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Title: The Conquest

The True Story of Lewis and Clark

Author: Eva Emery Dye

Release Date: June 12, 2013 [eBook #42925]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



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Reprinted from the Edition of 1814

With an Introduction and Index
By James K. Hosmer, LL.D.

NOTWITHSTANDING that in America few names are more familiar upon the tongue than those of Lewis and Clark, it is a singular fact that the Journals of their expedition have for a long time been practically unattainable. The lack thus existing, felt now more and more as the centenary of the great exploration draws near, this new edition has been planned to fill. The text used is that of the 1814 edition, which must hold its place as the only account approaching adequacy.

Dr. Hosmer, well-known for his work in Western history, has furnished an Introduction, giving the events which led up to the great expedition and showing the vast development that has flowed from it, in a way to make plain the profound significance of the achievement. There has also been added an elaborate analytic Index, a feature which the original edition lacked.

The publishers offer this work in the belief that it will fill all requirements and become the standard popular edition of this great American classic.

In two square octavo volumes, printed from new type of
a large clear face, with new photogravure
portraits and fac-simile maps.

In box, $5.00 net; delivered, $5.36.

A. C. McCLURG & CO., Chicago




A Chronicle

12mo.          $1.50

"A graphic page of the story of the
American pioneer."—N.Y. Mail
and Express.


From a Rare Painting.


The True Story of Lewis and Clark

Author of
"McLoughlin and Old Oregon"



A. C. McClurg & Co

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

Published Nov. 12, 1902



The author hereby acknowledges obligation to the Lewis and Clark families, especially to William Hancock Clark of Washington, D.C., and John O'Fallon Clark of St. Louis, grandsons of Governor Clark, and to C. Harper Anderson of Ivy Depot, Virginia, the nephew and heir of Meriwether Lewis, for letters, documents, and family traditions; to Mrs. Meriwether Lewis Clark of Louisville and Mrs. Jefferson K. Clark of New York, widows of Governor Clark's sons, and to more than twenty nieces and nephews; to Reuben Gold Thwaites of the University of Wisconsin, for access to the valuable Draper Collection of Clark, Boone, and Tecumseh manuscripts, and for use of the original journals of Lewis and Clark which Mr. Thwaites is now editing; to George W. Martin of the Kansas Historical Society at Topeka, for access to the Clark letter-books covering William Clark's correspondence for a period of thirty years; to Colonel Reuben T. Durrett of Louisville, for access to his valuable private library; to Mr. Horace Kephart of the Mercantile Library, and Mr. Pierre Chouteau, St. Louis; to the Historical Societies of Missouri, at St. Louis and Columbia; to Mrs. Laura Howie, for Montana manuscripts at Helena; to Miss Kate C. McBeth, the greatest living authority on Nez Percé tradition; to the descendants of Dr. Saugrain, and to the families and friends of Sergeants Pryor, Gass, Floyd, Ordway, and privates Bratton, Shannon, Drouillard, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; also to the Librarian of Congress for copies of Government Documents.

E. E. D.

Oregon City, Oregon,
September 1, 1902.


I. A Child is Born 1
II. The Clark Home 7
III. Exit Dunmore 12
IV. The Wilderness Road 14
V. A Barrel of Gunpowder 17
VI. The Feudal Age 19
VII. Kaskaskia 24
VIII. The Spanish Donna 28
IX. Vincennes 32
X. The City of the Strait 38
XI. A Prisoner of War 41
XII. Two Wars at Once 43
XIII. The Key of the Country 47
XIV. Behind the Curtain 50
XV. The Attack on St. Louis 53
XVI. Old Chillicothe 60
XVII. "Detroit must be Taken" 63
XVIII. On the Ramparts 69
XIX. Exit Cornwallis 72
XX. The Old Virginia Home 77
XXI. Down the Ohio 81
XXII. Mulberry Hill 87
XXIII. Mississippi Troubles 91
XXIV. St. Clair 97
XXV. The Sword of "Mad Anthony" Wayne 102
XXVI. The Spaniard 106
XXVII. The Brothers 113
XXVIII. The Maid of Fincastle 119
XXIX. The President's Secretary 122
XXX. The President talks with Meriwether 131
I. The Louisiana Purchase 139
II. The Knight of the White House 144
III. Recruiting for Oregon 149
IV. The Feud is Ended 154
V. The Cession of St. Louis 157
VI. Sergeant Ordway writes a Letter 166
VII. Into the Land of Anarchy 167
VIII. "The Sioux! The Sioux!" 176
IX. The Romance of the Mandans 185
X. The First Dakota Christmas 192
XI. The British Fur Traders 199
XII. Farewell to Fort Mandan 204
XIII. Toward the Sunset 208
XIV. The Shining Mountains 214
XV. A Woman Pilot 221
XVI. Idaho 228
XVII. Down the Columbia 235
XVIII. Fort Clatsop by the Sea 242
XIX. A Whale Ashore 249
XX. A Race for Empire 257
XXI. "A Ship! A Ship!" 259
XXII. Back to Civilisation 265
XXIII. Camp Chopunnish 272
XXIV. Over the Bitter Root Range 277
XXV. Beware the Blackfeet 279
XXVI. Down the Yellowstone 283
XXVII. The Home Stretch 288
XXVIII. The Old Stone Forts of St. Louis 296
XXIX. To Washington 303
XXX. The Plaudits of a Nation 307
I. The Shadow of Napoleon 315
II. American Rule in St. Louis 319
III. Farewell to Fincastle 322
IV. The Boat Horn 327
V. A Bride in St. Louis 331
VI. The First Fort in Montana 335
VII. A Mystery 337
VIII. A Lonely Grave in Tennessee 343
IX. Trade follows the Flag 344
X. Tecumseh 352
XI. Clark guards the Frontier 360
XII. The Story of a Sword 369
XIII. Portage des Sioux 376
XIV. "For our Children, our Children" 386
XV. Too Good to the Indians 390
XVI. The Red Head Chief 397
XVII. The Great Council at Prairie du Chien 404
XVIII. The Lords of the Rivers 415
XIX. Four Indian Ambassadors 421
XX. Black Hawk 429
XXI. A Great Life Ends 434
XXII. The New West 438



Book I


The old brick palace at Williamsburg was in a tumult. The Governor tore off his wig and stamped it under foot in rage.

"I'll teach them, the ingrates, the rebels!" Snatching at a worn bell-cord, but carefully replacing his wig, he stood with clinched fists and compressed lips, waiting.

"They are going to meet in Williamsburg, eh? I'll circumvent them. These Virginia delegates! These rebellious colonists! I'll nip their little game! The land is ripe for insurrection. Negroes, Indians, rebels! There are enough rumblings now. Let me but play them off against each other, and then these colonists will know their friends. Let but the Indians rise—like naked chicks they'll fly to mother wings for shelter. I'll show them! I'll thwart their hostile plans!"

Again Lord Dunmore violently rang the bell. A servant of the palace entered.

"Here, sirrah! take this compass and dispatch a messenger to Daniel Boone. Bade him be gone at once to summon in the surveyors at the Falls of the Ohio. An Indian war is imminent. Tell him to lose no time."

The messenger bowed himself out, and a few minutes later a horse's hoofs rang down the cobblestone path before the Governor's Mansion of His Majesty's colony of Virginia in the year of our Lord 1774.

Lord Dunmore soliloquised. "Lewis is an arrant rebel, but he is powerful as old Warwick. I'll give him a journey to travel." Again he rang the bell and again a servant swept in with low obeisance. 2

"You, sirrah, dispatch a man as fast as horse or boat can speed to Bottetourt. Tell Andrew Lewis to raise at once a thousand men and march from Lewisburg across Mt. Laurel to the mouth of the Great Kanawha. Here are his sealed orders." The messenger took the packet and went out.

"An Indian war will bring them back. I, myself, will lead the right wing, the pick and flower of the army. I'll make of the best men my own scouts. To myself will I bind this Boone, this Kenton, Morgan, and that young surveyor, George Rogers Clark, before these agitators taint their loyalty. I, myself, will lead my troops to the Shawnee towns. Let Lewis rough it down the Great Kanawha."

It was the sixth of June when the messenger drew rein at Boone's door in Powell's Valley. The great frontiersman sat smoking in his porch, meditating on the death of that beloved son killed on the way to Kentucky. The frightened emigrants, the first that ever tried the perilous route, had fallen back to Powell's Valley.

Boone heard the message and looked at his faithful wife, Rebecca, busy within the door. She nodded assent. The messenger handed him the compass, as large as a saucer. For a moment Boone balanced it on his hand, then slipped it into his bosom. Out of a huge wooden bowl on a cross-legged table near he filled his wallet with parched corn, took his long rifle from its peg over the door, and strode forth.

Other messengers were speeding at the hest of Lord Dunmore, hither and yon and over the Blue Ridge.

Andrew Lewis was an old Indian fighter from Dinwiddie's day,—Dinwiddie, the blustering, scolding, letter-writing Dinwiddie, who undertook to instruct Andrew Lewis and George Washington how to fight Indians! Had not the Shawnees harried his border for years? Had he not led rangers from Fairfax's lodge to the farthest edge of Bottetourt? Side by side with Washington he fought at Long Meadows and spilled blood with the rest on Braddock's field. More than forty years before, his father, John Lewis, had led the first settlers up 3 the Shenandoah. They had sown it to clover, red clover, red, the Indians said, from the blood of red men slain by the whites.

But what were they to do when peaceful settlers, fugitives from the old world, staked their farms on vacant land only to be routed by the scalp halloo? Which was preferable, the tyranny of kings or the Indian firestake? Hunted humanity must choose.

The Shawnees, too, were a hunted people. Driven from south and from north, scouted by the Cherokees, scalped by the Iroquois, night and day they looked for a place of rest and found it not. Beside the shining Shenandoah, daughter of the stars, they pitched their wigwams, only to find a new and stronger foe, the dreaded white man. Do their best, interests would conflict. Civilisation and savagery could not occupy the same territory.

And now a party of emigrants were pressing into the Mingo country on the upper Ohio. Early in April the family of Logan, the noted Mingo chief, was slaughtered by the whites. It was a dastardly deed, but what arm had yet compassed the lawless frontier? All Indians immediately held accountable all whites, and burnings and massacres began in reprisal. Here was an Indian war at the hand of Lord Dunmore.

Few white men had gone down the Kanawha in those days. Washington surveyed there in 1770, and two years later George Rogers Clark carried chain and compass in the same region. That meant settlers,—now, war. But Lewis, blunt, irascible, shrank not. Of old Cromwellian stock, sternly aggressive and fiercely right, he felt the land was his, and like the men of Bible times went out to smite the heathen hip and thigh. Buckling on his huge broadsword, and slipping into his tall boots and heavy spurs, he was off.

At his call they gathered, defenders of the land beyond the Blue Ridge, Scotch-Irish, Protestants of Protestants, long recognised by the Cavaliers of tidewater Virginia as a mighty bulwark against the raiding red men. Charles Lewis brought in his troop from Augusta, 4 kinsfolk of the Covenanters, fundamentally democratic, Presbyterian Irish interpreting their own Bibles, believing in schools, born leaders, dominating their communities and impressing their character on the nation yet unborn.

It was August when, in hunting shirts and leggings, they marched into rendezvous at Staunton, with long knives in their leathern belts and rusty old firelocks above their shoulders. In September they camped at Lewisburg. Flour and ammunition were packed on horses. Three weeks of toil and travail through wilderness, swamp, and morass, and they were at the mouth of the Great Kanawha.

But where was Dunmore? With his thousand men he was to march over the Braddock Road to meet them there on the Ohio. Rumour now said he was marching alone on the Shawnee towns.

"And so expose himself!" ejaculated Lewis.

But just then a runner brought word from Lord Dunmore, "Join me at the Shawnee towns."

"What does it mean?" queried Lewis of his colonels, Charles Lewis of Augusta, Fleming of Bottetourt, Shelby and Field of Culpepper. "It looks like a trap. Not in vain have I grown gray in border forays. There's some mistake. It will leave the whole western portion of Virginia unprotected."

Brief was the discussion. Before they could cross the Ohio, guns sounded a sharp surprise. Andrew Lewis and his men found themselves penned at Point Pleasant without a hope of retreat. Behind them lay the Ohio and the Kanawha, in front the woods, thick with Delawares, Iroquois, Wyandots, Shawnees, flinging themselves upon the entrapped army.

Daylight was just quivering in the treetops when the battle of Point Pleasant began. At the first savage onset Fleming, Charles Lewis, and Field lay dead. It was surprise, ambuscade, slaughter.

Grim old Andrew Lewis lit his pipe and studied the field while his riflemen and sharp-shooters braced themselves behind the white-armed sycamores. There was a 5 crooked run through the brush unoccupied. While the surging foes were beating back and forth, Andrew Lewis sent a party through that run to fall upon the Indians from behind. A Hercules himself, he gathered up his men with a rush, cohorns roaring. From the rear there came an answering fire. Above the din, the voice of Cornstalk rose, encouraging his warriors, "Be strong! be strong!" But panic seized the Indians; they broke and fled.

Andrew Lewis looked and the sun was going down. Two hundred whites lay stark around him, some dead, some yet to rise and fight on other fields. The ground was slippery with gore; barked, hacked, and red with blood, the white-armed sycamores waved their ghostly hands and sighed, where all that weary day red men and white had struggled together. And among the heaps of Indian slain, there lay the father of a little Shawnee boy, Tecumseh.

Cornstalk, chief of the Shawnees, Red Hawk, pride of the Delawares, and Logan, Logan the great Mingo, were carried along in the resistless retreat of their people, down and over the lurid Ohio, crimson with blood and the tint of the setting sun.

On that October day, 1774, civilisation set a milestone westward. Lewis and his backwoodsmen had quieted the Indians in one of the most hotly contested battles in all the annals of Indian warfare.

"Let us go on," they said, and out of the debris of battle, Lewis and his shattered command crossed the Ohio to join Lord Dunmore at the Shawnee towns.

"We have defeated them. Now let us dictate peace at their very doors," said Lewis. But Dunmore, amazed at this success of rebel arms, sent the flying word, "Go back. Retrace your steps. Go home."

Lewis, astounded, stopped. "Go back now? What does the Governor mean? We must go on, to save him if nothing else. He is in the very heart of the hostile country." And he pressed on.

Again the messenger brought the word, "Retreat."

"Retreat?" roared Lewis, scarce believing his ears. 6 "We've reached this goal with hardship. We've purchased a victory with blood!" There was scorn in the old man's voice. "March on!" he said.

But when within three miles of the Governor's camp, Lord Dunmore himself left his command and hastened with an Indian chief to the camp of Lewis. Dunmore met him almost as an Indian envoy, it seemed to Lewis.

"Why have you disobeyed my orders?" thundered the Governor, drawing his sword and reddening with rage. "I say go back. Retrace your steps. Go home. I will negotiate a peace. There need be no further movement of the southern division."

His manner, his tone, that Indian!—the exhausted and overwrought borderers snatched their bloody knives and leaped toward the Governor. Andrew Lewis held them back. "This is no time for a quarrel. I will return." And amazed, enraged, silenced, Andrew Lewis began his retreat from victory.

But suspicious murmurings rolled along the line.

"He ordered us there to betray us."

"Why is my lord safe in the enemy's country?"

"Why did the Indians fall upon us while the Governor sat in the Shawnee towns?"

"That sword—"

Andrew Lewis seemed not to hear these ebullitions of his men, but his front was stern and awful. As one long after said, "The very earth seemed to tremble under his tread."

All Virginia rang with their praises, as worn and torn and battered with battle, Lewis led his troop into the settlements. Leaving them to disperse to their homes with pledge to reassemble at a moment's notice, he set forth for Williamsburg where news might be heard of great events. On his way he stopped at Ivy Creek near Charlottesville, at the house of his kinsman, William Lewis. An infant lay in the cradle, born in that very August, while they were marching to battle.

"And what have you named the young soldier?" asked the grim old borderer, as he looked upon the sleeping child. 7

"Meriwether Lewis, Meriwether for his mother's people," answered the proud and happy father.

"And will you march with the minute men?"

"I shall be there," said William Lewis.


"What do you see, William?"

A red-headed boy was standing at the door of a farmhouse on the road between Fredericksburg and Richmond, in the valley of the Rappahannock.

"The soldiers, mother, the soldiers!"

Excitedly the little four-year-old flew down under the mulberry trees to greet his tall and handsome brother, George Rogers Clark, returning from the Dunmore war.

Busy, sewing ruffles on her husband's shirt and darning his long silk stockings, the mother sat, when suddenly she heard the voice of her son with his elder brother.

"I tell you, Jonathan, there is a storm brewing. But I cannot take an oath of allegiance to the King that my duty to my country may require me to disregard. The Governor has been good to me, I admit that. I cannot fight him—and I will not fight my own people. Heigh-ho, for the Kentucky country."

Dropping her work, Mrs. Clark, Ann Rogers, a descendant of the martyr of Smithfield, and heir through generations of "iron in the blood and granite in the backbone," looked into the approaching, luminous eyes.

"I hope my son has been a credit to his country?"

"A credit?" exclaimed Jonathan. "Why, mother, Lord Dunmore has offered him a commission in the British army!"

"But I cannot take it," rejoined George Rogers, bending 8 to press a kiss on the cheek of his brown-eyed little mother. "Lord Dunmore means right, but he is misunderstood. And he swears by the King."

"And do we not all swear by the King?" almost wrathfully exclaimed John Clark, the father, entering the opposite door at this moment.

"Who has suffered more for the King than we self-same Cavaliers, we who have given Virginia her most honourable name—'The Old Dominion'? Let the King but recognise us as Britons, entitled to the rights of Englishmen, and we will swear by him to the end."

It was a long speech for John Clark, a man of few words and intensely loyal, the feudal patriarch of this family, and grandson of a Cavalier who came to Virginia after the execution of Charles I. But his soul had been stirred to the centre, by the same wrongs that had kindled Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. These were his friends, his neighbours, who had the same interests at stake, and the same high love of liberty.

"If the King would have us loyal, aye, then, let him be loyal to us, his most loyal subjects. Did not Patrick Henry's father drink the King's health at the head of his regiment? Did not Thomas Jefferson's grandsires sit in the first House of Burgesses in the old church at Jamestown, more than a century before the passage of the Stamp Act? And who swore better by the King? None of us came over here from choice! We came because we loved our King and would not bide his enemies."

George Rogers Clark looked approvingly at his father, and yet, he owed fealty to Lord Dunmore. Even as a stripling he had been singled out for favours.

"I see the storm gathering," he said. "If I choose, it must be with my people. But I need not choose,—I will go to Kentucky."

It was the selfsame thought of Daniel Boone.

"But here are the children!"

Nine-year-old Lucy danced to her brother, William still clung to his hand, and their bright locks intermingled.

"Three red-headed Clarks," laughed the teasing Jonathan. 9

More than a century since, the first John Clark settled on the James, a bachelor and tobacco planter. But one day Mary Byrd of Westover tangled his heart in her auburn curls. In every generation since, that red hair had re-appeared.

"A strain of heroic benevolence runs through the red-headed Clarks," said an old dame who knew the family. "They win the world and give it away."

But the dark-haired Clarks, they were the moneymakers. Already Jonathan, the eldest, had served as Clerk in the Spottsylvania Court at Fredericksburg, where he often met Colonel George Washington. Three younger brothers, John, Richard, and Edmund, lads from twelve to seventeen, listened not less eagerly than Ann, Elizabeth, Lucy, and Fanny, the sisters of this heroic family.

But George was the adventurer. When he came home friends, neighbours, acquaintances, gathered to listen. The border wars had kindled military ardour with deeds to fire a thousand tales of romance and fireside narrative. Moreover, George was a good talker. But he seemed uncommonly depressed this night,—the choice of life lay before him.

At sixteen George Rogers Clark had set out as a land surveyor, like Washington and Boone and Wayne, penetrating and mapping the western wilds.

To survey meant to command. Watched by red men over the hills, dogged by savages in the brakes, scalped by demons in the wood, the frontier surveyor must be ready at any instant to drop chain and compass for the rifle and the knife.

Like Wayne and Washington, Clark had drilled boy troops when he and Madison were pupils together under the old Scotch dominie, Donald Robertson, in Albemarle.

While still in his teens George and a few others, resolute young men, crossed the Alleghanies, went over Braddock's route, and examined Fort Necessity where Washington had been. They floated down the Monongahela to Fort Pitt. In the angle of the rivers, overlooking the flood, mouldered the remains of old Fort Du Quesne, blown up by the French when captured by the 10 English. The mound, the moat, the angles and bastions yet remained, but overgrown with grass, and cattle grazed where once an attempt had been made to plant mediæval institutions on the sod of North America. As if born for battles, Clark studied the ground plans.

"Two log gates swung on hinges here," explained the Colonel from Fort Pitt, "one opening on the water and one on the land side with a mediæval drawbridge. Every night they hauled up the ponderous bridge, leaving only a dim dark pit down deep to the water."

With comprehensive glance George Rogers Clark took in the mechanism of intrenchments, noted the convenient interior, with magazine, bake-house, and well in the middle.

"So shall I build my forts." Pencil in hand the young surveyor had the whole scheme instantly sketched. The surprised Colonel took a second look. Seldom before had he met so intelligent a study of fortifications.

"Are you an officer?"

"I am Major of Virginia militia under Lord Dunmore."

With a missionary to the Indians, Clark slid down the wild Ohio and took up a claim beyond the farthest. Here for a year he lived as did Boone, beating his corn on a hominy block and drying his venison before his solitary evening fire. Then he journeyed over into the Scioto.

So, when the Dunmore war broke out, here was a scout ready at hand for the Governor. Major Clark knew every inch of the Braddock route and every trail to the Shawnee towns. When a fort was needed, it was the skilled hand and fertile brain of George Rogers Clark that planned the bastioned stockade that became the nucleus of the future city of Wheeling.

Then Dunmore came by. Like a war-horse, Clark scented the battle of Point Pleasant afar off.

"And I not there to participate!" he groaned. But Dunmore held him at his own side, with Morgan, Boone, and Kenton, picked scouts of the border. When back across the Ohio the Mingoes came flying, Clark wild, eager, restless, was pacing before Dunmore's camp. 11

Beaten beyond precedent by the mighty valour of Andrew Lewis, Cornstalk and his warriors came pleading for peace.

"Why did you go to war?" asked Dunmore.

"Long, long ago there was a great battle between the red Indians and the white ones," said Cornstalk, "and the red Indians won. This nerved us to try again against the whites."

But Logan refused to come.

"Go," said Lord Dunmore, to George Rogers Clark and another, "go to the camp of the sullen chief and see what he has to say."

They went. The great Mingo gave a vehement talk. They took it down in pencil and, rolled in a string of wampum, carried it back to the camp of Lord Dunmore.

In the council Clark unrolled and read the message. Like the wail of an old Roman it rang in the woods of Ohio.

"I appeal to any white man if ever he entered Logan's cabin and he gave him not meat; if he ever came cold and naked and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, 'Logan is the friend of the white man.' I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, last Spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This drove me to revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance; for my country I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one."

One by one, half a dozen of Clark's army comrades had dropped in around the hickory flame, while the substance of Logan's tale unfolded. 12

"And was Cresap guilty?"

"No," answered George Rogers Clark, "I perceived he was angry to hear it read so before the army and I rallied him. I told him he must be a very great man since the Indians shouldered him with everything that happened."

Little William had fallen asleep, sitting in the lap of his elder brother, but, fixed forever, his earliest memory was of the Dunmore war. There was a silence as they looked at the sleeping child. A little negro boy crouched on the rug and slumbered, too. His name was York.


On the last day of that same August in which Meriwether Lewis was born and Andrew Lewis was leading the Virginia volunteers against the Shawnees, Patrick Henry and George Washington set out on horseback together for Philadelphia, threading the bridle-paths of uncut forests, and fording wide and bridgeless rivers to the Continental Congress.

It had been nine years since Patrick Henry, "alone and unadvised," had thrilled the popular heart with his famous first resolutions against the Stamp Act. From the lobby of the House of Burgesses, Thomas Jefferson, a student, looked that morning at the glowing orator and said in his heart, "He speaks as Homer wrote." It was an alarm bell, a call to resistance. "Cæsar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third"—how the staid, bewigged, beruffled old Burgesses rose in horror!—"and George the Third may profit by their example."

"Most indecent language," muttered the Burgesses as they hurried out of the Capitol, pounding their canes on the flagstone floor. But the young men lifted him up, 13 and for a hundred years an aureole has blazed around the name of Patrick Henry.

The Congress at Philadelphia adjourned, and the delegates plodded their weary way homeward through winter mire. From his Indian war Lord Dunmore came back to Williamsburg to watch the awakening of Virginia.

Then came that breathless day when Dunmore seized and carried off the colony's gunpowder.

The Virginians promptly demanded its restoration. The minute men flew to arms.

"By the living God!" cried Dunmore, "if any insult is offered to me or to those who have obeyed my orders, I will declare freedom to the slaves and lay the town in ashes."

Patrick Henry called together the horsemen of Hanover and marched upon Williamsburg. The terrified Governor sent his wife and daughters on board a man-of-war and fortified the palace. And on came Patrick Henry. Word flew beyond the remotest Blue Ridge. Five thousand men leaped to arms and marched across country to join Patrick Henry. But at sunrise on the second day a panting messenger from Dunmore paid him for the gunpowder. Patrick Henry, victorious, turned about and marched home to Hanover.

Again Lord Dunmore summoned the House of Burgesses. They came, grim men in hunting shirts and rifles. Then his Lordship set a trap at the door of the old Powder Magazine. Some young men opened it for arms and were shot. Before daylight Lord Dunmore evacuated the palace and fled from the wrath of the people. On shipboard he sailed up and down for weeks, laying waste the shores of the Chesapeake, burning Norfolk and cannonading the fleeing inhabitants.

Andrew Lewis hastened down with his minute men. His old Scotch ire was up as he ran along the shore. He pointed his brass cannon at Dunmore's flagship, touched it off, and Lord Dunmore's best china was shattered to pieces.

"Good God, that I should ever come to this!" exclaimed the unhappy Governor. 14

He slipped his cables and sailed away in a raking fire, and with that tragic exit all the curtains of the past were torn and through the rent the future dimly glimmered.

After Dunmore's flight, every individual of the nobler sort felt that the responsibility of the country depended upon him, and straightway grew to that stature. Men looked in one another's faces and said, "We ourselves are Kings."

Around the great fire little William Clark heard his father and brothers discuss these events, and vividly remembered in after years the lightning flash before the storm. He had seen his own brothers go out to guard Henry from the wrath of Dunmore on his way to the second Continental Congress. And now Dunmore had fled, and as by the irony of fate, on the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Patrick Henry became the first American Governor of Virginia, with headquarters at the palace.


Daniel Boone threw back his head and laughed silently.

For a hundred miles in the barrier ridge of the Alleghanies there is but a single depression, Cumberland Gap, where the Cumberland river breaks through, with just room enough for the stream and a bridle path. Through this Gap as through a door Boone passed into the beautiful Kentucky, and there, by the dark and rushing water of Dick's River, George Rogers Clark and John Floyd were encamped.

The young men leaped to their feet and strode toward the tall, gaunt woodsman, who, axe in hand, had been vigorously hewing right and left a path for the pioneers.

"They are coming,—Boone's trace must be ready. 15 Can you help?" Boone removed his coonskin cap and wiped his perspiring face with a buckskin handkerchief. His forehead was high, fine-skinned, and white.

"That is our business,—to settle the country," answered the young surveyors, and through the timber, straight as the bird flies over rivers and hills, they helped Boone with the Wilderness Road.

It was in April of 1775. Kentucky gleamed with the dazzling dogwood as if snows had fallen on the forests. As their axes rang in the primeval stillness, another rover stepped out of the sycamore shadows. It was Simon Kenton, a fair-haired boy of nineteen, with laughing blue eyes that fascinated every beholder.

"Any more of ye?" inquired Boone, peering into the distance behind him.

"None. I am alone. I come from my corn-patch on the creek. Are you going to build?"

"Yes, when I reach a certain spring, and a bee-tree on the Kentucky River."

"Let us see," remarked Floyd. "We may meet Indians. I nominate Major Clark generalissimo of the frontier."

"And Floyd surveyor-in-chief," returned Clark.

"An' thee, boy, shall be my chief guard," said Daniel Boone, laying his kindly hand on the lad's broad shoulder. "An' I—am the people." The Boones were Quakers, the father of Daniel was intimate with Penn; his uncle James came to America as Penn's private secretary; sometimes the old hunter dropped into their speech.

But people were coming. One Richard Henderson, at a treaty in the hill towns of the Cherokees, had just paid ten thousand pounds for the privilege of settling Kentucky. Boone left before the treaty was signed and a kindly old Cherokee chieftain took him by the hand in farewell.

"Brother," he said, "we have given you a fine land, but I believe you will have much trouble in settling it."

They were at hand. Through the Cumberland Gap, as through a rift in a Holland dyke, a rivulet of settlers came trickling down the newly cut Wilderness Road. 16

Under the green old trees a mighty drama was unfolding, a Homeric song, the epic of a nation, as they piled up the bullet-proof cabins of Boonsboro. This rude fortification could not have withstood the smallest battery, but so long as the Indians had no cannon this wooden fort was as impregnable as the walls of a castle.

In a few weeks other forts, Harrodsburg and Logansport, dotted the canebrakes, and the startled buffalo stampeded for the salt licks.

In September Boone brought out his wife and daughters, the first white women that ever trod Kentucky soil.

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!"

A hundred Shawnees from their summer hunt in the southern hills came trailing home along the Warrior's Path, the Indian highway north and south, from Cumberland Gap to the Scioto.

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!"

They pause and point to the innumerable trackings of men and beasts into their beloved hunting grounds. Astonishment expands every feature. They creep along and trace the road. They see the settlements. It cannot be mistaken, the white man has invaded their sacred arcanum.

Amazement gives place to wrath. Every look, every gesture bespeaks the red man's resolve.

"We will defend our country to the last; we will give it up only with our lives."

Forthwith a runner flies over the hills to Johnson Hall on the Mohawk. Sir William is dead, dead endeavouring to unravel the perplexities of the Dunmore war, but his son, Sir Guy, meets the complaining Shawnees.

"The Cherokees sold Kentucky? That cannot be. Kentucky belongs to the King. My father bought it for him at Fort Stanwix, of the Iroquois. The Cherokees have no right to sell Kentucky. Go in and take the land." And so, around their campfires, and at the lake forts of the British, the Shawnee-Iroquois planned to recover Kentucky. 17


Scarcely was Jefferson home from signing the Declaration when back from Kentucky came little William's tall strong brother, George Rogers Clark, elected by those far-away settlers, in June of 1776, to represent them in the assembly of Virginia.

Cut by a thousand briars, with ragged clothes and blistered feet, Clark looked in at the home in Caroline and hurried on to Williamsburg.

"The Assembly adjourned? Then I must to the Governor. Before the Assembly meets again I may effect what I wish."

Patrick Henry was lying sick at his country-home in Hanover when the young envoy from Kentucky was ushered to his bedside. Pushing his reading spectacles up into his brown wig, the Governor listened keenly as the young man strode up and down his bed-chamber.

The scintillant brown eyes flashed. "Your cause is good. I will give you a letter to the Council."

"Five hundredweight of gunpowder!" The Council lifted their eyebrows when Clark brought in his request.

"Virginia is straining every nerve to help Washington; how can she be expected to waste gunpowder on Kentucky?"

"Let us move those settlers back to Virginia at the public expense," suggested one, "and so save the sum that it would take to defend them in so remote a frontier."

"Move Boone and Kenton and Logan back?" Clark laughed. Too well he knew the tenacity of that border germ. "So remote a frontier? It is your own back door. The people of Kentucky may be exterminated for the want of this gunpowder which I at such hazard have sought for their relief. Then what bulwark will you 18 have to shield you from the savages? The British are employing every means to engage those Indians in war."

Clark knew there was powder at Pittsburg. One hundred and thirty-six kegs had just been brought up by Lieutenant William Linn with infinite toil from New Orleans, the first cargo ever conveyed by white men up the Mississippi and Ohio.

"We will lend you the powder as to friends in distress, but you must be answerable for it and pay for its transportation."

Clark shook his head,—"I cannot be answerable, nor can I convey it through that great distance swarming with foes."

"We can go no farther," responded the Council, concluding the interview. "God knows we would help you if we could, but how do we even know that Kentucky will belong to us? The assistance we have already offered is a stretch of power."

"Very well," and Clark turned on his heel. "A country that is not worth defending is not worth claiming. Since Virginia will not defend her children, they must look elsewhere. Kentucky will take care of herself."

His words, that manner, impressed the Council. "What will Kentucky do?"

To his surprise, the next day Clark was recalled and an order was passed by the Virginia Council for five hundred pounds of gunpowder, "for the use of said inhabitants of Kentucki," to be delivered to him at Pittsburg. Hardly a month old was the Declaration of Independence when the new nation reached out to the west.

"Did you get the powder?" was the first greeting of young William Clark as his brother re-entered the home in Caroline.

"Yes, and I fancy I shall get something more."

"What is it?" inquired the little diplomat, eager as his brother for the success of his embassy.

"Recognition of Kentucky." And he did, for when he started back Major Clark bore the word that the Assembly of Virginia had made Kentucky a county. With 19 that fell Henderson's proprietary claim and all the land was free.

With buoyant heart Clark and Jones, his colleague, hastened down to Pittsburg. Seven boatmen were engaged and the precious cargo was launched on the Ohio.

But Indians were lurking in every inlet. Scarce were they afloat before a canoe darted out behind, then another and another.

With all the tremendous energy of life and duty in their veins, Clark and his boatmen struck away and away. For five hundred miles the chase went down the wild Ohio. At last, eluding their pursuers, almost exhausted, up Limestone Creek they ran, and on Kentucky soil, dumped out the cargo and set the boat adrift.

While the Indians chased the empty canoe far down the shore, Clark hid the powder amid rocks and trees, and struck out overland for help from the settlements. At dead of night he reached Harrod's Station. Kenton was there, and with twenty-eight others they set out for the Creek and returned, each bearing a keg of gunpowder on his shoulder.


What a summer for the little forts! Dressed in hunting shirt and moccasins, his rifle on his shoulder, his tomahawk in his belt, now leading his eager followers on the trail of the red marauders, now galloping at the head of his horsemen to the relief of some beleaguered station, Clark guarded Kentucky.

No life was safe beyond the walls. Armed sentinels were ever on the watchtowers, armed guards were at the gates. And outside, Indians lay concealed, watching as only Indians can watch, nights and days, to cut off the incautious settler who might step beyond the barricades. 20 By instinct the settlers came to know when a foe was near; the very dogs told it, the cattle and horses became restless, the jay in the treetop and the wren in the thorn-hollow chattered it. Even the night-owl hooted it from the boughs of the ghostly old sycamore.

In this, the feudal age of North America, every man became a captain and fought his own battles. Like knights of old, each borderer, from Ticonderoga to Wheeling and Boonsboro, sharpened his knife, primed his flintlock, and started. No martial music or gaudy banner, no drum or bugle, heralded the border foray. Silent as the red man the stark hunter issued from his wooden fort and slid among the leaves. Silent as the panther he stole upon his prey.

But all at once the hill homes of the Cherokees emptied themselves to scourge Kentucky. Shawnees of the Scioto, Chippewas of the Lakes, Delawares of the Muskingum hovered on her shores.

March, April, May, June, July, August,—the days grew hot and stifling to the people cooped up in the close uncomfortable forts. There had been no planting, scarce even a knock at the gate to admit some forest rover, and still the savages sat before Boonsboro. Clark was walled in at Harrodsburg, Logan at Logansport.

Ammunition was failing, provisions were short; now and then there was a sally, a battle, a retreat, then the dressing of wounds and the burial of the dead.

Every eye was watching Clark, the leader whose genius consisted largely in producing confidence. In the height of action he brooded over these troubles; they knew he had plans; the powder exploit made them ready to rely upon him to any extent. He would meet those Indians, somewhere. Men bound with families could not leave,—Clark was free. Timid men could not act,—Clark was bold. Narrow men could not see,—Clark was prescient. More than any other he had the Napoleonic eye. Glancing away to the Lakes and Detroit, the scalp market of the west, he reasoned in the secrecy of his own heart:

"These Indians are instigated by the British. Through 21 easily influenced red men they hope to annihilate our frontier. Never shall we be safe until we can control the British posts."

Unknown to any he had already sent scouts to reconnoitre those very posts.

"And what have you learned?" he whispered, when on the darkest night of those tempestuous midsummer days they gave the password at the gate.

"What have we learned? That the forts are negligently guarded; that the French are secretly not hostile; that preparations are on foot for an invasion of Kentucky with British, Indians, and artillery."

"I will give them something to do in their own country," was Clark's inward comment.

Without a word of his secret intent, Clark buckled on his sword, primed his rifle, and set out for Virginia. With regret and fear the people saw him depart, and yet with hope. Putting aside their detaining hands, "I will surely return," he said.

With almost superhuman daring the leather-armoured knight from the beleaguered castle in the wood ran the gauntlet of the sleeping savages. All the Wilderness Road was lit with bonfires, and woe to the emigrant that passed that way. Cumberland Gap was closed; fleet-winged he crossed the very mountain tops, where never foot of man or beast had trod before.

Scarce noting the hickories yellow with autumn and the oaks crimson with Indian summer, the young man passed through Charlottesville, his birthplace, and reached his father's house in Caroline at ten o'clock at night.

In his low trundle-bed little William heard that brother's step and sprang to unclose the door. Like an apparition George Rogers Clark appeared before the family, haggard and worn with the summer's siege. All the news of his brothers gone to the war was quickly heard.

"And will you join them?"

"No, my field is Kentucky. To-morrow I must be at Williamsburg."

The old colonial capital was aflame with hope and 22 thanksgiving as Clark rode into Duke of Gloucester Street. Burgoyne had surrendered. Men were weeping and shouting. In the mêlée he met Jefferson and proposed to him a secret expedition. In the exhilaration of the moment Jefferson grasped his hand,—"Let us to the Governor."

Crowds of people were walking under the lindens of the Governor's Palace. Out of their midst came Dorothea, the wife of Patrick Henry, and did the honours of her station as gracefully as, thirty years later, Dolly Madison, her niece and namesake, did the honours of the White House.

Again Patrick Henry pushed his reading spectacles up into his brown wig and scanned the envoy from Kentucky.

"Well, sirrah, did you get the powder?"

"We got the powder and saved Kentucky. But for it she would have been wiped out in this summer's siege. All the Indians of the Lakes are there. I have a plan."

"Unfold it," said Patrick Henry.

In a few words Clark set forth his scheme of conquest.

"Destroy Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, and you have quelled the Indians. There they are fed, clothed, armed, and urged to prey upon us. I have sent spies to reconnoitre, and have received word that assures me that their capture is feasible."

The scintillating blue eyes burned with an inward light, emitting fire, as Patrick Henry leaned to inquire, "What would you do in case of a repulse?"

"Cross the Mississippi and seek protection from the Spaniards," answered the ready chief. With his privy council, Mason, Wythe, and Jefferson, Patrick Henry discussed the plan, and at their instance the House of Delegates empowered George Rogers Clark "to aid any expedition against their western enemies."

"Everything depends upon secrecy," said the Governor as he gave Clark his instructions and twelve hundred pounds in Continental paper currency. "But you must recruit your men west of the Blue Ridge; we can spare none from here."

Kindred spirits came to Clark,—Bowman, Helm, 23 Harrod and their friends, tall riflemen with long buckhorn-handled hunting-knives, enlisting for the west, but no one guessing their destination.

Despite remonstrances twenty pioneer families on their flat-boats at Redstone-Old-Fort joined their small fleet to his. "We, too, are going to Kentucky."

Jumping in as the last boat pulled out of Pittsburg, Captain William Linn handed Clark a letter. He broke the seal.

"Ye gods, the very stars are for us! The French have joined America!"

With strange exhilaration the little band felt themselves borne down the swift-rushing waters to the Falls of the Ohio.

Before them blossomed a virgin world. Clark paused while the boats clustered round. "Do you see that high, narrow, rocky island at the head of the rapids? It is safe from the Indian. While the troops erect a stockade and blockhouse, let the families clear a field and plant their corn."

Axes rang. The odour of hawthorn filled the air. Startled birds swept over the falls,—eagles, sea gulls, and mammoth cranes turning up their snowy wings glittering in the sunlight. On the mainland, deer, bear, and buffalo roamed under the sycamores serene as in Eden.

"Halloo-oo!" It was the well-known call of Simon Kenton, paddling down to Corn Island with Captain John Montgomery and thirty Kentuckians.

"What news of the winter?"

"Boone and twenty-seven others have been captured by the Indians."

"Boone? We are laying a trap for those very Indians," and then and there Major Clark announced the object of the expedition.

Some cheered the wild adventure, some trembled and deserted in the night, but one hundred and eighty men embarked with no baggage beyond a rifle and a wallet of corn for each.

The snows of the Alleghanies were melting. A million rivulets leaped to the blue Ohio. It was the June 24 rise, the river was booming. Poling his little flotilla out into the main channel Clark and his borderers shot the rapids at the very moment that the sun veiled itself in an all but total eclipse at nine o'clock in the morning.

It was a dramatic dash, as on and on he sped down the river, bank-full, running like a millrace.


Double manned, relays of rowers toiled at the oars by night and by day.

"Do you see those hunters?"

At the mouth of the Tennessee, almost as if prearranged, two white men emerged from the Illinois swamps as Clark shot by. He paused and questioned the strangers.

"We are just from Kaskaskia. Rocheblave is alone with neither troops nor money. The French believe you Long Knives to be the most fierce, cruel, and bloodthirsty savages that ever scalped a foe."

"All the better for our success. Now pilot us."

Governor Rocheblave, watching St. Louis and dreaming of conquest, was to be rudely awakened. All along the Mississippi he had posted spies and was watching the Spaniard, dreaming not of Kentucky.

Out upon the open, for miles across the treeless prairies, the hostile Indians might have seen his little handful of one hundred and eighty men, but Clark of twenty-six, like the Corsican of twenty-six, "with no provisions, no munitions, no cannon, no shoes, almost without an army," was about to change the face of three nations.

Twilight fell as they halted opposite Kaskaskia on the night of July 4, without a grain of corn left in their wallets. 25

"Boys, the town must be taken to-night at all hazards."

Softly they crossed the river,—the postern gate was open.

"Brigands!" shouted Governor Rocheblave, leaping from his bed at midnight when Kenton tapped him on the shoulder. It was useless to struggle; he was bound and secured in the old Jesuit mansion which did duty as a fort at Kaskaskia.

"Brigands!" screamed fat Madame Rocheblave in a high falsetto, tumbling out of bed in her frilled nightcap and gown. Seizing her husband's papers, plump down upon them she sat. "No gentleman would ever enter a lady's bed-chamber."

"Right about, face!" laughed Kenton, marching away the Governor. "Never let it be said that American soldiers bothered a lady."

In revenge Madame tore up the papers, public archives, causing much trouble in future years.

"Sacred name of God!" cried the French habitants, starting from their slumbers. From their windows they saw the streets filled with men taller than any Indians. "What do they say?"

"Keep in your houses on pain of instant death!"

"Keep close or you will be shot!"

In a moment arose a dreadful shriek of men, women, and children,—"The Long Knives! The Long Knives!"

The gay little village became silent as death. Before daylight the houses of Kaskaskia were disarmed. The wild Virginians whooped and yelled. The timid people quaked and shuddered.

"Grant but our lives and we will be slaves to save our families." It was the pleading of Father Gibault, interceding for his people. "Let us meet once more in the church for a last farewell. Let not our families be separated. Permit us to take food and clothing, the barest necessities for present needs."

"Do you take us for savages?" inquired Clark in amaze. "Do you think Americans would strip women and children and take the bread out of their mouths? My countrymen never make war on the innocent. It was to 26 protect our own wives and children that we have penetrated this wilderness, to subdue these British posts whence the savages are supplied with arms and ammunition to murder us. We do not war against Frenchmen. The King of France is our ally. His ships and soldiers fight for us. Go, enjoy your religion and worship when you please. Retain your property. Dismiss alarm. We are your friends come to deliver you from the British."

The people trembled; then shouts arose, and wild weeping. The bells of old Kaskaskia rang a joyous peal.

"Your rights shall be respected," continued Colonel Clark, "but you must take the oath of allegiance to Congress."

From that hour Father Gibault became an American, and all his people followed.

"Let us tell the good news to Cahokia," was their next glad cry. Sixty miles to the north lay Cahokia, opposite the old Spanish town of St. Louis. The Kaskaskians brought out their stoutest ponies, and on them Clark sent off Bowman and thirty horsemen.

"The Big Knives?" Cahokia paled.

"But they come as friends," explained the Kaskaskians.

Without a gun the gates were opened, and the delighted Frenchmen joyfully banqueted the Kentuckians.

The Indians were amazed. "The Great Chief of the Long Knives has come," the rumour flew. For five hundred miles the chiefs came to see the victorious Americans.

"I will not give them presents. I will not court them. Never will I seem to fear them. Let them beg for peace." And with martial front Clark bore himself as if about to exterminate the entire Indian population. The ruse was successful; the Indians flocked to the Council of the Great Chief as if drawn by a magnet.

Eagerly they leaned and listened.

"Men and warriors: I am a warrior, not a counsellor."

Holding up before them a green belt and another the colour of blood, "Take your choice," he cried, "Peace or War." 27

So careless that magnificent figure stood, so indifferent to their choice, that the hearts of the red men leaped in admiration.

"Peace, Peace, Peace," they cried.

From all directions the Indians flocked; Clark became apprehensive of such numbers,—Chippewas, Ottawas, Pottawattamies, Sacs, Foxes, Maumees.

"The Big Knives are right," said the chiefs. "The Great King of the French has come to life."

Without the firing of a gun or the loss of a life, the great tactician subjugated red men and white. Clark had no presents to give,—he awed the Indians. He devoted great care to the drilling of his troops, and the nations sat by to gaze at the spectacle. The Frenchmen drilled proudly with the rest.

While Clark was holding his councils Kenton had gone to Vincennes. Three days and three nights he lay reconnoitring. He spoke with the people, then by special messenger sent word, "The Governor has gone to Detroit. You can take Vincennes."

Clark was ready.

"Do not move against Vincennes," pleaded Father Gibault, "I know my people. Let me mediate for you."

Clark accepted Gibault's offer, and the patriot priest hastened away on a lean-backed pony to the Wabash. With his people gathered in the little log church he told the tale of a new dominion. There under the black rafters, kissing the crucifix to the United States, the priest absolved them from their oath of allegiance to the British king.

"Amen," said Gibault solemnly, "we are new men. We are Americans."

To the astonishment of the Indians the American flag flew over the ramparts of Vincennes.

"What for?" they begged to know.

"Your old father, the King of France, has come to life again. He is mad at you for fighting for the English. Make peace with the Long Knives, they are friends of the Great King." 28

The alarmed Indians listened. Word went to all the tribes. From the Wabash to the Mississippi, Clark, absolute, ruled the country, a military dictator.

But the terms of the three-months militia had expired.

"How many of you can stay with me?" he entreated.

One hundred re-enlisted; the rest were dispatched to the Falls of the Ohio under Captain William Linn.

"Tell the people of Corn Island to remove to the mainland and erect a stockade fort." Thus was the beginning of Louisville.

Captain John Montgomery and Levi Todd (the grandfather of the wife of Abraham Lincoln) were dispatched with reports and Governor Rocheblave as a prisoner-of-war to Virginia.

On arrival of the news the Virginia Assembly immediately created the county of Illinois, and Patrick Henry appointed John Todd of Kentucky its first American Governor.


In the year that Penn camped at Philadelphia the French reared their first bark huts at Kaskaskia, in the American bottom below the Missouri mouth. Here for a hundred years around the patriarchal, mud-walled, grass-roofed cabins had gathered children and grandchildren, to the fourth and fifth generation. Around the houses were spacious piazzas, where the genial, social Frenchmen reproduced the feudal age of Europe. Gardens were cultivated in the common fields, cattle fed in the common pastures, and lovers walked in the long and narrow street. The young men went away to hunt furs; their frail bark canoes had been to the distant Platte, and up the Missouri, no one knows how far. 29

Sixty miles north of Kaskaskia lay Cahokia, and opposite Cahokia lay St. Louis.

Now and then a rumour of the struggle of the American Revolution came to St. Louis, brought by traders over the Detroit trail from Canada. But the rebellious colonies seemed very far away.

In the midst of his busy days at Kaskaskia, Colonel Clark was surprised by an invitation from the Spanish Governor at St. Louis, to dine with him at the Government House.

Father Gibault was well acquainted in St. Louis. He dedicated, in 1770, the first church of God west of the Mississippi, and often went there to marry and baptise the villagers. So, with Father Gibault, Colonel Clark went over to visit the Governor.

"L'Americain Colonel Clark, your Excellency."

The long-haired, bare-headed priest stood chapeau in hand before the heavy oaken door of the Government House, at St. Louis. Then was shown the splendid hospitality innate to the Spanish race.

The Governor of Upper Louisiana, Don Francisco de Leyba, was friendly even to excess. He extended his hand to Colonel Clark.

"I feel myself flattered by this visit of de Señor le Colonel, and honoured, honoured. De fame of your achievement haf come to my ear and awakened in me emotions of de highest admiration. De best in my house is at your service; command me to de extent of your wishes, even to de horses in my stable, de wines in my basement. My servant shall attend you."

Colonel Clark, a man of plain, blunt speech, was abashed by this profusion of compliment. His cheeks reddened. "You do me too much honour," he stammered.

All his life, the truth, the plain truth, and nothing but the truth, had been Clark's code of conversation. Could it be possible that the Governor meant all these fine phrases? But every succeeding act and word seemed to indicate his sincerity.

"My wife, Madam Marie,—zis ees de great Americain General who haf taken de Illinoa, who haf terrified 30 de sauvages, and sent de Briton back to Canada. And my leetle children,—dees ees de great Commandante who ees de friend of your father.

"And, my sister,—dees ees de young Americain who haf startled de world with hees deeds of valour."

If ever Clark was off his guard, it was when he thus met unexpectedly the strange and startling beauty of the Donna de Leyba. Each to the other seemed suddenly clothed with light, as if they two of all the world were standing there alone.

What the rest said and did, Clark never knew, although he replied rationally enough to their questions,—in fact, he carried on a long conversation with the garrulous Governor and his amiable dark-haired wife. But the Donna, the Donna—

Far beyond the appointed hour Clark lingered at her side. She laughed, she sang. She could not speak a word of English, Clark could not speak Spanish. Nevertheless they fell desperately in love. For the first and only time in his life, George Rogers Clark looked at a woman. How they made an appointment to meet again no one could say; but they did meet, and often.

"The Colonel has a great deal of business in St. Louis," the soldiers complained.

"Le great Americain Colonel kiss te Governor's sister," whispered the Creoles of St. Louis. How that was discovered nobody knows, unless it was that Sancho, the servant, had peeped behind the door.

Clark even began to think he would like to settle in Louisiana. And the Governor favoured his project.

"De finest land in de world, Señor, and we can make it worth your while. You shall have de whole district of New Madrid. Commandants, bah! we are lacking de material. His Majesty, de King of Spain, will gladly make you noble."

"And I, for my part," Clark responded, "can testify to all the subjects of Spain the high regard and sincere friendship of my countrymen toward them. I hope it will soon be manifest that we can be of mutual advantage to one another." 31

Indeed, through De Leyba, Clark even dreamed of a possible Spanish alliance for America, like that with France, and De Leyba encouraged it.

Boon companion with the Governor over the wine, and with the fascinating Donna smiling upon him, Colonel Clark became not unbalanced as Mark Antony did,—although once in a ball-room he kissed the Donna before all the people.

But there was a terrible strain on Clark's nerves at this time. His resources were exhausted, they had long been exhausted, in fact; like Napoleon he had "lived on the country." And yet no word came from Virginia.

Continental paper was the only money in Clark's military chest. It took twenty dollars of this to buy a dollar's worth of coffee at Kaskaskia. Even then the Frenchmen hesitated. They had never known any money but piastres and peltries; they could not even read the English on the ragged scrip of the Revolution.

"We do not make money," said the Creoles, "we use hard silver." But Francis Vigo, a Spanish trader of St. Louis, said, "Take the money at its full value. It is good. I will take it myself."

In matters of credit and finance the word of Vigo was potential. "Ah, yes, now you can haf supplies," said the cheerful Creoles, "M'sieur Vigo will take the money, you can haf de meat an' moccasin."

Colonel Vigo, a St. Louis merchant who had large dealings for the supply of the Spanish troops, had waited on Colonel Clark at Cahokia and voluntarily tendered to him such aid as he could furnish. "I offer you my means and influence to advance the cause of liberty."

The offer was gratefully accepted. When the biting winds of winter swept over Kaskaskia, "Here," he said, "come to my store and supply your necessities." His advances were in goods and silver piastres, for which Clark gave scrip or a check on the agent of Virginia at New Orleans.

Gabriel Cerré in early youth moved to Kaskaskia, where he became a leading merchant and fur trader. "I am bitterly opposed to les Américains," he said. Then he met 32 Clark; that magician melted him into friendship, sympathy, and aid.

"From the hour of my first interview I have been the sworn ally of George Rogers Clark!" exclaimed Charles Gratiot, a Swiss trader of Cahokia. "My house, my purse, my credit are at his command."

Clark could not be insensible to this profusion of hospitality, which extended, not only to himself, but to his whole little army and to the cause of his country.

The Frenchmen dug their potatoes, gathered the fruits of their gnarled apple-trees, and slew the buffalo and bear around for meat. Winter came on apace, and yet the new Governor had not arrived.

Colonel Clark's headquarters at the house of Michel Aubrey, one of the wealthiest fur traders of Kaskaskia, became a sort of capitol. In front of it his soldiers constantly drilled with the newly enlisted Frenchmen. All men came to Clark about their business; the piazzas and gardens were seldom empty. In short, the American Colonel suddenly found himself the father and adviser of everybody in the village.


"I will dispossess these Americans," said Governor Hamilton at Detroit. "I will recover Vincennes. I will punish Kentucky. I will subdue all Virginia west of the mountains." And on the seventh of October, 1778, he left Detroit with eight hundred men,—regulars, volunteers, and picked Indians.

The French habitants of Vincennes were smoking their pipes in their rude verandas, when afar they saw the gleam of red coats. Vincennes sank without a blow and its people bowed again to the British king.

"I will quarter here for the winter," said Governor 33 Hamilton. Then he sent an express to the Spanish Governor at St. Louis with the threat, "If any asylum be granted the rebels in your territory, the Spanish post will be attacked."

In their scarlet tunics, emblem of Britain, to Chickasaw and Cherokee his runners flew. At Mackinac the Lake Indians were to "wipe out the rebels of Illinoi'." Far over to the Sioux went presents and messages, even to the distant Assiniboine. Thousands of red-handled scalping knives were placed in their hands. Emissaries watched Kaskaskia. Picked warriors lingered around the Ohio to intercept any boats that might venture down with supplies for the little Virginian army.

New Year's dawned for 1779. Danger hovered over Clark at Kaskaskia.

"Not for a whole year have I received a scrape of a pen," he wrote to Patrick Henry. Too small was his force to stand a siege, too far away to hope for relief. He called his Kentuckians from Cahokia, and day and night toiled at the defences of Kaskaskia. How could they withstand the onslaught of Hamilton and his artillery?

But hark! There is a knocking at the gate, and Francis Vigo enters. Closeted with Clark he unfolds his errand.

"I am just from Vincennes. Listen! Hamilton has sent his Indian hordes in every direction. They are guarding the Ohio, watching the settlements, stirring up the most distant tribes to sweep the country. But he has sent out so many that he is weak. At this moment there are not more than eighty soldiers left in garrison, nor more than three pieces of cannon and some swivels mounted."

With inspiration born of genius and desperate courage Clark made his resolve. "If I don't take Hamilton he'll take me; and, by Heaven! I'll take Hamilton!"

But it was midwinter on the bleak prairies of Illinois, where to this day the unwary traveller may be frozen stark in the icy chill. Clark's men were almost entirely without clothing, ammunition, provisions. Can genius surmount destitution? Clark turned to Vigo. 34

"I have not a blanket, an ounce of bread, nor a pound of powder. Can you fit me out in the name of Virginia?"

Francis Vigo, a Sardinian by birth but Republican at heart, answered, "I can fit you out. Here is an order for money. Down yonder is a swivel and a boatload of powder. I will bid the merchants supply whatever you need. They can look to me for payment."

In two days Clark's men were fitted out and ready. Clad in skins, they stepped out like trappers.

On the shore lay a new bateau. Vigo's swivel was rolled aboard, and some of the guns of Kaskaskia.

"Now, Captain John Rogers," said Colonel Clark to his cousin, "with these forty-eight men and these cannon you go down the Mississippi, up the Ohio, and enter the Wabash River. Station yourself a few miles below Vincennes; suffer nothing to pass, and wait for me."

On the 4th of February the little galley slid out with Rogers and his men.

"Now who will go with me?" inquired Clark, turning to his comrades. "It will be a desperate service. I must call for volunteers."

Stirred by the daring of the deed, one hundred and thirty young men swore to follow him to the death. All the remaining inhabitants were detailed to garrison Kaskaskia and Cahokia. The fickle weather-vanes of old Kaskaskia veered and whirled, the winds blew hot and cold, then came fair weather for the starting.

It was February 5, 1779, when George Rogers Clark set out with his one hundred and thirty men to cross the Illinois. Vigo pointed out the fur-trader's trail to Vincennes and Detroit. Father Gibault blessed them as they marched away. The Creole girls put flags in the hands of their sweethearts, and begged them to stand by "le Colonel."

"O Mother of God, sweet Virgin, preserve my beloved," prayed the Donna de Leyba in the Government House at St. Louis.

Over all the prairies the snows were melting, the rains were falling, the rivers were flooding.

Hamilton sat at Vincennes planning his murders. 35

"Next year," he exulted, "there will be the greatest number of savages on the frontier that has ever been known. The Six Nations have received war belts from all their allies."

But Clark and his men were coming in the rain. Eleven days after leaving Kaskaskia they heard the morning guns of the fort. Deep and deeper grew the creeks and sloughs as they neared the drowned lands of the Wabash. Still they waded on, through water three feet deep; sometimes they were swimming. Between the two Wabashes the water spread, a solid sheet five miles from shore to shore. The men looked out, amazed, as on a rolling sea. But Clark, ever ahead, cheering his men, grasped a handful of gunpowder, and with a whoop, the well-known peal of border war, blackened his face and dashed into the water. The men's hearts leaped to meet his daring, and with "death or victory" humming in their brains, they plunged in after.

On and on they staggered, buffeting the icy water, stumbling in the wake of their undaunted leader. Seated on the shoulders of a tall Shenandoah sergeant, little Isham Floyd, the fourteen-year-old drummer boy, beat a charge. Deep and deeper grew the tide; waist deep, breast high, over their shoulders it played; and above, the leaden sky looked down upon this unparalleled feat of human endeavour. Never had the world seen such a march.

Five days they passed in the water,—days of chill and whoops and songs heroic to cheer their flagging strength. The wallets were empty of corn, the men were fainting with famine, when lo! an Indian canoe of squaws hove in sight going to Vincennes. They captured the canoe, and—most welcome of all things in the world to those famished men—it contained a quarter of buffalo and corn and kettles! On a little island they built a fire; with their sharp knives prepared the meat, and soon the pots were boiling. So exhausted were they that Clark would not let them have a full meal at once, but gave cups of broth to the weaker ones.

On the sixteenth day Clark cheered his men. "Beyond 36 us lies Vincennes. Cross that plain and you shall see it."

On February 22, Washington's birthday, fatigued and weary they slept in a sugar camp. "Heard the evening and morning guns of the fort. No provisions yet. Lord help us!" is the record of Bowman's journal.

Still without food, the 23d saw them crossing the Horseshoe Plain,—four miles of water breast high. Frozen, starved, they struggled through, and on a little hill captured a Frenchman hunting ducks.

"No one dreams of your coming at this time of year," said the duck-hunter. "There are six hundred people in Vincennes, troops, Indians, and all. This very day Hamilton completed the walls of his fort."

Clark pressed his determined lips. "The situation is all that I can ask. It is death or victory." And there in the mud, half frozen, chilled to the marrow, starved, Clark penned on his knee a letter:

"To the Inhabitants of Post Vincennes:

"Gentlemen,—Being now within two miles of your village with my army, determined to take your fort this night, and not being willing to surprise you, I take this method to request such as are true citizens to remain still in your houses. Those, if any there be, that are friends of the King, will instantly repair to the fort, join the hair-buyer general, and fight like men. If any such do not go and are found afterwards, they may depend on severe punishment. On the contrary, those who are the friends of liberty may depend on being well treated, and I once more request them to keep out of the streets. Every one I find in arms on my arrival I shall treat as an enemy.

George Rogers Clark."

"Take this. Tell the people my quarrel is with the British. We shall be in Vincennes by the rising of the moon. Prepare dinner."

The messenger flew ahead; upon the captured horses of other duck-hunters Clark mounted his officers. It was just at nightfall when they entered the lower gate.

"Silence those drunken Indians," roared Hamilton at 37 the sound of guns. But the Frenchmen themselves turned their rifles on the fort.

Under the friendly light of the new moon Clark and his men threw up an intrenchment, and from behind its shelter in fifteen minutes the skilled volleys of the border rifle had silenced two of the cannon.

"Surrender!" was Clark's stentorian summons at daylight.

Hamilton, with the blood of many a borderer on his head,—what had he to hope? Hot and hotter rained the bullets.

"Give me three days to consider."

"Not an hour!" was Clark's reply.

"Let me fight with you?" said The Tobacco's son, the principal chief on the Wabash.

"No," answered Clark, "you sit back and watch us. Americans do not hire Indians to fight their battles."

Amazed, the Indians fell back and waited.

The fort fell, and with it British dominion in the northwest territory. Then the galley hove in sight and the flag waved above Vincennes.

"A convoy up de rivière on its way with goods, from le Detroit," whispered a Frenchman. Directly Clark dispatched his boatmen to capture the flotilla.

"Sur la feuille ron—don don don," the voyageurs were singing.

Merrily rowing down the river came the British, when suddenly out from a bend swung three boats. "Surrender!"

Amid the wild huzzas of Vincennes the Americans returned, bringing the captive convoy with fifty thousand dollars' worth of food, clothing, and ammunition, and forty prisoners.

With a heart full of thanksgiving Clark paid and clothed his men out of that prize captured on the Wabash.

"Let the British flag float a few days," he said. "I may entertain some of the hair-buying General's friends."

Very soon painted red men came striding in with bloody scalps dangling at their belts. But as each one entered, red-handed from murder, Clark's Long Knives shot him 38 down before the face of the guilty Hamilton. Fifty fell before he lowered the British flag. But from that day the red men took a second thought before accepting rewards for the scalps of white men.

"Now what shall you do with me?" demanded Hamilton.

"You? I shall dispatch you as a prisoner of war to Virginia."


Clark was not an hour too soon. Indians were already on the march.

"Hamilton is taken!"

Wabasha, the Sioux, from the Falls of St. Anthony, heard, and stopped at Prairie du Chien.

"Hamilton is taken!"

Matchekewis, the gray-haired chief of the Chippewas, coming down from Sheboygan, heard the astounding word and fell back to St. Joseph's.

The great Hamilton carried away by the rebels! The Indians were indeed cowed. The capture of Hamilton completed Clark's influence. The great Red-Coat sent away as a prisoner of war was an object-lesson the Indians could not speedily forget.

Out of Hamilton's captured mail, Clark discovered that the French in the neighbourhood of Detroit were not well-affected toward the British, and were ready to revolt whenever favourable opportunity offered.

"Very well, then, Detroit next!"

But Clark had more prisoners than he knew what to do with.

"Here," said he, to the captured Detroiters, "I am anxious to restore you to your families. I know you are unwilling instruments in this war, but your great 39 King of France has allied himself with the Americans. Go home, bear the good news, bid your friends welcome the coming of their allies, the Americans. And tell Captain Lernoult I am glad to hear that he is constructing new works at Detroit. It will save us Americans some expense in building."

The City of the Strait was lit with bonfires.

"We have taken an oath not to fight the Virginians," said the paroled Frenchmen.

The people rejoiced when they heard of Hamilton's capture; they hated his tyranny, and, certain of Clark's onward progress, prepared a welcome reception for "les Américains."

"See," said the mistress of a lodging house to Captain Lernoult. "See what viands I haf prepared for le Colonel Clark." And the Captain answered not a word. Baptiste Drouillard handed him a printed proclamation of the French alliance.

Everywhere Detroiters were drinking, "Success to the Thirteen United States!"

"Success to Congress and the American arms! I hope the Virginians will soon be at Detroit!"

"Now Colonel Butler and his scalping crew will meet their deserts. I know the Colonel for a coward and I'll turn hangman for him!"

"Don't buy a farm now. When the Virginians come you can get one for nothing."

"See how much leather I am tanning for the Virginians. When they come I shall make a great deal of money."

"Town and country kept three days in feasting and diversions," wrote Clark to Jefferson, "and we are informed that the merchants and others provided many necessaries for us on our arrival." But this the Colonel did not learn until long after.

Left alone in command, with only eighty men in the garrison, Lernoult could do nothing. Bitterly he wrote to his commander-in-chief, "The Canadians are rebels to a man. In building the fort they aid only on compulsion." 40

Even at Montreal the Frenchmen kept saying, "A French fleet will certainly arrive and retake the country"; and Haldimand, Governor General, was constantly refuting these rumours.

"Now let me help you," again pleaded The Tobacco's son to Clark at Vincennes.

"I care not whether you side with me or not," answered the American Colonel. "If you keep the peace, very well. If not you shall suffer for your mischief."

Such a chief! Awed, the Indians retired to their camps and became spectators. To divert Clark, the British officers urged these Indians to attack Vincennes.

The Tobacco's son sent back reply, "If you want to fight the Bostons at St. Vincent's you must cut your way through them, as we are Big Knives, too!" Their fame spread to Superior and the distant Missouri.

"In the vicinity of Chicago the rebels are purchasing horses to mount their cavalry."

"The Virginians are building boats to take Michilimackinac."

"They are sending belts to the Chippewas and Ottawas."

"The Virginians are at Milwaukee."

So the rumours flew along the Lakes, terrifying every Briton into strengthening his stronghold. And this, for the time, kept them well at home.

"Had I but three hundred I could take Detroit," said Clark. Every day now came the word from the French of the city, "Come,—come to our relief."

"But Vincennes must be garrisoned. My men are too few."

Then a messenger arrived with letters from Thomas Jefferson, now Governor of Virginia, with "thanks from the Assembly for the heroic service you have rendered," and the promise of troops.

Now for the first time were the soldiery made aware of the gratitude of their country. Tumultuous cheers rent the air. The Indians heard, and thought it was news of another victory.

"Let us march this day on Detroit," begged the soldiers, 41 few as they were. Half the population of Vincennes, and all the Indians, would have followed.

"Too many are ill," Clark said to himself. "Bowman is dying, the lands are flooded, the rains are falling. An unsustained march might end in disaster. For five hundred troops, I would bind myself a slave for seven years!"

To the soldiers he explained, "Montgomery is coming with men and powder. Let us rendezvous here in June and make a dash at Detroit."

Leaving a garrison in the fort, in answer to imperative call, Clark set out with six boatloads of troops and prisoners for a flying trip to Kaskaskia.

But every step of the way, day and night, "Detroit must be taken, Detroit must be taken," was the dream of the disturbed commander. "I cannot rest. Nothing but the fall of Detroit will bring peace to our frontiers. In case I am not disappointed, Detroit is already my own."


"A prisoner of war? No, indeed, he is a felon, a murderer!" exclaimed the Virginians, as weary, wet, and hungry the late Governor of Detroit sat on his horse in the rain at the door of the governor's palace at Williamsburg, where Jefferson now resided. The mob gathered to execrate the "hair-buyer general" and escort him to jail.

There were twenty-seven prisoners, altogether, brought by a band of borderers, most of the way on foot.

Every step of the long journey Captain John Rogers and his men had guarded the "hair-buyer general" from the imprecations of an outraged people.

It was the first news of Vincennes, as the startled cry ran,—

"Governor Hamilton, charged with having incited Indians 42 to scalp, torture, and burn, is at the door,—Hamilton, who gave standing rewards for scalps but none for prisoners; and Dejean, Chief Justice of Detroit, the merciless keeper of its jails, a terror to captives with threats of giving them over to savages to be burnt alive; Lamothe, a captain of volunteer scalping parties; Major Hay, one of Hamilton's chief officers, and others."

"Load them with heavy fetters and immure them in a dungeon," said Governor Jefferson. "Too many of our boys are rotting in British prison ships." This from Jefferson, so long the humane friend of Burgoyne's surrendered troops now quartered at Charlottesville!

The British commanders blustered and protested, but Jefferson firmly replied, "I avow my purpose to repay cruelty, hangings, and close confinement. It is my duty to treat Hamilton and his officers with severity. Iron will be retaliated with iron, prison ships by prison ships, and like by like in general."

Washington advised a mitigation of the extreme severity, but Jefferson's course had its effect. The British were more merciful thereafter.

And with the coming of Hamilton came all the wonderful story of the capture of Vincennes. And who can tell it? Who has told it? Historians hesitate. Romancers shrink from the task. Not one has surpassed George Rogers Clark's own letters, which read like fragments of the gospel of liberty.

Before the home fire at Caroline, John Rogers told the tale. A hush fell. The mother softly wept as she thought of her scattered boys, one in the west, two with Washington tracking the snows of Valley Forge, one immured in a prison ship where patriot martyrs groaned their lives away.

Little William heard the tale, and his young heart swelled with emotion. John Clark listened, then spoke but one sentence.

"If I had as many more sons I would give them all to my country."

All the way from Kentucky Daniel Boone was sent to the Virginia legislature. He said to Jefferson: "I doubt 43 these charges against Governor Hamilton. Last Spring I was captured by the Shawnees and dragged to Detroit. Governor Hamilton took pity on me and offered the Indians one hundred dollars for my release. They refused to take it. But he gave me a horse, and on that horse I eventually made my escape."

"Did that prevent Governor Hamilton from sending an armed force of British and Indians to besiege Boonsboro?" inquired Jefferson.

Boone had to admit that it did not. But for that timely escape and warning Boonsboro would have fallen.

But Boone in gratitude went to the dungeon and offered what consolation he could to the imprisoned Governor.

The fact is, that Daniel Boone carried ever on his breast, wrapped in a piece of buckskin, that old commission of Lord Dunmore's. It saved him from the Indians; it won Hamilton.


The sunbeams glistened on the naked skin of an Indian runner, as, hair flying in the wind, from miles away he came panting to Clark at Kaskaskia.

"There is to be an attack on San Loui'. Wabasha, the Sioux, and Matchekewis—"

"How do you know?"

"I hear at Michilimackinac,—Winnebagoe, Sauk, Fox, Menomonie."

Clark laughed and gave the messenger a drink of taffia. But the moment the painted savage slid away the Colonel prepared to inform his friends at St. Louis.

"Pouf!" laughed the careless commandant, drinking his wine at the Government House. "Why need we fear? Are not our relation wit de Indian friendly? 44 Never haf been attack on San Luis, never will be. Be seat, haf wine, tak' wine, Señor le Colonel."

"Pouf!" echoed the guests at the Governor's table. "Some trader angry because he lose de peltry stole in de Spanish country. It never go beyond threat."

An attack? The very idea seemed to amuse the Governor in his cups. But Father Gibault looked grave. "I, too, have heard such a rumour."

"It may be only a belated report of Hamilton's scheming," replied Clark. "Now he is boxed up it may blow over. But in case the English attempt to seize the west bank of this river I pledge you all the assistance in my power."

"T'anks, t'anks, my good friend, I'll not forget. In de middle of de night you get my summon."

But, unknown to them, that very May, Spain declared war against Great Britain. And Great Britain coveted the Mississippi.

Madame Marie and the charming Donna had been listeners. Colonel Clark handed the maiden a bouquet of wild roses as he came in, but spoke not a word. All the year had she been busy, embroidering finery for "le Colonel." Such trifles were too dainty for the soldier's life—but he wore them next his heart.

While the dinner party overwhelmed the victor with congratulations and drank to his health, Clark saw only the Donna, child of the convent, an exotic, strangely out of place in this wild frontier.

"I am a soldier," he whispered, "and cannot tarry. My men are at the boats, but I shall watch St. Louis."

Her eyes followed him, going away so soon, with Father Gibault and De Leyba down to the river. As he looked back a handkerchief fluttered from an upper window, and he threw her a kiss.

"I am not clear but the Spaniards would suffer their settlements to fall with ours for the sake of having the opportunity of retaking them both," muttered Clark as he crossed the river, suspicious of De Leyba's inaction.

At Kaskaskia forty recruits under Captain Robert 45 George had arrived by way of New Orleans. Then Montgomery, with another forty, came down the Ohio.

They must be fed and clothed directly. In the midst of these perplexities appeared John Todd, the new Governor.

"Ah, my friend," Clark grasped his hand. "Now I see myself happily rid of a piece of trouble I take no delight in. I turn the civil government over to you. But our greatest trouble is the lack of money."

"Money? Why, here are continental bills in abundance."

"Worth two cents on the dollar. 'Dose British traders,' say the habitants, 'dey will not take five huntert to one. Dey will have nought but skins.' This has brought our Virginia paper into disrepute. They will not even take a coin unless it is stamped with the head of a king."

"What have you done?"

"Done? Purchased supplies on my own credit. Several merchants of this country have advanced considerable sums and I have given them drafts on our Virginian agent in New Orleans. They come back, protested for want of funds. Francis Vigo has already loaned me ten thousand dollars in silver piastres."

"But Virginia will pay it,—she is bound to pay it. The service must not suffer." Thus reassured that his course had been right, Colonel Clark continued:

"Four posts must be garrisoned to hold this country,—Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Vincennes, and the Falls of the Ohio,—not one has sufficient defence. Colonel Montgomery's force is not half what I expected. But if I am not deceived in the Kentuckians I shall yet be able to complete my designs on Detroit. I only want sufficient men to make me appear respectable in passing among the savages."

The cautious French settlers were a trial to Clark. Father Gibault tried to persuade them, parting with his own tithes and horses to set an example to his parishioners to make equal sacrifices to the American cause. Altogether, Father Gibault advanced seven thousand 46 eight hundred livres, French money, equal to fifteen hundred and sixty dollars,—his little all.

Governor Todd said, "If the people will not spare willingly, you must press it."

"I cannot press it," answered Clark. "We must keep the inhabitants attached to us by every means in our power. Rather will I sign notes right and left on my own responsibility to procure absolute necessities to hold Illinois, trusting to Virginia to make it right."

Then after a thoughtful pause,—"I cannot think of the consequences of losing possession of the country without resolving to risk every point rather than suffer it."

The bad crops of 1779 and the severity of the winter of 1780 made distress in Illinois. Nevertheless the cheerful habitants sold their harvests to Clark and received in payment his paper on New Orleans.

"You encourage me to attempt Detroit," Clark wrote to Jefferson. "It has been twice in my power. When I first arrived in this country, or when I was at Vincennes, could I have secured my prisoners and had only three hundred men, I should have attempted it, and I since learn there could have been no doubt of my success. But they are now completing a new fort, too strong I fear for any force that I shall ever be able to raise in this country."

Then he hurried back to Vincennes. Thirty only were there of the three hundred expected. An Indian army camped ready to march at his call.

"Never depend upon Injuns," remarked Simon Kenton, reappearing after an absence of weeks.

"Kenton? Well, where have you been? You look battered."

"Battered I am, but better, the scars are almost gone. Captured by Shawnees, made to run the gauntlet twice, then dragged to St. Dusky to be burnt at the stake."

"How did you escape?"

"One of your Detroit Frenchmen, Pierre Drouillard, late interpreter for your captured Hamilton, told them the officers at Detroit wanted to question me about the Big Knife. Ha! Ha! It took a long powwow and plenty of wampum, and the promise to bring me back." 47

"Did he intend to do it?"

"Lord, no! as soon as we were out of sight he told me, 'Never will I abandon you to those inhuman wretches,' A trader's wife enabled me to escape from Detroit."

"Do you think I can take Detroit?"

"Take it, man? As easy as you took Vincennes. Only the day of surprise is past. A cloud of red Injuns watch the approaches. You must have troops."

Troops! Troops! None came. None could come. What had happened?

Taking with him one of Hamilton's light brass cannon to fortify the Falls of the Ohio, Clark discovered that at the very time of his capture, Hamilton had appointed a great council of Indians to meet at the mouth of the Tennessee.

"The Cherokees have risen on the Tennessee settlements, and the regiments intended for you have turned south."

The sword and belt of Hamilton had done their work. America was fighting two wars at once.


"The Falls is the Key of the Country. It shall be my depot of supplies. Here will I build a fort. A great city will one day arise on this spot." And in honour of the King who had helped America, Clark named it Louisville.

Axes, hammers, and saws made music while Clark's busy brain was planning parks and squares to make his city the handsomest in America. But, ever disturbing this recreation, "Detroit" was in his soul. "Public interest requires that I reside here until provision can be made for the coming campaign."

"Since Clark's feat the world is running mad for 48 Kentucky," said the neighbours in Caroline. Through all that Autumn, emigrants were hurrying down to take advantage of the new land laws of Virginia.

"A fleet of flatboats!" shouted the workmen at the Falls. Down with others from Pittsburg, when the autumn rains raised the river, came Clark's old comrade, John Floyd, and his brothers and his bride, Jane Buchanan. One of those brothers was Isham Floyd, the boy drummer of Vincennes.

"I, too, shall build a fort," said John Floyd to his friends, "here on Bear Grass Creek, close to Louisville."

Still emigrants were on their way, when a most terrific winter set in. Stock was frozen, wild beasts and game died. The forests lay deep with snow, and rivers were solid with ice.

The cabins of Louisville were crowded, the fort was filled with emigrants. Food gave out, corn went up to one hundred and fifty dollars a bushel in depreciated continental currency. Even a cap of native fur cost five hundred dollars.

The patient people shivered under their buffalo, bear, and elk-skin bedquilts, penned in the little huts, living on boiled buffalo beef and venison hams, with fried bear or a slice of turkey breast for bread, and dancing on Christmas night with pineknot torches bracketed on the walls.

"Did you not say the conquerors of Vincennes waded through the drowned lands in February?" asked a fair one of her partner at the dance.

"Yes, but that was an open winter. This, thank God, is cold enough to deter our enemies from attempting to recover what they have lost."

"But Colonel Clark said the weather was warm?"

"Warm, did you say? Who knows what Clark would have called warm weather in February? The water up to their armpits could not have been warm at that time of year."

The spring waters broke; a thousand emigrants went down the Ohio to Louisville. And carcasses of bear, elk, deer, and lesser game floated out of the frozen forests.

During the June rise more than three hundred flatboats 49 arrived at the Falls loaded with wagons; for months long trains were departing from Louisville with these people bound for the interior. Floyd's fort on the Bear Grass became a rendezvous; the little harbour an anchorage for watercraft.

"We must establish a claim to the Mississippi," wrote Jefferson to Clark. "Go down to the mouth of the Ohio and build a fort on Chickasaw Bluff. It will give us a claim to the river."

While Clark was preparing, an express arrived from Kaskaskia,—

"We are threatened with invasion. Fly to our relief."

Without money save land warrants, without clothing save skins, depending on their rifles for food, Clark's little flotilla with two hundred men set down the Ohio, on the very flood that was bringing the emigrants, to clinch the hold on Illinois.

"I have now two thousand warriors on the Lakes. The Wabash Indians have promised to amuse Mr. Clark at the Falls." De Peyster, the new commandant at Detroit, was writing to General Haldimand at Quebec. Even as Clark left, a few daring savages came up and fired on the fort at Louisville.

"She is strong enough now to defend herself," said Clark as he pulled away.

Colonel Bird, working hard at Detroit, started his Pottawattamies. They went but a little way.

"Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Long Knives coming!" Pell-mell, back they fell, to be fitted out all over again.

"These unsteady rogues put me out of all patience!" exclaimed the angry Colonel Bird. "They are always cooking or counciling. Indians are most happy when most frequently fitted out."

"Such is the dependence on Indians without troops to lead them," sagely remarked De Peyster. "But without them we could not hold the country."

"It is distressing," wrote Governor Haldimand, "to reflect that notwithstanding the vast treasure lavished upon these people, no dependence can be had on them."

"Amazing sum!" he exclaimed when the bills came 50 in. "I observe with great concern the astonishing consumption of rum at Detroit. This expense cannot be borne."

However, the Pottawattamies sharpened their hatchets and, newly outfitted, set out for the rapids of the Ohio.

"Bring them in alive if possible," was the parting admonition of De Peyster, warned by the obloquy of Hamilton. Vain remonstrance with four hundred and seventy-six dozen scalping knives at Bird's command!

From every unwary emigrant along the Ohio, daily the Delawares and Shawnees brought their offerings of scalps to Detroit, and throwing them down at the feet of the commander said, "Father, we have done as you directed us; we have struck your enemies."

The bounty was paid; the scalps were counted and flung into a cellar under the Council House.

And De Peyster, really a good fellow, like André, a bon vivant and lover of books and music, went on with his cards, balls, and assemblies, little feeling the iron that goes to the making of nations.

"Kentuckians very bad people! Ought to be scalped as fast as taken," said the Indians.


"We must dislodge this American general from his new conquest," said the British officers, "or tribe after tribe will be gained over and subdued. Thus will be destroyed the only barrier which protects the great trading establishments of the Northwest and Hudson's Bay. Nothing could then prevent the Americans from gaining the source of the Mississippi, gradually extending themselves by the Red River to Lake Winnipeg, from whence the descent of Nelson's River to York Fort would in time be easy." 51

Another strong factor in this decision was the dissatisfaction of the British traders with the new movement that was deflecting the fur trade down the Mississippi. The French families of Cahokia and Kaskaskia sent their furs down to New Orleans, greatly to the displeasure of their late English rulers, who wanted them to go to Canada, by the St. Louis trail to Detroit.

"Why should it not continue over the old Detroit trail to Montreal?" they questioned. "Is our fur trade to be cut off by these beggarly rebels and Spaniards? It belongs to Canada, Canada shall have it!" So all North America was fought over for the fur trade.

"I will use my utmost endeavours to send as many Indians as I can to attack the Spanish settlements, early in February," said Pat Sinclair, the British commander at Michilimackinac.

"I have taken steps to engage the Sioux under their own Chief, Wabasha, a man of uncommon abilities. Wabasha is allowed to be a very extraordinary Indian and well attached to His Majesty's interest."

And Wabasha, king of the buffalo plains above the Falls of St. Anthony, was an extraordinary Indian. In old days he fought for Pontiac, but after De Peyster brought the Sioux, the proudest of the tribes, to espouse the English cause, every year Wabasha made a visit to his British father at Michilimackinac.

On such a visit as this he came from Prairie du Chien after hearing that Hamilton was taken, and was received with songs and cannonading:

"Hail to great Wabashaw!

Cannonier—fire away,

Hoist the fort-standard, and beat all the drums;

Ottawa and Chippewa,

Whoop! for great Wabashaw!

He comes—beat drums—the Sioux chief comes.

"Hail to great Wabashaw!

Soldiers your triggers draw,

Guard,—wave the colours, and give him the drum!

Choctaw and Chickasaw,

Whoop for great Wabashaw!

Raise the port-cullis!—the King's friend is come."


By such demonstrations and enormous gifts, the Indians were held to the British standard.

It was Wabasha and his brothers, Red Wing and Little Crow, who in 1767 gave a deed to Jonathan Carver of all the land around St. Anthony's Falls, on which now stand the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, but no government confirmation of the deed has ever been discovered.

"The reduction of St. Louis will be an easy matter, and of the rebels at Kaskaskia also," continued Sinclair. "All the traders who will secure the posts on the Spanish side of the Mississippi have my promise for the exclusive trade of the Missouri."

The Northwest red men were gathering,—Menomonies, Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes,—at the portage of the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers, collecting all the corn and canoes in the country, to set out on the tenth of March. Again Sinclair writes, "Seven hundred and fifty men set out down the Mississippi the second of May."

Another party assembled at Chicago to come by the Illinois,—Indians, British, and traders.

"Captain Hesse will remain at St. Louis," continued Governor Sinclair. "Wabasha will attack Ste. Genevieve and the rebels at Kaskaskia. Two vessels leave here on the second of June to attend Matchekewis, who will return by the Illinois River with prisoners."

Very well De Peyster knew Matchekewis, the puissant chief who

"At foot-ball sport

With arms concealed, surprised the fort,"

at Michilimackinac in Pontiac's war. It was Matchekewis himself who kicked the ball over the pickets, and rushing in with his band fell on the unprepared ranks of the British garrison. On the reoccupation of Mackinac, Matchekewis had been sent to Quebec and imprisoned, but, released and dismissed with honours and a buffalo barbecue, now he was leading his Chippewas for the King.

All this was part of a wider scheme, devised in London, for the subjugation of the Mississippi. 53


Scarce had Clark time to set his men to work on Fort Jefferson, on the Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, before he received two other expresses, one from Montgomery, one from the Spanish Governor himself,—"Haste, haste to our relief."

Not wishing to alarm his men, Clark picked out a strong escort,—"I shall be gone a few days. Finish the fort. Keep a constant guard."

They thought he had gone to Kentucky.

All through the year 1779 the Frenchmen remembered Clark's warning. At last, so great became the general apprehension, that the people themselves, directed by Madame Rigauche, the school-mistress, erected a sort of defence of logs and earth, five or six feet high, and posted a cannon in each of the three gates.

"Pouf! Pouf!" laughed the Governor. But he did not interfere.

But so many days elapsed, so little sign of change appeared in the accustomed order of things, that the reassured Frenchmen went on as usual digging in their fields, racing their horses, and clicking their billiard balls. Night after night they played their fiddles and danced till dawn on their footworn puncheon floors.

And all the while the Lake Indians of the North were planning and counselling. All through the Spring they were gathering at rendezvous, paddling down Lake Michigan's shore into the Chicago River, and then by portage into the Illinois, where they set up the cry, "On to St. Louis!"

So long had been the fear allayed, so much the rumour discredited, that when old man Quenelle came back across the river, white with excitement, the people listened to his tale as of one deranged. 54

"What? Do you ask? What?" His teeth chattered. "Ducharme, Ducharme the absconder, meet me across te river an' say—'Te Injun comin'!' Fifteen huntert down te river of te Illinois!"

Terrified was the old man. Hearers gathered round plying him with questions. The incredulous laughed at his incoherence. "What? What?" he gasped. "You laugh?" Some believed him. Dismay began to creep over the more timid ones.

"What is it?" inquired the burly Governor De Leyba, bustling up. "What? That same old yarn to frighten the people? Quenelle is an old dotard. Take him to prison." Thus reassured, again the people went on with work, games, festivity.

But now the people of Cahokia became excited. Early in March Colonel Gratiot sent a boatload of goods for trade to Prairie du Chien. It was captured by Indians on the Mississippi. Breathless half-breed runners reported the apparition upon the waters,—"All te waves black with canoes. A great many sauvages."

"Clark," was the spoken and unspoken thought of all. "Clark, the invincible, where is he?"

Some said, "He is camped with his Long Knives in the American Bottom."

"No, he is building a fort at the Chickasaw Bluffs."

Hurriedly the villagers prepared an express for Clark. Charles Gratiot was sent, the brainiest man in Cahokia, one who could speak English, and, moreover, a great friend of Clark.

On the swiftest canoe Charles Gratiot launched amid the prayers of Cahokia. Down he swept on the Mississippi with the precious papers calling for succour. Safely he passed a thousand snags, safely reached the bluffs of Chickasaw, and saw the fort. Toiling up he gave his message.

"Colonel Clark? He is gone. We think he left for Louisville." Without delay a messenger was dispatched to follow his supposed direction.

Meanwhile, Clark and his soldiers, joining Montgomery by land, had hurried to Cahokia. Immediately he crossed 55 to St. Louis. It was the feast of Corpus Christi, May 25. Service in the little log chapel was over.

"Come," said the people in holiday attire, "Let us gather strawberries on the flowery mead."

From their covert, peeped the Indians. "To-morrow!" they said, "to-morrow!"

Out of the picnic throng, with lap full of flowers, the beautiful Donna ran to greet her lover.

"So long"—she drew a sigh—"I haf watched and waited!" Love had taught her English. Never had the Donna appeared so fair, with shining eyes and black hair waving on her snowy shoulders.

With tumultuous heart Colonel Clark bent and kissed her. "Vengeance I swear on any Indian that shall ever mar this lovely head!" Then crushing her hand with the grip of a giant,—"Wait a little, my dear, I must see your brother the Governor."

Outside the maiden waited while Clark entered the Government House.

At last Don Francisco De Leyba was come to his senses: "I fear, but I conceal from de people. I sent for Lieutenant Cartabona from de Ste. Genevieve. He haf arrived with twenty-five soldier. Will you not command of both side de river? I need you. You promised."

De Leyba wore a long scarf of crape for his lately deceased wife. Clark had never seen him look so ill; he was worn out and trembling. The ruffle at his wrist shook like that of a man with palsy.

Clark took the nervous hand in his own firm grasp.

"Certainly, my friend, I will do everything in my power. What are your defences?"

"We haf a stockade, you note it? De cannon at gates? I assure de people no danger, de rumour false; I fear dey scarce will believe now." Together they went out to review Cartabona's soldiers and the works of defence.

"Le Colonel Clark! Le Colonel Clark!" the people cheered as he passed. "Now we are safe!"

De Leyba had sent out a hunter to shoot ducks for the Colonel's dinner. And while the Governor and Clark were in discussion, the hunter met a spy. 56

"Who commands at Cahokia?" inquired the stranger.

"Colonel Clark; he has arrived with a great force."

"Colonel Clark! Oh, no," answered the spy in amazement, "that cannot be! Clark is in Kentucky. We have just killed an express with dispatches to him there."

"I don't know about that," answered the hunter, in his turn surprised. "Colonel Clark is at this moment in St. Louis, and I have been sent to kill some ducks for his dinner."

The stranger disappeared.

Clark was in St. Louis about two hours. "Cartabona is here. I shall be ready to answer his slightest signal. Be sure I shall answer." He turned to go.

"Going? No, no, Señor Colonel, I cannot permit—" The hands of Governor De Leyba shook still more. "I expect you to dine,—haf sent a hunter for ducks."

But when did George Rogers Clark ever stop to eat when there was fighting on hand? Hastily recrossing the river, he put Cahokia into immediate defence.

The next day dawned clear and bright, but the people, wearied with all-night dancing, slumbered late. Grandfather Jean Marie Cardinal had not danced. He was uncommonly industrious that morning. Hastening away in the dewy dawn, he went to planting corn in his slightly plowed fields. Gradually others strolled out on the Grand Prairie. It was high noon when an Indian down by the spring caught the eye of Grandfather Jean Marie Cardinal.

"He must not give the alarm," thought the savage, so on the instant he slew and scalped him where he stood.

Then all was tumult. The people in the village heard the sound of firearms. Lieutenant Cartabona and his garrison fired a gunshot from the tower to warn the scattered villagers in the fields. Erelong they came stumbling into the north gate half dead with fright and exhaustion.

"The Chippewas! The Chippewas!"

They had crossed the river and murdered the family of François Bellhome.

"Sacre Dieu! le Sauvage! la Tour! la Tour!" cried the 57 frantic habitants, but the tower was occupied by Cartabona and his coward soldiers.

Every man rushed to the Place des Armes, powder-horn and bullet-pouch in hand.

"To arms! To arms!" was the terrified cry.

"Where is the garrison? Where is the Governor?"

But they came not forth. Cartabona and his men continued to garrison the tower. The Governor cowered in the Government House with doors shut and barricaded. Women and children hid in the houses, telling their beads.

It was about noon when the quick ear of Clark, over in Cahokia, heard the cannonading and small arms in St. Louis. He sent an express.

"Here, Murray and Jaynes, go over the river and inquire the cause."

Slipping through the cottonwood trees, the express met an old negro woman on a keen run for Cahokia. She screamed, "Run, Boston, run! A great many salvages!"

All together ran back, just in time to meet Colonel Clark marching out of the east gate. In the thick woods of Cahokia Creek he caught a view of the foe. "Boom!" rang his brass six-pounder,—tree-tops and Indians fell together.

Amazed at this rear fire the Indians turned in confusion. One terrified look,—"It is the Long Knife! We have been deceived. We will not fight the Long Knife!" With one wild whoop they scurried to their boats. The handful of traders, deserted, raised the siege and retired.

It was the period of the spring rise of the powerful and turbulent Mississippi, which, undermining its shores, dumped cottonwood trees into the river.

"The whole British army is coming on rafts!" In terror seeing the supposed foe advancing, Cartabona's soldiers began firing at the white-glancing trees on the midnight waters. On, on came the ghostly flotilla.

"Cease firing!" demanded De Leyba emerging from his retreat.

"De cowardly, skulking old Goffner! hide heself! abandon de people!" In wrath they tore toward him, 58 sticks and stones flying. The Governor fled, and the daft Spaniards, watching the river, spiked the cannon, preparing to fly the moment the British landed.

Cahokia trembled all night long. There were noises and howls of wolves, but no Indians. Clark himself in the darkness made the rounds of his sentinels. Even through the shadows they guessed who walked at night.

"Pass, grand round, keep clear of my arms and all's well," was the successive cry from post to post in the picket gardens of old Cahokia.

With the first pale streak of dawn the sleepless habitants looked out. All was still. The Indians were gone, but over at St. Louis seven men were found dead, scalped by the retreating foe. Many more were being carried off prisoners, but Clark's pursuing party rescued thirty.

The prisoners, dragged away to the north by their captors, suffered hardships until restored at the end of the war, in 1783.

When Clark heard of the incompetence of De Leyba he was furious. On his way to the Government House, he saw the lovely Donna at her casement. Her hair was dishevelled, her eyes wet with tears. She extended her hand. Clark took one step toward her, and then pride triumphed.

"Never will I become the father of a race of cowards," and turning on his heel he left St. Louis forever.

In one month De Leyba was dead, some said by his own hand. He knew that Auguste Chouteau had gone to complain of him at New Orleans,—the people believed he had been bribed by Great Britain; he knew that only disgrace awaited him, and he succumbed to his many disasters and the universal obloquy in which he was held. He was buried in the little log chapel, beneath the altar, by the side of his wife, where his tomb is pointed out to this day.

And the beautiful Donna De Leyba? She waited and wept but Clark came not. Then, taking with her the two little orphan nieces, Rita and Perdita, she went down to New Orleans. Here for a time she lingered among 59 friends, and at last, giving up all hope, retired to the Ursuline convent and became a nun.

Presently Auguste Chouteau returned from New Orleans with the new Governor, Don Francisco de Cruzat, who pacified fears and fortified the town with half-a-dozen circular stone turrets, twenty feet high, connected by a stout stockade of cedar posts pierced with loopholes for artillery. On the river bank a stone tower called the Half Moon, and west of it a square log tower called the Bastion, still stood within the memory of living men.

"Next year a thousand Sioux will be in the field under Wabasha," wrote Sinclair to Haldimand, his chief in Canada.

But the Sioux had no more desire to go back to "the high walled house of thunder," where the cannon sounded not "Hail to great Wabashaw!"

Their own losses were considerable, for Clark ordered an immediate pursuit. Some of the Spaniards, grateful for the succour of the Americans, crossed the river and joined Montgomery's troops in his chase after the retreating red men.

"The Americans are coming," was the scare-word at Prairie du Chien. "Better get up your furs."

With Wabasha's help the traders hastily bundled three hundred packs of their best furs into canoes, and setting fire to the remaining sixty packs, burned them, together with the fort, while they hurried away to Michilimackinac. Matchekewis went by the Lakes. "Two hundred Illinois cavalry arrived at Chicago five days after the vessels left," is the record of the Haldimand papers.

The watchfulness and energy of Clark alone saved Illinois; nevertheless, De Peyster felt satisfied, for he thought that diversion kept Clark from Detroit.

After the terror was all over, long in the annals of the fireside, the French of St. Louis related the feats of "l'année du coup."

"Auguste Chouteau, he led te defence, he and he brother." 60

"No, Madame Rigauche, te school-meestress, she herself touch te cannon."

"Well, at any rate, we hid in te Chouteau garden, behind te stone wall."


With a wrench at his hot heart stifled only by wrath and determination, Clark strode from St. Louis. At Cahokia French deserters were talking to Montgomery.

"A tousand British and Indians on te march to Kentucky with cannon."

"When did they start?" thundered Clark. The Frenchman dodged as if shot.

"Dey start same time dis. Colonel Bird to keep Clark busy in Kentucky so Sinclair get San Loui' an' brak up te fur trade."

For once in his life Clark showed alarm. "I know the situation of that country. I shall attempt to get there before Bird does."

Drawing Montgomery aside, he said, "And you, Colonel, chase these retreating Indians. Chase them to Michilimackinac if possible. Destroy their towns and crops, distress them, convince them that we will retaliate and thus deter them from joining the British again."

Without pausing to breathe after the fatigue of the last few days, with a small escort Clark launched a boat and went flying down to Chickasaw Bluffs. Disguised as Indians, feathered and painted, he and a few others left Fort Jefferson.

Clark's army the year before had carried glowing news of Illinois. Already emigration had set in. On the way now he met forty families actually starving because they could not kill buffaloes. 61

A gun?—it was a part of Clark. He used his rifle-barrelled firelock as he used his hands, his feet, his eyes, instantly, surely, involuntarily. He showed them how to strike the buffalo in a vital part, killed fourteen, and hurried on, thirty miles a day, fording stream and swamp and tangled forest to save Kentucky.

Kentucky was watching for her deliverer. Into his ear was poured the startling tale. With Simon Girty, the renegade, and six hundred Indians, down the high waters of the Miami and up the Licking, Bird came to Ruddle's station and fired his cannon. Down went the wooden palisades like a toy blockhouse before his six-pounders.

"Surrender!" came the summons from Colonel Bird.

"Yes, if we can be prisoners to the British and not to the Indians."

Bird assented. The gates were thrown open. Indians flew like dogs upon the helpless people.

"You promised security," cried Captain Ruddle.

"I cannot stop them," said Bird. "I, too, am in their power."

Madly the Indians sacked the station and killed the cattle. Loading the household goods upon the backs of the unfortunate owners, they drove them forth and gave their cabins to the flames.

The same scenes were enacted at Martin's Station. The Indians were wild for more. But Bird would not permit further devastation. He could easily have taken every fort in Kentucky, not one could have withstood his artillery; but to his honour be it said, he led his forces out.

Loaded with plunder, the wretched captives, four hundred and fifty men, women, and children, were driven away to Detroit. Whoever faltered was tomahawked.

Clark immediately called on the militia of Kentucky. Hastening to Harrodsburg he found the newcomers wild over land entries.

"Land!" they cried, "you can have all you can hold against the Indians."

It was a grewsome joke. The Indians would not even let them survey. Like a military dictator, Clark closed 62 the land office,—"Nor will it be opened again until after this expedition."

Immediately a thousand men enlisted. Logan, Linn, Floyd, Harrod, all followed the banner of Clark. Boone and Kenton set on ahead as guides, into the land they knew so well.

"Is it not dangerous to invade the Shawnee country?" inquired one.

"I was not born in the woods to be scared by an owl," was Clark's sententious reply.

All the provisions they had for twenty-five days was six quarts of parched corn each, except what they got in the Indian country.

Canoeing down the Licking, on the first day of August they crossed the Ohio. Scarce touching shore they heard the scalp halloo. Some fell. Within fifteen minutes Clark had his axes in the forest building a blockhouse for his wounded. On that spot now stands Cincinnati.

On pressed Clark in his retaliatory dash,—before the Shawnees even suspected, the Kentuckians were at Old Chillicothe. They flew to arms, but the Long Knives swooped down with such fury that Simon Girty drew off.

"It is folly to fight such madmen."

Chillicothe went down in flames; Piqua followed; fields, gardens, more than five hundred acres of corn were razed to the level of the sod.

Piqua was Tecumseh's village; again he learned to dread and hate the white man.

"That will keep them at home hunting for a while," remarked Clark, turning back to the future Cincinnati. 63


Again George Rogers Clark sped through Cumberland Gap, fair as a Tyrolean vale, to Virginia. And dashing along the same highway, down the valley of Virginia, came the minute men of the border, in green hunting shirts, hard-riders and sharp-shooters of Fincastle.

"Hey and away, and what news?"

The restless mountaineers of the Appalachians, almost as fierce and warlike as the Goths and Vandals of an earlier day, answered:

"We have broken the back of Tarleton's army at King's Mountain, Cornwallis is facing this way, and cruisers are coming up into the Chesapeake."

"Marse Gawge! Marse Gawge!"

This time it was little York, the negro, who, peeping from the slave quarters of old York and Rose, detected the stride of George Rogers Clark out under the mulberry trees.

The long, low, Virginia farmhouse was wrapped in slumber, an almost funeral pall hung over the darkened porch, as John Clark stepped out to grasp the hand of his son.

"Three of my boys in British prisons, we looked for nothing less for you, George. William alone is left."

"Girls do not count, I suppose," laughed the saucy Lucy, peeping out in her night-curls with a candle in her hand. "Over at Bowling Green the other day, when all the gallants were smiling on me, one jealous girl said, 'I do not see what there is so interesting about Lucy Clark. She is not handsome, and she has red hair.' 'Ah,' I replied, 'I can tell her. They know I have five brothers all officers in the Revolutionary army!'"

"What, Edmund gone, too?" exclaimed George. "He is but a lad!" 64

"Big enough to don the buff and blue, and shoulder a gun," answered the father. "He would go,—left school, led all his mates, and six weeks later was taken prisoner along with Jonathan and the whole army."

That was the fall of Charleston, in the very May when Clark was saving St. Louis.

"We are all at war," spoke up Elizabeth, the elder sister, sadly. "Even the boys drill on mimic battlefields; all the girls in Virginia are spinning and weaving clothes for the soldiers; Mrs. Washington keeps sixteen spinning-wheels busy at Mount Vernon; mother and all the ladies have given their jewels to fit out the army. Mrs. Jefferson herself led the call for contributions, and Mrs. Lewis of Albemarle collected five thousand dollars in Continental currency. Father has given up his best horses, and Jefferson impressed his own horses and waggons at Monticello to carry supplies to General Gates. All the lads in the country are moulding bullets and making gun-powder. We haven't a pewter spoon left."

"An' we niggers air raisin' fodder," ventured the ten-year-old York.

York had his part, along with his young master, William. Daily they rode together down the Rappahannock, carrying letters to Fielding Lewis at Fredericksburg. It was there, at Kenmore House, that they met Meriwether Lewis, visiting his uncle and aunt Betty, the sister of Washington. "And when she puts on his chapeau and great coat, she looks exactly like the General," said William.

"What has become of my captured Governors?" George asked of his father.

"I hear that Hamilton was offered a parole on condition that he would not use his liberty in any way to speak or influence any one against the colonies. He indignantly refused to promise that, and so was returned to close captivity. But I think when Boone came up to the legislature he used some influence; at any rate Hamilton was paroled and went with Hay to England. Rocheblave broke his parole and fled to New York."

The five fireplaces of the old Clark home roared a welcome 65 that day up the great central chimney, and candles gleamed at evening from dormer window to basement when all the neighbours crowded in to hail "the Washington of the West."

"Now, Rose, you and Nancy bake the seed cakes and have beat biscuit," said Mrs. Clark to the fat cook in the kitchen. "York has gone after the turkeys."

"Events are in desperate straits," said George at bedtime; "I must leave at daylight." But earlier yet young William was up to gallop a mile beside his brother on the road to Richmond, whither the capital had been removed for greater safety.

"Is this the young Virginian that is sending home all the western Governors?" exclaimed the people. An ovation followed him all the way.

"What is your plan?" asked Governor Jefferson, after the fiery cavalier had been received with distinction by the Virginia Assembly.

"My plan is to ascend the Wabash in early Spring and strike before reinforcements can reach Detroit, or escape be made over the breaking ice of the Lakes. The rivers open first."

George Rogers Clark, born within three miles of Monticello, had known Jefferson all his life, and save Patrick Henry no one better grasped his plans. In fact, Jefferson had initiative and was not afraid of untried ventures.

"My dear Colonel, I have already written to Washington that we could furnish the men, provisions, and every necessary except powder, had we the money, for the reduction of Detroit. But there is no money,—not even rich men have seen a shilling in a year. Washington to the north is begging aid, Gates in the south is pleading for men and arms, and not a shilling is in the treasury of Virginia."

"But Detroit must be taken," said Clark with a solemn emphasis. "Through my aides I have this discovery: a combination is forming to the westward,—a confederacy of British and Indians,—to spread dismay to our frontier this coming Spring. We cannot hesitate. The fountain head of these irruptions must be cut off, 66 the grand focus of Indian hostilities from the Mohawk to the Mississippi."

Even as he spoke, Jefferson, pen in hand, was noting points in another letter to Washington.

"We have determined to undertake it," wrote Jefferson, "and commit it to Clark's direction. Whether the expense of the enterprise shall be defrayed by the Continent or State we leave to be decided hereafter by Congress. In the meantime we only ask the loan of such necessaries as, being already at Fort Pitt, will save time and expense of transportation. I am, therefore, to solicit Your Excellency's order to the commandant at Fort Pitt for the articles contained in the annexed list."

Clark had the list in hand. "It is our only hope; there is not a moment to be lost."

On fleet horses the chain of expresses bore daily news to the camp of Washington, but before his answer could return, another express reined up at Richmond.

"Benedict Arnold, the traitor, has entered the Capes of Virginia with a force of two thousand men."

It was New Year's Eve and Richmond was in a tumult. On New Year's day every legislator was moving his family to a place of safety. The very winds were blowing Arnold's fleet to Richmond.

Virginia had laid herself bare of soldiers; every man that could be spared had been sent south.

And Arnold? With what rage George Rogers Clark saw him destroy the very stores that might have taken Detroit,—five brass field-pieces, arms in the Capitol loft and in waggons on the road, five tons of powder, tools, quartermaster's supplies. Then the very wind that had blown Arnold up the river turned and blew him back, and the only blood shed was by a handful of militia under George Rogers Clark, who killed and wounded thirty of Arnold's men.

"I have an enterprise to propose," said the Governor to Clark on return. "I have confidence in your men from the western side of the mountains. I want to capture Arnold and hang him. You pick the proper characters and engage them to seize this greatest of all traitors. 67 I will undertake, if they are successful, that they shall receive five thousand guineas reward among them."

"I cannot, Arnold is gone, I must capture Detroit."

More determined than ever, Clark and Jefferson went on planning. "Yes, you must capture Detroit and secure Lake Erie. You shall have two thousand men, and ammunition and packhorses shall be at the Falls of the Ohio, March 15, ready for the early break of the ice."

Washington's consent had come, and orders for artillery. With Washington and Jefferson at his back, Clark made indefatigable efforts to raise two thousand men to rendezvous March 15.

Up the Blue Ridge his agents went and over to the Holston; he wrote to western Pennsylvania; he visited Redstone-Old-Fort, and hurried down to Fort Pitt. Fort Pitt itself was in danger.

The Wabash broke and ran untrammelled, but Clark was not ready. Cornwallis was destroying Gates at Camden; De Kalb fell, covered with wounds; Sumter was cut to pieces by Tarleton. The darkest night had come in a drama that has no counterpart, save in the Napoleonic wars that shook Europe in the cause of human liberty.

War, war, raged from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. The land was covered with forts and blockhouses. Every hamlet had its place of refuge. Mills were fortified, and private houses. Every outlying settlement was stockaded. Every log house had its pickets and portholes. Chains of posts followed the river fords and mountain gaps from Ticonderoga to the Mohawk, from the Susquehanna to the Delaware, to the Cumberland, to the Tennessee. Anxious sentinels peered from the watchtowers of wooden castles. Guns stood on the ramparts. The people slept in barracks. Moats and drawbridges, chained gates and palisades, guarded the sacred citadels of America.

"And what if England wins?" said one to Washington.

"We can still retire to the Ohio and live in freedom," 68 for, like the last recesses of the Swiss Alps, it was thought no nation could conquer the Alleghanies.

In desperation and unaware of the Virginian crisis behind him, George Rogers Clark embarked four hundred men, all he could get of the promised two thousand. Only a line he sent to Jefferson, "I have relinquished all hope," but Jefferson at that hour was flying from Tarleton, Cornwallis was coming up into Virginia, and Washington with his ragged band of veteran Continentals was marching down to Yorktown. There was no time to glance beyond the mountains.

All the northwest, in terror of Clark, was watching and fearing. If a blow was struck anywhere, "Clark did it." Shawnees and Delawares, Wyandots at the north, Choctaws and Chickasaws and Cherokees at the south, British and Indians everywhere, were rising against devoted Kentucky.

As Clark stepped on his boats at Pittsburg word flew to remotest tribes,—

"The Long Knives are coming!"

The red man trembled in his wigwam, Detroit redoubled its fortifications, and Clark's forlorn little garrisons in the prairies of the west hung on to Illinois.

In those boats Clark bore provisions, ammunition, artillery, quartermaster's stores, collected as if from the very earth by his undying energy,—everything but men, men! Major William Croghan stood with him on the wharf at Pittsburg, burning, longing to go, but honour forbade,—he was out on parole from Charleston.

Peeping, spying, gliding, Indians down the Ohio would have attacked but for fear of Clark's cannon. The "rear guard of the Continental army" little knew the young Virginian, the terror of his name. For him, Canada staid at home to guard Detroit when she might have wrested Yorktown.

With shouts of thanksgiving Louisville greeted Clark and his four hundred; the war had come up to their very doors. Never had the Indians so hammered away at the border. Across the entire continent the late intermittent cannon shots became a constant volley. 69

Every family had its lost ones,—"My father, my mother, my wife, my child, they slaughtered, burned, tortured,—I will hunt the Indian till I die!"

Detroit, Niagara, Michilimackinac—the very names meant horror, for there let loose, the red bloodhounds of war, the most savage, the most awful, with glittering knives, pressed close along the Ohio. The buffalo meat for the expedition rotted while Clark struggled, anguished in spirit, a lion chained, "Stationed here to repel a few predatory savages when I would carry war to the Lakes."

But troops yet behind, "almost naked for want of linen and entirely without shoes," were trying to join Clark down the wild Ohio. Joseph Brandt cut them off,—Lochry and Shannon and one hundred Pennsylvanians,—not one escaped to tell the tale.

Clark never recovered, never forgot the fate of Lochry. "Had I tarried but one day I might have saved them!" In the night-time he seemed to hear those struggling captives dragged away to Detroit,—"Detroit! lost for the want of a few men!" For the first time the over-wrought hero gave way to intoxication to drown his grief,—and so had Clark then died, "Detroit" might have been found written on his heart.

Despair swept over Westmoreland where Lochry's men were the flower of the frontier. Only fourteen or fifteen rifles remained in Hannastown,—the Indians swooped and destroyed it utterly.


In all his anguish about Detroit, with the energy of desperation Clark now set to work making Louisville stronger than ever.

"Boys, we must have defences absolutely impregnable; 70 we know not at what moment cannon may be booming at our gates."

A new stronghold was founded, and around it a moat eight feet deep and ten feet wide; surrounding the moat itself, was built a breastwork of log pens, filled with earth and picketed ten feet high on top of the breastwork. An acre was thus enclosed, and in that acre was a spring that bubbles still in the streets of Louisville. Within were mounted a double six-pounder captured at Vincennes, four cannon, and eight swivels, and heaped around were shells, balls, and grapeshot brought for the Detroit campaign. With bakehouse and blockhouse, bastion and barrack, no enemy ever dared attack Fort Nelson.

"General Clark is too hard on the militia," the soldier boys complained, but the hammering and pounding and digging went on until Louisville was the strongest point beyond the Alleghanies.

Back and back came the Indians, in battles and forays, and still in this troublous time settlers were venturing by flatboat and over the Wilderness Road into the Blue Grass country. They seemed to fancy that Clark had stilled the West, that here the cannon had ceased to rattle.

Emigrants on packhorses bound for the land of cane and turkeys saw bodies of scalped white men every day. Logan and his forest rangers, like knights of old, guarded the Wilderness Road. Kenton and his scouts patrolled the Ohio, crossing and recrossing on the track of marauding savages. Boone watched the Licking; Floyd held the Bear Grass.

Fort Nelson was done,—its walls were cannon-proof. Clark's gunboat lay on the water-front when a messenger passed the sentinel with a letter.

In the little square room that Clark called his headquarters, the envoy waited. The young commandant read and bowed his head,—was it a moment of irresolution? "Who could have brought this letter?"

"Any Indian would bring it for a pint of rum," answered a well-known voice. Pulling off a mask, Connolly stood before him. 71

It was as if Lord Dunmore had risen from the floor,—Connolly had been Lord Dunmore's captain commandant of all the land west of the Blue Ridge. What was he saying?

"As much boundary of land on the west bank of the Ohio as you may wish, and any title under that of a duke, if you will abandon Louisville. I am sent to you by Hamilton."

"What!" gasped Clark. "Shall I become an Arnold and give up my country? Never! Go, sir, before my people discover your identity."

Resolved to lock the secret in his own heart, Clark spoke to no one. But that same night a similar offer was made to John Floyd on the Bear Grass. He mentioned it to Clark.

"We must never tell the men," they agreed; "starving and discouraged they might grasp the offer to escape the Indian tomahawk." But years after Clark told his sister Lucy, and Floyd told his wife, Jane Buchanan,—and from them the tale came down to us.

As if enraged at this refusal, British and Indians rallied for a final onslaught.

"The white men are taking the fair Kain-tuck-ee, the land of deer and buffalo. If you beat Clark this time you will certainly recover your hunting-grounds," said De Peyster at the council fire.

In unprecedented numbers the redmen crossed the Ohio,—station after station was invested; then followed the frightful battle of Blue Licks where sixty white men fell in ten minutes. Kentucky was shrouded in mourning.

Again Clark followed swift with a thousand mounted riflemen.

Among the Indians dividing their spoils and their captives there sounded a sharp alarm, "The Long Knives! The Long Knives!"

"A mighty army on its march!"

Barely had the Shawnees time to fly when Clark's famished Kentuckians entered Old Chillicothe. Fires were yet burning, corn was on the roasting sticks, but the foe was gone. 72

"The property destroyed was of great amount, and the quantity of provisions burned surpassed all idea we had of the Indian stores," Clark said in after years.

This second destruction of their villages and cornfields chilled the heart of the Indians. Their power was broken. Never again did a great army cross the Ohio.

But standing again on the ruins of Old Chillicothe, "I swear vengeance!" cried the young Tecumseh.

And Clark, the Long Knife, mourned in his heart.

"This might have been avoided! this might have been avoided! Never shall we have peace on this frontier until Detroit is taken!"


"The boy cannot escape me!"

Lafayette was all that lay between Cornwallis and the subjugation of Virginia. The lithe little Frenchman, only twenty-three years old, danced ever on and on before him, fatiguing the redcoats far into the heats of June.

The Virginia Legislature adjourned to Charlottesville. In vain Cornwallis chased the boy and sent Tarleton on his raid over the mountains, "to capture the Governor."

Like a flash he came, the handsome, daring, dashing Colonel Tarleton, whose name has been execrated for a hundred years.

Virginia was swept as by a tornado. Never a noise in the night, never a wind could whistle by, but "Tarleton's troop is coming!"

"Tarleton's troop!" Little John Randolph, a boy of eight, his mother then lying in childbed, was gathered up and hurried away ninety miles up the Appomattox.

"Tarleton's troop!" Beside the dead body of her husband sat the mother of four-year-old Henry Clay, 73 with her seven small children shuddering around her. Standing on a rock in the South Anna River, the great preacher had addressed his congregation in impassioned oratory for the last time, and now on a bier he lay lifeless, while the gay trooper raided the lands of his children.

Even Tarleton was moved by the widow's pallor as he tossed a handful of coins on her table. She arose and swept them into the fireplace,—"Never will I touch the invaders' gold."

"Tarleton's troop!" Back at Waxhaw, South Carolina, a lad by the name of Andrew Jackson bore through life the scars of wounds inflicted by Tarleton's men. At that very hour, alone on foot his mother was returning from deeds of mercy to the patriots caged in prison pens by Tarleton. But the streams were cold, the forests dark; losing her way, overworn and weary, sank and died the mother of Andrew Jackson.

"Tarleton's troop!" Jack Jouett at the Cuckoo Tavern at Louisa saw white uniforms faced with green, and fluttering plumes, and shining helmets riding by.

The fiery Huguenot blood rose in him. Before daylight Jack's hard-ridden steed reined up at Monticello.

"Tarleton's troop, three hours behind me! Fly!"

There was panic and scramble,—some of the legislators were at Monticello. There was hasty adjournment and flight to Staunton, across the Blue Ridge.

Assisting his wife, the slender, graceful Mrs. Jefferson, into a carriage, the Governor sent her and the children under the care of Jupiter, the coachman, to a neighbouring farmhouse, while he gathered up his State papers.

"What next, massa?" Martin, the faithful body-servant, watching his master's glance and anticipating every want, followed from room to room.

"The plate, Martin," with a wave of the hand Jefferson strode out from his beloved Monticello.

With Cæsar's help Martin pulled up the planks of the portico, and the last piece of silver went under the floor as a gleaming helmet hove in sight. Dropping the plank, imprisoning poor Cæsar, Martin faced the intruder.

"Where is your master? Name the spot or I'll fire!" 74

"Fire away, then," answered the slave. The trooper desisted.

Tarleton and his men took food and drink, but destroyed nothing. The fame of Jefferson's kindness to Burgoyne's captured army had reached even Tarleton, for in that mansion books and music had been free to the imprisoned British officers.

"An' now who be ye, an' whar are ye from?"

An old woman peered from the door of a hut in a gorge of the hills, late in the afternoon.

"We are members of the Virginia Legislature fleeing from Tarleton's raid."

"Ride on, then, ye cowardly knaves! Here my husband and sons have just gone to Charlottesville to fight for ye, an' ye a runnin' awa' wi' all yer might. Clar out; ye get naething here."

"But, my good woman, it would never do to let the British capture the Legislature."

"If Patterick Hennery had been in Albemarle, the British dragoons would naever ha' passed the Rivanna."

"But, my good woman, here is Patrick Henry."

"Patterick Hennery? Patterick Hennery? Well, well, if Patterick Hennery is here it must be all right. Coom in, coom in to the best I have."

But Daniel Boone and three or four others were captured, and carried away to Cornwallis to be released soon after on parole.

"Tarleton's troop!" cried little Meriwether Lewis, seven years old.

Sweeping down the Rivanna came the desperado to the home of Colonel Nicholas Lewis, away in the Continental army.

"What a paradise!" exclaimed Tarleton, raising his hands.

"Why, then, do you interrupt it?" inquired Mrs. Lewis, alone at home with her small children and slaves.

The trooper slept that night in his horseman's cloak on the kitchen floor. At daylight Mrs. Lewis was awakened by a clatter in her henyard. Ducks, chickens, turkeys, the troopers were wringing their necks. One 75 decrepit old drake only escaped by skurrying under the barn.

Bowing low till his plume swept the horse's mane, Tarleton galloped away.

The wrath of Aunt Molly! "Here, Pompey, you just catch that drake. Ride as fast as you can, and present it to Colonel Tarleton with my compliments."

On flying steed, drake squawking and flouncing on his back, the darkey flew after the troopers.

"Well, Pompey, did you overtake Colonel Tarleton?" was Aunt Molly's wrathful inquiry.


"What did he say?"

"He put de drake in his wallet, and say he much obleeged!"

Little Meriwether, sitting on the gate-post, laughed at his aunt's discomfiture.

The roll of a drum broke the stillness of Sabbath in the Blue Ridge.

"Tarleton's troop!" By the bed of her sick husband sat a Spartan mother at Staunton. Her sons were in the army at the north, but three young lads, thirteen, fifteen, and seventeen were there.

Placing their father's old firelock in their hands, "Go forth, my children," she said, "repel the foot of the invader or see my face no more."

But Tarleton did not force the mountain pass,—the boys went on down to join Lafayette.

From farm and forest, children and grandsires hurried to Lafayette. The proud earl retired to the sea and stopped to rest at the little peninsula of Yorktown, waiting for reinforcements.

Down suddenly from the north came Washington with his tattered Continentals and Rochambeau's gay Frenchmen, and the French fleet sailed into the Chesapeake. Cornwallis was bottled up at Yorktown.

The boy, Lafayette, had simply put the stopper in the bottle and waited.

Seventy cannon rolled in on Yorktown. George Rogers Clark, all the West, was appealing to Washington, 76 but the great chief unmoved kept his eye on Lord Cornwallis.

On the 19th of October, 1781, the aristocratic marquis, who had commenced his career as aide-de-camp to a king, surrendered to the rebels of America.

"'Wallis has surrendered! surrendered! surrendered!"

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark flung up their caps with other boys and shouted with the best of them, "'Wallis has surrendered!"

After the surrender of Cornwallis, Washington and Lafayette and the officers of the French and American armies went to Fredericksburg to pay their respects to Mary, the mother of Washington. The entire surrounding country was watching in gala attire, and among them the old cavalier, John Clark of Caroline.

On his white horse Washington passed the mulberry trees. Quick as a flash little William turned,—"Why, father, he does look like my brother George! Is that why people call our George the 'Washington of the West'?"

A provisional treaty was signed at Paris, November 30, 1782, a few days after the return of George Rogers Clark from that last Chillicothe raid. Slowly, by pack-horse and flatboat, the news reached Kentucky.

The last of the British army sailed away. Washington made his immortal farewell, and went back to his farm, arriving on Christmas Eve. Bonfires and rockets, speeches, thanksgiving and turkey, ended the year 1782.

But with his return from the last scene at Yorktown, the father of Meriwether Lewis lay down and died, a martyr of the Revolution. 77


Back over Boone's trace, the Wilderness Road he had travelled so many times, went General George Rogers Clark sometime in the early Spring of 1783, past the thrifty fields of Fincastle and the Shenandoah Germans, with their fat cattle and huge red barns. Every year the stout Pennsylvanians were building farther and farther up. Year by year the fields increased, and rosy girls stacked the hay in defiance of all Virginian customs across the Ridge.

But the man who a thousand miles to the west held Illinois by the prowess of his arm and the terror of his name, sprang not with the buoyant step of six years before when he had gone to Virginia after the gunpowder. His thoughts were at Kaskaskia, Vincennes, Louisville, where his unsustained garrisons were suffering for food and clothing.

"Peace, peace, peace!" he muttered. "'Tis but a mockery. Must Kentucky lie still and be scalped?"

Still the savages raided the border, not in numbers, but in squads, persistent and elusive. Isham Floyd, the boy drummer of Vincennes, had been captured by the savages and three days tortured in the woods, and burnt at the stake.

"My boy-brother in the hands of those monsters?" exclaimed the great-hearted John Floyd of the Bear Grass. A word roused the country, the savages were dispersed, but poor Isham was dead. And beside him lay his last tormentor, the son of an Indian chief, shot by the avenging rifle of John Floyd.

Riding home with a heavy heart on the 12th of April, a ball struck Colonel Floyd, passed through his arm, and entered his breast. Behind the trees they caught a glimpse of the smoking rifle of Big Foot, that chief whose son was 78 slain. Leaping from his own horse to that of his brother, Charles Floyd sustained the drooping form until they reached the Bear Grass.

"Charles," whispered the dying man, "had I been riding Pompey this would not have happened. Pompey pricks his ears and almost speaks if a foe is near."

At the feet of Jane Buchanan her brave young husband was laid, his black locks already damp with the dew of death.

"Papa! Papa!" Little two-year-old George Rogers Clark Floyd screamed with terror. Ten days later the stricken wife, Jane Buchanan, gave birth to another son, whom they named in honour of his heroic father.

With such a grief upon him, General George Rogers Clark wended his lonesome way through the Cumberland Gap to Virginia. Now in the night-time he heard young Isham cry. Not a heart in Kentucky but bewailed the fate of the drummer boy. And John Floyd, his loss was a public calamity.

"John Floyd, John Floyd," murmured Clark on his lonely way, "the encourager of my earliest adventures, truest heart of the West!"

Lochry's men haunted him while he slept. "Had I not written they would not have come!"

His debts, dishonoured, weighed like a pall, and deep, deep, down in his heart he knew at last how much he loved that girl in the convent at New Orleans. At times an almost ungovernable yearning came over him to go down and force the gates of her voluntary prison-house.

In May he was at Richmond. A new Governor sat in the chair of Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To him Clark addressed an appeal for the money that was his due.

But Virginia, bankrupt, impoverished, prostrate, answered only,—"We have given you land warrants, what more can you ask?"

With heavy heart Clark travelled again the road to Caroline.

There was joy in the old Virginia home, and sorrow. Once more the family were reunited. First came Colonel Jonathan, with his courtly and elegant army comrade 79 Major William Croghan, an Irish gentleman, nephew of Sir William Johnson, late Governor of New York, and of the famous George Croghan, Sir William's Indian Deputy in the West.

In fact young Croghan crossed the ocean with Sir William as his private secretary, on the high road to preferment in the British army. But he looked on the struggling colonists, and mused,—

"Their cause is just! I will raise a regiment for Washington."

While all his relatives fought for the King, he alone froze and starved at Valley Forge, and in that frightful winter of 1780 marched with Jonathan Clark's regiment to the relief of Charleston. And Charleston fell.

"Restore your loyalty to Great Britain and I will set you free," said Major General Prevost, another one of Croghan's uncles.

"I cannot," replied the young rebel. "I have linked my fate with the colonies."

Nevertheless General Prevost released him and his Colonel, Jonathan Clark, on parole. Lieutenant Edmund was held a year longer.

Directly to the home in Caroline, Colonel Jonathan brought his Irish Major. And there he met—Lucy.

Then, with the exchange of prisoners, Edmund came, damaged it is true, but whole, and John, John from the prison ships, ruined.

At sight of the emaciated face of her once handsome boy, the mother turned away and wept. Five long years in the prison ship had done its work. Five years, where every day at dawn the dead were brought out in cartloads. Stifled in crowded holds and poisoned with loathsome food, in one prison ship alone in eighteen months eleven thousand died and were buried on the Brooklyn shore. And then came the General, George Rogers, and Captain Richard, from the garrison of Kaskaskia where he had helped to hold the Illinois.

In tattered regimentals and worn old shirts they came,—the army of the Revolution was disbanded without a dollar. 80

"And I, worse than without a dollar," said General George Rogers. "My private property has been sacrificed to pay public debts."

But from what old treasure stores did those girls bring garments, homespun and new and woolly and warm, prepared against this day of reunion? The soldiers were children again around their father's hearth, with mother's socks upon their feet and sister's arms around their necks.

Jonathan, famous for his songs, broke forth in a favourite refrain from Robin Hood:—

"And mony ane sings o' grass, o' grass,

And mony ane sings o' corn,

And mony ane sings o' Robin Hood

Kens little where he was born.

"It wasna in the ha', the ha',

Nor in the painted bower,

But it was in the gude greenwood

Amang the lily flower."

"And you call us lily flowers?" cried Fanny, the beauty and the pet. "The lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin; and here have we been spinning for weeks and weeks to dress you boys again."

"And what has William been doing?"

"Learning to follow in the footsteps of my brothers," answered the lad of thirteen. "Another year and I, too, could have gone as a drummer boy."

"Thank God, you'll never have to," ejaculated the General solemnly.

The old house rang with merriment as it had not in years. The negroes, York and old York and Rose his wife, Jane and Julia and Cupid and Harry, and Nancy the cook, were jubilantly preparing a feast for welcome.

Other guests were there,—Colonel Anderson, aide-de-camp of Lafayette, who was to wed Elizabeth, the sister next older than William; and Charles Mynn Thruston, son of the "Fighting Parson," and Dennis Fitzhugh, daft lovers of the romping Fanny.

Since before the Revolution Jonathan had been engaged to Sarah Hite, the daughter of Joist Hite, first settler of 81 the Shenandoah. Thousands of acres had her father and hundreds of indentured white servants. Joist Hite's claim overlay that of Lord Fairfax; they fought each other in the courts for fifty years. Should Hite win, Sarah would be the greatest heiress in Virginia.

From the sight of happy courtship George Rogers turned and ever and anon talked with his parents, "solemn as the judgment," said Fanny.

A few blissful days and the time for scattering came. Again the old broad-porticoed farmhouse was filled with farewells,—negro slaves held horses saddled.

"But we shall meet in Kentucky," said old John Clark the Cavalier.

George Rogers bade them good-bye, waved a last kiss back, whipped up his horse, and entered the forest.

In October John died. A vast concourse gathered under the mulberry trees where the young Lieutenant lay wrapped in the flag of his country, a victim of the prison ship. Great was the indignation of friends as they laid him away.

And now preparations were rapidly carried forward for removal to Kentucky.


There was truce on the border. The wondering redmen heard that the great King had withdrawn across the Big Water and that the Long Knives were victors in the country.

With wondering minds Shawnee and Delaware, Wyandot and Miami, discussed around their council fires the changed situation. Very great had the redcoats appeared in the eyes of the savages, with their dazzling uniforms, and long, bright, flashing swords. But how terrible were the Virginians of the Big Knives! 82

The continental armies had been dispersed, but now from their old war-ravaged homes of the Atlantic shore they looked to the new lands beyond the Alleghanies. Congress would pay them in these lands, and so the scarred veterans of a hundred battles launched on the emigrant trail.

In the Clark home there was busy preparation. Out of attic and cellar old cedar chests were brought and packed with the precious linen, fruit of many a day at the loom. Silver and pewter and mahogany bureaus, high-post bedsteads and carved mirrors, were carefully piled in the waggons as John Clark, cavalier, turned his face from tidewater Virginia.

Neighbours called in to bid them farewell. Mrs. Clark made a last prayer at the grave of her son, the victim of the prison ship.

"William, have you brought the mulberry cuttings?" called the motherly Lucy.

"William, have you the catalpa seeds?" cried Fanny.

Leaving the old home with Jonathan to be sold, the train started out,—horses, cattle, slaves, York riding proudly at the side of his young master William, old York and Rose, Nancy, Jane, Julia, Cupid and Harry and their children, a patriarchal caravan like that of Abraham facing an earlier west two thousand years before.

Before and behind were other caravans. All Virginia seemed on the move, some by Rockfish Gap and Staunton, up the great valley of Virginia to the Wilderness Road, on packhorses; others in waggons, like the Clarks, following the Braddock route down to Redstone-Old-Fort on the Monongahela, where boats must be built.

And here at Redstone was George Rogers Clark, come up to meet them from the Falls. In short order, under his direction, boatbuilders were busy. York and old York took a hand, and William, in a first experience that was yet to find play in the far Idaho.

The teasing Fanny looked out from her piquant sun-bonnet. Lucy, more sedate, was accompanied by her betrothed, Major Croghan. 83

"My uncle, George Croghan, has lately died in New York and left me his heir. I shall locate in Louisville," was the Major's explanation to his friend's inquiry.

"And what is the news from Virginia?"

"Your old friend Patrick Henry is Governor again. Jonathan visited him last week," was William's reply.

"And Jonathan's wife, Sarah Hite, bids fair to secure her fortune," added Fanny. "You see, when old Lord Fairfax heard of Cornwallis's surrender he gave up. 'Put me to bed, Jo,' he said, 'it is time for me to die,' and die he did. Now his lands are in the courts."

"Mrs. Jefferson, who was ill, died as a result of the excitement of the flight from Tarleton," said Lucy. "To get away from his sorrow, Mr. Jefferson has accepted the appointment of minister to France to succeed Dr. Franklin, and has taken Martha and Maria with him. They will go to school in Paris."

George Rogers Clark was a silent man. He spoke no word of his recent trip to Philadelphia, in which Dr. Franklin had grasped his hand and said, "Young man, you have given an empire to the Republic."

"General Washington has just returned from a horseback journey down into this country," added Major Croghan. "He has lands on the Ohio."

"And have you no word of yourself or of Kentucky?"

General Clark handed his father a notification from the Assembly of Virginia. He read it aloud.

"The conclusion of the war, and the distressed situation of the State with respect to its finances, call on us to adopt the most prudent economy. You will, therefore, consider yourself out of command."

"And you are no longer in the army?"

"No, nor even on a footing with the Continentals. I was simply a soldier of the Virginia militia, and, as such, have no claim even for the half pay allotted to all Continental officers."

"But Virginia has ceded her western territories to Congress with the distinct stipulation that expenses incurred in subduing any British posts therein, or in acquiring 84 any part of the territory, shall be reimbursed by the United States."

"Is there any hope there? What has Congress? An empty treasury. And who is to pay the bills incurred in the Illinois conquest? Shall I, a private individual?"

"That would be impossible," commented the father.

"But I am not disheartened," continued George Rogers. "When the Indians are quiet, my men hope to build a city on the land granted us opposite the Falls. And here is something from Jefferson, written before he left for Europe."

William stood attentive while the letter was read.

Annapolis, December 4, 1783.

Dear Sir,—I find they have subscribed a very large sum of money in England for exploring the country from the Mississippi to California. They pretend it is only to promote knowledge. I am afraid they have thought of colonising into that quarter. Some of us have been talking here in a feeble way of making an attempt to search that country, but I doubt whether we have enough of that kind of spirit to raise the money. How would you like to lead such a party? Though I am afraid our prospect is not worth the question.

Your friend and humble servant,
Thomas Jefferson."

"Does he want you to lead an exploring party to the Pacific Ocean?" inquired William with intense interest.

"That is the substance of it. And I should want you to accompany me."

Little did either then dream that William Clark would lead that party, with another.

The boats were ready. Surmounted by the Stars and Stripes of the "old thirteen" they started on their journey. Suddenly the Monongahela closed with ice and locked them at Pittsburg, where flurries of snow set the sleigh-bells ringing.

Through deep drifts, under the guns of Fort Pitt, files of Philadelphia traders were buying up skins and tallow, to carry back over the mountains in their packsaddles 85 that had come out loaded with salt and gunpowder. Squaws were exchanging peltries for the white man's tea and sugar. A great concourse of emigrants was blocked for the winter. Every cabin was crowded.

After great exertions George had secured quarters quite unlike the roomy old Virginian home.

"I must be gone to make peace with those Indians who have been acting with the British, and take steps toward securing titles beyond the Ohio."

Accompanied by two other commissioners, General Clark set out for Fort McIntosh. It was January before the Indians gathered with Pierre Drouillard, interpreter now for the United States.

"By the treaty of peace with England this land belongs to the Thirteen Fires," was the basis of argument. "You have been allies of England, and now by the law of nations the land is ours."

"No! No!" fiercely cried Buckongahelas.

"But we will divide with you. You are to release your white captives, and give up a part of your Ohio lands. The rest you can keep. Detroit and Michilimackinac belong to the Thirteen Fires." Then boundaries were drawn.

"No! No!" cried Buckongahelas. Clark heeded not.

After deliberation the chiefs signed,—Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa,—all but Buckongahelas. "I am a friend of Great Britain!" roared the Delaware King. Then to the surprise of all, suddenly striding past the other commissioners, the swarthy chief took the hand of General Clark. "I thank the Great Spirit for having this day brought together two such warriors as Buckongahelas and the Long Knife." Clark smiled and returned the compliment.

"Will the gorge break?" every frontiersman was asking when George returned to Pittsburg.

Piled back for seventy miles the Alleghany was a range of ice, heaped floe on floe. Where the muddy Monongahela blends with the crystal Alleghany the boats lay locked with a hundred others, awaiting the deluge.

Suddenly the melting snows of the Alleghanies burst; 86 the ice loosened, tearing and cutting the branches of trees overhanging the river; and slowly, with the ice, moved the great fleet of flatboats.

Ever narrower and deeper and swifter, the Ohio leaped with tremendous rush down its confined channel. The trees on the uninhabited shores, never yet cut away, held the embankment firm, and racing down on the perilous flood came the Clarks to the Falls of the Ohio, in March of 1785.

Fascinated by the rush of waves, fourteen-year-old William poled like a man. Could he dream what destruction lay in their course? "L'année des grandes eaux," 1785, is famous in the annals of the West as the year of great waters. The floods came down and drowned out old Ste. Genevieve and drove the inhabitants back to the higher terrace on which that village stands to-day. Above, the whole American Bottom was a swift running sea, Kaskaskia and Cahokia were submerged by the simultaneous melting of the snows, and nothing but its high bold shore of limestone rock saved St. Louis itself. Paddling around in his boat, Auguste Chouteau ate breakfast on the roofs of Ste. Genevieve.

At Louisville barely could boats be pulled in to the Bear Grass. Below, waves foamed and whirled among the rocks, that to-day have been smoothed by the hand of man into a shallow channel.

Guided by skilful hands, many a trader's boat that year took the chute of the Falls like an arrow; over the ledges that dammed the water back, down, down they slid out of sight into that unknown West, where William knew not that his brother had paved the way to Louisiana.

"Have you found us a tract?" inquired the anxious mother.

"Land, mother? I own a dukedom, my soldiers and I, one hundred and fifty thousand acres, on the Indian side of the river. We have incorporated a town there, Clarksville they call it. It will be a great city,—but Louisville is safer at present."

That Spring they lived at Fort Nelson, with watchmen on the ramparts. 87

"But we saw no Indians in coming down!"

"True enough, the flood was a surprise so early in the year. Wait a little, and you will hear more of this terrifying river-route, where in low water it takes seven weeks to run from Redstone to the Bear Grass. Then the murderous clutches of the Indians have free play among the helpless emigrants. Let us be thankful for what you escaped."

Almost while they were speaking a band of Indians glided out of the woods not far away, snatched a boy from a fence, and shot his father in the field.

"Don't kill me, just take me prisoner," said little Tommy, looking up into the warrior's face.

At that instant an elder brother's rifle felled the Indian, and the boy was saved to become the father of Abraham Lincoln.


On a beautiful eminence three miles south of Louisville, John Clark built his pioneer Kentucky home. Louisville itself consisted of but a few log cabins around a fortification built by George Rogers Clark.

This family home, so far from the centre, was stockaded by itself, a double log house, two and a half stories high, with hall through the middle.

Every night a negro stood sentinel, there were portholes in the pickets, and Indians hid in the canebrakes. Once while the young ladies were out walking an Indian shot a little negro girl and they carried her back wounded, behind the pickets at Mulberry Hill.

The floor of the long dining-room was of wood, hard as a bone, and over the seven-foot mantel stag-horns and swords of the Revolution were lit by the light of the cavernous fireplace. 88

Rigid economy and untiring industry had been the rule at the old Clark home in Caroline, and not less was it here. There were no pianos, but until midnight the hum of the wheel made music.

Enchanted the young people listened to tale and song and hum of wheel, while down the great chimney top calmly smiled the pensive stars.

Little thought they of bare walls, low rafters, or small windows. After the boys hauled in the logs on a hand-sled, and built up a great flame, the whole world seemed illuminated. The pewter basins shone like mirrors, and while their fingers flew in the light of the fire, stories were told of Kaskaskia, Vincennes, St. Louis. But the Donna? Clark never spoke of her. It was a hidden grief that made him ever lonely. When he saw the lovelight all around him and sometimes left the room, the mother wondered why sudden silence came upon the group.

At Mulberry Hill Lucy was married to Major Croghan, who, on a farm five miles out, built Locust Grove, an English mansion of the olden style, in its day the handsomest in Louisville. And Fanny? She was the belle of Kentucky. In powdered wig and ruffles many a grave Virginian tripped with her the minuet and contra dances of the Revolution.

More and more young William became enamoured of the Indian dress, and went about gaily singing the songs of Robin Hood and hacking the meat with his hunting knife.

Out over the game-trails of Kentucky, like the beaten streets of Fredericksburg, the only city he ever knew, young William went with the Boones, Kenton, and his own famous brother, George Rogers Clark, in peltry cap and buckskin hunting-shirt girded with a leathern belt.

Led by them, with what eagerness he shot his first buffalo, deep in the woods of Kentucky. Not much longer could bears, deer, and buffalo retreat to the cane. With the coming of the Clarks an emigration set in that was to last for a hundred years.

Even amusements partook of sportive adventure. Now it was the hunter's horn summoning the neighbours to a 89 bear chase in the adjoining hills. William surpassed the Indian himself in imitating the bark of the wolf, the hoot of the owl, the whistle of the whippoorwill.

Daniel Boone came often to Mulberry Hill in leggings and moccasins, ever hunting, hunting, hunting beaver, bear and coon, wolves and wild-cats, deer and foxes, and going back to trade their skins in Maryland for frontier furniture, knives and buttons, scissors, nails, and tea.

Upon his shot-pouch strap Boone fastened his moccasin awl with a buckhorn handle made out of an old clasp-knife, and carried along with him a roll of buckskin to mend his mocassins. While the grizzled hunter stitched deftly at his moccasins, William and York sat by, engaged in the same pastime, for wherever William went, York was his shadow.

"Since poor Richard's uncertain fate I can never trust the boy alone," said his mother. "York, it is your business to guard your young master." And he did, to the ends of the earth.

When "Uncle Daniel," rolled in a blanket, threw himself down on a bed of leaves and slept with his feet to the fire to prevent rheumatism, York and William lay down too, sleeping by turns and listening for Indians.

At daylight, loosely belting their fringed hunting shirts into wallets for carrying bread, a chunk of jerked beef, or tow for the gun, with tomahawk on the right side and scalping knife on the left, each in a leathern case, again they set off under the reddening forest.

Skilled in the lore of woodcraft, watchful of clouds and stars and sun, an intimate student of insect life and own brother to the wily beaver, bear, and buffalo, William Clark was becoming a scientist.

Returning from the chase with the same sort of game that graced the Saxon board before the Norman conquest, he sat down to hear the talk of statesmen. For when Clark's commission was revoked, Kentucky, unprotected, called a convention to form a State.

Affairs that in European lands are left to kings and their ministers, were discussed in the firelight of every cabin. Public safety demanded action. Exposed on three 90 sides to savage inroads, with their Virginia capital hundreds of miles beyond forest, mountains, and rivers, no wonder Kentucky pleaded for statehood.

In a despotic country the people sleep. Here every nerve was awake. Discussion, discussion, discussion, made every fireside a school of politics; even boys in buckskin considered the nation's welfare.

Before he was seventeen William Clark was made an ensign and proudly donned the eagle and blue ribbon of the Cincinnati, a society of the soldiers of the Revolution of which Washington himself was president. Educated in the backwoods and by the cabin firelight, young William was already developing the striking bearing and bold unwavering character of his brother.

"What can have become of Richard?" Every day the mother heart glanced down the long avenue of catalpas that were growing in front of Mulberry Hill.

Of the whole family, the gentle affectionate Richard was an especial favourite. He was coming from Kaskaskia to see his mother, but never arrived. One day his horse and saddlebags were found on the banks of the Wabash. Was he killed by the Indians, or was he drowned? No one ever knew.

Again George Rogers Clark was out making treaties with the Indians to close up the Revolution, but British emissaries had been whispering in their ears, "Make the Ohio the boundary."

At last, after long delays, a few of the tribes came in to the council at the mouth of the Great Miami, some in friendship, some like the Shawnees, rudely suggestive of treachery.

"The war is over," explained General Clark as chairman; "we desire to live in peace with our red brethren. If such be the will of the Shawnees, let some of their wise men speak."

There was silence as they whiffed at the council pipes. Then a tall chief arose and glanced at the handful of whites and at his own three hundred along the walls of the council house.

"We come here to offer you two pieces of wampum. 91 You know what they mean. Choose." Dropping the beaded emblems upon the table the savage turned to his seat by the wall.

Pale, calm as a statue, but with flashing eye, Clark tangled his slender cane into the belts and—flung them at the chiefs.


Every Indian was up with knife unsheathed, every white stood with hand on his sword. Into their very teeth the Long Knife had flung back the challenge, "Peace, or War."

Like hounds in leash they strained, ready to leap, when the lordly Long Knife raised his arm and grinding the wampum beneath his heel thundered,—

"Dogs, you may go!"

One moment they wavered, then broke and fled tumultuously from the council house.

All night they debated in the woods near the fort. In the morning, "Let me sign," said Buckongahelas.

Smiling, Clark guided the hand of the boastful Delaware, and all the rest signed with him.


For the first time in their stormy history, the front and rear gates of the Kentucky forts lay back on their enormous wooden hinges, and all day long men and teams passed in and out with waggon loads of grain from the harvest fields. So hushed and still was the air, it seemed the old Indian days were gone for ever. At night the animals came wandering in from the woods, making their customary way to the night pens. Fields of corn waved undisturbed around the forts.

But the truce was brief. Already the Cherokees were slaughtering on the Wilderness Road, and beyond the 92 Ohio, Shawnee and Delaware, wild at the sight of the white man's cabin, rekindled the fires around the stake.

Thousands of emigrants were coming over the mountains from Carolina, and down the Ohio from Pittsburg social boats lashed together rode in company, bark canoes, pirogues, flatboats, keelboats, scows, barges, bateaux and brigades of bateaux, sweeping down with resistless English, Scotch, Irish, Germans, Huguenots, armed for the battle of the races.

Still the powerful fur traders of Quebec and Montreal hung on to Detroit and Mackinac, still De Peyster opposed giving up the peninsulas of Michigan.

"Pen the young republic east of the Alleghanies," said France, Spain, England, when the Peace Treaty was under consideration. But Clark's conquest compelled them to grant the Illinois.

Before the ink was dry on the documents, Kentucky was trading down the great river of De Soto.

"The West must trade over the mountains," said the merchants of Philadelphia and Baltimore.

"The West will follow its rivers," answered Kentucky.

"Spain is Mistress of the Mississippi," said the Spanish King to John Jay, the American minister at Madrid.

In vain flatboatmen with wheat and corn said, "We are from Kentucky."

"What Kaintucke?" brayed the commandant at Natchez. "I know no Kaintucke. Spain own both side de river. I am ordered to seize all foreign vessel on de way to New Orleong."

Without the Spaniard the trip was sufficiently hazardous. Indians watched the shores. Pirates infested the bayous. Head winds made the frail craft unmanageable,—snags leered up like monsters to pierce and swallow. But every new settler enlarged the fields, and out of the virgin soil the log granaries were bursting.

"Carry away our grain, bring us merchandise," was the cry of expanding Kentucky.

But to escape the Indian was to fall into the hands of the Spaniard, and the Spaniard was little more than a legalised pirate. 93

Even the goods of the Frenchmen were seized with the warning, "Try it again and we'll send you to Brazil."

The Frenchmen resented this infringement on their immemorial right. Since the days of the daring and courageous Bienville who founded New Orleans, no man had said them nay. A tremendous hatred of the Spaniard grew up in the hearts of the Frenchmen.

In the midst of these confiscations there was distress and anarchy in the Illinois. The infant republic had not had time to stretch out there the strong arm of law. Floods and continental money had ruined the confiding Frenchmen; the garrisons were in destitution; they were writing to Clark:—

"Our credit is become so weak among the French that one dollar's worth of provisions cannot be had without prompt payment, were it to save the whole country."

"And why has our British Father made no provision for us," bewailed the Indians, "who at his beck and call have made such deadly enemies of the Long Knives? Our lands have been ravaged by fire and sword, and now we are left at their mercy."

"Let us drive the red rascals out," cried the infuriated settlers.

"No," said Washington, who understood and pitied the red men. "Forgive the past. Dispossess them gradually by purchase as the extension of settlement demands the occupation of their lands."

But five thousand impoverished Indians in the Ohio country kept thirty thousand settlers in hot water all the time. No lock on a barn door could save the horses, no precaution save the outlying emigrant from scalping or capture. Red banditti haunted the streams and forests, dragging away their screaming victims like ogres of mediæval tragedy.

Clark grew sick and aged over it. "No commission, no money, no right to do anything for my suffering country!"

"Your brother, the General, is very ill," said old John Clark, coming out of the sick chamber at Mulberry Hill. 94 In days to come there were generals and generals in the Clark family, but George Rogers was always "the General."

Into ten years the youthful commander had compressed the exposure of a lifetime. Mental anguish and days in the icy Wabash told now on his robust frame, and inflammatory rheumatism set in from which he never recovered.

"The Americans are your enemies," emissaries from Detroit were whispering at Vincennes. "The Government has forsaken you. They take your property, they pay nothing."

"We have nothing to do with the United States," said the French citizens, weary of a Congress that heeded them not. "We consider ourselves British subjects and shall obey no other power."

Even Clark's old friend, The Tobacco's Son, had gone back to his British father, and as always with Indians, dug up the red tomahawk.

A committee of American citizens at Vincennes sent a flying express to Clark.

"This place that once trembled at your victorious arms, and these savages overawed by your superior power, is now entirely anarchical and we shudder at the daily expectation of horrid murder. We beg you will write us by the earliest opportunity. Knowing you to be a friend of the distressed we look to you for assistance."

Such a call could not be ignored. Kentucky was aroused and summoned her favourite General to the head of her army. From a sick bed he arose to lead a thousand undisciplined men, and with him went his brother William.

The sultry sun scorched, the waters were low, provisions did not arrive until nine days after the soldiers, and then were spoiled. Fatigued, hungry, three hundred revolted and left; nevertheless, the Indians had fled and Vincennes was recovered.

Just then up the Wabash came a Spaniard with a boatload of valuable goods. Clark promptly confiscated the cargo, and out of them paid his destitute troops.

"It is not alone retaliation," said Clark, "It is a 95 warning. If Spain will not let us trade down the river, she shall not trade up."

Kentucky applauded. They even talked of sending Clark against the Spaniards and of breaking away from a government that refused to aid them.

"General Clark seized Spanish goods?" Virginia was alarmed and promptly repudiated the seizure. "We are not ready to fight Spain."

Clark's friends were disturbed. "You will be hung."

Clark laughed. "I will flee to the Indians first."

"We have as much to fear from the turbulence of our backwoodsmen," said Washington, "as from the hostility of the Spaniards."

But at this very time, unknown to Washington, the Spaniards were arming the savages of the south, to exterminate these reckless ambitious frontiersmen.

Louisiana feared these unruly neighbours. Intriguers from New Orleans were whispering, "Break with the Atlantic States and league yourself with Spain."

Then came the rumour, "Jay proposes to shut up the Mississippi for twenty-five years!"

Never country was in such a tumult.

"We are sold! We are vassals of Spain!" cried the men of the West. "What? Close the Mississippi for twenty-five years as a price of commercial advantage on the Atlantic coast? Twenty-five years when our grain is rotting? Twenty-five years must we be cut off when the Wilderness Road is thronged with packtrains, when the Ohio is black with flatboats? Where do they think we are going to pen our people? Where do they think we are going to ship our produce? Better put twenty thousand men in the field at once and protect our own interests."

The bond was brittle; how easily might it be broken!

Even Spain laughed at the weakness of a Union that could not command Kentucky to give up its river. And Kentucky looked to Clark. "We must conquer Spain or unite with her. We must have the Mississippi. Will you march with us on New Orleans?"

Then, happily, Virginia spoke out for the West. "We 96 must aid them. The free navigation of the Mississippi is the gift of nature to the United States."

The very next day Madison announced in the Virginia Assembly, "I shall move the election of delegates to a Constitutional Convention." The stability of the Union seemed pivoted upon an open river to the Gulf.

Veterans of the Revolution and of the Continental Congress met to frame a constitution in 1787. After weeks of deliberation with closed doors, the immortal Congress adjourned. The Constitution was second only to the Declaration of Independence. Without kings or princes a free people had erected a Continental Republic.

The Constitution was adopted, and all the way into Kentucky wilds were heard the roaring of cannon and ringing of bells that proclaimed the Father of his Country the first President of the United States.

"We must cement the East and the West," said Washington. But that West was drifting away—with its Mississippi.

About this time young Daniel Boone said, "Father, I am going west."

Just eighteen, one year older than William Clark, in the summer of 1787, he concluded to strike out for the Mississippi.

"Well, Dannie boy, thee take the compass," said his father.

It was the old guide, as large as a saucer, that Lord Dunmore gave Boone when he sent him out to call in the surveyors from the Falls of the Ohio thirteen years before.

Mounted on his pony, with a wallet of corn and a rifle on his back, Boone rode straight on westward thirty days without meeting a single human being. Pausing on the river bank opposite St. Louis he hallooed for an hour before any one heard him.

"Dat some person on de oder shore," presently said old René Kiercereaux, the chorister at the village church.

A canoe was sent over and brought back Boone. As if a man had dropped from the moon, French, Spanish, and Indian traders gathered. He spoke not a word of 97 French, but Auguste Chouteau's slave Petrie could talk English.

"Son of Boone, de great hunter? Come to my house!"

"Come to my house!"

The hospitable Creoles strove with one another for the honour of entertaining the son of Daniel Boone. For twelve years he spent his summers in St. Louis and his winters in western Missouri, hunting and trapping.

"The best beaver country on earth," he wrote to his father. "You had better come out."

"Eef your father, ze great Colonel Boone, will remove to Louisiana," said Señor Zenon Trudeau, the Lieutenant-Governor, "eef he will become a citizen of Spain, de King will appreciate de act and reward him handsomely."


"Kentucky! Kentucky! I hear nothing else," exclaimed the Fighting Parson of the Revolution, who had thrown aside his prayer-book and gown to follow the armies of Washington. "If this western exodus continues Virginia bids fair to be depopulated." Even Jack Jouett, who had ridden to warn Jefferson of Tarleton's raid, had gone to become an honoured member of Kentucky's first legislature.

"Father, let me go."

Charles Mynn Thruston, the son of the Fighting Parson, had long desired to follow Fanny Clark, but his father held him back. Smiling now at the ardour of his son, he said, "You may go, my boy. I am thinking of the western country myself."

Preparations were immediately made, business affairs settled, and a farewell dinner brought friends to historic Mount Zion, the famous Shenandoah seat of the Fighting Parson. 98

"A strangah desiahs to know, sah, if he can get dinnah, sah," announced black Sambo.

"Certainly, certainly." Parson Thruston was the soul of hospitality. "Bring him at once to the table, Sambo."

The stranger seated himself and ate in silence.

"I perceive," remarked the Parson after the courses had been removed, "I perceive that you are a traveller. May I inquire whence you come?"

Every ear was intent. "From Kentucky, sir," answered the stranger.

"Ah, that is fortunate. I am about to leave for that country myself," exclaimed young Thruston, "and shall be glad to hear such news as you may have to communicate."

The stranger smiled and pondered. "The only interesting incident that I recall before my departure from Louisville, was the marriage of the Kentucky belle, Miss Fanny Clark, to Dr. O'Fallon."

As if struck by a bolt from heaven, Charles Mynn Thruston fell unconscious to the floor.

Dr. O'Fallon was a young Irish gentleman of talent and learning. An intimate friend of the Governor of South Carolina, just before the Revolution he had come to visit America, but espousing the cause of the colonists, the Governor promptly clapped him into prison.

"Imprisoned O'Fallon!" The people of Charleston arose, liberated him, and drove the Governor to the British fleet in the harbour.

Dr. O'Fallon enlisted as a private soldier. But surgeons were needed,—he soon proved himself one of skill unexcelled in America. General Washington himself ordered him north, and made him Surgeon-General in his own army. Here he remained until the close of the war, and was thanked by Congress for his services.

And now he had visited Kentucky to assist in securing the navigation of the Mississippi, and met—Fanny. With the charming Fanny as his wife, Dr. O'Fallon rode many a mile in the woods, the first great doctor of Louisville.

Other emigrants were bringing other romances, and 99 other tragedies. "Ohio! Ohio! We hear nothing but Ohio!" said the people of New England.

One rainy April morning the "Mayflower," a flatboat with a second Plymouth colony, turned into the Muskingum and founded a settlement.

"Marie, Marie Antoinette,—did she not use her influence in behalf of Franklin's mission to secure the acknowledgment of American independence? Let us name our settlement Marietta."

So were founded the cities of the French king and queen, Louisville and Marietta. A few months later, Kentuckians went over and started Cincinnati on the site of George Rogers Clark's old block-house.

Into the Ohio, people came suddenly and in swarms, "institutional Englishmen," bearing their household gods and shaping a state.

"These men come wearing hats," said the Indians. Frenchmen wore handkerchiefs and never tarried.

Surveyors came.

Squatting around their fires, with astonishment and fear the Indians watched "the white man's devil," squinting over his compass and making marks in his books. Wherever the magical instrument turned all the best lands were bound with chains fast to the white man.

The Indians foresaw their approaching destruction and hung nightly along the river shore, in the thick brush under the sycamores, stealing horses and sinking boats. With tomahawk in hand, a leader among them was young Tecumseh.

"The Ohio shall be the boundary. No white man shall plant corn in Ohio!" cried the Indian.

"Keep the Ohio for a fur preserve," whispered Detroit at his back.

While wedding bells were ringing at Mulberry Hill, Marietta was suffering. The gardens were destroyed by Indian marauders, the game was driven off, and great was the privation within the walled town.

That was the winter when Governor St. Clair came with his beautiful daughter Louisa, the fleetest rider in the chase, the swiftest skater on the ice, and, like all pioneer 100 girls, so skilled with the rifle that she could bring down the bird on the wing, the squirrel from the tree.

Creeping out over the crusty February snow, every family in the settlement had its kettle in the sugar orchard boiling down the maple sap. Corn-meal and sap boiled down together formed for many the daily food.

But with all the bravado of their hearts, men and women passed sleepless vigils while the sentinel stood all night long in the lonely watchtower of the middle blockhouse. At any moment might arise the cry, "The Indians! The Indians are at the gates!" and with the long roll of the drum beating alarm every gun was ready at a porthole and every white face straining through the dark.

When screaming wild geese steering their northern flight gave token of returning spring, when the partridge drummed in the wood and the turkey gobbled, when the red bird made vocal the forest and the hawthorn and dogwood flung out their perfume, then too came the Indian from his winter lair.

"Ah," sighed many a mother, "I prefer the days of gloom and tempest, for then the red man hugs his winter fire."

Always among the first in pursuit of marauding Indians, William Clark as a cadet had already crossed the Ohio with General Scott, "a youth of solid and promising parts and as brave as Cæsar," said Dr. O'Fallon.

Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, presented a memorial to Congress insisting upon the Ohio as the Indian boundary. His son came down to Marietta.

"Ah, yes," was the whispered rumour at Marietta, "young Brant, the educated son of the famous Mohawk leader, aspires to the hand of Louisa St. Clair." But the Revolutionary General spurned his daughter's dusky suitor.

The next day after New Year's, 1791, the Indians swept down on Marietta with the fiendish threat, "Before the trees put forth their leaves again no white man's cabin shall smoke beyond the Ohio."

"Capture St. Clair alive," bade the irate Mohawk chieftain. "Shoot his horse under him but do not 101 kill him." Did he hope yet to win consent to his marriage with Louisa?

The next heard of St. Clair was when the last shattered remnant of his prostrate army fell back on Cincinnati, a defeat darker, more annihilating, more ominous than Braddock's.

"My God," exclaimed Washington, "it's all over! St. Clair's defeated—routed; the officers are nearly all killed, the men by wholesale; the rout is complete—too shocking to think of—and a surprise into the bargain."

No wonder Secretary Lear stood appalled as the great man poured forth his wrath in the house at Philadelphia.

Fifteen hundred went out from Cincinnati,—five hundred came back. A thousand scalps had Thayendanegea.

The news came to Mulberry Hill like a thunderbolt. Kentucky, even Pittsburg, looked for an immediate savage inundation,—for was not all that misty West full of warriors? The old fear leaped anew. Like an irresistible billow they might roll over the unprotected frontier.

From his bed of sickness General Clark started up. "Ah, Detroit! Detroit! Hadst thou been taken my countrymen need not have been so slaughtered."

At Marietta, up in the woods and on the side hills, glittered multitudes of fires, the camps of savages. Hunger added its pangs to fear. The beleaguered citizens sent all the money they could raise by two young men to buy salt, meat, and flour at Redstone-Old-Fort on the Monongahela. Suddenly the river closed with ice; in destitution Marietta waited.

"They have run off with the money," said some.

"They have been killed by Indians," said others. But again, as suddenly, the ice broke, and early in March the young men joyfully moored their precious Kentucky ark at the upper gate of the garrison at Marietta. 102


"Another defeat will ruin the reputation of the government," said Washington, as he sent out "Mad Anthony" Wayne, the uproarious Quaker general, with ruffles, queue, and cocked hat, the stormer of Stony Point in the Revolution.

In vain Wayne sent commissioners to treat with the Indians. Elated with recent victories, "The Ohio shall be the boundary," was the defiant answer.

An Indian captured and brought to Wayne said of the British: "All their speeches to us are red, red as blood. All the wampum and feathers are painted red. Our war-pipes and hatchets are red. Even the tobacco is red for war."

"My mind and heart are upon that river," said Cornplanter, an Indian chief, pointing to the Ohio. "May that water ever continue to be the boundary between the Americans and the Indians."

Commissioned by Washington First Lieutenant of the Fourth Sub-Legion, on the first of September, 1792, William Clark crossed the Ohio and spent the winter at Legionville where Wayne was collecting and drilling his army.

"I will have no six months men," said Wayne. "Two years will it take to organise, drill, and harden them before we think of taking the field."

"We are certain to be scalped," whispered timorous ones, remembering St. Clair's slaughter. Hundreds deserted. The very word Indian inspired terror.

But horse, foot, and artillery, he drilled them, the tremblers took courage, and the government, at last awakened, stood firmly behind with money and supplies.

"Remember, Stony Point was stormed with unloaded muskets. See! You must know the use of the broadsword 103 and of the bayonet, a weapon before which the savages cannot stand."

At work went "Mad Anthony" teaching his men to load and fire upon the run, to leap to the charge with loud halloos, anticipating all possible conditions.

"Charge in open order. Each man rely on himself, and expect a personal encounter with the enemy." The men caught his spirit. Wayne's Legion became a great military school.

Now he was drilling superb Kentucky cavalry, as perfectly matched as the armies of Europe, sorrel and bay, chestnut and gray, bush-whacking and charging, leaping ravines and broken timber, outdoing the Indians themselves in their desperate riding.

And with all this drill, Wayne was erecting and garrisoning forts. In the fall of 1793, Lieutenant Clark was dispatched to Vincennes.

"It appears that all active and laborious commands fall on me," he wrote to his brother Jonathan, in Virginia. "Not only labour, but I like to have starved,—was frozen up in the Wabash twenty days without provisions. In this agreeable situation had once more to depend on my rifle."

After several skirmishes with Indians, Lieutenant Clark returned to Fort Washington (Cincinnati) in May, to be immediately dispatched with twenty-one dragoons and sixty cavalry to escort seven hundred packhorses laden with provisions and clothing to Greenville, a log fort eighty miles north of Cincinnati.

The Shawnees were watching. Upon this rich prize fell an ambuscade of sixty Indians. Eight men were killed, the train began to retreat, when Clark came dashing up from the rear, put the assailants to flight, and saved the day. For this he was thanked by General Wayne.

Washington, Jefferson, the whole country impatiently watched for news of Wayne on the Ohio.

Drill, drill, drill,—keeping out a cloud of scouts that no peering Indian might discover his preparations, Wayne exercised daily now with rifle, sabre, and bayonet until no grizzly frontiersman surpassed his men at the target, 104 no fox-hunter could leap more wildly, no swordsman more surely swing the sharp steel home. At the sight young Tennesseeans and Kentuckians, Virginians of the border and Pennsylvanians of lifetime battle, were eager for the fray.

About midsummer, 1794, Wayne moved out with his Legion, twenty-six hundred strong, and halted at Fort Greenville for sixteen hundred Kentucky cavalry. Brigades of choppers were opening roads here and there to deceive.

"This General that never sleeps is cutting in every direction," whispered the watchful Shawnees. "He is the Black Snake."

For a last time Wayne offered peace. His messengers were wantonly murdered.

The issue at Fallen Timbers lasted forty minutes,—the greatest Indian battle in forty years of battle. Two thousand Indians crouching in the brush looked to see the Americans dismount and tie their horses as they did in St. Clair's battle,—but no, bending low on their horses with gleaming sabres and fixed bayonets, on like a whirlwind came thundering the American cavalry.

"What was it that defeated us? It was the Big Wind, the Tornado," said the Indians.

Matchekewis was there from Sheboygan with his warriors, the Black Partridge from Illinois, and Buckongahelas. The Shawnees had their fill of fighting that day; Tecumseh fell back at the wild onset, retreating inch by inch.

William Clark led to the charge a column of Kentuckians and drove the enemy two miles. But why enumerate in this irresistible legion, where all were heroes on that 20th of August, 1794.

Wayne's victory ended the Revolution. Ninety days after, Lord St. Helens gave up Ohio in his treaty with Jay, and England bound herself to deliver the northwestern posts that her fur traders had hung on to so vainly.

Niagara, Michilimackinac, Detroit, keys to the Lakes, entrepôts to all the fur trade of the Northwest, were lost 105 to Britain for ever. It was hardest to give up Detroit,—it broke up their route and added many a weight to the weary packer's back when the fur trade had to take a more northern outlet along the Ottawa.

It was ten o'clock in the morning of July 11, 1796, when the Detroiters peering through their glasses espied two vessels. "The Yankees are coming!"

A thrill went through the garrison, and even through the flag that fluttered above. The last act in the war of independence was at hand.

The four gates of Detroit opened to be closed no more, as the drawbridge fell over the moat and the Americans marched into the northern stronghold. It was Lernoult's old fort built so strenuously in that icy winter of 1779-80, when "Clark is coming" was the watchword of the north. Scarce a picket in the stockade had been changed since that trying time. Blockhouse, bastion, and battery could so easily have been taken, that even at this day we cannot suppress a regret that Clark had not a chance at Detroit!

Barefooted Frenchmen, dark-eyed French girls, and Indians, Indians everywhere, came in to witness the transfer of Detroit. At noon, July 11, 1796, the English flag was lowered and the Stars and Stripes went up where Clark would fain have hung them seventeen years before.

And the old cellar of the council house! Like a tomb was its revelation, for there, mouldered with the must of years, lay two thousand scalps, long tresses of women, children's golden curls, and the wiry locks of men, thrown into that official cellar in those awful days that now were ended.

The merry Frenchmen on their pipestem farms,—for every inhabitant owned his pathway down to the river,—the merry Frenchmen went on grinding their corn by their old Dutch windmills, went on pressing their cider in their gnarled old apple orchards. They could not change the situation if they would, and they would not if they could. The lazy windmills of Detroit swung round and round as if it had been ever thus. Still the 106 Indians slid in and out and still the British traders lingered, loath to give up the fur trade of the Lakes.

The next year after Wayne's victory the last buffalo in Ohio was killed, and in 1796 the first American cabins were built at Cleveland and Chillicothe. For the first time the Ohio, the great highway, was safe. Passenger boats no longer had bullet-proof cabins, no longer trailed cannon on their gunwales. In that year twenty thousand emigrants passed down the Ohio. Astonished and helpless the red men saw the tide. By 1800 there were more whites in the Mississippi valley than there were Indians in all North America.


Early in April of 1793 a company of French merchants sat at a dinner in New Orleans. Before them magnolias bloomed in the plaza. Out in the harbour their vessels were flying the Spanish flag.

"Spain has declared war against France. A French frigate is sailing for the Gulf."

Like a bomb the announcement burst in their midst.

The fine and handsome face of Charles De Pauw was lit with determination. He had come over with Lafayette, and had invested a fortune in the new world.

"My ships are in danger. I will haul down the Spanish colours and float the American flag. Long enough have the Frenchmen of Missouri and Illinois endured the Spanish yoke. Long enough have our cargoes been confiscated and our trade ruined by unnecessary and tyrannical restrictions."

"But America will not help us."

"The Kentuckians will," answered De Pauw. "Already they are begging George Rogers Clark to march on New Orleans." 107

A huzza rang round the table. "We shall be here to help him."

"Every settlement that borders the Mississippi will join with us. Spain rules to Pittsburg, dictates prices, opens and closes markets. Will Americans endure that? From New Orleans to British America, Spain stretches an invisible cordon, 'thus far and no farther.' All beyond is the private park of Don Carlos IV."

"What will Congress do?"

"Congress?" echoed another. "What does it matter to those people beyond the Alleghanies? They are very far away. Europe is not so remote. Our interests lie with Mississippi and the sea."

"But that would dismember the Union."

"Will it dismember the Union for the Louisianians to break their fetter from Spain and thereby give us a market clear of duty? The Kentuckians, equally with us, are irritated at the Spanish Government. We have a right to strike Spain."

Charles De Pauw renamed his schooner the "Maria" and sailed out of the Gulf under the Stars and Stripes. On the way to New York he met the frigate returning that brought the French minister, Charles Genet, to Charleston.

Acres of flatboats lay freighted on the dimpling Ohio. Corn, wheat, oats, rye,—the worn-out tobacco lands of Virginia knew nothing like it. But the Spaniard stood at the gate and locked up the river.

"A King?" Americans laughed at the fancy. "A King to check or hinder us in our rights? Who shall refuse us? Are we not Americans?"

"The Mississippi is ours," cried Kentucky. "By the law of nature, by the authority of numbers, by the right of necessity. If Congress will not give it to us, we must take it ourselves."

And now France—

George Rogers Clark was profoundly moved by the French crusade for liberty. "We owe it to France to help her. Was not France our friend in the time of trouble?" 108

Then he wrote to the French minister, tendering his services to France in her arduous struggle:

"I would begin with St. Louis, a rich, large, and populous town, and by placing two or three frigates within the Mississippi's mouth (to guard against Spanish succours) I would engage to subdue New Orleans, and the rest of Louisiana. If farther aided I would capture Pensacola; and if Santa Fé and the rest of New Mexico were objects—I know their strength and every avenue leading to them, for conquest.—All the routes as well as the defenceless situation of those places are perfectly known to me and I possess draughts of all their defences, and estimates of the greatest force which could oppose me. If France will be hearty and secret in this business my success borders on certainty.—The route from St. Louis to Santa Fé is easy, and the places not very distant.... To save Congress from a rupture with Spain on our account, we must first expatriate ourselves and become French citizens. This is our intention."

On its errand of good or ill the letter sped to the French minister to the United States, and lo! that minister was Genet, just landed at Charleston.

Genet had come from Revolutionary France, at this moment fighting all Europe, so frightfully had upblazed the tiny spark of liberty borne back by the soldiers of Rochambeau.

André Michaux was instructed to hasten to the Falls of the Ohio with this message to George Rogers Clark:

"The French minister has filled out this blank commission from his Government making you a Marshal of France, Major General and Commander-in-Chief of the French Legion on the Mississippi."

Thus had Genet answered the letter.

New Orleans was watching. "The Americans are threatening us with an army assembling on the Ohio," wrote Carondelet in alarm to Spain.

"Ill-disposed and fanatical citizens in this Capital," he added, "restless and turbulent men infatuated with Liberty and Equality, are increased with every vessel that comes from the ports of France." 109

He begged Spain to send him troops from Cuba. He begged the Captain General of Cuba to send him troops from Havana.

Gayoso put his fort at Vicksburg in defence and Carondelet sent up a division of galleys to New Madrid and St. Louis.

But Carondelet, the Governor of Louisiana, had his hands full. Frenchmen of his own city were signing papers to strike a blow for France. He would build defences,—they opposed and complained of his measures. Merchants and others whose business suffered by the uncertainties of commerce took no responsibility as the domineering little Baron endeavoured to fortify New Orleans with palisaded wall, towers, and a moat seven feet deep and forty feet wide.

"It may happen that the enemy will try to surprise the plaza on a dark night," said the Baron.

All the artillery was mounted. Haughty Spanish cavaliers with swords and helmets paced the parapets of the grim pentagonal bastions. Watchmen with spears and lanterns guarded the gates below. The city was in terror of assault. At every rise of the river Carondelet looked for a filibustering army out of the north. By every ship runners were sent to Spain.

News of the intended raid penetrated even the Ursuline Convent. Sister Infelice paled when she heard it, gave a little gasp, and fainted.

"Clearly she fears, the gentle sister fears these northern barbarians," remarked the Mother Superior. "Take her to her chamber."

And St. Louis,—not since 1780 had she been so alarmed. The Governor constructed a square redoubt flanked by bastions, dug a shallow moat, and raised a fort on the hill. Seventeen grenadiers with drawn sabres stood at the drawbridge.

"Immediately on the approach of the enemy, retreat to New Madrid," was the order of this puissant Governor.

George Rogers Clark, who had planned and executed the conquest of Illinois, burned now for the conquest of Louisiana. And the West looked to him; she 110 despised and defied the Spaniard as she despised and defied the Indian. They blocked the way, they must depart.

Clark's old veteran officers Christy, Logan, Montgomery, sent word they would serve under his command. The French squadron at Philadelphia was to set sail for the Gulf.

Major Fulton and Michaux, Clark's right-hand men, travelled all over the West enlisting men, provisions, and money. De Pauw engaged to furnish four hundred barrels of flour and a thousand-weight of bacon, and to send brass cannon over the mountains. In December Clark's men were already cutting timber to build boats on the Bear Grass. Five thousand men were to start in the Spring, provided Congress did not oppose and Genet could raise a million dollars.

In despair Carondelet wrote home, saying that if the project planned was carried into effect, he would have no other alternative but to surrender.

"Having no reinforcements to hope for from Havana, I have no further hope than in the faults the enemy may commit and in accidents which may perhaps favour us."

Carondelet gave up. In March he wrote again, "The commandant at Post Vincennes has offered cannon for the use of the expedition."

Early in January Clark was writing to De Pauw, "Have your stores at the Falls by the 20th of February, as in all probability we shall descend the river at that time."

Montgomery reported, "arms and ammunition, five hundred bushels of corn and ten thousand pounds of pork, also twenty thousand weight of buffalo beef, eleven hundred weight of bear meat, seventy-four pair venison hams, and some beef tongues."

With two hundred men Montgomery lay at the mouth of the Ohio ready to cross over. Not ninety Spaniards of regular troops were there to defend St. Louis, and two hundred militia, and the Governor had only too much reason to fear that St. Louis would open her gates and 111 join the invader. All that was lacking was money. Hundreds of Kentuckians waited the signal to take down their guns and march on New Orleans.

But the ministers of Spain and of Great Britain had not been quiet. They both warned Washington. Could he hold the lawless West? It was a problem for statesmen.

Jefferson wrote to Governor Shelby of Kentucky to restrain the expedition.

"I have grave doubts," Governor Shelby answered, "whether there is any legal authority to restrain or to punish them. For, if it is lawful for any one citizen of the state to leave it, it is equally so for any number of them to do it. It is also lawful for them to carry any quantity of provisions, arms, and ammunition.—I shall also feel but little inclination to take an active part in punishing or retaining any of my fellow citizens for a supposed intention only, to gratify the fears of the ministers of a prince who openly withholds from us an invaluable right, and who secretly instigates against us a most savage and cruel enemy."

Washington promptly issued a proclamation of neutrality and requested the recall of Genet. From the new Minister of France Clark received formal notice that the conquest of Louisiana was abandoned. But Spain had had her fright. She at once opened the river, and the mass of collected produce found its way unimpeded to the sea.

In June Congress passed a law for ever forbidding such expeditions.

"I have learned that the Spaniards have built a fort at Chickasaw Bluff, on this side of the river," said General Wayne, one night in September, 1795, summoning William Clark to his headquarters. "I desire you to go down to the commanding officer on the west side and inquire his intentions."

Why, of all that army, had Wayne chosen the young lieutenant of the Fourth Sub-Legion for this errand? Was it because he bore the name of Clark? Very well; both knew why Spain had advanced to the Chickasaw Bluff. 112

As Washington went forty years before to inquire of the French, "Why are you building forts on the Ohio?" so now William Clark, on board the galiot, "La Vigilante," dropped down to New Madrid and asked the Spaniard, "Why are you building forts on the Mississippi?"

Down came Charles De Hault De Lassus, the Commandant himself. "I assure you we have been very far from attempting to usurp the territory of a nation with whom we desire to remain in friendship," protested the courtly Commandant with a wave of his sword and a flutter of his plume. "But the threats of the French republicans living in the United States,"—he paused for a reply.

"Calm yourself," replied Lieutenant Clark. "Read here the pacific intentions of my country."

None better than William Clark understood the virtues of conciliation and persuasion. "I assure you that the United States is disposed to preserve peace with all the powers of Europe, and with Spain especially."

With mutual expressions of esteem and cordial parting salvos, Lieutenant Clark left his Spanish friends with a mollified feeling toward "those turbulent Americans."

Nevertheless George Rogers Clark had opened the river, to be closed again at peril.

Among the soldiers at Wayne's camp that winter was Lieutenant Meriwether Lewis, "just from the Whiskey Rebellion," he said. Between him and William Clark, now Captain Clark, there sprang up the most intimate friendship.

"The nature of the Insurrection?" remarked Lewis in his camp talks with Clark. "Why, the Pennsylvania mountaineers about Redstone-Old-Fort refused to pay the whiskey tax, stripped, tarred, and feathered the collectors! 'The people must be taught obedience,' said General Washington, and, after all peaceable means failed, he marched fifteen thousand militia into the district. The thought that Washington was coming at the head of troops made them reconsider. They sent deputations to make terms about the time of Wayne's battle. We built 113 log huts and forted for the winter on the Monongahela about fifteen miles above Pittsburg."

"And so the Spaniards have come to terms?" queried Lewis as Clark still remained silent.

"Yes, they have opened the river."

"I came near being in the midst of that," continued Lewis. "Michaux came to Charlottesville. I was eighteen, just out of school and eager for adventure. Michaux was to explore the West. Mr. Jefferson had a plan for sending two people across the Rocky Mountains. I begged to go, and probably should, had not Michaux been recalled when the new French minister came in."

"Rest assured," replied Clark solemnly, "no exploration of the West can ever be made while Spain holds Louisiana."


"My claim is as just as the book we swear by."

The hero of the heroic age of the Middle West was discussing his debts for the conquest of Illinois. "I have given the United States half the territory they possess, and for them to suffer me to remain in poverty in consequence of it will not redound to their honour. I engaged in the Revolution with all the ardour that youth could possess. My zeal and ambition rose with my success, determined to save those countries which had been the seat of my toil, at the hazard of my life and fortune.

"At the most gloomy period of the war when a ration could not be purchased on public credit, I risked my own credit, gave my bonds, mortgaged my lands for supplies, paid strict attention to every department, flattered the friendly and confused the hostile tribes of Indians, by my emissaries baffled my internal enemies (the most dangerous of all to public interest), and carried my point. 114

"Thus at the end of the war I had the pleasure of seeing my country secure, but with the loss of my manual activity. Demands of very great amount were not paid, others with depreciated paper. Now suits are commenced against me, for those sums in specie. My military and other lands, earned by my services, are appropriated for the payment of these debts, and demands yet are remaining, to a considerable amount more than the remains of a shattered fortune will pay.

"This is truly my situation. I see no other recourse remaining but to make application to my country for redress."

Brooding over his troubles, George Rogers Clark had built himself a little cabin at the Point of Rock, overlooking the Falls of the Ohio, and gone into a self-chosen St. Helena. The waves dashed and roared below and the mist arose, as he looked out on Corn Island, scene of his earliest exploit.

A library of handsome books was the principal ornament the house contained. Reading, hunting, fishing, he passed his days, while the old negro servants attended to the kitchen and the garden.

"I have come," answered his brother William, "I have retired from the army, to devote myself to you. Now what can be done?"

"Done? Look at these bills. Gratiot's is paid, thank God, or he would have been a ruined man. Monroe helped him through with that. And Menard's? That is shelved at Richmond for fifty years." General Clark turned the leaves of his note-book.

"And Vigo? But for him I could never have surprised Vincennes. He was the best friend I had, and the best still, except you, William."

A singular affection bound these two brothers. It seemed almost as if William took up the life of George Rogers where it was broken off, and carried it on to a glorious conclusion.

"Virginia acknowledges Vigo's debt, certifies that it has never been paid but she has ceded those lands to the Government. Who then shall pay it but Congress? The 115 debt was necessary and lawful in contracting for supplies for the conquest of Illinois. Could I have done with less? God knows we went with parched corn only in our wallets and depended on our rifles for the rest. Tell him to keep the draft, Virginia will pay it, or Congress, some time or other, with interest."

Again, at William's persuasion, the General came home to Mulberry Hill. An expert horseman, everybody in Louisville knew Captain Clark, who, wrapped in his cloak, came spurring home night after night on his blooded bay, with York at his side, darkness nor swollen fords nor wildly beating storms stopping his journey as he came bearing news to his brother.

"I have ridden for brother George in the course of this year upwards of three thousand miles," wrote the Captain to his brother Edmund, in December, 1797, "continually in the saddle, attempting to save him, and have been serviceable to him in several instances. I have but a few days returned from Vincennes attending a suit for twenty-four thousand dollars against him."

These long journeys included tours to St. Louis, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, among the General's old debtors, proving that the articles for which he was sued were for his troops, powder and military stores.

"The General is very ill again," said father Clark, walking up and down the entry before the chamber door. The old man's severe countenance always relaxed when he spoke of "the General." Of all his children, George Rogers was the one least expected to fall into dissipation, but now in rheumatic distress, old before his time, George Rogers sometimes drank.

"Cover him, shield him, let not the world witness my brother's weakness," William would say at such times, affectionately detaining him at Mulberry Hill.

Glancing into the dining-room, the white-haired cavalier noticed Fanny and her children and others sitting around the table. Preoccupied, the old man approached, and leaning over a chair delivered an impressive grace.

"Now, my children, you can eat your dinner. Do not wait for me," and again he took up his walk in the entry 116 outside the chamber door. A smile wreathed the faces of all; there was no dinner; they were simply visiting near the table.

With children and grandchildren around him, the house at Mulberry Hill was always full. At Christmas or Thanksgiving, when Lucy came with her boys from Locust Grove, "Well, my children," father Clark would say, "if I thought we would live, mother and I, five years longer, I would build a new house."

But the day before Christmas, 1798, the silky white hair of Ann Rogers Clark was brushed back for the last time, in the home that her taste had beautified with the groves and flowers of Mulberry Hill.

More and more frequently the old cavalier retired to his rustic arbour in the garden.

"I must hunt up father, he will take cold," William would say; and there on a moonlight night, on his knees in prayer, the old man would be found, among the cedars and honeysuckles of Mulberry Hill.

"Why do you dislike old John Clark," some one asked of a neighbour when the venerable man lay on his death-bed.

"What? I dislike old John Clark? I revere and venerate him. His piety and virtues may have been a reproach, but I reverence and honour old John Clark."

By will the property was divided, and the home at Mulberry Hill went to William.

"In case Jonathan comes to Kentucky he may be willing to buy the place," said William. "If he does I shall take the cash to pay off these creditors of yours."

"Will you do that?" exclaimed George Rogers Clark gratefully. "I can make it good to you when these lands of mine come into value."

"Never mind that, brother, never mind that. The honour of the family demands it. And those poor Frenchmen are ruined."

"Indians are at the Falls!"

Startled, even now the citizens of Louisville were ready to fly out with shotguns in memory of old animosities.

Nothing chills the kindlier impulses like an Indian war. 117 Children age, young men frost and wrinkle, women turn into maniacs. Every log hut had its bedridden invalid victim of successive frights and nervous prostration. Only the stout and sturdy few survived in after days to tell of those fierce times when George Rogers Clark was the hope and safety of the border. To these, the Indian was a serpent in the path, a panther to be hunted.

"Hist! go slow. 'Tis the Delaware chiefs come down to visit George Rogers Clark," said Simon Kenton.

In these days of peace, remembering still their old terror of the Long Knife, a deputation of chiefs had come to visit Clark. In paint and blankets, with lank locks flapping in the breeze, they strode up the catalpa avenue, sniffing the odours of Mulberry Hill. General Clark looked from the window. Buckongahelas led the train, with Pierre Drouillard, the interpreter.

Drouillard had become, for a time, a resident of Kentucky. Simon Kenton, hearing that the preserver of his life had fallen into misfortune since the surrender of Detroit, sent for him, gave him a piece of his farm, and built him a cabin. George Drouillard, a son, named for George III., was becoming a famous hunter on the Mississippi.

"We have come," said Buckongahelas, "to touch the Long Knife."

Before Clark realised what they were doing, the Indians had snipped off the tail of his blue military coat with their hunting knives.

"This talisman will make us great warriors," said Buckongahelas, carefully depositing a fragment in his bosom.

Clark laughed, but from that time the Delaware King and his braves were frequent visitors to the Long Knife, who longed to live in the past, forgetting misfortune.

But George Rogers Clark was not alone in financial disaster. St. Clair had expended a fortune in the cause of his country and at last, accompanied by his devoted daughter, retired to an old age of penury.

Boone, too, had his troubles. Never having satisfied the requirements of law concerning his claim, he was 118 left landless in the Kentucky he had pioneered for civilisation. Late one November day in 1798 he was seen wending his way through the streets of Cincinnati, with Rebecca and all his worldly possessions mounted on packhorses.

"Where are you going?" queried an old-time acquaintance.

"Too much crowded, too many people. I am going west where there is more elbow room."

"Ze celebrated Colonel Boone ees come to live een Louisiana," said the Spanish officers of St. Louis. The Stars and Stripes and the yellow flag of Spain were hung out side by side, and the garrison came down out of the stone fort on the hill to parade in honour of Daniel Boone.

No such attentions had ever been paid to Daniel Boone at home. He dined with the Governor at Government House and was presented with a thousand arpents of land, to be located wherever he pleased, "in the district of the Femme Osage."

Beside a spring on a creek flowing into the Missouri Boone built his pioneer cabin, beyond the farthest border settlement.

"Bring a hundred more American families and we will give you ten thousand arpents of land," said the Governor.

Back to his old Kentucky stamping ground went Boone, and successfully piloted out a settlement of neighbours and comrades. Directly, Colonel Daniel Boone was made Commandant of the Femme Osage District. His word became law in the settlement, and here he held his court under a spreading elm that stands to-day, the Judgment Tree of Daniel Boone. 119


In the autumn days as the century was closing, William Clark set out for Virginia, as his brother had done in other years. Kentucky was filled with old forts, neglected bastions, moats, and blockhouses, their origin forgotten. Already the builders had passed on westward.

The Boone trace was lined now with settlements, a beaten bridle-path thronged with emigrant trains kicking up the dust. Through the frowning portals of Cumberland Gap, Captain Clark and his man York galloped into Virginia.

From the southern border of Virginia to the Potomac passes the old highway, between the Alleghanies and the Blue Ridge. Cantering thoughtfully along under the broad-leaved locusts and laurels, a melody like the laugh of wood-nymphs rippled from the forest.

"Why don't he go?" cried a musical feminine voice. "Oh, Harriet, Harriet!" With more laughter came a rustling of green leaves. Parting the forest curtain to discover the source of this unusual commotion, Captain Clark descried two girls seated on a small pony, switching with all their slender energy.

"His feet are set. He will not move, Judy."

Leaping at once from his saddle, the Captain bowed low to the maidens in distress. "Can I be of any assistance?"

The sudden apparition of a handsome soldier in tri-cornered hat and long silk hose quite took their breath away.

"Thank you, sir knight," answered the blonde with a flush of bewitching colour. "Firefly, my pony, seems to object to carrying two, but we cannot walk across that ford. My cousin and I have on our satin slippers."

The Captain laughed, and taking the horse's bridle 120 easily led them beyond the mountain rill that dashed across their pathway.

"And will you not come to my father's house?" inquired the maiden. "It is here among the trees."

Clark looked,—the roof and gables of a comfortable Virginian mansion shone amid the greenery. "I fear not. I must reach Colonel Hancock's to-night."

"This is Colonel Hancock's," the girls replied with a smothered laugh.

At a signal, York lifted the five-barred gate and all passed in to the long green avenue.

"The brother of my old friend, General George Rogers Clark!" exclaimed Colonel Hancock. "Glad to see you, glad to see you. Many a time has he stopped on this road."

The Hancocks were among the founders of Virginia. With John Smith the first one came over "in search of Forrest for his building of Ships," and was "massacred by ye salvages at Thorp's House, Berkeley Hundred."

General Hancock, the father of the present Colonel, equipped a regiment for his son at the breaking out of the Revolution. On Pulaski's staff, the young Colonel received the body of the illustrious Pole as he fell at the siege of Savannah.

From his Sea Island plantations and the sound of war in South Carolina, General Hancock, old and in gout, set out for Virginia. But Pulaski had fallen and his son was a prisoner under Cornwallis. Attended only by his daughter Mary and a faithful slave, the General died on the way and was buried by Uncle Primus on the top of King's Mountain some weeks before the famous battle.

Released on parole and finding his fortune depleted, Colonel George Hancock read Blackstone and the Virginia laws, took out a license, married, and settled at Fincastle. Here his children were born, of whom Judy was the youngest daughter. Later, by the death of that heroic sister Mary, a niece had come into the family, Harriet Kennerly. These were the girls that Captain Clark had encountered in his morning ride among the mountains of Fincastle. 121

"Your brother, the General, and I journeyed together to Philadelphia, when he was Commissioner of Indian affairs. Is he well and enjoying the fruits of his valour?" continued the Colonel.

"My brother is disabled, the result of exposure in his campaigns. He will never recover. I am now visiting Virginia in behalf of his accounts with the Assembly,—they have never been adjusted. He even thought you, his old friend, might be able to lend assistance, either in Virginia or in Congress."

"I am honoured by the request. You may depend upon me."

Colonel George Hancock had been a member of the Fourth Congress in Washington's administration, and with a four-horse family coach travelled to and from Philadelphia attending the sessions.

Here the little Judy's earliest recollections had been of the beautiful Dolly Todd who was about to wed Mr. Madison. Jefferson was Secretary of State then, and his daughters, Maria and Martha, came often to visit Judy's older sisters, Mary and Caroline.

Judy's hair was a fluff of gold then; shading to brown, it was a fluff of gold still, that Granny Molly found hard to keep within bounds. Harriet, her cousin, of dark and splendid beauty, a year or two older, was ever the inseparable companion of Judy Hancock.

"Just fixing up the place again," explained Colonel Hancock. "It has suffered from my absence at Philadelphia. A tedious journey, a tedious journey from Fincastle."

But to the children that journey had been a liberal education. The long bell-trains of packhorses, the rumbling Conestogas, the bateaux and barges, the great rivers and dense forests, the lofty mountains and wide farmlands, the towns and villages, Philadelphia itself, were indelibly fixed in their memory and their fancy.

Several times in the course of the next few years, William Clark had occasion to visit Virginia in behalf of his brother, and each time more and more he noted the budding graces of the maids of Fincastle. 122


The funeral bells of Washington tolled in 1800. President Washington was dead. Napoleon was first Consul of France. The old social systems of Europe were tottering. The new social system of America was building. The experiment of self-government had triumphed, and out of the storm-tossed seas still grandly rode the Constitution. Out of the birth of parties and political excitement, Thomas Jefferson came to the Presidency.

The stately mansion of Monticello was ablaze with light. Candles lit up every window. Not only Monticello, but all Charlottesville was illuminated, with torches, bonfires, tar-barrels. Friends gathered with congratulations and greeting.

As Washington had turned with regret from the banks of the Potomac to fill the first presidency, and as Patrick Henry, the gifted, chafed in Congressional halls, so now Jefferson with equal regret left the shades of Monticello.

"No pageant shall give the lie to my democratic principles," he said, as in plain citizen clothes with a few of his friends he repaired to the Capital and took the oath of office. And by his side, with luminous eyes and powdered hair, sat Aaron Burr, the Vice-President.

Jefferson, in the simplicity of his past, had penned everything for himself. Now he began to feel the need of a secretary. There were many applicants, but the President's eye turned toward the lad who nine years before had begged to go with Michaux to the West.

"The appointment to the Presidency of the United States has rendered it necessary for me to have a private secretary," he wrote to Meriwether Lewis. "Your knowledge of the western country, of the army and of all its interests, has rendered it desirable that you should 123 be engaged in that office. In point of profit it has little to offer, the salary being only five hundred dollars, but it would make you know and be known to characters of influence in the affairs of our country."

Meriwether was down on the Ohio. In two weeks his reply came back from Pittsburg. "I most cordially acquiesce, and with pleasure accept the office, nor were further motives necessary to induce my compliance than that you, sir, should conceive that in the discharge of the duties, I could be serviceable to my country as well as useful to yourself."

As soon as he could wind up his affairs, Captain Lewis, one of the handsomest men in the army, appeared in queue and cocked hat, silk stockings and knee buckles, at the President's house in wide and windy Washington to take up his duties as private secretary.

From his earliest recollection, Meriwether Lewis had known Thomas Jefferson, as Governor in the days of Tarleton's raid, and as a private farmer and neighbour at Monticello. After Meriwether's mother married Captain Marks and moved to Georgia, Jefferson went to France, and his uncle, Colonel Nicholas Lewis, looked after the finances of the great estate at Monticello.

Under the guardianship of that uncle, Meriwether attended the school of Parson Maury, the same school where Jefferson had been fitted for college.

He remembered, too, that day when Jefferson came back from France and all the slaves at Monticello rushed out and drew the carriage up by hand, crowding around, kissing his hands and feet, blubbering, laughing, crying. How the slaves fell back to admire the young ladies that had left as mere children! Martha, a stately girl of seventeen, and little Maria, in her eleventh year, a dazzling vision of beauty. Ahead of everybody ran the gay and sunny Jack Eppes to escort his little sweetheart.

Both daughters were married now, and with families of their own, so more than ever Jefferson depended on Meriwether Lewis. They occupied the same chamber and lived in a degree of intimacy that perhaps has subsisted between no other president and his private secretary. 124

With his favourite Chickasaw horses, Arcturus and Wildair, the President rode two hours every day, Meriwether often with him, directing the workmen on the new Capitol, unfinished still amid stone and masonry tools.

Washington himself chose the site, within an amphitheatre of hills overlooking the lordly Potomac where he camped as a youth on Braddock's expedition. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, riding ever to and from Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier, discussed the plans and set the architects to work. Now it fell to Jefferson to carry on what Washington had so well begun.

Thomas Jefferson was a social man, and loved a throng about him. The vast and vacant halls of the White House would have been dreary but for the retinue of guests. Eleven servants had been brought from Monticello, and half-a-dozen from Paris,—Petit, the butler, M. Julien, the cook, a French chef, Noel, the kitchen boy, and Joseph Rapin, the steward. Every morning Rapin went to the Georgetown market, and Meriwether Lewis gave him his orders.

"For I need you, Meriwether, not only for the public, but as well for the private concerns of the household," said the President affectionately. "And I depend on you to assist in entertaining."

"At the head of the table, please," said the President, handing in Mrs. Madison. "I shall have to request you to act as mistress of the White House."

In his own youth Jefferson had cherished an affection for Dolly Madison's mother, the beautiful Mary Coles, so it became not difficult to place her daughter in the seat of honour.

There were old-style Virginia dinners, with the art of Paris, for ever after his foreign experience Jefferson insisted on training his own servants in the French fashion. At four they dined, and sat and talked till night, Congressmen, foreigners, and all sorts of people, with the ever-present cabinet.

James Madison, Secretary of State, was a small man, easy, dignified, and fond of conversation, with pale student face like a young theologian just out of the cloister. 125 Dolly herself powdered his hair, tied up his queue, and fastened his stock; very likely, too, prescribed his elegant knee breeches and buckles and black silk stockings, swans' down buff vest, long coat, and lace ruffles. "A very tasty old-school gentleman," said the guests of the White House.

Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, born and bred a scholar, was younger than either Madison or Jefferson, well read, with a slightly Genevan accent, and a prominent nose that marked him a man of affairs.

But everything revolved about Jefferson, in the village of Washington and in the country at large. Next to General Washington he filled the largest space in public esteem.

Slim, tall, and bony, in blue coat faced with yellow, green velveteen breeches, red plush waist-coat and elaborate shirt frill, long stockings and slippers with silver buckles,—just so had he been ever since his Parisian days, picturesquely brilliant in dress and speech, talking, talking, ever genially at the White House.

Before the "Mayflower" brought the first Puritans to New England the Jeffersons had settled in Virginia. The President's mother was a Randolph of patrician blood. A hundred servants attended in Isham Randolph's, her father's house. Peter Jefferson, his father, was a democrat of democrats, a man of the people. Perhaps Thomas had felt the sting of Randolph pride that a daughter had married a homely rawboned Jefferson, but all the man in him rose up for that Jefferson from whom he was sprung. Thomas Jefferson, the son, was just such a thin homely rawboned youth as his father had been. Middle age brought him good looks, old age made him venerable, an object of adoration to a people.

Always up before sunrise, he routed out Meriwether. There were messages to send, or letters to write, or orders for Rapin before the round disk of day reddened the Potomac.

No woman ever brushed his gray neglected hair tied so loosely in a club behind; it was Jeffersonian to have it neglected and tumbled all over his head. Everybody 126 went to the White House for instruction, entertainment; and Jefferson—was Jefferson.

Of course he had his enemies, even there. Twice a month Colonel Burr, the Vice-President, the great anti-Virginian, dined at the White House. Attractive in person, distinguished in manner, all looked upon Colonel Burr as next in the line of Presidential succession. He came riding back and forth between Washington and his New York residence at Richmond Hill, and with him the lovely Theodosia, the intimate friend of Dolly Madison and Mrs. Gallatin.

Lewis understood some of the bitter and deadly political controversies that were smothered now under the ever genial conversation of the President, for Jefferson, the great apostle of popular sovereignty, could no more conceal his principles than he could conceal his personality. Everything he discussed,—science, politics, philosophy, art, music. None there were more widely read, none more travelled than the President.

But he dearly loved politics. Greater, perhaps, was Jefferson in theory than in execution. His eye would light with genius, as he propounded his views.

"Science, did you say? The main object of all science is the freedom and happiness of man, and these are the sole objects of all legitimate government. Why, Washington himself hardly believed that so liberal a government as this could succeed, but he was resolved to give the experiment a trial. And now, our people are throwing aside the monarchical and taking up the republican form, with as much ease as would have attended their throwing off an old and putting on a new suit of clothes. I am persuaded that no Constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire."

To Jefferson it had fallen to overthrow church establishment and entail and primogeniture in Virginia, innovations that were followed by all the rest of the States.

"At least," pleaded an opponent, "if the eldest may no longer inherit all the lands and all the slaves of his father, let him take a double share."

"No," said Jefferson, "not until he can eat a double 127 allowance of food and do a double allowance of work. Instead of an aristocracy of wealth, I would make an opening for an aristocracy of virtue and talent."

"But see to what Mr. Jefferson and his levelling system has brought us," cried even John Randolph of Roanoke, as one after another of the estates of thousands of acres slid into the hands of the people.

He prohibited the importation of slaves, and, if he could have done it, would have abolished slavery itself before it became the despair of a people.

"Franklin a great orator? Why, no, he never spoke in Congress more than five minutes at a time, and then he related some anecdote which applied to the subject before the House. I have heard all the celebrated orators of the National Assembly of France, but there was not one equal to Patrick Henry."

And then, confidentially, sometimes he told a tale of the Declaration of Independence. "I shall never cease to be grateful to John Adams, the colossus of that debate. While the discussion was going on, fatherly old Ben Franklin, seventy years old, leaning on his cane, sat by my side, and comforted me with his jokes whenever the criticisms were unusually bitter. The Congress held its meetings near a livery stable. The members wore short breeches and thin silk stockings, and with handkerchief in hand they were diligently employed in lashing the flies from their legs. So very vexatious was the annoyance, and to so great impatience did it arouse the sufferers, that they were only too glad to sign the Declaration and fly from the scene."

Two visits every year Jefferson made to his little principality of two hundred inhabitants at Monticello, a short one early in the Spring and a longer one in the latter part of Summer, when he always took his daughter Martha and family from Edge Hill with him, for it would not seem home without Martha to superintend.

Here Jefferson had organised his slaves into a great industrial school, had his own carpenters, cabinet-makers, shoe-makers, tailors, weavers, had a nail forge and made nails for his own and neighbouring estates,—his black 128 mechanics were the best in Virginia. Even the family coach was made at Monticello, and the painting and the masonry of the mansion were all executed by slaves on the place.

On the Rivanna Jefferson had a mill, where his wheat was manufactured into flour and sent down to Richmond on bateaux to be sold for a good price, and cotton brought home to be made into cloth on the plantation. No wonder, when the master was gone, so extensive an industrial plant ceased to be remunerative.

Jefferson was always sending home shrubbery and trees from Washington,—he knew every green thing on every spot of his farm; and Bacon, the manager, seldom failed to send the cart back laden with fruit from Monticello for the White House.

While the President at Monticello was giving orders to Goliah, the gardener, to Jupiter, the hostler, to Bacon and all the head men of the shops, Lewis would gallop home to visit his mother at Locust Hill just out of Charlottesville.

Before the Revolution, Meriwether's father, William Lewis, had received from George III. a patent for three thousand acres of choice Ivy Creek land in Albemarle, commanding an uninterrupted view of the Blue Ridge for one hundred and fifty miles. Here Meriwether was born, and Reuben and Jane.

"If Captain John Marks courts you I advise you to marry him," said Colonel William Lewis to his wife, on his death-bed after the surrender of Cornwallis. In a few years she did marry Captain Marks, and in Georgia were born Meriwether's half brother and sister, John and Mary Marks.

Another spot almost as dear to Meriwether Lewis was the plantation of his uncle Nicholas Lewis, "The Farm," adjoining Monticello. It was here he saw Hamilton borne by, a prisoner of war, on the way to Williamsburg, and here it was that Tarleton made his raid and stole the ducks from Aunt Molly's chicken yard.

A strict disciplinarian, rather severe in her methods, and very industrious was Aunt Molly, "Captain Molly" 129 they called her. "Even Colonel 'Nick,' although he can whip the British, stands in wholesome awe of Captain Molly, his superior in the home guards," said the gossiping neighbours of Charlottesville.

As a boy on this place, Meriwether visited the negro cabins, followed the overseer, or darted on inquiry bent through stables, coach-house, hen-house, smoke-house, dove cote, and milk-room, the ever-attending lesser satellites of every mansion-house of old Virginia.

"Bless your heart, my boy," was Aunt Molly's habitual greeting, "to be a good boy is the surest way to be a great man."

A tender heart had Aunt Molly, doctress of half the countryside, who came to her for remedies and advice. Her home was ever open to charity. As friends she nursed and cared for Burgoyne's men, the Saratoga prisoners.

"Bury me under the tulip tree on top of the hill overlooking the Rivanna," begged one of the sick British officers. True to her word, Aunt Molly had him laid under the tulip tree. Many generations of Lewises and Meriwethers lie now on that hill overlooking the red Rivanna, but the first grave ever made there was that of the British prisoner so kindly cared for by Meriwether Lewis's Aunt Molly.

"Meriwether and Lewis are old and honoured names in Virginia. I really believe the boy will be a credit to the family," said Aunt Molly when the President's secretary reined up on Wildair at the gate. The Captain's light hair rippled into a graceful queue tied with a ribbon, and his laughing blue eyes flashed as Maria Wood ran out to greet her old playfellow. Aunt Molly was Maria's grandmother.

"Very grand is my cousin Meriwether now," began the mischievous Maria. "Long past are those days when as a Virginia ranger he prided himself on rifle shirts faced with fringe, wild-cat's paws for epaulettes, and leathern belts heavy as a horse's surcingle." Lifting her hands in mock admiration Maria smiled entrancingly, "Indeed, gay as Jefferson himself is our 130 sublime dandy, in blue coat, red velvet waistcoat, buff knee breeches, and brilliant buckles!" and Meriwether answered with a kiss.

Maria Wood was, perhaps, the dearest of Meriwether's friends, although rumour said he had been engaged to Milly Maury, the daughter of the learned Parson. But how could that be when Milly married while Meriwether was away soldiering on the Ohio? At any rate, now he rode with Maria Wood, danced with her, and took her out to see his mother at Locust Hill.

The whole family relied on Meriwether at Locust Hill. While only a boy he took charge of the farm, and of his own motion built a carriage and drove to Georgia after his mother and the children upon the death of Captain Marks.

Back through the Cherokee-haunted woods they came, with other travellers journeying the Georgia route. One night campfires were blazing for the evening meal, when "Whoop!" came the hostile message and a discharge of arms.

"Indians! Indians!"

All was confusion. Paralysed mothers hugged their infants and children screamed, when a boy in the crowd threw a bucket of water on the fire extinguishing the light. In a moment all was still, as the men rushed to arms repelling the attack. That boy was Meriwether Lewis.

"No brother like mine," said little Mary Marks. "Every noble trait is his,—he is a father to us children, a counsellor to our mother, and more anxious about our education than even for his own!"

Charles de St. Memin, a French artist, was in Washington, engraving on copper.

"May I have your portrait as a typical handsome American?" he said to the President's secretary.

Meriwether laughed and gave him a sitting. The same hand that had so lately limned Paul Revere, Theodosia Burr, and the last profile of Washington himself, sketched the typical youth of 1801. Lewis sent the drawing to his 131 mother, the head done in fired chalk and crayon, with that curious pink background so peculiar to the St. Memin pictures.


Hours by themselves Jefferson sat talking to Lewis. With face sunny, lit with enthusiasm, he spoke rapidly, even brilliantly, a dreamer, a seer, a prophet, believing in the future of America.

"I have never given it up, Meriwether. Before the peace treaty was signed, after the Revolution, I was scheming for a western exploration. We discussed it at Annapolis; I even went so far as to write to George Rogers Clark on the subject. Then Congress sent me to France.

"In France a frequent guest at my table was John Ledyard, of Connecticut. He had accompanied Captain Cook on his voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and now panted for some new enterprise. He had endeavoured to engage the merchants of Boston in the Northwest fur trade, but the times were too unsettled. 'Why, Mr. Jefferson,' he was wont to say, 'that northwest land belongs to us. I felt I breathed the air of home the day we touched at Nootka Sound. The very Indians are just like ours. And furs,—that coast is rich in beaver, bear, and otter. Depend upon it,' he used to say, 'untold fortunes lie untouched at the back of the United States.'"

"I then proposed to him to go by land to Kamtchatka, cross in some Russian vessel to Nootka Sound, fall down into the latitude of the Missouri, and penetrate to and through that to the United States. Ledyard eagerly seized the idea. I obtained him a permit from the Empress Catherine, and he set out; went to St. Petersburg, crossed the Russian possessions to within two hundred miles of Kamtchatka. Here he was arrested by order of the Empress, who by this time had changed her mind, and forbidden 132 his proceeding. He was put in a close carriage, and conveyed day and night, without ever stopping, till they reached Poland; where he was set down and left to himself. The fatigue of this journey broke down his constitution, and when he returned to me at Paris his bodily strength was much impaired. His mind, however, remained firm and he set out for Egypt to find the sources of the Nile, but died suddenly at Cairo. Thus failed the first attempt to explore the western part of our northern continent.

"Imagine my interest, later, to learn that after reading of Captain Cook's voyages the Boston merchants had taken up Ledyard's idea and in 1787 sent two little ships, the 'Columbia Rediviva' and the 'Lady Washington' into the Pacific Ocean.

"Barely was I back and seated in Washington's cabinet as Secretary of State, before those Boston merchants begged my intercession with the Court of Spain, for one Don Blas Gonzalez, Governor of Juan Fernandez. Passing near that island, one of the ships was damaged by a storm, her rudder broken, her masts disabled, and herself separated from her companion. She put into the island to refit, and at the same time to wood and water. Don Blas Gonzalez, after examining her, and finding she had nothing on board but provisions and charts, and that her distress was real, permitted her to stay a few days, to refit and take in fresh supplies of wood and water. For this act of common hospitality, he was immediately deprived of his government, unheard, by superior order, and placed under disgrace. Nor was I ever able to obtain a hearing at the Court of Spain, and the reinstatement of this benevolent Governor.

"The little ships went on, however, and on May 11, 1792, Captain Robert Gray, a tar of the Revolution, discovered the great river of the west and named it for his gallant ship, the 'Columbia.'

"In that very year, 1792, not yet having news of this discovery, I proposed to the American Philosophical Society that we should set on foot a subscription to engage some competent person to explore that region, by ascending 133 the Missouri and crossing the Stony Mountains, and descending the nearest river to the Pacific. The sum of five thousand dollars was raised for that purpose, and André Michaux, a French botanist, was engaged as scientist, but when about to start he was sent by the French minister on political business to Kentucky."

Meriwether Lewis laughed. "I remember. I was then at Charlottesville on the recruiting service, and warmly solicited you to obtain for me the appointment to execute that adventure. But Mr. André Michaux offering his services, they were accepted."

Both were silent for a time. Michaux had gone on his journey as far as Kentucky, become the confidential agent between Genet and George Rogers Clark for the French expedition, and been recalled by request of Washington.

"Meriwether," continued the President, "I see now some chance of accomplishing that northwest expedition. The act establishing trading posts among the Indians is about to expire. My plan is to induce the Indians to abandon hunting and become agriculturists. As this may deprive our traders of a source of profit, I would direct their attention to the fur trade of the Missouri. In a few weeks I shall make a confidential communication to Congress requesting an appropriation for the exploration of the northwest. We shall undertake it as a literary and commercial pursuit."

"And, sir, may I lead that exploration?"

"You certainly shall," answered the President. "How much money do you think it would take?"

Secretary Lewis spent the next few days in making an estimate.

"Mathematical instruments, arms and accoutrements, camp equipage, medicine and packing, means for transportation, Indian presents, provisions, pay for hunters, guides, interpreters, and contingencies,—twenty-five hundred dollars will cover it all, I think."

Then followed that secret message of January 18, 1803, dictated by Jefferson, penned by Lewis, in which the President requested an appropriation of twenty-five hundred 134 dollars, "for the purpose of extending the external commerce of the United States."

Congress granted the request, and busy days of preparation followed.

The cabinet were in the secret, and the ladies, particularly Mrs. Madison and Mrs. Gallatin, were most interested and sympathetic, providing everything that could possibly be needed in such a perilous journey, fearing that Lewis might never return from that distant land of savages. The President's daughters, Mrs. Randolph and Mrs. Eppes, were there, handsome, accomplished, delicate women, who rode about in silk pelisses purchasing at the shops the necessaries for "housewives," pins, needles, darning yarn, and the thousand and one little items that women always give to soldier boys.

Dolly Madison, in mulberry-coloured satin, a tulle kerchief on her neck and dainty cap on her head, stitched, stitched; and in the streets, almost impassable for mud, she and Martha, the President's daughter, were often mistaken for each other as they went to and fro guided by Dolly's cousin, Edward Coles, a youth destined to win renown himself one day, as the "anti-slavery governor" of Illinois.

In his green knee pants and red waistcoat, long stockings and slippers, the genial President looked in on the busy ladies at the White House, but his anxiety was on matters of far more moment than the stitchery of the cabinet ladies.

Alexander Mackenzie's journal of his wonderful transcontinental journey in 1793 was just out, the book of the day. It thrilled Lewis,—he devoured it.

Before starting on his tour Alexander Mackenzie went to London and studied mathematics and astronomy. "It is my own dream," exclaimed Lewis, as the President came upon him with the volumes in hand. "But the scientific features, to take observations, to be sure of my botany, to map longitude—"

"That must come by study," said Jefferson. "I would have you go to Philadelphia to prosecute your studies in the sciences. I think you had better go at once to Dr. Barton,—I will write to him to-day." 135

And again in the letter to Dr. Barton, Meriwether's hand penned the prosecution of his fortune.

"I must ask the favour of you to prepare for him a note of those lines of botany, zoölogy, or of Indian history which you think most worthy of study or observation. He will be with you in Philadelphia in two or three weeks and will wait on you and receive thankfully on paper any communications you may make to him."

Jefferson had ever been a father to Meriwether Lewis, had himself watched and taught him. And Lewis in his soul revered the great man's learning, as never before he regretted the wasted hours at Parson Maury's when often he left his books to go hunting on Peter's Mount. But proudly lifting his head from these meditations:

"I am a born woodsman, Mr. Jefferson. You know that."

"Know it!" Jefferson laughed. "Does not the fame of your youthful achievements linger yet around the woods of Monticello? I have not forgotten, Meriwether, that when you were not more than eight years old you were accustomed to go out into the forest at night alone in the depth of winter with your dogs and gun to hunt the raccoon and opossum. Nor have I forgotten when the Cherokees attacked your camp in Georgia." The young man flushed.

"Your mother has often told it. It was when you were bringing them home to Albemarle. How old were you then? About eighteen? The Indians whooped and you put out the fire, the only cool head among them. A boy that could do that can as a man lead a great exploration like this.

"Nor need you fret about your lack of science,—the very study of Latin you did with Parson Maury fits you to prepare for me those Indian vocabularies. I am fortunate to have one so trained. Latin gives an insight into the structure of all languages. For years, now, I have been collecting and studying the Indian tongues. Fortune now permits you to become my most valued coadjutor."

And so Lewis noted in his book of memorandum, "Vocabularies of Indian languages." 136

"You ought to have a companion, a military man like George Rogers Clark. I have always wished to bring him forward in Indian affairs; no man better understands the savage."

"But Clark has a brother," quickly spoke Lewis, "a brave fellow, absolutely unflinching in the face of danger. If I could have my choice, Captain William Clark should be my companion and the sharer of my command."

Two years Lewis had been Jefferson's private secretary, when, appointed to this work, he went to Philadelphia to study natural science and make astronomical observations for the geography of the route. This youth, who had inherited a fortune and every inducement to a life of ease, now spent three months in severest toil, under the instruction of able professors, learning scientific terms and calculating latitude and longitude.

Early in June he was back at Washington. Already the President had secured letters of passport from the British, French, and Spanish ministers, for this expedition through foreign territory.

"The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado, or any other river, may offer the most direct and practicable water-communication across the continent, for the purpose of commerce."

Far into the June night Jefferson discussed his instructions, and signed the historic document.

"I have no doubt you will use every possible exertion to get off, as the delay of a month now may lose a year in the end."

Lewis felt the pressure; he was packing his instruments, writing to military posts for men to be ready when he came down the river, and hurrying up orders at Harper's Ferry, when a strange and startling event occurred, beyond the vision of dreamers. 139

Book II


"Spain, knowing she cannot hold Louisiana, has ceded it to France!" The winds of ocean bore the message to America.

"Napoleon? Is he to control us also?"

Never so vast a shadow overawed the world. Afar they had read of his battles, had dreaded his name. Instantly colossal Napoleon loomed across the prairies of the West.

Napoleon had fifty-four ships and fifty thousand troops, the flower of his army, sailing to re-establish slavery in Hayti. But a step and he would be at the Mississippi. He was sending Laussat, a French prefect, to take over New Orleans and wait for the army.

"Shall we submit? And is this to be the end of all our fought-for liberty, that Napoleon should rule America?"

The fear of France was now as great as had been the admiration.

Gaily the flatboats were floating down, laden with flour and bacon, hams and tobacco, seeking egress to Cuba and Atlantic seaports, when suddenly, in October, 1802, the Spanish Intendant at New Orleans closed the Mississippi. Crowding back, for twenty thousand miles inland, were the products of the Autumn.

The western country blazed; only by strenuous effort could Congress keep a backwoods army from marching on New Orleans. A powerful minority at Washington contended for instant seizure. 140

Pittsburg, with shore lined with shipping, roared all the way to the gulf, "No grain can be sold down the river on account of those piratical Spaniards!"

Appeal after appeal went up to Jefferson, "Let us sweep them into the sea!"

What hope with a foreign nation at our gates? Spain might be got rid of, but France—Monroe was dispatched to France to interview Napoleon.

"The French must not have New Orleans," was the lightning thought of Jefferson. "No one but ourselves must own our own front door."

And Jefferson penned a letter to Livingstone, the American minister at Paris:

"There is on the globe but one single spot, the possessor of which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans, through which the produce of three-eighths of our territory must pass to market. France placing herself in that door assumes to us the attitude of defiance. Spain might have retained it quietly for years. Not so France. The impetuosity of her temper, the energy and restlessness of her character, render it impossible that France and the United States can continue friends when they meet in so irritating a position. The day that France takes possession of New Orleans—from that moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation."

As Jefferson placed that letter in the hands of Monroe he added:

"In Europe nothing but Europe is seen. But this little event, of France's possessing herself of Louisiana,—this speck which now appears an invisible point on the horizon,—is the embryo of a tornado.

"I must secure the port of New Orleans and the mastery of the navigation of the Mississippi.

"We must have peace. The use of the Mississippi is indispensable. We must purchase New Orleans."

"You are aware of the sensibility of our Western citizens," Madison was writing to Madrid. "To them the Mississippi is everything. It is the Hudson, the Delaware, the Potomac, and all the navigable rivers of the Atlantic States, formed into one." 141

But Napoleon's soldiers were dying at San Domingo, the men with whom he would have colonised Louisiana. At that moment the flint and steel of France and England struck, and the spark meant—war. England stood ready to seize the mouth of the Mississippi.

After the solemnities of Easter Sunday at St. Cloud, April 10, 1803, Napoleon summoned two of his ministers.

"I know the full value of Louisiana!" he began with vehement passion, walking up and down the marble parlour. "A few lines of treaty have restored it to me, and I have scarcely recovered it when I must expect to lose it. But if it escapes from me," the First Consul shook his finger menacingly, "it shall one day cost dearer to those who oblige me to strip myself of it, than to those to whom I wish to deliver it. The English have successively taken from France, Canada, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the richest portions of Asia. They shall not have the Mississippi which they covet. They have twenty ships of war in the Gulf of Mexico, they sail over those seas as sovereigns. The conquest of Louisiana would be easy. I have not a moment to lose in putting it out of their reach. I know not whether they are not already there. I think of ceding it to the United States. They only ask one town of me in Louisiana but I already consider the colony as entirely lost, and it appears to me that in the hands of this growing power it will be more useful to the policy and even to the commerce of France, than if I should attempt to keep it."

He turned to Barbé-Marbois, who had served as Secretary of the French Legation at Philadelphia during the whole war of the American Revolution.

"We should not hesitate to make a sacrifice of that which is about slipping from us," said Barbé-Marbois. "War with England is inevitable; shall we be able to defend Louisiana? Can we restore fortifications that are in ruins? If, Citizen Consul, you, who have by one of the first acts of your government made sufficiently apparent your intention of giving this country to France, 142 now abandon the idea of keeping it, there is no person that will not admit that you yield to necessity."

Far into the night they talked, so late that the ministers slept at St. Cloud.

At daybreak Napoleon summoned Barbé-Marbois. "Read me the dispatches from London."

"Sire," returned the Secretary, looking over the papers, "naval and military preparations of every kind are making with extraordinary rapidity."

Napoleon leaped to his feet and strode again the marble floor.

"Irresolution and deliberation are no longer in season. I renounce Louisiana. It is not only New Orleans that I will cede, but the whole colony without reservation. I know the price of what I abandon. I renounce it with regret. To attempt to retain it would be folly. I direct you to negotiate this affair with the United States. Do not even await the arrival of Mr. Monroe; have an interview this very day with Mr. Livingstone; but I require a great deal of money for this war, and I would not like to commence it with new contributions. I want fifty millions, and for less than that sum I will not treat. To-morrow you shall have your full powers."

The minister waited.

"Mr. Monroe is on the point of arriving," continued Napoleon. "Neither this minister, nor his colleague, is prepared for a decision which goes infinitely beyond anything they are about to ask of us. Begin by making them overtures, without any subterfuge. Acquaint me, hour by hour, of your progress."

"What will you pay for all Louisiana?" bluntly asked Barbé-Marbois that day of the astonished Livingstone.

"All Louisiana! New Orleans is all I ask for," answered Livingstone. So long had Talleyrand trifled and deceived, the American found himself distrustful of these French diplomatists.

"But I offer the province," said Barbé-Marbois.

Surprised, doubtful, Livingstone listened. "I have not the necessary powers." 143

The next day Monroe arrived.

"There must be haste or the English will be at New Orleans," said Barbé-Marbois. "How much will you pay for the whole province?"

"The English? Fifteen millions," answered the Americans.

"Incorporate Louisiana as soon as possible into your Union," said Napoleon, "give to its inhabitants the same rights, privileges, and immunities as to other citizens of the United States.

"And let them know that we separate ourselves from them with regret; let them retain for us sentiments of affection; and may their common origin, descent, language, and customs perpetuate the friendship."

The papers were drawn up and signed in French and in English.

"We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our lives!" exclaimed Livingstone, as he and Barbé-Marbois and Monroe arose and shook hands across the document.

"This accession of territory strengthens for ever the power of the United States," said Napoleon, coming in to look at the treaty. And as he affixed that signature, "Napoleon," he smiled,—"I have just given to England a maritime rival, that sooner or later will humble her pride."

And on that day the Mississippi was opened, to be closed by a foreign power no more for ever.

But no sooner had Napoleon parted with Louisiana than he began to repent. "Hasten," the ministers warned Jefferson, "the slightest delay may lose us the country."

The word reached America.

"Jefferson—bought New Orleans? bought the Mississippi? bought the entire boundless West?"

Men gasped, then cheered. Tumultuous excitement swept the land. On July 3, 1803, an infant Republic hugging the Atlantic, on July 4, a world power grasping the Pacific!

"A bargain!" cried the Republicans.

"Unconstitutional!" answered the Federalists. 144

"The East will become depopulated."

"Fifteen millions! Fifteen millions for that wilderness! Why, that would be tons of money! Waggon loads of silver five miles long. We have not so much coin in the whole country!"


And Meriwether Lewis was ready to start. The night before the Fourth of July he wrote his mother:

"The day after to-morrow I shall set out for the western country. I had calculated on the pleasure of visiting you, but circumstances have rendered it impossible. My absence will probably be equal to fifteen or eighteen months. The nature of this expedition is by no means dangerous. My route will be altogether through tribes of Indians friendly to the United States, therefore I consider the chances of life just as much in my favour as I should conceive them were I to remain at home. The charge of this expedition is honourable to myself, as it is important to my country. For its fatigues I feel myself perfectly prepared, nor do I doubt my health and strength of constitution to bear me through it. I go with the most perfect pre-conviction in my own mind of returning safe, and hope therefore that you will not suffer yourself to indulge any anxiety for my safety,—I will write again on my arrival at Pittsburg. Adieu, and believe me your affectionate son,

Meriwether Lewis."

The Jefferson girls had returned to their homes. Dolly Madison and Mrs. Gallatin supervised the needle department, having made "housewives" enough to fit out a regiment. Joseph Rapin, the steward, helped Lewis pack his belongings, Secretary Gallatin contributed a map of Vancouver's sketch of the Columbia mouth, and Madison rendered his parting benediction. 145

Out of the iron gate in the high rock wall in front of the White House Meriwether went,—fit emblem of the young Republic, slim and lithe, immaculate in new uniform and three-cornered chapeau, his sunny thick-braided queue falling over the high-collared coat,—to meet the Potomac packet for Harper's Ferry. All around were uncut forests, save the little clearing of Washington, and up the umbrageous hills stretched an endless ocean of tree-tops.

The wind blew up the Potomac, fluttering the President's gray locks. "If a superior force should be arrayed against your passage, return, Meriwether," was the anxious parting word. "To your own discretion must be left the degree of danger you may risk."

But Meriwether had no fears.

"Should you reach the Pacific Ocean,—endeavour to learn if there be any port within your reach frequented by sea-vessels of any nation, and to send two of your trusted people back by sea, with a copy of your notes. Should you be of opinion that the return of your party by the way they went will be dangerous, then ship the whole, and return by way of Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. As you will be without money, clothes or provisions, I give you this open letter of credit authorising you to draw on the Executive of the United States or any of its officers in any part of the world. Our consuls at Batavia in Java, at the Isles of France and Bourbon, and at the Cape of Good Hope will be able to supply you necessities by drafts on us."

For where in the world the Missouri led, no man then knew!

"I have sometimes thought of sending a ship around to you," said Jefferson, "but the Spaniards would be certain to gobble it, and we are in trouble enough with them already over this Louisiana Purchase."

Too well Lewis knew the delicacy of the situation. Spain was on fire over the treachery of Napoleon. "France has no right to alienate Louisiana!" was the cry from Madrid. But what could she do? Nothing but fume, delay, threaten,—Napoleon was master. 146

"Under present circumstances," continued the President, "I consider futile all effort to get a ship to your succour on those shores. Spain would be only too glad to strike a blow. But there must be trade, there is trade,—all through Adams's administration the Russians were complaining of Yankee skippers on that northwest coast.

"Russia has aided us, I may call the Emperor my personal friend." With pardonable pride the President thought of the bust of Alexander over his study door at Monticello. "Though Catherine did send poor Ledyard back, Alexander has proved himself true, and in case any Russian ship touches those shores you are safe, or English, or American. This letter of credit will carry you through.

"And above all, express my philanthropic regard for the Indians. Humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts."

And after Lewis was fairly started, the President sent on as a great secret, "I have received word from Paris that Mr. Broughton, one of the companions of Captain Vancouver, went up Columbia River one hundred miles in December, 1792. He stopped at a point he named Vancouver. Here the river Columbia is still a quarter of a mile wide. From this point Mt. Hood is seen twenty leagues distant, which is probably a dependency of the Stony Mountains. Accept my affectionate salutations."

On the Fourth of July the same hand that drew up the Declaration of Independence had drawn for Meriwether Lewis a Letter of Credit, authorising him to purchase anything he needed on the credit of the United States in any part of the world. Was Jefferson thinking of those days when George Rogers Clark gave drafts on New Orleans for the conquest of Illinois? This again was another venture into a dark unwritten West.

The next day Lewis "shot all his guns" at Harper's Ferry, examined extra locks, knives, tomahawks, accoutrements that had been manufactured at his special direction. The waggoner from Philadelphia came jolting by with Indian presents, astronomical apparatus, and tents on the way to Pittsburg.

Pittsburg? A cloud of smoke hung even then over the 147 embryotic city. Two thousand miles inland, it already had a flourishing ship-yard. Several large vessels lay on the stocks and builders were hammering day and night.

"The 'Louisiana,' three hundred tons, is waiting for the next rise of the river," said a strapping tar. "In May a fleet of schooners went out to the Caribbees. You are too late for this summer's freshet."

"Come, gentlemen, gentlemen all,

Ginral Sincleer shall remem-ber-ed be,

For he lost thirteen hundred me-en all

In the Western Tari-to-ree."

Captain Lewis took a second look at the singer,—it was George Shannon standing on the dock.

"Why, Captain Lewis! Where are you going?"

George was an old friend of Meriwether's, and yet but a lad of seventeen. His father, one of those "ragged Continentals" that marched on Yorktown, had emigrated to the far Ohio.

Jane Shannon was a typical pioneer mother. She spun, wove, knit, made leggings of skins, and caps and moccasins, but through multitudinous duties found time to teach her children. "To prepare them for college," she said, "that is my dream. I'd live on hoe-cake for ever to give them a chance." Every one of her six boys inherited that mother's spirit, every one attained distinction.

At fourteen George was sent to his mother's relatives on the Monongahela to school. Here he met Lewis, forted in that winter camp. The gallant Virginian captured the boy's fancy,—he became his model, his ideal.

"And can you go?" asked Captain Lewis.

"Go? I will accompany you to the end of the world, Captain Lewis," answered George Shannon. "There is no time for mails,—I know I have my parent's consent. And the pay, that will take me to college!" Shannon enlisted on the spot, and was Lewis's greatest comfort in those trying days at Pittsburg.

The boat-builders were drunkards. "I spent most of my time with the workmen," wrote Lewis to the President, "but neither threats nor persuasion were sufficient 148 to procure the completion before the 31st of August." Loading the boat the instant it was done, they set out at four o'clock in the morning, with John Collins of Maryland, and George Gibson, Hugh McNeal, John Potts, and Peter Wiser, of Pennsylvania, recruits that had been ordered from Carlisle. Peter Wiser is believed to have been a descendant of that famous Conrad Weiser who gave his life to pacifying the Indian.

By this time the water was low. "On board my boat opposite Marietta, Sept. 13," Lewis writes,—"horses or oxen—I find the most efficient sailors in the present state of navigation," dragging the bateaux over shallows of drift and sandbars.

And yet that same Spring, when the water was high, Marietta had sent out the schooners "Dorcas and Sally," and the "Mary Avery," one hundred and thirty tons, with cheers and firing of cannon. When Lewis passed, a three-mast brig of two hundred and fifty tons and a smaller one of ninety tons were on the point of being finished to launch the following Spring, with produce for Philadelphia.

George Shannon was a handsome boy, already full grown but with the beardless pink and white of youth. His cap would not fit down over his curls, but lifted like his own hopes. Nothing would start the boats at daylight like his jolly, rollicking

"Blow, ye winds of morning,

Blow, blow, blow,"

rolling across the tints of sunrise. His cheeks glowed, his blue eyes shone to meet the wishes of his captain.

Past the fairy isle of Blennerhassett with its stately mansion half-hid behind avenues of Lombardy poplar and tasteful shrubbery, Captain Lewis came on down to Fort Washington, Cincinnati, where brigs had lately taken on cargoes and sailed to the West Indies.

Bones? Of course Lewis wanted to look at bones and send some to the learned President. Dr. Goforth of Cincinnati was sinking a pit at the Big Bone Lick for remains 149 of the mammoth, and might not mammoths be stalking abroad in all that great land of the West? Mystery, mystery,—the very air was filled with mystery.


"Now that I have accepted President Jefferson's proposal to be associated with Captain Lewis in this expedition, it will oblige me to accept brother Jonathan's offer of ten thousand dollars cash for Mulberry Hill," William Clark was saying at Louisville. "That will help out brother George on his military debts, satisfy his claimants, and save him from ruin."

At the time of sale the old home was occupied by General Clark and William Clark, and their sister Fanny and her children. The departure of William for the Pacific broke up and dispersed the happy family.

The General went back to the Point of Rock, fifty feet above the dashing Ohio. That water was the lowest ever known now, men could walk across on the rocks. Three or four locust trees shaded the cabin, now painted white, and an orchard of peach and cherry blossomed below. Negro Ben and his wife Venus, and Carson and Cupid, lived back of the house and cultivated a few acres of grain and garden.

All of Clark's old soldiers remained loyal and visited the Point of Rock, and every year an encampment of braves, Indian chiefs whom he had subdued, came for advice and to partake of his hospitality.

Grand and lonely, prematurely aged at fifty-one when he should have been in his prime, General Clark sat overlooking the Falls when Captain Lewis pulled his bateaux into the Bear Grass.

Captain Clark and nine young men of Kentucky were waiting for the boat,—William Bratton, a blacksmith, 150 formerly of Virginia, and John Shields, gunsmith, the Tubal Cain of the expedition, John Coalter, who had been a ranger with Kenton, the famous Shields brothers, Reuben and James, William Warner and Joseph Whitehouse, all experts with the rifle, Charles Floyd, son of that Charles Floyd that rode with his brother from the death-stroke of Big Foot, and Nathaniel Pryor, his cousin.

Twenty years had passed since that fatal April morning when John Floyd was laid a corpse at the feet of Jane Buchanan. That posthumous child, ushered so sadly into the world, John Floyd the younger, now a handsome youth, was eager to go with his cousins—but an unexpected illness held him back—to become a member of Congress and Governor of Virginia.

And York, of course York. Had he not from childhood obeyed John Clark's command, "Look after your young master"? With highest elation York assisted in the preparation, furbished up his gun, and prepared to "slay dem buffaloes."

"An interpreter is my problem now," said Captain Lewis, "a man familiar with Indians, trustworthy, and skilled in tongues."

"I think my brother will know the man,—he has had wide experience in that line," said William; and so down to the Point of Rock the Captains betook themselves to visit George Rogers Clark.

"Dignity sat still upon his countenance and the commanding look of Washington," wrote a chronicler of that day.

"An interpreter?" mused General Clark. Then turning to his brother, "Do you remember Pierre Drouillard, the Frenchman that saved Kenton? He was a man of tact and influence with the Indians, and, although he wore the red coat, a man of humanity. He interpreted for me at Fort McIntosh and at the Great Miami. He comes with Buckongahelas."

William Clark remembered.

"That old Frenchman has a son, George, chip of the old block, brought up with the Indians and educated at a mission. He is your man,—at St. Louis, I think." 151

"Always demand of the Indians what you want, William, that is the secret. Never let them think you fear them. Great things have been effected by a few men well conducted. Who knows what fortune may do for you?" It was the self-same saying with which twenty-four years before he had started to Vincennes. "Here are letters to some of my old friends at St. Louis and Kaskaskia," added the General.

All the negroes were out to weep over York, whom they feared to see no more,—old York and Rose, Nancy and Julia, Jane, Cupid and Harry, from the scattered home at Mulberry Hill.

General Jonathan Clark and Major Croghan were there, the richest men in Kentucky, and General Jonathan's daughters who stitched their samplers now at Mulberry Hill; and Lucy, from Locust Grove, the image of William, "with face almost too strong for a woman," some said. All the city knew her, a miracle of benevolence and duty, and by her side the little son, George Croghan, destined to hand on the renown of his fathers.

William Clark's last word was for Fanny, a widow with children. "It is my desire that she should stay with Lucy at Locust Grove until my return," said the paternal brother, kissing her pale cheek.

"And I want Johnny with me at the Point of Rock," added the lonely General, who, if he loved any one, it was little John O'Fallon, the son of his sister Fanny.

"Bring on your plunder!"

The Kentuckians could be recognised by their call as they helped the bateaux over the rapids and launched them below. George Rogers Clark stood on the Point of Rock, waving a last farewell, watching them down the river.

While Captain Clark went on down the Ohio, and engaged a few men at Fort Massac, Captain Lewis followed the old Vincennes "trace" to Kaskaskia.

In that very September, Sergeant John Ordway, in Russell Bissell's company, was writing home to New Hampshire: 152

"Kaskaskia is a very old town of about two hundred houses and ruins of many more. We lie on the hill in sight of the town, and have built a garrison here.—If Betty Crosby will wait for my return I may perhaps join hands with her yet. We have a company of troops from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, here."

Captain Lewis came up to the garrison. Out of twenty volunteers only three possessed the requisite qualifications. But Sergeant Ordway was one, Robert Frazer of Vermont, another, and Thomas P. Howard, of Massachusetts, the third.

Oppressed and anxious in mind over the difficulty of finding suitable men, Captain Lewis was one morning riding along when into the high road there ran out a short, strong, compact, broad-chested and heavy-limbed man, lean, sprightly, and quick of motion, in the dress of a soldier. His lively eye instantly caught that of Captain Lewis. Perceiving that the soldier was evidently bent on seeing him, Lewis checked his horse and paused.

With military salute the man began: "Me name is Patrick Gass, sorr, and I want to go with you to the Stony Mountings, but my Commander, sorr, here at the barracks, will not consint. He siz, siz he, 'You are too good a carpenter, Pat, and I need you here.'"

His build, his manner, and the fact that Pat was a soldier and a carpenter, was enough. Men must be had, and here was a droll one, the predestined wit of the expedition.

"I knew you, sorr, when I saw your horse ferninst the trees. I recognised a gintleman and an officer. I saw you whin I met Gineral Washington at Carlisle out with throops to suppriss the Whiskey Rebillion. I met Gineral Washington that day, and I sid, siz I, 'Gineral, I'm a pathriot mesilf and I'll niver risist me gover'm'nt, but I love ould Bourbon too well to inlist agin the whiskey byes.'"

"And have you never served in the field?" roared Lewis, almost impatient.

"Ah, yis; whin Adams was Prisident, I threw down me jackplane and inlisted under Gineral Alexander Hamilton, 153 but there was no war, so thin I inlisted under Major Cass."

Patrick glanced back and saw his Captain. "Hist ye! shoulder-sthraps are comin'!"

Lewis laughed. "Go and get ready, Patrick; I'll settle with your Captain." And Patrick, bent on a new "inlistment" and new adventures, hied him away to pack his belongings. For days in dreams he was already navigating the Missouri, already he saw the blue Pacific. As he told the boys afterward, "And I, siz I to mesilf, 'Patrick, let us to the Pecific!' Me Captain objicted, but I found out where Captain Lewis was sthopping and sthole away and inlisted annyhow."

Captain Lewis had made no mistake. Patrick Gass, cheerful, ever brave, was a typical frontiersman. His had been a life of constant roving. Starting from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, when he was five years old, the family crossed the Alleghanies on packhorses. On the first horse was the mother, with the baby and all the table furniture and cooking utensils; on another were packed the provisions, the plough-irons and farming utensils; the third was rigged with a packsaddle and two large cradles of hickory withes. In the centre of these sat little Pat on one side and his sister on the other, well laced in with bed-clothes so that only their heads stuck out.

Along the edges of precipices they went,—if a horse stumbled he would have thrown them hundreds of feet below. On these horses they forded mountain streams, swollen with melting snows and spring rains. Daily were hairbreadth escapes, the horses falling, or carried down with the current and the family barely snatched from drowning.

The journey was made in April when the nights were cold and the mother could not sleep. There was so much to do for the children. As the tireless father kept guard under the glow of the campfire, little Patrick's unfailing good-night was, "Hist, child! the Injuns will come and take you to Detroit!"

There were several of these moves in his childhood. 154 Here and there he caught glimpses of well-housed, well-fed hirelings of the British army watching like eagles the land of the patriot army. At last they turned up at what is now Wellsburg in West Virginia. While yet a boy Gass was apprenticed to a carpenter and worked on a house for a man by the name of Buchanan, while around him played "little Jimmy," the president-to-be. "Little Jimmy was like his mother," said Gass.

In December Lewis and Clark dropped down before the white-washed walls and gray stone parapets of the old French town of St. Louis. With fierce consequential air a Spanish soldier flourished his sword indicating the place to land.

"We will spend the winter at Charette, the farthest point of settlement." That was the town of Daniel Boone.

But the Governor, Don Carlos De Hault De Lassus, barred the way.

"By the general policy of my government I am obliged to prevent strangers from passing through Spanish territory until I have received official notice of its transfer."

Nothing could be done but to go into winter camp opposite the mouth of the Missouri, just outside of his jurisdiction, and discipline the men, making ready for an early spring start.

Beyond the big river was foreign land. Did the Spaniard still hope to stay?


Hark! Is that the boom of distant cannon? The American troops are falling into line outside the walls of New Orleans on this 20th day of December, 1803. The tri-colour of France floats on the flagstaff; the sky shines irradiant, like the "suns of Napoleon." 155

It is high noon; another salute shakes the city. "Ho, warder, lower the drawbridge!"

With chain-pulleys rattling down goes the bridge, never to be lifted again. The fortress bell strikes its last peal under the flag of France, or Spain. With thundering tread American dragoons file under the portcullis of the Tchoupitoulas gate, followed by cannoneers and infantry in coonskin caps and leathern hunting shirts.

Curiously these sons of the forest look upon the old world forts and donjons of masonry. The moat is filled with stagnant water. The ramparts of New Orleans are filled with soldiers from Havre and Madrid. The windows and balconies are filled with beautiful women weeping, weeping to see the barbarians.

Laussat was looking for Napoleon's soldiers, not a sale. Pale as death he hands over the keys. Slowly the tri-coloured flag of France at the summit of the flagstaff in the plaza descends. Slowly the star-spangled banner uplifts; half-way the two linger in one another's folds.

As the flags embrace, another boom, and answering guns reply from ship and fort and battery around the crescent of New Orleans. The flags are parting,—it is a thrilling moment; up, up, steadily mounts the emblem of America and bursts on the breeze.

The band breaks into "Hail, Columbia," amid the roar of artillery and shouting of backwoodsmen. The map of France in the new world has become the map of the United States.

"The flag! the flag!" Veterans of the French army receive the descending tri-colour, and followed by a procession of uncovered heads bear it with funereal tread to Laussat.

"We have wished to give to France a last proof of the affection which we will always retain for her," with trembling lip speaks the flag-bearer. "Into your hands we deposit this symbol of the tie which has again transiently connected us with her."

And Laussat with answering tears replies, "May the prosperity of Louisiana be eternal."

But of all in New Orleans on this historic day, none 156 fear, none tremble like Sister Infelice, in the cloister of the Ursulines. She seems to hear the very sabres beat on the convent wall. When a tropic hurricane sweeps up the gulf at night she falls on the cold stone floor and covers her head, as if the very lightning might reveal that form she loved so well, the great Virginia colonel. To Infelice he was ever young, ever the heroic saviour of St. Louis. That time could have changed him had never occurred to her,—he was a type of immortal youth.

Infelice never speaks of these things, not even to her father confessor; it is something too deep, too sacred, a last touch of the world hid closer even than her heart. And yet she believes he is coming,—that is the cause of all this tumult and cannonading. Her hero, her warrior wants her, and none can stay him.

And when the cession is fairly over and he comes not, the disappointment prostrates her utterly. "He cares, he cares no more! The Virginians? Did you say the Virginians had come?"

From that bed of delirium the Mother Superior of the Ursuline house sent for the Mayor.

"I beg to be allowed to retire with my sisterhood to some point under the protection of His Catholic Majesty of Spain."

"Going!" exclaimed Monsieur le Mayor of New Orleans. "For why? You shall not be disturbed, you shall have full protection."

"Do you stand for France, revolution and infidelity?" gasped the aged mother, denouncing the Mayor.

The people pled, the Mayor went down on his knees. "Do not abandon our schools and our children!" But the Mother Superior was firm.

Twenty-two years had the Donna De Leyba been a nun. The old official records are lost, but out of twenty-five nuns in the establishment we know the sixteen of Spain went away.

All New Orleans gathered to see them depart. When the gun sounded on Whitsunday Eve, sixteen women in black came forth, heavily veiled. The convent gardens were thronged with pupils, slaves knelt by the wayside, 157 the Mayor and populace followed until they embarked on the ship and sailed to Havana.

The old Ursuline convent of New Orleans is now the archbishop's palace. Sister Infelice is gone, but near some old cloister of Cuba we know her ashes must now be reposing. Henceforth the gates were open. The wall decayed, the moat was filled, and over it to-day winds the handsomest boulevard in America.

The flatboatmen came home with romantic tales of the land of the palmetto and orange, luxuries unknown in the rigorous north. The tide of emigration so long held in check burst its bounds and deluged Louisiana.

Among other Americans that settled at New Orleans was the Fighting Parson. His son Charles Mynn Thruston had married Fanny.


"Glass we must have, and quicksilver. Wife, let me have the mirror."

The Madame threw up her hands. "The precious pier glass my dead mother brought over from France? What shall we have left?"

"But Rosalie, this is an emergency for the government. The men must have thermometers, and barometers, and I have no glass."

"The President will pay for the glass, Madame; he would consider it the highest use to which it could be put," said Captain Lewis.

"And you shall have a better one by the next ship that sails around from France."

So as usual to everything the Doctor wished, the good woman consented. None had more unbounded faith in Dr. Saugrain's gift of miracles than his own wife.

The huge glass, that had reflected Parisian scenes for 158 a generation before coming to the wilds of America, was now lifted from its gilt frame and every particle of quicksilver carefully scraped from the back. Then the pier plate was shattered and the fragments gathered, bit by bit, into the Doctor's mysterious crucible, making the country people watch and wonder.

So long had Meriwether Lewis been with Jefferson, that he had imbibed the same eager desire to know, to understand. When he met with Doctor Saugrain it was like a union of kindred spirits. Saugrain, the pupil, friend, and disciple of the great Franklin, was often with the American scientist when he experimented with his kites, and drew down lightning to charge his Leyden jars. Three times Dr. Saugrain came to America, twice as guest of Dr. Franklin, before he settled down as physician to the Spanish garrison at St. Louis in 1800. With him he brought all his scientific lore, the latest of the most advanced city in the world. When all the world depended on flint and steel, Paris and Dr. Saugrain made matches. He made matches for Lewis and Clark that were struck on the Columbia a generation before Boston or London made use of the secret.

Bitterly the cheerful, sprightly little Royalist in curls lamented the French Revolution. "Oh, the guillotine! the guillotine! My own uncle, Dr. Guillotine, invented that instrument to save pain, not to waste life. But when he saw his own friends led up to the knife, distressed at its abuse he died in despair!"

Sufficient reason had Dr. Saugrain to be loyal to Louis XVI. For more than two hundred years his people had been librarians, book-binders, and printers for the King. Litterateurs and authors were the Saugrains for six continuous generations, and out of their scientific and historical publications came the bent of Dr. Antoine François Saugrain of St. Louis. But when the Bastile was stormed, Saugrain left France for ever. An emigré, a royalist, with others of the King's friends he came to the land that honoured Louis XVI.

Between the Rue de l'Église and the Rue des Granges, at the extreme southwestern limit of the old village of 159 St. Louis, stood Dr. Saugrain's modest residence of cement with a six-foot stone wall around it and extensive gardens. In his "arboretum" Dr. Saugrain was making a collection of the most attractive native trees he found around St. Louis, and some there, imported from Paris, cast their green shadows on the swans of his swimming pond, an old French fancy for his park.

In this happy home with its great library, Captain Lewis became a welcome guest in that winter of 1803-4 while waiting for the cession. Under the Doctor he pursued his scientific studies, medicine, surgery, electricity, for not even Dr. Barton in Philadelphia could surpass the bright little Frenchman so strangely transplanted here in this uttermost border.

The Doctor's taper fingers were always stained with acids and sulphur; busy ever with blowpipe and crucible, he fashioned tubes, filled in quicksilver, graduated cases, and handed out barometers and thermometers that amazed the frontier.

"Great Medicine!" cried the Indians when he gave them a shock of electricity. How Dr. Saugrain loved to turn his battery and electrify the door-knobs when those bothersome Indians tried to enter! Or, "Here, White Hair, is a shilling. You can have it if you will take it out." The Osage chieftain plunges his arm into a crock of electrified water to dash off howling with affright.

With intense interest Captain Lewis stood by while the chemist-physician dipped sulphur-tipped splints of wood into phosphorus, and lo! his little matches glowed like Lucifer's own. "You can make the sticks yourself," he said. "I will seal the phosphorus in these small tin boxes for safety."

"And have you any kine-pox? You must surely carry kine-pox, for I hear those Omahas have died like cattle in a plague."

"President Jefferson particularly directed me to carry some kine-pox virus," replied Captain Lewis, "but really, what he gave me seems to have lost its virtue. I wrote 160 him so from Cincinnati, but fear it will be too late to supply the deficiency."

Out of his medicine chest in the corner, the little Doctor brought the tiny vials. "Sent me from Paris. Carry it, explain it to the Indians, use it whenever you can,—it will save the life of hundreds." And other medicines, simple remedies, the good savant prescribed, making up a chest that became invaluable in after days.

Other friends were Gratiot and the Chouteaus, Auguste and Pierre. It was Auguste that had planned the fortifications of St. Louis, towers and bastions, palisades, demilunes, scarps, counter-scarps, and sally ports, only finished in part when the city was handed over.

Long since had Carondelet offered rewards to the traders of St. Louis to penetrate to the Pacific. Already the Chouteau boats had reached the Mandan towns, but freely they gave every information to the American Captain.

"I send you herewith enclosed," wrote Lewis to the President, "some slips of the Osage plum and apple. Mr. Charles Gratiot, a gentleman of this place, has promised that he would with pleasure attend to the orders of yourself, or any of my acquaintances who may think proper to write him on the subject. I obtained the cuttings now sent you from the gardens of Mr. Peter Chouteau, who resided the greater portion of his time for many years with the Osage nation.

"The Osage might with a little attention be made to form an ornamental and useful hedge. The fruit is a large oval plum, of a pale yellow colour and exquisite flavour. An opinion prevails among the Osages that the fruit is poisonous, though they acknowledge they have never tasted it."

The leaders of all the French colonies on the Mississippi were gentlemen of education and talent. They saw what the cession meant, and hailed it with welcome. But the masses, peaceable, illiterate, with little property and less enterprise, contented, unambitious, saw not the future of that great valley where their fathers had camped in the days of La Salle. Frank, open, joyous, unsuspecting, 161 wrapped in the pleasures of the passing hour, they cared little for wealth and less for government provided they were not worried with its cares. Their children, their fruits and flowers, the dance—happy always were the Creole habitants provided only they heard the fiddle string. Retaining all the suavity of his race, the roughest hunter could grace a ballroom with the carriage and manners of a gentleman.

Meanwhile Captain Clark was drilling the men at camp after the fashion of Wayne. Other soldiers had been engaged at Fort Massac and elsewhere,—Silas Goodrich, Richard Windsor, Hugh Hall, Alexander Willard, and John B. Thompson, a surveyor of Vincennes.

Never had St. Louis such days! Hurry, hurry and bustle in the staid and quiet town that had never before known any greater excitement than a church festival or a wedding,—never, that is, since those days of war when George Rogers Clark saved and when he threatened.

But now Lewis and Clark made a deep impression on the villagers of the power and dignity of the United States Government. Out of their purchases every merchant hoped to make a fortune; the eager Frenchmen displayed their wares,—coffee, gunpowder, and blankets, tea at prices fabulous in deerskin currency and sugar two dollars a pound.

But Lewis already had made up his outfit,—richly laced coats, medals and flags from Jefferson himself, knives, tomahawks, and ornaments for chiefs, barrels of beads, paints and looking-glasses, bright-coloured three-point Mackinaw blankets, a vision to dazzle a child or an Indian, who is also a child.

George Drouillard was found, the skilled hunter. There was a trace of Indian in Drouillard; his French fathers and grandfathers had trapped along the streams of Ohio and Canada since before the days of Pontiac, in fact, with Cadillac they had helped to build Detroit.

Every part of America was represented in that first exploring expedition,—Lewis, the kinsman of Washington, and Clark from the tidewater cavaliers of old Virginia, foremost of the fighting stock that won Kentucky 162 and Illinois, Puritan Yankees from New England, Quaker Pennsylvanians from Carlisle, descendants of landholders in the days of Penn, French interpreters and adventurers whose barkentines had flashed along our inland lakes and streams for a hundred years, and finally, York, the negro, forerunner of his people.

Cruzatte and Labiche, canoemen, were of old Kaskaskia. Pierre Cruzatte was near-sighted and one-eyed, but what of that? A trusted trader of the Chouteaus, he had camped with the Omahas, and knew their tongue and their country. Could such a prize be foregone for any defect of eyesight?

Accustomed to roving with their long rifles and well-filled bullet pouches, nowhere in the world could more suitable heroes have been found for this Homeric journey.

News of the sale had reached St. Louis while Captain Lewis was struggling with those builders at Pittsburg.

"Sacre! Diable!" exclaimed the French. Some loved France, some clung to Spain, some shook their heads. "De country? We never discuss its affaires. Dat ees de business of de Commandante."

The winter of 1803-4 was very severe. In November the ice began running and no one could cross until February. Then Captain Amos Stoddard, at Kaskaskia with his troops, sent a letter to Don Carlos De Hault De Lassus by a sergeant going on business to Captain Lewis.

On top of the hill a double stockade of logs set vertically, the space between filled with dirt, a two-story log building with small windows and a round stone tower with a pointed cap of stone,—that was the fort where the Spanish soldiers waited.

Down below, inhabitants in blue blanket capotes and blue kerchiefs on their heads, now and then in red toque or a red scarf to tie up their trousers, wandered in the three narrow lanes that were the streets of St. Louis, waiting. Before them flowed the yellow-stained, eddy-spotted Mississippi, behind waved a sea of prairie grass uninterrupted by farm or village to the Rockies.

Spring blossomed. Thickets of wild plum, cherry, 163 wild crab-apples, covered the prairie. Vanilla-scented locust blooms were shaking honey-dew on the wide verandas of the old St. Louis houses, when early in the morning of May 9, American troops crossed the river from Cahokia, and Clark's men from the camp formed in line with fife and drum, and colours flying. At their head Major Amos Stoddard of Boston and Captain Meriwether Lewis of Virginia led up to the Government House.

Black Hawk was there to see his Spanish Father. He looked out.

"Here comes your American Father," said the Commandant De Lassus.

"I do not want two Fathers!" responded Black Hawk.

Dubiously shaking his head as the Americans approached, Black Hawk and his retinue flapped their blankets out of one door as Stoddard and Captain Lewis entered the other.

Away to his boats Black Hawk sped, pulling for dear life up stream to his village at Rock Island. And with him went Singing Bird, the bride of Black Hawk.

"Strange people have taken St. Louis," said the Hawk to his Sacs. "We shall never see our Spanish Father again."

A flotilla of Frenchmen came up from Kaskaskia,—Menard, Edgar, Francis Vigo, and their friends. Villagers left their work in the fields; all St. Louis flocked to La Place d'Armes in front of the Government House to see the transfer.

In splendid, showy uniforms, every officer of the Spanish garrison stood at arms, intently watching the parade winding up the limestone footway from the boats below.

With its public archives and the property of a vast demesne, Don Carlos De Hault De Lassus handed over to Major Stoddard the keys of the Government House in behalf of France. A salvo of cannonry shook St. Louis.

"People of Upper Louisiana," began De Lassus in a choked and broken voice, "by order of the King, I am 164 now about to surrender this post and its dependencies. The flag which has protected you during nearly thirty-six years will no longer be seen. The oath you took now ceases to bind. Your faithfulness and courage in upholding it will be remembered for ever. From the bottom of my heart I wish you all prosperity."

De Lassus, Stoddard, Lewis, Clark, and the soldiers filed up the yellow path, past the log church, to the fort on the hill. The Spanish flag was lowered; De Lassus wept as he took the fallen banner in his hand, but as the Lilies of France flashed in the sun the Creoles burst into tumultuous cheers. Not for forty years had they seen that flag, the emblem of their native land. Cannon roared, swords waved, and shouts were heard, but not in combat.

The gates were thrown open; out came the Spanish troops with knapsacks on their backs, ready to sail away to New Orleans. The old brass cannon and munitions of war were transported down the hill, while the American soldiers in sombre uniforms filed into the dingy old fort of Spain.

Major Stoddard sent for the French flag to be taken down at sunset.

"No, no, let it fly! Let it fly all night!" begged the Creoles, and a guard of honour went up to watch the flickering emblem of their country's brief possession.

All night long that French flag kissed the sky, all night the guard of honour watched, and the little log church of St. Louis was filled with worshippers. All the romance of Brittany and Normandy rose to memory. René Kiercereau the singer led in ballads of La Belle France, and the glories of fields where their fathers fought were rehearsed with swelling hearts. Not the real France but an ideal was in their hearts, the tradition of Louis XIV.

That was the last day of France in North America. As the beloved banner sank the drums gave a long funeral roll, but when, instead, the red, white, and blue burst on the breeze, the fifes struck into lively music and the drums rained a cataract. 165

"Three cheers for the American flag!" cried Charles Gratiot in the spirit of the Swiss republic, but there were no cheers. The Creoles were weeping. Sobs, lamentations arose, but the grief was mostly from old Frenchmen and their wives who so long had prayed that the Fleur de Lis might wave above San Loui'. Their sons and daughters, truly, as Lucien Bonaparte had warned Napoleon, "went to bed good Frenchmen, to awake and find themselves Americans."

The huge iron cock in the belfry of the old log church spun round and round, as if it knew not which way the wind was blowing. In three days three flags over St. Louis! No wonder the iron cock lost its head and spun and spun like any fickle weather vane.

In the same square with the Government House stood one of the Chouteau mansions. Auguste Chouteau had been there from the beginning, when as a fearless youth with Laclede he had penetrated to the site of the future San Loui' in 1764. He was a diplomat who met Indians and made alliances. He had seen the territory pass under Spain's flag, and in spite of that had made it more and more a place of Gallic refuge for his scattered countrymen. He had welcomed Saugrain, Cerré, Gratiot, in fact,—he and his brother Pierre remembered the day when there was no San Loui'.

A band of Osage chiefs had come in to see their great Spanish father. With wondering eyes they watched the cession, and were handed over to Captain Lewis to deal with in behalf of the United States. A French messenger was sent ahead with a letter to the tribe.

"The Americans taken San Loui'?"

Manuel Lisa, the Spaniard, was disgusted,—it broke up his monopoly of the Osage trade. "We will not haf the Americans!"

The Osages burnt the letter. 166


The winter of 1802-3 had been uncommonly severe. Unknown to George Shannon, that winter his father hunting in the dense woods of Ohio lost his way in a snow-storm and was frozen to death. Unaware of the tragedy at home, unaware also of his own inherited facility for getting lost, the boy set out up the winding staircase of the wild Missouri.

An older brother, John, nineteen years of age, became the stay of that widowed mother with her seven small children, the least a baby, Wilson Shannon, twice the future Governor of Ohio and once the Governor of Kansas.

With a pad on his knee every soldier boy wrote home from the camp on River Dubois opposite the mouth of the Missouri. Down through the years Sergeant Ordway's letter has come to us.

"Camp River Dubois, April the 8th, 1804.

"Honoured Parents,—I now embrace this opportunity of writeing to you once more to let you know where I am and where I am going. I am well thank God and in high Spirits. I am now on an expedition to the westward, with Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clark, who are appointed by the President of the United States to go on an Expedition through the interior parts of North America. We are to ascend the Missouri River with a boat as far as it is navigable and then to go by land to the western ocean, if nothing prevents. This party consists of twenty-five picked men of the armey and country likewise and I am so happy as to be one of them picked from the armey and I and all the party are if we live to return to receive our discharge whenever we return again to the United States if we choose it. This place is on the Mississippi River opposite to the mouth of the Missouri River and we are to start in ten 167 days up the Missouri River, this has been our winterquarters. We expect to be gone 18 months or two years, we are to receive a great reward for this expedition when we return. I am to receive 15 dollars a month and at least 400 ackers of first rate land and if we make great discoveries as we expect the United States has promised to make us great rewards, more than we are promised, for fear of accidents I wish to inform you that [personal matters].

I have received no letters since Betseys yet but will write next winter if I have a chance.

"Yours, etc.,
"John Ordway, Segt.

"To Stephen Ordway,
Dumbarton, N.H."


The boats were ready, the red pirogue and the white, from St. Louis, fresh painted, trim and slim upon the water, and the big bateau, fifty-five feet from stem to stern, with setting poles, sweeps, a square sail to catch the breeze, and twenty-two oars at the rowlocks.

Down under the decks and in the cabins, had been packed the precious freightage, government arms, rifles made at Harper's Ferry under Lewis's own superintendence, tents, ammunition, bales and boxes of Indian presents, provisions, tools. Into the securest lockers went Lewis's astronomical instruments for ascertaining the geography of the country, and the surgical instruments that did good service in the hands of Clark.

Nothing was forgotten, even small conveniences, candles, ink, mosquito bars. It took half a million to send Stanley to Africa. For twenty-five hundred dollars Lewis and Clark made as great a journey.

To assist in carrying stores and repelling Indian attacks, 168 Corporal Warfington and six soldiers had been engaged at St. Louis and nine French boys of Cahokia, inured to the paddle and the camp. Feather-decked and beaded they came, singing the songs of old Cahokia to start the little squadron.

The Americans had knives in their belts, pistols in their holsters, knapsacks on their backs, powder horns and pouches of ammunition, ink horns and quills, ready to face the wilderness and report. Lewis encouraged every one to keep a journal.

"I niver wint to school but nineteen days in me boyhood and that was whin I was a man," said Patrick Gass. But what Pat lacked in books he made up in observation and shrewd reasoning; hence it fell out that Patrick Gass's journal was the first published account of the Lewis and Clark expedition. All honour to Patrick Gass. Of such are our heroes.

The cession was on Wednesday, May 9, 1804, and all the men were there but a few who guarded camp. At three o'clock the following Monday, May 14, Captain Clark announced, "All aboard!" The heavy-laden bateau and two pirogues swung out, to the voyageurs' chanson, thrilling like a brass band as their bright new paddles cut the water:

"A frigate went a-sailing,

Mon joli cœur de rose,

Far o'er the seas away,

Joli cœur d'un rosier,

Joli cœur d'un rosier."

And hill and hollow echoed,

"Mon joli cœur de rose"

"San Chawle!" cried Cruzatte the bowsman at two o'clock, Wednesday, when the first Creole village hove in sight. At a gun, the signal of traders, all St. Charles rushed to see the first Americans that had ever come up the Missouri. And straggling behind the Frenchmen came their friends, the Kickapoos of Kaskaskia, now on a hunt in the Missouri. 169

"Meet us up the river with a good fat deer," said Captain Clark. The delighted Kickapoos scattered for the hunt.

Five days the boats lay at St. Charles, waiting for Captain Lewis who was detained fixing off the Osage chiefs at St. Louis.

Patrick Gass wrote in his journal, "It rained." Sergeant Floyd adds, "Verry much Rain." Captain Clark chronicles, "Rain, thunder, and lightning for several days." But never on account of a flurry of rain did the sociable French of St. Charles fail in polite attentions to their guests on the river bank.

On Sunday, boats were descried toiling up from St. Louis with a dozen gentlemen, who had come to escort Captain Lewis and bid "God speed!" to the expedition. Captain Stoddard was there, and Auguste Chouteau, availing himself of every opportunity to forward the enterprise. Monsieur Labbadie had advice and Gratiot and Dr. Saugrain, little and learned, with the medicine chest.

With throbbing hearts the captains stole a moment for a last home letter to be sent by the returning guests.

"My route is uncertain," wrote Clark to Major Croghan at Locust Grove. "I think it more than probable that Captain Lewis or myself will return by sea."

"Bon voyage! bon voyage, mes voyageurs!" cried all the French habitants of St. Charles, waving caps and kerchiefs to answering cheers from the crew and the guns. "Bonsoir et bon voyage—tak' care for you—prenez garde pour les sauvages." With a laugh the voyageurs struck up a boat song.

The boats slid away into the west, that West where France had stretched her shadowy hand, and Spain, and England. The reign of France fell with Montcalm on the Heights of Abraham, flickering up again only in that last act when Napoleon gave us Louisiana.

"The Kickapoos! The Kickapoos!" Through bush and brier above St. Charles, the bedraggled Indians came tugging down to the shore four fine fat deer. Bacon fare and hardtack were relegated to the hold. From that 170 hour Lewis and Clark threaded the gameland of the world.

"Joost wait onteel dey get ento de boofalo!" commented those wise young voyageurs, Cruzatte and Drouillard, nodding at one another as the cooks served out the savoury meat on the grass, and every man drew forth his long hunting-knife and little sack of salt.

"Where is my old friend, Daniel Boone?" inquired Captain Clark, three days later at Charette, the last settlement on the Missouri border. This, but for Spanish interference, would have been their camping station the previous winter. Colonel Boone, six miles from the Missouri, was holding court beneath his Judgment Tree.

The June rise of the Missouri was at hand. Days of rain and melting snows had set the mad streams whirling. The muddy Missouri, frothing, foaming, tore at its ragged banks that, yawning, heavily undermined, leaped suddenly into the water. Safety lay alone in mid-stream, where the swift current, bank-full and running like a millrace, bore down toward the Mississippi.

To stem it was terrific. In spite of oars and sails and busy poling, the bateau would turn, raked ever and anon with drifts of fallen trees. And free a moment, some new danger arose. Down out of sight, water-soaked logs scraped the keel with vicious grating. And above, formidable battering-rams of snags sawed their black heads up and down defiantly, as if Nature herself had blockaded the way with a chevaux de frise.

Poles broke, oars splintered, masts went headlong, the boat itself careened almost into the depths. It was a desperate undertaking to stem the mad Missouri in the midst of her wild June rise.

But that very rise, so difficult to oppose upstream, was a sliding incline the other way. May 27, two canoes loaded with furs came plunging full tilt out of the north.

"Where from? What news?"

"Two months from the Omaha nation, seven hundred miles up the river," sang out the swiftly passing Frenchmen bound for St. Louis. 171

Behind them a huge raft,—

"From the Pawnees on the Platte!"

And yet behind three other rafts, piled, heaped, and laden to the water's edge,—

"From the Grand Osage!"

Such alone was greeting and farewell, as the barks, unable to be checked, went spinning down the water.

What a gala for the winter-bound trapper! Home again! home again! flying down the wild Missouri in the mad June rise! They stopped not to camp or to hunt, but skimming the wave, fairly flew to St. Louis. They came, those swift-gliding boats, like visions of another world, the world Lewis and Clark were about to enter.

June 5, two more canoes flashed by with beaver,—

"From eighty leagues up the Kansas river!"

June 8, boats with beaver and otter slid by, and rafts of furs and buffalo tallow,—

"From the Sioux nation!"

Dorion, an old Frenchman on a Sioux raft, engaged to go back with Lewis and Clark to interpret for them the language of his wife's relations.

A thousand miles against the current! Now and then a southwest wind would fill out the big square-cut sail and send the heavy barge ploughing steadily up. Again, contrary winds kept them on the walking boards all day long, with heads bent low over the setting-pole.

Warm and warmer grew the days. Some of the men were sunstruck. The glitter of sun on the water inflamed their eyes. Some broke out with painful boils, and mosquitoes made night a torture.

Now and then they struck a sand-bar, and leaping into the water the voyageurs ran along shore with the cordelle on their shoulders, literally dragging the great boat into safety.

"Mon cher Captinne! de win' she blow lak' hurricane!" cried the voyageurs.

Down came the prairie gale, almost a tornado, snapping the timber on the river-banks, and lashing the water to waves that surged up, over, and into the boats. The sky bent black above them, the fierce wind howled, and 172 the almost exhausted men strained every nerve to hold the rocking craft.

"I strong lak' moose, not 'fraid no t'ing," remarked Cruzatte, clambering back into the boat wet as a drowned kitten.

Hot and tired, June 26 they tied up at the mouth of Kansas River. "Eat somet'ing, tak' leetle drink also," said the voyageurs. On the present site of Kansas City they pitched their tents, and stretched their limbs from the weariness of canoe cramp.

"The most signs of game I iver saw," said Patrick Gass, wandering out with his gun to find a bear. "Imince Hurds of Deer," bears in the bottoms, beaver, turkeys, geese, and a "Grat nomber of Goslins," say the journals, but not an Indian.

"Alas!" sighed the old voyageurs with friendly pity. "De Kansas were plaintee brave people, but de Sac and de Sioux, dey drive 'em up de Kansas River."

Cæsar conquered Gaul, but the mercatores were there before him. Lewis and Clark ascended the Missouri, but everywhere the adventurous Frenchmen had gone before them, peddlers of the prairie, out with Indian goods buying skins.

But now Americans had come. The whippoorwill sang them to sleep, the wolf howled them awake. The owl inquired, "Who? Who? Who?" in the dark treetops at the mouth of the Kansas River.

On, on crept the boats, past grand old groves of oak and hickory, of walnut, ash, and buckeye, that had stood undisturbed for ages. Swift fawn flitted by, and strange and splendid birds that the great Audubon should come one day to study. On, on past the River-which-Cries, the Weeping Water, the home of the elk. Tall cottonwoods arose like Corinthian columns wreathed with ivy, and festoons of wild grape dipped over and into the wave.

The River-which-Cries marked the boundary of two nations, the Otoes and Omahas. Almost annually its waters were reddened with slaughter. Then came the old men and women and children from the Otoe villages 173 on the south and from the Omahas on the north and wept and wept there, until it came to be known as Nehawka, the Weeping Water.

July came and the waters were falling. With a fair wind, on the 21st they sailed past the mouth of the great river Platte. In the summer evening Lewis and Clark in their pirogue paddled up the Platte.

"Here I spen' two winter wit' de Otoe," said Drouillard the hunter. "De Otoe were great nation, but de Sioux an' de 'Maha drove dem back on de Pawnee."

"And the Pawnees?"

"Dey built villages an' plant corn an' wage war wid de Osage."

Ten days later preparations were made to meet the Otoes at Council Bluffs. On a cottonwood pole the flag was flying. A great feast was ready, when afar off, Drouillard and Cruzatte were seen approaching with their friends.

"Boom," went the blunderbuss, and the council smoke arose under an awning made of the mainsail of the bateau. Every man of the expedition, forty-five in all, paraded in his best uniform.

Lewis talked. Clark talked. All the six chiefs expressed satisfaction in the change of government. They begged to be remembered to their Great Father, the President, and asked for mediation between them and the Omahas.

"What is the cause of your war?"

"We have no horses," answered the childlike Otoes. "We borrow their horses. Then they scalp us. We fear the Pawnees also. We very hungry, come to their village when they are hunting, take a little corn!"

The Captains could scarce repress a smile, nor yet a tear. Thefts, reprisals, midnight burnings and slaughter, this was the reign immemorial in this land of anarchy. In vain the tribes might plant,—never could they reap. "We poor Indian," was the universal lament.

Severely solemn, Lewis and Clark hung medals on the neck of each chief, and gave him a paper with greetings from Thomas Jefferson with the seals of Lewis and 174 Clark impressed with red wax and attached with a blue ribbon.

"When you look at these, remember your Great Father. You are his children. He bids you stop war and make peace with one another." In 1860, the Otoe Indians exhibited at Nebraska City those identical papers, borne for more than half a century in all their homeless wanderings, between flat pieces of bark and tied with buckskin thongs.

Then gifts were distributed and chiefs' dresses. With more handshakings and booming of cannon, the flotilla sailed away that sultry afternoon one hundred years ago. The chiefs stood still on the shore and wonderingly gazed at one another.

"These are the peacemakers!"

A week later Lewis and Clark entered the Omaha country and raised a flag on the grave of Blackbird. Encamping on a sandbar opposite the village, Sergeant Ordway and Cruzatte were dispatched to summon the chiefs. Here Cruzatte had traded two winters. Up from the river he found the old trails overgrown. Breaking through sunflowers, grass, and thistles high above their heads, they came upon the spot where once had stood a village. Naught remained but graves.

The Omahas had been a military people, feared even by the Sioux, the Kansas, and the far-away Crows. Strange mystery clung to Blackbird. Never had one so powerful ruled the Missouri. At his word his enemy perished. Stricken by sudden illness, whoever crossed the will of Blackbird died, immediately, mysteriously.

Then came the smallpox in 1800. Blackbird himself died and half his people. In frenzy the agonised Omahas burnt their village, slew their wives and children, and fled the fatal spot,—but not until they had buried Blackbird. In accord with his last wish, they took the corpse of the Omaha King to the top of the highest hill and there entombed him, sitting upright on his horse that he might watch the traders come and go.

And one of those traders bore in his guilty heart the secret of Blackbird's power. He had given to him a 175 package of arsenic. Blackbird and Big Elk's father went to St. Louis in the days of the French and made a treaty. A portrait of the chief was then painted that is said to hang now in the Louvre at Paris.

A delegation of Otoes had been persuaded to come up and smoke the peace-pipe with the Omahas. But not an Omaha appeared. And the Otoes, released from overwhelming fear, Big Horse and Little Thief, Big Ox and Iron Eyes, smoked and danced on the old council ground of their enemies, whose scalps they had vowed to hang at their saddle bow.

Sergeant Floyd danced with the rest that hot August night, and became overheated. He went on guard duty immediately afterward, and lay down on a sandbar to cool. In a few moments he was seized with frightful pains.

Nathaniel Pryor awakened the Captains.

"My cousin is very ill."

All night Lewis and Clark used every endeavour to relieve the suffering soldier. At sunrise the boats set sail, bearing poor Floyd, pale and scarce breathing. There was a movement of the sick boy's lips,—

"I am going away. I want you to write me a letter."

And there, on the borders of Iowa, he dispatched his last message to the old Kentucky home. When they landed for dinner Floyd died.

With streaming tears Patrick Gass, the warm-hearted, made a strong coffin of oak slabs. A detail of brother soldiers bore the body to the top of the bluff and laid it there with the honours of war, the first United States soldier to be buried beyond the Mississippi, and on a cedar post they carved his name.

With measured tread and slow the soldiers came down and camped on Floyd's River below, in the light of the setting sun.

Years passed. Around that lovely height, Floyd's Bluff, Sioux City grew. Travellers passed that way and said, "Yonder lies Charles Floyd on the bluff." Relic hunters chipped away the cedar post. Finally, the Missouri undermined the height, and the oakwood coffin 176 came near falling into the river, but it was rescued and buried farther back in 1857. Recently a magnificent monument was dedicated there, to commemorate his name and his mission for ever,—the first light-bearer to perish in the West.

A few days later a vote was cast for a new sergeant in the place of Floyd, and Patrick Gass received the honour. Every day Floyd had written in his journal, and now it was given into the hand of Captain Clark to be forwarded, on the first opportunity, to his people.


"What river is this, Dorion?" Captain Lewis had thrown open his infantry uniform to catch the cooling gust down a silver rift in the shore.

"Petite Rivière des Sioux. Go to Des Moines country. Pass tro te Lake of te Spirit, full of islands. Lead to Dog Plain, Prairie du Chien, four days from te Omaha country. Des Sioux—"

Dorion drew his forefinger across his throat and lapsed into silence. They were his people, he would not traduce them. But his listeners understood,—the Sioux were "cut-throats," this was their name among the tribes.

The voyageurs trembled, "Bon Dieu! le Sioux sauvage, he keel de voyageur an' steal deir hair!"

The Sioux, the terrible Sioux, were dog Indians, ever on the move, raiding back and forth, restless and unsleeping. Almost to Athabasca their travoises kicked up the summer dust, their dog trains dragged across the plains of Manitoba. On the Saskatchewan they pitched their leather tents and chased the buffalo; around Lake Winnipeg they scalped the Chippeways. At the Falls of 177 St. Anthony they spread their fishing nets, and at Niagara Falls the old French Jesuits found them.

Now they were stealing horses. For horses, down the Mississippi they murdered the Illinois. For horses, the Mandan on the upper Missouri heard and trembled. "The Sioux! the Sioux!" The Ponca paled in his mud hut on the Niobrara, the Omaha retreated up the Platte, the Cheyenne hid in the cedar-curtained recesses of the Black Hills.

More puissant than the Six Nations of the Iroquois, the Sioux Confederacy dominated from the Red River of the North to the Red River of Texas. Wilder than the Comanches they rode, more cunning in theft than the Crows, more bloodthirsty than the Blackfeet. On the red man's triple plea for war,—horses, scalps, and wives,—the Sioux were pirates of the streams and despots of the prairie.

Mettlesome with the bow, fiery in battle, strong, brave, wild, kings of the hills and monarchs of the trails, they ruled the earth in splendid savagery. The buffalo was theirs, the beaver and the deer, and woe betide the rival that poached on their preserves. Did the poor Shoshone venture beyond the Rockies, he was flayed and burned alive. No lake, no stream, no river between the Mississippi and the Rockies remained unstained by their red hatchet.

And what a chapter when the traders came! Unwritten yet are those days of fierce and constant battle.

Even Dorion himself dreaded the daring freebooters into whose tribe he had married. His own offspring partook of the wild fierce spirit of their people. Like eaglets or young panthers, they clutched at him with claws and talons,—with difficulty the little Frenchman held them back as the lion-tamer holds the whelps.

Of Dorion's possessions the Sioux took what they pleased. For the privilege of trading he smiled and gave them all, then in generosity he was heaped with skins. Dorion knew the Sioux, knew their best and worst. Somewhere in this Sioux country his faithful spouse was waiting; he was looking for her now,—a model squaw, 178 a tireless slave who dug his roots and made his garments, brought his wood and water, and, neglected, bore his children.

"Pilicans! pilicans!"

It was the voice of Patrick Gass, beyond the Little Sioux. A low sand island was covered with huge, white, web-footed beauties fishing in the chocolate Missouri.

When the scrimmage was over two handsome birds lay in the bateau, one, the queen of the flock, brought down by Lewis himself. She was a splendid specimen, six feet from tip to tip, pure white with a tinge of rose, and an enormous pouch full of fish under her bill.

"Out with the fish. Let us measure that pouch."

Lewis's enthusiasm was contagious. All hands gathered while he poured in water, five gallons.

"The average capacity is but two," said Captain Clark. "We must preserve this trophy."

To-day that beautiful bird, of strong maternal instincts, is the emblem of the State of Louisiana.

Again Lewis put the question, "What stream, Dorion?"

"Te Great Sioux! Two hundret mile to te Sioux Fall, an' beyont—almost to St. Peters."

A smile relaxed old Dorion's leathern face,—

"Below te Fall, a creek from te cliffs of red rock. All Indian get te peace-pipe. No battle dere, no war."

Of the famous red pipestone quarry old Dorion spoke, the beautiful variegated rock out of which resplendent Dakota cities should be built in the future.

"Te rock ees soft, cut it wit te knife, then hard and shining."

All tribes, even those at war, could claim asylum at the red pipestone. The Sioux came, and the Pawnee, to camp on its banks and fashion their calumets. The soft clay pipes, hardened into things of beauty, were traded from tribe to tribe, emblems and signals of peace. Captain Lewis himself had one, bought in St. Louis, brought down from that quarry by some enterprising French trader.

"Buffalo! buffalo! buffalo!" A grand shout arose 179 at sight of the surging herds. "Plaintee boofalo now," said the voyageurs. Upon the led horses along shore, Clark and Joseph Fields dashed away for a first shot.

Again rejoicing cooks went hunting up the kettles, and the whole expedition paused a day for a grand hunt.

"Te Yankton Sioux!" joyfully announced old Dorion, as they neared the familiar chalk bluffs of "des rivière Jaques, tat go almost to te Red Rivière of te Winnipeg." All over these streams old Dorion had trapped the beaver.

With Sergeant Pryor and another, Dorion set out for the Indian camp. The Yankton Sioux saw the white men approaching and ran with robes to carry them in state to camp.

"No," answered the Sergeant, "we are not the commanders. They are at the boats."

Dorion led the way to his wigwam. His polite old squaw immediately spread a bearskin for them to sit on. Another woman killed a dog, cut it up, and boiled it and gave it to them to eat, a token of friendship.

Forty clean and well-kept lodges were in this Yankton village, of dressed buffalo and elk skin, painted red and white and very handsome. And each lodge had a cooking apartment attached.

Under the Calumet bluffs the flag was flying when the Yankton Sioux came down in state and crossed the river to the council. The Yankton Sioux were reputed to be the best of their nation, and brave as any, with their necklaces of bear's claws, paints, and feathers. They were kingly savages, dignified and solemn, with heads shaved to the eagle plume, and arrayed in robes wrought with porcupine quills.

With Dorion as interpreter Captain Lewis delivered the usual speech, and presented flags, medals, and a chief's dress, a richly laced coat, cocked hat, and red feather. The ceremonious Indians withdrew to consider a suitable answer.

The next morning again the chiefs assembled, solemnly seated in a row with enormous peace-pipes of red stone and stems a yard long, all pointing toward the seats intended for Lewis and Clark. 180

But the great Indian diplomats did not hasten.


Even the stoic Sioux could not refrain from an ejaculation of admiration as they half rose, pipe in hand, to gaze in awe and wonder as the white chiefs entered the council. No such traders ever came up the Missouri, no such splendid apparitions as the Red Head Chief and his brother, pink and white as the roses on the river Jaques.

Captain Lewis habitually wore his sunny hair in a queue; to-day it was loosened into a waving cataract, and Clark, slipping off his eelskin bag, let his red locks fall, a strange and wondrous symbol. No such red and gold had ever been seen in the Indian country. With pale berries they stained their porcupine quills, with ochre painted the buffalo lodges, with vermilion rouged their faces, but none like these growing on the heads of men!

Seating themselves with all due dignity, Lewis and Clark scarce lifted their eyes from the ground as the Grand Chief, Weucha, extended his decorated pipe in silence. A full hour elapsed before Weucha, slipping his robe to give full play to his arm, arose before them.

"I see before me my Great Father's two sons. We very poor. We no powder, ball, knives. Our women and children at the village no clothes. I wish my brothers would give something to those poor people.

"I went to the English, they gave me a medal and clothes. I went to the Spanish, they gave me a medal. Now you give me a medal and clothes. Still we are poor. I wish you would give something for our squaws."

Then other chiefs spoke. "Very poor. Have pity on us. Send us traders. We want powder and ball."

Deadly as were the Sioux arrows,—one twang of their bowstring could pierce a buffalo,—yet a better weapon had crossed their vision. Firearms, powder, ball, fabulous prices, these problems changed Indian history.

Congratulating themselves on this favourable encounter with the dreaded Sioux, and promising everything, Lewis and Clark went forward with renewed courage.

More and more buffaloes dotted the hills, and herds of antelope, strange and new to science. 181

"I must have an antelope," said Lewis.

At that moment he saw seven on a hilltop. Creeping carefully near, they scented him on the wind. The wild beauties were gone, and a similar flock of seven appeared on a neighbouring height.

"Can they have spanned the ravine in this brief time?"

He looked, and lo! on a third height and then a fourth they skimmed the hills like cloud shadows, or winged griffins of the fabled time, half quadruped and half bird.

"A cur'ous lill animal here, Captain," said one of the hunters, handing him a limp little body. Its head was like a squirrel's. Lewis stroked the long fine hair.

"What is it?"

Cruzatte, the bowman, paddle in hand, leaned over, peering with his one near-sighted but intelligent eye.

"Ha! ha! ha! le petit chien!" he laughed. "Live in te hole een te prairie. Leetle dog. Bark, yelp, yelp, yelp, like te squirrel. All over te countree, whole towns," spreading his brown hands expressively.

After this lucid explanation the Captains, Lewis and Clark, set out for a prairie-dog town. A few yelps, heels in air, the town was deserted save for the tiny mounds that told where each had hidden.

"Let us drown one out."

Forthwith, every man came puffing up with big brass kettles full of water.

"Five barrels," says Clark in his journal, "were poured into the holes but not a dog came out," and Patrick Gass adds, "Though they worked at the business until night they only caught one of them."

More and more the hills were thronged with buffalo. Even York, Captain Clark's black servant, went out and killed two at one ride.

On the top of a high bluff the men had found the skeleton of a huge fish, forty-five feet long and petrified.

"Blow, ye winds of morning,

Blow, blow, blow—"

George Shannon, the boy of the expedition, had enlivened many a sunrise with his jolly, rollicking Irish songs. 182 But Shannon was lost! On the 28th of August he had gone out to look for the strayed horses. It was now September. Captain Lewis was wild, for at his request George had joined the expedition and at his order he had gone after the horses. Hunters had sought in every direction, guns had been fired and the blunderbuss, and smokes had been kindled from point to point.

"Shannon!" A great shout went up as the forlorn boy, emaciated and weary, came dragging into camp on the 11th of September.

It was a short story, soon told. He found the horses and followed by mistake the trail of recent Indians, which he mistook for footprints of the party. For days he followed the trail, exhausted his bullets, and lived on wild grapes and a rabbit he killed with a stick. But he heard no guns, saw no smoke.

In despair at last he came down to the river, to discover that all this time he had been travelling ahead of the boats! The fatted buffalo-calf was killed and great was the rejoicing, and at daylight next morning, Shannon's

"Blow, ye winds of morning,

Blow, blow, blow,"

rang again joyously over the Missouri.

"Danger! Quick! The bank is caving!"

At one o'clock in the night the guard gave the startled cry. Barely was there time to loosen the boats and push into midstream before the whole escarpment dropped like an avalanche over the recent anchorage. Thus in one instant might have been blotted out the entire expedition, to remain for all time a mystery and conjecture.

On the evening of September 24 the cooks and a guard went ashore to get supper at the mouth of the river Teton, the present site of Pierre, South Dakota. Five Indians, who had followed for some time, slept with the guard on shore.

Early next morning sixty Indians came down from a Sioux camp and the Captains prepared for a council. Under the flag and an awning, at twelve o'clock the company paraded under arms. Dorion had remained behind 183 at the Yankton village, so with difficulty, by the aid of Drouillard and much sign language, a brief speech was delivered. Black Buffalo, head chief, was decorated with a medal, flag, laced coat, cocked hat, and red feather, nor were the rest forgotten with smaller gifts, medals, and tobacco.

The Captains would have gone on, but, "No! No!" insisted Black Buffalo, seizing the cable of Clark's departing pirogue.

Finally Clark and several of the men rowed them ashore. But no sooner had they landed than one seized the cable and held the boat fast. Another flung his arms around the mast and stood immovable.

"Release me," demanded Clark, reddening at evidence of so much treachery.

Black Buffalo advanced to seize Clark. The Captain drew his sword. At this motion Captain Lewis, watching from the bateau, instantly prepared for action.

The Indians had drawn their arrows and were bending their great bows, when the black mouth of the blunderbuss wheeled toward them.

At this Black Buffalo ordered his men to desist, and they sullenly fell away, but never was forgotten that time when the Teton Sioux attempted to carry off Captain Clark.

"We wished to see the boat more," said the Indians, by way of excuse. "We wished to show it to our wives and children."

To conciliate and to depart without irritation, Captain Clark offered his hand. The chiefs refused to take it. Turning, Clark stepped into the boat and shoved off. Immediately three warriors waded in after him, and he brought them on board. That night the whole expedition slept under arms, with the Indians as guests. At daylight crowds of Indian men, women, and children waited on shore in the most friendly manner.

Ten well-dressed young men took Lewis and Clark up on a highly decorated robe and carried them up to the council tent. Dressed like dandies, seventy Indians sat in this roomy council hall, the tail feathers of the golden 184 eagle scarce quivering in their topknots. Impressively in the centre on two forked sticks lay the long peace-pipe above a bed of swan's down.

Outside, the redmen were roasting a barbecue. All day they sat and smoked, and ate of buffalo beef and pemmican. After sunset a huge council fire illuminated the interior of the great lodge, and the dance began. Wild Indian girls came shuffling with the reeking scalps of Omahas, from a recent raid. Outside twenty-five Omaha women prisoners and their children moaned in the chill of an icy autumn night. It was their trail that Shannon had followed for sixteen days.

About midnight, fatigued by the constant strain of watchful anxiety, the Captains returned to the boats. But not yet were they safely away. "To oars! to oars! the cable's parted!"

The Indians heard the call.

"The Omahas! the Omahas!" rang the cry up from the Teton camp, that on every wind anticipated the whoop of retaliating Omahas in search of their stolen wives and children.

Then followed pandemonium of rushing Indians and frightened calls. All night, with strained eyes, every man held his rifle ready as they lay unanchored on the water.

At daylight the wily Indians held the ropes and still detained the boats. Resort to force seemed inevitable. Flinging a carat of tobacco, "Black Buffalo," said Lewis, "you say you are a great chief. Prove it by handing me that rope." Flattered, Black Buffalo gave the rope, and thankfully the boats pulled out with no more desire to cultivate the Sioux. 185


"What will they find?" asked the people of the United States, discussing the journey of Lewis and Clark.

"Numerous powerful and warlike nations of savages, of gigantic stature, fierce, treacherous, and cruel, and particularly hostile to white men."

"The mammoth of prehistoric time feeding from the loftiest forests, shaking the earth with its tread of thunder."

"They will find a mountain of solid salt glistening in the sun with streams of brine issuing from its caverns."

"They will find blue-eyed Indians, white-haired, fairer than other tribes, planting gardens, making pottery, and dwelling in houses."

"Oh, yes," said the Federalists, "Jefferson has invented these stories to aggrandise the merit of his purchase. They never can cross the mountains. Human enterprise and exertion will attempt them in vain."

"It was folly! folly to send those men to perish miserably in the wilderness! It was a bold and wicked scheme of Jefferson. They will never return alive to this country."

Had not Jefferson himself in his anxiety directed Lewis and Clark to have recourse to our consuls in Java, the Isles of France and Bourbon, and the Cape of Good Hope? Heaven alone knew whither the Missouri—Columbia might lead them!

But the white Indians—

In the history of Wales there is a story that on account of wars in Wales a Welsh Prince in 1170 "prepared certain shipps, with men and munition, and sought adventures by seas, sailing west, and leaving the coast of Ireland so farre north, that he came to land unknowne, 186 where he saw many strange things.... This Madoc arriving in the countrey, in the which he came in the year 1170, left most of his people there, and returning back for more of his nation, went thither again with ten sails," and was never again heard of.

Six hundred years later Welshmen in America imagined that they could talk with some tribes, who said "they came from white people but were now Indians," and the legend was related that white people had once lived on the Atlantic coast, but had so many wars they crossed the mountains and made boats and went down the Ohio and up the Missouri, "where to this day live the fair-haired, blue-eyed Mandans."

Our grandfathers believed this story, believed these whites might have been cut off at the Falls of the Ohio and some escaped. This is the excuse that Cornstalk gave to Lord Dunmore for the attack at Point Pleasant:

"Long ago our fathers destroyed the whites in a great battle at the Falls of the Ohio. We thought it might be done again."

As if in proof of this statement, George Rogers Clark and other first explorers at the Falls found Sand Island at low water a mass of hacked and mutilated human bones, whether of Indians or whites, no man could tell.

And here now were Lewis and Clark, in the Autumn of 1804, among the fabled Mandans, and here before them was a Mr. Hugh McCracken, an Irishman, and René Jussaume, a Frenchman, independent traders, who for a dozen winters had drawn their goods on dog sleds over from the British fort on the Assiniboine to trade with the Mandans for buffalo robes and horses. Thirty dogs they owned between them, great Huskies of the Eskimo breed.

Jussaume was immediately engaged as interpreter, and the first Sunday was spent in conversation with Black Cat, head chief of the Mandans. All day the hospitable blue-eyed, brown-haired Mandan women, fairer than other Indians, kept coming in with gifts of corn, boiled hominy, and garden stuffs, raised by their own rude 187 implements. Girls of ten years old with silver-gray hair hanging down to their knees stood around and listened.

Yes, they had earthen pots and gardens, even extensive fields of corn, beans, squashes, and sunflowers, and houses—mud huts. They lived in little forted towns that had been moved successively up, up, up the Missouri.

"I believe what you have told us," said one of the chiefs in the great council on Monday. "We shall now have peace with the Ricaras. My people will be glad. Then our women may lie down at night without their moccasins on. They can work in the fields without looking every moment for the enemy."

"We have killed the Ricaras like birds," said another, "until we are tired of killing them. Now we will send a chief and some warriors to smoke with them."

Thus was the first effort for peace in the Mandan country.

The high chill wind almost blew down the awning over the great council. The men paraded up from the boats, the blunderbuss was fired from the bow of the big bateau, the long reed-stemmed stone-bowled pipes were smoked in amity.

"Here are suits of clothes for your chiefs," said Lewis, handing out of a wooden chest the handsome laced uniforms, cocked hats, and feathers. "To your women I present this iron corn-mill to grind their hominy."

The solemn, sad-faced chiefs took the clothes and put them on. The women flew at the corn-mill. All day long they ground and ground and wondered at "the great medicine" that could make meal with so little trouble. Mortars and pestles were thrown behind the lodges, discarded.

The next day Mr. McCracken set out on his return to Fort Assiniboine, one hundred and fifty miles away, with a friendly letter to the Chief Factor, Chaboillez, enclosing the passport of Lewis and Clark from the British minister at Washington.

Yes, a passport,—so uncertain was that boundary—never yet defined. Where lay that line? To the sources 188 of the Mississippi? But those sources were as hidden as the fountain of the Nile. No white man yet had seen Itasca.

Since before the Revolution the Chaboillez family had traded at Michilimackinac. They were there in the days when Wabasha descended on St. Louis, and had a hand in all the border story.

While Lewis was negotiating with the Indians, Captain Clark set out with Black Cat to select a point where timber was plenty to build a winter camp.

"Hey, there! are ye going to run aff and leave me all to mesilf?" exclaimed Patrick Gass, head carpenter, busy selecting his tools and equipments. "Niver moind, I can outwalk the bist o' thim."

Strong, compact, broad-chested, heavy-limbed, but lean, sprightly, and quick of motion, Pat was soon at the side of his Captain. "I can show ye a pint or two about cabins, I'm thinkin'."

Clark smiled. He knew something about cabins himself.

The day was fine and crowds of Indians came to watch proceedings as Clark's men began to cut the tall cottonwoods and roll up the cabins.

Every day the Indians came in crowds to watch the wonderful building of the white men's fort, the deer-skin windows and mud-plastered chimneys. Turning loose their horses, all day long the red men lay on the grass watching the details of this curious architecture. At night, gathering an armful of cottonwood boughs stripped from the fort timber, each fed his horse and meandered thoughtfully homeward in the red sunset.

One day two squaws came, a leathery old dame and a captive Indian girl from the Rocky Mountains,—the handsome young Sacajawea, the Bird-Woman.

"She my slave," said Charboneau, a Frenchman in blanket capote and kerchief around his head. "I buy her from de Rock Mountain. I make her my wife." Charboneau lived with the Minnetarees, friends and neighbours of the Mandans.

Shahaka, the Big White Head Chief, came, too, with 189 his squaw packing on her back "one hundred pounds of very fine meat." Whenever Shahaka crossed the river his squaw picked up the buffalo-skin canoe and carried it off on her back. Those canoes were made exactly like a Welsh coracle.

The days grew colder, the frost harder. Ice began to run in the river and the last boats in from the hunt brought thirty-two deer, eleven elk, and buffalo that were jerked and hung in the winter smoke-house.

By November 20 the triangular fort was ready,—two rows of cabins of four rooms each, with lofts above where, snug and warm under the roof next to the chimneys, the men slept through the long cold winter nights on beds of grass, rolled up in their blankets and fuzzy robes of buffalo.

In the frosty weather there came over the prairies from Fort Assiniboine seven Northwest traders, led by François Antoine Larocque and Charles Mackenzie, with stores of merchandise to trade among the Mandans. They immediately waited upon Lewis and Clark.

"We are not traders," said the Americans, "but explorers on our way to the Pacific."

Through Larocque's mind flashed the journey of Sir Alexander Mackenzie and its outcome. That might mean more than a rival trader. "He is distributing flags and medals among the Mandans," came the rumour.

"In the name of the United States I forbid you from giving flags and medals to the Indians, as our Government looks upon those things as sacred emblems of the attachment of the Indians to our country," said Captain Lewis to Monsieur Larocque when next he called at Fort Mandan.

"As I have neither flags nor medals, I run no risk of disobeying those orders, I assure you," answered the easy Frenchman.

"You and all persons are at liberty to come into our territories to trade or for any other purpose, and will never be molested unless your behaviour is such as would subject an American citizen himself to punishment," continued Lewis. 190

"And will the Americans not trade?"

"We may and shall probably have a public store well assorted of all kinds of Indian goods. No liquors are to be sold."

"A very grand plan they have schemed," muttered Larocque, as he went away, "but its being realised is more than I can tell."

While talking with the Captains, Larocque had an eye on a Hudson's Bay trader who had appeared on the scene.

"Beg pardon. I must be off," said Larocque, slipping out with Charboneau to outwit if possible the Hudson's Bay man and reach the Indians first. But before he got off a letter arrived from Chaboillez that altered all plans.

Unknown to Lewis and Clark, though they gradually came to discover it, hot war was waging in the north. For the sake of furs, rival traders cut and carved and shot and imprisoned each other. For the sake of furs those same traders had held Detroit thirteen years beyond the Revolution. Furs came near changing the balance of power in North America.

The old established Hudson's Bay Company claimed British America. The ambitious, energetic Northwesters of Montreal disputed the right. And now that Sir Alexander Mackenzie, a Canadian bourgeois, had become a famous explorer, knighted by the King, jealousies broke out in the Northwest company itself.

Simon McTavish, lord of the Northwesters, who had done all he could to hold the Lakes for Britain, would rule or ruin. But the Northwesters swore by Mackenzie. So the two factions fought each other, and both fought the Hudson's Bay Company.

"The Northwesters are no better than they ought to be," said the men of Hudson's Bay. "They sent an embassy to Congress in 1776." In fact a little change in the balance might have thrown the Northwesters over to the American side and altered the history of a continent.

"The quarrelling traders of the North are almost as bad as the Indians," said Lewis,—"they demoralise and inflame the Indians." 191

"Trade with me," said Hudson's Bay. "The Northwesters will cheat you."

"Trade with me," said the Northwester. "Hudson's Bay are bad men."

With troubled eyes the Indians listened, then scalped them both. Some bloody tales that North could tell, around the plains of lovely Winnipeg, out on the lone Saskatchewan, and over to Athabasca.

But now the Americans,—this was a new force in the West.

December 1, the Americans began to cut and carry pickets to complete the high stockade and gate across the front of Fort Mandan. December 6 it was too cold to work, and that night the river froze over in front of the fort with solid ice an inch and a half thick.

At nine o'clock next morning Chief Shahaka, Big White, came puffing in with news.

"De boofalo! de boofalo!" interpreted Jussaume, listening intently to the long harangue of the chief who was making all sorts of sign language and excitedly pointing up the river.

"De boofalo, on de prairie, comin' eento de bottom."

In short order Lewis, Clark, and fifteen men were out with the Indians mounted on horseback. Then came the din and chase of battle, a sight to fire the blood and thrill the calmest heart.

Riding among the herd, each Indian chose his victim, then, drawing his arrow to the last notch of the bowstring, let it fly. Another and another whizzed from the same string until the quiver was exhausted. The wounded beast, blinded by its mane, sometimes charged the hunter. But the swift steed, trained for the contest, wheeled and was gone. The buffalo staggered for a little, then, struck in a mortal part, fell headlong, pawing up the dust and snow in frantic efforts to rise and fly.

Into the midst came the Captains and their men, and every man brought down his buffalo. At twelve degrees below zero and in a northwest wind, Lewis and his men started out again the next morning to chase the herds 192 that darkened the prairie. The air was filled with frosty flakes, the snow was deep and clinging, but all day and until after dark the exciting hunt held them to the saddle, and only when they came to the fire did the participants realise that their hands and feet were frostbitten.

Cold and colder grew the days. Two suns shone in the sky, prognosticator of still deeper frost. Brilliant northern lights glowed along the Arctic, but still they chased the buffalo until the morning of December 13, when Dr. Saugrain's thermometer stood twenty degrees below zero at sunrise. In fur caps, coats, mittens, and double moccasins they brought home horseload after horseload of juicy beef to hang in the winter storehouse. And fortunately, too, for one day they awoke to find the buffalo gone.

Some winters there was great suffering for food among the Mandans, but this was destined to be a year of plenty. Out of their abundance the chiefs, also, came to the fort with their dog sleds loaded with meat for their friends at the garrison.


On Christmas eve the stockade was finished and the gate was shut. With forty-five men and a blunderbuss Fort Mandan stood impregnable to any force the northern savages could bring against it.

But there was no hostility,—far from it. From curiosity or for trade the Indians came in throngs, until on Christmas eve Captain Lewis sent out the announcement: "Let no one visit us to-morrow. It is our great medicine day."

Before daylight the wondering redmen were aroused from their buffalo couches by three volleys fired from the fort. Awe-struck they sat up and whispered: "White 193 men making medicine." At sunrise a flag was floating above the palisade, but no Indian ventured to approach the mysterious newly closed walls of Fort Mandan.

For his Christmas stocking every man received an allowance of flour, dried apples, and pepper, which together with corn, beans, squash, and unlimited buffalo meat and marrow bones made out a Christmas feast.

At one o'clock the gun was fired for dinner. At two came the signal for the dance.

"Play up ole fashion reel. Everybody he mus' dance," said Cruzatte, tuning his fiddle. "We'll do our possible."

Cruzatte and Gibson played, Gass and Shannon led, Clark called the changes; and with crackling fires, and a stamping like horses, away up there under the Northern stars the first American Christmas was celebrated on the upper Missouri.

Three wide-eyed spectators sat ranged around the walls. These were the squaws of the interpreters, Madame René Jussaume, and the two wives of Charboneau, Madame the old dame, and Sacajawea, the beautiful Indian captive stolen beyond the Rockies.

The Indians, in their cheerless winter villages, found much to attract them at the fort of the white men. Soon after Christmas, William Bratton and John Shields set up their forge as blacksmiths, gunsmiths, and armourers. Day after day, with the thermometer forty degrees below zero, a constant procession of Indians came wending in on the well-beaten snow-track, with axes to grind and kettles to mend. It seemed as if all the broken old kettles that had ever drifted into the country, from Hudson's Bay or Fort William or up from St. Louis, were carried to Fort Mandan filled with corn to pay for mending.

Especially the Indians wanted battle-axes, with long thin blades like the halberds of ancient warfare. Some wanted pikes and spears fixed on the pointed ends of their long dog-poles. A burnt-out old sheet-iron cooking stove became worth its weight in gold. For every scrap of it, four inches square, the Indians would give seven or eight gallons of corn, and were delighted with the exchange. These bits of square sheet iron were invaluable for 194 scrapers for hides, and every shred of cutting that fell to the ground was eagerly bought up to fashion into arrow tips. Metal, metal, metal,—the sine qua non of civilisation had come at last to the Mandans.

While Bratton was busy over his forge, and Shields at the guns, some of the men were out hunting, some were cutting wood to keep the great fires roaring, and some were making charcoal for the smithy.

So the days went on. New Year's, 1805, was ushered in with the blunderbuss. By way of recreation the captains permitted the men to visit the Indian villages where crowds gathered to see the white men dance, "heeling it and toeing it" to the music of the fiddles. The white men in turn were equally diverted by the grotesque figures of the Indians leaping in the buffalo dances.

Captain Clark noted an old man in one of the Mandan villages and gave him a knife.

"How old are you?"

"More than one hundred winters," was the answer. "Give me something for the pain in my back."

But a grandson rebuked the old man. "It isn't worth while. You have lived long enough. It is time for you to go to your relations who can take better care of you than we can."

The old man settled back in his robes by the fire and said no more.

"What accident has happened to your hand?" inquired Lewis of a chief's son.

"Grief for my relatives," answered the boy.

It was a Mandan custom to mutilate the body, as a mark of sorrow for the dead, until some had lost not only all their fingers, but their ears and hair. Sacred ceremonies of flagellations, knife thrusts into the flesh, piercing with thorns and barbaric crucifixions,—thirty years later George Catlin found these still among the Mandans, and ascribed them to an effort to perpetuate some Christian ceremonial of a remote ancestry.

Could it have been a corrupted tradition of the crucifixion of Christ? Who can tell? The Welsh of 1170 were Catholic Christians who believed in self-inflicted 195 penance to save the soul. Degraded, misguided, interblent with Indian superstition through generations, it might have come to this.

But everywhere, at feast or council, one walked as conqueror,—Clark's negro servant, York. Of fine physical presence and remarkable stature, very black and very woolly, York was viewed as superhuman.

"Where you come from?" whispered the awe-struck savages.

Grinning until every ivory tooth glistened, and rolling up the whites of his eyes, he would answer, "I was running wild in the wood, and was caught and tamed by my mastah." Then assuming an air of ferocity, York would exhibit feats of strength that to the Indians seemed really terrible.

"If you kill white men we make you chief," the Arikaras whispered in his ear. York withstood great temptation,—he fought more battles than Clark.

"Delay! delay! delay!" was the Indian plea at every village. "Let our wives see you. Let our children see, especially the black man."

From Council Bluffs to Clatsop, children followed York constantly. If he chanced to turn, with piercing shrieks they ran in terror.

"Mighty warrior. Born black. Great medicine!" sagely commented the wise old men, watching him narrowly and shaking their heads at the unheard-of phenomenon. Even his jerks, contortions, and grimaces seemed a natural part of such a monstrosity. York was a perpetual exhibit, a menagerie in himself.

In these holiday visits to the Mandan towns a glimpse was caught of domestic life. Wasteful profusion when the buffalo came, when the buffalo left, days of famine. Then they opened their cellar-holes of corn and vegetables, hidden away as a last resource in protracted siege when the Sioux drove off the game and shut them up in their picketed villages.

So often were the horses of the Mandans stolen, that it had become a habitual custom every night to take them into the family lodge where they were fed on boughs and 196 bark of the cottonwood. All day long in the iciest weather, the wrinkled, prematurely aged squaws were busy in the hollows, cutting the horse-feed with their dull and almost useless knives. On New Year's day Black Cat came down with a load of meat on his wife's back. A happy woman was she to receive a sharp new knife to cut her meat and cottonwood.

It was easy to buy a Mandan wife. A horse, a gun, powder and ball for a year, five or six pounds of beads, a handful of awls, the trade was made, and the new spouse was set to digging laboriously with the shoulder-blade of an elk or buffalo, preparing to plant her corn.

The Indian woman followed up the hunt, skinned and dressed the buffalo, and carried home the meat. Indian women built the lodges and took them down again, dragging the poles whenever there were not horses enough for a summer ramble.

When not at the hunt or the council, the warrior sat cross-legged at his door, carving a bow, pointing an arrow, or smoking, waited upon by his squaw, who never ate until the braves were done, and then came in at the last with the children and the dogs. Wrinkled and old at thirty, such was the fate of the Indian girl.

Sunday, January 13, Charboneau came back from a visit to the Minnetarees at Turtle Mountain with his face frozen. It was fortunate he returned with his life. Many a Frenchman was slain on that road, many an imprecation went up against the Assiniboine Sioux,—"Les Gens des Grands Diables du Nord," said Charboneau.

Touissant Charboneau, one of the old Canadian French Charboneaus, with his brothers had tramped with Alexander Henry far to the north under sub-arctic forests, wintered on the Assiniboine, and paddled to Winnipeg. Seven years now he had lived among the Minnetarees, an independent trader like McCracken and Jussaume, and interpreter for other traders.

Moreover, Charboneau was a polygamist with several wives to cook his food and carry his wood and water. But he had been kind to the captive Indian girl, and her 197 heart clung to the easy-going Frenchman as her best friend. The worst white man was better than an Indian husband.

Captured in battle as a child five years before, Sacajawea had been brought to the land of the Dakotas and sold to Charboneau. Now barely sixteen, in that February at the Mandan fort she became a mother. Most of the men were away on a great hunting trip; when they came back a lusty little red-faced pappoose was screaming beside the kitchen fire.

The men had walked thirty miles that day on the ice and in snow to their knees, but utterly fatigued as they were, the sight of that little Indian baby cuddled in a deerskin robe brought back memories of home.

Clark came in with frosty beard, and moccasins all worn out.

"Sacajawea has a fine boy," said Lewis.

No wonder the Captains watched her recovery with interest. All winter they had sought an interpreter for those far-away tongues beyond the mountains, and no one could be found but Sacajawea, the wife of Charboneau. Clark directed York to wait on her, stew her fruit, and serve her tea, to the great jealousy of Jussaume's wife, who packed up her pappooses in high dudgeon and left the fort. Sacajawea was only a slave. She, Madame Jussaume, was the daughter of a chief!

Poor little Sacajawea! She was really very ill. If she died who would unlock the Gates of the Mountains?

Charboneau was a cook. He set himself to preparing the daintiest soups and steaks, and soon the "Bird Woman" was herself again, packing and planning for the journey.

Busy every day now were Lewis and Clark making up their reports and drawing a map of the country. Shahaka, Big White, came and helped them. Kagohami of the Minnetarees came, and with a coal on a robe made a sketch of the Missouri that Clark re-drew.

But in the midst of the map-making all the Indian talk was of "war, war, war." 198

"I am going to war against the Snakes in the Spring," said Kagohami.

"No," said Lewis, "that will displease the President. He wants you to live at peace."

"Suffer me to go to war against the Sioux," begged another chief.

"No," answered Lewis. "These wars are the cause of all your troubles. If you do not stop it the Great Father will withdraw his protection from you. He will come over here and make you stop it."

"Look on the many nations whom war has destroyed," continued Lewis. "Think of your poverty and misfortunes. If you wish to be happy, cultivate peace and friendship. Then you will have horses. Then you will grow strong."

"Have you spoken thus to all the tribes?" inquired Kagohami.

"We have."

"And did they open their ears?"

"They did."

"I have horses enough," reflected Kagohami, "I will not go to war. I will advise my nation to remain at home until we see whether the Snake Indians desire peace."

One night the hunters came in with the report, "A troop of whooping Sioux have captured our horses and taken our knives."

It was midnight, but Lewis immediately routed up the men and set out with twenty volunteers on the track of the marauding Sioux. In vain. The boasting freebooters had escaped with the horses beyond recovery.

"We are sorry we did not kill the white men," was the word sent back by an Arikara. "They are bad medicine. We shall scalp the whole camp in the Spring." 199


The movements of Lewis and Clark were watched by the Northwest Company, who already had planned a house at the Mandans. Jefferson was not an hour too soon.

"Yes," said Larocque, "I will pass the winter there and watch those Americans."

In the midst of the frightful cold, twenty-two degrees below zero, on December 16, 1804, Larocque and Mackenzie came over again from Fort Assiniboine and with them came Alexander Henry.

"Strangers are among us," said the Indians, "Big Knives from below. Had they been kind they would have loaded their Great Boat with goods. As it is they prefer throwing away their ammunition to sparing a shot to the poor Mandans. There are only two sensible men among them, the worker of iron and the mender of guns."

"Amazing long pickets," remarked Larocque, as they came in sight of the new stockade of Fort Mandan.

The triangular fort, two sides formed of houses and the front of pickets, presented a formidable appearance in the wild.

"Cannon-ball proof," remarked Larocque, taking a good squint at the high round bastion in the corner between the houses, defending two sides of the fort. On the top was a sentry all night, and below a sentry walked all day within the fort.

"Well guarded against surprise," remarked Alexander Henry, as he tapped at the gate with the ramrod of his gun.

As the party knocked at the gates of Fort Mandan, in their winter coats of leather lined with flannel, edged with fur, and double-breasted, the lively eye of Patrick Gass peeped out. 200

"Some more av thim Britishers to ascertain our motives fur visitin' this countery, and to gain infurmation with rispict to th' change o' gov'm't," was the shrewd guess of Pat.

The hospitable Captains were more than glad to entertain visitors. They were there to cultivate international amity.

In their hearts Lewis and Clark never dreamed what a commotion that friendly letter to Chaboillez had stirred up. It had gone far and awakened many. Immediately upon its receipt Chaboillez sent out a runner.

"Lewis and Clark with one hundred and eighty soldiers have arrived at the Mandan village," so the story flew. "On their arrival they hoisted the American flag and informed the natives that their object was not to trade, but merely to explore the country; and that as soon as navigation shall open they design to continue their route across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific. They have made the natives a few small presents and repaired their guns and axes free. They have behaved honourably toward my people, who are there to trade with the natives."

Such a message as this was enough to bring Alexander Henry down to investigate. The cottonwood fires at Fort Mandan roared up the chimneys with unwonted splendour that winter night. The thermometer suddenly fell to forty-five degrees below zero; but warm and comfortable beside the blaze they talked, American and British, in this border of the nations.

Charles Mackenzie had been a clerk of the Northwest Company for a year. Of the same rank as himself was Larocque, and both were popular with the redmen. In fact, Mackenzie, a Scot from the Highlands, was already married to an Indian girl, and Larocque was a Frenchman. That was enough. No nation fraternized with the redmen as the Frenchmen did.

Alexander Henry, fur trader among the American Indians and one of the famous Northwesters, bore a great name in the north. There were two Alexander Henrys; the younger was a nephew of the other, and he it was 201 that had now come to visit Lewis and Clark. He knew more of the country than, perhaps, any other man in the northwest. In fact, his uncle, the elder Henry, was at Michilimackinac in the days of Pontiac, and had penetrated to the Saskatchewan before ever there was a Northwest Company.

Henry, Jr., wintered on the Red River the very year that Alexander Mackenzie crossed the continent,—1793. As a bourgeois of the Northwesters, with a fleet of canoes and twenty-one men he had led the Red River brigade of 1800 up into the Winnipeg country.

The scarlet belts, breeches of smoked buckskin, and blue cloth leggings of Alexander Henry's old coureur des bois were known for hundreds of miles.

Yes, he knew the Sioux. Their pillaging bands sometimes plundered his traders. "They are not to be trusted," he declared in positive tone.

"A very sensible, intelligent man," said Lewis and Clark to themselves as the great Northwester talked of the country and the tribes.

But time seemed pressing. Questions of cold or of comfort weighed not with these dauntless Northwesters when the interests of their company were at stake. They had come on horseback. To return that way was out of the question; and so sleds were fitted up with Jussaume's Eskimo dogs, the "Huskies" of the fur traders.

"They seem happy to see us," remarked Mackenzie from under his muffler, as they rode away. "They treat us with civility and kindness, but Captain Lewis cannot make himself agreeable. He speaks fluently, even learnedly, but to me his inveterate prejudice against the British stains all his eloquence."

"Captain Clark is more cordial," rejoined Larocque. "He seems to dislike giving offence unnecessarily. Do you recall his thoughtfulness in sending for our horses when we feared they might be stolen? He let his men guard them with his own."

With the thermometer thirty-two degrees below zero, the dogsleds flew swift across the snow, bearing news not alone to Assiniboine, but to Fort William on the 202 northern shore of Lake Superior where the Northwesters had built their trading centre.

Fort William, built in 1803 and named in honour of William McGillivray, was the great distributing point, where "the lords of the lakes and the forests" came to hold their rendezvous. In front rolled Superior, the great Canadian Sea. Schooners, laden with merchandise, peltries, and provisions, plied between Fort William and Sault Ste. Marie.

One of the honoured names of the Northwest Company was Philip de Rocheblave. Captured by George Rogers Clark at Kaskaskia, sent to Virginia and there let out on parole, he broke faith and fled to New York, to turn up at Montreal in the winter of 1783-4 along with McTavish, McGillivray, the Frobishers and Frasers, founders of the Northwest Fur Company. Pierre de Rocheblave had now succeeded to his uncle's honours. Would he be apt to let the United States get ahead of him? And by means of a Clark at that?

"I must go down to the American fort to get my compass put in order," said Larocque again, in January. "The glass is broken and the needle does not point due north."

He found Captain Clark sketching charts of the country, Lewis making vocabularies; Jussaume and Charboneau, the Frenchmen, interpreting and disputing on the meaning of words.

"They write down our words," whispered the suspicious Indians. "What wicked design have they on our country?"

Captain Lewis spent a whole day fixing Larocque's compass.

"I hardly get a skin when the Hudson's Bay trader is with me," said Larocque. "He is known by all the Indians, and understands and talks their language. I must get Charboneau." And the two went away together.

"Of what use are beaver?" inquired the Indians. "Do you make gunpowder of them? Do they preserve you from sickness? Do they serve you beyond the grave?" 203

Alexander Henry went to Fort William.

"A new rival has arisen," said the Northwest traders at their hurried conference. "We must anticipate these United States explorers and traders. They may advance northward and establish a claim to ownership by prior right of discovery or occupation. We must build a chain of posts and hold the country."

"But whom can we send on such a monumental enterprise?"

There seemed but one man,—Simon Fraser.

Simon Fraser was the son of a Scottish Tory who had been captured by the Americans at Burgoyne's surrender and had died in prison. His wife, with Simon a babe in arms, removed to Canada, to rear her son beneath the banner of her King. At sixteen, young Fraser became a clerk of the Northwest Company and a bourgeois. But the Frasers were great-brained people; young Simon was soon promoted; and now at the age of twenty-nine he was put in charge of the greatest enterprise since the incomparable feat of Alexander Mackenzie.

"You, Simon Fraser, are to establish trading-posts in the unknown territory, and in this way take possession for Great Britain."

Over at Sault Ste. Marie a young doctor by the name of John McLoughlin would gladly have accompanied his uncle Simon on that perilous undertaking. But his day was to come later. Both of their names are now linked with the Old Oregon.

Young men of the two most progressive modern nations were to be pitted in this race for Empire,—Lewis and Clark, and Simon Fraser. 204


On the first day of March preparations began on the building of new boats. The old ones were pried out of the ice, and the whole party was busy making elk-skin ropes and pirogues, in burning coal, and in making battle-axes to trade for corn. Ducks began to pass up the river; swans and wild geese were flying north.

Old Chief Le Borgne of the Minnetarees, a giant in stature, a brute at heart, had held aloof all winter in his tepee.

"Foolish people! Stay at home!" he cried.

But strange rumours crept within the walls of the sulky Cyclops. Overcome at last by curiosity Le Borgne came down to the fort.

"Some foolish young men of my nation tell me there is a man among you who is black. Is that true?"

"It is," answered Clark. "York, come here."

With his one fierce eye, Le Borgne examined York closely. He wet his finger and rubbed the skin to see if the black would come off. Not until the negro uncovered his head and showed his woolly hair could the chief be persuaded that York was not a painted white man.

Convinced against his will, and amazed, Le Borgne arose with a snort, his black hair flying over his brawny shoulders, and stalked out. As he passed along, the Indians shrank back. Over the hill came the wail of a demented mother. Many a fair Indian girl had left her scalp at the door of this Indian Blue-Beard because she preferred some other lover.

The ice was already honeycombed. Larocque came over for a farewell.

"McTavish is dead," he said.

Lewis and Clark scarcely comprehended the full import of that announcement. 205

At the foot of the mountain in Montreal the great Northwester was building a palace, fit abode for "the lord of the lakes and the forest," when the summons came in 1804. Up the rivers and lakes the word was carried into the uttermost wilds,—"McTavish is dead." Thus it came to Lewis and Clark, this last news from the outer world.

The meeting at Fort William had been held without him,—McTavish was dead.

He was the head and front of the Northwest Company. Under the King, Simon McTavish ruled Canada, ruled half of British America, making Hudson's Bay tremble on her northern sea.

The quick wit of the American born of Irish parents belonged to Patrick Gass. While others were struggling toward an idea, Pat had already seized it. Brave, observant, of good sense, and hating the British, he kept an eye on Larocque.

"Do not trust that Frinchman."

Larocque had a stock of goods to trade. He lingered around Fort Mandan, and offered to go over the mountains with Lewis and Clark, but they politely declined. Already Larocque knew of the order at Fort William. His own brother-in-law, Quesnel, was to be the companion of Fraser's voyage, and was to leave, like Fraser, his name on the rivers of British Columbia.

Then there was trouble with Charboneau. He became independent and impudent and demanded higher wages. Somebody was tampering with Charboneau. Suddenly flaming with new raiment, gay vests, and yards of blue and scarlet cloth, he announced:

"I weel not work. I weel not stand guard. I eenterpreteur,—do as I pleese, return wheen I pleese."

"We can dispense with your services," coolly answered the Captains. Charboneau stepped back, surprised.

Ignoring his presence, preparations were hurried on. The boats, the troublesome, cracking, warping cottonwood boats, were hauled to the fort and pitched and calked and tinned, until at last they were ready to try the water. No one spoke to the Frenchman, no one noticed him as he lingered expectantly by. 206

All the Indian goods were brought out and hung in the open air. Even at the busiest moments, with every man on the jump, no one asked Charboneau to help. Finding he was about to lose his position, the Frenchman came to Captain Lewis, apologised, and was restored to service. In a trice Charboneau was back at the skillets, dishing up the dinner.

The occupants of Fort Mandan had been snow-bound five months when ice began running in the river. All day long now the busy Indians were catching buffalo floating by on the high water. The foolish animals, trying to cross the thin ice, broke through. Others floated away on big cakes that were certain, sooner or later, to launch them into eternity.

The patient, devoted women, too, were in evidence. Slipping out of their leather smocks, they plunged naked into the icy current to secure the floating driftwood for fuel. Across the snow long lines of squaws came dragging home the drift.

The hammers of Shields and Bratton rang merrily at the anvils. Boxes were made and hooped and ironed, to go down in the big bateau that was too unwieldy to carry further.

In those stout boxes were horns of the mountain ram, unknown as yet to science, horns of elk and deer, rare skins, robes and Indian dresses; bow, arrows, and a shield for the President, on which Old Black Cat had spent months of patient carving; samples of the red Arikara corn; sixty-seven specimens of earths, salts, and minerals, and sixty specimens of plants, all carefully labelled; seeds, insects, the skeleton of the big fish from the hilltop, stuffed antelopes and Lewis's pelican, a live prairie dog in a wicker cage, a live prairie hen and four magpies. A new geography was there, a map of the Missouri extending out to the mystic mountains, drawn from Indian description, to be presented by Jefferson to Congress.

In these boxes, too, went letters. There was one of several thousand words from Lewis to his mother. Captain Clark's first and best letter was to his brother at the Point of Rock; with it he enclosed a map and 207 sketches of Indians. Another was to Major Croghan at Locust Grove, with seeds of several kinds of grapes for his sister Lucy.

With the bateau went also the famous Mandan report of Lewis to Jefferson, and Clark's letter to his soldier friend, William Henry Harrison, then Governor of the Indian Territory at Vincennes. Other missives went to Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania,—wherever a man had a mother at the hearthstone waiting to hear of her distant boy. Saddest of all was the news to Mill Creek, the home of Sergeant Floyd. Part of Clark's journal was transmitted by letter to the President and part was enclosed in a separate tin box, "to multiply the chances of saving something."

The Mandan treasures, with dispatches and presents from the Indians, went down by water to the Gulf and thence by sea to Washington.

"I have little doubt but they will be fired on by the Sioux," says Lewis in his letter, "but they have pledged themselves to us that they will not yield while there is one of them living."

At five o'clock on Sunday afternoon, April 7, 1805, the barge left Fort Mandan for St. Louis with ten men. With it went also Brave Raven of the Arikaras, to visit his Great Father, the President.

At the same moment that the barge left the fort, six small canoes and the two pirogues shot up river, carrying thirty-one men and Sacajawea with her child.

"This little fleet, although not quite so respectable as those of Columbus or Captain Cook, is still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those famed adventurers ever beheld theirs," said Lewis, "and I dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation. We are now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilised man has never trodden.

"Entertaining as I do the most confident hope of succeeding in a voyage which has formed a darling project of mine for ten years, I can but esteem this moment of our departure as among the happiest of my life." 208


The Spring days were squally and chill. The air was sharp, and the water froze on the oars as the little party rowed along. Now and then a flurry of snow whitened the April green. Sometimes the sails were spread, and the boats scurried before the wind. Often, however, the sails proved too large, and over the boats lurched, wetting the baggage and powder.

Most of the powder had been sealed in leaden canisters. When the powder was emptied the canister itself was melted into bullets. That was a nightly task,—the moulding of bullets.

"Hio! hio!" The hunters ahead picked a camping spot, beside a spring or by a clump of trees. In short order brass kettles were swung across the gipsy poles. Twisting a bunch of buffalo grass into a nest, in a moment Dr. Saugrain's magical matches had kindled a roaring flame.

Swinging axes made music where axes had never swung before. Baby Touissant rolled his big eyes and kicked and crowed in his mother's lap, while Charboneau, head cook, stuffed his trapper's sausage with strips of tenderloin and hung it in links around the blaze.

Stacks of buffalo meat lay near by, where they had been piled by the industrious hunters. Odours of boiling meat issued from the kettles. Juicy brown ribs snapped and crackled over the flames.

Captain Lewis, accustomed to the cuisine of Jefferson at the White House, laughed.

"How did you dress this sausage so quick, Charboneau? Two bobs and a flirt in the dirty Missouri?"

Sometimes Lewis himself turned cook, and made a suet dumpling for every man. More frequently he was off to the hills with Clark, taking a look at the country. 209

Nor was Sacajawea idle. With her baby on her back, she opened the nests of prairie mice, and brought home artichokes. Sometimes she brought sprouts of wild onion for the broth, or the pomme blanche,—the peppery Indian turnip. York, too, at his master's direction often gathered cresses and greens for the dinner. But York was becoming a hunter. As well as the best, he "slew dem buffaloes."

Lewis had bought Charboneau's big family tent. Under its leather shelter slept the Captains, with Drouillard and Charboneau and his little family.

Around the twilight fires the men wrote their journals,—Lewis, Clark, Pryor, Ordway, Gass, Fraser, all busy with their stub quill pens and inkhorns, recording the day's adventure.

They were not scholars, any of them, but men of action, pioneers and explorers, heralds of the nation. In their strenuous boyhood they had defended the frontier. Men at sixteen, they took up a man's employment. Lewis, more favoured, prolonged his schooldays until the age of eighteen, then broke away to march with armies.

At last these first civilised sounds that ever broke the silence primeval were hushed. Rolled up like cocoons in their mackinaw blankets, the men were soon snoring in rows with feet to the fires, while a solitary sergeant peered into the lonely night. The high Dakota wind roared among the cottonwoods. Mother Nature, too, kept guard, lighting her distant beacons in the blue above the soldier boys.

In a land of wolves, no wolves molested, though they yelped and barked in the prairie grass. On all sides lay deserted camps of Assiniboine Sioux. Once the expedition crossed the trail of a war party only twenty-four hours old. A dog left behind came to the camp of the explorers and became the pet of Captain Lewis.

"Kip so quiet lak' one leetle mouse," whispered Cruzatte, cautioning silence.

No one cared to meet the Assiniboine Sioux, the "Gens des Grands Diables." Once the smoke of their 210 campfires clouded the north; but the boats sped on undiscovered.

"The river reminds me of the Ohio at this time of year," said Clark.

"The drumming of that sharp-tailed grouse is like that of the pheasants of old Virginia," responded Lewis.

"And the croaking of the frogs exactly resimbles that of frogs in th' Yaunited States," added Patrick Gass.

For days they noted veins of coal burning along the river banks, kindled perhaps by Indian fires. Alkali dust began to rise, blown into clouds, and sifting into their tight double-cased watches until the wheels refused to move more than a few minutes at a time.

Toward the last of April Lewis went ahead to the mouth of the Rochejaune, the Yellow Rock, or Yellowstone River, passing through herds of elk, antelope, and buffalo, so tame they would scarce move out of his way. Beautiful dun deer snorted and pawed the leaves, then half trusting, half timorous, slipped into the thicket. No one but Sacajawea had ever before been over this road.

In May they reached the land where even the beaver were gentle, for they had never been hunted. No white man, so far as they knew, had ever trodden these wilds. They had not heard of the gallant Sieur Verendrye, two of whose intrepid sons reached the "Shining Mountains" on New Year's Day, 1743. Washington was a boy then; George Rogers Clark was not born.

But the Snakes and the Sioux were at war, fierce battles were raging, and they were forced to turn back. The noble Verendrye spent all his fortune, and forty thousand livres besides, in trying to find the River of the West.

Then Jonathan Carver of Connecticut set out about the time Boone went to Kentucky. At the Falls of St. Anthony, he, too, heard of the Shining Mountains.

"The four most capital rivers of North America take their rise about the centre of this continent," said Carver. "The River Bourbon, which empties into Hudson's Bay; the Waters of St. Lawrence; the Mississippi; and the River Oregon, or the River of the West, that falls into the Pacific Ocean at the Straits of Anian." 211

What little bird whispered "Oregon" in Carver's ear? No such word is known in any Indian tongue. Had some Spanish sailor told of a shore "like his own green Arragon"?

And now Lewis and Clark are on the sunset path. Will they find the Shining Mountains and the River of the West?

At the first large branch beyond the Yellowstone, Captain Lewis went on shore with Drouillard the hunter. Out of a copse suddenly appeared two grizzlies.

Lewis remembered well the awe and absolute terror with which the Mandans had described this king of Western beasts. Never did they go out to meet him without war-paint and all the solemn rites of battle. As with the cave bear of ancient song and saga, no weapon of theirs was adequate to meet this dreaded monster. In parties of six or eight they went, with bows and arrows, or, in recent years, the bad guns of the trader.

With these things in mind, Lewis and the hunter faced the bears. Each fired, and each wounded his beast. One of the bears ran away; the other turned and pursued Captain Lewis, but a lucky third shot from Drouillard laid him low.

And what a brute was he! Only a cub and yet larger than any bear of the Atlantic States, the grizzly, known now to be identical with the awful cave bear of prehistoric time. No wonder the Indian that slew him was a brave and in the line of chieftainship! No wonder the claws became a badge of honour! No man, no foe so fierce to meet as one enraged and famished grizzly. His skin was a king's robe, his tusk an emblem of unflinching valour.

A wind from the east now filled the sails and blew them west! west! More and more tame grew the elk and buffalo, until the men were obliged to drive them out of their way with sticks and stones.

Before them unrolled the great wild garden of Eden. Abounding everywhere were meadows,—beaver meadows and clover meadows, wild rice and rye and timothy, and buffalo grazing on a thousand hills. Prairie fowl scurried in the under-brush, beautiful white geese 212 gazed calmly at them, ducks quacked around ponds and streams alive with trout.

Wild gardens were radiant with roses and honeysuckles, morning-glories and wild hops. Whole fields of lilies perfumed the sunrise, strawberries carpeted the uplands, and tangles of blackberries and raspberries interwove a verdant wall along the buffalo trails, the highways of the wilderness.

Mountain sheep sported on the cliffs, the wild cat purred in her forest lair. The yellow cougar, the mountain lion, growled and slunk away. The coyote, the Indian dog, snapped and snarled. But man, man was not there. For four months no Indian appeared through all the Great Lone Land of the Tay-a-be-shock-up, the country of the mountains.

William Bratton, who had been walking along the shore, presently came running to the boats with cries of terror.

"Take me on board, quick!"

It was some moments before Bratton could speak.

"A bear! a bear!" he gasped at last.

A mile and a half back Bratton had wounded a grizzly that turned and chased him. Captain Lewis and seven men immediately started. For a mile they tracked the trail of blood to a hole where the enraged animal was frantically tearing up the earth with teeth and claws. Two shots through the skull finished the grizzly, whose fleece and skin made a load which two men could scarcely carry back to camp.

"More bear-butter to fry me sassage," remarked unsentimental Charboneau.

But now had begun in earnest the days of wild adventure. One evening after another grizzly battle, the men came triumphantly into camp to find disaster there. Charboneau had been steersman that night, and Cruzatte was at the bow. A sudden squall struck the foremost pirogue, Charboneau let go the tiller, the wind bellied the sail, and over they turned.

"De rudder! de rudder!" shouted Cruzatte.

Charboneau, the most timid waterman in the party, 213 clinging to the gunwales, heard only his own voice in the wind, crying aloud to heaven, "Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!"

"De rudder!" roared Cruzatte. "Seize de rudder instanter and do de duty, or I shoot you!"

Fear of Cruzatte's gun overcame fear of drowning. Charboneau, pallid and trembling, reached for the flying rope. Half a minute the boat lay on the wave, then turned up full of water.

At last, holding the brace of the square sail, Charboneau pulled the boat round, while all hands fell to bailing out the water. But all the papers, medicine, and instruments were wet.

Cruzatte alone was calm, and Sacajawea, who, with her baby and herself to save, still managed to catch and preserve most of the light articles that were floating overboard.

Captain Lewis, watching the disaster from afar, had almost leaped into the water to save his precious papers, but was restrained by the reflection that by such rashness he might forfeit his life.

Two days were lost in unpacking and drying the stores.

At midnight a buffalo ran into the sleeping camp.

"Hey! hey! hey!" shouted the guard, firing on the run and waving his arms. But the distracted beast, plunging close to the heads of the sleeping men, headed directly toward the leather tent.

Suddenly up before his nose danced the little Indian dog, and the buffalo was turned back into the night just as the whole camp jumped to arms in expectation of an attack of the Sioux.

"Fire! Fire!" was the next alarm.

In the high wind of the night one of the fires had communicated itself to a dead cottonwood overhanging the camp. Fanned by the gale the flames shot up the trunk, and burning limbs and twigs flew in a shower upon the leather tent.

"Fire! fire! fire!" again came the quick, sharp cry.

Every man rolled out of his mackinaw. The occupants of the lodge were soon aroused. Strong hands 214 had scarcely removed the lodge and quenched the burning leather before the tree itself fell directly over the spot where a moment before the Captains were sleeping soundly.

And so that stream was named the Burnt Lodge Creek.


Ascending the highest summit of the hills on the north side of the river, on Sunday, the 26th of May, Captain Lewis first caught a distant view of "the Rock mountains—the object of all our hopes, and the reward of all our ambition."

"When I viewed—I felt a secret pleasure,—but when I reflected on the difficulties which this snowy barrier would most probably throw in my way to the Pacific, and the sufferings and hardships of myself and party in them, it in some measure counterbalanced the joy."

Bold and bolder grew the river shores. The current now became too rapid for oars, too deep for poles. Nothing but the tow-line could draw the boats against the swift flow of the mountain torrent. Struggling along shore with the rope on their shoulders, the men lost their moccasins in the clinging clay and went barefoot. Sometimes knee-deep, they waded, sometimes waist-deep, shoulders-deep, in the icy water, or rising on higher benches walked on flinty rocks that cut their naked feet.

Leaping out of the mountains, came down a laughing sparkling river, the clearest they had yet seen. Its valley seemed a paradise of ash and willow, honeysuckles and wild roses. Standing on its bank Clark mused, "I know but one other spot so beautiful. I will name this river for my little mountain maid of Fincastle, the Judith."

Could he then foresee that Judith would become his 215 wife, or that the verdant Judith Basin would be the last retreat of the buffalo?

Big horned mountain sheep were sporting on the cliffs, beaver built their dams along its shores, and up the Judith Gap the buffalo had his mountain home. The Indian, too, had left there the scattered embers of a hundred fires.

Lewis picked up a moccasin.

"Here, Sacajawea, does this belong to your people?"

The Bird Woman shook her head. "No Shoshone." She pointed to the north where the terrible Blackfeet came swooping down to shoot and scalp. It was time to hasten on.

Valley succeeded valley for miles on miles, and between valleys arose hills of sandstone, worn by suns and storms into temples of desolated magnificence; ruins of columns and towers, pedestals and capitals, parapets of statuary, sculptured alcoves and mysterious galleries. Sheer up from the river's side they lifted their heads like old Venetian palaces abandoned to the bats.

June 3 the river forked.

"Which is the true Missouri?"

"De nort'ern branch. See it boil and roll?" said Cruzatte. "See de colour? Dat de true Meessouri. De ot'er ees but one leetle stream from de mountain."

But the Captains remembered the advice of the Minnetarees.

"The Ah-mateah-za becomes clear, and has a navigable current into the mountains."

Parties were sent up both branches to reconnoitre. Lewis and Clark ascended the high ground in the fork and looked toward the sunset. Innumerable herds of buffalo, elk, and antelope were browsing as far as the eye could reach, until the rivers were lost in the plain.

Back came the canoes undecided. Then the Captains set out. Clark took the crystal pebbly southern route. Lewis went up the turbid northern branch fifty-nine miles.

"This leads too far north, almost to the Saskatchewan," he concluded, and turned back. In the summer sunshine robins sang, turtle doves, linnets, the brown 216 thrush, the goldfinch, and the wren, filled the air with melody.

"I will call it Maria's River, for my beautiful and amiable cousin, Maria Wood of Charlottesville," thought Lewis, with a memory of other Junes in old Virginia.

When Lewis drew up at camp, Clark was already there, anxious for his safety. The main party, occupied in dressing skins and resting their lame and swollen feet, looked eagerly for the decision. To their surprise both Captains agreed on the southern route.

"But Cruzatte," exclaimed the men, "he thinks the north stream is the true river, and Cruzatte is an experienced waterman. We may be lost in the mountains far from the Columbia."

"True. Everything depends on a right decision. Captain Clark, if you will stay here and direct the deposit of whatever we can spare, I will go ahead until I know absolutely."

At dawn Lewis set out with Drouillard, Gibson, Goodrich, and Joe Fields.

Under Captain Clark's direction, Bratton, the blacksmith, set up his forge at the mouth of Maria's River and Shields mended all the broken guns. The rest dug a cache, a kettle-shaped cellar, on a dry spot safe from water. The floor was covered with dry sticks and a robe. Then in went the blacksmith's heavy tools, canisters of powder, bags of flour and baggage,—whatever could be spared. On top was thrown another robe, and then the earth packed in tight and the sod refitted so that no eye could detect the spot.

The red pirogue was drawn up into the middle of a small island at the mouth of Maria's River and secured in a copse.

"Boys, I am very ill," said Captain Lewis, when they camped for dinner on the first day out. Attacked with violent pains and a high fever, unable to proceed, he lay under some willow boughs.

No medicine had been brought. Drouillard was much concerned. "I well remember," he said, "when a flux was epidemic at Chillicothe among de white settlers, my 217 fader, Pierre Drouillard, administer on de sick wit' great success."

"What did he use?"

"A tea of de choke-cherry."

"Prepare me some," said the rapidly sinking Captain.

With deft fingers Drouillard stripped off the leaves of a choke-cherry bough, and cut up the twigs. Black and bitter, the tea was brought to Lewis at sunset. He drank a pint, and another pint an hour afterward. By ten o'clock the pain was gone, a gentle perspiration ensued, the fever abated, and by morning he was able to proceed.

The next day, June 12, the mountains loomed as never before, rising range on range until the distant peaks commingled with the clouds. Twenty-four hours later Lewis heard the roaring of a cataract, seven miles away, and saw its spray, a column of cloud lifted by the southwest wind. Like Hiawatha he had—

"Journeyed westward, westward,

Left the fleetest deer behind him,

Left the antelope and bison,

Passed the mountains of the Prairie,

Passed the land of Crows and Foxes,

Passed the dwellings of the Blackfeet,

Came unto the Rocky Mountains,

To the kingdom of the West-Wind."

Hastening on with impatient step he came upon the stupendous waterfall, one of the glories of our continent, that hidden here in the wilderness had for ages leaped adown the rocky way. Overwhelmed with the spectacle Lewis sat down "to gaze and wonder and adore." "Oh, for the pencil of Salvator Rosa or the pen of Thompson, that I might give to the world some idea of this magnificent object, which from the commencement of time has been concealed from the view of civilised man."

Joe Fields was immediately dispatched to notify Clark of the discovery of the Falls. Lewis and the other men went on up ten miles, gazing at cataract after cataract where the mighty Missouri bent and paused, and gathering its full volume leaped from rock to rock, sometimes 218 wild and irregularly sublime, again smooth and elegant as a painter's dream.

Lewis, impatient to see and know, hurried on past the rest until night overtook him alone near the head of the series of cataracts. On the high plain along the bank a thousand buffalo were feeding on the short curly grass. Lewis shot one for supper, and leaning upon his unloaded rifle watched to see it fall.

A slight rustle attracted his attention. He turned. A bear was stealing upon him, not twenty steps away. There was no time for reloading, flight alone remained. Not a bush, not a tree, not a rock was near, nothing but the water. With a wild bound Lewis cleared the intervening space and leaped into the river. Turning, he presented his espontoon. The bear, already at the bank, was about to spring, but that defiant espontoon in his face filled him with terror. He turned and ran, looking back now and then as if fearing pursuit, and disappeared.

Clambering out of the water, Lewis started for camp, when, sixty paces in front of him, a strange animal crouched as if to spring. Lewis fired and a mountain lion fled. Within three hundred yards of the spot, three enraged buffalo bulls left the herd, and shaking their shaggy manes, ran pawing and bellowing, full speed upon him. Eluding the bulls, Lewis hurried to camp. Worn out, he fell asleep, only to awaken and find a huge rattlesnake coiled around the tree above his head! Such was earth primeval!

The Great Falls of the Missouri was the rendezvous for all wild life in the country. Thousands of impatient buffaloes pushed each other along the steep rocky paths to the water. Hundreds went over the cataract to feed the bears and wolves below.

Captain Clark soon arrived with the main body and went into camp at a sulphur spring, a favourite resort of buffaloes.

"This is precisely like Bowyer's sulphur spring of Virginia,—it will be good for Sacajawea," said Lewis, bringing her a cup of the transparent water that tumbled in a cascade into the Missouri. 219

Sacajawea was sick, very sick, delirious at times as she lay on her couch of skins. The journey had been difficult. The hungry little baby was a great burden, and Sacajawea was only sixteen, younger even than Shannon, the boy of the party.

Clark directed his negro servant, York, to be her constant attendant. Charboneau was cautioned on no account to leave her. Several other semi-invalids guarded the tent to keep the buffaloes away. Every day, and twice a day, the Captains came to see her and prescribe as best they could.

Now came the tedious days of portaging the boats and baggage around the Falls. A cottonwood tree, nearly two feet in diameter, was sawed into wheels. The white pirogue was hidden in a copse and its mast was taken for an axletree.

Opposite the spot where the waggons were made was an island full of bears of enormous size. Their growling and stealthy movements went on day and night. All night the watchful little dog kept up incessant barking. The men, disturbed in their slumbers, lay half-awake with their arms in hand, while the guard patrolled with an eye on the island. Bolder and bolder grew the bears. One night they came to the very edge of the camp and ran off with the meat hung out for breakfast.

At last the rude waggons were done. The canoes were mounted and filled with baggage. Slowly they creaked away, tugged and pushed and pulled up hills that were rocky and rough with hummocks where the buffaloes trod. Prickly-pears, like little scythes, cut and lacerated, even through double-soled moccasins. At every halt, over-wearied and worn out by night watching, the toilers dropped to the ground and fell asleep instantly.

A whole month was spent in making the carriages and transporting the baggage the eighteen miles around the Falls. In another cache at the sulphur spring, they buried Lewis's writing desk, specimens of plants and minerals, provisions, the grindstone brought from Harper's Ferry, books and a map of the Missouri River. The blunderbuss was hid under rocks at the foot of the Falls. 220

Sacajawea, recovered from her illness, began to look for familiar landmarks. One day Clark took her, together with Charboneau and York, to look at the Falls. He had surveyed and measured the Black Eagle, Crooked Rainbow, and Great Falls. "Come," he said, "Charboneau, bring Sacajawea. Let us go up and look at the Black Eagle." High above the cataract the bird had built its nest in the top of a cottonwood tree.

A dark cloud was rising. Under a shelving rock they took refuge in a ravine, Captain Clark still figuring at his notes.

A few drops of rain fell,—in an instant a torrent, a cloud-burst, rolled down the ravine.

Clark saw it coming. Snatching his gun and shot-pouch, he pushed Sacajawea and the baby up the cliff, while Charboneau above was pulling her by the hand. Up to Clark's waist the water came. Fifteen feet it rose behind him as he climbed to safety.

Compass and umbrella were lost in the scramble. Charboneau had left his gun, tomahawk, and shot-pouch. Sacajawea had just snatched her baby before its cradle went into the flood. After the storm they came down into the plain, to find York in affright lest they had been swept into the river.

On account of the great heat, the men at the waggons had laid aside their leather hunting shirts, when down upon their bare backs came a shower of huge hailstones. Bruised, battered, and bleeding as from a battle, they straggled into camp. Kind-hearted Lewis set to work with linens and medicine, bandaging up their wounds.

The next morning Captain Clark sent two men to look for the articles lost at the Falls. They found the ravine filled with rock, but happily, half-hid in mud and sand, the precious compass was recovered.

Within view of the camp that day Clark estimated not less than ten thousand buffalo. And beyond, rimmed on the far horizon, ran the white line of the mountain crest that is to-day the western boundary of Montana.

The 4th of July dawned, the second since they had 221 left the States. In the hills they heard strange booming, as of a distant cannonade. It almost seemed as if the Rocky Mountains were reverberating back the joyous guns of Baltimore and Boston. The men listened in amaze.

"What can it be?"

"Een de mountain," answered Cruzatte. "De vein of silver burst. De Pawnee and de Rickara hear eet een de Black Hill."

"Ah, yes, the Minnetarees talked of a noise in the mountains. We thought it was superstition."

Again through long silence came the great cannonade. Unconsciously Lewis and Clark trod on closed treasure houses, future mines of unwashed tons of gold and silver. Had they brought back gold then what might have been the effect upon the restless, heaving East? But, no, the land must wait and grow. Other wars must be fought with the Englishman and the Indian, armies of trappers must decimate the bears and wolves, and easier methods of transportation must aid in opening up the great Montana-land.


Monday, July 15, 1805, the boats were launched above the Great Falls of the Missouri. Clark followed by land along an old Indian trail, worn deep by the lodge-poles of ages.

Little did he realise that nuggets lay scattered all over that land, where yet the gold hunters should dot the hills with shafts and mounds; that near here a beautiful city, named for Helen of Troy, should arise to become a golden capital.

"My people! My people!" Sacajawea excitedly pointed to deserted wickiups and traces of fires. She read their story at a glance. 222

"It was winter. They were hungry. There were no buffalo. See!" She pointed to the pines stripped of bark and the tender inner wood, the last resort of famishing Shoshones.

With flags hoisted to notify the Indians that they were friends, the canoes passed within the Gates of the Mountains, where the mighty Missouri breaks through the Belt Range of western Montana. Nothing in Alleghany lands compares with this tremendous water-gap. Through the dark cavern the river ran narrow and rapid and clear. Down through tributary canyons on either side came rifts of light, odours of pine, and the roar of waterfalls.

With unmoved countenance Sacajawea looked upon the weird overhanging grayish granite walls through which she had been hurried in terror by her Minnetaree captors, five years ago.

"We are coming to a country where the river has three forks," said Sacajawea.

Exhilaration seized the men, as they sent the boats up the heavy current that rolled well-deep below. That night they camped in a canyon that is to-day a pleasure resort for the people of Helena.

Again following the Indian trail, on the 25th of July Clark arrived at the three forks of the Missouri, near the present site of Gallatin. From the forks of the far eastern rivers where Pittsburg rises, they had come to the forks of the great river of the West.

For days the swift current had required the utmost exertion. The men complained of fatigue and excessive heat.

"You push a tolerable good pole," said the Kentuckians, when Lewis took a hand.

Captain Clark was worn out. With the thermometer at ninety, for days he had pushed ahead, determined to find the Shoshones.

"Let us rest a day or two," said Captain Lewis. "Here, boys, build a bower for Captain Clark. I'll take a tramp myself in a few days to find these yellow gentlemen if possible."

Camping at the three forks, every man became a 223 leather dresser and tailor, fixing up his buckskin clothes. Leggings and moccasins had been sliced to pieces by the prickly pear.

"What a spot for a trading post!" the Captains agreed.

"Look," said Lewis, "see the rushes in the bottom, high as a man's breast and thick as wheat. This will be much in favour of an establishment here,—the cane is one of the best winter pastures for cows and horses."

From the heights at the three forks, Lewis and Clark looked out upon valleys of perennial green. Birds of beautiful plumage and thrilling song appeared on every hand. Beaver, otter, muskrat, sported in this trapper's paradise. Buffalo-clover, sunflowers and wild rye, buffalo-peas and buffalo-beans blossomed everywhere.

All the Indian trails in the country seemed to converge at this point. Here passed the deadly Blackfoot on his raids against the Shoshones, the Bannocks, and the Crows. Here stole back and forth the timid Shoshone to his annual hunt on the Yellowstone and the Snake River plains. Hither from time immemorial had the Flatheads and Nez Percés resorted for their supplies of robes and meat. Even from the far Saskatchewan came the Piegans and Gros Ventres to this favoured and disputed spot.

The Blackfeet claimed the three forks of the Missouri, no tribe dwelt there permanently. The roads were deep, like trenches, worn by the trailing lodgepoles of many tribes upon this common hunting ground.

The naming of the rivers,—that was an epic by itself.

The gay Cabinet ladies who had fitted him out at Washington flitted through the mind of Meriwether Lewis,—Maria Jefferson, companion of his earliest recollection, Dolly Madison, whose interest never failed in his adventures, Mrs. Gallatin, the queenly dark-haired wife of the scholarly Secretary of the Treasury. With what pleasure had they gathered at the White House to fashion "housewives," full of pins and needles and skeins of thread, for these wanderers of the West. Not a man in the party but bore some souvenir of their thoughtful handiwork. 224

Clark's earliest memory was of Jefferson, the friend of his father, of his older brothers, and then of himself. "Jimmy" Madison and George Rogers Clark had been schoolmates in the "old field school" of Donald Robertson.

So then and there the Captains agreed that three great statesmen and their wives should be commemorated here by the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Gallatin forks of the Missouri.

"On this very spot my people camped five years ago. Here were their tents," said Sacajawea, pointing out the embers of blackened fires. "The Minnetarees peered over the hills. We ran up this fork and hid in the thick woods."

The boats were reloaded and the party began to ascend the Jefferson on July 30, to its head in the Bitter Root Mountains. At noon they camped for dinner.

"And here was I captured!" cried Sacajawea. "I was made a prisoner. We were too few to fight the Minnetarees. They pursued us. Our men mounted their horses and fled to the mountains. The women and children hid. I ran. I was crossing this river. They caught me and carried me away."

What a realistic glimpse of daily terror! Fighting, hunting, wandering, famishing, in the land of anarchy. Formerly the Shoshones were Indians of the plains. Now they had been driven by their enemies into almost inaccessible fastnesses.

"The Beaver Head! The Beaver Head!"

Sacajawea pointed to a steep, rocky cliff shaped like a beaver's head, one hundred and fifty feet above the water, an Indian landmark from time immemorial.

"This is not far from the summer retreat of my countrymen. We shall meet them soon, on a river beyond the mountains running to the west."

"We must meet those Indians," said Lewis, "it is our only hope for horses to cross the mountains."

Lewis and Clark camped August 7, 1805, at Beaverhead Rock. There, fifty-seven years later, chased by bears, robbed by Indians, unsheltered, unshod, and almost 225 starving, the gold hunter stumbled upon the auriferous bed of an ancient river that made Montana. Gold was discovered at Alder Gulch in 1863, ten miles south of Beaverhead Rock, and the next year mining began in the streets of the present city of Helena. The pick and the shovel in the miner's hand became the lamp and the ring in the grasp of Aladdin.

The next morning after passing Beaverhead Rock, Captain Lewis and three of the men slung their knapsacks over their shoulders and set out for the mountains, determined not to return until they met some nation of Indians.

Two days later, August 11, Lewis with his spyglass espied a lone horseman on the hills. The wild-eyed Shoshone, accustomed to scan the horizon, saw him also.

"He is of a different nation from any we have met," remarked Lewis, watching intently through his glass. "He has a bow and a quiver of arrows, and an elegant horse without a saddle."

Like a lookout on the hills, the Indian stood and waited.

"He is undoubtedly a Shoshone. Much of our success depends on the friendly offices of that nation."

Slowly Lewis advanced. Slowly the Indian came forward, until, within a mile of each other the Indian suddenly stopped. Captain Lewis also stopped, and drawing a three-point blanket from his knapsack held it by the corners above his head, and unfolding brought it to the ground as in the act of spreading. Three times he repeated the Indian signal of hospitality—"Come and sit on the robe with me."

Still the Indian kept his position, viewing with an air of suspicion the hunters with Lewis.

"Tabba bone, tabba bone," said Lewis, stripping up the sleeve of his shirt to show the colour of his skin,—"white man, white man," a term learned of Sacajawea.

Paralysed the Indian looked, then fled like a frightened deer. No calls could bring him back.

He said to his people, "I have seen men with faces pale as ashes, who are makers of thunder and lightning." 226

"He is a dreamer!" exclaimed the incredulous Shoshones. "He makes up tales. He must show us these white men or be put to death," and trembling he started back with a body of warriors.

Lewis, disappointed at the flight of the Shoshone, pressed on. Narrower and narrower grew the river.

"Thank God, I have lived to bestride the Missouri!" exclaimed Hugh McNeil, planting a foot on either side of the mountain rivulet.

Two miles farther up they drank from the ice-cold spring at the river's source, and stood on the summit of the Great Divide. A little creek flowed down the ridge toward the west. Stooping, they drank,—of the waters of the Columbia, and slept that night in Idaho. The next morning, following a well-worn Indian trail, Lewis came upon two women and a child. One fled, the other, an old dame encumbered by the child, sat down and bowed her head as if expecting instant death.

Captain Lewis advanced, lifted her, loaded her with gifts.

"Tabba bone, tabba bone." Stripping up his sleeve he showed to the amazed woman the first white skin she had ever seen.

"Call your companion," motioned Lewis toward the fleeing woman.

The old dame raised her voice. As fast as she ran away the young woman came running back, almost out of breath. She, too, was loaded with trinkets, and the cheeks of all were painted with vermilion, the Shoshone emblem of peace.

Without fear now she led him toward sixty mounted warriors, who were advancing at a gallop as to battle.

"Tabba bone! tabba bone!" explained the women, introducing the stranger and exhibiting their gifts.

"Ah hi e! Ah hi e!"—"I am much pleased! I am much pleased!" exclaimed the warriors, leaping from their horses and embracing Lewis with great cordiality.

Lewis drew forth his imposing calumet of red pipestone and lighted it. This was a sign language of all tribes. 227

Putting off their moccasins as if to say, "May I walk the forest barefoot forever if I break this pledge of friendship," they sat down and smoked.

The chief, too, brought out a pipe, of the dense transparent green stone of the Bannock Mountains, highly polished. Another led him to a lodge and presented a piece of salmon,—then Lewis no longer doubted that he was on waters flowing to the Pacific.

Slowly, Clark, ill with chills and fever, had been coming forward, urging the canoes up the difficult and narrowing stream.

Sacajawea, the little Bird-woman, could not wait. In her anxiety she begged to walk ahead along shore, and with her husband went dancing up the rivulet of her childhood. She flew ahead. She turned, pirouetting lightly on her beaded moccasins, waving her arms and kissing her fingers. Her long hair flew in the wind and her beaded necklace sparkled.

Yes, there were the Indians, and Lewis among them, dressed like an Indian too. The white men had given everything they had to the Indians, even their cocked hats and red feathers, and taken Indian clothes in exchange, robes of the mountain sheep and goat.

An Indian girl leaned to look at Sacajawea. They flew into each other's arms. They had been children together, had been captured in the same battle, had shared the same captivity. One had escaped to her own people; the other had been sold as a slave in the Land of the Dakotahs. As girls will, with arms around each other they wandered off and talked and talked of the wonderful fortune that had come to Sacajawea, the wife of a white man.

A council was immediately called. The Shoshones spread white robes and hung wampum shells of pearl in the hair of the white men.

"Sacajawea. Bring her hither," called Lewis.

Tripping lightly into the willow lodge, Sacajawea was beginning to interpret, when lifting her eyes to the chief, she recognised her own brother, Cameahwait. She ran 228 to his side, threw her blanket over his head, and wept upon his bosom.

Sacajawea, too, was a Princess, come home now to her Mountain Kingdom.


"We are going through your country to the far ocean," said Captain Lewis. "We are making a trail for the traders who will bring you guns."

"This delights me," answered Cameahwait, with his fierce eyes, and his lank jaws grown meagre for want of food. "We are driven into the mountains, when if we had guns we could meet our enemies in the plains."

All the Shoshone talk was of war, war, war. Their great terror was the roving Indians of the Saskatchewan, who, with guns from the British traders, came down like wolves on the fold. Only flight and wonderful skill with the bow and arrow saved the Shoshones from destruction.

Horses were their wealth. "Most of them would make a figure on the south side of James River," said Lewis, "in the land of fine horses. I saw several with Spanish brands upon them."

Brother to the Comanche, the Shoshone rode his horse over rocks and ravines, up declivitous ways and almost impossible passes. Every warrior had one or two tied to a stake near his willow hut, night and day, ready for action.

"My horse is my friend. He knows my voice. He hears me speak. He warns me of the enemy." Little children played with them, squaws fed them, braves painted them and decorated their manes and tails with eagle-plumes, insignia of the Rocky Mountain Indian. Such horses were a boon to Lewis and Clark, for they were tractable, sure-footed, inured to the saddle and the pack. 229

A Shoshone found a tomahawk that Lewis had lost in the grass, and returned it,—now a tomahawk was worth a hundred dollars to a Shoshone. They had no knives or hatchets,—all their wood was split with a wedge of elkhorn and a mallet of stone. They started their fires by twirling two dry sticks together.

Through all the valleys the Shoshones sent for their best horses, to trade for knives and tomahawks. Delighted they watched the fall of deer before the guns of white men. The age of stone had met the age of steel.

How to get over the mountains was the daily consultation. Cameahwait pointed out an old man that knew the rivers. Clark engaged him for a guide:

"You shall be called Toby. Be ready to-morrow morning."

Proud of his new name, old Toby packed up his moccasins.

The Indians drew maps: "Seven days over sheer mountains. No game, no fish, nothing but roots."

Captain Clark set out to reconnoitre the Salmon River route.

"A river of high rocks," said Cameahwait, "all a river of foam. No man or horse can cross. No man can walk along the shore. We never travel that way." Nevertheless Clark went on.

For seventy miles, "through mountains almost inaccessible, and subsisting on berries the greater part of the route," as Clark afterward told his brother, they pushed their way, then—"troubles just begun," remarked old Toby.

Checking their horses on the edge of a precipice, Clark and his companions looked down on the foaming Snake, roaring and fretting and lashing the walls of its inky canyon a hundred feet below, savage, tremendous, frightful.

As Cameahwait had said, the way was utterly impracticable.

"I name this great branch of the Columbia for my comrade, Captain Lewis," said Clark.

Back from the Snake River, Clark found Lewis buying 230 horses. The Shoshone women were mending the men's moccasins. The explorers were making pack-saddles of rawhide. For boards they broke up boxes and used the handles of their oars.

"I have ever held this expedition in equal estimation with my own existence," said Lewis, urging on the preparations. "If Indians can pass these mountains, we can."

Haunched around the fires, the forlorn Indians looked and listened and shook their unkempt heads.

"Me know better route," said the friendly old Shoshone guide. "To the north, another great water to the Columbia."

"No! no! no!" shouted all the Shoshones. "No trail that way."

But Clark believed the faithful old Toby. Evidently the Shoshones wished to detain them all winter.

Unseen by the Indians, at night a cache was dug at the head of the Jefferson, for the last of the heavy luggage, leaving out only Indian gifts and absolute necessities to carry on the pack-horses. The canoes were filled with rocks and sunk to the bottom of the river.

August 30, the expedition was ready. Before setting out the violins were brought and the men danced, to the great diversion of the Indians. Then, when they turned their faces to the Bitter Root, with the old guide and his four sons, the Shoshones set out east for their annual hunt on the Missouri.

From May to September the Shoshones lived on salmon that came up the mountain streams. Now that the salmon were gone, necessity compelled them forth. With swift dashes down the Missouri they were wont to kill and dry what buffalo they could, and retreat to consume it in their mountain fastnesses. The whites had surprised them in their very citadel—led by Sacajawea.

Along the difficult Bitter Root Mountains Lewis and Clark journeyed, meeting now and then Indian women digging yamp and pounding sunflower seeds into meal. Food grew scarce and scarcer, now and then a deer, a grouse, or a belated salmon stranded in some mountain pool. Sometimes they had but a bit of parched corn in 231 their wallets, like the Immortals that marched to the conquest of Illinois.

But those snowy peaks that from a distance seemed so vast,—that like the Alps defied approach to any but a Hannibal or a Napoleon—now, as if to meet their conquerors, bent low in many a grassy glade.

In a pocket of the mountains now called Ross Hole, they came upon a camp of Flatheads, with five hundred horses, on their way to the Missouri for the Fall hunt of buffalo.

Unknown to them the Flatheads had been watching from the timber and had reported: "Strangers. Two chiefs riding ahead, looking at the country. One warrior painted black. The rest leading packhorses. Keep quiet. Wait. They are coming."

York's feet had become lame and he was riding with the Captains.

When the white men came in view the Flatheads looked on their faces. They were shocked at the whiteness. Compassion was in every Indian heart.

"These men have no blankets. They have been robbed. See how cold their cheeks are. They are chilled. Bring robes. Build fires."

All the Indians ran for their beautiful white robes, and wrapped them around the shoulders of the white men. Before the blazing fires the white men's cheeks grew red. Perspiration burst from every pore. The robes slipped off, but the solicitous red men kept putting them back and stirring up the fire.

Then the Captains, touched to the heart, spoke to the kind-hearted Flatheads of a great people toward the rising sun, strong and brave and rich.

"Have they wigwams and much buffalo?" inquired the Flatheads.

"Yes. We have been sent by the Great Father, the President, to bring these presents to his children the Flatheads."

The childlike Flatheads were much impressed. Never did they forget the visit of those first white men. Traditions enough to fill a book have been handed down, and to 232 this day they boast, "the Flathead never killed a white man."

The whites listened in amaze to the low guttural clucking of the Flatheads, resembling that of a chicken or parrot. Voice there was none, only a soft crooning to their gentle chatter, interpreted by Sacajawea and the old Shoshone guide.

The women crowded around Sacajawea and untied her baby from its elkskin cradle. They fed it and gave it little garments. That baby was an open sesame touching the hearts of all. Sacajawea, riding on her horse to the Columbia, found friends with every tribe. Others might pay; she, never. The Indian mother-heart opened to Sacajawea. Her very presence was an assurance of pacific intention.

The women brought food, roots, and berries. To a late hour the white men continued smoking and conversing with the chiefs, when more robes were brought, and the weary ones slept with their feet to the fire.

"Those hongry Injin dorgs ate up me moccasins lasht noight," complained Pat in the morning. "But they're the whoitest Injins I iver saw."

More horses were brought and the lame ones exchanged, so now with forty horses and three colts the Captains and their devoted followers struggled on, "Over the warst road I iver saw," said Pat. "Faith! 'tis warse nor the Alleghanies where I rid whin a bye."

One horse loaded with a desk and small trunk rolled down a steep declivity until it was stopped by a tree. The desk was broken. That night they camped at the snow line and more snow began to fall. Wet, cold, hungry, they killed a colt for supper and slept under the stars.

The horses were failing. Some had to be abandoned. One rolled down a mountain into a creek at the bottom. Some strayed or lost their packs, and the worn-out men, ever on the jump, came toiling through the brush, bearing on their own backs the unwieldy pack-saddles. Up here in the Bitter Root Mountains, the last of Dr. Saugrain's thermometers was broken, which accounts for the fact that from this point on they kept no record of temperature. 233

September 9 the expedition journeyed down the main Bitter Root valley, named Clark's River, and crossing it came to a large creek and camped a day to rest their horses.

"Traveller's Rist, is it?" said Pat. "Me fa-a-ther's inn at Wellsburg was the fir-r-st 'Traveller's Rist' in all Wistern Varginny," and Traveller's Rest it remained until some later explorer renamed it the Lolo fork of the Bitter Root River.

Here the boys mended their garments torn and tattered in the mountains, and the hunters went out for game. They returned with three Flatheads.

"Ay! Ay!" clucked the gentle Flatheads, "the river goes to the great lake. Our relations were there and bought handkerchiefs like these of an old white man that lives by himself."

Lame and weary, straight across Idaho they struggled, over seams and streaks of precious metal that they saw not, the gold of Ophir concealed in the rocky chambers of the Idaho Alps,—struggled into the Lolo trail used by the Indians for ages before any whites ever came into the country.

Over the Lolo trail went the Nez Percés to battle and to hunt buffalo in the Montana country. Down over this trail once came a war party and captured Wat-ku-ese, a Nez Percé girl, and carried her away to the distant land of white men,—so-yap-po, "the crowned ones," she called them, because they wore hats.

Still ever Wat-ku-ese dreamed of her Nez Percé home and one day escaped with her infant on her back. Along the way white traders were kind to her. On and on, footsore and weary she journeyed alone. In the Flathead country her baby died and was buried there. One day some Nez Percés came down over the Lolo trail bringing home Wat-ku-ese, weak, sick, dying.

She was with her people at their camas ground, Weippe, when Lewis and Clark came down over the Lolo trail.

"Let us kill them," whispered the frightened Nez Percés. 234

Wat-ku-ese lay dying in her tent when she heard it. "White men, did you say? No, no, do not harm them. They are the crowned ones who were so good to me. Do not be afraid of them. Go near to them."

Cautiously the Nez Percés approached. The explorers shook their hands. This was to the Indians a new form of greeting.

Everywhere Indian women were digging the camas root, round like an onion, and little heaps lay piled here and there. They paused in their work to watch the strangers. Some screamed and ran and hid. Little girls hid their baby brothers in the brush. Others brought food.

So starved and famished were the men that they ate inordinately of the sweet camas and the kouse, the biscuit root. The sudden change to a warmer climate and laxative roots resulted in sickness, when the expedition might have been easily attacked but for those words of Wat-ku-ese, who now lay dead in her tent.

To this day the Nez Percés rehearse the story of Wat-ku-ese. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship with the whites, broken only when Chief Joseph fled over the Lolo trail. But even Chief Joseph found he must give up the vast areas over which he was wont to roam, and come under the laws of civilised life.

As fast as their weakness permitted councils were held, when the Captains told the Nez Percés of the Great Father at Washington, who had sent them to visit his children.

Twisted Hair, the Nez Percé Tewat, a great medicine man, dreamer and wizard and wise one, drew on a white elkskin a chart of the rivers. Admiring redmen put their hands over their mouths in amazement.

No one but Twisted Hair could do such things. He was a learned Indian, knew all the trails, even to the Falls of the Columbia.

"White men," said he, "live at the Tim-tim [falls]."

Thus into Idaho had penetrated the story of Ko-na-pe, the wrecked Spaniard, who with his son Soto had set out up the great river to find white people and tarried there 235 until he died. Seven years later Astor's people met Soto, an old man dark as his Indian mother, but still the Indians called him white. Twenty years later Soto's daughter was still living on the Columbia in the days of the Hudson's Bay Company.

To save time and trouble, canoes were burnt out of logs. Leaving their horses with the Nez Percés, on October 4 the explorers were glad to get into their boats with their baggage and float down the clear Kooskooske, into the yellow-green Snake, and on into the blue Columbia.

At the confluence of the rivers medals were given and councils held on the present site of Lewiston. Day by day through wild, romantic scenes where white man's foot had never trod, the exultant young men were gliding to the sea.

Ahead of the boats on horseback galloped We-ark-koompt, an Indian express. Word flew. The tribes were watching. At the dinner camp, October 16, five Indians came up the river on foot in great haste, took a look and started back, running as fast as they could.

That night Lewis and Clark were met at the Columbia by a procession of two hundred Indians with drums, singing, "Ke-hai, ke-hai," the redmen's signal of friendship.


The arrival at the Columbia was followed by days of councils, with gifts and speeches and smoking. Two Nez Percé chiefs, Twisted Hair the Tewat and Tetoh, introduced the explorers from tribe to tribe, bearing on and on the good words of Wat-ku-ese: "They are crowned ones. Do not be afraid. Go near to them."

All the Indian world seemed camped on the Columbia. Everywhere and everywhere were "inconceivable multitudes 236 of salmon." They could be seen twenty feet deep in the water, they lay on the surface, and floated ashore. Hundreds of Indians were splitting and spreading them on scaffolds to dry. The inhabitants ate salmon, slept on salmon, burnt dried salmon to cook salmon.

With a coal a Yakima chief drew on a robe a map of the river so valuable that Clark afterwards transferred it to paper. That map on the robe was carried home to Jefferson and hung up by him in Monticello. Every trail was marked by moccasin tracks, every village by a cluster of teepees.

In the "high countrey" of the Walla Walla they caught sight of "the Mt. Hood of Vancouver," and were eager to reach it.

"Tarry with us," begged Yellept, the Walla Walla chief.

"When we return," replied the eager men. Then Clark climbed a cliff two hundred feet above the water and spied St. Helens. Very well Clark remembered Lord St. Helens from whom this peak was named. The very name to him was linked with those old days when "Detroit must be taken," for Lord St. Helens and John Jay drew up the treaty that evacuated Detroit.

Captain Clark and a few of the men still continued in advance walking along the shore.

Near the beautiful Umatilla a white crane rose over the Columbia. Clark fired. A village of Indians heard the report and marvelled at the sudden descent of the bird. As with outspread, fluttering wings it touched the ground the white men came into view.

One moment of transfixed horror, and the Indians fled. Captain Clark promptly followed, opened the mat doors of their huts and entered. With bowed heads, weeping and wringing their hands, a crowd of men, women, and children awaited the blow of death.

Lifting their chins, Clark smiled upon them and offered gifts. Evidently they had not met the Indian express.

"All tribes know the peace-pipe," he remarked, and drawing forth his pipestone calumet lit it, as was his wont, with a sunglass. 237

As the fire kindled from the rays through the open roof, again the people shrieked. In vain Drouillard tried to pacify them. Not one would touch the pipe lit by the sun. Clark went out and sat on a rock and smoked until the boats arrived.

"Do not be afraid. Go to them," began the Nez Percé chiefs.

"They are not men," hurriedly whispered the frightened Indians. "We saw them fall from heaven with great thunder. They bring fire from the sky."

Not until Sacajawea landed with her baby was tranquillity restored.

"No squaw travels with a war party," that must be admitted, and soon they were smoking with great unanimity.

"Tim-m-m-m;—tim-m-m-m!" hummed the Indians at the Falls, at Celilo, poetically imitating the sound of falling waters.

There was salmon at the Falls of the Columbia, stacks of salmon dried, pounded, packed in baskets, salmon heaped in bales, stored in huts and cached in cellars in the sand. Making a portage around the Falls, the boats slid down.

"De rapide! de rapide! before we spik some prayer we come on de beeg rock!" screamed Cruzatte, the bowman.

Apparently a black wall stretched across the river, but as they neared, a rift appeared where the mighty channel of the Columbia narrows to forty-five yards at the Dalles. Crowds of Indians gathered as Clark and Cruzatte stopped to examine the pass.

"By good steering!" said Cruzatte. Shaping up his canoe, it darted through the hissing and curling waters like a racehorse.

Close behind, the other boats shot the boiling caldron, to the great astonishment of Indian villagers watching from above.

At the Warm Springs Reservation there are Indians yet who remember the old dip-net fishing days and the stories of "Billy Chinook," who then saw York, the 238 black man. "I was a boy of twelve. When the black man turned and looked at us, we children fled behind the rocks."

Here at the Dalles were wooden houses, the first that Lewis and Clark had seen since leaving the Illinois country, with roofs, doors, and gables like frontier cabins,—and still more stacks of salmon. "Ten thousand pounds," said Clark, "dried, baled, and bound for traffic down the river."

The ancient Indian village of Wishram stands on that spot still, with the same strong smell of salmon. The houses are much the same, and among their treasures may be found a coin of 1801, bartered, no doubt, by Lewis and Clark for a bale of salmon.

On sped the boats, through mighty mountains, past ancient burial places of the savage dead, to the wild-rushing Cascades. Past these Cascades, five miles of continuous rapids, white with sheets of foam. "We mak' portage," said Cruzatte, his bow grating on the narrow shelf of shore.

On either side, rocky palisades, "green-mossed and dripping," reached the skies. Tiny waterfalls, leaping from the clouds, fell in rainbow mist a thousand feet below. "Mt. Hood stood white and vast."

Below the Cascades great numbers of hair-seals slept on the rocks. Swarms of swans, geese, ducks, cranes, storks, white gulls, cormorants, plover swept screaming by. The hills were green, the soft west wind was warm with rain.

"What a wild delight

Of space! of room! What a sense of seas!"

They had come into a new world,—the valley of the lower Columbia, the home of the Chinook wind.

At Hood River alarmed Indians, dressed in skins of the mountain goat, the Oregon mazama, peered after the passing white men. At every house, and among mouldering remains of ancient tombs, lay scattered innumerable images of wood and stone or of burnt clay, household gods of the Columbian Indian. 239

Flat and flatter grew the heads. Up in the Bitter Root, women alone wore this badge of distinction. Here, every infant lay strapped like a mummy with a padded board across its forehead.

A new sort of boats now glided alongside the flotilla, great sea canoes manned with Chinook paddles. They were long and light, tapering at the ends, wide in the middle and lifting stern and prow into beaks like a Roman galley. And every canoe was laden with salmon, going down river to trade for beads and wapato.

Traces of white men began to appear,—blue and scarlet blankets, brass tea-kettles, and beads. One Indian, with a round hat and a sailor-jacket, wore his hair in a queue in imitation of the "Bostons."

"I trade with Mr. Haley," said one in good English, showing the bow of iron and other goods that Mr. Haley had given him. "And this is his squaw in the canoe."

More and more fertile and delightful grew the country, shaded by thick groves of tall timber and watered by streams, fair as lay unpeopled Kentucky thirty years before. Scarce could Clark repress the recollection of the tales his brother brought home of that first trip to Boonsboro in 1775.

Nothing surprised them more than the tropic luxuriance of vegetation. The moist Japan wind nurtured the trees to mammoths, six, eight, and ten feet through. Shrubbery like the hazel grew to be trees. The maple spread its leaves like palm fans; dogwood of magnolian beauty, wild cherry, crab-apple, interlaced with Oregon grape, blackberries, wild roses, vines of every sort and description, and ferns, ferns, ferns filled the canyons like the jungles of Orinoco.

On November 4, nearly opposite the present Vancouver, they landed at a village on the left side of the river where a fleet of over fifty canoes was drawn up on shore, gathering wapato.

"Wapato? Wapato?" An Indian treated them to the queen root of the Columbia, round and white, about the size of a small Irish potato. This, baked, was the bread of the Chinook Indian. 240

"In two days," said Indians in sailor jackets and trousers, shirts, and hats, "in two days, two ships, white people in them."

"Village there," said an Indian in a magnificent canoe, pointing beyond some islands at the mouth of the Willamette. He was finely dressed and wore a round hat.

Yes, it might be, villages, villages everywhere, but ships—ships below! They had no time for villages now. Long into the darkness of night the boats sped on, on, past dim forests bending to the wave, past shadowy heights receding into sunset, past campfires on the hills where naked Indians walked between them and the light.

At a late hour they camped. November rains were setting in, the night was noisy with wild fowl coming up the Columbia to escape the storms of ocean. Trumpeter swans blew their shrill clarions, and whistling swans, geese, and other birds in flights of hundreds swept past in noisy serenade, dropping from their wings the spray of the sea.

None slept. Toward morning the rain began.

In a wet morning and a rushing wind they bent to the oar, past St. Helens, past Mt. Coffin, past Cathlamet where Queen Sally in scant garments watched from a rock and told the tale in after years.

"We had been watching for days," she said. "News had come by Indian post of the strangers from the east. They came in the afternoon and were met by our canoes and brought to the village." "There," Clark says in his journals, "we dined on November 26."

But Lewis and Clark were tired of Indians by this time, and moreover, ships were waiting below! It was a moment of intense excitement. Even at Cathlamet they heard the surge of ocean rolling on the rocks forty miles away. Before night the fog lifted and they beheld "the ocean!—that ocean, the object of all our labours, the reward of all our anxieties. Ocean in view! O! the joy."

Struggling with their unwieldy canoes the landsmen 241 grew seasick in the rising swells of the up-river tide. For miles they could not find a place to camp, so wild and rocky were the shores.

At last, exhausted, they threw their mats on the beautiful pebbly beach and slept in the rain.

Everything was wet, soaked through, bedding, stores, clothing. And all the salt was spoiled. There was nothing to eat but raw dried salmon, wet with sea water, and many of the men began to be ill from exposure and improper food.

"'T is the divil's own weather," said Pat, coming in from a reconnoitre with his wet hunting shirt glued fast to his skin. Pat could see the "waves loike small mountains rolling out in the ocean," but just now he, like all the rest, preferred a dry corner by a chimney fire.

"Une Grande Piqnique!" exclaimed Cruzatte.

"Lak' tonder de ocean roar!

Blow lak' not'ing I never see,

Blow lak' le diable makin' grande tour!

Hear de win' on de beeg pine tree!"

And all were hungry. Even Clark, who claimed to be indifferent as to what he ate, caught himself pondering on bread and buns. With the peculiar half laugh of the squaw, Sacajawea brought a morsel that she had saved for the child all the way from the Mandan towns, but now it was wet and beginning to sour. Clark took it and remarked in his journal, "This bread I ate with great satisfaction, it being the only mouthful I had tasted for several months."

Chinook Indians pilfered around the camp. "If any one of your nation steals anything from us, I will have you shot," said Captain Clark,—"which they understand very well," he remarked to the camp as the troublers slunk away. A sentinel stood on constant watch.

Captain Lewis and eleven of the men went around the bay and found where white people had been camped all summer, but naught remained save the cold white beach and the Indians camping there. The ships had sailed.

Down there near the Chinook town, facing the ocean, 242 Captain Lewis branded a tree with his name and the date, and a few days later Captain Clark says, "I marked my name on a large pine tree immediately on the isthmus, at Clatsop."

It was two hundred years since Captain John Smith sailed up the Chickahominy in Virginia in search of the South Sea. At last, far beyond the Chickahominy, Lewis and Clark sailed up the Missouri and down the Columbia in search of the same South Sea. And here at the mouth of the Oregon they found it, stretching away to China.

Balboa, Magellan, Cortez, Mackenzie,—Lewis and Clark had joined the immortals.


December had now arrived, and southwest storms broke upon the coast with tremendous force. Off Cape Disappointment, the surges dashed to the height of the masthead of a ship, with most terrific roaring. A winter encampment could no longer be delayed.

"Deer, elk, good skin, good meat," said the Chinook Indians, in pantomime, pointing across the bay to the south.

Accordingly, thither the eggshell boats were guided, across the tempestuous Columbia, to the little river Netul, now the Lewis and Clark, ten miles from the ocean.

Beside a spring branch, in a thick grove of lofty firs about two hundred yards from the water, the leather tent was set up and big fires built, while all hands fell to clearing a space for the winter cabins.

In four days the logs were rolled up, Boonsboro fashion, into shelters for the winter. "The foinest puncheons I iver saw," said Patrick Gass, head carpenter, 243 as he set to splitting boards out of the surrounding firs.

By Christmas seven cabins were covered and the floors laid. The chinks were filled with clay, and fir-log fires were set roaring in the capacious chimneys that filled an entire end of each cabin. On Christmas day they moved in, wet blankets and all, with rounds of firearms and Christmas salutes.

The leather tent, soaked for days, fell to pieces. The heavy canisters of powder, every one of which had been under the water in many a recent capsize, were consigned in safety to the powder-house.

On New Year's Eve the palisades were done, and the gates were closed at sunset.

The first winter-home of civilised people on the Columbia has an abiding charm, not unlike that of Plymouth or Jamestown.

Back through the mists of one hundred years we see gangs of elk, chased by hunters through cranberry bogs, "that shook for the space of half an acre."

Their soundless footfalls were lost in beds of brown pine needles and cushions of moss. The firing of guns reverberated through the dim gloom like a piece of ordnance.

It was from such a trip as this that the hunters returned on the 16th of December, reporting elk. All hands set to work carrying up the meat from the loaded boats, skinning and cutting and hanging it up in small pieces in the meathouse, to be smoked by a slow bark fire. But in spite of every precaution, the meat began to spoil.

"We must have salt," said Captain Lewis.

In a few days, five men were dispatched with five kettles to build a cairn for the manufacture of salt from seawater.

Already Clark had examined the coast with this in view, and the salt-makers' camp was established near Tillamook Head, about fifteen miles southwest of the fort where the old cairn stands to this day. Here the men built "a neat, close camp, convenient to wood, salt 244 water and the fresh waters of the Clatsop River, within a hundred paces of the ocean," and kept the kettles boiling day and night.

On that trip to the coast, while the cabins were building, Captain Clark visited the Clatsops, and purchased some rude household furniture, cranberries, mats, and the skin of a panther, seven feet from tip to tip, to cover their puncheon floor.

Other utensils were easily fashioned. Seated on puncheon stools, before the log-fire of the winter night, the men carved cedar cups, spoons, plates, and dreamed of homes across the continent.

In just such a little log cabin as this, Shannon saw his mother in Ohio woods; Patrick Gass pictured his father, with his pipe, at Wellsburg, West Virginia; Sergeant Ordway crossed again the familiar threshold at Hebron, New Hampshire. Clark recalled Mulberry Hill, and Lewis,—his mind was fixed on Charlottesville, or the walls expanded into Monticello and the White House.

"Mak' some pleasurement now," begged the Frenchmen, "w'en Bonhomme Cruzatte tune up hees fidelle for de dance."

Tales were told and plans were made. Toward midnight these Sinbads of the forest fell asleep, on their beds of fir boughs, lulled by the brook, the whispering of the pines, and the falling of the winter rain.

This was not like winter rain in eastern climates, but soft and warm as April. The grass grew green, Spring flowers opened in December. The moist Japan wind gives Oregon the temperature of England.

"I most sincerely regret the loss of my thermometer," said Lewis. "I am confident this climate is much milder than the same latitude on the Atlantic. I never experienced so warm a winter."

But about the last of January there came a snow at Clatsop, four inches thick, and icicles hung from the houses during the day.

"A real touch of winter," said Lewis. "The breath is perceptible in our room by the fire." Like all Oregon 245 snow it disappeared in a week—and then it was Spring.

In the centre of the officer's cabin, a fir stump, sawed off smooth and flat for a table, was covered with maps and papers. Books were written in that winter of 1805-6, voluminous records of Oregon plants and trees, birds, beasts, and fishes. They had named rivers and measured mountains, and after wandering more than Homer's heroes, the explorers were ready now to carry a new geography to the States. And here, as everywhere, Lewis was busy with his vocabularies, learning the Chinook jargon.

As never before, all the men became scientists. Even Captain Clark's black man took an interest and reported some fabulous finds.

The houses were dry and comfortable, and within, they had a plentiful supply of elk and salt, "excellent, white, and fine, but not so strong as the rock salt, or that made in Kentucky."

Meal time was always interesting. Very often the Captains caught themselves asking: "Charboneau, when will dinner be ready?"

All day the firelight flickered on Sacajawea's hair, as she sat making moccasins, crooning a song in her soft Indian monotone. This was, perhaps, the happiest winter Sacajawea ever knew, with baby Touissant toddling around her on the puncheon floor, pulling her shawl around his chubby face, or tumbling over his own cradle. The modest Shoshone princess never dreamed how the presence of her child and herself gave a touch of domesticity to that Oregon winter.

Now and then Indian women came to see Sacajawea, sitting all day without a word, watching her every motion.

Sometimes Sacajawea helped Charboneau, with his spits, turning slowly before the fire, or with his elk's tongues or sausage or beaver's tails. Sometimes she made trapper's butter, boiling up the marrow of the shank bones with a sprinkle of salt.

In the short days darkness came on at four o'clock, and the last of the candles were soon exhausted. Then 246 the moulds were brought and candles were made of elk tallow, until a heap, shining and white, were ready for the winter evenings.

"We have had trouble enough with those thieving Chinooks," said Captain Lewis. "Without a special permit, they are to be excluded from the fort."

The Indians heard it. Did a knock resound at the gate, "No Chinook!" was the quick accompaniment.

"Who, then?" demanded the sentinel, gun in hand.

"Clatsop," answered Coboway's people entering with roots and cranberries.

Or, "Cathlamets," answered an up-river tribe with rush bags of wapato on their backs. Roots of the edible thistle—white and crisp as a carrot, sweet as sugar, the roasted root of the fern, resembling the dough of wheat, and roots of licorice, varied the monotonous fare.

These supplies were very welcome, but the purchase money, that was the problem.

President Jefferson had given to Captain Lewis an unlimited letter of credit on the United States, but such a letter would not buy from these Indians even a bushel of wapato.

The Cathlamets would trade for fishhooks. The Clatsops preferred beads, knives, or an old file.

No wonder they valued an old file: the finest work of their beautiful canoes was often done with a chisel fashioned from an old file. Lewis and Clark had frequent occasion to admire their skill in managing these little boats, often out-riding the waves in the most tumultuous seas.

Ashore, these canoe-Indians waddled and rolled like tipsy sailors. Afloat, straight and trim as horse-Indians of the prairie, each deft Chinook glided to his seat along the unrocking boats, and striking up the paddlers' "Ho-ha-ho-ha-ho-ha-" went rowing all their lives, until their arms grew long and strong, their legs shrunk short and crooked, and their heads became abnormally intelligent.

Nor were these coast Indians lacking in courage,—they sometimes ventured into the sea in their wonderful canoes, and harpooned the great whale and towed him in. 247

When it came to prices for their beautiful skins of sea-otter, almost nothing would do. Clark offered a watch, a handkerchief, an American dollar, and a bunch of red beads for a single skin.

"No! No!" in stentorian tone—"Tyee ka-mo-suck,—chief beads,"—the most common sort of large blue glass beads, the precious money of that country. Chiefs hung them on their bosoms, squaws bound them on their ankles, pretty maidens hung them in their hair. But Lewis and Clark had only a few and must reserve them for most pressing necessity.

Since that May morning when Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River, fourteen years before, the Chinook Indians had learned the value of furs. Once they handed over their skins, and took without a murmur what the Boston skippers chose to give. Now, a hundred ships upon that shore had taught them craft.

One of old King Comcomly's people had a robe of sea-otter, "the fur of which was the most beautiful we had ever seen." In vain Lewis offered everything he had, nothing would purchase the treasured cloak but the belt of blue beads worn by Sacajawea.

On every hand among these coast tribes were blankets, sailor-clothes, guns,—old Revolutionary muskets mended for this trade,—powder and ball, the powder in little japanned tin flasks in which the traders sold it.

In what Clark calls "a guggling kind of language spoken mostly through the throat," with much pantomime and some English, conversation was carried on.

"Who are these traders?" asked Captain Lewis.

Old Comcomly, King of the Chinooks, on the north side, and Tyee Coboway, Chief of the Clatsops, on the south bank of the Columbia, tried to remember, and counted on their fingers,—

"Haley, three masts, stays some time," "Tallamon not a trader," "Callalamet has a wooden leg," "Davidson, no trader, hunts elk," "Skelley, long time ago, only one eye."

And then there were "Youens, Swipton, Mackey, Washington, Mesship, Jackson, Balch," all traders with 248 three-masted ships whose names are not identified by any Atlantic list.

The one translated Washington by Lewis and Clark may have been Ockington of the Belle Savage, 1801, or Tawnington, both of whom are known to have been on the coast in those years.

In fact, no complete record was ever kept of the ships that swarmed around the Horn and up the Pacific, in those infant years of our republic, 1787 to 1820. While Europe clustered around the theatre of Napoleonic wars, every harbour of New England had its fur ships and whalers out, flying the Stars and Stripes around the world.

"What do they say?" inquired Lewis, still pressing investigation. Proud of their acquirements, every Chinook and Clatsop in the nation could recall some word or phrase.

"Musket, powder, shot, knife, file, heave the lead, damned rascal!"

No wonder Lewis and Clark laughed, these mother words on the savage tongue were like voices out of the very deep, calling from the ships.

"One hyas tyee ship—great chief ship—Moore, four masts, three cows on board."

"Which way did he go?"

The Indians pantomimed along the northwest coast.

"From which," says Lewis, "I infer there must be settlements in that direction."

The great desire, almost necessity, now, seemed to be to wait until some ship appeared upon the shore from which to replenish their almost exhausted stores.

Whenever the boats went in and out of Meriwether Bay they passed the Memeloose Illahee, the dead country of the Clatsops. Before 1800, as near as Lewis and Clark could ascertain, several hundred of the Clatsops died suddenly of a disease that appeared to be smallpox, the same undoubtedly that cut down Black Bird and his Omahas, rolling on west and north where the Hudson's Bay traders traced it to the borders of the Arctic.

In Haley's Bay one hundred canoes in one place bespoke 249 the decimation of the Chinooks, all slumbering now in that almost priceless carved coffin, the Chinook canoe, with gifts around them and feet to the sunset, ready to drift on an unknown voyage.

There was a time when Indian campfires stretched from Walla Walla to the sea, when fortifications were erected, and when Indian flint factories supplied the weapons of countless warriors. But they are gone. The first settlers found sloughs and bayous lined with burial canoes, until the dead were more than the living. No Indians knew whose bones they were, "those old, old, old people." Red children and white tumbled them out of the cedar coffins and carried away the dead men's treasures.

"There was mourning along the rivers. A quietness came over the land." Stone hammers, flint chips, and arrows lie under the forests, and embers of fires two centuries old.

The native tribes were disappearing before the white man came, and the destruction of property with the dead kept the survivors always impoverished.


"A whale! a whale ashore!"

When Chief Coboway brought word there was great excitement at Fort Clatsop. Everybody wanted to see the whale, but few could go. Captain Clark appointed twelve men to be ready at daylight.

Sacajawea, in the privacy of her own room that Sunday evening, spoke to Charboneau. Now Charboneau wanted her to stay and attend to the "l'Apalois"—roasting meats on a stick,—and knowing that the child would have to be looked after, slipped over to the Captains, discussing by the fire. 250

"Sacajawea t'ink she want to see de whale. She ought not go."

"Very well," answered the Captains, scarce heeding. "She better stay at the fort. It would be a hard jaunt for a woman to go over Tillamook Head."

Charboneau went back. "De Captinne say you cannot go!"

This was a staggering blow to Sacajawea, but her woman's determination had become aroused and she took the rostrum, so to speak. Leaving the baby Touissant with his father, she in turn slipped over to the Captains.

Sacajawea was a born linguist. "Captinne, you remember w'en we reach de rivers and you knew not which to follow? I show de country an' point de stream. Again w'en my husband could not spik, I spik for you.

"Now, Captinne, I travel great way to see de Beeg Water. I climb de mountain an' help de boat on de rapide. An' now dis monstous fish haf come"—Sacajawea could scarce restrain her tears. Sacajawea was only a woman, and a brave little woman at that.

Captain Lewis was moved. "Sacajawea, you are one of those who are born not to die. Of course you can go. Go and be getting ready, and," he added, "if Charboneau wants to go too, he will have to carry the baby!"

They breakfasted by candle-light. Everybody was ready next morning, but Sacajawea was ahead of them all. Charboneau looked at her out of the corner of his eye, but said nothing. More than once the Captains had reminded him of his duty.

The sun rose clear and cloudless on a land of springtime, and yet it was only January. Robins sang around the stockade, bluebirds whizzed by, silver in the sunlight. Two canoes proceeded down the Netul into Meriwether Bay, on the way to the Clatsop town.

After a day's adventure, they camped near a herd of elk in the beautiful moonlight. At noon, next day, they reached the salt-makers. Here Jo Fields, Bratton, and Gibson had their brass kettles under a rock arch, boiling and boiling seawater into a gallon of salt a day.

Hiring Twiltch, a young Indian, for guide, they 251 climbed Tillamook Head, about thirty miles south of Cape Disappointment. Upon this promontory, Clark's Point of View, they paused before the boisterous Pacific, breaking with fury and flinging its waves above the Rock of Tillamook.

On one side the blue Columbia widened into bays studded with Chinook and Clatsop villages; on the other stretched rich prairies, enlivened by beautiful streams and lakes at the foot of the hills. Behind, in serried rank, the Douglas spruce—"the tree of Turner's dreams," the king of conifers,—stood monarch of the hills. Two hundred, three hundred feet in air they towered, a hundred feet without a limb, so dense that not a ray of sun could reach the ground beneath.

Sacajawea, save Pocahontas the most travelled Indian Princess in our history, spoke not a word, but looked with calm and shining eye upon the fruition of her hopes. Now she could go back to the Mandan towns and speak of things that Madame Jussaume had never seen, and of the Big Water beyond the Shining Mountains.

Down the steep and ragged rocks that overhung the sea, they clambered to a Tillamook village, where lay the great whale, stranded on the shore. Nothing was left but a skeleton, for from every Indian village within travelling distance, men and women were working like bees upon the huge carcass. Then home they went, trailing over the mountains, every squaw with a load of whale blubber on her back, to be for many a month the dainty of an Indian lodge.

These Indian lodges or houses were a source of great interest to Lewis and Clark. Sunk four feet into the ground and rising well above, like an out-door cellar, they were covered with ridgepoles and low sloping roofs. The sides were boarded with puncheons of cedar, laboriously split with elkhorn wedges and stone hammers.

A door in the gable admitted to this half-underground home by means of a ladder. Around the inner walls, beds of mats were raised on scaffolds two or three feet high, and under the beds were deposited winter stores of dried berries, roots, nuts, and fish. 252

In the centre of each house a fireplace, six or eight feet long, was sunk in the floor, and surrounded by a cedar fender and mats for the family to sit on. The walls, lined with mats and cedar bark, formed a very effective shelter.

Did some poor stranded mariner teach the savage this semi-civilised architecture, or was it evolved by his own genius? However this may be, these houses were found from Yaquina Bay to Yakutat.

In such a house as this Captain Clark visited Coboway, chief of the Clatsops, in his village on the sunny side of a hill. As soon as he entered, clean mats were spread. Coboway's wife, Tse-salks, a Tillamook Princess, brought berries and roots and fish on neat platters of rushes. Syrup of sallal berries was served in bowls of horn and meat in wooden trenchers.

Naturally, Sacajawea was interested in domestic utensils, wooden bowls, spoons of horn, skewers and spits for roasting meat, and beautifully woven water-tight baskets.

Every squaw habitually carried a knife, fastened to the thumb by a loop of twine, to be hid under the robe when visitors came. These knives, bought of the traders, were invaluable to the Indian mother. With it she dug roots, cut wood, meat, or fish, split rushes for her flag mats and baskets, and fashioned skins for dresses and moccasins. Ever busy they were, the most patient, devoted women in the world.

Sacajawea, with her beautiful dress and a husband who sometimes carried the baby, was a new sort of mortal on this Pacific coast.

While they were conversing, a flock of ducks lit on the water. Clark took his rifle and shot the head off one. The astonished Indians brought the bird and marvelled. Their own poor flintlocks, loaded with bits of gravel when shot failed, often would not go off in cold weather, but here was "very great medicine." They examined the duck, the musket, and the small bullets, a hundred to the pound.

"Kloshe musquet! wake! kum-tux musquet! A very 253 good musquet! No! do not understand this kind of musquet!"

Thus early is it a historical fact that the Chinook jargon was already established on the Pacific coast. This jargon, a polyglot of traders' tongues, like the old Lingua Franca of the Mediterranean, is used by the coast Indians to this day from the Columbia River to Point Barrow on the Arctic. And for its birth we may thank the Boston traders.

Chinooks, Clatsops, Tillamooks faced that stormy beach and lived on winter stores of roots, berries, fish, and dried meat. Their beautiful elastic bows of white cedar were seldom adequate to kill the great elk, so when the rush bags under the beds were empty, they watched for fish thrown up by the waves.

"Sturgeon is very good," said a Clatsop in English, peering and prying along the hollows of the beach. But the great whale, Ecola, that was a godsend to the poor people. Upon it now they might live until the salmon came, flooding the country with plenty.

Old Chief Coboway of the Clatsops watched those shores for sixty years. He did not tell this story to Lewis and Clark, but he told it to his children, and so it belongs here.

"An old woman came crying to the Clatsop village: 'Something on the shore! Behold, it is no whale! Two spruce trees stand upright on it. Ropes are tied to those spruce trees. Behold bears came out of it!' Then all the people ran. Behold the bears had built a fire of driftwood on the shore. They were popping corn. They held copper kettles in their hands. They had lids. The bears pointed inland and asked for water. Then two people took the kettles and ran inland. They hid. Some climbed up into the thing. They went down into the ship. It was full of boxes. They found brass buttons in a string half a fathom long. They went out. They set fire. The ship burned. It burned like fat. Then the Clatsops gathered the iron, the copper, and the brass. Then were the Clatsops rich."

One of these men was Ko-na-pe. He and his companion 254 were held as slaves. Ko-na-pe was a worker in iron and could fashion knives and hatchets. From that time the Clatsops had knives. He was too great to be held as a slave, so the Clatsops gave him and his friend their liberty. They built a cabin at a place now known as New Astoria, but the Indians called it "Ko-na-pe," and it was known by that name long after the country was settled by the whites.

February had now arrived. For weeks every man not a hunter stood over the kettles with his deer-skin sleeves rolled up, working away at elkskins, rubbing, dipping, and wringing. Then again they went back into the suds for another rubbing and working, and then the beautiful skin, hung up to smoke and dry, came out soft and pliable.

Shields, the skilful, cut out the garments with a butcher knife, and all set to work with awls for needles and deer sinews for thread.

For weeks this leather-dressing and sewing had been going on, some using the handy little "housewives" given by Dolly Madison and the ladies of the White House, until Captain Lewis records, "the men are better fitted with clothing and moccasins than they have been since starting on this voyage."

Captain Lewis and Captain Clark had each a large coat finished of the skin of the "tiger cat," of which it "took seven robes to make a coat."

With beads and old razors, Captain Lewis bought high-crowned Chinook hats, of white cedar-bark and bear-grass, woven European fashion by the nimble fingers of the Clatsop girls, fine as Leghorn and water-tight.

Patrick Gass counted up the moccasins and found three hundred and fifty-eight pairs, besides a good stock of dressed elkskins for tents and bedding. "And I compute 131 elk and 20 deer shot in this neighbourhood during the winter," he added.

But now the elk were going to the mountains, game was practically unobtainable. Now and then Drouillard snared a fine fat beaver or an otter in his traps; sometimes the Indians came over with sturgeon, fresh anchovies, or 255 a bag of wapato, but even this supply was precarious and uncertain.

February 11, Captain Clark completed a map of the country, including rivers and mountains from Fort Mandan to Clatsop, dotting in cross-cuts for the home journey, the feat of a born geographer.

February 21 the saltmakers returned, with twelve gallons of salt sealed up to last to the cache on the Jefferson.

While Shields refitted the guns, others opened and examined the precious powder. Thirty-five canisters remained, and yet, banged as they had been over many a mountain pass, and sunk in many a stream, all but five were found intact as when they were sealed at Pittsburg. Three were bruised and cracked, one had been pierced by a nail, one had not been properly sealed, but by care the men could dry them out and save the whole.

The greatest necessity now was a boat. A long, slim Chinook canoe made out of a single tree of fir or cedar was beyond price. Preliminary dickers were tried with Chinooks and Clatsops. Finally Drouillard went up to Cathlamet.

Of all the trinkets that Drouillard could muster, nothing short of Captain Lewis's laced uniform coat could induce Queen Sally's people to part with a treasured canoe. And here it was. Misfortune had become a joke.

"Well, now, the United States owes me a coat," laughed Lewis, as he found his last civilised garment gone to the savages.

"Six blue robes, one of scarlet, five made out of the old United States' flag that had floated over many a council, a few old clothes, Clark's uniform coat and hat and a few little trinkets that might be tied in a couple of handkerchiefs," this was the reserve fund to carry them two thousand miles to St. Louis.

But each stout-hearted explorer had his gun and plenty of powder—that was wealth.

"Now, in case we never reach the United States," said Lewis, "what then?"

"We must leave a Memorial," answered Clark. And so the Captains prepared this document: 256

"The object of this list is, that through the medium of some civilised person, who may see the same, it may be made known to the world, that the party consisting of the persons whose names are hereunto annexed, and who were sent out by the Government of the United States to explore the interior of the continent of North America, did penetrate the same by the way of the Missouri and Columbia rivers, to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific ocean, where they arrived on the 14th day of November, 1805, and departed the 23d day of March, 1806, on their return to the United States by the same route by which they had come out."

To this document every man signed his name, and copies were given to the various chiefs. One was posted at Fort Clatsop to be given to any trader that might arrive in the river, and thus, in case of their death, some account of their exploration might be saved to the world. On the back of some of the papers Clark sketched the route.

At last only one day's food remained. Necessity compelled removal. In vain their eyes were strained toward the sea. Never were Lewis and Clark destined to see a summer day on the Columbia, when sails of ships flapped listlessly against the masts, and vessels heaved reluctantly on the sluggish waters, rolling in long swells on Clatsop beach.

On Sunday, March 23, 1806, the boats were loaded and all was ready. Chief Coboway came over at noon to bid them good bye.

In gratitude for many favours during the past winter, Lewis and Clark presented their houses and furniture to the kind-hearted old chief.

Chief Coboway made Fort Clatsop his winter home during the remainder of his life. Years passed. The stockade fell down, young trees grew up through the cabins, but the spring is there still, gushing forth its waters, cool as in the adventurous days of one hundred years ago. 257


In this very December of 1805 while Lewis and Clark were struggling with the storms of ocean at the mouth of the Columbia, a thousand miles to the north of them the indefatigable and indomitable Simon Fraser was also building a fort, among the lochs and bens of New Caledonia, the British Columbia of to-day.

On the very day that Lewis and Clark left Fort Mandan, Simon Fraser and his men had faced toward the Rockies. While Lewis and Clark were exploring the Missouri, Fraser and his voyageurs were pulling for dear life up the Saskatchewan and over to Athabasca. On the very day that Lewis and Clark moved into Fort Clatsop, Simon Fraser, at the Rocky Mountain Portage, had men busily gathering stones "to get a chimney built for his bedroom." The icy northern winter came down, but in January mortar was made to plaster his trading fort, the Rocky Mountain Portage at the Peace River Pass.

All that Arctic winter he traded with the natives, killed deer and moose, and made pemmican for an expedition still farther to the west.

All through the stormy, icy April, building his boats and pounding his pemmican, Fraser stamped and stormed and swore because the snows refused to melt—because the rivers yet were blocked with ice.

The boats were at the door, the bales of goods were tied, when the ice began to break in May.

The moment the river was clear all hands were roused at daybreak. Simon Fraser turned the Rocky Mountain Portage over to McGillivray, who had arrived on snow shoes, and pressed on west, discovering McLeod Lake and building Fort McLeod upon its shores. Then he portaged over to the Fraser, which he believed to be the 258 Columbia, and going up the Stuart branch built Fort St. James on Stuart Lake. During the winter and summer, after Lewis and Clark reached home, he built Fort Fraser on Fraser Lake, and Fort George upon the Fraser River, still thinking it was the Columbia.

"Now will I reach the mouth of this Columbia," said Fraser in the Spring of 1808, launching his boat, the Perseverance, upon the wildest water of the North.

"You cannot pass," said the Indians, and they waved and whirled their arms to indicate the mad tumultuous swirling of the waters.

"Whatever the obstacle," said Simon Fraser, "I shall follow this river to the end," and down he went for days and days through turbulent gulfs and whirlpools, past rocks and rapids and eddies, under frowning, overhanging precipices in the high water of May.

The Indians spoke of white people.

"It must be Lewis and Clark," groaned Fraser, redoubling his effort to win another empire for his king.

Daily, hourly, risking their lives, at every step in the Mountains the Indians said, "You can go no further."

But the sturdy Scotchmen gripped their oars and set their teeth, turning, doubling, twisting, shooting past rocky points that menaced death, portaging, lifting canoes by sheer grit and resolution up almost impassable rockways, over cliffs almost without a foothold and down into the wave again. So ran the Northwesters down the wild river to the sea, and camped near the present site of New Westminster. And lo! it was not the Columbia.

Back came Simon Fraser to Fort William on Lake Superior to report what he had done, and they crowned his brow with the name of his own great river, the Fraser.

Travellers look down the frowning Fraser gorge to-day, and little realise why Simon Fraser made that daring journey. 259


While Lewis and Clark were making preparations to leave Fort Clatsop, all unknown to them a ship was trying to cross the bar into the Columbia River. And what a tale had she to tell,—of hunger, misery, despair, and death at Sitka.

Since 1787 the Boston ships had been trading along these shores. In that year 1792, when Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River, there were already twenty-one American ships in the Pacific northwest.

In May, 1799, the Boston brig Caroline, Captain Cleveland, was buying furs in Sitka Sound, when coasting along over from the north came the greatest of all the Russians, Alexander von Baranof, with two ships and a fleet of bidarkas.

"What now will you have?" demanded the Sitka chief, as the expedition entered the basin of Sitka Sound.

"A place to build a fort and establish a settlement for trade," answered Baranof.

"A Boston ship is anchored below and buying many skins," answered the chief. But presents were distributed, a trade was made, and Russian axes began felling the virgin forest on the sides of Verstova.

The next day Captain Cleveland visited Baranof at his fort building.

"Savages!" echoed Captain Cleveland to Baranof's comment on the natives. "I should say so. I have but ten men before the mast, but on account of the fierce character of these Indians I have placed a screen of hides around the ship, that they may not see the deck nor know how few men I have. Two pieces of cannon are in position and a pair of blunderbusses on the taffrail."

But the land was rich in furs. It was this that brought Baranof over from Kadiak. 260

In three years Sitka was a strong fort, but in June, 1802, in the absence of Baranof, it was attacked one day by a thousand Indians armed with muskets bought of the Boston traders.

In a few hours the fort, a new ship in the harbour, warehouses, cattle sheds, and a bathhouse were burnt to ashes. The poor dumb cattle were stuck full of lances.

A terrible massacre accompanied the burning. To escape suffocation the Russians leaped from the flaming windows only to be caught on the uplifted lances of the savage Sitkas. Some escaped to the woods, when an English vessel providentially appeared and carried the few remaining survivors to Kadiak.

That autumn two new ships arrived from Russia with hunters, labourers, provisions, and news of Baranof's promotion by the czar.

Tears coursed down the great man's weather-beaten cheeks. "I am a nobleman; but Sitka is lost! I do not care to live; I will go and either die or restore the possessions of my august benefactor."

Then back came Baranof to Sitka on his errand of vengeance, with three hundred bidarkas and six small Russian ships, to be almost wrecked in Sitka Sound. Here he was joined by the Neva just out from Kronstadt, the first to carry the Russian flag around the world.

Upon the hill where Sitka stands to-day, the Indians had built a fort of logs piled around with tangled brush. On this the Russians opened fire. But no reply came. With one hundred and fifty men and several guns, Baranof landed in the dense woods to take the fort by storm. Then burst the sheeted flame. Ten Russians were killed and twenty-six wounded. But for the fleet, Baranof's career would have ended on that day.

But in time ships with cannon were more than a match for savages armed with Boston muskets. Far into the night a savage chant was wafted into the air—the Alaskans had surrendered. At daylight all was still. No sound came from the shore, and when the Russians 261 visited the Indian hill, the fort was filled with slaughtered bodies of infant children, slain by their own parents who felt themselves unable to carry them and escape. The Indian fort was immediately burned to the ground and on its site arose the Russian stronghold of Sitka Castle.

That new fort at Sitka was just finished and mounted with cannon the summer that Lewis and Clark came down the Columbia. Kitchen gardens were under cultivation and live stock thriving.

At Sitka that same autumn the Elizaveta arrived, with the Russian Imperial Inspector of Alaska on board, the Baron von Rezanof, "Chamberlain of the Russian Court and Commander of all America," he called himself.

"What is this I hear of those Bostonians?" inquired the great Baron, unrolling long portraits of the Imperial family to be hung in Sitka Castle. "Those Bostonians, are they undermining our trade in furs with China?"

"Ah, yes," answered Count Baranof, "the American republic is greatly in need of Chinese goods, Chinese teas and silks, which formerly had to be purchased in coin. But since these shores have been discovered with their abundance of furs, they are no longer obliged to take coin with them, but load their vessels with products of their own country."

"All too numerous have become these Boston skippers on this northwest coast," continued Von Rezanof in a decisive tone. "Frequent complaints have been made to the American President that his people are selling firearms to our Indians, but all to no purpose. It is an outrage. We are justified in using force. I recommend an armed brig to patrol these waters."

Food supplies were low at Sitka that winter. No ship came. The Elizaveta dispatched to Kadiak for supplies returned no more. No flour, no fish, not even seal blubber for the garrisons, could be caught or purchased. They were eating crows and eagles and devil-fish. Just then, when a hundred cannon were loaded to sweep the Yankee skippers from the sea, a little Rhode Island ship came sailing into Sitka harbour. 262

"Shall we expel these American traders from the North Pacific?" demanded Von Rezanof.

"For the love of God, no!" cried Baranof. "That little ship is our saviour!"

Into the starving garrison the Yankee Captain De Wolf brought bread and beef, and raised the famine siege of Sitka Castle. Baranof bought the little ship, the Juno, with all her cargo, for eight thousand dollars in furs and drafts on St. Petersburg. In addition Rezanof gave De Wolf a sloop, the Ermak, to carry his men and furs to the Hawaiian Islands.

"God grant that they may not have paid dear for their rashness in trusting their lives to such a craft!" exclaimed Von Rezanof, as the gallant Yankee Captain spread sail and disappeared from Sitka harbour.

The Juno, a staunch, copper-bottomed fast vessel of two hundred six tons, built at Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1799, was now fitted out for the Russian trade and dispatched to Kadiak.

The storms that Lewis and Clark heard booming on the Oregon coast that winter, devastated Alaskan shores as well. When the breakers came thundering up the rocks and the winds shook Sitka Castle, Count Baranof in his stronghold could not sleep for thinking, "Oh, the ships!—the ships out on this stormy deep, laden with what I need so much!"

The little Juno returned from Kadiak with dried fish and oil, and news of disaster: "The Elizaveta has been wrecked in a heavy gale. Six large bidarkas laden with furs on the way to you went down. Two hundred hunters have perished at sea. Our settlement at Yakutat has been destroyed by an Indian massacre."

"My God! My God!" Baranof cried, "how can we repair all these disasters!"

But ever and ever the gray sea boomed upon the shore where the wretched inmates of Sitka Castle were dying. The relief from the Juno was only temporary. By February not a pound of bread a day dared they distribute to the men.

Long since Rezanof had declared they must have an 263 agricultural settlement. Now he fixed his eye on the Columbia River. Sitting there in the dreary castle he was writing to the czar, little dreaming that in a hundred years his very inmost thought would be read in America.

Starvation at Sitka was imminent,—it was impossible to delay longer. Into the stormy sea Rezanof himself set the Juno's sail on his way to the Columbia.

While Lewis and Clark were writing out the muster roll to nail to the wall at Fort Clatsop for any passing ship, Rezanof was striving to cross the Columbia bar. None could see beyond the mists. Contrary winds blew, it rained, it hailed.

Rezanof sighted the Columbia March 14, 1806, but the current drove him back. Again on the 20th he tried to enter, and on the 21st, but the stormy river, like a thing of life, beat him back and beat him back, until the Russian gave it up, and four days later ran into the harbour of San Francisco.

In June he returned with wheat, oats, pease, beans, flour, tallow, and salt to the famished traders at Sitka.

But notwithstanding all these troubles, in 1805-6 Baranof dispatched to St. Petersburg furs valued at more than five hundred thousand roubles.

More and more the Boston traders came back to Alaskan waters. Baranof often found it easier to buy supplies from Boston than from Okhotsk.

"Furnish me with Aleutian hunters and bidarkas and I will hunt on shares for you," proposed a Boston Captain.

"Agreed," said Baranof, and for years fleets of bidarkas under Boston Captains hunted and trapped and traded for sea otter southward along Pacific shores.

"These Boston smugglers and robbers!" muttered the Spaniards of California. "Where do they hide themselves all winter? We know they are on our shores but never a glimpse can we get of their fleet." Meanwhile the Boston traders on the coasts of California raked in the skins and furs, and sailing around by Hawaii reached Sitka in time for Spring sealing in the north. 264

Some hints of this reached the Russian Directory at St. Petersburg, but no one dared to interfere with Baranof.

Shipload after shipload of furs he sent home that sold for fabulous sums in the markets of Russia. The czar himself took shares and the Imperial navy guarded the Russias of North America.

All honour to Baranof, Viking of Sitka, and builder of ships! For forty years he ruled the Northwest, the greatest man in the North Pacific. His name was known on the coast of Mexico, even to Brazil and Havana. The Boston merchants consulted him in making up their cargoes. In 1810 he went into partnership with John Jacob Astor to exchange supplies for furs.

Above all disaster he rose, though ship after ship was lost. But it must be admitted the Russians were not such seamen as the gallant Boston skippers.

Never again will this land see more hardy sailors than the American tars that travelled the seas at the close of our Revolution. Our little Yankee brigs were creeping down and down the coast and around the Horn, until every village had its skippers in the far Pacific. Some went for furs and some for whales, and all for bold adventure.

In July, 1806, the Lydia, having just rescued two American sailors from the savages at Vancouver Island, came into the Columbia River for a load of spars, the beginning of a mighty commerce. Here they heard of Lewis and Clark, and ten miles up, faithful old Chief Coboway gave Captain Hill the muster roll left at Fort Clatsop. This, sent by way of China, reached the United States in 1807, to find the great explorers safe at home.

With the death of Baranof in 1819 ended the vast plan of Russia to make the northern half of the Pacific its own. Baranof was small and wrinkled and bald, but his eye had life. He would have made a czar like Peter the Great. To him and him alone was due the Russia of America, that for seven million dollars was sold to us in 1870, an empire in itself. 265


The canoes were loaded, and at one o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday, the 23d day of March, 1806, Lewis and Clark took final leave of Fort Clatsop.

Back past Cathlamet they came, where Queen Sally still watched by her totem posts; past Oak Point on Fanny's Island, named by Clark, where two Springs later a Boston ship made the first white settlement in Oregon. Slowly the little flotilla paddled up, past Coffin Rock, immemorial deposit of Indian dead, past snowy St. Helens, a landmark at sea for the ship that would enter the harbour.

Flowers were everywhere, the hillsides aglow with red flowering currants that made March as gay as the roses of June. The grass was high, and the robins were singing.

At sunset, March 30, they camped on a beautiful prairie, the future site of historic Vancouver. Before them the Columbia was a shimmer of silver. Behind, rose the dim, dark Oregon forest. The sharp cry of the sea-gull rang over the waters, and the dusky pelican and the splendid brown albatross were sailing back to the sea.

Herds of elk and deer roamed on the uplands and in woody green islands below, where flocks of ducks, geese, and swans were digging up the lily-like wapato with their bills.

With laboured breath, still bending to the oar, on the first of April they encountered a throng of Indians crowding down from above, gaunt, hollow-eyed, almost starved, greedily tarrying to pick up the bones and refuse meat thrown from the camp of the whites.

"Katah mesika chaco?" inquired Captain Lewis.

"Halo muck-a-muck," answered the forlorn Indians. "Dried fish all gone. No deer. No elk. No antelope 266 to the Nez Percé country." Hundreds were coming down for food at Wapato. "Elip salmon chaco."

"Until the salmon come!" That had been the cry of the Clatsops. The Chinooks were practising incantations to bring the longed-for salmon. The Cathlamets were spreading their nets. The Wahkiakums kept their boats afloat. Even the Multnomahs were wistfully waiting. And now here came plunging down all the upper country for wapato,—"Until the salmon come."

"And pray, when will that be?"

"Not until the next full moon,"—at least the second of May, and in May the Americans had hoped to cross the mountains. All the camp deliberated,—and still the Cascade Indians came flocking down into the lower valley.

"We must remain here until we can collect meat enough to last us to the Nez Percé nation," said the Captains, and so, running the gauntlet of starvation, it happened that Lewis and Clark camped for ten days near the base of Mt. Hood at the river Sandy. In order to collect as much meat as possible a dozen hunters were sent out; the rest were employed in cutting and hanging the meat to dry.

Two young Indians came into the camp at the Sandy.

"Kah mesika Illahee?—Where is your country?" was asked them, in the Chinook jargon caught at Clatsop.

"At the Falls of a great river that flows into the Columbia from the south."

"From the south? We saw no such river."

With a coal on a mat one of the Indians drew it. The Captains looked.

"Ah! behind those islands!" It was where the Multnomah chieftain in his war canoe had said, "Village there!" on their downward journey to the sea. Clark gave one of the men a burning glass to conduct him to the spot, and set out with seven men in a canoe.

Along the south side of the Columbia, back they paddled to the mysterious inlet hidden behind that emerald curtain. And along with them paddled canoe-loads of men, women, and children in search of food. 267

Clark now perceived that what they had called "Imagecanoe Island" consisted of three islands, the one in the middle concealing the opening between the other two.

Here great numbers of canoes were drawn up. Lifting their long, slim boats to their backs, the Indian women crossed inland to the sloughs and ponds, where, frightening up the ducks, they plunged to the breast into the icy cold water. There they stood for hours, loosening wapato with their feet. The bulbs, rising to the surface, were picked up and tossed into the boats to feed the hungry children.

Clark entered an Indian house to buy wapato.

"Not, not!" with sullen look they shook their heads. No gift of his could buy the precious wapato.

Deliberately then the captain took out one of Dr. Saugrain's phosphorus matches and tossed it in the fire. Instantly it spit and flamed.

"Me-sah-chie! Me-sah-chie!"—the Indians shrieked, and piled the cherished wapato at his feet. The screaming children fled behind the beds and hid behind the men. An old man began to speak with great vehemence, imploring his god for protection.

The match burned out and quiet was restored. Clark paid for the wapato, smoked, and went on, behind the islands.

As if lifting a veil the boat swept around the willows and the Indian waved his hand.


Before them, vast and deep, a river rolled its smooth volume into the Columbia. At the same moment five snow peaks burst into view,—Rainier, Hood, St. Helens, Adams, and to the southeast another snowy cone which Clark at once saluted, "Mount Jefferson!"

For the first recorded time a white man gazed on the river Willamette.

This sudden vision of emerald hills, blue waters, and snowy peaks forced the involuntary exclamation, "The only spot west of the Rocky Mountains suitable for a settlement!" The very air of domestic occupation gleamed on the meadows flecked with deer and waterfall. 268 Amid the scattered groves of oak and dogwood, bursting now into magnolian bloom, Clark half expected to see some stately mansion rise, as in the park of some old English nobleman. The ever-prevailing flowering currant lit the landscape with a hue of roses.

A dozen miles or more Clark pressed on, up the great inland river, and slept one night near the site of the present Portland. He examined the soil, looked at the timber, and measured a fallen fir three hundred and eighteen feet as it lay.

Watching the current rolling its uniform flow from some unknown distant source, the Captain began taking soundings.

"This river appears to possess water enough for the largest ship. Nor is it rash to believe that it may water the country as far as California." For at least two-thirds of the width he could find no bottom with his five-fathom line.

Along that wide deep estuary, the grainships of the world to-day ride up to the wharves of Portland. The same snow peaks are there, the same emerald hills, and the bounteous smile of Nature blushing in a thousand orchards.

All along the shores were deserted solitary houses of broad boards roofed with cedar bark, with household furniture, stone mortars, pestles, canoes, mats, bladders of train oil, baskets, bowls, trenchers—all left. The fireplaces were filled with dead embers, the bunk-line tiers of beds were empty. All had just gone or were going to the fisheries.

"And where?"

"To Clackamas nation. Hyas tyee Tumwater. Great Falls. Salmon."

Had Clark but passed a few miles further up, he would have found hundreds of Indians at the fishing rendezvous, Clackamas Rapids and Willamette Falls.

"How many of the Clackamas nation?"

"Eleven villages, to the snow peak."

"And beyond?"

"Forty villages, the Callapooias." With outstretched 269 hand the Indian closed his eyes and shook his head,—evidently he had never been so far to the south.

Back around Warrior's Point Clark came, whence the Multnomahs were wont to issue to battle in their huge war canoes. An old Indian trail led up into the interior, where for ages the lordly Multnomahs had held their councils. Many houses had fallen entirely to ruin.

Clark inquired the cause of decay. An aged Indian pointed to a woman deeply pitted with the smallpox.

"All died of that. Ahn-cutty! Long time ago!"

The Multnomahs lived on Wapato Island. A dozen nations gave fealty to Multnomah. All had symbolic totems, carved and painted on door and bedstead, and at every bedhead hung a war club and a Moorish scimitar of iron, thin and sharp, rude relic of Ko-na-pe's workshop.

Having now dried sufficient meat to last to the Nez Percés, Lewis and Clark set out for the Dalles, that tragical valley, racked and battered, where the devils held their tourneys when the world was shaped by flood and flame.

Through the sheeny brown basaltic rock, three rifts let through the river, where, in fishing time, salmon leaped in prodigious numbers, filling the Indians' baskets, tons and tons a day. But the salmon had not yet come.

At this season the upper tribes came down to the Dalles to traffic robes and silk grass for sea-shells and wapato. Fish was money. After the traders came, beads, beads, became the Indian's one ambition. For beads he would sacrifice his only garment and his last morsel of food.

In this annual traffic of east and west, the Dalles Indians had become traders, robbers, pirates. No canoe passed that way without toll. Dressed in deerskin, elk, bighorn, wolf, and buffalo, these savages lay now in wait for Lewis and Clark, portaging up the long narrows.

Tugging, sweating, paddling, poling, pulling by cords, it was difficult work hauling canoes up the narrow way.

Crowds of Indians pressed in.

"Six tomahawks and a knife are gone!"

"Another tomahawk gone!" 270

"Out of the road," commanded Lewis. "Whoever steals shall be shot instantly."

The crowds fell back. Every man toiled on with gun in hand. But from village to village, dishes, blankets, and whatever the Indians could get their hands on, disappeared. Soon there would be no baggage.

It seemed impossible to detect a thief. "Nothing but numbers protects us," said the white men.

Worse even than the pirates of the Sioux, it came almost to pitched battle. Again and again Lewis harangued the chiefs for the restoration of stolen property. Once he struck an Indian. Finally he set out to burn a village, but the missing property came to light, hidden in an Indian hut.

So long did it take to make these portages that food supplies failed. In the heart of a thickly populated and savage country the expedition was bankrupt.

With what gratitude, then, they met Yellept, chief of the Walla Wallas, waiting upon his hills.

"Come to my village. You shall have food. You shall have horses."

Gladly they accompanied him to his village at the mouth of the Walla Walla river. Immediately he called in not only his own but the neighbouring nations, urging them to hospitality. Then Chief Yellept, the most notable man in all that country, himself brought an armful of wood for their fires and a platter of roasted mullets.

At once all the Walla Wallas followed with armloads of fuel; the campfires blazed and crackled. Footsore, weary, half-starved, Lewis and Clark and their men supped and then slept.

Fortunately there was among the Walla Wallas a captive Shoshone boy who spoke the tongue of Sacajawea. In council the Captains explained themselves and the object of their journey.

"Opposite our village a shorter route leads to the Kooskooskee," said Yellept. "A road of grass and water, with deer and antelope."

Clark computed that this cut-off would save eighty miles. 271

In vain the Captains desired to press on.

"Wait," begged Yellept. "Wait." Already he had sent invitations to the Eyakimas, his friends the Black Bears, and to the Cayuses.

Possibly Sacajawea had hinted something; at any rate with a cry of "Very Great Medicine," the lame, the halt, the blind pressed around the camp. The number of unfortunates, products of Indian battle, neglect, and exposure, was prodigious.

Opening the medicine chest, while Lewis bought horses, Clark turned physician, distributing eye-water, splinting broken bones, dealing out pills and sulphur. One Indian with a contracted knee came limping in.

"My own father, Walla Walla chief," says old Se-cho-wa, an aged Indian woman on the Umatilla to-day. "Lots of children, lots of horses. I, very little girl, follow them."

With volatile liniments and rubbing the chief was relieved.

In gratitude Yellept presented Clark with a beautiful white horse; Clark in turn gave all he had—his sword.

Bidding the chief adieu, the Captains recorded: "We may, indeed, justly affirm, that of all the Indians whom we have met since leaving the United States the Walla Wallas were the most hospitable and sincere."

Poor old Yellept! One hundred years later his medal was found in the sand at the mouth of the Walla Walla. All his sons were slain in battle or died of disease. When the last one lay stretched in the grave, the old chief stepped in upon the corpse and commanded his people to bury them in one grave together.

"On account of his great sorrow," says old Se-cho-wa.

And so he was buried. 272


As Lewis and Clark with twenty-three horses set out over the camas meadows that April morning a hundred years ago, the world seemed brighter for the kindness of the Walla Wallas.

At the Dalles the forest had ended. Now they were on the great Columbian plains that stretch to the Rockies, the northwest granary of to-day. The dry exhilarating air billowed the verdure like a sea.

Meadow larks sang and flitted. Dove-coloured sage hens, the cock of the plains, two-thirds the size of a turkey, cackled like domestic fowl before the advancing cavalcade. Spotted black-and-white pheasants pecked in the grass like the little topknot "Dominicks" the men had known around their boyhood homes.

And everywhere were horses.

"More hor-r-ses between th' Gr-reat Falls av th' Columby and th' Nez Percés than I iver saw in th' same space uv countery in me loife before," said Patrick Gass. "They are not th' lar-r-gest soize but very good an' active."

"Of an excellent race, lofty, elegantly formed, and durable," those Cayuse horses are described by Lewis and Clark. "Many of them appear like fine English coursers, and resemble in fleetness and bottom, as well as in form and colour, the best blooded horses of Virginia."

A hundred years ago, the Cayuse of the Columbian plains was a recent importation from the bluest blooded Arabian stock of Spain. White-starred, white-footed, he was of noble pedigree. Traded or stolen from tribe to tribe, these Spanish horses found a home on the Columbia. All winter these wild horses fattened on the plain; madly their Indian owners rode them; and when they grew old, stiff, and blind, they went, so the Indians said, to Horse Heaven on the Des Chutes to die. 273

Following the old Nez Percés trail, that became a stage road in the days of gold, and then a railroad, Lewis and Clark came to the land of the Nez Percés,—Chopunnish.

Thirty-one years later the missionary Spalding planted an apple-tree where Lewis and Clark reached the Snake at the mouth of Alpowa creek, May 4, 1806.

We-ark-koompt, the Indian express, came out to meet them. Over the camp of Black Eagle the American flag was flying. Chiefs vied with one another to do them honour. Tunnachemootoolt, Black Eagle, spread his leather tent and laid a parcel of wood at the door. "Make this your lodge while you remain with me." Hohastilpilp, Red Wolf, came riding over the hills with fifty people.

The Captains had a fire lighted, and all night in the leather tent on the banks of the Kooskooske the chiefs smoked and pondered on the journey of the white men.

Lewis and Clark drew maps and pointed out the far-away land of the President. Sacajawea and the Shoshone boy interpreted until worn out, and then fell asleep. And ever within Black Eagle's village was heard the dull "thud, thud, thud," of Nez Percé women pounding the camas and the kouse, "with noise like a nail-factory," said Lewis. All night long their outdoor ovens were baking the bread of kouse, and the kettles of camas mush, flavoured with yamp, simmered and sweetened over the dull red Indian fires. The hungry men were not disposed to criticise the cuisine of the savage, not even when they were offered the dainty flesh of dried rattlesnake!

Labiche killed a bear. In amazement the redmen gathered round.

"These bears are tremendous animals to the Indians,—kill all you can," said Captain Lewis. Elated, every hunter went bear-hunting.

"Wonderful men that live on bears!" exclaimed the Indians.

Again the council was renewed, and they talked of wars. Bloody Chief, fond of war, showed wounds received in battle with the Snakes. 274

"It is not good," said Clark. "It is better to be at peace. Here is a white flag. When you hold it up it means peace. We have given such flags to your enemies, the Shoshones. They will not fight you now."

Fifty years later, that chief, tottering to his grave, said, "I held that flag. I held it up high. We met and talked, but never fought again."

"We have confided in the white men. We shall follow their advice," Black Eagle went proclaiming through the village.

All the kettles of soup were boiling. From kettle to kettle Black Eagle sprinkled in the flour of kouse. "We have confided in the white men. Those who are to ratify this council, come and eat. All others stay away."

The mush was done, the feast was served; a new dawn had arisen on the Nez Percés.

Finding it impossible to cross the mountains, a camp was established at Kamiah Creek, on a part of the present Nez Percé reservation in Idaho county, Idaho, where for a month they studied this amiable and gentle people. Games were played and races run, Coalter outspeeding all. Frazer, who had been a fencing master in Rutland, back in Vermont, taught tricks, and the music of the fiddles delighted them.

Stout, portly, good-looking men were the Nez Percés, and better dressed than most savages, in their whitened tunics and leggings of deerskin and buffalo, moccasins and robes and breastplates of otter, and bandeaus of fox-skins like a turban on the brow. The women were small, of good features and generally handsome, in neatly woven tight-fitting grass caps and long buckskin skirts whitened with clay.

Upon the Missouri the eagle was domesticated. Here, too, the Nez Percé had his wicker coop of young eaglets to raise for their tail feathers. Any Rocky Mountain Indian would give a good horse for the black-and-white tail feather of a golden eagle. They fluttered from the calumet and hung in cascades from head to foot on the sacred war bonnet. 275

A May snowstorm whitened the camas meadows and melted again. Thick black loam invited the plough, but thirty Springs should pass before Spalding established his mission and gave ploughs to the redmen. Twisted Hair saw the advent of civilisation. Red Wolf planted an orchard. Black Eagle went to see Clark at St. Louis and died there.

Captain Lewis held councils, instructing, educating, enlightening the Kamiahs, so that to this day they are among the most advanced of Indian tribes.

Captain Clark, with simple remedies and some knowledge of medicine, became a mighty "tomanowos" among the ailing. With basilicons of pitch and oil, wax and resins, a sovereign remedy for skin eruptions, with horse-mint teas and doses of sulphur and cream-of-tartar, with eye-water, laudanum, and liniment, he treated all sorts of ills. Fifty patients a day crowded to the tent of the Red Head. Women suffering from rheumatism, the result of toil and exposure in the damp camas fields, came dejected and hysterical. They went back shouting, "The Red Head chief has made me well."

The wife of a chief had an abscess. Clark lanced it, and she slept for the first time in days. The grateful chief brought him a horse that was immediately slaughtered for supper. A father gave a horse in exchange for remedies for his little crippled daughter.

With exposure to winds, alkali sand, and the smoke of chimneyless fires, few Indians survived to old age without blindness.

"Eye-water! Eye-water!" They reached for it as for a gift from the gods. Clark understood such eyes, for the smoke of the pioneer cabin had made affections of the eye a curse of the frontier.

But affairs were now at their lowest. Even the medicines were exhausted, and the last awl, needle, and skein of thread had gone. Off their shabby old United States uniforms the soldiers cut the last buttons to trade for bread. But instead of trinkets the sensible Nez Percés desired knives, buttons, awls for making moccasins, blankets, kettles. Shields the gunsmith ingeniously 276 hammered links of Drouillard's trap into awls to exchange for bread.

The tireless hunters scoured the country. Farther and farther had scattered the game. Even the bears had departed. Thirty-three people ate a deer and an elk, or four deer a day. There was no commissariat for this little army but its own rifles. And yet, supplies must be laid in for crossing the mountains.

Every day Captain Lewis looked at the rising river and the melting snows of the Idaho Alps.

"That icy barrier, which separates me from my friends and my country, from all which makes life estimable—patience—patience—"

"The snow is yet deep on the mountains. You will not be able to pass them until the next full moon, or about the first of June," said the Indians.

"Unwelcome intelligence to men confined to a diet of horse meat and roots!" exclaimed Captain Lewis.

Finally even horse-flesh failed. Suspecting the situation, Chief Red Wolf came and said, "The horses on these hills are ours. Take what you need."

He wore a tippet of human scalps, but, says Lewis, "we have, indeed, on more than one occasion, had to admire the generosity of this Indian, whose conduct presents a model of what is due to strangers in distress."

Gradually the snows melted, and the high water subsided.

"The doves are cooing. The salmon will come," said the Indians. Blue flowers of the blooming camas covered the prairies like a lake of silver. With sixty-five horses and all the dried horse meat they could carry, on June 16, 1806, Lewis and Clark started back over the Bitter Root Range on the Lolo trail by which they had entered. 277


Dog-tooth violets, roses, and strawberry blossoms covered the plain of Weippe without end, but the Lolo trail was deep with snow. Deep and deeper grew the drifts, twelve and fifteen feet. The air was keen and cold with winter rigours. To go on in those grassless valleys meant certain death to all their horses, and so, for the first time, they fell back to wait yet other days for the snows to melt upon the mountains.

"We must have experienced guides." Drouillard and Shannon were dispatched once more to the old camp, and lo! the salmon had come, in schools and shoals, reddening the Kooskooskee with their flickering fins.

Again they faced the snowy barrier with guides who traversed the trackless region with instinctive sureness.

"They never hesitate," said Lewis. "They are never embarrassed. So undeviating is their step that whenever the snow has disappeared, even for a hundred paces, we find the summer road."

Up in the Bitter Root peaks, like the chamois of the Alps, the Oregon mazama, the mountain goat, frolicked amid inaccessible rocks. And there, in the snows of the mountain pass, most significant of all, were found the tracks of barefooted Indians, supposed to have been Flatheads, fleeing in distress from pursuing Blackfeet. Such was the battle of primitive man.

The Indians regarded the journey of the white men into the country of their hereditary foes as a venture to certain death.

"Danger!" whispered the guides, significantly rapping on their heads, drawing their knives across their throats, and pointing far ahead.

Every year the Nez Percés followed the Lolo trail, stony and steep and ridgy with rocks and crossed with 278 fallen trees, into the Buffalo Illahee, the buffalo country of the Missouri. And for this the Blackfeet fought them.

The Blackfeet, too, had been from time immemorial the deadly foe of the Flatheads, their bone of contention for ever the buffalo. The Blackfeet claimed as their own all the country lying east of the main range, and looked upon the Flatheads who went there to hunt as intruders.

The Flathead country was west and at the base of the main Rockies, along the Missoula and Clark's Fork and northward to the Fraser. With their sole weapon, the arrow, and their own undaunted audacity, twice a year occurred the buffalo chase, once in Summer and once in Winter. But "the ungodly Blackfeet," scourge of the mountains, lay in wait to trap and destroy the Flatheads as they would a herd of buffalo.

And so it had been war, bitter war, for ages. But a new force had given to the Blackfeet at the west and the Sioux at the east supremacy over the rest of the tribes,—that was the white man's gun from the British forts on the Saskatchewan.

For spoils and scalps the Blackfeet, Arabs of the North, raided from the Saskatchewan to Mexico. They besieged Fort Edmonton at the north, and left their tomahawk mark on the Digger Indian's grave at the south. The Shoshone-Snakes, too, were immemorial and implacable enemies of both the Blackfeet and the Columbia tribes. They fought to the Dalles and Walla Walla and up through the Nez Percés to Spokane. Their mad raiders threw up the dust of the Utah desert, and chased the lone Aztec to his last refuge in Arizona cliffs.

The Blackfeet fought the Shoshones, the Crows, by superior cunning, fought the Blackfeet, the Assiniboines fought the Crows, and the Sioux, the lordly Sioux, fought all.

It was time for the white man's hand to stay the diabolical dance of death. 279


On the third of July, at the mouth of Lolo creek, the expedition separated, Lewis to cross to the Falls of the Missouri and explore Marias River, Clark to come to the three forks and cross to the Yellowstone.

With nine men and five Indians Captain Lewis crossed the Missoula on a raft, and following the Nez Percé trail along the River-of-the-Road-to-Buffalo, the Big Blackfoot of to-day, came out July 7, the first of white men, on the opening through the main range of the Rockies now known as the Lewis and Clark Pass. A Blackfoot road led down to the churning waters of the Great Falls.

Pawing, fighting, ten thousand buffaloes were bellowing in one continuous roar that terrified the horses. The plain was black with a vast and angry army, bearing away to the southwest, flinging the dust like a simoom, through which deep-mouthed clangor rolled like thunder far away. And at their immediate feet, Drouillard noted fresh tracks of Indians dotting the soil; grizzly bears, grim guardians of the cataract, emitted hollow growls, and great gray wolves hung in packs and droves along the skirts of the buffalo herds, glancing now and then toward the little group of horsemen.

In very defiance of danger, again Lewis pitched his camp beside the Falls, green and foamy as Niagara. Again buffalo meat, marrow bones, ribs, steaks, juicy and rich, sizzled around the blaze, and the hungry men ate, ate, ate. They had found the two extremes—want on one side of the mountains and abundance on the other.

While Lewis tried to write in his journal, huge brown mosquitoes, savage as the bears, bit and buzzed. Lewis's 280 dog howled with the torture, the same little Assiniboine dog that had followed all their footsteps, had guarded and hunted as well as the best, had slept by the fire at Clatsop and been stolen at the Dalles.

Hurrying to their cache at the Bear Islands, it was discovered that high water had flooded their skins and the precious specimens of plants were soaked and ruined. A bottle of laudanum had spoiled a chestful of medicine. But the charts of the Missouri remained uninjured, and trunks, boxes, carriage wheels, and blunderbuss were all right.

"Transport the baggage around the Falls and wait for me at the mouth of Maria's River to the first of September," said Captain Lewis, setting out with Drouillard and the Fields boys. "If by that time I am not there, go on and join Captain Clark and return home. But if my life and health are spared, I shall meet you on the 5th of August."

It was not without misgivings that Sergeant Gass and his comrades saw the gallant Captain depart into the hostile Blackfoot country. With only three men at his back it was a daring venture. Already the five Nez Percés, fearful of their foes, had dropped off to seek their friends the Flatheads. In vain Lewis had promised to intercede and make peace between the tribes. Their terror of the Blackfeet surpassed their confidence in white men.


On the second day out Drouillard suddenly pointed, and leaning far over on his horse, examined a trail that would have escaped an eye less keen than his. "Blackfeet!" the vicious and profligate rovers that of all it was most desirable not to meet!

Hastily crossing the Teton into a thick wood, the party camped that night unmolested.

On the eighth day Captain Lewis suddenly spied several Indians on a hilltop intently watching Drouillard in the valley. Thirty horses, some led, some saddled, stood like silhouettes against the sky. Kneeling they scanned the movements of the unconscious hunter below. 281

"Escape is impossible. We must make the most of our situation. If they attempt to rob us, we will resist to the last extremity. I would rather die than lose my papers and instruments."

Boldly advancing with a flag in his hand, followed by the two Fields brothers, Lewis drew quite near before the Indians perceived these other white men. Terrified, they ran about in confusion. Evidently with them a stranger meant a foe.

Captain Lewis dismounted, and held out his hand.

Slowly the chief Blackfoot approached, then wheeled in flight. At last, with extreme caution, the two parties met and shook hands. Lewis gave to one a flag, to another a medal, to a third a handkerchief. The tumultuous beating of the Indians' hearts could almost be heard. There proved to be but eight of them, armed with two guns, bows, arrows, and eye-daggs, a sort of war-hatchet.

"I am glad to see you," said Lewis. "I have much to say. Let us camp together."

The Indians assented and set up their semi-circular tent by the willows of the river. Here Drouillard, the hunter, skilled in the sign language of redmen, drew out their story.

Yes, they knew white men. They traded on the Saskatchewan six days' march away.

Yes, there were more of them, two large bands, on the forks of this river, a day above.

What did they trade at the Saskatchewan? Skins, wolves, and beaver, for guns and ammunition.

Then Lewis talked. He came from the rising sun. He had been to the great lake at the west. He had seen many nations at war and had made peace. He had stopped to make peace between the Blackfeet and the Flatheads.

"We are anxious for peace with the Flatheads. But those people have lately killed a number of our relatives and we are in mourning."

Yes, they would come down and trade with Lewis if he built a fort at Maria's River.

Until a late hour they smoked, then slept. Lewis and 282 Drouillard lay down and slept with the Indians, while the two Fields boys kept guard by the fire at the door of the tent.

"Let go my gun."

It was the voice of Drouillard in the half-light of the tent at sunrise struggling with a Blackfoot. With a start Lewis awoke and reached for his gun. It was gone. The deft thieves had all but disarmed the entire party.

Chase followed. In the scuffle for his gun, Reuben Fields stabbed a Blackfoot to the heart.

No sooner were the guns recovered than the horses were gone. "Leave the horses or I will shoot," shouted Lewis, chasing out of breath to a steep notch in the river bluffs. Madly the Indians were tearing away with the horses. Lewis fired and killed a Blackfoot. Bareheaded, the Captain felt a returning bullet whistle through his hair, but the Indians dropped the horses, and away went swimming across the Marias.

Delay meant death. Quickly saddling their horses, Lewis and his men made for the Missouri as fast as possible, hearing at every step in imagination the pursuing "hoo-oh! whoop-ah-hooh!" that was destined to make Marias River the scene of many a bloody massacre by the vengeful Blackfeet.

Expecting interception at the mouth of Marias River, the white men rode with desperation to form a junction with their friends. All day, all night they galloped, until, exhausted, they halted at two o'clock in the morning to rest their flagging horses.

That forenoon, having ridden one hundred and twenty miles since the skirmish, they reached the mouth of Marias River, just in time to see Sergeant Gass, the fleet of canoes, and all, descending from above. Leaping from their horses, they took to the boats, and soon left the spot, seventy, eighty, a hundred miles a day, down the swift Missouri. 283


As Lewis turned north toward Marias River, Clark with the rest of the party and fifty horses set his face along the Bitter Root Valley toward the south. Every step he trod became historic ground in the romance of settlement, wars, and gold. Into this Bitter Root Valley were to come the first white settlers of Montana, and upon them, through the Hell Gate Pass of the Rockies, above the present Missoula, were to sweep again and again the bloodthirsty Blackfeet.

"It is as safe to enter the gates of hell as to enter that pass," said the old trappers and traders.

More and more beautiful became the valley, pink as a rose with the delicate bloom of the bitter-root, the Mayflower of Montana. Here for ages the patient Flatheads had dug and dried their favourite root until the whole valley was a garden.

As Clark's cavalcade wound through this vale, deer flitted before the riders, multitudinous mountain streams leaped across their way, herds of bighorns played around the snowbanks on the heights. Across an intervening ridge the train descended into Ross Hole, where first they met the Flatheads. There were signs of recent occupation; a fire was still burning; but the Flatheads were gone.

Out of Ross Hole Sacajawea pointed the way by Clark's Pass, over the Continental Divide, to the Big Hole River where the trail disappeared or scattered. But Sacajawea knew the spot. "Here my people gather the kouse and the camas; here we take the beaver; and yonder, see, a door in the mountains."

On her little pony, with her baby on her back, the placid Indian girl led the way into the labyrinthine Rockies. 284

Clark followed, descending into the beautiful Big Hole prairie, where in 1877 a great battle was to be fought with Chief Joseph, exactly one hundred years after the 1777 troubles, when George Rogers Clark laid before Patrick Henry his plan for the capture of Illinois. Out of the Big Hole, Chief Joseph was to escape with his women, his children, and his dead, to be chased a thousand miles over the very summit of the Rockies!

Standing there on the field of future battle, "Onward!" still urged Sacajawea, "the gap there leads to your canoes!" The Bird Woman knew these highlands,—they were her native hills. As Sacajawea fell back, the men turned their horses at a gallop.

Almost could they count the milestones now, down Willard creek, where first paying gold was discovered in Montana, past Shoshone cove, over the future site of Bannock to the Jefferson.

Scarcely taking the saddles from their steeds, the eager men ran to open the cache hid from the Shoshones. To those who so long had practised self-denial it meant food, clothing, merchandise—an Indian ship in the wild. Everything was safe, goods, canoes, tobacco. In a trice the long-unused pipes were smoking with the weed of old Virginia.

"Better than any Injun red-willer k'nick-er-k'nick!" said Coalter, the hunter.

Leaving Sergeant Pryor with six men to bring on the horses, Captain Clark and the rest embarked in the canoes, and were soon gliding down the emerald Jefferson, along whose banks for sixty years no change should come.

Impetuous mountain streams, calmed to the placid pool of the beaver dam, widened into lakes and marshes. Beaver, otter, musk-rats innumerable basked along the shore. Around the boats all night the disturbed denizens flapped the water with their tails,—angry at the invasion of their solitude.

At the Three Forks, Clark's pony train remounted for the Yellowstone, prancing and curveting along the beaver-populated dells of the Gallatin. 285

Before them arose, bewildering, peak on peak, but again the Bird Woman, Sacajawea, pointed out the Yellowstone Gap, the Bozeman Pass of to-day, on the great Shoshone highway. Many a summer had Sacajawea, child of elfin locks, ridden on the trailing travoises through this familiar gateway into the buffalo haunts of Yellowstone Park.

Slowly Clark and his expectant cavalcade mounted the Pass, where for ages the buffalo and the Indian alone had trod. As they reached the summit, the glorious Yellowstone Alps burst on their view. At their feet a rivulet, born on the mountain top, leaped away, bright and clear, over its gravelly bed to the Yellowstone in the plains below.

It was the brother of George Rogers Clark that stood there, one to the manner born of riding great rivers or breaking through mountain chains. But thirty years had elapsed since that elder brother and Daniel Boone had threaded the Cumberland Gap of the Alleghanies. The highways of the buffalo became the highways of the nation.

"It is no more than eighteen miles," said Clark, glancing back from the high snowy gap, half piercing, half surmounting the dividing ridge between the Missouri and the Yellowstone, so nearly do their headwaters interlock. In coming up this pass, Clark's party went through the present city limits of Bozeman, the county seat of Gallatin, and over the route of future Indians, trappers, miners, road builders, and last and greatest of all, armies of permanent occupation that are marching still to the valleys of fertile Montana. Up the shining Yellowstone, over the Belt range, through the tunnel to Bozeman, the iron horse flits to-day, on, westerly one hundred miles to Helena, almost in the exact footsteps trodden by the heroic youth of one hundred years ago.

Among the cottonwood groves of the Yellowstone, Clark's men quickly fashioned a pair of dugouts, lashed together with rawhide; and in these frail barks, twenty-eight feet long, the Captain and party embarked, leaving 286 Sergeant Pryor, Shannon, Windsor, and Hall to bring on the horses. All manner of trouble Pryor had with those horses. Lame from continual travel, he made moccasins for their feet. They were buffalo runners, trained for the hunt. At sight of the Yellowstone herds away they flew, to chase in the old wild Indian fashion of their red masters. No sooner had Pryor rounded them up and brought them back than they disappeared utterly,—stolen by the Crows. Not one of the entire fifty horses was ever recovered.

Here was a serious predicament. Down the impetuous Yellowstone Clark's boats had already gone. Alone in the heart of the buffalo country these four men were left, thousands of miles from the haunts of civilised man.

"We must join Captain Clark at all hazards. We must improvise boats," said Shannon.

Sergeant Pryor recalled the Welsh coracles of the Mandans. "Can we make one?"

Long slim saplings were bent to form a hoop for the rim, another hoop held by cross-sticks served for the bottom. Over this rude basket green buffalo hides were tightly drawn, and in these frail craft they took to the water, close in the wake of their unconscious Captain.

And meanwhile Clark was gliding down the Yellowstone. On either bank buffaloes dotted the landscape, under the shade of trees and standing in the water like cattle, or browsing on a thousand hills. Gangs of stately elk, light troops of sprightly antelopes, fleet and graceful as the gazelle of Oriental song, deer of slim elastic beauty, and even bighorns that could be shot from the boat. Sometimes were heard the booming subterranean geysers hidden in the hollows of the mountains, but none in the party yet conceived of the wonders of Yellowstone Park that Coalter came back to discover that same Autumn.

One day Clark landed to examine a remarkable rock. Its sides were carved with Indian figures, and a cairn was heaped upon the summit. Stirred by he knew not what impulse, Clark named it Pompey's Pillar, and 287 carved his name upon the yielding sandstone, where his bold lettering is visible yet to-day.

More and more distant each day grew the Rockies, etched fainter each night on the dim horizon of the west. More and more numerous grew the buffaloes, delaying the boats with their countless herds stampeding across the Yellowstone. For an hour one day the boats waited, the wide river blackened by their backs, and before night two other herds, as numerous as the first, came beating across the yellow-brown tide.

But more than buffaloes held sway on the magic Yellowstone. Wrapped in their worn-out blankets the men could not sleep for the scourge of mosquitoes; they could not sight their rifles for the clouds of moving, whizzing, buzzing, biting insects. Even the buffalo were stifled by them in their nostrils.

Nine hundred miles now had they come down the Yellowstone, to its junction with the Missouri half a mile east of the Montana border, but no sign yet had they found of Lewis. Clark wrote on the sand, "W. C. A few miles further down on the right hand side."

August 8, Sergeant Pryor and his companions appeared in their little skin tubs. Four days later, there was a shout and waving of caps,—the boats of Captain Lewis came in sight at noon. But a moment later every cheek blanched with alarm.

"Where is Captain Lewis?" demanded Clark, running forward.

There in the bottom of a canoe, Lewis lay as one dead, pale but smiling. He had been shot. With the gentleness of a brother Clark lifted him up, and they carried him to camp.

"A mistake,—an accident,—'tis nothing," he whispered.

And then the story leaked out. Cruzatte, one-eyed, near-sighted, mistaking Lewis in his dress of brown leather for an elk, had shot him through the thigh. With the assistance of Patrick Gass, Lewis had dressed the wound himself. On account of great pain and high fever he slept that night in the boat. And now the party were happily reunited. 288


In the distance there was a gleam of coloured blankets where the beehive huts of the Mandan village lay. A firing of guns and the blunderbuss brought Black Cat to the boats.

"Come and eat." And with the dignity of an old Roman, the chief extended his hand.

"Come and eat," was the watchword of every chieftain on the Missouri. Even the Sioux said, "Come and eat!"

Hospitable as Arabs, they spread the buffalo robe and brought the pipe. While the officers talked with the master of the lodge, the silent painstaking squaws put the kettles on the fire, and slaughtered the fatted dog for the honoured guests.

"How many chiefs will accompany us to Washington?" That was the first inquiry of the business-pushing white men. Through Jussaume the Indians answered.

"I would go," said the Black Cat, "but de Sioux—"

"De Sioux will certainly kill us," said Le Borgne of the Minnetarees. "Dey are waiting now to intercept you on de river. Dey will cut you off."

"We stay at home. We listen to your counsel," piped up Little Cherry. "But dey haf stolen our horses. Dey haf scalp our people."

"We must fight to protect ourselves," added the Black Cat. "We live in peace wit' all nation—'cept de Sioux!"

In vain Captain Clark endeavoured to quiet their apprehensions. "We shall not suffer the Sioux to injure one of our red children."

"I pledge my government that a company of armed men shall guard you on your return," added Lewis.

At this point Jussaume reported that Shahaka, or Big White, in his wish to see the President, had overcome his fears. He would go to Washington. 289

Six feet tall, of magnificent presence, with hair white and coarse as a horse's mane, Shahaka, of all the chiefs, was the one to carry to the States the tradition of a white admixture in the Mandan blood. "The handsomest Injun I iver saw," said Patrick Gass.

Arrangements for departure were now made as rapidly as possible. Presents of corn, beans, and squashes, more than all the boats could carry, were piled around the white men's camp.

The blacksmith's tools were intrusted to Charboneau for the use of the Mandans. The blunderbuss, given to the Minnetarees, was rolled away to their village with great exultation.

"Now let the Sioux come!" It was a challenge and a refuge.

The iron corn mill was nowhere to be seen. For scarcely had Lewis and Clark turned their backs for the upper Missouri before it had been broken into bits to barb the Indian arrows.

Sacajawea looked wistfully. She, too, would like to visit the white man's country.

"We will take you and your wife down if you choose to go," said Captain Clark to Charboneau.

"I haf no acquaintance, no prospect to mak' a leeving dere," answered the interpreter. "I mus' leeve as I haf done."

"I will take your son and have him educated as a white child should be," continued the Captain.

Charboneau and Sacajawea looked at one another and at their beautiful boy now nineteen months old, prattling in their midst.

"We would be weeling eef de child were weaned," slowly spake Charboneau. "Een wan year, he be ole enough to leaf he moder. I den tak' eem to you eef you be so friendly to raise eem as you t'ink proper."

"Bring him to me in one year. I will take the child," said Captain Clark.

Captain Lewis paid Charboneau five hundred dollars, loaded Sacajawea with what gifts he could, and left them in the Mandan country. 290

All was now ready for the descent to St. Louis. The boats, lashed together in pairs, were at the shore. Big White was surrounded by his friends, seated in a circle, solemnly smoking. The women wept aloud; the little children trembled and hid behind their mothers.

More courageous than any, Shahaka immediately sent his wife and son with their baggage on board. The interpreter, Jussaume, with his wife and two children, accompanied them. Yes, Madame Jussaume was going to Washington!

Sacajawea, modest princess of the Shoshones, heroine of the great expedition, stood with her babe in arms and smiled upon them from the shore. So had she stood in the Rocky Mountains pointing out the gates. So had she followed the great rivers, navigating the continent.

Sacajawea's hair was neatly braided, her nose was fine and straight, and her skin pure copper like the statue in some old Florentine gallery. Madonna of her race, she had led the way to a new time. To the hands of this girl, not yet eighteen, had been intrusted the key that unlocked the road to Asia.

Some day upon the Bozeman Pass, Sacajawea's statue will stand beside that of Clark. Some day, where the rivers part, her laurels will vie with those of Lewis. Across North America a Shoshone Indian Princess touched hands with Jefferson, opening her country.

All the chiefs had gathered to see the boats start. "Stay but one moment," they said.

Clark stepped back. Black Cat handed him a pipe, as if for benediction. The solemn smoke-wreaths soon rolled upward.

"Tell our Great Fader de young men will remain at home and not mak' war on any people, except in self-defence."

"Tell de Rickara to come and visit. We mean no harm."

"Tak' good care dis chief. He will bring word from de Great Fader."

It was a promise and a prayer. Strong chiefs turned 291 away with misgiving and trepidation as they saw Shahaka depart with the white men.

Dropping below their old winter quarters at Fort Mandan, Lewis and Clark saw but a row of pickets left. The houses lay in ashes, destroyed by an accidental fire. All were there for the homeward pull but Coalter. He had gone back with Hancock and Dickson, two adventurers from Boone's settlement, to discover the Yellowstone Park.

On the fourth day out three Frenchmen were met approaching the Mandan nation with the message,—

"Seven hundert Sioux haf pass de Rickara to mak' war on de Mandan an' Minnetaree." Fortunately, Shahaka did not understand, and no one told him.

The Arikara village greeted the passing boats. Lewis, still lame, requested Clark to go up to the village. Like children confessing their misdeeds the Arikaras began:

"We cannot keep the peace! Our young men follow the Sioux!"

The wild Cheyennes, with their dogs and horses and handsome leathern lodges, were here on a trading visit, to exchange with the Arikaras meat and robes for corn and beans. They were a noble race, of straight limbs and Roman noses, unaccustomed to the whites, shy and cautious.

"We war against none but the Sioux, with whom we have battled for ever," they said.

Everywhere there was weeping and mourning. "My son, my son, he has been slain by the Sioux!"

Between the lands of the warring nations surged seas of buffalo, where to-day are the waving bonanza wheat fields of North Dakota.

From an eminence Clark looked over the prairies. "More buffalo than ever I have seen before at one time,"—and he had seen many. "If it be not impossible to calculate the moving multitude that darkens the plains, twenty thousand would be no exaggerated estimate."

They were now well into the country of the great Sioux Indian Confederacy. Arms and ammunition were inspected. 292

The sharp air thrilled and filled them with new vigour. No wonder the Sioux were never still. The ozone of the Arctic was in their veins, the sweeping winds drove them, the balsamic prairie was their bed, the sky their canopy. They never shut themselves up in stuffy mud huts, as did the Mandans; they lived in tents. Unrestrained, unregenerate, there was in them the fire of the Six Nations, of King Philip and of Pontiac. Tall, handsome, finely formed, agile, revengeful, intelligent, capable,—they loved their country and they hated strangers. So did the Greeks. An effeminate nation would have fallen before them as did the Roman before the Goth, but in the Anglo-Saxon they met their master.


As anticipated, Black Buffalo and his pirate band were on the hills. Whether that fierce cry meant defiance or greeting no man could tell.


The whole band rushed down to the shore, and even out into the water, shouting invitations to land, and waving from the sand-banks.

But too fresh in memory was the attempt to carry off Captain Clark. Jubilant, hopeful, and full of the fire of battle as the white men were, yet no one wished to test the prowess of the Sioux.

Unwilling to venture an interview, the boats continued on their way. Black Buffalo shook his war bonnet defiantly, and returning to the hill smote the earth three times with the butt of his rifle, the registration of a mighty oath against the whites.

Leaving behind them a wild brandishing of bows, arrows, and tomahawks, and an atmosphere filled with taunts, insults, and imprecations, the boats passed out of sight.

Wafted on the wind followed that direful "Whoop-ah-ho-o-oh!" ending with the piercing shrill Indian yell that for sixty years froze the earliest life blood of Minnesota and Dakota.

Here in the land of the Teton Sioux was to be planted the future Fort Rice, where exactly sixty years after 293 Lewis and Clark, there crossed the Missouri one of the most powerful, costly, and best equipped expeditions ever sent out against hostile Indians,—four thousand cavalry, eight hundred mounted infantry, twelve pieces of artillery, three hundred government teams, three hundred beef steers, and fifteen steamboats to carry supplies,—to be joined here on the Fourth of July, 1864, by an emigrant train of one hundred and sixty teams and two hundred and fifty people,—the van guard of Montana settlement. The Sioux were defeated in the Bad Lands, and the emigrants were carried safely through to Helena, where they and their descendants live to-day.

Already sweeping up the Missouri, Lewis and Clark met advancing empire. Near Vermilion River, James Aird was camping with a license to trade among the Sioux.

"What is the news from St. Louis?"

There on the borders of a future great State, Lewis and Clark first heard that Burr and Hamilton had fought a duel and Hamilton was killed; that three hundred American troops were cantoned at Bellefontaine, a new log fort on the Missouri; that Spain had taken a United States frigate on the Mediterranean; that two British ships of war had fired on an American ship in the port of New York, killing the Captain's brother.

Great was the indignation in the United States against Jefferson and the impressment of American seamen.

"The money spent for Louisiana would have been much better used in building fighting ships."

"The President had much better be protecting our rights than cutting up animals and stuffing the skins of dead raccoons."

"Where is our national honour? Gone, abandoned on the Mississippi."

And these coureurs on the Mississippi heard that the conflict foreseen by Napoleon, when he gave us Louisiana, was raging now in all its fury, interdicting the commerce of the world.

To their excited ears the river rushed and rocked, the earth rumbled, with the roar of cannon. To themselves 294 Lewis and Clark seemed a very small part of the forces that make and unmake nations,—and yet that expedition meant more to the world than the field of Waterloo!

The next noon, on ascending the hill of Floyd's Bluff they found the Indians had opened the grave of their comrade. Reverently it was filled again.

Home from the buffalo hunt in the plains of the Nebraska, the Omahas were firing guns to signal their return to gather in their harvest of corn, beans, and pumpkins. Keel boats, barges, and bateaux came glistening into view,—Auguste Chouteau with merchandise to trade with the Yanktons, another Chouteau to the Platte, a trader with two men to the Pawnee Loupes, and Joseph La Croix with seven men bound for the Omahas.

Through the lessening distance Clark recognised on one of the barges his old comrade, Robert McClellan, the wonderful scout of Wayne's army, who had ridden on many an errand of death. Since Wayne's victory McClellan had been a ranger still, but now the Indians were quieting down,—all except Tecumseh.

"The country has long since given you up," he told the Captain. "We have word from Jefferson to seek for news of Lewis and Clark. The general opinion in the United States is that you are lost in the unfathomable depths of the continent. But President Jefferson has hopes. The last heard of you was at the Mandan villages."

With a laugh they listened to their own obituaries. On the same barge with McClellan was Gravelines with orders from Jefferson to instruct the Arikaras in agriculture, and Dorion to help make way through the Sioux.

"Brave Raven, the Arikara chief, died in Washington," said Gravelines. "I am on my way to them with a speech from the President and the presents which have been made to the chief."

How home now tugged at their heart strings! Eager to be on the way, they bade farewell to McClellan.

Down, down they shot along, wind, current, and paddle in their favour, past shores where the freebooting Kansas Indians robbed the traders, past increasing forests of walnut, elm, oak, hickory. 295

The men were now reduced to a biscuit apiece. Wild turkeys gobbled on shore, but the party paused not a moment to hunt.

On the twentieth a mighty shout went up. They heard the clank of cow bells, and saw tame cattle feeding on the hills of Charette, the home of Daniel Boone. With cheers and firing of guns they landed at the village.

"We are indeet astonished," exclaimed the joyful habitants, grasping their hands. "You haf been given up for det long tam since." The men were scattered among the families for the night, honoured guests of Charette.

"Plaintee tam we wish ourself back on ole San Loui'," said Cruzatte to his admiring countrymen.

To their surprise Lewis and Clark found new settlements all the way down from Charette. September 21, firing a tremendous salute from the old stone tower behind the huts, all St. Charles paid tribute to the Homeric heroes who had wandered farther than Ulysses and slain more monsters than Hercules.

Just above the junction of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers loomed the fresh mud chimneys of the new log Fort Bellefontaine, Colonel Thomas Hunt in command, and Dr. Saugrain, surgeon, appointed by Jefferson.

The Colonel's pretty little daughter, Abby Hunt, looked up in admiration at Lewis and Clark, and followed all day these "Indian white men" from the north. Forty years after she told the story of that arrival. "They wore dresses of deerskin, fringed and worked with porcupine quills, something between a military undress frock coat and an Indian shirt, with leggings and moccasins, three-cornered cocked hats and long beards."

Standing between the centuries in that log fort on the Missouri, pretty little Abby Hunt herself was destined to become historic, as the wife of Colonel Snelling and the mother of the first white child born in Minnesota.

After an early breakfast with Colonel Hunt, the expedition set out for the last stretch homeward. They rounded out of the Missouri into the Mississippi, and pulled up to St. Louis at noon, Tuesday, September 23, 1806, after an absence of nearly two years and a half. 296


It was noon when Lewis and Clark sighted the old stone forts of the Spanish time. Never had that frontier site appeared so noble, rising on a vast terrace from the rock-bound river.

As the white walls burst on their view, with simultaneous movement every man levelled his rifle. The Captains smiled and gave the signal,—the roar of thirty rifles awoke the echoes from the rocks.

Running down the stony path to the river came the whole of St. Louis,—eager, meagre, little Frenchmen, tanned and sallow and quick of gait, smaller than the Americans, but graceful and gay, with a heartfelt welcome; black-eyed French women in camasaks and kerchiefs, dropping their trowels in their neat little gardens where they had been delving among the hollyhocks; gay little French children in red petticoats; and here and there a Kentuckian, lank and lean, eager,—all tripping and skipping down to the water's edge.

Elbowing his way among them came Monsieur Auguste Chouteau, the most noted man in St. Louis. Pierre, his brother, courtly, well-dressed, eminently social, came also; and even Madame, their mother, did not disdain to come down to welcome her friends, Les Américains.

It was like the return of a fur brigade, with shouts of laughter and genuine rejoicing.

"Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu! eet ees Leewes an' Clark whom ve haf mournt as det in dose Rock Mountain. What good word mought dey bring from te fur countree."

With characteristic abandon the emotional little Frenchmen flung their arms around the stately forms of Lewis and Clark, and more than one pretty girl that day printed a kiss on their bearded lips. 297

"Major Christy,—well, I declare!" An old Wayne's army comrade grasped Captain Clark by the hand. What memories that grasp aroused! William Christy, one of his brother officers, ready not more than a dozen years ago to aid in capturing this same San Luis de Ilinoa!

"I have moved to this town. I have a tavern. Send your baggage right up!" And forthwith a creaking charette came lumbering down the rocky way.

"Take a room at my house." Pierre Chouteau grasped the hands of both Captains at once. And to Chouteau's they went.

"But first we must send word of our safe arrival to the President," said Lewis, feeling unconsciously for certain papers that had slept next his heart for many a day.

"Te post haf departed from San Loui'," remarked a bystander.

"Departed? It must be delayed. Here, Drouillard, hurry with this note to Mr. Hay at Cahokia and bid him hold the mail until to-morrow noon."

Drouillard, with his old friend Pascal Cerré, the son of Gabriel, set off at once across the Mississippi. The wharf was lined with flatboats loaded with salt for 'Kasky and furs for New Orleans.

Once a month a one-horse mail arrived at Cahokia. Formerly St. Louis went over there for mail,—St. Louis was only a village near Cahokia then; but already Les Américains were turning things upside down.

"We haf a post office now. San Loui' haf grown."

Every one said that. To eyes that had seen nothing more stately than Fort Mandan or Clatsop, St. Louis had taken on metropolitan airs. In the old fort where lately lounged the Spanish governor, peering anxiously across the dividing waters, and whence had lately marched the Spanish garrison, American courts of justice were in session. Out of the old Spanish martello tower on the hill, a few Indian prisoners looked down on the animated street below.

With the post office and the court house had come the American school, and already vivacious French children 298 were claiming as their own, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Just opposite the Chouteau mansion was the old Spanish Government House, the house where George Rogers Clark had met and loved the dazzling Donna.

Aaron Burr had lately been there, feted by the people, plotting treason with Wilkinson in the Government House itself; and now his disorganised followers, young men of birth and education from Atlantic cities, stranded in St. Louis, were to become the pioneer schoolmasters of Upper Louisiana.

New houses were rising on every hand. In the good old French days, goods at fabulous prices were kept in boxes. Did Madame or Mademoiselle wish anything, it must be unpacked as from a trunk. Once a year goods arrived. Sugar, gunpowder, blankets, spices, knives, hatchets, and kitchen-ware, pell-mell, all together, were coming out now onto shelves erected by the thrifty Americans. Already new stores stood side by side with the old French mansions.

"Alas! te good old quiet times are gone," sighed the French habitants, wiping a tear with the blue bandana.

And while they looked askance at the tall Americans, elephantine horses, and Conestoga waggons, that kept crossing the river, the prices of the little two-acre farms of the Frenchmen went up, until in a few years the old French settlers were the nabobs of the land.

Already two ferry lines were transporting a never-ending line through this new gateway to the wider West. Land-mad settlers were flocking into "Jefferson's Purchase," grubbing out hazel roots, splitting rails, making fences, building barns and bridges. Men whose sole wealth consisted in an auger, a handsaw, and a gun, were pushing into the prairies and the forests. Long-bearded, dressed in buckskin, with a knife at his belt and a rifle at his back, the forest-ranging backwoodsman was over-running Louisiana.

"Why do you live so isolated?" the stranger would ask.

"I never wish to hear the bark of a neighbour's dog. 299 When you hear the sound of a neighbour's gun it is time to move away."

Thus, solitary and apart, the American frontiersman took up Missouri.

Strolling along the Rue Royale, followed by admiring crowds, Lewis and Clark found themselves already at the Pierre Chouteau mansion, rising like an old-world chateau amid the lesser St. Louis. Up the stone steps, within the demi-fortress, there were glimpses of fur warehouses, stables, slaves' quarters, occupying a block,—practically a fort within the city.

Other guests were there before them,—Charles Gratiot, who had visited the Clarks in Virginia, and John P. Cabanné, who was to wed Gratiot's daughter, Julia. On one of those flatboats crowding the wharf that morning came happy Pierre Menard, the most illustrious citizen of Kaskaskia, with his bride of a day, Angelique Saucier. Pierre Menard's nephew, Michel Menard, was shortly to leave for Texas, to become an Indian trader and founder of the city of Galveston.

At the board, too, sat Pierre Chouteau, the younger, just returned from a trip up the Mississippi with Julien Dubuque, where he had helped to start Dubuque and open the lead mines.

Out of the wild summer grape the old inhabitants of St. Louis had long fabricated their choicest Burgundy. But of late the Chouteaus had begun to import their wine from France, along with ebony chairs, claw-footed tables, and other luxuries, the first in this Mississippi wild. For never had the fur-trade been so prosperous.

There was laughter and clinking of glasses, and questions of lands beyond the Yellowstone. Out of that hour arose schemes for a trapper's conquest along the trail on which ten future States were strung.

"The mouth of the Yellowstone commands the rich fur-trade of the Rocky mountains," said Captain Clark. Captain Lewis dwelt on the Three Forks as a strategic point for a fort. No one there listened with more breathless intent than the dark-haired boy, the young Chouteau, who was destined to become the greatest financier of the 300 West, a king of the fur trade, first rival and then partner of John Jacob Astor.

No wonder the home-coming of Lewis and Clark was the signal for enterprises such as this country had never yet seen. They had penetrated a realm whose monarch was the grizzly bear, whose queen was the beaver, whose armies were Indian tribes and the buffalo.

Gallic love of gaiety and amusement found in this return ample opportunity for the indulgence of hospitable dancing and feasting. Every door was open. Every house, from Chouteau's down, had its guest out of the gallant thirty-one.

Hero-worship was at its height. Hero-worship is characteristic of youthful, progressive peoples. Whole nations strive to emulate ideals. The moment that ceases, ossification begins.

Here the ideals were Lewis and Clark. They had been west; their men had been west. They, who had traced the Missouri to its cradle in the mountains, who had smoked the calumet with remotest tribes, who had carried the flag to the distant Pacific, became the lions of St. Louis.

Such spontaneous welcome made a delightful impression upon the hearts of the young Captains, and they felt a strong inclination to make the city their permanent home.

The galleries of the little inns of St. Louis were filled with Frenchmen, smoking and telling stories all day long. Nothing hurried, nothing worried them; the rise of the river, the return of a brigade, alone broke the long summer day of content.

But here was something new.

Even York, addicted to romance, told Munchausen tales of thrilling incidents that never failed of an appreciative audience. Trappers, flat-boatmen, frontiersmen, and Frenchmen loved to spin long yarns at the Green Tree Inn, but York could outdo them all. He had been to the ocean, had seen the great whale and sturgeon that put all inland fish stories far into the shade.

Petrie, Auguste Chouteau's old negro, who came with 301 him as a boy and grew old and thought he owned Auguste Chouteau,—Petrie, who always said, "Me and the Colonel," met in York for the first time one greater than himself.

Immediately upon their return Lewis and Clark had repaired to the barber and tailor, and soon bore little resemblance to the tawny frontiersmen in fringed hunting-shirts and beards that had so lately issued from the wilderness.

In the upper story of the Chouteau mansion, the Captains regarded with awe the high four-poster with its cushiony, billowy feather-bed.

"This is too luxurious! York, bring my robe and bear-skin."

Lewis and Clark could not sleep in beds that night. They heard the watch call and saw the glimmer of campfires in their dreams. The grandeur of the mountains was upon them, cold and white and crowned with stars, the vastness of the prairie and the dashing of ocean, the roar of waterfalls, the hum of insects, and the bellowing of buffalo.

They knew now the Missouri like the face of a friend; they had stemmed its muddy mouth, had evaded its shifting sandbanks, had watched its impetuous falls that should one day whirl a thousand wheels. Up windings green as paradise they had drunk of its crystal sources in the mountains.

They had seen it when the mountains cast their shadows around the campfires, and in the blaze of noon when the quick tempest beat it into ink. They had seen it white in Mandan winter, the icy trail of brave and buffalo; and they had seen it crimson, when far-off peaks were tipped with amethystine gold.

In the vast and populous solitude of nature they had followed the same Missouri spreading away into the beaver-meadows of the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Gallatin, and had written their journals on hillsides where the windflower and the larkspur grew wild on Montana hills.

An instinct, a relic, an inheritance of long ago was 302 upon them, when their ancestors roved the earth untrammelled by cities and civilisation, when the rock was man's pillow and the cave his home, when the arrow in his strong hand brought the fruits of the chase, when garments of skin clad his limbs, and God spoke to the white savage under the old Phœnician stars.

In their dreams they felt the rain and wind beat on their leather tent. Sacajawea's baby cried, Spring nodded with the rosy clarkia, screamed with Clark's crow, and tapped with Lewis's woodpecker.

"Rat-tat-tat!" Was that the woodpecker? No, some one was knocking at the door of their bed chamber. And no one else than Pierre Chouteau himself.

"Drouillard is back from Cahokia ready to carry your post. The rider waits."

This was the world again. It was morning. Throwing off robes and bear-skins, and rising from the hardwood floor where they had voluntarily camped that night, both Captains looked at the tables strewn with letters, where until past midnight they had sat the night before.

There lay Clark's letter to his brother, George Rogers, and there, also, was the first rough draft of Lewis's letter to the President, in a hand as fine and even as copperplate, but interlined, and blotted with erasures.

In the soft, warm St. Louis morning, with Mississippi breezes rustling the curtain, after a hurried breakfast both set to work to complete the letters.

For a time nothing was heard but the scratching of quill pens, as each made clean copies of their letters for transmission to the far-off centuries. But no centuries troubled then; to-day,—to-day, was uppermost.

York stuck in his head, hat in hand. "Massah Clahk, Drewyer say he hab jus' time, sah."

"Well, sir, tell Drouillard the whole United States mail service can wait on us to-day. We are writing to the President."

Before ten o'clock Drouillard was off to Cahokia with messages that gave to the nation at large its first intimation that the Pacific expedition was a consummated fact. 303


There were hurried days at St. Louis, a village that knew not haste before. The skins were sunned and stored in the rooms of Cadet Chouteau. Boxes of specimens were packed for the Government. Captain Lewis opened his trunk and found his papers all wet. The hermetically sealed tin cases that held the precious journals alone had saved these from destruction.

The Captains had their hands full. The restless men must be paid and discharged. Nine of the adventurers within a week after the return to St. Louis sold their prospective land claims for a pittance. Seven of these claims were bought by their fellow soldiers; Sergeant John Ordway took several of the men and settled on the site of the present city of New Madrid.

Robert Frazer received two hundred and fifty dollars for his claim, and prepared to publish his travels,—a volume that never saw the light. In addition to land grants, the men received double pay amounting altogether to eleven thousand dollars.

A grand dinner, given by St. Louis, a ball and farewell, and the Captains were on the way with their Mandan chief, Big White, and his Indians, and Gass, Shannon, Ordway, Pryor, and Bratton.

"The route by which I propose travelling to Washington is by way of Cahokia, Vincennes, Louisville, the Crab Orchard, Fincastle, Staunton, and Charlottesville," Captain Lewis had written in that letter to Jefferson. "Any letters directed to me at Louisville will most probably meet me at that place."

With well-filled saddle-bags, the returning heroes crossed to Cahokia and set out across Illinois in the Indian summer of 1806.

Governor Harrison was at Vincennes, and Vigo, and a hundred others to welcome. 304

"Hurrah for old Kentucky!" cried Clark, as he caught sight of its limestone shores. On many a smiling hilltop, the log cabin had expanded into a baronial country seat, with waxed floors and pianos. Already the stables were full of horses, the halls were full of music.

Clark, Lewis, and Big White climbed the cliff to the Point of Rock. Who but chiefs should visit there?

With newspapers around him, sat George Rogers Clark, following the career of Napoleon. That calm and splendid eye kindled at sight of his brother. His locks had grown longer, his eye a deeper black under the shaggy brows, but the Revolutionary hero shone in every lineament as he took the hands of the two explorers.

With the dashing waters at their feet, upon the lonely Point of Rock, above the Falls of the Ohio, William Clark stopped first to greet his brother from the great expedition. Painters may find a theme here, and future romancers a page in drama.

Without delay, taking his rusty three-cornered chapeau from its peg, and donning his faded uniform, the conqueror of Illinois accompanied the explorers to Locust Grove, ablaze that night with welcome.

Lucy, Fanny, Edmund were there; and Jonathan from Mulberry Hill; Major Croghan, the courtly host of old; and the lad, George Croghan, now in his fifteenth year. All too quickly fled the hours; the hickory flamed and the brass andirons shone not brighter than the happy faces.

Spread around for exhibition were Mandan robes, fleeces of the mountain goat, Clatsop hats, buffalo horns, and Indian baskets, Captain Clark's "tiger-cat coat," Indian curios, and skins of grizzly bears,—each article suggestive of adventure surpassing Marco Polo or the Arabian nights. Another huge box, filled with bones for the President, had been left with George Rogers Clark at the Point of Rock.

Louisville received the explorers with bonfires and cannonry. A grand ball was given in their honour, in which the Indians, especially, shone in medals and plumage.

The next day there was a sad visit to Mill Creek, where lamenting parents received the last token and listened 305 to the final word concerning their beloved son, Sergeant Charles Floyd.

A cold wind and a light fall of snow warned them no time must be lost in crossing the Kentucky mountains; but encumbered with the Indian retinue they made slow progress along that atrocious road, on which the followers of Boone had "sometimes paused to pray and sometimes stopped to swear."

A few days beyond Cumberland Gap, Clark's heart beat a tattoo; they had come to Fincastle! Among its overhanging vines and trees, the Hancock mansion was in holiday attire,—Harriet Kennerly had just been married to Dr. Radford of Fincastle.

Colonel Hancock had been proud to entertain George Rogers Clark, still more was he now delighted with the visit of the famous explorers.

"La!" exclaimed Black Granny at the announcement of Captain Clark. "Miss Judy?" Black Granny had nursed Miss Judy from the cradle.

Sedately Miss Judy came down the long staircase,—not the child that Clark remembered, but a woman, petite, serious. The chestnut brown curls with a glint of gold were caught with a high back comb, and a sweeping gown had replaced the short petticoats that lately tripped over the foothills of the Blue Ridge.

"My pretty cousin going to marry that ugly man?" exclaimed Harriet, when she heard of the early engagement.

There was nothing effeminate about Clark, nor artificial. His features were rugged almost to plainness; his head was high from the ear to the top, a large brain chamber.

"Absolutely beautiful," said Judy to herself, associating those bronzed features with endless winds that blew on far-off mountains.

Behind the respectable old Hancock silver, Judy's mother turned the tea and talked. Turning up his laced sleeves to carve the mutton, Colonel Hancock asked a thousand questions regarding that wonderful journey.

"We passed the winter on the Pacific, then crossed the 306 mountains, and my division came down the Yellowstone," Clark was saying. "By the way, Judy, I have named a river for you,—the Judith."

A peal of laughter rang through the dining-room.

"Judith! Judith, did you say? Why, Captain Clark, my name is Julia."

Clark was confounded. He almost feared Judy was making fun of him.

"Is it, really, now? I always supposed Judy stood for Judith."

Again rang out the infectious peal, in which Clark himself joined; but to this day rolls the river Judith in Montana, named for Clark's mountain maid of Fincastle.

"That I should live to see you back from the Pacific!" was Aunt Molly's greeting at "The Farm," at Charlottesville. "I reckoned the cannibal savages would eat you. We looked for nothing less than the fate of Captain Cook."

But Maria, whose eyes had haunted Lewis in many a long Montana day, seemed strangely shy and silent. In fact, she had another lover, perhaps a dearer one.

Uncle Nicholas was sick. He was growing old, but still directed the negroes of a plantation that extended from Charlottesville to the Fluvanna.

It was sunset when Captain Lewis reached the home at Locust Hill, and was folded to his mother's bosom. With daily prayer had Lucy Meriwether followed her boy across the Rocky Mountains.

Meriwether's little pet sister, Mary Marks, had blossomed into a bewitching rose.

"Here is a letter from the President."

Captain Lewis read his first message from Jefferson in more than two years and a half.

Turning to Big White, the chief, who at every step had gazed with amazement at the white man's country,—

"The President says 'Tell my friend of Mandan that I have already opened my arms to receive him."

"Ugh! Ugh!" commented Big White, with visions of barbaric splendour in his untutored brain.

That afternoon the entire party rode over to Monticello 307 to show the chief the President's Indian hall, where all their gifts and tokens had been arranged for display. The next day, by Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Alexandria, the party set out for the national capital. Every step of the way was a triumphal progress.


It was well into January before both Captains reached Washington. Workmen were still building at the Capitol, rearing a home for Congress. Tools of carpentry and masonry covered the windy lawn where Jefferson rode daily, superintending as on his own Virginia plantation.

Never had Captain Lewis seen his old friend, the President, so moved as when black Ben, the valet, with stentorian call announced, "Captains Mehwether Lewis and William Clahk!"

In silk stockings and pumps they stood in the Blue Room. At sight of that well-known figure in blue coat faced with yellow, red plush waistcoat, and green velveteen breeches, Meriwether Lewis bounded as a boy toward his old friend.

The gray-haired president visibly trembled as he strained the two sons of his country to his heart. Tears gushed from his eyes, "The suspense has been awful." Then pausing, with difficulty he controlled his emotion. "But the hopes, the dreams, the ambitions of twenty years are now vindicated, and you are safe, boys, you are safe. I felt that if you were lost the country would hold me responsible."

If others had asked questions about the route, Jefferson now overwhelmed them with an avalanche, put with the keenness of a scholar and the penetration of a scientist. For with the possible exception of Franklin, 308 Thomas Jefferson was the most learned man of his time.

Into the President's hands Lewis placed the precious journals, obtained at such a cost in toil and travel. Each pocket volume, morocco-bound, had as soon as filled been cemented in a separate tin case to prevent injury by wetting. But now Lewis had slipped the cases off and displayed them neat and fresh as on the day of writing.

On rocking boats, on saddle pommels, and after dark by the flickering campfire, had the writing been done. T's were not always crossed, nor i's dotted, as hurriedly each event was jotted down to be read and criticised after a hundred years. Written under such circumstances, and in such haste, it is not remarkable that words are misspelled and some omitted. A considerable collection of later letters gives ample evidence that both the Captains were graceful correspondents.

And the vocabularies, the precious vocabularies gathered from Council Bluffs to Clatsop, were taken by Jefferson and carefully laid away for future study.

Big White and his Indians were entertained by Jefferson and the cabinet. Dolly Madison, Mrs. Gallatin, and other ladies of the White House, manifested the liveliest interest as the tall Shahaka, six feet and ten inches, stood up before them in his best necklace of bear's claws, admiring the pretty squaws that talked to them.

"And was your father a chief, and your father's father?" Mrs. Madison inquired of Shahaka. She was always interested in families and lineage. "And what makes your hair so white?" But Shahaka had never heard of Prince Madoc.

Never had the village-capital been so gay. Dinners and balls followed in rapid succession, eulogies and poems were recited in honour of the explorers. There was even talk of changing the name of the Columbia to Lewis River.

In those days everybody went to the Capitol to hear the debates. The report of Lewis and Clark created a lively sensation. Complaints of the Louisiana Purchase ceased. From the Mississippi to the sea, the United 309 States had virtually taken possession of the continent. Members of Congress looked at one another with dilated eyes. With lifted brow and prophetic vision the young republic pierced the future. The Mississippi, once her utmost border, was now but an inland river. Beyond it, the Great West hove in sight, with peaks of snow and the blue South Sea. The problem of the ages had been solved; Lewis and Clark had found the road to Asia.

The news fell upon Europe and America as not less than a revelation.

Congress immediately gave sixteen hundred acres of land each to the Captains, and double pay in gold and three hundred and twenty acres to each of their men, to be laid out on the west side of the Mississippi. On the third day of March, 1807, Captain Lewis was appointed Governor of Louisiana; and on March 12, Captain Clark was made Brigadier General, and Indian Agent for Louisiana.

Tall, slender, but twenty-nine, Henry Clay was in the Senate, advocating roads,—roads and canals to the West. He was planning, pleading, persuading for a canal around the Falls of the Ohio, he was appealing for the improvement of the Wilderness Road through which Boone had broken a bridle trace. His prolific imagination grasped the Chesapeake and Ohio canal and an interior connection with the Lakes.

Henry Clay—"Harry Clay" as Kentucky fondly called him—had a faculty for remembering names, faces, places. As yesterday, he recalled William Clark at Lexington.

And Clark remembered Clay, standing in an ox-waggon, with flashing eyes, hair wildly waving, and features aglow, addressing an entranced throng. The same look flashed over him now as he stepped toward the heroes of the Pacific.

"Congratulations, Governor."

"Congratulations, General."

The young men smiled at their new titles.

Another was there, not to be forgotten, strong featured, cordial, cheerful, of manly beauty and large dark 310 eyes, endeavouring to interest Congress in his inventions,—Robert Fulton of the steamboat.

Wherever they went, a certain halo seemed to hang around these men of adventure. They were soldiers and hunters, and more. Through heat and cold, and mount and plain, four thousand miles by canoe, on foot and horseback, through forests of gigantic pines and along the banks of unknown rivers, among unheard-of tribes who had never seen a white man, they had carried the message of the President and brought back a report on the new land that is authority to this day.

"What did you find?" Eager inquirers crowded on every side to hear the traveller's tale. At Louisville, men drove in from distant plantations; at Fincastle their steps were thronged along the village walks; in Washington they were never alone.

"What did we find? Gigantic sycamores for canoes, the maple for sugar, the wild cherry and walnut for joiner's work, red and white elm for cartwrights, the osage orange for hedges impenetrable, white and black oak for ship and carpenter work, pine for countless uses, and durable cedar.

"What did we find? All sorts of plants and herbs for foods, dyes, and medicines, and pasturage unending. Boone's settlers on the Missouri frontier have farms of wheat, maize, potatoes, and little cotton fields, two acres sufficient for a family. Hemp is indigenous to the soil. Even in the Mandan land, the Indians, with implements that barely scratch the earth, have immense gardens of corn, beans, pumpkins, and squashes.

"What did we find? Oceans of beaver and seas of buffalo, clay fit for bricks and white clay for pottery, salt springs, saltpetre, and plaster, pipestone, and quarries of marble red and white, mines of iron, lead and coal, horses to be bought for a song, cedar, and fir trees six and eight feet in diameter, enormous salmon that block the streams."

No wonder the land was excited at the report of Lewis and Clark. All at once the unknown mysterious West stood revealed as the home of natural resources. Their 311 travels became the Robinson Crusoe of many a boy who lived to see for himself the marvels of that trans-Mississippi.

Sergeant Gass received his pay in gold and went home to Wellsburg, West Virginia, to find his old father smoking still beside the fire. With the help of a Scotch schoolmaster Patrick published his book the next year, immortalising the name of the gallant Irish Sergeant. Then he "inlisted" again, and fought the Creeks, and in 1812 lost an eye at Lundy's Lane. Presently he married the daughter of a Judge, and lived to become a great student in his old age, and an authority on Indians and early times.

John Ordway went home to New Hampshire and married, and returned to live on his farm near New Madrid.

William Bratton tarried for a time in Kentucky, served in the War of 1812 under Harrison, and was at Tippecanoe and the Thames. He married and lived at Terre Haute, Indiana, and is buried at Waynetown.

George Gibson settled at St. Louis, and lived and died there. Nathaniel Pryor and William Werner became Indian agents under William Clark; Pryor died in 1831 among the Osages. George Drouillard went into the fur trade and was killed by the Blackfeet at the Three Forks of the Missouri. John Coalter, after adventures that will be related, settled at the town of Daniel Boone, married a squaw and died there. John Potts was killed by the Blackfeet on the river Jefferson. Sacajawea and Charboneau lived for many years among the Mandans, and their descendants are found in Dakota to this day.

Of the voyageurs who went as far as the Mandan town, Lajaunnesse accompanied Fremont across the mountains; and two others, Francis Rivet and Philip Degie, were the earliest settlers of Oregon, where they lived to a great old age, proud of the fact that they had "belonged to Lewis and Clark." 315

Book III


"Thank God for the safety of our country!" ejaculated Jefferson, in one of his long talks with Lewis regarding the upheaval across the sea.

In 1802 Napoleon had been declared Consul for life; May 18, 1804, four days after Lewis and Clark started, he had been saluted Emperor of France. Then came Jena. When Lewis and Clark reached the Mandan towns, Napoleon was entering Berlin with the Prussian monarchy at his feet.

While they camped at Clatsop in those December days of 1805, and while Baranof prayed for ships in his lonely Sitkan outpost, across seas "the sun of Austerlitz" had risen. Against Russian and Austrian, Napoleon had closed a war with a clap of thunder.

Every breeze bore news that overawed the world.

"Napoleon has taken Italy."

"Napoleon has conquered Austria."

"Napoleon has defeated Russia."

"Napoleon has ruined Prussia."

"Napoleon has taken Spain."

While Lewis and Clark were at Washington came the battles of Eylau and Dantzic. In December Napoleon annexed Portugal, and the Court of Lisbon fled to Brazil, to escape his arms and to rear anew the House of Braganza. 316

How much more remained to conquer? How soon might the theatre of action come over the sea? Still there was England.

For a time the Napoleonic wars had thrown the carrying trade of the ocean into American hands. American farmers could not reach the coast fast enough with their fleets of grain, the food for armies. Cotton went up to a fabulous price. Enterprise fired the young republic. Ships were building two thousand miles inland to carry her products to the ocean. She grew, she throve, and an ever-increasing inland fleet carried to and fro the red life of a growing nation.

On the other hand, the torch of liberty, lit in America and burning there still with calm and splendid lustre, carried by French soldiers to France had kindled a continent, sweeping like a firebrand through a conflagration of abuses. All tradition was overturning. America alone was quiet, the refuge of the world. Every ship that touched our shores brought fugitives fleeing from battle-scarred fields where Europe groaned in sobs and blood.

Napoleon was now master of almost the entire coast of Europe. Did he cast regretful eyes this way? America feared it. Nothing but fear of England ever made Napoleon give us Louisiana.

In May, 1806, England blockaded the French coast. Napoleon retaliated by the Berlin Decrees, shutting up all England, interdicting the commerce of the world.

And so, when Lewis and Clark returned, the giants were locked in struggle, like Titans of old, tearing up kingdoms, palatinates, and whole empires to hurl at each other.

And we had Louisiana.

When Captain Lewis went to Washington he was the bearer of a mass of papers on land claims sent by Auguste Chouteau.

"I have had some disturbing news from Louisiana," said Jefferson. "In the first place, Monsieur Auguste Chouteau writes requesting self-government, and that Louisiana remain for ever undivided. Now the day may come when we shall desire to cut Louisiana up into sovereign 317 states,—not now, I grant, but in time, in time.

"Then the French people of New Orleans protest against American rule. Such is the dissatisfaction, it is said, that the people of Louisiana are only waiting for Bonaparte's victory in his war with the allies to return to their allegiance with France.

"St. Louis asks for a Governor 'who must reside in the territory,' hence I propose to put you there."

So it came about that Meriwether Lewis wrote back in February, "I shall probably come on to St. Louis for the purpose of residing among you."

There was trouble with Spain. In July, 1806, everybody thought there would be a war with her. But Napoleon was Spain's protector. It would never do to declare war against Napoleon. Napoleon!—the very word meant subjugation.

"Why are we safe from Bonaparte?" exclaimed Jefferson. "Only because he has not the British fleet at his command."

Even while Congress was at its busiest, devising a government for New Orleans, not at all was Jefferson sure of the loyalty of the French of Louisiana.

"If they are not making overtures to Napoleon, they are implicated in the treason of Aaron Burr."

All Washington was aflame over Aaron Burr. Only two years before Captain Lewis had left him in the seat of honour at Washington. The greatest lawyers in the country now were prosecuting his trial at Richmond, Randolph of Roanoke foreman of the jury and John Marshall presiding.

Borne with the throng, Lewis went over to Richmond. Washington Irving was there, Winfield Scott, and Andrew Jackson, "stamping up and down, damning Jefferson and extolling Burr."

Burr's friends, outcrying against Jefferson, caught sight of Meriwether Lewis; his popularity in a degree counteracted their vituperation. William Wirt of Maryland came down after making his great speech, to present a gold watch to his friend Meriwether Lewis.

With saddened heart Captain Lewis left Richmond. 318 The beautiful Theodosia had come to stay with her father at the penitentiary. Lewis always liked Aaron Burr. What was he trying to do? The Mississippi was ours and Louisiana. But even the Ursuline nuns welcomed Burr to New Orleans, and the Creoles quite lost their heads over his winning address. All seemed to confirm the suspicions of Jefferson, who nightly tossed on his couch of worry.

It was necessary for Captain, now Governor, Lewis, to go to Philadelphia, to place his zoölogical and botanical collections in the hands of Dr. Barton. Scarce had the now famous explorer reached the city before he was beset by artists. Charles Willson Peale, who had painted the portraits of the most prominent officers of the Revolution, who had followed Washington and painted him as a Virginia colonel, as commander-in-chief, and as president, who had sat with him at Valley Forge and limned his features, cocked hat and all, on a piece of bed-ticking,—Peale now wanted to paint Lewis and Clark.

Of course such a flattering invitation was not to be resisted, and so, while Peale's assistants were mounting Lewis's antelopes, the first known to naturalists, and preparing for Jefferson the head and horns of a Rocky Mountain ram, Governor Lewis was sitting daily for his portrait.

This detained him in Philadelphia, when suddenly, on the 27th of June, the great upheaval of Europe cast breakers on our shores that made the country rock.

It seemed as if in spite of herself the United States would be drawn into the Napoleonic wars. England needed sailors, she must have sailors, she claimed and demanded them from American ships on the high seas.

"You shall not search my ship," said the Captain of the American frigate Chesapeake off the Virginian capes. Instantly and unexpectedly, the British frigate Leopard rounded to and poured broadsides into the unprepared Chesapeake.

"Never," said Jefferson, "has this country been in such a state of excitement since Lexington." 319

"Fired on our ship!" The land was aflame. By such white heat are nations welded.

It was a bold thing for England to disavow. But no apologies could now conceal the fact, that not Napoleon, but England, was destined to be our foe, England, who claimed the commerce of the world.

Meriwether Lewis came home to hear Virginia ringing for war; not yet had she forgotten Yorktown.

The mountains of Albemarle were clothed in all the brilliancy of summer beauty when Lewis kissed his mother good-bye, and set out to assume the governorship of Louisiana.


Immediately after his appointment in charge of Indian affairs, Clark left Washington, with Pryor and Shannon, Big White and Jussaume and their Indian families. The Ohio, swollen to the highest notch, bore them racing into the Mississippi.

"Manuel Lisa haf gone up de Meessouri," was the news at St. Louis. All winter Manuel Lisa had been flying around St. Louis with Pierre Menard and George Drouillard, preparing for an early ascent into the fur country. So also had been the Chouteaus, intending to escort Big White back to the Mandans.

At any time an Indian trader was a great man in St. Louis. He could command fabulous prices for his skill, and still more now could Drouillard, fresh from the unexploited land beyond the Mandans. All his money Drouillard put into the business, and with the earliest opening of 1807, Lisa, Menard and Drouillard set out for the upper Missouri with an outfit of sixteen thousand dollars.

"Wait for the Mandan chief," said Frederick Bates, the new Territorial Secretary. 320

Manuel Lisa was not a man to wait. "While others consider whether they will start, I am on my way," he answered.

Dark, secret, unfathomable, restless, enterprising, a very Spaniard for pride, distrusted and trusted, a judge of men, Manuel Lisa had in him the spirit of De Soto and Coronado.

For twenty years Lisa had traded with Indians. Of late the Spanish government had given him exclusive rights on the Osage, a privilege once held by the Chouteaus, but alas for Lisa! a right now tumbled by the cession. For the United States gave no exclusive privileges.

He reached the ear of Drouillard; they went away together. No one better than Lisa saw the meaning of that great exploration.

Coincidently with the arrival of Clark and Big White out of the Ohio, came down a deputation of Yankton Sioux with old Dorion from the Missouri. With that encampment of Indians, around, behind, before the Government House, began the reign of the Red Head chief over the nations of the West that was to last for thirty years. St. Louis became the Red Head's town, and the Red Head's signature came to be known to the utmost border of Louisiana.

"We want arms and traders," said the Yankton Sioux.

Both were granted, and laden with presents, before the close of May they were dispatched again to their own country. And with them went Big White in charge of Ensign Pryor, Sergeant George Shannon, and Pierre Chouteau, with thirty-two men for the Mandan trade.

Even the Kansas knew that Big White had gone down the river, and were waiting to see him go by.

"The whites are as the grasses of the prairie," said Big White.

In July the new Governor, Meriwether Lewis, arrived and assumed the Government. With difficulty the officers had endeavoured to harmonise the old and the new. All was in feud, faction, disorder.

St. Louis was a foreign village before the cession. Nor was this changed in a day. 321

"Deed not de great Napoleon guarantee our leebertee?" said the French. "We want self-government."

But Lewis and Clark, these two had met the French ideal of chivalry in facing the Shining Mountains and the Ocean. Pretty girls sat in the verandas to see them pass. Fur magnates set out their choicest viands. The conquest of St. Louis was largely social. With less tact and less winning personalities we might have had discord.

Whatever Lewis wanted, Clark seconded as a sort of Lieutenant Governor. It seemed as if the two might go on forever as they had done in the great expedition. Ever busy, carving districts that became future States, laying out roads, dispensing justice and treating with Indians, all went well until the 16th of October, when a wave of sensation swept over St. Louis.

"Big White, the Mandan chief, is back. The American flag at the bow of his boat has been fired on and he is compelled to fall back on St. Louis."

All summer the vengeful Arikaras had been watching.

"They killed our chief, the Brave Raven."

The Teton Sioux plotted. "They will give the Mandans arms and make our enemies stronger than we are." So in great bands, Sioux and Arikaras had camped along the river to intercept the returning brave.

"These are the machinations of the British," said Americans in St. Louis.

"This is a trick of Manuel Lisa," said the fur traders. "His boats passed in safety, why not ours?"

In fact, there had been a battle. Not with impunity should trade be carried into the land of anarchy. Three men were killed and several wounded, including Shannon and René Jussaume. And they in turn had killed Black Buffalo, the Teton chief that led the onslaught.

All the way down the Missouri George Shannon had writhed with his wounded knee. Blood poisoning set in. They left him at Bellefontaine.

"Dees leg must come off," said Dr. Saugrain, the army surgeon.

He sent for Dr. Farrar, a young American physician who had lately located in St. Louis. Together, without 322 anesthetics, they performed the first operation in thigh amputation ever known in that region.

"Woonderful! woonderful!" exclaimed the Creoles. "Dees Dogtors can cut une man all up." Great already was the reputation of Dr. Saugrain; to young Farrar it gave a prestige that made him the Father of St. Louis surgery.

Shannon lay at the point of death for eighteen months, but youth rallied, and he regained sufficient strength to journey to Lexington, where he took up the study of law. He lived to become an eminent jurist and judge, and the honoured progenitor of many distinguished bearers of his name.


General Clark had had a busy summer, travelling up and down the river, assisting the Governor at St. Louis in reducing his tumultuous domain to order, treating with Indians, conferring with Governor Harrison in his brick palace at Old Vincennes, consulting with his brothers, General Jonathan and General George Rogers Clark at the Point of Rock. Now, in mid-autumn, he was again on his way to Fincastle.

Never through the tropic summer had Julia been absent from his thoughts. A little house in St. Louis had been selected that should shelter his bride; and now, as fast as hoof and horse could speed him, he was hastening back to fix the day for his wedding.

October shed glory on the burnished forests. Here and there along the way shone primitive farmhouses, the homes of people. The explorer's heart beat high. He had come to that time in his life when he, too, should have a home. Those old Virginia farmhouses, steep of roof and sloping at the eaves, four rooms below and two 323 in the attic, with great chimneys smoking at either end, seemed to speak of other fond and happy hearts.

The valley of Virginia extends from the Potomac to the Carolina line. The Blue Ridge bounds it on one side, the Kittatinnys on the other, and in the trough-like valley between flows the historic Shenandoah.

From the north, by Winchester, scene of many a border fray and destined for action more heroic yet, Clark sped on his way to Fincastle. Some changes had taken place since that eventful morning when Governor Spotswood looked over the Blue Ridge. A dozen miles from Winchester stood Lord Fairfax's Greenway Court, overshadowed by ancient locusts, slowly mouldering to its fall. Here George Washington came in his boyhood, surveying for the gaunt, raw-boned, near-sighted old nobleman who led him hard chases at the fox hunt.

From the head spring of the Rappahannock to the head spring of the Potomac, twenty-one counties of old Virginia once belonged to the Fairfax manor, now broken and subdivided into a thousand homes. Hither had come tides of Quakers, and Scotch-Presbyterians, penetrating farther and farther its green recesses, cutting up the fruitful acres into colonial plantations.

"The Shenandoah, it is the very centre of the United States," said the emigrants.

The valley was said to be greener than any other, its waters were more transparent, its soil more fruitful. At any rate German-Pennsylvanians pushed up here, rearing barns as big as fortresses, flanked round with haystacks and granaries. Now and then Clark met them, in loose leather galligaskins and pointed hats, sunning in wide porches, smoking pipes three feet long, while their stout little children tumbled among the white clover.

Here and there negroes were whistling with notes as clear as a fife, and huge Conestoga waggons loaded with produce rumbled along to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond. Every year thousands of waggons went to market, camping at night and making the morning ring with Robin Hood songs and jingling bells.

Yonder lived Patrick Henry in his last years, at picturesque 324 Red Hill on the Staunton. Here in his old age he might have been seen under the trees in his lawn, buried in revery, or on the floor, with grandchildren clambering over him or dancing to his violin.

But Clark was not thinking of Patrick Henry, or Fairfax,—in fact he scarcely remembered their existence, so intent was his thought on his maid of the mountains, Julia Hancock.

The leaves were falling from elm and maple, strewing the path with gold and crimson. The pines grew taller in the twilight, until he could scarcely see the bypaths chipped and blazed by settlers' tomahawks.

Sunset was gilding the Peaks of Otter as Clark drew rein at the little tavern near Fincastle.

"I was rented to the King of England by my Prince of Hesse Cassel," the Hessian proprietor was saying. "I was rented out to cut the throats of people who had never done me any harm. Four pence three farthings a day I got, and one penny farthing went to His Royal Highness, the Prince. I fought you, then I fell in love with you, and when the war was over I stayed in America."

Clark listened. It was a voice out of the Revolution.

After a hurried luncheon the tireless traveller was again in his saddle; and late that night in the moonlight he opened the gate at Colonel Hancock's.

York had followed silently through all the journey,—York, no longer a slave, for in consideration of his services on the expedition the General had given him his freedom. But as a voluntary body-guard he would not be parted from his master.

"For sho'! who cud tek cah o' Mars Clahk so well as old Yawk?"

"What if love-lorn swains from a dozen plantations have tried to woo and win my pretty cousin! The bronzed face of Lochinvar is bleaching," said the teasing Harriet when she heard that the wedding date was really set. "One day, who knows, his skin may be white as yours."

Sudden as a flood in the Roanoke came Julia's tears. 325 Relenting, the lively, light-hearted Harriet covered her cousin's curls with kisses.

"The carriage and horses are at your service. Hunt, fish, lounge as you please," said Colonel Hancock, "for I must be at the courthouse to try an important case."

With thousands of acres and hundreds of negroes, it was the dream of Colonel Hancock to one day drop these official cares and retire altogether into the privacy of his plantation. Already, forty miles away, at the very head spring of the Roanoke river, he was building a country seat to be called "Fotheringay," after Fotheringay Castle.

Back and forth in the gorgeous October weather rode Clark and Julia, watching the workmen at Fotheringay.

Now and then the carriage stopped at an orchard. Passers were always at liberty to help themselves to the fruit. Peaches so abundant that they fed the hogs with them, apples rosy and mellow, grapes for the vintage, were in the first flush of abundance. What a contrast to that autumn in the Bitter Root Mountains!

Then late in November to Fincastle came Governor Lewis and his brother Reuben, on their way to the west. He, too, had been to Washington on business concerning St. Louis.

"The great success of York among the Mandans has decided Reuben to take Tom along," laughed Lewis, as Reuben's black driver dismounted from the carriage—the same family chariot in which Meriwether had brought his mother from Georgia, now on the way to become the state coach of Louisiana.

Black Tom beamed, expansively happy, on York who had been "tuh th' Injun country" where black men were "Great Medicine."

"Ha, Your Excellency," laughed the teasing Harriet, "the beauty of Fincastle dines with us to-night,—Miss Letitia Breckenridge."

"Wait and the Governor will court you," some one whispered to the charming Letitia.

"I have contemplated accompanying my father to Richmond for some time," replied Letitia. "If I stay 326 now it will look like a challenge, therefore I determine to go."

Governor Lewis underwent not a little chafing when two days after his arrival the lovely Letitia was gone,—to become the wife of the Secretary of War in John Quincy Adams's cabinet.

"Miss Breckenridge is a very sweet-looking girl," wrote Reuben to his sister, "and I should like to have her for a sister. General Clark's intended is a charming woman. When I tell you that she is much like my sweetheart you will believe I think so."

"What are you doing?" Clark asked of Julia, as she sat industriously stitching beside the hickory fire in the great parlour at Fincastle.

"Working a little screen to keep the fire from burning my face," answered the maiden, rosy as the glow itself. Much more beautiful than the little Sacajawea, stitching moccasins beside the fire at Clatsop, she seemed to Clark; and yet the feminine intuition was the same, to sew, to stitch, to be an artist with the needle.

"The mistletoe hung in Fincastle hall,

The holly branch shone on the old oak wall,

And the planter's retainers were blithe and gay,

A-keeping their Christmas holiday."

There was sleighing at Fincastle when the wedding day came, just after New Year's, 1808. The guests came in sleighs from as far away as Greenway Court, for all the country-side knew and loved Judy Hancock.

Weeping, soft-hearted Black Granny tied again the sunny curls and looped the satin ribbons of her beloved "Miss Judy." The slaves vied with one another, strewing the snow with winter greens that no foot might touch the chill.

The wainscoted and panelled walls glowed with greenery. Holly hung over the carved oaken chimneys, and around the fowling pieces and antlers of the chase that betokened the hunting habits of Colonel Hancock. Silver tankards marked with the family arms sparkled on the damask table cloth, and silver candlesticks and snuffers 327 and silver plate. Myrtleberry wax candles gave out an incense that mingled with the odour of hickory snapping in the fireplace.

"Exactly as her mother looked," whispered the grandmother when Judy came down,—grandmother, a brisk little white-capped old lady in quilted satin, who remembered very well the mother of Washington.

The stars hung blazing on the rim of the Blue Ridge and the snow glistened, when out of the great house came the sound of music and dancing. There were wedding gifts after the old Virginia fashion, and when all had been inspected Clark handed his bride a small jewel case marked with her name.

The cover flew open, revealing a set of topaz and pearls, "A gift from the President."

Out into the snow went these wedding guests of a hundred years ago, to scatter and be forgotten.


All the romance of the old boating time was in Clark's wedding trip down the Ohio. It was on a May morning when, stepping on board a flatboat at Louisville, he contrasted the daintiness of Julia with that of any other travelling companion he had ever known.

The river, foaming over its rocky bed, the boatmen blowing their long conical bugles from shore to shore, the keelboats, flat-bottoms, and arks loaded with emigrants all intent on "picking guineas from gooseberry bushes," spoke of youth, life, action. Again the boatman blew his bugle, echoes of other trumpets answered, "Farewell, farewell, fare—we-ll." Soon they were into the full sweep of the pellucid Ohio, mirroring skies and shores dressed in the livery of Robin Hood.

Frowning precipices and green islets arose, and projecting 328 headlands indenting the Ohio with promontories like a chain of shining lakes. Hills clothed in ancient timber, hoary whitened sycamores draped in green clusters of mistletoe, and magnificent groves of the dark green sugar tree reflected from the water below. Shut in to the water's edge, a woody wilderness still, the river glided between its umbrageous shores.

Now and then the crowing of cocks announced a clearing where the axe of the settler had made headway, or some old Indian mound blossomed with a peach orchard. Flocks of screaming paroquets alighted in the treetops, humming birds whizzed into the honeysuckle vines and flashed away with dewdrops on their jewelled throats.

On the water with them, now near, now far, were other boats,—ferry flats and Alleghany skiffs, pirogues hollowed from prodigious sycamores, dug-outs and canoes, stately barges with masts and sails and lifted decks like schooners, keel boats, slim and trim for low waters, Kentucky arks, broadhorns, roomy and comfortable, filled up with chairs, beds, stoves, tables, bound for the Sangamon, Cape Girardeau, Arkansas.

Floating caravans of men, women, children, servants, cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, and fowl were travelling down the great river. Some boats fitted up for stores dropped off at the settlements, blowing the bugle, calling the inhabitants down to trade.

Here a tinner with his tinshop, with tools and iron, a floating factory, there a blacksmith shop with bellows and anvil, dry-goods boats with shelves for cutlery and cottons, produce boats with Kentucky flour and hemp, Ohio apples, cider, maple sugar, nuts, cheese, and fruit, and farther down, Tennessee cotton, Illinois corn, and cattle, Missouri lead and furs, all bound for New Orleans, a panorama of endless interest to Julia. Here white-winged schooners were laden entirely with turkeys, tobacco, hogs, horses, potatoes, or lumber. Nature pouring forth perennial produce from a hundred tributary streams.

A bateau could descend from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans in three weeks; three months of toil could 329 barely bring it back. How could boats be made to go against the current? Everywhere and everywhere inventive minds were puzzling over motors, paddles—duck-foot, goose-foot, and elliptical,—wings and sails, side-wheels, stern-wheels, and screws,—and steam was in the air.

As the sun went down in lengthening shadows a purple haze suffused the waters. Adown La Belle Rivière, "the loveliest stream that ever glistened to the moon," arose the evening cadence of the boatmen,—

"Some row up, but we row down,

All the way to Shawnee Town,

Pull away! Pull away!

Pull away to Shawnee Town."

The crescent moon shone brightly on crag and stream and floating forest, the air was mild and moist, the boat glided as in a dream, and the mocking bird enchanted the listening silence.

To Clark no Spring had ever seemed so beautiful. Sitting on deck with Julia he could not forget that turbulent time when as a boy he first plunged down these waters. Symbolic of his whole life it seemed, until now the storm and stress of youth had calmed into the placid current of to-day. The past,—the rough toil-hardened past of William Clark,—fell away, and as under a lifted silken curtain he floated into repose. The rough old life of camps and forts was gone forever.

And to Julia, everything was new and strange,—La Belle Rivière itself whispered of Louisiana. Like an Alpine horn the bugle echoed the dreamlife of the waters.

The fiddles scraping, boatmen dancing, the smooth stream rolling calmly through the forest, the girls who gathered on shore to see the pageant pass, the river itself, momentarily lost to view, then leaping again in Hogarth's line of beauty,—all murmured perpetual music.

Then slumber fell upon the dancers, but still Clark and Julia sat watching. From clouds of owls arose voices of the night, cries of wolves reverberated on shore, the 330 plaintive whippoorwill in the foliage lamented to the moon, meteors rose from the horizon to sweep majestically aloft and burst in a showering spray of gems below.

The very heavens were unfamiliar. Awed, impressed, by the mysteries around them, they slept.

Before sun-up the mocking-bird called from the highest treetop and continued singing until after breakfast, imitating the jay, the cardinal, and the lapwing, then sailing away into a strain of his own wild music.

At the mouth of the Wabash arks were turning in to old Vincennes. Below, broader grew the Ohio, unbroken forests still and twinkling stars. Here and there arose the graceful catalpa in full flower, and groves of cottonwoods so tall that at a distance one could fancy some planter's mansion hidden in their depths. Amid these Eden scenes appeared here and there the deserted cabin of some murdered woodman whose secret only the Shawnee knew.

Wild deer, crossing the Ohio, heard the bugle call, and throwing their long branching antlers on their shoulders sank out of sight, swimming under the water until the shore opened into the sheltering forest.

At times the heavens were darkened with the flights of pigeons; there was a song of the thrush and the echoing bellow of the big horned owl. Wild turkeys crossed their path and wild geese screamed on their journey to the lakes.

One day the boats stopped, and before her Julia beheld the Mississippi sweeping with irresistible pomp and wrath, tearing at the shores, bearing upon its tawny bosom the huge drift of mount and meadow, whole herds of drowned buffalo, trunks of forest trees and caved-in banks of silt, leaping, sweeping seaward in the sun. Without a pause the bridegroom river reached forth his brawny arm, and gathered in the starry-eyed Ohio. Over his Herculean shoulders waved her silver tresses, deep into his bosom passed her gentle transparency as the twain made one swept to the honeymoon.

All night Clark's bateau lay in a bend while York and the men kept off the drift that seemed to set toward them in their little cove as toward a magnet. 331

On the 26th of May Governor Lewis received a letter from Clark asking for help up the river. Without delay the Governor engaged a barge to take their things to Bellefontaine and another barge to accommodate the General, his family and baggage.

Dispatching a courier over the Bellefontaine road, Governor Lewis sent to Colonel Hunt a message, asking him to send Ensign Pryor to meet the party.

With what delight Clark and his bride saw the barges with Ensign Pryor in charge, coming down from St. Louis. Then came the struggle up the turbulent river. Clark was used to such things, but never before had he looked on them with a bride at his side. With sails and oars and cordelles all at once, skilled hands paddled and poled and stemmed the torrent, up, up to the rock of the new levee.

Thus the great explorer brought home his bride to St. Louis in that never-to-be-forgotten May-time one hundred years ago.


"An Américaine bride, General Clark haf brought! She haf beeutiful eyes! She haf golden hair!" The Creole ladies were in a flutter.

"Merci! She haf a carriage!" they cried, peeping from their lattices. Governor Lewis himself had met the party at the shore, and now in the first state coach St. Louis had ever seen, was driving along the Rue de l'Église to Auguste Chouteau's.

"Merci! She haf maids enough!" whispered the gazers, as Rachel, Rhody, Chloe, Sarah, brought up the rear with their mistress's belongings. Then followed York, looking neither to the right nor the left. He knew St. Louis was watching, and he delighted in the stir. 332

The fame of the beauty of General Clark's American bride spread like wild-fire. For months wherever she rode or walked admiring crowds followed, eager to catch a glimpse of her face. Thickly swathed in veils, Julia concealed her features from the public gaze, but that only increased the interest.

"She shall haf a party, une grande réception," said Pierre Chouteau, and the demi-fortress was opened to a greater banquet than even at the return of Lewis and Clark.

Social St. Louis abandoned itself to gaiety. Dancing slippers were at a premium, and all the gay silks that ever came up from New Orleans were refurbished with lace and jewels.

"They are beautiful women," said Julia that night. "I thought you told me there were only Indians here."

Clark laughed. "Wait until you walk in the streets."

And sure enough, with the arrival of the beautiful Julia came also certain Sacs and Iowas who had been scalping settlers within their borders. With bolted handcuffs and leg shackles they were shut up in the old Spanish martello tower. From the Chouteau house Julia could see their cell windows covered with iron gratings and the guard pacing to and fro.

At the trial in the old Spanish garrison house on the hill the streets swarmed with red warriors.

"How far away St. Louis is from civilisation," remarked Julia. "We seem in the very heart of the Indian country."

"The Governor has organised the militia, and our good friend Auguste Chouteau is their colonel," answered her husband, reassuringly.

"Why these fortifications, these bastions and stone towers?" inquired Julia, as they walked along the Rue.

"They were built a long time ago for defences against the Indians. In fact my brother defended St. Louis once against an Indian raid."

"Tell me the story," cried Julia. And walking along the narrow streets under the honey-scented locusts, Clark told Julia of the fight and fright of 1780. 333

"And was that when the Spanish lady was here?"


"And what became of her finally?"

"She fled with the nuns to Cuba at the cession of New Orleans."

Trilliums red and white, anemones holding up their shell-pink cups, and in damp spots adder's tongues and delicate Dutchman's breeches, were thick around them as they walked down by the old Chouteau Pond. Primeval forests surrounded it, white-armed sycamores and thickets of crab-apple.

"This is the mill that makes bread for St. Louis. Everybody comes down to Chouteau's mill for flour. It is so small I am not surprised that they call St. Louis 'Pain Court'—'short of bread.' To-morrow the washerwomen will be at the pond, boiling clothes in iron pots and drying them on the hazel bushes."

As they came back in the flush of evening all St. Louis had moved out of doors. The wide galleries were filled with settees and tables and chairs, and the neighbourly Creoles were visiting one another, and greeting the passers-by.

Sometimes the walk led over the hill to the Grand Prairie west of town. The greensward waved in the breezes like a wheatfield in May. Cabanné's wind-mill could be seen in the distance across the prairie near the timber with its great wings fifty and sixty feet long flying in the air like things of life.

Cabanné the Swiss had married Gratiot's daughter.

St. Louis weddings generally took place at Easter, so other brides and grooms were walking there in those May days a hundred years ago. Night and morning, as in Acadia, the rural population still went to and from the fields with their cattle and carts and old-style wheel ploughs.

In November Clark and his bride moved into the René Kiersereau cottage on the Rue Royale. The old French House of René Kiersereau dated back to the beginning of St. Louis. Built of heavy timbers and plastered with rubble and mortar, it bade fair still to withstand the wear 334 and tear of generations. With a long low porch in front and rear, and a fence of cedar pickets like a miniature stockade, it differed in no respect from the other modest cottages of St. Louis. Back of the house rushed the river; before it, locusts and lightning bugs flitted in the summer garden. Beside the Kiersereau house Clark had his Indian office in the small stone store of Alexis Marie.

Into this little house almost daily came Meriwether Lewis, and every moment that could be spared from pressing duties was engrossed in work on the journals of the expedition. Sometimes Julia brought her harp and sang. But into this home quiet were coming constant echoes of the Indian world.

"Settlers are encroaching on the Osage lands. We shall have trouble," said Governor Lewis. Under an escort of a troop of cavalry Clark rode out into the Indian country to make a treaty with the Osages. The Shawnees and Delawares had been invited to settle near St. Louis to act as a shield against the barbarous Osages. The Shawnees and Delawares were opening little farms and gardens near Cape Girardeau, building houses and trying to become civilised. But settlers had gone on around them into the Osage wilderness.

"I will establish a fort to regulate these difficulties," said the General, and on his return Fort Osage was built.

"Settlers are encroaching on our lands," came the cry from Sacs, Foxes, and Iowas. Governor Lewis himself held a council with the discontented tribes and established Fort Madison, the first United States post up the Mississippi.

But there were still Big White and his people not yet returned to the Mandan country, and this was the most perplexing problem of all. 335


Manuel Lisa had enemies and ambition. These always go together.

Scarcely had Clark and his bride settled at St. Louis before down from the north came Manuel Lisa's boats, piled, heaped, and laden to the gunwale edge with furs out of the Yellowstone. His triumphant guns saluted Charette, St. Charles, St. Louis. He had run the gauntlet of Sioux, Arikara, and Assiniboine. He had penetrated the Yellowstone and established Fort Lisa at the mouth of the Bighorn in the very heart of the Crow-land,—the first building in what is now Montana.

"Dey say you cause de attack on Big White," buzzed a Frenchman in his ear. Angry at such an imputation, the Spaniard hastened to Governor Lewis.

"I disclaim all responsibility for that disaster. The Arikaras fired across my bow. I stopped. But I had my men-at-arms, my swivels ready. I understood presents. I smoked the pipe of peace, with a musket in my hand. Of course I passed. Even the Mandans fired on me, and the Assiniboines. Should that dismay a trader?"

Manuel Lisa, the successful, was now monarch of the fur trade. Even his enemies capitulated.

"If he is stern in discipline, the service demands it. He has gone farther, dared more, accomplished more, and brought home more, than any other. What a future for St. Louis! We must unite our forces."

And so the city on the border reached out toward her destiny. Pierre and Auguste Chouteau, William Clark and Reuben Lewis, locked fortunes with the daring, indomitable Manuel Lisa. Pierre Menard, Andrew Henry, and others, a dozen altogether, put in forty thousand dollars, incorporating the Missouri Fur Company. Into the very heart of the Rocky Mountains it was resolved to 336 push, into those primeval beaver meadows whither Lewis and Clark had led the way.

"Abandon the timid methods of former trade,—plunge at once deep into the wilderness," said Lisa; "ascend the Missouri to its utmost navigable waters, and by establishing posts monopolise the trade of the entire region."

Already had Lisa dreamed of the Santa Fé,—now he looked toward the Pacific.

And now, too, was the time to send Big White back to the Mandans. Under the convoy of two hundred and fifty people,—enlisted soldiers and engagés, American hunters, Creoles, and Canadian voyageurs,—the fur flotilla set sail with tons of traps and merchandise.

As the flotilla pulled out, a tall gaunt frontiersman with two white men and an Indian came pulling into St. Louis. Clark turned a second time,—"Why, Daniel Boone!"

"First rate! first rate!" Furrowed as a sage and tanned as a hunter, with a firm hand-grasp, the old man stepped ashore. Two summers now had Daniel Boone and his two sons brought down to St. Louis a cargo of salt, manufactured by themselves at Boone's Lick, a discovery of the old pioneer.

"Any settlers comin'? We air prepared to tote 'em up."

Ever a welcome guest to the home of General Clark, Daniel Boone strode along to the cottage on the Rue. At sight of Julia he closed his eyes, dazzled.

"'Pears to me she looks like Rebecca."

Never, since that day when young Boone went hunting deer in the Yadkin forest and found Rebecca Bryan, a ruddy, flax-haired girl, had he ceased to be her lover. And though years had passed and Rebecca had faded, to him she was ever the gold-haired girl of the Yadkin. Poor Rebecca! Hers had been a hard life in camp and cabin, with pigs and chickens in the front yard and rain dripping through the roof.

"Daniel!" she sometimes said, severely.

"Wa-al, now Rebecca, thee knows I didn't have time 337 to mend that air leak in the ruff last summer; I war gone too long at the beaver. But thee shall have a new house." And again the faithful Rebecca stuffed a rag in the ceiling with her mop-handle and meekly went on baking hoe-cake before the blazing forelog.

Daniel had long promised a new house, but now, at last, he was really going to build. For this he was studying St. Louis.

A day looking at houses and disposing of his salt and beaver-skins, and back he went, with a boatload of emigrants and a cargo of school-books. Mere trappers came and went,—Boone brought settlers. Pathfinder, judge, statesman, physician to the border, he now carried equipments for the first school up the Missouri.


Furs were piled everywhere, the furs that had been wont to go to Europe,—otter, beaver, deer, and bear and buffalo. American ships, that had sped like eagles on every sea, were threatened now by England if they sailed to France, by France if they sailed to England.

"If our ships, our sailors, our goods are to be seized, it is better to keep them at home," said Jefferson.

"War itself would be better than that," pled Gallatin.

The whole world was taking sides in the cataclysm over the sea. Napoleon recognised no neutrals. England recognised none. Denmark tried it, and the British fleet burned Copenhagen. Ominously the conflagration glimmered,—such might be the fate of any American seaport.

"If we must fight let us go with France," said some. "Napoleon will guarantee us the cession of Canada and Nova Scotia."

But Jefferson, carrying all before him, on Tuesday, 338 December 22, 1807, signed an embargo act, shutting up our ships in our own harbours. In six months commercial life-blood ceased to flow. Ships rotted at the wharfs. Grass grew in the streets of Baltimore and Boston.

St. Louis traders tried to go over to Canada, but were stopped at Detroit—"by that evil embargo."

St. Louis withered. "De Meeseppi ees closed. Tees worse dan de Spaniard!"

This unpopularity of Jefferson cast Governor Lewis into deepest gloom. The benevolent President's system of peaceable coercion was bringing the country to the verge of rebellion. England cared not nor France, and America was stifling with wheat, corn, and cattle, without a market.

Fur, fur,—the currency and standard of value in St. Louis was valueless. Taxes even could no longer be paid in shaved deerskins. Peltry bonds, once worth their weight in gold, had dropped to nothing. Moths and mildew crept into the Chouteau warehouses. A few weeks more and the fruits of Lisa's adventure would perish.

Into the Clark home there had come an infant boy, "named Meriwether Lewis," said the General, when the Governor came to look at the child. Every day now he came to the cradle, for, weary with cares, the quiet domestic atmosphere rested him. He moved his books and clothes, and the modest little home on the Rue became the home of the Governor. Beside the fire Julia stitched, stitched at dainty garments while the General and the Governor worked on their journals. Now and then their eyes strayed toward the sleeping infant.

"This child is fairer than Sacajawea's at Clatsop," remarked Lewis. "But it cries the same, and is liable to the same ills."

"And did you name a river for Sacajawea, too?" laughed Julia.

"Certainly, certainly, but the Governor's favourite river was named Maria," slyly interposed Clark.

A quick flush passed over the Governor's cheek. He had lately purchased a three-and-a-half arpent piece of 339 land north of St. Louis for a home for his mother,—or was it for Maria? However, in June Clark took Julia and the baby with him on a trip to Louisville, and the same month Maria was married to somebody else.

But on the Ohio the joyous activity had ceased. No longer the boatman's horn rang over cliff and scar. Jefferson's embargo had stagnated the waters.

When General Clark returned to St. Louis in July he found his friend still more embarrassed and depressed.

"My bills are protested," said the Governor. "Here is one for eighteen dollars rejected by the Secretary of the Treasury. This has given me infinite concern, as the fate of others drawn for similar purposes cannot be in doubt. Their rejection cannot fail to impress the public mind unfavourably with respect to me."

"And what are these bills for?" inquired Clark.

"Expenses incurred in governing the territory," answered Lewis.

General Clark did not have to look back many years to recall the wreck of his brother on this same snag of protested bills, and exactly as with George Rogers Clark the proud and sensitive heart of Meriwether Lewis was cut to the core.

"More painful than the rejection, is the displeasure which must arise in the mind of the executive from my having drawn for public moneys without authority. A third and not less embarrassing circumstance is that my private funds are entirely incompetent to meet these bills if protested."

With the generosity of his nature Clark gave Lewis one hundred dollars, and Lewis arranged as soon as possible to go to Washington with his vouchers to see the President.

With the courage of upright convictions, Governor Lewis contended with the difficulties of his office, and in due course received the rest of his protested bills. If he raged at heart he said little. If he spent sleepless nights tossing, and communing with himself, he spoke no word to those around him. Though the dagger pierced he made no sign. Borrowing money of his friends as George 340 Rogers Clark had done, he met his bills as best he might. But his haggard face and evident illness alarmed his friends.

"You had better take a trip to the east," they urged. "You have malarial fever."

He decided to act on this suggestion, and with the journals of the western expedition and his vouchers the Governor bade his friends farewell and dropped down the river, intending to take a coasting vessel to New Orleans and pass around to Washington by sea.

But at the Chickasaw Bluffs, now Memphis, Lewis was ill. Moreover, rumours of war were in the air.

"These precious manuscripts that I have carried now for so many miles, must not be lost," thought Lewis, "nor the vouchers of my public accounts on which my honour rests. I will go by land through the Chickasaw country."

The United States agent with the Chickasaw Indians, Major Neely, arriving there two days later, found Lewis still detained by illness. "I must accompany and watch over him," he said, when he found that the Governor was resolved to press on at all hazards. "He is very ill."

One hundred years ago the Natchez trace was a new military road that had been cut through the wilderness of Tennessee to the Spanish country. Over this road the pony express galloped day and night and pioneer caravans paused at nightfall at lonely wayside inns. Brigands infested the forest, hard on the trail of the trader returning from New Orleans with a pouch of Spanish silver in his saddlebags.

Over that road Aaron Burr had travelled on his visit to Andrew Jackson at Nashville, and on it Tecumseh was even now journeying to the tribes of the south.

"Two of the horses have strayed," was the servant's report at the end of one day's journey. But even that could not delay the Governor.

"I will wait for you at the house of the first white inhabitant on the road," said Lewis, as Neely turned back for the lost roadsters.

It was evening when the Governor arrived at Grinder's 341 stand, the last cabin on the borders of the Chickasaw country.

"May I stay for the night?" he inquired of the woman at the door.

"Come you alone?" she asked.

"My servants are behind. Bring me some wine."

Alighting and bringing in his saddle, the Governor touched the wine and turned away. Pulling off his loose white blue-striped travelling gown, he waited for his servants.

The woman scanned her guest,—of elegant manners and courtly bearing, he was evidently a gentleman. But a troubled look on his face, an impatient walk to and fro, denoted something wrong. She listened,—he was talking to himself. His sudden wheels and turns and strides startled her.

"Where is my powder? I am sure there was some powder in my canister," he said to the servants at the door.

After a mouthful of supper, he suddenly started up, speaking in a violent manner, flushed and excited. Then, lighting his pipe, he sat down by the cabin door.

"Madame, this is a very pleasant evening."

Mrs. Grinder noted the kindly tone, the handsome, haggard face, the air of abstraction. Quietly he smoked for a time, then again he flushed, arose excitedly, and stepped into the yard. There he began pacing angrily to and fro.

But again he sat down to his pipe, and again seemed composed. He cast his eyes toward the west, that West, the scene of his toils and triumphs.

"What a sweet evening it is!" He had seen that same sun silvering the northern rivers, gilding the peaks of the Rockies, and sinking into the Pacific. It all came over him now, like a soothing dream, calming the fevered soul and stilling its tumult.

The woman was preparing the usual feather-bed for her guest.

"I beg you, Madame, do not trouble yourself. Pernia, bring my bearskins and buffalo robe." 342

The skins and robe were spread on the floor and the woman went away to her kitchen. The house was a double log cabin with a covered way between. Such houses abound still in the Cumberland Mountains.

"I am afraid of that man," said the woman in the kitchen, putting her children in their beds. "Something is wrong. I cannot sleep."

The servants slept in the barn. Neely had not come. Night came down with its mysterious veil upon the frontier cabin.

But still that heavy pace was heard in the other cabin. Now and then a voice spoke rapidly and incoherently.

"He must be a lawyer," said the woman in the kitchen. Suddenly she heard the report of a pistol, and something dropped heavily to the floor. There was a voice,—"O Lord!"

Excited, peering into the night, the trembling woman listened. Another pistol, and then a voice at her door,—"Oh, madame, give me some water and heal my wounds!"

Peering into the moonlight between the open unplastered logs, she saw her guest stagger and fall. Presently he crawled back into the room. Then again he came to the kitchen door, but did not speak. An empty pail stood there with a gourd,—he was searching for water. Cowering, terrified, there in the kitchen with her children the woman waited for the light.

At the first break of day she sent two of the children to the barn to arouse the servants. And there, on his bearskins on the cabin floor, they found the shattered frame of Meriwether Lewis, a bullet in his side, a shot under his chin, and a ghastly wound in his forehead.

"Take my rifle and kill me!" he begged. "I will give you all the money in my trunk. I am no coward, but I am so strong,—so hard to die! Do not be afraid of me, Pernia, I will not hurt you."

And as the sun rose over the Tennessee trees, Meriwether Lewis was dead, on the 11th of October, 1809. 343


A hero of his country was dead, the Governor of its largest Territory,—dead, on his way to Washington, where fresh honours awaited him,—dead, far from friends and kindred in a wild and boundless forest.

Did he commit suicide in a moment of aberration, or was he foully murdered by an unknown hand on that 11th of October, 1809? President Jefferson, who had observed signs of melancholy in him in early life, favoured the idea of suicide, but in the immediate neighbourhood the theory of murder took instant shape. Where was Joshua Grinder? Where were those servants? Where was Neely himself?

"I never for a moment entertained the thought of suicide," said his mother, when she heard the news. "His last letter was full of hope. I was to live with him in St. Louis."

Of all men in the world why should Meriwether Lewis commit suicide? The question has been argued for a hundred years and is to-day no nearer solution than ever.

"Old Grinder killed him and got his money," said the neighbours. "He saw he was well dressed and evidently a person of distinction and wealth." Grinder was arrested and tried but no proof could be secured.

"Alarmed by his groans the robbers hid his pouch of gold coins in the earth, with the intention of securing it later," said others. "They never ventured to return,—it lies there, buried, to this day." And the superstitions of the neighbourhood have invested the spot with the weird fascination of Captain Kidd's treasure, or the buried box of gold on Neacarney.

"He was killed by his French servant," said the Lewis family. Later, when Pernia visited Charlottesville and 344 sent word to Locust Hill, Meriwether's mother refused to see him.

John Marks, half-brother of Meriwether Lewis, went immediately to the scene of tragedy, but nothing more could be done or learned. Proceeding to St. Louis, the estate was settled.

When at last the trunks arrived at Washington they were found to contain the journals, papers on the protested bills, and the well-known spy-glass used by Lewis on the expedition. But there were no valuables or money.

Years after, Meriwether's sister and her husband unexpectedly met Pernia on the streets of Mobile, and Mary recognised in his possession the William Wirt watch and the gun of her brother. On demand they were promptly surrendered.

In the lonely heart of Lewis county, Tennessee, stands to-day a crumbling gray stone monument with a broken shaft of limestone erected by the State on the spot where, in the thirty-fifth year of his age, Meriwether Lewis met his death. In solitude and desolation, moss overlies his tomb, but his name lives on, brightening with the years.


"Bon jour, Ms'ieu, you want to know where dat Captinne?" The polite Creole lifted his cap.

"'Pears now, maybe I heerd he wuz Guv'ner," said the keen-eyed trapper thoughtfully.

"Guff'ner Lewees ees det,—kilt heeself. Generale Clark leeves on de Rue Royale, next de Injun office."

In unkempt beard, hair shaggy as a horse's mane, and clothing all of leather, the stranger climbed the rocky path, using the stock of his gun for a staff.

It did not take long to find the Indian office. With a 345 dozen lounging braves outside and a council within, sat William Clark, the Red Head Chief.

General Clark noted the shadow in the door that bright May morning. Not in vain had these men faced the West together.

"Bless me, it's Coalter! Where have you been? How did you come?"

From the mountains, three thousand miles in thirty days, in a small canoe, Coalter had come flying down the melting head-snows of the Rockies. He was haggard with hunger and loss of sleep.

Leading his old companion to the cottage, Clark soon had him surrounded with the comforts of a civilised meal. Refreshed, gradually the trapper unfolded his tale.

When John Coalter left Lewis and Clark at the Mandan towns and went back with Hancock and Dickson, in that Summer of 1806, they, the first of white men, entered the Yellowstone Park of to-day. In the Spring, separating from his companions, Coalter set out for St. Louis in a solitary canoe. At the mouth of the Platte he met Manuel Lisa and Drouillard coming up. And with them, John Potts, another of the Lewis and Clark soldiers. On the spot Coalter re-enlisted and returned a third time to the wilderness.

Such a man was invaluable to that first venture in the north. After Lisa had stockaded his fort at the mouth of the Bighorn, he sent Coalter to bring the Indians. Alone he set out with gun and knapsack, travelled five hundred miles, and brought in his friends the Crows. That laid the foundation of Lisa's fortune.

When Lisa came down with his furs in the Spring, Coalter and Potts with traps on their backs set out for the beaver-meadows of the Three Forks, the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Gallatin.

"We knew those Blackfoot sarpints would spare no chance to skelp us," said Coalter, "so we sot our traps by night an' tuk 'em afore daylight. Goin' up a creek six miles from the Jefferson, examinin' our traps one mornin', on a suddent we heerd a great noise. But the banks wuz high an' we cudn't see. 346

"'Blackfeet, Potts. Let's retreat,' sez I.

"'Blackfut nuthin'. Ye must be a coward. Thet's buffaloes,' sez Potts. An' we kep' on.

"In a few minutes five or six hunderd Injuns appeared on both sides uv the creek, beckonin' us ashore. I saw 't warnt no use an' turned the canoe head in.

"Ez we touched, an Injun seized Potts' rifle. I jumped an' grabbed an' handed it back to Potts in the canoe. He tuk it an' pushed off.

"An' Injun let fly an arrer. Jest ez I heard it whizz, Potts cried, 'Coalter, I'm wounded.'

"'Don't try to get off, Potts, come ashore,' I urged. But no, he levelled his rifle and shot a Blackfoot dead on the spot. Instanter they riddled Potts,—dead, he floated down stream.

"Then they seized and stripped me. I seed 'em consultin'.

"'Set 'im up fer a target,' said some. I knew ther lingo, lernt it 'mongst the Crows, raound Lisa's fort, at the Bighorn. But the chief asked me, 'Can ye run fast?'

"'No, very bad runner,' I answered."

Clark smiled. Well he remembered Coalter as the winner in many a racing bout.

"The chief led me aout on the prairie, 'Save yerself ef ye can.'

"Et thet instant I heerd, 'Whoop-ahahahahah-hooh!' like ten thousand divils, an' I flew.

"It wuz six miles to the Jefferson; the graound wuz stuck like a pinquishen with prickly-pear an' sand burrs, cuttin' my bare feet, but I wuz half acrosst before I ventured to look over the shoulder. The sarpints ware pantin' an' fallin' behind an' scatterin'. But one with a spear not more'n a hunderd yeards behind was gainin'.

"I made another bound,—blood gushed from my nostrils. Nearer, nearer I heerd his breath and steps, expectin' every minute to feel thet spear in my back.

"Agin I looked. Not twenty yeards behind he ran. On a suddint I stopped, turned, and spread my arms. The Blackfoot, astonished at the blood all over my front, 347 perhaps, tried to stop but stumbled an' fell and broke his spear. I ran back, snatched the point, and pinned him to the earth.

"The rest set up a hidjus yell. While they stopped beside ther fallen comrade, almost faintin' I ran inter the cottonwoods on the borders uv the shore an' plunged ento the river.

"Diving under a raft of drift-timber agin the upper point of a little island, I held my head up in a little opening amongst the trunks of trees covered with limbs and brushwood.

"Screechin', yellin' like so many divils, they come onto the island. Thro' the chinks I seed 'em huntin', huntin', huntin', all day long. I only feared they might set the raft on fire.

"But at night they gave it up; the voices grew faint and fer away; I swam cautiously daown an' acrost, an' landin' travelled all night.

"But I wuz naked. The broilin' sun scorched my skin, my feet were filled with prickly-pears, an' I wuz hungry. Game, game plenty on the hills, but I hed no gun. It was seven days to Lisa's fort on the Bighorn.

"I remembered the Injun turnip that Sacajawea found in there, an' lived on it an' sheep sorrel until I reached Lisa's fort, blistered from head to heel."

As in a vision the General saw it all. Judy's eyes were filled with tears. Through the Gallatin, the Indian Valley of Flowers, where Bozeman stands to-day, the lonely trapper had toiled in the July sun and over the Bozeman Pass, whither Clark's cavalcade had ridden two summers before.

Six years now had Coalter been gone from civilisation, but he had discovered the Yellowstone Park. No one in St. Louis would believe his stories of hot water spouting in fountains, "Coalter's Hell," but William Clark traced his route on the map that he sent for publication.

John Coalter now received his delayed reward for the expedition,—double pay and three hundred acres of land,—and went up to find Boone at Charette.

"What! Pierre Menard!" Another boat had come 348 out of the north. General Clark grasped the horny hand of the fur trader. "What luck?"

"Bad, bad," gloomily answered the trader with a shake of his flowing mane. "Drouillard is dead, and the rest are likely soon to be."

"What do you mean?"


Clark guessed all, even before he heard the full details behind locked doors of the Missouri Fur Company at the warehouse of Pierre Chouteau.

"As you knew," began Menard, "we spent last winter at Fort Lisa on the Bighorn. When Lisa started down here in March we packed our traps on horses, crossed to the Three Forks, and built a double stockade of logs at the confluence of the rivers. Every night the men came in with beaver, beaver, beaver. We confidently expected to bring down not less than three hundred packs this fall but that hope is shattered. On the 12th of April our men were ambuscaded by Blackfeet. Five were killed. All their furs, traps, horses, guns, and equipments are without doubt by this time at Fort Edmonton on the Saskatchewan."

"But you expected to visit the Snakes and Flatheads," suggested one to rouse the despondent trader from his revery.

"I did. And the object was to obtain a Blackfoot prisoner if possible in order to open communication with his tribe. They are the most unapproachable Indians we have known. They refuse all overtures.

"Just outside the fort Drouillard was killed. A high wind was blowing at the time, so he was not heard, but the scene of the conflict indicated a desperate defence.

"Despair seized our hunters. They refused to go out. Indeed, it was impossible to go except in numbers, so Henry and I concluded it was best to report. I set out by night, and here I am, with these men and thirty packs of beaver. God pity poor Henry at the Three Forks!"

Thus at one blow were shattered the high hopes of the Missouri Fur Company. All thought of Andrew Henry, tall, slender, blue-eyed, dark-haired, a man that spoke 349 seldom, but of great deeds. Would he survive a winter among the Blackfeet?

But there was another cause of disquiet to the Missouri Fur Company.

"Have you heard of John Jacob Astor?"


"He has gone with Wilson Price Hunt to Montreal to engage men for an expedition to the Columbia."

"What, Hunt who kept an Indian shop here on the Rue?" They all knew him. He had come to St. Louis in 1804 and become an adept in outfitting.

Two or three times Astor had offered to buy stock in the Missouri Fur Company but had been refused. Jefferson himself had recommended him to Lewis. Now he was carrying trade into the fur country over their heads. Already he had a great trade on the lakes, and to the headwaters of the Mississippi. He had profited by the surrender of Detroit and Mackinaw. Another stride took him to the Falls of St. Anthony; and now, along the trail of Lewis and Clark he planned to be first on the Pacific. With ships by sea and caravans by land, he could at last accomplish the wished-for trade to China.

"But I, too, planned the Pacific trade," said Manuel Lisa, coming down in the Autumn. There was some jealousy that a New York man should be first to follow the trail to the sea.

The winter was one of anxiety, for Astor's men had arrived in St. Louis and had gone up the Missouri to camp until Spring. Anxiety, too, for Andrew Henry, out there alone in the Blackfoot country.

Could they have been gifted with sufficient sight, the partners in St. Louis might even then have seen the brave Andrew Henry fighting for his life on that little tongue of land between the Madison and the Jefferson. No trapping could be done. It was dangerous to go any distance from the fort except in large parties. Fearing the entire destruction of his little band, Henry moved across the mountains into the Oregon country, and wintered on what is now Henry's Fork of the river Snake, the first American stronghold on the Columbia. 350

"We must exterminate Hunt's party," said Manuel Lisa.

"No," said Pierre Chouteau. "Next year he will send again and again, and in time will exterminate us. Your duty will be to protect his men on the water, and may God Almighty have mercy on them in the mountains, for they will never reach their destination."

From his new home at Charette John Coalter saw Astor's people going by, bound for the Columbia. To his surprise they inquired for him.

"General Clark told us you were the best informed man in the country."

Coalter told them of the hostility of the Blackfeet and the story of his escape. He longed to return with them to the mountains, but he had just married a squaw and he decided to stay. Moreover, a twinge in his limbs warned him that that plunge in the Jefferson had given him rheumatism for life.

Daniel Boone, standing on the bank at Charette when Hunt went by, came down and examined their outfit. "Jist returned from my traps on the Creek," he said, pointing to sixty beaver skins.

Tame beavers and otters, caught on an island opposite Charette Creek, were playing around his cabin. And his neighbours had elk and deer and buffalo, broken to the yoke.

Several seasons had Boone with his old friend Calloway trapped on the Kansas; now he longed for the mountains.

"Another year and I, too, will go to the Yellowstone," said Daniel Boone.

"Andrew Henry must be rescued. His situation is desperate. He may be dead," said General Clark, President of the Missouri Fur Company at St. Louis.

Three weeks behind Hunt, Lisa set out in a swift barge propelled by twenty oars, with a swivel on the bow and two blunderbusses in the cabin. Lisa had been a sea-captain,—he rigged his boat with a good mast, mainsail and topsail, and led his men with a ringing boat-song.

Then followed a keelboat race of a thousand miles up 351 the Missouri. June 2 Lisa caught up with Hunt near the present Bismarck, and met Andrew Henry coming down with forty packs of beaver.

To avoid the hostile Blackfeet, Hunt bought horses and crossed through the Yellowstone-Crow country to the abandoned fort of Henry on the Snake, and on to the Columbia.

Aboard that barge with Lisa went Sacajawea. True to her word, she had brought the little Touissant down to St. Louis, where Clark placed him with the Catholic sisters to be trained for an interpreter. Sacajawea was dressed as a white woman; she had quickly adopted their manners and language; but, in the words of a chronicler who saw her there, "she had become sickly, and longed to revisit her native country. Her husband also had become wearied of civilised life."

So back they went to the Minnetarees, bearing pipes from Clark to the chiefs. Five hundred dollars a year Charboneau now received as Indian agent for the United States. For more than thirty years he held his post, and to this day his name may be traced in the land of Dakota.

We can see Sacajawea now, startled and expectant, her heart beating like a trip-hammer under her bodice, looking at Julia! No dreams of her mountains had ever shown such sunny hair, such fluffs of curls, like moonrise on the water. And that diaphanous cloud,—was it a dress? No Shoshone girl ever saw such buckskin, finer than blossom of the bitter-root.

"I am come," said Sacajawea.

A whole year she had tarried among the whites, quickly accommodating herself to their ways. But in the level St. Louis she dreamed of her northland, and now she was going home! 352


"It is madness to contend against the whites," said Black Hoof, chief of the Shawnees. "The more we fight the more they come."

He had led raids against Boonsboro, watched the Ohio, and sold scalps at Detroit. Three times his town was burnt behind him, twice by Clark and once by Wayne. Then he gave up, signed the treaty at Greenville, and for ever after kept the peace. Now he was living with a band of Shawnees at Cape Girardeau, and made frequent visits to his old friend, Daniel Boone.

Indian Phillips was with those who besieged Boonsboro. Phillips was a white man stolen as a child who had always lived with the Shawnees. To him Daniel Boone was the closest of friends. They hunted together and slept together. Boone took Phillips' bearskins and sold them with his own in St. Louis.

"If I should die while I am out with you, Phillips, you must mark my grave and tell the folks so they can carry me home."

Long after those Indians in the West had welcomed Boone's sons, an old squaw said, "I was an adopted sister during his captivity with the Ohio Indians."

Sometimes Boone went over to Cape Girardeau, and sat with his friends talking over old times.

"Do you remember, Dan," Phillips would say, "when we had you prisoner at Detroit? You remember the British traders gave you a horse and saddle and Black Fish adopted you, and you and he made an agreement you would lead him to Boonsboro and make them surrender and bury the tomahawk, and live like brothers and sisters?"

"Yes, I remember," said Boone, smiling at the recollection of those arts of subterfuge. 353

"Do you remember one warm day when Black Fish said, 'Dan, the corn is in good roasting ears. I would like to have your horse and mine in good condition before we start to Boonsboro. We need a trough to feed them in. I will show you a big log that you can dig out.' Black Fish led you to a big walnut log. You worked a while and then lay down. Black Fish came and said, 'Well, Dan, you haven't done much.'

"'No,' you answered, 'you and your squaw call me your son, but you don't love me much. When I am at home I don't work this way,—I have negroes to work for me.'

"'Well,' said Black Fish, 'come to camp and stay with your brothers.'"

Quietly the two old men chuckled together. Boone always called Black Fish, father, and when he went hunting brought the choicest bit to the chief.

But now Boone's visits to Girardeau were made with a purpose.

"What is Tecumseh doing?"

"Tecumseh? He says no tribe can sell our lands. He refuses to move out of Ohio."

Old Black Hoof had pulled away from Tecumseh. The Shooting Star refused to attend Wayne's treaty at Greenville. In 1805 he styled himself a chief, and organised the young blood of the Shawnees into a personal band.

About this time Tecumseh met Rebecca Galloway, whose father, James Galloway, had moved over from Kentucky to settle near Old Chillicothe. At the Galloway hearth Tecumseh was ever a welcome guest.

"Teach me to read the white man's book," said Tecumseh to the fair Rebecca.

With wonderful speed the young chief picked up the English alphabet. Hungry for knowledge, he read and read and Rebecca read to him. Thereafter in his wonderful war and peace orations, Tecumseh used the language of his beloved Rebecca. For, human-like, the young chief lost his heart to the white girl. Days went by, dangerous days, while Rebecca was correcting Tecumseh's speech, 354 enlarging his English vocabulary, and reading to him from the Bible.

"Promise me, Tecumseh, never, never will you permit the massacre of helpless women and children after capture." Tecumseh promised.

"And be kind to the poor surrendered prisoner."

"I will be kind," said Tecumseh.

But time was fleeting,—game was disappearing,—Tecumseh was an Indian. His lands were slipping from under his feet.

It was useless to speak to the fair Rebecca. Terrified at the fire she had kindled, she saw him no more. Enraged, wrathful, he returned to his band. Tecumseh never loved any Indian woman. A wife or two he tried, then bade them "Begone!"

When Lewis and Clark returned from the West, Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, were already planning a vast confederation to wipe out the whites.

Jefferson heard of these things.

"He is visionary," said the President, and let him go on unmolested.

"The Seventeen Fires are cheating us!" exclaimed Tecumseh. "The Delawares, Miamis, and Pottawattamies have sold their lands! The Great Spirit gave the land to all the Indians. No tribe can sell without the consent of all. The whites have driven us from the sea-coast,—they will shortly push us into the Lakes."

The Governor-General of Canada encouraged him. Then came rumours of Indian activity. Like the Hermit of old, Tecumseh went out to rouse the redmen in a crusade against the whites. Still Jefferson paid no heed.

About the time that Clark and his bride came down the Ohio, the distracted Indians were swarming on Tippecanoe Creek, a hundred miles from Fort Dearborn, the future Chicago. All Summer, whisperings came into St. Louis, "Tecumseh is persuading the Sacs, Foxes, and Osages to war."

"I will meet the Sacs and Foxes," said Lewis.

Clark went out and quieted the Osages. Boone's son and Auguste Chouteau went with him. 355

"The Great Spirit bids you destroy Vincennes and sweep the Ohio to the mouth," was the Prophet's reported advice to the Chippewas.

"Give up our land and buy no more, and I will ally with the United States," said Tecumseh to General Harrison at Vincennes, in August of 1809.

"It cannot be," said Harrison.

"Then I will make war and ally with England," retorted the defiant chieftain.

The frontier had much to fear from an Indian war. More and more vagrant red men hovered around St. Louis,—Sacs, Foxes, Osages, who had seen Tecumseh. The Illinois country opposite swarmed with them, making raids on the farmers, killing stock, stealing horses. Massacres and depredations began.

"'Tis time to fortify," said Daniel Boone to his sons and neighbours.

In a little while nine forts had been erected in St. Charles county alone, and every cabin was stockaded. The five stockades at Boone's Lick met frequent assaults. Black Hawk was there, the trusted lieutenant of Tecumseh. The whole frontier became alarmed.

Then Manuel Lisa came down the river.

"The British are sending wampum to the Sioux. All the Missouri nations are urged to join the confederacy."

In fact, the Prophet with his mystery fire was visiting all the northwest tribes, even the Blackfeet. Ten thousand Indians promised to follow him back. Dressed in white buckskin, with eagle feathers in his hair, Tecumseh, on a spirited black pony, came to Gomo and Black Partridge on Peoria Lake in the summer of 1810.

"I cannot join you," said Black Partridge, the Pottawattamie, holding up a silver medal. "This token was given to me at Greenville by the great chief [Wayne]. On it you see the face of our father at Washington. As long as this hangs on my neck I can never raise my tomahawk against the whites."

Gomo refused. "Long ago the Big Knife [George Rogers Clark] came to Kaskaskia and sent for the chiefs of this river. We went. He desired us to remain still 356 in our own villages, saying that the Americans were able, of themselves, to fight the British."

"Will anything short of the complete conquest of the Canadas enable us to prevent their influence on our Indians?" asked Governor Edwards of Illinois. Edwards and Clark planned together for the protection of the frontier.

In July, 1811, Tecumseh went to Vincennes and held a last stormy interview with Harrison without avail. Immediately he turned south to the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. They watched him with kindling eyes.

"Brothers, you do not mean to fight!" thundered Tecumseh to the hesitating Creeks. "You do not believe the Great Spirit has sent me. You shall know. From here I go straight to Detroit. When I arrive there I shall stamp on the ground, and shake down every house in this village."

As Tecumseh strode into the forest the terrified Creeks watched. They counted the days. Then came the awful quaking and shaking of the New Madrid earthquake.

"Tecumseh has reached Detroit! Tecumseh has reached Detroit!" cried the frantic Creeks, as their wigwams tumbled about them.

Tecumseh was coming leisurely up among the tribes of Missouri, haranguing Black Hoof at Cape Girardeau, Osages, and Kickapoos, and Iowas at Des Moines.

But Tippecanoe had been fought and lost.

"There is to be an attack," said George Rogers Clark Floyd, tapping at the door of Harrison's tent at three o'clock in the morning of November 7, 1811. Harrison sprang to his horse and with him George Croghan and John O'Fallon.

It was a battle for possession. Every Indian trained by Tecumseh knew his country depended upon it. Every white knew he must win or the log cabin must go. In the darkness and rain the combatants locked in the death struggle of savagery against civilisation. Tecumseh reached the Wabash to find the wreck of Tippecanoe.

"Wretch!" he cried to his brother, "you have ruined 357 all!" Seizing the Prophet by the hair, Tecumseh shook him and beat him and cuffed him and almost killed him, then dashed away to Canada and offered his tomahawk to Great Britain.

"The danger is not over," said Clark after Harrison's battle.

To save as many Indians as possible from the machinations of Tecumseh, immediately after Tippecanoe Clark summoned the neighbouring tribes to a council at St. Louis. Over the winter snows the runners sped, calling them in for a trip to Washington.

It was May of 1812 when Clark got together his chiefs of the Great and Little Osages, Sacs, Foxes, Shawnees, and Delawares.

"Ahaha! Great Medicine!" whispered the Indians, when General Clark discovered their wily plans.

Nothing could be hid from the Red Head Chief. Feared and beloved, none other could better have handled the inflammable tribes at that moment. Old chiefs among them remembered his brother of the Long Knives, and looked upon this Clark as his natural successor. And the General took care not to dispel this fancy, but on every occasion strengthened and deepened it.

Never before in St. Louis had Indians been watched so strenuously. Moody, taciturn, repelling familiarity, they bore the faces of men who knew secrets. Tecumseh had whispered in their ear. "Shall we listen to Tecumseh?" They were wavering.

Cold, impassively stoic, they heeded no question when citizens impelled by curiosity or friendly feeling endeavoured to draw them into conversation. If pressed too closely, the straight forms lifted still more loftily, and wrapping their blankets closer about them the council chiefs strode contemptuously away.

But if Clark spoke, every eye was attention.

"Before we go," said Clark, "I advise you to make peace with one another and bury the hatchet."

They did, and for the most part kept it for ever.

It was May 5 when Clark started with his embassy of ninety chiefs to see their "Great God, the President," as 358 they called Madison, following the old trail to Vincennes, Louisville, and Pittsburg. Along with them went a body-guard of soldiers, and also Mrs. Clark, her maids, and the two little boys, on the way to Fincastle. Mrs. Clark's especial escort was John O'Fallon, nineteen years of age, aide to Harrison at Tippecanoe, who had come to his uncle at St. Louis immediately after the battle.

In their best necklaces of bears' claws the chiefs arrived at Washington. War had been declared against Great Britain. There was a consultation with the President.

"We, too, have declared war," announced the redmen, as they strode with Clark from the White House. But Black Hawk of the Rock River Sacs was not there. He had followed Tecumseh.

About the same time, on the eastern bank of the Detroit river Tecumseh was met by anxious Ohio chiefs who remembered Wayne.

"Let us remain neutral," they pleaded. "This is the white man's war."

Tecumseh shook his tomahawk above the Detroit. "My bones shall bleach on this shore before I will join in any council of neutrality."

"The Great Father over the Big Water will never bury his war-club until he quiets these troublers of the earth," said General Brock to Tecumseh's redmen. Then came larger gifts than ever from "their British Father."

"War is declared! Go," said Tecumseh, "cut off Fort Dearborn before they hear the news!" Two emissaries from Tecumseh came flying into the Illinois.

That night the Indians started for Chicago on her lonely lake. Black Partridge mounted his pony and tried to dissuade them. He could not. Then spurring he reached Fort Dearborn first. With tears he threw down his medal before the astonished commander.

"My young men have gone on the warpath. Here is your medal. I will not wear an emblem of friendship when I am compelled to act as an enemy."

Before the sun went down the shores of Lake Michigan were red with the blood of men, women, and children. 359 Like the Rhine of old France, the lakes were still the fighting border.

President Madison felt grateful to Clark for the step he had taken with the Indians.

"Will you command the army at Detroit?"

"I can do more for my country by attending to the Indians," was the General's modest reply.

The country waited to hear that Hull had taken Upper Canada. Instead the shocked nation heard, "Hull has surrendered!"

"Hull has surrendered!"

Runners flew among the Indians to the remotest border,—the Creeks heard it before their white neighbours. Little Crow and his Sioux snatched up the war hatchet. Detroit had fallen with Tecumseh and Brock at the head of the Anglo-Indian army.

"We shall drive these Americans back across the Ohio," said General Brock.

At this, the old and popular wish of the Lake Indians, large numbers threw aside their scruples and joined in the war that followed.

In December General Clark was appointed Governor of the newly organised territory of Missouri.

Meanwhile in the buff and blue stage coach, a huge box mounted on springs, Julia and her children were swinging toward Fotheringay. The air was hot and dusty, the leather curtains were rolled up to catch the slightest breeze, and the happy though weary occupants looked out on the Valley of Virginia.

Forty miles a day the coach horses travelled, leaving them each evening a little nearer their destination. The small wayside inns lacked comforts, but such as they were our travellers accepted thankfully. Now and then the post-rider blew his horn and dashed by them, or in the heat of the day rode leisurely in the shade of poplars along the road, furtively reading the letters of his pack as he paced in the dust.

And still over the mountains were pouring white-topped Conestoga waggons, careening down like boats at sea, laden with cargoes of colonial ware, pewter, and 360 mahogany. The golden age of coaching times had come, and magnificent horses, dappled grays and bays in scarlet-fringed housings and jingling bells, seemed bearing away the world on wheels.

To the new home Julia was coming, at Fotheringay.

Before the coach stopped Julia perceived through enshrining trees Black Granny standing in the wide hallway. Throwing up her apron over her woolly head to hide the tears of joy,—

"Laws a-honey! Miss Judy done come hum!"

"Fotheringay!" sang out the dusty driver with an unusual flourish of whip-lash and echo-waking blast of the postillion's horn. In a trice the steps were down, and surrounded by babies and bandboxes, brass nail-studded hair trunks and portmanteaus of pigskin, "Miss Judy" was greeted by the entire sable population of Fotheringay. Light-footed as a girl she ran forward to greet her father, Colonel Hancock. The Colonel hastened to his daughter,—

"Hull has surrendered," he said.


The Indian hunt was over; they were done making their sugar; the women were planting corn. The warriors hid in the thick foliage of the river borders, preparing for war.

"Madison has declared war against England!"

The news was hailed with delight. Now would end this frightful suspense. In Illinois alone, fifteen hundred savages under foreign machinations held in terror forty thousand white people,—officers and soldiers of George Rogers Clark and others who had settled on the undefended prairies.

"Detroit has fallen!" 361

"Mackinac is gone!"

"The savages have massacred the garrison at Fort Dearborn!"

"They are planning to attack the settlements on the Mississippi. If the Sioux join the confederacy—" cheeks paled at the possibility.

The greatest body of Indians in America resided on the Mississippi. Who could say at what hour the waters would resound with their whoops? Thousands of them could reach St. Louis or Cahokia from their homes in five or six days. Immense quantities of British gifts were coming from the Lakes to the Indians at Peoria, Rock Island, Des Moines.

"Yes, we shall attack when the corn is ripe," said the Indians at Fort Madison.

"Unless I hear shortly of more assistance than a few rangers I shall bury my papers in the ground, send my family off, and fight as long as possible," said Edwards, the Governor of Illinois.

In Missouri, surrounded by Pottawattamies, champion horsethieves of the frontier, and warlike Foxes, Iowas, and Kickapoos, the settlers ploughed their fields with sentinels on guard. Horns hung at their belts to blow as a signal of danger. In the quiet hour by the fireside, an Indian would steal into the postern gate and shoot the father at the hearth, the mother at her evening task.

Presently the settlers withdrew into the forts, unable to raise crops. With corn in the cabin loft, the bear hunt in the fall, the turkey hunt at Christmas, and venison hams kept over from last year, still there was plenty.

Daniel Boone, the patriarch of about forty families, ever on the lookout with his long thin eagle face, ruled by advice and example. The once light flaxen hair was gray, but even yet Boone's step was springy as the Indian's, as gun in hand he watched around the forts.

Maine, Montana, each has known it all, the same running fights of Kentucky and Oregon. Woe to the little children playing outside the forted village,—woe to the lad driving home the cows,—woe to the maid at milking time. 362

The alarm was swelled by Quas-qua-ma, a chief of the Sacs, a very pacific Indian and friend of the whites, who came by night to bring warning and consult Clark. In his search Quas-qua-ma tip-toed from porch to porch. Frightened habitants peered through the shutters.

"What ees wanted?"

"The Red Head Chief."

But Clark had not arrived.

"We must take this matter into our own hands," said the people. "British and Indians came once from Mackinac. They may again."

"Mackinac? They are at Fort Madison now, murdering our regulars and rangers. How long since they burned our boats and cargoes at Fort Bellevue? Any day they may drop down on St. Louis."

"We must fortify."

"The old bastions may be made available for service."

"The old Spanish garrison tower must be refitted for the women and children."

Such were the universal conclusions. Men went up the river to the islands to bring down logs. Another party set to work to dig a wide, deep ditch for a regular stockade.

When Clark arrived to begin his duties as Territorial Governor he found St. Louis bordering on a state of panic. There was the cloud-shadow of the north. Below, one thousand Indians, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Catawbas on a branch of the Arkansas within three days' journey of Saint Genevieve were crossing the river at Chickasaw Bluffs. Tecumseh's belts of wampum were flying everywhere.

In their best necklaces of bears' claws Clark's ninety chiefs came home, laden with tokens of esteem. Civilised military dress had succeeded the blanket; the wild fierce air was gone.

"We have declared war against Kinchotch [King George]," said the proud chiefs, taking boat to keep their tribes quiet along the west.

A sense of security returned to St. Louis. Would they not act as a barrier to tribes more remote? The plan for 363 local fortification was abandoned, but a cordon of family blockhouses was built from Bellefontaine to Kaskaskia, a line seventy-five miles in length, along which the rangers rode daily, watching the red marauders of Illinois. The Mississippi was picketed with gunboats.

"Whoever holds Prairie du Chien holds the Upper Mississippi," said Governor Clark. "I will go there and break up that rendezvous of British and Indians."

Who better than Clark knew the border and the Indian? He could ply the oar, or level the rifle, or sleep at night on gravel stones.

"It requires time and a little smoking with Indians if you wish to have peace with them."

As soon as possible a gunboat, the Governor Clark, and several smaller boats, manned with one hundred and fifty volunteers and sixty regular troops, went up into the hostile country. Fierce Sacs glared from Rock Island, Foxes paused in their lead digging at Dubuque's mines,—lead for British cannon.

Although on Missouri territory, Prairie du Chien was still occupied by Indians and traders to the exclusion of Americans. Six hundred, seven hundred miles above St. Louis, a little red bird whispered up the Mississippi, "Long Knives coming!" The traders retired.

"Whoever enjoys the trade of the Indians will have control of their affections and power," said Clark. "Too long have we left this point unfortified."

A great impression had been made on the savages by the liberality of the British traders. Their brilliant red coats—"Eenah! eenah! eenamah!" exclaimed the Sioux.

But now the Long Knives! Wabasha, son of Wabasha of the Revolution, remembered the Long Knives. When Clark arrived at Prairie du Chien Wabasha refused to fight him. Red Wing came down to the council. Upon his bosom Rising Moose proudly exhibited a medal given him by Captain Pike in 1805. The Indians nicknamed him "Tammaha, the Pike."

Twenty-five leagues above Tammaha's village lived Wabasha, and twenty-five above Wabasha, the Red Wing, 364 all great chiefs of the Sioux, all very friendly now to the Long Knife who had come up in his gunboat.

Since time immemorial Wabasha had been a friend of the British, twice had he, the son of Wabasha I., been to Quebec and received flags and medals. But now he remembered Captain Pike who visited their northern waters while Lewis and Clark were away at the west. Grasping the hand of Clark,—

"We have the greatest friendship for the United States," said the chiefs,—all except Little Crow. He was leading a war party to the Lakes.

Leaving troops to erect a fort and maintain a garrison at the old French Prairie du Chien, Governor Clark returned to his necessary duties at St. Louis. Behind on the river remained the gunboat to guard the builders.

"A fort at the Prairie?" cried the British traders at Mackinac. "That cuts off our Dakota trade." And forthwith an expedition was raised to capture the garrison.

Barely was the rude fortification completed before a force of British and Chippewas were marching upon it.

"I will not fight the Big Knives any more," said Red Wing.

"Why?" asked the traders.

"The lion and the eagle fight. Then the lion will go home and leave us to the eagle." Red Wing was famed for foretelling events at Prairie du Chien.

In June Manuel Lisa came down the Missouri.

"De Arrapahoe, Arikara, Gros Ventre, and Crow are at war wit' de American. De British Nort'west traders embroil our people wit' de sauvages to cut dem off!"

"We must extend the posts of St. Louis to the British border," cautioned Clark to Lisa. "And if necessary arm the Yanktons and Omahas against the Sacs and Iowas. I herewith commission you, Lisa, my especial sub-agent among the nations of the Missouri to keep them at peace."

Very well Clark knew whom he was trusting. Now that war had crippled the Missouri Fur Company, Lisa alone represented them in the field. Familiar with the fashions of Indians, the size and colour of the favourite 365 blanket, the shape and length of tomahawks, no trader was more a favourite than Manuel Lisa. Besides, he still maintained the company's posts,—Council Bluffs with the Omahas, six hundred miles up the Missouri, and another at the Sioux, six hundred miles further still, with two hundred hunters in his employ. Here was a force not to be despised.

Ten months in the year Lisa was buried in the wilderness, hid in the forest and the prairie, far from his wife in St. Louis. Wily, winning, and strategic, no trader knew Indians better.

"And," continued the Governor, "I offer you five hundred dollars for sub-agent's salary."

"A poor five hundred tollar!" laughed Lisa. "Eet will not buy te tobacco which I give annually to dose who call me Fader. But Lisa will go. His interests and dose of de Government are one."

Then after a moment's frowning reflection,—"I haf suffered enough," almost wailed Lisa, "I haf suffered enough in person and in property under a different government, to know how to appreciate de one under w'ich I now live."

Even while they were consulting, "Here is your friend, de Rising Moose!" announced old Antoine Le Claire.

"Rising Moose?" Governor Clark started to his feet as one of the Prairie du Chien chiefs came striding through the door.

"The fort is taken, but I will not fight the Long Knife. Tammaha is an American."

All the way down on the gunboat riddled with bullets, Tammaha had come with the fleeing soldiers to offer his tomahawk to Governor Clark. The guns were not yet in when the enemy swept down on the fort at Prairie du Chien.

"Prairie du Chien lost? It shall be recovered. Wait until Spring."

And the British, too, said, "Wait until Spring and we will take St. Louis." But they feared the gunboats.

Governor Clark accepted Tammaha's service, commissioning him a chief of the Red Wing band of Sioux. 366 "Wait and go up with Lisa. Tell your people the Long Knife counsels them to remain quiet."

When Lisa set out for the north as agent of both the fur business and that of the Government, he carried with him mementoes and friendly reminders to all the principal chiefs of the northern tribes.

Big Elk of the Omahas, Black Cat and Big White of the Mandans, Le Borgne of the Minnetarees, even the chiefs of the dreaded Teton Sioux were not forgotten. The Red Head had been there, had visited their country. He was the son of their Great Father,—they would listen to the Red Head Chief.

At this particular juncture of our national history, Clark the Red Head and Manuel Lisa the trader formed a fortunate combination for the interests of the United States. Their words to the northern chiefs were weighty. Their gifts were continued pledges of sacred friendship. While the eyes of the nation were rivetted on the conflict in the East and on the ocean, Clark held the trans-Mississippi with even a stronger grip than his illustrious brother had held the trans-Alleghany thirty years before.

Along with Lisa up the Missouri to the Dakotas went Tammaha, the Rising Moose, and crossed to Prairie du Chien.

"Where do you come from and what business have you here?" cried the British commander, rudely jerking Tammaha's bundle from his back and examining it for letters.

"I come from St. Louis," answered the Moose. "I promised the Long Knife I would come to Prairie du Chien and here I am."

"Lock him in the guard house. He ought to be shot!" roared the officer.

"I am ready for death if you choose to kill me," answered Rising Moose.

At last in the depth of winter they sent him away.

Determined now, the old chief set out in the snows to turn all his energy against the British.

"The Old Priest," said some of the Indians, "Tammaha talks too much!" 367

All along the Missouri, from St. Louis to the Mandans, Lisa held councils with the Indians with wonderful success. But the Mississippi tribes, nearer to Canada, were for the most part won over to Great Britain.

In other directions Governor Clark sent out for reports from the tribes. The answer was appalling. As if all were at war, a cordon of foes stretched from the St. Lawrence to the Arkansas and Alabama.

Even Black Partridge,—at the Fort Dearborn massacre he had snatched Mrs. Helm from the tomahawk and held her in the lake to save her life. Late that night at an Indian camp a friendly squaw-mother dressed her wounds. Black Partridge loved that girl.

"Lieutenant Helm is a prisoner among the Indians," said agent Forsythe at Peoria. "Here are presents, Black Partridge. Go ransom him. Here is a written order on General Clark for one hundred dollars when you bring him to the Red Head Chief."

Black Partridge rode to the Kankakee village and spread out his presents. "And you shall have one huntret tollars when you bring him to te Red Head Chief."

"Not enough! Not enough!" cried the Indians.

"Here, then, take my pony, my rifle, my ring," said the Partridge, unhooking the hoop of gold from his nose. The bargain was made. The man was ransomed, and mounted on ponies all started for St. Louis. Lieutenant Helm was saved.

Late at night, tired and hungry, the rain falling in torrents, without pony or gun, Black Partridge arrived at his village on Peoria Lake. His village? It was gone. Black embers smouldered there.

Wrapped in his blanket, Black Partridge sat on the ground to await the revelation of dawn. Wolves howled a mournful wail in his superstitious ear. Day dawned. There lay the carnage of slaughter,—his daughter, his grandchild, his neighbours, dead. The rangers had burnt his town.

Breathing vengeance, "I will go on the war path," said Black Partridge, the Pottawattamie.

Two hundred warriors went from the wigwams of 368 Illinois under Black Partridge, Shequenebec sent a hundred from his stronghold at the head of Peoria Lake, Mittitass led a hundred from his village at the portage on the Rivière des Plaines. Painted black they came, inveterate since Tippecanoe.

"Look out for squalls," wrote John O'Fallon from St. Louis to his mother at Louisville. "An express arrived from Fort Madison yesterday informing that the sentinels had been obliged to fire upon the Indians almost every night to keep them at their distance. Indians are discovered some nights within several feet of the pickets."

Black Hawk was there. Very angry was Black Hawk at the building of Fort Madison at the foot of Des Moines rapids.

While Lewis and Clark were gone in 1804, William Henry Harrison, directed by Jefferson, made a treaty with the Sacs and Foxes by which they gave up fifty millions of acres. Gratiot, Vigo, the Chouteaus, and officers of the state and army, Quasquama and four other chiefs, attached their names to that treaty in the presence of Major Stoddard.

"I deny its validity!" cried Black Hawk. "I never gave up my land."

Now Black Hawk was plotting and planning and attacking Fort Madison, until early in September a panting express arrived at St. Louis.

"Fort Madison is burned, Your Excellency."

"How did it happen?" inquired the Governor.

"Besieged until the garrison was reduced to potatoes alone, we decided to evacuate. Digging a tunnel from the southeast blockhouse to the river, boats were made ready. Slipping out at night, crowding through the tunnel on hands and knees, our last man set fire to Fort Madison. Like tinder the stockade blazed, kissing the heavens. Indians leaped and yelled with tomahawks, expecting our exit. At their backs, under cover of darkness, we escaped down the Mississippi." 369


"Show me what kind of country we have to march through," said the British General to Tecumseh, after Detroit had fallen.

Taking a roll of elm-bark Tecumseh drew his scalping knife and etched upon it the rivers, hills, and woods he knew so well. And the march began,—to be checked at Fort Stephenson by a boy of twenty-one.

It was the dream and hope of the British Fur Companies to extend their territory as far within the American border as possible. The whole War of 1812 was a traders' war. Commerce, commerce, for which the world is battling still, was the motive power on land and sea.

At the Lakes now, the British fur traders waved their flags again above the ramparts of Detroit. "We must hold this post,—its loss too seriously deranges our plans."

Smouldering, the old Revolutionary fires had burst anew. Did George III. still hope to conquer America?

"Hull surrendered?" America groaned at the stain, the stigma, the national disgrace! In a day regiments leaped to fill the breach. "Detroit must be re-taken!"

Along the Lakes battle succeeded battle in swift succession.

At Louisville two mothers, Lucy and Fanny, were anxious for their boys. Both George Croghan and John O'Fallon had been with Harrison at Tippecanoe. Both had been promoted. Then came the call for swords.

"Get me a sword in Philadelphia," wrote O'Fallon to his mother.

"Send me a sword to Cincinnati," begged Croghan.

Sitting under the trees at Locust Grove the sisters were discussing the fall of Detroit. Fanny had John O'Fallon's letter announcing the burning of Fort Madison. 370 Lucy was devouring the last impatient scrawl from her fiery, ambitious son, George Croghan, now caged in an obscure fort on Sandusky River near Lake Erie.

"The General little knows me," wrote Croghan. "To assist his cause, to promote in any way his welfare, I would bravely sacrifice my best and fondest hopes. I am resolved on quitting the army as soon as I am relieved of the command of this post."

Scarcely had the two mothers finished reading when a shout rang through the streets of Louisville.

"Hurrah for Croghan! Croghan! Croghan!"

"Why, what is the matter?"

Pale with anxiety Lucy ran to the gate. The whole street was filled with people coming that way. In a few hurried words she heard the story from several lips at once.

"Why, you see, Madam, General Harrison was afraid Tecumseh would make a flank attack on Fort Stephenson, in charge of George Croghan, and so ordered him to abandon and burn it. But no,—he sent the General word, 'We are determined to hold this place, and by heaven we will!'

"That night George hastily cut a ditch and raised a stockade. Then along came Proctor and Tecumseh with a thousand British and Indians, and summoned him to surrender.

"The boy had only one hundred and sixty inexperienced men and a single six-pounder, but he sent back answer: 'The fort will be defended to the last extremity. No force, however great, can induce us to surrender. We are resolved to hold this post or bury ourselves in its ruins.'"

Tears ran down Lucy's cheeks as she listened,—she caught at the gate to keep from falling. Before her arose the picture of that son with red hair flying, and fine thin face like a blooded warhorse,—she knew that look.

"Again Proctor sent his flag demanding surrender to avoid a terrible massacre.

"'When this fort is taken there will be none to massacre,' 371 answered the boy, 'for it will not be given up while a man is left to resist!'

"The enemy advanced, and when close at hand, Croghan unmasked his solitary cannon and swept them down. Again Proctor advanced, and again the rifle of every man and the masked cannon met them. Falling back, Proctor and Tecumseh retreated, abandoning a boatload of military stores on the bank."

"Hurrah for Croghan! Croghan! Croghan!" again rang down the streets of Louisville. The bells rang out a peal as the Stars and Stripes ran up the flag-staff.

"The little game cock, he shall have my sword," said George Rogers Clark, living again his own great days.

And with that sword there was a story.

When Tippecanoe was won and the world was ringing with "Harrison!" men recalled another hero who "with no provisions, no munitions, no cannon, no shoes, almost without an army," had held these same redmen at bay.

"And does he yet live?"

"He lives, an exile and a hermit on a Point of Rock on the Indiana shore above the Falls of the Ohio."

"Has he no recognition?"

Men whispered the story of the sword.

When John Rogers went back from victorious Vincennes with Hamilton a prisoner-of-war, the grateful Virginian Assembly voted George Rogers Clark a sword.

"And you, Captain Rogers, may present it."

The sword was ready, time passed, difficulties multiplied. Clark presented his bill to the Virginia Legislature. To his amazement and mortification the House of Delegates refused to allow his claim.

Clark went home, sold his bounty lands, and ruined himself to pay for the bread and meat of his army.

And then it was rumoured, "To-day a sword will be presented to George Rogers Clark."

All the countryside gathered, pioneers and veterans, with the civic and military display of that rude age to see their hero honoured. The commissioner for Virginia appeared, and in formal and complimentary address delivered 372 the sword. The General received it; then drawing the long blade from its scabbard, plunged it into the earth and broke it off at the hilt. Turning to the commissioner, he said, "Captain Rogers, return to your State and tell her for me first to be just before she is generous."

For years those old veterans had related to their children and grandchildren the story of that tragic day when Clark, the hero, broke the sword Virginia gave him.

But a new time had come and new appreciation. While the smoke of Tippecanoe was rolling away a member of the Virginia Legislature related anew the story of that earlier Vincennes and of the sword that Clark, "with haughty sense of wounded pride and feeling had broken and cast away." With unanimous voice Virginia voted a new sword and the half-pay of a colonel for the remainder of his life.

The commissioners found the old hero partially paralysed. Lucy had gone to him at the Point of Rock. "Brother, you are failing, you need care, I will look after you," and tenderly she bore him to her home at Locust Grove, where now, all day long, in his invalid chair, George Rogers Clark studied the long reach of the blue Ohio or followed Napoleon and the boys of 1812.

Nothing had touched him like this deed of his nephew,—"Yes, yes, he shall have my sword!"

The next morning after the battle General Harrison wrote to the Secretary of War: "I am sorry I cannot submit to you Major Croghan's official report. He was to have sent it to me this morning, but I have just heard that he was so much exhausted by thirty-six hours of constant exertion as to be unable to make it. It will not be among the least of General Proctor's mortifications to find that he has been baffled by a youth who has just passed his twenty-first year. He is, however, a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, General George Rogers Clark."

The cannon, "Old Betsy," stands yet in Fort Stephenson at Fremont, Ohio, where every passing year they 373 celebrate the victory of that second day of August, 1813,—the first check to the British advance in the War of 1812.

A few days later, Perry's victory on Lake Erie opened the road to Canada and Detroit was re-taken.

"Britannia, Columbia, both had set their heels upon Detroit, and young Columbia threw Britannia back across the Lakes," says the chronicler.

Then followed the battle of the Thames and the death of Tecumseh. A Canadian historian says, "But for Tecumseh, it is probable we should not now have a Canada."

What if he had won Rebecca? Would Canada now be a peaceful sister of the States?

Tecumseh fought with the fur traders,—their interests were his,—to keep the land a wild, a game preserve for wild beasts and wilder men. Civilisation had no part or place in Tecumseh's plan.

With the medal of George III. upon his breast, Tecumseh fell, on Canadian soil, battle-axe in hand, hero and patriot of his race, the last of the great Shawnees. Tecumseh's belt and shot pouch were sent to Jefferson and hung on the walls of Monticello. Tecumseh's son passed with his people beyond the Mississippi.

From his invalid chair at Locust Grove George Rogers Clark was writing to his brother:

"Your embarkation from St. Louis on your late hazardous expedition [to Prairie du Chien] was a considerable source of anxiety to your friends and relatives. They were pleased to hear of your safe return....

"As to Napoleon ... the news of his having abdicated the throne—"

"Napoleon abdicated?" Governor Clark scarce finished the letter. Having crushed him, what armies might not England hurl hitherward! New danger menaced America.

"Napoleon abdicated!" New Orleans wept.

Then followed the word, "England is sailing into the Gulf,—Sir Edward Pakenham, brother-in-law of the 374 Duke of Wellington, with a part of Wellington's victorious army, fifty ships, a thousand guns and twenty thousand men!"

Never had Great Britain lost sight of the Mississippi. This was a part of the fleet that burned Washington and had driven Dolly Madison and the President into ignominious flight.

Terrified, New Orleans, the beautiful Creole maiden, beset in her orange bower, flung out her arms appealing to the West! And that West answered, "Never, while the Mississippi rolls to the Gulf, will we leave you unprotected." And out of that West came Andrew Jackson and tall Tennesseeans, Kentuckians, Mississippians, in coonskin caps and leathern hunting shirts, to seal for ever our right to Louisiana.

The hottest part of the battle was fought at Chalmette, above the grave of the Fighting Parson. Immortal Eighth of January, 1815! Discontented Creoles of 1806 proved loyal Americans, vindicating their right to honour.

Napoleon laughed when he heard it at Elba,—"I told them I had given England a rival that one day would humble her pride."

Even the Ursuline nuns greeted their deliverers with joy, and the dim old cloistered halls were thrown open for a hospital.

"I expect at this moment," said Lord Castlereagh in Europe, "that most of the large seaport towns of America are laid in ashes, that we are in possession of New Orleans, and have command of all the rivers of the Mississippi Valley and the Lakes."

But he counted without our ships at sea. The War of 1812 was fought upon the ocean, "the golden age of naval fighting." Bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh, under the "Gridiron Flag," tars of the American Revolution, sailor boys who under impressment had fought at Trafalgar, led in a splendid spectacular drama, the like of which England or the world had never seen. She had trained up her own child. A thousand sail had Britain—America a dozen sloops and frigates altogether,—but 375 the little tubs had learned from their mother.

"The territory between the Lakes and the Ohio shall be for ever set apart as an Indian territory," said England at the opening of the peace negotiations. "The United States shall remove her armed vessels from the lakes and give England the right of navigating the Mississippi."

Clay, Gallatin, Adams packed up their grips preparatory to starting home, when England bethought herself and came to better terms.

The next year America passed a law excluding foreigners from our trade, and the British fur traders reluctantly crossed the border. But they held Oregon by "Joint Occupation."

"All posts captured by either power shall be restored," said the treaty. "There shall be joint occupancy of the Oregon Country for ten years."

"A great mistake! a great mistake!" cried out Thomas Hart Benton, a young lawyer who had settled in St. Louis. "In ten years that little nest egg of 'Joint Occupation' will hatch out a lively fighting chicken."

Benton was a Western man to the core,—he felt a responsibility for all that sunset country. And why should he not? Missouri and Oregon touched borders on the summit of the Rockies. Were they not next-door neighbours, hobnobbing over the fence as it were? Every day at Governor Clark's at St. Louis, he and Benton discussed that Oregon "Joint Occupancy" clause.

"As if two nations ever peacefully occupied the same territory! I tell you it is a physical impossibility," exclaimed Benton, jamming down his wine-glass with a crash.

The War of 1812,—how Astor hated it! "But for that war," he used to say, "I should have been the richest man that ever lived." As it was, the British fur companies came in and gained a foothold from which they were not ousted until American ox-teams crossed the plains and American frontiersmen took the country. A million a year England trapped from Oregon waters. 376


"Come and make treaties of friendship."

As his brother had done at the close of the Revolution, so now William Clark sent to the tribes to make peace after the War of 1812.

"No person ought to be lazy to be de bearer of such good news," said old Antoine Le Claire, the interpreter.

Up the rivers and toward the Lakes, runners carried the word of the Red Head Chief, "Come, come to St. Louis!"

To the clay huts of the sable Pawnees of the Platte, to the reed wigwams of the giant Osages, to the painted lodges of the Omahas, and to the bark tents of the Chippewas, went "peace talks" and gifts and invitations.

"De Iowas are haughty an' insolent!" St. Vrain, first back, laid their answer on the table.

"De Kickapoo are glad of de peace, but de Sauk an' Winnebago insist on war! De Sauk haf murdered deir messenger!"

That was Black Hawk. With a war party from Prairie du Chien he was met by the news of peace.

"Peace?" Black Hawk wept when he heard it. He had been at the battle of the Thames.

"De messenger to de Sioux are held at Rock River!"

One by one came runners into the Council Hall, and, cap in hand, stood waiting. Outside, their horses pawed on the Rue, their boats were tied at the river.

"Some one must pass Rock River, to the Sioux, Chippewas, and Menomonees," said Clark. Not an interpreter stirred.

"We dare not go into dose hostile countrie," said Antoine Le Claire, spokesman for the rest.

"What? With an armed boat?"

The silence was painful as the Governor looked over the council room. 377

"I will go."

Every eye was turned toward the speaker, James Kennerly, the Governor's private secretary, the cousin of Julia and brother of Harriet of Fincastle. The same spirit was there that led a whole generation of his people to perish in the Revolution. His father had been dragged from the field of Cowpens wrapped in the flag he had rescued.

At the risk of his life, when no one else would venture, the faithful secretary went up the Mississippi to bring in the absent tribes. Black-eyed Elise, the daughter of Dr. Saugrain, wept all night to think of it. Governor Clark himself had introduced Elise to his secretary. How she counted the days!

"The Chippewas would have murdered me but for the timely arrival of the Sioux," said Kennerly, on his safe return with the band of Rising Moose.

"The Red Coats are gone!" said Rising Moose. "I rush in. I put out the fire. I save the fort."

Without waiting for troops from St. Louis, forty-eight hours after the news of peace the British had evacuated Prairie du Chien. A day or two later they returned, took the cannon, and set fire to the fort with the American flag flying.

Into the burning fort went Rising Moose, secured the flag and an American medal, and brought them down to St. Louis.

While interpreters were speeding by horse and boat over half a hundred trails, Manuel Lisa, sleepless warden of the plains, arrived with forty-three chiefs and head men of the Missouri Sioux. Wild Indians who never before had tasted bread, brought down in barges camped on the margin of the Mississippi, the great council chiefs of their tribes, moody, unjoyous, from the Stony Mountains. For weeks other deputations followed, to the number of two thousand, to make treaties and settle troubles arising out of the War of 1812.

Whether even yet a council could be held was a query in Governor Clark's mind. Across the neighbouring Mississippi, Sacs, Foxes, Iowas were raiding still, capturing 378 horses and attacking people. That was Black Hawk.

The eyes of the Missouri Sioux flashed. "Let us go and fight those Sacs and Iowas. They shall trouble us no more." With difficulty were they held to the council.

There was a steady and unalterable gloom of countenance, a melancholy, sullen musing among the gathered tribes, as they camped on the council ground at Portage des Sioux on the neck of land between the two rivers at St. Charles. Over this neck crossed Sioux war parties in times past, avoiding a long detour, bringing home their scalps.

Resplendent with oriental colour were the bluffs and the prairies. Chiefs and warriors had brought their squaws and children,—Sioux from the Lakes and the high points of the Mississippi in canoes of white birch, light and bounding as cork upon the water; Sioux of the Missouri in clumsy pirogues; Mandans in skin coracles, barges, dug-outs, and cinnamon-brown fleets of last year's bark.

The panorama of forest and prairie was there,—Sioux of the Leaf, Sioux of the Broad Leaf, and Sioux Who Shoot in the Pine Tops, in hoods of feathers, Chinese featured Sioux, of smooth skins and Roman noses, the ideal Indian stalking to and fro with forehead banded in green and scarlet and eagle plumes.

For Wabasha, Little Crow, and Red Wing had come, great sachems of the Sioux nation. The British officers at Drummond's Island in Lake Huron had sent for Little Crow and Wabasha.

"I would thank you in the name of George III. for your services in the war."

"My father," said Wabasha, "what is this I see on the floor before me? A few knives and blankets! Is this all you promised at the beginning of the war? Where are those promises you made? You told us you would never let fall the hatchet until the Americans were driven beyond the mountains. Will these presents pay for the men we lost? I have always been able to make a living and can do so still." 379

"After we have fought for you," cried Little Crow, "endured many hardships, lost some of our people, and awakened the vengeance of our powerful neighbours, you make a peace and leave us to obtain such terms as we can! You no longer need us and offer these goods for having deserted us. We will not take them."

Kicking the presents contemptuously with his foot, Little Crow turned away.

"Arise, let us go down to the Red Head Parshasha!" In handsome bark canoes propelled by sails alone, the Sioux came down to St. Louis.

Walking among their elliptical tents, lounging on panther skins at their wigwam doors, waited the redmen, watching, lynx-eyed, losing nothing of the scene before them. Beaded buckskin glittered in the sun, tiny bells tinkled from elbow to ankle, and sashes outrivalled Louisiana sunsets.

Half-naked Osages with helmet-crests and eagle-quills, full-dressed in breech-clouts and leggings fringed with scalp-locks, the tallest men in North America, from their warm south hills, mingled with Pottawattamies of the Illinois, makers of fire, Shawnees with vermilion around their eyes, Sacs, of the red badge, and Foxes, adroitest of thieves, all drumming on their tambourines. Winnebagoes, fish eaters, had left their nets on the northern lakes, Omahas their gardens on the Platte, and Ojibway arrow makers sat chipping, chipping as the curious crowds walked by. For all the neighbouring country had gathered to view the Indian camp of 1815.

Oblivious, contemptuous perhaps, of staring crowds, the industrious women skinned and roasted dogs on sticks, the warriors gambled with one another, staking their tents, skins, rifles, dogs, and squaws. Here and there sachems were mending rifles, princesses carrying water, children playing ball.

About the first of July, Governor Clark of Missouri, Governor Ninian Edwards of Illinois, and Auguste Chouteau of St. Louis, opened the council,—one of the greatest ever held in the Mississippi Valley.

Auguste Chouteau, prime vizier of all the old Spanish 380 commandants, now naturally slipped into the same office with Clark, and Governor Edwards of Illinois, who as a father had guarded the frontier against the wiles of Tecumseh, and had risked his entire fortune to arm the militia,—all in queues, high collared coats, and ruffled shirts, faced each other and the chiefs.

In front of their neatly arranged tents sat the tawny warriors in imposing array, with dignified attention to the interpretation of each sentence.

"The long and bloody war is over. The British have gone back over the Big Water," said Governor Clark, "and now we have sent for you, my brothers, to conclude a treaty of peace."

"Heigh!" cried all the Indians in deep-toned resonance that rolled like a Greek chorus to the bluffs beyond. The sky smiled down as on the old Areopagus, the leaves of the forest rustled, the river swept laughing by.

"Every injury or act of hostility by one or either of us against the other, shall be mutually forgiven and forgot."

"Heigh! heigh! heig-h!"

"There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between us."


"You will acknowledge yourselves under the protection of the United States, and of no other nation, power, or sovereign whatsoever."


A Teton Sioux who had come down with Lisa struggled to his feet, approached, shook hands with the commissioners, then retreated and fixed his keen eye on the Governor. His voice rang clear over the assembled thousands,—

"We have come down expressly to notify you, our father, that we will assist in chastising those nations hostile to our government."

The two factions faced each other. Scowls of lightning hate flashed over the council. But the wisdom and tact of Clark were equal to regiments. "The fighting has ended," he said. "The peace has come." 381

"Heigh!" shouted all the Indians. "Heig-h!"

Partisan was there, the Teton chief, who with Black Buffalo had made an attempt to capture Clark on the way to the Pacific. And now Partisan was bristling to fight for Clark.

Wabasha arose, like a figure out of one of Catlin's pictures, in a chief's costume, with bullock horns and eagle feathers. There was a stir. With a profile like the great Condé, followed by his pipe bearers with much ceremony, the hereditary chief from the Falls of St. Anthony walked up to Governor Clark.

"I shake hands," he said.

Every neck was craned. When before had Wabasha stood? In their northern councils he spoke sitting. "I am called upon to stand only in the presence of my Great Father at Washington or Governor Clark at St. Louis. But I am not a warrior," said Wabasha. "My people can prosper only at peace with one another and the whites. Against my advice some of my young men went into the war."

The fiery eyes of Little Crow flashed, the aquiline curve of his nose lifted, like the beak of an eagle. He had come down from his bark-covered cabin near St. Paul.

"I am a war chief!" said Little Crow. "But I am willing to conclude a peace."

"I alone was an American," said Rising Moose, "when all my people fought with the British." All the rest of his life Tammaha, Rising Moose, wore a tall silk hat and carried Governor Clark's commission in his bosom.

Big Elk, the Omaha, successor of Blackbird, spoke with action energetic and graceful.

"Last Winter when you sent your word by Captain Manuel Lisa, in the night one of the whites wanted my young men to rise. He told them if they wanted good presents, to cross to the British. This man was Baptiste Dorion. When I was at the Pawnees I wanted to bring some of them down, but the whites who live among them told them not to go, that no good came from the Americans, that good only came from the British. I have told Captain Manuel to keep those men away from us. Take 382 care of the Sioux. Take care. They will fly from under your wing."

Sacs who had been hostile engaged in the debate. Noble looking chiefs, with blanket thrown around the body in graceful folds, the right arm, muscular and brawny, bare to the shoulder, spoke as Cato might have spoken to the Roman Senate.

"My father, it is the request of my people to keep the British traders among us." As he went on eloquently enumerating their advantages in pleading tone and voice and glance and gesture,—hah! the wild rhetoric of the savage! how it thrilled the assembled concourse of Indians and Americans!

Clark shook his head. "It cannot be. We can administer law, order, and justice ourselves. Come to us for goods,—the British traders belong beyond the border."

The Indians gave a grunt of anger.

"It has been promised already," cried another chief. "The Americans have double tongues!"

"Heigh!" ran among the Indians. Many a one touched his tongue and held up two fingers, "You lie!"

With stern and awful look Clark immediately dismissed the council. The astonished chiefs covered their mouths with their hands as they saw the commissioners turn their backs to go out.

That afternoon a detachment of United States artillery arrived and camped in full view of the Indians. They had been ordered to the Sac country. Colonel Dodge's regiment of dragoons, each company of a solid colour, blacks and bays, whites, sorrels, grays and creams, went through the manœuvres of battle, charge and repulse, in splendid precision. It was enough. The Sac chiefs, cowed, requested the renewal of the council.

"My father," observed the offending chief of the day before, "you misunderstood me. I only meant to say we have always understood from our fathers that the Americans used two languages, the French and the English!"

Clark smiled and the council proceeded.

But by night, July 11, the Sacs, Foxes, and Kickapoos 383 secretly left the council. At the same time came reports of great commotion at Prairie du Chien where the northern tribes were divided by the British traders.

Head bent, linked arm in arm with Paul Louise, his little interpreter, the giant Osage chief, White Hair, gave strict attention. White Hair had been in St. Clair's defeat, and in seeking to scalp a victim had grasped—his wig! This he ever after wore upon his own head, a crown of white hair. He said, "I felt a fire within me,—it drove me to the fight of St. Clair. His army scattered. I returned to my own people. But the fire still burned, and I went over the mountains toward the western sea."

Every morning the Osages set up their matutinal wail, dolefully lamenting, weeping as if their hearts would break.

"What is the matter?" inquired Governor Clark, riding out in concern.

"We are mourning for our ancestors," answered the chief, shedding copious tears and sobbing anew, for ages the custom of his people.

"They are dead long ago,—let them rest!" said the Governor.

Brightening up, White Hair slipped on his wig and followed him to the council.

Houseless now and impoverished Black Partridge and his people clung to Colonel George Davenport as to a father. Poor helpless Pottawattamies!

"Come with me," said Davenport, "I will take you to St. Louis."

So down in a flotilla of canoes had come Davenport with thirteen chiefs, all wreathed in turkey feathers, emblems of the Pottawattamies. No more they narrated their heroic exploits in fighting with Tecumseh.

Grave, morose, brooding over his wrongs, Black Partridge was seventy now, his long coarse unkempt hair in matted clusters on his shoulders, but figure still erect and firm. "I would be a friend to the whites," he said. "I was compelled to go with my tribe." The silver medallion of George Washington was gone from his breast. 384 Many and sad had been the vicissitudes since that day, when, in a flood of tears, he had thrown it down at the feet of the commander at Fort Dearborn. Tall, slim, with a high forehead, large nose and piercing black eyes, with hoops of gold in his ears, Black Partridge was a typical savage,—asking for civilisation. But it rolled over him. Here and there a missionary tarried to talk, but commerce, commerce, the great civiliser, arose like a flood, drowning the redmen.

"The settlements are crowding our border," Black Partridge spoke for his people on their fairy lake, Peoria. "And whom shall we call Father, the British at Malden or the Americans at St. Louis? Who shall relieve our distresses?"

"Put it in your mind," said Auguste Chouteau, the shrewd old French founder of St. Louis, "put it in your mind, that when de British made peace with us, dey left you in de middle of de prairie without a shade against sun or rain. Left you in de middle of de prairie, a sight to pity. We Americans have a large umbrella; keeps off de sun and rain. You come under our umbrella."

And they did.

The Indian has a fine sense of justice. The situation was evident. Abandoned by the British who had led him into the war, he stood ready at last to return to the friends on whom he was most dependent.

One by one the chiefs came forward and put their mark to the treaty of peace and friendship. Clark brought the peace pipes,—every neck was craned to scan them.

Sioux pipes sometimes cost as much as forty horses,—finely wrought pipes of variegated red and white from the Minnesota quarries, Shoshone pipes of green, and pipes of purple from Queen Charlottes, were sold for skins and slaves,—but these, Clark's pipes of silver bowls and decorated stems, these were worth a hundred horses!

Puffing its fragrant aroma, the fierce wild eye of the savage softened. Twenty thousand dollars' worth of goods was distributed in presents, flags, blankets, and rifles, ornaments and clothing. 385

"Ah, ha! Great Medicine!" whispered the Indians as the beautiful gifts came one by one into their hands.

"We need traders," said Red Wing, sliding his hand along the soft nap of the blankets. "That made us go into the war. Without traders we have to clothe ourselves in grass and eat the earth."

"You shall have traders," answered Clark. "I shall not let you travel five or six hundred miles to a British post."

Every September thereafter he sent them up a few presents to begin their fall hunting, and counselled his agents to listen to their complaints and render them justice.

"We must depend on policy rather than arms," said the Governor. "For they are our children, the wards of the nation."

The Indians were dined in St. Louis and entertained with music and dancing. By their dignity, moderation, and untiring forbearance, the Commissioners of Portage des Sioux exemplified the paternal benevolence of the Government.

At the end of the council Lisa started back with his chiefs, on a three months' voyage to their northern home, and on the last day of September Clark dismissed the rest.

Thus making history, the summer had stolen away. All next summer and the next were spent in making treaties, until at last there was peace along the border.

"Did you sign?" finally asked some one of Black Hawk of the British band.

"I touched the goose quill," answered the haughty chief.

So ended the War of 1812. 386


As soon as the Indian scare was silenced, all the world seemed rushing to Missouri. Ferries ran by day and night. Patriarchal planters of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia passed ever west in long, unending caravans of flocks, servants, herds, into the new land of the Louisianas. New Englanders and Pennsylvanians, six, eight, and ten horses to a waggon, and cattle with their hundred bells, tinkled through the streets of St. Louis.

"Where are you going, now?" inquired the citizens.

"To Boone's Lick, to be sure."

"Go no further," said Clark, ever enthusiastic about St. Louis. "Buy here. This will be the city."

"But ah!" exclaimed the emigrant. "If land is so good here what must Boone's Lick be!"

Perennial childhood of the human heart, ever looking for Canaan just beyond!

The Frenchmen shrugged their shoulders at the strange energy of these progressive "Bostonnais." It annoyed them to have their land titles looked into. "A process! a lawsuit!" they clasped their hands in despair. But ever the people of St. Louis put up their lands to a better figure, and watched out of their little square lattices for the coming of les Américains.

All the talk was of land, land, land! The very wealth of ancient estates lay unclaimed for the first heir to enter, the gift of God.

In waggons, on foot and horseback, with packhorses, handcarts, and wheelbarrows, with blankets on their backs and children by the hand, the oppressed of the old world fled across the new.

"Why do you go into the wilderness?"

"For my children, my children," answered the pioneer. 387

More and more came people in a mighty flood, peasants, artisans, sons of the old crusaders, children of feudal knights of chivalry and romance, descendants of the hardy Norsemen who captured Europe five hundred years before, scions of Europe's most titled names, thronging to our West.

Frosts and crop failures in the Atlantic States and a financial panic uprooted old Revolutionary centres. "A better country, a better country!" was the watchword of the mobile nation.

"Let's go over to the Territory," said the soldiers of 1812. "Let us go to Arkansas, where corn can be had for sixpence a bushel and pork for a penny a pound. Two days' work in Texas is equal to the labour of a week in the North." And on they pressed into No Man's Land, a land of undeveloped orchards, maple syrup and honey, fields of cotton and wool and corn.

Conestoga waggons crowded on the Alleghanies, teams fell down precipices and perished, but the tide pushed madly on. Colonies of hundreds were pouring into Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois. New towns were named for their founders, new counties, lakes, rivers, streams, and hills,—the settlers wrote their names upon the geography of the nation.

In the midst of the war Daniel Boone had come down to Clark at St. Louis.

"I have spoken to Henry Clay about your claim," said the Governor. "He says Congress will do something for you."

"Now Rebecca, thee shall hev a house!"

That house, the joint product of Nathan, the Colonel, and his slaves, was a work of years. Not far from the old cabin by the spring it stood, convenient to the Judgment Tree. For Boone still held his court beneath the spreading elm.

The stones were quarried and chiselled, two feet thick, and laid so solidly that to-day the walls of the old Boone mansion are as good as new. The plaster was mixed and buried in the ground over winter to ripen. Roomy and comfortable, two stories and an attic it was built, 388 with double verandas and chimneys at either end, the finest mansion on the border.

But in March Rebecca died. Boone buried her where he could watch the mound.

The house was finished. The Colonel bought a coffin and put it under the bed to be ready. Sometimes he tried his coffin, to see how it would seem when he slept beside Rebecca.

In December came the land, a thousand arpents in his Spanish grant. "If I only cud hev told Rebecca," sobbed Daniel, kneeling at her grave. "She war a good woman, and the faithful companion of all my wanderings."

In the Spring Boone sold his land, and set out for Kentucky.

"Daniel Boone has come! Daniel Boone has come!" Old hunters, Revolutionary heroes, came for miles to see their leader who had opened Kentucky. There was a reception at Maysville. Parties were given in his honour wherever he went. Once more he embraced his old friend, Simon Kenton.

"How much do I owe ye?" he said to one and another.

Whatever amount they named, that he paid, and departed. One day the dusty old hunter re-entered his son's house on the Femme Osage with fifty cents in his pocket.

"Now I am ready and willing to die. I have paid all my debts and nobody can say, 'Boone was a dishonest man.'"

Then came the climax of his life.

"Nate, I am goin' to the Yellowstone."

While Clark was holding his peace treaties, Daniel Boone, eighty-two years old, with a dozen others set out in boats for the Upper Missouri.

Autumn came. Somewhere in the present Montana, they threw up a winter camp and were besieged by Indians. A heavy snow-storm drove the Indians off. In early Spring, coming down the Missouri on the return, again they were attacked by Indians and landed in a thicket of the opposite shore. Under cover of a storm in the night Boone ordered them into the boat, and silently in the pelting rain they escaped. 389

Boone himself brought the furs to St. Louis, and went back with a bag full of money and a boat full of emigrants.

Farther and farther into his district emigrants began setting up their four-post sassafras bedsteads and scouring their pewter platters. Women walked thirty miles to hear the first piano that came into the Boone settlement.

In the last year of the war Boone's favourite grandson was killed at Charette.

"The history of the settlement of the western country is my history," said the old Colonel in his grief. "Two darling sons, a grandson, and a brother have I lost by savage hands, besides valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the society of men, an instrument ordained of God to settle the wilderness."

"You must paint Daniel Boone," said Governor Clark to Chester Harding, a young American artist fresh from Paris in the summer of 1819. The Governor was Harding's first sitter. He invited the Indians into his studio.

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!" grunted the Osage chiefs, putting their noses close and rubbing their fingers across the Governor's portrait.

In June Harding set out up the Missouri to paint Boone. In an old blockhouse of the War of 1812, he found him lying on a bunk, roasting a strip of venison wound around his ramrod, turning it before the fire.

"What? Paint my pictur'?"

"Yes, on canvas. Make a portrait, you know."

The old man consented. With amazement the frontiersman saw the picture grow,—still more amazed, his grandchildren watched the likeness of "granddad" growing on the canvas.

Ruddy and fair, with silvered locks, always humming a tune, he sat in his buckskin hunting-shirt trimmed with otter's fur, and the knife in his belt he had carried on his first expedition to Kentucky.

Every day now, in his leisure hours, the old pioneer was busily scraping with a piece of glass. "Making a 390 powder-horn," he said. "Goin' to hunt on the Fork in the Fall."

A hundred miles up the Kansas he had often set his traps, but Boone's legs were getting shaky, his eyes were growing dim. Every day now he tried his coffin,—it was shining and polished and fair, of the wood he loved best, the cherry. People came for miles to look at Boone's coffin.


Manuel Lisa had out-distanced all his competitors in the fur trade. But the voice of envy whispered, "Manuel must cheat the Government, and Manuel must cheat the Indians, otherwise Manuel could not bring down every summer so many boats loaded with rich furs."

"Good!" exclaimed Lisa to Governor Clark, when the fleets were tying up at St. Louis in 1817. "My accounts with the Government will show whether I receive anything out of which to cheat it."

"I have not blamed you, Manuel," explained the Governor. "On the contrary I have conveyed to the Government my high appreciation of your very great services in quieting the Indians of the Missouri. It is not necessary to worry yourself with the talk of babblers who do not understand."

"Cheat the Indians!" The Spaniard stamped the floor. "The respect and friendship which they have for me, the security of my possessions in the heart of their country, respond to this charge, and declare with voices louder than the tongues of men that it cannot be true.

"'But Manuel gets so much rich fur.'" Lisa ground out the words with scorn.

"Well, I will explain how I get it. First I put into my operations great activity,—I go a great distance, 391 while some are considering whether they will start to-day or to-morrow. I impose upon myself great privations,—ten months in a year I am buried in the forest, at a vast distance from my own house. I appear as the benefactor, and not as the pillager, of the Indians. I carried among them the seed of the large pumpkin, from which I have seen in their possession the fruit weighing one hundred and sixty pounds. Also the large bean, the potato, the turnip, and these vegetables now make a great part of their subsistence. This year I have promised to carry the plough. Besides, my blacksmiths work incessantly for them, charging nothing. I lend them traps, only demanding preference in their trade. My establishments are the refuge of the weak and of the old men no longer able to follow their lodges; and by these means I have acquired the confidence and friendship of these nations, and the consequent choice of their trade. These things I have done, and I propose to do more."

In short, Manuel Lisa laid down his commission as sub-agent to embark yet more deeply in the fur trade.

"What is that noise at the river?"

Ten thousand shrieking eagles and puffs of smoke arose from the yellow-brown Mississippi below. The entire population of St. Louis was flocking to the river brink to greet the General Pike, the first steamboat that ever came up to St. Louis. People rushed to the landing but the Indians drew back in terror lest the monster should climb the bank and pursue them inland. Pell-mell into Clark's Council House they tumbled imploring protection.

Never had St. Louis appeared so beautiful as when Julia and the children came into their new home in 1819. Clark, the Governor, had built a mansion, one of the finest in St. Louis. Wide verandas gave a view of the river, gardens of fruit and flowers bloomed.

But Julia was ill.

"Take her back to the Virginia mountains," said Dr. Farrar, the family physician. "St. Louis heats are too much for her."

In dress suit, silk hat, and sword cane, Farrar was a 392 notable figure in old St. Louis, riding night and day as far out as Boone's Lick, establishing a reputation that remains proverbial yet. He had married Anne Thruston, the daughter of Fanny.

"Let her try a trip on the new steamboat," said the Doctor.

So after her picture was painted by Chester Harding in that Spring of 1819, Clark and Julia and the little boys, Meriwether Lewis, William Preston, and George Rogers Hancock, set out for New Orleans in the "new-fangled steamboat."

It was a long and dangerous trip; the river was encumbered with snags; every night they tied up to a tree.

"Travel by night? Couldn't think of it! We'd be aground before morning!" said the Captain.

Around by sea the Governor and his wife sailed by ship to Washington.

"I will join you at the Sweet Springs," said President Monroe to the Governor and his wife in Washington.

"The Sweet Springs cure all my ills," said Dolly Madison at Montpelier.

"She will recover at the Sweet Springs," said Jefferson at Monticello.

But at the Sweet Springs Julia grew so ill they had to carry her on a bed to Fotheringay.

"Miss Judy done come home sick!" The servants wept.

Something of a physician himself, Clark began the use of fumes of tar through a tube, and to the surprise of all "Miss Judy" rallied again.

"As soon as I can leave her in safety I shall return to St. Louis," wrote the Governor to friends at the Missouri capital.

"If I should die," said Julia sweetly one day, "and you ever think of marrying again, consider my cousin Harriet."

"Ah, but you will be well, my darling, when Spring comes."

And she was better in the Spring, thinking of the new house at St. Louis. Julia was a very neat and careful 393 housekeeper. Everything was kept under lock and key, she directed the servants herself, and was the light of a houseful of company. For the Governor's house was the centre of hospitality,—never a noted man came that way, but, "I must pay my respects to the Governor." Savants from over the sea came to look at his Indian museum. General Clark had made the greatest collection in the world, and had become an authority on Indian archæology.

Governor Clark, too, was worried about affairs in St. Louis. Missouri was just coming in as a State, and a new executive must be elected under the Constitution.

"Go," said Julia, "I shall be recovered soon now." Indeed, deceptive roses were blooming in her cheeks.

With many regrets and promises of a speedy return, Clark hastened back to his official duties. He found Missouri in the midst of a heated campaign, coming in as a State and electing a Governor. For seven years he had held the territorial office with honour.

But a new candidate was before the people.

"Governor Clark is too good to the Indians!" That was the chief argument of the opposing faction. "He looks after their interests to the disadvantage of the whites."

"To the disadvantage of the whites? How can that be?" inquired his friends. "Did he not in the late war deal severely with the hostile tribes? And what do you say of the Osage lands? When hostilities began President Madison ordered the settlers out of the Boone's Lick country as invaders of Indian lands. What did the Governor do? He remonstrated, he delayed the execution of those orders until they were rescinded, and the settlers were allowed to remain."

"How could he do that?"

"How? Why, he simply told the Indians those lands were included in the Osage treaty of 1808. He made that treaty, and he knew. No Indian objected. They trusted Clark; his explanation was sufficient. And his maps proved it."

"Too good to the Indians! Too good to the Indians!" 394 What Governor before ever lost his head on such a charge?

At that moment, flying down the Ohio, came a swift messenger,—"Mrs. Clark is dead at Fotheringay."

With the shock upon him, General Clark sent a card to the papers, notifying his fellow citizens of his loss, and of his necessary absence until the election was over. And with mingled dignity and sorrow he went back to Fotheringay to bury the beloved dead.

Granny Molly, "Black Granny," who had laced "Miss Judy's" shoes and tied up her curls with a ribbon in the old Philadelphia days, never left her beloved mistress.

A few days before "Miss Judy" went away, little Meriwether Lewis, then eleven years of age, came to her bedside with his curly hair dishevelled and his broad shirt collar tumbled.

"Aunt Molly," said the mother, "watch my boy and keep him neat. He is so beautiful, Granny!"

After her body was placed on two of the parlour chairs, Granny Molly noticed a little dust on the waxed floor. "Miss Judy would be 'stressed if she could see it." Away she ran, brought a mop, and had it all right by the time the coffin came.

Down on her knees scrubbing, scrubbing for the last time the floor for "Miss Judy," tears trickled down the ebony cheeks.

"Po', po' Miss Judy. You's done gwine wid de angels."

They laid her in the family tomb, overlooking the green valley of the Roanoke. Two weeks after her death, Colonel Hancock himself also succumbed.

To a double funeral the Governor came back. High on the hillside they laid them, in a mausoleum excavated out of the solid rock.

"De Cunnel, he done watch us out ob dat iron window up dah," said the darkies. "He sits up dah in a stone chair so he can look down de valley and see his slaves at deir work."

To this day the superstitious darkies will not pass his tomb. 395

On his way to Washington, Governor Clark stopped again at Monticello.

"Ah, the joyous activity of my grandfather!" exclaimed Thomas Jefferson Randolph. "He mounts his horse early in the morning, canters down the mountain and across country to the site of the university. All day long he assists at the work. He has planned it, engaged workmen, selected timber, bought bricks. He has sent to Italy for carvers of stone."

Out of those students flocking to consult Jefferson had grown the University of Virginia. Books and professors were brought from England, and the institution opened in 1825.

Martha Jefferson's husband, Thomas Mann Randolph, was Governor of Virginia now, but the sage of Monticello paid little attention. All his talk was of schools,—schools and colleges for Virginia.

"Slavery in Missouri?" Clark broached the discussion that was raging at the West.

Instantly the sage of Monticello was attentive.

"This momentous question, like a firebell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. It is the knell of the Union. Since Bunker Hill we have never had so ominous a question." He who had said, "Pensacola and Florida will come in good time," and, "I have ever looked on Cuba as the most interesting addition which could be made to our system of States," had corresponded with the Spanish minister concerning a canal through the isthmus, and sent Lewis and Clark to open up a road to Asia,—Jefferson, more than any other, had the vision of to-day.

Governor Clark went on to Washington.

Ramsay Crooks and Russell Farnham of the Astor expedition were quartered at the same hotel with Floyd of Virginia and Benton of Missouri.

Beside their whale-oil lamps they talked of Oregon. Benton was writing for Oregon,—he made a noise in all the papers. John Floyd framed a bill, the first for Oregon occupancy.

Missouri was just coming in as a State. The moment 396 Benton, her first Senator, was seated, he flew to Floyd's support.

"We must occupy the Columbia," said Benton. "Mere adventurers may enter upon it as Æneas entered upon the Tiber, and as our forefathers came upon the Potomac, the Delaware, and the Hudson, and renew the phenomenon of individuals laying the foundation of future empire. Upon the people of eastern Asia the establishment of a civilised power upon the opposite coast of America cannot fail to produce great and wonderful results. Science, liberal principles, government, and the true religion, may cast their lights across the intervening sea. The valley of the Columbia may become the granary of China and Japan, and an outlet for their imprisoned and exuberant population."

Staid Senators smiled and called Benton a dreamer, but he and Floyd were the prophets of to-day.

For thirty years after Astor had been driven out, England and her fur companies enriched themselves in Oregon waters. For thirty years Benton stood in his place and fought to save us Oregon. From the bedside of the dying Jefferson, and from the lips of the living Clark, he took up the great enterprise of an overland highway to India.

When Governor Clark came sorrowing back to St. Louis with the little boys, Missouri was a State and a new Governor sat in the chair, but though governors came and governors went, the officer that had held the position through all the territorial days was always called "Governor" Clark. As United States superintendent of Indian affairs for the West, Governor Clark now became practically autocrat of the redmen for life.

"If you ever think of marrying again, consider my cousin Harriet."

More than a year Governor Clark "considered," and then the most noted citizen of St. Louis married the handsome widow Radford.

"From Philadelphia she haf a wedding trousseau," said the vivacious Creole girls, drinking tea in their wide verandas. "She haf de majesty look, like one queen." 397

From the home of her brother, James Kennerly, the fun-loving Harriet of other years went to become the grave and dignified hostess in the home of the ex-governor.


"Hasten, Ruskosky, rebraid my queue. Kings and half kings are in there as plenty as blackberries in the woods, and I must see what is the matter."

Hurriedly the Polish valet, who dressed Clark in his later years, knelt to button the knees of his small clothes and fasten on a big silk bow in place of a buckle. Directly the tall figure wrapped in a cloak entered the council chamber connected with his study.

The walls of the council chamber were covered with portraits of distinguished chiefs, and with Indian arms and dresses, the handsomest the West afforded. Nothing pleased the redmen better than to be honoured by the acceptance of some treasure for this museum.

Against this wall the Indians sat, and the little gray-haired interpreter, Antony Le Claire, lit the tomahawk pipe. As the fumes rolled upward the Red Head Chief took his seat at the table before him. The Indians lifted their heads. Justice would now be done.

It was a sultry day and the council doors were open. But sultrier still was the debate within.

"Our Father," said the Great and Little Osages, "we have come to meet our enemies, the Delawares and Shawnees and Kickapoos and Peorias, in your Council Hall. We ourselves can effect a peace."

And so the Red Head listened. "Make your peace."

Six days they argued, Paul Louise interpreter. Hot and hotter grew the debate, and mutual recriminations. 398

"White Hair's warriors shot at one of my young men."

"But you, Delawares, robbed our relations," cried the Osage chiefs.

"You stole our otter-skins," retorted the Delawares.

"And you hunted on our lands."

"Last Summer when we were absent, you bad-hearted Osages destroyed our fields of corn and cut up our gardens," cried the angry Shawnees, who always sided with the Delawares.

"You speak with double tongues—"

Clark stepped in and hushed the controversy.

"Who gave you leave to hunt on Osage lands?"

"White Hair and his principal braves," answered the Delawares.

"When did they shoot at your man?"

"At the Big Bend of the Arkansas."

"Who owned the peltries the Osages took?"

"All of us."

"Very well then, restitution must be made."

Soothing as a summer breeze was his gentle voice, "My children, I cannot have you injured. The Delawares are my children, and the Osages, the Shawnees, the Kickapoos, and the Peorias. I cannot permit any one to injure my children. Whoever does that is no longer child of mine. You must bury the sharp hatchet underground."

He calmed the heated tribes and effected peace. Like little children they gave each other strings of beads, pipes, and tobacco, and departed reconciled.

"Bring all your difficulties to me or to Paul Louise and we will judge for you," said the Red Head Chief, as one by one they filed in plumed array down the steps of the Council House.

Scarce had the reconciled tribes departed before officers of the law brought in seven chiefs, hostages of the Iowas,—"Accused by the Sacs, Your Honour, of killing cattle; accused by the whites of killing settlers."

"My father." The mournful appealing tone of the Indian speaker always affected Clark. He was singularly 399 fitted to be their judge and friend. "My son." There was an air of sympathy and paternal kindness as the Red Head Chief listened. His heart was stirred by their wrongs, and his face would redden with indignation as he listened to the pitiful tales of his children.

With bodies uncovered to the waist, with blanket on the left arm and the right arm and breast bare, a chief stepped forth to be examined concerning a border fray with the backwoodsmen.

Drawing himself to his full height, and extending his arm toward Clark, the Iowa began:

"Red Head, if I had done that of which my white brother accuses me, I would not stand here now. The words of my red head father have passed through both my ears and I have remembered them. I am accused. I am not guilty.

"I thought I would come down to see my red head father to hold a talk with him.

"I come across the line. I see the cattle of my white brother dead. I see the Sauk kill them in great numbers. I said there would be trouble. I thought to go to my village. I find I have no provisions. I say, 'Let us go down to our white brother and trade for a little.' I do not turn on my track to my village."

Then turning to the Sacs and pointing,—

"The Sauk who tells lies of me goes to my white brother and says, 'The Ioway has killed your cattle.'

"When the lie has talked thus to my white brother, he comes up to my village. We hear our white brother coming. We are glad and leave our cabins to tell him he is welcome. While I shake hands with my white brother, my white brother shoots my best chief through the head,—shoots three my young men, a squaw, and her children.

"My young men hear, they rush out, they fire,—four of my white brothers fall. My people fly to the woods, and die of cold and hunger."

Dropping his head and his arm, in tragic attitude he stands, the picture of despair. The lip of the savage quivers. He lifts his eyes,— 400

"While I shake hands my white brother shoots my chief, my son, my only son."

Only by consummate tact can Clark handle these distressing conflicts of the border. Who is right and who is wrong? The settlers hate the Indians, the Indians dread and fear the settlers.

"Governor Clark," said the Shawnees and Delawares, "since three or four years we are crowded by the whites who steal our horses. We moved. You recommended us to raise stock and cultivate our ground. That advice we have followed, but again white men have come."

The Cherokees complained, "White people settle without our consent. They destroy our game and produce discord and confusion."

Clark could see the heaving of their naked breasts and their lithe bodies, the tigers of their kind, shaken by irrepressible emotion.

And again in the Autumn,—

"What is it?" inquired the stranger as pennons came glittering down the Missouri.

"Oh, nothing, only another lot of Indians coming down to see their red-headed daddy," was the irreverent response, as the solemn, calm-featured braves glided into view, gazing as only savages can gaze at the wonders of civilisation.

"What! going to war?" cried Clark, in a tone of thunder, as they made known their errand at the Council House. "Your Great Father, the President, forbids it. He counsels his children to live in peace. If you insist on listening to bad men I shall come out there and make you desist."

The stormy excitement subsided. They shrank from his reproofs, and felt and feared his power.

"Go home. Take these gifts to my children, and tell them they were sent by the Red Head Chief."

Viewed with admiration, the presents were carefully wrapped in skins to be laid away and treasured on many a weary march and through many a sad vicissitude. A few days in St. Louis, then away go the willowy copper-skin paddlers to dissuade their braves from incurring the 401 awful displeasure of the Red Head Chief. The West of that day was sown with his medals that disappeared only with the tribes.

In time they came to know Clark's signature, and preserved it as a sacred talisman. Could the influence of one man have availed against armies of westward pressing trappers, traders, and pioneers, the tribes would have been civilised.

"Shall we accept the missionaries? Shall we hearken to their teaching?"

"Yes," he said to the Osages. "Yes," to the Pawnees, to the Shawnees, and "Yes," to a delegation that came from the far-off Nez Percés beyond the Rocky Mountains.

In days of friction and excitement Clark did more than regiments to preserve peace on the frontier. He was a buffer, a perpetual break-water between the conflicting races.

As United States superintendent of Indian affairs the Red Head Chief grew venerable. The stately old officer lived in style in St. Louis, and as in the colonial time Sir William Johnson ruled from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, so now Clark's word was Indian law from the Mississippi to the Pacific. His voice was raised in continual advantage to the Indian. While civilisation was pushing west and west, and crowding them out of their old domains, he was softening as much as possible the rigour of their contact with whites.

"Our position with regard to the Indians has entirely changed," he used to say. "Before Wayne's campaigns in 1794 and events of 1818, the tribes nearest our settlements were a formidable and terrible enemy. Since then their power has been broken, their warlike spirit subdued, and themselves sunk into objects of pity and commiseration. While strong and hostile, it has been our obvious duty to weaken them; now that they are weak and harmless, and most of their lands fallen into our hands, justice and humanity require us to cherish and befriend them. To teach them to live in houses, to raise grain and stock, to plant orchards, to set up landmarks, to divide their possessions, to establish laws for their government, to get 402 the rudiments of common learning, such as reading, writing, and ciphering, are the first steps toward improving their condition."

This was the policy of Jefferson, reaffirmed by Clark. It was the key to all Clark's endeavours.

At Washington City he discussed the question with President Monroe.

"But to take these steps with effect the Indians should be removed west of the Mississippi and north of the Missouri."

"Let them move singly or in families as they please," said Clark. "Place agents where the Indians cross the Mississippi, to supply them with provisions and ammunition. A constant tide is now going on from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois. They cross at St. Louis and St. Genevieve, and my accounts show the aid which is given them. Many leading chiefs are zealous in this work, and are labouring hard to collect their dispersed and broken tribes at their new and permanent homes."

"And the land?" inquired the President.

"It is well watered with numerous streams and some large rivers, abounds with grass, contains prairies, land for farms, and affords a temporary supply of game.

"It is in vain for us to talk about learning and religion; these Indians want food. The Sioux, the Osages, are powerful tribes,—they are near our border, and my official station enables me to know the exact truth. They are distressed by famine; many die for want of food; the living child is buried with the dead mother because no one can spare it food through its helpless infancy.

"Grain, stock, fences are the first things. Property alone can keep up the pride of the Indian and make him ashamed of drunkenness, lying, and stealing.

"The period of danger with an Indian is when he ceases to be a hunter and before he gets the means of living from flocks and agriculture. In the transit from a hunter to a farmer, he degenerates from a proud and independent savage to a beggar, drunkard, thief. To counteract the danger, property in horses, hogs, and cattle is indispensable. They should be assisted in making 403 fences and planting orchards, and be instructed in raising cotton and making cloth. Small mills should be erected to save the women the labour of pounding corn, and mechanics should be employed to teach the young Indians how to make ploughs, carts, wheels, hoes, and axes."

Benton and other great men argued in the Senate. "In contact with the white race the Indians degenerate. They are a dangerous neighbour within our borders. They prevent the expansion of the white race, and the States will not be satisfied until all their soil is open to settlement."

And so, to remove the Indians to a home of their own became the great work of Clark's life.

"A home where the whites shall never come!" the Indians were delighted. "We will look at these lands."

"I recommend that the government send special agents to collect the scattered bands and families and pay their expenses to the lands assigned them," said Clark, estimating the cost at one hundred thousand dollars. But not all of the tribes would listen.

In November, 1826, Clark drove from St. Louis in his carriage to the Choctaw nation in Alabama, to persuade them to move west of the Mississippi.

"After many years spent in reflection," said the Commissioners, "your Great Father, the President, has determined upon a plan for your happiness. The United States has a large unsettled country on the west side of the great river Mississippi into which they do not intend their white settlements shall enter. This is the country in which our Great Father intends to settle his red children.

"Many of the tribes are now preparing to remove and are making application for land. The Cherokees and Muscogees have procured lands, and your people can have five times as much land in that fine country as they are now living on in this."

Never before in the conquest of nations had the weaker race been offered such advantageous terms. Two days passed while the Indians considered and argued among themselves. 404

"What shall we give to you?" asked the Commissioners. "These lands and titles to them, provisions and clothing, a cow and corn and farming implements to each family, and blacksmiths and ploughmakers and annuities."

"Friends and brothers of the Choctaw nation," said Clark in the council, "I have spent half the period of an accustomed life among you. Thirty-six years ago I passed through your country and saw your distressed condition. Now I see part of your nation much improved in prosperity and civilisation. This affords me much happiness. But I am informed that a very large majority of the Choctaw nation are seeking food among the swamps by picking cotton for white planters.

"Cannot provision be made to better their condition?

"Let me recommend that the poorer and less enlightened be moved without delay to their lands west of the Mississippi. There will I take pleasure in advancing their interests. In my declining years it would be a great consolation to me to see them prosper in agriculture.

"Come to my country where I can have it in my power to act as your father and your friend. You shall be protected and peaceful and happy."

The Choctaws were touched, but they answered,—

"We cannot part with our country. It is the land of our birth,—the hills and streams of our youth."


St. Louis was a cold place in those prairie years; a great deal of snow fell, and sleighbells rang beside the Great River. No Indians came during the cold weather, but with the springing grass and blossoming trees, each year the Indians camped around the twin lakes at Maracasta, Clark's farm west of St. Louis. 405

There were wigwams all over Maracasta. James Kennerly, Clark's Indian deputy, busy ever with the ruddy aborigines, dealing out annuities, arranging for treaties and instructing the tribes, kept open house for the chiefs at Côte Plaquemine, the Persimmon Hill. Clark's boys shot bows and arrows with the little Indians, Kennerly's little girls made them presents of "kinnikinick," dried leaves of the sumac and red osier dogwood, to smoke in their long pipes.

Every delegation came down laden with gifts for the Red Head,—costly furs, buffalo robes, bows, arrows, pipes, moccasins.

Tragedies of the plains came daily to the ears of General Clark, far, far beyond the reach of government in the wild battle-ground of the West.

In 1822 the Sioux and Cheyennes combined against the Crows and fell upon their villages. In the slaughter of that day five thousand defenceless men, women, and children were butchered on the prairie. All their lodges and herds of horses and hundreds of captive girls were carried away. As a people the Crows never recovered.

Drunk with victory the triumphant Sioux rolled back on the Chippewas, Sacs, Foxes, and Iowas.

"If continued, these wars will embroil all the tribes of the West," said Clark. "We must do something more to promote peace. They must become civilised."

President Monroe was working up a new Indian policy, with Clark as a chief adviser.

"Go, Paul Louise, take this talk to my Osages. I am coming up to their country. Tell them to meet me on the first of June."

In his canoe, with his squaw and his babies, the wizened little Frenchman set out. He could not read, he could not write, he could only make his mark, but the Indians loved and trusted Paul Louise.

"And you, Baronet Vasquez, take this to the Kansas nation."

Vasquez belonged to the old Spanish régime. As a youth he had gone out with the Spanish garrison at the cession of St. Louis, to return a fur trader. 406

Then came Lafayette from the memories of Monticello. Escorted by a troop of horse, he had ascended that historic mountain. The alert lithe figure of the little Marquis leaped from the carriage; at the same moment the door opened, revealing the tall, bent, wasted figure of Jefferson in the pillared portico. The music ceased, and every head uncovered. Slowly the aged Jefferson descended the steps, slowly the little Marquis approached his friend, then crying, with outstretched arms, "Ah, Jefferson!" "Ah, Lafayette!" each fell upon the other's bosom. The gentlemen of the cavalcade turned away with tears, and the two were left to solitude and recollection.

Long and often had Jefferson and Lafayette laboured together in anxious and critical periods of the past. It was in chasing "the boy" Lafayette that the British came to Charlottesville. When Jefferson was minister in Paris, the young and popular nobleman assisted the unaccustomed American at the Court of France. Together they had seen the opening of the French Revolution. What memories came back as they sat in the parlour at Monticello, discussing the momentous events of two continents in which they had been actors!

"What would I have done with the Queen?" asked the aged Jefferson. "I should have shut her up in a convent, putting harm out of her power. I have ever believed if there had been no Queen there would have been no French Revolution."

Lafayette went to Montpelier to see Madison, and then to Yorktown, over the same road which he himself had opened in 1781 in the retreat before Cornwallis. One long ovation followed his route. Even old ladies who had seen him in their youth pressed forward with the plea, "Let me see the young Marquis again!" forgetful of the flight of years. Echoes of his triumphal tour had reached the border. St. Louis, a city and a State not dreamed of in Revolutionary days, begged the honour of entertaining Lafayette.

Far down the river they saw the smoke of his steamer, coming up from New Orleans. 407

"Welcome!" the hills echoed. "Vive Lafayette!"

The Marquis lifted his eyes,—white stone houses gay with gardens and clusters of verdure arose before him in a town of five thousand inhabitants. Below stood the massive stone forts of the Spanish time, and on the brow of the bluff frowned the old round tower, the last fading relic of feudalism in North America.

Every eye was fixed upon the honoured guest. A few were there who could recall the pride of Lafayette in his American troops, with their helmets and flowing crests and the sabres he himself had brought from France. The banquet, the toasts, the ball, all these have passed into tradition.

The Marquis visited Clark's cabinet of Indian curios.

"I present you this historic cloak of an Indian chief," said the General, offering a robe like a Russian great coat.

In turn, Lafayette presented his mess chest, carried through the Revolution, and placed on the Governor's finger a ring of his hair. Later Clark sent him the live cub of a grizzly bear, that grew to be a wonder in the Jardin des Plantes of Paris.

"And your great brother, George Rogers Clark?" inquired the Marquis.

"He died seven years ago at Louisville," answered the Governor.

"In securing the liberties of this country I esteem him second only to Washington," said Lafayette.

"Those thieving Osages have taken six more of my horses," complained Chouteau the next morning at the office of Governor Clark.

"And four blankets and three axes of me," added Baptiste Dardenne.

"Worse yet, they have stolen my great-coat and razor case," said Manuel Roderique.

Two thousand dollars' worth of claims were paid in that summer of 1825.

"We must get them out of the way," persisted the exasperated whites.

"Acts and acts of Congress regulating trade and intercourse 408 with the tribes are of no avail. They must be removed, and as far as possible. They are banditti, robbers!" said Benton.

In spite of all proclamations clothes disappeared from the line, silk stockings and bed-quilts and ladies' hats mysteriously went into the wigwams of the vagrants.

"This state of affairs is intolerable!" exclaimed Benton. "Governor Clark, if you will conclude a treaty removing those tribes to the West I will stake my honour on putting a ratification through Congress. I'll present the case!"

Again the great senator ground out the words between his teeth, "I'll present the case. It will be a kindness to both parties. The poor Indians have lost all,—we must reimburse them, we must take care of them, they must have a home,—but far away, far away!" shaking his fingers and closing his eyes with the significant shrug so well known to the friends of Colonel Benton.

"Not so bad as eet once was," urged the kind-hearted Creoles. "Not so bad by far. In de old Spanish days dey once left St. Genevieve wit'out a horse to turn a mill. Dey came in to de village in de night and carried away everyt'ing dey could find. Nobody ever pursue dem. But les Américains, dey chase dem. But den," commented the tolerant Creoles, "de Osage do not kill, like de Kickapoo and de Cherokee. Dey take de goods, steal de furs, beat with ramrods, drive him off,—but dey don't kill!"

So in May, after the departure of Lafayette, Governor Clark steamed up the Missouri, met the Kansas and Osage Indians, and made treaties for the cession of all their lands within the present boundary of Missouri.

"You shall have lands, hogs, fowls, cattle, carts, and farming tools to settle farther west."

This was wealth to the poor Osages, whose hunting fields had become exhausted.

"Go to the earth and till it, it will give you bread and meat and clothes and comfort and happiness. You may talk about your poverty always, and it will never make 409 you better off. You must be industrious," said Clark. "And your old friend, Boone, shall be your farmer."

For almost forty years now they had known Daniel M. Boone, the son of the great pioneer,—since, indeed, those days when as a boy of eighteen he trapped on the Kansas. Two springs later the removal was made, and Boone, as "farmer for the Kansas Indians," took up his residence in the Kaw Valley where his chimney stacks may yet be seen near the present Lecompton. The next year was born Napoleon Boone, the first white child in Kansas.

All this time the northern clans were gathering at Prairie du Chien, a work of months. June 30 Governor Clark's barge started north from St. Louis, laden with presents, provisions, interpreters.

"We are afraid to come," said the Omahas. "We are afraid to cross the hostile territory."

William Preston Clark, in looks and dress the blonde double of the poet Byron, said, "Let me bring them, father."

So young Clark, intimate with Indians, went after the Omahas and brought them safely in. But Big Elk left his medal with his son, "I never expect to reach home alive," he said. "We cross the country of the Sacs!"

The Yanktons refused. "Shall we be butchered by the Sacs?" But later they came to St. Louis, smoked with the Sacs and shook hands. Even the Sioux feared the Sacs, the warriors of the central valley.

Mahaska, head chief of the Iowas, with his braves went up with Clark, and Rant-che-wai-me, the Flying Pigeon. Rant-che-wai-me had been to Washington. A year ago, when her husband left her alone at the wigwam on the Des Moines, she set out for St. Louis. The steamer was at the shore, the chief was about to embark, when he felt a blow upon his back. Shaking his plumes in wrath, Mahaska turned,—to behold the Flying Pigeon, with uplifted tomahawk in her hand.

"Am I your wife?" she cried.

"You are my wife," answered the surprised chief. 410

"Are you my husband?"

"I am your husband."

"Then will I, too, go with you to shake the Great Father by the hand."

Mahaska smiled,—"You are my pretty wife, Flying Pigeon; you shall go to Washington." Clark, too, smiled,—"Yes, she can go."

The pretty Rant-che-wai-me was feted at the White House, and had her picture painted by a great artist as a typical Iowa Princess. And now she was going to Prairie du Chien.

Not for ten years had Clark visited his northern territory. Few changes had come on the Mississippi. Twice a year Colonel George Davenport brought a hundred thousand dollars' worth of goods to his trading post at Rock Island.

Beyond, Julien Dubuque lay in perpetual state on his hills, wrapped only in a winding sheet in his tomb, exposed to the view of every traveller that cared to climb the grassy height to gaze through the grated windows of his lonely mausoleum.

"The Great Chief, the Red Head is coming," whispered all the Indians, as Clark's barges hove in sight.

Prairie du Chien was alive with excitement. Governor Cass of Michigan was already there. Not only the village, but the entire banks of the river for miles above and below were covered with high-pointed buffalo tents. Horses browsed upon the bluffs in Arabian abandon. Below, tall and warlike, Chippewas and Winnebagoes from Superior and the valley of St. Croix jostled Menomonees, Pottawattamies, and Ottawas from Lake Michigan and Green Bay.


Major Taliferro from the Falls of St. Anthony made the grand entry with his Sioux and Chippewas, four hundred strong, drums beating, flags flying. Taliferro was very popular with the Sioux,—even the squaws said he was "Weechashtah Washtay,"—a handsome man.

Over from Sault Ste. Marie the learned agent Schoolcraft 411 had brought one hundred and fifty Chippewas, brothers of Hiawatha.

Keokuk, the Watchful Fox, with his Sacs and Iowas, was the last to arrive. Leagued against the Sioux, they had camped on an island below to paint and dress, and came up the Mississippi attired in full war costume singing their battle-song. It was a thrilling sight when they came upon the scene with spears, battle-lances, and crested locks like Roman helmets, casting bitter glances at their ancient foe, the Sioux. Nearly nude, with feather war-flags flying, and beating tambourines, the Sacs landed in compact ranks, breathing defiance. From his earliest youth Keokuk had fought the Sioux.

"Bold, martial, flushed with success, Keokuk landed, majestic and frowning," said Schoolcraft, "and as another Coriolanus spoke in the council and shook his war lance at the Sioux."

At the signal of a gun, every day at ten o'clock, the chiefs assembled.

"Children," said Governor Clark to the assembled savages, "your Great Father has not sent us here to ask anything from you—we want nothing—not the smallest piece of your land. We have come a great way to meet for your own good. Your Great Father the President has been informed that war is carried on among his red children,—the Sacs, Foxes, and Chippewas on one side and the Sioux on the other,—and that the wars of some of you began before any of you were born."

"Heigh! heigh!" broke forth the silent smokers. "Heigh! heigh!" exclaimed the warriors. "Heigh! heigh!" echoed the vast and impatient concourse around the council.

"Your father thinks there is no cause for continuation of war between you. There is land enough for you to live and hunt on and animals enough. Why, instead of peaceably following the game and providing for your families, do you send out war parties to destroy each other? The Great Spirit made you all of one colour and placed you upon the land. You ought to live in peace as brothers of one great family. Your Great Father has 412 heard of your war songs and war parties,—they do not please him. He desires that his red children should bury the tomahawk."

"Heigh! heigh!"

"Children! look around you. See the result of wars between nations who were once powerful and are now reduced to a few wandering families. You have examples enough before you.

"Children, your wars have resulted from your having no definite boundaries. You do not know what belongs to you, and your people follow the game into lands claimed by other tribes."

"Heigh! heigh!"

"Children, you have all assembled under your Father's flag. You are under his protection. Blood must not be spilt here. Whoever injures one of you injures us, and we will punish him as we would punish one of our own people."

"Heigh! heigh! heigh!" cried all the Indians.

"Children," said General Cass, "your Great Father does not want your land. He wants to establish boundaries and peace among you. Your Great Father has strong limbs and a piercing eye, and an arm that extends from the sea to Red River.

"Children, you are hungry. We will adjourn for two hours."

"Heigh! heigh! heigh-h!" rolled the chorus across the Prairie.

As to an army, rations were distributed, beef, bread, corn, salt, sugar, tobacco. Each ate, ate, ate,—till not a scrap was left to feed a humming-bird.

Revered of his people, Wabasha and his pipe-bearers were the observed of all.

"I never yet was present at so great a council as this," said Wabasha. Three thousand were at Prairie du Chien.

The Sioux? Far from the northwest they said their fathers came,—the Tartar cheek was theirs. Wabasha and his chiefs alone had the Caucasian countenance.

Three mighty brothers ruled the Sioux in the days 413 of Pontiac,—Wabasha, Red Wing, and Little Crow. Their sons, Wabasha, Red Wing, and Little Crow ruled still.

"Boundaries?" they knew not the meaning of the word. Restless, anxious, sharp-featured Little Crow fixed his piercing hazel eye upon the Red Head,—

"Taku-wakan!—that is incomprehensible!"

"Heigh! What does this mean?" exclaimed the Chippewas.

"We are all one people," sagely observed Mahaska, the Iowa. "My father, I claim no lands in particular."

"I never yet heard that any one had any exclusive right to the soil," said Chambler, the Ottawa.

"I have a tract of country. It is where I was born and now live," said Red Bird, the Winnebago. "But the Foxes claim it and the Sacs, the Menomonees, and Omahas. We use it in common."

Red Bird was a handsome Indian, dressed Yankton fashion in white unsoiled deerskin and scarlet, and glove-fitting moccasins,—the dandy of his tribe.

The debate grew animated. "Our tract is so small," cried the Menomonees, "that we cannot turn around without touching our neighbours." Then every Indian began to describe his boundaries, crossing and recrossing each other.

"These are the causes of all your troubles," said Clark. "It is better for each of you to give up some disputed claim than to be fighting for ever about it."

That night the parties two by two discussed their lines, the first step towards civilisation. They drew maps on the ground,—"my hunting ground," and "mine," and "mine." After days of study the boundary rivers were acknowledged, the belt of wampum was passed, and the pipe of peace.

Wabasha, acknowledged by every chief to be first of the Seven Fires of the Sioux, was treated by all with marked distinction and deference. And yet Wabasha, dignified and of superior understanding, when asked, "Wabasha? What arrangement did you make with the Foxes about boundaries?" replied, "I never made any 414 arrangement about the line. The only arrangement I made was about peace!"

"When I heard the voice of my Great Father," said Mongazid, the Loon's Foot, from Fond du Lac, "when I heard the voice of my Father coming up the Mississippi, calling to this treaty, it seemed as a murmuring wind. I got up from my mat where I sat musing, and hastened to obey. My pathway has been clear and bright. Truly it is a pleasant sky above our heads this day. There is not a cloud to darken it. I hear nothing but pleasant words. The raven is not waiting for his prey. I hear no eagle cry, 'Come, let us go,—the feast is ready,—the Indian has killed his brother.'"

Shingaba Wassin of Sault Ste. Marie, head chief of the Chippewas, had fought with Britain in the War of 1812 and lost a brother at the battle of the Thames. He and a hundred other chiefs with their pipe bearers signed the treaty. Everybody signed. And all sang, even the girls, the Witcheannas of the Sioux.

"We have buried our bad thoughts in the ashes of the pipe," said Little Crow.

"I always had good counsel from Governor Clark," observed Red Wing.

"You put this medal on my neck in 1812," said Decorah, the Winnebago, "and when I returned I gave good advice to the young men of our village."

After a fierce controversy and the rankling of a hundred wrongs, the warring tribes laid down their lances and buried the tomahawk. Sacs and Sioux shook hands; the dividing lines were fixed; all the chiefs signed, and the tribes were at peace for the first time in a thousand years.

"Pray God it may last," said Clark, as his boat went away homeward along with the Sacs down the Mississippi.

The great Council at Prairie du Chien was over. 415


For thirty years after the cession, St. Louis was a great military centre. Sixty thousand dollars a year went into the village from Bellefontaine, and still more after the opening of Jefferson Barracks in 1826. Nor can it be denied that the expenditure of large sums of money in Indian annuities through the office of Governor Clark did much for the prosperity of the frontier city.

And ever the centre of hospitality was the home of Governor Clark. Both the Governor and his wife enjoyed life, took things leisurely, both had the magnetic faculty of winning people, and they set a splendid table.

"I like to see my house full," said the Governor. There were no modern hotels in those days, and his house became a stopping place for all noted visitors to St. Louis.

Their old-fashioned coach, with the footman up behind in a tall silk hat, met at the levee many a distinguished stranger,—travellers, generals, dukes, and lords from Europe who came with letters to the Indian autocrat of the West. All had to get a pass from Clark, and all agents and sub-agents were under and answerable to him.

But unspoiled in the midst of it passed the plain, unaristocratic Red Head Chief and friend of the oppressed. For years he corresponded with Lafayette, and yet Clark was not a scholar. He was a man of affairs, of which this country has abounded in rich examples.

Prince Paul of Wurtemberg came, the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and Maximilian, Prince of Wied, all seeking passports for the Indian country, all coming back with curios for their palaces and castles.

Very politely Mrs. Clark listened to their broken English and patiently conversed with them when the Governor was away. 416

One of the first pianos came to the Clark parlours, and on special occasions the Indian council room was cleared and decorated for grand balls. Many a young "milletoer," as the Creoles called them, dashed up from Jefferson Barracks to win a bride among the girls of St. Louis.

For the preservation of peace and the facilitation of Indian removals, Fort Des Moines was built among the Iowas, Fort Atkinson near the present Omaha, Fort Snelling at the Falls of St. Anthony, and Fort Leavenworth on the borders of Kansas.

Half the area of the United States lay out there, with no law, no courts, but those of battle. As quietly as possible, step by step, the savage land was taken into custody. And the pretty girls of St. Louis did their share to reconcile the "milletoers" to life at the frontier posts.

"Ho for Santa Fé!" One May morning in 1824 a caravan of waggons passed through the streets of St. Louis.

Penned in the far-off Mexican mountains a little colony of white people were shut from the world. Twice before a few adventurous pack-trains had penetrated their mountain solitudes, as Phœnicians of old went over to Egypt, India, Arabia.

"Los Americanos! Los Americanos!" shouted the eager mountain dwellers, rushing out to embrace the traders and welcome them to their lonely settlement. Silks, cottons, velvets, hardware, were bought up in a trice, and the fortunate traders returned to St. Louis with horseload after horseload of gold and silver bullion.

"Those people want us. But the Spanish authorities are angry and tax us as they used to tax the traders at New Orleans. The people beg us to disregard their tyrannous rulers,—they must have goods."

In 1817 young Auguste Chouteau tried it, and was cast into prison and his goods confiscated.

"What wish you?" demanded the Spanish Governor, in answer to repeated solicitations from the captive.

"Mi libertad Gobernador."

Wrathfully they locked him closer than ever in the old donjon of Santa Fé. 417

"My neighbour's son imprisoned there without cause!" exclaimed Governor Clark. All the old Spanish animosity roiled in his veins. He appealed to Congress. There was a rattling among the dry bones, and Chouteau and his friends were released.

And now, on the 15th of May, 1824, eighty men set out in the first waggon train, with twenty thousand dollars' worth of merchandise for the isolated Mexican capital. In September the caravan returned with their capital increased a hundred-fold in sacks of gold and silver and ten thousand dollars' worth of furs.

The Santa Fé trade was established never to be shaken, though Indian battles, like conflicts with Arab sheiks of the desert, grew wilder than any Crusader's tale. Young men of the Mississippi dreamed of that "farther west" of Santa Fé and Los Angeles.

"We must have a safe road," said the traders. "We may wander off into the desert and perish."

In the same year Senator Benton secured an appropriation of ten thousand dollars for staking the plains to Santa Fé.

"We must have protection," said the traders to Governor Clark at the Council House. At Council Grove, a buffalo haunt in a thickly wooded bottom at the headwaters of the Neosho in the present Kansas, Clark's agents met the Osage Indians and secured permission for the caravans to pass through their country. But the dreaded Pawnees and Comanches were as yet unapproachable.

In spite of the inhumanity of Spaniards, in spite of murderous Pawnees, in spite of desert dust and red-brown grass and cacti, year by year the caravans grew, the people became more friendly and solicitous of each other's trade, until one day New Mexico was ready to step over into the ranks of the States.

And one day Kit Carson, whose mother was a Boone, only sixteen and small of his age, ran away from a hard task-master to join the Santa Fé caravan and grow up on the plains.

Daniel Boone was dead, at eighty-six, just as Missouri came in as a State. Jesse, the youngest of the Boone 418 boys to come out from Kentucky, was in the Constitutional Convention that adjourned in his honour, and Jesse's son, Albert Gallatin Boone, in 1825, joined as private secretary that wonderful Ashley expedition that keel-boated up the Platte, crossed from its head-waters over to Green River, kept on west, discovered the Great South Pass of the Rockies, the overland route of future emigration, and set up its tents on the borders of Utah Lake.

Overwhelmed with debt Ashley set out,—he came back a millionaire with the greatest collection of furs ever known up to that time. Everything was Ashley then, "Ashley boats" and "Ashley beaver,"—he was the greatest man in St. Louis, and was sent to Congress.

Sixty years ago the Lords of the Rivers ruled St. Louis.

The Rocky Mountain Fur Company went out and camped on the site of a dozen future capitals. From the Green River Valley under the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, from the Tetons of Colorado, the Uintahs of Utah, and the Bitter Roots of Idaho, from the shining Absarokas and the Bighorn Alps, they came home with mink and otter, beaver, bear, and buffalo.

The American Fur Company came to St. Louis, and the Chouteaus, at first the rivals, became the partners of John Jacob Astor. Born in the atmosphere of furs, for forty years Pierre Chouteau the younger had no rival in the Valley except Clark. The two stood side by side, one representing commerce, the other the Government.

Pierre Chouteau, the largest fur trader west of the Alleghanies, sent his boats to Itasca, the headwaters of the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Yellowstone, the Osage, the Kansas, and the Platte, employing a thousand men and paying skilled pilots five thousand dollars for a single expedition. With Chouteau's convoys came down Clark's chiefs, going back in the same vessels. To their untutored minds the trader's capital and the Red Head Town were synonymous.

If there was a necessary conflict between the policy of the government and that of the fur trade, no one could have softened it more than the Red Head diplomat. With 419 infinite tact and unfailing good sense, he harmonised, reconciled, and pushed for the best interest of the Indian.

"Give up the chase and settle into agricultural life," said Clark's agents to the Indians.

"Go to the chase," said the trader.

Clark sent up hoes to supersede the shoulder-blade of the buffalo. The trader sent up fusils and ammunition. The two combined in the evolution of the savage. The squaw took the hoe, the brave the gun.

Winter expresses came down to St. Louis from the far-off Powder and the Wind River Mountains. "Send us merchandise." With the first breaking ice of Spring the boats were launched, the caravans ready.

Deck-piled, swan-like upon the water the Missouri steamboat started. Pierre Chouteau was there to see her off, Governor Clark was there to bid farewell to his chiefs. Engagés of the Company, fiercely picturesque, with leg knives in their garters, jumped to store away the cargo.

Up as far as St. Charles Clark and the Chouteaus sometimes went with the ladies of their families to escort the up-bound steamer, and with a last departing, "Bon voyage! bon voyage, mes voyageurs!" disembarked to return to St. Louis.

On, on steamed the messenger of commerce and civilisation, touching later at Fort Pierre Chouteau in the centre of the great Sioux country, the capital of South Dakota to-day, at Fort Union at the Yellowstone, where McKenzie lived in state like the Hudson's Bay magnates at the north, at Fort Benton at the foot of the Great Falls of the Missouri. Traders from St. Louis laid the foundations of Kansas City and Topeka, built the first forts at Council Bluffs and Omaha, pre-empted the future sites of Yankton and Bismarck.

"A boat! a boat!"

For a hundred miles Indian runners brought word.

Barely had the steamer touched the wharf before the solitude became populous with colour and with sound. Night and day went on the loading and unloading of furs and merchandise. A touch of the hand, a farewell,—before the June rise falls, back a hundred miles a day she 420 snorts to St. Louis with tens of thousands of buffalo robes, buffalo tongues, and buffalo hides, and carefully wrapped bales of the choicest furs. The cargoes opened, weighed, recounted, repacked, down the river the smokestacks go in endless procession on the way to New York.

Overland on horseback rode Pierre Chouteau to Philadelphia or New York, to arrange shipments to France and England, and to confer with John Jacob Astor. Back up from New Orleans came boatloads of furniture to beautify the homes of St. Louis, bales on bales of copper and sheet-iron kettles, axes and beaver traps, finger rings, beads, blankets, bracelets, steel wire and ribbons, the indispensables of the frontier fur trade.

Sometimes fierce battles were fought up the river, and troops were dispatched,—for commerce, the civiliser, stops not. The sight of troops paraded in uniforms, the glare of skyrockets at night, the explosion of shells and the colours of bunting and banners, the blare of brass bands and the thunder of artillery, won many a bloodless victory along the prairies of the West.

But blood flowed, fast and faster, when trapping gave way to Days of Gold and the pressure of advancing settlement.

The trapper saw no gold. Otter, beaver, mink, and fox filled his horizon. Into every lonely glen where the beaver built his house, the trapper came. A million dollars a year was the annual St. Louis trade.

Rival fur companies kept bubbling a tempest in a teapot. They fought each other, fought the Hudson's Bay Company. West and west passed the fighting border,—St. Lawrence, Detroit, Mackinaw, Mandan, Montana, Oregon.

Astor, driven out by the War of 1812, had been superseded on the Columbia by Dr. John McLoughlin, a Hudson's Bay magnate who combined in himself the functions of a Chouteau and a Clark. But the story of McLoughlin is a story by itself. 421


As the years went by Clark's plant of the Indian Department extended. In his back row were found the office and Council House, rooms for visiting Indians, an armory for repairs of Indian guns and blacksmiths' shops for Indian work, extending from Main Street to the river.

Daily he sat in his office reading reports from his agents of Indian occurrences.

Four muskrats or two raccoon skins the Indians paid for a quart of whiskey.

"Whiskey!" Clark stamped his foot. "A drunken Indian is more to be dreaded than a tiger in the jungle! An Indian cannot be found among a thousand who would not, after a first drink, sell his horse, his gun, or his last blanket for another drink, or even commit a murder to gratify his passion for spirits. There should be total prohibition." And the Government made that the law.

"I hear that you have sent liquor into the Indian country," he said to the officers of the American Fur Company. "Can you refute the charge?"

And the great Company, with Chouteau and Astor at its head, hastened to explain and extenuate.

There was trouble with Indian agents who insisted on leaving their posts and coming to St. Louis, troubles with Indians who wanted to see the President, enough of them to have kept the President for ever busy with Indian affairs.

The Sacs and the Sioux were fighting again.

"Why not let us fight?" said Black Hawk. "White men fight,—they are fighting now."

Twice in the month of May, 1830, Sacs and Foxes came down to tell of their war with the Sioux. "We might sell our Illinois lands and move west," hinted the 422 Sacs and Foxes. Instantly Clark approved and wrote to Washington.

"I shall have to go up there and quiet those tribes," said Clark. In July, 1830, again he set out for Prairie du Chien. Indian runners went ahead announcing, "The Red Head Chief! the Red Head Chief!"

Seventy-eight Sacs and Foxes crowded into his boats and went up. This time in earnest, Clark began buying lands, giving thousands of dollars in annuities, provisions, clothing, lands, stock, agricultural implements. Many of these Indians came on with him down to St. Louis to get their presents and pay.

There came a wailing from the Indians of Illinois. "The game is gone. Naked and hungry, we need help."

"Poor, misguided, and unreflecting savages!" exclaimed the Governor. "The selfish policy of the traders would keep them in the hunter's state. The Government would have them settled and self-supporting."

Funds ran out, but Clark on his own credit again and again went ahead with his work of humanity, moving families, tribes, nations. Assistance in provisions and stock was constantly called for. The great western migration of tribes from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, was sweeping on, the movement of a race. The Peorias were crossing, the Weas, Piankeshaws, and others forgotten to-day.

"Those miserable bands of Illinois rovers, those wretched nations in want of clothes and blankets!" Clark wrote to Washington, begging the Department for help. Their annuities, a thousand dollars a year for twelve years, had expired.

"Exchange your lands for those in the West," he urged the Indians. To the Government he recommended an additional annuity to be used in breaking up, fencing, and preparing those lands for cultivation.

Horses were stolen from the settlers by tens and twenties and fifties, and cattle killed. The farmers were exasperated.

"Banditti, robbers, thieves, they must get out! The 423 Indians hunt on our lands, and kill our tame stock. They are a great annoyance."

For two years Governor Edwards had been asking for help.

"The General Government has been applied to long enough to have freed us from so serious a grievance. If it declines acting with effect, it will soon learn that these Indians will be removed, and that very promptly."

Clark himself was personally using every exertion to prevail on the Indians to move as the best means of preserving tranquillity, and did all he could without actual coercion. The Indians continued to promise to go, but they still remained.

"More time," said the Indians. "Another year."

The combustible train was laid,—only a spark was needed, only a move of hostility, to fire the country. Will Black Hawk apply that spark?

"We cannot go," said the Pottawattamies. "The sale of our lands was made by a few young men without our consent."

Five hundred Indians determined to hold all the northern part of Illinois for ever.

Sacs, Foxes, Pottawattamies, sent daily letters and complaints. "Our Father! our Father! our Father!"—it was a plea and a prayer, and trouble, trouble, trouble. Black Partridge's letters make one weep. "Some of my people will be dead before Spring."

Meanwhile agents were ahead surveying lands in that magic West. The Indians were becoming as interested in migration as the whites had been; the same causes were pushing them on.

Clark was busily making contracts for saw-mills and corn-mills on the Platte and Kansas, arranging for means of transportation, for provisions for use on the way and after they settled, for oxen and carts and stock,—when one day four strange Indians, worn and bewildered, arrived at St. Louis, out of that West. Some kind hand guided them to the Indian office.

That tunic, that bandeau of fox skins,—Clark recalled it as the tribal dress of a nation beyond the Rocky 424 Mountains. With an expression of exquisite joy, old Tunnachemootoolt, for it was he, the Black Eagle, recognised the Red Head of a quarter of a century before. Clark could scarcely believe that those Indians had travelled on foot nearly two thousand miles to see him at St. Louis.

As but yesterday came back the memory of Camp Chopunnish among the Nez Percés of Oregon. Over Tunnachemootoolt's camp the American flag was flying when they arrived from the Walla Walla.

It did not take long to discover their story. Some winters before an American trapper (in Oregon tradition reputed to have been Jedediah Smith), watched the Nez Percés dance around the sun-pole on the present site of Walla Walla.

"It is not good," said the trapper, "such worship is not acceptable to the Great Spirit. You should get the white man's Book of Heaven."

Voyageurs and Iroquois trappers from the Jesuit schools of Canada said the same. Then Ellice, a chief's son, came back from the Red River country whither the Hudson's Bay Company had sent him to be educated. From several sources at once they learned that the white men had a Book that taught of God.

"If this be true it is certainly high time that we had the Book." The chiefs called a national council. "If our mode of worship is wrong we must lay it aside. We must know about this. It cannot be put off."

"If we could only find the trail of Lewis and Clark they would tell us the truth."

"Yes, Lewis and Clark always pointed upward. They must have been trying to tell us."

So, benighted, bewildered, the Nez Percés talked around their council fires. Over in the buffalo country Black Eagle's band met the white traders.

"They come from the land of Lewis and Clark," said the Eagle. "Let us follow them."

And so, four chiefs were deputed for that wonderful journey, two old men who had known Lewis and Clark,—Black Eagle and the Man-of-the-Morning, 425 whose mother was a Flathead,—and two young men,—Rabbit-Skin-Leggings of the White Bird band on Salmon River, Black Eagle's brother's son, and No-Horns-On-His-Head, a young brave of twenty, who was a doubter of the old beliefs.

"They went out by the Lolo trail into the buffalo country of Montana," say their descendants still living in Idaho.

One day they reached St. Louis and inquired for the Red Head Chief.

Very well Governor Clark remembered his Nez Percé-Flathead friends. His silver locks were shaken by roars of laughter at their reminders of his youth, the bear hunts, the sale of buttons for camas and for kouse. The hospitality of those chiefs who said, "The horses on these hills are ours, take what you need," should now be rewarded.

With gratitude and with the winsomeness for which he was noted, he invited them into his own house and to his own table. Mrs. Clark devoted herself to their entertainment.

Black Eagle insisted on an early council. "We have heard of the Book. We have come for the Book."

"What you have heard is true," answered Clark, puzzled and sensible of his responsibility. Then in simple language, that they might understand, he related the Bible stories of the Creation, of the commandments, of the advent of Christ and his crucifixion.

"Yes," answered Clark to their interrogatories, "a teacher shall be sent with the Book."

Just as change of diet and climate had prostrated Lewis and Clark with sickness among the Nez Percés twenty-five years before, so now the Nez Percés fell sick in St. Louis. The Summer was hotter than any they had known in their cool northland. Dr. Farrar was called. Mrs. Clark herself brought them water and medicine as they lay burning with fever in the Council House. They were very grateful for her attentions,—"the beautiful squaw of the Red Head Chief."

But neither medicine nor nursing could save the aged Black Eagle. 426

"The most mournful procession I ever saw," said a young woman of that day, "was when those three Indians followed their dead companion to the grave."

His name is recorded at the St. Louis cathedral as "Keepeelele, buried October 31, 1831," a "ne Percé de la tribu des Choponeek, nation appellée Tête Plate." "Keepeelele," the Nez Percés of to-day say "was the old man, the Black Eagle." Sometimes they called him the "Speaking Eagle," as the orator on occasions.

Still the other Indians remained ill.

"I have been sent by my nation to examine lands for removal to the West," said William Walker, chief of the Wyandots.

William Walker was the son of a white man, stolen as a child from Kentucky and brought up by the Indians. His mother was also the descendant of a stolen white girl. Young William, educated at the Upper Sandusky mission, became a chief.

The semi-Christian Wyandots desired to follow their friends to the West. Sitting there in the office, transacting business, Governor Clark spoke of the Flathead Nez Percés.

"I have never seen a Flathead, but have often heard of them," answered William Walker. Curiosity prompted him to step into the next room. Small in size, delicately formed, and of exact symmetry except the flattened head, they lay there parched with fever.

"Their diet at home consists chiefly of vegetables and fish," said the Governor. "As a nation they have the fewest vices of any tribe on the continent of America."

November 10, ten days after the burial of Black Eagle, Colonel Audrain of St. Charles, a member of the Legislature, died also at Governor Clark's house. His body was conveyed to St. Charles in the first hearse ever seen there. On December 25, Christmas Day, 1831, Mrs. Clark herself died after a brief illness.

There was sickness all over St. Louis. Was it a beginning of that strange new malady that by the next Spring had grown into a devouring plague,—the dreaded Asiatic cholera? 427

At the bedside of his dead wife, Governor Clark sat, holding her waxen hand, with their little six-year-old son, Jefferson, in his lap. "My child, you have no mother now," said the father with streaming tears. After the funeral, nothing was recorded in Clark's letter-books for some days, and when he began again, the handwriting was that of an aged man.

None mourned this sad event more than the tender-hearted Nez Percés, who remained until Spring.

When the new steamer Yellowstone of the American Fur Company, set out for its first great trip up the Missouri, Governor Clark made arrangements to send the chiefs home to their country. A day later, the other old Indian, The-Man-of-the-Morning, died and was buried near St. Charles.

Among other passengers on that steamer were Pierre Chouteau the younger and George Catlin, the Indian artist, who was setting out to visit the Mandans.

"You will find the Mandans a strange people and half white," said Governor Clark to his friend the artist, as he gave him his passport into the Indian country.

On the way up the river Catlin noticed the two young Nez Percés, and painted their pictures.

As if pursued by a strange fatality, at the mouth of the Yellowstone No-Horns-On-His-Head died,—Rabbit-Skin-Leggings alone was left to carry the word from St. Louis.

Earlier than ever that year the Nez Percés had crossed the snowy trails of the Bitter Root to the buffalo country in the Yellowstone and Judith Basin.

"For are not our messengers coming?"

And there, camped with their horses and their lodges, watching, Rabbit-Skin-Leggings met them and shouted afar off,—"A man shall be sent with the Book."

Back over the hills and the mountains the message flew,—"A man shall be sent with the Book."

Every year after that the Nez Percés went over to the east, looking for the man with the Book.

Nearly a year elapsed before William Walker got back from his explorations and wrote a public letter giving 428 an account of the Nez Percés in their search for the Book. His account of meeting them in General Clark's office, and of the object of their errand, created a tremendous sensation.

Religious committees called upon General Clark, letters were written, and to one and all he said, "That was the sole object of their journey,—to obtain the white man's Book of Heaven."

The call rang like a trumpet summons through the churches. The next year, 1834, the Methodists sent Jason Lee and three others to Oregon. Two years later followed Whitman and Spalding and their brides, the first white women to cross the Rocky Mountains.

"A famine threatens the Upper Missouri," was the news brought back by that steamer Yellowstone in 1832. "The buffaloes have disappeared!"

The herds, chased so relentlessly on the Missouri, were struggling through the Bitter Root Mountains, to appear in vast throngs on the plains of Idaho.

Even Europe read and commented on that wonderful first journey of a steamer up the Missouri, as later the world hailed the ascent of the Nile and the Yukon.

It was a great journey. Amazed Indians everywhere had watched the monster, puffing and snorting, with steam and whistles, and a continued roar of cannon for half an hour at every fur fort and every Indian village.

"The thunder canoe!" Redmen fell on the ground and cried to the Great Spirit. Some shot their dogs and horses as sacrifices.

At last, even the Blackfeet were reached. The British tried to woo them back to the Saskatchewan at Fort Edmonton, but eventually they tumbled over one another to trade with the Fire Boat that annually climbed the Missouri staircase. 429


The Roman faces of Black Hawk and Keokuk were often seen in St. Louis, where the chiefs came to consult Clark in regard to their country.

"Keokuk signed away my lands," said Black Hawk. He had never been satisfied with that earliest treaty made while Lewis and Clark were absent beyond the mountains.

For thirty years Black Hawk had paid friendly visits to Chouteau and sold him furs. More often he was at Malden consulting his "British Father." Schooled by Tecumseh, the disloyal Black Hawk was wholly British.

Fort Armstrong had been built at Rock Island for the protection of the border. Those whitewashed walls and that tower perched on a high cliff over the Mississippi reminded the traveller up the Father of Waters seventy years ago of some romantic castle on the Rhine. And it was erected for the same reason that were the castles of the Rhine. Not safe were the traders who went up and down the great river, not safe were the emigrants seeking entrance to Rock River,—for Black Hawk watched the land.

The white settlements had already come up to the edge of Black Hawk's field.

"No power is vested in me to stop the progress of settlements on ceded lands, and I have no means of inducing the Indians to move but persuasion, which has little weight with those chiefs who have always been under British influence," said Clark in 1829.

Again and again Clark wrote to the Secretary of War on this subject. The policy of moving the tribes westward stirred the wrath of Black Hawk.

"The Sacs never sold their country!"

But the leader of the "British band" had lost his voice in the council. 430

"Who is Black Hawk?" asked General Gaines at Rock Island. "Is he a chief? By what right does he speak?"

"My father, you ask who is Black Hawk. I will tell you who I am. I am a Sac. My father was a Sac. I am a warrior. So was my father. Ask those young men who have followed me to battle and they will tell you who Black Hawk is. Provoke our people to war and you will learn who Black Hawk is."

Haughtily gathering up his robes, the chief and his followers stalked over to Canada for advice. In his absence Keokuk made the final cession to the United States and prepared to move beyond the Mississippi. Back like a whirlwind came the Hawk,—

"Sold the Sac village, sold your country!"

"Keokuk," he whispered fiercely in his ear, "give mines, give everything, but keep our cornfields and our dead."

"Cross the Mississippi," begged Keokuk.

"I will stay by the graves of my fathers," reiterated the stubborn and romantic Black Hawk.

The Indians left the silver rivers of Illinois, their sugar groves, and bee trees with regret. No wonder the chief's heart clung to his native village, among dim old woods of oak and walnut, and orchards of plum and crab. For generations there had they tilled their Indian gardens.

From his watchtower on Rock River the old chief scanned the country. Early in the Spring of 1832 he discovered a scattering train of whites moving into the beloved retreat.

"Quick, let us plant once more our cornfields."

In a body Black Hawk and his British band with their women and children came pulling up Rock River in their canoes. The whites were terrified.

"Black Hawk has invaded Illinois," was the word sent by Governor Reynolds to Clark at St. Louis. Troops moved out from Jefferson Barracks.

"Go," said Governor Clark to Felix St. Vrain, his Sac interpreter. "Warn Black Hawk to withdraw across the Mississippi."

St. Vrain sped away,—to be shot delivering his message. 431 Then followed the war, the flight and chase and battle of Bad Axe, and the capture of Black Hawk. Wabasha's Sioux fell upon the last fleeing remnant, so that few of Black Hawk's band were left to tell the tale.

"Farewell, my nation!" the old chief cried. "Black Hawk tried to save you and avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the whites. He has been taken prisoner and his plans are stopped. He can do no more. He is near his end. His sun is setting and he will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk."

In chains Black Hawk and his prophet, Wabokeskiek, were brought by Jefferson Davis to St. Louis. As his steamboat passed Rock Island, his old home, Black Hawk wept like a child.

"It was our garden," he said, "such as the white people have near their villages. I spent many happy days on this island. A good spirit dwelt in a cave of rocks where your fort now stands. The noise of the guns has driven him away."

It hurt Clark to see his old friend dragging a ball and chain at Jefferson Barracks. He seldom went there. But the little Kennerly children carried him presents and kinnikinick for his pipe.

There were guests at the house of Clark,—Maximilian, Prince of Wied, and his artist,—when early in April of 1833 a deputation of Sacs and Foxes headed by Keokuk came down in long double canoes to intercede for Black Hawk, and with them, haggard and worn from long wanderings, came Singing Bird, the wife of Black Hawk.

With scientific interest Maximilian looked at them, dressed in red, white, and green blankets, with shaven heads except a tuft behind, long and straight and black with a braided deer's tail at the end. They were typical savages with prominent noses and eagle plumes, wampum shells like tassels in their ears, and lances of sword-blades fastened to poles in their hands.

"This is a great Chief from over the Big Water, come to see you," said Clark introducing the Prince.

"Hah!" said the Indians, giving the Prince the right hand of friendship and scanning him steadily. 432

Bodmer, the artist, brought out his palette. Keokuk in green blanket, with a medal on his heart and a long calumet ornamented with eagle feathers in his hand, was ready to pose.

"Hah!" laughed the Indians as stroke by stroke they saw their chief stand forth on canvas, even to the brass necklace and bracelets on throat and wrists. "Great Medicine!"

"I have chartered the Warrior to go down to Jefferson Barracks," said Clark.

Striking their hands to their mouths, the Indians gave the war whoop, and stepped on board the "big fire canoe." Intent, each animated, fiery, dark-brown eye watched the engine hissing and roaring down to the Barracks.

"If you will keep a watchful eye on Black Hawk I will intercede for him," said Clark.

"I will watch him," promised Keokuk.

Clark left them for a moment, and then led in a little old man of seventy years, with gray hair, light yellow face, and a curved Roman nose.

It was an affecting sight when Keokuk stepped forward to embrace Black Hawk. Keokuk, subtle, dignified, in splendid array of deer-skin and bear-claws, grasped the hand of his fallen rival. Poor dethroned old Black Hawk! In a plain suit of buckskin and a string of wampum in his ears, he stood alone, fanning himself with the tail of a black hawk.

Keokuk tried to get him released. Often had he visited Clark on that errand, but no,—Black Hawk was summoned to Washington and went. Antoine Le Claire, son of old Antoine, was his interpreter.

Released, presently, he made a triumphal tour home, applauded by thousands along the route, even as Lafayette had been a few years before. Not so the Roman conquerors treated their captives! But Black Hawk came home to Keokuk to die.

The defeat of Black Hawk opened Iowa to settlement, and a day later prairie schooners overran the Black Hawk Purchase.

On the staff of General Atkinson when he marched out 433 of Jefferson Barracks for the Black Hawk War, was Meriwether Lewis Clark, now a graduate of West Point, and his cousin Robert Anderson, grandson of Clark's sister Eliza.

In the hurry and the heat of the march one day, Lieutenant Clark, riding from the rear back to the General, became enclosed by the troops of cavalry and had to ride slowly. By his side on a small horse he noticed a long-legged, dark-skinned soldier, with black hair hanging in clusters around his neck, a volunteer private. Admiringly the private gazed at Clark's fine new uniform and splendidly accoutred horse, a noble animal provided by his father at St. Louis.

Young Clark spoke to the soldier of awkward and unprepossessing appearance, whose witticisms and gift for stories kept his comrades in a state of merriment. He proved very inquisitive.

"The son of Governor Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, did you say?"


"And related to all those great people?"

"Yes," with a laugh.

They chatted until the ranks began to thin.

"I must ride on," but feeling an interest in the lank, long-haired soldier, Lieutenant Clark turned again,—

"Where are you from and to what troop do you belong?"

"I am an Illinois volunteer."

"Well, now, tell me your name, and I will bid you good bye."

"My name is Abraham Lincoln, and I have not a relation in the world."

The next time they met, Meriwether Lewis Clark was marching through the streets of Washington City with other prisoners in Lee's surrendered army. And the President on the White House steps was Abraham Lincoln. The cousin of Meriwether Lewis Clark, Robert Anderson, hero of Fort Sumter, stood by Lincoln's side, with tears in his eyes.

Weeks before, when the land was ringing with his 434 valour, the President had congratulated him and asked, "Do you remember me?"

"No, I never met you before."

"Yes," answered the President, "you are the officer that swore me in as a volunteer private in the Black Hawk War."

The next day the assassin's bullet laid low the martyred Lincoln; none mourned him more than Meriwether Lewis Clark, for in that President he had known a friend.


"Ruskosky, man, you tie my queue so tight I cannot shut my eyes!"

With both hands up to his head Governor Clark rallied his Polish attendant, who of all things was particular about his friend's appearance. For Ruskosky never considered himself a servant, nor did Clark. Ruskosky was an old soldier of Pulaski, a great swordsman, a gentleman, of courtly address and well educated, the constant companion of Governor Clark after the death of York.

"Come, let us walk, Ruskosky."

A narrow black ribbon was tied to the queue, the long black cloth cloak was brushed and the high broad-brim hat adjusted, the sword cane with buckhorn handle and rapier blade was grasped, and out they started.

Children stared at the ancient queue and small clothes. The oldest American in St. Louis, Governor Clark had come to be regarded as a "gentleman of the old school." A sort of halo hung around his adventures. Beloved, honoured, trusted, revered, his prominent nose and firm-set lips, his thin complexion in which the colour came and went, seemed somehow to belong to the Revolution. He 435 was locally regarded as a great literary man, for had not the journals of his expedition been given to the world?

And now, too, delvers in historic lore began to realise what George Rogers Clark had done. Eighteen different authors desired to write his life, among them Madison, Chief Justice Marshall, and Washington Irving. But the facts could not be found. Irving sent his nephew to inquire of Governor Clark at St. Louis. But the papers were scattered, to be collected only by the industry of historical students later.

"Governor Clark is a fine soldier-like looking man, tall and thin," Irving's nephew reported to his uncle. "His hair is white, but he seems to be as hardy and vigorous as ever, and speaks of his exposures and hardships with a zest that shows that the spirit of the old explorer is not quenched."

Children danced on an old carriage in the orchard.

"Uncle Clark, when did you first have this carriage? When was it new?"

The chivalrous and romantic friendship of his youth came back to the Governor, and his eyes filled with tears.

"Children, that carriage belonged to Meriwether Lewis. In the settlement of his estate, I bought it. Many a time have we ridden in it together. That is the carriage that met Judy Hancock when she landed at St. Louis, the first American bride, a quarter of a century ago. Many a vicissitude has it encountered since, in journeyings through woods and prairies. It is old now, but it has a history."

In his later years Governor Clark travelled, made a tour of the Lakes, and visited New York, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Detroit.

"Hull?" said Clark at Detroit. "He was not a coward, but afraid for the people's sake of the cruelty of the Indians."

One day Governor Clark came ashore from a steamer on the Ohio and stood at the mouth of the Hockhocking where Dunmore had his camp in 1774. The battle of Point Pleasant? that was ancient history. Most of the residents in that region had never heard of it, and looked 436 upon the old gentleman in a queue as a relic of the mound-builders.

With wide-eyed wonder they listened again to the story of that day when civilisation set its first milestone beyond the Alleghanies.

When the thundering cannon in 1837 announced the return of a fur convoy from the Yellowstone, Governor Clark expected a messenger.

"They haf put the sand over him," explained a Frenchman. "Yes, he is dead and buried."

"And my Mandan?"

"There are no more Mandans."

Clark looked at the trader in surprise.


The cheek of the Red Head paled.

Small-pox! In 1800 it swept from Omaha to Clatsop leaving a trail of bones. Thirty years later ten thousand Pawnees, Otoes, and Missouris perished. And now, despite all precautions, it had broken out on the upper Missouri.

In six weeks the wigwams of the Mandans were desolate. Out of sixteen hundred souls but thirty-one remained. Arikara, Minnetaree, Ponca, Assiniboine, sank before the contagion. The Sioux survived only because they lived not in fixed villages and were roaming uncontaminated.

Blackfeet along the Marias left their lodges standing with the dead in them, and never returned. The Crows abandoned their stricken ones, and fled to the mountains. Across the border beseeching Indians carried the havoc to Hudson's Bay, to Athabasca, and the Yukon. Over half a continent terrified tribes burnt their towns, slaughtered their families, pierced their own hearts or flung themselves from precipices.

Redmen yet unstricken poured into St. Louis imploring the white man's magic. Clark engaged physicians. Day after day vaccinating, vaccinating, they sat in their offices, saving the life of hundreds. He sent out agents with vaccine to visit the tribes, but the superstitious savages gathered up their baggage and scattered,—— 437

"White men have come with small-pox in a bottle."

With this last great shock, the decimation of the tribes, upon him, Clark visibly declined.

"My children," he said to his sons, "I want to sleep in sight and sound of the Mississippi."

When the summons came, September 1, 1838, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, Meriwether Lewis Clark and his wife were with him, the deputy, James Kennerly and his wife, Elise, and old Ruskosky, inconsolable.

With great pomp and solemnity his funeral was celebrated, as had been that of his brother at Louisville twenty years before. Both were buried as soldiers, with minute guns and honours of war. In sight of the Ohio, George Rogers Clark sleeps, and below the grave of William Clark sweeps the Mississippi, roaring, swirling, bearing the life-blood of the land they were the first to explore.

The Sacs, with Keokuk at their head, marched in the long funeral train of their Red Head Father and wept genuine tears of desolation. No more, dressed in their best, did the Indians sing and dance through the streets of St. Louis, receiving gifts from door to door. The friend of the redmen was dead. St. Louis ceased to be the Mecca of their pilgrimages; no more their gala costumes enlivened the market; they disappeared.

For more than forty years William Clark had been identified with St. Louis,—had become a part of its history and of the West.

October 3, 1838, a few days after Clark, Black Hawk, too, breathed his last in his lodge, and was buried like the Sac chieftains of old, sitting upright, in the uniform given him by President Jackson, with his hand resting on the cane presented by Henry Clay.

He, too, said, "I like to look upon the Mississippi. I have looked upon it from a child. I love that beautiful river. My home has always been upon its banks." And there they buried him. Every day at sunset travellers along that road heard the weird heart-broken wail of Singing Bird, the widow of Black Hawk. 438


Four years after the death of Governor Clark began the rush to Oregon. Dr. Lewis F. Linn, Senator from Missouri, and grandson of William Linn, the trusted lieutenant of George Rogers Clark, introduced a bill in Congress offering six hundred and forty acres of land to every family that would emigrate to Oregon. The Linns came to Missouri with Daniel Boone, and with the Boones they looked ever west! west!

"Six hundred and forty acres of land! A solid square mile of God's earth, clear down to the centre!" men exclaimed in amaze. While Ohio was still new, and the Mississippi Valley billowed her carpets of untrodden bloom, an eagle's flight beyond, civilisation leaped to Oregon.

From ferries where Kansas City and Omaha now stand they started, crossing the Platte by fords, by waggon-beds lashed together, and on rafts, darkening the stream for days. Before their buffalo hunters, innumerable herds made the earth tremble where Kansas-Nebraska cities are to-day. In 1843 Marcus Whitman piloted the first waggon train through to the Columbia.

"A thousand people? Starving did you say? Lord! Lord! They must have help to-night," exclaimed Dr. McLoughlin, the old white-haired Hudson's Bay trader at Fort Vancouver.

"Man the boats! People are starving at the Dalles!" and the noble-hearted representative of a rival government sent out his provision-laden bateaux to rescue the perishing Americans, who in spite of storms and tempests were gliding down the great Columbia as sixty years before their fathers floated down the Indian-haunted Ohio. 439

And Indians were here, with tomahawks ready.

"Let us kill these Bostons!"

McLoughlin heard the word, and shook the speaker as a terrier shakes a rat.

"Dogs, you shall be punished!"

In his anxiety lest harm should come to the approaching Americans, all night long, his white hair wet in the rain, Dr. McLoughlin stood watching the boats coming down the Columbia, and building great bonfires where Lewis and Clark had camped in 1806. Women and little children and new-born babes slept in the British fur-trader's fort. Anglo-Saxon greeted Anglo-Saxon in the conquest of the world, to march henceforward hand in hand for ever.

Among the emigrants on the plains in 1846, was Alphonso Boone, the son of Jesse, the son of Daniel. Several grown-up Boone boys were there, and the beautiful Chloe and her younger sisters.

Chloe Boone rode a thorough-bred mare, a descendant of the choicest Boone stock, from the old Kentucky blue-grass region. Mounted upon her high-stepping mare, Chloe and her sisters and other young people of the train rode on ahead of the slow-going line of waggons and oxen. Gay was the laughter, and merry the songs, that rang out on the bright morning air.

Francis Parkman, the great historian, then a young man just out of college, was on the plains that year, collecting material for his books. Now and then they met parties of soldiers going to the Mexican War, and many a boy in blue turned to catch a glimpse of the sweet girl faces in Chloe's train.

Happily they rode in the Spring on the plains; more slowly when the heats of Summer came and the sides of the Rocky Mountains grew steep and rough; and slower still in the parched lands beyond, when the woodwork of the waggons began to shrink, and the worn-out animals to faint and fall.

"So long a journey!" said Chloe. Six months it took. Clothes wore out, babes were born, and people died. 440

They came into Oregon by the southern route, guided by Daniel Boone's old compass, the one given him by Dunmore to bring in the surveyors from the Falls of the Ohio seventy-two years before.

The Fall rains had set in. The Umpqua River was swollen,—eighteen times from bank to bank Chloe forded, in getting down Umpqua canyon.

"We shall have to leave the waggons and heavy baggage with a guard," said Colonel Boone, "and hurry on to the settlements."

They reached the Willamette Valley, pitched their tents where Corvallis now stands, and that Winter, in a little log cabin, Chloe Boone taught the first school ever conducted by a woman outside of the missions in Oregon.

Leaving the girls, Colonel Boone went back after the waggons. Alas! the guard was killed, the camp was looted, and Daniel Boone's old compass was gone for ever. Its work was done.

Alphonso Boone built a mansion near the present capital city of Salem and here Chloe married the Governor, George L. Curry, and for years beside the old Boone fireside the Governor's wife extended the hospitalities of the rising State. Albert Gallatin Boone camped on the site of Denver twenty years before Denver was, and negotiated the sale of Colorado from the Indians to the United States. John C. Boone, son of Nathan Boone, explored a new cut-off and became a pioneer of California. James Madison Boone drove stakes in Texas.

What years had passed since the expedition of Lewis and Clark! It seemed like a bygone event, but one who had shared its fortunes still lived on and on,—our old friend, Patrick Gass. In the War of 1812, above the roaring Falls of Niagara, Sergeant Gass spiked the enemy's cannon at the battle of Lundy's Lane. Years went on. A plain unpretentious citizen, Patrick worked at his trade in Wellsburg and raised his family.

In 1856 Patrick Gass headed a delegation of gray-haired 441 veterans of the War of 1812 to Washington, and was everywhere lionised as the last of the men of Lewis and Clark.

On July 4, 1861, the land was aflame over the firing on Fort Sumter. All Wellsburg with her newly enlisted regiments for the war was gathered at Apple Pie Ridge to celebrate the day.

"Where is Patrick Gass?"

A grand carriage was sent for him, and on the shoulders of the boys in blue he was brought in triumph to the platform.

"Speech! speech!"

And the speech of his life Patrick Gass made that day, for his country and the Union. The simple, honest old hero brought tears to every eye, with a glimpse of the splendid drama of Lewis and Clark. Again they saw those early soldier-boys bearing the flag across the Rockies, suffering starvation and danger and almost death, to carry their country to the sea.

"But me byes, it's not a picnic ye're goin' to,—oh, far from it! No! no! 'T will be hard fur ye when ye come marchin' back lavin' yer comrades lyin' far from home and friends, but there is One to look to, who has made and kept our country."

It seemed the applause would never cease, with cheering and firing of cannon.

"Stay! stay!" cried the people. "Sit up on the table and let us have our banquet around you with the big flag floating over your head." In an instant Pat was down.

"Far enough is far enough!" he cried, "and be the divil, will yez try to make sport of mesilf?" Excitedly the modest old soldier slipped away.

The war ended. A railroad crossed the plains. Oregon and California were States. Alaska was bought. Still Pat lived on, until 1870, when he fell asleep, at the age of ninety-nine, the last of the heroic band of Lewis and Clark.

William Walker, who gave to the world the story of the Nez Percés, led his Wyandots into Kansas, and, with 442 the first white settlers, organising a Provisional Government after the plan of Oregon, became himself the first Governor of Kansas-Nebraska.

Oh, Little Crow! Little Crow! what crimes were committed in thy name! In the midst of the war, 1862, Little Crow the third arose against the white settlers of Minnesota in one of the most frightful massacres recorded in history. Then came Sibley's expedition sweeping on west, opening the Dakotas and Montana.

The Indian? He fought and was vanquished. How we are beginning to love our Indians, now that we fear them no longer! No wild man ever so captured the imagination of the world. With inherent nobility, courage to the border of destruction, patriotism to the death, absolutely refusing to be enslaved, he stands out the most perfect picture of primeval man. We might have tamed him but we had not time. The movement was too swift, the pressure behind made the white men drivers as the Indians had driven before. Civilisation demands repose, safety. And until repose and safety came we could do no effective work for the Indian. We of to-day have lived the longest lives, for we have seen a continent transformed.

We have forgotten that a hundred years ago Briton and Spaniard and Frenchman were hammering at our gates; forgotten that the Indian beleaguered our wooden castles; forgotten that wolves drummed with their paws on our cabin doors, snapping their teeth like steel traps, while the mother hushed the wheel within and children crouched beneath the floor.

O mothers of a mighty past, thy sons are with us yet, fighting new battles, planning new conquests, for law, order, and justice.

Where rolls the Columbia and where the snow-peaks of Hood, Adams, Jefferson, Rainier, and St. Helens look down, a metropolis has arisen in the very Multnomah where Clark took his last soundings. Northward, Seattle sits on her Puget sea, southward San Francisco smiles from her golden gate, Spanish no more. Over the route where Lewis and Clark toiled slowly a hundred years 443 ago, lo! in three days the traveller sits beside the sunset. Five transcontinental lines bear the rushing armies westward, ever westward into the sea. Bewildered a moment they pause, then turn—to the Conquest of the Poles and the Tropics. The frontiersman? He is building Nome City under the Arctic: he is hewing the forests of the Philippines.




Transcriber's Note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation in the original document have been preserved.


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