[Meeting in Vincennes about Indian Confederacy]

At a meeting of a very considerable number of the citizens of the county of Knox at the seminary in Vincennes, on Wednesday the 31st of July 1811; when colonel Ephraim Jordan was appointed president, and capt. James Smith, secretary. Thereupon Gen W. Johnston, addressed the meeting, in which he informed them of the present situation of the inhabitants of not only the town, but country, in regard to the Shawanoe [Shawnee] prophet, his Brother Tecumseh, and their confederacy of Indians, and advised, that for the safety of the citizens, some resolution should be fallen into; and therefore adjt. Daniel Sullivan, introduced the following resolutions, which being read and explained in an audable voice, both in the English and French languages, were unanimously adopted, as follows, viz.

1st. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that the safety of the persons and property of this frontier, can never be effectually secured, but by the breaking up of the combination formed by the Shawanoe Prophet on the Wabash.

2d. Reselved, That we consider it highly impolitic and injurious as well to the inhabitants of the United States, as that of the territory, to permit a formidable banditti, which is constantly increasing in number, to occupy a situation which enables them to strike our settlements without the least warning.

3rd. Resolved, That we are fully convinced that the formation of the combination headed by the Shawanoe Prophet, is a British Scheme and that the agents of that power are constantly exciting the Indians to hostility against the United States.

4th. Resolved, [Illegible]  time, and under the circumstances which attended it; was calculated to excite the most serious alarm and but for the energetic measures, which have been adopted by our executive, it is highly probable that the threatened [destruction?] of this place, and the massacre of the inhabitants, would have been the consequence.

5th. Resolved, That a temporising policy is not calculated to answer any benificial [purpose with savages, who are only to be controlled by prompt and decisive measures.?]

6th. Resolved, That we approve highly of the prompt and decisive measures adopted [and approved by?] the governor of the territory.  We are convinced that the situation in which we [stand?], with [the?] Prophet and his adherents, rendered them necessary for our safety, and, from them we confidently expect such a termination of the presumptous pretentions of this daring chief, as must be pleasing to every patriot, and honorable to himself.

7th Resolved, That a committee to consist of the Rev. Samuel T. Scott, the Rev. Alexander Devin, col. Luke Decker, col. E. Jordan, Daniel M'Clure, & Walter Wilson esqrs. col. Francois Vigo, or a majority of them, be, and they are hereby appointed to, prepare and forward to the executive of the United States, a respectful address on the behalf of this meeting, assuring him of our attachment to his person and administration, and requesting him to take such measures, as his wisdom may dictate, to free the territories in this quarter from future apprehensions from the Prophet and his party; and that he be also requested to insist upon the surrender, by the Indian tribes, of those who have murdered our fellow citizens, and provide compensation for such as have lost their property.

Resolved that these resolutions be printed in the Western Sun, & also the address which may be prepared, and forwarded to the president in pursuance of them.

E. Jordan, President.
Jas. Smith, Secretary

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To James Madison
President of the United States.


In obedience to the wishes of a numerous meeting of our fellow citizens assembled for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of this country in relation to Indian affairs, we have the honor to address you. In approaching the chief magistrate of our country, who is so deservedly celebrated for the talents, which distinguish the statesman & the virtues which adorn the man, we should not do justice to our own feelings, and the feelings of those whom we represent, if we neglected to express our confidence in his administration and our sincere respect and esteem for his person.

In fulfilling the duty which has been assigned [illegible] scarcely necessary [illegible] should do more than to refer you to the resolutions [illegible] feelings of the [citizens?] of this part of the [illegible] country. [It is impossible?] to doubt [illegible] that the combination which [illegible] on the Wabash is a British scheme; & it is equally certain that this banditti is now prepared to be let loose upon us & that nothing but vigorous measures will [prevent?] it. [illegible] almost daily occur.

[illegible] impunity with which these savages have been so long suffered to commit [illegible] has [illegible] their insolence to a pitch that is no longer supportable. We are not sir, [illegible] for unnecessary rigor towards our Indian neighbors. The character which some of us sustain as ministers of the gospel of Christ will shield us from the supposition that we wish to plunge our country in an unnecessary war -- our object is peace but we are fully pursuaded that that blessing can now only be secured to us by the exertion of some vigor.

Let the savages be made sensible that every aggression from them will meet with a correspondent punishment, and Indian depredations will seldom be heard of.

Since the adoption of the Resolutions under which we act, we have listened to the speech delivered by the brother of the Prophet to governor Harrison, and if a doubt remained upon our minds as to the designs of the Confederacy he has formed, it has beem completely removed.  Shall we then quietly wait the stroke, when we see the weapon is suspended over us; we hope and trust that this will not be expected and that the general Government will take effectual measures to avert the danger; what these measures shall be we will not presume to dictate, but we beg leave most respectfully to observe, that we conceive that the country will forever be exposed to those alarms which are at once so injurious to its settlement, and the interest of the United States, as long as the banditti under the Prophet, are suffered to remain where they now are. The people have become highly irritated and alarmed, and if the government will not direct their energies, we fear that the innocent will feel the effects of their resentment, and a general war be the consequence. The western country, sir, is indebted to your predecessor for an undeviating attention to its prosperity, and the gratitude and attachment which they feel towards that distinguished patriot can never be effaced -- with equal confidence they look up to his successor, who, persuing the same course of politics with regard to the European powers, is, to them sufficient proof of coincidence of sentiment in that which relates to the continent.

That you may be the means under providence of establishing the affairs of your country, & settling its interest in every quarter of the [globe upon?] a secure & lasting foundation, and that you may long live to [enjoy the blessings of your?] countrymen for [the happiness?] you procure for them is the sincere prayer of your Fellow Citizens,

Samuel T. Scott
Alexander Devin
Luke Decker
Ephrain Jordan
Daniel [McClure?]

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


How to cite this article: [Meeting in Vincennes about Indian Confederacy], Western Sun (Vincennes, Indiana Territory), 3 Aug. 1811, p. 3, available at http://history.hanover.edu/texts/1811.