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Michigan Chapter Seven

Dangers Which Surrounded the New Settlements

After entering all assembled on the parade ground where speech-making was next in order. It was characteristic of the native American that upon occasions of importance there must be harangues. He was a natural born orator and he expected reciprocity in the talk, especially something flattering to his feelings. This part of the affair being ended powder and balls were distributed. All then joined in the war cry; the guns were discharged and the bullets flew like hail. The report continues: "I held the Ottagamies and Mascoutins in a state of siege during nineteen days, wearing them out by a continued fire night and day. In order to avoid our fires they were obliged to dig holes four or five feet deep in the ground and to shelter themselves there. I had erected two large scaffolds twenty feet high the better to fire into their villages. They could not go out for water and they were exhausted by hunger and thirst. I had from four hundred to five hundred men who blockaded their village night and day, so that no one could issue to seek assistance. All our Indians went and hid themselves at the edge of the woods, whence they continually returned with prisoners. Their sport was to shoot them, or to fire arrows at them and then burn them. "
The enemy displayed red blankets as standards, from which it was inferred that he fought for the English. In fact the great chief of the Pottawatomies, by permission, mounted one of the scaffolds and addressed the Mascoutin warriors, charging them with being in the direct service of the English and warning them that they were making a great mistake by attaching themselves to that unworthy race. This parley had to be stopped because it soon appeared that the enemy were taking advantage of the cessation of hostilities to go for water. Accordingly the firing was resumed. That day some thirty of the enemy were killed and twelve lives were lost in the fort. A few days later the red flags were withdrawn and a white flag was shown. This was a signal for a conference, which was granted on the condition that they bring to the fort the four women prisoners, including the wife of the Indian chief Saguina. But the parley came to nothing.

Michigan


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