from William Henry Harrison
Vincennes, 4th Dec. 1811.
Sir -- I have
the honour to inform you that two
principal chiefs of the Kickapoos of the Prairie
arrived here bearing a flag on the evening before last.
They informed me that they came in consequence of a
message from the Chief of that part of the Kickapoos which
had joined the Prophet, requiring them to do so, and that
the said chief is to be here himself in a day or two. The
account which they give of the late confederacy under the
Prophet is as follows.
"The Prophet with his
Shawanoes [Shawnees] is at a small Huron village about
twelve miles from his former residence, on this side of
the Wabash, where also, are twelve or fifteen Hurons. The
Kickapoos are encamped near the Tippicanoe. The
Potawatimies [Potawatomi] have scattered and gone to
different villages of that tribe. The Winebagoes
[Winnebago] had all set out on their return to their own
country excepting one chief and nine men who remained at
their former village.. The latter had attended Tecumseh in
his tour to the southward, and had only returned to the
Prophet's town the day before the action. The Prophet had
sent a message to the Kickapoos of the prairie, to request
that he might be permitted to retire to their town -- this
was positively refused, and a warning sent to him not to
come there. He then sent to request that four of his men
might attend the Kickapoo chief here -- this was also
refused. These chiefs say on the whole, that all the
tribes who lost warriors in the late action, attribute
their misfortunes to the Prophet alone. That they
constantly reproach him with their misfortunes, and
threaten him with death -- that they are desirous of
making their peace with the U. S. and will send
deputations to me for that purpose, as soon as they are
informed that they will be well received. The two chiefs
further say, that they were sent by Governor Harrison and
gen. Clarke, sometime before the action to endeavor to
bring off the Kickapoos from the Prophet's town -- that
they used their best endeavors to effect it, but
unsuccessfully -- that the Prophet's followers were fully
impressed with a belief that they could defeat us with
ease -- that it was their intention to have attacked us at
Fort Harrison if we had gone no higher -- that Racoon
creek was then fixed on and finally Pine creek, and that
the latter would probably have been the place, if the
usual route had not been abandoned and a crossing made
higher up -- that the attack made on our centinels at F.
Harrison was intended to shut the door against
accommodation -- that the Winebagoes had forty warriors
killed in the action, and the Kickapoos eleven and ten
wounded -- they have never heard how many Potawatimies and
other tribes were killed -- that the Potawatimie chief
left by me on the battle ground is since dead of his
wounds, but that he faithfully delivered my speech to the
different tribes and warmly urged them to abandon the
Prophet and submit to my terms.
I cannot say, sir, how
much of the above may be depended on. I believe, however,
that the statement made by the chief is generally correct,
particularly with regard to the present disposition of the
Indians. It is certain that our frontiers have never
enjoyed more profound tranquility than at this time.
No injury of any kind that I can hear of has been done
either to the persons or property of our citizens. Before
the expedition, not a fortnight passed over without some
vexatious depredation being committed. The Kickapoo chiefs
certainly tell an untruth, when they say there was but
eleven of this tribe killed and ten wounded. It is
impossible to believe that fewer were wounded than killed.
They acknowledge, however, that the Indians have never
sustained so severe a defeat since their acquaintance with
the white people.
I have the honor to be,
with great respect, sir, your humble servant,
Wm. H. HARRISON
P. S. The chief of the
Vermillion Kicapoos has this moment arrived.
Hon. William Eustis, Secretary of War.