Indian News


The Editor of this paper has been politely favoured with the following interesting extract of a letter from his excellency Gov. Harrison, to Col. John M. Scott, of this place dated:

VINCENNES, Dec. 20, 1811

"Within this hour two principal Kickapoo chiefs have arrived to sue for peace; they are certainly humbled - - and if they speak truth, there are scarcely a vestige remaining, of the formidable combination that was headed by the Prophet [Tenskwatawa] - - He the (Prophet) remains at a small Huron Village, about 12 miles from Tippacanoe [Tippecanoe], with about 40 warriors, and 12 or 15 Wyandots - - He has applied to the Kickapoos of the Prairie to get their permission to retire to their town, but it was refused. He then requested to be permitted to send some of his people, in company with the Kickapoo mission to me - - this was also refused. - - No mischief of any kind has been done since the action, and the frontiers appear to enjoy as profound peace as ever they have done. Before the late expedition commenced, not a fortnight passed by, without some vexatious theft being committed. - - Indeed, the insolence of the Indians, (not those only who were immediately under the control of the Prophet) had become insupportable. To chastise them was [imperatively necessary? (unreadable)] of injury and insult that they did not heap upon us and our forbearance had excited their contempt to so great a degree, that they scarcely considered us as warriors. - - About six weeks since, some of the young men of the village of Peoria, told their chiefs in the presence of a man in the employment of General Clark, "that they could kill the Americans as easily as blackbirds." It is greatly to be regretted, that these scoundrels, could not have been made to respect our rights, and our national character, but by the sacrifice of such men as Owen, Daviess, White, Baue, Spencer, Warwick, &c. But much as they are to be lamented, their fall has not been inglorious, or useles to their country. The victory that was sealed with their blood, will insure the tranquility of our frontiers, and one of the finest tracts of land in the world, will be settled in peace, and give abundance and plenty, to a smiling and happy population. Even in the event of war with Great Britain, I think that the Indians will now remain neutral - - they have witnessed the inefficacy of British assistance - - for that assistance has been afforded in as ample a manner as it could have been, if war had actually prevailed between us and that power.

Within the last three months, the whole of the Indians on this frontier, have been completely armed and equipped out of the king's stores at Malden, indeed they were much better armed than the greater part of my troops; every Indian was provided with a gun, scalping knife, tomahawk and war club, and most of them with a spear - - whilst the greater part of my riflemen, had no other weapon than their rifle. - - The Indians had moreover an ample supply of the best British glazed powder - - some of their guns had been sent to them so short a time before the action, that they were not divested of the list covering, in which they are imported. All the information which I have received since the action corroborates the opinion I had formed, immediately after it, i.e. that the combination under the Prophet, was much more extensive then I had believed, and that many of those who were warmest in their profession of friendship to the U. States, afforded him all the aid in their power. The Delaware chiefs were all sincere. So was the Turtle [Little Turtle]; a few other Miamies, and three or four Potawatamie [Potawatomi] chiefs. All the rest were either openly or secretly engaged in his cause. The principle by which the Prophet professed to be governed, viz. that of putting a stop to the progress of our settlements, had gained him an astonishing popularity amongst the young men of every tribe, and I have no doubt that hundreds of them were in the action, that now pretend to have been at a considerable distance. However, as peace is the object of the government, and as I believe it can now be preserved, I intend to dissemble my suspicion of those whose conduct was equivocal, and to admit the excuse of those even whom I know to have been active against us.

"The two Kickapoo chiefs inform me that the Prophet and his party had determined to attack me, even if I should have advanced no farther than Fort Harrison."

Steamboat Adventure
Made possible by the Rivers Institute and the
History Department of Hanover College.


How to cite this article:  “Indian News,” Pittsburgh Gazette, 20 Dec. 1811, p. 3, available at