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cused of treachery, in purposely misrepresenting the articles of capitulation.
In concluding this chapter, we will anticipate dates to record the fortunes of the half-king after his withdrawal from the camp. He and several of his warriors, with their wives and children, retreated to Aughquick, in the back part of Pennsylvania, where George Croghan had an agency, and was allowed money from time to time for the maintenance of Indian allies. By the by, Washington, in his letter to William Fairfax, expressed himself much disappointed in Croghan and Montour, who proved, he said, to be great pretenders, and by vainly boasting of their interest with the Indians, involved the country in great calamity, causing dependence to be placed where there was none. For, with all their boast, they never could induce above thirty fighting men to join the camp, and not more than half of those rendered any service.
As to the half-king, he expressed himself perfectly disgusted with the white man's mode of warfare. The French, he said, were cowards; the English, fools. Washington was a good man, but wanted experience : he would not take advice of the Indians, and was always driving them to fight according to his own notions. For this reason he (the half-king) had carried off his wife and children to a place of safety.
After a time the chieftain fell dangerously ill, and a conjurer or medicine man' was summoned to inquire into the cause or nature of his malady. He gave it as his opinion that the French had bewitched him, in
Letter to W. Fairfax, Aug. 11th, 1754.
STATEMENT OF DE VILLIERS.
had struck them in the Indians gave him the
revenge for the great blow he affair of Jumonville; for the whole credit of that success, he having sent round the French scalps as trophies. In the opinion of the conjurer all the friends of the chieftain concurred, and on his death, which took place shortly afterwards, there was great lamentation, mingled with threats of immediate vengeance. The foregoing particulars are gathered from a letter written by John Harris, an Indian trader, to the Governor of Pennsylvania, at the request of the half-king's friend and fellow sachem, Manacatoocha, otherwise called Scarooyadi. "I humbly presume," concludes John Harris, "that his death is a very great loss, especially at this critical time." *
We have been thus particular in tracing the affair of the Great Meadows, step by step, guided by the statements of Washington himself and of one of his officers, present in the engagement, because it is another of the events in the early stage of his military career, before the justice and magnanimity of his character were sufficiently established, which have been subject to misrepresentation. When the articles of capitulation came to be correctly translated and published, there were passages in them derogatory to the honor of Washington and his troops, and which, it would seem, had purposely been inserted for their humiliation by the French commander; but which, they protested, had never been rightly translated by Van Braam. For instance, in the written articles, they were made to stipulate that for the space of a year, they would not work on any establishment beyond the mountains; whereas it had been translated by Van Braam on any establishment on the lands of the king of France," which was quite another thing, as most of the land beyond the mountains was considered by them as belonging to the British crown. There were other points, of minor importance, relative to the disposition of the artillery; but the most startling and objectionable one was that concerning the
* Pennsylvania Archives, vol. ii., p. 178.
previous skirmish in the Great Meadows. This was mentioned in the written articles as l'assassinat du Sieur de Jumonville, that is to say, the murder of De Jumonville; an expression from which Washington and his officers would have revolted with scorn and indignation; and which, if truly translated, would, in all probability, have caused the capitulation to be sent back instantly to the French commander. On the contrary, they declared it had been translated to them by Van Braam the death of De Jumonville.
M. de Villiers, in his account of this transaction to the French government, avails himself of these passages in the capitulation to cast a slur on the conduct of Washington. He says, "We made the English consent to sign that they had assassinated my brother in his camp."-"We caused them to abandon the lands belonging to the king. We obliged them to leave their cannon, which consisted of nine pieces, &c." He further adds: "The English, struck with panic, took to flight, and left their flag and one of their colors." We have shown that the flag left was the unwieldy one belonging to the fort; too cumbrous to be transported by troops who could not carry their own necessary baggage. The regimental colors, as honorable symbols, were scrupulously carried off by Washington, and retained by him in after years.
M. de Villiers adds another incident intended to degrade his enemy. He says, "One of my Indians took ten Englishmen, whom he brought to me, and whom I sent back by another." These, doubtless, were the men detached by Washington in quest of the wounded loiterers; and who, understanding neither French nor Indian, found a difficulty in explaining their peaceful errand. That they were captured by the Indian seems too much of a gasconade.
The public opinion at the time was, that Van Braam had been suborned by De Villiers to soften the offensive articles of the capitulation in translating them, so that they should not wound the pride nor awaken the scruples of Washington and his officers, yet should stand on record against them. It is not probable that a French officer of De Villiers' rank would practise such a base perfidy, nor does the subsequent treatment experienced by Van Braam from the French corroborate the charge. It is more than probable the inaccuracy of translation originated in his ignorance of the precise weight and value of words in the two languages, neither of which was native to him, and between which he was the blundering agent of exchange.
FOUNDING OF FORT CUMBERLAND-SECRET LETTER OF STOBO-THE INDIAN MESSENGER-PROJECT OF DINWIDDIE-HIS PERPLEXITIES—A TAINT OF REPUBLICANISM IN THE COLONIAL ASSEMBLIES-DINWIDDIE'S MILITARY MEASURES-WASHINGTON QUITS THE SERVICE-OVERTURES OF GOVERNOR SHARPE, OF MARYLAND-WASHINGTON'S DIGNIFIED REPLY—QUESTIONS OF RANK BETWEEN ROYAL AND PROVINCIAL TROOPS-TREATMENT OF THE FRENCH PRISONERS-FATE OF LA FORCE-ANECDOTES OF STOBO AND VAN BRAAM.
EARLY in August Washington rejoined his regiment, which had arrived at Alexandria by the way of Winchester. Letters from Governor Dinwiddie urged him to recruit it to the former number of three hundred men, and join Colonel Innes at Wills' Creek, where that officer was stationed with Mackay's independent company of South Carolinians, and two independent companies from New York, and had been employed in erecting a work to serve as a frontier post and rallying point; which work received the name of Fort Cumberland, in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, captain-general of the British army.
In the mean time the French, elated by their recent triumph, and thinking no danger at hand, relaxed their
vigilance at Fort Duquesne. Stobo, who was a kind of prisoner at large there, found means to send a letter secretly by an Indian, dated July 28, and directed to the commander of the English troops. It was accompanied by a plan of the fort. "There are two hundred men here," writes he, "and two hundred expected; the rest have gone off in detachments to the amount of one thousand, besides Indians. None lodge in the fort but Contrecœur and the guard, consisting of forty men and five officers; the rest lodge in bark cabins around the fort. The Indians have access day and night, and come and go when they please. If one hundred trusty Shawnees, Mingoes, and Delawares were picked out, they might surprise the fort, lodging themselves under the palisades by day, and at night secure the guard with their tomahawks, shut the sallygate, and the fort is ours."
One part of Stobo's letter breathes a loyal and generous spirit of self-devotion. Alluding to the danger in which he and Van Braam, his fellowhostage, might be involved, he says: "Consider the good of the expedition without regard to us. When we engaged to serve the country, it was expected we were to do it with our lives. For my part, I would die a hundred deaths to have the pleasure of possessing this fort but one day. They are so vain of their success at the Meadows, it is worse than death to hear them. Haste to strike."*
The Indian messenger carried the letter to Aughquick and delivered it into the hands of George Crog
* Hazard's Register of Penn. iv., 829.