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AMERICAN STATE PAPERS. IA
fisi 117 - The trees were there beginning to put forth their buds, and there was a very perceptible difference in climate between this place and the falls of St. Anthony,
Accompanied by Messrs. Frazer and Woods, they came to a band of the Aile Rouge, about two o'clock. Here they received the usual salute, and held a council, where the chief expressed more detestation than
other had done, at the conduct of those Indians which had been met with near the mouth of St. Peter's. He gave assurances, in very unequivocal terms, that he who fired on the centinel; and those who threatened to kill Mr. Pike should, if he thought proper, be killed, He said there were many chiefs above with whom he wished to speak, and hoped Mr. Pike would remain one day, when all the Sioux would be down, and he should have the com. mand of 1000 men. But, perhaps, he would not think it an honour, although the British had flattered his nation by being proud to have them for soldiers, To this a general reply was made in which, he was informed, that the bad conduct of two or three individuals would not obliterate the sense entertain, ed of the good treatment which the party had received from the Sioux na tion. That, in a general council, Mr. Pike would more fully explain him. self. As for the man who fired on the centinel, had he been at the station, the Sioux should never more have been troubled with him, for he should fave been killed on the spot. His young men did not do so, least they should give offence to their commander. Remaining a day with them would be of no service, and he was anxious to be with the general below, who ex. pected him ; the state of his provisions also demanded the utmost expediLion, as his men must eat. The chief replied, that as the lake Pepin was yet closed, if the party proceeded and encamped on the ice,it would not sup. ply them with provision. He would send out all his young men the next day, and if the other bands did not then arrive, he would go with the party on the day following. Mr. Pike finally agreed to spend one day bere, which gave great satisfaction to the Indians. He was invited to different feasts ; at one of which he was entertained by an Indian whose father was created a chief by the Spaniards. Here he saw a man, whom the French call • Roman Nose,' and the Indians the Wind that walks, who was formerly, the second chief of the Sioux ; but being the cause of a trader's death about se. ven years ago, he voluntarily resigned his dignity, and has frequently requested to be given up to the whites, He was now determined to go to St. Louis and deliver himself up for execution. His long and sincere repentance, and the great confidence the nation places in him, will, no doubt, be considered as sufficient reasons for pardoning the offence. This opin, ion, however, Mr. Pike kept from his knowledge.
Here Mr. Pike received a letter from Rollet, the partner of Mr. Cameron, uvith a present of some brandy, coffee and sugar. Being the partner of the person whom it became Mr. Pike's duty to prosecute for an infraction of the laws of the United States respecting the trade with the Indians, payment was offered for the articles, though of trifling value. Two of the men, who were sent to put down some fishing lines, overset the canoe, and wonka have been drowned but for the exertions of the Indians, who rescued them, carried them into their lodges, undressed, and treated them with great humanity and kindness. At this place, Mr. Pike learned that the savage who had threatened to take his life, had actually cocked his gun for the purpose of shooting him from behind the hills, but was prevented by the others. The Indians not arriving on the day they were expected, Mr Pike, with which they had a view of lake Pepin, the valley of the Mississippi, the Can. non river and the hills between which it iows.
ge Early on the morning of the 15th Mr. Pike embarked, much to
ishment of the Indians, who were then fully prepared for the council. Afedged it was according to a previous decision, and he was not blameable for so doing. Indeed experience had taught the advantage of a rigid regard to truth in all intercourse with the Indians. Although the Aile Rouge
had a beaver cloak and pipe prepared, he had, for the present, to retain it. About nine leagnes below lake Pepin, they passed some hills which have the appearance of fortifications. An imani 320in to download 10 anob ben
They arrived at the prairie des Chiens on the 18th April, where Mr. Pike took up his quarters with Mr. Fisher. His men received a present of a barrel of pork from Mr, Campbell, and about twenty loaves of bread and some meat from Mr. Fisher. och bris koga of byderw Sd mor bi svody Here were a number
of chiefs, Reynards, Sioux de Moine, &c. also some Winebagoes, who had brought with them the murderers of some white men, in order to deliver them up to Mr. Pike. The next day six canoes arrived from the upper part of the St. Peter's river, with the Yankton chiefs from the upper part of that river. The appearance of these Indians was more savage than that of any other they had met with. Notice was given to the Puants, that Mr. Pike had business to do with them the day following. A band of the Gens de Lac also arrived.odw com 918 21 & A
315 A council was held here with the chiefs of the Paunch Indians, and those of the nation who had recently committed some murders were demanded. They requested until the day following (the 21st) to determine on the conduct proper for them to pursue. sd op droizna brte sive oni
In the afternoon a great game at cross was played on the prairie, between the Sioux on one side, and the Reynards on the other. It is played with a ball made of some hard substance covered with leather, and cross sticks, which have a round part covered with net work and a handle three feet in length. The parties being ready, and the betts made, sometimes to the amount of many thousand dollars, the goals are set up on the prairie, at the distance of half a mile. The ball is then thrown up in the middle; when each party endeavours to drive it to the opposite goal, and round the post which is there fixed. The ball is then, again carried to the middle, and the contest repeated, until one of the parties wins four times, which determines the game. It is an interesting sight, to thus behold two or three hundred naked savages contending on the plain. The one who drives the ball round the pole is highly applauded by his companions." Sometimes he who catches the ball in his racket, depending on his swiftness in running, endeavours to carry it to the goal ; and, if he finds himself to closely pursued, hurls it forward with all his strength, to an astonishing distance, where both sides have their flanking parties, ready to receive it. They often keep the ball passing in the air for hours before the victory declares for either party. In the game played here, the Sioux were the victors, more from their skill and dexterity in throwing the ball, than their swiftness of foot. Teostor Noatod
Mr. Pike made a demand in writing of the magistrates to take depositions respecting the murders recently committed, and had a private conference with Wabasha.
gledazoa w sujot the grow or On the 21st he was sent for by the chief le Feuille, who stated the jealousy with which his nation generally regarded their chief. Although it might get him the displeasure of some of the Sioux, he had no hesitation in saying, that the Nez Corbeau was the most sensible man among them , in which light he believed him to be generally viewed. After this interview he was sent for by the Red Thunder", chief of the Yanktons, the most savage band of the Sioux : This chief was found prepared with the most elegant pipes and robes. He declared that White blood had never been shed in the village of the Yanktons, eyen when rum was permitted. That Mor
HTEN 9 10 ghimon 913
dock Cameron arrived at his village in the preceding autumn, when die in. vited him to eat.-He gave him corn, as a bird. That Cameron informed him of the prohibition of liquor, but was afterwards the only person who sold it in the village. After holding another council with the Puants, Mr Pike spent the evening with Mr. Wilmot, one of the well informed gentle. men of this place.
On the 22d another council was held with the Sioux and Puants, when the latter gave up their medals and flags.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNI
Communicating information of the effect of sun-boats in the pro
tection and defence of harbours"; of the numbers thoughi, neccesary; and of the firofosed distribution of them among the poorte and harbours of the United States : 'in compliance with a reso
lution of the house of representatives of the 5th Feb. 1807. To the Senate and House of
Representatives of the United States. IN compliance with the request of the house of representatives expressed in their resolution of the 5th instant, I proceed to give such information, as is possessed, of the effect of the gun boats in the protection and defence of barbours, of the numbers thought necessary, and of the proposed distribution of them among the ports and harbours of the United States.
Under present circumstances, and governed by the intentions of the legis. lature, as manifested by their annual appropriations of money for the purposes of defence, it has been concluded to combine, 1st, land batteries, fur. nished with heavy cannon and mortars, and established on all the points around the place favourable for preventing vessels from lying before it'; 2d, moveable artillery, which may be carried, as occasion may require, to points unprovided with fixed batteries ; 3d, floating batteries ; and 4th, gun boats, which may oppose an enemy at his entrance, and co-operate with the batteries for his expulsion.
On this subject professional men were consulted as far as we had opportunity. General Wilkinson, and the late General Gates, gave their opinions in writing, in favour of the system, as will be seen by their letters now communicated. The higher officers of the navy gave the same opinions, in sep. arate conferences, as their presence at the seat of government offered occa. sions of consulting them, and no difference of opinion appeared on the subject. Those of commodore Barron and captain Tingey, now here, 'are recently furnished in writing, and transmitted here with to the legislature.
The efficacy of gun boats for the defence of harbours, and of other smooth and inclosed waters, may be estimated, in part, from that of gallies, formerly much used, but less powerful, more costly in their construction and main. tenance, and requiring more men. But the gun' boat itself is believed to be ia use with every modern maritime nation, for the purposes of defence. In the Mediterranean on which are several small powers, whose system, like qurs, is peace and defence, few harbours are without this article of protection. Our own experience there of the effect of gun boats, for harbour service, is recent. Algiers is particularly known to have owed, to a great provision of these vessels, the safety of its city,' since the epoch of their con
struction. Before that, it had been repeatedly insulted and injured. The effect of gun boats, at present, in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar, is well known, and how much they were used, both in the attack and defence of that place, during a former war. The extensive resort to them, by the two greatest naval powers in the world, on an enterprize of invasion not long since in prospect, shews their confidence in their efficacy, for the purposes for which they are suited. By the northern powers of Europe, whose seas are particularly adapted to them, they are still more used. The remarkable action, between the Russian flotilla of gun boats and gallies, and a Turkish fleet of ships of the line and frigates, in the Liman sea (in 1788), will be readily recollected. The latter,commanded by their most celebrated admiral, were completely defeated, and several of their ships of the line destroyed.
From the opinions given, as to the number of gun boats necessary for some of the principal seaports, and from a view of all the towns and ports from New Orleans to Maine inclusive, entitled to protection, in proportion to their situation and circumstances, it is concluded that, to give them a due measure of protection in times of war, about two hundred gun boats will be requisite. According to first ideas, the following would be their general distribution ; liable to be varied, on more mature examination, and as cir. cumstances shall vary ; that is to say,
To the Mississippi and its neighbouring waters, forty gun boats.
To Savannah and Charleston, and the harbours on each side, from St. Mary's to Curratuck, twenty-five.
To the Chesapeake, and its waters, twenty.
The flotillas assigned to these several stations might each be under the care of a particular commandant, and the vessels composing them would, in ordinary, be distributed among the harbours within the station, in proportion to their importance.
Of these boats, a proper proportion would be of the larger size, such as those heretofore built, capable of navigating any seas, and of reinforcing occasionally the strength even of the most distant ports, when menaced with danger. The residue would be confined to their own, or the neighbouring harbours, would be smaller, less furnished for accommodation, and consequently less costly. Of the number supposed necessary, seventy-three are built or building, and the hundred and twenty-seven still to be provided, would cost from 5 to 600,000 dollars. Having regard to the convenience of the treasury, as well as to the resources for building, it has been thought that the one half of these might be built in the present year, and the other half the next. With the legislature, however, it will rest to stop where we are, or at any further point, when they shall be of opinion that the number provided shall be sufficient for the object. * At times, when Europe, as well as the United States, shall be at peace, it would not be proposed that more than six or eight of these vessels should be kept afloat. Wben Europe is in war, treble that number might be necessary, to be distributed among those particular harbours, which foreign vessels of war are in the habit of frequenting, for the purpose of preserving order
therein. But they would be manned in ordinary, with only their comple· ment for navigation, relying on the seamen and militia of the port, if called
into action, on any sudden emergency. It would be only when the United States should themselves be at war, that the whole number would be brought into active service, and would be ready, in the first moments of the war, to co-operate, with other means, for covering at once the line of our seaports. At all times, those unemployed would be withdrawn into places not exposed to sudden enterprise, hauled up under sheds covered from the sun and
weather, and kept in preservation with little expense for repairs and main. tenance.
It must be superAuous to observe, that this species of 'naval armament is proposed merely for defensive operations ; that it can have but little effect towards protecting our commerce in the open seas, even on our own coast and still less can it become an excitement to engage in offensive maritime war towards which it would furnish 'no means.
TH: JEFFERSON. February 10, 1807
Extract of a letter from Gen. Horatio Gates to Thomas Jefferson, Esq. de
po saba “ I am charmed with your instituting gun-boats, for I believe them to be the properest defence for large harbours that has been hitherto imagined these co-operating with small batteries of heavy guns upon the projecting heights near the water, are much better, and infinitely less expensive, than fixed and large fortifications. The French, who are the best judges of ar. tillery and engineering
of any nation in Europe, adopt this plan of defending their harbours : the effects of it are too well known in England. I know not if you have seen a publication which appeared in Paris in May 1802, entitled Lettres d'un Qbservateur sur la Marine, it is well worth your perusa), much useful information n may be derived from it for the defence of our harbours and oar astonishingly increasing commerce ; a paltry frigate dare not then insult us, as has been and now is done in the harbour of New York." Isqaro A letter from Gen James Wilkinson to Thomas Jefferson, President of the 20F*** United States, dated Washington, November 10, 1804. "SIRY
IL na I regret that a variety of interruptions and engagements should have se long prevented my attention to the subject you did me the honour to mention to me.
On tuming it in my mind, the idea occurred to me that your proposition could not be better ascertained than by an examination of the system of de fence heretofore adopted for our towns and harbours, and a comparative view of its merits, with those of the plan which you recommend. I have yielded to this suggestion, and shall be happy if the manner or matter of the inclosed reflections should meet your approbation, as they are for you and at your disposal only.
"! ,' You will also find under cover an extract from the reflections of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, an author of great respectability, who wrote early in the last century, from which you will perceive gallies, in other words gun-boats, have been long held in high estimation.
I have only to add, sir, that these observations were committed to paper on the day of their date, and that I have not been able to have them copied sooner, so inadequate are my means to my duties.
With great consideration and respect, I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
[NOTE: This letter was only the cover of GenWilkinson's opinion, and therefore shews only in general terms what that was. The opinion itself was on a former occasion communicated to a committee of the house of representatives, and was read to the house for their information.)
A letter from Commodore S. Barron to Thomas Jefferson, President of the
United States, dated Washington, February 8, 1807. SIR, In consequence of a conversation I had the honour to hold with you yesterday, on the subject of gun-boats, I venture to state my reasons for suppo