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1811]

THE PRESIDENT AND THE LITTLE BELT.

-339

No con

JAMES MADISON.

passed just before his thing
inauguration, was still
in force, but did not
afford a sufficient rem-EUROPE
edy. The popular cry
of “ Free Trade and the
Sailors' Rights” was
heard all over the land;

w and government at last made peremptory demands of England, the refusal of which, it was understood, would result in war. cessions could be obtained. Mr. Pinkney, disappointed in his negotiations, left London on the 1st of March, 1811; and shortly afterwards Mr. Madison dismissed the British minister.

460. While affairs were in this position, Captain Bingham, of the British sloop-of-war Little Belt, discovered at a distance the American ship President, under Commodore Rodgers, and gave chase. As he neared the President, Captain Bingham began to doubt whether he was authorized in making an attack, and finally altered his course, The American commodore now in turn pursued. As he approached, a gun was fired from the Little Belt, and an engagement followed. The British vessel was severely injured, and thirty of her men were disabled. On the President, but one was wounded.

461. The charter of the Bank of the United States expired on the 4th of March, 1811. Its management had been judicious, and its effects beneficial; but, after a long discussion, which engaged the leading statesmen of the country, both houses refused to recharter it; the senate by the

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tion ? Give an account of what passed between Great Britain and the United States in the early years of Madison's administration. 460. Give an account of the engagement between the Little Belt and the President. 461. When did the

casting vote of the vice-president, the lower house by a majority of one.

462. The rapid strides with which the western Indians beheld civilization advancing upon them once more awakened their hostility, and made them ready, despite their fears of Wayne's threat, to unite under the first shrewd leader that should present himself. Such a leader was found in the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. This famous “king of the woods was born on the Mad River, Ohio, in 1768. He was distinguished in childhood for bravery and endurance, and, when he grew up, took part in the various battles fought by his people in defence of their hunting-grounds. He had uniformly opposed the cession of territory to the United States, and had refused his signature to the treaty made with Wayne. Finding it for the time useless to resist, he had then tried to wean his countrymen from their intemperate habits, and to form such a combination among all the Indian tribes as would prevent any further sale of their lands. Partial success in these efforts encouraged Tecumseh to assume a bolder tone. He denied the validity of existing treaties; and, when the U. S. agent remonstrated with him for transgressing the bounds settled by Wayne, he replied that “the Great Spirit above knew no bounds, neither would his red children acknowledge any".

The efforts of the Shawnee chief were seconded by his brother, who pretended to be a prophet sent by the Great Spirit to reform his countrymen. While Tecumseh was engaged in visiting the frontier tribes for a distance of 1,000 miles, the Prophet was acquiring great influence among the adjacent nations. Crowds flocked to hear the new doctrines which he preached. He finally fixed his head-quarters at the mouth of the Tippecanoe (in the western part of Indiana), where he built a town for his followers. Supported by his brother's influence, and encouraged by British agents, Te

charter of the Bank of the U. States expire? What is said of the attempts to recharter it? 462. What once more awakened the hostility of the western Indians ? Who appeared as their leader? Where was Tecumseh born? What is said of his early history? Finding it useless to resist, to what did he confine his efforts ? Encouraged by his success, what ground did he Anally take? By whom were

1811]

TECUMSEH'S VISIT TO THE CREEKS.

341

cumseh in 1810 felt that the time for action had arrived. A messenger was sent to Gov. Harrison to ask for a conference, and the wily chief received permission to visit Vincennes with a small party of warriors. He came with 400.

The suspicions of the general were awakened, and in making arrangements for the council, which was held in a grove near the town, he took care to provide against treachery. It was well he did so. While he was speaking in reply to Tecumseh, the latter insolently interrupted him, and the other Red Men made hostile movements as if for an attack. The decisive measures of Gov. Harrison, however, overawed them, and Tecumseh was allowed to depart with a rebuke for his perfidy.

463. In 1811, after paying Gov. Harrison another visit, and disavowing all hostile purposes, Tecumseh went to the south, to bring over the Creeks to his league. Some of the tribes willingly listened to his fiery harangues, and accepted the bundle of red sticks, which was the emblem of their union for a bloody war; but one of the Georgia chiefs received the sticks in such a way that Tecumseh distrusted his sincerity. Sternly eying the suspected warrior, he threatened the whole tribe with the vengeance of Heaven, and declared that when he reached Detroit he would stamp on the ground and shake down every house in their village. The Creeks counted the days; and by a strange coincidence, when the predicted time had about arrived, the whole southern country was visited by an earthquake. Trees that had borne the gales of centuries trembled and fell; the waters of the Mississippi were convulsed; and the town of New Madrid was swallowed up by its boiling waves. As the terrified Creeks beheld the earth shake and their wigwams totter and fall, they remembered the vengeful words of the Shawnee, and cried in consternation, " Tecumseh has reached Detroit !”

Tecumseh's efforts seconded? What did the Prophet pretend ? In what was he engaged, while Tecumseh was enlisting the more distant tribes ?_In 1810, what did Tecumseh do! Give an account of his interview with Gen. Harrison. 463. In 1811, where did Tecumseh go? For what purpose? How was he received ? What passed between him and one of the Georgia chiefs ? How was Tecumseh's

INDIANS CONCEALED IN THE GRASS OF THE WET PRAIRIE

464. So alarming were the accounts of Tecumseh's movements, that government finally instructed Gen. Harrison to march against the Prophet's town and destroy it unless a satisfactory treaty was signed. Volunteers were raised for the expedition. Early in November, 1811, the U. S. army approached the Tippecanoe. It was met by Indian ambassadors, who expressed a strong desire for peace, and promised that the Prophet would the next day sign the required treaty. That night the men lay encamped in order of battle. About two hours before dawn (November 7th), one of the sentinels espied something moving in the grass, and fired. The discharge was answered by the terrible war-whoop of the Indians, who had crept up to surprise the sleeping army, and now with rifle and tomahawk rushed to the very doors of the tents. Not one in twenty of Gen. Harrison's men had been in battle before, but they stood their ground like heroes. Fierce and repeated charges were made by the Red

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PLAN OF THE BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

Men, whom the pretended Prophet had inspired with extraordinary courage; but each time they were repulsed. Harthreatening prediction fulfilled ? 464. What instructions were issued by government in 1811? Early in November, 1811, where were Harrison and his army? By whom were they met? How did they pass the night? What took place two hours before dawn? What is said of Gen. Harrison's men ? [See Map.-Where were the Indians concealed! On what creek was the battle? How high was

18111

BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE.

343

rison hastened from point to point, exhorting his men to keep an unbroken line till daylight should enable them to drive the savages from their position,

The wounds inflicted by the Indians were unusually painful, in consequence, as it was afterwards found, of their having chewed their bullets, and thus given them a rough surface, which tore the flesh and caused poignant torture. Every charge of the savages was followed by fearful screams from the wounded. Still the troops maintained their line. Gen. Harrison, though marked for special aim, escaped with no further injury than the loss of a lock of hair, cut off by a bullet. At last the wished-for dawn appeared. The assailants were soon dislodged from their cover, and pursued to a neighboring swamp. They left 40 dead upon the field; the Americans lost 62 killed, and 126 more or less injured. Gen. Harrison, as tender-hearted as he was prudent and brave, carefully ministered to the wounded, and shared his stores with his men, who for a time had no food but horseflesh. The Prophet's town was destroyed, and the victorious army returned to Vincennes. The defeat of Tippecanoe was a severe blow to Tecumseh. In hazarding a battle during his absence, the Prophet disobeyed his direct commands, and thus forfeited his confidence; nor did the Indians any longer believe in the sacred character of one whose predictions and promises had proved utterly false.

465. The twelfth Congress of the United States met No vember 4th, 1811. It contained many already distinguished as statesmen, and others destined to become so: John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, appeared for the first time in the house of representatives; Henry Clay, of Kentucky, was elected speaker. Congress without delay prepared for war with England. It was resolved to enlist 25,000 regulars and

the bluff occupied by the Americans ? What general commanded near the point first attacked ?] Describe the charges of the Red Men. What did Harrison exhort his men to do? What is said of the wounds inflicted in this battle! What was the cause of this ? What injury did Gen, Harrison receive ? On the appearance of dawn, what was done? What was the loss on each side? How did Gen. Harrison treat his men ? What did the victorious army then do ? What effect had this defeat on the Prophet's standing ? 465. When did the twelfth Congress meet? What new members made their appearance ? What measures were

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