THERE are three things that materially affect the temperature and precipitation of any locality,-viz., proximity to large bodies of water, high mountains, and elevation above the sea. -
In Clermont County the temperature and precipitation are but little modified by the first two. The mean elevation of the county above the sea is nine hundred and twenty-five feet, and, being a part of a vast plateau, though of not great elevation, is subject to greater extremes of heat and cold, moisture and dryness, than those places more adjacent to the ocean or large lakes. The clearing off of the forests has also materially affected the temperature and precipitation, as it is a well-known fact that in winter the wind, passing over large areas of forests, is warmed much more than over cleared land or prairies, as in the latter the radiation of heat from the earth in early winter is so much greater that their surface soon becomes as cold as the surrounding air. In summer it is trice vcrsa. The mean height of the barometer is 29,75 ; maximum, 30.25 ; and minimum, 28.25.
The average temperature at Cincinnati for the eighty- three years ending Jan. 1, 1880, was 57- 65', and for the last ten years, 53- 65'. During that time the temperature of the spring months has been 53- 65'; summer, 76- 83'; autumn, 55-65'; winter, 35- 57'. Mean, 54- 67'.
The difference of temperature between six A.m. and one P.M. is found to be 15- 50'.
It is said that the winters of 1792, 1793, 1795, 1799, 1800, 1805, 1806, 1809, and 1810 were very mild. The winter of 1796-97 was one of the coldest ever experienced at Cincinnati, the thermometer falling to eighteen degrees below zero on the morning of the 8th of January, 1797. This is the lowest that the thermometer has ever recorded at Cincinnati. The wind blew from the northwest, and, had it not been tempered and broken by the dense forests that covered Ohio at that time, it would have reached a much lower point. The winter of 1805, being unusually mild, was followed by that of 1806-7, which was extremely cold, On the 7th of February, 1801, commonly milled "Cold Friday," the thermometer indicated eleven degrees below zero. The winters of 1855, 1856, and 1857 were extremely cold, the thermometer beieg thirty-two times be- low zero. The Ohio River was frozen over for two months, so that heavy-loaded wagons could cross over it on the ice with safety. The winter of 1863-64 was very cold. On the lst day of January, 1864,-known as "Cold New Year,"-the thermometer indicated fourteen degrees below zero. It was a great Arctic wave that swept over two-thirds of the continent, and was unusually severe in the South Atlantic States for that latitude. The winters of 1870, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1878, and 1879 were also very cold. The winter of 1879-80 was unusually warm, being the warmest, taken as a whole, of any since 1827, and ten degrees warmer than any since 1835. On the 20th of December, 1877, the thermometer indicated sixty-nine degrees in the shade, and did not fall below sixty-three degrees for several days. On the 18th of October, 1879, it stood at seventy-three degrees, and the mean temperature for that month was sixty-four degrees twenty-nine minutes.
These generally occur as late as the 20th of April, and as early as the 20th of September, depending on the direction of the winds. Northwest winds in April and September are sure to bring frost. On the night of the 9th of August, 1809, there was a heavy frost, which damaged the corn so that it would not germinate ; and, had it not been protected by fogs along the valleys and by the timber in the new lands, it would have been entirely destroyed. This is the earliest frost ever recorded in the county. On the night of the 28th of August, 1863, there was a heavy frost, which injured the late corn very much. Since 1835 there have been fifteen Septembers in which no frost occurred. In 1859 there was frost in every month in the year save two. The one on the night of the 4th of June did a great amount of damage to the wheat, corn, and vegetation in general. Since 1835 there have been but two Aprils in which there was not more or less frost.
During the last eighty-three years the average rainfall has been 39.71 inches at Cincinnati, and for the last twenty-four, 37.61. The least of any year was 1856, in which but 22.88 inches fell ; and the greatest was 69.42, in 1817, followed by 49.17 in 1858. Thirty-nine inches may be considered as the average or mean rainfall of Clermont County, though it is shown by eon set of tables that it has been 43.80 since 1840, which would make it more. For thirty years, ending Jan. 1, 1880, the spring precipitation has been 10.54 inches ; summer, 10.33 ; autumn, 8.76 ; winter, 7.98. It often occurs that one-half of the rainfall is in one of the four divisions.
One of the greatest droughts ever experienced in the county was in 1806, when there was no rain from the 16th of June until the 3d of September. The winter of 1855-56 was extremely dry, only two inches of rain falling from the 1st of December until le 8th of May. The summers of 1867, 1871, 1873, and 1874 were very dry, yet good crops were raised, as what rain fell came at the right time. In 1875, during the months of June and July, seventeen inches of rain fell. In June it rained all but ten days, and in July all but four.
Wet seasons are not so injurious since the greater part of the forests have been cleared off as they were years ago, for the reason that the older the country gets and the less forest-area, the more readily will the surface-water escape by natural and artificial drainage. Again, soil that is tilled for any length of time becomes more compact in structure than new land, which is, like a sponge, capable of absorbing or holding a large amount of moisture and giving it out as required. Had it not been for this peculiarity of new land, vegetation must have perished in the drought of 1806.
The average fall of snow for Cincinnati is not far from twenty inches annually, while one degree farther north it is almost thirty-five. On the 1st, 2d, and 3d of January, 1806, it fell to the depth of twenty-four inches. On the 19th of January, 1846, twenty-two inches fell, and on the 18th of January, 1862, twenty-eight, which was the greatest fall ever noted in Southern Ohio. During the winter of 1855-56 it fell to the depth of sixty-nine inches, and sixty- four were recorded for the winter of 1865-66. Snow seldom falls before the 20th of October, and not later than the 10th of April. On the 20th of April, 1814, it fell to the depth of ten inches, and on the 11th of the same month, in 1875, four were recorded. The latest one ever noted in Clermont County fell on the 14th of May, 1864, to the depth of one inch.
The most prevalent wind in this section of Ohio is the southwest, from which direction it has blown two hundred days out of three hundred and sixty five during the last twenty-five years, and is the prevalent one nine out of the twelve months. In December, January, and February the northwest is the most prevalent, and ranks next to the south- west, taken as a whole.
The west wind blows mostly during the winter months, while the east, north, and south are nearly equal as to prevalence. The southwest winds are of two classes, viz.: humid and arid. The former is always followed by more or less precipitation ; the latter succeeds it. The one comes before it is needed ; the other is needed before it comes. The southern winds are more prevalent than the northern, and the western than the eastern.
From 1807 to 1879 in Clermont County the average clear days out of the three hundred and sixty-five was one hundred and seventy-two ; cloudy, one hundred and four ; variable, eighty-nine, July, August, and September have the greatest number of clear days, while November, Decem- ber, and January have the most cloudy. The most prevalent clouds in summer are the nimbus, cumulo-stratus, and stratus ; in winter, stratus, cirro-stratus, and cumulo-stratus.
A majority of them come from the north and southwest. If from any other direction, they are of a local nature ; if accompanied by wind, generally occur from one to five P,M. Before the settlement of the county a tornado passed near the present site of Williamsburgh, destroying immense quantities of timber, not leaving a tree standing in a large area; from that fact the locality took the name of the "Fallen Timber." On the 15th of May, 1814, one of the most terrific hailstorms ever recorded passed over the county. Hailstones were found weighing eight to ten ounces and measuring fifteen to sixteen inches in circumference.. In connection ,with this storm was a singular phenomenon At the time the hail fell there was but a slight wind ; but, immediately after, a violent one from the southwest set in, accompanied by waves of heated air, which caused the leaves of many of the trees to wither which had not been exposed to the fury of the storm. The first general tornado that ever passed over the county occurred Sunday, May 28, 1819. It originated in the northern part of Tennessee and terminated in Pennsylvania, traveling in a north- west direction, having a velocity of eighty miles per hour. Its path was marked with destruction. Trees, fences, houses, and buildings of all kinds were destroyed, and the loss of life exceeded fifty. On the 10th of June, 1840, the county was again visited by a tornado. It came from the southwest, and did an immense amount of damage to the growing crops, felling trees and unroofing buildings. A few weeks after, the neighborhood of Boston was visited by a hailstorm of unusual severity ; but was local, as they generally are. On the 21st of May, 1860, one of the most violent windstorms ever experienced in this latitude passed over Clermont County. It came from the northwest and occurred at half-past two P.M., lasting one hour and ten minutes. It destroyed over fifty thousand dollars' worth of timber, besides doing an immense amount of other damage. Its path was four hundred and fifty miles long and one hundred and fifty wide, and its force was not abated until it reached the great lakes. The storms on Stonelick in 1866, and near Goshen in 1876, were very severe. They had a vertical as well as a horizontal motion. Storms of that character in this latitude are always local, A great many storms have occurred in the county at different dates of great violence, but local in their nature. A careful study of them shows that the most violent have occurred in the months of May, June, and September, and that they have almost universally come from the southwest. In winter, storms of continuous rain come from the north and southeast, and seldom, if ever, from the west. No storms of violence have ever been noted that came from those two points.
Generally in the autumn of every year we have a period to which this appellation is affixed. It usually succeeds frosts, rain, or snow, beginning in October, or the 1st of November, continuing for one, two, and three weeks, and sometimes longer, with occasional storms. But the peculiarity, and from what it takes its name, is the atmosphere, which is smoky, dry, and serene, through which sun and moon exhibit at morning and evening faces of darkened crimson. During this period the verdure of the forests fades away or passes into the countless varieties of brown, red, and yellow, which give to the surrounding scenery a dull and sombre aspect. The occurrence of a rain with a northwest wind at length suddenly dispels the gloom, strips the woods of its remaining foliage, and introduces winter with a transparent and cheering atmosphere. The cause of this smokiness is supposed to be (or was formerly) the burning by the Indians of the withered grass and herbs on the extensive prairies to the northwest, and hence the name of the season, which in Clermont County is of unsurpassed loveliness, and is probably caused by the same conditions of the atmosphere as the November fogs of England.
The first shock ever experienced in Clermont County was the one of May 5, 1804. Though this and successive shocks were not attended by any of the appalling calamities that have been noted in other parts of the continent, nor is it reasonable to suppose that they ever will, yet their history cannot fail to interest the reader. The next one was felt Dec. 16, 1811, at twenty-four minutes after two P.M. The motion was a quick oscillation or rocking from east to west, and lasted for seven minutes. It was preceded by a low rumbling or rushing noise. It was so violent as to agitate the loose furniture, open partition-doors,-those fastened with falling-latches,--and throw off the tops of a few chimneys The log house formerly occupied by Oscar Johnston, in Union township, was noticed to shake violently by its occupants, who expected it to be thrown down every moment. One peculiarity about this shock was that it varied so much in different localities. On the 17th, 186, and 31st slight shocks were felt. On the 3d of January another one occurred. Again on the 23d and 27th, and February 4th, 5th, and 6th. On the 17th, at forty-five minutes past three A.M,, there were alarming shocks in succession, more violent than any before noted, throwing down the tops of chimneys, making wide fissures in the back-walls, and producing vertigo and nausea in a greater number of people than those previously felt. On the 8th there were three shocks, and one on the 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 22d, and 23d, March 3d, one ; 5th, three ; 11th, one ; April 30th, one. Shocks were felt May 4th and 10th, June 25th and 26th, September 15th, December 22d, March 6, 1813, and December 12th. Their focus was at New Madrid, Mo., and they were generally of a horizontal direction and moved south-southeast. In 1859 a slight shock was felt in September, and again in 1864 ; but these were scarcely perceptible.
IN Clermont County, as elsewhere in the Ohio Valley, we find earthworks, in the form of mounds, elevated squares, walls, and ditches, of which its inhabitants at the time it was first explored by the whites knew nothing as to their origin or history. But by common consent they have been decided to be the work of the Mound-Builders, a prehistoric race whose works in Ohio number ten thousand mounds and fifteen hundred inclosures. Of these, two hundred of the former and seven of the latter are found in Clermont County. Ethnologists have divided the period of prehistoric man into two ages,-viz,, Stone and Metal,-and the former into three epochs. Of these epochs the Mound-Builders belonged to the highest in the scale of civilization,-viz., the Polished Stone,-as attested by their implements of peace and war, or, in other words, of the chase, of industry, and of ornament, which have been found in great numbers in this country. Again, they have been subdivided, in regard to pursuits, into three classes,-viz., agricultural, military, effigy. Of these subdivisions, the Mound-Builders in this county belonged to the first, As to their origin and history, space will not admit of an ethnological discussion, involving, as it would, man's origin and antiquity and the merits and demerits of accepted biblical and geological chronologies. But suffice to say they were a race that at one time extended their rule over two thirds of the American continent, having the tropics as a common centre, from which they radiated north and south ; and that they in the course of time were either destroyed by pestilence or conquered by another people, who had not reached so high a point in the scale of civilization, is an undisputed fact, As to their antiquity, there are no proofs to be found in this county, as in others, that they were contemporary with the mammoth, mastodon, and other extinct animals, or that there has been any change in its fauna or flora since their advent, or that their works have been abandoned for a longer period than a thousand years, which to some extent rival those of the Shepherd Kings. Constructed as they have been of earth, the force of erosion would have almost obliterated them, or at least the lesser ones, had they been built for a longer period than from one thousand to fifteen hundred years. Again, the condition of the skeletons found in them, when the composition of the soil forming these works is taken into consideration, shows that they are not of as remote an origin as would be supposed.
That they were a numerous people cannot be doubted when we think of the immense number of their inclosures, mounds, and hearths or camping-places, and the numerous implements of agriculture and manufacture. In this county the evidences that they were an agricultural people are abundant. Their pestles, mortars, and corn-mills are living witnesses. They no doubt, from the location of their works, partly subsisted by fishing and hunting, which the valley of the east fork in olden time was typical ground. That they had a system of religion and worshiped the sun, moon, and elements, especially fire, is a self-evident fact from the number of sacrificial mounds found in the county (and if they did not, they are an exception to the many prehistoric races that have had an existence since man's creation). Of geometry they must have had some knowledge, from the form of their works ; for in their construction we find circles, squares, octagons, combs, triangles, and cones.
Their works, as to purpose, have been divided into two general classes,-viz., inclosures and mounds. The first has been subdivided into three classes,-viz., military, sacred, and miscellaneous; the second into four,-viz., sacrificial, temple-sites, sepulchral, and observation. Of the works belonging to the first class, they are all constructed of earth in this county ; of the second, a few of earth and stone combined. That there is some difficulty in giving the subclass to which each of the works belong is plain when so many of them have been despoiled, and others not a few have not been examined internally. It being impossible to give a detailed description of all of the numerous works in the county, only typical ones under each head will be given. In this connection mention should be made of the fact that in this county there seems to have been a series of works belonging together. Thus we have those of upper and lover east fork, Upper Stonelick, Lower Twelve-Mile, and Indian,
Of the inclosures, the one near Milford, on the farm of Rev. George Gatch, deceased, is the largest found in the county. Its form is nearer that of a trapezoid than of any other geometrical figure, and may be said to consist of two inclosures. The area inclosed by its walls is eighteen acres, which are at the present time four feet in height (formerly eight) and truncated. At each angle there is an opening about eight feet wide, and opposite that, at a distance of twenty feet from the angle, is a low mound. The ditch is on the inside of the parapet. This inclosure, from its topographical situation (being on the second bottoms, surrounded on three sides by high hills, and no means of obtaining water save from the east fork and Miami River, distant one-half mile), leaves no doubt that it belongs to that class regarded as sacred. Near Perin's Mills, on the farms of Ira Perin, Esq,, and William Malott, deceased, are two inclosures of the same class. They inclose ten acres each, and have the form of perfect squares. Their walls, when first seen by the whites, were five feet in height, but at present are but three. They also have openings at each angle, with mounds opposite them on the outside. On the farm of Ezekiel Edwards, near Elstun's Station, in Union township, is another one, with the exception of its form and area, similar to those described above. Its form is that of a rhomboid, and its area fifteen acres. On the farm of E. C. Patchell, in Stonelick, is a circular one, situated on both sides of the Cincinnati turnpike. Its walls are from three to five feet in height, and inclose eight acres. Its northern line borders on Stonelick Creek. On the east side, a short .distance from the wall, is a low mound, three feet high and one hundred and eighty in circumference, composed of broken limestone and red sand and clay mixed. On the farm of Jonathan Shaw, in Ohio township, is an inclosure covering an area of some extent. Its shape is that of a triangle. When first discovered its walls were five feet in height, with a moat outside of the parapet three feet deep, in which water stood during a greater portion of the year. This, unlike the preceding ones, is situated on a high table-land overlooking the valley of Twelve-Mile Creek, and was no doubt used as a fortress.
On the farm of Mrs. Elizabeth Hartman, in Jackson Township, is a wall some four feet in height, with the ditch on the outside. Its shape is that of a crescent, and it is some thirty rods in length. Whether this is pit of an intended in closure or was made as a means of defense the writer is unable to say.
Of the class sacrificial, they are numerous in this county. Of these, the one on the farm of John Hadly, in Jackson township, is the largest. It is twelve feet in height and sixty in circumference. Though not fully examined, enough was seen to justify the assertion. On the farm of B. F. Clark, in Wayne township, is one that has been closely examined; also one on the farm of G. I. Irving, in Miami township.
That the reader may have a general knowledge of their contents, composition, etc., let it be said that they are generally stratified, the strata being convex layers of clay and loam alternating above a layer of fine sand. They generally contain ashes, charcoal, igneous stones, caleined bones, beads, stone implements, and pottery. On the farms of B. F. Clark and Elijah Cowen are three mounds unlike any others examined by the writer, but probably belonging to this class. They are situated on the northern slope of the Stonelick hills, fifty feet above low-water mark in that stream, are three feet in height and thirty in circumference, and are composed of rock and earth. The rocks, which are limestone, show that they have been subject to a great heat. The earth, which is a tough clay, also shows the effects of fire. All through the mass ashes, charcoal, and great quantities of bones are found, some calcined and some not, and, taken as a whole, indicates that the Hound-Builders had a knowledge of cremation.
Of the temple-mounds, there are none found in this county.
Of the sepulchral, they are very abundant in the county, and number at least one hundred and twenty-five. They are conical in shape and range from three to fifteen feet in height, and always contain, so far as examined, from one to five skeletons. In a majority you find evidences of fire from the color of the earth and the finding of ashes and char- coal. You also find in them implements of war, industry, and ornament, such as mica, pottery, copper, brass, plummets, flint knives, breastplates, and pipes, in close proximity to the skeletons.
The largest of these is on the farm of Benjamin Johnston, in Jackson township, and is situated on the table-land, distant two hundred yards from the east fork. It is fifteen feet in height and sixty in diameter, and when first discovered had slabs of limestone sitting perpendicular in its apex. It is composed of a yellow sand, which has been subjected to a great heat. Near Williamsburgh, on the farm of Francis Leffingwell, are two of this class that are at least six hundred years old, from the size of the trees growing on them. They have been examined and a great many skeletons taken out ; also pottery, pipes, and arrowheads have been found. On the farm of Geary Hutchinson, in Jackson township, are six low mounds on the north bank of the east fork that have cists or stone chests in them, inclosing a skeleton each. These cists are made by removing the surface-earth a few inches in depth, over which flat stones were laid. On the sides and ends the same kind of stones were set on edge. In this the body was put in a sitting position and the top covered with flat stones, and over all earth was placed to the depth of from one to three feet. In size, the ?lets are from four to six feet in length, two in width, and about the same in height. On the farm of J. D. McKeever, in Williamsburgh township, are two mounds entirely composed of stone. In these there are cists, which radiate from the centre in all directions, making their circumference from thirty to ninety feet. Over these cists are loose stone, instead of earth, to the height of four feet. On the farm of Ezekiel Hutchinson, in Jackson township, in connection with a sepulchral mound, is a circular depression two feet in depth and eighteen in diameter.
In this connection it might be well to remark that there are several prehistoric cemeteries in this county. The most prominent ones are located near the Miami township cemetery, on the Cincinnati turnpike, on the farm of Oliver Perin, in Union township, and on the farm of Moses Elstun, Esq., in the same township. In all of these implements are found in connection with the skeletons. The one on the farm of Moses Elstun, Esq,, is situated on what is called " Sand Ridge," which runs at right angles with the east fork. In this cemetery the skeletons are found about two feet below the surface, in cists. On the farm of Daniel Turner, at the mouth of Dry Run, is one, which, as to the number of skeletons found in it, is the largest of any found so far in the county. It is situated on the brow of the hill, overlooking the east fork valley, at an elevation of two hundred feet above it. Its area is about forty feet square, inclosed by flat stones set on edge. This cemetery seems to be a large ditch, in which the bodies have been buried, one on top of the other, to the depth of five feet, and over which is a stratum of earth two feet in thickness. The immense number of skeletons found here with no evidences of fire, and the finding of no implements, leads the writer to believe that it is not of prehistoric
In the skeletons found in the above mounds, etc., there is a similarity. The forehead is low, making the facial angle less than the negro, and the maxillary bones are un- usually large, and so are the femur, which would, in proportion, make a man eight feet in height. One of the largest skeletons noted by the writer was found in the Sand Ridge cemetery. The skull was in a good state of preservation, together with the teeth ; all the rest of the bones were decomposed, with the exception of one of the femurs, which was unusually large. The cranium, etc., are now in the possession of the Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati, Ohio.
Of the mounds of observation there are not a few in this county, mostly situated upon eminences, appearing in chains or regular systems, and still bear traces of the beacon-fires that once burned upon them. On the east fork and the Ohio River hills they are the most abundant. They vary in height from three to fifteen feet, and are composed of loam. On the farms of Dr. Wood, near Chilo, of John Shaw, near New Richmond, and of W. F. and G. M. Roudebush, in Pierce township, are good examples of this class. There are no animals, mounds, or effegies in Clermont County.
It has been stated that the Mound-Builders in Clermont County were an agricultural people, but partly subsisting by the products of the chase and the inhabitants of the various streams found in it or on its border. To till the soil, manufacture cloth, hunt and fish, and ornament the person all required specific implements, which, as to use, have been divided into the following classes, viz., war, hunting and fishing, agriculture, manufactures, and ornament.
These implements were made of stone, bone, and red hematite iron-ore, in general terms.
The implements of war were grooved stone battle-axes, arrowheads of the following forms,-triangular, indented, stemmed, barbed, leaf-shaped, lozenge-shaped, disk-shaped, and beveled,-spearheads, lance-points, and the bow and arrow. In size the battle-axes vary from five to fifteen pounds in weight, with a cutting-surface from three to six inches. A large majority of them were made from green- stone and porphyry. Of the arrowheads, two inches in length and one in breadth may be considered the average. They were generally made of white quartz, chalcedony, agate, and chert, the greater portion being made of the latter. The spearheads and lance-points were used both in war and in the chase; and are from five to eleven inches in length and from one to two in breadth ; in material they are similar to the arrowheads. Of the bow and arrow but little or nothing is known except that the heads of the latter are very numerous.
Of fishing and hunting, spearheads, sinkers, cables, bows and arrows, and lance-points. The sinkers are, as to shape, double cones, with one end blunted sometimes, and the other running to a point, through which a hole has been drilled from both sides or with a small groove running around it. But there is a difference of opinion as to the use of this class of implements. Some claim that they were used for weaving in holding the threads taut. In size they are from two to three inches in length, and about the same in circumference. As to composition, they are generally made of white quartz, porphyry, and red hematite iron-ore. The cables were large stones weighing from ten to fifty pounds, and of various materials and forms. One was found a few years ago on the farm of Joseph Bicking, in Jackson township, and is now in the collection of the State Agricultural College, at Columbus, Ohio.
Of agriculture the implements were axes, hoes, spades, and hatchets. It is hard to decide to which division the various forms of axes belonged, but enough is known to prove that they were used in felling trees, etc. From the peculiar form of some of the implements found, they have been given the name of hoes and spades, which were made from chert and greenstone, and weigh from one to six pounds. The hatchets were used for felling trees and other purposes, and are distinguished from the axes in not being grooved, of less size and different material, and, too, that only the cutting-edge is polished, while the rest of the surface is chipped. They are always of some kind of flint.
The implements of manufacturing are numerous. Celts, pestles, corn-mills, chisels, grooves, scrapers, shuttles, plummets, knives, and rimmers are among the most important. The celts are wedge-shaped and polished, with a cutting-surface of from three to six inches, and vary in length from four to twelve. They were used for cutting wood and as a sort of battle-axe in time of war, and were made from Porphyry and greenstone. Pestles (or hominy-pounders) are so well known as to shape and use that a further description is useless. As to material, those made of rose- quartz, porphyry, and greenstone are the most abundant. Corn-mills are generally found in situ, and are usually erratics, having an artificial depression, in which the corn was placed, and by a rotary motion of the pestle, in the hands of the good housewife, made into meal or hominy. The use of the chisel is not known to a certainty, but is supposed to have been for building canoes, etc., and so with the groove. The scraper was used in the dressing of skins, and in form is crescent-shaped (or a half-moon), with the thickest part on the straight edge and the cutting on the curved. From the peculiar form of a certain relic it has been thought to have been used as a shuttle in weaving. Its length is generally three inches, width two, and thickness from an eighth to an inch. Near the ends are holes that have been started from opposite sides. From the manner in which their cloth was woven, it certainly would have answered for that purpose. Of the knives there are various shapes, but the most common one is that of an oval with both edges chipped for cutting-surfaces. On Sand Ridge twenty-four of this form were found in one grave. Another shape is that of a dagger. Of this form one was found a few years ago on the farm of E M. Patchell, at Stonelick. Their length varies from one to three inches, and from one-half to one in width.
In a great many implements found are one, two, and sometimes more, holes, which have been drilled with precision, and that they had some instrument for that purpose is a self-evident fact. Great numbers of an instrument such as would make those perforations have been found and described, but in general, as to shape, they resemble that instrument from which they have been named,-a rimmer. They vary as to length, being from one to six inches, barbed at one end, and chipped or polished to a sharp point at the other. In the collection of P. T, Stuart, at Perin's Mills, are some of the largest ever seen by the writer.
Under the head of ornamental come breastplates, banner-stones, point-cups, pipes, and pottery. To give a description or all these implements would be impossible in this connection. First of the three, they are generally, as to composition, of Huron slate,--a slate that takes and holds a polish and is very beautiful in appearance, being alternating bands of black and green. Of the pipes, they are of various forms and composition ; some are merely a straight tube, while others approximate to these of the moderns. As to material, gray and red clay and Huron slate are the most predominant.
In the collections of Dr. J. H. Thompson, Enoch Johnston, S. J. Rybolt, Dr. A. B. Anshutz, Frank Iuen, Miss Nora Lee, L. C. Moore, G. M. Roudebush, Cary Hartman, P. T. Stuart, and the writer, all the above named and described implements can be seen, aggregating ten thousand arrowheads, five hundred axes, about the same number of celts, spearheads, and lance-points, together with a large number of ornamental and miscellaneous articles. To these persons belongs the honor of making Clermont County what it should be, what it was intended to be,- viz., classical ground for the archaeologist. To the profound questions of the ethnologist who the Mound-Builders were, whence they came, and whither they went, we can only reply to a certainty that they once lived here ; here cultivated the soil ; here worshiped,-perhaps with the solemn rites of human sacrifice ; here planned and executed mighty works of organized labor ; and then passed away. We find their inclosures, their mounds, their burial-places and sacrificial altars, in the distinctive character of which they were as marked a people as the Pelasgi, whose prehistoric works can yet be traced throughout Greece and of the many prehistoric specimens found in Ohio the one here figured, from its size, form, and probable use, is the most interesting.
It was found on the farm now owned by Peter Gormen, in Stonelick township, in 1818, by John Davidson, as he in company with several others was blazing a road from Batavia to Goshen, by way of Glancy's Mills. The material is red granite, and is very compact in structure, its height being thirty-five inches ; circumference of base ninety inches. In reply to the questions, Could it not have been the work of attrition or of the white man? I would say that its composition and structure is the same throughout, and has no veins of quartz in it, and that its projections are the same as to width and thickness, and their edges square and not convex, as would be the case if made by attrition. To the second question : There are no chisel marks on it, it being so hard no one would have attempted to have worked it into any form, especially the present one. At the time of its discovery it bore evidences of having been made for a long time, which would preclude the idea of its being made by the whites. If it had been worked by the whites, after spending so much labor on it they would certainly have removed it to their place of residence and not left it in the primitive forests. It is probable that it was a council-stone, from which speeches were made. It is now in the possession of Mrs. B. Blythe, of Boston, who uses it for a horse-block.
THE INDIANS - THEIR TRIBAL RELATIONS - PERILS AND ADVENTURES OF SAVAGE LIFE, AND THE CONFLICTS WHICH OPENED THE WAY FOR THE WHITE SETTLERS - INDIAN BATTLE IN CLERMONT COUNTY - INCIDENTS AND TRAILS.
THE territory that now constitutes Ohio was first of all, so far as can be learned, in the full possession of the race of Mound-Builders ; afterwards (but still in prehistoric times) its sole occupants and owners for some centuries were unquestionably Indian tribes or nations, many of whom, still later, were subjected to expulsion or extermination from internecine feuds. They, as well as the Mound-Builders, held titles acquired probably by priority of discovery, by conquest, by occupancy, or by possession.
Nothing reliable or authentic is known of the various Indian tribes that occupied the vast territory that now comprises the State of Ohio, from the time of the departure or disappearance of the Mound-Builders until the closing years of the first half of the eighteenth century. Their history, therefore, anterior to the year 1750 is extremely meagre. They had no annalist, no historian, and perhaps had made but little history worthy of record during many recurring generations, centuries, and ages. It is true that we have traditions running back to the year 1656 relating to the destruction by the Iroquois of the once powerful Eries, who inhabited the southern shores of Lake Erie, except a small remnant which ultimately intermingled with the Senecas, but they are properly regarded as unverified traditions, and nothing more.
And equally unreliable and unauthenticated are many of the other traditions of the Indian tribes which bear date before the middle of the last century. About the year A.D. 1750, or a little earlier, as Professor Smucker has well said and determined, some accurate knowledge of the Ohio Indians began to be acquired through the Indian traders operating among them and from explorers ; but little comparatively, however, was known of them with the certainty of authentic history until after Col. Boquet's expedition to the towns on the Tuscarawas and Muskingum Rivers, in 1764. The intervening period between those dates may, therefore, be regarded as the time of the inauguration of the historic epoch of the Ohio Indians, the principal tribes being the Wyandots (called Hurons by the French), the Dclawares and Shawanese (both of the Algonquin group), the Miamis (also called Twigtwees), the Mingos (an offshoot from the Iroquois or a fragment of the Six Nations), and the Ottawas and Chippewas.
The Wyandots occupied the valleys and plains bordering on the Sandusky River and some other points ; the Delawares possessed the valleys of the Tuscarawas and Muskingum Rivers and a few other places between Lake Erie and the Ohio River ; the Mingos were in greatest force on the Ohio River about Mingo Bottom, below Steubenville, and at other points on said river ; also on the Scioto River, but seldom ever getting as far down as Clermont ; the Miamis were the occupants of the valleys of the Little and Great Miami Rivers, and disputed the possession of the northwestern part of Clermont ; the Shawanese were principally found in the valleys and lands between the Scioto and Mad Rivers, and claimed the eastern part of Clermont and all of Brown County ; the Ottawas made their homes in the valleys of the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers ; and the Chippewas, small in numbers, were chiefly confined to the southern shores of Lake Erie.
By the treaty of Fort McIntosh, made in 1785, the Ottawas, with the Wyandots and Chippewas, were assigned to the northern section of what is now the State of Ohio and west of the Cuyahoga River, having relinquished, by the terms of said treaty, whatever of claims they had to other portions of the territory now constituting our State. The true name of the Delaware tribe was Wa-be-nugh-ka, -that is, "the people from the East" or " the sun rising." The tradition among themselves was that they originally, at some very remote period, emigrated from the West, crossed the Mississippi, ascending the Ohio, fighting their way until they reached the Delaware River near where Philadelphia now stands, in which region of country they became fixed. About this time they were so numerous that no enumeration could be made of the nation, and when at the height of their glory they welcomed to the shores of the New World that great lawgiver William Penn, for whom and his followers they ever entertained a kind and grateful recollection.
The name of the tribe Miami, in the Ottawa language, is said to signify "mother," and was originally the designation of the nation who anciently bore the name of Te-wight-e-wec. This tribe were the original inhabitants of the two Miami Valleys and their tributary streams, and affirmed they were created in it ; hence they occupied, first of all the red men, the county of Clermont.
The original country of the Wyandots was on the north side of the St. Lawrence River, and the Senecas owned the opposite side of the river and the island on which Montreal now stands. They were both large tribes, consisting of many thousands, and were blood-relations. A war originated between them in this way : A man of the Wyandots wanted a certain woman for his wife, but she objected, and said he was no warrior and had never taken any scalps. To accomplish his object he raised a small war-party, and in their scout they fell upon a party of Seneca hunters and killed and scalped a number of them. This procedure began a war between the nations that lasted more than a century. The Wyandots, finding they were in danger of being exterminated, concluded to leave their country and go far to the West, and at last settled in Ohio.
Shawanese means "the south" or "people from the south," and Black Hoof, an old warrior of this tribe in Ohio, who died at the advanced age of one hundred and five years, used to say he remembered, when a boy, bathing in the salt waters of Florida, where his nation then dwelt.
In the "French and Indian war," which ended with the peace of 1763, the Miamis, Wyandots, Ottawas, and various other tribes adhered to the French, while the Delawares, Shawanese, and other nations clung to the English side. The French and their allied Indians made a stand near the present city of Piqua, where, near the head-towns of the Miamis, a fort had been erected, and were attacked by English traders with British Indian allies. The siege continued for more than a week ; the fort stood out, and could not be taken, Soon after this contest, the Miamis and their allies left this part of the country and removed farther northwest, and never returned. The Shawanese took their places, and were the Indians who afterwards claimed Clermont,-subject, however, to the claims of the Mingos ; but the latter seldom ventured so far down the Ohio River as to materially affect the possessory rights of the former.
Rev. Christian Frederick Post, a native of Conitz, in Polish Prussia, came to America in 1742, and first exercised the functions of a Moravian missionary in 1743, after having acquired some knowledge of the language of the Indians. In the summer of 1758 he was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania as a bearer of a message to the Delawares, Shawanese, and Mingos of the Ohio Valley to persuade them to withdraw from the French interest, and to return to their allegiance to the English. The results were so satisfactory as to secure Rev. Mr. Post's services for the second time on a similar errand to those and other tribes in the Ohio Valley and on the tributaries of the Ohio River, including the Scioto and Little Miami. His journals of these several visits disclose the important fact that he came very near establishing the quarters of his mission- work near what is most probably now Bullskin Creek, of this county, but, from some considerations and matters of slight moment, was induced, at last, to locate his field of labors in Tuscarawas County, where he failed in his efforts, but where, nine years later, the Rev. David Zeisberger succeeded in Planting a mission, from which sprang, in a few subsequent years, the prosperous and Christian Moravian settlements. A very trifling circumstance, as judged by Rev. Mr. Post's journals, must have been the means of diverting his chosen site from this county to that of Tuscarawas ; but, whatever it was, it succeeded, and made a grand history for the location he chose.
By the terms of the treaty of Fort Stanwix, concluded with the Iroquois or Six Nations (Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Tuscaroras, and Oneidas), Oct. 22, 1784, the indefinite claim of said confederacy to the greater part of the valley of Ohio was extinguished. This was followed, in January, 1785, by the treaty of Fort McIntosh, by which the Delawares, Chippewas, Wyandots, and Ottawas relinquished all claim to the Ohio Valley, and established the boundary-line between them and the United States to be the Cuyahoga River and along the main branch of the Tuscarawas to the forks of said river, near Fort Laurens ; thence westwardly to the portage between the headwaters of the Great Miami and the Maumee or Miami of the Lakes ; thence down said river to Lake Erie, and along said lake to the mouth of Cuyahoga River. A similar relinquishment was effected by the treaty of Fort Finney (at the mouth of the Great Miami), concluded with the Shawnees on Jan. 31, 1786. The treaty of Fort Harmar, held by Gen. St. Clair, Jan. 9, 1789, was mainly confirmatory of the treaties previously made.
The rights and titles acquired by the Indians under the foregoing treaties were extinguished by the general government by purchase, in pursuance of various treaties subsequently made. From the time of the organization of the government of the " Northwest Territory," in 1788, until the ratification of the " treaty of Greenville," sometimes called " Wayne's treaty," in 1795, the attitude of many of the Western Indian tribes towards the white settlers in the new Territory was that of extreme, unrelenting hostility, The aggressions of the red men were now frequent, and the native tribes resented the settlement of the whites upon their soil, although they came under the sanction of treaties, as an intrusion. The bitter enmity which existed between them and the people of Kentucky caused them to look upon all Americans as enemies, and they were strongly stimulated to deeds of violence by the influence of the garrisons of the military posts retained by the British in open disregard of the treaty of 1783, and by renegade traders everywhere established among them. The military organizations which had marched against the savages before the establishment of civil government in the great Northwest had signally failed to subjugate them or secure a permanent cessation of hostilities. The disastrous expedition of Gen. Braddock, in 1755, of Maj. Wilkins, in 1763, of Col. Bradstreet, in 1764, of Col. Lochry, in 1781, and of Col. Crawford, in 1782, and the disgraceful and murderous expedition against the Moravian Indians on the Tuscarawas, in the last-named year, only tended to inflame the hostile Indian tribes and inspire them with greater courage in the forward movements and aggressive measures against the white set- tlers. The fruitless, if not abortive, attempts and campaigns of Col. McDonald, in 1774, of Gen. McIntosh, in 1778, and of Gen. Broadhead, in 1781, of course led to no salutary effects. Even the successful campaigns of Col. Boquet, in 1763-64, of Lord Dunmore and Gen. Lewis, in 1774, and of Gen. George Rogers Clark, in 1778, failed to secure a permanent peace with the Western Indian tribes. The inhabitants of the Northwest Territory were, there- fore,-from the 7th of April, 1788, when the first immi- grants arrived, at the Mouth of the Muskingum, and the previous fall and winters, when O'Bannon was surveying and locating government entries in the southern townships of Clermont, until the treaty of Greenville was concluded, in August,1795,-constantly liable to the stealthy but deadly attacks of the perfidious, merciless savage tribes of the Northwest. It does not appear that at this time the Indians had experienced any injuries at the hands of the immigrants, who, in general, were pacific but fearless men. The settlers were disposed to deal justly and in good faith with their savage neighbors and were averse to bloodshed, but in the hour of danger and trial they exhibited daring courage and steady resolution. They were not hunters who cared little whether their game were red men or wild beasts, but they were men who preferred to be citizens, still knew how to be soldiers, and they met their dastardly, cruel, unrelenting foes in the spirit of genuine manhood,- of true, determined, unflinching heroism. They were men worthy of the heroic age of the West, and bravely did they bear themselves during those seven years of toil and privations, of dread and apprehension, of suffering and sorrow, of blood and carnage, and left a rich heritage to their descendants and the more fortunate pioneers following in their footsteps.
To avert from the new settlements the dangers which threatened them, the government first resorted to negotiations; but, these proving unavailing, Gen. Harmar, then commander-in-chief of the military department of the West, was ordered to attack the Indian towns. In pursuance of his instructions, he marched from Fort Washington, at Cincinnati, in September, 1790, with about thirteen hundred men, of whom less than one-fourth were regulars, the balance of his troops being Pennsylvania and Kentucky volunteers7the former being under the immediate command of Col. John Hardin, and the latter of Col. Trotter. When near the Indian villages on the Miami an advanced detachment of two hundred and ten men, consisting mostly of militia, fell into an ambush, and was defeated with severe loss. Notwithstanding this check, the villages on the Miami were reduced to ashes, and the standing corn and other means of savage subsistence were entirely destroyed,
Having accomplished this service, the army commenced its march homewards, but had not proceeded far, however, when Gen. Harmar received intelligence that the Indians had returned to their ruined towns. He immediately detached about one-third of his remaining force, under the command of Col. Hardin, with orders to bring them to an engagement. Early the next morning this detachment reached the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Mary's Rivers, both tributaries of the Maumee, where they were encountered by a large body of savages, and a terrible engagement ensued. The Indians fought with all the fury of savage vengeance, and the militia and regulars alike behaved with the most Spartan gallantry and bravery, but suffered a most mortifying defeat. These battles were fought on the 19th and 22d of October, 1790, and in this last and most fatal action more than one hundred of the militia, and, except nine, all the regulars perished, and the rest were driven back to the main body. Dispirited by this final severe misfortune, Harmar attempted nothing further against the enemy, but continued his march to Cincinnati, and of course his campaign failed to give peace or relief from apprehended barbarities. In fact, there had been a signal failure of the expedition's accomplishing its objects, and hence the audacity of savage aggression was not at all restrained. The property of the settlers was now in constant peril of destruction, and many persons were killed and others carried into captivity, to be adopted, sold, or tortured at the pleasure of their captors. The settlements on the purchase of the "Ohio Company" shared heavily in these calamities, though in a less degree than those of the Virginia Reservation, between the Little Miami and Scioto Rivers, which latter acquired in Kentucky the significant name of the Miami Slaughter-house". The land-surveys by Obannon and other surveyors in Clermont County ceased entirely, or were only secretly made on the lands contiguous to the Ohio River, and these in the greatest danger and apprehension.
In the following year, 1791, Cornelius Washburn, the celebrated scout and Indian-fighter, was employed by government agents as a spy between Maysville, Ky., and the mouth of the Little Miami, to watch for Indians, who were accustomed to cross the Ohio into Kentucky to steal and murder. While so engaged he had several encounters with them, in which his unerring rifle dealt death to many of the redskins, Two of these encounters were in Clermont, -the county where this famous scout and hunter afterwards resided for years. When scouting near what is now the village of Cedron, in this county,-situate in Franklin township, on Bullskin Creek, and some three miles from its mouth, where it empties into the Ohio,-Washburn spied five Indians, when he instantly fired and killed one. The four remaining savages pursued him, and, about half a mile beyond, one of them having got, in pursuit, within a few steps, Washburn wheeled and shot, and then continued the retreat. In less than a mile farther a second one came so close to him that as he turned to fire he caught the muzzle of his gun, when, after a severe struggle, Washburn brought it to his chest, and discharging it, is antagonist fell dead. He still continued on his course, pursued by the two Indians, all three being pretty well fatigued, and often stopping and treeing, After going something more than a mile, Washburn took advantage of an open ground over which the Indians were passing, and stopped suddenly to shoot the foremost, who thereupon sprang behind a small sapling. Washburn fired and wounded him mortally, and the remaining savage then gave a little yell and exclaimed, "No catch that man! Gun always loaded!" and retreated back into the forest, leaving Washburn to proceed to the Ohio further unmolested. Later in the season of the same year, while returning from the mouth of the Little Miami, he discovered an Indian on Twelve-Mile Creek, in Ohio township, a little over a mile from the present town of New Richmond, and before the redskin was probably aware of his being seen his life was taken by the sure shot of the great spy's never-failing rifle, which was the terror of his savage foes. This encounter happened on what is now the farm of Christian Laub, a worthy German, who suffers at this day less apprehension from the red men than from the failure of his grape-fields to yield a goodly vintage.
The alarming condition of affairs in the Territory inspired President Washington with fresh anxiety for a more effective prosecution of the Indian war, and a new army, in every respect superior to the former, was assembled at Cincinnati in 1791, under the command of Gen. Arthur St. Clair, the Governor of the Territory, and an officer who had a Revolutionary record of patriotism and ability, and under whom the speedy termination of the Indian atrocities was expected to be secured. The regular force consisted of three regiments of infantry, two companies of artillery, and one of cavalry, and the militia numbered about six hundred men. With this army St. Clair began, on September 17th, his march from Ludlow's Station (six miles from Fort Washington) towards the Indian towns on the Maumee. Two forts, Hamilton and Jefferson, were established on the route, at the distance of about forty miles from each other, and garrisoned by parties detached from the main army for that purpose. Shortly after leaving Fort Jefferson a considerable party of the militia mutinied and deserted in a body. The First Regiment, under Maj. Haintranek, was ordered to pursue them and to secure the advancing convoys of provisions, which, it was feared, they designed to plunder. Thus weakened by desertion and division, St. Clair approached the Indian towns. On the 3d of November, when within about forty-five miles of the towns, he halted, intending to throw up some slight fortifications for the protection of the baggage, and to await the return of the absent regiment. Misfortune seemed to have marked the expedition almost from its commencement, and on the following morning, about half an hour before sunrise, the American army was attacked with fiery impetuosity by the whole force of the Northwestern tribes and totally defeated, with the loss of more than six hundred officers and soldiers. The site of this disastrous defeat was near the headwaters of the Wabash, now in Mercer Co., Ohio, and the battle- field is known as Fort Recovery. Engaged in this battle were at least two thousand Indians and fifteen hundred white men, and of the latter more than half were either killed or wounded.
Nothing could have been more unexpected than this severe disaster-this calamity-to the disheartened and greatly-harassed pioneers of the Territory. Its effect was deplorable, and the victorious tribes sent runners to the southern and south western nations to stimulate them to attacks upon the white settlements ; and, consequently, Indian outrages of every kind were multiplied, and emigration was almost entirely suspended. The Federal government now took the preliminary steps to raise a large army to operate against the hostile tribes, for the purpose of finally and permanently subjugating them, and Congress passed the necessary laws and the President hastened to carry them into effect. In the mean time there occurred a battle in Clermont County,-the only fight of any magnitude known to have ever transpired between the Indians and whites within its borders.
INDIAN BATTLE IN CLERMONT
-TECUMSEH AND KENTON ENGAGED-THE SAVAGES DEFEATED IN A SHARP CONFLICT.
In the month of March, 1792, some horses were stolen by the Indians from the settlements back of Maysville, Mason Co., Ky., and a party of whites, to the number of thirty-six, was immediately raised for the purpose of pursuing them. It embraced Simon Kenton, Cornelius Wash- burn, Timothy Downing, Benjamin Whiteman, Anthony Shane, Stephen Ruddell, Alexander McIntyre, John Barr, - Calvin, Isaac Ferguson, and several other experienced woodsmen and famous scouts,-all noted marksmen and familiar with pioneer hardships. Simon Kenton, the distinguished Indian-fighter, was placed in command, and next in authority was the celebrated Cornelius Washburn, marked in the early struggles with the red men for his sagacity and courage. Over half a century ago, the progress of civilization being too rapid for him, he left his home and kindred in Clermont County for the wilds of the far West, to pass his time in the congenial employment of hunting the bear and trapping the beaver, and of his ultimate fate history is uncertain. The Hutchinsons, Harlowes, Woods, and Tates, of Jackson township, and the wife of ex-County Treasurer Joseph Bieking, are grand-children of Washburn, whose renowned exploits and hair-breadth escapes from the Indians would fill a volume. The third in command of this company was Timothy Downing, one of the first settlers of Washington, Ky., and who was once captured by the savages near Blue Licks and brought a prisoner to Ohio by the Shawnees, but escaped by his strategy and coolness, for which he was so noted. He has a great-granddaughter in Batavia in Mrs. R. J. Bancroft, whose mother was a Downing, born in Washington, Ky.
Drake, in his life of the celebrated Indian chief Tecumseh, says, the trail of the Indians being taken, it was found that they had crossed the Ohio River just below the mouth of Lee's Creek, which was reached by the above-mentioned pursuing-party towards evening. Having prepared rafts, they crossed the Ohio that night and encamped. Early the next morning the trail was again taken, and pursued in a northerly course all day, the weather being bad and the ground wet. On the ensuing morning twelve of the men were unable to continue the pursuit, and were permitted to return. The remainder followed the trail until eleven o'clock in the forenoon, when a bell was heard, which they supposed indicated their approach to an Indian camp. A halt was called, all useless baggage and clothing laid aside, and Benjamin Whiteman and two others sent ahead as spies in different directions, each being followed by a detachment of the party. After moving forward some distance, it was found the bell was approaching them, where upon they halted, and soon perceived a solitary Indian riding towards them. When within one hundred and fifty yards he was fired at and killed, whereupon Kenton ordered the spies to proceed, being now satisfied that the camp of the Indians was near at hand. They pushed on rapidly, and after going about four miles found the red men encamped on the southeast side of the east fork of the Little Miami River, in Jackson township, Clermont Co., at Lime- Kiln Ford, near the mouth of Grassy Run, and on what are now the lands of Thomas Goldtrap, J. G. Hutchinson, and Samuel Bicking's heirs,-about two miles south of Marathon and five miles northeast of Williamsburgh.
The indications of a considerable body of Indians were so strong that the expediency of an attack at that hour of the day was doubted by Kenton. A hurried council was held, in which it was determined to retire if it could be done without discovery, and lie concealed until night, and then assault the camp. This plan was carried into execution, and two of the spies were left to watch the Indians and ascertain whether the pursuing-party had been discovered. The others retreated for some distance, and took a commanding position on a ridge. The spies watched until night, and then reported to their commander that they had not been discovered by the enemy. The men being wet and cold, they were now marched down into a hollow, where they kindled fires, dried their clothes, and put their rifles in order. The party was then divided into three detachments, Kenton commanding the right, McIntyre the centre, and Downing the left. By agreement, the three divisions were to move towards the camp simultaneously, and when they bad approached as near as possible without giving an alarm were to be guided in the commencement of the attack by the fire from Kenton's party.
When Downing and his detachment had approached close to the camp an Indian arose upon his feet and began to stir up the fire, which was dimly burning. Fearing a discovery, Downing's party immediately shot him down. This was followed by a general fire from the three detachments upon the Indians, who were sleeping under some marquees and bark tents, close upon the margin of the east fork. But unfortunately, as it proved in the sequel, Kenton's party had taken " Boone" us their watchword. This name, happening to be as familiar to the enemy as themselves, led to some confusion in the course of the engagement. When fired upon, the savages, instead of retreating across the stream, as had been anticipated, boldly stood upon their arms, returned the fire of the assailants, and rushed upon them. They were reinforced, moreover, from a camp on the opposite side of the east fork, which until then had been unperceived by the whites. In a few minutes the Indians and Kentuckians were blended with each other, and the cry of "Boone" and "Che Boone" arose simultaneously from each party.
It was after midnight when the attack was made, and, there being no moon, it was very dark. Kenton, perceiving that his men were likely to be overpowered, ordered a rementreat after the attack had lasted for a few minutes; this was continued through the remainder of the night, and part of the next day, the redskins pursuing them, but without killing more than one of the retreating party. The Kentuckians lost but two men,-Alexander McIntyre and John Barr,--- but the loss of the Indians was much greater, according to the statement of some prisoners, who, after the peace of 1795, were released and returned to Kentucky. They related that fourteen Indians were killed and seventeen wounded. They further stated that there were in the camp about one hundred warriors, among them several chiefs of note, including Tecumseh, Battise, Black Snake, Wolf, and Chinskau, and that the party had been formed for the purpose of annoying the settlements in Kentucky, and of attacking boats descending the Ohio River, but the severe raid of the whites changed their intention and altered their course.
The history of no battle with the Indians in pioneer annals shows more valor than this fight on the part of the brave scouts and hunters-twenty-four in all-who attacked and fought over a hundred Indians, among whom were several of their most celebrated chiefs on the continent, and inflicted such chastisement upon the savages as to deter them from future incursions into this and the county of Brown, and from further predatory raids upon the Kentucky people. Kenton and his band were three days in reaching Limestone (now Maysville, Ky.), going down near the line of Clermont and Brown Counties to the mouth of Bullskin Creek and thence up the Ohio, and were two days without food, and destitute of a sufficient amount of clothing to protect them from the cold winds and rains of March.
Some of the foregoing particulars of this expedition are gathered from the writings of Gen. Benjamin Whiteman, one of the early and gallant pioneers of Kentucky, and who died many years ago in Xenia, Ohio, but some of whose great-grandchildren still live in Tate and Franklin townships, of this county.
The statements of Anthony Shane and Stephen Ruddell touching this fight vary in some particulars from that which has been given above, and also from the narrative in Mc Donald's sketches. Ruddell states that at the beginning of the attack Tecumseh was lying by the fire, outside of the tents, and when the first gun was heard he sprang to his feet, and, calling upon Sinnamantha to follow his example and charge, he rushed forward and killed one of the whites (John Barr) with his war-club. The other Indians, raising the war-whoop, seized their arms, and, rushing upon Kenton and his band, compelled them, after a severe con- test, to retreat. One of the Indians, in the midst of the engagement, fell into the river, and in the effort to get out of the water made so much noise that it created a belief on the minds of the whites that a reinforcement was crossing the stream to aid Tecumseh. This is supposed to have hastened the order from Kenton for his men to retreat. The afternoon prior to the battle one of Kenton's men, by the name of McIntyre, succeeded in catching an Indian horse, which he tied in the rear of the camp, and when a retreat was ordered he mounted and rode off.
Early in the morning Tecumseh and four of his men set off in pursuit of the retreating party, and, having fallen upon the trail of McIntyre, they pursued it for some distance, and at length overtook him. He had struck a fire and was cooking some meat, and when he discovered his pursuers he instantly fled at full speed. Tecumseh and two others followed, and were fast gaining on him, when he turned and raised his gun. Two of the Indians, who happened to be in advance of Tecumseh, sprang behind the trees, but he rushed upon McIntyre and made him prisoner. He was tied and taken back to the battle-ground ; upon reaching which, Tecumseh deemed it prudent to draw off the red men, lest the whites should rally and renew the fight. He requested some of his companions to catch the horses, but, they hesitating, he undertook to do it by himself, assisted by one of the party, and when he returned to camp with the horses he found that his men had killed McIntyre. At this act of cruelty he was exceedingly indignant, declaring that it was a cowardly act to kill a man when tied, and a prisoner.
The conduct of Tecumseh in this engagement and in the events of the following morning is creditable alike to his courage and humanity. Resolutely brave in battle, his arm was never uplifted against a prisoner, nor did he suffer violence to be inflicted upon a captive without promptly rebuking it. McDonald, in speaking of this action, says that the distinguished warrior, Tecumseh, commanded the Indians, and that his cautious and fearless intrepidity wade him a host wherever he went.
In military tactics night-attacks are not allowable, except in cases like this, where the assailing party is far inferior in numbers. Sometimes, in night-attacks, panic and con- fusion are created in the attacked party, which may render them a prey to inferior numbers. Kenton trusted to something like this on the present occasion, but was disappointed, for when Tecumseh was present his influence over the minds of his followers infused that confidence in his tact and courage that could only be defeated by force of numbers.
In the numerous accounts of this battle the principal difference relates to the number of Indians in the engagement and the loss sustained by them, and there is only one that disputes the truth of the fact of the redskins getting reinforcements from the north side of the east fork. Some writers have located this battle at Salt Lick, in Perry township, Brown Co., nearly a mile from the site we have given, but they are mistaken, as Cornelius Washburn, who a few years subsequently settled and made his home for quite a while in the immediate vicinity of the site designated by us, often walked over the battleground and pointed out and described the particulars of the fight, and placed its exact location as before mentioned by us.
In April, 1792, while Gen. Nathaniel Massie, with a party of nine men, was engaged in surveying in Stonelick township, they were suddenly attacked (while breakfast was preparing) by a party of twenty-two Indians. So unexpected was the onslaught by this superior force that Gen. Massie ordered his men to fall back after firing a few shots at the savages. The whites retreated to Geraul's Station, at that time commanded by Capt. Richard Hall. The Indians pursued them some distance, and slightly wounded one of the men. Three of the Indians were seen to fail. It is supposed that these were the same Indians that soon after killed Maj. Covalt at Round Bottom.
A few years later Gen. Wilham Lytle, while surveying in Jackson township, was pursued by a small party of Indians, and in the hurry of the moment lost his pocket-compass. This was found in a good state of preservation a few years ago, and is highly prized as a memento of those perilous times.
Various obstacles retarded the enlistment and organization of the new army to meet the Indians, and military preparations progressed slowly, owing to the distance for transportation and the sparseness of population. Gen. Anthony Wayne, a bold, energetic, and experienced officer of the Revolution,-the immortal hero of 'stony Point,"-- was appointed to the command, and arrived at Cincinnati in the spring of 1793. The Kentucky volunteer riflemen had become, from the experience of frequent disasters, averse to serving in concert with the regular troops, but such was the confidence inspired by " Mad Anthony Wayne" that they joined his standard with alacrity and in great numbers, In the course of the following winter he established a fort on a western branch of the Great Miami, which he called Greenville, and, having taken possession of the theatre of St. Clair's defeat, erected there a fort, to which he gave the most appropriate name of "Fort Recovery." In the spring of 1794 the new American army assembled at Greenville, and consisted of fifteen hundred mounted volunteers from Kentucky and a regular force of about two thousand men, all of whom were well provided in every respect and eager to be led against the insolent and haughty enemy. The Kentucky troops were commanded by Gen. Charles Scott, of that State, who was the second ranking officer in this army, and who, as well as Gen. Henry Lee (the "Light-Horse Harry" of the Revolution) and Gen. William Darke, had been favorably considered by President Washington in connection with the chief command of this great expedition. The choice, however, fell upon Gen. Wayne, the old companion-in-arms of the President, and to him is justly ascribed the honor of defeating the Indian tribes commanded by the celebrated Shawnee chief Blue Jacket on the Maumee, Aug. 20, 1794, and of permanently breaking the power of a very formidable Indian confederacy.
The savages had collected their whole force, amounting to over two thousand braves, near a British fort, erected since the treaty of 1783, and in gross violation of its obligations, at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee. Wayne marched from Greenville towards the confluence of the Auglaize with the Maumee in July, 1794. Having arrived there, he sent forward a messenger with his last pacific overtures, but without waiting for his return continued his march. On his route he met the envoy, who returned with an evasive answer. On August 20th he encountered the enemy, and the order of march was instantly converted into the order of battle. The contest which ensued was short and deadly, and successive charges impetuously made with the bayonet drove the Indians from their coverts and exposed them to a galling fire. Unable to sustain the onset, they fled in the greatest confusion, and were pursued under the guns of the British fort. In this well-fought action-one of the severest defeats the American Indians ever met-Gen. Wayne's zealous and efficient aid-de-camp was a future President,-William Henry Harrison.
This battle was fought at the Maumee Rapids, near Perrysburg and Fort Meigs, in Wood Co., Ohio, and is known as the battle of "Fallen Timbers," though sometimes called the "battle of the Maumee." The American loss was thirty-three killed and one hundred wounded, including in the former five officers and nineteen in the latter, but the loss of the enemy was very large, as the woods were strewed for a considerable distance with the dead bodies of the Indians and their white auxiliaries, the latter armed with British muskets and bayonets.
Cessation of hostilities followed this victory, and a peace which the government had vainly sought by friendly negotiation was secured,-a peace which continued for many years, even until after the "Northwest Territory" had ceased to be and the important incidents and events connected therewith had passed into history. The victory did not at once reduce the savages to submission, and it was necessary to lay waste their whole country, and to erect forts in the heart of their territory, before they could be entirely subdued. At length, however, they became thoroughly convinced of their inability to resist the American arms, and sued for peace. A grand council was held at Greenville, only a few miles distant from the unfortunate scene of St. Clair's 'defeat of four years previous, where eleven of the most powerful Northwestern tribes were represented, to whom Gen. Wayne, dictated the terms of pacification.
The treaty thus negotiated with the "Thirteen Fifes," as the savages called the Federal States, stipulated for the mutual release of prisoners and confirmed the boundary- line established by the treaty at Fort McIntosh, which ex- tended westward from Loramies to Fort Recovery, and thence southward to the Mouth of the Kentucky River. All the territory eastward and southward of the line thus established was ceded to the United States, and the Indians solemnly pledged themselves never again to make those lands, or any part of them, a cause or pretense of war or injury to any of the American people. Several small tracts, important as sites for military forts, were like- wise ceded. The Indians also agreed to acknowledge the United States as their sole protector, and never to sell their lands to any other power. Upon these conditions the United States received the Indian nations into their protection, guaranteed their future security from wrong and injury, and relinquished all claims to land not included within the treaty boundary. A large quantity of goods was also delivered on the spot, and perpetual annuities, payable in merchandise or in domestic animals, implements of husbandry, or other convenient utensils, at the pleasure of the receivers, were promised to each tribe which became a party to the treaty.
This treaty was the foundation of a permanent peace, and was the act of all the tribes who had then any claims to the territory east of the Wabash, and the observance of its conditions was secured by the expectation of solid benefits, as the rewards of good faith, and by the dread of severe retribution as the consequence of infractions. Its effect upon the prosperity and improvement of the West was immense. Confidence in the disposition and ability of the government to protect the Western settlers was universally restored, and the emigrant no longer had the fear of the tomahawk and the scalping-knife, of the midnight conflagration and the noon-day ambush, before his eyes when he undertook the conquest of the wilderness. Occasional aggressions, indeed, by both whites and Indians, still continued to occur, but no combination of tribes, nor any single tribe, again lifted the tomahawk against the United States until just before the breaking out of the war of 1812 with Great Britain.
On the heels of Wayne's victory and treaty, the population of Ohio began to increase and extend ; the Virginia Reservation, between the Little Miami and Scioto, drew a large number of Revolutionary veterans and others from that State ; the business of entering new surveys in Clermont was resumed ; and several settlements were begun in the county, in Williamsburgh, Miami, and Washington townships. Many of these settlers had been with Wayne in his victorious campaign, others had fought the savages in Kentucky and North Carolina, and all of them came feeling secure under the new peace and order of things, and ready to reclaim the forest and open up farms, but also prepared, in strong arms and stout hearts, to wield the musket should Indian aggression ever again raise its bloody sceptre.
Near Smyrna graveyard, a short distance from Felicity, in the year 1786, an Indian squaw named "sweet Lips" was executed by the tomahawk of an Indian chief for her alleged witchcraft and sorcery, that had impeded the success of her tribe in the chase and defeated it in a fight. When O'Bannon was making his surveys in Franklin and Washington townships the fall and winter of the following year, he observed and marked the fatal spot where the weird woman of the silent race paid the forfeit of her life, and had the particulars described to him by an Indian guide who had witnessed the execution.
In early times the Little Miami Valley, between Branch Hill, in this county, and Spumes, on the Hamilton County side, was a place of greater relative importance than at present, and at one time was the rendezvous for travelers as well as adventurers, and here was the trail of an Indian tribe which crossed at Three Islands on their way between Columbia and Chillicothe.
In the fall of 1795, John Wood, David Wood, Jeriah Wood, John, Nathan, and Elisha Manning settled in Washington township, about a mile from Calvary Church. They bad their families, and built what was called "Wood and Manning's Station," afterwards called "Miller's Station," and supposed to have been the first in Clermont. These settlers lived in the " station," which was a residence and fort combined, and several times the men were driven into the station by passing predatory bands of Indians going to Kentucky to steal horses or on their return from that State by the way of the Neville crossing. They were never attacked by the savages or the station seriously disturbed, as the treaty held the redskins in check, though they frequently violated its provisions in crossing the Ohio River to steal horses from pioneers of the "Dark and Bloody Ground." In 1796 and 1797, Simon Kenton, while scouting between Cincinnati and the Scioto River, spying for Indians violating the Greenville treaty, often tarried over-night at this station and partook of its cordial hospitality. Daniel Boone, when on his way to Missouri, had sent his family by flatboat down the Ohio River, and stayed at this station several days with the Woods and Buchanans,-old friends and neighbors of that great Indian-fighter and bunter at Germantown and Washington, Ky. Here for nearly a week he tarried, and took a hunt up into the county to nearly the headwaters of the Stone- lick, in which the party of eleven laid in an immense supply of bear and deer-meat, with a dozen fine wild turkeys.
Through the site of what is now the flourishing village of Williamsburgh (as we are assured by its eloquent historian, Prof. Byron Williams) passed a trail from the "Dark and Bloody Ground" to the realms of the North Wind. A camping-spot was near the intersection of Third or Second with Walnut and Mill Streets. Of all the wily hunters that threaded that mazy trail, of all the valiant chiefs and cunning braves that reposed in that camp, no name is known.
"Of the mighty deeds they have done, Of their battles bravely lost or won,
history, tradition, and song are silent.
"The dusky maidens and their loves are alike forgotten and lost, As a darkened torch in midnight ocean tossed."
Some have thought that there are indications that a great conflict occurred (many years before any settlement in Clermont) at the junction of the east fork and Kain Run. Only this we know,-that their souls are in the spirit-land, and that from beneath rough stone in rude symmetry placed, on the loveliest knolls in that vicinity, truants and idlers with curious thoughts and sacrilegious hands have exhumed the bones of stalwart men, and that there battle-axes and arrowheads are to be found in profusion rich to the studious antiquarian.
The largest Indian camp in the county after its occupation by the whites, in 1795, was on the farm formerly owned by W. T. Hartman, near Grassy Run, in Jackson township. It consisted of nine wigwams and forty-three souls. Remains of their fireplaces are still to be seen. These Indians were Wyandots, and subsisted chiefly by hunting, fishing, and trapping, selling their furs to the whites for corn and a little money. In their intercourse with the whites they were friendly and honest. Before that period the Shawanese had a camp farther up the cast fork, and between them and the Wyandots there was much enmity, which came near resulting in serious conflicts on several occasions. The latter were called women and other epithets offensive to an Indian's nature. The Shawanese left in 1805, and thereafter the Wyandots were in undisturbed 'possession of the salt-licks in that part of the country, which were greatly frequented by game. Among their chieftains was one Logan, of very fine personal appearance, who was killed in the war of 1812. These Indians left the county in 1811 to join their northern brethren, and never returned. They were the last to live within the bounds of Clermont, and more than half a century has elapsed since the red man has set his foot on her soil.
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