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In reference to the English expeditions into the lake country, which followed the French War, I have not space to notice them fully.

Major Robert Rogers, of the Provincial Rangers, which were raised in New Hampshire, left Fort Niagara with his battalion in October, 1760, to take possession of the French Posts. The command sailed in batteaux, capable of carrying fifty men, which coasted along the south shore. When the wind was fair they made good progress; if it was unfavorable, their boats having sails were capable of beating against the wind.

Major Rogers was a bold, restless, enterprising, intriguing man, who had served with distinction in the French War. He traveled extensively throughout the lake country, and published two volumes in reference to it in 1765. His Journal of the expedition to Detroit is very full.

It contains the progress of nearly every day, with the courses and distances made on each stretch by the boats.

Historians have assumed, that the celebrated meeting of Pontiac, “Pondeach” or “Ponteach” with Major Rogers and his Rangers, haughtily demanding by what authority the English troops entered this country, occurred at the mouth of the Cuyahoga.

“On the 7th of November, 1760, they reached the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, the present site of Cleveland. No body of British troops had ever advanced so far. The day was dull and rainy , and, resolving to rest until the weather should improve, Rogers ordered his men to prepare their camp in the neighboring forest. The place has seen strange changes since that day.”

“Soon after the arrival of the Rangers, a party of Indian chiefs and warriors entered the camp. They proclaimed themselves and embassy from Pontiac, ruler of all that country, and directed, in his name, that the English should advance no further until they had had an interview with the great chief, who was close at hand.

“He greeted Rogers with the haughty demand what his business was in that country, and how the dared to enter it without his permission.” (Parkman’s Conspiracy, pp. 147-148.)

Rogers himself leaves the place of this meeting in much obscurity. In his Journal he does not speak of Pontiac, but in his “Concise Account,” published in the same year, that warrior, with his lordly bearing, is made conspicuous. The place where the interview was held is not described.

“Nov. 4th, 1760, set out from Presque Isle, (Erie) and made about twenty miles. Nov. 5th, lay by on account of the weather. Nov. 6th, advanced ten or twelve miles. Nov. 7th, set out early and come to the mouth of the Chogage river. Here we met with a party of Attawawa Indians, just arrived from Detroit.” (Rogers’ Journal, p. 214.)

After some parley, the Indians held a council, and promised an answer the next morning. Nothing is said of the Chief, or of their assuming a threatening attitude. In the morning, they gave a reply, and said their warriors should go with the party. They were given presents, and charged to prevent annoyance on the way, by sending some sachems with Capt. Brewer, who was driving the cattle along shore.

Major Rogers was detained at “Chogage” until the 12th. That day, by his reckonings, stearing various courses, he made forty-one miles and reached “Elk river, as the Indians call it.” Elk river, or “Elk creek” upon Evans’ map, is east of Cuyahoga. During the 4th, 5th and 6th of November, Major Rogers had advanced from thirty to thirty-two miles, which did not place him beyond Conneaut creek. How far he moved on the 7th, is not stated.

From Conneaut creek to Grand River, is forty-miles; and thence to Cuyahoga, thirty miles. Could he have made seventy miles on the 7th? I so excellent a day’s work had been done, would not Major Rogers have made note of it? By his reckoning, it is forty-one miles from “Chogage” to the Elk, a distance which they accomplished on the 12th; but this includes the several courses run by his fleet of boats, standing out and in to keep the wind. He did not advance this distance in a direct line along the shore, probably not more than thirty miles, or from Grand River to Cuyahoga. From his Elk creek to Sandusky bay, is fifty miles, as the boats ran ; only two rivers having been observed on the way. His failure to note the distance which they made on the 7th, leaves the record very incomplete. On none of the early maps is Elk river laid down west of the Cuyahoga.

In Kalm’s travels, (London, 1771,) it is placed first on the east. Upon Jefferson’s map, (Notes on Virginia, 1787,) it is the third river east of this; and on Harris’ map, (1803,) the fourth. In Morse’s Geography, (London, 1792,) there is neither Cuyahoga or Elk rivers, the Grand river being farther west than the Cuyahoga should be.

It would be a very good day’s sail in batteaux, to reach Grand river from Conneaut creek. The computed distances from thence to Sandusky, are approximately correct, which leaves a fair presumption in favor of the mouth of Grand river, at Fairport, as the place where the Ottawas held their first interview with the English troops.

But comparing all of Rogers’ statements in regard to this expedition, which are not entirely consistent, it is by no means clear that Pontiac was a party in this interview. On the morning of the 20th, the command left a river, about ten mile east of Sandusky bay, (Huron river,) encamping that night at the second stream beyond the bay, which should be the creek next west of the Portage, or “Carrying” river. Here Major Rogers was met again by an embassy, who demanded his business there, representing that they spoke for four hundred warriors, who were at the mouth of the “great streight,” to obstruct his passage. He quieted the sachems by explanations and promises, and on the 21st, they all set forward in good humor. (Rogers’ Journal, p.218.)

At “Cedar Point,” on the night of the 23d and 24th, the same messengers returned, among whom was a sachem of the “Attawawas.” The next morning sixty Indians offered to escort the English to Detroit. Pontiac is nowhere mentioned. If he was present at a meeting east of Cuyahoga, he was out of the country of the western Indians, and had no right to question the conduct of the British commander. Until after passing that stream, he was in the Territory of the Six Nations, from which they had driven the Hurons long before, making the Cuyahoga their boundary. All this must have been well known to Pontiac, and to Major Rogers.

Sir William Johnson, while he was Superintendent of Indian affairs, made a journey from his home, on the Mohawk, to Detroit, the next season after the English obtained possession of that place. On his return, by way of the south shore, in the summer of 1761, his Diary has the following sentence”

“Embarked this morning at six of ye clock, and intend to beach near Cayahoga this day.”

The Cayahoga” is a prominent river on Evans’ Map, published five years previous. It was well known to Johnson and to Rogers, who describes the country adjacent, in his “Concise Account.” If the interview with Pontiac had occurred here, a place already notorious among the Indians and well known to geographers, it would have been properly named. As a misprint, Chogage, is too far from Cayahoga, to warrant the conclusion that the words were meant for the same. Sheauga, the Indian name for Grand river, is much nearer both in sound and orthography.

For the present, therefore, something, must be left to conjecture, in reference to the spot where this great Indian warrior and medicine man, asserted his ideas of the supremacy of his people. Finding himself grievously mistaken, he soon concocted a great conspiracy of the north-western tribes, which burst forth simultaneously, upon every English garrison and trading post in the spring of 1763.

The French fort, Junendot, at Sandusky, does not appear to have been garrisoned at this time. Between 1760 and 1763, the British put a schooner afloat on Lake Erie, called the “Gladwyn,” which carried supplies to the post at Detroit, and the upper forts. In the last name year, the conspiracy performed its bloody work. The history of that murderous conflict is so familiar, that I confine myself to other events, referring those who would understand this savage tragedy, in all it horrible details, to the fascinating narrations of Parkman.

Major Rogers commanded a detachment, sent to the relief of Detroit during the siege of 1763. His battalion of provincials, assisted in covering the retreat of Dalzell’s command, after their defeat at Bloody Run, on the morning of July 31st.

An important expedition was sent into the Indian country in the fall of 1763, in command of Major Wilkins. On the night of the 7th of November, it was shipwrecked, and so thoroughly disorganized as to be obliged to return.

Prof. J. P. Kirtland, of Rockport, resides near the reputed spot where this calamity occurred. He has thoroughly investigated the historical proofs in support of his opinion, and has kindly furnished me his conclusions, with a description of the relics found there. This valuable paper is inserted entire:


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