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Burton, Clarence Monroe / Narrative of Mr. John Dodge during his Captivity at Detroit
Produced by The Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/American


_Sixty-three copies printed sixty being for sale_







The narrative of John Dodge is one of the records of frontier life
during the period of the American Revolution that displays the intense
feeling of hatred and unfairness evinced by the British soldiers to the
American rebels. It was written and published during the time of the
greatest excitement in the West--the scene of the Narrative--and is
historically valuable because of being contemporary with the events in

It was considered of great importance at the time of its first
appearance, having been at once reprinted in England[1] and passed
through at least three editions in America.[2]

In other writings published in England in 1779, appear the first public
notice of the cruelties and gross irregularities in the administration
of justice in Detroit under the rule of Lieutenant Governor Henry
Hamilton, and the presentment of Hamilton by the grand jury of Montreal
for murder in the execution of a Frenchman convicted of stealing. From
the Narrative were taken the charges made against Hamilton, when he was
a prisoner in Williamsburg, in consequence of which he was confined in
irons and barely escaped a more serious, and perhaps even a capital
punishment.[3] But little at the present time can be ascertained of
Dodge. He was born in Connecticut, July 12, 1751, and was the son of
John Dodge and his wife, Lydia Rogers.[4] John Dodge, the father, was a
Baptist minister by profession and a blacksmith by trade. His son John
was one of a numerous family of children. His brother Israel, who was
with him in the West, was nine years his junior, having been born
September 3, 1760. Before John had reached his nineteenth year he had
wandered into the northern part of the Ohio district and had entered
into business as a trader in Sandusky. He was familiar with the Indian
language used in his neighborhood and frequently acted as interpreter.

Many of the events of his life from this time, are contained in his
Narrative and it is needless to repeat them here, but mention might be
made of other acts of his and records pertaining to him, of which he
makes no mention. On the fourth day of April, 1776, Dodge, with William
Tucker, purchased a house and lot in Detroit, from Joseph Poupard
Lafleur, for 3,000 livres, and a few days later Tucker agreed to repay
Dodge whatever sums he had paid for this house if Dodge "went down the
country," as he then contemplated.[5] Dodge did not go "down the
country," but remained in Detroit and sold his interest in the land to
William Tucker July 6, 1777. In this deed Dodge is described as "a
trader of Detroit," and it is stated that he bought the house and lot
of Lafleur June 7, 1774.[6] His Narrative does not agree with the
records in all cases, for he says he was confined in jail from January
to July, 1776, in daily expectation of death, while the records show
that he purchased this house and lot during this period. The story of
the rescue of a prisoner from the Indians, related in his Narrative, is
contained in the report of the Virginia Council of June 16, 1779.
Sometimes at liberty, engaged in trading, and sometimes confined in jail
as a rebel, he remained in Detroit and Mackinac till May, 1778, when he
was sent down to Quebec, at which place he arrived on the first day of

In the reports of rebel prisoners at Quebec in June and July, 1778, are
three entries referring to Dodge as follows: "John Dodge, 24 years old,
from Connecticut, a trader settled at Detroit for seven years, sent down
by Lieutenant Governor Hamilton. His commercial effects at Detroit.
Taken up on suspicion of having been in arms with the rebels."[7] He
remained in Quebec until the ninth day of the following October when he
escaped, going first to Boston and subsequently to General Washington.
Dodge does not state where or when he met Washington, but as the General
was in attendance at Congress from December 21, 1778, until some time in
the following January, he probably met him at Philadelphia. Dodge says
he visited Congress "having some matters relating to Canada worthy their
hearing." This related to the "certain expedition" referred to by
Washington in his letter of December 29th, a proposition to invade
Canada. Dodge was at Fort Pitt in the early part of January, 1779, and
from that port wrote a letter to John Montour.[8] There is no record of
Dodge's appearance before Congress, but he wrote a letter on the
subject, to Congress, as follows:

Honorable Congress

Pitsburg Jeneary 25 1779--

as I have Ben one of the grateest Suferers that is now in the united
States of Ameraca Both in Person and Property

I have Sufferd Every thing But Death Robd Plundered of Every far
thing that I was master of But loock upon it as an honour that I
have Suffard in so just a Cause as we are now Engagd in and very
happy that I have made my Escape from the Enemi after Being Prisener
two years and nine months I think it my Duty as I am now in the
Service of the united States to Enform your honnours of the
Proceedings and Carriings on in the Department whare I am--it Both
greaves and Shagrans me to the hart to Se matters so Ill Conduckted
as theay are in this Department--it is very natural for Every one
that has the Cause of his Contry at hart to Enquire into the reason
of our grevences--is not one the farmers Being Drove of thair
Plantation on our fronteers By the Saveges--Could theay remaind on
thair Plantations theay Could have Ben very Sarvesable in Suppliing
our main army in Provisions in Stead of that the Poor mifortonate
Peopel are obleged to retreet into the thick Setled Contry and I may
Say live almost upon the Charrity of the Contry which of consequence
must Distress the hole Contry for Provisions we will Enquire why
those Saveges are our Enemies theay are Bribd By the British to
take up the hachet against us whare is thair rendevous Detroit a
place Stockaded in with Cedar Pickets and Eighty Soldiers to gard it
But it is Strong Enough to keep a large Quantity of goods in so the
British Can and Do give near a millian Presents to Bribe the Saveges
to fall upon our fronteers and Distress our hole Contry--But we will
Suppose that Place to Be Esily taken which it raly is if matters
ware Conducted as theay ought to Be--But we will Say that the
Publick has Ben at grate Expence for two years Past and thare is
nothing Done I may Say nothing thare is a fort Bult at Bever Criek
and one at tuskerowayes which if theay are not rainforst with men
and Provisions very Spedily we have no reason to think But theay
will fall into the hands of the Enemi in the Spring now had one of
those forts Ben Bult at Preskeele or Kichoga or any whare on the
lake side the men might have Ben Employed this winter in Boulding of
Boats or gundelows So that in the Spring we Could Command the lakes
which if we Dont we Cant keep Detroit if we take it or if the winter
had Seveir we Could have gone on the ice and taken Detroit and
vessels to and with half the men that it would have taken at any
other Season of the year for the vessels would Be all froze up But
in Stead of that theay are Bult in an Endian Contry whare that all
Supplies may Be very Esily Cut of and give the Saveges Susspicon
that we are a going to Conker them and not our Enemi the English and
very good right theay have after thare has Ben such threats throw
out to them as thare has we hant the reason But to Expect then all
against us Before general McIntosh marcht from Bever Criek the
governer of Detroit Put up a few of the lower Sort of Saveges By
Bribing them to Send word to the general that theay would meet him
at Shuger Criek and give him Battel at the Same time thare was more
than four to one Sent him word that theay would not Enterfeir or
misleit him on his march as he had told them that he would go to
Detroit the general marcht to the Place But thare was not one that
apeard against him he then gave word that all those Saveges that Did
not Come in within twelve Days time and join him that he would loock
upon them as Enemies and use them as Such and that he would Destroy
thair hole Contry--now it was an impossibillity for those nation
that sent him word that theay would not misleit him to get word in
that Short Space of time which the general thought Proper to Set
much more Come in--now what Can we Expect But to have them all
against us if thare is not Some Spedy rimedy--I Cannot Say what
opinion your honours may have of the Saveges But I Can asure you
that theay are very numerous thair numbers are not known that thare
has not one out of a hundred taken up the hachet against us yet But
we Cannot But Expect theay will if there is not Proper Steps taken
and that Spedily--we will Supose that the Proper Steps are for us to
march threw thair Contry and take Detroit which is Esily Done if
matters ware Conducted as theay ought to Be--and By having that in
our Possession and the lakes it will Be in our Power to forse all
those near nations to Come upon our terms and that will Enduce all
the farrons ones to Be upon aliance with us and then we Shall have
all the trade of that Extensive Contry Quite from the north west
hutsons Bay lake Superier the heads of the macceippia which will
make our Contry florish--But we will Say the Publick has Ben at
grate Expence for two years Past and we are no nearer now than we
was when we fust Set out But what is the reason it is Because thare
was Peopel Sent that Knew nothing of the mater the general told me
that he was Brought up by the (sic) Sea Shore and that he knew
nothing abought Pack horseing in this wooden Contry--I Dont take it
upon me to Dictate or Sensure no one But I think that ought to Be
Enquired into Before thare was thousands Spent But now it is to
recall the horses and Bollocks are Dead the Provisions is Eat the
men must have thair Pay it is Sunk lost gone and here we are Still
going on in the Same way the general has likewise got the ill will
of all his officers the melitia in Protickaler which I am very sorry
for as theay are the only Peopel that we have to Depend upon to Do
any thing in this Deartment--now if thare was not any one that knew
how matters Should have Ben Conducted it would have Ben a meteriel
Diference--But thare is a gentlemon of an unblemisht Carrecter who
has Singulied himself By leaveing Every thing that was near and Dear
to him and Come in to this Quarter of the Contry Prepared Proper
talks for the Saveges and as he was grately respected By all those
who knew him it had its Entended Effect and I Can asure your
honnours that it has Ben the Saving of hundreads of lives and I Can
further asure you By various Surcomstances and Credible Intilegence
that if he had not have Come and Did what he Did that thare would
not have remaind one family this Side alagane mountains--he is Still
Striveing to keep them from falling upon us But as here is others
here Strieveing to Set them up it will Be a very Difecult matter for
him to Do it he has Sent for the Cheifs of the nations to Come in
and that thare is Still mercy for them if theay will know thair Duty
and as his Enfluence is grate with all those nations who know him I
am in hope it will have its Effect But I Should not Be Disapointed
if theay Did not after receiveing Such threts as theay have he has
like wise at his own Privat Expence hired men and Sent threw the
hole Contry abought Detroit and this side found out the Situation of
it and when I was Prisener with the British I have heard them often
make remarks that if he Did not Come against that we had not another
man in our Parts that knew the Situation of the Contry and had the
Enfluence with the natives as he had--But whatever knoledge he may
have Concarning those matters he has not never had the offer of
ordering of them But in Stead of that he has Ben Put under an arest
By the fals raports of a Poor Ignorant Set of Peopel which is to the
Eternal Shame of our Contry after he had Savd them from Being
masacereed By the Saveges that was his reward--now I beg that your
Honnours will take it into Consideration and order some Spedy
arangement Before this Quarter of the Contry is ruined a house
Devided against it Self Cannot Stand and your honnours may rely upon
it that is the case here if I have taken to much liberty I Beg your
honnours will loock over it as I would not wish to Do more than My
Duty--form your most obedient

and humble Servant--John Dodge--

upon Colo. Morgans arival here he Sent an Express to the Endian
nations for them to Come in and thare has two runners jest arived
here with Speaches of grate Concequence which I suppose he will
acquaint Congress with the Eairliest oppertunity--

(_in pencil_)
Specimen of the Literati of '76--!
Letter from John Dodge
Pittsburg 25 Jany 1779
Read Feby. 17th.--
Referred to the board of war--

This letter or statement was not received by Congress till December
13, 1781, nearly two years later, and the committee to which it was
referred, reported adversely to the suggestions contained in it, March
20, 1782.

Early in 1779, Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton was captured
by General George Rogers Clark at Vincennes and was carried to
Williamsburg, Virginia, as a prisoner of war. The letters and Narrative
of Dodge had been read by some members of the Council of Virginia and
the Council resolved, June 16, 1779, that because of the cruelties
inflicted by Great Britain on the American prisoners of war, it was
proper to begin a system of retaliation, and they conclude their
resolution as follows:--"this board has resolved to advise the governor
that the said Henry Hamilton, Philip Dejean and William LaMothe,
prisoners of war, be put in irons, confined in the dungeon of the public
jail, debarred the use of pen, ink and paper and excluded all converse
except with their keeper, and the governor orders accordingly." The
charges preferred by Dodge against Hamilton, were urged as an additional
reason for confining the latter in jail. Hamilton answered that the
statements of Dodge were mutual, and that the latter was "an
unprincipled and perjured renegade."[9]

Hamilton's excuses were not well received, and although no longer
confined in irons, he remained in prison for some time, but was finally
released and subsequently returned to Canada as Lieutenant Governor of
the province.

Dodge was appointed Indian Agent by Virginia and was located in
Kaskaskia from 1780 to 1788 and possibly until a later date.[10]

When claims of the Revolutionary soldiers to the western lands were
being considered Dodge laid claim to a section, as a refugee from
Canada[11] and his heirs were awarded a tract containing 1280 acres in
the year 1800. This indicates that Dodge died before May 8th of that
year. Four patents were issued to the heirs of John Dodge for lands in
town sixteen, range twenty, Ohio, July 12, 1802.

Henry L. Caldwell, a grandson of Israel Dodge, wrote as follows:--"I do
not know the date of the death of Colonel John Dodge, neither can I
locate his grave or that of my grandfather, Israel Dodge, but the
remains of both are, beyond doubt, resting in the old grave yard in Ste.
Genevieve, Mo., which adjoins the catholic grave yard."[12]

John Dodge, while living at Kaskaskia, held a commission of Colonel
received from Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia. His brother Israel
Dodge was a lieutenant under him at that place. Israel had married Ann
Hunter at Carlisle, Pa., before he moved to the West, and at Vincennes,
their son Henry, who afterwards became the first Governor of the
Territory of Wisconsin, was born October 12, 1782. He was named after
Moses Henry, who was in the fort at Vincennes when it was captured by
Governor Hamilton in 1778, being the only private in the "Army" which
held out against the British invader.

There is a letter from John Dodge from Kaskaskia, June 23, 1783,
informing the Indians that Detroit had been captured by the Americans.
A false report. Va. St. Pap. 3. 500.

A letter to Philip Boyle at Sandusky, July 13, 1779, in Farmer's Hist.
of Detroit 1. 173. This letter was intercepted by the British. It
enclosed the proceedings of the Virginia Council concerning Hamilton.

Dodge was a great traveler in his day. Born in Connecticut in 1751, he
went to Sandusky, Ohio, in 1770, thence to Fort Pitt (Pittsburg), thence
back to Sandusky, thence in succession to Detroit, Michillimackinac
(Mackinac), Detroit, Quebec, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Fort Pitt,
Vincennes (Indiana), Kaskaskia (Illinois), Ste. Genevieve (Missouri),
and New Orleans. We find mention of the man at these places and it is
very probable that his travels were much more extensive.[13]

In the Harman papers, as reported by the Missouri Historical Society, is
the following reference to Dodge in a letter from John Rice Jones, dated
October, 1789: "John Dodge and Michael Antanya, with a party of whites
and armed Piankeshaw Indians, came over from the Spanish side and
attempted to carry off some slaves of Mr. John Edgar, and otherwise were
guilty of outlandish conduct, threatening to burn the village." Dodge
and Edgar were old friends and fellow prisoners at Detroit. They were
both arrested and confined in that place as being too friendly towards
the American cause. Edgar was one of the witnesses relied upon to prove
that Dodge was entitled to the land grant for which he had made
application as a Canadian refugee.

James Wood[14] of Frederick County, Va., who is mentioned in the
Narrative, was appointed to command an expedition against the Shawanese,
and armed his company at his own expense. He was also deputed, by the
House of Burgesses, in 1775, to go among the several tribes of Western
Indians and invite them to a treaty at Fort Pitt. He set out on his
errand June 25, 1775, and was gone two months. He "underwent the
greatest fatigues, difficulties and dangers." He was ordered paid 250
for "the great service he hath done to this colony, by his diligent and
faithful execution of the commission with which he was intrusted."

The meeting of the Indians, which is referred to in the Narrative, took
place at Fort Pitt in October, 1775. One of the Indian chiefs who was
present on the occasion, was Shegenaba, the son of the famous Pontiac.
His father had recently been killed in a war between the Indians, and he
refers to this event in his speech, a part of which is as follows:

Fathers: From the information I have had of the commandant of
Detroit, with distrust I accepted your invitation, and measured my
way to the council fire with trembling feet. Your reception of me
convinces me of his falsehood, and the groundlessness of my fears.
Truth and he has long been enemies. My father, and many of my
chiefs, have lately tasted death. The remembrance of that misfortune
almost unmans me, and fills my eyes with tears.

The following is another letter by Dodge:

Fort Pitt Decr 13th 1781.


I think it my indispencible duty to Lay before your Excellency a
State of the Western Islianoy Country which may Probably throw Some
light on the Various Reports which may have Reached you through
Channels not so well acquainted with it as I am--Since Col George
Rogers Clark took Possion of that Country by order of the State of
Virginia the inhabitants have been obliged to furnish The means of
Subsistance for a number of troops stationed Thare--Received bills
for payment but the Greatest part of them protested and Still
Remains unpaid which have Not only impoverished the Country to a
Great Degree but Numbers have Joynd the Spanish Settlements on the
Same Account and indeed the Greatest part are determined to Follow
them if their Grievances are Not Remedied in Consequence the
enormous Expence the State of Virginia has Been at in that quarter
will be but of little advantage To the united States if the
inhabitants all leave that Country and Join the Spanish Settlements
who are Making use of Every means and giving Every incouragement In
their power Even to our allied Savages but as Yet their efforts has
proved inafectual with them But as Poverty is always loyable to
temptation I fear their Warmest attachment to us Will be Seduced by
those Who have it in their power to Supply them the inhabitants are
too inconsiderable to Guard themselves from the Hostilities of our
Enemies and have often Solicited me to Represent their Situation to
Congress before the State of Virginia Gave up their Claim to that
Country--the the Chief of the indian Nations Sent a Speech to
Congress Representing the State of his Nation and if Nothing Cold
be done in Regard of Suplying them Beged an answer Which to my
knoledge was lodged with the board of War and Never no answer
Received--Should Congress think proper to Send troops to protect and
keep that Country under Subjection the Only Way in my Humble opinion
to Furnish them Would be to send Some Confidential person with a
proper Supply of Merchandize which would in incourage the Settlement
of the Country Cultivate the Savage interest Supply the troops with
Every Necessary the Return would also answer for Exportation and
Finally open a Very Profitable and Extensive trade in a little
time--But these hints I beg leave to Refer to your Excellencies own
better Judgment Consious that if they are worth your Notice Will
direct them into their Proper uses--I propose to Leave this Soon for
that quarter and Shall be Very happy in Rendering any Service in my
Power which may be advantageous to the United States that Your
Excellency may think Proper to intrust to my mannagement--Pleasd to
Excuse the freedom of my remarks Which you Will do me the Honour to

I have the honour to be with the Greatest

Your Excellencies
Most Obd and Very
Humbe Servt--
Jno. Dodge
His Excellency
President of Congress
(Dec. 13, 1782)

Letter 13 Decr. 1781
John Dodge
Read Feby. 27, 1782
Referred to Mr. Wolcot
Mr. Clark
Mr. Patridge
The Comd discharged
His Excellency
President of Congress

The Committee to whom was referred the Letter of John Dodge report

That they have made the fullest enquiry that the circumstances of the
case would admit, relative to the Facts mentioned in said Letter, But
have not been able to obtain any Evidence to support them--and are
therefore of opinion that the Committee ought to be discharged.

March 20, 1782.

In council June 16, 1779.

The board proceeded to the consideration of the letters of colonel
Clarke, and other papers relating to Henry Hamilton Esqr., who has
acted for some years past as Lieutenant Governour of the settlement
at and about Detroit, and Commandant of the British garrison there,
under Sir Guy Carleton as Governour in Chief; Philip Dejean Justice
of the Peace for Detroit and William Lamothe, Captain of volunteers,
prisoners of war, taken in the county of Illinois.

They find that Governour Hamilton has executed the task of inciting
the Indians to perpetrate their accustomed cruelties on the citizens
of these States, without distinction of age, sex, or condition, with
an eagerness and activity which evince that the general nature of
his charge harmonized with his particular disposition; they should
have been satisfied from the other testimony adduced that these
enormities were committed by savages acting under his commission,
but the number of proclamations which, at different times were left
in houses, the inhabitants of which were killed or carried away by
the Indians, one of which proclamations, under the hand and seal of
Governour Hamilton, is in possession of the Board, puts this fact
beyond doubt. At the time of his captivity it appears, that he had
sent considerable detachments of Indians against the frontier
settlements of these states, and had actually appointed a great
council of Indians to meet him at the mouth of the Tanissee, to
concert the operations of this present campaign. They find that his
treatment of our citizens and soldiers, captivated and carried
within the limits of his command, has been cruel and inhumane; that
in the case of John Dodge, a citizen of these states, which has been
particularly stated to this Board, he loaded him with irons, threw
him into a dungeon, without bedding, without straw, without fire, in
the dead of winter and severe climate of Detroit; that in that state
he harrassed and wasted him, with incessant expectations of death;
that when the rigours of his situation had brought him so low that
death seemed likely to withdraw him from their power, he was taken
out and attended to somewhat mended, and then again, before he had
recovered abilities to walk, was returned to his dungeon, in which a
hole was cut seven inches square only, for the admission of air, and
the same load of irons again put on him; that appearing again to be
in imminent danger of being lost to them, he was a second time taken
from his dungeon, in which he had lain from January to June, with
the intermission before mentioned of a few weeks only; That
Governour Hamilton gave standing rewards for scalps, but offered
none for prisoners, which induced the Indians, after making their
captives carry their baggage into the neighborhood of the fort,
there to put them to death, and carry in their scalps to the
Governour, who welcomed their return and success by a discharge of
cannon; that when a prisoner brought [a]live, and destined to death
by the Indians, the fire already kindled, and himself bound to the
stake, was dexterously withdrawn and secreted from them by the
humanity of a fellow prisoner; a large reward was offered for the
discovery of the victim, which having tempted a servant to betray
his concealment, the present prisoner Dejean being sent with a party
of soldiers, surrounded the house, took and threw into jail the
unhappy victim, and his deliverer, where the former soon expired
under the perpetual assurances of Dejean, that he was to be again
restored into the hands of the savages, and the latter when enlarged
was bitterly and illiberally reprimanded and threatened by Governour

It appears to them that the prisoner Dejean, was on all occasions
the willing and cordial instrument of Governour Hamilton, acting
both as judge and keeper of the jail, and instigating and urging him
by malicious insinuations and untruths, to increase rather than
relax his severities, heightening the cruelty of his orders by the
manner of executing them; offering at one time a reward to one
prisoner to be the hangman of another, threatening his life on
refusal, and taking from his prisoners the little property their
opportunities enabled them to acquire.

It appears that the prisoner, Lamothe, was a Captain of the
volunteer scalping parties of Indians and whites wh[o] went out from
time to time, under general orders to spare neither men, women, nor

From this detail of circumstances which arose in a few cases only,
coming accidentally to the knowledge of the Board they think
themselves authorized to presume by fair deduction what would be the
horrid history of the sufferings of the many who have expired under
their miseries (which therefore will remain forever untold) or who
having escaped from them, are yet too remote and too much dispersed
to bring together their well grounded accusations against these

They have seen that the conduct of the British officers, civil and
military, has in its general tenor, through the whole course of this
war, been savage & unprecedented among civilized nations; that our
officers and soldiers taken by them have been loaded with irons,
consigned to loathesome and crouded jails, dungeons, and prison
ships; supplied often with no food, generally with too little for
the sustenance of nature, and that little sometimes unsound and
unwholsome, whereby so many of them have perished that captivity and
miserable death have with them been almost synonimous; that they
have been transported beyond seas where their fate is out of the
reach of our enquiry, have been compelled to take arms against their
country, and by a new refinement in cruelty to become the murtherers
of their own brethren.

Their prisoners with us have, on the other hand, been treated with
moderation and humanity; they have been fed on all occasions with
wholesome and plentiful food, lodged comfortably, suffered to go at
large within extensive tracts of country, treated with liberal
hospitality, permitted to live in the families of our citizens, to
labour for themselves, to acquire and to enjoy property, and finally
to participate of the principal benefits of society while privileged
from all its burthens.

Reviewing this contrast which cannot be denied by our enemies
themselves in a single point, which has now been kept up during four
years of unremitted war, a term long enough to produce well founded
despair that our moderation may ever lead them into a practice of
humanity, called on by that justice which we owe to those who are
fighting the battles of their country, to deal out at length
miseries to their enemies, measure for measure, and to distress the
feelings of mankind by exhibiting to them spectacles of severe
retaliation, where we had long and vainly endeavoured to introduce
an emulation in kindness; happily possessed by the fortune of war
some of those very individuals, who having distinguished themselves
personally in this line of cruel conduct, are fit subjects to begin
on with the work of retaliation, this Board has resolved to advise
the Governour that the said Henry Hamilton, Philip Dejean, and
William Lamothe, prisoners of war, be put into irons, confined in
the dungeon of the publick jail, debarred the use of pen, ink, and
paper, and excluded all converse except with their keeper. And the
Governour orders accordingly.

Attest Archibald Blair C. C. (_A copy_)

Of his SUFFERINGS among the




Of the cruel and barbarous Treatment and
extreme SUFFERINGS of



A particular Detail of the SUFFERINGS of
a Virginian, who died in their Hands.

Written by Himself: and now published to satisfy the Curiosity
of every one throughout the UNITED STATES.


DANVERS, near SALEM: Printed and Sold by
E. RUSSELL. next the Bell-Tavern. M,DCC LXXX.
At the same Place may be had a Number of new Books,
&c. some of which are on the Times--Cash paid for Rags

It is worthy of remark, that the three persons who make a principal
_inglorious_ figure in the following NARRATIVE, viz. Governor
_Hamilton_, _De Jeane_ and _Le Mote_, were afterwards taken by the
brave Colonel CLARKE, of Virginia, at Fort St. Vincent, and are now
confined in irons in a goal in Virginia (by order of the Legislature
of that State) as a _retaliation_ for their former _inhuman_
treatment of prisoners, who fell into their hands, particularly Mr.
DODGE, who has the pleasing consolation of viewing his _savage
adversaries_ in a similar predicament with himself when in their
power----though it is not in the breast of generous AMERICANS to
treat them with equal barbarity.


I sometime since left the place of my nativity in Connecticut, and, in
the year 1770, settled in Sandusky, an Indian village, about half way
between Pittsburgh and Detroit, where I carried on a very beneficial
trade with the natives, until the unhappy dispute between Great-Britain
and America reached those pathless wilds, and roused to war Savages no
ways interested in it.

In July, 1775, Capt. James Woods called at my house in his way to the
different indian towns, where he was going to invite them, in the name
of the Congress, to a treaty to be held at Fort-Pitt. the ensuing fall;
I attended him to their villages, and the Savages promised him they
would be there. Capt. Woods also invited me to go with the Indians to
the treaty, as they were in want of an interpreter, which I readily
agreed to.

Soon after the departure of Capt. Woods, the Commander of Fort-Detroit
sent for the Savages in and about Sandusky, and told them that he heard
they were invited by the Americans to a treaty at Pittsburgh, which they
told him was true; on which he delivered them a talk to the following
purport: "That he was their father, and as such he would advise them as
his own children; that the Colonists who were to meet them at Pittsburgh
were a bad people; that by the indulgence of their Protector, they had
grown a numerous and saucy people; that the great King not thinking they
would have the assurance to oppose his just laws, had kept but few
troops in America for some years past; that those men being ignorant of
their incapacity to go through with what they intend, propose to cut off
the few regulars in this country, and then you Indians, and have all
America to themselves; and all they want is, under the shew of
friendship, to get you into their hands as hostages, and there hold you,
until your nations shall comply with their terms, which if they refuse,
you will be all massacred. Therefore do not go by any means; but if you
will join me, and keep them at bay a little while, the King, our father,
will send large fleets and Armies to our assistance, and we will soon
subdue them, and have their plantations to ourselves."

This talk so dismayed the Indians, that they came to me and said they
would not go to the treaty, at the same time telling me what the
Governor of Detroit had said to them. On this Mr. James Heron and myself
having the cause of our country at heart, asserted that what the
Governor had said was false and told them that the Colonists would not
hurt a hair of their heads, and if they would go to the treaty, that I,
with Mr. Heron, would be security, and pledge our property, to the
amount of four thousand pounds, for their safe return. This, with the
arrival of Mr. Butler with fresh invitations, induced some of them to go
with me to the treaty.

In the fall I attended a number of them to the treaty, where we were
politely received by the Commissioners sent by Congress. The council
commenced; the Indians, who are always fond of fishing in troubled
water, offered their assistance, which was refused, with a request that
they would remain in peace, and not take up the hatchet on either side.
On the whole, these Indians were well pleased with the talk from the
Congress, and promised to remain quiet.

The Commissioners thinking it proper, sont the Continental belt and talk
by some of the Chiefs to the Savages who resided about the lakes. These
Chiefs being obliged to pass Sandusky, in their rout, Mr. John Gibson,
Agent for Indian affairs requested me to accompany them, and furnish
them with what they stood in need of; on which I took them home.

On my arrival at the village I found the Savages in confusion, and
preparing to war, on which I called a Council and rehearsed the
Continental talk, which with a present of goods to the amount of twenty
five pounds, quieted them. This I informed Congress of, agreable to
their request, by express, and that the Governor of Detroit was still
urging the Indians to war. Soon after this, a party of Savages from the
neighborhood of the lakes, came to my house on their way to the frontier
to strike a blow: I asked them the reason they took up the hatchet? They
replied, that the Governor of Detroit had told them, that the Americans
were going to murder them all and take their lands but if they would
join him, they would be able to drive them off, and that he would give
them twenty dollars a scalp. On this I rehearsed the Continental talk,
and making them a small present they returned home, believing as I had
told them, that the Governor was a liar and meant to deceive them.

On this I thought proper to write the Governor of Detroit, what he was
to expect should he continue to persuade the Indians to take up the
Hatchet. He was so enraged at the receipt of this letter, that he
offered one hundred pounds for my scalp or body, he sent out several
parties to take me without effect, until having spread an evil report of
me among the indians, on the fifteenth of January, 1776, my house was
surrounded by about twenty soldiers and savages, who broke into the
house, made me a prisoner, and then marched me for Detroit.

It was about the dusk of the evening, when, after a fatiguing march, I
arrived at Detroit, and was carried before Henry Hamilton, late a
Captain in the fifteenth regiment, but now Governor and Commandant of
Detroit; he ordered me to close confinement, telling me to spend that
night in making my peace with GOD, as it was the last night I should
live; I was then hurried to a loathsome dungeon, ironed and thrown in
with three criminals, being allowed neither bedding, straw or fire,
although it was in the depth of winter, and so exceeding cold, that my
toes were froze before morning.

About ten o'clock the next morning, I was taken out and carried before
the Governor, who produced a number of letters with my name signed to
them, and asked me if they were my hand writing? To which I replied they
were not. He then said, it was a matter of indifference to him whether
I owned it or not, as he understood that I had been carrying on a
correspondence with Congress, taking the Savages to their treaties, and
preventing their taking up the hatchet in favor of his Majesty, to
defend his crown and dignity that I was a rebel and traitor, and he
would hang me.

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