Genealogy Trails
Cooper County, Missouri



In time of profound peace, a British man-of-war of superior force, made a surprise attack upon the Chesapeake in the waters of the United States, and in consequence thereof, President Jefferson, in July, 1807, issued a proclamation of embargo. This caused much excitement among the people arid fomentation among the Indians of the Northwest and on the borders of the territory. It naturally filled the minds of the settlers on the frontier with anxiety.

The difficulties between England and the United States remaining unadjusted, and becoming greater with the lapse of time, war was declared in 1812.

Erection of Forts.
The settlers in the Boonslick country began the immediate erection of forts. The largest fort of the settlement was Cooper's Fort, a stockade flanked by log houses erected in a bottom prairie near the present town of Glasgow, near the Missouri River. About 150 yards between it and the river, a common field of 250 acres was worked by all the inhabitants of this fort. Twenty families and a number of young men resided in the fort.

McLean's Fort, afterwards called Fort Hempstead, was erected on a high hill near Sulphur Creek, on the bluff about one mile from the present town of New Franklin. Fort Kincaid was near the river, about one and one-half miles from the present site of Old Franklin; the first was so named in honor of David Kincaid. Then, there was Head's Fort, four miles above Rocheport on the Big Mohiteau, near the old Boonslick trail from St. Charles, not far from what was then called the Spanish Needle Prairie. It was the most easterly fort of the settlement.

These forts were on the north side of the river. On the south, the first fort erected was Cole's Fort, which was located in the "Old Fort Field", about one and one-half miles east of the present site of Bonneville, north of the Boonville and Rocheport road. The second fort erected on the south side of the river, was the Hannah Cole Fort, located on a bluff overlooking the river, at a point of rocks, where a lime-kiln once stood. This last fort, however, was not erected until 1814. This place was selected by the settlers as the most suitable for defense, being located at the edge of a very steep bluff and easily defended, and also affording facilities to obtain a good supply of water. In order to make the supply of water secure during an Indian attack, the settlers ran a long log over the edge of the bluff, and attached to it a rope and windlass to draw up the water.

McMahan's Fort also was located on the south side of the river, supposed to be about five miles from Cooper's Fort, but we have been unable to determine its exact location.

When Stephen Cole, assisted by his neighbors, had completed the erection of the first Cole fort, all the families living around, especially on the south side of the river, gathered at this fort for protection from the savages.

The Cole fort consisted of a stockade flanked by log cabins, and here lived all the families south of the Missouri, during a greater part of the War of 1812. Many mouths were to be fed, and they were hearty feeders. Their meat consisted entirely of wild game, which they killed and secured from the forest, or fish caught from the river. For this purpose they.sent out hunting parties from day to day. At this time all was not ease and comfort within the fort, and the white men were denied the freedom of the forest by the wily savage. The hunter who sallied forth, as it was necessary for him to do was like Argus with his hundred eyes, and Briareus, with his hundred hands, first to watch and then to guard. When chased or surrounded by the Indians, figuratively speaking, he put on the helmet of Pluto, which made him invisible.

Killing of Smith.
A few months after Cole Fort was completed, Indians were reported in the neighborhood. The Indians consisting of a band of about 400, made their appearance before the fort. At this time there were two hunting parties in the forest after game, in one of which were two men by the names of Smith and Savage, who on their return to the fort were espied by the Indians. Smith and Savage endeavored to break through the cordon of Indians surrounding the fort. They were pursued by the Indians, and the savages shot at them several times. In the first fire Smith was severely wounded, but struggling, he staggered on to within 50 yards of the fort, where the Indians again fired, two balls taking effect and felling him to the ground. Only Savage succeeded in attaining the fort.

As soon as Savage saw his companion fall he ran to his assistance, but Smith, realizing that he was mortally wounded and that his end was near, handed Savage his gun and told him to flee and save himself. The Indians were in close pursuit, and in order to save himself, Savage was compelled to leave his unfortunate companion and make his escape. Although he was shot at perhaps 25 times, he succeeded in reaching the fort unhurt. The Indians scalped Smith, and barbarously mutilated his body, as was then their custom. They then withdrew to the adjacent woods and laid seige to the fort.

The Indians, who pursued Savage in his successful endeavor to escape to the fort, came into full view of the settlers in the fort, and several of them might have been killed had the settlers deemed it wise and expedient to do so.

Indeed, it is said that Samuel Cole, who was in the fort at the time, begged his mother to let him shoot an Indian. Samuel then was but a little shaver about twelve years of age. Doubtless he burned with ambition and his little heart throbbed by reason of his eager and earnest desire to kill the red men, thinking not of the consequences. However his mother, Hannah Cole, with wisdom born of experience, forbade him to shoot.

The Indians had as yet shown no disposition to fire upon the fort, and the inmates, there being but six men in the fort, did not wish to rouse their anger by killing any of them. They also hoped that before an attack was made by the Indians, that those settlers who were yet out hunting would arrive and thus augment the forces within the fort.

They realized that against such overwhelming forces they could not long maintain themselves, and that their only hope was escape. During the following day the remaining settlers who were outside the fort evaded the vigilant cordon of savages, and doubtless following the route up or down the river reached the fort. However dire their straits, aid came fortuitously, or by act of Providence. On the following day a boat loaded with Indian goods and containing 25 kegs of powder, 400 pounds of balls, and a keg of whiskey, in charge of Captain Coursault and belonging to French traders of St. Louis, was going up the river for the purpose of trading these articles with the Indians.

Capture of Coursault—Escape of Settlers.
This aroused the indignation of the settlers, and Benjamin Cooper admonished Coursault of the danger and impropriety of supplying the Indians with ammunition under existing conditions, for with the ammunition the white settlers would be slain. Coursault seemed to see and appreciate the danger of this and promised to return down the river. - It seemed to the settlers, however, that he agreed with reluctance, and as they were in doubt whether or not he would descend, they established a guard on the river. Their suspicion was well founded, and their caution well taken, for a day or so afterwards, about two o'clock in the morning, Coursault was intercepted attempting to go up the river, the oars of his boat muffled. He was commanded to run his boat ashore, but he did not stop, and refused to obey the command. Then Captain Cooper fired, but Captain Sarshall Cooper knocked the. gun up, thus saving Coursault's life. Coursault, realizing that the settlers were in deadly earnest, brought his boat to the shore. The ammunition and whiskey were confiscated by the settlers and Coursault himself held captive for a short time. He was "finally allowed to return home with his goods, except the ammunition and the large keg of whiskey.

After this, however, Coursault proved himself loyal to the Americans in the War of 1812. He bravely assisted in the defense of Cotesans Dessein, when it was attacked by the Indians, and during the war he loyally aided in the defense of the country against the Indians. He was captain" of the Cote sans Dessein Company. In this engagement, an account of which is given in this chapter, Coursault lost his life.

By reason of the capture of this boat, the settlers were enabled to make their escape from Fort Cole. They crossed the river in this boat to Fort Kincaid or Fort Hempstead, which was located about one mile from the end of the great iron bridge over the Missouri River at Boonville. They succeeded in taking with them their families, all their stock, furniture and belongings of other nature. The fort was surrounded by savages on all sides, save on the river front, and yet, in the face of all this, the white men saved not only themselves, but all their personal property in the fort, as well as their live stock.

After they had crossed the river, the Frenchmen and their leader, Coursault, were permitted to return down the river with their boat, with the strong admonition that if they ever dared come up the river again with supplies for the Indians they would handle them with "short shrift".

The ammunition captured and confiscated at this time, was sufficient to last the settlers for a long time.

Previous to this, Joseph Jolly had supplied them with powder, manufactured by himself from saltpeter found in a cave near Rocheport. Whence came the saltpeter? "If true," as Houck says in his history of Missouri, "it is a fact also to be noted."

Smith was the first man killed within the present limits of Cooper County. AH the settlers on the south side of the river had now moved to the north side.

Todd and Smith Are Killed.
In the early spring of 1812 prior to the killing of Smith on the south side of the river, Jonathan Todd and Thomas Smith started down the Missouri either to pick out a piece of land on which to settle, or to find a stray horse, possibly both. Todd and Smith lived on the north side of the Missouri. They had gone as far as the present line between Howard and Boone Counties, when they were unexpectedly attacked by the Indians. The struggle was long and hard, and several Indians were killed, but Todd and Smith eventually paid the forfeit of their hardihood with their lives. The savages, after killing them, cut off their heads, and literally cut out their hearts and placed them on poles by the side of the trail. Soon the news of the killing of Todd and Smith was brought to the fort, and a party of men was sent out to recover their bodies. After they had traveled several miles, they captured an Indian warrior, who seemed to be spying on their movements, and they started to the fort with their captive in order to secure information from him. On their return, when they arrived within two miles of the fort, the Indian prisoner suddenly broke away from them, and attempted to make his escape. The Indian was fleet of foot, and although the settlers pursued him about one-half a mile, they found that they could not overtake him and capture him alive. Then with unerring aim they shot him, killing him instantly.

The killing of these white settlers happened before the settlers on the south side had moved to the north side of the river. Immediately the settlers on both sides of the river organized and began to act with one accord. They sent out scouting expeditions in different directions to ascertain the lay of the ground, whether the Indians were in the neighborhood and whether they were really upon the warpath.

Discover Indians.
James Cole and James Davis were sent out upon one of these scouting expeditions. After scouting around for some time, they were unable to discover any trace of the savages in the neighborhood, or to find out anything about their plans. They were preparing to return to the fort, when they discovered a large band of Indians in pursuit of them, and directly between them and the fort, in which were their families and friends, unconscious of their danger. They could not withstand the attack of the large body of Indians in the open woods, and they knew that they would soon be surrounded. Their return to the fort was seemingly cut off. However, they started for what then- was called Johnson's Factory,, a trading post kept by a man named Johnson. It was situated on the Moniteau Creek, in what is now Moniteau County, about two hundred yards from the Missouri River. They reached the factory or trading post that afternoon, and the Indians immediately surrounded the place. Cole and Davis knew, as true scouts, that it was their duty to warn their friends and neighbors, and that unless they received the warning they would easily fall prey to the savages. That the forts might be warned of their danger in time to prepare for the attack, which seemed certain, these hardy rangers and scouts determined at all hazards to escape and bear to them the tidings. As long as they remained at the trading post, they were safe from the shots of the enemy, at least for a time. To leave the fort, they ran the hazard of the scalping knife, and mutilated bodies. They resolved upon a daring method. At about midnight, with the utmost caution as to noise, they took up a plank from the floor of the factory, crawled through the floor, and with stealth and cunning reached the creek. Fortunately, there they found a canoe, and silently floated down to the river, evading the vigilance of the savages. But just as they reached the river, an unlucky stroke of the paddle against the side of the canoe, revealed them to the Indians, who at once started in pursuit in canoes.

The Indians pursued them to what is known as Big Lick, in Cooper County, where being closely pressed, Cole and Davis turned, and each killed an Indian. The Indians then left off pursuit. The two settlers reached Cole's Fort in safety, and announced to the astonished settlers that they were indeed on the verge of a long and blood war, with Indians on the war path in the immediate vicinity.

From there the tidings were conveyed to the other forts. The hearts of the bravest were filled with dismay. They knew that their numbers were few, and that to withstand the attack of the great Indian nations living around them would try the courage and the sagacity of the stoutest.

However, no attack was made by the band of Indians who had pursued Cole and Davis. Doubtless because they knew that their presence was known in the neighborhood, and they well knew that the forts would be prepared and expecting to receive them.

Chased by Indians.
Nothing being seen or heard of Indians for some time, in the summer of the same year, Samuel Cole, Stephen Cole and Muke Box started from Kincaid's Fort on a hunting expedition and crossed the river where Boonville now stands, penetrating the forest to the Petit Saline Creek. They hunted and fished for two days and were preparing to return upon the third, when they heard the sound of shooting in the direction of the river, where they had left their canoe. Knowing that there were no whites on the south side of the river, except themselves, they concluded that the shots were fired by Indians. However they immediately started by a circuitous route to the river, to gain possession of their canoe. When they arrived at the residence where once lived Delaney Belin, they discovered that a band of Indians was in pursuit of them. Not knowing the number in pursuit, but supposing them to be numerous, they immediately separated, and took different routes through the woods. They agreed to meet at the place where they had left their canoe. Here they met, but the Indians had stolen their canoe. As the Indians were still in hot pursuit of them, they hastily lashed three cottonwood logs together, placed their guns, clothing, equipment, etc., upon this small but hastily constructed raft, and swam over the river, pushing it before them, and landed on the north side of the river, about two and one-half miles below the present city of Boonville. They reached the fort in safety that evening, and reported their adventure with the Indians. The settlers then made their preparations against any attack by the savages. Next morning tracks of Indians were discovered around and near the fort, and it was found that the fort had been reconnoitred during the night by a band of eight Indians.

At this time there were very few men in Fort Kincaid. They, therefore, sent to Cooper's and McLean's Forts for reinforcements, as they supposed that this band of eight was but the scouting party of a large number of Indians.

Settlers Take Up Trail of Indians.
The other forts sent reinforcements to the number of forty-two, which soon arrived, and together with the men belonging to Kincaid's Fort, they started in pursuit of the Indians of whom by this time they had discovered to be but a small band. They found their trail, pursued them for some distance, and surrounded them finally in a hollow within about four miles of the present site of New Franklin.

The Indians concealed themselves in the brush and thickets, and behind timber, not being able to see the Indians, the fire of the settlers at first was very much at random. The fight continued for a long time. However, four Indians were killed, and the remaining four, though badly wounded, escaped. None of the settlers were killed and only one, a man named Adam Woods, was severely wounded, but he afterwards recovered.

Night came on and the pursuit was deferred. The next day the rangers again took up the trail of the surviving four Indians, which was plainly marked with blood. They followed it to the river, and there found the canoe, which the savages had two days before stolen from Samuel Cole and his companion. In this canoe the Indians had hoped to make their escape. The sides of the canoe were covered with blood, showing that the Indians had attempted to push it into the river, but on account of being weakened by loss of blood, could not do so. After hunting them for some time in vain, the party returned to the fort.

In August a band of eight Indians was followed by a party of 25 or 30 men from Cooper's and Kincaid's Forts. These Indians had killed some cattle and had stolen about 10 or 12 horses. They drove the horses away to the high ground not over three or four hundred yards from the bottom to a place about three miles from the present town of Franklin, where they tied the horses in the thicket.

Captain Cooper, with 25 or 30 men, among them Lindsay Carson, the father of Kit Carson ; David Boggs, Stephen Jackson ; William Thorpe, afterward a Baptist preacher; and James Cole, who in 1867 gave Draper this version of the affair, found the horses in the thicket, and then followed the trail of the Indians into the hollow below.

After going not much more than a quarter of a mile, they divided into three parties; Captain Cooper, with one party, going up to the left, another party going direct up the hollow, and the third party up the eastern bank, skirting the hollow.

After entering the mouth of the hollow, five of the men, whose feet had become blistered from long and hot pursuit, remained behind and sat down on a log. some one hundred yards above where the hollow commenced at the river bottom. Among them was James Barnes, whose horse had given out. As the three parties of whites advanced, the Indians, who as the event proved were in the hollow, seeing that the approaching settlers were too numerous for them, hid in the bushes till they passed. Then they ran out and came unexpectedly upon the men on the log, who when they saw the Indians fired on them. The Indians returned the fire and wounded Francis Woods through the thigh; they also wounded Barnes' horse. Both parties then sought the protection of the trees ; this was about mid-day. When the three parties heard the firing they quickly returned, being but a short distance away, arrived nearly simultaneously and surrounded the Indians before they were aware of it. Captain Cooper's parly was on the high point skirting the western side of the banks, twenty or thirty feet above the Indians and fired down on them. The Indians concealed themselves in the thick fern grass which was three or four feet higli and they would rise up and shoot, then drop down and reload their guns.

Captain Cooper then ordered a charge and the whole party being near enough to hear, suddenly ran down upon the Indians. One Indian who had his ball about half way down his rifle was knocked down by Lindsay Carson, and David Boggs shot off his gun between Carson's legs, the muzzle close to the Indian's head, shattering his head beyond recognition. Just then, Lieutenant McMahan with savage ferocity ran up and plunged his knife into the Indian's dead body, broke off the blade and made a flourish of the handle. In this encounter five Indians were killed, all shot to pieces.

A few days afterwards another dead Indian was found on the river two or three miles above the scene 3f conflict. Pie had attempted to leave there, but was too feeble to do so, and had died on the bank of the river. Unquestionably he was one of the band Captain Cooper had encountered. The above account we take from Honck's History of Missouri.

The party of whites then took possession of the horses and the Indians' guns and carried home Woods, who though badly wounded, recovered.

It is not known to what tribe these Indians belonged. However, it is thought that they were affiliated with the Saukees and Renards, or they may have been, as General Dodge supposed, Miamis.

Campbell Killed.
In July, 1812, a man by the name of Campbell, commonly called by his associates, "Potter", because of his trade, was killed on the north side of the river, about five miles northwest of the present site of Boonville. lie and a man named Adam McCord went from Kincaid's Fort to Campbell's home to tie some flax. Savages, who were in ambush, concealed in some underbrush, fired upon them and shot Campbell through the body, but he ran about a hundred yards, climbed the fence, and pitched into the trunk of a tree which had blown down and there expired. The Indians, though they hunted for the body, did not succeed in finding it.

Adam McCord escaped without injury, and going to the fort, reported the death of Campbell, and the circumstances under which he had been killed.

The fact that later in 1814, Campbell's gun was found in the possession of the Miamis, by Colonel Cooper, when he had his altercation with General Dodge, on the south side of the river opposite Arrow Rock, leads us to believe that the savages that killed Campbell were a party of Miamis. The finding of Campbell's gun in the camp of the Miamis led up to the memorable quarrel between Colonel Cooper and General Dodge.

Settlers Move to South Side of River.
Not having seen any Indians for several months, in the spring of 1813 the settlers from the south side of the river who had gone to Kincaid's Fort in the previous spring, returned to their homes on the south side.

The year before, no crops had been raised, and they were anxious to put in their crops for the coming year. In order that they might put in their crops with safety, and be advised of the approach of the Indians, they stationed a guard in each corner of the field in which they were at work. From this time on, even after the establishing of peace in 1815, the settlers were kept continually on the watch against the savages, for every month or two, some small band of Indians would suddenly attack and slay some unsuspecting settler who had for the moment forgotten his usual caution, and who feeling secure from attack, because the Indians had not appeared for some time, suffered the severe penalty of his negligence.

The Indians, from this time on, never marched in large bands against the settlements, but came in small scouting parties, with the hope of waylaying and shooting down some unsuspecting, unwary settler, or murder unprotected women and children.

Several men of the Boonslick country were killed by the Indians during the two or three years following the return of the settlers from Kincaid's Fort to this side of the river. There may have been others of whom we can gain no trace, or find any record.

Braxton Cooper, Jr., Killed.
Braxton Cooper, Jr., was killed in Sept., 1813, two miles north of the present site of New Franklin. The Indians attacked him as he was cutting logs to build a house. He was a young man of much physical strength and courage. He was armed with rifle and hunting knife. The trampled condition of the ground and broken bushes gave certain evidence that the fight had been fast and furious. The howling of young Cooper's dog attracted attention from the fort, and this faithful friend of his master stood watchful sentinel until David Boggs and Jesse Turner crawled out during the night to the place. There they found Cooper dead, lying on his face. By his side lay his gun, and in his clenched right hand was his knife, bloody to the hilt. He was not scalped nor mutilated, positive evidence that the savages were put to flight before Cooper succumbed to his wounds. Not far from him was found an Indian buckskin shirt, with two holes in it, saturated with blood. How many of the Indians were killed or wounded the settlers could not determine, for the savages had removed all that might have given information, except the hunting shirt. The Indian trail was followed for a short distance, but was soon lost, and the settlers abandoned the pursuit as useless.

Joseph Still Killed.
Joseph Still and Stephen Cooper, the latter a youth of sixteen years, both belonging to the rangers of Fort Cooper, were sent up the Chariton River on a scouting expedition. On their return, when within about twenty miles of the fort, a band of one hundred Sac Indians intercepted them. The course that seemed most feasible was for them to break through the savage band and make for the fort. So the two rangers with cocked rifles unswervingly rode forward toward the waiting enemy. When within one hundred yards of the band, both fired and putting spurs to their horses charged furiously upon the Indians. Cooper killed one Indian brave and Still wounded another, but Still on reaching the Indian line was shot dead from his horse. Cooper, however, was more fortunate, and with waving rifle and strident battle cry succeeding in escaping the shower of bullets, arrows, and missiles aimed at him. He rode a fleet horse, and thus soon outdistanced his pursuers and reached the fort. This was in October, 1813.

Killing of William McLean.
William McLean was killed in Oct., 1813, by the Indians in what is now Howard County near the present site of Fayette. William with Ewing McLean and four other men went to Mc-Lean's Fort, to pick out a piece of land, on which some one of them expected to settle. When they arrived at a short distance southwest of the present site of Fayette, they were attacked by a band of about 150 Indians. As soon as McLean and his companions saw them, McLean retreated towards the fort, and just as the white men were ascending a slant leading from a long, deep ravine, to the Moniteau Creek, the Indians fired a volley at them. One shot struck William McLean in the back of the head and he dropped dead from his horse. After satisfying themselves that he was dead, his remaining companions left his body, and continued their retreat to the fort, which they reached in safety. The Indians scalped McLean, cut out his heart, and literally hacked him to pieces.

Attempt to Kill Austin.
Not long before the negro "Joe" was killed, a man by the name of Austin, who was stopping at McLean's Fort, while coming around the corner of a fence about two miles from the fort, discovered an Indian in the act of firing upon him. He suddenly reined up his horse and the ball passed through his horse's head. The horse fell upon Austin.

One Hough and Nicolas Burckhardt, who were some distance in the rear, saw what had happened, and Hough shot and wounded the Indian as he was jumping over the fence to kill Austin. Austin soon extricated himself, and reached the fort; so did Hough, but Burckhardt, who ran into the woods, did not come in until the next morning. This man Hough remained temporarily in the Boonslick country. He was a hunter and trapper on the Upper Missouri.

Gregg Killed and Daughter Patsy Captured.
Jesse Cox, and his son-in-law, William Gregg in 1814 made a settlement on the south side of the river above Arrow Rock. There they built a block house, a sort of family fort, and called it Cox's Fort. They began to make improvements, hunting also for subsistence. Gregg and Cox killed a bear on the twenty-third of October, and the next day Gregg went out on his horse to get it. He subsequently went to feed his hogs, and while doing so, was shot by an Indian lying in ambush. Gregg ran to the blockhouse, a hundred yards off, got inside the stockade, grasped his gun, and fell dead. It is said that seven bullets hit the gate-post of the stockade. It is said that after the Indians killed Gregg, they made an attack on the cabin and captured his daughter Patsy, and took her away as a prisoner. A party was immediately organized among the settlers to pursue the Indians. The girl was riding on horseback behind an Indian brave. One of her hands was tied to the Indian's hand. The horse, on account of this double load, lagged behind the others. She in the hope of seeing some of the settlers following to rescue her, constantly looked behind. At last she discovered horsemen approaching, and prepared to escape, waiting until the white men were within 50 yards of her, when with her unbound hand, she suddenly seized and extracted the Indian's knife from its sheath, and cut the thong which bound her hand to his. She sprang to the ground and rushed into the brush on the side of the trail and disappeared. The pursuing party then fired on the Indians, who fled precipitately. Jesse Cox and William Gregg were members of Sarshall Cooper's company.

According to another account, the Indians tomahawked their prisoner and fled, but she recovered. It is also said that Patsy Cox was the name of the young woman captured and that it was not Gregg.

Negro "Joe" Killed.
A negro named Joe, belonging to Samuel Brown, was killed by the Indians near Mr. Burkhard't farm about three quarters of a mile from what is now Estil's Station on the M. K. & T. railroad.

Coursault Killed.
Captain Coursault was killed in 1814 at Cotesans Dessein in the attack on Roy's Fort. Cote-sans Dessein, now Bakersville, Callaway County, was a village of considerable importance and was located at the mouth of the Osage River. It is said that but for a Spanish land claim the capital of Missouri would doubtless have been located near this place.

It was settled by' French families about 1810. Several block houses were erected there. One was called Tebeau or Tebo's Fort and one Roy's Fort. These forts were about three hundred yards apart; between them was a log house that served as a powder magazine for both forts.

One day Baptiste Roy went out to kill some venison, but when he had gone about a mile, he discovered that the Indians were hidden in the bushes, grass and weeds, so he immediately turned his horse and fled, and when nearing Tebo's Fort, he cried, "Indians, Indians."

All the men of the fort who were armed, hastened at once to meet the enemy, leaving only a few old men and a half dozen unarmed and partially grown negroes in the fort. Louis Roy was at his block house which was some two or three rods from Roy's Fort, which was vacant at the time.

When the others rushed forth to meet the Indians, Louis Roy excused himself by saying that he was fixing his ramrod, and kept busily at work scraping it.

About a mile or two below the fort, the settlers met the Indians, and there the fight continued nearly all day, all fighting from behind trees. Finally the Indians were apparently driven away, but not before Captain Coursault and four or five others were killed. The number of Indians slain was never known. In the meantime, the Indians divided their forces and sent a band to attack Roy's Fort. They at once began the attack upon the block house in which were,' at the time, Roy, his wife, Francois, and several other women.

Only two guns were to be had in the block house. These, however, Roy used effectively, the women keeping them loaded as fast as he fired. So accurate was his aim that he killed 14 Indians. The Indians disappeared, but warily returned, creeping up under the river bank. Suddenly they emerged between the two forts and made for the log house, which was used as a magazine. They took dry cedar which they had found, split it with their knives and tomahawks, and piled it around the log house magazine and set fire to it.

There were' perhaps 40 or 50 Indians in this band. They were armed for the most part, with only bows and arrows. They yelled and capered with fiendish glee around the building as the fire spread. Soon, however, the flames reached the powder and their merriment and glee was changed to consternation. A tremendous explosion sent timbers and rafters flying into the air; Indians and parts of Indians were hurled in every direction; according to one account, about 20 of them, including those who ran and jumped into the river to soothe' their anguish, were killed. The remainder of the party quickly disappeared.

Murder of Ramsey Family.
The most horrible incident of this war was the atrocious murder of the Ramsey family. Although it happened on the Femme Osage in St. Charles county the news of the atrocity spread far and wide, and stirred the indignation and resentment of the settlers of the Foonslick country.

Mrs. Ramsey having gone out to milk, was fired upon by the Indians and shot through the body. Her husband was a cripple, having but one leg. He saw his wife fall and managed to get her to the house, but as he reached the door, he received a wound in the thigh. At this time his three children were playing a short distance from his cabin. The Indians chased them around the house, and finally caught them and scalped them in the yard before the eyes of their parents. Ramsey and his wife both died from their wounds.

Capt. Sarshall Cooper Murdered.
One of the saddest events of the war was the tragic death of Sarshall Cooper, after whom Cooper County was named. His death touched the hearts of the frontiersmen as had no other death in this section. He was, in fact, the beloved and acknowledged leader of the settlers north of the Missouri River.

The night of April 14, 1814, was dark and stormy, and the watchful sentinel could not sec an object six feet in front of the stockade. Captain Cooper lived in one of the angles of the fort, and one day while sitting at his fireside with his family, his youngest child on his lap, and the others playing around the room, his wife sitting by his side sewing, the storm raging without, a single warrior crawled up to the fort, and made a hole just large enough for the muzzle of his gun through the clay between the logs. The noise of his work was drowned by the howling storm; lie discharged the gun with effect fatal to Cooper, and Sarshall Cooper fell from his chair to the floor, a lifeless corpse, amidst his horror-stricken family.

Sarshall Cooper was a natural leader; he was about five feet 10 inches tall, of fine physique, a superior horseman, cool and deliberate. His wife was Ruth, a daughter of Stephen Hancock, the Boonsboro pioneer with Daniel Boone.

The muster-roll of Capt. Sarshall Cooper's company, dated April, 1812, is not without interest, and gives the names of the following officers and men:

Wm. McMahan, 1st lieutenant; David McQuilty, 2nd lieutenant; John Monroe, 3rd lieutenant; Ben Cooper, ensign; John McMurray, 1st sergeant; Sam McMahan, 2nd sergeant; Adam Woods, 3rd sergeant; David Todd, 4th sergeant; John Mathews, 5th sergeant; Andrew Smith, corporal; Thomas Vaugn, corporal; James McMahan, corporal; John Busby, corporal; James Barnes, corporal. Private Jesse Ashcraft, Jesse Cox, Sam Perry, Solomon Cox, Henry Ferrill, Harmon Gregg, Wm. Gregg, John Wasson, Josiah Higgins, David Gregg, Robert Cooper, Gray Bynums, David Cooper. Abbott Hancock, Wm. Thorp, Wm. Cooper, John Cooper, Jos. Cooper, Stephen Cooper, Wm. Read, Stehen Turley, Thos. McMahan, Jas. Anderson, Wm. Anderson, Stehen Jackson, John Hancock, Robert Irvin, Francis Cooper, Benoni Sappington, Jas. Cooley, Nathan Teague, Jas. Douglass, John Sneathan, Wm. Cresson, Jos. Cooley, Wm. McLane, Jas. Turner, Ervin McLane, Wm. Baxter, Peter .Creason, David Burns, Price Arnold, John Smith, John Stephenson, Alfred Head, Gilliard Roop, Daniel Durbin, Jas. Cockyill, Jesse Tresner, Mitchell Poage, Townsend Brown, John Arnold, Robert Poage, Francis Berry, Lindsay Cai-son, David Boggs, Jesse Richardson, Robert Brown, John Peak, John Elliot, Jos. Beggs, Andrew Carson, John Colley, Reuben Fugitt, Seibert Hubbard, John Berry, Wm. Brown, Francis Woods, Wm. Allen, Robert Wells, Jos. Moody, Jos. Alexander, Amos Barnes, Daniel Hubbard, Harris Jamison, Abraham Barnes, Wm. Ridgeway, Enoch Taylor, Mathew Kinkead, John Barnes, Henry Waedon, Otto Ashcraft, John Pursley, Wm. Monroe, Isaac Thornton, Stephen Feils, Dan Monroe, Giles Williams, Henry Barnes, Wm. Savage, Thomas Chandler, John Jokley, Stephen Cole, Wm. Robertson, Wm. Bolen, Mixe Box, Sabert Scott, John Savage, Jas. Cole, Stephen Cole, Jr., John Ferrill, Delaney Bolen, Jas. Savage, Jos. McMahan, Braxton Cooper, Robert Hancock.

Every enlisted man furnished his own equipment and an order was promulgated so that "citizen soldiers may not be ignorant of the manner in which the law requires him to be equipped, he is reminded that it is his duty to provide himself with a good musket, with bayonet and belt, or fusil, two spare flints and a knapsack pouch, with a box thereon to contain not less than 24 cartridges; or a good rifle, knapsack, powderhorn and pouch, with 20 balls and one-quarter of a pound of powder."

Two Negroes Captured
Indians Chased.—Two negroes, belonging to James and John Heath, while cutting wood for making salt, were captured by the Indians in May. A party of fully 60 men assembled and on horseback pursued these Indians, in a northerly direction 50 or GO miles far up the Chariton. However the Indians escaped with their prisoners.

Rangers Come to Relief of Settlers.
So great had been the depredations of the Indians, so inhuman the murders committed by them in their predatory war in the central portion of the Boonslick country that Gen. Henry Dodge was ordered to take command of 350 mounted rangers and proceed to the relief of the settlers. This was in September, 1814. There were in Dodge's command companies under Capt. W. Compton of St. Louis, Capt. Isaac Vanbibler of Loutre Island, Captain Daugherty of Cape Girardeau, and a company of the Boonslick settlers under Capt. Benjamin Cooper. Nathaniel Cooke and Daniel M. Boone were majors. In this campaign. Dodge carried with him blank commissions, and it was at this time that he appointed Benjamin Cooper, an elder brother of Sarshall Cooper, a major. According to Draper's "Memoirs" there were with Dodge's company forty friendly Indians, but John M. Peck says there were 50 Delawares and Shawnees. They were under four Indian captains: Na-kur-me, Kisk-ka-le-wa, Pap-pi-pua, and Wa-pe-pil-le-se. The two latter were fully 70 years old and both had served in the early Indian wars.

Dodge marched to the Boonslick country, and arrived on the north side of the Missouri opposite Arrow Rock, close to Coopers' fort, where he was joined by Captain Cooper and his company. Dodge and his men crossed the river to the southern bank by swimming the stream. The crossing was effected by selecting for the advance, six of. his most active men, good swimmers on horseback, the others following flanked on both sides by canoes, and with a vanguard of canoes above and below the main body, stemming the swift current. About half way across, the men struck the current, which soon carried them to the southern bank in safety. Only two hours were thus consumed in crossing the river with horses and baggage.

Having arrived on the south side, Dodge sent out his Indian allies as scouts. They soon located the hostile Mi-am-mis, and found that they had thrown up a small entrenchment. Dodge's men pushed forward several miles up the river, and surrounded the Indians at a point in what is now Saline County, since known as Miami's Bend. The Indians, seeing that the whites were in overwhelming force, proposed to the Shawnees to surrender themselves as prisoners of war.

General Dodge called a council of his officers for the purpose of seeking their advice, and after explaining the whole matter to them, they all agreed to receive the Indians as prisoners of war. and agreed that the prisoners' lives should be sacredly preserved. The Coopers and other Boonslick officers assented. General Dodge then told all the officers that he would hold them personally responsible not only for their own conduct, but also for that of their men, particularly in their treatment of the surrendered Indians.

Dodge understood quite well his responsibility. He was well acquainted with the disposition, temper and peculiarities of the western settlers. He knew that they had been harassed, and those near and dear to them slaughtered in ambush. He feared that something might occur to arouse their anger and stir them to reciprocal vengeance, should any untoward event occur, and in order to prevent a massacre, he exacted an explicit pledge from the officers of the several commands.

Dodge and Cooper Controversy.
The Indians, consisting of 31 warriors and 122 women and children, surrendered to him and were received under his protection as prisoners of war. The following morning, Cooper and other settlers under his command, began looking through the Indian camp, purposing, if possible, to find stolen property. In this search, the well known rifle of Campbell, whose murder, in the Boonslick region, we have previously referred to, was found. This discovery greatly infuriated Cooper and the settlers. They construed the finding of the gun evidence that these Miamis had perpetrated the killing of their friend and neighbor. They came galloping up to General Dodge and demanded the surrender of the Indian who had killed Campbell, their purpose being to make an example of him. This demand General Dodge peremptorily denied. Cooper, feeling outraged, threatened that his company, who surrounded him with cocked rifles, would kill the Indians unless his demand was acceeded to, and his men assumed a shooting attitude, Dodge, with commendable coolness, without even turning to the men, drew his sword, and thrusting it within six inches of Cooper's breast, reminded him of his pledge to protect the Indians on their surrender and treat them as prisoners of war. He then cautioned Captain Cooper that should his threat be carried out, he, Cooper, would be the first to feel the consequences. At this juncture, Major Boone rode up, and took his position at Dodge's side and announced that he would stand by him to the end. He also reminded Cooper of their pledge, and that the execution of his, Cooper's, threat would be an act of treachery. By this time Cooper's temper had abated, and he reluctantly yielded to superior authority, and with his company rode away. Cooper and his men took the position that Campbell had been treacherously murdered, and that the perpetrator of the deed was not entitled to the protection afforded prisoners of war, but should be summarily dealt with as a murdered according to the custom of the west.

It is said that by reason of this incident a strong attachment sprang up between Kish-la-lewa and Dodge, and that long afterwards at Fort Worth in 1835, there was an affecting recognition between the two men. Dodge is said to have looked upon his conduct in saving these prisoners as one of the happiest acts of his life.

However, for many years. General Dodge, by reason of his magnanimous conduct on this occasion, was exceedingly unpopular in the Boonslick country. Dodge was afterwards governor of Wisconsin Territory, and twice United States senator from the state of Wisconsin.

Cooper was a fearless man, and just, according to his standards. He and the settlers had been too long beyond the boundaries of civilization to yield readily to the reasoning of Dodge and Boone. They had been accustomed to rely solely upon themselves for protection and to administer justice according to western traditions, considering only the right and wrong in every instance. Their comrade and friend had been shot from ambush, and it was clear to their minds that these Miamias should produce the murderers, or they should not be entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war.

Letter to the Governor.
When at the outbreak of the war the governor of the Territory wrote Benjamin Cooper advising him and the settlers to move nearer to St. Louis to receive protection against the Indians, Cooper wrote in reply the following characteristic letter. While its literary merits are subject to criticism, yet it breathes in every word, whether correctly or incorrectly spelled, the brave spirit of the pioneer, and evidences a stamina and heroism of the soul superior to polite erudition:

"We have maid our Hoams here & all we hav is here & it wud ruen us to Leave now. We be all good Americans, not a Tory or one of his Pups among us, & we hav 2 hundred Men and Boys that will Fight to the last and have 100 Wimen and Girls that will take their places wh. Makes a good force. So we can Defend this Settlement wh. with Gods help we will do. So if we had a fiew barls of Powder and 2 hundred Lead is all we ask."(sic)

David Barton, afterwards United States senator, was a volunteer in Compton's company, refusing any rank, but offering General Dodge any service he was able to render him.

Samuel McMahan Ambushed.
Samuel McMahan, who lived in what is now Lamine township in Cooper County was killed on Dec. 14, 1814, near Boonville. McMahan had been down to the settlement at Boonville. As he was returning home, he came upon a band of Indians who were lying in ambush for some of the settlers who were cutting down a bee tree not far away. McMahan was on horseback and unsuspectedly rode into the midst of the Indians. The savages fired upon him, wounding him and killing his horse. He jumped when his horse fell, and though severely wounded, succeeded in reaching a ravine leading to the river. The savages soon overtook and killed him, sticking three spears into his back. They afterward cut off his head, and scattered his entrails over the ground. The Indians then scattered, and, pursuing different routes, made their way out of the country.

The settlers, not knowing the numbers of the Indians, since roving bands of savages, large and small, had so frequently passed through this section, sent for reinforcements from the opposite side of the river, and on the following day sent out a party of men to secure McMahan's body, and get all information possible of the Indians. James Cole, the son of Hannah Cole, and the brother of Samuel Cole, secured the body and carried it before him on his horse. David McGee brought the head wrapped in a sheepskin. The body of McMahan was buried under the Linn tree, which formerly stood in the center ring at the old fairground. The child of David Buness who was burned to death, was also buried under this tree.

Building of Hannah Cole Fort.—The next day after the killing of McMahan, all the settlers living near the present site of Boonville, assembled at the house of Hannah Cole which stood on the bluff in what is now East Boonville. This was considered by the settlers as the most suitable and available place for strong defense against attacks of the Indians. All the men came with their teams, cut down trees, dragged logs to build the fort and were continuously at work until it was completed. It required them one week to finish the building. During the time that they were at work, it was necessary for them to keep men stationed around the fort at some distance to guard against the approach of the enemy, whom they expected to appear at any hour.

As soon as the Hannah Cole Fort was completed, the old fort of Stephen Cole's situated on the bluff above the river, one mile above the new fort, was abandoned. All the families gathered into the new fort, so as to be a protection one to the other.

The treaty of peace between England and the United States was signed at Ghent on Dec. 24, 1814, nevertheless the Indians, emboldened by Blackhawk's repulse of the forces of Mai. Zachriah Taylor on Rock River although advised that peace had been declared, thought themselves able to carry on an independent warfare.

Indian Treaty.—
All treaties with the Indians which had been made regarding the cession of Indian lands prior thereto were ratified at this conference. It was not, however, until 1833 that every Indian claim to land title in the state of Missouri was eliminated.

Major Stephen Cole was the acknowledged leader of the settlers living south of the Missouri River, and he survived the war. Having made every effort to protect his loved ones, and his neighbors, during the trying period of the War of 1812. when peace was declared in 1815, the love of wild adventure led him to become a pioneer in the trade with Santa Fe, in 1822. He was killed by the Indians about 60 miles southwest of Sante Fe, on the Rio Grande River. With and associated with him at the time, was Stephen Cole, the son of Hannah Cole. Cole was also killed at that time.

We have endeavored to give the names of all the men of whom we have been able to secure any record who were killed in the Boonslick country during- the Indian War, from 1812 to 1815, together with a brief account of how they came to their death. The peculiar atrocities attending the killing of some of them make even the stoutest shudder.

During the war the Indians stole so many horses from the Boonslick settlement, that for two or three years after the declaration of peace, they were compelled to plow their corn with oxen, and even milch cows.

The reader should remember that the Indian was a savage and was intellectually dwarfed. In the eyes of our forefathers, the Indians had no rights, at least none to impede the onward march of civilization. We had not then adopted the benevolent policy of treating the Indians as wards, the modern colonial policy affected by our government in the Philippines. The Indians were continually driven back, giving ground before the oncoming white colonists, until they retreated far inland. Through war, liquor and disease, their numbers have decreased. However, amalgamation and benevolent assimilation have wrought a wondrous change. A humane policy has preserved them from extinction, and has changed once implacable, treacherous and cruel enemies into loyal friends, citizens and staunch allies in the cause of liberty and justice. In the World War, just ended, 1,000 Indians enlisted in the navy. In the army, 6,500 Indians enlisted. They now hold a $50 Liberty Bond for every man, woman and child of their race. The romance of the American Indian is not ended. He is a striking, living illustration of what a humane policy will do to bury racial hatred in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Additional Incidents of the Period.—James Davis was an intimate companion and associate of Daniel Boone in many of his hunting expeditions. On this occasion to which we refer, Boone, by reason of infirmities of age, or disability, did not accompany Davis. It was in the winter of 1813. None but a hardy and adventurous character would venture alone through the wilderness at this time. Davis was intrepid and experienced, and fearlessly started upon his expedition, and arrived near the western boundaries of the territory, where he was captured by the Otoes Indians.

The Otoes were said to be the most civilized as well as the most sanguinary and cruel of all the tribes west of the Mississippi River. They lived in substantial log houses with roofs of dirt and sod, and were so fearless and warlike that no satisfactory treaty was ever made with them until the latter part of 1828.

After having captured him, they stripped him of everything that he possessed, took his gun and ammunition and turned him loose as naked as he was when he came into the world. However, as if in mockery, they gave him an old English musket with one load. They did not torture him, but turned him loose to meet his fate. None but the most vigorous constitution could have stood successfully the trial. He traveled until about nightfall, and while seeking shelter in some place where he could protect himself from the winter winds, he saw a bear taking his winter sleep. With the cunning and caution of the frontiersman, boom of experience, he approached the bear, and placing his old musket within a few inches of its head, fired the charge into the bear's brains, and killed it instantly. Necessity to him was the mother of invention. With the flint of his old musket he succeeded in skinning the bear. Having done this, he fashioned it as best he could, and before the heat had left the hide, he clothed himself therewith, placing his feet and arms where the legs of the bear had been, and drawing the head well over his oavii head and face, he lay down by the side of the bear and slept through the night in the skin that he had appropriated.

At daylight, feeling refreshed, he set out on his long journey to the settlement, taking enough of the meat to last him through the toilsome journey. He had more than a hundred miles of snow and wilderness to traverse, and no implement with which he could make a fire, but his fur suit kept him warm, and raw bear meat furnished him nutriment.

It took him several days to make the journey, but finally lie arrived at the house of Jonathan Bryan in the Boone settlement late in the evening. Davis grasped the latch-string, which usually was hanging on the outside, and pushed the door open. Sitting alone by the fire was an old Scotch schoolmaster, who had evidently stopped at Bryan's for a few days. The opening of the door attracted the schoolmaster's attention, and by the light of the fire, he could plainly see the rough outlines of this weird figure, which to his excited imagination was transformed into an evil shape. Filled with fear, he jumped from his chair, and fled from the room, crying, "Devil, devil, devil." However, Jonathan Bryan, hearing the disturbance, rushed into the room, and recognizing Davis, soon quieted the apprehensions of the schoolmaster. The bear's skin had become so dry and hard that it required considerable effort to restore the old hunter to human shape.

This story is said to have been handed down by tradition by Jonathan Bryan himself. James Davis was an eccentric and picturesque character. He was the first man indicted by grand jury that assembled in the Louisiana Territory under American auspices for the murder of William Davis. However as the evidence showed, it possessed none of the elements of murder, and Davis was acquitted by the jury that tried him.

In an account of the expedition from Pittsburg to the Rocky Mountains in the years 1819 and '20, by order of Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, and under the command of Maj. Stephen H. Dong, compiled by Edward James, we take the following:

"A Mr. Munroe of Franklin related to the party that in 1816 he found on a branch of the Lamine, (4) the relics of the encampment of a large party of men, whether of whites or of Indians he did not know. Seeing a lai'ge mound nearby, which he believed to be a cache for the spoils of the party, he opened it and found the body of a white officer, apparently a man of rank, which had been interred with extraordinary care. The body was placed in a sitting posture, upon an Indian rush mat, with its back resting against some logs, placed around it in the manner of a log house, enclosing a space of about three by five feet, and about four feet high, covered at top with a mat similar to that beneath. The clothing was still in sufficient preservation to enable him to distinguish a red coat trimmed with gold lace, golden epaulets, a spotted buff waistcoat, furnished also with gold lace, and pantaloons of white nankeen. On the head was a round beaver hat, and a bamboo walking stick, with the initials J. M. C, engraved upon a golden head, reclined against the arm, but was somewhat decayed where it came in contact with the muscular part of the leg. On raising the hat, it was found that the deceased had been hastily scalped. To what nation he belonged, Mr. Munroe could not determine. We observed, however, that the button taken from the shoulder, had the word Philadelphia moulded upon it. The cane still remains in the possession of the narrator, but the button was taken by another of the party."

Leven's and Drake, in their "History of Cooper County," written in 1886, gives the following interesting incident:

"In the year 1818, Joseph Stephens, who died in 1836, Maj. Stephen Cole and William Ross, the hatter, started west on a hunting and exploring tour, and traveled as far as Knob Noster. At that time, all the country west of the present boundary line of Cooper County, was a wilderness, no person living in it. About six miles southeast of the present site of Sedalia, in Pettis County, on a farm now owned by a man by the name of Warren, near Flat Creek, they discovered what appeared to be a large, high and peculiarly shaped Indian mound. They examined it pretty closely, and "found on one side that the wolves had scratched an opening into it. After enlarging it, so as to admit them, they beheld a remarkable sight. They found themselves in what resembled a room, about eight feet square, with a ceiling of logs, just high enough to permit a tall man to stand erect. On the side opposite where they had entered, sat an officer dressed in full military uniform, with gold epaulets upon his shoulders, gold lace fringing every seam of his coat, cocked military hat, knee breeches, lace stockings and morocco slippers. As he sat erect upon a seat hewed out of a log, nothing but the ghastly hue and leathery appearance of his skin would have suggested but that he was alive. By his side stood a heavy gold-headed cane. His features were complete, and his flesh free from decay, though dried to the consistency of leather. The place in which the body was found, was very peculiar. A place about eight feet square and two feet deep had been dug in the earth. The sides had been walled up with sod, until it was high enough for the purpose, reaching several feet above the surface of the ground. The top was then covered with poles which ran up to a point in the center like the roof of a house. Then the poles and the surrounding walls were covered with sod two or three feet deep, cut from the prairie nearby, thus excluding entirely the rain and air. When they left the place, William Ross, being the eldest man of the party, took the cane as a momento, but nothing else was touched.

"Who this officer was, from whence he came, what he was doing in this part of the country, what was the cause of his death, and when and by whom he was thus singularly entombed, has not, and perhaps never will be known. But he was supposed, by many, to have been a British officer, who, during the War of 1812, passed around by way of Canada into the Indian country, to incite the Indians against the whites; yet this is only conjectm-e, though those who discovered his body, account for him in that way.

"Soon after this, Joseph Stephens, Sr., now living near Petersburg, on the 0. V. & S. K. Railroad, in company with James D. Campbell, went into that part of the country bee hunting, and visited the burial place of this officer. They found that part of the roof had fallen in, and that the wolves had eaten all of the flesh off the body, so that nothing but the skeleton and clothes remained. Joseph Stephens took the epaulets, as a 'momento, but nothing else was disturbed. As his mother objected to his keeping the epaulets, he melted them into a large ball, which was worth $15 or $20, as it was solid gold. This description of the burial place, & c, was obtained from the last mentioned Joseph Stephens, and is correct, although several different accounts have been published."

History Of Cooper County Missouri by W.F. Johnson 1919

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