Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

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

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tiac devised a plot by which all the posts from the Allegheny to Lake
Superior, held by the English, were to be attacked simultaneously.
The posts of Michilmackinac, Green Bay, Miami, St. Joseph, San-
dusky, Presque Isle, and others of lesser note, were taken, and their
garrisons massacred. Niagara, Fort Pitt and Detroit alone were left.
Kyasuta, a noted chief of the Senecas, whose home w-as on the Alle-
gheny, was to besiege Fort Pitt, while Pontiac reserved for himself the
task of reducing Detroit, then under the command of Major Gladwyn.
In May over six thousand warriors were gathered around it. Pontiac
had laid a plan to surprise the fort. He was to come to the fort with
sixt}^ chiefs and warriors, demand admission under pretense of holding
a council. Each warrior was to carry a rifle, shortened by filing, so
that it could be concealed bv his blanket. Pontiac was to make a
speech, at the close of which he would offer a peace belt, which w^as
to be the signal of attack. The chiefs would fire upon the officers,
and the Indians who were gathered around the fort would attack the
garrison. His plans, however, failed, owing to the following circum-
stances. An Ojibwa maiden who lived in the Pottawatomie village,
and who had become attached to Major Gladwyn, Catherine, as she
was called, came to the fort on the afternoon of the 6th of May, and
repaired to the quarters of the major, bringing a pair of elk skin moc-
casins, which he had engaged her to make for him. She appeared sad
and downcast, so much so as to attract the special attention of Glad-
wyn, who pressed her to declare what was upon her mind. For a time
she refused, but after much persuasion, and a pledge that he would not
betray her, she divulged Pontiac's scheme. Thanking the maiden, he
called together the officers of the garrison, informed them of what he
had learned, and prepared to thwart the plans of the wily chief. The
fortifications were extensive, and required a much larger force than
Gladwyn had at command to defend them against the two thousand
Indians surrounding it; hence Gladwyn resorted to stratagem, but did
not neglect to take extraordinary precautions against any sudden whim

— 54 —

of the savages, which might induce them to make a night attack. Half
the garrison were ordered under arms, and the officers spent the night
upon the ramparts. The soldiers were ignorant of their danger, and
the sentinels did not know their numbers were doubled, or why their
officers visited their posts so often. At an early hour the following
morning the common was covered by a crowd of Indians, and at ten
o'clock Pontiac arrived with sixty chiefs, who were admitted within the
fort. Then followed the council and the speeches by Gladwyn* and
Pontiac, which developed to the latter that all his plans were known to
the English commander. After satisfying the savages that their con-
templated treachery was known and their power despised, Gladwyn
permitted them to withdraw unmolested. Pontiac, as may be imagined,
was much enraged at the failure of his scheme, but controlling his feel-
ings, he sought to regain the confidence of Gladwyn, but failing, he
threw off his mask and commenced a fierce battle upon the fort.
Foiled in his attempt to take it by surprise or assualt, he settled down
to a regular siege, which was maintained more or less vigorously for
fifteen months. Pontiac supplied his warriors with provisions by mak-
ing levies upon the Canadians, and issued his certificates therefor,
drawn on birch bark, which were afterwards scrupulously redeemed.
He intrenched his camp, and when an attack was made upon it by
Captain Dalzell with a large reinforcement of troops, he repulsed the
English with heavy loss. He attacked the reinforcement of troops and
supphes at Point Pelee, capturing three out of five large boats with
their crews, and dispersing the rest with great loss. During the
long period of the siege, Pontiac indulged the hope that France would
once more send her troops against the English, and that together the
French and Lidian armies would triumph, and the " long knives " be
driven beyond the AUeghenies. But becoming satisfied that the power
of the French would never be restored in America, and despairing of
success alone, he sullenl}^ raised the siege upon the approach of Gen-
eral Bradstreet's army in August, 1764, and established his headquar-
ters on the Maumee, where he vainly sought to stir up the different
tribes against the whites; for his own repulse at Detroit, and the defeat
of Kyasuta at Westmorland by Bouquet, had so demoralized them, that
the great chieftain could not induce them to continue the war. In
July, 1766, he attended a great council at Oswego, N. Y., between
Sir William Johnson and the Indian nations, where he made a speech,
and signed a treaty of perpetual peace with the English. Returning
with presents to the Maumee, he remained there in quiet until the
spring of 1769, when he removed to Illinois. Soon after arriving
there, he visited St. Louis, and called upon his old friend St. Ange,
who commanded the post. He then proceeded to the house of young
Pierre Choteau, where prominent citizens paid him their respects, and
entertained him in a sumptuous manner. On this occasion Pontiac


was dressed in the full uniform of a French otiker, which the Marquis
Montcalm had presented him at the close of the French war as a
special mark of respect. He remained at St. Louis a number of days,
when hearincr that a larefe number of Indians were assembled at Coho-
kia, on the opposite side of the river, he said he would cross over and
see what was going on, and against the advice of St. Ange, he, with a
few followers, crossed the river, and the party never saw him alive
again. Entering the village, he was soon known and invited to a
grand party, where liquor circulated freely. Pontiac, with all his dig-
nity, could not resist the native passion for strong drink, and imbibed
deeply. At this village was an English trader named Williamson, who
looked upon Pontiac with jealousy, and resolved to put him out of the
way, if possible. After the feast referred to, the chief strolled down
the village street into the adjacent woods, where he was heard to sing
his medicine song. It is related that Williamson bribed a Kaskasia
Indian, with the promise of a barrel of rum, to assassinate the chief.
The Indian followed him into the timber, and watching his oppor-
tunity, stole up behind him, and dispatched him with his tomahawk.
The murdered chief lay where he fell until St. Ange, learning of the
tragedy, sent for the body, and had it taken over to St. Louis, where it
was interred with the honors of war near the fort. The natives of the
northwest united and visited a terrible vengeance upon the Illinois
Indians for this great crime, almost totally exterminating them, the
remnant of them never afterwards figuring in history.

History informs us that this great chieftain made the lake country
near the present city of Pontiac the place of his summer home. Pitch-
ing his tent on the island in Orchard Lake, known to the Indians as
" Me-nah-sa-gorning," meaning " the place of the Orchard," he passed
the warm season in that beautiful locality, nowhere surpassed in the

Not alone in Michigan is the name of this great chieftain remem-
bered, for on the prairies of Illinois another flourishing city does honor
to the most princely Indian that ever trod the soil of the mighty west.


Major Robert Rogers, to whom Detroit was surrendered, was a
native of New Hampshire, and was commissioned by that province,
but received his orders from Sir Jeffrey Amherst, to ascend the lakes
with a detachment of provincial rangers, and take possession in the
name of his Britannic majesty of Detroit, Michilmackinac and other
western posts. Montreal and Quebec, and the whole of Canada, had
at this time been ceded and formally occupied by the English, the
terms of the treaty including all the French possessions on the contin-

— 56 —

ent. Stark and Putnam, afterward so distinguished in the war of the
revolution, were the companions of Major Rogers in this expedition.
Major Rogers left Montreal September 12th, 1760, with two hundred
rangers in fifteen whale boats, and proceeded up the St. Lawrence,
and skirting the north shore of Lake Ontario, reached Fort Niagara
the first of October, Carrying their boats over the portage, they
launched them above the falls of Niagara river, and slowly pro-
ceeded up Lake Erie. Major Rogers in the meanwhile, with a few
men, hastened on to Fort Pitt (now Pittsburg) to deliver dispatches
with which he was charged to General Monckton, then in command of
that fort. This accomplished, he rejoined his command at Presque
Isle about the end of October, and following the south shore of Lake
Erie, reached the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, the present site of
Cleveland, November 10, where no body of British troops had ever
advanced before. There his troops encamped for needed rest.

Soon after the arrival of the rangers, a party of Indian chiefs
visited their camp, proclaiming themselves an embassy from Pontiac,
ruler of all that country, and in his name forbade the English to
advance any further until they could have an interview with their great
chief. Before the day closed, Pontiac himself appeared (this being the
first time in history that the name of this remarkable man is men-
tioned). He greeted Rogers with the haughty demand, "What is
your business in this country, and how dare you enter without my per-
mission ?" The major informed him that Canada had surrendered,
and that he was on his way to take possession of Detroit. Pontiac
replied that he should stand in the path until morning, and inquired if
the strangers were in need of anything which his country afforded. In
the morning Pontiac returned with his chiefs, and replied to Major
Rogers, "That he was willing the English should remain in peace, so
long as they treated him and his people with respect." The Indian
chiefs and provincial officers then smoked the Calumet together, and
perfect harmony seemed to have been established.

On the 1 2th of November Rogers broke camp and started again,
and in a few days had reached the western end of Lake Erie. Here
he learned that a body of Detroit Indians were in arms against him,
and lay in ambush at the mouth of Detroit river; but owing to the
influence of Pontiac, the warriors abandoned their design, and the
rangers proceeded on their way to Detroit. In the meantime Lieu-
tenant Brem was sent forward with a letter to Captain Bellestre, the
French commandent at Detroit, stating that the garrison at Detroit was
included in the capitulation of Canada, and that an English detachment
was on its way to ,take possession. He questioned this intelligence,
and determined to assume a hostile attitude, and at the same time
sought to arouse the Indians to aid and co-operate with him ; in this he

— 57 —

Rogers had now entered Detroit river, and he despatched Camp-
bell with a copy of the articles of capitulation and a letter from the
Marquis of Nandreuil, directing that the place should be given up in
accordance with the terms of the capitulation agreed upon between
himself and General Amherst. Captain De Bellestre then placed him-
self at the disposal of the English commander. As the whale boats of
the rangers moved slowly up the river, they saw on the right the villa-
ges of the Wyandottes, and on the left the lodges of the Pottawatomies,
and beyond, up the stream, the flag of France, flying for the last time
above the fortification of the little town. The rangers landed on the
opposite side of the river and pitched their tents, while two officers with
a small detachment went across the river to take possession of the place.
Obedient to their summons, the French garrison defiled upon the plain
and stacked their arms, the fleur-de-lis was lowered from the flag staff,
and the cross of St. George hoisted in its place, while seven hundred
Indian warriors, late allies of France, looked on with surprise. The
French Canadian militia were then disarmed on the 29th day of
November, when Detroit fell into the hands of the English. The gar-
rison were sent as prisoners to Philadelphia, but the Canadians were
permitted to return to their farms and homes on taking the oath of
allegiance to the British crown.

Major Rogers estimated the population at this time at 2,5CX),
including the settlements on both sides of the river. Major Rogers
and his rangers were relieved in 1761 by a detachment of regular
troops under command of Captain Campbell, and returned then
(December 23) to the Province of New Hampshire, via Pittsburg.


The commanders at Detroit from 1760 to 1796 were, first. Major
Robert Rogers, a native of the province of New Hampshire. He
was succeeded by Major Campbell, who, accompanied by Lieutenant
George McDougall, Dr. Jean Chapoton and Jacques Godfrey, visited
the camp of Pontiac on the latter's invitation or request, for the pur-
pose of considering proposals, or, as the chief termed it, " to settle all
difficulties and smoke the pipe of peace together." As soon as they
reached his camp and were in his power, Pontiac sent back Dr. Cha-
poton and Godfrey with the message that Major Campbell and Lieut.
McDougall were retained as hostages for the surrender of the fort.
McDougall escaped, but Major Campbell, while walking out, was slain
by a Chippewa, whose uncle had been killed by the English. Pontiac is
said to have exhausted every means to apprehend and punish the mur-
derer, but he had fled beyond his reach. The death of Major Camp-
bell was a sad blow to the besieged. Major Gladwyn had superseded

— 58 —

Major Campbell, and was in command when the tragical death of the
latter occurred. Gladwyn is described as tall, well proportioned,
haughty in manner, but determined and brave in action, thoroughly
Enghsh in his prejudices, and hence was not so highl}' esteemed, either
by his subordinates or by the French inhabitants, as Major Campbell,
who was loved bv all the whites and respected by the Indians; hence
the loss of Campbell was felt by Gladwyn, and very much interfered
with his carrying out the policy of the English authorities, viz. : to con-
ciliate both the French and Indians. As stated heretofore, Gladwyn
was a brave officer, but preferred to emplo}- the force of arms in
establishing English authority rather than conciliatory means. The
interview between him and Pontiac thus described, illustrates the char-
acter of the man. This interview was had pursuant to the plans of
Pontiac for the capture of the fort, which had been communicated to
Gladwyn by the Indian maiden. Pontiac was to make a speech, at its
close he was to present the Wampum belt, which was to be the signal
of attack, the chiefs were to spring up and tire upon the officers, and
the Indians outside were to fall upon the garrison. Pontiac arose, and
stretching his majestic form to its full height, and addressing Gladwyn,
said, he and his chiefs had come to smoke the pipe of peace and
strengthen the bonds of friendship. He spoke of the number of his
braves and their deeds. In his hand he held the sacred emblem of
peace, with which he was to give the signal of attack. As he raised
the belt to give the preconcerted signal, the commandent drew his hand
across his forehead, and at once a sudden clash of arms was heard
without, the drums rolled the charge, and the tramp of armed men
resounded through the streets. The major himself appeared unmoved,
but his eye was fixed immovably upon the chief, who, with looks of
astonishment, stammered out more professions of friendship, and pre-
sented the belt in the usual manner, which Gladwyn received, saying to
the chiefs, "they could rely on his friendship as long as the}' deserved
it, but threatened them with vengeance for any act of perfidy." The
gates were then opened, and Pontiac and his chiefs were permitted
to pass out. He moved off alone and embarked in his canoe to the
Ottawa village on the opposite side of the river, and that night moved
his camp to the Detroit side, and before night occupied the rise of
ground east of Parent creek, which he intrenched. Gladwyn, with all
his arrogance and English pride, nevertheless yielded to the charms of
a French maiden, Madeleine de Tonnancour, a relative of Jacques God-
fro}^; but it appears that he had a successful rival in Captain Dalzell, a
young English officer attached to the staff of General Amherst.
Madeleine was an orphan, and had been educated at the Ursuline con-
vent at Quebec. She is said to have possessed great beauty and many
personal accomplishments. She first met Captain Dalzell at a ball at
Quebec, where a mutual attachment was formed. Her relatives were

— 59 —

opposed to her marriage, and being a minor, she was compelled to
submit to their control. She therefore conceived the plan of retiring
from the gay world of Quebec, and came to Detroit. Her arrival was
just at the commencement of the Indian troubles, and the society was
very different from that she had left. Gladwyn first met her at Madam
Ruisseaux, who was a relative, and the times being troublesome, the
ladies were continually beset with fears of Indian depredations. Glad-
wyn sought to quiet and soothe their apprehensions, and soon his calls
became frequent. It was soon evident that the English officer forgot
his own precarious position when in the society of Madeleine. She,
too, was flattered b}- his attentions, which served to beguile many
anxious hours; but when he placed his heart and hand at her disposal,
she declined to listen, and became more distant. He then approached
Jacques Godfroy, her relative, and sought to enlist his influence with
Madeleine. Godfrov, much surprised, refused, but couched his refusal
in a courteous manner. Gladwyn was exceedingly angry, and said
something which roused the temper of the Frenchman, who, making a
bitter retort, left the officers' quarters. Godfroy on returning to his
sister's, and relating to her and Madeleine what occurred, remarked
that he would be obliged to leave the fort at a moment's notice, for,
said he, " I noticed from the glitter of the major's steel gray eyes, that
mischief is in store for me." A few days passed, when Madeleine saw a
long line of batteaux crowded with men coming up the river, and on the
landing of the troops, recognized as their commander Captain Dalzell,
her former lover. As soon as Dalzell learned that Madeleine was in
the fort, he, in company with Gladwyn, sought her presence. Dalzell's
reception by Madeleine at once revealed to Gladwyn why his suit was
denied, and he at once took his leave. Madeleine then related her
troubles, when he informed her they would soon end, "for with
Major Gladwyn's consent, I will attack Pontiac in his intrenchments
with my three hundred veterans, and you shall no longer be confined
here through fear of these savages." History informs us that Glad-
wyn gave his consent, the attack was made, and Captain Dalzell lost
his life. On being informed of his death, Madeleine lost consciousness,
and soon followed him. It is said that Gladwyn seemed ever after
like one burdened with a great sorrow.

The other officers who participated in the battle of Bloody Run in
this attack on Pontiac's camp were. Captain Gray, who commanded
the center line. He was killed about a mile from the camp while
returning to the fort.

Captain Grant commanded the rear detachments, and followed
immediately behind Dalzell, and was able to maintain the position
assigned him and cover the retreat.

Lieutenant Brown led the advance with twenty-five men.

— 60 —

Captain Dalzell exhibited great bravery during the whole fight,
and was twice wounded in the early part of the action, but while
rallying his troops for the third advance, stepping out of the ranks to
relieve a wounded soldier, was shot dead by a ball from the enemy.

Major Robert Rogers, who had been ordered to return to Detroit
with his rangers from New Hampshire, also bore a part in the fight.
He gained possession of the M. Campau house, which commanded the
road, and covered the retreat of the retiring regular troops.

General Bradstreet arrived at Detroit in 1764, and immediately
relieved the worn-out garrison. He made a treaty of peace with the
Indians, and restored civil law and order.

Lieut. Governor Hamilton was in command in 1776. He was
compelled to leave Detroit in consequence of participation in, or being
held accountable for, the unjust sentence and execution of one John
Conteneinau and Ann Wylie, whom Phillip Jean, a creature of his,
found guilty of stealing, and condemned to be hung. Hamilton and
Jean were both arrested in Illinois by General Rufus Clark, sent to
Virginia, and were never heard of after in Detroit.

During the American Revolution there were five hundred British
troops stationed at Detroit under command of Major Lernoult, or
Leverault. The success of the American arms at Vincennes, Indiana,
induced him to erect a large earth fort, which was bounded on the
east by Griswold street, west by Wayne, north by Lafa^^ette and south
by Congress streets, and was called Fort Lernoult until after the battle
of the Thames in 181 3, when it was named Fort Shelby. Leverett
street, Detroit, is said to take its name from him.

In 1793 the fort was in command of Colonel England, of the 24th
regiment of British regulars, by whom it was given up to the United
States in 1796. At this time, 1793, there was anchored before the city
rather a formidable fleet, consisting of the brigs Chippewa and Ottawa,
carrying eight guns, the brig Dunsmore, six guns, and the sloop
Felicity, armed with two swivels, all belonging to his majesty George
III, and under the command of Commodore Grant, whose sketch is
found elsewhere in this book.


— 61 —


Samuel de Champlain 1612 to 1635.

Marc Antoin de Bras de Per de Chasteaufort 1635 .

Chas. Herault de Montmagny 1636 to 1649.

Louis D'AUiebout de Coulonges 164S to 1651 .

Jean de Lanson 165 1 to 1656.

Chas. de Lanson-Chameys 1656 to 1657 .

Chevalier Louis D'AUiebout de Coulonges 1657 to 1658.

Pierre de Voyer, Viscount D'Argenson 1658 to 1661 .

Pierre du Bois, Baron D'Avangour 1661 to 1663 .

Chevalier Augustin di Sa£Erey-Mersey 1663 .

Alexander de Prouville Marquis de Tracey 1663 to 1665.

Chevalier Daniel de Remy de Courcelles 1665 to 1672.

Louis de Buade, Count de Pallnan et de Frontenac 1672 to 16S2.

Antoin Joseph Le Febrier de La Bam 1682 to 1685 .

Jaqueur Rene de Brisay Marquis de Denouville 1685 to 1689.

Louis de Buade, Count de Pallnan et de Frontenac 1689 to 1699.

Chevalier Louis Hector de Callieres 1699 to 1703 .

Phillippe de Regaud, Marquis de Vandreuil 1703 to 1725.

Charles Le Moyne, Baron de Longueuil 1725 to 1726.

Charles, Marquis de Beauharnois 1726 to 1747.

RoUand Michel Barrier, Count de la Galesonniere 1747 to 1752 .

Charles Le Moj-ne, Baron De Longueuil 1752.

The Marquis Duquesne de Meuneville 1752 to 1755 .

Pierre Francois, Marquis de Vandreuil Cavagnal 1 75 5 to 1760.


Sir Jeffrey Amherst 1760 to 1765

Sir James Murray 1765 to 1766

Paulis Emilius Irving 1766.

Brigadier General Guy Carlton 1766 to 1770

Hector Theophilus Craneahe 1770 to 1774

Major General Guy Carleton i774 to 1778

Sir Frederick Haldimand 1778 to 1784

Henry Hamilton 1784 to 1785

Henry Hope 1785 to 1786

Lord Dorchester 1786 to 1792

Col. John Graves Simcoe 1792 to 1796


General Arthur St. Clair 1787 to 1800.

Winthrop Sargeant, Secretary and Acting Governor 1796-

General William Henry Harrison 1800 to 1805 .

General William Hull 1S05 to 1811.

General Lewis Cass 1813 to 1817.

William Woodbridge, Secretary and Acting Governor 1818.

General Lewis Cass January 24th, 1820.

— 62 —

William Woodbridge, Secretary and Acting Governor Aug. to Sept. iSth, 1S20.

General Lewis Cass December 20th, 1822 .

William Woodbridge, Secretary and Acting Governor. . .Sept. 29th to May 28th, 1823.

General Lewis Cass December 22d, 1825 .

William Woodbridge, Secretary and Acting Governor 1826 to July, 1827.

General Lewis Cass December 24th, 1828 .

James Witherell, Secretary and Acting Governor January ist to April 30th, 1830.

General John T. Mason, Secretary and Acting Governor September 30th, 1830.

Stevens Thompson Mason, Secretary and Acting Governor August ist, 1831.

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 6 of 51)