Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

By Freeman Cleaves | Go to book overview

XI
MASSACRE AT THE RIVER RAISIN

WHILE the weather was brewing difficulties in the Northwest, a statesman of an inquiring mind took command of the War Department. Secretary of State James Monroe, assuming the War portfolio upon the resignation of William Eustis in December, sought to discover why so little progress had been made in view of the fact that the war party had committed itself to the possession of Upper Canada ere snow fell, aye, ere the leaves fell. 1 The situation was the more serious inasmuch as the greater part of the six-months' service for which the Ohioans and Kentuckians had volunteered was now past, their terms due to expire in February, 1813.

Following a brief trip to Chillicothe, where Mrs. Harrison was visiting, the Commander-in-Chief returned to Franklinton early in January and perused an unusually long letter, crisply and concisely phrased, from Secretary James Monroe. "The object of your Expedition," Harrison was reminded, "was to retake Detroit, to take Malden, with the adjacent Country, and to hold them." The long delay and the great expense involved was giving the President "much concern." Yet the capture of Detroit and Malden was still considered "objects of the highest importance." Monroe went on and on, discussing matters which Harrison knew only too well, but at least he made acknowledgment of "all the hardships of the present season," and "the difficulty of procuring and transporting provisions," as well as the threatened exhaustion of the public treasury.

"The destruction of the Queen Charlotte [a 17-gun warship protected by the guns of Fort Amherstburg] and of the whole of the naval force of the enemy frozen up," Monroe added, ". . . would be an important attainment." The President was also contemplating a mounted expedition of 1000 Kentuckians into Indiana and Illinois by way of Fort Wayne "for the purpose of . . . destroying the provisions collected in the Indian villages, scourging the Indians themselves and disabling them." 2 But it was left to the General to decide whether the principal object of the campaign, the occupancy of Detroit and Malden, should not be postponed until spring.

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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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