Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

By Freeman Cleaves | Go to book overview

V
TWO SHAWNEE BROTHERS

SPRING lifted the somnolent Wabash into a brimming laden stream. The softened earth of the cultivated prairie was ploughed for increasing crops. New cornfields and gardens, encroaching upon the fringes of the forest, refurbished the land in April. The recent land transactions were attracting many newcomers from the South and East, and Vincennes could very nearly gauge the seasonal prospects from the first few days of arrivals. Buffalo traces, widened into roads along the newly-acquired land on the Ohio, invited the immigrants to leave the winding waterway and travel overland. The principal route to Vincennes occupied a northwesterly course from the Falls of the Ohio, where Harrison had founded the town of Jeffersonville after the plan of his friend and patron at Washington.' 1

The town of Vincennes now contained nearly a thousand souls. With the arrival of a better class of immigrants from the East, the Governor and his associates, many of them Virginians, were endeavoring to introduce a degree of civilization to the frontier. During the sixth year of his rule, Harrison helped to establish a circulating library in the town, and at the opening service of worship for Methodists, he. held the candle while the minister, the Reverend William Winans, read the text. 2 Plans for the organization of a university at Vincennes were also underway. A trading post and lonely frontier village for three-quarters of a century, Vincennes was taking on new importance as a Territorial capital. As long as the frontier remained at peace with the neighboring tribes the citizens could afford to cultivate a little learning. Primarily, of course, this progress was based upon the acquisition of land.

Naturally, there were countercurrents and reaction. Speculators with undesired tracts on their hands were reluctant to see new Indian lands opened. And among the tribesmen themselves were certain "interested and crafty individuals," as Thomas Jefferson described them, 3 who deprecated the furtherance of agriculture and domestic industry. This reactionary element, inculcating "a sanctimonious reverence for

-51-

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Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT vii
  • THE HARRISON FAMILY ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I- Colonel Ben Harrison 1
  • II- Student of War 9
  • III- Delegate to Congress 22
  • IV- A New Frontier 33
  • V- Two Shawnee Brothers 51
  • VI- The Treaty of Fort Wayne 61
  • VII- quickening of War 69
  • VIII- The March Up the Wabash 83
  • IX- Tippecanoe 98
  • X- Kentucky Crosses the Ohio 112
  • XI- Massacre at the River Raisin 132
  • XII- A Fort is Built 151
  • XIII- The Siege of Fort Meigs 162
  • XIV- "We Have Met the Enemy . . ." 172
  • XV- Victory in Canada 188
  • XVI- The Hero of the Thames 206
  • XVII- Harrison Resigns 216
  • XVIII- Harrison Asks Congress to Judge 229
  • XIX- Political Fortunes 243
  • XX- South American Adventure 261
  • XXI- Depression Years 276
  • XXII- Evolution of a Candidate 288
  • XXIII- Harrison versus Van Buren 301
  • XXIV- Tippecanoe and Tyler Too 314
  • XXV- Jubilation and Mourning 329
  • Notes 345
  • Bibliography 392
  • Index 403
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