Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

Chronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County online

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took the field, and on the 20th of August attacked a large Indian force
on the Miami, which he completely routed. This victory was followed
soon after by a treaty of peace. He was then ordered to take pos-
session of Detroit under the terms of the Jay treaty, when, after
spending some further time in restoring order and providing for the
restoration of civil law in the territor}^ he returned to Pennsylvania.
In 1796 he was again sent west to receive the remaining posts sur-
rendered by the British, and it was on his descending Lake Erie from
Detroit that he was attacked with the gout. He died in a hut at
Presque Isle in December, 1796, and was buried on the shore of the
lake. In 1809 his remains were removed by his son, and interred in
Radnor churchyard, Delaware County. In person, Wayne was well
proportioned ; dark hair and dark eyes lent power to his expression.
He was of a lively, vivacious turn, always ready for action.



WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.

William Henry Harrison had much to do in the formation and
restoration of law and order in the territory of the northwest, of which
Michigan and Wayne county was a part. He was born at Berkley,
St. Charles City county, Va., February 9th, 1773. The family from
which he was descended is traced to a colonial ancestor in the first half
of the 17th century. A son of his, Benjamin Harrison, established the
Hne at the family seat at Berkley, St. Charles City county, Va., on the
James river. He was a lawyer and a member of the House of Bur-
gesses. His grandson, of the same name, was the signer of the
declaration of Independence. The father, William Henry Harrison,
the subject of this sketch was the great grandfather of Benjamin Har-
rison, now president of the United States.

WiUiam Henry Harrison was well provided for, for acquiring an
education, and after a preparatory course entered and graduated from



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Hampden Sidney college in Virginia, whence he turned to the study
of medicine. He had studied for a short time under the instruction of
a Richmond doctor and was about to continue his studies with the
noted Doctor Rush, of Philadelphia, when his father's death occurred,
and, with some reluctance on the part of his family, he chose a military
life. Through General Henry Lee he obtained a commission as ensign
in the first regiment of the United States infantry, then stationed at Fort
Washington, the present site of Cincinnati. He was then but 19 years
of age and the time of his arrival at Fort Washington was after the
defeat of General St. Clair by the Indians at the Miami villages. Thus
he was introduced to the region with which he became ever after
identified, and in which, by his acts and deeds, he laid the foundation
for that popularity which subsequently carried him triumphantl)'^ into
the presidential chair.

The ill fortune which befell St. Clair was calculated to rouse the
warlike spirit of Harrison, and also furnished a lesson of caution and
preparation in dealing with the Indians which was not lost upon subse-
quent campaigns.

Major General Wayne succeeded St. Clair and took the field in
the summer of 1793 and appointed Harrison upon his staff. In the
engagement at the Rapids he so distinguished himself as to secure
from Wayne in his dispatch of the victory commendation as " one who
rendered the most essential service by communicating my orders in
every direction and by his conduct and bravery exciting the troops to
victory." The battle of the Miamis was fought August 20, 1794. Its
fruits brought was a treaty of peace at Greenville which closed the
war. Harrison at this time held the rank of captain and was placed in
command of Fort Washington, and about the same time he married
the daughter of John Cleves Symmes, the founder of Cincinnati. He
held the post till 1797, and then sent in his resignation, desiring to
devote himself to agricultural pursuits. He was not permitted to enjoy
them long, for President Adams having appointed him secretary of
the Northwest Territory he was called to assist General St. Clair,
then Governor, in its organization. When the territory became organ-
ized, in 1797, he was chosen a delegate to represent it in Congress.
On the division of the territory, Harrison was withdrawn from Con-
gress and appointed Governor of the newly formed territory of Indiana,
which included the present States of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wis-
consin and a portion of Ohio. November 7th, 1811, he defeated the
Indians under the Indian Prophet, brother of Tecumseh. The battle
was fought on the banks of the Tippecanoe river, a tributary of the
Wabash in Indiana.* In May, 181 2, Tecumseh openly joined the
British standard at Maiden. On the i8th of the following month
war against Great Britain was formally declared, and Hull's surrender



— 105 —

of Detroit occurred in August. These events roused the war spirit
in Ohio and Kentucky and volunteer forces were raised in large
numbers. There being some conflict of authority as to who should
command the troops from Kentucky, for the purpose of placing Har-
rison at the head, that State conferred upon him the brevet of major
general, while the secretary of war, ignorant of this fact, had assigned
the command to General Winchester. The difficulty, however, was
speedily settled by the President, who in September appointed Harri-
son commander-in-chief of the western department, when the left
wing of the army was assigned to Winchester, Harrison taking his
position in what British conquests had made the frontier, being the
northerly portion of Ohio bordering on Michigan and making his head-
quarters at Upper Sandusky.

On January 22d, 1813, occurred the massacre of the River Raisin.
This for a time stopped all further aggressive movements on the part
of Harrison, who intrenched his forces at the Rapids of the Maumee,
constructing a fort, which he named in honor of the Governor of Ohio,
" Fort Meigs."

The next important event was the repulse and the defeat of
Proctor in his attack on Fort Meigs on the 5th of May.

Relieved of the presence of the enemy, Harrison now waited the
developments of Perry's movements, for once in command of Lake
Erie he felt that the British occupation of Detroit would be abandoned.
During this interim Major Croghan successfully defeated the attack by
Proctor on Fort Stephenson. This occurred on the ist of August.
On the loth of September Perry defeated and captured the whole
British squadron. Then Harrison commenced an aggressive move-
ment, and on the 27th of September effected a landing on the Canadian
shore, and advancing to Maiden, found it had been abandoned by the
British. Proctor with his troops, and Tecumseh with his followers, had
retreated into the interior. Harrison, leaving small detachments at
Sandwich and Detroit, now regained, pushed on after the retreating
foes. Lewis Cass and Commodore Perry were with him as aides.

On the 5th of October he came up with Proctor, whose troops
were drawn up near the Moravian village on the banks of the River
Thames, and at once attacked and defeated him. Such was the battle
known in history as the Battle of the Thames, when Tecumseh was
killed. With the death of Tecumseh the hopes of the Indians of the
northwest were destroyed and General Harrison resigned and returned
to civil life.

He was elected to Congress and served from 1816 to 1818, and

from 1824 to 1828 in the United States Senate. Between these two

dates he sat in the Ohio Senate. In 1828 President John Quincy

Adams appointed him Minister to the Republic of Bogota. He

8



— 106 —

reached Bogota in February, 1829, but had hardly entered upon his
duties when he was recalled by President Jackson. Returning, he
resumed agricultural pursuits at North Bend. In 1836 he was de-
fated for the presidency by Martin VanBuren. In 1840 he was
renominated by the Whig convention held at Harrisburg and triumph-
antly elected over his former competitor, in November of that year.
March 4th, 1841, he was inaugurated President of the United States.
Exactly one month thereafter he breathed his last.

The personal qualities of William Henry Harrison had much to do
with his elevation to the presidency. His life was marked by a union of
moderation with good fortune and substantial success. He was pros-
perous as a commander where others failed. He was identified with
the growth and prosperity of a powerful region of the Republic. The
people believed in his good sense and in his integrity, and these were
among the most prominent elements of his success. Nearly fifty years
have elapsed and his grandson Benjamin fills the position held by him
at his death.



COMMODORE OLIVER H. PERRY.

Oliver Hazard Perry was born at South Kingston, R. I., August
23, 1785. His great grandfather, Edmund Perry, was an English
Quaker, and emigrated from Devonshire, England, and settled first at
Plymouth, Mass., but the prejudices against the Quakers induced him
to follow Roger Sherman to Rhode Island, where he purchased from
the Indians a large tract of land and founded South Kingston. His
grandfather, Freeman Perry, was a Judge, and a member of the
Colonial Assembly. He was also a Quaker, and married the daughter
of Oliver Hazard, also of Quaker descent. From this alliance sprang
the revolutionary Christopher Perry, father of the subject of this
sketch. Christopher Perry volunteered in the navy at the breaking
out of the Revolutionary War, commanded a privateer, and was cap-
tured and confined for a period in the Jersey prison, at New York.
After his exchange he again went to sea, and continued in the naval
service during the war. All this occurred before he was 22 years of
age. After the close of the war he entered the merchant service, and
during one of his return voyages from Ireland he fell in love with one
of his passengers, Sarah Alexander. She was of Scotch ancestry,
though born in Ireland, and is said to have been a woman of great
personal beauty and force of character. Captain Christopher Perry
and Sarah Alexander were married in 1784. From such stock came the
hero of Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry. He had all the advantages
for obtaining an education which Rhode Island and those times afforded.
He was but 13 when his father was appointed by President John Adams,



— 107 —

in 1798, to the command of the frigate "General Green," to resist the
aggressions of France. Oliver accompanied him as midshipman in all
his cruises in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. After the French
war feeling was over, young Perry went again to his studies, and in
i8q2, was appointed midshipman on the frigate "John Adams," which
had just been ordered to the fleet of Commodore Morris, then blockad-
ing Tripoli. In 1803 he returned in his ship under the command of
Commodore Morris, and was not employed in active service till sent
again to the Mediterranean in the frigate Constellation, which did not
reach the African coast till the more daring hostilities of the Barbary
war was over. On his return in 1806 he was employed in superintend-
ing the construction of a fleet of gunboats, and it was not until 1809
that he was appointed to command of the armed schooner " Revenge,"
with which it will be remembered he cut out from under the guns of a
British ship in Spanish waters, an American vessel previously stolen.
On returning from this cruise in 181 1, he lost his vessel on Watch Hill
Reef, through an error of his pilot. He was not merely acquitted of
censure, but his conduct in saving his crew was extolled by a court of
inquiry. Owing to the loss of his vessel, he was temporarily thrown
out of a command, which he turned to account by marrying Miss
Elizabeth Champlin Mason, the daughter of an influential and wealthy
family at Newport, R. I., the wedding taking place in May, 181 1. The
commencement of the war of 181 2, found him in charge of a flotilla of
gunboats in Newport Harbor. Perry did not like this service, and
applied for more active service, and in the month of February, 1813,
he was ordered to join Commodore Chauncy, at Sackett's Harbor,
with his picked men from the flotilla. On his reporting to Chauncy,
he was detained for a time on Lake Ontario, and the end of March
sent to Erie to superintend the fitting out of two vessels for service on
Lake Erie. When he received advices that Chauncy designed to
attack Fort George, at the mouth of Niagara river, he joined him, and
participated in its capture, and again returned to Erie. Owing to the
lack of men, the completion of the vessels was somewhat delayed, but
on the arrival of a reinforcement of men, he soon had his vessels pre-
pared for action. One of these vessels was named after the lamented
" Lawrence," the other the " Niagara." With these, and seven smaller
vessels, and further strengthened by a reinforcement brought from
Lake Ontario by Captain Jesse D. Elliot, he left Erie to watch the
enemy. The commander of the British fleet, Captain Barclay, a
gallant officer who had seen much service, expected an easy capture of
Perry's fleet, as his armament was larger by nine guns, and were of
longer range than those of Perry's. On the loth of September, 1813,
the respective forces of the two commanders stood as follows : Perry's
— The " Lawrence," " Niagara " and seven smaller vessels, carrying
in all 54 guns. Barclay's— The " Detroit," " Queen Charlotte," " Lady



— 108 —

Provost," and three smaller vessels, carrying in all 63 guns. The loca-
tion of the American fleet was in Put-in-Bay, just off Maiden, from
which the British fleet was approaching. Perry arranged his vessels in
line, taking the lead in his flag ship " Lawrence," on which he now
raised the signal for action — a blue flag inscribed in large white letters,
with the words of the dying Lawrence : " Don't give up the ship ! "
Addressing his men : " My brave lads, this flag contains the last words
of Captain Lawrence; shall I hoist it ?" " Ay, ay sir! " was the res-
ponse. Then for an hour there was silence, which was suddenly
broken by a bugle sounded on board the British vessel " Detroit," and
a shot immediately following, which fell short of its mark. Owing to
the superior range of the enemy's guns, Perry sought closer quarters,
and making aU sail brought the " Lawrence " within reach of the
" Detroit," upon which he kept up a steady fire from his carronades,
assisted by the "Scorpion" and "Ariel." The destruction on the deck
of the "Lawrence " was fearful; out of 100 well men who went action
22 were killed and 61 wounded. At this time Perry finding his ship
disabled, resolved to move his flag to the " Niagara." He had half a
mile to traverse, exposed to the enemy's fire in an open boat. On
reaching the " Niagara " he instantly bore up to the " Detroit," the guns
of which were fired resolutely, when she became entangled with her
consort, the " Queen Charlotte," and the " Niagara " poured her shot
into both vessels, and at the end of seven minutes both had surrendered.
The American loss in this fight was 27 killed and 96 wounded; that
of the English 41 killed and 91 wounded. Perry's letter to General
Harrison reads as follows :

"Dear General: — We have met the enemy and they are ours — two

ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.

Yours, with great respect and esteem,

O. H. Perry."

That to the Secretary of the Navy :

" Sir : — It has pleased Almighty God to give the arms of the
United States signal victory over their enemies on this lake. The
British squadron, consisting of two ships, two brigs, one schooner and
one sloop, have this moment surrendered to the force under my com-
mand. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully.

Your Ob't Servant,

O. H. Perry."

This victory cleared the lake, and enabled Perry to co-operate
with General Harrison in driving the British from Michigan. Perry's
fleet sailed up to Detroit, but the enemy had fled to Canada, and were
subsequently arrested by Harrison. Perry's next service was in Aug.,
18 14, in command of the "Java," a 44 gun frigate, recently built
at Baltimore, but owing to the blockade of that port, he was not able



— 109 -

to get to sea before peace was declared. He subsequently joined the
squadron of Commodore Shaw, in the Mediterranean. It was during
this cruise that Perry permitted himself to strike an officer of the
marines for what he considered disrespectful conduct. Instead of being
at once settled, it was suffered to rankle, until 1818, and subsequently
ended in a duel, which was fought at Weehawken. Decatur was his
second. Perry had consented to the meeting as a compensation to the
officer he had injured, but forbore to return his antagonist's fire.
In 1819, he, as Commodore, sailed in the "John Adams " for the West
Indies, bound for Venezula. Reaching the mouth of the Oronoco, he
was attacked w^ith yellow fever, from which he died on board his flag
ship, August 23rd, 18 19, in his 34th year.

Such, and so early, was the fate of the gallant Perry. His remains
were interred at Port Spain with every attention by the English
Governor. They were subsequently brought home in a national
vessel, and interred in the cemetery at New'port. The country also
provided for his family. If ever America produced a man whom the
nation delighted to honor, it was Perry.



LEWIS CASS.



This distinguished statesman and diplomat, so well known to Michi-
gan's early pioneers, was born at Exeter, New Hampshire, October
9th, 1782. His ancestry, on both the paternal and maternal sides, came
from the Puritan stock of old England, to become more intensified in
their belief in New England.

His father, Jonathan Cass, was a stern representative of Puritan
principles. At the age of 19 he enlisted at the first call as a soldier of
the revolution. He served through the war from Bunker Hill to its
close and retired with the rank of captain. On the reorganization of
the army he was appointed to the command of Fort Hamilton, Ohio,
with the rank of major. Not long after he resigned and received a
tract of bounty land for his services, lying on the Muskingum river,
near where Zanesville now is, and made the home in which Lewis
Cass was introduced and became so prominently identified with Michi-
gan and the Northwestern Territory.

As stated, Lewis Cass was born at Exeter, New Hampshire, at the
close of the war of the revolution, so that in early boyhood he had the
advantages afforded by the Exeter academy, of which Benjamin
Abbot was the principal, under whose tutorage Daniel Webster, the
Everetts and Buckingham received their education. Young Cass was
entered there at the age of ten and left it at seventeen, when his father
removed to the West. His parents did not go at once to their western



— no —

home, but traveled a roundabout way, stopping for a time at Wil-
mington, Delaware, where Lewis was employed as a teacher in an
academy. Thence they proceeded to Harper's Ferry and Winchester
to Pittsburg, and from there down the Ohio river to Marietta. When
the family passed to their land on the Muskingum, Lewis remained at
Marietta and commenced the study of law in the office of Governor
Meigs, at that time judge of the supreme court of the territory,
subsequently completing his studies with Mathew Baccus, and in 1802
was admitted to the practice of his profession.

In 1808 he married Miss Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of a New
York gentleman who had settled in Virginia, and in the same year he
was introduced into political life and elected to the Ohio State legis-
lature, which assembled at Chillicothe, the capital of the new State.
This was the capital also at the period when Col. Burr began to equip
a fleet of boats, supposed for a treasonable design, and with the inten-
tion of dismembering the western states from the Union.

The matter was brought to the attention of President Jefferson,
who sent a special messenger to Ohio to communicate with the Gov-
ernor, and learn the sentiment of the people. The Governor presented
the matter to the legislature and a special committee was appointed, of
which Mr. Cass was a member, to investigate. A bill was therefore
passed, authorizing the Governor to arrest all concerned in the con-
spiracy. The boats were seized and the affair put an end to.

On this occasion Mr. Cass was selected to propose an address to
the President, which was replied to by him with unusual satisfaction.
Thus began the political career of Mr. Cass. In 181 1 the President
appointed him United States marshal of Ohio. At the close of this
year, the threatened aspect of the Indians and imminent war with
Great Britain led to a call for troops in the States. Mr. Cass at once
volunteered, and joining this body at its rendezvous at Dayton in the
spring of 181 2, he was commissioned a colonel and placed in command
of one of the regiments. The whole united with a body of regulars
under Colonel Miller and placed under command of Brigadier General
Hull, then Governor of the Territory of Michigan. The plan agreed
upon by the respective authorities was " to invade Canada from Detroit,
co-operate with a similar attack at Niagara, and joined by a force from
Pittsburg, to advance on Montreal." In accordance therewith.
Colonel Cass led his troops two hundred miles through the wilderness
from Urbana to Detroit. On the last day of June, 181 2, the
expedition reached the rapids on the Maumee river. Hull was not
aware then that war had been declared at Washington and on the i8th
of June, Hull sent his sick, a portion of his stores and baggage forward
by water, to Detroit. The fact that war had been actually commenced
was known by the British, who quietly captured the vessel as it ap-



— Ill —

proached Maiden. Among the spoils were the private papers of Hull,
so that the enemy were put in possession of all the military details and
objects of the expedition. Hull received news of the declaration after
this event. The British, however, did not make any effort to intercept
the land force and it reached Detroit unmolested. In the council of
war which followed, Cass urged rapid action, while Hull was inclined to
delay, but finally yielding, the army crossed the river on the nth of July
Col. Cass being in advance and the first on British soil. There was
some delay waiting for artillery and meantime Cass wrote and circulated
among the inhabitants a proclamation. Hull still counselled inaction,
so that it was not until the 17th that Cass was allowed to move forward
to take possession of a bridge which crossed a stream below Sandwich.
He was successful, and leaving a company of riflemen to divert the
enemy at the bridge, he passed his men over the river above, met the
British and drove them before him with great loss. The advantage
gained would have led to the capture of the Maiden fort, had not Hull
ordered the force from the position so creditably gained. Hull then,
on the 8th of August, returned to Detroit. Hull's return was hastened,
it is said, in consequence of the defeat of a party which had been sent
from his camp to assist in bringing some provisions which were on their
way to Detroit from Ohio. A second detachment was sent under
Colonel Miller to escort the provision train. On the way a sharp fight
ensued and though Miller held his own the commander-in-chief recalled
him. Still a third attempt was made to open the way for the expected
supplies under Colonels Cass and McArthur.

This expedition started the very day when Gen. Brock arrived to
take command at Maiden, and before its return Hull had surrendered
his entire force, including that led by Cass and McArthur, who
reluctantly acquiesced. Colonel Cass, on being called upon to deliver
his sword, drew it from its scabbard and, breaking it in two, threw
the parts away. He was released on parole and returned to Ohio,
thence proceeded to Washington, at the request of his fellow soldiers,
to inform the government the particulars of the surrender.

In January, 1813, on being released from his parole by exchange,
he was commissioned a colonel in the regular army and charged with
raising another Ohio regiment. He joined Harrison in the summer
with the increased rank of brigadier general, and after Perry's victory,
crossed with Harrison to Maiden and from thence to the Thames,
acting with Commodore Perry as aides to Harrison in the battle at that
point, which resulted in the complete defeat and rout of the British.
On the advance of Harrison he was left in command of the north-
western frontier and soon after received the appointment (made by
President Madison), of Governor of the Territory of Michigan, and
thus his subsequent life became identified in its future history.



Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 11 of 51)