October 6, 1786 Shawnee Town of Mackachack, Mad River, Ohio Country
Since the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783 by representatives of Great Britian and the newly formed United States, instead of a restoration of peace, tensions between the settlers and the tribes in on the western frontier began to escalate. Once the word got out that the United States had claimed the land north of the Ohio and would be sectioning it off for future sale, there was a rush of squatters who weren’t about to wait for official approval to move in. They stole furs, and sometimes murdered tribesman. The new government attempted to expel them but this was not very successful. The tribes who had been former British allies, who had now been told they no longer owned their lands, but the land belonged to the United States by “right of conquest” were dumbfounded and furious. As a result, they began to attack flatboats with settlers on the Ohio River, and sent war parties into Kentucky country. The tribes began arguing among themselves as some gave into the American’s demands, while others carried on small raids and guerrilla warfare. The American government began formally parceling out the land in their “Seven Ranges” venture, and they outright refused to give the tribes any voice at all in trying to negotiate with them. With the increase in raids by the tribes into Kentucky country, General George Rogers Clark decided that rather than wait for an all-out Indian uprising of the powerful tribes, he would strike the first blow and put a stop to any such plans. He took a force of militia up to the northwest corner of Ohio with plans to attack Miami towns on the Wabash. Meantime, he sent Colonel Benjamin Logan to attack the towns on the Great Miami and Mad Rivers. Logan burned seven towns, killed as many as ten chiefs, and a number of warriors. These towns were populated primarily with elderly men and the wives and children of warriors. The majority of warriors had left the towns to join in defending their allies the Miami tribe again Clark. There is no peace, just a renewal of aggression on both sides seemingly prompted by the greed of land speculators, the disregard of boundaries by squatters, and the forced surrender of their lands to American by the tribes which resulted in tribal retaliation.
“I’m sittin’ here tired and hungry, but well satisfied that we paid them savages back for what they done to our people in Kentucky. Colonel Logan done well by us all, burnin’ at least seven of them Shawnee towns, and killin’ as many of them warriors as we could find. I still think the main body of them was missin’ cause we was seein’ mostly squas and their brood, and old people. Let’s face it, they didn’t stand a chance against eight hundred mounted militia men. That there was some show Colonel McGary put on earlier this afternoon. Good old Hugh McGary! Crazy as hell when it comes to these Indians. There he was a’yellin’ at that old Mackujay sachem Moluntha. “Was you there at Blue Licks?” he kept askin’ him. McGary ain’t never got over bein’ beat by these hostiles at Blue Licks so he’s a lookin’ for revenge. The old chief was trying to tell him that he was friends with the United States and was referrin’ to a flag he had near his wigwam when we captured him. True enough, he have one. He even claimed to have tried to keep the Mackujay Shawnee from attackin’ the Shamanese. That’s what they call us. Anyhows, McGary didn’t believe him He took his tomahawk and struck the old man to the ground. Then the old fool tried gettin’ up and McGary stuck him with the ax end in the head and scalped him. Maybe the old chief was tellin’ the truth. Who knows. Who cares. Not me. Far as i’m concerned i got no use for these here savages, and the more of ’em we kill, the better off we’ll be. We still got about thirty of otheir squaws and kids with us, so they probably won’t try attackin’ us on the way back. But then again, ethey ain’t like normal folks so they just might. Truth be told, i don’t figure we put a stop to them raids. I figure we made them mad as hell and this is goin’ to start up more fightin’. Probably will never stop till we kill every damn one of ’em.”
Jacob Palmer, Kentucky Settler/farmer