Location: Detroit Michigan

An Account of the Sufferings of Mercy Harbison – Indian Captivities

On the 4th of November, 1791, a force of Americans under General Arthur St. Clair was attacked, near the present Ohio-Indiana boundary line, by about the same number of Indians led by Blue Jacket, Little Turtle, and the white renegade Simon Girty. Their defeat was the most disastrous that ever has been suffered by our arms when engaged against a savage foe on anything like even terms. Out of 86 officers and about 1400 regular and militia soldiers, St. Clair lost 70 officers killed or wounded, and 845 men killed, wounded, or missing. The survivors fled in panic, throwing away their weapons and accoutrements. Such was “St. Clair’s defeat.”

The utter incompetency of the officers commanding this expedition may be judged from the single fact that a great number of women were allowed to accompany the troops into a wilderness known to be infested with the worst kind of savages. There were about 250 of these women with the “army” on the day of the battle. Of these, 56 were killed on the spot, many being pinned to the earth by stakes driven through their bodies. Few of the others escaped captivity.

After this unprecedented victory, the Indians became more troublesome than ever along the frontier. No settler’s home was safe, and many were destroyed in the year of terror that followed. The awful fate of one of those households is told in the following touching narrative of Mercy Harbison, wife of one of the survivors of St. Clair’s defeat. How two of her little children were slaughtered before her eyes, how she was dragged through the wilderness with a babe at her breast, how cruelly maltreated, and how she finally escaped, barefooted and carrying her infant through days and nights of almost superhuman exertion, she has left record in a deposition before the magistrates at Pittsburgh and in the statement here reprinted.

An Artists rendition of James Smith

Life and travels of Colonel James Smith – Indian Captivities

James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759. He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore’s War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services. Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812. The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled “Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith,” printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character.

Map of Northern Theatre of War of 1812

Northwest Territorial War of 1812 – Indian Wars

During the War of 1812 a series of battles took place in the Northwest between the British and American forces and their respective Indian allies. This series of battles helped determine the control over the Wabash Valley and along with the Naval victories secured the Northwest for the Americans.

Map of Pontiacs War

War Between the Colonies and The Western Indians – From 1763 To 1765

A struggle began in 1760, in which the English had to contend with a more powerful Indian enemy than any they had yet encountered. Pontiac, a chief renowned both in America and Europe, as a brave and skillful warrior, and a far-sighted and active ruler, was at the head of all the Indian tribes on the great lakes. Among these were the Ottawas, Miamis, Chippewas, Wyandott, Pottawatomie, Winnebago, Shawanese, Ottagamie, and Mississagas. After the capture of Quebec, in 1760, Major Rodgers was sent into the country of Pontiac to drive the French from it. Apprised of his approach, Pontiac sent

Map of Detroit in 1708

Detroit’s Original Colonists

On the accompanying map I have placed numbers on the various lots to conform to the report made by Cadillac. They do not agree with the order of alienation, but all the transfers were made between 1707 and 1710. The names of the purchasers, arranged according to the numbers on the map, are also given, with the consideration for each parcel. The names are sometimes indefinite, for these Frenchmen had curious habits of changing their name, passing by different names at different times, and even in the little village Cadillac did not seem to know the first names of all

Biographical Sketch of Rev. W. A. Brewer

No man has been more closely identified with the growth and best interests of San Mateo County than Rev. W. A. Brewer, Mayor of Hillsborough and, until its discontinuance a few months ago, rector of St. Matthew’s Military School. Mr. Brewer is known throughout the State for his tireless energy in putting the county in the foreground. He was one of the organizers and the first president of the San Mateo County Development Association. As its executive he contributed perhaps more than any one individual in putting this organization on its firm basis and in bringing about the achievements and

Biographical Sketch of Paul J. Strahle

Paul J. Strahle is one of the younger business men of Champaign, is active and aggressive, and has already acquired a secure position as a unit in the commercial community. A native of Champaign, he was born February 20, 1892, the only son and child of John G. and Catherine (Dawson) Strahle. His mother was born in England and died at Champaign, March 1, 1912. John G. Strahle is also a native of Champaign County, was for a number of years a tailor by trade, but is now associated with his son in business. Educated in the public schools of

Biography of John Baptist Miege

John Baptist Miege, first Catholic bishop of Kansas, was born in 1815, the youngest son of a wealthy and pions family of the parish of Chevron, Upper Savoy, France. At an early age he was committed to the care of his brother, the director of the episcopal seminary of Moutiers, and completed his literary studies at the age of nineteen. After spending two more years at the seminary in the study of philosophy, on October 23, 1836, he was admitted to the Society of Jesns. The following eleven years he spent in further study, a portion of the time at

Biography of Charles Wood Davis

A significantly varied, distinguished and interesting career was that of the late Charles Wood Davis, and fortunate it was for the State of Kansas that he early established his residence within its borders, for his splendid initiative and executive powers came most effectively into play in the furtherance of the eivic, industrial and general material development and progress of this commonwealth. He was one of the famous argonauts of the year 1849 in California, was long and prominently identified with railway interests, was a recognized authority in all matters pertaining to the basic industry of agriculture, was a pioneer in

Slave Narrative of Sam McAllum

Interviewer: Marjorie Woods Austin Person Interviewed: Sam McAllum Location: Meridian, Mississippi Date of Birth: September 2, 1842 Age: 95 Place of Residence: Meridian, Lauderdale County To those familiar with the history of “Bloody Kemper” as recorded, the following narrative from the lips of an eye-witness will be heresy. But the subject of this autobiography, carrying his ninety-five years more trimly than many a man of sixty, is declared sound of mind as well as of body by the Hector Currie family, prominent in Mississippi, for whom he has worked in a position of great trust and responsibility for fifty years