SOME parts of the writer's notes may be considered out of place; but as they relate to early Chicago, this seemed to be an excellent opportunity to perpetuate them. All the data are from authentic sources, gathered during the past forty years of from personal observation and knowledge. The only changes that have been made in this edition are the insertion of quotation marks, making paragraphs, and inserting the original notes as a part of the text instead of being at the end.
G. H. F.
Robert and George Harris Fergus possessed the rare faculty of discriminative collecting and colating historical facts relating to early Chicago, extending over a period of 72 years — July 1, 1839 to November 24, 1911.
Robert Fergus, pioneer printer and publisher — first daily one-cent newspaper, ("Quid Nunc," 1842), and first complete book (Illinois Supreme Court Reports, Scammon, Vols. 2-3), west of the Allegheny Mountains, also first Chicago Directory (1843-45-46) — led the way for the "Fergus Historical Series," and George Harris, his eldest son, in like vocation, followed in his footsteps. The notes and index of this republication, representing much labor and research, at odd times during the last twenty years of his life, was his final historical work.
THIS little record,
At the solicitation of many friends, and to avoid the possibility of its unauthorized appearance in print, the writer has consented to its publication in its original form.
Pictures and Illustrations.
First Fort Dearborn Erected in 1801.
The First Fort Dearborn, Commenced in 1803
THE events recorded in the following narrative took place when Chicago was a remote outpost of the American frontier. It could hardly be called a settlement, as the only inhabitants without the garrison were the family of a gentleman
A wilderness, peopled by savages, extended across the peninsula of Michigan, and the only intercourse between the far-distant posts of Fort Wayne, Detroit, and Chicago was carried on by such hardy travelers as ventured occasionally to encounter the
10perils and fatigues of this lonely and hazardous journey. Guided by a devious Indian trail, encamping at night beside a stream; or seeking shelter in some hospitable wigwam; or even, sometimes, driven by circumstances, to imitate the birds of heaven, and "lodge among the branches;" through difficulties and dangers such as these was communication maintained between places now so easy of access to each other.
The former fort
The officers in the fort, at the period of which we write, were: Capt. Nathan Heald,
A constant and friendly intercourse had been maintained between these troops and the neighboring Indians. It is true that the principal men of the Potawatomie nation went yearly to Fort Malden [Amherstburg], in Canada, to receive presents to a large amount, with which the British government had for many years been in the habit of purchasing their alliance; and it was well known that many Potawatomies, as well as Winnebagoes, were engaged with the Ottawas and Shawnees at the battle of Tippecanoe [Nov. 7, 1811]; yet, as the principal chiefs of all bands in the neighborhood appeared to be on the most amicable terms with the Americans, no interruption of their harmony was ever anticipated by the whites.
After August 15, however, many circumstances were recollected which might have opened their eyes, had they not been lulled into fatal security.
One instance, in particular, may be mentioned. In the spring preceding the destruction of the fort, two Indians, of the Calumet band, came to the post, on a visit to the commanding officer. As they passed through the quarters, they saw Mrs. Heald
"The white chiefs' wives are amusing themselves very much — it will not be long before they are hoeing in our cornfields."
This was considered an idle threat, or, at most, an ebullition of jealous feeling, at the contrast between the situation of their own women and that of the "white chiefs' wives." Some months after, how bitterly it was remembered!
Nau-non-gee was the principal chief of the Calumet village, and the particulars of his death, as afterward given by some of his band, are not unworthy of record.
During the battle of August 15, the chief object of his attack was one Sergt. [Otho] Hayes, a man from whom he had received many acts of kindness. After Hayes had received a ball through the body, this Indian ran up to tomahawk him, when the sergeant, collecting his remaining strength, pinned him through the body with his bayonet. They fell together. Other Indians, running up, despatched Hayes, and it was not until then that his bayonet was extracted from the body of his adversary.
The wounded chief was carried, after the battle, to his village on the Calumet, where he survived several days.
Foreseeing his approaching end, he called together his young men, and enjoined them in the most solemn manner, to respect the safety of their prisoners, after his death, and to take the lives of none of them, from respect to his memory, as he deserved his fate from the hands of those whose kindness he had so ill requited.
IT was the evening of April 7, 1812. The children of Mr. K[inzie] were dancing before the fire, to the music of their father's violin. The tea-table was spread, and they were awaiting the return of their mother, who had gone to visit a sick neighbor, about a quarter of a mile up the river.
Suddenly their sports were interrupted. The door was thrown open, and Mrs. K[inzie] rushed in, pale with terror, and scarcely able to articulate — "The Indians! the Indians!"
"What?" "Where?" all eagerly demanded.
"Up at [Charles] Lee's place; killing and scalping."
With difficulty, Mrs. K[inzie] composed herself sufficiently to give the information, that while she was up at Burns'
All was now consternation and dismay. The family was hurried into two pirouges that were moored near the house, and paddled with all possible haste across the river to take refuge in the fort.
All that the man and boy who made their escape were able to tell was soon known, but in order to render it more intelligible, it is necessary to describe the scene of action:
Lee's place, since known by the name of Hardscrabble,
14south branch of this river. On the same side of the main stream, but quite near its junction with Lake Michigan, stood the dwelling-house and trading-establishment of Mr. K[inzie].
The fort was situated upon the southern bank, directly opposite this mansion; the river and a few rods of sloping, green turf on either side being all that intervened between them. Here the river turned away suddenly to the south, and pursued a course of half a mile between the beach and a sandbar
The farm at Lee's place was occupied by a Mr. [Liberty] White and three persons employed by him in the care of the farm.
In the afternoon of the day on which our narrative commences, a party of ten or twelve Indians, dressed and painted, arrived at the house, and according to the custom among savages, entered and seated themselves without ceremony.
Something in their appearance and manner excited the suspicions of one of the family, a Frenchman, who remarked:
"I do not like the looks of these Indians — they are none of our folks. I know by their dress and paint that they are not Potawatomies."
Another of the family, a discharged soldier, then said to the boy [a son of Charles Lee] who was present:
"If that is the case, we had best get away from them, if we can. Say nothing, but do as you see me do."
As the afternoon was far advanced, the soldier walked leisurely toward the canoes, of which there were two, tied near the bank. Some of the Indians inquired where he was going. He pointed to cattle, which were standing among the haystacks on the opposite bank, and made signs that they must go and fodder them, and then they should return and get their supper.
He got into one canoe, and the boy into the other. The stream was narrow and they were soon across. When they had gained the opposite side, they pulled some hay for the cattle; made a show of collecting them; and when they had gradually made a circuit, so that their movements were concealed by the haystacks, they took to the woods, which were close at hand, and made for the fort.
They had run about a quarter of a mile when they heard the discharge of two guns, successively, which they supposed to have been levelled at their companions left behind.
They stopped not nor stayed until they had arrived opposite Burns', where, as before related, they had called across to advise the family of their danger, and then hastened on to the fort.
It now occurred to those who had secured their own safety that the family of Burns was at this moment exposed to the most imminent peril. The question was, who would hazard his own life to bring them to a place of safety?
A gallant young officer, Ensign [George] Ronan, volunteered, with a party of five or six soldiers, to go to their rescue.
They ascended the river in a scow, took the mother of the family, with her infant of scarcely a day old, upon her bed, to the boat, in which they carefully conveyed her and the other members of the family to the fort.
A PARTY of soldiers, consisting of a corporal and six men, had, that afternoon, obtained leave to go up the river to fish.
They had not returned when the fugitives from Lee's place arrived at the fort, and fearing that they might encounter the Indians, the commanding officer ordered a cannon to be fired, to warn them of danger.
They were at this time about two miles above Lee's place. Hearing the signal they took the hint, put out their torches and dropped down the river toward the garrison, as silently as possible. It will be remembered that the unsettled state of the country since the battle of Tippecanoe, the preceding November, had rendered every man vigilant, and the slightest alarm was a hint to beware of the Indians.
When the fishing-party reached Lee's place, it was proposed to stop and warn the inmates to be upon their guard, as the signal from the fort indicated danger of some kind. All was still as death around the house. They groped their way along and as the corporal jumped over the small inclosure he placed his hand upon the dead body of a man. By the sense of touch he soon ascertained that the head was without a scalp, and otherwise mutilated. The faithful dog of the murdered man stood guarding the lifeless remains of his master.
The tale was now told. They retreated to their canoes and reached the fort unmolested, about 11 o'clock at night. The next morning, a party of citizens and soldiers volunteered to go to Lee's place to learn, further, the fate of the occupants. The body of Mr. White was found pierced by two balls and with eleven stabs in the breast. The Frenchman, as already described, lay dead with his dog still beside him. The bodies were brought to the fort and buried in its immediate vicinity.
It was subsequently ascertained from traders out in the Indian country, that the perpetrators of this bloody deed were a party
17of Winnebagoes who had come into this neighborhood determined to "take some white scalps". Their plan had been to proceed down the river from Lee's place, and kill every white man without the walls of the fort. Hearing, however, the report of the cannon, and not knowing what it portended, they thought it best to remain satisfied with this one exploit, and forthwith retreated to their homes on Rock River.
The inhabitants outside the fort, consisting of a few discharged soldiers and some families of half-breeds, now entrenched themselves in the agency-house. This stood on the esplanade, west of the fort, between the pickets and the river and distant about forty
As the enemy were believed to be still lurking in the neighborhood, or, emboldened by former success, likely to return at any moment, an order was issued prohibiting any soldier or citizen from leaving the vicinity of the garrison without a guard.
One night, a sergeant and private, who were out on patrol, came suddenly upon a party of Indians, in the pasture adjoining the esplanade. The sergeant fired his piece and both returned to the fort. Before they could reach it, an Indian threw his tomahawk, that missed the sergeant and struck a wagon, standing near. The sentinel from the block-house immediately fired, and with effect, while the men got safely in. The
18next morning it was ascertained, from the traces of blood to a considerable distance into the prairie, and from the appearance of a body having been laid among the long grass, that some execution had been done.
On another occasion, the enemy entered the esplanade, to steal the horses. Not finding them in the stable as they had expected, they made themselves amends for their disappointment by stabbing all the sheep in the stable, and then letting them loose. The poor animals flocked toward the fort. This gave the alarm — the garrison was aroused — parties were sent out, but the marauders escaped, unmolested.
The present site (1844) of the lighthouse, [built in 1832, taken down in 1857. The present, 1910, night-office of the custom-house, west of and adjoining the south abutment of Rush-street bridge, occupies all that remains of the lighthouse lot. The lighthouse stood a few feet east of the west line of said lot, and about 50 feet from River street or south line of said lot; its site would now be about the middle of the south channel of the river, 75 feet west of Rush-street bridge. — G. H. F.]
[Charles Lee, the owner of Lee's place, lived in a log house on the south-west corner of Michigan avenue and East Monroe street. The last occupants were the family of James McWilliams, the aunt of Katie Putnam. The building was razed about 1850 to make room for the residence of Chicago's ex-mayor, Walter Smith Gurnie, the finest house on the avenue, built of Milwaukee brick. On his removal to New York, it was occupied by his brother-in-law, Peter Lynch Yoe, and consumed in the Fire of 1871. — G. H. F.]
THE inmates of the fort experienced no further alarm for many weeks.
On the afternoon of August 7,
The orders to the commanding officer, Capt. Heald, were "to evacuate the post, if practicable, and in that event to distribute all the United-States' property contained in the fort, and the United-States factory or agency, among the Indians in the neighborhood."
After having delivered his despatches, Win-ne-meg requested a private interview with Mr. K[inzie], who had taken up his residence within the fort. He stated to Mr. K[inzie] that he was acquainted with the purport of the communications he had brought, and begged him to ascertain if it were the intention of Capt. Heald to evacuate the post. He advised strongly that such a step should not be taken, since the garrison was well supplied with ammunition, and with provision for six months. It would, therefore, he thought, be far better to remain until a reinforcement could be sent to their assistance. If, however, Capt. H[eald] should decide upon leaving the post, it should, by all means, be done immediately. The Potawatomies, through whose country they must pass, being ignorant of the object of Win-ne-meg's mission, a forced march might be made before the hostile Indians were prepared to interrupt them.
Of this advice, so earnestly given, Capt. Heald was immediately informed. He replied that it was his intention to evacuate the post, but that inasmuch as he had received orders to distribute the United-States' property, he should not feel justified in leaving until he had collected the Indians in the neighborhood, and made an equitable division among them.
Win-ne-meg then suggested the expediency of marching out and leaving all things standing — possibly, while the savages were engaged in a partition of the spoils, the troops might effect their retreat, unmolested. This advice was strongly seconded by Mr. K[inzie], but did not meet the approbation of the commanding officer.
The order for evacuating the post was read next morning upon parade. It is difficult to understand why Capt. Heald, in such an emergency, omitted the usual form of calling a council of war with his officers. Perhaps it arose from a want of harmonious feeling between himself and one of his subalterns — Ensign Ronan — a high-spirited, and somewhat overbearing, but brave and generous young man.
In the course of the day, finding no council was called, the officers waited upon Capt. Heald, to be informed what course he intended to pursue. When they learned his intention to leave the post, they remonstrated with him upon the following grounds:
First. It was highly improbable that the command would be permitted to pass through the country in safety to Fort Wayne. For, although it had been said that some of the chiefs had opposed an attack upon the fort, planned the preceding autumn, yet, it was well known, that they had been actuated in that matter by motives of private regard to one family,
In the next place, their march must necessarily be slow, as their movements must be accommodated to the helplessness of the women and children, of whom there were a number with the detachment. That of their small force, some of the soldiers were superannuated and others invalid; therefore, since the course to be pursued was left discretional, their advice was to remain where they were, and fortify themselves as strongly as possible. Succor from the other side of the peninsula might arrive before they could be attacked by the British from Mackinac and even should there not, it were far better to fall into the hands of the latter than to become the victims of the savages.
Capt. Heald argued in reply, "that a special order had been issued by the war department, that no post should be surrendered without battle having been given; and that his force was totally inadequate to an engagement with the Indians. That he should, unquestionably, be censured for remaining, when there appeared a prospect of a safe march through, and that upon the whole, he deemed it expedient to assemble the Indians, distribute the property among them, and then ask of them an escort to Fort Wayne, with the promise of a considerable reward upon their safe arrival — adding, that he had full confidence in the friendly professions of the Indians, from whom, as well as from the soldiers, the capture of Mackinac had been kept a profound secret."
From this time, the officers held themselves aloof, and spoke but little upon the subject, though they considered the project of Capt. Heald little short of madness. The dissatisfaction among the soldiers hourly increased, until it reached a high degree of insubordination.
Upon one occasion, as Capt. Heald was conversing with Mr. K[inzie] upon the parade, he remarked:
"I could not remain, even if I thought it best, for I have but a small store of provisions."
"Why, captain," said a soldier who stood near, forgetting all etiquette in the excitement of the moment, "you have cattle enough to last the troops six months."
"But," replied Capt. H[eald], "I have no salt to preserve the beef with."
The Indians now became daily more unruly. Entering the fort in defiance of the sentinels, they made their way without ceremony into the quarters of the officers. On one occasion an Indian took up a rifle and fired it in the parlor of the commanding officer, as an expression of defiance. Some were of opinion that this was intended, among the young men, as a signal for an attack. The old chiefs passed backward and forward among the assembled groups, with the appearance of the most lively agitation, while the squaws rushed to and fro in great excitement, and evidently prepared for some fearful scene.
Any further manifestation of ill-feeling was, however, suppressed for the present, and Capt. Heald, strange as it may seem, continued to entertain a conviction of his having created so amicable a disposition among the Indians as would ensure the safety of the command on their march to Fort Wayne.
THUS passed the time until August 12. The feelings of the inmates, of the fort during this time may be better imagined than described. Each morning that dawned seemed to bring them nearer to that most appalling fate — butchery by a savage foe — and at night they scarcely dared yield to slumber, lest they should be aroused by the war-whoop and tomahawk. Gloom and distrust prevailed, and the want of unanimity among the officers debarred them the consolation they might have found in mutual sympathy and encouragement.
The Indians being assembled from the neighboring villages, a council was held with them on the 12th. Capt. H[eald], only, attended on the part of the military. He requested his officers to accompany him, but they declined. They had been secretly informed that it was the intention of the young chiefs to fall upon the officers and massacre them while in council; but they could not persuade Capt. Heald of the truth of their information. They, therefore, only waited until he had left the garrison, when they took command of the block-house, which overlooked the esplanade on which the council was held, opened the port-holes, and pointed the cannon so as to command the whole assembly. By these measures, probably, the lives of the whites who were present in council were preserved.
In council, the commanding officer informed the Indians of his intention to, distribute among them, the next day, not only the goods lodged in the United-States factory, but also the ammunition and provisions, with which the garrison was well supplied. He then requested of the Potawatomies an escort to Fort Wayne, promising them a liberal reward upon their arrival there, in addition to the presents they were now to receive. With many professions of friendship and good-will, the savages assented to all he proposed and promised all he required.
After the council, Mr. K[inzie], who understood well, not only the Indian character, but the present tone of feeling among
24them, waited upon Capt. Heald, in the hope of opening his eyes to the present posture of affairs.
He reminded him that, since the troubles with the Indians upon the Wabash and its vicinity, there had appeared a settled plan of hostilities toward the whites; in consequence of which, it had been the policy of the Americans to withhold from them whatever would enable them to carry on their warfare upon the defenceless settlers on the frontier.
Mr. K[inzie] recalled to Capt. H[eald] how that he had himself left home for Detroit, the preceding autumn, and receiving, when he had proceeded as far as De Charmes,
Capt. Heald was struck with the impolicy of furnishing the enemy (for such they must now consider their old neighbors), with arms against himself, and determined to destroy all the ammunition, except what should be necessary for the use of his own troops.
On the 13th, the goods, consisting of blankets, broadcloths, calicos, paints, etc., were distributed, as stipulated. The same evening, the ammunition and liquor were carried partly into the sally-port and thrown into a well which had been dug there to supply the garrison with, water, in case of emergency; the remainder was transported as secretly as possible through the northern gate, the heads of the barrels knocked in, and the contents poured into the river.
The same fate was shared by a large quantity of alcohol, belonging to Mr. K[inzie], which had been deposited in a warehouse near his residence, opposite the fort.
The Indians suspected what was going on, and crept serpent-like, as near the scene of action as possible, but a vigilant watch
25was kept up, and no one was suffered to approach, but those engaged in the affair. All the muskets, not necessary for the march were broken up and thrown into the well,
Some relief to the general despondency was afforded by the arrival, on August 14, of Capt. [William] Wells,
Of this brave man, who forms so conspicuous a figure in our frontier annals, it is unnecessary here to say more, than that he had been residing from his boyhood among the Indians, and consequently possessed a perfect knowledge of their character and habits.
He had heard at Fort Wayne of the order for evacuating Fort Dearborn, and knowing the hostile determination of the Potawatomies, he had made a rapid march across the country to prevent the exposure of his relative, Capt. Heald, and his troops to certain destruction.
But he came "all too late." When he reached the post, he found that the ammunition had been destroyed, and the provisions given to the Indians. There was, therefore, now, no alternative, and every preparation was made for the march of the troops on the following morning.
On the afternoon of the same day, a second council was held with the Indians. They expressed great indignation at the destruction of the ammunition and liquor.
Notwithstanding the precautions that had been taken to preserve secrecy, the noise of knocking in the heads of the barrels had too plainly betrayed the operations of the preceding night; and so great was the quantity of liquor thrown into the river, that the taste of the water, the next morning, was, as one expressed it, "strong grog."
Murmurs and threats were everywhere heard among the savages. It was evident that the first moment of exposure would subject the troops to some manifestation of their disappointment and resentment.
Among the chiefs were several who, although they shared the general hostile feeling of their tribe toward the Americans, yet
27retained a personal regard for the troops, at this post, and for the few citizens of the place. These chiefs exerted their utmost influence to allay the revengeful feelings of the young men, and to avert their sanguinary designs, but without effect.
On the evening succeeding the last council, Black Partridge, a conspicous chief, entered the quarters of the commanding officer.
"Father," said he, "I come to deliver up to you the medal I wear. It was given me by the Americans, and I have long worn it in token of our mutual friendship. But our young men
Had further evidence been wanting, this circumstance should have sufficiently proved to the devoted band, the justice of their melancholy anticipations. Nevertheless, they went steadily on with the necessary preparations; and amid the horrors of their situation, there were one or two gallant hearts, who strove to encourage in their desponding companions, the hopes of escape, that they were far from indulging themselves.
Of the ammunition, there had been reserved but twenty-five rounds besides one box of cartridges, contained in the baggage-wagons. This must under any circumstances of danger, have proved an inadequate supply, but the prospect of a fatiguing march in their present ineffective state, forbid their embarrassing themselves with a larger quantity.
THE morning of the 15th arrived. All things were in readiness, and nine o'clock was the hour named for starting.
Mr. K[inzie] had volunteered to accompany the troops in their march, and had entrusted his family to the care of some friendly Indians, who had promised to convey them in a boat around the head of Lake Michigan, to a point
Early in the morning, Mr. K[inzie] received a message from To-pe-ne-be, a chief of the St. Joseph's band, informing him that mischief was intended by the Potawatomies, who had promised to escort the detachment; and urging him to relinquish his design of accompanying the troops by land, promising that the boat which should contain himself and family should be permitted to pass in safety to St. Joseph's.
Mr. K[inzie] declined accepting this proposal, as he believed that his presence might operate as a restraint on the fury of the savages, so warmly were the greater part attached to himself and family.
The party in the boat consisted of Mrs. K[inzie] and her four younger children,
29boatmen, beside the two Indians, who acted as their protectors. The boat started, but had scarcely reached the mouth of the river, when another messenger from To-pe-ne-be arrived to detain them where they were.
In breathless expectation sat the wife and mother. She was a woman of uncommon energy and strength of character, yet her heart died within her as she folded her arms around her helpless infants, and gazed upon the march of her husband and eldest child to almost certain destruction.
As the troops left the fort, the band struck up the "Dead March." On they came in military array, but with solemn mein. Capt. Wells took the lead, at the head of his little band of Miamis — his face blackened, in token of his impending fate. They took their route along the lake shore. When they reached the point where commences the range of sandhills, intervening between the prairie and the beach, the escort of Potawatomies, in number about five hundred, kept the level of the prairie instead of continuing along the beach, with the Americans and Miamis.
They had marched perhaps a mile and a half, when Capt. Wells, who was somewhat in advance, with his Miamis, came riding furiously back.
"They are about to attack us," shouted he, "form instantly, and charge upon them."
Scarcely were the words uttered when a volley was showered from among the sandhills. The troops were hastily brought into line, and charged upon the bank. One man, a veteran of seventy years, fell as they ascended.
The remainder of the scene is best described in the words of an eye-witness and participator in the tradgedy — Mrs. [Margaret] H[elm], the wife of Capt. (then Lieut.) H[elm], and step-daughter of Mr. [John] K[inzie]:
"After we had left the bank and gained the prairie, the action became general. The Miamis fled at the outset. Their chief rode up to the Potawatomies, and said,
30"‘You have deceived the Americans, and us; you have done a bad action, and (brandishing his tomahawk) I will be the first to head a party of Americans, and return to punish your treachery’; so saying, he galloped after his companions, who were now scouring across the prairie.
"The troops behaved most gallantly. There were but a handful, but they resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Our horses pranced and bounded, and could hardly be restrained, as the balls whistled among them. I drew off a little, and gazed upon my husband and father, who were yet unharmed. I felt that my hour had come, and endeavored to forget those I loved, and prepare myself for my approaching fate.
"While I was thus engaged, the surgeon, Dr. V[an Voorhis], came up. He was badly wounded. His horse had been shot under him, and had received a ball in his leg. Every muscle of his countenance was quivering with the agony of terror. He said to me,
"‘Do you think they will take our lives? I am badly wounded, but I think not mortally. Perhaps we might purchase our lives by promising them a large reward. Do you think there is any chance?’"
"‘Dr. V[an Voorhis],’ said I, ‘do not let us waste the few moments that yet remain to us, in such hopes. Our fate is inevitable. In a few moments, we must appear before the bar of God. Let us endeavor to make what preparation is yet in our power.’
"‘Oh! I can not die!’ exclaimed he, ‘I am not fit to die — if I had but a short time to prepare — death is awful!’
"I pointed to Ensign Ronan, who, although mortally wounded, and nearly down, was fighting with desperation, upon one knee.
"‘Look at that man,’ said I, ‘at least, he dies like a soldier.’
"‘Yes,’ replied the unfortunate man, with a convulsive gasp, ‘but he has no terrors of the future — he is an unbeliever!’
"At this moment, a young Indian raised his tomahawk at me. By springing aside, I avoided the blow, which was intended for
31my skull, but which alighted on my shoulder. I seized him around the neck, and while exerting my utmost efforts to get possession of his scalping-knife, which hung in a scabbard over his breast, I was dragged from his grasp by another and an older Indian.
"The latter bore me, struggling and resisting, toward the lake. Nothwithstanding the rapidity with which I was hurried along, I recognized, as I passed them, the lifeless remains of the unfortunate surgeon. Some murderous tomahawk had stretched him upon the very spot where I had last seen him.
"I was immediately plunged into the water, and held there with a forcible hand, notwithstanding my resistance. I soon perceived, however, that the object of my captor was not to drown me, as he held me firmly in such a position as to place my head above the water. This reassured me, and regarding him, attentively, I soon recognized, in spite of the paint with which he was disguised, The Black Partridge.
"When the firing had somewhat subsided, my preserver bore me from the water, and conducted me up the sandbanks. It was a burning August morning, and walking through the sand, in my drenched condition, was inexpressibly painful and fatiguing. I stooped and took off my shoes, to free them from the sand, with which they were nearly filled, when a squaw seized and carried them off, and I was obliged to proceed without them.
"When we had gained the prairie, I was met by my father, who told me that my husband was safe, and but slightly wounded. They led me gently back toward the Chicago River, along the southern bank of which was the Potawatomie encampment.
At one time, I was placed upon a horse without a saddle, but soon finding the motion insupportable, I sprang off. Supported partly by my kind conductor, [Black Partridge], and partly by Another Indian, Pe-so-tum, who held dangling in his hand, the scalp of Capt. Wells, I dragged my fainting steps to one of the wigwams.
"The wife of Wau-be-ne-mah, a chief from the Illinois River, was standing near, and seeing my exhausted condition, she seized a kettle, dipped up some water from a little stream
"The fort had become a scene of plunder to such as remained after the troops had marched out. The cattle had been shot down as they ran at large, and lay dead or dying around. This work of butchery had commenced upon our leaving the fort.
"I well remembered a remark of Ensign Ronan, as the firing went on:
‘Such,’ turning to me, ‘is to be our fate — to be shot down like brutes!’
"‘Well, Sir,’ said the commanding officer, who overheard him, ‘are you afraid?’
"‘No,’ replied the high-spirited young man, ‘I can march up to the enemy, where you dare not show your face;’ and his subsequent gallant behavior showed this to be no idle boast.
"As the noise of the firing grew gradually less, and the stragglers from the victorious party dropped in, I received confirmation of what my father had hurriedly communicated in our rencontre on the lake shore; namely, that the whites had surrendered after the loss of about two-thirds of their number. They had stipulated for the preservation of their lives, and those of the remaining women and children, and for their delivery at some of the British posts, unless ransomed by traders in the Indian country. It appears that the wounded prisoners were not considered as included in the stipulation, and a horrible scene occurred upon their being brought into camp.
"An old squaw, infuriated by the loss of friends, or excited by the sanguinary scenes around her, seemed possessed by a demoniac ferocity. She seized a stable-fork, and assaulted one miserable victim, who lay groaning and writhing in the agony of his wounds, aggravated by the scorching beams of the sun. With a delicacy of feeling scarcely to be expected, under such circumstances, Wau-be-ne-mah stretched a mat across two poles, between me and this dreadful scene. I was thus spared in some degree, a view of its horrors, although I could not entirely close my ears to the cries of the sufferer. The following night, five more of the wounded prisoners were tomahawked."
But why dwell upon this painful scene? Why describe the butchery of the children, twelve of whom, placed together in one baggage-wagon, fell beneath the merciless tomahawk of one young savage? This atrocious act was committed after the whites, twenty-seven in number, had surrendered. When Capt. Wells beheld it, he exclaimed, "‘Is that their game? Then I will kill, too!’"
"So saying, he turned his horse's head, and started for the Indian camp, near the fort, where had been left their squaws and children.
"Several Indians pursued him, firing at him as he galloped along. He laid himself flat on the neck of his horse, loading and firing in that position. At length, the balls of his pursuers took effect, killing his horse, and severely wounding himself. At this moment, he was met by Win-ne-meg and Wan-ban-see, who endeavored to save him from the savages who had now overtaken him; but as they supported him along, after having disengaged him from his horse, he received his death blow from one of the party (Pee-so-tum), who stabbed him in the back.
"The heroric resolution of one of the soldiers' wives
"When, therefore, a party came upon her, to make her prisoner, she fought with desperation, refusing to surrender, although assured of safe treatment; and literally suffered herself to be cut to pieces, rather than become their captive.
"From the Potawatomie encampment, the family of Mr. K[inzie] were conveyed across the river to their own mansion. There, they were closely guarded by their Indian friends, whose intention it was to carry them to Detroit for security. The rest of the prisoners remained at the wigwams of their captors.
"The following morning, the work of plunder being completed, the Indians set fire to the fort. A very equitable distribution of the finery appeared to have been made, and shawls, ribbons, and feathers were seen fluttering about in all directions. The ludicrous appearance of one young fellow, who had arrayed himself in a muslin gown, and the bonnet of the commanding officer's lady, would, under other circumstances, have afforded matter of amusement.
"Black Partridge and Wau-ban-see, with three others of the tribe, having established themselves in the porch of the building, as sentinels, to protect the family of Mr. K[inzie] from any evil that the young men might be excited to commit, all remained tranquil, for a short space of time after the conflagration.
"Very soon, however, a party of Indians from the Wabash made their appearance. These were the most hostile and implacable of all the bands of Potawatomies.
"Being more remote, they had shared less than some of their brethren in the kindness of Mr. K[inzie] and his family, and consequently their sentiments of regard for them were less powerful.
"Runners had been sent to the villages, to apprise them of the intended evacuation of the post, as well as the plan of the Indians assembled, to attack the troops.
"Thirsting to participate in such a scene, they hurried on, and great was their mortification, on arriving at the river Aux Plaines, to meet with a party of their friends, having their chief Ne-scot-ne-meg badly wounded, and to learn that the battle was over, the spoils divided, and the scalps all taken.
"On arriving at Chicago, they blackened their faces, and proceeded toward the residence of Mr. K[inzie].
"From his station on the piazza, Black Partridge had watched their approach, and his fears were particularly awakened for the safety of Mrs. H[elm], the step-daughter of Mr. K[inzie], who had recently come to the post, and was personally unknown to the more remote Indians. By his advice, she was made to assume the ordinary dress of a French woman of the country, namely, a short gown and petticoat, with a blue-cotton handkerchief wrapped around her head; and in this disguise she was conducted by Black Partridge himself, to the house of [Antoine] Ouilmette,
36formed a part of the establishment of Mr. K[inzie], and whose dwelling was close at hand.
"It so happened that the Indians came first to this house, in their search for prisoners. As they approached, the inmates, fearful that the fair complexion and general appearance of Mrs. H[elm] might betray her for an American, raised the large feather bed and placed her under the edge of it, upon the bedstead, with her face to the wall. Mrs. Bisson, the sister of Ouilmette's wife, then seated herself with her sewing upon the front of the bed.
"It was a hot day in August, and the feverish excitement of fear and agitation, together with her position, which was nearly suffocating, were so painful that Mrs. H[elm] at length entreated to be released and given up to the Indians.
"‘I can but die,’ said she, ‘let them put an end to my miseries at once.’
"Mrs. Bisson replied, ‘Your death would be the signal for the destruction of us all, for Black Partridge is resolved, if one drop of the blood of your family is spilled, to take the lives of all
37concerned in it, even his nearest friends, and if once the work of murder commences, there will be no end of it, so long as there remains one white person or half-breed in the country.’
"This expostulation nerved Mrs. H[elm] with fresh resolution.
"The Indians entered, and she could occasionally see them from her hiding-place, gliding about and inspecting every part of the room, though without making any ostensible search, until, apparently satisfied that there was no one concealed, they left the house.
"All this time, Mrs. Bisson kept her seat upon the side of the bed, calmly assorting and arranging the patchwork of the quilt on which she was engaged, although she knew not but that the next moment she might receive a tomahawk in her brain. Her self-command unquestionably saved the lives of all present.
"From Ouilmette's [house] they [the Indians] proceeded to the dwelling of Mr. K[inzie]. They entered the parlor, in which were assembled the family, with their faithful protectors, and seated themselves upon the floor, in profound silence.
"Black Partridge perceived, from their moody and revengeful looks, what was passing in their minds, but he dared not remonstrate with them. He only observed in a low tone to Wau-ban-see, ‘We have endeavored to save our friends, but in vain — nothing will save them now.’
"At this moment, a friendly whoop was heard from a party of new comers, on the opposite bank of the river. Black Partridge sprang to meet their leader, as the canoes in which they had hastily embarked touched the bank, demanding, "‘Who are you?’
"‘A man — who are you?’
"‘A man, like yourself — but tell me who you are?’ — meaning tell me your disposition, and which side you are for.
"‘I am the Sau-ga-nash!’
"‘Then make all speed to the house — your friend is in danger, and you only can save him!’
"‘How now, my friends! A good day to you. I was told there were enemies here, but I am glad to find only friends. Why have you blackened your faces? Is it that you are mourning for the friends you have lost in battle? (purposely misunderstanding this token of evil designs,) or, is it that you are fasting? If so, ask our friend here, and he will give you to eat. He is the Indians' friend, and never yet refused them what they had need of.’
"Thus taken by surprise, the savages were ashamed to acknowledge their bloody purpose; they, therefore, said modestly, that
39they came to beg of their friend some white cotton, in which to wrap their dead, before interring them. This was given them, together with some other presents, and they took their departure from the premises."
Along with the party was a non-commissioned officer, who had made his escape in a singular manner. As the troops were about leaving the fort, it was found that the baggage-horses of the surgeon had strayed off. The quartermaster-sergeant, [Wm.] Griffith, was sent to collect them and bring them on, it being absolutely necessary to recover some part of the surgeon's apparatus and medicines for the march.
This man had been for a long time on the sick report, and for this reason was given the charge of the baggage, instead of being in his place with the troops. His efforts to recover the horses being unsuccessful, he was hastening to rejoin his party, alarmed at some appearance of disorder among the Indians, when he was met and made prisoner by To-pe-ne-be.
Having taken from him his arms and accoutrements, the Potawatomie put him in a canoe and paddled him across the river, bidding him make for the woods and secrete himself. This he did, and the following day, in the afternoon, seeing from his lurking place that all appeared quiet, he ventured to steal cautiously into the garden of Ouilmette, where he concealed himself behind some currant bushes.
After a time he determined to enter the house, and accordingly climbed up, through a small back window, into the room where the family were. This was just as the Wabash Indians had left the house of Ouilmette for that of Mr. K[inzie]. The danger of the sergeant was now imminent. The family of Ouilmette stripped him of his uniform, and arrayed him in a suit of deerskin, with belt, moccasins, and pipe, like a French engagé. His dark complexion and large black whiskers favored the disguise. The family were all ordered to address him in French, and, although utterly ignorant of the language, he continued to pass for a voyageur, and as such to accompany Mr. K[inzie] and his family, undiscovered by his enemies, to St. Joseph's.
"Little remains to be told. On the third day after the battle, the family of Mr. K[inzie] with the clerks of the establishment, were put in a boat, under the care of Francois, a half-breed interpreter, and conveyed to St. Joseph's, where they remained until the following November, under the protection of To-pe-ne-be's band. They were then carried to Detroit, under the escort of Chandonnai,
It had been a stipulation, at the surrender of Detroit, by Gen. Hull, that the American inhabitants should retain the liberty of remaining undisturbed in their own dwelling, and accordingly this family was permitted a quiet residence among their friends at that place.
Mr. K[inzie] was not allowed to leave St. Joseph's with his family, his Indian friends insisting upon his remaining to endeavor to secure some remnant of his scattered property, but anxiety for his family induced him to follow them to Detroit, in January, where he was received as a prisoner and paroled by Gen. [Henry A.] Proctor.
Of the other prisoners, Capt. and Mrs. Heald had been sent across the Lake to St. Joseph's, the day after the battle. Capt. Heald had received two wounds and Mrs. H[eald] seven, the ball of one of which was cut out of her arm with a penknife by Mr. K[inzie] after the engagement.
"The horse Mrs. Heald rode was a fine, spirited animal, and the Indians were desirous to possess themselves of it unwounded. They therefore aimed their shots so as to disable the rider without injuring the steed. This was at length accomplished, and her captor was in the act of disengaging her hat from her head, in order to scalp her, when young Chandonai, a half-breed from St. Joseph's, ran up, and offered for her ransom a mule he had just taken, adding the promise of ten bottles of whisky so soon as Re should reach his village. The latter was a strong temptation.
"‘But,’ said the Indian, ‘she is badly wounded — she will die — will you give me the whisky at all events?’
"Chandonai promised that he would, and the bargain was concluded. Mrs. Heald was placed in the boat with Mrs. K[inzie] and her children, covered with a buffalo robe, and enjoined silence as she valued her life. In this situation, the heroic woman remained, without uttering a sound that could betray her to the savages, who were continually coining to the boat in search of prisoners, but who always retired peaceably when told that it contained only the family of Shaw-ne-au-ke.
"When the boat was at length permitted to return to the mansion of Mr. K[inzie], and Mrs. Heald was removed to the house for the purpose of dressing her wounds, Mr. K[inzie] applied to an old chief who stood by, and who, like most of his tribe possessed some skill in surgery, to extract a ball from the arm of the sufferer.
"‘No, father,’ replied he, ‘I can not do it — it makes me sick here;’ placing his hand upon his heart. This, after the bloody scenes in which he had just participated!
"Capt. Heald was taken prisoner by an Indian from the Kankakee, who had a strong personal regard for him, and who, when he saw the wounded and enfeebled state of Mrs. H[eald], released his prisoner, that he might accompany his wife to St. Joseph's. To the latter place, they were accordingly carried by Chandonai and his party. In the meantime, the Indian who had so nobly released his prisoner returned to his village on the Kankakee, where he had the mortification of finding that his conduct had excited great dissatisfaction among his band. So great was the displeasure manifested that he resolved to make a journey to St. Joseph's and reclaim his prisoner.
News of his intention being brought to To-pe-ne-be and Keo-po-tah, under whose care the prisoners were, they held a private council with Chandonai, Mr. K[inzie], and the principal men of the village, the result of which was a determination to send Capt. and Mrs. Heald to the Island of Mackinac, and deliver them up to the British.
They were accordingly put in a bark canoe and paddled by the present chief of the Potawatomies, [Alexander] Robinson,
43and his wife, a distance of three hundred miles along the coast of Lake Michigan, and surrendered as prisoners of war to the commanding officer at Mackinac."
"As an instance of the procrastinating spirit of Capt. Heald, it may be mentioned that even after he had received certain intelligence that his Indian captor was on his way from the Kankakee to retake him, he would still have delayed another day at St. Joseph's, to make preparation for a more comfortable journey to Mackinac.
Lieut. Helm, who was likewise wounded, was carried by some friendly Indians to their village on the Au Sable [River], and thence to St. Louis, where he was liberated, by the intervention of Mr. Thomas Forsyth,
Mrs. Helm accompanied her father's family to Detroit. In the engagement, she received a slight wound on the ankle and had her horse shot under her.
The soldiers, with their wives and children, were dispersed among the different villages of the Potawatomies, upon the Illinois, Wabash, Rock River, and Milwaukee, until the following spring, when they were for the most part carried to Detroit, and ransomed. Some, however, were detained in captivity still another year, during which period they experienced more kindness than was to have been expected from an enemy in most cases so merciless.
The Kinzie Family in America.
John1 MacKenzie, surgeon of the 60th Royal Reg't of Foot, married Anne, widow of John Halyburton, chaplain of the 1st Royal American Reg't of Foot.
John2 Kinzie (John1), born Quebec, Canada, Dec. 22, 1763; died Chicago, Ill., Jan. 6, 1828; married March 10, 1798, Eleanor Lytle McKillip, widow of Capt. Daniel McKillip of the British army; daughter of Col. William and Ann Lytle; born in Virginia about 1771; died New York City, Feb. 19, 1834; aged 63; and was buried in St. John's churchyard. Children:
+ 3. John Harris3 born Sandwich, Canada, July 7, 1803; died June 21, 1865; married Aug. 9, 1829, Juliette Augusta Magill, born Sept. 11, 1806; died Sept. 15, 1870.
+ 4. Ellen Marion3, born Chicago, Dec. 20, 1805; died Aug. 1, 1860; married, first, Dr. Alexander Wolcott; married, second, George C. Bates.
5. Maria Indiana3, born Chicago, Sept. 28, 1807; died Feb. 21, 1887; married Sept. 18, 1829, Lieut. David Hunter, U.S.A., born in Princeton, N. J., July 17, 1802, one of the first graduates from West Point; served on staff of Gen. Zachary Taylor throughout the Mexican War; severely wounded in the first battle of Bull Run and was promoted for gallantry. Captured Fort Pulaski, Ga., in 1863; and was retired as Major General, U.S.A. No children.
+ 6. Robert Allan3, born Chicago, Feb. 8, 1810; died Dec. 13, 1873; paymaster U.S.A.; married Nov. 13, 1833, Gwinthlean, 4th daughter of Col. John Whistler; born July 20, 1817; died Sept. 10, 1894.
John Harris3 Kinzie (John2, John1), born Sandwich, Canada, July 7, 1803; died June 21, 1865; married Aug. 9, 1829, Juliette Augusta Magill; born Sept. 11, 1806; died Sept. 15, 1870. Children:
7. Alexander Wolcott4, b. July 12, 1833; d. Oct. 4, 1839.
+ 8. Eleanor Lytle4, b. Chicago, June 18, 1835; m. Dec. 21, 1857, Gen. William Washington Gordon, of Savannah, Ga.
+ 9. John Harris4, jr., b. Chicago, Oct. 21, 1838; d. June 18, 1862; m. Apr. 25, 1861, Elvenah Janes, b. May 4. 1842.
+ 10. Arthur Magill4, b. Chicago, Mar.. 24, 1841; d. May 10, 1901; m. May 23, 1867, Caroline Gilbert Wilson.
11. Julian Magil4, born Chicago, Feb. 7, 1843; died Mar. 20, 1843.
12. Francis William4, born Chicago, July 13, 1844; died July 30, 1850.
+ 13. George Herbert4, b. Chicago, Oct. 22, 1846; d. Aug. 26, 1890; m. June 10, 1874, Mary Blatchford.
Ellen Marion3 Kinzie (John2, John1), born Chicago, Dec. 20, 1805; died Aug. 1, 1860; married, first, Dr. Alexander Wolcott, who died Chicago, Oct. 25, 1830. Two children who died in infancy. Married, second, May 26, 1836, George C. Bates, who died Feb. 11, 1886.
14. Kinzie Bates4, Major U.S.A., born Apr. 13, 1839; died Feb. 20, 1884; married Oct. 21, 1873, Elizabeth Chumley Jennings.
Robert Allan3 Kinzie (John2, John1), b. Chicago, Feb. 8, 1810; d. Dec. 13, 1873; paymaster U.S.A.; m. Nov. 13, 1833, Gwinthlean, 4th dau. of Col. John and Whistler, b. July 20, 1817; d. Sept. 10, 1894. Children:
15. Robert Allan4, jr., b. 1834; died in infancy.
16. Margaret4, b. 1836; died in infancy.
+ 17. Gwinthlean4, b. 1837; m. Dr. Manson, of Kansas.
+ 18. Maria4, b. 1839: d. Oct. 19, 1899; m. Gen. Geo. H. Steuart of Baltimore, Md.
+ 19. David Hunter4, b. Jan. 24, 1841; d. July 5, 1904; m. Feb. 28, 1871, Elvenah Janes Kinzie, widow of John Harris Kinzie, jr.
+ 20. Julia4, b. May 4, 1842; m. Nov. 13, 1860, William B. Parsons of Vermont.
21. Marion4, b. Sep. 16, 1848; married, first, Lieut. Edward Totten, U.S.A.; second, John Sniden. No children.
22. John Harris4, IV., b. 1845; m.
23. Robert Allan4, III, b. 1846; d. 1859.
24. Frank4, b. 1849; d. Nov. 1909; m.
25. Walter4, b. 1851; d. Nov. 5. 1909; m.
26. Nelly Duck4, b. 1853; unmarried.
Eleanor Lytle4 Kinzie-Gordon (John Harris3, John2, John1), born Chicago, June 18, 1835; married Dec. 21, 1857, Gen. William Washington Gordon, of Savannah, Ga., born Oct. 14, 1834. Children:
+ 27. Eleanor Kinzie5, b. Sept. 27, 1858; m. Jan. 2, 1884, Richard Wayne6 Parker, of Newark, N. J.
28. Juliette Magill5, b. Oct. 31, 1860; m. Dec. 21, 1886, William McKay Law. No children.
29. Sarah Alice5, b. Aug. 7, 1863; d. Dec. 30, 1880.
+ 30. William Washington5, jr., b. Apr. 16, 1866; m. Mar. 1, 1892, Ellen Buchanan Screven.
+ 31. Mable McLane5, b. Oct. 28, 1870; m. Hon. Rowland Leigh, youngest son of Baron Leigh, of Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwickshire, England.
+ 32. George Arthur5, b. Aug. 30, 1872; m. May 31, 1906, Margaret McGuire of Richmond, Va.
John Harris4 Kinzie, jr. (John Harris3, John2, John1), born Chicago, Oct. 21, 1838; killed June 18, 1862, on U.S. gunboat Mound City, blown up by hot shot, at storming of Fort Pillow, White River, Ark.; married Apr. 25, 1861, Elvenah Janes, born May 4, 1842. One child;
33. Laura Magill5, born Aug. 31, 1862; married Oct. 5, 1901, Lieut. Arthur Ferguson, U.S.A.
Capt. Arthur Magill4 Kinzie (John Harris3, John2, John1), born Chicago, Mar. 24, 1841; died May 10, 1902. Served in U. S. army during the Civil War for two years on staff of Gen. David Hunter, and was with him at the capture of Fort Pulaski, Ga.; was aide-de-camp to Gen. C. C. Washburn in 1861, and was captured when Gen. Nathan B. Forrest made his famous raid into Memphis, Tenn. His younger brother George, who was visiting him, was also captured. They were sent to the Confederate prison at Cahawba, Ala., and were finally released by order of President Jefferson Davis. Married May 23, 1867, Caroline Gilbert, 3d daughter of John Lush and Maria Whipple Wilson. Children:
+ 34. John Harris5, III., born June 11, 1868; married Jan. 7, 1897, Nellie Bernice Reed.
|TWINS||35. Juliette Magill5, born Jan. 31, 1870; died in infancy.|
|+ 36. Eleanor Gordon5, born Jan. 31, 1870; married June 28, 1893, George Wells Gould of Chicago.|
+ 37. AdÄle Locke5, born Apr. 28, 1872; married June 12, 1894, John Saunders Driver.
+ 38. Sarah Miles5, born Oct 18, 1881; married June 4, 1901, Herbert Averard Havemeyer.
39. Julian Magill5, born Aug. 31, 1887.
George Herbert4 Kinzie (John Harris3, John2, John1), born Chicago, Oct. 22, 1846; 1st Lieut. 15th Infantry, civil appointee, U.S.A., 1873; died Aug. 26, 1890; married June 10, 1874, Mary Blatchford. Children:
+ 40. Juliette Augusta5, born Mar. 11, 1875; married Aug. 30, 1899, William Kennedy McKay. Children:
41. Mary5, born Dec. 17, 1876; married July 23, 1904, Clarence Whittingham Hopkins, M. D.
42. Addie5, born Jan. 26, 1878; died 1896.
43. George Buell5, born Mar. 10, 1881.
Kinzie Bates4, (Ellen Marion3, John2, John1), Major U.S.A., Commander Battalion 1st Infantry; born Apr. 13, 1839; died Feb. 20, 1884; married Oct. 21, 1873, Elizabeth Chumley Jennings. No children.
Maria4 Kinzie-Steuart (Robert Allan3, John3 ,John1), born, 1839; died Oct. 19, 1899; married Gen. George H. Steuart of Baltimore, Md. Children:
+ 44. Maria Hunter5, born Dec. 6, 1860; married Nov. 30, 1890, Edmund Davis.
+ 45. Ann Mary5, born Jan. 18, 1864; married, first, Sept. 25, 1888, Rudolph Liebig, who died Aug 34, 1895.
David Hunter4 Kinzie (Robert Allan3, John2, John1) Capt. U.S.A.; born Jan. 24, 1841; died July 5, 1904; married Elvenah Janes Kinzie, widow of John Harris Kinzie, jr. Children:
+ 46. Alice5, born Jan. 16, 1872; married July 7, 1902, Lieut. M. J. McDonough, U.S.A.
+ 47. Robert Allan5, jr., born Jan. 15, 1874; married Nov. 12, 1901, Veronica Kennedy.
48. David Janes5, born May 2, 1875; married Dec. 28, 1903, Sadie Stodhart.
49. Hunter5, born Sept. 25, 1876.
50. William Gordon5, born Oct. 26, 1878.
Julia4 Kinzie-Parsons (Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born May 4, 1842; married Nov. 13, 1860, William B. Parsons of Vermont; born Jan. 1, 1834; died Dec. 31, 1885. Children:
51+ 51. Robert Wilkins5, born Sept. 5, 1861; married and had children.
John Harris4, IV. (Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born 1845; married
Eleanor Kinzie Gordon5-Parker (Eleanor Lytle4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Sept. 27, 1859; married Jan. 2, 1884, Richard Wayne Parker of Newark, N. J. Children:
52. Alice Gordon6, born Jan. 27, 1885.
53. Eleanor Wayne6, born Mar. 21, 1887.
54. Elizabeth Wolcott6, born Nov. 19, 1889.
55. Wayne6, born Sept. 29, 1892; died Apr. 1, 1899.
56. Cortlandt6, born Feb. 5, 1896.
William Washington Gordon5, jr. (Eleanor Lytle4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Apr. 16, 1866; married Mar. 1, 1892, Ellen Buchanan Screven. Children:
57. William Washington6, III, born Mar. 4, 1893.
58. Ellen Screven6, b. June 1, 1895; d. May 21, 1897.
59. Margaret Eleanor6, born Aug. 6, 1900.
60. Franklin Buchanan6, born Aug. 21, 1905; died Mar. 12, 1908.
Mable McLane Gordon5-Leigh (Eleanor Lytle4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Oct. 28, 1870; married Hon. Rowland Leigh, youngest son of Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwickshire, England. Children:
61. Margaret Ethel6, born Jan. 24, 1901.
62. Rowland Henry6, born May 16, 1903.
George Arthur Gordon5,(Eleanor Lytle4, John Harris3, John2, John1) born Aug. 30, 1872; married May 31, 1906, Margaret McGuire of Richmond, Va. Children:
63. Mary Stuart6, born Apr. 1, 1907.
John Harris5 Kinzie, III. (Arthur Magill4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born June 11, 1868; married Jan. 7, 1897, Nellie Bernice Reed. Children:
64. John Harris6, IV., b. Sept. 10, 1897; d. Oct. 26, 1899.
65. Eleanor Gordon6, born Sept. 10, 1900.
66. William Reed6, born May 2, 1902.
Eleanor Gordon5 Kinzie Gould (Arthur Magill4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Jan. 31, 1870; married June 28, 1893, George Wells Gould. Children:
67. Gordon Kinzie6, born April 10, 1894.
Adele Locke5 Kinzie-Driver (Arthur Magill4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Apr. 28, 1872; married June 12, 1894, John Saunders Driver. Children:
68. Ruth6, born June 5, 1896.
69. Edwina AdÄle6, born June 6, 1900.
Sarah Miles5 Kinzie-Havemeyer (Arthur Magill4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Oct. 18, 1881; married June 4, 1901, Herbert Averard Havemeyer. Children:
70. Rosaline6, born Apr. 13, 1903.
71. Herbert Kinzie6, born Aug. 13, 1906.
Juliette Augusta5 Kinzie-McKay (George Herbert4 , John Harris3, John2, John1), born Mar. 11, 1875; married Aug. 30, 1899, William Kennedy McKay. Children:
72. Nony6, born Sept. 28, 1905.
Mary5 Kinzie-Hopkins (George Herbert4, John Harris3, John2, John1), born Dec. 17, 1876; married July 23, 1904, Clarence Whittingham Hopkins, M. D.
Maria Hunter5 Steuart-Davis (Maria4, Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born Dec. 6, 1860; married Nov. 30, 1880, Edmund Davis.
73. Horace Bloodgood6, died in infancy.
74. Steuart6, born Mar. 13, 1882.
Ann Mary5 Steuart-Liebig (Maria4, Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born Jan. 18, 1864; married, first, Sept. 25, 1888, Rudolph Liebig, who died Aug. 31, 1895. Children:
75. Marion6, born June 20, 1893.
76. Rudolph6, born Oct. 24, 1895. Married, second, Oct. 6, 1906, Robert Meade Smith, M.D.
Alice5 Kinzie-McDonough (Maria4, Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born Jan. 26, 1872; married July 7, 1902, Lieut. M. J. McDonough, U.S.A. Children:
77. Robert6, born. Apr. 26, 1904.
78. Alice6, born Nov. 13, 1908.
Robert Allan5 Kinzie,jr. (Maria4, Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born Jan. 15, 1874; married Nov. 12, 1901, Veronica Kennedy. Children:
79. Robert Allan6, III., born Nov. 20, 1904.
80. David Hunter6, born May 22, 1906.
81. Veronica Cordilia6, born Feb. 26, 1907.
Robert Wilkins5 Parsons (Julia4, Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born Sept. 5, 1861; married Children:
82. Irene6, born Aug. 10, 1885.
83. Gwinthlean6, born Feb. 20, 1887.
84. Ethel6, born June 7, 1890.
85. Irene Rucker6, b. June 10, 1864; d. Aug. 11, 1865.
William Guy5 Parsons (Julia4, Robert Allan3, John2, John1), born May 1, 1877; married Children:
86. Guy6, born Sept. 25, 1893,
87. Frank Kinzie6, b. June 12, 1870; d. July 23, 1902.
John Kinzie: A Sketch by Eleanor Lytle Kinzie Gordon.
John MacKenzie was a son of Surgeon John MacKenzie of the 60th or Royal American Regiment of Foot, and of Anne Haleyburton, the widow of Chaplain William Haleyburton of the First or Royal American Regiment of Foot.
Mrs. Haleyburton had one child by Maj. Haleyburton, a daughter named Alice, born January 22, 1758. This event took place just before the regiment embarked from Ireland for America, and the Haleyburtons were consequently delayed for several weeks before rejoining the command in Quebec.
Major Haleyburton died soon after their arrival in America, and his widow a couple of years later married Surgeon John MacKenzie. Their son John was born in Quebec, December 3, 1763.
Major MacKenzie survived the birth of his son but a few months, and his widow took for her third husband William Forsyth, of New York City, by whom she had five sons: William, George, James, Thomas, and Robert Allan.
In the old family Bible is the following touching record of an event that occurred after the family had removed from New York to Detroit:
"George Forsyth was lost in the woods 6th of August, 1775, when Henry Hays and Mark Stirling ran away and left him. The remains of George Forsyth were found by an Indian the 2d of Oct., 1776, close by the Prairie Ronde."
There was nothing to identify the child except the auburn curls of his hair and the little boots he had worn.
In this same old Bible, the "Mac" is dropped in recording the birth of "John Kinsey," so spelled, thus indicating that he was known as John Kinsey, or, as he himself spelled it, Kinzie from early childhood.
Young John grew up under the care and supervision of his step-father, Mr. Forsyth, until at the age of ten he began his adventurous career by running away.
He and his two half-brothers attended a school at Williamsburg, L. I., escorted there every Monday by a servant, who came to bring them home every Friday. One fine afternoon, when the servant came to take the boys home, Master Johnny was missing. An immediate search was made, but not a trace of him could be found. His mother was almost frantic. The mysterious disappearance of her bright, handsome boy was a fearful blow. Days passed without tidings of the lost one, and hope fled. The only solution suggested was, that he might have been accidently drowned, and his body swept out to sea.
Meantime, Master John was very much alive. He had determined to go to Quebec to try, as he afterward explained, to discover some of his father's relations. He had managed to find a sloop which was just going up the Hudson, and with the confidence and audacity of a child, he stepped gaily on board and set forth on his travels. Most fortunately for him, he attracted the notice of a passenger on the vessel who was going to Quebec, and who began to question the lonely little lad. He became so interested in the boy that he took him in charge, paid his fare and landed him safely in his native city.
But here, alas, Master Johnny soon found himself stranded. Very cold, very hungry and very miserable, he was wandering down one of the streets of Quebec when his
57attention was attracted by a glittering array of watches and silver in a shop window, where a man was sitting repairing a clock. Johnny stood gazing wistfully in; his yellow curls, blue eyes, and pathetic little face appealed to the kind silversmith, who beckoned him into the shop and soon learned his story. "And what are you going to do now?" asked the man. "I am going to work" replied "ten-year-old" valiantly. "Why, what could you do?" laughed the man. "I could do anything you told me to do, if you just showed me how to do it," said John. The result was that John obtained the job. The silversmith had no children, and as the months rolled on, he grew more and more fond of John. He taught him as much of his trade as the lad could acquire in the three years of his stay in Quebec.
This knowledge was of great value to him when, later on in his life, it enabled him to secure the friendship and assistance of the Indians by fashioning various ornaments and tokens for them from the silver money paid to them as annuities by the United States Government. The Indians gave him the name of Shaw-nee-aw-kee or the Silver Man, and by that name he was best known among all the tribes of the Northwest.
These happy and useful years drew to a close. As John was one day walking down the street, a gentleman from New York stopped him and said: "Are you not Johnny Kinzie?" John admitted that he was — and the gentleman armed with the astonishing news and the boy's address, promptly communicated with Mr. Forsyth, who at once came to Quebec and took the runaway home.
I dare say his rejoicing mother saved him from the sound thrashing, he richly deserved at the hands of his step-father.
John had had enough of running away, and was now content to stay at home and buckle down to his books. The few letters of his that remain and are preserved in the Chicago Historical Society show the results of an excellent education. The roving spirit was still alive in him, however. Mr. Forsyth had moved West and settled in Detroit, and when John was about eighteen years old he persuaded his step-father to fit him out as an Indian trader. This venture proved a great success. Before he was one and twenty, young Kinzie had established two trading-posts, — none at Sandusky and one at Maumee, and was pushing toward the West, where he later started a depot on St. Joseph River, Michigan — Bertrand, 30 miles up the river.
In all of his new and arduous career, he was greatly aided and protected by John Harris, the famous Indian scout and trader, mentioned by Irving in his Life of Washington (Volume I, Chapter XII). In grateful appreciation of these kindnesses, he named his son John Harris after this valued friend.
John Kinzie's success as an Indian trader was almost phenomenal. He acquired their language with great facility; he respected their customs; and they soon found that his "word was as good as his bond." He was a keen trader, not allowing himself to be cheated, nor attempting to cheat them. He quickly gained the confidence and esteem of the various tribes with whom he dealt, and the personal friendship of many of their most powerful chiefs, who showed themselves ready to shield him in danger, and to rescue him from harm at the risk of their lives.
An event in the life of John Kinzie may be here stated, and the romantic and sensational tales concerning it, as put forth by some historians, corrected. In the year 1775, the two little daughters of Isaac McKenzie were stolen
59from their home in Giles County, Virginia, near the Kanawha River, by a party of Shawnee Indians. Margaret was ten years old, and Elizabeth was two years younger. They had been captives among these savages for ten years, when John Clark, a trader, and John Kinzie heard of them, and that there was a plan on foot to compel these young women to marry certain men of their tribe. Kinzie and Clark determined to rescue them. By means of a liberal expenditure of guns, ammunition, blankets, etc., they succeeded in ransoming the two young women. Margaret took up her abode with Kinzie, and Elizabeth with Clark.
When, several years later, Isaac McKenzie learned of his daughters' safety he came West to claim them. By this time, Margaret had three children, James, William, and Elizabeth. In spite of Mr. Kinzie's offer to marry her, Margaret refused to remain with him, but taking her children went back to Virginia with her father, where she promptly asserted her freedom from any legal ties elsewhere by marrying a man named Benjamin Hall.
Margaret McKenzie's desertion of the man who had saved her from a cruel fate can only be condoned by the fact that she had spent ten years of her life among savages, and that the prospect of a return to her early home and the comforts of civilization appealed to her too strongly to be resisted when contrasted with the hardships of life on the frontier.
After the breaking up of his home and the loss of his children, Mr. Kinzie threw himself with restless energy into his business. He made long and arduous journeys, extending his trading-posts far into the West. When in the neighborhood of Detroit, he made his home with his half-brother, William Forsyth, who had married a Miss Margaret Lytle, daughter of Col. William Lytle of Virginia. Here he was always a welcome guest; and here
60he met Mrs. Forsyth's younger sister, Eleanor. She was the widow of a British officer, Capt. Daniel McKillip, who had been killed in a sortie from Fort Defiance. Since his death, she, and her little daughter Margaret, had made their home with the Forsyths.
John Kinzie fell desperately in love with the handsome young widow, and on Jan. 23, 1798, they were married.
Mr. Kinzie continued to extend his business still farther West, and in October, 1804, he moved with his wife and infant son, John Harris, to Chicago, where he purchased the trading-establishment of Pierre le Mai, a Frenchman.
Here, cut off from the world at large, with no society but the military at Fort Dearborn, the Kinzies lived in great contentment, and in the enjoyment of all the comforts, together with many of the luxuries of life. The first white child born outside of Fort Dearborn was their little daughter Ellen Marion, on December 20, 1805. Next came Maria Indiana, born September 28, 1807. Then, lastly, Robert Allan, born February 8, 1810.
By degrees, Mr. Kinzie established still more remote posts, all contributing to the parent one at Chicago. At Milwaukee, with the Menomenees; at Rock River with the Winnebagoes and the Potawatomies; on the Illinois River and the Kankakee with the Potawatomies of the Prairies; and with the Kickapoos in what was called "Le Large," being the widely extended district afterward converted into Sangamon County. He was appointed Sub-Indian Agent and Government Interpreter, and in these capacities he rendered valuable services.
The killing of a Frenchman named John Lalime by John Kinzie occurred about the year 1810, under the following circumstances: Lalime became insanely jealous of Mr. Kinzie's success as a rival trader, and was unwise
61enough to threaten to take Kinzie's life. The latter only laughed at the reports, saying "Threatened men live long, and I am not worrying over Lalime's wild talk." Several of his staunchest Indian friends, however, continued to warn him, and he at last consented to carry some sort of weapon in case Lalime really had the folly to attack him. He accordingly took a carving-knife from the house and started to sharpen it on a grindstone in the woodshed. Young John stood beside him much interested in this novel proceeding. "What are you doing, father?" he asked. "Sharpening this knife, my son," was the reply. "What for?" said John. "Go into the house," replied his father, "and don't ask questions about things that don't concern you." A few days passed. Nothing happened, but Mr. Kinzie carried the knife.
After the excitement subsided, which it did in a few weeks, Mr. Kinzie sent word to the commanding officer at the fort that he wished to come in, give himself up and have a fair trial. This was done. The fresh wounds in his neck, which had barely missed the jugular vein, and the testimony given as to the threats Lalime had uttered, resulted in an immediate verdict of justifiable homicide.
In the meantime, some of Lalime's friends conceived the idea that it would be suitable punishment to Mr. Kinzie to bury his victim directly in front of the Kinzie home, where he must necessarily behold the grave every time he passed out of his own gate. Great was their chagrin and dissapointment, however, when Mr. Kinzie, far from being annoyed at their action, proceeded to make Lalime's grave his especial care. Flowers were planted on it and it was kept in most beautiful order. Many a half hour, the Kinzie children had longed to spend in play, was occupied by their father's orders in raking the dead leaves away from Lalime's grave and watering its flowers.
Mr. Kinzie, at the time of the massacre, offered to take upon himself the responsibility of destroying the ammunition; and, in order to shield Captain Heald from possible future censure by his superior officers, and to turn away the wrath of the Indians, he personally wrote an order purporting to be from General Hull, cancelling his previous instructions to give away the ammunition, and ordering Captain Heald to destroy it. To this plan Captain Heald consented, and on the 13th all the goods, blankets, calicoes, paints, etc., were distributed to the Indians as stipulated. The same evening the ammunition was thrown into a well in the sallyport and the liquor was secretly carried down to the river, the heads of the barrels knocked in, and their contents poured into the stream.
The morning of the 15th arrived. All things were in readiness, and nine o'clock was the hour named for starting. Early that same day, Mr. Kinzie received a message from To-pe-ne-be a chief of the St. Joseph's band, informing him that mischief was intended by the Potawatomies, who had engaged to escort the detachment, and urging him to relinquish his design of accompanying the troops by land, promising that a boat containing himself and family should be permitted to pass in safety to St. Joseph's. Mr. Kinzie gladly accepted this offer on behalf of his family, but firmly declined it for himself. He had determined to accompany the command on its perilous march. He hoped that his presence with the troops might operate as a restraint on the fury of the savages, so warmly were the greater part of them attached to himself and his family; yet he fully realized the possibility of a savage outbreak that would spare neither friend nor foe.
Seldom does one find a man with the personal courage and civic virtue of John Kinzie, who thus refused safety for himself in order to stand or fall with his countrymen, and who, as stern as any Spartan, bade farewell to his family and cast in his lot with that little handful who went forward to almost certain destruction.
In 1816, Mr. Kinzie and his family again returned to Chicago, where he at once undertook to collect the scattered remnants of his property — a most disheartening task. He found his various trading-posts abandoned, his clerks scattered, and his valuable furs, goods, etc., lost or destroyed.
In real estate, however, he was rich — for he owned nearly all the land on the north side of the Chicago River, and many acres on the south and west sides, as well as all of what was known as "Kinzie's Addition."
At the present day the "Kinzie School," and the street which bears his name, are all that remain to remind this generation of the pioneer on whose land now stands the wonderful City of Chicago.
Shortly after the return of the family to Chicago, James Kinzie left the home of his mother, Mrs. Benjamin Hall, in Virginia, and came back to his father. Here, he was at once made welcome. His father aided him financially, and Mrs. Kinzie was his affectionate and considerate friend. He repaid her by unfailing respect and regard. Although she had been dead for several years when his second daughter was born, the child was named Eleanor after her. He became a valued citizen of Chicago, and took an active part in her early development, and died at Clyde, Iowa Co., Wis., Jan. 13, 1866, aged 63.
John Kinzie was not only the sturdy pioneer, but also the courteous gentleman. To keen business ability he united the strictest honesty, and to the most dauntless courage, a tender and generous heart. As a loyal devoted friend of the Red man, tradition has handed down the name of Shaw-nee-aw-kee throughout all the tribes of the Northwest.
Mr. Kinzie, recognizing the importance of the geographical position of Chicago, and the vast fertility of the surrounding country, had always foretold its eventual prosperity. Unfortunately, he was not permitted to witness the realization of his predictions. On the 6th of January, 1828, he was stricken with apoplexy, and, in a few hours, death closed his useful and energetic career. His remains rest in Graceland Cemetery in the city of his love — Chicago.
Chicago, Aug. 4, 1892. ROBERT FERGUS.]
[Subsequently, it was inserted, substantially, by Judge Henry Brown in his "History of Illinois," New York, 1844; it also appeared in the three editions of "Annals of the West," Cincinnati, O., 1846; St. Louis, Mo., 1850; and Pittsburg, Pa., 1856, by James Handyside Perkins. Major Richardson made use of it in two of his tales, "Hardscrabble" and "Wau-nan-gee." Mrs. Kinzie reproduced it as Chapters XVIII and XIX in her "Wau-Bun, the Early Day in the Northwest," New York, 1856. — G. H. F.]
[Designated by Lieut. James McGowan Swearingen, in his march overland from Detroit in July, 1803, with the troops to erect a fort at Chicago, as "Kinzie's improvement," 30 miles from the mouth of the St. Joseph River. — G. H. F.]
[This fort is said to be the one erected by LaSalle in 1679, when he established a "depot for supplies and goods." A few miles up the river was the village of To-pin-e-be's band and known as the "St. Joseph of Lake Michigan." — G. H. F.]
[This State-street market was originally located in what is now the center of Market street, north side of Randolph street. North of the market was the lumber-yard of Sylvester Lind. Before the city vacated this site (1846) and gave in exchange the water-lots, where is now Lind's block — the only building on the south side in the burned district that was not destroyed in the great fire of 1871 — the market had been moved to the river's bank in the middle of State street. Soon after the completion of the State-street market, erected in the middle of State street between Randolph street and the alley, north, in 1848, and demolished in 1858, the market on the river's bank was again moved to the middle of Market street, north side of Washington street, one block south of its original location. — G. H. F.]
After the massacre and until July 4, 1816, when the troops under Capt. Hezekiah Bradley, arrived to rebuild the fort, he was the only white resident of Chicago.
In 1814, he with Alexander Robinson cultivated the fort gardens, and with the corn crop of 1816 supplied the soldiers in the fort.
About 1796-7 at Grosse Point where a band of the Potawatomies were located, he married one of their women, Archange, daughter of Francois Chevalier, a Frenchman in the employ of the American Fur-Company, and her mother was said to be a half-breed; she was born at Sugar Creek, Mich., in 1764, and died at Council Bluffs, Iowa, Nov. 25, 1840. She was the mother of eight children: Joseph, Louis, Francois, Michel, Elizabeth, Archange, Josette, and Sophie.
The two sections of land that were ceded to her at Grosse Point, at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, concluded July 29, 1829, were surveyed by government surveyors in 1842; patent issued Oct. 29, 1842. — G. H. F.]