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Is the summer of 1782, a party of seven Wyandots made an incursion into a settlement some distance below Fort Pitt, and several miles from the Ohio river. Here finding an old man alone, in a cabin, they killed him, packed up what plunder they could find, and commenced their retreat. Amongst their party was a celebrated Wyandot chief, who, in addition to his fame as a warrior and counsellor, was, as to his size and strength, a real giant.

The news of the visit of the Indians soon spread through the neighbor hood, and a party of eight good riflemen was collected in a few hours for the purpose of pursuing the Indians. In this party were two brothers of the names of Adam and Andrew Poe. They were both famous for cour age, size and activity.

This little party commenced the pursuit of the Indians, with a determination, if possible, not to suffer them to escape, as they usually did on such occasions, by making a speedy flight to the river, crossing it, and then dividing into sinall parties, to a meet at a distant point in a given


The pursuit was continued the greater part of the night after the In dians had done the mischief. In the morning, In the morning, the party found themselves on the trail of the Indians, which led to the river. When arrived within a little distance of the river, Adam Poe, fearing an ambuscade, left the party, who followed directly on the trail, to creep along the brink of the river bank, under cover of the weeds and bushes, to fall on the rear of the Indians, should he find them in ambuscade. He had not gone far before he saw the Indian rafts at the water's edge. Not seeing any Indians, he stepped softly down the bank with his rifle cocked. When about half way down, he discovered the large Wyandot chief and a small Indian within a few steps of him. They were standing with their guns cocked, and looking in the direction of our party, who by this time had gone some distance lower down the bottom. Poe took aim at the large chief, but his rifle missed fire. The Indians hearing the snap of the gunlock, instantly turned round and discovered Poe, who being too near them to retreat, dropped his gun and sprang from the bank upon them, and seizing the large Indian by the clothes on his breast, and at the same time embracing the neck of the small one, threw them both down on the ground, himself being uppermost. The small Indian soon extricated himself, ran to the raft, got his tomahawk, and attempted to disputele

Poe, the large Indian holding him fast in his arms with all his might, the better to enable his fellow to effect his purpose. Poe, however, so well watched the motions of his assailant, that, when in the act of aiming his blow at his head, by a vigorous and well-directed kick with one of his feet, he staggered the savage, and knocked the tomahawk out of his hand. This failure, on the part of the small Indian, was reproved by an exclamation of contempt from the large one.

In a moment the Indian caught up his tomahawk again, approached more cautiously, brandishing his tomahawk, and making a number of feigned blows in defiance and derision. Poe, however, still on his guard, averted the real blow from his head, by throwing up his arm, and receiving it on his wrist in which he was severely wounded; but not so as to lose entirely the use of his hand.

In this perilous moment, Poe, by a violent effort, broke loose from the Indian, snatched up one of the Indian's guns, and shot the small Indianthrough the breast, as he ran up the third time to tomahawk him.

The large Indian was now on his feet, and grasping Poe by a shoulder and leg, threw him down on the bank. Poe instantly disengaged himself and got on his feet. The Indian then seized him again, and a new struggle ensued, which, owing to the slippery state of the bank, ended in the fall of both combatants into the water.

In this situation, it was the object of each to drown the other. Their efforts to effect their purpose were continued for some time with alternate success, sometimes one being under the water and sometimes the other. Poe at length seized the tuft of hair on the scalp of the Indian, with which he held his head under water, until he supposed him drowned.

Relaxing his hold too soon, Poe instantly found his gigantic antagonist on his feet again, and ready for another combat. In this they were carried into the water beyond their depth. In this situation they were compelled to loose their hold on each other and swim for mutual safety. Both sought the shore, to seize a gun and end the contest with bullets. The Indian being the best swimmer, reached the land first. Poe seeing this, immediately turned back into the water, to escape, if possible, being shot, by diving. Fortunately the Indian caught up the rifle with which Poe had killed the other warrior.

At this juncture, Andrew Poe, missing his brother from the party, and supposing from the report of the gun which he shot, that he was either killed or engaged in conflict with the Indians, hastened to the spot. On seeing him, Adam called out to him to "kill the big Indian on shore." But Andrew's gun, like that of the Indian's, was empty. The contest was now between the white man and the Indian, who should load and fire first. Very fortunately for Poe, the Indian, in loading, drew the ramrod from the thimbles of the stock of the gun with so much violence, that it slipped out of his hand and fell a little distance from him. He quickly caught it up, and rammed down his bullet. This little delay gave Poe the advantage. He shot the Indian as he was raising his gun to take

aim at him.

As soon as Andrew had shot the Indian, he jumped into the river to assist his wounded brother to shore; but Adam, thinking more of the

honor of carrying the scalp of the big Indian home as a trophy of victory than of his own safety, urged Andrew to go back and prevent the struggling savage from rolling himself into the river and escaping. Andrew's solicitude for the life of his brother prevented him from complying with this request.

In the mean time, the Indian, jealous of the honor of his scalp even in the agonies of death, succeeded in reaching the river and getting into the current, so that his body was never obtained.

An unfortunate occurrence took place during this conflict. Just as Andrew arrived at the top of the bank for the relief of his brother, one of the party who had followed close behind him, seeing Adam in the river, and mistaking him for a wounded Indian, shot at him and wounded him in the shoulder. He however recovered from his wounds.

During the contest between Adam Poe and the Indians, the party had overtaken the remaining six of them. A desperate conflict ensued, in which five of the Indians were killed. Our loss was three men killed and

Adam Poe severely wounded.

Thus ended this Spartan conflict, with the loss of three valiant men on our part, and with that of the whole Indian party excepting one warrior. Never on any occasion was there a greater display of desperate bravery, and seldom did a conflict take place, which, in the issue, proved fatal to so great a proportion of those engaged in it.

The fatal result of this little campaign, on the side of the Indians, occasioned a universal mourning among the Wyandot nation. The big Indian and his four brothers, all of whom were killed at the same place, were amongst the most distinguished chiefs and warriors of their nation.

The big Indian was magnanimous as well as brave. He, more than any other individual, contributed, by his example and influence, to the good character of the Wyandots for lenity towards their prisoners. He would not suffer them to be killed or ill treated. This mercy to captives was an honorable distinction in the character of the Wyandots, and was well understood by our first settlers, who, in case of captivity, thought it a fortunate circumstance to fall into their hands.

It is consoling to the historian to find instances of those endowments of mind which constitute human greatness even among savages. The original stamina of those endowments, or what is called genius, are but thinly scattered over the earth, and there can be little doubt but that the lower grades of society possess their equal proportion of the bases of moral greatness, or in other words, that there is as much of native genius, in proportion to numbers, amongst savages, as there is amongst civilized people. The difference between these two extremes of society is merely the difference of education. This view of human nature, philosophically correct, is well calculated to increase the benevolence of even the good Samaritan himself, and encourage his endeavors for the instruction of the most ignorant, and the reformation of the most barbarous.

Had the aboriginals of our country been possessed of science to enable them to commit to the faithful page of history the events of their intercourse with us since the discovery and settlement of their native land by he Europeans, what would be the contents of this history! Not such as

it is from the hands of our historians, who have presented Hought but the worst features of the Indian character, as exhibited in the course of their wars against the invaders of their country, while the wrongs inflicted on them by civilized men have occupied but a very small portion of the record. Their sufferings, their private virtues, their bravery and magnanimity in war, together with their individual instances of greatness of mind, heroism, and clemency to captives in the midst of the cruelties of their barbarous warfare, must soon be buried with themselves in the tomb of their national existence.




THE following narrative goes to show that the long costinuance of the Indian war had inspired even the young lads of our country not only with all the bravery but all the subtilty of the Indians themselves.

In the fall of the year 1793, two boys of the name of John and Henry Johnson, the first thirteen and the latter eleven years old, whose parents lived in Carpenter's station, a little distance above the mouth of Short creek, on the east side of the Ohio river, were sent out in the evening to hunt the cows. At the foot of a hill, at the back of the bottom, they sat down under a hickory tree to crack some nuts. They soon saw two men coming towards them, one of whom had a bridle in his hand. Being dressed like white men, they mistook them for their father and an uncle in search of horses. When they discovered their mistake and attempted to run off, the Indians, pointing their guns at them, told them to stop or they would kill them. They halted and were taken prisoners.

The Indians, being in pursuit of horses, conducted the boys by a circuitous route over the Short creek hills in search of them, until late in the evening, when they halted at a spring in a hollow place, about three miles from the fort. Here they kindled a small fire, cooked and ate some victuals, and prepared to repose for the night.

Henry, the youngest of the boys, during the ramble had affected the greatest satisfaction at having been taken prisoner. He said his father was a hard master, who kept him always at hard work, and allowed him no play; but that for his part he wished to live in the woods and be a hun

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This deportment soon brought him into intimacy with one of the Indians, who could speak very good English. The Indians frequently asked the boys if they knew of any good horses running in the woods. Sometime before they halted, one of the Indians gave the largest of the

boys a little bag, which he supposed contained money, and made him carry it.

When night came on, the fire was covered up, the boys pinioned, and made to lie down together. The Indians then placed their hoppis straps over them, and laid down, one on each side of them, on the ends of the straps.

Pretty late in the night the Indians fell asleep; and one of them becoming cold, caught hold of John in his arms, and turned him over on the outside. In this situation, the boy, who had kept awake, found means to get his hands loose. He then whispered to his brother, made him get up, and untied his arms. This done, Henry thought of nothing but running off as fast as possible; but when about to start, John caught hold of him, saying, "We must kill these Indians before we go." After some hesitation, Henry agreed to make the attempt. John then took one of the rifles of the Indians, and placed it on a log with the muzzle close to the head of one of them. He then cocked the gun, and placed his little brother at the britch, with his finger on the trigger, with instructions to pull it as soon as he should strike the other Indian.

He then took one of the Indian's tomahawks, and standing astraddle of the other Indian, struck him with it. The blow, however, fell on the back of the neck and to one side, so as not to be fatal. The Indian then attempted to spring up; but the little fellow repeated his blows with such force and rapidity on the skull, that, as he expressed it, "the Indian laid still and began to quiver."

At the moment of the first stroke given by the elder brother with the tomahawk, the younger one pulled the trigger, and shot away a considerable portion of the Indian's lower jaw. This Indian, a moment after receiving the shot, began to flounce about and yell in the most frightful manner. The boys then made the best of their way to the fort, and reached it a little before daybreak. On getting near the fort they found the people all up and in great agitation on their account. On hearing a woman exclaim, "Poor little fellows, they are killed or taken prisoners!" the oldest one answered, "No mother, we are here yet."

Having brought nothing away with them from the Indian camp, their relation of what had taken place between them and the Indians was not fully credited. A small party was soon made up to go and ascertain the truth or falsehood of their report. This party the boys conducted to the spot by the shortest route. On arriving at the place, they found the Indian whom the oldest brother had tomhawked, lying dead in the camp; the other had crawled away, and taken his gun and shot-pouch with him. After scalping the Indian, the party returned to the fort, and the same day a larger party went out to look after the wounded Indian, who had erawled some distance from the camp and concealed himself in the top of a fallen tree, where, notwithstanding the severity of his wound, with a Spartan bravery he determined to sell his life as dearly as possible. Having fixed his gun for the purpose, on the approach of the men to a proper distance, he took aim at one of them, and pulled the trigger, but his gun missed fire. On hearing the snap of the lock, one of the men exclaimed, "I should not like to be killed by a dead Indian!" The

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