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DETROIT IN 1838

BY HENRY A. FORD

The Christian Indians in the river valleys of Ohio lived directly upon the war path traversed by the Wyandottes and other tribes in alliance with the British, and the hardy borderers of Pennsylvania and Virginia; and so were between two fires. In the fall of 1781, under orders from Detroit, the British headquarters in the northwest, they were forcibly deported from their peaceful and prosperous villages and left utterly destitute upon the Sandusky plains, from Which they were forbidden to return. A winter of awful cold and hunger had been passed in a wretched cluster of huts a few miles below the present Upper Sandusky, and when, in March following, a hundred of the miserable exiles had been allowed to go back to their towns to gather the standing corn, they were seized, brutally murdered and scalped by a party of frontiersmen, who wrongly held them responsible for some of the fresh atrocities in the settlements. The feeble remainder had been peeled and plundered, persecuted and threat-ened, scattered like partridges upon the mountains. Zeisberger and his pious associates were stripped of even the clothes they wore; and several months after, when summoned to Detroit, they were still in a state of abject ragged-ness and destitution. It was in October, 1781, that the British commandant at Detroit. Major De Peyster, of generally happy memory, sent for the missionaries in Ohio to answer before him the charges made against them of sympathy and complicity with the American cause. The summons was answered by Zeisberger, Heckewelder, Sensemann, and Edwards, with live of the Christian Delawares.

DETROIT MICHIGAN


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