change of scene, and excitement, and the war offered these. Because of his skill with the rifle and knowledge of forest travel he was chosen as a member of a scouting party. This little band of men went before the army to see where the Indians were and what they were doing. The country was unknown to them, and they were in danger of falling into an ambush of Indians. It was hard to find the silent, swift-footed foe. But the scouts were helped by some of the Cherokee Indians who were friendly to the whites. When the scouts found a Creek village they sent word to the army. If the town was deserted when the soldiers reached it they plundered and burned it. But sometimes the soldiers came upon the towns before the inhabitants knew they were near. Then the troops surrounded the surprised savages. The Indians usually tried to break through the line of soldiers, and some- times did so. But generally the fire from the guns was so terrible that the Indians were driven back. They then rushed frantically against another part of the wall of soldiers, only to meet the same deadly fire. At one time when so many of the savages had fallen in this wat that there was no hope of escape, the women and children asked for mercy and were made prisoners. But the warriors were too proud for that. Nearly forty of them crowded into a log house hoping to fight from 1155 DAVID CROCKETT. that shelter. But the soldiers set fire to it and burned them, or shot them as they ran from the flames. The white people were so infuriated against the Creeks that they treated them as if they were wild beasts. Detachments of soldiers were sent out to scour the country for Creeks and destroy them by fair means or foul. While our soldiers caused great suffering they had a very hard time themselves. At times the Indians surprised them. Once the famous General Jackson himself was almost INDIAN IN AMBUSH. defeated by them. But the enemy that gave the United States soldiers the most trouble was hunger. They were in the south far from any source of supplies. Before deserting a town the Indians destroyed their crops and provisions so that they would not fall into the hands of the white men. Therefore the soldiers got no food from the country through which they traveled. At times they had noth- ing to eat but acorns. Their horses became thin and feeble, and the men were nearly starved. David Crockett was not less cruel than others to the Creek Indians. But he did much to relieve the hard- ships of his fellow soldiers. He was always ready with a hearty laugh and a funny story to rouse their droop- ing spirits. By nature strong, patient, and generous, he 156 A SOLDIER. was able and willing to help those less fortunate than himself. Often lie got permission to go hunting and risked his life alone in the forest. Men offered him large sums for the squirrels and wild fowls he brought back. But he refused their offers. He might have gained favor with his officers by giving themn his game. Instead he gave all to some sick soldier or divided freely with his mess- mates. His popularity with the men, his good common sense and ability, might have secured him promotion to the rank of an officer, had it not been for the independent way in which he sometimes conducted himself. At one time, becoming dissatisfied with the way in which the captain divided the scant provisions, he led his mess off in the night. It was a good thing for the starving men, for they found plenty of fat turkeys and some bee trees full of honey. The party rejoined the army with a fine buck, and just at the same time some men from the settlements arrived with a supply of corn. Crockett was one of the men who went home in spite of Jackson's order to stay in the field. The volunteers had served one month longer than the time for which they had enlisted. Their clothing was in tatters and their horses almost worn out. But Crockett was also one of the few who went back to the war. After visiting his family he supplied him- I157 DAVID CROCKETT. self with new clothes and a fresh horse and returned to the army to serve six months. In all he enlisted three times. The Indians were then so subdued that there were no more battles. Soldiering became very uneventful and uninteresting. Then Crockett was glad to go back to his cabin on the western frontier. VII.-A LEADING CITIZEN. After so much roaming about, David Crockett was at last content to settle down to the quiet life of a farmer. For two years he worked away happily enough. Then a great sorrow came into his life. His wife died, and all the cheer and comfort that had made home sweet to this rest- less man left the little cabin and it seemed a very poor place. There was no one now to POOR PLACE." object to his going to war; no one to welcome him when he came home. He missed the busy hum of the spinning- wheel. The room she had kept so tidy refused to look neat. The children were forlorn and dirty. They cried, and he could not comfort them. They quarreled, and he could not settle their disputes. He saw that he could not fill their mother's place. i58 A LEADING CITIZEN. He felt helpless and homeless and began to think it would be best for him to marry again. This time he did not select a gay, dancing, rosy-cheeked girl, but a sensible, kindly woman, a widow with two children of her own. After his marriage, he wished to move again and start afresh. Having been pleased with the country he had passed through during the war, lhe organized a little party of friends and they started out to explore. When far from home in the wilderness he was taken ill with malarial fever. He did not lack for good care and kind, if clumsy, nursing. Those were days of true hospitality. The pioneer living alone in the forest had no neighbor on whom he could shift the responsibility of caring for the needy stranger. The sick man was received at the home of a backwoodsman and taken care of. He was ill for a long time. When he reached home at last even his wife was surprised to find that he was still alive. Soon after his recovery he moved to a famous hunting-ground in southwestern Tennessee that had been purchased from the Indians. At first there was no law or local government in the new settle- mnent, and none was needed; for the few people who lived there were honest and industrious. But as the fame of the district grew, great numbers of settlers came. Some of these settlers were selfish and ready to take I159 DAVID CROCKETT. advantage of the weak. Some were wicked men who had come west to escape punishment and find new vic- tims to cheat. With such characters in the settlement trouble began, and some sort of government was needed to protect the good from the bad. The settlers met and chose officers to take charge of affairs.. They selected good men and left them free to do whatever they thought was right. Thus the officers had great power. David Crockett was one of them. When word was brought to hinm that a man had stolen, or had refused to pay a debt, or had injured another in any way, he sent his constable after the offender. He listened attentively to both sides of the story. If he found the accused guilty he had him punished. Sometimes the punishments were very severe and humiliating. Whipping was very common. One of the most frequent crimes was pig-stealing. The pigs were marked and turned loose in the woods. They were an easy and tempting prey for the hungry man. During the time David Crockett served as officer no one ever questioned the justice of his decisions. He knew nothing about law. He could scarcely write his name; btut he had a great deal of shrewdness and com- mon sense, and he understood the men among whom he lived. Later, when the settlement was recognized by the state, Crockett was appointed "squire" by the legis- lature. The work of his office became more formal. x6o A LEADING CITIZEN. He had to keep a book and write out warrants for arrests. At first he had to ask the constable for help in this. But now that he saw a use for writing he tried hard to learn and soon was able to write his own war- rants and keep his own books. When David Crockett started to do anything he was pretty sure to "go ahead." That was true of him in his boyhood when he ran away from his employer to go home, and again when he ran away from school and home. When he was older and began to work he went steadily ahead and gave his father double service. Then, as hunter and marksman, he had won dis- tinction as the bravest and most skillful. In the wars, his neighbors had been satisfied with two months of service, but he had enlisted three times. As a pioneer he had moved again and again; keeping always in the vanguard of civilization. It was still his disposition to make the most of his opportunities, and having gained some prominence among the settlers he became ambitious. He borrowed money and built a large grist mill, distillery, and powder factory. He was very popular among the backwoodsmen and was made colonel of a regiment of militia. He was ever afterwards called "Colonel" Crockett. His friends urged him to be a candidate to represent his district in the state legislature. He consented and gave his name as a candidate in February. In March ii6i DAVID CROCKETT. he went to North Carolina with a drove of horses, and was gone three months. When he returned home he went to work to secure his election. He knew nothing about government. He did not even know the meaning of the word. But he knew that the men who did the voting understood as little about governmental affairs as he did. He knew also that most of them were willing to elect a man whom they could trust to take care of their political interests. So he sought to be popular with the voters. His reputation as a hunter, his ability to tell laughable stories, and his timely "treats " did more to win the good will of the 162 A LEADING CITIZEN. voters than his rival's learned speeches. He was suc- cessful from the first. At that time people came from far and near to the political meetings and had a good time. The first one that Colonel Crockett took part in was held in Heck- man County. Both parties joined in a squirrel hunt that lasted two days. After the hunt, they were to have a great feast in the open air, and the party that got the smallest number of squirrels had to pay all of the expense. Crockett shot many squirrels in that hunt and his party brought in the largest number. The feast was to be followed by dancing, but as they lingered at the tables talking, some one called for a speech. Both candidates were present, but Crockett was called for first. This was new business for him. He had never paid any attention to public speeches and did not know how to begin. He felt ill at ease and made excuses. But all clamored for a speech, and his rival was especially eager, for he knew Crockett was an ignorant man, and he wished to see him fail. Perceiving that he could not escape, he mounted the stump of an old forest tree and began. He told the people bluntly that he had come to get their votes and that if they didn't watch out he would get them too. Then he could think of no more to say. After making two or three vain attempts to go on with his speech he gave it up, saying that he was like a man he had heard about who was beating on the head of an empty barrel i63 DAVID CROCKETT. by the road. A traveler passing by asked him what he was doi'ng that for. He answered that there was some cider in the barrel a few days before, and lie was trying to see if it was there yet. Crockett said that lie was in the same fix. There had been a little bit of a speech in him a few minutes ago, but he couldn't get at it. At this the people all laughed. Then he told several funny stories. Seeing that he had made a good impression, he stopped. As he got down from the stump lie remarked to those around him that he wasn't used to speaking, and his throat was so dry that he thought it was about time to take a drink. His friends gathered about him and he entertained them in true backwoods fashion, while his rival was left to make his speech to a slim audience. Before Crockett was called on to speak again he had the good fortune to hear several strong speeches on both sides. In that way he acquired some political ideas which he was able to mix with his funny stories in such a way as to make a very popular stump speech. When election day came there was good evidence of his suc- cess. He received twice as many votes as his com- petitor. He had a quick, active mind and, by listening to discussions and debates in the legislature, Crockett soon knew as much about public affairs as the other mem- bers. He was not at all timid, and spoke frequently. i64 A BEAR HUNTER. . His wit, his easy, familiar manners, his blunt, straight- forward ways, gained him many friends and admirers. He could argue as well with funny stories as most men could with sharp words. When the session closed and the members went to their homes in various parts of the state, they repeated his stories, and the name of " Davy Crockett " became known all over Tennessee. VIII.-A BEAR HUNTER. A heavy misfortune befell Colonel Crockett while he was in the legislature. His mills were washed away by a spring flood. He was obliged to sell all the prop- erty he had left to pay what he owed on the mills. Then he resolved to make another start in the world. With his little boy and a young man, he went farther west to look for a suitable location. He found a place that seemed to be what he wanted, on the Obion River not far from the Mississippi. The traveler was reminded by the yawning cracks in the earth, that a great earthquake had visited that section. There had also been a great storm or hurricane there not long before, and the fallen timber made a good retreat for bears. The region was almost uninhabited; but many Indians came there to hunt. It was wild enough to suit any hunter's fancy, and Crockett began to make preparations for the coming of his family. I65 DAVID CROCKETT. With the help of some passing boatmen who were taking a cargo of provisions up the river he hastily built a cabin. The men had to wait for the river to rise to take their boat up the shallow stream. They helped Crockett build his house and gave him some pro- visions, such as meal, salt, and sugar. In return for this, he went with them up the river and helped them unload their boat. 1 S I He then went back to his new dwelling. He spent some time hunting deer and bears, clearing a garden, planting and tending his corn, and making rude furniture. When all was ready hie returned for -HUNTING DEER. his wife and children. It seemed like old times to live in a little forest cabin, miles froin any other white family, depending on the hunt for food and clothes. But since poverty made it necessary to live so humbly, David Crockett could take up the old life cheerfully. His patience and fortitude were as well displayed in the small things of life as in the great. That winter his supply of powder gave out. It was time to hunt. Then, too, Christmas was coming and the most glorious part of the Christmas celebration was the firing of Christmas guns. Clearly he must have some powder. i66 A BEAR HUNTER. There was a keg full of powder that belonged to him at his brother-in-law's, who had settled about six miles from him. But the river was between them, and the country was flooded by the fall rains. In order to reach that keg of powder he would have to wade through water for a mile. There were four inches of snow on the ground, and the water was almost freezing cold. His wife begged him not to go. But it was of no use. He cut a stout stick to feel the way, so that he should not fall into a ravine or hole, and started. He waded through water almost up to his waist. Once in cross- ing a deep place on a floating log he fell into water neck deep. He was so cold that there was scarcely any feel- ing in his limbs. He tried to run when he got out of the water, but found that he could scarcely walk. Still he struggled on through five miles of rough forest, and at last reached his journey's end. After hot drinks and a night's rest, he awoke refreshed and well. A thin coat of ice was forming over the water, and lie waited two days hoping it would become strong enough to bear his weight. The ice was not so heavy as he had hoped, but he knew that his wife would worry about him and that his children were without meat, and so he shouldered his keg of powder and went ahead. In some places the ice was thick enough to support him, but he could never tell at what moment or in how i67 DAVID CROCKETT. deep water it would break. When he fell through he had to take his tomahawk and cut a path for himself through the thin ice. He reached home safe, and you may be sure the Crockett family fired a merry salute to Christmas that year and feasted on juicy steaks of bear's meat and plump wild turkey. Bear hunting was Colonel Crockett's favorite sport. In one year he killed one hundred and five bears. The meat was considered a great delicacy, and bearskins were very useful to the hunter and brought a good price in the market. Then there was enough danger and excitement in hunting those great ferocious creatures to suit Crockett. He had several dogs, scarred like old soldiers from many a battle with the bears. They loved the sport as well as he did. He would tramp through the woods with Betsey (as he called his gun) on his shoulder, and Tiger, Rattler, and the rest of his dogs at his heels, until one of them got the scent of a bear. Then off it would go, fol- lowed by the others barking in full chorus. Crockett hurried after them, guided by their barking, and usually found them at the foot of the tree in which old bruin had taken refuge. He took careful aim, fired, and the great creature would come tumbling to the ground, sometimes dead- usually wounded. Then while the hunter was reload- ing his gun the nimble dogs would beset the enraged x68 A BEAR HUNTER. 1l9 animal, biting it here and there but keeping out of the way of its sharp teeth and strong paws. If the bear was small the dogs would not give it a A BEAR HUNT. chance to climb a tree, but would attack and pull it down before their master came up. In that case he j I I 1 I DAVID CROCKETT. would slip up quietly, put the muzzle of the gun against the bear and shoot, or draw his hunting knife and plunge it into his prize. He then went home, marking the trees with his toma- hawk so that he could find his way back with horses and men. The skin was dressed and the choice parts of the flesh were dried or salted down for food. The bear often led the dogs and men a hard chase through the thick cane and underbrush, and a faint- hearted hunter would call off his dogs in despair. Crockett rarely gave up. Occasionally he followed the game so far that he had to stay out in the woods alone all night. Once after a long chase he succeeded in killinga bear in the dark with his hunting knife after a hard tussle. Then he spent the rest of the night in climbing a tree and sliding down it to keep from freezing to death. In the winter tine the bears go into winter quarters. They usually choose some place very hard to reach, like a hole in a dense canebrake or a hollow tree. Then the dogs worry them out of their snug quarters to some place where the men can shoot and handle them conveniently. Colonel Crockett did not spend all his time hunting bears in the cane. He was engaged in numerous enter- prises to increase his wealth; but none of them was suc- cessful. Once lie tried to make some money by taking two boat loads of staves down the Mississippi to market. I170 A CONGRESSMAN. But his men were unacquainted with the river. They could not manage the big boats. They had an accident, and Crockett lost his boats and his staves. IX.-A CONGRESSMAN. David Crockett had gone into the wilderness to get a new start. He was not the man to lie around and wait for a job to turn tip. He was poor and must earn a living. As he was a good hunter he found a hunting ground and went to work. He did it simply and natur- ally, without any idea of attracting attention by it. But this move made him more prominent than ever. People remembered the odd man who could tell such sound truths in such laughable stories and usually had his way and gained his point with a joke. When they asked what had become of him thev were told that he was " hunting bears out in the cane." Then followed thrilling stories of his narrow escapes and the great bears he had taken. When he went to market to sell his skins people. crowded around to see them and to hear his stories. It was no wonder that his friends wanted to send him a second time to the legislature. The opposing candi- date was a man of some wealth and culture known as Dr. Butler. He lived in a frame house, and in his best room had a carpet which covered the middle part of the floor. 171 DAVID CROCKETT. The pioneers of that region had never seen a carpet and were ignorant of its use. One day the doctor in- vited some of them, whose votes he hoped to get, to come in for a friendly talk. They accepted his invita- tion, but could hardly be persuaded to set their feet on the wonderful carpet. They soon went away in no pleasant humor. "That man Butler," they said, "called us into his house and spread down one of his finest bed quilts for us to walk on. He only wanted to make a show. Do you think we'll vote for him Not much! Davy Crockett's the man for us. He ain't a bit proud. He lives in a log cabin without any glass for his windows, and with- out any floor but the dry ground. He's the best hun- ter in the world, and a first-rate man all round. We'll vote for him." And so the man of the people carried the day. At the election he had a majority of two hundred and forty- seven votes-and this was a great victory in that sparsely peopled district. His friends were now so proud of their "bear- hunter from the cane " that they wanted to send him to Washington to represent them in the national Con- gress. The first time he ran for that office he was defeated. He was bitterly disappointed. But he did not lose con- fidence in himself or in his friends. He said the elec- tion had been conducted unfairly. When the time for 172 A CONGRESSMAN. the next Congressional election came around lie tried again. Crockett had two opponents, Colonel Alexander and General Arnold. Each was more afraid of the other than of Crockett. On one occasion all three had to make speeches. Crockett spoke first and made a short, witty speech. Colonel Alexander then made a long political speech. When Arnold spoke he made no ref- erence to Crockett's speech, but discussed all the points made by Alexander. While lie was speaking a flock of guinea-fowls came near and made such a noise that he stopped and asked that they be driven away. When he had finished, Crockett went up to him and said in a loud voice: "Well, Colonel, I see you understand the lan- guage of fowls. You did not have the politeness to name me in your speech, and when my little friends, the guinea fowls, came up and began to holler 'Crockett, Crockett, Crockett !' you were ungenerous enough to drive them away." This amused the spectators very much, and they went away laughing and talking about Crockett's cleverness, and all forgot the long speeches of the other candidates. On election day Crockett was chosen by a large majority to represent one hundred thousand people ir our national Congress. His fame had gone before him to the capital and lie found himself the center of observation. He had too IL73 DAVID CROCKETT. much self-respect to feel uncomfortable or shy in his new surroundings. He was himself under all circumstances, and did not affect the manners of others. He saw that he differed from the men about him in many ways; but what of that Their manners suited their lives and were the outgrowth of their habits; they were like the people they represented. His manners suited his life; they were the outgrowth of his habits; he was like the people he represented. He had nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, lie was proud of himself. However, when the president of the United States invited him to dinner, the thought occurred to him, that the table-manners of a huntsman, used to dining on a log in the forest, might not fit the presidential dining table. But he decided to watch the others and " go ahead." Of course the newspapers made a great many jokes about the uncouth manners of the backwoodsman and held him up for ridicule. But most of the jokes were made in the spirit of fun and only served to whet the curiosity of the readers, and make them wish to know more of the "gentleman from the cane," as he was called. At the close of his first term Crockett was re-elected. This time lie gave the newspapers more to talk about than his bad manners. He had been sent to Congress by a people who regarded Andrew Jackson as their hero. Crockett had served under Jackson in the Indian I174 A TRAVELER. wars and had been a Jackson man. But when Jackson was elected president, Crockett did not think some of his measures right and voted against A them. He knew this would displease most of the men who had sent him to Congress, but he said he would not be bound by any man or party to do wvhat lie thought was wrong. By this time he was well acquainted with pub- lic questions, and had strong convic- ANDREW ckCS tions as to his duty. He was inde- pendent of parties and men in his views. He was a candidate for the next election, but his turning against Jackson had made him so unpopular that, much to his disappointment, lie was defeated. X.-A TRAVELER. After two years more of hunting in the backwoods, David Crockett was again returned to Congress by his district. It was during this term that he made his famous tour of the northeastern states. He started in the spring of i834 and visited most of the large cities. On this trip he saw a train of railroad cars for the first time. This is his description of it: "This was a clean new sight to me; about a dozen big stages hung to one machine, and to start up hill. I75 DAVID CROCKETT. After a good deal of fuss we all got seated and moved slowly off; the engine wheezing as if she had the tiz- zick. By and by she began to take short breaths, and away we went with a blue streak after us. The whole distance is seventeen miles and it was run in fifty-five minutes." Crockett received a warm welcome at Philadelphia. Thousands of people were at the wharf to meet him. When he stepped from the boat he was greeted with cheers and the waving of hats. Men came forward with outstretched hands, saying: "Give me the hand of an honest man." Colonel Crockett was not a modest man, but he was surprised and a little overcome by this reception. They put him into a fine carriage drawn by four horses, and drove him to a hotel. There was another crowd there, calling for a speech. He was so surprised that he could not make a long speech then, but after a few pleasant remarks lie promised the people to talk to them on the following day if they cared to hear him. He received calls from many distinguished citizens. On the next day, when he stood before a vast crowd and looked into the expectant, friendly faces, he felt abashed for a moment. But some one shouted: "Go ahead, Davy Crockett." The sound of his old watch- word gave him courage and he went ahead and made a speech that did him credit. Some of the citizens presented him with a watch chain 176 A TRAVELER. and seal. On the seal were engraved two race horses at full speed. Above them were the words "Go ahead." The young Whigs of Philadelphia gave him a fine rifle. He was received with great kindness in New York and Boston, where he was invited to banquets made in his honor, and taken around to see the sights of those great cities. At each of the places he made short speeches, greatly to the entertainment of his hearers. Harvard University had recently conferred the degree of LL.D. upon PresidentJackson; and when Crockett was in Boston, he was invited to pay a visit to that famous seat of learning. "There were some gentlemen," he says, "who invited me to go to Cambridge, where the big college or univer- sity is, where they keep ready-made titles or nicknames to give to people. I would not go, for I did not know but they might stick an LL.D. on me before they let me go. . . . Knowing that I had never taken any degree, and did not own to any-except a small degree of good sense not to pass for what I was not-I would not go it. There had been one doctor made from Ten- nessee already, and I had no wish to put on the cap and bells. I told them that I would not go to this branding school; I did not want to be tarred with the same stick; one dignitary was enough from Tennessee." Crockett was astonished at the comfort and elegance of the homes of the eastern people, especially in New 177 DAVID CROCKETT. England where the land was so poor. For he was used to measuring people's wealth by the rich- ness of their land. The extensive shipping business of the coast cities was new to him and filled him with wonder. His eyes were open to all that was strange or new. He noticed the New York fire department, which was a great improvement on the bucket system-to which he was accustomed. On visiting the blind asylum he was astonished to find that the blind were taught to read. Even the distribution of work seemed strange. It looked very queer to him to see New England women working in the factories and New England men milk- ing cows. Crockett visited several other cities. He found friends wherever he went, and he always left more than he found. He had many warm sympathizers and admirers in the northeast because of the stand he had taken against President Jackson. Some people were curious to see him because they had heard so much about him. He did not disappoint the curious. He could shoot as wonderfully as rumor had reported. His stories were as ludicrous and his grammar was as bad as any one had imagined. But at the same time his sense and sincerity won the good will and respect of those who laughed. He went back to Washington pleased with the East and the eastern people, and well satisfied with himself. 1178 A DARING ADVENTURER. At the close of the session he returned to his Tennessee cabin to work for his re-election, proud of the honors he had received and sure of more to come. XI.-A DARING ADVENTURER. David Crockett was greeted at all the large towns he passed through by crowds of people. They always wanted a speech and he was always ready to make one; for his head was full of ideas on public questions. He said some wise things. Men called him a great man and said he would be president some day. No doubt he thought that they were right. But in the meantime a seat in Congress was worth working for and much more certain. He made tours of his district, speaking to the people more earnestly than ever before. Though he knew that his enemies were working hard against him he felt sure of success. When the news came that he was defeated, he was almost crushed with disappointment. He was so deeply interested in politics, and so much better fitted for the position than ever before. It seemed cruel that, just at the time lie felt most ready to help and be of real use, his services should be rejected. Hunting had lost its charm. He could not stay in the wilderness doing nothing. There was a war in Texas. The people were trying to throw off the gov- 179 DAVID CROCKETT. ernment of Mexico. There was a field for action and glory. David Crockett resolved to go to Texas and help the people in their struggle for freedom. He arrayed himself in a new deerskin hunting suit and a fox-skin cap with the bushy tail hanging down behind. He was well armed with tomahawk, hunting knives, and his new rifle. His good wife in the dreary cabin bade farewell to her hero with tears. Her heart was full of regret for his past disappointment and full of fears for his future success. But he had not lost his happy faculty of turning his back on bad luck and going ahead. New sights soon made him forget the family parting, and even the bitterness of defeat wore off as he pressed forward, hoping for new and greater honors and victories. He stopped for two or three days at Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was treated with great cordiality. A feast was made in his honor and when he left the town a company of men rode with him fifty miles. He rode across the country to Fulton, on the Red River, where he took a steamboat for the village of Natch- itoches. On the boat he met a curious vagabond who was gambling in a small way and winning money from the passengers by a game that he played with a thimble and some peas. He played this game so constantly that Crockett gave him the name of Thimblerig. Any one else in Crockett's position would have I180 A DARING ADVENTURER. scorned this trifler. But he was pleased with the fel- low's wit and good nature. He learned his history of idleness and wrong-doing, and persuaded him to go with him to Texas and at least die better than he had lived. At Natchitoches he met a handsome young man with a free, graceful bearing and a clear, ringing voice. He said that he was a bee hunter and had been over the Texas prairies many times. He wanted to go to the war, and hearing that Crockett was going had come to join him. The three men, well mounted on prairie mustangs, left Natchitoches in good spirits. They told stories, or the bee hunter sang spirited songs, as they rode along. The country was new to Crockett, and full of interest. Canebrakes, loftier than those "the gentleman from the cane" was accustomed to, crossed their way. In one place they rode through an avenue of cane, wide enough for two horses. The tall, slender rods of cane, each as long and slim as a fishing pole, fell towards each other at the top, making an arched roof that completely shut out the sun for a quarter of a mile. Wolves, wild turkeys, and droves of wild horses roused the instinct of the hunter. Crockett longed to have a buffalo hunt, but the bee hunter told him he would surely get lost if he attempted it. One noon as the travelers were resting in the shade of one of the little clumps of trees that dotted the great i8i DAVID CROCKETT. prairies, David Crockett said he had made up his mind to have a buffalo hunt. The bee hunter said he thought they ought not to separate, and Thimblerig shook his head solemnly as he played with his thimbles and peas on the top of his old white hat. Suddenly the bee hunter sprang from the ground, where he had been lying gazing at the blue sky, jumped upon his mustang, and without a word started off, leaving his companions in wonder. He had seen a bee, and 4 forgetting his advice to Crockett, had started off in quest of its hive. While his deserted companions were talk- A BUFFALO BULL. ing over his strange conduct they heard a low rumbling. The sound grew louder and the earth trembled. The two men seized their weapons and sprang to their horses. A herd of five hundred buffaloes came careering towards them with the speed of the wind and the sound of thunder. The leader of the herd was an immense fellow with long mane almost sweeping the ground, and stout, bony horns ready to bear down everything that came in his way. "I never felt such a desire to have a crack at any- I8:2 A DARING ADVENTURER. thing in my life," says Crockett. "The big buffalo drew nigh to the place where I was standing. I raised my beautiful Betsey to my shoulder and blazed away. He roared, and suddenly stopped. Those that were near him did likewise. The commotion caused by the impetus of those in the rear was such that it was a miracle that some of them did not break their heads or necks. The leader stood for a few moments pawing the ground after he was shot, then darted off around the clump of trees and made for the uplands of the prairies. The whole herd followed, sweeping by like a tornado. And I do say I never witnessed a sight more beautiful to the eye of a hunter in all my life." Colonel Crockett now realized that they were escap- ing from him and he could not resist the temptation to follow. He reloaded his gun and started in full chase. He rode for two hours, but he could not keep pace with the fleet buffaloes. At length he lost sight of them. Then he gave up and began to think of his friend. In his attempts to go back by a short cut he lost his way entirely. The country was so fair and beautiful it was hard to realize that it was uninhabited. But Crockett looked in vain for signs of the hand of man. Seeing that he made no headway, he determined to find a stream and follow that. He soon came upon a herd of mustangs. They no- ticed his horse and began to circle around it. The circle of prancing horses grew ever smaller and smaller until i83 DAVID CROCKETT. Crockett found himself in the midst of the herd. His pony seemed to like the situation well enough and frisked and played with its new friends. Anxious to escape, Crockett plied the spurs without mercy and his horse darted forward to the front of the herd. A wild race followed. Every member of the herd strove to overtake the stranger, but encouraged by voice and spur, Crockett's mustang kept in the lead for some time. "I My little mustang was full of fire and mettle," says Crockett, "and as it was the first bit of genuine sport that he had had for some time, he appeared determined to make the most of it. He kept the lead for full half an hour, frequently neighing as if in triumph and deri- sion. I thought of John Gilpin's celebrated ride, but that was child's play to this. The proverb says: 'The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,' and so it proved in the present instance. My mustang was obliged to carry weight, while his com- petitors were as free as nature had made them. A beautiful bay that had kept close upon our heels the whole way now came side by side with iny mustang, and we had it hip and thigh for about ten minutes in such style as would have delighted the heart of a true lover of the turf. I now felt an interest in the race myself, and determined to win it if it was at all in the nature of things. I plied the lash and spur, and the little beast took it quite kindly, and tossed his head, and neighed, as much as to say, ' Colonel, I know what i84 A DARING ADVENTURER. you're after-go ahead! '-and he did go ahead in beauti- ful style, I tell you." At last, however, the unburdened horses gained, and one after another galloped past. Crockett was not able to turn his horse from the race until they reached the brink of a river. Here the other mustangs leaped down the bank, plunged into the swift stream and galloped away on the other side. But Crockett's horse seemed too tired for the leap. It was utterly exhausted. He relieved it of its saddle and did what he could for its comfort. As evening was coming on he looked around for a safe place to spend the night. There was a large spreading tree near the river. He began to examine the tree to dis- cover its possibilities as a resting place. He was inter- rupted by an angry growl, and was startled to see, almost within reach of his arm, a huge cougar glaring at him. He stepped back hastily and shot at the beast. The ball struck the skull and bounded back, merely scratch- ing the skin. There was no time for reloading. The animal sprang at Crockett, but he stepped aside and it fell upon the ground. He gave it a blow with his rifle. The cougar turned upon him. He threw away his gun, drew his knife and stood ready to meet it Then came a desperate struggle. He tried to blind the creature, but onlv cut its nose. He tripped on a vine and fell. The beast was upon him. It caught his leg. The DAVID CROCKETT. hunter grasped its tail and plunged his knife into its side. He tried to push it over the bank. Man and beast rolled down together. Fortunately Crockett was uppermost. Quick as thought his knife was buried in the creature's heart and lie was safe. He looked at the dead cougar in silent thanksgiving for a moment, and then returned to the tree. He made a bed in its topmost branches by spreading a mat of the moss, that hung from the branches, upon a network of twigs. He threw his horse-blanket over the moss and had a comfortable bed; not a safe one, perhaps, but that did not disturb him. He soon fell asleep, and did not wake till morning. In the morning his mustang had disappeared. The thought of being alone in that wild country, without friend or horse, was not pleasant. While eating his breakfast he heard the sound of hoofs, and looking up saw a party of fifty Comanche Indians mounted and armed coming directly towards him. They looked very fierce and warlike, but proved to be friendly. Crockett asked them how they knew he was there. They pointed to his fire in answer. They asked about the big cougar that had been wounded so many times. When they heard the adventure they said, " good hunter," invited Crockett to join their tribe, and gave him a horse. He told them he could not stay with them, but would be glad to travel in their company as far as the Colorado River. :t86 A DARING ADVENTURER. Before they had gone far, they saw a herd of mustangs. One of the Indians rode towards them swinging his lasso. All fled but one little fellow. It stood still and ducked its head between its legs. It was easily taken and was found to be Crockett's horse. He was aston- ished, and wondered why it had allowed itself to be caught. The Indians explained that a mustang never forgets the shock of being thrown by a lasso and is so much afraid of one afterwards that it will never run from it. While on the march they saw many buffaloes and Crockett had the good fortune to shoot one. When they were nearing the river the alert Indians noticed a thin blue line of smoke curling up against the sky from a clump of trees. The whole party dashed to the spot. Whom should they find but Thimblerig playing his foolish game " The chief shouted the war whoop," says Crockett, "and suddenly the warriors came rushing in from all quarters, preceded by the trumpeters yelling terrifically. Thimblerig sprang to his feet and was ready to sink into the earth when he beheld the ferocious-looking fel- lows that surrounded himi. I stepped up, took him by the hand, and quieted his fears. I told the chief that lie was a friend of mine, and I was very glad to have found him, for I was afraid that he had perished. I now thanked the chief for his kindness in guiding me over the prairies, and gave him a large bowie-knife, which i87 DAVID CROCKETT. he said he would keep for the sake of the brave hunter. The whole squadron then wheeled off and I saw them no more." Thimblerig explained that soon after Crockett had left him the bee hunter had come back with a load of honey, and thinking that Crockett was lost, they had started on to Texas without him. While they were talking the bee hunter arrived, bringing a fine turkey for supper. The three were glad to be together once more and went to work with a will to prepare a good supper. Thimblerig plucked the feathers from the turkey; Crockett made forked stakes, which he erected on either side of the fire, and sharpened a long stick. This was thrust through the bird and suspended on the forked stakes so that the turkey might be turned and browned evenly. The bee hunter brought fresh water and made coffee, and they had a merry feast. XII.-A HERO OF THE ALAMO. These three men were shortly afterward joined by three others, who were going to the war. They were glad to have company, for they were getting so near the scene of war that they were in danger of meeting parties of Mexican scouts. They were all bound for the fortress of Alamo, just outside of the town of Bexar, on the San Antonio ii88 A HERO OF THE ALAMO. River. They kept on the lookout for the enemy, but did not encounter any until the last day of their journey. Whlei within twenty miles of San Antonio they were attacked by fifteen armed Mexicans. They dismounted and stood back of their horses. From that position they returned the fire of their assailants with such effect that the party scattered and fled. They then went on their way without being further molested. They were received at the fortress with shouts of wel- come. The bee hunter was known and admired by many of the garrison, and all had heard of Colonel Crockett. Thimblerig, too, though unknown, was warmly welcomed. The town of Bexar, which is now known as San Antonio, was at that time one of the most important places in Texas. It had about twelve hundred inhabit- ants, nearly all of whom were Mexicans or of Mexican descent. It was held by a small band of Texan rangers, most of these being adventurers from the United States. Through the influence of such adventurers the Texans had declared their independence of Mexican rule and had set up a government of their own. This had of course brought about a war; the Mexican army had invaded Texas; and the scattered people of that great territory were forced to fight for their liberties. David Crockett was well impressed with the "gallant young Colonel Travis," who was in command of the fortress, and thought that he and his little band of one I89 DAVID CROCKETT. hundred and fifty soldiers would be a match for the en- tire Mexican army. He was glad also to meet Colonel Bowie, of Louisiana, and hear his tales of adventure and see him handle his famous knife. On the twenty-third of February the Mexican army marched against San Antonio. Their president, the cruel Santa Anna, was at their head. The impossibility of holding the town against such a host was apparent. The soldiers withdrew to the Alamo, as the fortress was called, and the troops of Santa Anna marched into the town carrying a red flag, to show that no quarter would be given to those who resisted. The little band of patriots did not lose heart. They raised their new flag- a great white star on a j striped field-over the 3 fort. While the flag was going up, the bee hunter sang: "Up with tg ALAMO. your banner, Freedom"; then the drums and trumpets sounded. Santa Anna sent a message to Colonel Travis demanding the unconditional surrender of the fort. He was answered with a cannon shot. So the siege of the fort was begun. That night Colonel Travis sent a messenger to Colonel Fanning asking aid. But, even if thecolonel had received word in time, he would have been unable to send assistance to the Igo A HERO OF THE ALAMO. beleaguered fortress. The little garrison must defend themselves as best they could, and with small hope of success. The Mexicans cannonaded the Alamo from various points. One morning Crockett was awakened by a shot against the part of the fort in which he was sleeping. He dressed hurriedly and ran to the wall, gun in hand. He saw that, opposite the fort, a cannon had been charged and the gunner was stepping up with lighted match. Crockett took careful aim, fired, and the man fell. Another took his place. Thimblerig, who was with Crockett, handed him another rifle. The second gunner met the same fate. Five men tried in turn to light that cannon. All fell before the deadly fire of Crockett. The others were seized with fear and ran off, leaving the loaded cannon. The sharpshooters of the fort kept watch, and any one venturing within gunshot of the fort had little chance of escaping. There were occasional skirmishes, as when the mes- senger sent out by Colonel Travis returned pursued by the enemy. The bee hunter saw and, calling to some of his friends to follow, rushed out to help him. The brave fellow succeeded in driving back the Mexicans, but he received his death wound in the fray. Day by day, the fortunes of the besieged grew darker and darker. There was no hope of aid. Food and I93I DAVID CROCKETT. water failed them. The force of the enemy increased constantly, and the attack upon the Alamo became more and more determined. David Crockett kept a journal of the daily happen- ings in the fortress. On the last day of February he wrote: "Last night our hunters brought in some corn and had a brush with a scout from the enemy beyond gunshot of the fort. They put the scout to flight and got in without injury. They bring accounts that the settlers are flying in all quarters in dismay, leaving their possessions to the mercy of the invader. Buildings have been burnt down, farms laid waste, and Santa Anna appears determined to verify his threat to convert this blooming paradise into a howling wilderness." On the sixth of March the entire army attacked the Alamo. The resistance was desperate. When the fort was taken only six of its defenders were living. Crock- ett was one of these. He was found in an angle of the building behind a breastwork of Mexicans whom he had slain. A frightful gash in his brow made him look grim and terrible. His broken musket was in one hand and a bloody knife in the other. Poor Thimblerig was found dead not .far from him. It is said that in this assault upon the Alamo the Mexicans lost more than a thousand men. The six prisoners were taken before Santa Anna. Crockett strode along fearless and majestic. Santa Anna was displeased that the prisoners had been spared so long. 192 A HERO OF THE ALAMO. He frowned, and said he had given other orders con- cerning them. The swords of his men gleamed and they rushed upon the unarmed prisoners. The daunt- less Crockett gave the spring of a tiger toward the dark leader, Santa Anna. But before he could reach him he had been cut down by a dozen swords. Crockett had had no thought of such an ending of his Texas expedition. But as the dangers had increased, he expressed no regret that he had come. He displayed the utmost devotion to the cause of the Texans. His last written words were: "Liberty and independence forever ! " At the time of his death he was not quite fifty years old. In studying the life of this remarkable man we must always keep in mind the fact that he had no opportunities when a boy to improve his mind. He grew up among ignorant people, and knew but very little about the refinements of civilized life. He was there- fore rough and uncouth in manners, and lacked the polish of the gentleman. He was naturally a man of strong character; and whenever he undertook to do a thing he devoted all his energies to it and never gave up until he succeeded. He was very vain of his own achievements, and for this we may pardon him when we remember how much he accomplished with so little capital. In 1834, less than two years before the tragic close of his career, Crockett had written and published a highly I 93 1I94 DAVID CROCKETT. entertaining history of his own life. It was full of grammatical blunders and of misspelled words, even after it had been revised and corrected by his more scholarly friends; but as the work of a man wholly without school education it was not discreditable. On the title page of the little volume was the motto which he had adopted as the guiding principle of his life. Although he may have often failed to observe this motto as wisely as could have been wished, it is well worth repeating and remembering. It is this: "I leave this rule for others when I'm dead; Be always sure you're right-THEN GO AHEADI" THE STORY O F KIT CARSON By FRANCES M. PERRY KIT CARSON. KIT CARSON THE HERO OF THE ROCKIES I.-PREPARATION. One afternoon, many years ago, a slender youth was sitting at work in a dingy little harness shop in the backwoods of Missouri. He plied the awl quickly and drew up his. stitches with energy. There were no blunders, no halts in his work. His master cast a pleased glance at the apprentice and left the shop. "That boy does get mightily interested in his work, " thought he. But the boy was not half so intent upon his work as he seemed to be. It was not pride in the beautiful piece of harness he was finishing that made his blue eyes sparkle so. His thoughts that afternoon were far away on the rolling prairies and the rugged slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Young Christopher Carson had inherited a love for the wild, free life of a hunter. His father had been one of the pioneers of Kentucky. But the boy had for- gotten the old Kentucky home in Madison County, where, in i8o9, he was born. For, while he was a baby, 197 KIT CARSON. the family had left it to follow the wild deer to the fron- tier of Missouri. Mr. Carson had joined a settlement in Howard County. At first the settlers had to live in a log fort for protection from the Indians. Day and night, watch- men were on the lookout for savages. Little Christopher, or Kit, as he was called, was brought up amid the excitement of hunters' camps and Indian raids. The warwhoop was as familiar to him as the sound of the school bell was to the little boys of New England. The bark of the gaunt, gray wolf startled him no more than the yelp of a stray dog frightens you. He played hide and seek with the squirrels and ran races and practised "running-high-jumps" with the wild deer. Mounted bareback on his Indian pony, he bounded over the prairies neck and neck with the buffaloes. His teachers were sun-browned, hard-faced hunters and trappers who came to the fort with great bundles of furs. They were dressed in deer skins, and carried big, fierce-looking knives in their belts and heavy guns on their shoulders. Sometimes one or two fresh Indian scalps, tied to their hunting pouches, dangled at their sides. They told wonderful stories of adventures with Indians and wild beasts. From his earliest years little Kit listened to them with wide-eyed wonder and delight. When they noticed his interest they were amused, and x98 PREPARATION. let him handle their hunting knives, and look at their trophies. One day when he was a very little fellow one of them held his gun in position and let Kit pull the trigger. He was not at all frightened by the noise and flash, but wanted to do it again and yet again. After that the one wish of the boy's heart was to know how to use a gun. He soon learned to shoot and became a good marksman. Friendly Indians taught him many of the mysteries of the woods. He was quick to learn their language and could talk to the Indian children in their own tongue. He was useful about the fort. All felt that Kit Carson could be depended on. He was sometimes chosen for responsible duties and sent to the hilltop to watch for hostile Indians while the men worked in the field. Often his signal gun-shot carried timely warning of coming danger to the workmen. As he grew older his interest in the life of the prairies and mountains increased and he listened with greater eagerness to the tales of the trappers. In that way he learned much about the country and the hard- ships and dangers to be encountered by those who made their living in the wilderness. When listening to their stirring stories he sometimes thought that the old hunters had acted unwisely, but he was too modest to say so. He only pictured to himself what he would have done had he been in their places. I99 KIT CARSON. As the settlements in the neighborhood increased, the danger and excitement became less and less. The wild animals withdrew with the Indians. The settlers put aside the gun and took up the spade and the ham- mer. They lived more quietly and regularly, and pre- pared their sons to be farmers, smiths, carpenters, saddlers, and merchants. Mr. Carson had a large family to support and start in life. When Kit was fifteen years old he decided to have him learn harness-making. That was a good trade; then, too, it was a work well suited to a little, nimble fellow like Kit. Not far away was a good saddler, whose name was Mr. Workman. He wanted a boy to help him, and was glad to get such an intelli- gent, industrious lad as Kit. An agreement was made between Mr. Carson and this man that Kit should work for him for two years. In return for his labor Kit would be taught the trade and receive his board. At the end of two years he would be free to work for money. If his master was satisfied with his work, he would offer him employment in his own shop, or give him a good recommendation to some other saddler. Kit's two years of apprenticeship were now nearly over. He had been faithful and painstaking, and as a result he was a good workman. His master was well pleased, and he would have no trouble to get work if he wanted it. Best of all, Kit was satisfied. He knew 200 GETTING A START. that he had succeeded. He had pleased others and he now felt free to please himself. "If I have done well in this work which I do not like," thought he, "I shall surely do better in the work I lovre." He did not intend to practise his trade, but his time had not been wasted. The patience and self-control that he had gained by doing cheerfully and thoroughly his, unwelcome duty, would help him in whatever work he should undertake. This afternoon while he worked he painted the future in glowing colors. When the last stitch was taken, he tossed back his long bright hair and gave a sigh of relief. He got up briskly and put the shop in order. Then he went to-supper with a light heart. II.-GETTING A START. At last the long two years of saddle-making were at an end and Kit Carson was his own master. He seized the first opportunity to get acquainted with the prairies. A party was being organized to start to Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico. He applied to the leader for admission. His reputation as a hunter was so good that no objection was made to his youth, and he wa s admitted to the party without hesitation. This was in i826. At that time there were no definite routes marked out for travelers on the plains. 201 OKIT CARSON. TRAPPERS CROSSING THE PLAINS 202 GETTING A START. The few who crossed them tried to conceal rather than mark their course. To reach Santa F6 the party would have to travel across hundreds of miles of almost trackless prairie. The wildness of the land gave them one advantage. The country was so abundantly supplied with game that it was not necessary to take many provisions for the journey. Their rifles would supply them with good food. But wherever game was plentiful Indians also were likely to be met with. Sometimes large companies of them surrounded and overpowered small parties of trappers or traders, seized their horses and goods, and put the men to death or left them, without horse or gun, to starve in the wilderness. Young Carson understood fully the risks and dangers of traveling on the plains. But he also knew that with proper care many misfortunes might be avoided, and with courage and promptness others could be overcome. The company he joined was made up of men of experi- ence and courage. Could we have seen that caravan of sun-browned huntsmen winding across the plains we should have thought it very picturesque. The men wore suits of dressed deerskin trimmed in gaily dyed fringes and bead embroidery. Every man was well armed and rode a spirited horse. Some led pack mules or unmounted horses. They marched in single file like the Indians. This was a saving of strength. For those who rode first 203 KIT CARSON. broke the way and a beaten path was formed for those in the rear. Then, too, from such a path the enemy could tell nothing about the number of riders in the company. At the head of the line rode the bugler. His merry bugle calls told any members of the party who had strayed off to hunt where to find their comrades. The young men awoke the echoes with Indian warwhoops and loud laughter. An occasional gun-shot announced the untimely death of a bold wolf or an unwary turkey. A few covered wagons closed the procession. The watching Indian scouts saw the good horses and longed to take them. But they noted the number of men; they saw them shoot with their terrible guns; they noticed what careful guard they kept night and day; and they feared to attack them. The party had not been on the march many days be- fore Kit Carson discovered that there is another kind of courage than that required to face Indians. One of the men had accidentally shot himself in the arm. In order to save his life the arm had to be cut off. Kit Carson was chosen to help in this painful operation. A razor, a saw, and a red-hot wagon-bolt were, the only instruments these rough surgeons had. But they did their best. Kit did his part with gentle firmness. The operation was successful and the man recovered rapidly. Day after day the cavalcade toiled along over the vast 204 GETTING A START. green sea of grass. Sometimes they followed an Indian trail or a track made by the buffaloes. Again, they launched out boldly over land that the foot of man had never trod. They forded rivers, climbed ridges, and skirted shady groves, but most of their way lay over sunny plains. Having safely reached Santa Fe, Kit Carson made up his mind not to go back to Missouri. He left his com- rades and pushed on eighty miles to Taos, a trading station for trap- pers. It was not an attractive place. The narrow streets lined with mud huts offered little encouragement to the ambitious youth. A BEAVER. But he met there an old trapper whose name was Kincade. This man liked Kit so well that he invited him to spend the winter with him. The daily work of examining traps and furnishing game for table use did not take all of their time. But Carson was never idle. He had found a new teacher. This friend could teach him Spanish. A knowledge of the Spanish language would be useful to him among the Mexicans. So he studied hard. Kincade had trapped in the Rocky Mountains, and Kit learned all he had to 205 KIT CARSON. tell about the mountain passes, the climate, the haunts of the beaver, and the friendly and unfriendly tribes of Indians in the vast unknown country to the north. When spring came Carson met with discouragement. He had no money and could get no work. He determined to go home, earn something and start out trapping on his own account. He joined an eastward bound party of traders and started reluctantly homeward. When half-way across the prairies, he met some traders going to Santa Fe. They engaged him to hunt for them and he gladly turned his steps back towards the great Southwest. Again he found disappointment and disagreeable work. He was engaged as teamster, and traveled as far south as El Paso in Mexico. As the wagon joggled slowly along he dreamed of buffalo hunts and Indian fights, and made up his mind that, come what might, he would not go east until he had tried the hunter's life. Had he not been very resolute he would have gone home that fall, for he could find nothing to do but to serve as cook in the household of Mr. Young, a wealthy trapper. He was nearly discouraged that winter. He used to smile grimly as he watched the hand that he had hoped to see scalping Indians nimbly peeling pota- toes. When he made a successful raid on the rats in the corn bin he sighed to himself and said, "And these are poor Kit's buffaloes !" 200 TRAPPING IN CALIFORNIA. In the spring, seeing no chance to improve his fortunes, he gave up hope, and for the second time started for home with a heavy heart. A second time he met a party bound for Santa F6. They offered him employment and, in spite of his many disappointments, he retraced his steps, faintly hoping that this time he would succeed. At last fortune seemed to favor him. He was employed as interpreter in an expedition to Chihuahua, Mexico. There a man who was going to the copper mines near the Rio Gila saw Kit and hired him to go with him as teamster. When he at last got back to Taos he found the opportunity for which he had waited so long. III.-TRAPPING IN CALIFORNIA. While at Taos Kit Carson had seen many brave trapping parties on their way to the mountains. He had urged every leader to give him a chance to show what he could do. But his slight boyish frame and gentle voice and manner were against him. The stal- wart Nimrods of the west were not willing to have their movements hampered by young and inexperienced men, and poor Kit was repeatedly refused. Now, however, Mr. Young was collecting a large party to trap in a neighborhood of powerful and un- friendly Indians. The last company he had sent out 207 KIT CARSON. had failed, having been overpowered by savages. Mr. Young knew that Carson was trustworthy, brave, and per- severing. He knew, too, that he was a good hunter and a good cook. Such a man would be of use in many ways in his large company. So, at last, Kit Carson was made a member of a real trapping company. This company of forty men under the leadership of Mr. Young started in April, I829, on a long and event- ful expedition. Kit Carson was just twenty years old. The old hunters looked upon the " youngster" with some disfavor at first. But that did not mar his sat- isfaction, for he knew that he could win their good will. On the march and in camp a careful guard was kept. Scouts were sent ahead of the company to look for signs of Indians. Sentinels were stationed at camp, night and day. When the trappers reached Salt River the scouts reported signs of the enemy. They soon discov- ered that they were about to meet the same Indians who had attacked and killed the last party of trappers. Mr. Young concealed most of his men in a thicket. When the Indians saw the little band with which he then advanced towards them, they rushed upon him, confident of victory. The valley resounded with their blood-curdling warwhoops. Their wild faces, smeared with war paint, were fearful to look at. Their arrows gleamed in the sun. The trappers had seen Indian war- 208 TRAPPING IN CALIFORNIA. riors before. They knew that one good gun was worth many bright-pointed arrows. But they turned and fled to the thicket. The Indians thought they were afraid and followed. They were close upon the heels of the flying men. Victory seemed within reach. A shower of arrows fell among the bushes. In answer the thicket 2 blazed with gunpow- der. The yell of triumph was drowned in the angry crack of i rifles. Clouds of smoke hid the scene. The gasp of death, the neighing of riderless horses, the click of the reloading of guns, told the Indians of their fatal mistake. They fled with haste and fear. They left behind themn fTheenloft teheir leadig TRAPPING IN A MOUNTAIN STRMAM. fifteen of their leading braves, who had fallen under the fire of Young's trap- pers. The Indians were afraid to attack the trappers again. But they watched themn from a distance, stole their traps, and tried at night to steal their horses. 209 KIT CARSON. When the trappers reached the headwaters of the San Francisco River in Arizona, Mr. Young divided his party. He sent the larger division back to Taos to sell the beaver fur they had taken and get more traps. With the remaining eighteen he started towards the Sacramento River in California. He kept Kit Carson with his company. They were now traveling among friendly Indians. From them they learned that the valley of the Sacra- mento was beautiful and fertile and full of beavers. But they were told that to reach it they must go through a desert country without grass, or water, or wood. No deer or buffalo ranged there, and any man who ven- tured thither was likely to die of thirst and hunger. Before undertaking this journey through an unex- plored country, the party camped for a few days. The horses ate and rested. The men hunted. They found three deer. They smoked the meat, and sewed the skins into water-bags. When all was ready the little band of eighteen men started across the great unknown desert. A waste of sand where only the prickly cactus and the dull green sage bush grew, stretched before them. All day long they traveled without water. When night came the leader gave each man and animal a small portion of the water they had brought with them. They had no fear of the Indians here. They kept guard, not to watch for red men, but to see that no accident 210 TRAPPING IN CALIFORNIA. befell the water, which was more precious to them than gold. At the close of the fourth day the thirsty and weary riders were surprised to see their mules stretch out their necks, sniff the air, and quicken their speed. An hour's eager trot brought them to a stream of fresh water. They camped by the stream for two days. How good it seemed to have enough water to drink! Having had a good rest and recovered their strength, they renewed their journey across the desert. At the close of the fourth weary day they reached the Colorado River. They made a comfortable camp on its banks. Some Mohawk Indians sold them an old horse. They hastily killed and roasted it, and rejoiced over a feast of cold water and tough horse flesh. The hard journey across southern California was made lighter by meeting with occasional streams of flowing water, and after a difficult but safe march the party reached a Roman Catholic mission station in the beau- tiful, fruitful valley of San Gabriel. The Indians around the mission had been taught to farm. The fer- tile fields were full of waving grain. The trees bent under their loads of fruit. The hill-slopes were dotted with herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. The hungry white men longed for all these good things. They had little to offer in exchange for them. But prices were low where there was so much to be 211 KIT CARSON. eaten and where there were so few to eat. Four butcher knives bought a fine steer. The trappers had reached a land of plenty. Water, grass, and game made their lives happy once more. The streams were full of beavers, and as the party journeyed slowly north, down the San Joaquin River, their packs of furs grew steadily larger and larger. The once half-starved men grew fat and happy. When the trapping season was over, the party went into summer camp on the lower Sacramento. They spent the season hunting. Deer and antelopes roamed everywhere. Kit Carson's dreams were at last fulfilled. He had shown his power of endurance. In the long, hard march across the desert none had been more patient and uncomplaining than " the new hand." Now he could prove his skill in hunting. His success was astonishing. He soon gained the name among even those tried mountaineers of the best hunter in camp. Not only was he the best shot, but he knew more about the habits and haunts of animals than others. He was more wary and cunning in approaching them. This seems enough experience and reputation for a twenty-year-old youth to gain on one trip; but even greater opportunities came to Carson on his first trap- ping expedition. A priest of San Raphael sent to the trappers, asking them to help his men take some Indian evil-doers who 212 TRAPPING IN CALIFORNIA. 213 had found refuge in a strong Indian village. Twelve of the trappers answered the call. They chose Carson leader, and with the priest's men advanced to the strong- hold of the Indians. The savages refused to give up the culprits. An attack was then made upon their vil- lage, and they were soon obliged to change their minds. Having lost one third of their men in battle the Indians Goo fortune\ m adetetapraees n ih they neglected to keep camp-guard. While thiey er INDIANS STAMPEDING HORSES. o 0 gave up their friends, and Carson and his men went back to their camp in triumph. Good fortune snade the trappers careless. One night they neglected to keep camp-guard. While they were all asleep, some daring Indians came into the camp and drove off sixty horses. When the trappers discovered their loss they were filled with regret and anger. How could they replace their horses Mr. Young decided KIT CARSON. to regain them if possible. "We'll see what Kit Carson can do with the thieves," he said. So he, with twelve men, was sent to recover the horses. Carson was as clever in tracing an Indian trail as in tracking the deer, and it was not hard to follow the path of an Indian band and sixty horses even among the wind- ing passes of the Sierra Nevadas. As they rode mile after mile some thought the chase hopeless. Carson was not the man to fail where success was possible. After a hundred miles of mountain riding, he came upon the thieves feasting on horse flesh. They were having a good time and had no thought of danger. Carson and his men made a sudden dash and took them completely by surprise. Eight were killed at the first fire, and the rest ran howling into the woods. Carson's party col- lected the stolen horses and hastened back to camp. When the other trappers saw them coming with all the horses, they expressed their joy in loud shouts of wel- come. Kit Carson was now looked upon as one of the most valuable men in camp. His advice was asked on affairs of importance, and the leader showed him many marks of respect. Yet he was so simple and modest and pleasant that no one thought of being jealous of the young hero. Indeed, they all felt very proud of him, and talked about his adventures as proudly as if they had been their own. The mission station of San Raphael was not very far 214 THE SECOND EXPEDITION. from the camp. Mr. Young was so fortunate as to meet there the captain of a trading vessel, who gave him a good price for the beaver skins of the company. In September the trappers started home, trapping as they went. Their homeward route was about the same as that by which they had gone to California. But they spared themselves the hardest part of the desert ride by following the Colorado down to the Gila and then going up that river. This was a gain in more ways than one; for they trapped down the Colorado and up the Gila, taking many skins. The entire expedition was a success. Each member of the company got a large sum of money from it. No one grudged Kit his share. But he would have been satisfied with much less. He scarcely knew what to do with so much money. He saw that his friends spent their portions in drink- ing and gambling. He did not care for such pastimes, but he did want to be a trapper and do just as trappers did. So he imitated the bad habits of his friends and lived as foolishly and wickedly as they did until the fall of i830. Then the money was all spent. IV.-THE SECOND EXPEDITION. Mr. Fitzpatrick, a noted mountaineer, was ready to start north with a few comrades to take beaver in the streams of the Rocky Mountains. Carson joined 2I5 EKIT CARSON. his company. He had no trouble to gain admission. He had made such a reputation on his first trip that he was now sought by many companies. He was glad to get away from the rum dens of Taos. As he bounded over the great plains toward the wild, majestic mountains, his blood tingled with a real joy, beside which the pleasures of his winter's debauch at Taos seemed low and mean. He shuddered with dis- gust to think of it, and resolved never to pass another season as he had spent the last. The party traveled northward rapidly, following the rivers that wound through the maze of mountains. They began trapping along the head-waters of the Platte River in what is now Wyoming. They followed the Sweet Water through the famous South Pass, and trapped along the Green River. They camped for the winter on the Salmon River among the fierce and troublesome Blackfeet Indians. The next spring, Carson joined another company with which he worked his way southeast to the head- waters of the Arkansas. While they worked there cold weather caine on, the streams were frozen over, and trapping for that season was ended. The winter spent on the Arkansas was very severe. The men had plenty of food and plenty of wood for fires. They had warm blankets, too, in which they wrapped themselves Indian fashion. But the animals suffered from the cold. The snow was deep, and they 2ii6 THE SECOND EXPEDITION. had so little to eat that they grew thin and weak. The men cut the bark and twigs from the sycamore trees and fed the poor beasts with them; for there was noth- ing else. One night in January, fifty o f Crow Indians visited the camp and stole nine horses. When Carson learned of the deed, he called to the men to follow him, 4 and without waiting to see how A many answered the call, has- tened to saddle his horse. Allh understood that he intended to hunt for the thieves. Twelve rose to go with him. th It was not hard to find 'the path of the Indianswin the snow. a But it was hard to keep it; for vi_ a large herd of buffaloes had crossed and recrossed it until in many places it was com- pletely blotted out. The horses TRAPPING IN WINTER. were so weak that after the trappers had ridden forty miles they were obliged to halt. As they were looking for a good place for a camp they noticed smoke rising from a clump of trees, and were rejoiced to find that they had overtaken the horse-thieves. 217 KIT CARSON. Since their success depended upon their ability to surprise the Indians, they hid themselves with all haste and waited for darkness. When night came and they ventured forth, they found the Indians dancing and howling about a great fire. They were making merry because of the way they had outwitted the whites. There were many of them and they had built two rude IS: THE INDIANS DANCING. forts. Since the enemy seemed so strong, Carson thought it best to wait till they had gone to sleep before making an attack. It was a long wait in the cold; for the Indians were in high glee, and several hours passed before they tired of the dance. But at length the last one had wrapped himself in a buffalo robe and lain down in the fort. They slept well after their revel and were not disturbed 2i8 THE SECOND EXPEDITION. by the slight noise made by Carson and his men as they drove off the horses. When they had recovered the horses most of the trappers were satisfied and ready to return. But Carson was not among these. I We must not let the rascals off so easily this time or they will visit us again soon," he reasoned. The others saw that he was right, and that if they punished the Indians it would save them much future trouble. They tied the horses in the shelter of some trees and went back to the Indian camp. Carson led his men around the camp and approached it from the far side, for he knew that they expected no attack from that quarter. They crept toward the camp with bated breath. Scarcely a twig snapped, so carefully did they move. But a little wolf-like dog gnawing a bone by the fire felt their presence and barked sharply. That waked his fellows and every dog in the camp began to bark. The Indians, roused from their dreams. jumped to their feet in fright. The breeze fanned the embers of the fire into flame. The dark bodies of the savages gleamed in the red firelight. Every trapper within gun-shot chose his man-and fired. Six bullets whistled through the keen air. Six Indians fell to the earth lifeless. The others ran together into one of the forts, and fired into the darkness. The trappers were all safely hidden behind trees and stones. They shot only when they were sure to kill. 219 KIT CARSON. In the morning the besieged Indians saw that they were attacked by a small party and made a charge on the trappers. In the fight that followed many Indians fell and some of the trappers were slightly hurt. After a sharp struggle the Indians went back to their forts. The trappers mounted their horses and rode proudly home with their recovered property and a new story to tell beside the fire on stormy evenings. It was such feats as this that made the name of Kit Carson a terror to guilty Indians. It is said that they would rather have a troop of United States soldiers on their trail than Kit Carson single handed. During the next season the trappers were greatly annoyed by Indians who tried to steal their horses and cut off their men. Once when Carson with three com- rades was returning from a day's search for signs of beavers, they fell into an ambush of half a hundred warriors mounted and armed. Resistance was useless. Their only hope lay in flight. They had better horses than the Indians, but in a long chase they would be overpowered. They had no time to plan, but with one impulse fol- lowed Carson's lead. Instead of turning and running from his foes, as they expected, that daring man dashed past them with the speed of the wind directly towards the camp of the whites. He and his followers bent over their horses' necks and the bullets of the red men whizzed by them without doing harm. The astonished 220 FREE TRAPPING. savages reloaded their guns and started in pursuit, but they did not dare to follow far in that direction. The company to which Carson belonged was large; beavers were scarce; and all the trappers became discour- aged. Carson decided to leave the rest and start out on his own account. Two of his old friends accompanied him. His plan was to trap only in the head-waters of streams. The Indians were down on the plains hunting buffaloes, and so long as the little band kept in the mountains it was comparatively safe. After several months of hard work they returned to Taos with heavy packs of furs. Kit found hixtself again master of more money than he could spend. This time, however, lie did not waste it, but placed it in safe keeping and started again for the wilderness. V.-FREE TRAPPING. Taos had no charms for the brave young man who had made the mountains his home. He was restless and discontented there. He could not sleep in the small rooms. His food lacked flavor. He was impatient to get to work again. At last, in the autumn of I832, a trading party was ready to go north. Carson joined it. He spent the next two years among the mountains, trading and trap- ping. During that time he attached himself to several 22I KIT CARSON. companies for a short period, but most of the time he spent as a free trapper. He was a shrewd business man and liked to trap with only a few comrades. For a few men could take all the beavers in a stream as quickly as a larger number could take them; and there were not so many to divide the profits. Kit Carson frequently left the large parties, and with two or three chosen friends, set forth on free trapping expeditions. A BEAVER DAM. These hardy men would start off with their traps and a small store of provisions, and ride rapidly through the well-known mountain passes to some far-off stream not often visited by white trappers. The way was now forbidding and now inviting. They scrambled up steep, narrow ledges; they forded foaming mountain torrents; they threaded their way through unexplored forests; or they cantered over sunny parks, and loitered through grassy valleys. But wherever they were, or whatever they did, they were always on the lookout for signs of beavers. The faintest footprint did not escape their trained eyes. They followed the tracks to some nameless stream which they were sure to find obstructed by a dam built 222 FREE TRAPPING. by that industrious animal. These dams were made of sticks and trees that the beavers had cut down with their sharp little teeth. The foundation so made was well plastered with mud. In the ponds formed by the dams the beavers had built their lodges. If the lodge was a large one the trappers went into camp near by and set their traps regularly. They fastened the traps to stakes firmly driven into the bed of the stream. The trap was hidden under the water. A twig dipped in a strong-smelling mixture that beavers are fond of, was stuck A BEAVER TRAP. in the jaws of the trap. When the beaver came to nibble at the twig his foot was sure to get caught in the trap. Beavers are very intelligent, and after several from one family had been caught, the others would not go near the bait. When all the beavers possible had been taken the trappers broke camp and started on again in search of other lodges. They traveled all day and when night came they stopped beside some clear, cool brook. One hobbled the horses; another made a fire; another threw in a line for a mountain trout, or shouldered his gun and went off to try his luck for game. When all was ready they sat around the fire. Each one cooked his supper to suit 223 KIT CARSON. himself. Meat was the chief article of food, and it was usually good, roasted and eaten while hot and juicy. Those who were lucky enough to have flour, made bread. Trapper's bread was easily made. It was a paste of flour, water, and salt, browned on the end of a stick or fried in grease. The hungry men ate it with a relish. When supper was over, they talked and smoked until bed time. Then they wrapped themselves in their buf- falo-robes and with loaded rifles at hand lay down on the cool earth and watched the stars in the wide sky until overcome by sleep. The night was divided into watches, and one man kept guard while his fellows slept. Many an hour did Kit Carson spend watching the stars moving across the black sky, or gazing at the dark towering mountains whose lofty snow-capped heads gleamed brighter and brighter in the light of the rising moon. The solemn grandeur of the scene satisfied him, and he was some- times sorry when the declining stars told him that he must rouse his comrade and take his share of rest. It was a solitary, dangerous life, but Carson loved it and would not have been willing to change places with a New York banker. Sometimes these free trappers got so many furs that it was inconvenient to carry them. Then they chose a point which they intended to pass on their return, -and made a cache. To do this, they usually picked out a dry 224 FAIR AND CAMP. bank of earth not far from a stream. There they made a little cave. They had to use the greatest care to hide every trace of their work lest the Indians should find it. They cut the sod very carefully and put it to one side. They laid some of the top soil on a buffalo-robe or blanket. The rest of the earth they carried off in pails and scattered in mid-stream. When the hole was large enough they lined it with twigs and dry grasses and then packed in their furs. They covered them with skins and grass and rammed in the earth they had saved. When this was done they watered the soil and carefully replaced the turf. So neatly was it all done that in an hour or so after the work was finished a stranger would not have noticed the place. Having thus temporarily disposed of these furs they went in quest of more. VI.-FAIR AND CAMP. As midsummer approached the trappers revisited their caches and opened them with less care than they had made them. With all their horses well laden with silky beaver furs, they hastened to the great trading fair that was held at some convenient place in a large trapping district. They found the. traders encamped in a pleasant grassy expanse dotted with trees and watered by a 225 KIT CARSON. strong, clear stream. Rude lodges made of bark and boughs nestled under spreading trees. Tents of canvas and tents of skins were clustered here and there in the meadows with their camp fires before them. In the larger booths the traders spread out their goods. Brilliant blankets, gaudy calicoes, looking- glasses, beads, and buttons lured the Indians, and they gave in exchange for them their rich beaver furs, buf- falo robes, and bear skins. The trappers in large com- panies and small companies brought in tons of beaver skins and carried away sugar, flour, coffee, rum, tobacco, powder and lead, guns, saddles, knives, and traps. It took some time to make these trades. The trappers, red and white, camped around the traders and bar- gained, and traded, and traded back again. The place presented an interesting scene. A squad of Indians or of trappers rode into camp with whoop and halloo and pitched their tents. Hunting parties went and came at all hours of the day. The young men practised target-shooting and wrestling. Old bronze-faced Indians sat cross-legged in the sun before their tents, smoking their long pipes. Trappers lounged in groups telling stories or playing cards and gambling. One day a bragging, quarrelsome fellow, after some ugly talk announced that he could switch any Amer- ican in camp. All were displeased, but the quiet, busi- ness-like Kit Carson was the first to speak. "Sir, I am an American and I demand that you take back that 226 FAIR AND CAMP. remark," said he. Every one was surprised. The man whom every one liked, the man of few words and great deeds, the man who always minded his own business was going to have a fight with the bully of the camp, the man whom no one liked, who said much and did little, the man who attended to every one's affairs but his own. For a moment the boaster quailed before the glance of Carson. But he was large and broad shouldered, and the man before him was slight and gentle. After a moment's hesitation he turned and strode towards his tent. Carson did the same. Every one knew what that meant. They were going for weapons. There was no policeman to interfere. No one thought of objecting. They thought that was the proper way to settle a quarrel, and all wanted to see the affair. They saw the boaster, strong and cruel, rushing for- ward on his powerful horse. His loaded rifle was in his hand and his face was dark with anger. From the other direction rode Carson, lithe and graceful as a boy. A pistol was thrust in his belt. His magnificent horse was at full gallop. As he approached his foe Carson checked his horse and inquired, "Am I the man you are looking for" "No," answered the other, at the same instant lower-- ing his rifle at Carson's breast. Carson heard the word, but he saw the act as well, and understood its meaning. His rapid bullet pierced arm and wrist even 2:27 KIT CARSON. while the fingers were doing their treacherous work. The ball intended for his heart was thus swerved from its deadly course and passed over his head. The friends of each gathered around. Carson was cool and quiet. He had done exactly what he wished and expected to do. He had saved his own life and given the boaster a good lesson without killing him. He did not approve of quarrels and never liked to speak of this one. When the trapping season arrived again, the traders filled the wagons that had brought provisions over the plains with rich furs and went back to the states. The trapping companies separated, and pushed again into the wilderness. They had provisions to last another season. The lucky or prudent ones had some money besides. In winter it was again necessary for the trappers to go into camp. For the sake of safety and society, small bands like Kit Carson's joined large companies at these times. The winter lodges were built in sheltered valleys, and, if possible, near friendly Indians. At these times Carson liked to visit the Indians and talk with them about their hunts and battles. He un- derstood the Indians and appreciated their good points. In return they liked the great hunter, who was strong and kind and without fear. He made many lasting friendships with powerful chiefs. But his relations with the neighboring tribes were not always so friendly. Some Indians were great horse 228 FAIR AND CAMP. thieves. Horses were very valuable in that remote country, and the trappers were dependent upon them. Great care was taken of them. While they grazed in the day time a guard was kept over them. At night their feet were fastened together so that they could not run; or they were securely tied to stakes driven in the earth. When fastened to a stake they were said to be picketed. If their feet were tied together they were "hobbled." A prowling Indian band might steal into camp while all were sleeping, cut the ropes that held the horses and lea(] them quietly A HOBBLED HORSE. away. Or they might create a stampede by driving a herd of frightened horses through a camp of picketed horses. The poor animals, becoming frantic with fright, would struggle until they had pulled up their stakes. Then they would gallop off with the horses of the Indians. When the trappers discovered their loss a war party was organized and sent out on the remaining horses to find and bring back the stolen animals. Kit Carson was usually the leader of these parties, and he rarely came back unsuccessful. Sometimes there were fearful struggles in the moun- 229 KIT CARSON. tains. For the Indians were armed with guns and a handful of trappers had to fight a horde of savages. In one fight with the Blackfeet Indians, Carson was shot in the shoulder while trying to save the life of a fellow trapper. The wound was a painful one and he suffered greatly. The weather was so cold that the blood froze on his garments. His men made awkward but kind nurses. Any one of them would have given his own life to save that of his brave leader. The little band went home in sorrow and gloom that time, with no vic- torious shouts or recovered horses. They carried their wounded hero in a hammock-like litter made of blankets fastened to poles. Carson had a strong constitution, and though he had received a severe hurt, was soon well again. VII.-HUNTING IN THE ROCKIES. In the spring of i834, Carson took his furs to a trad- ing post to sell them. He found to his surprise that the price of beaver fur had gone down and his stock was not worth half of the money he had expected to receive for it. On asking the reason he was told that men's hats were being made of silk instead of beaver. This was the first time Kit Carson had ever been concerned about the kind of hats men were wearing in Paris and New 230 HUNTING IN THE ROCKIES. York. But he saw now that his business was gone. He could no longer make a good living by trapping. He started east across the mountains at once. He had no notion of taking up his old trade of saddle- making or of finding an occupation in a settlement. He loved the moun- tains and the great buffalo plains, and a his purpose was to find some work that would support him there. When he reached Fort Bent on the head waters of the Arkansas, he found OLD-FASHIONED that his reputation had gone before him. He received a warm welcome there. The men at the fort had had trouble to keep a good hunter. On learning that Carson had given up trapping, they offered him a fair salary if he would stay with them as hunter for the fort. That suited him. He began at once and continued in that office for eight years. It was no easy matter to supply a garrison of men with game through summer and winter, wet weather and dry, the year round. The number at the fort was irregular. Large parties of rangers, trading caravans, or exploring parties, sometimes more than doubled the number to be fed. Tribes of Indians hunt- ing in the neighborhood might make a scarcity of game at the time it was most needed at the fort. The garri- son had suffered much inconvenience in the past, but Carson never failed. 231 KIT CARSON. He soon became familiar with the country for a hun- dred miles around the fort. When he did not come home at night no one worried, for all knew that he could take good care of himself. Hunting wild animals is dangerous business. Kit Carson was so skillful that lie was not in such great danger as most men would have been in his place. But lie had many narrow escapes. Indeed they were so common that lie did not talk much about them. Of one hunting adventure, however, he was always fond of telling. The story of that adventure gives us an idea of his power to think promptly and wisely in moments of peril. He was among the Rocky Mountains trapping with a few comrades. At the close of a day's tramp the little party went into camp. While the other men were pre- paring for the night, Carson started off to hunt. He was hungry, and small game did not suit his fancy. Pretty soon his practiced eye recognized some elk tracks. He followed them and in a little while came in sight of a small herd not far from a clump of trees. He tried to gain the trees to shoot from that cover, but the elks were too alert. They discovered his approach and started. He leveled his gun and brought down one of the fleeing animals. With a feeling of satisfaction he was running towards his prey, when lie was startled by the sound of crackling brush. He looked back and saw two huge grizzly bears 232 HUNTING IN THE ROCKIES. rushing towards him. His gun was unloaded. What should he do Kit Carson never took much time to make up his mind. He now stretched every nerve to reach the trees. "Why, bears can climb trees," you say. Yes, but it is always well to be above your enemy, and old grizzlies cannot climb very well. Lifelong practice had made him as nimble as a deer. He reached the trees, caught a limb and swung up into the branches while the bears were still at some distance. They were not running with steady swing now, but bounding forward with great leaps. In a moment they would reach the tree. Kit Carson drew his hunting knife and, working desperately, cut and trimmed a stout club in less time than it takes to tell it. The foremost bear started up the tree. Carson stood waiting in the fork of the tree. When the bear got near enough he gave it a sharp rap on the nose, for he knew that a bear's nose is very tender. The bear gave a cry of pain and backed down the tree, shaking its head. Then the other tried it and was met with a blow of greater violence. He also retreated and his brother tried again. Again he was driven back roaring with pain. For some time this serious yet comical conflict was kept up. Then the great creatures lumbered off to console themselves with Carson's elk. It was a long timne before he ventured from his tree. It was dark when he got to the camp, and the disap- pointed trappers were obliged to sup on the unpalatable 233 KIT CARSON. beaver. Carson's story gave flavor to the poor supper and no one complained. The chief article of food on the plains was buffalo meat. At the close of his eight years at Fort Bent, Kit Carson could count the buffaloes he had killed by thou- sands. A good horse was needed to hunt the buffalo, one that was swift and trained to the work. An inex- perienced horse is frightened by the great ugly animals and cannot be managed. Kit Carson always rode the finest horses-creatures that seemed to share their rider's courage and love of sport. When from some rise of ground he saw a herd of buf- faloes grazing on the plains he advanced easily towards them. If possible he approached against the wind, for the buffalo's sense of smell is sharper than its sight. As soon as the animals discovered his presence the whole herd was in motion. It ran with the cows and calves in the center of the herd. Some old bulls formed front and rear guards. The hunter preferred the cows, be- cause their flesh was more tender and their robes were finer. When he saw that he was discovered he dashed forward with all possible speed, plunged into the midst of the herd and singled out a fine fat cow. When he got close to the buffalo he aimed his pistol at a point back of the shoulder where the long hair of the mane ends. If Kit Carson fired the shot, the huge creature gave a bound and fell to the earth dead. Without checking the speed of his horse he reloaded 234 HUNTING IN THES ROCKIES. 235 i__.., g( A: :0X\\:; fXNS fX\\f;X i i0- f XAnE!DSS in :;0:00X k g id Jz m S ! gi ! a= ok 72. -I0dEX / KIT CARSON. his pistol and overtook another choice cow. The herd sometimes led the rider a dangerous chase over rough ground matted with tall grass and vines. If the game crossed a village of prairie dogs it was dangerous for both herd and hunter. The holes burrowed in the earth were like snares catching the feet of the flying animals and throwing them. Sometimes when closely pressed a buffalo would turn upon the hunter and charge furiously. He made a dreadful looking foe. The lowered head, the erect, tufted tail, the massive shoulders, the shaggy mane, the curling black horns, the fiery eyes, the protruding red tongue, expressed power and fury enough to frighten any horse into his nimblest leap. Before the disap- pointed creature could recover its balance and renew the attack the bullet of the ready hunter had pierced a vital part. On wandering hunting trips Carson often visited the camps of various Indian tribes. The warriors trusted him. They smoked with him in times of peace and asked his help in times of war. The women waited upon him and brought him their choicest food. In one tribe there was an Indian maid whose face was bright with joy when the palefaced hunter visited her father's wigwam. She was gentle and sweet. This man who knew no women of his own race; who had known so little that was gentle and sweet in all his life, returned the love of the simple Indian girl. He married her and 236 CARSON AND FREMONT. took her to live at the fort. She died in a few years, leaving one dark-eyed little daughter. Kit loved the child tenderly, and not wishing her to grow up among the other rough, half-Indian children around the fort, he took her to St. Louis and placed her in a good school. VIII.-CARSON AND FREMONT. It was sixteen years since Kit Carson had left his home in Missouri. In all that time he had heard noth- ing of his parents or brothers and sisters. On his way to St. Louis he turned aside from the emigrant road to visit the old settlement. Rip Van Winkle did not find greater changes after his twenty years' sleep in the mountains. The old cabin was a deserted ruin. He could find no trace of the large family that only sixteen years before had over- crowded the little house. Keenly disappointed, he renewed his journey to St. Louis. The city sights were new and strange to him. He stayed in St. Louis for ten days. The people who passed him on the streets little dreamed that this quiet man with the fine head, keen eyes, and kind smile was the terror of 'hieving Indians on the border. He was interested in city life and city people, but he longed for more sky, more air, more quiet, more freedom. He 237 KIT CARSON. became a passenger on the first steamboat going west on the Missouri. There were many passengers on the boat, but one man particularly attracted C made the acquaintance 4 and found that he was JOHN C. FRJDMONT. n's attention. He soon ie distinguished stranger utenantJohn C. Fremont, who was taking a party of men west on a sur- veying and exploring expedition. His guide had failed to meet him and he wished to find another. Carson was homesick for the mountains. This was his opportunity. He told Mr. Fremont that he was acquainted with the West, and offered to accompany him as guide. Mr. Fremont was a cautious man and not very ready to make friends with strangers. But he liked Carson; he liked his face, his bearing, his conversation. He trusted him and accepted his offer. These two men, both to become so well known all over the United States because of the work they did together, spent many hours in conversation. Fremont 238 CARSON AND FREMONT. was eager for information about the West, and Carson had plenty to give him. He had the power, too, to tell what he had to say in a very simple, clear way. The party left the boat at the mouth of the Kansas River. In the month of June, i842, they started across the plains, following the river valley. Their line of march was north and west. Carson had never belonged to a company that carried so much camp baggage. This one had canvas tents to sleep in and a rubber boat with which to cross streams. These were luxuries that the hardy trappers did not care to be bothered with. There were twenty-eight men in the company, plenty of extra horses and mules, and several wagons. Some of the men were taking their first western trip. They were made very uncomfortable and miserable by a severe thunder storm which flooded their tents and drenched their beds. That seemed a slight matter to a man like Carson, whose slumbers were not easily disturbed by a summer rain. After they had been on the march several days they reached the haunts of the buffaloes. At first they saw them in scattered herds. Carson and the other old hunters in the party gave the new men their first lesson in buffalo-hunting. The number of buffaloes increased as they advanced. A moving cloud of dust darkened into an enormous herd. They rushed along, thousands upon thousands, to the river. They filled the valley and spread over the plains. The herd opened and went 239 KIT CARSON. around Fremont's camp. The hunters rode into the midst of them and shot down cows at pleasure. Those were days of feasting. Only the choicest parts of the animals were eaten and there were tongues and marrow- bones enough for all. Day after day the party journeyed westward over seemingly endless plains, until at length they saw along the horizon billows of hazy amethysts with glorious shining crests. "The Rockies," said those who knew. "But they look like clouds," thought the new men. Surely those soft, resplendent masses could not be the gnarled and jagged Rockies. For a long time, like clouds, they seemed to defy approach, but gradually the purple of their bases deepened and the peaks became more dazzling. At last the travelers got near enough to see the black-green forests below and the glittering snow fields above. The mountain slopes were clothed with majestic pines and firs. Rills, here white with foam, there clear as crystal, leapt over stony beds down the mountain side. Ferns and shrubs waved over their edges. No wonder Carson loved the mountains and yearned for their wild beauty. He explored some of their passes with Fre- mont. Then the latter, having done the work he was sent to do, started home. He was deeply impressed with Kit Carson. The grace and power of the man' delighted him. He did every- thing he attempted so well. Fremont said he had never 240 CARSON AND FREMONT. seen a finer display of horsemanship than when Kit Carson, mounted, without a saddle, on a fine horse, was scouring bareheaded over the prairies. He had so much knowledge of the country and its inhabitants. He was such a master huntsman. Then, too, his character was so noble and upright. The two men said good-by with real regret, and hoped to meet again. On his return from this expedition Carson was em- ployed to take a message to Santa F6. There had been a general uprising of the Indians in the country he had to cross and they were all on the warpath. He could find no one to go with him. So he went alone, choos- ing new and secret ways. Once he saw a tribe of mounted warriors in the distance. He dropped to one side of his horse and rode holding on by one leg till he got back of a hill. If the Indians saw the galloping horse they must have thought it some stray wild pony. When coming back with a young Mexican boy he met a party of four Indians. One large one dismounted and walked toward him with outstretched hand. Carson did the same. When they met, the treacherous Indian with a sudden movement tried to twist the gun from Carson's hand. Quick as thought, Carson dealt him a blow between the eyes with clenched fist that sent him sprawling. He jumped to his feet and ran to his com- rades. Disconcerted by such an unexpected show of power, they rode off without further signs of fight. 241 KIT CARSON. After a long, hard ride Carson with the boy reached Fort Bent. There he learned that Fremont had passed a few days before on his way west. He wished to see him again and set out to try to overtake him. IX.-WEST WITH FREMONT. A single well-mounted rider can travel much faster than a company carrying camp baggage. Carson soon overtook Fremont's party. Mr. Fremont was glad to see him again and urged him to join the party as guide. He was planning to make a long march across mountains and plains to the Pacific coast. That was exactly what Carson wanted to do. He rode back to Fort Bent to get mules for the journey over the mountains; arranged his private affairs, and, taking a short cut, reached the appointed meeting place before Fremont's party. The company divided at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and only the hardiest ventured into their rugged defiles. The little band of men went in search of a more convenient wagon way across the mountains than South Pass. They did not succeed in finding one and were obliged to follow the old way that had been traveled by many emigrants on their way to Oregon. They followed for some distance the emigrant road, a track through the sage bushes worn smooth by use. 242 WEST WITH FREMONT. They left this clearly marked way to explore the great inland sea, Salt Lake. Then they pushed north again to Oregon. Through all the long journey Kit Carson was Fre- mont's right-hand man. It was Kit Carson who rode into the starving camp with an antelope over his horse's neck. It was his voice that sang out cheerily to the despairing men after days on the sage bush plains with fainting horses: " Life yet! I've found a hillside sprinkled with grass." It was he who went forward with smiles of recognition and outstretched hand to claim as old friends hostile chiefs who had come out to make war on the little company. It was he who sprang into the icy stream to rescue his struggling leader. In short, Carson was the guide, the peace- maker, and supply agent of the expedition. Mr. Fre- mont did not see how he could have gotten along without him, and made him promise that he would go with him on his next expedition. Having finished their work on the Columbia River they started across the Sierra Nevada to California. The snow was shoulder-deep in many places. It was intensely cold on the bleak mountain heights. Men and animals suffered greatly. A path had to be made for the mules. Ten men started out to pack down the snow. They moved in single file. The leader had the hardest work. He kept his place till he became exhausted. Then he went to the rear of the line, where 243 KIT CARSON. the work was lightest, and the second man became leader. In that way all had turns at the light and heavy work. In order to get a camping place for their horses and mules they built great fires about stumps and melted away the snow. They made their own beds on the snow. They put down a bed of twigs on the snow- crust, then spread out their blankets. With feet to the fire, they slept well after their hard work. The first day they made good progress. But they soon got tired out and advanced more slowly. At last, however, they reached Fort Sutter, where they had plenty of food and got new horses. This was in the spring of i844. On the return an incident happened which gives us a glimpse of the generosity and daring of Kit Carson. They met a Mexican man and boy alone and in great grief An Indian band of thirty braves had captured their friends and horses. When Kit Carson heard that, he started after the Indians with one comrade. The two men rode all night and discovered the Indian camp at daybreak. Giving a terrible warwboop they rushed into the camp, where the savages were just getting up and preparing breakfast. Carson singled out the chief, and he fell first. Having discharged their rifles the two men drew their pistols. Without waiting to see how many had attacked them the terrified savages fled without guns or clothing. 244 AGAIN ON THE MARCH. Carson and his companion collected the stolen horses and assured themselves that the captives had been murdered. As they could do no more, they rode back and gave the Mexicans their horses and told them the sad fate of their friends. These heroic men had ridden one hundred miles in thirty hours, routed thirty Indians and recovered fifteen horses. They had done it all out of the kindness of their hearts to help strangers in distress. X.-AGAIN ON THE MARCH. When Kit Carson left Lieutenant Fremont he decided to go to farming. A short time before starting on the last expedition he had married a beautiful young Span- ish lady and he now began to think of settling down in a home of his own. He bought a large tract of land for a stock farm and began to put up his house and barns. Just as he was making good headway in this work a messenger arrived from Fremont. Carson was reminded of his promise to join Fremont on his next expedition, and urged to keep his word, as the explorer was ready to enter upon his third journey. Carson sold his farm at a loss, and in company with a tried friend and old trapper went at once to join Fre- mont. Fremont said affectionately, "This was like 245 KIT CARSON. Carson, prompt, self-sacrificing, and true. " Of the man that accompanied Carson, he wrote: "pound;That Owens is a good man; it is enough to say that he and Carson are friends." The purpose of this trip was to explore the Great Basin, a region never before crossed by white man, and looked upon by Indians as an impassable desert. The explorers found that it was not so bad as report had represented it. Instead of being a level waste of sand it was crossed by numerous ridges of mountains. There were occasional springs and streams of fresh water, where grass grew in small patches. These oases were not very numerous, however, and the whole company did not venture to advance, trusting to luck to find good camping grounds. Carson and a few other mountaineers were sent ahead to find grass and water. When one discovered an oasis he built a fire. The men watching at the old camp saw the smoke curling up against the clear sky. All hands 'fell to work to break up camp and get the caravan in marching order. In a few hours the entire company was winding its way across the desert to the signal smoke. When one of the men found a fine camping ground, Fremont named the place in honor of the dis- coverer. Many a clear stream in the Great Basin bears the name of our hero. In this region the only Indians met with were tribes of "Digger" Indians. They were poor, ignorant, 246 AGAIN ON THE MARCH. timid creatures, who lived in holes and fed on roots and berries. They seemed little better than animals. The explorers pitied them and tried to gain their confi- dence. When in the northern part of California they were attacked by a thousand painted braves. These Indians were armed only with arrows. Fremont's little band of sharpshooting riflemen soon proved to them that a man armed with a bow is no match for a man armed with a gun. Not long afterwards the party found other use for their rifles. Mexico and the United States were at war. Fremont converted his explorers into soldiers. Trap- pers and hunters from far and near joined them, and he soon found himself at the head of a regiment of mountaineers. 'It became necessary for him to send word to Wash- ington. Carson was chosen to carry the dispatches. Colonel Fremont's dispatches were brief, for, said he, " Carson had been so a part of all my life for the past eighteen months, my letters were chiefly indications of points which he would tell them in full." This shows the confidence the great explorer had in the honesty, intelligence, and ability of the unschooled moun- taineer. When Carson had completed the most dangerous part of the journey, he met General Kearny at the head of a body of United States troops, on the way to California. 247 KIT CARSON. He requested Carson to intrust the dispatches to another bearer and go back with him as guide. Carson was unwilling to give up the dispatches and refused to do so. Then the general commanded him, and he was obliged to obey. He got back in time to take an active part in the war. In March, i847, Carson was again sent to Washing- ton with dispatches. This time he completed the jour- ney. Colonel Fremont gave further evidence of his high regard for Carson. He notified his family of the coming of his friend. His married daughter in St. Louis and Mrs. Fremont in Washington entertained him and showed him every possible courtesy. They met the mountaineer at the depot with a carriage. They gave dinners for him. They introduced him to the best society of the two cities. The man from the wilderness did not appear out of place in a drawing- room. These refined, cultured people were as delighted with him as Colonel Fremont had been. They were not interested in him because he was odd. They loved him because he was loyal and true and brave. Senator Benton of Missouri was so impressed with the man that he gave him this high praise: ' To me, Kit Carson and truth mean the same." After his return to the West, Carson was once more sent to Washington with dispatches. He made a pleas- ant visit in that city, then went back to Taos to make his home there. 248 AT HOME. XI.-AT HOME. The earlier part of Carson's life had been spent in forts and camps. In his later years he could enjoy, when he cared to, the restful quiet of a happy home. Indeed he had two comfortable homes. One was a one-storied dwelling of sun-dried brick facing the public square of Taos. When he was there its doors were always open to trappers, traders, and Indians. All liked him. Old trappers made his home a sort of meeting place where they could gather and talk over old times. The Indians called him "Father Kit," and came from far and near to see him. He always greeted them with the formal courtesy they liked, and made them very welcome. Besides this "town house" he had a large farm, or ranch, in a fertile valley forty miles away. Here, in a fine, comfortable house, with his beautiful Spanish wife and happy little -ones, and waited upon by faithful servants, he could live as easily and pleasantly as he wished. Colonel Fremont tells about visiting Carson on his ranch. He had been on a long, hard expedition and Carson's home seemed very luxurious. In writing to his wife he told her what a careful host his old comrade made, and mentioned particularly the delicious cup of hot chocolate that was brought to his room every morning. Carson was an active man and liked movement and 249 KIT CARSON. adventure. He kept excellent horses, and in the morn- ing, after riding over his farm to see that all was in good order, he frequently went out to spend the day in hunt- ing. For the flesh of wild game was sweeter for him than the tender shoulders of mutton from his own sheep or the juicy roasts of beef that the fat young steers of his ranch furnished. His days of long expeditions were by no means over. In I853 he, with some Mexican drovers, drove six thou- sand five hundred sheep to California. You may be sure he did not follow the route across the desert by which he first went to California. The sheep were first driven to Fort Laramie, and then along the regular emigrant road past Salt Lake and onward through what is now the state of Nevada. No one who was a stranger to the country could have taken them over this route. But Carson knew where he would find water and good pasturage, and so he succeeded in getting nearly. all the sheep safely over into the green valley of the San Joaquin. Of course these animals could travel but very slowly and the journey occupied several weeks; but to Carson and his Mexican drovers time was of little value; and no sooner had they reached the settlements in California than they were able to sell their flocks at a very great profit. Before returning home, Kit Carson went down the Sacramento valley to San Francisco to see the wonderful 2,50 AT HOME. changes which had been made since his first visit to that place. At this time almost everybody in California was hunting for gold, and the whole valley was dotted with busy mining camps. San Francisco, which was a straggling little village when Carson had last seen it, was now a bustling city with thirty-five thousand inhabitants. Had he not recognized the hills which stood back of it, he would not have believed that it was the same place. Here Carson was greeted by many old friends and by many strangers who had heard of him and wanted to do him honor. The attentions which these people gave him were well-intended, but they were far from being agreeable to him. He had hoped to find here a quiet place where he might rest after the toil of his long journey over the mountains. But there was no such thing as quiet in San Francisco, and his friends would not let him rest. They tried to tempt him into all sorts of dissipation; they invited him to join them at the gambling-table and in their drinking bouts and lawless carousals. But Kit Carson was a man of too sound principles to be led astray by such temptations. "No, my friends, my habits of life are different from yours, and I do not care to change them. I cannot join you in these things." And so when, a few days later, he took his departure from the new city, he left it having a character as pure and a conscience as clean as when he had entered it; 25I KIT CARSON. and those who had been foremost in urging him to do wrong honored him for his courage and his steadfast adherence to principle. One summer Carson took fifty horses and mules to Fort Laramie, five hundred miles away. At another time he organized a large trapping party of old com- rades and lived over old days, in old places, with old friends. They dashed across the plains to the South Platte River, and there, in the same region where they had trapped and hunted in their younger days, they pitched their camp. Then followed a summer of rare enjoy- ment. Beavers were plentiful, for the business of trap- ping had fallen into disuse, and these animals had been little disturbed for several years. Carson and his friends were surprised at their success, and they worked with just as much energy as when, long ago, they had trapped for a livelihood. After spending some weeks in the valley of the Platte, they worked their way gradually southward through the great mountain parks. They visited all their old re- sorts, and set their traps along the same mountain brooks where they had had such varying success in their younger days. In one of the mountain glens they came upon a huge grizzly, which they caught with a lasso. But the sav- age fellow gave them so much trouble that they were obliged soon to kill him; and the next day, which was 252 AT HOME. the Fourth of July, they feasted on bear steaks, and cele- brated the independence of our country in true trapper fashion. At the close of the summer, the party returned to Taos loaded with furs and feeling that they had truly renewed their youth. To most of them this summer of adventures, so full of wild enjoyment, proved to be the end of their trapping experiences. In the Civil War, Carson was made colonel of a regi- ment of New Mexican volunteers. It is said that when he led his regiment against the rebellious Navajo Indians, he left camp early in the morning with a few Indian scouts and did all the fighting before the regi- ment, in charge of the lieutenant-colonel, arrived on the scene. For many years he served as Indian agent. He was a good one. He understood the Indians, and wished to see them justly treated. They knew that he was their friend, and he had great influence with them. Some- times he went unattended to the council of Indians planning war, and talked to them so simply and kindly that they chose peace rather than bloodshed. He smoked the peace pipe with them, and they vowed to be his friends as long as life endured. But even Carson could not change the revengeful nature of th! Indians. Nor could lhe make right all the wrongs the tribes had suffered from unprincipled white men. Frequent and terrible uprisings kept the settlers 253 KIT CARSON. on the frontier in uneasiness. Carson was prompt to punish such offenses, and, while the peaceful Indians loved him, the lawless and treacherous feared him. A writer who once visited him at Taos thus describes his manner of life during this period: " While he spends as much of his time as possible at his ranch 4 the duties of his office compel him to spend most of it in Taos. The thousand kindly acts he is able to per- form for the In- d i a n s havese- c u red such regard for him- "LI, self that now he INDIAN PEACE PIPE. needs no protec- tion where he is known-and what In- dian in New Mexico does not know him He goes among them and entertains them as the children of his charge, having their unbounded confidence and love. " Every year, in the hey-day of the season, Carson claims the luxury of another revival of earlier associa- tions, in a few days, or perhaps weeks, spent in the chase. In these excursions he is joined by some of his old compeers, as well as by later acquired friends and men of reputation and culture-chance visitors to Taos-and by a select few of the Indian braves from the tribes under his charge."' 254 AT HOME In the last years of his life he had the satisfaction of knowing that white men, as well as red, respected the work he had done; of knowing that he was the acknowledged hero of the Rockies. In his last illness his friend and physician read aloud to him the history of his life, which had just been published. He enjoyed listening to the account of his adventures, but with characteristic modesty wondered that any one should think it worth while to record them in a book. He died at the age of sixty, not far from the mountains he loved. Tales as wonderful as fairy legends are told about this hero of the Rockies by the natives of those rugged heights. And we shall not soon forget this prince of mountaineers, "nature's nobleman," who, when there were none to know, in the depths of the wilderness, still thought it worth while to be brave, true, and manly. 255